“Saying you need to understand gun terminology to have opinions on gun policy is the equivalent of saying you need to understand the biology of a heroin overdose to have an opinion on the drug war.”
Thus went the jaw-on-the-floor stupid tweet of Zack Beauchamp, a senior report at Vox. I had written a post about the ridiculous “gunsplaining” article in the Washington Post, and foolishly assumed that even anti-gun fanatics would be embarrassed to endorse the view expressed there that those arguing for material changes in public policy should be required to understand the object of that policy. Then came Zack’s tweet.
Admittedly, and to be fair, Twitter makes people stupid. We have documented the sad Twitter-feuled decline of Harvard Law School icon Larry Tribe, and new victims of Twitter brain-suck suface every day. Bill Kristol once had a rather impressive brain, for example; look what he tweeted last week:
Wow. What a terrible, and ahistorical, analogy. The Texans at the Alamo were fighting in a war to secede from Mexico. Santa Anna was an authoritarian all right, but to Texans he was being authoritarian in the same way Lincoln was when he used forcet to keep the South from leaving. Mexico was hardly “nativist”: it invited Americans to settle the territory, and their arrival was completely legal. Indeed, Texas is a great example of what can happen when a country doesn’t control immigration at all. Twitter makes you stupid, and bias makes you even more stupid. Add anti-Trump bias to Twitter and you get Bill Kristol sounding like Maxine Waters.
Zach liked Kristol’s bad analogy too!
The fact that Vox employs a senior reporter whose critical thinking skills are so poor and whose judgment is so wretched that he happily displays them on social media is instructive regarding the influence new media commentators like Vox wield. Thus I was grateful for this Comment of the Day, by Michael West, on the post, The Desperate “Gunsplaining” Dodge’:Continue reading →
Sandeep Jauhar is a cardiologist, the author of “Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician” and “Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation.”and a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. He recently penned a column for the paper that raised concerns about threats to doctor-patient confidentiality, specifically from the case, in Washington state, of Volk v. DeMeerleer.
Howard Ashby, a psychiatrist, was sued after his patient, Jan DeMeerleer, shot and killed an ex-girlfriend and her 9-year-old son before shooting himself. The estate of the victims, Rebecca and Phillip Schiering sued Dr. Ashby, alleging that he breached a duty to warn DeMeerleer’s victims even though the killer had made no specific threats toward the Schierings during his treatment. Last year, however, that judgment was reversed by an appeals court, which held that doctors could be required to warn “all foreseeable victims” of their potentially dangerous patients in their care.
It’s a terrible decision, and Jauhar does a good job explaining why. Unfortunately, he also writes this..
“I once took care of a business executive in the emergency room who had hired call girls during a weekend drug binge. When he saw a police officer outside his room, he quietly handed me an envelope containing a large amount of white powder. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I discarded it. For the next several hours the patient eyed me suspiciously, probably wondering whether I had ratted him out. But it never occurred to me to do so.”
Well, it should have. Confidentiality is one thing, assisting in a crime is another. The Hippocratic Oath says“What I may see or hear in the course of treatment, I will keep to myself.” That only means, however, that doctors who learn about criminal activity a patient may be involved in is bound not to report it (lawyers have the same obligation). Jauhar did more than not report criminal activity; he participated in it. He crossed the line by disposing of contraband. Continue reading →
Tennessee is one of the most activist states that it comes to protecting children; for example, it has the among most stringent laws in the nation regarding the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse. It also has a new law that just went into effect this month that allows officials to arrest mothers for assault who illegally use narcotics while they are pregnant if the child is born with symptoms indicating that the drug use impaired the child’s condition.
Predictable and tiresomely, the media and “war on women” scolds are attacking this is yet another incursion on the rights of women to have dominion over their own bodies. Think Progress, dishonestly, calls it a “pregnancy criminalization law.” This is intentional misrepresentation, a TP specialty. The law doesn’t criminalize pregnancy in any way, by even the most distorted interpretation. The knee-jerk opposition to the law highlights the problems of consistency and integrity that the women’s rights and pro-abortion forces have in all the areas relating to childbirth. Essentially, their position is that if conduct is related to child birth—or preventing it—in any way, anything they say, want or do must be accepted, and asserting otherwise, no matter what the justification, makes the government an oppressor of women. Continue reading →
Hey! Isn’t that guy a little young to be President?
Conservative bloggers and talk show hosts who should know better are running gleefully with the tales out of David Maraniss’s new biography of the President in which young Obama is revealed as a pothead. “Choom” apparently means marijuana, and at the Punahou School in Hawaii Barry belonged to the “Choom Gang,” the members of which were apparently obsessed with weed.
The Choomies drove around in a Volkswagen bus called the “Choomwagon,” and were especially fond of “roof hits,” smoking pot inside the Choomwagon with all the windows rolled up, to maximize the amount of smoke they inhaled. Barack Spicoli Obama was apparently known for renowned for his “interceptions”…joining a group of stoners passing around a joint, taking a hit and yelling, “Intercepted!”
All of which tells us 100% of nothing regarding the fitness of Obama to lead the country today. Continue reading →
The Heart Attack Grill, in Phoenix, Arizona, has a medical theme, in keeping with its name. Waitresses dress in skimpy nurses’ uniforms; customers, who come to gorge themselves on super-high calorie fare like Double Bypass Burgers and lard-fried french fries, wear hospital gowns over their clothes and are referred to as patients. The menu features no diet drinks. The new “model” for the Grill is Blair River, a former high school wrestler who stands 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 600 pounds (he’s also a financial adviser at the University of Phoenix.) River now has a $100-an-hour contract to pose for ads and TV commercials for the establishment, including a recent YouTube video which invites anyone over 350 pounds to eat for free. And, apparently, if you are over 500 pounds, they pay you.Continue reading →
The current bicycle ordeal commenced by the Vogel family was sold to the family’s twin boys as a chance to get into the Guinness Book of Records. That publications has been used to justify more self-destructive conduct than the complete works of Ernest Hemingway, and here’s another example: Sheyla Hershey, owner of the world’s largest breast implants (size M, supposedly) according to Guinness, just had to have them removed because of serious infections. They were also “uncomfortable,” she has told reporters.
A British website has posted its list of the “10 Most Unethical Ways to Make Money.” Like all such lists, there are some eyebrow-raising choices, both in what is included and what is not, usually attributable to the political and ideological biases of the list-makers. For example, until we have figured out a way to run civilization without oil, it is more than a bit unreasonable to declare the entire oil industry unethical, climate change or no climate change. Oil is on the list, though, while child porn, drug dealing and gambling are not. The list could be the result of a collaboration among Greenpeace and Ron Paul.
Still, most of the inclusions on the list, like blood diamonds, ivory, and sweat shops are neither surprising nor controversial. Placing one of the businesses on the list, however, qualifies as a public service. Most people have no idea what the industry is, or what is unethical about it.
That business is the viatical settlement industry, which preys on human impulsiveness and irresponsibility to make large profits. Unfortunately, the list’s brief explanation of the industry misses its most unquestionable and sinister incarnation: buying structured settlements. Continue reading →
The New York Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, has a new brochure out for heroin addicts. It’s goal: help them break the law, become addicted, abandon their responsibilities and eventually kill themselves as safely as possible.