Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The JUSTICE Act is working its way through Congress now, so maybe there is hope for the country after all.

This act rolls back some of the Unconstitutional provisions of the PATRIOT Act. I am not familiar with its contents, but anything that moves us closer to compliance with the Constitution is a good thing.

After all, the Constitution has served us well through all these 222 years, and it should continue on into the future the same way.

North Carolina wouldn't ratify the Constitution until there was assurance of a Bill of Rights, but now many of the politicians from this state don't like the Bill of Rights all that much. Only the Second Amendment. It appears, speaking glibly, that Democrats don't like the Second and Tenth Amendments, and that Republicans don't like the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth.

I think it's time we all re-read the Constitution and all its amendments.

The Obama Administration needs to be reminded of the contents of the Constitution, and the high officials of the Bush Administration need to be prosecuted for the war crimes they committed in violation of it.

But the whole country needs to be educated on what the Constitution really says. Civics should be a required class for every student in elementary, high school, and college.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More on Health Care

I was wondering: How much money is the health care industry pouring into Congress to maintain the status quo? We have a lot to overcome.

I want to ask everyone who says anything against President Obama, or in favor of our current "best in the world" health care system what facts they have to back up their assertions. I have facts to back up my criticism of the Obama Administration, but they are grist for another blog post.

As to health care, I'm disappointed at how readily Obama seems to be willing to give up the public option. We need that to keep the insurance industry honest. After all, the most efficient health care delivery and financing systems in the country are those run by the government. The VA is one of the best--at least it was till the Republicans tried to gut it. The members of Congress get excellent health care at our expense--i.e., socialized medicine. Also, Medicare and Medicaid have lower overhead than any private insurance company in America. Those are my facts to back up my assertion.

Now, as for those who oppose a public option, who don't want the government competing with private enterprise, are they going to oppose school vouchers? That is government competing with the private sector.

How about those opposed to the government getting into the health care business? Are those who are veterans going to go to private hospitals and boycott the VA? Are the others going to pledge to refuse to sign up for Medicare when they become eligible? Afer all, the arguments against the health care plans working their ways through Congress are word for word exactly the same arguments that Ronald Reagan and others used to oppose Medicare.

A digression: I opposed Medicare until I was assigned the Affirmitive side when I was on the high school debate team. If I recall the wording exactly, it was "Resolved: That the government should provide medical care for elderly people through the Social Security System." My research for having to argue in favor of it convinced me that it was a good idea. Now that my parents have been recipients of its benefits, I am more convinced than ever that it is a good thing.

Now, for those who believe the government can't do anything as well as the private sector can, do you boycott the Post Office and send all your letters and packages via UPS or FedEx? Do you go to a private hospital when you need medical care rather than the county hospital? Do you send your children to privage schools or home school them? (Actually, that's what the mind controllers of the Republican Party want them to do.) Do you hire a private security firm rather than the socialized law enforcement establishments of the Sheriff's Office or the Police Department?

Finally, it has been asked before, but I want to ask it again: If socialized medicine is so bad why don't the Republicans in Congress introduce legislation eliminating military hospitals and force all armed forces personnel to buy private insurance?

Okay, now that we have dealt with the childish ridiculousness, can we PLEASE have a rational debate about the best way to provide health care for the American population?

Monday, September 07, 2009

I'm concerned

I'm concerned about a friend. His wife has stage 4 cancer, and he's staying out of work to take care of her and see to her treatments.

I put them on our church's prayer list. At least I tried to. I'll try again in a little bit.

Meanwhile, I can't help reflect on his Republican ideology coming back to bite him. His party strove mightily against the Family and Medical Leave Act, and I'm sure he was in there with them. Now he is taking advantage of it.

He has joined in the Republican chorus condemning lawyers, but now he and his wife have a good malpractice case. I wonder if he still believes the same thing about lawyers.

He has the company health insurance. I wonder if he still opposes a publicly-financed option that might serve his family's needs better.

I won't go on in this manner, because it's too serious, and they are seriously in need of our prayers. If anyone is reading this, please remember my friends in your prayers.