Monday, December 17, 2012


It's been a few days since a crazy young man killed his mother, then went to an elementary school and killed a classroom full of children.  I've been watching Facebook, and there's a tremendous increase in people talking about gun control.  I don't believe stricter gun laws would keep firearms out of the hands of crazy people and criminals.  They aren't getting their guns legally already.
I don't think looser gun laws would help either.  I read one post in which someone said, "One person armed and well-trained in that school could have stopped the bloodshed." Well, ok, but are we really going to start putting armed guards in every elementary school?  Give guns to the teachers? How long before one of those armed guards/teachers turns out to be a crazy?
I think that if a "meaningful change" comes out of this tragedy in the form of a policy, it should affect healthcare. It's estimated that 1 in 3 Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, whether it's paranoid schizophrenia or attention deficit or depression. More of those people need easier access to mental health services. It won't avert every crazy person from snapping and doing horrible things, but it might help some of them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I haven't posted anything, partly because I don't have time, partly because I don't believe anybody looks at this blog anymore, and partly because this blog has mostly been about politics and what-not, and I find myself fairly apathetic coming up to this election. I do like this, though:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We stopped getting the comedy channel a while back since it showed so little of worth and so much that we didn't want in our home. Sometimes I miss this guy and that other guy, though.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

Ten years ago today, I was a journalism major at Brigham Young University. I remember walking through the library on campus, and seeing crowds of students gathered around the televisions that hung from the ceilings near the entrances. I had classes to get to, so I didn't bother stopping to see what was going on. I got to my communications law class, and the teacher got up and told us that as journalism students, we would certainly learn more by going out and watching the news coverage over whatever was going on than we would by having a discussion over privacy ethics or whatever it was we were talking about.
I went out and watched the news. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to tell you the names of those buildings had you quizzed me the day before. I was pathetically clueless about world affairs for a broadcasting major. I didn't feel connected to what was going on. I didn't feel sad or angry. I only had one friend that I knew was in New York, but I doubted she was anywhere near the World Trade Center.
I watched the news the rest of the day and into the evening with interest, but little else. I should have reflected more. Ironically, I didn't start taking an interest in world affairs until after I got married and decided against a career in journalism. The horrible, misguided people who carried out the attacks did change the world. It sent our country into the two longest wars in US history, the cost of which have perhaps irreparably damaged our economy. The united, patriotic fervor that embraced the nation in the days and weeks following the attacks has shifted to a bubbling resentment toward our elected officials.
I don't know what the consequences would be if we retreated from the war on terrorism. Would we feel defeated? Would we feel like we had helped the world by ridding it of some bad people? Maybe rather than worry about the uncertain future, or dwell on the awful past of a decade ago, the best thing we can do on the anniversary of evil is to do good, and be happy in spite of those who would have you feel differently.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Save the "Job Makers!"

I'm getting driven more Democrat as I hear more about these budget talks. The Republicans want to make sweeping cuts to social security and Medicaid and they staunchly refuse to "raise taxes on American job creators." In other words, they won't raise taxes on people who make more than 500,000 dollars a year. FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

It may be a slightly unfair characterization, but I can't help but feel like they are refusing to pay taxes themselves, or explain a tax hike to their golf buddies/campaign contributors.

Sorry, Grandma. You need to decide which pills are important. We don't want to put a damper on the economic recovery by making the Hollingworths cancel their trip to the Caymans this year. Pish posh.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saving a Life

When I was about 16, my little sister babysat her friend's pet ferret while the friend was on vacation. The ferret stayed at our house. His name was Pierre. Pierre the ferret. I was mildly amused by Pierre, despite his aroma.
As my sister was not incredibly attentive to the creature, I went in one evening and gave Pierre a handful of his designated ferret pellets, a food that seemed designed to undergo as little change as possible during the digestive process. I observed Pierre as he began to injest the food, and I noticed that he was moving his jaw up and down, but there was no pellet to be seen. He wasn't taking in any more pellets. He appeared to be choking. He wasn't doing the universal sign for choking as his forelegs were too short to reach his throat.
I was moderately familiar with the principles of first aid, and clever enough to realize that the conventional technique for such an emergency would need to be adjusted. I placed one hand on each side of his little ribcage and pushed them together briefly and sharply.
The pellet was expelled, and Pierre promptly ate it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm in my last year of school to become a nurse practitioner. I'm currently doing clinical hours at an Urgent Care clinic. I had an interesting conversation with the doctor/owner. He started out telling me about all the experience and schooling he's had: internal medicine, ICU rotations, emergency medicine, pharmacy internships, etc. Then he started talking about how he's been an opponent of nurse practitioners and their increased independence practicing medicine. Then he back-tracked and said that he doesn't mind the couple of nurse practitioners that work for him because they do a good job.

Don't get me wrong. This doctor is very knowledgable. His experience helps him to investigate and treat patients that completely stump me (It's not hard to stump me at the moment).

This doctor also spends much of his day treating ear infections, sinusitis, strep throat, and UTIs. A man with 16 years of schooling and countless hours of hospital experience is spending his time fixing sniffles, and he expects to get paid very well for his services.

Nurse practitioners can do what he does. He would say that they can't do it as well, but he leaves the clinic in their care without a doctor on site to review their work.

Doctors can throw tantrums all they want about "unprepared" nurse practitioners infringing on their turf, but the fact is that they've already given up their turf. Doctors aren't going into family practice because there isn't as much money in it. With 12 years of school they shouldn't. They should specialize. They should see the patients that stump the nurse practitioners. There will still be plenty of them.

Study after study has shown that NPs provide medical care just effectively, and sometimes more effectively than PCPs. It's because they can afford to take the time to do it. Doctors ahve those $400,000 salaries to maintain. They can't waste time listening to patients. There's another patient with a copay in waiting room.

We're going taking your jobs, docs. Not because we have more knowledge or more experience, but because you don't want your job anymore.