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Back to Blogging?

Earlier this evening (and yes, I do consider it this evening, although it is currently 3:20 a.m…), I attended a meeting regarding how to organize neighborhoods for Morgan Philpot’s campaign.   In speaking with our host’s wife, I discovered she is an avid blogger (see here: ).  She asked if I blogged, and offered to help me set up an account.   I explained that I had set one up, but had only written one blog.  When I got home, I checked out her blog and found it to be perfectly delightful.  Why have I not kept up with mine?  I think I got caught up in the idea that each blog must be well written and offer some contribution to society…  LOL   Well, I have changed my viewpoint, and will start blogging more often, and not be so uptight about content.  I have a lot I want to say, and to be perfectly frank, not much of it will contribute to society, as a whole.  However, the people in my “immediate” society will likely enjoy what I want to say, and that is enough for me…..  Stay tuned!

Health Care Perspective from the UK

I am taking the easy way out with my second blog.  A friend of mine on my email list shared the following letter, that she had sent to all of our Utah representatives, with me.  I thought it was very important, and with her permission, I am sharing it with you.  Anyone who doesn’t see our health care system heading towards this, under government control, it simply sticking their head in the sand.  Come on you little ostriches, pull your heads out, so to speak…..

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I understand what everyone is and should be busy with families and Christmas this week. I would not be taking the time required to write this letter if I did not feel it to be an extreme emergency.

I understand the government is attempting to pass this health care bill on Christmas Eve. I would like to take the time to share my story, and would appreciate your taking the few moments it will take to read it.  This will sum up the health care issue nicely, without your having to read that long bill.

My husband and I live in southern Utah. I attend school, in order to obtain an RN degree. My husband works for a local company.  He is originally from the UK, and gained his US citizenship only last July, after we had to work and save and pay huge fees to do this legally. He has been in the US for ten years.

We moved here in 2000. My husband’s father and mother both passed away in the last few years. Both were faithful British citizens. And of course, they were under the NHS. First, his father contracted cancer. He was put in the hospital, and placed on a morphine pump, and simply allowed to die. No efforts were made to help him or cure him. He was beyond retirement age, though still young enough to enjoy his remaining years with his family, had he been allowed to do so. He died in terrible pain.

Then my husband’s mother, who had just suffered the loss of her husband only two years before, also contracted cancer. Hers was treatable at the time, and my husband and I both went in with her when she got the terrible news from her NHS doctor. I watched in shocked silence as he informed her that she was terminal, and there would be no treatment. He did, however, offer her the morphine pump. Needless to say, she went into shock herself, on the spot. She remembered her husband’s terrible ordeal. I became angry, being a medical professional myself here in the US. I asked him why they would not treat her. Her tumor was operable, removable, and if done right away, her prognosis was very good. I had previously armed myself with this information and had asked my present employers in the US these very questions. Her doctor became very condescending, and addressed us as if she were not in the room. He said the surgery would be too costly, and would take months to schedule. He said she was really well beyond her years of “productivity”, and that she really ought to consider that the money could better be spent on those younger and still able to contribute to society. I asked him whether he had considered the fact that she had been a government employee all her life, and had faithfully paid her taxes, and into that very medical system, as had her husband. He said it simply could not be done.

While we were in that meeting with her doctor, I was really shocked to hear him offer (to us, not her) the option of the “cocktail” if she wanted it! He continued to speak as if she had suddenly become a non-person, or wasn’t even in the room. As if we were speaking of someone already deceased. Because she was already, to him. It was the most inhuman moment I can remember being present for in my life. I remember being so angry with him that I confronted him with the hypocratic oath! First, do no harm. I had to swear to it myself, and I had no trouble with it. He seemed to ascribe little value to that promise. He said this was for the best, for society as a whole!

She heard this last exchange, and never truly came back to herself. We thought about bringing her here to the states, where she could still be treated, but she deteriorated mentally after that meeting.  She was betrayed by her own country and she just gave up. She died months later, of slow starvation. I had asked her doctor if he would place a feeding tube, so she could be fed long enough to bring her here, and he refused even that. She could not swallow without choking, so we could not bring her on a plane. Once again, he said it was simply not “cost-effective”.  Her life had been reduced to numbers and finances. And she was not deemed worth saving.  The tumor grew slowly, further proving that it could indeed have been removed in time.  However, this only ensured that she starved that more slowly.

We still grieve her passing in such a terrible, needless way. Please read and carefully consider before voting on this bill. Please go home over Christmas, and reflect on the value of life. Please wait on this vote, and allow more people to speak out. Please do not be rushed into such a hasty decision. Please hear the voice of the majority of citizens who do not want this for our country. Please listen!


Derek and Eryn Whiting

Costco & Sarah Palin

Well, it finally happened. Sarah Palin touched ground in Utah, if only for a few hours.   I arrived at Costco, books in hand, around 7 a.m.  There were already around 100 people waiting, and I eagerly joined the queue .   The mood was one of excitement and camaraderie.   We were all there to see a woman we genuinely admired, and were immediately drawn together in friendly chat about what brought us to Costco on such an early morning.

A side note here.  As many of you know, I work for Costco at the West Bountiful location, however the Salt Lake store was where I was originally hired, and it was like old home week for me.  Everywhere I turned, there was another employee I had previously worked with, including Lucas and Reuel, who were standing in line with me.  It was great to see so many people I liked, but had not seen in years.   What a wonderful start to my day.

As I waited in line, I started talking with a nice guy named Todd.  Of course, the subject matter covered politics and tea parties.  Todd was telling me about his friend who wanted to get more involved, but was not finding people to work with.  I gave Todd my email address, and told him to have his friend contact me.  Said friend showed up shortly thereafter, and turned out to be Troy Ripplinger, who I had previously been in contact with, via email and cell phone.  What a funny coincidence!  We discussed a great project Troy is working on, one that I will be sharing with you, as it  comes online.

Meanwhile, Costco was working hard to keep the crowd happy and comfortable, with hot chocolate, churros and chocolate chip cookies.   In spite of what should have caused the crowd to sink into a lovely sugar crash and chocolate induced coma, the crowd maintained it’s high level of enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming event.   Costco employees cheerfully walked people to purchase additional books, and take potty breaks.   Excellent crowd control for all these “rowdy” conservatives.

Tickets were distributed, and my number was 110.  My new lucky number!  It had previously been announced that 1000 tickets would be passed out, but the publishing company would only guarantee that 500 people would get to actually meet Sarah.  It was good to receive a ticket numbered under 500.  Another reason for celebration!

Kris Kimball, who I have worked with on different coalitions and events, found me and we spoke for a bit and shared our excitement over meeting Sarah.  I saw a lot of different people there I know from my political activism, and it was good to be with so many like minded individuals.   The wait for Sarah to arrive, was an extremely pleasant experience!

Sarah finally did arrive, and to her credit, she arrived early!   Cheers from the crowd!  And we were moving forward, at a fairly nice pace.   The publishing company had the process down to a science!  Books were collected, personal items such as purses, coats, cell phones and cameras, were deposited into bins, to be collected post Sarah.  And we were herded into the main arena, where Sarah was signing books.   Todd Palin was sitting with Sarah at the table where she was busily signing away.  What a charming couple.

As we approached the table, Sarah made eye contact and asked the name of each person, before shaking their hand, and thanking them for coming.  She was warm, friendly and completely genuine, as was Todd.  Definitely made you feel like she was so happy to see you.  (Side note:  Glenn Beck’s book signing I attended in Layton a year ago, was a similar experience; Laura Ingraham wasn’t quite as nice when I attended one for her, but I love her anyway.  Laura isn’t known for her warm fuzziness!).

As we moved onto the table where we were to pick up our books, Sarah’s parents were greeting people as well.  What an adorable, lovely couple.  It is easy to see where Sarah got her warm and friendly demeanor!  I got my books, and as I left, was asked to make a couple of statements for the Utah Historical Society.  They were collecting people’s comments and feelings on the whole experience.

I ran into Cherilyn Eagar (many of you know, I am working on her senatorial campaign).  We spoke for a bit, and then had a nice conversation with Sarah’s parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, and Sarah’s aunt.  Turns out Cherilyn has friends in common with them, up in Wasilla.   Sarah’s parents and aunt let us take pictures with them.  They were such warm people.  While we were standing there, a Salt Lake Tribune reporter approached them and asked if he could interview them.  Of course, they graciously agreed.  As he started asking his questions, Sally stopped him, and left.  I watched to see her approaching a down syndrome teenager, there with his parents.  Sally gave him a big hug, and spoke at length with him and his parents.  It was so touching to see her enthusiasm in meeting them.  After visiting with them for several minutes, she returned to the Trib reporter.

We then met the girls who were taking care of Trig Palin, while his parents were otherwise engaged.  He was purely adorable.   I love babies, and he was just so good natured and cute.  I asked if I  could take a picture of Trig, and was told “of course.”   She then asked if I would like to hold Trig.   He was so sweet.  And his caregiver used my cell phone to take a picture of the two of us.  I love that picture.  I will definitely have to get it printed up!  Put it next to my picture of me with Glenn Beck.

As we milled around outside the roped off area, a redheaded harridan angrily pushed her shopping cart past the crowd, screaming ‘You are all stupid for buying her book!”  Why are so many liberals so mean and bitter?  It was a completely classless display.   No conservative I know would behave similarly at a Nancy Pelosi book signing.  Just an observation…

One other odd thing.  There was a woman there who was a Sarah Palin “lookalike.”  It was kind of weird.  She had styled her hair like Sarah’s, but her glasses were not quite there.  Although there was a passing resemblance, she was no Sarah Palin.   It did seem like the press was getting a kick out of interviewing her though, so good for her.   But it was just plain strange.

As the crowd was starting to dwindle, Cherilyn decided to get in line to get her book signed, and meet Sarah.  Since “friends don’t let friends stand in line alone,” I joined her for another trip through the line to shake Sarah’s hand.  As we stood in line, we started chatting with a man there named…… Todd.   Apparently Todd was the name of the day!  Todd2 (or as his parents call him, Todd Klein), was delightful to talk to.  He works for Novartis, a company that makes drugs, including chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.   He was interesting to speak with.

After a second trip past Sarah, it was time for me to head back home.  Thanks for sharing my day with me, here in my very first blog.  Next time I hope to make it something with some actual relevance to someone other than myself…..

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