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Ralph Conner, R.I.P.

Heartland Institute’s Local Government Relations Manager passed away unexpectedly on March 13.

Chicago, March 17: With shock and deep sorrow, The Heartland Institute announced today the sudden   death of Ralph Conner, who served as the organization’s local government relations manager since 2005 and who informed and helped shape the organization’s efforts since its founding in 1984. Conner was found dead at his home in Maywood, Illinois, on Saturday, March 13.

“We’re all still in a state of shock,” said Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute. “Ralph was full of his usual energy a week ago, inspiring and sometimes entertaining us with his insights and deeds. For him to have been taken away from us so suddenly and without warning is just shattering. I’ve lost a friend and colleague, thousands of elected officials around the country have lost a resource and trusted ally, and the world has lost a truly extraordinary individual.”

“Ralph was a stalwart and eloquent spokesman for fair play and individual liberty, and an insightful political analyst,” said Dan Miller, Heartland’s senior vice president and publisher. “As a thinker, writer, and public speaker, he was a force to be reckoned with in the political theater in Illinois and nationally.”

“Ralph was not afraid to defend unpopular and unconventional views in conversation or debate with anyone, in any place,” said Kevin Fitzgerald, Heartland’s vice president of programs. “He brought endless energy, creativity, and humor to our efforts, and he never left a room without making a friend. I was lucky, indeed privileged, to have known and worked with him.”

Conner was born and raised in Maywood, a community in the western inner-ring suburbs of Chicago. He devoted nearly 20 years of his life to public service for the municipality, serving as village president (2001-2005), director of planning and development/building commissioner (1990-1995), and enterprise zone administrator (1989-1995).

Conner was a popular spokesperson for taxpayers, government reform, school choice, and many other issues. He often appeared as a pundit on Comcast, WTTW, and Bruce DuMont’s nationally syndicated “Beyond the Beltway” radio program. In 2008 he launched the Chicago office of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). In 2009 he appeared in “No Guns for Negroes,” a documentary film on the Second Amendment. He was working on a film on black World War II veterans when he died.

Arrangements are being made for a funeral on Saturday, March 20. Updated information about that service will be available at The Heartland Institute’s Web site at www.heartland.org.

Links to some videos featuring Ralph Conner:

No Guns For Negroes Live: Ralph W. Conner at 2009 Continental Congress

Share ‘No Guns For Negroes Live: Ralph W. Conner at 2009

Ralph Conner Unleashed: CORE-Chicago Chairman Gun-Rights Movie

CORE-Chicago Chairman: Ballot of the Bullet!

JPFO’s ‘No Guns for Negroes’ exposes racism of ‘gun control’

Nuclear energy is becoming a hotly debated issue in America with President Obama’s recent announcement that he will advocate expansion of construction of new clean and safe nuclear power plants. In a move calculated to garner Republican support for cap and trade energy legislation, at risk of alienation the leftist ‘green’ elements within his coalition, Obama is tripling public financing for new nuclear power plants through Department of Energy federal loan guarantees in the amount of $54.5 billion.

The Obama administration has also appointed members of a Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future to provide recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. Of course Congress designated Yucca Mountain as the nation’s only option for a geologic repository of high-level nuclear waste over 23 years ago. Without Yucca Mountain, which appears mired in politics nuclear waste remains stored at various reactor sites above ground. Obama has opposed the Yucca Mountain project for storing spent nuclear fuel (SNF).

America should examine how other countries are expanding their nuclear capacities while concurrently addressing concerns about nuclear waste reduction and geologic repositories space reduction. In North America 103 reactors provide 20 per cent of our electricity.

The debate is not merely an exercise in confronting the irrational fears of Nimby-ism or the stridency of ‘green’ anti-nuke reactionaries. The social and economic aspects of the nuclear debate force policymakers to keep the general public duly informed based upon the best science available to minimize nuclear fear-mongering whether fear of terrorists or nuclear accidents.

Albert Einstein, father of atomic energy, said after Hiroshima that “To the village square we must carry the facts of atomic energy; from there must come America’s voice.”

How much nuclear waste do American nuclear reactors produce? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, civilian nuclear reactors have produced more than 40,000 metric tons of spent fuel, about enough to cover one football field four yards deep. By the end of 2010, DOE expects this figure to exceed 60,000 metric tons. U.S. nuclear waste policy since the 1970s has been that nuclear fuel is used once in a reactor and then permanently disposed of in long-term storage, referred to as the “once through” fuel cycle.

Associate laboratory director for Engineering Research at Argonne National Labs, John Sackett acknowledges that “recent studies indicate that the main constraint on expanding nuclear power over the next 50 years will be a shortage of repositories to hold nuclear waste.” In response to this challenge the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) will develop fuel recycling technologies to reduce the amount and toxicity of reactor waste.

Presidential discretion has always played a dominant role in setting nuclear policy in America. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter lead America to officially ban reprocessing of spent fuel because he feared that terrorists would have access to recycled plutonium to make bombs.

But today’s U.S. Department of Energy engineers claim technology is available to make reprocessing SNF more resistant to terrorist misuse, thereby mitigating those prior concerns. In 2010 it is incumbent on policy-setters to review what type of clean nuclear power plants should be constructed and what type of reprocessing solutions should be implemented.

On June 17, 2009, the House Science and Technology committee held a hearing on “Advancing Technology for Nuclear Fuel Recycling: What Should Our Research, Development and Demonstration Strategy Be?” Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) opened the hearing by stating that although America currently enjoys a reliable ‘baseload’ for electricity we need to consider reprocessing so “U.S. nuclear power can expand to spent nuclear fuel as uranium resources become scarcer .” The hearing explored the status of nuclear waste recycling and also discussed the safety, environmental, security and economic issues related to nuclear waste reprocessing strategy.

Witnesses at the hearing confirmed that only a small portion of the energy potential in nuclear fuel is used during the “once through” fuel cycle. When recycled, the spent fuel is processed to separate waste materials so that the fissionable uranium and plutonium can be recycled into new fuel. This is referred to as the “closed” fuel cycle.

Not only does this reuse allow producers to extract more energy from the given supply of natural uranium, it also saves space in an underground repository.

At the hearing Dr. Mark Peters representing Argonne National Laboratory testified to the need for effective nuclear waste management in the U.S. as demand for nuclear energy increases. He testified that while nuclear energy is an abundant, and carbon-free source of electricity for the United States it will be necessary to close the fuel cycle to expand nuclear power capacity.

Dr. Alan Hanson of Areva, Inc., the manager of France’s reprocessing operations, testified that recycling fuel would decrease high-level waste by 75 percent it would increase low-level waste, but this would only be a 2.5 percent increase. And low-level waste does not have the same storage constraints.

President Obama might want to review the nuclear positions of his predecessors in more depth to avoid mere political posturing to sell legislation.

The same Areva re-engineered the French fuel assembly plant at Marcoule, originally designed to support a breeder reactor, to instead produce plutonium-enriched fuel elements for conventional reactors. In 1996, Areva blended plutonium and SNF, in a ratio of 8 percent to 92 percent, creating so-called mixed-oxide, or MOX, fuel, which can be substituted for enriched uranium fuel in a conventional nuclear reactor. In 2010, MOX fuel provides 10 percent of France’s nuclear power generation and is also used in Belgium, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland.

President Bill Clinton’s Energy Department in 1997 authorized the fabrication of surplus weapons-grade plutonium into MOX fuel for use in U.S. power plants. Clinton also awarded a contract to an Areva-led consortium to build a MOX fabrication plant at the DOE’s Savannah River, S.C., site. President Bush’s first energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, gave Areva permission to create fuel assemblies currently producing power at Duke Power’s Catawba, S.C., plant since 2008.

After President Bush’s endorsement of nuclear reprocessing in 2008, DOE began to lobby Congress to follow-through with full integration of plutonium into the U.S. nuclear industry by creation of a SNF reprocessing demonstration plant. In May 2009 the DOE’s Spent Nuclear Fuel Recycling Program Plan was sent to Congress calling for a demonstration of a breeder reactor fueled by Urex+, a recycled SNF. Just like France’s nuclear fuel cycle, the DOE plan accepts the reality that new breeder reactors must be built to process high-level transuranic waste left as a residual from MOX production.

Nobel laureate Burton Richter, who leads the DOE’s science panel on nuclear waste separations believes breeder reactors are DOE’s ultimate solution “Everybody is in agreement that the right system ultimately results in multiple recycles in fast [breeder] reactors, so that’s where things are going,” according to Richter .

In the nuclear reprocessing procedure in France , SNF upon its removal from French reactors, is packed in containers and safely shipped via train and road to the reprocessing facility in La Hague. The energy producing uranium and plutonium are removed and separated from the other waste and made into new fuel that can be used again. The French project added costs at only 6 percent. Anti-nuclear fear-mongering has proved baseless. The French have recycled fuel like this for 30 years with no terrorist attack, accidental explosions nor contribution toward nuclear weapons proliferation. And France meets all of its nuclear reprocessing needs with one facility
which reprocesses French SNF in one half of the facility’s capacity, and uses the other half to recycle other countries’ spent nuclear fuel.

In conclusion, Phillip Finck, a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory has stated “If we do reprocessing and recycle, we can increase the capacity of a Yucca Mountain 100-fold.” With American nuclear policy held hostage by geologic repository politics, this strategy will stave off need for additional abortive Yucca Mountain projects.

But if President Obama wants to support expansion of nuclear capacity for real he will consider the case for breeder reactors for extraction of new fuels by effective management of reprocessing of spent fuels. Without breeder reactors, reprocessing will fail. Unless breeder reactors are commercialized that can truly burn up all the residual fissile material found in spent fuels, reprocessing will simply exchanging one high-level nuclear waste for another.

The following articles review the challenges and benefits of pursuing a comprehensive Spent Nuclear Fuel reprocessing strategy to enhance nuclear capacity by capturing ‘wasted’ nuclear waste for new fuel, and developing the next generation of breeder reactors capable of recycling the residue left from the reprocessing operations.

House Science and Technology Committee Hearing on “Advancing Technology for Nuclear Fuel Recycling: What Should Our Research, Development and Demonstration Strategy Be?”
June 17, 2009
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis111/nuclear_hearings.html#jun09
Summary of Testimony of Witnesses at June 17, 2009 Hearing U.S. House Science and Technology Committee.

Actual Prepared Testimony Mark T. Peters, Argonne National Laboratory
http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/file/Commdocs/hearings/2009/Full/17jun/Peters_Testimony.pdf
To maximize the benefits of nuclear energy in an expanding nuclear energy future, it will ultimately be necessary to close the fuel cycle.

Actual Prepared Testimony Dr. Alan S. Hanson Executive Vice President,Technology and Used Fuel Management, AREVA NC Inc.
http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/file/Commdocs/hearings/2009/Full/17jun/Hanson_Testimony.pdf
Dr. Hanson confirms that the volume of material destined for the high-level waste repository is reduced by at least 75 percent through recycling.

Actual Prepared Testimony Lisa Price, Lisa Price
Senior Vice President, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC and Chief Executive Officer of Global Nuclear Fuel, LLC
http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/file/Commdocs/hearings/2009/Full/17jun/Price_Testimony.pdf
CEO advocates re-fissioning the recycled fuel in a sodium-cooled breeder reactor to produce
electricity, implementation of closed cycle instead of ‘once through’ system.

Actual Prepared Testimony Dr. Charles D. Ferguson,Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for Science and Technology, Council on Foreign Relations
http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/file/Commdocs/hearings/2009/Full/17jun/Ferguson_Testimony.pdf
A CFR Perspective Which states that since other countries may venture into reprocessing it is imperative for the United States to reevaluate its policies and redouble its efforts to prevent the further spread of reprocessing plants to non-nuclear-weapon states.

Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing: U.S. Policy Development
Anthony Andrews, Specialist in Industrial Engineering and Infrastructure Policy
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RS22542.pdf
The Department of Energy now proposes a new generation of “proliferation-resistant” reactor and reprocessing technology.

Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste By William H. Hannum, Gerald E. Marsh and George S. Stanford, 2005 Scientific American
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NuclearFastReactorsSA1205.pdf
Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste Fast-neutron reactors could extract much more energy from recycled nuclear fuel, minimize the risks of weapons proliferation, and markedly reduce
the time nuclear waste must be isolated

Obama Budget Abandons Yucca Mountain
Drew Thornley ,Environment & Climate News / The Heartland Institute / May 01, 2009
http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/25071/Obama_Budget_Abandons_Yucca_Mountain.html
In a significant energy policy redirection, the Obama administration appears poised to pull the plug on funds for permanent nuclear waste storage at Yucca

Ironically, NIMBY Results in Opposite Effect, by Clinton E. Crackel
Environment & Climate News / The Heartland Institute / November 01, 2009
http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/26166/Ironically_NIMBY_Results_in_Opposite_Effect.html
Department of Energy administrator examines fallacy of “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome.

Better Nuclear Waste Management Needed by Clinton E. Crackel
Environment & Climate News / The Heartland Institute / November 01, 2008
http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/24048/Better_Nuclear_Waste_Management_Needed.html
DOE administrator examines rationale behind Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) request for the United States to build 45 more nuclear power plants as a means of reducing foreign energy dependence.

Nuclear Energy Past, Present and Future, by Dr. Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute Science Director
Environment & Climate News /The Heartland Institute / December 01, 2009
http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/26463/Nuclear_Energy_Past_Present_and_Future_.html
Dr. Lehr contends that unlike some applications of nuclear technology, the process of generating electricity in a nuclear power plant is not rocket science.

If you have any questions about this issue , you may contact me at 312/377-4000 or ralph_conner@yahoo.com

CC2009 Video Archives, Links & Resources
Tom DeWeese: Reassertion of the Power of the Sword
Fri Nov 13
Tom DeWeese – Reassertion of the Power of the Sword. Friday November 13, 2009.

Conner: 2nd Amendment Violations
Fri Nov 13
Ralph Conner – C.O.R.E., Heartland Institute. Friday November 13, 2009.

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CC2009 Ralph Conner

No Guns For Negroes live

http://www.cc2009.us

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CC2009 Ralph Conner No Guns For Negroes live www.cc2009.us by gyazickr.

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SON OF CORE SPEAKS OUT!!

Civil rights spokesman speaks

to Montana Petroleum

Association

Niger Innis, international spokesman with the Congress of Racial Equality, speaks on the impacts of energy challenges and the poor during the annual meeting of the Montana Petroleum Association at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Wednesday afternoon, September 2, 2009.

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A national civil rights spokesman told Montana energy producers Wednesday that the country’s energy policy will harm the poor and threaten their industry and the economy.

Niger Innis, the spokesman for Congress of Racial Equality, called for the production of “more of everything,” including renewable energy like solar and wind power and “good old-fashioned fossil fuel.”

Innis was the luncheon speaker at the Montana Petroleum Association’s annual meeting held at the Crowne Plaza in Billings. More than 150 industry representatives along with local, state and federal representatives and officials attended the luncheon. The three-day meeting and golf tournament ended Wednesday.

Innis said the country’s energy development is critical to its economic growth and to economic equality for all people, especially the poor. People with incomes below the poverty level spend 50 cents of every dollar on energy compared with 5 cents of every dollar spent by people with average incomes, he said.

He blasted environmental groups – repeatedly calling them “the green mafia” – and the “elite media” saying they were trying to stop energy development.

Laws and policies that restrict access to energy drive up prices for everything from food to transportation and disproportionately harm the poor and disadvantaged, he said.

In particular, Innis called the cap and trade bill passed by the U.S. House an assault on the country’s energy industry.

The Waxman-Markey legislation, which Innis called the “cap and tax” bill, seeks to limit greenhouse gases by creating a national cap on emissions and then granting credits or allowances to industries that emit these gases. Industries must either reduce their emissions or buy more allowances. The legislation has stalled in the Senate while industries are trying to kill it.

If the cap and trade plan becomes law, Innis said jobs will be lost, households will pay more for energy and the economy will shrink.

The global benefit of the cap-and-trade bill also is dubious, he added, because major carbon emitters like China and India are not part a comprehensive agreement. There will be an imbalance if the United States does everything and other countries do nothing about climate change, he said.

The Congress of Racial Equality is proud of its efforts to nearly kill the cap-and-trade bill, Innis said. But even if it is defeated, the federal Environmental Protection Agency will enact it “by fiat” through the Clean Air Act, he said. The only way to stop that is for Americans to “resoundingly say no,” he said.

CORE was founded in 1942 as a civil rights organization. Based in New York City, the nonprofit group promotes equality for all people. Innis has appeared on national news programs including CNN and Fox News. His father, Roy Innis, is CORE’s national chairman.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo of the Ludwig

Von Mises  Institute has captured the

essence of the debacle we know as government

health care and why it will not work in America.

As the Obama adminsitration continues to play

the race card in the hopes of salvaging a milder

version of  socialized government health care,

please know we are watching and Americans of

all ethnic and age groups have a lot at stake.

CORE-Chicago will go on record in support of

continued private-sector health insurance and

less government intervention with health

care GSE-cooperatives. A new federal

bureaucracy for more Chicago-style patronage

jobs and rationing of health care by disinterested

health nannies is not the future America voted

for in November. My musing is followed by the

best analysis on health care from an economic

and a black perspective. Enjoy!

Letter to the Editor:                    Chicago Sun-Times

Date:                         August 14, 2009

Health Care Burning on The Back Side

Down in Mexico, President Obama said immigration reform was on the back burner since his health care overhaul and financial bailout strategies deserve priority (“Immigration overhaul will have to wait, Obama says”.)

In a continuation of the Hispanic affirmative action celebrations post-Sotomayor’s confirmation,  Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), observed that the proposed health care legislation has  “gaping loopholes that will allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded benefits .”

Since the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has estimated the health care burden of treating illegal immigrants is $11 billion a year, and President Obama is confident Americans will resort to “sensible and reasoned arguments”, citizens may suggest that the president consider taking immigration reform off the backburner. Nationalizing health care just because the system is broken is no rationale for creation of additional unsustainable health care entitlements for citizens or immigrants.

Ralph W. Conner, Chairman CORE-Chicago

###############################
By Thomas J. DiLorenzo

August 20, 2009
Mises.org


Socialized Healthcare vs. The Laws of Economics


The government’s initial step in attempting to create a government-run healthcare monopoly has been to propose a law that would eventually drive the private health insurance industry out of existence. Additional taxes and mandated costs are to be imposed on health insurance companies, while a government-run “health insurance” bureaucracy will be created, ostensibly to “compete” with the private companies. The hoped-for end result is one big government monopoly which, like all government monopolies, will operate with all the efficiency of the post office and all the charm and compassion of the IRS.

Of course, it would be difficult to compete with a rival who has all of his capital and operating costs paid out of tax dollars. Whenever government “competes” with the private sector, it makes sure that the competition is grossly unfair, piling costly regulation after regulation, and tax after tax on the private companies while exempting itself from all of them. This is why the “government-sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were so profitable for so many years. It is also why so many abysmally performing “public” schools remain in existence for decades despite their utter failure at educating children.

America’s Healthcare Future?


Some years ago, the Nobel-laureate economist Milton Friedman studied the history of healthcare supply in America. In a 1992 study published by the Hoover Institution, entitled “Input and Output in Health Care,” Friedman noted that 56 percent of all hospitals in America were privately owned and for-profit in 1910. After 60 years of subsidies for government-run hospitals, the number had fallen to about 10 percent. It took decades, but by the early 1990s government had taken over almost the entire hospital industry. That small portion of the industry that remains for-profit is regulated in an extraordinarily heavy way by federal, state and local governments so that many (perhaps most) of the decisions made by hospital administrators have to do with regulatory compliance as opposed to patient/customer service in pursuit of profit. It is profit, of course, that is necessary for private-sector hospitals to have the wherewithal to pay for healthcare.

Friedman’s key conclusion was that, as with all governmental bureaucratic systems, government-owned or -controlled healthcare created a situation whereby increased “inputs,” such as expenditures on equipment, infrastructure, and the salaries of medical professionals, actually led to decreased “outputs” in terms of the quantity of medical care. For example, while medical expenditures rose by 224 percent from 1965–1989, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 population fell by 44 percent and the number of beds occupied declined by 15 percent. Also during this time of almost complete governmental domination of the hospital industry (1944–1989), costs per patient-day rose almost 24-fold after inflation is taken into account.

The more money that has been spent on government-run healthcare, the less healthcare we have gotten. This kind of result is generally true of all government bureaucracies because of the absence of any market feedback mechanism. Since there are no profits in an accounting sense, by definition, in government, there is no mechanism for rewarding good performance and penalizing bad performance. In fact, in all government enterprises, exactly the opposite is true: bad performance (failure to achieve ostensible goals, or satisfy “customers”) is typically rewarded with larger budgets. Failure to educate children leads to more money for government schools. Failure to reduce poverty leads to larger budgets for welfare state bureaucracies. This is guaranteed to happen with healthcare socialism as well.

Costs always explode whenever the government gets involved, and governments always lie about it. In 1970 the government forecast that the hospital insurance (HI) portion of Medicare would be “only” $2.9 billion annually. Since the actual expenditures were $5.3 billion, this was a 79 percent underestimate of cost. In 1980 the government forecast $5.5 billion in HI expenditures; actual expenditures were more than four times that amount — $25.6 billion. This bureaucratic cost explosion led the government to enact 23 new taxes in the first 30 years of Medicare. (See Ron Hamoway, “The Genesis and Development of Medicare,” in Roger Feldman, ed., American Health Care, Independent Institute, 2000, pp. 15-86). The Obama administration’s claim that a government takeover of healthcare will somehow magically reduce costs is not to be taken seriously. Government never, ever, reduces the cost of doing anything.

All government-run healthcare monopolies, whether they are in Canada, the UK, or Cuba, experience an explosion of both cost and demand — since healthcare is “free.” Socialized healthcare is not really free, of course; the true cost is merely hidden, since it is paid for by taxes.

Whenever anything has a zero explicit price associated with it, consumer demand will increase substantially, and healthcare is no exception. At the same time, bureaucratic bungling will guarantee gross inefficiencies that will get worse and worse each year. As costs get out of control and begin to embarrass those who have promised all Americans a free healthcare lunch, the politicians will do what all governments do and impose price controls, probably under some euphemism such as “global budget controls.”

Price controls, or laws that force prices down below market-clearing levels (where supply and demand are coordinated), artificially stimulate the amount demanded by consumers while reducing supply by making it unprofitable to supply as much as previously. The result of increased demand and reduced supply is shortages. Non-price rationing becomes necessary. This means that government bureaucrats, not individuals and their doctors, inevitably determine who will get medical treatment and who will not, what kind of medical technology will be available, how many doctors there will be, and so forth.

All countries that have adopted socialized healthcare have suffered from the disease of price-control-induced shortages. If a Canadian, for instance, suffers third-degree burns in an automobile crash and is in need of reconstructive plastic surgery, the average waiting time for treatment is more than 19 weeks, or nearly five months. The waiting time for orthopaedic surgery is also almost five months; for neurosurgery it’s three full months; and it is even more than a month for heart surgery (see The Fraser Institute publication, Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada). Think about that one: if your doctor discovers that your arteries are clogged, you must wait in line for more than a month, with death by heart attack an imminent possibility. That’s why so many Canadians travel to the United States for healthcare.

All the major American newspapers seem to have become nothing more than cheerleaders for the Obama administration, so it is difficult to find much in the way of current stories about the debacle of nationalized healthcare in Canada. But if one goes back a few years, the information is much more plentiful. A January 16, 2000, New York Times article entitled “Full Hospitals Make Canadians Wait and Look South,” by James Brooke, provided some good examples of how Canadian price controls have created serious shortage problems.

  • A 58-year-old grandmother awaited open-heart surgery in a Montreal hospital hallway with 66 other patients as electric doors opened and closed all night long, bringing in drafts from sub-zero weather. She was on a five-year waiting list for her heart surgery.
  • In Toronto, 23 of the city’s 25 hospitals turned away ambulances in a single day because of a shortage of doctors.
  • In Vancouver, ambulances have been “stacked up” for hours while heart attack victims wait in them before being properly taken care of.
  • At least 1,000 Canadian doctors and many thousands of Canadian nurses have migrated to the United States to avoid price controls on their salaries.

Wrote Mr. Brooke, “Few Canadians would recommend their system as a model for export.”
Canadian price-control-induced shortages also manifest themselves in scarce access to medical technology. Per capita, the United States has eight times more MRI machines, seven times more radiation therapy units for cancer treatment, six times more lithotripsy units, and three times more open-heart surgery units. There are more MRI scanners in Washington state, population five million, than in all of Canada, with a population of more than 30 million (See John Goodman and Gerald Musgrave, Patient Power).

In the UK as well — thanks to nationalization, price controls, and government rationing of healthcare — thousands of people die needlessly every year because of shortages of kidney dialysis machines, pediatric intensive care units, pacemakers, and even x-ray machines. This is America’s future, if “ObamaCare” becomes a reality.

Regards,
Thomas J. DiLorenzo




Health Care & Race: Three Conservative Perspectives

Peter Kirsanow: “Health Care Rationing And Minorities – A Curious Silence”

The member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and conservative Republican attorney opines: “If, under Obamacare, the federal government allocates health-care expenditures on a utilitarian basis — i.e., on a cost/benefit analysis driven in part by the life expectancy of the patient — then certain groups could be affected more than others. Obviously, the elderly who’ve shown up at town-hall meetings have concluded that they will suffer the biggest impact. But studies also show that blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans often have lower projected survival rates than whites and Asians for various diseases. Accordingly, it’s possible that under Obamacare patients from the former three groups would be denied the more expensive (but only marginally more effective) treatments granted patients in the latter two groups. This wouldn’t be [intentional] disparate treatment; rather, there may be a disparate impact on blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans based on survivability rates. Since, e.g., blacks (for numerous reasons, including finances, diet/lifestyle, seeking initial treatment much later than whites, etc.) are more likely to die within five years of certain cancer diagnoses than are whites, there may be a greater probability that the more expensive interventions will be withheld from blacks in the aggregate.”

More: “Typically, the Left is alert to any possibility, however remote, that a governmental policy or piece of legislation may have a disparate impact on protected classes (‘Administration Fails to Act on Asteroid Threat: Minorities and Women Hardest Hit’). Yet thus far there’s been absolutely no discussion of whether rationing may have a disparate impact on certain minority groups. Does anyone doubt that such discussion would be loud and vigorous if, say, Newt Gingrich were the primary sponsor of the health-care bill?”

Magic Negro Watch Blog: “Health Care Becomes A Racial Issue: ‘We Are Talking About Taking From Hard-Working White People And Giving To Lazy Black Folks”

The conservative blog in Lawrence, Kansas takes issue with white liberal writer and activist Tim Wise’s comments on CNN contending that the government-run health care reform debate is all about race
: “I’m reading all of these liberal blogs and I’m seeing in written form what this video points out. They are working so hard to sell the race baiting card that they are failing to realize that even people sympathetic to Obama are starting to say ‘stop the insanity.’ I believe that liberals/Democrats are beginning to see that Obama is a f___g disaster. When they had Bill Clinton at least they had a great charismatic b___r who could string together coherent thoughts to get his point across. Obama is just a dumbass and an arrogant one at that and people like this dude are trying their best to cover for his stupidity.”

Kevin Martin: “Playing The Race Card Without A Full Deck”

The conservative Republican argues that it’s not surprising that the Obama administration began pulling out the race card as his policies have grown increasingly unpopular, but rather how quickly it has happened: “In a change from the Bush years, however, it appears liberals no longer consider dissent to be patriotic. A Washington Post reporter wrote that town halls have ‘transcended their original purpose and become a kind of professional wrestling for the civically engaged.’ More cynical critics suggest those exercising their constitutional rights are racists. The leftists who selected Obama saw him as a vessel to pass the most radical agenda in decades. They seem to have strategized that, once public opinion shifted away from them, they would use his race to try to silence his detractors. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Representative James Clyburn (D-SC) – a member of the congressional leadership – likened disgruntled constituents to mobs opposing the civil rights movement. Clyburn said about current protests: ‘This is an attempt on the part of some to deny the establishment of a civil right.’ Representative John Dingell (D-MI) told MSNBC: ‘[T]he last time I had to confront something like this was when I voted for the civil rights bill… At that time, we had a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks and white supremacists and folks in white sheets and other things running around causing trouble.’ Speaking of MSNBC, host Carlos Watson worried on-air ‘whether or not ’socialist’ is becoming the new n-word for, frankly, for some angry upset birthers and others.'”

More: “People speaking out at town halls are genuinely concerned about the direction our nation is being pushed. They are frustrated because they feel they are removed from governing. They are not racists. What about their opposition? The White House suggested supporters ‘punch back twice as hard.’ At least one Obama follower took this literally in Missouri when Kenneth Gladney, a black man, was roughed up and reportedly called the n-word while handing out ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags at Representative Russ Carnahan’s (D-MO) August 7 town hall meeting. The actions. The disfranchisement. The hate speech. When all the facts are on the table, it’s clear who’s bringing race into all this: Obama and his team.”

Ralph W. Conner appears on EXTENSION 720

hosted by renown legendary Milt Rosenberg on WGN RADSIO in Chicago July 1, 2009

(with Heartland Institute President Joe Bast and

Heartland publisher Dan Miller)

Listen to the TRUTH ABOUT CAP AND TRADE

WAXMAN-MARKEY LEGISLATION 2009:

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