Posts

Russia, how it could all work out

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First of all, let me stipulate... Russia is a big-ass country. In fact it is the largest nation in the world by landmass. Take a look at this map. The country stretches west to east from the Baltic Sea near Scandinavia to the Bearing Strait, virtually touching Alaska. It is almost double the size of the United States including Alaska but it has less than half the population of the US.



To me, Russia is a bit like the school bully who no one really likes but everyone puts up with their crap because, well, they are a bully. But, like most bullies, there are usually extenuating circumstances. Why is Russia like they are?

Hundreds of books have been written and thousands of folks in and out of government are employed just to figure out the answer to that question. I will not attempt to explain all of that in this little ol' blog, but here is a very short bit of history to explain how I think we got to where we are.

Russia was a monarchy for a very long time and like most nations prior…

Health Care or Health Insurance... What are we debating?

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I think that we Americans are in the middle of a HUGE kerfuffle, arguing and wasting massive amounts of time and emotional capital when we haven't even truly defined the debate. Hear me out on this.

No more than 60 years ago, "all-you-can-eat" health insurance was practically unheard of. In fact, very few Americans had any form of comprehensive health insurance. There were various insurance and hospitalization plans available through work and kids could get some insurance for a few dollars while enrolled at school but most families "winged it" with medical expenses. During the 50s, 60s and early 70s going to the doctor was affordable. Most of us early baby boomers were born in hospitals and the payments came from our parent's pockets.

During the 70s and beyond, more expensive medical procedures involving sophisticated surgeries, treatments and medicines evolved. Suddenly, the cost of health care ballooned. Instead of curing common diseases and treating mal…

How The Asterisk would replace Obamacare and fix our health care nightmare

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There are two major schools of thought when it comes to providing and paying for medical care in the United States. The first is single payer where one entity, most likely the Federal Government, pays for all medical care; basically acting as the universal health insurance provider for all citizens. Many countries use this model. We will not discuss the efficacy and economics of these single payer plans in this posting. The second school of thought is to keep medical insurance in private hands and allow individuals or employers to purchase care as they deem most effective and most affordable, and oftentimes these two schools are in total conflict.
Over the years I have promoted a bifurcated health provider scheme where all citizens have access to basic day-to-day health care through a network of government and government-sponsored facilities. Those who want more customized, personal, comfortable and immediate health care can pay out of pocket or through supplemental insurance for “bo…

It Is A Time For...

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Donald Trump won the US presidential race last night. Now it is a time for healing, or so they say. Yes, we need us some healing right about now, but healing is superficial. With the wounds as deep as they are in our nation, we need some serious wound therapy. Healing, at this point, is unicorns and rainbows.

Now is a time for leadership. Plain and simple leadership. Not schoolyard bully leadership. Not I-just-got-appointed-as-EPA-secretary leadership. Not the sort of leadership we have at the IRS. No, we need empathetic, goals-oriented leadership which will start getting things done from jump.

I predict that Trump will pardon Hillary in order to start the healing and move on. He won't pardon Bill, her accomplices or the Foundation, but I actually think it would be a disarming move for him to do so. You heard it here first, folks. There is too much that is needed to get done for Congress to be wrapped up in investigations and hearings for years. If she accepts the pardon, it is h…

Final Thoughts Before the Election

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Today on Meet The Press, surrogates from the Clinton and the Trump campaigns were on the show. The host, Chuck Todd first spoke to John Podesta, he of WikiLeaks email fame. Chuck asked him several questions about polling, the campaign, Hillary's apparent weakness in states like Michigan and their tactics. During his answers (or non-answers, depending upon how one saw the responses), he stated as fact that Trump was a bigot, a misogynist and that his campaign was being directed by the Russian Foreign Ministry. As his segment was ending, I was thinking "Are we going to hear anything about the leaked emails?" Todd's last question was essentially "How are you feeling about having your emails leaked so that everyone can see your dirty laundry." Podesta replies, "Me, personally? Oh... I have thick skin..." Wow, now that was a tough question.

Next up was Newt Gingrich. Newt was asked similar questions and during one answer said that the nation has a cl…

To Tell The Truth

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A thread on a friend's Facebook timeline yesterday discussed some of the ugly things said by Hillary which have recently come to light via the Wikileaks email dumps and supposed first person accounts from recent events.
It is virtually impossible for a human to totally bottle up their true feelings and emotions. Some manage to do so and I think they suffer greatly for it. Others let it all hang out (I think we know where Trump comes down on this one.) Clinton, according to many recorded accounts, is very emotional and emotive, but she has an uncanny ability to put on a semi-likable facade for public consumption. Having said that, when she (or anyone for that matter) does "let it all hang out", it gets recorded. For many of us "folks" it gets recorded primarily in the memories of those around us, but for others, especially those at a high level of prominence, it also gets recorded in emails, text messages, audio, video, hidden video, journals and memoirs.
These r…

Legacy Matters

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This past week has been the nadir of the relationship between law enforcement and black males. We have seen - literally - Alton Sterling get shot in Baton Rouge, LA and we watched Philando Castile die outside of Minneapolis, MN. Then, just two days later, a black man with an assault rifle opened fire from a sniper's position in Dallas, TX, killing five police and wounding twelve others. Before the police cornered him and later killed him, he told the police that he wanted to kill as many white people, especially police, as he could and that he was upset over #BlackLivesMatter.

The modern era of victim politics regarding black males getting shot by police began after Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, MO after Brown had reached into the police cruiser and tried to wrestle the officer's firearm from him. To a dispassionate observer (and a DoJ monitored review board), Brown's death was an obvious case of self-defense but the people of Ferguson and the hoards …