“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Saturday, November 12, 2005

oompa loompa liberalism

Funding note: this week LI’s funding drive netted one hundred dollars. This is excellent. When we started this drive, our goal was one thousand dollars. Now our goal is a more reasonable six hundred dollars. We are only two hundred dollars away from the goal. Is that cool or what? Please think about contributing to LI, check out the shirts and stuff via the handy Dopamine Cowboy button, and take the bread out of the mouths of orphans and widows and instead send it to LI. What did those orphans and widows ever do for you, anyway?????

Easeful sleep is not easy for LI. Somehow, our consciousness has transformed, over the years, from the good and faithful servant of the body to a tenacious monster out of some James Whale flick, a combination Igor and Old man of the Sea, clutching at our neck and turning the volume up in our brain with breathy chuckles as the night grinds on. For some people, three o’clock in the morning is an abstraction. For us, it is a stage in the journey to despair. Yesterday, as you might have noticed, our post was not, shall we say, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. That’s because we were falling asleep as we wrote it. Just as we were falling asleep doing almost everything we did yesterday: pissing, eating breakfast, riding the bike.

Today I am a product of, if not a great deal of sleep, at least a concentrated dose of it. For which, I will sacrifice a goat to Morpheus in good time.

The mighty, mighty Nurses of California – a group that has reconciled me to Nurse Ratchet – enjoyed the fruits of victory yesterday as Schwarzenegger dropped his “I kick their butt” objection to the law mandating a ratio of one nurse to every five patients at hospitals. Schwarzenegger had objected because his bottom was pinched by the medical industry, but lo and behold! now that the ratio is taking effect, turns out the medical industry has become all lamblike and amenable:

Jim Lott, executive vice president at the Hospital Assn. of Southern California, said the governor's action in ending his appeal of the staffing rules "will have no impact on what hospitals do because they are already attempting to staff at the more stringent levels."

Last March, Lott had warned that the rules might lead to the closure of hospitals "on the cusp of closing because of financial burdens."

Kaiser Permanente and University of California hospitals have stated they have adopted the new ratios. Lockhart said Catholic Healthcare West, the state's largest nonprofit chain, recently agreed to comply.”

It would be nice if the Mighty Mighty nurses next knocked down the anti-capitalistic guild provisions that restrict the labor market in medical care – that’s right, I’m talking about the State-Doctor nexus that both limits the powers of medical care-givers who aren’t doctors and that culls the number of doctors who are put into the system each year – all, of course, in the name of quality. Medical technology has long made it the case that qualified nurses could take over much of the powers invested in your average GP – and at a much cheaper cost. Home visits by doctors are actually common in France – imagine that. In the U.S., home visits by doctors went out with the fifties sit com. But home visits are an economical way of cutting down health care costs, since they are a mighty mighty preventive weapon. A whole class of medical technician could easily fill that role if it were subvented by the state.

Such a proposal would, of course, lead to an uproar among doctors. They have a very keen sense of the role artificial scarcity plays in maintaining high medical costs. And they are very big contributors to political campaigns. Hence, the buffoonery of knocking down “frivolous lawsuits”, on the one hand, and of doing nothing to make medical care provision more efficient, on the other. If medical malpractice suits were more difficult to mount because medical care was being vastly expanded at a cheaper rate, that would make some sense. But medical malpractice suits are being attacked at the same time medical care is being tied every more closely to inefficiencies in the guild tradition of monopoly – which is a variant of the P.T. Barnum version of Capitalism preferred by the political establishment.

The Mighty Mighty nurses goals for next year? Oh, I love these people!

“The fight with Schwarzenegger has politicized the 65,000-member nurses union, which previously had not been one of Sacramento's major players. The nurses said they plan to continue to pressure the state's leaders by lobbying next year for a single-payer healthcare system that would abolish private insurers and for comprehensive campaign finance reform.”


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LI recommends never, ever ever clicking the link to spam blog comments. We think that that they are tasteless, stupid, and that going to them, actually going to the site they invite you to visit, is making oneself a candidate for body snatchers. We think that spam is actually the language in which the pod people of the future will communicate. It gives us the heeby jeebies.
And the liberal link -- my god, it is too too pathetic. You can take that liberal and stuff it up your mechanical ass.

Invidio said...

I'd like to help our robotic friend's paymasters, Roger. They have ensured that most people already do communicate in spam. Everything said on television, for example, elides any sense of personal responsibility.

Brian Miller said...

Hey, roger. You may find him a little over the top (but Gosh, I love a good rant in the morning, and he is one of my favorite ranters-just the sheer inventiveness of his invective), but driftglass has set up a system on his blog that directs all the robotic spambots to one folder, for our amusement :)