T Nation

Being There

Many of the folks that post on this political thread express very strong opions regarding their particular beliefs. As I read through these dialogs I wonder how many of you feel the way you do because it fits your ideology or because you’ve actually been there. Let’s look at some of the major issues and I’ll tell you my story:

Health care coverage - Been there: I really never thought much about the cost of health care. I work for the government and have excellent benefits. Aside from that my husband and I have always been strong and healthy and rarely used our health benefits (we have no children). That is until this spring when my husband was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. It was quite a shock and has changed our lives forever. However, nothing prepared me for the cost of the treatment. Chemotherapy (CHOP-R) is given every 21 days. The cost of just one of his drugs is $10,000.00/100mg. The other drugs are cheaper but it still comes to a cost of $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 every three weeks! Fortunately I’m covered, but this has really opened my eyes to the whole issue of health care and medical insurance. Now, what is really interesting is that when I look at the paperwork I get from my insurance company, I see that the hospital is settling for 50% or even less of those initial charges! So who gets to pay full pop? Does anyone? Are the charges inflated so that the hospital will be able to settle for what they wanted in the first place? For whatever reason, I’ll tell you, if you are poor or unemployed and you don’t have health insurance, you better hope you never get sick. We need some kind of health care reform in this country because this is getting out of hand. Now, most of you guys reading this are young and think this will never happen to you - but it can. My husband has been training for twenty years, doesn’t smoke, eats a clean diet and drinks moderately. It’s genetic load, baby, and there is nothing you can do about that.

Stem cell research - Been there: My husbands form of lymphoma is incurable. The best we can hope for is full remission. However, low dose chemotherapy has not been able to put him into remission. Our best hope at this time is a stem cell transplant. This is where they will harvest his own stem cells and freeze them while they give him very high dose chemo. The chemo will kill all his bone marrow, wipe out his immune system and hopefully kill the cancer. They will then give him back him his stem cells so that he can grow new bone marrow and develop a new immune system. The reason why this can work is because bone marrow stem cells are like blanks and can develop into what the body needs them to be. Embryonic stem cells show even more promise. The cells are absolute blanks and have a far greatly potential for curing disease. Research into this area is crutial to finding cures for so many presently incurable diseases. It is too bad that religion is standing in the way of potentially saving lives.

Protection of the environment - Been there: As a biologist I always viewed protection of the environment in a rather ecological way. Restrict invasive species, don’t clear cut the forests, protect habitats…you get the idea. That was until I went to work for the Environmental Protection Agency. I work as a regulator. That means I go out to facilities, factories and inspect them to insure they are in compliance. All my inspections are unannounced. Baby, if you could see the things I see. Yep, people are still dumping their plating waste, yep, folks still don’t know they cannot put hazardous waste into a dumpster, yep, people are still stupid. Aside from that I also have a really good handle on how hamstrung I am by our legislature and politics and in regards to being able to protect the environment effectively. Some facilities feel it’s cheaper to be out of compliance and pay the penalty than to operate within the confines of the law. I could go on and on.
Abortion - Been there: Let me just say that no male on this board should ever open his mouth about it. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant and you never will. I don’t care if you’re married or not. It doesn’t count. Just like I will never know what it’s like to be kicked in the nuts. I know that it must hurt, but until I’ve experienced it, I really have no appreciation for it.
Peoples opinions can be drastically altered by their particular circumstances at the time. These are some of the major issues for me in this election that I have a true appreciation for, because I’ve been there. I know I’ve expressed strong opinions on other issues such as the war, but these really bring it home to me.

So instead of copying and pasting some article you read somewhere. What are your stories. What have you personally experienced to make you feel the way you do?

Great Post

Health Care - Been there. Had an acoustic nueroma two years ago. Treated with fractionated radiation. Worked wonders. Cost for the treatment $107,000. Cost to me $80. Had Cigna PPO. I am also an employer and have seen double digit premium increases. I support tax breaks for health insurance costs. I think the prices are artifically inflated thru fraud on the part of the insurers and doctors. Universal Health Care. Forget it. Not a chance of working.

Strong Military- Veteran. Don’t think Kerry has a clue. He has been against the military since 1971. Changed his tune when he decided to run for president. He’ll outsource our defense but he won’t outsource jobs…bullshit.

Terrorism- I live in Battery Park City. Five blocs from the former site of the towers. Been there for sure. Bush is a leader and gets the fact that a good Muslim, in the middle east, is one who is a Jihadist and kills infidels. As an Infidel I take issue with this. I think Bush sees the conflict for what it is. A battle of societies and ways of life. He’ll get the job done. Kerry will appease and we will pay the price for his pandering.

The Economy- The president has little to do with the economy. It moves in cycles. The economy also shifts. Kerry is an old school protectionist and unionist. Bush has an MBA and actually worked in the private sector. No contest here. FYI -I wish I could afford to hire Cheyney as my CEO. So would every other business owner in America. I guess I have been there. I own 1 company now and am partners in a second. Bush has been good for me. Kerry scares me and will cost me money. If he tax’s me more then I hire less.

Immigration- Been there. I have a very diverse workforce. All are legal. All my recent immigrants work much harder, with more dedication then the other employees I have. The union hates that but I love it. I’ll hire them if they are legal, anytime.

Israel- Been there. It’s a great country and a model of democracy in the Middle East. Muslims have a higher standard of living and more freedoms in Israel then in any other middle eastern country. If the Palestinians were not being manipulated by the other Arabs states, who have an ax to grind, they would be far better off being part of Israel then being a nieghbor. Trust me a lot of Palestinians feel that way. Problem is if they say it to a foriegner the power structure comes down on them hard and associating with Jews or Christians is against Islam.

Second Ammendment- Been there, no contest here. Bush believes in the constitution, in gun rights and the individuals right to self protection. Kerry, don’t make me laugh, he is from Mass., he is a liberal and in my opinion is an elitist who will take away everyone else’s gun, except his and Teresa’s. As a hunter. Please, he looked about as uncomfortable as a liberal could be carrying that shotgun and wouldn’t even carry the goose he said he shot. I am suprised he knew what side of the dog to pet when the lab ran over in front of the camera.

Honor- no ocntest. Bush. I have witnessed the two men together and how they speak. Bitching about the other guy is not an agenda and not the mark of a leader. It also pains me to say, after reading the accounts of Senator Kerry’s commendations I do not understand how he was awarded the medals he recieved. I am not trying to denegrate the man or the award but read the accounts of the actions. In comparison it doesn’t seems just and if they were true others on his boat crew did far more during the engagements then he did. WTF is what most soldiers would say. I wasn’t there so I don’t know for sure but let’s just say…questionable.

Gojira,

Sorry to hear about your husband.

You might check out:

  1. www.ralphmoss.com

also

  1. www.blockmd.com

The first is a source of information (he has reports that might be of use) and the second is an alternative minded physician–someone who combines chemo with alternative regimens. I have no personal experience with him but from what I have read…well I would check him out if I were in your husband’s shoes.

[quote]Berner wrote:
Gojira,

Sorry to hear about your husband.

You might check out:

  1. www.ralphmoss.com

also

  1. www.blockmd.com

The first is a source of information (he has reports that might be of use) and the second is an alternative minded physician–someone who combines chemo with alternative regimens. I have no personal experience with him but from what I have read…well I would check him out if I were in your husband’s shoes.[/quote]

Thanks. I appreciate the thought. We’re ramping up for the transplant. It’s a pretty brutal process. Got him on a bulking diet since he may have mouth sores from the chemo. Makes it hard to eat.

Hedo, I agree with you about nationalized health care. Being a Navy brat, I know what it’s like to sit bleeding in an emergency room for hours. But there has to be a better answer than what we have now. The poor get some level of treatment because they are indigent. I fear it is the middle class and the small business owners that are getting screwed. I have friends that own their own business and when I told them about my husbands bills, they said they would just have to die because they can’t afford health insurance. Helluva thing.

Gojira

I hear you on that. There has to be a better way. I have just seen the government screw up easier things then health care.

Good Luck with your husband. Keep the faith.

Hedo

If one thing pisses me off more than anything with people and political debates, it’s the “it’s happened to me so my point of view is more valid” line of argument. This is pure crap and assumes that we are too stupid to understand a complex situation unless it actually happens to us. I happen to think a ton about issues that haven’t happened to me. What I would do in those situations and what I excpect or would like to happen vs what probably would happen. Therefore actually having been in a certain situation doesn’t give you the absolute irrefutable position on an issue.

P.S. I wrote this before I even read what your positions were so this isn’t even to say I disagree with them. Just the premise that because it happend to you you know better.

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins

Vegita,

[quote]Vegita wrote:
If one thing pisses me off more than anything with people and political debates, it’s the “it’s happened to me so my point of view is more valid” line of argument. This is pure crap and assumes that we are too stupid to understand a complex situation unless it actually happens to us. I happen to think a ton about issues that haven’t happened to me. What I would do in those situations and what I excpect or would like to happen vs what probably would happen. Therefore actually having been in a certain situation doesn’t give you the absolute irrefutable position on an issue. …

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins[/quote]

I think I see where you are coming from. No one can claim to know best, because they have experienced a certain thing. On the other hand, I think it is legitimate to use personal experience to illustrate your view on a certain context.

Makkun

[quote]Vegita wrote:
If one thing pisses me off more than anything with people and political debates, it’s the “it’s happened to me so my point of view is more valid” line of argument. This is pure crap and assumes that we are too stupid to understand a complex situation unless it actually happens to us. I happen to think a ton about issues that haven’t happened to me. What I would do in those situations and what I excpect or would like to happen vs what probably would happen. Therefore actually having been in a certain situation doesn’t give you the absolute irrefutable position on an issue.

P.S. I wrote this before I even read what your positions were so this isn’t even to say I disagree with them. Just the premise that because it happend to you you know better.

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins[/quote]

Vegita
You misunderstand. I said being there shaped my viewpoint. And ones viewpoint may change depending on ones particular circumstances. Here’s an example:
I have a niece. Pretty girl, very pretty girl. Cheerleader, homecoming queen, you get the picture. Throughout her young life she was adamntly anti-abortion and actively worked against the pro-choice movement. That is, until she thought she was pregnant. Raised in a very Catholic family, she could not talk to her parents and came to me. She was terrified and she told me how wrong she had been all those years. She had no idea of what it was like to stand in those shoes, that she now understood why women should have a choice. Turns out she was not pregnant and she went on with her life a little wiser and perhaps a little more tolerant. Being there re-shaped her viewpoint because she had no idea of what the reality of the situation was.
Recently someone posted an article on this forum by one of the so-called “security moms”. I posted that her viewpoint may have been different if her children were of draft age. I know several women with boys in their late teens and early twenties who are terrified that their boys will get drafted into this war. One in particular has a brother who was in Vietnam. She does not want to relive that horror. She’s been there.

Experience adds knowledge, knowledge imparts wisdom. that’s why older people are wiser.

[quote]hedo wrote:
Experience adds knowledge, knowledge imparts wisdom. that’s why older people are wiser.[/quote]

hedo:

Shh…don’t tell RSU that…he gets really, really angry :slight_smile:

Gojira,

I agree on many points - expereince counts for a great deal. But it’s not everything, and so I select this gem:

“Abortion - Been there: Let me just say that no male on this board should ever open his mouth about it. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant and you never will.”

This, without any doubt, is utter garbage. Abortion is about one question, albeit a very difficult one - at what point do we extend the protection of the state to a child?

Now, regardless of where you fall on this question, it affects everyone of us. Men have a great stake in the national debate on abortion, and your gross oversimplification demonstrates not your sober experience with the issue, but untroubled naivete.

As for issues, I do like to hear what people have to say who have ‘walked the walk’, but that isn’t always enough.

After all, your own narrow idea here would, if followed, completely exempt you from speaking on the Iraq war.

[quote]gojira wrote:
Abortion - Been there: Let me just say that no male on this board should ever open his mouth about it. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant and you never will. I don’t care if you’re married or not. It doesn’t count. Just like I will never know what it’s like to be kicked in the nuts. I know that it must hurt, but until I’ve experienced it, I really have no appreciation for it.
[/quote]

That’s just plain wrong. 15 years ago, I paid to have a child of mine killed. There is not a day that has passed in the 15 years that I do not think about what I have done.

How dare you think that you as a woman have the market cornered on what an abortion feels like.

What I did has totally affected my opinion on abortion. It’s a choice. You choose to murder, or you chose to embrace life.

I’d much rather be kicked in the nuts than have to live with what I’ve done.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
gojira wrote:
Abortion - Been there: Let me just say that no male on this board should ever open his mouth about it. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant and you never will. I don’t care if you’re married or not. It doesn’t count. Just like I will never know what it’s like to be kicked in the nuts. I know that it must hurt, but until I’ve experienced it, I really have no appreciation for it.

That’s just plain wrong. 15 years ago, I paid to have a child of mine killed. There is not a day that has passed in the 15 years that I do not think about what I have done.

How dare you think that you as a woman have the market cornered on what an abortion feels like.

What I did has totally affected my opinion on abortion. It’s a choice. You choose to murder, or you chose to embrace life.

I’d much rather be kicked in the nuts than have to live with what I’ve done.[/quote]

Your avitar suits you. And you’re right about it being a matter of choice. But a whole bunch of rich, white guys would like to take that choice away. And I’m not going to get into an argument with you about “life”. Being a biologist, I’m sure I have a much different viewpoint than you do.

gojira:

A couple of things.

First, I agree with you that it’s the uninsured middle class who get completely screwed the way the system is now. We would likely disagree as to solutions, because I think the problem has its roots in how hard it is for individuals to obtain their own health care insurance and how the tax system favors employer-provided policies, but nonetheless this is a huge problem.

Hospitals don’t charge insurance companies or the government their listed prices, because those entities are big enough to have negotiating power. Hospitals are forced to provide care to the indigent, and set their regular prices high enough to off-set the large losses from those services. Uninsured patients with assets are generally the only ones who are charged those full, high prices. That is the problem – uninsured middle-class patients are being forced to subsidize indigent patients. [Prices for physician and nurse services are also exacerbated by other factors, including malpractice insurance, a “manufactured” shortage of physicians (by which I mean the fact that the AMA is not certifying new medical schools to meet heightened demand for doctors and heightened demand among students to become doctors – I believe the last new medical school was certified in the 70s, and there are over 3 applicants per space at certified U.S. medical schools) and a real shortage of nurses, among other things.]

The second thing is that I believe you were a bit disingenuous when you replied to vegita that you weren’t saying that if you didn’t have experience your opinion didn’t count – at least in one issue in particular:

[quote]gojira wrote:

Abortion - Been there: Let me just say that no male on this board should ever open his mouth about it. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant and you never will. I don’t care if you’re married or not. It doesn’t count. Just like I will never know what it’s like to be kicked in the nuts. I know that it must hurt, but until I’ve experienced it, I really have no appreciation for it.
[/quote]

I think both academic knowledge – especially large-scale statistical knowledge – and experiential knowledge should be factored in to decisions. A bad experience with something can bias you badly – imagine you are the person that bought the one “lemon” car in a car that had a .001 failure rate. While that rate is amazing, your story would be one of failure, and with no other info you might push someone to buy an inferior product – that’s why we collect aggregate data.

As to your original post, you’ll forgive me if I don’t feel like writing my biography on here at this time.

Gojira wrote:

Your avitar suits you. And you’re right about it being a matter of choice. But a whole bunch of rich, white guys would like to take that choice away. And I’m not going to get into an argument with you about “life”. Being a biologist, I’m sure I have a much different viewpoint than you do.[/quote]

Just curious, being a Biologist (ooooh), what kind of different viewpoint on life do you have? I myself have actually taken life, yet my opinion on life remains the same. Maybe more precious and fragile, even. RLTW

rangertab75

WAR…BEEN THERE. Oh yeah, this one’s to gojira. Should anyone who’s never been to war have an opinion (or valid opinion) on THAT matter? RLTW

rangertab75

Again, Rainjack hit the nail on the head Just because you have experience on something, does not mean your ideas on that thing are “in the right” so to speak. I’m sure I can find just as many people who have opposing views that were in a similar situation, also I could find those who agree with you who have not been in the situation.

This whole post, and i’m sorry to be so blunt is a big cry fest, attention getter. Look at me, Look at all my bad experiences, I know pain and suffering and hard times, therefore I know how to run a nation.

To be honest, I don’t view any of my life as “hard times” Sure I have had bad situations, I have also had plenty of good ones. It’s called life, everyone has ebbs and flows in it. No one has the market cornered on experiences. I wish we could get away from posts that say why one point of view is better or worse and actually discuss things with the intent to find solutions, not just see who can make more noise.

To be honest I think you’re neice dropped the ball. Here she had a perfect opportunity to push her “catholic” family open thier minds up a bit and give them an opportunity to grow, instead she hid her situation from them and sought the aid of someone who she knew would have the same view as she did. It was obviously easier for her to go about it this way and i’m sure 99% of people in her situation would have done the same thing. I’m not faulting her for that, I never approached life that way. Brutal honesty has always been my mode of operation. Again, No body owns me, not my parents, not my country, not any religion, no one. I answer to myself, if I do something someone doesn’t like, they can either accept it and be tolerant or they can shove it. Amazingly most people when given the chance will choose acceptance. This makes them stronger, opens thier minds, removes one less angry hateful thought from thier mind. Your nieces father may look at teens who get pregnant as sluts, or tramps. He may hold much negative energy inside, anger towards them, all of this is bad energy and it radiates from people. His daughter had a chance (and still does) to make him know that she is sexually active, and in the end she is still the same little girl whose diapers he used to change. In fact this is the perfect time to let him know that one day she may well be changing his diapers. She has the opportunity to stand up and make herself an equal, take equality from him if her will not give it freely. She is just as valid a human being as he is. When someone forces this experience on him, he will have 2 choices, accept and grow in love, or continue to spiral further in hate and misery. Sorry for the again, long and off topic rant. Once thoughts enter, I must get them out.

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins

Gojira, You are just flat wrong on Abortion.

  1. Men have EVERY right on the decision of choice. I used to have your view and just accepted that, as a man, I should just keep my mouth shut. My view changed after I grew up and got my wife pregnant with our first child. Although our pregancy was planned, it’s just an opportunity in life for you to try and understand the opposition’s view of pro-choice. The first thing I thought of was, if a man doesn’t have a decision in “choice”, then one should automatically assume that they bear no responsibility for the child. The child in my wife’s belly is just as much MY child as it is hers. Want to argue that? Try to have a child without male sperm. That’s my kid, and don’t ever be so vain as to tell me that I don’t have a say in the decision.

  2. Your niece ~ it’s sad that she was sexually active and chanced getting pregnant in the first place; however, her religious values should be stronger than her social values. Instead of going to you, she should’ve had the proper support system in place that would’ve helped her with her pregnancy. Abortion should’ve never crossed her mind ~ I don’t care how “pretty” she is. Also, there is no such thing as “very Catholic”. You either are Catholic or you’re not. The problem here wasn’t with the niece, it was with her support system. That’s what should really be the focus here.

Rainjack,

Your last post was very moving.

Thanks for your honesty.

JeffR

P.S. Gojira, you would be wise to PM an apology to Rainjack for your chauvanism.

[quote]gojira wrote:
Your avitar suits you. [/quote]

What in the hell does that mean? Being as you are a biologist - one would think you could advance past sophmoric attacks such as this - or, are you an expert in personal attacks as well?

Are you saying that only rich white men think abortion is murder? You are wrong - so wrong. And to think you want me to view you as intelligent - what with being a ‘biologist’, and all.