Archive | September, 2013

Why Can’t We Get Healthy for a Change?

28 Sep

There is a heroine epidemic in my town and in the county where I live in New Jersey.

More than 80 people have died from drug overdoses since the beginning of the year and many of those deaths have come as a result of heroine use.

Why heroine? Well, according to the story that I read it offers a bigger bang for the buck. In other words you can get higher with less heroine than with more of something else so in the long run (if you have a long run) you can save money. And saving money is as important in drug use it seems as it is important in other facets of our society.

Anyway,  the heroin “epidemic” has compelled lawmakers in my state to propose legislation that would attempt to curtail the local drug trade by basically…making the penalties for selling heroine…tougher. Which will of course mean that more drug dealers and users will probably be going to jail…and the problem will undoubtedly just shift to another drug that comes along to take its place.

More than likely there is a drug epidemic in your, town, county, state too, but probably just with a different drug. People like to take drugs, or just can’t seem to help themselves…and the money that can be made selling them makes the drug trade just too lucrative for them to be scared away from by the penalty of incarceration.

The combinations of desire, addiction, greed and avarice are so powerful and overwhelming among humans that I sometimes wonder why I have never succumbed to the forces of drug addiction or dealing. Is it because I am a superior human being? Or is it just because I was never poor enough or addicted enough to need to get involved with drugs?

Is it something I lack, rather than something I have?

I humbly ask this question only because nothing that we have done so far in the history of the drug war has worked as far as getting people to stop using or stop selling drugs to one another and yet rather than come up with new ideas or approaches to the problem we continue to try and fight “the war” in the same old way.

Is this just another side effect of drug addiction? There is a lot of money to be made in law enforcement and in the penal system and a lot of reputations to be built in politics and law making and the judicial system on the backs of America’s drug addicts and sellers. Would large portions of our economy crumble without an illicit and illegal drug trade?

And Despite tough anti-drug laws, and 2.2 million prisoners in our jails, a new survey by The World Health Organization shows that the U.S. has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world…And that drug use  is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with tough illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones,

So what gives? Why do we continue to pursue the same old policies when it comes to drugs and drug use in America? They don’t work. They have never worked. There is absolutely no reason to believe that they ever will.

Meanwhile, members of the United States Congress and many others are doing their best to block the administration of the Affordable Healthcare Act because they say…before even giving the new policy a chance to work…that it will fail and cost too much money.

With over 1 trillion dollars spent on the war on drugs in the last 40 years and with state and federal agencies continuing to spend over 30 billion dollars per year on what has proven time and time again to be a failed policy…is it really any wonder why we can’t find any money to pay for healthcare in this country and why certain groups want to make sure that we never do?

Simply put, and just by examining the data, the answer is an easy one.

We’re getting sicker, rather than healthier in America, because right now… that is our policy!

America’s Cup Runneth Overtime

26 Sep

Well, I just had to do it! I heard that the America’s Cup had come down to one final race and that team USA had forged from behind to erase an 8 race deficit to tie the series at 8 all, thereby forcing team New Zealand to battle it out in one final race for the championship!

Since I’m an old sports junky, I just had to watch. Sadly, I’ll usually watch just about anything if they call it a championship. I remember years ago when ESPN had just begun its 24 hour TV sports coverage back when cable TV was brand new and having more than 5 channels to watch on TV seemed like one of the greatest achievement in the annals of human history…at least to those of us who grew up in the 50’s.

Anyway, ESPN was offering the bicycle motocross world championships that day…for 6 year olds! Who wouldn’t watch that? When the winner crossed the finish line and crashed, the adult announcer quickly ran on the course to get an exclusive on the scene interview with the young champion. “How do you feel about winning the championship?” He asked. Uncontrollable sobbing was the champion’s only reply.

Jeez, I thought. This 24 hour sports stuff will never work!

However, here I was in 2013 watching a yacht race of all things but without all of the boring yachts and staid yachtsmen and definitely not presented in the leisurely pace that we think of when we think of yachts and the Richy rich types who sail them. Nope in this race the defending champion gets to design the yacht that all other challengers must use to compete against the champion. And this year team Oracle USA chose a yacht design that was so expensive that only 3 other countries could dare to mount a challenge. Then they set the championship at not the best of 7 or best of 9 races as is usual in this 161 year old racing series but rather at the unusual and unprecedented best of 17!

But I must say that it was an excellent event to watch. The graphics and camera work and expert analysis were spot on. And the “yachts” zipped across the San Francisco Bay at incredible speeds that made it seem as if one were watching the Indy 500 and not some boring sailboat race.

And after being behind 8-1, Team USA came all the way back to win 9-8! Amazing! USA! USA! USA! It was a comeback for the ages!

But actually, in all fairness to the truth, Team USA was already ahead 10 races to 8 when the final, winner take all race, took place!  Why? Because the championship was stretched to 19 races because of a legal twist that occurred just before the event when Team USA was penalized two points by an independent jury that ruled that they had…I hate to say it… illegally altered their yachts in preliminary events held last year…so Team USA had to win 11 races while Team New Zealand just had to win 9.

Still they miraculously won all of those races after being behind 8-1! How could they have possibly made such a comeback? It truly was amazing…although you see for me once a competitor has been cited for cheating one never knows if they were caught the first time they cheated, the last time they cheated, or…somewhere in between. At least that’s how I look at it. I find it pointless to ever compete with someone who has been caught at cheating at what you’re competing for.

But I digress…and I must admit that I have become jaded after all of my many years of sports watching and playing. I now believe that It is definitely not how you play the game. Nor is it about whether you win or lose. I think It’s just about how good of a show you put on. And this America’s Cup, I must admit, was an excellent show that i did enjoy watching and I think that may be about all that we can ask for anymore.

What’s “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” I suppose? … but watching that little boy cross the finish line some 30 years ago and then so eloquently expressing his inner most feelings at that compelling moment may just have been the purest and most honest sports moment that I have ever seen on television in this modern age of sports coverage.

Oh well, Only 3 years to the next America’s Cup challenge. In the interests of fairness and in the interest of saving a lot of people and countries a lot of money, I say we use imaginary boats. After all from what I’ve read, it would be within the rules to do so.

And if they put that championship on TV…I’ll definitely have to watch it!

Do Not Try This At Home!

24 Sep

Here is something that you really should never try, although if you have been listening to certain members of the United States Congress, you might think that it is a viable alternative to your personal budget woes.

Here is what they suggest: Get a credit card and then go out to your favorite stores and buy whatever you want for yourself, your family, your neighbors, whoever… and then when the bill comes to your house…don’t pay it! …It’s that easy!

In fact you should vehemently deny to pay all of your bills and explain to your creditors, family, friends, whoever that you are doing it because you are trying to be more financially responsible by imposing limits upon yourself and your reckless spending habits. Your creditors, family and friends may try to point out to you that you have to put limits on your spending before you buy things not after, but just shrug them off as financial no-nothings because your plan and Congresses is sure to work.

I once knew an alcoholic who always swore off drinking after he got drunk, never before…the above mentioned financial philosophy is kind of like that…wouldn’t you say?

Some of you may actually have tried this financial approach to your spending and bill paying. Many Americans have and they usually and eventually end up in bankruptcy. That’s if they can afford a lawyer. If they can’t then they usually end up in jail.

Why? Because, the above mentioned practice is not only irresponsible, immature, thoughtless, ill-considered, harebrained, corrupt, dishonest, shameless, unscrupulous, unethical, immoral, fraudulent and stupid…It’s also illegal…and oh yes, and just plain wrong.

Go ahead and try it and see where it gets you.

It’s strategies like this that have made gambling illegal because most gamblers always figure that they will win so why not bet with money they don’t yet have? Of course when they lose, their first inclination is, “I won’t pay!” problem solved! And that’s what always leads to the leg breaking and hence gambling is illegal…unless of course it is done under close scrutiny and regulation by…you guessed it…a government agency!

Go figure. You’d think Congress would know better. In fact I am quite sure they know better, so what do you figure is their game? They are either all drunks, degenerate gamblers or they don’t think very much of the American people whom they are supposed to be serving.

Perhaps if they continue down this road and welch on their promises and actually go through with not authorizing the payment of bills they have already incurred on our behalf… (and make no mistake about it, we and not they, will bear the financial brunt of their refusal to pay the bills because they’re all quite wealthy and they’ll be just fine)…their creditors will be allowed to enter their exalted chambers with baseball bats in tow, find those who voted against paying their debts, cowering behind their desks no doubt,  and…well you know…teach them a real lesson?

“Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.”
-George Prentice

“If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours.”
-John Maynard Keynes

“The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.”
-James Lendall Basford

It’s Just Too Easy While It’s Getting So Hard.

22 Sep

According to the General Social Survey, a recent poll found that the number of US homes with a gun has steadily declined since the 1970s. Only 34 percent of US households reported owning a gun in 2012, down from the 50 percent who reported owning one in the 1970s.

The rate is the lowest it has been in decades, if the poll is accurate…and why shouldn’t it be? The GSS is the largest project funded by the Sociology Program of the National Science Foundation. Except for the U.S. Census, the GSS is the most frequently analyzed source of information in the social sciences. This isn’t the 1950s anymore when pollsters had little clue as to how to conduct accurate polls. Now, 60 years later, we do, so regardless of whatever ones handpicked numbers say about guns…gun ownership is down.

However, population and gun purchases are up. There were 215 million people in 1975 and today there are 315 million people. 50% of 215 million is 107,500,000. While 34% of 315 million is 106,760,000. So we have a smaller percentage of people with guns but still the same number of gun owners. And while those owners who counsel all of us to go out and get a gun so that the world can be a safer place, in reality they appear to be the ones who are still buying all of the guns. So we have more guns even though we have fewer people as a percentage with guns.

But that’s not the problem anyway because most gun owners are peaceable people who mind their own business and do their best not to start any trouble. They just happen to like guns. And they have the right to own them.

The problem is that the world has gotten so much more crowded (The U.S. population has nearly doubled since 1955 when I was born) while at the same time becoming much less friendly. 50 million people are hungry, 11 million people have no work, 45 million people can’t get healthcare, half a million are homeless, millions of others have inadequate housing, childhoods are less safe and secure, gang membership is up, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and all of this is leading to a much more frustrated and angry society on one end with a much more intolerant and indifferent society on the other.

And in between, guns are just so easy to get.

I, and most others, don’t need a gun now…but if things fall apart and our lives become fragile and full of stress and we become ill or feel disenfranchised or get angry at the world or fall apart emotionally and mentally… then buying a gun and going on a rampage is one of the easiest and least expensive things that we’ll be able to do…isn’t it?

We have the right to bear arms… but why do we have to make it so easy to get arms in the first place?

If our world keeps trending in the direction that it is now then in the near future there will be many more hungry, homeless, jobless, ill, disenfranchised and angry people in our world than there are now…

So why do we make it so easy for a citizen to obtain a gun in this ever more crazy, unfriendly, and immoral world? How do we infringe upon a citizens 2nd amendment rights if we ask them to wait a little bit while we try to determine if they are perhaps  a few screws short of a hardware store. Where in the 2nd amendment does it say that citizens have the right to bear arms without a background check? And who does it benefit by giving someone a gun without at least so much as a how do you do?

From now on we should simply honor our founding fathers and stick to the letter of the law…or in this case the amendment…to wit,

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

You and I can get our guns as soon as our membership in the local state militia… is approved!

 


 

 

Now You Shoot Me! Now You Don’t!

21 Sep

Well ,it’s happened again. Another mass shooting in the United States. The Huffington Post has reported that this was the 17th mass shooting in the United States this year. Of course that lit up the internet with gun advocates claiming that a mass shooting only counts when people are killed, not wounded and definitely not when just multiple shots are fired by multiple people and only a few are injured, so your 17 mass shootings may just be my 7 mass shootings.

I know that in my town of Toms River, NJ we had 2 mass shootings in the late 1990s when 4 and then 5 people were murdered by gunmen who happened to be retired police officers. Since then I have searched for these incidents whenever mass shootings lists appear in the newspaper or on the internet and they never show up…so I guess they didn’t happen or perhaps in deference to the retired police officers previous years of exemplary service they just aren’t mentioned.

That seems to be how many Americans view these tragedies. Let’s just forget about it and move on. There’s no sense in trying to prevent these tragedies because they each involve America’s God given and most basic of rights…the right to bear arms. And since America is the greatest country there ever was and probably ever will be the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is more sacred and sacrosanct to a supposed “Christian” nation than the 6th Commandment of the 10 Commandments of God.

If there had been an amendment guaranteeing citizens the right to health care, the madman who committed the Washington Navy Yard murders, may have received the proper care when, during his ER visit 2 weeks before, he complained to police that people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel room and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep.

Who knows? But for whatever reasons many Americans believe that the right to carry, own and use firearms is a right that transcends all others and is more important than a persons right to decent food, proper housing, adequate healthcare or employment at a fair and liveable wage.

Perhaps our founding fathers knew that those things would just be too expensive for independent, free thinking capitalists and entrepreneurs to have the wherewithal to want to pay for or provide to others who may be less fortunate or less “equal” than the founders of the new great nation.

And now, in the short time it has taken for me to right this, another 13 people have been shot in an incident in Chicago. Is that now 18 mass shooting this year…or not? Meanwhile in Iowa people who are legally blind or…wait for it… completely blind… will now be allowed to carry, display, and use if necessary, guns in public places. After all, people who are blind can participate fully in nearly all of life’s experiences…so why shouldn’t they be allowed to participate…or create if they so choose…some death experiences?

So, While one legislative body is granting the right for people who cannot see to shoot at whatever they choose, another legislative body is doing its best to deny access to fair and affordable healthcare to those who might someday get shot!

Is this what it means to be human in the United States of America in the year of our lord, 2013? Are we  truly a nation built on the rights of mankind? And does man have but one right? Kill or be killed? And but one law? The law of the jungle?

In whatever grand design this nation was created over 230 years ago We are now most famously known as a nation of guns: exporters and importers of violence the world over, while we self righteously deny healthcare, living wages and food to our own citizens… and all the while we stand before the heavens and Earth and say that we are the greatest!

And I suppose we must be… for what man or god would be foolish enough to oppose us and say otherwise?

And I guess we all have the 2nd Amendment to thank for that.

So A Man Walks Onto A Yacht and Says…

15 Sep

“Where’s the Boat!?”

Sports in America continue to boggle my mind. Perhaps it’s the same everywhere and perhaps I am just getting too old but it seems to me that in man’s (and woman’s) never ending quest for winning at whatever sport they are playing…winning definitely is everything.

Rules, limits, equipment, bodies…everything, is on steroids these days! Steroids of course being the metaphor for supercharged or ramped up or the undeniable fact that anything goes in our never ending quest for victory!

What happened to simply playing the game? Or in this case…sailing the yacht?

Anyway, today I was watching The America’s Cup yacht race live on television from San Fransisco, California.

Remember when yachts used to be rich men’s boats and they looked like boats…with sails and…well….boats underneath them?

Today’s yachts are giant sails with comparatively small pontoons attached and a space in the pontoons where men sit steering the “yacht” across the water and towards the finish line, while Mother Nature does her best to toss them all overboard before they get there…definitely not very yacht like and certainly not very gentlemanly.

During the first race the yacht from New Zealand actually went airborne for a second and almost landed atop the yacht from the USA. When was the last time you had that happen to you while yachting? And when was the last time you were ever in a boat (that wasn’t a submarine) where the captain shouted for you to look up to see if there were any other boats around?!

The USA team won that first race because…well, you’ve probably guessed it…there’s no flying in yachting. At least not yet.

But then in the second race something happened that I never thought would ever be possible in a sailboat race.

The race was cancelled a few minutes after it started because of wind!

Yes that’s right…there was too much wind! In a sailboat race! That’s like having too much sunshine at a tanning competition! Isn’t it? (somewhere in the world there must be tanning competitions, right?) “Oh my god! Stop the tanning competition! The sun just came out and my bio-engineered bacon skin just can’t take it! Ahhhhhhhhhh…”

So the yachting race was canceled on account of too much wind…which in my memory of being on a sailboat was just never possible. There was such a thing back in my day as “taking in the sails” if going fast on a “yacht” was just not your thing, because you might spill your champagne or misplace your silverware or bounce your trophy wife overboard or something like that…but in today’s professional “yachting”, flying is a definite possibility and apparently not something to be encouraged…not to mention dangerous…but then again this is only 2013 and by 2023 or so the yacht that flies the best will probably be the world’s champion.

Anyway, there you have it…a sailboat race canceled on account of wind. Now the equipment is on steroids too!

I wonder why A-Rod hasn’t considered stepping up to the plate with a turbo, spring-loaded, giant wooden arm? (I know aluminum would be against the rules but is playing with a wooden limb, a la Monte Straton, still allowed? Something to think about now isn’t it?)

Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Pitchers

8 Sep

For some reason that I am not aware of, steroids do not appear to work as effectively on a baseball pitcher as they do on a baseball batter.

I have just watched the New York Yankees score 25 runs in the last 3 games and get clobbered in each game by the Boston Red Sox who scored 34 runs during that same span…not to mention the 20 runs they scored in the game the night before they flew into New York!

In all of my years watching baseball I have never seen anything like it…except in the little league minor leagues of my home town back in the 60’s when the Bisons defeated the Cubs 34-25 in one 6 inning game.

The Red Sox must be taking better drugs than the Yankees or perhaps they have been adding Abilify to their daily drug regimen for that extra oomph!

Whatever it is, I know I shouldn’t complain because my team has A-Roid but seriously, have you seen the Boston Red Sox lately? They all look and act like angry Viking Lumberjacks and I swear that when one guy runs into their dugout he soon runs out again sporting a full beard! It has to be drugs!

Even the announcers noted that one of the Sox players trained during the off season with the Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who no longer looks at all like himself but rather more like the Hulk as compared to his former self, Dr. Bruce Banner after exposure to gamma radiation…

Come to think of it, the only pitchers who could get anybody out so far this weekend were all from Japan where perhaps Japan’s recent radiation woes and the Godzilla effect has come into play enhancing their arm strength and pitching abilities…?

Anyway, what has happened to baseball? Teams are not supposed to score 54 runs in 4 games. Besides the games are now all 8 hours long!

It has to be drugs of some kind or another because here in America we are responsible for taking 80% of all of the drugs that people take in the world…so it just kinda makes sense that it would be drugs, right?

And in a side note, J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks basketball team was just suspended for 5 games for smoking marijuana!

That’s so 50 years ago! I mean really…smoking marijuana? Today Guys in professional sports are sticking needles in their asses filled with chemicals that weren’t even invented yet back during the days of potheads and ponytails and we’re still suspending them for smoking weed?! In NYC they are stopping and frisking teenagers just to catch and incarcerate someone with a joint or two, while over in Yankee Stadium there must be whole pharmacies of modern day, mind bending and body enhancing drugs to catch people with!…and that’s probably just what’s in the pockets of the guys in the “cheap” seats let alone the locker rooms.

What I’d like to see is mandatory pot smoking in the major leagues just to slow today’s roid-ragers down long enough for me to keep score and follow the action.

But I digress…my real message to parents everywhere is, don’t let your children grow up to be pitchers! There’s no future in it…They’ll just meet up with a lot of disappointment, heartache, sore elbows, angry batsmen, apoplectic managers, disgruntled fans and loads of drugs…namely in the form of anti-depressants.

Better they just stick with the bat and the ball and hopefully lots of southern exposure to some good old fashion gamma rays… because if they want to become America’s future professional athletes then believe me, they’re probably going to need it.

The Mouse's Soapbox

observations from a certain, unique perspective - especially, these days, about dating

dancingnomads

Travelling the world and dancing

ruminationville

a gated community for the overthinker

Southern Georgia Bunny

Adventures of an Southern Bunny everything from dating, sex, life and shake your head moments.

Three's a Herd

Mothering a preemie, a princess, and a work-in-progress

Michele Kendzie

family photojournalist, scrapbook designer, and mom of three unschoolers in Fredericksburg, Virginia

lilrant

...What you see is what you get.

ScribbleDartsfromtheHeart

creative expression and imaginative exploration

J.R.Goldrich

Perspectives, Musings, and Messages from the All

Making it write

mostly poetry, partly peculiar.

a cooking pot and twisted tales

Thoughts and Tales...A Lifestyle Blog with a Zing.

opening the shutters

Musings of a Mad Woman...

Terminal Cruise

One woman's weird and wonderful world

The Arm Chair Pontificator

Satirical & Poetic Musings Of A Self-Proclaimed Nobel Prize Winner

alesiablogs

A Blog About Ordinary Life Told In Extraordinary Fashion!

KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog

Rural doctor, mom, writes poems, dance, sing.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

The Happiness Trick

Let's Get Happy!

%d bloggers like this: