Kate’s Corner ~ Medical Team abandons Haitian Hospital, CNN steps in

By Kate Doak

Port-au-Prince victims of the Haiti Earthquake were left writhing in pain overnight, after UN personnel ordered the closure of a Make-shift hospital and the evacuation of its Belgian Medical Team, due to security concerns.

In a move which is bound to have severe repurcussions for the UN, the Hospital’s patients were forcably abandoned, leaving only a CNN News Team led by Dr Sanjay Gupta to care for them. If it wasn’t for these individuals and a few caring locals stepping in, it is highly probable that many of the patients would have died.

After being informed that the Hospital was closing overnight, Dr Gupta was left as the only Doctor to care for these patients, many of whom had just suffered severe head injuries and other major trauma’s. In an interview with CNN, Gupta expressed the following:

“What is striking to me as a physician is that patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill are essentially being left here, nobody to care for them.”

In another interview with CNN, Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré, US Army (Ret.), who led relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, commented upon the situation:

“Search and Rescue must trump Security. I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. They need to man up and get back in there.”

Now normally I have the utmost respect for Doctors and the UN, though decisions and actions such as this are just completely unforgivable, not to meantion shameful. If the Doctors were being ordered to move, they should have taken their patients with them. If they weren’t allowed to, they should have given the relevant UN Officials the “Bird”, and carried on with their work. If a location isn’t safe enough for the Medical Team, then it most certainly isn’t safe enough for patients to be just left to die. Whether they were forced to go or not, the Doctors shouldn’t have abandoned their patients.

In contrast however, I have the utmost admiration, appreciation and respect for Dr Gupta and his team from CNN. This team includes CNN’s Tim Crockett, Jonathan Schaer and one of my mentors, the intrepid Danielle Dellorto. Having witnessed her kindness, honesty and wisdom during my own darkest hour, I know that “Dani” would have done her best to help and comfort the injured, while she would have been a source of inspiration and encouragement for the rest of her team. In a world dominated by instant communication, neither words or photographs can describe how proud I am of my mentor and her colleagues.

Here are some of the Tweets from CNN’s Dr Gupta and Danielle Dellorto from throughout the night:

Kate Doak is a Postgraduate Student at the University of New England, Australia.  Over several years she has changed beats twice, genders once and has interviewed some of Australia’s top Authors, Politicians, Musicians and Journalists for TUNE! FM.  Nowadays, Kate primarily focuses on International History and Current Affairs.

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Oh no he didn’t!

OH NO HE DIDN’T!

“There was no question that the excise tax was the number one issue,” Courtney said. “It surpassed abortion. It surpassed the purchasing exchanges in terms of the concerns that members have.”

You have GOT to be kidding me!  Okay, this is why I generally don’t subscribe to a total package agenda, rather  a rough-sketch of ideas … it’s because of the above quote.

Apparently after all the disagreements about this excise tax on ‘Cadillac’ plans that’s supposedly a real kick in the gut to ‘Chevys’ or whatever, this Courtney fool said a tax that Politifact says“If you’re sick of paying more and more out of pocket for health care, you probably don’t have a Cadillac plan. On the other hand, if you feel like your health plan is quite generous, you might.” It also says: ” … it’s an excise tax that would only affect workers with health care benefits above a certain level. Most middle-class workers won’t be affected at all. We rate the statement Barely True.”

For a politician to infer that, above all else, the Unions hold the Excise Tax on “Cadillac Plans” to be most important, above reproductive rights — this is worthy of scrutiny.   Liberals who are pro-choice should be asking hard questions of Courtney and the Union leaders.  The fact is, as a liberal or progressive, you can accept the excise tax as the most important thing to you … but you have to weight which comment is more important.  Reproductive rights for women, or lower taxes for some people.  Really, there’s not much contest, and that comment was not acceptable.

Billie’s Quickies … If a particular one of these quickies catches on, we’re all gonna catch the stupid

I have this odd obsession with pinhole cameras, tho I’ve yet to build one.

  • Someone who will do the work of finding the best breadmaker …. priceless.
  • The freedom to criticizeis another great part of being an American.  The will not to sometimes is an art.
  • Well, if this catches on, we’re all gonna catch the stupid: “ A software program developed by SirsiDynix, an Alabama-based library-technology company, informs librarians of which books are circulating and which ones aren’t. If titles remain untouched for two years, they may be discarded–permanently.
  • An awesome list of foods chefs hate. I can agree with this sentiment: “Another thing that I just can not warm up to is sweet pickles. To me it seems like a contradiction. When I bite into a crunchy pickle, I expect it to be sour.”
  • The truth about baby carrots … you’re gonna be shocked!  Shocked I say!
  • Truth spoken by Tommy: “Journalism isn’t about what we know, it is about what we can verify. Attribution isn’t just some rubber stamp that we seek, mindlessly, in order to get something published. It allows readers to judge the credibility of the information offered.”
  • Classic: “I am a former Republican. And I wasn’t merely the libertarian, live-and-let-live, fun-at-parties kind of conservative whose primary concern is balancing the budget; I was a spiteful, narrow-minded, fire-breathing paranoid lunatic who questioned the patriotism and morality of my liberal fellow citizens. Recognizing the error of my ways has done wonders for my mental health but left me with constant, unremitting remorse; I really want to go back in time and kick my own ass.”
  • Agreed: “President Obama’s promise to close Guantánamo was an important commitment that must be honored, and quickly. But it will be nothing more than a symbolic gesture if we continue its shameful policies elsewhere. We can’t go back in time and stop the tragedy of Guantánamo from happening. We can, however, stop it from happening again.”
  • Lovely and sad story: “The clock with no hands: Because normal time seems suspended in a health emergency.  The nurse at a computer with the dark screen: Because records aren’t shared with patients.  The doctor with her hands tied: Because one part of the health care system doesn’t communicate with others.  Regina Holliday is looking for new walls to paint, but not now. The cold makes the paint too brittle. In the springtime, she’ll take out her colors again.  Maybe by then, there will be health care change signed into law. But there will still be stories to tell. “
  • Well, here’s a thought I can certainly agree with: “After the heavily publicized spinach recall in 2006 because of E. Coli, food safety experts have a special place in their hearts for leafy greens.  Slashfood thinks: Just wash your salad!  And, there’s more.

Another Huge Poll: 72% “Fringe” Supports Public Option

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This is for you, Joe Scarborough. Yet another poll shows ridiculously high support for a public health insurance option.

poll

The rest of the poll is rife with the kinds of contradictions that arise from the gap between what people want, and what they are willing to do for it. What a surprise, for example, that a poll of people who 89% of have health insurance think that health care reform is too focused on insuring the uninsured, as opposed to controlling costs. As if insuring the uninsured does nothing to control costs.

To be clear, I think polling is irrelevant to whether the public option is a good idea. The public can be idiots. I mention it because the public option is a good idea, and since the public supports it so overwhelmingly, there’s no good reason for the Democrats not to pass it.

Kill Bill, Volume 1

First off, I want to thank Tommy for asking me to blog here. I think political blogging is best when there’s an exchanglee_stranahan_daily_dosee of ideas and voices. I’m honored to be able to add mine to the great work Billie and Tommy are already doing here.

That being said, let’s jump into it…

“The highway is alive tonight,
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes.”

– Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad

As Tommy mentioned, I’m an advocate of health care reform. Congress has been busy for months working different proposals and this week, the House version emerged– one that’s been hailed by many, including Howard Dean, as ‘real reform’.

I believe the house bill should be killed.

There’s something that happens in casinos. A gambler may have been playing for hours and winning. Then they begin to get fatigued. They get tired of playing so they start playing sloppy. Rather than walking away from the table, the tired gambler starts to take a perverse pleasure in losing because it means they can finally STOP. So they grin while throwing money away and eventually when they are broke, they walk away from the table.

The casino doesn’t take those chances. They replace dealers with fresh ones, regularly. They have pit bosses watching those dealers. They have other bosses watching those pit bosses.

The battle for health care reform is battle against huge corporate interests. Those interests don’t get tired and there are billions at stake here. They have ground down health care reform for months, including plying key Congressman and the Obama administration with piles of cash that any casino would salivate at.

Introducing Lee Stranahan

Hi, Daily Dose readers, remember me?  The guy on the poster next to the pot-smoking alien?  Sorry I’ve been away for so long.  I’m still getting used to the extraordinary blessing that is being a real, full-time writer.  For those of you who don’t know, my initial deal with Mediaite only called for a weekly column.  The rest of what I wrote was voluntary gravy.  As of this month, however, I’ve gone from Pinocchio to real boy, with an obligation to crank out lots of content.  Concurrently, Asylum has also been asking for a lot more content from me.

As a result, I’ve been an absentee father to my home here.  Billie has stepped up admirably to fill in the gap, and traffic hasn’t really suffered.  I hope to be back here posting regularly soon, but it still won’t be what it was.

I’ve also been trying, for awhile, to establish a small contributor base.  This is tough, because I have high standards for you, our readers.  With this in mind, I’m proud to introduce you to our newest contributor, Lee Stranahan.

Lee Stranahan really needs little introduction, but I’ll do it anyway.  Lee first crossed my radar early in the 2008 Presidential campaign when I caught some of his very funny, satirical videos.  Our paths have crossed online quite a bit since then, especially on the Twitter.

He also blogs at Huffington Post, where he landed after being banned by Daily Kos for daring to believe what his lying eyes were telling him about John Edwards.  Lee currently spends his time writing and making films in support of aggressive health care reform.

Stylistically, Lee brings a harder ideological edge to the site than you might be used to here.  He’s also a very responsive guy, but I’ll remind you all to remember the rules anyway.  Let’s have fun.

UPDATE: Inappropriate Increase Mr. President

bllieddoseOn the heels of the powers that be deciding that senior citizens will not receive a cost of living increase next year, those same powers have decided not only to go ahead and give military personnel an increase – well deserved to be sure – but also an above-average pay raise, to boot.

INAPPROPRIATE!

Stalling seniors’ social security while their insurance rates and pharmaceutical costs will likely increase, and giving military personnel a half a percent increase is reeaaaallly bad form.  Already seniors are stressed out, already ill seniors are stretched to the max, and ALREADY politicians and politicos have wandered around scaring the bejeezus out of them for no reason other than to advance their own agenda.

YES, those who serve in our military should get an increase … ABSOLUTELY.  However, to increase their salary, and more than even expected,  while freezing seniors out is ridiculous!  Granted the President says he intends to dole out a $250 check to seniors to make up for it – and that is admirable and fair if it is in fact done – but, for those senior citizens who were expecting to get $100 more than that to help pay their bills … it’s just wrong.

Instead, perhaps that military personnel pay increase with the additional 1/2 of 1% could be used to take care of seniors who already are struggling.  Please Mr. President, when that request hits your desk … would you not mind passing a portion of the above expected military increase on to seniors?

UPDATE: I informed my own mother, who is both on social security and medicare, of my intentions after writing this post.  She is the one who heard the gossip in the doctor’s office about the stall of COLA.  She  asked me about when and whether it happened, and I said surely something would be done to make up for it … and as of now there sort of is.  However, I was still quite upset after seeing the increase in the military personnel’s salary, and it inclined me to write this post.  Needless to say, my mother, being an ex military wife, and myself being a military daughter, she hesitantly begged to differ.  Hesitantly.  She, basically says she would agree with the United States Government on this one, and as she would from experience, believes that there should be an increase for “hazard pay.”  Of course, mother is right.  And, it’s not where I disagreed with her, or anyone else.

What I disagree with is that my mother continues to go to the food bank, she continues to collect her much deserved social security disability, and medicare … and that recent cut, to me,  didn’t cut it.  Yet, my mother, knowing what it’s like to be a military wife, after hearing me tell her of the one half of one percent increase on top of a 3% expected increase in pay for military personnel said something to the effect of: They deserve it. I understand.  They put themselves in harm’s way.  For that, I am thankful she raised me so. But on behalf of all military personnel that can’t help their parents through old age, and those whose parents have divorced but still are military creatures, I’m doing my best to speak on behalf of ex military wives/husbands and children of divorce – they could use a little help as they age, too … they may not have the VA, but they may be as war-wounded as the veterans who served so well.