Friday, August 28, 2009

Before you forward

I posted quite a while ago about an email forward my old principal sent to all his teachers. I think reason #27 I decided teaching wasn't for me was I don't want to have a gullible boss. Most high school principals are glorified politicians/jocks, and are not especially intelligent.
Anyways, apparently with the new proposed healthcare bill, gullible people are still forwarding that type of email. So I tracked down some hints on how to tell if a forwarded email is accurate or not (hint--if you got it forwarded from someone and you're sending it on to others, chances are the email is seriously deficient).
Snopes can help too. Of course, the best advice is not to send it in the first place. And don't believe it when you get it.
Oh, and if I'm in your email forward list, leave me on there. There's little I like more than directly refuting a bogus claim in an email forward, no matter how minor the mistake might be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Facebook poison

A friend from BYU recently posted his political views on Facebook, saying he'd re-elect President Obama. The post got a lot of comments (partially because this guy has almost 800 friends...)
I "liked" the post, and then started receiving emails commenting on the post. This comment, for some reason, appeared in my email but not on facebook: " CANNOT claim you are LDS if you support their politics and the leftist values."
I responded:
"In response to an unfortunate post that appeared in my email but no longer appears here--
One can be a member of the church, in good standing, and support any number of political views. Heck, I know Mormons in good standing who believe all sorts of wacky fringe stuff. To say that one cannot accept European-style politics (which is not fringe) and still be a good Mormon is to strip the majority of European Saints of their religion."
The response (and I'm leaving out some of the insults to Obama supporters and to Obama himself), "No, you cannot claim you are LDS and support church morals if you support current administration - it is totally opposed."

For the record: I support the current administration (although I may not agree with every decision they make). I am LDS. The majority of European Saints like Obama much better than they liked Bush. They like their "socialized medicine." In the US, they would consider themselves Democrats. And they are fantastic members of the church.

How do we combat Facebook poison? What do we say if it comes up in Sunday School or at a ward activity? How do we combat the lie that says that you have to sit on the "right" side of the fence in order to be a good Mormon?

Friday, August 14, 2009

End-of-life healthcare

I recently went over the medical and billing records of an elderly lady. She was in fairly poor health, living in a nursing home, recovering from open heart surgery, when she had some complications and was admitted to the hospital. Three or four weeks later she died. Cost of healthcare for those weeks?
Over $800,000.
That's right. Close to a million bucks.
And it wasn't her money. In any case like this, you and I end up paying for it, either through insurance or taxes. And cases like this are quite common.
Thoughts on solutions?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Things work out

Just over seven years ago I was desperately looking for a summer job. I'd started looking long before classes finished. I'd gotten a job offer before the semester ended, but felt prompted to turn it down. And nothing else was presenting itself.
I spent every day looking for work. I made the mistake of moving home, and so I not only had to put up with not being able to find work, I also had to put up with nagging parents. "I saw that McDonalds is hiring. Why don't you apply there?" McDonalds? A notch below my very first job at Arby's? No way.
Life was pretty miserable.
Two months in, I decided I had to get out of the house. My mother was driving me insane. So I called an uncle in California, and asked if I could volunteer at the sleep clinic where he worked. He talked to the woman that would be supervising me, and two days later I was on a plane, headed to Palo Alto. I'd volunteer full-time for seven weeks or so, and hopefully make a good enough impression to be hired back at some later point. I paid my way (and in California that meant $20/night for a dorm room, plus the cost of food, transportation, etc.) Somehow I got out of having to pay for the room, and so my costs were fairly minimal.
The next summer, I flew back out. I worked for the entire summer and the entire fall, eight months total, and made more than three times as much as I would've made working at McDonalds (and I was working, between two different jobs, an average of 45 hours a week, whereas a place like McDonalds would've probably limited it to 15 hours a week--so I was really making nine times as much money). I paid off student loans, saved up money for next year's schooling, and had enough money leftover to buy a car.
I returned again after graduation, to work another five months. Again, made enough to pay for some education and a ten-week backpacking trip through Europe.
I went back for my second degree, and worked part-time for a couple of clinics in Utah. They didn't pay quite as well as Stanford, and they certainly were a step down in quality, but they helped put me through college the second time.
My boss at the Stanford clinic ended up writing one of my letters of recommendation for law school. And this summer, my healthcare background (along with my science degree and good law school grades) helped me snag a coveted law clerk job that pays well, is good experience, and looks great on a resume.
Lessons learned: follow impressions obtained from prayer and don't despair when they at first seem to be false impressions. Things work out, eventually.
Oh. And don't follow your mom's advice when she tells you to sell out and go work for McDonalds.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Is he really that stupid?

This isn't a conservative/liberal issue. This is just a stupid person alert (and if the liberal commentators make comments as dumb as this, I'll make fun of them too--but you don't get much more stupid than this).
(Caller from Canada): "Has anyone noticed that life expectancy in Canada under our health system is higher than the USA?"
Bill O'Reilly: "Well, that's to be expected Peter, because we have 10 times as many people as you do."
Wow. I still can't believe he's really that stupid. What does the number of people have to do with life expectancy? How is this guy doing a so-called news show?
What an idiot.
The hilarious link of stupidity here.