12/2/2019 Ethics Update, So I’m Not One Day Behind Forever: Hospital Stay Observations, And Other Things

I’m not going to make a habit of it, but today I’m doing a second short form post. First, I’m backed up, thanks to losing a day; second, There was no warm-up for this date, since I posted yesterday’s overview this afternoon; third, I’m not feeling so hot, after all the tests, anxiety, and no sleep at all.

1. Hospital items.

  • What’s the ethical way to handle people like this? My night nurse, whom I saw a LOT of and who was terrific, saw me watching “Jurassic Park III” on the hospital room TV and commented that she loved dinosaurs. Then she said that it must have been hard for the people living in caves to survive with all the raptors running around, and that it was a good thing the Great Flood killed the dinos off.

In the past, I have tried to explain—nicely—that this kind of fake natural history is nonsense and impossible in too many ways to count, discussed the timeline and the fossil record, and tried to bring them into something approaching enlightenment. This has never done any good at all if my audience was over 30, and usually just made them angry and convinced that  I’m the idiot as well as a pagan.

Yet ignorance is a social disease, especially this particular variety. I don’t think it’s responsible or kind  to enable the spread of misinformation.

  • That picture above is part of the NIH stroke protocol, which I now know by heart having been subjected to it several times. When was it drawn, 1958?

Could it be more gender stereotyped?

  • About half the hospital personnel under 35 had unpronounceable foreign names, recalling this article which I read last week, Once upon a time, immigrants coming to the U.S. wanted to have American-sounding names. It signaled a desire to commit to the culture, just like learning the language and adopting American values. My mother’s bothers and sister had Greek first names, but outside the home the family used the Anglicized versions of them. My mother was Helena, and called herself Eleanor.

This was, culturally, a much healthier tradition than what we have now—unifying, respectful, responsible. I see ostentatiously foreign-sounding names as defiant, and signaling a determination to avoid assimilation, to enjoy the rights and privileges here, without fully committing to them. I definitely regard any problems and inconvenience resulting from keeping the names Ngongsa or Ijeoma entirely self-inflicted.

2. Pete Buttigieg is an idiot, or he’s a shameless panderer. After attending services at the Rev. William Barber’s Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldboro, North  Carolina, Buttigieg stayed for a discussion with the Poor People’s Campaign.  Barber, a pastor and former North Carolina NAACP president, revived the movement that dates from Martin Luther King, and focuses on so called “social justice, Buttigieg is trying to enhance his so-far lagging appeal to African Americans.

The discussion turned to illegal immigration, and the two tried to top each other with fatuous rationalization for open borders. “Undocumented folks are, in many ways — like Social Security — subsidizing everybody else,” Buttigieg said. What…the HELL…is that supposed to mean? Never mind–literally none of the Left’s arguments for letting anyone waltz across our borders, violating our laws, make any sense, but that’s especially egregious. Then Butler said this:

“And we need to talk about that. We call people ‘illegal aliens’ and all these things that are not human and certainly not Christian. Why can’t we just own in America that some of the people that are trying to come from Mexico here are coming back to land we stole?…And the reason we took the land is because people wanted to keep their slaves? I mean, we have to have some historical clarity around these issues.”...


Yeah, that’s “historical clarity,” all right. Try listing all the historical, legal and logical gobbledygook in that statement; I don’t have the energy. I will only say, once again, that it is unethical for leaders to make their followers stupid, or stupider.

And Pete Buttigieg, Harvard and Oxford grad and Rhodes scholar, nodded  as the audience applauded.

Will a mainstream media debate moderator ask Mayor Pete if it is correct to say that Mexicans have a special right to “take back stolen lands”by illegally entering our country?  Follow-up questions: Does that mean that only Mexicans should be allowed to get a pass on illegal immigration? Does it mean that they should only be legal when they stay in Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico? What about the estimated 6 million illegals who flew here on visas and stayed? Are Koreans entitled to take back “stolen” lands?

3. Enemy of the people? President Trump’s 2020 campaign announced today that it will no longer credential Bloomberg News reporters for its events following the outlet’s announcement that it would not conduct investigations into the Democratic presidential candidates, but would continue to probe the Trump administration.


From the conservative satire site The Babylon Bee: “Nation Looking For Right Phrase To Describe Media That Behaves Like Some Kind Of Adversary Of The Populace.”

4. Hope. no hope. The fact that the flagrantly phony and inept Kamala Harris’s campaign is in freefall shows that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and that Democrats are not, as it has often seemed, completely unhinged. Similarly the fact that mega-demagogue Elizabeth Warren is declining in the polls bodes well for the viability of democracy.

But is the party really so incompetent and rudderless as to nominate Joe Biden, clueless sexual harasser, vaguely disoriented and anachronistic bumbler that he is? From the excellent and amusing Battleswarm Blog: “He launched a “no malarkey” tour of Iowa, evidently because that tested better than “Cut the Jibber Jabber,” “Dagnabit,” or “I Wore An Onion On My Belt, Because That Was The Style At The Time” as a tour name. On that tour, he chewed on his wife’s fingers while she was speaking, like a playful Rottweiler puppy.”

Then in a video from 2017, the The Daily Caller reported, Joe is seen rambling on about how  kids used to play with his leg hair when he worked as a lifeguard and how he’s “loved kids jumping” on his “lap,” saying,

“I got a lot of — I got hairy legs that turn, that, that, that, that turn blonde in the sun. And the kids used to come up and reach in the pool and rub my leg down so it was straight and then watch the hair come back up again. They’d look at it. So I learned about roaches. I learned about kids jumping on my lap. And I’ve loved kids jumping on my lap.And I tell you what, the men are now all men. The guys I worked with down here, and they’re all guys at the time, they’re all good men.”



26 thoughts on “12/2/2019 Ethics Update, So I’m Not One Day Behind Forever: Hospital Stay Observations, And Other Things

  1. That picture could give my poor sister a stroke. She worked for both the Army and the Navy, so she could probably teach them a few new ways to describe that picture.

  2. 1. I think that in order to be properly gender-stereotyped, the image would have to involve a man incompetently supervising the children, and blithely allowing the sink to overflow. A woman would be stereotyped as being competent at these things.

      • Isn’t the image of of the gender stereotyped person acting in an uncharateristic manner imply something is neurologically wrong?

        Sure the image is stereotyped but
        F.A.S.T. did not exist in 1958. The question is why NIH still uses itm

  3. 2. As one of Pete’s neighbors I’d like to say he is worthy of defending, but he isn’t.

    He is a great speaker when on script and a strong retail politician when connecting in small groups.

    Off script on a national stage he forgets his audience and reverts to his unfortunately wide left thinking and desperate pandering nature mistaking circumstances for the retail politics he knows much better.

    Rhodes Scholar, Oxford, Nobel, … do these allegedly prestigious affiliations have any meaning of value anymore. It appears the answer is a distinct, no.

    • Yesterday, my sister and I were discussing a mutual acquaintance whom another friend looked down upon because she was too “blue collar” and didn’t co to college. I noted that she was smart. “She’s very smart. He’s a snob because he’s so impressed with fancy colleges and credentials. You and I know that’s crap.”

  4. First: Take care of yourself.
    Second: I would request a different health care provider if their understanding of basic science was this distorted. Does the nurse believe there is a rookery in obstetrics?

    • I can think of at least 3 or 4 reasons this conversation could have happened without the nurse being a complete moron (although I do not rule that out). Also, I am not really that sure how relevant knowledge of human/dinosaur timelines would be to nursing. I mean, lets say you have an airline pilot who thinks the moon landing was faked… does that disqualify them from being able to read a approach chart or land a 747? People have weird and dissonant thoughts and I suppose that is what is interesting about humans.

  5. The Dinosaurs and Cavemen thing isn’t ignorance; it’s evangelization. Do you wander up to people discussing how great it is that we evolved from proto-monkeys?

    I don’t have a good answer on how to address it, but I stopped feeling too bad about a break up when I asked her about the dinosaurs, and got an unsatisfactory answer.

    • A distinction without a difference.

      Your story reminds me of the lovely, sweet, talented woman I broke up with in college after I plued Scrabble with her and she spelled “calf” “KALF.” When I challenged her, she said, “I wasn’t sure about that L!”

      • The distinction is only meant to inform the approach or strategic withholding of rebuke one takes. Someone who rejects evolution is not necessarily ignorant of evolution. Merely repeating the rejected argument for evolution will not be persuasive.

          • When I was a kid, my dad would always joke about looking up as you left in the morning, to watch for the pterodactyls. We thought it was kinda funny, and so did EVERYONE. This was in Texas. I don’t know that ANYONE I knew back then didn’t believe, firmly, that humans and dinosaurs never coexisted. I’m still flummoxed at how we’ve got more people who don’t believe basic facts now that I’m older, and I’m not even as old as you, Jack. Sheesh.

            I’m glad you smiled and nodded at the nurse. Or something. You can’t afford to have a night nurse offended just in case you code. We know nurses provide all the care…

  6. After attending services at the Rev. William Barber’s Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldboro, North Carolina, Buttigieg stayed for a discussion with the Poor People’s Campaign. Barber, a pastor and former North Carolina NAACP president, revived the movement that dates from Martin Luther King, and focuses on so called “social justice, Buttigieg is trying to enhance his so-far lagging appeal to African Americans.

    Will this threaten the church’s tax exemption?

    • IF he preached during the actual service about voting for Mayor Pete, then it could if someone complained and the appropriate authorities (does the IRS even have an investigative arm for this?) determined it was a violation, then maybe. But if they merely host a candidate or multiple of them and it’s NOT part of the actual preaching/services, and/or don’t endorse *one*, it’s a community service and not really a danger. I think.

  7. I dunno about that comment about foreign names, Jack, with respect. A lot of the earlier immigrants, including some of my ancestors, got here and changed their names because otherwise they’d be discriminated against. Among the Irish dropping the “O'” was called “throwing the life preserver overboard.” My great-grandfather changed his name to Sam, from what we do not know, and my grandfather stopped going by his given name of Angelo and went by Charles, just like in The Untouchables Andy Garcia’s character admits that, although he legally changed his name to George Stone he was born Giuseppe Petri. You can see from James Malone’s (Sean Connery) reaction why he changed it. Among other things he calls him a “thieving wop” and says that’s why Elliott Ness shouldn’t put him on the team. Admittedly Malone probably did that to provoke a reaction (and boy howdy did he get one, as he went to hit Stone with a blackjack but Stone jammed his gun under his chin before he got anywhere), but the expressed attitude was typical of the time.

    To the establishment, we Italians were all thieves, bandits, and thugs, walking around with knives in our pockets and dirtying up the lily-white gene pool (in all fairness, my other great grandfather on my dad’s side DID in fact flee Italy for the US because the carabinieri were after him for attacking someone with a knife, then fled from Brooklyn to NJ after he slit someone scalp to heel). We changed our names so we could get jobs and not be treated like shit, not because we wanted to “assimilate” and be just like these Chamber of Commerce assholes who were shutting us out of jobs, apartments, and every other opportunity including the ability to join the fight in WWII, until FDR decided we had “passed the test.” Gee, how big of him. I’m sure as hell not changing my Italian last name, nor am I stepping away from my heritage, least of all because some Anglo politician or POC POS has suddenly decided that it’s nothing to be proud of or is something offensive.

    Does it really matter if the nurse doing your day-to-day care is named Dephie instead of Debbie and comes from the Philippines or the doctor overseeing your care is Dr. Chakravarthy instead of Dr. Charles and comes from India, as long as they are competent and understandable? Do you really expect Guillermo Martinez to become William Martin the day he takes the oath of citizenship? That’s before we even talk about the Muslims, who are required by their religion to retain Arabic names, whether they come from the Balkans or Indonesia.

    You once said you disliked ethnic celebrations. I also know you practice no religion and are not a member of any organized church. I submit that if you had retained your membership in a Greek Orthodox church into adulthood, attending and maybe even organizing Greek festivals, learning the history, maybe getting involved in community politics, (and also attending a 3-hour service for your son to be baptized), you might well feel differently. I know I do, having grown up close to my Italian family and continuing to be a man of faith.

    Oh yes, one other thing. Remember that an ocean isn’t as big a barrier as it once was. Jung Lee (no, he’s not changing his name to John) can fly back to Seoul once a year with relative ease and Suparna (no, you may NOT call her Sue) Singh is going to have no trouble Skyping with her brother in Bombay and her parents in Amritsar. People who come here from elsewhere stay plugged in with that elsewhere now.

    It’s one thing to demand fidelity and allegiance from those who come here to become citizens. It’s another to say that to become an American citizen you have to change your identity and take a new one on, jettisoning traditions you might not want to. You are not a racist or a xenophobe, and everyone who knows you knows it, but you are mostly supportive of the president, at least against those who want him removed from office. Someone who doesn’t know you might not like that fact, and you might push those who don’t know you in the wrong direction by saying something like that.

    • Learning new stuff is good for the brain. That includes names, pronunciations, new cultures and traditions. Yeah, you might have to work for it. It’s still good for you. Americanizing everything about oneself is dumb. Yeah, people used to do it. Doesn’t mean it’s a good thing forever.

      • Actually I read it this past weekend on FB, it was a repost by an African-American woman I know, with the relatively easy first name of Kayla. Having a strange-sounding name can be a burden, however, deliberately mispronouncing someone’s name after they tell you the correct pronunciation is a dick move. It’s not limited to racism, but it’s very easy to attack obvious ethnic names. “Hey, why do all Polish names end in -ski? Because they’re too dumb to spell toboggan!” Ha ha. It is to laugh. It’s also easy to just mock someone’s name. “Haha, Cindy Fuchs? From now on you answer to Cindy Fucks!” Hahaha, not funny the first time and just annoying every time after, but the jerk thinks it’s funny when Cindy melts down. “Haha, Abe Lipshutz? From now on you’re Lipshits!” Dick move, but unless Abe has done like Brian Schwartz in Porky’s (“when you’re Jewish you either learn to fight or you take a lotta shit. I don’t like to take shit”) he’s in for a lot of abuse. My point is no one should give someone crap just about his name. It’s rude, it’s juvenile, and it’s not winning friends and influencing people.

        That said, there is supposed to be a certain unity to American society. If you have an unusual name, it’s going to attract attention. You’re going to have to work twice as hard to win people over. If you insist on being different, people are going to notice. You can say “the fact that they are ignorant isn’t my problem,” but it can become your problem. You can refuse to celebrate holidays, but don’t be surprised if others wonder why. You can refuse to salute the flag, but don’t be surprised if others don’t like that. You can loudly criticize this country, but don’t be surprised if others tell you if you don’t like it, then leave.

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