All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Of Deafness

Those of you who aren't from some type of religious back ground may not understand this post. That's OK. I'm finding that many of a Christian background don't get my point of view on it either.

Back in 02 I lost over 80% of my hearing in my right ear and around 10% in my left. This was particularity hard on me since prior to the loss I had above average hearing. The reason for the loss was in part due to a viral infection and in part due to medical malpractice on the part of a self absorbed doc with an overinflated view of her medical skills. Of course being 7 whole weeks out of residence means that you're smarter than God Himself when it comes to all questions concerning the human body. She was very eager to point out her superior abilities to those of the man who left the practice about 10 min after meeting her. In addition to the treatment of a viral infection with antibiotics she refused for 3 weeks to give me a referral to an ENT. Once I got into the ENT his recognition of my condition and treatment saved most of the hearing in my left ear. I'm still bitter about the whole deal.

When this all happened in 02 I was given a first rate recommendation by my ENT to get me into a Stem Cell regeneration research program. The university called and I was able to talk to the man heading up the program. They were interested in my case because the nerve cell death was recent and there was reason to believe that I had only lost a portion of my hair cell's ability to transmit signal to my brain. I was very interested. We talked more. My prospects of being accepted into the program were good. They even had funding to pay for me to make the 1,100 mile trip to the University Hospital and cover my expenses. It all looked like an answer to a prayer.

Did I have any questions? Yes. Where did the University get the Stem Cells for the research? Embreonic donors. I said I wasn't interested in joining the study. My response puzzled the researcher. The program harvested the best embryos at exactly the right developmental stage for the optimum chances of success. After hearing how scientific and wonderful the embryo harvesting was, I said "I'll be dammed if I will". I hung up. Thus ended my chance of having my hearing restored and having someone else pay for it.

My guess is that about 90% of you reading this post don't "get it". That's fine. If you're a Bible reading sort of person I have a passage for you: Mark 9:42-47. If you're not a Bible reading person, just skip to the comments and tell me what a fool I was.

For you good Bible believers out there, do you get it now? If not skip to the comments, etc.

What brought this rant on? A good bible reading type person, who normally is very kind, proceeded to butt in on this subject with me yesterday and let me know what a fool I am. I agree, I am a fool and any number of choices in my life bear this out. I will not profit from the death a person not yet born. I would rather be deaf, including losing the rest of my hearing, including not being able to get a better job, including any additional hardship that may be placed on me and my family than have a baby die to harvest some cells that might make it so I could hear.

A hat tip to Farmer Tom. I was visiting his home 4 or 5 years ago and told him this story about my hearing loss. So far he is the only person that I have shared this with that had a response that seemed to instantly understand and sympathize with my stand. That conversation with him has meant a great deal to me and has been a source of strength in the intervening years.

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