Month: March 2018

More of This

Black leaders in Missouri have refused to sign a letter condemning one of their colleagues criticism of Senator Claire McCaskill:

African American leaders in Missouri are frustrated with what they see as Sen. Claire McCaskill’s lackluster engagement with minority voters.

Frustrated enough that they refused to sign a letter pushing back against comments made last month by Bruce Franks, a prominent black activist and state legislator from St. Louis, who called on McCaskill to “show up” and earn the support of minority voters in her state.

“I’m going to vote for Claire, but Claire is going to have to bring her ass to St. Louis,” Franks said to applause at a town hall he hosted Feb. 17.

In response to Franks comments, McCaskill had asked African American elected officials in Kansas City and St. Louis to sign the letter.

Among those who were approached by McCaskill are U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City and Lacy Clay of St. Louis, and state Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, the minority leader in the Missouri House.

Each declined to sign.

“I’m 100 percent certain that nobody signed it,” Cleaver said in an interview Wednesday with The Kansas City Star. “We talked about it very seriously and strongly and every one of us said, ‘We’re going to support her, but signing this letter isn’t going to achieve what she wants. It’s just going to make people angry.’ ”

Cleaver said he’s sympathetic to McCaskill’s plight. She’s a Democrat running for re-election in a state Republican President Donald Trump won by nearly 19 points in 2016. He understands she must win over some right-leaning voters to survive.

But as McCaskill works to burnish her reputation as a centrist, Cleaver and other African American leaders said they worry she’ll leave minority voters on the left with the impression that she’s taking them for granted — and it could cost her turnout in the urban centers that are crucial to her base.

I think that they are sick of being characterized as “super-predators” by people who want their votes.

Running against you base to appeal to people who will never vote for you is stupid, and it does not get you any votes, and people who do it do not deserved to be elected.

Nice to see this blow up in Claire’s face.

Justice Served

Noor Salman has been acquitted of all charges of involvement in the Pulse Night Club shootings:

The acquittal by a federal jury of Noor Salman, the widow of the man who gunned down dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub two years ago, handed federal prosecutors on Friday the rarest of defeats: a loss in a terrorism case.

The outcome was even more striking because the not-guilty verdict came from jurors in Orlando, Fla., where Omar Mateen’s rampage left 49 people dead and 53 others injured, the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Jurors unanimously rejected government charges that Ms. Salman had helped her husband plan his violent assault in the name of the Islamic State — a narrative countered by her family’s claims that she was kept in the dark about her husband’s secrets and was home sleeping when the attack occurred.

To blame for the government’s defeat, said defense lawyers and legal experts who closely followed the trial, was a flimsy circumstantial case that ultimately was unable to persuade jurors during the eight days of trial.

Testimony from an F.B.I. agent revealed that prosecutors knew early on, but did not reveal, that one of their crucial initial pieces of evidence — that Ms. Salman had admitted driving by the nightclub with her husband in the days before the attack — most likely did not happen.

It’s more than that, they had phone records conclusively show that she was not there at the time.

Prosecutors also faltered when they argued that Ms. Salman had created an alibi for her husband the night of the shooting, telling Mr. Mateen’s mother that he was out to dinner with a friend identified only as Nemo. But that line was Mr. Mateen’s own lie to his wife, defense lawyers argued. They put Nemo on the stand, over prosecutors’ objections, to testify that he knew Mr. Mateen had used him in the past as a cover story to cheat on his wife.

Of course the prosecutors did not want this information to come out in court, the truth gets in the way of a conviction.

“The more we learned, the better Noor Salman looked,” Charles D. Swift, one of her lawyers, told reporters after the verdict was announced.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated a little more than 12 hours before acquitting Ms. Salman on charges of aiding and abetting the commission of a terrorist act and of obstructing justice. She had been accused of giving misleading statements to law enforcement officers who interviewed her after the massacre.

12 hours deliberation before a not-guilty verdict, particularly in a case involving terrorism, and the prosecutors and the FBI knew it.

They lied to the jurors, and the jurors knew it, so they acquitted.

Never talk to law enforcement without a lawyer present ……… ever.


Deadpool as all of Infinity Wars, because, Deadpool.

Tweet of the Day

One of the saddest things about this whole Russiagate frenzy to me is that there are bound to be some babies in liberal strongholds stuck with the first name Mueller 👶

— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 30, 2018

I do remember a decade ago, when “Fitzmas” was coming, and Karl Rove was supposed to be frog marched out of the White House in Handcuffs after Patrick Fitzgerald indicted him.

Didn’t happen.

Play it safe expecting parents, name your kid, “Moon Unit.”

H/t Naked Capitalism.

Well, That Was Quick………

Former Department of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin was fired on Wednesday, and on Thursday he publishes an OP/ED in the New York Times claiming that it was because the barbarians in the Trump administration are trying to privatize the VA:

It has been my greatest professional honor to serve our country’s more than 20 million veterans. Almost three years ago, I left my private sector job running hospitals and came to Washington to repay my gratitude to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.


Until the past few months, veteran issues were dealt with in a largely bipartisan way. (My 100-0 Senate confirmation was perhaps the best evidence that the V.A. has been the exception to Washington’s political polarization.) Unfortunately, the department has become entangled in a brutal power struggle, with some political appointees choosing to promote their agendas instead of what’s best for veterans. These individuals, who seek to privatize veteran health care as an alternative to government-run V.A. care, unfortunately fail to engage in realistic plans regarding who will care for the more than 9 million veterans who rely on the department for life-sustaining care.

The private sector, already struggling to provide adequate access to care in many communities, is ill-prepared to handle the number and complexity of patients that would come from closing or downsizing V.A. hospitals and clinics, particularly when it involves the mental health needs of people scarred by the horrors of war. Working with community providers to adequately ensure that veterans’ needs are met is a good practice. But privatization leading to the dismantling of the department’s extensive health care system is a terrible idea. The department’s understanding of service-related health problems, its groundbreaking research and its special ability to work with military veterans cannot be easily replicated in the private sector.

I have fought to stand up for this great department and all that it embodies. In recent months, though, the environment in Washington has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work that our veterans need and deserve. I can assure you that I will continue to speak out against those who seek to harm the V.A. by putting their personal agendas in front of the well-being of our veterans.

I gotta figure that the first draft of this hit the Times editors weeks ago, and that it was held until he was fired.

It’s called keeping your powder dry, or getting your ducks in a row, and I approve.

John Bolton Is Actually Worse Than I Had Previously Known

It turns out that in a dispute over WMD inspections before the Iraq war, he threatened the children of a UN official:

Who better to advise the bully-in-chief, Donald Trump, on when to make war and kill people than another bully? It’s difficult, after all, to avoid the label — that of a bully — when thinking of John Bolton, the former Bush administration official-turned-Fox News pundit who Trump recently picked as his national security adviser.

“John Bolton is a bully,” José Bustani, the retired Brazilian diplomat and former head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told me when I reached him by phone in Paris earlier this month.


In 2001, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had penned a letter to Bustani, thanking him for his “very impressive” work. By March 2002, however, Bolton — then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs — arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to the organization’s chief. And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn’t mince words. “Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.

(emphasis mine)

Great shades of Elvis.

Their evil and stupidity outstrips my fertile imagination.

Microsoft is Conspiring to Silence Me

It appears that Microsoft is instituting terms of service that ban profanity on things like Offic3 365 and Skype.

This will render me mute:

Microsoft has advised customers that offensive language on Skype, in an email, or in an Office 365 Word document is a potentially account-closing offense under its updated terms of use.

The tweaked services agreement, which comes into effect on May 1, 2018, now includes the following code-of-conduct item:

Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).

And if you disobey?

If you violate these Terms, we may stop providing Services to you or we may close your Microsoft account. We may also block delivery of a communication (like email, file sharing or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason. When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we cannot monitor the entire Services and make no attempt to do so.

Microsoft lists its online services covered by the agreement here. To save you the click, the list includes:


On The Register’s reading of the rules, a profanity-laden file written in Office 365, or an email with a nude selfie attached sent using, fall on the wrong side of the code, if reported to Microsoft by someone. As would asking Bing to look up “Simon Sharwood of The Register is sh*t” or telling Cortana to “f*ck off” if it somehow caused offense.

Obviously, I do NOT think that the changes to the Microflaccid TOS is a specific attempt to target me.

I am saying two separate things, that the folks from Redmond are conspiring (clearly, since it is a group effort), and that if fully implemented, it would have the effect of silencing me, because I am profoundly profane in my speech and writing.

I am simply a bug plastered to Bill Gates’ windshield.

Not a Surprise

If you are a proud war criminal, it follows that you will aggressively advocate for the coverup as well:

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA staunchly advocated for the destruction of videotapes showing detainees being tortured and obtained the legal opinions that were used to justify their destruction, a BuzzFeed News review of records and published accounts shows.

That version of Gina Haspel’s role in destroying the tapes contradicts the narrative being pressed by CIA officials that Haspel was only following orders when she helped engineer the tapes’ destruction and that she has served the agency well for 33 years, almost all as a clandestine officer.

The narrative is intended to help build support for Haspel, who in the early 2000s was chief of staff to Jose Rodriguez when he ran the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and authorized the tapes’ destruction. She’s now the CIA’s deputy director.

What Haspel did in the lead-up to that destruction is likely to be a major point of contention as the Senate considers her nomination. At least four senators, including Republican Rand Paul, have said they will oppose her confirmation because of her role with the tapes and in the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation program.

“The destruction is a high concern for me,” Sen. Angus King told BuzzFeed News. King, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said Haspel’s involvement with the tapes concerns him more than her role in harsh interrogations because, while harsh interrogations had been approved, the destruction of the tapes went against senior officials’ wishes.

Those officials included the White House counsel to President George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales; his successor, Harriet Miers; Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington; Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, CIA Director Porter Goss and CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo — whose objections, Rodriguez wrote in a memoir, he was well aware of.

Haspel and Rodriguez “were the staunchest advocates inside the [CIA] building for destroying the tapes,” Rizzo wrote in his 2014 memoir, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA. “On the edges of meetings on other subjects, in the hallways, they would raise the subject almost every week.”

Seriously, Haspel might be the most morally bankrupt individual to be considered to head the CIA since Allen Dulles.

Hell, she might be the most morally bankrupt person to be considered to head a major intelligence organization since Lavrentiy Beria.

This is a Feature, Not a Bug

In a last-minute move that would give Republicans an advantage in maintaining control of the House of Representatives, the Trump administration is reinstating a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. Coming from an administration that has been hostile toward immigrants, the change was not surprising, but it’s galling nonetheless.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the decision Monday, less than a week before the Census Bureau, which his department oversees, is supposed to send final questions for the 2020 census to Congress. If his decision stands — the attorney general of California has filed a lawsuit to block it, and other elected officials are preparing to do so — it would be the first time in 70 years that the federal government has asked people to specify their citizenship status on the census form sent to every household.


Even Mr. Ross acknowledged in an October House hearing that adding questions to the census reduced response rates because “the more things you ask in those forms, the less likely you are to get them in.”


By now, many people have come to expect that Mr. Trump will inject politics into every decision. But even by this administration’s low standards, trifling with the census, which is required by the Constitution and is a foundation of American democracy, represents a serious breach of trust. 

Unfortunately, the Times editorial board does not have the guts to say what is really going on:  This is a nakedly partisan attempt to suppress responses to the census in Democratic locations, with the hope that they can juice the numbers to effectively Gerrymander the Congressional map even further.

This is patently and transparently corrupt.

I Know Where I am Eating the Next Time that I am in Toronto

I will have a meal at the Antler Kitchen and Bar, if just because the chef and co-owner had such a beautiful way of dealing with protests from the nut-job vegan crowd:

The vegans planned their protest for the middle of the restaurant’s busy dinnertime shift.

The group of animal rights activists were incensed that Antler Kitchen & Bar, a locavore restaurant in Toronto that says it highlights regional ingredients, served foie gras and farmed meat “meant to run in the wild.” So a group of them stood in front last week chanting “you’ve got blood on your hands,” and holding a banner that read MURDER in hot pink lettering.

Then came the counterprotest.

Michael Hunter, a chef and co-owner of the restaurant appeared in its window with a raw deer leg and a sharp knife, when he began to carve up the meat in full view of the protesters, some of whom later said they were disturbed for days, according to news reports.

“I figured, I’ll show them,” Hunter told the Globe and Mail. “I’m going to have my own protest.”

The episode, which was captured on video by one of the protesters, has since drawn wide attention from local news outlets and social media. The event page created by the activists for their protest has since been inundated with comments, many harshly critical of their cause.

It also appears that this may have actually generated some more business for the restaurant in the long run:

Next time I’m in Toronto I’m dining at Antler.

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 27, 2018

Women and Makeup

Without Makeup

Her traditional look

It appears tahat Christina Aguilera has gone makeup free for a magazine shoot, and the internet appears to be having a full freakout mode paroxysm oiver it.

I think that she looks much better that way.

In fact, I think that women generally look better with less makeup, something that I say not infrequently to Sharon*.

I am not alone, nor am I even in the minority, in this opinion.

I’m not sure who it is who has been telling women that they need to spend hours on makeup, but they are full of crap.

Save the time, save the money, and save the aggravation, and try to be comfortable with how you look.

Also, the freckles are just so f%$#ing adorable, and with all the makeup, you cannot see them.

Women, here is an insight into men:  When they say that you do not need makeup, most men, most of the time, are telling the truth.


*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.

Craigslist Ad Of the Day

This guy needs to send his resume to Trevor Noa

Some wag posted a (now pulled) advertisement for a lawyer for Donald Trump:

This afternoon a hilarious classified ad popped up on Washington, DC Craigslist. It appears to now be taken down, but not before I snagged a copy of the text.

“Seeking Lead Attorney For Difficult Client” was the title.

The text read:

“Seeking a lead attorney to represent client involved in an ongoing Federal investigation. Must be familiar with laws and procedures around discovery, executive privilege, international financing of licensed real estate, election law and the Logan Act. Working knowledge of social media, especially Twitter is a plus, as is a better than average knowledge of the adult film industry and a collection of Playboy magazines from 1985-2010. Must look the part – Gregory Peck or Tommy Lee Jones type. Prior appearances on Fox News a huge plus.

No fatties.

Must be prepared to work with a client who is very forceful and opinionated about his defense and is his own best counsel.

Basically your job boils down to keeping him from testifying under oath and hoping the rest comes out in the wash.

Ask about our other openings on our staff and submit your resume to be considered for potential openings in the near future. Perhaps the very near future. Like, hit refresh on your browser now. Now again.”

This is f%$#ing beautiful.

Like Forrest Gump ……… Only a Bond Villain

Someone needs to get Peter Thiel a white Persian cat, because he seems to have a hand in every evil thing that can be done with the internet:

As a start-up called Cambridge Analytica sought to harvest the Facebook data of tens of millions of Americans in summer 2014, the company received help from at least one employee at Palantir Technologies, a top Silicon Valley contractor to American spy agencies and the Pentagon.

It was a Palantir employee in London, working closely with the data scientists building Cambridge’s psychological profiling technology, who suggested the scientists create their own app — a mobile-phone-based personality quiz — to gain access to Facebook users’ friend networks, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.


The revelations pulled Palantir — co-founded by the wealthy libertarian Peter Thiel — into the furor surrounding Cambridge, which improperly obtained Facebook data to build analytical tools it deployed on behalf of Donald J. Trump and other Republican candidates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a supporter of President Trump, serves on the board at Facebook.
Continue reading the main story

“There were senior Palantir employees that were also working on the Facebook data,” said Christopher Wylie, a data expert and Cambridge Analytica co-founder, in testimony before British lawmakers on Tuesday.

Cambridge Analytica has found itself confronting a deepening crisis since reports about the firm’s data harvesting were published this month in The New York Times, The Observer of London and The Guardian.

The connections between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica were thrust into the spotlight by Mr. Wylie’s testimony on Tuesday. Both companies are linked to tech-driven billionaires who backed Mr. Trump’s campaign: Cambridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mercer, the computer scientist and hedge fund magnate, while Palantir was co-founded in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an initial investor in Facebook.

Great googly moogly.

My first though was that Peter Thiel is the devil, and then I realized that he’s actually the vexatious home owners’ association president that manages hell.

I am kind of surprised that some sort of evil singularity not formed in his spleen because of that much evil in that small a space seems to violate the laws of physics.

Quote of the Day

People are still trying to blame Donald Trump’s surprise 2016 electoral victory on something, anything—other than America’s degenerate politics and a political class that has presided over a stunning national decline.

Yasha Levine

5 of the past 6 elections have been about change, and how those in power have failed us, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, and 1016.

The thing is, as Mr. Levine notes, those who have profited from the failed conventional wisdom have no interest in changing things, “The keepers of conventional wisdom all insist in one way or another that Trump won because something novel and unique happened; that something had to have gone horribly wrong. And if you’re able to identify and isolate this something and get rid of it, everything will go back to normal—back to status quo, when everything was good.”

This is why we are seeing people grasp at “Black Swans”, Putin, Facebook, fake news, etc.

If there is meaningful change, those in power will lose to some degree, and they do not want to see that, ever.

Here is a good rule of thumb, if you have a seemingly intractable problem, the conventional wisdom is ALWAYS wrong.

If the conventional wisdom were right, then the problem would not be intractable.

In fact it would have already been solved.

Another Stopped Moment

It appears that someone in Congress snuck in a provision banning sending arms to militias that allow Nazis to serve.

It’s addressing what is a very real problem in the Ukraine:

A little-noticed provision in the 2,232-page government spending bill passed last week bans U.S. arms from going to a controversial ultranationalist militia in Ukraine that has openly accepted neo-Nazis into its ranks.

House-passed spending bills for the past three years have included a ban on U.S. aid to Ukraine from going to the Azov Battalion, but the provision was stripped out before final passage each year.

This year, though, the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed into law last week stipulates that “none of the funds made available by this act may be used to provide arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.”

“White supremacy and neo-Nazism are unacceptable and have no place in our world,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), an outspoken critic of providing lethal aid to Ukraine, said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday. “I am very pleased that the recently passed omnibus prevents the U.S. from providing arms and training assistance to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion fighting in Ukraine.”

The United States has been aiding and training Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russian-backed separatists since 2014, and recently expanded that aid to include arms. The omnibus includes about $620.7 million in aid for Ukraine, including $420.7 million in State Department and foreign operations funds and $200 million in Pentagon funds.

The Azov Battalion was founded in 2014, and its first commander was Andriy Biletsky, who previously headed the neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine. Several members of the militia, which has been integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard, are self-avowed neo-Nazis.

But a spokesman for the group has defended it, telling USA Today in 2015 that only 10 to 20 percent of recruits are neo-Nazis and that those people do not represent the official ideology of Azov.

Gee only 10-20% Nazis.

Would you like a sandwich to go with that? It contains only 10-20% rat feces.

So, we’ve been supporting Nazis in the Ukraine, and  al Qaeda in Syria (sorry, I meant “Islamist moderates”)

Should we just put a skull on our uniform caps and be done with it?

And Arizona Understands Why California Banned Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Now

Once again, Gov. Doug Ducey’s dislike for government regulation has resulted in injury to Arizona, this time with tragic result.

Ducey on Monday rescinded Uber’s ability to test its self- driving vehicles in Arizona, citing the video of last week’s fatal crash into a Tempe pedestrian.

“As governor, my top priority is public safety,” Ducey wrote, in a letter to the San Francisco-based company.

This from the same governor, who in 2015 signed an executive order aimed at enticing Uber to use Arizona’s roads as a guinea pig.

The same governor who in December 2016 crowed over Uber’s decision to bring hundreds of its driverless cars to Arizona for testing “due to California’s burdensome regulations.”


The Ducey administration actually bragged about its lack of oversight of driverless vehicles.


Earlier this month, Ducey went a step further, issuing a new executive order decreeing that self-driving cars no longer need a driver behind the wheel, as long as they follow all the traditional traffic laws and rules for cars and drivers.

“As technology advances, our policies and priorities must adapt to remain competitive in today’s economy,” Ducey said. “This executive order embraces new technologies by creating an environment that supports autonomous vehicle innovation and maintains a focus on public safety.”

Now Elaine Herzberg is dead.


It’s not the first time Ducey’s preoccupation with bypassing government has caused problems.

Remember Theranos?

Ducey and the Legislature in 2015 cleared the way for Theranos to operate in our state, pushing though a new law that allowed consumers to purchase lab tests from a company without a doctor’s orders.

California shut down Uber’s self driving car program because they refused to get permits or report to regulators.

Even if you think that self-driving cars are just around the corner (I don’t), and you feel that development of self driving cars should be accelerated (again, I don’t), and that self driving cars will create a transportation utopia, Uber is a bad actor in their space, and they have ALWAYS been a bad actor in their space.

Smoothing the way for Uber is irresponsible and reckless.

We Now Have the Numbers for the March for Our Lives March

We have the counts, and it’s more than one million people nationwide:

At least a million Americans poured into the streets on Saturday to participate in the hundreds of March for Our Lives events across the nation.

A review by The Hill of official crowd estimates, offered by city administrations and police departments across the country, found nearly a million total protestors across 62 of the nation’s 100 largest cities. More than three dozen cities where marches were held on Saturday did not offer official crowd sizes, though local media outlets reported thousands or tens of thousands of marchers in those cities.Police and city officials counted more than 200,000 marchers at the largest demonstration, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Another 175,000 people took to the streets in Manhattan, according to New York City police.

Officials in Chicago counted 85,000 demonstrators, and the march in Los Angeles brought out another 55,000 people. In Boston, 50,000 people took to the streets, and 30,000 people joined in both Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

In Parkland, Fla., the site of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shooting, 20,000 people demonstrated — although many of the students from the school itself were participating in the march in Washington. A hockey team from the high school was participating in a tournament in the Twin Cities, where police estimated 18,000 demonstrators marched.

Good job, youngsters.

More of this.

You Would Know This If You Talked to Doctors

It appears that at least SOME of the mainstream media are beginning to notice that electronic health records are neither saving money nor improving the quality of health care:

We trust computer technology to solve problems, save time and money, and improve our lives. It has. Why didn’t it work with electronic health records?

EHRs are costly, clunky, error prone failures we seem unable to fix. It’s as if we took off in a hastily designed rocket, realize we need to come back, but are stuck in orbit without a reentry plan.

The Obama administration set aside tens of billions in 2009 to forcibly drag doctors and hospitals out of the Stone Age of paper into the brave new world of bites and bits. It promised a Nirvana of heath care quality, efficiency and cost savings. Hundreds of billions more were spent by hospital systems, too, under government mandates. In retrospect much of that money was wasted.

……… Snipping the example of automated check in at the airport.

Assuming [airline] employees get $30 an hour, that’s $1,500 saved for each and every flight. With hundreds of flights from each airport that’s big money. Employees cost a lot ongoing. Touch screens work for years on one investment. We, passengers, were the happy, healthy — and unpaid — labor that made it possible. The airline’s question had been, “How can computers save money and employee time on passenger check-in?” It got the right answer by asking the right question.

In medicine, the customer is the patient, not the passenger. If we could get patients to check into the medical office, hospital or emergency room, go to a touch screen, populate the computer screens with their correct diagnosis, order their tests and imaging and prescribe their own treatments that would be peachy, but unlike passengers, patients can’t do that on their best days. There is almost nothing in medicine that can be done, ordered or documented by the patient/customer. Doctors and nurses do all that.

Before the EHR, I dictated hospital admission histories on a phone and a typist getting $30 an hour typed them. I do that on an EHR now and it’s slower. It takes me triple the time it used to. There is a complex template used, not much like the way I think about care.

Similarly, I used to hand write orders and give them to a clerk. It took but a few minutes. Entering it all by computer is complex. The EHR does not allow me to just write what I want. It offers drop downs, many suggestions, and reminders, and pages of choices to click and to select options, not to mention all the time taken to just get in and out of the triple layer of security built into every such program. That alone takes more time than handwritten orders used to take.

So in the hospital I have become a very highly paid clerk. It is as if Qantas required the pilot to do the data entry for billing and boarding of each passenger. Insane, you say? But that’s exactly what current EHRs do in medicine.

This does not just happen with medicine.

I Believe That We Have Just Been Told to Zuck Off

How can I pass up this Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy reference:

“All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint”

— Parker (@jeffparker) March 26, 2018

Yes, Zuckerberg is saying, “It’s in the terms of service, so go Zuck yourself.”

Considering the history of Facebook, we should expect nothing less from him.