Thursday, April 13, 2017

Euthanasia - Abortion

I do not understand why society believes abortion and euthanasia is such a dichotomy. Both, involve taking a life.  One is taking your own life and the other is taking the life of another. It seems to me that abortion (taking the life of another) is far worse than voluntary euthanasia, the ending of your own life, when you no longer want to contend with constant physical suffering and your life quality is zero.  Yet, people vote to make abortion legal, the Supreme Court of the United States upholds abortion laws making it legal and society will flock to the streets in masses if legal abortion is ever in danger of being overturned. 

Abortion is taking the life of an innocent person that has no say in the matter.  Voluntary euthanasia is taking your own life and you make the choice.  Yes, I concede non-voluntary euthanasia is wrong just as I believe abortion is wrong.   

People argue voluntary euthanasia will lead to non-voluntary euthanasia.  Abortion of babies in the mother’s womb has not led to killing children outside the womb.  So, how can one argue on that basis one is wrong and the other is okay.  If one is morally or ethically wrong then both are.  I do not hold that it is an issue of morality or ethics when speaking of voluntary euthanasia. 

People who are "pro-life" are generally opposed to anyone taking any life - even their own - for any reason.

But, what is life without quality?  I have diabetes, in the final stage of heart failure, kidney failure, and COPD (lungs failing).  I am in constant pain, I cannot walk five steps without breathing spasms and basically confined to sitting.  To me that is not life!   I have been told by all my doctors my condition cannot be cured, it will never get better, it will get worse and all they can to is try to SLOW the progression.  That is not very comforting to me and I do not know anyone in their right mind that would applaud a doctors effort to prolong their suffering.  Now, I can stop the seventeen plus medications and suffer even more to achieve a solution – I guess.  If it is God’s will I believe I would live with or without the medication. 

Am I a coward, of course I am.  I want to end my life quickly and not have it drag on for days, weeks, months or even years before it happens by removing medication.  I really see no honor in being afraid to die and choosing to be a burden on those around me.  I have cared for two people that suffered for years, my mother and my uncle.  I could not have possibly loved my mother more than I did and I have no regrets for taking care of her, but was it extremely difficult – yes it was!  Did I ever have thoughts that I wished her suffering would end – yes I did and then I would feel guilt for weeks for having such a thought.

I believe before any act of euthanasia may be committed the suffering person must make some kind of assessment of the value of their life with the assistance of medical professionals, mental professionals and legal professionals.  There should be a waiting period involved to guarantee that someone does not wake up one day and decide this is a good day to die.

 The practice of euthanasia is Biblically wrong because it violates the principle that life is given by God. God does not approve of “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17). Life comes from God. It is God’s decision to give life and to take it away (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Job 1:21). In the Bible, shedding innocent blood is called murder (1 John 3:15; Genesis 9:6).  I do not need ten thousand replies telling me what the Bible says about the subject. 

The death of King Saul an example of euthanasia or suicide? (1 Samuel 31:1-6). Saul did not want the Philistines to find him alive, because he knew they would torture him. He asked his armor bearer to kill him. When the armor bearer refused, Saul fell on his own sword and died. Saul committed suicide, but he did it in order to avoid suffering at the hands of his enemy. He murdered himself to prevent suffering prior to it happening and therefore was guilty of sin in my eyes. (Exodus 20:13). 

I have a difficult time relating killing yourself because you do not want to be taken by your enemy and suffering from a physical disease without any hope of ever getting better.  You may say that I am greedy, but I have worked and saved all my life and I have no desire to give all my money to doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies when before I die I could give it to the poor. 

My father worked hard all his life and saved for his retirement and my education .  The last eleven days of his life he beg my mother and I to let him die and stop giving everything he had planned on my mother and I having to doctors when we all knew it was hopeless.  Of course we could not or would not end treatment and in the end we went from being a high middle class family to poverty.  His final hospital bill was 275,000 dollars, a lot of money in 1958.  The experiments like inserting a pigs valve in his heart did not help him and it has not help me now that I suffer as he did.

I know some Christians are thinking not all suffering is bad.  Even though we may not always understand why we suffer, some good can come from it.  The apostle Paul understood this (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He had a “thorn in the flesh” which he asked God to remove, but he was made to realize it was for his good. Job is also an excellent example of this point (James 5:11).  I would be lying if I said I have not learned from my suffering for I have.  That does not mean I want to continue to suffer.

Do not tell me I do not respect human life.  I have been told when people understand and respect the sanctity of human life, they will not vote to end it.  You want to end it if you respect the life of your loved ones that are also suffering because of you.

I view euthanasia as the end of suffering when there is no hope of ever recovering from the illness and you are in need of life support (mechanical or medicinal) in order to barely hang on to life, it would be beneficial for both the patient and his/her family members to just let them go.  By allowing them to die peacefully, painlessly and quickly.  They will die on their own terms, rather than forcing them to live and let the disease slowly kill them.

I recognize the negatives of euthanasia and that is it could be abused by physicians and others who have the power to use this method of ending life. And more importantly, though the chances of recovery from certain diseases may be minimal, it is a known fact that some overcome this mountainous feat.  That is why I feel strongly only the suffering victim should be able to make the choice.  My niece was advised to remove all life support from my sister because she only had days to live, but my niece refused.  She continued to live three years most of it spent in a hospital and suffering.

Don’t insult me as one person did by saying a teenager that flunks a test or fails to make the football team may be suffering as much as I am and ask me would I say he has the right to end his life because he is suffering.  I will tell you as I told the person who said that to me – “You are a fool”.

I feel obligated to tell Catholic what our church says about euthanasia - So-called “mercy killing” and the efforts of the Hemlock Society and the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian to make euthanasia socially acceptable are condemned by the Church.

God alone should decide when someone leaves this earth — not the patient, doctor, or caretaker. Keeping the dying patient pain-free, comfortable, clean, nourished, and hydrated — and just allowing the natural death process to take its course — is how human beings die with dignity.  In other words if you die a miserable death you die with dignity and God is well pleased – I guess that is how they feel.  Our church always thought it was good for people to suffer. 

When death is thought imminent; the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable.

In closing, It is always unfair to directly kill an unborn child; the unborn have no say in what happens to them, and whatever interests are placed above theirs are done so in a biased and self-serving way. But this is not true in most cases of physician assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia: in some cases death really is what the patients desire and what they ask for.  This does not mean that they are right in desiring and asking, nor that it would be right to comply; but it does indicate that the wrongness of euthanasia cannot exclusively be the wrong of unfairness to the person killed. This is a decision I should be able to make for myself – not you make for me.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Cowerding of America - Vietnam

 The first signs I saw of America no longer being the land of the free and the brave was with the onset of Vietnam.  We engaged in a “CONFLICT” not a war and it was never classified as a war.  I would like to add in this conflict (not war) the U.S. Marine Corps lost five times as many dead as in World War I, three times as many dead as in Korea, and more total killed and wounded than in all of World War II.  We sent young men to die and those men did not even know what they were fighting for.  We did know that we did not have the full support of the U.S. Government or the American people.  

We followed orders while celebrities like Jane Fonda called us murders.  Our President Johnson was caught between a rock and a hard place.  He did not want to be the first American President to lose a war (conflict) and yet he did not want the American citizens to turn against him and the Democrat Party.  Our troops were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington would not let us win. 

Draft evasion (dodging) became vogue.  It was more popular to be a coward than to be loyal to the United States Military or the United States Government.  Draft dodgers were usually college-educated sons of the middle class who could no longer defer induction into the Selective Service System - PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.  Deserters, on the other hand, were predominantly sons of the lower-income and working classes who had been inducted into the armed services directly from high school or who had volunteered, hoping to obtain a skill and broaden their limited horizons.  Then you had the TRUMPS, BUSH, and other wealthy families with influence who kept their boys out of harm ways.  Let us not forget two other prominent draft dodgers Joe Biden and Dick Cheney.

Starting in 1965, Canada became a choice haven for American draft dodgers and deserters. They were not formally classified as refugees, but as immigrants, there is no official estimate of how many draft dodgers and deserters were admitted to Canada during the Vietnam War. One informed estimate puts their number between 30,000 and 40,000.  Whether or not this estimate is accurate, the fact remains that emigration from the United States was high as long as America was involved in the war and maintained compulsory military service; in 1971 and 1972 Canada received more immigrants from the United States than from any other country.

There were more than 300,000 deserters and draft evaders in total, in which 209,517 men illegally resisted the draft while some 100,000 deserted. 

We do know that it was the largest number of Americans to leave the country to avoid supporting the United States since the American Revolution.  Draft dodging was so popular that books were written on how to do it.  In 1977 on his first day in office President Jimmy Carter pardon the draft dodgers. It is estimated half of them living in Canada returned to the United States with smiles on their faces, while many families stood over graves of their young boys killed in Vietnam crying.

Distinct from draft resisters, there were also deserters of the American forces who also made their way to Canada.  The deserters have not been pardoned and may still face pro forma arrest, as the case of Allen Abney demonstrated in March 2006.  Another similar case was that of Richard Allen Shields: He had deserted the U.S. Army in Alaska in 1972 after serving a year in Vietnam. Twenty-eight years later, on March 22, 2000, while he attempted to drive a lumber truck across the US-Canada border (in Metaline Falls, Washington) he was arrested by U.S. Customs agents and jailed at Fort Sill.  He was discharged from the Army with an Other Than Honorable discharge in April 2000. Not harsh enough in my opinion.  

There were some legal ways to avoid the draft.  Men who had physical or mental problems, men who were married, with children (ended in 1965), attending college or needed at home to support their families might be granted deferments.  Homosexual were exempt and a large number of heterosexual boys claimed to be homosexual to be exempt, while many homosexual hid their sexuality and served proudly with distinction.  It should be said two thirds of the men who fought in Vietnam volunteered for service.  Seventy-three percent of the men that died in Vietnam were volunteers.  

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, young people were referred to as the “Love Generation,” partly because of their insistence on sexual freedom, drugs, hippie lifestyle which they proposed as an alternative (“make love, not war”) to the Vietnam conflict.  I cannot help but refer to them as the loser generation and I am a product of the 60’s.  I credit them with contributing to the downfall of America.  Their goal was to change society and they did.  We have not recovered from what they started.  America slowly became a nation of whimpering slaves to FEAR—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts and fear of North Korea, China, Russia, Middle East and Muslims in general.
 Attorney General Holder said, America ' has become a nation of cowards' on race.  This is one of the rare occasions I agreed with him, but we have become a nation of cowards not just on race, but on just about everything and his boss President Obama was the biggest coward of all.  John McCain’s economic adviser Phil Gramm said that this country is a “nation of whiners”.  But, please do not blame today’s ills on the 55,000 Baby Boomers who died in Vietnam! 

There was little to no stigma attached to draft dodgers in the 60’s and there is little to no stigma attached to millennials today.  It seems to be a generational thing where there's no stigma attached to being irresponsible.  Millennials delay getting jobs, their own place to live, in general delay growing up in order to delay responsibilities.  Just as the 60’s love children contributed to the decline of society so will the millennials living in mommy's and daddy's basement.   Some of these parents really don't want their kids to leave because they fear they cannot take care of themselves.  A friend told me a few months ago their 30 year old son cannot move out because he has to pay back his student loans and ask me, “Why are they making him pay it back?  It is so unfair”.  She was a love child!  Every failed generation wants someone to blame.

The media during the Vietnam era and the media today are destroying our nation.  The media defines those that want to serve our country as loser, not heroes.  Regardless of what the gutless media says my heroes are the young men and women who face the issues of war and possible death, and then weigh those concerns against obligations to their country, simple obedience to duty, as they understand it and are willing to suffer loneliness, disease, wounds and the ultimate price death.  Some in media are making cowards of our people! 

I love our America, but I will criticize us and not stand by QUIETLY and watch us become a ‘ONCE UPON A TIME GREAT NATION’.  Many students have told me that they are the most well-informed generation in history; really those same students could name all five Simpson family members, but could not name four of the five freedoms in the First Amendment!  Ignorance breeds cowards! 

I pray that the thousands of Americans in uniform around the word are not paying attention to the current cycle of news stories in Washington coming out of the Democrats and die heart liberals that are upset that President Trump ordered hitting a Syrian Airbase for using chemical weapons against their own people. It must be demoralizing to see the rest of us acting like such cowards—and making things more dangerous for them.  I know it was for us who served in Vietnam.  Have we forgotten the vows we made when the Twin Towers fell, and the Pentagon burned? That we would do what it takes to avenge our dead?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Adultery/Cheating is no joking matter

What can we expect of millennials when many of our politicians, celebrities, athletes, ministers, judges and police think adultery - cheating is just normal behavior.  You know ‘boys will be boys’; there are so many women and you (have) so short a time; if you are able to support all your illegitimate children that is all that matters; Who isn’t entitled to happiness; etc.  I bet there are 10,000 more reasons to attempt to justify adultery/cheating. 

The thing I really do not get is the double standard.  Men can cheat and women cannot.  A woman cheats and she is immoral.  A man cheats and he is a hailed a model of manhood.  Destroy the women for extra affairs and make jokes about the men doing the same thing.

I am one of those people who thinks adultery – cheating is not acceptable and should not be joked about.  One undersecretary even said, “President Duterte can make jokes about extramarital affairs of government officials, (a crime under Philippine law and grounds for suspension of government officials), since he himself is not married at the moment.”  He is not legally married, but he is supposed to be in a committed relationship, with a child by his partner. 

President Trump defends Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes of FOX news for his sexual remarks because he has done the very same thing.  The same thing is true of President Duterte you cannot condemn others when you are guilty of the same sin/crime.  I do not care what your position in society is cheating on relationships is wrong.  It is demeaning!   Yes, the priest that takes a vow of chastity and cheats on that vow is scum, so bishops stop acting so sanctimonious.  

How would you feel if your spouse cheated on you? Some of you may know this from experience, but I think we can all imagine it—it hurts! You've been betrayed and lied to and you feel angry, depressed, unworthy, second-rate, unwanted. You want to lash out at the same time you want to crawl inside yourself and hide. Your spouse chose to seek out intimacy of one sort or another with another person  - not you. I think that "sucks" and anyone that does it is an self-centered, pompous ass. 

Infidelity is very hurtful, and does real psychological, emotional, and spiritual damage to one's partner.  I may be a bit old fashion, but I think hurting people is wrong, period!  Be honest and admit the relationship is over and each go their own way, but do not lower yourself to become a sleaze ball.

Yes, we should forgive, but forgiveness should come with a stipulation that you at least TRY to stop doing the wrong you are doing.  Only a fool keeps forgiving the same wrong over and over without expectation of change. 

Justice Assistant Secretary Aimee Neri said, “Duterte, as mayor, would show his displeasure when he hears a policeman is cheating on their wife”.  I am sorry, but I am not smart enough to comprehend that remark.  The employer should abide by the rules he dictates to his or her employees.  A father should abide by the same rules he holds his children to.  A man should not ask more of his wife or partner than he is willing to give his wife or partner. 

“This is a world of hypocrisy. Who among you here does not have a mistress?” President Duterte said in a speech aired live on television one Tuesday night, adding it was “a non-issue”.  I have known many men and women that have been faithful to their partners.  Unfortunately, my father was not one of them and each time it destroyed a little of my mother.  I loved by father, I was respectful of my father, I appreciated the material things he provided us, but I did not RESPECT my father. 

Just as Presidents Trumps remarks do not speak well of American men, President Duterte's remarks do not speak well of Filipino men. 

Instead of the stand the Catholic Church is taking on President Duterte they should realize the necessity of divorce and stop standing in the way of the Philippines joining the 21st century.  Stopping divorce is not going to stop adultery and for some weird reason I think adultery/cheating is worse than divorce.

I realize in most Western countries, adultery itself is no longer a criminal offense, but may still have legal consequences, particularly in divorce cases.  The fact that it may no longer be a crime does not mean it is not morally, spiritually and socially wrong.   Adultery almost always constitutes a ground for divorce and may be a factor in property settlement, the custody of children and the denial of alimony. 

 Adultery is illegal in approximately half the world including about half of the United States in which jail time and fines are imposed, at least in theory.  The laws are seldom enforced, but at least all of society has not lost their moral compass.  These sensible people may think adultery does not deserve jail time or fine, but that there is still something wrong and immoral about it.  It seems to me where adultery/cheating is acceptable other types of corruption are more acceptable.

 An elderly actor and lawmaker in the Philippines is remembered for siring at least 72 children by 16 different women, only one of whom was his wife. Thirty-eight of the children bear his surname.  His other achievements in life are not remembered or worth mentioning.  I see nothing honorable about his behavior.

It is almost comical the Philippines is now the only country in the world that denies divorce to the majority of its citizens; it is the last holdout among a group of staunchly Catholic countries where the church has fought hard to enforce its views on the sanctity of marriage. Pope Francis, who visited the Philippines, has urged his bishops to take a more forgiving stance toward divorced Catholics, but this is a moot point in the Philippines: There is no such thing as a divorced Catholic in the Philippines. 

The Catholic hierarchy takes particular pride in the country’s status as the last holdout on divorce.  Do they also take pride in the number of Filipinos who find themselves in an unhappy relationship and simply move on to the next one? The women, of course, are expected to deal with the children. “For these women, the survival mechanism is to find another guy to support her and her kid”.

In the Philippines only 30 to 40 percent of the urban poor now bother to get married in the first place.  Thanks to the Catholic Church.  Cultural traditions make wedding too expensive. You are expected to have a big celebration, and they simply can’t afford it and the realization that once you enter into a marriage there’s no getting out.

Thanks to the Catholic church’s opposition to divorce and its opposition to virtually every form of contraceptive it has created millions of “illegitimate” children. No one knows the number, but one study suggests that about 30 percent of births in the Philippines go unregistered, often because of the stigma of illegitimacy.

So please tell me how adultery/cheating has made the world a better place.  Please tell me how it is a joking matter.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Society's Ill's


When, in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve turned from being God centered to being self centered, it set the pattern for all the sins and problems of the world to this day (Romans 5:12). In Jeremiah 17:9, God said, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can fathom it?" The sins in the heart of every person have produced the problems we face today. I do not take the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve story literally, but I firmly believe our self centered nature is the cause of society's problems.

Every generation ask the same question what has gone wrong with our society today, what has caused these problems, and what can be done to correct them?  Daily, we hear of school shootings, drug busts, rapes, robberies, people being threatened, murders, beatings, child abuse, sexual abuse, harassment, bullying, etc.  it is no wonder people questioning the ills of society.

Generation after generation we have been treating the symptoms and the effects rather than the causes. We have been putting a Band-Aid on the problems.  We look for more and more ways to protect ourselves from harm rather than really trying to solve the problem that is causing the harm.  We add police, metal-detectors, armed security in schools and we blame race, religion, politics, ethnicity, television, computer games, movies, etc. and never really address the core problems.

There was a time when a community was a family, not so today.  Many do not know their next door neighbor even when living in a condo or apartment complex. There was a time when you watched out for me and my family and I watched out for you and your family.  The schools had the right to discipline the children in school.  No one spent 16 hours a day worrying about ‘political correctness’.  If I saw your child misbehaving I would correct them or take them to you.  Today our institutions are more corrupt than ever, therefore, where do we learn morality.  It is not being taught in a lot of homes because homes today are mostly absentee parents. The home today is where one eats and sleeps, then each go their own way.  Each generation has become more and more a generation concerned about me rather than us.

We've all heard the complaints. Today's children are more disrespectful, undisciplined, and have a greater sense of entitlement than ever before. A lot of parents today can’t or won’t set limits for their children. Instead of disciplining them, they coddle and dote and bend over backward to shield them from frustration and protect their self-esteem.  In sport competition’s everyone gets a trophy so no one feels left out. The result is that we’re raising a generation of undisciplined narcissists (SELF-CENTERED CHILDREN) who expect everything to go their way, and it won’t be pretty -- for them or for our society -- when their sense of entitlement finally crashes into the unforgiving real world.  Is this really the children’s fault?

Children especially teenagers take a bad rap today! They are NOT all bad! We cannot categorize them all in one bunch. That's not fair, nor right. Of course teens today in general have problems. They always have. Today's seem to be more complex and severe than ever. As a result, many are troubled by things we adults never had to relate to. The solution doesn't seem easy to come by. Understanding the world they grow up in will help us to see where they are coming from.

Bill O’Reilly spends time nearly daily on the Factor telling us that lack of strict parenting and two parents in the home is destroying our children.  Now we find out that Bill O’Reilly and FOX have been settling claims for his sexual harassment cases for years in order to keep them quite and not upset ad revenue and Bill O’Reilly is divorced and there are not two parents in his children’s home. Bill O’Reilly may be somewhat right, but it shows that many like him or not practicing what they preach and society in general is not really taking the problem as serious as we should.  Maybe Mr. O'Reilly thinks there are two sets of rules for raising children one for rich and one for others.

Mr. O’Reilly, let us all start setting better examples for societies children.  That will do more good than condemning – you pompous hypocrite. EVERYONE IS A PRODUCT OF THEIR INFLUENCES including teens. An old proverb says, "You will be the person you are today, a year from now, except for the people you meet and the books you read." Mr. O’Reilly even you influence our children, because you influence many adults and they influence children.

We will never address society’s problems until we address the problems of our youth for they are the next leaders and voters.  We will never address youth problems until we address America’s problems – poverty, national pride, drug/alcohol abuse, violence, materialism, education disparity, shifting economy, etc.  The solution is complex and involves many issues not just parenting.

Faith in leadership, the foundation for a strong country and a more moral society has been destroyed. Young people have not had the privilege of having heroes. Military men and women are depicted as murderers who can't be trusted. Some sports stars are known to be alcoholics, cocaine users and sexual predators. Some religious leaders are involved in sex scandals and  financial scandals. Politicians are best known for their ability to tell lies.  These are facts!  Who can teens have for heroes today? How about Motley Crue, Prince, LL Cool J. Kardashian’s, etc.?

Many parents are working long hours to have more material things and when they are home they are fixing up the yard, partying, boating, camping, watching TV all the Important things without the teenagers?   Then we hear parents of troubled teens say, "I don't understand it, I gave him or her everything he or she ever wanted!" That is right you did everything but, YOURSELF!

Humanism is the greatest religion in the world today. Its churches are in session Monday through Sunday each week. Humanism in a nutshell is the "me, myself and I" religion. No God, no authority to submit to, just me, myself and I. 

How can we expect anything more of our society today?  It will be the downfall of America unless we stop talking and complaining and start doing something.  I do not look forward to being the next Spain, Greece, Rome, France, England and go from leader to follower.  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

People with disabilities - International Airports

I recently had to leave the Philippines for twenty-four hours to meet visa requirements.  I took a trip to Singapore via Cebu Pacific Air.  All went well except boarding for the plane in Cebu back to Davao.

This particular flight and most flights from Cebu are not loaded from a direct ramp airport to airplane.  You must be carried by bus to the plane, climb stairs and then board plane.

What made it even worse this particular day April 3, 2017 it was pouring down rain.  Not only did I have a difficult time climbing the steps to the plane I had a difficult time walking to the bus.  Yes, I had assistance.  In fact it took three men to get me on the plane.

People generally are not in a wheelchair because they like being restricted to a chair or enjoy being pushed around.  There are generally medical reasons for being wheelchair bound.  My problem is not only my heart, but also my lungs.  I cannot walk five steps without gasping for breath.

There should be an International Law that any International Airport has to have some mechanical lift to load handicap people on board a plane.  I am sure there are some kind of portable devices that can be purchased for this purpose.  If not they certainly could be made.  I honestly think major domestic airports should be required to have them.

I always advise in advance when purchasing tickets that I will need wheelchair assistance.  Not only that my caregiver always travels with me.  Yes, the airports all provide a wheelchair from ticket agent to departing area, but if you cannot roll the chair on the plane it does not accomplish what your need.

Do you blame the airlines or the airport.  I am not sure, but whoever is the blame it should be corrected.  When I was finally on board I was so short of breath that the crew did not know if they would allow me to fly or not.  Thank God I was first on and the flight was full.  By the time the plane was loaded I could breath nearly normal again and got to stay on board.

Come on all you managers at airports and airlines have a heart!

Don't Poison a Child's Mind.

I was bless with an experience I will never forget when passing through Immigrations in Singapore.  We were in line and in front of me was a Filipino mother and two children.  One child a boy about 10 and a girl about 3. In the next line was an Indian mother with two young boys maybe 5 and 8. 

These children started reacting with each other in spite of language and cultural difference with pure love - no bigotry, no bias, just pure love and delight. It was a reminder to me bigotry is a learned habit or character trait. It is not a God given characteristic. Matthew 21:16 - "...out of mouths of babes and sucklings God prepared praise ..."  NOT HATE!  Oh, if we adults could only learn from the  young children the world would be a better place indeed!

"Hatreds never cease by hatreds in this world.  By love alone they cease.  This is an ancient Law."  

I have shared many thoughts over the year's concerning our thinking for ourselves and not depending upon others to think for us or teach us absolute truths about God, self, world or the universe.

It is delusion for us to allow others to teach us to cherish pride and selfishness when we all know in the end it leads to suffering, loneliness and death.

God did not put upon the heart of every person the right way to live with self and others simply for us to think about them. God put them there for us to practice and to make them part of our daily lives. 

We should control our own minds and keep them clean of evil thoughts concerning greed, jealousy, prejudices and hate.  Love, respect, humility and faithfulness to God (not denomination, nationalities, preachers, priest, bishops, traditions, anger, religions,etc) is the only way to a happy life.  

The youngest Indian child at the airport had a bottle of water and without words he walked over to the youngest Filipino child and sat it down in front of her and backed away.  I knew instantly he was sharing all he had to offer the other child love (water).  Tears filled my eyes and I knew I had witness pure love. 

Our minds, our learned behaviors, can make us like God or like the devil.  We should control our minds and not allow others to leads us away from the right path.  RESPECT each other. Human's have more in common than we have differences.  God created us to be like milk and water to mingle together not like oil and water that repel each other.  

I honestly believe if you do not feel this way you have never had a personal relationship with God.  You certainly are NOT a follower of Christ.  

Life is becoming more clear to me as I grow old and my body falls apart like an old worn out car that has traveled many, many happy miles.  Do not make the same mistakes I did if you are still young in body.  You cannot cram five lifetimes into one there is only so much time.  

You do not need to see or do everything to have a full life. You only need to recognize the importance of love and service to each person you meet.  

God did not ask us to solve all of the world's problems just do the best we can with those we encounter. 

There are always people around you that need an encouraging word, a person willing to listen and or a helpful hand.  It is not all about having large sums of money to give away.  A little becomes a lot when good people come together for one cause. 

Few if any of us would sleep with a poisonous snake in our bed so why go to bed with a poisonous snake (our mind)?  Ephesians 4:26 " not go to bed while you are still angry..." Go to bed filled with hate, anger, bitterness, jealousy, prejudices and discontent and  you will awake the next morning with the same bed partner not beside you, but inside you.  You should control your own mind.  Protect your mind from poisonous thoughts of others. 

We should practice being like the children I witness in the Singapore Immigration line.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Paul Ryan's Health Care Bill is a joke not worth laughing at.

President Trump’s Health Care Bill – NOT – It is Paul Ryan’s Health Care Bill!

This is a failure for Speaker Paul Ryan on many levels. Paul Ryan wrote this bill!  As Speaker of the House he is supposed to create legislation that can pass. On this most basic task, Ryan failed, and failed miserably.  He rushed it through because his calendar was more important to him than health care.

I am not convinced that Paul Ryan did not deliberately sabotage the health care bill in order to hurt President Trump.  Never kid yourself Paul Ryan is President in waiting.  President Trump’s successes reflect badly on Paul Ryan because he did everything he could do to guarantee Trump lost the election.

Conservative Republicans will not vote for the bill because it has more bad policy than any bill that has come before the House or Senate before, even ObamaCare. This bill is a political disaster.  That is why I find it hard not to believe that Paul Ryan planned it to be a disaster.

Republicans were glad to see it die.

Ryan spent the latter half of Barack Obama’s presidency promising to repair the Republican Party’s relationship with the poor (remember Ryan’s “poverty tour”?).  He’s spent every day since the passage of Obamacare saying the Republicans could do better. This is what he came up with? The GOP put their greatest policy mind in charge of the House of Representatives and they got ... this?  I did not vote for Mitt Romney because I did not like him anymore than I liked Paul Ryan.  I have always thought Paul Ryan was a snake willing to destroy anyone or anything in order to advance Paul Ryan.  I have heard people commenting about his “beautiful blue eyes”  well I see his eyes differently – “shifty blue eyes”.

The Republican’s made the same mistake that the Democrats made.  They tried to rush a health care bill through and did not give enough time to debate the issues.  Mrs. Pelosi the Democrat genius in speaking about Obamacare said, “We had to pass it in order to know what was in it”.  If that is not totally asinine I do not know what is. 

I get the impression that President Trump is now disgusted with the health care issue and is ready to drop it and move on – a bad mistake!  If he does that he does not have the bal-s I thought he had when he was campaigning.

It is remarkable that after spending seven years establishing repeal and replace as their top priority, Republicans are abandoning the project less than 70 days after taking power. Doing difficult things in the American political system takes patience. 

If what I was told by a member of the House is true Obama threaten the House and Senate in order to get Obamacare passed.  I did  not know anything about this until he told me.  There was a bill that in 2014 would have forced the House, Senate and Federal employees to take the same health care policy the citizens had.  Obama was prepared to allow the legislation go into effect if they did not pass ObamaCare.  Obama in order to get the legislation passed had them declare Washington politicians and Federal workers as SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYEES.  Small Business exemptions are for employers with 50 or less employees.  The last time I counted there were far more than 50 elected and salaried personnel working for the Federal Government in Washington D.C. 

I believe President Trump could use the threat of rescinding Obama’s ruling if they do not pass a workable health care bill.  He will not in my opinion because he would never get another piece of legislation passed while he is in office.   The elected officials would blackmail the President as they do the American citizens when they do not get what they want.  

The Republican line on the bill’s failure is it’s the Democrats’ fault. President Trump said, “We could have done this, but we couldn’t get one Democrat vote, not one,”. Of course, neither Trump nor Ryan nor anyone else ever tried to get Democrats support. They didn’t meet with Democrats, and from the beginning, they used the reconciliation process precisely because it meant they wouldn’t have to deal with Democrats. Trump is going to have a very difficult time if he does not try to get some Democrats behind him because he will never have the support from the majority of the Republicans in office that did everything to try and keep him from being elected.

I am a staunch REPUBLICAN.  I find nothing redeeming about the Democrat party.  I am even amazed that I feel the way I do about the Republicans and especially Paul Ryan about this health care legislation.

I do agree with President Trump when he says in time ObamaCare will explode.  It is impossible to fulfill all the promises in the bill.  We have already experience difficulty with the bill – higher insurance cost, less doctors involved, less insurance companies involved and higher deductibles.  Regardless of what happens with ObamaCare now President Trump and the Republicans will be blamed for not fixing it as they promised.

I think the first thing that needs to be done is to move health care away from an employer/employee relationship.  Citizens deserve the right to be able to afford and have healthcare regardless of who they work for.  It amazes me that in a Third World Country like the Philippines for $100 a year a citizens can have Phil Health which covers hospital and doctors.  The relationship is between the government and the citizens.  Why is that not possible in the United States?  I am not na├»ve I do not think it can be done for $100 a year.

Higher cost employer paid health care should be TAXED.  If you are receiving more than others I see that as a salary benefit and it should be taxed. 

I do not believe people that are able to work and choose not to should be covered by government health care.  I am sorry, I am for welfare when deserved, but not welfare give away.

Health care should not come under free market legislation.  Health care is not something you can choose to have or not have like an expensive car, house, boat, clothing, etc.  Everyone needs health care.  The government should regulate health care cost, insurance premiums and pharmaceuticals. 

The exact same medications I purchase monthly in the Philippines from the very same companies would cost me three to four times more in the United States.  I remember when I first came to the Philippines I went to get a heart medication refilled and when told the price it frighten me.  I ask is this the original or a knockoff and was told it was the exact same medication I received in the United States.  I was asked, “Why do you question the medication” and when I said what it cost in the United States the Pharmacist at Mercury Drug said, “Well if it will make you feel better we can charge you the same price as you pay in the United States.”  I was so unsure that I sent the box and bottle to my Cardiologist in the United States to have him inform me it was the EXACT same medication.  I then learned the Pharmaceutical companies have about four pricing tiers and depending on what country you live in determines what you pay.

Paul Ryan would like to eliminate:
Doctor visits - (I would to for those that abuse them, but how would you monitor that – doctors are not going to say a patient did not need to come to the doctor regardless if they did or not. The doctor wants to be paid).
Emergency room visits - (I feel the same about this as I do doctor visits.  If a person goes to an emergency room for something that could be treated by a physician in an office they should be turned away. I know for a fact the poor abuse this at University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.  I have witness it over and over)
Hospital visits - (If a licensed physician says a patient should be in the hospital the government should not be allowed to second guess that.  If they investigate and find the physician abused the system make him or her pay out of pocket or put them in prison for money paid out fraudulently).
Prescription drugs - (There should be a reasonable co-pay based on income)
Pediatric care - (I believe too much medicine is specialized.  Whatever happen to General Practitioners?  Does a child really need a specialist for flu or cold)?
Lab services - (If licensed physicians request it then it should be paid).
Preventive care - (Within reason).
Maternity care - (Depends on circumstances.  I find it difficult to pay for three or four babies from different fathers.  But, I also have a problem not protecting the baby).  As a staunch Catholic I still believe in mandatory tying their tubes).
Mental health care - (It is an illness as real as any physical illness and should be covered).
Rehabilitation services - (If prescribed by licensed physician it should be paid within reason).
These things should be debated not mandated by Paul Ryan.  I am sure many could find reasonable reasons to disagree with me and their concerns should be considered.

33 Congressional Republicans were publicly against Paul Ryan’s bill.  Health care has been an issue of singular importance for the American people for fifty years.  Societies across the world have had the same problems and societies across the world have instituted some variety of public health care, and have not collapsed financially or morally.  There is a solution, but Obamacare and Paul Ryan Care is not the solution. Paul Ryan’s solution is a compromise that nobody seems to want and that nobody can get excited about.