Santorum’s Literary Knowledge

Perhaps, I am too easily impressed. Perhaps, I am sucker for things that have nerd-culture references. Maybe I’m just too emphatic.

But you know what?

It just gives me literary English-major pleasure when some one quotes one of my favorite authors. To make it even unfathomably better: this particular author shares my birthday

Oh so beautiful, my lovely Santorum.

“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said. “It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S.,” he continued. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”

Look beyond the cultural and political references. I understand that’s what we’re drawn to first here on the liberal internet. -cough- Step back with me.

Look at this metaphor.

Look at this analogy.


I don’t know who or what the “eye” is, and yet I can understand the grave threat posed by the analogy as perceived by Santorum. Using literature to parallel politics is every English-majors dream. Or rather, it is the dream perceived by those that prefer Marxist, Cultural, Reader Response, or New Historicism styles of critiquing.

So even if you hate what Santorum stands for on the political level, at least appreciate the beauty that is literary reference. Smile, shake you head in agreement. And then go back to being disagreeing again.


Letter to the Editor

Dear Ashling,

Today, I read your blog on Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. I have a few commentaries and disorders of my own you may not have heard of:

1. Having To Achieve Tenure Disorder (HTATD)
2. Having To Explain Everything Disorder (HTEED)
3. Having To Research Everything Disorder (HTRED)
4. Having To Name Everything Disorder (HTNED), you are familiar with this one!
5. Having To Treat Everything Disorder (HTTED)
6. Having To Code Everything Disorder (HTCED)
7. Having to Make Money For Diagnosing Everything Disorder (HTMMFDED)
8. Having To Have A Pill For Everything Disorder (HTHAPFED)

And, oh, a little side note on what they have in common with the Wall Street Occupiers.

Winston Churchill, the famous British leader during WW II, was once asked why he liked pigs.

“Because cats look down on you, dogs look up to you, and pigs, well, pigs just treat us as equals,” he famously responded.

This holds a lot of truth when it comes to human behavior. People are cataloged, ranked, and filed. They are relegated to some obscure place for the sake of some “social norm.” There is a quiet, but distinct need for the majority of people in power to become more like Churchill’s “domestic cats: aloof, secluded, evasive, distant, dark. And yet, they are needy!

Looking down from the high perch of a couch cushion, cats paw, purr, and prance until they get fed, petted, or acknowledge. Cats nestle silently into your world, supplanting their own version. They know they’re better and right. Why else would they nap on your keyboard or get hair on your favorite suit? In fact, cats have little qualm with you. Rather, they feel they are right-minded in most of their thoughts and practices.

In professional circles we refer to these folks as “Elitist.”

And the world of academics is littered with elitists. Seen prowling the halls of University Institutions across America. They shield themselves behind the “academic freedoms and privileges” given to them by the University. Aloud to do just about anything they wish in the pursuit of “knowledge and tenure,” just as long as they get “funding and publications.”

Academic circles call this process “publish or perish.” Professors—ranked depending on their number of publications and on the prestige of the journal in which they are published—work hard to get enough publications and recognition to be awarded tenure. Once tenure has been achieved, they can sit back and purr on their income, knowing they can’t be fired no matter what (unless of course they kill or rape someone, but even then it’s hard).

All of this is absolutely linked to the amount of funding you bring into the institution for your research, which of course goes into the university’s bank account.

Think about it: that’s why academicians hate football. One televised football game on Saturday afternoon can bring in millions of dollars into a university’s bank account. Professors have to spend an entire 20-30 year career just in hopes of getting tenure. It takes decades for them to gain this recognition and an endowment to keep their departments afloat.

That’s why Public Universities can’t get rid of football (as much as they would like to). It is also why government contracts and funding is so important to the universities… They are both a huge source of funding. Football players and professors (who get lots-of-funding) are king.

But what does this have to do with delayed sleep phase disorder?

When it’s all said and done, that process of trading funds and funding trade leaves the rest of us dogs and pigs trying to clean up the mess.

Expanding on Reference #8.

Every patient that comes in my door thinks there is a pill they can take for everything. For weight loss, itching, achy, mood, personality, sleep, ugliness (that’s a tough one), big boobs, smart pills (because “my attention and concentration is poor”), and, let’s not forget, sex (that’s a big one, no pun intended)…they think there is a pill for everything because, somewhere, someone has NAMED a syndrome after it, and if I (the doctor) don’t know about it then I’m just dumb, ignorant, or uninformed.
Expanding on Referencing #s 7, 6, and 5.

Patients come to doctors because they think doctors treat everything, because everything has a name. Everything that has a name has to have a diagnosis code (these are published in ICD Books, so far 9 have been published and #10 is about to come out) because without a diagnosis code you can’t charge for seeing or treating the patient: the code is a number we put into the computer to bill the insurance company for a service done by doctors to the clients (patients) of insurance companies.

No code, no money. No diagnosis, no code. No code, nothing to treat. No name, nothing to treat.  Nothing to treat, no diagnosis. No diagnosis (because nothing was named), nothing to research. Nothing to research—no money!

Expanding on Reference #s 4, 3, 2, and 1.

The lie: Build it and they will come.

The truth: NOT ALWAYS!

The hallways of academia (the leaders of their communities) are riddled with cats, dogs, and pigs. It is important to know which one we are and why.
According to Winston Churchill, I am a pig: I have to—I choose to—look at all things and everyone as equals, despite knowing that—due to personal history and societal measurements—we are not equal.

At any one point in time in my life I have been “labeled” as all three. But their labels have not stuck. I have been fluid in my social and academic standing. I have been a pauper; I have been a peasant; I have been a commoner; I have been a knight; and I have been a Lord. I have no wish to be a King.

Return to Argument:
People—including professors, academicians, and politicians—who have failed in their developmental task to find themselves a place within civil society; to know and understand their function (not to be confused with their place); seek only the survival of themselves alone. NOT the survival of others. Thus, they become fearful, lonely, and at the most extreme hateful.

It is in this hatred that I believe feeds the worst cancer: those who have every opportunity to make their lives better, but do not take; those who have been given a great education, but choose protest over progression; those who believe in nothing when there is everything around them.

The Wall Street Occupiers have nothing left to believe in. Society has exiled them to the point where they think, “Society Owes Me.” Having nothing left but high debts and poor job market statistics, they flee from the Internet to the streets and lash out. Even if it has no purpose.

It is in this purposelessness where I think Atheists fail. Because when there is nothing left for them to believe in, they have nothing left to believe. Even when that lack of belief serves no purpose—good or bad. It is simply there. Accomplishing nothing, doing nothing, but protesting the very theory that someone else is wrong.

For me, I am simply happy to be an American and a Christian.

When my wife and I had nothing left but $8.00 in the bank in Houston, Texas, in 1988—the first year of our marriage—we didn’t get food stamps. We didn’t go on welfare. We didn’t seek public housing, and we certainly didn’t lash out in the streets against society chanting: “You Owe Me!” It wasn’t like we didn’t have our debts either, me with a Masters in Science; your mother getting her degree in Optometry.

But the biggest difference between now and then?

We didn’t give up.

While my wife slept before a big exam, I stayed up all night crying, feeling sorry for our plight. But by morning, God ordered me out the door: I had to help myself. Not to handouts, but to hard work. I had to help my bride by being strong. And with the courage to go out and look for whatever work was necessary, I saw that it was “ok” to walk into an all girls placement agency called Kelly Girl and seek my fortune (to pay the bills). And I couldn’t stop there. I landed a second job at Shell Oil (to pay the government). And then got a third job waiting tables at Chili’s (to pay for food).

My wife finished Optometry School. I finished my Masters in Public Health degree. And we both went on to medical school from there!

I paid no attention to Lack-Of-Sleep or Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. I did it the old Marine Corps way (what I say is the Gospel way): slept when I could and when I should—that’s it!

Going out of your way to accomplish your dreams: that is the God-Driven American Way.

“For God! For Family! For Country! And, yes, For the United States Marine Corps! Oooorah!!!”

When we built this country, we did so to make sure the aspirations of individual liberty would never be tarnished. No matter how much suffering someone had to endure to achieve them. The freedom to choose one’s own path is true liberty; not just the freedom to live.

If God let your mother and I suffer, He allowed it so that our children would not have to suffer poverty the way we did.

This is a beautiful thing.

Thus, we are at the unfortunate place in American History where we have to label things. In society and in research, labeling has become the norm. Without labels nothing exists. Nothing is allowed to exist. Nothing else is allowed to thrive—although in the final analysis many unlabeled things do exist, and do thrive, and it is up to us, the thinkers of sound mind, to find them and to nurture them and to accept them and to introduce them for what they truly are.

Natures things. Unexplainable things. God’s things.

I believe these days most of today’s university academicians are agnostics. They teach by omission or commission. If they are not agnostic, they are atheist. Thus, research and learning are devoted to explain things, label things, without the plausibility of “that’s just the ways things are:” This man is not a beautiful, tall, handsome man, but he could still capture the attentions of a beautiful woman like his wife. Because that’s just the way things are.


A Devoted Dad, Husband, and Reader

what did I tell you? political forecasting for Rick Perry and Herman Cain is spot on!

Remember this post about two months ago? It was the one involving who we really needed to watch out for in the coming election, regarding the GOP canidates.

Maybe you don’t remember it.

But it’s okay. and here’s why.

According to the Washinton Post, Rick Perry is slipping behind Herman Cain in the polls. Not one of the individuals, I brought up. BOTH the individual potential presidential candidates I have suggested are now climbing to the top of the political sector on the Republican side.

And how can that be?

First, let’s look at Herman Cain. Herman Cain is a first-class business man. He takes his corporate experience and directly applies to the nation in the form of hard-cut problem solving. He isn’t afraid to be honest when it comes to his lack of knowledge in political affairs. He also has a strong voice that can rile a crowd like a baptist preacher. For a candidate who has four staffers in the state of Iowa, almost unheard of in today’s political campaign, his potential to gain the GOP nomination is outstanding. Hehas a strong chance of winning over the votes of many Republicans. 

Now, what happened to Perry?

Though many sources claim his ratings are slipping, we see that overall support for Rick Perry has yet to dramatically decline in his disfavor. However, with the rise of Herman Cain in the polls. Perry better watch out. While at first his popularity seemed secure, Cain has tackled issues Perry didn’t want brought to light. And it appears that there may not be a coalition between them. Nevertheless, if Herman Cain doesn’t win the GOP nomination, Perry better choose Cain as his vice presidential nominee.

A political innovator and revolutionary in Texas. Rick Perry had support of many Texans for his economic power-housing and overall Texas first mindset. However, that same campaign tactics won’t work on the national level. Perry knows that he has to appeal to the mass Republican base as well as appear to compromising to independents. Can he do this?

Only time will tell.

Perry and Cain on CNN

which one will take the lead from the media-favored Romney?

The only statistics we have so far are this:

A recent poll collected by the Washington Post published on Oct. 3rd, 2011 states that 3 out of 4 groups of voters (all adults, democrats, independents, and republicans) see a Republican candidate winning next year’s election.

So, maybe this should be for Obama to watch out.

Watch out for Rick Perry and Herman Cain. Because even though the polls show Perry as slipping, Mitt Romney also continues to decline. And Herman Cain. Well, as I said before:

“Republicans…need a humble, respectful, and dedicated leader that knows both the economic and international sector well enough to run our nation home and abroad.” 

Will Herman Cain become this leader? Or will Rick Perry regain the ground lost to Cain? Romney is still the level-headed, media favorite. But no longer is he a “shoe in” for presidency. Republicans are finding they have choices. They have strong leaders. They will have their vote.

And maybe, just maybe,

They’ll take the election.


Frontrunner or Media’s favorite?: Romney and the GOP Presidential Debate

I don’t know about you or your political opinion, but I’d like to think I know mine and the general consensus of those I have the pleasure of spending time with.

Who in their right mind puts Mitt Romney as the forerunner for the GOP Presidential Candidate for 2012?! 

According to BBC News, Romney “leads the pack in polling and fundraising” (all sources linked to at the bottom of the article). But why? Mitt Romney’s history has leaned further and further “moderate” and “politically correct” than any of the current presidential candidates. Which includes Mr. Huntsman and his resume of being political ambassador to China.


favorite to the media or to die-hard republicans?

Although Romney leads in the polls with 17%, his gains and rhetoric are wanning on the election front. The democrats would love him to run against Obama. Why? Not enough clash. His appeal with college undergraduates is expected. Undergraduates want to be taken care of on two fronts–health and education. Two major issues led by democrats in the form of educational stimulus packages and health care extensions. Both of which Romney appears to fully support. It’s no wonder why college graduates (once they get into paying jobs and salaries of their own) tend to lose favor with the man they respected before!

At this crucial time, republicans need a candidate that can hold their own in and out of office. A face that Americans can rely on overseas and domestically.

In general, republicans seem to have the tendency to select candidates that cannot clash with the democratic party base–stretching their issues too thin and refusing to focus on their core goals. Why choose a candidate who speaks like a president but never acts like one?

Romney leads the polls because he can keep his head level in a debate and can toss his “experience” around like a first-place medal. But will it be enough to sway the 22% of republican voters that haven’t made a decision yet? I don’t think so.

There are two people we need to watch out for: Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

Rick Perry

pointing at the future or harping on the past?

Rick Perry is about to make things “very clear” to the minds of republicans and with his track record, I’m sure it’s going to be a clear challenge to all the potential candidates what he brings to the table. He has a high record of fiscal conservatism, job creation, not to mention the growth of Texas’s economy due to the lack of state income tax. Talk about speaking to the economy first mindset! If Texas seceded, they’d have the world’s 13th largest economy. Maybe only for a week, but they’d have it AND the support of other nations. Because, really, when has an economic sanction against any nation from the U.S. ever worked?  In addition, his years in an executive governmental office have him way ahead of the game.

However, what’s so special about Hermain Cain?

Hermain Cain former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza really created a stir among republicans last night, so much so that some sources cite him third in line behind Romney and Bachman. Great! Cain knows how and why the economy works the way it does. Of course, he’s definitely not well known. Cain has never been in politics.  Which in my opinion, makes him one to watch closely.

Herman Cain

will economic experience win over political contenders?

He has direct rhetoric and unfailing ground on the economic issues. He states debate as problems and goals that need to be worked on or achieved. His language is simple, sincere, and genuine. His ability to take an issue like the border and define it into four distinct areas of analysis is something many candidates still lack. Also, his ability to recognize his own faults and growth from those faults (such as his previous lack of knowledge on the mideast) shows adaptability. His acknowledgment towards his advisors and staff in hot bed issues show his willingness to incorporate many opinions and directions before making a decision. Honestly, why isn’t further along in this race, I’ll never know!

Republicans need more than a president who will bash the other party, throw insults at the opposing members of their own party, and refuse to compromise. They need a humble, respectful, and dedicated leader that knows both the economic and international sector well enough to run our nation home and abroad.

Who is that strong, contrasting candidate? Who knows? But they have to get the entire American working (and non working) class. On a premise that speaks to a nation at its heart and wallet, regardless of party.

And Sarah Palin? Well, I guess we just have to wait and see if anything happens.


referenced sources: