Information on the health care issue

Here are some links sent to me by a friend who is very knowledgeable about this issue. they are informative and offer another way to look at this problem.Information is the KEY to all issues! Hopefully my ideas will encourage you to do your own research.

You may have to copy and paste these sites to your browser.

Have a great NEW YEARS!

The truth about health care

Dear President Obama, Senate and House of Representatives:

I am very pleased with the direction our country is going in regards to international policy. On the other hand, I am extremely disappointed about the direction we are headed in regarding health care. I seem to remember many promises about a major health care reform and in my own naive way, I think I believed both democratic candidates.
I am so disappointed!
*It appears that insurance companies have won again and their CEOs will continue to receive outlandish salaries on the backs of the American public.
*The cost of medical insurance will increase for the average American over the next couple of years with increased deductibles and higher rates.
*People will still move to Mexico for affordable health care
*People with very little income will be forced to buy some kind of insurance, and pay a penalty for not buying insurance.
What in the world is wrong with this country that we cannot offer reasonable medical coverage to all our citizens? Did you know that a person who is self-employed pays almost $15000 a year for basic medical insurance? Many of us are insured by the government or the company we work for so it may take longer for us to feel the effects, but believe me the effects will be felt by all. Here are some facts about health care taken from a book written by T.R. Reid, THE HEALING OF AMERICA:
*The Common Wealth Fund ranked the US last of 23 developed nations in providing universal access to health care.
*The World Health Organization rated the US 54th in terms of fairness of treatment, just ahead of Rwanda.
*The US is the only developed country where people must make medical decisions based on money.
*700,000 Americans annually faced bankruptcy due to medical bills compared to none in France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland and Britain.
*US ranked 19th out of the 19 wealthiest countries for curing people who could be cured with decent care.
*Of the nine most developed countries, the US ranked l7th in longevity amoung diagnosed asthma patients
*We ranked 9th for survival rates of diabetic patients
*Death due to surgical or medical mishaps was the highest for the US.
*Among the top 23 wealthy nations we are dead last in “Healthy life expectancy at age 60.”
*The US ranks dead last out of the top 23 wealthiest nations for keeping babies alive for one year.
*US spends almost twice as much on medical care as any other country.
*Doctors in other countries do not start their practice with $200,000 loans for their education.
*Doctors in other countries do not pay $100,000 per year for liability insurance.
*Some drugs cost us 10 times as much as they do in other countries and are often made in the same factory.
*20% of every dollar we pay to insurance companies goes to buildings and salary; that is a lot of money. US private insurance companies have the highest administrative cost of any health care plan in the world.
* The US is the only country that excludes people with pre-existing conditions
Need I go on????
I guess it is true that we have the best government money can buy. The problem is that we the people cannot afford to buy any of them. Almost every politician who opposes health care reform receives large contribution from the insurance companies.

I am sending this letter to my representatives to express my feeling about the direction this new health bill is heading. If enough of us send letters or e-mails to our representatives, maybe they will get the picture. Of course, the more letters we write the more money the insurance companies will have to dump into the lawmakers’ pockets. Maybe if we send enough letters we can break the monopoly the insurance companies currently hold.

Here is Senator Byrd’s email address

Here is Senator Rockefeller’s email address

Here is President Obama

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…

Click on the arrow above for sound and sit back and enjoy.

While attending college I was fortunate to get a well-paying job working as a baggage handler at the Greyhound bus terminal in Washington DC.  One summer while working at the terminal, a middle-aged man showed up on the street adjacent to the terminal. He was carrying a sign that proclaimed the world would end on July 24th of that summer. Every day he marched up and down the street with his sign held high talking to anyone who would listen. Eventually the end-of-the-world-day came; guessing he stayed home to avoid the catastrophe he predicted, he was not on the street that day; in fact, he did not show up for several days.  Later in the week he reappeared with the same old sign but he had drawn an X through the previous end-of-the-world-date and wrote another date. I learned a lot from that old guy;  I think of him often when I hear people talking about the end of the world.

Do you remember New Year’s eve 2000 when the computers were going to shut the world down because they had the wrong date?  It is not like we do not have enough things to worry about. If you are an average American with kids and bills, you are stressed to the max already. You do not need to spend time thinking about the computer date on your laptop and ways it may kill you.

This year we have the new movie called 2012 which tells us the world will fall into chaos in the year 2012. Will it never end? Remember when Ronald Wilson Reagan was thought to be the anti-Christ because his name had six letters in each name, 666?

A friend of mine suggested that when someone tells me the world is going to end, I ask them if they will donate their worldly belongings to me. I wonder what their response will be.

As a retired secondary science teacher I can tell you some of the ways that the world might end, and it could happen any time without warning. Do you realize that if a star at least 8 times larger than the sun (a super nova within 300 trillion miles from Earth) hits us with little to no warning, we will be vaporized; in fact, it may have already happened but has not reached us yet.  If the sun decided to cool down or heat up, life would be endangered on this planet.  If the oceans heat up a couple of degrees above what they are now, they will release zillions of tons of methane and destroy life as we know it.  A meteor could strike the earth and create another ice age and there is little we could do about it. Our existence is fragile at best.  Every minute, hour, day, year or lifetime we spend on this glorious planet is a gift.

There is little merit in worrying about the end unless it is something we are causing with our reckless behavior; then we need to change our behavior to maybe avoid catastrophe or face the consequences. As a species we are not known for changing our ways; actually, we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. It is important to realize that our sun is one of an estimated 400,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy. There are more galaxies then we can count! That makes our existence very insignificant in relation to the universe!

A man said to universe sir i exist however replied the universe the fact has not created in me sense of obligation?

Written by Stephan Crane

So here comes the New Year, 2010; hard to believe it is already here and we are still alive and kicking. My message for the New Year is to enjoy life to its fullest, love as many people as you can (not literally), smile often and follow the golden rule.

Not about STUFF-A Cosmic View of Christmas

This is the time of year we talk about peace, love, family, neighbors, the poor, and what seems most important, shopping. For many years I have said that these noble gestures of humanity should be practiced year round, not just seasonally. I think that the recent downturn in our economic well-being may be an opportunity to reconsider what is most important to us. Many already know what needs to be said. Christmas is about the people around us, not STUFF! In case you are not sure what STUFF is, let me define it.
STUFF: all the things that we own, buy, sell, collect, loan, use or that sit around the house or garage
Many of these things are great to have, fun to play with, impressive to our friends and family but they are never the less, just STUFF. Compared to family and friends, they are meaningless. Many of us have been trained to think that STUFF is the most important thing around, and it is most easy to fall into this trap. STUFF does not argue with you, disappoint you and can be used when you want. People, on the other hand, are sometimes mean, inconsiderate, self absorbed, unpredictable and hard to communicate with but they are the ones who make the STUFF. Making or buying STUFF and giving it to another person is a way to show you care for them. So in this way, STUFF is good as a token of your feeling for someone else to remind them of your feeling. The important point is that STUFF is not a substitute for caring for our fellow human beings.
So, STUFF has its place in our lives and allows us to enjoy the world around us to the fullest extent but STUFF doesn’t buy love or happiness. I have not yet seen an isle at the WAL-MART labeled LOVE, HAPPYNESS & FUFILLMENT ITEMS. These are my Christmas thoughts. I hope everyone has a GREAT CHRISTMAS and a happy and safe New Year. Let’s all carry the Christmas spirit through winter, fall, spring and summer right into next Christmas. If we do this I know the world will be a better place for all of us.
I would love to write more but Sue and I are headed to Wal-Mart to Christmas shop…
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

The benefits of silver hair

The other day I went to the health center like I do on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays and did my routine from 6:15 to 7:15 am with the Terminator, Spoke (some call him Jerry). I followed with a couple of back-specific exercises on the machines, a mile run on the treadmill and about 400 meters in the pool. This leaves an old guy like me a little tired at the end. The lifeguard on duty looked over at me panting and probably a little red-faced, and asked if I was OK? I answered, yes; I was OK and thank you for asking.
While driving home I thought about her question. I wondered if she asked others if they were OK or just silver-haired people. I decided that our society has programmed us to think that any old person who is panting or red faced is probably having a heart attack and needs immediate attention. I guess I am no different. I think the silver hair triggers some genetic response in the brain to an apparent problem. I imagine in prehistoric times the response was to leave the old guy behind or leave him outside for the wolves. I am glad that we as a society have progressed to a more humane level of concern.
The other good thing for us old guys is that if we fall down or look as though the old time piece is failing, everyone wants to help. Usually this is of little consequence because none of them has any idea what to do but it is a nice gesture. It is sort of like having a whole bunch of guardian angels watching over you at all times. I have often thought about pretending to have some kind of attack just to see what kind of response occurres. This is not a good idea, like the old story of crying wolf; you might regret it someday! There are other perks created by silver hair so that if you play it right you can even benefit more. I am relatively fit so I still have a little spring in my step but a slow draggy walk may elicit pity for you; sometimes people will open doors for you or let you move to the front of the line. In our society we call this capitalizing on your deficiency. Anyway, I have decided that there are benefits to this old-age stuff, so I plan on enjoying them as much as possible.

Back from my Walk-about

I have spent much time anguishing over how to tell my readers (all three of them) about my walk-about. I could bore you with all kinds of boring rhetoric but I decided to take you on a picture journey of our 17 days, 3300 miles and 15 states walk-about ( really a drive-about.)  All though this was a tremendous amount of fun for my wife and I, it could be used to help others fall asleep during some sleepless night.  I do remember the times when friends invited us over to see their slide shows of their adventures…need I say more?
The only reason I am taking the time to write this entry is so that others might see the fun in traveling around and meeting old friends or seeing the sights.  So here we go, Charlie and Sue’s  walk-about.
Day 1. Left the house about 10:00am and drove to Charlotte NC to stay the night with Sue’s brother.
Day 2. Left Charlotte and stopped by to visit an old friend, Ben Robertson, who grew up to be an anthropologist.  He treated Sue and I to lunch and we talked for hours.  GREAT TIME!  On  to Uncle Bill’s winter hideout, Lake Moultrie in Moncks Corner SC.

Day 3

Captain cousin Bob on lake Moultrie
Swabby Sue on the boat
Heading into the lock

This was the lock that you have to travel through to leave the lake towards the ocean.

Down in the lock leaving the lake
Uncle Bill and his buddy enjoying the ride

Day 4. Continued our journey to Charleston SC to stay with cousin Bobby and his wife Regina. (who we forgot to take a picture of)

Many bridges in SC and GA look similar to this

We stopped by to see the USS Yorktown.

That's a big boat, the USS Yorktown
Inside the Yorktown
On the flight deck
On the flight deck
Sue in the captains seat of the Yorktown, need I say more?
USS Clamagore

Of course Charleston SC has a Christmas light show.

Charleston Christmas Light show
More light show stuff
Sand sculpting at the light show

Day 6…I think…

The next day, we walked around Charleston SC to see history

two tourists on the Battery
The pineapple fountain
One weird lighthouse near Charleston SC

Day 7 or 8 or 9…who cares?

We packed our bags and headed down the coast to Savanna Ga.

A schooner in Savanna Ga.

Savanna was a nice town to see with lots of history but we needed to get on down to our daughter Betsy’s house in St. Augustine, Fl.  for Thanksgiving.

Day who Knows

Betsy & Thomas slaving over dinner
Thanksgiving dinner with Betsy and friends.
Fort St Augustine, FL.
A real old school-house in St Augustine
Betsy and proud father on the beach

Well fed and rested we began our journey across the Gulf of Mexico to new Orleans LA.,  stopping at Biloxi, MS. to see the effects of Katrina.

A long ways from home
This use to be a large ocean front building before Katrina
This use to be a string of restaurants along the beach

And now New Orleans.

The Waldorf Astoria in New Orleans

With the help of my FEMA trip to Baton Rouge LA.,  I had enough Hilton points to stay one night in the Waldorf Astoria in  New Orleans.

This is Steve and Knucklehead. Steve is on the left.

We took a carriage ride around New Orleans to see some of the sites.

St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

We rode the trolley.

The largest working trolley system in the country

We visited one of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans.

Above ground cemetery in New Orleans

The legendary beads of New Orleans. I threw some beads at some girls we saw and they just said “thanks.”

The legendary beads

Before we left New Orleans, we ventured down to where the Mississippi disappears into the ocean.

Where the Mississippi meets the ocean.
Oil tanker on the Old Miss.
A small part of the trash collected from various storms

It is hard to believe that they chose the mouth of the Mississippi to store the trash from the storms.

There were thousands of birds along the river

Time to drive to Texas and it is a long way…

Yahoo, Texas... at last

My mom, Margaret Streisel.

My mom, Margaret Streisel
My younger sister, Debbie and us

Debbie’s new house with no landscaping…yet.

You can huff and puff but you won't blow this steel house down
Texas cotton
Heading home through Tennessee

And Kentucky

Closer to home

Then, finally Charleston, WV…where it snowed.

Snow on our car as we traveled the last leg of our walk-about

Fun, fun, fun, driving in the snow on I79

My son, Scott's new house in Morgantown WV

I hope you have enjoyed this journey. If you are still awake at this point you are amazing!  I will leave you with this last photo as we were approaching Romney. What a great trip!

The road to home