Cut and paste just doesn’t cut it

Recently I’ve seen all kinds of people re-posting this as their Facebook status:

Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she’s a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, …and Sheldon Tate 27 are all Marines that gave their lives this week with NO MEDIA MENTION. Honor THEM by reposting!

I’ve got no gripe against the need people have to remember their loved ones, but this copy-and-paste notion of honor makes my head throb like my worst hangover. I get that it’s meant to be a blistering smack-down of a perceived media bias for celebrity over those who should matter so much more, but just because we didn’t hear these names on the big cable television news shows doesn’t mean their deaths received “no media mention.” Every one of them was honored by their local newspaper and television media, and that’s what matters anyway.

And how does posting twelve more or less random names on Facebook do these guys an honor? What about the other 5,684 killed since the war began? There’s also something kind of dorked up about equating the honor of soldiers killed in battle with the celebrity of Lindsey Lohan, but I haven’t noodled that out yet.

My biggest problem with Facebooking these guys into eternity, though, is this: These guys are not all Marines. Ordinarily I wouldn’t point out the difference, because civilians just don’t get the many reasons a Marine might want to make the distinction between him and a soldier, and under other circumstances I’m not sure I could explain it. But in this case it’s simple: If you’re going to invoke the names of the fallen as a way of honoring them, then putting them in the correct branch of service is the least you could do. No, wait: spelling their names correctly is the very least you could do.

Facebookers, the next time you feel the need to honor soldiers killed in battle, please resist the urge to copy and paste. If you really want to honor these guys, look up their names and get to know them:

Sergeant Justin Allen was an American Army Ranger.

Staff Sergeant Brett Linley was a British Army soldier in the Royal Logistics Corps.

Sergeant Matthew Weikert was an American Airborne soldier.

Staff Sergeant Justus Bartelt was an American Marine.

Corporal Dave Santos was an American Marine.

Specialist Chase Stanley was an American Army soldier.

Specialist Jesse Reed was a Combat Engineer in the American Army.

Specialist Matthew Johnson was a Combat Engineer in the American Army.

Sergeant Zachary Fisher was a Combat Engineer in the American Army.

Private Brandon King was an Army Airborne soldier.

1st Lieutenant Christopher Goeke was an Army Airborne soldier.

Staff Sergeant Sheldon Tate was an Army Airborne soldier.

When you’re done with them, spend a little time with the other five-thousand plus, too.

You Don’t Need Medicaid, You Need A Spanking!

Here’s an ER Doctor can not only treat you, he can size up your financial situation at a glance. He’ll also write up a helpful critique of your lifestyle and publish it in the local newspaper at no extra charge!

Dr. Jones wrote this letter to the editor back in August, 2009, but it’s gone viral and showed up today in my daily Facebook parade of Very Wise Posts, followed by comments of “So true!” and “Amen!” Thank goodness for Facebook or I might have missed this!

Dear Sirs:

During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B; tune for a ring tone.

Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid.

She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our President expects me to pay for this woman’s health care?

Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture – a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. A culture that thinks I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.

Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow.

Starner Jones, MD

All I can say in response to that is: Well put, Doctor Jones! You’ve hit this nail squarely and soundly on the head. Anybody who’s in such desperate need of medical care that they would resort to applying for Medicaid ought to be willing to demonstrate their dire straits by not only swearing off beer and cigarettes forever, they should also voluntarily submit to blood tests to prove it! It’s an inconsequential interruption of their civil rights to secure such a huge measure of help.

You also have a sharp eye for fiscal responsibility, Dr. Jones! Now that the price of gold has skyrocketed to more than $1,200.00 an ounce, gold teeth should, of course, be pulled from the mouths of every Medicaid patient and hocked to help defer the cost of further medical treatment. I’m sure suitable replacements cost only a tiny fraction of the benefits reaped from each gold tooth surrendered.

And tattoos! Don’t get me started on tattoos! Used to be you hardly ever saw them, but now that our clean-cut American culture is going down the tubes you can’t swing a stethoscope without hitting somebody covered in tattoos. Since we’re paying for their medical care anyway, anybody on Medicaid should sign a consent form agreeing to have all their tattoos removed by laser surgery. I understand it’s almost painless and takes only a few days to zap each tattoo into oblivion.

People on Medicaid shouldn’t have the disposable income to spend on cable television, SUVs and roomy apartments or, god forbid, their own homes! Anyone applying for Medicaid ought to direct-deposit their paycheck into the system so that every penny of their income could be accounted for. Any money not used to cover their medical treatment would be refunded, of course, and ought to be more than enough to rent an efficiency apartment in a decent part of town. As for transportation, god gave everybody two good legs, and nobody’s too good to ride the bus to the ER.

You, sir, are my hero! Keep up the good fight!

what is the definition?

President Obama issued a memorandum Thursday to the Department of Health and Human Services, ordering hospitals to give same-sex couples the right to be with a partner who is sick or dying. The memorandum applies to every hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding — nearly every hospital in the country.

Bravo, Mister President.

J.P. Duffy, vice president for communications at the Family Research Council, said Obama is pandering to a radical special interest group.

“There are many other ways to deal with this issue, whether through a health care proxy or power of attorney, through private contractual arrangements. We have no problem with those situations,” Duffy said, “but the fact here is that this is undermining the definition of marriage.”

Actually, no, Mister J.P. Duffy, the fact is that we have no “definition” of marriage to apply here. A marriage can take place in a church, or in a county courthouse, or in a Las Vegas casino. It can take place between middle-aged people who were high school sweethearts, or between people who met each other in a drunken haze last weekend. And it can be dissolved as capriciously as pissing in a public parking garage.

Does the Family Research Council have plans to mount a persistent nationwide campaign to pass legislation that would mandate classes to prepare for marriage, or to ban divorce? Until it does, you and your ilk can take your empty arguments that allowing a person to sit at the hospital bed of the one they love somehow undermines your narrow-minded definition of what you think we should all view as “marriage” and you can blow it out your ass, Mister J.P. Duffy.

Reference from the story at

Full text of the president’s memorandum