Thursday, July 30, 2009

Euthanasia-Obama style

Maybe it is poetic justice for a physician to have his computer infected with almost fatal worms and other dreadful assaults on my poor machine,who I ask very little of.Of course you realize how dependent we become on the moment by moment internet news that complements perhaps supplements much of cable news.For days CNN and AC-360 only stress Michael Jackson,and they keep advertising "Black in America" which is an old series.MSNBC, sounds like the cheering squad for Obama,telling their guests to work harder for the "public option".Of course there is very little news on the ME.Anyways we are back,although Sun-Mon we drive back to NJ.

The real intentions of the Obama health plan were clearly enunciated by the Pres. in answer to a question regarding a womans mother who at age 100 was turned down initally for a pacemaker,despite being spry.She is now 5 years post-pacemaker and still spry.Would his bill deny her mother coverage.?The shocking answer, was that perhaps she should take a pain -killer.
Firstly, a pain killer won't touch cardiac arrythmias.Secondly he urged consultatsions about end of life.I do not want the government telling me that perhaps you should suffer ,or take Demerol and not try to alleviate the problem.
Not euthanasia in the classic form,which is mercy-killing-NO this is where you withold treatment, allow for increased suffering,and gently push the person to enter a hospice,proclaim a DNR (do not resuscitate) and pray for an early and pain free death.

We now have a government push on obesity.They have come to the conclusion that individuals cannot lose weight on their own, and therefore the govt. should start controlling what we can put in our mouths., or what can be sold without additional taxes.TAX, TAX AND MORE TAX.

If your parents were obese going back generations,or your metabolism is slower,or you don't like athletics-too bad- a-la Nazi Germany,we want blue-eyed, tall,thin perfect specimens who will not bring added expenses to healthcare.Never mind that G-d created us differently.Oh yes, next we will examine your DNA at birth,and if you have a gene for breast cancer,alzheimers or obesity you will be taxed even more.This is the beginning of big brother, with no end in sight.
If you are 50 and need a hip relacement, the govt. watchdog will say since you have 25 years to live and the operation and rehab will come to $100,000 that is $4,000 PER YEAR-OK.However if you are 75,and have 10 years left,perhaps you are expendable, and stick to the pain meds,wheelchair and hospice.

I am going to call AARP and complain.If you do not need to belong to maintain my healthcare I will quit. they certainly don't represent seniors.One number I have for customer relations is 202-434-3635

Sunday, July 26, 2009


A number of years ago, I was on an extended mission of about 8 or 10 American Jewish leaders to Belarus and Russia.It was sponsored by the Pres. Conference,in cooperation with Lishkat Hakesher of the Prime Ministers office.
One of the other participants was a top Reform Rabbi,who informed me of his interest in medical ethics.He had authored a responsa which he told me was quite accepted in his circles.He was more than happy to share his "halachic answer" with me.
If a person has dementia and is lying in bed,it is permissible to cut out his heart or any other organ for transplantation purposes.Obviously the donor would die.
"Since the purpose of life us to perform mitzvoth" he said, then the donor"is in effect dead, for he cannot perform mitzvoth."
I bit my tongue and diplomatically said "how interesting.I would like to show the responsa to my Rabbi who is a Professor of Medical Ethics,Rabbi Dr Moses Tendler"
"Oh Rabbi Tendler has seen it already,and said I was a MURDERER".


Until now my objections to the Obama bill were primarily on cost and effect on the increased deficit.Suddenly the bill is coming to light,and it is a hideous bill, that in effect will limit health care for seniors.It will lead to pain and suffering as a senior is denied the right to have a hip replacement or an angioplasty because a beaurocrat in Washington so declares.
As a practicing surgeon for over 30 years and now as a consumer of medical care,there is no question that we have the best health care system in the world.No American runs to England or Canada for care.
Of course we have our problems,but why throw out the baby with the water? Why not concentrate on correcting the problems,and not LIE to the public about levels of care,cost,choice of doctors,and rationing of care.
The Committee that the President is setting up to moderate fees etc. is part of the problem.It's Chairman has written extensively on rationining senior medical care.How would you feel if your mother in a nursing home doing reasonably well,age 90, develops pneumonia,and is denied a chest x-ray or antibiotics, My mother now 98, a few years ago had a melonoma removed from her arm as an out-patient.How would I have felt if Washington said..No, No -she's too old.?
If the President would have appointed the heads of the major medical societies,(American College of Physicians,Am. College Surgeons, OB-gyn etc) I would have a minimal level of confidence.What we have now is a trick to take these matters out of the hands of Congress.
The probems of our system include the uninsured.Take away illegal immigrants you have a huge number of those eligible for MC,MA,and coverage at work.They should be forced to join.Then you have the young people.They should be forced to join, but at approporiate rates-say 20% of seniors.This is no different than mandatory auto insurance,or seat belts.
Without malpractice reform,you cannot lower costs.The trial lawyers have the Dems by the gonads and excessive and redundant testing are part of self-protection.Each year premiums rise, and physicians practice with one eye on each patient as a potential litigant.
It was insulting to physicians that the Pres. accused them of doing tonsillectomies for renumeration only.Shame on him, and on the Medical Societies for not responding.
The bill would hinder your access to specialists.We all know that a Cardioligist is not only more capable to treat cardiac disease than a GP-Internist, but the mortality figures confirm that.
The President spoke about Mayo and Cleveland Clinics as prime examples of modern care.I spent a week rotating through the Colo-rectal service at the Cleveland Clinic.Their excellence is based upon size,unlimited funding for new equiptment,and SPECIALISTS in every area and sub-area of the body.These great clinics such as these two, cannot be duplicated in every community.They train great specialists,but now Washington will want to ration the care they can provide when they finish their training.
Despite what the public is being told, people WHO HAVE READ THE BILL

There is no way in the world that 1-3 % of rich Americans can finance this bill.It will affect all of the middle class-HIGHER RATES-WORSE AND RATIONED CARE-GOVERNMENT CONTROL
We need some form of catastrophic insurance, so people are not bankrupt from illness.
We need portability of insurance when people move across State lines,or change jobs.
We need some hi- risk program for people with pre-existing conditions
We need a full court fight against corruption,waste and government interference.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d''s mame ) / Keep attacking the Reps ? /. Another MAD ?

I was on an exercise machine,when the news of the arrest of " Rabbis" involved in international money laundering and the sale of human organs was announced.As these people were being led handcuffed into FBI hdqtrs,I started to have tears in my eyes.The Tzitzith flying, the big black hat and the velvet yarmulke made me cringe.
Yes ,everyone is innocent until proven guilty,however these arrests bring great shame to the "orthodox brand".
The web site which reports on the "yeshiva world" commented that there would be a gathering to say Thillim(psalms) for the arrested Rabbis.
We should say thillim to ask the almighty to forgive us that there are many who for the sake of money and power bring shame on his Torah and community.
Of course we hope that the families of the accused will be protected from public scorn.
However,it is time for the yeshiva world to start stressing to their students ethics and total honesty in dealing with our governments and the world-Jewish and gentile.

It is hard to understand why the President keeps attacking Republicans for the failure of his health care boondoggle. He has 60 votes in the Senate, as well as a huge House majority.His attacks are a diversion to hide the fact that the public is rising up against these concepts.The history of the President so far is to yell that Congress must pass each agenda item before the weekend or the sky will fall in.The stimulus (?) was an example.
He is sayng,pass this before you get home to speak to your constituents!
I wonder why?

The Sec. Clinton remark about a Persian Gulf umbrella, while probably a slip of the tongue,is another piece of evidence that the US will accept a nuclear Iran,and base our defense on MAD-MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION. Does anyone really believe that Obama will raise a finger to respond to a nuclear threat or attack by Iran on Israel?
Clearly it will be up to Israel to protect itself!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Kudos to the OU for a strong statement supporting PM Netanyahu and the govt. in regard to Jerusalem housing.This is an example of the difference between modern Orthodox Zionists, and the Reform movement,whose main thesis is social activism, and probably rue the day they had to become "Zionists".
The battle is not over,as today France and Russia join the attack.

A few weeks ago I spoke to both the Pres. Conf. and the leaders of the OU,urging them to become pro-active on these issues.
Basically I suggested that as a start films be made for internet to help explain the issues and gain public support.
the history of Eretz Yisrael
the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem
the history of rejection of every peace offer by the Arabs
an analysis of the legal issues regarding Judea and Samaria, that show Israel is not an "occupier"
and now even a history of Shepherd's Hotel
and other issues that will place pressure on the Obama administration.
the history of settlements and the difference between outposts, settlements and Jerusalem neighborhoods

The OU has the facilities (film dept and internet dept)and the brainpower .They have a full-time Washington staff.
They are the largest and most powerful synagogue group,and can mobilize probably 60% of the Pres. Conference to get behind a full court press.
Editorials should be written for every major and local paper,Petition drives should be undertaken.Pressure on Congress and ON AIPAC(where they serve as members of the Board).
These are serious issues in critical times.
Honestly I know each organization has personal organizational issues on their agenda.But,as the representatives of American Jewry-this is not the time for mere statements -we need leadership

Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama foreign policy

As you watch the dramatic press conference from India today you realize the Obama-Clinton policies have not gotten off the ground.
The Obama thesis as he stood in Berlin,was that he could almost walk on water.His popularity, smooth talk and cool approach would change all the actors in the world,once he got involved.
Climate control,the end of nuclear weapons,rapproachment with Iran,a ME solution and so on.
Just examine the last few weeks.

N. Korea is going on its merry way with rockets and nuclear tests.The newest US tact is to ignore them.I guess that will prevent them from exporting nuclear products to the bad guys!

Honduras- we are in bed with Chavez against the forces of democracy-read todays WSJ op-ed.

India-today said in effect "you want to hurt your population with cap and trade-fine, but count us out.

China-likewise no interest in mandatory cap and trade-minimal help on N. Korea.(who still hold 2 US women in captivity)

Iran- a crooked election,street demonsrations that we did not know (and still don't) how to respond to and now the govt. blames the US.-net result -no changes.

Israel- public pressure on Bibi,and a resultant increase in PA demands on Jerusalem housing.
The end point-no talks, no Saudi positive intervention,and only 6% of Israelis ( 1 month ago ) now think the US is pro-Israel .

Russia-same old Putin-talk on nuclear reduction. But as Iran and N Korea move to greater nuclear arms, will Japan ,S. Korea, Egypt and the whole ME be far behind?

Not a great record!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So the Dems are friends of Israel?

One of the advantages of having your computer out of commission for 72 hours is that you don't hear all the anti-Israel garbage from Washington,Brussels etc.
To have learned that the State Dept. called in Amb. Oren regarding building in Jerusalem, is indeed the height of chutzpah,and as Bibi said "over the red line".
This is not the end of the pressure and attempts at public humiliation of Israel
My question



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Care

This morning in synagogue, a retired surgeon, who was and is well known in NYC for his cancer work cane over to me and clearly stated the obvious.
"Aren't you happy that you will not have to practice under the new Obama health care?"
Whether it passes or not and whether cap and tax passes , it is obvious that America is undergoing a massive shift to the left toward socialism.
I have witnessed medical care in Europe,and Israel and gave observed from a distance the Canadian system,and I cannot be happy for the future.
We are talking about rationing care,perhaps not year one,but eventually.The worst group of citizens to be affected will be seniors.
Oh you're 75.. it is not cost effective to treat your tumor so aggressively!

Of course there must be reform,especially of the malpractice arena.
Last Jan. hospitalized for less tha 24 hours in Delray hospital.The bill $21,810, including $4 for a baby aspirin.
E.R. visit $1496 and so on.
The prices they charge are off the wall,and difficult to follow.
The bottom line,is that the Dems have become the party of spend, tax and defecits even as the economy tanks..
Can they get away with it for another 3 or 7 years?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I relearned a lesson this morning.Most of us at one time or another have to buy a present for a loved one such as a child or grandchild. In this era of materialism, it is tempting to turn to the world of computers and other such modern gadgets.
Hoewver ,if you for example look at a bar or bat mizvah you might want to ask yourself,"after I am gone from the world, will this present still be meaningful and have the recipient remember me"?
Tomorrow, my mother Kate celebrates with G-d's help her 98th birthday.My father of blessed memory passed away 47 years ago, 3 m0nths before I graduated Medical School.Over these years as mother to 3 sons, 11 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren,she has been blessed that all are torah observant Jews.Truly a great zchus(merit) .

This morning I attended a Gemmorah shiur (talmud class) here in Boynton.The volume of the talmud I held in my hand for the class, was from a set that I received as a Medical School graduation gift in 1962 from my mother.
How meaningful this present has been to me, not only for the sentimental value,but it placed into perspective for me( when I graduated), that yes you are now a physician, but above all else be a good and loyal Jew.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where are the shtarkers?

Yesterday the Pres met with Jewish leaders. Although most were from the Pres. Conference, there were representatives fro Peace Now,J Street and the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Absent because of their outspoken criticisms were ZOA and the Young Israel.

In general it was a love feastand a pr victory for the President as he pressures Israel.
Reading the JTA accounts, the Jerusalem Post and the letter of the OU President,the only criticism appeared to be about the public perception of one -sided pressure on Israel.It appears that no one appears to have brought up the issues of the failure of the PA to accept many different peace offers over the years,ior the fact that long before settlements,the Arabs never have (and never will ) accept Israel as a Jewish State.
Nore was there public mention that there was a defense of the legality under international law to build these settlements,or the agreement of the Bush administration to allow internal growth. The OU President in his statement did note that they were against an "even-handed " approach to the issues,and that the special relationship between Israel and the US must be maintained.

Sadly the President and incoming Pres. of AIPAC apparently asked bland questions about Saudia Arabia and Iran. Of note, they are both from Chicago and were mega-Obama fund- raisers.
When you stack the room with 1/3 lefties and the rest not prepared to defend Israel in a forceful but respectful manner and to support the PM, you have a sad situation.

I recall vividly long before I was OU President .I was invited to see Pres. Reagan who wanted me and a few others to release some Republican Senators who committed to us to vote against an arms package for the Arabs. I did not want to go,because I questioned if I was up to the task.That was until I recieved a call from Doug Bloomfield,then of AIPAC (now a columnist)who asked me "are you a shtarker?"
I replied "what is a shtarker?"
His retort "can you say NO to the President of the United States?"
I answered " yes, if I believe in the cause"
"then you must go "he answered.
I did,and we spoke up forcefully,and we killed the deal.
Many times over the nexr 8 years, I was priveledged to meet 4 Presidents in the White House,When the group was homogeneous, such as the OU,we met the night before and prepared the questions and the order they would be presented.With the Pres, Conf. it was more informal of a prep.Yesterday was obviously not a homogeneous crowd, and it was meant to soothe the Jews,and even show Bibi that he will not be able to count on the entire American Jewish community FOR SUPPORT
.Tomorrow the OU Pres. presents an oral report to the officers,and we await further clarifications.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Judicial hearing / Pressure on Israel

I would like to get a pledge from Judge Sotomayor that she will never refer to the role of International law in deciding a US Supreme Court case. Our constitution is pure Americana, and while there may be nice points of law in Europe,etc, she will be rquired to uphold our laws,
Surely she will be confirmed,however Repoublicans should give her a tough set of hearings ala Bork and Thomas.

The reports that the US has given Israel 6 months to toe the line or they will withdraw from their role in peace talks,is just a silly threat. I would love to hear the reports of today meeting between Obama and the Conf. of Presidents.We see much pressure from the EU and the WH on Israel-zero on Abbas and company.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"political correctness" / Cong Eliot Engel

I am indebted to my dear friend Dr. Richard Kroll who sent me the following:

"Sometimes you are encouraged about our country's future when you see something like this.

Specifically there is an annual contest at Texas A & M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.

This years term was "political correctness"

The winner wrote
Political correctness is a doctrine , fostered by a delusional ,illogic minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrpulous mainstream media ,which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"
R. J. Wiedemann LtCol USMC Ret,

I was shocked to see that my friend Cong. Eliot Engel who is Chairman of the W. Hemisphere sucommittee, attack the removal of Manuel Zelaya as a "military coup".
I have great affection for Eliot, and spoke to him only last week about the Obama policy toward settlements.He is truly one of the most dedicated activists in the Congress on these issues.
However,I take exception with him on Honduras,where the Supreme Court,the National Assembly,the Church and the Military saved Honduras from a Chavez-like takeover for life.Yes Obama and Clinton attacked the events,however we should be grateful and support Honduras.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

mea culpa / Foggy Bottom

The President is once again on his Mea Culpa tour. Now it is our role in global warming,that faux-science that seeks to punish the accomplishments of American technology and industry.In his race to rid the world of all ills,he has undertaken to do everything at once,regardless of the economy or the fate of our defecit.If India and China are not on board,then this whole cap and tax is just a charade.
It would appear, that the left wing is meeting some resistance from those colleagues that come from marginal districts or states.The latter will have to defend the taxes on energy, the loss of their relationships with their private doctors and its eventual rationing of care,especially for seniors. The legislative battle is underway, and the longer these issues take to resolve,the more pressure will be brought to bear to kill all of these socialist anti-capitalist one-world ideas(as we get closer to election season)'.

The granting of permission for 1350 Iraqi-Palestinians to come to the US makes no sense.They were not given citizenship by their fellow-arabs,and they were supporters of Saddam Hussein.What overiding need will be served to bring these people to our shores?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

OBAMA-CHAVEZ? / Rev Al-a survivor

As we drove down to Florida, we had an an opportunity to listen to much talk radio. Most of it very repititous and very conservative.
There was one lady however who set me thinking.She raised the question as to whether our Pres. is supporting the ousted Pres. of Honduras, who is usurping the rule of law, for the following reason.Like Chavez, the Honduran Pres. would like to be Pres. for Life.Is this a hidden Obama goal?

You have to love the Rev. Al. From the ashes of Tawana Brawley with the suits against him,he is all over.The WH, City Hall, cable TV and now as confidant of our dear departed Michael.
He is a survivor, and makes the Rev. Jackson look like an amateur.
America is safe in his hands!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Elliot Ganchrow writes:

Here are a couple of quick thoughts:

The Obama team is running out of time with respect to people's patience as it relates to the economy. While people are not yet blaming the administration for the lack of a recovery, it won't be too long until such finger pointing will begin. Much was made of the stimulus package that the Democrats rammed through Congress a few monthes ago, yet it is apparent that the package has had no (or little) positive effect on the economy. That vote, along with the recent vote on a Carbon tax, should be enough to start making Democrats in swing districts/states nervous. Take a look at Obama's approval rating in Ohio which was released today and you will note an approval rating of 49%. His national numbers have been sagging over the last month as well. It is time for Obama to deliver on the economy.

Colin Powell is a great American, was a terrible Secretary of State, and was an even worse Republican. It is was fairly obvious last year that Powell's allegiances switched to the Democratic Party after he publicly endorsed Obama. Obama's platform was (and continues to be) made up of extremist, leftist positions (including socialized medicine, a Carbon taxes, raising taxes on the middle and upper class, appointing activist judges, nationalizing private industry, closing Guantanamo, pressuring Israel, coddling N. Korea and Iran etc.). These are not positions which should make even the most moderate Republican comfortable. Powell's recent comments in support of Obama's appointment of the liberal federal judge Sonia Sotomoyor is further evidence that Powell's next stop should be at the Board of Elections to change his voting registration. I don't mind Powell appearing on Sunday talk shows- just don't pretend to be a Republican.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Jewish citizens in Palestine

Salaam Fayad is a very bright leader.The PM of the PA is beloved by the West primarily because he has a reputation for honesty and competence.Thus his statement today that if a Palestinian State were created and Jews wish to live there ,they would have full citizen rights in a manner similar to Israeli Arabs.
Sounds nice,and the audience applauded.
The problem is that historically since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal despite periods of amity,the Jew has been treated as a dhimmi.It is not because of good treatment,that a million Jews escaped from Arab-Moslem lands almost penniless, to Israel. Remember the desecrations of Jewish Holy places by the Jordanians, and these same Palestinians that will occupy his "State"..
Jews can prosper if the King wills it.Thus in Morrocco, there is a Jewish community with synagogues and yeshivoth.
Mr. Fayad however is no King,and actually is hated by Hamas.Who knows how long he will be alive or in office.His opinion while welcome,do not represent either any elected body,or the 'body politic'.
He knows well what will make headlines in newspapers,and he thus suceeded.Let's not jump to conclusions.

Tomorrow I drive to Florida for a month.Hopefully will resume on Wed.(unless my son blogs in the interim)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Palin / G-8

As I prepare for Shabbat,I am trying to absorb the news of a few minutes ago of Sarah Palins resignation.
I only heard a few minutes of her announcement -live.She sounded under stress.
Why did she leave now? Did all the negative news and media get to her?( not a good sign)
Is there something coming out in the next few days?
Is this the opening of her Pres. campaign? if she needs time to travel and study the issues,she could have done that as Gov.
I said a few days ago, she needs to travel meet with experts on economics,fiscal policy and foreign affairs, if she wants to be taken seriouly.
I am sure there will be more to talk about as the story develops.

The news that the US will try to block greater sanctions at the G-8 is quite unbelievable!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

If youy"ll pay for it then they will continue to raise prices.

Yesterday Allen Barra had an interesting op-ed in the WSJ on sports tickets and compensation.His point was that these escalate,because people are willing to pay .If the consumer would not pay, then the seats would be vacant,the player salaries less and a bottle of ballpark beer less.
He concludes the reason that "ballplayers make so much and medical researchers so relatively little,is that as a nation (we ) are far more interested in having good baseball teams than we are in finding a cure for cancer."He goes on "if we put our money where our mouths are and support cancer,AIDS or Downs syndrome research and then buy our tickets with what's left over,athletes and rock stars will actually be paid what we pretend they they should be paid."
This is my philosophy exactly,and explains why when the Brookly Dodgers left Brooklyn, I went cold turkey on all professional sports.I realized it was big business and not a sport.As I said many times since to my incredulous children and grand-children "It's not my business."Thankfully I have remained true to my "boycott of the Sports Business" and have never regretted it, despite being an avid fan as a youth.
The corrallary of the above can be seen with the adulation and hero worship of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.Thousands line the Appollo Theatre ,as the news media spends hour after hour on this.Try and get these mourners to protest the alleged hangings in Iran of protesters.
When we look at the NY State Senate,Calfornia and Congress we indeed get the government we deserve.