Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sleight of word from HLS

I see Prof. Pull up Your Pants is at it again, and I hope people who enjoy a good goalpost shifting caught this one, buried (and rightfully so) in paragraph nine of 13:

I have asked dissidents to tell me with as much particularity as possible the circumstances that led them to say that they feel burdened, alienated, disrespected, oppressed. They complain of a paucity of black professors, courses in which racial issues, though pertinent, are marginalized, teachers whose interactions with black students display far less engagement than interactions with nonblack students, white classmates who implicitly or even expressly question the intellectual capacity of black peers (“You know, don’t you, that they are here only because of affirmative action”)* and campus police officers who subject black students to a more intensive level of surveillance than white students.


While some of these complaints have a ring of validity, several are dubious. A decision by a professor to focus on a seemingly dry, technical issue rather than a more accessible, volatile subject involving race might well reflect a justifiable pedagogical strategy. Opposition to racial affirmative action can stem from a wide range of sources other than prejudice. Racism and its kindred pathologies are already big foes; there is no sustained payoff in exaggerating their presence, thus making them more formidable than they actually are.
To review: A person makes a racist statement, which in common with bigoted statements, can't be proven, to wit - every black student was admitted due to affirmative action.

This assertion Kennedy accepts without blinking, and for perfectly legitimate reasons that you must not question, quickly transubstantiates it into the airy realm of debate about policy.

What sort of reasonable person would object to a reasoned debate about policy? None. And since objections to policy are always reasonable and could have any number of reasons, persons seeking to assign a specific reason to the objection are behaving unreasonably.

No. Stop. I know what you're thinking, and it cannot be done. Goalposts only travel away from their original position. You cannot carry them back to the original statement and say "This is not an objection to policy, that's a racist insult."

Now please wait quietly until someone provides a list of objections to policy.

And pull your pants up.

*If one accepts Kennedy's quote as accurate [polite cough], I will concede that the Kids These Days are slightly less obnoxious. Way back in the days when I was in college people would use "You" rather than "They," and look surprised when the person they were addressing became irate.

Yay. Progress.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Public Service Announcement.

When presented with a link to something labeled "Ben Carson's rap ad," do not click on the link. It will make you depressed and angry.
I'm not going to link to it here. There will be a post about it on LGM at the bewitching hour, Because I like to ruin people's Fridays. Posting it on two blogs would be a crime against sentient life on Earth.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What does "Make America great again" mean to Trump supporters?

The answer will shock you!
[Jane] Cimbal, a loyal Republican, wants people to think about how to curb illegal immigration and protect Second Amendment gun ownership rights, but she’s mainly drawn to Trump because she thinks his plain talk can get things done. Her goal is to restore a time “when there wasn’t as much animosity toward each other, when everything wasn’t about race and people just got along.”
Oh is that all? That's a relief. For a second I thought she might be one of those white people who still resent the fact that non-whites are allowed to do things like express opinions on any topic at all, including the way they've been treated by whites. And you know, exist. But she just wants us to get along. Phew! Who's next?
“Mitt Romney was more my kind of guy: practical, a nice guy."
Ah ha ha ha ha ha! Sorry, I didn't meant to interrupt you, sir. Please continue. [snerk]
"But you know, people don’t like a nice guy. They like this guy because he’s right about us losing our country. I really don’t think we should be letting kids go into whichever bathroom they want to in school. The Democrats are really reaching too far on the social issues. And there’s no retirement anymore, no pensions.”
Now I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. That was Joe McCoy who is the ripe old age of 31. McCoy also thinks the last time America was great was when Reagan was in office, because that's "when people played by the rules."

McCoy wants a president who will soothe his anxieties about (cover your dog's ears) "social issues" and quell the outbreak of unisex toilets in the workplace schools (which you don't know about because the LMSM hushes it up).

And while he is worried about the lack of retirement and pensions, he also likes Rmoney, which combined with his beliefs about the Reagan era, suggests a very poor eye for detail and crushing levels of ignorance.

Christ, these people. And finally:
[Georgetown University professor Robert] Lieber sees Trump’s slogan as a symbol of his ability to slice through standard political rhetoric: “His discourse is deliberately provocative, but he’s refreshing to a lot of people because he talks about reality with the bark off, and people are sick to death of the language of political correctness.”
Included because you were expecting someone to argle about political correctness, and I hate to disappoint.

In short, Trump supporters look to Trump to be mean to people they don't like. No surprises there,  that is what the Republican do. But why they picked him out of the legions of mother stabbing, father rapists who are also running for the Republican nomination seems to be based on their disappointment with the GOP and the fact that they view this millionaire T.V. personality with the yoooge ego, as the outsider.

That's bullshit. Again and again people refer to the way he talks. It's plain, it's not nice, it's deliberately provocative. What they want, is a man who will call a spade a spade, IYKWIM&ITYD.

They want someone who will make up for the trauma of eight years of Obama being uppity in the White House. And Trump is just the guy to go after those p.c. race obsessed unisex bathroom pushers and tell them just what they think of them.

Whatever. Over to you, Mr. Wilder.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A duck walks into a doctor's office...

A few days ago a friend asked me to write about some things I look for in a doctor's office. I've been wanting to write about doctors behaving badly for a while now, but kept getting stuck because I couldn't pick a place to start. The doctor's office is perfect.

I'm sure our libertarian pals rejoice in the knowledge that consumer-patient satisfaction is becoming a key metric in determining quality of care and in the not too distant future, all health businesses will be paid based on the quality of care they provide. This will eventually invisibly backhand a certain number of health care providers into shape or, out of the free market. But that doesn't mean the consumer-patient today has to wait for the future.

Judging a doctor's office can be split into three categories: Evening wear; Bathing suit; Talent. Organization, Attitude, Appearance. I'm going to focus on organization here because it's something you can judge when you make (or try to make) the first appointment.

Also, serious disorganization pisses me off at the best of times. A severely disorganized business that provides health care makes me really nervous. The owner-doctor may blame his/her dumb administrative staff, but guess who hired the admin staff (or isn't hiring enough of them, or doesn't pay attention to what they're doing, or can't keep them because s/he's a big old jerk)?  I don't want that kind of person near me with a tongue depressor, much less a scalpel.

So starting with the first phone call, here's the ideal, with some not ideal things to watch for:

  1. You call the health care business during normal office hours and get an an easy to understand message that gives the office hours, tells you to call 911 if you're having a medical emergency and the usual spiel about what number to push if you're a pharmacy, physician, a new patient, established patient, pharmaceutical company with a sack full of cash. Yadda.

  2. You're a new patient, so you pick that. You're on hold for a reasonable amount of time or not at all (miracles can happen). Once someone picks up the call you aren't put on hold repeatedly or for long periods of time. The scheduler easily answers such questions as "Do you take my insurance?" If you don't ask about insurance, she should. If she doesn't ... I don't know what to say other than something's very wrong and maybe you ought to hang up.

  3. Once someone has verified that the practice does indeed take your plan, the scheduler gets some basic information about why you want to ruin your day with a visit to a health care business. She needs this information so she can figure out which appointment slots/providers would work for you, what additional information you may need to bring and possibly whether the practice will need a pre-authorization (see above re: asking about insurance). Making the actual appointment is straightforward - you're given some dates and times, you pick one.

    Note that when I talk about a health care business seeing you, I mean any appropriate health care provider at the business: doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, etc. People who insist on seeing an MD/DO are being numbskulls should expect to wait longer.
  4. The scheduler tells you what to bring. This being the 21st century, she may direct you to the practice's website where you can download forms to fill out in advance. She also ought to reiterate the date and time of the appointment and tell you the appointment cancellation policy.  
  5. And you're done. Or you ended the call somewhere early because you were put on hold one too many times and the hold music was Lenny Kravitz.
Keep in mind throughout the scheduling process that short of hunting down people in the street or some other exciting but illegal activity, seeing consumer-patients is how money gets into the normal health care business. No appointments, no patients, no cash.

A health care business that can't schedule an appointment without a lot of stumble-bumming is a business that is failing Health Care Business 001. So really, you can stop reading here, because if the scheduling process is a disaster, it's only going to get worse. I've never encountered a practice that muffed the scheduling process that didn't also have some of the problems I outline below:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The theory of the victim-perpetrator cycle works for (certain) people, but not you Pt 1

I haven't seen it, so I'm naming the cycle of the public's response to (certain) boys & men behaving badly after me. It's shorter than K-R and it's got a great beat:

2. Defend. (AKA 5 Blind Men, 0 Elephant). Weeeeellll, really [insert random factor often based on half-assed pet theory] is partially to blame.
3. Yawn. Ugg, why are we STILL talking about this? It was [X] days ago.

Stage 2 is an excellent time to get a detailed view of the hierarchy of privilege, and is why we know peace and justice-loving aliens who somehow have planet-busting death rays don't follow the news from this planet.

But having already ranted about the victim-harming b.s. that is the victims do unto others what is done unto them theory, I'd like to suggest that this theory - which is dandy for white hetero males in search of forgiveness - is very bad, no good and even dangerous for everyone else. It is, I believe, one reason African-Americans, especially boys & men, are far more likely to come away from an encounter with the police in a body bag, than whites.

We start with the idea that if a bad thing is done repeatedly to a person, they will do that thing to other people. Most frequently it is trotted out to defend (certain) people who abuse children. For men that abuse may be any variety of abuse, but for whatever reason (not knowing what the hell they're talking about?) there's the idea that experiencing X abuse as a child will cause the victim to commit X abuse as an adult. (Not Y or Z or X, Y, & Z).

That's for male victim/perpetrator. Women who were sexually assaulted as girls (i.e., when the majority of females are assaulted) are not expected to sexually assault children, they're expected to beat/neglect/kill them. (Also become sexually promiscuous. And that's just dandy if you later need to find a rapist not guilty by reason of "She's a slut, yer honor.")

That right there should be a huge ass tell that there's something missing from the theory. But often the response is some evo-psych babble that is twice as nauseating and reality-averse as the original hypothesis, so don't go there.

End Pt.