Certification versus licensure

One of the most frequent memes in EMS is that paramedics are certified, while nurses are licensed. The people who say this are misinformed. To understand why, we need to look at what the terms mean.

Certification, as it relates to this case, is the process whereby a person is said to have met a standard by a certifying authority. Certification is the process of publicly attesting that a specified quality or standard has been achieved or exceeded. Usually this standard includes education, experience, and an exam of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job. When an individual meets the standard, he or she receives certification from a certifying agency. The credibility and integrity of the certifying agency determines whether the agency’s certification means anything to the public. Certification is usually a voluntary process.

Licensing is an involuntary process, whereby a governmental authority grants permission for an entity to perform a given act. Licensing it always based on the action of a legislative body. Once a licensing law has been passed it becomes illegal for anyone to engage in that occupation unless he or she has a license. The health care professions are typically licensed at the state and/or local level, but not usually at the federal level. The license may or may not require that the person seeking the license meet a standard. Requirements for licensing vary from state to state. For example: Driver’s licenses only require that a standard be met on initial issue, a fishing license has no requirements for a standard, and a Concealed Weapons permit usually requires meeting a standard.

This makes paramedic a license, just as nursing is a license.


The government, through the Department of Agriculture, is distributing more food stamps than at any other time in history.
Meanwhile, the Park Service, another branch of the government, tells us not to feed the wild animals in the park, because they will become dependent and lose the ability to fend for themselves.

Our course is set

I am not a Ron Paul supporter, in the sense that I don’t run around actively supporting him as a candidate. In fact, there are places where he and I do not agree. Now, I am not going to use this post to extoll the virtues of one candidate over the other. What I AM going to do is point out where we are.

We are on the train to national insolvency and dictatorship. The left claims that they need to tax the rich to pay for all of their programs and ensure that everyone gets a fair share of the national economic pie. They ignore the fact that they are spending us into insolvency.

The right claims that they want to control the left’s spending, but never seem to do so. They claim that we need to cut spending and taxes. Just not defense. Oh, yeah, and we need to go to war with everyone until they all bow down to us as Americans. The chief war cry of the right is: if you don’ t vote for the party hack, it is the same as voting for the other guy. Except, they forget that it won’t matter which one you vote for, because other than the D or R behind his name, there is not a real difference between them.

Lest you forget, our last Republican president brought us a 9 year long war in Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11; the Patriot Act; the TSA and their intrusive searches; secret prisons; torturing prisoners for information; and added more than $4,900,000,000,000 to the national debt in 8 years.

Our current President has expanded the powers left for him by his Republican predecessor and begun executing assassinating Americans without trial, forced people to buy products that they don’t want, and has expanded the national debt by $4,800,000,000,000 in just 4 years.

The reason why I would vote for Ron Paul isn’t because I always agree with him, it is because I already know what I am going to get with the others, and I know it isn’t working. I do believe, however, that it doesn’t matter who we vote for, as our course is set. We aren’t voting our way out of this. It is only a matter of time before we sink our national ship under the weight of financial irresponsibility.

Santorum is a wanna be religious dictator

The choices left to us in the presidential race this year are not palatable choices. Let’s take a look. Here is what Rick Santorum had to say in 2006:

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone … [that] government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. … Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

Does that sound like another freedom loving presidential candidate?

When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly…. [However, now] there’s a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there’s too much freedom. When personal freedom’s being abused, you have to move to limit it.

Do you remember who said that? It was Bill Clinton. More from Santorum, from a 2003 interview with USA Today :

And that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire.

Gingrich is no better. He proposed a bill in congress 1996 that mandated the death penalty for people who deal in marijuana. Under this draconian proposed law a mandatory death penalty would have applied to anyone convicted more than once of importing two ounces or more of marijuana or other controlled substance across the U.S. border. About his own marijuana possession and smoking days, Gingrich explained:

“That was a sign we were alive and in graduate school in that era.” “See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral.” “Now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the morality… That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t,”

Here is Newt in 1993:

I am for people, individuals—exactly like automobile insurance—individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.

And here is Newt in 2007:

Our federal government should take the lead on this vital issue, an effort that may require strong incentives to encourage enterprise and drive the formation of private-public economic partnerships.

Romney? You have got to be kidding.  He has stated that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is real. In 2005, as governor of Massachusetts, Romney imposed strict state limitations on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. In a memo issued by Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Hale, the Romney administration bragged that it was “the first and only state to set CO 2 emissions limits on power plants.”

 In December, Romney told Fox News that he stands by the health care at gunpoint plan implemented while he was governor of Massachusetts. “The plan is not perfect, there are things that I’d change in it, but I’ll stand by the things we’ve done,” he said, defending the plan.

The right is no different from the left. The criticism of Ron Paul centers around his views on foreign policy. They can’t believe that someone wants the USA to mind its own business. We NEED to intervene in everyone’s lives. Their hatred of Ron Paul is only exceeded by their love of war, militarism, and the police state.

Explain to me how there is any difference between Democrats and Republicans.

The gun question

As you know if you have been reading this blog, I am in school to earn my Masters Degree and become a Physician Assistant. We were recently in a class on how to conduct an exam, and were talking about the questions that we are required to ask a patient. One of the questions that they said we are required to ask is whether or not they own a gun, and whether or not that gun is kept in a secure location. Then we should use this as an opportunity to talk to them about the dangers of having a firearm in the home. I spoke up and said that I did not feel like that was a valid medical question, and the answer that I got was that this was about safety.

I then pointed out that we shouldn’t stop there. After all, if this is about safety, why not ask them if they are gay, and of so, lecture them on the dangers of homosexual activity? Of course, the reaction I got was how inappropriate that was. I pointed out that more people die each year from AIDS than are murdered by firearms.

I then asked if I would be penalized in any way for refusing to participate in a politically charged topic like this. They relented, and I will not be penalized in any way for refusing to ask that question.

History repeats

In 1940, the Republican party was in disarray. A confused mixture of internationalists, New Dealers, isolationists, and minimal government types, the Republican party had no real direction, no coherent philosophy, and no real platform.

FDR’s approval rating hovered around 60%, and he was running for his third term. The Republicans figured that they would nominate Wendell Wilkie, a New Deal Republican who was little different from FDR in policy. Since they were so alike, the Wilkie campaign focused on trying to beat FDR in a personality contest. However, FDR had a compliant press, and no one was going to beat FDR in a personality contest.

There are many parallels to this year: The Republican party is in disarray, and they are appointing an Obama clone as his opponent (Romney). This will be a personality contest, which Obama may well win, to which I say: good. If I am going to have to face four more years of a tax and spend Keynesian in the Whitehouse, I would just assume that he has an unfriendly congress to deal with.

Chickens roosting

A have a point to make, but first some history:
In 1951, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, grew tired of the British Empire’s monopoly on Iranian oil reserves, and nationalized the oil industry. The Brits needed that oil, so Churchill got Eisenhower to overthrow the Iranian government during Operation Ajax in 1953. This placed Shah Pahlavi in charge as an authoritarian dictator. That’s right- the US made the world safe for democracy by overthrowing a democratically elected government and turning it into a dictatorship. Iran was supplied with military weapons by the United States until 1979.

In 1979, the Islamic revolution overthrew the dictatorship and placed Ayatollah Khomeni in charge. In the process, the Iranians raided the US embassy and took the occupants hostage. The American people were outraged. Also that same year, the United States began training and equipping a force to overthrow the Russians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. That force was led by a man named Osama bin Laden.

Iran became a thorn in America’s side, and needed to be reined in. A perfect ally was found in Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq. The CIA supplied him with weapons and other aid, so that he could fight Iran. Reagan removed Iraq from the list of terrorist nations, and began selling arms to them. A list of the supplied aid:
Helicopters, intelligence, war planning, machine tools, computers, instruments, and other goods to support missile and WMD development, howitzers, bombs, and other military hardware, along with billions of dollars in foreign aid. This aid continued until 1990.

In 1990, the US sent troops to Saudi Arabia to counter the ambitions of Saddam Hussein. This infuriated bin Laden that foreign troops would be in his country, and he turned his attention to the west.

Terror attacks increased, culminating with the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Our non-stop meddling in the affairs of the middle east led us to this point.

In a way, Reverend Wright had it correct, America’s chickens had come home to roost. Ron Paul also has it correct: it is time that we as a nation stop interfering with other nations. This mantra that we have in this nation of never ending war has got to stop.

Stop it!

I keep hearing the right bleat on about how this country is a Christian nation. They are wrong. John Adams, Sr. (one of the founders) wrote in the Treaty Of Tripoli, which was unanimously approved by Congress, and became law in 1797:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen (Muslims),—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Yet, the Republicans are constantly trying to worm religion into every corner of American life, by using the coercive power of the state to do so. For example, wanting to alter the WW2 memorial to add a prayer to it, or passing resolutions about posting the phrase, “In God We Trust” in public buildings. (Even though the phrase was not a US motto before 1957)

Look, I don’t care if you worship any particular god, but using government to force others to listen to your version of “the way” is not proper. Show me in the Constitution where it says that we are a Christian nation.

A religion is like a penis- it’s great that you have one, but rude to try and cram it down other people’s throats.