Tuesday, December 24, 2013


It's that time of the year again. 
I just don't get it about this 2 month period every year where so many seem to spread good cheer, show compassion, recognize those who are less fortunate among us, and then immediately forget about these suffering human beings for the other 10 months of the year.

Total strangers greet you with "Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas". Even the usually rude droids that we all come across in our daily lives of visiting the Doctor, Cashiers at stores, wherever, whatever, flash their fake smiles, mouth empty words devoid of real feelings.

This time of the year has always bugged me. In particular it's because why is there a societal designated tiny period where everyone is supposed to act nice to each other, help those who are less fortunate than us, and spread "cheer" to each other. 

Saying Happy Holidays for the next 2 months, buying yourself "more stuff" that you really don't need, feeding the poor for the holidays, it just doesn't cut it anymore.

What happened to the rest of the year when it's not apparently required to act in this humane manner. If people really cared, this would be the normal behavior all year round.

It is with this in mind, that I want to wish EVERYONE, from the bottom of my heart a Happy Festivus for the Rest of us.

                                                                Happy Festivus

                                          Oh, think twice, it's just another day  in Paradise

He walks on, doesn't look back
He pretends he can't hear her
He starts to whistle as he crosses the street, She's embarrassed to be there,

Oh, think twice, it's just another day 

For you and me in paradise
Oh, think twice, it's just another day
For you and me in paradise
Just think about it,

She calls out to the man on the street

He can see she's been cryin'
She's got blisters on the soles of her feet, She can't walk but she's tryin',

Oh, just think twice, it's just another day

For you and me in paradise
Oh, yes think twice, it's just another day
For you and me in paradise
Just think about it, just think about it.

Oh Lord, is there nothing more anybody can do?
Oh Lord, there must be something you can say,

You can tell by the lines on her face

You can see that she's been there
Probably been moved on from every place, Cause she didn't fit in there,

Oh, yes think twice, it's just another day

For you and me in paradise
Just think about it, just think about it

It's just another day,
For you and me in paradise

It's just another day, For you and me
It's another day, For you and me
It's another day,
For you and me in paradise".

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, in case I forget to say so.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Some times things happen that provide us with a tiny hope that humanity still exists in our cruel, mostly uncaring world in which everyone seems to only be interested in their own selfish needs.

As a parent who has experienced the horrific loss of a child, I can often identify with others who are also experiencing the agony of the inexplicable endless suffering that we will feel forever.

Each of us tries to instill in ourselves and others, a legacy to remember our children who have died, so that their much too short time on this earth is cherished for eternity.

It is our hope that others will never forget that our children lived and that their lives always will be remembered, never to be erased.

One such story is about a young man, Zach Sobiech who died on May 20, 2013 at the age of 18. 

Zach lost his battle to a rare form of cancer but his legacy has continued to live on.   

His mother, Laura Sobiech, said her son Zach had instructed his family and closest friends on how he wanted to live his last moments on earth, which involved remaining conscious until it was his time to go. An uncommonly brave choice as Zach suffered in his last few bittersweet moments.

Laura said Zach, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 14 years old, was conscious until just moments before he died on May 20, that’s what he wanted and achieved, to be able to say a proper goodbye. Laura said it was the way he “wanted to go.”  

With only months to live, Zach turned to music to say goodbye. Zach had written a song called "Clouds" about coming to terms with his imminent death. His YouTube hit, "Clouds," went viral last December and, at one point, reached No. 1 on iTunes.

On Thursday night, December 5, 2013, a choir of 5,000 singers made up of a few friends, family, but mostly strangers came together to sing a triumphant version of "Clouds" at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

The event, held one year after "Clouds" hit YouTube, was organized by local radio station, KS95.

In the middle of the crowd were Sobiech's parents, Laura and Rob Sobiech, and his girlfriend, Amy Adamle.  "Everybody came together, and it was for Zach, and it was for everyone in the room," Rob Sobiech told the Pioneer Press. "And it was for other kids who have cancer." 

Then the crowd sang his song with their amazing voices and faces touching my soul. I felt their emotions and "goose bumps" when I watched the videos.

Please watch the videos below, for yourself, so that you have the opportunity to feel even more of what is being said here in my words.

It should affect you in much the same manner because this is about life, death, unfairness, hope, and the goodwill of human beings of all religions, races, politics, and differences who came to share together, that they ALL wanted to express their compassion, caring, love for another human being.

Watch the incredible, haunting performance of "Clouds" in the video below by the crowd at the Mall of America.

Zach's amazing story also caught the attention of Rainn Wilson's YouTube channel, SoulPancake, and they made a short documentary about the teen's journey, "My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech."Watch the video below to learn more about Zach's incredible life.

Watch Zach's original performance of "Clouds" in the two videos below.

                                              THE LYRICS

It is at rare times like this that the human spirit shows it still has some goodness in it. 
May 3, 1995 – May 20, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Fact checked and accurate.

So tell me again the big lies of how we the people cannot afford to be helped in our struggles for survival by programs, benefits, services that will rebuild our rotted infrastructure, and save the regular folks of America who are being brainwashed that there is no money to help us.

Adjust the above dollar amounts up or down proportionately of what you pay based on the amount of your annual salary above or below $50,000.

The truth is right there above in those simple mathematical figures.

Open your eyes and stop being dumb sheep.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This is not about the Affordable Health Care Act (AKA Obamacare) or to engage in any political debate. This is about facts, you might still remember what that is about, telling the truth.

Many like to say that the United States has the best health care system in the world.  The problem is we don’t.  Not even close.  In fact, the only way you can get the best health care in the world, is if you are willing and able to pay for it.

The U.S. has to pay twice the amount per capita as the next most costly system in the world (Norway’s), and we still do not cover millions of our citizens. A Harvard Medical School study states that at least 45,000 Americans die each year from treatable diseases because they cannot afford to get treatment.

That equals 5 Americans that die every hour, of every day, of every year because of a preventable illness that was not taken care of due to lack of access and means.

Our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  How can somebody have life and happiness, without their health? 

The US spends significantly more per person on health care than others, but has lower life expectancy rates than its peers. That's the message from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Health at a Glance 2013 report (CLICK HERE), which highlights the state of health in its 34 member countries. The report runs hundreds of pages long, detailing the most recent data in key areas of health and countries' health systems. One section looks into life expectancy gains over the past few decades, and, for many Americans, it makes for a worrying read.

What's embarrassing is that even though we live in a country where over 40 million people are uninsured, we pay more for health care than any other nation, and yet pathetically rank 26th in life expectancy, behind Slovenia

As supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act debate the best way to overhaul a clearly broken health care system, it's perhaps helpful to put American medicine in a global perspective.

The U.S. may spend the most on health care but this is not translating in high life expectancy. The U.S. also lags in comparison to its peers in providing universal health care. (Credit: OECD Health Statistics 2013)

To paraphrase Ricky Ricardo, the American health care system has a lot of 'splainin' to do.So what can the U.S. learn from the many countries that get more bang for their health care buck? Unsurprisingly, there is no one formula for success when it comes to efficient medical care.

The systems that rank highly are as diverse as the nations to which they belong. The unifying factor seems to be tight government control over a universal system, which may take many shapes and forms, a fact evident in the top-three most efficient health care systems in the world: Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

Our biggest problem is that aspects of our culture are so backward. We’ll gladly spend all of the money, ever on national defense, to the point where the Pentagon can waste billions but still get far more funding than any other area of the government.

Although life expectancy in the United States has been growing in the last several decades, it has done so more slowly than other countries due to gaps in health insurance, poor living conditions, and poor health behaviors, according to a report released Wednesday from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD'S Report (Click Here) shows that life expectancy in the United States increased by about eight years since 1970, to 78.7 years in 2011. But life expectancy grew more rapidly in other OECD countries, which saw averages of 10-year gains since 1970. Now, the United States is more than a year below the OECD average life expectancy of 80.1 years.

Remember, in our political arena, if you support military funding, you’re a patriot. If you want more of that money to go toward health care, you’re a dirty socialist.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s money toward the same thing, protecting your population. For some reason, protecting them from external threats is important, but protecting their health is not.

A more detailed look shows that the US falls behind the rest of the world in every category:

1. Americans pay three times more for health care:

United States = $4,178
Switzerland = $2,794
Germany =$2,424
Canada =$2,312
Norway = $2,215
Austria = $2,043
France =$2,077
Japan = $1,822
Italy =$1,783
Sweden =$1,746
Finland= $1,502

2. But Americans get worse care. The US is

- 45th in Infant Mortality

- 14th in Heart Attack Survival, is behind Japan, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Canada, Denmark and Germany,

- 15th in mortality from preventable diseases behind, France, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, and Denmark.

- Worst of G6 countries for supplying Urgent care,

- Worst in medical errors.

- Behind France in Lung, Colon and Breast cancer survival. And the French pay half as much for their care.

- 5th in timely care

3. Insurance Costs Go To Overhead. Every year, Health insurance Companies are spending less and less on claims and more overhead. The amount insurance companies spend on medical claims has decreased by 28%. While profits for companies like United Health Care rose by 11%.

Percentage of premiums spent on claims:

1993: 95%
2006: 80%
2008: 67%

Some states were even worse:

North Dakota: 55%
WY, MA:       60%
KY,ME,MN,SD:  65%

Of Course our most efficient medical system in the United States is the Government operated Medicare Health Care Program of which 97.9% of premiums were spent covering claims and a tiny 2.1% for overhead in operating Medicare.

When confused people scream out "I don't want government-run health care. I don't want socialized medicine. And don't touch my Medicare", it is clear that they have no clue what they are talking about.

It's not about senior citizens. It's about anyone who doesn't think about what they're being told and can be easily manipulated. That includes many people younger than myself.

It's about the fear tactics that worked so well for the past eight years because so many people tend to believe what they're told rather than thinking it out for themselves.
The point is that our private system of health care in the United States sucks. Change it or live with it, but understand that the current system rips us all off.