Reduced Health Care Spending Because People Have No Insurance

Absolutely unbelievable:

“The growth rate mostly slowed as millions of Americans lost insurance coverage along with their jobs. Worried about job security, others may have feared taking time off work for doctor’s visits or surgical procedures, or skipped nonurgent care when money was tight. ” —

This quote is from a NY Times article titled “Hopeful Sign, Health Spending is Flattening Out” ?????

It’s hopeful that people don’t have insurance or are afraid to take time off for doc appointments for fear of losing their jobs???

All I can say is something is very wrong in a society that celebrates such a thing. But I already knew that, did you?

Madonna Badger: Please Keep Breathing

Madonna Badger’s horrific Christmas Day fire is back in the news as the contractor’s insurance company does not want to pay out for claims or lawsuits due to his company’s role in the fire. Whatever on that one, but let it be said, I am not a fan of insurance companies.

But this post is not about the insurance company. It’s about Madonna, because once again, as the fire raises its ugly head, the gun-slingers and crucifiers are out in full force, tossing about their self-aggrandizing rhetoric. Here are a few examples from The New York Post:

“If Madonna Badger or Michael Borcina had any decency in them, they would both do the right thing and commit suicide. Their greed and stupidity caused this horror, killing young kids and old people. Yet, the two of them continue to walk the earth, pretending that they are actually civilized humans.”

This one is about Madonna’s contractor-friend:

“lying, cheating, incredibly dumb freaking wop bastard should be drawn and quartered and experience a slow, painful death.”

And more:


“This guy is at best shady and criminally negligent and at worst, the most vile murderer of 3 children… that the MOTHER is sticking by this guy tells me all I need to know re where the priorities of these two were and what led up to the horrific events of that night… horrific umtimely death of yet more angels…”

“The story stinks to high heaven. I think the contractor and the wife deliberately set the fire, just didn’t expect to kill anyone. Obviously this contractor has friends in the town, thus the bulldozing of the house and destruction of the evidence within a day of the fire. No one in their right mind would take hot embers from a fire and leave them in a paper bag – in the house. The State of Connecticut needs to appoint an investigator.”

Many more comments adorn the pages of yesterday’s Post, and to be fair, many of them are in supportive.  As for the critical ones, I am not religious, but I always hold true to the story of the woman who was caught committing adultery and Jesus then said  “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

Why does this story haunt me so? I’ve asked myself that a hundred times, and I am pretty sure the answer lies in that I was also a single mother bringing up young children, a single mother who dated, who tried to balance work, home, child care and nurturing, and tons of other things. I made mistakes. I made one major mistake:  I married a man who did the unthinkable, and that I will have to take with me to my dying day. I suffer with the agony of that, but I can’t even imagine Madonna, how she copes, how she lives, how she breathes.

The (evil) cancer industry exposed by medical doctors

This is a compelling and frightening essay about the cancer “industry” with “industry” as the operative word. So disgusting to think — there’s been no cure because it would not be in the economical industry of those companies involved.

The (evil) cancer industry exposed by medical doctors.

Dandelion Garden

Yep – an honest-to-goodness, cultivated, artistically displayed dandelion garden. It lit up an otherwise steely morning, with its bursting of buttery flowers. How often do we think of dandelions as flowers? Nope, we think of them as pesky and unsightly, something to be sprayed with poisons, or dug up and thrown curbside for disposal.

I dare you to go outside now and pick up a single dandelion. (Your lawn is probably bursting with them as mine is at this moment). Smell it, turn it around and look at it from all sides,  see it as something other than an annoying, ugly weed.

Instead of “stop and smell the roses” flowers that are stunning, alluring, and so aromatic that perfumes are named after them, how about, “stop and deliberate the dandelions?”

Supermarket Ettiquette

In this age of economic crisis, technological scams and frauds, and tensions among countries like never before,  there is a new peril facing humankind: the grocery cart as kamikaze weapon.

Recently, my hometown grocery store reinvented itself and instead of long, single aisles one had to navigate from beginning to end, (or turn-around mid-stream) , it cut out the shelves mid-aisle, and made new aisles that bisect the originals at a 90 degree angle. Thus — grocery store intersections! In theory, the idea seems to be customer-focused, you know, ease, convenience, and all that. In reality, these stores have morphed into playgrounds for the emotionally frustrated, angry,  irritated, depressed, bipolar, and angst-motivated teeth-gnashers.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been pushed, shoved, smashed into, and run over with someone in some state of heightened emotion. On the passive end of the spectrum, I’ve had to wait for, as well as steer around, some clueless clod who has no comprehension that there may be other people in this universe. In this milieu, there are no rules of the road, and thusly, no one has a clear right-of-way except those bully-ish sorts who will take advantage of any situation.

Okay, you get the picture? Let’s throw in another variable, the one that makes me frustrated, angry, irritated, depressed, bipolar, and an angst-motivated teeth-gnasher, and that is the Baby Basket Bomber, as in those ridiculously long, big, basket in back, kiddie-car in front shopping carts. These things are a caliber of weapon, driver (mother-pusher) included, that win wars!

Anyway, try meeting one of these in the grocery aisle intersection. These mothers KNOW they have power, and they love wielding it. In fact, the other day, I was at one end of an aisle, and a woman with two kids in the Baby Bomber car at the other end of the aisle came at me with eyes narrowed, shoulders bent in fast-forward position, and was that actually foam in the corners of her mouth?   I stopped and could not help staring as she barreled towards me. I made a mental noted to petition the store manager to outlaw the bloody things in the interest of keeping the rest of us innocent customers alive.

In fact, I think that thanks to this new store layout, we need courses and manuals on the Basics of Grocery Story Etiquette.


Okay, the facts. Or should I say, the fact. The fact is that despite the ‘improving’ economy (not), we in our humble household have not taken a vacation in many moons, nor do we foresee one looming in many moons to come.  But that’s okay. I’m truly not (delete) complaining.  In fact, I’ve discovered a sort of replacement and it’s this: BOOKS!

Ha, you say, haven’t read a book in … many moons?? This is a sad truth and without having the stats in front of me, I’ll hazard a guess the reason is texting, IMing, YouTubing, Pinteresting, and other technological enablements.

Truth be known, I am also a geek, albeit one of Baby Boomer ilk. I’ve been at this technology thing since its inception in the workplace back in the late 1970s. However, as an English major, I am also a  reading geek, finding solace and escape in the pages of the usual 3 to 4 books I have going at any one time. And no, I do NOT have a NOOK or equivalent, and I have neither plans nor desire for one. I am too enchanted by the look, feel, and smell (yes, that wonderful aroma that comes from fanning the pages) of my real books.

These days, I am particularly fascinated with the journeys through time and geography I am taking with the likes of James Michener’s Alaska, Stephen King’s 11/22/63, and a bevy of historical novels by Anya Seton, Elizabeth Chadwick, Diana Gabaldon, and Paulina Simons.

I have journeyed to Nome, Alaska during the Great Klondike Goldrush in the late 1800s, experienced life in the 900s in England and France, walked through war zones and ducked bombs in the streets of Russia during WWII.

In short, I have traveled to, experienced with, and ‘met’ more interesting characters than I ever would during my online, technologically enhanced escapades. And just to repeat, the only “Nook” I’ll ever have is that cozy little place in my house where I get myself all warm and cozy, dog curled up next to me, book in hand.

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