Saturday, December 30, 2006

Healthy state of mind

Continuing with yesterday’s commentary. Something that I feel is important to cover involves educating the general population on proper utilization of healthcare resources. Yes, we have a problem with uninsured in this country, but in many areas there are access problems, especially with lawsuits driving docs out of business or into less “sue-happy” locations. This creates a void in healthcare availability and strains the remaining resources. Not only that, but a large portion of expense comes from Emergency Room visits by people who don’t have primary care physicians or don’t have insurance. So our ERs are seeing simple things like colds and sinus infections, incurring great costs that often go unpaid and leading hospitals to pass the costs on to those who are insured. This is a big problem and part of the solution involves changing our way of thinking. So here we go:

It’s not always abnormal to be sick. Everyone has been sick. It comes with being human. Whether you’re talking about bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis and in many cases otitis (ear infection), these are all things that we all obtain on multiple occasions throughout our lives. So, it’s not necessarily abnormal to be sick. In fact, I would say that it’s more abnormal to never be sick. Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do these things require the care of a physician. The vast majority will resolve on their own via our effective immune systems regardless of what one does to treat them. But that’s not the going opinion in the public. We seemed to have developed the mentality that sickness must not be allowed and must be treated immediately. It doesn’t matter that there is nothing the physician can do for these that can’t be done over the counter. What matters is that we don’t like to be sick and when we get sick we feel that sickness deserves attention. Hence, we go to the doctor. This isn’t necessary, and it’s extremely costly. I think society would do themselves a favor by learning that it’s best to leave the doctor’s office for people who aren’t just sick, but are REALLY sick. In the long run, it would benefit us all.

Pain is not unacceptable. This follows with the first point. We have all experienced pain. It’s also part of being human. Sometimes it’s an achy wrist, or a sore ankle, or a sore toe. Sometimes our hands hurt, our shoulders ache. Sometimes we get headaches. Sometimes we get back aches. This is all, arguably, part of a normal healthy human body. Pain is a defense mechanism, and when something like tendonitis or synovitis pops up, it’s the body’s way of telling us to take it easy on that wrist or that ankle until it heals. And it will heal. So why do we not tolerate pain? Again, there seems to be a mindset that any pain is unacceptable and must be eliminated right away. We no longer tolerate the minor aches that come with normal human activity. Again, this leads to unnecessary, expensive visits so the physician can tell us what our bodies are already trying to tell us…take it easy until it heals. But sometimes, patients are also told to take over the counter medications, which brings me to the next point.

Treat yourself first. We all know what to buy when we have a cold, or a headache, or an achy wrist. And if we don’t know, the local pharmacist will be glad to point us to the right aisle. Generally, an over the counter medicine will do the trick for that achy toe, or the nagging hemorrhoid, or the sore throat, or the occasional cough, and it will save a lot of money. Besides, do we really need a physician to tell us to take Advil or Nyquil?

An emergency is anything that poses an immediate threat to life, limb or eyesight. Unless directed by a physician or nurse, there is no other reason to go to the emergency room.

So we all need to learn how to properly utilize our health resources if we’re going to overcome the many problems that we face in today’s healthcare. The above suggestions may seem small, but if applied by millions the cost savings becomes substantial. On the flip side, until we all practice the proper behaviors, discussion of national health care or socialized medicine should be off the table. Right now, the only thing discouraged healthcare abuse is out of pocket cost for the patient. If we open the gates and provide free care for all…well, it would be fiscal suicide for the government. So let’s all learn the lessons. Tolerate that cold, it will go away within a few weeks. Tolerate that achy wrist, it will heal soon. Be your own doctor. Leave the ER for true emergencies. Maybe, if we cooperate, it will ease the burden on us all.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Healthcare - the answers to the "crisis"

The Dems are lining up for their respective presidential runs and based on the last election there is a good chance that a Democrat will be in the White House. What does that mean for folks like me in the medical community? Well, I think it means trouble.

There are some serious problems in America’s current health care system. No one can argue that point. However, our politicians seem to have a difficult time acknowledging the real problems we face. For some reason, Washington thinks that our only health care problem is the number of uninsured, and once that’s fixed then everything will be fine. Just get every citizen health insurance and the healthcare problems will vanish. Wrong.

What Washington doesn’t realize is that there are numerous problems facing those of us who have insurance, and those problems should be addressed first before insuring everyone else. Otherwise, you just add to the problem. Why give someone faulty health care. So I have included a few tips, in simple terms for our politicians, on how to fix America’s healthcare. First, the little things:

Ban drug company advertising for prescription drugs. This was a huge mistake by Congress. Why do people need to know about prescription drugs? Isn’t that what doctors go to school for? It may seem like a good idea on the surface, but what it does is create unnecessary visits for things that aren’t necessarily problematic. For example, a recent commercial says "talk to you doctor if you’ve ever had problems sleeping". Well, who hasn’t had problems sleeping? Now, patients are making appointments for things that aren’t pathologic but are rather normal human variations in health. The result: costs go up and access to care goes down. Not to mention the fact that drug companies are better spending this money on other things like research and development.

Impose strict malpractice reform. Trial lawyers must be reigned in. They are out of control and they are ruining our healthcare system. The fear of being sued among physicians is driving us to practice defensive medicine. Labs, tests and scans are being ordered mainly as cover, even when they aren’t exactly necessary. This drives up costs. And since it’s usually the lower socioeconomic class that tends to be sue happy, they obviously can’t afford the extraneous tests, and the cost gets passed to other consumers. Plus, malpractice insurance is becoming too expensive and it’s driving physicians out of practice, thus increasing demand for care and limiting access. We need to impose caps on damages and harsh penalties on plaintiffs attorneys who file frivolous suits, including forcing them to pay ALL court costs (including the defense) for any suit they lose. Do this, and malpractice lawsuits will drop substantially.

Stay away from socialized medicine. This simply doesn’t work in a capitalist environment. It’s way too expensive and will bankrupt the federal government. What would happen if healthcare were free for everyone? Long lines, poor quality, limited access and huge taxes. It’s not the answer.

Keep Health Savings Accounts. Luckily, Congress passed this before disbanding. Basically, this allows people to save money, untaxed, for healthcare reasons while purchasing a high-deductible insurance policy for the big costs. It’s a great idea and I hope the new Congress doesn’t sink it.

Lower taxes on corporations. We have free trade with many countries. The problem is that the taxes here are higher for corporations than they are oversees. The result is the outsourcing of jobs and the loss of health coverage. In order for free trade to work for us, we need to lower corporate taxes to attract more international business and keep domestic business here. That means more jobs are created and more people are insured.

Allow small business to pool their resources and purchase large corporate policies for their employees. Why hasn’t this been done yet? Likely because the insurance lobby is awfully powerful. Small businesses simply don’t have the income to provide quality insurance for their employees, mainly because purchasing plans for a dozen people is too expensive. The larger companies get discounted care because they bring in more customers. It’s not exactly fair, but that’s how private insurance works. Hey, they have to pay their own bills. So, why not let small businesses come together under one plan? Where is the hangup here?

Allow physicians to practice concierge medicine. Dr. Vic Wood of West Virginia offers patients unlimited primary and urgent care for $83 a month. UNLIMITED. This doesn’t cover hospitalizations, medications or specialist care, but at least it’s something. It certainly beats an $800 ER bill for a sinus infection. Doctors can do this and still make a living, and it helps ease the uninsured burden. Similar plans can be found throughout the country. The Family Practitioners have found a way to help people who need help. So what’s the problem? Well, in some eyes, this amounts to operating as an illegal insurer. Who’s complaining? The insurance companies. This method eliminates the middle man thereby taking away from insurer profits. So they have to respond with lower rates themselves. Such is the world of free enterprise and healthy competition. It’s good for the consumer. But the insurers are winning the fight and many docs are not able to provide this service for legal reasons. In fact, insurance companies are pressing state legislatures nationwide to impose regulations on these retainer fees that private docs charge. This must not be allowed. People need the care, so what if it means the private insurers have to work a little harder to compete with the docs. It’s about time we gave doctors the upper hand and more say in American healthcare.

So that’s it. That’s one doctor’s solution to our healthcare needs. It’s simple and relatively easy. But I’m not holding out any hope that Congress will do these things. It’s much easier for them to raise taxes through the roof and provide blanket coverage for everyone. Just remember what the late Gerald Ford said (pp): "What the government provides for us the government can also take away from us." Well said, Mr. President.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."
--Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 New International Version

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The decline of society

NYC birth rate declines – 88,000 abortions in 2005

88,000 abortions in one year in one city. Unbelievable. New York is now flirting with a negative birth rate, evidence of a decaying city and a decaying country. Europe is facing a similar situation. What happens to a country, especially a country with Social Security, when more people are dying than are being born?

As wonderful as Democracy and Capitalism are, there is one inherent problem with them…greed. And, by definition, greed is fueled by selfishness. So, the trade-off that comes from living in a free society with free enterprise and the right to pursue happiness is the threat of selfishness and greed. Let’s face it, just about every domestic issue we face today can by boiled down to these two things in one way or another. Rarely does a powerful democracy like our own come under external threat, and when it does that threat is often quickly disposed of because capitalist nations are usually the most wealthy which also means they have the most capable military. Such is the case with America. However, there is the internal threat…greed. And that internal threat can magnify the external threats.

For instance, consider the war on terror. The Islamofascists represent an external threat to our democracy. Many of us want to fight them, many don’t. Those that don’t cite some rather admirable reasons. They oppose war. They feel all disputes can be resolved peacefully. Truly admirable, but unrealistic. Many of these people are highly intelligent and it seems like they should be in touch with reality, but that’s not the case. Or is it? It makes me wonder if maybe these admirable reasons they cite for opposing war are true, or maybe, just maybe, they don’t like war because of the possibility that THEY may be called upon to fight as well? Could their opposition be selfish in nature? It’s a thought, but I digress.

So back to abortion. Regardless of how one rationalizes it, abortion itself is a very selfish act. A mother is putting her needs before those of her child. The same is true for deadbeat dads. 25% of America’s children are born without a father, we are raising a generation of illegitimate kids, and yet we scratch our heads and wonder how drug use, alcoholism, suicide, teenage pregnancy, depression and criminal behavior is on the rise in our kids despite the trillions of dollars we spend on social programs to fight these things. The answer is selfishness and greed. Such is the trend in American society. Zell Miller says this represents a "Deficit of Decency" in our great country, and I couldn’t agree more.

So we face a dilemma. Democracy and Capitalism are conducive to greed and selfishness. It’s hard to have the freedoms we have without that sort of trend. So what do we do? Clearly, Democracy is the best form of government for man. God has endowed us with free will and only democracy allows for such at its maximal potential. Man is meant to be free, no one can argue with that. So another form of government is not an option. So how do we combat the greed that comes with the freedom?

Our Founding Fathers knew the answer. Religion. The only way a free people avoid the greed that comes from freedom is to retain their virtue, and the best way to retain virtue is by maintaining their faith…being a religious society. "Faith requires freedom, freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith." This is the key principle to a successful democracy. These are the three pillars on which a prosperous nation must be built. If one fails, the others soon follow. Which of these are waning in America today? How is our virtue? How is our faith? How long will our freedom last?

I’m not advocating for a national religion. You can’t legislate morality. The change that must occur must occur at the social level. Basically, America needs a spiritual revival. We’ve deviated long enough from our spiritual heritage, the spiritual past that founded this country and made her strong, and now we’re beginning to suffer the consequences. This nation is eroding from within, and the point of no return is on the horizon. We are flirting with a negative birth rate. We refuse to fight back against the external threats. We are betraying our children. We are deferring to international law. We are selfish and greedy. Can America survive this way?
We’d better decide the answer to this question and fast, because if the answer is no then we don’t have a whole lot of time to fix things.

Al Qaeda knows who their allies are

Al Zawahri to Democrats:

"The first is that you aren't the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen -- the Muslim Ummah's vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq -- are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost…And if you don't refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate."

I can’t possibly add anything to that.

Al Qaeda in Iraq offers truce to allow US troops to pull out. Would anyone like to wager on how many Democrats will call for taking them up on that offer?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Trump-Rosie disgrace

Trump – O’Donnell exchange words of criticism

I try not to make it a habit to comment on what celebrities do or say. Basically, my view is "who cares?" So this is a slight deviation from my trend, mainly to point out how childish these people behave. Rosie O’Donnell has harshly criticized Trump for not dethroning Miss USA. This is fair criticism. Miss USA is supposed to be a role model and her behavior can potentially influence many young girls. Underage drinking and other questionable behavior on her part has led many people to want her crown taken away. Again, this is understandable. So, in that regard, I agree with Rosie. The problem is how she did it. I know this is Hollywood and ratings mean everything, and since she arrived on The View her controversial remarks have meant higher ratings for the show. But, she got personal in her criticism, pointing out his infidelity and previous failed marriages. That simply wasn’t necessary.

So what does Trump do? Well, he does the same. He resorts to name calling, especially in regards to her weight and physical appearance, and points out her sexual orientation…clearly uncalled-for. Now, he’s even threatening lawsuits. It won’t be long before we hear "liar, liar, pants on fire" or "I’m rubber, you’re glue." Honestly, I’ve seen better behavior among preschoolers. We’re talking about a real-estate mogul and a daytime television celebrity here, each showing they have the emotional maturity of a 4-year old.

But ratings will go up. The View will get more viewers, and Trump has a new show coming as well. People magazine and Entertainment Tonight will be drooling at the war of words, and American culture will erode a tiny bit more. Basically, this is good TV, however embarrassing it may be for people like me who wish there would be more coverage of those who don’t resort to such cheap tactics. I enjoy healthy debate, and Trump’s decision on Miss USA’s behavior should be the source for some of that healthy debate. But, we’ll hear more of the Trump-Rosie controversy and that will likely take away from the whole purpose of the argument: Should Miss USA keep her crown?

I have a theory. Trump is no fool. His "Apprentice" shows haven’t done quite as well lately and perhaps he saw Miss USA’s behavior as an opportunity to put himself back in the spotlight. I’m sure he knew he would take some criticism and planned on firing back with these kinds of remarks. The result: everyone is talking about Trump once again. Well, thanks in part to Rosie O’Donnell, mission accomplished. I, for one, will not be watching The Apprentice or The View. I’ll simply stick to people who are capable of civil discussion without being mean or hurtful.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seeking the truth or suppressing it?

British Lord demands US Senators resign

This is fascinating. Two US Senators, Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe (R-Maine) have sent an open letter to the Exxon-Mobile CEO telling him to cease funding of research that may contradict human-induced climate change. In their words, they insisted that he end funding of a "climate change denial campaign."

Here is a quote from the article: "The Senators labeled scientists with whom they disagree as "deniers," a term usually directed at "Holocaust deniers." Some voices on the political left have called for the arrest and prosecution of skeptical scientists. The British Foreign Secretary has said skeptics should be treated like advocates of Islamic terror and must be denied access to the media."

Denied access to the media? Did I read that correctly? And this is the British Foreign Secretary? Think about that for a moment and let it sink in, and if you have thoughts of fascism running through your mind then you’re not alone. What part of freedom of speech does this guy not understand?

If you’ve read this blog before, then you’ve seen credible scientific evidence that contradicts the "going opinion" that humans are changing the climate. Thus, human-induced climate change is not a foregone conclusion. In truth, no one knows the truth, and anyone who claims so is simply ignorant of the facts – what little facts there are. At the very least, what we need is more research to determine if human-induced climate change is real. I think that’s in all of our best interest. So why attempt to suppress that? What are these people afraid of? This behavior does nothing but help confirm my suspicion that human-induced climate change isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, otherwise the Senators would welcome more research that would certainly support what they believe. Regardless, it’s pretty scary to think that two of our elected representatives are basically trying to bully corporations into not supporting more scientific research that could give us all more answers to this very important question. They don’t appear to be acting in the people’s best interest, and I would welcome further investigation into what these guys are up to.

Meanwhile, the British Lord Monckton calls for them to basically put up or shut up: "I challenge you to withdraw or resign because your letter is the latest in what appears to be an internationally-coordinated series of maladroit and malevolent attempts to silence the voices of scientists and others who have sound grounds, rooted firmly in the peer- reviewed scientific literature, to question what you would have us believe is the unanimous agreement of scientists worldwide that global warming will lead to what you excitedly but unjustifiably call disastrous and calamitous consequences."

Ditto that. There is no room for this kind of behavior in American politics. So I will patiently wait for the New York Times and CBS News to join Monckton in this outcry. After all, they seem to be very offended at Bush’s supposed "suppression" of evidence as of late, certainly they will take similar offense at the actions of these two Senators. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Professional? Act like it

Today’s post takes a look at the world of sports. Anyone who follows professional sports closely is aware of the recent altercation involving the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets. For those of you who missed it, basically there was a playground-like shoving match that erupted into a full-scale courtside brawl between the two teams. Fortunately, there was no fan involvement as there was a few years ago when a similar fight spilled into the stands and involved some of the spectators, but the weekend’s fight was no less ridiculous.

Keep in mind these "men" are PROFESSIONALS, even if they rarely act like it. Because of this, at least in part, that means they are experts in their field and act as a teacher, consultant, performer or contestant. Look it up, it’s there in the dictionary word for word, and the word "teacher" is the one that stands out to me. In light of this recent behavior, I can say that I’ve seen better teaching at the local black-top pickup game. Regardless of how deserving or warranted, there are many people (mostly young people) who look up to and admire the "men" that engaged in this brawl. Some athletes may not want the admiration, but it’s there. Along with the paycheck comes role model status and there are few who live up to it.

If a doctor or lawyer were to behave in such a way, I think we all know what would happen. At best that person loses their license, or a part of their professional status, at worst they go to jail. But it’s different for athletes. They are allowed a certain level of social transgression, whether it be fighting or using illegal substances. Part of that tolerance comes from the lack of outcry from those who pay the bills – namely the fans – hence the reason for this post.

A large percentage of tomorrow’s generation is growing up without any paternal parental influence or involvement. This creates a void. Children must have some paternal influence for healthy development, studies have shown that time and again. Without it, or with the wrong type of influence, we run the risk of raising kids prone to deviant behavior. So the table is set in our society for some serious problems. Kids need some paternal influence to model a portion of their behavior after. If they don’t get it at home then many will get it from the athletes they idolize, the very athletes that are duking it out like a bad Saturday evening wrestling match when they should be acting like the professionals we’ve labeled them as. The result: a bunch of kids who think it’s OK to clock someone with your fist when things don’t go as you’d like them to. That’s why I’m speaking out.

This is true in all sports, but seems to be more of a problem in basketball. Maybe it’s because athletes are more likely to skip college, as has been the recent trend (although this isn’t such a problem with baseball players), or maybe because many of these talented players also grew up in broken homes and simply don’t know how to control their emotions and act like men rather than playground bullies. Who knows? But the fact is that the NBA has a serious problem they need to correct and fast. Part of the solution, I think, is to stop the high school-to-NBA transition. These kids need to learn a lot more than the fundamentals of basketball and if they don’t learn it at home, then maybe a college coach can teach them. Next, the NBA needs to punish this behavior…severely. When the players started fighting the fans, there were some season-long suspensions handed out. Obviously, the message wasn’t delivered. So, like in every other profession, I think behavior like this needs to threaten the athletes’ professional status. They need more than one season on the bench without pay, along with heavy fines and tons of community service. It’s not okay to behave like this if you’re a professional athlete. It’s time they started learning the lessons of life.

So, until some changes occur, I will be boycotting the NBA. I will not watch any games on TV, nor purchase any tickets. I will not buy any merchandise. If the NBA logo is on something, it will not be purchased by me. That’s the small little protest I can do and I encourage others who feel like I do to join me. Our kids need some role models…correction, some POSITIVE role models. If you get the paycheck, you get the role model status as well – act like it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Pope doesn't grasp the threat we face

Pope critical of US handling of war on terror

In a recent address, the Pope seemed to aim criticism at the US for its handling of the war on terror, stating that it was important for states to reaffirm humanitarian law. He then followed by saying that it was never right to wage war in God’s name. Thanks for clearing that up.

No disrespect to the Pope, but this is none of his business. I doubt he’d have the same attitude if a few jumbo-jets had been flown into the Vatican rather than the twin towers. We’ve already seen how the Pope deals with Muslim extremists in the way he quickly capitulated to their apology demands earlier this year. So it doesn’t surprise me to hear him criticizing America, much the same way our terrorist enemies and the appeasers that empower them do. That’s right…it’s America’s fault. I’m sure their all agreeing from Fallujah to Darfur.

And who is he talking to when he says don’t wage war in God’s name? Is anyone doing that other than the Muslim extremists? Perhaps if he wasn’t so quick to give in to their demands he could make his message stick. Now, the extremists see him as nothing but a pushover that will likely give in whenever they feel "offended".

And what about that sex scandal? Was anything done about that? It seems to me that there is some tidying to do in the Pope’s house before he can turn and criticize others, but that’s another post. The Pope is just another in a long line of people who seem to be jumping on the "America’s fault" bandwagon. But that’s alright. Criticize away. We can take it.

The Pope should maybe stop and think for a moment that if America dropped its weapons and let the Muslim extremists have their way, then the Vatican would be the first place they plundered. Well, maybe the second, after Tel Aviv. And Kofi Annan needs to do the same. I’m wondering, who else would do anything to stop these people?

America is the ONLY thing standing between a free world and a radical Muslim world, and the world seems to be siding against us. Is it stupidity? Naivety? Envy? Let’s hope, for the world’s sake, that America continues this fight because we’re the only chance the world has. So, what’s it gonna be? Let us fight the extremists, or let’s all grab a rug and bow down towards Mecca.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Senator Johnson

Senator Johnson suffers a stroke

First, my thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Johnson and his family as he struggles for life on the brink of the holiday season. Now, excuse me while I take some more shots at Washington.

It's disgusting to hear the primary conversation regarding Johnson's stroke involves who will control the Senate. This man has suffered a life-threatening condition. Can we put away the politics for a moment?

Have we, as a nation, become so polarized that we now salivate at power when one of our elected leaders falls seriously ill? Is that what we've sunk to? How about we take a moment and express just a tiny bit of concern for the man's health before we gamble for his robes. Such is the Romanization of American politics.

I'd like to know how the Senator is doing, but it seems that every media report circles around the balance of power shifting in the Senate. The mere thought of it is nauseating. It's not just the Democrats or the Republicans. Both parties are equally guilty. Lack of dignity is not a partisan trait.

It is my sincere prayer that Senator Johnson comes through this okay, and that he will be able to spend Christmas at home with his family. And as for the vultures and hyenas lurking in the American media and in American politics, I sincerely hope that none of you have to endure such a similar hardship. You all should be ashamed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Oh, the glass houses!

Emanual knew about Foley emails

Here is an interesting article that you aren’t likely to see in the New York Times or the Leningrad Times. Rahm Emanual (D-Ill), chairman of democratic congressional committee and incoming chairman of the democratic caucus, apparently DID have knowledge about the Foley-page emails, despite his previous denials. So, it doesn’t look like this was strictly a Republican scandal after all. Nevertheless, Dem operatives "shopped" the story to multiple newspapers right before the midterm election, obviously hoping to spark a scandal and tag the GOP as the corrupt party of Washington.

Does this really surprise anyone? It’s no coincidence that this broke right before the election. It’s certainly happened before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Foley got what he deserved and I hope he undergoes criminal prosecution. But what bugs me about the whole thing is the notion that it’s a Republican scandal, that the GOP is the corrupt party and that Denny Hastert should have resigned because he knew about the emails. I wonder if the same calls for resignation will be hurled towards Rahm Emanual. I’m not holding my breath.

Just last night, I heard Nancy Pelosi once again yapping about "draining the swamp" in Washington. Apparently she wants to clean up that town, which to me means that her first action would be to resign her elected position, along with every other member of Congress. But we all know that won’t happen. So the next best thing would be avoiding the typical hypocrisy that comes along with the job, which also is not likely to happen. Nope, we’ll have another 2 years of the same ol’ garbage and not a whole lot will change, except maybe our tax brackets.
Ben Franklin once said, "No public office should be so profitable as to make it desirable."

Perhaps that should be bronzed and placed at the entrance to both Congressional chambers, because until our elected leaders start living by that standard, nothing in Washington is going to change.

Monday, December 11, 2006

McKinney...the disgrace

McKinney proposes impeachment bill on last day of Congress

Thanks to my friend at Church and State for reminding me not to let her get away without a few words. I'm usually careful to show respect for elected representatives regardless of my disagreement with their policy, but I'm gonna have to bend the rules a little and thunder away at this sorry excuse for a "distinguished madam". Cynthia McKinney has set a standard for a new low in political behavior. On the last day of Congress, she proposes a bill of impeachment of George Bush. Now, what did that accomplish? Was she using her office in a respectable manner? No, it was nothing but cheap politics.

In a city full of imbeciles, Cynthia McKinney has risen above them all as the Queen Moron, and that's saying a lot considering her company. This woman has no more business representing hard-working Americans in Washington than Cindy Sheehan, whose tactics mirror those of McKinney. Which leads me to wonder, who actually voted for this woman? I never thought there were so many clueless voters in Georgia.

Let's review. In order for impeachment to occur, there must be evidence of the President breaking the law. Can anyone provide this evidence? I challenge Ms. McKinney to do so, and if she is unable then she should be held accountable. I'm tired of politicians behaving like children, no offense to all the children, many of whom have a better sense of decency than the cowards that call themselves Congressmen. I've yet to see ANY proof of Bush breaking the law, and believe if it were there we'd see it, yet I do believe that assaulted a Capitol police officer is a crime. Should we hold McKinney to the same standard as Bush? If so, she'd be unemployed.

Cheap politics does NOTHING....absolutely NOTHING for this country and it needs to stop NOW! And for the voters out there, we need to stop electing and re-electing people who behave this way. Good grief! What would our Founding Fathers have to say about the antics of our beloved Congress today? And for McKinney, who claims to champion civil rights, would Dr. King approve of this behavior? Of course not, because he had class, a trait that is becoming scarce in Washington. Shame on you all.

A new Congress takes seat in the new year, let's hope and pray they miraculously decide to take their offices seriously and start representing the people of this country and ditch the petty political nit-picking.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fight back or not

Bill Clinton supports dialogue with Iran

Mr Cut-and-Run himself thinks the way out of Iraq is with Iran's help. Of course he thinks that. Does anyone remember how fast he got us out of Mogadishu? The bodies of the dead Rangers weren't even cold when he ran - tail between his legs. Yet, he thinks he knows the way out of Iraq.

I'm sure Iran can be of assistance. I'm sure they'd love to help out. If we leave the area without a stable Iraq, or with a quasi-Iranian puppet regime in power, then Ahmadinejad and his Iranian goons become THE dominant force in the Middle East. Is that what we want? Am I the only one thinking long-term here?

Does it bother anyone else to know that Iraq is THE battle-front, the front line, in the war on terror, and that it is one of the main things keeping the terrorists in the Middle East and NOT in North America? What happens when we lose that battle-front, not to mention lose it prematurely in a defeated manner? My guess is, within one year there will be another major attack here.

But I am a majority rules kind of guy and 71% of the folks want out. Okay. I'll go along. But I WILL say "I told you so" the next time we're hit and those 71% are staring aimlessly wondering what happened. We need to decide something. Either we fight back or we don't. Either we wage war on these people or wait for them to do the same to us.

Clinton has made his decision. Is he right?

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm back!

I have returned from vacation. Hope you all did not miss me too much. I tried to leave a more thought provoking post so you could have an entire week to chew on it. But I'm back now, please don't applaud too loudly. Today, it's a look around the headlines.

Britney says she went a little too far

First, I don't really care about Britney Spears. I have never had any concern for her of her annoying attempts at making music. So when she flashes her crotch at people, it doesn't really spark any thoughts from me except one: how closely does Britney Spears come to being an accurate example of how today's generation raises their children. I've seen the pictures of the car seat controversy and the film of her nearly dropping her kid after stumbling - mainly because her other hand was occupied by a beverage of some sort. And now this. Today's generation just doesn't know how to raise kids, they're simply too selfish for it. Case in point, Britney loves media attention so much that she obviously doesn't care how flashing her crotch may affect her kids one day. You're a mother, Britney, you need to start acting like it. Indeed, so do many of us.

Dems may block pay raise

Once again, Congress is due for another pay raise. I guess they don't get paid enough for working 3 months a year, sitting on their butts when they're not playing golf or taking money from lobbyists, and generally wasting tax payer money. What they make now is not enough to cover their private jet book writing lifestyle. It's a tough job and I guess they feel they should be paid appropriately. If that were true, then they'd OWE us money, but this is politics in Washington. So, I find it intriguing when the Dems start talking about canning the pay raise for this year. Sounds great, and regardless of their motive I tip my hat to them. But if they want to impress me they should make the pay raise every two years and put it on the ballot. If we are the "boss" then we, the voters, should decide if our Congressmen get a raise.

Senate rivalry beginning to brew

Barak Obama is Hillary's worst nightmare. At one time, she had the '08 Dem nomination wrapped until this guy mentions that he might run and suddenly she is old news. She's worried and she has good reason. Obama is a great candidate. I may not agree with him politically, and there isn't much chance that he would get my vote (unless McCain ran against him), but I have to admit that he has the likability and charisma that could put him in the White House. Not only that, but he'd eat Hillary's lunch in a debate. Watching her squirm would be a lot of fun.

Forecaster sees busy 2007 hurricane season

Hmmm, where have I heard this before???

Friday, December 01, 2006

What will become of our freedom?

America is losing its morality, and its identity as a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Just one glance at recent headlines and one will be hard-pressed to formulate an argument against this notion. But if you want more, just read David Limbaugh’s book Persecution, and you’ll discover what is happening to Christianity in America.

In Fairfax County, VA, a Church was denied a noise ordinance waiver to allow its bells to ring as they have for many years. Now, the bells will be silenced because of noise complaints. In New York, a local school board has ruled that displays of the Nativity scene will not be allowed on school grounds, but they will allow the Jewish Minorah and the Muslim Crescent. Several retail stores have openly come out with statements that they will NOT instruct their employees to say Merry Christmas, preferring the "more inclusive" happy holidays greeting. Rep Keith Ellison, America’s first Muslim congressman, has refused to take the oath of office on the Bible. At William & Mary College, a cross has been ordered removed from the main chapel despite being present for over a century. In Turkey (yes, I know its not America, but it follows the trend), the Pope is being hailed for ‘praying toward Mecca’ while visiting a Mosque. These are just from the past few days. Is this a trend for America, and the world? I think so.

First, Rep Ellison. Yes, he has the right to take the oath of office with the Koran and not the Bible. The Constitution guarantees him that and I respect his personal beliefs enough not to condemn him for it. So the question isn’t a matter of could he, but more should he? If he takes the oath on the Koran, how will the radical Muslims view this?

And the Pope? I know that he is hoping to reconcile with the Muslim community. I know that he wants peace between all religions. His intentions are pure, but how will the radical Muslims view his actions?

And what about the every day occurrences in small town America? When a school board bans the nativity, but allows the Muslim Crescent, or when a town silences church bells, or a college removes a century-old cross from its chapel, how does the radical Muslim community – those we are at war with – view these changes?

I think it empowers them. These people are intent on global domination with purpose that mirrors the Nazis, the Italian Fascists and the Soviet Communists, but slightly different. Those dark forces wanted to govern the world with tyranny, the forces of the radical Muslims seek religious dominance. Their intent is for ALL people to worship their god and none other and anyone who refuses will be killed. Just look at what’s happening in Europe, and you can easily see the effects of their bullying. They are strong-willed, much stronger than the waning Christian base in that part of the world and the result is a gradual Muslimization of Europe. In short, Europe is becoming a Muslim continent because their suppression of Christian ideals has left a religious void that is slowly being filled by the more vocal and more vibrant Muslim extremists.

Is America next? We may have a strong Christian base, but society has clearly turned against that base. This can be seen most clearly in the media, the courts and the universities. Anti-Christianity is now the only acceptable form of discrimination in this country. So are we creating a void in America similar to Europe? And, if so, who will fill that void?

The war we are waging is not a religious war, thankfully so because the Christian religion forbids conversion by force. Instead, Christians are commanded to spread the Word of God and provide others with means of free-will conversion. The idea of free-will is critical to the Christian faith, not so in the Muslim world, where they are literally commanded to "convert or kill". This can be found in any number of Koran passages. So Christians are immediately at a disadvantage in any religious war. The only way we can possibly protect our religion is to protect our freedom to practice that religion openly, to protect our right of free-will. It’s this free-will that has become the target of the Muslim extremists.

So is America showing a desire to protect the free-will of Christianity? Some may say that ‘separation of church and state’ does that, but the ones who say that aren’t Christians. While it is vital for America not to recognize an ‘official’ religion, it is also vital that America protect its Judeo-Christian principles on which it was founded. Without those principles, the concept of democracy and free-will become obsolete but Christianity is one of the few religions that holds free-will sacred.

Os Guinness once said, "Faith requires freedom, freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, and so on ad infinitum." Where do we stand on virtue? Where do we stand on faith? If these are waning, then what will become of our freedom?