No Saguaro

No Saguaro

April 11, 2013

Gabby The Hypocrite (Are You REALLY Surprised?)

It is tempting to nominate former Tucson congresscreaturette Gabrielle “The Martyrette” Giffords for T2 of the Week/Month/Year/Century.  However, I’m resisting that temptation, permanently, because she 1) is grossly overqualified for such an award and 2) already gets too much of the public’s undeserved attention.  However, I still feel compelled to highlight, for those who haven’t already been made aware it, the latest dollop of monumental hypocrisy flung by Gabby and her equally parasitic and reprehensible husband Mark Kelly.  For all the impassioned gun-grabbing pleas vomited up by the cerebrally-compromised polette and her sponge of a spouse, it appears that Gabby and Mark are both gun owners themselves: in fact, owners of the very type of gun the bullets from which scrambled what little brains Gabby had on January 8, 2011.  Go figure.

The linked CBS news article, in a fashion typical of gun-ignorant Establishment media scriveners, makes much of the fact that “the couple's 9 mm Glock holds fewer bullets than the one used the Tucson shooting spree.”

Yeah, I know. I also immediately, reflexively found myself asking “your point being…?” 

My kitchen carving knife is from the same manufacturer that made the knife used by a neighbor to stab his wife to death,  but it has a shorter blade.  I guess that makes it a “safer” weapon to use for all concerned if I should ever become inclined to use it to commit murder instead of as a kitchen implement, the sole purpose of this object for the majority millions of its users.   

Read the entire linked article, if you can stand it, for additional helpings of the bizarre “reasoning” Gabby spews as to why she, and not you and I, should be allowed to own guns.  Seriously, folks, you can’t make this kind of shit up.  But this is Tucson, so we can rest assured that there are hundreds –no, hell, thousands— of brainless T2s hanging their every waking thought (or what passes for them) on what Gun-grabbin’ Gabby and Moocher Mark say. 

The article tells us that Mark Kelly likes to “shoot … pots and water bottles off large rocks in a desert area with Giffords watching from a porch.” It would appear that Kelly is ignorant of something the vast majority of us gun owners are intimately familiar with: "basic firearms safety."  Wouldn't it be an act of divine justice if one of those bullets ricocheted off of one of those “large rocks” and led Gabby to relive some history? 

Flame away.

January 13, 2013

What Part Of "You're Lost" Do You Not Understand?

Happy New Year!  The non-MSM punditocracy predicts that 2013 will be a year so full of turmoil that the best that the majority of us can hope for is mediocrity, if we’re lucky (and I happen to heartily agree with this prediction).  However, I feel a certain amount of relief in knowing that I live in a city where complete economic collapse will not add any stupidity to the general population, only amplify that which is already long entrenched.  Knowing what to expect and having some idea of how to deal with it is winning half the battle.  But I digress.  Now on to the subject of this rant’s title.

I live out in what can only be called “the boonies.”  While still technically within Tucson’s city limits, it’s an unincorporated part of Pima County with many unpaved roads and roads that dead end at certain points.  Apparently when they set up their map databases, the GPS manufacturers (TomTom, Garmin, et al.) neglected to vet the accuracy of their mappings for certain localities.   This has led to a great deal of unwanted automobile traffic through both my and my neighbors’ properties over the last year, especially on the easement road on one side of my property that leads to my neighbors’ properties.  The situation has become so bad lately that one of my neighbors has erected a gate across the dirt road on one end of his property (a road that is not designated as an easement, despite what lost motorists seem to believe) and has actually put up a barricade in front of his driveway because so many “lost souls” have been turning around in it, tearing up his landscaping and even trying to drive across his property in search of a non-existent through street.

My neighbors and I (proud non-native Tucsonans, all of us) have tried to alleviate the situation by putting up signs at the entrance to the easement road, signs that even dyslexic first graders should be able to comprehend.  I’m talking about signs that read NO OUTLET, PRIVATE DRIVEWAY, NOT A THROUGH STREET, PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO TRESPASSING, etc.  This doesn’t even take into consideration the bright yellow NO OUTLET sign that is mounted on the sign for our street at the main intersection up the road.  Now one would think that even the densest person to be issued a drivers license by the state of Arizona would “get it” at this point and turn around, or at least recheck their directions before proceeding any further.  But no, not TT drivers.

I have stood at my living room window or outside in my yard and actually watched these cerebral titans slowly inch their way down the easement road, right past the signs in big letters that tell them in no uncertain terms that they are not where they are supposed to be.  Once they reach the end of the easement road and suddenly realize that “hmmm, there don’t seem to be no through street back here, Hoss,” panic sets in.  You see, their GPS has told them that there is, beyond any doubt, a through street back here that will take them where they need to get to, so, by golly, it just has to be here somewhere.  After all, technology is never, ever wrong.  Except when it is.

You see, TTs, even more so than people in other parts of the country, absolutely depend on the technology that it took them forever to comprehend and use to think for them.  Because thinking is painful and requires effort and energy, and now that there are machines to do much of it for them, they refuse to put any additional stress on the atrophied little gray thing between their ears.  As far as these lost road mariners are concerned, that means that the idea that their GPS could have given them a bum steer is simply unthinkable.  To admit that their navigational technology is imperfect would mean that they would still have to do some residual thinking for themselves, some actual planning, research, and exploration without electronic hand-holding.  Such a thing is unthinkable.  This is the point at which the arguments inevitably start.

I have actually approached several of these lost souls, seconds before they were about to turn my neighbors’ yards or my yard into a disaster zone, asking them “are you looking for an address?”  Almost invariably, it’s an address either on the other side of the main road leading into our neighborhood, on a street that shares the same name as ours, but is not connected directly with it, or an address on a street that TomTom, Garmin, et al. insist can be reached from our street, but can’t.   When I tell these folks that they’ll have to back up, go back down the street, and either go an additional quarter mile down the road to another cross street, they act as if I’ve just given them directions to Central Siberia. 

“But, my GPS says this is a through street!”

“What do you see in front of your own two eyes as evidence that such an assumption is correct?”

“But my GPS says…!”

And so it goes.  Eventually they back up (I refuse to allow them to turn around in my driveway or on my easement road, as it would mean driving on my yard) and lumber on back down the street, maybe a few of them reaching their destinations.  Frankly, I don’t give a rat fuck.  Just as long as they’re GONE and off of my property.

It has reached the point where I keep my holstered pistol at arm’s reach so that I can strap it on at a moment’s notice and go outside to confront illiterate “visitors” who can’t seem to recognize a dead end when it’s as obvious as the nose on their faces (and no, just to be clear, I certainly do not point the gun at them; I just keep it at my side as a “reminder” that when my signs say NO TRESPASSING and PRIVATE PROPERTY, that’s exactly what they –and I-- mean).  I also find it strange that these creatures can’t be bothered to use that other ubiquitous piece of electronic technology, the one that’s glued to their ears for 90-plus percent of their living day and that also distracts them from driving, and use it to call the party they are trying to visit at the address in question in order to get clear directions.  But that’s too much like effort, and God knows that TTs never exert effort unless their lives (or their drugs and alcohol) depend on it.

So what to do next? 

That’s a good question.  I think unidirectional road spikes, like the ones used in rental car garages to keep people from backing out, would be an ideal solution.  The problem with these, of course, is that they’d have to be retractable, probably by some form of remote control, in order to keep them for puncturing my and my neighbors’ tires.  Given that we’re talking about a dirt road, it would probably be much more work that it’s worth to make that happen.  Radio-controlled land mines would be nice too, but finding a supplier would be problematic, plus they too would have to be radio-controllable in order to keep us locals from blowing ourselves up.  Much easier, I think, would be a remote-controlled gate across the road, which my neighbors and I could open and close as needed.  Unfortunately, the expense of this would probably make it cost-prohibitive in the near term.  In the end, the only realistic and affordable option would be low-tech, either a steel cable or mesh barricade across the road.  This would be awkward in that it would require “manual control” (i.e., getting out of the car to unhook and reconnect it after entering and exiting the road) and probably would still not deter lost speed-bumps-with-pulses from trespassing.

In the end I suppose my nasty temperament (I need a sign that says NEVER MIND THE DOGS: BEWARE OF OWNER!) is the only vague hope I have of discouraging unwanted visitors.  Maybe another sign that reads ALL WHO ENTER CONSENT TO IMMEDIATE DRUG TESTING will scare them away.  I can’t think of any other “TT kryptonite” that would be comparable in force.

Thoughts and suggestions are most welcome from those of you who deal with a similar situation elsewhere, even if not on as regular a basis as I do here in ID10Tland.

August 4, 2012

They Did Something Right – For Once

I had lunch today at one of Tucson’s Five Guys restaurants.  I was a big fan of Five Guys when I lived back in the D.C. area, but this was my first visit to a Tucson location.  Given that this is Tucson, I went in expecting the worst. This city has a habit of making dining out at even the most well-established chain restaurants a crap shoot.  Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised.  The hamburger I had was fresh, cooked to order, with quality toppings.  The bountiful serving of french fries, something for which Five Guy is famous, was fresh, hot, salty, and tasty.  All in all, a pleasant experience.

Even though the chances of any Tucsonan launching an original restaurant chain that serves quality food are somewhere south of zero, it appears that every once in a great blue moon, they can at least manage to sustain a local franchise of somebody else’s restaurant.  I have to imagine that the Five Guys corporate headquarters keeps a very close eye on their franchise outlets, probably to ensure that no one like the average Tucsonan ever manages any of their restaurants.  In fact, given what we all know about Tucsonans, I also have to believe that Five Guys had somebody relocate to Tucson from the D.C. area to open and run their local outlets.

Who says I never say anything positive about this city? 

August 3, 2012

T2 of the Week: Adam Smith

Not to be confused with the famous eighteenth century Scottish economist whose treatise The Wealth of Nations is one of the seminal works behind free-market economic thought.  Our tard this week is a pathetic, acerebral adultolescent who somehow managed to stumble his way into an executive position at (what one assumes is) a private corporation run by grownups.  It would appear that this company’s human resources and hiring mechanisms could use a serious overhaul.  While it seems almost unsporting by now to pick on this pathetic dweebtard, I haven’t posted here in a while, so I’ll take what opportunities come my way.  Besides, I haven’t found an award recipient this deserving in months.

Apparently Smith didn’t care for Chick-Fil-A™ corporation CEO Dan Cathy’s public statement last week in which Mr. Cathy defended his and his corporation’s views on traditional, biblical marriage and family.  Nor could Smith apparently stomach the favorable reaction of large segments of the American public to Mr. Cathy’s statements, which manifested itself in the form of record numbers of them patronizing their local Chick-Fil-A outlets.  Smith was apparently so outraged that he took it upon himself to drive out to the Chick-Fil-A outlet located at 3605 E. Broadway on Wednesday to give them a piece of what passes for his mind.

Smith proceeded to pull up to the drive-thru window, ordered a free cup of ice water as a statement (the company would not only make no money on such a transaction, but would lose a few pennies of profit to boot by giving away a cup), then berated the poor server behind the counter for daring to work for a company that would  --oh, horror of horrors!—make favorable comments on the traditional family. 

Apparently neither the deepest thinker in the world (well, DUH… he’s a Tucsonan) nor someone who considers the long-term consequences of his actions, and apparently also affected with a bit of narcissism, our Brain Trust of the Week decided to video his encounter with the Chick-Fil-A server, then upload said video footage to YouTube.  It seems that he also had supreme confidence not only in his abilities as a wannabe RealityTV interviewer, but also that his self-righteous, patronizing rant to the virtual world would garner mass sympathy and support.

In fact, the only thing that our T2 “garnered” was a pink slip from his employer, Vante corporation, a high-tech firm that must be one of the few “private sector” employers operating in this economic desert.  Operating a business and staffing it with qualified and issue-free employees is challenging enough in Tucson under the  most ideal of conditions.  Vante CEO Roger Vogel apparently realized that he and his executive staff had somehow mistaken Adam Smith for a mature adult and that if they didn’t remove him from their midst, they would end up a statistic like so many other businesses in the past that have tried to make a go of it here and failed, among the reasons for their failures being that they were saddled with baggage like Adam Smith.  As Mr. Vogel told the Arizona Daily Star:

Vogel said he was “shocked” by the video, which he first discovered when people emailed him a link.

“We obviously found it very disturbing,” Vogel said. “We respect everybody’s ability to share their opinions in the public square and we have a very diverse workforce with a diverse set of opinions. We expect employees to behave in a professional manner that’s commensurate with their positions, and discuss their opinions in a civil fashion. ... We thought what he did was inappropriate.”

Well said, Roger.

Hey, Adam: while no one gives a dried javalina turd what kind of lifestyle you lead, and no one is suggesting that you be persecuted for your beliefs or feelings, your (now former) boss hit the nail on the head.  Let me put it to you in what are probably the only terms you can understand:

You weren’t fired for your beliefs; you were fired for behaving like an ASSHOLE in public.  When executives of high-profile businesses behave like assholes in public, it gives their employers a very bad name.  With the economy the way it is and with businesses having to compete harder than ever for clients, they can’t afford to have spoiled, self-centered adultolescents with the judgment and self-control of toddlers giving them a black eye.  

Roger Vogel didn’t mention it in the interview with the Daily Star, but I’ll bet if he were to consider it worth his time to take you aside and give you a “life lesson,” he would probably have said to you something like: “Look, Adam, I’m sure you have your reasons for being upset with Chick-Fil-A.  If you’re that upset with them, write an open letter to Dan Cathy and tell him, in civil and professional language free of emotion, why you are upset with him and his company’s core values and why you think they should be more accommodating.  I would be willing to bet that corresponding with him as one executive to another, you might actually get his attention and maybe even have him constructively chewing on some food for thought.”

It’s probably a good thing that Mr. Vogel didn’t waste his precious life-minutes on such a lecture.  Judging from the juvenile idiocy that Smith upchucked on YouTube, it would have been wasted breath.  

Finally, I noticed the following at the tail end of the Star article online:

According to his LinkedIn profile, Smith taught Valuation and Corporate Finance to MBA students last semester.

Before accepting the job at Vante, Smith worked for more than seven years at IBM, where he was Senior Finance Manager. Smith earned a business degree at the UA, graduating in 1999, as well as an MBA in 2007.

That says it all.  I only needed to see those three little letters –M, B, and A—to know what we’re dealing with here.  Bad enough everywhere else in the nation, I can only imagine what kind of time-and-space-rending incompetence and stupidity these three little letters mean here in Tucson.

Actually, we don’t have to imagine.  Adam Smith has already shown us.

Maybe, stoked by righteous anger, Adam and a pool of investors will answer Mr. Cathy and company by launching a new fast food franchise for the gay crowd called Dude-Fil-A.  I'm sure he'll have no trouble finding people to work there who can “live with themselves” for doing so.

I’ll never know.  I prefer traditional family values.

June 16, 2012

A Brief Editorial Note

To explain the paucity of posts of late (to anyone who cares), I've been out of town for the last month on a combination of work and vacation and will continue to be out until mid July.  It's going to be a travel-intense summer, so even under the best of conditions, this blog probably won't get a lot of attention from me.

If anyone out there is reading and has anything current that they think might makesuitable posting material, feel free to let me know and submit via the comments section.  Due credit will be give to the contributor for anything that is submitted.

March 22, 2012

Medical Care in Tucson: Don’t EVER Get Sick Or Injured Here!

One of the greatest puzzles about living in Tucson is how so many people manage to escape “medical care” in this town without death or permanent disability. As they do with everything else in life, the residents of this miserable shit hole settle for second, third, fourth…fiftieth best, and medical “care” here is not only no exception, but particularly illustrative of the phenomenon.

As to the “why” behind the substandard care in El Pueblo Viejo, the answer is pretty simple and obvious: shitty wages for health care professionals, shittier working conditions, and a patient population that not only cannot/will not pay for quality care, but doesn’t even know how to demand such care, or even recognize what such a thing is. Ergo, the cream of the medical field crop flees elsewhere or doesn’t come here in the first place. Instead, the real professionals choose localities where skilled healthcare professionals not only earn something resembling competitive wages (even accounting for the increasingly socialized environment of today’s medical profession), but are able to practice real medicine. When I say “real medicine,” I mean the actual diagnosis and treatment of patients who have something actually wrong with them, rather than tweakers who are just seeking their next fix.

Well, OK, maybe “tweakers” is the wrong word to use here. Contrary to popular belief, the most popular substance abused in Tucson is not methamphetamine, but prescription drugs. Most of the health care “professionals” here (I’ll illustrate shortly why this term does not apply to most medical employees in Tucson) spend most of their time fending off people who mistake clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices for pharmacies and who haven’t ever actually been sick, in the clinical definition of that term, at any time in their adult lives. For this reason the doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and medical assistants here do very little real medical diagnosis and treatment. This means that most of them are out of practice in and unfamiliar with this area of medicine, and therefore cannot recognize genuinely ill patients when they see them.

My wife’s bout two years ago with valley fever, a common and sometimes fatal disease of the desert southwestern United States, provides a perfect illustration. Almost two years ago to the day, she began suffering symptoms of what at first appeared to be the flu, followed by painful and difficult breathing that resembled pneumonia. We suspected from the beginning that this was the onset of valley fever, but of course needed medical confirmation of this fact, thinking (foolishly, it turned out) that we’d get answers right away. Thus began the dreaded process of dealing with Tucson “medical care.”

Step one was to visit what was then her general practitioner, an H1-B doctor from India who worked at the same clinic where my medical assistant daughter then worked. Not being either a native Arizonan or a long-term resident, this woman had no clue what valley fever was and attempted to first tell my wife that 1) she had a bad cold, 2) she was suffering from stress, and then, finally, when all else failed , that 3) she was suffering from depression! Being not only a medical ignoramus, but a Big Pharma whore (aren’t all doctors these days?), this doctor then actually prescribed Zoloft – for a whole year! My daughter, a mere medical assistant, had already figured out what the problem was and begged the GP to send my wife for a chest x-ray, which would have immediately detected the damage valley fever does to the lungs. Of course no self-respecting quack, especially one from India, could ever allow a mere medical assistant to show her up, so she of course refused to prescribe the chest x-ray. End of step one.

Step two was my wife progressively getting sicker and sicker for the next two months, her energy draining, her breathing becoming more and more difficult, and her skin breaking out in lesions, another prominent valley fever symptom.

Step three was me taking my wife to the emergency room at around dawn one spring morning after she became so weak with fever and chills, and her breathing became so labored that she could barely move. I dreaded this step because the nearest hospital to us, the one at which our doctors all practiced, is also, sadly, one of the most mediocre (OK, let’s be honest and drop the euphemisms – worst) hospitals in town. That said, I simply had to imagine that SOMEBODY on their emergency room staff would have recognized her symptoms for what they were.


My wife nearly died that day in the ER. In fact, one ER quack, a shaved-headed prick-with-ears who looked and acted more like an off-duty copthug than a doctor, actually told her “I don’t think there’s much we can do for you here.” My daughter, who had taken the morning off of work to meet us at the ER, looked this doctor straight in the eye and told him what was wrong and what needed to be done, the first order of business being a chest x-ray. Once again, of course, no “doctor” could ever let a lowly medical assistant show him up and this cop-masqerading [ineptly]-as-a-doctor was no exception.

Fortunately, there just happened to be, among the losers that “staffed” this underperforming excuse for a hospital, a pulmonologist on duty that day who actually knew what he was doing and what he was talking about (he’s probably still the only one of his kind in town. I wonder when he’ll get fed up and move out). He immediately ordered a chest x-ray, looked at the results when they came back 20 minutes later, and said “valley fever, no doubt about it.” He then proscribed the proper medication that had my wife on the fast road to recovery (as much as anyone can “recover” from valley fever, as it stays in the body permanently and can resurface at any time over the course of one’s life). My wife still sees that pulmonologist once per year for a checkup.

One doctor, the ONLY competent one on that hospital’s staff, stood between my wife and death! I still shudder when I think of what would have happened if this doctor had not been on duty that day. I would now be a widower – with a very large lawsuit against that hospital. I also wonder how many others not as fortunate as my wife, unable to find a competent doctor able who recognized a very common Arizona disease, have lost their lives under similar circumstances.

My medical assistant daughter has not escaped Tucson’s health care nightmare unscathed either. Suffering from a permanent physical disability, a congenital bone disease that causes stunted growth and leaves her susceptible to orthopedic problems, she has visited three orthopedists in Tucson over the last five years, none of whom had either ever heard of her disease (it’s not an uncommon one and should be known by anyone daring to call themselves an orthopedist) and who could offer her no medical help for her aggravating symptoms. In short, actual diagnostic medicine was too much trouble for these bottom-of-their-graduating-class losers. Far easier to deal with drug seekers and recklessly issue prescriptions while collecting subsidies from their Big Pharma pimps.

Needless to say, my daughter is trying to get the hell out of this wretched town. She not only has been on the receiving end of of the abominable medical care that this town offers, but she also fed up with the utter disdain with which the local medical establishment treats qualified and competent medical assistants, what few that there are.

Speaking of which, I don’t know how my daughter was able to abide nearly four years of the medical clinic at which she worked. While the doctors for whom she worked were actually relatively competent, at least in Tucson terms, and were very supportive of her efforts to support them, it was the medical administrators and her fellow MAs who were insufferable and who finally caused her to throw in the towel and walk away.

From what my daughter tells me, and from what I’ve witnessed first hand, in order to “work” as an “administrator” of a medical services establishment in Tucson, one must be one or more of the following:

• A complete and hopeless moron who is absolutely devoid of any interpersonal, leadership, or managerial skills whatsoever

• Completely and hopelessly ignorant of actual medicine, medical terminology, medical practices and standards, or medical administration, to include patient scheduling, billing, referrals, insurance claim management, and patient outreach

• Hostile to anyone knowledgeable of, qualified to practice, or experienced in the medical profession or medical administration

• An arrogant, backstabbing, ass-kissing egomaniac

• Barred from working as a medical administrator in any other city, in any other state in which actual demonstrated competence and standards are demanded of a medical administrator

• A miserable and consistent failure in every aspect of life

• Openly and unashamedly contemptuous of both patients and medical staff

Before you dismiss these as the ravings of a disgruntled employee, let me assure you that, based on my and my wife’s personal interactions with such people, my daughter’s assertions are one hundred percent accurate. In fact, if anything, she probably omitted a few key attributes from the above list. The fact is that I would not allow any of the “medical administrators” of my acquaintance in this town to flip burgers at a local fast food joint of my patronage, or to take my garbage can out to the curb, let alone run an establishment that might be responsible one day for saving my or one of my loved ones’ life. The fact that they are allowed anywhere near a medical services organization tells me that not only does the “medical establishment” of this town –hell, of this state—not care one wit about the well-being of patients, but that it is openly contemptuous of them and sees them as nothing but dollar signs to be milked and discarded. Given the criminal Establishment that runs every other aspect of this corrupt, disgusting, hopeless state, I do not think that such an assertion is mere hyperbole.

Concerning medical assistants in this town (and probably just about anywhere else in the country in this standards-free day and age): they’re almost universally lazy and incompetent, a direct reflection of everyone else in this cesspool of a city, as well as the so-called “training” they received.

Just watch TV ad testimonials on behalf of local fly-by-night diploma mills that milk gullible and talentless morons out of thousands of borrowed dollars that they’ll never be able to repay because of the “great jobs” they won’t get after they graduate. You get the impression that “medical assisting” is a field staffed by bright, ambitious young people who are on the first rung of a career ladder that might lead all the way up to a prestigious position as a senior medical administrator, or even a career as a doctor.


The typical “medical assistant” here in Tucson (and probably everywhere else) is a single woman –usually a single mother—who is generally a member of a racial or ethnic minority group or a lower-class white family. In most cases she either 1) dropped out of high school, later to get a G[ood]E[nough]D[iploma]; 2) has a criminal record, a drug problem, or some other issue that has kept her out of the productive, gainful workplace for most of her adult life; 3) is academically hopeless and functionally illiterate, not even able to survive a two-year community college program; 4) all three of the above. One thing that is common to almost all medical assistants in Tucson, whether they work for a public clinic, a private practice, or a hospital, is their complete inability to do simple tasks, follow simple directions, think critically, or get anything done without being micromanaged. Some of the recurring problems with Tucson MAs, no matter where and for whom they work, include:

An inability to communicate with patients. Granted, most Tucsonans in any profession can’t communicate clearly with other human beings, but these people are in a class by themselves. I cannot tell you how many times my wife and I have tried to either schedule appointments, get exam or lab test results, or verify insurance co-payment or update information with doctors offices or clinics in this area, only to meet a brick wall. Granted, a very big part of the problem with the MAs in this town is that many of them are Mexicans who can barely communicate in English at a functional level (yes, it’s un-PC to say this, although that doesn’t make it any less accurate), but that’s only an aggravating factor. The truth is that most of these creatures simply do not know how to do their jobs, do not know how to talk to patients, and are not the least bit interested in helping patients get the proper care or information that they need.

An inability to communicate with the doctors, nurses, and physicians assistants for whom they work. This is an especially dangerous shortcoming. After all, it is essential that the information imparted by doctors to their MAs, information often vital to a patient’s understanding of their condition, and therefore there ability to accurately assess the need for treatment, along with the ability to update patient care records correctly, be as accurate and clear as possible. Sadly, as with their communications skills with patients, too many Tucson MAs simply cannot comprehend the information that doctors, labs, pharmacies, and other clinics provide them. Far too often information that needs to be handled in a timely manner falls through the cracks. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, part of this is due to language barriers, but the predominant cause is simply poor education and training, as well as careless apprenticeships by practitioners of newly trained MAs, who tend to pick up the bad habits of those providing them with on-the-job training.

Laziness and apathy. This is the great Tucson “occupational plague” that is causing the local economy to implode. MAs are not the most common sufferers of this disease, but are arguably the most dangerous, given the nature of their work.

Substance abuse. To a great degree, this is probably the cause of the previous three paragraphs. While they don’t necessarily have greater access to prescription drugs than any other health professionals in the area, MAs tend to come from the same local population that is notorious for abusing drugs and alcohol. Given Tucson’s reputation as the unofficial “Substance Abuse Capitol of the American Southwest,” odds are that the gal (or, on rare occasions, guy) updating your medical record, calling in your prescription to the pharmacy, taking your vitals prior to a doctor’s exam, or drawing your blood is high on something, or hung over from a bender the night before. I have literally refused to have blood drawn by specific MAs on two separate occasions because the individuals in both cases were obviously under the influence of some kind of drug, prescription or otherwise. (For those of you who wonder why I didn’t report them immediately, just TRY to do that here in Arizona and see how far you get.)

Admittedly, a great deal of this mess is the fault of the “managers” and doctors for whom these MAs work, in that these experienced professionals fail to hold their MAs to a high standard of performance. This isn’t surprising, since these so-called “professionals” seldom ever hold themselves to a high level of professionalism. And why should they, given that the average Tucsonan who is their patient doesn’t know what professionalism is, nor do they show any particular concern for their own health. The inferior “colleges” in which these MAs are “trained” also share a great deal of the blame, as most are interested in only two things from an applicant for their MA programs: 1) that the applicant have a pulse, and 2) that the applicant have money for tuition, its source not being a particular concern to the school administrators and stockholders.

To be fair, I should make it clear here that there are also exceptions to the rule. In addition to the rank incompetence, we’ve also had instances where we were served by truly fine, upstanding, and thoroughly competent doctors, nurses, Pas, and MAs. Sadly, however, they are the rare exception to the rule. The majority of people in the medical profession in this town would simply be fired, and probably stripped of their licenses or certifications to practice, if they ever performed elsewhere in the nation as they do here.

All of the above said, the bulk of the fault for the sorry state of medical care in this town lies, of course, with the medical “professionals” themselves, whether they are doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, medical assistants, or administrators. Just as today’s society as a whole is a collection of helpless, whining victims who feel that they are owed a job with benefits, regardless of their performance and whether they’ve earned them or not, so the medical field reflects that society. When the majority of a city like Tucson consists of individuals reflective of this attitude, then the attitude will infect all of that city's businesses, health care being no exception. Until the medical community here in Arizona, and in the city of Tucson in particular, either cleans up its act by shedding incompetent “dead wood” and starts staffing itself with able professionals, the rot will continue and more sick and injured citizens will be victimized. Sadly, given Tucson’s unstoppable descent to the bottom of the socioeconomic abyss, that’s unlikely to happen.

As my title advises, don’t get sick or injured in this city. If you have no way of getting out now, pray that good health and good luck follow you and keeps you safe as long as you have to remain a resident. Your life depends upon it.

February 17, 2012

T2 of the Week: Martha Vazquez

Some might say that it’s premature to give (now former) KVOA news anchor Martha Vazquez this week’s award, given that she has not been found guilty in a court of law of the crime of which she is accused.  However, since she has admitted to the act, that pretty much tosses that line of reasoning into the trash can.  So, without further ado, allow me to confer upon Ms. Vazquez this week’s T2 Award.  I suspect this will be her only award, unless she does something else incredibly stupid in the future that comes to the public’s attention.

Vazquez, long-time face of local Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA TV, submitted her resignation from that station on Monday, February 13th in the wake of being charged with shoplifting a jacket and some earrings at the Dillard’s department store at Tucson Mall.  As the KVOA online news article in the link makes clear, she owned up to the theft immediately after being caught and offered no explanation or excuse for it.

No doubt there are those who will rush to her defense by stating that she must be suffering from some sort of mental illness or personal problem that would have compelled her to do something so utterly moronic.  The idea that she, a very public figure in Tucson, could get away with this juvenile criminal act in a prominent Tucson retail establishment suggests that, no matter what the possible contributing factors might be, she’s really not a very bright individual at all.  Of course, being that she’s a native Tucsonan, what other conclusion would any intelligent person draw anyway? 

One also wonders how Vazquez thinks she should be treated by her media colleagues.  No doubt they will descend upon her like the pack of rabid jackals that they are, tearing her character apart in their quest for a sensational story now that she’s on the other side of the news camera.  Who says that the state-corporate media don’t devour their own?

I’ll be curious to see what becomes of “Sticky Fingers Marty” in the future.  Either her trial will be expedited due to her celebrity status in order to “make an example” of her, or her connections in the local state-corporate media will persuade the local police and judicial organs to drop her case.   Perhaps KVOA will remind the powers that be that Marty and her employer know where some bodies are buried and wouldn’t it be extremely inconvenient if these bodies were suddenly exhumed?

For their part, Marty’s employers are playing it safe, issuing this non-statement on the KVOA web site.  Not that we would expect anything else from a state-corporate media organ trying to wash the huevo off of its face and cover its ass.  Still,  one would think that the bozos who posted this statement would be aware enough to know that their dead tree pulp/empty digit competitors have already scooped the facts known so far.  KVOA, this doesn’t make you guys look very professional, not that we expect professionalism from you in the first place.

So long, Marty.  I can’t say that I’ll miss you, because I never watched your empty, teleprompter driven propaganda sewage in the first place.  Maybe, if you manage to avoid time in the clink, you’ll find a real job somewhere. Doubtful, given that you’re a native Tucsonan, with all the baggage that this entails, but one can always fantasize, can’t one?

January 23, 2012

Thank God She’s Stepping Down, But What Kind Of Assclown Will Take Her Place?

The news that Congresscreature Gabrielle Giffords is stepping down from office is certainly good news to those of us who love liberty and common sense. She claims to want to devote more of her time and energy to her “recovery,” the theft of taxpayer money and what little is left of our freedom apparently being a bit too arduous for her current condition, although Gabby was already brain damaged even before last January’s shooting. Apparently just enough of what little gray matter she has was rearranged in that unfortunate incident to induce the realization that a “career” in the nation’s foremost criminal organization isn’t an option for someone with faculties reduced to levels even below the floor characteristic of that body. Unfortunately, it’s almost certain that the votards of Gabby’s low-mental-wattage district, an electorate consisting mostly of shiftless, brainless losers who look upon Uncle Sam as their sugar mommy, will find some other lying, power-hungry, statist loser to fill her still-warm seat.

Given that only bloodthirsty right-wing fascists and thieving, social engineering-addicted left-wing control freaks find any traction in politics around here, the replacement is likely to be as bad as Giffords, or worse (“the devil you know,” and all that stuff). As a non-voter who considers politics to be at best a fool’s waste of time and at worst an exercise in criminality, the outcome of the special election is immaterial to me except as a spectator. After all, the substitution of one criminal moron for another inside an elected political body has never changed anything except for the worse and this time will be no different.

I do hope –in vain, I realize-- that whatever Gabby Giffords does after leaving Congress doesn’t involve taxpayer money. It would be nice to think that she’ll just return to the ranch on which she grew up and just vegetate (pun intended), doing no more damage to the body public. However, given all of the Paris Hilton-like attention that has been showered upon her since her fateful meeting with the wrong end of Jared Lee Loughner’s bullet, attention that has practically turned her into “Martina Luther King,” she’ll probably remain in the limelight for a long time to come. From a purely political standpoint, I suppose the silver lining here is that whatever piece of excrement takes over “representation” of the 8th Congressional District will be left holding the bag once things in Rome-on-the-Potomac completely unravel. No doubt that will have a doubly harsh impact on the economic and intellectual desert that is southeastern Arizona, so Gabby will have dodged a bullet of a whole other kind in this case. Given the political nadir that Gabby represents where Tucson is concerned (her fellow T2 congresscreature Raul Grijalva being the only other comparable example), let us hope that a particularly reprehensible specimen is elected to “represent” Arizona's 8th Congressional District.

So good-bye, Gabby, and don’t like the door to the House chamber hit you on your skinny ass on the way out. Just don’t hurry back here to Tucson, okay? The fewer T2s that come back to re-infest the hive, the better off we’ll all be.