Bin Laden: The Wicked Witch is Dead, now what should we do with those photos?

Here’s what’s funny.  I’m pretty sure several conservatives are pissed right now that Obama refused to release the gruesome photos of Osama Bin Laden.  Almost as pissed as they were when Al Jazeera and other news networks showed photos and footage of fallen soldiers during the Iraq war.  I didn’t realize how pissed they were until I watched Ann Coulter on Hannity last night.  I actually felt stupider after watching.

I get it-we want to see that mass murderer pay-we want to see his lifeless mutilated body and feel all warm and cozy inside because the mastermind of 9-11 is finally dead.   But to be fair here, shouldn’t we at least be consistent?  I realize that our fallen soldiers weren’t supposed to be pictured in such a light, but that’s what really happens in a war.  People die, and it’s not pretty.

I actually commend our troops for disposing of his body and respecting the religion of Islam.  It’s not my religion, but I’d appreciate it if someone respected my faith enough to deal with my lifeless body according to what I believed and practiced in my life.  I’m sure the man will probably be compared to Adolf Hitler in the coming years, but doesn’t it make us just like them to flaunt the destruction of a human? Remember the beheadings that terrorists loved doing? Do we think that would have been a better way to take care of Bin Laden? That makes us no better than terrorists.

Basically I’m saying show a little consistency people.  Media shows dead American soldiers and Rumsfeld and others blacklist and question the credibility of that media source.  Media is unable to show Bin Laden’s dead body and people are up in arms about it.  I understand the difference; one is a killer and the others are heroes, right? Just saying who are we to judge which dead corpse we deserve and don’t deserve to see.

And I know I’m going to get a lot of wonderful, happy feedback for this, but seriously, Sarah Palin, are you joking? Palin’s recent twitter post, “Show photo as warning to others seeking America’s destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it’s part of the mission.” What the heck are you talking about lady?

On another note, I think it’s an admirable and intelligent thing for the Obama administration not to release the photos.  On one end, he and the U.S. government that he represents look reputable to the rest of the world, (they killed the bad guy and got credit for it-BUSH and Obama, but still want to show that there’s no need to brag; unlike Palin who is used to shooting a moose and proudly standing next to her kill and distributing the photo-or making a reality TV program about it.)* On the other end, the man is intelligent enough to know that the photos will assuredly be leaked somehow and the media will do it’s job by circulating the photo-and the administration will come out unstained-taking the high road and gaining the respect of others around the world.

*disclaimer, I have no issues with hunting; I’m just saying we shouldn’t be treating people like animals we hunt. Sometimes Mrs. Palin may have trouble deciphering between the two. Remember the Russia comment, “When Putin rears his head…..?


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Transparency in Medicine

Ever wonder what healthcare would look like if we recognized the fact that everyone is human? What if we actually recognized that healthcare practitioners are human, normal people who are often affected by circumstances they cannot control.  Whether those circumstances occur before they enter work or while they are working, sometimes their work is affected. No one is perfect and to hold doctors to the standard of perfect is a tall order. Tort reform has worked to protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits, but isn’t this interesting?  When people search the internet for medical information, they are often led to websites run by trial lawyers.  hhmmm,  Coincidence?  I think not.  This is one example of why doctors (when they do make mistakes) are more apt to cover them up or place blame somewhere else.  Seriously, wouldn’t you if your decades of training, practice, financial stability, and reputation were at stake?

That’s why this story is so inspiring.  It’s a little piece of hope.  Someone made a mistake and admitted it.  Can you imagine how much more effective and efficient our entire healthcare system might be if people were more transparent about the guidelines they followed stringently and things still went wrong (which, in this case, might lead to changing standard guidelines to improve the system based on evidence instead of estimated guessing) and guidelines they did not obey (and maybe never do because of how absurd and time-consuming they may be).  Imagine a world where doctors feel free to admit how they ACTUALLY treated their patients for that infection or performed that surgery.  Clinical practice guidelines would be based on evidence that proved effective and ineffective through clinical practice.  We would all be better for it.

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A Little Inspiration

For those of us who are idealists, people who desire to serve and make the world better than when we first came into it and believe that it’s possible to do this, Nicolas Kristof shares some encouraging stories of world changers.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on a task that seems so overwhelming-but it happens-one person, one place, one step at a time.

DIY Foreign Aid Movement

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Health Reform: What You Need to Know

Kaiser Family Foundation created this informative Youtoon to simplify the explanation of what the new health reform law means for you and me.  It’s less than 10 minutes long and I promise you will have a greater understanding of what the bill entails and how it will affect us.

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I went to a lecture today.  My reason for going was to hear Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza,  Doctor and Burundian-who has worked closely with Paul Farmer and is the subject of the New York Times bestselling  author Tracy Kidder’s most recent book, “Strength in What Remains”- talk about nonprofit Village Health Works.  

What I didn’t realize is that his lecture was in memory of a Baylor Medical student.  In 2000, a Baylor Medical Student was robbed and killed-during a robbery spree of 4 individuals.  This is what affected me.  It’s a life, a life that was unfairly taken in a split second.  So shocking, so heartbreaking…then I began to think of the millions of lives taken in the same exact fashion-worldwide.  Those lives may  not have a scholarship endowment fund named after them, or a slideshow about their life.  But as Deo said, ‘their dreams live on, through the people who knew them.’

why? is it fair that a good looking white boy, 22, is killed because he looks like he has money? That his life is taken and a mere $40 is the profit? That millions are savagely murdered without even the intent to take money or other items-soley because they are malicious or have dehumanized a people? This is one boy, so many stories were written about him-one boy who didn’t deserve what was done to him.  Who worked to help those in need, who had such a bright future robbed from him.   How do you pit that next to the thousands of Rwandans, Burundians, Sudanese, Congolese (insert all other African countries that have been subject to turmoil, genocide, and mass killings).  Deo showed a photograph capturing hundreds of bodies and explained that these were aspiring medical students, nurses, doctors, and other hospital workers-just trying to serve others-who were killed for no reason.  Not that there really is ever a reason to kill someone.  But really?  A murder 10 years ago has brought to the forefront this question.  why?  What has happened to humanity? Actually I take that back, I know what happened.  We’re fallen.  Ever since Cain and Able, man has been known to think it’s okay to slay their own kind. 

One thing that was said today gives me hope.  Deo told all of the Baylor Medical students attending the lecture, “It is our job to care for the sick.  People that did this to Matthew, and to my fellow classmates and community members in Burundi are sick. That is why people do things like this, they are sick….. Where there is health, there is hope.”

Take care of the sick around you-before they get to the point of no return.

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United Nations MDG Summit Kick Off

The UN Summit on the 2015 Millennium Development Goals begins today.   With only five years remaining to reach the 2015 deadline key world leaders will meet to discuss the necessary steps to ensure the goals are met.  The economic recession has worked to diminish and delay the work of the MDGs. 

To view photos of the Eight Development Goals, click here.  These photos are a representation of the goals we are striving towards, Worldwide.

See what you can do to get involved.

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One Example of Our Faulty System

I hear varying opinions about the national health reform.  Depending on who you speak with, health reform is either a vision of hope or a nightmare.  Those that hope in healthcare are usually blue collar workers who were previously unable to afford health insurance.  Several refugees (I’m talking about legal, documented individuals and families) are unable to afford health insurance offered by their employers and have not been educated on the great need of having insurance for when you or your children get sick.  This reform means that their children will be covered, that they will be more likely to afford healthcare and that if they don’t purchase it-they are breaking the law.

For medical providers-especially doctors-this reform could be disastrous. As this article conveys, most physicians incur debt because of their training and their compensation for the decade (sometimes longer) of training they have undergone.  This reform means that doctors might lose the compensation they receive for their work and primary care physicians are threatened least by this national reform.  At this point, most specialists are peeing their pants trying to figure out how this reform is going to affect them.  They should be-It’ seems as though this reform, in trying to tackle too big a beast without enough specific understanding of the problems of our system, may instead injure the one party we need most in this healthcare system. The doctors. 

yes, there have been a few attempts in regulation of the industry: mandating that employers offer health insurance and that individuals get it, transparency of the insurance companies raising rates and reform for those refusing to cover those who need it the most (the sick),  and for hospitals as a whole to cut down on administrative costs and other overhead, but at the end of the day-when you start playing with the roles of physicians and try to reform their practices and compensation-quality of care for patients is directly effected.  All other regulations offer indirect effects to patients-cheaper care, access to care-but if you mess with the doctors, you are directly messing with patients.  The last think we want is for people to decide, ‘medical school just isn’t worth the hassle-I’m going to spend 10+ years of training to start working with inadequate compensation under harsh regulatory conditions in an environment where everyone is out to screw me.’

Again, I’m going to point us to preventative efforts and looking at healthcare under a microscope-get to the root of the problem and treat it, don’t just try to cover it up with a band-aid. 

Read about the possible fate of Primary Care Doctors  by clicking here.

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