April 24, 2015

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of April 24, 2015.  No doubt, racism exists   …  and is a problem.  Here in Holden  …  we have African American families  …  from what I see   …  they are treated the same as white families.  The racism in Holden?  (Chuckling)   … the discrimination German immigrants face  …  being labeled “Krauts”!

Tried a contested custody paternity case on Thursday, in Kansas City, Division 7.  My first case before Judge S. Margene Burnett, (she was appointed November 2013). Darn good Judge. Knows the law and has a “judicial temperament” worthy of the position. GOOD addition to the bench! Rendered an opinion at the end of the evidence. My client was VERY happy with the result.

I wonder what Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky does to earn her daily bowl of rice? (DAILEY MAIL)   —  Chelsea Clinton buys new $10.5 million apartment across the street from her husband’s $4 million ‘starter pad’ bought just before they married.  “Most young couples could only dream of buying a luxury four-bedroom apartment in the centre of Manhattan.  But Chelsea Clinton, 33, and husband Marc Mezvinsky, 35, are about to swap their $4 million pad for a huge new $10.5 million one nearby  …  Assuming a 4 per cent interest rate and 20 per cent down payment, Ms Clinton and Mr Mezvinsky’s already-hefty mortgage payments total around $18,460 a month.  But they’re set to skyrocket.  According to StreetEasy.com, if the pair put down a $2.1 million – or 20 per cent – deposit on their new $10.5 million home, their monthly mortgage bill will be in the region of $52,000 and closer to $60,000 if the couple handed over a 10 per cent down payment instead.”  Kind of ironic isn’t it  …  that Chelsea’s momma wants to be the poster child for the American Middle Class.  Wonder how many middle class Americans have a $60,000.00 monthly mortgage payment?

One of the reasons I remain opposed to the death penalty?  Hard to fix dead. (BBC NEWS)  —  FBI admits forensic evidence errors in hundreds of cases. “The FBI has admitted “errors” in evidence provided by its forensics laboratory to US courts to help secure convictions, including in death penalty cases, over more than 20 years.  A report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) noted “irregularities” in the hair analysis unit  …  Flawed forensics were used in at least 60 capital punishment cases, the OIG report found. Fourteen defendants were either executed or died in prison, says the Washington Post, which first reported the story at the weekend.”  I wonder how many of the 14 executed defendants were innocent? The number of inmates convicted, sentenced to death and then exonerated is surprisingly large!

And we will be picking up the tab   …  when the “Student Loan Bubble”, (this link should be a mandatory read!!),  bursts.  (CNN MONEY)  —  Rich universities are getting richer. “The wealth gap between the nation’s 40 richest colleges and universities and the rest is getting wider. That’s thanks to strong investment returns and a tremendous fundraising advantage, according to credit rating agency Moody’s  …  The top 40 include seven of eight Ivy League schools – all but Brown University – along with prestigious institutions such as Stanford, MIT and Duke. But half of the wealthiest schools were state schools, led by the universities of Texas, California and Michigan  …  The 40 richest schools have median cash and investments of $6.3 billion, versus only $273 million for the 500 other schools tracked by Moody’s. Harvard is the richest school with $42.8 billion assets, followed by the University of Texas at $36.7 billion. The University System of Maryland is at the bottom of the list with assets of $3.4 billion.  The richest schools had average investment returns of 50% between 2009 and 2014. Returns for other schools were between 22% and 38% over the same period. The top 40 also collected 59% of all donations made to the 500 schools during fiscal year 2014.”  I was chatting with a young lawyer a couple of months ago, who shared, he had a $150,000.00 student loan debt.  $1,500.00/mo for the next 20 years.  I wonder how much pro bono work he will be able to do.

I understand there are cultural differences  …  but  …  strippers?  (BBC NEWS)  — China: Funeral strippers in authorities’ sights. “The Chinese authorities say they will push to end the rural practice of having strippers perform at funerals. The culture ministry put out a statement condemning as “uncivilized” habit of inviting exotic dancers to induce more people to attend the funeral, the official news agency Xinhua reports. The ministry named two recent examples where strippers had been invited to stage “obscene performances” – one in north China’s Hebei Province and another in east China’s Jiangsu. In both cases, both organizers and performers have been punished, it said, adding that it will work with police to stamp out the practice.”  I suppose, if the stripper were talented enough   …  she could raise the dead!  Personally,  I would prefer an Irish Funeral“Wakes lasted through two or three nights. Food, tobacco, snuff, and liquor were plentiful. Out in the countryside, the liquor served consisted of whiskey or poteen, which is a very potent and illegal Irish homemade brew. Laughter and singing as well as crying filled the air as mourners shared humorous stories involving the deceased. In addition to this seeming merriment, games were played.” 

In 2004, I dropped close to 100 pounds.  I went from a size 48 portly, to a size 36 regular by modifying what I ate.  Here is the diet.   (BBC NEWS)  —  Exercise ‘not key to obesity fight’  “Physical activity has little role in tackling obesity – and instead public health messages should squarely focus on unhealthy eating, doctors say. In an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three international experts said it was time to “bust the myth” about exercise. They said while activity was a key part of staving off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, its impact on obesity was minimal. Instead excess sugar and carbohydrates were key.”  Diets don’t work.  I am living proof that you can lose weight by changing how and what you eat.

What’s with all the suicides lately? (BBC NEWS) —  Child star of US show Everybody. Loves Raymond kills himself.  “Sawyer Sweeten, the child star of hit US show Everybody Loves Raymond, has killed himself.  His family confirmed in a statement that the 19-year-old “took his own life” on Thursday morning.  He is reported by US media to have shot himself on the front porch of the family home in Texas.  Sawyer played Geoffrey Barone in the hit show, which also featured his twin brother Sullivan as Michael Barone and older sister Madylin as Ally Barone.”  Tragic.

Man is the only animal that poops in his own nest!!  (BBC NEWS)  —  Assessment questions plastics’ non-hazardous ranking. “A study has questioned plastic’s non-hazardous ranking, as an estimated 150 million tons “disappears” from the global waste stream each year.  Researchers outlined measures that can be used to shed light on the wider environmental impact of waste plastic. An estimated 150 millions of tons of plastic “disappears” from the global waste stream each year, much of it is believed to end up in the environment  …  “The issue with plastic waste in the environment is that plastic has a non-hazardous ranking,” explained co-author Mark Browne, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  It has the same ranking – at the moment – as food scraps or grass clippings.”  Most of the plastic winds up in the ocean.  The facts:  “Our plastic waste has created a gigantic “plastic soup” in the Pacific of up to 15 million square kilometers – almost the size of Russia.   Over the next 10 years, the plastic soup could double in size. At this speed, the plastic grows as much as 8 football fields every second.  The plastic soup consists mainly of plastic bottles and caps, and, above all, of plastic bags. A good argument for recycling and using bio-degradable bags.  In the plastic soup there are 60 pounds of surface plastic to every one pound of plankton.” Plastic sure isn’t biodegradable “food scraps or grass clippings”. Plastic is recyclable.  Why not build a ship that can suck up this plastic soup, grind it down and sell it?

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, waiting for Susan to come home and listening to the evening news.  On the news?  53% say the Boston bomber should be put to death.  And possible Democrat Presidential candidates distance themselves from Obama:  Biden, Iran Deal is not a “Grand Bargain”.  How will the Chief Justice John Roberts rule? “The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could decide whether gay and lesbian couples nationwide have the constitutional right to marry.”  We will spend the weekend going through our “stuff” and decide what we will keep and what we will sell.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Either a meat loaf or a grilled ribeye, with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob.  The movie? “Mercenary Absolution [2015]”

 

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is certainly not my intent.  I remain nicotine free. As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri and the Editorial Staff)

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April 17, 2015

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of April 17, 2015.  Had a really, really strange revelation this week.  An interesting, (no doubt insane), insight.  Life is form of energy.  Energy can not be created nor destroyed   … it only changes form.  When changed into this form, we became one half of what we are meant to be.  This life is to find the other half.

I have 12 contested cases left to finish off and Ft Timmerman and it’s contents left to be sold.  I have a denied Agent Orange claim review, pending with the VA.   They recognize ALS, diabetes, heart attack and prostrate cancer to be Agent Orange related.  But killer hypertension, stroke, a brain tumor, macular degeneration and peripheral neuropathy … are not.  I have NO FAMILY HISTORY of any such maladies!  Why would I suffer from them?  I was drafted in 1967, (and enlisted to get a better MOS, (Military Occupational Specialty))   …   I wrote a blank check to my America with the understanding, should something happen to me as a result of serving   …  my America would write a check, (compensate), to me.  I remain waiting.

As a society, we owe our men and women in uniform the best medical care we can provide.   (Reuters Health) —  Childhood vaccination rates may be lower for military kids. “Children with parents in the military may have lower vaccination rates than other kids, according to a large U.S. survey.  Even with socioeconomic factors taken into account, parents’ memories and doctors’ records suggested that more military children under age three weren’t up-to-date on their childhood vaccinations: 28 percent, compared with about 21 percent of other kids, researchers reported in Pediatrics.”  Why are service members children not being immunized?  It’s not like they have to make an appointment at the VA!

Nicotine remains the primary cause of bladder cancer! “Researchers have long known that NNN (N-Nitrosonornicotine) is a potent cancer causing chemical in animals. They know that nicotine is converted into nornicotine as tobacco ages, and that the curing and storage process somehow transforms nornicotine into the deadly carcinogen NNN. They know that additional NNN is created when tobacco is burned and inhaled by smokers. But imagine their horror upon discovering levels of NNN in the urine of nicotine gum and lozenge users that were 7, 31, 36 and 728 times higher than when smoking.”  So E-cigarettes are safer?  Really??  (BBC NEWS)  — E-cigarette use triples among US teenagers. “The use of electronic cigarettes has tripled in one year among teenagers in the United States, the government reports.  Electronic cigarettes mimic the effects of real ones, producing a vapor that is less harmful than cigarette smoke.  Increasing numbers of smokers have started using electronic cigarettes since bans on smoking in enclosed public places became more common  …  E-cigarettes flavors include cotton candy and breakfast cereals like Cap’n Crunch  …  But the vapor usually contains nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes.”  I remain 26 months nicotine free.  42,259 ciggybutts not smoked   …  $6,867.00 saved  …  and 117 days added to my life.  I am acutely aware, I remain 1 puff away from being a 3 pack a day addict again.

In other medical news?  (BBC NEWS)  —  Divorcees ‘have more heart attacks’. “Divorcees are more likely to have a heart attack than their peers who stay married, US research suggests.  An analysis of 15,827 people showed women were worst affected, and barely reduced the risk if they remarried.  The study, published in the journal Circulation, argued that chronic stress, linked to divorce, had a long-term impact on the body. The British Heart Foundation called for more research before divorce is classed as a major heart risk. We already know that the death of a close loved one can greatly increase the risk of a heart attack.”  Interesting study!  Why are divorced women more at risk than men   …  and why does remarrying not reduce the risk? Perhaps, having suffered a broken heart, women are less able to mend? 

Who knew??  (BBC NEWS)  —  The Victorian craze that sparked a mini-sexual revolution. “Roller-skating is a long-established hobby, allowing for exercise and fresh air. But was its original popularity partly down to a desire for more romantic freedom?  It is a truth universally acknowledged that taking one’s potential mother-in-law on a date is a bad idea. Pity the upper- and middle-class Victorians, whose every romantic move, at a dance or a soiree, was monitored by their elders. There was little means of escaping this stultifying atmosphere until, in 1863, the American inventor James Leonard Plimpton patented a four-wheeled roller skate that was capable of turning  …  By the mid-1870s, a craze for indoor roller-skating had come to Britain, with 50 rinks in place in London at one point   …   “The skating rink is the neutral ground on which the sexes may meet,” reported Australia’s Port Macquarie News of goings-on in London and elsewhere, “without all the pomp and circumstances of society  …  Holding hands and whispering sweet nothings became easier without Mother Grundy – a contemporary term for a stern matriarch – and her ilk tagging along.”  Human nature is human nature!  Hormone driven young people will find a way to roll along and play!!

For most of us, the family dog is one of the family.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Dogs can bond like babies. “Eye contact between a mother and her baby strengthens their attachment by activating the so-called ‘love hormone’ – oxytocin – in the mother’s brain.  This drives emotional bonding between parent and offspring by encouraging both nurturing and interactive behaviors. Studies have shown that stroking or making eye contact with a dog can trigger a similar release of oxytocin in a human’s brain.  Now a team of Japanese scientists have found that the “mutual gaze” between dogs and their owners can lead to a bond that is similar to that between a mother and child, with humans experiencing the same feelings of affection for their dogs as they might do for their family, therefore helping to bring the species closer.”  The dogs really are Susan’s babies.

Global warming will force a change in diet!  (BBC NEWS)  —  Warmer seas ‘may change fish menus’. “Warming seas will push traditional fish favorites off the British menu, a study suggests. Fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole will decline as the North Sea warms by a predicted 1.8 degrees over 50 years, say scientists. But other species such as John Dory and red mullet will shift their range into UK waters, according to modeling work  …  The classic fish and chips enjoyed by previous generations could be replaced by the likes of sardines and squid, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.”  You know  …  sardines and chips does not sound as appetizing as “Fish and Ships”. 

And talk about your game going down the toilet!  (BBC NEWS)  —  Chess player out of competition after toilet phone use.  A chess grandmaster has been expelled from an international tournament after he was discovered using a Smartphone in the toilet to check his moves. Gaioz Nigalidze could face a three-year ban if the complaint against him is upheld.  The reigning Georgian national champion was playing Armenian Tigran Petrosian in the sixth round at the Dubai Open.  Petrosian alerted officials after noticing that his opponent was visiting the bathroom at regular intervals.  Nigalidze was apparently using the same cubicle each time for ten minutes or more, arousing his rival’s suspicions.   When the player emerged from the toilet, officials discovered a Smartphone wrapped in toilet tissue and buried in the bin.”   Going to the “John” on a regular basis during a chess match would arouse suspicions   …  wouldn’t it? Course  …  so would breaking wind.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, the dogs hunkered down by the door   …  enjoying the breeze flowing through the house.  A dear Friend asked me yesterday, what our Bar could do, to make the practice of law better/easier for Solo and Small Firm lawyers.  My reply?  “A vacation rule that would encourage them to have a family life.”  Rueben Shelton, our Bar President, posted to the SFIG:  “I hope you continue to communicate with me. I need to hear from you and I enjoy it very much. You can email me anytime at rshelton@mobar.org.”  Want a vacation rule?  E-mail him.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Steak, Baked Potato and Corn on the Cob. The movie? “Mortdecai [2015]”

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is certainly not my intent.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri and the Editorial Staff)

 

 

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April 10, 2015

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of April 10, 2015. Swallowed my chewing  gum    …  today   …  and wondered.  If it was “bubble gum”   …  could I blow bubbles with my butt?

And speaking of “breaking wind”:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Acidic oceans helped fuel extinction.  “Acidic oceans helped fuel extinction Acidic oceans helped fuel the biggest mass extinction in the history of life on Earth, a study says.  The exact causes behind the Permian-Triassic mass extinction have been much debated. Two separate pulses of CO2 into the atmosphere – a “one-two punch” – may have helped fuel the die-off, new research suggests. Changes to ocean acidity would have been one of the consequences, according to the study in Science journal.”  No doubt, ocean acidity reached critical mass,  when the dinosaur population increased to a point where the methane they generated was absorbed by the oceans and could not be sufficiently diluted.

As I have shared before   …  I had an “out of body experience” in 1966   …  I had the top of my head ripped off in an automobile accident.  My experience was “walking into the light”.  Fascinating article!!  (BBC NEWS)  —  The seven ways to have a near-death experience. “Seeing a light and a tunnel may be the popular perception of death, but as Rachel Nuwer discovers, reports are emerging of many other strange experiences  …  But Sam Parnia, a critical care physician and director of resuscitation research at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, along with colleagues from 17 institutions in the US and UK, wanted to do away with assumptions about what people did or did not experience on their deathbeds. It is possible, they believe, to collect scientific data about those would-be final moments. So for four years, they analyzed more than 2,000 cardiac arrest events – moments when a patient’s heart stops and they are officially dead. Of those patients, doctors were able to bring 16% back from the dead, and Parnia and his colleagues were able to interview 101 of them, or about a third. “The goal was to try to understand, first of all, what is the mental and cognitive experience of death?” Parnia says. “And then, if we got people who claimed auditory and visual awareness at the time of death, to see if we are able to determine if they really were aware    …   Others, however, experienced the opposite sensation, with 22% reporting “a feeling of peace or pleasantness”. Some saw living things: “All plants, no flowers” or “lions and tigers”; while others basked in the glow of “a brilliant light” or were reunited with family. Some, meanwhile, reported a strong sense of deja-vu: “I felt like I knew what people were going to do before they did it”. Heightened senses, a distorted perception of the passage of time and a feeling of disconnection from the body were also common sensations that survivors reported.”  Those of us who are persons of faith and have a fundamental understanding of physics, know life is a from of energy and therefore can not be created or destroyed   …  it only changers form.  An absolutely fascination lecture:  “Gary Habermas will address the definition of death, and then set parameters for potential afterlife evidence. In looking at testimonies of near death experiences in each of the categories that we will have established, we will discuss the nature of this data and what we can learn about a potential afterlife.” 

And how many BILLIONS of dollars have we paid Pakistan in the “War on Terror”?  (BBC NEWS)  —  Mumbai attack suspect Lakhvi released on bail in Pakistan. The suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, has been released on bail from a Pakistani jail, officials say.  Jail officials in Rawalpindi said Mr Lakhvi was released on Friday morning. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called the release “unfortunate and disappointing”, Indian media reports say.  Mr Lakhvi had been granted bail in December, but was kept in detention under public order legislation.  That detention was declared void by the High Court, which ordered his release.  Mr Lakhvi still faces trial – along with six other suspects – over the attacks, which left 166 people dead and damaged peace efforts between the two countries.”  Share with me   …  what are the odds that this pilgrim will show up for his court dates? And further proof of Pakistan’s commitment to the “War on Terror”?  “Pakistan’s parliament has decided against military involvement in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, after days of debate. Lawmakers voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that “Pakistan should maintain neutrality” in Yemen.” 

And a further example of this Administrations foreign policy triumphs, while Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Germany to bring 100 mothballed tanks back into service. “Germany plans to bring 100 mothballed tanks back into service in what is widely seen as a response to rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine. The tanks were sold to industry as part of defense cuts after the Cold War.  The German defense ministry said it would spend $24m) on bringing its total of tanks to 328.  Nato officials agreed in February to create a quick-reaction force to meet the challenges posed by the Ukraine crisis and by Islamic extremists. Nato defense ministers have also agreed to more than double the size of the alliance’s Response Force.”  I wonder what other foreign policy triumphs we can expect if Hilary is elected President in 2016?

Got news.  If it were my dog?  The “local animal chapter” would want to increase it’s property damage insurance and reduce it’s deductible.  (CNN MONEY)  —   Dogs killed over unpaid fines. “California resident Gerilynn Aflleje was horrified when her 4-year-old Siberian Husky mix was killed by a local animal shelter over $180 in fees that she couldn’t afford. Her dog, Chunk, had been dropped off at the Stockton shelter after getting lost in 2013, she later explained at a city council meeting. When Aflleje discovered her dog there less than a week later, she said the shelter demanded $180 within 24 hours for storing Chunk. Unemployed, Aflleje couldn’t get the money in time. “We didn’t only lose our pet. We lost a family member,” she said.”  As for me?  I would be lighting candles at Mass, praying the “local animal chapter” suffered no unfortunate catastrophic accidents.

I suppose posting on Facebook is a form of publication.  (CNN)  —   Divorce by Facebook: New York woman gets OK to file papers online.  “Facebook may soon need to add “Just got served divorce papers” to its list of relationship statuses now that a New York judge has said the social media site is an acceptable way for a Brooklyn woman to serve her husband with a summons for divorce.  Ellanora Arthur Baidoo has been trying to divorce her husband for several years, according to her attorney, Andrew Spinnell. But, Spinnell said, he and his client haven’t been able to find Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku  to serve him the papers. Baidoo has been able to reach her husband by phone and “he has told her that he has no fixed address and no place of employment,” according to court documents.”  I suppose the real issue is whether the court gets In Rem or In Personam jurisdiction. 

And the bad news for my Lady Friends who pluck their ‘staches!! (BBC NEWS)  — Plucking hairs ‘can make more grow’. “Plucking hairs in a precise pattern can make even more pop up in their place, a US study suggests.  Playing with the density of hair removed altered how serious an injury the body recognized and in turn how much hair regrew.  The team managed to regenerate 1,300 hairs by plucking 200, in the study using mice reported in Cell journal.”  Keep plucking and you’ll grow a bigger mustache/ beard than Phil Robertson!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings.  The game plan, once I get some kind of VA Benefit   …  is for Susan and I to move to Pascagoula, Mississippi.  She has all her family, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and father there.  Something happens to me, (being 15 years older), I want her to be around family.  We have started going through the “stuff” we have accumulated   …  and filled a dumpster.  I have a BUNCH of law books which will probably have to be burned, since, from a practical standpoint    … who would have a use for a set of 1996 VAMS, (Vernon’s Annotated Statutes).  Will also torch 30 years of client files.  It is amazing to me, how much JUNK we have accumulated.  Once we have gone through the “stuff”, thrown the junk away, separated out the “stuff” we want to keep   …  we will have an auction.  No Sunday Lunch and a Movie.  Susan has to work.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is certainly not my intent. I continue to remain nicotine free.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri and the Editorial Staff)

 

 

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April 3, 2015

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of April 3, 2015.   Gay folks argue, they should be granted the legal rights, married folks enjoy.  “Equal Rights”.  They may wish to reconsider.  Don’t think they want to assume the marital obligations, unless they are imbeciles. Spent some time this week doing a benefit/cost analysis of dissolving Susan and I’s marriage.  ABSOLUTELY  …  Susan and I will finish our lives together.  THAT WILL NOT CHANGE.  Looking at what our Government offers in tax savings and social “incentives”   …  (chuckling)   …  and an incredible desire to “play the system”   …  and get back some of the money, I have paid into the system over the last 30+ years.   I have medical coverage through the VA.  Susan has private insurance through her employer   …  80% covered, and we, (me, due to furnishment of necessaries), are on the hook for the other 20%.  So much for Obamacare.  Susan is a Type I, insulin injecting diabetic, with 50% remaining kidney function, legally blind in one eye and overall extremity neuropathy.  We are one major diabetic episode away from a bankruptcy.   Dissolution?  Susan’s income would qualify her for Medicaid   …  the marital benefits, right of sepulcher, “pass on death” provisions, tenancy by the entireties survivor benefits, etc. can be covered contractually.  Not covered?  Social Security survivor benefits, Susan would get about ½ of what I get   …  but would receive my benefit when I pass..  Also, VA benefits, (should I get any   …  although, the $250.00 burial benefit wouldn’t even cover a cremation!!).  Interesting cost analysis.

Interesting medical news:  (BBC NEWS)  —  1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA. “A 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, experts have said.  Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow’s stomach.  They were “astonished” to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA.”  When I was growing up and developed a sorer throat, my mother would boil an onion, mix in salt and honey and make me gargle with it. Perhaps, some of these “old time” remedies need to be investigated!

Talk about having skin in the game!!  (BBC NEWS)  — Uganda male circumcision truck brings hope on HIV. “Uganda’s mobile circumcision truck has one clear goal: to get as many men and boys as possible circumcised safely.  According to the team, they have helped more than 80,000 undergo the procedure in the past five years.  Looking from the outside you would not expect much.  It is a 20ft container mounted on to a trailer. What could betray its purpose are the paintings on its sides showing people visiting a health facility   …   According to the World Health Organization, male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual men getting HIV by approximately 60%.  But for many in Uganda, getting it done is not easy, mainly because there are not enough safe facilities and it can be expensive.”  I did not know being circumcised reduces the rick of getting HIV by 60% in heterosexual males.  Using condoms reduces the risk by 80%     …   and not having sex or using needles   …  reduces the risk by 99%.  Being trapped on a deserted island   …   reduces the risk to 100%, (unless you get “involved” with the local wild life.)   Who knows where they have been!

Nature news.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Monkeys ‘hinder India internet drive’.  “Macaque monkeys appear to have become an unlikely roadblock in the development of internet services in the northern Indian city of Varanasi.  The authorities in Varanasi have been increasing the network of optical fibre cables as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan of improving internet services in India. The federal government has planned to lay 700,000 kms (434,960 miles) of broadband cable to connect India’s 250,000 village clusters within three years. But officials in the city in Uttar Pradesh state are struggling to stop monkeys from eating the fibre-optic cables, the Reuters news agency reports.”  Obviously the Macaque monkeys are trying to figure out how to surf the web.  They read up on it   …  and misunderstood the reference to data bytes.

One of the reasons I remain opposed to the death penalty, EXCEPT for prisoners who kill while in prison.  (BBC NEWS)  — Alabama death row inmate freed after 30 years.  “Anthony Ray Hinton, 58, was convicted of murdering two restaurant managers in Birmingham in 1985, but was granted a new trial last year.  Tests on bullets found at the crime scene could not be connected to a gun found at Mr Hinton’s home, prompting prosecutors to drop the case.  His lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, said his client was convicted because he could not afford better legal counsel.  Walking out of the Jefferson Country Jail in Birmingham, Mr Hinton hugged family members and said: “Thank you, Jesus.””  Beside the economic issue:   imposing the death penalty is way more expensive than sentencing a person to life in prison without parole   …  the taking of human life is immoral but justifiable to preserve human life.  You can’t fix executing an innocent person. 

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, Susan in bed, reading one of her “Blouse Snatcher” romance novel.  You know   …  a non-kinky “50 Shades of Grey”.   Easter Sunday is a day away.  I plan on cooking Meat Loaf, mashed potatoes and peas.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is certainly not my intent. I continue to remain nicotine free.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri and the Editorial Staff)

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March 27, 2015

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of March 27, 2015.  Not a whole lot to chat about this week.  Sunday will be Susan’s birthday   …  I offered to take her out for lunch to celebrate. She declined. She would rather stay home  …  just the two of us, with me fixing sauerkraut, boiled potatoes and corned beef.  Doubt, she will even change out of her PJ’s.  Just spend the day scrapbooking and making cards.  Interesting   …  how we can spend the whole day together   …  her in her “craft room” and me working on images on my “workstation”   …   and not say anything to each other for hours.  It’s as if our two hearts are linked and chat.  We don’t really need to say anything out loud.  Knowing our hearts are beating in the next room   …  is enough. She really is my only need.

As a male lesbian  …  I have to admit    …  I love the female form:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Breastfeeding ‘linked to higher IQ’. “A long-term study has pointed to a link between breastfeeding and intelligence.  The research in Brazil traced nearly 3,500 babies, from all walks of life, and found those who had been breastfed for longer went on to score higher on IQ tests as adults.  Experts say the results, while not conclusive, appear to back current advice that babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months.“  Well   …  I guess this proves that you need to munch on a boob for the first months of life   …  to avoid BEING a boob later on.

Frankly   …  not a job I care to sign up for:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Gold in feces ‘worth millions’. US researchers are investigating ways to extract the gold and precious metals from human feces. The group identified gold in waste from American sewage treatment plants at levels which if found in rock could be worth mining. Details were outlined at the 249th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver. Extracting metals from the waste could also help curb the release of toxic substances into the environment. “The gold we found was at the level of a minimal mineral deposit,” said co-author Dr Kathleen Smith, from the US Geological Survey (USGS).  In addition to gold and silver, human waste also contains amounts of rare earth metals such as palladium and vanadium.”  Obviously  …  you wouldn’t be standing there with a sifting pan.  Makes me wonder   …  how did gold and silver or rare earth metals wind up in our feces?

Service is service.  We also have 4 legged veterans  …  and when they pass   …  they also deserve our respect. (TOLEDO NEWS)  —  Bomb-sniffing dog honored for service to country. “There was a unique military memorial service Sunday at the Dunberger American Legion Post in Oregon.  The soldier being honored was Bernie, a thirteen-year-old bomb sniffing Belgian Malinois. Her rank was sergeant. Prayers were said and there was a 21-gun-salute, a hero’s sendoff for Sgt. Bernie of the Marines. There was hardly a dry eye in the crowd. “She’s a Marine. Unless you are a Marine, you just don’t understand camaraderie,” said Corky Walters of the post. Sgt. Bernie served three combat tours of duty in Iraq. Along the way, she saved countless lives by sniffing out roadside bombs.”  Bernie passed away   …  in her time, loved by her “handler” and his family.  She became family.  ALL of our service dogs deserve the same. ‘Nuff said.

As a German, I have Zero tolerance for this kind of ignorant crap.  Period.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Six arrested after Stamford Hill synagogue attack.  “Six people have been arrested after a group forced its way into a synagogue in what police have described as an “anti-Semitic” incident.  Police said the drunk men had just left a nearby party and tried to get into the synagogue in Stamford Hill, north London, in the early hours of Sunday.  One man was punched in the face as he tried to stop them. The six were held for public order offences and assault. Police said one man had made an anti-Semitic comment.”  Desecrating a house of worship, ANY house of worship, is a hate crime“In the UK, all the statistics for religiously motivated hate crime have been moving in the wrong direction.  Last week’s figures from the Community Security Trust, an expert body monitoring anti-Semitism in the UK, make grim and record-breaking reading. Anti-Semitic incidents more than doubled to 1,168 in 2014, the highest figure since the trust began monitoring in 1984. The previous year had been the lowest on record. There were 314 incidents in July alone – the highest recorded in a single month.”  These wastes of skin need to be introduced to a blind Mohel who believes in doing his job using a used razor blade   …  preferably one, used by his wife to shave her legs.

Our President has a history of REALLY good foreign policy analysis and decisions  …  like ISIS is the “Junior Varsity”.  (BBC NEWS)  —   Obama says prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace are ‘dim’. “US President Barack Obama says prospects for a two-state solution in the Middle East are “dim” after the Israeli prime minister vowed to oppose a Palestinian state.  Mr Netanyahu’s statements angered the White House, even though he has since tried to soften his remark.  Tensions between the US and Israel have been growing as the leaders have wrangled over a number of issues.  But Mr Obama described his relationship with Mr Netanyahu as “businesslike.”  Prospects are dim because the Palestinians are under no pressure to reach a settlement   …  and they believe they are winning the world opinion war.  They are.

WASHINGTON (AP) —  Gowdy: Clinton wiped email server clean, deleted all emails. “Hillary Rodham Clinton wiped her email server “clean,” permanently deleting all emails from it, the chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said Friday. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said the former secretary of state has failed to produce a single new document in recent weeks and has refused to relinquish her server to a third party for an independent review, as Gowdy has requested. Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, said Gowdy was looking in the wrong place. Instead of asking Clinton for the emails, Gowdy should look to the State Department, which is “uniquely positioned to make available any documents responsive to your requests,” Kendall said.”  Except Clinton didn’t use the State Department server.  She had her own private one. She only turned over Emails SHE deemed relevant.  Obviously, the law doesn’t apply to the Clintons. 

As is often the case, reasonable, honorable people can having differing opinions.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Indiana boycott urged after ‘religious freedom’ law passes. Activists have encouraged a boycott of Indiana after the US state enacted a “religious freedom” law, which they say discriminates against gay people. Supporters say the law prevents the state from forcing people to provide services contrary to their religion. Similar bills are being considered across the US as court rulings have made gay marriage legal in more states. Several groups plan to do less business with the state, and celebrities criticized the law on Twitter.”  So in Indiana, a staunch Roman Catholic Pharmacist can now refuse to dispense birth control polls?   And the converse?  Absent the law, you can force a Kosher Butcher to dress out pigs?  I suppose that begs the question:  “Why is the law necessary?  What is the State interest in prohibiting folks from refusing to provide services to folks they don’t like?”

Sitting here editing these Ramblings   …  waiting for Susan to make it home.  She has to work until 7.  The weather heads are calling for “snow showers” in the morning.  On the evening news?  The Co-Pilot, Andreas Lubitz, in the Germanwings crash was “unfit for work.  He apparently suffered from severe depression.  Just what you need in an airline pilot. Vietnam opens up revolutionary tunnel for tourism.  Really have no desire to go back and check them out.  The Secret Service tightens rules on drinking and driving.  The new rule?  Don’t hire prostitutes  …  but if you do   …  don’t drink and drive.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is certainly not my intent. I continue to remain nicotine free.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri and the Editorial Staff)

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