Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Other Shoe to Fall

You know how when you have gone to bed and you re half asleep and you hear someone come in and start getting ready for bed and you hear one shoe drop and then you don't hear the second shoe drop and you keep waiting and waiting well you get the ideal.  It tends to put you a little on edge.

That is what it is like living in today's good of USA. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

You have on one hand a US House and Senate that seem to be determined to play one up man ship but since they have no real interest or risk seem to not mind putting the rest of us at risk. That goes from the common man out on the street trying to beat a living out of an economy stagnated as far as income goes but inflating as cost of living goes. But, I forgot the cost of food and housing and fuel don't count in the COL index. These were things that were instituted during Regan years so as to bring the cost of inflation down which were at the time double digit.

It has been and always will be a numbers game for the politicians. If you don't like the numbers get new numbers. It does not change anything but make you feel better as you drive over the fiscal cliff.

The one thing our government is good about is passing laws that have no meaning but looks real good on paper. And, if along the way it helps out your biggest contributors well that is counted as a win win. That is exactly what the Health care Reform Act is all about. Looks real good on paper but truth is has little benefits to the common person on the street.

Take for example the requirement of all person irregardless will be required by 2014 to have health insurance. A win win for the health care insurance companies all they give up is the can't deny for pre existing conditions. But failure none the less if you can't afford it now how are you going to afford it then. If you don't then they will lay a tax on your income but if you do they will give you a tax credit.

Sounds good right only the tax credit does nothing to help pay the monthly premiums for the insurance. Combine that with high deductibles and co-pays , again what else can I say if you can't afford it now then you are not going to afford it later.

Of course they say their will be alternatives to it through Medicaid type programs for the economic challenge person. But they left a loop hole for the States in allowing them to op-out of the program. That is exactly what Texas and I believe 15 states in all have done.

That means that the Medicaid program in Texas does not receive help in paying the program and since the neo-cons who control the state representatives and senate as well as the governors mansion have no intention of providing anything like what is needed for the working class in Texas.

Let me give you an example of the lunacy that make up our Stare of Texas government.

The organization Planned Parenthood is one of the best alternatives in Texas for low income women to receive health care ie. OB and Gyn care and had been a part of the Medicaid program. But then Gov. Rick Perry and the Neo-cons in the TX Legislature backing him declined federal money because they could not refuse to continue funding Planned Parenthood for services rendered in that they also did abortions and they refused to use stare money to do so. That is their right if they are truly representing the people and this is what they want.

But here is the catch. The state had a pretty good women's and children's health care program going for the working class and poor. With US funding $9 for every $1 that the state was funding but now state of Texas is picking up the entire tab. All because they refused to pay Planned Parenthood who by the way assure ed the state the money funding women's health care would not be used for abortions.

My point is this with idiocy such as this going on can you figure out how we are going to come up with a reasonable and cost effective health care insurance program. I believe it is dead in the water before it is ever launched.

Let me remind you dear reader that in North America which makes up three countries from south to north Mexico, USA and Canada we, the USA, are the one without a basic universal health care program.

Of course this is but one issue of many in the Class war we are involved in.

So as the months tick by and we approach 2014 implementation of mandatory health care insurance I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where ever you go there you are

There are times that I am without question a reluctant writer. I think the reason why has to do with settling on a topic. That and quilt of not putting enough shop time in.

 Right now my wife and I are scrambling looking for a place to move to that hopefully will be more affordable and still meet our needs of safety, live ability and price. It has proven to be a challenge.

What may surprise a lot of you is that location and price has nothing to do with one another. You may think that living in a economic depressed neighborhood would be cheaper (that means the hood the getto). But, what you would often find is similar price for less because of the instability of the housing for the poor frequently because of loss of income.

So the hunt has become a really big project.

When my wife and I was first married almost 40 years ago it was a lot simpler. You picked up a newspaper, turn to the rental section, found what you wanted in the area you wanted and closed the deal. Now it calls for daily searches of Craig's list, frequent visit to web sites of realtors and driving thru neighborhood looking for for lease signs in front of houses. It is much like playing pin the tail on the donkey. Blind luck if you manage to win. But persistent searches pays off in the end. But it is exhausting.

The search is for a traditional house first, second choice a duplex with a garage and backyard, third, a manufactured home in a community and last and not likely an apartment.

My point in this posting is too explain why I have not post as regularly as I have on the past. But with luck I will be in the near future.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some Things Never Change

Somehow I have allowed a month to pass from my last post. But that is not too significant when you realize that the events of the past month have been too depressing to write about. Everybody has drawn their line in the sand and now daring the other to cross it.

Somehow they manage to get your hopes up that they may actually start working together in congress and accomplish something when Republicans throw their compatriot that dared to hint at negotiation, under the bus before it even gets started.

Meanwhile so as to not have you think that I am just against Republicans, the democrats are crying foul and yet lack the political courage to stand their ground which in turn only encourages the Republican radicals.

So in short nothing has changed everything is still the same.

Some of the things that have happen personally or more so to my spouse gives some hint as to what is going on here in the good old USA.

Recently my wife, a researcher and grant writer at a non-profit charity, was told she was going to be cut back to part time so that they could hire a communications specialist who in turn was going to be her boss. Of course she was told it wasn't personal and it wasn't her work it was just business. But, it is personal for it is a definite economic blow to us. For one thing, she will lose her health benefits and at our age when we need them the most.

What makes the loss of health benefits difficult in part is the Health Care Reform Law that requires everyone in 2014 to have health insurance of one kind or another.  In Texas where we live it has become even more complicated with the politics that refuses to accept the law and has opted out and leaving people like us waiting for the other shoe to fall.  Because if you didn't know this then it is that there is not a real option available right now. It is like the Federal government really didn't expect anyone to say no.

It has become a Damn if you do and Damn if you don't. Result is the ones it hurts is people like us the working class and lower middle class. People who are never heard but are the backbone of the country.

Despite the cut in wages to half and loss of health insurance  they expected her to go along with it without complaint and by the way participate in helping to choose this person that would brought in.

Of course with the job market like it is against the middle aged worker because of their usually higher pay requirements and health insurance needs they are often left out of consideration.  My wife knowing this choked down her pride and has somehow managed to push on thru and awaiting to be told to begin working 20 hours a week once her new supervisor has come on board.

Just a side comment about the middle age worker in today's work environment. If you don't realize it just take a moment to look around you. Next time you are at Starbucks or 7-11 look at the Batista or clerk and you will note a person that is older than normal and who seems to be a little of out place . If you were to take time to get to know them you might find that they are someone who had been a mid-management or supervisor making decent money 60 to even 100K a year but now after being down-sized find their self working for $8-9 and hour instead after being unemployed for a year or better.

For a number of late 50s and early 60's they often just accept a smaller pay check and retire. Hence the reason for the increase in demands for Social Security Benefits.

I am not worried about my wife and I as I know we can survive we both grew up poor and raised our family on one income until I had reached the max of what I could make and she had to go to work outside of the home to round out our living expenses. It is just a matter for us of adjustment of our thinking and looking at our income easier now that it is just the two of us.

Enough for now. Just understand that there is diffidently a class war going on. between the elites 1% and the rest of us. I always remember what Joe Bagenat has written that you can always find someone willing to take a paycheck to beat the crap out of the rest of us and that is how the fight their battles. Using one of us to beat down the rest using fear as the motivating factor.

Keep the faith baby, and remember I may be paranoid but that does not mean that someone isn't out to get you.

Projects-Books and Movies

Weather has kept me out of my unheated shop but once warmer weather arrives I am ready. One of my presents will help in simplifying what I build. A new Kreg Jig that makes a butt joint stronger has me waiting to try it out on a couple of book cases.and cabinets.

Books - I have managed to read Lee Child "The killing Floor" and Crag Johnston "Another Man's Moccasin." Both books were both interesting and fun to read.
Movies - Recently watched "Reacher" a entertaining movie. one of the advantages of beinga senior is $4 tickets also watched on DVD "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer". Apparently the civil war was about killing vampires. Fun to watch and not bad acting or writing.
Well enough for now.