Posted in CDC, Disease Prevention, emotional intelligence, Government Regulations, Leadership, outcomes measurement, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Prevention, Stress, Uncategorized

Memento Mori: Fear in the Age of Coronavirus | Intellectual Takeout

Some perspective…

[In late 1968]…the Hong Kong Flu was sweeping through the country, eventually killing around 100,000 Americans, most of them over the age of 65, at a time when the United States had more than 100 million fewer people than it does today.

Life went on as usual. Schools, churches, and businesses remained open. Neighbors held backyard barbeques, Scout troops continued meeting, we shook hands and shared hugs

When we compare ourselves to the British who endured the torments of the Blitz or to the Americans who seemed almost oblivious to the Hong Kong Flu, why are we so terrified of this virus?

I ask these questions sincerely and without rancor, and have no real answers, only conjecture.

Perhaps our 24-hour news cycle has inflamed our apprehensions.

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/memento-mori-fear-in-the-age-of-coronavirus/

Posted in big government, Education, emotional intelligence, Free Society, government incompetence, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Uncategorized

Delusion, Doublespeak, and Duplicity: Why Language Matters | Intellectual Takeout

By Jeff Minick

“Language matters.

Let’s start with some quotes from one of the masters of the English

language: George Orwell.

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

And again: “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

From 1984: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

Some males decide they are women…In just a few years, our laws and our society in general have accepted these gender migrations as valid…In short, we accept, or pretend to accept, the proposition that Joe can become Sally.

Except for some who still have eyes to see.

In an interview on feminism and transgenderism, feminist professor and writer Camille Paglia has this to say about the transgendered:

It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warning… flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender. …

The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible. Every single cell of the human body (except for blood) remains coded with one’s birth gender for life.

Back to our man George:
“There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

This explains why Paglia in her writings and interviews sounds sane compared to many other progressives.

Some today believe that abortion should be an option up to the moment of birth…Yet these same people don’t blink when they say to a pregnant woman, “When’s your baby due?”

Why don’t they say, “When’s your fetus due?” Or to be more precise: “When does your fetus become a human being?”

To paraphrase Orwell, thought corrupts language and language corrupts thought

If we believe in free speech, but ban speakers from our universities or riot if they appear, then what is free speech?

If we believe in freedom of religion, but then redefine the word as did the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2016 – “‘the phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom”’ are nothing but ‘code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism…’” – then what does our Bill of Rights mean when it guarantees freedom of religion?

Politicians have undermined the language for decades. They call war a “police action.” An “investment in America” translates as “more taxes and more debt.” “Free education” and “free health care” means picking up the tab for some citizens while making slaves of others. “Illegal aliens” become “undocumented immigrants.” “Enhanced interrogation” is code for torture. “Collateral damage” stands for the killing of civilians during wartime. “Progressive politician” sounds wonderful – who is against real progress? – but refers to politicos looking for more power and more control over their fellow citizens.”

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/delusion-doublespeak-and-duplicity-why-language-matters

Posted in Free Society, Liberty, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

The Epidemic of Woke Politicians | Intellectual Takeout

By Martin Cothran

When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when all you’ve got is politics (for an ideologue, everything is political), everything looks like it is resolvable by a law.

Hence the current discussion of gun laws.

In the ensuing days, you will hear politicians calling for new gun laws. We need them, they will say, in order to quell the epidemic of mass shootings.

Critics will point out…the thousands of non-mass shootings, far more numerous and equally egregious, are a far worse problem. But the woke politicians, quick on the draw, will point out that these critics are, of course, racist.

The critics will also point out that, short of a law that takes everyone’s guns away, the law in question will not eliminate or even noticeably reduce the problem of mass shootings. And besides, such opinions [according to ideologue politicians] are clearly racist, which goes without saying.

Undiscussed will be the more underlying problems, like how so many boys end up as alienated loners (almost without exception all the shooters are alienated, anti-social men). These problems will remain undiscussed because, first, being sociological or cultural problems usually related to the breakdown of the family, they are impervious to the mere passage of laws.

And, second, it would confront the ideologues with the fact that the breakdown of the family is the real problem and that they are culpable for bringing that problem about through their neglect and even animosity toward the traditional family.

And, of course, calling attention to these problems would be racist. Of course.

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/epidemic-woke-politicians

Posted in advance-pricing, CPT billing, Economic Issues, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Influence peddling, Leadership, Medical Costs, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Quality, Uncategorized

U.S. “Non-Profit” Hospitals and CEOs Raking in Big Bucks | Intellectual Takeout

We found that the assets, investments, and bank accounts at these charitable hospitals increased by $38.9 billion last year – from $164.1 billion to $203.2 billion. That’s 23.6 percent growth, year-over-year, in net assets. Even deducting for the $5.2 billion in charitable gifts received from donors, these hospitals still registered an extraordinary 20.5 percent return on investment (ROI).

Additionally, these 82 hospitals spent $26.4 million on lobbying to defend the status quo. Because government money and charitable donations can’t be spent directly on lobbying, these hospitals used the payments from patients to lobby government to preserve their market position.

Perhaps these hospitals don’t want you to see how much things cost, because they don’t want you to know how much they are making.

It’s time to embrace the transparency revolution and open the books on the real prices paid by patients for healthcare services.

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/us-non-profit-hospitals-and-ceos-raking-big-bucks

Posted in Education, emotional intelligence, Free Society, Philosophy, Stress, Technology, Uncategorized, Unsettled Science

How Would Dostoevsky Have Responded to the Smartphone? | Intellectual Takeout

“The proliferation of digital technology has created an interesting paradox: devices that were designed to connect people have coincided with increasing rates of isolation, with nearly half of Americans reporting feelings of loneliness. Gen Z, the generation that has grown up immersed in a culture of communication technology, has fared the worst.

It turns out that this paradox of isolation and connection is nothing new. Fyodor Dostoevsky observed a similar trend in his own day. In Dostoevsky’s work, Brothers Karamazov, Father Zosima describes the isolation of Russian society in the late 1800s: “We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by transmitting of thoughts through air.”

Do not believe them, he tells us. According to Dostoevsky, the seeming connectedness of Russia at the time was only a thin veneer covering the reality of a deeply isolated and lonely society. Another character in the book explains:”

[Isolation is] that which is now reigning everywhere, especially in our age… For everyone now strives most of all to separate his person, wishing to experience the fullness of life within himself, and yet what comes of all his efforts is not the fullness of life but full suicide, for instead of the fullness of self-definition, they fall into complete isolation. For all men in our age are separated into units, each seeks seclusion in his own hole, each withdraws from the others, hides himself, and hides what he has, and ends by pushing himself away from people and pushing people away from himself….

Source: How Would Dostoevsky Have Responded to the Smartphone? | Intellectual Takeout

Posted in Education, Government Regulations, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

The Problem With Defining Certain Speech and Crimes as ‘Hate’ | Intellectual Takeout

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If you hurt someone at random: bad. If you hurt someone because of who you thought they were: worse.

As a result we are treated to reports of awful behavior and instructed to be particularly aghast if it is a “Hate-” crime. Conversely, bad behavior seems, sometimes, “only” bad: “Billy bashed a lady’s head in last night.  At least it wasn’t a “hate” crime.” Many sensible people are growing tired of the term because most crime, or at least most violent crime, is hate crime, with no associated capital letter or special gasp.

The term merely predicts which crimes will be pursued and punished most vigorously. So if Billy bashes the lady’s head for no reason, that is bad. Bad Billy. But if he does it for the wrong reason, Bad Bad Billy.

It is time to take identity politics out of murders, rapes and assaults. I promise you that in each case, there is plenty of hate there to explain it. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of tough penalties for all violent crimes–just don’t let some criminals off easy because they did not check certain boxes when they violated the rights of other people.

Likewise, “Hate-speech” must also be discarded as a sinister constraint on the marketplace of ideas. Promoters of one orthodoxy or another, and countless “isms” and “ists”, like to invoke “Hate-” to signal that some particular parcel of words is so bad that our normal solicitude for free speech does not apply.

“The First Amendment does not protect Hate-speech” really means “I do not like that the First Amendment is so recklessly broad that it includes things I do not like.”

News flash: the First Amendment does protect hateful speech and it is supposed to. From the Colonial Revolution’s “Down with the King” to current times, the American experiment has relied on free speech and all kinds of rhetoric to populate the testing ground of ideas. To one person, some speech is “Hate-” speech and to another it is speaking truth to power or protecting important principles.

Source: The Problem With Defining Certain Speech and Crimes as ‘Hate’ | Intellectual Takeout

Posted in Education, emotional intelligence, Pain, Philosophy, Uncategorized

Pascal on Why Living in the Present Is So Difficult (Yet so Important) | Intellectual Takeout

Welcome to another edition of Friday’s Philosophical Foray beyond Healthcare!  In this Friday’s installment, we ponder Blaise Pascal’s explorations regarding the trappings of Time. 

…Pascal says that man has an intimation of perfect happiness deep in his soul but is unable to attain it.  Put another way, man longs for eternity but is stuck in time.  According to Christianity, this time-conditioned earthly existence is only a halfway house on our way to eternal life, when time will dissolve.  We are not naturally at home here on earth, and that is why the present “hurts.”

Although Pascal doesn’t spell out a solution to the dilemma, we can easily draw one.  Our happiness depends on maximizing those experiences which help us escape the “treadmill” of life and find a foretaste of the eternal Now. These include aesthetic experiences, being with family or friends, and the act of simply looking at and contemplating the world in all its richness.

Yet at the same time, the mundane practical aspects of life don’t shrink into nothing—far from it.

They become the arena of service and ethics, part of the drama of life where what we do matters for eternity.  Western civilization was built and sustained in part on these words of Jesus of Nazareth: “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself…Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”

Pascal, as serious a Christian as they come, would no doubt have agreed that focusing our thoughts away from the self will allow us to banish anxiety and dwell securely in the present.

Source: Pascal on Why Living in the Present Is So Difficult (Yet so Important) | Intellectual Takeout