Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No pink toed tarantulas here

Sad to see that the public option didn't make it through the first round and you can lodge your complaints with these republidems who voted against it. With millions of dollars being slid into their pockets they really are whores bought and paid for. If you live in a state with one of these slime drop them a fax or call or you can go to their web site and leave an email.

AUCUS: Phone: (202) 224-2651 Fax: (202) 224-9412
LINCOLN: Phone: (202) 224-4843 Fax: (202) 228-1371
CONRAD: Phone: (202) 224-2043 Fax: (202) 224-7776
NELSON: Phone: (202) 224-5274 Fax: (202) 228-2183
CARPER: Phone: (202) 224-2441 Fax: (202) 228-2190

A big hat tip to the notorious Political Cat for his handy paw work on this.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wondering down the financial road

I was going to do something on Glen Beck but thought the wiser. Why waste precious bits and byte space on a clown like that? But briefly I hear Sarah Palin's book may come out in a short. What's that you say about 100 monkeys typing? (wasn't that the name of a blog?)

There's Bernie Madoff doing his 149 years in prison and those in charge of his case trying to find what's left of the $65 billion. Where did you hide all that money Bernie? They only found a couple hundred million from your houses and boats etc. They know some of that money was paid out to the first in line. Your relatives say that they don't know what happened to the money wink wink, nod nod. Sure we believe that when your boys were the ones overseeing the piggy bank. And speaking of some of the ones who beat it out first with a bag full of loot, I just know you could provide a 900% return on an investment you're just that kind of a whiz kid financial guru.
So let that be a lesson to all investers out there. On rare occasions an investment will pay some outragious return. I once hit 45% on a mutual fund but that happened for about a week before the fund took a nose dive and within a few short months was losing money. At present you'd have had better luck putting your nest egg under the mattress and lost nothing. People are worrying about rampent inflation but we're no where near getting to that point. Housing prices were up slightly in July but don't get your hopes up because there still a ton of foreclosures hidden in the banks books. A ton of mortgages haven't been rewirtten and there's the option and Alt-A loans to work through the system. I stumbled upon the foreclosure notices in the local newspaper the other day (no I wasn't looking at the obits!). In years past you'd see maybe 5 or 6 notices. Last week I counted 60!
I see a few green shoots of construction here and there but mostly minor repair work. Once again the round of calls to local construction companies resulted in nothing. No work. My question, why did they wait so long to release money for road work when they know the season is very short? Nothing came out until July 1 which is right about the middle of construction season. And even then they were hesitant to get the jobs going.
Maybe I could get work making bullets. I hear there's a shortage and they can't make em fast enough. Or maybe make anti Obama bumper stickers. I hear they suckered 2000 rednecks into buying them for $30 a piece. Dang $60 grand for a weekends work not bad. I see they're coming out with an Obama chia pet. That's it he's imortal now. Now if I could just come up with a scheme where you have to opt out or pay me $5 I'd have it made. But no I won't put one of those donate buttons or ads on this site. That's crass comercialism and I'd have to watch my P & Qs.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The road to wellness

In doing a little research into our health care situation or should I call it the disaster it is, I wondered how it was that all other industrialized nations on the planet were able to provide health care to their entire populations without them worrying about grandma getting capped. It seems years ago long before any economic bubbles and bursts countries took it upon themselves to come up with a slightly different tax system. The VAT or value added tax was put in place to pay for things like health care and education. Simply put when a supplier of a part or material sells it to the manufacturer of a good sold to a consumer each step of the process gets taxed as it's value increases. The odd thing as I see it is that as that tax gets passed along the manufacturing chain and the next in line gets a credit against the tax that was added. So in the end each piece in the chain is paying a little bit to the government in taxes. This VAT is in addition to the state or provincial sales tax on an item. Food and medical items are exempt. This VAT on goods runs between 5% to as high as 25% for everyone in the industrialized world. There are exceptions and reductions for certain items. This would be much like write offs for business and mortgage deductions in our income tax code.
The only thing I don't like about this system is that it would require business to do extensive accounting of all the products they produce. It would become a nightmare for a company producing thousands of products like a small parts manufacturer. But the concept of adding some type of tax to pay for healthcare would sure solve a bunch of problems. Now you might be thinking just what we need more taxes. But consider it this way. If we get the insurance monkey that's getting bigger by the year off corporate Americas' back and ours as well by spreading the costs over a broader area it would work as it has in so many other countries.

At a 5% rate it would cost the average wage earner around $400 per year. Those making less than $20,000 could get a rebate or exemption. Then there's the inequities when our companies export to countries with a VAT. U.S. companies must pay that VAT to a foreign government while most foreign governments have exemptions for exports by their companies. But don't have too much sympathy for our companies as they have been hiding corporate profits by avoiding paying their fair share of taxes with off shore dummy companies. A receptionist in a small office in the Cayman Islands does not count as an over seas division of a company. Once we can work out some of these little details can all the hidden money come out to fund health care.

Friday, September 25, 2009


The ghoul is a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena. It lures unwary travellers into the desert wastes to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, robs graves, drinks blood, and eats the dead taking on the form of the one they previously ate. Because of the latter habit, the word ghoul is sometimes used to refer to an ordinary human such as a grave robber, or to anyone who delights in the macabre.


HA and you came here expecting a nice beaver.

taking on the form of the one they previously ate

Watch out Barack keep away from John.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blast you Graves!

Randal that is. He got me thinking about zombies with one of his esoteric pieces. One thing lead to another and here I am posting about it. And you know when you look for a photo to match that could take hours as you're lead through a labyrinth of blogs and myspace pages getting sidetracked in information you never thought about since college. Now where was I? Oh yes it was Graves contention that zombies eat rice-a-roni which may be true I've never really studied them. It must be a side dish as I know their main diet is human flesh. Of course he had to mention that through the powers of science or should I say the mistakes of science that there are 50ft sharks. See image below

Now come to find out that scientists are studying zombies.
In their study, the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University (also in Ottawa) posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win?
Good thing these are Canadians and not our sane American scientists who have better things to waste time on like cross breading tomatoes with god knows what to probably get something that will eat insects and weeds and jump into the collection basket at harvest time.

Then there's the issue of ghouls

But I think I'll save that for another day. Hey it's not even Halloween yet even though the retailers are heading into the Christmas push.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Health care reform

Republican style

Not that this post has anything to do with health care I just liked that photo from the movie Invisible Invaders.

I see we get yet another extension on unemployment thanks to our state senator Jim McDermitt. Thanks Jim. Call me stupid but wouldn't it be smarter to actually use that money to have us actually do something like repair the nation's infrastructure? Here we sit growing mold while there's so much to be done. I've called around to find that there are some 500 electricians, 400 laborers and I'm sure several hundred carpenters who are out of work right now. Nobody is hiring. Most companies I've called are waiting for money to be spent. They all say the same things. We expect work soon but so far nothing. I see TGI Fridays just went out of business and Genie (they make boom and scissor lifts) took people right off the production line and sent them home today. The oil change place down the street from me went out just last week. And to top it all off Boeing laid off another 100. There's four people getting forclosed on in my neighborhood. So yeah things are getting worse before they get better. So if you have a job and are getting stressed because you may be working long hours quite your bitching. It could be worse.

As promised the big story is now out

From the Brad Blog

Some time back one Sibel Edmonds an FBI translator noticed that what she was translating were criminal acts by the Turkish government involving several sitting U.S. Congressmen. She was fired and gagged for several years by the Bush administration. The last time I checked criminal acts are not covered by the State Secrets Act or any other Executive priviledge.

So break out the popcorn and go have a read. But here's a little tease before you go:

The exclusive interview lays out the details of what can be described as nothing short of a national security cancer that has metastasized throughout the U.S. government, to the covert monetary, military, and strategic intelligence benefit of our allies and enemies alike.

Hat tip to Brad Friedman for all his hard work on this

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some doctors have a few words on health care

The doctors letter to the president:

This September, as the healthcare debate rages in Congress, our core group of six doctors from Oregon will be embarking on an historic road trip across America. We will be conducting town halls in twenty-six cities as we make our way to Washington, D.C. Our mission is to educate our fellow citizens as to why a single payer health care system is the only means to lasting, substantive health care reform for this country.

All told, our group has 191 years of combined, real-world medical experience, much of it spent working in a system that serves neither patients nor their doctors. As physicians who have sworn an oath to behave in accord with the highest possible ethical, medical standards, we have all reached the same conclusion: it is our professional obligation to speak out against a for-profit system of health care that is fatally compromising the health and well being of our patients, their families and our nation.

We will be in Washington D.C. on the morning of Oct. 1 and it would be a distinct honor if you would meet with our modest delegation to discuss the future of health care as well as the moral, social and fiscal imperative of a enacting a single-payer system for America at this moment in our history.
Doctors have had a number of problems with the system since it was changed with the advent of HMOs and PPO plans. If they're not part of some group of doctors they get nothing from some insurance companies or reduced fees from others. With few options many doctors are held hostage to the insurance companies with 20% of the costs going to insurance that provides nothing for patient health care. Now you know why they're mad.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This one just about floored me

Trafigura must pay for clean up of Irory Coast dump. The company paid the government $200 million for the clean up and is now required to pay 30,000 residents of the area $1500 each for their injuries. The companies contention in the settlement was that this waste did no more damage to these people than "flu like symtoms". In looking at just was reported here I can tell you that what was dumped can cause more than just temporary symptoms. Caustic wash waters can permenantly burn skin. the components from gasoline can cause cancer, nerve and kidney damage. And if this stuff was so harmless why are the guys in the photo wearing level B protection?
I checked the company. Trafigura is a bunch of paper shufflers. Their claim to fame is risk management i.e. cutting the costs and lessening the financial risks for companies in the oil, metals, and materials business. So in this case some oil company hired them to get rid of waste. They put it out for bid. The lowest bid gets the contract and it doesn't matter if that's some fly by night outfit because by that time the costs are so low that any fines would be nothing compared to the profits to be made and the insurance covers it. I could just about calculate how much waste was dumped by how long it took them to dump it.

Nothing like using Africa as a toilet

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The frontrunners for 2012



Here's your frontrunners for the 2012 election from a straw poll of "values voters?" The only problem is that most of the nation don't hold these values.

Hat tip to:RunninL8 I stole her header of Palin. Sorry R there are only so many snarky shots of her.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Friday beaver

Here's a big one and this time it's not an otter. Speaking of big ones a breaking story is set to come out Tuesday. It was scheduled to come out today but got delayed. I wonder if that was to give the rethugs time to try and spin it. More on this later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This one slipped under my radar

September 17 is Constitution Day. A day meant to celebrate the signing of the constitution. Sorry all you gov. workers you don't get another day off, but it was meant that all schools receiving federal funds to take the day and study the constitution. Wonder if the rethugs will call this a communist plot. Wouldn't want the sheeple actually understanding how our government is supposed to work.

On that note some whiz bang educator here is wanting to lower the graduation requirements to a D average. If their resolution is passed all Seattle schools will be turning out more Bushs onto society. Looking back to when I was a supervisor in the 80s many of the kids who graduated from high school were functionally illiterate. I had to supervise them. And that was when the drop out rate was near the highest in the nation. Truly strange considering this state sells more books than anywhere else. Most private schools require a B- for passing. Top this off with the elimination of the WASIL tests required for graduation and we won't be able to compete with Chinese slave labor. There's a lot of training programs being put together right now but with the illiterate lot that will be graduating I see no bright future for this country. I didn't know stupid was a god given right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Public Option = Protection for Insurance company profits

I see the bill is out of the senate bought and paid for by the insurance companies. Baucus was paid some $3 million dollars by the insurance companies. A little conflict of interest there no? With no public option it will do nothing for the average comsumer but it will fatten the wallets of the insurance companies. I guess they'll be poping the champaign corks at the CEO offices at Cigna, Wellpoint, Blue Cross and the others. So with this bill they have effectively once again screwed the American people The good ole boys with their backroom deals have done it again putting the fox to come up with security of the chicken coop. Last time it was the "energy deal" that Cheney made with the oil and coal companies. We saw how that one turned out when gas went to $4 a gallon. So hold on to your wallets people it'll be profits before all else. Your life will only mean a small figure on the bottom line of a corporate spreadsheet. They won't give a damn if you have cancer or whatever disease and you know they'll figure out how to get around the rules because they always do. If they didn't there'd be no fine print at the bottom and there wouldn't be pages and pages of exclusions.
I'm sure there are those out there who have drank this Kool aide and will be thinking so what they fixed the problem get over it when in reality they did absolutely nothing. Good luck trying to get seen by a doctor when your unemployment runs out and you can't pay those premiums that have already drained your bank account. Why not just put a tax on the retarded and disabled? They can't fight back. Or maybe a tax on the homeless.
The bill puts a $6 billion tax on insurance companies. Ha like their lawyers haven't already been working on how to get around that. Fear not insurance boys you won't be giving up the corporate jets and junkets just yet.
Then there's the people who will really get screwed on this thing. We got a little taste of it by what was done in Massachusetts. They required everyone to have coverage. All well and good except the suposed plans that were offered that were affordable didn't exist. So what did people do? They are going without coverage and I guess are being fined. And I'm sure like most programs this one won't take into consideration that fact that if you get sick and can't work how are you going to pay the manditory premiums? And it won't take into consideration other factors like other life emergencies. Your house goes up in a fire and you lost everything but you still have to pay the insurance company CEOs so they can ride their jets.
And lastly tell me this. Why does a corporation need three jets when there is phone, mail, email, fax and video conferencing? These CEOs are the greediest bastards on the planet. Just how many treatments could have been provided when you spent several thousand dollars per hour for each hour you spent in the air? How many peope's lives could have been saved when you were attending that junket at company expense?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The counter protest

A group calling themselves Billionaires for Wealthcare did a little snarky job on the teabaggers in D.C. this weekend and they even have a website. Billionaires for Wealthcare

And what protest would be complete with out signs:

Some of the teabaggers were so stupid that they bought it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Now for something different

What has dissapeared due to tech advances or changes? This inspired by an article about 50 changes due to the internet. I'll call them gone or almost gone.

Telegraph - gone
Rotary dial telephone - gone
Wired telephone - almost gone
CRT TV - almost gone
Passbook savings accounts - gone
Eight track tapes - gone (except the ones collecting mold in somebodys' basement)
Record stores - almost gone
Record players - almost gone (but making a brief come back as a retro thing) new ones connect to the computer
Video rental stores - almost gone
Lead paint - gone
Distributor cap - gone (except the blogger by that name)
Innertubes for tires - gone
Vent windows for cars - gone
Space Shuttle - almost gone
Pagers - gone

So see if you can add to the list and see how much of our not too distant past is gone or nearly gone.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

First there was west nile and sars and mad cow and swine flu. Now when you thought you could sneak around and avoid sudden death, another nasty has come back to rear its' ugly head. Scientists have checked the beaches and waters on the coast of Washington state and found MRSA. You remember that from a few years back as the flesh eating bacteria that can kill you in a few short days if it's not treated. My guess is that with all the antibiotics that are used by a population in the millions that this is working its' way into the water supply and the result is super resistant bugs.


A headline you wouldn't have seen under Bush

Iran FM says nuclear talks with West are possible.

As Iran was labeled one of the axis of evil by Bushco you know there would never be talks with Iran or N. Korea or any other boogyman the right would think up. But as most adults know some type of talks are required with any nation whether you believe in their ideology or not. We were the enemy to Russia since just after WWII and yet we managed to hammer out a nuclear agreement S.A.L.T. So I'm very glad McCain did not win the election because according to him "you don't even talk to such nations" (his words from the very last debate).

The 9/12ers are having a protest in the capital. These are the "tea baggers" of the last wingnut protest. What are they protesting now? I've heard anything from taxes to health care reform and not to forget the second amendment. Normally I'd be surprised at such ignorance but after watching Jaywalk Allstars a couple of times this doesn't surprise me. On taxes they don't seem to get it that Obama just lowered those the earlier part of this year for most people as well as business. Health care must be changed or it won't be there for most people in very short order. I don't see any bills before congress to repeal the 2nd amendment at present. As for the protest I don't think you'll see the likes of Warren Buffet there screaming that he pays too much in taxes. Quite the contrary he knows that the middle and lower classes pay more than their fair share and has said as much. So this leads me to believe that this is nothing more than a pep rally for ignorance. They're letting corporate America do their bidding by creating an astro turf protest. Remember many of the protesters work for these corporations. So there'll be screams and rants and speeches and in the end the outcome will be something like "We showed them didn't we?" But what did they accomplish? They showed us their ignorance and insecurity. And my greatest fear is that they'll start waving their guns around and somebody will get hurt but it usually isn't the ones their anger is directed towards. And the sad fact is that they are in the ever shrinking minority. So for a time in history they too can feel what indians, blacks, the Irish, the Germans, the jews and any other minority has felt at one time or another in American history. But the truly sad fact is that they are being used by corporate America by an even smaller group who hold the power and wealth and won't part with even a scrap of it.
So to me this is like a pep rally complete with bonfire for a game that will never be played. In the end nothing will become of it. Corporations will make their backroom deals after dumping stacks of cash on the senators desks. Taxes on the rich will go up although not quite as much as reported. A health care bill will pass but not quite what we expected. And life will go on. That is until the next side show is assembled and ready for your viewing pleasure.

Friday beaver and it's a big one

This big boy is made from hay. Some noted that he's an otter and they may be right. No flat tail.

Let me add a little blog whoreing for a Canadian Blog I found the other night. Well written by a group of seemingly well educated Canucks. Give it up for: The galloping beaver

Ties in nicely with my regular Friday bit No?

Friday, September 11, 2009


I remember what I was doing on the morning of 9/11 sleeping. I was not working then but trying to keep to a night schedule as that is when most of my work happens. I was aroused to the hurried "you have to get up the country is under attack". Yea yea I'm thinking the bed isn't on fire so I guess I'm okay. I'm one only to respond when I know for sure if emminent death is at hand. I got up to see the rerun of the strike on the first tower. Like something out of a movie the plane flying into the first tower. It seemed sureal. Then the second tower is hit. The film from street level showing the second plane fly directly into the building. The shock like a hit in the head was mind numbing. But what followed was worse. The office workers jumping from the towers. What were they thinking? Then some while later the collapse. A doctor walked the street with his video camera giving a first hand report with the sound of firemens chirping alarms. We're later told that these alarms only go off if a fireman stands still for more than a minute. You could hear them everywhere the doctor walked. Then there was the dust. Everything was covered grey and the air was filled with choking dust. I don't know how the doctor was able to walk aroung without choking half to death himself. He found a fireman in the street and was able to get a few breaths of fresh air from the man's respirator.
And so the story was played over and over and the shock spread throughout the country and the world. People from around the world showed their kindness and sympathy in any way they could. An army of volunteers from around the country went to NY to help. Firefighters and police came and offered their help. Search dogs and their trainers came from far and wide.
There was for the first few days hope. Hope that some would be found under the rubble. At the third day I realized that they wouldn't find anyone. Two 100+ story buildings collapsed down to 7 stories. I knew then that this would be a recovery mission. There is the pain. The pain of knowing that those desperate relatives searching for a word and posting photos of loved ones would not see them again. Then for me there was the pain of knowing I couldn't get there to assist. All the training and easy to get resources and no way to get there. No planes flying for a week and NY over 3000 miles from my home. Retail came to a grinding halt. It was looking like Bin Ladin had won this battle but not for long.
They say time heals all wounds. That may be true but the scars will last a lifetime.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another one bites the dust

Mike Duvall

Another "family values" republican resigns for telling another assemblyman that he was having an affair with two different lobbyist women at the same time. When called out on it he says it was all a lie. If that were the case why would you give graphic details to a coworker and get caught on tape? Unless he's a pathelogical liar most guys I've worked with only disclose such info when it's true. And at some point you'll usually catch them hanging with their booty call at a party or club.
Now don't get me wrong I could care less what somebody does in their private life but for these guys to claim to be morally superior to the rest of us mere mortals and then do something like this, then I say the penalties should be double the standard.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Here's the buttwipe who called Obama a liar

Joe Wilson rep. from South Carolina
They need to have the EPA go down to South Carolina and test the water because there sure growing a bunch of idiots there. First it was their governor the philanderer Mark Sanford Mr. Morality who thinks everybody who who has an affair should resign except him. This is even after 60 of his fellow republican state legislators have asked him to resign. Then there's the liutenant governor another moral holier than thou republican who turns out to be a closet queen.
Now we have Joe Wilson who during Obama's speech last night points his finger and calls Obama a liar when Obama mentioned a lie from the right, that there will be no federal health care in the plan for illegal aliens. I only recall a few geers during a Bush speech and a standing ovation when he said he couldn't get his hands on social security but no body interupted his speech.
Now for the kicker. In trying to find a photo of this clown I find his wiki page is down for repairs and his own web page won't load and is down. Ya think maybe people are a bit pissed at him?
I though this was all over with the birthers and the deathers and all that but I guess not. So my advice is to forget any bipartisanship. These guys don't bother to read their own bills and amendments and are hell bent on stopping any progress.

I guess this follows that since today is 9/9/9 which upside down is 6/6/6. Now is the moon full?

Update My fellow blogging friend informs me that what Wilson did violated house rules. As he put it this is Congress not the Parliment. It's called decorum folks.

Last update: Here's the actual section from the bill itself. "SEC. 246. NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

So who's the liar now?

For Lisa

A commenter on another blog got me to thinking about our health care system. Where we are right now and where we'll be if something isn't done post haste. Her mindset seems to ignore all of the facts in the situation. I'm just glad I won't have to work next to such a person on any haz mat job. She'd either be seriously injured or dead by the jobs end. Can hear it now. " Oh I try not to pay attention to that crane lowering those three ton I beams when I'm walking under them. Too scary you know."

But here's the facts: 1.The U.S. now spends $2.5 trillion each year on health care. When I first looked up the number last year it was $2 trillion so we know the number is rising.
2. The number of uninsured is going up by 14,000 per day as we speak. That number would be higher had it not been for a bill that extended and paid part of COBRA (that's the temporary health insurance you can get if you're laid off and your former employers plan runs out) as well as the passage of SCHIP the coverage for children.
3. There was already 46 million without insurance and since our economic down turn that increased to 50 million. Some of those may be the young that don't think they'll get sick or work for low pay with no coverage. And there may be some who are now on medicade because they lost nearly everything and are too poor to do otherwise. Then there are some who are now homeless and can get nothing because they have no address. No address you get nothing.
Don't believe me here's the facts

The commentor seems to think that there are 85% who like the insurance they now have. No they don't "like it" they endure it. I read quite a bit even have a degree. I've read many a technical manual and enough legal jargon to fill a library but I must say the one area that stumps even me is to read an insurance policy. Buried in the heretowiths and the aforementions is always some clause that is open to interpetation. So vague that only most trained legal expert could understand let alone give a ruling on. It's always an out for the insurance companies. That's why they pay their lawyers the big bucks.

What she fails to realize is that: 1. With an ever shrinking customer base the insurance companies wil have to raise rates to maintain profits. We're seeing that right now. Blue Cross just raised rated in Michigan, Pa, Wa, and I'm sure several other states I haven't checked them all just yet. I've seen figures from 19% to as high as 48%. So if they raised your rate 48% could you afford insurance? Of course not.
2. The population of the country is set to retire or if they don't it just shows that our population is aging and you know what that will mean. With age comes the onset of medical problems and it doesn't matter how well you've cared for yourself, the human body wears out. The peak year for the baby boomers will be 2016. With no other options they'll sign up for Medicare and maybe a supplimental policy but even those premiums are rising faster than flood water. Sadly Medicare was set up like a Ponzi scheme. It worked quite well when there were 3 or 4 workers paying into the pot. Now it's unsubstainable. If it's not changed it will drag down the rest of the economy just as the banks nearly did and they're still not out of the woods yet.

She says in her comment that the health care bills' 1800 pages are lies. I'd defy her to even begin to try and write a health care bill. With the sheer amount of different medical circumstances, different people in different stages of life with different medical proceedures I'd hesitate to try and tackle that myself. I've only once managed to write a rule for a HOA that was enforcable in a court of law and that was after several days of consideration. And they've had over 20 years to come up with a workable plan.

In conclusion we need a public option that spreads the costs over the entire population. To do otherwise is a setup for failure. To continue the bulk of health care for profit will not work because as the population ages they fall into a fixed income while costs continue to go up. I'm sure the republicans would just secretly love to eliminate Medicare. They were the ones who didn't want it in the first place. If they did that they would have a system that truely would be a death panel. Grandma might have the choice of giving up her house or dying. All for the mighty dollar.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Here's the reason a bunch of people are out of work, at least 120+ anyway. It's $1.8 billion just to get rid of your poop.

What a funky name for a sewage plant.

Grassley is on spewing the usual republican BS. He seems to be fine with any system that doesn't cut into his insurance company's blood money. You'll get a tax break under his system which translates into the rich getting more cash while the rest of us get screwed. Screw you Grassley go retire and let us eliminate your cushy retirement benefits and we'll give you a $25 tax break.

Breaking news: Queen Victoria's dirty undies have been found film at 11. Eeeeew!

Obama gives his great school speech and I don't hear the statue of liberty collapsing. Only heard part of it. Okay here's the message for the other side. Don't study hard. Let yourself down. Don't stay in school. And by all means be a burden on society. Because what we don't need is more intelligent educated people. We need more Walmart, Starbucks and McDonalds workers. Why develop engineers when we can pick up a a whole bunch cheap in India. Doctors? We can just send patients to China and sponge off them. Think of the profits margins.
He also went on to tell children to wash their hands frequently and stay home when they felt ill. The nerve of him. I want my kids with filthy swine flu ridden hands and it might be the undocumented nanny's day off for god's sake.

More news and opinion as it happens.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The American nightmare ( a random rant )

It's all lies I tell you. The American dream of studying hard and working hard so that you can live in a big house in a nice neighborhood and have two cars in every garage. There's enough lies to go around. Something for everyone if you will. The migrant thinks the streets are lined with gold. That if he can just get here by some magical fate he'll be living in a middle class neighborhood in short order. He sees the minimum wage like a pot of gold making more in one hour than he did all day in his country. Then the reality sets in. He can't speak the language and must rely on friends for work. He's the last hired and the first fired and always gets the worst jobs the company has to offer.
Then there's the teens who with optimistic eyes head into the workforce thinking that they'll step into a top spot and be making six figures before they're 25. They get an offer of $14 an hour and think they've made the big time until the first check comes with all the deductions. Suddenly that Xbox will have to wait and forget that new car he'd been drooling over since freshmen year.
Then there's those who have been in the workforce for some years and are beginning to realize that those at the top of the ladder have cut the rungs below their high positions. They now know that they may make a sideways move or worse move down on the ladder but getting to a higher position is out of the question. Those at the top know that as long as they play by the groups rules and not step on toes that even if they fail their brothers the good ole boys that they are will pick them up, dust them off and get them going again.
And with the current economic correction was it starting to get too crowded up there at the top? Can't have an abundance of rich people you know that would just water down the value of old money. Nothing worse than the newly rich moving into the neighborhood. They have such gawdy tastes you know. Not to forget to get the word out that change is bad. It will kill your grandmother and your children (but the real issue is that it will kill the corporate bottom line and limit bonuses).
So you work all your life and your body's starting to give out and you think you've saved enough to at least afford a studio apartment and not have to live off of cat food, but no matter what you've socked away there's that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you didn't save enough. The thought comes to mind that what if an emergency comes up and takes even a third of your nest egg. You might think of some type of insurance but can you afford those monthly costs and would the insurance company really pay out or find some loophole in the fine print? And you're still at the mercy of the economy where costs go up while your income is fixed. And the retiree lay dead in the living room wrapped in a carpet with frozen burst pipes, the electricity shut off for non payment but the bank account was full of cash.
Maybe if I'm lucky I'll just develop alzheimers and forget all of this. Do I hear the alarm clock? Is it time to go to work? That's right there is no work...back to sleep.
Ah yes this is the American Dream... er nightmare.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labor day

No not that Labor!

That Labor

Ironically the hammering man outside the Seattle Art Museum is out of commission. A bolt broke and they can't get a replacement for two weeks. How appropriate.
Okay I'm early with this so sue me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Court rules against Ashcroft

The 911 detainees are suing Ashcroft for violating the constitution. My question, what part of the constitution didn't the last administration violate? Oh that's right there was that ammendment about the repeal of prohibition.

Ashcroft lawsuit

I get the funny feeling that between this, the torture memos, and the bribery and blackmail case involving the Turkish government that this is all going to come to a head some day. It will get to the point where you won't know which trial to watch. And you thought Watergate was a big deal.

In other news Obama is trying to give help for retirement savings plans. Good luck with that one. First I know exactly how the right will try and spin this. One of the plans is to have tax refunds sent as a savings bond. I can hear it now. Obama wants your retirement funds the right will scream so he must be a communist. But no if you actually get a refund check at the end of the year you'll notice that they put a card in with it encouraging you to buy U.S. savings bonds. It's been that way for several years now. But most people have been conditioned to just throw that out as another advertisement headed for the recycle. But the biggest problem with any plan is that those of us in the middle and bottom have seen our earning power drop over the last eight years. And any savings is set aside for a medical emergency not retirement. The republicans have a solution for that called a "medical savings account". But here's the fine print on that one. You need to use the money in the account before the year ends or you lose it. Hey isn't that called stealing? And how do I know if I'm going to get sick in any one year? I guess this is just another way for the rethugs to make their insurance buddies richer. So if your employer offers you one of these plans run do not walk or sign anything unless it's to opt out.

Friday beaver and CIA torture review

CIA report (pdf) It's been out for a while but I finally got around to skimming just the index. Just by the index anyone with half a brain would conclude two things. First that this info is not only about Gitmo, but a few other places around the globe. And second that there were other techniques used that weren't even disclosed. They're blacked out.
Holter should know that this is not going to be a limited investigation. You don't let the godfather off the hook and go after some street thugs who might work for him. It will be like an onion peeled back for the world to see. I figure it will take some time but it will come out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Death Chamber of Commerce

Once again the republican cronies are spreading lies. Now it's through the Chamber of Commerce. "Will some Washington politicians blow up your health care?" is the opening page.

Here's the lies:

1.Lie: Millions of Americans could be forced into a one size fits all government scheme.
Fact: If a public option were passed it would force private plans to lower costs therefore cutting their profits. Even Medicare a public plan is not a one size fits all plan.

2. Lie: The takeover will mean tax hikes, higher premiums and massive Medicare cuts hitting seniors.
Fact: Private plans would have to raise rates to make the same or more profits. The Medicare "cuts" they speak of is by cutting the waste in the system and make it more efficient. No cuts to seniors.

3. Lie: Hundreds of billions will added to the exploding federal deficit, meaning still higher taxes and fewer choices in our childrens future.
Fact: The only ones getting a tax increase would be those making over $250 K a year. Had we not gone into Iraq we would have had all the money needed for a plan. The democrates had to fight for SCHIP the program for children's health care. They wanted to expand that program but Bush and the republicans quashed it.

4. Lie: We pay more and get less care
Fact: With no public option you will pay more and get less as more and more people lose their coverage forcing insurers to raise rates and cut losses (the sickest patients).

5. Lie: Our childred are burdened by crippling debt and higher taxes.
Fact: I don't seem to recall as a kid paying for what FDR spent during the depression years. That fell on the very rich who were taxes at a 90+% tax rate. But these guys are just too greedy to part with even 1% to help the middle or lower classes.

6. Lie: Healthcare that Americans are satisfied with is replaced by a risky scheme that leaves politicians in charge.
Fact: I don't know that Americans are very satisfied with the present private plans that are impossible to understand and always seem to have a way of not covering what you need. I don't seem to recall a politician comming to the hospital when my mother or grandmother was in the hospital under Medicare to tell the doctors how to do things or what they'd cover.

The flyer goes on and on about deficits and taxes the usual screaming points of the right wing and asks me to contact my senators. Well I already did and I told them we need a public option and that the republicans don't want anything other than the status quo. So I told them to proceed without republicans and get a bill passed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mixed nuts and bolts

I see people are starting to leave Floruba. Seems the high cost of living and low wages are driving people out. Isn't this how republicans want it? Where do they think their groundskeepers and pool boys are going to live? In another state and commute? To top it off the cost of electricity, hurricane insurance and property taxes are about set to go up. Dang Dana looks like you got to the party late on this one.

Looks like they're going to build a pipe line from Alberta Canada down to the midwest. They'll be pumping the oil from the oil sands up there some of the dirtiest oil in the world. My guess is that we're setting up for when we get out of Iraq and they don't sell us any of their oil. The problem with the sand oil is that it takes more energy to extract it than you get out of it. Hummm. Where have I heard of that happening before? Oh yes it's the same for nuclear energy. What ever happened to the clean renewable energy that Obama was all for?

Here's a tie in to the above. Our state is now giving out funds for training for out of work folks like myself. For things like weatherization and "green jobs". I even got a letter in the mail saying I could get $5300 covered. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth but training for what? There aren't any jobs out there other than on call fill in positions or jobs that require a specific four year degree. And Boeing just laid off another 200 last week.

Just went to help a relative with some dental work. We need to fix this broken system fast. Went to the office and they had (I kid you not) four people just to handle the paperwork. It landed up costing him $4700 and that was with a discount plan and that was only for 1/2 the work. To boot this was the cheapest place he could find. I wonder if eyeballs and teeth will be part of the health care plan?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bad taste in ads

Photo shows multiple planes flying into buildings in NYC.
The caption in the upper right reads The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 911 the planet is powerful respect it. Sponsored by WWF.
The problem? It was not sponsored by WWF who asked that this ad be removed.
Thought I'd save a copy of it. Hat tip to Keith Olbermann and staff.

Don't send gramdma to the far east

Don't let these guys "iceolate" you either.