The Locker Room

March 18, 2005

Re: OK, you pull the plug

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:59 PM

Jon, your post reminded me of a gag in the short-lived ABC/FOX cartoon series "The Critic," which featured Jon Lovitz as the voice of title character Jay Sherman, a film critic.

One episode, Jay's boss is suicidal and contacts Dr. Kevorkian. Jay talks him out of it at the last second, convincing him of the value of life. His boss unattaches himself from the machine and walks out.

The next scene is of a nurse consoling Kevorkian, who is shaking his head sadly, eyes downcast, muttering "I've never lost a patient before ..."

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Valuable things which you didn't know were measurable

Posted by Hal Young at 9:59 PM

The New South Wales, Australia, newspaper The Age reports on a new study of the value of breastfeeding. If you're interested, they think it's worth $2.2 billion ($1.7B USD) annually, in Australia alone.

The breastfeeding report relies on economic analyses by Australian National University-based Dr Julie Smith, who calculated Australian mothers produce about 34 million litres of breast milk a year. The milk was then costed based on its market value in "milk banks" in Europe.

Dr Smith estimates the "capital stock value" - the entire present and future worth - of breastfeeding to be $37 billion. If Australian women breastfed according to WHO standards, that value would increase to $100 billion, Dr Smith said.

"Economics is about the efficient use of resources," she said. "At the moment we're wasting resources on producing (formula) milk, and on pediatricians looking after babies made sick by not being breastfed."


(The recommendation of the World Health Organization, btw, is to nurse babies at least until two years old.)

HT: CaroLLLinaLeaders and my wife Melanie

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Posted by Hal Young at 5:47 PM

I had flagged this earlier in the day, but it relates to Jon's post so the timing is good.

Thomas Lifson at The American Thinker has a thoughtful prediction: 2005 may be the year of "judicial activism's perfect storm", due to the declining influence of the supporting MSM, increasing public discontent with judicial Olympianism, and likely vacancies ahead on the Supreme Court itself.

I'm afraid the change will come too late for Terri. Still, my home state has a motto -- Dum Spiro, Spero -- While I breathe, I hope. There's still a brief time for intervention, on behalf of her and humanity.

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OK, you pull the plug

Posted by Jon Ham at 3:56 PM

Since Terri Shiavo's feeding tube was removed a few hours ago, beginning her painful starvation, the pro-death factions are celebrating this as a victory.

What is it with these people? They supported Jack Kevorkian in his efforts to kill patients, they support abortion on demand and even the ghastly practice of partial-birth abortion, they hail Scandinavian countries who dabble in euthanasia. What kind of person gets satisfaction from such a life mission?

What kind of doctor or nurse does it take to pull the feeding tube from a patient who smiles and chuckles as you seal their death? I'd call Terri's husband and tell him to pull the plug. He's the one who has been pushing for this, but he was too much of a coward to even be present when the doctors performed what the media are calling "the removal."

What's the big deal? She's only a human being. It's not like she's a dolphin or a whale or a seagull covered in oil. That would be different. Then we'd pull out all the stops to save her.

The last time I had such a sense of foreboding, a certainty that we as a country were doing a terrible thing, was another Easter weekend five years ago when we sent Elian Gonzales back to Cuba. Freedom, like life, has lost its value.

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NC State women's studies head, journalism prof cheers media for its potrayal of sexual harasser as victim

Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:25 PM

The Nation covers an item of local interest this week:

There's also Elyse Crystall, an English professor at the University of North Carolina, who objected to the comments of a "white, heterosexual, Christian male" in her class. She got bad press, hate e-mails and the attention of Representative Walter Jones, who persuaded the Office for Civil Rights of the US Education Department to investigate. She was found guilty of harassment.

Ho hum, fiddle-dee-dee.

Slight correction: That was racial and sexual harassment, and that was not all Elyse Crystall was found guilty of. Tellingly, The Nation overlooks the fact that Crystall was also found guilty of racial and sexual discrimination. Furthermore, the Office of Civil Rights made it clear that they would have found her guilty of religious discrimination and harassment too, if that was in their purview.

(Incidentally, why is Elyse Crystall still employed by the University of North Carolina? What Crystall did was a far, far worse abuse of her classroom authority and her students that what social work professor Martha Lamb did. Lamb tried to tell her graduate students how far her discipline had come in learning racial tolerance, and to prove it she provided an example of a racist joke her professors had used, for which she was forced to resign immediately.)

N.C. State's Cat Warren, who is the director of NCSU's Women's and Gender Studies program when she's not complaining that the media's biggest problem is reporters who try to be objective rather than be overtly activist socialists or warning about conferences favoring academic freedom, cheers this sterling example of her kind of reporting on in a missive to her colleagues on the UNC leftist listserv (did I mention Warren is also styled a "professor of journalism and the media"?):

Check out this week's cover for the Nation magazine: It does my heart good to finally see the leftist and progressive press truly cover this comprehensively....

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40th in the Nation

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 09:45 AM

Lest we be too concerned that a U.S. Census Bureau report released yesterday ranked NC 40th in per pupil spending, we should recall (once again!) that interstate cost of living differences may account for much of the apparent discrepancies, and funding isn't the be-all and end-all of education.

The Raleigh News & Observer, approached the governor's advisor, Dan Gerlach, for comment:

"The state's low ranking does not reflect the quality of education, said Dan Gerlach, senior adviser for fiscal affairs at the Governor's Office."

That's right, Dan, school performance can stink at any level of expenditure. Just look at the performance of areas like D.C. (the perennial bad-boy of education spending, ineptitude, and disgrace).

What we want is low spending and high performance. After all, what corporation would report with pride that it's costs were the highest in the industry? Why, in education, do we check the brain cells at the door on this one? No one, no one in any other industry would seriously attempt to weed out inefficiency by dumping money or credentials indiscriminately into the business. The stockholders would revolt and toss them from the tower--with gusto!

How about we stop worrying about teachers and their "condition," arbitrarily equalizing spending without taking into account cost of living differences (in-state and across states), and finally, finally, finally pay some attention to how the kids are performing? The Charlatans have dissembled ad nauseum, and need to be deposed, and stripped of all their gelt. Instead of asking the culprits to reform themselves (are we kidding?), let's wake up and stop giving them the benefit of the doubt.

There is no doubt.

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