Tightening the Belt

Here I sit, Sunday morning, enjoying the view from my kitchen table…


And, I do mean ENJOYING. I would have to be an ingrate to not appreciate such a view.

But underneath all this comfort, all this security and warmth, there is an unease. This feeling is deep in the dark, lurking, smirking at me. Why am I being haunted? Is it the fact that I am looking at working until I am 70 instead of retiring at 66 as I had planned? Is it because my children are all struggling to keep financially afloat in perilous economic times? Is it because I see so much hatred expressed everyday in every way in the press, on website comment sections especially? I look at the coverage regarding health care reform and see the people most frightened by any change are people of my own age or more. They are scared of some bogey man coming in the night to euthanize them. I, on the other hand, am afraid of the people who are telling these lies and crippling any small chance we have of reform. I am afraid of the corporate oligarchs who are pulling the strings and making us all dance in varying degrees of frenzied craziness.

The fledgling bills in Congress are amorphous entities, not yet fully realized. And, if the lobbyists have their way, they will be aborted and thrown out before any chance of change is hinted at. All of the fear, all of the hatred, all of the ugly cries of fascism, hitler-comparisons, the strident screeching is designed to kill any attempt to change the health care industry in America. And, by the way, if it kills the ability of the Black President to govern, well, that would be an added benefit. (Despite the fact that contrary to his campaign promises, he appears to be as much in the pocket of the oligarchs as his predecessors.)

In the waning years of my life, all that I have worked for, all that I have dreamed would be my “golden years”, is turning out to be for naught. It is as if the bottom will open up and swallow all that I love and care about. We have had to cut back our salaries to keep from laying off staffers we need to have to provide service to our customers and stay in business. I have had to forego any thoughts of vacation or rest until we are out of the red. And lest, you think that is not so bad – it has been almost five years since my husband and I allowed ourselves any vacation time at all! According to economic prognosticators, the current estimates for recovery is 2013! (If we are lucky!)

So, what else can I do, but enjoy my own backyard. Try to focus on keeping my own small business afloat. Take a minute here or there to reflect on how fortunate our lives continue to be: our house is paid for, we have enough put by to maintain a loss position without closing the company for at least another year, our health is above average for our age group, we are on loving terms with our children, they are all healthy, we are not broke, and we do find lots to laugh about.

So, long story short: many many many people have a truly tough time in this world. We are NOT among them! And, for that I am exceedingly grateful.

Now, if I could only get rid of these recurring nightmares about China foreclosing on America!

Civil Discourse

I am trying to get my arms around this concept:

  • Health care costs are skyrocketing – our own company’s monthly premiums have increased 50% since 2005!
  • Millions of families are unable to afford any health insurance at all.
  • A former employee of ours who worked with us to support her way through nurses training, was given a $75,000 signing bonus when she was hired by Kaiser-Permanente! She is a capable and caring person, but was this a fair amount to pay for a “greenhorn” nurse? Now Kaiser is laying off thousands of support staff. How will that affect the quality of health care provided?
  • Nobel prize winning economists are predicting that premiums for companies will continue to escalate over the next decade to the point of being 50% of the employee’s income!
  • Americans with individual coverage (not through their employers) are being deprived of coverage when they fall ill or the insurance company executives refuse to change their rescission policies as demonstrated during the Congressional hearings. Those same executives receive millions annually in bonuses based on denial of coverage!
  • Meanwhile, Republican and conservative legislators act as if this is okay. They do not feel citizens are entitled to any guarantee of health care, or worse, feel that all Americans already enjoy health care by simply going to the emergency room when they need care! (The most expensive venue for providing medical treatment.) But what about preventive health care, the kind of care that saves lives AND money? They do not have access to that level of care, as they do not have insurance and cannot pay for physical exams and expensive diagnostic procedures. Even with my own health insurance, a colonoscopy costs me more than $700 co-pay! (We won’t go into the resultant punctured colon and emergency bowel resection required to clean up the mess.)
  • Town Hall meetings convened to discuss the health care issues are being disrupted and cancelled because some not-so-grassroots organizations do not want this problem to be talked about. In effect, they are attempting to shut down democracy.
  • And, the only thing the right is offering is something called “co-ops” instead of the public option. For more interesting information on the history of co-op health care, look here: The Blue Cross Story . Nothing new under the sun… Sounds like a bad idea to me.
  • Euthanasia, denial of health care, death camps even! These are the scary things being promulgated by the Fox media noise, astroturf organizers and health care providers’ PR firms. This last group all the while touting their willingness to reform their systems without government oversight and promises to the Administration they will work to bring down costs – no need for reform!

I tell you it is enough to make one’s head spin right off and spiral far off into the Andromeda galaxy! It is going to be a very long, hot August, you betcha.

So, then, conservative friends, where is a plan we can all live with? I have heard nothing from the Right, from Republicans, from Conservatives that resembles an answer to the question of how do we fix our health care crisis. Other than the aforementioned co-op plan. Does this mean, health care in America isn’t broken and does not need to be fixed?

You Betcha! (my goodness, that phrase is useful)

Up Side Down In Side Out?

Well now, isn’t this just the perfect pickle? Ms Taitz has magically been presented with a Kenyan birth certificate for our President. The certificate is stamped as being certified by the Republic of Kenya on February 17, 1964. However, the fact stands that the Republic of Kenya did not exist until December 12, 1964. Hmmmm. Discrepancy, anyone?

To what lengths will these people traverse? Of course, the source of this document cannot be revealed due to threats against the source’s life.

Kenya has never tried to scam anyone in America with documents purporting to be verifiable and legal. And, Hawaii’s state government is well-known for falsifying birth documents.

Is this an inverse reality show?