Leon Lederman dies at 96, sold Nobel Prize medal to pay for medical care

Here’s a really disturbing tweet (h/t: Matthew):

Leon Lederman was a beloved Chicago colleague who received the 1988 Physics Nobel Prize, along with two others, for work on neutrinos. Later in his life, after retirement, he devoted himself to science education, and was good at it. By all accounts, he was a nice guy and pretty funny as well (I had one humorous interaction with him in my three decades at this University).

But did he really sell his Nobel Prize to pay for Medical treatment? Yes, according to the Associated Press obituary:

Lederman won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1988 with two other scientists for discovering a subatomic particle called the muon neutrino. He used the prize money to buy a log cabin near the tiny town of Driggs in eastern Idaho as a vacation retreat.

The couple moved there full-time in 2011 when Leon Lederman started experiencing memory loss problems that became more severe, his wife said. His Nobel Prize sold for $765,000 in an auction in 2015 to help pay for medical bills and care.

And from Wikipedia:

He had three children with his first wife, Florence Gordon, and toward the end of his life lived with his second wife, Ellen (Carr), in Driggs, Idaho. In May 2015 his Nobel Prize gold medal was sold for US$765,000. According to his wife Ellen, they faced the uncertainty of medical bills related to his dementia diagnosis. She noted, “It’s really hard. I wish it could be different. But he’s happy. He likes where he lives with cats and dogs and horses. He doesn’t have any problems with anxiety, and that makes me glad that he’s so content.”

Lederman was an atheist.

Only in America, as the tweet says, could someone have to sell their Nobel Prize medal to pay for medical treatment. It’s a goddam shame, and unworthy of the U.S. Some day, perhaps, we’ll have single-payer government medical care, and stuff like this won’t happen.  At least Lederman had a Nobel Prize to sell; most impecunious Americans just go into debt, or can’t get the medical care they need.

Leon Lederman (1922-yesterday)

76 Comments

  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s only in America. Sure there is care in Canada but at least in Ontario it’s hard to access. Though a professor like him would have benefits that would have paid for his care.

    • Giancarlo
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      “Hard” to access is different than “You need to sell your Nobel prize medal” by a large degree. Do you think the average Ontario citizen would be willing to trade their health insurance and care with a US citizen?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        But most elder care isn’t covered. And in Ontario, if you are in hospital, you cannot, by some stupid rule, apply for long term care. Most treatment for someone with dementia need long term care but there simply aren’t enough facilities. If you need to put your partner into a facility, you can’t afford the facility and your home at the same time. I just went through this with my father in law who passed away two weeks ago. He was lucky he had a pension to pay for his care at a retirement home as even public faciliies cost money. So saying Canadians wouldn’t give up their health care is an apples and oranges comparison. It isn’t all included in health care, especially if you require extra help. That all costs extra until you are in a long term care facility and by then you are really gone and sadly there just aren’t beds in Ontario.

        • Giancarlo
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the clarification that in your original post the term “care” referred to long term care.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            Oh even care that is retirement home care is not subsidized by the government. You’re on your own for that.

    • Andrew
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Health care in Canada is Not hard to access, at least in urban centers and for common ailments. My 76yr old mother has always had good medical support and access to family doctor, rheumatologist, cardiologist and prescriptions, all covered. The same goes for my sister and I in our healthcare times of need. These stories make me afraid to return to the USA, where I lived and worked for 6 years recently. Even with coverage from my employer, a major biotech firm, out of pocket costs were everywhere.

      • Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Some care is indeed very hard to access, and in some areas very hard indeed. That is why some richer Canadians pay for tests or treatment in the US.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          That may be, but I don’t think there’s an ounce of support in Canada — or in any other nation with a single-payer system — for scrapping their system in favor of the bastard healthcare system we have in the US.

          Makes me think the US is on the wrong side of history here.

          • Filippo
            Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            I more and more hear the phrase, “the wrong side of history.” I take the phrase to mean (to those to whom it is directed), “Be remembered for doing the right thing.” Seems to me that history will be whatever it’s going to be. Seems it should suffice to simply tell someone, “You’re wrong. Do the right thing (regardless of how you’re remembered).”

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 5, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

              History has a moral arc — it is long, but it bends toward justice (and, as in this instance, toward the recognition of universal human rights).

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Ok again I’m not talking about health care. I had cancer. I got great and immediate care. My dad had cancer he too got great and immediate health care and he’s 76 now. My mom has a lung issue and I’ve spent a lot of time getting care for her. But my biggest fear is one of them ends up sick enough to need to go into a retirement home. Their pension isn’t enough to pay for one to live st home and one to go into a home. It also isn’t enough for both to live in a home. What you haven’t experienced yet is your family aging. I’m intimately familiar with what is and is not included in care for the elderly as my father in law lived this way for 7 years and died at 90 two weeks ago. He was fortunate to have a teacher’s pension so that paid for most things but wait until your family needs 24 hour care. I hope you aren’t in Ontario because there are few long term care beds. The wait is 6 months to a year. If your relative enters hospital there is a rule that prevents them from applying to long term care. Yes , that’s right. You aren’t allowed to apply for long term care while in hospital and a retirement home or nursing home won’t take you if you’re that far gone. LTC also will not take you until you are bed ridden. Until then, going Into a public retirement home costs money. He’s thats right. The government covers about 60% of the cost At least expect to pay around 30 to 40 k per year as not all is covered.

        So please don’t suggest I’m wrong here. I have copious experience with it all. If the cancer comes back and kills me I will probably be better off. It getting elderly as I have no children to help me and my money will most likely go to helping my parents.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        And this is what it costs for assisted living. Check the dementia column. Otherwise, you may be out in a bed ina hospital as you wait 6 months to a year for LTC but remember that you can’t apply for a bed while in hospital. https://www.aplaceformom.com/canada/how-to-pay-for-senior-housing

  2. Mark R.
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s a goddamn shame, and unworthy of the U.S.

    With the Trump administration, Republican Congress and his soon to be stacked activist judicial branch, I can’t see much of the U.S. that is worthy anymore. Maybe in a month, we can start winning some worthiness back.

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree we have lost much of our former worth, but I think it may be a mistake to hope on the Dems. The Kavanaugh nastiness has given the GOP exactly what it needed for next month.

    • Filippo
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I’m reminded of the occasional NY Times op-ed where the writer states, “We (the US, USers) are not like that,” or, “We are better than that.” Well, it just may be, at least occasionally, that more so than not we “Exceptional Americans,” we citizens of (what Madeleine Albright never tires of calling) “The Indispensable Nation” are in fact like that, and are not better than that, no matter how many times we tell the world that “America is the greatest country in the world.” (George Carlin had a thing or two to say about that. I’m reminded of Don Rickles commenting on a given object of his comedic venom: “He’s great! Just ask him – he’ll tell you!”)

  3. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Ledermann’s Nobel was for a inter-related combination of achievements including quite specifically finding (in the early 1960s) that more than one kind of neutrino exists especially the “muon neutrino” which combines with muons to form other stuff.

    The first book of advanced popular science I ever read was Isaac Asimov’s full-length book on neutrinos, easily accessible to a high school freshman. Remarkable.

    What a dismal manifestation of American health care.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I recall that the snobbish theoretical physicist (and fellow Nobel laureate) Murray Gell-Mann used to refer to the experimentalist Lederman as a mere “plumber.”

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Ha ha. I once new a project manager that moved to “infrastructure” projects. All the other project managers used to make fun of him (to his face) & ask him if his project plan was “plug it in”.

      • Filippo
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if Gell-Mann’s toilet ever backed up and if his solution was to theorize about it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Reminds me that the theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind actually was, in his Bronx youth, a plumber in his family’s business. 🙂

          • Merilee
            Posted October 6, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            I seem to remember that Feynman’s father (or maybe grandfather) was so proud of him for “fixing radios.” I dated a Mexican-American grad student in quantum mechanics at Stanford for a while, and the folks in his small home town all wanted him to fix their cars.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    And only in the U.S. do many, many people vote against their own interests. Ignorance is a powerful item and also one that can kill if not ever corrected. Just happen to be reading a new and short book by Michael Lewis, The Fifth Risk. It is an inside look at the Transition after the last presidential election and a short education on what government does for people while the people seem not to know.

    • Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      And only in the U.S. do many, many people vote against their own interests.

      In the Brexit vote, Wales and Cornwall went fairly strongly in favour of leaving the EU in spite of the fact that both regions were in receipt of very substantial EU grants because they were pretty economically depressed.

      So no, many people in other countries (i.e. the UK) also vote against their own best interests.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        You may be correct but I am sure that many who voted the way they did, continue to think they voted correctly. I am speaking of more indirect issues and will give an example from the book.

        In the U.S. the govt. took on the job of warning people about tornadoes. The National Weather Service has improved with lots of technology and now provides an average 13 minutes warning before the tornado hits. Yet tornado outbreaks in the spring of 2011 killed more than 500 people. In Joplin, Mo. 158 people died and thousands were injured. In Joplin the sirens sounded 17 minutes before the tornado arrived. A majority surveyed did not immediately go to shelter upon hearing the warnings. Even a United States congressman had asked why taxpayers needed to fund the National Weather Service when he could get his weather from ACCUWeather. Where did he think ACCUWeather got it’s weather?

      • Filippo
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Recent Pat Condell, “Brexit Morons”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9T4dGAxtO0

        I recall that Obama flew to Great Britain on the eve of the Brexit vote, beseeching Britons to vote against it. (I gather that a news conference in the White House Rose Garden was not sufficient.) Does anyone have any informed guesstimate of how much that trip cost the U.S. taxpayer? Methinks the U.S. should join the European Union and subordinate itself to Brussels.)

      • Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Russia, Turkey…

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      The thing I noticed when I watched Fox News was that they’re telling people they’re better off NOT having a single-payer system. They go on about people in GB having to wait 6 months for a hip replacement, for example. (I don’t know whether the 6 months is accurate.) Imo, at least they can get the surgery they need. In the US, plenty of people can’t get one at all!

      They also go on about how much people’s taxes would go up to pay for a single-payer system. No one mentions that they won’t be paying for health insurance anymore, and there will be no, or very, very low, co-pays. In fact, they will probably be paying less.

      Too many people don’t know how good they have it in the US, and don’t have enough compassion for those who are poor. There’s too much of an attitude that if people are poor it’s their own fault, and they don’t work hard enough. The reality is that many people in the US are working 2-3 jobs to try and make ends meet. Others aren’t working through no fault of their own. But then Fox News comes along and manages to find the 1/100 who is ripping off the system.

      • Mark R.
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        There’s too much of an attitude that if people are poor it’s their own fault, and they don’t work hard enough.

        Pull yourself up by your bootstraps dammit!

        This is purely a GOP belief (as I’m sure you know). Republicans think that a black child born into a one-parent home in the ghetto with no alimony for the parent, (who has a drug or alcohol problem to boot) is on the same playing field as someone like judge Kavanaugh. I’ve had conversations (arguments) with conservative family members who actually say there is no difference between the theoretical black child and Kavanaugh. You know why? They were born in America!!! The intellectual dishonesty and cognitive dissonance these right-wingers exhibit is abhorrent. My new phrase should be: Republicans poison everything.

        • Filippo
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps dammit!”

          Right, just like English major/MBA-JD Willard Romney, the apotheosis of a self-made man, with no help from anyone.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted October 5, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          I’ve got a cartoon in my collection somewhere that attributes the attitude mainly to the GOP, and I should have specified that it’s mainly a conservative Christian attitude. As you know, it’s from the Christian thing that God gives us what we deserve, so if we have a crap life, that’s our own fault – it’s our just reward for our sins. The prosperity gospel is part of that of course.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Not ‘only in the US’.

      The world is full of countries where people vote for right-of-centre parties against their own best interests. (My own theory is that those parties are seen to favour the upper classes and the well-to-do and nobody wants to think of themselves as lower class or poor and if they’re financially stressed now it’sonly temporary).

      But I agree the US is, at the moment, the most prominent example.

      cr

  5. Historian
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    There is something incomplete about this story. He had certainly Medicare, which would have paid most of his bills. It is probable that he purchased Medicare supplemental insurance to pay the rest (he would have been quite foolish not to do this). He probably spent his last years in a long term care facility, i.e., nursing home. This is not covered by Medicare and can easily run over $100,000 a year to live in a halfway decent home. Here is where he probably ran into financial difficulty. Medicaid can pay for a nursing home, but the person probably has to divest herself of most assets.

    Even if there should someday be universal health care, it is problematic whether it would cover long term care. I have purchased long term care insurance, which isn’t cheap, but at least I know I won’t have to worry about paying for a nursing home for about three years, if I am forced to do what nobody wants to do. With so many baby boomers reaching the age when a nursing home may be in their futures, the nation is heading for a silent crisis. It is a mystery to me where all these people will be warehoused and who will pay for them.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes, very hard to say without having all of his info. He may not have had a supplemental to cover what medicare does not. Title 19, medicaid for Nursing Home care does not cover it until you reduce your total assets down to $2000. In other words, poverty. I had my dad in a Nursing Home for about 4 months before he died and it was costing over 5 thousand a month.

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      It is for this reason I have not thrown away my grandad’s police .38. I will need it one day.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes I agree here as his pension would have covered most costs. Perhaps he wanted a better facility as his wife mentions living with horses ans dogs, etc. So perhaps it was a fancy place. In that case if it was with it then sure. It it doesn’t sound like he died destitute or anything.

      And yes, the aging boomers are killing it but it’s not like we didn’t see this coming for oh, 80 years. As a kid everyone just laughed it off and said Gen x would just have to pay and get nothing. Jokes on them because the millennials have to pay too. Haha. Yeah it’s horribly depressing. I expect to be destitute helping my own parents of they need care. I don’t ever plan on retiring but I figure the cancer will come get me one day anyway and I won’t get old.

    • Liz
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      If he is having memory issues, he might need an Assisted Living with the Memory Care program. While regular Assisted Living programs can be from $3800 with the “college roommate” type of situation (shared room), it can be almost $3000 more for the same place and same room in the Memory Care program. If a place charges $6000 a month for a shared room for a Memory Care program, that comes to $72,000 a year. If he hired 24 hour care from a Home Health Aid company at $20 an hour, that comes to $14,400 for just one month.

      Assisted Living/Memory Care programs and Home Health Aid companies are for-profit and do not take Medicare or Medicaid, I believe, unless you are in actual need of medical assistance at the Nursing Care level. Randall’s comment above seems about correct to me, though. It seemed like if you have enough assets to get yourself into one of these places for the first two years, you can be put on a waiting list for a Medicaid bed or be transferred there if a long term “medical” (I’m not sure how dementia/memory loss is not a medical need) need arises.

      Long Term Care Insurance, which according to one Home Health Aid place I spoke to, is something that only 5% of people have. Long Term Care Insurance is accepted by both Assisted Living/Memory Care places and Home Health Aid places.

      It’s a mystery to me, too. If you are around 75, live for 10 years needing a Memory Care program, you will need to have $720,000 saved up for it. I’m not surprised at all that he had to sell the medal. It’s just awful.

      I got a lot of this information through a for-profit, not non-profit, company called A Place For Mom. They were somewhat helpful but I wouldn’t recommend them if you don’t want them giving your email/phone to some of these facilities to contact you. People from the sales/marketing departments will contact. It’s all for-profit and a tragedy.

      I was researching for a friend’s relative and was very surprised at the results. I believe some financial aid programs are out there but I’m not sure.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes, assisted living centers are not covered by anything and you are on your own. Most Nursing Homes are certified for Title 19, so Medicaid will pay after you have used up all your assets. As we know, Nursing homes are not generally as nice as assisted living facilities but they are both very costly. The republicans, many of them would like to get rid of medicaid. If this were to happen there would be millions of old people out in the streets. Many people do not know that Medicare does not pay at all for Nursing home care.

    • Rita Prangle
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Even with a supplemental policy, not everything is covered, and Medicare as co-pays.

  6. Patrick Orlando
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    He was my Professor At Columbia for a Light Course. great guy and great teacher. Pat Orlando B.S. Physics columbia 1976.

  7. Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Such a sordid and sad predicament to be in for a man of his intellect and stature. But many intellects and scientists in the world have sold their medals and awards to pay for bills, that how intellectuals are treated!

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Not in the nation(s) that gives the prizes, though.

      It is sad indeed, Lederman was by all accounts a vocal scientist (and atheist).

  8. Curtis
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I could be wrong but something about this doesn’t ring true to me. In 2015, he was 93 years old and clearly was eligible for Medicare. I am not an expert on Medicare but I would imagine his medical care was covered.

    It is certainly possible that some money was needed for nursing care but I doubt it would require over $700,000. I would have thought his government pension(s), royalties and social security would cover this. This was the case for my father who did not have royalties.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      I could only advise you to look at our earlier comments but we do not know the person’s situation. Medicare does not pay 100% as you know. If a person does not have a supplemental insurance to cover unpaid medicare, it can be substantial. Also, if he was in a Nursing Home facility, Medicare does not pay for that at all. You must pay until all your assets are used up and then you have medicaid. Title 19 may have well ordered him to sell this asset, I do not know.

  9. Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Though I agree we need single-payer healthcare, I think the best of all worlds is one where we wait for the Boomers to die off before we get it. Otherwise they will live longer and keep ruining the country, and since they’re majorly in denial about so many things and refused to ever pay into and implement a good medical system, they certainly don’t deserve to have another benefit subsidized by young liberals who hate them. Otherwise the entitled old will survive to bitch about entitlement and socialism like hypocrites who haven’t even paid off their mortgages, while voting for Ted Cruz and other GOP religitards. Any new version of universal healthcare if properly introduced should only apply to anyone under 50 for the first 10 years. The handful of good non-Trump voting Boomers will have to be collateral damage for the good of the country if they don’t know anyone who can take care of them.

    • Historian
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Well, aren’t you the cheery one? Maybe we should make things simple and erect suicide centers such as portrayed in the movie Soylent Green.

      In actuality, there was much more than a “handful” of boomers who voted for Clinton. In fact, 45% of people over 65 voted for Clinton and 45% of people between 45 and 64. Making blanket generalizations without facts is not a good practice. Or may you think the 45% is collateral damage.

      https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-groups-voted/groups-voted-2016/

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Funny you mentioned Soylent Green and I thought of Logan’s Run.

      • Posted October 4, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Hillary is a corporate Democrat, they have to have been open to voting for a progressive like Bernie Sanders but they didn’t. They’re iredeemable on so many levels, from health care, to fiscal responsibility, to progressive taxation, to gay marriage, to climate change, and now they’re drifting toward theocratic fascism. They need to lie in the bed they made during the Regan years and just die already.

        Every year they’re alive they consume non-renewable resources and behave as deluded grumps that actively loot everyone else while denying dozens of minorities of their civil rights. They’re largely narcistic sociopaths who are eager to steal every other generation’s opportunity for happiness for themselves, while bragging about how much money they’ve made in life. I don’t hate the Silent generation who were humble, compassionate, and forward-thinking to the extent of their knowledge and who cared for science enough to invest in NASA, (and professor Lederman was one of them,) but the Baby Boomers were none of that. They’re intellectual cowards and are the worst generation that’s still alive–a scourge on mankind. Since they killed social security and prematurely killed off the Silent generation, it’s only poetic justice that the Baby Boomers should die early too, and no tears will be shed at their funerals.

        • Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know who you are, but this is one of the most horrifically unempathic comments I’ve seen on this website. You will not be posting here any more; I don’t want your presence or comments polluting my living room.

          Imagine someone wishing other people to die. This is the behavior of a complete jerk.

          Bye!

        • Giancarlo
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Good grief, are we sure this isn’t satire akin to “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift? I say that because my first reaction was to laugh out loud at the wild hyperbole.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Jesus, why don’t you just line people up for execution at 30 like in Logan’s Run?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 5, 2018 at 4:13 am | Permalink

        Just wait till whentheloliscry comes up there and cuts you Canadians d’un certain âge loose on an ice floe.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 5, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Ha ha. Did you see that episode of Talking with Americans?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      @whentheloliscry Do you prefer black shirts or brown shirts? I gather from your wonky, bitter, divisive manifesto that you are young, you think of yourself as some form of liberal & you’ve GOT to be male.

      I notice that your proposal lets you nicely through the door into the sunny uplands. You need to mature in a barrel for a few years – perhaps see how the pulse of life works for all seven ages of ‘man.’ You seem to be stuck in the selfish mode seen in some unobservant, unempathetic young – they make fine cannon fodder for a cunning, charismatic, crank who depend on people who love to wear boots & who see the World as us & them, black & white.

      A civil society looks after its elderly & the vulnerable of all ages WITHOUT JUDGEMENT – even people like you!

      • Diane G
        Posted October 6, 2018 at 4:25 am | Permalink

        “… even people like you!”

        I move we make an exception for him.

        https://endlessjune.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/i-was-banned-at-jerry-coynes-blog-for-hating-baby-boomers/#more-6947

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 6, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

          How amusing – he’s as I described in essence ~ stuck at 18 yo. He’s for authoritarianism as long as he gets to be boss & it appears he likes the loli girls from various obvious clues [whentheloliscry]. Portrays boomers as on sticks wearing incontinence pads, but loves his grandma. Mostly there’s him & there’s everyone who is not him. Horrid little worm.

          Bits of him: FROM HERE

          Democracy:

          Wavering on whether democracy works. It would work better if people were more educated, and total democracy were allowed, and rule of law were enforced. (To prevent witch trials, mob rule, and kangaroo courts.) Egalitarianism and mixed-socialism may then result.

          For large countries full of idiots, elitism and a republic might be a necessary evil

          Against any oligarchy that destroys the rule of law.

          Tentatively for popular referendum (as a check on the oligarchy, and a tenant of total democracy)

          On Gender/Sexuality:

          -Fuck Feminazis (you are irrational)
          -For Trans acceptance (as an experiment)
          -For more diverse fashion for both genders (including cross-dressing)
          -For sexual liberation
          -Weakly for Gamergate
          -For sex/violence in games and in the media

          • Merilee
            Posted October 6, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            Jesus! Not sure how I came so late to this idiot. Hard to make him up.

            • Merilee
              Posted October 6, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

              And he can’t even spell “corporation” on his ranty list of likes and dislikes…

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted October 6, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

              They are a strange breed – these ‘young’ guys stuck at mid to late teens for life. All of them so sure of their own insights & world fixes – frightening levels of certainty.

              All of them are bitter, self absorbed & non-reflective. Denizens of 4Chan, these are the characters who make gaming unbearably toxic. They see their own failings & limitations [which we all have] as a problem with the World or with Other People, thus he blames his lack of financial success as due to the greedy boomers, he can’t get a ‘girl’ so that’s feminism & his response is to be attracted to imagined pliable Lolis with no agency [he loves Japan]. He wants portrayals of porn, violence & sex to be out there & in your face & sees his little quirks in that regard as an issue of free speech above all else. These fecking monsters are determined not to grow up.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 6, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

                And do they ever get butt hurt. That sure was a long post about being banned. This is not the first time I’ve seen this so I’m sure it won’t be the last.

              • Diane G
                Posted October 6, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

                Appreciate all the further corroboration, Michael.

                These factions are depressing as hell…

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like the Trump administration might have an opening for you in the Social Security or Medicare departments, whentheloliscry.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad Prof. Lederman (who seemed like a mensch) could raise the scratch for his medical treatment even if it meant selling his Nobel prize. But what motivates a buyer to want to own such a prize won by someone else — other than, perhaps, rank speculative greed that he or she might be able to turn around and sell it to some other sucker for even more dough?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      ‘Collector-itis’. (Whatever the correct name for it might be).

      A bottle of whisky just sold for around a million dollars. I don’t care how good it is, how can *any* drink ever be worth more than a few hundred at most?

      We all have it to some extent, even if it’s just a couple of pretty polished rock specimens. Or books 😉 I suppose the super-rich can afford to be a bit more profligate about their collecting.

      cr

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Oh, and I would discount financial greed. Undoubtedly a factor in some cases but I think, not all. There’s a satisfaction in owning one genuine unique / historic item that is quite separate from its monetary value.

        cr

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 5, 2018 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        Guess maybe I’ve never understood the “collector” mentality since I’ve never collected much myself, except for books and records, and then not for the pride of ownership, but to milk them like prize Holsteins. 🙂

    • Filippo
      Posted October 5, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      “But what motivates a buyer to want to own such a prize won by someone else . . . .”

      Whatever in sum total so motivates, I subjectively perceive a mindset that perceives the owning/possession of something equivalent to its creation. At least in this case, it’s only a piece of metal that is owned, not Dr. Lederman’s intellectual creativity and accomplishments, which no one else can possibly own. (Which leads me to also contemplate how scientists can “hold” patents, but then not a few scientifically incurious investor types reap the financial rewards from exploiting scientists’ discoveries.)

      (I’m reminded of how OH and NC, as evidenced by their vehicle license tags – “Birthplace of Aviation” and “First in Flight,” respectively – in their collective tribal self-absorption and boosterism try to milk everything they can from their associations with the Wright brothers, each state taking umbrage at the other’s presumptuous proprietary claims on the Wrights. “Ohio-ness” and “North Carolina-ness” have absolutely nothing to do with the Wrights’ accomplishments.)

  11. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Nobel prize winners, “… have to sell their Nobel Prize medal to pay for medical treatment. It’s a goddam shame, and unworthy of the U.S. Some day, perhaps, we’ll have single-payer government medical care, and stuff like this won’t happen.”

    It is indeed somehow unbelievable. From many points of view.
    -A Nobel prize winner should be considered a kind of National Treasure.
    – Healthcare should be kind of universal, that is what distinguishes us from Aardvarks.

    But then, the only painting Van Gogh ever ‘sold’ was for his medical bill, and his doctor used it as a roof for his dog-house, I don’t know if that is apocryphal though.

  12. JezGrove
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    As a Brit, I’d love to feel smug about our supposedly superior approach to healthcare compared to that in the US. But here in the UK, where most health care is free at point of delivery (dentistry is a complicated exception), anything deemed to be ‘social care’ is means-tested.

    As a result, if you have a condition with needs that are seen to be ‘medical’ the government will pay for treatment in full, but if your needs are ‘social’ (e.g. essential but non-medical support for conditions like dementia) it won’t. So if you are going to need expensive care, it’s financially advantageous to have a cancer diagnosis rather than one for Alzheimer’s – even though both are outside your control.

    The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) really needs to sort out this baseless discrimination – but the solution will be costly, and so far governments of all political hues have failed to address it. I can’t see a swift resolution, especially given the likely impact of Brexit on the British economy.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Let’s see dentistry in the U.S. Hardly anyone has insurance for it. The cost is really high. A simple crown is at least 1 thousand. Just a check up is more than $100. People either skip good dental care or pay for it on time, like a car.

  13. Posted October 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I remember reading Lederman’s _The God Particle_ way back. Something to reread.

    • Merilee
      Posted October 6, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Me, too! I thought that he sounded familiar😊

  14. Richard
    Posted October 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    “Vox noted that a private room in a nursing home could cost about $7,698 a month.” No insurance plan would approve this. He was covered, he just wanted a private room

    • Diane G
      Posted October 6, 2018 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      I just had to arrange for my mother-in-law to be put into a “memory care” home. I just paid the first month’s bill–$6K.

  15. Posted October 27, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    With today’s demography, I find it unrealistic to expect good care for all old people needing it, regardless of the medical insurance and social security system. I suspect that this is the true reason for the growing acceptance of euthanasia. It is good that Prof. Lederman had the resources to pay for comfortable conditions, and I also find that he found a very good use for his medal.


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