Archives For March 2011

An Exit Strategy???

March 31, 2011

It was good to see President Obama go on television the other day to explain why he supported the NATO no-fly zone in Libya. I think he did a good job of saying how we as U.S. citizens cannot turn our backs on these types of humanitarian issues. When  leader of a country indiscriminately kills so many of its citizens others of the world have to take action.  Since we have the vast majority of military in the world we had to step forward to help.  I also appreciate that he let NATO take the lead in this exercise. That is the way it should be.  The U.S. should not be the policemen of the world. Given our deficits we just can’t afford to do that all the time as we have.

I find the Republican response to the Presidents speech quite amusing. They are shouting about an exit strategy and a time-table for getting out of the “quagmire” as some of the are calling it already.  What is so amusing about this is that these are the same politicians who all but crucified candidate Obama we he dared to say he would put a time-table on our non-existent exit strategy in Iraq if he were elected. At that time the Republicans were ranting about how it is impossible to put a time-table on  their war in Iraq.  Now they are demanding the same thing they were condemning just a few years ago. But who said the current crop of Republican politicians are consistent about anything except their complaining about the opposition party.

The Republicans are also demanding that we do everything possible to “take out” Kadhafi and provide total support the rebels in Libya. This seems another place where they as usual go off half-cocked. It is widely recognized that the world knows next to nothing about the rebel opposition in the country. They might be ultra extreme Muslims Jihadists for all we know. To put the success of this action on putting them in power seems tenuous at best. Just like everything else in this world time will only tell who would be the best leaders for that country. We can only wait to see how that shakes out.

But what do I know….

I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older. (Catherine Drinker Bowen)

I got the above quote from a fellow blogger a few months ago. I don’t remember exactly who is was but the quote hit me head on. As I grow older I seem to dare and say some things that I would not have said earlier in life. When we are younger we think we speak the truth but we always hold off some things as we don’t want others to know just how “weird” we are. As we get older that inhibition subsides somewhat. At least in some of us. That is evidently where I am now. At this point in my life I am not trying to impress others with my knowledge so much as just asking the questions I might have otherwise held back.

This gets me in trouble once in a while. Like when I said the truth that I truly believe the earth is more than six thousand years old. My previous church clergyman took that statement as proof that I didn’t think the right things as far as his Christian denomination was concerned. I was indirectly told I should be looking elsewhere for another church home. In the long run I am glad that I dared a little more as I grew older.  Even in this case. :)

In most other cases the consequences of my recently more daring words were have not be quite as drastic. I don’t have a job that I can be fired from for saying the “wrong” thing so there is no reason to hold back for that. I am certainly not trying to find employment anymore so I am not afraid a future boss will check on my Facebook page or my many blogs as for reasons not to hire me.  In many ways growing old has its detriments but being able to say what you think is definitely not one of them.

I don’t hold back much anymore because I am afraid of how my words will be taken. But I do try to be sensitive to others feelings and try not to be like many of those other “nasty” bloggers who trash everything and have nothing good to say about anything.

And the journey goes on….

I know this isn’t a barn but I guess you could label it a “historic” building?  It is the Longaberger Basket Company headquarters in Ohio

“Another trouble with politics, it breeds politics. So that makes it pretty hard to stamp out. The only way to do it is at the source. We got to get birth control among politicians.”

— Will Rogers  1934 —

This is a picture of me at the Great Salt Lake in 2009.  I am currently using it as a header for my homepage blog   RJ’s Corner.

Note: I am going to cross-post here from one of my other blogs. I couldn’t decide which one was the most appropriate so I will post at both. (ha)

NeedleSince the Republicans seem hell-bent on rolling back Obama-care I wanted to talk a little about one of the effects of this action. I recently had to have a rather expensive blood test run for a potentially life threatening condition. My past employer who maintains my pension and insurance fund constantly tells me that he is under no “legal” obligation to continue providing me health insurance. If I had been a union member instead of management he could not make these threats. (That sounds like a topic for another near-term post :) ) So long story short I still have health insurance, at least as of the posting. But I am getting a little off track here.

The medical provider who did the blood test I mentioned above billed my insurance company $900 but that amount was reduced to a little over $400 by the insurance company. I paid about $100 and the insurance company the other $300. Thank the Lord the test came back negative! Now, let’s get to the point of this post. If my previous employer had cancelled my insurance as he often threatens the resulting bill would have been quite different. Since I as a person of one would have no leverage like the big insurance companies do I would have been forced to pay the entire $900! This is just a fact of life I guess for those who are not at fortunate as I currently am. Understandably the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. are people trying to get out from under the mountainous loads of healthcare bills. These types of bankruptcies only occurs in the U.S. as all the other industrialized countries of the world provide all their citizens healthcare.

Obama-care, while it is by no means perfect would at least help about 30 million people to get affordable health insurance. Without that they are left at the mercy of whatever the providers want to charge. And charge they will.  I don’t really know just what it is the Republicans are against in the current healthcare law, that like most of the other things they complain about, has never been discussed much by them. But rolling it back would deny millions of our citizens the right to even a minimal level of healthcare. I am hoping that my pension plan keeps providing me with the promised but not legally obliged health insurance until I turn 65 later this year.  If not then I will join the ranks of those without insurance due to another thing that Obama-care tackles. That is being denied insurance because of the “pre-existing conditions”.

While the current law is not perfect by any means it is at least a good starting point. Ripping even that promise away from those who have no insurance would be a very heartless and mean-spirited act.  Yes, we need to tackle the cost side of healthcare. That has not really been fully addressed yet. The Republicans in Congress, and yes even some Democrats, seems to want to constantly complain about what has already been accomplished instead of attacking the area of cost control. I guess it is just easier to complain than to provide solutions…

But what do I know….

NeedleSince the Republicans seem hell-bent on rolling back Obama-care I wanted to talk a little about one of the effects of this action. I recently had to have a rather expensive blood test run for a potentially life threatening condition. My past employer who maintains my pension and insurance fund constantly tells me that he is under no “legal” obligation to continue providing me health insurance. If I had been a union member instead of management he could not make these threats. (That sounds like a topic for another near-term post :) ) So long story short I still have health insurance, at least as of the posting. But I am getting a little off track here.

The medical provider who did the blood test I mentioned above billed my insurance company $900 but that amount was reduced to a little over $400 by the insurance company. I paid about $100 and the insurance company the other $300. Thank the Lord the test came back negative! Now, let’s get to the point of this post. If my previous employer had cancelled my insurance as he often threatens the resulting bill would have been quite different. Since I as a person of one would have no leverage like the big insurance companies do I would have been forced to pay the entire $900! This is just a fact of life I guess for those who are not at fortunate as I currently am. Understandably the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. are people trying to get out from under the mountainous loads of healthcare bills. These types of bankruptcies only occurs in the U.S. as all the other industrialized countries of the world provide all their citizens healthcare.

Obama-care, while it is by no means perfect would at least help about 30 million people to get affordable health insurance. Without that they are left at the mercy of whatever the providers want to charge. And charge they will.  I don’t really know just what it is the Republicans are against in the current healthcare law, that like most of the other things they complain about, has never been discussed much by them. But rolling it back would deny millions of our citizens the right to even a minimal level of healthcare. I am hoping that my pension plan keeps providing me with the promised but not legally obliged health insurance until I turn 65 later this year.  If not then I will join the ranks of those without insurance due to another thing that Obama-care tackles. That is being denied insurance because of the “pre-existing conditions”.

While the current law is not perfect by any means it is at least a good starting point. Ripping even that promise away from those who have no insurance would be a very heartless and mean-spirited act.  Yes, we need to tackle the cost side of healthcare. That has not really been fully addressed yet. The Republicans in Congress, and yes even some Democrats, seems to want to constantly complain about what has already been accomplished instead of attacking the area of cost control. I guess it is just easier to complain than to provide solutions…

But what do I know….

As usual the Republicans are at it again. They are coming out in force to say how terrible Obama-care is but offering no solutions themselves. I guess they think they got the house back with this strategy so they will keep it up. They seem intense about giving insurance companies the right to deny coverage for “pre-existing conditions” and taking away possible healthcare from those who cannot currently afford it.  Is this really what Americans want? If it is I am ashamed to call myself one.

Living to be 100???

March 27, 2011

gif_BDay002-bwI saw an article recently about how people in the future will likely typically live to be 100 years old. At first thought that sounds kind of nice. I align with the old saying “Everyone wants to get to heaven but no one wants to die to get there”. I certainly don’t want to die, at least anytime soon. I still have many things left on my life’s to-do list.

But it seems when I turned sixty my body warranty expired. Things just don’t work as well as before.  My back continues to deteriorate with more compression fractures. My knees give me frequent stabs of pain. And it seems that every time I go to the doctor I leave with yet another prescription for an additional ailment. I am on the verge of going on Medicare so even though my previous employer of thirty years keeps “informing” me that he is under no legal obligation to continue to provide health insurance for me, even that threat is not as frightful to me now.

But what is frightful is living with this continuously degrading health for another thirty-five years! If they were to come up with some silver bullet that would ameliorate all my conditions I wouldn’t mind staying around. No I don’t want to die but I also don’t want to have to be carried in a basket to my death-bed. :)

And the journey goes on…

At It Again…

March 27, 2011

 

The Republicans are at it again. All the presidential hopefuls are coming out in force to say how terrible Obama-care is but offering no solutions themselves. I guess they think they got the house back with this strategy so they think they can win the presidency that way too. They seem intent on giving insurance companies back the right to deny coverage for “pre-existing conditions” and taking away possible healthcare from those who cannot currently afford it. They seem intent on making healthcare a privilege for only those who can afford it and denying it from everyone else. The rest of the industrialized world treats it as a right, not a privilege. Is denying healthcare to all but the privileged really what Americans want? If it is I am ashamed to call myself one.

Surely they don’t think they can get away with just criticizing everything President Obama does and not offering any alternatives. But, that is pretty much the only thing they have accomplished since re-gaining the House so I just don’t know? There is too much complaining about everything without giving alternative ideas in the world at a whole today.  Is the U.S. becoming a country of complainers or will we get back on the track of accomplishing things for the common good?  In my opinion it could go either way!

I will have more to say about this current crop of Republican wanna be President soon.

But what do I know….