Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Pen the Sword and the Finger

Republicans act so strong when it comes to our security and foreign policy and well just about everything. But are they really that strong or is it just the bluster of a bully?

It seems that the pen has been replaced by the finger in the adage about the mighty sword. Republicans and Conservatives and every other splinter group therein has taken to using their fingers not just to give the 'high sign' to the Obama administration but to point blame at!

They will point their fingers every time something does not happen to their liking. And since they are in the minority on Capitol Hill finger pointing is their main weapon. But it is not their only one.

Using amoral individuals to set up groups on the web they reel in unsuspecting citizens looking for help. You might answer an ad for info on a face lift and end up sending a message to your congressman that health care reform is bad for the country even though you desperately wish it to come true!

These cowards on the right who hide behind splinter groups but fail to distance themselves from their message continue to stimy any progress in Washington. But they have no qualms about getting face time, usually on Fox to state their disgust at Obama for all he has done or failed to do.

Tom Ridge is talking about how terrible Obama is for trying the so-called underpants terrorist in Federal Court even though that is exactly what he did to the 'shoe-bomber' under the Cheney-Bush administration. (No error on the order of power.)

I will not endeavor to list all the 'Flip-Flops' being performed by the 'Right' since Obama took office because I only have another 30 or 40 years left on this earth. I am sure you can make you own quick list and don't forget to include the traitorous Lieberman.

You remember him, don't you? He proposed Medicare for all until he realized it might become a reality and then opposed it to the point of Jihad proportions. Of course a little funding by the insurance industry didn't hurt either.

The latest non-sequitur out of Congress comes from the honorable Senator from the great state of South Carolina. (Pardon me while I take an antacid.)

Jim Demint (R-SC) is toeing the party line about homeland security and is up in arms over the fact that our Transportation Security Administration has not been able to keep our airlines safe from terror. He blames the Obama administration for not having someone at the helm of that agency. If the TSA was run by a capable individual perhaps none of this would happen.

But here's the thing - President Obama has in fact appointed a man to head the agency but the appointment is being held up in the Senate - BY JIM DEMINT!

How does this publicity hound justify his contradictory action? He claims that the well qualified appointee to head the TSA would probably allow the baggage handlers at the airports to join unions!

I'll let that one sink in for a second.

Go on and read it again and then look it up for yourself. In other words do a little fact checking, something neither Fox nor it seems the Republicans ever do these days.

In a nutshell (perfect analogy for Mr. Demint) we cannot have true homeland safety if our airport baggage handlers are allowed to join unions and attempt to get living wages and better working conditions!

This point of view is Demented.
Hey, notice the similarity!
Hmmm, coincidence?
I think not!

So why is the minority being allowed to rule when they come up with ideas such as this? Simply put the Democrats don't have the balls to stop them!

When the President entered office he wanted to have a bi-partisan term, one during which both sides acted civilly and debated intelligently and came to solutions that best helped the country move forward.

What he was greeted with instead was a group of men and women acting like spoiled children with their fingers in their ears chanting, "Nyah-Nyah." And whenever their fingers came out of their ears they pointed blame and threatened, just like all the bullies we knew growing up. Do we really want this group running the country?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Are the World

I am by no means an egotist but I do notice that a few (very few) people have visited this blog from outside the United States. I note this as I recently placed a World Counter on the blog that allows me to see how many times the blog is viewed and from where. Not that many have done so but enough to amaze me. That pleases me and also makes me wonder how in the heck they found this?!?

But I welcome them as I do anyone who chooses to waste a short amount of time reading my thoughts and rants. I do wish that some more of you would add to the discussion and even argue with me by way of leaving comments.

If you would like me to cover an issue or state my point of view on anything it would be my pleasure to do so. All you must do is ask. But if you do be prepared for my view which may not be to your liking.

For example:

As with anyone who writes on the web I take my chances at offending some but I generally lean toward the side of the little guy (or gal.) I am not in favor of any large organization hurting the so-called little people merely to make a gain. Even though I naturally I realize businesses are in business to make that gain.

When we speak of corporate greed we are taking on a subject that appears to be the opposite of an oxymoron since corporations must be greedy to get investors and thereby more money with which to operate and get even larger profits.

This cycle may be considered vicious but it is necessary. It is up to Government to set up the playing field in such a manor as to have safeguards in place to stop runaway greed.

In America we try to have regulations on utilities since by virtue of their name they are things we all need. For example a utility must ask for permission to raise rates.

Right now we have a fight going on for health insurance reform and the government is trying to pass a law that makes purchasing insurance mandatory. This will turn that industry into a utility. But if they do so they must then regulate it!!! As it stands now there are no plans to do so and that is just plain wrong. Look for people to rebel and defy any law of that type.

Our government recently allowed a British company - National Grid - to come in and purchase or rather take over a utility in the new York area - Keyspan. Nat Grid promised to have the people's best interest in mind and proved it by advertising how wonderful they were. Now they have petitioned the government for the right to outsource a few hundred jobs overseas taking them from Long Island.

There is no doubt that our government will allow this abortion to happen since they are the same people who allowed such an important part of our every day lives to be taken over by a foreign country in the first place. What did they think the corporation would do, lower rates and hi
re Americans???

I guess all countries have problems and some far more than ours. But in this era of a flat and small world we should all know what the grass looks like elsewhere. Perhaps we can learn and teach each other a thing or two.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peace of Mind?

There is an old joke about insurance:

A man is going over his policy and the insurance agent is trying to answer all his questions.

But for every possible loss he can foresee he finds out he is not covered!

Finally in disbelief he asks the agent, "Then why do I need insurance?"

"For peace of mind," comes the response.

It may be old but it is really not a joke! The insurance agencies of this country are bloodsuckers and they are not about to give up their steady diet without a fight. The problem is we don't get to see that fight. We can only infer that it is going on.

But why should there even be a fight?

And a 50 year one at that!

Isn't it a no-brainer that in this supposedly greatest country the world has ever known the citizens should be entitled to good health care?

When Politician after Politician claims that he or she is on the side of the public and wants to help us with our insurance premiums etc. they are not telling us the whole truth. What they mean to say is, "Let me help you get insurance. The price you pay is, well that's between you and your provider."

And since this so-called health care reform push has been going on in the not-so hallowed halls of Congress every day has brought another piece of bad news for humans. The latest gift to the undeserving insurance industry is the mandate that every Eloi must buy insurance from a Morlock. This guarantees them more profits and us nothing.

Since the year is about to end we should all be getting ready for the annual ritual known as feeding the kitty. Oh, I mean paying our taxes to the IRS so that the Politicians can get their salaries. But truth be told they don't need our money anymore. The various 'lobbies' have seen to that.

When you go to a store and purchase something there is an unwritten guarantee that the item will work and will be replaced if not. Both sides understand this and abide by it as well.

The same thing goes for the lobbies! They have bought just about every Senator and Congressman in our government and they rightly expect to get what they paid for!

So far it has been money well spent.

I just rounded up all my bills and payments for the year and came to a wonderful conclusion. And just like Tennessee Ernie Ford once said, I owe my soul to the company store.

My total payments to all the insurance companies for the year amount to an unbelievable 40% of all my bills!!! When you realize that the do nothing puppets in DC demand around 30% of our income you start to realize that you are working for them!

The year that just passed saw millions of us laid off due basically to a banking and insurance fraud that was knowingly perpetrated on the American citizen. The criminals who did this deed were rewarded by their puppets with huge amounts of our tax dollars as bailout money.

This money was then and is still being distributed amongst themselves as booty. What the Directors on the Boards of these fraudulent companies do not take for themselves as bonuses they are earmarking as bribes for Congress and television ads to convince those among us too stupid to dress themselves that they are good people.

The only solution to this problem is to stop the secretive bribery of Congress. Unfortunately that will never happen because it is the right of special interest groups to 'lobby' for their cause in front of whomever they deem fit to listen. This right is in our constitution and the unintended loophole therein ensures our demise.

We should demand that our leaders make public all their bribes. Failure to do so would constitute immediate dismissal from Congress, fines equal to 10% more than the bribes received and jail time as deemed fit by a jury of OUR peers. And to make the punishment really fit the crime - Loss of their lifetime insurance coverage and unearned pension! After all they did not do the job for which they were hired!

The above should be considered the Citizen's Insurance plan.
It is the only way we can have real peace of mind.
It is the only way WE THE PEOPLE can still be in control of the country.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Low Hanging Fruit

The phrase above is used to describe an easy win; one that was almost a foregone conclusion. The fruit bearing tree is right there in front of you and the fruit thereupon is hanging shoulder high. It is ripe and tasty and will make you a hero to whomever you share it with.

But occasionally the phrase could bring to mind the allegory of Tantalus for whom the word tantalize was coined. Tantalus was being tortured by the furies of mythology by being placed neck high in a river of water with wonderful fruit hanging low above his head. Each time he would bend his head down for a drink the river would recede and whenever he reached up for a tasty treat the tree would lift it's limbs high.

The two paragraphs above being played out of play these days in a farcical way with the main character being the United States Government. And the stars are those warring factions of hypocrites commonly known as Congressmen.

In the first case where the fruit is easily within our reach the Government has shown it's disdain for a giant company subverting all attempts at stopping their monopolistic practices by suing them. The company is Intel and the claim is that they have hobbled competitors in the semiconductor business by using illegal sales practices.

One may argue that that is exactly what a company in a free enterprise system is supposed to do and their competitors must try harder if they feel they are number two. We have seen this happen before and it will continue.

So what is the problem here?

The problem is consistency.

If our elected official feel it is prudent to go after Intel, a move which although justified may in the end cost the consumer more for computer products then why stop there?

Why not also go after a much larger sector of criminals who are subverting our very lives?

Why not at the very least remove the anti-trust exclusion for the insurance industry?

The cold hard fact has to do with cold hard cash. The cash our leaders are reaping by stringing us along in a dog and pony type show of ongoing debates.

Will we get health care reform?

Will we get a lowered age for Medicare?

Will the public ever be allowed to shop for alternative lower cost insurance?

Since our Government is so hell bent on making Intel allow the public to have options then why not also sue the far more costly insurance industry???

American citizens are drowning in a river of debt with the low hanging fruit of affordable health care closer to our reach than ever before. But the furious silent behind the scenes furies of the insurance lobbies continue to pull the branch away.

Congress has the solution within their reach but they are being weighed down by their pockets filled with campaign donations from the very industry they claim to wish to reform.

Is there a way to reconcile the differences between the two opposing sides? Some say 'reconciliation' is the way and some form of reform would pass with a mere 51 - 49 vote in the Senate.

But the truth is neither side wants that.

As long as the debate continues and there is the slightest glimmer of hope that Congress will do the right thing the insurance lobbies must continue to pay them to rethink. Congress will never kill the Golden Goose no matter how many polls or e-mails beseech them to do so.

So where is our knight in shining armor?

Where is the Champion of Change?

Since Congress has been blinded by bullies without borders when will OUR President show the strength of character and proper power we need him to exert?

It is way too long past the point of no return. For if the majority in power today cannot reach high enough to grab this low hanging fruit from the bastardized branches of the insurance cartel then they shall surely not return in 2010 or 2012.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Paul Harvey-Like Moment

On this day (December 16th) in 1973 Orenthal James Simpson became the first NFL running back to break the 2,000 yard rushing barrier in professional football. And he did it in only 14 games.

And as the wonderful and legendary NPR broadcaster would say "And now for the rest of the story."

O J waited 20½ years, nearly to the day to celebrate by killing his former wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman. Then showing that he had lost most of his NFL quickness and elusiveness he led the police on a very low speed chase in the infamous white Bronco.

Many former sports celebrities have trouble adjusting to life after the game but OJ was able to translate his cut and slash style of running in an interesting way.

Even though he was unbelievably guilty of murder and even made statements to that effect he pleaded not guilty by reason of celebrity and hired the so-called "Dream Team" of scum, I mean attorneys to defend him.

These high priced low value low lifes argued in rhythm and rhyme and totally baffled and bull-shitted the two idiot team of prosecutors headed by the inept Marcia Clark during a 134 day trial.

The trial divided America between the people who knew he was guilty and the ethnically charged group who wanted to believe otherwise.

Johnnie Cochran of glove fitting fame is now dead like the two people his client murdered so he takes his crime to his grave. But the others still lurk in the shadows looking for the next murderer to 'make a killing off.'

Harvey Levin, an attorney who for some reason was not on the dream team worked the case as a legal reporter on KCBS in LA. As many of the sleazy lawyers involved in his defense Levin almost got the entire case tossed when he aired a video allegedly showing inept prosecutor Marcia searching Simpson's home before acquiring a proper search warrant. But the truth won out at least in this part and the jackass had to retract his story shortly thereafter and apologize on air.

But don't feel bad for Mr. Levin, he has gone on to continue his low-life activities by stalking celebrities and making a fortune off their errors and mistakes. This leech now runs the useless and disgusting website TMZ and nothing more need be said.

How did the million dollar dream team do? Well it took the enamored jury only 4 hours to come up with their decision. And that verdict revealed in front of the new celebrity Judge Lace Ito was as clear as black and white. O J the murder was found not guilty of his crimes. The joy and grief across the land was also mostly black and white.

Later a more rational jury found the murderer guilty in a civil trial that was not defended by any dream team.

But just as leopard keeps his spots O J is currently in jail for a crime that included weapons charges and murder threats. He has finally touched down and resides with his peers.

No one can take away the TWO thousand yards gained by the athlete during the autumn and winter of 1973 but it is also sadly true that no one can bring back the TWO lives he ended in 1994.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

With Apologies to Christmas Trees

Oh Lieberman, Oh Lieberman
How big insurance loves you
They line your pockets full of green
You spout their lies you're really mean
Oh Lieberman, Oh Lieberman
How big insurance loves you

Oh Lieberman, Oh Lieberman
You used to care 'bout humans

But you have changed in just four years

And brought the country close to tears

Oh Lieberman, Oh Lieberman
You used to care 'bout humans.

Oh Lieberman, Oh Lieberman
2012's not far off
From Democrat to I N D

When will we see the last of thee
Oh Lieberman, Oh Lieberman

2012's not far off.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Okay, you win!

I give up!

The Congressional Democrats are just as bad if not worse than the scum, I mean lying SOBs, I'm sorry, their hypocritical bastard counterparts of the Republican Party.

As an individual citizen of the supposedly most powerful country in the world I have very little say in what happens outside of my immediate circle of influence. And that circle is shrinking as fast as the global ice caps.

Basically everything that gets done in this country is decided by the Republican Party whether or not they are in power. That is clear since they are not in power and everything is going their way!

Take any issue that concerns human beings (and I am leaving out many in Congress) and analyze what's happening.

Global warming or climate change or whatever you wish to call it IS REAL! The World's water levels are rising as the ice caps and glaciers disappear. It is clear that we are in danger on many levels such as polluted water, loss of coastal cities or island nations and more intense storms and flooding not to mention droughts. Okay, I mentioned them, sue me.

But the puppet masters who control the Republicans in government and therefore the country do not like any regulations on pollution so screw the future of the planet.

Profits are us, profits are now!

Science tells us that we are to expect tremendously more powerful storms and flooding as a result of our inaction.

Congress will act immediately to allow insurance companies to raise rates on flood damage through the sky. (They already don't offer hurricane insurance in Florida because they might actually have hurricane damage in Florida. Thanks Jeb.)

Health care reform rejection was a foregone conclusion the moment the ball-less Dems allowed the debate to degenerate into moronic tea-parties and grandma killing lies. Grassley and Hatch are quite powerful for evil men and they know how to work the floor. The floor of the congress and the floor of Main Street that is.

Now that they have their way and the public be damned option is gone they will not rest until the reform bill is completely altered.

Here is the next step:

All citizens must purchase health care insurance.
If someone is found on the street without a national health care insurance card from an approved purveyor he or she will be fined.
Said fine will go directly to the bonus fund of the local insurance company's board of directors.
Insurance companies will be mandated to increase premiums yearly without ceiling.
Failure to do so will result in immediate dissolution and the former lemmings will be distributed amont the remaining insurance companies.

On every level of government we have abuse of power.
In every locality across this country you can find corrupt politicians.
But unfortunately everywhere there is a corrupt politician waiting to screw the public and take the money for doing nothing there are do-nothing assholes who continue to elect them and follow them and campaign for them in the hopes that they too can reap the benefit of screwing the other guy.

It is pouring rain while I write this and my basement is slowly showing puddles in the far corner. My backyard is sporting the largest Lake Resch I have ever seen in my 26 years here.

Things will only get worse from here on out and since our leaders can see no further than their pockets there is no hope in sight. The flood of bad news will continue until a majority of the people stop saying, "Not in my back yard."

We must change the nation for real. It starts with every individual and that means in all our back yards.

If you feel you can take back the country then write to you congressmen. But make sure you put a dollar or two in the envelope or they won't give a shit!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Magical World of Politics

How does a magician make an elephant disappear?

How did those quarters get in my ear or nose?

I am certain I saw him saw that lady in two!

A great magician uses the simple art of deflection to get us looking in the wrong direction while he plies his ploy. And since we are taught at an early age to be delighted; amazed and in awe of seeing the impossible we enjoy being fooled by these masters of illusion.

What parent hasn't used "Peek-a-Boo" to get giggles out of an infant?
"Where did mommy go?"
"Here she is!"

But there may be another side to the art of deflection.

As used by an artful dodger or other street urchin a gentle tap on your left shoulder or a bump in the lower rear while passing you in the street focuses your attention on that area. It takes the 'tappees' mind off the spot of interest for the 'tapper.' They use the deflection to pick a pocket or two.

So how do we train ourselves to know the difference between the good old harmless fun of magicians or illusionists and the malicious doings of the dastardly demons of the street?

Well we could become overly suspicious of strangers but strangely it is not always the stranger that strands us out on a limb. These days it appears to be the politician!

In an old joke we are asked how do we know when an attorney is lying and the answer is of course, "When his mouth is open." Hopefully that is not 100% accurate although our system does reward a form of lying, namely not telling the complete truth.

When someone talks a blue streak about one side of an issue without mentioning the other side is he being an advocate or an illusionist? It is a fine line indeed but one we are faced with on a daily basis. It is up to us to be informed enough to know the facts and determine the truth.

Unfortunately not many of us have the time to research all sides of every issue? We are a nation hooked on "sound-bites." We read headlines or listen for snippets of news and walk away feeling we understand the entire story.

And that is where a devious politician may use his or her magical magician-like skills to turn us to the dark side.

A great example: Will any health care bill being discussed, let alone passed by congress ever really have a provision in it that allows us to "kill grandma?"

Give me a break!!!

And yet a sizable number of Americans still believe that to be true!

These uninformed citizens may have been looking for a reason to be against reform and heard that statement from an illusionist in DC.
It struck a nerve, after all look who said it!
I trust that person.
That person is a Senator/Representative/Talk Show Host so they must know!

Using unrealistic yet realistic sounding rhetoric the partisan divide in Washington has created an atmosphere that breeds passionate illusion. And it proves to be a vicious cycle as more people believe more politicians use the method.

But the illusion is going even further. It is no longer just that of a master magician. A new craftier performer has appeared, or should I say is evident behind the scenes. This entity is the puppet master/ventriloquist. The new master has many faces; lives quietly yet influentially on"K" Street and is commonly known as a Lobby.

To make the analogy complete we should consider the lobby community as Fagin. They send their minions out to pick the pockets of the unsuspecting citizens. And while he is doing this his puppets, AKA Congressmen and Talk Show celebrities are deflecting our attention.

The elephant did not disappear, it is laying in wait for 2010 and 2012.
And those quarters that I used to have in my ear? Somehow they found their way into the pockets of Wall Street bankers!

It must be magic!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's a Matter of Death or, uh...

An inescapable conclusion has come to light - Republicans are against keeping us alive!

Okay that may seem like an unfair representation of their stance on most issues but a simple examination of their main policies will serve as a pointer toward their seemingly not so hidden agenda.

As a whole the entire Republican party in Congress has been against anything and everything Obama except for one key issue which I will note later.

The President and most of his Democratic colleagues have been pushing for health care reform since this current term began. Unfortunately neither he nor they have been forceful enough to get it done. They have had to spend far too much energy refuting the absurd lies thrown out by the 'right.'

Americans are dying due to a lack of health insurance which translates into a lack of good affordable health care and that leads to death. The Republicans law-makers (oxymoron?) have been as one goose-stepping with the insurance lobby in stalling; befuddling; and basically stopping any meaningful change in our current system.

(By the way - they all have the best health care already so they couldn't care less)

The President has vowed to finish the war in Afghanistan within 2 years. This will not be easy and may prove to be impossible but at least he is trying to fix the morass and mess left by the inept duo that preceded him in the White House.

The Republicans are all for this! They have but one reservation and that is they do not like the time limit to end the war. Forget what words they use to explain the facts bear out the real reason; they like war.

War kills!

War is good for business, as long as they are not on the firing line. (I would like to submit the wartime records of messrs. Bush and Cheney into evidence your honor)

(By the way not too many of them are veterans and a short while ago they trashed war hero Dems in order to get themselves elected.)

This week for the first time in a decade new lines of embryonic stem cells have arrived at laboratories. This is in response to President Obama's changing of the strict religious rules placed on the medical and research communities by the aforementioned clueless inept and mostly evil duo.

In my local paper, Newsday there was an article listing those in favor and those opposed to this change of policy. Must I really delineate who was for vs. against?


Democrats and scientists were all for this chance to use technology and their GOD-GIVEN talents (sorry) to come up with methods to save lives.

The Republicans and Church members were steadfastly against it, although one local Reverend from Westchester did say he was okay with the measured way in which the cells are being used.

Bottom line is that stem cell research can bring about new finds and ways to save lives. Blocking or opposing stem cell research in an ostrich sort of way means

And that BS about the so-called Pro-Life movement which should really be named ANTI-CHOICE is all about keeping an unborn fetus alive while not giving a damn about the life of the already alive and functioning mother. The Republicans mainly feel that abortions are a lower class problem and since most of the lower class is either Democratic or non-voters, well you do the math.

They would rather save the life of an unborn fetus at the expense of the mother; the DEATH OF THE MOTHER.

Now it is possible that some of the Republicans are not as evil as their words and policies make them out to be but it takes a lot to find them.

As a last example I give you a bill proposed by the junior Senator from Minnesota, the honorable Al Franken.

It seems that some large corporations / contractors, such as Cheney's infamous KBR Halliburton have forced their female employees who have been sexually abused on the job to bring their cases to the company before going puiblic. They are told that the decision made by that biased board must be binding.
In other words the fox will decide whether or not to allow the hen to complain.

Senator Franken cannot stop this disgusting practice but he can ask that Congress not allow these chauvinistic pigs to win government bids. His bill forbids their bids.

Good News - Bad News (no joke): The bill passed but by only a 68 to 30 vote!

So who were these 30 sub-humans who want to allow women to get raped and not be allowed to complain about it?
Well if you have to think long and hard about an answer then you must be a Republican!!!
Let me repeat:
By their own voting record 30 out of 40 Republicans Senators feel it is okay to allow companies to cover up the gang rape of women!

And not only did the 'right' side of the aisle vote against this no-brainer of an issue they belittled Senator Franken for bringing it up calling his bill a veiled political attack on Halliburton!

So in conclusion the Republicans are in favor of death wherever possible but if it is not then I guess rape will do!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rings & Things

At this time of year when one of the most famous gifts of song is 'Five Golden Rings' a YouTube animation artist by the name of Roy Prohl has given us a video version of what that gift would look like if we gave it to the Earth.

The entire article about an Earth with Saturn-like rings may be read and viewed at the Scientific American website if you'd prefer to do so. I won't be totally insulted but...

By the way for those of you who wonder what that gift might cost aside from blocking part of the sky I'm sure it would be a massive layout of cash. But here on Earth with the price of gold way up this year's "12 Days" total would cost you over $84,000!

Compare that with the relatively cheap cost of 8 Days of Hanukkah. Candles aren't that expensive and depending on how much Gelt you wish to spread around you can make out like a bandit. Oy what a bargain!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Take That Wayne!

This is hilarious and a must view for all Muppet AND Queen fans as well as Bohemians everywhere! Make sure you watch until the end!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanksgiving week is greeted with many different emotions throughout this country and it is the official/unofficial start of a traditional holiday season.

In the past we celebrated the day and or weekend by having a Thursday dinner with friends and family and then getting to sleep early so we can get up and bust some doors at a local retailer. Those who eschewed the "Black Friday" crowds in favor of a more restful day off might play with their kids or sit around a fire and talk. (You do remember sitting and talking, right? NO, NOT TEXTING - TALKING!)

The stores start putting out their 'countdown' calendars letting us know in no uncertain terms how many shopping days we have left until Christmas. The pressure builds. I think they chose Christmas because it was always easy to subtract from December 25th instead of having to figure out when Hanukkah was. (I think it's early this year!)

Every year this is a particularly bad time for those among us who are suffering from depression. The sight of others being happy tends to exacerbate their anxiety and the bad thoughts occasionally culminate in tragedy around the end of December.

We should all be on the lookout for anyone we feel might fall prey to feelings such as those because with the economy in the dumps there may be many more than in previous years.

I have suffered through my own year of living dangerously as I was a victim to economic pressures at my old job. Luckily I am not smart enough to get too depressed. But seriously, it is not good and it is important to lend a hand where possible.

Personally I could never consider doing myself harm. As my mother used to say, "I could never commit suicide, I'm way too much of a coward!"

So in the spirit of this post and going against my Eclectic Curmudgeon title allow me to list a few things of which I am thankful for. I hope you will add your own to the list.

I am thankful that:

... I still have my father around as he nears the 92nd anniversary of his birth.
He will be joining my family for Thanksgiving dinner. (I'm driving.)

... I am also picking up my (few years younger) mother-in-law (That's right, I said mother-in-law! Get over it.)

... My wife is a good intelligent woman and she still has her job.

... My two children are healthy and beautiful. (I dream of their bright futures regularly.)
AND they are both finished with the money pit of college - Whew.

... I still have much of my hair although more and more of it finds its way onto the brush every

... I have most of my health, 'nuff said.

... I can still see very well. (And it only cost $700 for the glasses!)

... I have some good friends. (Are there truly any other kind?)

... I can still finish the Sunday Times crossword puzzle - usually without too much help.

... I am able to find humor in the strangest of places which is good since more places are strange these days than ever before.

And most of all I am thankful that I can put all these things down on this blog, because maybe, just maybe someone who doesn't think they have anything to be thankful for will find something here that they missed. And if I can save someone from being miserable then I will be even more thankful.

Think of that and these two phrases during this holiday season - 'Save a life; save the world' & 'It is better to give than receive.' You may then have the best of all worlds.

Have a Happy Bird Day! (And a Happy Holiday Season)

Monday, November 23, 2009

In & Around the News

Synopsis of news articles from Newsday that should make all of us a bit upset:

1. The Lighthouse Project is still on hold with no credible reason from the greedy group of Hempstead leaders. Now other groups are offering to develop the deteriorating site and some do not include the Islanders as tenants.

Solution - Wang should quietly offer Kate Murray's father a lifetime job and get this project moving.

2. The 911 trials will be taking place in NY. The 5 disgusting pieces of shit on trial will be pleading not guilty. Whether or not this should be the venue for the trial is now moot. But critics complain that it will merely be a platform for hateful rhetoric!

Translation - The trial will sound eerily like a session in Congress! (or on Fox so-called News.)

3. Catholic Bishop doesn't want Rep. Patrick Kennedy to receive communion due to his support of the current law of the land, namely abortion rights. We always knew the Catholic church, like many other religious groups didn't treat women with the equal dignity they deserve as human beings however -

Opinion - WHO GIVES A DAMN? Hey guys, ever hear of separation of church and state? This should not be news outside of the church journal. (Mr. Kennedy will make a donation and receive communion with honors.)

4. Former Hempstead Village Community Development Agency head Glen Spiritis has sued and according to the lower court is due to receive almost ONE MILLION dollars in payment for: 500 sick, personal and vacation days accrued as well as other smaller items. THIS MAN SHOULD BE PAID FOR 500 SICK DAYS??? Who paid for his health care? If this man was really sick that often how did he keep his job and how could he have done his job?

Opinion - He wasn't as sick as the system appears to be! I was laid off because of financial games played by scum like him and received ZERO DOLLARS for my accumulated sick and vacation days. Hey Newsday - Call me and we'll talk.

5. In the midst of a phony debate over health care reform that is meant to deflect Americans from the facts that Congress cannot and will not do anything new guidelines emerged from the medical community. Women should not get screened as often as they do for such non male life threatening diseases as Breast or Cervical cancer.

Opinion - This is the best our leaders can do - their solution to lowering health care costs is to stop giving health care?!? Brilliant!

6. Finally, late last week a computer glitch caused severe airline delays across the country. Officials were quick to point out that airborne flights were not in danger but take-offs and landings would have to be carefully monitored and delayed as the problem was on the ground. First of all airborne flights do generally have to land, right? And when they land they are hopefully landing ON LAND, right? I guess the implications of these facts were ignored. Could terrorists have caused this as a prelude to shutting down our entire system. Hopefully and probably not but -

Newsday's headline and entire front page on that day was devoted to OPRAH who announced a much more pressing issue - she was going to end her TV program IN 2 YEARS!!! Oh, by the way, Newsday covered the computer glitch on page 26!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who is in Charge?

New guidelines for old problems are usually good things. After all we are always trying to improve and move forward, right?

I mean when you see an advertisement on television it doesn't say, "Old and unimproved" does it?

So why should we not be embracing the new medical guidelines coming down from high concerning mammograms or cervical cancer screening? These edicts say that women don't need to be screened for possible life threatening diseases as often as they have in the past.

Going to a doctor is an inconvenience, right?

So women should be happy to skip their yearly trek to have their breasts uncomfortably squashed and examined or push back that embarrassing position in the stirrups for the pap smear.

This is a good thing, right?

NO, it's not.


Because we should not be naive anymore!

In this day and age and certainly in this country big business controls our lives. Insurance companies already tell us what doctor to see when we are sick and limit our intake of necessary drugs to those they get kickbacks on.

The ulterior motive here is not so ulterior! The fewer times women go to the doctor the fewer bills the insurance companies have to reject! Rejection takes time and clerks!

If the number of claims submitted to the scum of the Earth, I'm sorry I mean insurance companies were reduced to a bare few they could lay off thousands and just have a stay at home house wife in India rubber stamp every claim, "Rejected."

And what better way to reduce the number of claims than to push off the expense on the coroners?

The time has come for women to rise up and join the fight against the scourge of life known as big insurance. It is clear that Congress does not have the balls to do so.

But luckily it does not take balls to put these inhuman bastards in their place, only common sense and solidarity. Lech licked the odds in Poland and women should be able to do so in America.

If all the women were to get together and JUST SAY NO to the health insurance companies and their puppets in congress maybe we could get true reform. Even Nancy Reagan would like that slogan!

America was once the greatest nation in the world. Don't allow greedy corporations and special interest groups to continue our current path into third world status.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Help Yourself (And Others)

Help yourself has always been a prevalent phrase in our lives whether it was at the dinner table or as part of a motivational speech. You could even hear it in sermons as in, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” Unfortunately over the years many of us have taken those words and turned them into a license for greed.

While the economy was flying high and money was flowing into our pockets by way of our jobs or our stock market portfolio the greed largely went unnoticed. But greed is addictive and something happened on our way to that cushy retirement we felt entitled to, the economy crashed.

The phrase ‘Help yourself’ suddenly became synonymous with ‘Learn another skill’ and survival meant taking or competing for a lower paying job. Unfortunately for many the route back to school is filled with potholes and not one we will be taking anytime soon. The skills we learned and honed so many years ago are now viewed under the microscope and compared with those of six billion others.

The fact that the World is now considered flat when it comes to business and information does not bode well for those of us in our so-called Golden years. In fact it isn’t that great for those not yet sporting the Golden adjective.

So what happens when, due to no fault of our own we are in danger of losing the home that we worked so hard to gain? How do we cope with the fear of losing our job or livelihood? Naturally each of us must decide for ourselves how long we can exist on our savings and how soon we must chart a new course for our future. The time is as always, now.

I have confidence that our country will eventually stem the tide of bad economic news and we will figure out a way to get back on our feet. After all, haven’t we done it before?

But as we struggle to find new ways to support ourselves and gain back our lost security we are losing sight of an entire community of people who struggle merely for existence.

When I was young we watched public service announcements about children starving in other countries. Perhaps we even made jokes when Sally Struthers told us about Kim Yuk needing one dollar on which to live for a month but it wasn’t funny then and it certainly isn’t now.

While I personally attempt to rejoin my old industry I have also become involved with a charitable organization whose goal is to help those most vulnerable, children with disabilities. Children are our future and while our present is in need of being fixed we cannot lose sight of that. I chose the Bright Steps Forward organization but there are many others that would welcome volunteers.

Why is this so important? Because while another phrase we grew up with was, "Charity begins at home" we must make sure it does not also end there!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Health Care from Maxine

Maxine has a solution to the Health Care problem:

While discussing the upcoming Universal Health Care Program with my sister-in-law the other day, I think we have found the solution.

I am sure you have heard the ideas that if you're a senior you need to suck it up and give up the idea that you need any health care.

A new hip?

Unheard of.

We simply can't afford to take care of you anymore.

You don't need any medications for your high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, etc. Let's take care of the young people. After all, they will be ruling the world very soon.

So here is the solution:

When you turn 70, you get a gun and 3 bullets
. You are allowed to shoot one senator and 2 representatives.

Of course, you will be sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head and all the health care you need!

New teeth, great!

Need glasses, no problem!

New hip, knee, kidney, lung, heart?
Well bring it on.

And who will be paying for all of this?

The same government that just told you that you are too old for health care.
And, since you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income tax.

"Little Me" wants health care

Pardon me miss
But health care has me pissed
At the high - high cost

I can't afford more
Than what I paid be-fore
My saving's lost

When will our Congress a so-lution find?
Or give us what you have please make up your mind

Don't let insurance take over the world and become so strong
Or we won't live long

Back in the old day
I think that we could say
The system's fine

The thing about health care
Was it was al-ways there
My doctor's mine

Now I must visit some stranger; some man
I do not know him but he's in your plan

I want the freedom of seeing the guy that I know - and knows me
Oh dear Congress hear my plea.

My teeth and body will both surely rot
The health care I need is available - NOT

It costs so much for my family and me
When it all - Should be free!

Oh dear Congress hear my plea!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Is Everything Up To Date in Health Care City

Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote many great musicals with messages for the ages as in South Pacific's controversial song, "You've Got to be Taught." But a different song title has come to mind when thinking of the 'not so loyal' opposition to Health Care Reform these days; "All er Nothin'"

Ever since President Obama and the Democrats have started the ball rolling on reform the Republicans; Conservatives and the so-called 'Blue Dog' conservatives of the Democratic Party have been going nuts trying to derail the thing. They have gone off the deep end with nonsensical "Tea Party" rallies with paid participants carrying offensive posters and photos.

These pro insurance groups have spouted lies such as, "Reform is going to kill Grandma" and "Reform will exclude Republicans." But every time they come up with another stupid slogan or ridiculous reason as to why we should continue shoveling money into the pockets of Big Insurance they fail to prove their point and the argument disappears in the light of truth.

So now they are changing their tactics by saying that they cannot vote or support any of the reform measures because they don't go far enough!!! In other words if you are going to institute real health care reform you must get it right immediately or go back to the drawing board.

Not surprisingly this all or nothing tactic has been picked up and run with like a loose ball on the three yard line. It is the same type of hard to refute argument as the age old question, "When did you stop beating your wife?"

Please sing to yourself the following refrain from Oklahoma but change the word Romance to Reform:

(With me it's all er nuthin'.
Is it all er nuthin' with you?
It cain't be "in between"
It cain't be "now and then"
No half and half romance will do!)

If we were to use this same logic with every law that came up for discussion in front of our dysfunctional Congress we might never get anything done.

Oh wait, Um, right! WE DON'T!

Since the Party of NO believes that the 'farmer and the cowman' can not be friends then I say they've 'got to be taught.' The way they have treated the citizens of America, well 'it's a scandal, it's an outrage.'

And like Jud before 'poor health reform is dead' we must act now. If we are ever to get true affordable universal health care to come 'out of my dreams' and into the arms of all Americans then we need 'many a new day' where the opposition will finally change their tune to, 'I can't say no!'

And when and if that ever happens - 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning' that will truly be!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Majority Rule?


I felt it necessary to say that right off the bat since many of the people in power like to say that they have our best interest in mind when they decide what laws should be written and which should then be defended. But the facts are that too many of the laws are being decided by and for men.

I am a man but I am also a human being. And what I see coming out of the mouths of some of our lawmakers leads me to believe I may in the minority in BOTH counts.

How can these leaders say that they want to allow citizens of this country to have control over their bodies and then legislate against personal control?

Unless I went to sleep and woke up in the middle or dark ages America still has the verdict re Roe v. Wade on the books. Abortion may be anathema to some but it is allowable under the law with certain restrictions. If so called wing nuts wish to assault that law then they have a right to do so. But that right is also controlled by our legal system. They cannot and should not do an end run around the law.

Bishops and other religious leaders this week reiterated their stance that no government tax dollar should go toward funding abortions.
Or to put it succinctly - SHUT YOUR FACE!!!!!

The phony separation of church and state cannot stand the light of day. In fact many people continue to call America a Christian society. But they continue to use only the parts of their religion that helps their cause.

Okay then a question for these hypocrites - When it comes to universal health care WWJD?

Another wonderful disconnect with the thinking of the 'wing nut' group is "Keep government out of my life."


So you don't want police to assist you in time of need?


Sign here and we'll exclude you from all the services the rest of us rely on.

A short list of those services:
Homeland Security

Women and men should be incensed by the addition to the latest non health care insurance reform bill that the House passed. Not just because it lacks real choice and affordability but because it blatantly attempts to overturn the Supreme Court's decision on abortion.

If this is allowed to pass then the slippery slope starts and individual rights will disappear. These same idiots will soon say, 'there are more straight people than gays so let's outlaw homosexuality.'
Well remember the first line of this post and think about it.
How long before women outlaw men? I'm just sayin...

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Health Care for YOU

Anyone interested in the health care insurance reform debate going on in Congress these days is probably so confused by now that they don't have any idea what's right; what's wrong; what's good; or what's bad. And the funny thing is, that's just what the doctor ordered.

We have an incredible disconnect in this country when it comes to so-called experts. We want to believe that someone smarter than us
knows what's best for us. This 'Father Knows Best' syndrome makes for great television (well it was a great show back in the day) but should be viewed skeptically in the real world. And in fact that old TV show had mom as the smarter parent but that's another story.

Yes there are always going to be smarter folk somewhere but why do we believe they have our best interest in mind? Simple logic would say that those in power want to stay there and they do it by pleasing the electorate that elected them. But you need only delve a tiny bit below the surface to find the truth.

Just as beauty is only skin deep so too is loyalty. Our Congressman, and nearly any elected official down to state and city office must play the game of politics in order to stay in office. That means they must trade or give in on many issues lest they be doomed to sitting on the ben
ch for the duration of their time in office.

just saw that happen in the latest watered down version of a health care reform bill that is slowly but surely becoming an instrument to help only big insurance companies make more money.

Compromise is always a good idea when it is needed for the greater good but when it is used for self-serving means by a small number of people in power it is awful.

We trust our officials to take care of us. Trust is good. So what is anti-trust? It sounds bad but wait, not so fast.

A law that has it's birth dated back to the 1890s (see the Sherman anti-trust act) but its spirit even older is aimed at stopping monopolies from performing acts and practices that are harmfu
l to the consumer. The theme was enhanced years later with the Clayton act.

In other words if you felt that the price of bread was too high at $20 a loaf but found that every market was selling it at that price you would be stuck. The fact that the cost to the manufacturer might be 10¢ would not help you. Well the law states that the producers of bread (to keep the analogy going) would be guilty of price fixing and consumer gouging and would be subject to fines. The Anti-Trust laws keep the fair practice of open competition alive and at least the possibility that items will be priced fairly.

And the law works well, at least in some cases. The funny thing is if you were to open a store in your h
ometown and have two competitors in that town selling the same items AND then you got together with the two other owners to raise all the prices in tandem the law would be all over you.

BUT one industry has been exempted from this law. Irrational as it may be that industry is the Health Care Insurance Industry. The wall that has been placed around these controllers of life and death harbors the true heads of the infamous death panels. They decide whether or not you shall live and if so how much money it will cost you to do so.

And to paraphrase some words famously uttered by the Republican God Ronald Reagan (I'll pause here so the 'Right' has time to genuflect) CONGRESS TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!

Every argument that is used to show the insurance companies are acting in harmony with each other and practicing unfair anti-competitive policies is met with lies. These lies are at times eloquently delivered by insurance lobby puppets such as the traitor to the people Joe Lieberman or not so eloquently mouthed when it comes to the embarrassingly ignorant Michele Bachmann or other "Rogue" morons. These people have their own agenda and crave the attention they otherwise would never get. And they care not who dies as a result.

And yet t
he less informed among us continue to rely on their opinions without question. The country has prospered on the tenets of free enterprise so why not have our illustrious insurance companies join that arena?

Since our Government does not seem to have the cojones to make that industry comply with the Anti-Trust LAW a public insurance option would be a great first step.

So why is it not happening?


Big insurance has made so much money from their unfair practices that they are able to throw around millions upon millions of dollars to keep the status quo. And when millions of those ILL-gotten dollars find their way into the pockets of our congressmen it is easy to see why the fight rages on against reform.

And the most annoying part of the entire ballet between battling talking heads in DC is the fact that the ones who are deciding whether or not you and I will be allowed to have true affordable universal health care ALREADY HAVE IT!

Just like father deciding if we can have another candy or stay up to watch just one more TV show Congress holds our lives and future in its hands. Please daddy? Can I please have affordable health care insurance.

No! Now run along. And don't forget to floss.

Oh well, you know best.

Friday, November 6, 2009

You Don't Say!

On the television show, The $25,000 Pyramid (et al) it was never about what you said but what you implied. In that show and others of its kind like 'Password' you made money by figuring out what was meant by using logic to determine what was left out.

Unfortunately the only ones to have learned a lesson from those shows seem to be the insurance companies. And they are playing the game to perfection.

Many years ago my home owners insurance cost under $300 per year and I was covered for nearly everything one could think of with the possible exception of elephant stampedes. But in the 20 years that I was complacent about shopping around my insurance company slowly but surely increased their coffers at my expense.

The policy continued to look the same and the wording was just as hard to read or follow without a PhD in obfuscation but tiny additions or riders kept cropping up. For example my home was always covered for damage caused by events other than my negligence. But a few years ago I received a note about flood damage. Suddenly there was a new worry and a new rider I had to purchase if I wanted to cover that possibility.

Other such riders include Hurricane damage and were quantified by category of storm. In other words if a storm was too weak to be worried about I was covered but if it was a 'cat 3' or higher I had to purchase another rider for coverage. Simply put I was now only covered in the event of a fart damaging my home. Anythiong stronger than a fart would be at my expense.

Without checks and balances I believe that in another 10 years my home will only be covered for those elephant stampedes of which I spoke earlier. And then only if they happen during a solar eclipse.

Insurance companies are not the only once complicit in the scheme to defraud their customers. Think back to that ground coffee you used to get at a supermarket. There was 16 ounces in a can of a certain size. The can stayed the same size but only those few observant consumers may have noticed that the contents of the can was getting lower. In fact the last time I bought a can of coffee at a supermarket the normal can I had grown up seeing on the shelf held only 10 ounces. But the price never dropped.

Guardian Health, one of the 'who gives a shit' insurance companies out there (and my current one unfortunately) was caught dropping an entire group of disabled individuals because as one of their soon to be fired employees wrote in a company email, "...These dogs are costing us too much to cover..." (sic)

So Guardian realized that dropping 1 person who cost them too much was illegal but dropping everyone like him could give them safety in numbers. Naturally they reversed their stance WHEN CAUGHT!

My auto insurance costs just went up. No I did not place a claim. And actually according to the guy who took my complaint call I was wrong - My rates did not go up. What happened was they discontinued a discount I was receiving. My reply was simply, "But yesterday I was paying $X and today I am paying $X plus X. On what planet do you not see my out of pocket expense being more now than before?" I don't care if there is less coffee in the can as long as you charge me less for the product NOT MORE!

There is a major disconnect in this country. Too many people say they want Government out of their lives. But they also want less expensive health care and affordable insurance.

But Government is currently out of the lives of the big insurance companies and do not regulate them. The industry has no restrictions and can gouge us until the cows come home - and then leave and come back and on and on.

If we are to survive and thrive with a little spending money left when we retire we then the PASSWORD is listen! Listen to what's being said AND what is not. Don't forget other TV shows such as "You Bet Your Life" and "You Asked For It." And remember, the $25,000 PYRAMID was JUST a game but this is real life!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Opinion is Better Than Yours!

This year we have a so-called off year election. That's one in which we are not electing people to fill important positions in government, or so they say.

If this were not an important election then why are such self important people like Rogue Palin and Dick 'Dawn of the Dead' Cheney campaigning so hard for their respective non-important candidates?

Because every election is important - You betcha!

The reason for all the hype about the Governor's elections in New Jersey and Virginia and the upstate New York election for a representative in what has been a Republican stronghold forever is that it is no longer about the public. It's only about winning. The citizens of this country do not matter except in the way they can be manipulated.

And once a party is in power they immediately putout polls showing they deserve to be there and start new polls to see how they can increase their numbers and secure power for a longer period of time. But nothing that matters to us humans gets done!

I despise polls and what they have done to our country but they must have escaped from a box once owned by a lady named Pandora because there is no way we are stopping them anymore. T he majority of people in this country have no idea what is going on in their local or state government let alone Washington DC. And since they have no idea and, it seems no opinion of their own they rely on polls to tell them what to do.

There is safety in numbers and if the numbers show that most people are doing a certain thing well then that must be the way for me to go, right? It is safer to be in the mob than the object of that mob. This is true even when the mob is out to get you as was so brilliantly shown in Thomas Frank's book, "What's the Matter with Kansas." The polls turned around the electorate so much that they voted against everything they needed and effectively kept themselves in the dark ages while giving Conservatives control of their lives.

Most Americans have been trained to be insecure about their knowledge and are ashamed to admit that they haven't a clue about many important issues. Lance Armstrong did an interview during which he said that Health Care Reform was important and that the poorest man in a state should get the same health care as the richest man but he then said he was against a public option. But then went on to again say that something must be done! LIKE WHAT? Without options that rich man will get all the health care he needs and read about the death of that poor man while he has his morning coffee served by his maid.

It's clear that Mr. Armstrong got off his bike in time to catch a Fox News poll telling him what to think.

And that brings us to one more important point, POLLS CAN LIE!

Four out of five doctors recommend - SO? Suppose the first four were on drugs and the fifth was THE authority on the subject?

Fox News and their puppets on the Right are always throwing out polls to prove their point or further their agenda. Check and see how many polls have been published by the famous Lewin Group. These polls show how health insurance reform is bad for America. Then read and find out that the Lewin Group is totally owned by the Insurance Lobby.

Bad for America? Yup, the Lewin Group sure is bad for America!!!

My opinion is mine.

I am certain I know what I would like to happen when it comes to many of today's issues.

I do not need a poll to tell me what I need.

And I am also confident that if everything I would like to happen did happen most of the people in this country would be better off. Let me repeat that, MOST of the people.

Many of the wealthiest Americans might not be able to continue raping, I mean raking in the tremendously obscene amounts they do without consequence or at least without a fair tax.

And by fair I mean it in the same way Warren Buffet did when he said his secretary pays more in taxes then he does!

Is that fair?

Why not take a poll?