Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All In Our Lifetime: Part II – American Phoenix

            Here we are, 31 months into a presidency that is unlike any other in our history.  We have a president that has such a mysterious, hidden past that nobody has stepped forward and said, “I went to school with him,” or “he lived in my neighborhood.”  No class pictures, all records are sealed and inaccessible to the public.  The public that voted him into power; electing a virtually unknown entity with a smooth manner and gift at reading a teleprompter. 

            Some believe he is really stupid, in that he doesn’t seem to know what he is doing with our country’s economy, other than destroying it.  But how can that be so when he attended Columbia and Harvard?  Can you get a degree from a prestigious college and still be stupid?  Of course!  There are thousands of college grads from prestigious universities who have done incredibly stupid things.  Some are even marginally literate, yet they’ve made it through.  But that is not his case; he is dumb like a fox.

            Our incredibly successful country has fallen to its knees because of one thing more than any other: compromise.  Slowly, insidiously, we have inched along the wrong fork in the road, taking us farther from capitalism and closer to a socialist society.  Compromising conservatives gave the liberal faction small concessions so that they could get what they wanted in another bill.  Those small concessions were often socialist programs, or expansions of those programs, and we are now finding that we can no longer afford them.  This began with Roosevelt, but now we have a man who intends to commit the coup de grĂ¢ce by totally bankrupting our Nation through a subversive plan.  If you have not read about the Cloward-Piven (C-P) strategy, please do so now.  The Wikipedia definition is adequate.

            Go back to what ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) was doing well before he was elected.  As a Chicago community organizer himself, he was involved with ACORN and benefited greatly from their efforts.  Remember, one of ACORN’s primary objectives is to get as many people signed up for government assistance programs as possible (C-P).  What did extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks do?  It added more people draining the Treasury for longer periods.  What did the bailouts and stimulus do?  Not only drained the Treasury, but extended debt even further into the future for coming generations of Americans.  Remember, only half of American workers are paying income tax, so that debt doesn’t fall on all Americans equally; it falls on the half who pay taxes.

            The oath taken by our military, to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” was included in 1862 as a direct result of the Civil War.  It applies, however, in a broad sense, to everyone who would seek to alter or destroy the true meanings of the Constitution, or manipulatively misinterpret those meanings.  That is what members of Congress have done for many decades, both Democrats and Republicans.  ANY action that would circumvent or ignore the true meaning of the Constitution is an act against it. It’s time we all recognized this and realized that our greatest enemies today are not from abroad, but from within.  Socialism is taking away the country we once knew.

            Socialism IS THE ENEMY of our Constitution, and those that propose socialism, under any guise, are enemies, too.  Whether you call it liberalism, progressivism, or some other pleasant-sounding term, the underlying action is always the Marxist rule of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”; which means redistribution of wealth.  It’s high time we recognize our enemies for whom they are; leftist liberals, regardless of political party. 

            It’s time members of Congress STOP compromising with our enemies.  Give them NOTHING.  We will not return to true Constitutionality until this philosophical cancer is eradicated from our government at every level.  You, as an individual, may give every penny you earn to those whom you believe are in greater need than yourself.  But you CANNOT take from one person and give that person’s earnings to another.  This is even more true when you term that gift “foreign aid.”  Our government has been playing Robin Hood with our money long enough.  We need to stamp out socialism no matter what program or form it has taken through the years.  These are not obligations that our Constitution authorized; they are programs of Communism.

            Congress and presidents have enacted laws allowing for forfeiture of earnings (theft by force of arms any way you look at it), but those laws are, in fact, unconstitutional.  There is no authority in that document’s original intent that would even remotely condone such acts, yet arguments to the contrary eventually gained enough support (compromises) to enable passage.  Can they be undone?  Certainly, but it will require a massive effort by every concerned citizen, with the understanding that those who have benefitted for decades will fight with equal effort against change.  When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will always have the support of Paul.

            People who profess to be staunch Democrats need to reevaluate their beliefs.  The Democrat Party is no longer the party of your grandparents.  It, AND the Republican Party (through compromise), have adopted every plank of the Communist platform.  This is why the Communist Party in the USA has stopped running candidates for president, as they did when I was young.  Democrats and liberal Republicans are now supporting socialism/progressivism/Marxism/communism in Congress, passing laws that are taking us ever further down the slippery slope toward a United Soviet States of America. 

This creeping communism is the reason our country is in such dire straits today, and our president is the most Marxist president we have ever elected.  If we don’t vote them all out, we and our progeny will lose the greatest country the world has ever seen.  The only alternative is armed revolt.  We cannot accept a truce, a compromise.  We need unconditional surrender.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All In Our Lifetime: The Bankruptcy of America

            America’s backwoods pioneer hero, Davy Crockett, served as a U.S. Congressman from Tennessee for two terms, representing two different districts.  He went to Washington first in 1827 for the 9th District, then again in 1833 to serve for the 12th District.  During his tenure a bill came up for vote to donate an amount from the Treasury to the widow of a Navy officer.  Although the bill was defeated, he voted for it as a matter of sympathy.  While travelling his district, however, he was informed by one of his constituents that the money was “not yours to give,” and that nowhere in the Constitution was authority given to Congress for charity purposes.  Today we know this as “redistribution of wealth,” part of the doctrine of Karl Marx who wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848.

            Although the United States had weathered debt off and on from the very beginning of its creation, most notably due to the Revolutionary War, and then the Civil War and others, we were always able to pay it off and move forward, becoming the richest nation on earth.  The Constitution established a system of free enterprise capitalism, and protected it from abuse and misuse.  Article 1, Section 8 clearly sets out the powers and duties of Congress.  I wasn’t until 1935 that a program was established that would inevitably drain the Treasury beyond revenue.  That was President Franklin Roosevelt’s (Democrat) “New Deal” creation of The Social Security Act (unconstitutional), a program that would itself be bankrupt in 100 years.  Social Security grew to the point where it consumed one fifth of the annual budget.  With the average lifespan today far exceeding that of 1935, the plan was flawed from its birth.  We were in a depression then, and it was a desperate attempt to help Americans.

            Then came World War II, which was the key event that brought us out of The Great Depression that began in 1929 (NOT Keynesian economics), and after the war our economy was booming.  We pretty much forgot about Social Security and didn’t mind the seemingly small amount that was taken out of our paychecks each week.  After all, we would get it all back some day, right?

            Spending on defense (constitutional) was cut back after WWII, but then the Cold War saw it escalate again, and the defense budget has waxed and waned to the needs of several wars since 1945.  Today it stands at 20% of our annual budget.[1]

             President Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) created an expansion of Roosevelt’s work when he signed the Social Security Act of 1965 (unconstitutional) to create the social insurance program we know as Medicare.  The costs of Medicare doubled every four years between 1966 and 1980 due to health care costs.  Today it is expected that Medicare will be bankrupt just 50 years from its creation.  Medicaid (unconstitutional) was also created in 1965.  Each state administers its own Medicaid program and provides up to half of the funding for Medicaid.  Medicaid and Medicare are in the same financial boat heading for Niagara Falls.

            Social Security is currently the largest social insurance program in the U.S., where combined spending for all social insurance programs constitutes 37% of government expenditure.  Whenever I bring up the issue of Social Security, people go on the defensive and claim, “I’ve paid into it, so I deserve to get it back.”  That is true, anyone who received a paycheck in their lives (and had a Social Security Account Number SSAN) paid into the system for both Social Security and Medicare.  When it was started, there were three workers being taxed for every one taking out of the program.  Today it is reversed, with three taking out for every one putting in.  Regardless, this was a legalized, revenue-adjustable Ponzi (pyramid) scheme from the beginning.

            One of the first citizens to benefit from Social Security paid into the system a total of less than $25.00.  She received in her lifetime (lived to 100) over $22,000.00 in benefits.  Now, obviously, this is an exception, but how many people end up putting far less into it than they get out, especially if they retire at 65 (or younger), and live well into their 80s?  Where does that extra money come from?  It’s not from interest on the “invested” money.  It has to be taken from other citizens’ contributions, or from the general fund in the Treasury. 

            How about all the children on Aid to Dependent Children benefits, where nothing on their behalf has been put in?  How about all the people who claim disability who never put anything in?  Where does the money come from for food stamps, lunch programs, Medicaid, home heating help, SSI, etc., etc.???  Yes, we put into Social Security and should be given back at least that amount because that was the “agreement,” right?  No, there was no agreement.  The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) was IMPOSED upon us by our government, which means Congress approved it and it was not just Democrats, but Republicans, too (House voting yes – 284 Democrats, 81 Republicans; no: 15 Democrats, 15 Republicans.  Senate –  yes: 60 Democrats, 16 Republicans; no: 1 Democrat, 5 Republicans).

            So you put into Social Security and expect to get that money back.  What about the employer?  Your boss had to pay the same amount into the system on your behalf.  Most people don’t know that.  Yes, FICA is doubled by your employer matching funds and a check is sent into the government every payday.  And you thought it was just your money, didn’t you?  Think about it.  The employer has to come up with that money somehow, so the costs of doing business are passed on to the consumer who buys the product or service you provide.  Everyone’s cost of living goes up a fraction of a cent, so nobody’s really hurt, right?  This is how Congress thinks when they pass another bill that will increase someone’s costs – it will be spread out throughout the population, so nobody will be financially hurt by their bill.  Now, multiply that bill by several thousand and what do you have?  Inhibition of business and free enterprise.

             Initially just 1 percent of the first $1,400 of your wages were withheld from your paycheck, and matched by your employer; just $14!  Over the years, Congress increased, tweaked, modified, and amended it so that now you pay 6.2% of the first $106,800.00 (if you have a really good job), which totals $6,621.60.[2]  I doubt that this bill would pass Congress today at its present rate, but it’s too late now, folks.

             But I digress.  How did we get into our financial situation today?  Probably as much by EXPANSION of benefits to more and more people as by any other reason.  If limited to the few who really needed government assistance for a short period of time to get back on their feet, we would probably be very financially secure indefinitely.  I’m amazed at the number of Americans who are receiving some level of disability check every month who appear to be as physically fit as myself.  Is it Crohn’s disease?  Wear a Depends®.  Are you blind in one eye or have cataracts?  Confined to a wheelchair?  Only have one arm?  Other than complete physical or mental disability, there are many people with the same problem (or worse) that choose to work and contribute to society.  It is, obviously, a personal choice to be either a plus or a minus.  Kick back and enjoy the “free money” from our wonderful, socially conscious government (or help yourself with the fruits of your own labor, not someone else’s).  Avoid the stigma of relying on family, church and community.  Get a check from the government and you can live reasonably well with pride, and you don’t need to tell anyone.  Say you have a wealthy uncle.

             I’m dismayed and saddened when I think that the demise of our country was laid out in my lifetime by people who believed in socialism[3] more than in the restrictions of our Constitution.  We have stepped way beyond the confines of that noble document, and are so far from its original intent that it may require a second Revolution “to throw off such government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”[4]

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Liberty and Tyranny

Liberty and Tyranny

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”    -  Thomas Jefferson

            We the people should not fear our government, as our earliest Founding Fathers pointed out.  And yet, now, we all fear what our government can do to us.  The writers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution could not foresee a future government that would manipulatively misinterpret their words and meanings to transform a free people into slaves of socialism.

            We fear that we have made a mistake in filing our income tax (16th Amendment ratified Feb. 3, 1913), and that we will be not only fined, but must pay interest on our mistake, or be imprisoned.  If we own a business, we fear that OSHA or the EPA will arrive at our door unannounced and fine us $1,000.00 for every spray bottle or container that doesn’t have proper labeling.  Companies that have government contracts fear doing anything that may result in them losing those contracts.  Gun owners fear the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the possibility that our current government might overturn the 2nd Amendment.  People on any of the myriad welfare programs, including unconstitutional Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, greatly fear that the government that gave them these “entitlements” might also take them away, even though workers have paid into these programs.  The gravy train could stop when it runs out of fuel (taxes forcefully taken out of our hard-earned salaries). 

            “Forcefully taken out,” I say?  Yes.  If you refuse or deny the government its tribute you will be arrested by an armed officer and charged with income tax evasion.  Not only that, but our government frequently states that it is “allowing us to keep” some of our earnings.  What???  Government had no right to our earnings to begin with under the Constitution.  Subsequent

            This administration and Congressional liberals (Dems and Reps) have recently stated they fear losing the “full faith and credit” of the USA if they didn’t raise the debt limit.  They should be reminded that the full faith and credit of the USA relies upon the ability of American workers to produce goods and services and pay those debts.  That means that our credit relies upon just over half of our population, because the other half PAYS NO TAX into our treasury.  It’s time government realizes this, and before it spends any more of our money it should find a way to stop the Marxist redistribution of our wealth, and eventually eliminate this cancer upon the productivity or our Nation, i.e. the theft of income for redistribution.

            Whoah, wait a minute, you say.  We can’t take those programs away from those poor, unfortunate Americans.  They DEPEND upon them.  That’s exactly right.  It’s time they depended upon themselves, their families, their churches and their communities instead of Uncle Sam.  It was never meant to be this way when our country was founded, and this is the number one reason why we, as a Nation, are broke today.  Marxist entitlements, and government is trying to expand upon them and create new ones at a time when we are borrowing 46 cents of every dollar government spends.  That, my friends, is insane.

Friday, April 22, 2011

China Vacation!

            Heading to China (People’s Republic of China/Communist China) for a tour?  How wonderful!  You know their culture is thousands of years old?  Oh, the beautiful, historic sites you will see.  Absolutely fabulous.

            There’s a really good book you should read before planning or going, so that you will be ready.  Written by J. Maarten Troost, it is a travelogue of sorts, just published so it is very current.  It is entitled, “Lost On Planet China,” and I’m sure you will enjoy Mr. Troost’s humor and observations.

            One thing you may find a little shocking, and it’s something we’ve stopped doing centuries ago, is urinating in the streets.  Yes, sometimes nature calls, you know.  Mothers holding children to urinate in ashtray stands and waste bins is also rather common.  Think nothing of it.

            Now, we may think it is crude or impolite, but get used to people hawking up great gobs of mucous and expectorating.  Yes, I know many of our municipalities have had ordinances prohibiting spitting on the sidewalk for a long time, but this is China.  Walking around outside in any of the large cities is like smoking a pack of cigarettes.  The irritation from pollution is hard on the sinuses and mucous membranes.  It’s just natural that those enflamed tissues are going to be flushing out the pollutants, and it’s best to spit that out.  Just watch where you step.  That’s why they take their shoes off when then enter their homes.

            You know, of course, that there are 1.3 billion people in China?  Well, don’t plan on going when there is a national holiday over there!  You think Disney World is crowded?  They don’t mind pushing and jostling, or line-jumping, too.  It’s just the way life is in a crowded country, so buck up.

            Now the places you will be eating meals will probably be OK.  I think.  Did you know that China forbids foreign inspectors on their farms?  Yes, they do their own inspections, thank you.  The rice might be alright, but they do still use human waste as fertilizer.  Pollution is really bad, too, from pesticides to heavy metals.  Did I mention Salmonella, E. coli, or Campy?  Hey, let’s just not talk about viruses or intestinal parasites.  Does the word “chow” come from Chow Chow dog?

            I hope I haven’t dissuaded anyone from going to China.  You know, they need our dollar much more than we need it here in the USA.  By the way, have you visited all of our National Parks yet, or other famous sites here at home?  Maybe we should?

            Chevy Chase ought to look into doing a lampoon movie on this one; “China Vacation.”

This Is War

     I see what’s going on in Congress and I’m mad.  We are in a struggle between the Constitution’s original intent and the forces of socialism.  The Republicans are “playing nice” and being very “diplomatic” in their palavering and compromising with the Democrats, coming to agreements on budget and spending cuts. 
     The Democrat/liberal/socialist/progressive/collective/Marxist agenda should, however, be totally rejected and fought tooth and nail.  The words of General George S. Patton should be applied here, “We're going to hold onto him by the nose, and we're going to kick him in the ass.”  From the very beginning with Social Security, there is NOTHING in our Constitution’s original intent that condones or supports government welfare for ANYONE or anything (corporation).  Socialist programs were enacted through manipulative interpretation of “promote the general welfare” and Article 1, Section 8. 
     It’s time our representatives and senators who truly care about saving this great Nation realize that their “colleagues” on the other side of the aisle intend to enslave us all.  They are not colleagues; they are the enemy, and they will win unless we “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  It is the equivalent in Congress of Patton on one side and Stalin on the other.  Get serious!  Get mad as hell!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Zombie Vote

            Many of you have seen the old 1940 “Ghost Breakers” movie clip with Bob Hope equating Democrats with zombies in the way they vote http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWpU8sX10_4.  It’s not just Democrats, however, that possess a “core” of voters that will continue to vote R or D, no matter what.  This core vote is what each party relies upon every election; votes that they can always count on, no matter who their candidate is.  That’s where the saying about a “yellow dog Democrat” comes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_dog_Democrat.  And it’s not the same as the “cemetery vote,” or dead people who continue voting.

            If you are a major party candidate, you don’t need to worry about spending money to sway or gain these voters; they’re already in your pocket.  If you’re running as an independent or third-party candidate, you can forget about them, they belong only to their party and nobody else.  That’s why some candidates who are independent at heart choose to run under the Republican or Democrat banner.  That’s the only way they’ll get those core votes.  Nothing can convince those voters that they may be wrong.  It’s like some people who just can’t admit they’ve made a mistake.  And that goes for BOTH parties.

            In our last presidential election, 96% of African-Americans voted for the Democrat, Obama.  In past elections African-Americans gave about 80% of their votes to Democratic candidates.  This is in spite of all historic evidence that the Republican Party has done more for African-Americans than Democrats.  It’s a continuing misconception that liberals will put more food on their tables and make their lives better in general.  It’s just not true.

            This is part of what’s wrong with our two-party system.  All those zombies who don’t know what they’re doing when they step into the election booth.  They just look for the R or D and pull the handle, helping to decide how our country fares in the next four years (or two or six for Congress).  They’re not helping the country.  They need to rethink their votes, but from the core voters I’ve talked to, that’s not likely going to happen.  They’ve voted for the same party for generations; “What was good enough for my Dad is good enough for me!”


The Game Is Rigged

            You’ve got to hand it to P.T. Barnum.  He knew the average American when he said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  Carnival gamers use his logic to get people to step up and spend their money, even though their game is fixed.  Our American political system uses the same logic, because the election game is fixed here, too.

            Our two-party system is fixed against anyone else taking part in government.  The Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee both have stated how hard it is to get good people to run for office.  But they don’t want “good” people.  They want people who can bring in the money and take orders.  First, it takes money to get elected, and second, they don’t want you to rock the boat.  Life is good in Washington, D.C.

            Once elected, you are kept “in line” by the party.  Do you want to get reelected?  You have a 98% chance of keeping your seat (job), if you follow the party’s rules and do as you’re told.  The party will spend big bucks to keep you in place so they can count on your unfailing vote.  Just don’t stand up for what you and your constituents believe in.  The party knows what’s good for you.

            Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to destroy our two-party system.  Americans need to know where they stand.  Conservatives are Republicans, and liberals are Democrats.  That’s how you know who to vote for.  If you want smaller government, less federal control, lower taxes and less spending, you are conservative, right?  If you want bigger government, don’t care about taxes, and want Uncle Sam to take care of you from cradle to grave no matter if you like to work or not, then you are a liberal, OK?

            That’s what they want you to think.  Keep it simple, stupid!  But, in fact, both parties like bigger government; it increases with every administration.  You have to repay your loyal supporters with a good job.  The patronage system works; you vote for the party and get others to do the same, and you’ll get your reward.  It’s really great if the new administration creates a new department, like the Department of Energy, or the Department of Education.  Departments employ thousands!

            So, what’s the solution Americans?  Many of you will continue to vote for the party man or woman, because you believe in your party and that’s what you’ve done all your life.  Your party knows what it’s doing and knows what’s best for you.  But if you believe like I do, then it’s time you truly made a difference in American politics.  It’s time to vote for an independent for Congress and for president.

            Many have said that independents don’t have a chance because they aren’t organized.  That used to be true.  You need a huge organization like the Democratic Party or the Republican Party to get elected.  But wait, we DO have a potential organization!  It’s called the tea party, and there’s one in every area of this country.  The tea parties were born out of frustration with our government and anger over the direction the administrations and Congress are taking us.  Anger at BOTH parties and their disregard of the “average American” citizen.  Anger over the huge debt they keep piling on future generations.  Anger over failure to seal our borders, to stop hemorrhaging jobs overseas, to harvest our own oil, to use our coal, to build nuclear power plants, to stop fighting unwinnable wars, to stop appeasing everyone else in the world.  Our citizens want government to help America and Americans first, follow the original intent of our Constitution, and retain our world leadership.  We do not want to continue down this road of destruction that will only end in us becoming a second-rate wheel in a one-world government with its “global economy.”

            It is way past time that America’s many tea parties banded together to promote and support not just another Republican for president, but a candidate of the people, by the people, and for the people – an independent moderate conservative who will sign a binding contract with voters to do what needs to be done.  No promises that will evaporate after the swearing in.  In fact, no promises at all; just a legal contract that must be fulfilled.  Verbal promises, as we have seen time after time, are worthless.  Get it on paper.

            Can the tea parties of America come together to save our Nation?  I believe we can.  I believe we must.  We must get out of this R – D – R – D rut or it will be too late to save the America we grew up in.  If we continue down this path, voting for different sides of the same coin, we will be telling our grandchildren one day about the wonderful country we once knew when we were young.  Like Edward G. Robinson telling Charlton Heston in “Soylent Green.” 


What Did A Trillion Dollars Do?

            Many people do not truly understand the impact that President Obama’s Stimulus Plan has had on each and every one of us.  When you have an amount of currency in circulation – roughly $7 trillion – and you instantly add another trillion to it, what happens?  First of all, whatever cost you $7.00 last month will now cost you $8.00 because you have not increased the value of the money, but DECREASED its value.  The product you are buying still has the same value, but the money you are using to buy it has been “diluted,” by over 14%.  That means the dollar you had last month has lost value, and it will take more of them to buy the same product.  That is what inflation does.

            Our government did this.  Actually, the Federal Reserve did it.  It stole from your pocket and mine by making the dollar that we work hard for worth less in buying power.  Those living on a fixed income, such as Social Security, found that their monthly check didn’t stretch as far as it used to.  Those who live off their 401k or saved money just had some of it evaporate in what has been called an “unseen tax” on all of us.  Yes, your money was sitting in an account somewhere, but now instead of buying 1.43 pounds of hamburger for $3.50, you can only get 1.25 pounds for the same amount of money.  We have all been cheated out of our labor.  By our government. 

So, when you think they’re helping you, you couldn’t be more wrong.  They are hurting everyone.  We need to finally get rid of the Federal Reserve, which is NOT part of our government, but actually a private organization designed to prevent the big banks from EVER losing; always making a profit.  The greatest legalized theft in the world.

Poor Farm

            I had an awakening experience yesterday.  I do house calls for pets, and we had a request to check on a big dog that “couldn’t walk.”  When my receptionist was getting the information, she asked for directions.  The caller said they live across from the apartments on Midlothian Ave.  There are apartments everywhere on Midlothian.  We got the house number, but it was difficult to understand the caller.  We later discovered that she has no teeth.

            I took one of my employees with me, because I wasn’t sure if I would need help.  We found the house, a two-story wood framed home with a front porch.  Kids and the father-figure were waiting for me on the porch, along with the dog.  It was a Rottweiler cross, overweight at about 100 pounds, and he couldn’t get up.  There were full garbage bags on the front porch, and the home looked rather run-down. 

            I checked the dog over, and found that his left elbow joint was very sore, with limited range of motion.  The father said the dog fell down the stairs.  He also related that two years ago the dog was stung by a bee in that leg.  I suspected a soft tissue injury, but warned that this could also be the beginning of bone cancer.  While we were working with the dog, he emptied his overfull bladder, and there was blood in the urine.  He also has a bladder infection; probably from holding it too long because he couldn’t get down the front stairs to relieve himself.

            There were three or four children coming and going from the front porch, and two or more inside looking out the front window.  I asked about payment and the mother, who appeared on the porch (no teeth), said that Barbara (not her real name), who is her MYCAP helper (Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership), had offered to pay for the bill.  She was able to write down Barbara’s phone number for me, but couldn’t call her herself because her “Tracfone minutes were used up.”  I said I would phone in an antibiotic for the dog that she could pick up the next day for the bladder infection.  When we returned to the office, we called Barbara and she said she would be in the next day to pay the bill, and would pick up the antibiotic.

            Barbara came in the next morning and told us that she is a social worker for MYCAP, and has worked with this family for seven years.  She is also a midwife, and has assisted with several of the mother’s birthings.  She said this family has nothing, that all but one of their seven children is mentally challenged, and likely will be in the same situation when they grow up.

            This whole story really had an effect on both myself and my employee who accompanied me to this house.  It wasn’t a positive effect.  It was just very disturbing.  We  both thought about this family and their situation for days.  What is our government (local, state, and federal) doing for people like this, and is it any better now than it was a century ago?  I remember when I was little and we would be traveling in the car in the country.  My mother once pointed out the “poor farm” and another time the “old folks’ home.”  We also had a tuberculosis sanitarium in our town.  Tuberculosis was (and is) a problem when people live in close confinement in unsanitary conditions with poor ventilation.  This was usually a poor person’s disease, and one way the county and state controlled its spread was to confine positive cases to the sanitarium, generally involuntarily.

            Now, as a veterinarian, I see an analogy here.  I have had many people over the past 30 years come to me with a cat overpopulation problem.   You see, they feed these stray cats, but do nothing to keep them from reproducing, i.e. spaying and neutering.  So, eventually, as the kittens mature they start to reproduce, and before you know it, three cats turn into thirty, and then you have a hundred or more to contend with.  They often then become sick and die from feline leukemia and other diseases, parasites, and predation.  Their quality of life declines because there are too many of them, and the cat feeders are going broke trying to keep up.  It gets out of hand.  The system breaks down.

            Getting back to the family with the lame dog.  I first thought, wouldn’t it be great if every morning a big bus drove around and picked up the able-bodied people and took them out to a farm to work for the day.  They could be weeding fields, picking fruit, or just about any other chore on a farm that simply requires manual labor.  Then I remembered the “poor farms” that were run by counties across America a century ago.  Weren’t those people better off (and perhaps healthier) than those living in inner city ghettoes, often in filthy conditions with poor nutrition and virtually no structure to their lives?  Do you know what effectively ended the county-run poor farms?  Social Security.

            The Social Security Act was established in 1935, and poor farms almost completely disappeared by 1950.  Instead of working on a farm, producing nearly all of the food that they needed, the poor and indigent, incompetent and unstable are now “taken care of” by our state and federal governments.  That means you and me via our taxes.  So now, in essence, you and I are working those farms, and the poor need do nothing.  Are they really better off?  Are they living useful, productive lives, or is our government just keeping them around so that they will continue to vote for the Democrat candidate of their choice?  You can at least teach them to recognize a D from an R on a ballot.  When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you’ll always have the support of Paul.

            I know some people will say that I’m for limiting children for poor and mentally challenged people, and that it’s their right to reproduce as much as they want.  Well, it is their “right” if they can pay for their children.  Otherwise, they’re infringing on my rights because now I have to take care of them with the money I earn, without my consent and taken from me by force and threat.  The rest of us use various forms of birth control, including a very “liberal” use of abortion.  Don’t even think about calling me “Hitler.”  If you should, then you might appropriately be called “Stalin.”


Cultural Diversity – Vive La Difference!

            I just don’t get it.  Piercings and tattoos.  About the only time you saw tattoos fifty or sixty years ago was on sailors, Marines and biker gang members.  Piercings were strictly on the pages of National Geographic from New Guinea and Africa.  Now, however, you can’t go anywhere without seeing these “cultural decorations.”

            Tattoos have been a popular, and often required custom of Pacific islanders and other remote cultures.  Piercings likewise, except for earrings on women everywhere.  But now it seems that we have a subculture in America that believes tattoos and piercings are de rigueur (necessary according to fashion).  Really?  A police officer I know refers to the tattoos on the lower backs of women as “tramp stamps.”  Now, why would he say a thing like that?

            Piercings are in the same category, but need separate sociological investigation.  Quills and twigs, feathers and tusks have pierced the cheeks, lips, and noses of aboriginal cultures since these people were first discovered.  Our American children apparently believe that a nose stud somehow makes them more attractive.  Isn’t that more of a south Asian tradition?  I just saw a young man and lady with matching nose rings, like you see in a pig or cow.  I guess it means, “I really, really love you!”  And, while we’re on that subject, a tongue stud supposedly makes one more skilled at pleasing the likes of Bill Clinton.  Why advertise that?

            I’ve seen two young men who have gone the unique path of stretching their ear lobes with discs.  Now, yes, that truly makes them unique if nothing else about them does.  You don’t have to be handsome, or have a brilliant mind, or be a computer whiz or outstanding athlete.  Just put those discs in your earlobes and you’ll be attractive as a mate for all those women out there.  Well, at least SOME of those women out there.  Maybe the ones with that lower back tattoo.

            Now, I read a lot of National Geographics when I was growing up, and I have a suggestion for those upcoming young Americans who really desire to be unique and “special.”  Go for the Ubangi look!  That’s the African tribe that stretches their lips with discs.  Some can get to dessert plate size!  Really impressive, and man do the Ubangi women go for them.  Or, how about stretching the neck with brass rings, like the Karen Tribe of Burma?  Just gorgeous!  Let’s do it!

            Wait; let’s do something more in keeping with our own traditions here in this country.  Let’s go back to our Native Americans for some tips.  Yes, I’m talking about the Flathead Indians.  Now, there was a unique tribe.  They considered a very flat forehead as “cool.”  As infants, the mothers slowly compressed the forehead with a flat piece of wood, usually attached to the top of the papoose backpack board. 

            In keeping with our acceptance of (Communist) China, and embracing their culture, let’s bind some feet, too.  That will surely be a hit with the fashion set.  You know, small feet are really attractive, and the women can’t run as fast, either.  So, you see, there are lots of new (old) things that we can try to make us stand out in a crowd; things that will set you apart from everyone else and make YOU special!


Genetically Modified Organisms – New Allergens Affecting Us?

            This year (2010) I have seen an enormous increase in upper respiratory problems in dogs and cats (and owners).  I don’t want to say “infections,” because it may not be a new or different virus or bacteria causing the problem.  There have been runny noses, coughs, hacking, red eyes, and overall itching and scratching.  Some of the coughing in dogs I attributed to the possibility of a new strain of kennel cough, or tracheobronchitis.  But due to several factors, I’ve changed my mind.

            This spring I, too, came down with a case of tracheobronchitis.  I used to believe that kennel cough was only a dog problem, and “species immunity” prevented me from picking it up.  But last year I attended a lecture by a kennel cough specialist who told us that yes, indeed, humans can contract kennel cough from dogs.  Having seen dozens of cases a week, it’s obvious that I would be very exposed and susceptible. 

So, I hacked and coughed for three or four weeks.  I took several different antibiotics to control secondary bacterial opportunistic bacteria (yes, I know it may be just a virus, but there’s always bacteria hanging around, too).  When I thought I was getting better, and was just dealing with that “frog in the throat,” it seemed that it would come back.  I even noticed a crackling in my lungs at the end of inspiration when I went to bed, plus the cough that wouldn’t go away.  I began to think I was getting congestive heart failure.

I went to see our family doctor, who did a physical and ran a blood profile, ECG, and other circulatory tests.  I asked for a referral to see a cardiologist, since it has been five years since I had a stress test.  The cardiologist set up an echocardiogram, isotope heart scan, and stress test.  A few days after I saw the cardiologist I was thinking, “I’ve been diagnosing allergy-related upper respiratory problems all year in pets, perhaps that’s what I’ve got, too.”  So, I put myself on an allergy regimen of prednisolone (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1).  Please don’t tell the AMA that I’m practicing human medicine; we’re all animals!

I grew up with hay fever.  In the summer, I’d go outside on a beautiful, clear day and sometimes have a sneezing fit.  I’d sneeze 16 times in a row, unable to stop.  Then, that night there’d be drainage and the next morning I’d have a sore throat.  Often tonsillitis would follow, and I’d deal with it for a week or two.  What had happened was that pollen had caused an allergic reaction, my upper airway mucous membranes became enflamed and swollen, and they began to produce copious secretions.  It was like turning on an incubator; whatever bacteria was there would grow in a perfect environment.  That’s why I believe that even with a “virus,” it never hurts to take an antibiotic as well.

Well, guess what?  The day after I began the prednisolone my symptoms totally disappeared!  The crackling in my lungs was gone and the coughing stopped.  No, I wasn’t dying of heart failure (my stress test was normal, by the way).  So, the treatment was diagnostic in a way.  Now I’m going to get allergy tested, because I’m afraid I may have become allergic to cats.*  We have four at home and five residents at the office.  I’m also concerned, however, about genetically-modified crops that may have been planted in our area.  Corn and soybeans, in particular, are planted on thousands of acres in this area.  The “new” plants also produce “new” pollens, which our bodies have never been exposed to before.  Could this be a reason so many people and pets have been having more upper respiratory problems recently?  Will we adapt to them?  Will the allergies go away or get worse?

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are supposedly the way of the future.  Have you seen a picture of that “super trout”?  I just hope our modern “science” isn’t going to be the end of us.

*  The allergy test was normal, with just a few mild allergens.  I called the lab and talked to one of the researchers about this.  He said there is a lot of controversy right now about GMO pollens causing allergies.  I’m sure Monsanto and others say they’re no problem.