Why Gun Laws in Chicago Don’t Work

January 31st, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Since the Newtown massacre, gun enthusiasts have been vehemently protesting any sort of further gun control legislation citing specifically the fact that Chicago, the city with the strictest gun control laws on the books, has not curbed gun – related homicides one bit  -in fact Chicago had more than 500 gun – related killings last year.

Here, the NRA and firearm – loving zealots, have been clutching their semi – automatic arsenals and screaming – see, see, see – look at Chicago, gun restriction laws don’t work. Well my gun-toting fellow citizens these are the reasons why the Chicago gun laws don’t work:

The most obvious reason is that one doesn’t have to travel too far from Chicago to get a gun, in fact just by taking a 30 minute drive to Cook county, Illinois, a person can find plenty of gun shops and easily purchase a gun. Furthermore, why not just go to another state like Mississippi (them their Mississippians’ love them their guns) & Indiana is not even an hour away. SOLUTION: Outlawing the sale of rapid- fire semi – automatic guns with insanely large magazine capacity NATIONWIDE. The only way the new gun restriction laws are going to work, is if you ban these crazy guns in every single state (Importing guns from other countries, I’ll get to that ASAP)

Here is another interesting factoid that the NRA loves to omit, is that, no, there are no gun shops in Chicago (the aforementioned makes this a moot point anyway) but the penalties for carrying a gun and breaking the law are incredibly, not as severe as other urban areas and communities are.

Kind of related to point #1, is the fact that, because we have not yet outlawed these weapons that kill scores of people within minutes – nationally, the coordination between the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago is completely heavy – handed, jumbled and unintelligible and it’s actually considered a joke according to law enforcement in Chicago.

Again, over and over my argument is – prohibit the sale of these assault weapons NATIONWIDE period. My opponents say, denying the sale of these weapons to solid citizens, second amendment jargon nonsense, blah, blah blah. Well, guess what – fact: gang members in Chicago have their girlfriends with clean records buy their guns outside of Chicago. Solution: with nationwide laws prohibiting sales of any assault weapons, criminals can’t buy from a legal establishment. Okay – last resort, black market – see last point.

Last Point – if the sale of all semi – automatic weapons are banned nationwide, the criminals will go on the black market, rely on gun – runners importing from other countries, etc. Broken Window theory implemented by the Giuliani administration cleaned up N.Y.C. What is Broken Window Theory ??? – in a nutshell, if you do anything unlawful, I mean anything i.e. loitering, law enforcement can stop you, & if you happen to be carrying – Prison – for a long time you go. 1. Legislate 2. Enforce 3. Draconian heavy penalties for owning and carrying semi’s.

So WhaDaYaThink? What do you think? Listen, we will never stop crazy people from killing other people and unfortunately we can’t stop homicide completely. A Psycho can always use a knife or a blunt heavy object to kill you, but we certainly can do something about maniacs with a mere index finger (yep, no martial arts necessary) from killing a whole lot of innocent people so easily in a matter of minutes.


Do You Have Any Sympathy For Lance Armstrong ?

January 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Lance Armstrong must make restitution financially (the civil suits are coming) and publically- make amends and atonement in a more sincere and unrehearsed way than he did with Oprah Winfrey; he owes it to his fans, the general public, commercial enterprises, the Tour de France, cancer survivors, and supposed friends he bullied to lie for him. Lance Armstrong is a self – serving lying opportunist who sadly happened to be afflicted with, along with 12.5 million Americans, one of the worst diseases known to mankind – cancer, and exploited his illness to bilk millions of dollars from all of the aforementioned supporters by shamelessly using illicit drugs and subsequently capitalizing on his affliction, bringing him fame and fortune, knowing that he would get sympathy and be treated with kid gloves.
This guy is a creep, and it’s quite frankly shocking, because most folks who get cancer are prodigiously humbled by the fact that they might not make it – being alive and spending time with loved ones is much more important than any type of transient, superficial celebrity. Here is a guy who is famous because he was a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France several years in a row, which is unheard of for a healthy athlete, but he CHEATED and he LIED. This is a guy that is so famous that he gets a 2 hour special on Oprah and he’s a complete fake – phony-fraud. And, btw, this guy is loaded with cash, he even has his own island – wow, no way, WE, the American public want our $$ back. I’ll tell you what, sue him until he’s penniless and then give the proceeds to the cancer foundation & maybe some of the money can go toward getting real people who are nameless, on Medicaid  (and maybe not white and handsome) get some assistance and help.

Yes, Mr. Armstrong was sick, and he went through hell, and he ought to be applauded for beating cancer and trying to get his life on track – but his behavior afterwards is nothing short of appalling – I’m sorry Lance, we all have our problems, and there are a lot of people I know with cancer, and you owe these people an apology + some cash – this is outrageous !!!

Here are some additional factoids to chew on according to Oprah Winfrey:
She claims that she had been trying to get an interview with Armstrong for years, and when he finally relented, she cleared her house (mansion) of everyone, and Mr. A. complained that there was traffic (is that supposed to be a joke ???)

Though Oprah clearly stated that she was alone for the ‘shocking revelation’, this idiot felt compelled to bring in a “team” of his people (what an outrage !!!)

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? This guy was a role model for so many people and lied to the world for decades and became famous nonetheless. Cancer truly is a disease that truly doesn’t discriminate – good, decent, honest people get the disease and so do crummy dishonest jerks like Armstrong do too.

January 27th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor


Painkillers Continue to be A Huge Epidemic

January 26th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
This is shocking: since 2008, painkillers i.e. Vicodin and simply any drug that contains hydrocodone, etc. have taken the lives of more Americans than cocaine and heroin combined. Because, there probably isn’t a person in this country who hasn’t been given a prescription after an injury or surgery, my question was, basically how much does it take to O.D. on the stuff ??? I googled this, and of course, just like everything else, it depends on a multitude of variables such as size and weight of an individual, a person’s opiate tolerance (which varies), etc. but the rule of thumb is if you don’t take them to get high and ingest what the doctor prescribes, which is one pill (average is 5 mg. of hydrocodone which is the actual narcotic + it’s mixed with some Tylenol) every 6 hours you will not die from them. In fact, it’s hard to kill yourself with vicodin or Percocet (is a little stonger) because if you’re not an addict and already addicted to the painkillers, you will more than likely get sick and throw up before you reach the lethal amount.
So, rest assured, now we know who’s dying from the opiates – the drug addicts. One guy posted that he ingested in one day
15 pills / 7.5 mg  of vicodin + drank a fifth of Jack Daniels and didn’t even need to go to the hospital. PLEASE do not do this ! This is certainly enough to kill the average person. The other problem is these addicts are probably ingesting 10 to a dozen pills over a long period of time, and even if one doesn’t O.D., the drugs are taking a big toll on your liver; the actual narcotic (hydrocodone) damages your poor liver but the 500 m.g. of Tylenol (acetaminophen) which is included in each tab is even more deleterious to your liver. Just Imagine taking 10 aspirin or a dozen Tylenol everyday for a year.

So, What are we doing about it ? Well, this is certainly a step in the right direction – here are the FDA guidelines:
Physicians can no longer give any refills, a person who needs more, has to get a new script from the doctor.

A doctor cannot fax over the prescription to the pharmacy (unlike other drugs that are deemed as not a controlled substance)

Doctors can no longer just call it in.

Lastly, distributers are now required to store the opiates in special vaults.

The legislation sounds reasonable and should effectively curb fatalities, but of course because of the irresponsible actions of the drug addicts (listen, I’m not perfect and believe me I know about addiction issues), old people, frail people who are suffering from cancer, people in nursing homes, and people who live in rural areas are going to suffer the consequences.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Oh, keep in mind, the real heavy duty opiates such as Oxycontin, morphine (of course), Demerol, codeine, etc. already have these restrictions in place.

The Nature Channel

January 25th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
The Himalayas.
In search of the snow leopard.
Oblivious to the cold mountain air
My eyes scan the screen
From the comfort of my chair.

For two long weeks
There is no sign of the elusive cat
When suddenly she appears
A model for an Egyptian tomb.
A mythical creature
Of epic proportions
Fills my modest eighteen inch screen.

Enter her sacred world.
Enters the unsuspecting prey.
She springs into action
Crouching like some sleek
Incredibly expensive race car
Hugging the ground,
Shifting her gears,
Descending on her prize,
Bringing it down.

Cries of distress fill the room.
Cover the screen to block it out.
Quick! Grab the remote
And switch to another
Kinder planet.

The snow leopard.
Vilified for a meal.
Vindicated for its hunger.


The Benghazi Incident – Confused? You’re Not Alone

January 25th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
To start, sadly, 4 Americans are dead:

Christopher Stevens – U.S. Ambassador to Libya

Sean Smith – U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer

Glen Doherty – former Navy Seal and staunch opponent of Christian Proselytizers/bullies trying to convert Muslims to Christianity and a member of MRFF (Military Religious Freedom Foundation)

Tyrone Snowden – Navy Seal and Member of State Department Diplomatic Security

These human beings died when a U.S. Consulate was attacked at Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 – these are the facts and the easy part in terms of understanding what happened, the rest is just spin and ugly politics; especially, as usual being hurled from the right.

This is an editorial and perhaps I’m biased, but I can’t possibly see how this tragedy could have been averted. Were there threats and violence beforehand near Benghazi ? Of course, but allow me to pose, how many consulates or diplomatic missions are the United States involved in, umm, well how many countries are there ? Benghazi was certainly on the Obama administration’s radar, but it happened, and there is nothing we can or could have done (without having been giving specific intelligence as to where and when) about it.
Some more ugly politics, this time on the left  –  how Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice handled the tragedy afterwards  – no they ought to have stated the truth about prior intelligence indicating a strong possibility of a strike, and no Obama and Rice should have immediately declared TERRORIST ATTACK and not played footsy; but folks this is a very delicate situation in which we’re enmeshed. We just killed Muammar Gaddafi and we’re in the process of establishing diplomatic relations with a nation that was for more than 40 years ruled by the iron fist of this vicious dictatorship and under extreme Islamist sentiment.
So WhaDaYaThink? What do you think? I thought the GOP was especially vicious in terms of the way they attacked Hillary Clinton yesterday – my goodness she was so ill, she almost died. However, Mrs. Clinton handled herself well and I guess I would have been surprised and a little disappointed if the republicans actually unprecedentedly showed a little compassion.


The Scientific Method And Philosophy

January 24th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
I did not major in science, although in retrospect, I wish I had. I am 49 years old and I’m at a point in my life in which I’m trying to gain a better understanding of the fundamental, profound and universal questions:  Who are we? Where did we come from ? Why are we here ? What is this thing called life? Does life have any meaning? Is life just an accident? Why do people suffer ? Is this all there is ? Is there life after death or to phrase the question a little more differently, is it possible to survive the death of your physical body ? Do I even matter in the grand scheme of things ?
I have always been an inquisitive person and I guess you can say always  a philosopher (the adage that kids are all philosophers is true; in fact to become a good writer, one must tap into your inner – child) When I was young, naïve, and knew practically nothing about the world and how it worked , religion seemed to be a band – aid for my yearning to understand. The truth of the matter is, although I was a professed, tried and true God – fearing Christian, for the first 17 years of my life, I was never entirely satisfied with the bible’s (especially the old testament) attempt to provide sound explanations for essentially “bad things” and the needless suffering most good people had to endure.
My real breakaway from Christianity came about after I had grown, had become educated and begun reading the entire bible in earnest, from Genesis all the way through and unto the new testament and the gospels. Wow – what a mess of a tome ! The Old testament, though some of psalms and proverbs convey some eternal wisdom, was just on whole simply evil and twisted. Here is what Richard Dawkins has to say about the old testament which perfectly encapsulates it:   “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

These are incredibly exciting times and there are ground – breaking discoveries being made almost on a daily basis by molecular biologists, geneticists, physicists and basically anyone who works under the rubric of science and the medical profession. What makes matters frustrating is that everyone is “super” specialized and it’s no small task for a particle physicist to communicate with an oncologist and vice versa (another blog) but what makes science so great and what this blog is about is the most fantastic way of seeking truth via the rigors of the scientific method. Just imagine, unlike theologians, scientists take their well – established theories and incessantly try to disprove their most brilliant ideas wrong.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? There are so many great science books out there for the laypersons who loves science and philosophy. One such book, which is very accessible is Richard Dawkin’s new book, ‘The Magic of Reality’ – no there are no burning bushes and other such superstitious beliefs, this is just beautiful science – truth. Truth is beauty, and beauty is truth. Watch this discussion with Richard Dawkins and Rickey Gervais, just awe – inspiring

To Rise

January 23rd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
Trees vein the morning sky.
Corpuscles and capillaries
Feeding the blood red dawn.
As yet, I am devoid of any
Too early, even for my taste.
But the smell of coffee
Muscles its way in
And stimulates the sun
To rise.
Just one sip
Jolts its pulsating


Cancer: The Master of All Maladies – Is it Possible to Find a Universal Cure ???

January 22nd, 2013 by Michael Tabor
After being diagnosed with cancer, one feels horrifyingly frightened and unspeakably alone and alienated; imagine the milli – second before the big bang occurred type of loneliness or if you happen to have a monotheistic worldview, dwell on the utterly terrifying concept of being GOD – you know the Christian God – barrenly and existentially alone.
Today I read an article from the science journal ‘Nature Chemistry’ which stated in a nutshell that scientists have discovered a “quadruple helix” which may suggest a clue as to the root cause of how and why cancer cells proliferate so prodigiously. Since cancer is “viral – like” in terms of our body and white blood cells not recognizing a foreign invader and the fact that every cancer is different, many oncologists are skeptical about whether or not they will ever find a universal cure. Just think of cancer as a terrorist type of beast that hijacks your normally – functioning cells and tells your DNA in essence to “follow my orders – I’m your new captain” , then grows wildly(resulting in sickening tumors) and ultimately the satanic beast sucks every last bit of life, to the marrow and until it kills you – the host. But, today’s announcement has given us some hope.

Cancer in this country and around the world is so widespread, that the saying “If you live long enough, eventually you will get some form of malignancy” holds a lot of weight once you look at the statistics. 600,000 Americans will die of cancer this year and more than 7 million people around the world will succumb to this most deadly disease. We have made tremendous strides and have come a remarkably long way in terms of 1. Diagnosing the disease (get your annual checkup) and 2.Treating cancer, the 3 major ways: a. surgery b. chemotherapy or c. radiation or a combination of all three, if you catch it early enough.
One of the nastiest types of cancer is acute leukemia, which is really cancer of the white blood cells (the very cells that are in normal situations, supposed to protect you from illness) – one nurse I can recall her saying that “when a patient has acute leukemia, you are always on super alert, because being a blood malignancy, even a paper cut is an emergency. I bring this up, because many years ago in the ‘90s, a good friend and colleague of mine lost his daughter to Leukemia and even though I have not heard from nor seen Ed L. (the father) in a long time, tears well up and I have to immediately distract myself so I won’t become profoundly depressed.

This is a short essay so I can’t elaborate on anything other than the fact that this discovery of a “quadruple – helix” is incredibly exciting stuff. Without getting into medical jargon (+ I’m not an oncologist) this makes me feel quite optimistic, because just think – what makes cancer such a Goddamn formidable disease is that we CAN’T isolate the healthy cells from the malignant ones so whatever form of treatment (if you get it in time) you choose you invariably are going to kill healthy tissue as well (collateral damage is a useful metaphor).

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? There isn’t a person alive today, who hasn’t personally been affected or who hasn’t known someone who has died of cancer. I know it’s unpleasant, but the obvious full medical exam is in order and when you’re my age (almost 50) i.e. the finger in the butt or colonoscopy and for women – please don’t put off mammograms and pap smears. Have a long, happy, and healthy life everyone.


January 21st, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor