Issue 2 – July 2012

Current Affairs Essay
Free-Market Medicine—A Personal Account  By Michael Parenti
Book Review:Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela And Cuba Are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care by Steve Brouwer  Reviewed By Jerone Stephens
Featured Books
The Road  By Cormac McCarthy
Last Words: A Memoir  By George Carlin with Tony Hendra
The Assassination of Julius Caesar  By Michael Parenti
Sunshine Assassins  By J. F. Miglio
Recommended Reads
Defining Moments: Breaking Through Tough Times  By Dorothea S. McArthur, PhD ABPP
A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis  By Irene Woodbury
Say Not What If  By Andrew Friedman
The Small Business Guide (U.S Edition 2011)  By Owen O. Daniels
Master Self-Publishing  By Owen O. Daniels
The Great Singapore Penis Panic and the Future of American Mass Hysteria  By Scott D. Mendelson, M.D., Ph.D.
Super Life Secret Codes  By Great Sun
Pain Pill Addiction: A Prescription for Hope  By Jana Burson M.D.
The Employee Rights Handbook  By Steven Mitchell Sack
Bouncing Back From Loss  By Donna Marie Thompson Ph.D
Mockery  By Philip Kraske
A Pointed Death  By Kath Russell
Everything I Never Wanted To Be  By Dina Kucera
Enough for Us All  By Dorothy I. Riddle
Frozen in Time  By Theodore Jerome Cohen
Journey to Terra Incognita  By Gerald Shingleton
Goodnight, Brian  By Steven Manchester
The Mine  By Daniel R. Cobb
The Friday Night Club  By Jacob Nelson Lurie
The Entrepreneur Guide U.S. 2010 Edition  By Owen O. Daniels
Golden's Rule  By C. E. Edmonson
A World Away: The Quest of Dan Clay  By T.J. Smith
The Harrowing Escape: The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)  By T.J. Smith
Winter  By Maneesh Sharma
Soul's Infarct  By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz
A Worthy Legacy  By Tomi Akinyanmi
Dangerous Liaisons  By Michael D'Ambrosio
Shroud of Beckoning  By Deb Woody
Shadows and Not  By Sara Brown
America's Suicidal Statecraft  By James Cumes
The Handkerchief  By Julian Stark
The End of the 19th Century  By Eric Larsen
Up Close: A Mother's View  By Fiona Yaron-Field

Recommended Reads

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

 

Defining Moments: Breaking
Through Tough Times

By Dorothea S. McArthur, PhD ABPP

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Excellent self-help book for individuals who cannot afford psychotherapy and have been incapacitated by loss from natural disasters or economic hardship.

A Slot Machine Ate My
Midlife Crisis

By Irene Woodbury

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Humorous, fun-filled story about a 45-year-old woman who chucks her life in Houston and decides to remain in Las Vegas after a bizarre girls’ weekend.

Say Not What If
By Andrew Friedman

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Written as a long rhyming poem by a prisoner on death row, the story is an insightful examination of life and the realization that time is our most important commodity.

The Small Business
Guide (U.S Edition 2011)

By Owen O. Daniels

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Comprehensive reference resource book for entrepreneurs who want to start up and run a small business.

Master Self-Publishing
By Owen O. Daniels

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Excellent reference resource for anyone who wants to self-publish his or her own books.

The Great Singapore Penis
Panic and the Future of
American Mass Hysteria

By Scott D. Mendelson, M.D., Ph.D.

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Amazing study of a 1967 Singapore epidemic regarding male genitalia and how it relates to future mass hysteria in the United States.

Super Life Secret Codes
By Great Sun

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Illuminating discussion of life’s hardships and how to overcome them with love and gratitude.

Pain Pill Addiction: A
Prescription for Hope

By Jana Burson M.D.

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Penetrating examination of drugs, drug abuse, and the most successful methods for treatment and recovery.

The Employee Rights
Handbook

By Steven Mitchell Sack

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Comprehensive and practical handbook written in layman’s language on the legal strategies employees can use to protect themselves in the workplace.

Bouncing Back From Loss
By Donna Marie Thompson Ph.D

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Inspirational and informative account of how to deal with life’s setbacks and losses and transform the future to one’s advantage.

Mockery
By Philip Kraske

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Engaging political thriller about a young writer who stumbles onto the truth about a political election where both candidates are rocked by scandals.

A Pointed Death
By Kath Russell

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Entertaining mystery thriller about a biotech consultant and her dog Skootch and how they become involved in the high stakes world of corporate trade secrets and murder.

Everything I Never
Wanted To Be

By Dina Kucera

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
A struggling comic’s poignant and often hilarious account of her family’s battle with alcoholism and drug addiction over four generations.

Enough for Us All
By Dorothy I. Riddle

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Enlightening source book that uses quantum physics and metaphysics to help individuals attain personal transformation.

Frozen in Time
By Theodore Jerome Cohen

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
An exciting tale of greed, betrayal, and murder based on real events from the Antarctic continent.

Journey to Terra Incognita
By Gerald Shingleton

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Thought-provoking metaphysical adventure that begins in 1950s California and ends in the jungles of Guatemala.

Goodnight, Brian
By Steven Manchester

www.StevenManchester.com

(Fiction)
Inspirational story about how a woman’s faith and unconditional love help her grandson to lead a normal life after he is poisoned by a toxic soy formula and given little hope by his doctors.

The Mine
By Daniel R. Cobb

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Engaging thriller about an idealistic biologist who fights state corruption and corporate fraud perpetrated by a ruthless gold mining company.

The Friday Night Club
By Jacob Nelson Lurie

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
An irreverent coming of age story of a young man who must choose between continuing his hedonistic lifestyle or settling down and getting married.

The Entrepreneur Guide
U.S. 2010 Edition

By Owen O. Daniels

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Comprehensive book filled with information and answers about everything one needs to start and maintain a business.

Golden’s Rule
By C. E. Edmonson

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Compelling story about a modern-day girl battling cancer who finds inspiration by reading the diary of a 14-year-old slave girl from the 1800s.

A World Away: The
Quest of Dan Clay

By T.J. Smith

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Exciting story in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia about a young man and his three friends who embark on an out-of-this world journey where they are hunted by savage beasts along the footpath to a demonic castle.

The Harrowing Escape:
The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)

By T.J. Smith

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
The saga continues as Dan Clay and his companions continue their quest to locate Dan’s brother in a parallel world filled with savage beasts and half-man, half-serpent creatures.

Winter
By Maneesh Sharma

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Fast-paced thriller about a predator with otherworldly talents who has a penchant for killing women and stealing fine art.

Soul’s Infarct
By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Unique and penetrating examination through text and photographs of love among marginalized individuals in a notorious Chilean psychiatric hospital.

A Worthy Legacy
By Tomi Akinyanmi

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Touching and lyrical account about a dying Nigerian man and his practical wisdom for living life to the fullest.

Dangerous Liaisons
By Michael D’Ambrosio

www.amazon.com

(Science Fiction)
In this action-packed sequel to The Eye of Icarus, Lieutenant Will Saris and his new bride are caught in a web of treachery where no one, including the Space Fleet, can be trusted.

Shroud of Beckoning
By Deb Woody

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Thought-provoking supernatural tale about a four-year-old who is possessed by a demonic spirit.

Shadows and Not
By Sara Brown

www.amazon.com

(Poetry)
Soul-searching poetry anthology that illuminates the human condition.

America’s Suicidal Statecraft
By James Cumes

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
Well researched and documented examination of the self-destructive policies of the United States.

The Handkerchief
By Julian Stark

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
An intimate and probing love story that examines the breadth and depth of love and passion between two people.

The End of the 19th Century
By Eric Larsen

www.amazon.com

(Fiction)
Imposing lyrical epic about a Midwestern family’s journey through time and space.

Up Close: A Mother’s View
By Fiona Yaron-Field

www.amazon.com

(Nonfiction)
A touching and meditative memoir of a mother and her disabled daughter told through pictures and commentary.

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.

Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.

 

Links For Independent Writers & Publishers
• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers

• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers

• Press Release Services: Submit Press Release, Online Distribution Services.

• LitPitch: Place to read books online for free and for authors to pitch book ideas and get feedback.

• Bookwired.com: Author/reader resource for book reviews and news

• WriteLinks.com: Complete list of book publishers & publishing info

• Books-in-Print.com: Registry of electronic publications

• Bowker.com: Major book and publishing data

• PubEasy.com: E-commerce site for global bookselling

• Published.com: Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.

• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events

• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores

• Business.com: Site listing book distributors and wholesalers

• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers

• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony

• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features

• Book Sense.com: Family of bookseller Web sites

• Nospine.com: Independent authors from around the world

• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory

• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing

• Bookcrossing.com: Global book club & reading group

• Newradiance.com: Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

 


 

Free-Market Medicine—
A Personal Account

By Michael Parenti

When I recently went to Alta Bates hospital for surgery, I discovered that legal procedures take precedence over medical ones. I had to sign intimidating statements about financial counseling, indemnity, patient responsibilities, consent to treatment, use of electronic technologies, and the like.

One of these documents committed me to the following: “The hospital pathologist is hereby authorized to use his/her discretion in disposing of any member, organ, or other tissue removed from my person during the procedure.” Any member? Any organ?

The next day I returned for the actual operation. While playing Frank Sinatra recordings, the surgeon went to work cutting open several layers of my abdomen in order to secure my intestines with a permanent mesh implant. Afterward I spent two hours in the recovery room. “I feel like I’ve been in a knife fight,” I told one nurse. “It’s called surgery,” she explained.

Then, while still pumped up with anesthetics and medications, I was rolled out into the street. The street? Yes, some few hours after surgery they send you home. In countries that have socialized medicine (there I said it), a van might be waiting with trained personnel to help you to your abode.

Not so in free-market America. Your presurgery agreement specifies in boldface that you must have “a responsible adult acquaintance” (as opposed to an irresponsible teenage stranger) take you home in a private vehicle. I kept thinking, what happens to those unfortunates who have no one to bundle them away? Do they languish endlessly in the hospital driveway until the nasty weather finishes them off?

You are not allowed to call a taxi. Were a taxi driver to cause you any harm, you could hold the hospital legally responsible. Again it’s a matter of liability and lawyers, not health and doctors.

One of the two friends who helped me up the steps to my house then went off to Walgreen’s to buy the powerful antibiotics I had to take every four hours for two days. I dislike how antibiotics destroy the “good bacteria” that our bodies produce, and how they help create dangerous strains of super-resistant bacteria. I kept thinking of a recent finding: excessive reliance on medical drugs kills more Americans than all illegal narcotics combined.

So why did I have to take antibiotics? Because, as everyone kept telling me, hospitals are seriously unsafe places overrun with Staph infections and other super bugs. It’s a matter of self-protection.

Two days after surgery I noticed a dark red discoloration on my lower abdomen indicating internal bleeding. I was supposed to get a follow-up call from a nurse who would check on how I was doing. But the call might never come because the staff was planning a walkout. “We have no contract,” one of them had told me when I was in the recovery room. So now the nurses are on strike—and I’m left on my own to divine what my internal bleeding is all about. What fun.

Fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. A nurse did call me despite the walkout. Yes, she said, it was internal bleeding, but it was to be expected. My surgeon called later in the day to confirm this opinion. Death was not yet knocking.

Fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. A nurse did call me despite the walkout. Yes, she said, it was internal bleeding, but it was to be expected. My surgeon called later in the day to confirm this opinion. Death was not yet knocking.  Read More


Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela
And Cuba Are Changing the World’s
Conception of Health Care

By Steve Brouwer
(Monthly Review Press, May 2011.
NewYork pp. 256. ISBN 9781583672396, $18.95)

Reviewed by Jerone Stephens

Cuba’s innovations have encompassed several distinct but interrelated areas of medicine. The inspiration for the way medical care should be structured originated with Che Guevara’s vision of how medicine should fit into a just society. Che, who was a medical doctor, saw there needed to be a new type of doctor, one that was focused on the needs of the patient and society, not the doctor’s well being.

To implement Che’s ideas, Cuba began to focus on preventive care shortly after the triumph of the revolution, care that was to be a part of the life of the community. This meant integrating medical care with the work of individuals, and their activities in total by involving the community in their own health care. These ideas of Che have continued to guide Cuba’s approach to medicine, and in framing the ideas it’s exporting to other countries.

The first task Cuba faced after the revolution was to provide enough doctors to fulfill the needs of the society. Half of the doctors had left, and it was not until 1976 that the number of doctors in post-revolutionary Cuba equaled the pre-revolution number. Under the various dictatorships in Cuba, the country only had three medical schools; after the revolution, new schools were developed and today there are 21 medical schools.

The number of new doctors produced began to be accelerated with the emphasis placed on providing medical care for all Cubans, not just the few that were rich enough to afford private care. The result was that by 2008, there was one doctor for every 168 people, while Europe has one for every 330 and the U.S. one for every 417 persons. And the discrepancy in favor of Cuba is even more tilted to primary care when we realize that all Cuban doctors are trained first in primary care, and only later enter training to be specialists.

Having achieved the goal of training enough doctors to supply Cuban society, they began sending doctors abroad to assist people who were the victims of floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. To date, Cubans have assisted 103 countries when disasters hit, and they are seen as the world’s experts when it comes to disaster relief. Cuba has teams of doctors ready to go to any disaster, and this includes not only doctors and medicines but also facilities for erecting field hospitals and providing for ancillary needs generated by disasters. Cubans have their own technicians and engineers who go with the medical teams. The United Nations, as well as many countries around the world, recognize the expertise of Cuban doctors, and allow, or ask them, to take the lead in disaster medicine when tragedy strikes. And Cuba does not consider politics when offering to help. When Katrina hit New Orleans, Cuba offered to send over 1100 doctors-with full packs-to aid the victims. Despite the support of American doctors for the expert assistance Cuba could give, the U.S. government declined to accept the help.

As a result of the work Cuba was doing in emergency medicine, they began another innovation that has had enormous benefits for numerous countries around the world. In 1998, when the hurricanes George and Mitch hit Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba sent their teams to treat the victims. But this set Fidel to thinking that rather than always sending doctors to the disaster areas, Cuba could train students in medicine who would then return home and be available to help their countrymen. This thought led to the establishment of the Latin America School of Medicine (LSAM). This school now enrolls thousands (Brouwer puts the number at 24,000 but others use the figure of 10,000 or more) of medical students from 40 countries. In a number of countries programs have been established to provide residencies in comprehensive community medicine for graduates. There are 125 American students enrolled as of 2011, but in the U.S. there is no public support for the graduates. The Cuban government, along with a small stipend for the students, covers all tuition, fees and living expenses. The program requires six years of study, and then a residency in the student’s home country.

In the recent earthquake in Haiti, doctors from that country trained in Cuba were available to help treat the victims. The largest contingent of doctors remaining in Haiti is also from Cuba. We do not learn much in the U.S., the author explains, about Cuba’s involvement in Haiti. Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta of CNN, after spending weeks in Haiti, never mentioned Cuba’s role in the country, even though one CNN reporter had pointed out months earlier that within a week after the quake, the only place where Haitians could get treatment and expect to survive was from the Cubans.

Cuba had long sent doctors to other countries for two-year terms to aid the local doctors in practicing medicine, but with the election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Cuba sent doctors there to treat patients, and eventually expanded the program to establish medical schools based on the Cuban model. In return for providing doctors, Venezuela sends petroleum to Cuba. As many as 20,000 doctors have been in Venezuela to begin providing medical services in areas where there have never been doctors. The program is known as Barrio Adentro (inside the neighborhood) where doctors live in the community, and are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. As in Cuba, preventive medicine for the entire community is emphasized.

Venezuela started a program called Medicina Integral Comunitaria (MIC) that consisted of Venezuelan and Cuban doctors from Barrio Adentro, graduates of the elite university medical schools who were willing to practice in underserved areas and new graduates of LSAM who were returning home from Cuba. Along with the practice of medicine, Venezuela educators from MIC also began establishing medical schools to teach local students in their own neighborhoods. Rather than send them off to a university to study, in order to increase the number of doctors practicing in areas where poor people lived, and to recruit students who would remain in the area after training they adopted the curriculum that had been developed in Cuba in 2004 to train students in their own communities. Students work four hours in Barrio Adentro offices with physician/teachers and four hours in academic classes. Rather than the academic classes being separate, as in the Flexner model used in the U.S., they are combined in like areas of the medical curriculum.

In a recent report in the New York Times, after Brouwer’s book was published, there was a description of the first program in the U.S. that was similar to Cuba’s and Venezuela’s in retention of students in their home area. The experiment is in Salina, Kansas, and developed by the University of Kansas Medical College. The program allows students to remain in their city while receiving instruction from practicing doctors, and from classes conducted through distance learning (NYT, July 22, 2011). Like Cubans and Venezuelans, students in Kansas begin interacting with patients from the beginning of their training.

In order to assist other small nations in liberating themselves from the United States, Venezuela and Cuba joined with Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia and three small Caribbean nations to form ALBA, (The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America) that was established by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Since Venezuela is now producing doctors that can eventually replace Cubans in teaching and practicing medicine, Cuba now has the enough doctors to send to these other nations to do what was done in Venezuela in establishing medical schools. Honduras was a member of ALBA until the government withdrew it after the coup de etat in 2010, and the election of a new president to replace Zelaya, the ousted president.  Read More

Featured Books


Buy The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road
By Cormac McCarthy

A nightmarish, yet poetically written tale of a father and son and their brutal trek to survive in a post-apocalyptic America.


Buy Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin

Last Words: A Memoir
By George Carlin with Tony Hendra

Master comedian/satirist George Carlin takes us on a wild ride as he recounts his turbulent life and ground-breaking career with great candor and trademark humor.


Buy The Assassination of Julius Caesar by Michael Parenti

The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti

Award-winning author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion
of the people.

A bone-chilling political
morality fable…

— Midwest Book Review

Buy Sunshine Assassins by John F. Miglio

Sunshine Assassins
By John F. Miglio
(Fiction)
Controversial political thriller about a band of democratic rebels and their attempt to overthrow the corporate fascist shadow government in the USA…Read Reviews

John F. Miglio is available for all types of speaking engagements. For information, click here

Bestsellers











Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• PEN.org: “An association of writers working to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship.”• TruthDig.com: “Hard-hitting investigative journalism.”

• MoveOn.org: Influential democracy in action group

• The Nation.com: “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”

• Op/EdNews.com: “Progressive news and essays.”

• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”

• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays

• Buzzflash.com: Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications

• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.

• Brad Blog: Up-to-date progressive news & opinions.

• Radio Power Network: Listener supported, independent radio streaming progressive music and culture from around the world.

• NPR.org: National listener supported news and information.

• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.

• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays

• Tom Paine.com: Alternative news and essays

• Mother Jones.com: Alternative and environmental news

• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics

• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues

• TvNewsLies.org: A compendium of TV news lies

• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America

• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media

• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information

• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism

• PFAW.org: People for the American Way

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