Saturday, July 05, 2008

Broken Babies

Atrocities and hyper inflation continue in Zimbabwe. The legs of this baby were broken because the father is an MDC official. See the photo broken baby

Neighboring Botswana, an intelligent, democratic country, is amassing troops and armor on its border with Zimbabwe -- to deflect an expected flood of refugees.

There is talk of military intervention by neighboring countries. Idi Amin, the terrible killer of Uganda, was finally overthrown by an army invading from Tanzania in 1979. Amin settled prosperously and anonymously in Saudi Arabia after he was deposed.
One hopes that similar arrangements can be made for Robert Mugabe.

And yet, who are we to watch and worry? It is an African problem, so let them solve it. That is what African leaders say -- but that is not what the people on the street say.
The common people do not display the racial fears of their leadership. The common people welcome friendship, investment, and support from any decent party.

But the African leadership is threatened -- by their own incompetence and corruption, which is on display on the world stage. And they excuse themselves by saying that others are just as bad.

But I would say -- No, Africa does not belong to you alone, it belongs to the world, because we hear the cries of your broken babies.

And when you are wrong, it does not matter if someone else is worse.

AMERICA IS FOR SALE ON CRAIGSLIST. gives a global view of property prices. From Copenhagen to Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo -- every major city on earth has a presence on Craigslist -- with jobs wanted, and personals, just like here in our country.

What I have found especially interesting are the property for sale listings. You can cruise the world and find out what a condo costs in Paris or Singapore.

What also struck me is how many American properties are listed on foreign sites. The weaker dollar and the housing bust make American homes and businesses a bargain right now.

Smart investors from Europe, Asia, and Latin America are checking out the deals in the USA.

Our country is in a recession and facing a host of problems, but foreign investment in American property shows that some people have confidence that we can turn this around. So this is good news.

Or it might not be good news. In Zimbabwe, so-called "vulture funds" are buying property right now -- houses, game farms, resorts -- sold by desperate people at fire-sale prices for pennies on the dollar. It's a long shot bet -- that the Zimbabwe economy will ever recover -- but some sharp-witted profit-seekers are willing to take the chance.

THE SUMMER OLYMPICS will be in Peking this year. The Olympics Games, since their re-establishment in 1896, have never been held in Africa. Capetown in South Africa made an unsuccessful bid to host the games of 2008, but this beautiful city was turned down -- because it was "too far away" -- from who?

The Olympic Games have been held just once in Latin America -- in 1968 in Mexico City. Latin America is also "too far away."

What does this say about the so-called international, multi-cultural spirit of the Games? It's all about the money.

HEALTH CARE. People make mistakes, in every manner of human endeavor -- the administration of medicine, for instance. The nurses learn the Five Rights -- you must give the Right Medicine to the Right Patient in the Right Dose at the Right Time, and by the Right Route.

The Route means if its by mouth, or by an injection or by other means.

If you don't get all the Five Rights, the patient might be harmed. Take this hospital where I work, with over a 100 beds, not counting the ER and the birthing center. And many patients are taking five or more different kinds of medication.

That is a very complicated procedure -- subject to intense and constant scrutiny. The order goes from the doctor to the nurse, to the pharmacy, back to the nurse, and then to the patient, and it all gets documented and signed off and counted, and there are all manner of checks and double checks.

It's a good thing I'm not in charge of that.

DATING DOCTORS. I dated a doctor a few years ago. It didn't last long. She was researching a disease that she had herself, and I thought that was a very bad idea. I'm not a scientist, I said to her, but where is your objectivity? And she thought it was none of my business, and I said yeah, I guess we don't have much to talk about. That was it.

I was right, by the way.

OSTEOPOROSIS is the weakening of the bones in old age. It mainly effects women, because of their different hormones, so I am not likely to have this problem. But every hospital in the country has a constant stream of hip fractures -- women of 80 years who fall down -- just an easy fall, but their bones got so brittle that it broke at the hip.

The surgeons can pin the bones back together, but it heals very slowly on an elderly person, and often the patient will never walk again.

Osteoporosis is a growing problem -- in a way it's a good problem -- because so many women survive so many other diseases nowadays -- and then live long enough to get brittle bones.

Vitamin D and calcium tablets are supposed to help prevent this problem. Zoledronic Acid is a new drug being tested now. I've read about it in the medical journals. Then I looked up the price on the Internet pharmacy -- about $800 for a 4 milligram vial. That's enough for one injection, and one injection should get your bones all right for a year. Plus whatever the doctor charges you for telling you to take it, plus the nurse who gives you the injection. If you have the money or the insurance.

FROG HOSPITAL ANALYSIS. I am thinking to write exclusively about health care, in order to give this newsletter an identity and more coherence.

I know I want to trim the wide-ranging subject matter and reach a sharper focus.

The other topics of which I have an ability and an interest are: Africa and national politics.

I have also written knowledgeably about agriculture, gardening, and some cultural matters.

I would appreciate your opinion about this -- tell me what you think.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Broken babies. Broken ladies.
We could put pins in the hips of women when they reach 25. They will fall overthemselves to thank us at 80.

America does not belong to you alone, it belongs to the world. We must sell it to the broken babies. FREE. Pick it up on the porch tomorrow.

This summer, doctors will perform in the Olympics. Five rings= five rights. Patients are lining up in Peking from as far aways as South America.

It's not all about the money, man. Sometimes, it's about the frogs.

Fred. Please write about whatever crosses your mind. Coherency is over-rated.