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Everything posted by TheOldBarn

  1. Trump often muses that America was built to stay open. There is still no National Plan on how to deal with the CoV-2 virus, least no one's said anything yet. We don't know if the virus will slow down in the summer months but many virologist think it's not likely. What's the plan moving forward? Are we going to have a very modified move towards a new normal - hopefully with hundreds of thousands of tests performed on a weekly basis as well as social distancing perfected for those who do go back to work - which of course would mean an influx of some type of PPE for all workers? Today a McDonald's work crew picketed in a town nearby - the workers want PPE, a safe workplace, and yes, even a pay increase for the risk they take. There needs to be guidelines for all of these things for all work places so that workers are protected until we have a proven vaccine which very likely will not be available for more than a year out - and that's if we are lucky. Chances are, this virus will come back again in the Fall and we could be in the same place we are today next Winter. What are we planning on doing in the interim in order to deal with this? I was thinking about the new normal. I know in many countries in Europe, they actually close things down dramatically in late summer early fall as part of their culture. Perhaps with better planning the US should start thinking about doing this, even after the virus is gone. On the brighter side of things, air pollution is subsiding all over the globe because of the pandemic. Air pollution causes many health issues in this country and is likely significantly adding to the fatalities this virus is causing. It has been reported that in the hardest hit areas black Americans are the biggest percentage of folks who are requiring hospitalization due to a whole host of diseases directly related to social economics. Food deserts, environmental pollution, etc... What about the homeless - what about prisons filled to the brim? All of this points to problems that have existed for several decades that require big time National attention. So far what we've gotten from the White House other than big excuses is a big zero. What is required from the Democratic House in the coming months is big time Oversight regarding all of this! We need ways to perform testing to understand the hot spot geographical areas and control them before they spiral out of control. We need a plan to get back to a semi-normal state with new mandates that protect all workers, especially hospitals. We have a whole lot of work to do and we need a Federal Government Plan soon!!!
  2. lay down lay down, lay it all down. /we could blame Trump all day long. We were so close there was no room. When I was a kid I was around people who lived in the 1860's, literally. I don't know what they were feeling, I just remember bits and pieces, of what they'd say. You know what, that A&P sucks, the old blacktop and the middle men, This greasy old fool, he's smoking his cigarettes down to the butt, has fingers burnt orange, and finally when he gets married, he buys a cheap house, and parks his cars in the front yard, and tethers his children in the backyard because he has no time to care for them, and once he dies at an early age, nobody remembers him. Some uncle. Or the older girl back in the early sixties who was so worried that she would end up being an old maid. She married an old sailor whom she fell head over heals in love with, and when he died, she would not let him go. They pulled her away from the house where his dead body had laid for days. Time is tough. We would watch as they pulled the old man from the little white house. Some said he was in his nineties, the old painter, Pete, they called him. Us kids watched the white truck come pick his dead body up. The older kids said, you die, when you think it is time, you just know. Peace!
  3. Hey Explorer, thank you for sharing this one that I had heard about from Dylan! I was just a kid when Kennedy was killed. There was a divide in this country back way back then too. Frost was an old man, still carrying a torch for something as of course was Guthrie. Some simple nature adept in prose or in any sort of artistic conveyance that is neither puritanical nor can ever be less than this simple truth, the promise is gone, no matter how unique it ever were ever golden, and yet still you like I understand. And that's worth all the Jackson Pollacks
  4. well at least it affected most people that day, and for generations to come, and all the things that might never become, just seeing what history had wrote, as though history was something that needed to be carefully taught, and hopefully someday learned from, people from anywhere on the streets felt the same dread, there is something missing, Peace!
  5. Back in December, when the first news of the Covid-19 virus became evident, which was incidentally named because it struck in 2019, why wasn't the US State Department Heavily involved with making sure that US experts from the CDC were on the scene in China? If China was holding back important information, than this becomes vital for the world to take notice of well beyond geopolitics since this affects the entire world as well as the total global economy. We have epidemiology experts for this. That's what they do. And, we have a state department filled with experts who study China relations, that's what they do. Jan 3 Qasem Soleimani was taken out at the Baghdad International Airport. And this was a major international incident. Some would call it a state sponsored assassination, never mind whether he was a bad actor or not, and without question it was jarring to think about what Iran might do in response. Of course we were well aware that the Trump Administration had backed out of the JCPA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - that all the US allies had agreed to, whereby Iran had agreed to roll back its Nuclear Bomb capabilities and allow inspectors in - thereby showing its total commitment, in exchange for reduction of economic sanctions. What kind of State Department does the US have? Well, even though it has been reduced over the years, and especially in the last 3 years under Trump, we have a pretty good one when you think of the career professionals who work in the State Department. We caught a glimpse of that during the Impeachment Trials, albeit, that incident only dealt with the Ukraine scandal, aka, Trumps unsuccessful quid pro quo. Mike Pompeo - isn't he supposed to be a really smart guy? https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/31/mike-pompeo-coronavirus-158038
  6. Air pollution is taking a big hit due to the Corona Virus outbreak. Some have called this the virus of the rich since the rich travel by plane the most. But that's not completely true since we currently operate in a global economy. So perhaps it's time to rethink the global economy? What, can we expect great positive change from just one world-wide pandemic that could possibly cause a world-wide economic depression? I don't know, nobody does. But a whole lot of us do have a lot of time on our hands to think about such things. https://www.space.com/coronavirus-california-emissions-reduced-blue-skies-ozone-increase.html I hate working from home, but I feel lucky to have a job. That's what I say, and that's what a lot of my friends also say. Every time I go to the grocery store I thank the folks who work there - it's a hazardous job these days, and they don't get paid what they're worth. Obviously hospital capacity during a pandemic certainly needs big time planning in advance. Many would state that hospital capacity in many rural areas was already lacking. Shouldn't this be something that needs to be addressed with Congressional Oversight? Regarding Healthcare in general in the US, here's a great article from Dean Baker at CEPR posted April 2 - I just wish Bernie Sanders would have expressed this common sense approach when the cost for single payer was brought up countless times during the Democratic debates. I'd love to hear a counter argument to what Dean Baker says here! • ARTICLE Beat the Press Getting to Medicare for All, Eventually With Joe Biden now looking like the certain Democratic presidential nominee, it is pretty clear that we will not get to Medicare for All in a single step. Even if Sanders had won it would have been a long shot, but without a president committed to the program, there is not even a possibility. Still, we can look for ways to get to M4A incrementally, with the idea that we will make progress wherever and whenever we can. In order to do this, we need policies that can be politically feasible even without a M4A advocate leading the charge in the White House. In order to maintain momentum, these incremental steps must offer real and visible gains. They also should be stepping stones that advance us toward the goal of M4A. With this in mind, I would recommend four policies: Lowering the Medicare age to 64; Beating down the cost of health care inputs; Improving the traditional Medicare program Allowing everyone to buy into Medicare. Lowering the Medicare Age Starting with the simplest, lowering the Medicare age to 64 might sound trivial, but it is likely to be a big deal politically and mean a lot to millions of people.[1] In terms of the politics, there are millions of people in their early sixties with, either or both, bad health and questionable access to health insurance. For these people, hitting the Medicare age is a huge relief, since they finally know that most of their health care expenses will be covered. Lowering the age by a year moves that date closer. For someone who is 62, it means waiting two years rather than three years. That has to sound a lot better to millions of people. And, to add an important consideration, these people vote in very high numbers. This is a change that it likely to make many people very grateful. Lowering the age by one year should also provide a great lesson in the difficulties in extending Medicare by one year. This will roughly double the number of people who are newly enrolled in a given year. We will be able to see the difficulties in expanding coverage. Clearly there will be some, and it will be good to know what they are with a relatively small expansion, so that we can be better prepared with for a larger expansion in future years. The expense of adding an addition year of coverage is likely to be limited, probably between $10-20 billion annually (0.2-0.4 percent of federal spending). This age group will be healthier than the average Medicare beneficiary. Furthermore, most of the people in this age group with high expenses are likely already receiving government funded health care, either through Medicaid or already qualify for Medicare through the Social Security disability program. This step will also show people that expanding Medicare eligibility is possible. If the age reduction is done successfully, people will inevitably ask why can’t we go further. Ideally, we would be prepared to lower the age to 62 or 60 in a relatively short period after the successful completion of a simple one year reduction. Also, from a political perspective, a one-year reduction in the age of eligibility may be the sort of step that a centrist Democrat like Joe Biden might be persuaded to try. And, in terms of getting this through the Senate, one could imagine a Joe Manchin going along with it. Getting Health Care Input Costs Down While the administrative costs and profits associated with our private health insurance system are a source of enormous waste, the fact that we pay twice as much for everything as people in other countries is an even larger source of waste. This is true pretty much across the board, we pay twice as much for our drugs, twice as much for our medical equipment, and twice as much for our doctors. If we got these costs in line with what other countries pay, the savings would be in the neighborhood of $350 billion to $400 billion a year, or $2,700 to $3,000 per family. The story with drugs and medical equipment is straightforward; we give these industries patent monopolies and then allow them to charge whatever they want. By contrast, every other wealthy country imposes some sort of price control or negotiates prices with these companies. If we did the same in the United States, we would pay similar prices. However, we can and should go much further. The patent monopoly system is an incredibly inefficient mechanism for supporting innovation, especially in the health care sector. None of the normal logic of the benefits of consumer choice applies here. There almost always is a third-party payer for drugs or medical equipment (either the government or an insurer) so the idea that we are somehow measuring consumers’ willingness to pay is basically nuts. What drug companies can get away with charging is overwhelming a political decision. Furthermore, there are enormous problems of asymmetric information. The drug companies know far more about their drugs than patients or doctors. Patent monopolies gives them enormous incentives to conceal evidence that their drugs are less effective than claimed or even harmful. We see this all the time, most obviously in the case of the opioid crisis where drug manufacturers deliberately misled doctors about the addictiveness of their drugs. The costs in terms of needless deaths and ruined lives has been enormous. The opioid example is an extreme case, but misrepresenting evidence to promote sales is standard practice. These are the sort of abuses that anyone who took an intro econ course would expect when the government creates a monopoly in a market. There is an alternative to patent monopoly financing of research. The government already spends more than $40 billion a year in biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health. We can double or triple this amount to replace the $70 billion or so of patent-supported research done by the industry.[2] Under a publicly funded system, private drug companies could still do the research, but the condition of getting money is that all research is made fully public as soon as practical (the model here is the Bermuda Principles for the Human Genome Project) and all patents are placed in the public domain. This means that new drugs would be sold as cheap generics from the first day they are introduced into the market. Having all research fully open should substantially hasten medical progress. Researchers everywhere in the world would be able to quickly benefit from learning of the successes and failures of colleagues working elsewhere. This would certainly be an enormous help in a case like the coronavirus where scientists researching treatments and vaccines would be sharing findings rather than hoping to win a patent race. If all drugs were sold as generics from the first day, that would save us more than $400 billion a year. If we had the same practice with medical equipment and supplies the savings would rise to around $600 billion a year, more than 15 percent of health care spending. In addition to yielding enormous savings, having these items sold in a free market would change the way medical practitioners thought about their work. There would be no reason ever to not use the best drug or recommend the best scan for a patient when the cost differences would be trivial. Drugs are rarely expensive to manufacture and the same is true of medical equipment. Why wouldn’t a doctor prescribe the best drug if it carried a price tag of $20 or $30, rather than $20,000 or $30,000? The best thing about going this route is that it can be done incrementally. We could appropriate money for developing drugs in specific areas, like heart disease or cancer. The drugs produced would all be cheap and all the test results from clinical trials would be fully public. People would then be able to see that public funding could produce great innovations and that drugs are cheap. The industry could even keep patent monopolies on the research it funded. The only problem is that they may find that the new drug they hoped to sell for $200,000 is competing against a generic that is every bit as good and sells for 0.1 percent of this price. The last major area where are prices are grossly out of line is the pay of physicians and dentists. They get roughly twice as much as their counterparts in other wealthy countries. If we got the pay of our physicians and dentists down to the levels in places like Germany and Canada we would save roughly $100 billion a year or $700 per family. The high pay of these professionals is due to good old-fashioned protectionism. Licensing restrictions prevent competition from both qualified foreign doctors and dentists and lesser paid health professionals like nurse practitioners and dental hygienists. The route to getting the pay for these professionals in line with their counterparts in other wealthy countries is to weaken or find ways around these restrictions.[3] Just this week, one of these restrictions was removed when the government allowed doctors who had not completed a U.S. residency program to practice here. This is a great precedent. We can have requirements that ensure competence, but allow many more doctors to practice here. We can also broaden the scope of practice rules to allow other health care professionals to carry through tasks for which they are qualified. We can also encourage people to take advantage of lower cost health care elsewhere. The cost of major medical procedures is a fraction of the cost in the United States. Major procedures that can cost $100,000 or $200,000 here, can often be performed for 10-20 percent of this price in places like Canada and Germany. If we allowed people to travel to these countries (with a family member) and share in the savings, it would both lead to direct savings and also educate people about the fact that people get high quality health care in other countries for a fraction of the price here. Are these steps at lowering input costs politically feasible? Well, the affected industries and doctors and dentists lobby will fight like crazy, but we can put them on difficult political turf. In the case of drugs, we would be starting with relatively small sums of research spending (relative to the federal budget). The industry, which is the biggest lobbyist for NIH funding, has to claim that public funding for the development and testing of new drugs would be the same thing as throwing money in the toilet. It seems kind of hard to argue that the dollars currently spent at NIH are tremendously valuable but additional funding to support later stages of development (which already often happens with NIH funding) is a complete waste. If we do get a foot in the door with funding in some important health areas, and people can see new effective drugs selling as cheap generics, it would likely create powerful momentum for going further down this road. The doctors’ lobby will go nuts at anything that threatens their income (the worst hate mail I ever have received has been from doctors or people claiming to be doctors), but here too we can move forward with baby steps. Are the doctors going to try to prevent people from going to other countries and take advantage of lower cost care? That would seem to put them in an awkward position. In the health care emergency we are now facing, the federal government is allowing doctors who have not passed a U.S. residency program to practice in the United States. Assuming we don’t see bad outcomes, this could be made permanent. Substantially lowering the income of drug companies, medical equipment makers and doctors and dentists will be a huge lift politically, but it is hard to defend government interventions that have the sole purpose of transferring money from everyone else to these groups. That is the world we see now and we should be able to find ways to incrementally move away from it. Fixing Traditional Medicare Many people are not aware of the extent to which the quality of the traditional Medicare program has deteriorated in recent decades. This is the direct result of efforts to sabotage the traditional Medicare program in order to drive people into private Medicare Advantage plans. Nearly 40 percent of new beneficiaries opt for Medicare Advantage. If they do go into the traditional Medicare program, most non-Medicaid eligible people buy private supplemental insurance, another money-making opportunity for private insurers. The most immediate fix to the traditional Medicare program would be to have an out-of-pocket cap on spending. This is actually required for Medicare Advantage plans, but for some reason, no cap was ever put in place for traditional Medicare. We can start with a cap of $6,000, which is roughly the cap for Medicare Advantage. As we move towards the more comprehensive system envisioned by proponents of Medicare for All, this cap can be lowered, but the first step is simply to have a cap in place comparable to the cap for Medicare Advantage plans. The second important fix is to roll part D drug benefits into the traditional Medicare program. Requiring a separate insurance package for prescription drugs makes little sense except as a way to force beneficiaries to give money to the insurance industry. Stand-alone prescription drug insurance plans do not exist in the private sector; it is absurd that the Bush administration insisted on going this route on 2003 as a condition of providing a prescription drug benefit. It would also be desirable to merge Medicare Part A and Part B as part of a single system, to reduce complexity. This would require some fundamental revamping of the program (Part A is financed by the designated payroll tax, while Part B is paid partly by premiums and mostly out of general revenue), but this revamping will be necessary at some point in the movement towards Medicare for All in any case. Even if Part A and Part B are not immediately merged for current beneficiaries, they should certainly be merged for those opting to buy into the program. Also, the scope of Medicare coverage has to be expanded to include all health care. This means adding in coverage for dental, hearing aids, and other items that were deemed less important when the program was created almost sixty years ago. Finally, if we can’t eliminate the private Medicare Advantage plans, we should at least eliminate the effective subsidies they enjoy as a result of “upcoding” their enrollees. Medicare reimburses Medicare Advantage plans based on the health of the people they have enrolled. Recent research indicates Medicare Advantage plans systematically upcode their enrollees, implying their health is worse than is actually the case. This upcoding increases payments by as much as 16 percent. The program should move quickly to end these excess payments. One route would be to assume that the insurers lie about the health of their enrollees and adjust payments according. For example, if the average overpayment is found to be 10 percent, then the payment to Medicare Advantage plans can simply be reduced by 10 percent. Alternatively, improper coding of enrollees could be treated like the fraud which it is. This would mean severe civil penalties for the companies that engage in the practice and possible criminal penalties for the corporate executives that design the policy. There are plenty of people in prison for stealing cars that might be worth just a few thousand dollars. There is no reason that insurance executives, who might be stealing tens of millions from Medicare, should not face punishment that is at least as harsh. We should also merge Medicare and Medicaid. There is no reason for the government to run parallel health care programs, one for seniors and the disabled, and one for low income people. There will be problems with this sort of merger, since states administer the Medicaid program, but this would have to be easier to overcome than a quick move to Medicare for All. In terms of the politics of these changes, all of the improvements and simplifications of Medicare would almost certainly be hugely popular with beneficiaries. Taking away the subsidies for Medicare Advantage plan will be somewhat of a problem, as the insurers who provide these plans will fight vigorously to save their subsidies. There will also be objections by some Medicare beneficiaries to merging Medicare and Medicaid, but with enough new benefits, this can likely be overcome. It is also likely to be the case that hospitals and other providers will be very happy to see a simplification of the billing related to these programs. Allowing a Medicare Buy-In After putting in the fixes discussed above (which should be doable over a reasonable time frame), people of all ages should be allowed to buy into the Medicare program, so that the system competes directly with private insurers. This buy in would be either through the exchanges, with households being able to apply whatever subsidies for which they are eligible under the exchanges, or alternatively through employer-based coverage, with employers able to pay an age-adjusted rate for their workers, as is the case now for private insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This buy-in would serve four purposes. First, it should give every person in the country access to a decent insurance plan. A reformed Medicare plan will provide access to a large number of providers and avoid the harassment in paying claims that often proves so profitable for private insurers. It also is likely to provide an attractive option to employers who currently provide insurance for their workers. There is no reason not to allow employers to replace a private plan with Medicare, and undoubtedly many would choose to do so. The second benefit is that it would provide a serious competitor for private insurers. This is especially important in markets where consolidation of insurers have limited the availability of plans to just one or two insurers. A reformed Medicare plan, if priced at cost, should be an attractive option everywhere. The third benefit is that a reformed Medicare program, with a buy in option, should have enormous market power. The existing plan, with 40 million enrollees, already has substantially market power. But if we assume that half of those currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage switch to a reformed Medicare plan, along with 10 percent of the pre-Medicare age population, the reformed Medicare plan would have almost 80 million people enrolled, or just under a quarter of the population. Since this group includes most of the elderly and disabled, it would account for an even larger share of health care spending. If we add in 60 million Medicaid beneficiaries, we’re up to 140 million people, who would almost certainly account for well more than half of national health care spending, and far more than half in some markets. This would be such a large share of the market that it is likely that providers in many areas would opt only to deal with Medicare in order to avoid the administrative costs associated with dealing with a variety of smaller insurers. In this way, the administrative efficiencies associated with a single payer system can go far towards getting us there. There is no reason for providers to want to incur additional expenses to keep insurers happy. The last advantage of a buy-in is that it would increase people’s familiarity and comfort with getting their insurance through Medicare. It would make the step to a universal Medicare program seem far less drastic. The Multi-Step Approach to Medicare for All It’s hard to put any precise time-frame on this sort of incremental approach. While it is desirable to move as fast as possible, taking steps for which we are not prepared administratively will be self-defeating. It could both mean that people are not getting the care they should and it will provide the foes of Medicare for All with powerful ammunition to use to block further changes. None off the items on this list should be politically impossible, but all will face tremendous opposition. Getting to Medicare for All means confronting the most powerful interest groups in the country. If they are going to be defeated, we have to be able to put them in a position where the only thing they are arguing for is higher incomes for themselves, not the public’s health. This can be done, but it will be a long and difficult task. [1] I’ll save folks from doing the arithmetic for the cheap joke here. If it takes us 60 years to lower the age one year then it will take us 3900 years to get universal Medicare. Of course if we insist on getting there all at once, and don’t ever have the political force to bring it about, then we will get to universal Medicare exactly never. [2] I go through some of these numbers here. The fullest picture of my proposed alternative system is probably in chapter 5 of Rigged (it’s free). [3] As we bring our pay in line with other countries, we should also reduce the cost of medical education here. It is either free or relatively cheap elsewhere. We should also reduce the debt that most medical school graduates accumulated in their training.
  7. Hey Bludog, I know what you're saying completely... as if he has too many under his spell. Well they are, many. But the majority isn't. Yes, Hail the first responder's and all the hospital workers!!! What do you think they think? What do you think all the scientist think? What do you think most the kids in college think, what so most economist who are in the know worldwide think? What do you think people like Colin Powell think? Hell, what do you think GWB thinks? I happen to feel that the message is out there and it's pretty clear. Let's all hope I'm right! 4 more years of this kind of crap would mean a total collapse of our Democracy! Damn it, I hope Joe Biden picks Warren as his running mate! Peace!
  8. The Daily News Conferences are more like Pep Rallies for Trump. Oh yes, he's done an incredible job. He was the first to stop travel from China - and he did this he says, when most thought he was crazy for doing so. No testing, the first News conference completely admonished the system. The system was horrible until Trump took the reigns. It's been nothing other than perfect what his administration has done regarding supplying tests, PPE, and ventilators. It's time for state governors to give gratitude. Good thing, these 2.5 hour briefings featuring Trump; you know instead of the Fake News. See with Trump, he can change history with his lies. During the Impeachment trials in the Senate, where was Trump when all the expert epidemiologist were crying out that COVID-19 was a existential threat that had the real ability to infect 40-60 percent of Americans, and possibly create 2 - 3 million fatalities in the US alone. Not to mention the economics costs in this global economy. He was at pep rallies the whole time. He was holding packed pep rallies wherever there was a primary election being held. And he was even at the CPAC convention Feb 27. https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/the-inside-story-of-the-cpac-scare-when-the-coronavirus-passed-within-a-handshake-of-the-president-no-public-health-agency-took-charge/2020/03/19/8fbebe42-67a3-11ea-b313-df458622c2cc_story. Now that's a president who's not in charge, but rather a dangerous fool who needs to be discharged from his post!
  9. We need to do what we need to do right now. As far as Trump goes - his days are numbered as president.
  10. Capt Crozier did the right thing! Although he didn't follow the "correct" policy his actions were absolutely required! In this case I feel the Navy acted hastily by removing him from his command. And, if only we could remove that other guy who needs removal right quick!
  11. Thanks for this one Olivaw! We have a sewing machine and my daughter is great with it. She's home from college and these tips may come in handy. Whatever one individual can do to stay safe helps!
  12. how long will it last, how long did you ever sit beside someone who just wished for it all to end as a young man out of college we hiked high in the mountains got drunk until the sun came up And then ran down the steep grade and dunked our bodies in the cold river And then we hiked for miles coming back to camp somewhat spent you know, the average workday seemed much less stressful since all the essential ingredients to life had been removed And then we just sat flat on our asses for what thirty or forty years seemingly doing nothing oh sure, once in a while taking a cold shower for excitement just to be booed enough to feel responsible enough to do something we always thought we were born to do to stand up for peace And use intellect to show the world - just what? hydrofluorocarbons Peace!
  13. I wonder about despair and how completely it has infected so many here in my own country, and how much it is apparent in almost everything I see. I wonder about despair in the youth, or those in their early mid years, anywhere from teenagers to those who happen to be in their early fifties. It's a there in a large swath of folks, almost as though it was passed down in heredity, by their genetic make up, at least it feels as such. There's the doldrums, this feeling that you do what you do, and nothing ever changes much, You wake up, go to work, on the weekend go down to the Costco, And you feel taxed, and life seems less and less significant And everybody is getting the same news feed from the iphone which they carry with them everywhere they go. And I feel like technology seems to show no sensibility As if it was done only for those who get hired and get a good paycheck can feel rewarded dismissing everyone else, and even they feel this same sadness somehow. I feel all the beautiful people with all the wealth that they might hold still feel lost knowing that they will lose their looks and be old someday. I feel I still do wish, that I met my grandfather who fought in World War I I feel as though I missed something when life was once more simpler than it seems to be today. The Lark, an original song. You want to be significant And yet you have no clue what it means to be a complete object failure And still find some happiness in life. Peace!
  14. why don't they do their jobs. I hear that all the time, and who are they talking about when they say as such? who isn't doing their job? Who doesn't pick up after their own mess. The hotel maids pick up a lot of trash, in all them best hotels in the world. They break their backs doing it over and over and over again. In the factory, you do one job, again and again. In the factory, progress comes from planning, good insight, finding the best way to do the same repetitive job so that you have less defects, never mind the worker, so much so that the factory worker is expendable. You could get a better return on the dollar by taking your factory overseas where the work is cheaper. You could build a great house, where the land is cheap. And the buyers will come, if they have enough money to spend, and enough money saved to live the rest of their life as long as they don't need a job. It's a tricky society, where it's easy to become cynical, where it becomes all too easy to feel the greed, and not much else. That much should at least be apparent to most who live in the United States right now. Actually it should have been apparent a long time ago! Peace!
  15. eek... Right about now people are fretting about their investments, and of course their 401K's. I would say, on the bright side, we are all tied into this together. Which is the same way I feel about climate change. We know that if we stopped all the carbon emission today, the damage is likely great and will take a long long time to correct, longer than our lifetimes. But, and this is the good news, methane emissions if they could be eliminated soon, would make a huge change in the climate disaster, even rolling back a decent part of the problem, which is something well worth fighting for now. https://www.edf.org/climate/methane-other-important-greenhouse-gas If we got on with doing something big about climate change now we actually could do future generations a big solid. Pollution kills. Life for anyone is far far better with less air pollution, less pollution of fresh water, or pollution of the oceans. Back around the turn of the twentieth century, what ever ails you could be cured by a trip to the mountains, where that mountain air was fresh and clean. It's true, that's what the rich folk would say back then. Peace!
  16. I suppose it's kind of like in any National Emergency, There's this tale of two towns. The rich town is worried, they are talented and yes, they have a lot of money invested, so right now, exactly now, it's time to shuffle through their portfolio's, because if they don't, well then a somewhat significant part of their wealth is going to take a pretty big hit. Then again, in the poor town, people are worried even more about just paying the rent. Those folks are worried that they might not even have a job once this thing blows over. Then where will they be, they'll be worse than being just broke. Having savings, man, wouldn't that be nice. Right about now it becomes more clear just how many people are struggling from week to week just to get by. And we haven't even begun as yet to talk about health, and all the folks who already have real health problems, ranging from diabetes, to heart and lung disease, and cancer. This isn't even new. It's old. We spend trillions on having a military just in case there is the need, standing by in the ready mode. We know all about human made climate change. And we also know about the economics of inequality, and the lack of an equitable and true democracy. The liberal folks are going to listen to the medical experts from the CDC. They are going to think about this somewhat required temporary depletion of supply and think hard about the best way to make sure nobody goes without during this time. Which is something we should always do even when there is no Worldwide pandemic, or any other kind of emergency that involves everyone anywhere. China should have come out with the truth faster, but the truth is, they did the world a huge favor by literally diving on a live hand grenade called Covid-19. One would think this would be a remarkable time for the US and China to work together as one. To find some more common ground. Lord knows the people in our two countries are not much different. Yes, peace is far far better than war. I think the scientists in most countries for the most part all could agree. Use the congress for oversight, truth, to transcend the rigged policies, using the best minds, bring them all in to testify, and detail what,why, and how. Oh, it's never going to be perfect, but we should not have homeless folks and broken down schools. Peace!
  17. okay, we all know that historically Democrats are a wild pack of diverse stripes. We got lots of issues, and mostly we know the working folks get screwed every time. It's a whole lot harder to bring Democrats, or progressive Independents all in line than it is for the Republican's who channel the religious right, the anti socialists, and the white nationalists, along with the Wall Street type business round tabler's. I've been around the suits, the suits in the airports who all say, damn those Democrats, if they only knew the first thing about running a damn business. I guess we just have a failure to communicate they might suggest - regarding basic economics.
  18. Yup. Warren could explain things so much better than Bernie. They were mostly on the same page. Senator Warren stated she was a Capitalist, but I feel in large part the Right and the Monopolist were much more worried about her getting the nomination. The good thing is the young. I sincerely hope they are not too dismayed. When a young person anywhere from age 18 - 30 goes out and gets involved that's a big big deal. It means something special. For them, I say, this is only the beginning. The virus thing came from out of nowhere, however most experts in the field of virology knew it was only a matter of time. The US is a rich nation, think about a country like Italy that has a debt to GDP ratio of 140%. Yes, it has got to be go time for the Democrats in the House and in the Senate. There are a lot of holes in our lack of a health care system which is not something new. https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/coronavirus-means-zero-hour-for-the-european-union
  19. And welcome back to the CNN Covid-19 Town hall. And this question comes from Little Johnny. Dr Gupta, can the corona virus be spread by Farts? https://991thewhale.com/can-you-really-catch-the-coronavirus-from-someones-flatulence/ I'm sorry, I'm not making light of this public emergency, but I am pointing out how some folks react. In the state of California, as you all know, the entire state is supposed to shelter in place, and that means only essential businesses, such as healthcare, food and essential supply companies are supposed to be allowed to operate. Should this also require gun stores to stay open - I don't want to take away anyone's second amendment rights and all, but, are gun stores essential at this time?
  20. I am. I'm worried that the trillions required to be spent by the US government once again will go to all the wrong places. Not everyone requires a check in the mail. And the ones that do get a check should get the biggest check. Please do not bail out the Cruise Ship Corporations, and when you think of bailing out the Air Travel Industry, consider taking it over and Nationalizing it. Some say it is possible for Oil to go as low as $10 a barrel requiring huge government bailouts for all the frackers - don't do it / use the money to turn the corner on green energies with a new energy grid to boot. Friend of mine suggested instead of giving no interest loans to small business, just take care of their required debt payments instead - that way they don't have to worry about paying back a loan. Trump today said he doesn't like stock buybacks - that wasn't supposed to be part of his trillion plus tax cut for Corps and mostly rich folks. Stuff just happens I suppose. And oh yeah, we got a health care crises in this Country, and in the world over currently - we need to spend big time for that. https://www.cepr.net/the-no-one-in-the-gop-cares-act-bails-out-airlines-does-little-for-public-health-or-workers-jobs/
  21. oh come on man... especially with Biden we need every darn vote. Trump and the Republican Senate has to go. It's vital. And, we'll still have the progressives who can and should push push push for more progressive policy. "Just hold your nose and vote for Joe." which would make a great bumper sticker. Peace!

No holds barred chat

  • By Imgreatagain

    Hey kfools.. does this help? 

  • By Vegas

    Liberals are going to hell.

  • By deezer shoove


  • By rippy38

  • By Str8tEdge

    Where’s at @slideman?

  • By Robot88


  • By teacher

    I know this one, this new chat thing. I've seen it called the "shoutbox" among other things in my past. Very hard to hide from the chat box. The question is asked, there's no time to go search what other folks think, this is real time. Only seconds should be between chat box replies. This one is made for me. In the chat box one has to be quick on their feet with stuff at the ready. This chat box is the worst nightmare of anyone trying to deal with ol' teach. 

  • By pmurT

    hey @teacher that sounds like too much work for me LOL I need that useless thing called *time* in order to authenticate facts and truths which get posted by deceitful Dems

  • By impartialobserver

    What does the red number refer to? currently, on my screen it says 2


  • By kfools

    Where does it say 2?

  • By kfools

    So. In the chat....if you tag a member the text afterwards should be a private message. 

  • By teacher

    How do? I'm teacher. If I'm online and the powers that be can figure out how to make it immediately apparent to me that whatever I've said here has been replied to I'm gonna show up right quick and kick some teeth in. It's the chat box, all this is new and scary. I know this gig. This starts now. 

  • By Duck615

    Hey kfools, did you lose your securtiy cert? On my browser it is saying your site is not secure?

  • By kfools

    Mine too. I'm looking into it.

  • By Imgreatagain

    Mine too. 

  • By Imgreatagain

    I thought it was my location.. 

  • By kfools

    Just gave to renew the security cert. No big deal I'll do it tonight

  • By Duck615

    OK thanks


  • By king of the county


  • By Blue Devil

    Happy Anniversary, America... on your Civil Union.

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