aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Kristof on Dubai Ports World
Even if you believe in racial profiling, you have to look beyond the profile. Senators talk about Dubai in dark tones that suggest they’ve never been there. Dubai is the Disneyland of the Arab world - it’s the place people go to relax, to shop, to drink. It is staunchly pro-American and pro-business, and its vision of the Arab future is absolutely the opposite of Osama bin Laden’s. If we want to encourage Arab modernization, we should be approving this deal - not engaging in quasi-racist scaremongering. [...]
If Democrats want to improve national security, they can tackle it in a thousand ways. The biggest vulnerabilities in our ports could be addressed by increasing customs inspections abroad, by adding radiation detectors, by examining more containers or by making containers tamper-proof. And if the aim is to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, then how about more support for the Nunn-Lugar program to secure Russian nuclear materials?
Democrats have so many legitimate reasons to criticize President Bush - from ruining our nation’s finances to despoiling American wilderness - that it’s painful to see them scaremongering in just the way that Mr. Bush himself has.
RELATED: Pro-American and pro-business, maybe, but anti-gay for sure:
Twenty-six men arrested at what police in the United Arab Emirates called a “gay wedding” have been sentenced each to five years in prison.
The men were charged with homosexuality, a crime under Sharia law, although police acknowledged that non of the men were engaged in a sexual act when police raided the event.
The misdiagnosis crisis
The doctors on weekend duty ordered blood tests, which showed that the boy had leukemia. There were a few things about his condition that didn’t add up, like the light brown spots on the skin, but the doctors still scheduled a strong course of chemotherapy to start on Monday afternoon. Time, after all, was their enemy. [...]
What the doctors didn’t know was that the boy had a rare form of the disease that chemotherapy does not cure. It makes the symptoms go away for a month or so, but then they return. Worst of all, each round of chemotherapy would bring a serious risk of death, since he was already so weak.
With all the tools available to modern medicine - the blood tests and M.R.I.’s and endoscopes - you might think that misdiagnosis has become a rare thing. But you would be wrong. Studies of autopsies have shown that doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illnesses about 20 percent of the time. So millions of patients are being treated for the wrong disease.
As shocking as that is, the more astonishing fact may be that the rate has not really changed since the 1930’s. ”No improvement!” was how an article in the normally exclamation-free Journal of the American Medical Association summarized the situation.
Don’t be happy, worry
Psychology has an improbable new rock star in Steven Hayes, a 57-year-old University of Nevada at Reno professor whose newest book, “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life,” coauthored with Spencer Smith, earned him a splashy profile in the Feb. 13 edition of Time magazine. The arresting headline of the Time story was “Happiness Isn’t Normal”—and while that’s not a sentence Hayes actually penned, it has quickly become the catchphrase associated with his controversial school of “acceptance and commitment therapy.” ACT, as it’s known, is an approach to mental and behavioral health that flies in the face of traditional cognitive therapy and is being referred to as “third-wave” psychology (following second-wave cognitive therapy and first-wave behavior therapy).
From the interview:
Western culture promotes feel-goodism. In part it’s a side effect of having technology to make things easier or feel better. It’s natural progress, so we don’t have to do the sweaty, hard things our forebears had to do. But inside that is a meta-message, which is that you’re supposed to feel good from morning to night. And add on top of that commercialism and medications—because they feed it too: If you consume the right products, eat the right pill, drink the right beer, drive the right car, you believe that you’re not going to feel anything you don’t like. What I’m saying is that that is not the definition of a meaningful life, and I’m saying people know it.
Oh. I agree.
Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta), previously no fan of the General Assembly’s affinity for designating official symbols, filed legislation Thursday to name Georgia red clay the state’s official dirt.
“I grew up in Alabama and we always talked about Georgia clay,” Franklin said. “It’s known all over the world. We’ve got practically everything else under the sun listed.”
In all, Georgia has about 45 “official” things. In recent years, lawmakers have designated grits the official “prepared food,” the green tree frog the official state amphibian, and the big peanut off I-75 in Turner County the official state peanut monument.
Here’s the dirt bill.
I woke up this morning with complete deafness in one ear. This is the “I’m feeling lucky” Google hit.
LATER: Better hit, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Some patients recover completely without medical intervention.”
Of course, they do say, “It should be considered a medical emergency.” Have you ever tried to get a doctor in rural Georgia on a Saturday?
LATER STILL: Option 1) drive an hour each way to wait 2 to 5 hours ("best guess") to see a random doctor with no particular expertise at an “Urgent Care” facility. Option 2) wait until Monday.
My doctor and Doug’s doctor’s advice, wait until Monday. Expect a smattering of future posts grumbling about health care in America…