Thursday, July 30, 2009
Thank you very, very much for standing against Obama's proposed health care plan. I'm currently studying for my MD/PhD, and I shudder to think about the changes such a plan would bring to the medical field.
In theory socialized medicine is wrong, and in practice socialized medicine is wrong. The Constitution clearly outlines those areas the federal government can regulate, and health care is most definitely not listed. Seeing the results of other countries' experiments with socialized medicine confirms that the intrusion of the federal government into the clinic distorts the relationship between the physician and the patient. Patients are increasingly seen as economic investments belonging to the state, not irreplaceable souls whose worth cannot be measured.
Clearly, then, socialized medicine not only distorts the relationship between patients and physicians, but also patients and the state, because the state mandates who can and who cannot receive care. Citizens are not free agents able to choose the health care option that best fits them, but wards of the state, forced to take what the federal government allots to them.
Competition fosters options, and monopolies stifle creativity. Today's American health care system is not perfect, but it is also not in a crisis. No one is turned away from the emergency room, 73% of Americans are satisfied with their health care insurance, and innovative people throughout our great country are designing implementing alternatives to high-priced insurance or government-mandated care.
This simply is not an either-or issue, with only two choices -- our current semi-socialized system or a comprehensive socialized system -- in view. Health care should be modulated by the free market, allowing people with ideas to provide alternatives and be rewarded if they benefit patients. When health care is on the free market, there's rapid feedback on ideas. If a great idea satisfies patients, improves their treatment, and thereby makes money, the clinic employing it benefits. If a poor idea does not meet patients' needs and does not improve their treatment, losing money, the clinic employing it will change its approach. When the federal government imposes its own compulsory system of reimbursement on patients, physicians, and clinics, this automatic adjustment does not take place. Failing ideas may be reimbursed by socialized care for long periods, simply because every change must be enacted through legislation. Meanwhile, patients lose, physicians lose, clinics lose, and the government loses! At the same time, there will be reluctance to innovate because of the red tape involved in implementing new ideas. Sitting on the status quo in any field is boring, but in medicine it can be deadly, since research improves our understanding of medicine every day. Physicians must have the freedom to implement new ideas, see how they perform, and rapidly make changes to improve the treatment and health of their patients.
Medicare is our first taste of socialized medicine, and yet is failing in its understanding of patients' needs, in its cost-effectiveness, and in the daily details. This program specializes more in what it doesn't provide than in what it does provide. Patients cannot seek out any physician they choose, but are confined to a limited pool of health-providers. Medicare is completely out-of-touch with the flow of medical research toward personalized medicine which recognizes the uniqueness of each patient. Instead, the unofficial theme of Medicare is not "have it your way," but "have it our way." Even as the third largest federal expenditure, Medicare has found it expedient to pass along significant portions of its cost to the private sector. Thus, it not only balloons out of proportion to its efficacy, but hampers its competitor's ability to serve their clients. Finally, in the daily details, we can see Medicare has slowed the process of idea-implementation when it comes to communicating with physicians. The telephone and the Internet have been around for several years now, yet Medicare does not reimburse patient communication using either one. Is it any surprise that these tools are not in use in clinics for direct patient-physician communication? Thus, Medicare shows the failings of the federal government's dabblings in health care, and contraindicates any further attempts.
Medicare has given us a taste of socialized medicine on our own soil, and the taste is bitter. If Obama is concerned about saving money, let him disband our first experiment with socialized medicine -- Medicare -- and let the private sector perform its constitutionally-protected services. Socialized medicine is not right for America, now or ever.
Thank you for representing me in this fight against Obama's proposed health care plan!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thank you for representing me in the U.S. Senate. And thank you for standing firmly against Obama's proposed healthcare plan!
I am currently studying for my MD/PhD, and naturally this legislation has captured my attention. On the one hand, I'm excited to enter the medical field, where I can see my work directly improving people's lives. At the same time, I am seriously concerned about the changes that this field would undergo should Obama's proposed healthcare plan be enacted.
Every day of every year physicians engage with patients in life-and-death decisions. They must collect as much information as possible, then use this to make prudent choices. Anything that complicates this process or divides their loyalty to their patient means loss-of-time, and potentially loss-of-life.
Obama's healthcare plan would do just this. If this plan becomes law, a physician must not only think of what s/he thinks is medically in the best interest for the patient's health, s/he must also consider what is in the best interest of the government's budget. People are subsequently reduced to economic products, not as beings endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.
We can see the impact such divided loyalties are having in countries that have adopted socialized medicine. For example, in Great Britain where the employees of the National Health Service comprise the third largest workforce in the world, rationing is a painful reality, and the government strictly mandates who will and who will not receive specific treatments. Smokers are not to be treated for heart disease, and the overweight are denied knee or hip replacements. The NHS' motto may be "your health, your choices," but there are no alternatives to the socialized medical system. The citizens must shrug -- or immigrate.
Ironically in many ways, such a system does not save money, because in a monopoly there is no incentive to cut prices or provide a better service. We can see the first tastes of such a system in our own semi-socialized system, where Medicare imposes an inflexible framework on physicians and patients, and is the third most expensive federal program, outspent only by Social Security and national defense. Our three health insurance programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) -- account for 20% of the 2008 federal budget. If Obama is concerned about saving money, he can do so by decreasing the $599 billion spent on these programs last year. He does not need an additional unconstitutional, unreviewed, unsubstantiated program on which to practice.
Gathering the information, looking at the short- and the long-term implications, socialized medicine is not the answer for our country. Thank you very, very much for standing against Obama's proposed healthcare plan.
May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you as you follow Him!
"It's not just Obama's original birth certificate at issue. WND has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, his passport, his medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records." (Corsi, Jerome. "Unveiled! Hawaii's 1961 long-form birth certificates: Real documents include name of doctor, hospital." WorldNetDaily 28 July 2009. 29 July 2009 <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105347>.
Monday, July 27, 2009
"Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.'" (Genesis 9:1)
So God's command was for people to spread out and settle the whole earth. And what did they do?
"Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, 'Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly.' They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.' But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, 'If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.' (Genesis 11:1-7).
They decided they had a better plan. They could accomplish more when they were united, so they banded together. Their purpose was diametrically opposed to what God had told them. He said "Spread out!" They said "Let's stick tight!" They started a massive building project whose purpose was completely humanistic: let's do this so "we may make a name for ourselves." We've got some good ol' secular humanists here!
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Hmmm... sounds like the human heart hasn't changed all that much over the years!
Why did God tell Noah's descendants to spread out? I don't know. But here's some ideas. Maybe He wanted the people to see the varied beauty of the world He'd created, beautiful even after a cataclysmic flood. Maybe He didn't want sin to be able to pass so rapidly through a concentrated society, like an infectious disease. Maybe He didn't want a centralized power structure, but a diffuse power structure.
Think about it. If the power over the whole earth was concentrated in the hands of one man or one ruling class, think of the temptation and power to abuse that he would have! Sure, there would be the greatest possibility for good, but at the same time, there would also be the greatest possibility for evil. Think of how Satan would attack and cajole him! Because if Satan could guide or coerce this man's decisions, he would rule the earth! And even aside from Satan's direct attacks, the man's own "bentness" would be enough to lead him into sin. Diffuse power, baby. That's the way to go! Divided powers, checks and balances!
Whatever His reason or reasons, God made it clear that he wanted people to spread out, not conglomerate.
Excited about a one-world government? Been there, done that. As far as it depends on you and me, let's not do it again.
What does Scripture say?
What do you believe?
What do most Christians believe?
If a Christian thought the earth belonged to God, and Satan was trying to be a claim-jumper, how would that affect their ideas about the "culture war"?
If a Christian thought the earth belonged to Satan, how would that affect their ideas about the "culture war"?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
"This story [of the battle] shall the good man teach his son, And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by From this day to the ending of the world But we in it shall be remembered We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition."
William Shakespeare, "Henry V" Act IV, Scene IIIHere's a story worth reading. Look for the article about Sam Bird.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
So what did you say?
New York? The home of the stock exchange? Illinois, the setting for the gem that is Chicago? California, the west-coast wonder? Nope. Only if you guessed the lonestarstate, you'd be right. (I wonder why that fact hasn't been advertised!) Yessiree, Texas has led the herd for two years running. So for those of us who don't live where the song of a yellow rose is sung, let's get on the bandwagon. Low taxes? Less G-man regulation from a part-time legislature that meets only every other year? Yippee-yi-yay!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"President Barack Obama announced on July 8 that he will nominate Francis S. Collins to lead the National Institutes of Health. The nomination comes more than eight months after former NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni stepped down...
"Initial reaction to the nomination is positive, although some observers note that Collins' well-known religious beliefs might make some uneasy. His views on being a scientist and a practicing Christian were the topic of a high-profile 2006 book.
"'He's going to have to manage his religious positions carefully,' Zerhouni notes. As a public servant, Collins' role must become more of a convener for debating issues such as religion and science but not an advocate for any one group, Zerhouni says.
"According to American Chemical Society President Thomas H. Lane, 'Collins, a chemist, has made tremendous contributions to the advancement of science.' He adds, 'NIH will be well served to have a scientist of such caliber play a key leadership role in guiding the agency in the years ahead.'
"'Collins brings impeccable credentials and experience to the position,' underscored Biotechnology Industry Organization President and CEO Jim Greenwood in a statement. 'His vast experience with government agencies combined with his unparalleled scientific expertise make Dr. Collins an outstanding advocate for the NIH.'
"Collins now faces conformation by the Senate, a process that Zerhouni and others hope will go quickly.
"'This is an agency that cannot stay without permanent leadership for too long,' Zerhouni says. 'It is a multiplicity of institutes, and it needs strong central leadership to coordinate all of that.'"
What do you think about all this?
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
This is shown in the first book of the Bible, in the Gospels, the last book of the Bible, and many, many places in-between!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. (Genesis 1:1 and 1:31)
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:9-11)
Knowing from Genesis 1 that God was actively involved in the creation process (shaping a man from the earth, making him in His own image, etc.), and knowing from Revelation 4 that everything was created by Jesus' will, how is theistic evolution tenable?
Thursday, July 02, 2009
I had read on World Net Daily (WND) about the recent, public rape of a 5-yr.-old boy by his homosexual adoptive "dad" and his offering the little boy to another homosexual man. The "dad" had previously bragged about being a "perv dad for fun," and broadcasted the rape through the Internet. WND had a link to a previous article about a 13-yr.-old boy who had been raped and murdered at the hands of two homosexual men years ago. Seeing this, and realizing how little media attention these two boys have had, I'm see the underbelly of a country whose overwhelmingly postChristian state is becoming more and more debased.
Since I've been on this campus, I've met so many people, Christian and non-Christian, who have been avid apologists for homosexuals. It's like people are losing the ability to recognize sin, destruction, and perversion. I've got to ask myself, is it mercy to let a person self-destruct? Is it mercy to allow a person to commit acts that merit a millstone? And as these two cases demonstrate anecdotally and others have demonstrated with more rigorous statistics, as homosexuality between "consensual adults" thrives, pederasty logically follows. Yet many in the national news media supressed the homosexual link in the recent rape case. What can stop the moral debasement of a country?
I was thinking about 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
That's when I saw what I'd been missing. This particular call to repentance is to God's people, the ones who take His name. It's a call to the church -- Christians -- to turn from evil and turn to God. Before today, I'd thought that this call in this verse was to everyone. But the truth is, God is speaking to the church here. We are to repent. As others have said, it's no surprise that darkness is dark. What is a surprise is when what should be light is darkness.
People, let's repent!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
A Biblical Christian is not a progressive, because he believes in an unchanging Truth and source of truth: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
"Conservatives" believe that truth is unchanging, that we should search for truth, and once we've found it, hold on to it. Truth is unchanging, and external. History is extremely valuable because it shows a record of the search for truth, and we can learn from what others have found and rejected. The elderly are a great resource, because they have had so many more years to search for truth, and the truth they've found is as valuable to us today as when they first found it.
Biblical Christianity is rooted in history: just as the phrase "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" shows! Biblical Christians believe that truth is to be conserved, but they are more than just "conservative," just as they are more than just "evangelical." Biblical Christianity is a comprehensive worldview, which speaks to every area of life, which is something that mere political conservatism or theological evangelicalism does not. And of course the Biblical Christian goes even further then just relying on their own minds to recognize truth. We know that God has revealed Truth to us in Jesus, and that He gives us the Spirit to guide us into all truth!
I think some of the popular confusion over the terms "progressive" and "conservative" comes when conservatives are thought of as living in the past. The cariacture would be of a progressive driving a Mini Cooper while the conservative bounces around in an Amish buggy. But this is absurd. If you look at chemistry for a minute, I'll show you what I mean. Does each new chemist need to reinvent the Periodic Table? Does each chemist have his own version of the Periodic Table? No, and no, because the elements (or a number of them, anyway) have been discovered, and each of us lives in a world that shares the same elements. The universal truth here is that we share reality, and some descriptions of that reality are valid, and some are invalid. The elements have fixed characteristics, and understanding what others have discovered about the elements is the first step toward making your own new discoveries.
So let us be clear: in basic science, it's not the elements that are changing; it's our understanding of them. Reality is fixed. Our understanding and descriptions are changing. When you next hear that "in science, everything's always changing," bear this in mind.
The fun comes once you've discovered some truth, and then get to apply it to new situations. An example in chemistry is that you can take the "old" elements, and assemble them into new compounds. The conservative realizes that the elements aren't going to change (well, says the Biblical Christian, at least not until God brings the meltdown), and that's extremely comforting. You don't have to worry that a compound composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen one day is going to be composed of silicon, helium, and sulfur the next! You don't have your set of elements that are completely different from your labmate's, so when you talk about compounds, you're talking about a shared reality. If you draw methane with one carbon and five hydrogens, your labmate doesn't sigh and say "Only in your world" (unless he's a wiseacre). He points out that you've made a mistake, and you thank him for it (unless you're a wilting violet). You have shared reality. Some descriptions are valid, and some are invalid. Thinking that you can invent your own box of molymods and make your own elements can be exhilirating -- until you discover your self-deception. You can start with past chemists' discoveries and analyses to get something of a handhold on the field, then plan your own work. New compounds can be formed, but the things that remain constant from creation to heatdeath are the foundation the rock you're climbing stands on. There's so many possible combinations of elements and methods to combine them that no one is in fear of exhausting the possibilities of new synthetic marvels. Thus, conservatism offers a link with the past, and a basis for hope for the future.
Conservatism offers a way to build on what others have discovered, instead of feeling the crushing burden of inventing your own reality. Beyond just the chemistry of life, once you have truth, you can begin to apply it -- that's the fun of it! You don't have to wander through life in the dark with your fingers groping forward, looking for your own person set of truth. You're not a golden-bellied god with enormous earlobes, sitting in the lotus position creating truth from scratch. You're a goldpanner, sifting the sands ot time with a worldview. You have a few thousand years' worth of material to filter, and you can look for the good stuff while striking out on uncharted territory to apply the truth you've discovered to old and new situations.
Given this situation, why would anyone believe in progressivism? There's something attractive in being one's one master, in feeling that everything is fluid, and that you can shape your own reality. Anyone who as a child thought that shutting one's eyes prevented anyone else from seeing them has experienced and probably enjoyed this delusion -- for a time. But convincing oneself of a falsehood does not make the falsehood true. I would say that there are idealists and opportunists who are progressives. The idealists truly believe, while the opportunists see how malleable a man is when he has no foundation. Think of the inheritance tax, and the anger many progressives feel toward a situation where a man can leave an inheritance to his children. In the same way, many progressives are angry at a situation where a man can teach what he sees as truth to his children. If the children were set loose in the world with no guide and no mentor, it would take them years to learn the truth that previous generations have discovered. They would probably never catch up. Without knowing any of the truth uncovered or revealed during history, these children foundationless -- and extremely gullible. And extremely manipulatable. For just as truth remains truth, unchanged by time, falsehood remains falsehood, unchanged by time. While truth can be rediscovered after being neglected for a time, falsehood can be rediscovered after being neglected for a time. There's a reason why a declared goal of Marxism-Leninism (the fountainhead of "progressivism" is to disconnect a people from its history. Truly, which false idea of today is really "new"? Free love? Abortion? Euthanasia? Socialism? Been there, done that. They were wrong when they were first introduced, and they are wrong now. "Progressivism" is truly "Regressivism," because it simply reawakens past falsehoods and tries to pass them off as novel. The idea of our own individual goddishness was wrong when Satan's forked tongue tickled Eve's ear with "You will be like God!" and it is still wrong today. How do those sayings go? "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." Oh yeah, and "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it" which could also be stated as "Those who study history believing that nothing those fuddy-duddies called truth is still truth today are doomed to repeat it."
 Alexander Hamilton
 George Santayana