Arts Center to Open in Madison: The Madison Area Arts Council announces that it will open a Community Arts Center on November 1. They'll be at 106 Southeast 2nd Street, south of the Leader building. First they'll seet up an office for the organization and some public meeting space, then by spring get going with some classes and exhibits. Remake the city branding line: "Discover the Arts," indeed!
Stricherz Working Hard with Operation Homefront: Can't keep a good woman down—former legislative candidate Patricia Stricherz from the southern Moody County metroplex is busy running a new chapter of Operation Homefront, a national organization that provides support for families of deployed and wounded soldiers. They do things like help with auto repairs and utility payments, provide backpacks for school for soldiers' kids, and provide holiday meals and gifts. Stricherz says the South Dakota branch is finally moving out of her living room and into real office space—if you have any office equipment or furniture you could donate to help Operation Homefront set up shop, or if you'd like to help out in other ways, give Stricherz a call: 888-293-3775.
Of course, one could argue that the best help we could give Operation Homefront would be to eliminate the need for their services by bringing the troops home....
Free Market Shows Rationale for Rationing Medicine: In a demonstration of why free market principles don't work in health care, Sioux Falls docs say they aren't testing for swine flu. They aren't even handing out Tamiflu to everyone who wants it—also known as rationing. What? Did we turn into Canada?
No: the doctors are just practicing good, efficient medicine, with a dose of socialism:
"We're seeing huge numbers of patients presenting all across the region and it just doesn't make sense to try to test because we know it's there, it's widespread," Sanford Infectious Disease Dr. Wendell Hoffman said.
He says that means if you feel like you have the flu, it's a safe bet it's H1N1, which many can recover from without seeing their physician.
"Unless they're part of those designated groups that are at high risk for the complications of influenza, they also don't need to be treated," Hoffman said.
...Hoffman says there's one more thing the public should know. TamiFlu isn't widely available. And because health officials aren't really sure where this virus is headed and because we're early on in the flu season, giving the medication to only those who need it is crucial [Kelli Grant, "Why... Doctors Aren't Testing for H1N1," KELOLand.com, 2009.10.20].
The free market would lead to overutilization: underinformed citizens flooding clinics and inflating demand for goods and services they don't need. That demand would prevent some people who most need care from getting it, and that would mean more dead people. The free market also apparently can't produce enough of the irrationally desired product, Tamiflu (Gilead Sciences holds an exclusive patent on the drug until 2016). Thus, doctors have to step in and ensure that the drug is distributed on the basis of need rather than ability to pay... a nice little affirmation of socialist principle over free-market fundamentalism.
Update 09:40 CDT: And some bad news/good news: The bad news is, no South Dakota Online broadcast today. The good news: the delay is because Ben Hanten got new gear! They're putting together new equipment and a new set and are aiming to broadcast tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:30 p.m. (New set? Rumor has it Ben's pals raided KELO's secret warehouse south of Rowena and liberated KELO's 1968 newscast set, complete with Terrace Park signs and the original 50 pieces of Dave Dedrick's ugly necktie collection.)