ACA AKA AHA -DOA

I have long believed that if someone supposedly working toward a stated agenda is using anything other than the simplest means possible to achieve that agenda you can be sure their stated agenda is not their true agenda.  So it is with repeal and replace.

Amid cheers and jeers, depending on which side of the aisle you reside, the newest iteration of repeal and replace has gone down in flames.  For seven years Republicans have waxed eloquently on the subject and crafted many pieces of legislature addressing repeal, knowing full well that President Obama would never sign any of it.  Now with a Republican president vowing to sign the bills none are forthcoming.

On the Democrat side the voices were raised in support of fixing the ACA but it was all empty talk designed to impress the base.  Neither side actually worked to advance their stated agenda.

If we stop looking for complicated reasons the why of this all becomes crystal clear.  By the most widely accepted number health care consumes 6 percent of our national GDP and there are some sources that place the number as high as 17.1 percent.  At either end of the scale that is a huge chunk of change.

These funds are largely controlled by the insurance industry but it is a secret desire among members of both houses of Congress that the money  would be better controlled by the legislature.  In other words, a single payer system.

You won’t hear much open discussion of government controlled health care for a couple of reasons:  There is not yet enough popular support in the electorate to provide cover for the early advocates of such a system and the insurance industry spends far too much money buying legislation favorable to conducting its business.  The recipients of that largess are not willing to abandon it until something to replace it has been firmly established.

And so they dither while waiting for the current system to collapse under its own weight.

Personally I support the idea of a single payer system, not because I am against free enterprise but because I am opposed to the insurance industry as a whole.  If you are too young to have been involved with insurance some 25 years ago ask an older relative or friend how it was back then.  The insurance industry used to have as its model customer service first, the good of the injured party foremost.  If this were still true I would be firmly in their corner but it all changed in 1992.

Read the Huffington Post article attached and you will see the beginning of the end for service based insurance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/insurance-claim-delays-industry-profits-allstate-mckinsey-company_n_1139102.html

That which started with Allstate spread rapidly throughout the industry.  Today every family will have some member who has a horror story to relate about an insurance company.

Many industrialized nations have adopted single payer health care, some good, some bad and some completely incompetent.  I cannot help but believe that given so many decades of combined experience it would be possible for a group of fairly intelligent experts to assess the relative merits and drawbacks of those various systems and based on the experience of others, craft a system that would be fair and equitable for our citizens.

I would also support a constitutional amendment making universal health care, cradle to grave, to include dental and vision, a right of every US citizen.  Full disclosure; As a vet with a service connected disability I have the VA and no need of the ACA in any form.

Congress has somewhere between 6 and 17.1 percent of the GDP to play with.  That should be enough to fund a single payer system.  It’s time for them to abandon the charade and move toward what they all really want.

I’ll give Bernie this one, it needs to be done.

 

 

 

 

 

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SUPPOSE THEY GAVE A RIOT AND NOBODY CAME?

I am not a fan of Michael Moore but he had a title that resonates with many of us today, “Dude Where’s My Country?”

Many of us watching events unfold on the world stage are asking that same question.  So much of what has made America the most powerful nation on the planet is being attacked.  Peaceful discourse to address and solve differences is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.  Never in our history have we had so many of our citizens willing to adopt violence as a way to effect change in the government.

That the protests erupting across our land are orchestrated and choreographed is beyond question.  The mystery is to whom does this invisible hand pulling the strings belong?  And adding to that mystery is the apparent reluctance of anyone in law enforcement or government to discover and bring to light the identity of the person or persons signing the checks.  After all, “spontaneous riots” don’t come cheap.

We can point to those obscure entities, The Globalists, the New World Order or whichever conspiracy de jour but must keep in mind that every conspiracy theory has a golden thread of truth running through it else it would not be believable.

As an example, several hundred people show up in a small city for a spontaneous demonstration.  They gather for the first time at the protest site and square off into opposing factions.  Sure, it could happen but you have to ask, if they arrived spontaneously, without any coordination, where are all the vehicles?

Oh, they were bused in?  Well, there goes spontaneity.   Just a tiny golden thread supporting the conspiracy angle, and there are many others.

If we accept that there truly is an “invisible hand behind the curtain” then the question becomes “why?”  What are the game plans and success indicators for this mysterious who-so-ever?

I will not toy with small theories concerning rewriting bits of history in order to placate the feelings of certain vocal groups.  I believe that the end game is nothing less than the total destruction of the American way of life as it is currently experienced.

The assault began with low hanging fruit, removing all vestiges of the Confederacy.  This was a cause celebre for which a large anti faction already existed and so ginning up massive support was a simple matter.  Exploiting racial tensions has always been a sure fire method of dividing to conquer.

The fates seemed to have conspired to provide all the elements the invisible hand needed to advance its agenda.  For the first time in history we had a president from outside the establishment.  The unanimous attempts by the deep state and nearly all elected officials, both parties, to unseat this president became the focal point that provided misdirection for the invisible hand.  It was time to strike.

The initial moves were very successful but in my opinion the invisible hand moved too quickly to the next stage of operation, that or its minions simply got out of control and went off script.

The next moves should have been a gradual assault on other past public officials, those not connected to the Confederacy.    There was still much low hanging fruit to be attacked in order to solidify the momentum of the movement.  Woodrow Wilson, an avowed racist, the man who segregated the armed forces, was an obvious target as were Andrew Jackson for the Indian Removal Act and even FDR for the Japanese internment land grab.

Instead of sticking to a plan of incrementalism we get a sudden outcry for discrediting all founding fathers who were slave owners, a move which would devalue everything they did to create this nation.  That would make the entire constitution invalid in many eyes and set the stage for civil unrest across a very wide segment of the population.  Why, it would be asked, should we obey laws that were written by such evil, racist men?

That this was a part of the end game I have no doubt but moving to it so quickly would be like trying to kick a game winning field goal from 80 yards out.

The final act of this decades long movement by the invisible hand is meant to result in a largely borderless planet, leaving only one or two other nation states to provide the perpetual enemies needed by the military industrial complex.

To see what this dystopian paradise would look like simply revisit that literary Nostradamus, George Orwell.  Those who make up the invisible hand see the novel 1984 as a desirable world operation manual.  They, of course, would be in charge and so the negative elements of such a society would not touch them.

So when you are kicked back on the couch, holding a cold beverage of choice, and watching the latest riot unfold on your TV, don’t think of it as an isolated event, regard it rather as chess master Kasparov squaring off against IBM’s Deep Blue.

There are many more moves to come.

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E UNUM PLURIBUS

The word of the day is “diversity,” what exactly does it mean?

My Random House Webster’s does not go into a great deal of detail, it merely says: (1) The state of being diverse; difference; unlikeness.  (2) variety; multiformity.  (3)  a point of difference.  With a definition so vague the word can mean pretty much whatever the user wants it to mean.  And it usually does.

Many years ago my dear mom taught me that words mean things and that they should be chosen with precision so that there is no mistaking what you intended to say.  That long remembered lesson is the reason that I am no fan of definition creep.

A short digression if I may.  In a recent edition of the Houston Chronicle a reporter wrote the following concerning a home invasion, “the burglars smashed open the front door, went inside and decimated the apartment.”  I am at a loss to understand how one kills one tenth of an apartment.

It is quite common to hear a talking head on TV use the term “begs the question” to mean that something has occurred that would lead one to ask a specific question.  The term was originally a rhetorical device used in debate in which you assume the truth of the very point raised in the question.

Read the U.S. Constitution using word definitions as they were in the mid to late eighteenth century and you will quickly see how definition creep can by used to usurp or increase power.

The motto “E Pluribus Unum” translates to “out of many, one.”  When first adopted it referred to our being a nation of immigrants, all wanting to equally share in the promise of a new land.  A diverse people united in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Fast forward to this modern era and you see the diversity that was considered a secondary characteristic by the early immigrants being pushed to the fore and used as a tool to divide and control the population of this nation.

This leads to a word for which the definition has not crept:  Balkanize: To divide a country or territory into small, quarrelsome, ineffectual states.

Diversity as it is currently being touted and celebrated is a divisive tactic and does not serve well the immigrant population or for that matter any minority community, rather it balkanizes them.

I celebrate immigration.  I am the product of immigrant grandparents and will be ever grateful that they endured what they did so that I could be born in this nation.  And among other things, by choosing to come here and assimilate they taught me what it means to be an American.

That said, it is my fervent hope and desire that all immigrants to this country would  view their origins as secondary characteristics and put allegiance to their chosen nation first.

As with adopted children, adopted nations are a matter of choice.  It’s time to reject the current usage of diversity, restore the spirit of E Pluribus Unum and heal this nation.

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IT’S A POLITICAL STREET FIGHT

Those who have read my blogs touching on the political “reality show” that we are currently experiencing will know that my primary aim is to not take sides but rather to state opinions based on observation.

In the past I have wondered aloud why Donald J. Trump would want to be President but he did and he is.

After six months I still wonder how a successful business man, a billionaire who has been intimately involved with government at all levels during his career, could possibly think that he, acting alone, might change the political direction of the country.

I have to assume that he knew he would be acting alone because in order to enlist the aid of those needed to make the changes he promised he would have to get a majority of the elected officials, blue and red, along with the members of the “Deep State” to abandon their personal cash cows and enact legislation and rule changes diametrically opposed to the system they spent years, even lifetimes building.

Trump’s lifelong experience has been interacting with people who wanted to make a deal.  His current adversaries don’t want deals, they simply want to be left alone to continue working their games, consolidating power and amassing personal fortunes.

We Americans have always championed the underdog, thrown our support to the guy or gal who undertook the impossible and fought against the long odds.  In that spirit logic would dictate that we would be cheering for The Donald but that’s not going to happen, underdogs have to be charismatic.

Mr. President, it would seem that you have jumped bare-knuckled into a knife fight. You’re a smart guy, you must understand that there is no one you can trust.  Maybe you do realize it and that’s the reason for the high level of nepotism.  But there are thousands of “them” and only a handful of y’all.

Perhaps you could emulate Samson and start swinging the jaw bone of an ass.  Any current elected official would be a suitable donor.

The final analysis is that you are not prepared for this game.  You spent decades helping folks stack apples into their carts and now you want to upset those apple carts.  Somehow it escaped you that these members of the political class are better at protecting their turf than the Crips, the Bloods and MS-13 combined and in their way just as ruthless.

The latest iteration of anti-Trump pushback is embodied in Robert Mueller, Special Counsel.  Mr. President, you got punk’d.  Your staunch supporter, Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, recused himself on the flimsiest of reasons, opening the door for a special counsel and you get an enemy straight from central casting.  A guy you passed over for a job he really wanted, BFF of the FBI director you fired and a life-long democrat.  Good luck controlling that narrative.

This is not to say that you don’t have options, just none with good optics.  You start by ordering a purge of leakers inside the intelligence community.  That’s moral high ground since they are committing crimes and endangering national security.  A few indictments with the possibility of serious jail time in that arena should slow down some of the opposition.

Then you get rid of Mueller.  You can’t fire him but if your buddy Jeff Sessions won’t reverse his recusal you can fire the guys who can fire Mueller until you get to the guy who will.

While this stew is cooking you go to the American people, stay on message about your proposed programs and lay the blame for obstructionism at the feet of Congress and their bureaucrats where it belongs.  Mid terms are just around the corner.

You’ll still be the underdog but you should at least make the fight look a bit more like Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed than the Charge of the Light Brigade.

And when you finally tire of the whole charade you might just claim that there was a misspelling in your campaign slogan.  Outlaw shredded cheese thereby making all Americans grate again, pick up your marbles and go home.

Just sayin’.

 

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WHERE’S THE LIABILITY?

This has to do with the auto hobbyist and liability insurance and it contains a serious question, one that I would really like a reasonable answer to.

I have played with cars and trucks all my life, a very long time now.  I pursued this as a kid and then later as a bonding experience with my sons.

In the years before state mandated liability insurance what I am addressing here was not a problem. Today it can be a huge expense for the hobbyist on a limited budget.  A major expense that in my opinion could have a very simple solution.

I am the only driver in my household and I have four vehicles, my everyday driver and three works in progress, all of which are registered and insured.  Any time that I am driving one vehicle three others are parked.  Also, at any given time one or more will not be in operable condition due to some work being done, yet the insurance bill goes on.

I asked my agent if there was some special deal for hobbyists.  His answer, “nope.”
I asked if it would be feasible to drop-add vehicles to the policy when they came in and out of service.  His answer, “nope.”

In order to get a driver’s license in this state you have insurance or sign a declaration  that you do not have a vehicle.  My question is this, why can’t state mandated liability auto insurance be made a function of having a driver’s license and then you would be covered for liability no matter what you drive.

I asked my agent and he gave a vague, dismissive response that no insurance company would take on that sort of liability although he couldn’t explain how a vehicle parked on private property might be creating a liability.  He did mention the possibility that the vehicle might be operated by an unlicensed, therefore uninsured driver and my comment was that such an occurrence would only result from the vehicle having been stolen, in which case the company wouldn’t honor a claim anyway.

I don’t know how many reading this are in households where there are more vehicles than drivers but there must be some.  I feel that this is a serious matter that needs to be discussed and perhaps even acted on via state legislation.

While insuring drivers rather than individual vehicles would not increase the liability exposure to the motoring public, it could result some serious cash savings for a lot of families where dad and/or mom likes to hang over a fender, twisting wrenches .

In my case, the single greatest continuous expense of my hobby is the cost of unused liability insurance.

I would welcome any input on this subject, apart from the form letter I received when I addressed this to my state legislator.  His response was, “we are working diligently to see that the insurance industry treats all our citizens in a fair and equitable manner.  Thank you for expressing your concerns.”

 

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TO THE NOT SO LOYAL OPPOSITION

It is no secret that our nation is deeply divided.  We have elements in our government and intelligence communities, both elected and appointed, who are actively seeking to subvert the system of checks and balances that have guided this country since its inception.

They are doing so out of what is in my opinion a misguided attempt to save the nation from what they perceive as certain destruction at the hands of the present administration.

Somehow the irony that to do so they must overturn that which we have spent our treasure, our blood, sweat and tears for over 240 years to protect, this democratic republic that is the United States of America.

Watch this video and then ask the question: How many of those working outside the established system to stage a (hopefully) bloodless coup would have joined those who did what they had to do to keep our flag flying over Fort McHenry

 

God bless America and keep us safe from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

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AN ETERNAL QUESTION

If a man, standing alone in the middle of a dense forest, makes a statement and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

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