Skip to content

The affordable care act…. A great American boondoggle

July 26, 2017

…that sound you hear is the sound of our nations healthcare system slowly sinking into oblivion. It is an indisputable fact that without most adults and families in the United States signing up for coverage in the ‘affordable care act’ (aka obamacare) it will fail. This is because of the one simple fact it can not support all the people who do sign up for it because many are already sick or have a preexisting condition. Yes millions of other people signed up for Medicaid under the ACA changed rules but they too did not help pay for those that are sick because under the new ACA Medicaid policy their payments and deductibles were low or nonexistent. It is just common sense that you cannot have a healthcare system support itself with only sick people in it.

When the affordable care act was originally being pushed through congress our representatives knew full well the secret that without tens of million of healthy people signing up for it the ACA it would fail. These representatives once again used slight of hand to garner your support by touting the fact that no one will be denied coverage regardless of physical health. They went so far as to openly lie to the American public and say that we could maintain the doctors we had before ACA and that we would save on average $3,000 per year over what we were currently paying.

So with the then President almost daily telling us how good the new system will be and never mentioning that it won’t work without everyone signing up for it, the bill was passed and the Affordable Care Act became law. We then found out that the ‘penalty’ for not signing up would be a fine every year at tax time. Why didn’t we know about this before the bill was passed, well Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”, so maybe our representatives should have read the bill and informed the public.

Healthcare is an area our government has no business being involved in. I say no business because though our healthcare system was not in great shape it was still the best in the world before our representatives stuck their fingers into it. Why else would people from around the world come to America to be treated by our doctors in our hospitals? Why would people from Canada, with their single payer healthcare system, cross the border almost on a daily basis to be seen by our doctors in our clinics? Yes the cost of medical insurance was continually rising but isn’t everything, so why did a president lie to us to get congress to enact obomacare, when he knew it would escalate the individual costs and could never work unless almost every man, woman and child in this nation signed on?

Now in Washington our representatives are fighting a battle they know they can not win by attempting to change or replace the ACA. No matter what they do they know without getting more healthy people than sick people to sign up for the healthcare plan it will fail. Lately a modicum of common sense must be emerging because a number of our representatives will not support any legislation to keep the ACA alive in any form. Now one can only wish that we could go back in time and never have the government meddle in something they have absolutely no right to be involved in.

More importantly why is congress
getting involved where they have absolutely no right too?

The 10th amendment to our constitution states

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are
reserved to the states respectively,
or to the people”.

Does anyone see in the constitution any clause or amendment
telling our government to oversee the nations healthcare?

…and the band plays on

July 21, 2017

….my eyelids heavy with hours of driving and the quarts of coffee I drank no longer working, I pressed on to my goal now close at hand. I was returning from a band competition in Harrisburg PA a 214 mile round trip driving a rented 24 foot U-Haul loaded to the seams with band instruments and props for my children’s state finals high school band competition. That was 1987 and now 30 years later I was sitting in the ‘warm’ Texas evening air reliving memories of that time so long ago.

Back then in the 80’s when both my son and daughter were in the high school band I believed it was a great outlet for them to invest their time in. Because it was a ‘preforming’ type of marching band it required them to build the character traits of discipline and skill. For those of you who do not know what a high school marching band is it is the band we see at football games where the students are required not only to be proficient in playing their music but must preform intricate maneuvers in time with the music.

Thirty years ago I was a proud father watching them win awards, the state championship and even taking first place in a national competition in Florida. After that Florida competition they had the privilege of preforming inside Disney world but what really mad this old man’s chest swell with pride was watching them on television march down Broad street in the nations bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia.

Now with all those memories starting to fade with old age my son surprises me with tickets to see the DCI competition here in Texas. Drum Core International is an organization of older young people, most out of high school from around the country who compete every year for the best marching band in the nation. My children’s high school band might be compared to a triple A team in baseball while DCI is definitely the big league. So there I sat engulfed by the powerful music and at times overwhelmed by the intricate maneuvers displayed last night.

Though the Texas heat was evident
the bands put on a show
that brought back memories
and a tear or two
to this old man’s eyes.

Russia and Trump a nonissue…. except in the media

July 18, 2017

….with many millions of taxpayer dollars spent on eight months of allegations and investigations that bear no fruit, the phrase borrowed from the movie Network, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore should be heard echoing from every home across this nation. With the national debt rising higher every day and foreign nations rattling their nuclear capabilities in our face ‘we the people’ have real problems for our representatives to address.

With the daily drone of meaningless news and congressional ‘slight of hand’ where they have us focus on one thing while we actually need to be concerned about our nations survival I have risen from my political slumber to once again to state the obvious and point the way to common sense. For those of your that have persevered over the years with the ebb and flow of my eclectic blog postings dealing with everything from Alaska to politics and my numerous bouts with my dark traveler…. I am back. I can only explain my reemergence with the analogy of a child blowing up a balloon when unknown to that child the next breath was just too much for the balloon and it burst. After months and months of the same crap emanating for our overpaid non-productive congressman, senators and the media I can not take it any more.

Russia…. though no friend of America one has to understand that even before the election, President Obama spoke of Russia hacking in the fall of 2016, then the media fixated on the hacking and manipulation of the Presidential election and finally it is back room deals with the Trump administration. However with millions of tax dollars spent and months of *investigating and no chargeable offenses have been found I ask why can you not turn on the national news without every broadcast leading with President Trump and his connections with Russia? Could it be that some people will not quit until something anything is found that they can call an impeachable offense? Is it possible that their slight of hand is to keep you from realizing that they are continuing to spend millions of tax dollars while doing absolutely nothing beneficial for ‘we the people’ in congress?

Like when the emperor Nero
played his violin as he watched Rome burn
once again
our representatives in Washington
focus on a non event
while our nation sinks further into the abyss
of a debt
we can never recover from.

 

*There are or have been at least eight separate ongoing investigations at various levels of the American government into Russia’s efforts to influence the US election, including probes at the FBI, CIA, NSA, Department of Justice, Senate intelligence committee, Senate Judiciary committee, House Intelligence committee and House oversight committee and to this date no criminal activity has been found.

An Alaskan tale…. Gun control, bear hunting and common sense

July 15, 2017

….the reason for the phantom noises I had heard for the past hour materialized to the left of where I had my gear set up. A massive black bear broke through the undercover and stopped dead in its tracks as it looked in my direction. The bears head turning this way and that sniffing the air looking for any sign of danger or food. As he cautiously moved forward he continued to sniff the air and when he was directly in front of me he raised up and put his paws on the dead-fall directly in front of me and looked into what felt like my very soul.

As I sat behind that dead-fall and adjusted my camera the words from a 60’s song, ‘what a long strange trip its been’, came to mind and could be aptly applied to where I now find myself. I was at one of our bear bait stations making a video of a bear hunt for use in a future hunting video we would use at the outdoor shows we attended. This was my first year in training as an assistant guide and on this hunt my only job was to record our client as he bagged his first Alaskan bear.

When you watch the short video at the end of this posting you will indeed see that black bear come right up to where I was and raise up to look me right in the eye. No doubt you may wonder if I was crazy to take on such an apparent dangerous task, but I assure you I was safe. Besides having three other guides surrounding me with rifles at the ready my own handgun was resting on my leg ready to use if needed.

When I look back it is hard to imagine how I went from my blue collar life in the city to a gun toting guide in the Alaskan wilderness, but out here everyone carries a firearm when they are hunting bears. I even remember my first handgun, a Ruger 357 revolver, sold to me by a friend when I first started to work as a guide. But after a couple years guiding and having felt the need for more power I bought the Taurus 454 Casull, and finally when I got away from guiding I obtained a Taurus 44 magnum.

Me and my 454 in camp

I also had a number of other firearms including a Mossberg shotgun, a Highpoint 9mm assault rifle and finally a Highpoint 9mm handgun for personal protection. Now to some people this collection would seem extreme, and may even consider me a ‘gun nut’, but most who live somewhat remotely in Alaska consider them simply tools for divergent aspects of life in the wilderness. I am bringing this up because of Oregon’s new gun confiscation law and the mindset that many Americans have toward those that own firearms.

What is missing from the mindset of most of the people in this country is common sense. Why do those opposing gun ownership feel that everyone of us who legally own firearms will go ‘postal’ and kill innocent people, and why do they think taking away our firearms will stop the bloodshed across this nation? More importantly Oregon has opened the door for anyone that has a grudge against someone they do not like to make it possible for them simply make unfounded accusations and have that persons firearms taken away from them.

Teaching my granddaughter firearms safety

There are reportedly 310 million firearms in the hands of Americans across this nation. If we say that each person owns more than one that would bring down the number to 155 million armed Americans. If there was a direct correlation between owning guns and shooting incidents, and if we say that 10% of those gun owners were depressed or angry that would mean we should be seeing at least 15,500 acts of gun violence every year…. have we?

I wonder if those opposing the sale of firearms considered that there were 233 homicides and 1300 people wounded in Chicago so far this year and do you think this was done by legally obtained firearms? Criminals by their very nature do not obey the law and you can be assured they do not file the paperwork or have background checks done so they can legally obtain handguns.

People need to stop the hysteria
when a mass shooting takes place
and the face reality
that some legally obtained firearms
will end up in the hands of an unbalanced individual
but more gun control laws
will not stop criminals and gang members
who by their very nature do not obey any laws.

An alaskan bunny…. that keeps your feet warm

July 12, 2017

…I was starting to feel the cold seep through my parka as once again the bus I had been taking to work was late. Not uncommon here in Fairbanks in dead winter because like most vehicles, including my diesel pick up, when it gets to 45 or 50 below vehicles tend to not want to start. So I waited knowing from experience sooner or later the bus would arrive.

As I waited the one thing that remained warm was my feet. Unlike in the lower forty eight when it gets cold, or a snow storm is on the way, we do not run to Walmart or the Mall to get boots for us to use in winter, most long time Alaskans go to the Military surplus store. It is there one finds the gold standard for winter footwear in Alaska the ‘bunny boot‘. I see that now you can buy them on line but have never tried that and do not know if it is the same quality as the surplus military boot.

These boots have remained the staple for most in Alaska from the oil field workers on the North Slope to racers in the Iditarod, Yukon Quest and Open North American dog sled race because they work. You can work comfortably for extended periods of time at -65F (-58.3C) with the only drawback being walking around with three and a quarter pounds on each foot.

…and when that bunny boot that served you so well
becomes worn and tattered with age
for some Alaskans
it can still has a purpose.

Contentment is…. an Alaskan fishing hole

July 9, 2017

Sometimes its not the number of fish we catch

but the place we are fishing

that makes the world a better place.

Waiting for the words…. ‘build me an ark’

July 6, 2017

Just another Texas sized rain event heading my way

….a year before I arrived in Texas the state had a summer where the temperature stayed at or over 100 for 70 days while at the same time having a three year shortage of rain. Well this is not the case this year as far as the rainfall, and we will see how the temperatures go over the course of the summer. It seems to me that we barely get a day or two reprieve from the rain and then back into the cycle of evening and early morning thunderstorms.

Now having it rain is one thing but it seems like everything else in Texas they like to do things in a big way and Texas rain is no different. It appears that here it just doesn’t know how to just rain it has to come down with a vengeance that is akin to what surely Noah observed after he built his ark. The result being after almost every rain event it is followed with many newscasts talking about one water rescue or another.

Is this just the weather observations
of an old man
clouded by age and location
or has our weather
become more extreme in temperature
and our storms more violent?