This topic is so nice, that’s why we did it twice…
Beyond Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s admonition [Schenck v. U.S.(1919)] whereby
“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”
We have total free speech in the US, right? Not even close. In fact, the only time that speech has been more restricted in our history is when dear old Honest Abe Lincoln (the sobriquet was used ironically, folks) shut down hundreds of Northern newspapers, and even imprisoned some of their editors and publishers during the Civil War.
The opposite of free speech is political correctness, and it has effectively neutralized the first amendment. Gosh, where’s the ACLU when you really need it?
Think a girl in your office is sexy? Try telling her, or your co-workers, and you could be fired for sexual harassment. Notice a paucity of Mexican-American National Merit Scholars or Phi Beta Kappa members? Concerned that 70% of Black births are out of wedlock? Disturbed that Somali immigrants seem to have trouble fitting into all aspects of American society except for welfare? Better keep quiet about it, or you’ll be labeled “racist.” Think that it might be a wee bit inappropriate to have a gay scoutmaster? Sorry, you’re a homophobe.
But don’t feel too bad about all this. When the president recognizes Ramadan in a White House ceremony, you know he’s choking on the PC, also. How strong a force is political correctness, that it even has a stranglehold on the most powerful man in the world!
Want to feel liberated? Speak your mind.
Talk about a true crisis. This is the BIG ONE. Sure enough, it’s the root cause of most strikes, but that’s only the beginning. Unless we figure this thing out, and soon, the health care funding crisis will accomplish what no other catastrophe in our history has been able to do: Bankrupt this country, and relegate it to permanent third world status.
Of course, there’s no money in health, it’s all in disease. The providers want to extract the most cash by doing the least work, from the patients, who want it free or dirt cheap, and therein lies the problem. The most important issue, really the ONLY issue in health care, is cost. Quality is not even a parameter, because no one has ever established how that should be measured. Heck, no one has even defined “health.”
Are you healthy if you only get sick twice a year, and only feel fatigued half the time? Are you healthy if you are vertical and taking nourishment, feeling your age, and out of the hospital? Are you healthy if you are only on three prescription meds at the moment?
Is the “best hospital” the one with the biggest names on staff and the most hardware, or should it be the one that cures the highest percentage of patients, on some scale normalized for severity of presenting condition?
Chances are, you’ve never thought about any of this before, but now is a great time to start. After all, it’s only your life that’s at stake. This is just one small part of taking an ownership position in your own health. What a concept!
Ever notice seniors ordering a meal at a restaurant? They will obnoxiously subject the poor waiter to endless stupid questions about how the food is prepared, often wasting several minutes. But put one of these codgers into a hospital, where he could die that very day, and he won’t ask a single thing about his treatment.
You may have heard that according to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 2 million nosocomial (medical personnel-induced) infections every year, that cause 90,000 deaths. Add to this various mistakes and assorted incompetencies, and some will tell you that doctors are this country’s third leading cause of death.
You may have been raised on the notion that illness just occurs randomly, and rather than the human body being a miraculous self-repairing system, every condition requires professional intervention—usually with drugs. We’re paying the price for the criminal overuse of antibiotics these days with the dangerous rise in resistant microbes. You would think that this alone would convince people (and the Feds) to investigate ways of building natural immunity. Instead, hip technology magazines are touting the use of phages (bacteria-killing viruses), an idea discredited at least 60 years ago, to combat this onslaught.
The good news is that health care is the one thing you can improve all on your own. The bad news is that few will care about it, until it is way too late.