Saturday, February 25, 2006

My back hurts.....

...and I am unhappy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Docs Could Lose License for Asking about Guns

JANETTE RODRIGUES, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT - A pediatrician who asks a child's parent about firearms in their home could lose his or her license or be disciplined under legislation being considered by a [Virginia] Senate committee today. The bill would prohibit health care professionals from asking a patient about gun possession, ownership or storage unless the patient is being treated for an injury related to guns or asks for safety counseling about them.

Sponsored by Del. Ward Armstrong, D-Martinsville, the bill sailed through the House by a vote of 88 to 11 last week... The legislation is opposed by The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics because it blocks a common practice by medical professionals to inquire about gun ownership and safety when they go over a safety checklist with parents during a child's regular checkups from birth to puberty.

"We saw the bill but presumed no one in their right mind would put it through," said Dr. Leslie Ellwood, chapter president. "We thought it was such an unusual bill that anyone with common sense wouldn't pass it."

The error was presuming that common sense still exists.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Which One Doesn't Belong?

Headlines on Google News:

Little progress in Iran nuke talks
Abbas, Hamas discuss next Palestinian government
NJ Senator Latest to Assail Port Sale
Facing Pressure, White House Seeks Approval for Spying
Kevin Federline Expects A Backlash Over His Awful Music

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Impeachment flap inspires protests, petitions

Here is the KC Star's take on our university's latest political brouhaha. I was there last night and watched the majority of the UMKC student Senate embarrass itself, plain and simple. If anyone would like to hear my account of the night's events and opinion about it all, please let me know. I'd be happy to sit down and have a conversation with you.

MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS, THE KANSAS CITY STAR - The University of Missouri-Kansas City student Senate on Wednesday night met in a crowded public session to follow through on the recent impeachment of top student leaders. In an apparent battle over a $70,000 student activities account, student senators voted two weeks ago to impeach the student body president, Marcus Leach, and executive vice president, Sofya Galich.

In a countermove Wednesday night, two student organizations sought to petition for the immediate reinstatement of the executive officers and the removal of senators who they believe led the impeachment effort.

A crowd packed a meeting room at the University Center before the session was moved to Pierson Auditorium to accommodate the turnout. Supporters of Leach and Galich held signs saying “We Want the President We Voted For.”

After some four hours of discussion, the Senate decided it could hold a trial on just one of the five articles of impeachment originally passed. Senators set about that task as midnight approached.

University administrators said as far as they know this is the first time that a UMKC student body president has been impeached.

Some students who support reinstating the president and vice president have called the impeachment “ridiculous.”

Leach, who is black, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon he was “appalled” by the behavior of the senators and said people were doing things that could be considered racially motivated.

“This is the most humiliating experience of my life,” Leach said, “but I’m not going to back down from it. I know I can sleep because I’ve done everything right.”

Kevin Lujin, the senate president pro tem, who is a leader of the impeachment effort, said Wednesday night that suggestions of racial motives were “absolutely untrue. It is about making sure both executives fulfill their duties.”

Earlier Wednesday, Lujin said: “In the eyes of the Senate, neither one of them were doing their job. I think the Senate was worried that the operating account was being used to grant political favors.”

University administrators said they had seen no evidence of favoritism by Leach or his executive board.

“I think this whole thing is about the senate not trusting the … executive board and a major difference of opinion of how student government should run,” said Mel Tyler, associate vice chancellor of student affairs.

Tyler said Leach is a member of the student Democrat group and Lujin is a member of the student Republican group.

The article of impeachment that went to trial Wednesday night deals with an alleged failure to attend required meetings.

Other articles of impeachment approved by the 32-member Senate said Leach continued to receive a salary after senators had voted to freeze it because of alleged poor job performance. Leach is paid $5,250 a year.

Another charge was that Leach allocated an unspecified amount to Tent State University, a student group, to pay for former Black Panther member Bobby Seale to visit the university, and spent nearly $1,000 for a bus and tickets to get members of a university basketball fan club, the Roo Crew, to a game.

The Student Life Office director, Zauyah Waite, said Leach had the necessary approval from the executive body and her office to spend the money.

“Traditionally (student government) has not gotten Senate approval on spending,” Waite said.

She also said the Senate’s attempt to freeze the salaries was turned down by the vice chancellor and never went into effect.

Students collected more than the 400 signatures on petitions seeking to block the impeachment. A second petition called for the removal of senators.

The petitions had yet to be presented to the Senate as the impeachment trial got under way late Wednesday.

If the petitions effort proves successful, a campuswide referendum ultimately could decide whether Leach stays in office.

Impeachment Trial of Marcus Leach

More later...

Clinic at 8.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jon Stewart:

"Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt ... making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting veep since Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, of course, (was) shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Read Something - Learn!

I recently stumbled upon some science writing by Carl Zimmer, an author and frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times, National Geographic, Science, Newsweek, and Discover. When I woke up this morning and found an interview with him done at Daily Kos, I was particularly pleased. I highly recommend the following two short pieces written by him:

The Return of the Puppet Masters (Toxoplasma gondii - w00t!)

The Wisdom of Parasites (zombie cockroaches - huzzah!)


Friday, February 10, 2006

Luke's 2006-2007 Schedule

My schedule for the upcoming year is now final! (Well, almost.) Because there are only a limited number of slots open each month for every clerkship, the medical school uses a multi-tiered, computerized lottery system which allows students to rank their choices month-by-month. And even though I received my fifth choice (out of six available) for my core rotations, my second round of selections went perfectly. June is still open, but I intend to use it as a study month (which shouldn't be too hard to set up) as I do my last bit of cramming before sitting for boards (USMLE Step I). So without further ado, my schedule:

FEB. - Biochemistry Review
MAR. - Microbiology/Immunology Review
APR. - Year 4 DoRo (Internal Medicine)
MAY - Year 4 DoRo (Internal Medicine)
JUNE - Study Month (prelim.)
JULY - Year 5 Vacation
AUG. - Preceptorship (rural family practice)
SEP. - Obstetrics/Gynecology
OCT. - Obstetrics/Gynecology
NOV. - Psychiatry
DEC. - Year 5 DoRo (Internal Medicine)

JAN. - Year 5 DoRo (Internal Medicine)
FEB. - Elective (TBD)
MAR. - Pediatrics
APR. - Pediatrics
MAY - Surgery
JUN. - Surgery

After that, in a yet-to-be-determined order, I'll have a couple more months of internal medicine, two months of emergency medicine, a month of humanities, some elective rotations, and then boom - that'll be it!

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Hope your 21st is special!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Stupidity Tries

Some days.... it doesn't even seem worth it. What possesses people I've never met to leave me inane comments on previous threads?

Don't like something I post? Perfectly fine. But if you want to disagree with a point I'm making, at least take the time to write something that is halfway intelligible.

"Thank God we're killing those SOB's who want to kill us first. Tax money well spent. 14 UN resolutions later and someone had to go in. Remember, WMD's we're only one of the 14 reasons for removing the neo-Fascist threat to our safety and well-being. I'm glad you're safe enough to oppose being safe."

I mean, honestly... come on. Why should I even bother to take the time to respond to something like this? I have better things to do than argue with a twelve-year-old.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Reading Material

"My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met." ~ Rodney Dangerfield

An Impressive Physical Feat

Woes of an Italian Judge

Study: Homophobic Men Not Telling It Straight

Mentally Ill Being Hurt by Medicare Drug Plan Problems

Linguistic Analysis of 'Dude'

The Concept of Reciprocal Liberty: "Where the rights of men are equal, every man must finally see the necessity of protecting the rights of others as the most effectual security for his own." ~ Thomas Paine

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Something Different ~

Thank goodness for Keith "M.F." Chapman!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Iraq war is costing $100,000 per minute

It makes me sick to think about what else this money could have been used for.

MARK MAZZETTI & JOEL HAVEMANN, LOS ANGELES TIMES - The White House said Thursday that it plans to ask Congress for an additional $70 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, driving the cost of military operations in the two countries to $120 billion this year, the highest ever. Most of the new money would pay for the war in Iraq, which has cost an estimated $250 billion since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

The additional spending, along with other war funding the Bush administration will seek separately in its regular budget next week, would push the price tag for combat and nation-building since Sept. 11, 2001, to nearly a half-trillion dollars, approaching the inflation-adjusted cost of the 13-year Vietnam War.

The cost of military operations in 2006 is $35 billion higher than what Congress had estimated a few months ago that the Defense Department would need this year. The higher costs are occurring even as the Pentagon is planning to reduce troop levels in Iraq in coming months, reflecting the continuing wear and damage to military equipment in desert combat, the need to upgrade protection for U.S. troops and the effort to train and equip Iraqi forces.

No large-scale reconstruction projects are included in the spending, officials said.

Currently, the Defense Department says it is spending about $4.5 billion a month on the conflict in Iraq, or about $100,000 per minute. Current spending in Afghanistan is about $800 million a month, or about $18,000 per minute.

The rising costs contrast with projections before the war. Former White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey predicted in late 2002 that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, drawing administration ire for offering such high estimates and eventually resigning his post.

In spring 2003, top administration officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, said Iraq's vast oil reserves would help defray the costs of an extended U.S. stay. Nearly three years later, oil revenues are far below expectations and the Iraqi government is able to pay for only a fraction of its reconstruction.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Today's Highlight....

....was definitely all the mayfly sex.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, L2!

Happy #22 to one of my bestest friends!