Part-time blogging has its problems. There’s a good post to be done on the trouble with superintendents in the Dallas area, but it requires more digging for links than I’ve had time to do. There’s a post on test results that isn’t done. There are a number of posts on teacher resources.
Health care needs about 20 posts on specific facets, I figure. Most of them will never get done.
Much of the weekend found our family at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, doing an unintentional and surprise study on health care delivery in emergent situations. This was prelude to a longer unintentional study on the delivery of rehabilitation following stroke.
Faith versus science: No real contest: Science shines out, at every turn when the chips are down. No one involved is a creationist, but of the six people in our family there including the kids, we’re talking three elders, a moderator, a patriarch. Prayers form an adjunct to the medicine, and don’t get in the way of delivery of the medicine. During one operation I mused on how the near-nanomachines that did the work were developed using the evolutionary paradigm.
Without evolution theory, almost all of modern medicine would be impossible, or haphazard at best. On the day P. Z. Myers and the secular club investigated the Creationism Museum in Kentucky, I kept thinking “thank God for evolution.” I don’t regard Ken Ham as the epitome of evil, but his work to spread false ideas about how the world works detracts from better health care in three ways: First, it sucks money from the fight against disease and degeneration; second, it discourages good students from pursuing careers in healing people by leaving them wholly unprepared or unwilling to pursue knowledge; and third, it throws up hurdles for research, by slandering the reputations and intentions of scientists who need our support to build the necessary instititions and do the required research, and discouraging contributors and other funding.
All of our prayers were directed to the benefit of science, contrary to Ken Ham’s evil hopes.
Stand up for good science in your schools. One of the kids in that class may invent a new clot busting, or artery-healing drug that will save your life, or the life and faculties of someone you love.
No kid who avoids evolution and hard science in school will invent life-saving devices or practices.
There were other lessons, too.
- Speed counts in a stroke situation. In an odd coincidence, my wife and I were by the fire station when the ambulance roared out. It was good to see cars get out of the way and stop so the ambulance could pass. Seconds save lives — pull over and get out of the way when an emergency vehicle comes up behind you.
- All the talk of miracle drugs is just talk if there are medical reasons a particular miracle drug cannot be used.
- It’s a lifesaver to have at hand a list of the pharmaceuticals one is prescribed. Different kinds of strokes require different treatments; same with a variety of other afflictions.
- Take a book to the hospital. They are called “waiting rooms” for a very good reason. There is no guarantee the program on the television will not be a brain-sucking intellectual vacuum. No guarantee of a television.
- Do you have emergency numbers on your cell-phone, as well as on a wall at home? You should. It makes things much, much easier. Why don’t you add them right now?
- Whiners who complain about the provisions in the health insurance reform bill that provide training for more doctors and nurses, think about what you would do on Saturday afternoon if you needed a crack neuro-radiologist/surgeon and a machine to give real-time images of blood-flow in a brain.
- Fancy machines are expensive. When the surgeon lays out the dangers and potential benefits of a procedure, you don’t want to have to think “will this cost more than $100?” It will cost much more. It’s unfair to your loved ones to have their life’s span or quality determined by how many Ben Franklins you have in your wallet at that moment.
- Family are important. Call yours today and let them know you care.
Update – more on stroke: You may want to view earlier posts on the remarkable story, TEDS lecture, book and writings of Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher who herself experienced and much recovered from a devastating stroke. Lecture here, more information here.
Other readings before the pages get too limp:
- Intelligent design creationist Bill Dembski probably identifies with Draco Malfoy when he sneaks in to a theatre to watch the Harry Potter series (and you know he has to sneak in because he teaches at a radically fundamentalist Baptist seminary that fired their last women faculty for being of the wrong gender persuasion). How do we know? Go look at the questions on his final exam. If most of us confronted these kinds of views early in our Christian membership, there would be a lot fewer Christians. Is there such a thing as malpractice in philosophy? I didn’t know that misanthropy and ignorance-promotion were practiced, consciously, by any faiths today. (Waggle of the old scrub brush to P. Z. Myers.)
- Ya gotta give some credit to Joe Leavell, who showed up here on his own rather than on a troll’s trolling assignment from Dembski.
- Baby triceratops make poor mounts; even had it been possible (and it wasn’t, by at least tens of millions of years), one doesn’t saddle-train immature animals, not in horses, not in camels, not in elephants — Ken Ham’s portrayal of triceratops baby abuse is just one more clanging sour note in the din he sends out every day. It’s as if the entire Ham organization is wholly unfamiliar with the concept of non-cruelty to animals. It’s the sort of thing done by people who kick their dogs for fun.
- Republican members of Congress aren’t showing up in the town hall meeting riots because, for some reason most of them failed to schedule meetings to meet with their constituents this August. It’s almost as if someone planned for Republicans to stay out of the fray. This tells us two things: 1. Republicans are chickens. 2. Republicans are not working with their constituents’ best interests at heart — they don’t give a damn, as Clark Gable might have said. So, if your representative in Congress is a Republican, you’ll have to go tell her or him — they are not seeking your advice otherwise.
- How low can the anti-science members of the Texas State Board of Education sink? How deep is the ocean? Scoriated for appointing Know-nothings and intellectual bandits to review social studies curricula, conservatives has asked for yet another anti-education nut to weigh in, a guy named Allan Quist. It would be like asking a Georgia farmer to detail the good points of William Tecumseh Sherman’s life. It would be like asking Cicero for a list of nice places to stay in Carthage. Quist won’t get either of those references, and neither will the other conservative appointees. It’s about a toss-up whether they got the reference to the Know-nothings. The probably don’t have a clue who Millard Fillmore is, either.
- Am I being too scathing? What if they recommended lobotomies for your children?
- Opponents of Obama will continue to cite April Fool’s pranks as evidence against Obama, even after they’ve been apprised the claim is complete fiction.
- Sometimes-God-doesn’t-work-mysteriously-at-all,-but-slaps-you-in-the-face-with-a-2X4-and-you’re-too-stupid-to-pay-attention-Dept.: One of the shock troops sent to torment pro-health insurance reform Congressmen got involved in a scuffle at a town meeting, and (we’ll take his word for it) was injured. Now he’s asking for donations to help pay his medical bills, because he got laid off recently and doesn’t have health insurance. It’s almost enough to make you believe in karma. As Washington Monthly put it: “Either way, the new right-wing cause celebre needs to take up a collection to pay for his medical bills because he doesn’t have health insurance. It’s a fascinating sign of the times.”
- One of Bill Maher’s writers, Chris Kelly, has a fascinating piece of analysis on the Obama birth certificate thingy: If Obama’s not eligible, neither was Ronald Reagan, nor any other president back to about Andrew Jackson.
- Frank Rich’s column Sunday represents the sane side of political thought: “Is Obama punking us?” Rich wonders about Obama’s apparent sell-outs to the usual business interests. Socialism? Not even sonar can find that.
- Ed Brayton rightly wonders whether the right-wing has ever been correct in its dystopic predictions. He also has news of a truce on health care debate negotiated by Daily Kos with the GOP. Drat! We have to give up the grandmother death panels! (Good negotiating, Kos! Give ’em nothing, make them think it’s something!)
- Teachers of world history really need to check out this site, World History Connected. Of course, I’m teaching U.S. history this year.
- It wasn’t Canada’s health care system that killed Natasha Richardson, and shame on conservatives for making the claim. She didn’t get to the hospital fast enough — but that was because she and her instructor and first responders thought she didn’t need to go.
- We don’t need to see major changes in climate to get major disasters. Minor changes will do us in nicely, thank you.
My fingers are all pruney now. Enough reading for one soak.