Sonic Nurse

This is a blog of pissed-off leftist rantings, news, jokes, laughs, musings and most of all, professional courtesy. If you are a liberal, libra, libertarian or "progressive", and/or a medical paraprofessional (PA, RN, LPN, LVN, RT, MA, CNA, etc.)-you are most welcome here. Everyone else is welcome, too... but keep it friendly or you will be flamed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Waste, Idiocy, and Murder

● Let me see if I have this straight: Because of community outrage towards convicted sex offenders, many cannot live outside prison walls because we have a talent of making it impossible for these folks to function in society, yet Medicaid was paying for prescription Viagra.

Not a good use for it, folks. Medicaid is the last source for the poor and indigent to recieve vital medical care and some dipshit decided to okay Viagra. Watch the GOPranos bring this up at the next session of review. "Look! This is the kind of abuse we are talking about! Let's cut this NOW!" That is, after the House and Senate are done pushing the next four judicial crypto-facists into positions in federal courts. They have their priorities, ya know, and I am a liar.

Medicaid pays pennies on the dollar, which is the main reason that many healthcare providers reject or push recipients away.

So, misappropriation of Medicaid funding is occuring here. There are many impoverished Americans that recieve minimal (if any) healthcare. Those that aren't abusing the system will be punished. Just swell.

Yes, as many folks, I am cautious when it comes to paroled sex offenders (the system has done a superb job of instilling fear into us), yet at some point you would think that a community would keep a closer eye on their own little blue heaven (i.e. house and kids) instead of posting pictures of someone on every telephone pole, store front, and potential employers. These folks may as well stay locked-up on the taxpayer's dime, recieving Viagra.

Impulsiveness and a lack of priorities strike again.

● Here's something for the "Honorable Mention" category of the Darwin awards:

Man Leaps From Car to Retrieve Cigarette

FOREMAN, Ark. - A leap of faith proved hazardous for a smoker in need of a cigarette fix after a night on the town.

Jeff Foran suffered trauma to his nose, eyes and chin after jumping from a car traveling 55-60 mph. Authorities said he was trying to retrieve a cigarette blown out of the passenger-side window.

This is the kind of thing that promotes the thought that lab values should have a "dumbshit" profile.

● According to Charles Cullen, there is an epidemic of active euthanasia carried out by America's nurses.

One could infer this from a four hour meeting he had with New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey.

"Once we complete our discussions with him, we are going to compile a series of recommendations that we're going to give to the Board of Medical Examiners and the Nursing Board with suggestions of how to better protect patients and hospitals," Harvey said. "We're going to ask for their input and action."

Like this asshole suddenly has the know-how of a JCAHO quality-surveyor. By the way, did I forget to mention that this was part of a plea-agreement?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Mechanisms of American Medicine

In his book The Year of the Intern, Dr. Robin Cook (author of medical thrillers such as Fever, Coma, and Godplayer) wrote in the introduction:

Americans cling to their myths. Nowhere is this more evident than the emotion-charged realm of medicine and medical care. People believe what they want to believe, what they have always believed, and either ignore or dismiss as false anything that threatens their comforting confidence in their own doctors or the kind of medical treatment they may be receiving.

Only recently, and with reluctance, has the public at large begun to stir out of its smug assumption that medical personnel and care in the United States are the best in the world. And even this unwelcome awakening has been accomplished more by economics than reason, more by the rising costs for medical care than by the quality of that care.

This was written in 1972. Before Roe v. Wade. Before the economic Billy-club known as managed care. Back when doctors were able to make decisions and recommendations when it comes to patient care and not have to have an HMO rubber stamp approval.

Make no mistake about it: We do NOT have the best health care system in the world. Canada and various European nations have proven otherwise. The problem is though, it is socialized medicine.

In this nation in this day and age, ‘socialized medicine’ is the worst profanity ever to be spoken. Insurance companies have been squeezing every last cent out of the system, doctors in particular. I’m no great fan of physicians, but the days of the Wednesday afternoon golf games are over; they have been for a long time. These days, the only stable employment in the health care industry is nursing and administration.

How it generally works is that if you break your right fibula, the HMO will place you in a DRG (abbreviation for Diagnostic Related Grouping) for that condition and estimate an average it will pay, outside a PPO. You cover the rest.

“Hey, be grateful you live in America...more accessibility to healthcare than in the Third World.”

Hey, news flash: We are well on our way towards Third-world substandard healthcare not to mention housing, employment, and educational opportunities. Wake up America, you have been lied to. You are continuously lied to. And you continue to bend over for it. Again and again. Reagan’s “Trickle- down Economics” is the biggest myth since Creationism. It didn’t work then, it’s a total failure now.

Folks, there are plenty of pros and cons to socialized medicine. The profits won’t be as high, but it is a lot better than people dropping dead in the streets. Don’t think for one second that your current socioeconomic status will save you and you family: at this rate, healthcare will be “cash-up-front, or piss off.”

Yes, managed care has cut costs. It has done so by cutting quality of care, and availability of care.

The Bush administration has paved the way towards this. Pharmaceutical companies are getting kickbacks, tax-breaks and in return, this Neanderthal mafia known as the GOP are allowing companies to set prices, strong-arming drug companies outside their contributors and making “tort reform” an arbitrary weapon for the benefit of the top 1%. Angry physicians will not benefit from civil litigation caps: reforming the corporate structure will. The same clowns that cried about anti-monopoly regulation are now controlling the free market with a Goebbels-style boot.

As much as the Rightards would like to believe otherwise, the United States isn’t a Darwinian nation in that only the strong shall survive. If that were the case, W would have dropped-dead over the thought of having to make an honest living. This pampered frat boy is making sure that the top 1% will get their butts wiped through their elderly years, as well as…since they were born.

Drug companies, Insurance companies, managed care organizations and their control and use of big-government are what will destroy our beloved system of health and well-being.

It's a brave new world, and the cowards are at the helm.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Does this shit give anyone else the creeps?

The movie Coma comes to mind here:

Use of Foster Kids in Experiments Varies
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Current regulations are adequate to ensure that foster children enlisted in federal medical experiments are protected, a Bush administration official said Wednesday.

"We are not aware of any changes that we believe need to be made," said Donald Young, a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. "But if there are (problems) identified, we'd be very happy to consider them and make decisions on how best to proceed."

If children (much like American voters, hence the electoral college) are labeled as unable to make their own decisions concerning their well-being, then why the HELL is this even being allowed, let alone looked at and not viewed as inhumane.

Yes, this type of research is necessary sometimes...but its rather damned convenient that the test subjects don't have any protections under the law. Speaking of which:

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., said prisoners are guaranteed more protections under the guidelines concerning clinical trials than foster children. Prisoners must have an advocate expressly appointed to represent their interests on local institutional review boards. Foster children don't have such an advocate appointed to look out for them, he said.

That is unless you are an embryo or fetus. Once again, it is proven that the right-wing's "Culture of Life" ends at birth.

Dr. Alan R. Fleischman, a top medical ethicist, told the panel that research on foster children can be conducted safely and ethically and that it would have been wrong to exclude foster kids outright from AIDS drug testing during the height of the epidemic in the 1990s.

"The only way to provide the best treatment to any child with HIV at that time was through the clinical trials - the drugs were just not available any other way," Fleischman said.

Get real, Doc...there's money to be made, GOP coffers to fill.

MRK 32.95 32.95 -0.06 (-0.18%) 10,865,700
LLY 60.36 60.36 +0.80 (+1.34%) 5,411,500
ABT 49.35 49.35 -0.06 (-0.12%) 3,220,000
PFE 28.44 28.43 +0.24 (+0.85%) 20,670,200
WYE 44.27 44.27 +0.04 (+0.09%) 4,231,600
BAXPR 55.75 55.75 +0.05 (+0.09%) 25,100

Red means panic, and no child below the poverty line will ever get access to any working meds that these hucksters put out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

...and now, a word from our sponsor:

An oldie, but a goodie. Heh.

The Unknown Conservative

Bartcop, The Smirking Chimp, Democratic Underground, and numerous blogs have used this guy to drive their point that the GOP's voting base is filled with people that have the brain matter of a block of wood.

He has been used probably since 2000, where Dubya was selected (not elected) as president of the United States.

So here we are, another election stolen, our nation being run by oil execs and pharmaceutical companies (essentially a nightmare that you can't wake up from), and one question remains: Who IS this guy?

I wonder if he even knows that he's the object of ridicule. I wonder if he has any idea that he's had more than his fifteen minutes; Hell, he's as popular as Endocrine Coulter. I wonder if he knows that at least 51% of our nation is laughing at him.

In the event that some may find this post and its subject matter "mean" I ask you to remember that many of these RW lunatics/fascists would like to make hunting of those who don't agree with them commonplace, without the necessity of accountability.

"Not all conservatives are idiots, but most idiots are conservative."

Lars von Trier calls Dubya "asshole" at Cannes

Charlotte Higgins in Cannes
Tuesday May 17, 2005
The Guardian

It may be set on an Alabama cotton plantation, but so few African-American actors would touch Lars von Trier's latest film, premiered in Cannes last night, that nine of the 12 black actors cast as slaves are British.

"We tried several [Americans] who thought it was a good thing that the film was being made and that it was interesting. But they didn't take part it in because it's explosive stuff in the USA," said Von Trier, whose Manderlay is vying for the Palme d'Or.

Von Trier's film steers clear of presenting the black characters as saintly. "It's a shame for the coloured [sic] actors if they're only allowed to play heroes. If they aren't allowed to be human as well."

The British actors include Clive Rowe, winner of an Olivier award; Dona Croll, currently starring in the West End in Elmina's Kitchen; and Ginny Holder, recently seen as Calpurnia in Deborah Warner's Julius Caesar at the Barbican.

Danny Glover, one of the three American actors, initially turned down the part. He was uncomfortable with the film being "told exclusively and entirely from a white perspective ... the images were very strong from that perspective".

Asked about the paucity of American films tackling the subject of slavery, Glover said: "It would be extraordinary for [the American] film culture to unravel [slavery] but it doesn't. People are afraid to deal with it. There is no framework for people to unravel it."

The film is Von Trier's follow-up to Dogville, in which Nicole Kidman stars as Grace. In Manderlay, Bryce Dallas Howard, who replaces Kidman, appears at a cotton plantation where the black workers are still treated as slaves, 70 years after their legal emancipation. Full of idealism, she steps in to help them take control of their own destinies, teaching them to vote on community decisions. But things do not go to plan.

Von Trier has said it is "quite clear" his film can be seen as alluding to President Bush's efforts to impose democracy in Iraq.

Explaining why he chose the US as the subject matter for his trilogy - despite never having visited it, since he is famously disinclined to fly - he said: "A big part of our lives has to do with America. In our country it is overwhelming.

"I feel there could just as well be an American military presence in Denmark. We are a nation under a very bad influence, because I think Bush is an asshole and doing a lot of really stupid things.

"America is sitting on the world and therefore I am making films about it. I'd say 60% of the things I have experienced in my life are American, so in fact I am an American. But I can't go there and vote. That's why I am making films about America."

Umm...thanks for stating the obvious more ways than one.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The latest insanity in my hometown

This made the San Francisco Gate:

Milwaukee Making Progress on Stray Condoms

After spending more than $1.8 million for a temporary system to catch stray condoms slipping through a sewage treatment plant, a Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District spokesman says officials are fairly confident a majority of condoms are now being caught before they can reach Lake Michigan.

As opposed to cryptosporidium getting into the waterways.

Bill Graffin commented Thursday, more than two years after a fisherman reported seeing what he called a slick of thousands of condoms floating in the lake following a heavy rainstorm in April of 2003.

What I would like to know is how a 'slick' of condoms got into the Milwaukee sewage system. It's not like there is a place near Jones Isle for several thousand teenagers to get their rocks off on prom night.
Initially, a single laborer armed with a swimming pool skimmer was posted at the chlorine tanks at the Jones Island treatment plant to capture condoms that survived earlier phases of screening at the plant.

And somehow this became a cost of $1.8 million to Milwaukee Did the head of the MMSD threaten to take his department out of state?

There are many reasons I don't live in Milwaukee anymore: Stupidity far and wide is one of them.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A Story of Recovery

I got this from Lea-p, a fellow "leftist" at Liberal America, one of several forums that I go to on a regular basis.

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then-- to loosen up.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than
just a social thinker.

I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't
true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was
thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the
TV and asked my SO about the meaning of life. He spent that night at his mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix,
but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I
would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly
we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me
to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop
thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed,
"I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," he said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," he said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college
professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on
thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

He exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal
with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed
for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche.

I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big
glass doors...

They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that
night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster
caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's
Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today:

A recovering thinker.

I nevermiss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video;
last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided
thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to
recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I registered to vote as a Republican.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fuckface's rantings are OVER least on TV. I won't be surprised if he puts out another stupid book.

Miller Time over at CNBC

Dennis Miller has something new to rant about.

The comedian's daily CNBC talk show has been canceled due to low ratings.

Dennis Miller will tape its final episode Friday in Burbank, leaving CNBC with a prime-time slot likely to be filled by a new business-themed program in the third quarter of this year.

A repeat of CNBC's Mad Money with Jim Cramer will air in its place in the meantime, according to an internal CNBC memo obtained by

Dennis Miller bowed in January 2004 to lukewarm reviews and mediocre ratings, which have slipped in recent months to around 114,000, per Nielsen Media Research. Overall, the show has averaged 168,000 viewers, which, to be fair, is nowhere near as low as John McEnroe's canned CNBC yakfest, McEnroe, a show that sometimes registered an abysmal 0.0 rating....

Wow. You really have to suck if the even the right-wing retards won't watch you. But then again, they are too busy having crap shoveled into their empty heads from Bill O'Rielly, Ann "Hyperthyroidism" Coulter, Rushbo, and the man with a face that scares small children and feral cats, Sean Hannity.

Buh-bye, Dennis.