Thursday, January 10, 2013

On New Year’s Day, the San Antonio Express News chose to run the following editorial, which first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. Here it is: “A gift Americans owe to themselves and their country in 2013 is lessons on how to die. Doctors know this. They don’t spend their final hours like the other 2.4 million Americans who die every year. They’ve seen patients hooked up to tubes in hospital beds, suffering unnecessary pain and indignity, while tens of thousands of dollars are spent on every medical option to extend lives that are clearly near the end. According to a Johns Hopkins study, most doctors have advance directives, reject CPR and live their final days with dignity, at home or in a hospice, surrounded by loved ones. Pain can be managed very well today. Most Americans could die in peace at home. But nearly 80 percent die in hospitals or nursing homes, even though surveys show that these are the last places that the vast majority wants to be. About 20 percent die connected to tubes in intensive care units, the least humane and most expensive end-of-life care. We need a culture change in our approach to death. We need to focus more on dying with dignity and less on extending life to the last possible minute. This will be better for individuals and better for America: Our health-care costs are killing our economy, and pointless end of life care is a big part of the reason. The 5 percent of Medicare patients who die every year consume almost one-third of all Medicare expenditures. One-third of those costs are incurred in the final month of life, when there is no chance of a real recovery. Today 75 percent of Americans could die comfortably at home with hospice care. But we have to make that choice personally, talk frankly with doctors and family—and change family and community attitudes. All we need is the will.” Well said, indeed.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gunther Holtorf's Road Less Traveled

In Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” he writes: 

          “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
          I took the one less traveled by,
          And that has made all the difference.”

Gunther Holtorf has spent the last 23 years taking the road less traveled.  Here is the video of his international wanderings as seen through the lens of David Lemke.  Holtorf tells the story of his word travels with wife Christine as they toured the planet in their car, fondly named Otto.  From Vietnam, Lemke, a Canadian-born photographer, shares his photographic essay of Holtorf’s world.  Beautiful.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Alanna Shaikh on Alzheimer's

Global health expert Alanna Shaikh speaks on how she, as a young person, is preparing herself for the possibility of getting Alzheimer's disease.  Having been her father's caregiver after his dementia diagnosis, Alanna came up with her own plan.  In less than six minutes, she explains it.  This video, "Alanna Shaikh:  How I'm Preparing to Get Alzheimer's," was filed at TedGlobal, June 2012.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope that you are enjoying the Fourth of July holiday.  For a brief history of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, ala Hollywood and narrated by Morgan Freeman, check out the following YouTube video:


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Lesson of Caine's Arcade: Find Your Bliss

Remember why you got into business in the first place?  Before setting up the LLC, handling client issues, and filing your income taxes?  Remember how it started?  Passion.  A passion for your work.  Watch the story of Caine and his arcade, dubbed by Daniel Pink as maybe the best 11 minutes you'll spend today.  Nearly 3 million people have watched the story on YouTube.  Commentators such as Seth Godin and Forbes magazine have analyzed Caine's Arcade and what it might mean to entrepreneurs.  Even if the story doesn't mean anything to you or your business, it really just might be the best 11 minutes of your day.


Friday, November 11, 2011

The Veterans History Project

My thanks to the many veterans who turned out today to work with the Texas Court Reporters Association, the San Antonio Bar Association, the Towers, and a group of lawyers so that the veterans’ stories could be collected as part of the Veterans History Project. The project will transcribe the stories—along with preserving audio recordings and the veterans’ photos, journals, letters, and other historic material—so that these documents become part of the permanent collection at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center. The Project, found online at, is designed to make “accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.”

This weekend, San Antonio attorneys and court reporters will volunteer to work with veterans to collect stories of the major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries: World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Nationally, the VHP has collected more than 70,000 stories from veterans and civilian war workers who share their memories. After the VHP receives the transcribed interviews, its processing staff digitizes each transcript and places them online where they may be reviewed. Stories may be searched by conflict or era, branch of service, prisoner of war, and gender. Service location, unit or ship, or individual names may be searched, also.

The United States Congress created the VHP in 2000. Public Law 106-380 was sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate. The legislation received unanimous support and was signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton on October 27, 2000 with the hope that people for generations to come will have the opportunity and place to read about the real-life experiences of American servicemen and women.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mystery Solved? The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh

Pulitzer prize-winning authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith have filled in the sketchy details of Vincent Van Gogh's life, art, and death in their newly-released book Van Gogh: The Life. CBS investigative reporters spoke with the authors about their literary works and those of Vincent Van Gogh:


About Lisa C Smith

Attorney Lisa C. Smith believes that many legal problems can be resolved by working out agreements, legal documents, and creative solutions for businesses and families. Her goal is to provide quality legal representation with personal service and respect.

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