Wednesday, July 18, 2012


One of the things which has really begun to bother me about conservative thinking is the major inconsistencies which I see in the logic of their platforms and thoughts.  They clamor for fiscal responsibility in the government, but then they support a war with Iraq which pushed our nation deeply into debt.  This is inconsistent.  They jump on Obama for doing a bailout, but  bailouts were also something which Bush did.  Inconsistent. They are pro-life and yet they will not support the ACA an act which will help living people stay alive (I personally do not support most abortions either by the way). They say they do not want the government telling them what to do, and then they support amendments which tell people who they can and cannot marry.  Once again inconsistent.

Conservatives get really angry when the government wants them to pay a little bit more in taxes to provide health care to the poor and impoverished of our nation, yet many of them worship Jesus of Nazareth.   Jesus taught "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" (i.e. pay your taxes),  "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions," and to "freely give" to the poor.   Yet mostly all I hear when people complain about ACA is, "That's my money and you are not going to take it from me! Mine, mine, mine".  Inconsistent.  I hear them say we should be "good stewards of what God has given us"; then many of them sit back while we pollute and some even fight against efforts to help protect our planet. Do they not think God gave them the Earth?  Inconsistent.

If you want to hate taxes, fine hate taxes, but you should hate them all the time.  You should hate them when they are used in wars,  to build roads, to put out fires, to pay the teachers who teach your children, to deliver your mail, and to provide policemen for your protection.  If you want to be pro-life (a good thing to be by the way), be pro-life.  Be pro-life for the poor as well as the unborn, be pro-life for people in foreign countries not just the U.S.A,and be pro-life when it comes to the death penalty.  If you want to support the government not telling you how to live your life, great!  But, if you don't want the government telling you what to do then don't call for that same government to tell gays, lesbians, and bisexuals what they can and cannot do.  If you believe we should be good stewards of what God has given us, awesome.  The Earth is something that God gave you, take care of it.  Be consistent.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why Socialized Medicine is a Great Thing

Just a little over two years ago our oldest son was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma (or as I like to call it now, "fucking cancer!").  I cannot even begin to tell you how emotionally devastating and traumatic our son's diagnosis was for our family.  The only good news for us was the fact our son qualified for Medicare, because one of us could not work due to his illness.  The type of cancer our son had required really aggressive chemotherapy.  The chemotherapy completely destroyed his immune system, so he pretty much became a bubble-boy.  He required 24 hr. care, dressing changes, administering of medications, cleaning up vomit.  He could not go to school, to the movies, to the store, it was a living hell.

During this time the stress in our family was beyond description.  Some people have suggested to me that I need to write about the experience and how my views of God were changed during this time, but to be honest the pain of the experience is just still to real, and I do not know that I could find the words.  Our family fell apart in the course of our son's illness.  My entire life became about taking care of him and trying to stay strong for him.  I had no time for anything or anyone else.  I had to drive him to Albuquerque ever three weeks for eight to nine day hospital stays for his chemotherapy.  Then when we came home he was so sick from the poisons they were pumping into his body that I had no time to do anything but try to take care of him.

My poor wife had to stay in town and work.  She had to hold our household together financially and with the day to day stuff.  Our relationship became non-existent and my wife fell apart under the strain.  She had already had such a horribly hard childhood (She has PTSD from repeated sexual abuse in childhood) that when this pain came up it took her to a very dark place.  She was in constant pain and blamed me (she had nobody else to blame).  We almost divorced.  She became angry, belligerent, and suicidal. Our other two children did not fair well either.  They basically lost their parents and had to fend for themselves through the  entire process.  They still bear the effects of the neglect, fear, and frustration of the hell we all lived through.

Not only did we have to deal with all the other issues, but we had to deal with financial strains.  One parent working, driving back and forth to a town three hours away for our son's treatment, having to buy a car to get back and forth to Albuquerque for the treatments, buying food and entertainment for our son to try and distract him as much as possible from the hell he was going through.  If we bought things for our sick son we had to also buy them for our other children or they would complain and we just didn't have the energy to argue with them (plus, we felt guilty because we know they are getting a really raw deal anyway).  We would also buy him whatever he wanted to eat, whenever he wanted to eat it, because he was often nauseous and only wanted certain foods.  Our credit card bills became astronomical.  We are still trying to recover financially.

The one and only thing we did not have to worry about through the entire ordeal was, how we were going to pay for this procedure, or how we were going to come up with the money to pay for the deductible on this?   Not once were we asked for money from a single doctor, we never saw one single bill.  If we had been left to cope with the added strain of having to deal with an insurance company, deductibles, getting approval for procedures, or any of those types of things I do not think we would have made it.

The reason I have a cancer free son today, the reason I have a marriage, the reason our other children have their brother and parents back is...socialized medicine; healthcare paid for by the tax dollars of the American people.  So, the next time you get frustrated because the new Affordable Care Act is gonna cost you a little more money (if you are wealthy enough to afford to be taxed more), just remember that the extra money you are giving to your "tax and spend" government is saving the lives of cancer patients, saving marriages, and even saving families.  Yes, ACA will cost our nation some money (although not as much as some would have you believe).  Our family is hear to tell you one thing,  "Its worth it."


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

The environment is quickly becoming my wife and I's favorite cause.  I address fundamentalist Christianity's lack of concern for the environment in my book and as a result I have had a few people question me about my views.  Because of these questionings I have spent some more time researching.  I was challenged to really look at the scientific data and not simply listen to the media.  So, I did.  Not only did my research not lessen my concern about the environment it has increased my concern and convinced me that we all need to begin doing more for the Earth immediately (some of the information I have been studying I shared in a recent post so I won't go into the scientific stuff again).

Motivated by our recent studies, my sexy lady and I  have started looking again at our carbon footprint and ways we can reduce our negative impact on the environment.  Some of the ways we would love to begin making a difference is by adding solar panels, getting an electric car (or 2, or 3), and set up a grey water reclamation system for our home.  Unfortunately, there is no way we can afford any of those items currently.  Maybe if my book sells like crazy, or if we win the lottery we can look into some of these options, but for right now these changes are simply not realistic for us. So we have started researching other, cheaper ways we can begin making a difference (So, I guess technically buying my book would be a way to help the environment as

I realized as we were researching ways to make some positive changes in our lives for the environment, that others might be in the same position we are; wanting to make changes but not having the money to make some of of the better publicized changes.  So, I thought maybe I would share some of the changes we have started making and some of the changes we are looking at making.

1) Planting fruit trees.  Not only do trees remove some of the CO2 we humans put into the environment, but providing some of our own fruit keeps us from driving to the store and keeps us from buying fruit which has been shipped in on trucks.

2) Building raised garden boxes.  This functions in much the same way as the trees.  The plants remove CO2, keep us from having to go to the store, keep us from buying foods which have been trucked in.  Raised boxes are also more water-wise.

3) We are starting to raise our own chickens.  The chickens provide us eggs and meat, so we once again do not have to go to the grocery store as often, and don't buy things which have been shipped to our town.

4)  When we can't eat food which we have grown ourselves, we try to buy from local farmers and local farmer's markets.  (no shipping)

5) We have switched completely to energy saving light bulbs.

6) We compost as much of our waste as we can.  This reduces the amount of  of garbage we make,  (Garbage dumps release methane) and provides fertilizer for our plants.

7) We have switched from a gas-powered mower to a man-powered push mower.  No gas emissions, gets us in better shape, actually keeps our lawn nicer, cheaper, and more reliable.

8) We water our lawn using grey water.  Our clothes washer sits right on a back wall of our house.  It was easy to disconnect the drain from the sewer and set it up to drain directly into our yard.

9) We use reusable cups when we get coffee (saves trees).

10) We use only cold water to wash our clothes. 

We have many changes in the works , but these are the ones we have implemented so far.

Here are a few more we are planning on making over the next few months:

1) We are going to put in a clothesline.  Saves tons of electricity

2) We are going to switch to Kindles instead of books.  We love books, love the smell, love the touch, love having shelves of books to look at, but paper requires trees to be cut down.

3)  We are going to switch out our shower heads to water efficient shower heads.

There are many different ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we humans produce. My wife and I will continue to work on it in our household.  What will you do in yours? Remember that most of these changes are inexpensive, easy to implement, actually save you money, and are good for our planet. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, these changes are great ideas which save you money and help our planet.  Why not go ahead and see what changes you can begin making today?