RJ's Corner

What Is This ??

Hay Press

When I came across this contraption at the O’Bannon State Park in southern Indiana I had no idea what it was about. But a couple hours later there was a full-blown demonstration with oxen and all .  It is a hay press from the 1800’s. Back then they didn’t have hay balers as we have today so basically this screw machine pressed the hay into tighter bundles so more could be put in the barn.

A Doctor/Lawyer Coalition??

We physicians have relatively little understanding of the legal process. And we will say — we say things like, ‘You ought to be out of that house. You ought to be in someplace clean.’ And then I sort of wash my hands of it and don’t realize the downstream implications. Somebody’s got to help them get the resources….

DR. KERRY RODABAUGH, Nebraska Medicine: I ran a medical-legal partnership, and came to find that I could not practice medicine without that. We are learning that we really are impacting health. So, if we can get somebody reinstated with their insurance plan, then they’re going to be able to afford to take their anti-hypertension medication and their blood pressure’s going to be improved. And who would’ve thought of that — that an attorney’s going to fix somebody’s blood pressure?

Omaha is part of a growing movement modeled on a partnership founded in 1993. Doctors at Boston Medical Center linked cases of childhood asthma to mold in homes and brought in lawyers to take on negligent landlords. The idea took years to catch on. But national leaders say there are medical-legal partnerships now in almost 300 hospitals and health centers, and that dozens more are being planned.

Source: Why doctors are prescribing legal aid for patients in need

Doctors and lawyers seem like oil and water in that they just don’t mix together, but in reality they form a very needed coalition. In retrospect it does make a lot of sense. I don’t know how many of you remember the time where it was unacceptable for a lawyer to advertise. The ABA said it would diminish the status of the legal profession and of course for most part it did just that.  I get very tired of all the “ambulance chasing” lawyers on TV.

And then there are the police/lawyer shows who portray lawyers as guys who, for the money, will do everything to get their guilty clients off of serious charges.  The OJ Simpson case confirmed that for many of us. Then there is the fact that the vast majority of our representatives in Washington DC are lawyers.  Let’s face it, lawyers just don’t get much respect from many of us.

Changing gears here, I don’t know about your part of the country, but where I live there is a very rapid integration of the healthcare field. Almost all of the local doctors and hospitals in my area now belong to one business entity. Doing so allows them to self-fund malpractice coverage among other things.   It also allows them to have more of a personal life in that someone else in the firm can cover for them when they need time off.

I’m sure most of these new integrated doctor/hospital firms have their own legal teams to handle things that they know little about but greatly affect the healthcare of their patients.  All of this is a good thing as long as we also develop regulatory agencies to monitor possible malfeasance.

Doctor/Lawyer teams??? Go figure….

People Writing Songs That Voices Never Share…

About Life BannerI suspect some of you recognize the title words above but many,  especially the younger generations, don’t have a clue. These words come from one of my all-time favorite songs entitled The Sounds Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. The song was popular in the 1960s and its message was typical of many folk songs during that era.   I keep a copy of the lyrics around to remind me of it.

To finish the verse including the title above:

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sounds of silence

This verse and in fact many of the lyrics of this song have meant different things to me at different points in my life. Lately writing songs that voices never share teaches me something about this blog.  I really don’t fully understand why I spend so much time writing posts here. I guess I am kind of like Teddy Roosevelt who said he “must” write. Putting pen to paper so to speak is in my blood. With that obsessive urge in mind it really shouldn’t matter if voices never share my words or not, I must write them.

2015-09-02_18-38-48But then my thoughts also drift to legacies. It seems I often get depressed because I don’t see any personal legacy that I am leaving for all my years on this earth.  Many can rationalize that since they have off-springs their legacy might come when a future generation might eventually do great things.  Lincoln’s great-grandfather was not a person of renown but if he had not had offsprings we would not have Lincoln.  I don’t have that possibility to fall back on even if it is for the most part irrational.  My legacy is what “I” make it to be.

I spent thirty years of my life entwined in the corporate world and looking back there is almost nothing I did there that really matters even now. Everything I helped invent has been long ago forgotten.  Technology just moves too fast to allow any lasting legacy in that venue. I leave nothing from my corporate life as my legacy. After I retired I spent 11 joyful years volunteering some serious hours and contributing a significant amount of the resources in a soup kitchen to “give back” for all the years I didn’t participate much. That time ended this year due to personal physical conditions.

I have come to realize that my blog here at RJ’s Corner might just be a significant part of my legacy. It now has over 2500 posts and more will come if the good Lords allow me to write them. If nothing else maybe the mistakes I have made in my life just might teach some to avoid them in their lives.

They say what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. Maybe someone in the future will happen across some of my words and just learn a little something from them.  In the mean time I am trying my darndest to stop fretting about visitor counts and concentrate on writing things that matter to me..

I am that wise guy…     TWiG 1

About Will Rogers…

Will Rogers Clan - Hdr

I will shout as clearly as I can that Will Rogers is one of my primary heroes. Here is what Wiki says about him.

Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 “talkies”), wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, the American people adored Rogers. He was the leading political wit of his time, and was the top-paid Hollywood movie star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska….

If you want to peruse some of my many posts about him and his words just click on “The Wisdom of Will Rogers” in the About Life category at the top of this blog.   I found the above picture in his museum in Clairemore Oklahoma recently. I have been there a couple of times now and will likely go back again.  See if you can find him in the above photo?

Celebrating Our Disabilities and Our Personal Failures…

I want to forewarn you that this post is going to include some ranting and will probably offend some people. I am sorry if that offends you but I need to speak my mind on this topic.

2015-09-01_10-17-45People who don’t come here often probably don’t know that I am deaf.  I went deaf about thirty years ago from a congenital disease. Before you ask, no a cochlear implant is not a possibility for me.  When I started going deaf I was first exposed to the “Deaf” community (with a capital D”. To them being deaf is something to be celebrated! Most but by no means all of the Deaf community were born deaf. But there are some who, like me, went deaf later in life. In large cities they form their own communities; often living close to each other and pretty much stay within that community. Many have as little to do with the hearing world as possible.

My hearing loss was a gradual thing that started in my college years and resulted in a total loss of hearing about twenty years later. I looked into the possibility of joining the Deaf community but decided it wasn’t for me.  Yes, it might have been easier to just give up on living with the 99% who are not deaf. Communications certainly would have been easier but that is not a road I chose. The Deaf community like everything else has its dark side.  To me part of that dark side is that they consider giving a child a cochlear implant in order to allow him to hear is child abuse. They say it denies him his deaf culture!  They treat their disability as something to be cherished, not to be overcome. I simply don’t see it that way. I have maintained my life in the hearing world and will continue to do so for the rest of what remains of it.

This discussion brings in a wider topic.  I recently saw and advertisement on one of the cable TV channels about a new program that celebrates obesity. Since for the most part obesity is a self-inflicted thing that greatly increases your likelihood of heart disease and other serious health conditions I can’t understand celebrating it.  Maybe it is just too hard for some to tackle their extreme overweight condition so they rationalize.

It seems strange that we are now starting to treat our disabilities and person failures as something to celebrate.  But maybe it is just easier, you might say lazier, to do that. Rationalization is a strong thing.


Oklahoma State House..

OK Statehouse ceiling

The picture above is of the ceiling of the senate chamber of the Oklahoma Statehouse. I have quite a story to tell about it. I have probably visited about 30 statehouses in my travels and this is the only one that tried to restrict pictures being taken.  I guess fear of terrorists is at the core. I did manage to get several pics before I was warned that “pictures are not allowed in this area”. The building is such a beautiful place its a shame they don’t want you to have a lasting memory of it.

As Obamacare Takes Hold, Unpaid Hospital Bills Vanish – Forbes

2015-08-31_18-42-33As hospital operators begin to report second period earnings — the sixth consecutive quarter of new revenue from once uninsured patients — the number and size of unpaid medical bills continues to fall thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

SOURCE: As Obamacare Takes Hold, Unpaid Hospital Bills Vanish – Forbes.

If all those idiots in congress who are so adamant in taking away healthcare to those who couldn’t afford it without ACA were to concentrate on making the law better instead of trying to abolish it significant improvements could be made.   There has probably been billions of dollars spent on dissing the law and little to improve it.  How sad is that?

It was clear that what was passed five years ago did little to ameliorate the every increasing costs of U.S. healthcare. That part of the problem was left to another day. But that day has never come due to the complete stubbornness of those who hate it.  All they can do is shout “SOCIALIZED MEDICINE” as if that were some deadly curse that will insure the downfall of mankind.  But the facts are that almost half of Americans have had for some time socialized medicine and most of the rest of the world has had it for much longer.  That is why we are about the only country still struggling to get hold of ever increasing healthcare costs.

When will we be able to start improving the law? Probably not until those who have put a permanent stake in the ground against it on our national congress are driven from office.  The rest of the world learned their lessons on controlling costs a long time ago and are wondering why we haven’t?   Makes no sense to them or to me…

Question everything….

Making Up My Mind…


This is kind of a companion piece for this morning. There are just too many of us who almost blindly follow the “talking heads” of their choice. “If Fox News says it, it has to be true.”  Independent thought is critical to making a democracy function and we seem to be losing that in giant chunks lately. Thanks Paul for this vital message….

Common Sense????


QE BannerBeing a progressive in most aspects I hate it when so many in the media say Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are pretty much the same.  I think what they are trying to say is that both of them don’t stand much of a chance in getting their party’s nomination. Bernie Sanders is actually nothing like Trump.

When I  enthusiastically backed Obama in 2008 he seemed like a pretty passionate person. He took stands that were not popular at the time. He was against the invasion of Iraq from the beginning.  It took years to discover that yes he was passionate about change but his passion was just not focused on any particular topic. In other words he was an idealistic young person who lacked the experience or acumen to drive his passion to the action required in today’s world.

Bernie Sanders is also a person who goes against the trends. Much of what he says just makes sense, at least to those of us who dare to look over their boxes.  The above quote is one of those things. The Saudi family has the resources to take on, and take down, ISIS if they really wanted to but it seems they would rather have the U.S. do it so they aren’t bothered by the possible political ramifications. Maybe Bernie has the convictions and experience to put his compassion into action? I don’t know but he is nothing like the attention seeking Trump.

Speaking of Trump, I guess I have to get me two cents in on that. I believe that the reason that Trump is ahead among so many conservative Republicans especially low-info voters is because they just don’t like the twenty-odd alternatives.  Politics has become a big game now. If you want to succeed you must follow the “game plan”. You must never say what you think but instead only say things that have been tested by a focus group so as to offend the least number of those who might vote for you. Politics has become too much of a game and not enough of demonstrating your passions. If Romney had fired his handlers in 2008 and spoke from his heart he would have probably gotten many more votes, maybe even the presidency.  His “47%” comment and others like it, I’m sure given to him from his handlers had not happened he might have had a chance.

Yeah, Bernie Sanders is a progressive and he is definitely a pragmatist. He sees all the damage that our obsession with guns has caused our nation and is not afraid to say so.  He looks at the rest of the world and sees that they managed to restrain cost of healthcare via single-payer system and thinks we should do the same.  He looks at the numbers that show the happiest people in the world come from those countries with the highest form of socialism. He is a pragmatist. Maybe that reduces his chances of getting a presidential nomination, especially in a country we so few seem to be able to even glance over the sides of their boxes that constrain them from seeing other possibilities.

Question everything….


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