Archive for volunteers

The Wait Can Be Worth It, Certainly The Donation Can Be Life-Saving

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organ transplants

Two years ago wasn't such a good year for me.The show I was writing and producing got cancelled, my oldest child got a wonderful job and moved out and oh, one other thing -- I was told that I had fatty liver disease (called nonalcoholic steatohepatisis). The projected outcome was death. So I was put on a liver transplant list while being sized for a proper fitting toe-tag. But being the newest addition to the list, and with a chance to last a year at the most, my call number was way down --or as they say, you can't even hear the band from back here. A population of donors the size of Phoenix would have to all die and donate their healthy organs for me to survive. Even with John McCain and Sheriff Joe Arpaio running things in that area, there wasn't much chance of that.

In the meantime, my doctors didn't give up. I was submitted for and got accepted into a test group, half of us given a placebo and the other half given an experimental medication. We didn't know who was in which group, but there was some guarded hope. But the waiting was "killing" us... in at least half the cases, literally.

But somehow I adjusted -- I say adjusted guardedly because I didn't tell my family so I was kind of living a lie. I didn't want to worry them but they eventually found out as my health deteriorated and I was hospitalized. The ingrown toenail excuse could only run so long.

I waited and awaited, and at best I seemed to stay the same, then I would check the donation list and still find my name inching up the list, but I was still at least a Hollywood sized population away.

Fortunately for me, last year was a great year. I wasn't on the placebo list -- but on the actual experimental medication list -- and the concoction reversed much of my liver issues. I ultimately improved to the point I was no longer on the list but on the mend. Today I feel great.

But I was one of the lucky ones. And not everyone is so fortunate. One of the first things I did was fill out an organ donor card. Hell, if I was saved from this sod box ending, why shouldn't I give the life of sight, or hearing, or a heart, or kidneys or something else to those who're going through what I went through? If you think waiting for your drive-through window food order is stressful, try waiting to live.

If it's against your religion to make an organ donation, I understand. But if you're just lazy, not so much. Take the two seconds to check off the organ donation box on your next driver's license application. AND MAKE SURE YOU LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW. You can't imagine the miracle gift you can provide for those you leave behind. You have  no idea what that waiting is like and hopefully never will.

Here's a little video to put into pictures what those who are waiting go through. You won't feel a thing, but you'll know you've done something great. And it won't cost you anything you're going to have any use for, anyway.

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Healthcare.gov Is Fixed -- In 3 Days By 3, 20-Year Olds, And For Free

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healthcare gov fixit guys

The Affordable Care Act stumbled out of the gate with their website, Healthcare.gov. It was a bust. Face it, there's nothing but bad news involved with the rollout except the number of people who tried to log on initially. That was very encouraging news. But if you can't buy what you're advertising for sale, you're bust. And so went the site and so went the President's credibility.

Fortunately, the fix is in. Oh, not like in a horse race, but as in a fully working site replacement. There's only one catch. It's not the government's site. It's a free site that three computer jockeys designed themselves over a few days and nights. It's healthcare.gov only it works. The site is called HealthSherpa.com and all you have to do is put in your zip code and all the rates and plans come up for you. Since it's inception, they've added on a feature that calculates your tax subsidies as well. So this site is good to go.

It's up and running right now.

And it's simple too. All the federal government needs to do now is take it over. And the three 20 year olds,  Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser who built it are willing to give it up -- to the government -- for free. They did  it as a public service. Of course they should be paid for this, but look at what we can do here as a country with education, advanced technology and some collective brainstorming. MailOnline reports:

The website claims: 'The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.'

The programmers are also adding features to the site, such as a section on tax subsidies. But the three 20-year-olds say they worked on the project as a service rather than to make money.

CBS News made this report:

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"What Hitler Did Will Be Nothing Compared To What We're Going To Do"

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Mr Peabody's Wayback Machine

With at h/t to Andrew Meyers, a New York attorney, accountant and my cousin.

SHERMAN: "Where to today, Mr. Peabody?"

MR PEABODY: "Today, Sherman, I've set my"wayback machine" to 1948. We're going to various locations around the United States and then onto an amazing undercover operation in Israel, still then called, Palestine."

Clandestine phone calls had been going out to veteran U.S. WWII pilots. Think of this as putting together THE DIRTY DOZEN, only in this case, it was called the Mahal. They were to become the first Air Force and the last hope of this nascent country. Their mission would determine the viability and the existence of  a new independent nation -- the State of Israel. The odds were formidable but the stakes couldn't be higher. Failure would destroy their hopes of existence.

The Machal were made up of volunteer pilots, most of them American, some British. Their hush-hush mission was to defend Israel from a five prong attack -- Eqypt, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The coordinated efforts of this assault were sure to doom the budding Israel. Time was ticking as the five formidable enemies readied their armies. The Israeli defenses were outrageously outnumbered, but not in hopes and dreams. This was do or die and they were not going to be denied their independence. They had suffered enough already.

Messerschmitt-Bf-109-airplane-2

Israel had only four (4) airplanes as the war began. They were German (how ironic) "Messerschmidt 109's" (again ironic, remember PT 109) which they smuggled in from the Czech Republic. The fighters were assembled overnight in Tel Aviv and were never flight tested before going into battle.

The unified army had tanks, squadrons, manpower and fighter planes. How could the State of Israel stand up to that? Was this the David and Goliath story of it's time?

A preview of the documentary ABOVE AND BEYOND is below. It's really a great insight into struggles for existence and of will power over might. Enjoy:

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Honors the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award Winner 1:45p EDT

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over

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Shannyn Moore: Don't just suffer the darkness, make light. "Is that the opposite of terrorism? Selfless humanity?"

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martin luther king darkness light love hate

Friend of the blog and friend of mine Shannyn Moore has kindly given us permission to cross-post her excellent op-ed from the Anchorage Daily News:

Media saturation and outrage fatigue. That's the kind of week it's been.

There were so many stories -- from all over the country and world in such terrible detail. There seemed nothing to do but watch as horror after horror unfolded. When was the last time I heard "Breaking: Good News?"

As summer draws near, we watched the U.S. Senate -- including both of our senators -- fail the victims of past and future gun massacres. On Patriot's Day blood spilled on the streets of Boston, limbs lost, lives lost. We saw a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, the victims literally vaporized under a mushroom cloud.

An Elvis impersonator is accused of sending poison to the president and a congressman -- and it didn't even make the front page.

We learned that pressure cookers aren't just for canning salmon. The manhunt for heartless terrorists unfolded relentlessly, bit by bit, in our living rooms. It's no wonder so many of the ads during the 24-hour cable news broadcasts are for anti-depressants, anti-depressant boosters, sleep aids and blood pressure medications. Maybe a news week like this can actually make you sick. I like to believe our brains are wired to feel empathy for our fellow humans in peril and pain and to help if we can. I dare say it's our better nature.

So let's remember the volunteer firefighters in Texas, well aware of the danger posed by a burning fertilizer plant, who stayed to help evacuate a home for the elderly.

Is that the opposite of terrorism? Selfless humanity? We see a lot less of that in the news. I wouldn't mind a few more minutes of real heroes on TV rather than seemingly endless hours of speculation by people who went to high school with fanatical zealots whose grandest ambition was to kill children with bombs.

Growing up in Homer, I felt like there were a lot of horrible things that happened. I remember what houses burned down, whose parents got divorced, car wrecks, boats sinkings and grievous illnesses. Many of these surfaced as prayer requests during church services.

Pop Moore had a saying about most of these situations. "It's not a problem -- it's just a situation that we have to find a solution for."

When a house burned down, we went through our toys, books and clothes and packed a few boxes. Mom and Pop did the same.

We made casseroles and delivered them to grieving families. We showed up at funerals.

We went to spaghetti feeds and pie auctions for people who needed money for medical treatments. Once Pop bought a pie for $100 and donated it back -- it sold again and he and the other bidder split the pie.

In those days, it seemed that bad news had a process -- there were things to be done on a scale that people could handle. There seemed to be a balance.

I'm not sure we humans are built to consume the abundance of grief and pain, tears and fears brought to us from near and far by a vast media machine. But what can we do about it?

Without the ability to respond with individual action we become simple rubber-neckers at the misfortunes of others. It shouldn't be enough just to be relieved that whatever is happening isn't happening in our town.

I'm not proposing we unplug the giant media machine. I would never urge people to bury their heads and assume it's all being taken care of. Often, we have only two meaningful ways to react: We can give money, or we can take our responsibilities as citizens a little more seriously -- by voting and holding our leaders accountable -- so may we prevent a tragedy. We can't undo a killing explosion in Texas but we can push the people we elect to make sure we have smart zoning laws and money for safety inspections. That requires a focus and discipline that's not as easy or as satisfying as baking a pie.

Maybe it's a simple as trying to balance the bad we know is out there with the good we can do right now. Like picking up the trash that someone else tossed, volunteering at the soup kitchen or sorting extra clothes into boxes for the needy. Maybe many small acts of GOOD, efforts that don't really take much effort, are better for us than anti-depressants, sleep aids and blood pressure meds.

The night of the Boston bombing, New York City lit a message for Boston. It was a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."

Dr. King went on to say, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."


Shannyn Moore can be heard weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. on KOAN 1020 AM and 95.5 FM radio. Her weekly TV show airs at 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays on ABC affiliate KYUR Channel 13.

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Video- The Obama Campaign's Wunderkind

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The kids' got potential.

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Video- Lamest Season’s Greetings From Team Newt Ever!

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Wow.
Via.

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