Rants. raves and ramblings from celestial circles . . .

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Doctor Death Demons

Today we have a perfect example of the continued failure of our medical system and our government representatives that support it. Our current medical system is even more deadly than our wars. Even though it has provided many positive results and continues to save lives, it also continues to kill people through the intentional overprescription of pharmaceutical drugs and the incompetence of having to wrangle through dozens of specialists to attain an accurate diagnosis without a comprehensive medical professional monitoring the results of all of the diagnostics from the array of specialists.

This doesn’t even cover the incompetence and adamant thievery by the medical industry to provide care and then bill insurance companies, without informing patients and providing beforehand, an accurate estimate of the costs their medical care will cost them. The negligence of refusing to provide unbiased research on certain plants and chemicals considered ‘narcotic’ is criminal. The greedy desire for larger profits has trumped the medical oath of compassionate patient care.

The medical industry has taken the same approach as our educational industry, an ‘everyone gets the same thing/mass production’ approach to both healthcare and education. Both failures by 21st century standards. People are individuals. They are all different. The cattle herd mentality is deadly.

THE DIVIDING LINE BETWEEN DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Ye heathens continue to bicker on which side of the sun is brighter. An enlightened few understand the sun is one of many stars. Fewer still understand why the Word is love. Or why a Divine entity walked the Earth in the past. Or the reality that the Living Christ walks the Earth today.

Instead ye of little faith prefer to mock those that find strength in personal spiritual beliefs as believing in ’magic’ or a bearded sky man. Which only shows an ignorance of every conceivable human potential.

March 17, 2022

ONE IN THE BUSH IS WORTH TWO IN THE DESERT

Originally published in ‘Stories of X’ (1979)

Deep in the Orient the smoking bowl fumes. The natives of the southern mountains chew their leaves for life. The natives of the Southwest eat their buttons religiously, picking dark fungus.

George had his own patch, and the peace pipe kept many soothing moments calm. From the hills came the factories and the stills. When the swinging strayed, the singing stopped.

An old American favorite at the fountain brought a brief relief from menstrual pain. Along came a minor confrontation gone sour. Young pincushions flourished deep in the jungle. The boys back home invented undreamed of chemicals, and everywhere the scent of burning flowers.

The boys came home undernourished from depleting inventories. Spoiled by the frank availability overseas. They were trained in war to move undetected, to fly. To trust to a limit and respect their superiors. They had to get back to work. They had to make money. To feed tortured, tattered families.

The power brokers and politicians ran out of easy armory contracts. They had to find new toys to play the game on the trading field. To feed the undernourished. Harvest the Oriental fields, develop the long forgotten rope trade. Teach the mountain villages the importance of chemical laboratories. Worst of all, it was all in line with the plans of the adversaries, like walking up to a smoking gun. On the record: ‘we are against’, ‘we will fight’. From the highest echelons of business, political and diplomatic circles: ‘buy the product’. Put the boys to fly and move undetected, to sell! Feed the undernourished.

The profits began to add up. They began to shakedown a simple and straightforward economy. They created international tidal waves.

A new plan of action had to be drawn in response to a new subculture of unemployed, homeless, high dollar battered street vendors and ten year old carpetbagging dictators. A new class was formed. Easy money, high stakes, finagling wealthy criminals with an expensive taste for the churches of the night.

Start a war. Bleed the taxpaying dollar and feed it to fight the roots of mega multi-national profits.

He was my lieutenant in Nam, we did a few together. He is on a D. C. staff now, pays well. I guess one in the bush is worth two in the desert.

The banker politician and celebrity justice shake hands at the gala event. The multimillion dollar shipment has arrived in time for their re-election campaign. Down the street the minority crack dealer trying to feed his wife and kids, hears a shot. His buyer hits the street in blood. He feels the cold steel cuffs tighten on his wrists. The cop gets an extra hit, the judge laughs, and the banker pours another shot.

An answer? More money for planes to stop them. More contracts. More congressional profits. Your money. And more money to run them. More ways and more places and more of it. Your money.

All the money to give them jobs, give them homes and give them food. More money to give them nice cars, give them mansions and give them banquets. No money. Give them drugs.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS – June 5, 2021

I prefer the term ‘known physics anomalies’. Because the truth is, no one knows who or what the hell they are. To deny the reality of more than one material or ’force’ existence in our plain of reality is ignorant.

Humans have classified them as ’alternative life forms’ or ’intelligent life forms’. The fact is we know not if they actually are life forms by the biological definition of life as we know it.

Neither do we know if they are ’intelligent’ based on our limited and minuscule concept of intelligence. The universe and the microcosm is much more complex and layered than we will ever know.

Our concept of ’perception’ is limited by the parameters of our own senses. Which as we know in many cases, is inferior to some of the senses of other animals in the animal kingdom.

Because, face it, we are just one animal species in a multitude of life form variations, just on this planet alone. Think Alice in Wonderland. A bite of the cookie makes her small or large, but she is still Alice.

So the skeptics know nothing. The government knows nothing, but won’t admit it. And the government knows many things they won’t ever tell. The experts, for all they know, admit they really know nothing.

And I haven’t even touched upon mechanized ’life’ forms. It’s a complicated universe and we haven’t even been born yet.

The War Journals – Page One, Entry 72

I really don’t think freedom, individuality or civil discourse means anything to them anymore. They are obsessed by a hatred so inate they can not see their own flaws.

I have no desire to associate with any of these people anymore. Their values are compromised and their morals non-existent. They deride Trump because he is their scapegoat for their own hatred. I no longer want to have anything to do with current popular culture.

The media, the music industry and the art communities have imploded with worthless self importance. They entertain themselves and no one else. The sickness of this perverse form of ego stroking is nauseating. I am officially distancing myself from any friends or family captured in the deadly mire.

ESSAY FOR TODAY

 

I try to stay positive despite the world and most politicians being shit. You can’t brutalize yourself over things you have no control of. At the same time, it is important to voice your dislikes and let others know the things they don’t know. The slime brewed in the days of Nixon. Democrats bumped the stakes in Vietnam via Kennedy and Johnson. Bush had the dirt on Johnson to stop him from running, so he could set himself up later. They both shot Kennedy. Dicks boys did the same thing Obama and Hillary’s cronies just did to Trump. They hung the Dick and I’m hoping they hang Barry and Killary, too.

The septic slime was supposed to have been cleansed after that last deal. They cut off a few CIA balls (which grew back bigger than before) and they said no more dirty ops. So they just hid the money better, dealing drugs in Central and South America instead of just in Asia.

Anyone remember Bert Lance? The bankers banker. So honest Jimmy came along with a toothy smile and an honest injun approach. Problem was, he was surrounded by the slimiest of the past decade, Kennedy killers, negro lynchers, Klan cutties. All later inherited by Arkansas Slick Willie, including the Coke sales.

So they gave Jimmy just enough rope to hang himself, send us knee deep into more overseas crisis, and crash the economy at the same time. Fiasco plus ten. He was set up to fail. Enter Bushy VP tugging the head of the actors guild along with him to assure a great picture show. Since then we’ve had dueling dynasties. Trump not only shone the spotlight on the dead Kennedy’s and Watergreat trilogy, he once again brought back the microscope on the ‘slimy underbelly’ reality of our government. This time it wasn’t just a few hippies and a handful of journalists that saw reality, it was half the entire country. For this I praise be to God every day. And the fact He let me live one more day.

SEX IS SCIENCE

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The Background Story (Part One)

In 2012 I initiated a project I knew would be an uphill struggle every step of the way. It started as research to produce a documentary film. I spent most of a year doing research and making contacts with reputable experts in the field. I recorded a few online interviews myself and I produced several educational short videos.

A year later, and now living overseas, I connected with an excellent science and educational film producer from London with a long list of credits and honors. I visited with him on a trip through London. He interviewed several individuals in London referred and introduced to us by the director of the leading support group in the UK. We co-produced a 20 minute educational video that was well received worldwide.

During that time I was contacted by good people from all around the world providing us with support for our project and telling us how important our project was in their lives. They thanked us for providing important educational information. And they shared their heartbreaking personal stories with us.

Stories of severe medical issues, incessant surgeries, social rejection, parental rejection and in some cases, naturally or surgically deformed bodies. The more I heard form these individuals everywhere, the more I knew our work was critical. At the same time I was feeling the pressures and barriers from those involved in the community and of course from those with closed ears. My commitment remained firm.

But I did reach a point where I felt the huge wall ahead and the negative responses I was receiving from some academics, individuals within support groups, and closed minded people, had become completely overwhelming. I reached a stagnation point. Our original fundraisers had minimal success and it was time for me to step back and reevaluate.

I was now working on independent projects overseas and decided to set the film project aside while I evaluated the political atmosphere now surrounding the issues in the mainstream. In September of this past year I returned home to Texas permanently. I had still not come to terms with the most productive move forward. All this time I had still been keeping up with the hard fought battles won and the small but important steps in the right direction.

I still felt it wasn’t enough. I also felt the mainstream social movement and the media, in many cases were moving in the wrong direction and alienating all the wrong people. They were being divisive and exclusive, instead of being unifying and inclusive. I myself was struggling with the social conflict between two opposing yet similar groups. One of them I had been advocating for, the other I attempted to steer away from so as not to dilute the goals I was working on for the other group.

Throughout this time a small group of academics and individuals continued to verbally support our project. But I was afraid my sincere and well intentioned differentiation between the two groups would alienate even some of the most hardened supporters, and further erode the cause myself and so many others had worked so hard for.

The Revelation Forward (Part Two)

Until I read this article only a few days ago. This is one of the most informative and balanced articles on the balance between Intersex and the LGBT community I have ever read. Understand I am not Intersex and I am not LGBT. I started this work because I felt the science of the truth needed to be heard and understood by everyone. And the good people that had been cast into this struggle, through no fault of their own, should also be heard and respected.

I had been grappling with this very same issue and it had been frustrating me for the past year or more. The article addressed many of those concerns thoughtfully and intelligently. Although in no way does it resolve all the issues, it does provide a unifying playing field to move everyone forward. Many of the issues are created by the media of popular culture and the sensationalization of the things they sensationalize . . . and those they do not.

I had been grappling with the relationship between the nature of intersex and the cultural direction of the LGBT community. I have written, and still believe, there is a significant and often ignored difference between ‘intersex’ and ‘LGBT’. I have criticized the exuberant public attention by the media on trans issues and gay marriage, while neglecting a true biological variation, intersex.

A few months ago I published a short article on the topic. Let me be clear here. I do believe the LGBT community can be an important ally to the intersex community. This has not been the case up to this point. In fact, I honestly feel the LGBT community has damaged the public cause for intersex knowledge, respect and awareness at large.

I have said this often, some LGBT persons may be intersex. The only way to know is to be tested. Statistically, based on current research, intersex persons are a much smaller subset of the population than LGBT persons. So many LGBT persons are not intersex.

I believe many LGBT persons can relate to intersex persons in many ways. But at the end of the day, they are not intersex, and true understanding of the complexities has it’s limits. In this same vein, I do not feel it is fair to stigmatize intersex persons with the same stigmas of LGBT individuals. By this I mean sexual partner biological sex preference, or personal identity preference.

Again I want to be clear here, it is no ones business who you sleep with, or which biological sex you may identify as. The important point I want to make is, intersex biological variation is biological science. The LGBT community must understand this science. And I believe if they do, it will also help them understand themselves.

The LGBT community must also promote this understanding to the public, along with the media and the medical and academic communities. It has been argued that most issues of the LGBT community that are not political, are psychological. Accordingly, intersex persons are also burdened sometimes with deep psychological issues because of their bodies, their sexuality, or any number of other characteristics or social issues.

In the final evaluation, these similarities can create an important dynamism that will advance everyone’s cause at the same time. This is an important social synergy that is currently non-existent. We all hope this will soon change.

Focusing on the science is the answer. Since the inception of the Born Between project, my priority has always been to sidestep all the political bickering that has stagnated progress for the intersex community for so long. I saw a clear light in science, cutting through all the fighting and the confused rhetoric of defining social variations. The biological or medical lines of differentiation were much clearer. They had already been defined by the science and medical community and continue to be.

My initial stumbling block in 2013 was the volatile conflict between the trans segment of the LGBT community and the entire intersex community. It is only in the past few months that I have come to terms with this personal and social dilemma. I feel I have for years wrestled with this obstacle, and now I am finally victorious. We are all victorious.

A resolution of a complex social issue is always a pinnacle for everyone. It is with this invigorating revelation that I can now move forward with the Born Between project with the same excitement I originally had at the inception of the project in 2012. We can all move forward!

As always, I am open to any thoughts you may have.

Thank you for everything.

The Born Between Website
with videos, stories, social media links and other links:

http://www.bornbetween.com

Thoughts on God and Love (Part Two):

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And the priests argued between their churches.

Dividing God into empty pages of Doctrine. 

I fight the Dogs of Hell.

The prophecy of Mohamed.

The arrow of enlightenment goes through them as if there is nothing there.

I have spoken to the tribes.

North, South, East and West.

They are united to fight 

against the Dogs of Hell.

I have told the Churches, Mosques and Synagogues.

Give Women their rightful place. To teach the Word of God and the Prophets.

Equal in the Eyes of God. And Men.

In All Religions.

God created Adam and Eve.

Nature created, male and female.

Nature created male and female as one.

God created male and female as one.

Male and female together are closer to God.

God is both male and female.

God is neither.

The Word is Love.

God is love.

Love is God.

Live love and you will always be closest to God.

DESERTS AND OCEANS

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I love the deserts and oceans.

It’s pretty deep this poem.

It’s not how long you live, it’s the quality of life that counts.

The world is a drug.

If you live a good life

you should never be afraid of dying.

 

Now . . . I can’t remember what I said.

Is that New Wave poetry?

The deserts are deep.

How much is hidden below the sands?

How many worlds past?

How many places and people we could never even imagine?

We know the world of the water.

The ocean is fish eat fish.

Do we really want to be able to swim underwater?

Ask an octopus.

Beautiful blue and green

and then black

and then iridescent.

And it’s still fish eat fish.

Beautiful world of water.

 

The desert is death.

Nothing lives.

Except camels

drinking at the oasis.

A lonely sand worm.

Nothing else lives in the desert.

For miles and miles

dunes and flats.

The beauty of the colored dunes

in the sunset toward night.

The desert is a beautiful place.

Except at night.

Life lights up.

The lonely scorpions and snakes

own the desert at night.

Nothing lives

where there is no water.

Except the camel I embrace and clutch

every step of the way

through the sand and the wind

to savor the drop

of moisture on the rock.

The desert is a lonely place.

 

An expanse

as humble as the sea

on a remote island

or in a boat on open water.

A deadly place.

The oasis of cool trees and fresh cool water

along the long stretch of desert.

Remote.

The camel is my boat.

Its only the monks knot

 

Back when taxes
Paid the emperor and the church
And every last drop from the vineyard
or from the plough
Would pay for a bird to eat
or fresh bread
for the morning sun.

The mouths
and the hands of the keepers
always open to receive
or to devour.

Where the children kept the house clean, the keepers would just shuffle games
To make the next fare
Rich enough for a knot
On the monks sash.

 

.

12-19-2017

 

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The March Of The Proletariat

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Lately, my mailbox fills with political articles critical of our new administration leader. Even before the election, it seemed like a deluge mimicking the New York Times or The Washington Post or CNN. So I felt compelled to respond to the recent parades of dissent.

I am very much a foe of the mob mentality. It only means they have all failed at the electoral polls and want to rule through mob force. It’s not much different than law enforcement or the military attempting to force unpopular edicts. I respect the rights of peaceful assembly, aside from the cost to taxpayers for extra security and to clean up their trash. But I personally believe these protests are disingenuous on several levels. I don’t disagree with some of their grievances for equal pay, but it seems all of this is a knee jerk reaction because Clinton lost and the social instigators like George Soros and company have put a lot of time and effort to disrupt our government as much as they possibly can right now. I see these people (some which are my friends, by the way) as sheeple. Led by a mob mentality to promote a national (they attempt international) public relations event to destabilize our current system of Democracy. It also sets a bad precedent for all those ‘cute’ little children with the signs. They see the mob mentality as more important than direct discussions, negotiations and resolutions. At a time when our children are deprived of early education on discussion and debate without hostility, and group resolution of issues in disagreement, it is sending the wrong message. Mob mentality also gives the false impression that because people can organize others to show up in large numbers, it means that everyone is on board with their demands. That is certainly not the case. Many people have much better things to do.

I can relate to organized protest in countries where they are repressed, or under strict dictatorships that deny their citizens their human rights. But that is not the case in the freedom loving United States of America. Those marchers have all of the basic human needs. And they have more opportunity for growth and success than 90% plus of the rest of the world. The marches also empower more dissent against the rest of the population that are trying to promote advancement and change within the parameters of our system of rule. Many of these people criticize ‘Trumpsters’ as bigots, haters and against women, children and the elderly. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We that have supported Donald Trump also believe in human rights, equality for gays, women and other minorities, and that each and every American should have opportunity and the support of their communities for health care, education and prosperity. But we see issues as changes that have to be made TO our SYSTEM. Working WITHIN the system to legislate change that is FAIR to all Americans. Not much different from the opinions of many of those standing in the crowds.

So the bottom line is, ‘we shall see’. We shall see what becomes of the disruptive ‘marches’. Whether they disintegrate into another Occupy fiasco of jobless vagrants trashing out public property and creating more divisiveness and bitterness in our country, or whether they decide to join us with a new administration as we attempt to rectify so many wrongs, not just in our country, but around the world.

As much as I respect the young Muslim girl that gave a speech at one of the gatherings, I also know for a fact, that in many places on the opposite side of the world she would have been dead the next day, if not the same day. Which is why I also feel so many of those marchers understand very little about history, or culture, or what the rest of the world actually even looks like. They are a sheeple controlled and manipulated by a mass media, and in many cases, organizers that care little about them or their lives. Many of the organizers only motivations are to create mass havoc and hysteria to advance their own selfish glory. This is exactly how dictators have come to power in every historical instance of the recent past. I, along with many others, will work consistently to assure this never happens in America.

INTERSEX AWARENESS DAY 2016

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YESTERDAY was International Intersex Awareness Day 2016. And for those that have been following and supporting the film efforts of ‘Born Between: The Nature and Science of Intersex‘, I must say I am humbled by the progress and efforts made in the past four years since we started to share a very important message and more important information.

For those that may not already know, several years ago we initiated a project, well, a film. It began as a quest into the unique nature of how individuals develop closer to one biological sex or the other, and why. I wanted to know the truth, the science, the facts. So I started to research. The more I researched, the more I felt society had cursed a terrible injustice on the many humans over history that have been born between the wide biological sex variations possible in the determined sex of being male or female.

The biological evidence of the increase of intersex births based on chemical environmental factors as early as in the womb, was also evident from the research. But few people could understand all the Science! The Academics and Researchers are making amazing advances in the genetic science of sex determination. I’ve worked with them. Our bodies are just a bank of switches which any good geneticist can change at whim. Such is the 21st century. Biological sex determination can be manipulated just like any other genetic characteristic.

Which is one of the many blockades I discovered when I started the project. You see, I expected resistance from the conservative and traditional religious right, throughout the world. What I didn’t expect was the resistance from the one group I was hoping would support us the most, the gay and trans community. Not only did I receive resistance right here in my own hometown ‘voice’, but I also received national criticism for transposing ‘gender’ for biological ‘sex’.

What I found was the same old misguided rhetoric. The word ‘trans’ has too many possible variations to categorize. And neither did they want to be categorized. Society was well aware of the plight of the ‘gay’ person, but ‘trans’ was still nebulous. An unknown that people preferred ‘not’ to know about it. It was an entire movement in a pressure squeeze, it had been going on for thousands of years and it was suddenly seeing relief.

People that were intersex were considered ‘freaks’ (in many minds they still are). Historically they were buried after birth never to be spoken of again. According to some traditional religious dogmas they were ‘heathens’ or ‘Gods rejects’. When in truth and in scientific fact, they are very much natural. And not at all rare throughout the animal and plant kingdom. So yes friends, we have come a long way. Much has been accomplished in the past four years.

We recently saw an episode of ‘Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman’ that had an excellent segment on the science of male and female. Amazing new research was introduced. Yet the ‘trans’ issue was still the lead opening and the closing in many ways. Here I must begin to discuss the importance of the word ‘transition’ when it comes to this topic. I must clarify for those that have not visited our website, youtube channel or Facebook page.

Intersex is a word used to describe over 45 different variations of biological sex development while in the womb, and in other cases even during their lives. They are human beings and their process of development is as natural as anything else God creates. Well, you can imagine the obstacles I encountered. And how few would willingly donate money for such Science and Education!

I worked with an amazing team of researchers, support groups, scientists, academics, producers and courageous intersex people willing to discuss their own physical and biological challenges. The twenty minute film, ‘Born Between: The Science and Nature of Intersex’ is the product of that hard work and tenacity. And the many shorter versions, variations and extended interviews that blossomed along the way.

So for Intersex Awareness Day 2016, I want you to know, we have come a long way. And if you wonder what keeps me going beyond all the criticism and obstacles, I can tell you. It is the stories, emails, comments and wins I get, from so many, in so many different places around the world. I gathered a few of the personal stories I was given permission to share. And I just want you to read a few of these personal stories and you tell me. Should I continue to support and fight for these courageous people?

Which also leads me to my own story about working on this project. I have rattled the cages of some in the ‘gay’ and ‘trans’ community. They needed to be rattled. Simply stated, the mere fact that they preferred to popularize a ‘gay/trans’ movement that in effect (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong), is mostly focused on personal vanity . . . (yes, I said it), as opposed to a human condition that is based on scientific and medically recognized biological diversity.

Again, I have to clarify. Some gay or trans persons may well be intersex. Medical tests will verify. But many other gay and trans people are not intersex. The gay and trans community are the largest obstacles to intersex awareness. We all lose as long as they prefer the spotlight to be on them because of which sex they prefer to sleep with, or which sex they prefer to be seen as. Instead of focusing on people that had no biological choice from birth on how their very unique bodies were gong to develop. Until at some point in their lives they are surprised to find out that their bodies are not the same as others.

So thank you to those that have supported us in the past and to those that continue to support us, or work in their own way to educate others on the science and nature of intersex. I do hope some of you will further research, and maybe others might just understand more by reading this.

Doro is from Mexico. Doro’s story.

Joyce is from the Midwest. Joyce’s story.

Nicky is from the Northeast. Nicky’s story.

David is from the Midwest. David’s story.

My story.

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

– The late Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005

EDUCATION FIRST

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Education First. Education should be first and foremost priority for any struggling nation or third world country. In fact, it should be the first and foremost priority for any country. Few leaders in the world actually understand this. They prefer to focus on economics, roads, infrastructure, agriculture, development or international investments.

Education FIRST is the precursor of success for all other priorities. Education leads to the knowledge required to manage and provide health care. The second most important priority. Education provides the knowledge to explore more effective and efficient agricultural productivity. Education opens opportunities to build and design infrastructure. Education leads to economic knowledge of banking and investments to further advance a nation.

Current educational ‘systems’ focus on a herd mentality. They are inept to foster creative independent thinkers, critical for a productive society or company. Education should always be focused toward individuality. Every child learns at different speeds. Every child has strengths and weaknesses. Every child has an area of knowledge or talent they are more passionate about than all others.

We need to focus on nurturing those strengths and passions in each and every child. Giving them the tools and resources to develop their skills and talents within the fields they love. And assisiting them to develop a minimal understanding of the subjects they may not be quite as passionate about.

It is the responsibility of business and industry to assure this happens. To support and promote early education even if the student is not an immediate prospect for their business or industry. Our youth is our future. Always.

 

Ten Reasons We Are Failing At Health Care And How We Can Do Better

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AN ESSAY ON HEALTH CARE AND THE MEDICAL SYSTEM

This past year, the University of Texas at Austin initiated the opening of their new Medical School on the main campus in Austin. UT has other medical schools in Texas, but a central medical school on the main campus is a historic first.

In January of this year, Dr. Clay Johnston, the newly appointed Dean of the Medical School, wrote a tongue-in-cheek article on the ‘top ten’ issues he was facing. It was penned as light-hearted humor and insight. But it inspired me to seriously examine the real problems and issues with our healthcare systems as I have experienced them over the years.

I worked for UTMD Anderson Cancer Center as a Director of Support Services from 1999 to 2005. I am a Communications College graduate from UT Austin. So I embraced the opportunity to write on one of my two favorite social topics (education being the other). I personally worked with some of the finest Doctors, Researchers and Administrators in the world.

This past month I traveled to an internationally renowned hospital facility on the opposite end of the globe from Texas. My experiences reinforced my fears about the obvious and dramatic deficiencies in the quality and efficiency of our healthcare operations.

I composed this essay in the hopes we will distance ourselves from the recent misdirected goals of profitability and greed. We should instead strive to achieve the more valuable and compassionate goals of quality personal health care, convenience with minimal disturbance to the quality of life, and providing efficient costs with effective results.

I also sent this essay to Dr. Clay Johnston as a courtesy before I published it. His response was positive and supportive. He also stated he would share it with his colleagues. One more small step forward for all of us.

1) WHY IS A HOSPITAL LIKE A PRISON AND WHY SHOULD IT BE MORE LIKE A 5 STAR HOTEL?

Let’s face facts; most people don’t spend very much time in hospitals anymore unless it is something serious. Most procedures are now done on an outpatient basis. If you do have to be admitted into a hospital, it is a very difficult process. Most physicians will only approve admittance if it is a serious issue. Or if you visit the Emergency room and they realize it is serious enough to admit you. It remains a very, very costly process for the patient.

Once you are admitted, the hospital resembles a prison in many ways. Most of your choices are made for you. The atmosphere and surroundings are generally the stylish ‘sterile institutional depression’ design pattern. You are inserted with an IV tube and a bevy of wires for vital sign monitoring (although I have seen wireless versions lately).  All of this makes it difficult to sleep or rest. Which oftentimes is what you need the most.  And you may be awakened consistently throughout the night for meds, injections or other tests.

The physicians services are dependent on who might be available based on their current patient load. In other cases, it is based on how long it takes them to get to the hospital. Possibly taking time away from their personal practice. Diagnostic testing is also susceptible to scheduling and staff conflicts. And they are all dependent on the analysis and interpretation from staff and personnel.

Everything has to be meticulously recorded. This also takes time, patience and skill.  A patient might spend 10-20% of their time receiving ‘medical services’, and the other 80-90% watching television, reading books, sleeping or staring at the wall (ah, but now we have internet). It is a very inefficient system when you consider the cost of that hospital bed both for the patient and for the facility.  Of course, all of these variables also depend on how serious your ailment might be.

Is there a better way? Yes, there is. First, let me qualify. One of the major reasons many organizations do not modify or restructure certain operational procedures, is because they don’t want to lose money. I will clarify. If making a change means they will no longer make money from a specific product or service, even if the final outcome is a cost savings and a benefit for the consumer; they don’t want to lose the budget revenue. It’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, this is aside from the fact that the operational changes may be more effective and efficient.  So in reality, effectiveness and efficiency should always be the priority. This was management 101 back in the day. Not so much today.

A very respected physician and department head I worked with many years ago would stress the importance of the three most critical responsibilities of a hospital or healthcare facility; prevention, diagnostics and treatment. Prevention is important before something happens. Treatment is important after something happens. But diagnostics are important all the time. We are failing.

On the subject of diagnostics I shall highlight two specific areas of focus, Star Trek and human biological excretions. We all know what human biological excretions are (blood, saliva, urine, stool, epithelial skin cells, sweat, tears and genital excretions).  These are our most important tools for individual diagnostics. Yet, although as easy it is to collect almost all of these, we have no current system in operation to consistently collect and analyze these vitally important warning signals essential to our wellbeing.

Mr. Rodenberry knew what he was doing when he gave Dr. McCoy the ultimate diagnostic and treatment tool, handheld no less.  And although we have come quite a long way in the development of modern diagnostic equipment, we are still waiting on the major diagnostic equipment designers and manufacturers to design and release the ultimate diagnostic tool. In the meantime, the old tools make very good sales commissions. Where is the incentive?

We need to break out of the confinement mentality now!

2) WHY DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM IF YOU HAVE BEEN ASKING ME THE SAME QUESTIONS ALL MY LIFE?

How many times have you been to a physician’s or dental office and filled out the same information over and over again.  Name, address, phone number and medical history. These do change on occasion. Why don’t we have a standard label or form for basic medical record information by now? Always bring your mailing labels for those multiple forms! When you have a stack of forms to fill out, this is a good option. Some facilities are now set up for you to fill out the forms online before your appointment. It is basically the same information and questions you answered when you went to visit that other doctor or practice.

3) WHY DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE IF I HAVE BEEN SEEING DOCTORS MY WHOLE LIFE?

We have visited doctors over and over again. Yet each doctor we visit has no clue where we’ve been before. In the old days, your doctor kept your records for life because he or she was your doctor for life. No more. Now you have to take the initiative to ask for a copy of your blood work, or your medical records report from the visit, or the CD/DVD of your X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Doctors and clinics do not volunteer this information to you. The only thing you receive after a visit is a receipt (if you even receive that). Demand you receive a report after each and every visit. You paid for it. You deserve it. And it may make your next visit that much easier and more effective for your physician.

4) WHY DO I VISIT 7 DIFFERENT DOCTOR ‘SPECIALISTS’ TO TELL EACH OF THEM THE VERY SAME THING?

Once again, the same issue as the last one. This major hole in our healthcare system, is not only dangerous, it is deadly. You will visit several ‘specialists’ and none of them talk to each other. The idea is to have a general practitioner to coordinate your health care. But how many of us have a general practitioner anymore? And how informed are they on the procedures or the diagnostics the specialists are performing or considering? How many doctors even take the significant amount of time to review your records? There are exceptions.

There needs to be a physician or medical practitioner whose sole responsibility is to review the procedures and diagnostics the specialists are performing or considering. There needs to be a patient evaluation for advanced conditions. The patient evaluation is a meeting on video chat, if nothing else, where the specialists listen to each other’s evaluations and discuss options with other specialists for the patients. This form of ‘group consultation’ must be implemented to minimize the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of various ‘specialists’ on one patient.

5) WHY CAN’T I SPEND A DAY IN DIAGNOSTICS INSTEAD OF HOURS IN THE WAITING ROOM?

Why do doctors and insurance companies insist on requiring people who have medical issues to spend days going back and forth to diagnostic clinics? Many are elderly and have a difficult time with transportation.  Why don’t waiting rooms have equipment for personal blood pressure and heart rate monitoring? Or have equipment in the waiting room for do-it-yourself weight, height, heart rate or body temperature? Efficiency is vital and our health care system is negligent.

6) HOW DO YOU KNOW THE DRUGS YOU ARE GIVING ME ARE NOT GOING TO INTERACT WITH THE DRUGS ANOTHER DOCTOR GAVE ME LAST WEEK?

Few doctors have any idea which medications may interfere with others.  Some physicians do have basic information. And others might even attempt to research interactions. But in general, this is another major failure of our healthcare system. Not everyone’s metabolism is the same. In fact, it is the opposite. We are all biologically very different. What may work for one person may not work for another. Dosage for one person may not be the right dosage for another.

The pharmaceutical companies in coordination with the physicians and the insurance companies should be funding major studies and creating information databases to at least provide minimal information to patients and physicians on known or potential drug interactions.  It would not just be beneficial; this should be their responsibility as profiteers from the sale of medications and health services.

7) WHY CAN’T YOU TELL ME WHAT YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WILL COST BEFORE YOU PROVIDE THEM TO ME?

This is a very important intentional failure and should really be our number one priority right now. Have you ever left your car at the mechanic or service shop and just walked away without asking approximately how much it would cost? I know I haven’t. I make it a point to get a written estimate. It may not be the final cost, but the written estimate reminds them to call me if there is something else my vehicle needs that they might find as they start working on it, or that they did not include in the original estimate.

How many times have you gone to the hospital or doctor’s office and found a listing of published cost estimates for procedures?  Rarely, if ever. Why not? Simply because health service providers can vary their costs based on whether you have insurance or not.  And they can vary the claim information for supplies and services rendered to increase their profits. It’s all about money. Convenience and transparency for the patient does not factor in the equation at all.

This must change immediately. I recently visited a few of the international tourist healthcare destination hospital websites. They do have published approximate costs. At least it gives the patient an estimate on the amount of money their procedures might require.

This negligence in providing health care consumers with approximate costs for any procedure or service, has allowed health care providers in many cases to charge whatever they want. Why shouldn’t they? You have already authorized them to do what they need to do (or what they want to do). So what is to stop them from submitting any cost they deem appropriate to your insurance company for payment? Nothing.

Every service provider should be required to provide you an estimate or range of costs ahead of time.  A reasonable and easily understood estimate to review how much you and your insurance company will be required to pay for your visit, service or product. This should be a LAW. Why isn’t it? Most politicians are heavily vested in the health care industries and some of their highest profits are a result of their investments in these industries. So the answer here is money, greed and politicians. They had sufficient opportunities to require these consumer friendly measures in recent healthcare legislations. It didn’t happen.

And I don’t think I need to remind anyone that these inefficiencies between health care providers and insurance companies are what have skyrocketed our healthcare costs in the past few decades.

8) WHY DON’T I GET TO APPROVE AND VERIFY THAT WHAT YOU CHARGE MY INSURANCE COMPANY IS WHAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY PROVIDING ME?

This one simple procedure for checks and balance is the major reason health care costs are exorbitant in the USA and in other countries where there is no patient control on what is charged and what is paid for. Give the patients the responsibility to review and approve the supplies and service costs! This would reduce service providers from turning in costs and charges to insurance companies that they didn’t actually provide or were overinflated.

This is another efficient procedure that would not be difficult to implement and yet would save millions, perhaps billions. Even if a consumer’s review of a bill is not a final authorization on whether the insurance company pays or not, it is still a transparency measure that would be invaluable in the long term to consumers and insurance companies.

9) WHY DO YOU KEEP PRESCRIBING AND GIVING ME MORE AND MORE DRUGS?

I have boxes and boxes of drugs that have been prescribed to me in the past few years. Most of them I may have used maybe once or twice. Many of them I never even used at all. Why? Is it because I don’t like to listen to my doctors? No, it is because they were almost all over-prescribed. The pharmaceutical companies make money from them, the pharmacies that dispensed them made money from disbursing them, the doctors and clinics got freebies or brownie points, and the hospitals made a huge profit bumping up the cost of the drugs for patients in the hospital’s care.

It is better to accurately prescribe a few strategic medications than to prescribe medications as a ‘catch all’ that may in fact do more harm than good. This unfortunately is another failure of our healthcare system. And it is irresponsibility on the part of pharmaceutical companies and those that prescribe them.

10) SHOULDN’T EVERYBODY RECEIVE AN AUTOPSY IF REQUESTED?

This final item is more important than it may at first seem to be. If approved or requested by family members, autopsies would provide families and physicians with more accurate results of why the patient may have died. It is also an excellent source of data for continued research and scientific discovery. Would it provide firepower for some families and attorneys to seek retribution from doctors and facilities? Possibly. But the benefits far outweigh the consequences.

More accurate diagnosis and limitless research material on ailments and diseases is the reward. I do not know of any medical facility that will provide autopsies unless requested by law enforcement or lawyers. Could this be part of an organ and body parts donation program? Possibly. Could interns or medical schools perform these autopsies? Possibly.

CONCLUSION

 Our healthcare system is broken in more ways than one. It is a complete failure in certain areas. Although we have come a long way from the days of Hippocrates, and although there are excellent facilities, physicians, healthcare workers and companies doing excellent work, we can and should do better for all patients and consumers worldwide. There are solutions. Sometimes it means a little less profit, sometimes temporarily, sometimes long term. But if these changes can provide a more efficient health care system, better diagnostics and health care, better research and solutions, and better health for patients, then it is well worth the temporary or long-term reduction of profits.

Profit is considered to be the revenue accounted for after all expenses and reinvestments have been covered. In the healthcare industry, profit should be measured in the quality of health care, the increase in the statistics of healing and the increase in long-term survival rates. In other words, people above profits. Only those involved in the health care system on a daily basis can make this happen.  Let us all hope they succeed. Soon.

Fernando J. Llorente
October 1, 2015

image courtesy of Wiki Commons

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