Friday, July 31, 2009

It Makes You Wanna Weep, Don't it?

You want to know why politicians don't deal in calm rational debate much anymore? Because, by and large, we are a nation of morons and they would be wasting their time.

Case in point: At a town hall forum the other day, Republican congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina started to talk about health care reform. Remember now, this guy is a Republican, so we can reasonably assume therefore that most of the folks in the crowd were of like persuasion.

Anyway, as Inglis starts to talk about health care, a guy in the audience jumps up and loudly demands that he (Inglis) should "keep your government hands off my Medicare!"

(I know I need not explain why this idiot was wrong to the intelligent readers of this blog!)

It is an absolute miracle that we accomplish anything of consequence in this country.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'll Be Traveling For a Couple of Weeks ...

... so posts will be occasional during that time. There will be a lot of train trips, of course, and I'm taking a laptop along, but access to the internet will be spotty during those times. A longer description of what I'm going to be up to is on my other blog site. If you'd like that additional detail, just go here. I'll be home on August 8th.

Remember: It's five o'clock somewhere!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And There's Quite a Long List of These Frauds, Too!


"I know where I'm going to go on my next break. I'm going to the C Street House in Washington, D.C. You know what this is? It's kind of a frat house for Christian congressman, where they live and pray together and counsel each other on how to adhere to the nine commandments."

--Bill Maher


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Inescapable Logic Reveals A Probable Truth

CNN regularly conducts an informal poll on their web site. The results don’t precisely reflect a national consensus since only people who visit the web site are counted, but the survey results are usually interesting. And occasionally fascinating.

A few days ago, people were asked if (a) they thought men had really walked on the moon or (b) did they think the whole thing was a giant hoax.

You may be as surprised as I was to learn that 14 percent of CNN viewers don’t believe Neil Armstrong really went to the moon and that his “giant leap for mankind” actually took place on an elaborate movie set in a secret warehouse somewhere.

Then, in a moment of illumination, it occurred to me that just about the same number of Americans actually think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the United States.

Gotta be the same people, dontcha think?


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Headed in the Right Direction ... DOWN!

Sarah Palin’s numbers are dropping … even among Republicans.

According to the very latest poll, only 33 percent of Republicans now think she is qualified to be president. That’s a huge drop from a survey taken eight months ago when 71 percent of Republicans voters thought she would be just great as the Leader of the Free World.

Maybe … if there really is a God … those numbers will keep going and finally hit zero. In that perfect world, we will never, ever have to look at or * shudder * listen to that foolish, self-impressed, ignorant embarrassing woman again. Not ever.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

There has GOT to be a better way!

We moved to Maui from Oahu seven years ago. For the first year, our mail was delivered to a postal box in a mail-drop place a couple of miles from here. You know the kind … they offer copying services, internet access, and collect your mail for a small monthly fee.

Then we moved into our home and, for the past six years, mail has come to our mailbox out on the road at the front of our property.

I had to copy a dozen pages from a book yesterday, so I stopped by the old copy center. After some casual how-ya-doin’s with the owner, he mentioned that they were still getting junk mail for us. Two or three pieces a day for us and it’s the same with most of his former box holders. He just dumps it all, of course.

I don’t know why, but that surprised me. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, how many millions of tons of paper are wasted every year like that … circulars and flyers and other printed pieces that are sent to postal addresses that have been obsolete for years. Not to mention the money it costs to print all that crap.

I hate the SPAM that comes to my computer, but at least it doesn’t waste millions of trees.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Still Taking Very Good Care of Their Own.

The former -- and disgraced -- Attorney General under George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, has landed a job at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He’s going to be recruiting minority students and teach a current events course. Here is the CNN story.

What’s obviously missing from the story is how much the taxpayers of Texas are going to be paying this clown. I'll bet it turns out to be a lot ... and, if and when that information does become public, brace yourself for more screams about the liberal media bias. (Actually, I think I'd rather not know.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jackson and Limbaugh … ENOUGH ALREADY!

I probably shouldn’t admit this – chalk it up to a chasm between generations – but I’ve pretty much had it with the wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson’s passing. It has gone on for days now and evidently hasn’t yet reached its peak.

I do think some of his music was good and he was certainly a great showman. But the guy went way beyond being eccentric and well past weird. He was a real sicko.

And, speaking of weird and sickness, there’s Rush Limbaugh.

Ever eager to fawn over His Holiness Ronald Reagan, to discredit Bill Clinton, and to trash Barack Obama, here is what the Great Bloviator had to say about those men and Michael Jackson:

(Michael Jackson) "flourished under Reagan, languished under Clinton and Bush, and died under Obama."

Good heavens! The man is a joke!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

About Foxes and Hen Houses and Insurance Companies

I’ve lived in Hawaii for almost 50 years, but am originally from Hartford, Connecticut, capital city of that state. Hartford is known as the Insurance City because the home offices of some of the biggest and best-known insurance companies in the country are located there: The Aetna, the Travelers, the Phoenix, Connecticut General, the Hartford and I’m sure there are some others I can’t remember.

There was a time when these companies considered their policies to be a sacred trust between them and their insureds. I worked for a short time at the Hartford when I was just out of college and there were many stories about the depth of the commitment to their policy holders.

One incident, according to company lore, occurred sometime back in the 1940s, as I recall, when the company was known as the Hartford Fire Insurance Company. During a reception of some kind, a young hotshot executive buttonholed the president of the company, eager to tell him that he had just settled a big claim. The policy holder owned an expensive home on the Connecticut shore that had been severely damaged by a big storm and the executive proudly reported that he had gotten the owner to agree to a settlement of $300,000.

“And what,” said the president – as I recall, his name was Creamer – “do you think the claim was actually worth?”

“Probably a half million,” said the man.

“Well, son,” said Creamer, “first thing tomorrow morning, I’d like you to do two things for me: First, please see to it that our insured is paid the full half million for his claim. Second, clear out your desk. You’re fired. This company does not cheat its policy holders.”

Alas, times have changed. CNN is reporting today that the former head of Corporate Communications for Cigna has blown the whistle on his ex-employer. He says Cigna, one of the largest health insurance companies in the country, systematically purges people and companies who have large claims form its roles. They do it by jacking up rates to the point that they become unaffordable.

Is anyone out there surprised? And does anyone still seriously believe we can work with the insurance industry to bring about real health insurance reform in the country? Please email me if you do. I’ve just learned there’s a million dollars in your name sitting in a bank in Botswana.


Good Advice for Governor Sanford

Shut up!