Maternal death rate

npr While driving to work I listened to another interview on NPR about the rising maternal death rate in this country. The interviewer, Scott Simon, clearly had an idea that he was trying to push forward, that the increasing maternal death rate was due to the cuts made by the Texas legislature.

New statistics show that there has been a rise in the maternal death rate in this country. The rise in Texas has been the highest of any state. Six hundred mothers died in one year either while giving birth or shortly afterwards. Each one of those situations was likely a tragedy, but in Texas they have put together a study group to determine what is the cause of this and how to prevent this. This group has come out with some findings and a doctor was on the radio discussing the results.

Maternal_mortality_rate

Never mind that Texas actually put together a study to try to fix this problem, and never mind the actual results of the study, because we have an agenda here. Scott Simon posed the question as to why these mothers were dying and the doctor answered. The reality, it appears, is complicated. There are a large number of factors that contribute to maternal death. Underlying illness such as heart disease and diabetes, obesity, drug problems – particularly opiates, and late access to prenatal care.

But wasn’t this due to Texas’ cut in medical spending, Mr. Simon asked? No, it is really more complicated than that, the doctor responded. But didn’t the cuts in spending have anything to do with the increased maternal deaths? Mr. Simon persisted. Access to medical care of course has a part to play in this problem, the doctor conceded. Point made. Interview done.

What Mr. Simon did not report on was the actual findings of the study. These mothers are often on drugs, they are obese, and they do not go to the doctor. These are cultural problems, not problems with government spending. In fact, you could argue that government spending has made these cultural problems worse. Texas also has a huge problem because of the open borders situation. But no so for ‘progressives’.

animal-houseWhen, in Animal House, Dean Wormer said “Drunk, fat, and stupid is no way to go through life son” he was telling the truth, but of course in the movie he was made fun of, and in life the ‘progressives’ have made fun of traditional culture.

What were the findings of the study? These women were basically drunk, fat, and stupid. But we can’t say that because it might upset someone’s tender sensibilities. Instead we need to blame the problem on lack of government spending. Disgusting.

More whistling past the graveyard

There has been a lot of discussion recently about what the ultimate end point of Western civilization could be. Where are we headed and what are the forces driving us there? Clearly there has been a movement that has changed our country significantly over the past generation. This movement, or more properly identified as a mindset or an ideology, has taken over the Washington elite and has driven a stake through the heart of the Republican party.

What is it exactly that I am talking about? Part of the difficulty in discussing this ideology is that it is nebulous and insidious. It is defined more by what it isn’t than what it is. It is post-everything: post-racist, post-feminist, post-gender, post-religion. It preys on our good instincts and uses our past sins to prevent us from opposing it. Call it the postmodern amalgamation.

It is political correctness run amok. It is in the “safe spaces” where free speech is stifled in deference to tender sensibilities. It is the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education direction to campuses to assume that we live in a “rape culture”, subverting due process for the purpose of undercutting men’s rights. All of this in an attempt to do what? Make us all equal? So we are to be mixed and conjoined and transgendered into some transnational androgynous beige human being.

I’ll address the gender problem first, because it is the lesser of the problems. That is not to say that it is easy to solve, because it probably will never be solved. The bottom line is that men and women are different, but also sexuality exists on a spectrum. For those in the middle of the spectrum life can be very difficult, and I believe that we should be loving and accepting of all of our fellow human beings. I don’t care what bathroom anybody chooses to use. We should also recognize and celebrate the differences between men and women. While making life okay for the people in the middle of the spectrum, you don’t need to ostracize the people who are all-boy or all-girl.

Just as gender identity is a spectrum, gender attraction is a spectrum as well. I don’t care to whom you are attracted or to whom you want to be married, just don’t push it in my face. If more people would just mind their own business and not try telling other people how to live, we would all be better off.

As to campus rape culture: I want all victims to be heard. No one should ever be forced to have sex against their will. But all of these drunken party situations with flirtation and innuendo – give me a break. Have you ever heard the saying ‘if you play with fire you are going to get burned?’ These boyfriend-girlfriend breakup dramas and ‘we had oral sex but I didn’t want to go all the way’ mistakes are just part of life. Time to take personal responsibility. If you are drunk and stoned and in bed with someone, you have no one to blame but yourself if you end up getting fucked. These are what used to be called life lessons. But if someone drugged you or physically overpowered you, we call that ‘rape’ and there are laws for that.

But getting back to the bigger question of where this postmodern amalgamation will take us, we have to consider the survival of our Western culture. The attempts to make everybody equal are doomed to fail. Imagine a society where everybody is the same. Everyone has the same stuff and wears the same clothes. Everyone drives the same car and listens to the same music. What an incredibly boring place – a Ballardian nightmare! This would probably be where our society would be heading except that we also experiencing a clash of civilizations.

Homogenization is only possible to the extent that the parts are willing to be homogenized. For the past century, at least in the West, this has been able to happen because of a shared Judeo-Christian culture. We have, for the most part, shared an ethos of acceptance, openness, and ability to work with others. We pray for the unbelievers.

But now we have some very different civilizations threatening our way of life.

Islam is very different in that unbelievers are not to be prayed for, they are to be subjugated, converted, or killed. I am not saying that your modern moderate Muslim neighbor wants to kill you, but I am saying that when it comes down to it, they are at best indifferent to you. Deep down in places many Muslims don’t want to go in their day-to-day thinking, Westerners: Christians, Jews, secularists, are just not important. They are people to be dismissed, or depending on your strain of Islam, reviled and destroyed. This is what their ‘religion’ teaches. An impartial observer would define Islam as a cult rather than a religion, but due to political correctness we are not allowed to say this. The believers of Islam are told that they are the chosen ones, and that they are better than unbelievers. Their holy books spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the problems of the unbelievers.

Islamists don’t do political correctness. The societies of most Muslim countries are deeply misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. But they have a big advantage over our supposedly more advanced Western culture. By recognizing and acknowledging the differences between people in their societies – men and women, strong and weak, smart and dumb, left or right brained – they can take advantage of their strengths. And unless we are willing to face up to reality, Islam could take over the world.

Then we have the Chinese, who are reclaiming islands in the South China Sea and building air force bases on them with impunity. Apparently Obama doesn’t think this is a big deal. But suppose that the Chinese decide to stop subsidizing our socialist spending, and then cut off shipping through the South China Sea? Are we going to have the capacity, or more importantly the will to do anything about it? The only reason they have not done so to date is that their own economy is so dependent on ours, but the more we hand over our intellectual property to them and allow them to build factories, the more self-sustaining they will get, and eventually they will not need us anymore. Meanwhile the globalists have been happy to see our own manufacturing base get regulated right out of our country.

We in the West, in an effort to achieve an impossible equality amongst everyone, have become overly taxed, overly regulated, overly governed, overly coddled. We have undercut the best and padded everyone out of personal responsibility. Even our warning labels need warning labels. The cradle-to-grave safety nets are suffocating our humanity.

My point is that while our enemies build ¸we sit by and deliberately weaken ourselves through some misguided progressive utopian fantasy. This will not end well for us. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but probably during our kids or grandkids lives.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is a taxi medallion

Taxi-Cab-PNGTaxis are highly regulated in most U.S. cities. There are a large number of reasons for this, most of which are suspect. You could argue that regulated taxi fares prevent ‘gouging’ of customers (although it still happens – and I can give you personal examples), and an argument can be made that screening and registration of drivers makes customers more safe.

uberThe big question is why does this regulation need to be done by government? The success of Uber shows that the private sector can do this job better, more efficiently, and cheaper.

The main reason that this job has been done by governments (at least until the Uber revolution has gotten around most restrictions) is that governments have taken this power for themselves and have used it to their advantage. A generous (or some would say naïve) view of this situation is that governments have benefited from the fees paid by taxi companies, and in turn have kept the system from taking advantage of people. A more cynical view is that this is an entirely corrupt system and a lot of city leaders have been on the take.

Ontaxie way that taxis have been regulated is through the medallion system. A driver needs to have a medallion in order to drive and make a living. These licenses to operate used to cost small amounts: hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars. In recent years the cost of these medallions has become outrageous (a recent auction in Chicago for medallions started at $360,000, and they went for over $1 million in New York before Uber cut these prices in half).

It costs so much that the average guy who wants to run a taxi is kept out of the system, and big companies have come in that own the medallions and employ the drivers. This inhibits competition, stifles innovation, and in the long run does nothing for the people it is supposed to help. The ones getting rich off the system are the politicians and a few big companies.

So what does this have to do with MOC? The analogy should be clear. MOC is a pay-to-play system which is purely in place for the benefit of the regulatory agency (the American Board of Medical Specialties and its member associations). There is absolutely no proof that MOC benefits patients, and just as the justifications for regulating taxis, the reasons given are dubious.

Thankfully we have a remedy coming in medicine. States are passing laws which will prevent MOC from restricting the practice of medicine. The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS)  is our Uber.

jyMLyJB9

 

Clinton’s E-mails

feature-headers-campaign-2016

It has been a painful morning watching the Washington talking heads. Why wont anyone say what is so obviously true to anyone paying attention? Hillary Clinton wanted to have personal control of her email so she could erase anything that would be seen negatively. She knew that using secure government servers would involve backups, audit trails, and the potential for emails to be released by leakers or, God forbid, under the Freedom of Information Act.

emailHillary knew exactly what she was doing when she set up her own personal server for her emails: she was trying to control the information and maintain command of the paper trail. The former Senator, then Secretary of State, wanted a place to do her dirty work without outsiders being able to get their hands on any evidence.

Never mind that this was highly illegal. Never mind that it was totally insecure and allowed access to anyone who wanted it. Classified information was exposed, and whether or not there was any intent on her part this constitutes illegal actions.

The more that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Obama administration do backbends and flips to try to cover up this massive breach of security the more disgusting this whole mess becomes.

And where is the media? Where are the investigative journalists? Everybody is just yammering along and giving Hillary a pass because they happen to side with her leftist politics.

But nobody is willing to call a spade a spade (don’t even try it) and just say it! Where is Sam Kinison when we need him?

Hillary Clinton thinks that she is so important that she is above the law. She and her rapist husband just dance along as if nothing criminal has been done because that is the way it has always been with the Clintons.

The Founding Fathers are turning in their graves as all credibility of the government is being plowed underground. Do not have any doubt that these chickens will come home to roost. I weep for the crumbling of our great nation.

deeznuts

Glass ceilings

glass-ceilingThese are heady days and the summer heat has brought us a swirl of estrogen in the air. Glass ceilings are being broken everywhere, and yet, as I heard this morning on NPR as I drove to work, the job is not nearly done. Women are still being held back in all aspects of modern life, through conscious and unconscious forms of discrimination which continue to plague the generations and keep women pinned down without opportunity.

feminismThe numbers speak for themselves, for example, this year, 2016, only 58% of college students are expected to be female. How do we expect women to be able to get ahead in this competitive world if we continue to deny them educational opportunities?

And the wage gap is clearly a huge issue, with women reportedly earning only 79 cents for every dollar earned by a male. Never mind that the actual difference is more like 4 cents. Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!

But today I would like to address one of the most egregious examples of gender segregation which continues to be accepted throughout our country. You would think that over sixty years of progress should have told us that separate-but-not-equal practices as legal doctrine should not pass the smell test, yet this area of discrimination continues today almost unbounded.

Patsy_Mink_1970s
Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink

So what is this abomination that we have allowed to keep around like Norma Bates’ corpse to haunt us, and why have we continued to perpetuate the myth that this constitutes fairness? I speak, of course, about the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Huh? you may ask, what is this you are talking about? You may know it better by the old and dreary name of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, Public Law No. 92‑318, 86 Stat. 235, specifically Title IX.

The law itself seems innocent enough:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

But, dear readers, as they say, the devil is in the detail.

This act has led to a system of separate-but-not-equal athletic programs throughout our high-schools and colleges. It is high time that the wall between the men’s and women’s programs be struck down and we allow this discrimination to come to an end.

There is no reason that our women should be held back and not be allowed to compete on the same playing fields as our men. As we have seen in soccer there are plenty of females who are fleet of foot and can strike a booming free kick.

(FILE Aug. 1973) L-R: Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King will meet Sept. 20 1973 in a televised tennis match.  CREDIT: ABC Sports.
(FILE Aug. 1973) L-R: Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King will meet Sept. 20 1973 in a televised tennis match. CREDIT: ABC Sports.

Billie Jean King showed over forty years ago that women could hold their own in tennis. Haven’t we come a long way since then? Apparently not, as the sports are kept separate today. And golf – who would doubt that Annika Sörenstam could still hold her own against the men, and today’s new generation of golfers would certainly put Tiger in his place (and considering his treatment of women, why shouldn’t they?)

There is absolutely no reason that women should be kept separate from men in winter sports either – skiing, skating, luge, bobsled, biathlon. It seems downright silly in this modern age to run two parallel competitions for these things.

ShawnMcGinnis-347We could go on almost endlessly – lacrosse, basketball, even baseball – why do the women have to play softball instead? And what about the bastion of male dominance in sports, football. It is about time that we allow women to compete there.

Finally boxing. If we are to end gender discrimination once and for all, we need to have men and women duking it out. And what woman would not want to see their Ultimate Fighting Championship stars beat the living daylights out of the men?

It’s about damn time.