Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I’ve Finally Come Around To Your Way Of Thinking

OK. I surrender. The proponents of Obama Care’s arguments may or may not convince 5 Supreme Court Justices. But after giving the idea some serious thought, (augmented by a short glass or two), they just might have persuaded me to come around to their way of thinking.

I’m a long-time supporter of capitalism. Forcing all of us to buy health insurance can only be a good thing for our giant insurance industry. The immediate spin-off will be increased business for the drug industry, doctors, clinics, hospitals. Their suppliers and sub-contractors will also receive a boost. Peachy keen, long live capitalism!

Now realize I’m a cancer patient on Social Security Disability. Not working. In a word, I’m poor. And I’m on Medicaid, so I don’t have to pay for the health insurance. I’m golden. I’m getting misty-eyed thinking about the logical progression. They are even talking about subsidized birth control now. (I don’t need that, at 56 years old I’m past menopause.)

Let’s not heap all this good fortune on just the health care industry while ignoring other, equally important, American industries and all the jobs they support. The following is just a short list of the goods and services Americans must be mandated to purchase. (Or in the case of us destitute citizens, subsidized by those who can more easily afford it.)

10:Atlas Shrugged (Hard cover goat skin leather-bound, of course, signed fly-leaf optional)
9: Robert Earl Keen CDs
8: WWE and UFC pay-per-view (Or NASCAR online)
7: Marlboro Lights and Pabst Blue Ribbon (Optionally, really good Scotch or Bourbon)
6: Purebred Walker coon dogs
5: Chik Fil A #1 meals with Sweet Tea (Especially for us poor folks. Micky D’s gets old fast)
4: Brooks Brothers Alex P. Keaton signature ties
3: Gillette Fusion blades
2: Mary Kay and Merle Norman cosmetics (We can’t forget our fairer sex)
And finally The number one mandated purchase/subsidy
1: NRA lifetime memberships for everyone!

Just think, if this program had been applied to the Chevy Volt GM would not have had to end production and we could all be driving coal-powered cars. I love this country!

(Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, a new Colt 1911 is way up there on my desirables list.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

O. Henry Enters American Politics

Like many of my readers I appreciate irony. I'm an avid reader and one of my favorite authors is William Sydney Porter, best known as O. Henry and a master of the ironic ending.

That's literature. Irony in real life is a whole 'nother thing. Especially political irony. Political irony almost never turns out well.

Consider this. Recently the news has been full of accounts and opinions regarding Army Sergeant Robert Bales and his actions in Afghanistan. Even President Obama, within hours, apologized to the Afghan government and peoples. Many opinionists have loudly called for a speedy trial and, by their words one would suppose, conviction.

I'm not defending him. Hell, I don't know if he did it or not. That is the job of his attorney, John Henry Browne.

The irony here only becomes apparent when you compare the crimes of which he stands accused, crimes with no witnesses, with the other high-profile mass murder the Army is presently dealing with. A crime with many witnesses. Otherwise known as “survivors”.

A man with no field-of-war experience, but heavily influenced by radical Muslim mentors. (One of whom was an American citizen that President Obama decided he had the sole authority to assassinate, without due process.) This Army person calmly opened fire on some of his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas. According to witnesses, he was shouting "Allahu Akbar!" as he proceeded to slaughter many of his Army brethren.

The irony here? There are calls for a quick resolution to the Sgt Bales case. Major Hasan is still untried after more than two years. Our President immediately apologized for an unproven transgression, (which has been “avenged” by Afghans several times since), yet Major Hasan's crime was officially classified a “workplace incident”.

O. Henry couldn't have made this up.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm Betting On The Bus Too

One morning in November, 2010, about a week before Thanksgiving I woke up not feeling great. Not bad, just not my usual self. After showering, and while shaving I noticed my eyes were puffy, swollen, and red. The right one even more so.

My nose was running, so I took a couple of Sudafeds and went to work. As the day went on I felt the "allergy" was being controlled by the Sudafed. The bags under my eyes were no longer satchels. Just looked like I had a terrible hangover.

Next morning, Saturday, Same thing. Really big bags, more Sudafed. Satchels eventually becoming mere bags. Big bags, but not extreme.

Little sisters can be persuasive. Mine can. Leslie came by mid afternoon and made me go to the emergency room. I didn't want to, but little sisters can't be reasoned with.

Lying on a gurney in the emergency room, with a blood pressure reading that was sky high, my only real concern was why my face was so bloated. Leslie, as little sisters are wont to be, had many other concerns. I felt fine. She didn't care if I did feel fine, she knew I looked awful.

Many tests and a chest X-ray later, Leslie went on an inquiry quest. Do not get in her way when she demands information. It so happens that I had a hand-sized tumor on my right lung. Yep. As John Wayne put it, the "Big C".

I was admitted, of course. Leslie in near hysterics, and me lying there on the gurney trying to calm her. I thought it odd at the time. Me, the "terminal patient" telling her that everything would be OK. I felt it then and still do now.

The next morning I met a really cute little pulmonologist. With great red heels. She told me she had to do a biopsy. Through my nose! Hey, she was really cute, great legs, and those cool red heels, she could do anything she wanted.

After the biopsy I was scheduled for immediate radiology, to reduce the tumor before Chemotherapy. After a couple of those I started a Chemotherapy regime. Three days in a row, three weeks apart. Thanks to Lee Child Chemotherapy was a snap. I read a lot.

I remember my Mom's bouts with chemotherapy. It left her violently ill, weak, and feeling really bad. Mine was not so severe. It left me weak, not ill, but at the end of the third day I would get hiccups. Hiccups that were unending for several days. You cannot go to sleep with hiccups. Just about the time I was ready to shoot myself the hiccups would end.

Well, it's been way over a year now. I've had four CT scans that show the previously hand sized tumor to be the size of my little fingernail. Scar tissue they call it. But it will be four more years before they call it cured.

Last Tuesday I met with my oncologist to review my latest CT scan. I asked him to imagine himself a betting man. Would he bet on me being taken out by getting hit by a bus, or by lung cancer. He laughed and said he would bet on the bus.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Sun Also Rises

The sun came up this morning. No, I wasn't surprised. It's been that way all of my life, and way back before that. You could bet your farm that it'll do so again tomorrow. It's a safe bet, if the sun does not rise your farm ain't going to be worth much to you anyway.

Today I find that a Democrat has changed her position. No, I'm not surprised by that either. It seems that former chairman of Arlington County Board of Supervisors was pretty adamant that the Senate finish their budget duties in 2004. From a press release dated March 22, 2004;
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Barbara A. Favola, chairman of the Arlington County Board, and her counterparts from six Northern Virginia jurisdictions today urged Governor Mark Warner to continue his “Herculean efforts to forge a Virginia budget for the next biennium.”
In a letter, seven mayors and chairs stressed that “the General Assembly must adopt a budget before mid-April.” Local jurisdictions are in the midst of their own budgeting processes and rely on a State pass-through monies to fund K-12 public education, transportation, public safety and human services.
“It is critical for local leaders to know what that State transfer is before we adopt a budget and set a real-estate tax rate,” wrote the mayors and chairs.
Now it’s 2012, she’s a Senator herself, and she remains just as passionate about budget duties? Eh, not so much. she and her Democrat colleagues continue to refuse to vote on a budget. They did, however find the time to vote on a pay raise.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Is Your Newspaper Doing Its Job?

Most people think their newspaper’s job is to provide them with local news, state news, sports news and scores, and entertainment. Maybe even national and world news. Most newspapers do all these, and do them reasonably well. I believe a newspaper’s first mission should be to educate its readers. Especially in matters related to politics and law, two subjects most people do not focus on.

My local paper fails dismally, as does the more widely circulated Roanoke Times. The Times’ Michael Sluss has a front page story today on the arrests of protesters occupying the South Portico and steps of the Capitol Building.

Michael is usually a fine writer, and I find no fault with his words today. But surely, considering how much time he spends in Richmond, he knows that Virginia law forbids any group from protesting there. He failed to mention that very relative fact. Granted it would have made the featured character in his story, a Roanoke woman who was among those arrested, much less sympathetic, however, he owes his readers much more than he does a single protester. They deserve the full truth. After all, they are paying for it.

The ladies protesting in Richmond were there to voice their concerns about “forced” ultrasounds. To my knowledge the Times has never informed its readers that Planned Parenthood WILL, as a matter of policy, perform an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of your kid. It might be the “rape” method, or it could be the “jelly on the belly” method, but it will happen. Your friendly neighborhood abortionist may or may not choose to do this medically required test. Medically required? Don’t take my word for it, the National Abortion Federation says it’s required. (Myself? I only wonder why such a federation exists.) Oh, and now Virginia law requires it, and requires the mother be offered a chance to view it. An option they did not have previously.

In order to avoid the “forced” ultrasound you now have to resort to a back alley and a coat hanger. Just like before.

Has your local or favorite regional newspaper factually reported on just these two recent issues? I thought not. I can’t find any paper’s online story that mentions either of these two facts. You’re not paying for this blog. The truth here comes free.