Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to Find Truth in Politics

If one recently developed an interest in politics, then which news sources should they trust? How could a political novice possibly know which sources are biased and which are not? The answer is unattractive, which is why most Americans are politically ignorant, but a lot of homework must be done.

The first thing one must do, and always continue to do, is to investigate varied sources. Listen to the confessed liberal and conservative sources, and compare them. Ask yourself who is making a more logical argument? Who is more acerbic and vitriolic? What sources are being referenced? Also, compare them based on their coverage of the same stories. Look at who each news source interviewed, who they did not, and ask why. What is their coverage based on? Is their tone positive or negative? If they blame someone, then who, and why?

Be skeptical of any news source claiming to be objective. There really is no such thing. Liberal and conservative commentators are upfront and honest about who they are, but media sources claiming to be unbiased ought to be intensely scrutinized and strongly doubted. Chances are that they are being dishonest, and thus ought to be shunned for lying.

All of this takes discipline and diligence. It is not easy, and it requires much time and effort. Sadly, this is what is needed to figure out what is happening in the world. The consequences of remaining politically ignorant is too dangerous in todays world.

My letter to the Florida Pharmacist Association

My name is Jean-Marc Bovee, Pharm.D. I was a pharmacy technician for 10 years before graduating pharmacy school, and have now worked as a pharmacist for five years. I can think of no more crucial issue facing pharmacy, and health care in general, than the required training and certification of pharmacy technicians nationwide, and especially in Florida. 30 states have pharmacy technician training requirements while Florida does not have any. This is inexcusable.

Pharmacy technicians work in an environment in which the life and health of consumers are continuously at stake. The medications that they prepare for dispensing by the pharmacist have the ability for truly calamitous and disastrous results if they are incompetent, and, in my experience, not only do MOST properly fit that description, but at least a full 50% are positively lethal behind the pharmacy counter and thus have no business back there. More often than not they are hired off of the street or transfered from the grocery department, and have no interest in being responsible members of the medical community. They have no understanding whatsoever of the tremendous responsibility that they hold as active participants in a branch of medicine.

It is a testament to the diligence of pharmacists everywhere that ABC's 20/20 program on pharmacy technician errors are not made more frequently. As the numbers of patients grow, particularly in Florida where work volume is already skyrocketing, I fear this will lead to a massive increase in medication errors, and hospitalizations, or worse.

Pharmacists can only do so much. We must have trained and knowledgeable personnel assisting us. We cannot afford not to act, especially when fees paid by pharmacy technicians to become registered would offset the administrative cost of the program anyway.

I will be more than willing to testify to the things that I have witnessed in my own personal experiences, and will share anecdotes that will send chills down the spines of all who hear them.