These five people and two glasses of Pepsi are board-certified ophthalmologists.By night, one-man rLOVEution Rand Paul is a libertarian hero. By day, he has a job as an ophthalmologist, a kind of eye doctor that heals people who can’t see liberty. Except the American Board of Ophthalmology, the board that certifies ophthalmologists, says he isn’t one.

Rand Paul, however, likes to tell people he is “board-certified.” Though he isn’t board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, he is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology. That latter “group” though is an organization led by Rand Paul. More accurately, the National Board of Ophthalmology is Rand Paul. You have to give it to him, the guy is good at naming his groups things that sound real.

Rand Paul’s board has recognized a whopping seven doctors to do ophthalmology versus the 16,000 the American Board has. He’s probably lost some business at his eye-poking practice because The Market has provided us insurance companies that prefer not to give their money to random men by the side of dirt roads in Kentucky who say they do eye surg’ry good.

But are we right to assume the American Board is a better board simply because it’s recognized 2,286 times more doctors? Perhaps those 16,000 doctors went to Rand Paul for certification first but were denied because he’s really strict about who gets certified. That’s probably it. Rand Paul’s list of criteria probably looks like this:

1. Has to be Rand Paul or be friends with Rand Paul.
2. Rand Paul has no friends besides his dad, so we’ll define “friends” here as “people who are not statists.”
3. Has to yell something incomprehensible about criteria taking away his or her God-given ophthalmology freedom and kick Rand Paul’s clipboard out of his hands.

Did you meet those requirements? Congratulations, you’re an ophthalmologist! [Salon]

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  1. I’m certified Wonkette commenter, and have a certificate from the V572625694 Board of Wonkette Commenter Certification. Like the guy in Donald Barthelme’s great story “The Dolt,” I found the oral exam easy, but the written exam was a bitch.

  2. Of course he’s not a real ophthalmologist. He’d never get through an exam.

    “Is this better? Or this?

    “Please, look at the chart.

    “Now, is this better? Or this? You must look at the chart for this to work.

    “Once again, is this better? Or this? STOP LOOKING AT MY HAIR! Look at the CHART!”

  3. What does a Board Certified Opthalmologist have that Roscoe P Coltraine doesn’t? A diploma! Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the Cannon 3-in-1 printer, I hereby grant myself the designation “Certification cum Louden.”

  4. Hey, this is all right and good. Donald Trump’s various businesses are constantly receiving Awards of Excellence and First Place Rankings from trade associations founded by and with a membership consisting of, Donald Trump.

    Amurrica is becoming more crap-tacular every day. Its an exciting time. Lunatics, religious whackos, demogagues and mountebankes dominate all politics and policy, while murderers, thieves, embezzlers, and liars control industry. Citizens are disappeared and tortured, thrown in dungeons vile without charge or trial. Bridges collapse, there’s salmonella and mad cow in all the food, air travel, yikes, everything just becomes more and more crappy every day. Crap-tacular.

  5. Paul, appearing at the Great Eastern National Gun Day Show, and JAG Military Show in Louisville on Saturday, told the paper “I’m not going to go through all that right now.”

    When asked when he would address the issue, Paul replied: “Uh, you know, never … What does this have to do with our election?”

  6. Can’t get into Medical School? Start your own! Become an M.D. in half the time. Some people don’t have any imagination. If you can imagine it, you can be it.

  7. It’s just like the socialist-fascists of the lamestream medical establishment to insist the doctors have things like “qualifications” and “degrees” to treat patients instead of letting the Free Market do its work.

  8. So, let’s see, . . . I count Rand Paul, John Galt, and 5 less famous board-certified freedom lovers, one of whom is probably Seymour Freemarkets. If anyone on this forlorn planet can name the others, it’s you guys. Can we get a quorum?

  9. [re=599046]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: When I was in college my Japanese roommate printed himself a Harvard diploma. He used his girlfriend’s high school diploma as an example, so he went home with a Harvard College diploma (logo from a sweatshirt) signed by the President of the College and the Superintendent of Schools.

  10. This sounds made up, and I haz some kind of sad that it isn’t. And more people will vote for this loon because of this too. I need to move to the moon.

  11. “Board certification” is some socialist propaganda meant to take freedom away from your eyes. Who is an ophthalmologist? Let the market decide!

  12. Rand’s just the libertarian version (not much of a stretch) of George W.: Didn’t work as hard as his father, got over in school because of his father’s name and was too lazy to really match his father’s achievements. I don’t agree with either Ron Paul or GHWB about almost anything but at least they kinda earned their positions. Their two putzy sons, however, are nothing but narcissist moochers.

  13. Certification is for statist wimps who can’t stomach the sweet taste of liberty. Was John Galt certified? Did Howard Roark cower before some certifying board, humbly petitioning for their approval? Does Skoal Rebel play by your silly little rules? NO!

    Smell the sight of freedom as you taste the sound of the feeling of true liberty, America!

  14. First, we learn that Joe “The Plumber” wasn’t REALLY certified to be a Plumber. Now, (Shudder) we learn that Dr. Rand Paul isn’t REALLY certified as an eye-doctor (Arrrrgh). What next? Will we learn that Sarah Palin didn’t REALLY serve out her full term as a Governor? Ollie North and Gordon Liddey aren’t REALLY convicted Felons? Dick Morris isn’t REALLY a toe-sucking patron of the Oldest Profession? John Ensign isn’t REALLY a lying Horn-Dog? David Vitter isn’t REALLY a lying hypocritical sack of shit? Mind whirling, must-stop-now!

  15. Why on earth would you want to certify somebody who just wants to cut your eyeballs with laser beams? Or license them either for that matter.

  16. [re=599050]Prommie[/re]:
    I appreciate your reflexive optimism, but there are some less savory features to life in our times, also.

  17. [re=599072]Dashboard_Buddha[/re]: Hey, me too! I call myself Reverend BadKitty on the local newspaper forums. It really pisses off the wingnuts.

  18. Who cares about board certification? That’s not relevant to his qualifications to be a Senator. The main thing is that his pecker works. The picture of him and his family proves it. Why can’t people talk about stuff that really matters?

  19. I have lost all respect for Paul the Younger. If you’re going fake board certification of any medical specialty, I would think a person would be more apt to opt for gynecology.

  20. Oh, reading the full story at msnbc it gets even better. The other members of the National Board are Kelly Paul (Mrs. Rand) and her parents. He claimed he formed the fake board because he didn’t like the American Board’s rules; so I guess he really did go Gault on them. And now he’s just refusing to answer questions; I guess he must have learned his lesson from Maddow.

  21. [re=599072]Dashboard_Buddha[/re]: [re=599095]BadKitty[/re]: Another one here. Got to perform a cousin’s wedding that way. The thing is, as it’s a meaningless profession there are no standards for clerics, or need for them (although one should always have a high Wisdom score or else the low number of spells will make them useless).

  22. [re=599080]Chain Tattoo[/re]: Actually, it’s kinda funny- whenever someone asks, “Well, if you don’t want ‘government’ imposing ‘regulations’, to ‘keep companies from poisoning/killing people, for profit’, then how do you propose doing it?” the standard libertarian answer is that we can just have incredibly industry-credible “private certification boards” like Underwriters Laboratories (because these people are invariably computer nerds or engineers, this is the only example they’ll ever use) can fill the same role.

    The only problem is, as “Dr.” Paul here has demonstrated admirably, people -and particularly libertarians- are craven/selfish/greedy enough that someone will invariably start a “competing certification board” that happens to consist only of themselves, certifying themselves, and happens to have enough of an eerily similar name that it will confuse people and muddy the waters, completely fouling any value these certifications have for self-regulation. Underwater Labradoodles, say. Now, even if the machine I sell you instantly explodes, delivering 3rd-degree fuel burns over half your body, and even if you did due diligence, but took for granted that when I said my stuff was “UL certified,” I was talking about the real one, well, caveat emptor, asshole.

  23. It makes sense because the Pauls believe that there should be competing licensing boards for every single important thing.

    Licensing ice cream trucks is as trivial as neurosurgery, and the free market will tell you which licensing board is the “best” for consumers. “Blah blah it works for U/L blah blah”.

  24. [re=599080]Chain Tattoo[/re]: Smell the sight of freedom as you taste the sound of the feeling of true liberty, America!

    THAT may be the finest bit of writing since the fucking Federalist Papers.

  25. [re=599101]FMA[/re]: Gynecology. I like that, gynecology, thats a good idea. I will establish the Pussy Institute of America, foremost certification body for holistic cootch-massage therapists in the USA. Also qualified to perform meat injections and penile-accupuncture.

  26. When your parents tell you you can be anything you want when you grow up, I’m not convinced that equates to making shit up.

  27. Asking Rand Paul if he’s board certified is a bit like asking Jesus if he’s a Christian.

    BTW, the writeup leaves off the best part: the National Board of Opthamology is pretty much entirely staffed by Paul’s immediate family members.

  28. [re=599132]ThisIsNotAnAvatar[/re]: Our Lady of Spontaneous Combustion. We followed a Sub Genius/Erisian tradition. We were the first fully online church in Maine. Sadly, most of our followers schism’d off to form their own church…or got jobs. It was fun while it lasted.

  29. Rand Paul is putting his beliefs in practice.

    The actual board costs money, and he figures that, if it really matters, then the public will stop coming to see him. It’s simple.

    It’s like how the public chooses to stop inhaling the air after going to an unlicensed surgeon or free market abortion providers get negative market results when their clients choose to stop coming back to life. Those dead people, blind people, and poisoned people will all cause such bad publicity that Rand will eventually have to change his ways… or his descendants will.

    Why don’t we liberals get it? The system works, and it’s better than regulation taking away the freedom of those people to be blinded.

  30. “But are we right to assume the American Board is a better board simply because it’s recognized 2,286 times more doctors?”

    No, the ABO is better because they actually require docs to pass a test before they are certified. I’d love to see what 8th-grade biology questions Rand had to answer to become ‘certified.’

  31. [re=599141]Geogre[/re]: I mean, after the patient’s dead that will be less of a source of income! Surely the doctor and pharmaceutical companies will try to avoid killing his patients if at all possible.


  32. I can See why people might be Blind to Dr. Paul’s shenanigans. Pupils of libertarianism set their Sights on what the candidate might do…rather than what has been done.

  33. He’s just living the American dream — Ron: “Hey little Rand, this is Amurika, where someday you might grow up and create your own eye-doctor board”

  34. [re=599152]AutomaticPilot[/re]: Just because you discovered these jokes in 3rd grade doesn’t mean they have an expiration date. “Haywood Jablome” will make me chuckle every now and then well into my seventies.

  35. Miracle Max: “Go away before I call the Opthamology Board.”
    R.P., severely bulked up to play Fezzik: “I’m ON the Opthamology Board.”
    MM (looking him up and down): “You ARE the Opthamology Board.”

  36. [re=599102]JMP[/re]: On the other hand, it does make a lot of sense. Who could possibly know more about Dr. Rand Paul’s qualifications than Dr. Rand Paul? Cut out the middle man, I say, and go straight to the source.

    It’s the American Way!

  37. [re=599147]Maus[/re]: Many viral and bacterial diseases work on the same principle. Why kill the host? But some bugs just go Galt.

  38. [re=599139]Dashboard_Buddha[/re]: Au contraire: After several adherents were burned at the stake, Our Lady of Spontaneous Combustion just went on-underground-line via the subterranean pipeline tubes. Their mailing list has doubled every week and grand priests have developed psychic abilities via a third nostril. And they have a third leg in their slacks.

  39. This is just another left-wing plot to undermine the Tea Bagger Movement. This man risked his life giving eye exams in the jungles of Vietnam, you bastards!

  40. [re=599187]Ducksworthy[/re]: “Many viral and bacterial diseases work on the same principle. Why kill the host? But some bugs just go Galt.”

    Of course! All that matters is that the libertarian drain their targets dry of as much resources as possible before the other libertarians can get to them.

    There is no reason for a long steady, equitable feeding in the Truly Free Market when so many hosts are available and fully immunodeficient. I mean, why offer gub’mint support when one parasite may attack the other parasites to maintain its full sway over the host?

  41. RAND: Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Government are the fucking American Board of Ophthalmology.
    P.F.J.: Yeah…
    JUDITH: Splitters.
    P.F.J.: Splitters…
    FRANCIS: And the Ophthalmology Board of America.
    P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
    LORETTA: And the National Board of Ophthalmology.
    P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
    RAND: What?
    LORETTA: The National Board of Ophthalmology. Splitters.
    RAND: We’re the National Board of Ophthalmology!
    LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Board.
    REG: National Board!

  42. [re=599152]AutomaticPilot[/re]: You are older than dirt and so am I. The first time I heard that one, the Orioles were in the World Series and most of today’s home-schooled militia all-stars hadn’t even been born.

  43. [re=599251]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]:

    1. Buy Domain Name from GoDaddy for $10
    2. Sit and wait for shit to hit fan
    3. ???
    4. Profit

  44. Do we need any further proof that libertarianism has failed? The basic premise is that businesses will stay honest because it’s in their best interests and we don’t need government to regulate anything. Now we find out that the crown prince of the libertarian movement has been deliberately misleading his own patients. Oddly enough, though, the people who call themselves “libertarians” are the same people who want strict government controls on the damages awarded in civil courts against those businesses who don’t stay honest.

  45. [re=599103]JMP[/re]: That sounds dangerous to me. If you go to an unqualified ophthalmologist you just lose your eyesight, but if your preacher flubs your wedding and you end up married to the wrong person, well that can get awkward.

    [re=599102]JMP[/re]: That would explain his ad campaign “Board certified: by my parents!”

  46. [re=599266]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Wow the parady website potential is enormous. I’m surprised there’s not a dozen Rand Paul Certification Mills already up and running.

    “I will certify anyone in any profession for $199.95!”

    I’m off to start my own certification board that certifies certification boards.

  47. [re=599280]comicbookguy[/re]: “I’m off to start my own certification board that certifies certification boards.”

    Turtles, all the way down.

    But yes, the sincere opinion of Paultards everwhere is that there will be certification boards that certify certifiers. Srsly.

  48. I like how this toupee wearing cocksucker is into appearing on television in his surgical greens, like he’s just come from cutting up somebody’s eyeballs, even though he can’t cut up anyone’s eyeballs because he’s not certified to set foot in a fucking operating room!

    Can’t we talk about something more interesting today? Something like Orly Taitz fucking would be much better. Let’s talk about how much “tighter and wetter” she is than the average bear.

  49. And this is the guy that wants to chop the tops off all the mountains in my home state? That’s probably the same method he uses during lazar surgery. I’m so don’t live there anymore.

  50. Twenty bucks says that the soon-to-be-eighth certified ophthalmologist is none other than Orly Taitz. Her CV was looking a little tattered after the election debacle and she thought another degree might just tidy things up.

  51. [re=599305]Dolmance[/re]: even though he can’t cut up anyone’s eyeballs because he’s not certified to set foot in a fucking operating room!

    Dr. Paul 1.graduated from med school and licensed in Kentucky 3.received post-grad training in optho, so he is legally can and does “cut up eyeballs.” So you are what is technically called “wrong.”

    OTOH, you know who also doesn’t have a certificate?

  52. [re=599294]Maus[/re]: Well, the sincere opinion of some of them. There’s really two types of Paultards. The True Believers- the ones who are convinced that Everything Will Work Out Fine, despite all evidence to the contrary, do sincerely believe that this will happen, and it will be okay. Then there’s The Cynical Selfish Fucks -exemplified here by Dr. Randall Paul- who really don’t give a fuck what happens, as long as they get theirs, and intend to abuse the fuck out of whatever system ends up being put in place, to make sure they do get theirs, no matter what. “Sincere” isn’t a term that should be used within miles of the latter sort, except in the sense that their only sincere belief is that they’re going to make buckets and buckets of money off the rest of you rubes.

    Basically, the former group is more Paultard than Randroid, and the latter group, (including Rand Paul), is vastly more Randroid than Paultard.

  53. [re=599317]JackDempsey[/re]: How statist/socialist! Dr. Rand Paul is a board certified ophthalmologist because HE says he is! Not because some socialist/fascist state government says he is! He shouldn’t need a license to engage in free enterprise! The CONSTITUTION doesn’t even grant the state of Kentucky the RIGHT to regulate OPHTHALMOLOGY! Heck, the US Constitution doesn’t even MENTION Kentucky! Is it even a state? Legally? How can it be if it’s not in the CONSTITUTION?

    And what could possibly go wrong with people certifying themselves? BP certified itself for drilling five miles under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s gone surprisingly well so far.

    Just because Dr. Rand Paul deliberately misled his patients doesn’t make him a bad doctor. It makes him a bad person. And the Free Market will regulate that. Right?

  54. [re=599323]mumblyjoe[/re]: There’s really no difference, though some of the latter *may* be more obvious about their “fuck you, i’ve got mine” stance, usually they all just pretend to be the former.

    I sincerely doubt that anyone believes that the market will be “fair” and “equitable” due to the invisible hand. All they’re concerned with is how soon they get to be a “captain of industry” and how many people they have to fuck over to get there (as if the invisible hand is zero-sum.)

  55. “And what could possibly go wrong with people certifying themselves? BP certified itself for drilling five miles under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s gone surprisingly well so far.”

    Also it would be ten times worse if the GUBMINT told BP what REGULATIONS were necessary for safety.

  56. [re=599037]canadasteve[/re]: Found a better opening…

    [re=599280]comicbookguy[/re]: The National Association of Earl Scheib Impersonators…

  57. As a certified member of the national board of psychologists and Time’s 2006 person of the year, I feel it is incumbent upon me to notify you that this man is fucking crazy.

  58. [re=599145]Third-hand Smoke[/re]: “I’d love to see what 8th-grade biology questions Rand had to answer to become ‘certified.’”

    He was tested by his Board’s vice president, his wife. She said, “Is it OK if I have a headache tonight, Dr. Paul?” He answered yes, and she said, “That’s the correct answer. You pass.”

  59. [re=599353]Dean Booth[/re]: Awesome. The Pauls are surprisingly terrible at the internet, for how good they seem to be at conning tech-libertarians out of their dough.

  60. [re=599112]mumblyjoe[/re]: In the US, as late as 2001 and probably still, not being UL listed, being certified by TUV (a German based certification company), or even being tested for FCC compliance by a third party is no impediment to sale for devices that require verification. At least in my experience. Granted, also in my experience lacking a valid license for Windows also hasn’t prevented the sale of computers. I can claim to be bright enough to have never done any of this. I just end up having to fix the problem when some quantity of excrement hits a set of rapidly rotating blades.

  61. [re=599360]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]:
    [re=599364]Dean Booth[/re]:
    Awww shit. Switch those comments with the sources.

  62. I’m board certified to be me and you can be me, too, if you send me, like, a certified check for ten million dollars. I will certainly certify that your certification will come with a pack of Certs.

  63. [re=599427]Dean Booth[/re]: It’s still available. Take it quick, before Randy gets wise to us and registers his own domain name!

  64. I love his idea of freedom.

    I’m going to take my Mercedes out for a spin down Pennsylvania Avenue at 150 mph because the traffic laws I’ve written for myself allow me to do that.

    Then I’m gonna go become an ophthalmologist.

  65. [re=599147]Maus[/re]: Ah, yes: they avoid harm because it pays well!

    That makes perfect sense, because it would never pay well to cause harm. That kind of situation simply never occurs. Right now, for example, BP is, I’m sure, saying that the damages they’ll be forced to avoid are proof that regulation wasn’t necessary, even as they tell their stock holders that it’s no big deal, because their avoiding paying for cleanups in Alaska and avoiding paying maintenance in… everywhere… allowed them to save more than enough to pay for this and still have a big return.

    In fact, I believe that Exxon basically told its share holders, after Valdez, that its prior “savings” had allowed them to have a cushion. This, of course, was a way of saying that they had dumped their dumps onto government and pocketed the savings. That’s “good business.”

    The first time I saw the documentary “The Corporation,” I thought it was a little paranoid. I don’t anymore.

  66. [re=599333]Maus[/re]: Oh, there’s a difference, though you’ll note I’m not commenting on the proportion of the two that exists in a natural setting.

    The thing is, the former group, if nothing else, is willing to let the thought-experiment run. They’re willing to point to trade groups as an example of what they’re talking about, and won’t go out of their way to sabotage the example by being assholes like this. In fact, they’re more or less willfully blind to the fact that other people [i]could[/i] manage to be assholes in this way, even after you point it out.

    I’m not saying they’re particularly bright people, and certainly, they think that they’re promoting an agenda that will improve their quality of life in some manner, but group number one wouldn’t sabotage their own examples of “how it could work”, just to avoid recertification and to scam a bunch of eye patients, is all.

  67. [re=599353]Dean Booth[/re]: I love it when a man puts his money where his snark is.

    Also, fuck the spelling. In a self-certified free market, we can spell any dman way we want.

    For the LULZ!!1!!

  68. [re=599270]Starrigavan[/re]: I’m current reading an excellent book about the American Revolution and its aftermath (“Revolutionaries” by Jack Rakove) and this was the premise of the Articles of Confederation. The Federal government regulated the states, the states could reject the laws if they didn’t agree with them, but they wouldn’t because the states wouldn’t be selfish and act only in their narrow self-interest.

    Didn’t work out so well – each state just went off and did what looked like would be best for it and screw the rest. So, now we have the Constitution, where the Federal government passes laws that regulate the people.

  69. [re=599280]comicbookguy[/re]: First you need certification from my International Board of Board Certification Certifications.

  70. [re=599317]JackDempsey[/re]: If he doesn’t need the Certificate, why did he go to all the trouble of starting a Board, hiring his parents to run it, and then going through the long and difficult process of certifying himself?

  71. [re=599637]comicbookguy[/re]: I’m confused – is that what the ref shows the player after the yellow and red cards – or before?

  72. [re=599560]NYNYNY[/re]: I think just about says it all for every teabagger in America.
    I wonder if he really does poke around at peoples eyes and if so if have ever been any problems? Owww.

  73. Funny blog entry here about Rand Paul, but please don’t put down the entire state of Kentucky by making jokes about dirt roads and what I can only suppose is your attempt at Southern dialects. Maybe you’ve never been to Kentucky, but we’re not all hillbillies, and we definitely don’t love Rand!

  74. “In 1995, Paul passed the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) boards on his first attempt and earned board-certification under the ABO for 10 years.

    Prior to this, in 1992, the ABO had changed their certification program, which had previously awarded lifetime certifications, instead requiring doctors to recertify every 10 years. Those who had already been given lifetime certification were allowed to keep it (according to the ABO, they would not legally have been able to rescind these certifications).[24] Shortly after this change, Paul began a campaign to protest it.”


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