Thursday, November 29, 2012

I have to wonder why some people feel they have to fight against Christmas.  Oh, they don't fight against the celebration and gift giving necessarily, they fight against the word and the traditions.  They want the word "Christmas" removed from the English language, I guess because it contains the name "Christ".  But why would they worry about it?

If you're an atheist, you don't believe that God and Jesus exist.  If you don't believe they exist, why would you worry about people who do believe it?  I don't worry about people who don't believe that God exists.  I feel sorry for them, since they have nothing to look forward to after this life, but I don't try to shut them up or prevent them from expressing their beliefs.  So why do they feel a need to prevent me from expressing mine?

If a city somewhere in the United States wants to erect a nativity scene at Christmas time, why do you care?  Seriously, does it hurt you?  Does it force you to believe something you reject?  Will it change your life if your city decides to do this?  My guess is the answer is "No".  Yet you complain.  What is the reason for the complaint?  Is it because you truly feel assaulted or because you just want to complain?  I would guess the latter. 

I was born to Christian parents and was raised in a Christian home.  I believe in God and in Jesus Christ as my savior but I do not allow non-believers to effect my life.  If you don't believe as I do - that's fine for you.  I may feel sorry for you but I don't lose any sleep over it.  Nor do I file lawsuits to prevent you from expressing your views - even publicly.  So why do you fight me and others expressing ours?

I was watching Bill O'Reilly earlier and in one segment he was talking to the governor of Rhode Island about a Christmas tree versus a holiday tree.  It seems the people of Rhode Island would prefer a Christmas tree.  Anyway, at the end of the show O'Reilly was reading e-mails from viewers.  One of them said "Mr. O'Reilly - as an atheist I must say I enjoy Christmas.  It brings out the best in people and promotes peace and good will."  That's not an exact quote but it's close.  And he's right.  Two things in this country bring out peace and goodwill...  national emergencies and Christmas.  So why would anyone object to Christmas if it promotes peace and good will?

Christmas has always been about caring for others and doing good things.  How sad that some people would want to change that.  Xmas just doesn't have the same meaning.  Xmas doesn't illicit good tidings of great joy or peace.  It illicits  commercialism. 

Merry Christmas to all of my friends and readers.  I won't say "Happy Holidays" because it goes against what I believe.  If you disagree... sorry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Susan Rice Issue - My Opinion

On Sunday, September 16th, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, hit the morning talk show circuit to tell the American people that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a spontaneous result of a mob that was protesting about a video, made in the United States, that disrespected their prophet Mohammed.  Even though there was evidence that the attack had been an organized assault planned and executed by  terrorists, Ms. Rice still blamed the video.  The big question is why.

There is a group of Republicans in the House and  Senate who are saying Susan Rice deliberately misled the American people or that she is simply incompetent and did not check facts before she spoke.  I'm not sure I agree with either of those conclusions.  I know there will be people on both sides of this issue who disagree with me but that's OK.  These are my thoughts on it.

I think Susan Rice delivered the information to the American people that she was given to deliver.  I believe she didn't check he information to verify its accuracy but trusted the administration to give her facts as they knew them.  Is that incompetence?  I don't think so.  I doubt Ms. Rice could have attained or maintained her current position by being incompetent.  I think she is loyal to the President and trusted him to not hang her out to dry.  But it seems that's exactly what he did.

By that Sunday most Americans (who saw the information that was coming in from various  sources, including the interim President of Libya) knew the attack had been a coordinated and pre-arranged terrorist attack on the anniversary of the attack in 2001.  Weeks later even the President finally admitted that within hours of the attack he was pretty sure it was more than just a mob protest.  The problem was, at that point in time, an admission by the administration that it was a terrorist attack could hurt the President's campaign.  The lack of response to the attack, which was watched in real time by the State department, we now know, also was a problem.  The President's campaign had to  pretend they did not know the depth and scope of the attack at the time because they failed to do anything about it for at least seven hours and four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, died.  In addition, the President had already been telling people that Al Qaeda was decimated and ineffectual, which turned out not to be true.  He had to protect his re-election.

I believe Susan Rice was sent out to mislead the American people (whether knowingly or in complete ignorance of  facts) for two reasons.  First of all, she is  our ambassador to the U.N., which gives her credibility with most Americas.  (At least at the time.)  Second - she was expendable.  IF things went completely wrong and the White House needed a patsy, she was perfect.  She's not a member of the President's cabinet but has an important position in the government.  High enough up to be believable  yet easy to dispose of  if necessary.

I think the Senators and Congressmen opposing Susan Rice  possibly being nominated as the next Secretary of State are putting the blame on the wrong person.  Susan Rice did as she was instructed.  Certainly she could have done her own fact finding before going on the talk show circuit but she trusted the President not to put her out there.  And in all  fairness to the President - he has stood behind her regardless of what the facts show.  I'll give him that one.

If you're the President, who would be better to nominate to a cabinet position than someone who has just fallen on the sword for you?  I certainly can't blame him for wanting her on board.  And as I said - I think the Republicans are putting the blame in wrong place.  But again,  this is only my opinion and  I know many may disagree with me.  Each of us has our own thoughts on it and the truth will  probably never be known - about Ms. Rice and the incident itself.  No President is  going to admit he failed to do anything as Americans were under attack.  He's never going to admit he screwed up.

President Obama's re-election has secured this  incident for now.  No derogatory information will be released to the public.  The Republicans will make their stand on principle, misguided as that may be, and this incident will fade away in the next six month or so.  Particularly if we encounter the distraction of falling off that fiscal cliff.

Form your opinions now about the Benghazi incident.  It will most likely be the only truth about it you'll ever know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Michael Moore Tells President Obama How To Govern The Next Four Years

Michael Moore, liberal filmmaker and activist, has written an open letter to President Obama telling Obama what he should do with his next four years.  Normally I would avoid Moore's left-wing drivel like the plague but the headline - "An Open Letter to President Obama - by Michael Moore" peaked my interest.  I was curious what a far-left, socialist, outspoken hypocrite would have to say to the re-elected President.  Turns out I wasn't surprised by any of it.

In the letter Moore initially praises Obama for winning for the great job he did in the first four years.  He also makes a laughable comparison of Obama to Robert DeNiro's character in "Taxi Driver", talking about the way Obama stood up to John McCain and Lindsey Graham last week with his “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.”  Apparently Mr. Moore believes President Obama is DeNiro.  With thinking like that, Mr. Moore - it's a wonder your movies make any money at all.

Moore's demand list for the President contains only ten  items.  I'll list them as they are in the article (the link is below) and will post a summary of each rather than the entire narrative.  If you want to read the entire thing (and I'm sure most of you don't) you can go to it.  Here's the list:

1. DRIVE THE RICH RIGHT OFF THEIR FISCAL CLIFF.    Moore believes the "fiscal cliff" is a ruse, an invention by the Right and the rich, to try and keep their huge tax breaks.  He doesn't seem to understand that he, too, is one of the rich and whatever happens may very well effect him.

2. END ALL THE WARS NOW.  We may actually agree on this but I'm sure it's for different reasons.  Moore believes that Al Qaeda has been decimated.  I guess he, like the main stream media, missed Benghazi, or still believes the video nonsense.  He thinks being in Afghanistan is senseless.  I, on the other hand, say we should pull out and let the Afhgannies fend for themselves because the President doesn't believe in winning a war.  If that's the case we have no reason to be there.

3. END THE DRUG WAR.  Moore believes the drug war is racist, pure and simple that is used by private prison corporations to make money.  He suggests we find "other ways to deal with the drugs that do cause harm -- ways built around a sense of decency and compassion."  It seems clear to me that Michael Moore has very little experience with drug addiction.

4. DECLARE A MORATORIUM ON HOME FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS.  Moore blames all mortgage problems on the bank without assigning any responsibility to people who bought homes they knew they couldn't afford and the government policies (can you say Frank and Dodd) that not only allowed it but practically forced banks to give these loans.  I think Mr. Moore lives in his own world where he gets to assign blame and responsibility based on his own personal feelings.

5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.  Again - something we can agree on.  Problem is that President Obama showed his intentions of not doing that in 2008 when he agreed to use public funding only, then changed his mind when he saw how much money he was capable of raising.  Even funnier - liberals and other Obama supporters justified it with statements like "You gotta do what you gotta do to get elected."  Yet they criticized Romney on the amount of money he raised.  Interesting how that works.

6. EXPAND OBAMACARE.  With the upcoming tax increases on everyone from the middle class up, to cover Obamacare, Moore wants to expand it even more under the guise of how it will save money.  What planet do these people live on?

7. RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL.  I will admit to not knowing enough about this act to comment on it.  I do believe the financial industry should be regulated but by whom and how much is well out of my realm of knowledge.  I won't comment on it but open it for anyone who knows.

8. REDUCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT.  Having the government take over the student loan program was just one more of those policies designed to give the government more power over the people.  It hasn't reduced costs.  It has given the government the authority to decide who goes to school and for what.  Another disaster waiting to happen.

9. FREE BRADLEY MANNING.  Bradley Manning disclosed secret military information and endangered our national security.  Michael Moore thinks Manning as a hero.  I think if he's found guilty of treason he should be executed - maybe alongside Julian Assange...

10. ASK US TO DO SOMETHING.  Moore talks about how the President turns to his followers during election years and asks them to help but then abandons them afterward.  I have no way of knowing if this is true or not because I wasn't one of those people who sent the President my e-mail address and cell phone number so he could contact me and tell me what to do.  I guess that made some people feel important - to get a call or a text message from someone in the Obama campaign asking for their personal assistance.  Like I said - I wasn't one of them.

What I find ironic (or maybe moronic is a better word) is the fact that Michael Moore is wealthy and famous beyond his dreams yet he criticizes and wants to do away with the same capitalistic system that allowed him to gain everything he has today.  He has the audacity to call himself one of the 99 percenters even as he rakes in multi-millions each time he makes a new movie.  Yet people on the left overlook his lies and hypocrisy and praise him as a great human being.  And like Al Gore - Moore (it even rhymes) laughs all the way to the bank.  Michael Moore is a 99 percenter like I am one of the infamous "1 percenters".  Both notions are ludicrous. 

Mr. Moore - want to do something great for your country?  Personally I think your leaving it would do the trick.  If you want to live in a socialist country there are many out there that should fit your chosen ideal.  Of course, you'll probably have to give up all that money you've got in the bank.  Otherwise some will think you're not sincere.  After all - capitalism is why you're the obnoxious, loud-mouth bore that you are.  If you choose not to leave and find your socialist utopia how about just closing your mouth?  That would work for me.

For those of you who really want to - here's the article with Moore's letter.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sleep Apnea - A Thief In The Night (part 3)

When I was fully awake and had taken one dose of oral pain medication, we were allowed to leave.  We made one quick stop on the way home from the hospital to buy Chloraseptic spray, thinking maybe that would help stop the pain.  Wrong!  The spray merely irritated the incision area.  All I had was the codeine (which burned terribly when I swallowed it) and ice chips.  The ice helped more than anything at first.  Arden kept me supplied with it all afternoon.  Fortunately the lasting effects of the anesthesia helped me sleep off and on throughout the day.  I would read a paragraph of my book (the same paragraph about 10 times) then sleep for half an hour, then read it again, then sleep.  (The Chloraseptic did start helping about 4 days post-op, when there was no longer a fresh wound in my throat.  I'm still using it now.)

I don't remember having anything to drink that day except water.  I may have had a little bit of ice cream that evening but I don't think I did that until the next day.  I took my codeine every three hours like a good boy, trying to ensure I didn't hurt any more than I had to.  I kept ice water and ice chips in two separate cups by the bed and had all my medications and supplies within reach.  And I apologized to Arden numerous times (before she even got into bed) for disturbing her, as I knew I would throughout the night.  She was great and told me not to worry about it. 

I did sleep off and on that first night - mostly off, I think.  After dozing all afternoon my body wasn't really sleepy anymore but the drugs helped.  The next morning I felt well enough to get up and go to the kitchen for coffee.  It was an experiment - I wasn't sure I could drink anything hot but the coffee actually went down pretty easy.  I let it cool a little so I wouldn't scald my throat and it tasted good.  I drank one cup and started on a second before my body said "It's time for you to go lay down now."  Arden wanted me to try eating something but I wasn't up to that yet.  I went back to bed and read and dozed and read and dozed....

As I said earlier, I think I ate a little bit of ice cream that day.  I'm not a big fan of sweets or dessert so ice cream and pudding, etc., weren't really something I wanted anyway.  But I knew I had to be careful what I swallowed and the doctors and nurses all recommended cold things rather than hot.  (They obviously didn't understand about the coffee...)  The ice cream did help my throat feel better and I ate as much as I could, knowing I needed some kind of nourishment.  That night I didn't sleep well.  I read on my side of the bed (with a book light) while Arden went to sleep and was up until around 3am, I think.  It seemed the codeine might be having the same effect as the Vicodin - making me anxious and unable to sleep.  When the reading began putting me to sleep I put the book down and turned off the book light.  I wanted to sleep - just was having trouble doing it.  I think I slept about three hours that night.

The next day (three days post-op) I don't think I ate anything.  I was actually feeling pretty good - my throat didn't hurt and all my other aches and pains (arthritis and old injuries) actually didn't hurt anymore because of the pain medication.  But I just wasn't hungry.  Arden kept trying to get me to eat something, anything.  But my body didn't want it.  By then I had lost almost seven pounds (which was OK with me) and I was figuring I'd lose at least three more before it was over.  I was hydrated - between the ice chips and water I had no problem in the hydration department.  I just didn't feel like eating. (I did drink some milk to make Arden feel better.)  I actually slept that night as well, but it's because when I took my codeine I also took half a Xanex.  Probably not the smartest thing in the world but it worked.  I slept.

On day four I woke up in pain again.  I didn't understand it.  I was almost pain free the day before but woke up hurting even worse the next day.  I called the doctor's office and the nurse said it was perfectly normal to have different pain on different days.  She said scabs build up on the incisions and when they come off it leaves tender tissue underneath.  So while I was feeling really good the day before - feeling really bad today was normal.  I have to say I was less than thrilled with that answer...

Days five and six were up and down.  I'd be pain free for a while then would hurt for a while.  I tried hard to wean myself off of the codeine so I could sleep a little better but still had to take it a few times a day in order to eat without intense pain.  I was learning a new trick though.  While eating, if you  keep a glass of ice or ice water handy, if something hurts you simply take a drink or eat a piece of ice really quickly.

The thing about this pain in my throat is that it's different than a regular sore throat.  With a regular sore throat you can gargle with warm salt water and the pain will go away.  With this one, salt burns like crazy because it's an incision and not just inflammation.  Cepacol and Chloroseptic don't really work either for the same reason.  Ice helps and eating very cold, soft things but swallowing anything but liquids hurts as well.  Even scrambled eggs hurt going down.  I know it's all temporary but geez, it's difficult to live with.

Friday, a full week after surgery, I had a good day.  I took a small dose of codeine (less than half the actual recommended dose) in the morning and didn't take any more until we were getting ready to go out for dinner.  I decided to take a full dose to prepare for dinner so I could hopefully eat in relative comfort.  We went to our favorite Italian place and I ordered gnocchi with an Alfredo sauce -  no spices, soft.  I thought that would work well.  But the sauce had some spice in it I wasn't expecting so, as good as it was, I still had to sip on ice water while I was eating.  (The good thing is I brought half of it home and I can eat it in a couple of days when I'm finally better...)  One other note - it's amazing how many foods have more salt in them than we realize.  Salt really hurts my throat right now and I can tell you from the first bite whether or not there's an excess of salt in something.  

This morning I'm feeling pretty good.  The first conscious swallow of the day (I took a drink of water) hurt quite a bit so I took a half dose of the codeine to get me started and hopefully won't take anymore the rest of the day.  One thing I can say for sure about this surgery....  I NEVER want to do it again!  One of the good things, however, (besides the obvious life-saving benefits) is that I've lost eleven pounds from not being able to eat solid food.  That's a great start on the twenty I've been wanting to get rid of!

Since I started posting this blog I've heard from several friends who also have this condition.  They all use a CPAP at night and that's quite acceptable to me.  I have a touch of claustrophobia anyway so if I can avoid the CPAP I will.  Hopefully I haven't discouraged anyone from taking their own steps to correct their sleep apnea.  It's a dangerous condition that some people don't even realize they have.  Of course, there are stubborn people like me who know they have it but just keep putting off getting treatment for it.  Sleep apnea can and does kill.  If you think you may have it, have the test done.  Your loved ones will appreciate you for it - even if it simply helps them sleep better at night.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sleep Apnea - A Thief In The Night (part 2)

As I said yesterday, after a sleep study my doctor determined I have sleep apnea and needed treatment.  (I really already knew this but had never gotten a professional opinion.)  Since Arden was practically begging me to do it (because she didn't want me to die), I agreed to have surgery over the option of a CPAP machine.  If it was fixable, I wanted it fixed!

They scheduled me for surgery on Friday, November 9th.  With Monday the 12th being a holiday, Arden would have a long weekend to care for me and not have to take too much time off work.  Plus she works from home on Tuesdays so that gave her an extra day with me. 

The hospital had me come by a couple of days before to do all the pre-op stuff and get registered.  That took nearly three hours, culminating with a visit to the lab for blood work.  The hospital told me my doctor would tell me what time to be there on Friday morning.  My doctor called later that day and asked me what time the hospital wanted me there.  They (the doctor's office) said 7:15am.  Nothing to eat or drink after midnight on Thursday but take my medications 9particularly my blood pressure medication) early in the morning with a minute amount of water Friday morning.

The hospital called me on Thursday and said be there at 7:00am.  Why they didn't tell me that from the beginning is beyond me.  Then, Thursday evening, the anesthesiologist called me to go over everything and told me not to take any medications at all the morning of surgery.  She specifically said don't take the blood pressure medication because the anesthetic was going to drop my blood pressure already and if I took my medication on top of that it could be dangerous.  Wonder why my doctor didn't think of that?  Hmmm....

Anyway - after all  that was settled and I had all my post-op supplies, I was ready.  Post-op supplies...   tissues, saline nasal spray, Afrin nasal spray, saline nasal gel, prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.  Check.  Ice cream, popsicles, pudding, fruit punch, apple juice, soup, whipped cream...  check.  They told me to have plenty of cold liquids and soft food on hand for the days following my surgery because my throat would be sore.  (In fact, the nurse at the office told me my throat was going to hurt so badly that I would hate my doctor for the first few days post-op.  Gotta tell you that was encouraging...)

I told the anesthesiologist I would make things easier for her and show up rip-roaring drunk Friday morning.  I told her I think anyone having surgery should be able to show up drunk or stoned just to keep the nerves at bay.  She didn't seem to see the humor in it and went through a five minute explanation of why that was dangerous.  Geez, I was just kidding.  Sometimes doctors have no sense of humor.

We got up around 5:45am on Friday and got ready to go.  The hospital is literally five minutes away from our home so we didn't have to hurry.  I wasn't happy that I couldn't have any coffee but I just had to suffer.  Fortunately for Arden, I'm not one who gets jealous or selfish so I made coffee for her to take along.  That's just the kind of guy I am.

We got to the hospital and checked in.  A nurse took us back to the pre-op area, put me in a room and told me to change my clothes into the famous hospital gown, with the opening in the back.  They started an IV and took my vital signs, then it was "hurry up and wait."  My surgery wasn't scheduled until 8:30 and they usually run late so I had time to just lay around and wonder what it would be like.  After about half an hour the anesthesiologist came in.  She was a very pretty young lady who looked to be all of about 23.  She asked me a lot of the same questions she had asked on the phone and told me I'd get something in my IV "in a little while" to help me relax.  A minute later she was gone and I was waiting again.  Arden was by my side and we talked and tried to stay calm. 

The doctor came by to see how I was and let me know everything was going to be fine.  He was dressed in all black scrubs - something I hadn't seen before.  I wouldn't mind a pair of those myself.  Scrubs are very comfortable.  I had a few pair when I was a paramedic in the Air Force and wore them around the house a lot.

As the time drew nearer to 8:30, Arden was getting more nervous than I was.  I mentioned that they promised me something to relax.  I figured if they gave me that I could just take a nap until it was time to go.  Arden went to ask about it and they basically said "They'll give it to him when they come back to get him."  So the idea of a nap went out the window. 

About ten minutes went by and the anesthesiologist returned - with a syringe in her hand.  She said "This is going to help you relax.  It's time to go."  She put the needle into my IV and emptied the syringe into it.  I said my goodbyes to Arden and they wheeled me out of the pre-op area, through a door and around the corner into a hallway.  By the time we made the turn I was feeling the meds and told them so.  Their response was "Good.".  We went through a door to the right and they helped me get on the table.  That's the last thing I remember until I woke up in recovery.

I remember waking up slowly with my throat on fire.  The nurse asked me if I needed something for pain and of course I said "Yes."  I wasn't going to refuse free drugs.  And my throat did  hurt.  Not as much as I expected it to (at the time) but it hurt. 

Arden was there on my right side and said "Hi, Baby."  I reached up and touched her.  That was good enough for me.  I don't remember much about the first few minutes in recovery other than having pain in my throat and the nurse giving me medication for it.  Then came the dreaded words...  "That's the last of the IV medication.  If you need more I'll have to give it to you by mouth."  I still needed it.  She disappeared for a few minutes and returned with a pill that was at least as big as a boulder.  It was Tylenol #3 (with codeine) and while looking back I'm sure the pill wasn't really as big as a boulder - to my sore throat that morning it might as well have been.  There was no way I was going to swallow that.  If my life depended on swallowing that pill at that time I'd have died.  They had given me Tylenol #3 liquid for use at home post-op and we told the nurse that.  She said "Oh, OK" and went to get that instead.  She returned a few minutes later with the medication in a small cup.  I took it and drank it and was instantly breathing fire! 

One of the things they told me about post-op liquids was to avoid citrus of any kind.  The acid would be very painful.  So, of course, Tylenol #3 liquid is orange flavored and by the way it burned going down I'm pretty sure it has citric acid in the flavoring.  Really intelligent move there!

My doctor gives most of his patients hydrocodone (Vicodin) after this type of surgery.  It's his drug of choice, I guess.  I can't take Vicodin.  Several years ago I popped a cartilage between my ribs on the right side.  I went to the urgent care clinic because it hurt terribly just to breathe.  They gave me Vicodin and an anti-inflammatory.  Being someone who doesn't take drugs as a rule, I took one whole Vicodin when I got them just to get rid of the pain for a while.  After that I took 1/2 of one pill at the prescribed intervals. 

After two days I began to feel odd.  I had gone up to my dad's home in Ohio for an overnight visit.  I went to bed at around 10 and was unable to sleep.  I figured it was just pain related so I took the other half of the pill thinking that would put me to sleep.  I began reading and was up for several more hours before I began to get drowsy.

I headed home from Dad's the next day and again went to be around 10pm.  By 2am I was out of bed, pacing the floors, heart racing, unable to sit or lay down for more than a minute or two at a time.  I was in near panic mode and had no idea why.  Thank God for the internet.  Since the Vicodin was the only thing new in my life I researched it.  There it was, plain as day.  In some people Vicodin can cause anxiety, nervousness and trouble sleeping.  I can tell you from experience that it can also cause claustrophobia as well.  Around 4am I decided to take a shower and between the closed shower curtain and closing my eyes to wet my hair I was in panic mode again.  I stopped taking them at that moment and didn't take another one.  It took nearly two weeks for the effects to wear off. The claustrophobia was the worst thing.  I couldn't even shower without feeling it.  It was absolutely the worst reaction I've ever had to a medication.  I told my doctor he could prescribe anything else but Vicodin was out.  So he prescribed codeine.

To be continued...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sleep Apnea - A Thief In The Night

For a number of years now I've had difficulty sleeping soundly.  In truth, it's been going on as long  as I remember.  I've always been a very light sleeper - waking up at the slightest sound or movement and sometimes waking up from my own breathing.  (Yes, I sometimes snored heavily - to the point where it would wake me.)  I am normally awake 4 to 5 times a night.  Usually I go back to sleep, but not always.  I do not recall the last time I slept for 5 straight hours, let alone 8.  But I adjusted to it long ago and it didn't really become a problem until the last 12 years or so.  Then it took me that long (and Arden) to finally do something about it.

Soon after we got together, Arden mentioned to me that I stop breathing for long periods of time when I'm sleeping.  She said it worried her and asked if I would see a doctor and get checked out.  She had heard the stories about sleep apnea and read that it could significantly shorten someone's life if they don't do anything about it (which is absolutely true.)  Sleep apnea robs your body and brain of oxygen.  It seems Arden wants me to be around for a long time and she's not going to allow me to die prematurely without a fight.  She had a good ENT doctor who I had met so I agreed and went to see him.

After looking into my nose and throat the doctor pronounced that I had a deviated septum (something I already knew), that my uvula was a bit large and that there was excess tissue growing on either side of it that assisted in blocking my airway when I sleep.  He suggested a sleep study to determine the extent of my apnea.  I was scheduled to spend a night in a sleep clinic where they would monitor my breathing, heart rate, brain activity, eye movement and oxygen saturation while I was sleeping.  Arden said she had once done that herself and it wasn't terrible.  And since I already knew I had sleep apnea, I figured I may as well get this over with and find out how bad it was.

I went to the clinic on a Tuesday evening in early October.  I had to be there by 8pm and be ready to sleep.  They told me no alcohol but that I could use an over-the-counter sleep aid if I so desired.  There was a TV and I was allowed to read to help me go to sleep.  There was also a camera mounted over the door but Brian (the technician) told me while they normally video the patient during the night, the camera wasn't working at the time.  (I don't know if he was telling the truth or not but I wasn't planning on doing anything weird so I wasn't worried.)  What they didn't tell me was that they were going to wire me up with more monitoring devices than a patient in ICU. 

They put electrodes on my legs, my arms, my chest, and my head.  They taped a sensor to my upper lip to monitor my breathing and put a strap around my upper body for the same purpose.  Then they tied all of the wires together and attached them to a telemetry unit that laid beside me on the bed.  Brian hooked everything up and said once he was done he wouldn't bother me again unless, for some reason, he lost the signal or a wire came loose or something. 

So here I am in a strange place, wired for sound and expected to go to sleep as I normally would.  I don't know about any of you but I don't sleep well in a strange bed anyway, regardless of how tired I am.  I have to be in a hotel for at least a second night before I can even think about sleeping well.  And having to worry about wires coming loose and/or getting tangled just made it worse.  I took my sleeping tablet and got my book out.  I finally started dozing about 11pm and turned the light off.  Of course, as soon as I did that my brain started looking for other things to keep it occupied.

About 12:30am (best guess), I may have been asleep for half an hour and in comes Brian.  He was very apologetic but said one of the electrodes on the side of my neck (oh, yeah - forgot about those) had come loose and he needed to change it.   Not just put it back but change it.  It took several minutes and he politely apologized again and went back out of the room.  Then I had to try to sleep all over again. 

About 2:30 here came Brian again.  Another wire had come loose and he was not getting proper transmission of the signals.  Again he was very apologetic but I told him not to worry - I wasn't sleeping much anyway.  This one took a little longer and he went out about five minutes later with another apology and a third "Good night".  Around 4am history repeated itself. 

Right at 5am, just when I had finally fallen into a decent sleep, Brian came in and said "OK - you made it through the night.  Your test is over.  You can get up and we'll get all those wires off of you!"  I can't tell you how happy I was about that!  Certainly I wanted out of there but I really wanted to finally get some sleep.  Except it was now too late.  I was being sent home.

While he was getting me unhooked from everything he asked if I wanted coffee, orange juice, a cookie or muffin, or anything else.  I asked if he had some good coffee and he said he'd have to make it.  I told him not to worry about it - that I'd have some waiting for me at home.  He said "Oh¸ that's good because I don't drink coffee and I'm not even really sure how to make it."  I thought about showing him but didn't have the energy.

Have any of you ever had an EEG?  The paste they put on your head to hold the electrodes feels like silicone.  Now just imagine blobs of that stuff in eight different places around your head.  I'm glad it was dark as I drove home so on one could see me.   Brian had told me to get into the shower and let the hot water run on my head for several minutes and it would come right out.  He was right but what a pain.  The  whole test was something I'd rather not do again.

Brian also told me the results of the test would be sent to my doctor and he would call me with the results in a few days.   I don't remember what I did the rest of that day - I probably took a nap in the afternoon.  But at least it was over. 

Two days later I got a call from the sleep clinic's home office.  They told me the tests showed that I did not actually qualify for the diagnosis of sleep apnea because even though I did stop breathing for up to 10 seconds at a time while sleeping, I didn't do it often enough to meet the clinical definition of sleep apnea.  Apparently you have to stop breathing at least 12 times an hour to qualify and I only did it an average of five times an hour.  She said the test showed I actually was asleep for five hours, which isn't true at all.  I may have laid still for a couple of hours but I certainly didn't sleep that long.  So I spent a couple hundred dollars to find out that although I do stop breathing while sleeping, it didn't quite qualify as sleep apnea.  Great.

My doctor's office called the next day to make me an appointment so we could go over the test and the treatment options.  It was about a week later and Arden went with me.  The doctor said even though I didn't exactly qualify according to the test, he's convinced I have sleep apnea and there are several treatment options.  First, I could start using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine when I sleep.  I don't know how many of you are familiar with these but my dad wore one for about the last ten years of his life.  He started with the mask type and eventually, as technology advanced, was changed to a smaller device that forced air into his nose but I can tell you now - I won't be using one of those unless I have absolutely no choice.

For those unfamiliar with them, CPAP machines blow air and oxygen through a hose into a facial device that either fits over your mouth and nose or just into your nostrils to insure that you get enough oxygen while you're sleeping.  It makes up for the temporary cessation of breathing caused by sleep apnea.  Just imagine trying to sleep with a fan a inch from your face all night long and being unable to roll over or to even turn away from the air.  No thank you.

Anyway - as far as I was concerned the CPAP was the last alternative.  We then discussed surgery.  The doctor said he could repair my deviated septum (thus opening the other side of my nose and giving me more air), remove my uvula and remove some of the extra tissue that was causing the airway blockage during sleep.  It was a fairly simple procedure, my insurance would cover most of it and it should greatly reduce my episodes of sleep apnea.  Of course, there was no guarantee that it would eliminate it but that was possible as well. 

I opted for the surgery.  It was scheduled for November 9th.  I'm recovering right now but that's another story - part 2 of my adventure.

"Why is he blogging about this?" you may ask. 

I tell this story because sleep apnea can be very dangerous and can seriously cause people to die young.  When you stop breathing while sleeping your blood oxygen level drops, often causing your blood pressure to increase in order to get oxygen to your body.  The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater the risk of high blood pressure.  However, obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure.  If there's underlying heart disease, these multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from a cardiac event.  Studies also show that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and other vascular diseases.  It can also cause liver damage.  People with sleep apnea need to be careful with medications (including alcohol) that depress respiration.  You could accidentally kill yourself with medication. 

Part 2 - The Surgery and Recovery - tomorrow.  (Or Saturday, depending on whether or not I get it done...)  :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

America - Hoping For Change Or Changing Their Hope?

My friend, Ron Rose, posted this on Facebook today and I enjoyed it so much I decided to share it with all of you - with his permission, of course.  Thanks for allowing me to share this, Ron.  Maybe you should be the one blogging...

"The crisis is arrived when we must assert our rights or submit to every imposition that can be heaped upon us, till custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves." -      George Washington (1774)

I've heard that fruit doesn't fall far from its tree, and have often found that to be true. A bright young Patriot, who also happens to be my high-school daughter, demonstrated this principle just yesterday.
In a post-election summary to our fellow Patriots last week, I included images of election maps that exposed some facts Obama and his Leftist cadres don't want you to contemplate.
Chief among those facts are that the assault on Liberty we witnessed in the presidential election was led, as in 2008, primarily by urban dwellers, most of whom reside on "government plantations," and subsist on the spoils of what Obama calls "redistributive justice." That collectivist constituency now accounts for almost 50 (FIFTY) percent of Obama's voter base. Socialist Democrats have mastered the practice of co-opting (read: "buying") their allegiance and getting them to the polls. The good news is that about nine million fewer Obama voters showed up in 2012.
The county-by-county election maps clearly revealed the geographical delineation between the Left-leaning urban centers and the Right-leaning rest of the nation. Naturally, I observed that this delineation formed reasonable lines for secession, and I recalled these words from fellow Tennessean Nathan Bedford Forrest on the Second War for Independence (as it was known in the South): "I loved the old government. I loved the old Constitution. I do not hate it; I am opposing now only the radical revolutionists who are trying to destroy it."
So, you ask, what does this have to do with fruit trees?
My daughter walked into my home study (affectionately called "The Man Cave" around our house), and she was sporting one of those expressions that conveyed she was on a mission. She asked, "Can I sign a petition for our state to secede?"
Apparently, as you may have heard, some despondent souls across the nation, still licking their wounds after Obama's re-election, are preparing to surrender the future of the Republic. They have launched official secession petitions from all 50 states on the most illogical of places to undertake such folly -- Obama's White House "We the People" page for online petitions, which promises a response from the president to every petition that gathers more than 25,000 signatures.
Those petitions are closing in on a million signatures.
My daughter got wind of this, and she's now ready to grab her M-4 and a case of 5.56 and start over, with her brothers at her side! I love her spirit. She's one of those "quiet girls," but if you're on the wrong side of Liberty, you'd best get out of her field of fire.
After telling her that she most certainly could sign a petition for secession (just not one managed by Obama's lemmings), we had a discussion about the frustrations that have led some of our countrymen to give up on ever restoring Rule of Law.
I explained that nine of the secession petitions on the White House website have already exceeded the 25,000 signature threshold, and I anticipate Obama's response will be some version of what he has already said about grassroots conservatives -- something about those Tea Party people being an "angry mob" who are "waving their little tea bags around" while "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Obama and his sycophantic Leftmedia will have a good laugh with these understandable but ill-conceived petitions -- and that's unfortunate, because the petitions provide an opening for Obama to further marginalize legitimate grievances about the Left's collective disregard for our Constitution.
Now, please don't flood our website's "Comments" page with a defense of these petitions. I happen to agree with old N.B. Forrest in his assessment of the principle cause of the first attempt at secession, and I take exception to the gubmint schools' uncritical and unflinching idolization of Abe Lincoln, whose reckless disregard of our Constitution exceeds that of any president in our history, with the possible exception of Barack Obama. (I guess that assessment may result in a flood of objections, too.)
The fact is, I don't support secession, and having been around a couple of revolutions in Africa and Eastern Europe, I would much prefer constitutional restoration over insurrection -- if the former is achievable.
So why, in my assessment of the electoral maps, mention secession at all?
Because an alternative worth contemplating seriously would be to pursue a Constitutional Confederacy -- an alliance of those states that are not under the mob rule of urban Leftists, whose delegations could assemble to re-ratify our Constitution and the Rule of Law it enshrines.
As of today, Republicans control 30 state governorships and 27 state legislatures, and twice as many states are under total Republican leadership (governor and both houses) as states controlled by Democrats. That is plenty enough muscle to populate a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of re-adopting our authentic Constitution in its original form, amended as prescribed, and thus rejecting the so-called "living constitution" now obscured beyond recognition by the "despotic branch" of which Thomas Jefferson so presciently warned. Those states re-ratifying would then reject extra-constitutional regulations and taxes in favor of Tenth Amendment federalism as prescribed when each state first ratified our Constitution.
Now that is a movement in support of "We the People," which would generate a LOT of heartburn for Obama and his legions of urban socialists.
OK, I haven't completely taken leave of my senses -- but this notion of a Constitutional Confederation is representative of the big ideas that need to be considered in order to resolve big problems. And if you haven't yet taken leave of your senses, you know our nation is beset with BIG problems.
Here is where we find ourselves after the presidential election.
Our nation is in crisis -- and given the post election "economic revisions" this week, that crisis is not abating. The poverty rate was revised upward to 16.1 percent -- a record 49 million people living in poverty by American standards (up 3 million more than estimated the week prior to the election). The Latino poverty rate was revised upward to 28 percent. Jobless claims were up 78,000 this week, with Pennsylvania and Ohio hardest hit -- just wait for the December jobless claims...
Here is the short list of major domestic problems we face: Massive debt, crippling taxes, mandated tax increases and budget cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011 -- which will likely result in economic reversal (recession), out-of-control welfare and entitlement spending, inflation (just watch), overbearing government regulations and health care mandates, ever-expanding government plantation populations, failed educational institutions, increasing dependence on foreign oil, declining defense capability and the increasing threat of another devastating strike by Islamofascists on U.S. soil.
The short list of international problems: Chinese manipulation of debt markets, the re-emergence of Russian authoritarianism, the meltdown of relations in the Middle East and Africa, and Europe plunging back into economic recession.
Oh, and the biggest domestic problem: The re-election of a "community organizer," who has never so much as operated a lemonade stand, with the expectation that he will solve all the other problems, even though he and his "useful idiots" spent the last four years making matters much worse.
Barack Hussein Obama has no legislative mandate, but neither do the establishment Republicans. Obama did not win the 2012 election -- the GOP lost it. However, I can assure you that Obama will proceed as if he won every vote in America, not the thin 4/10ths of one percent that reseated him. That assurance was evident in Obama's post-election press conference this week, the first in eight months, when he doubled down on his list of Leftist mandates.
The good news is that Republicans can counter Obama's platform and restore the integrity of our Constitution, but only if the conservative wing of the Republican Party convinces the rest of the GOP to do what Mitt Romney failed to do -- rally grassroots conservatives. That will require leaders in the House and Senate who actually get "the grassroots thing," which the current leadership does not. (If new legislative leadership does not emerge, see "Constitutional Confederation" reference above.)
To better understand what the Romney campaign did not, the last time a GOP presidential contender genuinely identified with grassroots folks and they with him, was 1984, when Ronald Reagan won 525 electoral votes to his Democrat opponent's 13.  The Reagan model was, and remains, the right road forward.
The current cover of Newsweek proclaims "GOP: You're History" (which is ironic for a failed magazine in its final weeks of publication), but if the GOP does not get it right from this day forward, the Republic as we know it will be history.
The fact is, almost every critical national problem we face is, in every respect, the direct result of the gross political violation of the limits our Constitution prescribes on the scope of our federal government. Period.
The current crises are accompanied by great opportunities, both in terms of policy and politics -- restocking our national and state legislatures with right-minded leadership in 2014 and 2016.
We're unlikely to win the support of any government plantation dependents -- those welfare captives who make up the Left's largest constituency (50 percent). We're not going to change the minds of ideological socialists who make up about 10 percent of Leftist voters. But the right appeal will win over a majority of the remaining 40 percent of Obama's "middle constituency" and change the political landscape in the next two election cycles. Recall that a mere two-percent swing in the most recent election would have resulted in Obama's defeat -- which makes his victory all the more bitter. The right conservative leadership has the opportunity to win a 10 to 15 percent swing by rallying grassroots America to the cause of Liberty.
It has taken generations for our nation to become mired deep in the mud in which we now find ourselves stuck. It will take more than a few election cycles to pull us out. But there has been a great awakening among Patriots, and our ranks have grown rapidly in recent years. With the right leadership, the march to restore Liberty and constitutional integrity will be unstoppable.
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dishonesty, Incompetence or Plausible Deniability?

I posted a detailed question on Facebook last night concerning the President, Benghazi, General Petraeus and just what, exactly, is being reported to the President by his administration.  A few of my conservative friends jumped on the question with mostly partisan responses, which I expected.  In addition, I was attacked andb/or ridiculed by some Obama supporters who decided my question was irrelevant and that I was merely attacking the President.  They (those on the left) refused to give any kind of real answer to the question. 

Perhaps I've earned those responses from Obama fans since I've been very critical of him and his policies since he's been in office.  I seem to disagree with nearly everything he stands for and believes politically.  That's the nature of partisan politics.  However, last night's question was a bit different and I was hoping for a serious discussion.  Whether they (Obama fans) believe it or not, I would be asking the same question of a Republican President or an Independent President because I believe the answer is important for the country.  I'll let people decide for themselves what's important to them when I post the question here as well.  Maybe instead of only partisan responses (I did get one non-partisan response that supported my asking the question), I'll get some intelligent and thought provoking responses that address the actual question rather than attacking the one who asked it.  (Yes - that would be me.)

I prefaced the question with the following (modified slightly to give you more detail):

President Obama and Vice President Biden initially said they were not told about requests for increased security in Benghazi and also stated numerous times that the attack on the consulate was a protest over a video that went bad.

Today (yesterday now) Obama said he was not told that General Petraeus was under investigation by the FBI until General Petraeus resigned his position as CIA Director. 

These denials of knowledge lead one to believe one of three things (and I'd like someone to tell me which it is):

1. President Obama knew about both of these things and is lying, or...

2. President Obama's administration is incompetent and operates on their own without informing the President, or...

3. President Obama's administration leaves him in the dark intentionally to give him plausible deniability on major events. 

So which is it?

As I said - it didn't take long for me to be attacked by Obama supporters. 

One person went on and on about how Obama won and that's all we need to know.  Another said "you are asking loaded questions to appeal to your audience and, as any 5th grade logic student will tell you, none of your answers can be absolute and be true or false!"

Yet another said "We don't know what has been going on in the White House and we shouldn't.  So I agree all your questions are loaded.  You expect a miracle to happen."

Excuse me but - we shouldn't know what's going on in the White House?  The CIA Director resigned and four Americans died in a terrorist attack on our  Libyan consulate and we shouldn't know what's going on?  It's blind allegiance like that which will lead to a dictatorship in the United States of America.  Certainly there are top secret things going on that the public has no need to know - at least at the time.  But let's not put a blanket over the White House and never inform the public of anything - especially from a President who promised transparency.

As you can see, no one actually wanted to give me an answer to a question that I find very relevant and important.  If the President is not being informed of what's going on in the world and in his own administration then there is a problem, particularly if the events he doesn't know about are  serious.  One has to ask himself why this is happening.

Is it because there is a failure in the system and agency heads are operating on their own without consulting or at least advising the President?  Do we want that to happen?

Could it be there is an unwritten rule that they don't inform the President of certain things because if whatever it is goes wrong, the President can honestly deny knowledge of it.  And gee - how good would that be (for anyone but the President himself...)?

The other option is that the President is being kept informed of all these occurrences but chooses to lie to the American people about what he knows.  As we've seen from the amassing evidence from Benghazi, lying to the people can come back to bite you if the lies are uncovered.  And it is my own personal belief that continued denial or delaying the truth about an incident because it's "still under investigation" for months or even years will eventually hurt a Presidency.

One of my more reasonable friends suggested that Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI and a Republican, may have deliberately not informed the President of the Petraeus investigation (and apparently was not legally required to) because he (Mueller) would "love to see egg on the President's face."  That may or may not be true but if it is - the President should consider removing him from his position immediately if he sees Mueller as a problem.  Since Mueller is a Presidential appointee, Obama has full authority to do just that.

If, on the other hand, these agency heads have instructions not to tell the President about things that could be an embarrassment to him so that he can save face by denying any knowledge of them, then the problem is not with the agency heads.  It lies with the President and his advisers.

And if the President is simply lying to the people about what he knew and when, it goes against one of this biggest campaign promises in 2008...  "If elected, I will run an administration of absolute transparency and will hold all accountable, including myself."

President Obama has just been re-elected to a second term by an unquestionable majority.  As I said last week - it would be really wonderful to see him begin living up to that '08 campaign promise and be honest and straightforward with the people of the United States.  For those of you who follow blindly without questioning what he says and does, I must wonder if you'll do the same thing when a Republican is in the White House.  I'm guessing not.  That makes you hypocrites.  And before anyone asks - yes, I criticized Bush.  I didn't have a blog or Facebook back then but I criticized him plenty.  But criticizing Bush today (and still blaming him for everything) accomplishes nothing, except maybe to make Obama supporters feel better about Obama's failures.  But that's not really helping the country, is it?

I still welcome somebody to give me a logical, non-partisan answer to my questions.  Regardless of your party affiliation, I'd like an answer free of emotion or ridicule, and without a personal attack on the President or me.  That would be refreshing.  You can even come up with another reason for what I've outlined if you have one.  I'd really like an answer based on reason instead of emotion.  I'll wait...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Obama Won The Election - Let's Secede Now...!

Since the re-election of President Obama there have been petitions in at least 20 states submitted to the Federal government to allow each of those states to "peacefully secede from the Union."  These petitions basically cite disagreement with the Obama administration on policies and spending issues and base their request on the Declaration of Independence's dramatic assertion that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government."

Those who know me know I am basically an independent conservative.  I am not a Republican and have many disagreements with the Republican party but I find myself voting for Republicans in most cases because I am nearly completely opposed to the liberal agendas and policies.  I am also a Christian and find it nearly impossible (in my humble opinion) to reconcile Christianity with liberalism.  It just doesn't work for me.

One might think I'd be in favor of these secession petitions so those of us who disagree with the President's agenda and policies could form our own conservative government.  But nothing could be further from the truth. 

I'm not happy about the results of the election - that's no secret.  I'm no fan of Obama and disagree with nearly everything he stands for.  However, I'm not crazy enough to believe that secession, dividing the United States of America into two separate nations, is a good idea.  These are but a few reasons why:

First of all, with the possible exception of Texas, no state is powerful enough (or has enough funds) to stand individually as a nation.  Let's remember that even if a state was allowed to secede, those who love Obama would leave and remain in the union, which would reduce each seceding state's population, thus reducing the number of employed and revenue coming into the government.  Granted, Obama haters from other states would very possibly want to move to one of these newly independent states but that would take time and paperwork, particularly since no state would want to secede from the union without securing their borders to prevent people from entering illegally.

Seceding states would have to seek out and secure trade agreements with other seceding states since you can bet one of the first things that would happen is that states remaining in the union would be banned from (or would voluntarily ban) trading with the secessionist states.  Seceding states would be left on their own to seek out  trade and commerce wherever they could find it but I'm sure the remaining United States would not be part of that. 

Each state would have to fund their own military, without federal aid.  Very few could afford it.  In addition, the federal government would want all of its equipment back.  Sure, fat chance they'd get it but the feds' first move would be to call all active duty military people to leave the secessionist states and report to a union state.  How many would choose the freedom of a secessionist state over the union?  And how ugly would it get in the meantime?

If I was the President of the United States and for some reason allowed some states to secede, the first thing I is cut everything off from the seceding states, i.e., business transactions, etc.  In other words - since General Motors is based in Michigan (assuming Michigan did not secede) then no GM dealers in seceding states would receive vehicles for sale anymore.  Likewise with any and all major corporations based in union states.  Seceding states would have to create their own companies. 

Seceding states would also have to find their own energy sources.  Those states without oil or gasoline would have to find it in other seceding states and be able to purchase it - something that would be difficult since money from the union would likely no longer have value.  Certainly seceding states having an abundance would be willing share, for a while.  But that wouldn't last forever.  Could they survive?

Even if the states were able to successfully secede from the Union and survive on their own, would they join together to form a new country or would they attempt to stand on their own?  Either way - what happens if a large group of people in one of those states decides they aren't happy with their current government?  Further separation?  Independent cities or counties that secede from the state?  Where does it end?

These would-be secessionists are making a show and taking a stand but is it really a practical stand?  I believe it's not.  Many of us are unhappy with the country's choice for the next four years.  So be it.  What true conservative patriots need to do now is seek out and promote a good, solid conservative for the next election who is not part of the Republican establishment nor intimidated by them.  We also need to vote very carefully in the 2014 elections and get rid of as many establishment Republicans as possible.  Put independents in their places if necessary.  The Republican party has moved to the left in the last 20 years and they now criticize true conservatives.  It's time for them to go.

There was a time, in my younger days, when I believed President Lincoln should have allowed the Southern states to secede and try it on their own.  They had no real manufacturing capabilities at the time - only agriculture.  It is my guess that within about five years their government would have been hurting to the point that they asked to join the union again.  I could be wrong - times were simpler then.  But I don't think they'd have made it successfully for too long.

Seceding from the union was a bad idea in the 1860s and it's a worse idea today.  If, for some reason, it was allowed to proceed I would have to support President Obama's efforts to preserve the union, just as I support President Lincoln's efforts to preserve the union back then.  Destroying the union over one Presidential term is a ridiculous notion.  We have the power to correct things in four years.  If something drastic happens between now and then, other steps may need to be taken.  But if we allow the liberals to cause such drastic disruption in our nation that we decide it's time to divide the nation, they have won.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thoughts On Obama's Re-election...

The election is over and President Obama has been re-elected to a second term.  Mitt Romney ran a fair race and it was a close competition all day.  In the end, Mr. Obama won the popular vote and the electoral college vote so he is the President by majority all the way around.  And I congratulate him.

He was not my choice but he is the President and will be for another four years.  And I will support him.  I may not always agree with him but that is my right as an American citizen in a free society.  Those who love him will decry my disagreement as racism, sour grapes, unwillingness to cooperate, etc., but the bottom line is I'm not going to change my beliefs and morals to please those on the left.  That is why there are different parties - we have different fundamental values. 

 What I'd like to see the President do in his second term is what he actually promised in the first campaign.  I'd like him to be honest and transparent.  He promised that when he was running in 2008 yet he has had one of the most secretive, covered up administrations in history.  His signature health care law was drummed up in locked offices and passed through coercion and back room deals.  Fast and Furious was initially blamed on George W. Bush (until facts proved that it was a completely different operation) and the Attorney General of the United States is most likely lying to keep it covered up.  President Obama told Dmitry Medvedev he would have "more flexibility after the election."  God, Obama and Medvedev are the only ones who know what that really means but if it's about reducing our nuclear arsenal it can't be good.

The President has been very difficult to read concerning Israel.  On one hand he says we will support Israel as our friend and ally and on the other he says he wants to see their borders go back to where they were in 1969.  It has also been rumored that if Israel attack Iran's nuclear facility without notifying the White House ahead of time they are on their own.  That's got to make Israel fully trust their "friend and ally", huh?

President Obama said there would be no tax increases on anyone making under $200,000 yet as the health care law continues to be implemented our taxes will go up.  He also raised taxes on many items used by lower and middle income consumers making them more expensive.  So "not raising taxes" is a myth.

During his first term, the President funded numerous green energy companies that failed miserably.  We all need oil to run the country and we will for at least 10-20 more years, until another viable source of energy can be created in an efficient and cost effective manner.  Yet he stopped oil drilling in many places, blocked the pipeline and sent billions to other countries so they can drill  for oil.  Gee - what about taking care of your own country first?

I'll be waiting to see changes in the Obama way of doing things.  I'll be waiting to see him make some positive changes for the nation instead of making pretty speeches, blaming other people for the problems and making his followers swoon.  Until that happens, don't ask me to happy about Obama's re-election nor to stop criticizing him.  There's a lot to criticize until he changes his ways.  And as long as I still have the freedom to speak my mind, that's exactly what I'll be doing.