Here’s an article you may want to read. It’s titled, How Do Physicians and Non-Physicians Want to Die?. The article reports the results of a survey in which physicians gave very different answers than non-physicians in regard to various interventions that might be administered toward the end of life. This information may help you make better decisions for yourself.
From “fir tree desert” to model permaculture farm.
It’s truly awesome what humans can do.
I’ve been abroad since Nov 13, starting in Istanbul where I gave a presentation at the Green Economy and Commons conference and spent a few days exploring the city. (Here is the link to the conference site : http://www.tr.boell.org/web/35-1830.html).
Istanbul was interesting and I think my presentation went over well. You can see the pictures from my Istanbul visit at, https://picasaweb.google.com/112258124863172998784/201311IstanbulTurkey?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJv3nPOd34igcQ&feat=directlink
From there I flew to Kuala Lumpur then a couple days later traveled by bus to Penang.
I stayed almost two weeks in Penang at a small Hotel where I’ve stayed before. I like Penang but this part of it (Georgetown) is very busy and the traffic gets worse each time I visit. Also, lodging costs keep going up as old guest houses get refurbished and new ones pop up.
Penang is a UN world heritage site, very diverse ethnically, racially, religiously, culturally, etc. and, in my opinion, has the best food in the world, much of it vegetarian. Food is still cheap there; how about $1 for breakfast, $2-$3 for dinner? Of course if you want western food you’ll pay more but still less than western prices. Penang was once a British colony, so that influence is evident, including English and Scottish street names and a British fort (Fort Cornwallis) built in the late 1700s . Penang’s population is majority Chinese with a healthy sprinkling of Tamil Indians and Malays. Islam is an ever increasing presence as more mosques and masjids are sited in Chinese neighborhoods.
Two weeks in Penang was enough. I chose to visit Cambodia instead of going to Thailand, taking a flight on December 5 from Penang to Phnom Penh.
My Cambodia visit got off to an inauspicious start. After checking into my hotel, I decided to take a stroll down by the river. I tried to cross the street and got sideswiped by a motorbike; no stitches but my left shin got skinned and bruised. I managed to get to the other side and sat down on a convenient bench; almost passed out but got some aid from a British friend I had been traveling with for some days, and a Polish couple who happened to be passing by. My wounds have fortunately turned out to be minor, no trouble walking, only a little discomfort, and healing is almost complete by now.
I spent only a couple days Phnom Penh then decided to take a minivan to Sihanoukville which is on the Gulf of Thailand. I stayed a week at Otres Beach about 5 km from Sihanoukville. Otres has a nice clean sandy beach, clean water, and a couple dozen guest houses and bungalow places ranging from backpacker dorms and huts to pretty decent rooms with A/C and hot showers. Almost all have free wi-fi and decent internet connections. After two nights in the rather primitive Done Right ($18), I moved a few meters away to the more comfortable and quiet Otres Guest House ($20). There are many places to eat right on the beach and you can hang out all day long on their lounge chairs if you buy a drink ($1-3) or a meal ($2.50-$6.00). Done Right has both “geodomes” and “cubes,” as well a dorm rooms, is run by young people and meant to appeal to the twenty-something backpacker crowd. As you might expect, there are lots of dogs and cats around, (and consequently, lots of flies) an open-air pool table and ping pong table, so there’s lots of activity from morning to evening, but nights are fairly quiet except when the dogs get set off by something.
At my age, I require something more comfortable and conventional. Otres Guest House provides it. My room was large and I had a desk and chair that provided a decent work station. The beach across the way provides a good diversion when I tire of working.
I had some surprisingly good Greek food in Sihanoukville at a restaurant (the sign reads “Greek Cousine”) that is run by Greek restaurateurs who spend the off season here.
I’m now in Kampot, a charming little riverside town which is a couple hours’ drive toward the southeast, where the lodgings and food are both good and cheap.
I also have Siem Reap (Angkor Wat ) on my agenda and will visit there at some point. I hope to schedule another visit to Phnom Penh to see the “killing fields” and the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21). Here’s a bit of pertinent history:
“Prior to 1975, Toul Sleng was a high school. When the Khmer Rouge came to power it was converted into the S-21 prison and interrogation facility. Inmates were systematically tortured to extract confessions, after which they were executed at the killing fields of Choeung Ek. S-21 processed over 17,000 people, less than a dozen of whom survived. The building now serves as a museum, a memorial and a testament to the madness of the Khmer Rouge regime.”
Yes, Cambodia has that gruesome history, but so do many other countries, including the U.S., Argentina, etc. The situation now seems quite different. You do notice a dearth of old people, and Cambodian government is said to be corrupt, but that seems to have little impact on the tourist. The people are friendly and helpful and no one has tried to rip me off yet. Still, this is a third-world country and not up to the standards of Malaysia or even Thailand, which have had more time to learn the tourism business.
Awesome! I’ve never seen anyone move like that…
Up to now I’ve not paid close attention to the debate about the health care law commonly referred to as Obamacare, but I’m beginning to think that it may be important to do so.
I never did like the provision that makes it compulsory for everyone to buy insurance. That seems a blatant attempt to secure profits for the insurance oligopoly. Nor do I have much respect for big pharma and the massive promotion of prescription drugs, most of which I avoid like the plague they are.
Now, investigative journalist Jon Rappoport raises further concerns about the health care law and where it seems to be taking us. His recent article, The devastating truth behind Obamacare, begins:
I want my Obamacare! I want my Obamacare!
It’s vital to look at the real meaning of this sinister plan. It’s all about the toxic effects of mainstream medicine. That’s what the sold-out press is refusing to examine.
A year ago, I discussed the case of a young Michigan boy, whose parents had been taken to court three times to force them to submit their child to intensely toxic chemo treatments—despite these facts:
The boy’s latest scans revealed no sign of cancer; the drugs that would be forced on him can cause cancer; the drugs have not been approved to treat children.
And I warned: this is what waits for you and your children, up the line.
The “share and care” humanitarian mask will be peeled away. The US Dept. of Health and Human Services will create, as ordered, a complete list of approved treatments for every disease-label under the sun. And everyone in the insurance plan will be forced to take what the doctor tells them to take.
For a bonus, unapproved treatments will be banned. People and practitioners who try to use alternative treatments will find themselves in trouble.
This is the hidden agenda of Obamacare. This is what it will morph into in the future.
You can read the rest of the article here.
You might also read the report of Dr. Barbara Starfield that was published in the AMA Journal several years ago in which she exposed the large number of deaths caused by medical treatment every year (Is US Health Really the Best in the World? JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4). You can download it here. — t.h.g.
On The Commons is a “commons movement strategy center.” It provides a great deal of useful information via its website, newsletter and magazine. A recent post describes Legal Structures for Protecting the Commons. You can read it here.
The mufti-dimensional mega-crisis crisis includes resource depletion, waste, and pollution. Products need to be modular, durable, adaptable, repairable, recyclable, and efficient in their use of scarce resources. The old corporate model of private profit maximization encourages just the opposite.
Here’s one example of how products can be made the right way.
This is the English actor’s take on the Syrian deal.
From JOHN CLEESE
ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.
John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person
This site contains some very interesting infographics, including 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World.