Your Brain is Green
Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance. You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver. You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns. You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Monday, April 13, 2009

If You Feel Three Fetal Movements in the Space of an Hour...

It's rare I write about my work. For one thing, it's rarely really exciting, and it tends to be very repetitious. But I don't want you all to think I spend all my time frothing at the mouth about religion or Arabs.

Israel has a quasi-governmental health service. Every citizen in Israel pays a monthly sum from his gross income, and it entitles him to a "basket" of basic [very basic] health services via one of the four Sick Funds. You are at liberty to choose which of the four funds you wish to belong to, although in outlying areas there is usually only the largest, Klalit. It is also the oldest and is part of the Histadrut trade organization and the Labor Party. In most respects the kupot are alike these days. Each kupah has its own supplemental packages, and nearly every Israeli takes at least one, because the basic basket really isn't adequate.

So every Israeli has access to doctors, treatments, and medications at either no or vastly reduced cost. Hospitalization is free in most cases. All costs associated with birth are free. Well, not really free, of course; the taxpayer pays. But in general, it's a good system for most Israelis. As a type II diabetic, I have not only a GP, but an endocrinologist, podiatrist, opthalmologist [each costing me the gigantic fee of about $7 per quarter] have free blood tests, blood testing supplies for my glucometer at nominal cost, and my oral meds at about 75% discount.

I work in the Women's Clinic of one of the kupot. We see several different populations: couples in fertility treatment, high risk pregnancies, and "emergency" patients in a special walk-in part of the clinic. Very rarely are these patients really emergencies and that's what drives me crazy. "My regular gynecologist is overseas", they begin. Goodness, if this was really true, at least 75% of Israel's OB/GYN doctors are off on perpetual junkets. A variation, slightly more believable, is "my doctor's not available". Next they want to know why they have to wait their turn for a prescription for birth control pills that they've known for a month they're running out of. "It will just take a minute" they wheedle. Sorry madam, but you see this woman is bleeding all over the floor, she has precedence..."But she arrived after I did!" comes the insulted reply.

Other patients manufacture reasons which they think will get them ultrasound exams that will show what the gender of the fetus is. They are entitled to, nay, encouraged to have ultrasounds at certain points in the pregnancy, but there are those without patience to wait. Yet others demand ultrasounds as some sort of miracle exam that not only discovers all problems but solves them too.

There are minor irritations. "Please weigh yourself". In spite of a big notice on the wall above the scales, the women invariably leap onto the scales. "Step down," I drone, perhaps 50 times an afternoon. "Press the green start button, wait until you see zeros on the scale, then step up onto it". We used to have an electronic scale that switched itself on when stepped upon. This is an "improvement". Today, in the past three hours, I've done 12 fetal monitors [NST], not one for a good reason. All could have been avoided if the women drank enough fluids. "But then I have to pee all the time", they say. With the baby's head pressing on your bladder you're going to run to the bathroom all the time anyway, dear. Go drink at least a liter. I guarantee that within 30 seconds the woman has returned, swearing she's drunk "more" than a liter. One of the doctors I work with has no problem in sending a woman back to me for two or three repeat monitors because he won't transfer a woman to hospital if he can avoid it, and if he does, he wants to be sure there's no fetal distress first [which sort of defeats the purpose].

But more, I guess, is the simple imbecility of a great many of the women who show up. I've known smarter cows. "Three days ago, for 20 minutes, I had contractions; am I in labor?" "Two days ago I was on a bus which came to an abrupt halt. I'm feeling movements all right, but I just wanted to be sure the baby's OK". "Yesterday, I saw a dead kitten in the gutter. I want an ultrasound to be sure it's soul didn't pass into my baby" [yes, really]. There are the women who inject themselves with fertility drugs but find it difficult since they don't remove the cap from the syringe needle. Or the women who call, half hysterical because their glucometers always read the same thing and upon investigation this phenomenon happens even before they stick their fingers with the lancet, as if the machine intuits their blood sugar by telepathy. [they are reading the stick quality assurance code]

I enjoy teaching, but I'm finding my patience has its limits. I've just said the same thing too often, explained the procedure or the process too many times. But I need to continue working until the summer of 2010, because once I have 7 years' seniority, if I become an old age pensioner, I'll get all my medications free for the rest of my life.

So I'm hanging on. Barely.

Hezbollah and Egypt

The Jerusalem Post has an excellent analysis here which bears out something I wrote about a long time ago -- the ongoing struggle for dominance between Shi'a and Sunni Islam. Don't underestimate it. If the various Arab countries hadn't had Israel to dump on, it would have come to a head sooner, but it's going to be an increasing problem. I wonder if anyone in Washington has figured out the differences, and the historical animosity between the groups yet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How Could Jesus Eat "Bread" at The Passover Seder which was the "Last Supper"?

Now I'm going to offend a lot of people. But then, I've been offended by them all my life.

"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV )

I find it deeply offensive to humanize God so that He has "family", that He "impregnates" a human woman, just as the pagan gods are supposed to have done, and that he has a "son". For all Jews, that demeans God and is the most utter blasphemy. But of course, in this PC age, I am supposed to nod understandingly at this appalling drivel, a mere restatement of paganism (yes, I know, it's a "Mystery". No, it's not, it's no mystery at all that the minds of most men are incapable of understanding the Jewish and Moslem concept of the incorporeal, omniscient, omnipresent Diety but must create a god which they can anthropromorphosize to fit their limited imaginations. You'd think after about 10,000 years of human civilization they could, but apparently, judging by the success of Christianity, they can't) Christians apparently don't see anything impolite in asking me, as I have repeatedly been asked, "why I don't accept Christ". What's to accept? I'm not interested in regressing to paganism.

So, lissen up: no one has "paid" for your sins. You're going to pay for them. You're going to earn life eternal the hard way--by doing teshuva (penitence) in this world, not by virtue of some quasi-Divine being being tortured to death. So live morally in this life, it's the only one you're likely to have. By doing this, you make of your entire life an act of Divine worship, and it is by far the most effective prayer you'll ever be able to pray. And oh yeah, Jesus was no more resurrected than anyone else, because, assuming he existed at all, he died just like everyone else, being nothing more than a human being. And Christians, however much they try to obscure it, are not even monotheists; the Trinity is a pantheon in exactly the same way all the Hindu gods are aspects of Brahma.

Now I've got that off my chest. Jews, since saying things like that have traditionally resulted in the exhibition of some overt Christian "love", such as pogroms or the auto-da-fe, have learned not to say it when Christians are around. I think it was stimulated, this past week, by an exchange with a Catholic who told me that I was wrong to claim that Maccabees I and II are not part of the Old Testament, because they are in the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible. This person was most emphatic that the Catholic version was the only "correct" version. Well, baby, all I can say is that the Tanach antedates Christianity by centuries; some books by as much as a thousand years (taking the non-Orthodox critical approach as to the authorship of it), and the Catholic version, in particular, is based on a Latin translation of a Greek translation of the Hebrew original. And there are some very good reasons the rabbinical Sages did not include the Books of the Maccabees in the Canon. Quite a bit of the books are heretical, either by implication (God is not mentioned; the victories are attributed to good generalship, and the Hasmoneans combined the High Priesthood and the monarchy, which is prohibited in Judaism)

My advice to Christians this weekend is, stop celebrating a pseudo-event with a pseudo-god. Do what Jesus did: buy some matzah and have a Passover seder instead. Best of all, return to your roots and convert to Judaism.

Hag sameach!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Of Women and Obama's Sleight of Hand

This article in the NY Times, and the beautiful timing of this Obama gimmick shows just how well the new administration is showing that it is "reaching out" to minorities [are women a minority? Jews certainly are]

First White House "Seder", and he kisses the people vowed to the extermination of Israel on the cheeks, and seems powerless to understand the Islamic mentality that will create a nuclear jihad against the Western Infidel and against Israel if not stopped. What a Christian was doing at a Passover Seder is inexplicable, and to have the announcement of the continued waiver that allows an anti-Jewish and anti-Israel terrorist organization to function in the US is a major insult to every Jew in the Diaspora and in Israel.

Achmadinejad, and the Afghanis now have the true measure of the US President: a man who thinks words substitute for actions, and who thereby shows that he's really so weak he can't stop anyone.

Islamic Courtesy

David Horsey
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Apr 11, 2009

Always tell your guest what he wants to hear. Truth is a secondary consideration.
Will the Americans ever begin to understand that they're not dealing with Westerners in bedsheets? *sigh*