Saturday, October 31, 2015

Have Gun, will Travel; Have Gun, will Kill

   Some pack a gun with them wherever they go. I wonder if that only increases the chances of death. I think of how a portion of gun deaths come when criminals kill other criminals, drug deals gone bad, and such.
   The gun is there, and the gun is used.
   It's been said, Have gun, will travel. We could add, Have gun, will kill. If you travel with a gun, you increase the chances you will die by the gun. Or, if not you, another person will. We assume the bad guys kill each other simply because they are bad guys, and that is true. What goes unsaid, however, is that the fact they have guns also is a contributing factor.
   When a prosecuting attorney makes his case, he often determines opportunity. Well, if guns are present, the opportunity to kill increases.
   My town, Salt Lake City, is now flowing with the discussion of a middle-of-the-night gun battle between homeowner Rusty Jacobs and home invader Jesse Bruner. Bruner, whether he was looking for an empty home to sleep in or what, tried to kick in Jacobs' door in the middle of the night. Jacobs got up, and was looking around when Bruner greeted him, telling him he had a bad leg. When Bruner left, Jacobs, gun in tow, followed him down the street, pointing a flashlight at him, and perhaps suggesting he knew Bruner was a person who had been involved in home break-ins of late.
   Bruner also carried a gun, a sawed-off shotgun.
   Bruner shot, and Jacobs fired back. They died together in the streets.
  We don't know whether Bruner saw Jacobs had a gun, and was intimidated by that, and therefore was more inclined to use his own gun, but it is fair to wonder.
  Hindsight says Jacobs would have been better off leaving it to law enforcement, instead of chasing down the street with a gun, intimidating a known criminal. Bruner's rap sheet included weapons charges. He was a man who lived by the gun, whose mind frame was that you settle some of your differences with a gun. Had Jacobs known that, how would he have expected Bruner to react?
   And, perhaps the mind frame of settling differences with a gun was, in part, the mind set of Rusty Jacobs. Society teaches protection of self and family with a gun. If you have a spat with a criminal, settle it with bullets. That will save you and your family.
   Lest you not think settling his differences with Bruner was part of his mind set, remember Jacobs could have waited for the police. If he had to follow Bruner, he could have done it from a distance, just staying close enough to see where Bruner was so he could steer the police to him.
   After the killings, police, in a statement to the media, urged homeowners to let them do the work, saying that was their job. I think that wise. I think it wise that the police took the opportunity to teach the public. We are what we are taught to be. If society teaches us to be one way, we often turn out that way. If we teach each other to stand up to the criminals, that will happen. Sometimes, it will go smoothly, but sometimes it will go awry, such as it did with Jacobs.
   Usually, police can do their job better than we can. Let them. As is said, Johnny, don't be a hero. While it is honorable to protect yourself and your family, remember the saying, Wisdom is the better part of valor.
   Travel with a gun, die with a gun. Have gun will travel; have gun will kill. It doesn't always turn out that way. But, there is an increased tendency that direction.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Maybe what is Happening makes a Case for Police, not Citizen Justice

   Does what is going on in Israel make a better argument for letting police handle violence as opposed to sending everyone out onto the streets with a weapon to defend themselves?
   In the past weeks, believing the number of attacks by Palestinians upon Israelis was terribly high, I wrote that perhaps arming the people is the way to deal with the violence. I reasoned that if the attacks are happening extremely often, and if the police cannot get there in time, then perhaps the populace needs to defend itself.
   Six days ago, I thought I had read somewhere that more than 1,000 attacks by the Palestinians upon Israelis had been committed. I've continued to search for a figure on how many attacks there have been, and have not found a count. But I'm now thinking the figure must be much, much less, but a fraction of that.
   What I am reading, is that only 11 Israelis have been killed while about 40 Palestinians have had their lives taken while attempting the attacks. That gives pause. If the count of attacks by the Palestinians is a high number, but the total of people being killed is not, then the wave of violence against the Israelis isn't very successful.
   It appears the police are getting there in time to quell the attackers. Yes, sometimes the attackers are stopped by the armed citizens who are being attacked, but it seems the better share of attacks have been thwarted by the police.
   So, police work is working.
    I do wonder. Other than just a good police response, are there other reasons most of the attacks do not bring death? Or, am I wrong to believe there are a lot of attacks? If there are a lot of attacks, are the assailants incompetent?
    It is interesting that al-Jazeera and others are able to point to what is going on, and spin it that it is the Israelis who are the perpetrators of violence, what with so many Palestinians being killed by the Israeli police.
   Of that, I wonder if the Israeli police are shooting to kill, when killing the assailant might not be necessary. I do wonder, just as I wonder whether sometimes police in the U.S. shoot to kill too often.
If you can save a life, do it, even if it is an assailant's life.
   And, also, why are we not finding a count on the number of attacks? It seems that count is central to the story of what is going on. How can it not be being reported? Is the number of attacks not much above the 11 who have been killed, and therefore the 11 who have been killed is the only number we need?
   If about about 40 of the assailants have been killed while making the attacks, does that mean there have only been about 40 attacks? And, if those 40 attacks resulted in only 11 Israelis being killed, that still is not a very good success rate for the assailants.
   Thank heavens for that, but one wonders why they are not more successful.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I See 'You cannot put a Price on Your Health' in a New Light

   "You cannot put a price on your health" That's a thought I no longer give homage to. Not that it isn't true. Not that our health isn't worth all the money we have.
   But, I look at how the health care providers go after you for your money. I, myself, owe about 20 grand. I consider how expensive health care is, and I see, "You cannot put a price on your health," in a new light.
   The statement justifies the expense. It says, "Just go ahead and pay the bill, because regardless how high it is, it is justified by the fact you cannot put a price on your health."
   I wonder how many times the collection agencies, collecting on big bills such as mine, roll this pitch out to their debtors. "You cannot put a price on your health"?
   I only know the price is exorbitant, and out of measure with what it should be. Medical bills are a constant form of price gouging. Yes,"You cannot put a price on your health," and therein lies the problem: You have no choice. You cannot cap the price tag. You cannot limit how much they charge you for your health.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Don't Leave a One of Them Without Health Care, but have Them Work

   Are we to consider it wrong for a person who has not been working for 20 years to receive Medicaid benefits? Some consider it wrong. Their thought is, that if he hasn't been paying taxes, and now of a sudden expects health care, then he is expecting someone else to pay his bills. That is just wrong, they say. Why should one person reach into another's pocket and expect that person to pay his bills?
   For my part, I think Medicaid should pay the way for those who do not have private insurance. The high price of our medical care makes it so no one can afford care unless they have insurance. I do not like the notion of not covering a person, any person, regardless whether they have been working and been paying taxes. To me, you just don't let a person die -- and some of them do die. Nor do you deprive them of health care that is crucial even if they are not dying. You provide them care, simply because they need it.
   In theory, though, I do think we should have them work when they reach that point, when they reach the juncture of receiving Medicaid. In practicality, however, I can see this often would be difficult. I think in some cases -- say they are so incapacitated they can hardly get out of bed, for example -- actually having them do any work would be a hard thing to accomplish. 
   But, many of them can work. Those who can, should. We should revamp our system to allow it. We should place all those who can do such work into productive jobs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Medicaid Expansion is a Must

   I have wondered and been perplexed as Utah has put off and put off expanding its Medicaid program to cover more people. Obamacare calls for more coverage, and the Obama Administration is willing to let Utah come up with its own program instead of just having traditional Medicaid cover those in the income gap not being covered.
   But, proposal after proposal is being defeated. It seems obvious enough that there are people in the coverage gap who are dying for lack of medical options.
   Dying, while we sit and try to come up with a "Utah solution."
   Can we not see? We cannot say, "No, we cannot cover them because that would be giving them free welfare. Let them die." We cannot say, "Our national debt is $18-plus trillion. We had better not help them, because we cannot afford it. Let them die."
   We cannot let them die, while we postpone action. The issue is serious enough, that, if necessary, the Legislature should meet day after day, sticking to it without breaking session until a solution is arrived at.

    This Study Might have Contributed to the National Debt

       Comes a story from the Los Angeles Times, and I just wonder. It says a study has revealed that our ancient ancestors were as sleep deprived as we are. One immediately wonders how they would ever determine such a thing.
       Well, they studied three three societies alive today, three groups of people that haven't caught up with technology and still live ancient-like lives: the Hazda, San, and Tsimane societies.
       I am sure I'm not the only person who wonders about that methodology. While such a study can be used to suggest the pressures of modern technology might not be limiting our sleep, it seems wrong to stretch the conclusions even further and quantify how much sleep our ancient ancestors received. For one thing, there might have been biological differences at play.
      But, a second thing bothers me about this study: Who paid for it? Where did UCLA's Center for Sleep Research get the money to pay for this study?
      Inasmuch as the story does not reveal who footed the bill, it is fair to wonder. And, the leading possible party would likely be Uncle Sam. I think back to my youth, when we lamented the waste of such studies when they were government-funded, and wonder whether this study drew similar response. If it was funded, even in part, with government funds, then such criticism is warranted. We are $18-plus trillion in debt, and should be looking to ax wasteful spending wherever we see it.

    Monday, October 26, 2015

    Cigarettes, Meat, and the LDS People

       There is the verse in Doctrine and Covenants 49 that says, "And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God." And, even in the Word of Wisdom (Section 89) it says that flesh is ordained for the use of man.
       But, then comes the qualifier, then comes the part that says how much: ". . . nevertheless they are to be used sparingly." So it is, the Word of Wisdom instructs the LDS faithful to not eat too much meat.
       It will be interesting to see how we, as LDS people, play today's revelation from the World Health Organization that processed meat is linked to cancer, and that red meat is also risky. I understand, the tendencies to get cancer from meat are not near so strong as they are to cigarettes.
       Still, the risk is strong enough that WHO has issued its warning.

    Sunday, October 25, 2015

    We Witnessed Our Understanding of the Gospel being Extended

       I don't know that this is seeing a revelation come forth, per se, but it has some of the same implications.
       We witnessed church doctrine being defined this week. We witnessed our understanding of the gospel being extended. One gospel essay said, "(W)omen exercise priesthood authority even though they are not ordained to priesthood office." And, a second essay made it clear that belief in a Mother in heaven is doctrine.
       Nothing changed in how the church operates. What women have been doing, they continue to do.
       Reading portions of the two essays was revealing, for me, as it showed Joseph Smith's thoughts on women and their roles. One interesting feature was his saying, "(I)f the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let every thing roll on."

    Saturday, October 24, 2015

    Could We Compare the Number of Attacks in Israel to those in U.S.?

      I google, but cannot find it. I thought I read this morning how there have been more than 1,000 attacks upon Israelis in the past month. I wish someone were rounding up comparisons to how many street attacks there are in American cities.
       I'm not talking all attacks, just street attacks. Could we compare how many random attacks there have been on the streets of Jerusalem to how many there are in, say, Chicago? I'm not talking domestic violence. I'm not talking one criminal shooting another. I'm just talking of what the chances are of being attacked by a stranger while you walk down the street.
       I wonder but what such a comparison might give better perspective as to what the Israelis are going through.

    Hatred of the UN Perplexes Me

       On the 70th anniversary of the UN Charter going into force, I reflect on how I am not among those who hate the UN.
       There are things I do not like about it. It does seem to side against Israel, for one. But, it also does some good. I will say, though, that this is a topic I have not thoroughly explored. I should have those who hate the UN explain their hatred to me, and then digest their reasoning.
       Until then (and perhaps even then), I will remain a little perplexed at the hatred of the UN.

    Adele Releases 'Hello'

      One of the greatest singers of our time, Adele, released the single, "Hello," a day or two ago, to gushing reviews from most every quarter. She doesn't just sing the song, she performs it. Adele won a record-tying six Grammy Awards in 2012 for her sophomore album, titled "21." It was the fourth best-selling album in UK history. She followed that with the title track of the James Bond movie, "Skyfall," which won an Academy Award for best original song. Her new album, "25," will be released Nov. 20.

    Mia Love Comes to Planned Parenthood Committee with Right Attitude

       Mia Love won some respect from me, and increased the chances I will vote for her reelection with a comment she gave on her being named to the U.S. House committee investigating Planned Parenthood.
       “I believe this committee should only focus on possible illegal activity. It should aim for fairness and transparency and remain nonpolitical," Love is quoted as saying in a Salt Lake Tribune article.
       I'm among the many who think the Benghazi investigation is a witch hunt, a chasing down of Obama and Clinton. Love's quote gives me to understand she knows an investigation can become political. Planned Parenthood sits squarely on the opposite side of the political world from Love, so it will be important that she and others on the committee keep their focus on whether Planned Parenthood did something illegal rather than just to go looking for stones to throw at the organization. 

    Friday, October 23, 2015

    We give Our Loyalty not so Much to Country, as to Party

       Our patriotism is more to party, than to country. Our allegiance is more to the Democrat Party or the Republican Party, than to America. Are these to be our loyalties? Whatever became of, "one nation under God"? We are divided. And we give our loyalty not so much to our country, as to our party. We believe in America, and we love America, if it is a democrat America, or a republican America. But, if it is to be an America belonging to the other party, we despise it.

    Thursday, October 22, 2015

    Benghazi: Nothing Much Found, because Nothing Much There

       Perhaps the Benghazi hearings today showed the wisdom and benefit of an open government, one that doesn't rush to do its business behind closed doors.
       Too often, Congress does pull its doors shut. I much like it when it doesn't. I believe truth has a better chance to prevail given the light of day.
       Hillary withstood the marathon session. At day's end, Trey Gowdy, chair of the committee investigating Benghazi, was asked what new information emerged. He was unable to come up with a thing.
       I did not hear any of the hearings, but I read a couple news stories after the fact. It seems Hillary defended herself well. I find myself wondering: If there really isn't much to find, and you spend 11 hours trying to find it, and you put the whole show on television, then you're just letting the public witness what a witch hunt it is you're conducting.
       If the hearing had been behind closed doors, though, Gowdy and the investigators would have been more likely to have placed a positive spin on the day's event. If no one was there to know differently, then they could have painted over things.
       Truth lives in the light of day, while darkness covers deceit.


    Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    We're all Crazy, and We all have Split Personalities, to Some Degree

       It's been, what, 37 years since Alice Cooper came out with wisdom for the world with the release of, "Inmates (We're All Crazy)."
       Nope. I looked up the lyrics, and rather than he singing about how everyone in the world is a little bit crazy, he seems to be just singing about how he and his friends are all crazy.
       I take a quick look at Quiet Riot's "Mama We're all Crazee Now," and it seems to be the same. So with Joan Jett's, "We're all Crazy Now."
       So, perhaps none of the rock stars back in those days, after all, delivered this truth to the world: Every person in the world is a little bit crazy. Everyone is a little delusional, and paranoid. We all run in fear when there is nothing to run from. Our minds all freeze up, at times, when under pressure.
       We all "freak out."
       Tonight, as I checked in on someone crazy, I took the thought a little further. Not only are we all crazy, but we all might have split personalities.
       To an extent. Just a little. As I thought about it, I reflected on how we might swing from one set of standards in some moments, to another set of emotions and standards in another. A lot of the time, it depends on who we are with. You know the saying of how someone brings out the best in you? Well, maybe there's hidden wisdom in that old saying. Some people bring out one part of us, and we act one way when we are with them, and then other people bring out other things in us, and we act differently when we are with them. I don't doubt it.
       We're all just a little bit crazy, and, we all just have split personalities, in a way.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Webb gets a More Consideration from Me as He Throws off Party

      That Jim Webb made reference to the money that influences politics these days as he withdrew from being a democratic candidate for president prompts me to give him more consideration.
       Webb, a former secretary of the Navy (under Ronald Reagan), appears ready to launch his candidacy as an independent.

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks Weighs in on Kim Davis Case

    Whether it is a county clerk acting on religious grounds, or an attorney general or governor refusing to uphold a law on secular grounds, neither should be tolerated, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks, apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Tuesday. Thus did an authority of the Church of Jesus Christ weigh in on the Kim Davis case.

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    Perhaps, Sometimes a Gun in Every Hand is Necessary

       Perhaps, just as the gun advocates suggest, there are times when it's best for everyone to own and pack a gun.
       I'm thinking about it, but I'm not sure. I'm thinking of Jerusalem, and of all the attacks by the Palestinians. For those who know me, you know I believe in policing. I believe if crime increases, you increase the police force or hire security guards, and keep enough officers in the hot spots that you keep crime under control.
       But, I think of what is happening in Jerusalem. The assailants attack, and the crime is over before the policeman at the end of the block can get there to step in to stop it. It's pretty much, pack your own gun or knife, or be the victim. And, the attacks are happening pretty much daily. Danger is in every footstep. And, some Israelis are defending themselves. They are packing. They are stopping their assailants by fighting back.
       It is sad that a society should be forced into such a position. But, when violence does get so severe, perhaps it is necessary. Me? I'm not living in a place where I daily run the fear of being attacked, so I don't need to carry a gun or a knife. I warn against being too quick to assume you are in that bad of an environment. Yes, it is true that if someone were to attack, you wouldn't be able to wait on an officer to rescue you. But, if the odds of such an attack are less than once in a lifetime, we shouldn't feel a big need to pack.
       But, when it gets as severe as it is in Israel, perhaps it is necessary. And, if you live in a U.S. community where there are daily or weekly attacks of the random variety, then wearing a gun might be the wise choice.

    Saturday, October 17, 2015

    If the Heart is a Muscle, then We Should Treat it Like a Muscle

       If the heart is a muscle, then, medically, we should treat it like a muscle. I wonder how much good could be done if we treated heart failure with this in mind. Muscles need exercised, pure and simple. If a muscle is weak, I don't know that it will ever be strong unless it is exercised.
       Current medical practice is to lay a person down when their heart gets too weak, put them on their back and treat them with medication. Let them rest, let them rest.
       Maybe we should, let them work, let them work.
       I suppose there are times you shouldn't. When you tear a muscle, you have to let it recover. You do get off it. So it might be the same with a heart. If it is torn or inflamed, let it rest. But, if it is just weak, exercise might be just what the doctor ordered -- or what he should have ordered.
       So, work the heart, not hard, but hard enough to make a difference. Strap them to a self-powered stationary bicycle so they can't fall off, and let it work them a little. Then, place them in a structure that holds them up and in place as a treadmill below them puts them through a walk. These things are better than having them peddle on their own, or walk with a walker on their own, because they do not have to expend energy balancing and holding themselves up. They get more of a cardiovascular workout because they then are able to go faster.
       I know, because I run on a treadmill partially in the same fashion. I had a hip replaced years ago, and it left me unable to run much at all outside. I don't know if it is the pounding the hip takes or what, but I can't go much faster than a walk.
        But, if I get on the treadmill, I can put my hands on the bars on each side and lift my weight just enough that I can run -- fast, 10 mph for minutes and minutes, sometimes for three miles. By the time I've finished, I'm dripping in sweat -- and that means I've gotten a good cardiovascular workout.
        I don't know how much exercise will be the right amount -- how much will be necessary to revive a heart -- but I can see it will make a difference. As I suggested at the top of this blog, the heart is a muscle, and I don't know if a muscle has ever become strong without exercise. Maybe creatine and steroids injections will help -- I don't know -- but I know exercise will.

    'We've All become Democrats and Republicans Instead of Americans'

    Our patriotism is more to our parties, than to country. Our allegiance is more to them, than to America.

    Friday, October 16, 2015

    Exercising Hearts is a Medical Technology Yet Ahead of Us

       When it comes to living and dying, the heart is the heart of matter.
       We could save about 610,000 lives a year by simply solving heart failure. That's eliminating one in every four deaths. All we got to do is to get a larger supply of hearts, get the practice down, and get people into the replacement hearts faster than their old ones can expire.
        Did you catch that, and the significance of it? One in four deaths, eliminated, or at least postponed. I understand, the five-year survival rate after a transplant is now about 76 percent. Heart transplants are working.
       But, we need more hearts. People are going to their deaths simply for lack of available hearts. The possible solutions include persuading more people to be organ donors. And, then, there's cross-species transplantation. With the improvement of medicines that help the body not reject the hearts, perhaps we should consider this more. Imagine, the heart of lion, literally, being in your chest.
       But, I wonder if the best thing to do, is to master the art of keeping the hearts we have in good shape -- and returning them to good shape once they get worn. Work on persuading folks to avoid stress, to exercise and to live clean. Yes, that is a good strategy.
       Now, here's what all my talk on hearts leads me. Here's my idea. I wonder if one of the best solutions to repairing the heart is not even being explored. An artificial heart is not the same as an artificial knee. A knee is a solid, not-as-living thing. A heart is made of tissue, and the art of creating that tissue has not been mastered. So, the heart is a living thing, more so than a knee or hip. So, replacing it is not so much the option.
        Repairing it becomes the better course of action.
        What are we doing right now? There are artificial valves to repair them. And, there are heart pumps. And there are heart monitors. But, there isn't such a thing as rejuvenating the same unaltered very beat-up and somewhat old heart into a brand new heart. We do have some wonderful pills, and they repair a lot of hearts. But, the hearts we are helping aren't quite so wasted as many of those that are failing.
       Is the answer a better drug? Or using existing drugs that currently aren't being applied to the heart? If the heart is a muscle, and creatine and steroids are muscle builders, is there a way for them to be injected into the heart?
       Here is something that might not be being done. There is no such thing as taking the heart and exercising it back to life. At least, that is not part of current technology, I don't think. If there were a way to exercise the heart without killing it, then, there you might have an answer to saving some of the 610,000 deaths a year.
       I'm thinking, artificial exercise, not artificial heart. Artificial exercise, as in, the person doesn't, on their own, just go run and jump and play until his heart comes back, because obviously they cannot do that.
        But, is there a way to leave him laying in bed, and give his heart exercise, anyway? Music and peace and happy energy might be part of the answer. But, is there a way to actually open up the chest and put an exercise machine in it? Or, would the patient survive if we strapped them into a running position, unable to fall down even if they tried, and placed them on a treadmill and gave them a workout?
          Gave their heart a workout. Ever, this has been the way of building muscles: exercise them. The heart is a muscle. So, maybe treadmill therapy would work.
       Maybe they would have to rename such a treadmill, and call it a deadmill. I don't know. But, somehow, I half think it would work. You wouldn't run the guy at full speed, and you might not start him at anything but a walk. But, yes, I wonder but what this might work. Although what I'm calling for probably isn't being done, it does have a precursor. Patients right now, as part of their therapy, get up and walk around.
       Artificial exercise, not artificial heart. I do wonder but what it might help.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    A Partial Shutdown can Work and Must Work

       Aye, I beg you to listen up, for this government shutdown issue lies at the heart of a most important issue for our country. We simply cannot forever run up a deficit. We simply should, at some point, start catching up on our bills.
       And, that requires a partial shutdown of our government.
       What I'm saying, is that we simply should shut down a portion of our government. Last time, we shut down 17 percent, I'm told -- just 17 percent.
       And the people were madder than mad.
       If we cannot stomach a 17 percent shutdown for a few weeks, now, however are we going make any kind of headway into an $18 trillion deficit?
       So, I beg you to listen up. I ask you, what can we shut down? What portions of the government would you like to see us go without? How would you fashion the partial shutdown? And, would the places you would do the trimming bring the ire of those who do not want those things to be cut?
       Of course.
       And, there lies the trouble. Most every dollar benefits someone. How do we tell the government worker that he's out of a job? Is that humane? How do we tell tell someone getting a needed social services payment that they will just have to live without it? Is that moral, to just cut them off?
       The only answer I am seeing at the moment, is that much needs to be transferred to the private sector. When a government worker loses his job, place him in another job. When someone loses a welfare check, don't let it happen without a charity stepping in to fill the service.
       A partial shutdown will work, can work, and must work. But, it will only work if we move what the government is doing to the private sector.
       So, fashion the partial shutdown that way. My wish, is for our leaders to be planning for the next shutdown, to be putting these measures in place, to be crafting a shutdown that will move things the government is doing over to the private sector.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    We'd be Better off Without Such Reenactments of Death

       Bless them, those who reenact death, who make dummies being hung so real that someone almost performs CPR on them to save them.
       There a talent, there.
       Oh, forgive, but I do feel we'd be better off without such reenactments.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    I Believe Do Not Resuscitate is Invoked Too Often

       There are arguments for placing a patient on Do Not Resuscitate.
       1.) If the patient is old, CPR will crush a number of ribs. Always. I'm told there are no exceptions. And, the pain is so great from broken ribs, that it isn't worth it. My thought on this argument? Just be sure you don't put someone on DNR whose ribs could recover. Pain? Don't we have pain medication?
       2.) The patient might have an organ (say, their heart) so weak that it will not respond to CPR, anyway. My thought? What is the harm in trying it? It might not do any good, but why would you not at least try it? I am speaking not so much of the electrical shock treatments and the rib-crushing CPR as of the drugs that cannot be used once you are on DNR. Why would you not at least give them a try, on the off-chance that they might save a life?
       3.) The CPR might throw a person into a seizure or damage their brain. My answer? Why not allow them the chance that they will not have a seizure or brain damage, then take them off life support if they do suffer that damage? Give hope a chance, not death.
       4.) They will suffer too much pain, and the pain will not be worth it, as they will die, anyway. My reply? We might be over-broad in what we are including as pain. If they are unconscious, are they experiencing pain? When a person's heart stops, are they even feeling pain, since they are not conscious? Perhaps it is the pain they feel once they regain consciousness? For one thing, that implies that they responded to the CPR, and that it might have done some good. What kind of pain do they experience once the shock treatments or whatever are over? Once again, don't we have pain medications?

    Monday, October 12, 2015

    The Crazy Guy has a Different Idea of What Needs to be Equalized

       When you teach everyone the benefits of guns, you should be mindful that that means everyone. The crazy guy who might up and shoot up a school hears you, just as quick as the guy who would only use it in self defense.
       What you teach one, you teach all. If you teach them to live and die by the gun, to trust in it for when you will need it, the crazy guy, as quick as the sane, is going to come to think he can keep things squared away by using the gun. What is an equalizer to one, is an equalizer to all. It's just that the crazy guy has a different idea of what needs to be equalized.

    Sunday, October 11, 2015

    Costs Should not be So High We are Tempted not to Keep People Alive

       Tonight, I wondered whether the cost of our medical care sometimes prompts us to consider whether it is worth it all. Say, a person is in such terrible condition that it appears he (or she) might well die within months. Are we, then, sometimes inclined to wonder whether the expense is worth it?
       Say, we take life-saving measures, and the person lives but another four months. Was it worth it? I say, often it is. If the person's life is not overly painful, then it is worth it.
       But, the same, I think of how the dilemma we face underscores how hospital expenses have reached unacceptable levels. I believe health care costs could be much, much less. And, that we are changing so much that we consider forgoing some of our efforts because people are going to die within months anyway. Well, that is a big argument for bringing health care and hospital costs down.
       They should not be so expensive that we are tempted not to keep people alive.

    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    Let Rocky Vista University Open, and Fill it with Students

       Word is, there's an effort to open a new medical school in Utah, down near St. George. Why should this be big news? Well, the government limits how many schools there are in each state. It puts a cap on them. And, there is only one in Utah, it being at the University of Utah.
       More to the point, one of the real reasons medical bills are so high in America, is that we restrict competition. We do this in many ways. We license extensively, thus limiting who can practice. We limit the insurance choices at the workplace. We require doctors to be part of our network before we can see them. We have patent rights that limit who can produce drugs and medical devices.
       Some of those things might have value. I'm not sure we want to run them all off the board. But, putting a cap on how many medical schools there are? I guess I wonder why.
       So, when I spotted a Facebook post by Sen. Steve Urquhart about the new medical school, I lifted my eyebrows. Sen. Urquhart has issues with the proposed school. He calls the firm bringing in the school predatory and suggests that St. George and Cedar City are fortunate that the new school, Rocky Vista University, is locating in Ivins, instead of in their cities.
       Urquhart's Facebook friends jump on the bandwagon, castigating Rocky Vista. I am not yet persuaded the school is a bad thing, though. I wonder at all the opposition to it. I wonder why and perhaps if I lived down there and was a little more tuned in to the issue, I'd understand.
       To me, it seems not harmful, at all. Having a medical school, it seems, should be a good thing. I only wish there wasn't a limit on them and wonder why when a second one does comes along, we fight it. I wish there were, say, a half dozen medical schools, producing enough doctors and medical personnel to help drop the price of medicine. I believe in supply and demand, and I believe if more people were doctors, and we didn't find ways to keep them from practicing, it could drop our medical bills at least a little.
       So, please, open Rocky Vista University. And, fill it with as many students as can be found.


    Friday, October 9, 2015

    Item after Item, Bill after Bill, Until the Budget is Under Control

       I opened my Facebook page to see a post about how private contractors in Iraq have made a handsome profit off the war, doing everything from charging exorbitant prices for washing clothes to charging high prices for connecting soldiers to the Internet.
       Then, I opened a story about the Salt Lake City Police Department receiving $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Justice. With the federal government being $18-plus trillion in debt, why, I wondered, is it doling out money to every state and to perhaps most every city? Why? It doesn't  make sense.
       And, I think back maybe a week, to when a couple other such spending matters prompted me to write my senator, objecting.
       No less than three times this evening, my Facebooking happened upon stories of government waste. As I finished writing this piece, I opened my Facebook page and what did I find? A  post on how Tony Horton has toured military bases around the world giving training to our soldiers.
       And, I asked, at whose expense? I'm doubting he paid his own way. And I returned to this blog to insert this paragraph.
      What do I want in a congress member? How about someone who will file a bill every time such unwarranted spending is spotted, even if it means filing such legislation weekly. That would be wonderful, really.
       Defund Planned Parenthood? Yes, but don't stop there.
       Micromanage the budget. I would for a Congress that would pick at the national deficit, item after item, correcting each misspending as it comes to light. Yes, I, too, worry about what will happen to the economy if we take all this money out of it. I can only say, if private enterprise is spending the money, instead of the federal government, then the money remains in the economy.
       But, please, we must do something about the $18 trillion debt. I would for a Congress that saw the vision. I don't hear much -- make that anything -- about Congress slashing away, item after item. Why not? With all the conservative people we've elected -- they are a majority -- why is this not happening?
       Item after item, bill after bill, week after week, until the budget is under control.
    (Note: Blog slightly reworded 10/10/15.)

    Thursday, October 8, 2015

    The Good are Half Bad, and Bad Half Good, so Why Kill all the Bad?

       The radio announcers noted that while some Utahns shun movies with too much sexual content, they think nothing of violence on the screen. And, one of the announcers suggested that despite this acceptance of gore and violence, it hasn't translated into a high violence rate for Utah.
       But, I see one attitude on violence that is transferring from our TVs and movie screens to what happens in Utah. In the movies, the good guy gets his guy, kills him dead and that is quite all right. And, so it is in real life, when the bad guy does something wrong and gets killed in the process, we are quite comfortable with it. Say, some one breaks into a home and gets killed by the homeowner, we are fine with that. He got what he deserved.
       It is a standard most all people accept. Perhaps some reading this think, "Well, duh, of course it's okay." Killing the bad guy is a standard treated us in the movie houses and on television time and time and time again. The bad guy gets killed and we cheer.
       And, true to our influences, when it happens in real life, we say, "Well, he got what he had coming."
       I wonder, though.  I wonder if the influence of the media blurs the lines on when it is okay for a person to be killed, and when it is okay to cheer about it. I wonder if the bad-guys-are-bad-guys portrayals leads us to forget that most people have both good and bad in them, and it would be good if many of them remained alive, where they have a chance to correct their flaws. I wonder if all the good-guy-gets-his-man-and-the-audience-cheers-about-it depictions we see on TV lead us to feel more comfortable about the death of some people. I wonder if it contributes to our cheering for death somewhat too much.
       I do wonder if the he-got-what-he-deserved attitude runs a little too deep here in Utah, same as everywhere else. I think of a scripture from the Mormon faith, of how the God-fearing people were forced to take up arms against their bad-guy brethren and they lamented sending so many to them out of this world unprepared to meet their God.
        I wish we had more of that attitude.
       Unfortunately, I don't see much of this remorse for the loss of  criminals' lives here in Utah, or anywhere else. I repeat, the bad are part good, often, and there are people with good in them who are going to their deaths. That is one of the reasons not to feel okay about their deaths. Unfortunately, the movie screens teach us that rather than sorrowing for their loss of their lives, we should cheer, for the death of a bad guy is a laudable thing.
    (Note: This blog slightly reworded 5/5/15.)

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015

    Would Ben Franklin Approve of Metal Detectors?

       Perhaps Benjamin Franklin wouldn't like my suggestion, then, that we bring to the schools some of the security measures we have in place in our airports.
       I thought about it today, wondering how best it would be done. Probably the best, would be to fence off the entire school yard, so the students would only have to pass through the metal detectors once each day.
       Now, just what is it Franklin said? "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
       Ben's not around these days, that I can call him out and argue with him. In fairness to him, though, were he alive, he might not think his quote at odds with metal detectors in the airports. He may have been thinking more along the lines of giving up freedom of speech or some such other liberty just to keep a king from getting mad and coming after you.
       I don't know. I only know it wise to take the measures to protect yourself. I think of the violence in Honduras, and have heard stories of how some people there keep themselves somewhat in their homes to protect themselves from the criminals.
       Freedoms can be lost because of the criminal element. It is wise to protect ourselves, the same.
       Back in the day, someone might have leaned over to the knight on his steed, and whispered in his ear, "Don't you realize what a lose of liberty it is, to have to wear that heavy and restrictive armor and to carry that heavy shield? In the name of liberty, shed yourself of these things!"
       And, the knight would look back at him like he was a lunatic.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    Ideas that aren't Getting Much Thought in Controlling Mass Murders

       We have a well-established way of going about fighting crime. It is, that we hire a town marshal, so to speak. We put an officer (of some type, even if it is just a private security officer) at the place of danger. It works. I've noticed there hasn't been much talk of whether the number of security officers is increasing, so it must be that it is not significantly up. Why not? It should be. Are we not even considering this well-proven line of defense?
      Another option is metal detectors. Notice how no one is hijacking planes these days? Nor do we have mass shooting in the sky, nor any gun violence at all. That's because the model of self defense the airlines are using is working. Instead of telling all their passengers to bring their own guns to defend themselves, they went the route of making sure no one at all has a gun. If something works, maybe we should do it. It is sad that it has come to this, and it will be a big inconvenience, but perhaps we should have security at our schools that almost equals that at our airports. Maybe. Someone would have to tell me why not, and I would consider it, but right now I'm thinking we should do it. 
       So, there are the two ideas on dealing with mass murders that are being overlooked, that aren't even in the discussion. Strangely, to me, they seem the best ideas of all. 
      These two ideas don't really fit into the two boxes, meaning gun control on the one side and tossing everyone a gun on the other. But, I suggest they'd work, just the same.

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    The Gun-Free Zone Works on the Airlines

       With all the talk of how gun-free zones don't work, with all the talk about how they only attract mass murderers, I give you one place where they are working:
       On the airlines.
       We aren't hearing much about skyjackings these days. We aren't hearing about mass murders in the skies. No, we aren't hearing about shootings of any kind up there in the skies.
       The difference with the no-gun zones in the skies, is that they not only make it the rule, they make it so it is pretty close to impossible to get a gun on board.
       And, if it is working in the skies, maybe we should consider bringing it to the ground, to our schools. It would be a dire thing, of course, to have metal detectors at all school entrances. And, it would only push the criminals to find other places to shoot up. We could eventually need to have metal detectors all over.
        Maybe it has come to that.
       At any rate, at least consider the schools. Whether we can make all places safer, at least consider making the schools closer to being safer havens. That is where the bulk of mass murders are occurring, so defend them.

    Sunday, October 4, 2015

    Poem Quoted by President Monson

    I met a stranger in the night,
    Whose lamp had ceased to shine;
    I paused and let him light
    His lamp from mine.
    A tempest sprang up later on,
    And shook the world about,
    And when the wind was gone,
    My lamp was out.
    But back came to me the stranger—
    His lamp was glowing fine;
    He held the precious flame
    And lighted mine.
    - Lon Woodrum

    Having a Marshal in Town is Better than Everyone Bringing a Gun

       Were there security guards at Umpqua Community College? I haven't followed the story close enough, but am guessing not. Historically, to guard against crime, we place police officers and security guards in places of danger. I do think that a better solution than the throw-everybody-a-gun approach. Having a marshal in town, so to speak, is usually enough, rather than instructing everyone to bring their own gun to the fight.
       Another thought, is to consider metal detectors. The security model at airports is proving successful, so maybe we should consider it for our schools.

    The Imperfectness of the Blogger

       Tonight, I reflect on the imperfectness of the blogger. I consider that if I try to post an opinion everyday, I'm bound to take some wrong stands.
       Mortals are mortal.
       I also reflect on how, once we have said something, we tend to believe it. We are more inclined to believe ourselves than we are anyone else, because we want to be right.
       I'm no different. It is a tendency I fight against, but that is not an easy fight.
       What are some of the things I've second-guessed myself on?
       One, GMOs. I once went downtown to do a one-man protest on something, only to find a n anti-Monsanto, anti-GMO rally in process -- and I joined it. I won't look up what my blog said, but I think I tentatively entered the GMO camp. This past week, I was reading in National Geographic, and came to a quote from a guy who helped develop GMOs. He said he and his colleagues had been so excited about the good they were doing for humanity, to increase the food supply, only to have folks jump them as doing a bad thing.
       He felt betrayed.
       As I read his comments, I wondered about GMOs. I try to not eat them when I can. They might be okay, but I often avoid them just in case they are harmful. Should I give it up, and just eat them?
       And, I think about my having said that if we had reason to believe Japan was considering surrendering, then the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong. That's true, isn't it? But, perhaps there is no reason to believe Japan was even thinking of surrendering.
       And, I think about my blog last night, of how I spoke against Do Not Resuscitate. Tonight, I did an unsuccessful search to find out what Utah law says about when a Do Not Resuscitate order takes effect. Do you have to be legally dead, or just in a life-threatening situation? I also gave thought to all the damage that can be done when they do CPR, and I wondered.
       I still think, if you can save someone, you save them, unless they are vegetables or living in too much pain. But, I wonder, at least some.

    Saturday, October 3, 2015

    Sign on the Dotted Line, and We'll Just Let You Die

       I noticed a Do Not Resuscitate wristband on my brother today as I visited him at the skilled nursing center. Hadn't noticed it before. I wonder if he knows what it means. I believe I do. If I understand it correctly, it means if he is dying, they won't try to save him. Why would anyone sign off on that, if life still had value for them? And, knowing it takes away life saving options, why would a hospital even suggest to him that he be DNR? Yes, I already knew they had him as DNR. They didn't assign him to hospice, but they did assign him to DNR. But, seeing that wristband brought it all home to me, and scared me.
       I remember when my own heart was having trouble, and they prescribed nitride or some such, and told me, if I felt I was in trouble, to take it and go to the emergency. I'm thinking that with him being DNR, he cannot even get nitride (or whatever it is) and I wonder what would happen if we took him to the emergency. Would they take him through the doors, but and give him some care, but stop short of anything that would revitalize him -- because that would be against the law?
      A couple weeks ago, I had a nurse explain to me that, day-to-day, they will continue to do whatever they can to make him better, and give him all the help and medicine that might help. But, if his heart fails and suddenly he is in the act of dying, they will not resuscitate him, nor give him any medicine that would resuscitate him or prevent his sudden death.
       In other words, just let life take its course -- and, in this case, that means, just let death take its course. 
       We, as a society, should be careful who we are placing in that basket. There might be some for whom death is the better option, but let's be careful that we don't push someone in that we shouldn't.
       Why would a hospital -- a place you go to be saved from death -- even make that an option? Maybe if the person is a vegetable, or living in pain, it makes sense, but if the person is living a life with value, why? Why do we say, "Sign on the dotted line, and we'll just let you die"?
       My brother is not a vegetable. He is not living in pain. His life has value. He wants to live. Why did they pitch it to him, that if he was dying, they might have to break his ribs to resuscitate him, and he would die anyway? You really don't know if he will die until the moment is there and you answer the call with your best treatment.
       And, why didn't they warn him that along with no CPR, they also would not offer any medicine that might revitalize him? I was in the room when the pitch was made to fmily members, and , no, that wasn't mentioned.
      No, he doesn't want his ribs broken, but if you are dying, having a few ribs broken to save your life doesn't seem to be such a bad option. Why sell the danger of broken ribs as a reason to go to death?
       I do think what is going on is a grave wrong. Life is precious. My brother and others should not be deprived of live-saving measures. I read in Utah law about the "Life with Dignity Order." I notice the language often used when Do Not Resuscitate and a sister program, hospice, are discussed. I consider how the language is all about how we want to provide comfort and honor and dignity.
       Comfort and honor and dignity? Such a gentle spin on death. 
       These Life with Dignity Orders might be a good thing for some. They might be helpful, for those who don't want to live. But, there is a wicked side, as well. And, yes, I wonder what lobbyists were behind these laws when, ad just why it is that the medical industry wanted them in place.
       I wonder why we would pass a law to just let someone die -- someone whose life still has value. And, why, when the doctor explains DNR to them, it should it be pitched as the better option. Why not just say, "If you are in the act of dying, do you want us to try to save you, or would you rather just die? We might have to break a few ribs, but it might mean we're able to save you."
       You put it that way, and more people are going to choose life.

    Thursday, October 1, 2015

    Netanyahu Gave Wonderful Speech at the UN

       No time to detail it, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a wonderful speech at the UN today.

    Take the Precautions at Schools that We take at Airports

      Some months ago, a friend suggested a solution to gun shootings. Now, with the Umpqua Community College shooting, I wonder but what this would have stopped the shooter, Chris Harper.
      Place metal detectors at the entrances of all schools. Make security as tight at schools as it is at airports. As I thought on this this evening, I considered how few airplane hijackings we have had in recent years. Have we had any, at all? And, we don't have mass shootings in the sky. Nobody stands up on an airplane, turns around, and guns down all the passengers.
       Our security measures are working.
       It is sad that it has come to this. It is sad that schools should have to take such measures. It is an inconvenience students would face each day. And, in the long run, it might only force the shooters to different venues -- grocery stores, sporting events and such. Then, those sites too would be forced to take this measure.
       But, if we are to be safe, if we are to protect ourselves against these shooters, we must do the things that work. The security at airports has proven successful. It is a dire measure that it should be required at all public venues.
       But, we must do what is required to protect ourselves.