I’m glad my culture of5700 years has been reduced to ‘good moneymaking’. After all, I’m sure the Moses, as he descended from the mount had a marketing plan to sell little Torahs all over, because he was culturally attuned. I can hear the clang of symbols as my ancestors fled Egypt making sure they stowed the gold on their way out of the country. Throughout the centuriesJews have been derided for their attentiveness to money and things money, often imbued with powers never given them to control monies.
Recently I sought to upgrade from my DSL service which we’ve had since 1998 or thereabouts, finding that the current (supposedly) 6⁄728 was really 3⁄284 on a recent billing. Its not easy upgrading. Since we took M aBell (you do remember the good old AT&T ?) and made it many pieces. Its rather like the Iron Giant, who reassembles himself from the blown apart pieces. He, on the other had is for good.
I’m astounded at what passes for service. I probably shouldn’t be. Recently I went to aBestBuy. They employ college grads, young folk, with slicked hair and ‘tude. I’m usually in there, an older guy, tie, shirt looking about for what I need. At first I thought “bad clothing” or “bad BO” but that’s not it. You can be systematically ignored in the store. Asking a tech question may or may not get you a human to help, but for me it has worked to the extreme opposite, sent to some corner of the store so that when I get back, that person is gone and another in his/her place.
Ahh my faith in the society of robber barons is renewed! On the news: A fine of 156 million is levied for stealing. No jail. No restrictions just the fine at 1% of last years net. Wow! The cost of doing business. I’m not dismayed anymore. I’m sad. I’m sure I’m not alone. The weasels are in the hen house and have eaten all the chickens and wonder why there are no eggs.
I work in a Community Health Center and as such we see the folks at the bottom of the health ladder, well more like health string these days. It must be that time for the HMO’s to come suck the marrow out of the bones of the state insured patients. How so, you ask? We, the physicians, are flooded with requests to change medications. Change? Well yes. We need to use cheaper, not necessarily better for the patient, drugs for the patient to keep up our end of the deal.
Jeff and I undertook implementation of FreeMED an Open Source Electronic Medical Record and practice management system for the Pop-Wuj Clinic, a primary care, non-profit, free and open clinic in Quezeltenango, Guatemala. The clinic, founded by members of Pop-Wuj Spanish School, (http://www.pop-wuj.org/) a non-profit school for teaching Spanish language, and Dr. Jonathan St. George, an emergency department physician at Weill Cornell Medical Center . Dr St. George began with a space and a concept and has with coordination with the Timmy Foundation staffed a regular clinic with a full time physician and assistants, recruited a part time dentist and a part time community physician to work in the clinic.
I read Paul Romer’s The effect of Health Care Reform on others, a play on the vagaries of our dysfunctional healthcare system and putative illnesses of Mother Goose characters. I admit it (a guilty pleasure) I laughed. Then I reflected on the daily life in ourCommunity Health Center, in Connecticut, located in poorest city of its size in the nation. The irony is just too much. We (nutmegers) are the wealthiest per captita state in the nation!
I’ve been watching with interest the current Republican party dance around repeal of the Healthcare insurance legislation just passed. Its a sad bit of badly made political salad with very little for those who need health insurance, a guaranteed business for the insurance companies (universal sign up), guaranteed pharma profits (no pharma negotiation) and extension of the market for about 40% of those who are still uncovered or uninsured. State legislatures, not to be overlooked are trying their best to carve themselves in our out of the new Heatlhcare bill by blocking advances or by shouting states rights.
Hola! We have arrived. The medical brigade to Pop-Wuj has landed. We arrived on different flights but managed to coordinate being in the same part of the air terminal. Customs went very smoothly although one of the bags with the primary server didn’t make it; it will be found an delivered soon (probably a mix up at Miami-Dade airport). Out goal. Set up FreeMED for use in the Pop-Wuj Clinic. The crew this week is here to work the medical clinic, assist Dr.
I don´t have pictures yet but Shelley ran with John Sullivan in a (billed as 26 km) race through the streets of Xela. The race began a bit late and Dr. Sullivan and I were watching on street corners for the racers. Its 2600 meteres up here so the air is thin. Things done Guatemaltecan style are often without much preparation. There were no crossing guards, no blockoff´s to run interference for the Chicken Bus population and the cars seemed relatively oblivous of the racers.