Month: December 2013

Good-Bye Good Health Care

On Christmas Eve I went to my local hospital emergency room with a condition called, Bell’s palsey. Bells palsy is manifested by a paralysis of one side of the face. In this case it is the right side, and it makes drinking, eating, and talking difficult. It is like having half your face desensitized with Novocain by your dentist.

You get the drools real easy.

A follow-up visit to a neurologist has resulted in the order for an MRI to investigate if there are other problems. You see, I had the same problem on the left side of my face about seven years ago. The operating theory now is that this may not be a coincidence.

I get my MRI tomorrow at 1:00 PM. If I were living in Canada, or God forbid, depending on the public health care sector of the United Kingdom, I wouldn’t get that MRI for months.

From the Telegraph, “The NHS in England had 6 MRI machines per million population in 2010, with figures across Britain putting the country below the Slovak Republic, Turkey, Estonia and Ireland in a league table of provision.”

By contrast, the United States had about 26 MRI machines per million population in 2007. This does not include the ubiquitous CT Scanning machines that you find in virtually every hospital, and some doctors offices here in the USA.

My point is that it took about three days to schedule an MRI for my brain scan, and two of those days were over the weekend. That wouldn’t have happened in the UK, or in Canada. Well, if you are rich maybe there’s a way around the rules that the peasants over there have to obey.

I could go into the legions of studies that were done in the last decade that showed that the USA health care system was 49th in the world, but this one blog does not allow the space and time for that.

Let it be known, that now we have Obama Care ripping hundreds of billions of dollars from senior care (Medicare) to pay for indigent insurance, the death rates will rise significantly as the government rations health care to the elderly.

The overall quality of health care in this nation will go down. I guess the Canadians will stop coming over the border for a visit, now.

What Did Phil Robertson Do Wrong?

First of all, he opened his mouth in an interview run by someone who would try to trap him into saying things that would be easy to misinterpret.

Secondly, Mr Robertson talked about happy black people when he was growing up. That’s what called Jesse Jackson into the act. My problem is that I understand the man, having grown up in the same time, and similar cultures. My difference is that I had an advantage in that I grew up in a city. Everybody, including blacks, had shoes in the city, but not in the country.

As a matter of fact, my father bought my shoes and clothes at a Jewish owned department store called, “The Black And White Store”. The marketing strategy was obvious, to sell to the poorer white community, and to the black community. This was something the large department stores in downtown Memphis did not do.

Phil Robertson grew in a rural community, where the swamps were a major feature, and furnished part of the living for poor families in Louisiana, both black and white.

It was part of the old South where economies during he Civil War had been devastated, homes and farms were burned, and legislative barriers to trade between the southern states and the northern states were the norm. The entire US southern states were in abject poverty from the time of the end of the Civil War until the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Of course, these economic deprivations were not only visited on white southerners, but black citizens were acutely affected. Reconstruction greed of the northern states knew few boundaries, punishing all living the south. A crying shame after the Civil War is that the anti-slavery advocates in the northern states paid little to no attention to the condition of black America after their freedom from slavery.

So it was that in Phil Robertson’s childhood in the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was probably just as barefooted as the black kids with whom he saw and communicated every day. How can I say this? Even though I was born in the City of Memphis, I still visited kin in the Mississippi Delta where poverty was still the normal in living for millions in the deep South. I was witness to these conditions.

So, before you get off criticizing Phil Robertson, you might want to take a look at what almost everybody in the Old South had to do, black and white, to get along. White people were way better off, but if you were an elementary kid, or even high school kid, you really didn’t know all the facts and history of that society. Opportunities were stolen from black and white, alike.

It is a rewarding thing today to look up and down my street in the Atlanta Georgia area and count the number of black families with whom we are friends. My best neighbor, ever, is a black family. Our kids grew up together, and they are welcome in our house, or our daughter’s  wedding.

We have discussed some things about our racially motivated society, and I have no fear that our mutual love and people and our Christianity will overcome any problems that might arise. I believe we have come a long way.

This Phil Robertson thing will blow over, soon. Nobody will learn anything from it.

A New Christmas Tradition?

According to my son-in-law, it is our family tradition to not let a Christmas season go by without a hospital visit by someone. He is exaggerating, of course, but this year it was me. As a matter of fact, I had a kidney removal the December after he joined our family. He also had to escort my niece to the emergency room on another Christmas.

This year, on Christmas Eve at one o’clock in the afternoon, I drove myself to the local hospital emergency room for treatment. For the second time in my life I had contracted Bell’s palsy, a malady which manifests itself as an attack on the nerves that control the facial muscles. In a few hours I went from being a relatively handsome, distinguished man to looking like the latest iteration of Frankenstein.

With Bell’s palsy, exactly one-half of the muscles in your face go limp. The disease strikes one side of the face or the other, and it looks like half your face is sliding off, giving one’s visage a grim, sneering look. It ain’t pretty.

After an examination by Dr Malcolm, and a CT Scan to make sure I had not had a stroke, I was released into the wild with a couple of prescriptions. It seems that corticosteroids are the primary treatment for the palsy, and that is to relieve the inflammation.

That’s all they gave me for a multi-thousand dollar emergency room visit. So, I endeavored to assist the medical profession by adding to the effort, and stopped by a local liquor store.

That’s when I discovered Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey. Those of you who keep up with the Moonshiners program on the History Channel know of whom I speak. Popcorn Sutton was a (almost) world-famous moonshiner in Tennessee. He swore he would never go to prison, and when the Federal revenuers finally got him, he committed suicide rather than spend most of the rest of his life in jail.

Popcorn’s whiskey was reputed to be some of the best moonshine, ever, and after his death was put into commercial production.

I was anxious to try the 93 proof nector of the cornstalk, and was rewarded with something totally unexpected. The stuff is as clear as water (White Whiskey), very little aroma, and a delicate, lingering taste reminiscent of Johnson’s Floor Wax. I had to read the label, again, to make sure I had the right stuff.

Between my diligence in going to the emergency room, and Popcorn Sutton, I think I am going to beat this Bell’s palsy thing. I just hope that neither emergency rooms or moonshine will become a Christmas tradition.

“False Controversies” Do Not Exist, Susan Rice!

Shame on Susan Rice, again. First, she lied to the American people about what happened on the 9/11 anniversary when our ambassador to Libya was murdered by Al Qaeda terrorists in a planned attack. She insisted that the reason for the attack was a dumb anti-Islam  video on YouTube.

Recently in an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, she told Leslie Stahl that the Benghazi scandal was a “false” controversy. Now, an event can either be controversial or not, but there is no such thing as a false controversy.

Got that? There is NO SUCH THING AS A FALSE CONTROVERSY! How can I say this with confidence? Well, it is just a little bit of logic, and a bit of the King’s English employed to point out another fallacy in Susan Rice’s words.

OK. If something happens, or somebody says something that someone else questions and pursues the perceived truth of a matter, then the situation is controversial. If something is controversial, it is controversial no matter the position of any one party of the discussion/argument.

A controversy is a controversy. It is the duty of the Administration to lay out their time line, explaining where every one was, and allowing the participants and witnesses to be interviewed. The Obama Administration has consistently stonewalled the Congress and the press on the Benghazi controversy.

We have a dead ambassador, and dead US citizens who were charged with protecting out people in a hostile country. Instead we get Susan Rice with her false controversy testimony.

The citizens of the United States and the employees of the Government who put themselves in harms way, daily, deserve better.

Susan Rice should resign, and be investigated for her culpability in the death of our representatives. The Cover Up begins with her.

It takes a lot of Tennessee Sippin’ Whiskey to cover-up this one, but I’m trying.

New Ad Campaign for Obama Care

picture of Burma Shave advertising signs
Burma Shave Signs – Wikipedia

For those of you who were born in the south in the early to mid-twentieth century, you will remember the famous bill board advertising campaigns of Burma Shave, Rock City, Ruby Falls, etc.

This was before the limited access interstate highway system when farmers could rent out the sides of their barns to let advertising companies paint their messages for all to see. What a trip down memory lane.

picture of bird house with Rock City on it
Rock City Ad on Birdhouse

Since our President is having a tough time selling his signature health care insurance program, I thought I would do some out-of-the-box creative stuff and help the Prez out a little.

Barry Baby needs to have his own Burma Shave type sign campaign, and here I offer a few example slogans to help put some lipstick on that pig called, Obama Care.

As you drive along
Life’s dreary highway
If you need help
Get ready to pay

Check your underwear
Make sure there’s no stain
If you crash your butt
You get nothing but pain

When times are tough
He’s got your back
Just watch your wallet
‘Cause that’s his knack

Check yourself
Before you wreck yourself
If you do
You’re in the poo
(hat tip to police chief David Oliver, Brimfield Ohio, and his Tweet vis-a-vis Kanye West)

Well, that’s my effort for the day. What would your signs say?