Shame on Barr, McConnell on health care
Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Andy Barr should be ashamed of themselves. I don't see how Barr could write his column on the Affordable Care Act and the budget and keep a straight face. McConnell's current ad is unbelievable. Apparently, McConnell thinks the Kentucky way is for folks to forego medical care.
Neither man has put forth a viable health-care option. Actually, neither man nor any other Republican that I am aware of has put forth any plan: good, bad or indifferent.
They just keep saying they can do it. So do it. Maybe they could use half the time they spend shilling for the party to create such legislation. But they would lose their contributions from the insurance industry and big pharma.
It is the Republicans who have tied Obamacare to the budget, not the president. If what Barr said was true, then the Republicans would attack Obamacare as a separate issue. Oh yeah, they have, some 40-odd times. Which would make them insane based on the premise that someone who keeps doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting a different result, is insane.
Barr, McConnell and other Republicans and Tea Partiers apparently believe that if you can't afford to eat or go to the doctor, then you shouldn't do so. I have to agree that if you starve to death, then you won't need medical care. I can see why neither of these men ever mentions God or Christ.
By removing the letter "r" evolution becomes the inevitable outcome of "revolution," the title of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra's season opener.
The program signified an auspicious beginning with a last-minute cooperative effort between management and orchestra personnel that made the concert possible.
Maestro Scott Terrell's and the players' exuberant and celebratory approach set the tone for the evening with Shostakovich's Festive Overture. And the scintillating presentation of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major with guest violinist Caroline Goulding surprisingly brought the crowd to its feet at the end of the second movement and the final movement as well.
So much for tradition.
After intermission, Adam Schoenberg, the LPO's composer-in-residence for this season, prefaced the performance of his American Symphony with a brief commentary on how he drew on improvisation and the influence of modern composers like Aaron Copland to create his tribute to a country of change.
Tradition dictated the titles for his symphony's movements: fanfare; white on blue; rondo; prayer; and stars and stripes and celebration. It was exploration and evolution, however, that permitted him to communicate the depth, diversity and change that is America.
Capping off the evening with Tchaikovsky's familiar 1812 Overture led me to believe that because there are no barriers with the language of music, there will be a meeting of minds and sound from the LPO for many seasons to come.
In Stephen Sondheim's words, "Could it be? Yes it could. Something's coming. Something good. If I can wait!"
And it's gonna be great.
Conflicted on Syria
I feel extremely divided on the current situation with Syria.
On one hand, I feel the president should have ordered a strike as soon as we found out that the attacks had been committed, but now that it is taking so much time that we should continue to stay out of it.
But then I think about how that may look and realize that even if the American people want nothing to do with Syria, we still need to step in and say that some things are just not OK and that there will be consequences.
While I personally do not like the idea of spending more money in an area of the world that clearly does not want us there, I still feel as though we must do something.
Letting these attacks go unpunished after they have received so much attention would demonstrate America's unwillingness to lead world affairs. Dealing with Syria in a strong, but appropriate, way would help rebuild American standing in the world.
Service is love
Recently, I saw a T-shirt which reads, "2013 Serve the City."
"Serve the City" is a great, positive statement. What if all of us, people of faith and non-believers, committed ourselves to serve all with kindness wherever we may be?
Instead of judging others who are different from us or gaming others, what if we all were to follow the ideology to serve? It is scriptural to do so. Micah 6:8b teaches, "do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God."
Think of actions we all do, including many who profess faith, which cause us to fail when it comes to loving, serving others. Is it because our humanness, which many times isn't humane at all, causes us to fall short of what this verse, as others, teaches?
How do we love others, be kind to all if we do not serve them? Or, do we not because we are stubborn and decide we know what is best? Know better than God's teachings?
So why do so many who profess faith condemn so many and love — serve — so few?
Isn't it by serving all others we show the love and kindness we are instructed to? Isn't service to God serving all? Our cities, country and world would be better if we stopped condemning and started serving instead.
A little courtesy, please
Standing on the side of a busy highway with your car's flashers on, you learn about the courtesy of fellow drivers. To say that many people have no remorse in speeding in a lane right beside a woman trying to change a flat tire at 5:30 a.m. is an understatement.
Besides the frustration of having my tire blow out, I also had the heart-pounding worry of being struck by someone who wasn't in the mood to move over into the other lane.
Jockeying for lanes is difficult, yet there were at least 10 cars that passed me when there were no other cars in the inner lane and yet did not move over.
I urge readers that the next time they are safely in their cars and pass a car on the side of the road, move over and allow that victim less anxiety over her misfortune.
What most people might not understand is that carbon dioxide is like having the windows on your car rolled up on a hot summer's day.
I think everybody knows how hot cars get when this happens. Our planet's atmosphere is no different. And with CO2 being considered a very prominent greenhouse gas, there might be a solution.
Several countries are working on a project called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor that uses tritium as it's source of fuel. From its website: "Global inventory for tritium is presently around twenty kilos, which ITER will draw upon during its operational phase."
If the design of this device were modified and had a core that created artificial gravity, then it could mimic the sun and as such could burn CO2. If so, then one of the most prevalent sources of greenhouse gas could be converted into clean energy.
While nothing can be guaranteed, it does seem that compressing CO2 gas by using an artificial gravity would possibly make the fusion process more efficient. If so, then like our sun, the ITER device might initiate a sustained burn based on it's own physical properties.