Labor Day

  1. Pawn, M.D.
  2. Marriage and family as mere legal constructs
  3. No reason, but plenty of motive
  4. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world


I wouldn’t do it again, and it has nothing to do with the money. I get too little respect from patients, physician colleagues, and administrators, despite good clinical judgment, hard work, and compassion for my patients. Working up patients in the ER these days involves shotguning multiple unnecessary tests (everybody gets a CT!) despite the fact that we know they don’t need them, and being aware of the wastefulness of it all really sucks the love out of what you do. I feel like a pawn in a moneymaking game for hospital administrators. There are so many other ways I could have made my living and been more fulfilled. The sad part is we chose medicine because we thought it was worthwhile and noble, but from what I have seen in my short career, it is a charade.

(A Doctor on Sermo, an online community for doctors, via WSJ) If you can get through the paywall, it’s worth reading. Any synopsis I’d make (although the block quote is a sort of synopsis) would be tainted.

This is why I’ve not been too keen on legal insurance.


A state that recognizes such a thing as gay marriage is a state that has assumed the god-like power to declare which collections of individuals constitute a “family.” But by this assumption government declares that both marriage and family are little more than legal constructs at best, and gifts from the state at worst. In the former case, marriage and family lose their objective fixity; in the latter case, all of us become wards of the state….

(Robin Phillips)


There is no reason in Eugenics, but there is plenty of motive. Its supporters are highly vague about its theory, but they will be painfully practical about its practice. And while I reiterate that many of its more eloquent agents are probably quite innocent instruments, there are some, even among Eugenists, who by this time know what they are doing. To them we shall not say, “What is Eugenics?” or “Where on earth are you going?” but only “Woe unto you, hypocrites, that devour widows’ houses and for a pretence use long words.”

(G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics (1922), in Collected Works Kindle edition at 19842)


G.K. Chesterton, defying popular usage for etymology, teased out the eventuality of anarchy:

Anarchy is that condition of mind or methods in which you cannot stop yourself. It is the loss of that self–control which can return to the normal.

[I]t is plain that this sort of chaos can possess the powers that rule a society as easily as the society so ruled. And in modern England it is the powers that rule who are chiefly possessed by it—who are truly possessed by devils. The phrase, in its sound old psychological sense, is not too strong. The State has suddenly and quietly gone mad. It is talking nonsense; and it can’t stop.


The modern world is insane, not so much because it admits the abnormal as because it cannot recover the normal.

(Eugenics (1922), in Collected Works Kindle edition at 19191, 19201, 19210. This appears still to be available for $1.99.)

It is astonishing how prophetic Chesterton could be. Not prophetic as in predicting distant future events, but in identifying types. In 1922 England, eugenics was the rage among English elite; today, a different hubristic madness grips us and, especially, our judges.

I can’t find the citation right now, but I’m pretty sure I read that there’s a sociological meaning of “corrupt” that implies something like “lacking the internal resources for self-correction” (and thus needing correction from outside).  Who from outside can (proximately) correct America the Exceptional?

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.