The state of Oregon says that proving proficiency in reading, writing, or math is no longer required to receive a high school diploma, has required it since 2020, and won’t require it at least through 2029. This makes an Oregon High School diploma completely worthless.

A little over a year ago, I put up a post on what the terms ‘licensure’ and ‘certification’ mean.

Certification is where an entity certifies that a person meets certain standards. The entity issuing the certification can be a private business or a government. The value of the certification lies with the reputation of the entity that issues it.

A diploma is a piece of paper that certifies the person named thereon has met the requirements put in place to receive that certification. It is, in this case, a statement from an Oregon school that the high school graduate has met all of the requirements that the state says need to be met in order to receive the diploma. That way a prospective employer can see that you have graduated from high school, knowing that the person named on that diploma has certain abilities and skills.

In Oregon’s case, just what are those requirements?

Higher rates of students of color, students learning English as a second language and students with disabilities ended up having to take intensive senior-year writing and math classes to prove they deserved a diploma. That denied those students the opportunity to take an elective, despite the lack of evidence the extra academic work helped them in the workplace or at college, they said.

Where is the evidence that a high school diploma helps a graduate in the workplace or college?

Board members underscored that state-mandated standardized tests will still be administered to most Oregon high school students – they just won’t be used to determine whether a student has the skills necessary to graduate.

I know high school students. Make them take an exam that doesn’t count as a grade and isn’t required for graduation, and they will not take it seriously, rushing through it so they can get back to interacting with social media on their cell phones.

Oregon lawmakers, however, have mandated that families be told each year that they can opt their student out of taking state tests – and one third of high school juniors didn’t take the tests last spring, meaning they and their families don’t necessarily know how they measure up against statewide academic standards.

Oh, wait. They don’t even have to take them. That’s how you hide your policy failures- simply stop measuring them. So why are they doing this?

Opponents argued that pausing the requirement devalues an Oregon diploma. Giving students with low academic skills extra instruction in writing and math, which most high schools did in response to the graduation rules, helped them, they have argued.

But leaders at the Oregon Department of Education and members of the state school board said requiring all students to pass one of several standardized tests or create an in-depth assignment their teacher judged as meeting state standards was a harmful hurdle for historically marginalized students, a misuse of state tests and did not translate to meaningful improvements in students’ post high school success.

So they are saying that black and Hispanic students are too stupid to learn reading, writing, and math, but then turn around and claim that those who demand that they learn these things are the racists.

But It’s the Guns

A 21 year old meets with some “people known to him” for a meeting “involving firearms” and gets himself shot after an “altercation” develops. Let me put this into my media translator to see if I can decode this article:

A gang member met up with some fellow criminals in an attempt to buy a gun. The criminals tried to rob him, and he was shot in the process.

What do you know- I was wrong. The man who was shot is a convicted felon who was trying to get his firearm back from the 17 year old that he had “loaned” it to. He spent 18 months in prison for shooting someone in 2020, and as soon as he got out, he went right back to being a criminal piece of shit.

Court records show that since his release from prison in October 2022, Couso has been arrested multiple times for battery, battery domestic violence, battery causing bodily harm, failure to appear in court for a felony offense, and possession of marijuana.

Still, let’s demand more gun laws. That will fix things.

Workplace Safety

The leftists on Twitter are in an uproar over a 15 year old roofer who fell to his death in Alabama in 2020. They are firing off post after post, claiming that Republicans don’t want to protect children. They are, however, leaving out an important part of the story.

The missing fact? The child laborers who are being injured are illegal immigrants (referred to in this link as “migrants”). The employers in this case are already hiring them illegally and paying them less than minimum wage, so labor laws protecting children really won’t do anything in these cases.

In fact, the $100,000 fine levied against the roofing company for hiring the child labor is peanuts compared to what these companies save by hiring illegals for less than minimum wage. Go to any construction site in the US, and you are likely to find illegal immigrants- what the left euphemistically calls “migrants”- being the majority of the workforce. A roofing company that employs 10 people at $8 an hour is saving a quarter of a million dollars every year that they continue the practice in Florida.

According to salary.com, a roofer in Alabama makes around $30k a year. Now imagine that you are employing illegals for half that. A ten man crew would save you $150,000 a year in salary alone. Then there is unemployment, the Social Security match, benefits, and other costs that you don’t have to pay, even though you are breaking a dozen laws in the process.

But a child labor law will matter.

Trying to Sound Smart

Watch this video:

No the time it takes to travel a distance is an easy formula. It is derived from the formula for speed, where speed is equal to distance divided by time. To calculate In the video, he draws a curved line to display the relationship, and his is wrong. Displaying that formula as a graph to display how long it takes to travel a known distance looks like this:

EDIT to add: The below graph is not a good representation of my point. You can ignore it, but I am leaving it here as a monument to my error. My point still stands: his claim that driving faster doesn’t make a difference is still false. If you go 70 mph versus 60, you are travelling about 16% faster, so you will get there 16% sooner. If you are travelling 20mph instead of 15mph, you are travelling 33% faster, so you will get there 33% sooner.
He is saying that it doesn’t pay to drive faster, which is false. The benefit to driving faster is directly proportional to the increase in speed.

Note that the graph is a straight line. He is either stupid or deliberately lying. The difference between 5 mph and 10 mph will get you there in half the time, because you are travelling twice as fast. The reason why you only save a few seconds when you drive at 65 versus 60 mph is that 65 is not even ten percent faster than 60.

Where I Agree With Aesop

CederQ commented:

As a nurse I am beholden to my oaths to do no harm as a lesser physician, to heal. 

Aesop replied:

I took no oath to become a nurse; I simply received a diploma, and passed a licensure exam. I’m about as invested there as I am with a driver’s license.

When I was in school, we were forced to take the Nightingale pledge. I just moved my lips, because I don’t agree with it, specifically these passages:

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.

I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.

The problem that I have with this, is what defines taking or giving a product that is harmful to health? I consume alcohol, salt, sugar, all sorts of thing that are harmful. Also, they DO know that this pledge was written for women to pledge celibacy, right? That’s what “pass my life in purity” means.

Even so, I am not such a willing martyr that I will submit to a communist takeover, nor will I fall on my sword when the Civil War begins. I will aid and treat those on the side of liberty, and I will mercilessly eliminate those who would bring violence and communism to my door.

Aesop, again:

I did, however, on three separate occasions for two different military branches, swear a very particular oath of allegiance to the Constitution. I was never informed of any expiration date on it.

I took an oath to the Constitution twice during my military service. I took it again when I became a firefighter, and again when I was promoted. I stand by that oath. I will defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The left has openly derided the Constitution, calling it a piece of paper that, being written by old white men, is no longer applicable. That decides it for me. The left is the enemy of the Constitution, and that is all I need to know.

My Answer

Let’s say that you go to the ED with a complaint that could be an infection. The team is going to evaluate you to see if you meet sepsis criteria. I posted about that back in August right here on this blog. If the patient meets sepsis criteria, the nurse will enter a standardized set of orders for tests. Those tests include tests for lactic acid, a CBC, CMP, and if appropriate, COVID/Flu tests, urinalysis, and other tests. If the patient has a lactic acid level of 2.0 or more, they are going to get IV fluids. Lots of them, like 30mL per kilogram of body weight. If you weigh 100kg, that means 3 liters of fluid. The lactic acid level will be checked and rechecked until the level is below 2.0.

So think about this when you consider the cost:

  • The triage nurse and their team briefly evaluates you and assigns you to the appropriate nurse.
  • You then become one of the 3 or 4 patients that nurse is caring for. You get a full evaluation, including an EKG, an IV line, along with blood and urine tests. This nurse has years of education and years or even decades more experience.
  • The lab team then runs the tests, the X-ray team shoots your pictures, a radiologist reviews them and sends the results to your nurse.
  • The ED physician evaluates all of that information and, in cooperation with your nurse comes up with the treatment plan. Then he orders the medications.
  • The pharmacy reviews the patient’s previous medications, condition, and the ordered medication to ensure that this is a safe course of medicine, then releases it.
  • The nurse then triple checks everything and gives the medicine.

In all, a visit to the ED involves no fewer than 12 specially trained medical personnel, who perform tests and treatment across no fewer than 9 different specialties. Each of those people is college educated from a 2 year degree to full on doctors. Most of them have a decade or more of experience. That doesn’t count all of the other people involved from the hospital’s chief nursing officer, the administrative people, janitors, security, and others involved in running a large business.

Now consider that Americans demand flawless health care on a 24/7 schedule, and want to be seen and leaving the hospital in less than 3 hours. Sometimes, we actually meet that deadline. Most of the time, we come close, but there are too many patients there for too many silly complaints. I had a patient this week who came in for constipation and was demanding to know why we were so understaffed that he had to wait an hour and a half to see the doctor.

So if you want to know why it costs $10k for an ED visit, that’s why. The old saying is that all businesses offer one of three services:

  • Good
  • Fast
  • Cheap

You can only get two- if it is cheap and fast, it won’t be good. If it is good and cheap, it won’t be fast. If it is good and fast, it won’t be cheap.

We as a nation demand good and fast. That means it won’t be cheap. On top of it, the patients want to be pampered like they are in a day spa. My patients are frequently more concerned with what I am going to feed them than they are in the quality of their care. They expect to be cured in an hour for a problem that has been years in the making: you are a long term smoker, a diabetic, are 100 pounds overweight, and have high blood pressure, then expect to come in and be cured of your shortness of breath in an hour so you can make it to half priced wing and beer night at your local watering hole. Then you blame the health care personnel when it takes too long.

Another of my patients came in and the first thing he said to me is that he wanted a sandwich followed by a cup of coffee brought to him every hour. I told him that I was holding him without anything by mouth at least until we were done evaluating him, so he demanded to see my boss. When the boss told him the same thing, he told us that we were inhumane for denying him food, then stormed out.

That’s my rant.

Diversity Makes Us Stronger

Here is an example of how we are all stronger due to diversity. A black man, identified by the Hillsboro county sheriff’s office as Jahfahree Prince Edwards, fired into a crowd of high school kids in Tampa on February 23.

He is now wanted for four counts of aggravated battery and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. What started as a fight between two girls led to one of them calling the shooter. Edwards then showed up and started firing.

Note that this is not being mentioned on the news. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the narrative. If it’s a white guy, the news is never ending. Blacks? Nah, who are we to judge their culture?

The News

The news media outlets aren’t in business to sell facts. Their entire business model is to sell ad space by attracting more viewers. The more viewers they have, the more valuable that advertising space is. Whatever gets their target audience to watch increases the value of that ad space.

Consumers of the news, the viewers, are the product being sold. The businesses paying for that advertising space are the customers. You, as a consumer of news, are simply a product, a means to an end. The facts are immaterial and only get in the way.

All of the outlets on the left (CNN, MSNBC, etc) and on the right (Fox, Newsmax, etc) are there to report whatever ‘facts’ will get them the viewership they need in order to be profitable through selling advertisement time and space to their customers. So they play to their viewers by reporting ‘facts’ that will attract enough viewers, and the veracity of those facts is immaterial to the news organizations’ goal of selling more advertisement space.

Have you ever wondered why the local news never does reports on crooked car dealers? Because the local news channel knows that car dealers are the largest purchasers of advertising space, and the producers of the news shows don’t want to risk losing the advertising sales of those businesses.

News outlets aren’t reporters of facts, they are entertainment companies whose business model rests on reporting things that attract more viewers. The truth is immaterial to that goal.