Posts Tagged With: Politics

Where’s the Love

Growing up, I was always told I would be a preacher or politician. I am a gay Agnostic, so that pretty much eliminates both of those possibilities. But I have realized that I do have my little blog here to preach MY message. The LoveFew read, but I can feel I am trying to be a part of the civil discourse. Now, The Black Eyed Peas have a position of influence… and they are using that by releasing an updated 2016 version of their 2003 hit “Where’s the Love?” Celebrities appearances mixed with heart wrenching images makes me ask where is empathy, sympathy, and concern for others and our society. In 2003, I am ashamed to admit I remember more dancing to the song than listening to it.

Part of being Agnostic for me is I am ok with saying I don’t know. People confuse being Agnostic with being Atheist, but I feel Atheist have the same certainty there is NO God as Religious people do that there IS a God. Being Agnostic, I can say not only I don’t know, I can say – I don’t care. I don’t have to BE right… even though I do think I am right! (lol) Why do we have to have an absolute RIGHT side of EVERY issue? Living in the middle I get FRUSTRATED when Christians try to legislate how I as a gay man can live, and justify their “right” to not make gay wedding cakes because of THEIR beliefs. I am ANGERED by Islamic extremist that use terror as a means to associate that message with ALL Muslims to attempt to control lives of others. I am AGGRAVATED that we as a society look at issues only from our point of view and how it impacts us.

OmranThe photo of 5 year-old Omran Daqneesh sitting in the back of an ambulance in shock, wounded by a bomb that struck the building where his family lived is HAUNTING! I actually heard someone on tv say why had his family not fled, why did they stay in a war torn town. If I had been able to talk through the tv, I would have suggested the father may have seen the 2015 image of the lifeless toddler Aylan Kurdi on the beach of the Turkish resort of Bodrum, whose family had attempted to flee the Syrian war.

These images are events that happened about a year apart and in Mockthat year, US Presidential candidate Donald Trump was ranting about the threat of accepting Syrian refugees (and I like to remind people that this is also an asshole that feels it is acceptable to mock disabled people). He worries about the possibility of “terrorist” being able to use this as a way into the United States. I say the terrorists are here… they are the people cheering Trump’s hateful rhetoric. Britain is so frightened that they voted to leave the European Union based MOSTLY on fear of immigrants. How can ANY American look and these images and not be more terrified of the idea of doing NOTHING, not HELPING? When our society has become so cold, callused, and afraid of doing what is right, what is the danger of a Trump Presidency? We are accepting our fates to be isolationist that care ONLY about ourselves! I will FIGHT for what’s right and that, for me, means fighting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Even as much as I may not like Hillary Clinton… she does understand the basics of what’s right.

It’s not even like we have to look internationally to see issues that are no brainer issues that have become divisive. black-lives-matterWhy are so many white people so offended by the “Black Lives Matter” movement? It is as if they are so afraid of black people that they have to embolden the idea that there are NO bad cops and that “Black Lives Matter” hates cops. When the African-American population is disproportionately impacted by violence, poverty and incarceration, it is a sad refection on all people to act as if that issue does not exist. Americans HAVE such a need to react to “Black Lives Matter” with “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” because it is easier to be divisive and not listen, ignore or even blame the messenger. Or are they so color blinded that they think the idea of “BLACK Lives Matter” is to the exclusion of other races? Why are we as a society so afraid to agree that “Black Lives Matter” without having to dilute the message before listening or attempting to look or work on the issue?

B E AwareI am a white guy and what makes me a little different is that I can acknowledge I have benefits because of white privilege. I know when I am pulled over by a cop, I am privilegeuncomfortable, but not afraid. I KNOW there are great cops! But that does not blind me to the evidence that there are some BAD cops and that some of those “bad cops” have gotten away with murder or at least manslaughter. A crooked justice system that gives bad cops a pass only endangers the good, honorable, and admirable cops. I wonder if Americans were to answer honestly if they would admit that cops over use their authority to a point of intimidation? Innocent black men have died just in the process of being arrested for minor violations. But a lot of white America cannot even acknowledge this injustice or acts as if it doesn’t exist.

Etan

Ethan Couch

Two BIG white boy cases that OFFEND me to my core are Ethan Couch and Brock Turner. Ethan Couch killed 4 people driving drunk. He was drinking under age, had stolen the beer from WalMart, his blood alcohol was over 3 times the legal limit for adult drivers, speeding with 7 passengers in his father’s pickup (one of the passengers was paralyzed in the accident also), and tested positive for marijuana and Valium. Ethan’s lawyer argued that poor Ethan suffered from “Affluenza”. Affluenza has nothing to do with the flu… but basically is a condition brought on by

Brock Turner

Brock Turner

too much affluence, he grew up rich and did not understand his actions had consequences. He ended up sentenced to probation and therapy. Look Ethan Couch up on Wikipedia for even more details of his white privilege granted via the US justice system. While the 2nd guy Brock Turner needs less discussion, he was convicted of raping an unconscious girl and was only sentenced to 6 months in jail and only had to serve 3 of those months.

These 2 assholes were convicted and paid no real penalty. In 2015 alone, over 100 unarmed African-Americans were killed by cops… key word “UNARMED”. Only 10 of these incidents resulted in charges and only 2 led to convictions.* In the same year (2015) there were 36 non-accidental firearm fatalities for US law enforcement.** We all know ALL lives matter, but we should see that this issue unjustifiably impacts one community more than the other! But for some reason, people do not listen and find ways to justify status quo.

Status quo is not acceptable anymore! We have to find the love! I wanted a Hollywood ending for this post… I tried. I The futuresearched for more recent photos of Omran. I wanted to see a photo of him well, happy, running and playing. But there is no “updated” happy ending for these issues I am struggling to understand. But to keep me motivated to find the love… I need the haunting image of Omran. At times, that photo comes to mind and I think… Omran is someone’s child, brother, nephew, cousin, buddy… he is more than that photo. I keep thinking of that photo and as I play with my blonde-haired, blue eyed, great-nephews that also have Arab last names. I have to do something so that their world is better! I hope to influence them with good, principled ideas, and there are NO more cases of “Affluenza” (or asshole lawyers that even consider ignorance a defense)! I hope that they will know a better, welcoming, loving America and be a part of a society that WANTS to help and protect ALL lives – especially the ones that don’t have the same privileges as others regardless of color, nationality or socioeconomic status. I hope they will not understand why TWICE The Black Eyed Peas felt the need to sing, “Where’s the Love?”

Where

*http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/

**https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/04/police-deaths-2015-law-enforcement-safety

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We ALL Lose

We All Lose

I have never been shy to share my thoughts about politics. That has not changed. What has changed is my FEAR about political outcomes. I have thought myself rational and even when faced with opposing views may have felt challenged but not afraid. What is frightening to me about this 2016 presidential election is that I can’t defend “my” own candidate of choice, I can only say that her opponent scares me more.

I have joked that I voted for the lesser of two evils most elections but the choices here are Obamathe most extremes of evil I have had to choose from. I like President Obama but grew frustrated with the stalemate between the executive and legislative branches of government. With either candidate… America will have even more of that. If Hillary wins without Democrats also winning control of the legislative branch NOTHING will change. I will also bet there will be paralyzing scandals. Donald has so little support from his own Republican party that if he wins… stalemate becomes standstill and then standstill will become a stagnate pool of festering malice!

Hillary Clinton is definitely qualified to be president, but she is SUCH a politicianimpeachment by nature, I don’t trust her. I expect her term(s) to be scandal filled, lest we forget history!  Her political ambitions make her seem to follow polls instead of having real leadership abilities. Where was she during the gay marriage debate? She was waiting for the poll numbers to show a 51% support before she could also support it. Her husband’s administration brought America DOMA (Defence Of Marriage Act – ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court June 2015) AND Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (repealed in 2010) and his impeachment (without removal from office). Where as Donald Trump has NO qualifications to be president. Running a supposedly successful business is not a qualification to be president nor is being a reality tv star. If his business IS so successful, why won’t he release his taxes? Again, he can’t be trusted. He campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” is offensive. America IS great and someone that thinks it is not should not be running for president.

My biggest disappointment this election cycle is that I did have a candidate that I could Bernietrust, that I felt had true intentions to do good for Americans – Bernie Sanders. I resent Hillary and see her as power-hungry. She has a net worth over $80,000,000. Along side Bill’s $120,000,000 makes them worth $200,000,000. Politicians can’t be worth that and not OWE someone favors or relate to the everyday struggles of most Americans. Donald Trump’s wealth is disputed as to what he claims, what journalists report and what his supporters believe. Bernie Sander’s had a net worth of $500,000 after more than 25 years in politics, a lot by my standards but still not enough to have corrupt influences.

How many presidents were millionaires before taking office? In the last 100 years only 3 presidents had less than $1,000,000 before office: Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry Truman*. That is 63 years since someone was even close to being representative of a typical American lifestyle in the White House.

ThroneIncome inequality is the greatest threat to our democracy and Bernie is the only candidate that campaigned on that issue. Now he is out, even for Hillary it is no longer addressed as a major issue. How can Donald Trump even pretend to understand an average American’s life and struggles? The photo on the right is when he and Pence were interviewed on 60 Minutes. Who the hell has such tacky, gaudy furniture? Oh… I see!  lol  What I see in the photos is also what scares me… Donald Trump has the same temperament to be president as Gadhafi and Hussein. The US democracy is like Citizens United, money = voice. So those without money are not heard and understandably lose interest in a representative government that no longer represents them.

PoorlyUntil Americans stop voting for president like they would a popularity contest, we will continue to be stuck with candidates that can and will say this, “I love the poorly educated.” Yes Trump not only said that out loud, he said it as part of his victory speech in Nevada, February 24, 2016.  So thanks to an uninformed populace, we have a choice between unqualified, Mean Girl Donald Trump and MS I will not be able to get anything done Clinton.

SupportMy fear of Trump is not only him, but his supporters. How can they not see his vitriol? Watch the video link below of him mocking a disabled journalist… they laugh! Trump says he is a great negotiator… is this the man you want representing the US in negotiations?

To sum this up… I am a disgrundled Bernie supported who begrudgingly supports Hillary because Bernie Sanders did not win, and Donald Trump scares me. My vote for Hillary will be a vote for the lesser of two evils. As Americans, we are losing democracy by continuing to vote for evil of any kind, but it’s my civic duty!  lol

https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/us-news/video/2015/nov/26/donald-trump-appears-to-mock-disabled-reporter-video

*(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Presidents_by_net_worth)

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Losing Favor Over a Promotional Sweepstakes

When I am asked what I write about in my blog, I have usually listed politics, religion, social issues, travel, and whatever is on my mind. Now I have had over 50,000 Let's Let Al Unser, Sr. Answer Thatpeople view my posts here, I see the posts that are about businesses or services that I have written about are just as popular. So now I add consumer advocacy to my list of topics. This post describes how a product/business that I liked A LOT has lost favor with me over a sweepstakes. There was a time that entering my sweepstakes was an easy and pleasant way to pass my time whether I am down because of my Multiple Sclerosis or just passing some time with the hopes I could win something. Winning “The Fastest Seat In Sports” sweepstakes from http://www.shophonda.com last year was a highlight that has kept me motivated to keep entering sweeps. But now I know that little thought is put into how some sweepstakes are set up and designed. It makes me wonder, have sweepstakes designers ever consulted with a “sweeper” (a name I call people like me that enter lots of sweepstakes) about the sweeps they are designing?

An example of a poorly designed sweeps and prize, I highlight the “Take Off With Biscoff” sweepstakes (http://takeoff.votigo.com/takeoff). This is a sweeps that checks off Biscoff Sweepsmany of my bad sweeps pet peeves. Peeve 1 – Making it seem simple, but it is not! It says, “You can WIN A TRIP by Biscoff Photo Rulesuploading a photo. Tell us how Biscoff Cookies – The Airline Cookie – elevates your day! Upload a photo showing how you enjoy Biscoff Cookies, for a chance to win a Trip for two to Europe and more prizes“. This seems simple enough… but check out the photo of the entry requirements for the photo – WAY too many to mention! All of this just to enter. Yes it is best to “study” ALL of the rules so you can enjoy their promotion!  lol

Peeve 2 – “Public  voting”. After someone jumps the hoop to get entered… then you only think Biscoff Determinationyou are at the mercy of the public to vote if your entry even makes the gallery. Then it is only a competition for people who have skills that make their entry more interesting than the others, not something most will, can, or have time to do for ONLY A CHANCE to win a prize. But guess what… even if your entry gets the most “votes” does not mean you win. The public “vote is only 40% of how a winner is determined. The other 60% is from a “Sponsor-selected panel of judges”. I include a photo of how the winner is determined and see if you understand it with a simple reading or do you have to reread and calculate in your head what they are saying!  Study a little more! lol

Peeve 3 – The prize! Yes, I even have issue with the prize. Why would I have issue with the prize? A 3 day/2 night trip to Europe. What do you actually get with this trip? JetlagFirst let’s pretend you are healthy (I have MS and eliminate myself from this scenario), you spend day 1 basically flying to the sponsor determined destination in Europe… that’s right, the sweeps does not even tell you where you are going!  lol Now to me, destination unknown would be fun. But after spending pretty much a day getting there and spending night 1 in bed exhausted and jet-lagged after flying over several time zones, you have day 2 to drag though. So on day 2 of a 3 day trip, you do as much as you can before having to get back to the hotel so you can spend night 2  to get ready for day 3… flying home!  lol Sweepstakes in the US with US destinations that have a 3 day/2 night trips is really silly… so why did anyone think a 3 day/2 night international trip would be a good idea? Sounds penny-pincher to me and we know penny-pincher trips are so much fun!!! So, the only real option for most would be to take the alternate $4,000 gift card – which is what I would HAVE to do.

Now with all the sweeps in enter, why has this one set me off and inspired me to write a post about it? See the vague e-Biscoff Rejectionmail I got after trying to jump their hopes to enter this sweeps! I had posted this photo of clouds out my window flying. DSC00016Even after being rejected and studying the rules again… I do not see any violations of the rules.  I told a sap story of asking for extra Biscoff Cookies from flight attendants so I could share them with my Mom after my flights, Cookies with my Mom elevates my day. There is a very small chance the hashtag  #takeoffwithbiscoff may not have pasted when I copied and pasted it into my comment. But still, and e-mail that does not say what I did wrong does not inspire me to take (waste) the time to try again for a minuscule CHANCE to win a trip that would be challenging at the least for someone with MS. So I chose to take (waste) my time writing this post.

The alternate $4,000 gift card would be life changing for someone in my situation, just as would winning the First Prize of 50,000 Delta SkyMiles would be GREAT. But now, even winning the Second Prize, a years worth of Biscoff Cookies, would only leave a bad taste in my mouth! I see in the gallery of the sweepstakes that many others must have studied the rules better than me and entered successfully and I wish them luck! So if I accomplish anything in a sense of advocacy with this post… it would be that ANY company using sweepstakes consider that you want your sweeps to be simple and FUN and Biscoff Cookies (Lotus Bakeries North America) missed the mark with me on this promotion and caught me in the right mood that rejecting my entry just pissed me off! I think you can also guess that The Biscoff Coffee Corner is off my itinerary during my August trip to San Francisco.

 

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OUR President

I had to post this because I almost forgot what a REAL President and First Lady look like….

The photo to the left is a post I recently saw on facebook!  I shot off this post on facebook as my status, “I saw a post earlier today that was a photo of FORMER President George W. and Laura Bush with a caption that read, “I had to post this because I almost forgot what a REAL President and First Lady look like….”! How DISRESPECTFUL! I am sorry America… but PRESIDENT Barack Obama and FIRST LADY Michelle Obama are REAL and he is PRESIDENT! Even if you do not agree with their divisive politics that help the poor have insurance and teach children about nutrition and exercise… at least have respect that they ARE the PRESIDENT and First Lady of the United States of America!! Even when the person you did not vote for wins….he (or she) is still winner and comments like above just show you are a SORE LOSER!”  

I was ashamed and embarrassed for the person that posted it for so freely being disrespectful to OUR current President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama!  True, not all Americans love the current President and some may even miss FORMER President George W. and Laura Bush.  But for someone to infer that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are not REAL and deserving of our respect is a VERY SAD commentary of discourse in America.  To disagree with the politics of the President is completely normal if you have differing views, but the growing acceptance to disrespect the office of President is alarming to me.

I did not want to mention it in the very first paragraph, but now I am one sentence into my third paragraph I will say it – I think it may, in part, be because he is black!  But now I said it I will not dwell on it, but it does deserve mentioning.  I find ANY white woman pointing in the face of a black man to appear racist to me.  To see a sitting governor do it to a sitting President!  WOW!  I am not so naive as to think Obama is the first President to be disrespected, but to mention race one more time…. as a society, maybe this is a good place to start toning down the hatred, rhetoric, hyperbole – even if it is so we do not appear to be racist.  Political discourse will ALWAYS be a part of politics, but it is possible to disagree without being so blatantly RUDE!  

The following is a reply I recieved about my post, “We’ll just have to ‘Agree to Disagree’ on your post. Obama is NOT my president, and Michele will never be my ‘First Lady’. Disrespectful or not, what is disrespectful, in my opinion, is how fast Obama’s administration has managed to degrade and destroy what has taken millions of working-class families decades to accumulate. Perpetuating the ‘handout mentality’ of low and poverty-level Americans is like ‘keeping them in chains’, they might as well call it ‘Slavery’.”  All I could say to myself was WHAT THE FUCK?  I want to respect her opinion, but I am at a complete loss to know what she THINKS Obama has done?  It is rhetoric that has NO fact to support it!

Yes… we (she and I) DO have to agree to disagree! I in NO way have seen him perpetuate ANY such policy – namely because Congress has done NOTHING to support ANY of his polices since ObamaCare.  Even ObamaCare is not so much about entitlement for the poor (the poor already had Medicaid) but for people like me with pre-existing conditions like Multiple Sclerosis! I had no health insurance for 2

Our President is ALSO a loving husband and father!

years and so YES, I supported ObamaCare… because now I have insurance and I am getting treatment again. But I feel conservatives only see he is a Democrat and does not understand that ObamaCare was built on Republican Bob Dole’s health plan that was the basis for Romney as a Republican Governor to also use.  Even in an effort to gain bipartisan support, they tried to demonize the program that in Romney’s own suggested alternative (as Presidential candidate) to his own plan established in Massachusetts wants to keep the KEY provisions of ObamaCare! They FIGHT it just because it is a Democrat’s plan.  But even as a Democrat… I never said or acted as if Bush were not MY President, because at the end of the day we are all still Americans and that even includes President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama!  As all past Presidents, I feel they have represented America with ALL the best intentions that what they did (do) was (is) good for our country!  I feel both the President and First Lady have represented America very well, with grace, poise and  dignity – they are a GREAT First Family!

Repeating LIES does not = Truth!

I have a disdain for A LOT of the Tea Party’s divisive politics and how they feel cooperation and compromise are an evil part of politics.  Even

Hyperbole is BAD for the Nation and BAD for your soul!!

as a CHILD I was taught to share and play nice with others!  A concept that escapes most Tea Party idealist.  The Tea Partiers seem to ALWAYS go back to our “Christian” fore-fathers as their point of reference.  They want to legislate their Christian beliefs in a nation founded on Christianity – NOT FREEDOM!  The founders of our nation left England because the KING was basically “legislating” his idea of Christian beliefs .  The founders intentionally left religion out of our constitution because they knew religion and government were separate entities.  As a gay man in America, I am astonished at the idea that Christians (not all… but A LOT) in some way feel that if I am given equal rights and benefits of marriage, it in some way  effects their marriage.  They feel they have a responsibility to remove freedom in our nation and enact laws based on their beliefs.

MY Presidents!

Bush was MY President, Obama is MY president and even if Romney wins he will be MY President, because I am proud to be an AMERICAN more so than a Democrat (or even a Republican as I was most of my life)! People need to unite, love, support and encourage each other – not say things like Obama is NOT MY President… unless you have left the USA and surrendered  your Passport & citizenship- He is YOUR President…. just maybe not who you voted for! 

Categories: Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Not Even If There Was A Ladder!

Two injured soldiers on top of a snow-capped mountain, out of ammunition, pinned down by enemy fire know they will not make it.  The more injured soldier tells his long-time buddy to go, climb down.  The buddy replies, “Not even if there was a ladder!”  WOW!  When was the last time any of us had the dedication to anyone, anything or even a principle to stay knowing we would face death?  Or have any of us ever had the kind of dedication to stand by a friend, stand up for an idea or principle without even threat of bodily harm?  That scenario is from a movie but it does not change importance of the questions or better yet the answers to the questions.

I want to change the E.R.I.S.A. law of 1974 and have asked for help from my readers.  It has not helped my cause much because so few took any action – most climbed down the ladder over a simple request to send an e-mail on my behalf.  So now let me take the effort off of my goal of changing a bad law to something broader – bringing our troops HOME!  There should be more support for this idea.

2,977 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks.  In Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom now re-branded with an even friendlier sounding name Operation New Dawn; more than 5,880 (*1) American soldiers have died as of January 11,2011.  When another 114 die, it will be double the number killed in the 9/11 attack.  When will we as Americans have the outrage for the deaths of our soldiers?  They are sons/daughters, husbands/wives, brothers/sisters, and friends of ours as well as the ones killed in the original attacks.  Are their lives less valuable?

The U.S. military is made up from volunteers.  These young men and women fight for our liberties and freedom, but who is fighting for theirs?  I even ask who are they fighting?  A war on terror is quite ambiguous.  The longer we are there, the more terrorist we are creating!

Why are we so disliked by the people we “liberated”?  In Afghanistan 8,813 civilians have been killed and 15,863 have been seriously injured. (*2)  Even worse in Iraq 864,531 Iraqis have been killed with 1,556,156 seriously injured! (*2)  That is 2, 445,363 people and their families that have been hurt because of our “liberating” them.   821 times more people than were killed in 9/11.  We will never defeat terrorist while innocent Afghan and Iraqi civilians continue to be killed as we so call “protect America”.

I HATE this image of America and our troops!! They are so much better than this!

We will never be 100% safe and there will always be terrorist – it is time to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!!  The United States needs to stop using our money for war and use it to save our economy and HELP the world not FIGHT the world!!  I will not use the ladder and stop fighting the injustice of the E.R.I.S.A. law but I will also fight to help our troops!  We need to have the same determination that our troops have and say “Not even if there was a ladder”, we will stand up for our troops to bring them safely home.

Our troops need to be brought safely home to fight for more meaningful and better causes!

*1 – http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf

*2 -http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html#fn3

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What Happened To Compassion?

Now this CRAP is making its round on facebook as a letter to the President!!  lol  This guy needs an editor as bad as I do…. but I am not sending my letters to the President with misspelled words and BAD grammar at least.  If you like Dr. Roger Starner Jones point…. I ask that you read my point and reconsider!  Dr. Jones’ own arrogant culture of SUPERIORITY because he thinks being a doctor exempts himself from the human condition and makes his opinion more relevant is humorous and validates that sharing my opinion via my blog is IMPORTANT!!  lol

Originally posted on my blog March 20, 2010 – Photo added September 14, 2010 just in case claiming this to be for the President this time instead of the Clarion Ledger (as last time) will make it more relevant!!  lol

South façade of the White House, the executive...

This e-mail was in my inbox :

Subjet: A GREAT LETTER TO THE CLARION LEDGER EDITOR

This was written to the Clarion Ledger by one of our General Surgery residents at UMC. I don’t think he could’ve illustrated this more perfectly!! And, I 100% agree with him!!!! PAUL

Dear Sirs:

During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ringtone. Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid. She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our Congress expects me to pay for this woman’s health care? Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture —20a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture that thinks “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me”. Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow. Don’t you agree?

STARNER JONES,MD
Jackson, MS

NO I DO NOT AGREE!!

I have more faith in the person that sent this to me than is indicated by that person perpetuating this kind of poor argument to a bigger problem than gold teeth and R&B ringtones on new cellphones of tattooed girls on Medicaid. The doctor shows little compassion considering he is a resident at a medical center and not a law clerk for a judge. I prefer my doctors to treat medical conditions and leave the judging to Judges. I feel Dr. Jones actually represents a crisis in our culture as well as the patient he discusses! But he is educated and should know better. I dare say he had many more opportunities in life than the girl he so easily judges!

Thanks – Hope you ENJOY!!

My response for Dr. Jones and others that agree with him:

ALTRUISM & PORK

What has happened to America’s ALTRUISM? 46,000,000 people in the U.S. have no insurance and the other 250,000,000 are scared shitless !! They are scared because they have sit on their butts and done NOTHING to help the uninsured for so long, that now it could possibly affect them, they wake up. But the sad thing is they do not wake up out of concern of the uninsured, they are only worried about themselves and how it affects them! Shame on us! I support REFORM, but not what Congress is trying to pass off as reform. It is just more bureaucracy and pork.

Altruism is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others[1]”. Okay Merriam-Webster did not bold and underline unselfish I did, but the definition is exact. In the U.S. we now have over 46,000,000[2] uninsured. It sounds to me like many Americans hold to the notion “In God We Trust” because there is no one in Washington D.C. to trust. They also have to trust God to keep them healthy, because only heaven can help them if they get sick in the U.S. with no insurance or little funds in savings for illnesses. Even as healthcare reform is discussed in the nation’s capitol, politicians are taking the opportunity to attach their earmarks and pork as usual. No wonder the U.S. is the most obese nation in the world[3], it cannot even pass healthcare reform without a big serving of pork. As Americans we have gotten so selfish, that providing healthcare for the less fortunate is a hot button issue. We cannot even share healthcare without complaints.

I find it is people with insurance that are so upset, but I hear little from the ones that would benefit most from healthcare reform. Why have the insured people decided to be so loud now? Because they have not had to worry about a sick child or spouse getting healthcare if they need it, but now they are thinking about it. Now their healthcare is only in discussion of possibly changing they start screaming. Why hasn’t anyone screamed out about the injustice of denying healthcare coverage for the less fortunate? Welcome to the nightmare all the uninsured are living! These uninsured are worried about their family’s healthcare too. It is not until their own coverage is challenged that Americans cry foul. I chose the term “less fortunate” because another objection I hear often is they do not want their tax money going to help those that sit back and wait for the government to help them. The disappointing news there is, “those people” are already getting that tax money in the form of welfare, food stamps and health coverage via Medicaid. Or better yet, they do not pay their hospital bills and that cost is passed on to the actual paying patients. Yes, there are some that are abusing the system, but are we okay with punishing the innocent to make this point as we use the extreme as if it is the norm? The majority of uninsured today are made up of the working poor. Nearly 1.3 million full-time workers lost their health insurance in 2006[4]. Over 8 in 10 uninsured people come from working families – almost 70 percent from families with one worker[5]. So the idea that the people to benefit from reform are free loaders waiting for a free ride is ABSURD!

I remember from Sunday School and my church training that Christ instructed us to care for all people, but especially the poor and those suffering from social injustice. That is why there are well over 100 passages in the Bible addressing this subject[6]. So I would think that Christians would be leading the pack for reform, but that does not seem to be the case. Over $83 million was spent by both sides of Prop 8 ballot initiative trying to prevent the right for gays to marry. I think it would be safe to say the majority of the donors giving $39.9 million supporting Prop 8 (which bans gay marriage) were doing so based on their own personal and religious beliefs. It is America and they have the right to do that, but even if they do not feel gays being denied the right to marry is a social injustice, how can anyone say that making healthcare more accessible and affordable is not a social injustice? “Healthcare access is a right, not a privilege”[7] is what all Americans should be screaming, especially Christian organizations. I guess the almost $40 million spent keeping California’s gays from getting married is much more important than providing healthcare for the less fortunate!

I would say it is true that no one is denied healthcare in an emergency, but at what cost. One trip to the emergency room for kidney stones totaled over $3,200 and I was never admitted to the hospital and only treated in the emergency room. Luckily I had insurance at the time and only had to pay $640.00 out of my pocket. When I had the same problem in Colombia, South America; I had the same treatment and the total cost (with no insurance) was $275.00. If prices were more affordable for healthcare, insuring Americans would not be a problem. Preventative treatment and early diagnosis of health issues could also save Americans a lot of money. But with the big money made by pharmaceutical companies, healthcare organizations and insurance companies, I do not see any real reform coming. The lobbyists representing those groups are so deep in the politicians pockets that what is best for Americans is surpassed for the lobbyist with the most money. Surprise, once again the topic of corruption in politics needs to be mentioned. Since a lot of our congressmen and senators were lawyers before politicians, we will never see tort reform; so the lawyers can continue to sue, sue, sue and get rich, rich, rich and healthcare cost rise, rise, and rise!

Doctors are paid well and nurses should make so much more for what they do. This is not where the cost of healthcare lies, it is in their bosses, insurances companies, lobbyist and politician’s pockets from our “for profit” healthcare system where money is more important than patients. I even see e-mails of doctors noticing gold teeth, cellphones and ringtones; begrudging treating those patients because they may have some kind of government assistance. I would LOVE to see more e-mails of doctors volunteering to treat the poor that have no insurance more so than reporting who they judge while giving medical assistance. If the doctors saw fit to do more volunteering, the government would not need to be as involved as much. It would also be good to see the wealthy doing more to help people that are not as fortunate as they are. Many Americans prefer to drive huge gas hog 4×4 trucks that never go off-road and Hummers in bright-ass colors to show off how much credit have instead of spending any time helping the ones less fortunate. No matter my station in life, I know there were and are people I could have done more for unselfishly! Can you think of even a friend that could use help from you?

Next time healthcare is a topic among friends, ask for a slice of bacon; because by the end of healthcare reform all Americans will have is PORK! The insurance, pharmaceutical and health organization companies will be even richer, our taxes will be higher and there will be no benefit seen for the poor, under insured and uninsurable! People should be paid for treating the sick, but not profit from it. But the best thing about America’s healthcare system – it will STILL be the only country in the world that allows people PROFIT form treating the sick! But keep in mind, it is still possible to demonstrate that as individuals we can be even more greedy as well!

Please notice and check my facts, I am not making up false information like some of the media is doing to scare people.

[1] “altruism.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 25 August 2009.
<http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/altruism>

[2] “Facts on the Cost of Health Insurance Coverage.” The National Coalition on Health Care. August 25, 2009. http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml
[3] “Health Statistics > Obesity (most recent) by country”. NationMaster.com. August 25, 2009 http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

[4] DeNavas-Walt, C.B. Proctor, and J. Smith. “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007”. U.S. Census Bureau., August 2008.

[5] The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Employee Health Benefits: 2008 Annual Survey. September 2008. http://www.kff.org/insurance/7672/index.cfm
[6] “Bible verses: Caring for the poor, Christian service: serving others.” Southern Nazarene University. August 25, 2009. http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/poor.htm
[7] Thomas J Papadimos. “Healthcare access as a right, not a privilege: a construct of Western thought.” Philosophy, Ethics, Humanities in Medicine. March 8, 2007. August 25, 2009. http://www.peh-med.com/content/2/1/2

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