Monday, 10 February 2014

08:06 – Barbara doesn’t know whether her mom will be released from the hospital today. She’s expecting it, but they haven’t gotten final word yet. Frances called from the hospital last night and told Barbara that their mom was acting up again. Barbara thinks that Sankie is angling to get Frances to agree to let her come to live with Frances and Al, which isn’t going to happen. They both work, and there’s no way Sankie could stay in their home unsupervised all day long. With Sankie, one is never entirely sure how much of her behavior is real and how much is an act.


17 thoughts on “Monday, 10 February 2014”

  1. I have been rereading the “The End of Snow?” article in the NYT and getting more incensed.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-snow.html

    I see statements like the following:

    “The truth is, it is too late for all of that. Greening the ski industry is commendable, but it isn’t nearly enough. Nothing besides a national policy shift on how we create and consume energy will keep our mountains white in the winter — and slow global warming to a safe level.”

    “This is no longer a scientific debate. It is scientific fact. The greatest fear of most climate scientists is continued complacency that leads to a series of natural climatic feedbacks — like the melting of the methane-rich permafrost of Arctic Canada.”

    And I resent the heck out of these statements. 90+% of the CO2 production in this planet comes from volcanoes. Most of them are sub-sea so that we do not even see them.

    This is all about taxing energy usage in the USA so that money can be redistributed to the politician’s friends and to make serfs out of the rest of us.

    If the USA government was truly interested in climate change science, then both the promoters and deniers would be funded. Instead, only the climate change promoters are being funded. And the deniers are being ridiculed and threatened. It reminds me of the time when the Church prosecuted Galileo for stating that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of the Church view (agreed by most scientists of the time) that the Sun rotated around the Earth.

    In my opinion, that enormous fusion reactor in the center of our Solar System is responsible for most of the climate change on this planet. People think that it is a predictable and constant star, it is not. We have many, many years before we can totally and reliably measure that beastie.

  2. Went to Costco Saturday. The $18.99 package of Charmin ultra soft 36 toilet paper rolls is no more. Now there is a 30 package of toilet paper rolls for $20.99 with a $3.00 “rebate”. I feel used.

    And I miss my 6 other rolls of toilet paper.

  3. There is something horribly wrong with the healthcare in this country, which Obamacare has not resolved. When a lab charges $468.40 for services, and the insurance contracted fee the lab is entitled to is only $40.15, the billing from the lab borders on fraud. If the lab is making money at $40.15, then charging $468.40, which is a 1,000% plus increase, something is seriously wrong.

  4. You are not seeing the entire picture. The Lab is being paid an annual fee by the insurance company for it’s estimated services. Then you get a service done, the Lab bills the insurance company and they pay the amount above their annual fee. There may also be a fee at the end of the year from the insurance company to the Lab.

    Yes, it is a total scam. I dare you to try figure it out.

    The only way to figure it out is to move to a single payer plan and even that will be screwed up by the bureaucrats. But we, the USA, are headed there on a runaway trolley cart. Watch out for the wall!

    BTW, if you show up to the Lab without insurance, you will pay the entire fee. Cash or credit?

  5. Right. Because single-payer has been such a conspicuous success story everywhere it’s been imposed.

  6. My older sister died last year. I took her to the ER at one of our two local hospitals on Tuesday morning, and she died Thursday evening. About a month later I got the final bill for her stay, which had a grand total of $82,112.00 . The next line item was ‘Blue Cross Contractual Adjustment’ in the amount of $72,308.62 . I would suggest that any bill where the first thing done is to write off 7/8ths of it was fraudulent to start. And I’m willing to bet that if she hadn’t been insured, the hospital would be chasing her estate for the full $82 grand. Much the same with the ER physician, billed separately – $1400 original bill, $1140 ‘contractual allowance’, Blue Cross paid $213, we paid $53. Bogus in every way, but of course any replacement system endorsed by the Federal Leviathan would be even worse.

  7. And I’m willing to bet that if she hadn’t been insured, the hospital would be chasing her estate for the full $82 grand.

    About a week before my aunt died some schister dental firm came around and did some dental work. All perfectly legal and sanctioned by Medicaid. Of course the bill for the services came to exactly what Medicaid allowed.

    The weird way the system worked was that Medicaid reduced the amount I had to pay to the nursing home while the state made up the difference. Why the state did not pay the provider directly was beyond me. Since I paid less to the nursing home I was supposed to pay the provider that amount. It all netted out but it was a strange system.

    Anyway, she died, I used up all her money except what the state had left to pay the dental provider. Never did get a bill from the provider. I suspect they had little success in collecting fees from deceased. In my case I probably would have fought the bill and told the provider to send her to collections. But the bill never arrived so after six months I spent the money and closed the account.

    When my mother died I called Rogers cable and told them she died and they could come pick up their equipment. Rogers said no, I had to take the equipment to their local office. I said I did not have time and if Rogers wanted their equipment they would do it my way and come pick up the equipment. Rogers said they would not pick it and would leave the account open and continue billing. I said fine, continue to bill, it will not get paid. The account rep then said that would result in the account being sent to collections and it would damage her credit. I said “sounds good to me, have a nice day.”

  8. Between the corporations and their State enablers, the goal is, first to render us as serfs and zeks, and extract from us everything they can possibly extract while the financial system implodes. The next phase, for when we all squawk and get all angry and mean, is to stamp down hard on us with their jackbooted thugs, cops, and soldiers that they can still pay. Make some examples here and there. Then comes the mass cull, long planned and to be instigated by the globalist elites; we’re talking mass die-offs here, with increasing ethnic/racial strife deliberately incited and exacerbated. The final goal is for the wealthy and powerful minority to exercise absolute and total control over the minimum number of zeks needed to run the system for them. Straight from the Lenin-Stalin Playbook. Civil war? Fine by them. Mass famines? Likewise.

  9. Right. Because single-payer has been such a conspicuous success story everywhere it’s been imposed.

    The alternative is to get rid of the “must treat requirement” at all ERs. I like having ERs, especially since I have been an all too frequent guest over the last five years. But they are dying in the inner cities except for Houston.

    Obamacare was designed to ruin the current healthcare insurance system and it is apparently successful beyond all expectations. Call me cynical but you cannot deny the results to date. And, those results will get worse, far worse. I figure that the public cacophony will become overwhelming by May and since this is a Congressional election year, something must and will be done.

    Please note that I am not calling for a single provider system like Canada. That would be a freaking disaster in the USA. Just like Canada and England.

  10. I do not believe you will get confirmation from inhabitants of either Canada or England that their systems are disasters. Quite the contrary—on outcome based analysis, more people get healthcare in Canada and Europe, for far less cost, and have better health and live longer lives than those under the American system. I do not know of any recent studies that say differently.

  11. Between the corporations and their State enablers, the goal is, first to render us as serfs and zeks, and extract from us everything they can possibly extract while the financial system implodes. … The final goal is for the wealthy and powerful minority to exercise absolute and total control over the minimum number of zeks needed to run the system for them. Straight from the Lenin-Stalin Playbook. Civil war? Fine by them. Mass famines? Likewise.

    I am pretty darned sure that America does not consist of the kind of hairpins Russia and the Balkans or the Eastern Europeans were/are on the political front. Americans will never fight another civil war amongst themselves. And our host is correct that our military as a whole, will never do purposeful harm to the citizens. The police thugs that abound everywhere would do that job, but there will not be any way to get them paid for doing it—they increasingly work for bankrupt cities and municipalities, not an organized Fed effort to rid the country of citizens.

    Dictators pay for their mercenaries with their personal ill-gotten fortunes stashed in friendly countries. Where does that money come from to do those nasty deeds in America? If indeed the country is near bankruptcy, as is frequently maintained here, and the economy stops, how does the money even get transferred? If groceries are not getting to the shelves, money will still get to and from banks? I don’t think so.

    Will the super-rich become dictators? If nothing is functioning in society, how do they access their money and distribute it to the henchmen? Have they been preparing like the dictators have done? Will the holders of their money willingly fork it over to eradicate the US population?

    Above and beyond those issues, Americans are all about money. They are not going to sit around like the indigent in the rural Third World, doing nothing at all but resting on their asses, waiting for salvation. They are going to get off their duffs and make things happen. Probably with more success with a fall of government regulations than before. There may be places in the world where people will do nothing but beg and starve in the face of adversity—like Greece,—but that is not in the American psyche. This country is right now working its ass off to get back where it once was. The numbers were worse than in the Great Depression. But where are we now? In better and better shape every single quarter. We stepped back to 1991 in almost all categories; but we are actually progressing back to 2007 almost twice as fast as it took to get from 1991 to 2007 the first time.

    When it came to investing, my dad always said, “Never bet against the Germans.” During my lifetime, he has been right. My observation is: never underestimate Americans. We WILL survive, whatever comes up. And that includes this temporary setback of all of us getting poorer while our politicians and their rich funders in the 1% get massively richer. That will be reversed, in time. In the meantime, we may be poorer, but we will not starve, and there will be gas for our cars or there WILL be riots in the streets.

  12. I do not believe you will get confirmation from inhabitants of either Canada or England that their systems are disasters. Quite the contrary—on outcome based analysis, more people get healthcare in Canada and Europe, for far less cost, and have better health and live longer lives than those under the American system. I do not know of any recent studies that say differently.

    My experience begs to differ. I know several Canadian engineers whose employers are buying them private health insurance so they do not have to stand in line with the serfs. And their health insurance costs are almost as much as our USA health insurance costs.

  13. In the meantime, we may be poorer, but we will not starve, and there will be gas for our cars or there WILL be riots in the streets.

    I agree with this 100%. There will be riots in the streets when the gasoline is taxed so much with new global warming taxes that the EPA is working on right now.

  14. I hope you’re right, Chuck, and that I’m all wet here and completely mistaken. I agree that we’re significantly different from other countries that have gone through really bad times but we are also about to embark on entirely new historical territory.

  15. Americans are
    all about money. They are not going to sit
    around like the indigent in the rural Third World,
    doing nothing at all but resting on their asses

    Um, large portions of the population are currently doing pretty much exactly that. Lots more was raised so dawned coddled that they think breaking a nail is a major hardship.

    More than that are struggling to hold their heads above water with three part time jobs, and have such a crappy education that they don’t know enough to become anything more than a mindless mob.

  16. Worst-case scenario, due largely to what brad illustrates: 75-80% mass die-off, concentrated where the population is, mainly, the coastal metropoles. They will be at a loss when lights go out and store shelves are empty. And no place to go, no gas pumps working, assuming there is any gas. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse writ large in North Murka.

    Naturally I hope this doesn’t happen. And that enough remains of that great old American can-do thing to pull us out of a very dicey mess. But I fear that even with that, it’s too late now.

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