Cancer patients ‘left in dark’ over unfunded drugs
Cancer patients are being “left in the dark” about life-extending drugs that are not available on the NHS, charities said last night. Only half of cancer specialists talk to their patients about drugs like Avastin that are not funded by the health service, according to a survey.
Even with the advent of the Cancer Drugs Fund – under which up to £250 million is being made available to fund drugs that are not available on the NHS – many specialists still did not discuss them.
Charities yesterday (FRI) said doctors had a duty to inform patients of any possible treatment that could extend life “regardless of their ability to pay”. They believe up to 20,000 cancer patients die early every year because they cannot get access to drugs which have not been approved for NHS funding by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
Professor Lesley Fallowfield from Sussex University, a psychologist specialising in cancer patients, and a team of academics undertook the online survey of oncologists. Of 368 who replied, only nine per cent said they discussed unfunded drugs with all patients, while 49 per cent said they never raised them. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) said they only talked about them when a patient brought the subject up.
“Most clinicians felt that their primary responsibility should be consideration of NHS resources, not desires of patients,” said the authors, who will present the research at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool next week.
Doctors were also much less likely to discuss unfunded drugs with patients who they thought could not afford them. Avastin, which Nice has controversially refused to fund for advanced bowel cancer patients, costs £20,800 a year. Tyverb, that can combat some forms of advanced breast cancer, costs £27,000 a year.
But Mark Flannagan, chief executive of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, said: “We believe that every patient should have the right to be informed about all treatment options which may be suitable for them, regardless of their ability to pay. “We regularly hear from patients that they would rather know all the options available to them and feel this principle is supported by the Government in the provision of the Cancer Drugs Fund.”
Annwen Jones, chief executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said patients “need to make informed choices”. “If we are moving to an NHS where there is ‘no decision about me, without me’, then information such as available appropriate clinical trials, and treatment options including funding sources should be discussed as a matter of course with every patient,” she said.
Only two per cent of cancer specialists had received guidance on unfunded drugs from health trusts – which can pay for them in exceptional circumstances – while 61 per cent wanted training.
Hilary Tovey, policy manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “It is worrying that patients are being left in the dark about the cancer treatments available to them. “It is clear from this research that the lack of information and guidance for doctors is making this situation all the more difficult.”
However, Prof Fallowfield said clinicians often had their patients’ best interests in mind. While in principle they had a professional duty to mention all treatments, in the real world they faced a difficult ethical dilemma. Many did not want to dangle the “carrot” of a drug which would probably not prolong life by very long, which a patient might nevertheless chose to self-fund by selling their own house.
Nice usually had good reasons for refusing funding, she argued, saying that pharmaceutical companies too often exaggerated drugs’ benefits to make them look like “miracle” cures. For example, Nice refused Avastin because clinical trials showed it only prolonged life by six weeks on average. However, Roche, the manufacturer, says the drug shrinks tumours and can extend life by much longer in some patients.
Prof Fallowfield added: “These are not easy conversations to have, at a time when patients and families are coming to terms with the fact that they have a very limited period of time left. “For a clinician to say – ‘There’s this drug but the NHS doesn’t currently pay for it’ – that’s a tall order for doctors.”
However, the introduction of the Cancer Drugs Fund means more patients will get these drugs for free in the future. And last month Earl Howe, the Health Minister, let slip that Nice would be stripped of its power to ration drugs by 2014. Funding decisions will be handed to the new GPs’ consortia that will replace many health trusts, putting more power in doctors’ hands.
Some fear this will result in a new postcode lottery of drugs’ availability. Prof Fallowfield thought that Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, was living in “Pollyanna land” if he thought the new scheme would work.
DJs, Kabaddi players, comedians and models beat British government’s migrant cap
Magicians, disc jockeys, waitresses, comedians and models have all benefited from a route into the UK excluded from the Government’s immigration cap.
The revelations intensified the row over the Coalition’s decision to exempt intra-company transfers from the annual cap on non-EU economic immigrants.
As the furore continues, Home Secretary Theresa May will today make her first major immigration speech. She will announce a crackdown on foreign students and a new salary limit for economic migrants.
On Wednesday it emerged that Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable had successfully argued that intra-company transfer of ‘skilled workers’ from abroad was crucial to the competitiveness of British business. But internal government figures show the route has been exploited by companies seeking to bring in entertainers or – in some cases – traditionally low-paid staff.
They have included commentators, comedians, ice hockey coaches, magicians, acupuncturists, disc jockeys, models, and polo grooms and players. In recent years, businesses have even brought in waitresses from outside the EU. One source said: ‘We were told they are bringing in skilled workers. We have to be honest and say they are not all brain surgeons or rocket scientists.’
The biggest number of intra-company transfers involved IT workers – of whom more than 65,000 were allowed in between 1999 and 2008. The unemployment rate among British IT workers is around 16 per cent. In total, Labour allowed in around 350,000 people using the intra-company transfers route.
Tory MP James Clappison, who unearthed the figures, said the Coalition had to be alive to the dangers of excluding intra-company transfers from the flagship cap policy. ‘There have to be legitimate questions about the intra-company transfer system when one looks at the numbers of people, and the types of work they are doing,’ he said. ‘They are ignoring the labour market in the UK and also in the EU to bring people in from outside. One company has brought in 19,000 people.’
In her speech, Mrs May is expected to promise that the intra-company transfer system – while not part of the cap – will still be subject to a new salary limit. Companies must pay any employee they wish to bring in a minimum wage, which could be fixed at £40,000 or more.
A review of the student visa system will be announced, with the aim of slashing the 300,000 visas handed out every year.
Mrs May is also expected to promise that net migration will be halved – taking it from almost 200,000 a year to the ‘tens of thousands’.
British Army cadets banned from carrying rifles on Remembrance Day parade because it ‘glamorises’ weapons
Army cadets have been left ‘bitterly disappointed’ after being banned from carrying rifles on a Remembrance Day parade – amid fears the weapons might ‘upset’ onlookers. The young cadets have proudly marched with rifles for decades and around 100 had spent months fine-tuning the drill where they would showcase their skills.
But the cadets were left ‘gutted’ just days before the big event when military top brass cut the rifles from the display following complaints from members of the public. They were warned the rifle display during the march in Plymouth, Devon, could be deemed as ‘glamorising’ weapons.
Basil Downing-Waite, chairman of the Federation of Plymouth and District Ex Services Associations, which organised the event, said: ‘It’s political correctness gone mad. I feel bitterly disappointed because it gives the young people a sense of responsibility. ‘They are delighted to do these displays.’
The Remembrance Day march is still due to go ahead, but without rifles.
A senior cadet instructor said the children had been left ‘very upset’ by the ruling. Police Chief Inspector Brendan Brookshaw said his son Henry and daughter Rosie were ‘very disappointed’ at the late change. He added: ‘This week, the commanding officer for Plymouth cadets told them they couldn’t do it any more because some member of the public complained about cadets marching with rifles.
‘They have been doing it forever. My children have been doing rifle drill displays for the past four years and I did it when I was a cadet.’
Chief Inspector Brookshaw added that his son was one many Plymouth cadets who marched carrying rifles as part of a Freedom of the City parade in September.
But Devon Cadet Executive Officer Major David Waterworth put an end to the tradition after he ruled that carrying weapons was ‘not good for the image’ of cadets, who can join between the ages of 12 and 18. He said: ‘There is no need for children to appear in public with weapons. It does upset some members of the public. ‘There is no need for it. It doesn’t reflect our aims and ethos in the Army Cadet Force. We are not soldiers.
‘People say it’s traditional at Remembrance parades, but there is no need to carry a weapon to remember the dead. ‘I stopped it as soon as I heard they were doing it. It’s not good for our image to have children carrying weapons in public. ‘We are not members of the Armed Forces – we are a youth movement sponsored by the Ministry of Defence.’ He added that a ruling against children carrying rifles had been in place for ten years, but had not been enforced until now.
New men are useless morons, says British TV presenter
TELEVISION host James May has hit out at a “useless” new generation of men – describing them as “morons” who do not know how to iron a shirt or put up a shelf. He believes even his laddish, testosterone-fuelled hit BBC2 show Top Gear he co-hosts does not portray men in a favourable light – and has instead turned its male presenters into “characters in a sitcom”.
May, 47, predicted if men do not return to more masculine roles, women will no longer have a use for them except as sperm donors.
May, who lives with his girlfriend of 10 years, told Radio Times: “I think women are getting a bit bored with blokes being useless. “I keep reading women are better at school and now better at parking, better at navigating. We are sort of laughing at it going, ‘Ho ho ho, I’m just a bloke’, but really in my lifetime men only will be required to keep sperm at operating temperature and they will have no other function.”
The TV presenter – whose Top Gear nickname is Captain Slow due to his driving style and tendency to get lost – has decided to lead the way for men to fight back and regain lost skills. His new series Man Lab is aimed at helping modern men relearn vital skills once cherished by their forefathers. He said: “The decline of practical skills, some of them very day-to-day, among a generation of British men is very worrying – they can’t put up a shelf, wire a plug, countersink a screw, iron a shirt. “They believe it is endearing and cute to be useless whereas I think it’s boring and everyone’s getting sick of it.”
He went on to attack Top Gear, the show which made him famous, saying it was no longer about cars and more about the trio of presenters – May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond – getting themselves into a pickle. He said: “It’s really almost a sitcom now, so we are characters.
“When I started, Top Gear was a car show about cars, and I was interested in the technology but also the sociology and the artistry of them … the shapes and the colours. “That was something I’ve always been into. But it’s a different programme now, it’s turned into something else.
“Ultimately we do know what we’re talking about and we do let that be known occasionally. “Very subtly, every now and then, you think, Oh, actually, they do love their subject and they do know a bit about it.
“And when everything goes wrong and we laugh about it, sometimes it winds me up. “I think ‘Oh, for God’s sake, can’t we do something properly that will work, not that has to catch fire or fall over?’ But I think I’m probably alone on that.
“That whole culture of being moronic that kind of grew out of TV sitcoms and popular media has produced this culture of laddish blokeishness.” He blamed the move away from old-fashioned masculinity partly on ‘lads magazines’ such as Zoo, Nuts and Loaded, and said it was a shame that traditional male hobbies were now seen as unfashionable.
He said: “There’s this idea that men aren’t allowed to be interested in these things as it is a bit sad or a bit weird. “But enthusiasms are good. Hobbies are healthy. They don’t harm anybody. “It’s the people who don’t have them that end up going mad and shooting people.”
Leftist misrepresentations of libertarians go right back to Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903)
The reason Herbert Spencer has fallen from grace is largely due to the label that has been attached to him, a label that oddly enough bears Darwin’s name, and that is “social Darwinist.” The implication is that Spencer took Darwin’s theory and applied it to social evolution in human societies.
The responsibility for the besmirching and virtual destruction of the reputation of Herbert Spencer can be laid the door of one man, the author of Social Darwinism in American Thought 1860-1915, Richard Hofstadter. His book, a hostile critique of Spencer’s work, published in 1944, sold in large numbers and was very influential, especially in academic circles. It claimed that Spencer had used evolution to justify economic and social inequality, and to support a political stance of extreme conservatism, which led, amongst other things, to the eugenics movement. In simple terms, it is as if Spencer’s phrase, “the survival of the fittest,” had been claimed by him as the basis of a political doctrine.
But there’s a problem with Hofstadter’s celebrated work: His claims bear almost no resemblance to the real Herbert Spencer. In fact, as Princeton University economist Tim Leonard argues in a provocative new title “Origins of the Myth of Social Darwinism,” which is forthcoming from the Journal of Economics Behavior and Organization, Hofstadter is guilty of distorting Spencer’s free market views and smearing them with the taint of racist Darwinian collectivism.
And yet Hofstadter’s influence remains pervasive. His view of Spencer is often repeated in academic books, as Roderick T. Long points out: Textbooks summarize Spencer in a few lines as a “Social Darwinist” who preached “might makes right” and advocated letting the poor die of starvation in order to weed out the unfit – a description unlikely to win him readers.
These comments are grossly unjust, as Long explains: “The textbook summary is absurd, of course. Far from being a proponent of “might makes right,” Spencer wrote that the “desire to command is essentially a barbarous desire” because it “implies an appeal to force,” which is “inconsistent with the first law of morality” and “radically wrong.” While Spencer opposed tax-funded welfare programs, he strongly supported voluntary charity, and indeed devoted ten chapters of his Principles of Ethics to a discussion of the duty of “positive beneficence.”
I think it is useful at this point to look at Hofstadter’s background and bias. Hofstadter was born in 1916 in the United States, graduated from Buffalo University, and went on to receive his PhD from Columbia University. He joined the Communist party in 1938 and, although he became disillusioned with the Marxists, he still continued to oppose the free market, saying, “I hate capitalism and everything that goes with it.” He was an historian very much in sympathy with the American Left during the New Deal era of American politics. Subsequently many left-liberal writers have quoted Hofstadter’s references to Spencer without troubling to study Spencer’s original work, thus perpetuating the misrepresentation.
As George H. Smith points out: ” Probably no intellectual has suffered more distortion and abuse than Spencer. He is continually condemned for things he never said – indeed, he is taken to task for things he explicitly denied. The target of academic criticism is usually the mythical Spencer rather than the real Spencer; and although some critics may derive immense satisfaction from their devastating refutations of a Spencer who never existed, these treatments hinder rather than advance the cause of knowledge.”
The most frequently quoted passage of Spencer’s work, by Hofstadter and others wishing to smear Spencer’s reputation, is: “If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do live, and it is well they should live. If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best they should die.
This does sound harsh, but what the Spencer-knockers fail to quote is the first sentence of the very next paragraph, which transforms its meaning: “Of course, in so far as the severity of this process is mitigated by the spontaneous sympathy of men for each other, it is proper that it should be mitigated.”
Thus his argument is that the mitigation of natural selection by human benevolence trumps the benefit resulting from the death of the unfit. In other words it is better to respond to our natural sympathy and save the unfit rather than let them die. This then conveys quite a different meaning from the original sentence when quoted on its own.
It is not surprising then that since the tarnishing of Spencer’s reputation (unjustly in my view), he is not regarded with the same respect as he was in his own day, and indeed is rarely studied in universities today. The most damning criticism of all is that his ideas led to the eugenics movement, which again is absolutely untrue.
As Damon W. Root explains: “Eugenics, which is based on racism, coercion, and collectivism, was alien to everything Spencer believed.
Internet sites too, often give Herbert Spencer a bad name. One website devoted to explaining evolution, and described by Richard Dawkins as “deeply impressive”, names Herbert Spencer as the “father of Social Darwinism as an ethical theory.” It goes on to describe the applications of Social Darwinism: “Social Darwinism was used to justify numerous exploits which we classify as of dubious moral value today. Colonialism was seen as natural and inevitable, and given justification through Social Darwinian ethics – people saw natives as being weaker and more unfit to survive, and therefore felt justified in seizing land and resources. Social Darwinism applied to military action as well; the argument went that the strongest military would win, and would therefore be the most fit. Casualties on the losing side, of course, were written off as the natural result of their unfit status. Finally it gave the ethical nod to brutal colonial governments who used oppressive tactics against their subjects.”
This is what Herbert Spencer has to say about colonialism: “Moreover, colonial government, properly so called, cannot be carried on without transgressing the rights of the colonists. For if, as generally happens, the colonists are dictated to by authorities sent out from the mother country, then the law of equal freedom is broken in their persons, as much as by any other kind of autocratic rule.” It is clear from this statement that Spencer is opposed to colonialism.
Despite the fact that in Herbert Spencer’s day the term libertarian did not exist, I think Spencer can be classified as an early spokesperson and visionary of the libertarian movement – or, to use Roderick T. Long’s expression, he can be described as a “Libertarian Prophet.” I believe that Spencer not only expressed libertarian ideas succinctly but also presented a libertarian vision for the future. I will give some examples.
In ethics Spencer derived a “law of equal Freedom,” which states that: “every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.
This is pure libertarianism. Roderick T. Long elaborates: “Spencer proceeded to deduce, from the Law of Equal Freedom, the existence of rights to freedom of speech, press, and religion; bodily integrity; private property; and commercial exchange – virtually the entire policy menu of today’s libertarians.”
Much more HERE
British schools given the right to fire anti-immigration teachers
Headteachers will be given new powers to sack teachers who are members of the BNP or other ‘extremist’ groups. The previous government ruled out banning BNP members from teaching after an independent inquiry decided it would be ‘disproportionate’.
But Michael Gove, the education secretary, said he couldn’t see how membership of the far-right party ‘can co-exist with shaping young minds’. His decision to overturn the existing rules follows the case of a BNP activist who used a school laptop to post comments describing some immigrants as ‘filth’.
Adam Walker, a teacher at a school in Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, wrote on an online forum that Britain was a ‘dumping ground for the filth of the third world’. But he was cleared of racial and religious intolerance by a disciplinary panel in June.
Mr Gove told The Guardian: ‘I don’t believe that membership of the BNP is compatible with being a teacher. ‘One of the things I plan to do is to allow headteachers and governing bodies the power and confidence to be able to dismiss teachers engaging in extremist activity. ‘I would extend that to membership of other groups which have an extremist tenor.’
The move was welcomed by the NASUWT teaching union. General Secrertary Chris Keates said: ‘I hope this is something Michael Gove takes forward as quickly as possible. ‘It is an important part of safeguarding the interests of young people.’
Zap of electricity makes you better at mathematics?
This is a very tiny study on a non-representative group so conclusions are premature. In my own research I have found high correlations among a small group of students fall away to nothing when a larger and more random sample is used
British-based researchers have found that passing a low current through a specific brain region can double your ability to do mathematics. They believe in future the technique may help people with dyscalculia, or “number blindness” – the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia.
But it is important to get the wiring right. If the electricity flows in the wrong direction it has the opposite effect, creating a person with a poor head for figures. The same team of Oxford University scientists previously showed that temporary dyscalculia could be induced with electrical brain stimulation.
In the new study, 15 student volunteers aged 20 and 21 were given a series of standard tests designed to assess numerical skills. The participants were timed to see how quickly and accurately they could solve mathematical puzzles involving symbols representing numerical values.
During the tests, a one milliamp current was passed across the parietal lobes of two groups of students, while a third group received a “fake” stimulus. The parietal lobe is a brain region that plays a crucial role in mathematical processing.
In one of the stimulated groups, the current flow was from the right to the left parietal lobe, while in the other the direction was reversed. Volunteers who received the right-left stimulus reached double the level of performance in the tests compared to the non-stimulated group after just a few sessions, the scientists reported in the journal Current Biology. In contrast, those stimulated with a left-right current saw their performance drop to about the same level as six-year-old children.
Students who received a fake “placebo” stimulus had results that fell half way between those of the other two groups.
Dr Cohen Kadosh, from Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, who led the research, said: “We are not advising people to go around giving themselves electric shocks, but we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings and are now looking into the underlying brain changes.
“We’ve shown before that we can induce dyscalculia, and now it seems we might be able to make someone better at maths, so we really want to see if we can help people with dyscalculia, with a possible benefit to the general public. “Electrical stimulation is unlikely to turn you into the next Einstein, but if we’re lucky it might be able to help some people cope better with maths.”
The study is part of a large-scale project funded by the Wellcome Trust charity aimed at helping people with learning difficulties get better at maths.
One test, the Stroop test, creates counter-intuitive problems. Often it employs colours, where, for instance, the word red is written in green ink. Here, larger values were shown as smaller images and vice versa. Another task involved a mapping test where an image representing a value had to be correctly positioned between two others. In the same way, the number five is placed half way between a one and 9 on a line.
Commenting on the research, Dr Christopher Chambers, from the School of Psychology, University of Cardiff, said: “This is a really intriguing finding, showing that brain stimulation can boost numerosity skills, enhancing the ability to learn the link between arbitrary symbols and numbers, and then processing the symbols as though they actually are numbers. “The findings add to a growing body of research showing that certain types of brain stimulation, in certain contexts, can enhance brain function.
“One obvious implication for these findings lies in the development of methods for enhancing numerical skills in the general population, even for those who are not clinically impaired. Brain stimulation methods … also have a lot of potential applications in promoting recovery following brain injury or developmental disorders.”
Why being Green means never having to say you’re sorry
One of the stories from the Bible I’ve never quite understood is the parable of the Prodigal Son. So this utterly useless git prematurely grabs his share of his inheritance, goes out into the world, blows it on being stupid, loses everything, then comes back to his father with his tail between his legs and what happens? Why his father, sap that he is, decides to reward him for being wrong and stupid and useless by greeting him, well, like a prodigal son and killing the fatted calf. No wonder the Other Son – the sensible, intelligent one who was right all along – feels so mightily peeved. If people don’t get their just deserts in life, what’s the point even bothering to do the right thing in the first place?
Anyway, watching Channel 4’s “What The Green Movement Got Wrong” last night I felt very much like the Other Son. The documentary was a celebration of the fact that two notable green campaigners – Mark Lynas and Stewart Brand (creator of the Whole Earth Catalog) had finally come round to appreciating that some of the key tenets of their Green religion were flawed and had in fact done more harm than good.
GM crops such as “golden rice” and vitamin-enhanced millet, they cheerily conceded, were not evil “Frankenfoods” after all but a vital way of averting malnutrition in the Third World.
Nuclear power, they agreed, was way more efficient at producing clean energy than the coal alternative. Furthermore, the fuss about Chernobyl had been horribly overdone.
The near global ban on DDT – inspired by Rachel Carson’s junk science bestseller Silent Spring – had caused millions to die of malaria. And so on.
Well bully for Lynas and Brand. But why, pray, do they deserve any credit for reaching conclusions that those of us who aren’t blinkered eco-zealots reached years ago?
What about the hundreds – perhaps thousands – of starving Zambians who died in the 2002 famine when, thanks to the misinformed campaigning of green activists like Lynas, the Zambian government refused to distribute US foreign aid packages of GM food?
What about all the honest, decent scientists and agricultural engineers and nuclear workers whose career path was stymied as a result of green hysteria?
What about the brown-outs and power shortages and energy insecurity this country is going to suffer as a direct result of the Greenie anti-nuclear hysteria which prevented us replacing our old nuclear power stations?
What ABOUT those millions and millions that Rachel Carson inadvertently massacred with her entirely unfounded claims about the effects of DDT on birdlife?
Green campaigners like Brand and Lynas have not only caused massive damage to the global economy – the biotech and nuclear industry, especially – but they have also almost certainly contributed to numerous deaths in the Third World. And we’re – what? – supposed to cosy up to them now and go: “Well done, lads! You’ve seen the light! Here’s a bung and a nice promo video from your mates at Channel 4?”
What sticks in my craw still further is that neither Brand nor Lynas actually HAS seen the light. As the programme went on to demonstrate, both men remain wedded to the equally wrong-headed theory of Man Made Climate Change. The final part of the programme, both could be heard fantasising at the kind of Geo Engineering that might be necessary – a recreation of the dust clouds of the Mt Pinatubo volcanic eruption which caused world temperatures to drop by around 3 degrees C, say – in order to avert “Global Warming.” Come back Dr Strangelove, all is forgiven.
Had these Greenies been capable of a scrap of insight or self-analysis, they would have understood that the current (now fading) hysteria about AGW comes from exactly the same school of junk science and muddled thinking that gave us Atomkraft Nein Danke and know-nothing idiots in masks and white jumpsuits (Lynas among them) destroying fields of GM crops.
But obviously it wouldn’t be in Lynas’s interest because that might jeopardise the rather cushy number he’s landed these last few years from the Maldives Government, advising it on how best to squeeze yet more guilt-money out of the global taxpayer (it was Lynas who dreamed up that photo of the Maldives government holding a cabinet meeting underwater) in the name of Anthropogenic Global Warming.
And the readers over at Komment Macht Frei would seem to agree with me. Definitely worth a trip to see the comments below the Moonbat’s blog on the same subject. The Moonbat, of course, being cross for reasons entirely different to mine.
“Environmentalism is not just about replacing one set of technologies with another. Technological change is important, but it will protect the biosphere only if we also tackle issues such as economic growth, consumerism and corporate power. These are the challenges the green movement asks us to address. These are the issues the film ignores.”
And there you have it: the true voice of the Green movement – red in tooth and ideology. It’s not about easy fixes. It’s not about making things better. It’s about advancing the Marxist war on capitalism by other means. Thanks George, for reminding us where you stand.