Sunday, August 30, 2015

Giving Up Music and Software Piracy

The other day I started throwing out unlicensed software and torrents with full discographies of various bands burned on to DVDs because in a discussion with a Rabbi, as this is what he advised me to do, and as opposed to just not downloading anymore, and enjoying what I have (no longer).

This was the advice of Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar for 
- You can be careful about it in the future. 
- You can spread awareness to others.
- You can erase files of music that you did obtain illegally 
- You can make a point of supporting the artists in the future

For some time, I had promised myself that I would not engage in software and music piracy, even before I found Honestly, when I first heard of Pandora, I thought I was going to be majorly disappointed; however, now I think they are great!

With Pandora I feel like Gd has given me a multitude of blessings. And no, they, Pandora, don’t have all my favorite music, but they do have a lot, and especially they do have enough! (I am a huge consumer of music)

This actually made today’s next step easier; today I threw out hundreds of pirated cds. Some of them I cherished, but many of them would have disappointed me if I bought them. However, before today, yesterday to be precise, I wanted to listen to music while on my way to play MTG (Magic the Gathering). This became a problem for me as I told myself I would give one last listen to a Flower Kings cd on my way to the store, and then when I got home, I would throw it out.

Well that last pirated cd; well guess what, I wouldn’t work in the player, so I had to switch it out with a purchased cd! Imagine that, a miracle of Hashem! Being the religious geek that I am, I was glad that the player wouldn’t play the pirated cd, as it was a way to break the melancholy of giving up something loved. So instead, I popped in my personally purchased Niacin cd (with Dennis Chambers and Billy Sheehan), and listened to it, before bringing the cd notebook holder inside order to fill with music that was personally purchased, or gifted.

Don’t get me wrong, while I have thrown out hundreds of discs, I have yet to fully purge all my music; that I am here today is thanks to Gd’s mercy, and may Gd reward me with much blissful music in the years to come for following His Law!  I will probably get around to destroying all I have pirated someday, but now it is enough to get rid of many with the intent of completely erasing the history of my piracy altogether.

I can rest today knowing that I have done some good deeds. There is no need to be a zealot over this, but I feel Shalom in the home knowing that I have done a good thing, and by doing so, I will be serving my son and family by being a good example, and hopefully, I will be helping bands and the music industry get the money they deserve.  Maybe I will get more rewards from Gd for my works in return.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Making Universal Healthcare Work with Minimal Resources

I suggest that there are two types of patient; the problem patient and the compliant patient.
One thing the USA must reckon with is that with universal care, it becomes harder to ensure everyone gets served.  Everyone who wants healthcare, be it an extension of Medicare, Obamacare, or something like MassHealth wants everyone to be served.  However, if we have universal coverage, then we face the problem of burned out healthcare workers.  For example, in the instance of heroin overdoses, everyone either should want, or actually wants for that person to be served, but the problem is that there are limited resources.  For example, there may not be enough ambulances.
So here is my suggestion:  we keep universal care, but create a two tier system.
One tier would be the medication compliant patients that demonstrate effort in trying to get better.
The other tier would consist of patients that refused medication; those that make no compliance effort of trying to follow a treatment plan in order to get better.
The reason for this two tier plan is so that for example, repeat narcotic abusers who overdose may have to wait longer in order to get served, because they would be a second tier problem patient.  Nobody wants to see anyone die for any reason, but the healthcare community owes it to its clients to treat the people who actually want treatment first.
Also, I suggest that these two healthcare tiers should not be made permanent.
If someone decides to quit their medications against doctor advice, this should transfer them from the compliant tier to the non-compliant tier.
Differently, if someone wants to improve their medical rating, they should also have the chance of proving that they are fully medically compliant or want to be fully compliant, such that they have the right to be among those to be served first.