Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parts for Sell?

As I mentioned in my 101 Things About Me (see #22), I have pretty random thoughts sometimes. Today, for some reason, my mind drifted to organ donation of all things. Don't ask why. Sometimes, it is better to just accept it. There was probably an organ donation PSA on the radio that I subconsciously absorbed. Anyway, we constantly hear about the lack of donors for organs and I got started wondering about how to change that.

My simple answer to this equation of lack of donors is to provide some sort of financial incentive. As with a lot of things, the simple answer brings in philosophical support or objection. That's why I thought about writing this post. The money involved will not directly impact the person donating the organs, but the donor's family could benefit from donation. In fact, the one group of people that suffer the most in this "transaction" are the only ones that DON'T get compensated for the donation. The hospital and surgeon get paid well for performing the operation. The organ bank gets paid for "procuring" the organ. The recipient gets a new organ and (possibly) a greatly extended lifespan. If people knew that their loved ones would benefit from organ donation, then it would be more likely for them to end up checking the organ donation. What do you guys think about this?


On a different but related note, blood banks in this country are constantly telling us that the blood supplies are at critically low levels. I think the reason for this is a lack of incentive to donate (other than goodwill). In New Mexico, we had a "scandal" where the salaries of the executives of the blood donation organization (NOT the Red Cross) were published and were well in excess of 6 figures (before the decimal point). This caused quite a stir because all the profits from the operation were the result of blood products derived from donors who received ZERO compensation. In addition, a person who had donated gallons (literally) of blood over the years was charged something like $600 for a unit of blood (the $ figure is likely off, but you get the point) by this same blood donation organization.

As many of you know, I have donated plasma MANY times over the years, and I have the scars to prove it. Those trips to Westgate Biologicals weren't really donations because I never did it for free. However, I can't actually make myself donate during blood drives. The incentive isn't there. I guess I am not much of the "hero" type. What are your thoughts on this one?


FULL DISCLOSURE: I am an organ donor. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

I warned you. This one is truly random.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stand Up for Chuck

Well, if nothing else, the political season usually provides me with a few laughs. This is pretty sad because most of the time politicians are just arguing about the different proposals for re-distributing my income to someone who didn't earn it. This week did provide me with good chuckle when the Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden spoke in Missouri. At a fairly large rally in Columbia, he decided to recognize State Senator Chuck Graham (in a wheelchair):

  • "I am also told that, uh, uh, Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see you... Oh, God love you. What am I talking about? I tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up, though, pal. I tell you what, stand up for Chuck."
You think I am making this up, right? So, here it is on YouTube:

I am pretty sure that Biden is confused about who is President. It is either that or he believes that John Kerry went ahead and made sure people that people like Chuck would walk again. Now, you are asking yourself, "Self, what the HELL is Russ talking about now?"

I am glad you asked that question. Here is a quote from John Edwards in Iowa back in 2004:
  • "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."
For those of you who aren't aware, John Kerry decided after losing in 2004 not to allow people like Chuck and Christopher to walk again. Perhaps "the One" will find it in his heart to do it. Of course, Obama can only get to this is AFTER he is elected president, stopped the rise of the oceans, and started the healing of our planet.

You have to prioritize these things. Anyone else thinking, "God/Messiah Complex"? Man, I love the Presidential season. You get great comedy. AND, it's free!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Go Ahead, Make Her Day

Ok, I just love this picture of the next Vice President of the United States. There is just something about a nice looking woman with a fully automatic weapon.

The funny thing is that questions have surfaced about whether or not Sarah Palin is tough enough to face down foreign leaders. Clearly, they haven't seen her shoot.

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