Thursday, December 31, 2009

When the foundations are being destroyed...

I hadn’t picked up a newspaper in a couple days, but the following headline from the Washington Times caught my eye as it lay on the kitchen table: Birth mom must give child to lesbian ex-partner.

I wanted to ignore it, but a mixture of perplexity and curiosity compelled me to pick up the newspaper, thinking that there must be more to this story. As I read the article, it only got worse. Read the details for yourself if you like, but the story in a nutshell is as follows:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Joy

Today’s post is an adaptation of a Christmas letter I recently sent to family and friends. I write one every year as an alternative to Christmas cards. When I first started, I would send out a couple hundred of them all by snail mail. Thanks to modern technology and a touch of laziness, I have been able to save quite a few trees (and postage) by only printing and mailing about half as many.

Each year I try to achieve the dual purpose of (1) sharing family news and (2) saying something inspiring. I almost did not send a letter out this year because, to be honest, I wasn’t feeling very inspired. Too much of the family news I had to share was not very joyful, and the majority of my recipients were already well aware of it. I had heard many of them express, either verbally or via a post on Facebook, that they would just as soon bid good riddance to the year 2009.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let’s go for broke!

After winning over the last few remaining holdouts in the Senate, it appears that President Obama and Harry Reid have the necessary votes to take over one-sixth of the economy with their healthcare bill. It has long been the holy grail of the left, and it is finally within their reach.

The arguments for government run and/or heavily regulated healthcare, when repeated long and loud enough, sooner or later start to stick. The ones I have heard most often are summarized below:

  1. Healthcare is a basic human right that should be denied to no one. All Americans have an inalienable right to medical insurance and health care.
  2. Healthcare should therefore not be left in the hands of profit driven medical care providers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers or insurance companies.
  3. Too much money is being spent on healthcare for unnecessary tests and procedures.
  4. The only way to equitably address these issues is to leave healthcare up to the government.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In Memory of my Mom

My dear mother Angelina was born in 1930 in Torre Faro, Messina. She was the third of three siblings born in Italy, after Uncle Joe and Aunt Rosie. The family situation at the time was not uncommon for southern Italy. My grandmother, "Nonna Antonia", was what was commonly referred to as a vedova Americana: an “American widow”. That is, my grandfather, “Nonno Nicola”, like many breadwinners in that era, spent months and years at a time in the United States, where jobs and opportunities were more plentiful, so he could send money home to his wife and children and perhaps one day bring them to the USA. Unfortunately, one of his trips abroad occurred at the end of 1929, just after my mother was conceived, and at the beginning of the Great Depression. The economic downturn and the subsequent World War--with Italy and the USA on opposite sides—prolonged the separation until after the war.