Friday, July 6, 2012

Things That Bother Me for No Reason II

When someone says "I thought to myself..."

Is it possible to think to someone else?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Things That Bother Me for No Reason

When someone says the following; "I witnessed firsthand..."

Can you witness something secondhand?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Healthcare" or "You Asked For It"

Just some random thoughts on the state of healthcare in our country in light of today's SCOTUS decision on BlackManCare.  I mean Obamascare.  I mean Obamacares.  I mean ObamaCARE.  sorry.

The better half's cousins were up from Virginia this past weekend for graduation parties and general tomfoolery.  The better half's cousin is married to a nice southern gentleman and they have two young children.  This gentleman is a teacher in a public school.  He also coaches various sports teams for said public school.  At one point during the weekend we got around to talking about the fiscal crisis this public school is in and the tenuous state of the school budget.  It was around this time that the gentleman informed us what he pays for health insurance per month.  For himself, his wife and two children he pays THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS per month.  That's a one, a three and two zeros.  That's 1.3 large.  That's over 15k per year.  Folks, that's a mortgage payment.  The school contributes about $400 per month.  I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that VA has banned the collective bargaining rights of teachers.  Today, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R. Texas) said, in response to the Supreme Court ruling on "Obamacare" - "This is not a good day for struggling American families who wish to keep the healthcare that they have." Cue: Irony.

On a side note, non-unionized Virginia ranks real low in standardized testing.  But I digress...

So which is worse:  That insurance companies and those who represent them politically attempt to disguise their desire to take your money and deny you coverage under the veil of "personal choice," or that there are people that actually fall for it?

Actually, it goes beyond that.  If you ask me, insurance companies and deductables and co-pays and ou-of-network costs and generic drugs and pre-authorizations etc. are only symptoms.  The real problem is the way we provide healthcare in this country. Let me tell a little story...

I suffer from sleep apnea.  Actually, my better-half suffers from my sleep apnea, but that's  for another time.  Anywho, I went for a sleep study that confirmed what my better-half had been saying for a year; I snore something awful and actually stop breathing upwards of forty times an hour.  Subsequently, I was told that I needed a machine to help me breath at night which, of course, required a prescription.  So it was off to the pulmonalogist.   I got my machine, and my better-half and I both have been sleeping like babies ever since, sans bedwetting.  This was two years ago.  Last year, I was admitted to the hospital for an infection that required  IV antibiotics and a three day admission.  On day two of the aforementioned admission, a young lady entered my room with an empty stretcher and informed me that she was to take me down to radiology for a chest x-ray.  I got to thinking...this infection had nothing at all to do with my respiratory system.  Not even a little.  Why would I need a chest x-ray?  I'm a non-smoker, no asthma, not even a slight cough.  What gives?  Turns out, the pulmonalogist who I had seen for my sleepy machine was affiliated with the hospital in which I was admitted.  As such, she was alerted to my admission.  Without stepping into my hospital room she wrote in my chart, in big letters, CXRAY.  That would explain the young lady standing before me with the empty stretcher.  "No!" my inner voice cried, feuled by my fairly extensive medical background and limited common sense.  The voice continued, "a chest x-ray is in no way indicated in your case.  You're breathing like a champ.  And the Dr. didn't even come into your room, much less listen to your lungs!  There's no way you're getting on that stretcher."  Which is exactly what I did.  Doctor's orders.  Three weeks later I recieved the itemized bill for my hospital visit.  And there it was.  Nestled in between the anesthesiologist bill and three days of indesputably crappy TV service.  CXRAY - $800.  Shit...

So who is to blame in all of this?  Must be the lawyers. Why else do Drs. order frivolous and often redundant medical tests?  To avoid lawsuits of course.  Imagine I had developed a lump in my lungs prior to my admission that was in no way clinically diagnosable and could only be detected by an x-ray.  Without any symptoms, I would never had sought out an x-ray.  In the hospital, there would be zero clinical indication for an x-ray, so it wasn't ordered.  BUT, six months down the road, here I am, all gaunt and lawyered up, demanding to know why the hospital didn't do an x-ray 6 months earlier and catch my progressive cancer.  And THAT is why the pulmonalogist order my CXRAY.  It wasn't for me.  She was only covering her...

Monday, June 25, 2012

It Never Gets Old. Or Less Frightening.

From Yahoo...

It sounds like a hoax, but it's apparently true: The Loch Ness Monster is on the science class syllabus for kids at Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana.

Wait, what?

As reported by the Herald Scotland (which must track all Loch Ness-related news), a school that will receive tax-payer dollars, will teach kids that the mythological sea creature is real in order to debunk the theory of evolution. So pay attention: That will be on the test.

Way to pick and choose your hoaxes.  See:  Bigfoot.  Of course the existence of Bigfoot would go a long way in supporting Darwin. 

Eternity Christian Academy uses the fundamentalist A.C.E. Curriculum to teach students "to see life from God's point of view."

According to the Herald, one textbook, Biology 1099, reads, "Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur."


Starting in the fall, thousands of schoolchildren will receive publicly funded vouchers to attend private schools, some of which are religious. Religious schools in Louisiana will receive public funding as part of a push from Louisiana's governor, Bobby Jindal, to move millions of tax dollars to cover tuition for private schools, including small bible-based church schools. Money will fund schools that have "bible-based math books" and biology texts that refute evolution.

Bible-based math book sample question.  Q:  If Judas left Jerusalem walking at 2 cubits per hour, how many hours would it take him to reach Nazareth?  A: Arithmetic will not save you from eternal damnation. 

At Eternity Christian Academy, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier says that the her first through eighth-grade students learn at their own pace from Christian workbooks. The beginning science text explains "what God made" on each of the six days of creation. Evolution is not taught.
Carrier said, "We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children." She hopes to secure enrollment of 135 voucher students for the 2012-2013 school year. According to the website Salon, the school currently has just 38 students.

Evidence-based arguments can be very confusing.

Whether this gambit will help move Louisiana from the bottom of math and science rankings in the country is unclear. A 2011 study of how well primary education prepares students for engineering careers had Louisiana third from the bottom, with only West Virginia and Mississippi performing worse.

Well, waddya know.  Lousiana students rank at the bottom of math and science?  Can't imagine why.  It might be because they not only discourage the concept of evolution/science, they ignore it completely.  Go forth, young people, Bible in hand, to spread the word and smite the wicked/non-Christians.  That is, in between your shifts at Wal-Mart.  Unfortunately, there aren't an abundance of many Bible-based questions on the SAT.  For now...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nothing to Write About

So I decided to see what would happen if, with absolutely nothing to write about, I tried writing anyway. It's been difficult to get into politics in general and the Republican nominee nonsense outside of watching the occasional Daily Show or Colbert Report. Maybe it's the absurdity of it all. Maybe it's these men (and the occasional whacky Tea Party woman) up on high trying to hitch their carts to the star of whatever their advisors tell them is the public hot-button issue of the time. Or moment, actually. Maybe it's Newt Gingrich trying to pull himself off as anti-establishment. Maybe it's Rick Perry and his complete lack of intelligence. Maybe it's Mitt Romney and his thousand yard stare and utter disdain for those less fortunate. It's a circus act.

Getting back to Newt...Hey, listen, They're all phony. From as far left as Brother Sharpton to as far right as Sister Palin - its a bunch of malarkey, a cult of personality whos shallowness is only outdone by the hubris in which these talking heads speak to us in bullet points. Anyway, Newt. So now Mr. insider-lobbyist/consultant-beltway-slut would have us believe that he is now a man of the people, a Washington outsider who could rule unfettered by the constraints of years of complete saturation in Washington politics, both as a politician and a consultant. Yes, Mr. Smith is come, ready to shake the foundations of the establishment and reclaim the country for white Christians everywhere. So, what's worse? The fact that he has the gall to put on this facade, or that anyone actually votes for him?

Well that's where we are now. It's not so much who to vote for but who NOT to vote for. Anybody but Obama. Even of it means a snake like Gingrich. Fantastic.

Thursday, January 26, 2012