Archive for August, 2018

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR FREEDOM?

August 30, 2018

I know many great people have sacrificed a great deal for America. Many of us fought and bled for America and successfully sought out and killed the enemy.

Unfortunately, it was not enough. If we sit silent and submissive any longer, the globalist, socialist, Marxist minority will reduce America to an empty shell.

Do you think the corrupt fake news media just arrived in America by way of the hole in the border fence? In the past the media was much more clever and deceptive. Occasionally, they would report actual news.

Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President more than 37 years ago. Since I was a GS-13 in the government and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, President Reagan was my Commander in Chief and my ultimate civil service boss. Of the eight Presidents I served, Reagan was the best by a country mile.

Do you think the news media embraced President Reagan with open arms like they did Kennedy, Clinton and Obama? Hardly!

From depicting Reagan as a puppet of the rich whose economic policies were cruel towards the poor and minorities, to denying his foreign policy vision helped lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union, the media did their best to trash our 40th President.

At the end of his presidency, a great many people thought he’d made the wealthy wealthier and had not improved life particularly for the middle class.

As I hear the eulogies from the corrupt media for Senator John McCain, I remember that there were no such eulogies for President Ronald Reagan. Some of the comments are included in my epistle.

While 90% of the President Trump coverage is negative, judge for yourself how the talking heads treated the Gipper.

“Despite the accolades lavished upon Reagan since his death Saturday — for ending the Cold War, for restoring the nation’s optimism — his many detractors remember him as a right-wing ideologue beholden to monied interests and insensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable Americans.” Peter Jennings talking to co-host Charles Gibson on ABC’s Good Morning America, June 10, 2004

~~~ “Elected on a promise to slash taxes and crack down on freeloading ‘welfare queens,’ Reagan depicted government as wasteful and minimized its capacity to help people, ideas that survive today. Reagan also dealt a blow to organized labor by firing the striking air traffic controllers, and appointed Antonin Scalia, still the Supreme Court’s most conservative jurist.”

“Reagan’s weakening of the social safety net by dismantling longtime Democratic ‘Great Society’ programs arguably vexes his critics the most. By persuading Congress to approve sweeping tax cuts for the wealthy while slashing welfare benefits and other social services like the federal housing assistance program, Reagan was blamed for a huge surge in the nation’s poor and homeless population.”
— Beth Fouhy in an AP story headlined: “Many Still Troubled by Reagan’s Legacy,” June 9, 2004.

~~~CBS’s Morley Safer: “You talk about a vision, and it’s some kind of abstract, vague idea. Did his [Ronald Reagan’s] vision include extraordinary deficits? Did his vision include cutting of the budgets for education and a back of the hand in terms of public education?”

Larry King: “History will not be kind to him?”

Safer: “No, I don’t think history particularly will be kind….I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him.” CNN’s Larry King Live, June 14, 2004.

~~~“Most of those who are physically, economically or otherwise disadvantaged, deeply resented and still resent his insistence that government is the problem, not the solution. Severe and continuing cutbacks in government services to the poor and vulnerable resulted, and the gulf dividing rich from poor widened.” Former New York Times Washington Bureau Chief R. W. “Johnny” Apple in a June 11 “news analysis.

~~~“After eight years of what many saw as the Reagan administration’s benign neglect of the poor and studied indifference to civil rights, a lot of those who lived through this week in Overtown seemed to think the best thing about George Bush is that he is not Ronald Reagan….There is an Overtown in every big city in America. Pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years.” ABC’s Richard Threlkeld reporting from a section of Miami where there had been riots, on World News Tonight, January 20, 1989.

~~~“Senator, don’t you believe, a lot of people do think that the ‘80s were an excess, which a lot of people got richer and people got poorer, and it’s now fair to redress that balance?”
— Sam Donaldson to Robert Dole on This Week with David Brinkley, Feb. 21, 1993.

~~~ “In the greedy excesses of the Reagan years, the mean income of the average physician nearly doubled, from $88,000 to $170,000. Was that warranted?”
— Bryant Gumbel to Dr. Richard Corlin of the American Medical Association, March 31, 1993 Today.

~~~“Before Reagan, people sleeping in the street were so rare that, outside of skid rows, they were almost a curiosity. After eight years of Reaganomics – and the slashes in low-income housing and social welfare programs that went along with it – they were seemingly everywhere. And America had a new household term: ‘The homeless.’” Reporter Kevin Fagan in the June 10, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle.

~~~“I used to say I thought if you were down on your luck and you got through the Secret Service, got in the Oval Office and said, Mr. President, ‘I’m down on my luck,’ he would literally give you the shirt off his back. And then he’d sit down in his undershirt and he’d sign legislation throwing your kids off school lunch program, maybe your parents off Social Security, and of course the Welfare Queen off of welfare.” ABC’s Sam Donaldson, who covered the White House during the 1980s, on Good Morning America, June 11, 2004.

 

~~~“All of us who covered the Reagans agreed that President Reagan was personable and charming, but I’m not so certain he was nice. It’s hard for me to think of anyone as nice when I hear him say ‘The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.’ To my mind, a President should care about all people, and he didn’t, which is why I will always feel Reagan lacked soul.” UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas in the July 1993 Good Housekeeping.

~~~“There is still, of course, much anger in many communities. Joining me from Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Fauci, thanks for being with us tonight. Dr. Fauci, the San Francisco Chronicle said that Ronald Reagan was guilty, and I quote, of a ‘shameful abdication of leadership in the fight against AIDS.’ If he had been more vocal and compassionate early on would it have made a difference?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a segment on the Reagan administration’s handling of AIDS aired on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 June 8, 2004.

~~~“The Reagan Administration has made a bad situation worse in two ways: first, by convincing the Soviet leaders that the U.S. no longer accepts military parity as the basis for relations with Moscow; second, by challenging the legitimacy of the Soviet regime, calling the USSR an ‘evil empire’ doomed to fail.” Time’s Strobe Talbott on pre-Olympics U.S.-Soviet relations, May 21, 1984 issue.

~~~ “Some say Ronald Reagan won the Cold War by spending so much on defense that the Kremlin went bankrupt trying to keep up. That won’t wash. During Reagan’s presidency the United States itself became a bankrupt country.” Commentator (and former anchor) John Chancellor on the November 20, 1990 NBC Nightly News.

~~~“The Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War ended almost overwhelmingly because of internal contradictions and pressures within the Soviet Union and the Soviet system itself. And even if Jimmy Carter had been reelected and been followed by Walter Mondale, something like what we have now seen probably would have happened.” Time Editor-at-Large Strobe Talbott on Inside Washington, September 21, 1991.

~~~“The Reagan presidency also saw….the Iran/Contra affair, the near tripling of the national debt, the fact that 30 – count em 30 – of his administration staffers would serve time in jail for bribery, corruption and influence peddling.” Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, June 7, 2004.

~~~“Can you tell, Thelma,…if the crowds really look like America? Are they ethnically diverse – African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans – or is it largely white?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asking reporter Thelma Gutierrez about the crowds at Reagan’s presidential library during live coverage on June 8, 2004.

~~~Ted Koppel: “There were some fairly contentious issues and he was a fairly controversial President – we’ve more or less overlooked much of that over the past week. But I suspect as his friends and supporters try to raise to him to the very heights there, and perhaps find a place for him on Mount Rushmore, that some of that controversy and some of the debate will come back.”
Peter Jennings: “No doubt about it.” Exchange during ABC’s live coverage of Reagan funeral events on June 11, 2004.
………………


In conclusion, the simple truth is that it’s us against them. Their agenda is not our agenda. If you try reaching across the aisle you’re likely to grasp a rattlesnake. It was like that long before the Democrats fired on Fort Sumpter and for 100 years after the Civil War while they were blocking the doors of high schools to prevent Black America Citizens from getting an education.

Your kids are not and will not be taught true history in public schools and the news media will not broadcast the real news. That is up to us. If we don’t do it, who will? The John Brummett Democrat-Gazette wants us to remain silent. All of the corrupt media wants President Trump to stop Tweeting and they want you and me to do the same thing.

I am begging you to get louder and more engaged in the battle for America. Will you?

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People Who Hate President Trump are Seething with Hatred

August 28, 2018

I talk to people regularly who don’t simply disapprove of President Trump or dislike him, they hate him. When talking about our President, their whole demeanor changes.

When I try to understand why they hate him so passionately, it’s not easy to put my finger on it. I think some of it is the vast cultural difference. My High School class traveled from friendly little Mountain Home, Arkansas to DC and New York City for our Senior Trip a long time ago. We spoke to people we passed on the sidewalk in Mountain Home and if someone was passed out on the sidewalk we helped them. In New York it’s best not to look at people you pass on a sidewalk and folks simply avoid or step over passed out human beings. New Yorkers don’t care if they hurt your feelings when they deal with each other.

Donald Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens, the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs.

Queens is the fourth-most densely populated county among New York City’s boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City’s boroughs was an independent city, Queens also would be the nation’s fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago and Brooklyn. In addition, Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the entire world.

Queens was established in 1683 as one of the original 12 counties of New York. The settlement was presumably named for the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705), Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Queens has the most diversified economy of the five boroughs of New York City. It is home to JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. These airports are among the worlds busiest, in turn giving Queens the busiest airspace in the United States. I spent time in Queens where I trained in a flight simulator for a couple of weeks.

I loved having lunch in the Marine Air Terminal located at LaGuardia Airport, the only active airport terminal dating from the first generation of passenger travel in the United States, a.k.a. the “Golden age of the flying boat.”

The first flight from the Marine Air Terminal by a Pan American Clipper departed on March 31, 1940, carrying a crew of 10, nine passengers and over 5,000 pounds of mail. It landed in Lisbon, Portugal 18 hours and 30 minutes later. The Pan American Clippers – with a wing span of 152 feet, a cruising speed of 200 mph and a capacity to carry 72 passengers – were luxurious. The two-deck interior featured dining rooms, private compartments and sleeping sections. The Marine Air Terminal was referred to as the Pan Am Building by the locals.

I know I get carried away sometimes but I love history and I want everybody to know that the people in New York are not exactly like people from Arkansas but we are all people and we are all products of our environment. While I was fighting with bullies in Mountain Home, the Donald was fighting with bullies on the streets of New York. When I was watching the Razorbacks or Travelers play baseball, Trump was watching the Yankees or the Mets. We were both eating hot dogs.

As I see it, the people who hate Trump don’t like the blunt way he talks and his demeanor. The brilliant talking heads like Brian Kilmeade and Glenn Beck have had advice for Trump from the beginning. He should do this or he should stop doing that. I have advice for all those talking heads, step up to the plate and run for President. The fact is that if Trump had listened to you guys, Trump would not be President, period.

The people who hate Trump seem to want a President who measures and carefully divides his words. Maybe runs his words by a committee? Trump shouldn’t be spontaneous like JFK when he said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Just kidding, I’ll always believe somebody wrote that for Kennedy.

Maybe Trump should be Presidential with quotes like these:

“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.

Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.

A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” ~Richard M. Nixon

Or maybe President Trump could tweet:

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.

People are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power…

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” ~Bill Clinton

Or better yet, President Trump might really wax inspiring like this:

“This country is ready for a transformative politics of the sort that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt represented.

Too many times, after the election is over and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.

Look, you know, when you’re in this job, I think, uh—every president who’s had it is constantly humbled by the degree to which there are a lot of issues out there, and the notion that one person alone can solve all these problems—I think you’re cured of that illusion very quickly.

You know, this is a town where once a screw-up happens, people can’t just say, ‘OK, that was a screw-up and let’s fix it.’ There has to be, you know, two weeks’ worth of cable chatter about it.

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them”. ~Barack Obama

Unfortunately, the Trump haters can’t get beyond their hate or what is said about our President on CNN, NPR, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and most talk shows. None of the positive changes made by President Trump will ever make the evening news in America.

I didn’t care much for Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama or the Bushes but I don’t hate them. I have also lost all respect for the above mentioned fake news networks.

Is Healthcare Spending a Train Wreck?

August 16, 2018

Since those paid to inform the public about our nation’s healthcare problems are profiting from our healthcare mess, they’re not going to rock the boat. That leaves the nation’s whipping boy, Gene McVay, to stand on the soapbox and take the slings and arrows. You’re welcome.

You probably don’t think much about the totality of the healthcare behemoth when you trot down to the Doctor’s Office with an ailment. Why should you? Coping with life and putting food on the table is daunting enough for the average person.

The United States spends more than $2.6 trillion on healthcare or about one fifth of our gross domestic product. Of course, that is MUCH MORE than any other country on this planet by a wide margin.

There are many reasons for our big government healthcare debacle and maybe I can expose those reasons using my training as an Intelligence Analyst at the National Security Agency. It goes beyond the mounds of regulations and laws that add costs and complexity to healthcare and create a firewall between patients and Doctors.

We pay our doctors, hospitals and other medical providers in ways that reward doing more, rather than being efficient.

Most big healthcare insurers, including Medicare, pay doctors, hospitals and other medical providers under a fee-for-service system that reimburses for each test, procedure or visit. Coupled with a medical system that is not integrated, this encourages overtreatment, including repetitive tests.

There are efforts in the federal healthcare law and among some private insurers to move payments toward a flat rate for a specific condition, such as a knee replacement, or for a patient’s entire episode of care, in order to streamline costs. Medical systems and doctors are also looking to electronic medical records as a way to improve coordination and reduce unnecessary repeated tests. Does that give you a warm fuzzy feeling? It’s 2018 and our medical records are still being chiseled on stone tablets. There is no logical reason why health records were not standardized and digitized 30 years ago! Some Stone Age hospitals still hand patients a clipboard with a stack of forms to be filled out. Those clipboards have more germs than the door handles on the inside of their restrooms. All the information they request already resides in the bowels of the hospital but finding it would be like finding your old football jersey in your attic.

As for a flat rate for specific conditions, if you saw that dollar amount you would likely go into shock and have a stroke on the spot. There is an Oklahoma surgery facility that publishes their prices. The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a Doctor owned facility that is performing operations for less than the deductible in some cases and you know what it will cost before you go under the knife. Your insurance company will probably not pay for your operation there because there is not enough slop for them to make a killing. If a hospital charges you $100 for an aspirin that costs them a penny, there’s plenty of wiggle room for every layer of inefficiency to pocket some of your cash.

If you took the time to see how much money the big pharmaceutical companies, healthcare insurance companies, hospital conglomerates and nursing home owners donate to your Governor, Legislators and federal politicians, you might need resuscitated.

The bribes that recently resulted in prosecutions in Arkansas are not reported on campaign finance reports but the legal amount these politicians receive is a game changer. Where do you think the lobbyists get all that money? Ultimately, it comes out of our pockets when we pay $100 for an aspirin or our life savings for a nursing home stay.

I am not going to ignore the fact that we are getting older and fatter. The baby boom generation is heading into retirement with enrollment in Medicare set to grow by an average of 1.6 million people annually. Additionally, nearly half the U.S. population has one or more chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, which drive up costs. Two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese, which can also lead to chronic illness and additional medical spending. If that is not bad enough, millions of Americans are smoking and using illegal drugs as a form of self destruction.

If a cure for some illness was invented today, it would be obsolete long before it could be approved by the government bureaucracy. The path to approval would bankrupt George Soros or Bill Gates. Americans are flying to foreign countries to save their lives because our government is protecting them by denying them medical treatment. President Trump is trying to make experimental treatments available to terminally ill patients but establishment Republicans, Democrats, Judges, the corrupt media and every federal agency will fight him with all their strength. Should American’s have to go to the Congo or India for medical treatment?

One thing you can bank on, every new treatment will be more expensive than the old treatment.

The majority of people with insurance get it through their jobs. The amount employers pay toward coverage is tax deductible for the firm and tax exempt to the worker, thus encouraging more expensive health plans with richer benefits. How that coverage is designed also plays a role: Low deductibles or small office co-payments can encourage overuse of care. Increasingly, however, employers are moving toward high-deductible coverage as a way to slow premium growth and require workers to pay more toward the cost of care. In Fort Smith, business is booming at a community clinic because people with healthcare insurance can’t afford $200 copay and $6,000 deductible.

While medical journals, the Internet and talking heads on TV are saturated with health information and studies, professionals and patients find there is no broad standard for evaluating individual treatments, or how specific treatments compare with others. Even when evidence shows a treatment isn’t effective, or is potentially harmful, it can take a long time for that information to actually change how doctors practice or what patients demand. One of my friends was on a vacation in China when he had a heart attack. Guess what, people have heart attacks all over the world and receive treatment. We have been practicing medicine in America for about 500 years. In China, they have been practicing medicine for thousands of years. Chinese patients have a choice between modern medicine and traditional medicine so a nurse might be pushing a cart down the hall with pills next to potions and herbs. There are probably cures that have been known in China since Columbus discovered America that are unknown in America?

While mergers or partnerships among medical providers or insurers may improve efficiency and help drive down prices, consolidation can also have the opposite effect, allowing near-monopolies in some markets and driving up prices. Increasingly, hospitals are buying up rivals and directly employing physicians, creating larger medical systems. Unfortunately, in my opinion these conglomerates are focused on profit instead of patients. Yes, that includes the not-for-profit hospitals.

Just like schools have more librarians, bus drivers, coaches and cafeteria workers than teachers, hospitals have more administrators than Doctors.

The number of physicians in the United States grew 150 percent between 1975 and 2010, roughly in keeping with population growth, while the number of healthcare administrators increased 3,200 percent for the same time period. This is not a typo! Please don’t call me a dishonest because you are not paying attention.

Some claim the huge number of administrators is needed to keep pace with the drastic changes in healthcare delivery during that timeframe, particularly change driven by technology and by ever-more-complex regulations and laws thanks to your smiley faced politicians and bureaucrats.

The simple truth is that the army of administrators does little to relieve the documentation burden on clinicians, while creating layers of high-salaried bureaucratic expansion in healthcare organizations.

The bottom line is that the increase in the number of administrators has created a huge burden on physicians. For physicians, the focus is always on the patient. There’s only one person that makes the key diagnostic and other decisions on behalf of the patient and that’s the doctor.

Since the early 1980s, there has been a consolidation and aggregation of larger and larger physician groups in our health system, some affiliated with one or more hospitals. Then there’s the trend of hospitals merging into larger networks. All of that introduces a level of complexity that has grown exponentially and the degree of external regulatory requirements has also skyrocketed.

I’m just an old retired fighter pilot but I believe the sheer number of administrators is compromising relations between physicians and patients and helping drive healthcare costs into the stratosphere.

There has been a fundamental change in the business model, thanks to the astronomical changes of regulations and public reporting requirements. Automation and electronic medical records have actually not led to a workforce reduction. What’s increased is the amount of support needed to make those systems work.

My mother used a Doctor in Mountain Home Arkansas who had a small office in a drug store. He charged $5 for an office visit and made a very good living and donated a lot of money to the local college. If he could see what healthcare has become and the costs associated with the change, he would need to be resuscitated.

The healthcare industrial complex is paying bean counters more than Doctors in many cases. President Eisenhower would never believe the military industrial complex would become peanuts in comparison.

In the 1970s, the hospital was seen as an open workshop where doctors brought their patients and worked largely independent of the hospital. Now, more than 50 percent of physicians are employed by hospitals and work in large specialty groups. They’re being asked to follow protocols within a hospital system and report to administrators.

I understand how things work since several Doctors and a clinic was under my command and my responsibility in the military. That didn’t make me a Doctor! I never made an incision, examined a prostate or otherwise come between a Doctor and a patient. The healthcare administration should be a tool to help relieve physicians of administrative and clerical burden, which detracts from patient care and contributes to physician burnout. Beyond that, the best way to improve the quality of care that patients receive is to have a strong partnership between physicians and administrators so that both understand the complexity of how “quality” is defined and reported, and both understand the real-life details of high-quality care at the bedside.

Health systems should be more welcoming to physicians who want to be involved in administrative medicine. There needs to be a common understanding that the term physician-administrator does not require that a physician stop caring for patients. Physicians have to have the opportunity to be involved in administrative roles and continue to practice if that is their desire.

Malpractice premiums and jury awards are part of what drives spending. A larger problem, although hard to quantify, is “defensive medicine” where doctors prescribe unnecessary tests or treatment out of fear of facing a lawsuit. Fraudulent billing or unnecessary tests by medical providers seeking to “game the system” are another real problem. Do you think politicians, who receive huge political contributions from the healthcare industrial complex, are going to bite the hand that feeds them?

State laws limit the ability of nurse practitioners or other medical professionals, who are paid less than doctors, to fully perform work for which they are trained. The U.S. faces a shortage of primary care doctors, so more advanced practice nurses and others will be needed to help care for patients who gain insurance coverage under socialized healthcare laws.

Doctors believe that 21 percent of all medical care is unnecessary, including 22 percent of prescriptions, 25 percent of tests and 11 percent of procedures.

Nearly 85 percent of Doctors said the reason for overtreatment was fear of malpractice suits, but that fear is probably exaggerated since only 2 to 3 percent of patients pursue litigation, and paid claims have declined sharply in recent decades.

Nearly 60 percent of doctors said patients demand unnecessary treatment. A smaller number thought that limited access to medical records led to the problem.

More than 70 percent of doctors conceded that physicians are more likely to perform unnecessary procedures when they profit from them, while only 9.2 percent said that their own financial security was a factor.

My Flight Surgeon, who became the head of the Arkansas Health Department, once told me that his professor in Medical School told him that about 75 percent of his patients would get well whether he did anything or not and that 2 percent would die regardless of how much effort he put into saving them. Then he told my Flight Surgeon to try not to kill the other 23 percent. My percentages may be a little off but you get the idea.

You have seen the kind of leadership we have in Congress, the DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, Veterans Affairs and the rest, do you think we have better leadership in the healthcare cartel? Do you think your state politicians have the capacity or will to even begin to understand the problem and formulate a solution?

We have placed our hope in Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle. Next January the three stooges will join them and together all our problems will be solved.

And now, Gene McVay returns you to Maxine Waters and John Brennen who will call the President of the United States a “Low down, lying skunk.”