Bulletin: Washington healthcare is second in the nation.

If you don’t live in Washington, you probably won’t care or might even be jealous, but Washington was recently ranked as the second best state, behind Hawaii, for healthcare in the country, according to US News and World Report. Why? Getting into more detail, my state ranked somewhat better in percentages of the residents with health insurance, but the greatest difference was in preventable hospital admissions, with 2,721/100,000, compared to a national average of 4,189/100,000. What exactly is a preventable hospital admission? First, the four metrics on which quality of healthcare was based were: Medicare quality, hospital readmissions, nursing home quality and preventable hospital admissions.

Preventable refers to either acute episodes which were due to human carelessness rather than disease, dehydration being an example, or better management of chronic diseases like diabetes. What is this attributable to? The report doesn’t say, but I have a theory. Here’s an example: I have lived in four Washington counties, King, Chelan, Snohomish and Spokane. Washington healthcare choices are based on the county in which you live. Washington is among the leaders, possibly even the leader, in healthcare organization consolidation. Providence Health and Services operates 35 hospitals, Multicare Health operates 7, and Confluence Healthcare operates one, so in the four counties that I have used healthcare, a total of 43 hospitals and probably hundreds of clinics and urgent care centers are operated by those three not for profit healthcare providers. What do three different organizations have in common? They all use Epic electronic records, and all Epic records of a particular patient can be can be accessed by both the patient and their providers.

I have been treated by all three organizations, which combined, along with Kaiser Permanente (also on Epic), probably treat the majority of patients in Washington. It used to be that whenever I moved, and found a new provider, they would start a paper chart on me and would have to order copies of my charts from other providers. Now, I can log into Mychart, the proprietary name for Epic’s patient and provider access system, and quickly find every test, visit, surgery, scan, and medications that I have had since 2003, when my then current healthcare provider, Confluence Health, started with Epic. Not only that, any provider on the system can find my entire record since 2003. Last week I saw an Ear Nose and Throat specialist at Multicare for an abnormal CT scan of my throat. He was able to call up the scan itself, the radiology report, and everything associated, even though a different organization did the scan and yet another interpreted it, right there in front of me. He even offered to burn a CD of the scan for me, if I wanted it.

So in summary, I would not be surprised if a major reason for the decrease in preventable hospital admissions has a lot to do with both patients and providers being able to get immediate comprehensive medical information. Other states use Epic too, but consolidation in Washington has been greater than most, and all of the biggest use the same system. I think that Providence is the largest single state medical provider in the country, Kaiser probably the largest multi state, and they use the same record system. Now dear readers, if you live in Washington and have used Providence, Multicare, Kaiser or Confluence Health, and have not signed up for Mychart, even though you received a link and an invitation to sign up, I won’t say you’re an idiot, but what’s stopping you??

Walruses escape communism!

Anything better than communism

From The Atlantic: “In the autumn of 2017, about 250 walruses in Russia, having climbed up to rocky slopes overlooking a beach, just walked over the edge. Usually, gravity is no enemy of the walrus. When these animals encounter hard surfaces, they rise up to meet them, hauling their two-ton bulks onto floating pieces of ice. When they fall, they flop off those low platforms into the accommodating water. So you might imagine that a walrus, peering off a tall cliff, doesn’t really understand what will happen to it when it steps off. It doesn’t expect to plummet for 260 feet, cartwheel through the air, bounce off the rocks, and crash abruptly. Climb, plummet, cartwheel, bounce: These are not walrus-associated verbs.

“Our Planet makes a point of saying what other nature series have not—the wonders they’re showing are endangered because of humans—and the footage is perhaps the most shocking part of a series full of discomfiting moments. Contrary to popular belief, not even lemmings dive off cliffs. Why would a walrus?  Our Planet offers a clear answer. “This is the sad reality of climate change, they’d be on the ice if they could.” Our Planet draws a straight line between climate change, sea-ice loss, bigger haul-outs, overcrowding, climbing walruses, and falling walruses. “It is not a normal event.” So they are showing massive crowds of walruses on the beach, then showing walruses falling off the cliffs, presumably above the same beach. But is it?

“But a few walrus scientists who saw the clip have questioned parts of this narrative—including the claim that walruses are climbing “to find space away from the crowds.” “Walruses thrive on crowds and haul out in tight groups, even when space is available,” says Lori Quakenbush from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Also, in the sequence, it looks as if the beach beneath the teetering walruses is relatively empty. What crowds are they escaping from?

“This confusion arises from the ways in which documentaries elide space and time.  The sequence includes footage from two separate beaches—one with the 100,000-strong congregation and one with the falls. At the latter, walruses started climbing only once the area beneath the cliffs had completely filled up; gregarious or not, they had no room. Once at the top, they rested for a few days, and walked off only after the beaches below had emptied. Indeed, as the narration suggests, the sounds of their departing comrades may have lured the cliff-top walruses off the edge. “They seemed to all want to return to the sea to feed as a group.”

“Quakenbush and others also doubt that the climbs and falls are related to climate change, because such tragedies have been reported since before sea ice showed substantial declines. “Walruses have shown similar behavior on the U.S. coastline when space and ice were not an issue, and the reason is unknown,” says Lori Polasek from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For example, in three successive years, from 1994 to 1996, dozens of male walruses fell to their death from cliffs in southwestern Alaska.”

You know the word “anthropomorphism”? It’s rampant in the passages above, in all that speculation by My Planet, and their attribution of decision making to the walruses. Perhaps, if walruses are really so capable of thinking, there’s a different explanation. These were Russian walruses, or maybe just walruses that discovered they were in Russia. But the climate change mafia has to relate everything to human, i.e. American, caused greenhouse gases. When you see the phrase, climate change, you are supposed to think “bad Americans, driving their stinking SUV’s everywhere, causing even Russian walruses to jump off cliffs.” Despite the fact that auto emissions have fallen so significantly that my state, Washington, has ended emissions testing…but that’s typical of the U.S. Technology and a sense of responsibility have combined to produce less emissions per capita than any of the signers of the Paris Climate Accords, most of whose emissions are worse since they signed the pledge to clean up their act. So Our Planet needs to justify their existence by blaming humans, i.e. us. Just as plausible is that the walruses were desperate to escape communism. You might argue Russia isn’t purely communist today; okay, they’ve managed to combine the worst of communism with crony capitalism. The walruses that didn’t jump will probably be killed for the ivory in their tusks, and oil to light lamps, while the electric grid fails.

My case for reparations.

It’s time for a serious look at reparations. If you’ve read my previous posts about reparations, you know my arguments against are: restitution is a valid principle as long as the one who has wronged another person and created a loss, a cost or caused suffering, is the one to try to make whole the person they wronged; no entity has the right to force those not directly responsible for committing wrongs, to give to those who were not directly wronged. That being said, I have discovered the perfect case for reparations: wearers of MAGA hats who have been injured, insulted, embarrassed or driven out of their favorite Chick-fil-A. The hat wearers have been unjustly wronged, they, and those who unjustly wronged them are easily identified, the just compensation can be reasonably calculated, and everyone can go home happy, right?

Let’s start with Nick Sandmann, who has probably been more wronged more unjustly by more self righteous prigs than anyone who has ever been under a MAGA hat! In case you are suffering amnesia, Nick was one of the KKK–Kovington Katholic Kids–who was attacked on by national media on TV, by national newspapers, by jump-the -gun knee-jerk SJWs everywhere, briefly thrown under the school bus by his own bishop, dragged back out from under the school bus and dusted off by the same bishop who had made the mistake of confusing CNN propaganda with actual news, doxed on anti-social media, threatened with bodily harm…..I mean what else do you need to say “reparations for Nick!” A massive lawsuit for one. Normally, I am not a fan of lawsuits nor the attorneys who initiate them, but I will make an exception here. You go guys!

Okay, so I am white, what do I know? I know this. I am 72, disabled from a stroke, have very shaky balance and I would love to wear a MAGA hat just to irritate liberals, except if someone knocked me down I would have great difficulty getting up. Boy, what a lawsuit that would be, except most anti MAGA crusaders don’t “have a pot to piss in”, or to empty over MAGA hats, if they miss the pot while they are high! Nick’s family realized that the government will never force reparations on the Mediated Reality establishment, no matter how dishonest they are, because the freedom of the press and the tube to lie, distort and omit facts must never be abridged, but may be heavily sued. If justice prevails, we will see reparations up the wazoo (whatever that is). His family is suing the Washington Post for $250 million and CNN for $275 million. To win, they must prove actual malice was the motivation for the false reporting.

Sandmann’s case may turn on whether the “actual malice” standard established by the landmark 1964 case New York Times v. Sullivan applies. The key question here for a judge to decide could be whether Sandmann is considered a public figure, with a much higher burden of proof, or a private one—just another high-school student who, through no fault of his own, found himself in a maelstrom. The experts are divided over how that’s likely to be decided.” That’s the opinion of The Atlantic magazine. I mean how the hell can Nick be considered a public figure? We all know he is a naive kid who was caught up in a twisted anti MAGA frenzy.

MAGA defamation needs to be a hate crime if ever there was one. The San Jose Mercury News, a newspaper which actually reports news (gasp), featured the following coverage of a MAGA-rage incident: “A Palo Alto woman’s tirade against a 74-year-old man wearing a Make America Great Again hat inside a Starbucks has sparked a social media firestorm and national debate about whether her actions reflect this country’s political divide or simply epitomize out-of-bounds extremism. Rebecca Parker Mankey berated the man Monday in a Palo Alto Starbucks on California Avenue for wearing the red MAGA cap, then posted about the encounter on her Facebook page.” As stupid as the kids who post pictures of their crimes, naughty bits and drug use on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or whatever.

“The post — picked up by multiple conservative accounts on social media — backfired by inciting vitriolic attacks and even death threats against Mankey and resulting in her forced resignation from her job and departure from at least one local civic group. Mankey, who says she was born and raised in Palo Alto, called the man a “freak” and asked her followers on Facebook to confront him when they saw him. “You do not want to be the person who didn’t speak up as we slipped into fascism,” she wrote in her Facebook post. Mankey yelled at the man repeatedly, saying, “It is not okay to hate brown people” and eventually chasing him out of the Starbucks, using an expletive to tell him to get “out of my town and never come back,” according to her Facebook post. “He will never forget me and will think seriously about wearing that hat in my town ever again,” she wrote. Gee, whose behavior is really fascist?

“Her Facebook page has since been deactivated. Efforts to reach her Thursday were unsuccessful. The man who was sporting the MAGA hat in the coffeehouse Monday told the Palo Alto Weekly he was not afraid of Mankey, who among other things called him a “Nazi scum.” He told the paper he’s in fact Jewish. He said he visits the Starbucks daily and was surprised when the woman, who he did not know, began railing at him. He was even more surprised when no one else in the Starbucks came to his aid, he said.

“Her image of Trump voters is probably that they’re all racists, bigots and bible thumpers — all of these perceptions that can come from watching CNN and MSNBC,” Morris Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University, said. Adding to the extremism of American politics today is the idea among those deeply invested in politics that you have to prove just how serious you are about your beliefs, he said. “They basically do things to make sure to prove how serious they are by exaggerating their points of view and taking them to the extreme,” Fiorina said.

“Mankey is a member of the North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan Working Group and co-chaired the Bayshore Progressive Democrats, a new club aimed at engaging people in politics. On Wednesday, however, Mankey handed in her resignation as co-chair, officer and member of the Bayshore Progressive Democrats, according to the club’s Facebook page.“Parker felt strongly that she wanted to use her privilege as a white woman to stand up for those who are living in fear because of the hateful atmosphere fostered by Trump,” the club wrote on its Facebook page. “Unfortunately the manner in which she chose to stand up against a slogan that stands for racism led to an even stronger hateful response that has endangered her and her family.”

“For the last four years or so, Mankey worked as the accountant and chief financial officer for Gryphon Stringed Instruments, a company that sells, rents and repairs used and vintage musical instruments, according to co-founder Richard Johnston. But by Tuesday, she was asked to hand in her resignation. Johnston, who has known Mankey since before she was in kindergarten, said he was “dumbfounded and confused” when he first saw her Facebook post. “We’ve known she was passionately liberal and progressive, but that’s different,” he said Thursday. “It was the way in which she went about attacking someone for a hat in which she found offensive that we just can’t tolerate.” It’s a shame that it has come to this. There were also plenty of ignoramuses on the other side. People who threatened the store where she worked are idiots.

If Nick Sandmann wins his lawsuits against CNN and WaPo, maybe he can show how nice conservatives really are by using some of his reparations money to employ Ms. Mankey as his publicist.🤳🙇‍♀️🤦‍♂️ (In choosing my emojis, I was given a variety of skin tones, but chose the lightest in deference to my racism). If Nick wins his lawsuit, I will wear my new, twin billed cap: MAGA in red facing forward, FREE JUSSIE in black facing backward. I can turn it in whatever direction works for irritating my audience, and if I get knocked down, see you in court!