Anniversaries . . .

Ooops!  On July 10th, I missed acknowledging the 10th anniversary of the day my wife and I signed the documents to close the deal on buying our home.  It has been quite a ride.

Still, there is another far more important anniversary that I want to mark today.  This is the 20th Anniversary of when my wife and I stood before a St. Louis County, MO, Justice of the Peace and had his secretaries witness  that we exchanged vows to be Husband and Wife.

Happy Anniversary, honey.  To this day, I’m amazed that you put up with my bad jokes, my physical challenges, and the limits our marriage put on your quality of life.  I remain your faithful companion, and will be such as long as I am still able to help your life feel easier or better.

Love, Vernon

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Saturday Posts . . .

fyi – My wife found this post on Facebook, and forwarded it to me.  There is only one thing I might add to this – that Bernie’s 52% tax is ONLY the federal tax.  There is still the additional state, local, and sales taxes to be factored into the equation.  If Bernie has his way, anyone making less than $100k/yr will not only be taking a pay cut to fund his Universal Health Care initiative, but they will also qualify for welfare.  It is absolutely certain that anyone making minimum wage right now will be taking home less than they are now if Bernie gets his way.

Your final moments . . .

I know, I have written before about the importance of writing a living will or an advanced directive.

However, my wife and I recently visited a lawyer to take the official step of setting such ideas in stone.  And I much need to say that I feel the minor expense was very worth the time and hassel.

No baby, even those conceived by rape, has a choice in whether or not they are born.  No person of any age has any choice as to whether or not they are victims of murder. But every person alive has a choice about what conditions they will agree to  about the end of their life.

This is why I am a staunch advocate of Living Wills and Advance Directives.  These are the legally binding ways in which you have the power to tell health care professionalls – esessially those who may try to overrulle your preferred choices, exactly what you want them to do when you have lost the power to make those decisions for yourself.  You get the power to appoint ONLY ONE person, who already knows your preferences, as your  health care decision maker if you are unable to voice your own preferences.  You also get to make legally binding demands that certain types of care are not to be used, especially if they are beyond the financial reach of your immediate family to pay for.  In short, you get to decide, in a legally binding way, how far you are willing to allow a hospital to go in trying to save your life before they are required by law to pull the plug.  This is all about how much fincancial burden I’m willing to force upon my wife before offering her relief and protecting her from bankruptcy over the cost of my care.

I have taken the step of authenticating both a Living Will and an Advanced Directive, for the specific purpose of trying to make certain that my wife will NOT, under any circumstances, be bankrupted by the medical care required if I might meet a less than desired end-of-life situation.  I was very specific about several situations that might realistically happen in which I wanted NO life-saving measures to be used.  I also gave my wife, and as an alternate a very close friend, the power to make end-of-life choices regardging my health care.  They both know and respect my feelings on this matter.

Also, as a co-home-owner and husband, I agreed with my wife that we needed to go to a lawyer and transact a Last Will and Testament.  This is not because I feel that I may die at any near time, but rather because I believe it is better to be prepared in advance than to be caught off guard. It’s a relic of when I was in the Boy Scouts – more than 40 years ago.

Official Secrets . . .

The United States of America has a serious problem.  It is functionally psychotic.

I’m talking about how a country can claim to adhere to the ideals of truth, honesty, and integrity, while at the same time empowering anyone to keep secrets from the citizens who vote for the people who are empowered to lead the country.

Logically, there is a very fundamental flaw in such a system.

Every time you authorize a secret to be protected, you must by definition authorize someone to protect that secret from discovery.  The people charged with protecting those secrets do not answer to governments, or any agency within a government.  That is the exact anathema to a democratic republic, which is what the United States Of America is supposed to be.

Here is a logic problem on a global scale.  How can you have a government that is elected by the free will of the citizens who are governed by that government, but empowered to keep secretes from those who elect those who make the decisions of that government?

You can’t.

Whomever you empower to protect a secret is automatically empowered with authority superior to that of any elected official.  They become the gatekeepers to the secret. Their authority is superior to those who were elected, and thus  they are superior to the elected government.

I stumbled upon this line of reasoning because my wife and I recently watched a series of shows on Netflix Streaming called “America’s Book of Secrets”.  The whole series was about the secrets that were being kept from the citizens of the United States by the government that was supposed to be protecting them.

As a caveat, I must admit that nothing in that series actually divulged any national secret.  However, that is part and parcel of the problem.

How can any person, in a society that presumes itself to b e run by the consent of the governed, be capable of making a competent decision about anything if they are not given full access to the facts pertaining to the future of that government?  Every protected secret is a breach of the function of that government.

I can’t speak for the other governments of the world, but if the United States of America still values honesty, integrity, and transparency, then the citizens of the USA need to take action to abolish the notion that ANYTHING can be an official secret.