The stimulus takes on a life of its own. 3 cheers for Sanford. The enemy of my enemy… Plus more.
SOUNDS GOOD IN THE ELEVATOR
Re: Christopher Orlet’s The Day the Music Died:
Thank you for a fascinating look into the history of one of the world’s most misunderstood institutions. I say “misunderstood” because while people think of Muzak as insipid “elevator” music (the blandest of the bland), at its peak it was actually a carefully engineered medium designed to boost moods and, hence, improve productivity and increase buying — much the same way that most retail businesses employ bright colors (yellows and reds) to enhance the customer’s desire to part with his or her money.
Even though I am an aging rocker who prefers the stuff of U-2 and the Stones, I kind of like Muzak — in its place.
What rankles me these days is the practice of retailers to play a
standard hit song, but insert a commercial in the middle, only to
resume the song as if nothing had happened. It’s been focus-group
tested and apparently works, but not for this boy.
— Dennis Bergendorf
ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU A HEART ATTACK
Re: Lawrence A. Hunter’s The Hidden Healthcare Horror:
Remember the organization N.I.C.E. in C.S. Lewis’s
book, That Hideous Strength? I think our government
needs a new head.
— Desiree Efner
What all of the “Universal Healthcare Now!” proponents do not understand is that rationing will happen here too. Why do potholes in roads go unrepaired seemingly for years? Your local schools crumbling buildings need repair and restoration? Cops get laid off to balance a city, county, or a state’s budget. Depression era-sewer line repairs cause a legislature to propose a massive tax increase? We hear about it locally and nationally all the time. Yet we forget these words: “…to provide for the common defense, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare.” The government’s REAL job: Maintaining sewer lines and hiring police, not making expensive baubles for the populace to “ooh and aah” at. Politicians spend today’s money it gets buying new votes because all the people clamoring for “Universal Healthcare Now” are AWOL when it comes time to call their representatives to account for the lousy roads, schools, and infrastructure that’s supposed to be government’s job.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
Readers of The American Spectator and the American public really do not understand how significant a problem the new left wing vision for transforming American medicine is. The basic idea in short as is that a group of designated “experts” will review data form studies they generate, fund and select. They will review the data in ways that may be tendentious, and arrive at conclusions that are politically convenient. Does anyone think that a study that contradicts the government sponsored “comparative health care effectiveness research” will ever see publication? If you have any doubt what that would look like think of the treatment a dissident on global warming gets. The goal is to restrict patient treatment options, and to subject the whole health care system to de facto government control. This is outlined well by Mr. Hunter. What your readers may not be aware of is that this movement is very largely already supported by a large group of physicians. That is not to say the majority of practicing MDs. If you receive your care from a doctor in private practice, very likely they view this as something that will negate their clinical judgment. But if you happen to get your care at an academic medical center, from one of the faculty, chances are they are enthusiastically on board.
This means that the medical professional societies are promoting this, as of course is just about every medical journal which is published by the same professional societies. Thus will the left claim that medical science and expert physicians favor the CER and more government control. The vast majority of those of us delivering most of the actual health care in this country do not have a vote. One can only speculate why this is the case. Why do academic docs see things so differently? Maybe they are just more brilliant than the rest of us? Nope, more likely it has to do with power. Increasingly we can find large community hospitals can now do what years ago only university hospital centers could do. Need open heart surgery, complex cancer chemotherapy, even an organ transplant? There is a good chance that a large tertiary care community hospital, can deliver this care and is staffed by a variety of well trained specialists. Thee natural tendency is for academic medical types to reassert themselves and what better way than to promote an overall government run bureaucracy that will dictate care. One can safely bet that the government will be looking to the those folks who control the medical journals and specialty societies as the real “experts” who can decide what health care the rest of us can give or receive. Of course the “experts” will always get around the rules set for the rest of the unwashed (i.e., us) just think of how Tim Geithner can handle his taxes.
Not sure what the solution is… But be afraid, be very
— Michael DePietro, MD
IRONING OUT THE IRONY
Re: Jeff Emanuel’s Mark Sanford Bails Out:
Much thanks to Governor Mark Sanford for taking the irony out of
a sentence that has Republican and “principled stance” in the
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Re: Robert Hubert’s Good As Goldwater:
By all means, tell about the “Funding Fathers.” However, please
leave out the father of all RINOs, Barry Goldwater. We can do
better than him for an example in conservatism.
— Michael Skaggs
RIGHT NOW, OVER ME
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Conservatives and Liberals, Come Together:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?