Friday, September 11, 2009

Karl's Weekend Reading

Bret Stephens at the WSJ offers a suggestion for to remember on 9/11 in his article, The Afghan Stakes:

...Afghanistan matters not because that's where 9/11 was conceived. It matters because that's where it was imagined.
Put simply, it was the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan that laid much of the imaginative groundwork for 9/11. So imagine the sorts of notions that would take root in the minds of jihadists—and the possibilities that would open up to them—if the U.S. was to withdraw from Afghanistan in its own turn.
Withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a Taliban takeover in Kandahar and perhaps Kabul, would plunge Afghanistan into another civil war infinitely bloodier than what we have now. Withdrawal would force Islamabad to abandon its war on terror and again come to terms with its own militants, as it did in the 1990s. Only this time, it wouldn't be clear who is patron and who is client. Withdrawal would give Pakistan's jihadists the freedom to shift fronts to India, with all the nightmare scenarios that entails. Withdrawal would invite the al Qaeda remnant in Iraq—already on an upswing—to redouble its efforts, and do so with the confidence that the U.S. has permanently soured on Middle Eastern interventions.
This is not the noblest fight, and no sane nation would wage it by choice. But we did not choose it and, if we keep our nerve, we can win it. Otherwise, the consequence will be ashes flying again in our own streets, something to remember on the eve of another 9/11 anniversary.

Forced unionization for all health care workers? That is what Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee warns in his WSJ article, Read the Union Health-Care Label.

The Senate version opens the door to implement forced unionization schemes pursued by former Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois in 2005 and Gray Davis of California in 1999.
Following this playbook, the Senate bill creates a "personal care attendants workforce advisory panel" that will likely impose union affiliation to qualify for a newly created "community living assistance services and support (class)" reimbursement plan.
The House bill has a $10 billion provision to bail out insolvent union health-care plans. It also creates a lucrative professional-development grant program for health-care workers that effectively blackballs nonunion medical facilities from participation.
There's more. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has suggested that the federal government could pay for health-care reform by taxing American workers' existing health-care benefits—but he would exempt union-negotiated health-care plans.
Americans are unlikely to support granting unions more power than they already have in the health-care field. History shows union bosses could abuse their power to shut down medical facilities with sick-outs and strikes; force doctors, nurses and in-home care providers to abandon their patients; dictate terms and conditions of employment; and impose a failed, Detroit-style management model on the entire health-care field.

In his Wednesday Best of the Web post, James Taranto offers some British health-care stories from the Daily Mail and Sunday Times. Just 'scare tactics' by right-wingers?

Doctors left a premature baby to die because he was born two days too early, his devastated mother claimed yesterday.
Parents are being threatened with having their children taken into care [state custody] after questioning doctors' diagnoses or objecting to their medical care.
The mother of a 13-year-old girl who became partly paralysed after being given a cervical cancer vaccination says social workers have told her the child may be removed if she (the mother) continues to link her condition with the vaccination.

A couple had all six of their children removed from their care after they disputed the necessity of an invasive medical test on their eldest daughter. Doctors, who suspected she might have had a blood disease, called for social services to obtain an emergency protection order, although it was subsequently confirmed that she was not suffering from the condition. The parents were still considered unstable, and all their children were taken from them.

A single mother whose teenage son is terminally ill and confined to a wheelchair has been told he is to become the subject of a care order after she complained that her local authority's failure to provide bathroom facilities for him has left her struggling to maintain sanitary standards.

Not fair. The Brits got their Hope and Change before us.

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