Alfie Evans, My Take

Peter Byrne – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Backstory: Alfie Evans is a little boy in England who has been on the front lines in a life support battle between his parents, health officials and the British government. Alfie, like Charlie Gard, has been used as a symbol for those preaching against socialized medicine. Alfie is suspected as having a degenerative mitochondrial condition which is terminal.

My own concerns with Aflie’s situation, beyond the heartache and tragedy, are thus:

1. His parents are barred from seeking a second opinion outside of “the system.”

2. The hospital has police guarding the boy, so the parents can’t take him out of the building.

The first matter just doesn’t sit well with me. We hear all the time we need to seek a second opinion. A true second opinion is not another doctor in the same medical facility, but one outside of the facility/hospital/practice. Locally here, the Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem is coming under fire now for performing mastectomies and lumpectomies on women who were diagnosed with cancer but didn’t actually have it. Second opinions can mean life or death.

The second matter is such a violation of human rights I can’t see straight. I liken it to a police state. As of today, the parents are going to court to see if a judge will allow them to take their little boy home to die.  I. Can’t. Even. The hospital and has fought and won the right to refuse further treatment for the boy, and now, they won’t let him leave the building. They won’t care for him, but they won’t let others care for him, either.

The one thing good to come of this—even with its hijacking of causes from the anti-socialized medicine groups and the anti-vaxxers—is that we’re talking about these issues. We’re having conversations about the right to refuse treatment, the right to give treatment, and the right to die with dignity, et. al.  These are discussions that we need to have. These affect us all.

My own opinion is that life is precious. People have a right to not suffer. Parents have a right to care for their young. It’s at once very simple and extremely complicated. 

Why Kanye West’s Tweets Matter

(image via Billboard)

In a country that promises freedom for its people we have anything but. The thought police have taken over, and, because their voices are so loud and their demands so “righteous,” we have most of the nation cowering and second-guessing their every sentence, every word. Those who don’t fall in line are labeled and shamed.

And, yet here comes Kanye. Tweeting that he has a right to think for himself—gasp! Doesn’t “Ye” know that you just can’t do that these days? Speaking the current party line with approved talking points is not only encouraged but expected. Anyone who falls out of step, especially a celebrity, is castigated and shunned. He must be out of his mind.

I was so stunned at first that I thought for sure his Twitter account had been hacked. Or, I reasoned, nah, this is some joke, he’s punking us. But, no, he’s sticking by his tweets that people are free to think for themselves. It’s not a novel idea, but it certainly hasn’t been used in a while.

Maybe we can all take a cue from Ye. Maybe we CAN think for ourselves, instead of regurgitating popular opinions presented by the media, celebrities and politicians.

Ye’s own words could be our next step toward gaining back our freedom as a people. He said, “I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.

And, so we do.

Why Universal Basic Income Will Fail, Every Time

NEWS HEADLINE: Finland To End Universal Basic Income Pilot Program

Of course this doesn’t work. It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance.

Just look at teenagers and kids and they’ll show you human nature at work. Parents provide for their necessities, as they should, but when it comes to work and chores, there is much prodding that must be done. When a human’s needs are provided for without conditions, there’s no impetus to pursue toil and labor. The detriment is that the benefits of toil and labor that go beyond monetary gains, namely the self-confidence and esteem garnered through self-provision, are lost. We teach our children to work hard for their goals whether studies, employment, athletics, arts, clubs and organizations, or other pursuits, because we know that by working toward goals and meeting them, it enriches their lives.

Likewise, a life spent in laxity and inactivity leads to depression, hopelessness and self-doubt. Esteem cannot be given, it can only be earned.

I always look to Spongebob as my example: cheerfully work at something you love. He was born to be a fry-cook, and so he is the best fry-cook under the sea. He’s not Mr. Krabs, he’s not wealthy, he’s not Sandy, he’s not particularly intelligent, he’s not Squidward, he does not seek luxury, he is Spongebob, happy with himself and his life.

Maybe if we stopped thinking that money solves all problems, and we looked to what truly solves all problems, God and purpose in our lives, we wouldn’t be quick to think handing out money will take care of the deeper issues. Yes, give to the poor, give to those in need, that is vital, but realize that many needs transcend money.

I once lived on a $5 for a week to feed a roommate, a dog, a cat and me. Chicken livers and onions lasted the whole week, PTL. But, I was happily pursuing a degree in dental hygiene, I was living in beautiful New Hampshire overlooking a creek and woods, I was working in retail helping people, I had time to run in the field with my puppy, it was a great time. I could have asked my dad for more money and he would have given it, but I wanted the independence. I wanted to do it as much on my own as I could because I know the difference between earning something on your own, and having it given to you.

You cherish what your sweat has delivered.

Another Protest Today

Two MORE protests today for the kids—one at school (during school!!) and the other in downtown Raleigh after school.

I think having high school students leave the classroom is hardly a “protest.” How about a protest where they have some skin in the game, like at 8 a.m. on Saturday? Skipping school and having news media fawn over you, everyone cheering you on, is hardly a protest. My sister protested the Vietnam War–I was too young–and those were protests, difficult and violent, quite unlike today where protesting is some sort of activity of self-indulgence.

I grew up in a place where the guys and some gals brought their guns to school so they could go hunting after class. They left them in their trucks on campus and no one thought anything of it. I don’t think it’s a gun issue alone, I think it’s a multi-faceted issue and when we spend the entire time talking about guns, the other factors get zero attention and the issue will never resolve. We’re not going to solve this by banning guns.

We’re going to solve this by starting at home. Who is the kid who laughed at my kid yesterday? Who is the kid that stole part of my kid’s lunch in the hallway? (I mean, really…smh.) Maybe we ought to have heart to heart conversations with our kids about their behaviors in school and elsewhere. Maybe we ought to start looking at heart issues. Maybe we need to start teaching compassion.

As a gun owner married to a competition shooter and hunter, I know that guns have zero power on their own. They cannot load themselves and shoot. Only a person can do that. And, the heart of the person is the key to any behavior, as all behavior comes from the heart. When you kill a deer for organic, natural meat, you are feeding your family and providing a service in animal control as designated by the government. When you kill a human without the reason of self defense or public safety, you are acting out of hatred and fear and loathing. A black heart will find a way.

Look at London, they are now banning knives because there have been so many knife killings. It’s not a gun issue. It’s not a knife issue. It’s a heart issue…and it’s a multi-faceted issue regarding mental health, lack of gun safety training, lack of compassion training, et. al., and, lack of God.