your health is in your hands

With chronic illness on the rise and many of us facing our own health-related challenges these days, I want to take a moment to look at how we respond to these difficult circumstances. So often, when faced with illness, we are looking for a quick fix, an easy answer. We go to the doctor expecting him/her to fix it, to give us a prescription or recommend a procedure that will make it all go away.

But what would happen if we stopped looking for a magic pill, for a simple fix, for a doctor to give us the answer? What if we, instead, turned to our own bodies for the answer to healing? What if illness is our bodies way of communicating with us and telling us we need to make a change? What if healing is possible, but the answer isn’t just a simple fix?

Truth is, we are extremely capable of healing ourselves. Our immune system was designed to heal our body and it’s inherently great and efficient at doing so. Think about it… if you get a cut on your arm, you don’t need a prescription or a procedure to heal. Your body knows what to do and immediately goes to work healing the wound. So, if we know that our body is inherently capable of healing itself then why do we look outside the body for a cure when things get tough?

We often turn to the advice of doctors because they are the experts in their field. They “know more than us.” While they surely have depth in their field of knowledge, it is often a very narrow scope, when illness is usually caused by a wide range of conditions. Doctors don’t always take the time to get to know their patients and the lifestyle habits that can influence the patient’s health. All of these variables need to be considered when deciding the best path to healing. Who is more of an expert on what’s going on in your body than you? Who better to decide what’s right for your body than the person who knows it best? If we trust in our body and our own personal ability to heal, we could have a great impact on our own health.

This is not just ideology, I speak from my own experience. I dealt with HPV and severe cervical dysplasia for over 7 years before finally finding my way to health and healing. HPV (the Human Papilloma Virus) is an extremely common sexually transmitted virus that can potentially cause cervical cancer. I had severe cervical dysplasia or mutated cells on the inner lining of my cervix. Had it progressed any worse, it would have been cancer. I spent years trying the traditional methods, following the doctor’s orders. They recommended a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure), which could possibly reduce my ability to bear children, only to have the mutated cells return, worse than before.

After a doctor told me my options were getting a second LEEP, or waiting until it turns to cancer and she would give me a hysterectomy, I choose a different option. Instead of relying only on what a doctor had to say, I started listening to myself, something we often forget to do when dealing with our health. I decided to take my health into my own hands. I started to listen to my body. I trusted my own intuition. And it told me that another LEEP was not the answer. I knew that my body was capable of healing itself. just had to have faith in it and find ways to help my body heal.

If I was going to heal, I was going to have to heal myself. After years of trying different methods, I was finally able to clear the virus and reverse the cervical dysplasia. Many people asked me how I did it. I noticed they were looking for one simple answer — a diet, a pill, a vitamin, a supplement, a doctor. But my path to healing wasn’t that simple.

In fact, I knew in order to fully heal, it wouldn’t be a simple answer or a quick fix at all. I knew it would be a complete overhaul of the way I lived my life. I looked at my life from every angle. I started doing my own research and implementing changes that made sense to me. I improved my diet, adding in more fruits and vegetables including lots of dark, leafy greens. I ate more organic foods, less meat and dairy and more nuts, seeds, and whole grains. I cut out a lot of junk food, fast food, and highly-processed food (think anything in a box/bag). I stayed thoroughly hydrated with clean, filtered water. I got rid of personal care products with toxic ingredients, such as parabens and phthalates, which are known cancer-causing agents and replaced them with natural soaps and homemade deodorants and lotions.

But I didn’t stop there. I added more yoga and meditation into my daily life to help reduce stress and anxiety. I changed my daily habits, working less, sleeping more and waking up with the sun. I spent more time outside in nature and less time behind a computer screen. I focused more on self-care and self-love. I spent more time honoring the people and relationships in my life. I was more mindful about the way I reacted to stress, letting the little things go more easily and keeping my body out of unnecessary fight or flight mode, which can wreak havoc on your immune system. I used a variety of immune boosting supplements, changing it up as I learned more about each supplement and how my body responded to them. I found a doctor whose principles were in line with mine and would help support me in my own healing journey.

Basically, I renovated my entire life to be in line with healing. It wasn’t just one thing in the end that did it. There wasn’t a magic pill. It took hard work and determination to really look at my life, analyze what got me to this point and how I wanted to shape the future of my health from here. Sometimes, I wish there was a magic pill, an easy way out, but, the truth is, I have learned so much along the way, I honestly wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I have changed my daily habits and diet for the better. I feel healthier, stronger and have more energy. HPV truly was a blessing in disguise, designed to help me clean up my diet and lifestyle to ensure a healthy and happy future.

When faced with a medical challenge, keep in mind, YOU are the most important part of the healing process. Sunshine, fresh air, exercise and a healthy diet are the best medicines. Of course, this should not take the place of professional medical advice. But if that advice doesn’t resonate with you, listen to yourself, seek out other opinions and do your own research. Knowledge is power and power is healing.

Empowering yourself and putting your health into your own hands is a huge part of the healing process. Align yourself with a healing path that works for you. If we eat well, take care of ourselves, put the right things in our body and take the wrong things out, our bodies can and will heal themselves.

Healing takes hard work, dedication and self-discipline. It’s not just one little change that will do it, but redesigning your life as a whole. It may not always be easy to find your own path to healing, but I promise you, it will be worth it.


(not) something lesser


Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m guilty. Totally guilty.

Sometimes I make this entire holiday season into something it was never intended to be. Sometimes I make it about materialism. Sometimes I make it about gifts. Sometimes I make it about something lesser.

Sometimes I pout. Sometimes I get something so stuck in my craw that I can’t emotionally shake myself out of it. I can’t always surrender to the Divine in order to help me navigate wisely through it. So yes, sometimes I focus on something lesser — not realizing that it actually is lesser.

A local church community created the below in video form last week. I thought it was brilliant — and relevant to each of us in different ways. It’s a message for Advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for future celebration. But sometimes we’re so busy that we miss the depth of the celebration. We miss what’s most important…

Everyone wants Christmas
To be meaningful
But, instead it becomes
Shop, shop, shop,
Credit cards
Traffic jams
To do lists
Useless gifts
Then off to church
Noel, Noel, Noel
Sometimes we’re just glad to survive it.
Did you know Americans spend $450 billion on Christmas every year?
So we ask?
How did Jesus celebrate?
Jesus gave
He gave himself
Time, space, presence… (do you see where this is going?)
you bought FEWER GIFTS
[that sweater she won’t like]
[that random gift certificate]
[that toy he doesn’t need]
And then instead of BUYING that gift
Give something valuable
Talk, eat, sled, bake, bike, read, play, create, craft
Make gifts (like when you were a kid)
And remember that money you didn’t spend
What if you gave some of it away?
To the poor, the hurting, the lonely, the hungry, the sick, the thirsty
Since 2006 thousands of churches have been giving all over the world
That’s a lot of love… life
All because people
Spent LESS on gifts
And MORE ON relationships
Consumerism does not equal happiness, memories, meaning
Spend less on gifts
Give more on presence…

If we gave more on presence, I wonder what would happen… would our relationships be better? … would we be more empathetic? … would we be less accepting of division and writing people off? … would we learn to see more sides than our own?

I’m thinking I need to do this far more than this time of year.


supreme decisions

sky and columns of supreme court building in washington d.c.As told by the Supreme Court Historical Society…

“I thought they would, well, talk Latin or something.”  The visitor had heard argument at the Supreme Court for the first time.  On another occasion, a high-school student reported “shock” that a black-robed Justice would rock in his high-backed chair and actually laugh out loud…

To its majestic setting and moments of sheer ritual, the Supreme Court brings its distinctive manner of working in public—by listening to one lawyer at a time and asking tough questions.  Its atmosphere mingles informality with dramatic tension. In a city of bureaucracy, it keeps the directness of a group of nine.  It cherishes its courtesies.  But formality, courtesy, and dignity are not empty custom; they are vital to colleagues who are compelled to disagree publicly in print, expressing their deepest convictions, but always respecting the equally deep convictions of their fellow Justices.

Dare I thus humbly submit — based on that last statement — that the Supreme Court and the slightly-less-popular-often-more-sarcastic Intramuralist have a common goal:  respecting the deep convictions of another.

In a government system of three equal branches (note to the current Congress and President:  much to your obvious dismay, neither of you trump the other), the Supreme Court was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, as called for by the Constitution.  Consistent with their long history, yesterday, on the final session of their 2013-14 term, the high court released the following decisions with significant implications…

In BURWELL v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC., the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s argument that the owners of companies forfeit all protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, ruling that Obamacare’s mandated provision of perceived abortifacient methods conflicts with the faith of the proprietors.  As written in the majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, “Because RFRA applies in these cases, we must next ask whether the HHS contraceptive mandate ‘substantially burden[s]’ the exercise of religion… We have little trouble concluding that it does.”

In HARRIS ET AL. v. QUINN, GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS, ET AL., the Supreme Court determined it is a violation of the First Amendment to force non-union members — in this case belonging to an Illinois rehab service — to pay union dues, thereby subsidizing the speech on matters of public concern by a union that they do not wish to join or support.  As also written in the majority opinion by Justice Alito, “The First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from personal assistants in the Rehabilitation Program who do not want to join or support the union,” reversing the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Resist being lured into thinking a decision is foolish or wise because of who or how your emotional strings are tugged.  We have to learn to discuss and solve absent the bias and disrespect.  A prudent first step for each of us would be to read the court’s written opinions as opposed to reacting instantly, emotionally — typically not fully understanding the totality of the arguments.

The bottom line in these two cases contains a common thread; what violates our First Amendment?

In other words… how far does religious freedom extend? … for persons? … for proprietors?  What’s the relationship between one’s religious beliefs and being incorporated?  Also, how far does freedom of speech extend?  … can unions force the payment of dues if that payment then subsidizes issues with which we disagree — issues we would never choose to subsidize?  When does forced compliance violate our constitutional rights?

And one more question:  are there places — most likely due to passion or unchecked emotion — where we’re a little blind?  … where hypocrisy within our opposition or support may also be a common thread?

Just asking…

Respectfully, of course…



LI-07-Hobby-LobbyIn the week that was, we witnessed an especially interesting set of juxtaposed events, as the proprietors of Hobby Lobby met with the Supreme Court and Pres. Obama met with Pope Francis.  Religious liberty was at the forefront of both discussions.

As always, we must first sift through the plethora of stabs at rhetorical spin, knowing that political motivations unfortunately always pierce the transparency objective observers crave.  In fact, I found the dueling press releases from the White House and Vatican somewhat ironic, as the administration emphasized the topic of “growing inequality,” a phrase absent from the Vatican’s public statement.

The White House press office stated that the Pope “did not touch in detail on the Affordable Care Act,” and that he and Obama “actually didn’t talk a whole lot about social schisms.”  Obama added that any social schism “really was not a topic of conversation.”

The Vatican’s far more brief description stated the following:  “In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform.”

With the Vatican referring to the case before the high court, the question is:  should a company whose owners morally object to an action be forced by government to act anyway?

The issue with Hobby Lobby has zero to do with any or our personal opinions on whether or not birth control and contraception products and services should be included within Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act/whatever-you’re-most-comfortable-calling-it-now.  The question before the court is whether the government is violating one’s religious liberty.  The family-owned company is a crafts retail chain that objects to being compelled to provide four specific preventive services believed to be abortion-inducing.

Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”  Is the government burdening the owners’ free exercise?

What if we removed the specific subject?  What if we spoke of something other than birth control?  What if we removed the subject that causes some of our emotions to swell?  Simply stated, does the government have the right to trump our religious beliefs?  Is some wiser, compelling governmental interest involved?

As I wrestle with this, two aspects cause me to pause.  One, if the federal government is allowed to mandate behavior here, how far will they go?  What limitations will exist on what government can require?  And two, I’m uncomfortable with government feeling they are wiser than the church.  Friends, the Intramuralist is not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, but my sense is that the Pope is attempting to receive his direction from an authority greater than most.  Obama uttered a similar statement, saying after their meeting, “His job is a little more elevated.  We’re down on the ground dealing with the often profane, and he’s dealing with higher powers.”

My sense is we should pay more respect to anyone dealing with the divine than pursuing our own political policy and opinion.  My sense is also that when we begin to justify trumping an individual’s deeply held religious beliefs — whether or not we adhere to similar thinking — we are treading in dangerous territory, less mindful of any “higher power.”



yes & no

1374034516_8619_affordable care actFor years I’ve wrestled with Obamacare.  Call it Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, the “healthcare security act” — each of which I’ve heard a person utilize when it’s most politically expedient.  When the bill was perceived popular, some made certain to name it after the President; others were resolute in avoiding any name recognition.  Once the act became far less popular, the utilization of the term totally changed.  Geepers.  Talk about Washington hypocrisy.  It’s rampant.  For both parties.  (Please allow me one more “geepers.”)

But after the new healthcare law officially passed its 4th anniversary (note that I didn’t say “celebrated,” as it’s not a term generally thought to be compatible with the law), I believe I’ve finally discerned the Intramuralist’s bottom line on why this bill bugs me so.  It’s no secret, friends; after reading the proposal, the Intramuralist has long thought the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unwise policy.  While it addresses some significant problems within the application of healthcare, it also creates a whole new host of serious snags.

The snags are significant…

Rising costs…

Cancelled policies…

Loss of doctors and hospitals…

Poor execution of enrollment…

Mandates, taxes, and fines…

More mandates, taxes, and fines…

Arbitrary and inconsistent implementation…

Making people pay for services they don’t need…

Etc., etc., etc…

These are just a few of the snags.  Still, none of the above are my primary problem.  None are why the bill bugs me so.

Economically, I don’t believe the bill is wise.  You can’t expect to cover more people more effectively and efficiently, give them more stuff, and for the care to somehow cost less.  That doesn’t make economic sense.  Again, however, such is not my primary problem.

The bill is still not popular.  Current polling data puts support of the bill at no more than 40-42%, while now 54-56% oppose the law.  Granted, the Intramuralist has never been driven by popularity.

As stated here multiple times previously, the bill was passed via a strictly partisan vote.  Only one party voted for this law.  I don’t like any law crafted in such a way; however, still not my bottom line.

My bottom line problem with this law is actually rather simple.  It has nothing to do with economic theory nor the nuances within healthcare.  It’s basic.  Perhaps its one of those “all I really need to know” things from kindergarden.  It’s easy.  But it’s true.

I was always taught to let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no.  It’s not rocket science.  In other words, we should mean what we say and say what we mean.  So much rhetoric and salesmanship was used to make us want this bill.  It was not honest, transparent conversation.  From being able to “keep your doctors” to “liking the plan once we found out what’s in it,” all seems designed to sell us on something the majority of us don’t want.  Even if the majority wanted it, the Intramuralist will never be attracted to the politician whose “yes” and “no” mean something other than “yes” and “no.”  That bugs me.  Still.




Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/”Obamacare” has been ruled mostly constitutional and the Intramuralist’s analysis of the law itself has ceased, allow me to share my most significant, resulting concern…


The process to enact the law was fully partisan.  The sad reality is that this is an observation we ignore if we agree with the bill — with most bills.  But then again, this isn’t what concerns me most.


The process was divisive.  Due to the fact that the process was pushed from a partisan perspective, divisiveness was rampant.  One of my current, chief apprehensions about Pres. Obama is whether or not he’s a uniter or divider.  Then again, this also isn’t what concerns me most.


The process (notice there is much about the process) was manipulated, full of favors, negotiated behind closed doors, and rushed through Congress without congressmen reading the bill.  There is much in that observation that causes this semi-humble current events blogger to shake my head, wondering how so many seemingly ethical people can be comfortable with that.  But no, this still isn’t what concerns me most.


It also isn’t the content.  The advocates’ primary talking point for the last few months has been:  “the bill’s not perfect, but it’s a good start.”  Allow me to acknowledge there is some ‘good stuff’ in there; but allow me to also acknowledge there’s some ‘bad stuff’ in there.  Ignorance of that fact does not make this law wise nor even comparable to “perfect.”  Then again, the specifics of what’s embedded within the legislation are known to very few.


I’m also not most concerned about the new taxes.  I know, I know…  Even after the Supreme Court ruled the only way the mandated purchase can be constitutional is because it’s a tax, the White House Press Sec. said Friday (after the ruling) that it’s not a tax; “it’s a penalty.”  Geepers.  The Supreme Court ruled a “penalty” is unconstitutional; a tax — regardless of wisdom — is legal.  Still, the flurry of rhetorical contradiction is not my greatest concern.


Additionally, I’m not significantly concerned about some pundits’ reactions.  For example…


Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard, tweeting almost immediately after the ruling:  “It’s constitutional. B—–s.”  Note that his “B” word rhymes with “witches.”  Nice.


Am I concerned about significant inflation and debt?  Of course… but not most.  Economically speaking, if coverage is mandated, specific services are required, and coverage is now free for many, someone has to pay for that.  Will it be the government, thus sinking into deeper debt?  Or will it be you and me?  What will be the effect on small business?  Small business now has 2 choices:  hire less than 50 people (so providing coverage isn’t mandated) or significantly raise the price of goods and services.  One amounts to fewer jobs — the other, higher inflation.


Am I most concerned about larger government?  Where inefficiency expands and individual liberty potentially diminishes?  Not exactly.


Ok, ok… what concerns me most?


Time and time again, our country passionately works to care for the least of these.  I believe that is our calling, as a nation, but even more so as individuals.  Ironically, however, time and time again, our justification for caring for those ‘least’ totally omits that this is what the God of the universe has long exhorted us to do.  The call comes not from a party nor any president.


Repeatedly, policy is advocated where we omit any recognition of a divine creator.  We pat ourselves repeatedly for doing what’s supposedly good and compassionate without acknowledging it was God who mandated the calling.  With healthcare, we can boast, “Finally!  We are taking care of the least of these!”  But God has been historically clear; any nation that refuses to acknowledge him — what he’s done and what he still calls us to do — ceases to exist.  Don’t take my word for it.  Study it.  Countries who negate their reliance on God are at some point utterly ruined and destroyed.


I believe in individually and corporately caring for the least of these.  I believe in being fiscally responsible.  And I believe in acknowledging God as the one who called us to do both.




the decision

Today the Supreme Court will reveal their ruling on the Patient Affordable Care Act/”Obamacare.”  It is one of the most watched judicial decisions of the last few decades.


Four potential outcomes exist:  (1) the entire law will be upheld; (2) the entire law will be repealed; (3) the individual mandate will be repealed; or (4) the mandate and more will be repealed.  If outcomes (1) or (2) occur, my sense is a microphone will somehow magically appear before the President and leading partisans today, who will then claim either victory or the agony of America’s defeat.  Whoever falls on the ‘agony of defeat side’ will also then be tempted to demonize the court.  Note:  we have a habit of demonizing those with whom we profoundly disagree — or at least those who seemingly stand in the way of our desired progress.


As a blogger, ‘tis time for me to be done with healthcare analysis.  For 3 years, after reading the law and presenting multiple concerns, I am still no expert.  Then again, many who possess passionate opinions of this law — many who even voted for it — are also not experts; they didn’t even read the bill.  Friends, I don’t understand that.  That practice fights against every ethical bone in my body.  Legislators supported this law not knowing the specifics that were in it — not analyzing the totality of the legislation’s impact; they then voted based on party lines.  A bill now estimated to cost $1.76 TRILLION over the next decade (according to the nonpartisan CBO) was supported by those who never studied the specifics of what they were voting on.  Wow.  Let me pause once more… wow.  I care not the issue.  I care not if I support the issue.  To vote along party lines for a bill that expensive and never read is in my opinion, irresponsible.  We live in a representative democracy.  Our legislators cannot claim to represent us well without reading the bill.


This irresponsibility has been apparent from multiple, additional aspects…  as articulated in the Intramuralist’s frustration voiced in February of 2010:


… I am frustrated that individual coverage is mandated.  Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were harshly criticized for such advocacy during their respective campaigns. [Granted, Edwards is criticized even more harshly now.]


… I am frustrated that multiple times throughout this process, individual cost-increasing “deals” have been included in order to secure 1 legislator’s vote.


… I am frustrated that discussions are only broadcast publicly when a supermajority fails to exist.


… I am frustrated that these deals, closed door meetings, and solely partisan efforts cease only with a single senatorial seat change [after the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)].  


… I am frustrated with increased costs, taxes, and debt.


… I am frustrated that some believe the end justifies the means, thereby advocating misapplication of the reconciliation procedure [a budgetary tactic utilized to pass the policy when the Democrat’s impenetrable supermajority was lost].



Truth is, I believe the President was correct this week when he said, “You know, it’s fashionable right now for people to be cynical.”  I would add to his perspective that a significant contributor to the cynicism is how healthcare was approached.  The approach was partisan, expensive, divisive, non-transparent, full of favors, and at times, manipulated.  This may be going out on a shady, little limb here, but those adjectives logically induce increased cynicism.


My final thoughts… at least for now, abiding by the high court’s decision…


With the inspirational message Pres. Obama shared in his initial presidential campaign, many of us had hope that his leadership would prompt unity.  However, the manner in which he led Congress and the country through healthcare reform concerned me; it was not unifying.  Was that because of an obstructionist congress — a congress with clear Democrat majorities?  Or was that because of the President’s partisan approach on healthcare?  Certainly not the only partisan prone to believe he knows what’s best on a specific policy measure, it concerns me that Obama spent substantial time and political capital on healthcare, when it was/is our economy that is most in need of attention.


As long said here amidst these postings, healthcare should be accessible, affordable, and portable, and the end result cannot justify an irresponsible means.  For the record, the Supreme Court will not be ruling on the constitutionality of responsibility…  maybe they should…  considering those ethical bones.




my elliptical

It’s true.  All the accusations are accurate.  I am an exercise nut.


I love it.  I exercise 6 days a week with a minimum of 30 minutes cardio.  Add in strength and weight training, and Monday – Friday amount to a 60 – 80 minute regimen.  I believe it’s good for me; it’s good for all people.  I look better.  Feel better.  No doubt we’d each benefit from consistent exercise.


In order to make exercise practical, numerous equipment exists in our home — free weights, Bowflex, medicine ball, etc.  None, however, compares to the preciousness of my beloved elliptical.  Yes, I love it.


The elliptical is raved about by kinesiologists and fitness experts.  It elevates the heartbeat, utilizing the entire body, but minimizes the impact on the body’s joints.  Hence, many one-time runners switch to the elliptical at some point in order to lessen the impact specifically on their knees.  The elliptical is an effective, efficient exercise machine.  We’d each benefit from having an elliptical.


As a leader in my family, I’ve decided that each member of my extended family should also have one.  My parents, brothers, nieces and nephews, cousins, you-name-it.  Some of them are opposed to exercise — especially this daily idea — but they don’t know what’s good for them; they need to exercise.  Even more so, they need to purchase an elliptical.


The reality is that if only a few of us buy this excellent cardiovascular machine, then the price increases.  The manufacturers have to make money, and so stores have to sell their products at a high enough profit margin to recoup their costs.  But, if everyone in my family buys one, the stores can reduce the cost.  Better for me!  Granted, some of my family never intended to buy an elliptical; but alas, they don’t know what’s good for them.


Truthfully, originally my family wasn’t all on board.  It didn’t matter.  Even though some passionately disagreed with purchase, I had enough persons in the family willing to side with me.  We could vote.  I would win.


In fact, I was ready for that vote.  And then… wouldn’t you know?  A new person joined our family; marriage will do that to you.  And so this new guy came along, and he had a bit of a rebel in him; he wasn’t willing to go along with my plan for the family.  Remember:  this is good!  Each of us buying an elliptical will drive the cost down.  And it will keep us all healthy!  Don’t people know what’s good for them?


But our new family member was pretty stubborn.  He wouldn’t go along with my plan.  Hence, I had to find a new way to make everyone buy an elliptical.


At first, I continued to try to convince the majority.  “Come on… you have to buy one to figure out how much you’re going to enjoy it.  You have to purchase it before you actually realize the benefits.”  But that didn’t go over so well.  My plan wasn’t quite as popular as I thought.


Sorry, but I had to push this through.  Ancestors had advocated for ellipticals for decades!  My family simply doesn’t know what’s best for them.  Trust me.  I know.  I know best.  Then I remembered an old way we used to settle on the family budget.  It required fewer of us to agree.  It may not have set well with my siblings who disagreed, but hey, remember, I know best.  Ellipticals will be good for them!


And so, using that ole’ budgetary tactic, I got enough votes to force everyone to buy one… even though they didn’t like it.  They’ll thank me later.  That’s what I’m banking on… this is good for them.  They’ll thank me later.


And so, as soon as today, the Supreme Court will rule on the new health care law, the Patient Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, “Obamacare.”


It is no secret that the Intramuralist believes this law is unwise.  I say that not as a partisan, but rather, as one who read the entire bill.  Note:  most congressmen did not read it.  Consistent with previous posts, I believe it to be unconstitutional in the mandated purchase of health insurance solely based on the condition of being alive; I also feel that the approach taken to ratify the legislation was heavy-handed, disrespectful, and oblivious to differing opinion… just like me and my elliptical…


… even though it’s healthy.





[Originally posted in March of 2010, the following infuses a potential dab of wisdom into the health care legislation currently before the court.  Note that I said “potential.”]


Aesop’s commentary on the current health care confusion…


From The Boy and the Filberts:  “Do not attempt too much at once.”  (…reason, perhaps, the American people like pieces of the bill but not the entire, massive legislation.) 

From The Hare and the Tortoise:  “Slow but steady wins the race.”  (…except, of course, when there’s not enough time to rework images prior to elections.)


From The Farmer and the Stork:  “Birds of a feather flock together.”  (..thus explains the fowl scent uprising from the Senate Republicans’ unanimous no.)


From The Man and the Lion:  “One good story is good, till another is told.”  (…why every politician must continually announce the latest dramatic saga from a supposed constituent in rural America, personally begging them as to how to proceed.) 


From The Goat and the Goatherd:  “Do not attempt to hide things which cannot be hid.”  (…why legislation should not be over 2,000 pages long.)


From The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle:  “Pride goes before destruction.”  (…an admonition to any in DC who thinks of themselves more highly than they ought.)


From The Shepherd’s Boy and the Wolf:  “There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.”  (So many politicians should learn this; how can you lie on some things, but expect us to believe you on others?)


From The Wolf and the Sheep:  “Hypocritical speeches are often seen through.”  (…there’s a reason our kids think politicians give too many speeches.)


From The Hawk, the Kite, and the Pigeons:  “Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease.”  (…the argument against the current, partisan reform measures.)


From The Two Frogs:  “Do nothing without a regard to the consequences.”  (…what’s motivating moderate Democrats to vote against the legislation.)


From The Shepherd and the Dog:  “How can you expect a sheep to be safe if you admit a wolf into the fold?”  (…and Washington wonders why we have trouble with representatives making decisions whose own ethics are questionable..)


From The Hares and the Foxes:  “Count the cost before you commit yourselves.”  (…excuse me, is anyone counting accurately… and actually sharing the information, asking what it will do to our debt?)


From The Ass and His Shadow:  “In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.”  (…far be it from the Intramuralist to suggest this sums up most of the debate.  I also will not comment on the animal from whom this lesson hails.)


Just listening to Aesop… slightly fabled, indeed.






In continuous search of wisdom, I am wondering anew this day.  Is there anything wrong with the following presidential exhortation?


“Last Thursday I described the American form of Government as a three horse team provided by the Constitution to the American people so that their field might be plowed. The three horses are, of course, the three branches of government — the Congress, the Executive and the Courts. Two of the horses are pulling in unison today; the third is not. Those who have intimated that the President of the United States is trying to drive that team, overlook the simple fact that the President, as Chief Executive, is himself one of the three horses.

It is the American people themselves who are in the driver’s seat. It is the American people themselves who want the furrow plowed.

It is the American people themselves who expect the third horse to pull in unison with the other two.

I hope that you have re-read the Constitution of the United States in these past few weeks. Like the Bible, it ought to be read again and again…

But since the rise of the modern movement for social and economic progress through legislation, the Court has more and more often and more and more boldly asserted a power to veto laws passed by the Congress and State Legislatures in complete disregard of this original limitation.

In the last four years the sound rule of giving statutes the benefit of all reasonable doubt has been cast aside. The Court has been acting not as a judicial body, but as a policy-making body…

We have, therefore, reached the point as a Nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution — not over it. In our Courts we want a government of laws and not of men.

I want — as all Americans want — an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written — that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power — amendment by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts universally recognized.”


There has existed much vocal ruckus in regard to the healthcare law.  With last week’s hearing before the Supreme Court, the ruckus has evolved into a political jockeying in regard to how the high court will soon rule.  Please know that the Intramuralist is no expert in regard to the law’s constitutionality; however, as is no secret, I am hesitant to support any legislation that mandates purchase simply because we breathe.

Nonetheless, after his turn at the jockeying, Pres. Obama has been criticized this week, with many suggesting he is “attacking” the court — that he does not respect the court’s authority because they are unelected — and that overturning the act would be unprecedented.  Obama has been fairly vocal in his confidence that the judicial branch will not nor should not overturn a bill that Congress and the President agreed upon, even if by partisan means.

Friends, I don’t know Obama.  I don’t know if he’s attacking the court or not. I don’t know his heart nor all his motives nor if he really believes that the judicial branch isn’t “pulling in unison” with the rest of the country.  I do believe politics serve as a significant motivation for him, as Obama consistently utilizes strong rhetoric to seemingly sway public opinion (an indigenous tactic of multiple politicians, regardless of party affiliation).

But let’s remember that attacking the Supreme Court — as questionable and unwise as it may seem — is nothing new.

The above words were said by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1937.

Power impacts perspective.  Might be good.  Might not.