Friday, August 14, 2009

Palin proclaims Death Panel Day - April 16, 2008


"WHEREAS, Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions.

WHEREAS, in Alaska, Alaska Statute 13.52 provides the specifics of the advance directives law and offers a model form for patient use.

WHEREAS, one of the principal goals of Healthcare Decisions Day is to encourage hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices to participate in a statewide effort to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives, as well as to encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts to improve public knowledge and increase the number of Alaska’s citizens with advance directives.

WHEREAS, the Foundation for End of Life Care in Juneau, Alaska, and other organizations throughout the United States have endorsed this event and are committed to educating the public about the importance of discussing healthcare choices and executing advance directives.

WHEREAS, as a result of April 16, 2008, being recognized as Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, more citizens will have conversations about their healthcare decisions; more citizens will execute advance directives to make their wishes known; and fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 16, 2008, as:
Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deathers: Right Anger, Wrong Target

Deathers (and for that matter Birthers too) have a right to be afraid.

People afraid of Death Panels and demanding to see Obama's birth certificate have seen their jobs shipped overseas, their pensions raped by CEOs, their healthcare costs are going insane so health insurers can make hundreds of billions by denying care.

If they change jobs, any problem they have at the moment is excluded by "previously existing condition" language. And if their current job is shipped to China, they lose their insurance ... and the next job doesn't have it.

American productivity is UP and wages are DOWN. One Third of all wage income is now earned by One Percent; the rest is spread among the 99 percent that are still employed. And that doesn't cover benefits, such as corporate jets and hookers.

So the Deathers have a right to be afraid. And angry.

But the problem is not Obamacare or HR3200 or whatever.

They got screwed by the current system. So why are they defending it?

Fear makes people stupid.


UPDATED: you know what's really stupid: Sarah Palin endorsed the same end-of-life planning that she now denounces as "Death Panels", in her Health Decisions Day proclamation April 16, 2008.

The original link on the Alaska state website has been moved to here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Veggies Put Out the Fire

Do you think hemorrhoids are funny?

If you don't (or if you don't appreciate immature and crude humor), then read no further. Otherwise, take my word for it, based on harsh experience: when you're suffering from the bad kind of Fire Down Below, if you can make the pain go away, you feel so relieved you might start laughing!

Let me start on a more dignified note: our environment in general and global warming in particular are really important. Replacing a meat-centered diet with a veggie-centered diet is a helpful, albeit partial, solution to these existential threats, which we ought to persue for noble reasons. But, to be honest, I made the change for a less future-oriented reason: my bleeding ass was on fire!

I have been eating a high-protein, low-carb diet to manage my weight and stabilize my blood sugar. Combined with regular exercise, it worked great for that purpose, but there was a problem. I had assumed that, because meat looks fibrous, it contains dietary fiber. This mixes up two different concepts, and therefore I was consuming a disassssterously low amount of fiber. When my body began revolting, oh man, talk about burning down the house!

I assumed this was merely an unpleasant side-effect of aging, and treated the symptoms with a Soothing Ointment.
This was sub-optimal but adequate until, in a moment of painful inattention, I grabbed the wrong yellow tube.

That Tiger Balm: oh baby, it does ever bring on the heat!

After a long shower to get the flaming tiger off my butt, I resolved to get serious about solving the problem. With a little research, I found that most of the authorities recommended increasing dietary fiber, and the easiest way to do that was a good green salad. Iceberg lettuce is worthless (no fiber or any other nuitrition) but Red Leaf lettuce is easy and cheap, as is celery and various other stuff. I found chopping it up with my kitchen sissors to be a soothing, repetitive action, oddly satisfying. I added some tofu for protein, a little oil and some very flavorful balsamic vinegar. This was the tastiest medicine I have ever had!

Less than a week of adding a huge crunchy salad to my daily diet, the Bad Pain was gone.

And the megasalad had many other benefits. It's a one-bowl-meal, which is extremely convenient to anyone as lazy as I. It's easy to make. I throw in whatever I get on sale: tomatos, carrots, kohrabi, boiled eggs, cheese, sunflower seeds ... the combinations are nearly infinite so I never get bored.

Don't get me wrong; I still eat meat, I still enjoy it. But it's like alcohol; it's not something I need every day and I'm better off being very moderate. I can easily go all day or several days without a bit of meat (especially if it is to meet a challenge!)

Meatless days, and cutting back in general, means I appreciate it all the more when I have some. I just stay away from the every-day stuff that never was all that tasty anyway. This (not incidentally) saves a lot of money and (also not incidentally) means I can concentrate on higher quality.

Butt, as they say, do as you will, it all comes out in the end!