The Daily Render

by

A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

| FRONT PAGE | GEOSPATIAL ART | DC HISTORY / TIMELINE | NEWS | COLONIST | FOUND MAPS | FRACTALS |
| PHOTOGRAPHY | ANTIQUE | DESIGN | VIDEO | RANDOM | CONTACT |

Text of the Department of Justice’s “Cole Memo” – June 29, 2011
|| 7/31/2011 || 1:59 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Following up on the Ogden Memo, I decided to post the “Cole Memo” below:


MEMORANDUM FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS

FROM: James M. Cole
Deputy Attorney General

SUBJECT: Guidance Regarding the Ogden Memo in Jurisdictions
Seeking to Authorize Marijuana for Medical Use

Over the last several months some of you have requested the Department’s assistance in responding to inquiries from State and local governments seeking guidance about the Department’s position on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution ofmarijuana purportedly for medical use. Some of these jurisdictions have considered approving the cultivation of large quantities of marijuana, or broadening the regulation and taxation of the substance. You may have seen letters responding to these inquiries by several United States Attorneys. Those letters are entirely consistent with the October 2009 memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana (the “Ogden Memo“).

The Department ofJustice is committed to the enforcement ofthe Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. The Ogden Memorandum provides guidance to you in deploying your resources to enforce the CSA as part of the exercise of the broad discretion you are given to address federal criminal matters within your districts.

+ MORE



Text of the Department of Justice’s “Ogden Memo” – October 19, 2009
|| 7/30/2011 || 1:56 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

In the yesterday’s newspaper article the DOJ’s 2009 Ogden Memo was mentioned, here is the full text of the document:


USDOJ Seal
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
The Deputy Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530
October 19,2009

MEMORANDUM FOR SELECTED UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS

FROM: David W. Ogden
Deputy Attorney General

SUBJECT: Investigations and Prosecutions in States
Authorizing the Medical Use of Marijuana

This memorandum provides clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana. These laws vary in their substantive provisions and in the extent of state regulatory oversight, both among the enacting States and among local jurisdictions within those States. Rather than developing different guidelines for every possible variant of state and local law, this memorandum provides uniform guidance to focus federal investigations and prosecutions in these States on core federal enforcement priorities.

The Department of Justice is committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug, and the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime and provides a significant source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. One timely example underscores the importance of our efforts to prosecute significant marijuana traffickers: marijuana distribution in the United States remains the single largest source of revenue for the Mexican cartels.

+ MORE



Safe Access DC’s Protest at the Department of Justice
|| 5/2/2011 || 10:12 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I attended the Americans for Safe Access demonstration at the Department of Justice Building in downtown Washington, DC.

Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice


Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice


Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice



This was written by Steph Sherer:

Stand in solidarity with me for a National Day of Action this Monday, May 2, 2011. Our community is sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients.

After previously giving us a false sense of security, the Obama administration now continues to ignore state laws and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities, while creating new ways to marginalize our community, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suit against state employees who participate in upholding state law. This community is still under attack.

Just yesterday, our community witnessed raid activity in Washington State and on Monday, our community will lose two more of our brothers and sisters to the failed war on drugs. Dale Shafer and Dr. Mollie fry will turn themselves over to federal agents to serve five-year mandatory minimum sentences for legally participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs. Enough is enough and Monday, May 2, 2011 is our time to take stand against federal interference!

Fellow community members and local activists are preparing to deliver ASA’s Cease and Desist to local DEA offices and federal buildings across the country. Commit to do the same. Join activists in several cities across the country. Locations include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Washington State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, DC, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland. To find out what is going on in your area, email action@safeaccessnow.org, or print out the Cease and Desist Order and take it to a local DEA Office or Federal Building near you on Monday!! Remember: if you don’t stand up for safe access, who will?

Special Patients’ Rights Rallies will be occurring in both Washington, DC outside of the Department of Justice at 12pEST (event flyer) and outside of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA at 12pPST for Dale Schafer and Dr. Mollie Fry (event flyer).

It’s thanks to the support from our members that ASA is able to hold Days of Action like this one. Please consider making a donation to ASA today, so we can continue to strengthen our fight for safe access.

I look forward to participating in our National Day of Action for patients’ rights with you on Monday, May 2, 2011.



[UPCOMING] 02/10/11 – Town Hall Meeting on the Implementation of the District of Columbia’s Medical Cannabis Program
|| 1/19/2011 || 10:41 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

As you may remember, I helped organize a similar town hall meeting a little over one year ago. The week after the previous town hall meeting, the District Council introduced amendments to Initiative 59 that substantially altered what was originally approved by District voters over 10 years ago. In May of last year, the District Council approved these new amendments, in July Congress approved the amendments, and starting in August the previous Mayor’s office began drafting regulations to implement the medical cannabis program. Today we are waiting for the Mayor to sign off on the final proposed regulations and begin implementing this important program. In my work with the DC Patients’ Cooperative, I’ve been involved in every step of the process and I’m looking forward to helping host the upcoming town hall meeting. We filled the entire venue last year, so please RSVP.


E-Flyer for the Town Hall Meeting

TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE DISTRICT’S MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM

Thursday, February 10th at 7:00 pm in Pierce Hall at All Souls Unitarian Church located at 16th and Harvard Streets, NW in Ward One of Washington, DC.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP



The District of Columbia Patients’ Cooperative  (DCPC), a non-profit corporation that formed one year ago to provide high quality and affordable cannabis ‘marijuana’ to qualifying DC patients will host a town hall meeting on the implementation of the District of Columbia’s medical cannabis program. 

The aim of the meeting is to provide residents with a better understanding of the laws and regulations that were drafted over the last year.  The meeting will cover different topics ranging from how the patient registration process will work to the rules surrounding the cultivation and dispensing of the medicine.

The town hall meeting is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, February 10th at 7:00 pm in Pierce Hall at All Souls Unitarian Church located at 16th and Harvard Streets, NW in Washington, DC.

Confirmed Panelist:  Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans For Safe Access

Invited Panelists: Councilmembers Jim Graham, David Catania, Phil Mendelson, & Michael A. Brown, a representative from the Mayor’s office, and a representative from the DC Department of Health.

WHO:  DC Patients’ Cooperative, invited panelists, and members of the public
WHAT:  Town Hall Meeting on DC’s Medical Cannabis Program
WHEN:  Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm
WHERE: Pierce Hall in All Souls Unitarian Church, 16th and Harvard Streets, NW, Washington, DC

Click here to download a PDF of the e-flyer


Space will be limited, so please RSVP at http://www.DCpatients.org by February 9th.

We hope you can attend!





THE EXPECTANT HAND – The Mahoning Dispatch, June 04, 1909
|| 8/28/2010 || 12:02 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The article below is a condensed short story from a biography by Frank Allaben on the life of Gen. John Watts De Peyster. I chose this article because it describes a doctor recommending Indian hemp, which is the colloquial name for one of these five plants: Cannabis indica, Apocynum cannabinum, Sida rhombifolia, Asclepias incarnata, Hibiscus cannabinus. The doctor was most likely recommending Cannabis indica because it is the only variety of Indian hemp which has medicinal properties. Sadly, today in America a doctor would lose their license to prescribe drugs if they were to assist their patient in acquiring Cannabis indica as described below.


Scan of the newspaper article

THE EXPECTANT HAND


No Charge Made, But a Present of Money Not Refused.

In recording an illness of his grandfather, Gen. John Watts De Peyster tells an amusing story in connection with Indian hemp. It is printed in his biography by Mr. Frank Allaben.

Indian hemp was recommended as a remedy during my grandfathers illness, but where to get it was the question. Finally some one said it was grown in the garden of old Mr. Henry Brevoort, who owned a large plot on the east side of Broadway, extending through to the Bowery above Tenth street. Grace Church stands on part of this ground.

Doctor Bibby gave me some money, told me to jump into his gig, drive up to Brevoort’s old low-storied cottage house on Bowery, and tell the owner that I wanted some Indian hemp for my grandfather, John Watts. I was to use diplomacy if necessary, but not to return without it.

I trotted briskly, roused Mr. Brevoort from a nap, stated my case, found no demur, and got the Indian hemp, which he dug up with his own hands.

“How much am I to pay?” I questioned.

“I never sells it,” Mr. Brevoort replied, “because if I takes money for Indian hemp, it weakens the vartoo.”

I stated that I was ordered to pay, and we discussed the matter, walking across the garden toward the gig, which I had left on Broadway.

I had made up my mind that I had met with a disinterested Christian, had replaced the money in my pocket, when I felt a brawny, sunburnt, freckled hand restraining me, and heard these words whispered in my ear: “I never sells Indian hemp, for that weakens the vartoo, but if I gives it, I never refuses a present.”

I extricated the money confided to me, placed it in the expectant hand, hurried home and related my story, and I have heard it laughed over many times.



If you don’t get the joke, don’t worry, its not that funny. My reading on this story is that “vartoo” is Mr. Brevoort’s Dutch pronunciation of the word “virtue.” As in, virtue is a trait or quality deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. By selling something medicinal, Mr. Brevoort is saying that he would weaken the plants effectiveness by profiting off the sale. A contemporary aspect of this moral concept is that some medical cannabis dispensaries in California only take donations instead of selling their medicine. Maybe they don’t want to weaken the vartoo either.



Enrolled Text of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010
|| 7/24/2010 || 12:30 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

With Congress about to finish up their 30 legislative day review of the District’s medical cannabis law, I decided to post the updated text of the law. I had previously posted an earlier draft of the law and I feel its important to have the most up-to-date version for others to use a resource.


ENROLLED ORIGINAL

AN ACT

IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
______________________

To amend the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1999 to define key terms, to clarify who is permitted to cultivate, possess, dispense, or use medical marijuana, to require a written recommendation from one’s physician, to restrict the use of medical marijuana, to protect physicians from sanctions for recommending medical marijuana, to establish a medical marijuana program, to establish requirements for dispensaries and cultivation centers, to authorize the Board of Medicine to audit physician recommendations and to discipline physicians who act outside of the law, to set out penalties for violating this act, to prohibit the public use of medical marijuana, to establish a Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, to require fees collected to be applied toward administering this act, to establish liability provisions, to clarify that this act does not require any public or private insurance to cover medical marijuana, and to authorize the Mayor to issue rules; and to amend the District of Columbia Health Occupations Revision Act of 1985, the Health Clarifications Act of 2001, the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, and the Drug Paraphernalia Act of 1982 to make conforming amendments.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010”.

Sec. 2. The Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1999, effective February 25, 2010 (D.C. Law 13-315; 57 DCR 3360), is amended to read as follows:

+ MORE



The Strange Narcotics Used in Asia and South America – The New York Sun, February 8th, 1880
|| 3/24/2010 || 6:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This text is from a longer article about global drug use that was first printed 130 years ago. Since I have been working on DC’s medical cannabis legislation, I have found it very interesting to research the historical uses of cannabis and to see how it was written about before the “reefer madness” of the 1930’s. What I found most interesting is that today’s marijuana was then called “Indian hemp.” I have added a few notes in [brackets] as well as hyperlinks.


The Strange Narcotics Used in Asia and South America

The New York Sun, February 8, 1880

One of the earliest attempts to expand the popular acquaintances with the practical lessons of chemical science was made in Jonhsons’s Chemistry of Common Life, first published twenty-five years ago [in 1855]. The progress of inquiry since that epoch has rendered a new edition of the book desirable, and the work of revision and addition has been carefully performed by Mr. A. H. Church in the volume now issued by the Appletons. Mr. Church is himself favorably known as the author of several lucid and trustworthy handbooks on topics relating to the applications of chemistry, and in the portions here contributed by himself he has striven, not unsuccessfully, to emulate the cogency of method and simplicity of style which distinguished the original treatise. His additions comprise some valuable matter which had been gleaned by Prof. Johnston and inserted in that writer’s private copy of the first edition. Altogether, the book, in its present form, deserves to maintain its old preeminence as a readable exposition of the main uses of chemistry in the daily life of man. Of peculiar interest will be found the chapters which discuss the effect of the various narcotics, including opium, tobacco, Indian hemp, the betel nut, the coca leaf, the red thornapple, and the Siberian fungus. Some of the data relating to the least familiar of these narcotising agents deserve particular attention.

Few persons appreciate to what extent certain races are addicted to forms of narcotic indulgence with which Anglo-Saxons are almost wholly unacquainted. According to the work before us, the use of Indian hemp obtains among upwards of 200,000,000 of human beings, dispersed over a large part of the earth, viz. in Persia, India, and Turkey, throughout the whole continent of Africa, from Morocco to the Cape of Good Hope, and even in Brazil. One hundred millions of men in China, Hindostan, and the Eastern Archipelago consume, for the same narcotic purpose, the betel nut and betel pepper. Again, the chewing of coca is more or less practised among some 10,000,000 of the human race.

As regards the first named of these agents, Indian hemp, it seems at first sight curious that the narcotic properties of hemp should never have obtained popular recognition in southern Europe, when we consider that our common plant [Cannabis sativa], so extensively cultivated for its fibre, differs in no essential feature from the Indian variety [Cannabis indica] which, from the remotest times, has been celebrated in the East for its care-dispelling virtues.

In northern climates, however, the peculiar resinous substance residing in the sap is so small that it would naturally escape observation. Yet even in such latitudes the growing plant emits a peculiar smell, which sometimes occasions headache and giddiness in those who remain long in the field.

In parts of India resinous exudation is so abundant that it may be gathered by the hand in the same way as opium. The resin obtained this way is the most highly prized, and is known as the chorrus. It appears that that even the tops and tender parts of the plant, when dried, are powerful narcotic agents, but the seeds, it said, are not used for this purpose.

The preparation known as hashish in Syria is made by boiling the leaves and flowers of the hemp with water, to which a certain quantity of butter has been added, and evaporating and straining the decoction. The butter thus becomes charged with the active resinous principle of the plant, and acquires a greenish color. It is apt to have rancid taste, and hence is commonly mixed with sweetmeats and aromatics, so as to form a sort of electuary. One of these confections used among the Moors is called el mogen(?), and is sold at an enormous price; another is well known at Constantinople under the name of madjoun, and is reputed to possess aphrodisiac powers.

The dried plant is also smoked, and sometimes chewed, five or ten grains reduced to powder being mixed with tobacco in a pipe or narghile. The pure resin and resinous extract are generally swallowed in the form of pills or boluses.

In one or other of these forms the hemp plant appears to have been used from very early times. Herodotus, for instance, tells us that ancient Scythians excited themselves by inhaling its vapor. The potion which Homer makes Helen administer to Telemachus was prepared from a plant said to have been procured from Thebes in Egypt, where, there is reason to believe, a knowledge of the qualities of hemp existed as early as the eighteenth dynasty (1700 B.C.).

There is no doubt that hemp is often mentioned under the name of beng in the “Arabian Nights;” we may add that the derivation of the English word assassin from the hasisheens, or the hemp-eating followers of the Old Man of the Mountain, seems to be generally acknowledged.

The effects of the churrus, or natual resinous exudation, have been carefully studied in India by competent physicians. We are told that when taken in moderation, it produces increase of appetite and great mental cheerfulness, while, in excess, it causes a extraordinary kind of delirium and catalepsy. In the latter case, limbs of the patient can be placed in every imaginable attitude, and they will remain perfectly stationary in violation of the laws of gravity, the brain, meanwhile, being almost insensible to impressions from without.

It has been proved also by experiment that the hemp extract exercises the same extraordinary influence upon other animals as as well as upon man, and it is believed that the wonderful feats of the Indian Fakirs and snake charmers of India should, in many cases, be explained by their employment of this agent. It appears that after the cataleptic trance has passed, the patient is left entirely uninjured.

In general, indeed, the effects of hemp upon the human system are pronounced less deleterious than those of opium. Hemp does not lessen, but rather excites appetite. Moreover, it does not occasion nausea, constipation, dryness of the tongue, or the lessening of any of the secretions, and is not usually followed by that melancholy state of mental depression to which the opium eater is subject. It appears, however, that a long and gradual training to its use is requisite before its agreeable effects can be fully experienced; it is affirmed, also, that the remarkable cataleptic state above described has never been produced in a European.


Click here to continue reading the article on Chronicling America.



Map Mashup: Healthcare Heartburn
|| 3/23/2010 || 5:39 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Healthcare Heartburn by Nikolas Schiller

Above is Amy Martin’s “Keep America Healthy – Public Option Please” with a map of the average federal revenue per capita by state in 2007 superimposed. At over $34,000 per citizen, the District of Columbia pays the more any jurisdiction in America, yet the 600,000 citizens have no representation in Congress….

Ironically related is my entry on Hartburn, DC.



Tonight! Town Hall Meeting on Medical Marijuana in the District of Columbia
|| 1/14/2010 || 11:01 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Flyer for the District of Columbia Patients Advocacy Coalition's Town Hall Meeting on Medical Marijuana in the District of Columbia

For the last few weeks I have been working with the District of Columbia Patients Advocacy Coalition helping to organize and promote tonight’s Town Hall Meeting on Medical Marijuana in the District of Columbia. I am very excited about this event and I hope it goes well. From the DCPAC website:

January 14th, from 7pm to 9pm at All Souls Unitarian Church (2835 16th St., N.W. Washington, DC) On hand will be current medical marijuana patients, doctors, concerned citizens, and hopefully, you.

This meeting is open to the public and we encourage all who are interested to attend. For the privacy of the patients, we ask the members of the media that there will be no recordings or photographs allowed until after the meeting is over.

Scheduled to speak is Wayne Turner, the author of Initiative 59 and Steve DeAngelo, founder of Harborside Health Center. After their remarks we will have a moderated Question & Answer discussion.


#UPDATE – The event was very well attended with an estimated 200+ people filling up the entire seating area. I’m looking forward to the next DCPAC meeting on February 18th!


#UPDATE #2 – Shortly after this meeting, the non-profit organization DC Patients’ Cooperative formed out of members of the DC Patients Advocacy Coalition.



New Facebook Group: Medical Marijuana Patients of the District of Columbia
|| 12/9/2009 || 11:24 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

For the last 10 years, every District of Columbia appropriations bill passed by Congress has included this line of tyrannical text: Provides that the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, also known as Initiative 59, approved by the electors of the District on November 3, 1998, shall not take effect. With the long-awaited news that Congress has finally decided to remove this line of text, I’ve created a new Facebook Group Medical Marijuana Patients of the District of Columbia:

After over 10 years of a congressionally imposed ban on medical marijuana in the District of Columbia, the passage of Ballot Initiative 59, known as the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, *should* go into effect very shortly.

The Facebook Group “Medical Marijuana Patients of the District of Columbia” was created to help advance, advocate, and agitate for the responsible implementation of this important healthcare reform in the District of Columbia.

Until the legislation becomes law, the members of this group are not *yet* legal medical marijuana recipients. However this group is open to everyone, including those who plan on becoming patients in the near future and want to ensure they can find the cannabis that meets their medical needs when the laws are officially changed.

We hope this group can engender the support of everyone who believes in safe, legal, and affordable medical marijuana in the District of Columbia.

While I don’t expect the laws to be changed overnight, my aim is to create an informal body of concerned citizens who will help ensure that the law is implemented in a way that benefits those who need medical marijuana most. I imagine this change in the law is going to be a big can of worms that many elected officials are going to try to step lightly around, so it’s somewhat important that there is an organized group of concerned citizens willing to make sure that the law is enacted properly.


So what will medical marijuana look like in the District of Columbia? I don’t know yet. Hopefully its similar to Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California, which is one of the best dispensaries in California. I think they have created a model that can easily be replicated in Washington. Watch their well-produced YouTube video to get a better idea of how medical marijuana can be dispensed:


[Watch On YouTube]

Below is the legislative text of Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998. It was originally passed with the support of 69% of the voters in the District of Columbia:

+ MORE



YouTube video of the Billionaires for Wealthcare singing “Public Option Annie” at yesterday’s AHIP conference in Washington, DC
|| 10/24/2009 || 8:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This video was filmed at AHIP‘s 14th annual State Issues Conference at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. I think the activist singers did an excellent job conveying the message of the importance of a public option in any health insurance reform.



AHIP is the powerful insurance lobby that spends 5 million dollars a week trying to kill health care reform. Billionaires for Wealthcare is a grassroots network looking to stop them – with song.

  • AHIP and other insurance and HMO interests spend nearly $5 million per week undermining real health care reform, including a public option.
  • AHIP has resorted to out-right lying and scare tactics to block health care reform. They sent letters that lie to seniors about what health care reform means for Medicare, and they issued a report on the costs of health care reform legislation that is so misleading even the reports embarrassed authors distanced themselves from the way AHIP used their work.
  • Every year, 45,000 people die because they cant get access to the health care they need. Yet AHIP continues to stand in the way of health care reform that would provide coverage to millions of Americans because the industry is more concerned with protecting profits than saving lives.

Lyrics to “Public Option Annie” sung in the tune of “Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical Annie.

+ MORE



Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART TWO]
|| 9/12/2009 || 10:44 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||

Photograph of a woman holding a sign that says: No thanks, I already have a Messiah
Photograph of a woman holding a sign that says: “No thanks, I already have a Messiah” and shows a modified Obama logo with a crescent moon to imply Barack Obama is a muslim.

In this portion of photographs from today’s Taxpayers March on Washington I am focusing on some of the random signs I found.

Photograph of a sign showing George Washinton saying WTF? with the caption: George addresses today's Congress
Photograph of a sign showing George Washinton saying WTF? with the caption: George addresses today’s Congress

View the rest:

+ MORE



Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART ONE]
|| || 8:57 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

A sign that says Bury Obamacare with Ted Kennedy covered in horse poop

This morning I got up early to attend the Taxpayers March on Washington. Being that I’ve attended nearly every major demonstration in Washington, DC over the last ten years, I was really curious about how this demonstration would go off. How many people would there be? What would be the demographics of those present? Would people bring guns? Are these people as crazy and brainwashed as they’ve come to appear on television? Instead of relying on YouTube videos and hearsay, I wanted to see for myself who consider themselves modern day patriots.

Before I left my house I turned on the TV to see if there was any coverage of the demonstration on the major cable television news channels. Sure enough, CNN was showing that an estimated 80,000 were present. I also opened up the Washington Post and was rather startled that they had an article on the front page about the march. Where was the same kind of coverage before the Iraq war started when there were hundreds of thousands of Americans marching? After reading the article, and questioning Washington Post’s motives, I put on my FREE DC hat, charged up my camera, and rode my bike down to Pennsylvania ave to take it all in.


Below is my first batch of photographs from the day.

Photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt that says: I want my gun
Photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt that says: I Want My Gun.
My question is, why do you need a gun at a peaceful demonstration?

+ MORE



Banner at Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan: “Care About Your Citizens / Healthcare For All, Now!”
|| 9/8/2009 || 2:01 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Banner at Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan: Care About Your Citizens / Healthcare For All, Now!

I like it when business owners use their businesses to advance their beliefs. You don’t agree with the owner? You can just take your business elsewhere.



The Medicare Constitution – American Healthcare Reform Parodied from the UK’s NHS Constitution
|| 8/18/2009 || 1:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Yesterday I read the op-ed “In Defense of Britain’s Health System” by British doctors Ara Darzi and Tom Kibasi in the Washington Post. Near the end of the article they stated:

Standing in defense of Britain’s health service does not mean that we believe it is the right prescription for the United States. It is not for us to propose the solution for America, but we hope that correcting the record on some of the facts about our NHS will help Americans evaluate the real strengths and challenges of our system, instead of focusing on the misinformation spread by fear-mongers.

It got me thinking, what if the American healthcare reform was simply expanded Medicare coverage? Even though only people 65 or older qualify for Medicare, its already America’s largest health insurance program, covering over 40 million Americans (Number of Uninsured Americans = 47 million). This concept of expanding America’s current single-payer healthcare option is already outlined in the bill HR 676, which is withering away in Congress due to intense pressure from insurance corporations, pharmaceutical corporations, industry trade groups, and small-government conservatives. But what if Americans received a Medicare Constitution that outlined the rights, pledges, expectations, responsibilities, and values of a national healthcare system? To answer these hypothetical questions I decided to plagiarize the British NHS Constitution and replace NHS with Medicare and Parliament with Congress (as well as few other minor changes). Below is the result:


A photoshopped graphic from the NHS constitution

Medicare belongs to the people.

It is there to improve our health and well-being, supporting us to keep mentally and physically well, to get better when we are ill and, when we cannot fully recover, to stay as well as we can to the end of our lives. It works at the limits of science – bringing the highest levels of human knowledge and skill to save lives and improve health. It touches our lives at times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matter most.

Medicare was founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the communities and people it serves – patients and public – and the staff who work for it.

This Constitution establishes the principles and values of Medicare in the United States of America. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which Medicare is committed to achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the Medicare operates fairly and effectively. All Medicare bodies and private and third sector providers supplying Medicare services will be required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions.

The Constitution will be renewed every 10 years, with the involvement of the public, patients and staff. It will be accompanied by the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution, to be renewed at least every three years, setting out current guidance on the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities established by the Constitution. These requirements for renewal will be made legally binding. They will guarantee that the principles and values which underpin Medicare are subject to regular review and recommitment; and that any government which seeks to alter the principles or values of Medicare, or the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities set out in this Constitution, will have to engage in a full and transparent debate with the public, patients and staff.



1. Principles that guide Medicare

Seven key principles guide Medicare in all it does. They are underpinned by core Medicare values which have been derived from extensive discussions with staff, patients and the public. These values are set out at the end of this document.

1. Medicare provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief. It has a duty to each and every individual that it serves and must respect their human rights. At the same time, it has a wider social duty to promote equality through the services it provides and to pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population.


2. Access to Medicare services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay. Medicare services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Congress.


3. Medicare aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism – in the provision of high-quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience; in the planning and delivery of the clinical and other services it provides; in the people it employs and the education, training and development they receive; in the leadership and management of its organizations; and through its commitment to innovation and to the promotion and conduct of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population.


4. Medicare services must reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment.


5. Medicare works across organizational boundaries and in partnership with other organizations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population. Medicare is an integrated system of organizations and services bound together by the principles and values now reflected in the Constitution. Medicare is committed to working jointly with local authorities and a wide range of other private, public and third sector organizations at national and local level to provide and deliver improvements in health and well-being.


6. Medicare is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources. Public funds for healthcare will be devoted solely to the benefit of the people that Medicare serves.


7. Medicare is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves. Medicare is a national service funded through national taxation, and it is the Government which sets the framework for Medicare and which is accountable to Congress for its operation. However, most decisions in Medicare, especially those about the treatment of individuals and the detailed organization of services, are rightly taken by state & local Medicare and by patients with their clinicians. The system of responsibility and accountability for taking decisions in Medicare should be transparent and clear to the public, patients and staff. The Government will ensure that there is always a clear and up-to-date statement of Medicare’s accountability for this purpose.



2a. Patients and the public – your rights and Medicare’s pledges to you

Everyone who uses Medicare should understand what legal rights they have. For this reason, important legal rights are summarized in this Constitution and explained in more detail in the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution, which also explains what you can do if you think you have not received what is rightfully yours. This summary does not alter the content of your legal rights.

The Constitution also contains pledges that Medicare is committed to achieve. Pledges go above and beyond legal rights. This means that pledges are not legally binding but represent a commitment by Medicare to provide high quality services.

Access to health services:

You have the right to receive Medicare services free of charge, apart from certain limited exceptions sanctioned by Congress.
You have the right to access Medicare services. You will not be refused access on unreasonable grounds.
You have the right to expect your local Medicare provider to assess the health requirements of the local community and to commission and put in place the services to meet those needs as considered necessary.
You have the right, in certain circumstances, to go to other states or countries for treatment which would be available to you through your local Medicare provider.
You have the right not to be unlawfully discriminated against in the provision of Medicare services including on grounds of gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability (including learning disability or mental illness) or age.

Medicare also commits:

  • to provide convenient, easy access to services within the waiting times set out in the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution (pledge);
  • to make decisions in a clear and transparent way, so that patients and the public can understand how services are planned and delivered (pledge); and
  • to make the transition as smooth as possible when you are referred between services, and to include you in relevant discussions (pledge).

Quality of care and environment:

You have the right to be treated with a professional standard of care, by appropriately qualified and experienced staff, in a properly approved or registered organization that meets required levels of safety and quality.
You have the right to expect Medicare organizations to monitor, and make efforts to improve, the quality of healthcare they commission or provide.

Medicare also commits:

  • to ensure that services are provided in a clean and safe environment that is fit for purpose, based on national best practice (pledge); and
  • to continuous improvement in the quality of services you receive, identifying and sharing best practice in quality of care and treatments (pledge).

Nationally approved treatments, drugs and programs:

You have the right to drugs and treatments that have been recommended by FDA for use in Medicare, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you.
You have the right to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If Medicare decides not to fund a drug or treatment you and your doctor feel would be right for you, they will explain that decision to you.
You have the right to receive the vaccinations that the CDC recommends that you should receive under a Medicare-provided national immunization program.

Medicare also commits:

  • to provide screening programs as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services (pledge).

Respect, consent and confidentiality:

You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with your human rights.
You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests.



2b. Patients and the public – your responsibilities

Medicare belongs to all of us. There are things that we can all do for ourselves and for one another to help it work effectively, and to ensure resources are used responsibly:

You should recognize that you can make a significant contribution to your own, and your family’s, good health and well-being, and take some personal responsibility for it.
You should register with a General Practitioner, who will become your main point of access to Medicare.
You should treat Medicare staff and other patients with respect and recognize that causing a nuisance or disturbance in clinics and hospitals could result in prosecution.
You should provide accurate information about your health, condition and status.
You should keep appointments, or cancel within reasonable time. Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless you do.
You should follow the course of treatment which you have agreed, and talk to your clinician if you find this difficult.
You should participate in important public health programs such as vaccination.
You should ensure that those closest to you are aware of your wishes about organ donation.
You should give feedback – both positive and negative – about the treatment and care you have received, including any adverse reactions you may have had.



3a. Staff – your rights and Medicare pledges to you

It is the commitment, professionalism and dedication of staff working for the benefit of the people Medicare serves which really make the difference. High quality care requires high quality workplaces, with commissioners and providers aiming to be employers of choice.

All staff should have rewarding and worthwhile jobs, with the freedom and confidence to act in the interest of patients. To do this, they need to be trusted and actively listened to. They must be treated with respect at work, have the tools, training and support to deliver care, and opportunities to develop and progress.

The Constitution applies to all staff, doing clinical or non-clinical Medicare work, and their employers. It covers staff wherever they are working, whether in public, private or third sector organizations.

Staff have extensive legal rights, embodied in general employment and discrimination law. These are summarized in the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution. In addition, individual contracts of employment contain terms and conditions giving staff further rights.

The rights are there to help ensure that staff:

  • have a good working environment with flexible working opportunities, consistent with the needs of patients and with the way that people live their lives;
  • have a fair pay and contract framework;
  • can be involved and represented in the workplace;
  • have healthy and safe working conditions and an environment free from harassment, bullying or violence;
  • are treated fairly, equally and free from discrimination; and
  • can raise an internal grievance and if necessary seek redress, where it is felt that a right has not been upheld.

In addition to these legal rights, there are a number of pledges, which Medicare is committed to achieve. Pledges go above and beyond your legal rights. This means that they are not legally binding but represent a commitment by Medicare to provide high-quality working environments for staff.

Medicare commits:

  • to provide all staff with clear roles and responsibilities and rewarding jobs for teams and individuals that make a difference to patients, their families and carers and communities (pledge);
  • to provide all staff with personal development, access to appropriate training for their jobs and line management support to succeed (pledge);
  • to provide support and opportunities for staff to maintain their health, well-being and safety (pledge); and
  • to engage staff in decisions that affect them and the services they provide, individually, through representative organizations and through local partnership working arrangements. All staff will be empowered to put forward ways to deliver better and safer services for patients and their families (pledge).


3b. Staff – your responsibilities

All staff have responsibilities to the public, their patients and colleagues.

Important legal duties are summarized below.


You have a duty to accept professional accountability and maintain the standards of professional practice as set by the appropriate regulatory body applicable to your profession or role.
You have a duty to take reasonable care of health and safety at work for you, your team and others, and to cooperate with employers to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.
You have a duty to act in accordance with the express and implied terms of your contract of employment.
You have a duty not to discriminate against patients or staff and to adhere to equal opportunities and equality and human rights legislation.
You have a duty to protect the confidentiality of personal information that you hold unless to do so would put anyone at risk of significant harm.
You have a duty to be honest and truthful in applying for a job and in carrying out that job.


The Constitution also includes expectations that reflect how staff should play their part in ensuring the success of Medicare and delivering high-quality care.

You should aim:

  • to maintain the highest standards of care and service, taking responsibility not only for the care you personally provide, but also for your wider contribution to the aims of your team and Medicare as a whole;
  • to take up training and development opportunities provided over and above those legally required of your post;
  • to play your part in sustainably improving services by working in partnership with patients, the public and communities;
  • to be open with patients, their families, carers or representatives, including if anything goes wrong; welcoming and listening to feedback and addressing concerns promptly and in a spirit of co-operation. You should contribute to a climate where the truth can be heard and the reporting of, and learning from, errors is encouraged; and
  • to view the services you provide from the standpoint of a patient, and involve patients, their families and carers in the services you provide, working with them, their communities and other organizations, and making it clear who is responsible for their care.


Medicare values

Patients, public and staff have helped develop this expression of values that inspire passion in Medicare and should guide it in the 21st century. Individual organizations will develop and refresh their own values, tailored to their local needs. Medicare values provide common ground for cooperation to achieve shared aspirations.


Respect and dignity. We value each person as an individual, respect their aspirations and commitments in life, and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities and limits. We take what others have to say seriously. We are honest about our point of view and what we can and cannot do.


Commitment to quality of care. We earn the trust placed in us by insisting on quality and striving to get the basics right every time: safety, confidentiality, professional and managerial integrity, accountability, dependable service and good communication. We welcome feedback, learn from our mistakes and build on our successes.


Compassion. We respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need. We search for the things we can do, however small, to give comfort and relieve suffering. We find time for those we serve and work alongside. We do not wait to be asked, because we care.


Improving lives. We strive to improve health and well-being and people’s experiences of Medicare. We value excellence and professionalism wherever we find it – in the everyday things that make people’s lives better as much as in clinical practice, service improvements and innovation.


Working together for patients. We put patients first in everything we do, by reaching out to staff, patients, carers, families, communities, and professionals outside Medicare. We put the needs of patients and communities before organizational boundaries.


Everyone counts. We use our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded or left behind. We accept that some people need more help, that difficult decisions have to be taken – and that when we waste resources we waste others’ opportunities. We recognize that we all have a part to play in making ourselves and our communities healthier.





####

Alas, I don’t think Americans will receive such a utopic result when it comes to healthcare reform. As I stated before, there is too much money to be made off of pain & suffering for the American system to radically change to a system like the one parodied above. But I do have hope that one day people will wake up and realize that we are all in this together.





The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

©2004-2017 Nikolas R. Schiller - Colonist of the District of Columbia - Privacy Policy - Fair Use - RSS - Contact




::SUBSCRIBE::


+ Facebook
+ Twitter
+ YouTube
+ MySpace
+ Google
+ Vimeo

::LAST 51 POSTS::

Fair Use


33 queries. 0.878 seconds.
Powered by WordPress

Photo by Charlie McCormick
Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

If you would like to use content found here, please consult my Fair Use page.

::LOCATIONS & CATEGORIES::





thank you,
come again!

::THE QUILT PROJECTION::

Square
Square

Diamond
diamond

Hexagon
hexagon

Octagon
octagon

Dodecagon
Dodecagon

Beyond
beyond

::OTHER PROJECTIONS::

The Lenz Project
Lenz

Mandala Project
Mandala

The Star Series


Abstract Series
abstract

Memory Series
Memory

Mother Earth Series
Mother Earth

Misc Renderings
Misc

::RENDERS BY YEAR::

+ 95 in 2008
+ 305 in 2007
+ 213 in 2006
+ 122 in 2005
+ 106 in 2004

::POPULAR MAPS::

- The Los Angeles Interchanges Series
- The Lost Series
- Terra Fermi
- Antique Map Mashups
- Google StreetView I.E.D.
- LOLmaps
- The Inaugural Map
- The Shanghai Map
- Ball of Destruction
- The Lenz Project - Maps at the Library of Congress
- Winner of the Everywhere Man Award

::ARCHIVES BY YEAR::

+ 2011
+ 2010
+ 2009
+ 2008
+ 2007
+ 2006
+ 2005
+ 2004


::MONTHLY ARCHIVES::

:: LAST VISITORS ::