Racial bias?

Racial biasDr. Michael J. O’Connell, Healthcare Consultant of Barrington, New Hampshire commented recently that predictably, not even minutes following this year’s Emmy Awards, claims of racial bias erupted on the internet and the next morning on the boob.  Not because blacks were under represented, in fact blacks were nominated for and the recipients of more Emmy’s than ever before in history.  So, why the uproar?  In our typically politically correct society, diversity is no longer something to celebrate when it occurs, but to loudly complain about past years of not measuring up to politically correct standards.

I feel it is time for a quota system.  A requirement that all races are represented in various societal roles commensurate with their representation in our population.  That would be fair right?  Let’s make it mandatory that blacks should account for 11% of Emmy Awards, 11% of Oscars, 11% of top level executive jobs, 11% of policemen, 11% of quarterbacks, 11% of teachers, 11% of basketball players….oops.  Hmmm, interesting there is no similar uproar over the under-representation of whites in professional sports.  Why no backlash clamor that blacks are hogging the professional sports arena (except hockey, I guess)?  I am sick to death of the Chinese domination of table tennis.  Do I not deserve relief by quota too?

Should we not reinstate integration busing of our kids?  Not blacks into traditionally white schools, but whites into black schools.  That should go over well.

Freedom of speech???

freedom of speech 3Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire commented that a reportedly racist ‘chant’ caught on a privately made video at a large Oklahoma university fraternity has resulted in closure of the offending SAE fraternity on campus and expulsion of two drunken student ‘chanters’ a couple of months ago.  This seemingly extreme action by the University of Oklahoma raises many questions….such as how does freedom of speech enter into this equation?

Speech, regardless of how repugnant, is generally protected by the constitution after all.  Does the fact that alcohol was involved have any relevance?  I am told folks are disinhibited by alcohol, they may even have sex, is sex a crime between two consensual but drunken adults? The fact that the chant occurred in a private setting, is that important?  Geez.  Private.  Can’t folks do most anything in private so long as it hurts no one?

Amazing how every remark about recently hypersensitized blacks, even slightly negative ones, are scrutinized by the racism police.  Where are the rap police?  The lyrics of much rap music condones rape, even incest, and encourages liberal use of the “N” word, yet rap and rap artists somehow escape most any level of scrutiny.  Those who are so bold as to portray the Obamas as characters from the Planet of the Apes are hunted down as criminals, yet no such effort was engaged when millions circulated objectionable (but admittedly kind of amusing) images of George W. Busch evolving from a primitive ape.  Why wasn’t that criminal if a private video is?  Seems speech crime is somewhat arbitrary, to be carted out and punished when it extends a political agenda.  Hmmm.

Opioid addiction among more young pregnant women…

opioid addiction pregnant2Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, recently commented that as addiction to various forms of opioids is becoming prevalent, more young women than ever are presenting for delivery on methadone, heroin, oxy and other drugs.  This causes a considerable nightmare for these newborns and for those healthcare workers administering to them.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is the withdrawal of the baby from the drugs mom abused before and during pregnancy.  The treatment for the newborn is a continuation with gradual weaning from some form of opioid, often IV morphine.  The process can take weeks in the hospital and costs are staggering.  The treatment for the mom is less complicated and requires little additional hospital stay, but is just as unpalatable from a societal perspective.

There are few answers to this gestational addiction problem, but buprenorphine Opioid Addiction among young pregnant womenis a solid drug to address the issue while society figures out the underlying problem.  If the pregnant addict confesses to her addiction, and converts to buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) early in pregnancy, the NAS is markedly reduced to just a few days.  The problem is how to convert the mother from the methadone, or oxy or whatever potent opioid she is taking to the buprenorphine?  Many studies are now emerging that support the safety of doing this in a gradual manner during the first trimester.  The process must be monitored by a provider experienced in such a transition, is very familiar with buprenorphine, and also has access to urine tox screening and quantitative LCMS.

Gay rights…

gay 5Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, noted that the governors of Arkansas and Indiana both caved recently to pressures from gay rights groups and other “piggy back” activists, and quickly amended their recently signed, nearly identical laws which ostensibly reinforced freedom of religious expression as protected by our Constitution.  The laws have been interpreted by many to license discrimination under the guise of religious principles.  Specifically, opponents of the laws fear that a restaurant owner, for example, whose religion does not acknowledge or condone gay marriage, could be justified and legally protected, in refusing to serve a gay couple.

There is no evidence that such discriminatory practices would actually happen, or that they have occurred in the many states that have had similar laws on the books for many years.  While such a practice would be decidedly repulsive and perhaps shocking in today’s progressive society, the legitimate question remains, should folks be forced to deny or at least compromise their religious beliefs?  Can we insist that business owners not discriminate on any grounds?  Does the Civil Rights Act deny entrepreneurs the right to choose their clients based on their own religious criteria and personal beliefs (right or wrong)?  A restaurant is hardly a “public good” that is to be cherished and protected for access by all humanity, isn’t it?

The controversy over these laws appears to be much ado about nothing.  The enactment of the laws in these two states would have gone unnoticed if not for the hypersensitized environment we live in, one that has cried ‘racism’ and ‘discrimination’ at the slightest provocation (usually committed by a white individual), and totally ignores blatantly racist, sexist and discriminatory actions of its minority population.

Gun control…

Gun control Charleston4Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that it is rare that I agree 100% with any decision or remark President Obama makes.  In the wake of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, he expressed the opinion, as he has many times before, that lack of gun control in this country is directly related to our number one ranking among industrialized nations in murders by firearms.  While there may be a dearth of direct evidence that gun controls are responsible for containment of violent shootings, the fact is that all countries with lower rates of violent crime also have serious gun control measures in place.  I would argue, as does Obama, that his opinion is indeed de facto.

Dr. O’Connell added that to “prove” the causal relationship, a prospective scientific approach would be needed, but absolutely impossible to conduct.  Can you imagine doling our gun permits on a purely random basis, and mandating that all others turn in all their firearms?  Then for the next ten years the pattern of crimes would be followed and data collected.  Could never happen.  Another insoluble problem would be how to account for crime committed with weapons stolen from permit owners, or imported from regions outside of the region under ‘study’.  Clearly such a scientific experiment will not be conducted.

I would argue that such experimentation is not necessary.  The reality is that the closest this country will ever come to ‘proof’ that gun control reduces violent crime is the ongoing worldwide, rather unscientific retrospective study, in which some countries ban firearms and some don’t.  The former enjoy markedly lower rates of crime using firearms.

Dr. O’Connell stressed that he fully understands firearms are featured in sport.  It’s a huge industry.  And in an ideal world one should be free to enjoy these sports.  However, isn’t there a point at which enjoyment by a few must be sacrificed to the interests of many?

Confederate flag…

Confederate flagDr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that in the wake of the tragic Charleston shootings a few months ago, Confederate flags that dotted the south have mostly come down.  My first reaction, I assume consistent with that of the majority of Americans, was one of surprise that the flag was still commonplace, and even in public arenas.  As Obama said in his eulogy, the flag, among other things, is a symbol of a failed government, one based on the institution of slavery.  Why retain the symbol, some 150 years after the regime’s demise?  The answer to this must be very complex as to elude the comprehension of most Americans.

Unfortunately, removal of the flag may do little to expunge whatever deep seated sentiments have promoted its endurance.  I suspect these sentiments involve notions that blacks continue to lag behind in experiencing the rewards of our great society, despite affirmative action, equal opportunity, and burgeoning welfare state.  I suspect the fact that violent crime is much more common among the black population than any other groups contributes significantly to these sentiments.

Finally, the south and more than a few entities in the north, have removed a symbol of repression and hatred.  Good riddance.  I hope the Confederate flag is gone for good.  The animosity behind that flag will not so easily retreat, however, and that is apparently an enduring problem.  Until the black race is seen as working hard to better itself without over-dependence on handouts, such sentiments will remain.  As the prominent black figure Thomas Sowell has said “self-respect can seldom be gotten from even a successful playing of a parasitic role in the name of a make believe equality.”

Jon Stewart…

Jon Stewart4Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, recently commented that the quick witted Daily Show host Jon Stewart has departed.  Praise the Lord, or whichever non-sectarian higher power is responsible for this gift.

There is no more polarizing political figure than this liberal highly Jewish talking head.  I get that – it’s his shtick, right bashing satire attracts a certain audience, and for sure the stodgy conservative religious folks provide much fodder for his biting remarks and pointed jokes.  I have watched his show sporadically for years, and would totally enjoy his product if not for his singular target theme.  Its wears a little thin.  What has always puzzled me though is his unwillingness to admit to the wildly unbalanced nature of his show.  He readily criticizes Fox News for its unbalanced content, and ‘fair and balanced’ message, yet doesn’t see this same incongruity in himself.  There is so much on the left side of life that can provide equal opportunity for shits and giggles.  Oh, every once in a while he castigates a lefty for some wrong-headed action (our VP for example), something so egregious it can’t be ignored even by Stewart, but this always comes off to me as window dressing.  Something to demonstrate that unlike the far right Fox News, his show is not far left.  But he is wrong and I believe he totally knows it.  Jon Stewart is a proud standard bearer for left wing politics.

Stewart’s replacement seems to be hinting at significant change.  We’ll see.  It will take considerably more courage than what Stewart has displayed for the past 16 years.  Again I call for more debate of the issues that emanates from a centrist position.  I’ve had quite enough of Rush Limbaugh, and now Jon Stewart.

Planned Parenthood…

Planned parenthoodDr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire recently commented that there was yet another release of secretly filmed videos at Planned Parenthood (PP)….the videos reveal rather unseemly and certainly less than tactful behavior among physicians and administrators at Planned Parenthood, though no even remotely illegal activity.  The videos have instigated many Republicans, and even some Democrats, to call for an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

Some things never change.  This grandstanding will of course continue, as will the video releases, probably for months, and in the end will have (and should have in my opinion) no effect whatsoever.  The well-orchestrated releases appear to have a singular goal – to shut down PP.  The accusation that PP ‘profits’ from sale of tissues removed during abortions is specious at best.  PP is a non-profit organization, which submits annual returns to the IRS, and those reports must demonstrate no profit.  It’s the law.

When tissue extracted from abortions is sold to private entities, those monies thus generated are poured very temporarily into the coffers of PP.  As costs of operating PP increase with inflation, charges for services must also increase.  Monies collected from sale of placental or fetal tissue serves to slow the increases in charges for services, including abortion.  PP does not ‘profit,’ there is no bank account somewhere for PP to deposit surplus funds that carry over and grow from one year to another.  Surpluses must be plowed into services; it’s the law.

I thoroughly understand and sympathize with both sides of the abortion debate.  But these videos are no way to orchestrate a conservative agenda.


Race relations and police…

Race relationsDr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire commented that the country seems to be finally cooling off regarding the issues of race and police, as the media is taking a breather.  Rationality is taking hold; that is until the next act of perceived brutality is splashed on Headline News.  The standard opinion portrayed by the media, and assumed by the viewer, is that police subject blacks to a disproportionately high rate of arrest and of course violence, this despite available data/evidence.

A review of every major publicized case of brutality this past year (Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore, Charleston) reveals that none would have resulted in a death, or even minor injury had the subject simply complied with arrest and not violently resisted.  All cases would have resulted in no charge, minor fines or at most overnight jail time had the victim simply complied with arrest.  There is no justification for the shooting in Charleston, however two cases resulted in outcomes supported by grand juries, and one case is still pending but likely to erode as facts are revealed.  The stories of accused (two black cops among them) should be very interesting.

No one wants a police state.  We want security without oppression.  But, compared to many other countries, we have a very low visibility force.  Admittedly there is a concentration of enforcement in inner city, high crime areas.  Shouldn’t there be?  Are the police wrong for patrolling more frequently in such areas?  Is it their fault that blacks often inhabit high crime areas?  No, the residents of these areas have full responsibility.  Attitudes among black youth are notoriously rebellious toward police.  This must change, and black “leadership” must take responsibility for reeducating, reorienting, and reprioritizing.  Cranks like Al Sharpton with his tiresome persecution complex must be marginalized by black followers.  The problem is not the police.

Dr. Michael J. O’Connell Donates $250,000 to CVHS Capital Campaign…

Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire has generously donated $250,000 to support Cocheco Valley Humane Society’s “Bring Us Home” capital campaign to build a new 11,000 square foot animal shelter that will be located on the grounds of the Strafford County complex in Dover. His leadership gift will name the surgical suite at the new facility.

Dr. O’Connell has been a steadfast supporter of CVHS for many years; regularly underwriting events and providing financial support to enhance the quality of care for thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals the shelter serves each year. In addition, he has served as a tireless advocate for CVHS and has worked to champion the shelter’s mission by authoring letters of support encouraging his peers to join him in making a difference in the lives of the animals at CVHS.

MJO_avatar (3)According to Dr. O’Connell, “As I reach the twilight of my career, and as CVHS approaches its momentous rebirth, I have decided that my plans to include CVHS in my will are far too conservative, not anywhere near as helpful to my favorite charity as I would like and as what CVHS deserves. The old saying “you can’t take it with you”, is particularly germane for me. I dearly wish to see with my own eyes, in my own lifetime, a vibrant, robust home for CVHS. As the caretakers for the truly innocent, I can’t imagine draining my retirement funds now for any more lofty or noble purpose. The employees and volunteers at CVHS are to be commended for an awesome, yet too often thankless job in face of recurring challenges. I hope with my assistance and that of many others, CVHS can realize a long held dream.”