Friday, June 30, 2017

Free Healthcare for politicians

I left this comment on “The Blood on the Tax Cuts”, Timothy Egan, New York Times, 2017-06-30.  As of this posting, it had not been accepted.

They don't care about this plan because they get free, unlimited care at Walter Reed Hospital. And the President gets his free, annual check-up by an Admiral or a General.

Quote of the Day: Ideas vs. Ideologies

“What unifies [a large social movement] is ideas, not ideologies.  There is a difference between the two; ideas question and liberate, while ideologies justify and dictate.” - Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming: Paul Hawken, ©2007

Unfortunately, we seem to have politicians who have ideologies rather than ideas.  A great deliberative body cannot have ideologies.  How can one deliberate when one has fixed ideas and doesn’t want to be confused with the facts.

Wasn’t it Pete Seeger who sang about the best politicians money can buy and that we elect them again and again.  Not quite: “What did you learn in school today" has “elect them again and again” but not “money can buy”. See  It was Morey Amsterdam who said, "Our Congress is the finest body of men money can buy.”  See hasn’t been updated since 2008.  However, see for current updates about his activities.  The homepage features his latest book: Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.  Maybe I’ll read it when I finish Blessed Unrest.

Abraham Lincoln would have been a loser

I've never understood why people who don't give a dime or time to a political party get to choose the party candidates. Good thing we didn't have television or party primaries when Abe Lincoln was nominated by his party to run for president.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Quote of the day: Chess vs. Tic-Tac-Toe

"The Chinese are playing chess, while Trump is still trying to master the rules of tic-tac-toe."
Comment from MGB to

Other comments include Trump claiming to be a master negotiator even as he loses on many deals.

At least P.T. Barnum gave his “suckers” something for their money.  All we get from Trump are “yuge” promises, like Trump Care being far better than Obama Care.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Getting sick is only for the rich or the well-insured

See my post "Modern Medicine and Let Them Eat Cake Politicians" about the cost for the medical personnel for my open-heart surgery. It was  $20,280.50 of which I had an out-ot-pocket expense of $50.50.

This week I received the statement for the hospital stay and some of the rehabilitation.  It was $131,088.04.  Insurance paid all but $600 of it.

Without this insurance, somebody earning $9/hour would have to work over 14,565 hours or 1,821 days or 364 weeks or seven years.  On the other hand, Marissa Mayers earned $900,000 per week as she sold off Yahoo!  She could have paid the costs of five open-heart surgeries each week and still have had $150,000/week left over.

I’ll let you judge how a medical bill like this would affect your own finances.  My guess is that without insurance, many of you would have to take out an extended mortgage on your house or sell it out-right.

Heart disease only affects one family.  Consider what would happen if someone who had a communicable fatal disease didn’t get treated because the family could not afford the necessary care.  It has happened down through the centuries and still happens around the world.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

It’s around here someplace

This was a saying in my wife’s family about lost objects, and we still use it.

In April I went to our cabin by myself.  I unlocked the cable across the drive and hung the lock from my pants pocket.  I forgot all about it until I was ready to leave.  I couldn’t find it.

I looked every where I had been.  In the the car, in the cabin, in the grass on all the paths I had been on.  Nada!  So, I used a lock from one of the sheds.

Each time I’ve visited since then I’ve taken another look.

I had resigned my self to buying another lock, but just hadn’t been to my favorite hardware store.  When I did, I would have to send a new key to the guy that plows our drive.

I was mowing the grass near the road yesterday and a neighbor stopped to chat.  After several minutes my wife came to investigate why she didn’t hear the trimmer.  As she came near the cable post she exclaimed “Mel!”  I wondered if she had fallen.

No, she had found the missing lock.  It was partially buried where I had run over it after it had fallen off my pocket.  Several passes over it with the car had buried even more.  She was attracted to it because the hasp did not look like any natural object.

The lock was full  of soil and sand.  We had to soak it and swish it in water several times.  By the time we were ready to leave, we could open and close the lock without a problem.

Sometimes he who hesitates finds stuff, around here someplace.

Health care for corrupt governments?

Why is it the Republicans want to cut back on health care for their own citizens but feel it is important to spend billions of dollars and thousands of American lives to care for corrupt governments?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pro-lifers are anti-safety?!?

How is it that the party that puts such emphasis on being pro-life wants to gut safety regulations because the latter are anti-business?

Safety regulations reduce worker injuries and deaths.  How can a pro-life party be so anti-life once a child is born?  It figures.   It doesn't want to provide health care for the already born.  It doesn't want to put any restrictions on gun control; guns are very anti-life.  It wants to sell more and more weapons to other countries.  It wants to increase the nuclear arsenal; nuclear weapons kill thousands of unborn children.

I think many of these pro-life politicians took the hypocrite oath: first do harm.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Global warming caused by warming oceans?!?

A recent argument I’ve seen is that it is not carbon dioxide that is causing global warming but warmer oceans.  See

Although the author, Roy Spencer, is a meteorologist, I question his attacking climate scientists for using global warming to get funding.  Spencer defends Energy Secretary Rick Perry for stating that the “control knob is the ocean waters and this environment we live in."

Ocean waters are responsible for global warming?  How do ocean waters get warmer?  Increased under-ocean volcanic activity?  Hotter sun?  Or maybe it is hotter air, caused by carbon dioxide not letting warmer air dissipate!

Could it be that Rick Perry has ties to oil companies?  See

Note also that Spencer is a meteorologist, not a a climatologist.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Quote of the day: Why vote?

"Hillary Clinton didn’t inspire anyone. Why the hell stand in line if it’s just to vote for more of the same?"
- Unnamed union official
"Can the Democratic Party Find New Voters?", Timothy B. Edsall, New York Times, 2017-06-15

The only reason I voted for Clinton was that she was not Trump.  I can name several female politicians I would rather have seen on the ballot.  Maybe we'll see one of them on the presidential ballot in 2020.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Terrorists in haystacks

“Terrorists do not wear a special uniform.. They are like other people, like other youths. They are not easy to recognize. Sometimes, finding a terrorist in the 14 million population of Tehran is like finding a needle — not in a haystack, but in 10 haystacks.”
Mahmoud Alavi, Iranian intelligence minister

The Shia and Sunni differences have are similar to the Protestant/Catholic differences of Northern Ireland.  However, some Iranians take a more tolerant view of extremists.  For example, Jalal Jalalisadeh, a former member of the Iranian from Kurdistan takes a stance that many around the world could emulate.  Salafis are an ultra-conservative group in parts of Iran. “They were peaceful. As long as the Salafi groups are not taking arms, they must be tolerated,” ibid.

"A child killed in a bombing while eating ice cream in Baghdad is the same as child killed in a bombing while attending a pop concert in Manchester.”
Shasta Aziz, Globe and Mail, 2017-06-05

Do not call terrorists Muslim or Islamic.  They are no more "Muslim" than the Ku Klux Klan is “Christian”

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Hypocritic oath and an ignored reading

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

U.S. Constitution, Article VI

Somehow, we have a Congress that gave an oath to the Koch brothers and made sure they passed the religious anti-tax test of Grover Norquist.

Every year the Senate has a public reading of George Washington’s “Farewell Address” and the next day they ignore what he wrote.  Maybe many of them stayed away during the reading or slept through it.

"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all; religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.  Who can doubt that in the course of time and things the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it?  Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

"In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded and that in place of them just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim."

Who has the U.S. become beholden to either as a friend or as an enemy: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, North Korea, Cuba .