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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 05:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,070

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

The US healthcare system can be reduced to two factors.

1) The insurance companies essentially control access to healthcare for most Americans.

2) The insurance companies charge high premiums, and they profit by denying access to healthcare for their customers.

And that is the essence of the US healthcare system. I am a Federal annuitant, with an FEHB company. Yes, I can literally go to any doctor, but if that doctor is not part of my PPO I will pay significantly more. And that extra cost is a big factor for many people.

And every time an insurance company denies care, they pay out less, which benefits only their bottom line.

23 Famous Scientists Who Are Not Atheists

From the article:

Many atheists are of the opinion that you cannot be a good scientist if you are deluded by religious faith.
Let’s put the kibosh to that opinion by relating the religious beliefs of eminent scientists. In the early history of science, great scientists—Galileo, Newton, Descartes, Pascal—all had a deep religious faith. But suppose the atheist responds, “That was then, this is now; we know more now to justify that believing in God is a delusion.” My response to this canard is to cite the theistic credo of present day eminent scientists, many of them Nobel Prize winners.
Most of these seem to be in the “hard” sciences, physics and chemistry, rather than in biology or medical sciences. If any of you readers have ideas about the reason why physicists are more likely to be theists than are biologists, I’d like to hear them.

Most of the information given below is drawn from “Cosmos, Bios and Theos,” by Henry Margenau, a Yale mathematical physicist, and Roy Varghese. Not all of the scientists listed in the book believe in some specific religion, or even a personal God. Many are deistic, believing in a Creator, but not necessarily a God immanent in the universe.

To read more:


The Magis Center was founded by a Jesuit priest.

One opinion from the article:

Professor D.H.R. Barton*** (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, conformational analysis in organic chemistry, Texas A&M University): “God is Truth. There is no incompatibility between science and religion. Both are seeking the same truth.”

Liberal Christian group files ethics complaint against Attorney General Barr

From the article:

Faithful America, a Christian advocacy group that often champions liberal causes, has filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Attorney General William Barr, claiming he violated his oath to defend religious liberty for all Americans in a recent speech at Notre Dame University’s law school.
The complaint, filed last week (Oct. 24) with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, objected to Barr’s saying at an appearance at the invitation-only event that religion “gives us the right rules to live by” and that the generation that founded the United States were Christians who “believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man.”..

Officials at Faithful America interpreted Barr’s speech as disproportionately focused on Christianity. After Barr’s remarks, an online petition launched by the group to “investigate William Barr’s toxic Christian nationalism” accrued signatures from almost 14,000 people.
Faithful America’s complaint is not the only criticism Barr’s speech has elicited. C. Colt Anderson, a Roman Catholic theologian and professor of religion at Fordham University, declared to The Guardian after reading the speech that the attorney general represents a “threat to democracy.” National Catholic Reporter columnist Michael Sean Winters derided the speech as “ridiculously stupid.”..

The group also pointed to Barr’s attack on “militant secularists,” as well as his assertion that “no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion,” which it argued amounted to “an inappropriate favoritism to religion over nonreligion.”

To read more:


What Algorithms Tell Us About Structural Racism in Health Care

From the article:

In a medical system premised on profits and ability to pay, racial disparity presents in ability to afford the high cost of premiums, deductibles and co-pays that disproportionately discourages African Americans from getting needed medical care.

A research study on a commercial computer program used to allocate health care resources on predicted future health care costs provided a window on the ongoing pervasive impact of structural racism in our nation’s health care system.
Moreover, the research published in Science magazine reinforced how structural racism persists throughout society, including disparities in income, housing and other social and economic factors, and the impact that has on disparities in health.
The study focuses on an algorithm used by health systems, insurers, and practitioners to predict which patients with complex medical needs should receive extra medical care. The ostensible goal is to slash costs by suggesting those patients receive “high risk management” at less expensive primary care levels...

Far more is needed as well to redress the type of structural racism exposed in this study. Medicare for All, that guarantees no one is denied care based on how much they pay, where they live, or their race, gender, or nationality, would be a huge step forward in reducing the national stain of racial disparities in health.

To read more:


The US system of profit centered healthcare, or profit obsessed healthcare, is designed to allow the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry to profit massively at our expense.

Bad health outcomes for non-white Americans are an inevitable result, and one of the huge hidden costs of the US healthcare system.

If anyone tells you that we cannot afford Medicare for All, remind them that we truly cannot afford the current system that puts profits first.

The Overstated Collapse of American Christianity

From the article:

Fifty years ago, many observers of American religion assumed that secularization would gradually wash traditional Christianity away. Twenty years ago, Christianity looked surprisingly resilient, and so the smart thinking changed: Maybe there was an American exception to secularizing trends, or maybe a secularized Europe was the exception and the modernity-equals-secularization thesis was altogether wrong.
Now the wheel has turned again, and the new consensus is that secularization was actually just delayed, and with the swift 21st-century collapse of Christian affiliation, a more European destination for American religiosity has belatedly arrived. “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace” ran the headline on a new Pew Research Center survey of American religion this month, summing up a consensus shared by pessimistic religious conservatives, eager anticlericalists and the regretfully unbelieving sort of journalist who suspects that we may miss organized religion when it’s gone....

Lukewarm Christianity may be declining much more dramatically than intense religiosity.....

The waning of Christianity may be still as much a baby-boomer story as a millennial one....

There’s a strong case that any crisis facing Christian institutions is a more Catholic crisis than a Protestant one. …

To read more:


The author suggests that this decline may represent a cyclical pattern rather than any long term trend.

Trump's Baghdadi Distraction Flops As America Focuses On Impeachment

From the article:

Trump got no bump from the Baghdadi raid, and he failed to change the news coverage, which snapped back to impeachment.

It was clear that Trump was trying to use the Baghdadi raid to distract from impeachment. The president began his stunt with his cryptic Saturday night tweet about something big happening. The suspense lasted less than an hour as reports came in quickly that it was a raid on the ISIS leader. Trump’s White House then announced that the president would be addressing the country at 9 AM on Sunday morning.

To read more:


Trump is desperate to find something, anything, to distract from the parade of witnesses testifying about the Trump/Ukraine/quid pro quo situation.

Mourning Elijah Cummings, preachers and presidents recall a man of faith

From the article:

After news broke last week (Oct. 17) that Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings had died, many were quick to note that one of the last things the longstanding critic of the Trump administration — and key figure in an ongoing impeachment inquiry — did in his hospital bed was sign subpoenas.
But when Bishop Walter Thomas stood before the hundreds of churchgoers and dignitaries who packed the pews of New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday (Oct. 25) for Cummings’ funeral, he insisted the legislator’s “last official act of the Kingdom of God” was something else.
“His last act takes place today, when men and women from every aspect of life, from those who run corporations, those who stand in hallowed halls, those who sit with robes behind benches, those who pass legislation … have all made their way to the place he came every Sunday morning,” said Thomas, speaking from the pulpit of a church Cummings attended for nearly 40 years. “His last act … is that he wanted you to know why he came to church.”

To read more:


The eye popping cost of doing nothing about the US healthcare system.

We all know that the US system is ranked 37th among nations.

37th. Hardly "USA #1", is it?

We all know that medical costs are the number one driver of personal bankruptcies.

We all know that millions of US citizens still have no real access to any medical care. Except possibly emergency care, the most cost intensive form of care that is generally triggered by medical emergencies.

We know that life expectancy in the US is dropping.

So what is the true, total cost of the dysfunctional US healthcare system?

And on a related note, how profitable is the healthcare industry, and the insurance industry?

"Don't let me down" (Not the Beatles)

This is Laura Pergolizzi. Her voice is incredible. I feel she could sing anything. Thank you to the guitarist for keeping it simple.

Everyday people: Playing for change

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