Heroes

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When I first learned of President George W Bush’s hobby of painting portraits I was amazed. This was not what I expected from him. I guess not too many people did. I wanted to see his work, and to decide for myself whether he was an artist or not. I have seen his work and have decided he is an artist.

In his book Portraits of Courage, A Commander In Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors ninety-eight US Military personnel are depicted. Bush has written a short bio based on the warrior’s injuries and the path to recovery. There is a distinct similarity among all of them. They all lost limbs, suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress. Yet, each of them is distinctly different looking just like they are in life. President Bush captures not only the faces but also the look of the soldier. As an artist he is fully aware of the fact that no human being has a symmetrical face, and it is the asymmetry that defines all of us. He has captured the gaze of the eyes and more deeply into the soul of the subject.

A few years ago, while researching President Bush’s portraits of world leaders on the internet I read a series of comments regarding his work. I remember one in particular where the commenter sarcastically criticized Bush’s ability to paint by stating his amateur work was the opposite of an accomplished and seasoned portrait artist. I wished an evil act to befall the critic. His dislike for Bush as President showed.

All my life I have been a closet artist, and I can attest that drawing and painting faces is not easy. Capturing the lines, shades, values of a person’s uniquely distinctive facial features takes a ton of practice, and patience. Hell, I couldn’t even draw my own portrait to resemble me. I give George Bush five stars for his ability, and desire to do something radically different from what he did all his life, and to succeed in making people look like people in his work.

Civil War?

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While Obama was running for his first presidential term I predicted that there would be civil war fought in our country. The division that occurred between the left and the right without any middle ground seemed to be too huge to keep it from happening. The war has not happened, at least not a shooting war, but we are still divided even more so today than in 2008. The democrats had all the power; a leftist president, and Democrats were the majority in both houses. There was no stopping them. The unaffordable Care Act was approved by bull dozing through without any prior review by either house. We as citizens criticized our leaders for not reading the bill. The plain and simple fact was that they were not given an opportunity to read it. Had they the chance there would have been public outcry to stop the bill before it came to a vote.

Currently, the Republicans have the power, and I fully expect them to squander the opportunity to do some real good for the country. How many of you remember Obama putting down John McCain by Obama for daring to present an argument against the ACA. Obama very arrogantly told him the elections have consequences and I won you lost. The democrats rallied around that audacity and steam rolled the country into believing their bill was the salvation of the country. After the ACA passed and it became obvious that it had major problems, Obama again arrogantly changed the law to his satisfaction without any notification of Congress, a violation of his authority and against the law. The Democrats totally supported him because he was the Messiah and the ACA was to magic cure-all bullet.

This week, I heard Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer from New York cry that  Republican Senators  won’t compromise and allow the Democrats to ruin new efforts to make the bill into something that could work. What upset me was a lack of outrage by Republicans. I never heard any of them say that elections have consequences, and we won, you lost. I have this feeling that Republicans still think the Democrats are willing to compromise for the good of the country. They are not willing to do anything but to win for their corrupt party.

It is sad that the press, and the Democrats get so worked up when President Trump fights back against some of the BS they throw at him. The Press truly get upset that anyone should treat them in this manner. What they don’t fully understand is that the civil war I have alluded to is taking place, and they are the enemy. They lament that they are only trying to do their job, they don’t deserve to be denigrated and on. They still don’t get that they are the problem, and when they spew there falsities as fact we the reader have no fact checker to check them with. To them I say, get over it, we won you lost. If the want us to treat them appropriately, they can begin by reporting fairly and honestly without bias to either side. Instead they choose to be on the side of the enemy. I say to you, keep plenty of fresh kleenex in your pockets to catch the alligator tears you will shed when recoil against you when you spew lies at us.

Another point that has me upset is that there are factions within the Republican party that fight against their own people. The Congress resembles the war in Syria; Syrians against Syrians, rebels against Syrians, ISIS against everybody, the USA against ISIS, and the Russians against the rebels. Mark my word, there will soon be a video game depicting this scenario. I hope the developer sends a free copy to every member of the Senate so they can learn from it.  What a mess.

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Dear AARP

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I have several reasons for my dislike of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). You meddle too much in affairs you should stay out of. You are the antithesis of what you propose to be. You are a two-bit lobby group who believes it is your responsibility to care for retired people. I’ll give you one thing, you are a lobby group. You are no better than the charlatans who lobby and corrupt our Representatives for their socialist governments.

Today, I listened to a radio commercial in which you pleaded with me, and all those who qualify to be in your fold, to fight against all current proposals to reinvent the health care system. For one thing, you do not know what the new health care proposal is, neither does anyone else. You are reacting to hearsay and gossip. You did the same when Obama care came into being. Neither you nor anyone in our government knew a single thing about what was in the new law that the democrats shoved up our ass, but you promoted it as the salvation of the world. Later, after the stupidity of the bill became known you railed against it. During the George Bush years you promoted free drugs for seniors. What we got was more expensive than what was available to us on our own. The difference is that we now get six pages of non-sense from Medicare every month detailing the non-benefit. We pay for those pages of boiler plate, ninety percent of which is identical from month to month with a few basic numbers representing our expenditures thrown in. It is killing trees and not saving any lives. Keep your socialist empire out of my face. You are an insurance company, why didn’t you save the Obama care program? You didn’t because you also know it is a pile of crap. Yet you are telling us to defeat whatever comes out to replace it. Go to hell and stay there.

You may ask why am I so adamant about universal healthcare? Let me tell you in one word, SLAVERY. Universal single payer healthcare is a system that takes away all control  you have over your body. The government owns your body, and decides what it will do to care for it. You do not. That is about as close to being a slave as the slaves that were dragged here from Africa to work on plantations.

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Trump’s First Mistake

President Trump let me down. His attempt to ram-rod a faulty healthcare bill through Congress was terrible. Once upon a time Paul Ryan was my hero, only because he is the only Republican representative in the state of Wisconsin, and because he spent his formative years as a grunt working in Congress. Paul is also a dedicated family man for which I give him much credit. His ploy to get the AHCA approved was probably a good one, but knowing how Congress acts and thinks anytime you approve a plan that requires more than one approval it is dead on arrival. President Reagan made a fatal mistake when he approved the amnesty program during his term. Congress had promised to pass a border wall and immigration reform to follow. Of course we all know that a wall was never even started, nor was immigration reform. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.

No one knows what the final outcome will be, but at least we now have some time to figure it out. Of course the Democrats will lobby hard for a single payer government-run health care system. God forbid we fall for that BS.

Today,  I read about a fire that caused an elevated interstate highway to collapse in Georgia. The first thing that came to mind was how could that be? Concrete and steel are not fuel. In retrospect, my thoughts have been influenced by sixteen years of brainwashing by 911 Truthers that Twin Towers fell because of a government conspiracy, and not by a fire caused by thousands of gallons of burning jet fuel. This current incident shows the Truthers that concrete is affected by major heat. If I were an architect supporting the 911 conspiracy theory who argued that the towers could not have come down because of such a fire, I’d be headed for the underground, I’d grow a beard, I’d dye my hair, I’d change my name, I’d do everything I could to remove the stain of my fallacious support. These are the same kind of smart guys with lots of degrees, and educational letters after their names that are currently espousing man-made global warming because it is the thing to do.

 

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In addition to what Tami has exposed about the Obama Care number manipulations remember a few more things:

  1. You have to vote for Obama Care to learn what is in it.
  2. A failed billion dollar computerized sign up.
  3. Multiple delays in getting it active
  4. Too many illegal changes to the law without the consent or advisement of Congress
  5. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
  6.  It will reduce your health care premiums by $2500 per

If ever there was a law that needed repealing, this is it.

My own personal experience up until now has been neutral. I’ve had an eighteen year  relationship with my doctor, I like him and want to keep him. His usual routine was to see me three times a year, first a blood test then a consult. Scheduling was easy, I call his office and get scheduled. Most times I dd it as I was leaving from my latest consult. Obama Care came along and now my doctor decided he didn’t want any part of it so he sold his practice to some humongous  doctor group. He is just another physician on the roster. He is in the same office, but he is scheduled by the central group. I’ve been trying for a month to get an appointment for a blood test which he prescribed six months ago. I can’t reach anyone in his personal office anymore. Now I have to complain, and say that all the crappy things we have heard about Obama Care are worse than true. Is this what America wants and believes is their God-given right?

Stirring Up Trouble

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This morning I did something I haven’t done in over two years, I ate breakfast at the countertop bar, and watched the morning news. Aside from remembering times past when Peg and I made this a daily ritual, memories of my work days stirred to life. How many times did I tell an engineer not to be feel distraught after presenting me with his proudly drafted report, and gave me a chance to critique it? My comment to them, it is a darn-sight easier to criticize something that already exists than it is to be the first one to draft the thing. What caused this recollection? The big flap about the new American Health Care Plan. So many of the people reading the drafts are being so critical of it being too much like Obama Care, Obama Care Light, etc. For Pete’s sake, it is about health care. For awhile I used a program called Grammarian, and another called Grammarly. One of them had a feature in it to check for plagiarism. I turned it on to check my work. After all, I didn’t want to add  plagiarist to all the many ‘ists’ I have accumulated. I quickly came to the conclusion that I had to turn the dang thing off. Why? Because it cited nearly every phrase uttered by man since he invented speech as a plagiarism.   I couldn’t  use any of my favorite phrases because they were used by someone before in a masterwork. So, what are the chances that a new document about health care written on the heels of an old document on healthcare  can be phrased completely different? Nada. I challenge the best grammarian, author,  writer in the world to take on that challenge. I’ll give them a rotten apple as a reward if they succeed.

Of course the first draft of the new health care act will sound similar to the Affordable Care Act it is all about healthcare, doctors, procedures, drugs, etc.  What I am afraid of is that the critics who wrote the ACA will never be happy until they see something that is like this, “Everyone in the world will have their health care paid for by the U.S. government with no questions asked.” To them I say, go jump into a very cold  lake, and wake up. The working citizens of this country are not slaves to everyone else. Here is what I want to see in the new program:

  1. Health care is not a God-given right, it is a benefit. If God had anything to do with it we would never get sick. God does give us free will, and free will dictates the choices we make. Go to any doctor and tell him you have a pimple on your ass and he will ask you if you smoke. Why? Because he knows that smoking has been connected to so many different outcomes that we can not imagine.
  2. Everyone has a choice to buy health care insurance.
  3. The choice is available anywhere in the country.
  4. I get to select the plan I want. If I chose to buy one that covers a pre-existing condition(pre-existing conditions are much like plagiarism phrases as cited above) then I will pay for it. If I am seventy-five and chose a plan with out pregnancy coverage, I will pay for it. Buying cheap insurance is like visiting a casino to gamble. Except in a casino you gamble your money, in healthcare you gamble your life. Since gambling is such a popular activity in the USA this should be an easy concept to accept.
  5. If an employer wishes to cover pre-existing conditions, and kids living at home until they are twenty-five let them be free to do so, but the employer will be in control of how much they will pay toward the plan.
  6. Doctors will not be allowed to invade our privacy by asking me if I own a gun. A gun does not have a damned thing to do with my health care, or a doctor’s treatment decisions.
  7. It will be the choice of the employer to offer a healthcare plan to its employees. If you are applying for a job because you need health care, and the employer doesn’t offer it, go work somewhere else, or buy insurance for yourself.
  8. Kids who are no longer covered by their parent’s policy and are too smart to buy health care insurance, will be cared for at the retail rates of the provider, and offered a plan to pay the bill at the going rate of interest. Maybe they will get smart and buy a plan or to work to cover themselves.
  9. People who have disabilities like Down Syndrome, Cp, MS, etc who will need lifetime care will be covered by a separate plan.
  10. People who choose to continue addictions like smoking, drugs, alcohol will be charged more for care than the un-addicted. Remember it is all about Liberty and freedom of choce.
  11. Each State will manage their health care systems using Federal Guidelines. If you don’t like what your state is doing with healthcare, move to another state. If no state offers what you are looking for then pay for what you want, or move to a country that does.
  12. If the Federal Government chooses to pay for any of the care it will do so equally to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

What people in the USA don’t seem to grasp is that the countries in Europe who offer what appear to be superior plans are also countries where taxes are very high. Sweden and Denmark for example have a seventy-five percent tax on their happy citizens. Think about that folks, that means you keep a quarter out of every dollar you earn.

What ever happens in the course of the next few months we will be having a debate about healthcare. My guess is that whatever the first draft is that we are criticizing today will not even be close to what finally passes. What is different already is that the project is transparent. Unlike the Democrat twelve hundred page plan which appeared out of thin air (I’m sorry for who ever coined that phrase ‘pulled out of thin air’ for plagiarizing ) and the Congress had little to no time to read it much less argue about it. Remember “you have  to vote for the plan to find out what is in it.” (Sorry, plagiarizing again)

We live in interesting times. (Sorry again, I just can’t seem to get out of the habit of using other people’s words.)

Repeal The Affordable Care Act

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A few weeks after leaving office former President Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Troy the Plumber to come out and fix it. Troy drives to President Obama’s new house, which is located in a very exclusive, gated community near Chicago, where all the residents have a net income of way more than $250,000 per year. Troy arrives and takes his tools into the house. He is led to the guest bathroom that contains the leaky pipe under the sink. Troy assesses the problem and tells Obama that it’s an easy repair, that will take less than 10 minutes. Obama asks Troy how much it will cost. Troy checks his rate chart and says, “$9,500.” “What?! $9,500?!” Obama asks, stunned, “But you said it’s an easy repair. Michelle will whip me if I pay a plumber that much!” Troy says, “Yes, but what I do is charge those who make more than $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free. This has always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law. Now all plumbers must do business this way. It’s known as the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014’. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it.” In spite of that, Obama tells Troy there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Troy leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book calling for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses in the area have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Troy’s price, Obama does nothing and the leak goes unrepaired for several more days. A week later the leak is so bad President Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. Michelle is not happy as she has Oprah and guests arriving the next morning. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk the room will flood, so Obama calls Troy and pleads with him to return. Troy goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, checks his new rate chart and says, “Let’s see, this will now cost you $21,000.” Obama quickly fires back, “What? A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!” Troy explains, “Well, because of the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ a lot of wealthier people are learning how to maintain and take care of their own plumbing, so there are fewer payers in the plumbing exchanges. As a result, the price I have to charge wealthy people like you keeps rising. Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work by those who get it for free has skyrocketed! There’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs, but the amount we get doesn’t cover our costs, especially paperwork and record-keeping. This unfortunately has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, they’re not being replaced, and nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they can’t make any money at it. I’m hurting too, all thanks to rich people like you who won’t pay their ‘fair share’. On the other hand, why didn’t you buy plumbing insurance last December? If you had bought plumbing insurance available under the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ all this would have been covered by your policy.” “You mean I wouldn’t have to pay anything to have you fix my plumbing problem?” asks Obama. “Well, not exactly,” replies Troy. “You would have had to buy the insurance before the deadline, which has passed now. And, because you’re rich, you would have had to pay $34,000 in premiums, which would have given you a ‘silver’ plan, and then, since this would have been your first repair, you would have to pay up to the $21,000 deductible, and anything over that would have a $7,500 co-pay, and then there’s the mandatory maintenance program, which is covered up to 17.5%, so there are some costs involved. Nothing is for free.” “WHAT?!” exclaims Obama. “Why so much for a puny sink leak?” With a bland look, Troy replies, “Well, paperwork, mostly, like I said. And the internal cost of the program itself. You don’t think a program of this complexity and scope can run itself, do you? Besides, there are millions of folks with lower incomes than you, even many in the ‘middle class’, who qualify for subsidies that people like you must support. That’s why they call it the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’! Only people who don’t make much money can afford it. If you want affordable plumbing, you’ll have to give away most of what you have accumulated and cut your and Michelle’s income by about 90%. Then you can qualify to GET your ‘Fair Share’ instead of GIVING it.” “But who would pass a crazy act like the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’, exclaims the exasperated Obama. After a sigh, Troy replies, “Congress … because they didn’t read it.” This will help you understand how the Obama Health Care Plan functions – – – and the primary reason behind the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014’. What a marvelous explanation this is.

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