I had a nice Thanksgiving weekend except for the hours I spent choosing another Medicare plan.
If you think you are an intelligent person, wait until you are approaching 65 and have to make the Medicare decision; you will discover humility.
I managed to do well that first time I chose and had been happy with my plan. But it was cancelled for 2010 so I started over.
This effort was more challenging because while comparing various choices, I had to try to factor in what ObamaCare might do to them. I picked another Medicare Advantage plan, knowing that President Obama wants to get rid of all of those private insurance options that cover millions of seniors now.
So today I am watching the televised Senate debate on ObamaCare, which could force me to change plans again. I'm also listening to talk radio, and heard WTKK's Michael Graham discussing the latest proposal to make us taxpayers bail out homeowners who overextended themselves in the mortgage markets. Heard another discussion about the Copenhagen climate-change conference which could lead to us paying higher taxes to "stop global warming," which may really be global cooling.
President Obama is about to begin a debate on whether the war in Afghanistan should be paid for with new taxes or spending cuts.
The reality is that the USA is in such debt, with such huge, unfunded liabilities, that it can't afford to accelerate the war, deal with climate change in whichever direction, bail out everybody and everything in sight, and give affordable health insurance to everyone. We can't keep borrowing from China to run our country, even though China is apparently committed to lending us enough money so we can buy the things that China exports.
Which reminds me: Don't forget to shop until you drop for the holidays. Borrow if you must. Your country's economy must grow! If you overextend, we'll bail you out.
The present economic and political agenda is impossible. The national status quo is unsustainable. Help!
Now on WRKO radio, Avi Nelson is discussing the theory of evolution, and it's my fault. Last week he had talked about Sarah Palin's book, and because he is critical of her, he received a lot of calls from her supporters, arguing that people can be intelligent without being intellectuals (which some of us define as "over-educated snobs lacking in common sense"). Anyhow, I suggested that on his next show, Avi talk about a timely subject — the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" — to learn just how intelligent the RKO callers are; something that can be judged, in my humble opinion, by whether one accepts or denies the theory of evolution.
Bad plan. So far the RKO quiz indicates that only 55 percent of listeners accept the theory of evolution. Some callers who dismiss Avi's scientific arguments seem deficient in both intelligence and common sense, which to me is frightening.
I myself like both evolution and the theory of "intelligent design." It seems to me that wondering how the universe and evolution began is part of scientific inquiry. But this middle ground in the ongoing debate is a lonely place.
I want to turn off the TV and radio and escape to a more rational time. First an hour spent with Thomas Jefferson during the Age of Reason; and another, earlier hour with Aristotle during the Golden Age of Greece.
A thought! Has human evolution already peaked? Are we now devolving to become irrational creatures who doubt fossil evidence on the right and mindlessly accept global-warming propaganda on the left?
Liberals who scoff at intelligent design believe that ObamaCare will cut the budget deficit! Conservatives who ask, "Where in the Constitution does it say the government can force us to have health insurance?" insist that somewhere in there it says the government can torture people.
I imagine God, corporeal, banging His head against His throne: "I gave them brains! I left them clues. I gave them stories to hold them over until they discovered science. I thought they'd appreciate the challenge of discovery! I encouraged the Age of Reason to create a great nation. What went wrong?"
I can't answer that; am still escaping. Back, back to the common apelike ancestor, to the first mammals, to the fish, to the single-celled creature, absorbing nutrients through its skin.
Wait! I'd rather chew turkey leftovers. I love that I evolved! Thank you, Intelligent Designer.
But the little trip did me good. Avi has changed subjects and is now saying that because the Gore "scientists" have been caught ignoring some "inconvenient" actual climate data, the economy-killing cap-and-trade bill may be dead.
On my television, Republicans have begun exposing what is actually in that Senate health insurance bill; a few more weeks of debate, and the American public may stop this abomination and make Democrats start over with simpler reforms. Maybe there's intelligent life in the universe after all, and maybe we are it!
I just read that new, giant telescopes will soon be able to see back in time to the creation of galaxies.
Perhaps the Intelligent Designer will be there, waiting for us to make Him proud.
Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a regular contributor to Viewpoint.