Sunday, November 10, 2013

“I don’t get it either. I sent you a friend, an EMT, a helicopter and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

This is a story of a man, who was a firm believer of God, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and FOX News.

One day he began to breathe very heavily. He couldn't stop, and his chest hurt.

The man sat down in front of the TV, and knew that he would be ok. God would protect him.

It kept hurting and now his left arm hurt. A friend came by and said: “Hey, jump in my car. We will take you to the hospital.” “No thanks,” said the man. “I’m a firm believer in God. He will save me, and my deductible hasn't been met.” He sent the friend away.

It kept on hurting and now the pain was worrying him. Another friend came by with a paramedic and a friend said: “You look like you could need some help. We will take you with us in the ambulance.”

“No.” said the man. “I’m a firm believer in God. He will rescue me. My co-pay is too high to go to the ER. Don’t worry about me.” The EMT drove away.

It still hurt and the man cried out in pain. A helicopter came by and a guy in the helicopter threw down a rescue harness and said: “Hi there my friend. Get in. We will rescue you.” “No,” said the man. “I’m a firm believer in God. He will rescue me. I know he will. My insurance wouldn't cover me, and on TV they tell me the truth, that Obamacare is socialism, will raise my premiums, and the webiste doesn't work anyway.” The helicopter flew away.

It kept on hurting, and finally the man went into full cardiac arrest and died.

When the man died, he went to heaven. When entering Heaven, he had an interview with God.

After giving a polite greeting and sitting down, the man asked: “Where were you. I waited and waited, in great pain. I was sure you would rescue me, as I have been a firm believer all my life, and have only done good to others. So where were you when I needed you?”

God scratched his confused looking face and answered: “I don’t get it either. I sent you a friend, an EMT, a helicopter and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Monday, October 07, 2013

You Must Be A Republican

(stolen from Facebook) "A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

"COMPROMISE!!!"

Popular Status Update (stolen from Facebook):

Oct 2008: "You'll never get elected and pass healthcare."
Nov 2008: "We'll never let you pass healthcare."
Jan 2009: "We are going to shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare."
July 2009: "We will fight to the death every attempt you make to pass healthcare."
Dec 2009: "We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare."
March 2010: "We can't believe you just passed healthcare."
April 2010: "We are going to overturn healthcare."
Sept 2010: "We are going to repeal healthcare."
Jan 2011: "We are going to destroy healthcare."
Feb 2012: "We are going to elect a candidate who will immediately revoke healthcare."
June 2012: "We will go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare."
Aug 2012: "The American people will never re-elect you, because they don't want healthcare."
Oct 2012: "We can't wait to win the election and explode healthcare."
Nov 2012: "We can't believe you just got re-elected and that we can't repeal healthcare."
Feb 2013: "We're still going to vote to obliterate healthcare."
June 2013: "We can't believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare."
July 2013: "We're going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare."
Sept 2013: "We are going to leverage a government shutdown into de-funding, destroying, obliterating, overturning, repealing, dismantling, erasing and ripping apart healthcare."
Oct 2013: "WHY AREN'T YOU NEGOTIATING???"

Friday, October 04, 2013

$1,260,000.00 for this woman to treat breast cancer.

The Cost of Breast Cancer: How I Coped With a Terminal Diagnosis:

$1,260,000.00 for this woman to treat breast cancer.

How many of you know that only about 0.5% of Americans could come up with that much cash?

How many of you know that around 50 million Americans have no health insurance? If these people get sick like this, they would either get no treatment, or sub standard treatment with a low chance of remission, or treatment paid for by your tax dollars and mine through private for-profit providers with the profit going to Wall Street.

How many of you know that a large percentage people with insurance would have to pay $10-15,000 out of pocket - Do you have that much cash lying around?

How many of you know that a large percentage of people with insurance have caps of $100-500,000 in lifetime benefits, so they still couldn't pay for this treatment?

How many of you know that we are the only Western nation where people aren't guaranteed access to health care, that we pay far more than nations that have universal health care, and that our outcomes are worse than theirs?

How many of you know that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act fixes all of this?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Thinking of a Clean Resolution, and What is the GOP's End Game?

OK, here's where we start thinking: There is a "Clean CR" on the table. It funds the government as-is, and the Senate and POTUS will sign it. There is also a Clean Debt Ceiling bill that could keep our Full Faith and Credit intact in two weeks, but I digress.

The Republicans are adding unthinkable, unsustainable items to the resolution that will never get past the Senate or POTUS. This is as if the Democrats had added an upgrade to Single Payer for the #PPACA, permanent ban of fracking, labeling of GMOs, etcl and said that they will shut down the government unless these are added to the resolution to fund the government.

The thinking part is "since the Republicans know that Obamacare can't and won't be defunded, what is their end game instead?"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Doug Osborne at the Cinema Bar September 19, 2013 8:30 PM

Tonight at around 8:30 PM I will be performing a set of my songs at The Cinema Bar in Culver City, CA. Me and my acoustic guitar. If you're in the Los Angeles area, it would be great if you could show up and be enlightened or depressed, depending on the song.

8p Lindsey Jane Bullen
8:30p Doug Osborne Music
915p Rich McCulley
10p Punch-Drunks

Texas. Banning Books and Facts Since December 29, 1845

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2013/09/17/gun-rights-advocates-want-history-book-removed-from-texas-school/

Pretty much everyone owned a gun of some kind in 1787, and what a farmer owned to protect his livestock from predators was pretty much what government had, too. There was never any question then or now whether people had a gun.

What was under question as we formed a government?

Could the government confiscate your weapons? Of course, a truly Conservative government could (and did, in the case of the King). Ours was a Liberal democracy and we wanted to enumerate Human Rights in our Constitution.

Could the states form Militias and require that people bear arms? Of course, to protect the nascent Federal government lacking a standing army, and to protect wealthy interests (slaveowners - this was a way to insure that plantation owners in the south could protect their property, to keep them part of the fragile new nation).

Does this mean that we are born with the right which ensures that any person can own any weapon at any time. Of course not...that's a fantasy you've been fed by billionaires to keep you terrorized, poor, and ignorant.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We are in debt because of....illegal immigrants?

-We are not at war with or within Mexico or Canada. I do crave Poutine, though.

-Who are you calling we? We don't give any immigrant a job, other than picking our food, washing our cars, wiping our babies' butts. Immigrants come here to work, support their families, make a better life.

-A driver's license is a state issue. A state is not a sovereign nation and doesn't have borders, citizens, etc., the way a nation does. If a state issues a licence without establishing immigration status, WE KNOW WHO THEY ARE, they buy insurance, they pay their fees like the rest of us, but a DMV employee is not an immigration officer, nor would you want them to be.

-No non-citizen gets food stamps...wait, nobody gets food stamps. The SNAP program doesn't use stamps. And the typical recipient is a rural white child, you know, the ones whos parents voted Republican for 30 years and now want to take their country back.

-Immigrants come here to get work and rent or buy a place to live. There are more homeless that are veterans, per capita, than undocumented immigrants. Although some of the homeless veterans are undocumented immigrants since the Army will take them, so they can fight and die for the U.S. When they rent or buy, they are enriching our economy.

-Undocumented immigrants get health care? From the same free health care the rest of us get? This is seriously a thing?

-Yes, all residents are guaranteed a free and appropriate education. The alternative, I suppose, would be children running around in the streets, poor, sick, and ignorant. That's a Great, Exceptional, America.

-Nobody but billionaires and incorporated entities (an immigrant can incorporate here, no citizenship papers needed) can operate businesses largely tax free because of the tax code we started breaking when we elected Reagan. It's you and me who pay for the socialized losses to the 1% can prosper.

We are in debt largely because of two off-the-books wars, tax cuts to billionaires, and Medicare Pt. D (a bribe for seniors' votes). Social insurance programs, etc., have little or nothing to do with our debt (we don't borrow to pay someone's Social Security, in fact we borrow FROM Social Security, which is the only reason why some say it's in trouble).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yes, It's Called Gun Control

Remember, a truly Conservative government would just confiscate your weapons (and conscript you, probably). If you call yourself a Conservative and oppose, oh, Government, or its regulations put into law by our elected representatives, you probably aren't really, truly a conservative.

We live in a nation of laws, and our government works, to some extent. Pretty much all of our problems are caused by the influence of money, and these can possibly be fixed within a few generations if we are determined to fix them. The problems of guns, and their terrible costs to us, and the world, are also largely a matter of outside money controlling government.

Gun ownership is a tricky thing. I don't think many people would think twice about most of us having a shotgun or a .22 if we live on a farm, or live 20 miles from our nearest neighbor or town, or in a cabin in the woods, or if we hunt for what we eat, or if there are bears or lions in our neighborhood, or if we are in law enforcement, National Guard (our Well Regulated Militia, now generally not serving to protect the interests of slaveowners), or the actual Army/Navy/AirForce/Marines/CoastGuard, etc.

200 years ago, for one or more of these reasons, many of our ancestors had a gun for one or more of these reasons. Now, few of our households have a gun, but most households with guns seem to have many. Most of these guns were legally purchased, which in many cases means you have a pulse, and somehow, some way, criminals keep getting more and more guns. Could it be that legally purchased guns are re-sold with no oversight, no regulation?

Even with criminals getting guns - and ammo - because we refuse to reasonably regulate their sale, violent crimes, committed with guns, have been decreasing as the number of households with guns have decreased (I'm not declaring cause-and-effect here, but it's a factor).

What has increased? Mass shootings have increased, and they have increased especially since we ended our Assault Weapons Ban. Murder by gun as the period on a sentence of domestic violence has increased, and suicide by gun has increased.

The bland reason is that guns of various kinds are far more effective for mass shootings, murdering your spouse or child, or killing yourself, than any other item. If you do not read this and understand that yes, guns do kill people...well, you're probably not reading this far anyway...

We need some simplicity on this issue:

-limit the quantity of guns anyone can buy
-limit the capacity of guns to shoot many bullets in sequence, and their ammo
-limit the sales and usage of guns to adults, like driving and drinking (exceptions for kids on farms, OK, maybe)
-background check every sale. Is it reasonable to expect that we don't sell to felons, those under treatment for mental illness, etc?
-tag every gun and bullet for subsequent identification

None of these reasonable regulations would in any way infringe on the right that you were born with to protect yourself, or the right enumerated in the Constitution to bear a musket in a well-regulated militia. If you feel they would, you probably get your facts from the wrong sources.

I have some other suggestions:

-teach your children that guns are not the answer, and lead by example
-if you do hunt for food, or shoot for target practice, or collect guns as examples of craft and art, keep your weapons with great care, as if the lives of your children depend on it, because they do
-hope that as we cease our obsession with guns, we will see less of them in movies, TV, songs, video games...art is a reflection on society, and the mirror doesn't always paint a pretty picture

What makes these common sense solutions difficult? Money, again. Money from billionaires and corporations are pooled. We, against any common sense, let them buy elections, write legislation, and enrich our legislators. In this case, we have a lobbying organization for arms merchants and those who buy their product (terrorists, the Military Industrial Complex, non-well-regulated militias intent on sedition, etc.) doing all of these at an astounding rate. The #NRA represents 2% of Americans (many of these are among the appx. 24% of households who own guns) yet control a vast percentage of Congress (as well as local and state politicians). Trust me, the NRA doesn't care for a minute about your constitutional rights, beyond what they need to keep the free flow of money from manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction to politicians).

Remove money from politics, and after some time the will of the People may once again be represented.

What the People want is, indeed, Gun Control, not people control.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Born With Saddles on Our Backs

"The Mass of Mankind Has Not Been Born with Saddles on Their Backs" -Thomas Jefferson

Our current economic divide has been initiated by the 1%, maybe, but voted in by the 99%. They were told that government was the problem, and that their social and religious agenda would be put in place if they voted a certain way.

Reagan Democrats, self-styled Libertarians, non-committal Independents...have voted against their self interest for 30 years, and our current situation is the result.

Fighting back will require that Americans understand this, and that they vote. The tools include removing money from elections, outlawing paid lobbyists, mandated and paid voting, reinstating majority rule in Congress, and smashing our tax code to rebuild it.

With these, perhaps in a generation or two, we may be able to rebuild a middle class.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chained CPI in Obama's Budget WITHOUT HAIR ON FIRE

From The Left Wing Cafe on Facebook:


Important, please read. {RS}




Evan Geraniotis




Important clarifications on the misrepresentation by both the left and the right of the Chained-CPI Obama proposal provided by my friend Nicholas J. Evancik:

[This was aired on the "Federal News Network" a DC Radio station run by government employees about government (but not a part of government)]

- "Chained-CPI is only activated when a retirees total retirement income hits 35,000 dollars. 90 percent of retirees rely totally on Social Security Income for retirement and the top Social Security payment is 34,500 dollars a year and to earn that you must have earned 106,000 dollars a year and so paid the maximum amount in payroll taxes. In essence, the Chained CPI will only be used when a person has earned more than 100,000 dollars a year for their work life and also have additional retirement income such as pensions, on top of the much higher than average work income than 85 percent of working Americans...at the bottom end Obama is raising the current average Social Security Check for those who rely on nothing but Social Security from 17,900 to 20,500...
- Obama's plan also exempts Supplemental Social Security, which is given to low end Social Security recipients from being counted as taxable income.
- As it stands, if you earn 18000 a year in Social Security and get an additional 10,000 in Supplemental Social Security, the amount of the total that exceeds 25,000 a year becomes taxable income...Obama's plan exempts supplemental from being counted as "additional income" and chained CPI is only used when the recipient is collecting the maximum Social Security payment and also earning 10,20,30,000 in "capital gains"on investments, or getting generous executive pensions. When their total income exceeds the maximum Social Security payment, chained CPI is applied to their COLA....if all they live on is a Social Security check or get the average pension, which for the average worker, is no more than 8,000 dollars a year, their COLA would not be chained, but what is currently used.
- Obama has snuck in "means testing" by a back door route and the GOP is furious, because it's basically a "tax the top two percent" approach"
More information from Eva

Evan Geraniotis From the same source: "Another part of Obama's deal requires giving anyone who has been collecting SS for 20 years a flat one time "raise" that i have seen listed as 3500 dollars a year and giving the same to people on Social Security Disability and those at the lower end of Social Security Payments...also, that a minimum benefit that will always be adjusted to be above the Federal Poverty Level...so not only will COLAs be applied, regular adjustments to make sure there is a minimum benefit above the poverty level"

Thursday at 11:10am · Like..

Evan Geraniotis //Obama also calls to raise the rate of the lowest Social Security Check to be "higher" than the official poverty rate, to meet the stated purpose of the law, which states it is designed to make sure the elderly do not live in poverty. Obama is holding Republicans to the "letter" of the law. The law actually states this, but for decades, Congress has simply ignored this and allowed the retirement benefit's lower limits to fall below the official poverty level for the last 35 years. Obama is simply stating, the law states its purpose is to keep the elderly and disabled and veterans out of poverty. I am holding you to the law.//

Thursday at 11:11am · Like..

Evan Geraniotis No wonder Boehner is now back-pedaling on chained-CPI ... LOL ... ":Obama has snuck in "means testing" by a back door route and the GOP is furious, because it's basically a "tax the top two percent" approach"

Thursday at 11:11am · Like · 1..

Evan Geraniotis //Obama is also very much screwing with them with his Medicare cuts...they all hit the rich and corporations, particularly "Big Pharma" the donut hole in Medicare Part D goes away for the cuts he offers. That saves retirees 3,900 dollars a year. (Part D stops paying after you spend 600 dollars and only starts again when your total hits 4500). Obama also cuts extra payments to Medicare Advantage, which is designed to force the elderly into HMOs where they don't get the best care. Medicare HMOs get 3 times the reimbursement as traditional Medicare gives, for providing less service.

Obama agreed to "entitlement reform" but he never gave Republicans the "specifics" of how he would do it. As it stands, his call to assure Social Security Recipients a minimum benefit that exceeds the poverty rate gives the "average recipient" a raise if about 20 percent...but the lowest Medicare checks go to stay at home housewives or low wage workers..the lowest payment is 495 dollars a month...thats less than 6000 dollars a year. Raising it to just above the poverty level is an 11,000 dollar raise.//

Thursday at 11:14am

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Christopher Dorner: Supporters organize on Facebook - latimes.com

Christopher Dorner: Supporters organize on Facebook - latimes.com:

We don't know if Dorner actually killed anyone.

Dorner wasn't charged with a crime.

Dorner wasn't convicted of any crime by a judge or a jury of his peers. Our system of justice had nothing to do with the end of his life.

Dorner's dead from a gunshot wound. Was it from his own gun, or other law enforcement? Would he have died anyway as flames engulfed him?

We also don't know if Dorner was unjustly fired from the LAPD. We don't know if he was justified in any way to take justice into his own hands (against victims who obviously were not guilty of any crime, against him or society).

LAPD has a long, documented history of corruption and racism. We do not know to what extent they are complicit in inciting Dorner (which obviously does not justify his actions, but may illustrate what angered and blinded him). The time to find out what provoked Dorner would have been before he went on a killing spree.

You who were cheering law enforcement to  catch him and bring him down should probably reconsider a few things. Was the collateral damage worth it? Casualties both from innocent bystanders and law enforcement? The huge public expense of a massive manhunt?

Do you also cheer our Federal so-called Kill List and Drone Program? I thought not.

Does the LAPD bring out this kind of full tactical alert whenever anyone is killed and the killer is at large? Of course not.

We need to re-examine how we gauge the worth of each of us. Is the life of a law enforcement officer somehow worth more than civilians? Police officers are simultaneously exposed to danger and far better equipped to protect themselves from it than the average citizen, and we will argue until the end of time if that balances.

One thing for sure: next time something like this happens, let's not turn it into another reality show. Let's let law enforcement do their job instead of turning it into a gladiator spectacle. And, yes, now we have to do the painstaking work of determining what provoked him, whether this kind of behavior continues in the LAPD and will sooner or later provoke another, and provide appropriate support for those who serve, both in the Army and LAPD.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yes, I Do Hate Guns

Yes, I do hate guns.

You don't have to join me in this. Hate is a powerful emotion, and probably should be reserved for a few people, not a hunk of metal.

I fear guns. If you have a soul, shouldn't you join me in this? Guns, as inanimate objects, don't hate. They don't hate other guns, they don't hate wabbits, they don't hate people. They just kill.

Don't try to tell anyone that people still kill without guns. Of course they do, sparky, but if guns don't kill, why don't we send people into war without guns. That way people could kill people. Crazy people in China have attacked schoolchildren with knives, and how many have they killed - c'mon start thinking here.

Would any of the spree killers in recent memory have killed as many people if they'd had only knives, poison, automobiles (why did I even type that?)? Of course not.

Without guns, people I knew, loved, and admire would probably still be alive now.

Think you have some God-given freedom to own as many guns of any kind at any time as you want? You are just plain wrong, and there is nothing in our Constitution that says anything remotely like that.

Think you need a hoard of guns to fight off a tyrannical US Government? You'd need a lot more that a bunch of ARs to fight off nukes, bunker busters, or even (LAPD?) incendiary grenades, Cletus.

Sure, admire guns for their workmanship. Their craftsmanship. Their place in history. You don't need a cache of weapons to do that. You can admire bicycles, guitars, or dishware in the same way, without the extra 60% chance of a loved one dying from that collection.

Sure, if you have a farm in the middle of Missouri, you'd be a fool not to have a shotgun or .22 to get rid of some critters from time to time. Sure, every household in 1791 had a weapon - one that took a long time to load or reload. There were bears.

The #NRA exists for one reason - to sell more weapons. It benefits arms merchants and terrorists, and cares not for any supposed sacred right you have.

Sure, I hate guns. I don't hate you, or your gun, but thousands and thousands of deaths from guns a year in the US is bad policy, and we're all guilty of letting it happen. I don't even care if your guns get confiscated - your security or freedom won't actually change - but a few sane, reasonable and Constitutional regulations will help us all.