Monday, November 25, 2013

Get ready to party like it's 20-0-9.

The immediate danger of a failed presidency is deals like the one John Kerry announced with Iran over the weekend. Now that all the fake grandeur and style-over-substance has been stripped away by one scandal after another and the Obama administration has been revealed as a collection of shameless liars, looters, and tyrants even to the true believers, they will stoop to anything for legitimacy. If Saddam Hussein could be resurrected I'm sure they'd by shaking hands with him for the photo op, too.

What does it mean for us mere mortals? Watch out for 2009.

Anecdotally I can say from my own small-business experience that this year is looking and feeling a lot like 2008. We've been up and down all year. Granted, we're running a lot leaner than we were in 2008, so we're better prepared to handle the storm. But nobody wants to ride out a storm if they can just find a course around it.

Unfortunately after four long years, though we may be better entrenched, the country, the economy, in fact the whole world order is in much worse shape than when Obama took office. Leftist governments ascendant in Latin America, over 90 million body-able folks in the U.S. not working, double the number on food stamps since the administration took office, over 12 million supported to do absolutely nothing by the disability program, and now a Medicaid surge thanks to Obamacare, the great wrecking ball of the country's health care system now in full sail...

Yet the stock market is reaching record highs. Feels like a bubble to me. One consciously created with no conscience about it whatsoever by the Obama occupier/corporatist/fascist/socialist/label-it-yourself self-destruction juggernaut.

I hope I'm wrong but I believe we're poised for 2009 all over again, with a vengeance. And that spells trouble for everyone's personal investments and the security of the country as a whole.

Hold on tight. As Jack Bauer used to say, "This is gonna hurt..."

Monday, November 18, 2013

BlueCross, BlueShield, BlueNopoly

Allow me first to pat myself on the back for having called one right. I predicted here in a post dated September 30 that Obamacare would be delayed. Well, Mr. Obama has made a fine muddle of it, but one way and another the whole thing is sinking of its own weight and all of the critical requirements are being put off a year.

Just before the tide turned on Obamacare, I got a letter in the mail from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee "Vice President Regional Sales and Account Management" John Maki with this flyer which claims that "you now have more choices than ever when it comes to your health insurance."

Really? You mean, perhaps, that I can now have my health insurance in light blue or dark blue? Because I certainly don't believe this is choice that the President and the Democrats have rammed down my throat.

Not so fast. It wasn't just the President and the Democrats that inflicted this chaos on us, and I thank Mr. Maki for reminding me that behemoth insurance companies like BCBST were acting as surgical assistant to Dr. Obama as he eviscerated our health care system.

I was dumbfounded when I first heard that companies like BlueCross were going along with Obamacare. But over time, as I've watched the universe of providers shrink, it has become clear that the big insurance carriers' strategy was to be the last man standing. Not exactly with a monopoly on the insurance business, but with just a few large carriers left dividing up the health insurance business. And in fact, the smaller guys have all fallen out of the health insurance business, knowing that the massive and byzantine federal regulation renders their role impossible and unprofitable.

Except, it's not really health insurance any more. It's really just allocating diminishing resources to an expanded universe of people. The big guys like BlueCross are banking on the idea that the government is too incompetent ever to make it to single payer. By standing by while all this happens and greasing the right wheels, they will always own the market as the middle man of income redistribution via health care.

I pay my own health expenses right now through a Health Savings Account (HSA). In order to keep costs down, I have an $11,000 deductible. I am, thank the Lord, a very healthy person. In my worst years I have never come anywhere close to that ceiling. For the privilege of managing my own health and my own health care expenses but keeping a policy in place to cover a disastrous occurrence like a heart attack or cancer, I pay BCBST over $3,500 a year.

I have shopped around and there is hardly anywhere else to go any more. If I want what we used to call "hospitalization" insurance, BCBST is really about the only game in town. Even the individual plans being advertised so heavily by Farm Bureau are just BlueCross plans.

In this letter, Mr. Maki reveals, with a positive spin of course as if it's something good for me, that my plan will change on its anniversary date next year. Hopefully not. Because even though it's highway robbery as it is now, I know it will be worse if Obamacare is fully implemented.

Now that the Gordian Knot is finally being untightened, there will be a lot of villains scrambling for cover like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Let's not forget that huge insurance carriers like BCBST and AARP and others were complicit in inflicting this mess on the American people. Maybe there's a chance to reintroduce real competition into health care and the health care insurance market and benefit everyone with lower costs and greater access.

But a word of warning: If you've finally learned that Barack Obama is a shameless liar, take anything you hear from the insurance carriers with the same grain of salt. Especially if they send you a flyer trying to tell you that you have more choices...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Review: Who Really Killed Kennedy?

I can sum this book up really quickly: It's an excellent compilation of every plausible theory ever conceived of who killed John F. Kennedy other than, or in addition to, Lee Harvey Oswald. In fact from reading this book I figure there were so many people with good reasons to want Kennedy dead who were in Dallas on the day he was assassinated that it's a wonder half of them didn't kill each other in the crossfire.

On another level the book is very revealing about Kennedy as well. I have realized lately that I really haven't studied the last fifty years as history. Since I've lived through that period, I've just assumed I knew what was going on. But it is becoming increasingly clear how little we actually have known about what was going on from the media. Perhaps to a great degree out of willful ignorance.

The truth is that if you buy the idea that America has gone astray, its waywardness can be traced in great part to the actions of the Dulles brothers in the fifties, and in this book in particular, Kennedy stands out as the maverick who stood up to stop their secret wars, their promotion of the military-industrial complex, and the march toward one world government.

It's a good read in that respect, and Jerome Corsi is a thorough journalist and good writer. On the down side, however, it sure could have used a sharper editor. There are typos scattered throughout and in a couple of instances, the names of important sources suddenly change from one paragraph to the next.

But all in all, among the numerous JFK assassination books and documentaries coming out to mark the 50th anniversary, I believe this one is among the most worthwhile.