Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Creature

I have no idea how long the creature had been living under my son's car which had been parked in the driveway for two and a half months, but we first noticed it on July 24. Some of our friends who had come over to swim that day saw the creature, and my husband saw it too. So I went to look, and sure enough something was under there. It was dark grey and black with long hair and a hairy tail. It stood about a foot and a half long, a foot wide, and about five inches tall. Weird claw/hands/whatever. We didn't get a really good look, but it sort of resembled a mink, only flatter and wider.

I tried to back the car out to get away from it, but it climbed up in the engine. Yes, the engine! It wouldn't come out even when I drove the car around. So I opened the hood and sure enough, I could see it. I poked at it with a stick and it scurried out of the engine, but was still under the car, and when I started the car and tried to back it up again, it crawled up in the back somewhere near the gas tank. We got our dog Max, and he tried to go under the car, barking like crazy. No response.

Then I parked driver's side wheels up on the curb to raise the car, and we let Max under, with the hope that it would run away (Max was on a leash). I was frightened that it was vicious animal, but Max didn't seem worried. Unfortunately (fortunately?) He couldn't get to it, but he was really close. The creature started chirping (sounding like a car alarm--chirp, chirp, chirp!) but wouldn't come out. So I drove around again, hoping he'd flee, but no such luck. It remained there, chirping the whole way. People were staring at the car since it appeared to be making such a weird sound. It was enough to make me feel sorry for the creature.

My husband got the hose and tried to spray it out. No result but that annoying chirping. So we left it alone and went out to the back and swam again. When my sister and her family arrived for fireworks, we got Max to see if it was gone. But the creature was still there and started chirping again. A friend of ours got under the car and tried to prod it a little with a stick, but I made him stop. I have no idea what kind of creature it was or if it was dangerous. For all I knew, the thing had rabies or worse. Or had claws that could shred a face in seconds. What if it came out an attacked one of the children? Besides, I felt sorry for the animal.

I moved the car and we did fireworks in the street as is our custom for Pioneer Day. I planned to call animal control the next day if it was still there. Thankfully, it wasn't. Needless to say, we're now parking the car in the garage! (And hoping my daughter doesn't hit it when she pulls her car in.)

We've had an ad in the paper to sell the car, but no one seems to want to pay what it's worth, and now that I've been driving it around because of this episode and have seen how nice it is, and how many extras it has, I've decided we're probably going to keep the car for our other daughter when she starts driving in a few months. When my son gets back from his mission, they'll have to duke it to see who ends up with it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Word from Hiroshima

I got word yesterday that my son arrived safely in Hiroshima. They even sent me a picture. He is the third from the left, next to the Japanese elder in glasses. He is going to have some great experiences there, and I'm so excited for him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Talked to My Son!

Yay! Yesterday I got to talk to my missionary son for the first time in two and a half months, not once but twice! He was in transit to Japan and called me from the airport in Salt Lake City and from LAX in California. He sounded just like he always did, and it was so great just to chat about anything and nothing. Problem is, I'm missing him now more than ever!

There were a few challenges in his transit. The MTC had misplaced his passport and visa, but they found it in the nick of time. Then he and the other three missionaries he is traveling with didn't seem to have tickets from Tokyo to Hiroshima. I told him to check at the two airlines in Tokyo and see if they had tickets at the deck. I still haven't heard, but I hope they arrived there okay. The mission president's wife said she'd e-mail me to let me know, so I'm waiting.

He's a smart kid and I'm sure they'll be fine, but as a mother, I need the reassurrance!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Socialized Medicine

This post is continued from my last one. I wish to clarify that I NEVER meant to imply that all unemployed people were lazy. Yes, indeed, there are hard-working people who cannot find jobs, and they are those I would number among the "unfortunate" who are deserving of medical help. I would also include single mothers among those less fortunate.

However, the unemployed in American do have Medicaid available. There are also laws in place that allow medical coverage for uninsured children. While this is a great blessing for many of these worthy people, the system is also rife with abuse. Too many people feel they are owed a living by the nameless rich. It’s a mind set that is far too casual among Americans today. They think, "That man has plenty, why shouldn’t I have it too? He should give it to me. Never mind that I haven’t worked hard or paid the price to get where he is today. I’ll vote for the government to make him give it to me." (Be it a house or a car or education or a trip or clothes.)

I see far too many children in this day and age who think this way. Is this because they were given too much by their parents? Did they ever learned the meaning of work and sacrifice? Sadly, studies have shown that poverty, reliance on the government, and a self of entitlement is often passed from parents to children. (I have known good people who were taught to believe they should have everything they need with no real effort on their part. Unfortunately, these same people also did not appreciate the sacrifice others make daily in the form of taxes so they could have that help.)

I’m reminded of the statement: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach the man how to fish and you feed his entire village forever." Or something like that. This is how we need to approach any handout from any source.

Of course I’m NOT saying everyone who needs help has the self-entitlement attitude. Quite the contrary. Many work hard to obtain education, build business, and work long hours to give back to the community. I know this from personal experience, having gone through times in my life when I had next to nothing.

But back to medicine.

A terrible injustice has emerged in our county. Take the case of the woman who e-mailed me the letter advocating government health care (thus prompting my original post). Her husband works two jobs to support his family and to ensure that their autistic daughter gets the help she needs. Yet they are still sinking in medical bills, while several other families they see, who do not work at all, don’t try to maintain jobs, or are even in the country illegally, receive all the help they need through government programs. What kind of justice is that?

I agree that no child should ever die of cancer that could be helped with medical care, and autistic children deserve to receive all the care they need. But giving government even more power to control the system and our lives remains a danger I will never be willing to endorse. Most of the funds will, like in our school systems, go to pay highly paid administrators, leaving less available for real programs. I don’t know what the answer is, but I believe more government control is not moral or beneficial. We should control our own system, not look for "Big Brother" to take care of us to the point that we no long have any freedoms at all.

Government does have a rightful place in health care regulation, and I hope they step up to the plate, but more taxes, more socialist programs will only bring everyone to an overall lower level of care and lifestyle, with fewer people working to support the needs of everyone. Historically, socialism has NEVER worked in any country to any degree, and I don’t believe socialize medicine will fair much better.

One person on a comment below pointed to Canada as an example of nationalized health care. I’m happy she has been so fortunate to have the system working for her at present (or that she and her family have been healthy enough that no grave problems have arisen). And I will agree that Canada’s system has some advantages, but there are also huge problems--especially for those who have certain medical problems. For instance, there is a huge dearth of doctors. On the link below I read that "57% of Canadians reported waiting 4 weeks or more to see a specialist; 24% of Canadians waited 4 hours or more in the emergency room." Many other sites claim that Canada’s infant death rate increased after switching to government health care.

In England, who also has a socialized medical program, disabled children must wait 5 months to 2 years for a wheelchair.

Waiting for a wheelchair? Four weeks to see a doctor? More babies dying? That’s crazy. And then there’s the huge problem that the FREE MARKET DEVELOPS MOST of the drugs and medical advances. If government takes over, all that suffers. In any application, free market equals better inventions and procedures. Period. Whether you’re talking communications, oil drilling, or mail delivery.

For instance, I’ve read that in Canada if I wasn’t approved for a procedure, I couldn’t even pay for it because it’s illegal, even if that care could greatly increase my quality of life.

In the first link below it says, "A February 28, 2006 article in The New York Times stated, ‘Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment . . . Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services.’ "

So why are people trying to pay for these services in Canada? Because they feel they CAN’T wait for the services, or they want the doctor or hospital with the lower mortality rate for whatever operation they need. Who wouldn’t? Choosing a doctor carefully could mean the difference between life and death. Delays could mean death, or at the very least, months of suffering.

America, for all its faults, has some of the best doctors and treatments in the world, due to the free market. I want that for my family. I will work midnights at a grocery store to pay for it, or take in baby-sitting, clean houses—whatever, but I want that right. I’m not willing to risk my family to government care. I want to choose what procedures my family needs and when they should have them. Socialize medicine may help some families, but I remain unconvinced that the benefits would outweigh the negatives. In the end, you’d still have people paying for the "better" care and people dying because they didn’t get good enough care fast enough.

And yes, Christ wants us to take care of our neighbors. As I said in my post, many of us give thousands and thousands of dollars a year, sometimes at great personal sacrifice, to help others. This money goes straight to those in need. If taxes increase to cover nationalized medicine and that money is sent to the government instead, a high percentage of the funds will pay for expensive desks, traveling expenses, and highly paid administrators. So they’ll ask for more money, and more, until the small businessman goes out of business and then he and all his employees have to have help from the government, until finally there is no one else to tax. That will mean an even bigger recession than the one we are experiencing now.

Health care, government, education, taxes--everything is tied together. We MUST not depend on government to save us, but get out there and do what we can to better our own situation and help our neighbors as much as we can. Hard work is the answer, and charity to our brothers and sisters. Charity with should be kept in the hands of honest and private companies, like churches and other charities, not given to corrupt government. It’s too easy to be wasteful with the money of others.

Again, there are no easy answers. To that I believe everyone will agree. In a perfect world everyone on every economic scale would have access to the best medical care. But don’t look to government to create this utopia because it will simply never happen. I respect and invite other opinions, but we will probably have to agree to disagree.

As I stated before, my heart goes out to anyone suffering from diseases and medical problems. I hope you get the help you need.

Rachel

Some sites I quoted here:
http://kevincolby.com/2008/06/27/the-canadian-healthcare-system-and-its-problems/
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/sergeman/issues/healthcare/socialized.html (a list of links that show how government medicine has HURT people)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Government Heath Care Isn't the Answer

Recently, I received an e-mail asking me to call my senators to ask them to require insurance companies to cover autism AND to vote for a government-run health care system, since we are all equal and deserve equal health care. I agree with the former, but feel so strongly against the latter, that I decided to write about it here.

I simply can't agree with a socialist system in which the government takes over health care, essentially forcing those with jobs to work hard, long hours to pay for those who are unwilling or who can't work. In a perfect world, where there are no lazy people or people whose sense of entitlement makes them feel the world owes them a living, this would work well, but unfortunately, we don't live in that kind of world.

There are too many who demand housing, health care, cars, etc., but are not willing to work for these benefits, or who are not willing to go to school in order to increase their wages. Thus, everyone isn't "equal" with regards to working hard, and should not receive equal health care, housing, or other benefits. Of course, I'm not talking about unfortunate or ill people, or people who through no fault of their own do not have a job, but able-bodied people who essentially live off others because they're lazy and won't stick with anything. (I have seen too many who fall into this category.) There are also too many executives stealing from the tax coffers, too many politicians with their pet pork projects. This GREATLY reduces the money spent on needed programs. Placing health care in the hands of the government only increases the likelyhood of further misue of funds.

As an American people, we are already being taxed at more than 50%. I only regret that our founding fathers didn't put a cap of 10% on taxes as they originally intended (they thought 10% was so astronomically high that it would never be an issue). A question I ask myself is what right do I have to punish hardworking people and make them pay for my medical care? Because that is what a government-run health care system means.

Better to cut taxes and let businesses hire more people so those people can pay their own bills. And think of how much good people could do for those less fortunate if only the government would take their hands out of people's pockets so they have even a little more money to spend. While most Americans currently give only 2% of their wages to charity, I know people who typically give 15% to 20% of their funds to charities every year, even in this day and age. That's after they've already paid huge tax bills. I'm sure they'd do much more if given the chance.

At present about 10% of the top-earning people pay 90% of the taxes. Should we make them pay even more? What right to we have to demand that, whether they obtain the money by working themselves to death, running businesses, or as an inheritance from their families?Historically, government-run health care generally means a basic, no frills system, where the best care is not given to recipients. I know the current system isn't working well, but I strongly feel government isn't the answer, except, perhaps, to regulate insurance and drug companies, who I agree are taking advantage of the American people. (And then there's the whole other claim that there are many cures and promising research that are hidden or cut so that people will remain on expensive medicine their entire lives, which I believe but won't discuss here.)

Regulation of insurance and drug companies, I heartily endorse, but I believe free, equal coverage for all will only mean a mediocre system for everyone, including those who work three times as hard as everyone else. (IMO, our education system is a good example of this.)

In the end it seems the only certain thing is that we are all born with the equal opportunity to become unequal. What we make of this life is up to us. We must not depend on government to force others to rescue us from our problems. Hard work is the only moral answer.

My heart goes out to all those who are experiencing medical problems and despite their best efforts are unable to pay for them. I hope you get what you need from family and from caring people who give to charities. As someone who donates regularly, you are the type of person I hope my funds will help.