Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HCR -- Robyn O'Brien on America's Disease Management Industry

By John Ballard

John Robb sait it best.

Not only did US crony capitalism rip us off,
it is also killing us: http://youtu.be/rixyrCNVVGA


Nearly every time I catch a news item aboout the Occupy movement the report invariably wants to know "What is this about? What are the aims? The objectives? The demands???
Here in Atlanta the Occupy people have been able to find places to sleep at night through the good offices of SCLC, Dr. King's organization. But they have been told, politely I'm sure, that they can't expect to continue with that gesture of "support" without any coherent statement of purpose.  

The SCLC has had several meetings with members of Occupy Atlanta to coach them on developing a better structure for the Occupy movement "As I've told them, what they're doing right now is giving our past efforts and those of activists in the 60s, they're giving us a black eye. And they're making it harder for future activists"

Occupy Atlanta is planning to reoccupy Woodruff Park this Saturday. Farris says that he doesn't see a point in the protestors getting arrested all over again. "But to go back to the park now on November 5th and get arrested arrested for what? What is your message at this point? What are your demands?"

Occupy Atlanta spokesperson Brittany Gondolfi says that with coming up with demands that encompass all the different viewpoints of the people in this movement takes time. "The intention is to create a dialog to create demands of the people and by the people."

So what has that to do with this video?

Robyn O'Brien's message is but one part of the larger challenge that John Robb put his finger on. She discovered that major multi-national companies -- she mentioned Coca-Cola, Kraft and Wal-mart -- are able to formulate, export and profitably sell food products in other countries in compliance with restrictive regulations torpedoed in America by what we call crony capitalism

The Occupy phenomenon is bigger than any one list of demands or expectations. It is about a sea change in how we live, what we expect, not only from elected representatives but places where we eat, shop and rely on to look out for the best interests of us, our families and our communities. Circumstances vary widely from place to place. There is no single list or credo which will apply universally. And it is a bad mistake to argue that lots of folks hate capitalism. Some do, of course, and they will continue to argue and work for that end. But the most effective protection against that outcome is not name-calling or questioning motives. The best defense of capitalism is no more complicated that getting it right. If it can be done elsewhere, there is no reason it cannot be done right in America. 

Occupy is a big conversation. And Robyn O'Brien is part of it, along with a multitude of what in the Sixties we called consciousness-raising movements. Those who overlook or trivialize them do so at their peril. And that is why I see her message through the lens of healthcare reform. Hence "HCR" in the post title.
If healthcare costs and results are gonna get better, nearly everybody is gonna have to think and behave differently. 


1 comment:

  1. One of the tenets of "modern medicine" I guess is to "involve to patient in decision making" or "get the patient involved in his treatment" or some such nonsensical thing. Anyway, this is just an anecdote, but...
    I am being seen by a neurologist for migraines (mostly controlled), a lengthy series of ideopathic small strokes (ideopathic meaning "we have no idea where the clots are coming from") and Parkinson's Disease. Given all of that plus emphysema and cardiac arrythmias, even minor surgery turns into a rather complex adventure and involves taking me off of the anticoagulant which I normally take. Naturally, with my luck, just prior to the scheduled surgery I suffered a ministroke which postponed the surgery and resulted in me being seen by the on-call neurologist rather than my regular one.
    The neurologist, who looked about twelve years old to me, rattled off a long list of possible tests that could be ordered and asked me which ones I wanted her to order. I told her I had no idea since she was the one who had gone to medical school, not me, and that if it was left up to me I would just proceed with the damned surgery and not run any tests. She actually chided me for not cooperating and "not participating" and tried to bully me into deciding which tests to order. I insisted that, other than the MRI, I didn't even know what the tests were and told her to make the decision herself.
    When I saw my own neurologist later he was less than pleased, because he wanted a couple of tests which she had not ordered and did not really care about the ones which she had ordered, and it was actually to late for the ones he wanted to be very definitive, but that's a different issue.
    If this is typical of what doctors are doing today, asking patients to decide what tests to run, then no wonder we are spending so much on health care. I suspect I am somewhat in a minority in having a preference for as little contact as possible with the medcial profession, and that a majority of people in that position would be scared to death and would say "order them all." My neurologist, it turns out, who in all fairness to the on-call lady knows me and my history, would have ordered just two. He would have explained what he was ordering and gotten my approval of it, but...