Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Argument for Pro-Choice Made to an Anti-Abortionist

I applaud your passion. I would like to encourage you to join me in fighting for the living child, who's already here and needing help.

Contraception is far preferable to abortion:

Every study shows that when contraception is shown in sex education classes, and when sex education is taught, teen birth rates go down. Every study shows that when women are more educated, the number of children they bare goes down. Any desire to reduce teen pregnancy or to reduce the number of poor children, would strive to increase sex education and college bound women.

I don't know why Christian conservatives seem to prefer preaching Abstinence rather than a more complete sex education especially since the latter is better at preventing teen pregnancy. I don't know why the GOP is reducing monies for higher education at this time, which will, statistically speaking, increase the birth rate at a time when we don't have enough jobs for the existing population. Decisions have consequences, as you point out. The GOP seems to be in favor of increasing the population among teenagers and less educated mothers.

Families cannot afford to be large anymore:

You said we have been an irresponsible society, and I absolutely agree. This has been especially so since the conservative upheaval/rebellion in 1980. This was the beginning of "Greed is GOOD" when the culture/society began to encourage those on top to take it all, without any regard for their neighbors, their employees, or their environment. This is when the good paying jobs for those without a college education began to diminish.This is when small corporations were bought out or sold out to large corporations who then fired 60% of the employees in order to increase profits. This is when those at the bottom of the middle class began to merge with the poor. And, in terms of our arguments, this is when the American family became less able to afford any additional child.

I went to Catholic school, and many of my friends had 10 to 13 children in their families and we had great times so I am not against large families, but that was in the 1950's when the average family income was more than it is now and most wives were able to stay at home to care for their children. This is no longer true. In the 1980's it cost $100,000 to raise a child. My sister had 2 children, and my brother had two children, and in both cases the husbands had vasectomies after the second child.

As a social worker, many of the families I see are headed by a single woman, often on Public Assistance. I remember hearing a nun talk about the pregnant teen girls she counsels, and she explained that most of them reported that they had a child to give them the love that they were missing from their own childhood. Sometimes the women I see are these teens grown up, and now they are living on public assistance with 4 or more children. Sometimes they are good moms, and sometimes they are overwhelmed and have no idea how to feed and clothe their children when each new birth pushed them further below the poverty line.

I salute you for being liberal about birth control, but these are the mothers who don't use contraception or have abortions, because they are hoping that each new man will become the man of their dreams and take care of his family. You can imagine, I'm sure, how many of these men actually stay to care for their child and the 3 or 4 previous children. And, how many of these men will have vasectomies to prevent additional births? Are we, as a society, going to make a commitment to their children? Obama is trying to make such a commitment to education so that these children will do better in spite of growing up in a housing project or shelter.

Families in Distress:

I am a social worker, so I see many families in distress. I would just like to introduce to the conversation, that pregnancy and birth are not always as beautiful and sacred as you describe. Sometimes a family becomes homeless through no fault of their own. Sometimes a husband leaves, or an educated mother finds that she has to leave her employment because a child is born with severe birth defects. Some of these families are heroic, but life for the children growing up in a shelter or an overcrowded situation where mom had to move her husband and 3 toddlers back into Mom's apartment with two bedrooms, and now 4 grownups and 2 teenagers.

And, then there is the educated, employed mom who gives birth to a child with a birth defect. The old medical insurance rules allowed private insurance companies to deny insurance to such a child. I have seen moms who were professional women have to quit their jobs so their family could go on Medicaid. One Mom had quadruplets for her first pregnancy; they were born premature, and two caught a life threatening infection, Staphylococcus Aurelius while in the NICU. Her private health insurance quickly ran out -- life time maximum for those two children, and mom had to put everyone on Medicaid.

Medicaid allows their child to have the operations or the care or the equipment necessary to keep him/her alive. Their husbands will have to leave so they can keep their beginning level jobs, pay their school loans, and continue to supply $$ to the Mom and her children. If the husband stays, the family earns too much to be eligible for Medicaid and the children will die.

The new HCR rules prevent private insurance companies from doing this. The mom could keep her job, and the husband could stay home to help with his family. But, if conservatives have their way, we will be back to the scenario above. Is there some reason that conservatives want families to be in distress?

YOU Choose between A Woman's Right to Choose an Abortion or a Society Choosing to Protect Living Children:

Many Republicans now claim the "personal responsibility" card and deny that society has any responsibility for poor or disabled children. Now, I am not arguing for abortion, but I am arguing for a woman's right to choose her health, and for the health of her family. I'm making this argument, because our society chooses to abandon the children who are born to unfortunate circumstances. We don't have national health care, so those who have children who need extraordinary care end up on Welfare with their whole family. Oh, they also end up without the dad who earns too much to allow his children to have Medicaid.

When we have national health care, and offer jobs for all, then I will agree that Roe v Wade can have very limited use. Until then, I will not require a Mom and Dad to choose to destroy their family to make up for one mistake, or one birth defect, or the illness of a parent.

When society chooses to have better schools, and to repair neighborhoods where half the children of the poor or jobless are not being killed before they are 20 years old, or developing PTSD from watching their cousins, brothers and friends be killed or sent to prison, then I will agree that Roe v Wade can have very limited use.

I applaud your passion. I would like to encourage you to join me in fighting for the living child, who's already here and needing help. Sometimes it takes more than a mother -- it takes a community to support a child. But, for that we all have to make the higher choice.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tax Rates and Revenue: Putting Reaganomics to Bed Once and For All


What About Population Growth?

Those who talk about tax revenue going up or down, or the GDP going up and down, never include population statistics. It makes all the other talk silly, because since 1947, the US population has more than doubled. It stands to reason, that this accounts for more jobs and more consumers, thus increasing GDP and tax revenue no matter what the government does. So, the best we can do is to look at relative changes, or where the trend was going before it changed. It should always go up at at least this rate of population growth.

When We Talk About Tax Revenue, Are We Talking About Personal Taxes or Corporate Taxes Or Both?

This also makes a difference. If we look at the difference that lowering personal income taxes has made from Reagan on, we see both ups and downs with most of the downs occurring in the last 10 years from GW Bush through the present. There is a flattening during Bush senior when he raised taxes to stop the growth of the Federal deficit, and then it improves again as a result of the Clinton era economic growth.

But, you will never see the GOP make the point that during Reagan's first 4 years, personal income tax revenue was flat to a little down between 1982 and 1983. Unemployment was at 9.5% in 1982. Reagan lowered the top tax rate from 70% to 50% in 1981, and lowered it again in 1986 to 28% which increased the National Debt far more than it increased revenue. We don't see any wondrous increase in the tax revenue in this graph, do we? Not until the Clinton years.

The National Debt went from 33% in 1980 to 51.9% of GDP by the end of 1988. And, to cover the debt, we increased borrowing from $700 billion to $3 trillion and went from being the world's largest creditor nation to being the world's largest debtor nation. This is far more evident in the graph below. This is the result of Reaganomics.

During Reagan's administration, it is recorded that Federal receipts grew at 8.2%, but since 2.5% of that was his increase in Social Security receipts, his income tax receipts grew at only 5.7% and his Federal outlays grew at 7.1%. This is why our National Debt increased. In Reagan's defense, most of this was an increase in Defense spending, bringing the defense budget back to where it had been at the end of the Vietnam conflict even though we weren't at war. Why do I say, "In Reagan's defense"? Because the GOP does not seem to count DOD expenses in the budget. When the GOP talks about reducing the Federal Budget, they are not talking about the DOD portion.

According to a United States Department of the Treasury economic study, the major tax bills enacted under Reagan, in the short term, significantly reduced (~-1% of GDP) government tax receipts. Separated out, however, it is clear that the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 was a massive (~-3% of GDP) decrease in revenues over the long term.

Corporate taxes were decreased during the Reagan era which not only contributed to the Federal deficit, but also shifted the Tax burden from almost 50% to 50%, individuals and corporations, to largely a burden on individuals. Note that the left side of this graph below are the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson years.

The drop below 30% represents the Nixon, Ford, Carter to Reagan period. And, although the original Tea Party was a revolt against the secret deal between King George and the British East India Company, this Tea Party does not even know that it was conned by it's favorite president -- Reagan. Once corporate share of tax revenue dropped below 20%, only Clinton's boon got it back to a tiny bit over 20% again. Bush's war chest raised it above 20%, but wasn't that our billions, or, more correctly, China's billions which were lavished on the military industrial complex coming back in some tax revenue? I suspect that this is a large part of the distress felt by the members of the Neo-Tea Party. Individuals are now carrying the burden which was previously shared more equitably with Corporations.

The Shift From A Manufacturing Country to a Financial Country:

Reagan not only moved us from being a Creditor nation, to being a Debtor nation, but he made possible the transition from being a manufacturing and exporting nation, to being a financial and importing nation. It is this that allowed our banks to become "too big to fail." He encouraged the banks to offer credit cards, which increased their revenue stream, and gave consumers a way to increase their life style even though their wages were flat. This was the Reagan mystique. Middle class Americans felt they were in a boon time, when only the wealthiest 2% were actually doing better. There was no boon. There was an enormous increase in the debt of individual Americans which fueled business recovery at that time and our recent financial collapse.

This change from being a manufacturing and exporting country to being a financial and importing country is the reason we weren't able to add armor to our Hummers in Iraq. We aren't making steel any longer. We import it from China and Japan. Does this make you feel safe?

This change is also one of the reasons that our balance of trade is skewed in the wrong direction.

What Do We Need to Change?

Obama's investment in the research and development of green products: batteries, cars, solar and wind turbines and storage facilities is an attempt to create a new product line that can be manufactured in the USA. This may make up for any decrease in funding to the military-industrial complex.

This will not only create jobs when new products are ready to build, but it will increase revenue through both individual and corporate taxes, and will also help to correct our balance of trade. This will give us a way to correct the deficit that was launched by Reaganomics.

Tea Partiers, we welcome you to our side. Let's support policy that will move all of America forward rather than burying her beneath a mountain of debt to make the top 2% of Americans gluttonously wealthy. How much does a man need after the first billion dollars?

A billion dollars is $1,000,000,000, or enough to give away $1 million dollars, each month for 83 years and that is if the 1 billion isn't in a bank or invested in any way. They could buy 5 new Bentleys a month for as long as they lived. Or, they could pay all the expenses of Presidential candidate at the rate Barack Obama spent, for the next 10 presidential elections without a single other contributor.

The final insult, is that those earning a billion dollars are too often not producing anything. The top 12 hedge fund managers last year EACH earned more than a billion dollars and the top man earned more than $7 billion. This did nothing for our balance of trade, or our unemployment. Nothing was produced. Nothing was built. Nothing was discovered. Yet, 12 men now have the power to buy 10 presidents. Buying a few Congressmen was just the beginning.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The New Health Insurance Bill is Starting

What is it about the health care bill that you don't like? People keep hollering about it, but it doesn't do anything that wasn't needed.

1 All Americans will have to have health care insurance. If private insurance is so good (as tea Party argued when I was fighting it) then won't the prices go down when more consumers enter the market? This is a rule of capitalism isn't it? When the market expands, the product becomes more efficient and the prices go down. This will make life a little easier for everyone.

2 Insurance companies must honor their contracts. If they sell health insurance, and a consumer (who has been paying faithfully for years and years) gets sick, they must cover the medical costs within the bounds of their contract. (Ins. companies have always had some procedures or wackado treatments that they didn't cover, and they will still be able to refuse to cover those procedures). This will lower costs of hospitalizations and doctors because they won't be stuck with unpaid health treatments.

3 Businesses need to either pay for their employees insurance, or face a tax penalty. This will insure that corps don't start cutting their employees health coverage just because there will now be a low cost list of insurance companies for those who are currently uninsured.

4 Those who are currently uninsured cost everyone else $$ because they use hospital ER's when they need to, even though they don't have health insurance. I took an older brother without insurance in Miami -- to Jackson Memorial I think it was called. And, we waited from 8 in the morning until 10 at night because there were so many uninsured people who needed health care. (My sister Trish and cousin Leslie, who have always had insurance, were with me and couldn't believe what they were seeing.) The cost of all those people is shared by taxes in the local community, and health ins companies are charged more by the hospitals who must cover those costs and you know who reimburses the insurance company costs -- the consumer of health insurance.

So, when some of those who have to buy insurance because of the new law can't afford it, the government will help them to do so. This will use some tax revenue. Americans have been paying the secret cost through increased insurance premiums anyway, so it really won't be any additional $$. It will make the uninsured at least partially responsible (something Tea Partiers and Libertarians are always advocating) for his family or himself, and it will move the added fiscal responsibility from the hospitals and insurance companies to the Federal Government. This should lower the cost of hospitalization by capitalistic standards since all visits will now be fully paid for.

So, when all is said and done, the costs of medical care should come down if the rules of capitalism are followed. However, if we find that insurance companies and/or hospitals and MDs prefer to add their savings to their profits rather than reimbursing the consumer, then those who have advocated for single payer or socialized medicine will have additional data to add to their arguments. Either way, we will have moved closer to a better health care system.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Problem with the US Oil Policy

Since the Tea-party and Libertarians on Twitter have been talking about "Barak Petroleum Company", I thought I would look into what that would mean.

For-Profit Major Oil Companies vs National Oil Companies

The major private oil companies control only 10% of the world’s existing oil and gas resource base according to the Baker Institute Energy Forum (

Also, according to the Baker study, current producing countries are getting more favorable financial arrangements from national oil companies that look not to profit, but to future geopolitical and strategic aims factored into investments. Thus it is more likely that Asian and Russia national oil companies will be more successful in resource development in the Middle East, and that India’s ONGC and IOC; China’s Sinopec, CNPC, and Malaysia’s Petronas will continue to be more successful in Iran and Africa.

Perhaps it is time for the US to be thinking about a national oil company?

For-Profit Strategy

As an example of holding on to resources rather than developing them, major oil companies including Exxon held on to leases in Alaska at Point Thomson (believed to hold 25% of the known gas reserves in the state) for 31 years and when Alaska sought to reclaim the leases, Exxon sued. BP had attempted to cap Deepwater Horizon rather than putting it online as a producing well. Cementing problems were associated with 18 of 39 blowouts between 1992 and 2006, and 18 of 70 from 1971 to 1991. Oil companies seem to be having trouble with cementing and Deepwater Horizon is the most current and most horrific example of what can go wrong, going wrong.

Why would an oil company sit on an oil reserve rather than developing it? The reason behind any decision made by any international corporation is profit. Clearly it makes sense to hold on to some abundant resources until the price of oil goes up. This is simple supply and demand economics. If oil companies produce all that they can now, the supply will increase more than the demand and the price (and profit) will fall. If oil companies produce just enough now to hold the prices steady enough to keep the world addicted to oil, they will extend demand into the future. If on the other hand, oil companies reduce the supply, causing world prices to increase, the last big consuming countries will find it more economical to finance the research and the changeover to the next source of energy, whether it is solar, wind, thermal or hydrogen.

According to Forbes, of the top four producing reserves in the world today Iraq holds 3. The first on the Forbes list is Ghawar in Saudi Arabia and produces 4.5 million barrels per day. And these Middle Eastern sources are easy to reach without requiring the danger of deep water drilling or the costliness and dirtiness of cleaning Canadian oil sands. Clearly, higher profits are to be had from these easy to produce oil fields. And, these oil fields can produce at a lower cost, thus keeping the cost of oil from these regions low. This is why the "for-profit" oil companies would rather buy from these areas than pump their own oil from US or Canadian oil fields.

The National Policy of the US

Does the US have a national policy? A (secret) policy was developed by Dick Cheney and (secret) associates during the Bush presidency. But, no matter who was there, as long as private international corporations control our oil production we don't have an oil policy controlled by national interests. If, for any reason, the US needs extra oil, there is no way to control the flow. The private oil companies have no reason to do the bidding of either a Democratic President, or a Republican one. The price of oil climbed during the George Bush and Dick Cheney Presidency. (

The only way to have a national oil policy that takes national defense, the natural environment and national growth into consideration is to have a national oil company. (BP has the current contract with the US Pentagon to supply our troops.) The only way to insure safety and thoughtful production is to have and enforce a national oil policy.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere efforts, intelligent direction and skillful execution. Such was the case with the World National Oil Companies Congress”

H.E. Nematzadeh, Ex-Deputy Minister of Petroleum, IRAN and President, NIORDC

BP's liabilities are likely to exceed $20 billion – factoring in the Justice Department's criminal probe , which could bring heavy fines, as well as a gusher of class-action lawsuits. Some estimates have reached as high as $40 billion, and are based on assumptions that the leak continues through the end of the summer, possibly worsened by hurricanes. Oil experts agree that BP may only survive if it takes on a partner; possibly a Chinese partner.

Even if BP makes a sincere effort to restore the Gulf, it cannot restore the livelihood of the fishermen and the seafood restaurants and the charter boats and it cannot replace the lost fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. These creatures will have lost habitat and breeding grounds and breeding stock that will affect the environment for years and years to come from the Gulf, up the eastern coast and across the Atlantic to Ireland and England where the Gulf stream tempers the climate that would otherwise be harsh and damp.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Tea Party Movement

Mindbridge has been interviewing and discussing politics with Tea Partiers for a few years now, although, I used to call them Republicans. The traditional Republicans aren't angry. They were as upset with Bush for his lack of fiscal responsibility as the rest of the country and so they weren't surprised when a Democratic landslide took away their power. Many of them even voted for Obama.

The angry Republicans are the Tea Partiers. These are the Republicans and Independents who listen to the news blaming Obama for the deficit and job loss. These are Republicans and Independents who have bought into the idea that Democratic and Liberal are the same, and that they are also Socialist and sometimes Fascist.

I argued for years, and now I understand the positions of the Tea Party. Here are the definitions according to the Tea Partiers:

  • If you ever wanted to help someone else, or to have someone help out your family or friends, your neighbors or those who are unemployed, you are Socialist.
  • If you ever thought a law should force such generosity, you are a Fascist.
  • If you ever thought that there should be a law to protect the public from corporations that spew toxic sludge into the drinking water, you are a liberal Commie and a Fascist. Why? Because you are costing the Tea Partiers more for the product and there might be job loss because you are restricting the "free market".

The Five Segments of the Tea Party Movement

The Tea Party Movement has 5 distinct segments. It's members are sometimes in one segment, and sometimes in several. Each segment is powerfully fueled by angry emotions.

  1. The fiscal Movement started in the late 80's. There was distress about the growing deficit which was sometimes blamed on Democratic spending, but started with the tax cuts and Reaganomics or Voodoo economics. This was the ignition of Ross Perot's electoral movement. There are multiple reasons for this distress. There was a frightening inflation in the late 70's which lowered middle and lower income people's buying power. The height of buying power for minimum wage jobs was at its zenith in the 60's and has been going down ever since. The reductions in manufacturing jobs started in the 60's, which meant that those non-college educated people have had fewer and fewer middle class jobs to support them. This part of the Tea Party protest is angry about their own fiscal struggles.
  2. There is racism. Racists have targeted liberals and Democrats and "big Government" since Kennedy and Johnson brought the force of the Federal Government against racism in the 60's. More recently, there is the racism that is targeting the Black American who holds the highest position in the Nation, and this makes the Tea Partiers experience rage. Their grotesque depictions of President Obama in social media have shown their disrespect and disdain of the person whom over 64% of the population put in office, and still support.
  3. The birthers are an offshoot of the racists, but have a fake birth certificate to try to prove that Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii. This birth certificate is actually an altered Australian birth certificate. See the two below.
  4. There are anti-abortionists who have targeted any politician who sought to defend the law of the land which allows abortion or who are allowing the Hyde Amendment to insure that no federal money is used to pay for abortion. They want abortions to be stopped altogether.
  5. There are the NRA anti-Gun Control people who have been distressed by increasing gun control, primarily in urban areas where guns crimes are prevalent and public defenders such as police are shot down by automatic weapons. These are the people who are raging with epithets such as RELOAD, CLEAN YOUR GUNS NOW. These are the ones who have caused a shortage on ammunition because they think there's going to be a government confiscation of their weapons.

Failure of the News Media:

The TV news media doesn't earn new listeners by explaining away public distress and helping to create calm. They increase their audience when they show conflict. Public news used to have the mandate to tell the whole truth, and they were never meant to be part of the profits of their corporation. But, since this has changed, we now have the news media covering the greatest conflict because it makes money for their corporate owners and bosses.

During the Bush years, there were peaceful anti-war protests that were not covered in spite of having thousands of protesters. More recently, the Tea Party protests have been covered although they only sport hundreds of protesters because they are loud and misbehaved. Last week there was a protest in DC which had tens of thousands of protesters seeking legislation regarding undocumented immigrants. This was not covered by a single TV news station in spite of the large numbers of protesters. Yet, the few Tea Party members who have advocated violence against Democrats who voted for health insurance reform have gotten a great deal of publicity and notoriety.

MikeVanderboegh published this blog posting: "To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW.”

Vanderboegh is a member of an Alabama militia group who is headlining an open-carry gun rally in Northern Virginia next month. He has time to organize this because he once worked as a warehouse manager but now lives on government disability checks. He said he receives $1,300 a month because of his congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension. The news media doesn't mention that this Tea Partier who is against gun legislation and against health insurance reform is living off government health care and government income for his disability.

The news media fans the flames of dissent. Showing the anger of a few Tea Party members (3 to 3000) and allowing them to air their views without correcting their facts implies to their listeners that these views are true and worth listening to.

The right wing radio and TV commentators all air their talking points taken directly from the right wing think tanks' daily press releases. They consistently promote Ayn Rands idea of "Free Market Capitalism". They hide the fact that when the market was "free" in America, we had a Great Depression which followed the Age of the Robber Barrons. The Free Market rewards big and bigger business and squashes local small business, and it promotes lower and lower wages and does nothing to protect the environment or the local populations from the costs of the waste of this business run in this manner.

The Truth of the Free Market Corporation

The purpose of any corporation is to increase profits. It is not in business to benefit society. It is not in business to offer good wages to workers. It is not in business to protect the environment.

It is the responsibility of government to balance the health of the corporation with the health of society. If the government officials are more influenced by donations of big business than by the needs of society, then we have corporatism. This is the backbone of fascism.

The media is part of the free market, not of government. They also have the fiduciary responsibility to increase profit rather than to protect society. Formerly, there were laws (in exchange for access to the public airwaves) that required their news arms to portray the truth so that the public would have access to accurate information at the local, state and national levels. This accurate information is necessary for an informed electorate who can then make informed decisions when they vote.

This is not what we have now because those laws restricting the media have been removed. As foretold by the movie Network, the news arms of TV Corporations are now required to produce profit. As we all know, conflict and discord produce more profit than peace and calm. Charlie Rose will never have more listeners than Bill O'Reilly or Jerry Springer or Howard Stern, no matter how important their information is. Who then is the more informed voter? What then becomes the public interest?

And, then there is the power of the advertiser. The interests of the advertiser is enforced by their abundance or their withdrawal of advertising. This has a huge effect on the Corporate decisions and on their programming. Phil Donohue had great ratings for MSNBC, but was taken off the air when his anti-war shows opposed the corporate interests of General Electric whose profits would soar from the coming war against Iraq.

Jon Stewart was able to tell the truth of the war against Iraq because he was on Comedy Central and not part of a major network owned by a member of the military industrial complex. When invited to move to another network, he refused.

Not only does the free market internalize profits and externalize costs, it controls the media which controls the facts that the voting population hears. It does this via coordinating its information from the American Enterprise Institute, Informing Corporate Policy and the News Media since the 1970's.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Government Shutdown by Republicans

Why is Senator Jim Bunning Blocking an Extension of Unemployment Benefits to 500,000, Transportation Programs that Employ others, and Medicare Payments to Docs?

This is the grossest misuse of the filibuster. In this case, Bunning was the sole Senator objecting to the bill. His stated objection is that it was not paid for.... Interesting that his party voted down the "Pay as You Go" bill proposed by the Democrats which would have required that equivalent cost cutting or program cutting accompanies each bill.

Rumors are that he also wanted another tax reduction for the wealthiest Americans which is not a bill being brought to the Senate floor. Some think that his filibuster is meant to force the Democrats to give him the tax cuts he wants.

Whatever his reasons, this is not the majority rule that the Republicans demanded between 2000 and 2008 -- an "up or down vote." He has just caused 100,000 Americans to lose their benefits immediately. About 400,000 more will lose their unemployment benefits in two weeks according to the Department of Labor.

If they lose their federal benefits now, even if an extension bill goes through, they might have to reapply which will delay their next check by 3 weeks to 2 months in some states. Many of these are people with families to support.

Senator Dick Durbin proposed making the Senator actually perform his filibuster by standing and talking from Thursday until whenever he would give up.
Many young Senators were prepared to attend the all-night session. This was started on Thursday February 25th, but the unprepared Senator Banning resorted to yelling obscenities at other lawmakers.

Senator Bob Corker
of Tennessee took his defense and reminded the others in attendance that Senator Bunning was 87 years old. Senator Durbin agreed to end the session shortly before midnight, perhaps before Bunning would have a serious health crisis of his own.

Meanwhile, the Republican Senators don't seem to care about an additional 500,000 jobless people will lose ther health insurance subsidies under the Cobra program during the month of March. I wonder if Senator Bunning has considered that there might be some children awaiting life saving surgeries? He is so determined to make his point....

This bill also blocks an extension of Medicare pay increases to docs, which will lower their reimbursements by 21%. Many docs will simply stop seeing Medicare patients which will mean that many seniors will be without the docs they have come to know and to trust. -- Wasn't it the Republicans who keep voting against all the Health Reform bills because "We want Americans to be able to keep their insurance and to keep their docs!" And, didn't they scream out in the late summer, "We don't want our seniors to have their benefits cut!"

Well, all Americans should know that it is the Republicans who are voting against Medicare reimbursement to doctors and voting against the extension of Unemployment, but this is not all.

There is also an extension of the Highway Trust Fund which employs 2,000 employees. These employees have been furloughed since Monday without pay and without the ability to sign up for Unemployment since they are still, technically, employed. The association of State Highway and Transportation officials said states are losing more than $153 million a day in federal reimbursements.

This is only one case, but Republicans this last year have used the filibuster (see chart on cloture voting) more than any other administration. To give you an idea of the changes involved, Democrats held up a total of 10 of George Bush's judicial appointees. Last year one Senator held up 50 of President Obama's appointees because he objected to the President's consideration of Boeing for government contracts. This is Senator Richard Shelby of Lockheed Martin Corporation, oh, excuse me, of Alabama.

Cloture Voting chart thanks to Yglesias of Think Progress. Note that last year Republicans almost doubled even the blockade used during the Bill Clinton presidency. Politics is one thing, but this is affecting millions of Americans in a very harmful way. Those who lose unemployment benefits may have no where to go. The children and seniors who have no health providers to go to may suffer or die.

Perhaps this is a reason to ask for impeachment, not because some political leader cheated on his wife -- but for those who cheat on the American people!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Frodo Baggins Diet, and Disturbing Food Additive No. 2

Letting Go of Weight Right Away

We mentioned in the last article that there are additives that the food industry is including in their recipes. For us, this is a recipe for disaster. As we give them up we can lose belly fat without really dieting. The first is the worst and if you avoid it you will lose weight.

I learned of these recently and have taken two out of my diet and changed the way that I eat in order to repair the damage done. I have already lost 7 pounds in 5 days. I don't believe that this is just water weight. I have given up two addictive substances that were preventing normal sugar and fat processing.

What do the Food Additives Do?

There are addictive food additives that are placed in foods to make them taste better, and as it happens, they all prevent our natural hormones from telling our brain that we have had enough to eat. All 7 of these products cause bloating and inflammation as well as the storing of fat. The worst and most prevalent of these is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). It excites the pancreas and insulin is dispensed into the blood stream to remove the excess sugar. This quick release of insulin causes a quick change of the sugar into fat. This fat is then stored for future energy needs.

I have found, as many have, that every time I dieted, I lost weight but afterward I gained more than I had ever lost. Part of this is that any low calorie or low carb or low fat diet will signal to your body that you are starving. Your body responds by slowing your metabolism. This makes it harder to lose weight. So, we are not advocating any starvation. We advocate just the opposite as you will see below.

Now, I don't eat much food from the inside aisles, such as cereals or crackers and cookies, or cakes and boxed deserts. But, even so, I have had to work hard to avoid HFCS. It is far harder I know for families with young children who want those sweet snacks.

I do eat apple sauce. I thought that apples were safe and healthy. But, once I found out about HFCS, I found that practically every applesauce has this as an ingredient. This in one ingredient that causes bally fat! And, a natural apple has a low glycemic level which means that it doesn't cause insulin to be released. Once insulin is released, the sugar is converted into fat. And, if HFCS has been added, the pancreas becomes active and the fat is placed on your belly or around your heart or liver or pancreas. So, although something like Applesauce which should be a harmless and healthy snack becomes a fat loading, body bloating snack.

Avoiding the First Two Additives will help You to Let Go of Weight

The first of these harmful additives, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has even been added to pet foods. It is highly addictive and shuts down your leptin, which is the hormone that tells you brain that you've had enough to eat. Note what a good idea this is from the standpoint of the Food Industry. We will eat more donuts and more cookies and more soda or fruit juice than we planned or than we need.

Without leptin, you might keep eating until you can't physically push any more food into your stomach. If you have ever come close to finishing a cake or bag of cookies by yourself, you know what I'm talking about.

The second is coffee. Sorry, but the caffeine in coffee prevents fat metabolism. Because of this, coffee drinkers have a harder time breaking down their fat and have to diet or workout even harder than others to drop the same weight.

I am a lifelong coffee lover. I tried to give it up when I heard that US chemical companies didn't stop producing DDT when it was outlawed here. They simply sent it to Latin America where it was sprayed on the coffee harvest.... I weakened and started drinking it again. But this time I think I can do it and stick with it. I just don't like the idea that it keeps the fat on me and harms the farmers who spray the trees and the environment of those trees and probably exposes you to DDT residue.

What is the Frodo Baggins Diet?

The four things I did first:
  1. Eating more frequently, five times a day or every three hours as in the Frodo Baggins Diet will allow leptin to be released when it should be. This will also offset the habitual insulin release when we overeat or when we eat HFCS.
  2. Avoid HFCS
  3. Eat smaller meals balanced with protein (1/2 cup) and low glycemic carbohydrates (1 cup) five times a day and your own natural system will start to let go of fat.
  4. Stop coffee caffeine because this prevents fat processing. Changing to green tea reverses the process and encourages your body to break down fat for energy.

This is not a low calorie or low carb or low fat diet. This is simply spreading out your appropriate calories and carbs throughout the day so that you don't experience hunger. This all day "grazing" will keep your pancreas quiet and your body satisfied. Without hunger or sugar surges, you will stop storing the food you eat. And, eating uses calories. If you are eating 5 times a day, you will use calories to process that food.

Your stomach will shrink back to a normal, healthy size. We tend to overeat when we eat only three times a day and this stretches our stomach. Then, we want to eat until we feel "full." This cycle is stopped the minute we spread our fuel out to 5 times a day.

Your metabolism will speed up because in a few days your body will realize that it is no longer being starved.

However, there is more to it if you are interested. For more on the Frodo Baggins diet, visit here: Mindbridge-LOA

If you want to check out another source, this was a presidential study.

Nancy J. Stremmel is the co-owner and developer of: Mindbridge-LOA, the compendium of information on the Law of Attraction. She is a writer, licensed Social Worker, educator, artist and therapist. She believes that everyone can make the Law of Attraction work for them.

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