Author Archives: DCG

Professor says Trump is so bad, university class doesn’t have to be balanced

The good professor...

The good professor…

From Fox News: Critics have accused academia of subtly indoctrinating students with a liberal agenda for years, but the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency has brought one Pennsylvania political science professor out into the open.

Gettysburg College Prof. Kathleen Iannello announced in an Op-Ed penned for Philly.com that she will not even try to treat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and GOP choice Trump equally because, in her mind, Trump is a “lightning rod for promoting further hate.”

“My approach for the fall semester will be boldly honest: It is a disservice to students to attempt to provide balance when I know that balance is an offense to the truth,” Iannello wrote.

In the column, titled “Balanced Presentation A Dishonest Exercise In Presidential Race,” Iannello admits that, “as a liberal, [she has] no problem extolling the virtues of Democrats.”

To prove her fairness, Iannello notes that she has assigned readings of moderate Republicans and has even offered praise for Ronald Reagan. But Trump is another story, she claimed.

“His harsh and distasteful commentary regarding religious and ethnic groups, as well as women, only serves as a lightning rod for promoting further hate,” Iannello wrote. “He displays neither a record of public service nor an understanding of the word statesmanship. In the history of our country, it is hard to recall anyone less prepared to take office.

When asked by The College Fix if her stance would be fair to students who might not share her politics, Iannello said it would. “I can assure you that all students will have a voice in my classes,” she told the site.

Officials at Gettysburg College said they believe the class will be fair, too. “It’s an important part of our mission as a liberal arts institution to ensure that ideas can be shared openly, and we have every confidence that students will be given opportunity to express their views freely in their classes,” a spokesperson told the site.

baby laughing

Students who claim to have taken Iannello’s classes in the past may doubt her ability to tolerate dissenting opinions. “Professor Iannello means well and is a decent teacher, but she preaches her liberal propaganda way too much in class,” read a 2008 entry on Ratemyprofessor.com, adding, “she is not open to new ideas and is very closed-minded on her beliefs.”

Other entries described her as “intimidating if you lean right” and a person who gives “conservatives a hard time.” “If you’re a right-winger, be prepared to walk into a brick wall whenever you enter the classroom,” one review states.

DCG

Teachers at NM school directed to stop addressing students as ‘boys and girls’

It was just a “mistake.”

serious

From KOB 4: Teachers at Carlos Rey Elementary School are in a tough situation after their assistant principal told them to stop calling their students “boys and girls.”

It seems the school administrators decided to take the new transgender bathroom policy for Albuquerque Public Schools a step further. This appears to the first example of something that started as a bathroom issue now expanding into daily life in the classroom.

A letter sent to teachers at Carlos Rey this month titled “Gender Identity Procedural Directive” states teachers can no longer refer to their students as boys and girls starting this month, telling them to eliminate gender in their classrooms.

It incites a passionate reaction from both sides. “This is outlandish,” said Rev. Adelious D. Stith, a regular at APS board meetings. “This just makes no sense at all.”

Stith has been pleading with board members to listen to parents before allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The district has said it will comply with a federal order on the issue, and this is the first school year with the policy in action.

Stith said the letter from an assistant principal proves the APS directive has just caused confusion in how to correctly implement it.

“She or he is now exercising what they believe,” Stith said. “It’s their spin on the directive. They are confused obviously. We can call them scientists, but we can’t call them boys and girls. This is ridiculous.”

Adrien Lawyer

Adrien Lawyer

But Adrien Lawyer with the Transgender Resource Center believes the assistant principal was actually trying to do the right thing. “What the principal was trying to say is let’s think about how we address students and all of the gendered language that we use all day every day and whether or not we really have to do that,” he said.

Lawyer said that kind of policy would have taken a lot of the daily suffering out of his childhood, growing up as a girl who knew in his heart he was a boy. “For some young people, that’s a really painful experience every day to be referred to as the wrong gender,” he said.

The district said this was a complete mistake on the assistant principal’s part and that she was immediately addressing the overreach. APS said nowhere in their transgender policy does it say to not call students boys and girls.

Sources at the school, however, tell KOB they were told to continue with that policy.

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG

Rising of patients seriously hurt by NHS blunders: More than 6,000 incidents were recorded last year

NHS

From Daily Mail: A patient is treated by the NHS every 90 minutes following a serious medical blunder. More than 6,000 incidents involving accidental cuts, punctures, perforations or haemorrhages were logged last year – three times the rate of 2005.

Campaigners say that poor training and inadequate staffing levels explain the mistakes. Senior doctors have warned the cash-strapped NHS is heading into an ‘extremely difficult autumn’. Hospitals have been told to cancel thousands of non-urgent procedures. The medical blunders make the financial pressures worse by extending hospital stays and encouraging compensation payouts.

The figures released earlier in the week reveal 6,082 incidents of patients needing NHS treatment following a blunder in English hospitals last year.  This compares with 2,193 ten years ago, according to NHS Digital, the official health statistics unit. The bill for compensation stood at £1.48billion last year, a 27 per cent increase on 2014, accounts for the NHS Litigation Authority show.

Katherine Murphy of the Patients Association said: ‘With all the systems and procedures that are in place within the NHS, how are such basic, avoidable mistakes still happening? It is a disgrace that such incidents are increasing. There is clearly a lack of learning across the NHS, or even within individual trusts. These patients have been very badly let down by poor processes and utter carelessness. We call for the Government and Royal Colleges to take steps to address this alarming rise.’

Andrew Goddard, registrar at the Royal College of Physicians, last week warned that a funding and staffing crisis is putting huge pressure on doctors. ‘Physicians are facing rota gaps, consultants acting down into trainee positions, inability to recruit to posts in key specialties due to a lack of trainees, and difficulties in covering day-to-day services,’ he said. ‘We’re heading into an extremely difficult autumn.’

The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health has also warned of staffing shortages, raising concerns that children’s care is ‘increasingly compromised’.

nhs

The paediatric workforce is at ‘breaking point’ it said in a report, with more than half of units failing to meet staffing standards. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has repeatedly called for a new culture of transparency to increase safety in an era of fewer resources.

Last year he launched what he called a ‘reformation’ in the culture of the health service, claiming he wanted to make British people the ‘most powerful patients in the world’.

He encouraged every member of staff – from cleaners up to consultants – to blow the whistle when they see evidence of poor care, in a bid to halt the annual toll of 10,000 avoidable deaths in English hospitals.

Mr. Hunt has repeatedly urged doctors to take the same approach to safety as the aviation industry. He has pledged that those who own up to blunders will get legal protection – the same system as that used among airlines.

NHS staff will be protected from prosecution based on their own evidence although they could still face sanctions if guilty of malpractice or negligence.

The new system involves the creation of the independent Healthcare Accident Investigation Branch, which starts work this autumn.

Safety campaigners said the first thing the unit must do is launch a review of why problems are rising so fast.

Peter Walsh, of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said more complex procedures and better reporting of incidents may partly explain the rise, but would not account for the figures trebling. He said: ‘I suspect inadequate staffing and increased pressure at work are also factors.

I also know there is a lot of concern among surgeons that the training they get is not as thorough and adequate as used to be the case. There is not as much time spent on technical skills. Of course it is a known risk of surgery that these things happen, but that doesn’t make it OK and much of the time they are really bad errors that are perfectly avoidable.’

One of the most common mistakes we hear of during laparoscopic surgery is perforation of the bowel. This is very, very serious and can be fatal if not repaired very quickly. The increase in incidents is very worrying and there needs to be an investigation to get to the bottom of it.

You can read the rest of the story here.

See also:

DCG

Tuesday funnies!

We have gone full circle! History repeating itself!

One of our first gender-neutral bathrooms

outhouse

 

The Bar vs. The Baptists

In a small Midwestern conservative town, a business owner began to construct a building for a new bar. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers.

Work progressed, however, right up until the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn’t!”

the-laughing-funny-cat

DCG

One-third of US won’t have choice between Obamacare plans in 2017

Going as planned.

obamacare

From MSN: It’s looking like a lot of people are going to have little Obamacare choice next year. One-third of the United States may have just a single insurer to pick from on Obamacare marketplaces in 2017, an analysis released Friday suggests.

Seven entire states are projected to have just one carrier in 2017: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to research by the Avalere consultancy.

And more than half of the country, 55 percent, may end up having two or fewer insurers to choose from on those government-run exchanges, Avalere said.  “And there may be some sub-region counties where no plans are available,” a report by Avalere on its analysis found.

The findings reflect the effect of announcements this summer that three major insurers — Aetna (AET), UnitedHealth (UNH), and Humana (HUM) — will sharply reduce the number of areas where they will sell individual health plans in 2017 due to financial losses on those plans, as well as the failures of most Obamacare co-op insurance plans.

The analysis relates to the number of insurers in a given “rating region,” not the number of plans available. A single insurer can offer multiple plans at different price points, and at different levels of coverage.

The analysis, which assumes no new plans will enter the markets losing those insurers, is sobering news for many consumers, about 11.1 million of whom are now covered by plans sold on the exchanges.

The Obama administration, when asked about 2017 Obamacare insurance premiums that are on track to be significantly higher than in past years, has repeatedly said that consumers can shop around between plans for better prices. But in areas where this is no or little competition, price shopping will be less of an option.

Pinal County, Arizona, is one place that is, as of now, not expected to have an Obamacare insurer to choose from on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange next year. The county near Phoenix, which has 400,000 residents, has seen two insurers, United Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona decided to exit the area.

Avalere noted that in 2016, only 4 percent of rating regions — the geographic areas that insurance plans cover — had just one or fewer insurers offering plans. And only 33 percent of the country had two or fewer insurers.

“Depending on where consumers live, their choice of insurance plans may decrease for 2017,” said Elizabeth Carpenter, Avalere senior vice president. “Some exchange enrollees may need to choose another insurance plan in order to maintain coverage.”

Avalere President Dan Mendelson said that the decrease in competition in Obamacare plans is the result of lower-than-expected enrollment, consumers who are costing insurers a lot in health-care benefits, and “troubled” programs that were intended to reduce the risk insurers face by selling coverage on the exchanges.

Obama_laughing

“Congress and the administration can choose to stabilize these markets and re-establish competition — but only through a consensus process that brings in a brings in a broader swath of the uninsured,” Mendelson said.

DCG

Nearly 15,000 new Clinton emails gleaned in FBI probe

shocked face

Via Seattle Times: The State Department said Monday it is reviewing nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails recovered as part of the FBI’s now-closed investigation into the handling of sensitive information that flowed through Hillary Clinton’s private home server.

Lawyers for the department told U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday that they anticipate processing and releasing the first batch of these new emails in mid-October, raising the prospect new messages sent or received by Democratic nominee could become public just before November’s presidential election. The judge is overseeing production of the emails as part of a federal public-records lawsuit filed by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch.

Representing the State Department, Justice Department lawyer Lisa Olson told Boasberg that officials do not yet know what portion of the emails is work-related rather than personal. Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She has claimed that she deleted only personal emails prior to returning over 55,000 pages of her work-related messages to the State Department last year.

Hillary Clinton what difference does it make

The State Department has publicly released most of those work-related emails, although some have been withheld because they contain information considered sensitive to national security.

Republicans are pressing to keep the issue of Clinton’s email use alive after the FBI closed its investigation last month without recommending criminal charges. GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump routinely criticizes Clinton for her handling of emails containing classified information.

Olson told the judge that State earlier this month received seven disks containing “tens of thousands” of emails Clinton sent or received during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat. The first disk, labeled by the FBI as containing non-classified emails not previously disclosed by Clinton, contains about 14,900 documents, Olson said. The second disk is labeled as emails containing classified information.

Olson told Boasberg she could not immediately say how many emails are contained on the rest of the disks or how many might be copies of emails Clinton already has provided.

Given the large volume of messages, Olson said it was “extremely ambitious” for the agency to complete its review and begin releasing the first batches of emails to Judicial Watch by Oct. 14.

Judicial Watch lawyer Lauren Burke told Boasberg that the proposed schedule is too slow and pressed for faster release of the emails from the first disk. The judge ordered the department to focus its efforts on processing the emails from the first disk and to report back to him on its progress by Sept. 22.

As part of proceedings in a separate Judicial Watch lawsuit, a federal judge on Friday ordered Clinton to answer written questions from the group about why she chose to rely on a private server located in the basement of her New York home, rather than use a government email account.

DCG

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks

Paging Merkel.

merkel muslim

From Yahoo: For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.

“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper quoted the government’s “Concept for Civil Defence” – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying. The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content.

People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said. The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany’s territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.

However, the precautionary measures demand that people “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future,” the paper cited the report as saying.

It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said. A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.

Germany’s Defence Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the “crosshairs of terrorism” and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.

DCG