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Author: Maya Bohnhoff

... is a professional writer, editor, recording / performing artist, and Baha'i. She lives in San Jose, CA.
Health 101: Myth and Foreign Ideas

Health 101: Myth and Foreign Ideas

It’s been said repeatedly that the healthcare systems used in other nations to provide universal healthcare to all citizens are “too foreign” to work in the United States. In other words: America is unique and, some would argue, superior–in a word, exceptional. This is so, in the sense that every country is unique. And every country probably has some area in which it is (depending on your values) superior to other countries. Alas, in the area of taking care of our…

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A Religious Case for Scientific Literacy

A Religious Case for Scientific Literacy

“I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year—you know the rotation of the earth. We’re moving closer to the sun… We have more people. You know, humans have warm bodies. So is heat coming off? Things are changing, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can.” This strange case for the insolubility of climate change/global warming was uttered by a state senator…

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Conspiracy Theories, Writing and Logic 103

Conspiracy Theories, Writing and Logic 103

In editing a piece of promotional work for someone one morning, I was reminded again of the many similarities between writers, who tell fantastic stories for a living and have no intention that they be taken as fact, and conspiracy theorists, who tell fantastic stories for a variety of reasons with every intention that they be taken as fact. In Truther circles, as in plotting a story, the narratives often become increasingly elaborate as they expand. Take Jade Helm, for…

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Conspiracy Theories, Writing & Logic 102

Conspiracy Theories, Writing & Logic 102

I commented in an earlier post that I have observed similar thought patterns and behaviors in some inexperienced writers and conspiracy theorists (or truthers, as they are often called). In my first article on the subject, I explored some of the common elements in the narratives spun by truthers—specifically Sandy Hook truthers—and inexperienced writers I’ve worked with over the years in different contexts. Some of those elements include: The importance of time. For example, that video cannot be taken of…

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Conspiracy Theories, Writing & Logic 101

Conspiracy Theories, Writing & Logic 101

I have recently participated in ongoing conversations online with Sandy Hook truthers. After listening to the litany of “reasons” that they have for suspecting a hoax or conspiracy of some sort (what sort varies), and hearing their questions, and reading some of their source material, a pattern began to emerge. They seemed to have little awareness of a number of things that, as a writer, I must take into account in every story I write and every plot I conceive….

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Health 101: Myth and Bloated Bureaucracies

Health 101: Myth and Bloated Bureaucracies

Myth #3: other country’s universal healthcare systems require bloated bureaucracies.  This first of two related myths, as summed up by TR Reid, has it that the universal healthcare systems of other wealthy countries are run by bloated bureaucracies. This is simply not true. Every other system Reid cited is less wasteful than ours. This is true whether they are public or private systems. Our for-profit setup has the highest administrative costs in the world. This is a major reason we spend more on healthcare and…

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Health 101: Myth and Waiting

Health 101: Myth and Waiting

Here’s the big scary idea: Care in countries with universal health coverage is rationed with waiting lists and limited choice. Yes, this is a real problem in some countries … including the US. I’ve had to wait for appointments simply because I couldn’t afford the out of pocket expenses or the copay. I’ve considered not renewing a prescription for a medicine I need because of our financial situation at the time. (That’s not rationing?) True, patients in Britain and Canada…

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Health 101: Myth and Socialized Medicine

Health 101: Myth and Socialized Medicine

I’d like to talk about mythology. Not Greek mythology or Norse mythology, but American Healthcare mythology. In his book, The Healing of America, TR Reid listed a number of healthcare myths he had busted in the course of researching his book. Some of these I knew about (because I have friends who are living or have lived in countries with universal healthcare) and some I didn’t. Myth #1: “Universal healthcare is socialized medicine!” (sound of game show buzzer) Wrong. Apparently even Michael Moore got this…

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