Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DOOM DAY?

A very brief note today, the last day in June. Home maintenance  this morning.

The Iran Nuclear agreement deadline is today. My bet is that we will whiff again and give an extension. After all Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said "they (Obama?) needs us more than we need them"(NY Times 6/29/15)

The US continues to show signs of  what our Mid-East "friends" consider as weakness and a lack of will.

The Greece economic crisis which will impact on the whole world, as well as the Puerto Rico impending default on its payments, is one more evidence that we have a sick society due to spending more than earning. the result may be a catastrophic greater than the Great Depression.

Social Services programs are very important, but they must not be at the expense of an impossible burden on the future. Moreover they can not be  funded by compromising our national security. Stricter controls over the use  of the dollar including the military, limiting patronage outflows and eliminating some program benefits are a must.

Socialism as a national policy without available resources is the route to disaster.

Monday, June 29, 2015

ONE DAY TO GO




Tomorrow, June 30 Tuesday is the deadline for Iran to agree to all the provision in the ‘Nuclear control” agreement that the European Countries plus the USA have proposed.

Iran’s leadership has already made it clear that it will not allow ay International Inspectors in to its military sites.

That one item should be a deal breaker. Any concession by the Western powers will make the “treaty” a farce. Our Congress has already made it clear that if Obama agrees to something less than the proposed terms it will “veto” (by an appropriate rejection vote) the agreement.

What Iran will receive is a relaxing then closing of all the sanctions which have severally affected its economy. Even if it agreed to all as written, there is no guarantee that it will not violate some of the terms.

At best, its progress to have a nuclear weapon will only be postponed by 10 years. It already has the rocket capabilities to hit most of Europe and is expected to have its range extended so that at least the North-West part of the USA will be vulnerable.

Its medium range rockets can destroy Israel and all our common religious sites.

The danger of continuing the sanctions is that the internal economic problems may cause a radical wing of the government to embark on a military adventure that will lead to a worldwide nuclear conflict.

That may be a risk that we must face; or even act before Iran does if it appears that is what will happen. Once again the elephant in the parlor is Russia and Putin who seems to be on his own military adventure.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

TWO ACTS



Two happenings Thursday June 25 are worth comments. Both were positive needed actions, yet both had obvious political objections merited in one case but not in the other.

In Oz on that night a Special Council Committee attended by President Rivers, Storch, Williams and Tolliver, approved by a 4:0 vote the process to transfer the City supported Bilingual Day Care Center to HOPES a Non-Profit Agency which was established in 1964 and “provides programs which respond to the social, educational, and training needs of the community”.

Along with that action, the Council approved a resolution that authorized the submission of a layoff plan for the staff who are city employees.

In the past the BOE actually ran the educational portion of the program but the salaries were paid by the city. I understand that HOPES will be responsible for all aspects. I believe that there are plans to relocate HOPES programs into the old armory which will be transformed into a school.

Sad to say, three Councilors once again failed to show up for a special meeting. At least two of them have been notorious in their constant desire to hamper the Administration. Perhaps someday they will realize that they are supposed to serve the public.

More controversial but in the affected people’s best interests was SCOTUS 6:3 decision that the federal subsidies according to income for health insurance policies purchased through the Insurance Exchanges in each State was applicable to all Exchanges whether they were State or Federal run.

The law as written and signed was flawed, stating that such subsidies were granted to exchanges established by the State. There are only 12 states that established their own Exchanges, the other and territories use Federal run Exchanges for each State.

It would have been a disaster if the Court had stuck to the wording of the ACA and agreed that only the insured in the State supported Exchanges were entitled to subsidies. However, a bad and potentially dangerous precedent has now been set by SCOTUS in effect when its decision was based on what it “felt” Congress meant not what it wrote.

This was a subjective action not based on facts which can be construed as being legislative; not the constitutional role of the Supreme Court. There is the potentiality in the future of a despot President coercing the Court to produces law setting decisions that are contrary to the Congressional produced law. In that respect Scalia's comments are proper.

Did you know that nowhere is the size of the Supreme Court defined? Also that 6 of the present sitting judges were appointed by Republican Presidents.

There is indication that almost all of the States that have established their own Exchanges are running into severe fiscal problems and many of them will now plan to change to the federal managed exchanges.

One factor that is becoming increasingly evident is that in the State exchanges the number of participating carriers is decreasing leaving less choices available to the buyer, and at the same time there are double digit percentage premium increases. If the in the works mergers among the bigger carriers go through the problem will be worse. Imagine a combined Anthem and Cigna company; or a United Health Care and Aetna dominating a state. Both the policy holder and the service provider will suffer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

POLITICAL CORRECT ?



I received this via email. It is part of article from an unnamed Columnist who like me feels that “Give them hell Harry” Truman was one of the greatest Presidents. The writer was seeking the origin of the phrase “political correctness”. You may find this amusing.

“A unnamed source there sent me copies of four telegrams that were between Harry Truman and Douglas MacArthur on the day before the actual signing of the Surrender Agreement. The contents of those four telegrams below are exactly as received, not a word has been added or deleted!”

(1) Tokyo, Japan
0800-September 1,1945
To: President Harry S Truman

From: General D A M MacArthur
Tomorrow we meet with those yellow bellied bastards and sign the Surrender Documents, any last minute instructions!

(2) Washington, D C
1300-September 1, 1945
To: D A MacArthur

From: H S Truman
Congratulations, job well done, but you must tone down your obvious dislike of the Japanese when discussing the terms of the surrender with the press, because some of your remarks are fundamentally not politically correct!

(3) Tokyo, Japan
1630-September 1, 1945
To: H S Truman

From: D A MacArthur and C H Nimitz
Wilco Sir, but both Chester and I are somewhat confused, exactly what does the term politically correct mean?

(4) Washington, D C
2120-September 1, 1945
To: D A MacArthur/C H Nimitz

From: H S Truman
Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!