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  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  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.