Thursday, February 11, 2016

In the Land of the Free, the Refuge is Freed

   And, the land is free again, meaning the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The land will be returning to public usage after the FBI has been given time to investigate the property to find out if damage has been done to Native American artifacts, and to assess the crime scene.
   Hey, this is no small refuge. In terms of birds, alone, it might offer more varieties (I've heard it has about 250 species and I've heard 320 species) than the Great Salt Lake (250 plus). As much as two-thirds of the Pacific Flyways migratory population has been known to visit Malheur. But, I understand, some times only 5 percent of the flyway's population stops by. We'll have to see if all the guns and militias have scared the birds off (lol). Malheur has been hailed as a nationally-famous mecca for birds.
   Lake Malheur is one of nature's wonders, or so I have heard it said.
   Bald eagles, and loons, and horned larks? Come see them. Want to see a bat? They have them here, 14 different species. And. there are lots of coyotes, and deer and elk and bobcats and lions. (Not sure how close you want to get to those last two.) See bighorn sheep and wild horses. Fishing is forbidden, but the lake is stocked with the rare redband trout, and with shiner, mottled sculpin, longose dace, chub, brown bullhead, sunfish, and others.
   So, if you just want to get out and see nature, see wild animals, Malheur is a good place.
   But, it is more. Motorized boating is forbidden, but there is kayaking, and canoeing, You can camp, and hike.
  It is home to American Indians, maybe 100 Paiutes living there. The refuge has pulled together their historical narratives and offers them.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Give the Donald some Credit, but not all of it

   "Who did you vote for in the New Hampshire primary?" I asked the clerk at Smith's grocery.
   "None of your business," she shot back. But, then she noted it wouldn't have been Trump.
   I walked out of the store wondering if we are experiencing a high interest in politics. "None of your business" has been a standard sentiment in the past, but this year, I seldom get that when I ask people who they are voting for. It is just as rare that someone suggests the that the two things you don't talk about are politics and religion.
   Politics are no longer boring. It seems everyone is excited to talk about them.
   This is reflected in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, each of which witnessed record-setting attendance. Iowa's Republican caucuses attracted nearly half again more than they did in 2012, which previously held the record. In New Hampshire, the Republicans drew 15 percent more than they did in 2012, which, again, was when the previous record was set.
   At least in part, Donald Trump deserves some credit. While I don't at all want him elected, he's been at least a definite factor in the upswing in voter interest.
   But, note that the last records were set as recently as the previous presidential election. That indicates a surge already underway at that time, and it now remains ongoing. Politics once were anything but cool, but are they now more fashionable?


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dispensing Medicinal Marijuana

   As Utah considers medicinal marijuana, and as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes out in opposition to one bill, I see the issue of dispensing the product is something I need to get up to speed on.
   I wonder of the states that do have medicinal marijuana, how many dispense it through the normal route of pharmacies. I imagine it is considered a herb, and would be considered over-the-counter if not for it being illegal. Do the states that have it have dispensaries just for marijuana? Why? In California, if I understand correctly, dispensaries usually do not offer traditional prescription drugs. In Connecticut, there are only about a half dozen dispensaries, so I assume that state, also, does not allow every pharmacy to dispense it. Why not? Why not simply say, you need a doctor's prescription, and the doctor can only prescribe it when you have a medical need, and then dispense it through all pharmacies? The question then becomes who supplies it to the dispensaries, since it is illegal to grow it. The growers and supplier, I can see, would need to be controlled.

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the Bigger Dreamer, goes the Bigger Victory

  To the bigger dreamer, goes the bigger victory. If I think I am too old, I may fail to have dreams of what I can do with my life. Meanwhile, all the 21-year-olds have their lives before them. Who has the bigger dreams, them or me? Which is more likely to succeed? To the bigger dreamer, goes the bigger victory.

Prescription Drugs Could Easily be Cheaper

   I suppose I do think it would be easy enough to bring the price of medical prescriptions down. Just make it so a lot of of us could produce them. Yes, I think it is as simple as that.
   Just make it so many of us could run out and make them.
   The translation, of course, is that regulations have to be rolled away. I don't know if you have to be licensed to produce prescription drugs, but why? As long as you are producing a quality product, let that be the only requirement. Let the FDA test any drug it will, and take it off the market if it doesn't meet standards.
   But, other than that, no regulation.
   I'm not completely sold on this proposal, but I really lean toward it. The negative, is that if you take away all regulation, then you take away patents. Can we do that? Would it discourage the drug companies from coming up with new drugs because as soon as they developed something, someone would copy them?
   It might be we would need to keep some force in our patent laws, while taking some of the force out of them. Or, leave the patent laws alone, and simply scrape the regulations away for drugs once the patents expires.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

To the Team with the Bigger Dream, goes the Victory

   To the bigger dreamer, goes the victory. Though they be the underdog, if their dream is larger than that of their opponent's, victory is often theirs.
   When you teach them to dream, you teach them to win. You instill in them passion, drive, hope, and desire -- and those are the things that winning is made of.
  Yesterday, I blogged on BYU's home loss to Pacific, wondering if fear of failure had contributed to the defeat. Today, I opened my paper and learned how Pacific considered the game their post-season, of how it was their chance to play before an NCAA-tournament-sized crowd.
  I assume, they also felt that way before the game, although those were post-game comments.  I assume, the coach pitched the dream to them, told them this was their chance to play before 20,000 fans, and take it to a NCAA tournament caliber team, and end the Cougars' 17-game homecourt winning streak.
   Pitch a dream, earn a victory.
   On the flip side, BYU might have been reflecting on how last month they had lost to Portland just after upsetting Gonzaga. Now, having upset St. Mary's two nights earlier, were they running scared that they it might be deja vu against Pacific? Which team was playing for more, Pacific or BYU?
   The team with the biggest dream often triumphs.
   How does this apply to life? We will be limited in what we achieve if we relegate ourselves to what we have become. If we consider ourselves a 6-15 team (Pacific came into the game 6-15), we will not play better than that. If I, for example, consider only that I am a 61-year-old man, there are a lot of life goals I won't even set.
   But, if I continue to dream, I might yet do something with my life. The same with you. If you do not limit yourself based on what has happened, but build a dream, it might come true.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Lesson of Life from a Basketball Game

   All a good coach is, is a person who sells you a dream, and shows you how to achieve it.
   Now, I've been known to say (with great exaggeration, of course), that all I ever learned, I learned from a game of basketball. Well, I think to tell you right here and now of the lesson I learned from a basketball game today -- and why a good coach is a person who gives you to dream.
   My BYU Cougars suffered one of their most improbable losses ever this day, and I thought on the coaching. Coach Dave Rose is a good coach, but I wonder if this time he could have done better, or if there were other "coaching" voices, not his, that caused the downfall. Today's loss to lowly Pacific came two days after upsetting 25th-ranked St. Mary's. That mirrors a loss to Portland in January that came two days after a huge upset of Gonzaga.
   Is it possible the coach didn't properly prepare BYU for Portland and Pacific? Those are games you should have won, and would have if the coach had you playing at your highest level.
   No, I don't know if Coach Rose inadvertently planted negative thoughts, but there are hints that fear of failure was present, even if that fear was planted by someone other than the coach. I remember a player before the Portland loss saying the Gonzaga win would be for naught if they lost the next one. And, before the Pacific loss, I heard a sports announcer expressing concern that they not lose to lowly Pacific.
   Hey, warning against losing is not a positive approach. Rather than sow seeds of doubt, sell only the dream. Say only that by winning the second game of the two, you are in position to challenge for the conference title, or whatever.
   Sell only the positive. Sell only the dream.
   Now, what does this have to do with life? We are coaches of our family, friends and associates. And, more than coaching anyone else, we coach ourselves. If we would become what we might become, we must concentrate on what can be achieved, and what is possible. We must dream. We must consider our potential and our possibilities. The why-nots might not matter if we give them no mind, but they will if we give them enough of our attention.
   I will close by saying, yes, there are times you should warn of the pitfalls, and the dangers. That, too, is part of coaching. But, be wary of being wary. There will be times, there is no good reason to even voice the negative. When you don't need to, don't do it. And, when you do offer up warnings, hasten in before and behind with the positive.