Friday, July 31, 2009
Those pieces are in motion as a complicit Congress continues to work against the expressed will of the people, and in continued support of a "President" who appears to be concerned about only one thing - increasing his power to control the citizens of the USA through expanded government control of goods and services. Your President now has 37 unelected "Czars", who have gone through no vetting process by the Senate, and are answerable only to the POTUS. Most people probably haven't really thought about this, but I would guess that the position of Czar pays significantly more than minimum wage, and that each Czar will have a staff of... ohhhh, let's be conservative and say 10 people. That increases the size - and cost - of government by 407 people. And these "Czars" seem to have no more qualifications for the political plums they have been given by Obama than do any of his other appointees. But, why should we expect that they would have qualifications, when the President himself doesn't have any qualifications for his job?
The time of "Civil War II" seems to be rapidly approaching. What influences have created this condition?
1. The election of a left-wing/Marxist/socialist/communist/anti-American "President" with no qualifications other than his personal charisma and his ability to read from a teleprompter. Congratulations America - you've done a bang-up job in electing your new leader... I hope the White House has a good On-the-Job Training program! (Please do not ignore the intentional sarcasm)
2. The decimation of our financial infrastructure by a Congress that directed mortgage lenders to loan money (at ridiculously low interest rates) to people who obviously could not afford to repay those loans. Thank you Barney Frank, et al!
3. The highest unemployment rate since the era of the Great Depression. Double-digit unemployment across the country, with some areas reaching 16% and more (like Michigan).
4. Financial bail outs of companies and corporations whose business was purportedly that of managing money! If they couldn't do it properly, then why are we, the taxpayers, giving them more hundreds of billions of tax dollars to keep playing with? They FAILED in their responsibility to their stockholders, and to the public in general. And our government lawyers apparently failed to put any restrictions upon the improper use of those funds. What they should have gotten is tarred and feathered!
5. A $60 million grant to the National Endowment for the Arts with no restrictions upon its use. So, what's the first thing they do with it? Put on a live stage porn show!
6. Your "President" travels the world apologizing for the United States, instead of reciting the list of good that we have done for most of the rest of the world.
7. The government has insinuated itself even deeper into the direct control of industry and finance, and is now working on grabbing control of nationwide health care services. (Euthanasia is not referring to teenyboppers in Thailand - it means when you reach a certain age, be prepared for your government to take steps to "assist" you in ending your life.)
8. The creation of special protections - beyond those guaranteed to all by our Constitution - for particular groups. Groups who are apparently considered more than "equal".
9. The appointment of 37 "Czars" (and their attendant staff members) within an already cash-strapped government system. Of course nobody is recognizing and reporting this for what it truly is - political cronyism.
10. Passing legislation that nobody (with the possible exception of its creator, and possibly not even them) has read! (But the legislation doesn't sound too bad, and it makes Obama feel good.)
11. It is also obvious that our government does not care one iota about what "We the People" want. Our elected officials are too busy insuring that their political party and the corporate lobbyists get what they want!
The list of reasons for social unrest could go on and on. These simply skim the surface by identifying the most obvious reasons. Think of a few of your own dislikes about the path along which your current federal administration is racing. Why did I choose the word "racing" there? Because Obama knows that if he slows down even a bit, even the true dullards of the country would eventually catch on to what it is he's really trying to do!
What influences are apt to circumvent a second Civil War?
1. The initial reluctance of Americans to do battle against other Americans. We are basically a caring people, and see violence only as the "court of last resort"... like if our Constitution were in jeopardy... which it appears to be.
2. Our tendency to disbelieve that our elected government would do anything that ran counter to the best interests of the American citizens. We cling to the ever-dwindling hope that there are still a few people in Congress who are honest, and will refuse to rubber stamp bills without first having an opportunity to read and understand those bills.
3. The fact that, if we were to engage in such a civil war, our enemies in the world - and there are legions of them - would be on us like white on rice (or black on a bowling ball - your choice)! What better time to eliminate those with whom you are in strong political, moral (i.e. - religious) and philosophical disagreement than when they are engaged in internal hostilities? (The million dollar question then becomes; "Could we reconcile our internal differences in time to repel such an attack?" or would we all become subjects of yet another kind of ruling party?)
I'm sure there are many more ways to avoid a "civil" war (talk about your oxymorons!) within our national boundaries, but my mind is weary now, so I'm going to stop thinking about the subject for awhile... and go clean my guns.
I suppose I could be entirely wrong about this, but in this world there is very little that is completely outside the realm of possibility.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
1. The bill is half paid for by a $500 BILLION cut in health care benefits and services for seniors!
2. On page 425 of the House version, Congress would make it mandatory that everyone on Medicare have a required counseling every 5 years on how to end their life sooner! How to decline nutrition, how to decline hydration, and how to go into hospice care. And, if you get sick during that 5 year period, you have to go through that counseling again!
3. All this is designed to encourage you to do what is in the best interest of society, or your family's best interests, by cutting your life short.
4. To insure equal treatment, even if you have enough money to pay for the needed treatment yourself... treatment cannot be provided.
When the "Stimulus Bill" was passed in February of 2009, there was something slipped into that bill called "Comparative Effectiveness Research" - this is generally a code for denying care to a patient based on their birthdate. It is a code that economists are quite familiar with, and the formula is relatively simple. You divide the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit from it. So, for age-related diseases - like Macular Degeneration, or Alzheimer's, or Osteoporosis - those treatments are often turned down in England, where this formula is widely used because the elderly patients have too few years left to benefit from treatment.
In 2006, the British National Health service issued an edict, using Comparative Effectiveness Research, saying that elderly people with Macular Degeneration - a condition that causes blindness - couldn't get a new drug to save the vision of both eyes until they had lost the vision in one eye!
Barack Obama's plan to reduce health care costs will be met thusly:
1. Reduce Medicare benefits and services by $500 BILLION dollars. While the White House, the Cabinet, and members of Congress continue to receive gold standard treatment in their own separate health plan - which is paid for by the taxes of the same people whose care will be reduced by $500 BILLION! If this health plan is good enough for US, why isn't it good enough for THEM?
2. Encouraging suicide among those whose care creates a drain on the system - the elderly, the chronically ill, and the developmentally disabled. We're now talking about your parents and grandparents, your brother with Downs Syndrome, or your sister with Muscular Dystrophy!
3. Creating TRILLIONS of dollars in new taxes to support his socialist dream.
Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, brother of Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, said "People who have incurable or irreversible illnesses, should not be given basic health services." And, as an example, he cites, "An obvious example is not giving health services to patients with dementia."
This would include your parents with Alzheimer's, and your children with Cerebral Palsy!
Personally, I believe that Michelle Obama and the Emanuel brothers should be the first to experience such a health management system!
For more detailed information on the hidden ramifications of this horrific medical nightmare, and others, go to (cut-n-paste): http://www.defendyourhealthcare.us/
The whole thing stinks of communism! Perhaps your governments next plan will be to round up all the Jews... or all the Whites. Shades of Soylent Green (for those of you unfamiliar with SG, see: http://www.retrojunk.com/movie/trailers/45-soylent-green/44/#intro ). And why does the AmeriCorps mandatory volunteer program sound so similar to Hitler's Jugend (Youth Corps)?
I could be wrong about this... but I'm not!
Now, the Somerville Times didn't go on to say that Obama had an axe to grind with the Cambridge PD, but let's think about that possiblity for a minute. Is there anybody among us, who, having been elected to the highest, most powerful office in the land, and having had a possibly long-forgotten incident forced to the forefront of our mind by some unrelated news story, would not at least think to themself "Now's my chance to get even with those S.O.B.s!" Even if we dismissed the idea immediately it surely would have entered our mind, and quite possibly colored (no pun intended) our public response - especially if we were unexpectedly asked for our opinion on that unrelated incident. I'll admit it for myself - the thought would have at least flashed through my mind.
And, strangely enough, this blog entry is not meant to be another indictment of Obama's insufficiency as your president, but rather a possible explanation for his verbal faux pas when asked what he thought of the Henry Gates incident and arrest. His reply was every bit as "stupid" as the stupidity which he bestowed upon the Cambridge officer's actions.
As always, there is that outside chance that I could be wrong in my analysis...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This evening on television, I saw the Senate Version of the Universal Health Plan. It was in a loose leaf binder approximately 1 foot thick, and replete with thousands of rules and regulations determining who can get what health care services and how much of those services they will be entitled to. There were well over 1,000 pages in this "plan", and that's over 900 pages more than anybody voting on the plan will read. Here's the thrust of the health "care" plan (which, in all honesty, should be called the Universal Health Management System. There's very little "care" in it at all, other than care for cost.):
1. Everybody is expected to be enrolled in it. Those who choose not to be enrolled in the plan will be fined $1,000 per year for non-participation. The Congressional Budget Office has already forecast that the fines would bring in $38 BILLION over the first 10 years.
2. The availability of treatment will be predicated upon several factors, among which are lifestyle, eating habits and age. If you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, eat fattening foods, are overweight, or are considered past your productive life you get fewer treatment options. Therefore the older one becomes, the less treatment is available. (Excuse me, but aren't our "golden years" generally when we need an increase in medical treatment?)
3. Your health management program will be controlled not by medical personnel, but rather by a cabal of government employees, whose primary duty it is to reduce costs!
4. If you have reached a point in life where some government bean-counters arbitrarily picked an age of elimination, instead of treatment for your ills, you will get a pain pill - to make dying more comfortable. You are expendable, and your continued existence is financially inconvenient to Obama and his cronies. You will become a victim of mandated murder - not by a bullet to the brain, but by refusing to provide you with the available "magic bullet" that could prolong your life!
5. There would also be some problems if you are young, yet have a chronic and serious (i.e. - expensive to treat) illness. Since health "management" is an issue of cost rather than physical or pyschiatric need, the victim of the health management system may find themselves in the same boat with the elderly... "We're sorry, but your life isn't worth what it would cost to prolong it. Please do the socially responsible thing and die."
The list of built-in heath management inequities could go on almost forever. And, modeling the system after that of Great Britain or Canada is absolutely the wrong thing to do. If the government wants an effective model, they should investigate Australia's implementation of socialized medicine. It seems to satisfy the needs of the people... as opposed to satisfying the desires of some deranged dictator.
This scam is being foisted upon our citizenry by a man whose goal seems to be the destruction of our once great nation. A man who travels the globe, rather than staying in his office working for us, apologizing for all the inequities and misery we have caused other nations. Obama seems to have forgotten those fiascos called World War I (begun by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany) and World War II, where the USA cruelly kept Europe free from being trampled under the hobnailed boots of Adolf Hilter's Nazi forces.
We need no apologies for a country that - in a relatively short span of 232 years - went from a remote British colony to world leadership, surpassing countries and cultures that were hundreds and thousands of years our senior. A country that for the past 100 years has been bailing out the nations of the world, never failing to respond to a cry for help, either financially or militarily! More American blood has been shed in more foreign lands for the benefit of others than any other nation on the planet. We are not a source of embarrassment to ourselves, nor should we be a source of embarrassment to our "leader".
How can we expect our military to perform their best when their "Commander In Chief" is embarrassed of their history and performance? It's much easier to replace one man who lacks integrity and national pride, than it is to replace a million warriors. The time for a new leader is rapidly approaching. Unfortunately, with a Democratic super-majority in the house and Senate, the chances of a successful impeachment are slim. I would be surprised... no, shocked and awed... if the Dems would admit that their chosen leader was an incompetent loser, who is "leading" this country into financial ruin.
I could be wrong about this... I truly hope I am. I also hope that the "pie in the sky" finds its way to your table on Earth.
Jimenez was seriously brain injured in an automobile accident in 2000. He spent more than a year in a "vegetative state", and eventually improved to where he had the cognitive ability of a fourth grader.
The question now is one of, "What's a hospital to do with a patient who requires , is unable to pay and doesn't qualify for federal or state aid because of his immigration status?".
My point of view is, as always, perhaps overly simplistic:
1. As an illegal immigrant in our country, he should NOT have access to benefits or services for which he cannot pay... except medical treatment for life threatening injury or illness.
2. The hospital had fulfilled their responsibility at the point which Jimenez was no longer in danger of dying as a result of his injuries. Any services provided beyond that point were strictly humanitarian in nature.
3. The hospital, which spent more than $1.5 million on his care over just three years, says Jimenez wanted to go home. If their claim is true, then their act was one of "repatriation," not deportation. Deportation is a legal process of the government, not the administrative process of a hospital releasing a patient. And yes, it probably was financially beneficial to the hospital to assist their patient in fulfilling his desire to return to his home country, but their moral and legal obligations to him had been satisfied for years. People do get homesick, and hospitals are a business... in this case it was a win-win situation.
4. A hospital is not a hotel. A hospital is a facility which provides immediate care for the sick and injured. The only procedures a hospital should have to provide on a pro bono basis are life saving and stabilization procedures if a patient doesn't have the means to pay... BUT, that should apply to ALL patients, not just illegal aliens.
5. The availability and quality of care Jimenez can receive in his own country should not even be considered. It is whatever it is, but it is where he belongs... what it is NOT, is it is not our problem.
I realize how easily my opinion could be interpreted as "racist", but it has absolutely nothing to do with his race... it has to do with his immigration status. People whose first act upon stepping onto American soil is criminal, deserve NO free benefits or services for having violated our immigration laws and procedures! If Jimenez was a white man named Lablanc, in the USA illegally from Canada, I would feel exactly the same way.
My attitude about illegal immigration could be completely wrong, but I tend to see things mostly in high contrast, with very few shades of gray. An act is generally either right or wrong.
Loren Spivack, the owner of the kiosk, was selling items critical of King Barack Obama's administration. Among the items he offered for sale were poster and bumper stickers bearing slogans like:
"Al Qaeda's favorite days: 9/11/01 and 11/04/08."
"Work Harder. Obama needs the money."At least one passerby found them racist and bigoted, and took time to tell the mall in a letter and a letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer. Racist?? I don't see anything racist in those political statements. There is no use of the of the dreaded "N" word, nor is there any reference to Obama being half white or the first gray president of the USA.
What I do see is an expression of disagreement with the outcome of the 2008 election and with the extravagant disbursal of taxpayer money by an administration too stupid to put any restrictions of use on the bailout contracts - if the government lawyers even bothered to make contracts! Perhaps that was just payback for financial support during the campaign...
I love our Constitution, because it guarantees us protection from so many things... and guarantees us protection of many other things. In fact, our founders felt it was so important to protect our RIGHTS to freedom of religion, freedom of speech (and by extension, freedom of expression) and freedom of the press, that they guaranteed those freedoms in the very 1st Amendment! I used to work in Concord N.C., 40-odd years ago, and I recall those folks as being God-fearing, freedom- and Constitution-loving Americans. Looks like they all died or moved away... and were replaced by yellow-bellied, left-wing, California Democrats. (We have America's left-wing, liberal, public education system to thank for those attitudes.)
For all the things our Constitution guarantees us, nowhere does it guarantee - or even suggest - that we have a right to never be offended. Here's an unusually clever idea - if you find things in a store that you find personally offensive... DON'T SHOP THERE! Organize a boycott, picket the store - exercise your 1st Amendment right to express your feelings about their products. In a free market economy, you have choices as to where you wish to spend your money. If enough people share your point of view, then the issue will become self-correcting when the store goes out of business in 6 months. Don't go whining to daddy about, "How dare they sell something with which I disagree... oh yeah, and I find it offensive as well!" As a margin note, I should also mention that the owner of the mall group, Mel Simon, is known as a generous contributor to Democratic causes and politicians, including Barack Obama.
Personally, I hope that Loren Spivack gets a first rate attorney, and sues the mall ownership into bankruptcy. For the complete story go to (copy-n-paste):
http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-072109-mrn-freemarketwarrior. 63b5b ce2.html
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Okay, they did that... now I'm hooked and must read the entire article to satisfy my curiosity. It seems that the police in Cambridge Massachusetts responded to a call about "two black males" breaking into a home near Harvard University ended up arresting the man who lives there — Henry Louis Gates Jr., the nation's pre-eminent black scholar. (Okay... that's what the police are supposed to do, respond to calls reporting possible crimes in progress.)
Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home after a woman reported seeing "two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry." (I don't see any problem there, either. Neighbors watching out for neighbors - what a concept! People used to do that all the time about 60 years ago... back before most of the country went blind, deaf and mute about crime.)
"By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in." (First mistake goes to Gates, for failing to cooperate with police investigating a possible crime in or around his place of residence.)
Gates' response was reportedly, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?"
Gates initially refused to show the officer his identification, but then gave him a Harvard University ID card, according to police. (Second mistake goes to Gates, for continuing to be uncooperative with police investigating a possible crime in or around his place of residence. Without identification, how could they know he actually belonged inside that domicile? And, of course, Gates just had to "play the race card".)
"He was shocked to find himself being questioned and shocked that the conversation continued after he showed his identification," Gates' attorney, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree said. (Maybe he should have been a bit more responsive to the officer's initial request for that identification. Now Gates is beginning to sound like an activist who didn't get the memo regarding the success of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.)
Some of Gates' African-American colleagues say the arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in Cambridge. (Inasmuch as I live on the opposite coast from Cambridge, I have no idea about the accuracy of that claim. However if there is smoke, there may be a fire somewhere in the Cambridge P.D.)
Lawrence D. Bobo, the W.E.B Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard, said he met with Gates at the police station and described his colleague as feeling humiliated and "emotionally devastated." (Perhaps he could have avoided both those feelings by cooperating with the police, rather than opposing them.)
The Rev. Al Sharpton is vowing to attend Gates' arraignment. (Oh yeah... that will be helpful! We all know how level-headed and objective, and what a calming influence "Reverend Al" is. Am I the only person in the country who remembers the Tawana Brawley incident back in 1987?)
Here's the encapsulated, step-by-step version of how the whole deal sounds to me (based on the AP article):
1. Police were called by a citizen reporting what appears to be a crime in progress, being committed by someone simply described as a "black man".
2. Police responded to that call, and encounter a "black man" at the scene.
3. Police make the standard requests - "Step outside and talk with us" and "Show us some identification". (From what was reported, it doesn't sound as if Gates was ordered to the ground at gunpoint, and handcuffed while an officer had his knee in Gates back.)
4. Gates initially refused both demands, because he felt embarrassed and annoyed by the officers imposing on his dignity, and decided to make a "race case" out of it.
5. The longer and louder Gates decried this miscarriage of justice - and violation of his civil rights on the basis of his skin color - the less sympathetic the investigating officers became (having worked in law enforcement, this is a concept I can understand and appreciate).
6. He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior." He was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26.
Granted, I have not lived the "black experience", therefore I am certain that I cannot appreciate the full impact of it on the psyche of many black Americans. However, I have lived the human experience, which is not any "bed of roses" itself.
I recognize that some black Americans are hyper-sensitive over the challenges which they and their forebears had to overcome, and that for many the struggle against racial inequities has not yet ended. However, overuse of the "race card" diminishes it's effectiveness when there is a genuine need for it. When the report is simply of a "black man breaking into a residence", then any black man found in or around that residence is - and should be - treated as a suspect, until the situation is resolved to the responding officers' satisfaction. Let's not waste the officers' time, by demanding they stop and interrogate male Asians or little white girls, when the suspect has been identified as a black male.
I also know that when people have had a bad day some folks tend to be understandably "testy".
I know that police officers have certain established procedures that they follow... routines that are designed to insure the protection and safety of all parties involved. Deviation from these procedures can result in injury or death to any of those involved.
Henry Gates overreacted to a standard, accepted police procedure (justified or not), which brought otherwise unnecessary grief upon himself. A confrontational attitude will get anybody -black, white, red, yellow or green - arrested more often than not.
Perhaps all parties could have been more understanding about the human dynamics that were in play. Henry could have stepped outside, said "I live here, here's my drivers license - check the address." and the officers probably would have said, "Thank you sir. Sorry to have disturbed you, but we were responding to a report of a crime in progress at this address.", and everybody goes away on relatively good terms.
I could be wrong about this... but not in this lifetime.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
But company officials have filled in heavy-hitting posts in less visible areas, too. The Goldman Sachs' alumni who have served in government include Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; former president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Kenneth D. Brody; chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and former director of the National Economic Council Stepehn Friedman; Reagan Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead; and Reagan Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Robert Hormats. Goldman Sachs' alumni James Johnson served as president and CEO of quasi-government housing lender Fannie Mae.
Most of the job posts involve economics, but some have broadened their professional portfolios by serving in an array of other government policy positions. names like New Jersey Gov. Jon Cprzine, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Corzine was CEO of the Goldman Sachs brokerage before he won a Senate seat in 2000. Until taking up work with the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000, Bolten was executive director for legal and government affairs at Goldman Sachs International in London. Rubin was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs until 1992, when he was confirmed for his Cabinet seat in the Clinton administration.
"Richard Linowes, a business professor for Kogod School of Business at American University, and a former Goldman Sachs employee, said 'the job duties of Goldman employees combined with their lucrative salaries, frequently tapped for political donations, make them ripe for the pickings of government service. When people make campaign contributions, they're recognized for their support by being put into presidential appointments," Linowes said, adding, "They know how international financial markets work, and they've been part of it. They come in with finance expertise."
"I don't think it necessarily makes them more powerful," Langevoort said. "I think every Wall Street firm has its way of exercising influence in Washington and around the world. Goldman no doubt benefits from its political contacts, but the other firms have their own tools."
On the other hand, it certainly doesn't make Goldman Sachs less powerful, and if the other financial firms exercising influence in Washington have one fifth of the power that GS has, "We the people" are skrood!
According to Wall Street Watch, "The financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influence purchasing in Washington over the past decade, with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and other policy decisions that led directly to the current financial collapse, according to a 231-page report issued today by Essential Information and the Consumer Education Foundation. The report, "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America," shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation."There's no doubt about the fact that we need people with strong backgrounds in finance in government service... but is it prudent to have the majority of them coming from one powerful Wall Street firm? Is there not an above average chance for conflicts of interest with each appointment from Goldman Sachs? Such an arrangement could have easily been responsible for our current financial crisis.
Right now there is in excess of two dozen current and former Goldman Sachs employees and officers, working within our government's financial infrastructure. The "feather your nest" possibilities are endless if they should all work in concert, for a single self-serving goal. But that would never happen, would it? Let's just ignore the fact that Goldman Sachs was the first Wall Street investment firm bailed out, and that their chief rivals and competitors were the first ones to be allowed to go under. Our government is staffed with nothing but altruistic, forthright and honorable people, who put the good of the nation above individual profit. That is correct, isn't it? (If you believe it is, I have this property at the southern tip of Florida, called the Everglades, that I'd consider a reasonable offer on. I'll even throw in the George Washington Bridge!)
I could be wrong about the possibilities that I see in this arrangement. But, worse yet... I could be right.
Friday, July 17, 2009
We begin at the source of skyrocketing health care costs - the pharmaceutical companies, and the medical equipment manufacturers -
- Pharmaceuticals (prescription drugs) in the US cost anywhere between 3 and 10 times what the same drugs are being sold for in both the northern and southern parts of North America (for those of you who failed geography, that's Canada and Mexico). And, in 3rd World, or "developing" nations, the disparity becomes even greater! Why is it that the USA gets to pay the premium price for necessary medical supplies when they are created within our own borders? Because the PharmCo's think we can afford the outrageous prices, and that we should pay for all their R&D. Granted, Research and Development of medicines is an expensive proposition, but why do Americans have to bear those costs alone? And why do the PharmCo's seem to believe they should recoup those expenses in the first 6 months of sales? Those costs are passed on at your neighborhood pharmacy as well as at your local hospital. Why does the same Band Aid, or USP formula aspirin that sells for $4.00 per hundred at Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, cost you $5.00 per pill on your hospital bill? Because those of us who actually pay our medical bills (with or without medical insurance), pay our medical bills... and we foot the costs for those who do not!
- Medical equipment costs are horribly expensive, and no hospital is considered a hospital these days if they don't have a CT Scanner or MRI Scanner. R&D costs to develop safe and effective medical equipment are at least equal to those of the pharmaceutical industry. Where is it written that being a manufacturer of anything is cheap? A "decent" Magnetic Resonance Instrument (aka Magnetic Resonance Imager) costs your hospital anywhere from $1 million to $3 million, and a top of the line MRI is even more than! How much profit is in those prices, after including R&D and marketing costs? I could only find one figure on that, and it was $800,000... but there was no posted figure on at which price-point the system sold.
Now, consider that registered nurses (RN) nationwide with 2-9 years experience, on the average, are being paid between $22 and $32 per hour, and the average MD earns $171,000 per year. These factors all drive the cost of health care upwards. Medicines are necessary, and when you really need medicine it's probably worth whatever the cost, as are the hospital equipment and personnel. However... when the practical value of something exceeds it's affordability, most people are caught "on the horns of a dilemma". Among the uninsured there are generally only three options:
1. Do without treatment and suffer the consequences.
2. Get the treatment and pay the bill off at $10 per month for the rest of your life.
3. Get the treatment and say to yourself, "Illegals don't pay for treatment, why should I?", and then don't pay the bill - making the cost of treatment for those of us who DO pay our medical bills even more expensive.
Those of us with private medical insurance are generally thankful for it when we need it, and most of us can - and will - handle even the most expensive of deductibles when given a reasonable period of time in which to pay it off.
Then we have those who don't worry about health insurance - the rich and famous. For the most part these people (the Rockefellers, Morgans, Tom Cruises and Elton Johns of the world) can afford to be "self-insurers" - sitting on their hordes of money until they find a practical need for it.
Finally we have that group which breathes the rarified air of Washington D.C. - our elected officials. They have no vested interest in reforming health care, inasmuch as they pay for nothing when they become ill. Our Congress has the sweetest health care plan in the world... and WE pay for it! Don't we all wish we had jobs where we could vote for our own pay and benefits packages like our Congress does? Why would they be concerned about "what is best" for the rest of us?
Do we really need our government, which failed in their attempt to operate a combination brothel and bar in Nevada a few years back, to run our health care system? Seized by the IRS for tax delinquency, our government geniuses managed a previously very successful and well-known brothel into bankruptcy. How incompetent must one be to fail at selling sex and alcohol?
If you have read this far you may be asking yourself, "Okay, Mister Smartypants, what needs to be done?" And my Pollyanna-ish answer would be (here's where the government gets involved, but in a structural sense, rather than an administrative one), let our Congress pass legislation requiring that :
1. If you want to "cap and trade" something, cap the costs of medicines. Global pricing would be a good first step, rather than Americans paying anywhere from three to fifty times more than people in other parts of the world. Why should we, alone, bear the burden of paying for Pfizer or Lilli's R&D costs? And "because we can afford it" is an unacceptable answer!
2. Medicine and medical equipment must be made available to the community at a reasonable cost. My "law" would require that profiteering in medical supplies and equipment end immediately. The profit margins on medical supplies, equipment and services would be held to the generally accepted retail figure of 40% of production and delivery costs.
3. The government would NOT be involved in the day-to-day administration of any health care plan, much less create a national health care plan. (Our government has ruined the Social Security program into which we all pay, and now they want us to let them run another program into the ground with our money? I would guess that the majority of us are stupid enough to let them get away with this BS "pie in the sky" dream of Obama's.)
4. Immediately eliminate any and all taxpayer funded medical treatment for non-citizens! If they don't belong here legally - other than in jail for violating our border - they are entitled to exactly nothing.
These ideas would be just the beginning, not the be-all and end-all answer, to reforming our health care industry. Everything needs a starting point - I'll leave the details to somebody smarter than I.
I could be wrong about this... but it just seems like common sense to me.
"Bank of America earns $2.4B, ahead of estimates" Good job AP, you've given a lot of people hope for an improving financial picture!
And then we have Reuters News Service with this negative take on the same bank:
"Bank of America credit losses soar, profit falls". What are you trying to do, Reuters?? Are you trying to scare people into a "run" on our already weakened banking system?
Is this simply a case of "the glass is half full" vs. "the glass is half empty" - optimist vs. pessimist? Or, is it a cultural matter... one of American perceptions vs. essentially European perceptions of the same events?
Reporters are no different from the rest of us, in that they tend to see what they expect to see.
The true difference is that reporters can only report an event in the manner which their publisher (owner) sees that event. And most publishers have strong political connections. Why? Simply because they do have the power to control the determination of that which is considered newsworthy, and that which is not. Our job is to then determine which of the reports is lying to us... the least. Chances are that neither of them is giving us an unbiased view of the situation.
I don't think that's what our founding fathers had in mind with the First Amendment's right to "freedom of the press". I'm sure their idea was to insure the press was free to report the truth, as opposed to some modified version of "the truth". But, that's what we get when we address things in a general sense, instead of being specific about our desires.
I could be wrong about this... and Barack Obama could be a "natural born U.S. citizen". What are the odds for either statement being true?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Like most people, I had never heard of either Cloward or Piven, or their destructive strategy. Developed in the mid-1960s by Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, two Columbia University sociologists, much of their strategy was drawn from Saul Alinsky, Chicago's notorious revolutionary Marxist community organizer. Alinsky, who was also a mentor of Hillary Clinton, wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals: "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one."
The mechanics of the strategy are a bit more complicated. The supporting tactics include flooding government with impossible demands until it slowly cranks to a stop; overloading electoral systems with successive tidal waves of new voters, many of them bogus; shaking down banks, politicians in Congress, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for affirmative-action borrowing; and, now, pulling down the national financial system by demanding exotic, subprime mortgages for low-income Americans with little hope of repaying their loans. These toxic mortgages are an important source of the foul smell engulfing the entire financial bailout.
The socialist test case for using society's poor and disadvantaged people as sacrificial "shock troops," in accordance with the Cloward-Piven strategy, was demonstrated in 1975, when new prospective welfare recipients flooded New York City with payment demands, bankrupting the city government. As a consequence, New York state also teetered on the edge of financial collapse when the federal government stepped in with a bailout rescue.
- The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
- The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
- The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.
Once you have the name "Cloward-Piven Strategy", there is a plethora of information available on the Internet. How has this apparently intentional plot to destroy that which made the USA great, managed to avoid discovery by the mainstream media? Wellllll... it didn't exactly. The Washington Times had an article on C-P back in October of 2008, but if you didn't get the Washington Times that day - which is probably 90% of the country - I can't recall ever seeing it in print, or hearing about it on any of the broadcast media. Can you say "complicit coverup"
Blogs - including this one - are not a particularly reliable source of "news". They are, instead, a source of personal analysis (i.e. - opinion) of the news which has been reported. The purpose of my blog is not necessarily to educate people (although there are many who could use educating), but to prompt folks to think about what's going on around them, and then form their own conclusion.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
"Climbing into his Volvo, outfitted with a Matrics antenna and a Motorola reader he'd bought on eBay for $190, Chris Paget cruised the streets of San Francisco with this objective: To read the identity cards of strangers, wirelessly, without ever leaving his car.
It took him 20 minutes to strike hacker's gold.
Zipping past Fisherman's Wharf, his scanner downloaded to his laptop the unique serial numbers of two pedestrians' electronic U.S. passport cards embedded with radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags. Within an hour, he'd "skimmed" four more of the new, microchipped PASS cards from a distance of 20 feet.
Increasingly, government officials are promoting the chipping of identity documents as a 21st century application of technology that will help speed border crossings, safeguard credentials against counterfeiters, and keep terrorists from sneaking into the country.But Paget's February experiment demonstrated something privacy advocates had feared for years: That RFID, coupled with other technologies, could make people trackable without their knowledge"
The artice then goes on to say, "But with advances in tracking technologies coming at an ever-faster rate, critics say, it won't be long before governments could be able to identify and track anyone in real time, 24-7, from a cafe in Paris to the shores of California.
On June 1, it became mandatory for Americans entering the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean to present identity documents embedded with RFID tags, though conventional passports remain valid until they expire.
Among new options are the chipped "e-passport," and the new, electronic PASS card — credit-card sized, with the bearer's digital photograph and a chip that can be scanned through a pocket, backpack or purse from 30 feet.
Alternatively, travelers can use "enhanced" driver's licenses embedded with RFID tags now being issued in some border states: Washington, Vermont, Michigan and New York. Texas and Arizona have entered into agreements with the federal government to offer chipped licenses, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recommended expansion to non-border states. Kansas and Florida officials have received DHS briefings on the licenses, agency records show."
I posted a previous warning about Senate Bill S.1261 here on July 6th, 2009. This report appears to substantiate my expressed concerns over such deviously deceptive devices. If you are unfamiliar with those concerns I suggest you read that posting.
And remember... for each "technological advancement" there is an equal but opposite counter-technology advancement to exploit it.There's still an outside chance I could be wrong about this... but the odds of that are dwindling rapidly!
For the complete Yahoo! article see (http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090712/ap_on_hi_te/us_chipping_america_iv_abridged_3)
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
And yet, we re-elect them time and time again! We are being systematically starved of our Constitutional rights because we allow them ignore the Constitutional "menu"! They put on the "Roman Circus"... but instead of feeding us bread and wine, they think we can live on pork and bull. What is wrong with us? Are we as blind as our Congress is deaf, or are we simply too distracted by the Roman Circus to notice? Have the smoke and mirrors of Washington so misdirected you that you cannot see the disappearing act they are perpetrating upon your Constitution? There is only one thing "We the People" can do about it - REPLACE THEM ALL!
And, yes - we will undoubtedly wind up with the same type of representatives - the same greedy, lying, manipulative, "I'm so important" types - but perhaps the new batch would be enlightened by the actions of the people actually expressing their will! Supposedly, our representatives are the servants of the PEOPLE, not the other way around. Do we need them to build self-aggrandizing monuments to themselves - like bridges to nowhere bearing their name, or anything else unneeded by the general population? Pork is fattening! If you don't believe that, just look at the ever-increasing waistline of our government.
Where is the equity - the fairness - of our government representatives, who have the power to approve their own pay raises (outrageous amounts of money for what they actually do for us) and their own benefit packages (they aren't concerned about national health care killing us off - they have insured they are immunized against it).
It is for the above reasons that I recommend you at least take a look at - http://www.kickthemallout.com/ - "A practical and powerful way for us to take control of Congress away from special interests once and for all". And remember... 2010 is an election year!
I could be wrong about this... but I'm not!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Senate Bill S.1261, also known as the PASS Act, is a rehash of the previously failed REAL ID Act. This egregiously intrusive act is in committee now and, if passed, will open the door to -
1. Participation in an internationally compatible biometric identification system for all Americans. This would allow you to be identified in any country, by any government, in the world.
2. It may require a "National Driver's License" which, although not openly stated in the bill, may include an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification Chip). The RFID would allow your movements to be traced by any goverment, in any country in the world! (It is rumored that without the RFID, people will no longer be able to buy or sell necessities, get medical treatment, etc... which smells strongly of burning sulfur - as in "the mark of The Beast".)
Although neither of the above actions is specifically stated in the wording of S.1261, the wording does not prohibit such actions. Government never fails to take full advantage of any legal loophole, and now there is a left-wing supermajority in Congress. How much do you trust your government? If there's any question in your mind, ask a Native American how well those government treaties worked out for them.
Prior to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, several states had used SSANs as their drivers license number. The law went into effect on December 17, 2005, and applies to all licenses, registrations, and state identification cards issued after that date. Under federal mandate, state DMV's are now refusing to issue or renew a driver license unless one provides their social security number, but it is no longer allowed to be used as the drivers license number. This expanded use of the SSN intrudes into one's privacy and jeopardizes one's credit, personal safety and financial security. There is an increased potential for abuse by government. Another concern is that these federal standards are being imposed in an area which has always been under state control, creating a de facto national ID.
Many medical providers are using the SSN as a patient identifier, thus hardening the number as a de facto national identifier. As David Miller noted in testimony before the National Committee on Vital Health Statistics:
"It should be noted that the 1993 WEDI [Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange] Report, Appendix 4, Unique Identifiers for the Health Care Industry, Addendum 4 indicated 71% of the payers responding to the survey based the individual identifier on the Member's Social Security Number. However 89% requested the insured's Social Security Number for application of insurance. Clearly the Social Security Number is the current de facto identifier..."
Unfortunately, not everything is as it should be. We are co-opted into exposing our SSN in order to get necessary goods and/or services, and our Congress has not made it illegal for anyone other than the Social Security Administration and the IRS to require revealing our SSAN.
S. 1216 is "in committee" as this Blog is being posted. The names of the Senators on that committee are:
If you are a constituent of any of the above-named Senators, please telephone them at (202) 224-4524 (Senate Office Building), and voice your objection to this heretofore secret bill. You can probably guess WHY it was a secret! The lefties are in the majority now, and if you don't make your voice heard, tomorrow may be too late. For a "transparent administration" there sure is a lot of secret backroom legislation going on...