Month: April 2022

Masks

I am happy to have you correct me, but I thought that the latest data demonstrated that the only masks that really make a difference in stopping the spread of Covid or protecting the uninfected wearer are N95 masks. The vast majority of the masks that I saw on the airplanes to and from Hawai’i were not N95 masks. So, what the heck are we really doing? Is anyone really protecting themselves or anyone else by wearing a non-N95 mask?

Country First

I came across this new organization (Country First) that might be worth a look for anyone who cannot find a political home in the current Democratic or Republican Parties.  It was started by retiring Republican member of Congress Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. He is advocating for more voter participation, especially in primaries and an end to the repetitive lying going on from both sides of the political aisle.

I, for one, signed up (it was free, but you can donate if you like).

Is Autocracy The New Normal In Successful Leadership?

If we are to answer that question based on the success of nations, we might answer in the affirmative.

No nation has progressed more rapidly in the drive to prominence and dominance than has the People’s Republic of China. The nation is huge, both in land mass and in population. It is the second biggest economy on Earth and makes all kinds of stuff that everyone uses. Its merchandise fills Target and Wal-Mart.

Why Weaponizing Professionalism Is A Form Of Cancel Culture

One of the nuances of the Texas law banning abortion after only six weeks of gestation of the fetus is that the main form of enforcement is to have individual citizens turn in people they think are breaking the law. This, by the way, would include potentially guilty Uber drivers who knowingly transported pregnant women to abortion clinics after the sixth week of pregnancy. I’m not sure how the Uber driver would know these facts, but he or she is liable under the law.

Governor Abbott and the state legislature have thus deputized average citizens to become the abortion police in lieu of the usual authority for such matters, the real police. This is a terrible idea on many levels, not the least of which is that it turns innocent Texans into rats and weaponizes regular citizens.

Duke Intern

Nothing so identifies me as those two words for if you have survived internal medical training at Duke, you have run the gantlet and come out the other side. You have stepped into the cauldron of fire and lived. You have weathered the arena and fought on. Why is this so?

Why Are People Threatened By Transgender Individuals?

It does seem to be an issue that arose out of nowhere, but it isn’t. It’s been around for centuries, just never really dealt with in the political arena. The issue is that of transgender people. We’ll take the broad view and say transgender people are those whose gender does not match with their sex. Transgender people are not homosexual, by definition, but, of course, can be. This is different and it is also under attack. Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama just signed into law legislation that prevents these young people from seeking and receiving gender-affirming medical treatment. This is on top of similar legislation around the country where Republican state legislatures seek to narrow the focus of acceptable human gender identity at the precise time when that fluidity is finally being accepted by many. This is most unfortunate.

A Parable

A long time ago, there was a town surrounding a castle that was surrounded by a moat and high walls. The lord mayor of the town lived in the castle. A few thousand people lived in the town that was ruled by that local lord mayor who was appointed by the king of the country.

The main income of the town was generated by fifty or so highly skilled craftsmen who worked in wood, silver, gold and leather. The rest of the people in the town were small farmers, herders or aids to the craftsmen. Some of the helpers were actually apprentices learning a craft, but many were not. The apprentices would spend some years with the expert craftsmen and then either set up their own shop or move to another near-by town to do so.

Copy Nixon

Peggy Noonan makes a great point in her op-ed on The Wall Street Journal web site on March 31. The 1960 Presidential election was among the closest in history, far closer than the ones in 2016 and 2020 and more like 2000. The candidates were separated by about 100,000 votes out of over 60 million cast. Many think, as she points out, that it was ballot mischief in Chicago and Texas that gave JFK the electoral victory the morning after.

New Constant Change Over Previous Long-Term Stability

Recently I noted that there have only been five presidents in MD Anderson’s long history and that the three earliest—Clark, LeMaistre, and Mendelsohn, each had long tenures in office. For the past ten years, the same is not the case. DePinho was a real short-termer for an MD Anderson leader and Pisters has yet to declare himself to be on a plane with his three earliest predecessors. In other words, it is too soon to say whether the historical norm of long-lived MD Anderson presidencies has vanished or is being re-established.