It’s time for separation of politics and medicine

Meme about narccicism posting practices on facebook

Reading Facebook isn’t the same as reading the New York Times

The first amendment to the Constitution dictates that politics in America stay out of the church. Maybe it’s time for a 28th amendment for politicians to stay out of medicine.

Refresher:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Lately, we’ve had politicians practicing medicine without a license, which is illegal by the way, as is practicing law without a license. The problem may stem from the fact that to practice politics in this country, there is no competency test, no requirements other than residency, age and sometimes to be free of a criminal conviction. Need proof that anyone can get elected, look at Dayton’s Mayor or 45.

In fact, we’ve almost created a catch 22 system for politicians in this country. Catch 22 refresher:

A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.  The term was coined by Joseph Heller, who used it in his 1961 novel Catch-22.

An example would be: “How am I supposed to gain experience [to be hired for a job] if I’m constantly turned down for not having any?”

Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over because to fight the rule is to accept it. Another example is a situation in which someone is in need of something that can only be had by not being in need of it. (A bank will never issue someone a loan if they need the money.) One connotation of the term is that the creators of the “catch-22” situation have created arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own abuse of power.

Source: Catch-22 (logic) – Wikipedia

Final 3 words are relevant here: “Abuse of power.” Which is often what we have when politicians try to play doctor for the television cameras. Until the last year, most of this posturing circled squarely around one medical procedure, abortion, or as Republicans would re-phrase it, “the death penalty for the unborn.” Note, while most of them are very anti-abortion, most of them have no problem with the death penalty, as long as it is handed out inequitably to poor people and minorities. And, God forbid, we talk about contraception to teenagers, because that would also be morally wrong. Don’t talk about sex with children because, well, they might start doing it after they hear about it.

The new big thing for politicians to talk about is actually an old thing, “the war on drugs”- specifically the “opioid epidemic.” First, lets be clear, we had the “war on poverty” and it got worse, then we had the “war on drugs” and it got worse. We went to war in the Middle East and it got worse, when people have that bumper sticker “War is not the answer”- they are speaking the truth.

And by the way, war, when entered into correctly in this country, is an act of congress- a thing politicians do (to others). War is the last resort, it is a tool for those who failed at statesmanship, which, despite the non-gender neutral insertion of man in the middle, is the art of the deal (so sorry, I had to stick that in) to broker a mutually acceptable peaceful resolution to a perceived inequity.

That last word, “inequity” is important, since the next civil war, the next uprising, or the next collapse of our country- will be centered around that very concept- the un-equal sharing of the collective wealth of this nation. And why do our politicians fail to see the coming storm? Because our election system isn’t rigged by the Russians, it’s rigged by the wealthy who discovered with subtle manipulation over time they can game the system to elect puppets, or as I like to call them, “the best politicians money can buy.”

Onto what our bought politicians are doing by meddling in medicine without a license.

It’s big news when a local “leader” comes up with his baseball solution to heroin overdoses- a three strike rule, where on your third OD, no Narcan. Local Sheriff Chestpuffer decides to go one step further- his deputies won’t carry Narcan. Sidenote to idiot sheriff, we have an average of 2 children a week treated for coming into contact with heroin- and some have died, so now, your deputies without Narcan will be performing abortions on actual children instead of future children, oh, and btw, we also have officers of the law who need to be revived with Narcan after contact with junkies- so it’s OK for them to die while performing their job in your department.

Note, I’m not linking to either of these idiots, they don’t deserve the link juice, just take my word for it. It’s out there, and you know how to google. Besides by the time I publish this, there will undoubtedly be copycat morons in communities across our great nation. Guaranteed. Ohio is not the only incubator of elected idiots.

Next up comes local laws concerning the banning of medical pot dispensaries in our state, long before they are even done writing the rules for how these facilities will be licensed and monitored. We used to call this NIMBY- not in my back yard, and it applied to other necessary evils of society, junkyards, landfills, toxic fume spewing factories and power plants, prisons, you name it. Hell, life would be so much better if I didn’t have to have a bathroom in my house where my roommate stinks up the place- but, well, I poop too, and so do you. The true meaning of your shit doesn’t stink as applied to politics is NIMBY- a failure to understand that collectively, we have to have bathrooms and landfills (but public bathrooms, that the homeless can use…. no, we don’t need those- or park benches they can lie down on…. the list goes on).

Medical pot is not recreational pot. Sort of like Morphine isn’t the same as Heroin, well, wait, it really is, except one is administered by professionals and the other is amateur hour. There are people who could benefit from medical pot, including my mother. She’s an 89 year old woman with dementia. She’s lost 20 pounds since my father died, has problems sleeping (I had to ween her off ambien, after the episode where she walked across the street in her nightdress at midnight, to pound on my door to demand I give it to her- 4 hours after I’d given it to her.) She gets agitated, she forgets to eat, she has difficulty sleeping- the only danger in medical pot/edibles- is she runs out of ice cream/chocolate/or Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Ginger Snaps (try them, they are the bomb). While medical pot would, and may have helped her  right now, thanks to our political geniuses playing doctor, it won’t be available legally until 2018. Mom would say thanks, but, well, she’s not really with us fully these days.

What makes a local council person an expert in medical treatment of dementia with medical marijuana? Not a damn thing. In fact, when have politicians actually come up with any law that provides us for better health care? (I’m leaving this one open- trust me, there isn’t one that everyone will agree on). From abortion, vaccinations, to what goes in our food, to mental health care, to death panels and assisted suicide, our entire premise of enacting laws to cover health care, by people who have no credible expertise on any of the above, is a prescription for malpractice.

And what is the problem with us? In order to run for office in our current political client, you probably would receive the following medical diagnosis:

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Source: Narcissistic personality disorder – Mayo Clinic

Hell, I’ve been told I have it- and the nerve of me, writing this blog about all of this, what are MY qualifications? I’ve got a degree in marketing.

At some point, and I’m seriously afraid of this, we may need to turn to the military for a solution. No, not shooting people, but, adapting a standardized test for job qualifications. The military uses their ASVAB test-

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple choice test, administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command, used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces.

Source: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery – Wikipedia

Imagine all politicians having to pass a test, including a basic understanding of actual civics, to be taken before running for office? There are members of the State Legislature that recently had to be schooled on the laws they created about school busing for charters and who pays for it. Sad, but true.

And, before you wonder what this veteran’s ASVAB score was, the lowest was a 113 in clerical, the GT was 128, and I think they give you 30 for just knowing how to use a pencil and fill in the dots. You needed a 32 to be a truck driver, 25 to be an 11B (infantry, bullet-stopper) when I took it in prosperous peacetime. The top scale not being 100 is one of those things with the military, I don’t know what the highest possible score was, but, my scores put me in the 99th percentile at the time. Continuing with my narcissism, I also had a high enough score on both the DLAB (Defense Language Aptitude Battery) and the FAST test (Flight Aptitude Selection Test), in basic training I was selected as a potential candidate for West Point prep as well.

And, while we’re at it, maybe the idea of testing voters needs to be considered as well? Dayton sends slate cards to all the polling places, so even the functional illiterates can vote the party ticket by cross referencing names to the ballot (even those who can’t read, can shape associate).

It’s time to re-evaluate not only our laws, our law makers, but the process of a democracy in a world where Facebook has become a credible news source- or this blog.

For our elections to be truly certified, we need to make sure, we as a country aren’t certifiable (crazy).

Let’s pass a constitutional amendment limiting public office to people who aren’t morons. It may or may not solve a lot of our problems.

The Esrati position on the “war on women”

At tonight’s Democratic party candidates’ night all six candidates were allowed to speak for 5 minutes, answer two more questions in the next five minutes and finally given 2 minutes to recap. I’ve got it all on video and will post asap.

Ryan Steele got asked what he would do about “the war on women”- he had to ask for clarification. I’ll let you watch his response and judge how well he answered it. On the way home, my treasurer and significant other said I should post my response under my hot-button issues category– so here it is.

  • I believe that the right to have an abortion isn’t something that anyone other than the mother should have the right to decide. Yes, I rule out the “rights of the father” because it’s not his body that’s going to be transformed by the following 6 months (update: not a typo, but abortions after the first 3 months are more dangerous and should be avoided if possible). I believe late-term abortions should only be considered if the life of the mother is at risk or if there is medical evidence that the viability of the child may be questionable.
  • I understand that there are Americans who don’t want to pay for abortions and that they should have that right. We can have a private fund created to fund abortions for those who can’t afford it. The big difference is I believe that birth control should be made easily, readily and affordable to all. I don’t like abortion, but I like less the fact that we don’t do enough to stop unplanned pregnancy.
  • STEM cell research has been out of the public forum for a while- but, in case you are wondering, I fully support the use of placentas in research. I believe in health sciences implicitly and believe, if anything, we should be more concerned with the possible mutations  and other possible problems that could arise from genetically modified plants and seed for food.
  • And just for good measure, I don’t believe the government should be in the marriage business. I don’t care who you live with- and your status as a couple shouldn’t have any effect on your taxes. I also don’t care about your sexual orientation as long as it isn’t toward animals, children or non-consenting adults.

Yes, this is a short post. Nope, I didn’t mince words. Yep, you may find a reason to not vote for me because of these positions, however the problem with “hot button issues” is that my vote will likely never make a difference on any of these issues because they end up in the courts. In fact, the things that do matter- like financial re-regulation, ending corporate welfare, taking the money out of politics are much more relevant to most of us than any of the above issues, so please, open your mind and look me in the eye and say we can agree to disagree- but, in general, I prefer a candidate who has principles over puppet strings to the people with the money.

 

Super Bowl Ads and Abortion might not mix

The Huffington Post just released a story saying the whole Tim Tebow anti-abortion ad that’s slated to run during the Super Bowl may be a fairy tale. Which is just great- after we ripped the premise of it in today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show.

A commercial featuring Tim Tebow and his mother Pam that is likely to air during Super Bowl XLIV may be rife with inaccuracies, according to power lawyer Gloria Allred.

The ad, which is expected to promote an anti-choice message, will be based on the theme “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” The Christian conservative group Focus on the Family has paid for the spot. James Dobson, the group’s founder, has a history of inflammatory statements and once said that gay marriage will “destroy the earth.”

Despite resistance from women’s groups, the ad is expected to air during the Super Bowl. It is believed that the commercial will focus on Pam Tebow’s 1987 pregnancy, during which time she fell ill in the Philippines. According to reports, doctors recommended that she abort the pregnancy, but she chose to go through with the birth of her son Tim.

Tebow grew up to be one of the most accomplished and celebrated stars in college football history, capturing two national championships and becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman trophy.

Because abortion under any circumstance has been illegal in the Philippines since 1930 and is punishable by a six-year prison term, Allred says she finds it hard to believe that doctors would have recommended the procedure.

The attorney, who has represented a roster of famous clients, claims she will lodge a complaint with the FCC and FTC “if this ad airs and fails to disclose that abortions were illegal at the time Ms. Tebow made her choice,” according to RadarOnline.

via Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad May Be Based On Falsehood.

America watches the Super Bowl to get away from the day-to-day crap of politics. We watch the ads- hoping to be entertained. For some reason, James Dobson and “Focus on the Family” think it’s god’s will to mix politics with pigskin.

Bad move. So enjoy our segment titled: “If you can’t feed ’em, don’t breed them.”

Abortion is wrong. But ignoring birth control is just stupid. If the “Focus on the family” spent the money on helping family’s plan their children, we may solve quite a few problems.

Hot button questions- answered for Bethany from WSU

Bethany from Wright State wrote:

I am doing personal research on the candidates running in the upcoming primary. Could you tell me (briefly, yet thoroughly) what your stances are on the following issues?

  • Education: Do you support No Child Left Behind? If not, what do you suggest replace “the system”? Do you think the governor’s position of absolving the State BoE is a wise one?
  • Homosexuality: Do you support homosexual marriage? Why or why not?
  • Abortion: Do you support the right for choice or the right for life? Why?
  • Health Care: Do you believe it is the government’s responsibility to provide health care? Do you support universal health care?

Thank you for your time in answering these questions. My vote depends on your answers (no pressure).

I’m going to preface- that the hot button issues of homosexual marriage and abortion are questions that I believe shouldn’t be used in determining a candidates score- sort of like the questions on the exam that a professor throws out because there is guaranteed to be about a 50/50 split on the correct answer- making them statistically insignificant.

But- here we go:

Education: The governors decision about the State BOE is not within my purview since I’m a running for a Federal position. I believe that our State should be working first and foremost on finding a way to fund schools that is Constitutional – as the State Supreme Court ordered them to do over a decade ago. The BOE issue is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

No Child Left Behind is a Federal program that imposes a lot of unfunded mandates. I believe in national standardized testing to provide a tool to measure quality of the overall system- that which isn’t measured, can’t be improved (at least that’s what I learned in Stats 101 with Dr. Cleary at WSU long ago). The use of it to penalize schools that aren’t working with the same caliber of students- ie. poor districts vs wealthy districts- is a misguided idea. I have written extensively on ideas to improve the Dayton Public Schools on this site– and encourage you to look at them.

There are two areas I believe are critical to changing education in this country- laptops for all students, and sponsored Day Care/Head Start programs to make sure children start school properly prepared. As to how to pay for an improved education system nationally, I would like to see a flat rate Internet Sales tax on goods bought online- to be distributed per student, equally, nationally with a simplified collection system- not based on what State a company does business in, or where the buyer is. Eventually – this consumption tax, along with the proceeds of auction of public bandwidth would also provide national free wi-fi to students.

Homosexual Marriage: A hotbutton topic. I believe that our Constitution says all men are created equal. The bible says to love each other. The fact that some of us love people of the same sex- and others love people of the opposite sex, isn’t an area where Government should be imposing value judgements. Marriage is marriage, and love is love. If two people love each other, and want to make a formal commitment, I’m in full support. We need more love in this country and less hate.

Considering how flip Americans have become about heterosexual marriage- with a divorce rate that boggles my mind- the fact that anyone wants to get married and stay married is a home run in my book.

Abortion: I personally don’t like abortion- and my simple answer is, we should spend more time teaching planned parenthood and family planning- that’s SEX ED and CONDOMS and BIRTH CONTROL methods and trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy than fighting the practice of it. Abortion is a lousy form of birth control.

However, if a woman wants to have an abortion, I can’t think of one area that the government should have less say in than this. I fully support a womans right to choose- I just wish we’d have more choosing their partners and their forms of birth control before we get to the abortion issue.

Health Care: I support 100% coverage of all Americans- with the same access to health care granted to members of Congress. How we do it- well, that’s a pretty tough question. Single payer systems like Medicare and the VA seem to do a reasonable job- however there is always room for improvement.

My main complaint is the “Bookie” we use in this country to provide “Health Insurance” instead of “Health Care.” Imagine if we just paid doctors directly to take care of us- instead of paying the bookie to decide what we can be covered on and what we can’t? Considering we’re spending over 30% of our “Health Care” dollars on “Bookies” instead of on providers of “Health Care” I think we have a way already in place to solve the problem- cut out the middle man.

You left out the other hot button question: Assisted suicide. While I believe in the sanctity of life, I also believe in dignity in death. This is very personal to me. Katie Jones, my first true crush (in the third grade, no less) contracted MS at the age of 27. By 33 she had been living in a hospital bed, unable to feed herself, work, move, and eventually talk with ease. She was lucky to have a physician who helped her end her life according to her wishes. She didn’t want me to visit in her last months- because she wanted me to remember her how she was- a beautiful woman, who had worked her way through Ohio State law school- who always had a smile and a ton of energy.

I remember Katie that way. And, for her- I hope to give people the option to end their lives as they wish, without stigma, without criminal charges and without Government telling them that they can’t.

Excuse me while I shed a few tears.

I guess I should also cover the Death Penalty. Although I consider myself a peace candidate, and don’t like abortion, there are some instances where I believe the death penalty is appropriate instead of life in prison. (You can read some other thoughts on prison here). In the case of iron clad proof of murder, with absolute witnesses and no questions, I believe a jury of peers should have that option. I don’t see the use of keeping the likes of a Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy Jr. or Charlie Dalmer alive at our expense. Life is a privilege, as is living in a free and open society, those who choose to take another’s, should be willing to suffer the consequences.

I don’t know if those are the answers Bethany was looking for. But, they are mine.

Vote accordingly- although, I’m reminded of a question from my friend Dave Bowman in his podcast interview:

Q: What’s the difference between an ad campaign and a political campaign?

A: In an ad campaign, if we don’t tell the truth, we get sued. In a political campaign, you get elected.

These are my honest answers. Try getting the same from others.