Sunday, August 30, 2009


From here.

Oh, my!

The Character of our Discussion

As a physician, I obviously have a lot of feelings about the current health care "debate" going on in America. Over the years, I have spent a significant amount of futile time ranting and raving about this topic. This discussion has now been taken out of the hands of health care professionals; usurped by Sarah Palin and the gun toting crazies at the town hall meetings. Indeed, in one way I am glad; I find it hard to have a discussion with a kitchen table.
What is disturbing to me, and to a lot of my friends, is the character of this current discussion. It does not bode well for the future of a democratic government that decisions which should be made with logic and compassion should be thrown open to so much vitriol. It is as if we were watching children in a sand box arguing over a toy.

I suspect that some of this is a result of such influences as television (although I don't have one, I hear tell of lots of screaming) and instant communication via texting or cell phone. There is a great leveling going on here with these devices. Some would say that this is a democratic process.

However, because everyone uses health care doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is an expert on how to organize it. This is particularly true when people seem unable to discern that what they are fed via the media is or is not wasted garbage (the second day of my freshman English class in college one of the other students questioned the professor's use of "wasted garbage" by asking him if that wasn't "redundant." That's when I also learned meaning of the phrase "stunned silence.")

I will concede that our form of government is putatively a democracy, though the fact that our Congress is an elected body and the election is determined largely by money makes it much closer to a plutoarchy. But it is not a democracy like ancient Athens where all citizens supposedly had immediate input to a decision. (And, of course, Athens was anything but egalitarian given that only a minor portion of the population was in the position to contribute to political discourse.) Of course it is impossible for individuals to have direct influence on a government that represents 300 million people. You'd never know it by what I'm listening to.

John McCain weighs in with:
"There's more interest and involvement in this issue than I've ever seen in many years on a domestic issue," McCain said afterward. "There's obviously strong feeling and emotions on this issue and I think the town-hall meetings are a very important way to get people's viewpoints and allow them to deal directly with their elected representative."
But strong "feelings and emotions" should not be the basis of policy. I keep thinking about all those meetings portrayed in "Reds" both in America and in revolutionary Russia. They did get pretty feisty. I suppose Democracy in action is a messy thing.

In one way I wish we could just change the system by fiat. But, again, I guess in the long run it is better to have it the way it is going. The only problem is that Barack Obama may cave in completely out of political expediency (2012 you know is just around the corner) and then, well, then it gets pretty nasty.

As the Chinese curse says, may you live... of course you know the rest.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging (a little late)

Sentiments expressed before the Kindergarten Shots.

They're all crabs in the end, even if they are a little ghoulish..

I thought this might be a Kookaburra bird until I read about them (interesting article, BTW). I suppose it is more like an Australian parrot, e.g. an eclectus parrot. But, in the end, they're all crabs.

Daisy is in transition from stick figures to providing clothes. I am not sure what the rainbow represents and whether it is attached to me or not. And, she is correct, I frequently have an SEG.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging

I think that there is crab trap on the left but, then, it could be lost pocketbook. The anchor is a good touch.

Rachael informed me that she was "crabby." In addition, I had to "Deal with it."

This is my one and only workboat. Pretty authentic with cabin in the back and little smoke stack. Take a look at the watermen. They are a vanishing breed.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging (way later)

Due to a serious computer malfunction we have been off line for the past four days. I'll return to this at the bottom. In the meantime, crabs (and other endeavors) continue to accumulate.

That's a starfish at the bottom. This is actually a repeat performance for Sammie who figured prominently in the big Crab contest earlier this year.

I had thought that this artist had depicted a crab pot. It is a crab, but it is a hermit crab in its own little cage.

There has been some restlessness in the troops about drawing only crabs. Such restlessness occasionally breaks forth in dinosaurs. At least it is an aquatic dinosaur.

Or a butterfly.

Or, in this case, as a family scene. I had to put this in there because of the ladder. I have no idea why a ladder is in the picture. Could the teenage sister be contemplating elopement? You never know. I would of said the car was a turtle, but then, it is in the eye of the beholder. (Also, if you noticed, mom and dad are midgets. So it goes.)

We had a severe thunderstorm this week. As a result, particularly in the area where I am, there was a lot of electrical surge damage. Interestingly enough, it didn't hit the power grid (which went out, of course) but it did hit the cable network and some of the phone network. This, in turn, resulted in frying some of the ethernet cards, but not all of them. So, initially one didn't know what the heck was going on since some things worked and others didn't.

The current health care debate in America included the suggestion that doctor's offices be fully computerized (it is like virginity, once you do it you can't go back.) Our computers were down for 2 days and having to go back and put all of that work into the system when we finally got them up was a pain in the whatever. Plus that, of course, new routers and new switches cost money. A lot of money. Just imagine what a big surge in a national power grid would do to business (including physicians offices) if it involved millions of sites.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging (a little late)

Crab on Sand.

Three crabs hanging out at the nurse's station: