Monday, June 02, 2008

An Uncertain Destination



I sat back in my chair as I listened to the teacher recite the same story of Joseph Smith that he had been repeating to us all week. The handful of other students in my class looked just as bored.

The the teacher turned and asked, "Now who can tell us what year the Saints arrived in Far West Missouri?"

Since no one else responded, I raised my hand.

"Yes, Joe?"

"Please, we're supposed to be studying Biology," I said.

"Of course," replied the teacher. "And I have a special lesson for you. All of you turn to page 65 of your books."

I opened the worn, old book and turned to the correct page. On it was a brightly-colored drawing of some sort of monster with six legs and bat wings and a dragon's head. Read the rest of the story ->

7 comments:

Tom Clark said...

I'm loving it! Can hardly wait to read the next installment Chanson. Fascinating beginning to the story.

I've asked a certain celebrity expert friend of mine to write a guest column for my blog on the subject of mormons and polygamy. This is one aspect of mormonism that I don't mind investing time learning more about and talking about. I'm also going to see if I can somehow manage an interview with one of the Lost Boys. Don't know how I'll pull that off but it's in the works.

Tom Clark said...

P.S. Can you email me at one of my addys Chansi? Have a question for you and can't find your address.

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks Tom!!!

That would be great if you could get such an interview!!! I'll be very interested in reading it.

p.s. I emailed you. If the message didn't get through, you can email me at chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com.

intj-mom said...

Hey, this is totally unrelated to this current topic, but someone sent me this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3419725.stm as purported support for their idea that socialized medicine is a very bad idea.

I'm not sure they noticed it was from 2004. I'm curious how this situation ended up playing out.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey INTJMom!!!

One thing to note about the article you sent me: It's not a complaint about socialized medicine in principle -- it's merely saying that the British system was more efficient than the French system in 2004. It also talks about how the French were looking at a comprehensive medical record database system to eliminate some redundant treatments.

The article may well be accurate on the point about creating a database. Note the article isn't current. In the past few years, I had a "Carte Vitale" which was used to track my treatment/payment records, so the biggest complaint -- wasteful redundant tests -- has apparently already been taken care of.

The key point to note, though, is that the article doesn't compare the costs of the French system to the costs of the American system. The American system is far more costly and far less efficient overall, which is one of the main reasons people are looking to revamp it. (I don't have a link handy -- this is common enough knowledge that you can just Google for it.)

Regarding their little anecdote about the doctor who makes house calls hanging around for a drink on time he's billing to the state: That smacks of the usual conservative "welfare queens in Cadillacs" type of rumor/scare tactic. Read Chandelle's post (or any post of the increasing number of ordinary working families in the U.S. who currently have no health care for their kids) for the other side of the coin.

When I was in France, we had several instances where one of our kids had an accident or fell sick, and it was fantastic to know that we could call and have a doctor come to our house to make sure our kids were okay. Every doctor who treated our kids in France was highly competent and professional. And having these problems taken care of right away in one simple visit ends up saving in the long run since people don't end up waiting until a health problem worsens to the critical point before seeking treatment. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Really, I think it's revolting that people would be arguing that it's okay for families to have nowhere to turn when their kids get hurt or sick just because someone claims they heard there exists an incompetent doctor somewhere in France. So the thought that kids in working-poor families should go without pediatric well-child checkups and needed vaccines doesn't bother your commenter, but s/he is full of righteous indignation over a rumor that somebody out there might be playing the system? Talk about messed-up priorities! Imagine if the money for GWB's illegal war had instead been used to guarantee basic pediatric care for every kid in the country. One can hardly argue that it would encourage indigence or something since kids aren't normally expected to get a job...

intj-mom said...

I noticed those issues in the article as well. I thought it would also be good to hear from someone who's actually lived in France as well. Thanks for your reply to my off topic comment.

This particular conservative fellow I was debating with holds the view that anyone who doesn't have a decent lifestyle just isn't ambitious and hard working enough. It's very short-sighted, obviously. Try to point out that someone has to pick up garbage, or wait tables, or any of other various lower paying jobs that often don't come with health benefits, and he just keeps talking in circles about how people who really want to make more money and have better jobs can do it if they have enough desire. Personally I think he's just trying to justify greed and mask it with faux moral rectitude. If you can convince yourself that the poor are lazy and just don't have enough ambition/desire so it's all their own faults that they're poor, then it's easier to rationalize your own greed and assuage or deny any feelings of guilt. When I'd try to point out his inconsistencies and things he didn't think through, he would just resort to proclaiming that "the principles in his blog were right!" Like his sense of conviction should be enough to convince me. Then again, he's Mormon and they are programmed with that sort of stuff - relying on feelings instead of facts. Just my .02

C. L. Hanson said...

Yeah, if I were you, I wouldn't worry too hard about that guy. Sounds like he's trying to convince himself...