Saturday, February 28, 2009


I am in D.C. at CPAC (co-sponsored by Pajamas Media) and just got finished being a guest on the "Washington Tea Party" panel hosted by Michelle Malkin, Kellyanne Conway, Mary Anne Marsh and Jeri Thompson. I talked about taxpayers going "John Galt" and the psychology of fear in response to the financial crisis. The audience was terrific and supportive and there was a great turn-out. Fred Thompson came on to talk about the stimulus and other issues.

You can watch the show here--just click on the segment with my name.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

We're all losers now

CNBC conducted a poll asking people if they thought they would be a winner or loser with Obama's current proposed budget. The result? Last time I looked, 72% of the respondents (out of 15198) thought they would be losers. I would say it will be closer to 100% before this is all over.

Okay, this is scary....

In reading about Obama's new $634 billion health fund, I came across this:

The budget figures also represent significant shifts in how the United States will pay for medical care.

For example, experts have identified hospital readmissions -- especially for elderly patients -- as a sign of poor care and unnecessary expense. About 18 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of an original visit. The new approach would establish flat fees for the first hospitalization and 30 days of follow-up, sometimes done by separate facilities. Hospitals or clinics with high readmission rates could be paid less.

I am not sure what the details are but just from reading the above, how is punishing hospitals or clinics who re-admit sick patients by paying them less going to provide good care? It's like the insurance programs that dock doctor's pay the more patients they see--and reward them for seeing fewer. Many just see fewer, regardless of whether the patient is better or not. But maybe I am naive and good care isn't the point. Maybe the point is to make a certain portion of the American population including the president feel good that all Americans have insurance, even if patients are left sitting outside the hospital door.

Perhaps I have this wrong, maybe there is more to this "new approach" than I have heard about. Maybe....

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Dr.Helen on Mens News Daily

You can now also read my blog at Mens News Daily along with the work of Glenn Sacks, Dr. Stephen Baskerville, David Usher and Marc H. Rudov.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is the Kindle 2 a "cultural shift?"

I recently ordered a Kindle 2 for Glenn and have been reading up on the device. I found an interesting video and article on Yahoo finance about the Kindle that focuses on the wider implications of the Kindle on sales and reading in America.

The interviewer on the video wonders if there will be a cultural shift in how reading is experienced with Kindle readers--but the expert who is on states that the goal of the Kindle is to replicate rather than change the reading experience. It sounds like it is simply a faster and more efficient way to read rather than going out and purchasing books. Kindle 2 has the potential to have an impact on book sales, according to the expert. I also heard on the video that there are only about 500,000 Kindles in existence which can have an impact on book sales as the Kindle purchasers are voracious readers who might trade downloads for actual books. Kindle accounts for only 10% of books in existence but 5% of the public buys 95% of the books. And of those 5%, many are Kindle owners.

I wish the Kindle 2 would show up from Amazon--I am dying to try it out. Did I mention I ordered it for Glenn?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Dude-in-Chief: It just isn’t any of your business."

Dennis Kneale at CNBC comments on Obama's speech tonight:

Remember the excited, butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling we had the first time we got to watch the newly elected President Obama address the nation?

One month later a queasy sense of dread emerges whenever he takes the lectern. As our new president prepares to address both houses of Congress at 9 p.m. eastern, the markets and investors brace for his next damaging soundbite.

"Every time the guy speaks, the Dow starts falling," complains one venture capitalist, Ross Manel of ReStart Group in Addison, Texas.

Bam was the Message Man during his incredible campaign for the presidency, besotting millions with his reassuring call for hope and change. Since taking office he has plied an entirely different—and wrongheaded—message, one of fear and fingerwagging, of crisis-mongering and retribution.

This has been damaging to Citigroup, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and their ilk. We need these firms to help us find our way out of this financial abyss, yet the President decries a compensation system he doesn’t understand. He carps at Merrill Lynch’s now-ousted chief, John Thain, for spending the equivalent of ten minutes of revenue to redecorate his office.

Dude-in-Chief: It just isn’t any of your business.

I'm not sure that this Kneale guy was listening carefully enough when "the Message Man" was running his campaign. I heard the fear and fingerwagging then too. It wasn't like Obama was tryng to hide his message of retribution and crisis mongering then. It's just that no one wanted to hear it; they were too busy trying to get the first African American President in office to "make history." Nothing else mattered.

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Do social websites harm children's brains?

Some experts think so. According to the Daily Mail:

Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

The claims from neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make disturbing reading for the millions whose social lives depend on logging on to their favourite websites each day...

'My fear is that these technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment...'

Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood: How the Modern World is Damaging Our Children and What We Can Do About It, said: 'We are seeing children's brain development damaged because they don't engage in the activity they have engaged in for millennia.

'I'm not against technology and computers. But before they start social networking, they need to learn to make real relationships with people.'

What do you think, is MySpace and Facebook harming kid's brains?


Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Obama really America's new shrink?

Shrinkedwrapped discusses some issues he has with a Newsweek article about Obama entitled, "America's New Shrink:"
Talk (thought) and action are decoupled. We need to trust him as he tells us how to behave without offering us any chance to look within the details of the package we are supposed to embrace. Many people who are in trouble are eager to surrender their autonomy and be bailed out. For them, Obama may well be an adequate therapist. However, for the most productive members of society, people who did not succeed in life by surrendering their autonomy to others, such "therapy" is more than a little insulting.

If Obama is America's "new shrink," you would think he would know that.

Update: Neo-Neocon has more on the Newsweek article.