Monday, July 25, 2011

Good news on abuse of 'disability,' one of the great scams of our day

Anyone working in social services or medicine (well, anyone with half a cerebrum and some rational thinking capacity mixed in with their compassion) knows that the disability system in the US is completely out of control.  We routinely see patients who say, when queried about their disability, 'well doc, honestly, I don't know why I'm on disability!'  Which is fine if you've had a serious head injury or stroke, but if your complaint is 'injured back while using chain-saw,' maybe disability is a little generous.
So, here's some light in the darkness:
Hallelujah!  But if review, reform and a general purging of the disability rolls occurs, look for masses of the pitiful disabled to riot in the streets, throw flaming walkers, drive their little rascal scooters through police barricades and run angrily through the streets over which they were previously borne by ambulances.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why NOT tax credits for homeschoolers?

Just a thought:  I pay property taxes as expected.  And I have since I have owned (or had a mortgage on) a home.  That money helps to support public education.

Given that many persons are changing the way they educate their children, using charter schools, parochial schools, secular private schools, online schools and home-schools, why NOT give them, give us, the amount of money we would be contributing to public education...while we are educating our own?

I understand the argument that paying for education benefits the extent that it's successful and efficient.  But why shouldn't I be excused during the time my children are in primary and secondary schools?  It isn't as if my children are using the school's resources.  It's actually rather challenging for them to have access to any of it even now, when I pay taxes and home-school simultaneously.  A reality that seems a bit unjust, if you ask me.

So give parents who choose other types of alternate educational pathways a tax credit.  We aren't taking money away.  We're just moving it back home, or rather, back to the kids who will be using it.  The same way that we moved the kids out of the schools.

And just as the kids will enter the work force and public life, our tax dollars will flow right back when we're finished.

It seems a simple, fair and ethically reasonable concession to those who elect to educate their kids elsewhere...and in the process don't take up the time of public teachers, fill the chairs in public classrooms or use any of the assets of the public school in the first place.


Made in everything else!

This speaks volumes, doesn't it?  Progress is impeded when we don't even make our own flags.  Because we fail to use our own minds, hands and talents to create and explore.  We fail to expand upon the vast power of our own national energy and imagination.  We can do better.

Housekeeping issue

If you have a story of how rules, regulations, government and other impediments are impacting your life, e-mail it to me at

And as GruntDoc so wisely put when he linked to this site, blogs that are nothing but negative rants can be tedious.  I want to know what bothers you, but I want to know what would make it better and why that matters!  And if you have suggestions to make things better, please include. 

Maybe, someday, somehow the miraculous will happen and someone in authority will look at your post and say, 'wow, I never thought about it that way!' 

Seriously, stranger things have happened!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hospital Security: bad and getting worse

Across America, hospitals (and in particular emergency departments) are seeing increased rates of physical assault.  The sources of this are probably numerous, but I suspect the main ones are epidemic drug abuse, frustration over finances, decreased access to mental health care and a general lack of respect for authority and the well-being of others.

Our facility has been facing this issue.  And we have made improvements. But I have been consistently stunned by the way administrators are deathly afraid of anything that might, on any level, cause harm to those individuals who assail nurses and physicians.  It's a remarkable mentality that always makes attackers into unwitting victims, who need to be protected from the nasty doctors, nurses, security personnel and law enforcement officers who might actually have to touch them (instead of 'talking them down.')

So, for my first thought on things that impede progress, there's this:  hospitals that are afraid to protect their staff, due to fears of litigation or negative PR, are impeding the safety and efficiency of those they should treat as precious resources.  Namely, the very providers who care for patients, sane, crazy, violent or criminal, rather than sitting in offices, wringing their hands over yet another file-folder of regulations.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Welcome to Impeding Progress!

Welcome to my new blog!  You may know me from my other blog at  That's my home.  That's the place where I write, and where I repost columns I have published in other venues. 

If you don't know me, here's a run-down.  I'm a Christian.  I'm a husband and father of four.  I'm an emergency physician.  But I'm also a writer.  For 15 years I have written a monthly column for the Greenville News, Greenville, SC.  For 11 years I have written a monthly column for Emergency Medicine News (my columns are archived here .  My columns are often found at  or , which are both excellent physician run sites.  Much of what I write concerns medicine, faith or family, with a little politics and culture thrown in. 

But I want this blog to be different.  I see blogging as a camp that is roughly divided in two.  There are blogs that are written by content producers; that's what I do.  I write all the time, and for better or worse, I publish it and hope for links, both large and small.  And there are blogs that are managed by aggregators.  That is, folks who laboriously and with passion search to and fro for information to link for the benefit of the rest of us. 

Some blogs are both.  Instapundit ( comes to mind, as Glenn Reynolds both writes and links.  That's probably where I'll end up, here at 'Impeding Progress.'  I have ideas.  But I really need yours.

You see, here's the point.  There are those of us 'in the trenches.'  Physicians, businessmen, teachers, soldiers, social workers and the list goes on.  We face the public.  We pay the taxes.  We live under the heavy hand of a vast, Biblical-sized plague of rules, laws and regulations. We deal with the consequences, intended and unintended, of the things imposed on us by 'smarter people,' or 'better people.' 

We are usually too busy to lobby, to march, to travel to Washington or even to blog with any regularity.  Thus, unlike the ruling class, we are (in very real modern terms) disarmed.  No one listens to our ideas because we aren't in academia, or we aren't on any board of directors.  We aren't political consultants or business consultants. We're just doing the work. 

You'd think someone would say, 'what's going on with the masses in my field?' But it seldom happens.  What they usually say is:  'I have an idea that will make the masses better, smarter, healthier, more efficient, more compliant, safer, etc. They won't like it, but they aren't smart enough to decide for themselves.'

We, in the trenches, are struggling to make progress in this world. To help our children, to create businesses and wealth, to engage in charity, to spread our beliefs in love.  We are the true progressives.  But we are ever under the thumb of others. 

So I want your stories.  Not angry diatribes or vindictive invectives.  I want you to tell me what you do, in the real world, and how some stupid rule or regulation, some crazy tax or oversight impedes your progress, or makes the world a far, far worse place than it could be.  I know that you may be in trouble if you speak out, so if you want to remain anonymous I'm cool with that.  

Will you join in?  Let's show our 'betters' how they're impeding progress.  And give them some ideas from the trenches on how to  make things better.

Like for instance, leaving us all alone.  So that we can do something useful.