dougmusn's comment history

dougmusn said...

In the course of my work (doctor), I have had to tell a family one of their own is dead or paralyzed or brain-dead and unlikely to ever recover, so I am no big fan of guns or what they do but I am in agreement with TQ (gasp!) about some of the trouble mixing mental illness, guns and physician disclosure of information to government.

First, if you know I might 'rat you out', you will not share information with me which might be essential for your care but which might trigger disclosure.

An even greater concern surrounds definitions. How sick is sick? Sadness affects us all from childhood on (Think: "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm going to eat worms!"). If, TQ, you came to my office and said you were sad, would that be enough? How 'bout if you admitted slapping your wife around--would that do it? The line between normal if bad feelings and mental illness is fluid and fuzzy. Juvenal's warning applies: "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" {But who shall guard the guards themselves?)

Our struggles about reporting are not new--when does corporal punishment become child abuse? On balance, I do believe the additional struggles we might have are worth anything which might reduce the terrible consequences eminating from the barrel of a gun.

@GlacierClipper: "Gun Control will never keep the guns from the criminals." Half credit. Gun Control will never keep the guns from ALL the criminals. Seat belts in cars, airbags and crash-resistant design will never prevent all auto deaths, but I am thankful we have them now.

January 20, 2013 at 8:20 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@Fairmon: Sorry. There's no equivalency between succession of leaders in North Korea to our own. Compare your own words: "Daddy made him..." and "We took...". There's a chasm between one man choosing his successor and some 300 million of us choosing our President.

And, despite your desire for a president to have "worn a uniform, had a real job, worked on a budget": you know there are only two requirements to be president: 1. age 35 2. natural born citizen of the United States. Anyone who can convince 270 electors as chosen by their states' population will become president.

January 13, 2013 at 7:08 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@BRP: dougmusn said... "it is POSSIBLE for a gun to be beneficial but it does not prove ALL guns are beneficial."

Wow, and I suppose by that logic if you not beneficial to me I can have you banned?

I have not suggested (and would not suggest) banning all guns. The decision to have a gun is always a risk-benefit analysis. In the words of Spiderman "with great power comes great responsibility". Greater access to semi-automatic and automatic weapons, high-capacity magazines and permitting the gun show loophole to survive has costs. Glorifying the gun in 'entertainment' venues has costs. Those costs include more deaths of our family members than strangers. Adam Lanza would have had much more trouble killing his mother if she had kept the guns she loved adequately locked up.

December 20, 2012 at 5:58 p.m.
dougmusn said...

Some comments:

Conservatives: Thank you for your stories of guns killing attackers in the hands of citizens. However, the plural of anecdote is not data. Your stories tell us it is POSSIBLE for a gun to be beneficial but it does not prove ALL guns are beneficial. The national statistics with about 30,000 gun deaths annually in homicides and suicides are real and unarguable.

Now, as far as the guns providing us the ability to rise up against a tyrannical government...Government is clearly larger than one citizen or group of citizens. We have the examples of Ruby Ridge and the Branch Dividians in Waco to consider. Without a unifying organization and an adequate logistic back end, citizen uprisings will not change things. Even our civil war showed the inability of a very large group of citizens to successfully separate themselves when the industrialized north had a much larger footprint.

December 20, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
dougmusn said...

@Maximus: "I am saying that for those with severe mental disorders if we are fortunate enough to diagnose them early need closer monitoring and possibly institutionalization."

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? [with your Roman 'handle', this quote should be familiar--if not, read on]

I will take a guess you are not in favor of Obamacare. If not, how would you have us do the monitoring and institutionalization with it's implicit use of the power of the government to institutionalize us? (see "Mary Mallon" aka Typhoid Mary or the history of the TB sanitarium or mental hospitals themselves).

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? But who shall guard the guards themselves?

Juvenal, Satire VI

December 15, 2012 at 7:40 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@TQ via Forbes: Your comments on the costs per beneficiary for Medicare v. private insurance seem trenchant until you remember one thing--Medicare disproportionately insures older Americans; private insurance disproportionately insures younger Americans. More health services are used by the elderly. Therefore, costs/beneficiary for the elderly are bound to be higher. Furthermore, private insurance companies may now engage in cherry picking those they insure. [One insurance company put its location for enrollment for seniors in a second floor office with no elevator, effectively excluding seniors with walkers, wheelchairs and mobility problems!].

BTW: What do you think might happen if the Fed Govt indicated their insurance exchanges would have a Medicare-for-all single payer option? I expect states might then trip over one another to create alternatives.

December 11, 2012 at 8:11 a.m.
dougmusn said...

As much as the GOPsters wish to think women (and blacks, Latinos, gays, youth) are being driven away by not having stuff/redistribution of wealth (@joneses, @harp3339, @timbo), that's not it at all. It's mostly CONTROL and RESPECT.

Women: GET OUT OF MY UTERUS. Incessant harping on 'female issues' does not make me want to cuddle up to you.

Blacks: The legacy of racial animus lives on. If you see a white man in Chattanooga with a (legal) gun strapped on his him, you think "hooray for the second amendment". If he's black, you dial 911.

Latinos: You want us a) in your party and b) self-deporting. You cannot have it both ways.

Gays: Please give us the right to be as miserable in our marriages as you are in yours.

Youth: We recognize hipocracy and do not support it. Romney regails China on one hand while very recently moving jobs there to make money; Newt supports "family values" while being a serial adulterer; Ryan touts concern for the poor while his Catholic bishops decry the penurious policies about the very same group.

And so it goes...

It's not the MONEY, it's the POLICIES.

When you are inculcated to a Manichean world view (us/them), it's structurally hard to include new voices in the conversation. Sorry to tell you this, but evolution is real and its effects reach beyond plants and parakeets. There is social evolution and demographic evolution and things are changing. The constant is change.

Art has given us some dystopian warnings--Google "It's a cookbook!" or "Soylent Green is people!" or "Klaatu barada nikto" for some interesting perspective.

From the website,

EXCUSES: If you keep asking others to give you the benefit of the doubt, they'll eventually start to doubt your benefit.

November 10, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@joneses: It's both sad and sadly shortsighted you might reduce business dealings with states whose electors are pledged to Obama. Consider Florida should the current count stand: 49.9% for Obama, 49.3% for Romney. 29 electoral votes for Obama but clearly as close as it gets. Whether Florida goes Democrat or Republican, a business in Florida should not be tarred by the aggregate result of the state; it should rise or fall on it's own BUSINESS acumen. As should your individual workers. Should you retire or should your business fail, if it had been providing useful goods or services, others will step up to carry on whether your direct successors or direct competitors. That's part of the "creative destruction" of capitalism.

Finally, you have my condolences on the constricted view you hold of your company's value--the good of the company is defined by how it enhances YOUR standard of living. Your personal success while important hopefully is not all you seek. If you build roads, do you not wish them to be well-built so we 47/99% might benefit from them for some time? If you provide a service like a doctor, would you not wish to been seen as a good one? Or do you simply seek to do the least to get the most for yourself? And as such do you just subscribe to Gordon Gecko's mantra: "Greed is good!"

November 8, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@TQ: Regarding Bengazi:

Here's the sad truth. The minute the attack on the consulate began, as long as the attackers were bent on killing, Americans would die.

I don't know if you have ever served in the military. I have. I have been impressed with the incredible and impressive surge capacity of the US military to respond to an event. Unfortunately, this takes time. Time to collect and interpret the intelligence--who are the enemy? what is their intention? what is their armament? Time to formulate a plan of attack--frontal assault? envelopment? special operations infiltration? Time to gather equipment--planes, helicopters, ships, food, water, guns, ammo. Time to get required diplomatic permission to overfly a country or enter one. Time to execute the plan. Time.

Sadly, Ambassador Stevens' life was forfeit the moment the attackers were bent on taking it. The canard that help was two hours away is crap. An effective military response would have taken about 12 hours at a minimum.

Just ask the mother of a 6 month old child how long it takes her to get a child rediapered, dressed, packed up in a car seat, driven to the market, select and purchase groceries, return home, put away the food, prepare dinner and get it on the table. That's 2 hours easy.

November 3, 2012 at 8:11 a.m.
dougmusn said...

I am of a vintage and have worked in places remote enough to have seen a time when the ambulance service WAS provided by the undertaker. Drive the patient to the hospital and corpse back to the funeral home. Very efficient. It did solve the problem of deadheading, though. Still, it struck me as very strange.

For AndrewLohr: A small voucher for care MIGHT work but it would be insufficient to purchase adequate health insurance. The less-than-affluent in this country are squeezed between a fear of illness making life in the words of Hobbes "nasty, brutish and short" on the one hand and impoverishment on the other. I have seen real people choosing between medicine and food. I have seen tragically huge health care bills. I have seen the arbitrariness of insurance companies seeking to deny needed care (what they call "medical loss") to save their money. We can do much better.

A program of TRUE primary preventive care would cut costs at least a third in 30 years. But that's the problem. We would need to understand the necessity of INVESTING in programs now to reduce costs later. The types of actions with lasting health benefits could include a variety of options such as:

ZONING: Encourage development to intermix residential and commercial space to get us out of our cars. Discourage building tract housing more than 1/4 mile from shops and stores. TRANSPORTATION: Always add a BIKE LANE when widening a road. Infill safe bike/walk lanes in existing roads. FOOD: Develop and deploy nutrition programs in schools including school gardens and yes, home economics. Increase farmer's markets. Cap agriculture subsidies at $500K per entity to reduce the growth of "industrial food". ATHLETICS: Increase emphasis of sport in the youngest children and in adults instead of focusing our support on HS-college football teams. Bring back community sports activities. DIRECT CARE: Free immunizations per CDC recommendations every week in locations close to residences. Develop "Shotmobiles" alongside bookmobiles. Subsidize providers so they can pass through cash to patients--at the first preventive care visit every year, the doctor pays YOU $10. Pay a patient $10 for a visit to discuss living wills and end-of-life care (this is NOT the feared 'death panel' regardless of what any might say--a discussion does not require any specific conclusion).

I could go on but you get the idea--health care and sickness care are two different things. I would much prefer to support all methods to keep people healthy than pay the exorbitant costs of medical rescue. I would also prefer to pay for all actions with scientifically proven benefit first before paying for other items where the technological imperative drives up costs without a concomitant increase in value in health.

This would be an iterative and recursive process, both messy and bumpy in execution with successes and failures. But, it would be better.

October 14, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.

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