PROTECTING ENTITLEMENTS
PROTECTING ENTITLEMENTS
Re: Gingrich Push on Health Care Appears at Odds With G.O.P.
New York Times
(Dec. 16, 2012)



In 2006, former U.S. House Speaker and current frontrunner candidate for President, Newt Gingrich, testified before Congress on behalf of the proposed “Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.” At an expected cost of a mere $28 - 35 Billion, this legislation provided for funding to transform myriad medical records from paper files to an electronic database called Electronic Medical Records Systems (EMRS). 

Enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the same Frankenstein American Government that recently sold 50,000 high-powered rifles to Mexican drug lords; runs the U.S. Postal Service; allowed 16 terrorists to (legally) carry box cutters onto three commercial airline flights; screwed up the printing of $1 Billion in new $100.00 bills; loses $50 Billion annually in Medicare fraud; and permits dead people to vote, now is tasked with keeping an updated central data base of 315,000,000 American Citizens’ medical records.

Your doctor needs a copy of last week’s cat scan? The ER orthodontist wants your dental records to repair the broken teeth you received after telling Little Black Sambo jokes to Mike Tyson in the corner bar? An emergency ambulance medical professional wants to know what your allergies are before injecting your dormant heart with Atropine? At three in the morning ! ! No problem. Just call the U.S. Government Emergency hotline - fashioned just for such an occasion by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“reinvestment” is supposed to make you feel good about all this - a $35 Billion ‘investment,’ you see).

Operator, operator, I need the records of . . . . “We‘re sorry, our office hours are 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., if this is an emergency, hang up and dial 9-1-1.” intones the recording. “If you are inquiring about medical records, please push ‘1’ followed by the # sign.” Etc. But if this a real emergency, try the Internet. You bet. The same Congressmen who so ably use the Internet to garner donations for their re-election campaigns, think this is the wave of the future, if the Internet service provider doesn’t disconnect you in the process. 

It was the testimony of advocates that the adoption of this regulation was expected to improve overall efficiency by 6% per year, and to save money in the process. Much like the current herd of presidential candidates, neither the Congress who passed this bill, nor its champion, Newt Gingrich, bothered to explain exactly how the EMR Act will accomplish either. Nor did Mr. Gingrich address the issue of his personal lobbying for the bill and his subsequent financial payoff from two of his clients Allscripts and Microsoft, as a result of his efforts, if one is to believe today’s credible New York Times article.

According to the Times, a ‘spokeswoman’ for Gingrich’s consultancy, the Center for Health Transformation, called Gingrich’s support of electronic health records “visionary.”

“Visionary ?” Expensive and unnecessary, is more like it, but the process has begun, and is projected to cost taxpayers about $35 Billion Dollars. Now all of our medical history, right down to previous flu attacks or clap infections, will be available on the Internet. With password safeguards, no doubt. Trying to get a password from an ER patient with a stab wound in his chest, reminds me of the serial western movies they used to show on TV after school in the 50’s (or so my dad told me). As the bad guy, ‘Red’ (with the Adolph Menjou mustache and black hat), with his newly-found conscience was about to reveal the identity of the bad guys, inevitably somebody would shoot him through an open window.

As the sheriff goes running after the gunman, Ken Maynard, Rex Allen, Bob Steele, Gabby Hayes, Buffalo Bob or some other guy in a white hat, bends over ‘Red’ (the movie being in Black and White, we can only guess why they called him Red), and asks “who did this to you, Red? To which the wounded ‘Red’ responds: “It was . . . Gasp, choke, wheeze, it was . . . Ahhhhhh. (Well, can you at least give us the password, Red? Red, Red . . . ?).

Whereupon, the aforesaid “Red” inconveniently expires - at least until tomorrow‘s show, wherein Red gets plugged in a saloon for teasing Hopalong Cassidy or Roy Rogers about ordering milk (or was is Sarsaparilla, Dad?).

The increased portability and accessibility of electronic medical records certainly will increase the ease with which they can be accessed and stolen by unauthorized persons or unscrupulous users. This predicament, while currently minimal with paper medical records, is a big problem for Internet transactions. Recent high-profile hacking into e-mail, phone records, and credit card accounts bears this out. But then, what have we got to hide? Besides, with the best interests of the people they represent always first and foremost, I’m sure Congress has put safeguards in place to protect our privacy. Right? Maybe ATF can handle it.

But I digress. Is a centralized data bank costing billions of taxpayers dollars and subject to security breaches the prudent approach to making healthcare records immediately available? Is there a better plan? I think so. Attached to my keychain is a small device called a ‘flash drive.’ At 4GB of memory, it is capable of storing all the files, pictures, and spreadsheets that I care to put on it. Larger ’flash drives’ are available. One also could easily store all of one’s medical records, complete with x-rays, and cat scans on one pocket sized ‘flash drive.’ 

Here‘s how my plan works: before a patient leaves his doctor’s office, hospital, medical clinic, or rehab center, a summary of his treatment for that visit, including any x-rays, diagnoses, prescriptions, future appointments, etc. is entered into the office computer records, and a copy is downloaded onto the patient’s ‘flash drive.’ My primary care physician currently provides that now, while I wait briefly for a printed copy. Instant update. If your doctor needs yesterday’s test results from some lab somewhere, or if ambulance personnel or ER Doctors need information about your medical history, or blood type, they can access your updated medical information from your flash drive. Whenever a medical procedure or service is performed by an outside provider, the results can be e-mailed to you to be downloaded on your flash drive - with a copy sent to your primary physician.

If Emergency Ambulance Personnel need to know your allergies, they can get the information from the pre-programmed software on the keychain in you pocket - without fumbling through you wallet, purse, neck, or wrist. Of course, you should not password-protect it. Red? Red? What’s your password. Ahhhhh . . And you may not want to store your pornography collection on that flash drive. 

If medical providers wants to ‘share’ records, no problem. If the information requested is not critical, then old channels will suffice. If urgency is an issue, providers can contact the patient (how urgent can it be if the patient isn‘t present?). If the patient wants to view his own medical records (something he presently cannot do), he can pop that ‘flash drive’ into his home computer’s standard USB slot. No incompetent government; no nosey Internet. No prying computer hackers.

Of course, the expense wouldn’t be $35 Billion, Mr. Smartest Man in the Room. My ‘flash drive’ cost $8.99. 

LET THEM EAT CAKE ?!! I'M PISSED OFF (click here)



April 17, 2011: Congressman Mick Mulvaney, (R) SC, just said on Fox (of course) that the Paul Ryan plan to cut spending by RAISING THE SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT AGE TO 70, "will be remembered as one of the greatest achievements of the Republican Party." Abraham Lincoln is rolling over in his grave.

Maybe it will be an "achievement" but infamous would better describe it. Maybe you can lawyer, legislate, host a talk-show, or run daddy's business at 70, but get ready you construction workers, plumbers, roofers, assembly line workers, salesmen.

What? You say, you worked and paid into the system all these years? Yup. And Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, George Bush, and Al Gore spent it - THE SYSTEM IS BROKE. Now quit whining and get back up on that roof, You have 3 more years. (click here)

Marie Antoinette lost her head for suggesting a similar proposal. Why should America's Seniors lose theirs?

May 16, 2011 Update: What's that? Republicans are putting the Ryan plan on hold; couldn't expect it to pass the Senate, you say? Or maybe those angry seniors at those inconvenient Town-Hall meetings gave you an earfull. The only surprise here is that Republicans (yet again) got caught off guard.

May 16, Update: Republicans Bash Gingrich, FALL IN, YOU DAMNED REPUBLICANS.

May 18, Update: The best TV Ad since "does a piggie cry wee, wee, wee . . . " Paul Ryan pushing struggling granny in a wheel chair off a cliff. Funny AND dead on. Where is Richard Widmark when we need him?

May 22, Update: Newt Gingrich says he was taken out of context. Man up, Newt (if a man named Newt CAN man up). Stick by your convictions if you believe you're right.

May 23, Update: Oh. oh. Harry Reid says he will bring the Ryan Bill up for a vote in the Senate. I guess old Harry still knows a good issue when he sees it.

June 1, 2011 Update: Ole' Harry got Ryan's Plan before the Senate. The bill failed to pass - with four Republicans dissenting. 

July 8, 2011 Update: Today, President Obama officially departs from Democratic Party dogma - and sides with Republicans in screwing Seniors. He and Republican leaders will summit in the Cabinet Room (beer in hand, no doubt) this weekend to decide how much they will take out of 'entitlement' programs - Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid - in order to "cut" the deficit.

UPDATE, UPDATE . . . . December 12, 2012. While not admitting what a dumb idea the original Ryan Plan was, Paul Ryan announced his "new" plan to cut back on the Medicare costs that were promised to American Seniors. (click here): He doesn't mention if he plans to keep Seniors on the assembly line or pitching tar on a 110 degree roof - but it's a start.
ENTITLEMENTS
(May 11, 2009)

​Medicare, Social Security,  and Veterans' benefits ARE ENTITLEMENTS; paid for in advance by the blood and tax dollars of those who are now enjoying those benefits. 

Now the politicians have stolen from the trust funds that were set up to provide those promised benefits. They are broke. Solution? Politicians from both parties are calling for a reduction in these benefits they call 'Entitlements.'

Full faith and credit of the U.S. Government? Forget it. 

Somewhere along the line the politicians and their sycophants in the media have lumped these three with Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, Rent and Mortgage subsidies, and called them ALL "Entitlements."

These last items are NOT ENTITLEMENTS. People who are drawing these benefits (some for three generations or more) are not 'entitled' to these handouts provided to them from those Veterans ans Seniors who were NOT too proud to work and sacrifice for future benefits and for the good of their country.

Now they are planning to pass legislation to cut Medicare, Social Security, and Veterans' Benefits NUTS. Cut the handouts. Let those parasites who think they are "Entitled" to a check from the taxpayers GET A JOB.

Let those politicians who robbed the trust funds share a cellblock with Bernie Madoff.

GET A JOB

Why can't we end poverty in a country as rich as the United States? Progressives tell you that we are NOT SPENDING ENOUGH to end poverty. Those bad old Republicans are keeping the poor down. We just need more government programs, like Head Start, PUSH, Americorps, WPA, CCC and we can whip poverty. (With a little help from our friends . . . ummmmm).

Government programs have failed. Welfare is a disincentive. We no longer can afford to pay for these programs, and most importantly, we should not expect our Senior Citizens to sacrifice their health or shorten their lifespan to pay for these useless programs.

Get a job.
A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS
(March 7, 2010)

            The Statue of Liberty is inscribed with these words:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 



​         When this country was settled  Those who came here, came for one reason: to be free. Free from governments, free from tyranny, free from war. Most had little more than the shirts on their backs.

       When the first colony was settled at Plymouth Rock, most of the Puritans ate and slept aboard the Mayflower, because there were no houses to live in (much less housing provided by H.U.D). During the first winter 40% died.

       After the Revolutionary War, many of the newly-independent Americans headed to areas now known as Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. Later, American settlers set out for new lands in the West, eventually settling in Nebraska, Missouri, and other areas all the way to California.

       Many died or were killed by hostile Indians along the way. All either worked hard to survive, or they perished. And few expected anything more.That's the "Nation of Immigrants" that made America what it is today.

       Now we have Socialism; welfare; food stamps; public housing; Medicaid. Many families have lived off this largesse from the American Taxpayer for generations - too lazy to get a job. Liberals call these handouts "Entitlements." They are "entitled" to sponge off the rest of us. President Obama's Healthcare Plan is an extension of that liberal doctrine - "everyone is 'Entitled' to free medical care.

       Liberals like to expound that we are still a nation of immigrants, as if that has some significance in modern America. In fact things are quite different now. Every single immigrant who comes here, legally or illegally, looking for a job or not, is fully aware of the benefits provided by our welfare system, and fully aware of what they need to do to take advantage of it.

       While many come only want the same opportunity to become successful, it is a fact that an overwhelming number of those in prisons in the SW USA, are immigrants from Mexico, and Central America. They and many in the Midwest  who hail from China, Cambodia, and Vietnam, comprise a substantial percentage of those on government assistance.

       "A nation of immigrants" should mean something more than a mere punchline at parties in the Hamptons, and chance meetings at Whole Foods stores.




ENABLERS' HALL OF FAME
FIXING THE PROBLEM
(May 11. 2011)

The primary theme of my entire website involves finding SOLUTIONS to our problems. On constant on these pages is my attempt to separate myself from the gaggle of so-called Conservative Candidates seeking the Presidency in 2012. Simply put, they tell you what the problems are - I give you the solutions.

DISHONESTY

When I searched for pictures appropriate for the theme of this page, I entered "welfare" into the Bing search engine. What popped up? Drawings, cartoons, pictures, of . . . . white people. White babies; white people standing in lines; white people drinking beer and looking goofy.

Nary a black face to be found. That's interesting, thought I. When I start channel surfing on cable tv during commercial breaks or when Dwyane Wade begins his annoying habit of turning the ball over (and complaining to the referee that he was fouled), I see one sitcom or logo or design or cooking program or Comedy Central or MTV (my very favorite network) I see black people everywhere. But when I research'welfare,' I see no black people.

Then I entered "crime" into ole Bing, and I got pages of - well - white people, once again. Oh. there was a picture of a Minnesota Timberwolf, and a Minnesota Viking - both black. I have no idea what that was about (other than to say that the Denver Nuggets should have been arrested for Grand Theft Forward, when they stole Al Jefferson from the Wolves, but I doubt that was the story here - and after all, the 'Wolves got Michael Beasely for nothing from the Miami Heat . . . who did a little stealing of their own . . . . oh never mind, theft is rampant in the NBA).

Wait a m.i.n.u.t.e. I need to turn my search filter to OFF - to get the bad stuff (or is it the good stuff?. Click off, re-enter "crime." Ah, here we go. Ughhhhhhh. These are gruesome. Hey ! Lawrence Fishburne is on CSI, Owosso. I'll have to catch that - I like Lawrence Fishburne (especially in "The Red Violin" . . . or was that . . . ?). Hmmm those two Minnesota athletes are stil there. But no more Blacks.

But now what a relief, I'm feeling better.  The African-American community 's problems are solved; now I need only concentrate on all the rest of us until my goal to end poverty in America is finished . . . whew. 

Then I visit the U.S. government's Census Bureau website and I get these (rough) statistics, for U.S. Children living below the poverty line.

     ALL RACES      WHITE         BLACK

198011,114      6,81761%    3,90635%
200813,507      8,44162%    3,78128%

Then I extrapolate this: While Blacks comprise 12% of the population of the U.S. , their poverty rates equal about 50% of the rates of White People. My math tells me that there are 4 times as many .

Then I re-read my copy of Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice, by Charles Silberman, who tells us that Black Crime constitutes about 50% of all violent crime in America. Hmmm.12% of the population vs. 50% of the crimes. 

So, in conclusion, Blacks commit  violent crimes at 5 times the rate of White People; Blacks are 4 times more likely to be poor than White People. Ouch. I thought things were okay here. After all Microsoft's Bing told me so. Of course in fairness, when I Binged "crime" pictures of Casey Anthony, Bernie Madoff, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, John Wilkes Boothe, Anthony Weiner, and the Denver Nugget's GM, didn't pop up either. What's going on here?

Then I Bing 'enablers' and (very) surprisingly, I see a lot of images of Barack Obama. I see one image of 'Skittles' with the caption: Hillary supporters are enablers to her reckless behavior. Honestly, I don't even want to know. With little success, I make my own list of enablers and I then paste them to this page.

The issue, as I see it, is this. We have serious problems in this country that need fixing. But how do we solve these issues if we fail to admit what is wrong in the first place, a point I make on my Home Page? If political correctness supersedes common sense, the obvious becomes obscure. So we spend trillions on false programs and solutions, that don't make things better - in this case better for African-Americans.

ENABLERS

Of course some benefit from this self-deception. Politicians, especially Progressives pander to certain groups, and in return, those groups are expected to keep those friendly politicians in office. 

But take a look at the statistics I quoted above. Simply put, for the last 30 years, we have poored trillions of taxpayer dollars into government handouts and things have gotten no better for African-Americans or anyone else, for that matter, who rely on handouts. Charity demoralizes the spirit; deminished work incentives; and turns many recipients into second-class human beings.

Who is to blame? Those whose pictures I have posted to this page, and hundreds like them who have traded taxpayer dollars for votes?  Who have thrown the word 'racist' around for the sole purpose of silincing their critics. And in the long run, who benefits? They do of course, but is it right? These people are enablers for the welfare society, just as a bartender or sympathetic relative are to the drunk on the barstool or at the kitchen table. 

Years ago I corresponded occasionally  with Leonard Pitts, who wrote a syndicated music column carried by the Miami Herald. Being a musician (of no repute) myself, and (then) partial to piano jazz, I wrote about how much I appreciated his insights and enjoyed his recommendations (Stu Goldberg, Earl Hines) and his column.

On September 13, 2001, Mr. Pitts wrote the best column of all  about the wanton attack on the World Trade Center by a bunch of people who had no idea who Americans were or what we were about; concluding with " But you are about to find out." 

By the time I campaigned for office in 2007 - 2008, Mr. Pitts had long since shifted the emphasis of his writings over to the dark (and more profitable)  side of social commentary and politics - liberal politics. Every thing wrong with Black Society was caused by Whitey, you see. To which I corresponded, via e-mail, that his writings were wrong and wrong-headed, and while providing a feelgood moment for malcontents aching to blame others for their failures, he was enabling their behavior, and making things worse for African-Americans.

When he inevitably wrote more such articles, I called him on it. He never once replied. He blocked my e-mails.

RACIST

Of course, while separating the myths from the demagogory, literally invites the epithet of "Racist" to come my way. BUt is it wise to continue throwing good money after bad for programs, predicated on the wrong set of facts ? 

(Update: New York Times, Aug. 4, 2011) NY Mayor Bloomberg and Billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, are pooling their efforts and $60 Million of their own fortune to improve the lives of Black and Hispanic young men (15 - 24) in New York City. Citing statistics that show NY minorities commit 84% of the crimes in New York City, and after serving time cannot get a job. One assumes that statistic is either racist, or just overlooks Bernie Madoff, Goldman-Sachs, the Levy brothers, and other like-minded liberals from the Hamptons, but I'll give those two the benefit of the doubt.

HONEST BROKERS

Leonard Pitts, Jesse Jackson, Lyndon Johnson, et al. are in it for themselves. Progressive failures are now a matter of public record. They are failures. The people who really pay the price are those recipients of the handouts. Al Sharpton used to hand out fliers in shopping center parking lots - now he rides around in a limousine. Is this the future we want to preserve at the expense of our Senior Citizens?

Marc Lamont Hill@marclamonthill 
(Oct., 2009)

Columbia University Professor Lamont Hill, PhD, assertion that Obama is the only president whose place of birth has been questioned - questioned solely because he is black according to Hill.

Question posed at a University seminar and here’s my reply:

When I attended college in Michigan maaaaaaaaaany years ago, discussion was encouraged in the classroom by liberal but open-minded professors, who taught using the Socratic Method. Political or sociological issues discussed in class became eager, and sometimes contentious debates in the student unions, cafeterias, or anywhere students gathered, where sex wasn’t involved. 

While liberal as academics tended to be, formulated by their life experiences of two World Wars and the Great Depression, many of my professors were WWII veterans and patriotic.  

Concentrating on my major (Partying - 101). I, like most other students of the time, was a liberal - insofar as I had any inclination towards politics at all.

I digress:

​In November of 1967, I was playing poker with some of my friends, in Vung Tau, Vietnam. This guy in our outfit, old of face and low of rank, stood observing our card game. I didn' know much about him, other than that he was humorless, and had no friends, and that he had a foreign accent, and having previously concluded that he was Polish - not having given it much thought why a Polish guy was in the U. S. Army.

 Showing off my liberal, college boy, know-it-all polemic skills, I opined (in a discussion on the merits of Communism), that "At least people in Communist countries are not starving." Whereupon, confirming my previous observation about his lack of humor, Polish Guy leapt to his feet, and sticking his livid face within inches of mine, spat out "my mother starved to death in the Ukraine under Communism." (college boy).

 Whereupon I had a choice to make: (1) Continue my ignorant (liberal college-boy-you-can't-tell-me-anything) defense of Communism, and get killed, or (2) Mumble an apology, and get on with my life. I had an Epiphany. I chose Door # 2. As he stormed out, I snickered self-consciously, as my friends called him a weirdo or whatnot, but I made a promise to myself:

 NEVER AGAIN WOULD I ASSUME ANYTHING. IF I DIDN'T KNOW THE FACTS, I WOULD KEEP MY THOUGHTS TO MY SELF.

 THEN WHEN I STARTED LEARNING THE FACTS, I NO LONGER COULD RATIONALIZE BEING A LIBERAL. 

When I decided to have the facts before I opened my mouth, I learned that many (or most) of my assumptions were contradicted by the facts. The truth rapidly turned me from a liberal to a conservative. 

Within my diverse social and business circles in Michigan, debate was a common interest. At parties many of our acquaintances were educated people; lawyers, business people, and medical researchers. At work (I owned several bookstores in college towns, and hired mostly graduate students), political discussions about the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, population explosion, civil rights, the environment, were in their infancy, and everyone held an opinion - mostly”progressive.” Something needed to be don, and now. And the government was the only solution to most.

But debate was free, open, and honest. Why there certainly was a proliferation of opinion absent any real knowledge (’FREE ABORTIONS), the debateS flowed and most people respected and listened to the thoughts of others. An honest debate.

In the ensuing years, Socialism on the World stage failed. But people don’t like to admit that they are wrong. 

By then (now) honest debate had been displaced by political party rancor. The desired result from debate no longer was honest discourse, but rather a political end.

When I moved from Michigan to Florida in 1982, things changed. People in Florida did not have political opinions. From diverse regions of the country, many were retired and given their expected relatively short future, the past wasn’t a priority - and the political ideology of their younger days, to the extent that they had any at all, was no longer a conversational piece at happy hour.

I couldn’t get a political debate (nor a drag race) in Florida.

So the political discourse in which many of us participated in our younger days has been supplanted by a new generation of talking heads on television talk shows - like Professor Lamont Hill.

In fact, professor, President Chester Arthur's  birthplace was seriously questioned, as he surely was born in Canada, some 250 miles north of his established Vermont residency, but investigation was not completed by the time he left office after serving one term.

It would be nice if "Doctor" Hill (with those advanced degrees and all) would at least get that right.