Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quality of Life is More than Just Interacting

We might never solve this -- until we master the art of reading minds.

Do we let the living dead live? No, I'm not talking about those who crawl out of the graves on Halloween. I'm talking about the brain dead, those in the vegetative state, and those in long-term comas.

Do we let them live, or as it is expressed so often, do we "allow" them to die? (As if we are doing them a favor by sending them to their deaths)

Living wills partially answer the question. If a person sets it in their will that they want to be taken off life support when they can no longer interact with us, should be always honor that wish?

I mean, always, 'cause sure as death might seem ideal way at one point, once it gets right up and in our face, we might be saying, "Hey, hold off, here. I'm having some real second thoughts."

They say "Give me death" at one point, but "Give me liberty" later.

They say, "Hey, this isn't all so bad, after all. I can't communicate with anyone, and my thought process is greatly diminished, but still, I enjoy life as it is and have decided I do want to stick around."

Only thing is, their ticket has already been punched -- and they are the ones who punched it, if they signed that living will.

Somewhere in mankind's time frame, we started using the term, "quality of life." We decided quality of life is not only important, but if a person is in a vegetative state, they lack quality of life and most likely would be glad to be let go, so yank those respirators, feeding tubes, and lifelines.

But in actuality, living in a coma might not be all so bad. Living in a vegetative state (which is defined as a state of partial mental arousal, but not true awareness -- a state of severe mental injury) might not be so awfully terrible.

Kind of like sleeping ain't all so bad. There've been times in my life when I've thought nothing could be better than to just sleep and sleep and sleep, dreaming a little here and there and just chillin' in a make-believe world.

Wonderful, even.

So, since it is that we can't read minds -- never did quite get that one down --  just how do we know whether these people are having  "quality" lives? Quality of life shouldn't be judged by whether others can interact with us, but by whether we, ourselves, are enjoying dreaming, or listening in on a world around us when everyone thinks we aren't.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Great Nation is a Civil Nation

One of the wisest men who ever lived, that Rodney King.

"Can't we all just get along?" I may not have the exact verbage of his quote, but that is probably close to word perfect.

I only caught snippets of the Republican convention, I mean, a sentence here and a sentence there. But, it was enough to feel the hatred. Why, I ask, is this necessary? Is there suppose to be something inherent in the democratic process that requires people to divide into two camps and bicker and spit at each other?

Because, I don't think vindictiveness and hatred become a great nation, not a godly one.

Is it possible for a nation to exist without this? Is it possible for a people to be so good, even in the political arena, they treat each other respectfully? I don't mean that they shouldn't point out each other's faults when there is genuine concern to be made. If there is evidence Bain Capital rode companies into the ground while the executives received dividends, let's talk about it. It would be wonderful, though, if those news stories all contained Romney's responses. And, it would be wonderful if the tone of the articles and discussions was more searching in nature than accusatory? (I mean searching for Romney's explanation when I say searching.)

Let a great nation exist, one that is inquisitive of its own flaws, but not spiteful and spitting and up in arms, everyone against each other.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

'How Great Thou Art' Greatest Hymn Ever

I looked around the room, while the song was being sung, to see two or three people dabbing their eyes.

"How Great Thou Art," the greatest hymn ever written.

I remember once speaking to a friend, about the Holy Ghost or some such. I believe I mentioned to him that "How Great Thou Art" showed that people of all faiths can feel the Holy Ghost, for it was the greatest hymn ever, and yet it was not written nor composed by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was quick to put me in line, suggesting there are a number of hymns just as great as "How Great Thou Art" that have been written by members of our faith. I took that correction then, but today as I listened to the song, and saw the wet eyes of the people in the room . . .

I thought, No, "How Great Thou Art" is the greatest hymn ever.

Among other songs I like a lot, and perhaps the one I consider the next greatest: "Lead, Kindly Light." Hmm. I'm fudging already. The first verse of "Lead, Kindly Light," does touch me about as much as "How Great Thou Art."

But, I don't remember ever seeing "Lead, Kindly Light" cause people to tear up, as I have with "How Great Thou Art."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Heat is Essential for Living

Food, water, sleep, and air to breathe: the things we need in order to stay alive.

But, perhaps there is at least one more that we don't class with them that we should: heat. I thought of this one as I stood in the shower, the warm water coursing over my body. At times, the showers seem as if they are almost rejuvinating my body, as if they are having about the same effect that a little sleep has. Perhaps, perhaps not, but, at any rate, it is clear we will die if we do not have heat, if it is too cold, we freeze.

So, I say consider heat transfer to be something the body needs on a regular basis, same as food, water, sleep and air.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rights of Unborn Cannot be Swept off Table

The argument of our day, in favor of abortion, is that women have the right to control there bodies.

It is good to consider the rights of the mother, but how can we refuse to even consider the right of the unborn? The right of the unborn that is in question is the right to live. We cannot -- simply cannot -- say that that is not something even under consideration, that it is not even on the table, that the only issue here is solely the rights of the mother, and that the rights of the child have nothing to do with anything.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fetus has Brain Three Weeks in, so Let it Live

They would question the intelligence of the unborn, they would.

A pig has more intelligence, one posted posted as we debated on Facebook. He argued that it does not matter whether the fetus has a heartbeat as early as 18 days in, it (make that he or she) has no right to life if it cannot think.

But, truth be told, the baby's brain is also developing just three weeks in.

At birth, the baby's brain contains about 100 billion neurons, virtually all it will need for the rest of its life. Do not say that this has happened just right before birth. Just four weeks from conception, the neurons are being created at an astonishing rate, a quarter of a million each minute.

The question becomes then, not whether the fetus has a brain, but whether it is operable. If the fetus is thinking, then of course it is living. Another Facebook poster provided a link saying neurological activity (electrical activity) can be detected as early as 22 weeks in. Supposing brain waves mean thinking, then, a baby surely should not be aborted after 22 weeks.

But, do we know no thoughts are occurring unless electrical activity is present? Do we know that? Because, if we are wrong, then we are taking the life of a child. If the brain is developing just three weeks conception, perhaps some forms of thought are also forming.

Do we say, perhaps, but not enough? There may be thoughts, but the brain activity is not adequate enough to call the fetus a human? Forbid that, if among those already born, we took life away from those we judged to not have enough intelligence. Why would it be any different with the unborn? Why should we take their lives because their intelligence is not considered adequate?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is Cancer Not Considered an Emergency?

I'm left to wonder if cancer is not considered an emergency, if it is left out of the practice of rushing same-day treatment and care to a person whose life is on the line.

If a person's heart fails them, we rush them to the hospital. I had a friend tell me of being life flighted to the hospital for a rare muscle or skin disease. We spare no expense when life is on the line, not expecting insurance to be in place before the life is saved . . .

Except when it comes to cancer. Or, so it seems to me.

Oh, there are times when cancer is detected just in time, and patient is rushed through treatment just in time. But, as a practice, not so. The practice is more along the lines of the cancer being suspected, maybe even diagnosed, and then they schedule a ultrasound, then schedule a biopsy, then wait for the biopsy results, and then wait for the insurance to approve the treatment.

While patients wait for treatment, they sometimes die. Family and friends lament that the cancer was not discovered earlier, in time to save their loved one, but they should be more attentive to how long it took from the time cancer was suspected to when treatment took place -- or was scheduled to take place.

It takes weeks, sometimes.

I think of a lady who was told she had one of two forms of cancer, and that one of them was very treatable. She ended up with the "very treatable" form, but by the time doctors got around to treatment, her condition had spiraled down.

Why, I ask, could not the ultrasound, biopsy, and first treatment have been achieved within a day? Isn't that emergency care, doing everything you can to save a life as quickly as possible, not on a scheduled basis, but on an emergency basis?

When death lurks at the doorstep, don't we usually hospitalize the patient, so they can be watched and given every medical advantage? Kidney failure? I've had a friend hospitalized through his final week on earth while having kidney failure. While it was perhaps a foregone conclusion he would die, they took him in and monitored him till his death.

But, it does not seem common to hospitalize a person for cancer before the time of the treatment. It does not seem common to rush them to the hospital for treatment the day the cancer is suspected. Why would they be? If the treatment is to be done on a scheduled basis, and not on an emergency time table, why have them just sit in the hospital waiting? Nothing can be done until the point of treatment, and if the treatment isn't immediate, but rather is days or weeks away, why have them just pass time in the hospital awaiting the day of treatment?

I say the treatment should be immediate. People die while waiting for treatment. This should not be acceptable.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Treatment Often Waits on Insurance While Patient Dies

So, I called the hospital, and asked what if a person had a form of cancer considered very treatable, yet while waiting for treatment they became so weak they could not hold up the phone to talk to someone, would that person be treated if brought to the emergency room?

I was told the hospital would do nothing but what the doctor prescribed, and the doctor was limited in how fast he could prescribe treatment by how fast the insurance company would authorize it.

So, a person's life deteriorates before our eyes, even fades toward death, while we wait for paperwork?

We have made great progress with cancer. Many forms have become very conquerable. Yet our ability to get the patient treated timely enough to keep them alive remains . . . abhorrent. To think we have a treatment, and can save a person, and time is of essence -- and yet we schedule things days and even weeks away.

I cannot believe we do such a thing -- or cannot believe we do not change it. Of all things in health care reform, this is something we surely can and should do something about. Why don't we?

I think of the words, uttered by a lady who, while waiting for treatment, seems to be dying. She spoke of a neighbor who had cancer, saying words to the effect, "They scheduled treatment for him, but he fooled them. He died before the treatments."

I say as soon as you suspect it is cancer, you start them fasting for the ultrasound. You do the ultrasound within a day, and you do the biopsy the same day. You read the biopsy that same day, and you begin treatment that same day.

Emergencies should be treated like emergencies. Lives should be given every effort to be saved.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Health Care Deserves Same-Day Attention

When thinking of yesterday's post, about how medical tests are scheduled instead of taken care of on the spot, I thought of an radio plug for Whipple Plumbing that says, "You call today, we come today."

Medical needs are as important as plumbing. We should be able to go to a doctor on the spot, walk-in service, without an expensive bill for such quick attention.

We do have such urgent-care facilities, but the our normal network of doctors do not offer such service. It would be an advancement in our medical system to make walk-in care more the norm.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Health Care Reform Overlooks This

Would that talk of health care reform considered speeding up treatment of life-threatening illnesses.

Like treatable heart problems. This one, I speak of from personal experience. My ejection fraction dropped low enough that it was in danger of stopping at any time. I had good doctors, but they were scheduling the tests weeks away. That is just the way our medical system works.

If a man could die, it makes more sense to do the tests immediately, so you can get the person properly treated quicker.

Now, I see the same slowness of system as my mother is ill. The schedule procedures, send biopsy samples off to laboratories with the results days away, and I sit wondering if proscribing a treatment is waiting on the outcome, which I'm sure it is.

I do not know altogether for certain that the two forms of cancer are fast-moving, or whether quick diagnosis and treatment might save a life, but, yes, that does seem probable.

I would love my mother to live. I would love that the system treated her life more as urgent care, transporting the biopsy sample by airplane, if necessary, and bringing the diagnosis and treatment quicker.

Health care reform can mean a lot of things. This, certainly, to me, seems to be something we should change, something we should be not allowing to remain the way it is.

When diagnosis can humanly be rendered within a day, if a life is at stake, it should be. No more scheduling things for days and sometimes weeks away.

Why does Level of Living in Fetus Fall Short?

Even the abortionist would, I believe, allow that there is some kind of living going on in the womb. They argue only that it isn't the same.

Shouldn't we, then, expect them to be able to tell us just what that difference is?

 If a fetus is alive, just not alive enough, then just what is the element that makes our living worthy but leaves the fetus coming up short?

 Does the brain of a fetus not have thoughts? Are we sure of that? It seems we better be sure, if we are going to take its life. Or does the ability to think not matter?

Does the fetus have feelings, either emotionally or physically? How do we know that it doesn't? 'Cause if we are not right, then we are taking life from someone we perhaps shouldn't. Or, does having emotions and physical feelings just not matter?

Are there other, more important, determinants as to why the fetus is not alive enough to deserve to continue to live?

Perhaps it is that he or she is not drawing its own breath that leaves the fetus falling short of the degree of living necessary to warrant continued existence. I have seen plenty of people on oxygen, living happy lives, and no one has ever suggested that since they cannot breathe adequately on their own, they do not deserve to live. If that is not reason enough to take their lives, why is it reason enough for taking the lives of the unborn?

Why is one life valid, but another one not?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Predisposition Would Mean Fetus is Living Being

So, can you believe in predisposition of sexual orienation and also believe in abortion?

Comes a question on a Facebook political debate site: "If the fetus you save is gay, would you still fight for its rights?"

"Ooooh....Good one!" says an early poster in a thread 30-40 comments long. "Of course most of the 'pro-lifers' who also happen to be anti-gay, reject the evidence that people are born gay. They'll just insist that people choose to be gay."

 I give two comments. "I'd say let the fetus live. Whatever child is brought forth deserves both life and love."

And,  "If the fetus has any sexual tendencies of any sort, that shows he or she also has life. Is there such a thing as a non-living thing with sexual tendencies? Name, if you will, one non-living thing that has sexual tendencies. If people are, per chance, born with same-sex tendencies, this would seem to me to be a proof that the fetus is a living person."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Path to Prosperity Gets a Quick Peek from Me

Did a small study of Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity, but not enough. Began it thinking the proposal a good one. But am not sure, now. Some -- but not all -- of the points I wonder about:

1. Does it cut taxes for the rich? Not sure I favor that.

2. Does it return work to welfare? Romney used the phrase in introducing Ryan as his running mate, but my quick search didn't find anything saying the Ryan's plan would return work to any of our social programs.

3. It is suggested the plan would actually end up raising the cost of Medicare, as opposed to reducing it.

The Path to Prosperity is worthy of thought, but I am not as favorable towards it at this point as I was before I began to look at it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Freedom Given Shouldn't Abridge Freedom of Others

What's that saying? Love isn't love until you give it away? meaning, you've got to love someone for love to exist.

Well, in a way, freedom isn't freedom unless you give it to someone else. If a person is only interested in the freedoms that benefit themself, that sense of freedom is limited. Real freedom must cover both parties.

Now, I sit here considering how such a theory fits into drug abuse. Is it I who am restricting the freedom of others, not believing drugs should be legalized? Or, is it the drug addict, who does not account for how his actions affect others?

Or, how about abortion? Is it I who limit the rights of others by opposing abortion? Or, is it those who favor abortion but who do not recognize the life of the unborn, and therefore do not acknowledge the rights of those people living in the womb?

It is a good thought, that when a freedom is granted, it should not abridge the freedom of others or it will, in a way, be a false freedom. But, the application of this might take a little more thought than what I have to give tonight.

What is the other saying? Your freedom ends where my nose begins?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ulysses Says Built Those Cars

I just had a conversation with Ulysses Tahn. Now, U. Tahn, as he is sometimes know, is the guy with enough drive and enough heart to really make things happen in our state. You might say he is the heart of Utah.

So, I took my question from last night to him. "What, Ulysses, should we be doing to encourage alternative-fuel cars in this state? I mean, we know we have a pollution problem, and we know alternative-fuel cars will reduce pollution, so is there anything we can do to get people to drive around in a few more of these vehicles?"

 "Built them," Ulysses answered.

"What?" I asked.

"Just built them," he repeated. "If you know they'll help, why not build them. People can't drive something they don't have, so build the cars you want them to drive."
"Yeah, well there are already a few on the market. I see a few natural gas vehicles, and there are quite a few electric cars," I said.

Ulysses looked me in the eyes, pursed his lips and then took a deep breath. "It has always bothered me that Utah doesn't have a car maker. Next year, 2013, it will mark 100 years since Henry Ford introduced the modern assembly line. I just think it would be a good anniversary thing for Utah to start rolling automobiles off its own assembly line."

"Yeah, well starting an automobile company is not that easy."

"No?" he replied.

"No. You don't just go out and start an automobile company. Did you know that when Elon Musk started making cars recently, it marked the first successful startup of an automaker since Chrysler got started 87 years ago. No, we'd be a little too big for our britches to think we could start a car company."

"No can do, huh?" he asked.

"No can do," I answered.

"Well," he said. "I don't see why not. Why can somebody back in Detroit do it, and folks in Germany and in Japan, and other places around the world, and yet it is a little too much for the people in Utah? Aren't you as smart as them? Or don't you have the money enough, or what?"

"Well, why would we want to, even if we could? It's a pretty big undertaking. Why would we want to take on something like that?"

Ulysses again looked me in the eye. "Automaking is a good thing for the economy. It's jobs. It's big-sales revenue, what with even low-end cars selling for thousands of dollars. If you want to help your economy, think about it."

"Yeah?" I asked.

 "Yeah," he said. "You're telling me there ought to be some way to encourage alternative-fuel cars. Well, just build some that are priced right, and built to function well without too much hassle. The technology is now there for good alternative-fuel cars, and -- just me -- I don't see any reason why you can't make them for less money than what they are being made. Just do it, and of course people will buy them."

I kind of think he's right.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What to do -- Alternative Fuel Should be Encouraged

So, air pollution is a problem, and cars are the source of so much of our air pollution. And, the Salt Lake Valley is struggling to meet federal air quality guidelines.

Now, just what should we do about these cars, considering that there are alternative-fuel cars that cause a little less pollution than those of the gasoline variety?

Are we doing anything to move our populace toward natural gas, or to get them into electric vehicles?

Anything, anything at all?

Of course, what is there that we can do? Could we offer tax incentives? Convert your car to natural gas and receive $250 off your taxes? Frankly, I don't think that would do it, and I kind of shy from tax incentives, anyway. Our tax code didn't get as complicated as it is without this type of thing.

Well, then, should we not do a thing, not do anything to encourage alternative-fuel vehicles, because there just isn't anything we can think of?

You know, I started this post thinking I might come up with something, by the time I wrote a little bit and thought a little bit.

But, I'm not coming up with much. Here I sit, thinking if alternative fuels cause less pollution, why would we not at least be doing something to encourage people to use them?

But, no, I don't know the answer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

There is an Answer to Air Pollution in Salt Lake Valley

I know an answer to an issue that has stumped me. The issue? Air pollution in the Salt Lake Valley. For years, I've wondered what can be done. Are we to place huge electric blowers all across the valley to blow the contaminants away? A far-fetched plan, but something has to be done.

About a week ago, I came across an answer, and it is much more basic than monstrous wind blowers. They say the best way to solve a problem is to first to cover the basics of what you are not doing that obviously ought to be done. Kind of like in basketball, if you aren't defending or taking the ball to the hoop, those basic, simple things could be what you need to start doing if you want to start winning.

Now, mind you, all of Utah wonders what we could do to pull our pollution levels down. An article I remember in one of the papers spoke of a committee scurrying around for ideas, and not coming up with much more than getting people to turn off the pilot lights in their furnaces. The article said they just didn't know what to do to meet feed federal standards. The committee just wasn't seeing a good answer.

So, just what are the basics to fighting pollution? What is the most basic of all? Is there anything that reduces pollution? Anything known to man that takes pollution right out of the air, erasing it?

Yes: Plants and trees.

I say that this is an answer, not the only answer, but how much good can be done will not be known until we try.

And, no, we are not trying, at least not much, or in the best way. I see some streets lined with trees, but not many. And, I don't believe there are any of our freeways at all that are walled off by trees.

Can we really say we are trying, then? The best way to attack the pollution, is to fight it right at the source, not waiting for it to be scattered and blown across the valley. Catch it right at the source, before it spreads.

Let's have walls of green on each side of our streets, and trees growing in the medians.

I remember years ago, moving to Southern California and being impressed at the beauty of the freeway medians with their trees and shrubs. Aesthetically, it was much more pleasing that what I see here. Why not make our town prettier and, for the same dollar, remove a little pollution?

I don't know if it is true, but I've heard Southern California's pollution is not as severe as it once was. I might be wrong in wondering if the trees in the medians and along the streets helped in the change, but it does seem logical that they have had some impact, whether by design or chance.

Let me tell you just what a USDA Forest Service paper concluded back in 2006: "A modeling study . . . demonstrates that urban trees remove large amounts of air pollution that consequently improve urban air quality. . . . Integrated studies of tree effects on air pollution reveal that management of urban tree canopy cover could be a viable strategy to improve air quality and help meet clean air standards."

Did you catch that? "Trees remove large amounts of air pollution" -- not just a little, but a lot.

This is a serious enough problem that we should outlay the money necessary to wall our freeways and, where possible, our streets, with trees. It is serious enough that we should widen the street easements, where possible, making room for trees on each side.

If you have a problem (and we do) and you aren't doing something basic (and this is something we aren't doing), then do it. Just as the basic way to fight fire is with water, so one of the basic ways to fight pollution is with trees and greenery.

Why would we not think of this?

If you want to buy the book, here's where you can:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Work can be Therapeutic

So, someone I know well has a mental problem, and has been taken care of by a family member, and not had to work.

Receiving disability? He would qualify. Yesterday, I told others I didn't like the notion of him getting government assistance. Tonight, I think back to those thoughts, trying to recall just why I thought government welfare was not the best option. I wonder but what he was not done a disservice by not being required to work. If he were to have been told to work, and had to do so, it would have been more difficult for him to live in his delusions, or at least to rest on them. As it was, though, with someone supporting him, it allowed him to justify his delusions as reason for not working. It was just and right that he not work, in his mind. Had he had to work, to make his own way, it would not have been so easy for him to live in his delusions.
No, I don't think I am capturing my thoughts as clearly as they came to me yesterday. Wish I were recalling them better. Will go to bed a thinking about this, probably.
 I just think when a person has to work -- no choice -- then they sometimes do. And, it can be therapeutic, if only to a degree. I have a roommate sleeping well on the couch tonight, who fights alcohol. He often gets up and marches down to Labor Ready, though, partly because he knows it is the right thing and wants to do the right thing and partly because, so far, I have not been much for saying, Hey, I'll buy your food if you can't make it. He has to work to eat.
Giving a person help is good, whether it is government doing it or a person. It can be wonderful. But, it can be better, sometimes, when we don't, and the person lifts him or herself, having no choice. That is not a bad thing.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bless the Same-Sex Person, but Let Cathy Speak

The great Chick-fil-A debate. Now, do we support a man -- and his business -- for saying he believes in traditional marriage?
Do we support his right to free speech when leaders of certain cities suggest they will not allow him to do business there?
I and the millions say he has such right, while millions of others wonder why being a bigot should be called free speech.
The issue gets a little messier when Dan Cathy's comments are characterized as him saying those of same-sex are an abomination. I haven't read the exact words in Cathy's comments, but do understand he said it is for God to decide what a marriage is, not us.
I don't know that that is such a wicked opinion, nor do I consider such an opinion has to be hateful. Truth is, I believe God has established that men should join with women, not women with women and men with men. I love the same-sex people I know, counting them as friends, joking around with them and enjoying their company. Bless them. They are wonderful.
But, no, I do not think theirs is the relationship God intended.
As for Cathy, let him have his opinion. I don't know what his feelings are toward those of same-sex, whether he loves them or is hateful, but I do think he has the right to express his opinion without cities threatening to pull his business license.
There now, I've weighed in on a topic fastly growing old.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Movement Sprung Up by Taking Word 'Shall' Out of Context

A whole movement has sprung up, and survived for decades based on the misuse of the word "shall."
I speak of the Sagebrush Rebellion.

Those folks got reading a portion of the Utah Enabling Act, which establishes Utah statehood, and, they read a part that says 5 percent of the proceeds from any sale of federal lands "shall" go to the state.

They took that to mean the federal government must sell the land.

I say they are wrong. The word "shall" should not be taken out of context. It does not say the land shall, of requirement, be sold, but rather, it says 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the lands shall go to the state. This means only what it says, that 5 percent of any sales will go to the state. No more. Reading more into it can be done, as is evident that a whole movement has not only been established, but has survived for decades. Still, if the words of the contract are taken for what they actually say, and not given extended meaning beyond what they say, the Sagebrush Rebellion is amiss, founded on a false premise. Rather than giving the state the right to these lands, the Enabling Act says Utah relinquishes right to them.

For, the Enabling Act also says, "That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof."

Should they be twisting one part of the act into saying something it doesn't, and then ignoring the part that says exactly the opposite of what they want?

I say, No.

For your perusal, though, I give you the exact wording from Section 9, which they use to justify the demand that the federal government give up right to BLM and other federal lands:

"That five per centum of the proceeds of the sales of public lands lying within said State, which shall [SHALL} be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said State into the Union, after deducting all the expenses incident to the same, shall be paid to the said State, to be used as a permanent fund, the interest of which only shall be expended for the support of the common schools within said State."

They also quote from a part of the act that says, "and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States" without quoting the words that come just after that, which say, "the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States,"