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Monthly Archives: November 2013

As per family tradition, each year when my family and I sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, I devise a short passage on giving thanks for what we are thankful for and read it aloud before the first bite of turkey.  I would like to share with you yesterday’s (11-28-2013).:

 

TurkeyOnce again it is time to give thanks and as always, we have a lot to be thankful. As always the poor and the needy are in our thoughts and prayers.

Earlier this month, I attended a relative’s 100th birthday party. I don’t know the secret to living to be 100 years and I doubt there are any mathematical formulas that can get any of us there, but Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle sums it up best:

The fraction of life can be increased in value not so much

by increasing your numerator as by lessening your

denominator. Nay, unless my Algebra deceives me, unity

itself divided by zero will give infinity.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013.

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Republican ElephantWhat is the real reason Obamacare is failing? The cruelest blow the the aorta of the American character is the broken promise that those happy with the status quo could keep their current health insurance through their employer or other payer system. For every uninsured person that acquires health insurance via Obamacare, forty-four receive cancellation notices from their current carrier siting their policy is below Obamacare standards.

The other hot topic is the Obamacare website, healthcare.gov, an never-ending entourage of glitches and malfunctions. Albeit the laws are in tact, most Americans cannot access it. Millions and millions of Americans have to be able to access the site at the same time and now even more as those whose insurance is being canceled have to use the site as well.

No matter how they band-aid the system during the remainder of Obama’s presidency, the bottom line is immortality is not a virtue with respect to what was never intended to exist in the first place. Sure, you have to be plum loco to not want to be insured, but we are still a free country and we have no right to force people into this against their will. With a budget deficit in the deca-trillions and no true source of funding except for IOUs from China, as it were, the Democrats plan is to allure healthy people with adequate insurance into the Obamacare system to pick up the tabs of the sickly uninsured. This goes totally against the grain of freedom and democracy. I admit, The Affordable Health Care Act was created with good intention. So I ask you, what is the road to Hell paved with?

The answer is what Rick Santorum suggested during his 2012 presidential campaign to issue health care vouchers. This would be a true affordable health care act, making private sector insurance affordable to those who cannot afford it and not require insured patrons to make any changes. The issues of pre-existing conditions and insurance companies screening for healthier customers can be handled by passing federal statutes. It amazes me that regulation and deregulatiojn exist only on the extremes—either do nothing or create extensive government regulatory commissions that require extensive staffing who often abuse power and misappropriate funds. Our Founding Fathers said we are a free country and we are a nation of laws. Statutes or laws enforced by law enforcement, not by creating superfluous committees that run up the deficit. The ultimate acid test is, if there is too much for law enforcement to handle, there is too much regulation, and it is time to scale-back.

The other vertex in this triangle nobody seems to want to address is the medical profession itself. Why does an emergency room charge $75 to give a patient two aspirin tablets and send him on his way? Why does it cost $500 to $1,000 to receive, not a CT or MRI, but a traditional X-ray with an X-ray machine manufactured in 1985—the bill long paid for? Why do doctors charge hundreds of dollars more than the treatment or examination and hundreds of dollars more than required to pay their operating costs? There are several components into answering the question, but there is one common denominator that applies to all, because an insurance company is paying for it.

If we lived in an insurance-less world, doctors and hospitals would charge much less. Their innate greed would not dissipate, but they would go out of business of less than half the population could afford their services. Contrary to popular belief, nobody dealing in necessities (as opposed to luxuries) can stay in business in less than half the population can afford their goods and/or services. In 1688 (325 years age), the Lloyd Brothers (Lloyds of London) opened a Pandora’s box that can never be closed as long as mankind inhabits the Earth. All we can do is provide the most peaceful coexistence between that Pandora’s box and living in a free country. Kudos to Mr. Obama, but this is not the way.

American-Flag1As most Americans get ready to dine in front of a groaning board and celebrate the Pilgrims colonizing the New World, the Thanksgiving season of 2013 has a different,more somber meaning to the past generation.

 President John F. Kennedy was slain on this day in Dallas, Texas. Before the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter were a gleam in any technocrat’s eyes, with modern television in its infancy, America, and for that matter, the world, saw the beginning of mankind depending less on print media for news and information. At least those of us who are literate and give a cr#p about what is going on in the world. This day began an eternal journey of determining if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or part of a conspiracy; we’ll never know for sure. But the statement that impacts me the most is the day America buried its innocence forever! Because this statement is a half-truth. To varnish and paraphrase the late Charles Dillon (Casey) Stengel, [America’s innocence] is not a has-been, it’s a never-was!” What was lost forever on 11-22-1963 was our ability to sweep it under the rug.

 Before the Kennedy assassination, we considered many (not all) of our presidents to be heroes of some sort, demigods. After JFK we experienced Nixon and Watergate, Clinton and his extramarital affairs, and George W. Bush accused of getting elected president due to the breakdown of the electoral system in the state of Florida. Not to mention, the decline and fall of brotherhood in Washington with members of different political parties sworn enemies. Truth be told, the corruption of our elected leaders go back to our Founding Fathers. This is why I say drink from the fountain inherited to us from them, but don’t become them.

 Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, wrote in the Declaration of Independence, All men are created equal, yet Jefferson refused to relinquish his slaves. George Washington, our first president, has several extramarital affairs, giving expanded meaning to signs reading GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE and to the term Father of our Country. The White House and the Capital Building were built by slaves.

 Abraham Lincoln was not against slavery for most of his life, until he got elected president in 1861 and it worked to his advantage with the Civil War looming. There is no record that Lincoln ever owned a slave, but then again, he was poor. I cannot afford a BMW but I am not against BMW automobiles. Lincoln also used marijuana to ease his tension. Albeit it was not illegal back then, in fact when Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta, Georgia, its kick came from cocaine rather than caffeine. Still and all, legal or not, side effects or none, it still violates that principle of escaping from one’s problems instead of facing them head on.

 In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the media was limited to weekly and monthly newspapers and this pseudo-news never came to print in regular newspapers.

 Franklin Delano Roosevelt had an affair with Eleanor’s social secretary Lucy Mercer. Unlike Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Lucy Mercer affair all but destroyed FDR’s marriage. Lucy discouraged Franklin from divorcing Eleanor an putting their five children through divorce as she did not want to live the rest of her life with that guilt trip. A far more damning affair pre-JFK versus post-JFK, yet FDR’s affair was easily swept under the rug and FDR is looked at by many historians as one of the nation’s greatest presidents. The Clintons are vexed to this day by his mishap.

 America was, is, and will be for the foreseeable future the greatest country in the world and the greatest nation God ever allowed to come to being. But it is not perfect and far from innocent, even when it was being founded. The only difference is today, with the social media, even Job would not get elected president and leave in eight years squeaky-clean.

 What keeps America in check with the world is that our elected leaders fall into the first half of John Locke’s statement, but not the second. Our elected leaders are empowered and Mr. Locke tells us power corrupts. All power corrupts. On a planet owned and operated by Satan, the weakest, kindest, innocent person once empowered, will succumb to some temptation. Everyone that lives, lived, and ever will live except for Jesus himself has and will fall short of complete glorification of God. By maintaining freedom and democracy, we avoid the second half of the Locke prophesy: absolute power corrupts absolutely. The saving grace is America will never allow any one person to have absolute power. With the media moving at lightning speed, with rumors and lies traveling halfway around the world faster than the truth can buckle its boots (Winston Churchill), no future U.S. president will ever achieve the greatness we associate with men like Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. But if we understand even The Greats were not all that great, we will survive as a nation. America will be prosperous again, but it will never be young again (paraphrasing Daniel Patrick Moynihan).

American-Flag1I typically like to fill my blog with the classic It’s the Veteran critique on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, which exploits First Amendment rights giving our war veterans the real credit for these rights and what makes America what it is (and still is). If the living veterans and fallen heroes did not make the sacrifices they did, there would be no preachers, no reporters, no poets, no lawyers or politicians or anyone empowered to administer our inalienable rights. They would exist, but they would be subservient to a dictator of a non-free country. For a change of pace, I utilized the piece and added a few more for the twenty-first century.

 

It’s the veteran, not the school

who has given us the right to an education.

 

It’s the veteran, not the college professor

who has given us the right to pursue a good-paying career.

 

It’s the veteran, not the employer

who has given us the right to earn, save, and spend money.

 

It’s the veteran, not the relator

who has given us the right to buy a home and raise a family in it.

 

It’s the veteran, CERTAINLY not the politician

who has given us the right to build the Greatest Nation in the World.

 

It’s the veteran, not the 401K administer

who has given us the right to a comfortable retirement.

 

It’s the veteran, not Mark Zuckerberg, and not Williams, Doresy, or Stone

who has given us the right to express ourselves publicly on Facebook and/or Twitter.

 

It’s the veteran,

who salutes the flag,

who serves under the flag.

 

Eternal rest grand them O Lord,

And let perpetual light shine on them.

 

Have you thanked a veteran today?