Thursday, February 05, 2009
Four hundred! As Steve Martin might say, "Jesus Chr---!" (Search "million six".)
What? Me Read?
Via Michael Gold at HBL comes a trio of links to "What, Me Read?", a series of essays by a literature professor who argues that our educational system is turning out legions of people whose mentality he variously describes as "oral" and "post-literate".
Don't let his slap at Ayn Rand in the first essay put you off, for what he describes could come straight out of Ayn Rand -- her non-fiction, that is.
Secretly aware of their limitations, [the post-literates] will also be susceptible to flattery designed to boost their all-important self-esteem. The level of commercial culture will descend even further than it already has to placate the taste of people who have rejected humane education and who do not really understand adult issues. As a student wrote in response to Iphigenia by Euripides, getting the tragedian's message exactly backwards, people "must trust their leaders and things will be fine in the end." Many older, genuinely educated people surviving into this not-too-distant future will find the new world infantile and exasperating. [bold and links added]That's from the last of the three. At various times during his argument, he supplies samples from the field that will make you laugh -- until you come to, and the begin tearing out your hair.
Too bad "infantile and exasperating" aren't even the half of what such a world would be like....
What "Access" to "Health Care" Really Means
As I once saw first-hand, one of the shibboleths of those who wish to enslave physicians is the word "access", as in the following sentence from Wikipedia describing the Japan's state-run medical sector:
Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health care insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. [bold added, link dropped]That's the theory. Here's the practice:
After getting struck by a motorcycle, an elderly Japanese man with head injuries waited in an ambulance as paramedics phoned 14 hospitals, each refusing to treat him.Well, he was, apparently, granted the same "access" to medical care as "thousands" of others! So much for the inherent goodness of equality....
He died 90 minutes later at the facility that finally relented -- one of thousands of victims repeatedly turned away in recent years by understaffed and overcrowded hospitals in Japan.
Paramedics reached the accident scene within minutes after the man on a bicycle collided with a motorcycle in the western city of Itami. But 14 hospitals refused to admit the 69-year-old citing a lack of specialists, equipment and staff, according to Mitsuhisa Ikemoto, a fire department official. [bold added]
If you can't beat them, join them!
That ought to be the motto of the Republican Party. I was disgusted when I saw this line at Instapundit this morning: "I guess if you can’t destroy it, go be in charge of it." One Republican said this of Judd Gregg (R-NH), who is Obama's choice for Commerce. Gregg had once introduced a bill to abolish the agency. Somehow, I doubt Obama wants him there for the purpose of dismantling it.
Although he wasn't speaking about Gregg, Brian Phillips recently commented on a very similar phenomenon, at the state level, in Texas: "[State Representative Averitt] prefers to follow the left's agenda in order to get in on the action."
As he rightly indicates, the only "action" that involves is complete surrender.
And the Republicans make fun of the Democrats for resembling the French? Projection, I guess.
Insects as Terrorist Weapons
Thus starts an article by an entomologist who warns us not to underestimate this threat.
The terrorists' letter arrived at the Mayor of Los Angeles's office on November 30, 1989. A group calling itself “the Breeders” claimed to have released the Mediterranean fruit fly in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and threatened to expand their attack to the San Joaquin Valley, an important centre of Californian agriculture.I beg to differ on one point with the good Doctor Lockwood: The logic of these ecoterrorists was not twisted. It was hidden from view.
With perverse logic, they said that unless the Government stopped using pesticides they would assure a cataclysmic infestation that would lead to the quarantining of California produce, costing 132,000 jobs and $13.4 billion in lost trade.
This post was composed in advance and scheduled for publication at 5:00 A.M. on February 5, 2009.