Friday, August 24, 2007

Young People Love God

The AP released an article last night that covered the results of a poll which was taken back in April of this year, 2007.

The majority of teens and young people ages 13 to 24 place God at a high priority for leading a happy life.

Tolerance of other faiths was also impressive among America's youth.

Some major newspapers reported on the poll, as well as all of the typical media moguls, but the article was posted at night, as opposed to during the day when more people would have noticed.

Due to the AP copyright message I have seen everywhere, I guess I can't list any specifics, but I can direct you to the article itself...

God Vital To Young Americans

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Health Care in Canada

FYI: Canada proudly has one of the highest life expectancies (about 80 years) and lowest infant mortality rates of industrialized countries, which many attribute to Canada's health care system.

Canada's health care system is a group of socialized health insurance plans that provides coverage to all Canadian citizens. It is publicly funded and administered on a provincial or territorial basis, within guidelines set by the federal government.

But now the Canadian Medical Association has recommended allowing private competition to enter its national healthcare system.

That way lies disaster, Dr. Arnold S. Relman argued last week on globeandmail.com, the online partner of The Globe and Mail in Toronto.

"If Canada were so unwise as to allow privatization to grow in its health-care system, it would sooner or later experience all of the problems driving the US system toward collapse," wrote Relman, a Harvard emeritus professor and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. "When medical care and health insurance are allowed to become private businesses, costs go up and patients with little or no resources do not get the care they need. That is the lesson Canadians should learn from the United States."


Quoted from Boston Globe.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Majority Rules

Democracy - what does it mean?
a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

So why is it that small minority groups who scream louder than maninstream America are able to get bills and laws passed that cater to their specific interests?

What has happened to "the majority rules" point in democracy?

It's time to make our politicians and judges adhere to some accountability for the decisions they make.

If the majority of Americans are "for or against" a particular issue, do our representatives not "OWE" us the obligation of voting in our (the majority's) best interest?

Why do we continue to vote repeat offenders of "majority rule" back into the same office they so obviously abuse?

Are they following the money?

Or do they just give in because of the media coverage which obviously caters to minority opinions?

The media wants the juicy story, and the best story is one where a group of citizens are marching, protesting, and screaming for action - even if their point of view is in the minority.

Well, the media isn't to blame. I expect more character and honest, deliberated choices representative of his/her constituents from an elected representative than I do a paid journalist who is competing for top dollar billing on TV or radio, or internet sites.

America is getting tired of this type of politician. Take a little heat from the media, your popularity amongst the voters may surprise you.

Presidential candidates on health care

There are many important issues facing our presidential candidates. One of my top issues is their position on health care in the US. I am in favor of a universal health care plan deserving of the citizens of the richest nation on earth.

So far, Chris Dodd (D) has the best health care plan IMO. The following is from his website ... ChrisDodd.com

* The Dodd plan will create a health insurance marketplace called Universal HealthMart that is based on, and parallel to, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP).

* Individuals and businesses will contribute to Universal HealthMart based on their ability to pay.

* Coverage will be portable -- insurance purchased in Universal HealthMart will follow individuals.


My comment: Pefect. Simple. Easy to implement because it already exists in every state in the US for Federal employees.

As for the other Democratic candidates:

Biden (D) wants to insure everyone 18 and under which is not acceptable.

Hillary Clinton (D) isn't sure how she's going to attack this issue, she is waiting on the public to give her ideas. Again, not acceptable.

John Edwards (D) speaks of a type of universal health care, but with no specific details. Not acceptable.

Mike Gravel (D) wants to issue vouchers based on projected needs. I don't quite understand how this will work and until I do, it is unacceptable.

Dennis Kucinich (D) has already introduced a bill for a not for profit health care system, which sounds ok, but I really don't think he will make it to the White House.

Barack Obama (D) claims that we can drive down the costs of health care with reform to insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. I think IMHO, that these types of bills would not pass quickly enough to help anyone in the near future.

Bill Richardson (D) wants to insure everyone under 5, and has some other suggestions, but no real plan IMHO.

Now for the Republican candidates (I saved them for last because they don't really offer us any hope on health care reform IMO) ...

Sam Brownback (R) wants a consumer driven insurance market. That still doesn't help those who can't afford health care so it is not acceptable.

Rudy Giuliani (R) prefers market based health care. Not acceptable.

Mike Huckabee (R), a baptist minister who bought his win in the Iowa straw poll, has the same idea as Giuliani.

Duncan Hunter (R) - same as Giuliani and Huckabee.

John McCain (R) is working on a plan, but is not in favor of universal health care, so IMHO he doesn't take this matter serious enough.

Ron Paul (R) - same as Giuliani, Huckabee and Hunter.

Mitt Romney (R) - same as Giuliani, Huckabee, Hunter and Paul.

Tom Tancredo (R) is also for market based health care, with state and federal help for those who need it. He is also against helping the illegal aliens with health care.

My comment: First we need to stop the migration of illegal aliens into our country. Once they're here, we can't just let them suffer and die because they are here illegally, or can we? I guess they don't deserve any better treatment than legal American citizens are receiving.

As I read over the health care postions of the candidates, I couldn't help but notice that many of the Republicans echo the same idea which apparently has been mandated to them by the Republican Party, which is just outrageous.

As an Independent voter, I vote on issues and the man, not the party.

As a Christian, I don't believe the President has any sway when it comes to pro-life matters, and therefore do not consider a candidate's position on that matter.

I want the best man or woman for the job of the President of the US. They don't have to share my beliefs on every issue, just the ones that are of extreme urgency to the citizens, and the issues where the President can actually make a difference.

You can read the full statements of the candidates concerning health care at
the New York Times website.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Living Longer

I hear it all the time - we're living longer.

Guess what?

"A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics."

Yep, we rank 42 in the world!!

Sadly, the richest country in the world does not provide enough resources and attention to the health of its citizenry.

Let's see, cigarette smoking is down at very good rates from 10 years ago, yet we still do not live as long as we should?

Could we be poisoning ourselves with gas fumes?

What about other forms of air pollution? Asthma is on the rise, but cigarette smoking is not, so, I would have to assume that something else is the culprit.

Obesity, yes that's truly a problem in the US. We can take responsibility for that one ourselves, even though the FDA does not do its job properly.

How about insurance? Nope, I won't buy that one. I had health insurance and still couldn't afford the testing and the meds required to keep me at optimal health.

Basically, we need universal health care that won't cause us to lose doctors and other specialists because of their greed.

It's time for our politicians to start making a difference in America. Healthcare is at the top of the list.

I have two friends with lumps in their breasts. Twenty years ago, those lumps would have been removed. Not now. Even with good insurance, the insurance companies will not pay to have them removed unless they prove to be scary enough. You almost have to be certain that the lumps are malignant to have them removed. What if your Mother died of breast cancer? Not to worry, we still wait and see according to our excellent insurance (bottom dollar) based healthcare. Meanwhile, these women have to play the waiting game...

Let's watch it for a few months and see if they grow or change.

What does that do to a woman's psyche? Imagine the worry, stress, and anxiety she deals with. That's ok though, they have high blood pressure meds, and antidepressants and nerve pills to help them get through this waiting game.


Full Story Here.

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Church Funeral Denied

Would you attempt to graduate from a college you did not attend?  Ridiculous question, right? 

So where is the logic behind this dilemma?

A gay man who died while waiting on a heart transplant was first offered a funeral by the Church where his brother was employed as a janitor,  and then they rescinded the offer when they learned he was gay.  They did, however, offer to pay for a service elsewhere - the family did not accept.

Couple of things got my attention here… first of all, why wouldn’t the family of ANY person who is not affiliated with a church simply have a service at the funeral home or graveside? Working at a Church does not make you a member of a Church, just an employee, and the employee in this case was the deceased's brother.

Secondly, all churches have a set of rules, a doctrine, not usually created by the pastor, unless he has been with them since the beginning, which may or may not have rules regarding who can use their services.

Like it or not, it is a community or “club,” of people who are registered “members,” who share common thoughts, beliefs, likes and dislikes and who contribute to the funding and operation of that church with their own money, so yes, they are entitled to make their own rules. We may not like the rules, but it’s not our place to judge them.   The general public is not entitled to any service from any church.

You don’t apply for graduation from a school if you didn’t attend the school, so why should you expect full acceptance and a proper send-off from a church you were not a member of and didn’t help support?   No, it's not about the money, it's about membership and stewardship.  A little logic and common sense would help here. Churches basically serve members and their families, not outsiders.  Since this man's brother was a janitor at the church, not a member, they had no obligation to break their own rules.

All churches are not involved in their community providing community help and/or services. They should be, but not all church members are spiritually enlightened. They are on a journey of learning and evolving as a follower of Christ, hopefully, but I will not condemn them just because they are still babes.

Find another church. Simple.

I don’t know about this particular person, whether or not he professed to be a Christian.

Word of warning though, you can’t expect a Christian sendoff from any church if you are not a Christian.  The church is not federally funded, and therefore you are not entitled to any special treatment from a church where you are not a registered member.

Now if you really think this is wrong, then you will have to apply that logic to other groups that require membership, such as country clubs (I'd love to go swimming) and warehouse shopping clubs (Sams, Costco) and the list could go on and on...  get the benefits without being a member?  Don't hold your breath.

At least churches don't REQUIRE you to pay, you just have to become a member to receive member benefits. 
Tithing is optional.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Merv Griffin

Sadly, Merv Griffin is gravely ill following a recurrence of  prostate cancer which first struck him in 1996.  Now 82 years old, Merv is hospitalized and fighting the battle of his life.

I remember as a child watching The Merv Griffin Show on TV every day.  I didn't realize at that time how influential he was on television.  I thought he was just a talk show host.  I also watched the Mike Douglas Show, but that's another story.

Merv Griffin - the genius mind of television - gave us such shows as Jeopardy and  Wheel of Fortune.  There were several more shows that didn't quite make it as a hit with American viewers.  However, he has a new show coming out in the fall of 2007 - a crossword puzzle game show.

Merv is also responsible for discovering the talents of Whitney Houston,  Steve Martin,  Richard Pryor,  Ryan Seacrest and his latest find, the British medium with her own TV show "Life Amongh The Dead", Lisa Williams.  Lisa is a bit different from some of the psychics and mediums we are accustomed to.  I watched some of the first season of her show and was quite impressed.  I look forward to the coming season.

Mr. Griffin is also a singer, thoroughbred racehorse breeder, and a real estate mogul.  You can learn more about him at his web site, http://www.merv.com/  where I believe they play the original talk show theme.


Congratulations to Merv Griffin who hasn't stopped the creative process which is so vital to us humans.  Merv has asked that instead of sending him flowers, that people would consider supporting the Young Musician's Foundation which is mentioned on his site.

My prayers are with you, Merv.

God bless, and thanks.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Subliminal Hypnosis

No doubt you've heard of affirmations and subliminal hypnosis, both of which are being implemented by literally thousands of people with amazing results.  What you may not know is that we all have the ability to talk to ourselves and achieve the same result without purchasing the tools.  The only drawback to doing it yourself is that you probably will not dedicate the time each day to actually achieve your goal. 

Success comes when the positive feedback is experienced for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day, every day, for at least 30 days.  Some people have testified to amazing results in less than two weeks, however, many more claim that it takes closer to a month to even begin to see the payoffs.

Therefore, I highly recommend purchasing the tools, such as a CD, DVD or book to help you commit to spending that time with yourself each and every day for as long as it takes to achieve positive results.

Maybe you would like to record your own voice using the affirmations.  This is easy to do.  You can access the information, instructions and precautions at http://mentalhelp.net/...

One resource I am working with now is produced by a Reiki healer who has written many books on the subject.  You receive  a DVD and a CD for one low price.  I am in no way affiliated with that site, I am simply passing on what I perceive to be valuable information.

http://www.healingreiki.com/

Heat Wave causes Mood Swings

Ok, this might not be scientifically or psychologically proven, but oh my gosh it is so true.  Extreme heat waves can cause anger, anxiety, frustration, and every other negative emotion we humans can conjure up.

The heat index here in South Carolina is 118 again today. 

My little tin can has a temperature of 90 in the den and I am just about to go crazy and tell everybody that is messing with me today just exactly what I think of them. 

The temperature in my dining area where my computer is located is certainly worse than 90, but my only proof is my perspiration and my mood.  I have a wet rag around my neck, and I am wearing the largest loosest sleeveless gown that I can find.

Days have gone by, with more promised, that will have our heat index well above 100.  The first few days I just felt tired, then yesterday I became the clumsiest person alive - falling, stumping my little toe and nearly ripping off the nail, bumping into things, and then finally just taking respite on the sofa with a fan blowing in my face until the day ended. 

Today, I have been angry and I can't seem to rid myself of it.  I even typed a nice long email venting my feelings to the one responsible for my anger, explaining the absurdity of the comments that ignited my anger, and then saving it in my draft folder.  I always do that before I send a "rant" email, because after some reflection, I may see that there is no real purpose served in sending such a letter.  So far, I haven't deleted it, but maybe the sun going down will alter my mood and perspective.

As a matter of fact, I feel better now, just sharing my feelings with the potential world, I say potential because I know not many people will read this, but oh well.

Now for some facts...

A recent survey sponsored by The Weather Channel links steamy weather with stormy moods.

Of the 1,000 adults surveyed coast to coast, more than 75% of the respondents in the North Central states said high heat and humidity has a strong negative influence on their frame of mind.

Almost half the total survey respondents said heat and humidity makes them feel lazy or tired. About one-third said sticky weather makes them sick or uncomfortable. Forty-six percent said it slows them down, decreases their productivity. About one-fourth said it makes them irritable, even angry.

Get the full story from another article...

In the Mood

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Back from Mexico

My 16 year old daughter just returned from a week long trip to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, where she was helping to build houses for the homeless, playing with the children and conducting Vacation Bible Schools.

She was a real trooper! 

First of all, she traveled alone, flying from home to San Diego, where she met up with her team.

After arriving in Mexico, she became accustomed to port-a-potties, showers that consisted basically of a water hose with curtains, sleeping in tents, and being covered in sand most of the time, and... NO Mountain Dew!

All jokes aside, she really found it to be a meaningful experience.  She was amazed at how happy and contented the people were, even though most of them were homeless and many of them were ill or disabled. 

If you have a teen who might be interested in a missionary trip, just head over to http://www.globalexpeditions.com for more information.