Friday, November 22, 2013

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I was five years old when JFK was assassinated.  I remember so many things about that week-end and so many thoughts that plagued my young mind, even then.  Fifty years later, it's still a day of remembrance for me.  It was such an influential event in my young life, to this day, when writing the date on November 22, it's a reflex to just write 1963.  It's automatic, like my birthday or my kid's.

There were many things about his presidency to which I related . . . First, I shared the same last name.  The Irish immigrants and descendants were not always embraced by those of other European origins, so it was not uncommon in the early part of the 20th century for Native Americans avoiding the Dawes Roll to "marry off" a sister to an Irish gentleman and the entire family take the name.  So, I was little brown Kennedy.  Second, Caroline was not quite a year older than I, and John Jr. was a few months older than my sister.  Third, when I I heard people speaking of the president there were frequent comments as to his youth and good looks.  I heard the same thing about my Daddy!  Keep in mind these are the thoughts of a five year old girl.

The heaviness, besides seeing a nation in mourning, was also of a personal nature.

 I already thought Vice President Johnson was a mean man.  I discerned a tone to his voice that made me very uneasy.  I didn't like watching him in news clips, not that I tuned in attentively every evening.  I watched him sworn in as President and I felt really, really queasy.  As President, he was going to take the house away from those little kids.  He was going to make those orphaned children move.  In my mind, President Johnson was causing those children who had just lost their father, to also lose their house.  Then when I saw the photo with the beagle the next year, the meanness was confirmed!
   *photo in the article Post Kennedy White House

President Kennedy's short time in office and sudden death greatly affected our nation, and I believe some of the questions surrounding his election and death are foundational in the current dissatisfaction with the political system and our distrust of our political leaders.  What has been building for fifty years, often reflects back to his short time in the national spotlight.   At the time he died, it didn't matter if someone was republican or democrat, America's President had been killed.  The Warren Commission took less than a year to deliver the verdict of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin, but even then, there were some issues of logic and physics that challenged that report.

There have been many, many theories through the years, documentaries, and movies to fuel the theories that literally keep his death alive, in this nation.  Although I do not know who or how many were responsible for the death of President Kennedy, I do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, if he was involved at all.  There are some factors this writer believes fifty years later.  In 1964, the nation or it's leaders, thought we could put this tragedy behind us with an official report, even if we didn't really believe it.  We just wanted it all wrapped up neatly and the idea that our government could lie was unimaginable, and certainly unspeakable.

We have now come to realize, we chose to accept something official that is questionable.  We've let a number of illogical, unanswered questions stand as fact for fifty years, and that has eroded the trust of the people.  Not only is there reason to doubt some of the information contained in the report, we have to face the fact, that information was given to us by a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.  Perhaps if the Warren Report actually answered the haunting questions, that horrible November day in Dallas, could have been laid to rest.

President Kennedy's death is no longer about his death, it's about what we were told and the reality that to question what we were told means we have doubts about those in authority.  This isn't about the Kennedys and this isn't about Lee Harvey Oswald, this is about distrust on the highest level of government and the fact that it has been building for half a century.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hospitals Refusing Insurance Plans

I'm going to write about this just because it's creepy and it keeps crossing my mind, so I'll share.  When I read that hospitals will be refusing some insurance plans, I became curious as to how they intend to stay in business.  Insurance has been calling the hospitalization shots for years, but for hospitals to just turn down certain plans and companies sounded like a pretty major statement.

A friend of mine worked was a pharmacy tech at hospital that had been closed for traditional patient care and exclusively cared for unconscious patients on ventilators.  That of course, reminded me of an old sci-fi movie, Coma, in which Tom Selleck was one of the healthy patients that slipped into a coma.  The plot revolved around a doctor who was harvesting transplant organs for sale on the black market, so it was healthy patients who did not awaken from routine surgeries.

In reading about Dick Cheney's heart transplant and subsequent interview, every article mentioned the shortage of organs for the transplant programs.  Now, before you think I'm suggesting something of evil intent like "death panels" relax, I'm not a republican.  What I am suggesting is that a number of people will be refused health care based upon cost, rather than care and empty hospital buildings could very soon become intercity housing for people falling under the weight of this so-called "economic recovery . . ."

I don't think they'll keep people on vents to harvest organs, as it's very costly to maintain people in that condition.  I do think it's possible that empty hospital buildings could end up in use for some sort human warehousing, though.  We can already see the older structures in many downtowns as hospitals have moved toward the outer suburbs and established "campuses."  With homelessness being the issue that it is, I could see empty hospital buildings becoming FEMA HUD projects.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  New Testament

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Officially, the Great Recession ended in June 2009.  The Great Repression, continues . . . Ironically, through this so called economic recovery, bank failures have abounded, and food stamp dependency has increased exponentially, but:  the Stock Market has rebounded!

Even including the figures of bank failures, up through and including the entire month of June of 2009, there were 10 bank closures in the five years preceding the official announcement of the Great Recession.  In 2008, there were 26 failed banks.  Now failed banks resulted in mergers, take-overs etc.  There is no report of anyone just losing their FDIC accounts.  As a matter of fact, the statistics in the article were obtained at the FDIC website and the same information was posted in Wikipedia.  The first half of 2009, saw 45 bank failures, before the transition from recession to recovery was declared.  Since the time of "recovery," the rest of 2009 saw 95 more bank failures.  There were 157 reported in 2010, and 92 in 2011.

So, to put this in proper perspective, this nation saw 71 bank failures through the Great Repression, with 10 previous failures since the invasion of Iraq.  To date, there have been 418 bank failures, since the "recovery" began.  There were 51 reported bank failures in 2012 and so far through October 2013, there have been only 23 bank failures.  Here's where the politics gets fun!  It doesn't fix any of the problem, it just gives the loyal party members something quibble over.

Those leaning to the letter R will "clearly see and explain to the rest of us" that there have been more bank failings in just one year of Obama's administration than all the recorded years under Bush.  There were a total of 51 bank failures, reported through the entire Bush administration.  This is obviously an easy observation to make.  Just count the banks at the FDIC webpage.  I'd even guess the first few could somehow be blamed on the Clinton administration, and of course then, 9/11.

Now, those leaning to the letter D will explain how all of these closings stemmed from the recession that occurred in the Bush administration.  That will be the explanation given and fervently believed, well then there's the whole lousy Republican led Congress that refuse to work with the President.  And let us not forget the Fat Cats on Wall Street who don't care about anyone but themselves and their puppet politicians!   Oh, and the fact that there have been fewer bank failures the last two years clearly shows what a great job he's doing, in spite of the other party.

The problem I see is three fold.  First, the citizens are so divided in their blame, we fail to see that there have been over 500 bank failures in this country from 2008 to the present.  That's a lot of failure and consolidation.  In the five years around the Great Repression, 2007-2011, the five largest banks increased their assets by 13%.   The citizenry choosing to remain divided amongst ourselves solves absolutely nothing.  One party did not cause this and one party is not fixing or impeding this calamity.

The fact of the matter is, while we're discussing who is at fault, there are some startling statistics that have developed through this so called recovery.  From my very superficial research as to the dollar value, banks are sized according to deposits held with $300M being the dividing line.  In 1988 there were 12,500 banks smaller than $300M and 900 that held more than $300M, making a total of 13,400 banks in the US.  In 2012, the statistics were markedly different.  There are now only a total of  6000 banks in the US, with twice as many, 1800, now holding over $300M, and only 4,200 hundred holding less than $300M.

In the last twenty-five years, Savings and Loans have virtually disappeared and the number of banks have been reduced to fewer than half.  In more recent news, the number of banks shuttered through this so called recovery only serves to prove, we've redefined recovery!  The fact that so few banks have shuttered this year, only tells me, there are fewer in existence.  This is not a political issue at all, it's a consolidation of wealth and power toward one global bank.   This is a love of money issue, which we know is the root of all evil . . .

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches . . .  New Testament

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Remember Story Problems in Elementary School?

In the fifth grade we just wanted to get the right answer.  We had no idea, story problems would actually affect our lives in such a monumental way, did we?   The entire country is now facing a story problem and I don't think anyone knows the right answer.

The story problem reads:  A train leaves Washington DC @ 9:55 am, October 17 heading for a cliff going $400 million an hour.  Will it derail before it goes over the cliff?  If it will derail, what time?  If it goes over the cliff, in what destination will it arrive?       Show your work.

A recession was announced a year after it was determined to have begun.  Some of us average folk had already sensed what seemed to take Washington DC another year to discover, or at least recognize.  In all fairness to the Washington politicians, they don't live like the rest of us, so perhaps it did take another year for them to see it!

So, nearing the end of 2008, it was announced that America had entered a recession in late 2007, and the administration at that time was bidding us all fond adieu.  He did some sort hocus pocus with a stimulus plan, allocating 1/2 before he left and leaving the other half to be distributed by his predecessor.  By early 2009 we saw the auto bail out, which actually seems to have resulted in many dealership closings, and oh don't forget the cash for clunkers plan!  The the housing market collapsed as the jobs continued to dry up . . . but by mid 2010, we were told the economy had made the transition from recession to recovery . . . Here is where it gets a bit difficult to follow.

All this time, unemployment benefits are being extended, food stamp dependency is increasing exponentially, homes are empty in foreclosure and this is the recovery portion of the story . . .  Meanwhile the stock market is making some interesting increases and gold is skyrocketing.  The gap between independent wealth and dependent despair is widening, but the dependent group is expanding in number.  Cities are passing ordinances against gardens, even though the food stamp budget is being trimmed back and the extended unemployment benefits have left many folks simply no longer included in the statistics.
So far, if I were showing my work, it would look something like this, so far.

For all those still enjoying the blame game we have Clinton's 5.7 trillion when he left office, having added a little over 1 T to Bush 41's.  Even with Obama's record, I believe Reagan holds the record for debt increase percentage.  Bush 43 added 4.9T plus the stimulus, then came Obama.  5.7T +4.9T + 700B +  6T = 17T  Meanwhile, regardless of who we blame, it is the people who will pay the price or actually our grandchildren.

17T - 5B SNAP + $ ∞  - UN  =  X

The national deficit when Bush 43 took office was 5.7 trillion, when he left 10 trillion.  It just hit 17 trillion, but in the mean time, the need and cost of food stamps has increased by about 500%, but that budget will be cut, by 5B because Washington got a loan and claims our economy is recovery.  Now 17T plus no debt ceiling [infinite spending] minus unemployment non-statistics equals X.  

All we need to do is find the value of X!

Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.  Torah of Holy Scripture

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