Monday, September 13, 2010

Thought Food for Monday

According to the American Society for Civil Engineers:

Europe puts 5 percent of its gross domestic product into infrastructure spending.

China 9 percent.

In the United States, it's only 2.4 percent.

Nearly two years ago, the ASCE estimated the five-year investment needed for infrastructure at $2.2 trillion.

Some of folks want us to continue the tax break for Dick Cheney instead of fixing what's wrong with our roads, bridges, schools, and waste treatment facilities and putting America back to work in the process.

More on the problem of deferred maintenance.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dang that Obamacare...

Starting in Two Weeks:

# Young adults will be allowed to stay on their parent's plan until they turn 26 years old.

# All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.

# In the past, insurance companies could search for an error, or other technical mistake, on a customer's application and use this error to deny payment for services when he or she got sick. The new law makes this illegal.

# The law provides consumers with a way to appeal coverage determinations or claims to their insurance company, and establishes an external review process.

# Insurance companies will be prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays.

# Insurance companies' use of annual dollar limits on the amount of insurance coverage a patient may receive will be restricted for new plans in the individual market and all group plans.

# For new plans and existing group plans: The new law includes new rules to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition.

# New funding to support the construction of and expansion of services at community health centers, allowing these centers to serve some 20 million new patients across the country.

From My Inbox: "And Rupert Murdoch can kiss my ass."

It astounds me how such a crazy misinformed narrative such as the "ground zero mosque" can become the media crappola of the day. It isn't a mosque, it's a community center to go along with their actual mosque which has been at that location decades before the World Trade Towers. It is their neighborhood.

But the biggest bit of heinous propaganda is lumping all muslims in together and branding them all evil. That would be like lumping Terry Jones, the right wing cult leader in with Mother Teresa. Preacher Jones, by the way, was kicked out of Germany for preaching hate and terror, and make no mistake about it...When you burn someone's religious holy book on the grounds that it isn't YOUR religious holy book, you are sending a message of hate and fear, and frankly I think you are a terrorist. You are certainly un-American. The religious denomination that is building the community center is Sufi. The Imam is a Sufi and teaches in the way of the Sufi. The Sufi are to the Sunni Muslims what the Quakers are to preacher Terry Jones version of what he claims is Christianity.

To my read, Preacher Jones religion is nothing like Christianity, unless it is the version that, say, Adolph Hitler espoused. That's right, Adolph Hitler claimed he was doing Jesus' work in exterminating the Jews. I think not.

Sufism is a thoughtful introspective religion that is night and day different from the Sunni of Saddam Hussein. But I guess the media in America are too stupid to know that. My internet friend Bill has some thoughts along these lines...

Is this Podunk son' a bitch crazy. Right or wrong our country has taken these people in. And, many are putting their life on the line fighting for this country. Are they Americans in Afghanistan tonight with a U.S. Army uniform on fighting for what they consider their country? And, if captured do you think the extremist will give them any break.

Hell, think again. I can't even fathom their death. So it seems to me that old statue of liberty has brought us full circle.

But, that is done. Other immigrant groups have come into our country while retaining their ethnic identity. Jesus just go to Boston, or Pittsburgh, or for that matter Richmond Virginia. Where white protestants rule and Irishmen who were once despised in our country have blended in. Sometimes to the dismay of their English friends.

Ok, maybe not a good parallel since these people look strange and have a foreign religion. But, like all of us they are here. And, the vast majority are American and will fight you for that right. They simply enjoyed being in a country where they were not persecuted. But, of course that all changed in a heartbeat. And, as Americans when those buildings came crashing down they were horrified like all of us but they must also within hours had another concern. And, of course that concern has become a political football and a reality.

One played out on Fox News at every opportunity. But, even Fox wouldn't go this far. Enter some little preacher with a taste for a camera evidently. Threatening to burn their bible. But, the firestorm he created isn't in this country. You can only suspect American Moslems like us are simply trying to scratch out a living right now. No this cartoon character has created a firestorm in the countries our men and women have to fight in right now.

We now have twenty four hour a day cable channels with talking head rattling on and the American people have never been more divided. God help us all. And, Rupert Murdoch can simply kiss my ass.

Remember the Biblical Tale of Barack Went In the Jackal's Den

After kicking some GOP butt, the Republican reaction to their ass whipping was not to acknowledge anything Obama said but to promise each other they would never let him come back and talk with them again. Just for fun take another look and be proud of our President...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

US Marines Capture Ship Pirated by Somalis

Why didn't this make the evening news in the USA?
A group of 24 marines swooped on the German-owned M/V Magellan Star and took control of the ship from nine pirates who had captured it on Wednesday.
Our Marines were awesome.