Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Dose of Realism

This is a letter I just sent to my brother and sister-in-law...

Have you guys gotten snow, too?  If it lasts 'til Monday, it looks like it could be a "White MLK Day."  I did a self-defense class this morning, which was pretty cool.  I'm not actually convinced I'll remember any of this, but it was fun!

I'd never heard of an eskrima stick before.  The gal teaching the class told us this is the only weapon you can legally conceal in Illinois.  I looked up "eskrima" on wikipedia, and saw that it's just your normal duct-tape-or-other-covered stick.  I thought it was pretty ridiculous that here in IL, they have to give you permission to conceal a stick.

There's a really great book called "Working Knights" that's written by an emergency physician.  He's the opposite of at least one of the lecturers at this med school.  Here, a doctor gives an annual lecture on the wonders of gun control.  The doctor who wrote "Working Knights" has his own private arsenal.

He's quite a mix: he talks about "treating" patients that use the ER for entertainment (nothing else was happening on Friday night, so I decided to go into a hysterical fit and get the ambulance called), how some patients will only come to the ER at night -- even if you bribed them to come during the day with lottery tickets, trying to diagnose patients in 2 hrs. and be prepared to treat anything that walks in the door, and how working on other people's kids makes him appreciate his own kids more.

He knocks quite a few mainstream mainstays (like "healthcare is a right") into the dust.  He talked about what would happen if we went around saying "housing is a right" and made builders give away their houses instead of selling them, or said "food is a right" and told grocers they couldn't charge for their wares.  We'd all end up living in thatched huts and eating soggy bread.

He suggests a $5 copay for all Medicare cases so that patients stop and think "Would I rather have the Doc look at this red bite that's probably nothing, or spend $5 on something else?"  Y'know, questions that should be asked.  He also suggests that DUI laws be tightened so that a single offense means the police repossess your car. 

Anyway, reading his book was not an adventure in PCism.  It was an adventure in realism.  Men and women are not basically good.  Now that that's out of the way, how can I encourage them to be better than they naturally are?

Love you

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

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