Wednesday, October 29, 2008

El Diego

This is great. Diego Armando Maradona was appointed the new coach for the national team of the 2010 World Champions, Argentina.
On paper, Maradona is the worst kind of coach that any country can have. Despite being the best player in any sport that ever existed on any planet, his life afterwards had nothing remarkable in the world of football. His coaching experience was a disaster. He absolutely has no qualification to become a coach for any national team and I'm absolutely ecstatic that he has become the coach of my favorite team.

Why? Because he's Diego Maradona.
That's good enough.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sick America, Very Sick America

Right now, I have a patient dying from an infection that is eating away her back bone very slowly. It's an infection that could have completely cured, but her insurance company did not approve the expensive antibiotic that she needed.
A doctor ordered that excellent antibiotic a few months back, but the insurance company automatically switched that antibiotic to a much cheaper drug with much less efficacy. They knew it wasn't going to work as well, but it was cheaper. Theoretically it works for this infection (and maybe that gave them the guts to do what they've done) but clinically we know it does a very poor job. Most physicians would have seen that coming.

There are many medical conditions that used to be deemed incurable in the past that are more easily managed these days because some of the new drugs we have. I sometimes prescribe these drugs to my patients only for them to be rejected by their insurance companies. I have to get on the phone for a long time and sign different forms in order to convince the accountant of the insurance company that my patient needs that drug.

Did you get that?

The physician has to convince a non-medical person what the best treatment for that patient is.
Many of these applications are rejected, and some people get sicker and die because of that. I saw it a lot and will continue to see it. All doctors, nurses and pharmacists in America see it and feel it every single day and it has become very frustrating.

It gets much worse. Most hospitals now have hospitalists. Hospitalists are physicians who work for medical groups. These medical groups are only after business. They hire a big number of hospitalists, sometimes hundreds of them, to make contracts with different hospitals in town to send their physicians there. They wouldn't send their hospitalists to any hospital unless a large profit was guaranteed. Fair enough. But how do they make money?

They keep a very high turnover of patients, so they tell the hospitalists to admit and discharge the largest number of patients everyday to and out of the hospital. They don't give a shit about their patients' health. If a patient stays longer than 48 hours in the hospital they start bugging the physician about it. It gets worse. They can form some "grading" system to see which physician generated the most money for the group. They hope to indirectly force the physician to start adopting policies in his/her work that can generate the most money instead of practising sound medicine that will help his patients. These hospitlists are now practising medicine that is in the best interest of their group instead of the best interest of their patients.

Drug companies have a lot of money. In one year (I think it was 2004) they spent 5.5 billion dollars in meals and gifts (pens, books...etc) to health care workers. No company would spend that amount of money if they didn't know it was going to affect the prescriptions physicians will write for, and physicians (me included) always welcome these drug representatives. Everyone likes free stuff, and they don't ask us for anything in return. They probably saved me a 100 bucks of pens, and hundreds to a few thousand dollars in books, and registration for conferences. I'm sitting now in my office and on the table there is a FAMVIR stapler, Mycamine pens, a book by Wyeth, and I'm wiping my Pfeizer stethoscope with the Noxafil tissues and looking at those little wireless Avelox mouses on the bench.

All the people I'm talking about are those with decent health insurance plans who have to fight with their companies whenever they get sick. There is another group of people, a very large group. That includes Americans who do not have a health insurance, and the 6 million or so who lost their health insurance under the current administration. Many of those people are hard-working people. They are either self-employed like my friend who works 7 days a week from early morning to late night, sometimes driving 4 hours a day to his place of work. There are others who work for companies that does not provide them with health insurance. If you want to purchase health insurance on your own in the US, you have to pay close to a 500 dollars a month. I have a friend who had cancer (is cured now) who will have to pay 6000 dollars a month if he wanted to purchase his own health insurance, so he's now stuck in a job that he hates so much just because they provide him with a less expensive insurance.

Take this.... the number one reason for bankruptcy in the US is medical bills. This is the country that has contributed to medicine more than any other country in the 20th century and it can
not treat many of its own sick people. This is America, stacks of money and stacks of sick people.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Have Genital Herpes

....not really, but that would be less painful than watching Leonardo Di Caprio speak Arabic.

The movie "Body of Lies" isn't bad at all, here are some things I noticed in the movie that a director like Ridley Scott should have consulted someone about (with very little spoilers):

1- I was glad to know that the main character's name in the movie was "Faris". It was very disappointing to see the spelling was Ferris. I know Americans screw my name on daily basis but to take this to Hollywood was not expected.

2- It's very rare for an Iranian nurse to work in a Jordanian governmental hospital. And the uniform she was wearing is something I've never seen in Jordan, at least since the days of Al Manahel.

3- It's not socially wrong for women to shake hands with men in Jordan. Even the women who don't shake hands with men don't consider it outrageously shameful for other women to do so.

4- With all due respect to our Jordanian Intelligence, I don't they can refuse to communicate with the CIA or offer protection to any of their agents if he was being chased away and beaten up in the middle of the desert.

5- The Arabic in the movie, oh the Arabic. This is not the first Arabic movie Hollywood produces and they haven't learned yet that the Arabic being used in the movie is not really Arabic. Other than "Eben el Kalb" I didn't understand any Arabic in the movie.

6- I know the movie isn't supposed to serve as a tourism ad for Jordan, but Jordan looked really like one big ugly place in it. And that wasn't even Jordan. It was Morocco, some ugly place in Morocco.

7- How on earth did Jordanian policemen cross borders to Syria? I'm expecting a political crisis between Jordan and Syria for the next 400 years just because this movie suggested we did.

Ok I'll cut Scott some slack, he's not supposed to know these very details, although he's supposed to hire someone who knows them. And that Arabic of Di Caprio, man ..... it's torture.

Anyway, thanks guys for reading- shoookarran ala al keraaa'a
Good-bye: Ahhassalaham ooooo halaykooooom

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Scary Arabs

If you haven't heard it well, if you were dumb enough to not understand what this conversation was about, the woman is saying she didn't trust Obama saying he was an Arab. She threw "Arab" as an insult as if it was equivalent to criminal or pedophile.

OK, there are racists in American, some low-life idiots who haven't read a book since they've graduated from third grade, we'll always see them around, reminding us that the drawbacks of democracy is having those human-looking creatures with single-digit IQs the right to vote as everyone else.

But the response from the Senator who has a decent chance of becoming the next president was despicable. "He's not an Arab. Obama is a decent family man"

To any American who doesn't trust Arabs, stop sending your kids to US universities because these elitist institutions are filled with well-educated Arab professors. Stop bragging about going to the moon because NASA has plenty of Arab scientists and if you get sick think twice before stopping at any emergency room because there are many many Arab doctors in almost every hospital in the United States. Well maybe not all hospitals, just the good ones. They should stop watching press conferences by the US presidents because Helen Thomas, one of the most famous journalists in US history and an Arab, may jump in with an embarrassing question. They should listening to the America top 40 because it was founded by an Arab.

The list goes on with many Arabs who have served the US not asking what their country could do for them but what they could do for their country (first said by an Arab, not JFK). All what they wanted back is some appreciation, some acknowledgment that they're just as equal as everyone else. And when someone throws racist remarks against them on national TV they would have expected s Senator who claims to be patriotic to defend the very basics of being an American but instead he continues to bash Arabs, placing himself before his country. I'm hoping for McCain to fall (and maybe break a hip) on November 4th and for Americans to realize that Arabs will always be around in the US, and if they didn't like that they should go back to their original countries.

Friday, October 10, 2008

On the US Elections

** Both McCain and Obama proved to be hypocrites when it came to choosing their vice presidents. Obama claimed to not have been corrupted by staying too long in Washington but ended up picking one who was. McCain kept scaring people by how inexperienced Obama was only to pick someone without experience (or common sense, knowledge...etc) to be his running mate.

** There is a bunch of Americans who claim to be still undecided who they want to vote for. Every election this group of attention-seeking morons with subnormal IQs emerge claiming to be still thinking who should they vote for. This long campaign has been going on for more than one year. There's nothing the two candidates will say, I guarantee you, in the next 30 days that they haven't already said a million times before. Those idiots who are still thinking should stay home on election day and watch re-runs of some reality show.

** Many women in America still think like an oppressed minority. Sarah Palin, despite being on the total opposite to Hillary Clinton on every issue, still attracted some votes from Hillary supporters only for being a woman.

** Sarah Palin is the female version of George Bush.

** It's sad to see the absence of a third party in these elections. In almost all democratic countries, smaller parties get to participate in elections actively and they gain seat in Parliaments depending on how many votes they get. In the US these votes are trash, they're completely wasted.
In 1992 Ross Perot had 19 million votes, and in 1996 had 8 million, all gone.
In 2000, Ralph Nader had 2.8 million votes, people voting for the Green Party, yet nobody from that party gained seats in the Parliament.
Then there's that electoral vote system, which seems unfair to me. It's what allowed George Bush to become president even though he won less votes than Al Gore in 2000.
** Again, Republicans want Americans to vote out of fear. In 2004 it was fear of Bin Ladin, now they want them to be afraid of the black man whose middle name is Hussein.

** Among these elections, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rapidly falling economy, Fox News is now reporting about a Santa Claus in an elementary school telling 3rd grade students that Santa Claus does not really exist. They also brought 2 people who argued extensively whether or not that was appropriate. At the moment Americans start really thinking of the issues, Fox News emerges to remind them that they should remain stupid and continue discussing stupid issues.

Finally, youtube has not been McCain-Palin's best friend. Here are some clips that I find very interesting to watch:

First, here are some of Sarah Palin's comments during an interview. This woman is dumb.

Another embarrassing tape, when McCain in a speech asks "Who is the real Barack Obama?" and some in the crowd scream "terrorist". Not cool.

And here's Sarah Palin trying to connect to voters who were born in the 12th century but having asking her pastor to protect her from witchcraft.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What I Heard in the Vice Presidential Debate

Palin, "Israel is our best friend in the Middle East, and we have to open our embassy in Jerusalem"

Biden, "Everyone should know, there is no better friend for Israel than Joe Biden"

Palin, "Well I'm glad Joe that we agree on something"

....... and they disagreed on everything else.

America's economy is falling apart. Arab countries have an incredibly large amount of money. I'm not an economist but I have the right to believe Arabs could have really affected the outcome of these elections in a way that the above debate would have never occurred.