Friday, March 07, 2008

Job

I started my job on Wednesday, and totally love it. I have been working the new India exhibit. I'm so tired because I am on my feet the whole time, but I love being with all the artwork. It is rather inspiring. It makes me want to work harder at learning Hindi. I even got a gift certificate for $25 at amazon, so I bought a book on Hindi, another on eastern philosophy, and a third on meditation today. In conjunction with my homework from my doctors I've been learning how to meditate. One of the galleries next to the India exhibit is full of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. I must being doing something right because today I even got a promotion, already! I work 5 days a week, with Monday and Tuesdays off.

I've been learning some interesting things this week about mind-body medicine and have been reading a book called the Mozart Effect. It has been so exciting to work with the Pandora radio and compile genres of music that go along with my Music History course work. I'm slowly working though my World History course. For the first time in as long as I can ever remember, I am starting to feel well again. My blood sugar is starting to stabilize and I'm sleeping normally again.

I've become such a strong person. I'm going to make it through!

Monday, March 03, 2008

America has the best health care in the world

I just realized something kind of scary. I have been trying to come to terms with socialized medicine versus a privatized health care system like our own. One of the major advantages of privatized medicine is that it is capable of developing and making discoveries on a scale unlike any other. This leads, as the argument goes, to better health care and opportunities. But how does it do this? Sure, there are 50 million uninsured Americans (... sucks to be them!), but why and how are the insured Americans receiving "better health care" in this system than a socialized one?

Alright, so most major cities and universities have free health care clinics and research studies, right? Hundreds of people travel from all over the country to get into these research studies sometimes. Here in San Diego, many end up or have been on the streets. Even those that aren't on the streets struggle.
Most, if not all, are the uninsured or under-insured. Just this weekend I read that up to 50% of all Californians are on the brink of financial ruin due to health insurance premiums and uncovered medical bills (I don't know the accuracy on this, so don't quote me!) In addition, 16% of those in California don't have health insurance at all. But anyway, at these research facilities (and under the strictest codes of confidentiality which prevent social security numbers, names, etc from leaking out) the patient exchanges seeing a doctor and learning more information about themselves and their aliments for letting themselves essentially be guinea pigs and donating information about their bodies. With access to so many "lab rats", these universities have greater resources to develop new bio-technology. The patients also get access to the free medical clinics with greater ease, which are also run by the university. This provides opportunities for those that are down on their luck. However, these clinics are run either by very dedicated doctors and nurses, or medical students.

In socialized medicine, no one would be so desperate to give away their bio-info because they have no need to. Medicine is about helping people, not about making money. But without gross disparity, we have no advances in health care.

But the ends justify the means for American's that that actually do have access to insured medical care, right? I talked to a physician the other day at a lecture. He works in the pharmaceutical testing industry doing phase 1 clinical research and explained to me that many if not most doctors are afraid to be the first one to try out a new therapy or medication, etc because it often causes unintended lawsuits. Medical advances and knowledge is vast, yet application is severely limited. SO, tell me again how is privatized health insurance systems advantageous to the consumer again? ... let me hear those Nixon tapes one more time.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Knowledge is Power!

I'm going to rant and rave and bitch about something I know nothing about.... so, something that I have realized about the United States is that it is a place of dreams. If you have a dream and are willing to work hard, this is the place for you. The brightest and the best from all around the world are lured here. It can be cut-throat at times, but no one will ever take away your dreams! You have a chance, a hope... You are told that nothing is set, you can move between social classes and be what ever you want to be! There are laws to protect your rights against anyone and anything. And if you feel threatened or want to express you opinion, you are free to do so.

But what about the people that don't want to fight to be the best? What about the people that strive to be mediocre?; just to have the basics: food, shelter, family, etc. The American dream is a house and a car and two kids with a white picket fence. But dreams need to be worked for. If you aren't fighting, then you are loosing... because America is where only those that "work hard" get everything they want.

Some people, to put it in a Social Darwinian perspective, just aren't fit.

But let me ponder a bit more. If the socially unfit are not worth taking care of but are also the backbone of the society as the working class, eventually these "hard working" people at the top will keep working harder to take more and more for themselves. The actual working class is left with a promise and a dream and are told, no one can take away your dream, this is America!
Only thing is, ...they just leave out the part that it is only a dream. Personally, I would rather be told that my dream is impossible in the first place rather than be deceived. Eventually the underclass with either give out, or like all good human societies... persevere against all odds.

For me, if I have to be a number, I would rather be a number (think social security number xyz, living on plot 123 in apartment 456, working at abc company listed under 789 registration code, etc.) in a society where power is not in the hands of those who have a stake in making money, where everything is analyzed in profit margins. Our government has a revolving door at the top: senators become CEO's and the richest lawyers get seats in congress. When the president is done being the president, he goes back to running his billion dollar multi-international firms. Everything is so decentralized and so many people have a stake in the process that no one person is to blame. And no one person can fix it either.

Knowledge is Power.