Monday, December 13
Too hot for the web
One of my new favorite sites, David Horowitz's FrontPageMag.com, is ON FIRE.
1. On Purdue University's "Peace Studies" program, a taxpayer-funded effort led by an unreconstructed communist:
Professor Harry Targ is the director for the Peace Studies program at Purdue University, a state college in the Indiana system. Professor Targ is a member of the National Executive Committee of the “Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS).” This is a faction of the Communist Party USA that was expelled in 1991 for opposing the hard-liner coup against the Soviet Union’s last dictator Mikhail Gorbachev. Targ’s views on the questions of war and peace are standard Communist doctrine: “We need to clarify the connections between U.S. capitalism, global conquest, and visions of empire…we need to discover where multinational corporations and international financiers stand, whether the oil and/or military industries are driving the doctrine of preemption, and which, if any, sectors of the ruling class regard unilateralism, globalism, and militarism as a threat to global trade, production, investment and speculation.”
Okay, once we've "clarified" the assertions as nonsense, then what?
2. On the retirement of sanctimonious gas-bag Bill Moyers, whose shrill attacks on the Bush Administration evidence a weird psychological projection regarding his own numerous ethical lapses:
As many as 30 PBS affiliates had ceased airing Moyers’ partisan show “Now” during pledge drives, apparently in part because its blatant bias alienated many potential contributors. “Now” had also become an ethical embarrassment because Moyers as of 2003 had used his taxpayer-subsidized PBS show to promote guests from at least 16 left organizations that had gotten at least $4.8 million in grants from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. Moyers neglected to inform his audience of this conflict of interest involving an organization of which he was President and from which he personally pocketed $200,000 per year.
“Imagine how Moyers would react,” wrote Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard, “if, say, Rush Limbaugh gave $1 million to the Heritage Foundation and then repeatedly interviewed its experts for his nationwide audience, and did so over a taxpayer-funded medium, like NPR [National Public Radio].”
3. On LA's King/Drew Medical Center, where a long running administrative and financial disaster cannnot be corrected because, you guessed it, racial conspiracy theories (don't miss the continuation in Part 2):
The hospital with the most comparable budget is Harbor-UCLA, a much bigger facility 10 miles away. Last year, Harbor-UCLA had nearly $372 million to work with, not much more than King/Drew's $342 million. Harbor-UCLA, however, did far more with its money. It treated 61% more people in its emergency room and admitted 91% more patients.
In the last five years, King/Drew has spent nearly $34 million on employee injuries — 53% more than Harbor-UCLA and more than any of the University of California medical centers, some of which are double or triple King/Drew's size. Employees make claims for such things as damage to their "psyche," assaults by their colleagues and a variety of freak accidents, according to a Times review of workers' compensation claims.
Some employees habitually fail to show up, logging weeks, even months, of unexcused absences each year. And those who do come to work often don't do their jobs, causing one consultant in 2002 to remark that they had "retired in place." Others are distracted or impaired. County Civil Service Commission filings tell of staff members grabbing and clawing each other's necks; inspection reports tell of patients literally dying of neglect.
King/Drew pays its ranking doctors lavishly. Some draw twice what their counterparts make at other public hospitals — often for doing less. Eighteen King/Drew physicians earned more than $250,000 in the last fiscal year, including their academic stipends. Harbor-UCLA had nine.
Yet even as the county has faced enormous pressures over the years to trim its health budget, the board has largely spared King/Drew. The slightest suspicion that a cut might be coming mobilizes activists who treasure the black-run hospital.
So the waste continues. And so does the perception among King/Drew supporters that their hospital is being maliciously underfunded.
At a town hall meeting in the fall of 2003, a King/Drew doctor angrily jabbed his forefinger in the air as he accused the county health director, who is white, of punishing the hospital. "I've been here 31 years and watched this hospital be yanked and pulled … shot and kicked," said Dr. Ernie Smith, an African American pediatric cardiologist who has since left King/Drew. "This is nothing more than racism and white supremacy."