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Grandma Unplugged

The single most generous act my father ever committed was when he decided, after carefully weighing the options, to not artificially extend his life. He reasoned that, should the chemo or the radiation work, it would also make him sick, and render him incapable of actually living. Life without living didn't attract him, so he chose hospice and fate and, ultimately, a life he could stand proud of until he, inevitably, died.

Most of medicare funding is spent 'plugging in grandma,' when grandma ain't going anywhere. While I can appreciate the pain and the trauma associated with unplugging her, I'm baffled at the mindset that decided to plug her in ... in the first place.

Our time here is short, and not improved by artificial extension. If life is sacred, so, then, should be death. The secular death caused by the eventual collapse of artificially-prolonged life is crueler. It does not lesson the grief, and poisons the memory.

Don't debate about unplugging grandma, consider not plugging her in ... in the first place.


Sly-entific Management 10 - Bogus Theories

Bogus Theories, Bad For Business, published last week in the Wall Street Journal, reviews a new book, The Management Myth by Matthew Stewart (Norton). Further evidence that Scientific Management ain't science, 'taint management, neither. The lasting image from this piece is the management consultant hopping around via first class travel, dispensing advice. The most inefficient possible means to induce efficiency.


Letter From Venezuela

I received the following from my grade school chum Dan Bailey, who now lives and works as a teacher in Caracas,Venezuela. Here he explains what's happening there as if it were happening here, a remarkably evocative technique. Slip over here for more ...

Writing Songs

Which comes first, the inexperienced always ask,
The words or the music, melody or message?
And I always feel dismayed by their innocence,
embarrassed that I cannot coherently reply.
For neither come first, and neither come last
and how either come into being,
nothing but a persistent mystery, even to me. Slip over here for more ...

Rationing Health Care

I've been hearing a lot of debate about the necessity of rationing health care, as if there were not enough of it to go around. Conservatives use this argument to encourage the status quo. Liberals use the same term to encourage change. If we accept that there's not enough to go around, rationing seems, well, only rational.

My complaint centers around the irrational way we presently choose the haves and the have-nots.

What would rationally-derived health care rationing look like? Here are some ideas. Slip over here for more ...


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