Showing posts with label Poly Tics (from Greek 'poly' meaning many & 'ticks' = blood suckers). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poly Tics (from Greek 'poly' meaning many & 'ticks' = blood suckers). Show all posts

Thursday, August 31, 2023

August 2023 Tennessee Special Session: Morality Can't be Legislated (published 8-31-2023; article #429)

4/13/2019 photograph, by M. Fearghail. See the 4/13/2019 article.


Poly-Tics” -- do I need a 67th article? There are already 66 articles, under that “Topic Section.” I've grown tired of writing on the subject. There is a higher calling. By the way, “poly-tics,” as I say and write the word, is from Greek, πολύς, meaning many, and ticks, or blood suckers. Dwelling too much on “poly-tics” will suck the life out of you! In contrast, being inspired by God's grace, through Jesus' atoning sacrifice, will fill your life with everlasting joy.

This month has had two full moons, on 8/1/2023 and yesterday. This is certainly a Blue Moon type of article. I'd rather not write it. I have to. This article is another effort to encourage biblical morality, to get this once great nation on the right path. Please indulge me.

Reason for the Special Session

The immoral actions of one person, on March 27, 2023, at The Covenant School, in Nashville, Tennessee, murdered three adults and three children. The murderer used firearms, to carry out the immoral deed. The trigger was the wrong decision by an evil person.

Of several media sources, this article references: “Nashville school shooting: Seven fatally shot at Covenant School, including 28-year-old suspect,” on The Tennessean, by Chris Gadd, Rachel Wegner, Kirsten Fiscus, & Craig Shoup, published 3/27/2023; updated 3/30/2023. The police stopped the threat, in a just manner, by killing the murderer.

That immorality prompted Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to call a special legislative session, which was held from the 21st to the 29th of this month. See “Gov. Lee Announces Special Session on Public Safety to Begin August 21,” on Tennessee State Government (, 5/8/2023.

Result of the Special Session

The news media have filled several segments about the special session. I've had passive interest in the stories. This article cites two sources that summarize the session.

First, see “With tempers mounting, Tennessee's special session ends with little action on guns,” on The Tennessean, by Melissa Brown, Vivian Jones, & Angele Latham, 8/29/2023. The article begins, by stating:

Tennessee's special legislative session, held in the shadow of the worst school shooting in state history, ended Tuesday with no significant changes to the state's gun laws and only a narrow slate of bills sending more money toward public safety issues.

The other reference is: “Tennessee special session on public safety comes to an end after House and Senate Republicans reach deal,” on 10News WBIR-TV, by WBIR Staff, 8/29/2023. This column indicates that SB 7089 passed. If the bill becomes law, it would spend tax dollars, in the following seven areas. The total cost would be $110.2 million.

-- “$10 million for school safety grants;”
-- “$1.1 million to create a public safety campaign dedicated to safe gun storage;”
-- about “$12.1 million” for “sign-on and retention bonuses for behavioral health professionals;”
-- about “$3 million” for a “behavioral health scholarship program;”
-- “$4 million for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for a'Behavioral Health Safety Net Program;'”
-- “$30 million” for “school safety grants;”
-- and about “$50 million” for “community mental health agency grants.”

The article further states:

Other than the appropriations measure, the House and Senate passed three other pieces of legislation that will head to Gov. Bill Lee's desk.

  • SB 7088: Requires the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to submit a report on child and human trafficking crimes and trends in the state by Dec. 1, 2023, and each Dec. 1 thereafter.

  • SB 7086: Requires clerks of circuit or general sessions courts to notify the TBI of the final disposition of criminal proceedings within 72 hours, instead of 30 days.

  • SB 7085: Directs the Department of Safety to provide free firearm locks to Tennessee residents if they ask for them, and requires handgun safety courses to contain instruction on safe gun storage.

The media have reported on the various opinions, conflicts, disagreements, and protests. In several instances, emotion seemed to have outweighed reason. A legislator or two may have addressed the root problem, which additional funding and laws cannot fix, but I didn't see a news segment that included the remarks.


The Violence Prevention Project Research Center (The Violence Project) has mass shooting data from 1966 to current. The project states that it is “a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to reducing violence through research that is public-facing and informs policy and practice.” The website includes a Mass Shooter Database. The chart, on that database, titled “Mass Public Shooting Deaths by Incident, 1966 – present” shows 191 total mass shootings that has led to 1,369 deaths. (My tally, from that chart, indicates 194 total mass shootings and the same 1,369 deaths.)

My study of the chart derives the following summary. From 1966 through 1979, 14 years, there were 18 total mass shootings that caused 91 deaths. In the decade of the 1980s (1980 - 1989), 23 mass shootings are listed that inflicted 150 deaths. The decade of the 1990s (1990 - 1999) shows 37 mass shootings and 213 deaths. The 2000s (2000 - 2009) reports 37 mass shootings with 237 murdered. The last decade, of the 2010s (2010 - 2019), lists 56 mass shootings that killed 516 people. 2020 records two mass shootings, killing nine people. 2021 lists eight mass shootings, resulting in 53 murders. Last year, 2022, reports seven mass shootings and 58 deaths. In the current year of 2023, so far, the chart shows six mass shootings that killed 42 people.

When I was in grade school and high school, from 1965 to 1978, mass shootings and so-called “gun violence” were unknown, in the rural area where I was raised. School buildings were unlocked, when school was in session. In high school, older students and even teachers had shotguns or rifles, on the gun racks, secured in their locked trucks. (They had either been or were going hunting.) The societal norm was morality, based on the biblical worldview, the Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution.

Additional laws could, in theory, lessen the so-called “gun violence.” The further spending of tax dollars might help prevent some “gun violence.” Those steps, however, are like trying to stop tons of water from pouring through many holes in a dam, by plugging a few small holes with chewing gum. More laws and funding, which are constitutional, may help, but they are not the ultimate solution.

What is the ultimate solution? It is not political. It is moral. This once great nation must restore the biblical and constitutional values, upon which it was founded. Only then will so-called “gun violence” become seldom and rare events, as it was when I was growing up.

Where are the politicians, who boldly make that statement? Did Governor Bill Lee make that statement? I don't recall having heard him do so. Morality can't be legislated. I have spoken. Who is listening?

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

My Valentine's Day “Roto-Rooter” is Finally in My Rear View Mirror! (published 8-15-2023; article #426)

12/25/2016 photo by Nathalia Segato on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


I apologize, dear reader, for the pun in the title! I couldn't resist it! I call a colonoscopy a “roto-rooter,” as a expression of my style of humor.

Colonoscopies, however, are no laughing matter. Colon cancer is a serious disease. A colonoscopy can detect and remove early forms of colon cancer, before the cancer becomes fatal. An annual stool sample can also detect early forms of cancer.

Improper eisegesis should not read into this article what this article does not say. This article is not opposed to colonoscopies, as preventative measures. In fact, it affirms them, in wise and informed consultation with your doctor. The physical torture of the preparation is far worse than the actual procedure. An annual stool sample, sent off for laboratory analysis, is my preferred option.

The purpose of this article -- the 97th under the topic “Life (such as it is)” and the 66th under "Poly-Tics (Greek 'poly,' many, plus 'ticks,' blood suckers) -- is to publish my critique, from experience, on the high cost of the overly bureaucratic and socialistic healthcare system, in this once great nation.

This Article, in Historical Context

First, however, the historical context of this article must be set. On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II. Yesterday marked the 77th anniversary of that surrender.

On August 15, 2021, this once great nation lowered its flag at the Kabul, Afghanistan, embassy, ending the “War on Terror.” The article of 8/16/2021 remains my public statement.

Anesthetist's Bill, for 22 Minutes of Work

Moving to the purpose of this commentary, the article of 2/15/2023 mentioned my Valentine's Day “roto-rooter.” Also, one of the four sidenotes, in the article of 7/5/2023, noted the anesthetist's first bill, sent on 6/27/2023 and received on 7/3/2023, for $1,440.00. The procedure was on 2/14/2023 (Valentine's Day). Why did it take so long for the anesthetist's bills to start arriving? He sent me three additional bills, on 7/4/2023 (Independence Day), 7/21/2023, and 8/7/2023 (received yesterday). Apparently, once his bills start, they just keep coming. Common business practice is to send a bill, with the due date 30 days after the bill is sent. If the bill isn't paid by the due date, then another bill is sent, after the missed due date.

The log that I have been keeping is now ten pages. In it, I've been recording the mind-numbing and overly bureaucratic details, related to my colonoscopy. The log contains records of Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) received, bills received and paid, letters, and phone conversations. I won the appeal, to my insurance provider, in that I verified that one small polyp, discovered on 2/14/2023, could not have been, logically, a pre-existing condition!

Having received the anesthetist's fourth bill (dated 8/7/2023 and received yesterday), I sent my $467.50 payment, to him, by postal mail, today -- with my pithy letter included. (I saw the mailman take it from the mailbox. Yes, he is a man.) An email, which I had received on 8/9/2023, verified that the anesthetist worked 22 minutes, during my colonoscopy. My letter included the following analysis.

By my calculations, the anesthetist's initial charge of $1,440, for 22 minutes of work, is $65.45 per minute, or $3,927.27 per hour. Thankfully, the insurance adjustment decreased his charge by 67.743% (or $975.50). Thus, my $467.50 payment, for 22 minutes of work, calculates to $21.25 per minute, or $1,275 per hour. Even with the adjustment, that's not a bad pay rate! Wouldn't $21.25 per hour, not per minute, be a good pay rate? For 22 minutes of work, the anesthetist would earn $7.79. I'm sure that's not enough. So, let's try $100 per hour! If so, he would earn $36.67, for 22 minutes of work. That's better -- and reasonable!

Dear reader, how would you like to earn $467.50, for 22 minutes of work? Just earn the proper degree and get a job as an anesthetist! Apparently, it's easy money!

Total Costs, for Colonoscopy

Focusing now on the total costs, for my Valentine's Day colonoscopy, my records indicate the following charges, the approved amounts, and what I paid actually. The information is from EOBs, my bill payment records, and my 10-page document record.

Total charges, for the Cologuard kit, all laboratory, and all services, was $6,120.91, which includes the 1/27/2023 consultation. (The total does not include the $50 that I paid for the 24 pills, mentioned in the 2/15/2023 article.) Total insurance adjustments (decreases) were $3,461.47. Subtracting the insurance adjustments from the total charges results in approved total charges of $2,659.44. As of today, I have paid, for all laboratory and services, a total of $2,446.03 (not included the $50 paid for the 24 pills). Subtracting my total payments from the approved total charges leaves $213.41.

So, dear reader, my 2/14/2023, Valentine's Day, “roto-rooter” may not yet be in my rear view mirror completely! Will some provider send me a bill for $213.41? We will see. If I get another bill, I will write about it, and I will reference this article! Well, that is according to the Lord's will, of course.


As to life, “such as it is,” I hope that my Valentine's Day “roto-rooter” is finally in my rear view mirror! I hope that the EOB mailings, which I have been collecting, have stopped. I hope that the bills, which I have collected, challenged, and paid, have stopped. This sad saga has occupied enough of my time, over the last six months!

As to “poly-tics,” my experience is only one sad example of many. I have major medical health insurance coverage, through a well-known and reputable insurance provider. The policy is in place, to cover major medical care expenses, if, God forbid, they were to occur. The monthly premium is fairly reasonable. I chose the policy, since I'm healthy, can pay the deductible and maximum out-of-pocket costs, if needed, and want a lower monthly premium. I did not select a plan, with a much higher monthly premium, with lower out-of-pocket expenses.

The sadness of my example illustrates the high cost of the overly bureaucratic and socialistic healthcare system, in this once great nation. Months ago, I wrote, in the 10-page document, which I've mentioned previously, that the total cost should have been no more than about $500.00 to $750.00 – for the Cologuard kit, laboratory, the 24 pills, and the about 30 minute colonoscopy (including anesthesia). The “consultation,” before the procedure, was not necessary. Instead, total charges, as I've stated earlier, were $6,120.91 not including the $50 for the 24 pills. If one pill costs about $2.08, why should I not have expected the higher costs, for the procedure?

The healthcare industry needs to be like, for example, the automotive repair industry. Any vehicle repair shop will provide, up front, an estimate on the cost of parts, labor, supplies, fees, and taxes. You decide to do business or not. Competitors are out there!

Healthcare providers, in non-emergency situations, should provide up front estimates, on the cost of equipment, laboratories, medications, supplies, labor, and fees. Then, you consult with your health insurance provider. By that means, you determine your out-of-pocket costs, up front.

Lord willing, I plan to require up front estimates, on total costs, before any future non-emergency medical care. I grow tired of being surprised, for example, by an anesthetist's bill, for 22 minutes of work, that charged me $1,440.00. The healthcare industry needs more competition and less socialism.

Also, let's stop the constant barrage of prescription drug commercials, in the media, such as the walking roll of toilet paper commercial! We can do it! On 4/1/1970, President Richard Nixon signed legislation that banned cigarette advertisements on radio and television. In 1997, while my wife and I were doing mission work in Russia, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers, on radio and television. If cigarette advertisements are banned, then pharmaceutical commercials can be banned!

What say you?

Sunday, March 12, 2023

“Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” Update: My Rant on “Guvrmint” Time (published 3-12-2023; article #393)

6/2/2014 photograph, by Sonja Langford on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


Greetings to each local, regional, national, and international reader – especially to you, dear reader. On this cloudy Sunday afternoon, I might as well get this off my chest. My Irish dander is up today.

Why? Aside from the usual aggravations of stagflation and taxes, which Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I endured yesterday, my Irish blood is boiling – due to “guvrmint” time.

The loss of an hour of sleep didn't bother me. Having to set fourteen timepieces ahead one hour aggravated me enough. “Fourteen?” -- you ask? Yes. They are two watches, clocks on two vehicles, DVD player, landline phone, stove, two microwaves, three alarm clocks, and two light timers. That's fourteen.

In a sense, this article is a follow up to my article of last year: “SUNSHINE PROTECTION ACT OF 2021" (published 3-19-2022; updated 3-20-2022; article #303). Reading that article again today, I feel anew the shock and frustration that inspired the tone in that article. I would not change a word.

Who wants year-round “guvrmint” time? Who wants the sunrise to be after 8 AM, from November 3rd to March 5th every year?

The purpose of this sixty-fifth article on “poly-tics” is to educate folks who want year-round “guvrmint” time. Writing this article will soothe my Irish temper. I have to stand with Papaw Ferrell, as the conclusion will indicate.

Tennessee's 'Guvrmint' Time Law of 2019

Since 5/21/2019, the Tennessee “guvrmint” has had a law on the books. That law states that, once the federal “guvrmint” passes year-round “guvrmint” time, then the Tennessee law will go into effect.

See Tennessee General Assembly, HB 0247. The “Bill History” and “Summary” buttons contain the details. The “Votes” button shows how each representative and senator voted.

On election day, 11/8/2022, I had the pleasure, once again, to converse with Representative Dave Wright, while he was outside, at the voting location. We spoke in pleasant, humorous, and spiritual agreement on several mundane political and deeper religious topics. My only disagreement with our fine representative was that he voted in favor of the bill, which I have cited.

Regrettably, the switch is already set, in Tennessee. If the federal “guvrmint” passes the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021,” then the switch turns on, in Tennessee, for year-round “guvrmint” time.

Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” -- My Rant

As my 3/19/2022 article stated:

How can the USSA federal “guvrmint” protect sunshine? Only the Good Lord can do that!

Daylight Savings Time” is a lie! It does not “save time!” It only moves the sun forward one hour.

That 3/19/2022 article indicates that the bill passed the US Senate, on 3/15/2022. Today, the same source -- S.623 - Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, 117th Congress (2021-2022): Actions Overview -- indicates no further action. The US House has not yet taken action, as the “Actions” button indicates. I hope that the US House keeps fiddling, while Rome burns, on this.

Daylight “savings” (“guvrmint”) time ended on 11/6/2022. It started today, 3/12/2023. Please keep those dates in mind. Standard time is a little over a third of the year. “Savings” (“guvrmint”) time is from today, until 11/5/2023. “Guvrmint” time is almost eight months, or three-fourths of the year.

Please see Sunrise and sunset Knoxville (Tennessee): January 2023. This is for the eastern time zone. Previous and following months can be viewed by clicking the button for the selected month and year. The information below is from the website, by month and year selections.

For November 2022 -- on savings” time -- sunrise was as follows, for the first five days: 1st 7:59 AM, 2nd 8:00 AM, 3rd 8:01 AM. 4th 8:02 AM. 5th 8:03 AM. On 11/6/2022 – on standard time – sunrise was at 7:04 AM.

For December 2022 – on standard time – sunrise was incrementally later, from 7:28 AM, on the 1st, to 7:46 AM, on the 31st. If “savings” time were year-round, then sunrise would be from 8:28 AM to 8:46 AM, incrementally. (Add an hour to standard time sunrise.)

For January 2023 – on standard time – sunrise was incrementally earlier, from 7:46 AM, on the 1st, to 7:37 AM, on the 31st. On year-round “savings” time, sunrise would be from 8:46 AM to 8:37 AM, incrementally.

For February 2023 – on standard time – sunrise was incrementally earlier, from 7:37 AM, on the 1st, to 7:08 AM, on the 28th. On year-round “savings” time, sunrise would be from 8:37 AM to 8:08 AM, incrementally.

For March 2023 – on standard time – sunrise was incrementally earlier, from 7:06 AM on the 1st, to 7:01 AM on the 5th, to 7:00 AM on the 6th, and to 6:53 AM, yesterday, on the 11th. Today, 3/12/2023, the start of “guvrmint” time, the sun rose at 7:51 AM.

As is clear from the data, if we were on year-round “savings” (“guvrmint”) time, then sunrises after 8:00 AM would occur from the 3rd of November until the 5th of March. (Again, add an hour to standard time.)

Yes, of course, if “savings” (“guvrmint”) time were year-round, then the sun would set later, by an hour, daily. I understand the rebuttal to my rant. Year-round “guvrmint” time, however, would cause early risers to lose even more and late risers to win even more.

For example, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman -- bless her heart, being <deleted by Mrs. Appalachian Irishman> years younger than me – still has to work for a living a couple or so more years. She leaves for work about 6:20 AM, to arrive early and to avoid morning traffic, since her teaching/vice principal job starts at 7:30 AM. The one-way drive is about 40 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Since March 1st, when the sunrise was at 7:06 AM, she could leave, just as the pre-dawn was bringing a little light to the darkness. This week, my wife is on spring break. On 3/20/2023, however, when she returns to “hitting a lick” at work, the sunrise will be at 7:40 AM. So, she will return to leaving for work, in darkness, as she does during most of the school year, except for a few days in August and March.

Where's the rant?” -- you ask? Here it is! “Guvrmint” time discriminates against early risers, such as my wife! School-aged young 'uns face the discrimination. Folks who start work by at least 8 AM endure the discrimination.

Who wants, for example, school-aged children to await the school bus, ride the bus, and be at school – when it's still dark – with sunrises after 8:00 AM from November 3rd until March 5th?

An online search of “daylight savings time and traffic accidents" finds several sources that agree with educated common sense. Travel to work, to school, or for any reason -- in morning “rush hour” darkness -- indicates a higher probability of accidents, injuries, and deaths. Several online sources indicate credible studies, which conclude that year-round standard time is safer. I agree.


Guvrmint” time discriminates against early risers. It benefits folks who are late risers – who work later shifts or who are lazy. Folks who work later shifts have my respect. Lazy folks have my pity.

As a note on the plan, as stated in my 3/19/2022 article, I contacted the offices of both US Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty. Senator Blackburn's office did not reply to my voicemail. A staff member of Bill Hagerty and I had a beneficial conversation. Neither Senator replied directly to my emails or postal letters. US House member Tim Burchett and I exchanged encouraging emails. He did not reply to my postal letter. I emailed and called News Talk 98.7. The email had no reply. A call screener and I spoke only. I was unable to be on the air, due to timing.

The conclusion to my 11/7/2021 article is a fitting conclusion to this article:

Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970) hated “guvrmint” time, as he called it. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, Papaw!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

“Supper” Bowl Reactions: TN State of the State Address (2-6-2023) and State of the Union Address (2-7-2023) (published 2-12-2023, article #389)

4/17/2021 Photo, by Elisa Stone, on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


Imagine, from the above image, that several other skunks are with that one, in your front yard. That image is fitting, as the final conclusion will explain. Yes, our front yard was invaded by skunks.

Greetings, dear reader. I trust that you are well. It's a warm and rainy Sunday, in this neck of the woods. There are no skunk sightings today.

I apologize for the need to write my sixty-fourth article on “poly-tics” (Greek πολύς, meaning “many,” and “ticks,” or blood suckers). I prefer to continue working on the sixth article in my Christian Evidences series. I, however, will remove these “many ticks” from my thoughts, by writing this article, if you will indulge me.

The news media -- specifically, the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 weeks a year type -- present the “reactions” of various pundits, to trending news topics. I don't care to know the reactions of pundits. I have my own reactions. I am not a pundit. The news media, simply, need to state only the facts, as verified by accurate information. If they did only that, then they would not need to be on constantly.

This article denotes my public “reactions,” first, to the Tennessee State of the State Address, on 2/6/2023, and, next, to the State of the Union Address, on 2/7/2023. I did not listen to either televised-live address. Instead, I read each address, by the references, as listed.

TN State of the State Address (on 2/6/2023, Monday)

The Address

The complete text of Governor Bill Lee's address is found at TN, Office of the Governor, 2023 State of the State Address, on 2/6/2023. (The spending details -- of a billion here and a million there, in nine spending categories -- are found at TN Office of the Governor: “Gov. Lee Delivers 2023 State of the State Address – ‘Tennessee: Leading the Nation,’” 2/6/2023.) The televised-live record is at “Governor Bill Lee – 2023 State of the State Address,” on The National Governors Association, on YouTube.

The Governor spoke for 59 minutes. I read his address. I didn't watch it, since I preferred to watch an episode of Gunsmoke. Four of the Governor's five main topics, by section, were on:

Good Jobs + Opportunity

Great Schools + High-Quality Education

Safe Neighborhoods

Brighter Future

My Reaction

My general reaction to those four topics is nominal interest. Tennessee, by law, must balance its budget – unlike the USSA (Ununited Socialist States of America). The bureaucratic details bored my mind. The Governor wants to spend money on stuff.

I hope that his “choice lanes” idea will repave roads near us – not just repatch the patched potholes again. The immorality of citizens cause unsafe neighborhoods. Good and moral neighbors -- with my weapons to stop a threat if it arises -- keep Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me safe at home, under the Good Lord's provision. Apparently, the “brighter future” involves a cleaner, greener, and more nuclear environment.

As long as the Governor plans to restrict further government intrusion into my life, maintain a balanced budget, and not increase taxes, then whatever he said is of mundane interest. Bill Lee is doing well enough. Regrettably, he knows, too well, how to write and speak like a bureaucrat.

The Governor's other topic was on Strong Families, on which he stated, in part:

There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn. We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families . . . .

. . . Tennessee has the opportunity to ease one of the biggest financial burdens on mothers. We are going to propose covering the cost of diapers during the first two years of a baby’s life for mothers on TennCare.

My article of 6/30/2022 referenced the Supreme Court's 6/24/2022 decision and affirmed the pro-life position. In general, I agree with the Governor's remarks, under his Strong Families topic, the bureaucratic minutiae withstanding.

Individuals, families, and churches have the primary moral obligation to support families. Fathers should not be absent. The government usually “supports” families, by funding programs.

The Governor's plan proposes that TennCare buy diapers for babies. Is that a moral obligation? The Governor, apparently, thinks that it is.

Mom washed cloth diapers (in an old washing machine or the bathtub) for us four boys, when we were young enough to need them. Those diapers were reusable. By the way, Dad was, of course, in the home.

In his closing remarks, the Governor stated, “In many ways, our country is off track. But America’s best days are not behind her.“ Generally, I am a realistically optimistic person. Unlike the Governor, I am not optimistic about America (the USSA). I wish that I could be.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are glad that we live in Tennessee. The state government is bloated by layers of bureaucracy, lack of common sense, incompetence, waste, and inefficiencies. I know, based on my ten years as a state employee and on my recent interaction with the Tennessee Department of Revenue (which my 12/5/2022 article highlights). My 9/3/2006 article -- on the “Big Dig” -- denoted wasteful spending. We, however, don't plan to move to, for example, California – ever.

State of the Union Address (on 2/7/2023, Tuesday)

The Address (including my efforts to read then watch)

The televised audio and transcript of President Joe Biden's live address are found at The White House: February 7, 2023, State of the Union Address. The address, as prepared for delivery, is found at The White House: Remarks of President Joe Biden – State of the Union Address as Prepared for Delivery, on 2/7/2023. I wonder who prepared the remarks. The President spoke for one hour, twenty minutes, and seven seconds.

The President's remarks, as prepared for delivery, are not organized by topic, as Governor Bill Lee's were. Initially, on 2/8/2023, I started to read every word of the prepared remarks; however, the political spin was so fast and furious that I became dizzy! Thus, I glanced for key topics and phrases. That was all that I could endure. Finally, with reluctance, on 2/9/2023, I printed President Biden's prepared remarks and read them more closely.

On 2/7/2023, I did not listen to the President's live, televised address. (I preferred to watch an episode of Star Trek.) On 2/10/2023, I listened to much of his address, via the first website reference, above, until I could endure no more. I did not compare the transcript of the President's live address to the prepared address.

My General Reaction

From what my closer attention could determine, the President jumped, fairly randomly, from topic to topic. An organized outline, by topic, would have been better. The political spin was intense and obvious. President Biden spoke, from the teleprompter, on the following primary topics, as underlined. (My reactions, notes, and comments are included in parentheses.)

His “accomplishments” in two years (which are rife with spin and do not mention the Biden family investigations that are being conducted in the House).

COVID-19 (including his spin. I have written 30 articles on “Corona Myopia.” I'm done with that new cold virus. I have moved on.)

The events of January 6, 2021 (with his abundant spin).

The Slavic war or the Russian invasion of Ukraine (as I call it, not “Putin's war,” which did not cause economic decline in this nation. I have written five articles on the “2022 Slavic War,” which began on 2/24/2022.)

American assistance to Ukraine (i.e., spending federal Monopoly money, on weapons, to give to Ukraine).

The economy (with several pages on inflation, jobs, manufacturing, wages, imports and exports, infrastructure, supply chain, and so forth, with an abundance of socialist spin).

Veterans (with proper emphasis on their care, often, unfortunately, through the improved but still too bureaucratic, wasteful, and inefficient VA).

The “Respect for Marriage Act” (but see my 12/15/2022 article on that Act).

Healthcare and health insurance (in context of the socialism that monopolizes both, with abundant socialist spin).

“Clean” energy and electric cars (in context of the global climate “crisis,” which is a cover phrase for a propagandized and socialist agenda).

Border insecurity (which is obvious, despite the President's spin) andimmigration reform” (i.e., the “pathway to citizenship” for illegal alien invaders).

Drug trafficking (especially due to border insecurity and human immorality).

The federal government's Monopoly money spending (as I call it; see my most recent, 1/23/2023, article on the topic).

The national debt (which is huge), debt limit (which is too high already), and budget (which continues to spend more than it receives).

The federal tax system (i.e., taking more from the haves, to punish them, and to give to the have-nots, to keep them dependent on socialist government programs).

Big corporations and “Big Oil” (with emphasis on taxing more of their “exorbitant” profits, which will raise prices for consumers).

Public (i.e., socialist) housing and public (i.e., socialist) education.

Public safety (or the lack thereof, due to the moral decline in the nation).

“Gun control” (i.e., again about banning so-called “assault weapons,” with no comment on the moral decline in the nation).

A cure for cancer, by a “Cancer Moonshot” (whatever that will be and cost).

. . . to protect every woman's constitutional right to choose.” (i.e., to murder, which is not a constitutional right, their unborn children. See my 6/30/2022 article on the topic. The President, once again, did not say what is chosen -- which is usual, for those who advocate the moral evil of unborn baby murder. To choose what, Mr. President?)

Ensure the “safety and dignity” of LGBTQ citizens (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. Not safety and dignity, but the forced acceptance of those immoral lifestyles. See my 6/26/2022 article, under the “LGBTQ Pride Month” section.)

China (and its military and economic domination, with only a mild inference to their recent spy balloon).

Voting (with spin and labeling against those who want only fair elections).

My Specific Reactions to Specific Remarks

In his introductory remarks, President Biden stated his “vision for our country,” which included: “To restore the soul of the nation” and “To unite the country.” I doubt that the President's vision is based on biblical values and the biblical worldview. (See my eight articles, so far, under Worldviews in Conflict topic section.)

Early into his remarks, the President stated, in part, that he “ran for President to fundamentally change things . . . .” That was a very vague statement, but the President revealed his change agenda through out his address. The change should be to return to founding constitutional principals, not to further advance socialism and immorality.

Later, but still into his early remarks, the President stated, as a single paragraph, “I’m a capitalist. But just pay your fair share.” I simply had to laugh out loud! I assume that the President was joking, by stating that he's a capitalist. “Fair share” is the commonly used and euphemistic expression for taxing the haves more, to give to the have-nots, to further expand the socialist federal government.

In his closing remarks, the President stated, in part:

My fellow Americans, we meet tonight at an inflection point.

We are a good people, the only nation in the world built on an idea.

That all of us, every one of us, is created equal in the image of God. A nation that stands as a beacon to the world.

Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong.

I have never been more optimistic about the future of America.

Those words did nothing to inspire me. The inflection (or turning) point should be to repent as a nation and to return to godly and moral living, under the original intent of the Constitution, which is based on biblical values. The President, of course, believes that some of us are more equal than others (i.e., the socialists are elevated, while the conservatives are relegated). He, of course, does not affirm the equality of the unborn child. This once great nation needs to return to the Beacon to the world, in Christ. The souls of true followers of Christ are strong. The national soul, which, in majority, does not follow Christ, is morally weak and corrupt. The State of the Union is, at best, continuing to weaken, ever so slowly.

I am a realistic optimist. I, however, am very pessimistic about the socialistic future of America.

The Blackburn Report: Responding To The State Of The Union

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn's The Blackburn Report -- which I received by email on 2/10/2023 -- is the title of this section. I subscribe to her weekly emails.

Senator Blackburn's introductory paragraph is as follows. (The website links are in her original paragraph.)

This week, President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address in front of a weary nation. On the day Biden walked into the Oval Office, inflation sat at 1.4%, border encounters were three times lower, and our adversaries feared us. Two years later, inflation is at a 40-year high, our national debt has exceeded $31 trillion for the first time ever, 4.6 million immigrants have illegally crossed the southern border, and Chinese spy balloons are violating U.S. airspace. The Biden administration has intentionally implemented policies to further a destructive left-wing agenda, and the American people are paying the price.

The inclusion of Senator Blackburn's response, to the President's State of the Union Address, are added to this article, simply to strengthen my own response.

Supper” Bowl Side-note

Apparently, today is “Supper” Bowl Sunday. It's the 57th “Supper” Bowl. The football game, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, starts at 6:30 PM ET.

About that time, our supper should be over, and Molly (our doggy) should be inside with us. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman will probably be washing supper dishes. An episode of Gunsmoke will probably, as usual, be my TV selection.

Previous notes on the “Supper” Bowl are in my articles of 8/8/2021 and 2/20/2022. Roger Goodell never did reply to my 7/19/2021 e-mail to him.

Conclusion: Balancing the President's Spin

Apparently, I was one of millions, who chose not to watch the President's 2/7/2023 State of the Union address. See “27.3 Million Watched the 2023 State of the Union Address,” on Nielsen, 2/8/2023. The article states that viewership was down 29%, from President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address. The article includes historical audience data, for State of the Union addresses, from 2/17/1993 to 2/7/2023.

The latest Gallup, “Presidential Approval Ratings -- Joe Biden,” poll (1/2-22/2023) shows that 41% of Americans approve of his job performance.

The viewership and approval ratings, which I have cited, place into context President Biden's political spin and propaganda, in his 2/7/2023 address. I do not understand how even 10% of Americans could approve of the President's job performance. At least 41% of Americans, apparently, are drinking the poison-laced, socialist Kool-Aid.

Final Conclusion

What about the skunks, which the introduction mentioned? Why the photograph, for this article? I will explain, as I close.

Overnight last Sunday into Monday morning, the skunk invasion of our front yard occurred! Early in the morning, of Monday, 2/6/2023, while still dark, as Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was leaving for work, we both smelled the pungent odor of skunk spray – even before she opened her garage door.

Later that day, I noticed several diggings in and around our front yard. I spoke with a neighbor, a few days later. He had spoken with other neighbors. The conclusion was obvious! Several skunks had entertained themselves, in at least three yards, by having a skunk war! The spray lingered two days. The diggings are still present in our yard.

Thankfully, Molly (our doggy) was not sprayed. She did, however, do a lot of barking and sniffing around the skunk diggings.

Beware of political skunks. Their stinky spray is unpleasant. We can't keep from smelling it. Just don't let them spray you directly.