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Women After All: End of Male Supremacy

August 17, 2016

It’s a fond topic around our house: the demise of men outside of sperm donors. Actually, the book, “Women After All” details ways in which women can reproduce using DNA from other women’s eggs, upping the ante from men as merely sperm donors to extinguishing men altogether, outside of DNA remnants. The argument goes something like this: if the mammalian body is intrinsically female, “maleness is a syndrome,” (as phrased in Nature, 481) then all humans are female and therefore capable of reproducing without the syndrome’s input.

How is that possible? It’s described well, here:

There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression.

It is called maleness.

Maleness as “human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common.” Intriguing theory, and another book reviewer, male, is quick to point out that this genetic defect exists through no “fault of their own.”

Here is a stunning fact: There is a single chunk of DNA, known as SRY, that dooms its carriers to shorter life spans and a greater probability of death due to accidents, as well as increased risk of being not only violent but also a victim of violence. More than 90% of people who run afoul of the law and are currently incarcerated carry this gene—although, to be fair, nearly one-half of non-felons are similarly afflicted. It’s a tough road for those unfortunates who are forced, through no fault of their own, to deal with such defective genetics: There is no cure. The SRY gene is located on the Y chromosome, and if you haven’t already guessed, it’s the one that makes its carrier male. SRY comes from “Sex determining Region of the Y chromosome.”

For all of those people who claim that women can’t be effective leaders or scientists (we’re looking at you, Tim Hunt), the author or “Women After All” explains that tears have nothing to do with the ravages of man:

Let’s face it: Men are responsible for much more than their share of the world’s wars, drug abuse and sexual misbehavior. To be sure, men have also been responsible for many of the good—even great—aspects of civilization, but this may be because they grant themselves more influence and opportunity in this regard. “Life on this planet isn’t threatened by women’s tears; nor does that brimming salty fluid cause poverty, drain public coffers, ruin reputations, impose forced intimacies, slay children, torture helpless people, or reduce cities to rubble. These disasters are literally man-made.” Indeed, if we were to magically do away with male-initiated violence, we would pretty much do away with violence altogether. (Of 80 mass killings in the U.S. involving guns between 1984 and 2014, men perpetrated 78.)

A world without men would mean an 80% reduction in violence, immediately. Pretty compelling argument. The author of the last review then looses me when he says, unsurprisingly, that this book of feminism was most convincingly written, of course, by a man. The author of the review, above, David Brash, extolls on women’s virtues as genetic nurturers, because we have wombs, you know, and states that men are more violent because they have less investment in pregnancy than women:

Men—like males of most mammals—are thus more sexually competitive, as well as violence-prone. Women—like females of all mammals—are more nurturant. These widely confirmed biological facts have bothered many feminists, in part because the latter in particular has sometimes been used as a stick with which to beat women, arguing that nurturance is all they are good at—but the reality is that nurturance is a marvelous, wholly admirable trait, and one in terribly short supply.

Blah, blah, blah, perhaps Barash hasn’t seen how many young die in the wild due to mothers who can’t take care of their young, nurturing being left to someone else. Or perhaps Barash just loves the idea that parenthood is a zero sum game, women take all. But the strength of the argument in “Women After All” stems from genetics as just genetics, not as subjective genetics. Why assign a right or wrong to a genetic predisposition of being female? Isn’t it enough that humans begin female? The genetic defect is the male syndrome? There is no need to get into nature vs. nurture when all of the argument is nature: it’s human nature to be female, a genetic defect to be male. Said genetic male defect results in anomalies related to crime and violence. Who cares about nurture? Nature is female, all of nature.

Konner argues that hunter-gatherers are more egalitarian when it comes to gender and only agriculturally based societies become imbalanced. It reminds of a book worth reading, “When God Was A Woman,” by Merlin Stoen, and that book makes the argument that the imbalance of the world is the imbalance of patriarchal power taken by force.

Both books are worth reading, and while men don’t need to be replaced with genetic manipulation, it seems they have been paving the way with that for some time with plants and animals already. Male demise may well be a function of their own success.

 

 

Medical Mistakes 3rd Leading Cause of Death In The United States: Top 25 Ways Insurance Companies Buy Judicial Verdicts and Manipulate Information to Cover Up Deadly Medical Errors

May 6, 2016

The trumpeting of lowering of medical malpractice lawsuits had unintended consequence for the American consumer: death. Medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. You read the correctly: medical errors kill more people than accidents or strokes. And no one is doing anything about it.

How can that be? It’s a complicated insurance company regime, and it has deadly consequences, but it was a form of political strategy that while killer for patients, has been wildly successful insurance companies. What is the strategy? Well, I will spell it out in a  few simple steps:

  1. Mislead the public into believing lawsuits are a “bad” thing. Remember the woman burned by hot coffee that supposedly drove the lawsuit blood bath? A documentary Hot Coffee was made about how her, but she really was injured. The media lied about her. She was really injured, was an 80-year old woman with second degree burns to her vagina, not something people talked about.
  2.  Dump money into judicial elections to get the desired results you want in the courtroom. Putting money into judicial campaigns is good business sense for insurance companies–put a little into a campaign and buy decisions favorable to insurance companies. How much is a “little,” well, there is big money in judicial elections, and insurance companies donate 5% of all the donations, but don’t forget that insurance companies often donate through business groups, such as a “Business Council.” Here is the data on judicial elections from Follow the Money.org:In 2009 and 2010, 72 high court races were on the ballot in 35 states and 253 intermediate appellate court races were decided in 31 states.Of the 475 judicial candidates who ran for these seats, 265 raised money totaling slightly more than $45 million: $26.6 million by high court candidates and $18.5 million by appellate court candidates.Partisan races typically attract the lion’s share of money raised in judicial elections and the elections in 2009 and 2010 were no exception. Partisan judicial races attracted $33.5 million—nearly four times the $8.7 million raised in nonpartisan races…However, some interesting findings about state supreme court elections across the country were revealed in The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2000–2009. For instance, the Business Council of Alabama, which was one of the top ten contributors to judicial races in Alabama between 2000 and 2009, also holds a top spot in this 2009–10 analysis of all states.
  3. Use the Chamber of Commerce to donate to judicial elections: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in particular, has become a powerful player in judicial races. From 2001 to 2003 its preferred candidates won 21 of 24 elections. The chamber spent more than $1 million to aid the 2006 campaigns of two Ohio Supreme Court justices, and in the most recent high court election in Alabama, money from the state’s chamber accounted for 40 percent of all campaign contributions.
  4. Buy your judge’s vote: studies say it works! Judges have been found to rule in favor of their campaign contributors up to 91% of the time, according to a NY Times report:An examination of the Ohio Supreme Court by The New York Times found that its justices routinely sat on cases after receiving campaign contributions from the parties involved or from groups that filed supporting briefs. On average, they voted in favor of contributors 70 percent of the time. Justice O’Donnell voted for his contributors 91 percent of the time, the highest rate of any justice on the court.In the 12 years that were studied, the justices almost never disqualified themselves from hearing their contributors’ cases. In the 215 cases with the most direct potential conflicts of interest, justices recused themselves just 9 times.Even sitting justices have started to question the current system. “I never felt so much like a hooker down by the bus station in any race I’ve ever been in as I did in a judicial race,” said Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, a Republicanmember of the Ohio Supreme Court. “Everyone interested in contributing has very specific interests.”“They mean to be buying a vote,” Justice Pfeifer added. “Whether they succeed or not, it’s hard to say.”Three recent cases, two in Illinois and one in West Virginia, have put the complaints in sharp focus. Elected justices there recently refused to disqualify themselves from hearing suits in which tens or hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake. The defendants were insurance, tobacco and coal companies whose supporters had spent millions of dollars to help elect the justices.After a series of big-money judicial contests around the nation, the balance of power in several state high courts has tipped in recent years in favor of corporations and insurance companies…The court’s decisions, the study found, were rife with potential conflicts. In more than 200 of the 1,500 cases, at least one justice cast a vote after receiving a significant campaign contribution. On scores of occasions, the justices’ campaigns took contributions after a case involving the contributor was argued and before it was decided — just when conflicts are most visible and pointed.Contributors did well with those whose campaigns they had financed. Of the 10 justices in the Times study, 6 sided with contributors more than 70 percent of the time. Justice O’Donnell, who has been on the court for only three years and has participated in fewer decisions than most of the justices studied, had the highest rate — 91 percent.Lawyers who gave money were not nearly as successful. Five justices voted for the positions represented by these contributors half of the time, and the average rate was 55 percent. Recusals in cases involving contributors were all but unheard of.
  5. Tell judges to keep quiet about how campaign contributions impact rulings:And they are succeeding. Not long ago, the Ohio Supreme Court was controlled by liberal justices whose campaigns had been financed in large part by plaintiffs’ lawyers and unions. Now that business groups are outspending their adversaries, the court has become dominated by more conservative justices. And the court’s decisions are no longer markedly sympathetic to people claiming injuries.Justice O’Donnell, a Republican, won his seat with the help of big contributions from the insurance, finance and medical industries. He is running for re-election this year, and his opponent, Judge William O’Neill, is making contributions an issue.“We have to stop selling seats on the Ohio Supreme Court like we sell seats on the New York Stock Exchange,” said Judge O’Neill, a Democrat on the 11th District Court of Appeals in Warren, in northeast Ohio. He says he will not accept contributions.Justice O’Donnell, who has raised more than $3 million since 2000, refused to be interviewed for this article despite more than a half-dozen requests to his campaign, his chambers and the court. In a statement, he said, “Any effort to link judicial campaign contributions received by a judicial campaign committee for major media advertising to case outcomes is misleading and erodes public confidence in the judiciary.”
  6. Make sure insurance companies donate more than plaintiffs’ attorneys to buy judicial decisions that favor insurance companies: “law firms that work mostly for plaintiffs have fared poorly in the court. A look at a sample of 14 big plaintiffs’ firms showed that they won 64 percent of the cases in the study before 2003. In the next three years, [after the rise in spending to elect] of the court’s conservative wing, their success rate dropped to 17 percent.”
  7. Use your money to make sure the judges rule in favor of insurance companies as opposed to injured individuals so you don’t have to pay out insurance for medical injuries: If recent history is any guide, the trends are ominous for individuals suing corporations. The states that have seen the most money in judicial elections now have supreme courts that are dominated by pro-corporate judges. The Appendix to this report lists all high court rulings on cases where an individual sues a corporation from 1992 to 2010 in the six states that have seen the most judicial campaign cash in that time period—Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan. The data includes 403 cases from 2000 to 2010, and in those cases the courts ruled in favor of corporations 71 percent of the time. The high courts that have seen the most campaign spending are much more likely to rule in favor of big businesses and against individuals who have been injured, scammed, or subjected to discrimination…This report discusses how the soaring cost of judicial elections led to state supreme court decisions that favor corporate litigants over individuals seeking to hold them accountable. The report provides illustrations from six states— Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Michigan—of how corporate interest groups that desire a certain outcome have donated money to judges, and the same judges have then interpreted the law in a manner that achieves their corporate donors’ desired outcome.
  8. Have your bought judge “interpret” the law in your favor:A party to a lawsuit in West Virginia repeatedly asked a state supreme court justice to recuse himself after an executive with the opposing party, a coal company, spent more than $3 million through an independent entity to support the judge’s election. The judge refused and cast the deciding vote overturning a $50 million verdict against the coal company. In 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the judge should have recused himself. The court noted that the executive’s contribution was three times more than the spending by the justice’s own campaign. The U.S. Supreme Court stated, “Just as no man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, similar fears of bias can arise when … a man chooses the judge in his own cause.”Even judges are alarmed at the growing influence of money on courts. A 2002 survey found that 84 percent of state judges are concerned about interest groups spending money on judicial campaigns. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently warned of an inherent risk “that the public may inaccurately perceive a justice as beholden to individuals or groups that contribute to his or her campaign.” Justice Paul Pfeifer, a Republican on the Ohio Supreme Court, has criticized the money flowing into his state’s judicial campaigns. “Everyone interested in contributing has very specific interests,” Pfeifer said. “They mean to be buying a vote. … whether they succeed or not, it’s hard to say.”
  9. Now that judges rule in your favor, you insurance companies don’t have to pay medical malpractice claims, and your profits skyrocket. Notice that the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer is in Alabama, the state with the most corporate spending delivered to judicial races (Business Council of Alabama was one of the top ten contributors to judicial races in Alabama between 2000 and 2009):Payments made to victims of medical malpractice are down, lawsuits filed against doctors and hospitals continue to plummet, and the industry in 2013 posted an underwriting profit for the eighth straight year, according to a May report by A.M. Best Co., an insurance company rating service.Some of the profits are even being passed on to doctors and hospitals through cuts in premium rates or dividends, the report noted.”This is a boom time for physicians,” said Michael Matray, editor of the Medical Liability Monitor, a Chicago trade magazine that follows the medical malpractice insurance industry. “And the industry is making money.”Wisconsin’s largest provider of medical malpractice insurance, ProAssurance Corp., the fourth-largest medical malpractice insurer in the country, recorded a 103% profit margin on its premiums nationwide in 2010, records filed with insurance regulators show. The company, which is based in Alabama, has continued to post extraordinary profits on its national medical malpractice business, with a 64.7% profit margin on its premiums last year, following margins of 86.4% in 2012 and 91% in 2011.
  10. Lie to Legislators to claim their is a medical malpractice crisis, when there really isn’t:Today’s profits are partially the result of the industry’s blowing its call at the beginning of the 21st century by putting millions of extra dollars into reserve to pay claims that never surfaced.Critics charge it was an intentional move by the insurers so they could raise rates and support their argument that the nation was in the midst of a malpractice insurance crisis — which in turn led lawmakers to enact reforms such as capping the damages that can be paid in a medical malpractice lawsuit.“They were intentionally over-reserving. This was completely predictable,” said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, a left-leaning national consumer rights organization. “There is a political element to this: Create a crisis, raise rates.”
  11. Don’t let the injured go to court. Lie about a manufactured medical malpractice crisis so that the injured can’t go to court and publicize medical mistakes:In Wisconsin, the second bill signed into law after Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011 was a tort reform measure that said incident reports written by nursing home staff could not be used as evidence in court — a change that lawyers for plaintiffs say makes it more difficult to bring a case against the facilities.About 35 states, including Wisconsin, have caps on the amount of noneconomic damages, such as those paid for pain and suffering or loss of companionship, that can be awarded in a malpractice case. Wisconsin caps the damages at $750,000.Charles Huber, an A.M. Best senior financial analyst, said damage caps and other tort reform measures help the bottom lines of insurers.“The fewer claims that get into the court system keep your expenses down,” Huber said.
  12. Don’t pay costs for people who are injured: “A study of 8,231 closed malpractice cases evaluated the influence of standard of care on the resolution of the malpractice claims. Payment was made in 43 percent of the 8,321 cases…only 51 percent of all payments went to plaintiffs who had actually suffered medical injury due to negligent care. Another study illustrates that the total number of payments to injured patients has dramatically decreased.
  13. Lie about how much insurance premiums cost physicians to manufacture a non-existent crisis:That’s right, $4,926.63 for the whole year! (It says $5025.63 because they want a voluntary $99.00 yearly PAC contribution that they add to the the bill.) This is the fifth straight year that I’ve paid less than $5,000 for my malpractice and my premiums have been as low as $3,000 for the year.So, why so little? If the cost of medical malpractice is breaking the back of healthcare in this Country, why is my bill so low? Is it because I’m such an outstanding doctor that my insurance provider long ago recognized that I would never be sued? Well, I’d like to think that were true but, no. Here’s how much other doctors in my community pay for medical malpractice insurance2015:”The nephrologist who has an office one floor below me pays about $4,980 this year; $54 a year more than I pay and she runs a dialysis unit.A pulmonologist I work with pays $6,342 this year, an ophthalmologists less than $7,000, emergency room physicians: $11,000-$12,000 this year, anesthesiologists: $12,000-$14,000 this year, surgeons (including orthopedics) $20,000-$22,000 this year and Ob/Gyn about $34,000 (obstetrics always has the highest malpractice premiums).You can see from those amounts that medical malpractice premiums aren’t bankrupting me or any of my colleagues. But that just covers the area where I practice. What about the rest of the country? Is medical malpractice driving up medical costs elsewhere in the US? Lets examine the data.A really good source for medical malpractice claims data is the National Practitioner Data Bank which posts data on all paid medical malpractice claims since 2003. A summary of the data for the US as well as for each individual state is here. As the following graphs show, both the number of paid medical malpractice claims as well as the total amount paid on these claims has been dropping steadily since 2003.”
  14. Lie about how much “defensive medicine” costs to drive the hype over the insurance-company-created-fake crisis. According to a physician doing research on the strange misperception of costs in healthcare, defensive medicine. Defensive medicine accounts for less than 1% of the  “cost” in the healthcare system, .056%, or only 1/2% of a point: “The cost of defensive medicine in the US was done by the Blue Cross Blue Shield association. Blue Cross and Blue Shield are health insurance providers so they actually do pay for some of this defensive medicine. They estimate that defensive medicine costs about $45.6 billion a year, which is still a lot of money, but only a small fraction of the amount doctors guessed that it cost…the entire combined revenue for all hospitals in the US in 2010 (the year this study was published) was about $815 billion
  15. Lie about tort reform helping to reduce costs–TORT REFORM TO LIMIT MALPRACTICE PAYOUTS ACTUALLY RAISES COSTS:Of the 33 states that had any sort of active tort reform law in 2013, 16 had per capita malpractice costs that were above the median, 16 were below the median and Oregon had the median amount. It would be hard to have demonstrated less of an effect that year. The list for 2014 yielded similar results with 15 States that had active tort reform laws having above median medical malpractice costs and 18 States with below median costs.
  16. Lie about how buying the judiciary and rigging the Legislature lowers medical malpractice cost–malpractice costs actually drop when Constitutional rights are preservedMissouri has a similar story to Illinois when it comes to medical malpractice costs and tort reform laws. Missouri also passed a law in 2005 capping non economic damages in medical malpractice cases at $500,000. This law was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2012. In 2011, the year before the law was overturned, Missouri had their highest medical malpractice costs in more than a decade. The year after the law was overturned, medical malpractice cost dropped significantly in Missouri.                                                               Another example occurred in Illinois, when unconstitutional med mal laws were reversed, costs actually dropped:Illinois passed a law in 2005 that capped non economic damages in medical malpractice cases at $500,000. After the law was passed, malpractice costs began to drop in that State. In 2010, the Illinois State Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional. Ever since that law was overturned, medical malpractice costs in Illinois…have continued to drop. They dropped by more than 30% in Illinois after their tort reform law was overturned.                          This is not just a small coincidence, in seeing a reduction in medical malpractice cases when tort reform laws were overturned: Add to this the fact that there were dramatic drops in medical malpractice costs in Delaware and Iowawithout any tort reform laws. Or that Minnesota and Vermont have among the lowest rates for Medical Malpractice per capita in the US (again without any need for tort reform) and the case for tort reform laws becomes very murky...Also, even very strict laws aimed at reducing medical malpractice costs appear to be ineffective in certain States (e.g. Massachusetts, Louisiana). But most importantly, a 27% drop in medical malpractice costs in the US has coincided with a 64% rise in overall health care costs. Clearly, tort reform laws have done nothing to reduce overall health care costs and are only partly responsible for reducing medical malpractice costs
  17. Pretend doctors don’t want to pay when they cause an injury, instead of telling the truth that insurance companies deny payment for injuries. It’s easier to make doctors the bad guys.  It’s a trump card that insurance companies like to hold out in front, the idea that all doctors hate the idea of paying any insurance to a person they have injured, and it’s simply not true. One man who became a doctor had sued for an injury he sustained, but even he said that the insurance companies don’t pay when they should: ““I think the malpractice system has run amok,” he finally said. “I don’t think that my little experience has anything to do with it—the system is just so rampant with problems. But, if you’re damaged, you’re damaged. If we screw up, I think we should eat it.” Wasn’t he contradicting himself? No, he said; the system was the contradiction. It helps few of the people who deserve compensation.”
  18. Lie about how many people die from medical errors: In 1999, 98,000 people were reported to have died because of medical errors, 90% of medical errors being unreported. By 2014, 251,454 people died from medical errors, making death due to medical error the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.
  19. Don’t report deaths from medical errors to the public:The Johns Hopkins’ authors said the inability to capture the full impact of medical errors results in a lack of public attention and a failure to invest in research. They called for adding a new question to death certificates specifically asking if a preventable complication of care contributed.“While no method of investigating and documenting preventable harm is perfect,” the authors write, “some form of data collection of death due to medical error is needed to address the problem.”Anderson, however, said it’s an “uncomfortable situation” for a doctor to report that a patient died from a medical error. Adding a check box to the death certificate won’t solve that problem, he said, and a better strategy is to educate doctors about the importance of reporting errors.“This is a public health issue, and they need to report it for the sake of public health,” he said…Dr. Eric Thomas, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Houston Medical School whose research was cited in the Institute of Medicine’s landmark “To Err is Human” report, said existing estimates aren’t precise enough to support immediately listing errors as the third-leading cause of death.But collecting better cause-of-death data is a good idea, said Thomas, who agreed that medical errors are underreported.“If we can clarify for the public and lawmakers how big a problem these errors are,” he said, “you would hope it would lead to more resources toward patient safety.”
  20. Say that all doctors are responsible for medical malpractice costs when only 2% of doctors nationwide are responsible for the majority of the costs. Consumer Reports points out that only 2% of the nation’s doctors are responsible for the majority of medical malpractice costs. Removing that 2% of physicians who have repeated instances of medical malpractice could lower medical costs for everyone and make medicine safer for consumers. A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF DOCTORS have accounted for most of the country’s medical malpractice payouts over the last quarter century. That’s according to an analysis done for Consumer Reports of the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal repository that has collected disciplinary actions and medical malpractice payouts since 1990.Robert E. Oshel, who worked as the associate director for research and disputes at the NPDB for almost 15 years until he retired in 2008, ran the numbers and figured out that less than 2 percent of the nation’s doctors have been responsible for half of the total payouts since the government began collecting malpractice information.
  21. Change the legal definition of negligence so that it limits your insurance pay-outs. How do doctors define malpractice? By failure to do something that results in harm to the patient. How does a doctor-turned lawyer define negligence? “There is a legal definition of negligence (“when a doctor has breached his or her duty of care”), but I wanted to know his practical definition of the term. Lang said that if he finds an error that resulted in harm, and the doctor could have avoided it, then, as far as he is concerned, the doctor was negligent.”
  22. Ignore the solution of “tell the truth and fix it,” even when it lowers medical care costs, because that doesn’t fit the crisis narrative you have created. Studies show that doctors worry about medical malpractice cases, not just because they are heartless jerks looking to save their own skin, but because they honestly feel badly about causing someone injury and would would like to apologize, if they felt their insurance carrier would let them. In fact, studies have proven that when 3 things happen, injured patients are less likely to sue: 1) physician acknowledges a mistake 2) physician apologizes and 3) physician offers means of addressing the problem. That type of discussion doesn’t fit the “medical malpractice crisis” the medical malpractice insurance agency has created, so it’s not part of the discussed solution. A study published by the NIH advocates physicians apologizing and helping to correct an error:

    Physicians, like patients, are profoundly affected by medical errors; physicians worry about harm caused to patients; are anxious about the consequences of error for their reputations, fearing that patients and colleagues will no longer trust and respect them; experience distress, feelings of guilt, and loss of self-confidence; and are anxious about the possibility of a lawsuit [6, 13, 20, 57]. Indeed, physicians describe the “sickening realization of making a bad mistake” [60] and the sense of dread on realizing that one has made an error [13].

    Many physicians express the desire to apologize to patients when an error has occurred [13]. However, there is a disconnect between patients and physicians in their expectations and attitudes about the communication they will have after a medical error. In contrast to the desires and expectations of patients for disclosure and apology, there is evidence many physicians tend to provide minimal information about what happened, what led to the error, or what might be done differently in the future; to choose their words carefully so as to avoid being explicit about the error; and to believe patients who want more information will ask for it to be provided [13]. Similarly, there is evidence that providers are reluctant to make any offers of compensation for medical errors unless and until a lawsuit is filed [2, 15, 23, 43].”

    Another surgeon wrote about the medical malpractice system and how few people it really does serve, demonstrating that physicians do understand that they are not perfect, but neither do they want the people who get injured to be left without any resources: “Ninety-eight per cent of families that are hurt by medical errors don’t sue. They are unable to find lawyers who think they would make good plaintiffs, or they are simply too daunted. Of those who do sue, most will lose. In the end, fewer than one in a hundred deserving families receive any money. The rest get nothing: no help, not even an apology.” Physicians are highly educated individuals, capable of understanding that when people get hurt there should be a system in place to help them get the insurance payment the physicians are paying the premiums for in order to practice.

  23. Insist that there is a system of “watch-dogs” keeping bad physicians away from the public that doesn’t include your company paying an insurance liability, when there is no such form of consumer protection. The medical malpractice insurance industry wants the public to believe that there is some sophisticated system of safety networks in place to protect patients that doesn’t involve medical malpractice lawsuits, because lawsuits are “bad.” Remember that lawsuits are “bad,” and don’t over think it, or you might wonder what happens to all the doctors who now are not being brought into court for causing injuries. Since the majority of medical malpractice costs are related to only 2% of the doctors causing repeat patient injuries, according to Consumer Reports, and since medical errors the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, above any other kind of accident or injury, if there was a system in place to protect patients, we wouldn’t have repeat physician offenders causing injuries and death.
  24. Use the money you set aside to pay for patient injuries as profit and then pay yourself bigger dividends. It’s not rocket science–the less insurance companies pay out to injured patients, the more money they make, all while raising premiums to physicians after convincing the public that the boogeyman-medical-malpractice-crisis exists. Why is it allowed? Who knows. When vaccine manufacturers were being sued for vaccine injury, they stopped issuing a “fault” system and determined a sort of “no-fault” fund to cover vaccine injuries, much like no-fault auto insurance, except patients, the ones who are forced into medical bankruptcies, aren’t allowed to pay into that pool: Vaccines now carry a seventy-five-cent surcharge (about fifteen per cent of total costs), which goes into a fund for children who are injured by them. The program does not waste effort trying to sort those who are injured through negligence from those who are injured through bad luck. An expert panel has enumerated the known injuries from vaccines, and, if you have one, the fund provides compensation for medical and other expenses. If you’re not satisfied, you can sue in court. But few have. Since 1988, the program has paid out a total of $1.5 billion to injured patients. Because these costs are predictable and evenly distributed, vaccine manufacturers have not only returned to the market but produced new vaccines, including ones against hepatitis and chicken pox. The program also makes the data on manufacturers public—whereas legal settlements in medical cases are virtually always sealed from view. The system has flaws, but it has helped far more people than the courts would have.
  25. Pretend that this system is the only way to do business, and that way you will have no competition.  If you’re the only game in town, it makes sense to eliminate any other kind of system that could interfere with your money-maker. Buy your justices so you get judges who restrict individual rights, even when factual data demonstrates that medical malpractice rates go down and cost less in states without the “tort reform” you bought. Cover up the financials so that people don’t know that the money doctors pay in premiums never gets paid to injured patients, making the doctors pay for something from which no one benefits except the insurance companies. Imply that it never works for physicians to apologize, even when study after study proves that medical malpractice costs could be lowered by simply apologizing, admitting to the mistake and offering to fix it. Hey, we’re in it for the money, not the science, and definitely not the people. There you have it, a hugely successful money-maker that delivers zero benefit to society–doctors pay, but get no benefit. Patients who are injured get no benefits. Medical costs rise, even as premiums rise, and the only one left standing to benefit is the insurance company, particularly when everyone else is dying because of these mistakes.

 

 

Girl Scouts’ CEO Has Major Credibility Problem That Threatens To Sink Girl Scouts

May 6, 2016

Girl Scouts CEO Anna Marie Chavez announced that she is raising the membership fee to join Girl Scouts, claiming that it’s necessary to advance more programs, while cutting funding to programs. I read the CEO’s comment about increasing membership fees, and it sounds like the majority of the price increase is going toward administrative fees.There is no mention of what exactly is being offered to the young women.

The first mention of the fees is for accident insurance, then research. Chavez posted this on her blog for Girl Scouts:

Every dollar of membership dues is sent to Girl Scouts of the USA to cover the cost of fundamental services supporting the Girl Scout Movement including: accident insurance for members participating in approved Girl Scout activities, research, resources, training, and services to councils.

Programs? No membership fee is going to support programs for actual Girl Scouts. Research into what, and how will it benefit the young women who register? I fully support leadership opportunities and training for young women; however, the message from the CEO is lacking in details.

When Chavez does mention programming, she is vague in determining exactly how this funding will impact local troops, just implying that increased membership fees will somehow trickle down to local troops, but there is no mention of how this money is going to be supposedly disbursed to increase operating capital for local members:

Nationally, we are building some amazing programs for girls in the areas of STEM, entrepreneurship, outdoor, and life skills. Locally, girls are empowered with the skills and entrepreneurial know-how to lead and succeed in the industries of tomorrow, as they tackle local and global issues of interest to them, such as poverty, illiteracy, and pollution. The additional funding provided by the upcoming membership fee increase will ensure this important programming endures and thrives.

Increasing  STEM involvement?  That’s a complicated endeavor that schools have struggled with for years, and Girl Scouts offers no clear plan for an idealistic sort of implementation.

What is the point in pushing girls into STEM fields, of which there are no methods proven to work in this way, if the girls don’t get the leadership training to be able to advance in their career?. Notice that the Girl Scouts’ CEO works out of Manhattan (whose real estate prices are insane and make me suspect a price increase related to rent costs that should be re-evaluated), and she doesn’t have a STEM background. Chavez has an undergrad degree in American history from Yale and then went to law school. No STEM background there.

Chavez acts like pushing a STEM program is an enticement to young women; however when I looked up college scholarships for Girl Scouts in Michigan, only one came up, and it was for an engineering scholarship. Chavez argues for promoting programs she has no background in promoting. There is no partnership with a reputable scientific program to offer advisement on implementing stem, just a broad declaration that some STEM initiatives are in the works, along with increased money going to insurance premiums, of course.

What is Chavez’s unique skill set that somehow makes her good at her job? According to Girl Scouts, it’s unclear, but she has worked in government positions. Notice her lack of any kind of STEM qualification that Chavez trumpets is her major thrust for reinvigorating Girl Scouts:

After completing her law degree, she served as legal counsel to the Federal Highway Administration in Washington D.C. She also served as an attorney advisor in the Office of the Counsel to the President. During her time in Washington, she served as public policy advisor to several offices including U.S Secretary of Transportation and the offices of Government Contracting, Size Standards, Technology, and Small Disadvantaged Business Certification and Eligibility.

Prior to joining the Girl Scouts organization, Chavez served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for then-Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano. From November 2003 to January 2007, she worked with city, state, tribal, and community organizations to promote the Governor’s policies and initiatives, eventually being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff.

In 2009, the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas appointed Chavez as CEO and in 2011 she was appointed CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA

Everyone knows that Federal Highway Commission chiefs are reputable STEM promoters and leaders of young women’s programs, or something similar. While the Federal Highway Commission lists approximately 50% of its drivers are female, nationwide, there is no indication that this work that Chavez initiated.

The multiple Chavez vagaries were also noted in an excerpt from the New York Post by Isabel Vincent, published in 2013 in the article about the Girl Scouts CEO and her seemingly unbelievable disconnect:

The hefty pay package comes despite her tenure being marked by staff layoffs, membership and cookie-sale declines, budget cuts at headquarters, and local chapters under fire for selling or threatening to close campgrounds in 27 states.

And while the Scouts are cutting to the bone, Chavez spent $65,000 on a comfortable new throne for her 17th-floor Fifth Avenue office.

She ordered the renovation of the executive restroom to include marble and slate finishes and new glass doors for the shower, a source told The Post. Some of the money went to new office carpet and other work.

Victor Inzunza, a Girl Scouts spokesman, confirmed that the bathroom and executive offices were renovated, but would not comment on the cost or whether Chavez requested the work.

“If she is making 400 grand and everyone has to tighten their belts, that’s disgusting,” fumed an employee at the organization’s Manhattan HQ.

The worker said cookie sales declined by at least 5 percent and budgets are expected to be cut by about 10 percent.

Chavez came on as CEO on Oct. 1, 2011. She was paid $98,000 for three months of work in 2011 — out of a salary of $393,380 for a full year. She also got $71,906 in “other compensation” that year including expenses to move to New Jersey and retirement-plan contributions, according to tax filings.

Inzunza said he could not discuss the budget and that cookie sale numbers were not final.

The Girls Scouts had 3.18 million girl and adult volunteer members in 2012, down slightly from 2011.

The Girl Scouts’ headquarters has been in disarray since Chavez, 45, took over, with employees complaining about her dictatorial style and a climate of fear. Letters have gone to the organization’s board of directors seeking help, with one writer calling Chavez a “Cookie Monster.”

“If you want a lesson in workplace bullying, come right on down to GSUSA,” a writer said in a recent missive…

The CEO of the New Jersey council said the group needed to sell the camp in order to pay pension obligations and other employee benefits, according to court papers.

Local councils are being squeezed by rising contributions to the Girl Scouts pension plan, which is in such bad shape that the organization sought congressional assistance.

The plan faces a massive deficit — at least $340 million, according to a 2012 lawsuit filed in Tennessee.

The plan’s finances nosedived after more employees were added to it beginning in 2006 and other workers were offered early retirement packages, the lawsuit claims.

It’s disingenuous to push unproven implementations. It’s tantamount to misrepresentation to state that the money for the membership increase will go to increased programs by stating that the money has to first go to insurance premiums and administrative programs, with an offhand comment about STEM programs.

Witness STEM flops like the one by Tim Hunt, an offhanded push to encourage women in science ends up in an international uproar. These are not issues to be taken lightly. In fact, such a misstep could discredit Girl Scouts completely, and yet Chavez seems to offer no details as to the way in which she claims she is implementing programs to benefit the Scouts.

There is no sense in pushing a non-specified STEM platform, something even schools haven’t been able to do, if there is no drive to also teach the leadership skills these young women will need to be able to thrive in those fields. Girl Scouts is falling into the same trap many schools do, which is push unproven methods to try to get young women into science without giving them the skills to advance in their careers when they get there and failing to address ingrained chauvinism that limits women’s involvement in STEM fields, not a lack of a Girl Scouts initiative.

A recent magazine article points out that study after study demonstrates that there is no ability difference when it comes to women in STEM fields but chauvinism differences:

For example, a study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly found that in a survey of natural and social science faculty at a university, the women in natural sciences encountered more sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexism when compared to women in social sciences. In a study of biomedical researchers published in Nature, women had to do 2.5 times the work of male colleagues to receive the same peer review score for post doctoral fellowships. When it comes to lab managers, science faculty were more likely to hire men when the male and female candidates offered the exact same credentials, according to a study discussed in the PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Faculty at doctoral programs were more willing to meet with white male candidates than white women (or any minority), according to a study in Psychological Science.

If women are trying to get their work published, they better hope the journal does a double-blind review instead of single-blind. One study, published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, showed that when journals made that switch, the number of female first-authored manuscripts increased. If there is a math task involved, people are more likely to hire a male candidate despite being given evidence of female superiority at math tasks.

Basically, it’s not that women aren’t technically qualified for positions in STEM, but there seems to be a misperception and bias against hiring or publishing women.

Chavez claims that she has initiatives designed to help young women with absolutely no proven method for implementing them, and she is asking the Scouts for put money forward through cookie sales and membership fees toward projects that are beyond her abilities.

Selling cookies has become a hot topic in Girl Scouts, with some members actually boycotting selling cookies. In 2014, there was a published update written by Christy Valinsky, about the Girl Scouts CEO and boycotting cookie sales, and it was not flattering:

I am a former Girl Scout myself, but after hearing Ms. Chavez’s video comments, which range from misleading to blatantly deceitful, I couldn’t help but wonder if Ms. Chavez has forgotten the Girl Scout Law and its call for honesty.

Ms. Chavez argues that the CookieCott is based on a false claim that her organization has become too political. Political bias is not the reason for the CookieCott, but since Chavez herself includes this issue, let’s consider how GSUSA capped off 2013 with the promotion of left-leaning political figures and achievements.

In December 2013, Girl Scouts USA used Twitter to promote a HuffPost Women video which names State Senator Wendy Davis as a candidate for 2013 Woman of the Year specifically because of her filibuster defending late-term abortion access. A couple of weeks after the Wendy Davis debacle, GSUSA recommended a Washington Post article entitled “7 Women Who Made a Difference in 2013.” GSUSA introduced the article by stating “with courage, confidence, and character these seven women show us what it takes to fulfill dreams.” Among the Girl Scouts’ seven women of “courage and character” is Kathleen Sebelius, honored specifically for “her ferocious defense” of Obamacare.

While I don’t want Girl Scouts to get into debates about abortions, because I don’t want to debate abortions or their rights from a Girl Scout platform, the point is that Girl Scouts does have political affiliations and an agenda that hasn’t been adequately communicated to its members and their parents. Communication is the key here, and the communication is inappropriate. Chavez seems to be using her platform to promote her own agenda, with no mention of how this is supposed to be benefitting young women. Trickle-down economics don’t work, but this is what the Girl Scouts seem to be proposing.

The message from the CEO seems to assume that since Girl Scouts believes the fees are reasonable, everyone else must as well. This is a mistake. I can tell you that we live in a small town, and the larger Girl Scout Council has only sponsored one event for the local troops, a cake decorating event. There has been no evidence of larger organizational support for events like leadership training, nor any comment about how that could be grown locally. There has been a tremendous amount of paperwork for any activity and very small amounts of support from the corporate office.

Take a look at how Girl Scouts is viewed on https://philanthropy.com/article/Girl-Scouts-CEO-Faces/155079

It’s not good. Chavez is promoted as a leader who doesn’t listen and who is dictatorial. It also published a list of all of the leaders who have left under Chavez’s “leadership”:

Exodus of Top Leaders at Girl Scouts of the USA

Following are top management changes at Girls Scouts of the USA national headquarters since Anna Maria Chávez became chief executive in November 2011.

Resignations

Chief external affairs officer (Timothy Higdon left June 1, 2012)

Vice president for communications (Denise Pesich left June 15, 2012)

Vice president for finance services and technology (Margie Wang left June 15, 2012)

Retirement

Chief operating officer (Jan Verhage left June 30, 2012)

Positions Eliminated

Senior vice president for governance and administration (Deborah Long left February 1, 2012)

Senior vice president for public policy and advocacy (Laurie Westley left February 1, 2012)

There will inevitably be changes in a corporation, and it will have to seek relevancy as its members change, but the CEO message lacks transparency and communication that threatens to unseat Girl Scouts.  The price increase appears self-serving when there is no mention exactly what Girl Scouts plans to offer its members in return for its membership price increase.

In short, there doesn’t seem to be much value-added or the young women’s experience for the price increase. Pay more money so you can sell more cookies for us and increase our profit margin? Where is the benefit to the members? The Girl Scout experience is mainly how to sell more cookies, with a very small contribution by the Girl Scouts to each troop for the boxes of cookies sold, with boxes of cookies selling for $4/box and roughly $.40 going to each troop. 10% of cookie sales go directly toward troop profits or projects. Pretty small wages for those Scouts.  That small contribution coupled with small services really just exacerbates the concept of low wages for young women.

The revenues for Girl Scouts on Charity Navigator for the 2015 year lists that Girl Scouts has actually defunded program growth (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6551#.VwvO7zYrJPM) as the Girl Scouts CEO claims to be expanding it. Top salaries for the CEO and CFO cost 1% of the operating budget, and up to 20% of the operating expenses go to fundraising and administrative efforts. While that may be part of the operational expenses of running the organization, it’s disingenuous to say that the members are getting more programs when investment in programs declined -1.3% in 2015, more so than the percentage of CEO and CFO investment by way of salaries. Did Girl Scouts sacrifice program growth for the girls to subsidize salary growth for the CEO and CFO? There is literally almost a 1-1 correlation there.

Chavez now that she says that the price increase will go to funding programs when she has been actively de-funding programs for the members? Chavez and Girl Scouts have a very real credibility problem. There is a relevancy issue going on right now and a communication strategy that is detrimental to the Girl Scouts organization–will it unseat Girl Scouts for good?

 

Bill O’Reilly: “Many African Americans Are Ill-Educated And Have Tattoos On Their Foreheads…”

April 12, 2016

Bill O’Reilly constantly amazes me with his racism, misogyny, and KKK -like mentality. Trump, who believes you can buy anyone’s soul for the right price, expressed that since he plans to hire African Americans, they will vote for him, stating : “I’m telling you, it’s an economic message.” An economic message that quickly moved to racist hate-mongering from O’Reilly:

O’Reilly questioned how Trump would actually accomplish that aim.

Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it, but it’s true,” O’Reilly said. “If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to get jobs for people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”

Trump stayed on message, insisting that African-Americans would benefit from manufacturing jobs returning to the country under a President Trump.

“We’re going to bring jobs back,” Trump responded. “We’re going to have Apple computers made in this country.”

O’Reilly pushed back.

“But you have to have skills to make Apple computers,” he said.

“We will get the skills and develop the skills,” Trump said.

O’Reilly continued to push his point that some African-Americans are unqualified for the jobs Trump wanted to bring back.

“It’s more challenging for a poor child in Harlem without parental guidance in a school that’s falling apart than it is for some white kid out in Garden City,” he said. “You say you can bring jobs back, but if the kid isn’t qualified to do the job and can’t do the work – I mean – you’ve got to get into the infrastructure of the African-American community.”

Here’s the thing, talking about needing “infrastructure” in the African-American community is degrading coming from the man who just said “they” (in O’Reilly speak, someone with a different skin color), have tattoos on their foreheads.

I just read about how San Salvador gang members have tattoos on their foreheads,

Gang Member Tattoos

Business Insider points out that the reason these tattoos are so prevalent among gang members from South America is that the gangs know that getting tattoos like this is an easy retention strategy: no one else will hire these men, from rival gangs or otherwise.

So what is O’Reilly talking about? Tough to tell besides racism.

I looked up images of African-American workers, and while there is a story about how business leaders in the African American community struggle to receive respect, there is no story about tattoos.

ThyBlackMan.com has discussed the labor movement within the African-American community and the development or position of unions, and this is one of the photos that it published about the African-American labor issues:

Look closely–there are no tattoos.

When I looked up the US government’s Department of Labor statistics, it’s report contradicts Trump’s promise to make manufacturing the mainstay of economic reform for African American communities, because the Department of Labor points out that the majority of African American workers have been employed in public sector work, not manufacturing:

The average unemployment rate for Blacks in 2011 was 15.8 percent, compared to 7.9 percent for Whites, and 11.5 percent for Hispanics. Historically, Blacks have had persistently higher unemployment rates than the other major racial and ethnic groups. In addition, the increase in the black unemployment rate during the recession was larger than that for other races partly because workers with less education are particularly hard hit during recessions. Moreover, the unemployment rate for Blacks was slower to fall after the official end of the recession. The slower recovery for African Americans in the labor market has been partly the result of government layoffs after the official end of the recession. Blacks have been more vulnerable to the drastic layoffs in government in the past two years because they make up a disproportionate share of public sector workers. Moreover, with the exception of health and education, Blacks are under-represented in the sectors that have experienced the greatest job growth during the recovery, including manufacturing and professional and business services.

I will admit that I grit my teeth every time I read “Blacks” in reference to people or “whites,” because it just seems so wrong to classify people according to skin color, but the point is that since the African American community was disproportionately affected by government layoffs, it had a larger share of unemployment. That doesn’t sound like lack of education or tattoos are the problem, it sounds like what is needed is diversification of job resources, not tattoo removal.

Neither does O’Reilly’s argument that the community is “ill educated” hold water. It is, in fact, flat out wrong. African Americans had double the rate of unemployment compared to Caucasians regardless of their education:

The differences in the total unemployment rates between African Americans and whites can also not be attributed to differences in educational attainment. Black unemployment is significantly higher than that of whites at all levels of educational attainment. The unemployment rate of African Americans without a high school diploma was 26 percent in the second quarter of 2011, compared to 12 percent for whites without a high school diploma. The unemployment rate among African Americans with high school diplomas and no postsecondary education was 15.9 percent, while that of similarly situated whites was 8.4 percent. Finally, the unemployment rate of African American college graduates was 6.9 percent, while the unemployment rate among white college graduates was a mere 3.9 percent.

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t know what he is talking about, but then Trump didn’t either, stating that it’s the “spirit” that counts in a community. What? Trump didn’t call out racism, because Trump is pretty racist, but if you are trying to appeal to a community, you’d think you might know a little bit more about it than saying you can just buy it. That’s the problem with Trump though, he would sell his children to the highest bidder, so why not think he can buy anyone with the right amount of money?

I really wish that O’Reilly wasn’t allowed to make comments like he did about people based on skin color, outright hatred and racism with immunity.

Women’s Tennis Takes Some Heat By Chauvinists Djokvic and Moore This Week

March 23, 2016

For every dumb-ass out there making comments about women’s “hormones” affecting tennis play (Djokvic), and every other dumb-ass out there saying women should thank God on their knees for male tennis players (Moore, who has since stepped down), there are plenty of people who actually don’t define a tennis match by whether or not there is a uterus involved. Those people showed up by the thousands, 16,000 give or take a few, to support the Women’s Tennis Association match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

Just in case you missed the misogyny, the former Indian Wells CEO, Indian Wells being a large tennis venue just about to host the last match for women’s tennis, said in preparation of that match that women should get down on their knees to thank God for men’s tennis players:

In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTAbecause they ride on the coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky…If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.

Media response was swift:

Moore said during a media breakfast on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open that the WTA “rides on the coattails of men” and that if he was “a lady player,” he would “go down on his knees every night and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because they have carried the sport.”

The uproar over his comments was swift. Current players and tennis icons weighed in on Moore’s comments before his resignation was announced. Many suggested he be removed, believing there’s no way he should continue in the CEO and tournament director role in which he’d have to work with and go to bat for the WTA and its members.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, one of the co-founders of the WTA, suggested in a statement Monday that Moore needed to go.

“It was really disheartening to see Ray Moore offer the extremely prejudiced and very old-fashioned statements regarding women tennis players,” Navratilova said. “We have made it this far on our own, without help from male players, and will continue to do so in the future. It would be hard to imagine any woman to want to go and play at Indian Wells if Moore stays as the tournament director.”

Moore has since rightly resigned. Serena had boycotted Indian Wells because of it’s inappropriate commentary, and Moore reignited it:

This controversy comes just a year after the WTA’s biggest star, Serena Williams, ended a 14-year boycott of Indian Wells because of what she perceived to be racism among the fans. 

Williams—who lost Sunday’s final to Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-4—said an apology from Moore didn’t erase the intent he had in his remarks, per Rothenberg (h/t SB Nation‘s James Dator).

“You know, there’s only one way to interpret that,” Williams said. “Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not—we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.”

Djokvic has since said that men should get more money than women because supposedly men work harder than women, and that more people care about men’s tennis, arguing just Moore’s point as Moore was pushed to step down as CEO.

WORLD No.1 Novak Djokovic has backed off his remarks about men’s tennis players deserving more prizemoney than their female counterparts.

Serena Williams and Andy Murray were among several players to publicly criticise comments by Djokovic that followed a sexism scandal at Indian Wells.

As the ATP and WTA Miami Open began on Wednesday, the world’s top players welcomed the resignation of Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore after the official disparaged women’s tennis at the weekend.

Djokovic followed up Moore’s comments with controversial remarks of his own, noting women must go through “hormones and different stuff” and saying men’s matches have more spectators to justify, “I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more.”

That aroused the ire of Williams, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles crowns to 11 for Serbia’s Djokovic.

“It has been, I would say disappointing,” Williams said of Djokovic’s remarks.

“I wouldn’t say my son deserved more money than my daughter because he’s a man. It would be shocking.”

“He’s entitled to his opinion,” Williams said.

“If he had a daughter, he has a son right now, he should talk to his daughter and say, ‘Your brother deserves more money than you.’

“I would never use sex to compare. We have so many great players, men and women, who have brought so much vision to the sport. Every athlete works extremely hard.

“If I had a son and a daughter I would never tell them one deserves more because of their sex.”

The media points out Djokvic’s heritage, pointing out that he is Serbian, and perhaps distancing themselves from his misogyny by apologizing for his heritage: hey, he’s from Serbia, can’t help himself. But it falls flat. No one wants to hear that women have “hormones” to deal with, as if he is afraid to say that having blood in our underwear once a month makes us less athletic. Not our fault that there is blood, and women have been bleeding, working, playing and generally living life for eons without any help. Just because Djokvic’s got tampon issues doesn’t make us any less capable.

Why Djokvic thinks that players should get paid based on attendance is beyond me, because if that is how he had been paid, he is only half the player Serena Williams is. Besides that, Djokvic makes his money on endorsement deals, which I hope he loses after that last comment:

In fact, as of the start of 2015, Forbes had listed Djokovic No. 13 in the world’s highest-paid athletes with $31 million coming in from endorsements

Let’s compare Djokvic’s earnings to the women that he feels insecure about:

With deals ranging from Nike to Gatorade and even a brand-new social media “challenge” campaign with Pepsi, Williams is building her presence away from the game and, most importantly, raking in the cash

.Forbes lists Williams as No. 47 on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2015 and No. 55 on its most recent list of power women. Overall, she has won $72 million in prize money, more than double what No. 2 on the list, Maria Sharapova, has made.

As if that weren’t enough, Williams, along with her older sister Venus, bought stake in the Miami Dolphins in 2009. The two became the first female African-American to hold an ownership stake in an NFL franchise

Accordin to Infosys, on the World Tennis Tour information,  Djokvic has made $20 MILLION more in prize money than Serena, with Djokvic earning $97,171,248.

What is Djokvic complaining about? Supposedly he is arguing that men should be paid more? Looks like he was paid $20 million more than a woman who has won 200% more times than he has, so what’s his complaint? Serena has beaten him handily in the game, but she doesn’t have the earnings, and still Djokvic complains?

Djokvic and Moore win the Asshole(s) of the Week Award, seems each men have at least two, one at the top of their body and one down below.

Donald Trump’s Hatred Toward Women Read By Women

March 23, 2016

It takes a woman, Katie Packard, to be exact, to take on Donald Trump’s hatred of women effectively. Spending only $4 million dollars in a Super PAC she founded herself, a rarity in politics for a woman to run her own Super PAC (definitely a much needed change though), and Katie Packard steps in with a right punch to the glass jaw of the Donald.

Katie Packard lets women read the quotes Donald Trump has made about women, telling them it’s pretty to get down on their knees, how the most important thing for him is to have a nice piece of ass, and some quotes I had published a few weeks ago. Katie Packard, let’s see what else you’ve got. I like your style. It’s about time women confronted Donald Trump. Of course, Donald calls any woman who does (we’re looking to you Megyn Kelly) crazy, but let’s hear it for just putting it out there that Donald Trump hates women.

Donald Trump the Sociopath? An Inconvenient Truth for the US

March 3, 2016

Psychotherapists have long held that it is unethical to diagnose a public personality with a mental health disorder without actually seeing them as a patient, but then if they see them as a patient, they are required to maintain confidentiality. Good thing I am not a psychotherapist, but am merely a blogger who looks a patterns and offers Unasked Advice. It’s my opinion that Trump meets all the diagnostic criteria of a true sociopath. The diagnostic characteristics of a sociopath, and he definitely displays narcissistic tendencies, Trump’s personality matches the medical definition of sociopath:

Medically, sociopathy is termed as antisocial personality disorder. It is defined as “a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.”

What are sociopathic characteristics? Well, Trump shares a surprising number of recognized sociopathic tendencies that resemble Dahmer, the “charming sociopath”:

Cold, calculating nature – Putting down prisoners of war for being weak? Demeaning suffering as though he doesn’t care, Trump has it in spades:

“Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “This man is known for his golf courses, but, with due respect, who does he think works on these golf courses? Mr. Trump’s bullying nature—taunting Senator John McCain for being captured in Vietnam, or saying Jeb Bush has “low energy”—is in keeping with the narcissistic profile.

“Regardless of how you feel about John McCain, the man served—and suffered. To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.

Shallow emotions – Lack of real emotion in response to events, limited capacity to feel love, and Trump’s response about women? Not emotionally deep:

 “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991

Narcissism – A personality disorder, one in which a person feels love for himself to the exclusion of all else. One mental health educator spoke of Trump’s narcissism this way:

He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

Another therapist examined his behavior during the debates and noticed his behavioral antics as narcissism:

“He’s very easy to diagnose,” said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan. “In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering. He’ll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he doesn’t like her looks. ‘You’re fired!’ would certainly come under lack of empathy. And he wants to deport immigrants, but [two of] his wives have been immigrants.

Grandiose self image: Grandiosity aplenty with Trump’s interpretation of how the presidency would give him super powers:

“When I’m president I’m a different person. I can do anything. I can be the most politically correct person you have ever seen.”

How is the illusion of grandeur a part of a sociopathic personality? It has to do with actively believing that they are the best ruler there is, a form of a royalty complex.

“They might see themselves as someone who is superior to others and sometimes even experiences delusions. A sociopath might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country or even the world, but might also have delusional beliefs such as seeing themselves as a God or having super powers.”

Ability to charm: yes, he has swayed a lot of people in the voting public, winning the GOP nomination

Inability to understand how his behavior injures others: yes, even his ex-wife said she felt Trump raped her, and he lacks remorse, saying he never gave Ivana anything of value. He justifies hiring illegal Polish workers to build Trump Tower by saying he is hiring, more than other people are doing, albeit under abusive conditions. Trump’s playing card is to justify abuse as something necessary to his own agenda.

How about filing for bankruptcies? Trump has filed for bankruptcy 4 times with his companies:

Trump doesn’t deny that four of his businesses have filed for bankruptcy. He argues, however, that filing for bankruptcy is a common business decision, and he was smart to make the moves when he did.

“Hundreds of companies” have filed for bankruptcy, Trump said earlier in the debate. “I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I’m in business. I did a very good job.”

High IQ – The high IQ is part of the planning, a form of manipulation. Trump tweeted about his own IQ, manifesting all the sociopathic tendencies:

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault.”

(Note that an IQ is not an adequate substitute for mental health stability.)

Manipulative –So, Trump says he missed the debate moderated by Megyn Kelly, whom he says is “biased” against him, in favor of a fundraiser for veterans. Sounds noble until you find out that the veterans weren’t necessarily thanking him for using them as a political pity stunt:

Progressive advocacy group VoteVets.org said in statement that Trump should not “hide from Megyn Kelly behind us.”

“Let me put this in language Donald Trump understands,” Jon Soltz, Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org said in a statement. “You’re a loser. You’re a third-rate politician, who clearly doesn’t understand issues, and is so scared of Megyn Kelly exposing it, that you’re looking to use veterans to protect you from facing her questions.”

Sexually deviant – Trump lacks remorse, making his sexuality a form of predation, in my opinion. Ivana, Trump’s ex-wife said she felt raped by him, but Trump also believes that he is allowed or deserving of sexual access to women.

A 1997 allegation of sexual assault against Trump was “settled,” with the woman praising Trump after he paid a reported 6-figure settlement to get out of a contract dispute. The woman’s claim states that Trump: “subjected [her] to [Trump’s] unwanted sexual advances, which included touching of [her] private parts in an act constituting attempted ‘rape’”, the lawsuit stated. Trump then implied she should “keep her mouth shut”, she alleged. As she tried to leave, Trump again touched her sexually and made “Svengali-type proclamations of ‘love’”, she said, prompting her to vomit.

Sensitive to criticism – Sociopaths believe that they deserve praise, and if there is any hint of what they feel is criticism, they lash out. Let’s relive the Megyn Kelly battle with Trump here,

“Here’s the difference,” Trump replied. “I was treated very unfairly by Fox…They weren’t treated badly. I mean, I was treated very, very badly by Fox. They issued a statement that was an inappropriate statement…”

Most recently the governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, whom Trump “called an embarrassment” when she wouldn’t support him, to which she replied: “Bless his heart,” (for those of you in the know, a true Southern brush off.) . New York Times columnist Gail Collins recalled: “During one down period, I referred to him in print as a ‘financially embattled thousandaire’ and he sent me a copy of the column with my picture circled and ‘The Face of a Dog!’ written over it.”

Paranoid – Might be evidenced by his fear of ISIS leading Trump to “ban all Muslims” from entering the country and encouraging the building of a wall between US and Mexico:

 In some of his earliest campaign comments, Trump suggested that Mexicans coming to the US are largely criminals. “They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and they’re rapists,” he said. A wall on the border, he claims, will not only keep out undocumented immigrants but Syrian migrants as well. He also believes that Mexico should have to pay for the wall which a BBC analysis estimates could cost between $2.2bn and $13bn.

 Despotic/Authoritarian – “necessary authority” is the key belief system here, “You’re fired!” ring a bell? How about never having to apologize? Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley apologized “like a disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby” for his remark that “all lives matter,” Donald Trump said in an excerpt of a new interview aired Friday on Fox News. Most people don’t consider babies disgusting because they are “weak,” but that is some sociopathic thinking there.

Lawfulness – Despite popular belief, a sociopath is not likely to be a problem to the law in later life, but rather will seek to find loopholes, to rise to a position of power, or to move to another area so that their behavior is tolerated

Low tolerance for boredom – Because sociopaths want constant stimulation or affirmation, they get bored quickly when they aren’t the ones receiving attention.

Trump on the State of the Union Address: “The speech is really boring, slow, lethargic – very hard to watch!”

Trump on Super Bowl: “So far the Super Bowl is very boring – not nearly as exciting as politics – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Lack of regret – Impulsive behavior being driven by a less than perfect grasp of the facts, well, Trump has no regrets. He doesn’t regret missing debates, doesn’t regret “barring Muslims.” Not much he does regret, actually.

Compulsive lying – Is it considered lying if you are being sued by an attorney general for misleading people? According to Trump, probably not, but according to court documents, it’s enough to let a lawsuit continue, as of March 2, 2016:

“A $40million lawsuit accusing Donald Trump’s defunct Trump University of ripping off customers can go ahead, an appeals court panel ruled Tuesday…It also alleges that Trump University ignored warnings from New York’s Department of Education that it was violating state law by calling itself a ‘University’ without being a licensed educational institution. “

Although Forbes estimates Trump’s financial worth at $4billion and Bloomberg estimated Trump’s net worth to be $2.9 billion, Trump boasts that he is worth $10 billion.

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