Friday, January 11, 2019

There is not a physician shortage in the US



"The physician shortage as a significant driver of poor health outcomes is a red herring."

                                                                  -Corso et al

If anything, the poor state of affairs in American health has to do with too many doctors, not too few. Authors Corso, Dorrance, and LeRochelle make a good argument that simply blaming poor healthcare on the lack of primary care is insufficient (see their article in Military Medicine).

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Lock Them Up - China's Tit for Tat

Julia and Kevin Garrett are Canadians who were imprisoned in China under false charges in 2014.  Kevin spent more than 2 years in jail. Their well-written story is a window into China's oppressive and imbalanced justice system that cries out for reform. At the same time, it shows a complete disregard for justice at all on the part of Chinese leadership.  This book is best read along with the  wired article showing how the Garratt's story is a result of Canada trying to help the US curb Chinese pilfering of military secrets. In summary, Canada locked up a businessman for extradition after the US found him stealing military airplane plans and feeding them to the Chinese military. To punish Canada and pressure them to release the businessman, they charged the Garratts, who ran a coffee shop in China, with spying for Canada. This stuff is definitely movie material!

Find their book on Amazon

Read the wired article at

Monday, December 17, 2018

Free World in the Balance

"For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.”   

                                                                                                 -Wang Yi

China, the most populous country in the history of the world, has purposely built a system of monitoring and restricting freedom in every sphere of life. Against this seemingly impenetrable force stands a humble man with a pen, a vision, and a willingness to sacrifice.

Pastor Wang Yi writes, pointing not to himself, but to something and someone far greater. He dusts off the best from great resistors of the past such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King. At the same time he is completely original, and speaks uniquely and specifically to his time in place and history. Every paragraph is crafted with power and depth. Yi very clearly carries a light in the darkness. Yet what platform he has is being removed as Yi, his family, and his church members are harassed and jailed. Time will tell whether this pastor, in his reeducation camp, carries years of patience and fortitude as did Mandela and Solzhenitsyn. And one wonders if the free world will be too distracted to recognize Yi’s work and sacrifice on its behalf. For the cause of Pastor Wang Yi will surely be victorious, though things may get a lot worse first.

Pastor Wang Yi, ministering in Chengdu, China, was recently arrested along with many of his church members. The above quote is from a statement he wrote to be given out 48 hours after possible detention. I encourage you read the whole thing below, it just takes a few minutes:

Pastor Wang Yi's Declaration of "Faithful Disobedience"

Pastor Wang Yi's Declaration in Chinese Language

 Related details:
CNN Story from Dec 17
Prior blog on persecution from Pastor Wang Yi

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The War

I have used the metaphors of war because that is exactly how the Bible describes the conflict between God and Satan. But our struggle is a very different kind of war. The revolution of the kingdom is not a revolution of violence to be won by force. It does not advance on the basis of earthly power or principles of warfare. It has no tanks or guns or bombs. Its weapons are paradoxical: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We go out into the world assaulting the gates of hell by loving our neighbors—even our enemies. We go to the broken and ragged places to comfort the afflicted and bind up the brokenhearted. We carry the message of a new hope into our workplaces, schools, and town halls. We bind up the wounds of abuse, exploitation, addiction, and alienation with acts of forgiveness and healing. We are called to care for the widow, the orphan, the alien, and the stranger—to lift up justice and fight economic disparity, to speak up for the voiceless and hold our governments accountable, to challenge racism and bigotry, to be generous with our money-and to live lives of integrity. We see value in the worthless, find strength in the weak, and anoint the downtrodden with significance. We seek to right every wrong and take every thought captive to obedience to Jesus Christ. Our opponents are disarmed when they see our breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth buckled around our waist, and the helmet of our salvation. We march on feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Every act of kindness, each moment spent in prayer, and every expression of love in the name of Christ pierces the heart of the enemy and sends him into retreat. These are the gentle weapons of the kingdom. There is still evil in the world, but evil is on the run.
                                                     -Richard Stearns, Unfinished

Sunday, November 11, 2018


In a society that does not fear God, the only way to establish justice will be to put everyone under constant surveillance.
                                                                                -Vishal Mangalwadi, Truth and Transformation

Monday, October 29, 2018


As strange as it may seem, it may happen at times that the church is most influential when it is indifferent to exercising influence.

                                                                 -Richard John Neuhaus, The Naked Public Square

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Adam Smith and Medical Societies


“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

                                                          ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Thursday, October 18, 2018

What Systems Foster

Systems will tolerate and adapt better to trouble-making complainers and incompetents, than to creative thinkers who disturb the status quo or homeostasis. 
                                                                   -Edwin Friedman, Generation to Generation

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Soldiering in a Free State

The problem with a good country, a free country, is that when no one is attacking, the soldiers have nothing to do. They are not assigned to round up citizens, kill for sport, invent torture devices, or any number of things that might keep them better occupied or sharpen their skills. They will always be a step behind when it comes to the initial battle with villains. Yes, strength and abilities are helped by training and will improve with battle. But the true strength of a free country must come from freedom itself. On the surface this may appear weak and the fight hopeless. But goodness and freedom make a deep river that is not soon dried up in the heat, and can be trusted to supply. A mighty force can be made of those who in freedom band together to take down a rising evil.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Marriage Illusions

Most of us get married to the great American marital dream. Marriage is going to be that happy state in which we get all the nurturance and care and love and empathy and even the good advice that we didn't receive in our families. Marriage is going to help us feel better about ourselves; it is going to make life easier and more secure. It does, for a while. We form a very tight, dependent unit, and we help each other in all sorts of ways: advice, sympathy, mothering, teaching, We have a lot to give each other.

But sooner or later this psychotherapy project fails.  The major reason is that the protagonists get very scared that they are each going to lose their individual identities in the dependency. So the couple begins to back away from each other, mistrusting. How can you safely depend on someone with whom you're struggling for dominance in the relationship?

If the partners could stick with the backing away and endure the aloneness for a while, the problem might be solved. They would get over being so dependent, and marriage wouldn't feel so threatening, But it rarely happens that way. Instead, they usually find a substitute for the dependency.

                                                                                   -Augustus Napier, The Family Crucible

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Define Wrong

We have become so conditioned to measuring the rightness of what we do by the quality of emotion it generates that we've developed a new version of relativistic ethics that might be called the Morality of Fulfillment. 
                                              -Larry Crabb, The Marriage Builder

Of course, visceral repulsion to wrong is a very useful check on human sin. But the problem is that these emotions can be swayed, manipulated, numbed, and even used as a form of excitement. Clearly, our feelings are an insufficient sole measure for ethics on a personal and public scale. Thus the goal of "blind justice," in our public court system. This idea that we search for a moral truth apart from ourselves and our feelings, is evidence of a moral being above ourselves. It also supports our question as to what distances us from this moral being. The scriptures say that this is due, in fact, to our moral failings themselves. 

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.  (Isaiah 59:2, NASB)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Job Security

There is a profound tendency when one attains a position of high power in business to be terrified of losing it and, hence, a profound temptation to sacrifice one's integrity in order to hold on to it.  As far as I am concerned, a prime rule governing the civil use of power in business is: "Forget about job security!"...

By the time a person reaches a position of top management, her heart will either belong to her personal ambition or to a Higher Power. If to ambition, then her primary consideration will be the politics of the situation, her popularity, and what is most likely to make her look good so as to preserve or enhance her position and its power. If her primary allegiance is to a Higher Power, it will be to what is "right."  This does not mean she will give no consideration to politics or that what is right will be clear; it is a matter of the primary orientation of her instincts...

                                                                           -M Scott Peck, A World Waiting to be Born