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I am a chiropractor, and as such am bound by social pressure to always be a representative of chiropractic. Being a christian I also represent Christ. Being a citizen of the United States of America I represent my country. If I were to evangelize or debate politics on my professional site though I would turn some people off, and I want everyone to be able to come to my practice without feeling judged or threatened. If you would like my professional comments please visit the links provided. With that in mind this is not a professional blog, and I will be exercising my freedom of speech here. I will express my opinion and hope that you too will be willing to express yours. Please comment, question, and enjoy my personal blog. I plan too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hunger Games Series Review

I expected the entire trilogy to be Katniss' eye-opening journey of who she is and what she symbolized, to her family, self, loved ones and to oppressed people of the districts.  I liked her character in the first book.  She was  bold and strong and there were real connections to the other characters.  The only problems I had with the first book was the tense and perspective, understandable because of the genre.  She began pure and wanted nothing more than to be left alone.  She experienced a first childhood romance, but knew it wasn't yet full. She had seen tragedy and wanted to protect those around her.  She really began the story by trying to keep her sister safe from the hunger games.  This was her first real plot choice.

She knew real evil, the Capitol.  She knew she was a pawn.  She did not want to be a pawn, she didn't even want to play the game.  She played hard in the first book, because she had a reason.  Her reason for playing was manipulated and changed through the books as her character grew, but then it stopped developing in the third book and disappeared all together.  The atrocities she faced did not develop either and so became moot.

The one stable trait in the whole series was her ability to empathize and have compassion even upon enemies, the things that they listed that moved them when she failed at acting for the camera.  Then in the end she votes for the hunger games, but still goes back to be a mom. So, did she loose her compassion or didn't she.  Knowing the evil did she choose to become it, but then not?  No explanation in the book, or even a build up to it.  In fact the book felt like one of my old high school papers when I knew I'd easily make the page number requirement.  She put great work into the first two books and less effort into detail as the ending came close.  She slacked off.  The storyline of the third book struggled without single idea like the hunger games to revolve around.  Collins was stuck with character development as her centerpiece in the last book without a guiding plot and she didn't excel at it.

Katniss had the example of such good characters sacrificing for her, but did not ever choose to sacrifice herself despite saying she would for everyone. She was willing to be the Mockingjay not in self sacrifice to inspire people, but in selfishness to get what she wanted.  She didn't put her all into helping others she simple huddled in closets.  Her sister became wise and chose to put her all into helping.  There is no extreme middle in the fight against evil.  The author tries to show Katniss succumbing to evil but doesn't.  Then she throws in an epilogue that seems to say, “don't worry she gets over it and has kids.  Oh, and nothing happened to her Mom or Gale they weren't important anyway.”

Collins left the reader with nothing noble to cling to, no answers and no purpose.  Every other character in the book was understandable and had a purpose that they achieved, but not Katniss.  We the reader followed the one pointless character in the whole book, a teenage girl.  Goodness tried to give her wings and evil forced her to action, but she never made a choice to embrace anything or to grow up.  Her character was incoherent.  A
reader can only take so many breakdowns before the character becomes pointless.  Collins was building a strong heroine in the first 2 books, and lost her somewhere.  

The love triangle got ridiculous at times, but that's how teen love is. Peeta's love was probably a little too true and devoted being 100% even before they had a chance to nurture it.  Again this is acceptable for the genre.  Then he is last seen in the capitol trying to keep himself from killing Katniss because of his hijacking, and then suddenly with no effort on the part of the reader he is back in love and planting flowers and having kids. I can follow the path in my mind, but the author spent hundreds of pages building up to something like this and then leaves it off in a few sentences rather than telling the story.  Gale was more realistic as they grew apart as childhood sweethearts, but not as friends, and despite their differences they would always be friends, yet no phone calls or even a real mention of him in the epilogue.  Where'd he go Collins?

Coin was a stupid character and too underdeveloped for her ultimate fate to be so important in the plot.  She was supposed to be a the extreme other end of the spectrum from Snow.  I speculate that's where her name came from, given for the other side of the same coin that was Snow.  Huge decision, shocking to the reader and no explanation.  Ok perhaps she wanted the reader to be forced to think about it.  Coin seems too stupid to have become president, not even knowing how to diplomatically handle the demands of Katniss and turn them into a win for everyone.  She's too shallow for that and we might like her too much if she had depth.  After all she's the opposite of Snow in not using subtlety or depth of reason.

Every person was a slave in the story the capitol citizens the districts and even district 13's people.  Collins made attempts to show this, but not a single character acknowledges it and so she doesn't give any opening for her readers to accept this either.

I hated the first person present, and the author had trouble maintaining it slipping past tense and present sometimes even into the same sentences.  I'm surprised her editors let it slide so often.  The story feels like it would have been better told from an alternating view point from third to first or from the past tense.  I found it interesting that the author actually began in the present and finished in what felt like the past.  She lost her readers
by having the story get farther and farther from the teller rather than drawing them closer and closer.  Her sentence fragments and poor flow was distracting and gave her readers not only tied tongues but also great opportunities to put the book down in frustration.

The idea of 12 districts each only doing one industry and yet able to create such a wealth of diversity was ridiculous, but acceptable for a youth novel. 

One last gripe, why didn't the tributes just all band together to stay alive?  They all hate the capitol not each other so just spend your time working together to avoid the dangers of the arena the capitol still has their games and the last one alive still wins, but at least they maintain their souls.  Sure the capitol could kill them for it, but they're going to die anyway and they fight either way.  This way they just choose to fight the real enemy. Then it's the capitol killing their children rather than their children killing each other.  You would think at least the past victors would have done that after all holding hands on stage the night before. Even if there were one or two who did fight you'd have 20 tributes all working together. 

I don't regret reading the series, and the story was interesting, but I'd only give it 2/3 stars as the first 2 books were good and the third just kind of faded out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our friendly TSA

As a doctor I am expected to practice evidence based medicine. That means that everything I do must be based on evidence. Medical doctors will often complain that they loose patients if they don’t prescribe something even if evidence says not to. The patients will think that the doctor isn’t doing his job if they don’t get some medicine. This has led to super bugs that are antibiotic resistant and other such problems. That is why this new standard of evidence based practice is arising.

Are we as a country practicing evidence based security. What evidence do we have that these screenings even work. Does it make us safer or does it just make us feel better like that pill the doctor gives even though he knows you don;t need anything.

Lets do some double blind studies to see if the risk to benefit ratio is worth it. The risk is loss of liberty the benefit is security. If we lose all our liberty for complete security is it worth it? If we lose most of our liberty for relatively little security it definitely is not worth it.

Millions upon millions of people fly every year in this country and we have not heard of screening like this catching even one terrorist before they get on the plane. You better believe they would publicize it if they did catch one. One question any good doctor should always ask is what would happen if we did nothing. What is the true risk of death by terrorism on a plane if we had no security? 1 in a million? 1 in 10 million? That’s better than many legal drugs.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Florida? Really?

So, about 24 hours ago I received an email from the navy trying to bring my bid for a contract down. This was news to me as I submitted the bid back in June. Also interesting because the position in question starts in one week. I submitted and was then told that I was officially being offered the contract. I was actually using this submission as practice as I was not at the time qualified, but now am. I was hoping to get one of the 11 positions announced to open this fall. They have not yet been announced. Senator Bennett's office is on that one with me. But this one out of the blue was dropped in our lap. I let them know that I would not be able to report by the 1st of October as that is my wife's due date. But that I would be honored to serve in that capacity.

So the short of it is we are moving to Jacksonville Florida. -Soon-

Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Our Government is Trying to Silence Us

Does our government work for us or do we work for our government? I don't want to work my whole life to support my government officials. I will happily give of my time however to participate in my own governance. I will participate in government I will remain active. Our government should be by the people not by politicians. Watch what happens when the government steps out of the way in this town hall meeting.

The governing body abandons the people. The people then conduct an orderly discussion happily hearing all points of view that wish to be presented. They governed them selves. No fights broke out but ideas were presented. When organization was needed a volunteer stood up to help lead the discussion. No one paid him. Taxes were not raised. The mic was taken away. Only the bare minimums were needed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Excellent and Timely Speech

This man was a true patriot and spoke well then and still speaks well for today.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Make Congress Eat the Food They Make

Support House Resolution 615 that would require congressmen and senators to have to use the health care that they force upon us the everyday citizens. Currently there is a clause in the Health Bill that allows congress to opt out of using it so they can keep their own wonderful health insurance. If they aren't willing to be on this plan why would any of us.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Understanding Hope

Faith, Hope and Charity, you've heard the talk. We also get talks on charity or talks on faith. Since reading a talk in the Ensign about Hope: The Misunderstood Sister I've began pondering This other of the big 3. These are some less than put together ideas that I have. I would love to discuss them so that I might bring my thoughts into better focus. To discuss it, I will first try to put into perspective faith and charity.

Faith is a principle of action. It is that courage to act, not knowing. Faith is the power to DO, without sure knowledge.

Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is his atonement. It is the only absolutely positive of the three. Faith and Hope are usually thought of in the positive direction. However, if you plant the seed of a bad tree and choose to nourish it, you will reap bad fruit. Charity cannot bring forth bad fruit. His atonement is still there. We can share his atonement in every act of kindness or service that we do. We become someone's savior, doing for them that which they cannot do for themselves, this is charity.

We must have faith to access charity. Because we must choose to accept the charity offered to us. This reaching out action is faith.

Hope allows us to not be led blindly. It is experience. If we take hope with us then we have sight of the end, we may be taking that one step into the darkness, but hope is with us and knows. Hope is what we can rely on when we can't see the way our selves. Hope is a gift, it's something you have not something that you do. I have hope because Christ atoned for me. But how did I get that hope. Someone who doesn't know of the atonement cannot have that hope. Hope is gained through the experience of the Holy Ghost(Moroni 8:26). I have hope, not because I was taught the gospel, but because the Holy Ghost testified to me of it's truth. Every spiritual experience allows you to gain a greater hope. I have experienced Christ's atonement in that witness.

Hope urges faith, and faith leads to greater hope. (Moroni 10:20, Moroni 7) I would venture to say that hope is "the secret." It is that force by which we draw things to us, when we gain experience whether it be good or bad (hope or anti-hope) we have greater support in the same. Hope sees the end, what ever it may be and we can lean on hope in our efforts toward the end of our choosing, but it is our choosing. Hope merely sees the end and supports us towards it (or it to us). The end that hope sees is our choice.

What is the difference in these 2 sentences:

"I have hope that the Lord will bless my life with success."
"I hope that the Lord will bless my life with success."

When we say, "I hope it rains today" it is truly as useless a comment as it sounds.

Tell me what you think.