Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I would like to wish everyone a very Healthy and Happy New Year. May 2015 be good to you. We had a wonderful 2014, but we know that not everyone did. Hopefully in 2015 we can eliminate the atmosphere of hate and negativity that has enveloped our country, so that all Americans regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation, age and religion can live in peace and harmony.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!


I would like to wish all of my readers, my family and friends all over the world a very Merry, Joyful, Peaceful and safe Christmas season. May you find comfort in spending the holidays with your loved ones, whomever they may be. And special thoughts and prayers to all of our service men and women protecting our way of life, thousands of miles from their loved ones. Please at this time also think of those who are less fortunate than us and those who are suffering during this otherwise festive season.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



I would like to wish all of my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. As the photo above shows the very first Thanksgiving, where the Native Americans welcomed and fed the original immigrants, let us all return to the spirit of those times. Let us all be real Americans and welcome all of those who want to join us in building a strong and unified America. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson Erupts - As Expected



Last night the Grand Jury in Ferguson, MO. announced it's verdict in the Darren Wilson case. Wilson is the white police officer who shot an killed a young Black man, Michael Brown. I can honestly say that I did not expect and indictment in this case, so I am not surprised. The Grand Jury was made up of 9 white people and 3 Black people, so both races were represented.

I am not going to say this decision was right or wrong. I studied what transcripts were available and could see that there were many discrepancies on both sides. I don't feel as though I can form an honest opinion on right or wrong, as I was not there in the Grand Jury and I was not a witness to the shooting. I don't know if justice was served or if the truth ever really emerged, because there have been so many rumors, untruths and outright lies spread around by so many people not involved in this case.

The case no longer involves the friends and families of the officer and the deceased, or the community of Ferguson, MO. In the past few months since the shooting, people and groups have come out of the woodwork to support either the shooter or the victim. The Klu Klux Klan, Anonymous, Rev. Al Sharpton and members of white supremacist or other right wing groups have become part of the fabric of demonstrations in this small community. Their purpose for their presence, in my opinion, is debatable. Most of them are there for their own self serving reasons or to push their own agenda. There are also people there for the best of reasons, supporting the families involved or the seeking racial harmony and justice.

Of all of these protesters there seems to be a minority who resort to violence to make some sort of point. It makes no sense to riot, burn and destroy in response to what may be perceived as a crime. This type  of behavior does nothing to ease racial tensions in the community. It only feeds the hatred and fuels the flames of discontent.

I do not feel for one minute that Ferguson does not have a race problem. For sure their are racist elements in the law enforcement agencies, as their are probably everywhere. There are also racist elements in both the white and Black communities. For sure the police department did not handle the shooting and ensuing demonstrations and riots with intelligence and professionalism. Ferguson will not be the only American community to suffer these types of situations, as it is only a matter of time before it happens again in some other community. Each community has to come face to face with racial problems that may or may not be apparent. They must work on understanding their minority communities and become aware of the sensitivities of all of their citizens.

I am not going to take sides, but I am going to place some blame on what has happened and is happening in Ferguson. I am going to place a very large percentage of blame for the riots and bloodshed on the people who are inciting this violent behavior - the MEDIA! Since the inception of 24/7 news channels, such as CNN and Fox News, it has become apparent that if these stations have no news, they will invent it. Watching reporters from CNN, FOX, CBS, NBC ABC and others one can see that when it comes to covering the riots and demonstration they are actually firing up the radicals on both sides in order to make news. When they have stoked the flames and created a violent street scene they become shocked and incensed when one of their reporters gets verbally attacked or even injured. In situations like this they believe that if there is no news, they can create their own.  I believe Fox News is the main culprit in flaming racial hatred. For six years they have attacked the President on one basic fact alone and that is because he is Black. In so demonically attacking him because of his race, they have set a new low standard for news broadcasting where it is acceptable to attack anyone of color, anyone of a different religion, gays or anyone who is not a white, male Christian.

The people of Ferguson and any community, where there are problems related to racism, bigotry and inequality, riots and violence are not the answer. You must register to vote and vote, not only in presidential or national elections, but in small local ones too. This last election was an example where people were lazy and did not vote their own personal interests, thus allowing right wing and fringe candidates, who are anti-immigrant and anti-minority social conservatives, to become elected.  Violence will not bring about change, people and their votes will bring about change!

Friday, November 21, 2014

OMG the Mexicans Are Going to Take My Job!



Well Obama has finally announced his executive actions on immigration and if you listen to
Fox News and the GOP the world is coming to an end. or at least there will be a flood of Mexicans coming to steal our jobs. For the past 6 years the Republicans have done nothing about immigration reform, except to demonize people of color, either citizens of the US or not. The Republican House of Representatives even had an immigration reform bill before them, but the whiner of a Speaker, Boehner refused to call a vote on the measure. Instead of doing nothing but complaining about brown skinned illegals stealing American jobs, as the Republicans and right wing have done, Obama finally took some action and led the way. By issuing the actions he has thrown a challenge to the GOP to actually do something. But instead of doing something about immigration reform, the GOP and their mouthpiece Fox News is stirring up their ignorant, right wind bigoted, racist base.

Now the right wingers are demanding that money be given to veterans instead of illegals. Pure idiocy. The money is not being taken away from the VA or other veterans groups. No the GOP already did that! Go online and see everything the Republicans defeated that was intended to help veterans.
Fox News has terrified the American worker by saying that these illegals are stealing American jobs. I don't know of many Americans, working as farm laborers for below poverty level wages, have had their jobs stolen by illegals! Quite the contrary. Owners of large cooperative farms, who wish to abide by the immigration laws and hire only documented laborers cannot find Americans to fill their jobs. I am sure that these loud mouthed right wingers would not last one day picking fruit or vegetables for a few dollars an hour and no benefits! At least now those illegals working here have to pay taxes, which will help improve our economy.

This type of reaction to immigrants is not new. Before Hispanic immigration the white folks accused the Italians of coming here to steal American jobs and before that those nasty Catholic Irish were coming here to steal jobs. Now in this country there are many legal immigrants studying at our universities and colleges from India and China and other countries of the world.These are the best and brightest in their fields of medicine, science and computers. Once they graduate though, our illogical and racist immigration laws refuse these people the right to stay in this country and work, sending them back to their home countries to further develop technology there, instead of the US. Slowly, but surely the US is losing her edge in the sciences and math only because of outdated and racist immigration policies.

The United States is a nation of immigrants and our education system, our industrial complex and our laws have been built by immigrants and children of immigrants. Every American citizen living today, with the exception of the true citizens, the Native Americans, are the descendants of immigrants. The Republican party, or more correctly Right Wing Republicans and the Christians right want only one kind of American, white and Christian. That would be the demise of this country!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Offline - Thanks to Dell and Windows



For the past week I have not published any posts due to the fact that I could not connect to the Internet. I have an 8 month old Dell desktop computer, which I purchased brand new. It came with Windows 8 already installed. A few weeks after I purchased it I ran into trouble connecting to the Internet. Apparently Windows 8 was preventing Internet connection. At that time I contacted Dell support and spoke several times with a supposed engineer, in India. After 5 agonizing days I was able to connect. I had to install Widows 8.1, which was difficult since Windows 8 was preventing it. When I bought this computer I came very close to purchasing an IMac, but sadly didn't.

For the past few months I was able to connect to the Internet, but was having other problems, such as adware and spyware, even though I had one of the best antivirus software, Bitdefender. Finally one day last week I was not able to connect to the Internet, as I do everyday. For some reason Windows would not allow this. Kevin, who is very knowledgeable in computers, tried to fix the problem remembering what was done the last time. It didn't work. What he did discover in trying to fix my problem was that everything Dell had installed in my "new" computer was the 2012 version! He made a number of attempts to contact Dell Customer Support but rand into a couple of problems. First of all the people in customer support were based in India and their command of the English language was atrocious, which caused a severe communication problem. After he finally spoke with someone who could communicate effectively in English, he was informed that my warranty has expired 4 months ago. My 1 year warranty on the computer I bought brand new 8 months ago expired 4 months early according to Dell. It was explained to them that I registered the PC when I bought it and they should have a record of this. They didn't and they basically said it was not their problem!

After Kevin installing and reinstalling Windows 8.1 I am finally able to connect to the Internet, but I  lost a lot of saved websites and files.Once I was able to connect there were about 120 updates from Microsoft waiting to be installed. Why the hell are there so many updates? Must be that Windows is an extremely crappy OS!

Black Friday is only days away and the first thing I am going to do is to go to Best Buy and buy myself an IMac, so I can get rid of this piece of Dell crap! I won't ever have to pay outlandish amounts of money for OS upgrades that Apple provides for free and I won't have to worry so much about constant hacker attacks, as I did with Microsoft.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day


Happy Veteran's Day to all. Thank you so very much to all of you who have served our country and all of you who are serving now. Many have given the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us can live in freedom. Many have lost a part of themselves, so that we may live whole. As a nation we must remember our veterans, not just on November 11, but every day of the year. We must honor the memory of those we have lost and we must care for those who are still with us.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

There Goes Our Affordable Health Care



The other day I was preparing to sign Kevin up for health insurance, now that he has his green card.I was a bit surprised at how much money he will have to pay in premiums each month, as he is not employed. Then I realized that this is the cost under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.I did a little more research and discovered how much it would be if it weren't for Obamacare. Wow! What a shock!. Don't forget for the past 8 years I was living in a so called third world country that gave free health care to its citizens and to foreigners for $10 per case! Actually the US is the only country in the developed world that doesn't offer free health care.

Researching further on the topic of ACA I realized that as flawed as it may be it gave millions of poor Americans health insurance, who otherwise would not have had any. It is interesting to note that Republican led Red states, for the most part refused to take part in the ACA, thus depriving hundreds of thousand of poor people in their states of any kind of health insurance. This was very depressing. But what was even more depressing was to see that the poor people, without insurance, living in these red states, were either too stupid or too brainwashed to realize that voting Republican will only further deprive them of health insurance.

Then the midterm elections came along and the Republicans beat the Democrats big time. So what is the first thing that the victors, such as  John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, promise to do? Of course, repeal Obamacare. It is interesting to note that in a number of  articles written, when people were asked if they liked Obamacare better or the Affordable Care Act plan better, many if not most replied that they like the Affordable Care Act plan better. That's how intelligent our electorate is! And now the GOP nominated Conservatives on the Supreme Court feel a bit emboldened and have decided to hear more arguments against the ACA. So now there is a very distinct possibility that those poor people living in Red states that do  participate in the expansion of medicaid, under the ACA could lose their health insurance. They will have no one to blame except for themselves.

Living abroad I had friends from many different countries in Asia and Europe. Each one of them was amazed and confused over all of  the fuss about Obamacare. They were shocked to learn that the US has never provided affordable health care to all of its citizens like the rest of the world. The question back then and now is, what does the Republican party have against allowing poor people to be protected by health insurance?  To a person GOP politicians will say they want people to have health insurance, but that Obama's plan doesn't help them at all. To my knowledge the US government, from 1776 until 2010, never passed a law to give affordable health insurance to the American people! So if the Republicans are so willing to give us affordable health care, what the hell were they doing for the past 224 years and what are they doing now?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's Finally Over - Republican In Charge.

Well the 2014 Midterm Elections, the most expensive elections in US history, are finally over. The Republicans have won a majority in both houses of Congress. Or should I say that the Koch brothers and the 1% of wealthiest Americans have succeeded in purchasing both houses of Congress. Either way the American people have lost.

After the Republican's shocking loss to Obama in the last presidential election they finally have exacted their revenge. But they had help. the Democrats have no one to blame, except for themselves. Because of the Bush years the US economy was almost destroyed by two unnecessary wars which created a massive government debt and destroyed Americas good will abroad. Obama has succeeded in reducing the National Debt, reducing the unemployment rate, putting millions more people to work and providing healthcare to millions of people who had none. A fantastic list of achievements! But what  do the Democrats do? They throw Obama under the bus and run away from all that he has accomplished instead supporting him. They kowtowed to  the media, such as Fox News, whose only objective is to destroy Obama and everything he stands for. With few exceptions the Democrats were sniveling cowards.

So after 6 years of bitching and complaining the Republicans now actually have to govern. The question is, will they? Already Mitch McConnell, who will be the Senate Majority leader, said he will try to carve away at Obamacare. (What do the Republicans have against poor people having health insurance?) For all of those poor and underpaid people who voted for Republicans, don't be surprised if you see them try to attack your social security and give more help to the wealthy. Don't be surprised to see them send more troops to the Middle East.  Don't expect to see Congress give you a respectable living minimum wage. Don't expect Congress to help you or your children receive a college education or help you with your college debt. You will see the rich get rich and the poor get poorer and the Middle Class continue to disappear. You will join the ranks of the poor, ignorant fools in Kentucky, who year after year, return Mitch McConnell to office, the very man who is keeping them poor and ignorant.

It will be an interesting two years, watching the Republicans turn the clock back to the 1950's and try to establish a Christian nation to satisfy their far right base. I look forward to 2016 and how the Republicans are going to explain their failures. Will it be Hillary against Mitt? We can only hope so.

Courtesy kamoodle.deviantart.com

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Predictions for the 2014 Midterm Elections


I have never made any election predictions on this blog before, but I thought I would do it just this once. The big question this year is whether or not the Republicans can gain control of the US Senate. As it is now there is only a 1 seat advantage for the Democrats. The House of Representatives will definitely remain in the hands of the Republicans. In most midterm elections the party in the White House usually loses control of one or both houses.

The Democrats have a history of extreme apathy after they elect a President from their party, and this year seems to be no exception. The same young people, women and minorities who reelected Obama for a second term, when all of the pundits said he would lose, are noticeably absent this time around.
It seems that Democrats are looking and taking about 2016 instead of the very near future of Tuesday, November 4, 2014. The Republicans are still angry that Obama, the first Black President was elected not once, but twice. They are out for revenge.

If we look back to the accomplishments of this present Congress it doesn't take long to see that they accomplished absolutely nothing. The Republicans blocked all legislation that would have created jobs or helped the middle class.They did nothing for the veterans, who  fought the wars for the politicians that sent them into battle. They did nothing for the environment. They did nothing for the poor. So what did they do or try to do? Well they voted 54 times to repeal Obamacare, but failed. Obviously they don't want poor and middle class people to have health insurance. They did nothing to help the millions of students burdened by heavy student loans. They did nothing on immigration reform. They did nothing to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. And they did nothing on raising taxes for the super rich, which was the mandate given to Obama when he defeated Romney! But they did manage to shut the government down and bring the country to the edge of default.

Will the American people remember this? Of course not. The same backward,  ignorant morons who elected the likes of Mitch McConnell and the others, who did absolutely nothing, but obstruct every measure Obama and the Democrats introduced, will return the whole corrupt do-nothing bunch on November 4th. The obstructionism and lack of governance will continue until a white man is president again!

I can therefore predict that on November 4, 2014 the Republicans will retain the House of Representatives and gain control of the US Senate. The electorate will deserve what they get.  Two years from now, when the American people see what damage the Republican Congress, bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and the rest of the big corporations, has rendered they will smarten up and come to their senses. In November the Republicans will be thoroughly vanquished. The next 2 years should be fun, but once again not productive.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

RIP Mayor Tom Menino


I grew up in Watertown, NY, but after finishing my education I moved to Boston. I had always been intrigued with the history of Boston and wanted to live there. Since my education was in the medical field, it made since to move to Boston, where job opportunities were abundant. So after a short stint at a private lab in Albany I moved to Boston. I can remember a small group of politicians who were infamously known for their bigotry towards anyone who wasn't Boston Irish or who were gay. I must say that I was a bit intimidated by these at first but learned to stay away from their territory in South Boston. This was in 1985 and eight years later things became to change.

In 1993, after Mayor Flynn resigned to take an ambassadorship, Tom Menino became acting mayor. He went on to become the longest serving mayor Boston has ever had, winning every election with a wide plurality. During my time living in Boston, my adopted home town, a lot changed. Menino championed the rights of all Bostonians, not just a select few. I can remember that every St. Patrick's Day, the organizers of the parade denied any gay group the right to march in the parade. I can still remember the bigoted head of the parade, Whacko. Yes that was really his nickname and he was proud of it. Menino refused to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade, but he proudly marched in the annual Boston Gay Pride parade.

He was not afraid to frequent Black, Hispanic, Vietnamese or Chinese neighborhoods or eateries, as he seemed to thrive in the different cultures that Boston was becoming a home to. I can remember when he first became mayor he attended our little neighborhood block party and came to my house to pet the dog. He was just another neighbor.

When I tell people I lived in Boston they often ask how I could stand the high taxes and big city life. The truth is I paid a lot less, about 50% less in taxes than I do now here in upstate New York and the "big city" of Boston was more like a bunch of little neighborhoods of different backgrounds, all living together.  Boston  became this way because of Mayor Tom Menino. He was truly a politician who cared for his city and its people more than politics and money. He was Boston and Boston will miss him, but she will never forget him. Thank you Mayor Tom Menino.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Life in These United States



I was passing the time a short while ago by reading Yahoo News on my IPhone and came across an interesting story, titled "The 10 States With the worst Quality of Life". The criteria for quality of life were employment rate, household disposable income per capita, health and percentage of people without health insurance. The 10 states were: 1.Mississippi, 2. Alabama, 3. Arkansas, 4. W.Virginia, 5. Tennessee, 6. Oklahoma, 7. S. Carolina, 8. Louisiana, 9. New Mexico, 10. Georgia.

The article described the poverty and quality of life in these ten states, without mentioning a word about politics. It did mention that in most of these states there was high voter turnout as compared to the rest of the country.  After reading the article I sort of thought there was something familiar with these states. All but Arkansas and West Virginia have Republican governors and all but West Virginia are Red states! Very interesting.

I can only draw one conclusion. With the high voter turnouts in these states, which support Republicans, maybe the electorate enjoys the poor quality of life! It makes no sense to continue voting for the party that keeps you in poverty!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another School Shooting





I have written a few posts in the past on gun violence and school shootings and now sadly I am doing it again. After each shooting there is an uproar from some parents and a few politicians calling for stricter gun laws and all kinds of nasty rhetoric from the NRA in defense of guns. Nothing ever gets done. So here we are again. In Washington state a teenage boy went on a shooting spree in his school cafeteria, because he was jilted by a girlfriend. He killed one student and seriously wounded others before he killed himself.

Once again people are looking for answers to stop the killings, but what is amazing is the number of loud voices who say this would never have happened if school officials and faculty were armed. They also warn people not to overreact because the Democrats will take every one's guns away. What complete and utter morons!

I have lived in other countries and have many friends from different countries in Europe and Asia. When I was living abroad I was so embarrassed each and every time there was a school shooting. I could never answer that question, "Why do Americans have to have so many guns?" America has more guns than any other country in the world and we also have abundantly more gun related deaths than any other country in the world, civilized or not.  Many opponents of gun control say that the violence is a result of violent video games. Japan, China and Korea have way more video games than the US, but they don't have any school shootings or gun related murders. These same opponents argue that gun violence is a result of poor mental health care. This is basically true, but we do not have a monopoly on mentally ill people and our care is much better than in many countries which have no instances of gun violence. Are Americans slowly becoming desensitized to school killings and regressing back to the uncivilized days of the Old West? It seems that way, especially in those states of the Old West.

The argument that Obama and the Democrats want to take away all of the guns is purely idiotic. I like to target shoot on occasion and I have friends and relatives that love hunting. The weapons that should be banned are not hunting rifles and shotguns, but assault weapons intended to kill as many people, not deer, as possible. These assault weapons are intended for  military use. Unfortunately these weapons have also found their way into the hands of terrorist organizations around the world, as well as high school students. Gun control opponents almost overwhelmingly follow Fox News and therefore get all of the wrong facts and outright lies. I am sorry to say that a couple of my friends are like this. You can't argue with them by using facts, as they believe Fox is infallible. 

The old argument that "people kill people, guns don't kill people" is true, but having so many guns so available to so many people, regardless of mental state, is completely irresponsible. For a long time this country was embroiled in the argument of whether or not gay people should be issued a license to marry. A license for two people who love each other to be married, which would hurt  no one, was bitterly fought over and most times denied, while any mentally unstable person could walk off the street and buy and assault weapon to kill as many people as he wished! When people adopt a dog or a cat they have to go through a process where they must prove they are responsible enough to own a pet. Not so with purchasing a gun in many states! As long as you a breathing, even better yet, wearing an NRA pin or Confederate flag, you can buy whatever weapon you want.

I doubt that things will change much in this country, especially since our politicians are increasingly bought  by the NRA and other large corporations. Conservatives in this country are increasing showing that they value owning a gun more than the lives of children.  Our democratic style form of government is slowly giving way to an oligarchic form of government and the American voters are too stupid to realize it. Sadly I will probably be writing another post sometime in the near future, after another mass school shooting. People are worried and demanding action after one person died from ebola, but show no concern about our increasing epidemic of school shootings! America has a problem!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Your Medications Could Kill You



When I was younger I didn't know anything about medications and I don't think too many other people did either. When you went to the doctor he gave you some medicine, which you hoped would take care of what ailed you. Most likely you didn't even know the names of the medications and didn't worry about side effects.

All of this has changed in the past few years with drug companies advertising their products. Every day we are bombarded by ads for medications for conditions including hay fever, ED, bronchitis, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and a myriad of other diseases. I think these commercials go right over the heads of most viewers, unless they are suffering with one of these conditions. So basically they are ignored by most of us. But what about those people who have a disease and may benefit from taking one of these advertised drugs?

The commercials always show patients,  who are supposedly taking the medications, as happy go lucky, smiling and sociable and without pain. The announcer suggests that you could be helped by these wonder drugs and tells you to ask your doctor about them. Then after you are told how wonderful the drugs are the announcer goes on to warn you of the possible side effects. These warnings include the possibility of stroke, heart attack, blindness and my favorite, "even death". The announcer even warns you not to take the medication if you are allergic to it. How in hell are you going to know if you are allergic to it unless you know the patented scientific name of the ingredient or unless you give it a try to see what happens?

I have breathing difficulties and have seen ads for medications that might possibly help me, but I admit that the possible complications would be much worse than having some difficulty breathing. I would think that a lot of people would be terrified to try these medications, for fear of death. I previously wrote a post on the high cost of drugs in this country, I've Been Ripped Off  by the Big Drug Companies, which leads me to make a point on that high cost here.  Drug advertising is extremely expensive on TV, the Internet and in magazines. So who's paying for this expensive advertising? We are, through increased cost of the drugs we buy! Every time you see one of these ads, just remember that even though you aren't suffering from that particular disease, you are paying for that ad when you buy another medication! Now that should make you sick!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Worry About Ebola

en.wikipedia.org


In the past few weeks we have been inundated with news about the ebola virus, most of which has been false and politically motivated. We've all heard a little something about ebola, the deadly disease that every now and then breaks out in Africa killing most of those affected. Most Americans didn't care because it only killed Black people in Africa. For Americans it was out of sight, out of mind. But not this time. Someone from Africa, who was infected by the ebola virus, came to the US, where he was hospitalized and subsequently died. Two nurses were infected, but are doing fine now under care.

It has been a slow past few months for the news media, so they all jumped aboard the bandwagon to flood the airways with myths, propaganda and outright lies to terrify the American public. CNN hasn't had this much fun since the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17. Twenty-four hours a day they broadcast the same nonsensical dribble and untruths about ebola. Every newscast was exactly the same, with the same breaking reports every few minutes. And of course Fox News chimed in and turned a deadly disease into a political issue. Politicians who knew absolutely nothing about the cause of illnesses were criticizing the CDC and the Obama administration for not doing enough to protect the American people. Naturally the morons at Fox  News and their Republican lackeys blamed President Obama, as they always do whenever it rains or something else goes wrong. Ironically they blame Obama for not letting the Surgeon General take care of the situation, when there is presently no Surgeon General, because Republicans in Congress have blocked the nomination of a surgeon general  simply for being  nominated by Obama. Also with the last shutdown of the  government by Republicans the CDC lost a great deal of funding for such epidemics.

Since the midterm elections are just a couple of weeks away Conservatives are calling for the banning of direct flights from infected areas of Africa, even thought there are no direct flights from these areas. Some Conservatives want to shut down the country and stop all flights from Africa, which would naturally cause an economic catastrophe. The Tea Party has once again taken a situation, this time a public health concern and turned it into hate filled, ignorant rantings to blame the President, hoping to scare the hell out of Americans before the elections, so the Republicans can win in November. Even though the true facts regarding ebola are out there for all to see, the viewers of Fox News and others of their ilk choose to panic instead of learn the truth. This is so reminiscent of the early days of the AIDS crisis!  The difference being that back then Ronald Reagan ignored the epidemic because it was only killing gays, whereas Obama is actually doing something!

One person, infected in Africa and flown to the US, has died. In the following months tens of thousands of people will die with the flu, hundreds will die as the result of gun violence and hundreds more will dies in automobile accidents, but Americans could care less! Why? Because these deaths do not serve a purpose to the media, such as Fox News, CNN and others.

EBOLA IS SPREAD BY DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE BODILY FLUIDS OF AN INFECTED PERSON. THE VIRUS IS NOT AIRBORN, SO YOU CAN' T BECOME INFECTED BY JUST BEING NEAR AN INFECTED PERSON, UNLESS HE SNEEZES ON YOU, SPITS ON YOU OR VOMITS ON YOU!

So wise up America and listen to people who know what they are doing, instead of those ignoramuses with a political agenda. You are not sheep, so quit following these idiots blindly!

commons.wikimedia.org





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mind Boggling Midterm Elections

Photo courtesy: madmikesamerica.com


In just a few weeks the 2014 midterm elections will take place. I have on the whole been ignoring them, as I have been preoccupied with Kevin getting his Green Card. Another reason I have not paid much attention to them and written a blog post is that the campaign rhetoric has been totally disgusting from both sides. What I do know is that in the past 2 years absolutely nothing has been done by this bunch of good for nothing, extremely partisan, hate filled, racist, Koch brother bought and paid for politicians in Congress! Looking at some of the predictions of who will control the House and Senate I just had to break my silence and post something.

Ever since Obama was reelected for a second term, the Republicans have vowed to destroy him. In an October 23, 2010 interview with the National Journal, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority leader stated, " The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." This present congress has spent most of its time trying to repeal or gut the Affordable Healthcare Act, trying to impeach Obama or trying to sue him. They have done absolutely nothing to help the middle class, the unemployed, the poor, working men and women, students under tons of student debt or to address the ever growing income equality.  There have been zero jobs plans emanating from Congress. The Republicans have offered nothing, except for suing Obama.

In all of the recent polls the favorability of Congress is extremely low. According to a Gallup Poll from September 2014  the favorability rating was 14%. This same poll puts Obama at a favorability rating at 40%. In all of the polls those people being polled say that the present Senate and House of Representatives do not deserve reelection. To the normal, intelligent sane person this would mean that there would most likely be big changes ahead with the midterm election. Oh how wrong can one be?   


The recent polls show that basically the makeup of the House of Representative will be the same after the election and there is a possibility that the Senate will be taken over by the Republicans. The same Republicans who did nothing in this congressional term.Those same Conservative Republicans, who blocked any legislation to help the poor and middle class, will be reelected by those same poor and middle class people being kept down by them.! The millions of poor people in the Red states who are now being covered by Obamacare are going to vote for those same people who want to take that healthcare insurance away from them! Those millions of people in the Red states who are receiving food stamps are going to vote for the same politicians who want to take food stamps away from them! It is interesting to note that the Red states receive the most welfare benefits and pay the least in federal taxes. Also 9 out of 10 of the poorest states are Red states with Republican governors!


The unemployment rate in the country has dropped to the lowest level in 6 years and the Federal deficit has dropped to the lowest level in 6 years. These are two facts that have been clouded over by the hateful and revengeful antics of the Republicans in Congress, who say the economy is worse. Unfortunately the very people who need help are being brainwashed by the media, especially the fantasy news of Fox News, which blames Obama for every bad situation since the fall of the Roman Empire.


I have little or no faith in the American electorate, especially in the Right Wing religious South. They are not bright enough to realize the harm they are doing to themselves at the hands of the political morons they continue to elect and reelect. They cannot see that they are getting poorer as their representatives in congress and their rich supporters are getting richer! They will  have only themselves to blame for their plight.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Jills Antiques, Brockport,NY

When Kevin and I first moved to the Rochester area we had to start furnishing our home from scratch.  Needless to say buying furniture for a large house was very expensive.  We bought the basics, such as a bed, sofa, kitchen tables and chairs for the living room. As money began to run low we saw the need to economize. Both of us like vintage or antique furniture so we decided to look around the area for antique shops and garage and estate sales. One day we happened upon a quaint little store on Main Street in Brockport.  We had lunch nearby so we decided to drop in and see what was there.

Well needless to say we fell in love with the store. I think Kevin would love to have his second home here.We found Jill, the owner to be very pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful. We have bought many items of furniture, old vinyl records, old lamps and other antique collectibles.Jill also has quite a collection of vintage clothing, photos, toys and china.

We have also purchased an old radio and a vintage turntable from Jill, which are in prefect working condition. It is very assuring to know that when you purchase something like antique radios or other such equipment, that it actually works. And that's because Jill's father,a semi-retired radio and electronics technician, makes sure they all work. He also works there Sunday afternoons and is always willing to answer your questions about the radios etc.

I am by no means a person who knows what they are doing when it comes to antiques, but I know what I like and I can usually find it here at a reasonable price. If Jill doesn't have what I am looking for I can ask her to keep an eye out for it. Many times we go in the shop to browse or simply chat, because the atmosphere is so comfortable and we just feel at ease looking around.

I usually don't use my blog to promote businesses, as those who read this can tell, but I believe in supporting those who have supported us in our move into our new home town. If you are in the neighborhood of Main Street, in Brockport, NY, please stop in at Jill's Antiques and Collectibles at 65 Main St.. She is open Mon.-Fri. 10:30-6, Sat.10:30-5, Sun.12-4. Her website is www.jillsantiques.com
You won't regret your visit.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Couple of My Pet Peeves

Instead of posting something about my experiences moving back home or about politics,  I have decided to post something about a few of things that really irritate me. I have been thinking about writing something about a couple of annoyances I have had for quite some time, but some of them really got to me these past few days.

Whenever I go shopping for new clothes I can't wait to get home and try them on to see how they look. This excitement quickly fades into frustration. Why does every little piece of clothing have to have those plastic tags attached to the clothing? Often times they are inserted through the clothing so that when you attempt to remove them one end gets stuck inside the seams forever. You have to take your time to make sure you cut them so that both ends of the tags can be thrown away. Many times I have discovered the cause of an itch on my back or stomach was one of these lost loose ends! Why can't they use tape, which can be peeled of simply and quickly?

Courtesy of funwithfecteau.blogspot.com
 Have you ever had diarrhea or needed to take an allergy pill quickly? You go to the medicine cabinet, find the proper medicine, peel off one of the blister pack sections containing one tablet and then the fun begins,.Usually there is a small perforation that says "cut or tear here". Yeah right. Try cutting or tearing here, especially in the middle of the night, when you are suffering. You end up having to get a pair of scissors and cutting the pill out. I realize that this packaging is child proof, but it is also patient proof!
commons.wikimedia.org

And last, but not least is one of my favorites.I love buying light bulbs or other gadgets and items which are vacuum packed in plastic. You can't tear the package apart. You need to get a pair of scissors and perhaps a crowbar to pry the item free. This usually takes a bit of time and can become dangerous. On a number of occasions I have cut myself on the jagged plastic edges. I also have had friends destroy the item they are trying to get out , while the package is being opened. There must be a better way of packaging some items that would be more environmentally friendly, less dangerous and cheaper!

en.wikipedia.org


Well that's it for now. I am sure I will be annoyed at other things in the future and will be sharing them with you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I've Been Ripped Off by the Big Drug Companies

en.wikipedia.org


A short time after moving back to New York State I visited a doctor to get a couple of prescriptions I needed. This was in April and I was not as yet receiving benefits from Medicare Part B. Since I was living in a foreign country, Medicare pays no benefits even though I had been paying into it my entire working life. I take medicine for high blood pressure and I use an inhaler for shortness of breath. In Malaysia I would simply go to the pharmacy and ask for the drugs, as these were not controlled prescription drugs. The BP medication was about $6 and the inhaler was $3. I used to buy more than one inhaler, so I could keep one in the car, keep one in the bedroom and carry one.

Well I went to the doctor and wasn't too upset at having to pay $75 for a visit which I was used to paying $15. I sort of expected this. The shock and anger came went I went to the pharmacy to pick up the medications.The pills were $30, but the inhaler was $50! I was used to paying $3 and now I have to pay $50! I was outraged. 

When I got back home I did some research on the inhalers. It appears that a couple of years ago our less than benevolent FDA banned the use of CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) in asthma inhalers, thus dealing a serious blow to everyone who suffers from asthma. This allowed the drug companies to find a replace for the CFS' to propel the medicine into the lungs Naturally the drug companies found a method and promptly patented it. So for the next 15 years or so the American public has to pay exorbitant prices if they want to alleviate their suffering. 

While I was really pissed of by this I wondered how many people, children and adults, are held hostage by these guiltless drug companies, who want to protect their profits more than help the sick and suffering. I used to work in the Longwood Medical area of Boston and saw the magnificent towering structures erected by the major drug companies. I saw the elaborate facilities serving 5 star cuisine and offering the employees every amenity imaginable. I can remember reading about  the enormous salaries of the CEOs. That's why our drugs are so expensive, as compared to our neighbor Canada and the rest of the world! This is only going to get worse in this county as the drug companies have one of the largest and most powerful lobbies in Washington. In other words our useless politicians work for them, not us!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My First Medical Emergency - Strong Memorial Was There



For quite some time I have been suffering from occasional sever upper abdominal pains that lasted anywhere from a hour to several hours. The pain was excruciating and nothing eased it, except for a shot of painkiller at the emergency room. When I first experienced this pain in Boston I was diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) for which I was given medication to take, probably for the rest of my life. The medication didn't exactly work perfectly, as I still had occasional attacks. I had a few attacks while living in Malaysia, which brought me to the ER, where I was given a shot of morphine and a diagnosis of gastritis. Last month I had an extremely bad attack one Thursday afternoon, which I tolerated until the next morning when Kevin brought me to URMC (University of Rochester Medical Center)-Strong West Emergency Room nearby in Brockport. Within minutes I was told that I had pancreatitis and very high levels on my liver function tests. Since they do not have inpatient beds there I was transferred by ambulance to URMC-Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

A short time later I had an ultrasound which showed I had an inflamed gall bladder full of gallstones, to go along with the inflamed pancreas. I was put on antibiotics and waited for the inflammation to subside before anything else was done. For 2 days I had nothing but IVs and pain killer. The third days I had water and jello, which tasted wonderful. On Sunday evening I was taken to the OR and had my gall bladder removed. The next evening I returned home, a bit sore, but minus my troublesome gallbladder.

I have to say that the doctors, surgeons and nurses at both Strong West Emergency Room and also Strong Memorial Hospital were fabulous. Everyone from my surgeon to the people who cleaned my room were kind, friendly and attentive. I can't thank them enough for making a bad situation a lot more bearable and even pleasant.I feel very secure now that I know we have such wonderful medical facilities so close to us.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Apologies.

Photo courtesy of  industrialhearingloss.co.uk
I an effort to earn a little pocket change to pay for this website or to buy a beer or two I place ads on this site. I have earned a whopping amount of money totaling approximately $2 over the past year!
I recently realized that one or two of the ads were actually annoying loud videos which would scare any reader away. I apologize for this annoyance and have removed these ads. I hope to be able to place ads which would encourage the reader to click on them, rather than to leave my site. Thank you.

You're in Good Hands





One of the more important things I had to do when I moved back home was to buy a car. This was a necessity if we wanted to look around for a house and become independent. I had already basically made up my mind as to what car I wanted and all I had to do was to get the best deal possible. I finally settled on a new Ford Focus hatchback, which was the most practical and economical for the both of us at this time. Even though I wanted a sportier car, the Focus made more sense when it came to shopping and driving in the snow etc. I can always get a sportier model the next time.

All of the paperwork was done and I paid for the car, without a hitch. All that was left was to get the insurance. This was no easy task. On the way home from the car dealer we stopped at a well known auto insurance company to check on the rates. You know the one with the good hands. When I told them I only had a Malaysian driver's license, even though I have had both Massachusetts and New York licenses for years and was an American citizen, they didn't even want to talk with me. They told me there is nothing they could do and then proceeded to treat me as though I wasn't there. I was really surprised as to how rude they were. A few doors down from here we visited an office that dealt with multiple companies. Once again after I told then I had a Malaysian license, they acted like I had Ebola. They did find a company, but the premiums were just a little over $6000 a year! When we got back to my nieces house, where were staying I called Geico. I love geckos and have always loved Geico's ads. I talked to the agent over the phone and explained having a Malaysian driver's license. No problem! I got the policy and was not charged exorbitant rates because I happened to live outside of the country for a time. Ironically after we bought our house a short time later, the same insurance company had the balls to ask me to insure our house with them! Naturally I called Geico and got a policy with them at a much cheaper rate. Thank you Geico.

After purchasing the car and getting the required insurance I had a rather not so pleasant surprise when I looked for information on getting my NYS driver's license. I thought, like Massachusetts and many states, I only needed to trade in my Malaysian license. Wrong! Just as if I had never stepped food in a car I had to take the learner's permit test to get my permit and then take a road test again. But before I can take the road test I have to take a 5 hour course on how to drive! I was being treated like a 16 year old again! What was really funny is that every time I mentioned I had a Malaysian driver's license and I had lived in Malaysia for 7 years, these morons didn't even know what or where Malaysia was! Well I got the permit and one of these days I'll sign up for the class and then take my road test again. What a pain in the ass!

Welcome Home!

Monday, September 29, 2014

WELCOME HOME



Every time I came back to the US to visit friends and family I was always made to feel like a criminal upon going through security. I must say that the TSA screeners most of the time were very rude and unfriendly. This is especially in contrast to security at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. What really got me every time I came for a visit were questions such as "What is your purpose in visiting the US?" and "How long do you plan on staying in the US?" I was very confused that since I was a US citizen I thought I had the right to leave the country and come back as often as I wanted to visit friends and family! I have talked to other Americans living abroad and they have said the same thing. Also it seems that American citizens are not always treated as well as foreign visitors! Well hopefully that I now am a full time resident of the country again I won't face the same hassles when I go on vacation abroad.

When we landed at Rochester airport we landed in a snowstorm and I was so happy to see snow. I had contracted the flu upon leaving Malaysia and had had a fever during the 36 hour travel time. The freezing cold temperatures felt wonderful. Kevin had never seen snow before, so landing in a blinding snowstorm aboard a small prop jet was quite a welcome. I was surprised to see that he fell in love with the cold temperatures and snow, especially running the snow blower.I think I prefer the cold and snow for a few months of the year of the constant high heat and humidity for 12 months of the year in Malaysia.

My next post will be about my experiences with my favorite bureaucracies, the DMV and car insurance companies!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'M BACK AGAIN

Since I have moved back to the United States after living in Malaysia for about 7 years I have become a bit neglectful of Steveso Thinks. There have been a lot of changes in my life since returning back home, but that is no excuse for not posting regularly. I apologize to my regular readers and I hope they haven't abandoned me. I hope to be posting on a more regular basis here on my blog.

Since Kevin and I left Malaysia we settled in the Rochester, NY area, where we bought a beautiful house and have adopted 2 rambunctious cattle dog puppies.As of this entry we are waiting for Kevin's green card application to be approved. Hopefully we will have some good news by December.

In the meantime I will try to share some of our experiences in moving back (back at least for me) to the US. When I left the US to live in Malaysia there was a lot of paperwork and hassles to get the MM2H Visa and establish residency in Malaysia. Being a US citizen in Malaysia I had a lot of hassle and paperwork from my own government to continue to live there. I thought that was bad, but returning to the US was worse. I was made to feel like a criminal by some federal agencies and state agencies here in New York. I will elaborate in my next post. Stay tuned.


Friday, July 4, 2014

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

I would like to take this time to wish everyone a very happy Independence 
Day. May your 4th of July weekend be safe and happy as you celebrate another birthday for our country.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time to Get Back to Posting

Since I have moved back to the US and sort of settled in to our new home, I guess it is time to start posting on a regular basis again. I must say that moving out of the country is as bad as moving back into the country. The problems I had moving to Malaysia were from the US government and institutions and the problems I had moving back to the US were caused by the government and US institutions. In the next few posts I will try to elaborate a bit on my experiences moving back home.

Before I left Malaysia, I sold most of our belongings and had more personal items shipped back to the US. There was no problem in doing this. I closed my bank accounts and transferred the money successfully. I sold my condo and transferred that money back successfully. The only problem I had a and am still having is getting approximately $1000 transferred from an incompetent shyster lawyer I used to sell my home in Malaysia. For 4 months now he has been coming up with one lame excuse after another as to why he hasn't done it yet, I'm still waiting.

Two days before we were to fly out of Malaysia I came down with flu and thought I was going to die, ever moment of the 36 hour flight! The cough and fever lasted for about 3 weeks and I couldn't go to the doctor because I didn't have health insurance. Welcome home to the land of phenomenally expensive healthcare!

At the airport I went through immigration and was asked how long I was going to stay. How long was I staying? I am an American citizen! I thought I had the right to live here or come back to visit for as long as I wanted! Feeling like crap I really wanted to tell the immigration officer where to get off, but I didn't. I got out of the airport and was welcomed back to American soil by a snow storm. Still suffering with a fever it felt much better than the heat and humidity of Malaysia.

Stay tuned for more experiences of my return home.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

To all of my friends and family and all Americans everywhere I would like to wish you all a very Happy Memorial Day. Please remember all of those who have done so much to give us the good life we have. We are forever indebted to our veterans.






Saturday, May 3, 2014

A New Year and A Lot of Changes

    It's been a very long time since I have posted here, but now I think I am ready to resume posting on a more regular basis.  The main reason for my long absence here is the fact that I have moved back to the US from my retirement in Malaysia. Another reason is that I am considering changing the content of this blog. For some time  had concentrated on politics, in particular progressive or liberal views. I have become disgusted with the  lies, the hatred and utter ridiculousness of politics, from  both the Right and the Left. I am also disgusted with religious nuts in this country, which are no different from Islamic religious nuts in Pakistan or other countries of the world.

    I will be sharing my experiences of moving back to this country, in subsequent posts, as some of them have been both frustrating and asinine. I will also occasionally comment on politics, whenever I really get pissed off by the actions of ignorant and useless politicians. I will begin to comment on my new life back here in Rochester,NY USA. Stay tuned.

Ablog about liberal politics andsocial issues