Saturday, February 27, 2010


When I was younger, when a school would have a prayer or when a Christian image would be placed in public halls, it was often a Jewish organization or other non Christian religion that was the so-called Plaintiffs being represented by the ACLU asking that the separation concept be strictly enforced.

Today, we have a meeting with the non believers, aka Atheists, doing the work that minority religions use to do. Not sure of the reason but I guess it has to do with government faith based money. Oh, I'm so cynical!

I cringe when ever I read about some clergyman wanting to put the 10 commandments on public property, when I hear the Under God in the Pledge, when some school administrator thinks he or she will go to heaven if they put god in the classroom, when some religious group knocks on my door for any reason, and when I see Mel Gibson's face.

Separation of Church and State should be 100%, not 99%. I'd even vote for taking off In God We Trust off of money even though I believe in God. The government does not belong in a Church, in a Synagogue or in a Mosque, and religions don't belong in Government. Amen.

What irks me is that government, sans George Bush, more or less stayed out of the religious organizations but the converse has not been true. Religions want to creep in with every and any crack in the door.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Salon Magazine had an article based on an interview with Elvis Stojko who really wants men's figure skating to be more masculine. In a different article for Yahoo, he also says that the Russian, Pleshenko should have won.

Everyone, it seems needs their 15 minutes of fame and Elvis has proven that he will need many decades not minutes to gain more fame. His rather disgusting comments on the need for masculinity in figure skating is just that.

I just think that it does not matter your gender preferences and skaters who dance effeminate can be the most fun to watch. Many gay skaters are downright excellent and Elvis should, but doesn't, know better than to have such a bigoted rant. Many more manly skaters are also excellent and often better. Sexuality should not matter, the skating should! Strjko, time to Grow up!

Just to illustrate the downright prejudice and poor sportsmanship, Strjko's ranting about the loss of the Russian exemplifies the worst in reporting. Pleshenko also showed some of the lousiest sportsmanship.

In fact, one of the best sportsmen was Weir, who skated very flamboyant and many BLGT organization writers thought he was robbed. I think they could voice their disappointment but not say he was robbed.

In contrast, there was not one word of bad sportsmanship from Weir. He loved competing, he admitted some errors, dressed, looked and skated wonderfully. Yes it is a competition, not a show, but I believe showmanship will always be a part of figure skating. Weir's routing was said to be not as difficult but he danced it almost flawlessly, came in sixth, and smiled from ear to ear.


In my in box today was a story by the Science News magazine about the other end of a cell phone conversation while driving. Before this illuminating article, I knew that I needed a hands free device to use with my cell phone (other than legally) as there were just too many accidents while holding the phone and talking while driving. I also know of the insanity of texting while driving and wouldn't think of doing this. OK, I admit, that I don't text anyway so it is a moot question.

This Science article, to boil it down, simply says that when you talk and drive, your memory of what the person says to you will become significantly impaired thus defeating the prior knowledge that using commute time to do some business will help with your overall productivity.

The first thing this tells me is that I should monitor my calls received while driving and not make calls where my memory has to be top notch. The latter is obvious, but monitoring calls on my phone means that I have to pick up the phone to see who is calling to decide to receive it or let it go to message. Of course I will not be able to monitor private calls under today's technology.

Perhaps a good idea is to have a repetitive voice tell you who is calling rather than a phone ringing and your answer activates the call rather than have to push a button or open the phone's flap. Or you tell your phone, verbally, to go to message. This is a state that can be set before driving and reset after diving is finished. As well, when the before driving stage is set, a private call should have an operator tell the caller to announce themselves so you can decide to take it or not. This too, resets when not in driving mode. The benefit of the above is to reduce the use of hands as well as aid in monitoring while driving.

Cell phone companies, are you listening?

Friday, February 19, 2010


All day long Tiger Wood's apology speech was revisited on TV dwarfing the BalLoon Boy, and several other recent monumental news stories that, in my opinion, should be relegated to page 76 on a busy-body rag found at supermarket check-out stands.

I hark back to a previous blog where I'm saying that, as a people, we really have to stop gawking at roadside accidents, stop buzzing about elected officials, athletes, ministers, and what have you, when they have enjoyed some saucy indiscretions.

From the news reporters, to the talk show hosts, to those who add fire by calling in, I want to say that Tiger's sex life belongs to him an his family, and not the grossly disgusting airing of his private laundry.

So, In this brief blog, I say to all of you, GET A LIFE. Get some perspective and talk about rapes, mayhem, murder in the Congo, health care, and other important newsworthy stories.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have often voiced for a single payer system that covers same as Medicare Part A and B. that is mandatory and a matter of deductions as in Social Security. Then there are optional additional coverage by getting rid of the insurance companies and adding Medigap, say, plan "F" at a cost based on age. Lastly have the option of adding Prescription Drug and eliminating it from the insurance companies. There is no reason why insurance companies have to make a profit on our lives and health.

Then, add a food sin tax on all products that are bad for health, not just soda. It will be a smaller tax but would make sure Medicare runs at a profit. This includes candy, cake, processed foods, and so forth. It would encourage processors to get into the saving people's lives instead of making them diabetics.

This last step will help include the poor without killing the budget. Any excess savings can go to the social security pool.

And, doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals must give Medicare level services and not refuse a patient. This plan can pay better fees because of the sin tax but not outrageous fees. Pharmaceuticals that sell in the U.S. must pay taxes in the U.S. and prices must be in line with what they sell for in other countries but not as low.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Author and Professor Mike Signes wrote an intellectual article calling for President Obama to start fighting as a contrast to being a scholar, a gentleman, and thoughtful statesman. I know I'm doing his Huffington Post essay a disservice by boiling it down to one sentence yet, that is the core of what I want to discuss in this blog.

I set out write this with the thought that while I'm in total lockstep with Professor Signes, I do not want to loose having an honest and brilliant law professor as our President. I do not want to loose having a President who appeals what our founding fathers had in mind of a government that works together, notwithstanding a loyal opposition. This is, to me, a polar opposite of the Bush/Cheney fiasco. While Signes does not suggest this, I need to reiterate clearly.

What I'd like to see in support of Signes' posting is our President get in the ring and fight like a cornered tiger in addition to keeping his intellectual and moral authority. It is allot to ask as the Presidency adds years to anyone's life, and I'd like to see my President stay young, vital and be fun for himself and his lovely family.

He faces an opposition with a lust for power. A lust that disregards the needs of the people and the reason why they were elected. They employ a systematic use of lies continually being hammered to shape a public opinion that is strained owing to the economy, to loss of jobs, to the eight year attack on our middle class. To this end a cornered tiger is too mild for my thinking. I wish he were an African Honey Badger who snapped off their testicles and let them bleed to death. Ah metaphor!

I sense that the elected Democrat officials and Independents in State Legislatures, in the House of Representatives and in the Senate are not entering the ring, are not getting bloodied and scarred to help the President with as much fierceness as the opposition puts forth. At least, not like the Republican concerted orchestration to bring this President down. They need to stand up and be counted and help sway the public and make our government work again. They also need an internal discipline to punish errant congressmen who want to use blackmail for their votes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


No, I'm not talking racist, I'm asking for a few genes of Lyndon Johnson to be given to my President and not color ones. Specifically the "warrior" DNA the part that bullies his own party members and punishes them with the wrath of money, position, and support instead of letting some of them blackmail him for their vote.

Since Republicans have used their usual lie tactics, loud tactics, and banding together with one voice, the new Barak with the Lyndon extra gene would use every tactic possible to cower a few of them to vote democratic on issues that the people want and need.

Every Democratic Senator and Congressman should go on the warpath showing what the Republicans are doing to government Sit on the sidelines and the next time you are in a primary, you will have severe opposition and no money. If Pharma and Insurance companies can buy elected officials, then executive orders should prevent them from giving, and we should use tax dollars to buy some Republican votes. If they are money whores, it should not matter where it is coming from.Use the 51% vote. The Republicans will do it if they are elected. You betcha. The public will forget about the fact that 51% vs. 60 is used in two weeks, the next time some Senator forgets to zip up.

Good start Mr. President, but warrior? - not. And here's a hint: ONE PAYER SYSTEM

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I read a wonderful article by Richard Eskow, a consultant for the Huffington Post detailing the gross abuses in student loans, the payoffs, lies, and distortions that mirror the almost dead issue of health reform.

The government guarantees loans that are administere by banks so the banks make money off our young people and their families and take zero risk doing so. This is enough to make my breakfast regurgitate. In fact this comes to some 8 billion per year that could go a long way in helping advance education and the students needing this.

There is so much profit in this for banks that money is being paid to steer students to them so they can profit without risk. Some Departments of Education hold shares in the lending organizations which easily result in a conflict of interest. Perks like trips are offered by financial aid firms and colleges are paid handsomely to place an organization on their list of preferred lenders. Counseling that is offered is often simply a sales pitch and scare tactics are employed to distort the truth. The biggest lobbying organization is Sallie Mae who is reported to be buying Democrat and Republican Senators evenly. Banks are calling reform, "Death Panlel II".

If these abuses and waste of student and their parent's money doesn't make you sick and angry, I suggest that you died and forgot to tell anyone.

Right now, a reform bill has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate is doing the same crap as they did during health care reform. Everyone should contact their Senators and demand that they support government run student loans without bank involvement.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Here is a story featured today in The Huffington Report.

Jairo Miguel Sanchez Alonso, Teenage Spanish Matador, Faces 6 Bulls

Medicare Cost and What to Do About It

It is suggested by Ed Tubbs, writing for the OptEdNews that Granny should opt to die earlier as a means of saving Medicare, not turning our future over to others and in particular the People's Republic of China - the Communist dictatorship who shoots people to harvest their organs for profit. I'm in lockstep with not helping China other than to ship lead laden toys back to them.

I think there are better solutions becuase I'm here to say that when I was younger, I was all for living fast, dying young and having a good looking corpse, if I can quote from what fading memory tells me was some movie with the late and great John Garfield.

Well, Ducky, now that I'm an old goat, I want to live as long as I can, as long as the pain is not unbearable, and don't need a death panel to determine my worth vs. the economic long term benefits to my progeny. I also think, with due respect to the fine thinking of Mr. Tubbs, that his solution is singular in nature whereas he does not look at less Draconian solutions.

I pay into a Medigap policy to a private insurance company. Frankly, I do not know why Medicare insures the part that runs at a loss, and the Medigap policy insurance companies insure at a profit. This is the same with Part D, Prescription Drug

Medicare is the best thing that has happened to our senior people since Metamucil and Social Security. So why truncate it while we can expand it. Why not have more options other than Medicare Part A and B and include government insurance for part D (Prescription Drug) and Medigap Insurance? Why not have Medicare offer these at the same profit as the private companies do and use the profit to offset part A and B losses?

I also think that Medicare and Part D and Medigap should definitely be offered to those 55 to 65 because the cost of these are less and it will help offset much of the cost of the 65 and older cost. Add it to an appropriations bill now!

As a senior, I like this much better and, if anyone is listening, keep your death panel hands off the plug. Thank You.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I am a senior citizen whose first car cost $150 purchased from a school teacher in New York City who hand painted the Ford Custom to get it ready for sale. It had a rusted hole in the floorboard and on my way to California, I lost a baseball through it that was caught at the Yankee Stadium. I drove that baby for 75,000 miles, with only about $250 in repairs and sold it to a used car lot in Los Angeles, for $15. The cost was .00513 cents per mile. I have not had seen this kind of experience for 3 decades.

Moving forward about 30 years or so, I helped a friend buy a Toyota Corolla used from a dealer. It was a 1987 bought in 1987, a daily rental return for $10,000 with 10,000 miles on it. There was 26,000 miles left on the warranty. He still has that car. He changes the oil every 3,000 miles, there were only $500 in repairs and he has 200,000 on the car. The good condition Kelly's Blue Book is $875. The cost per mile is .00048 cents which is less then the old Ford. (I do not factor gas in these calculations, nor the value of the dollar)

I'm not going to cry over my in-between experiences with a Ford Falcon, a Ford Fairlane 500, a Dodge Dart, a Pontiac LeMans, a Mercedes 450SL, two Mercedes 300D, and a BMW 500 series.
The cost per mile of these, not including gas, is sickening. The repair bills worse. I normally bought one car for me, one for the mechanic.

In the 40 years, almost all of the advertising for the American cars had to do with power, looks, sex, some safety, but almost zero for reliability. I know reliability is not everything, but to most of us , it is important and so is the cost of daily operation.

Toyota and Honda, amongst other imports, led the way and gave us the reliability and cost of operation while the American car companies blamed unions, and retirement benefits. They still advertised based on looks, sex, power. They are now learning the "reliability" word and learning how to make fuel efficient cars. They never cared about renewable resources in the past.

I love "made in America". I wish we brought back all industries that went to foreign countries and then we'd have tons of jobs available here. I hate the global economy for this suffering we are having with so many out of work. I think we have to first take care of our own people.

But let's give Toyota a chance to recall, to fix, and to flourish. Toyota built plants in the U.S. and they gave us the Prius, Corolla, Camry, Highlander and so many other great reliable cars. They now are keeping our own manufacturers honest, competitive and bringing reliability to the market.

I own a Toyoata 2003 Avalon and it is, arguably, the best car I ever owned. Not as "hot", just the best. Decent mileage, not even a total of $100 in repairs and it is 7 years old. Everyone who rides with me comments on the ride.

Toyota: Fess up, come clean, fix the problems, and regain the love!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I am one person who mourns when just one of our young men or women die or are wounded in any war, yet, I go ballistic when in happens in a questionable war. We all rally to our country to our flag and these people do more than rally, more than give lip service, they often give their lives, their limbs. Their families give their children, wives, their husbands, and children their military parents. I cry for every one who is touched by the horror of war.

So, why do I want the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy repealed and gays be allowed to openly serve? Perhaps it is because I believe that Gays and Lesbians are as honorable as anyone else. There is testimony and great evidence that they can serve with as much effectiveness as anyone else, and love America as much as anyone. I have not heard one iota of evidence that gays cannot or do not do the job as effectively.

Therein lies the rub: Religions, should keep their collective noses out of military policy. I say that neither the bible nor those who preach it should do other than provide services to military personnel who want these services. Their policy opinions should be shut down. To those who believe gays should not be allowed to openly serve or to serve at all, keep your opinions to yourself unless it is based on some statistically pertinent historical evidence. To our elected officials who take an anti gay stand, probably because they are prejudice, or because leaders in their party said so, or because they feel it will yield more votes, more power, I say that the most shame of all falls on your shoulders. You, above all, should know better. You have taken a solemn oath.

The laws of behavior should be the same for all military personnel and the penalties be the same. Isolated situations should not change what is right.

Many thousands of gays have been removed from a U.S.military already strapped for personnel.
So, since gays make up some 10-12 percent of the population (a guesstimate) then for 6,000 soldiers who died, 600 or more should have been gay, and for 40,000 wounded, 4,000+ should have been gay. The very people who want to serve, who are willing to die are home while their straight counterparts are dying and being wounded in statistically higher numbers then would ordinarily be.

My hat is off to all of those who want to serve and who are able to. To deny them is to deny our country, to put a larger burden on others and their families.

If we cared about and respected each other as much as we do our flag, we would have a fix to medical needs, there would be more jobs, less greed, less hunger for power, certainly less hate. I don't know why gays still care after all of the hate and problems thrown at them, but thankfully, they do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


In California's central valley where 1/12 of the country's agriculture is grown, Discover Magazine reports that over the past 6 years, the loss of ground water in two of the main central valley's basins totalled 30 cubic kilometers. Does this sound like a small amount? Well, one cubic kilo equals 264 billion gallons of water so if you multiply by 30 you get a very scary picture with numbers only seen in our national debt.

So, the reason for this is that we are using drinking water and water for irrigation faster than it can be recharged. This comes from a study conducted by NASA and California researchers.

These researchers say that they do not know how much water is left but do know that a declining level causes a loss in water quality, decreased crop sizes, and land sinking. I observe that decreased crop sizes and lower levels will increase water prices and veggies in the markets.

Conclusion: Yo, Governor, Yo, U.S.D.A., where art thou?