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March 06, 2009

Dateline Sacramento, 2023: Pleblicite decrees Caucasian civil rights "a bother"

It could happen, if you combine these magical elements: No rights are inalienable! Ken Starr said so
In yesterday's CA Supreme court case, advocating to uphold Prop8, Kenneth Starr argued that there are no inalienable rights for Californians. Under his argument, he admitted that free speech, racial discrimination, (presumably even voting rights themselves!) under the California constitution are subject to a simple majority vote, without any legislative process at all.
Justices seem to be leaning in favor of Prop. 8
"Here we are dealing with the power of the people, the inalienable right, to amend the Constitution," [Justice Joyce] Kennard said.
White America a minority-to-be
Across the airwaves yesterday was a report that by 2023, minorities in the US - non-whites, but meaning mostly Hispanics - will make up the majority of all children in the country. That means white children born in the US today will be in the minority of all children in the US before they even finish high school.

NYT: Doctor complains about electronic record-keeping by attacking a series of strawmen

Op-Ed Contributor - The Computer Will See You Now - NYTimes.com

Electronic record-keeping is a key part of the new health care plan Obama's team is putting together. The idea is that it eliminates a lot of the common errors caused by handwriting and lost paperwork.

In this op-ed, watch the doctor try and attack the program by complaining about her use interface and saying it "depersonalizes medicine."

We have all heard about the wonderful ways in which electronic medical records are supposed to transform our broken health care system — by eradicating illegible handwriting and enabling doctors to share patients’ records with one another more easily. The recently passed federal stimulus package provides doctors and hospitals with $17 billion worth of incentive payments to switch to electronic records. The benefits may be real, but we should not sacrifice too much for them.

The problem is not just with pediatrics. Doctors in every specialty struggle daily to figure out a way to keep the computer from interfering with what should be going on in the exam room — making that crucial connection between doctor and patient. I find myself apologizing often, as I stare at a series of questions and boxes to be clicked on the screen and try to adapt them to the patient sitting before me. I am forced to bring up questions in the order they appear, to ask the parents of a laughing 2-year-old if she is “in pain,” and to restrain my potty mouth when the computer malfunctions or the screen locks up. I advise teenagers to limit computer time as I sit before one myself for hours each day until my own eyes twitch and my neck starts to spasm.

In short, the computer depersonalizes medicine. It ignores nuances that we do not measure but clearly influence care. In the past, I could pick up a chart and flip through it easily. Looking at a note, I could picture the visit and recall the story. Now a chart is a generic outline, screens filled with clicked boxes. Room is provided for text, but in the computer’s font, important points often get lost. I have half-joked with residents that they could type “child has no head” in the middle of a computer record — and it might be missed.

March 05, 2009

Facebook hates Batman

Offbeat Name? Then Facebook's No Friend - washingtonpost.com

What Caitlin wanted did not seem that hard. She had signed up for Facebook after she married, as Caitlin Shaw. Now, to make it easier for old friends to find her, she wanted to add her maiden name. Her maiden name is Batman.

Because after Caitlin Batman Shaw, a mental health therapist in Arlington, submitted the brief online form, she received an automated response rejecting her. The faceless gatekeepers of Facebook had decided her name could not possibly be real. Batman Shaw appealed, and was rejected. Appealed, rejected. "The process took me three weeks" and several e-mail queries, she says, before she was finally able to use her full legal name.

She can join the Yodas, the Christmases, the Beers, the Pancakes and all of the other wannabe Facebookers whose online rejections represent the latest in a lifetime of name shame. And really, what's the point of Facebook if you can't be yourself?

Mobile Clinic Treats "Mountain Dew Mouth"

ABC News: Mobile Clinic Treats 'Mountain Dew Mouth'

Beware of super gross pictures of rotten teeth on the linked page.

PepsiCo, the makers of Mountain Dew soda, says it has reached out to a dentist working to save children's teeth in eastern Kentucky, after ABC News reports on the problem of tooth decay, or "Mountain Dew mouth," in the region.

Dr. Edwin Smith, a dentist in Barbourville, Ky., invested $150,000 of his own money to build a mobile dental clinic, Kids First Dental Care, inside an 18-wheel truck.