Category Archives: Family
The Friskey has published a Handy Dandy Guide with a great chart. Isn’t it amazing how these men don’t seem to ever have asked a woman what being raped and/or getting pregnant from it means? The Friskey comments on the gentlemen in the chart:
“I have such a hard time remembering which conservative politician said what ridiculously offensive thing about rape. They’re all old and white and most of them are in some state of partial baldness. They all look the same! And they all sound basically the same too, given that woman-hating bile spews from their open pie holes. Alas, they are all individual people, who hold or have held positions of power within government, and aspire to inflict their beliefs upon your life.”
You know, there are people who listen to and agree with these terrible concepts and who admire all five of these Republicans. You can bet Mitt and his buddy Ryan are included in these.
I will be amazed when someone comes out with the statistic after the election of how many women voted Republican. It is as if they would enjoy being treated like cattle.
- Obama slams Mourdock: “Rape is rape” (blogs.suntimes.com)
- RAPE “that’s something God intended” GOP Senate Candidate Tells Women (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
- Shady Pennsylvania Republicans Pass New Law Requiring Women To Prove They Were Raped! (bossip.com)
- Meet The Mourdocks: The Other Republicans Pushing To Block Abortions For Rape Victims (thinkprogress.org)
- Introducing ‘Emergency Rape’, This Season’s Hottest Rape Trend [Video] (jezebel.com)
- The real Republican rape platform | Jill Filipovic (guardian.co.uk)
I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.
I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.
While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.
I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.
As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.
Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.
Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.
I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.
If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.
- Saturday Morning and I’m getting ready for the 11 o’clock show… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- CATF Plays in Running for National Critics’ Award (prweb.com)
- I REALLY need your help to continue the blog… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
Hard to believe it, but Elly and I have been married for 34 years as of today. It’s almost unbelievable that this wonderful woman has out up with me so long. I’m not the best husband in the world and have been obsessed with my various projects, often ignoring hers and making her life less than happy. Now, with my seizures and health care problems, she is making my actual living circumstances both possible and relatively enjoyable.
But we did have highlights in our combined lives. The major thing, of course, was the creation of our fantastic son Buddy (who now calls himself Will, but we will never think of him without the name “Buddy”) who got married a few weeks ago in Milwaukee. I hope he and Rachel get at least the 34 years we have had.
I guess we will go eat somewhere nice today to mark the occasion.
Have you seen some of the Halloween costumes, both for kids and adults, that are popping up on the web looking for buyers to turn on? I’m finding them amazing…what was always, to me, a kids’ holiday with a spooky, witches and ghosts attitude seems to be changing radically.
The first costume I saw that made me look for more was this kid’s costume:
Then again, there are adult costumes that are making me wonder what folks are looking to communicate.
Perhaps there are too many things in our society that aren’t getting enough attention… or the conservative attack on a woman’s right to choose has results that appear unnatural.
I’m not about to think of Halloween as an obnoxious holiday… it never has been during my life.
Can you picture moms and dads in the costume shop with junior shopping for this year’s appearance. And then there are girl’s costumes, too. A used feminine napkin is something I would never have imagined as something to walk the neighborhood looking for candy as.
When you think of it, there are many similar things which could be turned into Halloween costumes and some designer somewhere is having an emotional roller coaster ride.
How we see members of the opposite sex is something that expresses an unusual opinion. Men are, perhaps, looking for ways to make a statement as to how he sees the woman in his life. A joke? An insult? A confused thought? Who can tell?
Then, of course, there are costumes looking for some kind of action. Does it make you wonder what occurs during the free mammogram? One can guess.
There is, however, a view of the man/woman relationship as a plug-in idea… and energy will probably be passed on. This is pretty neat, but still highly suggestive.
So… I hope at the end of the month you have an interesting and revealing Halloween.
- Top 10 Trending Social Media Halloween Costumes for 2012 Announced (prweb.com)
- Halloween and the rise of sexy costumes for women and girls (rebeccahains.wordpress.com)
- Kim Kardashian Shows Off Scandalous but Boring Halloween Costume (celebs.gather.com)
- Halloween Costumes Are Sexist (ninjaloungehouse.wordpress.com)
Elly, of course, is upset that she has to get up so early to take me into the station. John usually picks me up on his way in.
So right now I’m putting my music list together. I’ll be taking requests for music at 304-876-5369 if you want to hear yourself on the air.
Sitting around the house now that I’m not allowed to drive due to my seizures, I’ve been thinking about my life and trying to figure out what I’ll do now. I don’t know why, but I started thinking about my father and the airplanes he had when I was a kid. The first plane he owned and the second, too, as a matter of fact, werea 1946 Stinson 180’s.
My mother was scared to death of airplanes and eventually my dad got rid of the first one. I was really sad, since I loved to go flying with him.
Eventually he bought the second Stinson and it was not one he kept for a long time…primarily because he had to make a forced landing on a farm in northeast Connecticut while flying back from Cape Cod. My mother, my sister and I drove back… and when we got home we got the phone call. When he made the forced landing it was downhill and the propeller ended up twisting barbed wire around itself from the fence it rolled into.
Needless to say, this was enough to make my Mother totally certain that she’d make him sell the plane… and she did.
I was 12 or 13 during our couple of flying years and I remember buzzing over Connecticut small towns, flying near the shoreline and then bringing it to the little airport in Plainville. Every kid should have a flying experience!
- Pilot walks away from emergency landing (stuff.co.nz)
- Up, up, and away~ (cassh20.wordpress.com)
- 10 Annoying Airplane Behaviors That Should Probably Be Illegal (thefrisky.com)
- Overnight search for missing Qld plane (bigpondnews.com)
This is it… first debate of the election season tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. We’re all making guesses as to who is going to say what, who is going to come out on top, etc.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) shared his thoughts on the presidential debate:
“Romney has to hit it out of the park. This is probably his last chance, and I bet on Obama.”
Obama has more to think about on this date. It happens to be his and Michelle‘s 20th wedding anniversary… not a great way to celebrate it I think. However, this could also give Obama a really special goal in taking on Romney as a salute to his wife and an extension of his positive mood.
This may be Romney’s last chance to recover the lead in the race… it’s his to lose as many pundits are saying. He has been rehearsing more than he has been out campaigning and, as we have been told, he is memorizing “zingers”. What they are we will have to wait to see, also we’ll have to observe when he uses them. This could be his major mistake of the evening.
Anyway, I wish the Obamas a Happy Anniversary and hope Barack has good luck this evening in Denver.
- Suggested Romney Zinger Lines (themoderatevoice.com)
- Sand Baggery & Zingers (aphilosopher.wordpress.com)
- Mitt Romney Has His Debate Zingers All Ready To Go (nymag.com)
- CNN to Air Interviews with Michelle Obama, Ann Romney Ahead of First Debate (cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com)
- President Obama, Mitt Romney to square off in first debate (fox6now.com)
- First debate sets up moment of high-risk theater (news.yahoo.com)
- Obamas’ wedding anniversary lands on debate night (wjla.com)
- Obamas’ wedding anniversary lands on debate night (seattletimes.com)
“I think my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being. I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy. …So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it.”
So… is Ann’s lack of confidence her husband’s ability to mentally handle the job as the President of the United States going to instill confidence in voters? Well, she still supported his run even though it might produce this emotional distress.
- Ann Romney: Biggest Concern For Mitt In White House Would Be His ‘Mental Well-Being’ (mediaite.com)
- Ann Romney: Mitt’s ‘mental well-being’ would be her biggest concern if elected (thehill.com)
- Ann Romney worries about Mitt’s ‘mental well-being’ if he wins election (rawstory.com)
- Ann Romney Expresses Concern About Mitt’s ‘Mental Well-Being’ if Elected President: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Ann Romney has one concern (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Video: Ann Romney worried about Mitt’s ‘mental well-being’ (nyaltnews.com)
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, known to his colleagues as “Punch“, the fourth publisher of the New York Times, is famous for his decision to publish the Pentagon Papers and to promote a radical redesign that set a new standard for newspapers in the last quarter of the 20th century, has died at age 86, after a long illness.
Sulzberger was publisher of the Times from 1963 to 1992 and chairman and chief executive of the parent company from 1973 to 1997. These titles were passed on to his son, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the fourth generation of his family to head the paper.
Publishing the Pentagon Papers were the defining moment of three decades of transformation at the Times under Sulzberger. He also automated the Times’ production, unified the Sunday and daily news operations under one editor and divided the paper into four brightly written sections.
Hampered by dyslexia, he was an indifferent student who daydreamed in class. His grades were so poor that he repeated the first year of high school. In 1943, the 17-year-old joined the Marines. His desire to prove himself on the battlefield was thwarted by his father, who arranged a transfer to Gen. Douglas MacArthur‘s staff as driver and jack of all trades. After World War II, Sulzberger earned a degree at Columbia University in 1951. He served in the Korean War as a public information officer.
- Ex-NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies (thestar.com)
- Ex-NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies (newsobserver.com)
- Ex-NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies (wtvm.com)
- Arthur O. Sulzberger Dead: Former New York Times Publisher Dies At 86 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Former New York Times Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Dead At 86 (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Ex-NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies (miamiherald.com)
- Former NY Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger dies at 86 (mercurynews.com)
- Ex-NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Ex-NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies (thenewstribune.com)
It’s a pretty substantial 20%… the question is will they show up? Here’s the demographics:
Here in the Shepherd University area where we see an awful lot of the youth category daily, we are curious as to how involved students are getting in the campaigns. From what I see it is minimal at best.
How is it where you are? Does it look like we will surpass the 2008 election or fall below it’s total of young voters? We’ll have to wait and see.
- Loreto urges youths to register to vote (leytesamardaily.net)
- UPA ‘cheating’ youths: Modi (thehindu.com)
- ‘Discussion on Voter Turnout at the Economic Club (jonathanjuteau.wordpress.com)
- Reaching First Generation College Students (insidehighered.com)
- New ID Laws May Shoot Down College-Student Voters (huffingtonpost.com)
Want to know what Massachusetts educators learned from Mitt Romney‘s single term as Massachusetts governor? He forced them into increased classroom sizes, school budget cuts, higher fees and less out-of-school services for students.
As Ronald, a former superintendent from Attleboro, MA explains:
“Governor Romney said that he was not going to cut education. And then the next thing we knew those cuts were made.”
So take a look at this, then tell the Romney supporters you know with school children what they can expect if he gets elected.
- Obama: Romney is a teacher-basher (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
An awful lot of folks on line think so. Take a listen:
So seeing Joe up close has an interesting interpretation. What do you think?
- Jill Biden makes a really long penis joke. (aarhusblog.com)
- Jill Biden warms the crowd with accidental dick joke (nosyass.com)
- Giggling Crowd Has Mind In The Gutter During Jill Biden’s Speech (mediaite.com)
- Joe Biden Calls Cheerleaders ‘Best Athletes in College’ (abcnews.go.com)
I can’t tell you how much your sympathy and suggestions meant to me. Just getting through this part of my life is so difficult. This poor old fatman (22 pounds down on my diet in the second month) has to come to some kind of way of extending his purpose.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to direct theatre again… can’t get to rehearsals and can’t find a theatre group that might want to do one of my experimental pieces. That is pretty depressing, too, having been creating such events since 1967.
Oh well… lots of blog writing to do what with a big election coming up (that’s how this blog started years ago)…at least that exercises my mind.
I’m now in the sixth week or so of being trapped in the house, unable to go anywhere, no longer living the life I had been used to. Even in this highly medicated, lonely situation I’ve had two smaller seizures which means I probably won’t be allowed to drive or bicycle or anything in 6 months as the doctors had specified (there’s a state law!) I have to go seizure free for half a year and they will assume the meds work.
“Don’t you have any friends who want to take you somewhere?” says my wife on her way to work. I make a couple of phonecalls, get answering machines, and still don’t hear from anyone. I used to be able to drive around Shepherdstown and visit folks at The Folly and at Mellow Moods or walking up and down German Street. Now I just sit and think about it.
“Don’t you do crossword puzzles?” my Mother asked the other day. I don’t. I don’t want to. I read and write this blog and endured endless hours of news programs showing Romney’s gaffes – not as entertaining as they originally were.
So here I am waiting for my cell phone to ring, or waiting for e-mail to arrive or for someone to knock on the door wanting to see how I was doing. Unfortunately, I no longer think it will happen.
- Bet You don’t Know Who’s Depressed? (mypreretirementmusings.wordpress.com)
- A personal note – I’m living in considerable fear… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- A Seizure (maggiemendus.wordpress.com)
Tomorrow and Sunday is the reenactment of the Battle of Antietam over the river from us in Sharpsburg. It is the 150th anniversary of the battle and this is drawing reenactors from all over the country, judging by the large amount of out-of-state license plates showing up here and over in Washington County.
Elly and I are going over to her friend Joan’s at some point to sit in front of her house on Main St. and watch the downtown activities.
Getting from our place to Hagerstown is going to be a mess tomorrow, since many of the main roads will be closed around the Battlefield National Park. Anyone trying to get from Shepherdstown to Hagerstown is advised to go a little out of your way and take Interstate 81.
- Park Service kicks off Antietam anniversary events (miamiherald.com)
- Park Service kicks off Antietam anniversary events (kansascity.com)
- Md. Scouts Sell Tickets For Antietam Re-Enactment (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Antietam battle so big, there are 2 re-enactments (ktvb.com)
- PA Civil War Road Show to make special appearance in Maryland (whptv.com)
- Antietam battle so big, there are 2 re-enactments (heraldonline.com)
It’s the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy and it will be the subject of all of today’s talk shows. The very thought of everything involved in the event… from the destruction of the World Trade Center, the crash into the Pentagon and the plane that went down in a Pennsylvania field. I remember the father of one of Buddy’s friends when we lived in Marlborough,CT, who had made his monthly business trip to NYC and died in the attack… which means not only did it happen, but I knew someone killed in the tragedy.
We are at war in the Middle East… still going after Al Qaeda. It is the longest war in our history and seems to go on forever. After the loss of citizens on 9/11, we continue to lose even more Americans because of the attack. I ask my self: what have we become?
I will try to put the day out of my mind. I have thought about it so much over the past eleven years. I am just crestfallen to find it on my mind again.
- Six words for 9/11 (pbs.org)
- The Morning of September 11, 2001 Through My Eyes (re-post) (pumabydesign001.com)
- “The things I wish I hadn’t learned” (thethingsihavelearnedblog.com)
- When Death Came From The Sky (poemsandponderings.wordpress.com)
- Patriot Day 2012 (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)
- US Commemorates 9/11 Attacks on 11th Anniversary (news92fm.com)
- WTC Building 7: controlled demolition? Hardly (halfbyteblog.wordpress.com)
Romney should have his people check out the people he talks with…but here in New Hampshire he finds a man who fought for his country in Viet Nam, who wants marriage equality between men and men and who finally admits he is gay and loves a man.
Why should any person be able to decide what someone else does with their lives? Why should Romney be able to make that decision for them? The result… these laws give Romney and the Republicans that kind of power.
Fact is, this was picked up by the news media and makes Romney look really uncaring:
Here’s someone who will effect the votes of others and there’s Romney… a fool.
- Obama vs. Romney 101: 4 ways they differ on gay issues (csmonitor.com)
- Pro-Romney Super PAC Attacks Obama For Supporting Marriage Equality (thinkprogress.org)
- David Koch Backs Gay Marriage (drudge.com)
- Mitt Romney Supports Gay Boy Scouts But Not Gay Marriage? (perezhilton.com)
- Dumbest PAC Ad (So Far) (ken_ashford.typepad.com)
- Here’s A Terrible Anti-Obama Ad Against Gay Marriage (thegloss.com)
- Pro-Romney Super PAC Attacks Obama For Supporting Marriage Equality (occupytvstations.com)
Lihn is mother to little Zoe Lihn, a child born with a congenital heart defect, who already has needed three open-heart surgeries which would, in all likelihood, push her close to, or past, her insurance company’s lifetime coverage limit. Lihn told the crowd that President Obama‘s health care reform law “is saving my daughter’s life,” and made it clear that if Mitt Romney is elected, and makes good on his promise to repeal Obamacare, the consequences for Zoe would be disastrous.
“Governor Romney says people like me were most excited about President Obama the day we voted for him. But that’s not true. Not even close. For me, there was the day the Affordable Care Act passed, and I no longer had to worry about getting Zoe the care she needed. There was a day the letter arrived from the insurance company saying our daughter’s lifetime cap had been lifted. There was the day the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare… And like so many moms with sick kids, I shed tears.”
Lihn went on to outline what Zoe’s future would be after the election of a Romney/Ryan ticket:
“If Mitt Romney becomes president, and Obamacare is repealed, there’s a good chance she’ll hit her lifetime cap. There’s no way we could afford to pay for all of the care she needs to survive. When you have a sick child, it’s always in the back of your mind and sometimes, in the front of your mind. On top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics? One in one 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect. President Obama is fighting for them. He’s fighting for families like mine, and we need to fight for him.”
The audience’s response to Lihn and her family, who appeared next to her on the podium, was highly emotional and supportive. Certainly, this was a speech that everyone would remember when they think of Obamacare… I know I will.
Conventions are a lot like commercials for political positions and and, like commercials, help the voter determine which brand to buy. The big difference between Republicans and Democrats on this issue is that people will remember the major positions: The Republicans will dismantle Obamacare and cut Medicare and Medicaid using the money to afford tax cuts for the rich. The Democrats made it clear that if Republicans are elected a little girl will die.
How the Republicans deal with the actual results of their campaign goals can easily affect voters. There is no way they can make their cuts sound beneficial to sick children.
- DNC Speaker Stacy Lihn: Obamacare ‘Is Saving My Daughter’s Life’ (mediaite.com)
- Mother Stacey Lihn praises Obamacare for saving her daughter’s life (guardian.co.uk)
- Dems wear ‘Obamacare’ label proudly (politico.com)
- Five key moments from Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention (pennlive.com)
This makes the Democratic platform have more understandable content.
- Gay Americans Can Thank The Democratic Party As Convention Places Marriage Equality In Party Platform (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Democratic Convention Begins in N.C. (huffingtonpost.com)
- 5 things to watch tonight at Dem convention (content.usatoday.com)
- Democrat Platform Backs Tax-funded, Partial-birth Abortions (thenewamerican.com)
- Democrats Unveil Platform Endorsing Marriage Equality (advocate.com)
- Kennedy Family Still A Part Of Democratic National Convention (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Watch the Democratic Convention live online – Live Streaming (imns.wordpress.com)
The contributions made by unions to the betterment of America’s workers is primarily the reason we celebrate Labor Day. The influence of organized labor cannot be ignored.
Most of the benefits workers now enjoy are directly attributable to unions:
- The 40 hour work week
- paid holidays and vacations
- sick leave
- grievance procedures
- collective bargaining
- generally superior wages.
Unfortunately, we have come to take those benefits for granted. Benefits came about because of unions and soon became the norm for union workers and many non-union workers as well. All American workers owe a debt of gratitude to Organized Labor for its achievements.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. By 1909 all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.
On Labor Day, let’s look at the benefits brought to us by Organized Labor:
Benefits of Unions:
Reinforcement of the middle class. States with higher rates of unionization have lower rates of poverty, crime, and failing schools.
Raise of wages for all workers. Studies show that a large union presence in an industry or region can raise wages even for non-union workers. Women in unions make 33% more non-union women, and are more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and pensions.
Reducing wage inequality. Unions raise wages the most for low- and middle-wage workers and workers without college degrees.
Creation of mine safety laws strengthening mine safety standards and protecting the rights of mine workers.
The legal participation of Organized Labor has gotten many bills through Congress. In the last 50 or so years these include:
So as we celebrate Labor Day, let’s look at it as not just a day off from work, but as recognition of the relationship of the worker to democracy.
- Labor Day, How it Came About and What it Means (clarksvilleonline.com)
- The History of Labor Day (womensphilanthropy.typepad.com)
- History of Labor Day (thehrstrategiesblog.wordpress.com)
- Why Call it Labor Day When Most People Have the Day Off? (interactive360.wordpress.com)
- For U.S. unions, holiday begins somber election countdown (news.terra.com)
- Labor Day & POLITICAL ACTION 2012 (propresobama.org)
- Labor Day – An American Holiday (givemeda411.wordpress.com)
- The Arts of Labor Day (thewip.net)
- Construction workers crucial to US landscape (syracuse.com)
My friend Ted Czukor sent me this essay and I am pleased to pass it on to you:
WHO GETS HELP AND WHO DOESN’T?
By Ted Czukor
I’d like to take a poll of all readers over the age of 30. How many of you think that life is going to unfold the way you had envisioned? It certainly hasn’t been like that for me! I’m 65 now, and on the one hand I’ve had some wonderful experiences that I never could have predicted, while on the other hand some experiences have been the sheerest crap; but very seldom in my life has my planning brought about the exact result to which I had looked forward.
One of the more disturbing surprises I’ve had recently is that finally getting Medicare health insurance is not necessarily a guarantee of receiving proper medical attention—because healthcare providers are sometimes slow to order medical tests. I say “sometimes” because it’s a very mixed bag. Sometimes our doctor may send us immediately to the lab for something that he feels is necessary, but other times we may have to come back to his office for multiple appointments over several months with the same persistent complaint before he will decide that the quickly-written prescription isn’t doing anything, and we really do need to have a tube stuck down our throat or a picture taken of our brain or joints to see what the hell is actually going on.
It’s hard to predict when our doctors will jump on a test immediately or delay one for several months—but it seems clear from the national discussion on TV that some tests are being delayed due to concerns about cost. Our healthcare system is losing money, and some patients are guilty of what the insurance industry calls “over-utilization of services”—which makes it damned hard on those of us who legitimately need the testing.
On the Today Show on Wednesday morning, August 28th 2012, Dr. Nancy Snyderman actually suggested that any medical test will come up with something treatable, so therefore people in their 90’s should hold off on such tests so that younger people with longer-expected life spans can benefit from the treatments instead! We like and respect Dr. Nancy, and we never expected her to take such a cold-blooded stance on the subject. It sounds logical and fiscally responsible on the surface, but how low on the age scale should we set the cutoff point? Age 80? 70? What about people over the age of 60? Shouldn’t other factors besides age be considered in such a decision?
Such a stance is easy to support, so long as the older people in question are generic groups whom you have never met. But when that older person is suddenly a personal friend or a member of your own family—or when, God forbid, it’s actually you—then you will probably take a second look and decide that in this case, at least, an exception should be made!
Another unexpected and recent surprise has been that we have to do our own diagnosing. More accurately, we have to research our symptoms on the Internet and take our questions about possible causes to our doctor, to get him to look into them and determine whether we are barking up the wrong tree—or not. Only our doctors and their labs can diagnose for certain, but we have to tell them what to look for! This is doubtless due to the overwhelming number of patients they see every day, with the result that even the most conscientious physician can only pay full attention to the patient who is right in front of him. As soon as that patient has left and a new one has come in, the first one better receive proper follow-up from the doctor’s staff, because the doctor himself will have forgotten about him until their next scheduled appointment.
In the last three years my wife and I have been successfully treated for degenerated hips and shoulders, melanoma and allergic reactions to various medications—but in every case we were the ones who had to self-diagnose the condition and then go to the proper specialist to have it verified! Until we did that, we were simply given prescriptions for pain or infection in an attempt to mask symptoms. It was never suggested that surgery might be needed, or that a medication should be discontinued because it might be messing us up. Suggestions of that nature had to be put forward by us.
I have two reasons for writing this essay and sharing it with others. For those in the medical profession, I want you to know that educated patients understand your dilemmas concerning healthcare costs and the limited time you are allowed to spend with each of us—but we insist that attention be paid to us as individuals, rather than as generic members of a certain age group. For my contemporaries who are experiencing the same frustrations that I am, I want to encourage you to Keep Doing Your Searches on WebMD, and Keep Asking Questions. Don’t take a doctor’s “I don’t know” for an answer. Get your facts lined up, and insist on getting tested for anything that alarms you and that your doctor isn’t completely sure doesn’t need a test.
For those of you who aren’t wealthy and are under 65 without health insurance, I empathize. I went without insurance for two years before finally making it to Medicare age. The best advice I can give is to do whatever you feel is necessary to maintain your functionality, until you can finally get coverage to see doctors again. The trick is to just stay alive. But remember that getting the insurance won’t be enough. You will have to be an active advocate for your own health and for the health of your spouse and parents.
- Doctor Shortage May Swell to 130000 With U.S. Cap – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- GOP team is wrong prescription for patients (jsonline.com)
- Republican Platform Goes There-Would Make Medicare A Defined-Contribution Voucher Program (washingtonmonthly.com)
- What is an accountable care organization and why should you care? (insurance.com)
- Medigap Plans A Through N – Compare Medigap Plans (medicaresupplementalinsurance.com)
- Truth about the Ryan-Wyden Medicare Proposal (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Scientist and children’s television personality Bill Nye, in a newly released online video, panned biblical creationism and implored American parents who reject the scientific theory of evolution not to teach their beliefs to their youngsters.
“I say to the grownups, ‘If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it,'” said Nye, best known as host of the educational TV series “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
If I were a professional educator, I would give Bill Nye my thanks for coming out with this video:
Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. Creationism is not.
- Bill Nye: Please don’t teach your kids creationism, because it is crazy (rawstory.com)
- Bill Nye Believes One Day the Creationism Theory Won’t Exist (fox4kc.com)
- Bill Nye: Americans who believe in Creationism hold the rest of us back (dangerousminds.net)
- Bill Nye “The Science Guy” Slams Creationism (wreg.com)
- Bill Nye the Science Guy says creationism not good for kids (vancouverdesi.com)
- Bill Nye to Creationists: Save Your Children! (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Bill Nye Blasts Creationism (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)