Archive for October, 2006

Usury In Our Time

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

by Don McCormick

Calvin Coolidge, the President of the United States between 1923 and 1929, said that the business of America is business. While that saying is not pregnant with meaning, it is an indication of a sickness which has spread to the rest of the world, and plagues the poor in our time. Mr. Coolidge rode high on a tide of speculation and investment, and he believed in the economic system built on investment with returns of money at a compound rate of interest. He was a fervent supporter of the life insurance industry. He probably thought himself to be a man like Alexander Hamilton or Benjamin Franklin. Historians treat these men kindly and regard them as wise in the disciplines of finance and the practical matters of money. But Mr. Coolidge was not like these men and he said it wrong: the business of America is not business, but usury. Business is the purchase and sale of goods to make a profit, and that is not the substance of what has been going on in our time. (more…)

The Silent God, The Suffering Kings

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

By Don McCormick

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani — my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? The lament echoes still across the hills of Jerusalem and the flatlands of Texas. Forsaken, I saw God and he was my enemy and I slew him. There is a divine silence feeding my doubt and fears. I would be King and put away the God who is within, the One who loves his enemies.

This Silent God waits for me in a pool of quicksand on the dark trail to my house. He is where I am not. Were he in me, I would have killed myself because I do not know love. I have built my house on a rock and I have built a ship in a dry-dock, but I am afraid of walking alone. (more…)

Report on Study Comparing US and Canadian Health Care

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

From ZNet

A study by Harvard Medical School researchers in the July, 2006 issue of the American Journal of Public Health finds that U.S. residents are less healthy than Canadians. Moreover, despite spending nearly twice as much per capita for health care, U.S. residents experience more problems getting care and more unmet health needs. (more…)

Medical Care From The Patient’s Point-of-View

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

By Mark Hayes

I worked as an officer for a company which served many thousand physicians and patients. But at times I forgot there were patients in the association because I spent hours every day in very pleasant and frank discussions with hospital administrators, physicians and people who are specialists in “managed care.” We talked about the costs of health care services and how to price them competitively. We talked about access to the health care system and how to control it, expand it, or limit it. We discussed marketing techniques and how to achieve greater market share. We seldom mentioned patients unless there was a pressing problem to solve regarding the cost of their care. We assumed that patients would always be there. We presumed that the health care they were getting was good and that they would continue to want it in abundance. We thought that the main problems we had to solve were high costs and too many services; so, we created elaborate systems to track health care providers and their patients, the services given and received. We had it right on paper; it was part and parcel of our discussions, but it didn’t work and we had to ask, “Why?”
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Children of Darkness

Monday, October 16th, 2006

By Don McCormick

This essay may seem to be a complaint about the human condition and the uncertainty of knowledge, but it is not. It is about the limitation of knowledge gained through experience and the use of reason and about the awareness of truth, justice, love and hope through intuition. It begins with a Chinese Proverb which I think is an example of experience, reason, and intuition compressed into a humorous phrase:

It is bad luck for a man to be famous and for pigs to be fat.
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