The Bears won this weekend on perhaps the worst rule the NFL has ever adopted, getting a W in a game where they not only executed poorly on the field, but also had terrible decision making on the sideline. Lovie Smith should be canned immediately for his incompetance running an NFL team and pushing out the best defensive coordinator in the league at the time Ron Rivera. I have a feeling that a 6-10 season awaits.
The Fantasy League Update will be on Tuesday Morning.
Friday, February 5, 2010
"Inherit the Wind" is another great movie i have watched lately. The summary is Teacher B.T. Cates is arrested for teaching Darwin's theories. Famous lawyer Henry Drummond defends him; fundamentalist politician Matthew Brady prosecutes. This is a very thinly disguised rendition of the 1925 "Scopes monkey trial" with debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan taken largely from the transcripts.
I have written a letter to the editor at our Holland Sentinel to respond to a conservative viewpoint on Obama and his administration. Here is the link to the first letter which i think is an unjustified angry rant further pushing people apart and painting conservative views in a bad light.
Here is my response hopefully to be in the paper soon.
A Conservative response to Thomas Dunkelbergers letter
Whether or not you agree with Obama on the executive orders he has issued regarding gitmo and the detention of terrorists, you should acknowledge he is enacting the change he campaigned and was elected on. Does closing Gitmo in anyway threaten American lives here or overseas and take away our greatness? No. Our greatness is determined by more than one action of any President and the prisoners will still be locked up somewhere else posing no threat.
Will cutting the F-22's budget of almost 2 billion next year put a dent in our defense budget or compromise American lives? No. Our military budget next year is around 700 billion dollars which is close to 10 times the budget of the next highest spending Chinese military. On fiscal responsibility, that we Conservatives trumpet on about needs to include our defense budget, and not just give it a free pass.
Did anything Obama do allow "Fort Hood" or the "Christmas" bomber to happen? No. Their evil actions were horrible. Blaming anything they have done on a lack of policy or action by the president is akin to blaming Bush for 9/11. The records show that his superiors dropped the ball on the Ft. Hood shooter and his failures leading up to the shooting were documented, but the need of counselors was so high they could not let him go.
Giving habeas corpus to the terrorists as well as spending any amount of money to defend them is something I have a hard time swallowing and would rather have them put through military trial. Though in giving them habeas corpus I will agree that we show a greater respect for life and justice than the enemy combatants ever would and public opinion does matter. If the world sees us as an honorable nation that treats POW's better than our enemies do and changes some perceptions I would not be too upset.
Will ending the don't ask, don't tell policy be detrimental to our troops in the field or at home? I don't know since I have no military background, but when the highest ranking officer in the Armed Forces Admiral Mike Mullen says it will not, I trust his experience and will concur.
I will end with a personal message to my Conservative Brethren. To truly affect our country we must find common ground with people across the aisle. We all want the same America, a land of opportunity and freedom but have different ideas on how to get to that place. Our current policy of making every single vote and bill a fight by drawing a line in the sand is detrimental because it is not only hurting our country, it is also hurting our cause and each one of us. Instead of sowing mistrust and lies we should be cultivating issues we agree on and find compromise. If after the next election things "Change" and we are in the majority again we will see how our attitude these four years will come back and haunt us.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Wow.... Elmer Gantry. Incredible movie that not only stands the test of time, but demands you treat the main character as a human with real problems. I cannot say enough about how great the acting was by Burt Lancaster and Arthur Kennedy was, it is now in my top 10 movies of all time.
I have thought a long time over the question " Is Health Care a basic human right." My answer has become an unenthusiastic yes. I will tell you how i came to this conclusion after many months of questioning, but the tipping point of this all is that in no other industrialized country are people declaring bankruptcy from medical bills other than us. How many did we have last year alone.... over 70,000 people said i dont have enough money to either pay for insurance to cover myself or i do not have enough money to pay for an operation or visit to keep me healthy.
Can we create a system that not only covers more people but also reduce the cost for us all? If we can how would either side say no to it? This is my plan....
The first part of the problem is the financial quagmire we are stuck in that is a product of our current and last administration. How will we pay for this? The only answers we are given at the moment are increasing taxes on the top wage earners or making insurance mandatory for all. With one we are increasing taxes on an already highly taxed group and the other is considered unconstitutional by some for taking a choice away from a citizen. What i propose is something altogether different, we could keep our choice of health care insurance or not as well as afford to not increase our taxes on the higher earning americans. We keep the health care industry a for profit but make the health insurance industry non profit. The part of the equation that we want to keep on the leading edge of innovation and technology stays motivated by being private for profit entities and give us actual tangible benefits of the care itself, but the insurance companies whose motivation should be approving claims not finding new ways to deny them would become non profits. We are the only country in the world where insurance companies profit off basic health care.
The immediate positive would be taking 20% of every dollar we spend on health insurance would go from marketing, paperwork and claims adjusting and decreasing it to the average of 5% on every dollar. That would save Americans 300 billion a year right off the bat on health insurance costs which could be used for not only covering anyone without coverage(because of pre existing conditions or not enough money) but decrease the cost of health insurance for everyone. How is it that other countries are running such efficient models of health care which is a giant part of our budget and we are not? Germany, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, and the Netherlands all run with not only less overhead to lower costs but also save money by not having an entire division of their insurance companies dedicated to denying claims.
Americans have a habit of taking constructive criticism personally, on a national and individual level. Hearing that we are not the leader in anything stirs up passion and pride in a country that we love which is a great feeling. We can take this as a challenge to better ourselves and our nation or let our passion and pride take us down a road that is filled with the status quo. We are going to have to pay for anyone that goes into the hospital for care if they have insurance or not, so why not let us create a system that is the most cost effective and benefit as a country instead of going the way of the automobile and see other countries leave us in the dust.