August 3, 2009

Michael Yon’s latest dispatch, embedded with the British in Helmand province, Afghanistan:

Instead of peace, tonight’s intelligence-driven mission was to unfold in an area of Sangin that the British call Wishtan, a most brutal corner of today’s war.  Wishtan is particularly perilous because of the people and their dwellings and the maze of passages and alleys and doglegs and canalizations between the compounds.  Routes are predictable and bombs are easy to hide in the walls or in the ground, and the channels created by the walls contain the men and the blasts.  During firefights there is little room to maneuver.  Wishtan is a big series of fatal funnels, or in the words of British Army Captain Alexander Spry, “Wishtan is like something from a Freddy Krueger movie.”  Captain Spry believes that Wishtan is almost certainly the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.

The OMLT was to link up with Afghan soldiers under the command of Colonel Wadood, a Tajik from Kapisa Province, whose goals are simply stated.  Colonel Wadood told me all the problems will be solved by killing the Taliban and going home.

Always worth reading, and there are some great photos, too.

About that vanishing ice cap

August 3, 2009

Global warming alarmists often tell us that the crisis is so great that we may soon see the north polar ice cap vanish.  (Natural cycle? Nah…) Try telling that to ships navigating the Northwest Passage, however:

Ice choking Northwest Passage: officials

Despite predictions from a top U.S. polar institute that the Arctic Ocean’s overall ice cover is headed for another “extreme” meltdown by mid-September, the Environment Canada agency monitoring our northern waters says an unusual combination of factors is making navigation more difficult in the Northwest Passage this year after two straight summers of virtually clear sailing.

In both the wider, deep-water northern corridor and the narrower, shallower southern branches of the passage, the Canadian Ice Service says pockets of more extensive winter freezing and concentrations of thicker, older ice at several key “choke points” are complicating ship travel.

via Larwyn.

LINKS: More at Watt’s Up With That?

UPDATE: Fixed broken link to the article about the Northwest Passage.

But I play one on TV

August 3, 2009

Minority Leader John Boehner has put out a video calling into question President Obama’s qualifications to make medical judgements. It’s a good one:

I’d like a second opinion from Marcus Welby, please.

How NICE: a vision of ObamaCare?

August 3, 2009

The Telegraph reports on a stunning decision by the UK’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to stop therapeutic injections for tens of thousands of patients suffering from excruciating lower back pain -including the elderly- to save money:

The Government’s drug rationing watchdog says “therapeutic” injections of steroids, such as cortisone, which are used to reduce inflammation, should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain when the cause is not known.

Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy.

Specialists fear tens of thousands of people, mainly the elderly and frail, will be left to suffer excruciating levels of pain or pay as much as £500 each for private treatment.

The NHS currently issues more than 60,000 treatments of steroid injections every year. NICE said in its guidance it wants to cut this to just 3,000 treatments a year, a move which would save the NHS £33 million.

But the British Pain Society, which represents specialists in the field, has written to NICE calling for the guidelines to be withdrawn after its members warned that they would lead to many patients having to undergo unnecessary and high-risk spinal surgery.

This is what health-care rationing under a single-payer system looks like, and it is exactly what Obama and the progressive Democrats want:

Is this what you want?  Not talking

(video via Hot Air)

LINKS: Ed Morrissey.

RELATED: You can rest assured neither Congress, the President, nor any federal employee will ever have to worry about rationed care: Congress’ own healthcare benefits: Membership has its privileges. (via Gaius) More from Michelle Malkin.