Archives for category: America

the-walking-dead-season-7-negan-ezekiel-trailer

It is interesting how art imitates life. As I reflect on the new Season of The Walking Dead, it is apparent to me that as the story line has changed and we are discovering different communities with varied governing entities, there are definite parallels to the leadership changes that are happening in the U. S.

I have written more than a few times about how Anarchy is the new Utopia for Gen X and Boomers which explains the large viewing audience in these demographics. As these two generations have watched government continue to grab power and limit personal freedom, the anarchy of the dystopic world of the Dead has its appeal.

The danger of the walkers pales in comparison to the evil that men do when they organize and create a governing leadership. This has been shown time and time again throughout the tale of the The Dead. The Governor, Terminus and even the Hospital community where Beth died all were examples of how power corrupts and people are more dangerous than flesh eating zombies.

The only leader who seems to be almost immune from the corruption of power is Rick Grimes, the long suffering former Sheriff.  I would call him the Libertarian-the Gary Johnson- of The Walking Dead.  Although he ultimately becomes the main leader of Alexandria, his leadership is not about power over others.  He allows freedom of choice among his followers and asks for the input of others on his decision-making.  His rule is more of a min-archy.  Minimum of rules, maximum of freedom, limited government.

The fatal mistake Rick made was breaking into the Saviour’s compound as an attempt to take them down to protect the Hilltop community from the brutal hold they had over them.  He took on a battle that was not his and overestimated the power of his group.  This prideful decision may show the beginning of corruption from the power of his leadership.  Ultimately this decision lead to the death of two of his main followers Abraham and Glen and the beginning of the iron fisted rule of Negan over Alexandria.

America, on the other hand, seems to have chosen to be ruled by a leader not unlike Negan to replace their leader who is not unlike King Ezekial.

King Ezekial is the smooth talking benevolent dictator who rules The Kingdom with a velvet hammer (and a tiger by his side).  He tells Carol “People want a leader.”  I echo this thought in my book Blessed Are They That Hunger .  Although God wanted the Israelite people to be a Theocracy with God as the leader, they begged Him for a king.  King is a fitting title for the outgoing president of the United States who used his Executive orders to enact his will more like a monarch than a president. And like King Ezekial he is smooth talking and reminds his followers that everything he does is for their own good.  I am reminded of a quote by CS Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Apparently, America was fed up with Obama and the Liberal agenda of the Democratic Party because his antecessor was not elected to office.

The President-elect has all the markings of Negan.  He may be the robber baron that CS Lewis refers to.  He makes no pretense to his iron rule with niceties and platitudes while enacting his will upon the people.  There is no duplicity about him.  His speech is brash and crude with no thought to lulling the masses into submission, but imposing his rule with an iron fist -no velvet to cushion the blow (or in the case of Negan, a barbed wire wrapped bat.)

Fortunately for America, there is another power to keep in check the power of the president, and that is the power of the other branches of government.  The Congress and Supreme Court stymied the will of the exiting President, and I trust will do the same with the President-elect.

So far no regime has successfully taken away our weapons the way the leaders in The Walking Dead did.  The president- elect promises to restore gun rights as he “Makes America Great Again”.

Time will tell if the promises of the election are fulfilled but as for me, my hope is in the Lord God.

Psalm 20:6-821st Century King James Version (KJ21)

6 Now I know that the Lord saveth His anointed; He will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen and stand upright.

                              school-choice-art

 

 

A growing number of Americans are concerned about the increase of government intrusion in their lives. One area that this is undeniable is in our National system of education.  In years past there was more autonomy allowed by states, local districts and even schools within districts.  Flexibility was allowed and parents had a voice in curriculum, discipline and school policies for their children’s education.

Today’s PTA’s are mainly fundraising organizations for our schools’ over-tapped budgets. In years past they were as powerful as the School Boards. As laws continue to increase determining more and more aspects of our system of education, the power of parental involvement has been allocated to legislators. Laws have been made to eliminate school prayer, eliminate religious extra-curricular clubs from campuses, and Federal Laws are forcing a National Curriculum called the Common Core. California recently passed a law that prevents exemption from vaccinations for philosophical or religious reasons for public school children.

For these reasons and others, parents are opting out of traditional public education and looking for alternatives.

Between fall 2003 and fall 2013, the number of White students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools decreased from 28.4 million to 25.2 million, and the percentage who were White decreased from 59 to 50 percent.  NCES

Milton Friedman, one of this country’s biggest advocates for liberty was at the forefront of the school choice movement long before the tentacles of government involvement had reached their current levels. Along with his wife Rose, he formed the Friedman Foundation in 1996 to promote parental choice in education.  Of this he said, “Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go. We are far from that ultimate result. If we had that – a system of free choice – we would also have a system of competition, innovation, which would change the character of education.”

The options available for school choice vary by state. 40% of states offer some kind of school choice outside the public school system.  Within the public school system charter schools and magnet schools offer somewhat of a “choice” with specialized programs that can address issues such as educating the ESL population through special curriculum. Charter and magnet schools can offer an emphasis of focused learning for the Arts, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to prepare students for further education and careers in these fields.

These charter schools are so attractive academically that some parents who have homeschooled their children for religious reasons are choosing them as a better option to prepare them for college.

 School Choice is not an issue for America’s 1%.  With wealth comes choices for the best education regardless of the price through private institutions. Providing school choice for parents in America is really about levelling the field for education equality  amid the growing chasm of income inequality. Proof of this is that it is the economically privileged white population that is exiting public education.

 Homeschooling  is on the rise, with an increasingly more diverse demographic, as an inexpensive alternative for lower income families. Education Savings Accounts are available in some states to assist families that homeschool to offset expenses such as books, and online education programs.

 In an effort to recapture per student government funding, some districts are creating programs and on- line courses to facilitate homeschooled students.  Charter schools are being created for just this purpose both in the private and public education sector.

Voucher programs can make it possible for economically challenged families to provide a superior education that could help their children to break the cycle of poverty. The Blaine Laws are an obstacle in the voucher program because they consider using tax money for religious schools to be a violation of separation of church and state.  It could be argued that taxpayers should have a say in the distribution of their own money regardless of religious affiliation.

Intra and inter-district transfers are another way to level the education playing field for disadvantaged minorities. Studies  show that lower income districts underperform higher income districts. Often the registration process in districts is so complicated, that though transfers are possible, many do not take advantage of them. Many states  do not allow transfers or limit them to a very small percentage.  It takes a pro-active program to reach out to underprivileged families to make them aware of what choices are available to them.

It is interesting to see the small percentage of those who take advantage of school choice in states where it is available. It would make one conclude that there is a lack of awareness and/or an overly complicated application process that prevents parents from utilizing them. School voucher and Personal Tax credit options seem to be the most utilized of the choice options.

The ability to enroll children in the school of choice is a fundamental parental right.  In a country that promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- it must be guarded.  Education equality could be the first step in the road to income equality throughout our nation.  School choice is the vehicle that makes it possible.

csi

 

Charter Schools are on the rise across the country as America’s failing education system attempts new models to improve itself. For the most part, these Charter and Innovative schools are making a difference and improving graduation rates, test scores, and retention. Because of this there is a demand by parents  for more charter schools.

Along with their success has come a backlash of lawsuits and legislation meant to slow their progress and in some cases terminate them altogether.

Reasons for these  lawsuits  range from civil rights violations, education equality violations, and even accusations of un-constitutional standards and requirements.

The instigators of these lawsuits are varied.  Parents, Teacher’s associations, School Districts and the  ACLU have filed complaints against charter schools. Now, the  Black Lives Matter Movement is accusing them of propagating racial injustice. In the same way crime rates were reduced by the increased incarceration of black Americans, the NAACP and BLM believe that test scores in minority rich urban charter schools are being accomplished by increased suspensions and expulsions of black students.

Most explanations for the suits are financial. As the numbers of Charter schools continue to grow, money is diverted from traditional schools and, therefore, limiting their resources.

At a  recent Conference on School Choice  I  attended, put on by the Franklin Center for Public and Government Integrity, the point was made by Ben Scafidi of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice that if the student is no longer in the school, it is no longer an expense of the school, so it is not costing the school anything if it loses funding.

A school board member with whom I am acquainted, says that this is a simplistic interpretation and not a real picture of the costs to traditional public schools in losses to their program funding.

Perhaps the lawsuits are more motivated by control issues between Teacher’s Unions, Districts and government entities all vying for their own education agenda. Whatever the reasons, there is a cost and the cost is the children.  Money that would otherwise be used for supplies, teachers, curriculum and programs is spent on attorneys and court costs.

As Tim Keller, an attorney who represents charter schools for the Institute For Justice, and another speaker at the conference said, Charter Schools are here to stay”.  It would make sense to accept this, and learn to work with them and not against them for the sake of our children.

The  Denver Public Schools  have made great strides because the district and charter schools are learning to work together and support  each other’s efforts. As America continues to grow in cultural diversity, it is important that our educational system accept and embrace this change.  One of the ways that it can do this is through charter schools that are better suited to the ESL population.  These programs may not work in a more homogenized setting or curriculum, but only in the freedom allowed in the charter schools. Charter Schools by their nature have less regulations and can be more innovative in programs and curriculum.

The Strive Program in Denver is an example of how charter schools can meet the needs of the ESL segment of the community through curriculum created for them that integrates English learning.

If we really want to make America great, it begins with educating our children to be the best in the world.  With only two countries in the world that outspend us on education per child   there is no reason why we shouldn’t be the best educated in the world.

It is time to try a new model for learning. Perhaps the charter schools are leading the way. If only the naysayers and opponents would just give them a chance and end the lawsuits and legislation attempting to stop them.

toilet-eagle-flag

The North Carolina so called “Bathroom Law” is really getting a lot of attention of late.

My question is-why does the government have to regulate every aspect of our lives? It has been in our bedrooms for years and now it wants in our bathrooms as well.

As I researched this I found that there have been regulations determining how many toilets companies must provide and where they can locate them and now they must determine how to label them and who should follow those labels.

As a female “cisgender”-this is a new term I learned in my research, (it means that my biology matches my gender identification), I, along with many others of my category, have violated the gender labels of toilets throughout our whole lives. This is for the very fact that there is usually a longer line in the women’s room and often the men’s room is empty so my friends and I have “covered” for eachother while we used the vacant stalls in our opposite gendered bathroom. I would venture that there are far more female cisgenders that have seen the inside of a men’s room than male cisgenders that have seen the inside of a women’s room.

Sporting Arenas are notorious for underserving my category. They were built with a strong bias in favor of my opposite gender.  Women have become equally avid sports fans but the restrooms did not reflect that.  Potty Parity Laws have come to the forefront in recent years to correct this.

The North Carolina law asks that people use the restroom based on the gender on their birth certificate. This is not really a “fix” for those who want to discriminate against the LGBT community because most states (including North Carolina) will allow those who want to change their gender identification, to change it on their birth certificate or issue a new one regardless of whether or not they have gender reassignment surgery.

My question regarding this is-does this mean you will be required to carry your birth certificate with you to use a restroom in a government facility in North Carolina?

One transgender male created special identification cards  to fend of suspicion when using a Women’s room.

The craziest outcome of the North Carolina bathroom law is that businesses and entertainers are boycotting the state because of it. This was not a law voted on by the population of North Carolina. It was written and voted in by its legislature and yet the people they serve are paying the price for their decision.

If the legislature is so concerned about the safety and privacy of its citizens while in government buildings, then the only right thing to do is to charge these elected officials a special fee from their salaries to retrofit the buildings with private bathroom stalls and showers that can be accessed and used individually regardless of gender identification. Maybe porta potties on each floor of government buildings is the answer.

my body is not your political battleground

Women are banding together to say they #wontbepunished for having an abortion in response to Donald Trump’s statement that “There should be some kind of punishment”- for women who have an abortion if it becomes illegal.

FYI Mr. Trump the trauma of having an abortion is punishment enough.

I know women who have regret, pain and even guilt about their decision. It is so common that psychologists have a special term for it- Post Abortion Stress Syndrome or PASS.

Most pro-lifers are so because of their religious beliefs. The saddest part of this, is that, to avoid the stigma of publicizing your carnal sin by being an unwed mother, many women will opt for the abortion and compound guilt by one sin for another. The religions that are so opposed to abortion seem to, unknowingly, promote it.  This is corroborated by statistics   showing the large number of women who have religious beliefs that abort.

What proportion of U.S. women obtaining abortions are religious?

Answer

More than seven in 10 U.S. women obtaining an abortion report a religious affiliation (37% protestant, 28% Catholic and 7% other), and 25% attend religious services at least once a month.[38] The abortion rate for protestant women is 15 per 1,000 women, while Catholic women have a slightly higher rate, 22 per 1,000.[32](gutttmacher.org)

Unfortunately, I have witnessed firsthand the stigma and ostracization of those within the church who have bravely chosen life and continue to attend church with their pregnant belly baring the shame of their sin. I also experienced a church that disciplined a staff member who got his girlfriend pregnant.  Because, they chose life, and did not hide their sin, he was punished.

My personal understanding of the pain of abortion, lies in a miscarriage I had with my first child. I lost my baby at 8 weeks, which is about the time that most women abort.  I remember the emotional pain of that loss to this day.  There is an incredible bonding that happens between a mother and baby that is meant to give the baby its best chance for survival.

Recent studies give us a deeper biological source of this bonding. Your baby leaves souvenir cells in your body.  This could explain why women say that having a child is like watching your heart walking around outside your body

As a member of a healing prayer team, I had the privilege of witnessing God’s heart for women who suffer from their decision to abort. In one session, we prayed against the Spirit of Death.  Two women came forward for prayer for their abortions.  As I prayed for them, I had a vision of Jesus holding their baby in His arms. As I shared my vision with these women, tears rolled down their face and the shame and guilt melted away.

I think of the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery.

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

 

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

 

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

If the church wishes to be prolife, it is time that it celebrates and not punish those who choose life outside of the bonds of marriage. It is also time to embrace and love those who suffer the pain of not choosing life. If Mr. Trump is going to call himself a Christian he should follow Christ’s lead and forgive and not condemn.

trump hubner

Two years ago I blogged about how the Christian Right- still arguably the biggest segment of American society-has been moved to angry entitlement  because they are no longer venerated and their views less and less the norm in the U. S.

This article followed previous ones I had written about how political correctness as being pushed by the liberal left was encroaching on the lives of conservative Americans.  This movement has escalated to the point that laws have been created enforcing political correctness and punishing those whose values are not in line with a liberal tolerance  of all lifestyles and morality.

So along comes Donald Trump and political correctness be damned. His brand of intolerance takes hate mongering to a level unheard of in our polite American culture -since before the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s. He is a proponent of discriminating against Muslims and deporting them.  He also wants to deport illegal immigrants with a heavy emphasis on immigrants from Mexican heritage to the extent that he wants to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. He has recently gone so far as to say that he will overturn gay marriage laws.

The most shocking result of Trumps outrageous viewpoints is the fact that so many Americans are cheering him on to the point that he is now the front runner in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primaries.

Apparently laws imposing tolerance do not a tolerant America make.

The fact of Trumps meteoric rise to the top of the race for the Whitehouse reveal an ugly truth. The conservative movement has been pushed to its breaking point and it has had enough. The will of the right demands to be the ruling values of the land no matter who is trampled in its wake.

The disappointing fact that the basis for this is Christianity, is especially upsetting. These are not the values of Jesus Christ.  It harkens to the religious right of Jesus’ day- the Hierarchy of the Jewish religion whose quest for power and self-preservation in the Roman culture ultimately lead to the death of the Messiah they had been waiting for.

The verse that comes to mind as I see this revelation of our political climate is:

Hebrews 6:6New Living Translation (NLT)

6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

jim elliot quote

 

….unto death. This was the accomplishment of the martyred as described by St. John in Revelation 12:11.

We live in a culture of fear.  With mass shootings and terrorist slayings throughout the world, fear is growing. Believers in Jesus Christ are admonished “Fear Not”.  It is said that “fear not” is found 365 times in the Bible.  It is the command given more than any other.

And yet fear seems to be the driving force for what is happening in the world for believers and non-believers alike.  Out of fear-we have handed over our privacy by allowing our government to monitor our phone calls and emails thanks to the Patriot Act of 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks. Out of fear-we have allowed our very bodies to be violated by TSA employees in order to board a plane. Out of fear- we have sacrificed many lives to wars, air attacks and drone bombings.  Out of fear-we have it made more difficult for those weary souls to find freedom in America who are fleeing deadly organizations and regimes.

The root of this fear is the fact that we love our lives.  We are not willing to “pick up our cross and die”.

We are not like the heroes mentioned in Hebrews:

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.  15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.  16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16

They sought for a greater life, an eternal life with God and did not cling to this earthly life.

Jesus reminded us what we should fear-

Matthew 10:28

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

As we deal with the perpetrators of evil we should also remember that the power behind the evil is the true cause of the evil,  not the earthly pawns that carry it out.

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Revelation 12:11 tells us what overcomes this evil:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

I am reminded of the story of Jim Elliot  and his fellow missionaries to the Amazon jungle, who, when confronted with the evil that caused the tribesmen to attack them, did not love their lives.  Although they had guns that were more powerful than the arrows of the tribesmen, would not kill them because they knew that the tribesmen would go to eternal death without Christ.

As the days get darker and this world reaches its end, will we choose to love our lives and live in fear, or love our God and live lives of faith and courage?  The choice is ours.

trump Sanders

I have been baffled and full of consternation over the polling front runners of the 2016 race for the Whitehouse. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are filling stadiums and topping the polls for their respective political parties. Surely no one will take them seriously –my immediate thought- as they threw their proverbial hats into the ring.

Their rhetoric is shocking, irreverent and- dare I say- revolutionary. They are far from the straight-laced pundits of previous presidential elections. America is eating it up.

Sanders, the Democratic front runner, is the neo-socialist whose platform is to use new laws, taxes and more government intervention in the lives of Americans to “fix” inequalities of wealth, race and gender.

Trump tops the polls in the Republican camp and daily increases his distance from the other 15 (yes count them) vying for the oval office. Mr. Trump is separating himself from the field by being the least politically correct politician of all time. He proposes outrageous solutions to our country’s ills, like building a wall to keep illegals from crossing the Mexican border-(oh, and getting the Mexican government to do it by threatening economic sanctions against them). He also wants to amend the Constitution so that citizenship is no longer a guarantee of American birthright.

As I marvel at the success of these two caricatures of American politics and try to understand it, my conclusion is that America is mad.

They are mad at never-ending wars and empty promises of economic reform. Decade after decade, and president after president, have driven us into a less free , less economically viable nation. They have given up on our political system and their approval of these nonconventional candidates is the proof.

America has “Silly Slate Syndrome”.

When I was a student at UC San Diego in the early 80’s, I ran for a student government office on the Silly Slate. Students were fed up with a student government that was increasing its power by instituting more and more regulations on campus reducing student freedoms. In reaction to that, a few of my friends and I formed our Silly Slate. The candidate for president on our slate could daily be seen wandering the campus in his bathrobe. I, as the candidate for Communications Officer had a platform of “I Linguini Major (actually Linguistics) I love shoes”.

The students loved us and we won by a landslide over more serious candidates with more serious promises of campus reform.

America apparently has its own brand of Silly Slate, but will silly fix America?

The Silly Slate of UCSD made a few reforms but one by one we lost interest and abdicated our rule to our less interesting opponents. Reform was more difficult than we thought and bureaucratic red tape more daunting.

My suspicion is that the outrageous promises of these outrageous candidates will be as empty as most conventional candidates.

If America wants true reform it is time to engage as citizens and take back the power that has been given to us by the constitution and stop waiting for our elected officials to do what we have been given the power and ability to do in restoring the Republic. We the people…

obama care

I recently wrote about How Obamacare Forced Me To Be Dependent On The State .  Despite trying to avoid the grasp of government subsidized health care, I ended up on my state’s government funded health insurance.  On paper, it seemed great despite my philosophical ambivalence.  Free medical care, free prescription drugs, tests, etc. But what I saved financially was not worth the price I paid in substandard care.

My first lesson was in the enrollment process.  I mistakenly understood that I would be able to be part of one of our State’s large health organizations and asked for that as part of my application.  I was then told that I had to get permission for the health plan. I drove down to the offices of the Health Organization only to be told that unless I had been part of the plan within the last two years or had an immediate family member in the plan, I could not be enrolled.  I then tried to obtain a primary care physician through the University run program I previously had care with.  I was told I needed to get permission from that program to be accepted by my new insurance.  After sending information to the doctor I had chosen and several phone calls, I was told that unless I had a life threatening illness, they could not take my new insurance.

So, I opted for one of the three plans I was eligible for as the reality of my new program sank in and I could have none of the kind of care I was used to receiving with my private pay insurance.  When I got my new ID card I found that I was assigned to a Clinic.  When I called the clinic , they could not see me for 3 months due to the overwhelming back log of patients assigned to them.  I knew that this would mean that I would run out of my refills on my prescriptions before I could be seen by the doctor.  I had to beg and plead my previous doctor (who would no longer give me care under my new insurance) to give me an extension on my refills to cover me until my appointment.  At one point, the doctor wanted me to pay $70 out of pocket to see her just to get the refill.  There was no justification for this since I had just had a complete physical with her a few months prior.

Then, I got sick.  I had bronchitis that was impairing my breathing and causing asthma that could not be controlled.  I was also coughing up blood.  I went to the nearest Urgent Care which is what I always did with my previous insurance after trying to get an appointment with my clinic.  The clinic would not see me until the next week, although it was an urgent medical need.  The Urgent Care wouldn’t take my insurance.  So I called my insurance to find out where I could go.  They couldn’t tell me anywhere to go and suggested the nearest ER.

One of the positive outcomes of the increasing rolls of the insured is supposed to be less uninsured using ER’s.  Apparently for those on government funded programs with 3 month waiting lists to see doctors, if you are sick you are forced to go to the ER.

I spent 8 hours at the University Hospital ER and had a battery of tests revealing a spot on my lungs and bronchitis.  I got two breathing treatments so got some relief from the asthma.  The ER recommended I be seen by my primary care physician within 2 days.  Needless to say there was no availability for that so I just continued to self- treat my bronchitis.

Three weeks later, I was due for a follow-up chest x-ray and my bronchitis was getting worse.  I managed to get an appointment with the Clinic because I needed to be seen by the doctor to get an order for the x-ray.

I had to park several blocks from the clinic because there was no parking available nearby.  My breathing was not great and the long walk was tough.  When I got to the clinic, I was told I could not see the doctor because the computer system was down and I was a new patient who had to have my information entered into the system.  I trudged back to my car as my breathing worsened.

I decided that I better go back to the ER, but there was no parking available, so I decided to try back the next day. I had more tests a breathing treatment and was given more meds for my worsening bronchitis at the ER the next day.  This time it only took a couple of hours not 8.

The day after that I was finally able to see the doctor at the clinic.  I got necessary orders for my x-ray and some blood work that needed to be done for a specialist I had been referred to by my previous doctor.

The clinic doctor was also supposed to get my refills to my prescriptions updated at my pharmacy and a referral from my new insurance for the specialist.  I made a follow up appointment in one month to get the results of my chest x-ray and be sure that the referral was accepted.

When I went to the clinic one month later, my doctor was not there that day and they were supposed to cancel my appointment.  Luckily, the on call physician was willing to see me.  They, of course did not have the results of my x-ray so I had to wait until they could get the report.

The referral for the specialist that I was supposed to see in three weeks had not been done. The on call physician put in the request for the specialist.  I later found out that my prescriptions had not been sent either.  The clinic was only open 10 hours a week and I was unable to contact them about my prescriptions.

Three weeks later I was able to see the specialist who was able to write a prescription for two of my three medicines.  The specialist wanted to order some tests and after a week I am still waiting for insurance approval for the tests. Yikes!!!

After all of this I found myself with an increase in income due to relocating for a new job to work along with my business.  This was my opportunity to opt out of this horrible insurance.  I am now among the privately insured again (with premiums partially subsidized). I was never so happy to pay the price of my insurance so that I won’t have to experience the high cost to my health and well-being of free insurance.

I am more convinced than ever what an anathema socialized medicine is.

bibi

This was a historic week.  For the first time in U. S. History an American President refused to meet with the Prime Minister of Israel or even acknowledge his visit to the United States. Instead, without the consent or approval of the President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives invited him to speak to a joint session of Congress.  This was scandalous.  So scandalous that in protest and solidarity with the president, the vice president and approximately 60 Democrat members of Congress boycotted the event.

Historically the U. S. has been Israel’s strongest supporter and ally. Since World War II the U.S. has given over $121 billion   in aid to Israel.  There are political and philosophical reasons for this support, but the overriding factor is spiritual.  Eighty three percent  of Americans claim to be Christians. Because of the historic importance of Israel, specifically the Jewish roots of Christianity, the majority of Americans believe in supporting Israel.

Christians believe in the Bible.  The Bible is the historical transcript of the History of the Jewish people and the development of the Jewish sect we now call Christianity, named for Jesus the Christ or Messiah, who was prophesied in the Torah or Old Testament of the Bible. Christians understand that the establishment and protection of the nation of Israel is critical to future prophesies concerning the return of Christ and the End of the World.

Christians also believe the pronouncement of God over Israel and the Jewish nation to the father of the nation, Abraham:

Genesis 12:3New Living Translation (NLT)3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

It seems that those who boycotted Mr. Netanyahu may have suffered a little bit of a curse based on this clip from “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” .

The main purpose of Bibi (Netanyahu)’s  speech   was to encourage America’s support in standing up to their biggest bully-Iran.  He drew references of Israel’s past bullies the Nazi regime and the Pharaoh of Egypt. He reminded us that the price of Hitler’s regime was more than 60 million lives Jew and non-Jew as well.  He warned that Israel’s current bully Iran could cost the annihilation of the world as we know it. In other words, what is good for Israel is good for the world.

He also reminded us that this time, unlike those other times in its history, Israel is a formidable force in the world that will stand alone if necessary.

As he spoke, I reflected on the prophesies of Israel as told by St. John in the book of Revelations.  According to these prophesies Israel will stand alone against the armies of the world.

Revelation 20:9New Living Translation (NLT)

9 And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.

America has lost many of God’s blessings as it turns further and further from the Christian nation it once was.  Will the blessings turn to curses because of an administration that no longer supports Israel or will it continue to stand because it stands with Israel?