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Year 2012: Another Cruise: Russia

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Notes:

This will not be organized by date although they will mostly be in order.

Windows 7

For almost 10 years I was very active and tried to keep a regular journal.  Last year, 2011, I almost lost it.  This year, 2012, I have not even tried.  There is a reason for this.  Microsoft has foisted upon the world its worst possible vision of the future: Windows 7.  My plate is full attempting to get the new computers (the old ones do not do Windows 7) upgraded to new versions of software.  Especially my own programs since I need a new version of Delphi and Delphi has evolved more than Windows! 

Editor

Even programs that worked under Windows Vista do not work anymore.  This includes my favorite HTML editor.  Even in emulation mode it gives up.  Rather than fight it, I gave up and I gave up for most of a year.  I shall find a new editor one of these days but it has not been high enough priority. 

Adobe Photoshop

And do not get me started on what those Adobe maniacs have done to Photoshop.  Each Photoshop version is more complex and harder to use than the previous.  For example, if you want to save an image for the Internet, the default is.GIF and you must change this for every file you want to save.  And every couple of days Photoshop seems to forget my personal option set and I must go through the entire options dialog to put my options back.  For example, they default to “inches” for pictures and I change it to “pixels”.  In many places.


2012 December

The Week Before Christmas

It is the week before Christmas. I am still in the CRA RV park.  The lot has not closed yet.  My dental visits have stopped for the time being.  I still owe a bit of money but 43 is a long trip just to pay of the balance when I am not really happy with the last crown and the receptionist refuses to talk to me: my Spanish is not good enough for her.

Life in the RV park is interesting.  I am now the wagon master for the RVs who feel they need an escort from Yuma to El Golfo.  For this I get my third week paid.  To date two such trips have been made out of a possible 8.  Not so many people are coming here any more.

There are multiple reasons for not coming here.  The American economy is often blamed as RV travel has been greatly reduced in the last 8 years.  GWB's worldwide recession will not be restored until the Republicans holding onto his policies also go away.  The US State Department warnings that ALL travel in Mexico is dangerous is a good part of the problem.  Even Americans living in border cities such as Yuma believe in this danger.  Mostly the danger is restricted to other parts of Mexico and even then primarily to drug dealers competing for traffic routes.

Insurance rates have escalated due to the violence claims and insurance company and agent profiteering.  Gasoline is cheaper in Mexico than the USA and US gasoline is at the lowest price since last Christmas. 

The other CRA members seem to be feeding each other on reasons to hate me.  I have been told point blank to leave the clubhouse and go live with the Mexicans.  Interesting.  I am already living with the Mexicans and have been for at least the last 5 years.  If I attempted to elucidate the claims against me I would have more people jumping my case.  Oh.  And one woman has actually jumped out of the bushes a couple of times, yelled something unintelligible and trotted of with her two little dogs on their leashes.  Strange.  I have been informed that I have referred to some group as "Mexican Fugitives".  I have scoured my web pages for these words.  I have been promised a copy of the alleged document but it has not been forthcoming.

That these people have so much hatred for me is of little concern.  They are here for a couple of weeks or maybe a couple of months and the rest of the year are somewhere else.  And normally I just visit my friends in the park when it is safe.  Now I am sort of trapped while waiting for my lot purchase to complete.

But the problem is not with the dislike of me.  Each year fewer people return.  The economic situations is slowly improving.  There is a different attitude in the CRA corporation than before.  Pat used to meet people entering with a "Welcome Home!"  The park management, if not the company, encouraged people to have the park as their winter home.  The newer attitude of counting days and coupons and paid weeks out with the "paid" being quite expensive may be normal for an RV park but is not encouraging to people who previously found ways to live here for a couple of months.  Now it is mostly using up 30-day coupons or two-week stays.  My 10-year supply of 30-day coupons expired years ago.

I have talked with many people (those who will talk with me) and frequently hear the same thing.  They will not return because the social atmosphere of previous years has gone.  I could get specific but for what reason?  More hate mail?  No.  There are 100 or so sites.  The park used to fill all of its sites this time of year.  Now maybe only 1/3 of the sites are filled.  Maximum.  The CRA people have also closed the bar and restaurant.  Restaurant meals are now a function of the activities group.  As are the games and other activities.  But where there used to be sufficient people here to fill each activity with many overlapping, now a smaller group travels from one activity to the next.  Many people liked the "village".  Now the village is too small.  Moreover the ratio of lot owners to park RV members now more than ever favors the lot owners.  They have an investment to protect but the complaints I hear from the people not returning center around this ratio and how they feel left out.

El Golfo in general is becoming more poor.  There are many more and many new and bigger fishing boats going to sea.  This as the quantity of fish and shrimp are decreasing.  This can be blamed on over-fishing or global warming or whatever.  The solution is for the people to stop fishing until there are sufficiently fewer fishermen to reap a profit on a fish population permitted to grow.  This is happening very slowly.  Outside people are investing in more and more expensive vacation homes.  This economy conversion is happening at a much slower rate than expected ten years ago.

I have spent more for Christmas presents this year than my budget permits.  Soap, tooth brushes, blankets, flash lights, milk, chickens for Christmas dinners.  One more Yuma trip for final presents and phone calls and then Christmas.  I have been invited to family parties.

And may anyone reading this have the happiest Christmas ever.

Three Days Before Christmas

I met another Republican today but there have been other incidents this last week.  As I mentioned, I have been invited to leave the clubhouse as the speaker announced to all that could hear that I was a hate monger and not permitted among decent people.  Earlier in the day when I entered the clubhouse the entire group booed me.  I had signed up for the clam chowder dinner and decided that as much as I liked clam chowder, soup was not a sufficient enticement for me to endure their hostility.  I left as requested and did not bother trying to remove my name from the dinner list.  They knew I would not be there.

Today I went for an early morning walk.  I walked Bingo from my RV to outside the park entrance on his leash.  The primary area of the park is west of the gate and at the west end of an entry road.  The gate is on the north corner of the park.  Parallel to the entry road is en extension of the park entered from a minor gate entry south and a little to the east of the main entry.  Further south are the "lots".  I avoid the lots.  But inside the fence on the south side of the road are some RV sites.  Usually these are empty since anyone here is sort of isolated from the others. Further to the east and then to the south is open desert bordered several hundred yards out by a concrete block property boundary fence.  This is where we walked this morning.  I removed Bingo's leash on entry to this area and left it at the fence.

Inside this area are some RV sites as I mentioned.  First is a stored RV and about 3 sites in is another occupied and waiting to be painted.  This is the usual location for RV's waiting to be painted.  No problem.  We walked past it out to the open area and enjoyed our walk.  As we were returning I noticed a group of Mexicans setting out a taco breakfast on the hood of their car.  I told Bingo to heel.  Which he did.  There were about 6 Mexicans and as I passed the waiting-to-be-painted RV, I was invited to join them for breakfast.  These were the painters waiting for the appointment time to start their painting.

The tacos were great.  I made up two of them.  I eat slowly because of my missing teeth. While I ate the Mexicans played with my dog.  Then I started walking back to where I had left the leash.  As I was attaching the leash, a very prim and proper Republican approached me.  Since he was not a Mexican, I presumed he came from the RV.  This is one of those giant and very expensive RV's.  I had looked at it while eating and wondered why someone would want to paint it as it appeared to be quite new.  Exactly the right kind of RV for the approaching Republican, a fine man with a neat mustache and looking like he has just walked out of a men's club.  Wait a second.  I will quickly explain the designation.  I am kneeling and and Bingo is sitting while I attach the leash.  The Republican tells me that my dog must be under control at all times while in the park.  He says this after complimenting Bingo's behavior.

I could have argued the limits of the park.  I could have argued the definition of control.  I could have argued -- but why bother -- arguing with any Republican is a lost cause.  They are control freaks.  If Bingo had been a small child, I would have received similar commentary.  You see, this man is used to being in control.  He accepts that those painting his RV are lower class.  If I had walked back into the desert, there would have been no reason for him to decide I was of the same class as the Mexican workers.  But I was walking into the park.  I needed to be reminded of my station.

After all, Bingo was not on his leash for a couple hundred feet as we were preparing to enter the park entry gate.  After all, I was putting Bingo on his leash as the man approached.  But the Republican's control was threatened by a man walking a well-mannered dog from the open desert for a short distance.  The Republican had to assert his authority for fear that someone, somewhere might not recognize his superiority.

The tacos were great.  The Mexicans most gracious.  Bingo was at his best behavior.  How did I know that this man was a Republican?  Who else would define "under control" as having a chain around the neck?  No stupid man is going to ruin what started out to be a great day with a great breakfast.

Then the worst possible thing happened.  Later today I encountered the same man at almost the same place and we had a perfectly reasonable conversation.  I shall never understand.  Just maybe I misunderstood and maybe the man is not a Republican.

10 Years ago

It is the last day of the year.  Tomorrow is 2013.   My best friend among the CRA just left the park.  Bingo and I have had a few walks.  There were clouds but now it is clear.  It is December and it should be cool.  It is.  This evening, a man came to my RV to wish me a happy new year and shake my hand.  He said he did know to to feel sad for me or to feel happy for me.  He called my dog a "cabron" when it went to meet his family.  Maybe he thought that my dog was running away.  I told the man he should be happy for me.

I called Bingo back and we went inside.  It has been ten years since I drove my car to Morgan Hill for Christmas.

I drove up from El Golfo as I had promised to see my cardiologist about the diagnosed Atrial Fibrilation.  He had wanted me to start taking rat poison pills.  It was to be a lonely trip since Megan was visiting her mother.  I setup camp at the 1000 Trails Morgan Hill RV park.  I was so tired I could barely stand up.  Maybe it was the drive but it was not good.  I went to the Gilroy WalMart to do my Christmas shopping.  I could not shop.  It took all of my energy to walk from chair to chair.  They actrualy had places to sit and rest placed around the store.  I cam to the conclusion that I could not shop aand returned to the tent.  In the morning I was so weak that it took all of my energy for almost a half hour just to get out of bed and stand up.  I got into the car ans started driving to San Jose.  There is no cell service in the RV park.  I called my insurance company and asked if I should go to the doctor or to the hospital directly.  I knew I was very sick.  They gave me the choice.  The doctor ofice was on the way so I stopped there.  They told me to go to the hospital emergency.  They also charged my insurance for emergency sercices that they did not provide but since they did not expect me to live they decided do do their worst.  Leter they wrote me a letter stating they would no longer provide me medicals ervice.  So much for the Samaritan Health care clinic.

I parked my tercel at the back entrance to Good Samaritan Hospital since I knew  would be there a while.  I knew my way around the hospital after havng visited Amy so many times and also having been there before for various medical services.  I walked to the front to the emergency room waiting area.  They had declared themselves code red or blue or whichever it was that indicates that they were full and not excepting new emergency cases.  I collapsed on the floor to weak to move.  Full or not they put me on a gurney and rolled me into one of those curatined areas.  For some unknown length of time I dozed and woke and listened to the page speaker.  There were several code colors and lots of pages.  Nurses came in and out.  I had an IV.  I was too tired to know anything else.  I knew I was close to being dead but not how close.  I did know that if I had collapsed anywhere but in the hospital that I was too weak to get help and I would have died.  Christmas came and went and the new year started.  I had heart failure.  For two weeks I was on a diet with so little liquid that I used lemon swabs to keep my mouth irrigated.  They measured my urine and my weight.  I watched roommates come and go.  I had a visitor: my financial advisor.  He brought me a book to read.  There were a few doctor visits but mostly they stayed away -- they did milk the insurance benefits.

I was given new presecriptions.  I started on the rat poison ("Coumadin" or Warfarin) and Lasix (diuretic).  I left th hospital, drove back to Morgan Hill to pack up my tent.  The rain had started and I drove back to El Golfo.  And now it will be 2013.

2012 November

It is now the middle of November.  The elections are over.  My lot purchase in El Golfo is progressing.  My RV is in the CRA park.  I am at my daughter's home in Patterson, California.  Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks.  Whew.

It is a good Thanksgiving.  There is so much for me to be thankful for.  Good health.  Good friends.  But especially good is that in the election the elitists and liars lost and the next four years give us more hope that the country can further recover from the disastrous 8 years of the GWB dynasty.  The Republicans have started down the slippery slope and show no signs of even knowing what they lost.

2012 October

Weekly visits to the 43 dentist.  Preparation to move.  Waiting to hear about the lot purchase.  I get a new bill from CFE and this time I shall not pay it.  I figure I am good until November.  Wrong.  The power goes off on the 24th.  I move to the CRA park on the 25th.  No problems in my move except Bingo now becomes a house dog.  I promise to walk him every three hours.  Mostly short walks.

I shall live in CRA until the lot clears and is prepared to live on.  That shall be about Christmas if I am lucky.

2012 September

My landlord, Beto, has decided to stop stealing my belongings (I hope) and has decided to charge me $100 per month in rent.  This is in addition to my paying for water and electricity.  He has a cousin watching the lot every day.  I paid the September $100 to make sure that there were no problems before I left.

I am in the middle of buying a couple of lots.  This is taking a long time: since June!  I have asked my agent to force progress since I need to move off Beto's lot.  Beto figures out that I shall move and has given me notice to be off the lot by November 5.

I have been going to a dentist in 43 (Guadalupe Victoria) for a month or so to have my mouth rebuilt.   I need 4 root canals.  2 implants.  12 teeth removed.  And then I get two prosthesis.  It is either this or I get false teeth.  

The electric bill (CFE) is now a problem.   They have moved the owed amount from the other account to my account.  They are both under Beto's name (he requires it).  This is almost $3000 pesos and certainly not my debt.  I have my friend Yolanda call CFE to see if it can be fixed.  Not a chance but she gets the amount I owe and I pay it.

2012 August

2012 July

The Republicans Want University Education Only for the Rich

This is the basis for wanting student interest rates to double.  If the middle class cannot afford college, maybe the middle class will disappear.  Then there are only the rich and the poor.  And the poor will work for welfare wages – and not even get the welfare.

The Republicans looked the other way at illegals for decades.  When there became so many illegals that the working middle class could not compete, the middle class dropped their unions and either became totally poor or worked for poor wages.  Now that the unions are all but gone and people will work for peanuts, now the Republicans want the illegals to go home.  Talk about wanting your cake and eating it too.  The problem is that the poor no longer get cake.

If the Republicans had not learned how to take possession of Hitler’s Big Lie, the people that are being lied to and exploited would maybe understand that each time they vote to “Take Our Country Back” with the Republicans, they are actually giving more of it away.  And like the glaciers, all they will have left is gray slush while they watch someone else enjoying what had been their happy homes.

The Republicans Idea of Health Care

They actually said it today (July 2): health care is a privilege for the rich.  The poor can just go away and die.  A half dozen states have refused the national health care program (ObamaCare).  This means refusing money from the government to help pay for the poor in their states. The issue will die and the current program will be improved until maybe we catch up to the rest of the world.  In the meantime, candidates expounding upon removing ObamaCare with nothing will find re-election almost impossible.  It is incredulous that the Republicans actually want to remove the new program and go back to paying higher hospital insurance costs to cover the poor who made it to the hospital before they died.

Global Warming

I am getting old.  Maybe senile.  I no longer tolerate those with different viewpoints – if I consider those viewpoints dangerous.  Global Warming comes under this category.  If you refuse to accept Global Warming as a serious threat to our world, then you are stupid.  If you fight against the concept of Global Warming, then you are an environmental terrorist and should be put in a box so that your stupidity cannot propagate.  It is that easy.

Many years ago (1979), I visited Canada and saw beautiful glaciers and ice.  In 1992 I returned and got rained on and much of the ice was gone and was certainly not as beautiful and the glaciers were so full of holes to be dangerous.

Last year (2011) I went on a cruise to Alaska.  It made me cry.  The glaciers are all but gone.  They tell me that the Canadian Athebascan Glacier is gone.  We saw glaciers dumping their very soles into the ocean.  No longer magnificent chunks of blue ice.  No, whet was falling into the ocean was gray sludge – and a few blue ice chunks.  But this gray sludge is the heart of the glacier.  The world is no longer cold enough to keep the ice solid. Now it falls away and soon here will be no more at all.  The streams once running clear are now gray-green with the silt of the base of the glaciers.

I understand that it is actually possible to take a boat across the Northwest Passage today.  We have record making heart every year.  We have dehydrated forests burning with no hope of saving them.  The city water reservoirs, previously filled with snow runoff, are running dry.  And here are people who like to make asses of themselves claiming that all is well.  All is not well.  The United States is the ONLY industrial country in the world refusing to help the world last a little longer.  In fact the US is not only refusing – the US is refusing simple energy conservation and actually fighting the preservation of our world.

2012 July 4

There are serious fires burning in Colorado.  Dehydrated forests burning like tinder.  Tell the hundreds, maybe thousands, of people who lost their homes that there is not global warming.

With Global Warming the entire western US is dehydrated.  The rivers no longer get snow runoff as they did 30 years ago.  The rivers are drying up.  The great Colorado River has so little water that the dam reservoirs are almost gone.  There is no water left to feed the Sea of Cortes.  This is an ecological disaster growing worse daily.

Shrimp need salt and fresh water.  The shrimp industry is dying and almost dead.  No more shrimp – no more river water.  And the winds getting stronger every year reduce the days that the fishermen can go out after the shrimp.  And of course when the fishermen do go out, it is more dangerous.

Fewer fish.  Fish come to the river to spawn.  But the wetlands are disappearing.  Fish need cooler water.  The sea is warming.  The fish live further south where the water is cooler because it is deeper.

The beach without the river flow is washing into the sea.  Ten years ago at very low tides, you could see a sand shoal a long way out.  Today the sea has filled in so much that at low tide, the water looks brown – sand colored – almost to the horizon.

We have the shallow water tidal problem.  In the summer the wind comes from the south.  With Global warming, the wind is much stronger.  You hear this on the news: more and stronger wind storms across the continent.  This week a series of Global Warming wind and water storms hit the east coast of the US leaving people without electricity for a week.  The shallow water problem?  Take a glass of water and blow across it?  Little happens as the entire glass can absorb the wind energy.  Take a saucer of water and blow across it.  The water spills off the far edge.  With the southern winds and our new shallow sea, the tides are much higher and much stronger.  We are now getting tides that we only had during serious storms at the autumn equinox.  Worse.  The CRA Park spent the winter building a new sea wall.  The tide last night washed over the sea wall.  Worse, it moved the water so far north that portions of the wall never before wet have been eroded to their base: the sand is gone.  The life guard station – always above the tide line – washed a couple hundred yards up the beach – and destroyed.  On the lot south of the park, the brick fence it undermined.  On the resort south of that, parts of its sea wall are gone and their stair – their new and stronger rebuilt stair – is missing its lower 5 steps.

“I Don’t Want To Pay For Someone Else’s Health Care.”

I hear this from only really stupid people but there seem to be many of them as I hear it often.  With two exceptions, you are going to pay for it one way or another.  Some ways are less expensive to you.

Let me lay out the choices:

YOU HAVE NO INSURANCE

You never need any health care.

This is the only case where you do not pay anything for anyone.
Oh, and make sure you have no medical coverage on your automobile or homeowner insurance – those are paying for someone else. 
ObamaCare covers vaccinations and Tetanus.  Don’t step on a nail.

You need health care.

You either pay for the health care or you accept that someone else paid for you.
If this is a major expense, you probably let someone pay for you.
Or you can go bankrupt.  Your choice.

YOU HAVE INSURANCE

You never need health care.

Where do you think your premiums went?  The company does not give them back. 
You paid for executive’s bonuses and someone else’s health care. 
And this is with or without ObamaCare – this is just an insurance fact.

You need health care

If this is a minor expense, your premiums may cover it.
If these expenses exceed your total premium, someone else paid for you with their premiums.

The concept of insurance is to level the expense playing field.  The insurance company adds all of its overhead (payroll, bonuses, and infrastructure), payouts, and expected future expenses.  The company then divides this amount by the number of policies to get your premium.  It is a little more complex but this is close.  My minor in college was risk management.  Been there (State Farm, EDS), done that.

Now.  What is the determination of your premium?  The only variables here are how many people are covered and the overhead.  You have no personal control over either.  Your premium includes a base policy cost.  This policy cost does not vary according to your options and is a large part of the bill.

Let us say that you want insurance at the best price.  You can cannibalize your options and have high deductibles.  The company just adjusts the premium accordingly.  Some percentage of the premium is subtracted.  But the policy base cost was not reduced.

To really reduce your premium, you must increase the company customer base.  Then the payout average is less variable and more predictable: the company may reduce the average premium.  The base policy cost.

How to increase the customer base?  Easy.  Require by law or other regulation that everyone be covered.  For those who cannot pay, their payments are subsidized.  For those who can pay but refuse, fine them for a token amount to help cover those themselves and other who do not pay.

Another way to reduce premiums is to force the company to reduce overhead.  Do not permit the company to pay excessive bonuses to its executive.  One thing common to almost all insurance companies: they underpay their employees and overpay their execs.

Short: insurance makes you pay someone else’s expenses.  It would take more than a university degree in health insurance to make sure that you get the best deal.  ObamaCare just helps improve your chances.

Summary

ObamaCare could be better but it covers the bases.  It mandates coverage or at least a token.  It reduces the company overhead by requiring 80% of the premium go to health care.  The current average is 65%.

Without ObamaCare, every time you need for paid health care, you are paying for those who have not paid.  The provider (doctor, hospital, etc.) has increased your bill by the amount of those who did not pay.  With ObamaCare the amount that others did not pay is averaged over the entire medical field, not just those of your personal provider.

With ObamaCare, your insurance covers more than before.  The insurance company has more money and more customers to average its expenses – expenses which ObamaCare has also limited.

Why All the Noise over ObamaCare?

With ObamaCare Americans are getting better care.  All Americans.  The “tax” or debt increase is not substantial and is more than offset by the reduced costs due to included preventive health care in all coverages.  Hear that: the total government expense for health care will be reduced.  Your personal premium may not go down but it cannot go up at the previous increases.  So you are better off.  Some people are really much better off.

Why all of the noise?  The insurance company execs will no longer be given $20 million dollar bonuses.  They will need to settle for only $3 million or $4 million.  The companies will have additional motivation to be competitive in their rate structures.  They can no longer just tack inefficiencies onto premiums without regard to the customer.  The insurance companies will spend Billions (with a capital “B”) to defeat this plan.  They will have their paid noisemakers (e.g. Fox News) feeding the ignorant such things as “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s health care.”

You have a choice: never need health care, pay your own expenses every time, have someone pay for you, or share the costs.  ObamaCare has made the last less expensive and gives you (and everyone else) better care than before – at less expense. What more can you ask?

Why is this a political party issue?  Insurance is medical socialism.  Anything that helps everyone is anathema to the Republicans. They want good education, good health, good homes, and good lives available to only those who can afford them.  The Democrats want a minimum base level available to everyone.  You can call it socialism.  You can call it what you want.  But remember rich starts at over $1 Million dollars.  This is the minimum amount to have in the bank to have the interest pay for a minimum life style.  And for this your bank had better be paying at least 6% interest per year.  The current average is about 1%.

If you have more than $1 Million, you can afford to be a Republican.  If you do not have the $1 Million, you are either a Democrat or you are subsidizing someone else that does have the $1 Million.  Those with more than the $1 Million (the one percent) will say anything to get your support (the ninety nine percent). The truth is no barrier for the rich or their sycophants (Fox News).

2012 June

ObamaCare

I have a real problem here.  I run into the problem of “The end justifying the means”.  The United States desperately needs a national health care program.  Something like Medicare-For-All would be better here and would resolve the issues better.  Medicare covers basics.  If you want better or more, you buy additional private insurance.  I do this.  And I do it through companies that I deplore: AARP.  But currently I cannot change them because of pre-existing conditions (my health issues).  I hope that ObamaCare will help here.

But we got ObamaCare through a very strange twist.  Justice Roberts, a corporate proxy, broke ranks and give the vote to support ObamaCare.  I believe that Roberts got into the Court by lying to Congress.  His decisions and priorities as Chief Justice have demolished what was left of our democracy.  The Citizens United decisions pander to his monetary supporters.

The United States is the only country with a for-profit health care system.  And your insurance company controls your care.  It chooses your doctors.  It chooses your medications.  It chooses your hospital.  It chooses the types of care you can have.  Your insurance company never did anything to improve your health care but you pay them to let them have this control.  Absurd.  And worse, the Republicans would have you believe that this reverse relationship is good for you.

The health care insurance companies are the most profitable companies in the world.  The amount of money that they are spending on defeating Obama and ObamaCare is evidence of this.  I have worked for them.  I know of what I speak.  You may have read my stuff on this already.  To me the bottom line is the control they have as I listed above.  They keep 35% of your premium dollars for themselves and pay out in claims only 65%.  ObamaCare requires the insurance companies to drop their overhead (profit) to 10%.  This means that instead of your doctor getting $65 of your $100, he will get $80.  He either gets a 20% increase or you get 20% more care or some other split.  How can you not like this?

The Republicans say to eliminate ObamaCare and let the insurance companies guide you to a better plan.  Really?  40 years ago the insurance company overhead was less than 25%.  It is now 35% and rising – while you are getting more restricted care.

With ObamaCare, companies can opt out of giving you an insurance benefit.  They pay a token tax penalty for this opt out.  But you get the chance to buy insurance on the open market with programs controlled by your state government.  And your state has motivation to give you these programs are steep discounts.  They even have the ability to map programs similar to Medicare.

Contrary to the lies by the Republicans, there is no downside to you as a customer.  The only downside is to the insurance corporate execs who will find $20 million dollar annual bonuses harder to come by.

If you are one of the families already benefiting from ObamaCare, you know this already.  As more of the ObamaCare provisions come into play, more people will have better care.  Preventive care is at the forefront.  Charges for women cannot be more than those for men.  Children are covered through college.  My company-assisted insurance checked my daughter’s enrollment every year to make sure that my claim for her was valid.

Years ago Chrysler Corporation had engineering features that its customers loved.  The problem was that people who were not customers did not buy the products because they did not like what they did not know.  ObamaCare is the current parallel.  The difference here is that there is a giant profit motive in play and the Republicans who want to replace our democracy with an oligarchy are pushing their lies to anyone who will listen.  And there are so many who will listen and believe the lies.

I do not like the way it was done.  I do not like the ends justifying the means but sometimes you bite the bullet when the ends are necessary and the only means available to fight the lies is a second rate end around.  The advantage of what we have is that it can be improved.  What we had was just sheer profiteering at the expense of your life.

CRA, My Dog, and the Lies

I get so tired of this.  I will make it plain:

1.    I am a CRA member and have been since 1999.  This has been verified by the park manager.

2.    My dog, Bingo, has never roamed the CRA Park.

3.    I have never molested any child anywhere.

4.    I have never been arrested and I have no restraints on travel to anywhere in the world or at any border crossing.

5.    I volunteered for the park for many years with zero compensation.

6.    I do not know how to read other people’s email nor can I monitor their Internet activity.

To elucidate:

My dog, Bingo, has never roamed the park.  Not even once.  One time he lapped the laundry building a few times as he attempted to find a way down other than the steps of ramp.  He was not on his leash because some American Tourists on the beach had stolen his collar and the other collar was in the washing machine.  Even this few minutes until I could get him to me -- and it was a very few minutes, he just ran around the building a few times.  He was not interested in anything else.  He certainly did not bother anyone else – it was early in the morning.  It is a lie that he molested someone’s cats.  In the 3 years I have owned Bingo, I have seen him respond to many cats.  He does his best to ignore them since he knows that they will run from him or just ignore him back.  Cats and dogs do not normally play well together.  This month I have seen Bingo with two cats.  Both times the cats showed no interest.  Both times Bingo sniffed the air near the cats and walked away.

I often wonder where the hatred from the old people comes from.  Maybe they lead sad lives and it has caught up with them.  If others hated me, then I could maybe understand.  The hatred seems to be restricted to the old Americans living here in Mexico.

I also resent the lies about me being a child molester.  My daughters were molested.  It did them permanent damage.  I was not the molester.  Anyone in such a situation could never dearly hold onto their own daughters and molest someone else’s daughters. 

Every month in El Golfo I buy things to give to the poorer children and families.  Always candy.  This month: toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, shampoo, school notebooks. This comes to over $100 every month.  Often times $200 or more.  My Ranger is recognized all over town.

For many years, at my expense, I ran a free clinic in the CRA Park.  I installed, maintained, and supported a Wi-Fi system.  Also at no profit and at my personal expense.  I did have the ability to reside in the park during these times and my monetary investment was recovered by the fees charged for the Wi-Fi.  I never attempted to recover the costs of my many trips to Yuma to get supplies or products for the users of the service.  For this I have been maligned by almost everyone involved.  Today Wi-Fi is common.  Most people know how to use it.  The local telephone company provides the Internet.  The Wi-Fi should now be free as it is in many places in the USA but there are still people in the park taking a profit on this – and not just the park management.

At CRA dinners I am not welcome.  I have had my name removed from sign-up lists.  I have been told to leave when I entered the building.  Lies have been spread around the El Golfo community.  Lies have been spread in other CRA parks.  In my life I have never encountered the malevolence that I find at CRA.

I just got an email this month from someone telling me that I was irresponsible for not keeping my dog on a leash.  He said he would deal with me when he arrived in October. I have yet to figure out his issue.  He is not here.  My dog is not in the park except for the shortest possible jump from my car to outside the beach gate -- and the park is empty.  And I wonder if he earned the title of “Captain” or he just gave it to himself.  The Supreme Court this week decided that it is legal to claim military awards that you did not earn.  A First Amendment thing – which I agree with along with the right to burn the flag.  On the other hand it is hard to respect people who award themselves medals or titles.

My dog jumps at the opportunity to be on a leash.  Then he knows that he is coming with me.  You have never met a dog such as mine unless you also have a Border Collie.  When I leave our fenced lot, he comes to my side and asks if he can come with me.  He asks.  Sometimes his asking is forceful if he knows that he has gone the same place with me before.  If I say no, he runs across the lot and does not make an issue of coming.  When we are out and he is off leash, he always asks me if he can leave my side to approach others.  He will stop a short distance from others to see their reaction.  If it is negative, he returns.  If I call him back, he returns although reluctantly if he is being played with.

When we are in town or away and he is free, he knows to not leave the surface that we started.  If on grass, he stays on grass.  If on concrete, he stays on concrete.  If there is a curb, he will not cross the curb.  If there are others nearby, he will walk at my side.  So.  If my dog’s freedom or intelligence bothers you, it is your problem.  In all cities there are leash laws.  I walk him off leash where I can and have never been stopped by the police.

I have this dog for a reason.  My heart.  The dog forces me to exercise.  He needs to run a couple of miles every day.  I walk.  He runs.  I am alive because I have taken care of my heart.  My heart health has improved greatly since I got a dog.  I hate stupid, yappy, misbehaving dogs.  Dogs that will bite me just because no one has taken the time to care for them.  So keep your dogs and your dog problems away from me and my dog and we shall attempt to do the same.

Unlike in the CRA Park, I do have a problem.  Anywhere in El Golfo.  People will yell out their car windows at us.  Mostly children.  Some adults.  My problem is that I cannot tell from a passing car whether they yelled “Gringo” or “Bingo”.  In either case the yell was appreciated as, unlike in the CRA park, it is friendly.

My daughter Megan and my Dreams

I am going to Russia this summer.  Another trip to Denmark with a few days in Helsinki, a ferry ride to St. Petersburg, and ending with a river cruise to Moscow.  Last year I went to see what is left of the Alaskan glaciers.  Megan:  she has taught me to live my dreams.  I am old enough that if I do not do them now, they will not get done.  On our trip ten years ago to Europe, I loved Denmark.  So she has extended our trip to include Copenhagen.  To me the Tivoli Gardens are a gift of summer delight.  It is like a natural Disneyland without the commercial atmosphere and the concrete.  I love Disneyland but I love Tivoli more.  There are things to see up in the trees.

El Golfo

The more I live in Mexico, the more I like it.  There are problems.  There is the macho thing.  Sort of like racism in Florida: you cannot escape it.  It is part of life.  There are the thieves.  There are bad things.  You do not live for the bad unless they overwhelm the good.  I see love of families and children here that I have not seen in the USA since I visited my grandmother in Michigan.

The Downside of Macho

The macho thing is dangerous: they run stop signs – especially if they know you will stop.  They drive in the middle of the narrow roads making you go off the hard sand.  They sneer as they go by: they think they have won something.  I am amazed more children are not killed.  Children and dogs learn from a very young age to walk far to the side when a car or worse a pickup truck approaches.

My daughter seemed surprised when I told her that the macho thing extends to the degradation of women.  Wife beating seems to be common.  Child molesting seems to be common.  I hear incest is common.  This latter surprised me as I have been here ten years and heard about it just recently.  The woman living down the street has two little girls and a third on the way.  The children’s father is the woman’s uncle.

Loaning Money

This is not an El Golfo thing – it goes further.  Never loan anyone money.  You will not get it back.  You can give money as a gift although I discourage it.  I find some work that needs doing and pay too much for the work.  This is a good way to live for anywhere but here in Mexico you can drive yourself nuts and friendless if you loan money.

For several reasons, giving the children money is really bad.  It teaches the children to beg.  It teaches the Mexicans that Americans are so rich that giving away money does not matter.  With this belief the Mexicans have no issue with stealing from you if they feel that you have given to others or that you do not need something as much as they do.

When I give things to the children, I also tell them that I give them these things because I care.  I also tell them to always stand on the passenger side of the car – out of the traffic.  I also tell them that if they ask for money, they will get nothing more.  I also tell them that sometimes I have more than other times.  Be happy for what I give them and maybe next time I shall have more – but do not beg.  Do not have more than one birthday per year.

Political Beliefs

I am an independent voter.  I always have been.  I do have one permanent restriction on my vote: I never will vote for a Republican.  I adopted this position after Reagan was elected.  He had agendas which his Republican successors have been very religious in following his example.  The Republican agenda includes bankrupting public schools.  It includes union busting.  It includes making corporations more powerful at the expense of individual welfare.  It includes lies claiming the opposite of their true intentions.  This is obvious to all those who do are not programmed by Fox News.

Religious Beliefs

I am an atheist.  It took a long time to get here.  I tried many religions, starting with Roman Catholic.  The Bible Churches define a cult as any organization attempting to place someone or something in the middle of your relationship with God.  I think all cults are bad.  This includes the strange ones like the JW’s or the Adventists.  It also includes the Catholics and Mormons.  But after trying Jesus straight up, I found no one else did.  Shaw said: “If I ever met a Christian, I would become one”.  I have met very few people that might qualify.  It is impossible to be a Christian and a Republican (I have heard the arguments to the contrary).  Reading many things I concluded that Christianity is just our culture’s mythology.  If I do not know right from wrong at my age, no set of arbitrary rules is going to give me a life after my death.  Pascal was wrong: it is OK to believe that there is no God even if there is one.  We can deal with that issue after I am dead.

Summary

Written:  2012          Updated: July 2, 2012         Back To Top