Sunday, January 30, 2011

Apologies to Dentists

Florida mother shoots teenage
son and daughter because they
“talked back and were mouthy.”

I believe I should apologize for my intemperate remarks about dentists. I don’t really believe that dentists are sadists. I’m sure that most dentists do the best they can with what they have to work with and do not deliberately intend to inflict pain and suffering on their patients. Thinking about this, I believe my views of dentists and dentistry are far too influenced (and old-fashioned) because of my boyhood experiences. Dentistry, as it is practiced today, is only remotely related to dentistry as it was when I was a boy. My parents, rightly so, wanted me to take care of my teeth and this meant going to the dentist. As there were only a few dentists in our little town it meant going to my father’s dentist. My father was a large man, over two hundred pounds with a 19 inch neck, and strong as it was possible for a man to be. When he was in the army during the First World War they once pulled several of his teeth at one sitting with no anesthetic. With the help of a nearby telephone pole that he clung to for a few minutes he managed to recover and survive. Thus his dentist’s attack on his person later in life was for him merely routine. Not so for me, as a skinny, timid, nearsighted young boy, I was terrified of this dentist. I believe I actually went to him twice. He was a short man and I remember him vividly with his knee on my chest attacking my teeth with the jackhammers that passed for drills and the chisels and mallets that were also used in those days. Twice was more than enough. Although my parents made repeated appointments for me I simply refused to go, telling them I just forgot. My best friend also went to this dentist. We traded horror stories and with each telling our fear grew stronger. Going to my dentist now is not even remotely similar to these earlier experiences. If ever technological innovations and patient care have brought about monumental improvements in health care it would have to be in dentistry. I cannot say that going to the dentist is a pleasure even in these days, but I can say it is a thousand times better than it was, but enough about dentistry, at least for the moment.

I must say I am not in the least apologetic for not suffering fools gladly. Presumably Republicans made such huge inroads into the House of Representatives and lesser, but still meaningful inroads into the Senate, because of our current economic crisis, especially unemployment. Thus you might expect them to have some ideas about how to solve such problems. But have you heard of any plan of theirs to do something about unemployment? Other, that is, than their usual meme of “lower taxes and small government,” that we now know from experience is about as useful as “tits on a boar.” Another of their stated aims is to make sure than Obama is a one-term President. So we find them also now engaged, in another of their priorities, trying to repeal health care. Republican Governors are also all excited about slashing Medicaid. Still another priority, according to Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is redefining rape (another semi-subtle attack on Roe vs Wade). And, continuing their slavish devotion to the NRA, they are resisting any attempts to any form of gun control, not matter how sensible. Darrell Issa, having been given some power, is demanding the Federal Government identify everyone who has made a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (what he intends to do with this information I do not know). Still other Republicans are working on legislation that would take away automatic citizenship a la the 14th Amendment. Michele (Babbling) Bachmann wants to take away Veterans benefits. And, of course, they continue their attempts t o do away with Social Security, just as they continue to oppose legal abortions. They are also prepared to block anything that suggests global warming might be real, and a very large percentage of them believe evolution is a myth and that God created everything in about 10,000 years. Indeed, Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia has made it clear that he, at least, was made by God, and evolution is simply false. Still another state legislator in the South (I think probably in Oklahoma) has introduced a bill making it mandatory for teachers to challenge the idea of evolution. Someone has said that Republicans believe everything Democrats have done is unconstitutional and should be repealed. Now there is a positive program! It seems to boil down to either doing nothing at all or doing something harmful to President Obama and the Middle Class.

Oh, yeah, Egypt. I suspect most Americans don’t know where Egypt is, nor do they probably care much about what is happening there. They might know there is some sort of conflict going on but it can be solved by a Democratic election. This might well happen, I suspect Dictator Mubarak will be out by no later than next Friday (I am guessing), there will perhaps eventually be a “Democratic” election, but unless who is elected is acceptable to the U.S., it will not be considered valid (remember Hamas, and so much for democracy). Personally, I believe we are seeing the beginning of the end of U.S. influence or attempted control of the Middle East. John Bolton, who I am convinced would get us all killed as quickly as possible were it within his power, is at least being honest about this, his position seems to be, to hell with democracy, support Mubarak.

The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.
Sir Winston Churchill

The stirrup is regarded as one of the most significant inventions in warfare prior to the invention of gunpowder.

1 comment:

Michael said...

You know, I don't read a lot of articles online, but I have surely enjoyed yours! I never thought that going into a story about dentistry, and what the Republicans are doing would ever make a person laugh, by the time I was done reading this article I was laughing my head off!

Excellent job my friend, and extremely well-written, thank you very much I needed that smile!