Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
It's All About Me
- Learn to tango
- Raise sheep
- Own a beautiful old barn that once housed livestock
- Learn to cook Thai food
- Pick cloudberries
- Watch the sun come back to the Arctic
- Live somewhere where I can see mountains every day
Seven Things I Cannot Do:
- Donate a kidney before I die
- Play the accordion (I really, really tried)
- Run a mile in less than ten minutes (who am I kidding? 10:30, and at that pace it's not even fair to call it running.)
- Speak in a complete sentence before my first cup of coffee in the morning
- Contemplate paddling Class IV whitewater (Class III is sketchy, but negotiable)
- Consider golf a form of exercise
Seven Things That Attract Me to My Spouse (significant other, best friend, lover)
- His passion (for teaching, for politics, for food, for friends, for skiing, for me)
- His love of language
- The way he gets me to laugh at myself
- His intellect
- The color of his eyes (and other objectifying attributes)
- His devotion to truth
- His mastery with household tools
Seven Things I Say or Write Most Often
- Is there a reason we're saving this?
- He's not here. May I take a message?
- Where did you ski today? (closely related to #2 above)
- It was on sale.
- How stupid can people be?
- I'll be right there. I just have to finish this row.
- F**king Republican!
Seven Books I Love (Impossible. I can only list authors.)
- Adrienne Rich
- Margaret Atwood (I'm with you, BlueGal)
- Philip Roth
- Donald Hall
- Jane Kenyon
- Annie Proulx
- Thomas Hardy
Seven Movies I Would Watch Over & Over Again
- The Wizard of Oz
- Quick Change, or just about anything with Bill Murray
- Anything "Hitchcock," except 'The Rope'
- All That Jazz
- Old musicals - I love them. They should be in their own category.
- Any Busby Berkeley extravaganza
- Dr. Zhivago
Seven People I Want to Join In (I don't have seven blogging friends. How pathetic is that?)
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The issue of personal responsibility - brought up by BlueGal's commentary - is pertinent to any discussion of health issues and our cultural reliance on pharmaceuticals. But how is it possible to determine what role personal responsibility should play in our distribution of health care resources when so many of our fellow citizens are denied access to our health care system altogether?
In my job, I talk to people every week who are just hoping they can make it to age 65 when Medicare benefits will kick-in. They are unemployed, underemployed, working for employers who provide no health insurance - or prohibitively expensive health insurance - they can't afford an individual policy, and they count on luck to grant them a free pass for just a few more years.
They ignore warning signs of potentially serious medical problems because they know they can't afford the drugs, tests and treatments that might be prescribed for them. If they reach Medicare, these people enter our health care system already sick, and we are paying the price for their more expensive, late-stage medical care.
Our ethical and moral discussions have not kept pace with the advancements in medicine that allow some people (those with adequate health insurance) to evade responsibility for their own lifestyle choices and appear to suffer little or no consequences as a result.
I don't know the answer to the responsibility part of the equation. Is it ethical to deny care or penalize those with an addiction to tobacco? Maybe it is. A diabetic who continues to consume sweets and alcohol? Perhaps. But, what about someone with AIDS who is dying because they had unprotected sex? And those nutcase anti-abortion folks think it's just fine and dandy to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term because, to them, the sex act is a lifestyle choice.
Deep, deep, deep muddy waters, and I'm not sticking my toes in it.