Monday, October 30, 2006

Pre-Halloween News From The Diner

Notice any interesting trends in news coverage, at least on television? The Diner patrons down here sure do. They notice few stories anymore about oil prices, as if we’re supposed to believe the prices have returned to normal. Heck, we’re still paying a heck of a lot more for gas than last year. While oil companies set records every quarter for profits the nation’s governors have stopped complaining about high oil prices to. Why not, the states are collecting record amounts of gas tax so pork barrel spending can proceed as usual.

Education stories seem to center on security issues rather than academic achievement. Seems it’s more important to have armed guards in schools than to worry about sagging test scores. Why they even adopted a long overdue change in SAT tests for college bound students and what happens? Test scores go down. I mean, we are only asking that students be competent in reading, writing, and ritmatic.

Reading dropped 5 points, math dropped 2 points, and writing didn’t even reach the level of reading or math. (Since it was new it couldn’t drop.) Just about every excuse for poor performance has been offered, yet the new education money goes for security. Maybe the system is just broken and needs to be fixed? More armed guards are a rather unusual way to improve learning.

There are a lot more news stories on health and medicine. Guess it’s not so strange that as drug companies advertise more on television we are informed by the news media of all the new drugs now available to cure us. Every week a new disease seems to be discovered to sell a new drug that was magically discovered about the same time the drug hit the market. Makes you wonder how drug companies spend research dollars? How much goes to finding new diseases to sell drugs and how much to curing diseases they already discovered?

Dogman thinks there is a conspiracy between the drug companies, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, banks and politicians. He wonders why it is out of all the players only the lowly patients are not coming out ahead in the zillion dollar medical field? Miracle drugs have an exorbitant price tag. The only miracle is figuring out how the patient can pay for them.

That’s about all the news worth remembering this week.

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