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Comment: Re:I agree, 100% (Score 1) 345

by nbauman (#47968923) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

He's most certainly a liberal in the sense that he says that you should have the freedom to choose. That's a bad thing?

When the Democratic party leadership decided against single payer, Ezekiel Emanuel was one of the lead hit men making the case against it (including a lot of falsehoods and misinformation), along with his brother Rahm, who provided the political muscle.

Thanks to the Emanuels, you have to buy Obamacare from your insurance company.

Here's what that means: If you have a chronic disease, like inflammatory bowel disease, you will have to pay $8,500 a year in total health care costs. In Canada, the comparable costs through taxes would be about $4,000 a year. And also, people tell me that they can't keep their doctors. One student with IBD was seeing a gastroenterologist at a major academic medical center. The plans under Obamacare would have forced her to see a neighborhood gastroenterologist who's willing to take Medicaid. That's a pretty important difference when you're taking biological modifier drugs like rituximab that kill people when they're given by a doctor who's not familiar with them.

Comment: Re:A public service announcement from George Orwel (Score 1) 345

by nbauman (#47968713) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

Ezekiel (like his brother, the mayor of Chicago) is from a family with a history of liberal political activism. In a very direct way he was raised with liberal, and arguably progressive leanings. His formative years (the dying of his wool) developed the philosophies he now holds as a mature adult.

In Israel, his father a member of the Irgun, a terrorist organization responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel and the Deir Yassin massacre. I don't think Ezekiel disagrees significantly with AIPAC.

His mother supported the civil rights movement, but I don't know of any other way in which I would consider him liberal.

I would call Ezekiel and Rahm neoliberals. I don't consider them liberals, and they certainly aren't progressives.

Most significantly, they both opposed single payer health care, and instead gave the health care industry over to the insurance industry. That basically followed the Heritage Foundation recommendations, although once Obama adopted it, the Heritage Foundation disowned it.

Rahm also supported the Iraq war (which is not surprising, since Israel supported it).

Comment: Re:The WHO (Score 1) 345

by nbauman (#47968507) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

Yeah, if he's stuck in a state of decline, he can still contribute.

During his career as an ethicist, Ezekiel Emanuel did more harm than good, in my opinion.

He and his brother Rahm may have done more to sabotage single payer health care than any other American in modern history.

Totally moral and ethical fail from this so-called "bioethicist."

I have dealt professionally with a lot of medical ethicists. It took me a while to figure out that they're not telling people how to be ethical, they're telling people how to get away with being unethical.

For example, a drug company will run an unethical drug study. They'll hire ethicists for their ethics panel, who will review the study and give it their rubber-stamp of approval. Then when the drug company gets caught, they can say, "But our ethics panel approved it!"

The other thing I noticed was that the doctors who take the biggest payoffs from the drug companies wind up on their institution's ethics panel.

Comment: Re:The WHO (Score 1) 345

by nbauman (#47968309) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

Einstein had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The first time, they treated him by wrapping cellophane around his aorta. The second time, he said he didn't want to go through that again.

If you think of how the aorta goes down the torso next to the spine, and how they had to push everything else out of the way to get to it, you can imagine what major surgery it was. Even today, they destroy a lot of nerves in the process. People can be left impotent, incontinent, unable to walk, etc. And you've got a huge wound across your abdomen. That's when you start wondering whether it's worth it to continue.

Comment: Re:The WHO (Score 1) 345

by nbauman (#47968145) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

My biggest problem is that 75 is such an arbitrary number.

That's the most obvious flaw in his argument. Some people are pretty healthy at 75. Others start deteriorating in their 60s.

I know people who led a fairly active life up to their 90s and died recently, relatively quickly and without much suffering. They had a pretty good life for the last 20 years, and they told me a lot of good stories. One woman wound up in a wheelchair, with an attendant, but she wasn't asking anybody to put her out of her misery.

In fact, most elderly people don't want to die. Emanuel's father didn't. This essay ignores reality.

Comment: Re:Democratic regression. (Score 1) 88

by nbauman (#47957617) Attached to: Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause For Celebration?

The other problem is that, in addition to spending things that are in their own interest, they can spend things on sheer whim.

Bill Gates listened to a few glib educational theorists and bought the idea of destroying the public education system and replacing them with private charter schools.

He and his billionaire friends funded a movement that is wrecking the educational system, and running everything by high-stakes testing that has never been validated and has been proven to be invalid. They're lowering teacher salaries, and humiliating teachers.

Comment: Re:gender-based funding (Score 1) 88

by nbauman (#47957569) Attached to: Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause For Celebration?

"The female gender as a whole is getting preferential treatment"

You can tell by how much they rule the world. All those women presidents, senators, prime ministers... You can tell by their presence in the board rooms too. Ass. Correcting a wrong isn't a bad thing. Stop trying to pretend you're a victim because we're helping someone who isn't you....

When I was studying accounting I collected annual reports and 10-K financial statements of corporations. For example, I got the annual reports of media companies. For the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and McGraw-Hill, the controlling stock was owned by women.

The reason was simple: most wealth in America is inherited family wealth. Men usually die before their wives, so their wives inherit their wealth and have control over it. So it was the family matriarchs that wound up owning the Post, Times, WSJ and M-H. And they usually managed the companies to some degree. Katherine Graham was a hands-on publisher, but even at the others, a woman usually made fundamental decisions such as hiring (or firing) a publisher and top executives.

If there weren't enough women at the executive levels of those corporations, it was because Katherine Graham, Iphigenea Ochs Sulzberger, etc., didn't appoint them.

When you talk about presidents, senators, prime ministers, and corporate board members, you're talking about the 1%. Almost any woman among them is more powerful than almost any man in the bottom 99%.

Comment: Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (Score 1) 380

by nbauman (#47956575) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

It's hard to imagine even the most ardent Democrats supporting the literal deification of Barack Obama or erecting small shrines in his honor throughout Washington DC. By contrast, after Julius Caesar was posthumously declared a god, Augustus, as his adopted son, became known as the son of god. Along with the other gods, he received dedications at small crossroads shrines throughout Rome.

What about Ronald Reagan? He was a God, right?


The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project was started in 1997 by Grover G. Norquist.

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project is committed to preserving the legacy of one of America’s greatest presidents throughout the nation and abroad.

One of the ways we work to further the legacy of Reagan is by asking the governor of every state in the nation to make a proclamation declaring February 6th, "Ronald Reagan Day." An average of 30 governors a year over the last few years have made such a proclamation, choosing to honor character over partisanship.

In addition to ensuring that every February 6th is known as “Ronald Reagan Day,” we work to encourage the naming of landmarks, buildings, roads, etc. after Ronald Wilson Reagan. We continue compiling a list of Reagan dedications that remind American society of the life and legacy of President Reagan. Each one of these dedications serve as a teaching moment for those who were not yet alive during his presidency or to grant those who remember him with the opportunity to reflect on his accomplishments. Whether it be the Ronald Reagan Parkway in Indianapolis, IN or Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, VA; each and every dedication will serve as a teaching moment for generations to come. Our goal is to eventually see a statue, park, or road named after Reagan in all 3,140 counties in the United States. The first project that RRLP worked to name after Ronald Reagan was National Airport, in 1998 renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 456

by nbauman (#47951779) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

This study is about unwanted sexual contact, not rape.

Your reading comprehension is not as good as you think it is.

The experiences described by our respondents ranged from inadvertent alienating behavior, to unwanted verbal and physical sexual advances, to, most troublingly, sexual assault including rape.

For somebody who says that we should respect women, your language towards someone you disagree with is too snarky and disrespectful for me to want to continue this discussion.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 456

by nbauman (#47951755) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Adults don't talk that way all the time. Honest. If someone is saying fuck all the time at work, then HR needs to get involved. This is the work place, act like professionals.

That was in a university. At that time, we had a strong principle of academic freedom, and it would have been inappropriate and a violation of their AAUP contracts for HR to say anything.

My freshman physics professor, who was a great teacher, was teaching in the U.S. for the first time in several years, because he had been blacklisted during the McCarthy days. An oceanography professor had escaped Nazi Germany. One of my art teachers was arrested in an obscenity case. So they were very defensive of free speech.

One of the leading Supreme Court cases in free speech was the one known as the "Fuck the Draft" case. So even the Supreme Court defended free speech back then.

Now, we have much less free speech. In the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case, the Supreme Court took a dive.

It's not a coincidence that several college teachers who have been fired by their administrations, over the objections of the faculty, "Not for what he said but the manner in which he said it," had criticized Israel, like Norman Finkelstein and Steve Salaita. Salaita was fired after a billionaire contributor said he wouldn't give the university any more money. Or search Google for "professor fired" to get an idea of the state of free speech in America.

The original PLOS article was about the academic profession. That's an environment in which we try to give people maximum freedom.

Either you have free speech or you don't. As Lennie Bruce said, if you can't say "Fuck", you can't say "Fuck the government." And now, sure enough, we can't say either.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 456

by nbauman (#47951329) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

It is harassment if it continues after saying "no". You don't get disciplined or fired at work for flirting one time, you get fired for keeping at it.

Yes, but in this survey, they only asked Question 32 about "inappropriate or sexual remarks" and Question 39 about "physical sexual harassment".

You can't tell from this survey whether the subject said "no", or whether the incidents happened once or repeatedly.

The survey asks them for a completely subjective response. They say in the article that they deliberately didn't give definitions. So these "inappropriate sexual remarks" might have been something as innocuous as telling an off-color joke in a bar after work. The "physical sexual harassment" might have been a co-worker putting his hand on your arm.

If you join a group of people and they have a certain style of conversation, should everybody else accommodate your standards, or should you accommodate theirs? I don't see why everybody else should be required to change their language to your standards. This is what anthropologists study. I'd like to see studies of these real issues.

Some people are very prudish. If you say "fuck", they get upset. Other people say "fuck" all the time. When I was in college, my English teachers assigned us poems by Alan Ginsberg, who used "fuck" all the time. Some people -- very few -- were upset. What were we supposed to do -- censor Alan Ginsberg's poems? Should we all change? Or should that one Freshman English student from a religious high school realize that she's being too fastidious and that this is the way adults talk?

Suppose the incidents happen repeatedly, and the subject doesn't say "no"? That's what happened in the Bora Zivkovic case. Nobody stopped coming to work. They even encouraged him. Then they suddenly started complaining that they were being harassed all along.

It's not that simple. That's why people study anthropology.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970