Saturday, February 18, 2017

More Proof of California Craziness...


If you live in California it would be a good idea if you just keep on doing what you were doing and stop reading right here.

That's because reading this posting will remind you once again just how unfortunate you are to live in the once-Golden State.

Why?  Because the crazies in charge of this insane asylum seem to make it a point to come up with the weirdest, strangest, most inane and unworkable ideas and then turn them into law.  Examples?  Sure...

Plastic bags are now illegal, except that they're not...

So go to work or to the beach or to the grocery store, where you'll now have to pay for what used to be a free plastic bag, which is no longer free, because that will somehow help to "save the planet."  Yep, actual voters here actually voted to reduce the number of plastic bags in the landfill.  And that will happen by you no longer receiving a free bag in which to lug home your food stuffs from Grubbies' Grocery Giant.  Of course, you can  BUY a plastic bag, the very SAME plastic bag, from the very SAME store, for $0.10 if you so choose. So how does this help the planet?  Don't know.  But it sure makes for a new profit source for your local grocer.  Does this make any sense at all, to anyone, anywhere?  

Anyway, now that we've gotten rid of Californians, who value the weather here more then they do their wallet or their jobs or their health care or their sanity, the rest of you should sit down, grab an expensive snifter of a silber reposado anejo Tequila and prepare to laugh out loud.   

Okay.  Ready?  Here goes.  Regular readers of this unassuming little blog will know that I make it a point to report on all the dumbass laws the liberal elites who own and manage the State from that backwater town known as Sacramento just luuuuuuv to pass.  We have some of the stupidest, most ludicrous, ridiculous, painful, restrictive and completely unworkable laws than you could even imagine. But now those brain-dead bozos have gone and passed a few new ones that just defy the imagination. And here they are...

You!  With the fireplace!  Up against the wall!

Because burning wood, and presumably anything else, contributes to "global warming," or "climate change," or "climate chaos," or whatever they choose to call it tomorrow in an effort to scare the bejeezus out of us, the "sheeple," the idiots in charge have just made it illegal to burn wood in your wood-burning fireplace if your little warmth-provider is located at an altitude of 3,000 feet or below.  "Really," you might ask? Yes, really. That's because the "Air Quality Management District," which consists of a dozen or so appointed bureaucrats who get paid tons of money to meet every three or four months for an hour or so and then head on out to an expensive luncheon, and who report directly to the "Air Resources Board," which consists of a dozen or so highly-paid bureaucrats who meet every three or four months to talk about the weather and then head on out to an expensive luncheon, has decided that our air quality at lower altitudes is not so good.  And that burning that log in your fireplace would make the situation worse.  Yes, really.  

Oh, and don't try to burn one of those fake-ass, waxy four-hour logs either! They're illegal as well.  Your fine for violating these laws against God and nature, or at least nature if you're a godless Liberal, will be $50.00 for the first violation, and then increase all the way up to $1,000 for subsequent infractions. 

Now, I don't know how they're going to determine just who is using their fireplace the way fireplaces ought to be used, but they're certainly going to try.  My guess is they'll create a whole new bureau and hire a bunch of new UNION guys to drive around in shiny new cars we provide for them (probably electric), just looking for smoke coming out of our chimneys. And then they'll whip out their ticket book and ruin another of your fine-weather days. I'm guessing they'll each be making about $200,000 a year, plus a whole raft of benefits.

BTW, you should know that the Los Angeles Basin is actually a "basin," or chunk of real estate bounded on all sides by mountains.  So, when the on-shore breezes start to blow, any crap in the air stops when it hits the big hills a few miles from the water, and then backs up all the way to the coast.  That's called "smog."  You should know also there is undisputed evidence that smog (a mixture of smoke and fog) was ever-present 500 years before the first SUV arrived here due to hundreds and hundreds of Indian campfires.  Oh, sorry. They're now called "Indigenous Peoples."  The very same "Indigenous Peoples" who own and operate the most lucrative casinos anywhere.  I can tell you this:  The very next time somebody wants me to play cowboys and Indians, I want to be one of them there Indians...errrrr, "Indigenous Peoples."

Think it can't get any dumber than that?  Read on...

Build that wall between California and the "Flyover Country."

Everybody by now knows that Taxifornia is the very heart of Liberal Lunacy.  We have more than two dozen towns that have declared themselves to be "sanctuary cities." That means they simply refuse to call up ICE and hand over criminal illegal aliens who may have been found to be on the wrong side of the law and wound up in their jail cells.  I mean, we're talking criminal illegal aliens!  Not some poor fool who crossed the border illegally to work in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant in order to send back remittances to momma and the kids back in Cuernavaca.  They're illegal criminal alien crooks!  Murderers!  Rapists!  Burglars!  

So these cities, from San Diego to Lost Angeles to Santa Monica to Santa Cruz to San Francisco have decided which Federal laws to honor and obey, and which to simply ignore. 

But Trump has thrown down the gauntlet and is threatening these sanctuary cities with withholding Federal monies if they don't quickly get on the right side of the law.  And some have seen the light.  But others, such as L.A. and San Fran have doubled down. They have declared themselves to be sanctuaries forever and always.  No questions! But Taxifornia's Legislature has tripled down. It has decided to name itself a "sanctuary state."  That means the entire State will refuse to honor ICE detainers.  In essence, it is giving the finger to the Federal Government and daring it to do something about it. And to show just how serious it is on this matter, it has hired Eric Holder, ex-U.S. Attorney General, to help it fend off Trump if he decides to come after it for its lawlessness.

Remember Holder?  He's the only Cabinet-level officer to have ever been held in contempt of Congress in the entire history of America.  That's because he refused to turn over subpoenaed documents to Congress relating to "Fast and Furious," the illegal and unconstitutional gun-running scheme entered into by the Obama Administration. Remember that one?  Obama/Holder bought thousands of assault weapons with our Stimulus money and proceeded to hire pimply-faced twenty somethings to "slow walk" them across the southern border and into the hands of drug cartels.  The thinking was, we're told, that one or more would be discovered at a crime scene and Obama/Holder could point to it as proof-positive that U.S.-made guns were fueling the Mexican drug crisis.

But a border guard, Brian Terry, was shot dead by one of these guns before the nefarious scheme could unfold.  And it was summarily scrapped and Obama/Holder went into spin-mode in an effort to explain it away.  They couldn't.  And haven't.  

So this same Holder guy is now working for me and all other California taxpayers at the rate of $25,000 a month, to protect us against Trump and the rest of America, while we are breaking the law at flank speed.  The politicians who made the decision to take this tack held up their hands and swore to defend and honor the laws of the United States. Does this sound like their honoring that oath?  Me neither...

Cross your legs, Bossie, cross your legs...

The otherwise-unemployables in Sacramento who get together and pass laws just to have something to do have now outdone themselves.  Ready? They have just decided that a major source of pollution here in La La Land is...ta da!...cow farts!  Yes, my friends, and you are my friends, the methane that leaks out of the back end of cattle is a major source of air pollution.  The experts are saying that 15% of all California pollution comes from the south end of old Bossie. It is estimated that one single cow can produce 130 gallons of methane PER DAY!  

So, they passed a law and Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown signed it into law on September 16th, that dictates that dairy farms must reduce methane emissions to 40% of the 2013 level by 2020.  That's part of the State's new push to reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.  Confused yet?  Me too.  

And what about non-dairy cattle?  What about those that get turned into steaks?  Don't they need regulated?  I'm thinking they should stop farting also.  But no, they're not targeted. I'm guessing somebody has something against dairies, which are leaving the state at flank speed.  Of course, once they're gone, we'll be importing our milk and cheese from Nevada or Utah or Arizona, which all have adult supervision and choose not to pass dumbass laws like this one.  And the price we pay for this tomfoolery will go up exponentially, due to the fact that our milk will then be imported from these other states via semi-trailers, which will produce emissions and thus foul the air, and cost two or three times what we're now paying. Which will, of course, negatively impact poor families most of all.

And what happens if cows don't stop farting enough to make the politicians happy? Their owners get fined, just like those who try and stay warm in front of their fireplaces! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking maybe the nice folks who drive around looking for smoke signals coming out of your chimney could somehow be cross-trained to multi-task and include the inspection of bovine buttocks into their bureaucratic repertoire.  I mean, since it's going to cost Californians the $50 Million that Sacramento has budgeted to help get this new money-wasting program kickstarted, we might want to find some way of making it more efficient.

Oh my God!  I'm sorry!  What was I thinking?

Pre-pubescent hookers and their pimps, you're welcome!

Just as I was about to push "publish" and send this little posting off into the ether so that you, my loyal readers, could begin to inculcate the enormous truth that it happily conveys, I was struck by a new and even greater example of dumbassitude!  Ready?

The Democrat-controlled Legislature up there in Sacrascrewyou just passed a brand-new law that makes selling your body quite alright for 12 year-old's.  No, I'm not making this up.  And, if you're a 12 year-old's pimp, you're off Scot-free as well.  It seems they believe that to make a criminal out of a grade-schooler would be bad, so they decriminalized sex with minors and those who help sell them. 

But wait!  What if you're an 18 year-old and you engage in consensual sex with a 16 year-old?  Too bad, pimple face! You're guilty of statutory rape and need to visit the Gray Bar Hotel for an extended visit.  Soooo, consensual sex with a minor gets you hard time, but selling a Girl Scout's body gets both you and the girl an official reprieve.  

Anybody else besides me think this whole mess is a...mess?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Health Insurance "101"


Before we go any farther into the meat of this little posting, let me start with three hard-and-fast, solid-as-a-rock, true-blue, immutable, all-day, every-day factoids that you'll need to inculcate in order to fully comprehend and appreciate the wisdom it contains. Ready?  Here goes...

1 ...When you purchase insurance of any kind, you are betting the insurance company you purchase coverage from that what you are insuring yourself against WILL happen, and they're betting you that it WON'T!

2 ...Insurance companies employ what are known as "actuaries."  They are the math whiz, green eye shade, stuck away in the basement in a little room, unable to get a date on Friday night-types, to determine the level of risk an insurance company takes on when it chooses to offer a certain kind of policy.  Whether car, or boat, or plane, or health, or life, or, or, the degree of risk must be determined before a price or fee can be established at which it is to be sold. Or, in proper parlance, what "premium" should be charged. Without that up-front knowledge, it would be impossible to determine with certainty whether or not a particular insurance plan would be profitable.  And without a profit, whether the company is a for-profit, or a mutual, non-profit company that must produce "excess revenues" in order to sustain itself, the company goes down like a rock, leaving its policy holders in the lurch.  

3 ...Soooooooooo, to tidy it all up, all forms of available data are gathered to make that determination.  And then "actuarial tables," as they are known, are created to advise the Big Shots in the silk suits on the 13th floor of the green glass headquarters building how to price out the policies. In other words, they need to know from those actuarial tables how many out of an "insurance pool" of, say, 100,000 people, will have their cars stolen, or their condos catch fire, or acquire cancer, or heart disease, or Alzheimers, and thus how to charge the other, presumably healthy insureds in the latter example in order to cover the losses from the sick insureds. 

Buuuuuuuut, if required to issue policies to those who already have cancer, or heart disease or Alzheimers, as Obamacare mandated, you should now be able to see that those who have it would be able to buy coverage for less, and the remaining, say 999,600 out of our theoretical population of 100k would have to pay more to subsidize the others. Get it?  I hoped that you would.

So, now on with our little essay.

You've no doubt been hearing a lot lately about the new Administration's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.  

Actually, as you may know, the Republicans have been trying to put a figurative bullet in the head of this gargantuan boondoggle of a health care plan since it was rammed through Congress in the dark of night back in 2009 without a single Republican vote.

And since it has proven to do everything it wasn't supposed to do, including raising costs, raising rates, raising deductibles, and raising hell with what used to be the very finest health care system on the planet, it's about time it should be put out of its (our) misery. 

In short, Obamacare (the derisive term for the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009") is a health insurance plan.  But it is not a health care plan.  That's because it costs so much and the deductible is so high and so few physicians actually take it in payment for the services they're expected to render.  In other words, it's a policy you simply must buy, because your Gummint says so and will fine you Big Time is you don't, but one physicians do not have to accept.  And, being one of the very few to have actually read this enormous mess, yes, I did, I don't blame them a bit.  

For purposes of background, consider these little Obamacare factoids:

  -  O'care was voted into effect by 51 Senators at 11:30 p.m. on Christmas eve of 2009 using a parliamentary trick unused since the formation of our Country.  The actual bill, all 2,700 pages of it, didn't arrive on the Congressweenies' doorsteps until 8:30 a.m. the next morning.  It was then voted on in the House of Representatives by the then Democrat majority at 9:30 a.m. that same morning. Sooooo... 

...not a single Congressman, or woman, or these days, "other," actually read it before voting on it!  

But, as Representative Nancy Pelosi, then Majority Leader, of the House, and author of big chunks of it said, 

"you have to pass it before you can know what's in it, away from the fog of the controversy." 

Ummm, what?

  -  O'care is not a single health care bill.  It is a series of little two or three-page Liberal wet dreams that were all stapled together into this Brontosaurean load of crap once the Democrats realized that they had taken full and complete control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency.  In short, they had all the power they needed to do anything they wanted, in any way they wanted, at any time they wanted. And what they did with all that power is tantamount to giving a heroin junkie an AMEX Saphire card and turning him loose on the seedier side of town with a high-priced hooker as his tour guide.

  -  O'care is a one-size-fits-all plan.  That means if you're a man you get mammograms and birth control pills, no choice. And if you're a woman you get prostate exams, no choice. Why?  Because Democrats are all for inclusiveness and sameness.  Sort of an updated "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" type of thinking.  Yeah, I know, that's stupid, but, then again, so are they.

  -  O'care presumes to force insurance companies who choose to participate to cover young adults on their parents' policies until the age of 26 (as an aside, maybe it's because in this economy they probably can't find a job!), and also cover pre-existing medical conditions.  Think about that. That's sort of like buying a six year-old Cadillac, and then going straight out and wrapping it around a tree.  And then, trying to buy comprehensive insurance against wrecking your now destroyed Cadillac, at the same exact rates you would have expected to pay had you not put a big old owwwie on that Cadillac, and also expecting your insurance company to replace your now wrecked Caddy with a brand-new one. Hey all you Liberals! That makes so sense to anyone except to you!

  -  O'care establishes 153 new boards and commissions, to be populated by thousands of highly-paid bureaucrats, all appointed by some other highly-paid bureaucrats, but none of them - none of them - need be physicians!  And, by the way, one of those boards is the "Independent Payment Advisory Board."  That would be the one Sarah Palin called the "Death Panel."  That would be the one that decides which ailments get covered, and for whom, and at what payment to those who deliver the treatment.  No discussion, no negotiation, no compromise.  Example:  If you are 59 and one-half, and come down with kidney failure, you get dialysis and a chance to live.  If you are 59 and one-half, and just one-day, and get kidney failure, you die.  Sounds pretty "death panel-ish" to me.  How about you?

 -  And, for the very first time in the history of our Great Country, O'care presumes to require us, demand of us, force us against our will, to purchase something, anything, and presume also to levy a very big fine against us if we don't. 

Yes, my friends, and you are my friends, by virtue of a Supreme Court decision, however poorly reached (thanks Chief Justice John Roberts for turning into a Democrat when we most needed you to be a Republican!), your pocket book is directly within the reach of the Gummint and the IRS if they want you to buy something.  Don't cogitate on that too long. It will make you sick to your tummy. 

There's much more that this bunch of crap does, but what it doesn't do is keep the promise of the guy who sold it to us. Remember?  

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance." 

Both lies.  Bald-faced lies, repeated dozens of times, over a period of months and months, by none other than B. Hussein Obama, ex-President and now full-time golfer.

Yes, I know.  That not only sucks, it makes no sense.  The Powers-That-Be have decided what you need, and they're going to make you buy it for your own good.  As I've said so many times before, somewhat snarkily, "The elite Liberals just want to be left alone to live our lives."

So, before we summarize the length, breadth and depth of this problem, let's summarize what we've learned.  Ready?

"Obamacare took health insurance from those who had it so it could give health insurance to the 30 million who didn't. And then it offered those from whom it had forcibly extracted their health insurance the opportunity to buy back a pale imitation of what they used to have, but not nearly as good, for two or three times what they had been paying in premiums, plus deductibles of three or four times as much. And those who wound up receiving health insurance, some 20 million, they say, got help from the Taxpayers, that would be you and me, to pay their monthly premiums.  And how many now still have no health insurance?  Approximately 30 million.  I kid you not...

So here's the Bottom Line, as they say.  The Republicans now find themselves in the same position as their Democrat counterparts were back when they shanked the Taxpayer in an effort to gather up more voters from the Less Than Successful Class. They now have the Big Lebowski...the House, the Senate and the Presidency.  And they're all about trying to put Humpty back into his egg shell.  They're trying ultra-hard to make some sort of sense out of unwinding Obamacare and replacing it with something sort of like what if was intended to do in the first place: offer health insurance to the less well-heeled by increasing competition between insurance companies, offering choice to the purchaser and reducing regulatory quagmires. 

I expect you'll see insurance companies marketing policies across state lines, just like they do car insurance.  I expect you'll see a simpler, more bare-bones form of "catastrophic" coverage, designed for the younger, healthier policy holder. I expect you'll see some sort of health savings accounts, which we'll be able to use to pay our own health care costs with before-tax dollars.  I expect you'll see "portability" in health insurance whereby each of us owns our policies and can take them with us from job-to-job throughout our lives. And I expect you'll see dramatically reduced rules and regulations from the Feds to de-complicate the oversight process.  All these changes should increase competition, lower premiums dramatically and enable the sorts of changes necessary to make "universal healthcare" finally work.

Epilogue:  To those who think I may have puked forth some less than salient factoids with this little posting, here's some info to serve as a foundation for my opinions:  I am a graduate economist, an inveterate entrepreneur with more than 40 years in the health care bizz, experience as a licensed insurance agent for many years, and I'm probably alone in having read all of Obamacare.  If you can match any part or all of my bona fides, write back and let me know where you think I've gone off the rails. Otherwise, wise up and embrace the fact that Democrats are straight-up nuts for causing all this upheaval to our economy and our health care system, and agree that each and every one of them should be voted out of office at the earliest occasion and never welcomed back...  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Is the California "Tail" Trying to Wag the American "Dog?"


Unless you've been living in a dumpster behind the Wal-Mart, you know by now the General Election is over, Trump won and Hillary lost.

Yet, our friends of a Liberal persuasion are suffering a major-league meltdown!  They believe the election was stolen because, among dozens of other reasons, Hillary received more votes than did The Donald. And it is true, she did.  

She received some 2,864,974 million more votes than did Trump (the final, accurate numbers, straight from the Federal Elections Commission). And in a democracy, she would have won.  

But, as you likely know, America is not a democracy.  We are a Constitutional Representative Republic.  That means we elect people to represent us, just like all the other democratic republics around the Globe.  England, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Canada and Meheeeeeeko all elect those who will then trundle off to their respective capitols to cast votes to make the necessary decisions for their Great Unwashed.  And that's the way it ought to be.

For if we were a democracy, as famous Founding Father Benjamin Franklin so aptly put it, it would be "Like two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch."

And because we're a Republic, we also have what's called the Electoral College (E.C.). It's in the Constitution.  You know, that "piece of paper," as Obama so (in)famously called it on way, way too many occasions.  

Now as you've no doubt heard, there was a big-time movement of late by those on the Left to abolish this 240 year-old institution.  And that's because Trump received 304 E.C. votes, when only 270 was needed to claim victory.  This fairly simple process accords E.C. votes proportionate to the population of a given state. This arrangement was masterfully conjured up by our Founders to insure that all states, not just the big ones, would be represented in the selection of our leaders.  

Just think of it this way:  If we elected our leaders by popular vote, then there would be no reason for a candidate to ever visit Montana.  Or North Dakota.  Or Utah, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Nevada, Missisissisisisississippi, Nebraska, or Illinois. Or another 36 states, by the way.  A candidate would spend all of his or her (or, these days, thanks to Obama, "its") time in just four states:  California, New York, Florida and Texas. For that's where the very most people are, and where the very most votes are. Do you think that might anger those who would be left out were such a method to be adopted? Do you now see the wisdom in having the E.C. look out for our less well-populated areas?

I thought you would.

In just four instances has the loser in a General Election received more votes than the winner.  And in two of those, Gore in 2000 and Clinton in 2016, the losing Party called out loudly for the elimination of the E.C.  That Party?  The Democrats.  

By the way, had Gore won his home state of Tennessee back in 2000, he would have won the Presidency.  One just has to ask, if the people back home don't want you in the White House, why should anyone else?  Turns out they didn't...


But let's dig a little deeper into this whole mess.  Yes, Hillarity won the popular vote by 2.8 million.  But she won California by 4.2 million votes, and New York by just over 1.6 million, for a combined total of 5.8 million votes.  Yet, Trump won the rest of America by more than 3,000,000 votes! So if we could simply dial out CA and NY, two of the most progressive - and most populated - states in the Union, Trump would have won the majority vote and could have laid an undisputed claim to the mandate that he's now loudly proclaiming to possess.

If you're having trouble wrapping your fertile mind around those statistics, just look at it this way.  If you excise three counties in California (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco), and another two counties in New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn), The Trumpster wins the election going away!  Soooo, do we think it's a good idea for the Taxifornia "tail" to wag the American "dog?"  I don't.  Perhaps you don't either...

So what the Hell is wrong with CA and NY?  Because of their enormous populations, it turns out that fully one-third of all the remaining Democrats in the House of Representatives come from California and New York.  It's also true that the map of America proves that the Democrats populate the Left and Right coasts, and the "Deplorables and Unredeemables" populate the great Red "Flyover Country."  That's about 85% of our land area.  That's the states Democrats believe are populated by redneck, toothless, ignorant, backward, rodeo-going, pickup truck-driving, cousin-marrying, whiskey-swilling rubes. And they are wrong...

The vast majority of America is "Red" and the edges are "Blue."  But those "edges" are getting ready to rebel.  The loonier of Taxifornia's loons (and that's really looney!) are now circulating a petition to place on the ballot a constitutional provision to secede from the Union!    

It's true!  Those behind this effort want California to become its own country!  They say that CA's economy ranks 6th in the world, and is even bigger than that of France.  They say that the dummies in "Flyover" country are standing in the way of CA implementing a rainbow- and unicorn-rich Utopian society;  they say they really want is to continue welcoming illegal immigrants from wherever, unimpeded; they say they want to continue issuing these illegals legal drivers' licenses (more than 800,000 during 2016 alone!); they say that they want to make referring to illegals as "illegals" should be made illegal (!); they say that continuing to tax the piss out of those evil profit-mongering job-creators is the thing to do; they say that taxing the successful more than any other state is quite alright if they redistribute the wealth to those who need it more; they say that implementing hundreds of new laws and regulations every year that make starting and running a business here almost impossible is why they were elected; they say they don't care that corporations are leaving the State in droves (9,000 in just the past ten years!); and they say they should all get together every few days at Starbucks for a double mocha latte and congratulate each other on how evolved they are. 

I just made that last one up.  But hey, it's probably true!

But wait, there's more!  Just after Election Day the otherwise-unemployable elites that run our once-Golden State decided to gird their loins for the upcoming battle with the Cheeto Jesus (their name for Trump). Facing an impending backlash over the dozens of California towns which have declared themselves "sanctuary cities," Governor "Moonbeam" Brown and his sycophants have hired Eric Holder, ex-Attorney General of these United States to advise them on how to fend off Trump in his efforts to force them to comply with Federal immigration laws.  These sanctuary cities simply refuse to turn over to ICE illegal alien criminals they've captured, even though the Constitution requires it, and they've all taken an oath to do it.  It takes a lot of balls, in my opinion, to presume to decide which of America's laws to obey and which to simply ignore.  But, then again, California's "leaders" may be found to have more balls than brains.

Eric Holder, you'll recall, is the only Cabinet-level U.S. official to have ever been impeached by the Congress of the United States for having lied under oath, and for refusing to turn over documents it had subpoenaed from the Obama Administration. Oh, and California is paying Holder $25,000 per month of taxpayer money for advising the State on how to prevent Trump from enforcing Federal laws.  I wish I was kidding on this.  But I'm not. 

How sad.  And how ridiculous.

From where I sit, which is deep in the "belly of the beast," but safely ensconced in one of the very few of California's more conservative areas, I'm happy for a couple of basic reasons: First, I'm bordering on ancient, so I won't be around to see what ultimately becomes of California as it devolves into France-west; and second, because of the comeuppance these Libbies will surely be hit with when they realize there's nobody left here when that day comes except sign twirlers and Starbucks baristas. 

For by then, everyone else will have left for greener pastures. And for by then, all other pastures will be greener. 

Hey America!  Get on board!  Help California secede! It will do you - and these hippppppmotized bozos - good!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"The Peaceful Transfer of Power."


On Friday, January 20th, 2017, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as our 45th President of the United States.

That process is called, "The Peaceful Transfer of Power."  It is virtually unknown around the world, except here in the United States.  And there were those of us, myself included, who on occasion doubted that it would be permitted to occur.

And that's because our outgoing POTUS, one B. Hussein Obama, ruled so extra-Constitutionally throughout his reign, even on occasion calling the Constitution "that paper," I thought it likely that he might have come up with some bogus reason-or-other to seize ongoing power via some method-or-other, and impose martial law.

That did not occur.  Thankfully.

That "peaceful transfer" happened, and I, The Chuckmeister, for one, am damned happy to see it.  Praise the Lord!

But as the wheels on "Executive One," that powder-blue 747-200 that's known as "Air Force One" when the Commander-in-Chief is aboard, and he wasn't, lifts off, I have a couple of thoughts that just demand to be shared with you, my loyal readers.  And here they are:

-  First, the latest figures out of the Treasury Department show that our Federal Debt is now, as of 1/18/2017, $19,961,467,973,641,64.  

When B. Hussein Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, our Federal Debt was $10,626,877,048,913.10.  

Thus, Mr. Obama oversaw an increase in our indebtedness of more than $9,335,000,000,000.00.  

In case you're confused by that lengthy number, it reads: "Nine Trillion, Three Hundred Thirty Five Billion, and No Cents.  That's more than all other U.S. Presidents in history, combined!   Do you recall when Mr. Obama, while campaigning during 2008, said that Mr. Bush's Federal Debt of more than $9 Trillion Dollars at the time was un-American?
In fact, he said it was unpatriotic!  I wonder, given the fact that he's nearly doubled it, if he still feels the same way?  Or perhaps he's just skulking out of town, hoping no one will notice...

-  And second, 67 Democratic members of the House of Representatives chose to boycott the inauguration of America's 45th President.  That's roughly 1/3 of the entire minority membership of the House of Representatives.  For your information, this group is roughly one-third Black, and one-third of the remainder is Hispanic.  And they are all from very safe districts in South Central Los Angeles, and East L.A., and Chicago's South Side, and Atlanta, and Houston, and the poorer areas of Philadelphia, and Baltimore and New York City.  All cities owned and operated by the Democrat Party for generations. They risked absolutely nothing personally to make this empty gesture, being absolutely positive they'll be reelected by their fawning electorate.

What they did do was give the finger to America. And one thing's for sure:  This epicurean luncheon in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building of lobster and Gulf shrimp and Angus beef and chocolate pudding and cherry ice cream, with three kinds of wine, had to cost at least $200 per plate. That's because everybody, everybody who works for the Federal Government there in D.C. earns $200 Grand or more, and they're all unionized.  That means that these 67 losers saved the American taxpayer more than $13,000 by staying home

I, for one, would like to express my thanks to each and every one of them finally helping 'Murica to save a little money.  For a change...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The "HFPA," and why you shouldn't care...


Unless you've been living under an overpass (or is it over an underpass?), you've heard ad nauseum about Meryl Streep's decision to use her Lifetime Achievement Award presentation at the Golden Globes to excoriate Donald J. Trump.

Why this icon of acting decided to use her moment in the sun to bash Trump is beyond me.  Maybe the urge to "preach to the choir" was just too strong.  Maybe she just couldn't resist. These smarmy, self-congratulatory, pat-each-other-on-the-back, inside-the-bubble get-togethers by the Hollywood "swells" is growing very old, in my opinion. It's as if they get all dressed up to show off to each other, and oh, by the way, the camera is rolling so that all the Great Unwashed in Nebraska and Georgia and Idaho get to peek in over the transom and watch them get feted.  Lucky us.

And just exactly who is the "Hollywood Foreign Press Association" that threw this little awards show, anyway?  I wanted to know.  Perhaps you do as well.  I mean, it's the first of maybe 35 or so awards shows each year, so I wanted to know who they are and why they care. So I, your humble scribe, did a little research.  Would you expect any less of me?  Didn't think so...

Turns out that the "Hollywood Foreign Press Association" (HFPA) is a little bit less than some huge international organization that serves to figure out which movies and TV shows are the most terrific, and to then present awards to the lucky actors and actresses who proved to be so very special that being singled out for notice was just absolutely essential. Long sentence, I know.  But hey, it's my blog.

The HFPA is quite the opposite, in fact.  It is so small, so very, very small, that it's almost invisible!  I mean, these bozos could throw their annual meeting in the back room of your local Denny's.  It turns out that there are - ready for it? - a total of 90 - that's Nine O - members of the HFPA! 

Whaaaaaattt?

Yes, my friends, and you are my friends, there are only a total of 90 members of the HFPA, from 55 different countries. They are sent to Hollywood by newspapers around the world to vacuum up tidbits of info about the glittering stars that populate this enclave just up the street from that toilet known as Los Angeles.  Newspapers such as the Jerusalem Gazette, and the Ivory Coast Tribune, the Venezuelan Communist Today, and the Manila Sun Times, send lucky reporters to Tinseltown to report back on the comings and goings of Brad and Kim and Bruce and all the others.  Boy, are they lucky.

By the way, I just made up the name of those newspapers, but if they want to use my names, they're welcome to them.

Except that these "journalists" must be actually published back in their home papers in order to retain membership in this august body.  If they don't put forth enough work product in order to be considered "worthy," they are then summarily removed from the "active" membership of the HFPA and reduced to an "associate" status.  Perish the thought.

So, these guys and gals spend their spare time trying to gather up scoops between their jobs waiting tables at tony restaurants in Brentwood, or parking cars at the Beverly Hilton.  We know that to be true because it's been reported in the Hollywood Reporter that they do.  You see, the Ivory Coast Today probably doesn't pay enough to cover the costs of living in that sort of rarefied air.

Yet, even though they're almost invisible in terms of gravitas, this tiny group manages to sell the rights to this annual extravaganza to the TV networks for an average of $Ten Million Dollars.  Imagine.  A bunch of waiters sell an awards show for $10MM and hand out a bunch of statues.  There are literally more award recipients than there are award issuers. How do I get this gig?

Oh yeah, I should have given you a bit of background on this scam.  It was started back in 1943 as a non-profit organization in order to make the foreign reporters more important and more in-demand.  They only admit a maximum of 5 new members each year, and only if the applicant can prove how cool and wonderful they are.  And what do they do with the excess from the $10MM after they pay for a few statues?  They say they give monetary awards to struggling reporters (?) and provide grants and other benefits to worthy causes. I believe that, don't you?  Riiiiiiigggtt!

And so, boys and girls, and, as a result of B. Hussein Obama's hard-fought efforts to demand "gender-fluidity," "others," an organization that could have its annual meeting in a semi-trailer gives out little awards and permits an icon like Meryl Streep to trash our incoming President of the United States without any consideration at all as to how those poor toothless rubes out there in the "Great Flyover" feels about it. 

Something about this kind of smells, doesn't it?

Friday, January 13, 2017

VA Hospitals...and What to do About Them...


You've no doubt noticed that the Number One Topic of discussion in Foggy Bottom these days, besides the illegitimate election of one Donald Trump, ahem, is Obamacare.

Or rather, repealing and replacing the "Patient Protection and Affordable (cough, cough) Care Act," which has derisively come to be known as "Obamacare."

Of course, the Lefties among us are doing their level best to defend it, however indefensible it was, is and forever shall be.  Even its namesake, one Almost-Ex-President and Semi-Retired Golfer-in-Chief B. Hussein Obama is begging, pleading, threatening, cajoling and whimpering to any and all who will listen to help him keep it exactly as is; overpriced, underloved, seldom-accepted, frequently lied-about, monumentally-oversold, universally despised and totally unworkable.

We'll all learn what happens with the newly-energized Republican majority in Congress as they proceed to unwind this disastrous, gargantuan mess.  But in the meantime...

Less commonly discussed, but still high on Congress' List of Things to Do, is reforming the Veterans Administration and taking better care of those who have served our Great Nation.

That would, by the way, include me, The Chuckmeister.  I have served this nation in uniform, am almost personally responsible for saving the U. S. from the perils of communism (sort of), and am currently a participant, a "customer," so to speak, in the V.A. Healthcare System. That, and the fact that I'm a graduate economist and seasoned entrepreneur, Eagle Scout, father, patriot and certifiable National Treasure, qualifies me uniquely to opine on this subject, and even offer up a couple of suggestions as to how it could be improved.  Suggestions I trust you'll find evocative, interesting, workable and reasonable.  And so, here goes...

There are 153 free-standing, fully-capable, dedicated, full-blown Veterans Administration Hospitals in America. There are also 1,221 V.A. Outpatient Treatment Sites, most often located in an office building adjacent to a community-level hospital somewhere-or-other. Each with doctors and nurses and technicians to see you and fix you up, as needed.  Or, rather they're supposed to.  

And there are 300 Veterans Service Centers, located in major cities across the Fruited Plain, which serve to provide information and assistance to returning vets and their families as regards where to gain constitutionally-proscribed services. Since its creation back in 1930 under then-Prez Herbert Hoover, and later consolidated by Prez Ron Reagan in 1988 into the Cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) is our Country's single most expensive budgetary item, costing $182.3 Billion Dollars per year!

And yet, it is a monumental failure!  It serves a population that deserves the very best treatment we know how to provide, yet receives some of the spottiest, shoddiest, least-timely care imaginable.  Put simply, many of those vets who didn't die on the battlefield, are dying in waiting rooms of V.A. hospitals all across the Country while awaiting medical care.

It's important to note that the VHA was/is necessary because it specializes in providing care for five areas of treatment returning vets need most of all.  They are:

     -  Burn care and treatment.
     -  Lost limb treatment and replacement.
     -  Traumatic brain injury and wounds from bullets or other projectiles.
     -  Bomb physical damage and treatment.
     -  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Yet, unlike earlier in our nation's history, when the capacity to provide treatment for these traumatic injuries did not exist in the private sector, the capability to provide top-notch care for the above listed ailments is now widely available within our private healthcare community.  So, has the VHA's time come and gone?  And what should we do about it?  

This is what, I, The Chuckmeister, say we do.

1.  My suggestion is that we sell off all the VHA hospitals and healthcare facilities. Since the hospitals and the real estate upon which they sit is owned outright by the Federal Government, the income from the sale of these properties would make a major dent in our Federal Debt. Let's look at the Wadsworth V.A. Hospital in Westwood, a tony neighborhood in the west Los Angeles area, as an example. 

This one-square mile chunk of real estate is some of the most valuable land in all of America.  It features rolling hills and meadows right across the I-5 from Westwood and is covered with modern buildings.  It is worth several billion dollars.  Multiply that rarefied figure times the total of the hospitals and you get an idea what such a sale could mean.

2.  Inventory the human resources currently ensconced within the VHA.  Those who possess the training and expertise to provide the specialized care for any of the above listed ailments and injuries should be offered assistance in gaining private-sector employment within the 6,000-plus hospitals in America.  Thus, unique treatment capabilities for burns, wounds, limb replacements and mental health restoration would not be lost.  Rather, it would be repositioned within our current health system.

3.  Then offer vets the opportunity to either, a.), join the Medicare program just like our seniors, or b.), accept vouchers enabling them to seek Government-paid healthcare from private hospitals and physicians near where they live. Although perhaps more expensive initially than continuing to be treated by the VHA System, imagine the savings if we no longer had to employ the hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, physcians' assistants, pharmacists, technicians and administrative and financial support personnel necessary to operate these far-flung facilities!

Computing the savings from such a two-part plan is impossible without further data. My expectation is that it would, at the very worst, be revenue-neutral.  Meaning, it should cost no more than continuing the current system. However, what is calculable is the fact that pulling the trigger on this plan (pun intended) would virtually end the shameful and unnecessary loss of life we're witnessing when vets die while awaiting VHA care. That cannot be permitted to continue.  My plan would end it immediately.

If you like my plan, write your Congressweenie and let him/her/it know.  If not, simply continue on with your cushy, privileged life and give not one more thought to your obligation to those who have written a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their lives...

Monday, January 9, 2017

An Essay on The Five Stages of Grief.


As I, The Chuckmeister, your loyal scribe, write this, it's a few days past the Holidays. And in the spirit of the Season, it's usually preferable at this time to be happy, and gleeful, and full of joy for life and your fellow carbon-based life forms.

But for some these days, like the 49.2% of the population who voted for the loser in the interminable, and thankfully just-concluded General Election, it seems this season has been a complete disaster. And that's because their favored candidate for POTUS has crashed and burned.  And they're in a deep, deep funk as a result.  This little essay on this unassuming little blog will focus on helping them to regain their Ferragamo- and Jimmie Choo-clad footing. Here goes... 

I spent nearly 40 years in the medical field.  And because I chose an area of medicine in which to specialize that dealt with an illness from which very few survived, that meant the prospects of an untimely death for many, if not most of its sufferers, and the grief for those left behind, was very real.

This was so true that a Swiss psychologist named Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a book in 1969 called "On Death and Dying."  In this book she posited that there were five distinct stages of grief.  They are:  "Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression and then finally, Acceptance."  And we've all had a front-row seat to observe this scenario play out in real-time over the past two months.  

Trump wins the General Election, an election that he had no chance to win.  We were told this by the so-called Mainstream Media, over and over, thousands of times, for months and months.  His opponent spent more than $1.2 Billion trying to become America's 45th President, while he spent a paltry $66 Million.  Of his own money.

The talking heads on the Alphabet Networks posited that Hillary Clinton had a better than 90% chance of winning. Even Nate Silver, the (in)famous prognosticator from the "538 Blog," gave her a 70% chance, and he was widely excoriated by his fellow Liberals for being so pessimistic toward Clinton and her chances. 

Why? Lots of reasons.  Because it was her turn. She is a woman.  She had the right number of chromosomes. Her husband used to be President, and times were good, they said, when he was running things. She wears (ill-fitting) pantsuits.  She had loads of experience flying around all over the world and accomplishing little or nothing.  She is a Liberal and a Democrat.  Perhaps the very most Progressive Liberal in all Progressive- Democrat-ville. She promised to eliminate guns and pick the pockets of the rich and redistribute their wealth and increase taxes on those evil job-creators profit-seekers and further decimate our already-sequestered military and welcome illegal immigrants with open arms. Lefties and the Lap Dog Media wanted another four years of Democrat leadership. Or, what they laughingly call leadership.  She couldn't have been more perfectly positioned to break through that "glass ceiling."  Unless she'd have been Black, of course.  

And her opponent was a wild-eyed, boorish, unqualified, dangerous, loudmouth orange billionaire buffoon.  

Or so they thought...

In short, they cruised toward election day, so sure of their victory that they didn't even bother to campaign in three of the battleground states they needed to win: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.  And those were the states that put Trump over the top.

And now those who were so absolutely convinced that Clinton would win, resoundingly, they thought, are deeply mired in one of those five stages of grief.  And I think it's hilarious!

First came anger.  They were major-league pissed!  They just couldn't come to terms with Trump's victory.  They fumed. They fussed.  Their mouths were agape.  They threw things. It was even reported that Clinton destroyed a custom-made ultra-Hi-Def 150" 3-D $500,000 TV, a present from the government of Saudi Arabia.  Hmmm. Why would Saudi Arabia be giving her such an expensive present unless they expected to get something in return?

Why, indeed?  Since it's been reported that Saudi Arabia and other Middle East kingdoms funded as much as 20% of Clinton's campaign, perhaps one of our ought-to-be journalists ought to look in to that.  

She is reported to have thrown a $950,000 bottle of champagne through the that TV's screen, which was to be used to toast her victory.  That's some expensivvvve bottle of booze, my friends!  She pushed over tables of high-end food and drink and threw the White House-themed cake emblazoned with the Presidential Seal against the wall. She had to be restrained, it was reported, after getting stool-grabbing, crawling-in-the-gutter drunk.  She fired several of her staffers. She physically pummeled some of them.  She was dragged off and made to go to bed. Not a good night for the Hildebeest.

News anchors wept openly.  Some were aghast, digging down deep for words as the reality of the situation crept over them.  Martha Raddach, ABC's lead reporter, famous for having fed questions to Clinton ahead of a debate she moderated, cried her little eyes out on live TV.  Rachel Maddow, famous gender-questionable anchor from MSNBC started screaming at the monitor. When the race was finally called in the early morning hours, Maddow said about Trump's victory: "Terrible, terrible dream."  And followed with, "You have not died and gone to Hell, people!"  Nice.

There were many other examples, but let's not get mired in the obvious.  If anyone, anywhere had doubted whether or not the Lap Dog Media was anything other than the Communications Department for the Democrat National Committee, this unfolding drama should have removed all doubt.   

In a day or two the initial anger turned into denial. They refused to believe the facts. They blamed James Comey, FBI Director for his "meddling."  They blamed the Russians for hacking the election, even though the voting machines were not connected to the Internet, and many of them were owned by George Soros, infamous socialist billionaire, convicted felon and Democrat-backer.  They blamed "fake news," whatever the hell that is.  They blamed racism, which they said was rampant among the "alt-right," whatever the hell that is. They blamed everybody and everything except the person to whom blame should have been fixed: Hillary Clinton.  

But after a few days their anger and denial turned into a bargaining session.  How, they wondered, could this whole fiasco be reversed?  How could they manage to overturn this nightmare?  What prayer could they utter to just make this whole nightmare go away?  Assuming they pray, that is. Finally, a plan emerged; since the Electoral College put Trump over the top, they would go straight to the Electoral College in an effort to overturn the election.  Yeah, that's the ticket!

The Lefties who were so confident of Clinton's victory put a plan into place.  They published the names, addresses and phone numbers of the nation's chosen Electors. They were the folks who had been selected by the various states to vote for the POTUS according to the popular votes cast within their borders. They whipped their followers into harassing the Electors in every way possible in and effort to get them to become "faithless." Or, better put, to change their vote to anyone but Trump, even though they are most generally required to vote the same way their state voted. 

Now, it's important to note that they did so knowing that, should 37 of the Electors become "faithless" and vote for other than Trump, the election would then be thrown to the House of Reps, which is controlled by the Republicans, which would then vote to make Trump Prez.  Kind of an empty effort, don't you think?

They then tried to bribe the Electors, even though doing so is a Federal crime.  Of course, Obama's Justice Department was eerily silent in its response to this outrage. Imagine if the situation was reversed and Clinton Electors were being harassed, or even bribed?  Do you think Attorney General Loretta Lynch would be so silent? Me thinks not.

It was reported that the average Elector received more than 100,000 letters, emails and phone calls.  Many Electors were scared for their lives.  Several sought and gained Federal protection.  Just imagine:  the Witness Protection Program for Electors!  It was a very bad scene, and one that cast a terrible light on Democrats and their adherents. But they seemed not to care one whit; they were in grief.  They were lashing out.  And "bargaining" was a way to fix that grief.

Once the Electors voted, and voted exactly as they were supposed to vote, Trump was duly elected.  And that put the grief-stricken into a fit of depression from which not all have emerged.  They are not-so-quietly licking their wounds.  Most are just stumbling through life, head down, miserable, still gobsmacked by the defeat they've suffered. One they felt they didn't deserve and to which they shouldn't be subjected. 

Think of it this way:  If you're a Millennial, you may well have never known political defeat.  You've been treated to liberal policies and practices for the past eight years. You've been brainwashed for 12 or 16 years or even longer in schools owned and operated by deciples of liberal orthodoxy.  You may be one of those who actually received a trophy for participation in any sport you played, whether you won or not. You now need a quiet space in which to whimper and suck your thumb and hug your little blankie in order to get over this existential event in your wimpy little snowflake life.  You really, really wanted Hil(liar)y to win, and you've never known failure in terms of those wishes. 

Until now, that is.

Or you are a union member, or a Hollywierd celebritard, or a journalist, or a Left- or Right-Coast Liberal, and you just can't abide what's happened to your tony little existence.  Trump won and you just can't handle it.  Sweeeet!

But soon you'll gravitate to the last of those five stages: Acceptance.  Most of you will come to accept the reality of the situation.  Trump is Prez and your favored candidate is back in Chappaqua, lying through her false teeth, forced into retirement by her own inadequacies.  Oh, you'll bitch and moan and blog and email and Instagram and Tweet to each other about how poorly Trump is governing, regardless of how well he is governing.  Because that's just what you'll do...if you're a Liberal.    

But I don't expect you to simply give up.  Liberals never, ever give up!  That's one thing upon which we can all count.  And it appears that they also will fail to inculcate the lessons this election delivered; socialism doesn't work, and the American people don't want it. 

But Liberals are poor learners. Fortunately.  If they weren't, they wouldn't have permitted B. Hussein Obama to oversee the destruction of the Democrat Party.  And, it seems, the United Nations.  Think of it in these terms:  Dems during Barry's reign have lost 10 Senate seats, 63 House seats, 14 governorships and almost 1,000 state legislature seats. Wouldn't you think somebody of the Liberal persuasion would have noticed that the sky was falling?  

And considering that 10 Senate seats held by Democrats in states that Trump won will come up for an election vote in 2018, the result of which could give the Republicans a stranglehold on both houses of Congress for a generation, at least, one would think that the Lefties would be trying to figure out what happened and try to keep it from happening again.  

But they appear to be incapable of modifying their "Progressive" agenda, even if doing so would mean stemming the flow of life-blood their Party needs to continue to exist. And that's the one thing that will make the next four years extremely entertaining for professional observers like me.  

Bring it on!

NOTE:  

This essay is longer than my normal posting.  That's why it's called an essay instead of a posting.  And essays are always longer than postings, but shorter than short stories. I haven't written a short story yet.  But I just might.  Stay tuned...