Monday, January 26, 2015

It's YOUR Health

As many of you know, written prescriptions will be illegal in New York State after March 27, 2015. If you agree that this will cause great harm and disruption to our health care system, please consider copying the following, or writing something similar, and sending it to your State Senator, State Assemblyman, and to the Governor before it's too late. 
Remember, the prescription you save may be your own.
Dear __________.
I have recently learned that you passed a law which will make written prescriptions illegal in New York State after Mar. 27th of this year and that all prescriptions will have to be submitted by computer after this date. I would strongly urge that you immediately act to repeal this law. It is unnecessary and will have numerous undesirable consequences, the most notable being,
      1) Computers crash. When the computer used by my chosen provider or pharmacist malfunctions, I will have no way of obtaining my medications without providers making time-consuming phone calls on overtaxed phone lines....if the provider's office is not already closed for the day and if the phone lines are open.
      2) Software malfunctions. See #1 above.
      3) Internet connections malfunction. See #1 above.
      4) I will no longer be able to shop for better service or less expensive medicines. Each prescription will be sent to a single pharmacy, making it very difficult and time consuming to comparison shop.
      5) Privacy. Though all is to be 'encrypted', hackers had no trouble getting into computers of Sony Entertainment, Target, and many others. There is no reason to believe that prescription systems will be any more foolproof. I do not want my medication usage to be a matter of public knowledge.
I have been using written prescriptions without difficulty since...forever. I would very much appreciate your using your good offices to effect immediate repeal of this ill-conceived law before it does irreparable harm to our health and to our health care system. I consider this to be a matter of great urgency and look forward to hearing of the actions you have taken.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Tax on 'Accumulated' Weath?

Did the president really just propose, in his State of the Union Address a tax on 'accumulated' wealth?
Long the dream of socialists and other scoundrels and weasels, this tax, which is a type of 'ad valorem' tax (a tax 'to the value') is generally levied only on property, i.e. real estate, autos, etc. The president is now proposing that it be levied on ALL wealth, bank accounts, stocks, bonds...everything!
Good bye paying your taxes and then keeping what's left because it's...yours. Good bye privacy. Good bye personal property. Good bye security in your old age and taking care of your family. Hello 1984.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Don't Get Sick...

  ...especially now. And especially if you live in New York. Why not now? And why not in New York?
        Well, beginning on March 27, 2015, it will be illegal in New York State for your doctor to write a prescription for you and equally illegal for your pharmacist to fill it. From that date on, all prescriptions will  have to be submitted to your pharmacy by computer. And that's not only narcotics. It's ALL prescriptions. So, what's wrong with that?
      Approximately 700,000 prescriptions are written by New York's 77,332 licensed physicians and filled by it's 5,398 licensed pharmacies....every day!  Worried about a computer crash? Hackers getting your personal info? Fuhgeddaboudit! It's all required to be 'encrypted.' What could possibly go wrong? By the way, how do you spell 'Sony Entertainment? Obamacare rollout?...'
       And anyway, it's for your own good. The I-Stop Bill will 'enhance safety and quality of the prescribing process' and prevent abuse and errors that all those dumb doctors and pharmacists just can't, or won't, control.
       "Hippocrates, it's about your papyruses. Too hard to read. Too many mistakes. Too much myrrh. The emperor thinks that maybe you should start writing on stone."
        "Pythagoras, why do you always think in three's?"
       What was it that Ronald Reagan once said were the ten most dangerous words in the English language, "We're from the government and we're here to help you?"  
       If you like your prescription, you can get your prescription...just maybe not right away.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Well, this one was armed...

       An 'Unarmed' Young Man Was Shot,,,
       Was that the important thing? that he was unarmed? 
       Is the cop really supposed to fight back with his bare hands, even if he feels his life is in danger, because, if he uses his gun and if the guy he's trying to arrest is unarmed, then it wasn't a 'fair' fight? (By the way, what if the 'policeman' is a policewoman? Still not allowed to shoot? SHE also has to fight fair?)
        Well, if the cop is the only one with a gun, then it might not be a fair fight but....IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A 'FAIR' FIGHT. An arrest is not a duel. It's not Man from La Manch.  The cop is supposed to win. You're supposed to give up. You're being arrested. Tomorrow, you'll have a lawyer and then there'll be the judge.
        Yesterday we saw what happens when the other guy is armed. That's the way it will always be if the bad guy has a gun. Nobody reads a cop his Miranda rights. It's just, BANG!
        Rest in peace, Officer Liu.
        Rest in peace, Officer Ramos.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cuba Libre!

        Even a broken clock gets it right twice a day. Was this Obama's A.M. moment or maybe his P.M.? Either way, he got it right...this time.
        If we limited diplomatic relations to only those countries that lived up to our standards, we'd be able to fit the entire Foreign Service into my waiting room, and you know those guys would never pay their co-payments.
        Republicans should lick their wounds for not having done it themselves when they had the chance and graciously congratulate the president for doing the right thing...this time.
       Cuba libre? Maybe a step closer.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Great minds think...sometimes

         On a recent trip to China to promote American chewing gum interests, President Obama claimed to have achieved an historic breakthrough in the control of 'climate change.' In return for the United States' agreeing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, the Chinese agreed to continue to increase their burning of fossil fuels, remaining the planet's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, until 2030 when, they agreed, their carbon dioxide emissions would...'peak.' 
        What does that mean? How much is a 'peak?' In case you were sick on the day  they taught counting, 'peak' is not a number. Nobody counts, "one, two, three, peak, four, five, si..." Twenty eight, on the other hand, is a number. And reducing industrial power output by 28% is a very big number. And it will be a very expensive number for the American economy.
         And don't let anyone tell you that you can save money by switching from fossil fuels. If it would save money, we wouldn't need laws and fines and whatnot to get people to do it. No matter what you think of them, the heads of America's largest corporations are not stupid. If they could save money and make bigger profits by getting rid of fossil fuels, the president would invite them over and show them the spreadsheets (Gruber numbers?) and they'd switch to burning chewing gum tomorrow.
        "So, Xi, how did you get the Americans to agree to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 28%? The price of everything they make will go thru the roof."
        "I told them that if they did that, we would agree to peak in 2030."
        "Peak? What does that mean, to peak?"
        "I don't know. We'll worry about it in 2030."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"If you like your illegal alien, you can keep..."

        President Obama this week announced that anyone who 1) has been in the country for at least five years, 2) has a child who's a citizen or a permanent legal resident of the United States, and who 3) can pass a criminal background check, will not be deported even though he or she is in the country illegally. Is this, as the president claims, a legitimate exercise of 'prosecutorial discretion' or is he acting illegally or, at least, improperly?        
        Prosecutors at all levels, whether presidents enforcing immigration law or local officials enforcing criminal law, are given a lot of discretion as to how to enforce these laws. 
        For instance, suppose you were caught stealing a loaf of bread but had no criminal record and were stealing the bread to feed your family. Chances are, you would not be prosecuted and would be let go with a warning, an exercise of prosecutorial discretion which most would feel to be appropriate.
       On the other hand, suppose the D.A. were to decide that bread is so important that no one should ever be prosecuted for stealing bread, that the 'bakery system' is broken, and that until the legislature fixes it by giving everyone free bread or whatever, he's not going to prosecute anyone for stealing bread. Would this also be a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion?
        Immigration law mandates that if you're in this country illegally, then you're in this country illegally. Even if you have children who are legal and even if you've been here for some specified amount of time and even though you may indeed be a very fine fellow, you're still here illegally.
       Congress has the right and the duty to pass laws and the president has the constitutional obligation to see that they are 'faithfully executed.' He can try and have them changed but, in the meantime, cannot behave as though they were already what he would have liked them to be. That's not 'discretion.' That's 'nullification' and is a power possessed by juries, not by presidents.