Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WHY DOES MY HEARTBLEED-THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET


Once again, a major story has been revealed today about a seriously weakness in Internet web security that affects at least 66 per cent of all Internet web sites.

Amazingly, this flaw has existed for over two years without any of the web sites affected even being aware of the problem.

Instead, this security error has been discovered by an independent group of technology researchers.

So much for the illusion that anyone has left that their personal information is protected from identity thieves and we are all victims or potentially vulnerable to this huge problem.

The real problem is that the web site providers, almost all of them Corporations, are simply too lazy, too cheap, to spend the money necessary in providing stronger security internally on their sites to protect us.

What's a person to do?

Nothing is the answer, since technology is everywhere, and there is no way to avoid your information being stored on a server maintained by these websites. 

Even if you never used the Internet, your information is entered through store purchases and "mined" by Company's that sell your marketing information, profile, and most of who you are to other Company's that then enter it all into their web server data base. 

Technology cannot continue on its current course of slipshod, weak and indifferent policies of not protecting the public in a better manner.

There will never be 100 per cent full proof security, 
but  a lot of this stuff is not rocket science, requires basic monitoring, better software, and a desire
on behalf of Internet providers to at least provide 
some real protection against having their users 
private information easily stolen.

Users can test if web sites they use are vulnerable to this bug, CLICK HERE TO TEST, although this test is reported to not be 100 per cent reliable.

Critical Security "BUG" -(CLICK HERE)- 

"Heartbleed" Hits Up To 66 Percent Of the Internet
The Heartbleed bug has affected the back end of a full two thirds of the Internet.

As much as 66 percent of the Web may have been compromised by a newly revealed security flaw called Heartbleed.
 

Named by the researchers who discovered it, Heartbleed is a bug that affects an important Internet security protocol called SSL. Specifically, it affects one particular implementation of SSL called OpenSSL.

For context (and to understand how bad Heartbleed is), here's how SSL and OpenSSL work: Every time you log into a website, your login credentials are sent to that web site's server. But in most cases those credentials aren't simply sent to the server in plain text, they're encrypted using a protocol called Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL.

As with most protocols, different software makers have created different implementations of SSL. One of the most popular is an open-source implementation called OpenSSL, used by an estimated two thirds of currently active websites.

Heartbleed is a bug in OpenSSL. Hackers can exploit Heartbleed to get raw text from emails, instant messages, passwords, even business documents -- anything a user sends to a vulnerable site's server.

And the scariest part? 


The Heartbleed security flaw existed for nearly two years before it was discovered by legitimate researchers. That's plenty of time for black-hat hackers to have discovered and exploited the bug.

Matthew Prince, CEO of content delivery network Cloudflare, one of the first businesses to be notified of the bug, told The Huffington Post that sadly, there's not much normal netizens can do to protect themselves. "When you finish using a website, make sure to actively log out," Prince advised that makes it less likely that a hacker exploiting Heartbleed will be able to take your personal information.

Prince also put in a word of comfort: "Heartbleed is so serious, it's such a big, bad event, that almost every major service is scrambling to clean it up as quickly as possible." He estimated that most currently vulnerable websites will be "patched" by the end of the week.

Though a number of major websites have already been patched, others, including OKCupid, Flickr, Imagur and Yahoo.com, reportedly remain vulnerable to Heartbleed.
 

Vulnerable sites should not be logged into until they're patched  check those sites' blogs or Twitter feeds for updates and once a website has its patch in place, you should change your password for that site as soon as possible.

What makes these problems so frightening is that no-one appears to be awake in these IT departments of the worlds Company's to even catch a major security flaw such as heartbleed. 

If the private researchers hadn't discovered this bug on their own, no-one would even know that it exists.

To be honest, there has to be hundreds of security flaws in the various technologies that exist.

Soon there will be another one discovered and  everyone will rush to "patch it".

Patches are just what the word means, they are temporary ways of closing a loophole in software. 

The only way to fix these problems is for Corporations to invest the resources and time to take this seriously.

Perhaps they should hire those that steal by exploiting these bugs, to redesign their web sites.

Don't hold your breath about this ever happening,
as it's not "cost effective" to protect your privacy 
in the Corporate culture of this world.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A HUMAN LIFE IS NOT EVEN WORTH 59 CENTS- GM, TOO BIG TO FAIL,TOO BIG TO CARE

This is one of those story's that shows again the horrible truth of the lack of value given to a human life by our society.

It is about how no one gives a shit about any of us regular folks and how money, profits are the real god worshipped by our society.

It is about General Motors (GM), the same GM that earned 3.8 Billion dollars in the year 2013 -CLICK HERE, and is the 7th largest Corporation in America.

It is the GM that declared bankruptcy in 2009, and then on July 10, 2009, General Motors emerged from government backed Chapter 11 reorganization after an initial filing on June 8, 2009.[13][14]  

On December 10, 2013, the U.S. Treasury sold the last of its GM stock bringing an end to the controversial government ownership of the car company. 

The final cost of the GM bailout cost the U. S. taxpayer $12 billion ($10.5 billion for General Motors and $1.5 billion for former GM financing GMAC, now known as Ally).

You see GM was too big to be allowed to fail as a Company and so it was bailed out of Bankruptcy by the taxpayers of the United States, even though its financial failure was caused by the Company's decades of mismanagement.

But what kind of company did the government and taxpayers save? 

One that waited a decade to recall millions of cars with a lethal defect that would shut down engines without warning. 

One that chose not to replace the defective part when it was first detected, a faulty spring component in the ignition switch, which would have cost 59 cents to replace when it was first detected.

GM had a "culture of cover up," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, on Wednesday at a congressional hearing featuring embattled GM CEO Mary Barra.

McCaskill, a former prosecutor, said an engineer for the company had "repeatedly lied" when he didn't admit in a deposition that he had changed the faulty ignition switch, but not the part number, clearly showing that GM was trying to cover up its previous failure to fix the bad part. 

McCaskill further stated that “The facts are pretty clear. You don’t need an investigation to understand that they had a defective switch and someone at GM in the engineering department changed that faulty switch to a newly designed, non defective switch and didn’t change the part number.”

“There is no reason to keep the same part-number unless you’re trying to hide the fact that you’ve got a defective switch out there that in fact ended up killing a number of people on our highways,” McCaskill concluded.

GM's behavior "goes beyond unacceptable," Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said on Wednesday. "I believe this is criminal," she said.

Now, due to the pressure put on GM by a small group of families, whose relatives are 13 victims of a fatal GM automobile defect in an ignition switch, that was known to GM for at least the last 10 years, there is a mounting uproar about how GM deliberately hid this defect from the public "because it was too expensive for them to recall the affected cars for repairs".

They have only gone public at this time about this defect in their automobiles due to the bad publicity generated by the victims families, and not because of any accountability concerns that the Company suddenly feels.

GM has also officially confirmed that the"too expensive" repair cost is 59 cents per car to fix the defective ignition switch.

GM only admits to 13 deaths caused by this ignition defect, but the amount of people killed is expected to rise much higher as investigators from government agencies conduct a comprehensive search of fatalities linked to the affected GM model cars. 

If you drive a car made by GM or know anyone who does, please share this as you may save your/their life. Call your local GM dealer, even if your car model is not yet mentioned as there is no way to be certain that GM is including publicly all the actual affected models.

Apparently the 59 cents per car repair fix cost was  considered much too expensive for GM, although they made over 13.3 billion dollars in 2013, to avoid killing human beings who drive their death trap cars. 

Even now, while millions of people drive these ticking time bomb cars with the defective ignitions, essentially automobiles that are deathtraps, GM says that repairs to these cars will take until next October.

So rather than expedite this repair process, or better yet tell people to STOP driving these cars, GM continues to ignore the lives of human beings who are in danger of being killed by the cars fatal defect. 

Profit clearly more important to GM, a Company too big to fail but too big to care about it deliberately deciding to kill numerous innocent human beings, because 59 cents a car repairs is too much money for them to spend, and telling people to stop driving these automobiles, well that wouldn't be "cost effective" either.

There appears to be no wiggle room for GM on this issue as to their being legally guilty of murder. They consciously made a business decision based on profits over saving human lives. But they will wiggle their way out of this, as so many previous Corporations have done.

And so as the usual "script' in these cases unfolds, the current GM CEO Mary Barra blames this all on former GM executives, and that of course she knew nothing about any of this.

We know how this story will end. GM will pay money to the families who were murdered by them, Congress will seek all the publicity that they can get to enhance their political status from this, and no one will ever go to jail from GM for murdering at least 13 people and then hiding what they did.

GM has so far linked 13 deaths and 31 crashes to the switches, which can inadvertently be moved out of position, potentially disabling the air bags. 

GM hasn’t publicly named the 13 victims but after an exhaustive search on online, I am able to name some below during this blog post. These are victims families who have gone public with their facts, but have not been discussed very much by the mainstream media.

Unlike you and me, who would be sentenced to prison for life, GM and Company's such as GM, always manage to escape prosecution, especially for killing innocent people. 

General Motors should be seen as no different than other murderers, killers of innocent people.

GM represents the classic arrogant Corporate Culture credo and that of our very own legal system which are designed to use their power to detach themselves from accountability, by not providing justice to victims.

Instead, these systems are in the business of erasing the lives of human beings who lived, and were killed by injustices. Sadly, that is the way it is, the way it will always be.

Let's put human faces on the victims and their families whose lives were ended by their being murdered by GM.


The birth mother Laura Gipe Christian of Dentsville, Md.(above) CLICK HERE TO READ MORE whose 16-year-old daughter Amber Marie Rose was killed in a crash of a Cobalt in 2005. 

Amber's  2005 death was the first linked to an ignition switch problem that's triggered a massive recall of General Motors vehicles, says that says through a Face Book Group called "GM Recall Survivors"- CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS GROUP set up by families of victims, she's identified at least 29 fatalities due to the defect. GM only acknowledges 13 deaths.

"I found 29 so far myself,". She said she's determined the additional fatalities using crash data, police reports or eyewitnesses [who reported] the airbags did not deploy."

Ken Rimer of Hammond, Wis., whose stepdaughter Natasha Weigel, 18, was killed in a 2005 Cobalt said, “They are not just 13 victims. We are real people.”

Sarah Trautwein, 19, lost control of her blue 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt on Interstate 95 near Charleston, S.C. as she headed home from visiting friends in June 2009. Her car began to run off the road, authorities said, causing her to over correct and hit a tree in the highway median. She died instantly.

Susan Hayes, 49, of Ticonderoga, N.Y., said she received a recall notice in February for her son’s silver Chevrolet Cobalt. By then, her son, Ryan Quigley, 23, had been dead for more than two years. He and a friend were killed when Quigley’s Cobalt, purchased just four months earlier, veered off the road and plunged over an embankment, landing upside-down in a small stream not far from the family’s home. The force of the crash was so violent that it broke her son’s sternum.
  
Cathy Sachse, whose mother-in-law was killed in 2009, while driving a Saturn Ion in Missouri.


(Victims:The above photos of 13 dead victims of the General Motors Company safety defects related to a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 deaths and dozen of crashes).


(Heartbreaking: Congressmen who were doing the questioning throughout Tuesday's hearing repeatedly drew attention above to the families of the victims who brought photos of their loved ones into the chambers).


(The victims relatives above decided to come as a collected force, calling themselves 'GM Recall Survivors').

It was revealed today that the piece needed to fix a defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 traffic deaths would have cost just 57 cents, according to documents submitted by General Motors to lawmakers investigating why the company took 10 years to recall cars with the flaw.

CEO Mary Barra has testified in a congressional hearing today saying that she was disturbed by past GM comments that the cost of replacing defective switches in some cars was too high.

'I am deeply sorry,' Barra said at the beginning of the hearing.

At a hearing Tuesday, members of a House subcommittee demanded answers from Barra about why the automaker used the switch in small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion even though it knew the part didn't meet GM's own specifications.
Looking for answers: Barra said that the company has ordered a wide-ranging investigation and she will know the answers to many of the committee's questions once that is completed

Colorado Representative Diana DeGette held up a switch for one of the cars and said a small spring inside it failed to provide enough force, causing car engines to turn off when they went over a bump.

DeGette showed how easy it was for a light set of keys to move the ignition out of the ‘run’ position. 

That can cause the engine to stall and the driver to lose power steering and power brakes.

‘Documents provided by GM show that this unacceptable cost increase was only 57 cents,’ DeGette said.

In her prepared statement, Barra said she doesn't know ‘why it took years for a safety defect to be announced,’ but ‘we will find out.’

Since February, GM has recalled 2.6 million cars over the faulty switch. The automaker said new switches should be available starting April 7.
'Too costly': Congresswoman Diana DeGette holds up an ignition switch that reportedly cost 57 cents per piece but GM heads previously said that a recall would be too expensive

Owners can ask dealers for a loaner car while waiting for the replacement part. Barra said GM has provided more than 13,000 loaner vehicles.

GM has said that in 2005 company engineers proposed solutions to the switch problem but that the automaker concluded that none represented ‘an acceptable business case.’

In an exchange with Pennsylvania Representative Tim Murphy, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Barra acknowledged that the switch didn't meet the company's own specifications.

Murphy also read from an e-mail exchange between GM employees and those at Delphi, which made the switch.

One said that the Cobalt is ‘blowing up in their face in regards to the car turning off.’
Barra announced that the company had retained Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who helped lead the disbursement of claims for Boston Marathon and September 11 victims, to help address how GM should compensate the families of their victims.

In his prepared remarks, David Friedman, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pointed the finger at GM, saying the automaker had deliberately hidden information for the last decade that could have led to a recall, but shared it only last month.

Republican Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan, who serves as the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said GM and government regulators got complaints about the switches 10 years ago, and GM submitted reports to the agency.
Committee member Representative Henry Waxman said that committee staff members found 133 warranty claims filed with GM over 10 years detailing customer complaints of sudden engine stalling when they drove over a bump or brushed keys with their knees.

The claims were filed between June 2003 and June 2012.

Waxman said that because GM didn't undertake a simple fix when it learned of the problem, ‘at least a dozen people have died in defective GM vehicles.’

Some current GM car owners and relatives of those who died in crashes were also in Washington seeking answers.

The group attended the hearing after holding a news conference demanding action against GM and stiffer legislation.

TRACKING THE TIMELINE: FROM WHEN THE PROBLEM WAS FIRST REPORTED MORE THAN A DECADE AGO TO WHEN GM FINALLY ISSUED THE RECALL

2001: A report on the Saturn Ion, which was still in development, notes problems with the ignition switch, but says a design change solved the problems.

February 2002: GM approves the ignition switch design, even though it was told by Delphi — the supplier — that initial tests showed the switch didn't meet GM's specifications.

2003: A service technician reports that a Saturn Ion stalled while driving, and that the weight of the owners' keys had worn down the ignition switch.

Late 2004: The Saturn Ion's cousin, the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, goes on sale. GM learns of at least one crash where a Cobalt engine lost power after the driver inadvertently moved the key or steering column. GM engineers replicate the problem in test drives. An inquiry is opened within the company, but closes after potential solutions are rejected.

February 2005: GM engineers meet to consider making changes to the ignition switch after stalling reports. But an engineer says the switch is "very fragile" and advises against changes.

March 2005: The engineering manager of the Cobalt closes an investigation, saying an ignition switch fix would take too long and cost too much, and that "none of the solutions represents an acceptable business case."

May 2005: A GM engineer proposes changing the design of the key so it won't tug the ignition switch downward. The solution is initially approved but later cancelled.

July 29, 2005: Amber Marie Rose, 16, dies in a frontal crash in her 2005 Cobalt. A contractors hired by NHTSA found that the Cobalt's ignition had moved out of the "run" position and into the "accessory" position, which cut off power to power steering the air bags.

September 2005: GM's legal staff opens a file on the Maryland crash.

December 2005: GM tells dealers to inform owners of Cobalts to take excess items off their key chains so the key isn't pulled downward. Also, inserts placed on customers' keys can prevent the keys from shifting while in the ignition. The bulletin includes the 2005-2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2003-2006 Saturn Ion, 2006 Chevrolet HHR, 2006 Pontiac Solstice and the 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit, which was sold in Canada. Warranty records show that only 474 owners got those key inserts.

April 2006: A GM engineer signs off on a redesign of the ignition switch. The new switch goes into cars from the 2007 model year and later.
October 2006: GM updates the dealer bulletin to add vehicles from the 2007 model year.

March 2007: A group of GM employees learn from NHTSA staff of the 2005 fatal crash. By the end of the year, GM has data on nine crashes — in four, the ignition had moved from the run position to the accessory position.

August 2007: NHTSA contracts with Indiana University to study a 2006 Wisconsin crash in which two passengers died. The report finds the ignition in the 2005 Cobalt was in the accessory position and the air bags didn't deploy.

September 2007: Chief of NHTSA's Defects Assessment Division proposes an investigation of air bags failing to deploy in the Cobalt and Ion. Two months later, a NHTSA panel decides not to open a formal investigation, saying that the air bags aren't failing at a higher rate than peer vehicles.

2009: GM decides to change the key's head from a "slot" design to a "hole" design to reduce downward force. The key is changed for the 2010 model year — the last year the Cobalt is sold.

2010: After a NHTSA investigation, GM agrees to repair power steering motors in a little more than 1 million 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts and 2007-2010 Pontiac G5s.

2011: GM launches a new investigation into 2005-2007 Cobalts and the 2007 Pontiac G5 to determine why their air bags didn't deploy in crashes.

2012: GM widens the investigation, but it closes without reaching a conclusion.
December 2013: Incoming CEO Mary Barra learns about the ignition switch defect.


January 2014: A committee of GM executives approves a recall.

February 13: GM recalls 780,000 compact cars, including Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5s and Pontiac Pursuits from the 2005-2007 model years.
February 25: GM expands the recall to include Saturn Ions and three other vehicles. The recall now totals 1.6 million vehicles worldwide.

March 5: NHTSA demands that GM turn over by April 3 documents showing when it found out about the ignition switch problem. Barra promises employees an "unvarnished" investigation into what happened.

March 10: A House subcommittee says it will hold a hearing, eventually set for April 1, on the GM recalls. The Justice Department is also conducting a criminal probe.

March 17: GM announces three new recalls of 1.5 million vehicles, as part of an effort to assure buyers that it's moving faster to fix safety defects.

March 18: Barra apologizes for the deaths that occurred. She appoints a new global safety chief.

March 28: GM expands the small car recall to include 971,000 vehicles from the 2008-2011 model years, which may have gotten the defective switches as replacement parts.

March 31: GM recalls 1.5 million vehicles, including the 2010 Cobalt and the 2004-2007 Ion, because the electronic power-steering assist can suddenly stop working.

April 1-2: Barra, NHTSA acting chief David Friedman to testify before Congressional committees.

April 7: GM expects replacement switches to be available at dealerships. The company says the repairs could take until October.

How do you replace a human life that is gone forever?

GM and the Corporate Culture they represent really does not "waste" their valuable time with such trivial things as the cost effective value of protecting human beings who buy their products.

The job of murders, killers is to erase the memories of the victims, and that is what GM will eventually succeed at doing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consumer Alert: GM Ignition Switch Recall Information 
General Motors has notified NHTSA that it is recalling vehicles because a defective ignition switch can affect the safe operation of airbag systems.

This is a serious safety issue that should be addressed immediately by following GM’s recommendation to "use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring" and getting the repairs as soon as consumers receive final notification from GM. Owners can also contact GM for information on how to request courtesy transportation.
These recalled GM vehicles include:
  • All 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2005-2007 Pontiac G5
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007-2010 Saturn Sky
NHTSA urges owners of these recalled vehicles to contact GM immediately and to access additional information provided by the company on their corporate web site. You may also contact the GM Customer Engagement Center at 1-800-222-1012.
You may also contact customer service for your specific GM model:
  • Chevrolet: 1-800-222-1020 (TTY 1-800-833-2438)
  • Pontiac: 1-800-762-2737 (TTY 1-800-833-7668)
  • Saturn: 1-800-553-6000 (TTY 1-800-833-6000)
Again, until the recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that customers remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. Always wear your seatbelt.

View GM-supplied documents regarding the three recalls:
Consumers can also view the complete public recall file for NHTSA Recall 14V047

Thursday, March 27, 2014

THE SUPREME COURT SAYS TO AMERICANS GO TO HELL



When religious persons control private, for profit businesses, what rights do they have over you as your employer?

Could they make you go to church on Sunday? Could they make you kneel in prayer five times a day?

But this past Tuesday,  March 25, (CLICK HERE) the Supreme Court of the United States began hearing oral arguments about whether private businesses with devout owners should be exempt from providing health plans to employees under the Affordable Care Act that include access to contraception.

It's sometimes known as the Hobby Lobby case, named for one of the companies that sued because its religious owners believes that God prohibits contraception.

That Hobby Lobby would take this matter all the way to the Supreme Court tells me those owners truly believe they would end up in hell if they obeyed that law.

So the court has a tough decision to make. They really should have refused to hear this case and leave things as they are.

The Supreme Court is not above God, although some of the Justices seem to believe that they are god like, but I don't imagine it wants to be seen as forcing Americans to do what sends them to hell.

I should also point out there are many things that can get you sent to hell. We all know religious persons who feel that one or two recent wars that they were forced to pay for, as well as our entire nuclear arsenal, are a clear violation of at least one of the major commandments.

So if the Supreme Court is going to protect one person's religious sensitivities over how the government forces them to spend their money, wouldn't they have to do the same for everybody?

I doubt that would happen, as our so called unbiased legal system in the United States is dysfunctionally unequal when it comes to providing equal justice for all.

Religion has no place has no place in the US Supreme Court. Religion, or the lack thereof, is such a deeply, deeply personal thing. People who think they've got a personal pipeline to the divine make me nervous. People in power who think they've got a personal pipeline to the divine make me even more nervous.

Religion has been used in this country to justify all sorts of evil things, hatred of people who are "different", intolerance, ignorance, edifice complexes of expensive buildings while the poor are often ignored, massive coverups of children being abused by those who wear the cloak of god  It encourages revisionist thinking, like the Texas Board of Education's reshaping American history in its textbooks.

And unless you've pulled some mystical magic trick, died, crossed over to the great beyond and come back again, how do you really know what God's thinking? If, that is, He/She exists at all.

Well the Supreme Court is going to eventually tell us their answers to these questions and it will become the law.

No doubt in my mind, that win or lose, a whole lot of innocent people will be going to hell thanks to whatever the Supreme Courts decision will be.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

MEGHAN MURPHY-A CHILD LOST-A MOTHER'S FEELINGS



Sometimes I have a blog story to post but I cannot bring 
myself to write it. 
My blog is often an extremely emotional experience for me to 
write, especially when it is about other victims, young victims 
who have died. 
They all remind me of my son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff 
and become too painful to write because I know what the 
parent(s) of the other child are feeling, the pain of
living with and the unforgettable memories of their 
son or daughter who is now gone forever.
I have avoided writing today's Blog because it pains me 
very much to do so,but it is now time for me to write 
about Meghan.


I had previously written a Blog Story-CLICK HERE,  
when Meghan Murphy died at the age of 30 years, on 
February 5th 2011.

Recently I read a beautiful but terribly sad Journal entry -

CLICK HERE-- on a memorial site for Meghan.

This journal post entry below was written by Meghan's mother, 

Marcia Murphy and reprinted here with her permission. 

It is a poignant window into the world of parents 

who have lost a child. 
"A Snowy Day"

 Journal Entry Posted: Feb 13, 2014 6:00am: 
"Unable to sleep and being overcome with the feeling Meghan wants me to make an entry in this journal, I'm reaching out to all of you who did so much to help us get through those last few months.
I want to share a few thoughts and something that has happened which I know Meghan would be very happy about. 

This is a week that takes me back to an unhappy time, Meghan's passing and burial.  

So many thoughts of those last few months I spent with Meghan have been running through my mind.  Her presence, her attitude, her smile, all somehow transforming that heart wrenching experience into a time with so many uplifting and warm memories.  

It is a time that fills my heart with every emotion possible for a human being to bear.  I cling to the moments that give my heart joy and search back in my memory for all the wonderful hours spent with Meghan from the minute she was born.  I'm fortunate to have so many wonderful memories to cherish, but nothing really makes me feel the slightest bit better about this loss.  

Three years have passed.  I am convinced that for a parent there just isn't any amount of time that will heal our sorrow.  Everyone who has lost a loved one has a sorrow all their own. With the loss of a child each individuals sorrow is something no one can share or understand.  I think of Meghan telling me so many times that we just have to accept what is happening, and I'm still striving to do that. 

I still get notes from friends in her past; a Lantern placed on the Ganges in India in her memory, books have been dedicated to her, a walkway brick placed in the sun at Agnes Irwin's and donations to the school in her memory, donations to Heifer International,  a marathon run and Women's Swimming events completed in Ithaca in her memory.  


Knowing that others are remembering her is  comforting to me.  There were so many friends at Meghan's burial service whom I didn't get a chance to speak with. I wish I had spoken out that day and thanked everyone and asked everyone I hadn't spoken with to send me a note telling me how they knew Meghan.  I'm proud that she is such a loving person and had so many friends.

It is snowing here this morning.  We already have at least five or six inches. It makes me remember a day many years ago when I awoke to a day such as this at our home in Pennsylvania.  I got dressed to go out to shovel our driveway.  I found Meghan and our dog Muffin were outside enjoying themselves.  Meg had already shoveled half the driveway.  She said she didn't mind because she loved a snowy day, and there was something magical about being out in a new snowfall.  She was having such a good time.  It was contagious.  We finished the driveway and took a walk with Muffin.  

That was just the most wonderful morning.  I thought of that day at her burial with the snow swirling around us at Greensprings.  I knew Meghan was loving mother nature's added touch. 

I knew that someone had asked permission to film Meghan's burial.  I thought they would be doing this for some footage to use on Greenspring's website.  I truly don't remember seeing one person with a camera that day, but they were there. 

I've checked Greensprings Natural Cemetery web site often to see if they added any of Meg's burial. I thought they just decided not to use it.  

When I spoke with the Director of Greensprings a few months ago, he mentioned that the documentary about green burials was coming out and it included some footage from Meghan's burial. 

I didn't understand that the people filming were doing so because they were making a documentary on green burials not for the web site.  

I have to say, I was a little shaky on this type of burial.  It was Meghan's idea.  She and her friends planned all of it.  It truly was a very spiritual and mystical experience for me that day.  It certainly was just perfect for Meghan.  

So as it turns out the group filming the documentary have used footage from Meghan's burial to open their documentary (A Will for the Woods) on green burials.  I missed a showing in Syracuse, but hope to see it when it gets to Ithaca in the spring. (The producer of the film sent me a CD with the opening of the movie)  The film opens with the horses coming through the snow pulling Meghan on the sled. The snow is falling and it is a beautiful site.  

The footage is less than a minute, but it ends with Meg being lowered into her final resting place. The producer said many have commented on the opening scene and how moving it is.  

To think that the last few seconds of Meghan's bodily presence here on earth are part of a documentary encouraging something that many feel is better for the environment makes me smile.  

Meghan isn't even here and somehow has managed to get into a green documentary.   

I always thought she was amazing but this so much more than amazes me.  I know she would be happy about this, and that makes me feel excited for her.  (My dearest Meg, it just makes my heart feel light, even skip a beat.) 

I know Meghan would think this is just the greatest.  I'm sure she wants me to share this with all of you, and I thank you for being there for us all those months so long ago as well as now.    
 I know Meghan wants us all to be happy.  I have so many happy memories because of her.  

I just try to think of those times as often as I can and it really does help. 

Remember to be kind and forgiving to those you love.  

Try to understand the differences in all of us and embrace your loved ones with a  hug or kiss you can remember and carry in your heart. 

Wishing you happiness,
Love,
Marcia"


My thoughts after first reading Marcia's amazingly honest, yet tragic experience of living with Meghan's loss, is how much courage she has and that is something all of us who have lost a child share with her.
We each cope with our loss in different ways but there 
is an understanding of what we feel that those in our 
situation can only truly understand. It is so true as 
parents of children that we have lost, how the grief 
and sorrow can never go away.
I can't feel how it could since we loved our Meghan 
and Steven so very much. They have always been part 
of who we are as human beings and their tragic deaths, 
the reality of suffering they bravely endured, only make 
them even more missed by us as every hour, day, week, 
month, year passes. 
We see their friends getting married, having children, 
experiencing the simple wonders of every day life and 
our children will never have a chance to live the rest
of their lives.  
It haunts me all the time that I am here, and Steven 
is gone forever. 
It should be the other way around but it isn't, such is 
our sobering, ugly reality. 
The feelings of losing a child are indescribable to 
anyone else, except another parent who has also 
lost a child. 
It is the worst nightmare of a parent come true and 
no one except people in our "club" can truly 
understand how we feel, no words, no memorials, 
no tributes, nothing can give us back our beloved 
Meghan and Steven. 
Marcia conveys these feelings in her post in a way that 
makes my heart ache.
It is one of these rare written feelings that anyone 
who reads her words should feel within themselves.
We will always remember 
Meghan Murphy and Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff. 
REST IN PEACE OUR BELOVED CHILDREN.
REST IN PEACE ALL CHILDREN 
WHO HAVE LEFT THEIR PARENTS MUCH TOO SOON. 



Monday, March 10, 2014

FOR EVERY HUMAN BEING


Don’t Be Fooled By Me

                     by Charles C. Finn, 

Please hear what i'm not saying
Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask,
a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name
and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.

My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.

But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.

So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings-
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator-an honest-to-God creator-
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.






Friday, February 28, 2014

HOMEWARD BOUND

                                                  HOMEWARD BOUND

I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.

Homeward Bound is the thing that enables you to see how all the dots in your life are connected, how one decision leads you to another, how one twist of fate, good or bad, brings you to a door that later takes you to another door, which aided by several detours, long hallways and unforeseen events, eventually puts you in the place you are now.

Homeward bound is in the mind, we can never go back as much as we would like to, life goes on. Draw from that experience, the good things to make this life for ourselves and that of our children's better.

We yearn to travel, go to other amazing, magical places, smell the greener pastures of far away lands.

But homeward bound is also a source of comfort when we have been away too long. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I WAS FEELING SO BAD-SO I ASKED THE FAMILY DOCTOR JUST WHAT I HAD

                                           GOOD LOVING-THE RASCALS
                                           
As the Young Rascals song goes :  
I was feelin' so bad
I asked my family doctor just what I had
I said, "Doctor, Mr. M.D."
"Now can you tell me what's ailin' me
He said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah"
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Yes, indeed
All I, I really need
Is Good loving'

The report card on US health is not so good.  Good loving won't help us. We aren’t heading in the right direction, and everyone involved knows that it’s because of a failure to accept the truth.


A mega-group of health researchers (who call themselves the US Burden of Disease Collaborators) published an exhaustive report detailing the health of this nation. (The actual study is available (free) at JAMA. Ron Winslow from the WSJ has this excellent summary.)

The bad news is really bad.

We fell to 35th place, down from 20th in1990. Imagine: the United States of America, with all the fury of its health care on demand, the stents, the ICDs, the chemo, the brand-name medicines, the fish oil, the vitamins, and all that, grabs 35th place.

List by the World Health Organization (2013)

Overall
rank [4]
Country Overall life
expectancy
Male life
expectancy
Male
rank
Female life
expectancy
Female
rank
1  Monaco 86.5 83 - 90 -
2  Japan 84.6 82 - 87.2 -
3  Andorra 84.2 80.8 - 87.6 -
4  Singapore 84 82 - 87 -
5  Hong Kong 83.8 82 - 85.6 -
6  San Marino 83.5 82 - 85 -
7  Iceland 83.3 81.4 - 85.2 -
8  Italy 83.1 80.4 - 85.8 -
9  Australia 83 80.5 - 85.5 -
10  Sweden 83 81.4 - 84.6 -
11   Switzerland 82.8 80.4 - 85.4 -
12  Canada 82.5 80.4 - 84.6 -
13  France 82.3 79.4 - 85.2 -
14  Israel 82.1 80.2 - 84 -
15  Spain 82 79 - 85 -
16  Luxembourg 82 79.5 - 84.5 -
17  Norway 81.9 80.2 - 83.6 -
18  New Zealand 81.7 79.4 - 84 -
19  Austria 81.5 78.5 - 84.5 15
20  Netherlands 81.5 79.5 - 83.5 -
21  Ireland 81.4 79.2 - 83.6 -
22  Cyprus 81.2 79.1 - 84.3 -
23  Finland 81 78 - 84 -
24  Germany 81 78.5 - 83.5 26
25  Greece 81 78 - 84 21
26  South Korea 81 77.5 - 84.5 16
27  Malta 81 79.4 - 82.6 31
28  Belgium 81 78.5 - 83.5 27
29  United Kingdom 81 79.5 - 82.5 -
30  Liechtenstein 80.7 77.8 - 83.6 -
31  Taiwan 80.6 78 - 83.2 -
32  Portugal 80 77 - 83 -
33  Slovenia 80 77 - 83 -
34  Costa Rica 79.8 78.3 - 81.3 -
35  United States 79.8 77.4 - 82.2 -
36  Chile 79.5 76.5 - 82.5 -
37  Denmark 79.5 77 - 82 -
38  Cuba 79.4 77.4 - 81.4 -
40  United Arab Emirates 79.2 77.2 - 81.2 -
41  Brunei 79 77.5 - 80.5 -
42  Barbados 78.5 76.2 - 80.8 -
43  Kuwait 78.2 75.5 - 80.5 -
44  Czech Republic 78 75 - 81 -
45  Panama 77.8 74.6 - 81 -
46  Poland 77 72.5 - 81.5 -
47  Croatia 77.5 74.5 - 80.5 -
48  Dominica 77.5 75 - 80 -
49  Uruguay 77.3 74.2 - 80.4 -
50  Mexico 77.2 74.2 - 80.2 -
51  Maldives 77.2 76.2 - 78.2 -
52  Bahrain 77 75 - 79 -
53  Belize 76.9 74.4 - 79.4 -
54  Slovakia 76.8 73.4 - 80.2 -
55  Bahamas 76.5 73.5 - 79.5 -
56  Grenada 76.5 73 - 80 -
57  Brazil 76.2 72.6 - 79.8 -
58  Estonia 76.1 71 - 81.2 -
59  Ecuador 76 73 - 79 -
60  Argentina 76 73 - 79 -
61  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 76 73 - 79 -
62  Oman 76 73 - 79 -
63  Bosnia and Herzegovina 76 74 - 78 -
64  Lithuania 75.9 70.8 - 81 -
65  Antigua and Barbuda 75.8 74.4 - 77.2 -
66  Malaysia 75.7 72.2 - 79.2 -
67  Saint Lucia 75.5 71.5 - 79.5 -
68  Qatar 75.5 73 - 78 -
69  Mauritius 75.2 71 - 79.4 -
70  Saint Kitts and Nevis 75.1 72.2 - 78 -
71  Vietnam 75 73 - 77 -
72  Hungary 75 71 - 79 -
73  Venezuela 75 71.5 - 78.5 -
74  Macedonia 75 73 - 77 -
75  Syria 75 72 - 78 -
76  Thailand 74.9 71.4 - 78.4 -
77  Trinidad and Tobago 70.8 66.5 - 75.8 -
78  Seychelles 74.7 71 - 78.4 -
79  Sri Lanka 74.7 71.4 - 78 -
80  Paraguay 74.7 71.6 - 77.8 -
80  Peru 74.7 71.6 - 77.8 -
81  El Salvador 74.6 70.8 - 78.4 -
82  Jordan 74.6 72.4 - 76.8 -
83  Colombia 74.6 72.4 - 76.8 -
84  Tonga 74.5 73 - 76 -
85  Cape Verde 74.5 70.6 - 78.4 -
86  Latvia 74.5 69.5 - 78.5 -
87  Nicaragua 74.5 71.5 - 77.5 -
88  Libya 74.5 71 - 78 -
89  Georgia 74.5 70.2 - 78.8 -
90  Tunisia 74.5 72.5 - 76.5 -
91  Montenegro 74.5 71.5 - 77.5 -
92  Bulgaria 74.5 71 - 78 -
93  Suriname 74.5 72 - 77 -
94  Turkey 74.4 72.4 - 76.4 -
95  Armenia 74.4 70.6 - 78.2 -
96  Saudi Arabia 74.3 72.4 - 76.2 -
97  China 74.2 72 - 76.4 -
98  Samoa 74 71 - 77 -
99  Lebanon 74 72.5 - 76.5 -
100  Palau 74 70 - 78 -
101  Romania 74 70 - 78 -
102  Honduras 74 72 - 76 -
103  Albania 74 72 - 76 -
104  Serbia 74 71 - 77 -
105  Jamaica 74.8 71.5 - 78.2 -
106  Iran 73.5 72 - 75 -
107  Marshall Islands 73.5 69 - 75 -
108  Algeria 73.3 71.8 - 74.8 -
109  Egypt 73.2 71.2 - 75.2 -
110  Dominican Republic 73.2 72 - 74.4 -
111  Fiji 73 70 - 76 -
112  Philippines 73 70 - 76 -
113  Solomon Islands 73 71 - 75 -
114  Nauru 73 70 - 76 -
115  Morocco 73 71 - 75 -
116  Belarus 72.5 68.5 - 77.5 -
117  Indonesia 72 68 - 76 -
118  Sao Tome and Principe 72 68 - 76 -
119  Vanuatu 72 71 - 74 -
120  Azerbaijan 71.5 69.5 - 74.5 -
121  Guatemala 71.5 68 - 75 -
122  Ukraine 71 65.5 - 76.5 -
123  Moldova 71 67 - 75 -
124  Russia 70 64 - 76 -
125  Bhutan 70.8 69.2 - 72.4 -
126  Guyana 70.5 67.5 - 73.5 -
127  Micronesia 70 68 - 72 -
128  India 70 67 - 73 -
129  Bangladesh 70 69.5 - 70.5 -
130  Kyrgyzstan 69 65 - 72 -
131  Iraq 69 65 - 72 -
132  North Korea 69 66 - 72 -
133    Nepal 69 68 - 70 -
134  Mongolia 69 65 - 73 -
135  Bolivia 69 67 - 71 -
136  Uzbekistan 68.5 66 - 71 -
137  Laos 68 66.5 - 69.5 -
138  Myanmar 68 66 - 70 -
139  Kazakhstan 68 63 - 73 -
140  Comoros 68 65 - 71 -
141  Kiribati 68 65 - 71 -
142  Tajikistan 68 67 - 69 -
143  Papua New Guinea 67.5 65 - 69 -
144  Namibia 67.2 66.2 - 68.2 -
145  Pakistan 67 66 - 68 -
146  Turkmenistan 66.5 63 - 70 -
147  Cambodia 66 64 - 68 -
148  Ghana 66 64 - 68 -
149  Madagascar 66 65 - 68 -
150  Botswana 66 64.5 - 67.5 -
151  Gabon 64 62 - 66 -
152  Yemen 64 63 - 66 -
153  Timor-Leste 64 63 - 65 -
154  Senegal 64 62 - 66 -
155  Haiti 63 62 - 64 -
156  Sudan 62 60 - 64 -
157  Eritrea 61.5 59 - 64 -
158  Cameroon 61.5 59 - 64 -
159  South Africa 61 59 - 63 -
160  Djibouti 61 59 - 64 -
161  Ethiopia 60.5 59 - 62 -
162  Kenya 60 59 - 61 -
163  Rwanda 60 59 - 61 -
164  Afghanistan 60 59 - 61 -
165  Mauritania 59.5 57 - 61 -
166  Liberia 59 58 - 60 -
167  Tanzania 59 58 - 61 -
168  Benin 59 58 - 60 -
169  Gambia 59 57.5 - 60.5 -
170  Malawi 58 57.5 - 58.5 -
171  Republic of the Congo 58 57 - 59 -
172  Togo 57 55.5 - 58.5 -
173  Burkina Faso 56.5 54 - 57 -
174  Côte d'Ivoire 56.5 55 - 58 -
175  Uganda 56 54.5 - 57.5 -
176  Niger 56 55 - 57 -
177  Zambia 55.5 54 - 56 -
178  Guinea 55 54 - 56 -
179  Equatorial Guinea 54 53 - 55 -
180  Zimbabwe 54 53 - 55 -
181  Burundi 53 52 - 54 -
182  Nigeria 53 52 - 54 -
183  Mozambique 52.5 52 - 53 -
184  Angola 52 51 - 53 -
185  Chad 51 50.5 - 53.5 -
186  Mali 51 50 - 53 -
187  Lesotho 51 50 - 52 -
188  Guinea Bissau 50 48 - 52 -
189  Swaziland 50 49 - 51 -
190  Somalia 50 48 - 52 -
191  Democratic Republic of the Congo 49.5 48 - 51 -
192  Central African Republic 48.5 47 - 50 -
193  Sierra Leone 47.5 47 - 48 -

The chart above becomes even more troubling when one examines a report that the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington released in July 2013. That study broke down life expectancy for men and women in different parts of the U.S., showing a strong correlation between income levels and longevity.

The report found that life expectancy is 81.6 for males and 84.5 for females in Fairfax County, Virginia (a very affluent area) and 81.4 for males and 85.0 for females in Marin County, California (another upscale area) compared to only 63.9 for males and 72.9 for females in McDowell County, West Virginia or 66.7 for males and 73.3 for females in Tunica County, Mississippi.

The fact that males in McDowell County are, on average, dying 18 years younger than males in Fairfax County or Marin County speaks volumes about inequality in the U.S.

That type of disparity is more typical of a developing country than a developed country. Yet when one compares life expectancy in McDowell County to life expectancy in Guatemala, one of Latin America’s poorest countries, Guatemalans come out slightly ahead. WHO has reported an overall life expectancy of 69 for Guatemala (66 for men, 73 for women).

So in other words, the poor in Guatemala are outliving the poor in McDowell County. In fact, McDowell County is only slightly ahead of Haiti, Ghana and Papua New Guinea when it comes to life expectancy for males: according to WHO, life expectancy for males is 62 in those three countries.

Although women, as a rule, are outliving men in many parts of the world, a report that was conducted by researchers David Kendig and Erika Cheng for the University of Wisconsin and released in March 2013 showed that life expectancy is decreasing among women in about 43% of the counties in the U.S. and many of those counties are in Southern states (Kendig and Cheng’s findings were published in the journal Health Affairs).

Then, in July 2013, a report from University of Wisconsin researcher Chris Murray found that between 1985-2010, female life expectancy had decreased or stagnated in 45% of U.S. counties.

And it gets worse.

On the upside, overall life expectancy in the US increased 4.8 years, from age 75 in 1990 to age 79.8 in 2013.

We spend annually almost 20% of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on health care and we get 4.8 years over a period of 23 years. That’s it.

These 4.8 extra years actually fell far behind the gains in overall life expectancy of numerous other Countries during the same period of 2013 compared to 1990.

The 4.8 added years of life are not always good ones. We may live longer, but the gap between healthy years and years with chronic disability changed little over the past two decade

How in the world did this happen?

The report tells us what we all know:

It begins with our dysfunctional medical system that refuses to make the necessary changes in the ways that medical care is dispensed.

It started with the big lie that we supposedly have the best medical system in the world because we spend (waste) the most money in maintaining this often dysfunctional network of health care.

It then morphed into the robot, android current managed care practice of modern medicine where an assembly line of patients get their 5 minutes of time to be assessed, undressed, dressed, and then literally pushed out the door.

 Sure there are those rare medical professionals still around to take the time to listen, allow you as the patient to share in your medical care decision making, and when everything else fails, they will honestly tell you that they "don't know what is wrong with you".  They are almost as rare as dinosaurs to find, so if you have one, hold onto them for dear life.

In addition, increasing alarming rates of chronic disability are on the rise.

The term for the gap between living well and living with disability is compression of morbidity. To compress morbidity means to shorten the time between onset of illness and death. The ideal is to live well into our ninth (or tenth) decade and then take a nap and not wake up. That’s complete compression of morbidity.

We aren’t accomplishing this at all. Despite all of our health care fury, or perhaps because of it, we are accumulating years without compressing the time of disability.

Death may come later, but disability comes earlier. Not a win, clearly.

If you care about health and helping people live better lives, this sort of data presents a real dilemma.

Most of what Doctors treat is acquired illness. People don’t have to have it. Take high blood pressure: we treat it with medicines, but the majority of patients could treat high blood pressure with relatively simple lifestyle and diet choices.

It’s the same with diabetes, sleep apnea and a host of other chronic diseases.

Perhaps an even more obvious example of preventable disability is the issue of skeletal disease.

The JAMA report documents bone and joint disease as a leading cause of disability. This lies at the core of the problem: our society’s richness, our automation, our technology, our damn inactivity, opposes our basic biology.

The human body needs to be fed well, used often and rested regularly.

Both society and health professionals need to balance sick care with health care. Right now, we aren’t even close.

Confession time: I am just as guilty in not practicing  above what I should be doing along with everyone else. So count me in with the rest of those who spend too much time not taking good care of our body and mind.

U.S. patients expect sick care, and U.S. doctors find it easy to deliver.

Patients are generally not proactive about their health care and are often passive. They place the medical community on a "god like" pedestal and expect a magic pill, easy answers for their medical issues.

Many in the health care field feed off this ego boosting sense that they possess the power of life and death, health and sickness, wave their magic wand and all will be well.

Of course from time to time most of us benefit from sick care, but we all know that comprehensive good health ultimately depends on consistently stringing together smart choices.

It’s not complicated but it is very, very hard to discipline ourselves to be consistent about the way we take care of ourselves. And only each of us can make these choices for ourselves.

Sadly this is a reality that even the leaders of Medicine don’t  even seem to grasp the problem. Here’s how Harvey Fineberg, MD and PhD and leader of the Institute of Medicine closed his JAMA editorial:
"Setting the United States on a healthier course will surely require leadership at all levels of government and across the public and private sectors and actively engaging the health professions and the public."
You see the problem? Setting the U.S. on a healthier course does NOT depend on leadership from government or health professions.

We have had plenty of that over the last decade. That got us to 27th place among other nations.

What is needed is the TRUTH:

The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or not exercising, a new government report shows.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found Americans continuing to make many of the lifestyle choices that have led to soaring rates of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, including the following:
  • About six of 10 adults drink, including an increase in those who reported episodic heavy drinking of five or more drinks in one day during the previous year.
  • Twenty percent of adults smoke, and less than one-half of smokers attempted to quit in the past year.
  • Only one in five adults met federal guidelines for both aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercise. One in three was completely inactive when it came to any leisure-time aerobic activity.
American history is replete with stories of strength. It’s sad and frustrating to see us so unhealthy and decrepit.

So yes, the truth sometimes hurts, but not as much as being lied to, and made to believe that  "we have the best medical system in the world, that spending a huge amount of our GDP on health care translates into a healthier population,or in the fantasy that a magical witch doctor medicine man will always have the correct answer for what ails you.