Category Archives: America

My Healthcare Reform Suggestions

Enough with all the bickering and fighting, not to mention the constant maligning of each other in the media, let’s pass some real healthcare reform that is fair, realistic, and responsible.

In other words, submit the following 10 points to Congress, get it approved, have the President sign it, then let’s get on with life.

Baker Healthcare Reform Plan

1. Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines.

2. Create a high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, etc., and develop ways in which those with chronic illnesses can receive care without affecting premium costs for healthy citizens.

3. Encourage tax-free accounts such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in which people can put money to be used for medical expenses, further encouraging better pricing options.

4. Encourage doctors, hospitals, and all medical facilities to list actual prices and offer discounts for cash payments (including payments made from FSA’s and HSA’s).

5. Re-educate the public on what insurance is and is not. Create courses in high school and college which will teach young adults how to manage their healthcare costs.

6. Encourage lower medicine costs by reducing regulations which cost manufactures millions and delay drugs being introduced to the market.

7. Develop a strict, but less-burdensome vetting process which will allow foreign prescription drugs to be sold in the United States, thereby providing more options to the consumer.

8. Re-evaluate laws which govern how legal firms bring class action law suits against prescription drug companies.

9. Encourage self-insurance options for the wealthy.

10. Allow insurance companies to create a wider variety of affinity group options.

Honestly, much more could be said about each of the above points, but these alone would have fixed a lot of problems with the previous healthcare system, all without having the government come along and take over everything.

With some common sense everything could be OK.

 

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Filed under America, politics, current events

Take Me To Your Leader

Today, on Presidents Day, many people across America took to the streets in protest, not celebration. With banners raised and voices lifted (or visa versa), the disappointed citizens, non-citizens, voters, and even non-voters (i.e., those who should just shut up and keep out of it) spewed out the following phrase:

“Not my president!”

Yes, in cities across the land the very same people who say they care about America, yet claim it was “never great” and are convinced the Russians have damaged our democracy, are marching around proclaiming themselves leaderless after a fair election. 

What would these protesters have said if a bunch of Republicans had said the same thing about Obama? I was deeply disappointed when he was elected, but I respected the result. The rule of law, you see, even extends to accepting duly-elected leaders, even when we don’t like them or their policies. Had we protested Obama the same way these today have protested President Trump, we would have been labeled both un-American and racist. Heck, I was labeled a racist for just not voting for the man! 

Yet, here we have a bunch of people who are boldly proclaiming that Trump is not their president, and that they will not submit to any of his policies. Are they racists, or just un-American? Because, as I see it, unless we were invaded by hostiles and forced to accept regime change, even a new constitution, the man in the White House right now is my leader. 

So, here’s my question: If the President of the United Stated of America is not your president, who is? Obviously you are not American, because ours has been elected. 

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Filed under America, current events, General Observations, politics

Happy President’s Day! Pass the Kleenex

Nothing much has changed in the last 5 years since I first made this little video.

Wait a cotton-pick’n minute! What am I saying?? Plenty has changed in the last five years!

  • I’ve gained weight
  • My wife has lost weight
  • I started pastoring my 3rd church
  • One of my daughters survived 3 years of finals, even though she swore each year she would die.
  • We had a record-setting presidential election – and some of us survived.
  • I went from driving a cool car to driving a mini-van.
  • My 49-year no-bug-eating streak came to an end.

But what has not changed is that people are still getting sick, especially with the typical seasonal allergies, colds, and flu’s that are spread around every year around this time.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. – Genesis 8:22

Therefore, even though the following video was made 5 years ago, it’s still perfectly applicable for today 🙂

Enjoy!

(P.S. Yes, the flag is hanging inappropriately, but what does a monkey know? The stars should be on the left.)

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Filed under America, Monday Monkey

I Deleted It

I haven’t been writing much that lately, only re-posting in an effort to keep up activity and share some good stuff with newer readers. The reason is that we are still in the process of moving to a different part of town and out of the parsonage we’ve been in for the last eight years.

So, what I did was sit down at my computer one last time, all because this baby is going to be taken down and packed in the back of a van in the morning, and write a final post in the area where my blogging actually began. I sat down in the empty kitchen, worn out, right where I’m sitting right now, and decided I would write a post addressing the millions of women marching all over the world in protest of President Donald Trump.

I deleted the post.

Well, I didn’t actually delete it – that would be a lie – I just permanently saved it as a “draft.”

Why did I, in effect, delete the post I labored over for an hour? I figured it was better for me to find other battles to fight than get into one with a bunch of pink “p***y hat” wearing, illogical, angry, pro-abortion, hypocritical, estrogen-filled leftists with a uterus-shaped chip on their shoulder.

You don’t need to know what I think about a million Gloria Steinhem worshipers or White House-threatening Madonna’s. You don’t want me to go there. I don’t want to go there.

The continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike (Proverbs 27:15), so why cause it to storm when it’s quiet and I’m perfectly dry?

I just dried out from having to move in the rain, so I don’t need to invite a million drips of estrogen rage. I’ll just keep praying for our new President; he can break out his own umbrella – I hear it’s huuuge.

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Filed under America, blogging, politics, Uncategorized

Hacksaw Ridge. Just Wow!

I Went to a Movie

Being the “recovering legalist” that I am, let me start off this brief little post with a brave confession: I went to a movie on a Sunday night.

That’s right, instead of going to church somewhere last night, my daughter Haley and I used a gift card that was given to her and went to see Hacksaw Ridge. Because I am not pastoring anywhere at the moment, and because I was not scheduled to preach anywhere last night, a daddy/daughter date made for a great conclusion to a week full of stress and uncertainty.

What’s even better is that it only cost me $2 for the movie and $7 for both of us to eat at Taco Bell!

My Daughter’s Thoughts

Before I share with you my thoughts about Hacksaw Ridge, why don’t I share what my daughter posted on Facebook as we left the theater?

“Update: Hacksaw Ridge is The Best movie I have ever seen.”

“Everyone please if you can go see Hacksaw Ridge. You won’t regret it.”

There was literally a physical change in her expression toward the end of the movie. At the very end she sat there with her mouth agape with this look that silently screamed out, “Unbelievable!”

My Thoughts

I am not a professional movie critic. Sure, I can be critical, but I am not adept at pointing out all the nuances of plot, imagery, and blah blah blah. All I can do is tell you what I think, how I felt, and what I would recommend.

First, this movie had a whole lot more gore than Saving Private Ryan, if you can believe it. But being that this was directed by Mel Gibson, well… Let’s just say that if you have a weak stomach, you might want to take a barf bag – the battle scenes are meant to shock.

Second, I went to this movie with the preconceived understanding that there would be a spiritual application somewhere; I was not disappointed. Besides the overall theme of being faithful to one’s personal God-given convictions, there was an undeniable linkability (my word) between Desmond Doss’ prayer to rescue “just one more” and the way we should be about reaching the lost.

Third, the first half of the movie is a bona fide chick-flick. Nevertheless, the sweet romance portrayed during the character-building phase of the movie was a pleasant contrast to the hell of war. Some have labeled this movie – at least the first part – too “sentimental.” Whatever. At least it wasn’t your typical get drunk and have sex before you know someone’s name Hollywood script.

Fourth, I wish the context of the battle could have been better explained. I know it might have run the risk of coming across as a history lesson, but it would have been helpful to understand a little better the “why” and the “where” of what was going on in the second half of the movie. Very little was done to explain the battle – it was almost like the fighting took place for the sake of fighting.

Fifth, this was an R-rated film, so beware. There was no sex or graphic nudity, but there was some language (not near as much as other war movies), a lot of violence (duh), and a scene where a particular recruit shows his bare behind (he was an exhibitionist, but that gets corrected in a humorous way).

Overall, this movie is about convictions, honor, duty, God, country, love, and not judging a book by its cover. Even though Doss was a Seventh Day Adventist, nothing about this movie made it come across as proselytizing. It truly was just a great movie and a great testament to a genuine hero, Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, who never fired a shot, but single-handedly saved over 75 lives during the battle of Okinawa. If anyone deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor, he did.

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Filed under General Observations, America, Do not judge, Movie review

The Other Things I’m Thankful For

Now that the holiday is about over, I’m sure you’ve heard all the normal lists of things for which we all should be thankful.

Like many others, I led prayer before today’s over-the-top gastronomical celebration, directing all present to give thanks for grace, mercy, family, freedom, and a host of blessings we don’t deserve. I even led us to remember those less fortunate during this joyful time. 

Therefore, since you’ve already heard thanks for the usual blessings, let me close out this Thanksgiving holiday with a list of other things I’m thankful for. 

  1. Zip-lock baggies. 
  2. Cell phone service with no roaming fees. 
  3. Coffee. 
  4. Antibiotics. 
  5. DVR’s. 
  6. I’m not a vegetarian. 
  7. Modern dentistry. 
  8. Safe drinking water. 
  9. Bluetooth. 
  10. Inexpensive firing ranges. 
  11. Baby powder. 
  12. A wife that hasn’t give up on me. 
  13. New Star Wars movies. 
  14. Background noise apps on my phone. 
  15. Daughters who still believe in me. 

OK, so #12 and #15 are from the “normal” list, but I couldn’t help it. 

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. – Psalm 106:1

My daughter Katie’s first apple pie. A work of art!

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The Would-be Veteran

Tennessee Volunteers

Please, just because I am from Tennessee, don’t mistake me for a big Vol fan. As a matter of fact, I am pretty much a non-fan, that is, I am not a real fan of any team. I’m just not a big sports guy.

Don’t be too shocked. It’s not that I dislike sports; it’s just that I have too little time to get into all the games and stats and money spent on dressing like an orange safety cone. However, when and if Tennessee ever again beats Alabama in football, you can bet I will be bouncing off the walls with unadulterated happiness.

But here’s the thing: I come from a long line of proud, patriotic, Tennessee volunteers – the kind that volunteer to serve.

We Tried

Many of my family served in the military, including one great uncle who was at Normandy in WWII. But for the last three generations on my father’s side, we were only volunteers, never veterans.

As I understand it, my grandfather, William D. Baker, volunteered at the beginning of World War 2, but was declared to be “4F” ( physically unfit for military duty). I don’t know what was wrong with him, but he was a tough man that looked like he could have whipped more than a few Nazi’s.

In the 1960’s, before the “Tet” offensive, my dad, Terry L. Baker, volunteered to go to Vietnam. Yes, before he could be drafted, he volunteered to fight. Yet, like his father, my dad was turned away from the army because he was “overweight.” Is that all? Really? My dad could bench 300 lbs., was the state heavyweight wrestling champion, competed in track and field, knew how to hunt, and was considered (along with his brother) two of the toughest, meanest boys on the river. He could have handled the Army, I’m sure.

Then, on January 17 of 1990, after two days of humiliating tests and physicals, I was turned down by the Army. Believe it or not, I volunteered for service, just like my dad and grandfather before me, but was turned away because it was believed I had glaucoma (an eye condition), which I never actually had.

Almost a Veteran

What I had no way of knowing was that exactly one year after I was turned away from the Army, one year after volunteering, Operation Desert Storm would begin. Had I been accepted, I could have been right in the middle of the conflict in Iraq. Knowing me, I probably would have been one of the few Americans killed.

tennesseeYes, I’m a true Tennessee volunteer, and that’s all I will ever be, unless America is ever invaded during my lifetime. So, I was almost a veteran, but not quite.

In the meantime, I will consider myself one those carrying on the legacy of the “Black Robed Brigade” of the American Revolution. I may never be called to take up arms against the enemies of freedom, but I can man the pulpit and let freedom ring!

God bless our veterans and the families that stayed behind waiting for their homecoming. Your sacrifices paid for the liberty we enjoy today.

May God remind us that freedom isn’t free.

 

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Filed under America, current events, Preaching