Wednesday, June 21, 2017


"The problem with academics is they feel the need to be smarter than truth."--Thomas Larkin

Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, an Obama administration holdover, was asked to resign by the Trump administration. He was replaced by his deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, one of the first nurses to serve as surgeon general. Admiral Trent-Adams may be the first surgeon general who is not a doctor. She is not the first nurse, though. Dr. Richard Carmona, who served under President George W. Bush, was a nurse and a physician.

In a 2011 New Yorker article, Dr. Atul Gawande explored the idea that surgeons should consider a performance coach. Like athletes, he reasons, surgeons rely on complex physical movements to achieve their goals. Guidance and refinement by a trained eye could improve their performance.

Who is....Perquita Burgess?

I just ran across an article with this fascinating snippet of conversation:
“You’re saying that robots, given the ability to have higher thought, they will choose Christianity.”
“Yeah, I think it’s a reasoned argument.”

In 2006, Colorado cancer patient Sean Flanagan, 18, died soon after receiving naturopathic injections of hydrogen peroxide and his own blood that was irradiated with ultraviolet light. An un-licensed naturopath, Brian O'Connell, pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and practicing medicine without a license. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
This led to regulation---and, by definition--legitimization.
A new Colorado bill, SB 106, continues the regulation of naturopathic doctors until 2022 and adds prescription privileges for chelating agents and hormones. Naturopathic doctors use chelation, a lead poisoning treatment, in a variety of unproven manners for cardiovascular disease, autism and "detoxification." And hormones pose severe health risks. The current act allows the intravenous injection of "homeopathic preparations, natural medicines and therapies," as well as using "other modalities that are designed to support, stimulate, or supplement the human body's own natural self-healing processes."

Golden oldie:

In 2015, CO2 emissions were below where they stood in 1996. That's despite the fact that there are 52 million more people living in the U.S., and despite the fact that the nation's economic output was 61% bigger, after adjusting for inflation. CO2 emission have dropped 9% since 2005, according to EPA data.
There is no improvement, though, in the world of absolutes.

In 1992, in Concord, New Hampshire, columnist Pat Buchanan declared his own candidacy 10 weeks ahead of the state’s presidential primary. Associating the “globalist” President George H. W. Bush with “bureaucrats in Brussels” pursuing a “European superstate” that trampled on national identity, Buchanan warned his rowdy audience, “We must not trade in our sovereignty for a cushioned seat at the head table of anybody’s new world order!” His radically different prescription, which would underpin three consecutive runs for the presidency: a “new nationalism” that would focus on “forgotten Americans” left behind by bad trade deals, open-border immigration policies and foreign adventurism. His voice booming, Buchanan demanded: “Should the United States be required to carry indefinitely the full burden of defending rich and prosperous allies who take America’s generosity for granted as they invade our markets?”
Sound familiar?

For anyone who was worried that FOX would not fill O'Reilly's spot with incisive news, be reassured. A recent new program featured an interview with Caitlyn Jenner, nee Bruce.

A credit-to-GDP gap above 10 per cent of GDP is considered risky.
Out of the 43 countries currently measured by the BIS, China has the largest credit-to-GDP gap (by orders of magnitude) at 30 per cent of GDP. This is equivalent to US$3.1 trillion in excess credit.

Judith Clark, a former Weather Underground radical who drove a getaway car in a bungled 1981 Brinks armored-car robbery that left three people dead, was denied parole on Friday despite the fact Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised her behavior as a prisoner when he commuted her sentence last year thereby making her eligible for parole. Like the Manson girls, these horrible, murderous people are apparently all better now.. Clark has served 35 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence for the suburban New York heist, which led to the deaths of two police officers and a security guard. She won't be eligible for parole again until April 2019.

Perquita Burgess claimed Bill O'Reilly ogled her at their work place--"ogled"--and suggestively called her "hot chocolate." She was reluctant--fearful--to complain about this horrific act by a powerful man. But her attorney said: "Do you think Rosa Parks decided she was not going to do what she needed to do because people were going to say nasty things to her?"
Rosa Parks?

"The old idea of a powerful philosopher-king who would put into practice some carefully thought out plans was a fairy-tale invented in the interest of a land-owning aristocracy.  The democratic equivalent of this fairy-tale is the superstition that enough people of good will may be persuaded by rational argument to take planned action.  History shows that social reality is quite different."--Karl Popper

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched an investigation into Romania's Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase after the former world number one allegedly made a derogatory comment about Serena Williams' unborn child.

At the Fed Cup draw in Constanta on Friday, Nastase, 70, was heard speaking in Romanian to one of his team members about Williams' baby.
"Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?" he was quoted as saying.
Wow. My bet is Serena doesn't need the Federation's help but, if necessary, they could call Perquita.

Total fertility rates for 79 countries, including the United States, are below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. If present trends continue, it looks like the U.N. low-variant population growth projection is likely, which means that world population will likely peak at around 8 billion in 2040 and then begin to decline.

Ducournau’s new film Grave (Raw) apparently contains cannibalism and has stimulated an interesting little article on the negative social connotations.  (Apparently there are reports of audience members fainting and paramedics at the theater.)

The article (by Julian Baggini) talks about the commonness of cannibalism in nature and the interesting transubstantiation parallel in Christianity. It surprisingly does not mention the current fascination with zombie stories. This is its conclusion: " In various ways, then, cannibalism makes us uncomfortable because it reminds us too much of the carnality of life, the precarious thinness of civilization and our stubborn refusal fully to accept our mortality."

New poll finds more than half of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance, with six in 10 approving of the Syria bombing and opinion on his handling of the economy about evenly split. (WSJ)

There is some interesting conflict over the appropriateness of white artists depicting non-white situations.  Carson McCullers created a deaf character in her book The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Her mother asked her what she knew about deaf people, concerned that this was not an appropriate character for her to create. Carson said, “Imagination is truer than reality.”
Censorship has many poses but is always censorship.

 AAAAAnnnnnnnddddddd....a picture of Sacajawea and her son, Jean Baptiste:


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