The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 10, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 10, 2018

Welcome to Brunch this Saturday. Snowflakes have been in the air ’round these parts this week, and although I took pictures like the one above just last weekend, now brown and gray are beginning to dominate nature’s color palette. With no baseball to buoy my spirit, a guy could get depressed. Thankfully, I have you — my friends — to share coffee and conversation with on this frosty November morning. Snacks today courtesy of The Far Side.

To get the conversation going, let’s begin with a few questions to bat around the table…

• • •

Questions of the Week…

What are faith groups doing to minister to people in the Honduran caravan?

If our Sunday worship services are made-for-TV, why attend them live?

What can dying children teach us about how to respond to mass shootings?

What does Genesis 1 teach us about the divine right of everybody?

What do blue and red America have in common?

Should childhood trauma be treated as a public health crisis?

What are we learning about the migration of prehistoric humans into the Americas?

• • •

• • •

A Special Remembrance Day…

ALBERT, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 08: The sunrise burns off the morning mist over the remains of trenches in the Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont Hamel on November 09, 2018 in Albert, France. The Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of World War One with more than one million casualties over 141 days. The fighting began just before 7.30am on the morning of July 1, 1916 and was to become known as the allies bloodiest day. The centenary of the end of World War One will be marked this Sunday with commemorations and services of remembrance by people around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

From The Independent:

This Sunday marks 100 years since the Armistice was signed in November 1918, bringing an end to the First World War.

The agreement between the Allies and a vanquished Germany required the latter to leave all occupied territories in Western Europe within two weeks and surrender 5,000 guns, 25,000 machine guns and 1,700 planes.

Big Ben sounded in Parliament Square to ring in the news as thousands gathered in Westminster and outside Buckingham Palace roaring in celebration, sparking three days of jubilation across Britain, with members of the public climbing the lions in Trafalgar Square and tearing down advertising hoardings appealing for investment in war bonds to burn on bonfires.

In the House of Commons, the prime minister, Lloyd George, concluded his address with the declaration: “I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came an end to all wars.”

Here are some photos of traditional poppy displays in England and beyond to celebrate the end of one of the most pivotal wars in modern history.

Workers at the insurance market Lloyd’s of London watch as poppies fall through the atrium of the building during Friday’s commemoration service
In Hull Minster, people admire an installation created by artist Martin Waters entitled “Coming Home”
Thousands of individually knitted poppies cascade down the side of St John the Baptist church in North Baddesley, Hampshire
Meanwhile Down Under, EU ambassadors help to install poppies ahead of Remembrance Day commemorations in Canberra, Australia
“Still now and always in our hearts”: Crosses at the official opening of the Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Lydiard House and Park, Royal Wootton Bassett

Looking out across a battlefield from an Anzac pill box near the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders in 1917.

The First World War killed fewer victims than the Second World War, destroyed fewer buildings, and uprooted millions instead of tens of millions – but in many ways it left even deeper scars both on the mind and on the map of Europe. The old world never recovered from the shock.

• Edmund Taylor

• • •

• • •

Computers coming between us…

As a hospice chaplain, I use a laptop computer to document my visits and do other work-related tasks. Our nurses and some of our other clinicians carry their laptops into homes and other care settings, and in many cases this is necessary and appropriate. But, as a chaplain, I have never felt comfortable having my computer open during a visit. Eye contact, body language, and paying attention in the strongest ways possible is essential to my work. I can’t allow myself the distraction of a computer between my patient/family and me.

Dr. Atul Gwande, one of our best writers about medical care in our day, has written an article in the New Yorker called Why Doctors Hate Their Computers, in which he says that many doctors are feeling more and more trapped behind their screens.

My hospital had, over the years, computerized many records and processes, but the new system would give us one platform for doing almost everything health professionals needed—recording and communicating our medical observations, sending prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy, ordering tests and scans, viewing results, scheduling surgery, sending insurance bills. With Epic, paper lab-order slips, vital-signs charts, and hospital-ward records would disappear. We’d be greener, faster, better.

But three years later I’ve come to feel that a system that promised to increase my mastery over my work has, instead, increased my work’s mastery over me. I’m not the only one. A 2016 study found that physicians spent about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient—whatever the brand of medical software. In the examination room, physicians devoted half of their patient time facing the screen to do electronic tasks. And these tasks were spilling over after hours. The University of Wisconsin found that the average workday for its family physicians had grown to eleven and a half hours. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Forty per cent screen positive for depression, and seven per cent report suicidal thinking—almost double the rate of the general working population.

Something’s gone terribly wrong. Doctors are among the most technology-avid people in society; computerization has simplified tasks in many industries. Yet somehow we’ve reached a point where people in the medical profession actively, viscerally, volubly hate their computers.

• • •

• • •

50 years ago in music…

Two landmark albums were released fifty years ago, and now commemorative editions are available to not only remind us of the great music but also to take us behind the scenes so that we can learn about how these musicians plied their craft.

From Rolling Stone:

In late May, 1968, the Beatles convened at guitarist George Harrison’s English country home with an extraordinary body of raw materials for their next album. The so-called “Esher demos” — 27 songs taped on Harrison’s four-track machine — were at once stark and full, solo acoustic blueprints already outfitted with signature flourishes: double-tracked vocals; John Lennon’s raindrop-arpeggio guitar in “Dear Prudence”; the future guitar solo in “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” hummed by Paul McCartney.

There was evidence too of tension and estrangement: Lennon’s jagged rhythms and aggressive cynicism (“Revolution,” “Yer Blues”); McCartney’s determined optimism (“Blackbird”) and almost mutinous cheer (“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”). In his Appalachian-ballad draft of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Harrison pointedly censured his bandmates, singing “The problems you sow are the troubles you’re reaping.” He dropped the line in the final version. His dismay in the song remained.

Those recordings, issued in full for the first time, are the dominant revelation in the 50th-anniversary expansion of The Beatles. At 30 tracks on two LPs and dubbed “The White Album” for its blank-canvas sleeve, it was the group’s longest, most eclectic and emotionally blunt record – an admission of frayed nerves and strained bonds in the zigzag of garage-roots rock, delicate balladry, proto-metal fury, country ham and radical experiment. The “Super Deluxe” edition of The Beatles has even more. In addition to the demos and a new remix of the album overseen by Giles Martin, son of the late producer George Martin, there are 50 tracks of the work in progress – outtakes and sketches; roads not taken and songs left behind – across the summer and fall of 1968.

From American Songwriter:

Even diehard Hendrix fans have probably lost track of how often the guitarist’s 76-minute opus Electric Ladyland has been reissued. It was the first and only of his three albums to hit the top of the Billboard charts after its October 1968 release and remains not only his best-selling work, but his most influential and critically acclaimed one.

Books have been written about the disc, but suffice it to say that Hendrix not only freed himself from the tightly constructed song structures of his first two sets, but also included more of the myriad influences that ran through his music. It was also the first time he had complete creative control — at least musically — over the final product. From deep-blues jamming (the quarter hour “Voodoo Chile” never lags) to stoned out psychedelic space-rock (13 mind-expanding minutes of “1983 … [A Merman I Should Turn to Be]”), jazzy improvisation (“Rainy Day, Dream Away”), politically edged rockers (“House Burning Down”), pop-crunchers that could have been on his earlier discs (“Gypsy Eyes,” “Crosstown Traffic”), and even a few he didn’t write (Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”), bassist Noel Redding’s somewhat incongruous bit of UK glam, “Little Miss Strange”), this was Hendrix’s most expansive and personal statement. It was also the last studio album he’d live to see released. 

96 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 10, 2018

  1. Do you carry your gun into the local eatery?

    You can in Arizona, except in Tombstone and if the eatery has posted “no firearms carry”.

    Arizona (which only became a state a century ago) still retains its frontier attitude; the main restrictions are you cannot bring a firearm into a bank, a hospital, anywhere where alcohol is sold, or any property where the owner has posted “no firearms carry”. You find similar attitudes in most of the sparsely-populated Western states.


  2. While four out of five Born-Again Christians bend the knee, burn the pinch of incense, and go “AAAAAA-MENNNN!!!!”


  3. I wonder if it would make a difference to some Americans if they remembered that the caravan is comprised almost entirely of Christians….

    But the WRONG kind of Christians.
    Third World Romish Papists. A lot of the Born-Again Bible-Believing set won’t even recognize them as Christian.

    — Gordon Dickson. “Soldier, Ask Not”



    You remember how that ends, don’t you?

    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!


  5. Robert F. The current president IMO does not care if he endangers any one else’s life. He is afraid of a free press.


  6. Robert F no was not doing the Felix Unger zinger line from Odd Couple. Just trying to save2 two letters typing . Good thought however made me chuckle no bee ess


  7. Robert, I was skimming through the discussion above about a “Christian Nation” and wondering the same thing. Would such a nation really be Christian?

    To lighten things up a bit (?!), here is an old favorite from Bloom County:


  8. Hey, J.B., was the Robert F U intentional? As smart of a guy as you are, and as good with words, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. Very Clever! Lol!


  9. The links provide a view of what an America First policy looks like. It looks pretty much like America soulless.


  10. Robert F U will have to imagine it as he has received none. Rude, arrogant sensationalist person, CNN part of resistance. Nick st Nite has more viewers


  11. I am enthusiastically in favor of what Dana describes. “Tort reform” is pretty much the opposite: propaganda by moneyed interests to increase their profits, without helping anyone else.


  12. I can only imagine how many death threats Jim Acosta is getting because of his treatment by our president and his staff. President Trump is the enemy of the free press.


  13. Yad Vashem memorializes those who risked their lives. It does not include those who were sponsoring Jews and other refugees for immigration and/or who did all they could to change their government’s mind from the safety of their own countries.

    I was also wondering how refugees in the 1930s were perceived. Some examples can be found, for Britain, at on the applause by various newspapers on the rejection of a measure to admit refugees.

    For the treatment of the St Louis refugees


  14. I swear, it’s all about Trump’s hair. If it gets wet, it will expose the huge bald spot he tries so hard to cover up. Although I doubt more than a little that he knows anything at all about WWI. I’ll bet he was expecting a big military parade, like the one he wanted for Veterans’ Day, but proved to be too expensive. When that wasn’t happening, he wasn’t happy and didn’t want to risk his hairdo in the drizzle, so he let Justin Trudeau do the North American honors all by himself–which he did, very well indeed.


  15. Btw, most if not all bars are gun free zones. Even in the old west they made you check your gun at the saloon door. My place of employment doesn’t allow employees to carry guns on the property. Do you carry your gun into the local eatery? If they knew they probably would ask you to leave; you would be a hazard.


  16. Did you miss the part where the police were shooting back, and one was killed by the assailant even though he had a gun too?


  17. He couldn’t care less about the WWI dead. Not getting wet is more important to him than honoring anybody else’s sacrifice. Understand what we’re dealing with here: he’s heartless and soulless. It’s simple as that.


  18. I never thought of that. Thank you for sharing. St Martin is still widely recognised even in the more Calvinist parts of the Netherlands, and it’s a frequently used name in one branch of my family.


  19. I like the idea of going to worship on my lazy boy. Especially for communion. My Lutheran church serves the worst red wine and tasteless crackers for communion. I would prefer a good cab and a fresh box of matza instead.

    Also, I can’t stand setting next to a person with too much perfume on so this works out better. I aslo find that I can mute the TV if the sermon gets to person or boring.


  20. NO; he does not. In the same Guardian article, it tells of Trump blaming Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia for the problems in Yugoslavia.

    Note to the diligent: “Baltics” does not equal “Balkans.”

    Speaking of umbrellas—this may be a cheap shot, but:


  21. I’ve never been to one of his performances, but my parents listened to a lot of folk music and I grew up with his records. One of Australia’s better songsmiths/folk singers of his generation. It’s disheartening how many of his protest songs are still relevant thirty or forty years later, though. But then, “The Flowers of the Forest” is 400+ years old, and we don’t seem to have learned anything from that either. People are stupid.


  22. But here in this graveyard it’s still No Man’s Land;
    The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
    To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man,
    And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

    —Eric Bogle, lyrics from “No Man’s Land” (The Green Fields of France)


  23. The president’s chief of staff John Kelley went to the cemetery. President Macron and Chancellor Merkel went, by automobile. And in the photo, Kelley weren’t slogging through no gullywasher.

    According to The Guardian,

    In Britain, the Conservative MP Nicholas Soames, the grandson of the prime minister and first world war veteran Winston Churchill, criticized Trump on Twitter as “not fit to represent this great country”.

    “They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate [Trump] couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen,” he wrote. “Such a terrible insult to the American Fallen who died far from their homes and country, and he couldn’t be bothered.”


  24. (Tissues advisable for And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, too.)

    Incidentally, the title is originally “No Man’s Land,” but another band recorded it (without permission) and re-named it Green Fields of France. Eric Bogle didn’t sue, but he did copyright both names and doesn’t mind which way people call it.

    I saw Eric Bogle and his sidekick John Munro here in Maine a bunch of years ago. Small, local venue, and one of the most enjoyable concerts I’ve ever been to. Got to go up during intermission and talk with those guys while they were signing my CD.


  25. The only real friends Jewry has ever had are those memorialized by Yad Vashem in Israel.
    The Jews have no religious test in recognizing The Righteous of the Nations.
    There are even atheists who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.


  26. If you have time, go to Wikipedia and read about St Martin of Tours. I don’t think it was a coincidence that WW I ended on his feast day.

    Venerable father Martin, pray to God for us!



  27. Sen, I worked in the medical world as a transcriptionist for 25 years. Lawsuits are a factor, but what is mainly driving this is the furious push to cut costs in medical practices, trying to keep ahead of out-of-control charges (for non-profit institutions, too) and maximize profits in our completely market-driven medical system. In my town, the hospital (not-for-profit) owns 90% of the medical practices; even so, the charges are comparable to other institutions because they all use a common resource, the Charge Master, to fix prices. It has been financially advantageous to the local physicians to give in to this supposedly streamlined management scheme. In return, the doctors are saddled with doing most of their documentation themselves. It is emphatically NOT more efficient; the jury is out on whether there are fewer errors. Offshoring made a dent in my occupation, but what really killed it was the pressure on doctors to forego dictation entirely and write their own notes (teaching hospitals are an exception to this… hmmm…). This is a throwback to the days *before* the dictation technology that allowed doctors to spend more time with patients, because they didn’t have to do all the chart work. Ironic.

    As for your insurance costs in addition to Medicare: You’re paying about $5000 per year besides (I assume) your Medicare B premium. In our current system, if you came down with even a mildly serious problem, it would take about two blinks of an eye and an hour or so of tests to run up a bill for that 5 grand. If you don’t have any other out of pocket costs, your plan is a very good deal.

    It’s so much saner in France (or Japan, or Sweden, or Netherlands). So 7% or so of your income is taxed for your health insurance; that covers 70% of your health care costs. You pay a non-profit insurance company about $15 a month for basic supplemental coverage. Voila! Your out of pocket expenses per visit range from ***nothing*** to about $30 for a root canal (yes, dental is covered too), and catastrophic coverage is built in. It’s a mix of public and private, health care providers are NOT employees of the government, doctors go to school tuition-free so have no crippling debt when they graduate, and people get womb-to-tomb coverage without doctors having to shuffle the patient away after 15 minutes so he/she can make the patient quota for the day.

    It was Otto von Bismarck who instituted the first comprehensive social insurance system, not Marxists. His reasoning was pure political pragmatism: take care of the citizens, and they won’t foment revolution.



  28. Susan, the USA has very strict control laws in most places. BUT there are 350 million plus guns out there – the laws do not restrict the criminals nor the seriously mental ill individuals.

    The killing that took place in California was in a “Gun Free Zone.”

    All that met was that the shooter had no one shooting back. It’s very sad.


  29. …….and we all know who couldn’t attend to pay tribute in France to the fallen of WW!
    Too wet for the helicopter.

    It was too wet for the soldiers 100 years ago.
    They had no choice.

    Lest we forget.


  30. “When we as a country have a large share of the responsibility for the disorder of a country that makes leads to large numbers of refugees, as we do in Central America and the Middle East, we also have a large responsibility to resettle the refugees we’ve helped to generate.” – Robert F



  31. This isn’t about evangelicals specifically, but look up the MS St. Louis, the German cruise ship filled with Jewish people who were denyed asylum by the US, Canada, and other countries. It finally had to go back to Europe, and many of the passengers died in the camps. This inspired the movie, Voyage of the Damned.


  32. Whether you believe in a single payer system of the insurance company system, one saying comes to my mind:

    “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

    Be careful of who you want calling the tunes.


  33. Since the US also–actually, instead of, since many people here have forgotten about Armistice Day–commemorates Veterans’ Day on Nov. 11, here’s an excerpt from “Tommy,” a poem for veterans. Rudyard Kipling understood:

    “Oh, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, and “Tommy, go away”
    But it’s “Thank you, Mr. Atkins,” when the band begins to play.
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play.
    Oh, it’s “Thank you, Mr. Atkins,” when the band begins to play.”


  34. That’s true Richard but all the physicians and health providers are engaged in CYA. You end up with mountains of “boilerplate.”

    In my consulting job – I review a lot of “boilerplate” and know why it’s there; CYA so if you get sued, you can fight it.

    Sadly, in medicine, it matters less what you DID then what you SAID you DID.


  35. The theme of this post today is Autumn.

    The yellowing and crimsoning of the leaves as a symbol of autumn in nature.

    WWI as a symbol of the autumn of western civilization.

    Popular music as a symbol of the autumn of the 60s.

    Useless technology and bloated bureaucracy as a symbol of the autumn of the American healthcare system.

    Ignorance and fear of the Other as the autumn of Christianity in America.

    Does anyone else hear the chilly whistle of the first winds of winter?


  36. My understanding is that both European and American popular sentiment was largely indifferent to the plight of German Jews, despite the increasingly hostile and harsh public policies of the Nazi start toward them. Since most Americans were Christian at the time, that would include fundamentalist, evangelicals and the rest.


  37. I’m not deigning to answer for Michael Z, but this is what I say: When we as a country have a large share of the responsibility for the disorder of a country that makes leads to large numbers of refugees, as we do in Central America and the Middle East, we also have a large responsibility to resettle the refugees we’ve helped to generate.


  38. The discussions above re: the refugees from Central America raised a historical question in my mind – what did American evsngelicals/fundamentalists (or heck, even mainliners for that matter) think of the attempted Jewish emigration from Europe on the eve of the Holocaust? I’ve been Google foo-ing for quite awhile, and have found NOTHING. It’s like American Christians only realized Jews were almost wiped out AFTER the fact. So I guess I should not be surprised that we’re also blind to what’s going on here in our own hemisphere now…


  39. oh Susan, we are praying for the families of your dead and of our dead also this week . . . so much violence, so many victims

    when the Sandy Hook little ones were killed, slaughtered actually, and nothing was done, I admit to grieving over it; but our young people who survived the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have given me back some hope for the future


  40. Michael Z. What is the number of legal refugees or illegal aliens or legal immigrants the USA should allow in. Is there any limit , should we have borders? Koch brothers want open borders for ? Good Christians r the k brothers


  41. I’ve heard similar comments from my doctor about the switch to electronic medical records. According to him, the software is designed more for billing than for patient care. “Like trying to write a novel in a spreadsheet” is his description.Nevertheless, when I see him, he spends more time face-to-face with me than on his laptop, which I appreciate very much.


  42. Like as not it meant he had PTSD.

    My wife’s grandfather was at Gallipoli (I think he was in the baggage train and then got dragged into the front line when manpower ran short). He turned to drink to keep the nightmares away: died in 1923 aged 37.


  43. I just read that the POTUS is moving by executive order to neutralize the legal rights of asylum seekers, because we have a national illegal immigration emergency. What we have is a White nationalist emergency; why isn’t that being officially declared, whey aren’t executive orders being issued about that? Oh, I forgot! Because White nationalists vote for this POTUS and his party! Wouldn’t want to alienate the base, would he?


  44. Doctors and computers is not a good combination.

    Of all professions, the medical profession are by some distance the worst at computer security and in particular at circumventing controls designed to keep access to data and systems secure.


  45. Here’s a link for “The Green Fields of France”, if anyone’s interested. Tissues advisable.


  46. I’m very sorry for the suffering that this terrorist act has caused in Australia, Susan. I felt much the same way about White nationalists as you do now about ISIS a couple weeks ago when one of them shot and killed 11 Jewish people at worship in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.


  47. I agree with your points, but having to deal with so many different insurers with different and increasingly restrictive requirements should not be underestimated as a time eater. It’s built into the systems that doctors and their offices use, at this point.


  48. I felt the song was a bit too long to post all the lyrics, and I have not yet worked out how to post a link here.

    I’ve been listening to Eric Bogle this evening while doing some sewing and letting the tears flow. “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is very good too.


  49. An end run around the law regarding asylum seekers is being attempted by our POTUS and his people. The sad thing is that, when all is said and done and everything has been adjudicated, it may succeed, because the upper federal courts are being stocked with reactionary judges by the POTUS and Senate. Anyone who thinks that appointments to the federal judiciary is not a partisan and political process, and that it hasn’t been for a long time, is very wrong. We have a bad system for appointing federal judges, but I’m afraid there isn’t a tenable political pathway to changing it.


  50. It’s sad how the remote possibility that some undesirables, criminals, terrorists, or whatnot, may sneak in is used as an argument that larger numbers of refugees and asylum seekers should not be resettled to our country. Many citizens in this country, most of whom would call themselves Christian, have decided that, unless no risk is involved, the country should not assist in the resettlement of refugees/asylum seekers. Not a very Christlike position, on any account.


  51. I suspect that a fair amount of the computer work is just dealing with medical information systems, which in theory are useful for tracking patient history, reviewing lab results, etc. – it’s not just insurance paperwork.

    The real problem is that the average doctor’s visit is only about 15 minutes long, because of a combination of high costs of medical care and shortage of doctors. If that visit was 30 minutes instead, spending 5 minutes on a computer reviewing the patient’s history wouldn’t seem so burdensome.


  52. It’s one of the best, along with another of Eric Bogle’s songs “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.”

    Another of Eric’s, “All the Fine Young Men,” is also about WWI, but I won’t post a second link.


  53. I wonder about that too, Robert

    I wished WE could override the boundaries set up by governments and just help these people who are so desperate to escape something uspeakable;
    we used to be the kind of nation that helped people in this much trouble but when I heard about the babies taken from their parents, I realized just how far down we had come


  54. CM, a reply comment that I posted earlier, a poem about soldiers by Siegfried Sassoon, went missing in the cyberspace void. If you have a chance I wonder if you could bring it back. Thanks.


  55. Pelicano, I was thinking of that song as I read Christiane’s comment. The verse I was thinking was:

    And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind,
    In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
    And though you died back in 1916
    To that loyal heart are you ever nineteen?
    Or are you a stranger without even a name,
    Enshrined forever behind a glass pane,
    In an old photograph, torn and tattered, and stained,
    And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

    Did they beat the drums slowly, did they sound the pipes lowly, etc…


  56. John, what exactly do you mean about “not following the laws such as court appearances”? Are you aware that the vast majority of asylum-seekers who (prior to Trump’s policy change) were not imprisoned, did indeed show up for their court hearings (for example, 97% of mothers and 98% of children in 2014)? And are you also aware that seeking asylum is legal, and that even crossing illegally is a misdemeanor and not a felony? The “catch-and-release” rhetoric that Trump used to justify child separation was completely founded on lies.

    It appears that our current strategy is to try to discourage immigration by making the US seem as dangerous, cruel, and hate-filled as the places these asylum-seekers are fleeing. That’s a losing proposition even if it succeeds.


  57. It shouldn’t make a difference, shared humanity should suffice, but I wonder if it would make a difference to some Americans if they remembered that the caravan is comprised almost entirely of Christians….


  58. Help provided to the Honduran caravan is provided to the suffering Body of Christ. Kudos to those religious and secular organizations that provide it.


  59. Having watch my Doctor wrestle with her software, I can certainly see where those stats come from.

    As a software developer, I can say, that every commercial software is designed with a specific audience in mind. In the case of medical packages, the audience is not the nurse/doctor/health care provider. It is there for the administrator and billing. So very little thoughts seems to be given to the number of clicks, moves from keyboard to mouse, etc. required to actually use it when entering patient visit information.


  60. Medical malpractice reform is a red herring. A few years ago Texas capped damages on med mal cases, with the promise that this would result in lower medical malpractice premiums, which in turn would lead to lower medical costs all around. Spoiler: It didn’t. It did result in people most harmed by malpractice being screwed.

    There is a lot of mythology around medical malpractice lawsuits. Partly this is due to lazy reporters and bad television writing, and partly it is deliberate disinformation. The key point to understand is that “usual standard of care” is a winning defense. If the doctor followed the usual procedures, he wins the case. So when you read about “defensive medicine” with doctors ordering unnecessary tests out of fear of lawsuits, this is disinformation. Qui bono? Many doctors are paid on a “fee for service” basis. The mere act of ordering a test and then looking at the results increases is income. I don’t think most individual doctors think in these terms, but the entire industry has an incentive to perpetuate the myth that you can lose a lawsuit because you didn’t order a test even though you knew it was unnecessary.

    In the meantime, the standard of proof in a medmal case is very high, and the cost of pursuing an action is very high. You don’t do it frivolously, because when you lose a case you end up eating those costs. We rarely do medmal at my office, but sometimes potential clients walk in the door. My boss will do an initial evaluation of whether the case seems plausible. If it is, he will refer it to another lawyer he knows who specializes in medmal. That guy will then spend money to obtain all the medical records, and then spend time to look at them closely, to decide whether or not to pursue the case. In the quarter century my boss has been doing this, the specialist only took two cases.

    The upshot is that there are any number of incidents that would curl your teeth, and which would horrify you if it happened to you or a loved one, which are not viable cases. Most horrifying incidents fall into this category. Advocacy for “tort reform” is an attempt to make this category even larger. This would be great for insurance companies, but not such a good thing for you, should you or a loved one fall afoul of malpractice.

    To put it another way, you know how surgeons and surgical nurses obsess about tracking what goes into a patient’s body and what comes out before they stitch him up? What do you suppose caused them to spend time on this, rather than something more fun or lucrative?


  61. I was going to reply with something very snarky – but instead I will encourage you to read Christiane’s reply very thoughtfully. The only thing I could add is that those people, like us, have roots, and national pride – they aren’t making this perilous trek just for publicity. They are *desperate*. And if you say that there are far too many desperate people in the world to help, I might reply that in that case, what right do we have to our wealth?


  62. I work for a personal injury lawyer, aka an ambulance chaser. The vast majority of the hospital paperwork is irrelevant to us. We would be happier if it didn’t exist. Then we wouldn’t be paying to get it, only to clog up our files with junk.


  63. We have to begin to realize that the political term ‘Christian nation’ doesn’t have anything to do with Christ or with Christianity. Once we get that straight, then we can begin to understand WHY the asylum-seekers have been so badly treated.

    so we will meet the people from Guatemala that we’ve been told to fear and despise, and take their children away from them, and point guns at them, and lock them up, and eventually send them back to the hell they were running from, once we are tired of tormenting them . . . that is what a ‘great’ America is all about, isn’t it?


    we might just notice how very lost and weary and tired they are, and how the children could use some rest and really good food, and even give them the dignity of asking what it was that they were running from to come north to us who are now so unwelcoming,

    But I doubt we will, because if we do speak to them as suffering persons, we might be moved with compassion for them, AND we might just, as a people, decide to help them

    What would we gain by helping them? Just maybe a chance to recover our humanity and our souls as a nation.
    Personally, I think it’s a good trade.


  64. > Nah, that would be healthcare insurance companies

    +1,000,000 Insurance companies – the economic parasites of the modern world; it is sooo very ironic when they try to pitch the we-are-so-litigious meme [hint: its them!]


  65. I remember my uncle Jacques, a Canadian WWI veteran. I was as a child impressed with the scar of the bullet hole in his arm and that he had been gassed. Oh, and I was told by one of my parents, “He drinks from a bottle in his suitcase!” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it was exciting.


  66. Robert F. The population of Guatemala is 16.9 million. How many of that amount do you believe should be granted legal status into the United States? Guatemala is about 40% indigenous people Maya and Xinea who are not treated well by the government or the Hispanic population. They for the most part are not a part of the “caravan” which is most Hispanic because of their status. 8 out of 10 indigenous people in Guatemala live in extreme poverty while only 4 out of ten Hispanic heritage live in extreme poverty.

    What are these Christian groups plans to assist , maintain and aid the caravan people once they are admitted into the USA and “live in the shadows” as they say over and over in the media. If you are in a country illegally or do not follow the laws such as court appearances , where should you live?

    Most of the Christian NGO and volunteer assistance to refugees and illegal migrants in the USA is to guide them thought the bureaucratic maze, assist them in procuring government benefits, lobbying Congress for more NGO money, advocating for more local money into ESL education and relief for the migrants. The big NGO dole out the money granted to then by the government . How about this , take all the mission money sent overseas to Africa, Asia and the world and spend it here taking care of the illegal aliens and refugees that the Christians have assisted and promoted to come . Go to a lower income part on the country and see the “positive” impact that our lack of immigration law enforcement has had on lower income Americans.

    Again, give me a real number just of Guatemala people who wish to come to the USA that the USA should allow to stay under any legal status. Then how many from all the other countries in Central and South America. Is there any limit or should we as a “Christian” nation accept everyone because some literally read the Bible, when it suits their purpose . No waffling on the number and who will pay for the expense entailed. Number please. Thanks.


  67. Robert, you can’t overestimate the impact lawsuits have upon the ever increasing paperwork trail. Once ambulance chasing was legalized, we were screwed.

    Insurance companies ALSO dance to the court’s tunes – brought to us by LAWYERS.

    As for single – payer; it would be nice if we could ALL have ALL the medical treatment we want. But life and the laws of economics simply don’t work that way.

    I get Medicare – with the options Medicare now costs me $400 a month. YEAH – FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS a MONTH. There really is, and never has been, a “free lunch.”


  68. Ministry to the Honduran caravan is ministry to the suffering Christ. Kudos to those religious and secular groups involved in it.


  69. Red is the colour of the innocent restuaranter’s blood dripping across the pavements of Melbourne from us ,
    Not our blood, just ISIS.

    May they rot in the hell of their own making.


  70. Nah, that would be healthcare insurance companies — they want to make sure every payment they issue is accounted for by a trail of tears. Single-payer healthcare would put an end to much of the enormous administrative time, including that of doctors, and cost that private insurer parasitism imposes on American healthcare.


  71. “A 2016 study found that physicians spent about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient—whatever the brand of medical software.”

    LAWYERS – they drive the paperwork trail.


  72. Soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land,
    Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows.
    In the great hour of destiny they stand,
    Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
    Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
    Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
    Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
    They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

    I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
    And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
    Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
    And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
    Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
    And going to the office in the train.

    Siegfried Sassoon, “Dreamers.”


  73. I don’t what I am supposed to say tonight.
    A big fire yesterday in a Melbourne street. A vehicle was on fire. Police were called and attended.
    We had in Australia an attack from a person supposedly using IS to justify his actions.
    He, the attacker and an innocent restauranter died. This innocent by stander thought the man who had set fire to a vehicle needed his help and was stabbed for his efforts to provide support to whom he thought need his help.
    He was viciously stabbed and died at the site of the terrible affray in the very middle of Melbourne’s business and dinning precedent.
    The assailant died from a gun shot from a police gun. Two innocent men are in hospital.
    Ar couple of police men have superficial slash wounds.
    The only thing Australians can take small comfort from this is that we have gun control laws.

    Pray for peace in all our communities.
    Whether in Oz or the wide world.
    Peace please give us Lord Jesus



  74. The sun is now shining on these green fields of France,
    The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance,
    The trenches are vanished now under the plough,
    No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
    But here in this graveyard it’s still No Man’s Land,
    The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
    To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man
    And a whole generation that was butchered and damned.

    Did they beat the drum slowly?
    Did they sound the pipes lowly?
    Did the rifles fire o’er ye as they lowered you down?
    Did the bugle sing ‘The Last Post’ in chorus?
    Did the pipes play ‘The Flowers o’ the Forest’?

    And I can’t help but wonder now Willie McBride,
    Do all those who lie here know why they died?
    Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
    Did you really believe them that this war would end war?
    But the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame –
    The killing, the dying – it was all done in vain
    For Willie McBride, it all happened again
    And again, and again, and again, and again.

    Eric Bogle, “Green Fields of France.”


  75. For Remembrance Day, and for Remembrance Sunday when the Commonwealth of Nations honors their fallen soldiers and poppies are worn close to the hearts of those who remember them:

    “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.”

    (an excerpt from Laurence Binyon’s ‘Ode of Remembrance’)


  76. Chaplin Mike, I applaud and appreciate your stance on the use of computer during personal inter actions. There are times when full , undivided attention should be given to the individual, who has concerns or needs assistance. Especially in your line of service, there should be no doubt in any one ‘s mind that you are listening , relating and be there in the moment for their concerns. I would imagine some people use the “computer” screen to be a way out of an awkward, tense, uncomfortable but unavoidable conversation.
    Doctors, due to many reasons have to be efficient , productive and mindful of their time. Unfortunately I do not really know the solution to this problem. I know as a patient waiting for the Dr., I want him to come in ASAP and if there is no problem get me out ASAP. However, if there was a need for more personal interaction due to a serious problem or certainly lifechanging event I would want the unlimited, committed and full time attention of the Dr. However, most my Doctors do a pretty good job of balancing being sensitive to needs and balancing their workload.
    Tough issue for medical workers. The human factor is sometimes overlooked in the acceptance , healing and treatment of those with major medical problems. If we all had Dr.’s like the ones on TV, it would be great, they spend hours on each patient and are so compassionate. Of course , it is not reality TV but sometimes we need to see the “ideal” situation not reality. Of course , lately if I got refered to a TV Doctor it would probably be Quincy M.D.


  77. “what-dying-children-can-teach-america-about-responding-to-shootings”
    I haven’t read the article yet but how heart breaking that it has to be a question.


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