Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving :-(

Spence here,
So Chels, had seizure on Thanksgiving Eve...

She's been fighting a bit of a cough and cold so it must have got the best of her and allowed a seizure to creep in. Don't worry she is doing ok... She has a bit of a headache, sore muscles and extreme fatigue but with some good R&R she should be back on her feet in a few days. And with a little help from her sous-chef, she was able to make a few of her favorite Thanksgiving treats. (pics to be posted shortly)

Even though our Thanksgiving isn't going as planned I wanted to share with you how grateful Chels and I are for all of the support that we get from our friends and family. We couldn't do it without all of your prayers and encouragement.

I also wanted Chels to know how thankful I am for her and the role that she plays in my life. She is my home. She is what I live and breathe for. She is such an wonderful example a strength and faith. I love you so much Angel.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Okay, I've been debating on wether or not to write a post about health care reform because I don't want to sound like one of those crazies who think that a Obama's plan means the end of the world or anything. I just want to give you an overview from someone who pays A LOT (1/3 of our net income) for insurance and has a wife with a pre-existing condition.

Let me start out with a little inside scoop on what exactly Chelsi has been through, insurance wise, in the past couple years. First we'll start with the simple prescription. Chelsi takes a medication called Kepra to help control her seizures. Kepra is a drug that is new to the market and is the best (meaning the least amount of side-effects) on the market. Consequently it is quite expensive. Kepra, before insurance, costs $5.00 a pill and Chels takes three a day. Some quick math and you see that Kepra costs $450 a month and with our insurance we pay 30% of the cost. There IS a generic version that recently came out but the effectiveness decreases noticeably with the generic version... So it is worth it to pay the increased cost.

Kepra, however, isn't the “best” medication as it pertains to seizure control. For three years Chelsi went mostly seizure free on a medication called Tegratol. Tegratol has awful side-effects. It caused tremendous drowsiness and was so toxic that it tarnished every bit of metal jewelry she wore. All of her jewelry would turn BLACK after just a few days. Eventually Chelsi had to quit taking it because it was causing some liver damage. Tegratol isn't even the most effective drug used for controlling seizures. Depacote is probably the most effective if you want to sedate Chelsi to the point were she can't do anything... Seizure-Free—Activity-Free.

Lets move on to medical procedures. Over the past 3-4 years Chels has underwent extensive and expensive testing to see if brain surgery could be an option to correct her epilepsy She's had at least 3 MRIs, 5 EEGs, a Radioactive test (I don't seem to remember the name of) and almost 2 weeks of inpatient testing where she had to be hospitalized and observed 24/7 while hooked up to a brain wave (EEG) machine. Total cost... close to $30,000 dollars. Luckily we only had to pay our deductible $2,500. When all of the testing was said and done brain surgery wasn't an option we we're left with an experimental procedure called a Vegal Nerve Stimulator. A VNS doesn't work on everyone... in fact it over 1/3 of patients who have a VNS implanted see little to no change in their seizure activity.

Luckily Chelsi was part of the other 2/3 who has seen a difference and it has made SO MUCH OF AN IMPACT. Her seizures have gone down from 1 every 2 weeks to 1 every 4 months and decreasing day by day.

What is my point? No matter what Mr. Obama says about no national plan or public option this is what he aspires to

and he doesn't seem like the type to give up very easily.

If the government heavily regulates the market on health care, or develops a public option to “compete” with insurance companies, we can kiss all of these expensive options goodbye.

Imagine that you started a business. And in came a competitor with an unlimited source of revenue, who doesn't care about making a profit. Could you compete? If costs go up, the government doesn't go out of business!!! They just tax more. Pretty soon they'll push out every insurance company or at a minimum, force them to reduce costs which means... no more expensive drugs and no more experimental surgery.

The solution to lower health care costs are to eliminate interstate restrictions and open up the market for interstate purchasing of health care. For the unemployed and those who do not have/can't get health care, make medicare available for them...and for those who choose not to have health care... THAT IS THEIR CHOICE!!!

So the moral of the story is... USE YOUR BRAIN. When has GOVERNMENT ANYTHING worked... Social Security... Nope. Federal Stimulus...NOPE... THE POSTAL SYSTEM... NOPE!!! And once it's created... A government health care plan cannot be destroyed. Government only grows... it never shrinks.

If you are in favor of a government health care plan and you know Chelsi... I'd think about how it might effect the one's you love...and I'd re-think your position.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Judging of Ms. Sotomayor

If you've been watching the news or listening to the radio this week you would have heard that Obama has found his nominee to replace Justice David Souter. To most political junkies it wasn't a shock that he chose the female, Latino, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

"I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity,”... I will seek someone who understands that justice is not about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.”

“I view that quality of empathy of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles an essential ingredient for arriving at just decision and outcomes."
-Barack Obama

I find it interesting that the President doesn't seem to have a great opinion on the role of the constitution and it's place in the modern judicial system. He seems to care more about whether the Supreme Court shows "empathy" when deciding outcomes of cases rather than the direct application of the law.

There is either the law, and equal justice under the law; meaning non-partial interpretation of the law. Or there is a sort of bending the rules in empathy towards specific circumstances which seems to be the big ideal that Obama preaches.

His nomination of Sotomayor describes a lot about his views on the constitution and the role it should play in the government today. At a conference at Duke University Judge Sotomayor made the following comments....

“All of the legal defense funds out there—they’re looking for people with court of appeals experience. Because court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know, I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law. [Laughs] I know. I know. [Laughter] I’m not promoting it, I’m not advocating it, I’m…y’know.”
-Sonia Sotomayor

It is clear that she is excited for this appointment and the opportunity she has to go and make some PERMANANT policy changes.

The Biggest problem I have with Sotomayor is her ideas about the role of race in America today. I understand that our nation's past when dealing with racial issues has been one the is troubled at best. But having said that we've had two African-Americans appointed to the Supreme Court and we've just elected our first African-America President. The nation has come a long way in becoming the color blind society that was so greatly desired by Dr. King.
Ms. Sotomayor was quoted as saying the follwing...

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a BETTER conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
- Sonia Sotomayor

If we were to reverse that statement and switch around the races to say... I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often that not reach a BETTER conclusion that a Latino woman who hasn't lived that life. Would you not say that is a racist comment?

I think that this comment aligns directly with the view that the current President has about the same topic of race and it's role in America. But according to Jesse Jackson Reverse Racism is okay right? It is okay for minorities to be racist because they don't have the power to act upon their feelings... Well if the President of the United States isn't the most powerful postition in the world and a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court isn't a power filled position... I don't know what is.

In the end I know that Sotomayor is a future Supreme Court Justice. I'm just sick of the double standard that exists today in the Democratic Party and with liberals. When Clarence Thomas was appointed to the supreme court this was written in the NY Times about the appointment.

"As the nation waits to learn more about Clarence Thomas, the questions will concern not so much his talent but his character. Even his rise from poverty and racial isolation will be less interesting than how that experience has affected his regard for other Americans and whether he understands how their lives and rights are affected by law and official action."

Conversly this was written in the NY Times about Ms. Sotomayor...

"It’s impossible not to be moved by Judge Sotomayor’s story... Her legal experience is impressive and wide-ranging... In her rulings, Judge Sotomayor has repeatedly displayed the empathy Mr. Obama has said he is looking for in a justice... If Judge Sotomayor joins the court, it will be a special point of pride for Hispanic-Americans — as it was for Jews, blacks and women before them to see one of their own take a seat on the highest tribunal in the land."

Yeah that sounds about right don't you think?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Inaugural Address

This is my first post on this blog so I decided to first say a little bit about me. I was born and raised in Utah (Davis County) and from a young age was subject to the greater teachings of Rush Limbaugh via my dear ole dad. For as long as I remember my dad would sit in his office and listen to Rush and talk about the virtues of Ronald Reagan. As a grew older my political ideology began to parallel that of my father. When it came time for me pick a major in college the only area I felt passionate about was political science along with history (specifically U.S. History.) Unlike most universities, Utah State University is not a liberal institution. I learned many philosophies that helped strengthen the long-held beliefs that I had. I graduated this Spring and am looking to put my degree to use in any area where I might be able to help promote the ideals that I hold dear.

The Virtues of Conservatism

First and foremost I am a conservative for one basic reason. I believe in the individual. The most powerful asset a person can possess is their own drive and ingenuity. I feel that the intrusion of government into personal and market affairs often stifles human ingenuity by creating undesired incentives that interfered with the natural inclinations of man. I know that sounds complex but it simply means that government always, with good intentions, screws things up. Ex.Social Security, Sub-Prime Lending, the Welfare State.

Conservatism believes in the individual. We believe in the American dream that if you work hard enough for something, you WILL get it! After all this is still the land of opportunity. Our founding fathers fought to see that every American would have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The military and laws are used to preserve our lives. The Bill of Rights and Amendments to the constitution lay out our liberties. The pursuit of happiness…. Well that is where the debate lies… can the government be used create happiness? Or does its intrusion into American lives create misery?