Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Double Punishment from Medicare

As most of my readers may know I am retired and live in Penang, Malaysia. I realized before I moved here that I would receive absolutely no benefits from Medicare, because I lived abroad. Since I paid thousand of dollars over my working career into Medicare and I will not get a penny of that back while living abroad this fact  made me reasonably angry. But since the quality of medical care in Malaysia is excellent and one hell of a lot cheaper than in the US, I didn't mind that much.

Early next year I will turn 65 and will be eligible for Medicare, parts A and B and the other programs offered - only if I am physically living in the US. Today I got a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services with information for Americans living abroad. There was no surprising news or information revealed. The information explained that I would automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and I didn't have to fill out any forms. Of course even though I was enrolled I could not collect any benefits since I live abroad. This is sort of like belonging to a bowling team, but not allowed to bowl.

I was given an application with which I could apply for Medicare Part B if I wanted it. This would cost about $99 a month, which would be automatically deducted from my Social Security benefits. However, once again I will not be allowed to use any of the benefits, as I live abroad. Such  a great deal! Now what really ticks me off is that since I live abroad and cannot use it, if I decide to move back to the US I actually have to pay a monthly penalty for signing up late. Now why should I have to pay for something I am not allowed to use now and then once I decide to move and will be able to use it why should I be charged a penalty?  With that kind of idiotic thinking I guess when and if I return to the US and apply for electricity at my new residence, I will have to pay extra because I wasn't paying for the electricity while I was living in Malaysia. The people who make up these rules and regulations must be brain dead.

I wish I had the same health insurance plan those worthless members of Congress have. Speaking of them, after I publish this post  I am going to sit right down and email my Congressman about this situation. Any bets I won't get a response? I guess this means I am one of Romney's 47% of Americans who feel entitled to healthcare. You bet I am! I paid for it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Violence in the Middle East and Mitt Romney

I haven't posted here in a few days as I have been waiting for some time to pass after the violent attacks on the American Embassy in  Libya, which took the lives of the American Ambassador and three of the embassy staff. At this same time the American Embassy in Egypt was attacked by a violent mob of protesters. The reason for these violent protests was a film, which insulted Islam and was shown on YouTube. These incidents happened on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Soon violence spread to many other Muslim countries. Were these planned attacks or just random acts of violence carried out by a group of protesters gone crazy? In those first few hours there were very few answers. It appeared that the Muslim world had suddenly decided to attack the US and other Western interests. People in the US and other Western countries responded with hate filled anger, in comments on online forums and news sites.

It now appears that a couple of ignorant radicals,  one a supposed Egyptian American, Coptic Christian and the other a right wing American Christian extremist, produced the film, which was in no way professionally done, to denigrate an entire religion. The sleazy film, which had be around for a while, but not garnering any attention, was discovered by a religious leader in
Egypt who brought it to the attention of his followers. It then spread throughout the region, causing demonstrations and riots against the US and also other Western countries

The media then gave 24 hour coverage to the violence. What was not covered were the pro-American rallies in some of these very same countries. The average person did not realize that these demonstrations were comprised of people who only last year were living under brutal dictatorships in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. They now have a voice. Unfortunately there are groups in these countries who are opposed not only to the US, but also the governments of their own countries. They are opposed to democracy and freedoms and rights that go along with democracy. People in the countries of "the Arab spring" are stuggling to find themselves. They do not understand the West's concept of freedom of speech. But this is no excuse for murder and destruction, in revenge for someone not agreeing with your views and beliefs.

Just as Americans should not judge and entire religion or culture on the actions of a few religious extremists fueled by hatred and bigotry, the Muslim world should not judge all Americans and our government on the actions of a few deranged radicals in America. Today demonstrations continue, albeit not as intense. It will be a long time before we fully understand what happened in these violent attacks and we should all refrain from making rash judgements and generalizations. It will also be a long time before these new democracies realize what they are and where they want to go.

In speaking of people not making rash judgements, I am referring to everyone, citizens and politicians alike. Seeing these attacks were terrifying, but there was another event that was also worrisome, if not terrifying, that I cannot stop thinking about. Before we even knew that our Ambassador to Libya was killed and the extent of what was happening in Libya and Egypt, the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, irresponsibly took it upon himself to score political points by attacking President Obama and the Embassy staff. Even after it was revealed that the Ambassador and 3 other staff were killed, Romney continued to attack Obama, even though Romney knew absolutely nothing of the situation. He did not even have the common decency to offer his condolences to the families of the deceased. Even his fellow Republicans were amazed at his lack of judgment, concern and sympathy.

This is the man who is talking tough on Iran and the man who does not believe in a Palestinian state. Instead of first trying to get the facts about these recent attacks and trying to understand the reasons behind them, he talks boldly of retribution. We're finally getting out of the 2 wars Bush saddled us with and which destroyed our economy. Do we really want Romney to lead us to war in Iran, North Korea or Russia? It is enough to have to worry about ignorant bigoted extremists of the religious radical groups in the Middle East and here, without having to worry about ignorant, insensitive war mongers leading our country.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Naked Royal Photos Scandal

Now that some magazines and  newspapers in a few countries have decided to publish the nude photos of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, the royal couple has decided to sue those responsible. Much better idea than the British people rioting in the streets!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11 Remembered


   A Tribute in Light on September 11, 2009 courtesy Francisco Diez 3

           Americans came together then.                   We can come together again.

Who are Romney and Ryan Running Against?

Now that the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National conventions have ended I had expected the Romney/Ryan ticket to run hard against the Obama/Biden ticket. But I was wrong.

From all I have been hearing Romney is running against Ryan and even himself! First of all Romney has been campaigning strongly against Obamacare, but recently he backtracked and said he is in favor of some parts of the program. Then Ryan said he thought the individual states should determine their own laws on marijuana, basically saying he doesn't oppose at least the medical use of marijuana. Then shortly after this was said, Romney comes out flatly against marijuana use in any shape or form.

Ryan is criticizing Obama for making defense cuts suggested by the "super committee",which he called a "stupid idea". But the truth of the matter is Ryan voted for those same cuts, but now is denying it. Romney and Ryan are opposed to abortions and using public funding for abortions, but Romney supports the exceptions of incest, rape and where the life of the mother is in danger. Romney also opposed the auto bailout, which saved GM, while Ryan voted for it. Romney said "he's fine" with gay adoption, while Ryan has voted against it. Ryan supported legislation banning workplace discrimination against gays in the workplace, while Romney said he opposed federal legislation banning it, he thought that matter should be left up to the states. Ryan supports the elimination of capital gains taxes, while Romney supports only a reduction in the taxes. They also are in disagreement on the budget, with Ryan advocating cuts in Social Security and Medicare and Romney, well, disagreeing but not offering an alternative budget.

In all of the past elections I can remember clearly the Democratic ticket acted as one and the Republican ticket acted as one. But in this election the Republican ticket seems divided. I just wonder if Romney and Ryan are elected, whose policies will prevail. Will it be Romney in charge or will it be the extremist wing of the Republican party, through Ryan, in charge?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Morgan Freeman Death Hoax

Yesterday I saw on Facebook that Morgan Freeman had passed away. I even posted a "RIP" statement as I very much respect this great actor. Then, hours after reading of his demise, I noticed that I saw nothing on the TV news or internet news sites about Freeman's death.

Then I decided to Google Morgan Freeman and I found that the report of his death was a sickly hoax. Yes Morgan Freeman is alive and well and living in Mississippi. I was very happy to read that he had not died, but I am ticked off that again some morons don't have enough to do in their lives and think it's funny to report that someone who contributes much more to society than they do, has died. I like Facebook most of the time, but at these times I am embarrassed by the behavior of some of my fellow human beings. Like alcohol and firearms, Facebook should be only be used responsibly. But like alcohol and firearms there are going to be immature losers who will abuse Facebook.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Obama Speaks at the DNC

Well I just finished watching President Obama's speech at the DNC. I thought it was a great speech, but not as good as the one in 2008. I felt as though he talked from experience and was very presidential. When he spoke I felt as though he was talking to me and other middle class Americans. I felt as though he was talking to all Americans, men, women, gays, people of all religions, people of all races and nationalities, the poor and the middles class and the military and veterans.

It is odd that the Republicans started two wars that were and are responsible for killing thousands and thousands of people, but at their convention Romney didn't even mention them, nor the wars they served in. They didn't talk about giving our returning soldiers jobs or helping them with housing. They only know about sending America's youth off to far away places to be killed and maimed, not about taking care of them when they get home. Are they now ashamed of George Bush's expensive dirty little wars?

From what I could observe of the Republican National Convention I could see no hope offered for the military or veterans. I could see no hope for Blacks or Hispanics. I could see no hope for immigrants. I could see no hope for women. I could see no hope for gays. I could see no hope for the middle class and blue collar workers. I could see no hope for the less fortunate. I could see no hope for people of other religions. I could see no hope for those who can't afford healthcare. I could see no hope for those who want to be with the one they love. I could see no hope for poor children who want to go to college. All I could see was a squeaky clean billionaire white guy who wanted a job where he could destroy the lives and dreams of the average middle class American to make just a few Americans richer and more powerful. With Obama I have hope that I may have a better future and I believe  that I will. With Romney I lose hope and I lose a better future and I and millions of others firmly believe that.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bill Clinton to the Rescue

Last night former President Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention and nominated Barack Obama for another term. Clinton's speech was probably one of the best convention speeches I have ever heard. As far as that goes all of the speeches were great, especially those of  Michele Obama and Julian Castro. They were so much more dynamic and truthful than the fictionalized speeches of  the Republican National Convention. Also the RNC audience  seemed to be all white, whereas the DNC audience was awash with all colors.

No one can beat Bill Clinton as a political orator. He is the one weapon that Barack Obama has, which scares the living daylights out of Romney and the Republicans. It was amusing to see some of the uneasiness, surrounding Clinton speaking at the DNC, in a few comments made by a few "holier than thou" right wingers on political websites. They referred to Clinton has the "immoral President". Yeah, sure Clinton got caught fooling around with Monica and he lied about it. He hurt and embarrassed  his wife and daughter and he embarrassed himself in front of the world. The Republicans hated him so much they tried to impeach him. But he survived and is one of the most highly regarded political figures, not only in the US, but around the world. If his indiscretion, where he hurt his wife, child and himself and Monica, is regarded as immoral, what would the action of George Bush's needless invasion of Iraq, which was responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 people, be called? Or is that acceptable under the Republican definition of morality?

Now that the Democratic National Convention is almost over the real fight begins. Romney received little of no bounce in the polls after the RNC and soon we will see what kind of bounce Obama gets after the convention. The decision makers will be the debates between Obama and Romney. The American people will see what kind of men Romney and Ryan are up against Obama and Biden. From looking at the comparisons between the RNC and the DNC, the Republicans will not do much at all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mitt Romney and the Republicans Wanted Obama to Succeed? What a laugh!

I almost fell out of my seat when I heard Romney , at the Republican convention, say that when Obama was elected President he really wanted him to succeed for America. What a crock of bull! I can remember hearing those trolls at Fox News, only a few days after Obama took office, complaining of how he is doing nothing. I also heard some right wingers warn of Shariah Law being implemented in the US and accusing Obama of wanting to turn the US into a Muslim state. He has been accused of being a Muslim and supporting Islamic terrorist groups. In 2008 some Republicans warned of a dictatorship and another 911 when Obama becomes president.

Since Obama, the first Black President, took office he has been accused of all kinds of conspiracies, including that he was not born in this country. He has had to endure hatred from the Tea Party in such incidents where a Tea Party member of Congress yelled out "lies" during his State of the Union Address. A state governor actually threatened him, if he dared visit her state. He has been accused of being the anti-Christ and taking the US away from White people. Some of my white friends who are staunch Democrats cringed when Obama was elected and I am sure for the first time in their lives they voted Republican, instead of voting for a Black.

From the very first day of his administration the Tea Party and other right wing Republicans have done everything in their power to make an Obama presidency a complete failure. Rush Limbaugh, the Conservative talk show moron even stated that he wished Obama would fail. The Republicans and even some Southern Whites blocked every effort of Obama to create jobs and help the Middle Class. They wanted Obama to fail more than they wanted to see the American people recover from their sufferings of living with George Bush for 8 years.

Recently I saw this video from the John Stewart show. It shows what kind of liars and hypocrites Mitt Romney and his fellow bigots and hate mongers are. For a good laugh and a strong dose of reality please watch this clip .

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Go Home and Call 211

After Mitt Romney was installed as the GOP nominee for President at the Republican convention he immediately went to Louisiana for a photo op with victims of hurricane Isaac. He met a woman who explained to him that she had lost her home , as it was submerged under the raging flood waters from the hurricane. She had lost everything. Mr. empathy, Mitt Romney, consoled her from his heart and told her "assistance in out there. Go home and call 211." Such compassion is enough to draw tears to your eyes.

This incident shows clearly that Romney doesn't have a clue of what Americans are going through, nor does he care. First of all he didn't understand that she had lost her home. I guess it is a difficult concept to realize some people only have one home, if any, and not 3 or 4 like Romney does.  He also doesn't realize that when a person loses their home and all of their belongings they are in a state of shock. They need assistance, not just being told what to do. Perhaps Romney thought she might have been able to stay in her 3 car garage with all of her Cadillacs. Or maybe she could whip out one of her numerous credit cards and pay for a stay at the Holiday Inn. He could have at least let her use his cell phone to call for help. He did not even utter the words "I am so sorry".

This sad excuse for a caring human being only reminds me of how good it was with Bill Clinton. Do you remember that whenever there was a national disaster he was always there consoling the victims with genuine compassion?  He reached out to them and offered them hope. These actions are something which Romney is incapable of doing. I am sure he would show more emotion towards his offshore bank accounts, than he would for his fellow Americans.

Only a day after his acceptance of the nomination Romney is showing what kind of heartless, cold, calculating person he really is and what kind of President he would make. Wake up people. If he is elected, some day he could tell you to go home and call for assistance, and then walk away.

Ablog about liberal politics andsocial issues