Friday, March 19, 2010

Observations from the first month of work

In no particular order, here are my observations from my first month of work:

1. It's important to remember where you parked. Leaving work and then spending 10 minutes looking for my car, trying to remember which floor I'm on, is not my idea of a good time.

2. Coffee is awesome. (remember I have two kids, and they are still not sleeping through the night every night...)

3. My window view in my office is awesome. Being outside during Houston's beautiful and too-short spring is even more awesome. Don't be jealous.

4. I am surrounded by paperwork. This must stop.

5. The brain officially begins the weekend on Fridays at 2 pm. After that, I am useless.

Speaking of....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Current politics

I try to stay away from politics, and I don't even watch the news or spend too much reading it because I find it depressing, but there are two issues this week that have really sent my heart racing that I cannot ignore.

So, Houston Ima will go out on a limb here, proffer my political opinions, and then get back on track with random posts about my not-so-exciting life.

Issue #1:
The healthcare overhaul in America

I work in healthcare, not as a clinician, but from the business perspective. It's so obvious that healthcare needs an overhaul that a blind person can see it from a mile away. But the overhaul that is in Congress right now is NOT what the industry needs. It is totally misguided. Over the last few days, I've been telling people that I wish Obama (and his aides, and the rest of Congress) would sit in my seat for a couple of days. I don't mean nice conferences and meet-and-greets. I mean, do my job. I mean - actually examine the problems plaguing this industry. My entire job is based upon the fact that the whole system is flawed. It's not only about the uninsured, while that is a big part of the problem. It's the system. The hospital-insurance-physicians-clinical staffing-medical supply issue. It's trying to figure out how to manage costs when the medical supplies keep increasing. It's trying to figure out how to forecast revenues when you don't know when (or how much) insurance will pay. It's trying to figure out how to staff a nursing unit when you don't know how you'll pay your people. It's trying to figure out how to get the health IT to actually be efficient and effective instead of cumbersome and slow. Obama - sit in my boss's shoes. Sit in the supply manager's shoes. Get out of the ivory tower and actually have to wonder how you are going to pay for a doctor's appointment.

And this whole business of ramming this healthcare bill down America's throat - without Republican support - totally smacks in the face of American democracy. He-llo? Wasn't the whole point of the party system, of the rules set up in Congress - to prevent a select few from pushing their agenda? If the healthcare bill passes without an iota of Republican support, and if we assume that elected Congressmen represent the will of the people, so we can assume that half of the people in this country do not want this healthcare bill. Yet the Democrats are going to force it anyway?

Is this democracy? Is this the democracy my parents came here for?

Hospitals and doctors are scared because they don't know what is going to happen with healthcare. And I don't want my hospitals and doctors - who are responsible for saving lives, who hold life and death in their hands - to be scared when they are working on me or my loved ones.

I'm thoroughly digusted by it all, by the myopia of the Democrats, by the myopia of the Obama administration, and frankly by us Americans, because if this was happening in the 1960s, there would be thousands in the streets of Washington protesting this government mandate. Now? It's like we're sheep, just waiting for the political fallout to be over. I am disgusted by this stubborn push to pass this bill without actually lifting the head out of the sand and properly analyzing what is going on.

Here is my proposal: All those who voted for our current president should be made to follow this mandate and go to Obama-affiliated hospitals. And the rest of us should be left alone.

Issue #2:
The furor over Israel

Biden visited Israel waxing poetic on Israel being an ally, it's wonderful, blah blah blah. Israel announced it's going to begin construction on homes for Jews in East Jerusalem. World anger ensues.

Um - why?

Since when is East Jerusalem not a part of Israel? Oh, I know. Pre-1967, it was part of Jordan. Then Israel captured it in the Six Day War, annexed it, made the city of Jerusalem whole again, and moved on with its life.

Did Israel expel all Arabs from East Jerusalem, like the Arabs forced Israel to do in Gaza in 2005? Um, no. Arabs living in East Jerusalem became Israeli citizens (if they wanted to, which is in total contrast to the Palestinians who live in Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere who remain refugees because those countries specifically did not offer them citizenship; so much for Arab brotherhood...). So if Israel, a sovereign nation, chooses to build in Jerusalem, which is its capital - what right does the rest of the world have to tell it what to do? Because it pisses off the Arabs?

Arabic children's programming which teaches kids about the beauty of becoming a suicide bomber and blowing yourself up to kill Jews pisses me off. Does that piss off Obama/Biden too? Because I don't remember them talking about it...ever...

The US thinks it is so high and mighty that it can tell Israel when to build or not build, because it may threaten the (non-existent) peace talks (talks used as a euphemism because the Palestinians aren't interested in a two-state solution anyway) but inflammatory children's programming does not threaten is so beyond the ridiculous that it's just hilariously funny.

Hillary Clinton has absolutely no business telling Israel what to do. Lets not forget that she smooched Suha Arafat (and where is Suha now? Probably helping lots of Palestinian poor kids with all of her money...I am sure...), so her credibility is totally down the toilet when it comes to this issue.

Lets not forget that money talks (in both good and bad ways). And when Israel announces construction projects, it's probably going to hire Arab laborers (who are probably out of work right now). So I am not sure that protesting this is really in anyone's best interest...

America - stop slinging mud at Israel and focus on domestic problems (see issue #1). I am 150% confident that Israel will do just fine for a while without US opinions.

Whew, I am done.