Friday, April 30, 2010

Tiger's 5th Circle of Hell

...only a few more to go. Now his Kindergarten teacher wants a "private and public" apology for Tiger's implied accusations that she allowed racist behavior in her classroom 30 years ago. She has migraines, high blood pressure, and most importantly, a high profile attorney.

Celebrity definitely has it's price.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

National Review takes down Mark Levin

Jim Manzi, in the conservative magazine National Review, finds fault with Mark Levin's opnion on global warming in his bestseller Liberty and Tyranny. Join the club. Over a year a go, I provided a detailed critique of Levin's health care stance.

About Levin's tome,
Manzi states:

It was awful. It was so bad that it was like the proverbial clock that chimes 13 times — not only is it obviously wrong, but it is so wrong that it leads you to question every other piece of information it has ever provided.


There are many reasons to write a book. One view is that a book is just another consumer product, and if people want to buy jalapeno-and-oyster flavored ice cream, then companies will sell it to them. If the point of Liberty and Tyranny was to sell a lot of copies, it was obviously an excellent book. ... But if you’re someone who read this book in order to help you form an honest opinion about global warming, then you were suckered. Liberty and Tyranny does not present a reasoned overview of the global warming debate; it doesn’t even present a reasoned argument for a specific point of view, other than that of willful ignorance.

I went a little further in my more lengthy discussion, but agree that Levin engages in fatally flawed arguments that are designed to serve up red meat to his ideological readers rather than practical solutions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Catholic Church has fixed its problem...

or not.

"Two weeks ago we decided to check that some of these priests were really where the church said they were, or if they had been defrocked the way we were led to believe they had been," Anderson told AOL News today. "And then we find out this guy has not been defrocked and is in fact working at a parish in Italy with full access to kids. "

After everything that has transpired, all the negative publicity, the lawsuits, the tarnishing of the brand--- it's April 2010 and still the Church hierarchy doesn't get it. Hello!? These individual priests are pedophiles; what part of "pedophile" don't you understand, the pedo- or the -phile? These criminals joined the Church, not because of their faith, but because of their fetish.

This is heartbreaking stuff. I spent 12 years in Catholic schools, taught by dedicated brothers, nuns and priests who were above reproach. Their loyalty, compassion, intellect and faith were nothing but positive contributions to my youth. The immense respect that these professionals deserve is being destroyed by the few bad apples who, I maintain, joined the orders for the sole purpose of preying on children. Why can't the Church leaders understand this concept and clean house?

I'm stunned.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Calling Fox News "Propaganda" would be generous

If you are relying on Fox for your news, then you are usurping your responsibility as a citizen. They do not present the "other side", they merely present the crazy side. Yesterday, I commented that Bill O'Reilly's "research" was really just a bushel of bullshit. Now, HuffPo has aggregated the item into one video:

I don't know what's most annoying: O'Reilly's perpetual smirk, Cavuto's faux outrage, fat-fuck Dick Morris' simpering whine, or the fact that Fox has the highest ratings in cable news. This is where a plurality of voters go for their news? We don't deserve a democracy, folks.

Some of us don't necessarily agree with all the policies of the current Congress and President, and we do need a loyal opposition, but when Tom Coburn appears to be the rational one, then we all know that there really is nothing serious on the other side of Obama. We have some serious issues in this nation regarding basic principles of government, entitlements, war, jobs, etc. But when commenters on Fox News cannot even read the fucking health care bill, then what's the point of watching Fox News-- except to confirm your (mistaken) bias?

My recommendation: read the goddam bill, or STFU. It's now the law, it will affect everyone in this country for the rest of our lives, so read it. This is 2010, we have access to all manner of information as never before in our history: pdf's html's, heck you could probably even find an mp3 of someone reading it to you if you look; so there is no excuse for being mislead by Fox News. They are LYING to you. This is not propaganda, this is just bold-face lying. There is an argument against the current health care bill, but Bill O'Reilly certainly isn't making that case. Beck, Cavuto, O'Reilly, and all the other nimrods on Fox are just trying to piss you off; they don't care to have a "debate" about what to do with 46 million uninsured people, they aren't "presenting the other side", they are just appealing to your lizard brain--- don't fall for it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bill O'Reilly does "Research" !!!

... and of course, it's as half-assed as the rest of his shtick. Sure, nobody on Fox ever said that the gummint was gonna put you in jail for not having health insurance... because Bill says he "researched it."

Media Matters then gives the rundown on all the morons who have stated [not implied, but stated] that lack of health insurance would land US citizens in jail. Count 'em: Hannity, Dick Morris, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Napolitano, Neil Cavuto, Bill Hemmer, and Greta Van Susteren have all inaccurately said that health insurance mandates carried criminal penalties. Yeah, nice research, Bill.

I used to watch Fox to see what the imbeciles were "worried" about this time, but now it's gotten so bad that it just destroys brain cells.

G'Morning with Michael Specter

From TED Talks via CNN:


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shotgun wedding between Medicine and IT

The mandate is out: Electronic Medical Records will be the future. My personal experience has been less than stellar, even to the point that I drastically limit my time in the office due to the arduous software available.

For better or worse, health care reform will include incentives and penalties designed to increase the use of electronic medical record in doctors' offices. Compatibility, ease of use, and cost are hurdles to be scaled.

IT professionals and investors will see an opportunity here to help with the necessary software, security and training that will take place on a massive scale over the next decade and beyond. The future is now.

G'Morning with Jesus!

...and his magic copper magnetic bracelet. How can you go wrong?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Were Iran Hikers acting as spies?

Answer: who knows?

Family and friends say no, but the truth could only be known by having an open court hearing. How can we convince Iran to allow rule of law when we don't offer it to detainees held by us? Or even to our own citizens? And, further, public officials like Liz Cheney criticize military lawyers who deign to represent those held unlawfully.

If we are not on the moral or legal high ground, are our citizens safe anywhere in the world?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

If Obamacare is illegal, so is Reagan health act

I couldn't have said this better, so I'll reprint it in it's entirety:

If Obamacare is illegal, so is Reagan health act

Date published: 4/1/2010

Virginia's attorney general seeks to nullify the recently signed health reform bill. If his suit arises from sincere, principled motives, then logically he must go further and sue to have the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA, repealed.

EMTALA was passed amid growing reports in the 1980s that hospitals were denying emergency health care services to the poor and uninsured.

Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, it provides stiff penalties for hospitals that fail to adequately treat patients with emergency medical conditions or women in active labor.

Americans with secure health insurance still need to understand the implications of EMTALA.

In some small community hospitals, two-thirds of total operating costs are attributable to uncompensated care. The American Academy of Emergency Physicians estimates that, as a result, hundreds of emergency departments across the country have been forced to close. In Los Angeles alone, 10 hospitals have closed in the past five years.

While it is unlikely that the ED at Mary Washington Hospital would ever close, smaller hospitals do not have the resources to continue to provide free care to a growing number of uninsured patients.

Although it was originally intended only for emergency cases and mothers in active labor, few administrators today will risk their Medicare reimbursements, so for practical purposes EMTALA is applied to anyone who presents himself at an emergency room.

The moral authority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 rests on the question of whether health care in the U.S. is a privilege of the rich or a right of all citizens.

If access to health care is a privilege for those who can afford it, then EMTALA should be repealed.

If health care is a right, then both acts should be allowed to stand.

Donald E. Bley, M.D.


The writer is site director, Community Health Center of the Rappahannock Region.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Secular Authority and the Priest Scandal

Every Roman Catholic should be at least a little disconcerted that the church hierarchy enabled and hid the abuse of children at the hands of it's priests. In
case after case throughout the US and the world, priests were protected by their supervisors, making the Church perhaps the safest haven for child molesters in history.

To me the larger question is why police and other law enforcement looked the other way when complaints were brought. As a taxpayer and a non-Catholic, I would like to know why secular authorities have given such wide latitude to religious participants of the Catholic church. If these priests were members of some doomsday cult, do you think that such deference would have been granted?

The citizens of the Wisconsin jurisdiction, indeed citizens of all localities, need to ask these important questions. Given the tolerance the Church has for such misbehavior, one viable scenario is that pedophiles and rapists purposely join the priesthood for the sole reason to have unencumbered authority over the vulnerable. If the Church cannot police its own workplace, then the burden should fall upon the civil authorities.

Sadly, the Roman Catholic Church has tarnished its brand, but that does not exculpate the institutions within our secular society from protecting children from predators.

Practicing Catholics, such as Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, obviously cannot think rationally about the abuse scandal. They are emotionally invested and, like many practitioners, do not use higher brain functions when contemplating their religion. This is evidenced by Mr. Donohue who defends serial statutory rape performed by Roman Catholic priests just so long as the boys are "post-pubescent"! ... Ah, the fever of faith.

But Bill Donohue, perhaps unwittingly, makes an excellent point: the Church cannot be relied upon to do the right thing. They have been shown to be incapable of screening their employees and policing their actions. When complaints are lodged, the Church hierarchy enables and obscures crimes. Most unbelievably, practicing Catholics-- their customers-- accept these crimes as normal procedure and continue to support the hierarchy. None of this is rational behavior.

In the recently publicized Wisconsin case, more than 200 deaf boys were serially raped over two decades by a known pedophile. When the church bishops ignored the accusation, complaints were brought to the police. "A criminal priest was an oxymoron to them," is what one boy's father said. As responsible members of civil society we must all disabuse ourselves of the notion that priests-- or any such authority-- should be treated differently solely because of their status within a sect. The same can be said of physicians and others who garner deference based on their profession.

We need to have these religious organizations start paying tax in order to defray the necessary cost of enforcing our laws.