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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Is It The Hippocratic Oath Or The Hypocritical Oath?

via ctx3

ABCnews reports that physicians all over America are being awarded the distinction of "Physician of the Year". Seems strange that so many people can get such an award in any given year. There is one stipulation that you make a $1,250 contribution to the National Republican Congressional Committee. The reward is the opportunity to travel to Washington for the scheduled events March 14-15, which included a tax-reform workshop as well as appearances by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and President Bush.

Seems like an ethical no-no, but Delay is involved so it must be legit. But it gets more suspicious, "The Republicans, under the direction of DeLay, came up with the idea for the awards five years ago as a means of helping to raise funds for the congressional campaign efforts for their party. ... In fact, signs reading "A Celebration of the House Republican Majority" and "Moving America's Agenda" decorated the hotel ballroom where last month's events were held."

This last statement sums it up, "A Republican spokesman said there were thousands of doctors around the country content with their Physicians of the Year awards, and that there was nothing about the program to apologize for."

That's right and if I see one of these awards in physician's waiting room I will promtly use my free will and leave. Perhaps to find one of the other Physicians of the Year.

While Mr. Bush Was Getting His 'C's At Yale, The World Was Changing

Published on Wednesday, April 6, 2005 by the Los Angeles Times

How Does It Feel ... 40 Years Later?

by Greil Marcus

 A drum beat like a pistol shot.

24 July 1965 was the day Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" hit the charts. It was on the radio all across the U.S.A. and heading straight up. When drummer Bobby Gregg brought his stick down for the opening noise of the six-minute single, the sound --a kind of announcement, then a void of silence, then a rising fanfare, then the song — fixed a moment when all those caught up in modern music found themselves engaged in a running battle for a prize no one bothered to name: the greatest record ever made, perhaps, or the greatest record that ever would be made. "Where are we going?" To the top?" the Beatles would ask themselves in the early 1960s, when no one but they knew. "To the toppermost of the poppermost," they promised.

But by 1965, everyone -- the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and whoever else could catch a ride on the train -- was topping each other month by month, as if carried by a flood. Was it the fear and possibility that had flooded much of the West since the assassination of President Kennedy less than two years before, a kind of nihilist freedom in which old certainties were swept away like trees and cars? Was it the utopian revolt of the civil rights movement, or the strange cultures appearing in college towns and cities across the nation, in England, in Germany? No one heard the music on the radio as part of a separate reality. Every new hit seemed full of novelty, as if its goal was not only to top the charts but to stop the world in its tracks and then start it up again.

What was the top? Fame and fortune, glamour and style, or something else? A sound that you could leave behind, to mark your presence on the Earth; something that would circulate in the ether of lost radio signals, somehow received by generations to come, or apprehended even by those who were already gone? The chance to make the times speak in your own voice, or the chance to discover the voice of the times?

Early in the year, the Beatles had kicked off the race with the shimmering thrill of the opening and closing chords of "Eight Days a Week." In March, the Rolling Stones put out the deathly, oddly quiet "Play with Fire," a single that seemed to call the whole pop equation of happiness, speed and excitement into question: to suspend the contest in a cul-de-sac of doubt. Three months later, they came back with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." It erased the doubt, and the race was on again.

Dylan had not really come close with "Subterranean Homesick Blues" in April, his first rock 'n' roll record after four albums-- four folk albums that had nevertheless redrawn the pop map -- and his first entry into the singles charts. The Beatles would dominate the second half of the year with "Yesterday." Barry McGuire would reach No. 1 with "Eve of Destruction," an imitation-Dylan big-beat protest song that was so formulaic, so plainly a jump on a trend, that the formula and the trend became hooks in themselves.

In the pop arena, it seemed anything could happen; it seemed that month by month everything did. The race was not only between the Beatles, Dylan, the Rolling Stones and everyone else. The pop world was in a race with the greater world, the world of wars and elections, work and leisure, poverty and riches, white people and black people, women and men, and in 1965 you could feel that pop was winning.

When people first heard about it, "Like a Rolling Stone" seemed less like a piece of music than a stroke of upmanship beyond pop ken. "Eight of the Top 10 songs were Beatles songs," Dylan would remember years later, casting back to a day in Colorado, listening to John, Paul, George and Ringo soon after their arrival in the United States in 1964. "I knew they were pointing the direction where music had to go." That was the moment that took Dylan out of his folk singer's clothes — and now here he was, outflanking the Rolling Stones with a song about them. That was the word.

The pop moment, in that season, really was that delirious. But when the song hit the radio, when people heard it, when they discovered that it wasn't about a band, they realized that the song did not explain itself at all, and that they didn't care. Few grasped that the pull of the past was as strong as the pull of the future. Few wondered how many dead or vanished voices the song contained, or realized that along with the song's own named characters -- Miss Lonely, the Mystery Tramp, the Diplomat -- also present were the likes of Phil Spector and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" from only a few months before, Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba" from 1958, Son House, of Mississippi, with "My Black Mama" from 1930, Hank Williams with "Lost Highway" from 1949, or Muddy Waters in 1950 with "Rollin' Stone."

What people understood in the wash of words and instruments was that the song was a rewrite of the world itself. An old world was facing a dare it wasn't ready for; as the song traced its long arc across the radio, a world that was taking shape seemed altogether in flux.

Greil Marcus' newest book, "Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads," was published this month by PublicAffairs.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What Fun It Was To Be A Fan In Those Days

Wooden's Last Hurrah a Vivid Memory

Marques Johnson says he can't believe it has been 30 years since the 10th of the coach's titles, but his life lessons apply as much today as ever.
By Diane Pucin
Times Staff Writer

April 3, 2005

ST. LOUIS — When it was happening, Marques Johnson didn't know how lucky he was.

When his UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, would stop practice to make sure his socks were straightened, Johnson rolled his eyes the way any 18-year-old boy would. "But he did that," Johnson says, "to make sure the socks didn't cause blisters."

When Wooden would stop practice because somebody hadn't come forward to meet the pass or failed to run the right cut, Johnson would bite the inside of his lips because Wooden would spew nothing harsher than "Oh my goodness gracious." But, Johnson says, "That counted for double the amount of obscenities from a normal coach."

It has been 30 years since Wooden won the last of his 10 national championships, in 1975. "It's not possible," Johnson said from this Final Four where he has come as a fan and a spectator. "It's just not possible."

Playing a team not nearly as deep as many and not as heavily favored as the other nine national champions he had coached, Wooden and UCLA beat Kentucky, 92-85, in the national championship game at San Diego. The Bruins used only six players. Four of them — Dave Meyers, Richard Washington, Andre McCarter and Pete Trgovich — played all 40 minutes of the championship game.

At the end, the crowd gave Wooden a four-minute standing ovation because the unassuming, bespectacled coach had told his team two days earlier, after a heart-stopping overtime victory over Louisville, that the championship game would be his last.

"It was just a total shock," Johnson said. "It was total disbelief. We sat in that locker room filled with all sorts of emotions. We were giddy because we had just won this amazing overtime game and totally sad because coach wasn't coming back. And there was this great pressure for a minute because nobody wanted to be the player on the team that lost Coach Wooden's final game."

Johnson, who is a television broadcaster and does many UCLA games, looks at the landscape of basketball today, which he finds filled with players who don't understand the fundamentals of a good block out or a proper bounce pass and who certainly wouldn't care how to put their socks on correctly. He says Wooden could step into a warm-up and start coaching immediately.

"He is not a dinosaur," Johnson said. "He was a teacher and he still is. His lessons made sense then and they make sense now. His principles weren't only about basketball, they were about life. And the thing is, he knew how to treat everybody as an individual."

Johnson remembers his sophomore year when he was recovering from hepatitis. Johnson's body was tired and he would get frustrated with himself for lagging in drills.

"I was under orders to work myself back slowly," Johnson said, "and I was real frustrated. So one day in practice, I came down on a fastbreak and I dunked hard on Ralph Drollinger, just to get my anger out. Two plays later, Gavin Smith, he came down, he was a great athlete, and he did the same thing, dunked the ball on Drollinger. Coach didn't say a word to me but he jumped all over Gavin, told him if he ever did that again he'd get kicked out of practice.

"It wasn't until several years later that I realized what coach was doing. He knew I was feeling bad and he sympathized with what I was going through. He realized I dunked out of frustration and Gavin was just flaunting his talent."

The 1975 team had jelled after the loss of Bill Walton and Keith Wilkes to graduation. After the Bruins had beaten Kentucky in a game played at a furious pace, Meyers, who scored 24 points, told reporters after the game, "I wanted to do it for Coach all season. He's done a masterful job with the team that had lost Walton and Wilkes."

Johnson said there was more a sense of duty than destiny, even after the 75-74 win over Louisville that had come on a last-second shot by Washington.

While the Bruins were still whooping and hollering in the locker room, Johnson said, Wooden told the team to sit quiet. "He told us to pipe down, pipe down, I've got something to say," Johnson said. "He told us the next game would be his last and we were all shocked, caught off guard, just totally flabbergasted. We were on this incredible emotional high from Richard's shot and then I just wanted to cry and I was feeling like my heart sank."

Over the last 30 years, Johnson said, he has realized that Wooden's lessons had become buried in his head even when he didn't know it. The ones about tying your shoes right, the ones about preparing well, the ones about approaching every task with respect.

"I've got five kids," Johnson said, "and they're all looking for discipline and direction, the basic lessons of life. Coach Wooden can teach those as well today as he did 30 years ago."


Wooden's Titles

The 10 NCAA basketball championships won under John Wooden, with championship game results:


Kansas City, Mo.

Portland, Ore.

Louisville, Ky.

Los Angeles
North Carolina

Louisville, Ky.

College Park, Md.


Los Angeles
Florida State

St. Louis
Memphis State

San Diego

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