Friday, May 1, 2009

A New Point About Torture

In his blog post today, "Will Bush Torture Policies Hurt U.S. Military?", Michael Westmoreland-White poses a very interesting and troubling question. Please give that post a look and some thought.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Last Thursday I was making plans to install a door in the basement bathroom and looking toward this week, when I start moving our son back home from school. All was right with the world. Last Friday afternoon, I almost had the door installed when my wife came down talking on her cell phone to the local hospital. She handed it to me, and a hospital representative explained that she was looking for someone to take responsibility for an 89 year old lady who was about to be discharged from the hospital to the local nursing home. The 89 year old was my second cousin. She and my mother were first cousins and there are no other living blood relatives besides my sister and me.

I did not know that my relative was in the hospital, but I was not surprised. She has been an issue for most of this year. She lives alone in less than acceptable conditions, but when we tried to help her, she kindly asked us to leave. Bascially she said, "don't call me, I'll call you." Stubborn mountain woman. The hospital rep. explained that she was somewhat paranoid and delusional, not to mention combative. Needless to say, our lives changed a bit over the course of that phone call.

Since Friday afternoon, most of our waking time has been spent stressing over how to handle this lady's personal business, seeing that she is checked out of the hospital and into the nursing home and answering pages of questions from the nursing home folks, not to mention signing a score of pages. My wife spent most of yesterday getting her checking account to the point that I can sign a few checks to pay off outstanding bills. Then there was cable TV to transfer to the room at the nursing home, phone service to be cancelled, and gas and electricity to be cut off.

This was totally unexpected, but life does that to you. Fortunately, our local nusing home is very well managed. It is the cleanest, best kept such facility that I have visited. There is absolutely no negative odor, it is well lighted, well staffed and modern. It is also run by the local hospital authority. It's primary concern is not the bottom line, but the well being of the patients. Our local residents, from the poorest to the most affluent ultimately enter this facility when they can no longer be cared for at home.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pandemic Preparedness Funding Cut - Republican Shortsightedness at Its Worst

Thanks Senator Collins. According to Karl Rove the inclusion of pandemic preparedness funds was '"disturbing" and an example of President Obama's "lack of engagement and leadership."' Bitter though it may be, I guess the President has the last laugh.

In the meantime, Repubs fiddle while Rome burns as they continue to filibuster the appointment of the Health and Humans Services director. This at a time when that position is direly needed. Yet another nail in their almost complete coffin.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Feel LIke Vacationing in Cancun?

I do not believe that I would be associating with anyone who has been to Mexico in recent days. Countries across the world are starting to report that swine flu may be showing up in students, who recently returned from that country. They are also beginning to ban meats from Mexico and other American countries.

We have an abundance of Mexican citizens, who are passing back and forth across the border. There are also the vacationers, who find that country's beaches attractive. Then, of course, we have the drug dealers, who are bringing large volumes of drugs across the borders and with them, probably, swine flu viruses. We import vegetables and other perishables from Mexico, as well.

At this point the government has done nothing to stem the flow of goods, services, and people from Mexico. I understand that there is a need to be concerned about panic, but suddenly, this potential pandemic has reared its head. It has already shown up in this country and is starting to spread around the world. Now is the time to take action.

The border should be closed to all but essential traffic. No casual visitors to and from that country. That means strict border control, regardless of the repercussions. The daily flow of Mexican illegals should be stopped by whatever force is necessary to close the border. The lives of thousands of American citizens, Mexican citizens in this country and illegals in this country are at stake.

It may already be too late as Mexican visitors and illegals are probably already spreading the virus among their friends and neighbors in this country, who in turn are spreading it beyond their communities. This may very well be the pandemic that the WHO has been dreading. Whether this country is prepared for it or not remains to be seen. Many local governments and hospitals are seriously hampered by budget issues and it may be very difficult for them to effectively rise to the occasion.

Let us hope and pray that this thing does not spread as badly as it appears that it may. For the first time in modern history this country may come to understand the days of the cholera, smallpox, and typhoid epidemics that once swept across its expanse. It could not come at a worse time, as we are already weakened economically and we face so many other difficult issues.

Yet, maybe we should not worry. The end timers have said that with the coming of the anti-christ Obama, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the depression, the end is near. Now with the possibilty of a world wide epidemic added to the mix, they must be gleefully rubbing their hands together in anticipation of saying, "I told you so."