Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guns Don’t Kill, People Do

Much as it hurts to admit this, I agree with Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Trent Franks, both of whom followed up the Arizona shooting with trite guns don’t kill people, people kill people statements. Who would know better than Rand Paul, whose hired campaign worker and recognized donor took down and curb-stomped a young girl because he felt threatened by the words on her cardboard poster? She could easily have been killed without a gun in sight (unless the police officers who did not come to her aid were armed).

Rand Paul’s experience also includes close relationships with gun lobbyists, gun club donors who wear his campaign gear, and Tea Party supporters who carry huge, intimidating weapons to political events where they talk about taking out their opponents and exercising second amendment rights and even mark them with crosshairs on maps. His experience far exceeds mine, since I have only touched a gun once in my life and I do my best to stay as far away as I possibly can from people who enjoy them. I bow to his expertise and accept his opinion.

Coming to this agreement should make finding a responsible compromise that we can all live with a breeze. Since guns do not kill people, I suggest we leave guns alone and focus on people. Allow gun companies to make guns, and gun stores to carry them, and gun shows to show them. But take those murderous people out of the equation. Do not allow people to touch or own guns and those evil guns will not be able to kill any more people. In the future, people will have to do their killing (and intimidating and politicking) without guns, thereby making their murders and terrorizing more difficult to execute.

(Stay tuned for my suggestions regarding how the AMA should deal with self-certified ophthalmologists who make psychiatric diagnoses based on “some writings” that may or may not have been penned by suspected non-patients they have not met.)

On a serious note: Thank you, Senator McConnell, for taking the more reasonable approach, and for taking heat from the National Association for Gun Rights.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Schoolin’ Republican Leaders: Virginia Foxx to Chair Higher Education Subcommittee

Dear Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner:

As leaders of your party, I think it is imperative that you start with the basic education that the people in your party so desperately need, especially since you have appointed Virginia Foxx to chair the higher-education subcommittee. Virginia Foxx? Virginia Foxx, who is not even qualified to serve on the PTA? Seriously?

Virginia Foxx who voted no on green schools? Virginia Foxx who voted no on an additional $10.2B for federal education and HHS projects? Virginia Foxx who voted no on allowing courts to decide "God" in Pledge of Allegiance, and who voted no on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges, and who wants to return the middle-man-bankers to the student loan program? Virginia Foxx who says she can’t remember now why she voted against the Higher Education Act in 2008? 

Virginia Foxx who said, “There are no Americans who don’t have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare?” Virginia Foxx who claimed that Matthew Shepard's death was merely the result of a robbery gone bad? 

Seriously? Cross your heart and hope to die serious? Serious as a heart attack? The Virginia Foxx who majored in English but doesn’t seem to understand it? This appointment makes as little sense to sane people as appointing Michelle Bachman to the Intelligence Committee.

In case the differences between fact, opinion, and feelings have escaped the two of you, (as you, Speaker Boehner indicated today when, in regard to the Birthers, you said you couldn’t tell people how to think, and as evidenced by your silence on the subject, Senator McConnell) I offer the following examples. I have tried, in vain, to explain this to others in recent months. Since I was talking with people who believe any lies you tell them, there is a slight possibility they might listen if you actually try to tell them something useful. I’ve made it as simple as possible, both to understand and to communicate on a Republican-base level.

Example 1

FACTS: My eyes are blue, my vision is failing, I have extremely dry eyes, yet they tear excessively.

REASONABLE OPINIONS: My eyes are pretty, ugly, too large for my face, too close together, too far apart, looking old. It’s a shame that my vision is failing, I should be grateful that I can see at all, maybe I should see a new doctor, I look a mess when my eyes water and smear my make-up.

INVALID, RIDICULOUS OPINIONS: My eyes are brown, yellow, purple – any color but blue. My eyes are too small. I can’t possibly have dry eyes since they water. My vision is perfect.

FEELINGS: I am sad that my vision is failing, I am happy glasses and contacts enable me to function, it makes me happy when people say they like my blue eyes, I’m embarrassed when I tear at inappropriate times and when my make-up smears.

Example 2

FACT: President Obama was born in Hawaii, which is part of the United States.

REASONABLE OPINION: That means he can be president if he wins the presidential election.

RIDICULOUSLY STUPID OPINION THAT REFLECTS NEGATIVELY ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND WASTES VALUABLE DISCUSSION TIME: If I don’t want him to be president, I can just say I don’t believe he was born in the United States even though he was.

FEELINGS: I’m happy that Barack Obama is qualified to be President. I’m angry that Barack Obama is qualified to be President. I’m jealous that President Obama beat my candidate. I’m embarrassed that I am too stupid to read the birth certificate that has been published for the world to see.

Since we are two years into this Presidency and it appears your party is not going to learn without some leadership, it would benefit all of us if you could jump right on this most important matter. Republicans do not get to make up their own facts, no matter how often they insist that their opinions and feelings are the same as facts. It simply does not work in the real world.



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beavis and Butt-head Was Already Taken

Dear Senators McConnell and Paul:

The big day is finally here! Beavis and Butt-head was already taken when I decided I was too filled with shame and dread to create a separate blog for you, Senator Paul, and Delusional Duo was, sadly, the most creative thing I came come up with. I went with bland. Although I prefer clever, bland felt appropriate.

Kentucky’s already embarrassing reputation suffered enough after you, Senator McConnell, spent the last two years waging your personal war on the United States, and taking the citizens of this country hostage through your unprecedented obstructionism, criminal level dishonesty*, shameful admission that you planned to do nothing other than make sure President Obama fails, and nonstop embarrassing television appearances. Adding the whiney, violent, corporate-owned, lobbyist-hiring, disgrace-to-medicine, junior who obviously knew his Hippocratic hypocrisy qualified him for a Republican seat should at least convince the rest of the country to stop laughing at us and start crying for us, since the actions of our Kentucky Senators will affect their lives in terribly depressing ways.

If there is an upside, it will be watching you, Senator McConnell, blink your eyes and suffer the frustration of being forced to swallow a bit of what you have forced on your constituents. (Karma can be fun.) From experience, I can tell you that dealing with a dishonest bully is not good for the spirit. Knowing that you are stuck working with someone who has absolutely no regard for the things that matter to you, and who will trample what you’ve worked for, is terribly uncomfortable. I’m anxious to see if you put up the same fight with Rand Paul that we have had to suffer with you. It’s a fatiguing position to be in.

Senator Paul, you get off easy this first week. I do not plan to point out each individual backtrack, deception, and waffle you have already made before getting to Washington. The media did a fairly decent job of that already. But I promise to do my best to keep up with every one in the future.

Instead, today, I am going to stick with the character defects that are more important, and that you have not addressed sufficiently with the people of Kentucky yet. As a physician, how could you stand a few feet away from the young girl whose head your hired thugs stomped and offer her no assistance? Why did you lie about her being a threat, and why did you lie about not knowing the men who hurt her? The only people who believe that you somehow failed to recognize the thugs you hired to work your campaign until after the media circulated the picture and pointed out that you had hired them are – well, people who will believe anything and who stand for nothing. Now that those thoughtless people believed your lies, fell for the deceptive ads your dirty money ran in their part of the state, and elected you, they are not the only people you represent or have to answer to. The rest of us will be waiting, not so patiently, for answers to these questions. And, until I receive answers, I will not let you, the AMA, or the public forget.

And, Senator Paul, while you are living with Daddy in Washington, maybe the two of you could discuss his thoughts about lying. Here is a link to his recent article, Lying is not Patriotic. In case, like Senator McConnell, you don’t like to read, here’s a video where he speaks about the same topic. I'm sure your father would include you among the people he does not want to lie.

Sincerely not celebrating,


*think Stevens, Ney, Foley, Reynolds, Gingrich, Cunningham, Abramoff, Feeney, Delay, etc. And feel free to add Clinton, since you must still be gloating over that ridiculous demonstration of duplicity.

p.s. I’m going to miss Leann Rimes