† What Freedom Of Speech Means To Muslims (The U.S. Edition): Jessica Felber and another student sued the University of California-Berkeley for not doing enough to prevent Jewish students from being verbally harassed – and in her case physically assaulted by being rammed with a shopping cart – during a 2010 anti-Israel “Apartheid Week” protest by the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. The protest included checkpoints set up by the Muslim students all over campus at which their classmates were asked if they were Jewish. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled that “the harassment, even if true, constituted protected political speech and dismissed the case against the university,” Greely Gazette (Greely, CO) reports:
Seeborg said the university did not have any obligation to intervene in any dispute where a private individual on campus was allegedly interfering with another’s constitutional rights. He instead appeared to indicate that the incident was an outcome of Felber’s counter protest.
“The incident in which Felber was assaulted with a shopping cart, for example, did not occur in the context of her educational pursuit,” Seeborg Cwrote. "Rather, that event occurred when she, as one person attempting to exercise free speech rights in a public forum, was allegedly attacked by another person who likewise was participating in a public protest in a public forum."
Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch, characterizes the judge’s decision as defining assault as protected speech. But only when a Muslim is assaulting an Infidel (that is to say, Christians and Jews). The other way around, as we all know, is a hate crime.
† Skeletal pundit Alan Colmes is just another liberal ghoul: The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher writes that Alan Colmes hit the nail on the head when he disagreed with Rich Lowry’s prediction that “I think even some of the dastardly characters we have in the mainstream media are not gonna go as low as you just have” after Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson made nearly identical remarks in an interview with Rachel Maddow:
[Santorum]‘s not a little weird, he’s really weird. Some of the positions he’s taken are just so weird that I think some Republicans are gonna be off-put. Not everybody is going to be down, for example, with the story of how he and his wife handled the stillborn child whose body they took home to kind of sleep with and introduce to the rest of the family. It’s very weird story… Let’s repeat that, every time we talk about Rick Santorum, let’s be clear: This a guy who should never become president, in my view. [Emphasis, The Stiletto.]
Whether intentionally or not, Robinson let the cat out of the bag: Dems will try to undermine Santorum’s presidential campaign with dead baby jokes. As Treacher puts it: “You’re on notice, Republicans: If your child dies and you ever want to run for president, you’d better check with the liberal left to make sure you’re mourning correctly.”
A new fad amongst new mothers is to ingest their placenta. This is no weirder – OK, it is way, way weirder – than allowing family members to cuddle a stillborn or dead neonate before burying it, as some experts recommend.
† There’s No Such Thing As Free Healthcare: President Barack Hussein Obama famously asserted that doctors unnecessarily perform surgery just to keep their bottom lines healthy. The truth is that doctors – from family practitioners to cancer specialists – are quietly going under, thanks to insurance companies and the federal government putting the squeeze on how much they can charge for their services, regulations and paperwork and rising drug costs, CNNMoney reports:
Dr. Neil Barth … has been in the top 10% of oncologists in his region, according to U.S. News Top Doctors' ranking. Still, he is contemplating personal bankruptcy.
That move could shutter his 31-year-old clinical practice and force 6,000 cancer patients to look for a new doctor.
Changes in drug reimbursements have hurt him badly. Until the mid-2000's, drugs sales were big profit generators for oncologists.
In oncology, doctors were allowed to profit from drug sales. So doctors would buy expensive cancer drugs at bulk prices from drugmakers and then sell them at much higher prices to their patients.
"I grew up in that system. I was spending $1.5 million a month on buying treatment drugs," he said. In 2005, Medicare revised the reimbursement guidelines for cancer drugs, which effectively made reimbursements for many expensive cancer drugs fall to less than the actual cost of the drugs. …
"I was $3.2 million in debt by mid 2010," said Barth. "It was a sickening feeling. I could no longer care for patients with catastrophic illnesses without scrutinizing every penny first." …
"I recently got a call from a divorced woman with two kids who is unemployed, house in foreclosure with advanced breast cancer," he said. "The moment has come to this that you now say, 'sorry, we don't have the capacity to care for you.' "
Half of all doctors in the U.S. are in private practice. There has been a systematic effort to destroy the private practice healthcare delivery model that predates Obama but certainly intensified in his tenure. Soon a doctor have no choice but to become salaried employees -- first for a medical institution like Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic, later as a government employee. Given the huge investment in schooling and huge medical school debt how soon before people do the math and decide an MBA is better than an MD? Then the government will start paying medical school tuition – as has already been proposed in MA – and events will spool out just as Reagan predicted in this 1961 speech warning of the perils of socialized medicine.
BTW, back then the American Medical Association opposed socialized medicine and distributed copies of Reagan’s speech. Today the AHA has thrown its support behind Obamacare, which will lead inexorably to socialized medicine.
† Why Shouldn’t Illegals Get Government Healthcare?: Marco Antonio Fuentes has spent 374 days at Community Regional Medical Center – longer than any other patient the staff at the Fresno acute-care hospital can remember. Fuentes was admitted to the hospital Dec. 26, 2010 with necrotizing pancreatitis, a complication of untreated gallstones that had progressed to an acute infection that had eaten gaping holes in his intestines. Pancreatitis typically requires a hospital stay of between 45 to 65 days, but in Fuentes’ case, “The holes in his intestines allowed bile and feces to escape into his abdomen – and he had blood infections and blood clots in his lungs that were life-threatening” and had to take nutrition and hydration via IV for more than 11 months, The Fresno Bee reports. It took 12 surgeries to patch Fuentes up so he could go home.
Here’s the kicker. “Home” is Mexico. The Bee did not inform readers that Fuentes was an uninsured illegal from Mexico until 17 paragraphs and 440 words into the 860-word article (related article, fifth item on the page):
[F]amily, including a brother, uncle and cousins, came from as far away as South Carolina to visit, staying at Terry's House across the street from the hospital, said Denise Goodman, the hospital hospitality house manager. …
In August, his eighth month hospitalized, his mother, Estella Castillo, came from Mexico. She had been ill, and Fuentes realized his condition worried her. "I had a lot of emotions," he said. "I was sad. I didn't want her to see me that way."
The Bee didn’t try very hard to find out and report how much his care cost and where the money comes from for the $100 million in charity care that the hospital provides to patients like Fuentes every year (Hint: Ask yourself, why a bottle of Tylenol costs a few bucks when you buy it at your local drugstore, but $100 per pill when a nurse places it on your bed tray in a little paper cup):
On Tuesday, the final cost of Fuentes' care was not available. Much of it will be taken on by the hospital as charity care. …
Fuentes began to rally after a final surgery on Nov. 11.
Over nine hours, surgeons were able to rebuild his gastrointestinal tract.
And three weeks ago, he had his first hospital food. …
On Dec. 20, hospital staff threw him a Christmas party. For that occasion, he had homemade enchiladas. They were "really, really" good, he said. …
After a couple of weeks convalescing at an uncle's home in Red Bluff, Fuentes will go to Mexico to live with his parents and work at their small, tortilla-making business.
The Stiletto knows that had she been treated at a hospital without insurance and no means to pay for the services and facilities she was using, no one would have made her a special meal at Christmas. Only in CA.