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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 08:54pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1558 of 1567) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Groups of people can be absolutely sure of ideas that are completely wrong -- and do grave damage. The record of the medical profession has many gruesome examples.

OUR FATHERS OF OLD Rudyard Kipling

Excellent herbs had our fathers of old
Excellent herbs to ease their pain
Alexanders and Marigold
Eyebright, Orris, and Elecampane
Basil, Rocket, Valerian, Rue
(Almost singing themselves they run)
Vervain, Dittany, Cann-me-to-you
Cowslip, Meiilot, Rose of the Sun
Anything green that grew out of the mould
Was an excellent herb to our fathers of old.

Wonderful tales had our fathers of old,
Wonderful tales of the herbs and the stars
The Sun was Lord of the Marigold,
Basil and Rocket belonged to Mars.

Pat as a sum in division it goes
(Every herb had a planet bespoke)
Who but Venus should govern the Rose,
Who but Jupiter own the Oak?
Simply and gravely the facts are told
In the wonderful books of our fathers of old.

Wonderful little, when all is said,
Wonderful little our fathers knew.
Half of their remedies cured you dead
Most of their teaching was quite untrue
"Look at the stars when a patient is ill."
(Dirt has nothing to do with disease.)
Bleed and blister as much as you will,
Blister and bleed as oft as you please."
Whence enormous and manifold
Errors were made by our fathers of old.

Yet when the sickness was sore on the land,
and neither planets nor herbs assuaged,
They took their lives in their lancet-hand
And oh, what a wonderful war they waged!
Yes, when the crosses were chalked on the door
(Yes, when the terrible dead-cart rolled!)
Excellent courage our fathers bore
Excellent heart had our fathers of old.
None too learned, but nobly bold
Into the fight went our fathers of old.

If it be certain, as Galen says
And sage Hippocrates holds as much
"That those afflicted by doubts and dismays
Are mightily helped by a dead man's touch,"
Then, be good to us, stars above!
Then, be good to us, herbs below!
We are afflicted by what we can prove,
We are distracted by what we know.
So - ah, so!
Down from your heaven or up from your mould
Send us the hearts of our fathers of old!

rshowalter - 08:55pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1559 of 1567) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

rshowalter "Health in the News" 3/1/00 10:29am rshowalter - 10:29am Mar 1, 2000 EST (#489 of 1676) Robert Showalter

Kipling's doctors of old were people. Caring people. Smart people. How could they have believed the nonsense they did, and inflicted the injury they did on patients, for so many cocksure generations?

Let me repeat, because it is so hard to forget: these were people, with the perceptual and psychological limitations all people have.

Often, where we have the most anxiety, or anxiety mixed with stress, we become the most "convinced" and the least susceptible to evidence.

"If it be certain, as Galen says - And sage Hippocrates holds as much - "That those afflicted by doubts and dismays Are mightily helped by a dead man's touch," That line gripped me. Think about it. If you touch the corpse of a man you tried to save, you may become especially sure of your judgement. You WANT your judgement to have been right, and want that very badly. That's understandable, but not logical. Such motivations, common to medicine, are good reason for doubt of subjectivity, and good reason to value clinical trial, when tests are possible. It seems to me that doctors, like others who live in crises and close to trauma, can easily forget that emotionally, we can be MOST convinced where we have the LEAST reason behind our opinion. Doctors are neither more nor less than human.

That goes for military people, too.

Is there reason to think the arguments for "Star Wars" are any better than the arguments of "Our Fathers of Old?" Why?

lunarchick - 09:06pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1560 of 1567)

The American in North Korea is surprised re the emphasis on 'productivity' ... if Mr Kim is the President of NK, and was educated in Germany, then his tour of factories does make sense. The wealth of the country will be dependent on production, financed from South Korea. Having jobs will be the way forward.

The NEWS from CHINA tv has a simmilar emphasis.

On assumes that there will be cultural programming somewhere on NK tv?!

lunarchick - 09:13pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1561 of 1567)

Austria:far right ousted: latest elections are swinging to center from far right-wing-extremists. People responded to the publisised negative neo-natzi acts against 'migrants' by voting against them. So patriotism has been moderated by realism.

rshowalter - 09:14pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1562 of 1567) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

In DARK SUN: The Making of the Atomic Bomb Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Rhodes documents that

" US firebombing of North Korean cities and the bombing of large dams killed more than two million civilians."

Could it be, that after that injury, for that culture, especially with us the allies of the hated Japanese, the Koreans could not make peace?

That might explain a lot. It would also indicate that North Korea is a human tragedy that deserves careful, redemptive attention -- not more harshness toward a country that may simple have been immobilized by an injury that we inflicted.

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