Nobody can watch the video of the bombing of Ariana Grande’s in Manchester – a concert attended by innocent youth – and not be shocked at the carnage. No reasonable person can fathom the thinking that convinces a man to strap on an explosive – designed to inflict the maximum suffering – and blow himself up in a crowd. The depravity – and pointlessness of it – are shocking.

But we must maintain a sense of proportion.

In America, there are 16,000 murders a year. The equivalent of 727 Manchester bombings. The CDC reports 99,000 die from healthcare-associated infections. A study by Johns Hopkins estimates that 250,000 people die annually due to medical errors. And Canadians live three years on average longer than Americans.

Yet we worry far more about the ridiculously remote possibility of dying in a terrorist attack, then we do about dying from all of the things that actually kill us. The top two of which are heart disease and cancer – accounting for almost half of all deaths.

It is unfathomable why politicians, who casually lobby for billions to be added to the Pentagon budget, propose slashing the budget of the National Institutes of Health. The Chinese aren’t going to attack us. Not militarily anyway. Why should they? Economically they are eating our lunch.

The Monroe Doctrine warned Europeans that the United States would not tolerate any new colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. But now the Chinese are engaged in economic colonialism in South America – and Africa for that matter – and we don’t seem to pay it the least regard.

But back to what kills Americans. Let’s consider Alzheimer’s (#6 on the list). It kills 94,000 and devastates the lives of both the victim and his family – usually for years. Let’s research the hell of that the causes of, and cures for, that catastrophic disease.

Or how about diabetes (#7)? Type 2 accounts for 95% of cases and is closely linked with obesity and lack of exercise. Yet when Michele Obama instituted her ‘Let’s Move’ program challenging America’s youth to get active and schools to provide healthier food, the Republicans reacted as if she had invited ISIS in America’s back door.

Cleaner air and water, food safety inspections, and mandated testing for drugs have reduced deaths. But the same politicians who would throw billions at fighting terrorism rail against business regulation. I can only assume that to them profit takes precedence over people. And of course business money talks.

It’s not that we haven’t addressed death in America. Despite the whining of corporations, we finally banned lead in paint and gasoline. Anti-smoking campaigns have halved the number of smokers. M.A.D.D’s campaigns led to a 75% reduction in the rate of drunk driving deaths. Mandatory seatbelt and airbag laws – as well as federally mandated safety tests – have slashed the rate of traffic fatalities.

Death gets little airtime – or much consideration in government. Unless it is spectacular. A video of a shark attack will dominate newscasts. And if a plane crashes, CNN won’t talk about anything else for a week. Meanwhile, statistically, no American will die in a terrorist attack, an airplane crash or from a shark bite.

We cannot let our battle against terrorism blind us to the fact that there is much that can be done to make a meaningful difference to the life expectancy of Americans.



Republicans Have Never Met a Regular Guy They Wouldn’t Screw.

May 7, 2017

Republicans ran on the promise that they would repeal and replace Obamacare. They portrayed the ACA as so magnificently evil that any replacement would be better. Now House Republicans have kept half of their commitment. They did repeal and replace Obamacare, but remarkably they found something worse. Trump helped. In his desperation to pass something, anything, to […]

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Trumpcare: A Failure So Big, the Finger Pointing Will Be Epic.

March 25, 2017

On Thursday, when it became apparent that there weren’t enough votes to pass Trumpcare, Donald Trump, the nation’s preeminent, petulant toddler told Congress to hold its stupid healthcare vote anyway and see if he cared. Then he washed his hands of the responsibility and said he never wanted to do it, it was dumb, and besides it […]

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Trump Maneuvers To Escape Blame If Trumpcare Fails.

March 23, 2017

The House has postponed the vote on Trumpcare. The White House says it has moved the vote until tomorrow. Which is odd because it’s not the administration’s decision. No matter. What did they offer as a reason? They didn’t want to have the vote at 3 AM. Such consideration. Or more accurately, what bullshit. If they […]

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Trump’s Desperate Healthcare Play

March 22, 2017

Donald Trump is betting that his healthcare measure is the cure for all that ails him. And he needs something. Despite the administration’s denial that there was any ‘there, there’ in the Russian thing James Comey confirmed that the FBI was investigating the Russia/election/Trump brouhaha. Comey salted the wound by dismissing Trump’s Obama wiretapping nonsense. Trump […]

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The GOP’s Health Care Plan Is on Life-Support.

March 8, 2017

The Republicans have unveiled their health care plan – The American Health Care Act. It took seven years. And nobody, except its authors, like it. So let’s give it a review. Unlike most politicians, I don’t pretend to be an expert on healthcare. But even an amateur can see four things. One, the individual mandate is gone. […]

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The Republicans’ Best Replacement for Obamacare is Obamacare.

January 16, 2017

Paul Ryan says that the replacement for Obamacare will be well thought out – much better than the current dog’s dinner. And as soon as they repeal the ACA they’re going to start working on it. Which raises the question: What have they been doing for the last seven years? However, there is good news […]

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Really? – 6.2.15 Religious Excesses: Huckabee Fantasizes HS Girls Showers; NC Pastor Condemns HS Gays to Hell; Ken Ham Is Still Nuts; Gordon Klingenschmitt Is Still a Bigot.

June 2, 2015

“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” ― Lenny Bruce Why are some Christians so full of religious excesses? Since Caitlyn Jenner shed her old Bruce persona, many conservative types have been sniggering. Fox News’ Neil Cavuto couldn’t resist. Yucking it up with his chuckling sidekick, “Charlene, I […]

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Handicapping the GOP Field, Before We Even Know the Final Line Up.

May 3, 2015

“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career” ― George Bernard Shaw. Some candidates are in. Some candidates have promised to be in. And some putative candidates will demur. Regardless let’s handicap the GOP field. (Note: I have broken the field down into various categories. Where the […]

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