Day: March 28, 2014

Should we rate doctors?

By DON VOWELL How well should you know a person before you agree to let them carve you open with a scalpel, rearrange your innards and then sew everything back up?  My personal policy has been to just blindly follow the recommendations of every doctor I see. The weakness of this policy is exposed by a year that requires visits to a parade of different specialists.  If you get slightly conflicting advice from a couple of these doctors,  you first conclude that medicine is not a unified theory.  Then you must choose which doctor’s advice you will follow.  In America, it’s easy to know which expert you rely on.  It’s the one who tells you what you want to hear. In a recent surgery wherein I was carved, rearranged and sewn back up, it took some time to regain my wits after being subjected to general anesthesia.  So the surgeon met instead with my wife after the operation to report and to answer any questions.  Mrs. V had hoped that the surgeon might offer a slice by slice description of everything that happened and all that might follow, but the surgeon said only that everything went very well and left it open for questions.  I don’t think this caused any worry, just mild disappointment that the doctor was not more forthcoming. I blame it on the Internet.  Doctors who’ve...

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Bill Post is a good choice for D-25

To the Editor: I have concerns about the House District 25 primary race. I had never heard of Barbara Jensen until reading a very negative article in the newspaper where she charged Bill Post with some trivial “illegalities.” My immediate reaction was to defend Bill and to suspect Barbara of dirty politics. It takes a while to really get to know someone. I know Bill. He is a good and honest man. Barbara may be a good person as well but I don’t really know that. Bill has been outspoken in his stance for traditional moral values. I believe he also has advocated sensible conservative economic policies. Bill has been transparent and outspoken with his conservative views. We know him. He is an honest and capable man. My communications with the Jensen campaign have left me still wondering where she stands. My questions have been deflected and given pat answers. I am convinced that Bill Post as a tried and true outspoken conservative will serve the citizens of our district with integrity and common sense. Walter Pattison...

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Deflating Russia can be done

By LAWRENCE KUDLOW  President Barack Obama has ramped up his second round of economic and financial sanctions on Russia, and on Vladimir Putin in particular. Some of this is already working. But if anybody believes it will be easy to financially deflate Russia, they better think again. Russia holds $132 billion of U.S. Treasury securities. That’s a big number, and it could be sold in the event of financial warfare. That won’t kill the United States. But it will undoubtedly cause interest rates to rise. Would Putin spend it all? Who knows? His central bank just spent $50 billion to defend a sinking ruble, which is off about 10 percent year to date. But that still leaves about $400 billion in foreign-exchange reserves that could be called upon to defend the Russian homeland in an emergency. But as I noted, the initial rounds of sanctions seem to be working. Just this week, after he was put on the U.S. sanction list, Putin pal Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire Russian oil tycoon, cut and ran by selling his 43 percent share in the oil-trading Gunvor Group. Putin is accused of being an investor in that group and of having access to its funds. Other Putin billionaire cronies hit by the Obama sanctions include Vladimir Yakunin, the chairman of state-owned Russian Railways, and Yuri Kovalchuk, allegedly Putin’s personal banker. And the favorite...

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Can the US head off a new Cold War?

Students of history might argue successfully that the Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States actually got underway when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The success of those two detonations resulted in a case of extreme paranoia on Joseph Stalin’s part and began the protracted competition involving the two surviving major world powers. A mere child when the Cold War started, there are a few snippets of it that remain fixed in my memory.  There were the “duck and cover” drills in school that were purely show-time as an atomic bomb in close proximity means vaporization of human bodies, no matter how large the desk, while further away simply means a slower death by radiation poisoning.  My parents and their friends spoke in whispers about our fate, wondering if the current year’s Christmas would be the last one for us.  The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 resulted in a 13-day migraine headache for me. Whatever the case, the former Soviet Union conducted its first weapons test of a nuclear device on Aug. 29, 1949.  Thereafter, although it was officially called the Cold War, it got people in the U.S. sweaty-hot, producing a daily nightmare until President Ronald Ragean and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev held several summit conferences in the late 1980s which contributed to the end of the Cold War and the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. During the ensuing years there were some things scary and others humorous.  The...

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