Monday, September 28, 2009

Bikes, Blues, & BBQ

If you live in Northwest Arkansas then you know that this past weekend was Bikes, Blues, & BBQ. Hundreds of thousands of bikes around 3,000 invade Fayetteville for this annual event. It's a lot of fun to go check out the bikes but I know that it brings in a lot of noise to this area. But, on the plus side it also brings it a lot of money! We try to go every year to check out the bikes and of course listen to some music and eat some food. Although this year we just took some pictures. I could tell that there weren't as many bikes as there have been in years past. I think that the economy really affected the event this year. I also saw more bikes with for sale signs on them. Here are some of my favorite pics and bikes from this year.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random videos

I've been looking at all of the videos that we have taken over the years of the dogs and I thought that I would share some of them. Some of them are funny and some are just cute. We don't have that many of Morgan because he is very camera shy so most of them are of Baxter.
Baxter's first toy:

First snow:


Trying to kill the TV: Baxter watches the TV constantly and tries to kill all dogs and for some reason red haired women that come on.

Learning to ride

My mother grew up in the Philippines and never got the chance to learn how to ride a bike. She has always wanted a tricycle but has never been able to get one. My parent's are really big into garage sales and this weekend they bought a tricycle at one of them. It needs some work but it will be perfect for her! It was her first bike ride and she had a couple of dogs to cheer her on!

Daddy pushing her off:

Riding by herself:
They plan on painting it and changing the tires but after that it should be as good as new. They also plan on attaching a basket to the back so that Bear and Frani can go along for rides as well!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Would you give them health care

A man is in our country that has no job, no money, raggedy clothes and worn out sandals. He is visiting our country giving speeches but receives no pay for his time. He makes his way around the country living with those who will take him in and feed him, clothe him and give him shelter. He has no family to rely on and is widely seen as a crazy person who speaks blasphemy. He walks into a doctor’s office and asks to be seen for a common cold. He is asked if he has insurance and his response is I have no money and can’t afford insurance. How will this doctor respond to him? I am sure it will be that since he has no money or insurance the man will get a simple rush through the office and some sample medicine and asked politely to hit the road. Would it be worse if he had a more serious condition such as cancer, congestive heart failure or required dialysis? He would be lucky if he got sample medicine. He would be told that there was nothing they could do for him. He would be sent back onto the streets with no hope. Now if he were about to die and walked into an ER he would be seen as quickly and cheaply as possible. He would get pushed through the triage center, helped as easily as they could and sent on the road. There are doctors out there that would be willing to help this gentleman but they are in the minority. Just think for those who didn’t want to give him health care you just told Jesus to hit the road because he didn’t have insurance.

I hate to think about the child who is roaming the streets and is pregnant at 14. She has no home because she has been asked to leave her home by her alcoholic single mother. She was raped while trying to make enough money to survive. She is now 8 months pregnant and has received no pre-natal treatment. She goes to the ER when her water breaks but what happens now? Will she receive the best quality care that the hospital has to offer? Or, will she put in a room and when the baby is finally born be rushed out on her own back onto the streets. If she is lucky somebody will get DHS involved and the baby will be given a good home. If she is unlucky she will have a baby to take with her out onto the streets. Would you be willing to help this person?

I know that health care reform isn’t perfect. I know there are issues to be worked out. I know that something needs to be done. Insurance has gotten to the point where the average family can’t afford it unless it is provided through their job. I know several families personally who were unable to afford any at all. They are now stuck with tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. This is enough to drown most families and drive them to bankruptcy. There are around 60 million people in the country today whose company employs less than 499 people. There are 22 million who employ less than 10 people. It is scary to think that 22 million people are in a place where with only 10 employees that health care is most likely not provided. The costs of health care keep rising and employers have to make tough decisions. Do we pay our employees or give them health care. Thankfully in Arkansas there is a cheap insurance offered by the state. I don’t know all the specifics. I do know that it takes quite a bit to qualify for and it is set up to be for small businesses. It gets most people the opportunity. It is a government run plan and seems to be working for the people of Arkansas.

I don’t want to get involved with the “right” “left” stuff. I just simply want people to think about what not having health care is leading too. I know from personal experience what it can be like without health insurance. I can also speak to the benefits. When my wife had her appendix taken out the bill was $11,000 for 16 hours in a hospital room and the surgery. After the insurance “negotiated” with the hospital they got it down to $4000 and we only owed $1000. There was no way on earth we could have come up with $11000 we struggled to get the $1000. I don’t even want to think about how an elderly couple would take care of the bills if a serious issue arose with no insurance. I just simply feel that it is time for the “right” and the “left” to find a middle ground. There has to be a way for the public option to drive down the private prices. There will be more issues to be tackled but this would be a start.

Let me finish by saying I hope that you would be willing to give Jesus health care if he were here today. Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus lays it out for us. The righteous clothed him, fed him, visited him and he rewarded them. The unrighteous did none of these and received everlasting punishment. I know that it will not be an easy resolution but I hope one can be found. It is obvious to me that something needs to be done to reform health care.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What if Obama was white????

After listening the last month to people complain about everything Obama wants to do from Health Care to Education Reform I have decided that if he were white nobody would care.
Today while scrolling through the low FM bands on my drive home I came across a talking head who was telling his listeners all about socialism and how Obama was bringing it to the USA. He went so far as to call it the USSA, United Socialist States of America. He compared it to the USSR. I am finding it amazing how certain people throw the term socialism around. I really believe that people are so out to destroy Obama's credibility they will do anything to do it. They call Obama a liar in the middle of his address, while they continue to lie to their own listeners. I decided I will give the Webster's definition of Socialism.

Socialism is: so·cial·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1837
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

I am having a hard time figuring out which of these definitions is fitting for what Obama is trying to do. He isn't trying to run FedEx, UPS or Wal-Mart. I still own my house, car and furniture. I guess you could say that the closest is the third definition. Where as there is an unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done. Those that have continued to have and those that don't still don't. I am pretty sure that the people gripping about Obama are the ones that have.

In true Socialism the government runs EVERYTHING. The government would be the administrator of the hospital. They would control everything the doctors do. They would control all of the pharmacies and drug companies. I am pretty sure that isn't even close to what is happening. I think it is a simple idea, give health care to those that can't get it. According the 2007 census there are 46 million people in the USA without health insurance. I think those numbers are low. I know many people who don't have it. It may be that their spouse has it or they have it for their kids and not themselves. This is a horrible position for this country. I see no problem with their being a public option where the uninsured have a way to get insurance at a reasonable price. If Obama were white would this be an issue? I think not since the census shows that the majority of the uninsured are naturalized citizens and minorities. If this issue was an issue of the majority there would be no issue passing it.

When it comes to education I still can't figure out why people were up in arms about the President was trying to inspire our young people. Today when nearly 50% of kids drop out of high school in the 50 larges USA cities. It is a disgrace that it isn't a concern. Kennedy in 1961 inspired youth by saying ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country. This speech has been recited for over 40 years and will continue to be. Obama gave great examples of how to further your education and create a nation of intelligent leaders. It is a concept that some right wingers don't want. Why would you want the minorities to take over power? We all know that we don't want the poor to be in charge. The biggest complaint from the right was Obama giving a recommended lesson plan. Asking students to write a letter to the President saying how they can help him. I guess it is ok for kids to write letters to Santa Claus with what they want for Christmas but they can't write to the President about how they can change the country. What if somebody used a picture of a black Santa, would you let your kids write a letter to him? If Obama were white it wouldn't be an issue.

I posted on my facebook the other day in a very sarcastic tone that is a horrible idea for the President to try and inspire our children. Most responses were agreeable. There were some however who simply put it that they hate Obama. No explanation why or what he has done to create hatred. I simply think it comes from the fact that he is an educated black man who is now the leader of the free world. It is easier to criticize him than change a believe system and support a black man. I am as white as white can get, however, I support my country. I support my President. I put up with 8 years of W and our country being in a war I can't support an economy that was failing and gas prices that were out of control. I think we owe Obama a little more than 9 months to grow the true hatred that some have already developed for him. I am trying to figure out how Obama has become so hated. I think it simply comes down to him being black. If Obama was white we would have health care, education and environmental reform. To me it is a huge disappointment that this country is falling back on old habits next thing you know we will have a separate restroom for him in congress. It is a shame that we as a country can't compromise on basic rights of Americans.