Today’s Brain Buster

9 05 2017



Not really.

American Indians don’t live long.  Well off white people who live at high altitudes do live long.  People who live in large prosperous cities are living longer.  People who live in economically destitute rural areas are living shorter.

The worst county for life expectancy also happens to be Raj Chetty’s worst county for raising children for the sake of future income mobility, that being Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota.

It’s like this “shocking” news we got last week, which of course leaves out the most crucial detail.

It’s Not a Mystery, It’s HBD

3 04 2017

Jefferson City

One of the items that MissouriNet has been running with all morning is that the March of Dimes has released their state-by-state grades for premature births, and they grade for the Show-Me is a mediocre C.  In passing, MoD mentions a statistic we first learned late last current year that in Missouri, black women are 49% more likely to deliver prematurely than non-black women, and in the context of Missouri, “non-black” is almost a pure synonym for “white.”  MoD casts the disparity as a chronic and perplexing mystery.

If they want it not to be a chronic and perplexing mystery any longer, they should crack this book:

They will learn that, because of the r-K life history spectrum, and because of the racial differences therein, the average gestation for black women is a week shorter than for white women, with Amerindian/ish people in between, and East Asians longer than whites. (A racial pattern that seems to present very often in that book). What it means is that MoD is making a problem out of a non-problem because they’re holding black women to the biological standards of white women.

Two Points

30 03 2017

Washington, D.C.

(1) My prediction that the Trump years would be one where American politics would take on a continental European feel, in that we would witness the difficulty in governance in a multi-party culture, are starting to come true.  We have a Democrat Party, a doctrinaire conservative party, a centrist establishmentarian RINO party, and a Trumpian populist-nationalist party.

(2) As much as Trump is hurting himself and burning political capital by doing this, he would have been worse off if the rejected legislation of last week actually passed.

There’s still time to do this right.  By “do this right,” I mean (1) Pen and phone to suspend the enforcement of ObamaDontCare’s unpopular provisions, (2) Demand a full signed confession from the Democrats (including Obama himself) on the lies and skullduggery they engaged in to get ObamaDontCare passed and to defend it after it passed, and once they do, then they get to participate in the debate on where we go from here, and (3) Slowly and rationally figure out where we go from here, and single-payer should not be rejected out of hand.  What should probably be rejected out of hand is anything that smells like it was written by insurance industry lobbyists.

Capital to Burn

22 03 2017

Washington, D.C.

It’s time for OCGE to quit letting someone who was one of his avowed political enemies as late as November 7, that being Paul Ryan, to guide him down a path where OCGE is needlessly burning through political capital.

Remember my previous piece of advice on health care reform:  Just use the pen and phone to suspend the enforcement of ObamaDontCare’s unpopular provisions, and then do the “where do we go from here” thing slowly and rationally.  This issue is not the sort which will cause the world to end if not dealt with immediately.

Same goes for tax reform.  We can afford to slow down, take a deep breath, and think things through.

OCGE should be spending most of his public energy on his politically popular agenda items and existentially important agenda items.

Remember, the 2012 Presidential ticket with Paul Ryan on it not only did not carry Wisconsin, it didn’t even carry Paul Ryan’s own Congressional district.  Trump carried both.  So it’s not as if Paul Ryan is some great political genius.

SLU Med On Probation

14 03 2017


The voluntary organization that various medical schools belong to that serves to police all its members has put SLU Med on probation.

From what I read, it’s for a lot of technicalities.

However, I remember a few years ago that this little scandal broke.  While it got some national coverage, it was an unstory locally.

I’d like to think this is related, but even Harvard Med practices affirmative action.

Same as the Old Bill

7 03 2017

Washington, D.C.

Looks like the insurance lobbyists finally got done writing an ObamaDontCare replacement bill.

Of course, since ObamaDontCare was written for the benefit of that industry, it has that sort of same-as-the-old-boss kind of feeling.

Cutting Off Your New Nose to Spite Your Old Face

27 02 2017


Mockups and drawings of the new major additions to SLU Hospital, to go on the mostly cleared out space in the rectangle of Grand, Chouteau, Spring and Rutger.   P-D, and NextSTL.

Here’s my WTF moment.

They’re going to demolish the 1988 annex to Desloge, the Bordley Tower, but not Desloge itself.  I can definitely understand why any talk about demolishing Desloge was shut down, because of its historical nature and unique and iconic appearance.  But what’s the matter with Bordley?  By the time all these new buildings open, Bordley will only be 32 years old, and as I can attest, because most of my health care happens at SLU, it’s a very nice and functional edifice.  I also don’t think that Bordley has to be demolished to make either the construction of the operation of the new buildings feasible.  It could just as easily continue to stand.  If anything, since Desloge is a 15-story masonry structure in a high risk seismic zone, and Bordley was designed and built with quakes in mind, Bordley could be renovated, and all the crucial operations in Desloge could be moved over to Bordley.  Because the about-to-be built structures will be used for, among other things, admitted patients, which is what Bordley hosts now.

If this winds up happening as-is, it’s just going to seem so weird seeing Bordley, which I saw being built, (my mother went to SLU for as long as I can remember, and as a boy, I went to next-door Glennon), all of a sudden being wrecked.

And in spite of all this, SLU’s ER, which will also be moved into the new edifices, will still be the preferred destination for Federally incarcerated pimps and local dindus.


As it so happened, my mother was supposed to have a medical test at SLU today.  Her assisted living transportation took her there, and when she got there, she found out that someone mixed up the scheduling, so she wasn’t actually on the docket for the test in question today.  She would have needed to wait awhile for the return trip, so instead, she called me, and as luck had it, I was very close when she did.  So, I made a little side diversion.

First off, Bordley is also a masonry structure.  Second, before fetching mom, I went to someone in administration and asked her about Bordley being demolished, and she, as someone who said she knows about the plans, heard nothing about it.  She shifted me around to three other very similar people, none of them had the foggiest either.  So this gonna-demolish-Bordley thing turns out to have been a rumor.