Reasonable Words

“She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.” — W. Somerset Maughan

The nursing crush–I mean ‘crash,’ the nursing crash

Much like Matt Cale, yet not at all like him, Ian Miller is all about his business. Keeping house at, his ‘posts’ are more akin to AJN articles, except readable.

This post about the nursing shortage (surely those not directly affected by it are at any rate aware of it) reads it altogether differently–yet exactly the same–being from an Australian perspective. I appreciate an honest assessment from within a nationalized health care system as an aid in filtering the rhetoric one hears in the U.S., both pro and con.

Worth noting. Miller writes:

Another  solution [to the nursing shortage] has been to recruit nurses from overseas or to poach from other hospitals. Both a little ethically dubious and ultimately unsustainable4.

When I read his original post on the issue of international “poaching” (which occurs ultimately at the expense of developing countries), I printed it up and shared it with a coworker from Kenya, eager for her opinion. (This is the same coworker who derides me for getting my news from the BBC. “They’re so colonialist! What are you thinking?” But that’s a story for another day.) Given her sensitivity to the vestiges of colonialism–which I was at first amazed by since she’s easily 10 years younger than me–I’m sure I need hardly describe her reaction to Miller’s (no doubt innocuously meant) use of  the word “poaching.”  But she is still speaking to me, so it’s all good.


Filed under: International, IRL, Open Wide

In which the Pope gets totally pwned, man

benedictBBC: ‘Holocaust Bishop’ told to recant

First, let’s dispense with the obvious: The holocaust was an event of such unspeakable suffering that the scope of language itself struggles to comprehend it.  It did indeed happen, and people who deny that it happened, like this Williamson, scare the shit out of me.  Nevertheless, I’ll admit that at first the words “forced to recant” did not go down very easily. If  Richard Williamson is indeed a) clinically sane and b) in factual denial about the holocaust–as repugnant and unlikely as I find that combination to be–and is yet c) ‘forced’ to recant his views, just where does the liberty of one’s own thoughts end? Then I got my head out of the clouds and realized that that liberty ends at door to the vestry. It’s not as though this is the 15th century and Williamson is being forced to ‘recant’ his ideas upon pain of death. At worst he’s looking at re-excommunication from a church in which he willingly accepted a leadership role, yet whose doctrines he has rejected. So BFD; my conscience is salved.

Secondly, and more intriguingly: If this article is indeed accurate–and I have no reason to think it isn’t–the Pope has reversed an ex cathedra decision. And as any good catechee will tell you, that’s not possible. Yet here it is (with my emphasis):

The Vatican also said that the Pope had not been aware of the bishop’s views when he lifted excommunications on him and three other bishops last month.

Earlier, a senior cardinal acknowledged the Vatican had mishandled the issue.

Holy shit. I’m sure some cardinal somewhere will argue that God didn’t get the memo either and He let Benedict go off the reservation without all the facts. You know, for kicks. Or maybe someone will (correctly) point out that under this doctrine a pope can in fact be personally wrong about decisions not pertaining to the Church. But I think it’s safe to assume that the imposition and lifting of excommunications is, at best, a spirit-led decision. No. No, he’s fucked. He single-handedly disproved a principal doctrine held by millions of believers worldwide.  And the best part? A girl made him do it.

cf. HJS’s Friday Random Ten+5 of 01/30/09, where the controversy is handled with more humor than I can muster. It’s also written by a  Catholic, but it looks like he’s working a good program of recovery.

Filed under: Get Your Hate On, God & Co., International

Ah, nativism. That old chestnut.

NYT Editorial: The Nativists Are Restless

In case you’re wondering, nativism looks like this:

Diversity can be good in moderation — if what is being brought in is desirable. Most Americans don’t mind a little ethnic food, some Asian math whizzes, or a few Mariachi dancers — as long as these trends do not overwhelm the dominant culture.

“The dominant culture.” Oh, I chuckle. Looks like it hasn’t occurred to Scared White Guys that “the dominant culture” is already changing, for all their hysteria; it’s just not happening in the U.S.

Pay attention: This era of globalization, I would argue, unlike Globalization 1.0 and 2.0, is not going to be built exclusively around a group of White Western individuals.

See, this is no longer about bad Thai food, or those racist English-only initiatives. But, please, Mr Epstein, smirk at multiculturalism if you will, and dictate from your crumbling cocoon which influences are “desirable. ” But by all means, learn to answer phones for $5,000 a year.  And pick up a book on Hindi. Or eat curry-scented dust.

Filed under: Get Your Hate On, International, That's F*cked Up

Inherit the Windbags

Half of Britons reject evolution, Darwin anniversary survey finds

James Williams, a lecturer at Sussex University, said: “Creationists ask if ­people believe in evolution. Evolution is a theory and a fact. You accept it because of the evidence. What the creationists have done is put a cloak of pseudo-science to wrap up their religious belief.”

Take heart; they’ll die out eventually.

Filed under: Dropping Science, Limies


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