Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday links -- November 1

November already. I can't believe it. Time passes so quickly these days. 
Don't forget to change the clocks this weekend. 
All part of the GOP war on the poor. This goes along with the cut in SNAP that also starts today. The welfare Queen myth still prevails, in one form or another, in a torrent of ignorant viral emails. And most of all new wealth continues to accrue at the very top of the economy. 
The US gini coefficient is poor and getting worse. If the reader doesn't know what that means, you have work to do. I haven't time to explain. 
Both Ferber and Fiser went on to live in Israel. When their spouses died of cancer a day apart, they turned their lifelong friendship into a second marriage, their neighbor related.

In Toronto, Fiser earned a master’s degree in social work and worked at a psychiatric hospital. He suffered from heart problems.

In recent years, Ferber suffered from chronic back and leg pain and needed a walker or a wheelchair. Her husband took her to a clinic daily to get injections for pain relief, the Toronto Sun reported.

“They were truly in love,” another neighbor told the Sun. “But they were tired of all the pain.”

Never imagined I would live to see China consulting one of the world's eminent capitalists. Too bad US political types are not as insightful. The president has almost become a closet Republican in his attempt to use business principles for the public good, but it's like pissing in the ocean. Laissez-faire Libertarian thinking is worse than avian flu. And it's spreading like cholera in Haiti these days. 
I never heard of using puppies to make Molotov cocktails. Savage and grim. But I saw another Tweet that said the IRA had done the same in the UK.
Thankfully it turned out to be another fast-moving Web legend. 
Puppy Bomb Hoax? Doubts Cast Over Reports Of Animals Caught Up In Egypt Violence
UPDATE: The Guardian's award-winning Egypt correspondent Patrick Kingsley told Huffington Post UK he did not believe the reports:
"I think it's really, really unlikely that Muslim Brotherhood protesters could have turned puppies into firebombs during clashes in Tahrir Square. Aside from a couple of brief instances, Brotherhood demonstrators have not been able to enter the square all summer. Most importantly, the logistics of this seem barely feasible. Gathering 20 puppies, transporting them to a protest, dousing them in petrol, and then throwing them at soldiers while being teargassed strikes me as not just impractical, but nigh-on impossible."
This link will interest anyone fighting breast cancer or who knows someone who is. It's long, dense and too detailed for me, but here it is for anyone who finds it helpful.
This is huge.
 Pain in Infancy Alters Response to Stress, Anxiety Later in Life
Oct. 30, 2013 — Early life pain alters neural circuits in the brain that regulate stress, suggesting pain experienced by infants who often do not receive analgesics while undergoing tests and treatment in neonatal intensive care may permanently alter future responses to anxiety, stress and pain in adulthood, a research team led by Dr. Anne Murphy, associate director of the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University, has discovered. 
An estimated 12 percent of live births in the U.S. are considered premature, researchers said. These infants often spend an average of 25 days in neonatal intensive care, where they endure 10-to-18 painful and inflammatory procedures each day, including insertion of feeding tubes and intravenous lines, intubation and repeated heel lance. Despite evidence that pain and stress circuitry in the brain are established and functional in preterm infants, about 65 percent of these procedures are performed without benefit of analgesia. Some clinical studies suggest early life pain has an immediate and long-term impact on responses to stress- and anxiety-provoking events.  (More at the link.)   

 Chait is a clear thinker. Here he hits the nail on the head. 
Why Letting Everyone Keep Their Health-Care Plan Is a Terrible Idea
By Jonathan Chait

[...]  it is true that some people actually are getting decent individual health insurance, and have to pay more under Obamacare. Before, insurers could charge them a rate based on their individual likelihood of needing medical care, and some people are lucky enough to present a very low actuarial health risk. Now those people will have to pay a rate averaging in the cost of others who are less medically fortunate. 
Have those healthy 5 percenters who do have decent insurance “lost” under Obamacare? In the very immediate sense, yes. That is what Obamacare advocate Jon Gruber is getting at when he concedes that 3 percent of Americans will be worse off under the new law. They’ll be paying higher rates in 2014 than they would have. 
Yet this takes an oddly narrow view of their self-interest. You may pose a low actuarial risk today, but you cannot be certain your luck will continue for the rest of your life (or until you qualify for Medicare). Even people living the healthiest lifestyles suffer illnesses and accidents, or marry people who have a uterus. Those who are paying a higher rate are getting something for their money: a guarantee that some future misfortune won’t lock them out of the market. You might call such a guarantee “insurance.”

So some of the 5 percenters are wrong, some of them are short-sighted, but they have identified a basic moral principle: Why is it fair to steal from them, the healthy, and give to others who are sick? If they have truly mastered the fine print of the individual insurance market and want to gamble on remaining a good actuarial risk forever, should they be permitted to keep their winnings? Having drilled down through the practical arguments, here we get to the final reason, the moral bedrock of the issue.

Dental work is performed as part of a free health care service at the Care Harbor clinic at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on September 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Care Harbor is expected to give free medical, dental and vision care to 4,800 uninsured patients at the event, which runs from September 27-30. In Los Angeles County it is reported that 2.2 million people do not have health insurance, which includes an estimated 227,000 young and school-aged children.

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