Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Something fun from the internet, and why you can't believe in everything someone quotes from the bible.

I am going to just post this directly from the email I received. I don't know if it's actually true that Dr. Laura had this discussion or if the person named at the bottom of the email actually wrote it, or actually exists.

But it's a good reason not to just buy into every quote that someone uses from the bible to justify an opinion of there own.

On her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:


Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum,
Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia

Our loss as a nation: Ted Kennedy 1932-2009

August 25th, 2009

Today we lost a great politician, and great statesmen, Ted Kennedy.

I usually don't speak so highly of politicians because most have never earned it. Most politicians are solely in it for power or money. I don't believe the Kennedy's ever were. Born in 1932 as the youngest of nine kids. He has witnessed his family suffer tragedies that most other families would collapse under.

Between the ages of 6 - 18 he witnessed his Sister Rosemary's lobotomy. His Brother Joe's death in WWII, and his sister Kathleen's death in an airplane accident. A year after being sworn in to the senate for the first time his brother John, then President, had been murdered. A few years later his brother Robert was also assassinated. He outlived his 2 nephews, Robert Jr., and John jr. who both died in terrible accidents. And he lived just long enough to see his sister Eunice, founder of the Special Olympics, die.

But through all this he pressed on. He pressed on because he believed, as the rest of his family did, that they had a civic obligation to our country. And to the people they represent.

He was a champion of women's rights. Gay rights. Worker's rights. he was a champion of the poor and middle class. He fought for expanded funding for AIDS research, and for the implementation of Title IX. In 1985 he defied the Apartheid government of South Africa's wishes and stayed overnight in the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And he helped lead the charge to elect our first black president.

He truly is one of our greatest senators in US history.

Now many of his critics will have many things to say in regards to his life. He certainly wasn't a perfect man. He was kicked out of Harvard for cheating, but allowed back after serving 2 years in the military. There was the Chappaquiddick incident in which Mary Jo Kopechne died. But I would argue that is more of a matter between Senator Kennedy, and the Kopechne Family, and they deserve their privacy on the matter.

In summary, I was once posed a question by a friend. The question was : Is the sum of a man's life equal to his greatest mistake? Or is it the value of the whole life that should be judged?

I personally believe it's the latter, and that When you view Ted Kennedy's life as a whole, the realization that we are so much better as a nation with his influence, than without it.

Rest In Peace Teddy. Your work is done here.

*Some information came from wikipedia.

Friday, August 21, 2009

We Don't live in a Capitalist Country! We live in a Democracy!, and Just say NO! to a flat tax.


I'm gonna try and keep this one short.

A good friend of mine, who's opinion I respect quite a bit, Suggested that we live in a Capitalist Country, and the one single flat tax would be more fair to everyone. I'm gonna cheat here and just copy and paste. I know, I'm being lazy. please don't judge me.

Capitalism benefits only the wealthy. It doesn't help out you or I. In essence it "Capitalizes" off of others misfortunes.

And a flat tax certainly is not equal. It, again,
benefits the rich, and hurts people like you and me. 15% when you make $20 Million leaves you with $17 Million. If you make $20K that leaves you with $17K. But the prices you buy goods at are exactly the same. So a rich guy buying groceries, or paying for gas in his car pays the same price as the guy who makes less. But it eats away at the guy who makes less' overall percentage of wealth. Sorry. I say the rich guy could pay more, and us working class and poor people deserve a break. A higher tax on people making over a million and a half a year, still leaves them rich. And allows for tax cuts to people making less than that.

Ok, Now I'm back to writing.

To be honest, the ideology of capitalism isn't necessarily the evil it might seem to be. The basics of it really are that if you work hard, invest in yourself and your work, and are fiscally responsible. Then you should succeed, and reap the rewards of the hard work you've sown. I don't really have a problem with that. In fact, if that's where it ended, fine. But it doesn't end there.

You see, like any ideology, it is subject to influence. This is pretty much true of any ideology. You name it, it's influenced by other factors. Capitalism has allowed a belief that profit and wealth are the most desirable things one can obtain. And it also does not factor in poverty. And these things just can not be ignored.

The question always remains. How much is enough? A capitalist will tell you there is no such thing as enough. But a drive to a never ending goal, allows for society to overlook the things it did to get there. People talk about "Climbing the ladder" but never look at what that ladder is made of. it's made of the hard work of everyone else but the person climbing it. The climber didn't build the ladder, But only wants to be the first person to the top. Which they readily admit there is no top to it.

You see, working class people built that ladder. Everyday workers. Whether they are minimum wage workers, or 100,000 strong union. It's there backs that things were built off of. And when the money rolls in the capitalist fight and horde it all. They dole out the tiniest of scraps. In fact, they only give back tiny little bits. The wealthiest 1% (roughly 3 Million people) control over 66% of the wealth. Leaving the remaining 99% of us (about 297 million of us) left to fight and struggle and survive for that last 33%. It wasn't always this way. In fact, just Thirty years ago, before Ronald Reagan took office, the 1%ers only had 50% of the wealth.

Now how is that Equal? How is that Liberty? How is that Freedom?

CEO's used to make about 5 to 10 times what their average worker made. They now make 344 times what their average worker makes. The good news (I guess) is that that figure is down from 2000, when they made 525 times what their workers made.

Where is the equality there?

Was it fair and equal when Ken Lay stole from Enron and ruined all of his employees pensions, bankrupting all those people? Or was it fair of his wife to get on TV afterwards and cry that they were so poor now,
They only had $11 Million in the bank. I say fuck them, and when he dropped dead, there was
some sort of divine justice.


You can trust in capitalism if you so choose. I'll take my chances with Government. It's most
certainly a mess (and then some), but at least I have a say in who goes to represent me there.

Unlike Capitalism.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WTF??!!?? and Conservatives, time to put up, or shut up.


Let's start this posting off with this: WHAT THE FUCK is with that guy who showed up to protest Obama and had an ASSAULT RIFLE with him???? Not just a gun, an ASSAULT rifle, meaning it's sole purpose is to cause direct harm or fatality to a human and/or animal.

People keep coming to Obama's event's with weapons. This is nutty. Listen to me Gun Owners. NO ONE IS TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS!!!!! And yes, you've made it clear, if anyone does try, you'll just shoot them.

Look, I'm going to be honest here. As liberal as I am, I am not opposed to responsible gun ownership. It's constitutionally protected, just as burning the flag is. But as much as I say I would defend the right to burn the flag (while I personally weep inside) I have to extend that same belief to the 2nd amendment.

That being said, however, that doesn't mean you can own any type of weapon and ammunition without reasonable checks. The NRA freaks out over wait lists, and background checks. I say WTF? This is a weapon designed to KILL. We make people get driver's licenses. hell you can't sell a knish on the streets of NYC without someone making sure you're not gonna pee all over the food and pass it off to someone. It is entirely reasonable to make sure that before someone buys a gun, we should find out if he beats his wife, or if she's been convicted of a violent felony. That's not outrageous, that's common sense. You don't give your buddy the keys to your car after he's had 3 jagerbombs, and you don't give some nut a weapon and wish him luck.

Now, I asked my grandfather, a veteran, once why he didn't own a gun. He looked at me plainly and said "Cuz I'd use it". Kinda the same reason I don't own one.

As for my 2nd point:

Conservatives who are bitching about so called "Socialized" medicine need to put up or shut up!

You see, I find it ironic to scream socialism (which 80% of this country can't really define without having to look it up, and even then half would still not get it) any time the government talks about a new program or service. While Medicare could very loosely be considered "Socialized" let's look at all the other things that we've had that have been socialzed for several decades now.....And What I challenge Conservatives to do if they still want to scream about "Socialism"

The Police - A government run armed force. I say Conservatives, if you get robbed, mugged, raped, beaten or murdered call a private security force. Hopefully they'll be staffed with enough security professionals to get to you in a quick time, and be competant. But the economy is down, and the company's stock is in the tank. So there have been a few, and by few I mean many, layoffs. And going with that....

The Courts - Judges bought and paid for by the regular folks of this country. I say hire independent mediators. They can be subsidized by large corporations. Oh wait...we already have this. never mind.

Firefighters - Damn pinko heros! How dare they use government funds to run into burning buildings and save lives! I say Conservatives, when your house is burning to the ground, go next door, ask your neighbor if you could borrow his hose. And while you are at it, see if he has a bucket and can get a few more people to throw water on the fire. I'm sure you'll get to Grandma Millie in time.

The EMT's - These Stalin lovers are pretty much in the same boat as those Marxist Firefighters. Where do they get off picking you up in an ambulance that has a siren to get you to the NON SOCIALIZED Hospital, where you'll wait on a gurney for 8 hours to get seen. Conservatives, I say when you're having a heart attack, don't call 911. Just drive there yourself. And IF you get there, you'll wait on a gurney for 8 hours to be seen. (Didn't we already have this issue?)

The Roads - Your taxes are through the roof and all you get for it are some lousy roads and highways? Conservatives, I say stop using the roads. Walk through the woods, find paths, SWIM (Private beaches only). Stop using the roads that are maintained by, dare I say it, UNIONIZED WORKERS!!!

I think we all get my point. I could go on and on, and on.........

So That's my call to conservatives, or anyone, who screams that a national healthcare system is anti american and socialism. We have socialized programs in this country that we could not survive without. and we've had them for Decades!! And look! The country still hasn't fallen into that communist trap! Folks, Stop screaming "Socialism" or stop using "Socialized" programs!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why Universal healthcare is so important, and why you shouldn't believe the hype!

I write this now, not to be incendiary, but to hopefully try to inform.

There is a lot of "Talk" about healthcare reform. But very little actual fact. Even most news outlets don't highlight the statistical facts, and only concentrate on the YouTube worthy clips of people shouting, and a bunch of "talking heads" trying to tell you who's right and who's wrong.

Our Healthcare system is a joke. we rank 37th on the World Health Organizations' (WHO) list. Just below Costa Rica (#36) and barely ahead of Slovenia (#38) and Cuba(#39). Cuba is almost a third world country with an international boycott of goods and services to their nation, and we barely rank better than them? This shouldn't be possible, but it sadly is.

Almost every other industrialized western nation has a National Health Care Service. In Canada, they rank 12th in life expectancy, we're 24th.

A lot of people complain that if we get a national system that hard working men and women will be paying for everyone else's healthcare. but the truth is, YOU ALREADY DO! When people without health insurance need to see a doctor, they go to the emergency room. In fact, they flood these departments. When they can't pay their bill, the hospital doesn't just turn and say "Oh Well!". No, they raise the costs on everything so that the people with insurance cover their lost expenses. So now you, with the healthcare plan that costs you or your employer a small fortune each month, need to be seen in a hospital. And they thermometer costs $150, and 2 band aids are $45. And since you have insurance, they decide to run not just the MRI, but they decide to run it twice. Once with Contrast, once without. You probably didn't need that test done. But they know they can get at least most of that money from your insurance company.

Now, after your insurance company has paid the hospital the 65% of the bill it's obligated to, you need to pay the rest out of your pocket. Including those extra, bullshit charges for tests that pretty much told the Doctor what he already knew. And of course the insurance people notice that they've been getting the shaft on "extra" tests. And they're not about to lose profits (it's all about shareholders, you know) so they raise your rates.

Now, we get to you. The guy who's been working hard and paying his bills. You pay $300 a month for you and your wife to have health insurance ($500, if you have kids). Your wife had an anxiety attack once when she was 15, so she gets dropped from your plan, unless you pay an extra $50 a month. The insurance industry has decided to pass on costs to you. Now you've gone and cut your hand while working out in the back yard. You think it probably needs stitches. if you go to the hospital you'll have a $50 co-pay, which you really can't afford right now, because your mortgage is due, and there hasn't been any overtime offered at work for awhile. You decided to just clean it with soap and water, and wrap it in a clean towel your wife just handed to you. You know that with out stitches it'll leave a scar, but hey! Chicks dig scars, so it's cool. The next day you look at it and see yellow puss oozing from it. Uh Oh! Now you have to go to the hospital. Seems your cut got infected and you are now running a fever. So you get admitted. Now you spend three days in the hospital. You are missing work, so you are not getting paid. They had to give you the super strong Antibiotic, but it turns out you were immune to it, because every time you had the flu your doctor gave you an antibiotic instead of an antiviral, and it never worked anyway. So they had to give this new drug the pharmaceutical rep has been pushing. But because it's experimental your insurance won't pay any of it.

Now, you are home from the hospital, but because you are on light duty for a week, your boss only gives you 20 hours (not to mention the 3 days you missed from last week). And your hospital bill has arrived. Isn't it neat how it almost seems to be home before you? So, the three day stay, meals, tests, drugs, including the one not covered by your insurance, comes to a grand total of $5000. But you can't pay it. Your mortgage is due. But then you fall behind on that, because eventually, you try to chip away at the hospital bill and all of it's late fees. But then your mortgage (and a few credit cards you've been using to help get by) start getting paid late, and they start building up late fees too. Before you know it a year has passed, and your buddies are helping you move your stuff into a storage container, because the bank just foreclosed on your home. You'll be moving back in with your mom and dad (At 35!) because you can't afford anywhere else. And besides, they've had some big medical bills lately too, and could use a little help paying for stuff around their house

Now as you've read this you are probably thinking "Geez. What hyperbole!" But the truth is, I didn't get any of this information from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News (which isn't really news), or any other talking head network. My info came from real experiences to real people that I have met, or someone close to me knew. the statistics come from the World Health organizations website.

True story, I walked into Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center With Chest pains late one weekday evening. Now, Johns Hopkins is consistently listed as the #1 hospital in the country. But it is plagued by the same problems any other hospital (especially in an urban area) has. It is overflowing with people. I explain to the nurse that I have a sharp pain where my heart is, and some tingling in my left arm. They sign me in, run a quick ekg, decide I'm not dying and send me to wait. After 5 hours I go up to the triage desk and ask how much longer it will be. The nurse informs me it'll be at least another 8 hours to be seen by a doctor. FOR CHEST PAINS! Frustrated and angry I look at my wife and decide I will just go home. If I drop dead, I instruct her to sue Hopkins. The nurse tells me that I should come back in 6 or 7 hours, as my place on line will still be there, and most people check in and go home. Most people go home and then come back? This waiting room is so full people are sitting on the floors, or on the laps of each other. I leave, take an aspirin when I get home and go to sleep. I survived what ever it was.

A week later I get the bill. They billed my insurance $550. They billed me the $50 co-pay. $600 for an ekg, and a seat for 5 hours.

Let's simply look at the facts here folks.

You pay for all of this stuff already. In fact, you pay for it at a premium, and get a product that's, at best, coach class.

There are no "Death Panels" for old folks.

Yes your taxes will go up. About $200- $300 a YEAR.

Your Healthcare premiums cost you $200-$300 a MONTH.

The number one cause of foreclosure in this country (and what lead to all these banks failing, and all the bailouts) is healthcare expenses.

My employer (who will remain nameless) has agreed with our union to spend $2,000,000 a year for 3 years on Health Care Reform.

Big business' actually want this reform because it will take out a huge expense from their bottom line, and therefore free up more income for things like, oh..I don't know, Wages and Benefits!

You can continue to listen to these talking heads. Have them tell you what you want to hear. but after all these years of their "Infinite Wisdom" none of them has actually fixed anything. Have they?

You have, basically, 2 options here folks.

1) Keep believing the scare tactics and that nothing needs to be changed, or at most, only an agreement of reform needs to occur...........and then reap what you have sown. A healthcare system worse than the one we have now

2) recognize that universal health care has improved the quality of life for every citizen, of every country, it has been implemented in (Yes, you can find a horror story anywhere. But not from a majority of the people in those countries). And push to make our lives better as a whole. For EVERY one of us.

You decide. I just hope you chose that right choice. My kids lives depend on it.


About Me

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I am married and I am a proud father. I have family that I love, and friends that are family. I am very opinionated.