Malpractice Reporting

Here’s a view against capping medical malpractice lawsuits.

Personally, I am for capping these lawsuits, at least to the extent that they are responsible for rising medical costs. However, as Dr. Pinson alludes to, bad and incompetent doctors should not be allowed to mis-practice their profession in secrecy.

It’s simple enough to bring these matters into the light. Imagine you are given a “how was our service” card when you leave the doctor’s office after a visit. You answer a few simple questions rating your doctor’s performance and the information is saved to a national database of physician performance ratings.

This information could be available to everyone for a relatively low cost, call it $750,000 as a rough estimate. Quick, easy, simple, and not too good to be true.

American Air Execs Full of Hot Air

Eating apparently wasn’t going to be a problem for American Airline execs, at least until their unions found out about new executive comp plans and raised the roof with their objections.

I hate to say it, but I’ve finally seen a use for labor unions. Somebody’s got to keep an eye on corporate leaders who seem more interested in lining their pockets than leading companies. Certainly boards of directors are not doing so. In many cases, the salaries they approve for the execs they hire are simply outlandish and completely disproportionate to the value provided to the companies’ owners – the stockholders.

In the case of American, CEO Don Carty’s salary is a relatively modest $550,000. He simply picked the worst possible moment to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Maybe some other would-be crooks will think twice about pulling a Carty. Maybe.

Ollie North and Al Gore

I received this little ditty from a relative today:

It was 1987, during the Reagan Administration. Lt.Col. Oliver North was testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings in front of God and country. What he said was stunning to look back upon.

He was being drilled by a senator. “Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?” he was asked.

Ollie replied, “Yes, I did, Sir.”

The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, “Isn’t that just a little excessive?”

“No, sir,” continued Ollie.

“No? And why not?” the senator asked.

“Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir.”

“Threatened? By whom?” the senator questioned.

“By a terrorist, sir” Ollie answered.

“Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?”

“His name is Osama bin Laden, sir” Ollie replied.

At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn’t pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn’t. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. Why are you so afraid of this man?” the senator asked.

“Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of”, Ollie answered.

“And what do you recommend we do about him?” asked the senator.

“Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth.”

The senator disagreed with this approach. That senator was Al Gore.

Stupidity Here in Texas

Rep. Kino Flores of Mission has introduced a resolution that would make tortilla chips and salsa the official state snack. Thank goodness for this important legislation.

Some people think they have found a legitimate use for pit bulls. That will be the day. There’s no good reason to own one of these dogs if you live within 10 miles of another person.

This is a nice piece of reporting, he said sarcastically. The last thing the morons raising these dogs need is any sort of validation

Texas Drivers

This could be based on actual research…

The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had
covertly funded a project with the U.S. auto maker for the past five years,
whereby the auto makers were installing black boxes in four-wheel drive
pick-up trucks in an effort to determine, in fatal accidents, the
circumstances in the last 15 seconds before the crash.

They were surprised to find in 49 of the 50 states the last words of drivers
in 74.7 percent of fatal crashes were, “Oh, Shit!”

Only the state of Texas was different, where 92.3 percent of the final
words were, “Hey Y’all, hold my beer and watch this!”

School Food, not Exercise

Kids that eat too much junk food and exercise too little are prime candidates for diabetes, one study shows. This makes sense, doesn’t it?

So what’s the problem? Are families too busy making ends meet and/or keeping up with the Joneses to play ball with their kids? Spending too much time stuck in traffic to teach Junior how to ride his bike? Too afraid to let their kids play outside unsupervised due to rampant crime? All of the above?

Schools are not helping. Between awarding cafeteria contracts to fast food chains and condoning soda swigging in classrooms, public schools are fattening up our kids like cattle. To make the problem worse, the amount of time spent on physical education is inadequate and the intensity level too low.

Another trend is problematic as well: the ever-increasing population in our schools. Regardless of how many students there are, the football team only has room for 40 or so players. This lessens the number of kids who can participate in athletic activities even further. Considering the other problems created by these gargantuan schools such as long bus rides, inadequate security, etc., one wonders whether the benefits of large schools are worth the cost.