Sunday, May 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2431, May 26th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that 41% of American two year old’s Daily vegetable calories come from French fries. By comparison, babies at 9 months get 48% of their vegetable calories from yellow, orange and dark green veggies. No wonder why this kid in the stroller had the objection to a french fry being dangled in her face! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that on Friday morning on my way to work, as the rain was coming down, I heard a few songs regarding rain in my car. I heard “Rhapsody In the Rain”, “Rainy Day Women” by Bob Dylan, “This Time I’m In It For Love” (with a rain lyric and “Raindrops”). Now I didn’t have the radio on but rather had a USB port which features over 45 hours of music on it. What are the odds that out f all tat music, on that day, in that time frame, those songs came up? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the birth rate for unwed teenagers has actually gone down in the last few years. And the lowest teenage birth rate among Hispanics was recorded in a long time. That is not only amazing but very smart on the part of our younger people. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED… what big a gap there was in some elections. The Scranton Mayor’s race had the two front runners, Courtright and Randol on the Democratic side but their votes were absolutely lopsided compared to the two other runners up, Lee Morgan and Joe Cardamone. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the outpouring of love and admiration for former governor George Leader. The interesting thing is Leader has been out of office for nearly as long as I’m alive. (I was 4 when Leader left politics). His service was filled with fond remembrances from his children as well as very light hearted with memories of a life well lead. PCN had a lot of great coverage too. For those not familiar with Leader, it gave a glimpse into what politics was like a generation ago. I'm sure when the time comes for former Governor Scranton, I believe he will be 96 in July, (and we hope WWS keeps trucking along for a while) it will be a huge news story given his accomplishments in public life.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Subway (which by the way I love, you can’t beat their Tuna on Whole Wheat with Spinach ) is touting adding Avocado to your sandwich in May. But what they don’t tell you is that to add it, you have to pony up an extra $1.50 per sandwich. So before you say, “avocado please”, know you’ll get charged. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that if you are taken by ambulance (like a small town one like Hanover as an example) to a hospital, Ambulance companies will try to screw with you for payment. Most health plans pay up to 90% of Ambulance Transfers. But they never submit the claims to the Insurance companies. So then you get a bill for $600 bucks from a third party provider. If you don’t know enough to submit it to the Insurance Company (not the Ambulance third party because I’, convinced they just toss it,) you’ll get another bill. But the next bill will say “Pay this amount: $20.00.” And you think, okay, that’s all I owe. But then you get another bill saying, “By paying the $20.00 you have committed legally to paying the entire bill”. Tony Soprano would even be appalled at these bloodsuckers. Even thugs sent flowers! Not these bastards. So bill payer, beware. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Obama Administration has not avoided the second term curse. Every President since FDR has had some type of mishap visited upon them. Ike had a Scandal with his Chief of Staff in the 50s, Nixon had Watergate, Reagan Iran Contra, Clinton had, (well you know my favorite Federal Employee of All Time) and Bush had Katrina and the Financial meltdown. Hubris, lack of good managers, bad luck or reckless behavior can derail a grand agenda for another term. I guess events have a way of evening out political grand schemes and power in a democracy. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that on Wednesday night of this week, I slept with a window open wearing boxers and a tee shirt. Friday night, I slept with the window closed shut, two blankets, a sweatshirt, long sweats and a stocking cap! Springtime in LuLac land! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that I heard some moronic Congressman on NPR this week defending the fact that those schools in Oklahoma had no tornado protection because he didn’t want his people to pay higher taxes for it and did not want the government telling his people how to build their local schools. I’m sure that is great comfort to the parents burying their children this holiday weekend! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that LeBron James is now being criticized for fist bumping an opposing player (Paul George) of the Pacers after some great play in the third quarter. James is being slammed for not being a true competitor. The 24 hour news cycle now has officially reached over to sports when nothing becomes something in a heartbeat! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that after seeing Gary Busey on “The Apprentice” again this year, I have to get my hands on that Buddy Holly bio pic he starred in during the late 70s. I always felt that Holly mig1ht have gone further and would have become bigger than all of them if not for that plane crash. One of the things I admitted about his music was that I understand he demanded a hand in the way a song was arranged. And there are certain tunes he did where you could tell where that level of involvement was.


At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a very good friend in Nashville days who co wrote with and mentored Buddy Holly in the very early days (There were sadly no later days). His name was Scotty Turner and his accomplishments in music were many as a writer, producer and guitarist. He was doing his student teaching in Lubbock and met Buddy as a High School student. Scotty maintained that Buddy would have gone on to become a great producer. That was where his real interest and talent were directed. It would also have gotten him off the road. Buddy rather than Norman Petty most likely produced the initial hits and the sound and arrangements were unique. According to Scotty, Buddy had just begun to make his mark. Adding strings to TRUE LOVE WAYS was Buddy's work and you just didn't hear strings on Rock n Roll in that era. I guess the moral of that old, terrible story is never hire a 19 year old pilot and/or get a bus with a heater that works when touring the Mid West in February!

Jim Petrie

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What amazes me most is that I read local comments in the papers and comments on talk radio and I have to sonder if there is something in the water or air here in the Valley that cause just plain DUMB?
Paul Ryan, the Republican's choice for VP put together another budget that was passed by the Republican House that called for the elimination of Medicare all together. Only a few years ago they were going to eliminate it as we KNOW it but now they have gone over the edge and want it elimnated completely. Then they want the Social Security program to end and money put into private investors. What the hell is wrong with people? Young people and much of the middle age people are not working so what are they saving in 401 retirement programs? What will these idiots do wehn there is NO Social Security and NO Medicare? Honestly, are people really this stupid?

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I have NO buyer's remorse with the Affordable Health Care Law. I'm thrilled that people with pre existing conditins can purchase health care and I'm thrilled that the Republican authorized "Donut Hole" is being closed. People like you are still supporting the nation Republican Party even when Paul Ryan submitts and the Republican's pass a budget that calls for the end of Medicare. Pure ST!
And who you are that said college is a precious gift, I have to assume you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and had the cost of college handled for you. To everyone else, college is far from a "gift".

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the battle rages-on over the implementation of the federal “Obamacare” law, there is an important question that rarely ever gets asked: What do actual health care practitioners think of it? Without the practitioners themselves, there would be no healthcare. Yet politicians, government bureaucrats, insurance executives and healthcare administrators have so thoroughly co-opted any discussion on the subject that actual healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and the like – often appear as mere pawns in a big government game.

“We’re moving away from the mission of medicine and more towards the business of healthcare, and these two endeavors are not the same thing,” claims Twila Brase, President and Co-Founder, Citizens’ Council For Health Freedom. “We’re moving in the wrong direction.”

Brase, who by profession is a Registered Nurse, notes that CCHF’s beginnings date back to 1994. “At that time, Bill and Hillary Clinton were in the White House and the threat of a government take-over of the medical profession was becoming apparent. I began holding meetings and speaking about the issue, and in 1995 we officially incorporated. The interest in what we propose has become even greater since President Obama’s healthcare law has come in to existence.”

Brase believes that one of the greatest weaknesses of the Obamacare agenda is the state-by-state insurance exchange set-ups that are intended to be used as regional Obamacare implementation mechanisms.

“If people refuse to participate in these things and there aren’t enough young healthy people who are willing to pay the increasing insurance rates, then there won’t be enough paying customers in the exchanges to financially support people who aren’t paying for their insurance at all, or who have medical conditions and who consume lots of healthcare and drive up the expenses of the exchange,” she notes. “I suspect that some of these state exchanges are going to financially collapse, all on their own.”

As an alternative means of taking care of those who can’t afford healthcare all on their own, Brase recommends private sector charitable organizations that are supported by tax incentives. “But we need to discourage people from enrolling in the exchanges. People need to understand that the exchanges are intrusive and all they offer is government coverage. We call it Medicaid for the middle class.”was mbutyn

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-Part 2

Contrast the CCHF’s vision, with the ever-changing vision of the much-older American Medical Association. The AMA’s stated mission is to promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health; to advance the interests of physicians and their patients; to promote public health; to lobby for legislation favorable to physicians and patients; and to raise money for medical education. Given their stated commitments to these high-minded ideals, back in the 1960’s the AMA originally opposed Medicare, the government healthcare program for senior adults, fearing undue government intrusion in the medical profession.

But soon after Medicare’s beginnings, the A.M.A. changed their position – presumably they realized that government-funded health care through Medicare produced a steady revenue stream of payments going from the federal government to individual practitioners, and it seemed like a beneficial thing at the time. Thus for all of my lifetime, the A.M.A. has aggressively opposed any cuts at all in Medicare funding.

By mid-2009 the A.M.A. reverted back to being skeptical of government power again, and publicly opposed President Obama’s healthcare “reforms”. The Obama Administration then countered the A.M.A.’s opposition with a pro-Obama political group calling themselves “Doctors For America,” and essentially took the public spotlight away from the AMA, in terms of their influence over the public policy debate.

Compared to the nearly 1 million M.D.’s practicing in the United States, D.F.A.’s approximate membership of 10,000 is tiny. Yet the pro Obama MD group made a huge public relations impact in 2009 and 2010, complete with photo-ops of “Doctors” dressed in white lab coats and wearing stethoscopes standing beside the President at his podium. The D.F.A. was also able to get the A.M.A. to hedge a bit back in 2010, as the AMA announced that they changed their position again and supported Obama’s reforms “in principle.”

But then in June of 2012, A.M.A. President Dr. Peter Carmel announced at the Association’s annual convention their renewed opposition to Obamacare. He declared what many of us have been concerned about for quite some time – that the law doesn’t address the greatest problems with healthcare in America, and in a variety of ways makes matters worse.

So what is the biggest difference between the wisdom of the AMA and the CCHF? While the AMA has had an on-again off-again relationship with big government, Brase and the other members of the CCHF understand the basic economics of their own profession. They are also wise enough to understand the threat of third-party intrusions in the practitioner-patient relationship, and ethical enough to care about that threat.

“When other people hold the dollars, the mission of medicine is compromised,” Brase reminds people frequently. “Whether it’s the government, or an insurance company, the agendas of the people with the money ultimately take precedence over the needs of the patient.”

Are practitioners beginning to see the light as Brase and her associates do, or are they still inclined to play the “pawn” role in the government’s agenda?

“I’m hopeful that more of my fellow practitioners are seeing things more clearly” Brase notes, “but I think the loudest demands for change in the practice of medicine are going to come from the patients, first.”

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

With regard to the 2d Term curse....I totally feel that Presidential terms should be limited to one, period.
Four years is enough time for any man/woman to hold that kind of power. ANd, in all honesty, if a President cannot accomplish somewhat of a legacy/agenda in four years, then he probably will not in eight. I realize there are some exceptions to my points, but the ills of the second term curse outweigh any advantages of winning one.
Also, the President would not be pre-occupied for the last two years of his first term running for the second term.
Some have called for a one term Presidency of six years......way too long. Watching Obama the other day delivering his address at Arlington I could not help but to think he's been there too long. ANd I LIKE the President. It's just that I doubt (even before these scandals hit) that he is going to get much done in term two.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Some have called for a one term Presidency of six years......way too long. Watching Obama the other day delivering his address at Arlington I could not help but to think he's been there too long. ANd I LIKE the President. It's just that I doubt (even before these scandals hit) that he is going to get much done in term two.


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