Maybe Sarah was right

Recently Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother wrote an article for “The Atlantic Magazine” on why Ezekiel wants to die at the age of 75. Here is just a part of that article.

“Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won’t actively end my life. But I won’t try to prolong it, either. Toler wrote in his classic turn-of-the-century medical textbook, The Principles and Practice of Medicine: “Pneumonia may well be called the friend of the aged. Taken off by it in an acute, short, not often painful illness, the old man escapes those ‘cold gradations of decay’ so distressing to himself and to his friends.”day, when the doctor recommends a test or treatment, especially one that will extend our lives, it becomes incumbent upon us to give a good reason why we don’t want it. The momentum of medicine and family means we will almost invariably get it.

My attitude flips this default on its head. I take guidance from what Sir William Os
“My Osler-inspired philosophy is this: At 75 and beyond, I will need a good reason to even visit the doctor and take any medical test or treatment, no matter how routine and painless. And that good reason is not “It will prolong your life.” I will stop getting any regular preventive tests, screenings, or interventions. I will accept only palliative—not curative—treatments if I am suffering pain or other disability.”
In case you’ve forgotten Mr. Emanuel is the same person who appeared just over a year ago promoting the acceptance of the ACA/Obamacare and among other things said that the idea of a death panel as suggested by Sarah Palin was “ridiculous.” Clearly Ezekiel is selling the idea that American’s should get used to the concept of a health care system that will not support medical services for people 75 and older. You may say I’m reaching with this premise but let me give you an example. I’m 75 [sorry Ezekiel] and when I shifted to Medicare services one of my prescriptions, Renexa was not covered by Medicare. However my supplemental health care service did cover part of the cost. The prescription was $540 per refill and the supplemental insurance covers about 25 % of the cost. Last year in my annual renewal of supplemental health insurance I was notified about two months into the agreement that they would not cover any of Renexa. This medicine was very important to me because it relieved my severe angina pain. The ACA decided that this was an unnecessary medicine unless the individual was willing to pay for it totally out of his or her own pockets. Maybe they are right but it would appear this is the direction the health care services as provided by the government is going. While there may not be any death panels yet Sarah may be right and the government may be mounting a campaign with stories like Ezekiel’s article. The first step in moving away from health care services for people 75 and over.

Midst the announcement today of air strikes on Syria

In a very short article by The New York Time titled “Air strikes haven’t loosened grip of ISIS in Iraq”, they question the effect of those air strikes. They say it is clear that ISIS’s march toward Baghdad has been stalled however Iraq is still dealing with the “humiliating blows to the Iraqi army.” The article goes on to say that the Iraqi army “has lost control of the small town of Sichar and contact with several hundred of its soldiers” and “hundreds of soldiers have been killed in battle or mass executions.”

We have wondered why the reports from the administration of 167 air strikes over the last two weeks in Iraq weren’t accompanied by specific damage reports. The reason the omission is important is because there are real questions about whether the air strikes now occurring in Syria without accompanying “boots on the ground” will be effective. I believe our citizens are willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt on air strikes but eventually they will have to report actual damage done to ISIS, witness the poor performance in Iraq.

Big 10

Bob Van Cleave was a close friend of mine and he spent more time with my family and me after he lost his wife Mitsy to cancer. Bob loved golf and he loved to cheat but none of us cared because he was such a good guy and besides who didn’t kick the golf ball to improve ones position once in a while. He was notorious for being cheap but always generous to his close friends. He once offered to lend me several thousand dollars to improve a small business I owned. He loved his Southern Comfort Manhattan’s and often wreaked of the unique smell this drink creates. He loved his children and they were most important to him even though they had all gone their separate ways. His second great love was the University of Michigan and in particular the football team. While two of his children did graduate from U of M Bob was like the infamous subway alumni for Notre Dame. I only think we went to one game at U of M together but we watched many games together at my home but I must admit we preferred an Irish bar called Brady’s on Southfield. What I found interesting was on game day I would usually get to the bar before Bob. He would roll up in his Lincoln with U of M paraphernalia, bunting, flags stickers {removable] and of course he had the U of M hat, jacket, muffler, well you get the idea he was proud to be a U of M football supporter. I should make the point that I was a big supporter of the U of M football program and relished their victories and lamented their losses [though they were infrequent.] Now one day we had decided to meet at Brady’s after the game, Bob was attending in person and I watched at home but we wanted to meet and critic our anticipated victory. I got to Brady’s first and watched as Bob pulled up in his Lincoln but I immediately noticed the usual bunting, flags, etc. celebrating U of M was missing. When he stepped out of the car his hat, jacket, muffler, etc were all missing and I was anxious to find out why. He said “ we lost and we looked terrible, we weren’t Michigan ready.” That is what I felt this weekend when Michigan lost to Utah and it is the way I’ve felt for the last five years. What has happened to Michigan and what has happened to the Big 10? It is something deeper than one bad play or a bad call by the referees or even good competition. Something has happened to Big 10 football and to Bob’s beloved U of M. I’m happy he passed away before he had to see the demise of a once great team and a once great conference.

in the midst of the ISIS debate

For over a year I’ve written numerous articles about the problems with the ACA and its implementation. I also warned that the renewal process for 2015 coverage would be expensive and complicated. Well we are in the middle of the renewal process for the ACA and it is expensive and can be complex.

I could spell out the muddled aspects of the renewal process and even speculate on the new higher cost of the health service but what I’ve found is that most people simply don’t care to spend time or brain power understanding the ACA and the implications to themselves and their families. Given this passive attitude I’ve chosen to just give your reference points and hope you will understand that if you have the ACA service or you didn’t purchase it in 2014 and you are subject to financial penalties you should study these changes carefully.

On September 15, 2014 Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press wrote a story titiled “ACA’s second year comes with new hurdles.” Five points that he made were 1. There will be sticker shock for 8 million signed up for automatic renew 2. An additional 5 million will sign up for on the website with half the time they had to sign up for 2014, 3.Tax credits are tied to income which has been reported incorrectly in several million cases. 4. Ten million who were eligible for the ACA remain uninsured and face tax penalties.

On September 16, 2014 Tony Pugh, Washington Bureau for the Star-Telegram wroth that “Thousands may Lose ACA polices.”

Please care enough about yourself and your family to investigate these stories and see what you can and cannot do to stabilize your health care services.

Let’s get it straight

We have all heard the reference to our country as the “melting pot” of the world. However recently some pundits and newscasters are saying our forefathers created this country to be the melting pot of the world. Wrong!

All of the people that came here, English, Scandinavians, Germans, Italians came here for opportunities in a land of natural resources with no rules other than the moral guidance that was part of their cultural heritage. When they arrived they gravitated to people with their same heritage, cultural practices and religious background. They did not want to “melt” into a homogenous group but they were forced to interact by necessity. They needed the talents of each other, woodworking, brick laying, knowledge of machinery; educational programs all played a role in forcing people of diverse backgrounds to work together.

The point is that there was no morally driven effort by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independents, Constitution or Bill of Rights that said we want to be the country known as the melting pot of the world. I repeat the results were because of the natural resources of this country, the freedom to operate with a minimum of rules and the willingness of individuals to work hard and interact with other people of different cultures to grow and prosper.

Have we learned our lesson from the UK?

We all heard the recent statement from UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron called Monday for a new law to give police the temporary power to seize a passport in case a British citizen is suspected of trying to travel to support ISIS.
Cameron told lawmakers meeting in the House of Commons on Monday there were two gaps in Britain’s fight against the threat of terror at home. The first pertains to suspects traveling abroad, he said “Passports are not an automatic right,” he said. “We will introduce specific and targeted legislation to fill this gap by providing the police with a temporary power to seize a passport at the border, during which time they will be able to investigate the individual concerned. “This power will include appropriate safeguards and oversight arrangement. Work to prepare legislation to allow this will begin immediately, Cameron said. As well as stopping would-be jihadists, Cameron went on to say, “The “root cause” of Britain’s terror threat is “Islamist extremist.”

But wait the UK was one of the first to welcome Muslim refugees particularly in England. The UK chided other countries for not being compassionate and unwilling to offer social and educational benefits to these soon to be citizens of their country. Other countries like Italy, France and the Netherlands followed UK’s lead and so Muslim immigrants were pouring into these countries.

The UK went one-step better allowing Sharia law to be applied. Sadikur Rahman, of the Lawyers Secular Society, fears a practice note issued by the Law Society could compromise the Code of Conduct for solicitors and increase the application of Sharia law in the UK.
It was with incredulity that I saw this practice note issued by the Law Society last week.
Lawyers will know that practice notes issued by the Law Society are guidance on best practice for specific topics or areas of law.
This practice note provides guidance to lawyers specializing in areas such as wills, succession and inheritance, and in particular how to accommodate the wishes of clients who want to ensure their assets are distributed according to ‘sharia law principles’ on their death.
I’m not a wills lawyer, but according to memory in the UK unless you draw up a will, on death your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. I’m sure most lawyers will also say that clients can do whatever they want with their assets, and it has always been the case that a lawyer must follow the client’s instructions on such issues.
But what this guidance does is legitimize discrimination towards women and “illegitimate children” – if that term still has any meaning in English law. In an astonishing few paragraphs the guidance states (at Section 3.6):
“The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognized. Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death.
What happened to the Church of England and UK’s laws? All was altered to accommodate the Muslim faith and what did it get them. Hugh expenses to care for Muslims who did not succeed in creating new businesses or were undereducated for the jobs available. But it may be that the embarrassment of the ISIS beheading of an American journalist by an UK citizen might have been the straw that broke the camels back for PM Cameron.

But wait, before we tsk, tsk the UK what about our own behavior. In 2004 Dearborn Michigan authorized the daily call to prayers for Muslims to be broadcast every day, seven days a week. It was best voiced by a woman at a public hearing meeting on approving the daily broadcast when she said, “”My main objection is simple,” she said. ”I don’t want to be told that Allah is the true and only God five times a day, 365 days a year. It’s against my constitutional rights to have to listen to another religion evangelize in my ear.”
Can you imagine allowing Billy Graham broadcasting over a loud speaker five times a day for three hundred sixty five days the superiority of the Christian religion? The ACLU would be in court and the liberal press would go nuts objecting to inserting religion into the daily life of an American city. However at no time during the Obama administration has he or his representatives made reference to Islamist extremist among the Muslims in this country. Obama did the politically correct thing, not unlike the UK and offered sanctuary to those coming to America for a better life.

While PM David Cameron may have learned his lesson because of ISIS our administration is still insisting the situation does not require an increased threat level. The President said and I agree we should not take military action in Syria against ISIL until we have an end game, assuming if we engage ISIS militarily we win. Meanwhile why not learn from the UK and start to impose constraints on all U.S. citizens foreign born or domestic who express an interest in fighting for ISIS or any Islamist extremist and start calling them what they are Islamist extremist whether they want to fight with ISIS or in any way support any extremist that can hurt our country.

A message for the future

On July 1, 1997 Great Britain turned over to China the port of Hong Kong among much fear that China leadership would inevitably turn the governing of Hong Kong into a communist administration.

Well here it is seventeen years later and China has announced what many feared, a restructuring of Hong Kong. William Wan wrote quote: China’s parliament decided Sunday against letting Hong Kong voters nominate candidates for the 2017 election, despite growing agitation for democratic reform.
The move is likely to spark long-promised protests in Hong Kong’s business district, as activists began planning and mobilizing within hours of the announcement.
The decision by China’s National People’s Congress essentially allows Communist leaders to weed out any candidates not loyal to Beijing.
“It’s not unexpected, but it is still infuriating,” said legislator Emily Lau, chairwoman of the Democratic Party. “This is not what Beijing promised. They’ve lied to the people of Hong Kong. And it’s clear we are dealing with an authoritarian regime.”
In the midst of the other crisis’s the U.S. faces on the international front this change in Hong Kong government occurring 2017 may seem small but it isn’t. It demonstrates the mind set of the Chinese government and patience they are willing to practice until they can impose their ultimate plans for Chinese leadership throughout the world.