Monthly Archives: August 2016
Any American who truly believes that government-run healthcare (not just the catastrophe that has resulted from government-run health insurance via Obamacare) is a much better alternative than the private market, a) has not been paying attention to how badly the government runs the VA hospital system, and b) has never had to deal with government-run healthcare.
But there are plenty of examples of just how bad government-run healthcare – or more commonly known as socialized medicine – really is. And one need only look across the Atlantic to our closest ally, Britain.
Paul Dibbins, in an interview with the BBC, told the news network that he was forced to cut off his own gangrenous toes after his scheduled hospital operation for the same thing was cancelled.
“I came in and took me shoes and socks off, and the ends of my feet were completely black,” he said, adding that it was like they had been “dipped in soot.”
Socialized systems are always subject to budget cuts
During the interview, Dibbins said that his toes likely changed color from a case of frostbite. But when he was preparing to have a procedure at a local hospital to remove his gangrenous toes, medical officials cancelled on him.
That left him with little choice but to cut off his own toes using surgical pliers.
“I probably saved me foot,” he told the BBC.
In addition, he may have saved his life, considering that gangrene is a painful, acute medical condition requiring immediate care, including antibiotics and removal of dead skin. Left untreated, gangrene can spread toxins throughout the body and cause life-threatening septic shock.
But surely hospitals and medical professionals in Britain know this, right? Of course they do.
The problem isn’t a lack of knowledge, but a lack of funding and resources, which is very common in socialized medicine. And while many Brits and especially British politicians and National Health System officials will say that the system works like a champ, the reality is very different.
For instance, noted Investor’s Business Daily in July 2013, a report on the country’s socialized system found that as many as 13,000 needless deaths have occurred in about 14 NHS hospital trusts since 2005.
“This is no fluke,” the business news site noted. “It’s the result of socialized medicine, done by experts.”
According to the OECD, the country’s public medical system then accounted for 82 percent of all healthcare spending, but was in a shambles.
The U.S. system is so inefficient because of government over-regulation
Before the report, some hospitals, such as one in Mid-Staffordshire, were found to be more akin to death traps, due to neglect, misspent funds and lack of investment. But the OECD report found that neglect and “needless” deaths are essentially characteristics of the entire system.
The UK has attempted reform after reform of its NHS, but never to much effect or difference in terms of delivery of service. That’s because in a socialized system versus a private system – in the OECD, only the U.S., Mexico and Chile have private systems – the financial priorities of the state trump those of consumers. And it’s always been that way.
When the economic situation demands it, government budgets get cut, and that means the services that government (via taxpayers) support have to be cut as well. When there is no medical system other than one supported entirely by tax dollars, then obviously that gets cut as well.
But the U.S. system is no better, you say; it’s rife with paperwork requirements and no incentives to be more efficient or place responsibility on patients for care. That’s because the American healthcare system is so regulated by state and federal governments that really, it’s “private” in name only.
Only a healthcare system free from government regulation and control would best serve the public. The problem is, there are too many little Napoleons in Congress and the federal bureaucracy who don’t want to relinquish control over our healthcare decisions.
The threat of being subjected to a government sugar tax is prompting British beverage manufacturers to reduce sugar content by more than 50 percent in their products.
British supermarket chain Tesco recently announced it will cut sugar levels in all 251 of its soft drink products to less than 5 grams per 100 ml – under the limit at which the levy will apply when it goes into effect in 2018.
Following Tesco’s example, the maker of two popular British drink brands, Lucozade and Ribena, has just announced that it too will reduce the amount of sugar in all of its drinks to avoid the tax.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) plans to lower the sugar content in its products to less than 4.5 grams of sugar per 100 ml – a “brave and courageous” move, according to LRS chief operating officer Peter Harding.
“Today’s announcement is a game-changer for our business and for those people who love and enjoy our drinks,” he said. “The world has changed, with consumers now wanting healthier drinks and more action from the brands they regularly enjoy.”
Although some LRS beverages already contain less than the taxable amount of sugar – Lucozade Sport, for example, contains 3.6 grams of sugar per 100 ml – other products have lots of sugar.
From The Daily Mail:
“Currently, Lucozade Energy Orange contains 13g of sugar per 100ml, while Ribena Blackcurrant has 10g over the same measurement.
“Orangina also has 10g of sugar per 100ml, while V Energy contains 11.2g.”
The sugar reduction plans by Tesco and LRS have been applauded by British health officials – regarding the LRS announcement, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “It’s action that proves taking added sugar out of drinks is both possible and meets the expectations of many consumers.”
Will the sugar tax really make a difference?
In cutting sugar content, beverage makers will avoid the roughly 25p per can levy, but the industry faces a challenge in terms of making sure the drinks still taste good enough to attract consumers.
There’s also a potential loophole for soft drink makers – under the new guidelines, fruit drinks will be exempted from the tax, despite the fact that they often contain high amounts of natural sugars that can also contribute to obesity. This exemption may tempt beverage makers to add fruit content to their products to keep them tasting sweet while avoiding the tax.
From The Guardian:
“The consultation document on the soft drinks levy says ‘the legal definition of “added sugars” used for the levy should exclude fruit juice, fruit puree, and fruit juice concentrate’. That leaves it open to soft drinks manufacturers to add extra fruit to boost the sweetness of their drink.”
Although the sugar levy appears to be having the intended effect, health experts say that much more needs to be done in terms of tackling obesity. The Obesity Health Alliance, a group dedicated to fighting Britain’s obesity epidemic, warns that reformulation of soft drink content is not enough.
One-third of British schoolchildren are overweight or obese by the time they reach 6th grade
In a statement, the group pointed out the fact that more than one-fifth of British children are obese or overweight by the time they reach primary school, and a third by the the time they enter year six of school. Reducing sugar in soft drinks is only one of the measures needed to challenge the “obesogenic environment” that modern children grow up in.
Other experts concur – Professor Russell Viner at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health agrees that reformulation is just one step towards instituting a “holistic approach” in addressing the obesity epidemic.
One of the presumed benefits of the sugar tax is the simple fact that it makes the public more aware of the obesity issue and how products such as sugary drinks contribute to the problem.
The moment the establishment press realized that a billionaire businessman was going to defeat its chosen candidate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (who has now lost two races for the presidency), it began searching for a narrative to help “explain” the loss.
One of the principle narratives to emerge from the race is that President-elect Donald J. Trump, was helped by so-called “fake news” from “phony news” sources. But in fact, it was that same establishment press that unitedly preached hate and division towards Trump, pretending it was “news,” all the while ignoring the biggest fabricator of all, the U.S. government under President Obama.
As reported by The Daily Sheeple, government propaganda is then dutifully passed along to the public as “real” news by the same establishment media complaining about legitimate stories published by legitimate competitors in the alternative media.
Dutifully reporting lies and propaganda while acting as government puppets
For example, it was the mainstream media that passed along:
– The government’s lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the 2003 invasion;
– The government’s various lies about Obamacare (“If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor;” “We’ll work with employers to lower your premiums an average of $2,500 a year;” “Out-of-pocket health care expenses will go down;” etc.);
– The lie that Hillary Clinton’s family foundation had no ties to countries supporting terrorist organizations or countries that were hostile to women and gays.
In addition, the mainstream media has, in the past, admitted that the government’s anti-terrorism efforts are plotted and staged by government agencies in order to make them seem relevant and effective.
And all of this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how the CIA has historically worked hand-in-hand with the establishment media to plant and spread government propaganda, and to gather intelligence, both foreign and domestic.
After leaving the employ of The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein – one of reporters for The Post who broke the Watergate story that led to a premature end to Richard Nixon’s presidency – spent some months investigating the CIA’s ties to the establishment media.
He found that, according to documents on file at the spy agency, there were more than 400 journalists who had spent entire careers working on behalf of the CIA.
What ‘fake news’ is really all about and why it is used by the establishment press
“Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs,” he wrote. Some of these journalists were even Pulitzer Prize winners.
The use of journalists to spread misinformation and gather intelligence – and journalists’ willingness to allow themselves to be used in such a manner – ought to be one of the biggest media scandals in the history of our republic. But almost no one knows about this, and even fewer understand the extent to which our government has gone to keep its operations secret, to influence political and domestic thinking, and to “mainstream” policies and practices that are not just contrary to our founding principles, but harmful to civil society.
One reason why the government (and media) does this is to keep us divided as a people. A public unified in its own interests is much more difficult for government puppet masters to control; therefore, the “divide-and-conquer” strategy is employed often by the government and its media lapdogs to keep us stirred up and in opposition to each other rather than those who mean to rule us.
So causes are invented and/or promoted, such as “Black Lives Matter,” the myth that American police are purposely targeting black males, Trump and his team are racists and bigots, and so on. These phony “issues” keep us all sharply divided, and the media dutifully performs its role as the government’s propaganda wing, both to sell ink and to serve its own ideological purposes.
That’s what “fake news” is really all about.