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To: Yogizuna who wrote (5118)5/26/2007 5:46:39 PM
From: ms.smartest.person
   of 5140
 
I am also checking all food items I buy to make sure none of the ingredients come from China. I am emailing the manufacturers asking where there ingredents come from and are processed.

So far, after 4 weeks, I have not received ONE response :^(

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To: ms.smartest.person who wrote (5119)6/7/2007 2:38:30 PM
From: Yogizuna
   of 5140
 
Yes, unfortunately our rights as consumers are on the decline, as "the powers that be" all gang up to decide what is best for us.
Ever try to find out which is the safest and best bottled water? I gave up on that one last year...

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From: ms.smartest.person6/16/2007 10:40:03 AM
   of 5140
 
Conservative bloggers in full revolt over immigration

POSTED: 7:22 p.m. EDT, June 15, 2007
By Peter Hamby
CNN Washington Bureau
cnn.com

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Different conservative blogs have different pet issues -- government transparency, federal judges, Fred Thompson, to name a few.

But no issue in recent memory has united conservative bloggers like the debate over immigration. Their frustration has culminated in a full-scale revolt against the Bush administration and a Senate bill that activists say does little to solve the country's border security problems.

President Bush's pledge to support $4.4 billion in additional border security funds has breathed new life into the bill, but the drumbeat against the legislation shows no signs of quieting. (Watch how senators revived the immigration bill Video)

It's increasingly clear from Web postings and interviews with top conservative bloggers that the immigration bill has done serious damage to the president's credibility among the conservative netroots, the grassroots bloggers on the Web.

Erick Erickson, managing editor of the popular conservative blog RedState.comexternal link, says he receives between 800 and 900 e-mails a day from readers, most of whom are "enraged" by the White House's immigration efforts.

"Of all the issues the president has picked to make his hill to die on, he has picked the one that has divided his base," said Erickson, who lives in Macon, Georgia. "I am shocked by the anger and outrage out there ... You've got war against the president within the Republican party."

When details of an immigration compromise were announced this spring, conservative bloggers were immediately incensed. Michelle Malkinexternal link labeled it "a White House betrayal."

Another popular blogger, Hugh Hewittexternal link, called the bill a "fiasco" and wrote: "this push for this bill is a disaster, Mr. President."
Bloggers: Secure the border first

Conservative bloggers make various arguments against the bill. Some say the bill grants amnesty to illegal immigrants who have already broken the law. Others say normalizing millions of new workers would depress wages and harm American workers.

Most conservative bloggers see border enforcement as the priority, an issue they say the president can enforce on his own without having to push a bill through Congress.

According to several top conservative bloggers, Bush simply has a credibility problem when it comes to border security.

"The administration has not done anything to fix the border or the visa program," said Ed Morrissey, the Minnesota-based founder of the blog Captain's Quartersexternal link. "It's a huge gap in national security. It's been six years past 9/11 and the administration has done nothing to fix either one."

Many bloggers said they are disappointed the president has pushed so hard for the immigration bill while letting the war and other issues conservatives care about fall by the wayside.

"The White House will go out and zealously promote Harriet Miers [the former White House counsel who Bush unsuccessfully nominated for the Supreme Court], defend [Attorney General] Alberto Gonzales, promote this bill, but will not take a firm stand on the war," said Erickson. "I know people who are boiling with rage that the president has been beating up his own side over this bill but won't take the bully pulpit to beat up Democrats over the war."

Bush did little to help his relationship with bloggers on May 29, when he told a crowd in Glynco, Georgia, that critics of the immigration bill "don't want to do what's right for America."

Kathryn Jean Lopez at the National Review asked, "Is the White House just not paying attention?"

The blog Ace of Spades HQexternal link called Bush "incompetent" and "embarrassingly dimwitted" and urged him to retire.

Blogs and anti-immigration organizations used the Web to tap into the growing discontent over the immigration bill, using the Internet to organize phone and fax campaigns to urge senators to vote against the bill. It was a plugged-in show of force that would have been beyond comprehension a decade ago.

"The support for this issue has always been there, but the Internet is the platform the issue has needed to become a force in American politics," said David All, a Republican online strategist based in Washington.
Blogosphere ready for round two

When the bill was stymied by a procedural vote on June 7, the blogs claimed victory. A straw poll of conservative bloggers conducted by the Web site Right Wing News showed that 96 percent of bloggers surveyed were "pleased that the Senate immigration bill did not pass."

Now that the bill is back for a second round in the Senate, Bush could have a difficult time making new friends online beyond a relative handful of the bill's supporters.

"It will be very difficult for him to recover with conservative bloggers," said Robert Bluey, director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation. "When Bush is on to his next issue, I'm not sure if bloggers are going to be there to back him up."

Which begs the question -- is Bush a lame duck among bloggers?

Said Morrissey: "I think that they are going to continue to support him on the war on terror. As for the rest of it, they are looking for ways to reshape the party agenda going into the next election. That's a nice way of saying they are going to consider him irrelevant."

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To: Yogizuna who wrote (5120)6/16/2007 10:47:12 AM
From: ms.smartest.person
   of 5140
 
I started a new board - Made In The USA?

Subject 57166

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To: ms.smartest.person who wrote (5121)6/16/2007 3:21:06 PM
From: Suma
   of 5140
 
I have heard that he wants the hispanic vote and so he is pandering to the immigrants..

However, on the flip side of the coin. I see Hispanics
all over in work. Today they were picking up the dishes and
washing the tables in a big restaurant here while the white
help waited on the tables.

I have a Minendez power treating and staining my decks and
all his help, I realized when I tried to show them something
do not speak English.

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From: ms.smartest.person6/16/2007 8:28:59 PM
   of 5140
 
How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from Mexico

President Eisenhower cut off this illegal traffic. He did it quickly and decisively with only 1,075 United States Border Patrol agents - less than one-tenth of today's force. The operation is still highly praised...

csmonitor.com

By John Dillin

WASHINGTON – George W. Bush isn't the first Republican president to face a full-blown immigration crisis on the US-Mexican border.
Fifty-three years ago, when newly elected Dwight Eisenhower moved into the White House, America's southern frontier was as porous as a spaghetti sieve. As many as 3 million illegal migrants had walked and waded northward over a period of several years for jobs in California, Arizona, Texas, and points beyond.

President Eisenhower cut off this illegal traffic. He did it quickly and decisively with only 1,075 United States Border Patrol agents - less than one-tenth of today's force. The operation is still highly praised among veterans of the Border Patrol.

Although there is little to no record of this operation in Ike's official papers, one piece of historic evidence indicates how he felt. In 1951, Ike wrote a letter to Sen. William Fulbright (D) of Arkansas. The senator had just proposed that a special commission be created by Congress to examine unethical conduct by government officials who accepted gifts and favors in exchange for special treatment of private individuals.

General Eisenhower, who was gearing up for his run for the presidency, said "Amen" to Senator Fulbright's proposal. He then quoted a report in The New York Times, highlighting one paragraph that said: "The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican 'wetbacks' to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government."

Years later, the late Herbert Brownell Jr., Eisenhower's first attorney general, said in an interview with this writer that the president had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration when he took office.

America "was faced with a breakdown in law enforcement on a very large scale," Mr. Brownell said. "When I say large scale, I mean hundreds of thousands were coming in from Mexico [every year] without restraint."

Although an on-and-off guest-worker program for Mexicans was operating at the time, farmers and ranchers in the Southwest had become dependent on an additional low-cost, docile, illegal labor force of up to 3 million, mostly Mexican, laborers.

According to the Handbook of Texas Online, published by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas State Historical Association, this illegal workforce had a severe impact on the wages of ordinary working Americans. The Handbook Online reports that a study by the President's Commission on Migratory Labor in Texas in 1950 found that cotton growers in the Rio Grande Valley, where most illegal aliens in Texas worked, paid wages that were "approximately half" the farm wages paid elsewhere in the state.

Profits from illegal labor led to the kind of corruption that apparently worried Eisenhower. Joseph White, a retired 21-year veteran of the Border Patrol, says that in the early 1950s, some senior US officials overseeing immigration enforcement "had friends among the ranchers," and agents "did not dare" arrest their illegal workers.

Walt Edwards, who joined the Border Patrol in 1951, tells a similar story. He says: "When we caught illegal aliens on farms and ranches, the farmer or rancher would often call and complain [to officials in El Paso]. And depending on how politically connected they were, there would be political intervention. That is how we got into this mess we are in now."

Bill Chambers, who worked for a combined 33 years for the Border Patrol and the then-called US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), says politically powerful people are still fueling the flow of illegals.

During the 1950s, however, this "Good Old Boy" system changed under Eisenhower - if only for about 10 years.

In 1954, Ike appointed retired Gen. Joseph "Jumpin' Joe" Swing, a former West Point classmate and veteran of the 101st Airborne, as the new INS commissioner.

Influential politicians, including Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D) of Texas and Sen. Pat McCarran (D) of Nevada, favored open borders, and were dead set against strong border enforcement, Brownell said. But General Swing's close connections to the president shielded him - and the Border Patrol - from meddling by powerful political and corporate interests.

One of Swing's first decisive acts was to transfer certain entrenched immigration officials out of the border area to other regions of the country where their political connections with people such as Senator Johnson would have no effect.

Then on June 17, 1954, what was called "Operation Wetback" began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.

By mid-July, the crackdown extended northward into Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, and eastward to Texas.

By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.

Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.

Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried the aliens from Port Isabel, Texas, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.

The sea voyage was "a rough trip, and they did not like it," says Don Coppock, who worked his way up from Border Patrolman in 1941 to eventually head the Border Patrol from 1960 to 1973.

Mr. Coppock says he "cannot understand why [President] Bush let [today's] problem get away from him as it has. I guess it was his compassionate conservatism, and trying to please [Mexican President] Vincente Fox."

There are now said to be 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the US. Of the Mexicans who live here, an estimated 85 percent are here illegally.

Thanks to Jim McMannis

Message 23628919

Visit this great board: Illigal Immigration The Fight ....
Subject 53228

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To: ms.smartest.person who wrote (5109)6/22/2007 11:30:46 AM
From: ms.smartest.person
   of 5140
 
:•) I, Cringely

June 14, 2007 Pulpit
pbs.org

The Seduction of AT&T: Why did Apple write Safari for Windows? Because their big customer wants it.

This week was Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), the biggest news from which seemed to be the beta version of Safari (Apple's web browser) for Windows. Why the heck would Apple even produce such a product? Readers and pundits alike have been wondering ad nauseam.

I know why.

There are two theories being widely floated: 1) this is a challenge to Microsoft, and; 2) this is a strategic platform for Apple to offer its own web-based application suite. To a certain extent both may be correct, but I think there is a lot more to this story, which is sorely missing context in those many explanations.

Let's start with that context, which is Apple's WWDC, an event sorely lacking in both substance and controversy if we ignore this Safari story. Mac OS X 10.5 still isn't ready to ship. The iPhone is coming in a couple weeks but Apple is so far only hinting at opening the product to third-party developers. In other words, Steve Jobs had bupkus when it comes to creating press this week UNLESS he throws Safari for Windows into the mix.

Apple had to come up with something and this version of Safari, which reviewers have found to be buggy and definitely not ready for primetime, was it. Maybe Apple intended to do a Safari for Windows or not, but I'm guessing they had a version running in the lab as an exercise in Intel compatibility. When Steve realized that he had so little to hype, this alpha code suddenly became a beta "product."

This isn't to say that Safari for Windows wasn't always intended to be a product, but its current state of development strongly suggests that it wouldn't have been in Steve's presentation if he had much else to show.

Microsoft is not threatened by the announcement of Safari for Windows. Bill Gates isn't pissed off that Apple has challenged him. Gates is worried about Firefox, not Safari, and even Firefox is just a minor annoyance or else Microsoft would be doing a better job of competing with it.

Beyond garnering some press, Safari for Windows is about AT&T. Steve Jobs is the best salesperson in the entire universe, but he doesn't like to waste his time. That means that, having seduced AT&T (nee Cingular), Steve will try to sell them more and more stuff until they have bought everything he has. He will invent stuff specifically to sell to AT&T as long as it acts as a bridge to yet more stuff he wants to sell them.

Steve wants AT&T to see him not just as the answer to their prayers, but as the answer to their EVERY prayer.

What could AT&T be praying for? Plenty of things, but the most obvious theme I see is how to compete with Verizon, Comcast, and all the national cell phone providers. With Verizon, AT&T has to defend its decision to stick with a copper broadband infrastructure instead of the more expensive optical fiber Verizon has picked. With Comcast, AT&T has to defend its copper plant against Comcast's copper plant, which is about to gain a LOT more bandwidth thanks to new modems using more advanced modulation techniques. And against the other mobile operators, AT&T has to defend its decision not to go full 3G with the iPhone.

Are you noticing a trend here? AT&T is facing a potential bandwidth crisis when it comes to customer perception and it is logical to assume that Apple helped create that crisis. After all, the iPhone could easily have been made to work with 3G. Since AT&T HAS a 3G network, the decision not to use it was probably complicated and some of that complication may have come from Steve Jobs saying, "We don't need it. The iPhone will be insanely great with G2.5, thanks."

Here is the complex package of goods Apple is trying to sell to AT&T: There's the iPhone, of course, but there is also the Apple TV as a potential set-top box. Three hundred dollars for a set-top box? You have to be crazy! Not so crazy. Compared to not spending the kind of money Verizon is spending on fiber, Apple TVs are cheap even if AT&T gives them away. Remember that $400 rebate you used to be able to get on a new PC by signing up for two years of MSN? That didn't appear to make sense, either, yet it ran for years.

For Apple TV to be successful as an IPTV set-top box, Apple has to convince us that we really want to download our video, NOT stream it. Not incidentally, this is also the key to iTunes' long-term success. Downloading makes much more efficient use of network resources, works fine on a copper wiring plant, and fits our emerging TiVoesque world view. Steve will tell us that we are busy dynamic people who really ought to plan our viewing. And enough of us will believe him to make AT&T's copper video service a credible success.

Beyond downloading video and audio, Apple's other technique for limiting AT&T's bandwidth hit, while simultaneously locking in the company as a customer for years and years, is building clever software services. The more processing that can be done in the data center the less data that will have to be carried between that center and the device. So AT&T will need a broad array of web services to offer its customers, most of whom will be using Windows computers, not Macs, which brings us back again to Safari for Windows -- a product Apple had no choice but to build.

This move isn't about taking down Microsoft, it isn't about making Macintosh computers the dominant computing platform, it IS about performing a massive cashectomy on AT&T. But to Apple's credit the company doesn't want anyone to see this as theft, but rather as a technical triumph, simply because when AT&T's exclusive is over in five years, Apple will want to do similar deals with all of AT&T's competitors.

Next week we'll have more on the iPhone, what it is and isn't and why. But before then, last week's column on the Whistlebox video-response application generated a lot of reader comments, many of them negative and some even nasty. Just to save you the trouble of reading them all, here is the gist: "Bob, you are lazy and/or stupid. Whistlebox is nothing new. There are plenty of products available right now that can do all Whistlebox claims and more. And even if there weren't, it would take at most a few days to build one, NOT two man-years. We are disappointed in you, Bob."

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Of course there are Whistlebox competitors. User-generated video has been around since the days of CU-SeeMe. What the folks at Whistlebox have done isn't invent a technology so much as DEVELOP it. The distinction is clear: it is easy to cobble together a demo or prototype but altogether something else to build a tested production system that is easy to use and scales well. It would be close to impossible to ship in a few days or weeks a tested, refined application that DOES NOTHING (has a functioning interface but no underlying application engine), much less a tested, refined application like Whistlebox that actually does something. Anyone who claims otherwise has never shipped a product.

Whistlebox was designed and built for the business and advertising markets to be integrated by non-computer scientists and used by non-nerds. But it isn't just the usability that matters, it is the reporting and management tools that give the application value for business customers. Whistlebox isn't the first such application and won't be the last, but it is the first I have seen that is offered in a form that can be easily used by organizations of all sizes and levels of technical sophistication. That's what makes it unique so far. None of the other applications offered up by readers as examples of prior art can do this. None of them are turnkey. This lack of turnkey capability in those other products may be seen as an advantage, not a disadvantage, by my geekier readers. Yes, YOU can customize the heck out of them. But can your Mom?

Still, I was appalled by the nasty tone of many comments. Anonymity makes it so easy to criticize. At some point this column will probably have a video version. Then it is a short jump to video responses using a service like Whistlebox. When that happens, I wonder how many readers will be as critical on video as they are today in text?

I can't wait.

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To: ms.smartest.person who wrote (5125)6/22/2007 11:32:26 AM
From: ms.smartest.person
   of 5140
 
:•) I, Cringely

June 22, 2007 Pulpit
pbs.org

The Google Connection: Apple and Google are helping each other with the iPhone

I am in Hong Kong this week, my first visit since I was here with a PBS camera crew a decade ago for the handover when the former Royal Crown Colony was given back to China. I remember the surreal experience of watching Prince Charles sail away that evening on the Britannia then turning to find Boy George standing next to me. Not nearly as bizarre but even more disturbing was my experience this morning firing up Google Docs to write this column and finding the entire user interface in Chinese! A Google server somewhere detected my presence in China and very helpfully provided me the Chinese version of the networked application. I'm sure it is a simple matter of resetting preferences, but how? I can't understand a damned thing. Or is this a feature?

The notebook computer I am using is both borrowed and brand-new so it doesn't have any of my favorite software, hence my overconfident reliance on Google Docs. Fortunately it was a simple matter to download demo versions of the apps I normally use and I am up and running long enough to get through this trip.

This kind of cross-cultural experience is exactly what lies in store for all of us as we come to rely more and more on server-based applications. They usually work fine, then take a trip to China and....

Which brings us back to last week's column about Apple's decision to release Safari for Windows and how that is at least in part related to the huge sucking sound of Apple removing (or hoping to remove) money from the treasury of AT&T, Apple's U.S. partner on the new iPhone, which is scheduled to ship on June 29th. Remember I described Safari for Windows as a key component for integrating Apple's networked applications, many of which will be tied into the iPhone.

I've written about the iPhone before. It's a stellar piece of engineering, of course, and nearly as good as Apple claims. There will be early problems, of course, many of them probably related to Apple and AT&T's decision to use the mobile carrier's EDGE network (G2.5) rather than its much faster G3 service. Why hobble with lousy bandwidth a $500 cell phone?

Because lousy bandwidth is being viewed inside Apple as the very reason for the iPhone's probable success.

Huh?

Safari for Windows is a mystery only because it is a product without an associated revenue stream. Like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and nearly every other web browser, Safari is free, so why would Apple, a minor player in the world of Windows software, -- even bother to do a version for Windows? Last week's column (it is among this week's links) goes a ways toward explaining that, but it turns out there is much, much more.

Safari for Windows is part of a PLATFORM in the same sense that iTunes is part of the iPod platform or vice versa. In this case the platform in question is the iPhone and an as-yet unmentioned partner in that platform is Google.

The iPhone absolutely needs AJAX applications for the phone to be a success on AT&T's EDGE network. By pushing more functional logic into the browser, the bandwidth consumed per http round-trip is significantly reduced, making the phone apps faster and helping to justify that big price tag. The problem with this is that AJAX apps don't always work the same (or at all) on every browser. The iPhone has real browser support, which is good, but remember AJAX is based on JavaScript, which in this case is not so good. JavaScript isn't statically typed and each browser has its own version of JavaScript. Developers are typically forced to hand-code different versions of their AJAX apps for different browsers. With the AJAX economy dictating that browsers with big market share like IE and Firefox get most of the effort, that leaves Safari as a second-class browser and, potentially, a liability for the iPhone.

Whaddayado? Introduce a Windows version of Safari, get a million people to download it in the first week, and scare developers into moving Safari customization higher on their AJAX priority list.

Where Google comes into this story is with the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), an open source compiler that compiles Java source code into optimized browser-specific JavaScript code. GWT makes writing AJAX apps like writing regular apps in the sense that developers can use many of the tools they are used to. And GWT adds the advantage that the GWT compiler handles all the problems of working with specific browsers.

Now imagine you are the developer of an AJAX application and you suddenly have an urgent need to support Safari for Windows. The easiest way to accomplish that is through GWT.

What this means for Apple is better and broader iPhone support. What it means for Google is the chance to become the dominant player in Web application development. This is not to say that GWT wasn't already doing fine on its own, but with the added power of Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field, it can't help but succeed.

In a very broad sense this is good, too. It is good for the iPhone, which will get a far broader base of applications it can support, and it is good for Google. And in the sense that what's good for Google is good for the Web, it will help all of us.

Or maybe that's the Reality Distortion Field talking.

Apple and AT&T's decision to deliberately use the EDGE network makes more sense now in part as a way to justify that big iPhone price tag, but there is another way in which Apple deliberately chose to hobble the iPhone, at least for now. That's, ironically, through a decision involving the vaunted iPhone user interface.

Remember that a key component of iPhone marketing is that the device will run a version of OS X, making it more computer than phone. When the iPhone finally ships and some techies have voided their warranties and torn the thing apart, they'll probably find it uses a processor running at a gigahertz or more -- by far the fastest processor ever put in a mobile phone -- a processor more powerful than that in my Mom's PC. With all that power locked inside, of course some users will want to imagine their iPhone AS their PC, which Apple -- at least for now -- would rather not enable because it might hurt Macintosh sales. So they've hobbled the iPhone with essentially the same crappy text entry capability as on any other phone.

You can do a lot on an iPhone, but writing the Great American Novel is probably not on the list.

But it could have been.

There is a text-input technology called ForWord Input that could be easily used on the iPhone to allow users with almost no training to input text with their index finger at 50 words per minute, which I have to admit is faster than I can type on a QWERTY keyboard. ForWord Input uses a finger, not a stylus (nothing to lose), is patented, and comes from developers who already have other applications running in 500 MILLION mobile phones.

If I could type 50 words per minute on my iPhone, I wouldn't need a computer, which defines both the opportunity and the problem facing Apple. They are aware of ForWord Input. Maybe we'll see it in a future iPhone software upgrade.

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From: ms.smartest.person6/22/2007 1:42:24 PM
   of 5140
 
Report Rates Hospitals on Their Heart Treatment

By GARDINER HARRIS
June 22, 2007
nytimes.com

WASHINGTON, June 21 — The federal government has gingerly stepped back into rating the care delivered by the nation’s hospitals, releasing for the first time in nearly two decades a list of hospitals where heart patients are most likely to die.

Officials at the 41 hospitals on the list, which represent about 1 percent of hospitals nationally, said either that they were shocked by the numbers or refused to comment at all.

“We were stunned when this issue was raised with us,” said Dr. Brian D’Arcy, chief medical officer of the Catholic Health System of Western New York. Kenmore Mercy Hospital near Buffalo, which is part of that system, was on the list.

“We believe it’s a statistical anomaly related to hospice-type patients,” Dr. D’Arcy said.

The hospital reviewed the care it provided to each patient who died during the government’s review period, he said, and decided that the care was appropriate.

Although federal officials had released the data to hospitals weeks ago, some hospital officials seemed caught off guard by the government announcement. Dr. Robert Schott, a cardiologist who is director of medical affairs for the Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, said he became aware of the federal designation only on Thursday.

“We take the data very seriously, and I don’t know why we’re outside of the normal range,” Dr. Schott said.

The report, based on a study of about 5,000 hospitals, also identified 52 where patients died far less often than the national average. Among those hospitals is NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

“I think we just try very hard,” said Dr. Herbert Pardes, NewYork-Presbyterian’s president and chief executive.

The report was released by the Department of Health and Human Services after a yearlong study. It is part of a broad push by federal health-care officials to begin demanding accountability from hospitals for the quality of the care they provide.

For the Bush administration, the push is an essential part of keeping much of the American health-care system in private hands and giving consumers information about how they perform.

Health care often seems to operate by a unique set of economic rules that result in huge inefficiencies. One reason for this is that patients have little ability to choose doctors or hospitals based upon an accurate assessment of the quality and price of the care provided. A recent survey of Pennsylvania hospitals, for instance, found that high costs do not correlate with high-quality care.

“This is a glimpse into the future,” said Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services. “For most of its history, Medicare has been paying for services but not for results.”

After a request for such data more than two decades ago from The New York Times, the government published hospital mortality statistics in the 1980s. But the data were widely criticized as unfair, because government officials did little to adjust for the relative health of the patients being counted. Time and again, the hospitals found with the worst scores were those that treated the poorest and sickest patients.

As a result of such criticism, the Clinton administration stopped releasing the statistics.

But business groups have been increasingly pushing the government to provide data to allow them to demand better care. So the Bush administration gathered some top health researchers to come up with a way to provide fairer numbers.

Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine at Yale University, said he and others had joined the effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “to prove to C.M.S. that they couldn’t do this.”

But the more they studied the issue, the more the researchers decided that they could use sophisticated statistical analysis to adjust for the relative health and medical histories of patients admitted to every hospital, Dr. Krumholz said.

Richard Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, said hospital trade associations had joined the effort “because we believe that patients should have the information they need to make choices.”

Peter V. Lee, chief executive of the Pacific Business Group on Health, said the hospital associations regarded the effort warily and and noted that consumers would learn little about most hospitals from the report.

A list of the hospitals can be found at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.

“Without showing true differentiation among most hospitals, we aren’t serving consumers, purchasers or even the hospitals themselves,” Mr. Lee said.

At a news conference, government officials acknowledged that the report was far from perfect. Mr. Leavitt said the government had hoped to come out with a report that he likened to a Formula One race car.

“But what we’re really developing today is a go-cart,” he said. “It will get nothing but better as time goes on.”

The rankings measured hospitals only on how well they handled patients suffering from heart attacks or heart failure. Next year, the government will add pneumonia. And officials said they would probably begin to show increasing differentiation among the vast majority of hospitals now ranked as average.

Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said hospitals at the bottom of the government’s rankings “need to look at their systems, processes and education and find out how to get better.”

“If that’s what comes out of all this,” Dr. Nissen said, “that’s a huge benefit.”

But Dr. Michael A. Weber, a professor of medicine in the cardiology division at the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine, said the rankings might needlessly scare some patients.

“I’m a bit concerned that people might not go to the appropriate hospital and to one farther away and arrive too late to be adequately helped,” Dr. Weber said.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

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To: ms.smartest.person who wrote (5127)6/22/2007 1:44:10 PM
From: ms.smartest.person
   of 5140
 
Hospital Death Rates - lowest & highest mortality rates

June 21, 2007
nytimes.com

The following are the hospitals with the lowest and highest mortality rates for patients treated for heart attacks or heart failure, according to an analysis of about 5,000 hospitals by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hospitals With the Lowest Mortality Rates

California

Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center
Olympia Medical Center, Los Angeles

Connecticut

Hartford Hospital
St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport

Delaware

Medical Center of Delaware, Wilmington

Florida

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center
Bay Medical Center, Panama City
Mercy Hospital, Miami
Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach

Illinois

Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood
Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago

Indiana

Community Hospital, Munster
Methodist Hospitals Northlake, Gary
St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago
St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana

Louisiana

Willis Knighton Medical Center, Shreveport

Maine

Maine Medical Center, Portland

Maryland

Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore
St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore
Suburban Hospital Association, Bethesda

Massachusetts

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis
Southcoast Hospital Group, Fall River

Michigan

Genesys Regional Medical Center, Flint
Harper University Hospital, Detroit
McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint
Providence Hospital, Southfield
Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit
William Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak

Minnesota

Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis
HealthEast St. John’s Hospital, Maplewood

Missouri

Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis
Liberty Hospital

New Jersey

Bayonne Medical Center
Hackensack University Medical

New York

Beth Israel Medical Center, New York
Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
White Plains Hospital Medical Center

North Carolina

Rex Hospital, Raleigh

Ohio

Hillcrest Hospital, Mayfield Heights
Marymount Hospital, Garfield Heights
Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton
Southwest General Health Center, Middleburg Heights
Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Warren

Pennsylvania

Forbes Regional Hospital, Monroeville

South Dakota

Heart Hospital of South Dakota, Sioux Falls

Texas

Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Houston

Washington

Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, Kirkland

Wisconsin

St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee

Hospitals With the Highest Mortality Rates

Alabama

Jackson Hospital and Clinic, Montgomery
Providence Hospital, Mobile

Arizona

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, Glendale
Kingman Regional Medical Center
Yuma Regional Medical Center

Arkansas

Conway Regional Medical Center
Sparks Regional Medical Center, Fort Smith

California

Corona Regional Medical Center
Lodi Memorial Hospital
Mercy Medical Center-Redding
St. Joseph’s Medical Center of Stockton
Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento
Tri-City Medical Center-Oceanside

Florida

Manatee Memorial Hospital, Bradenton

Georgia

Medical Center of Central Georgia, Macon

Illinois

Bromenn Healthcare, Normal
EHS Christ Hospital and Medical Center, Oak Lawn

Louisiana

Christus St. Francis Cabrini Hospital, Alexandria

Michigan

Port Huron Hospital

Mississippi

Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg

Nebraska

Faith Regional Health Services, Norfolk

New York

Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn/Queens, Jamaica
Kenmore Mercy Hospital
Massena Memorial Hospital
North Shore University Hospital at Plainview
Samaritan Hospital-Troy

Ohio

Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth

Oklahoma

Claremore Regional Hospital

Oregon

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland
Sacred Heart Medical Center, Eugene

Pennsylvania

Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton

Tennessee

Athens Regional Medical Center
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis
Hardin County General Hospital, Savannah

Texas

Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth
Christus St. Michael Health Care Center, Texarkana
Hendrick Medical Center, Abilene
Huguley Health System, Fort Worth

Virginia

Danville Regional Medical Center

Washington

Olympic Medical Center, Port Angeles

Wisconsin

St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center-Green Bay

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