What Is Wrong With the GOP?

These days the  Grand Old Party seems to have a steady stream of  chest-thumping know-it-alls.

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GOP Senate Candidate Somehow Plans To Ban All Middle Eastern People From U.S.
—apple.news

Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate,  Carlos Beruff, running to fill Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat from Florida, is calling for a ban on travel that goes even further than businessman Donald Trump’s proposal to block all Muslims from entering the United States.

Beruff said Monday that all people from the Middle East should be blocked from entering the country.  He said the ban would apply to “pretty much anybody that’s got a terrorist organization in it, which is pretty much all the Middle East.”   — Apple News

My question: What is Mr. Beruff planning to do about these USA based organizations designated as Terrorist?  People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Animal Liberation Front
Alpha 66 and Omega 7
Army of God
Aryan Nations
Black Liberation Army
The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
Earth Liberation Front
Jewish Defense League
Ku Klux Klan
May 19th Communist Organization
The Order
Phineas Priesthood
Symbionese Liberation Army
United Freedom Front
Weathermen

Dennis Hastert Is A Pedophile

Tom Delay and 40 others write letter to court saying Hastert gets ‘integrity and values’ from God
 
By Walter Einenkel  
Thursday Apr 28, 2016 · 1:23 PM EDT

Former Republican Secretary of State Dennis Hastert is a pedophile. He molested young boys. He’s a serial rapist of children. Last week, former Republican House Majority leader Tom DeLay and 41 other colleagues wrote, signed and sent a letter that was presented by Hastert’s defense in the hopes of receiving leniency in Dennis Hastert’s sentencing. Lowlights from this letter care of Politico and USA Today:

DeLay, a Texas Republican, recalled in his letter that Hastert started a Wednesday Bible study that the two men took part in.

“So I know his heart and have seen it up close and personal,” DeLay wrote. “We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few. He is a good man that loves the lord. He gets his integrity and values from Him. He doesn’t deserve what he is going through. I ask that you consider the man that is before you and give him leniency where you can.”

Sounds like your Bible class is about a God that is okay with molesting boys. If you “know his heart” then you know he’s full of bullshit. Hastert asked the justice system to send people who have done what he has done away for the rest of their lives—regardless of what religious book group they join while in prison.

“We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few. He is a good man that loves the lord. He gets his integrity and values from Him. He doesn’t deserve what he is going through. I ask that you consider the man that is before you and give him leniency where you can,” it concludes.

Once again, I can only surmise that the “Him” you are referring to is “God.” Dennis Hastert, by Tom Delay’s estimation, shares values and integrity from God—and those values are being a serial rapist.

Dick Van Dyke Endorses Bernie Sanders

Hollywood icon Dick Van Dyke wants America to be led by the man he believes has some age-old wisdom America needs to hear:

“In Bernie Sanders I see a man saying that the emperor has no clothes, while everyone around him insists they see clothes,” Van Dyke said in a recorded video. “Whether or not he makes it to the White House, I hope and pray that everyone hears the alarm he is sounding now, it may be the last voice we ever hear.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0JRXFwh_rA

And:

Saturday afternoon for the Nevada Democratic caucuses and before serenading Matthews with a tune from the famous 1964 film, he touted his support for “New Deal Democrat” Bernie Sanders. Right from the beginning of the segment, the star-struck Matthews exclaimed “my God” and how he “thought I would never meet you, sir” before joking about his Sanders support: “Mr. Van Dyke, what made you come out — come out, not come out the other way, but come out so much for Bernie Sanders?”

NewsBusters: Dick Van Dyke Serenades Chris Matthews, Touts Support for ‘New Deal Democrat’ Bernie Sanders    —   http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curti…

First, Do No Harm

On January 7, 2016, I arrived at my doctor’s office in Mount Dora, FL, for a routine appointment.  The receptionist informed me that my regular doctor, Gloria Hernandez, was out on maternity leave; another doctor would see me.

When asked how I was feeling, I explained to the doctor that I was concerned about a pattern of higher-than-usual blood sugars.  I am a diabetic. 

She agreed with my concern and prescribed Glimepiride to help lower my blood sugar.   I took the prescription to my usual drugstore, Walgreens pharmacy in Mount Dora, and had it filled.

At that time I had no way of knowing that Glimepiride is the generic name for Amaryl, an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels, but the doctor practicing medicine in that office, should have known.

Moreover, had she looked at my patient file, containing my list of allergies, she would have been aware not to prescribe Glimepiride.   I am allergic to all sulfa drugs; this fact has been known and documented for years.

The Walgreens pharmacist, a licensed, medical professional should also have known.  The patient file at Walgreens has all my allergies listed; their computer system should have flagged the prescription, stopping the pharmacist from dispensing the drug to me.  Did the pharmacist even look at my file?   I do not know. 

Yet, how could every safety feature of the Walgreens’ system have failed as badly as it did?    Or maybe, the system did not fail at all; it was the fault of the humans, who did not use the system properly.

My reactions to the drug, Glimepiride, were not immediately apparent; each day, however, the allergic reactions intensified.  By the time I realized I was in trouble and needed immediate medical attention, I was already aboard the Holland America ship, Veendam, on a vacation cruise. 

At first the ship’s medical staff suspected my symptoms of stomach cramps and copious diarrhea as indications of some sort of infectious disease.   Worried I would contaminate their other passengers, they hurriedly placed me in isolation / observation.   It was not until the staff could certify I was free of infectious disease, that they allowed me out of isolation.   By then I had missed out on excursions ashore — in particular, visiting Honduras, and the ancient Mayan ruins of Mexico, which were my main reasons for taking this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

During my stay in isolation, the medical staff aboard ship was unable to determine exactly what caused my symptoms.  However, once they ruled out infection, my traveling companions and I turned our attention to allergies.

Being the newest addition to my medications list, Glimepiride immediately became our number-one suspect. By now, my symptoms included headaches, fatigue, confusion and a bright red rash everywhere. Moreover, after four days of constant diarrhea, I was dehydrated and shaky. 

I stopped taking Glimepiride.  The next morning my symptoms started fading; by the time we disembarked at our home port, I was recovering. 

Once home I researched Glimepiride on the Internet. To my horror, I discovered that the brand name of Glimepiride was Amaryl!

This Glimepiride / Amaryl connection left me feeling betrayed and angry.   Immediately, I spoke to lawyers, but those conversations didn’t help.   While what happened is clearly medical malpractice, lawyers were not interested in handling the case.   Why?   There are two reasons: I didn’t die or suffer permanent disability.   In other words I did not suffer enough loss to make it worth their while.

This is when I realized just how succinct lawyers could be when a potential case fails to offer a substantial lucrative return.  The lawyers were polite and wished me the best of luck.  One even suggested small claims court, and I will probably check out that option.

One interesting conversation with a local lawyer revealed that he was aware of the “goings on in that medical practice.”   I was shocked!   I had not revealed the identity of the doctor in question, nevertheless, this local attorney was able to identify her name and location because he had already heard similar complaints from others in the area.   As interesting as the case was, however, it did not offer a large enough financial incentive for him to get involved.

I believe life’s experiences are lessons to be learned and shared.  Since I am also an idealist, believing the pen is mightier than the sword, I am unabashedly recording this very frightening experience and intend to share it with as many people as I can.

Firstly, the most important lesson of all:  We all need to be much more proactive than we are when it comes to our roles as patients.   Sure, we should trust our doctors, but only just so far.  We need to checkout doctors’ recommendations and prescriptions for ourselves; ask questions and demand explanations.

Secondly, if you have allergies, always check to make sure that the drug prescribed is not one to which you are allergic, being sold under a different name, as it was in my case.  In addition, make sure your doctor checks your list of allergies on file before he/she writes a prescription.  Remind your pharmacist to check your file’s allergy list, too.  Doctors and pharmacists may hate you for being pushy, but if being proactive saves you from experiencing a diarrhea marathon, or worse, it is well worth the effort.

If any medical professional is too busy and/or unwilling to listen to your questions, or concerns, find someone else.  Remember, if anything goes wrong, you’ll probably have little or no legal recourse unless you are permanently injured, impaired or dead.  But isn’t the point of medical care to prevent those horrible alternatives in the first place?

Some may consider the following cynical, yet it reflects the prevalent, materialistic nature of our contemporary society — No justice unless the payoff is big enough. 

I wish it weren’t true, but it is the truth as I’ve experienced it.  For me, it is also true that no pay off, no matter how huge, could ever erase the memory of that intensely violent and dangerous allergic reaction.  I will never forget the fear, and how helpless I felt.

In retrospect, it was, however, in many ways a defining moment, one forcing me to confront just how mortal and fragile we humans are.  I’d like to think I am stronger and wiser than I was before this all happened, unfortunately, that catharsis has not yet taken happened.  I am still angry and not yet in a forgiving mood.

One thing I do know for sure: I will no longer blindly trust doctors or pharmacists; they are only human, and humans are fallible.

Postscript:

Now, I am getting really angry.  Clearly, it is difficult to convince the Walgreens computer system that it is not prudent for me to take Glimepiride.  This weekend, I’ve received four phones calls reminding me to re-fill the prescription immediately.   I continue getting these calls although I’ve written to Walgreens, and I’ve spoken with them on the  telephone.

Lastly, I’ve just this minute (3.12.16 @ 5.20PM) received another robocall, this time from my insurance company, Freedom Health, reminding me to refill Glimepiride, and to emphasize the importance of taking my medication exactly as prescribed by my doctor. 

Honestly now, do I need to be scolded or reminded by non-human entities?

In any case, I will speak with Freedom Health customer Service once again.  Obviously, the first time I called they didn’t quite understand that I should never again take Glimepiride.  NO-WAY; NO-HOW! 

But, now they are closed for the weekend…

 

 

 

 

“Why don’t you pay our bill?”

This evening my niece, her husband and I went out to dinner at our favorite barbecue place.  The food was incredible as always.  At dinner, we caught up on news, gossip, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

There was a couple seated at the table next to us, and in a moment of conviviality, our eyes met; we smiled at each other and exchanged a few pleasant words.

As a joke my niece asked the man, “Why don’t you pay our bill?”

We all laughed.

Moments later, the couple left the restaurant.  A few minutes after that, we asked for our bill, gathered our things and walked to the front of the restaurant to pay the cashier.

It was then we received the incredible news.  Our bill had already been paid, complements of the young couple seated near us.

For a moment we just stared at each other, amazed that complete strangers would have paid our bill.  During the short ride home we wondered why?

There is, of course, no answer to that question, because we would probably never again meet the only persons who could answer it.

Without a doubt, we were deeply touched by the anonymous generosity of that young man and woman.  We agreed that we would pass that act of kindness forward.

Finally, in an effort to paint a complete and accurate picture of our benefactors, let me include one detail;  they are African-American.

Does the color of their skin matter to the story?  Perhaps it does, and most likely it does not.

I suspect that in the not too distant future that small detail would be totally unimportant to the story, but that day is not now.  Understanding that I feel a little sad for today, but greatly hopeful for our tomorrows.

The Manchurian Candidate Revisited

Kareem Abdul-Jabar

The Manchurian Candidate (1962 film) – Wikipedia, the free …

https://en.wikipedia.org/…/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(1962…
Wikipedia

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva and James Gregory. Its screenplay, by George Axelrod, is based on the 1959 novel by Richard Condon.

If you have not seen this film, you might not fully understand the horror   Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is warning us about.

 

“…thoughts and prayers”

I know they are well-meaning, and while I’ve also indulged in such sentiments, I am now sick and tired of hearing that “thoughts and prayers” are being sent to the victims of mass shootings.  If we all cared as much as we say we do, this “problem” would never have evolved into the vicious, infectious epidemic of horror that it is.  

People, the days of our calendars overflow with blood.  When do we say enough is enough and really mean it?  What are we waiting for? Why are we waiting? The time to act is way past due; this American disease engendered by ignorance and blood lust must be eradicated NOW!