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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for August, 2019

Bernie Sanders /Authoritarian Dictator or Crazy Old Man?

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

After Reading this would you really want him to be President of the United States?

Godfather Politics

Warner Todd Huston

August 24, 2019

Like all leftists, Bernie Sanders is a fascist authoritarian at heart, and now he wants people arrested and made into “criminals” just for engaging in legal businesses he doesn’t like.

Like all fascists, Sanders wants to use the iron boot of government to criminalize his opponents. Like any tinpot dictator would.

Herr Sanders jumped to Twitter on Thursday afternoon and called for executives of fossil fuel companies to be “criminally prosecuted.” Now

“Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused,” the aged fascist tweeted adding everyone’s favorite Communist hashtag, “#GreenNewDeal.”

“Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.” #GreenNewDeal

Sanders’ tweet came on the same day that he released an economy-crushing $16 trillion plan to address the mythological “climate change” crisis. Sanders exclaimed that his personal version of the communistic “Green New Deal” as a way to “end the greed of the fossil fuel industry.”

… and replace it with the greed of the new green energy industry, obviously.

Sanders posted a second tweet attacking the idea of “clean coal.”

“There is no such thing as ‘clean coal.’ There is no such thing as ‘sustainably fracked” natural gas,’” the crackpot tweeted, adding, “We are going to end the greed of the fossil fuel industry and move to 100% renewable energy.”

On his website, Sanders goes off on fossil fuels.

“These executives have spent hundreds of millions of dollars protecting their profits at the expense of our future, and they will do whatever it takes to squeeze every last penny out of the Earth,” his about section reads.

“Bernie promises to go further than any other presidential candidate in history to end the fossil fuel industry’s greed, including by making the industry pay for its pollution and prosecuting it for the damage it has caused.”

This decrepit crackpot would tank the one industry most responsible for America’s high standard of living.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

 

Dorothy Parker/American Writer

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

A wonderful story about a wonderful writer. It is amazing how she overcame so many obstacles that stood in her way of reaching the top of the literary world

 

August 22 was the birth date of writer Dorothy Parker , born Dorothy Rothschild in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1893. Her mother died when she was young, and her father remarried a devout Catholic woman whom Parker despised. Parker dropped out of high school when she was 14 and never went back, although she rarely admitted later in life that she had never graduated from high school. She told one reporter: “Because of circumstances, I didn’t finish high school. But, by God, I read.”

After Parker’s stepmother died, she lived alone with her father for many years, taking care of him as his health failed. After he died, she wasn’t sure what to do. She found a job playing piano at a dance academy, and decided to try writing some light verse. She sold a poem to Vanity Fair, and the editor liked her so much that he got her a job writing captions at Vogue, which was also owned by Condé Nast. For an underwear layout, she wrote the caption: “From these foundations of the autumn wardrobe, one may learn that brevity is the soul of lingerie, as the Petticoat said to the Chemise.” She didn’t fit in well with the proper and stylish culture of Vogue, so she went back to Vanity Fair. She worked as the drama critic there while P.G. Wodehouse was on vacation, and she wrote poems and stories for the magazine. She and two of her coworkers  Robert Benchley and Robert Sherwood  started the Algonquin Round Table, a group that met daily over lunch at the Algonquin Hotel to play games, write funny poems, and make witty remarks. Their verbal escapades were recorded and printed in the newspaper, and Parker became famous for her witticisms. Members of the Algonquin Round Table were allowed in by invitation only.

Throughout the 1920s, she published poems and reviews and she wrote book reviews for The New Yorker in a column called “Constant Reader.” About Beauty and the Beast by Kathleen Norris, she wrote: “I’m much better now, in fact, than I was when we started. I wish you could have heard that pretty crash Beauty and the Beast made when, with one sweeping, liquid gesture, I tossed it out of my twelfth-story window.”

In 1934, Parker married her second husband, Alan Campbell, and they moved to Hollywood to work as screenwriters, which they were successful at. At a time when the average screenwriter made about $40 a week, Parker made $2,000 a week. She and her husband were nominated for an Academy Award for the film A Star is Born (1937), recently remade staring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Parker was nominated again with a co-writer for Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947). She became active in left-wing politics, especially labor unions and the Spanish Civil War. In 1949, she was put on the Hollywood blacklist, and her screenwriting days were over. Parker stopped writing much at all. She wrote bits for radio and occasional pieces for Esquire.

Toward the end of her life, Parker said of the Algonquin Round Table members: “These were no giants. Think who was writing in those days: Lardner, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway. Those were the real giants. The Round Table was just a lot of people telling jokes and telling each other how good they were. Just a bunch of loudmouths showing off, saving their gags for days, waiting for a chance to spring them. It was not legendary. I don’t mean that,  but it wasn’t all that good. There was no truth in anything they said. It was the terrible day of the wisecrack, so there didn’t have to be any truth.”

She died at the age of 73 and left her estate to Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

 

The New York Times/ Media Outlet or Activist Organization?

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

For those of us who read the paper regularly, we knew this was the case. However, this information reveals it in a most solid manner and serves as a blot on the character of this old and highly respected newspaper.

 

The Heritage Foundation

The Daily Signal

Morning Bell

The New York Times Works for the Left, and Now Everyone Should Know It

Jarrett Stepman / @JarrettStepman / August 20, 2019

Is The New York Times a media outlet or an activist organization?

It appears that it’s leaning toward activism. A recent town hall meeting of Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Times staffers revealed a publication struggling to maintain any meaningful independence from its aggressively left-wing readership and staff.

The leaked transcript is well worth reading, as it demonstrates how far-left voices now dominate the direction of the Times and how closely the newspaper’s work aligns with the progressive political strategies of the moment.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution.

The paper’s left-leaning readership, which includes many self-styled progressive politicians, earlier this month pushed the Times to change a Page One headline for a news story about President Donald Trump’s official remarks about the El Paso shooting.

The original headline read: “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.”

Editors soon changed it to “Assailing Hate, but Not Guns” after the Times was inundated by criticism from readers and, according to reports, angry staff members.

Many critics were furious that the paper didn’t outright call Trump a “racist.”

Was there any meaningful pushback to this attempt to label the president a racist? No.

Instead, Baquet simply noted at the meeting that outright labeling the president a racist wasn’t the most effective tack, and that implying or demonstrating that he is a racist was more powerful.

On top of discussing headlines and wording in articles, Baquet addressed the Times’ coverage strategy going forward.

It appears that the newspaper was banking on the Trump-Russia collusion narrative to placate readers who are eager to see Trump removed from office.

The result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation, though, left the publication “a little tiny bit flat-footed,” Baquet said.

“Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy s–t, Bob Mueller is not going to do it,’” the executive editor said. “And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago.”

What’s the new narrative? Race and racial division, apparently.

In the transcript of the meeting, one anonymous Times staffer says: “I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know?”

The staffer continues:

Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country.

Baquet responds by saying that “race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story,” and that the Times would begin a project to address it.

The newspaper’s recently released “1619 Project,” based on the arrival of African slaves in the British colony of Virginia, is clearly a big part of focusing coverage of American politics on race. While the project could be an important historical look at the history of slavery in America, it instead announces its revisionist intent from the very beginning:

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

Despite denials from the project’s supporters, the ideological intent of the 1619 Project is clear and unfortunate, although predictable, given what is happening behind the scenes at the Times.

The fact that The New York Times is a progressive paper with a left-wing slant is fine. A publication can have an editorial line and still do objective, fact-based reporting.

But we shouldn’t be deluded into thinking, especially after the leak of this transcript, that the Times doesn’t have an obvious ideological bias and that its editorial decisions are not being swayed by its increasingly far-left staff and readers.

This shift should have been an obvious development to  Americans, but now it couldn’t be clearer.

David Marcus, writing at The Federalist, summed it up nicely. Marcus wrote:

I read The New York Times, I enjoy it, sometimes I do the crossword, but to the extent I ever did, I can no longer see it as a straight paper with limited bias. This transcript makes that blatantly obvious. So, by all means, read the Times. But make sure you go in with your eyes wide open.

The New York Times essentially is bowing to leftist demands and becoming an activist organization. It has abandoned even the pretense of being dedicated to covering important news and evenhandedly informing readers.

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, The Heritage Foundation needs for conservatives to come together as a group of likeminded citizens.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone. We need conservatives to unite, and this Candy accomplished by joining The Heritage Foundation.

 

 

Medicare for All/A Gigantic Catastrophe in the Making

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

I believe I can assert without argument that the 20 or so democrats who want to be president know little or nothing about the practice and delivery of medicine. That is why their ridiculous pronouncements about.  “Medicare for all,”(MFA) is complete and utter rubbish. Leading the charge on MFA is Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you should read this report carefully before you vote and when you are deciding about how you will fare medically, if one of these candidates becomes president. Oh, and if you are on Medicare now, consider what will happen when 200 million or more of your fellow Americans suddenly leave their present medical insurance and enter MFA. Do you think you will ever see your doctor, or any doctor, again?

Medicare for Bernie

Jane Orient, MD

August 22, 2019

Bernie Sanders is strongly promoting “Medicare for All,” and claims to be its father (“I wrote the damn bill,” he  proclaimed to the nation during the second round  of Democratic Presidential debates).

His plan does not look like Medicare at all. It appears that he hardly knows anything about Medicare. He probably has no experience with it. Despite his advanced age, he does not need to depend on it. Members of Congress are allowed to receive Medicare benefits, but unlike most other Americans, they can receive other benefits in addition.

Sitting members of Congress  can get routine examinations and consultations from the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol for an annual fee. And military treatment facilities in the Washington area offer free emergency medical and dental care for outpatient services.

Members are also eligible for the Federal Employees Health Insurance Program, and they won’t be kicked off as soon as they reach Medicare age. They do have to go through an ObamaCare exchange, but it is a small one, the DC Health Link, which reportedly functions well. There are 57 gold-tier plans to choose from, not one or two as in many states. Their portion of the premiums could be as little as 25 percent of the total premiums. Apparently, subsidies for senators don’t run out just because their salary exceeds 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Funding for Medicare for All will apparently be vacuumed up from all other sources of payment for “healthcare,” and will go into the big collective pot. Then people can get everything without premiums, copays, or deductibles—so they say. This is not at all like Medicare.

Medicare Part A, for hospital care, is funded through the Medicare payroll tax: a 2.9% first-dollar tax—no deductions–on all employment income, half of which is paid by the employer. Seniors believe that they have been funding this through their working years, as they are constantly told. They have indeed paid, but their taxes were immediately used to pay for the care of older retirees. So, their hospital bill today will be paid from the wages of about 2.5 workers (say the persons pumping their gas, collecting their trash, and repairing their plumbing). Already that is not enough, so the IOUs in the “trust fund” are being redeemed from general tax revenues. That fund will soon be gone, according to the Medicare trustees, as Baby Boomers are flooding into the system. It would vanish in a nanosecond if we loaded in everybody, with or without illegal immigrants.

Medicare has long been implementing ways to curb runaway expenditures. From the mid 1980s comes the Prospective Payment System, or Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), under which payment has nothing to do with services rendered to a particular patient. According to my 1985 “Ode to DRG Creep”:

“Now the pay’s by the head, if alive or if dead,
“Diagnosis determines the money,…
“We need costs less than average, and discharges quicker
“We will get no advantage — For care of the sicker.”

Since “quicker and sicker” discharges might cause a need for readmission, the government penalizes hospitals for readmission. One way to prevent readmission is to discharge to hospice or directly to the morgue. If Bernie were an anonymous Medicare patient, he’d get a consultation on POLST. That’s Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, which translates in the Newspeak Dictionary to “Legally Enforceable Orders to Terminate Life-Sustaining Treatment Including Food and Water.”

Bernie might think he had been admitted—say he had an IV in a hospital room. But if he gets discharged before his second midnight, he might be classified as an outpatient, which is covered under Medicare Part B, and get a “surprise” bill for thousands of dollars, because of the “Two-Midnight Rule.”

Or Bernie might expect to have a little rehab after an orthopedic procedure, but if he is in hospital for fewer than three midnights, rehab isn’t covered. He might have the choice of paying out of pocket, or going home where he will be alone, unable to get out of bed.

Yes, Bernie on Medicare will have free choice of doctors—except for the ones  who aren’t accepting Medicare patients.

If Bernie himself were stuck on Medicare with no way out, he might think it not so wonderful. Has anyone heard him tell people about these Medicare problems?

Maybe he means the Canadian medicare system. It does have a way out for non-senators—called the United States.

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Since 1988, she has been chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Pima County (Arizona) Medical Society. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fourth editions of Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

 

ELLA and SATCHMO

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

My two favorite singers of the Jazz era were Ella and Satchmo, who often sang duets. Here are some short bios about them.

Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia. During her wonderful career she became known as the “First Lady of Song” and queen of jazz. Her smooth voice and technical skill remain unmatched in the jazz world now decades after her death.

Fitzgerald got her start at Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem when she was just 17 years old. She had intended to dance during her performance, but a prior dancing act intimidated her so much that she decided to sing instead. She won first prize for the night.

Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella). She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common –––– they all loved her.

 

Personally, I, too loved every song she sang with, or without, accompaniment. However, my really most favorite songs were those she sang with Louis Armstrong.

She won 13 Grammy Awards over the course of her life, including one at the inaugural show in 1958. She also received the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement.

 

Louis Armstrong , the great jazz musician was born on August 5, 1901, in New Orleans. He earned the nickname “Dippermouth” as a boy singing for pennies on the streets of New Orleans. He would scoop up the coins and stuff them in his mouth so the bigger boys couldn’t steal them. Later, his effusive style of playing, in particular the way he blew high C’s on his trumpet, would earn him the name “Satchelmouth,” later shortened to “Satchmo.”

Armstrong was born in Storyville, the poorest neighborhood of New Orleans. He worked for a family of Russian Jews delivering coal to prostitute’s rooms. The Karnovsky’s were kind to him, helping him buy a tin trumpet. Because of them, he wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life.

As a teenager, he honed his skills playing dances, funeral marches, and riverboats. He met jazz greats like Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet, and King Oliver, who welcomed him to Chicago in 1924. From 1925 to 1928, he and his band, Louis Armstrong and The Hot Five, made more than 60 records, which influenced everyone from Wynton Marsalis to The Beatles, whom he displaced in 1964, when his rendition of “Hello, Dolly!” knocked them off the number-one spot on the Billboard Charts.

 

The records by Louis Armstrong and His Five–and later, Hot Seven–are the most influential in jazz. Armstrong’s improvised solos transformed jazz from an ensemble-based music into a soloist’s art, while his expressive vocals incorporated innovative bursts of scat singing and an underlying swing feel. By the end of the decade, the popularity of the Hot Fives and Sevens was enough to send Armstrong back to New York, where he appeared in the popular Broadway revue, “Hot Chocolates.” He soon began touring and never really stopped until his death in 1971.

The 1930s also found Armstrong achieving great popularity on radio, in films, and with his recordings. He performed in Europe for the first time in 1932 and returned in 1933, staying for over a year because of a damaged lip. Back in America in 1935, Armstrong hired Joe Glaser as his manager and began fronting a big band, recording pop songs for Decca, and appearing regularly in movies. He began touring the country in the 1940s.

In 1947, the waning popularity of the big bands forced Armstrong to begin fronting a small group, Louis Armstrong and His All Stars. Personnel changed over the years but this remained Armstrong’s main performing vehicle for the rest of his career. He had a string of pop hits beginning in 1949 and started making regular overseas tours, where his popularity was so great, he was dubbed “Ambassador Satch.”

In America, Armstrong had been a great Civil Rights pioneer for his race, breaking down numerous barriers as a young man. In the 1950s, he was sometimes criticized for his onstage persona and called an “Uncle Tom” but he silenced critics by speaking out against the government’s handling of the “Little Rock Nine” high school integration crisis in 1957.

Armstrong continued touring the world and making records with songs like “Blueberry Hill” (1949), “Mack the Knife” (1955) and “Hello, Dolly! (1964),” the latter knocking the Beatles off the top of the pop charts at the height of Beatlemania.

The many years of constant touring eventually wore down Armstrong, who had his first heart attack in 1959 and returned to intensive care at Beth Israel Hospital for heart and kidney trouble in 1968. Doctors advised him not to play but Armstrong continued to practice every day in his Corona, Queens home, where he had lived with his fourth wife, Lucille, since 1943. He returned to performing in 1970 but it was too much, too soon and he passed away in his sleep on July 6, 1971, a few months after his final engagement at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

He made many records with other singers, but his very best of these


William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved