Northern Lights Color the Skies

http://interactives.krqe.com/photomojo/gallery/18372/332317/northern-lights-color-the-skies/near-borth-wisconsin/

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Richard Cordray, my hero

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-20/bank-customers-may-get-their-day-in-court

Mandatory arbitration clauses were created by corporate lawyers about 15 years ago and buried in the fine print of credit card contracts and checking account agreements. But they may not live much longer following the March 10 publication of a three-year study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The 728-page report confirmed what consumer advocacy groups have long argued: Mandatory arbitration doesn’t much help customers but does prevent expensive lawsuits against banks. The bureau was required to complete the report under the Dodd-Frank Act prior to issuing new regulations. “Now that our study has been completed, we will consider what next steps are appropriate,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement…

The bureau can count on supporters who have successfully fought off efforts to defang it since its creation in 2010. Those include Senator Al Franken. The Minnesota Democrat has for years railed against forced arbitration clauses not only in consumer finance agreements but also in employment, mobile phone, and cable-TV contracts…

Faces of Lawsuit Abuse

http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-20/u-s-sets-first-fracking-rules-since-process-fueled-energy-boom

Oil Industry Meets First Federal Fracking Rules With a Lawsuit

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-sweeney/how-small-businesses-can-_1_b_3455172.html

Patent trolls are some of the biggest drains on American business — they tie up time, resources, and, according to a 2011 study by Boston University, cost American businesses $29 Billion in that year alone…

http://www.medscape.com/features/content/6006313

10/2/2014, All-Time Craziest Frivolous Lawsuits

Physicians have long complained about frivolous malpractice lawsuits. The assault on their reputations and the emotional upheaval they face can be traumatic even when the lawsuit is obviously fraudulent…

Experienced plaintiffs’ attorneys say that they must spend $50,000-$75,000 in expenses long before trial to secure and review medical records and expert testimony. “We can’t afford to file frivolous cases,” said Armand Leone, MD, a radiologist and attorney in Glen Rock, New Jersey. “We’d go out of business.”

Although frivolous cases have declined significantly, they still exist, and some are truly outrageous…

http://www.tortreformtruth.com/fact-vs-fiction/frivolous-lawsuits/

Despite popular opinion, statistics show that America doesn’t have a frivolous lawsuit problem. The Rand Institute for Civil Justice, one of the most respected think tanks in the nation, found that only 10 percent of injured people seek compensation and only 2 percent of them file lawsuits. The Rand Institute also found that since 1991, tort cases reflected only six percent of all cases filed…

The frivolous lawsuit myth is an invention of big business. Corporations and insurance companies, though selective and sometimes entirely false reports, have framed several legitimate lawsuits as frivolous and an abuse of our courts. Through a relentless and well-funded public relations campaign, big business has transformed civil cases into urban myths that propagate the frivolous lawsuit myth…

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/votes/190310-house-approves-automatic-fines-for-filing-frivolous-lawsuits

11/14/2013, House approves automatic fines for filing frivolous lawsuits

The legislation is an attempt to discourage frivolous legal actions that Republicans say tie up thousands of hours and millions of dollars for companies each year…

http://www.medmalfacts.com/facts-and-myths/

On average, 97 percent of medical negligence claims have merit. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health examined over 1,400 closed medical negligence claims and found that 97 percent were meritorious. Of those 1,400 claims, 80 percent involved death or serious injury. The study concluded that “portraits of a malpractice system that is stricken with frivolous litigation are overblown.”

Only one in eight people injured by medical negligence file a malpractice claim. According to the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable medical errors, and hundreds of thousands more suffer non-fatal injuries. Despite the massive number of medical injuries, medical malpractice lawsuits are uncommon, constituting only three percent of the civil tort caseload…

On average, just 6 percent of doctors are responsible for nearly 60 percent of all malpractice payments…

A Life Unworthy of Life

http://robertmgoldstein.com/category/photography-and-art/2015-blog-for-mental-health/

America’s history in the eugenics movement is just as shameful as our history of slavery.  I say it’s our “history” because slavery and eugenics are no longer around.  Or are they?

The drug war is just like slavery, only we now put black and brown people behind bars (where they work for prison contractors for very little pay).  The prison industry provides economic benefits to the cities and states where prisons are located, just like rich plantation owners provided to the societies they lived in.  Without the slaves (prisons), how would these communities survive?

And certainly modern day slavery includes working in coal mines, and maybe even having to work in a cubicle all day.  We are all slaves to money — you can’t live without it.  Yes, we are also slaves to consumerism, but perhaps that’s changing.  (Okay, maybe not.)

You could look at the social programs in America today and easily compare them to the eugenics of our past — just like Robert has done in the linked post.  If you slap a different name on it, like the drug war for slavery, that doesn’t change the results.  Death is death, whether you die in a prison camp or because you can’t afford to pay for cancer treatment.  A prison is a prison, whether it’s political, economic, from chronic pain, or because of the color of your skin or your gender.

The differences in how the medical industry treats physical and mental health could easily be seen as a eugenics-type program.  The excuse that we don’t understand mental health as well as physical health is bogus.  There are plenty of things that science hasn’t figured out about physical health and disease, yet it continues to treat all conditions it can give a name to. And we’ve known for a long time about the connection between the mind and the body — it is impossible to separate them, they are one and the same.

This is what the American Medical Association said in 1994:

“Withholding or Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment. The social commitment of the physician is to sustain life and relieve suffering. Where the performance of one duty conflicts with the other, the preferences of the patient should prevail…

As far as I can tell, the AMA still uses this language.  And yet for pain patients, it appears this language does not apply.  Relieve suffering?  Preferences of the patient?  Perhaps this language only applies for end-of-life care.  If your medical condition is terminal, you get to choose your treatment options; if your condition is chronic, the DEA gets to choose.

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/the-american-medical-associations-misguided-position-on-euthanasia/

For a patient who is terminal, and suffering horribly, the role of the physician as “healer” is no longer attainable…

For a chronic pain patient who is suffering horribly, the role of the physician as “healer” is no longer attainable.

Perhaps a brand new specialty should be created for treating pain.  If doctors aren’t going to prescribe the medications that work, what are we paying them to do?  Hold our hands?

The current specialty of pain management and rehabilitation is outdated and woefully inadequate.  (Woefully.)  Patients aren’t respected in this system and have no rights. The DEA gets to decide which treatments are allowed and doctors have to submit to the DEA, leaving patients with fewer and fewer options for treatments that work.

Pain patients should create their own treatment specialties, just like former alcoholics are now addiction treatment counselors and experts.  If there were more addiction treatment programs that didn’t rely on AA-like beliefs, maybe there would be more former alcoholics who were using programs that provided all available treatment options.  And maybe the outlook for people who suffer from addiction would be a little bit better.  It would be nice to create something like that for pain patients.

Not medical care, not health care, but pain care.

Every Leaf Is A Flower

“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  Albert Camus

“If we need the Earth to survive but we’re destroying it, are we committing suicide?”  Internet meme