Friday, April 21, 2017

Outed by The AARP: Backroom Deals Threaten the Elderly and the Poor

Yesterday on Chicago's CBS AM Radio, an ad paid for by
the AARP broadcast a concern of great moment to anyone
not blessed by unlimited wealth, health coverage rollbacks
and much higher expenses for the elderly and the needy--
which would mean no health insurance for precisely those
who really require it. Particularly stinging proposals involve
thousands of dollars more to be paid by anyone with a pre-
existing condition, or had reached a certain age. I believe
I heard the figure of $13,000/year mentioned, and an increase
of $8,000/year levied against certain demographic groups,
including low income 64 year-olds.

I am tempted to suspect many of these new-school right-
wingers have so little regard for those not rich that they
are attempting to kill them off by legislating impossible
to meet insurance cost and qualification demands. Today
(04/21/'17) a final version of the new health care bill will
(purportedly) be ready. Interestingly, GOP legislators
have asked for changes that won't alienate Democrats,
realizing their U.S. Republican Senate boasts a slim four
vote majority, not enough to pass certain legislation
requiring 60 votes, not a simple majority.

I predict the dreams of  the uncaring, soulless rich will
not all be realized, although sadly, some shall. AARP's
ad strongly urged voters to contact Congress with
a resounding NO, objecting to the hurtful provisions of
these right-wing backroom deals.

--TSK, tsk, outed by the ever-vigilant AARP again.
Notice that they have enough spending power to buy
time on venues such as CBS...keep up the good
work; keep us in the know, bless you, AARP.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trump Wins One With Syria Missile Strike

Surprisingly, President Trump gets my support for his targeted
missile strike at an airbase in Syria last week. Assad's attack
on his own civilians with chemical weapons included children
among the fatalities, universally condemned.  The U.S. airstrike
hasn't completely immobilized Assad's airstrike capability, but
it did reduce his effectiveness while sending a signal that the
USA will not idly stand by, will not permit such atrocities to
continue.

Generally, foreign intervention is a bad idea, but genocide
and/or mass murder of ordinary citizens must not be ignored,
must be halted. Thank God President Clinton stopped the
Slavic genocide of the 1990s; he's said he regrets not also
doing so in Rwanda.

As long as the U.S. judiciously limits its military interventions
to situations like last week's, it merits strong support.

Trump wins one for a change. (-!)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Boycott Unfriendly United Airlines' Skies

The shady but permitted practice of overbooking flights
has hit a new low, according to the New York Times,
April 10, 2017. Yesterday, flight #3411 had overbooked;
officials asked for four volunteers to exit the plane so
that airline employees could embark. One man was injured
by United's private police in an attempt to forcibly remove
him. Hey, airline execs, do you not realize the PAYING
CUSTOMERS must be put first ahead of employees who
ride for free??  Put your people on other flights, dummies.
Memo to Charlie Hobart, United spokesperson: I don't
care how "politely" you all asked people to leave the
plane--your PR statement, policy and practice are as trashy
as they are indefensible.

There are, at minimum, several serious concerns
here:

(1) How is it legal to sell the same seat twice?
(2) Why would employee convenience trump that
of  paying passengers?
(3) What sort of "major" corporation hires police
to remove passengers who have done nothing
wrong?
(4) Why has Congress ignored this problem?
(5)  United Airlines, are you so tone deaf regarding
your image that you will continue to pursue this wrong-
headed policy?

Dear readers, why not teach United Airlines a
telling, bottom-line lesson--boycott their
dangerously unfriendly skies. If sufficiently
outraged, why not call your U.S. Senator and
House Rep requesting this practice be outlawed?

You can bet I will.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Clean Air: Filling Our Lungs Has Priority Over Filling Our Gas Tanks

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It's no mystery--the egg,
for millions of years before birds, the way reptiles reproduce.
Similarly, breathing has existed long before automobiles, is still
obviously a more pressing urgency than our desire to cheaply
fill our gas tanks.

--Still laughing? No joke, the Don has just signed another hair-
brained executive order, knocking out clean air/coal
regulations. Trump, trying to fulfill a campaign promise, thinks
swatting away the EPA's pesky anti-pollution regs will magically
bring back thousands of non-existent mine and factory jobs...

But once again, the president is woefully uninformed. Technology
and economics are the real drivers dooming a return to the  old
days, far more than anything the EPA has done over decades.
Energy independence, a conservative mantra, is actually
becoming a reality with U.S. natural gas supplies and renewables
increasingly available-- we now export energy resources. All this
new policy brings us is dirty air, an unwelcome slide back to bad
old days, but not new (old)  jobs.

The president and his advisers ought to look at our 21st
century realities rather than attempting to resuscitate the 20th--
such an outdated outlook will fail.

Meanwhile, filling our lungs with clean air is more important
and immediate than filling our gas tanks--when will the
Donald get that?

Monday, March 20, 2017

India: the World's "Largest Democracy" is a Sham

If India is truly the world's largest Democracy, get me a ticket
to a gulag in Siberia, I'd probably do better there. It takes more
than merely being able to vote to achieve such a vaunted
politically ethical status. In terms of failures, let me count the
ways:

(1) India still employs the caste system; how is THAT
democratic?

(2) Indians' second daughter is often aborted or killed
shortly after birth--again, is total misogynistic disrespect
for life democratic?

(3) Their society is severely patriarchal, controlling and confining
with respect to women's rights and opportunities. Once more
with feeling: how is this anything to admire?

Finally, therefore, India's social and human rights' fabric is
as full of holes as cheesecloth. No self-respecting Western
woman should visit this place, simply because the sights, the
food and indigenous clothing are praiseworthy.

Thanks PBS' POV, for elucidating the daily horrors female
Indians must endure. This "democracy" is a sham.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Celebrity Apprentice in the White House

Yes, that is what we have there, a celebrity who is merely an
apprentice when it comes to possessing a supple expertise in
matters of governance. Trump clearly can't or won't up his
learning curve; indeed, he has a pronounced resistance to doing
so, if his behavior to date is any guide, which will plunge the U.S.
into many unnecessary crises, difficult or intractable.

Celebrity is clearly what the Don was aiming for; he has
succeeded in becoming  the world's most famous man. But
without substance, Trumps' inexperienced celebrity careers
us with celerity toward  a mere undoing of all things Obama,
silly snipes at one and all via Twitter, Trump-tweeted fake news,
yet the problems of the nation and the world remain ignored and
unsolved.

Will the Republican Party allow this sorry state of affairs to
continue? Will the U.S. House come to its senses and act
accordingly, keeping in mind that they have to look at 2018 in
their futures? Party unity is one thing, but getting re-elected is
quite another, full of a requisite, redolent  exigency. The average
Joe and Joanna eventually get wise to what goes, will vote with
that knowledge; do these House Reps remember that?

Celebrity just can't cut it; it's past time for the "Apprentice" to
evolve into a full-fledged statesman.

                                           ******
 P.S.: Please bear with all my paraphrased repetitions, but until
we enjoy a more cogent and sane governmental effort, this
blog will relentlessly repeat my deep concerns.

The Danger in Accusations Versus Firm, Intelligent Policy

...are too numerous to fully explore here, but we now are enjoying
the horrifying spectacle of President Trump wasting valuable time
and resources accusing our former president of "wiretapping" his
abode, Trump Towers, during campaign season, no evidence
forthcoming. Meanwhile, the enfant terrible of North Korea is
making with the nuclear threats again, at the very time the USA
and South Korea are engaging in joint maneuvers off South Korea.
It is important to realize that the two Koreas are still in a state
of war, merely existing uneasily in a truce-armistice state.

If there was ever a time to proceed with intelligence and
caution, this is it, but the Donald can't or won't be bothered
to get serious, deal with our domestic and international
problems, some of which, need I remind anyone, are very
dire. I guess finesse is not in the Don's repertoire, but he'd
best acquire it, or we will end up like many a failed state.

The media is not doing its job here, but IS quick to quote
his latest Twitter gaffe as well as all the others, without
pointing out we need a steady hand at the national ship
of state's tiller. Facts and reason really are demanded
now; will our government step up, or will it continue in
the partisan warfare politicians have become so comfortable
with? Our very survival is scarcely guaranteed --stop
believing in U.S. invincibility and "exceptionalism". These
philosophies are as worthless as they are dated--say, 70
years out of date. If we are such a superpower, so winning
at every turn, how is it we haven't won any major military
engagement since 1945?

These are inconvenient truths which we all had better quickly
internalize and begin to effectively deal with. To keep on being
the silly state, helplessly mystique-mired in social media's
salvos of back and forth, is to slip ever further into desuetude
and a lesser international status we can ill afford.

Let's stop hurling foolish accusations around and get
down to business--the times urgently require it.