Category Archives: Commentary

Call Me Mr. Hare

Well, I haven’t blogged for two years but here I go again.  How time flies.  Since I last blogged, Obama was elected President (thankfully the world hasn’t ended), Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake, the world has seen a financial meltdown and the U.S. has been saddled with a bigger mountain of  debt than previously seen.  In the two years from the last time I picked up a pen (well, typed at my computer and blogged), Michael Jackson died along with GM and Ford, though the latter two have been given another chance at life.  Since 2008,  gold and silver have been on a tear, the Tea Party has taken center stage and pigs have flown.   That is, the New Orleans Saints have done the impossible and won the Super Bowl.  The point is, there has been plenty about which to blog.

I’m not sure why I stopped blogging, though.   Maybe  it got old.  Maybe I got busy.  Maybe it took too much precious time.  Maybe I ran out of things to say. Or maybe I just got tired of the process of blogging.

But then maybe I’m like the hare.  You know the story that,  in a nutshell,  goes like this.   Mr. Tortoise and Mr. Hare are in a race.  Mr. Hare sprints to a lead, takes a nap and wakes only to find that he was beaten to the finish line by the slow moving Mr. Tortoise.

I often find myself more like Mr. Hare.  I find it pretty easy to take hold of something and sprint all out and  even do really well at whatever the particular challenge is.  But then, in time, whether I’m distracted, tired, or just downright bored, I might just fade away into a nap of sorts, much like Mr. Hare.  Even so, after some period of time I wake up, only to find that I’m behind or that Mr. Tortoise has passed me by.

My blogging hibernation is  probably the result of a combination of things and is probably a good thing for me to reflect upon.   You see,  I can be very determined at times but that determination can wane into  laziness.  I can be very excited about something but  it can quickly become a bore to me as I become distracted by something new.  Sometimes I just have too many pots on the stove, too many irons in the fire.

I guess I could try and wax eloquent and be even more philosophical but alas, there’s something else calling my name.  So here I go again.  I’m off to the next project, the next distraction.  Who knows if I’ll be back blogging.  I’m sure I will at some point, maybe today or this afternoon even, as it seems I always come back to the things I leave behind.

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Is Martin Luther King, Jr. Rolling Over in His Grave?

The election has come and gone and Barack Obama is President-Elect of the great United States of America.  Many are cheering not only here but all over the world at the elevation of this man to the post of the most powerful and influential person in the world.  It is a great achievement, no doubt about it.  He ran a stunning campaign that dwarfed any we’ve seen at least in my lifetime of voting.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that all people would be treated equally, not based on their color but on their character.  In fact, he said in his “I Have a Dream” speech, perhaps one of the greatest speeches ever, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I know that Civil Rights leaders and defenders of freedom and equality all over the world are joyful today about Obama’s victory and the fact that Americans seemed to have progressed beyond racism to elect a black man to the Presidency.  But I wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. would be turning over in his grave, if he could.  King dreamt of a time when his children would be seen, not for their color, but for their character. 

What’s been striking about this election is the perception among many that anytime character issues come up with Obama, they are pushed aside, not investigated, claimed as racist and relegated to the back burner.  For many, Obama received a vote based on the color of his skin and not the content of his character.  Surely, there are many who voted for Obama because of their ideological beliefs and that is what should be done and that is Democratic and should be respected.

But when 93% of African Americans (reported exit polling data from North Carolina) vote for Obama and many others vote for him (including high ranking politicians) on the basis of his skin color, doesn’t that fly in the face of that for which King stood for and gave his life?  Would King not be shouting from the grave, “You still haven’t gotten it!  It’s equality based on our rights as humans and the magnitude of our character that counts, not the tone of our skin!” 

When I voted for Alan Keyes in the Presidential primary several years ago, I did so not because he is black, but for the content of his character.  Sad, how there was never enthusiasm for him and there was never any major celebration of the achievement of a black man running for President just a few years ago.  But then again, it was not about color but character.

Congratulations to Barack Obama for his victory.  He inherits a big mess and a lot of problems.  He has given many people hope and that should be commended.  Our country continues to be divided and seems to have lost its moral compass.  Let’s hope from here on out, judgments, opinions and commentary will be made based on the character and man that one is and one becomes, not on the shade of skin color.

America at a Crossroads

On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, we’ll go to the polls here in the great USA.  Perhaps more than anyime in the last 50 years, America is smack dab in the middle of an intersection.  Will we turn to the right or turn to the left?  I think America is at a crossroads and the outcome of this election will set the stage for life in America for possibly the next 20 years or more.  Not only do we face to stark constrasts for President, the stage is set for a possible Democratic super majority.

The Republicans have had an opportunity and wasted it.  They’ve wasted their opportunity, not to advance Republican ideals, but to make a real and lasting positive difference in America and the world.  Now, the Democrats are giddy about controlling all of the government.  Without taking political sides, what we face is the prospect of one ideological party effectively making the decisions for life in America for years to come.  The issues that the new Congress and President will govern include taxes, immigration, abortion, gay rights, international relations, terrorism, not to mention the probable Presidential appointment of at least one Judge to the Supreme Court.  These are big issues.

Is life about to change in America?  One way or another, it has to, for the good of our country and for the good of the world.  For too long we’ve basked in the sunlight of our riches, which has only been an illusion based on credit and debt.  We have to stop bowing to what’s within us that demands more, bigger and better.  We’ve selfishly taken advantage of the blessings of wealth, however contrived they’ve been.  We’ve taken advantage of our world and have been poor stewards of the world in general, whether it be our international relations or the abundant but strikingly decreasing natural resources. 

Somewhere down the line, we’ve seemed to piece-by-piece, throw out the window that which made us the greatest country in the world.  We are becoming mediocre in many ways.  We are not first in many things.  We are not first in the world in education, in safety, in financial stability and, in the world’s largest and possibly most advanced health care system, we are not first in the health of our citizens.

America, though, in my opinion, is still the greatest country in the world when all of its parts are added.  The sum of our parts is great.  But America has to be a respected leader again.  I think the world is looking to America as a leader and I hope that each of us has the intestinal fortitude and the wisdom to actually use our noggins, think hard, analyze the possibilities and pray diligently.  America is at a crossroads and her future depends as much on each of us as it does on whoever will lead us for the next few years to come.

The Fat Lady is Singing

She’s on the stage and she’s on the last chorus.  The fat lady is singing and we’re heading down the Obama crevasse.  I admit I’m voting for McCain though I’m not real fond of him.  But if he could just halfway be charismatic and put a few sentences together without mumbling or stumbling so much, he’d have a great shot at winning this election.  If he were Ronald Reagan, this election would be over.  Shoot, I think Ross Perot, Mitt Romney or even Mike Huckabee could have torn Obama apart.  But McCain?  He’s pushing the fat lady out on stage, giving her a mike and turning up the volume.  Here’s five areas of discussion that McCain could have targeted this summer and hammered away at for the last two months, showing point by point how he’s different and how he would change thing.  The result?  Well, I’m sure his poll numbers would be better for one.  He is losing by at least five percentage points and as high as fifteen in nearly every poll.  The electoral college is painted blue and it’s looking like it’s all over except the victory speech.  Those five areas?  Here they are:

1.  Socialist tendencies

2.  Governmental control and programs

3.  Increased taxes on businesses

4.  Lack of respect for the unborn

5.  Potential abandonment of Israel

And one to grow on … his link and support of specific Democrats who are co-guilty with Republicans in the whole economic crisis we’re experiencing.

Would I Be A Doctor Again?

I’ve heard over and over again from some doctors how they’d never go through the process again and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  So I’ll answer the question.  Would I be a doctor again?  To quote Sarah Palin, “You Betcha!”

In my experience, becoming a doctor has been very rewarding.  I can’t complain.  So where do I start explaining why?  Well, there are the belly-button pearls for one.  “Belly-button pearls?” you ask.  Yes.  Belly-button pearls.  You know, those wooly-booger types who let the lint in their belly fester and roll around with the hair just like a piece of sand in a clam.  After many moons, that simple piece of fuzz become a nice round, smooth, rock-solid belly-button pearl of great price.

Well, really there are some other nice benefits.  For one, especially in this economy, there is no shortage of requests for doctors in just about any part of the country.  Hopefully I won’t be searching anytime soon, but if I had to, I could almost pick where I want to live.  Of course I’m leaving near about as close as you can to Heaven without dying, so I’m thankful for that.  And how can a doctor complain when just the average salary of a primary care doctor is around $150,000?  That’s good enough for roughly being in the top 5% in the U.S.  And that’s not even including the fringe benefits of insurance and retirement.

Not only is the pay pretty good for an education that’s not much longer, if any than other post-grad professions, the time involved can also be quite satisfying.  Right now, I pretty much work 4 1/2 8-hour days a week with a day a week and one weekend a month of light call that often results in no phone calls or hospital admissions.  I’ve been in jobs as a doctor where I had no call whatsoever and worked more like 8:30 to 4:30 with a half-day off each week.  Throw in 4 weeks of vacation and another week of education and it rivals some of the best vacation packages around.

But there’s more than just money and time.  There’s the satisfaction of being able to help people.  There have been many times when I’ve been able to really come in handy for someone for whatever reason – maybe calling something in for a friend, maybe giving some realistic medical explanations for people confused by what they’ve heard.  Or maybe it’s just helping someone have hope again when everything seems to have been taken from them.

There’s also the challenges.  Imagine diagnosing someone with Malaria or cancer or other systemic diseases.  Some aren’t easy and straightforward which requires a lot of study, a lot of interdisciplinary discussion and just downright praying for help in figuring things out.

Being a doctor afforded me the opportunity to go overseas and help some less fortunate people with medical needs.  Life lessons are important for personal growth.  The opportunities I had to learn from people in foreign countries has been something I can’t really put a price tag on.  How can you go to the store and buy something that will truly open your eyes?  Where can you purchase a change of heart or a realistic understanding of the plight of third world societies?

I could go on.  Sure, being in the Medical field has its downside.  Insurance companies can be a nightmare and a big hassle.  The government tends to like to put its sticky hands in everything and medicine is no different.  Some people can’t afford some of the studies it takes to diagnose their problem.  Others have serious side effects to medicines or damaging results do to physician error.  Some patients are just quite demanding and expect too much (but then again, they do pay their bills for the most part). 

But to answer the question again, yes, I would do it all over again.  I can’t imagine there being another job I’d like to do except being a professional football or baseball player or a professional music star.  But I can’t do those, so the best thing is to be what God has allowed me to be.