Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ebola's impact on American healthcare

Out of curiosity: if I travel to western Africa, and subsequently contract Ebola, will Humana PPO pay for me to be airlifted by private air ambulance, with my own uniquely trained medical team and specialized medical equipment, to the United States?

How much is the co-pay? $125? My insurance card is sort of vague on that issue.

I'm thinking I may call Humana to find out. Hmmm.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Let's sue the President

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner (pronounced "boner") has announced a plan to ask the United States House of Representatives to file a lawsuit against the President, which would require him to enforce, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Isn't that a noble concept?

Just days after the Fourth of July, such an action would be suggested against the Executive Branch. I find this idea ludicrous at best. How can a house of Congress sue the President to perform his duties? I think in a counter-suit, the President would sue the House of Representatives to conduct itself, through a constitutional manner, to create laws, rather than sit on its collective thumb and do nothing.

Perhaps, the only legal remedy available to the Speaker is found in Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which allows the House of Representatives to lay charges of impeachment against the President for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Accordingly, can the House of Representatives lay a charge for impeachment against the President for enacting executive orders, which is at the heart of this squabble? The President is the head of the Executive Branch of government, which contains many, many organs (yes, I'll use an old communist term here) that allow it to operate. The President has constitutional power to execute the laws of the United States, through the enactment of executive orders. (No, there is no clause that allows for executive orders in the Constitution itself. Executive orders are implied rather than explicit.) For example, President Obama issued an executive order raising the federal minimum wage for its employees. Seemingly that is within the purview of the President, since the executive order only impacts those organs--or parts--that are within the executive's sphere of influence (a Cold War reference, yes). Does such an order maintain that the states must now raise their minimum wage?

No.

Does that mean Hobby Lobby must now raise its minimum wage to offset the cost of birth control pills and Plan B for its female employees?

No. (It's in the Bible! No, don't look it up.)

So, who can help in such a quagmire?

Let's look to the Judicial Branch, through the Constitution's well-crafted plan of Checks-and-Balances. Outside of impeachment, the only remedy for Speaker Boehner's complain can be found in the courts; however, which court has original jurisdiction over such a suit? Will the Speaker, along with a throng of Republicans, file suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia? Or like Bush v. Gore (2000), will the case go directly to the Supreme Court of the United States for adjudication?

When it's all said and done (if it ever gains traction), I believe that the courts will find that the only recourse for action in such a case is within Article II, Section 4, of the Constitution of the United States. Previously, the Supreme Court of the United States has determined that the language of the Constitution is quite sufficient and clear in such a case. Inasmuch, Nixon v. USA (1993), the Supreme Court found that it has no judicial review of impeachment proceedings or outcomes, as such proceedings are the "sole" charge of Congress.

In other words, draft articles of impeachment, or hush!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Hitler in Crimea

Hillary Clinton referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent incursion into Crimea (which is part of Ukraine) to protect Russian minorities as being akin to Adolf Hitler's wolf-in-sheep's clothing declaration of protecting German minorities in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, during the dawn of World War II.

I don't think Hillary Clinton was calling Putin--himself--Adolf Hitler; she was simply stating that his tactics are similar. We can already see that what she said is true. The Crimean parliament has voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. It will put the matter before the people of Crimea in the next ten days.

Secretary Clinton also used an interesting phrase in her speech, in which she stated that President Putin did not simply want to solidify Russia, but he wants something more grand. He is looking to "re-Sovietize" the Russian frontier. Perhaps after bringing Ukraine to heel, he will work on the other former Soviet states. Who's next? Georgia? Armenia? Certainly, they contain Russian minority groups worthy of Mother Russia's very firm protection.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Silly Canadian, you can't be President!

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Canadian born citizen, thinks he can be president of the United States.

Cruz, who is a Tea Party wunderkind, is slated to be one of the top Republican picks for 2016. I truly wonder how the Tea Party could in all clear conscience put forth a candidate who was clearly not born in the United States?

His father was born in Cuba and his mother was born in Delaware, which is his only claim to American citizenship. I'm sure, however, that Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, says only "a natural born citizen" can be considered for Executive. The only other way I can see Ted Cruz being legitimate is if he were living in the United States prior to September 17, 1787. And, with that said, I'm pretty sure I haven't seen his name in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living man.

So, Tea Party members, don't be hypocritical. You raked Barack Obama over the coals for being a black man born in Hawaii. How can you put forward an individual who was clearly not born in the United States?

It's remarkably insane! Gracious!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Hillary for President

I was reading an article on Yahoo! extolling the cautious virtues of declaring a political party front-runner in the modern age of presidential elections, when it dawned on me that Hillary must be really putting the screws to Republicans and to Democrats!

If we could go back in time to 2008, with the knowledge we have today (yes, I know, 20/20 hindsight), I know we would have elected Hillary as president. Barack Obama would have continued as the junior senator from Illinois, and America would have been a much better place because of it!

I'm back up and running for Hillary Clinton for president!

Hillary 2016

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Celebrity Trend

It would seem that in order to be a successful celebrity in the United States, you must be a terrible human being.

For a pittance of $2,500 I can have my armed security (including my father) seal off a Florida neighborhood, hold its residents hostage, and drag race my Lamborghini (or was it a Ferrari, I forget?) through their streets, while intoxicated on alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs (that my mother helped procure).

After Justin Bieber did it and got out of jail for $2,500, I think other celebrities should follow his example. That much money, in terms of a bond, is a joke to someone with millions of dollars at their disposal.

A slap on the wrist? Hardly! I think it would be a blip that would barely register on his radar.

A $250,000 bond may have been a slap on the wrist. A $2.5 million bond would have truly slowed things down. As the judge, I would have taken into account every person's life and liberty, who lives in that neighborhood, when assigning Bieber's bond amount.

Justice is equitable, not equal. In other words, what is fair to me may not be fair to you. $2,500 is a large sum for the average person. In that case, equal justice would demand that Bieber pay $2,500. But, at the same time, if justice is equitable to the individual, by holding him or her to account for his or her actions, then in this case $2,500 hardly seems justifiable.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Strange Dream

Unlike Freud and Jung, I give little credence to the validity of dreams outside of the realm of sleep.

But last night gave me pause to reflect on what dreams may really mean, in terms of the body communicating with the mind.

My dream consisted of being a student. I was working on a worksheet. Strangely, I was the teacher and also the student. Someone said that the worksheet was very hard, so I decided to sit down and work out the answers myself.

While the majority of the worksheet was incredibly easy, I was baffled by a particular word. The word that I kept seeing and saying to myself was syncope.

Strangely, syncope is a medical term. I knew that in my dream; however, I couldn't relate it to the history worksheet that I was completing. I scanned through the chapter in the textbook that the worksheet covered. I could read the other words, but no sign of syncope. Being a dutiful student, I turned to the glossary. No help there. Then I turned to the index, feeling more anxious and confused. Still, there was no help.

I knocked the book off of the table where I was working. I wrote down, it deals with the heart and fainting.

Ironically, the feelings that I had in the dream were signs of syncope!

What does it mean? Was my dream attempting to tell me about something going on in my body? Is it a foreboding message?

Merry Christmas to me!

Christmastime

Finally, a holiday for all the unwed teenage mothers.

Merry Christmas!