Press "Enter" to skip to content

Wednesday miscellany


  1. Matt, another
    Matt, another December 7, 2011 6:33 am

    When it comes to talking to the Feds, I’d argue that Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 in particular, is being used exactly as it was intended and written when passed. It is intersting to note that it never seems to be used againss federal agents or politicians.

  2. Pat
    Pat December 7, 2011 7:19 am

    The United States Code may tell you what the laws are, but it does not tell you by what authority any particular law was put into effect.

    Was it passed by oversight? Was it written by some bureaucrat? Was it slipped in on the say-so of some federal Department head? Was it decreed by executive order? Was it even read by Congress before it was passed? Was it Constitutional?

    Yeah, they have the Authority (because we stupidly and fearfully refuse to challenge it) — but do they have the legal right? And does that make it morally right? Martha Stewart might question that.

  3. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack December 7, 2011 9:26 am

    One of the biggest failures of public schools is that they’re not subject to real, honest competition. If they were it would only take a couple of semesters for all the good students and all the good teachers to migrate to a better system – never to return.

  4. Pat
    Pat December 7, 2011 10:00 am

    I agree that more patients would be better served by being treated at home. It’s also true that technology would make home care simpler, more comfortable for the patient, and more convenient for the caretaker. But this is the 21st Century, and it might be impossible to attain this ideal situation.

    First, the government intercedes where no man has dared go before. Medicare doesn’t cover every home situation… nor will insurance companies… nor can all drugs be handled by the family or caretaker in the home. Too many regulations stymie the doctor, the family, the nursing home, and the hospital, and make it difficult to properly treat the patient *anywhere.*

    Not every hospital prefers to send patients to a nursing home, but often the doctor has a limited time to get the patient well, depending on the government-sponsored diagnosis (DRGs = Diagnostic-Related Group, so the doctor/hospital has to get the patient out of the hospital by a certain no. of days if they want to get paid adequately for what was done — and that’s often too soon, especially if the patient has complications and/or more than one diagnosis. And “too soon” often doesn’t give the family time to set up a proper home environment for the patient.

    Then there is the family itself. These days everybody works and there’s no one to look after the patient. If the family hires a caregiver, they have to continue working to pay for her (or him) – and that might mean no family member at home to look after the caregiver. Sometimes the family is alienated from the patient and doesn’t want the patient. Other times the home, environment, time, energy, or money is not adequate to care for another member coming into the home.

    From the author-doctor’s POV, he makes a good case for home care itself, but more government interference (regulations under federal health care) is not the answer. Government should get out of the way and let the private sector take over entirely.

  5. Scott
    Scott December 7, 2011 10:16 am

    I would love to see the Aurora Borealis, and that bioluminescent wave-I wonder what riding through it with a Sea-Doo would look like? I’ve read tales of bioluminescent wakes behind ships. Tornado From Hell-never heard of most of this natural weirdness. The strangest natural weirdness I’ve seen is St. Elmo’s Fire.
    When dealing with all sorts of Authoriteh,you probably can’t do enough shutting up. Very few, if any, are your friends,and the interview/audit/permit/test/inspection is not being done for your benefit. Never forget this.
    I’ve spoken with a couple teachers,one still teaching, one retired-school is very “cookbook” ,leaving little for the teacher to tailor to her students. A lot of school, now, I’m told, is gearing students to pass the standardized tests, so that the Federal/state dollars-per-butt-warming-seat keeps on rolling in.

  6. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 7, 2011 10:30 am

    I always did great on standardized tests, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would call me a success. That’s due to my interest in finding more efficient ways to do things when the “traditional way” is overly complex with extra steps (others call this “lazy”), and my reluctance to compromise with some things I just can’t pretend are OK (others call this “stubbornness”). I don’t think standardized tests affected me much one way or the other. They were just an excuse to get out of class (where I was usually bored stiff) and do something different that involved nothing more than thinking.

  7. Ellendra
    Ellendra December 7, 2011 12:03 pm

    My dad likes to ask “gotcha” questions just like the Feds in that “Shut-up” article. (It’s one of the many reasons we don’t get along well.) I’ve learned to phrase things in a way that makes them unprovable. For instance, if he asked if I discussed something with someone, I’d probably think for a second or two, then say “Not that I recall.” Now, he’d have to prove I was remembering something, not just that I did something and lied about it.

    If you know you’re talking to an investigator, stick with the lawyer. But if you aren’t sure who it is and why they’re asking, you can sometimes mess with their heads that way, and still have a way to save face if it turns out it was someone on your side, if that makes sense?

  8. Steve Harris
    Steve Harris December 7, 2011 12:46 pm

    It is hard to just shut up when the cops come calling but that story shows how the smallest statement can be enough to get you convicted. My son had heard this advice but didn’t follow it when he was hauled in. He wasn’t guilty but he’d said enough that, when taken out of context, it looked bad. It cost me $5000 but he beat it.

    I understand this better than him but it would be so hard to totally shut up. The application of the law is really disgusting. Using it to felonize trivial statement is piggery. The problem is that the sort of people who hang out here don’t end up on juries. If I was a juror on a similar case I’d dig in on not guilty but I’ve been known to use the word ‘nullify’.

    I wonder how I would do on tests nowadays since I haven’t touched math in years. I always aced them when a kid. I often found patterns in questions and could fly through and get a high score. I’m mixed about the whole subject. The movement to tests has been the result of the subliterate graduates the system produces. It must be possible to make tests that capture knowledge of the 3 R’s.


Leave a Reply