Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Harmonic Wealth in giveaways!

Harmonic Wealth as defined by James Arthur Ray is wealth found in all 5 areas of a person's life:

  1. Financial
  2. Relational
  3. Mental
  4. Physical
  5. Spiritual
The harmonic wealth we are talking about today, does not include relational wealth, or possibly physical wealth, but does most certainly include financial, mental and spiritual wealth.

We start with the harmonic wealth pillar: financial wealth.

Hyundai is giving away a "price lock" for gas with every new car sold. This fixes the price of unleaded regular at $1.49/gallon for a year! This program runs until August 31, and they hope to sell more cars than usual during the "dog days of summer." In order to qualify, the customer forgoes $1,000 in rebates.

Eligible vehicles include the Accent, Sonata, Tiburon, Elantra, Elantra Touring, Entourage, Azera, the Santa Fe and the Tuscon and Veracruz. No, this does not include the Panoz or the Shelby Cobra above, but a girl has to have her dreams....

So, with gas prices at $2.87/gallon where I live, what does this mean? I use about 5.25 gallons per day for my commute to the city. (I live in a beautiful farming and fishing community.... Lucky, huh? No. Good manifesting!) So, for a year, I will now spend (if prices stay about where they are) $3872.82. The "gas lock" price will be $2024.74. This is a saving for me of $1848.08. I drive a Toyota 200 miles a day. If the Hyundai doesn't give me close to 38.27miles/gallon, then I might not save as much because I'll be using more gas. Four Hyundai models achieve more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway –Accent, Elantra, Elantra Touring and Sonata. So, will this give me harmonic wealth? A saving for me of $1800 is sweet.

Everyone has to do the math. It's only for one year that you will get these savings. And, it will only really give you savings if you drive A LOT, as I do.... I wonder what a Hyundai's value is as a turn in after one year?

If you're interested, here's how it works. First, you buy a Hyundai. Then you go to hyundai.pricelock.com and register a valid credit card. After enrolling, the customer will receive a Hyundai Assurance-branded card which must be used for future fill-ups. There is another strength to this. I avoid Exxon and other gas stations that have overpriced gas. With this card, if I were traveling, I would be able to get that same $1.49 price anywhere. That would delightful.... This would feel like harmonic wealth for me.

By the way, for more articles on harmonic wealth and other Law of Attraction secrets, go to Mindbridge Passageway and sign up as a subscriber. For this month, you will also get a copy of the ebook, Organic Living as our thank you.

Harmonic wealth pillars: Mental and Spiritual

There is about to be a huge Giveaway by Henry Gold, famous for his Christmas time giveaways known as 117 giveaways. Perhaps you've taken him up on this opportunity for harmonic wealth before?

This Friday, July 3rd, there are 100's of products by the top internet business people being given away. It will feel like Christmas at a Self Development Harrads or Macys with a free credit card!

Many are Law of Attraction products. These include Slumbering Power Archives and the Law of Attraction, Your Inner Wizard, Become a Divine Deliberate Attractor and out Organic Living. There's one on clearing the top 10 limiting beliefs, but we prefer our general clearing book The Slow Guy Always Wins on the One Lane Highway because that clears all limiting beliefs and enables you to receive harmonic wealth in all areas.

Then there are internet business products including products to help you make an ebook, or to help you build an interactive program. There are programs, audios and ebooks on sales and writing. I particularly like Soren Jordansen's Internet Marketing Success Formula There are books on information marketing and tips for affiliates. Have you manifested information? This is truly an information bonanza. This is part of harmonic wealth.

There are experts in NLP and EFT and in productivity. How to Get Things Done Fast with Three Simple Steps. So, don't miss out. Come to Mindbridge to receive your free ebook, Organic Living, and your invitation to the giveaway.

AC Cobra 427 Replica (Euro 427)(011)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Five Reasons for Forex robots and to Invest in Forex.

Forex using Forex robots is the opportunity for anyone wanting to save money for their children, for a new home, for their retirement or for grown up toys such as a sports car or a large boat.

There are five main reasons to invest in Forex, and there's an unstable stock market. For the next 10 years it is predicted by such financial advisors as Suze Orman that the stock market is going to be very volatile and unpredictable. The reasons for this are numerous as you probably already know, and one of those reasons is the precarious cash-debt ratio faced by most companies. This makes invesing in Forex, especially when using one of the Forex robots, even more attractive than it normally is. You'll be investing in what is currently the world's most valuable raw material -- money.

  1. The Foreign Exchange(Forex) Market is the world's most liquid market, with hugh volumes being traded and exchanged 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Wheras the stock market shares are tied to the value of each company, Forex has no such limitations.
  2. The Forex market is also the most transparent. No CEO can manipulate the sales or marketing reports and no CFO is adjusting the financial picture. And, since negotiations take place in multimillion dollar exchanges, it is virtually impossible to manipulate the market. This is the perfect setting for a long term strategy using a Forex robot.
  3. The Forex market is open when you have available time. When I was in the stock market, it was distressing that big events could change the picture when I was in a meeting. Sometimes I missed out on opportunities, and sometimes I was caught on the wrong side of a big change. With the help of one of the excellent Forex robots, you will never be caught on the wrong side of a change, and you can actively study the open and changing market whenever you have time.
  4. Forex trends are based in history. Current events, speculation, interest rates and economic policies that effect the balance of trade all contribute to the rise of one currency and the fall of another. Still, the historical trend of a currency helps to determine strategy.
  5. Leveraging is available at about 1:100. Leveraging can help you make money, but it can also raise your stress level. Forex robots do not have stress and can continue trading successfully no matter how much money is on the line, or how much risk you have put yourself in. However, we don't recommend engaging in high risk or leveraging beyond what is tolerable for you. Fear is generally counter productive.

If you are interested in getting started, there are two Forex Robots that will put you on autopilot and double your money in a month. They are both excellent at predicting the near future and at following a winning strategy without fear.

FAPTurbo works with all currencies and 95% success. Forex MegaDroid works only in dollars and euros, but also with 95% accuracy.

Either way, there's no reason to put this off, is there? It's the best market to be in now. These two Forex robots both have a history of 95% success and doubling your money in a month. Let history work for you.

For more details see Forex robots.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Story of a Kansas Saint?

The Miraculous Case of Chase Kear, and Father Emil Kapaun:

During the Korean War, there was an Army Chaplain: Father Emil Kapaun. He was from Wichita, Kansas, and assigned to the Eighth Cavalry which, in 1951 was overrun by the Chinese in North Korea. During the battle, Fr. Kapaun rescued wounded soldiers from execution until he was taken a prisoner of war. Even then, he continued to tend to the starving and sick among his fellow prisoners. Although none of this was considered a miracle, he stole food for the soldiers, defied guards’ attempts to indoctrinate soldiers and made pots out of roofing tin so they could boil snow for water; water for drinking and for washing their lice infested clothing. All this time, he maintained his practice of faith, prayer, and the rosary, living and exemplary life.

He suffered from a blood clot in his leg which went untreated although he was eventually put in the hospital. He died in May, 1951, two years before the end of the war. Soldiers returning from the POW camps told stories of Kapaun’s heroism and faith. Some claimed he deserved sainthood and the Medal of Honor. Since then, there have been two other cases of reported miracles involving Kapaun, local physicians report. Now, if this is true, Fr. Kapaun is well on his way to qualifying for sainthood.

There are five steps to canonization, or being declared a saint in the Catholic Church. First, a local bishop must initiate the process by collecting evidence from the person’s life and writings that they are especially virtuous. This evidence is sent to the Vatican where a panel of theologians and cardinals in the Congregation for Cause of Saints evaluate the life. If they believe it is warranted, they propose to the pope that he proclaim the candidate “venerable.” At that point, the local bishop among others who knew the candidate, begin looking for evidence of a miracle. The exception is that martyrs who die defending their faith can be beatified without a miracle. Once a second miracle is attributed to the candidate, full sainthood will be confirmed by the pope.

The story of Father Kapaun has been celebrated in Wichita and local parishes have prayed to him for years. The diocese has presented his case to the Vatican for Canonization and the process called beatification has been moving forward. He would be only the third American to be canonized as a saint.

This is where Chase Kear comes in. In October 2008, Chase Kear, a Colwich man, was seriously injured in a pole-vaulting accident. The doctors explained that he cracked his skull from ear to ear. They had little hope for him to survive both the operation (to remove skull fragments) and any infection that would likely occur afterwards. His neurosurgeon, Dr. Raymond Grundmeyer considers Chase’s survival a miracle.

The family organized communal prayers to Fr. Kapaun right away and credit Chase’s complete recovery a few weeks later, to Fr. Kapaun.

On June 21st, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints announced that they would investigate an alleged miracle in Kansas. Andrea Ambrosi will arrive on Friday from the Vatican. He is a lawyer by training and is coming to investigate. Witnesses will be called and data will be collected. This will be an elaborate process. Testimony will be compared as in a court of law.

This collection will go back to the Vatican, and questions will be compiled. There will be a “Devil’s Advocate” who will compile questions, and Fr. Kapaun’s defenders will argue their case. Eventually, when there are no more questions, Fr. Kapaun will be canonized as a saint. Traditionally, no one is canonized until 50 years have lapsed after their death. Fr. Kapaun has already jumped that hurtle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Action Needed: Public Option Might be Off the Table

This afternoon, Jane Hamsher reports that Rahm Emanuel has privately told Democratic Senators that the public option might be dropped if necessary for bipartisan support! This is wrong and will put all the control back where it is now, in the hands of the millionaires running the insurance industry.

We have to be clear about this. If you want a health plan that will control costs we have to include a public option. Any other plan will put control back in the hands of the insurance industry. They control medical costs (by denying you medications and procedures) but they have no interest in controlling insurance costs because their rewards come from profits, not from your health.

Jane Hamsher at Fire Dog Lake has put together a tool for fighting the Health Insurance Industry. They don't want us to have a public option, and are putting millions of dollars into the fight. All we have is public opinion, and to use this we have to let our Congress people know what we want.

It only takes 40 "no" votes to squash any watered down version without a public option! If we let the most progressive congress people know that is what we want, we might be able to beat the insurance industry.

Remember -- we're asking them to support a public plan that is
  1. nationwide,
  2. available from day one and
  3. answerable to the voters and Congress.
We're asking them to commit to vote against anything that does not have these three features.

That's where the power is -- 40 votes against anything else can keep a bad bill from passing. Visit Fire Dog Lake for the Public Option Whip Count Tool.

There are also some Democrats who have spoken out against the Public Plan Option. Please call or write to them. ( Links are at the Bill Press Show.com. ) They are:

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)

Links are available at the Bill Press Show.com.

Here is the letter I wrote. You are welcome to borrow from it....

Please, Senator Conrad, we need a plan that is nationwide. Smaller states will not have enough members to make a co-operative insurance plan economically feasible. When they are out priced by larger insurance conglomerates, they will disappear. And then we'll be right back here, which is not a good place.

Nationwide, we have more than enough healthy Americans to make a public option pay for itself. Include a reasonable co-payment and the healthy members will support the costs of those who get sick. This is how insurance would work if the CEO's weren't getting million dollar salaries.

Just among my friends, I know two people who were cut off..........(FIll IN YOUR OWN STORY)
What happened to his family was fraudulent, but he didn't have the heart or the pocketbook to sue.

When people need health care, they are faced with a moral dilemma, to get fired and go on Medicaid, to commit a crime and go to prison, or, in some states, to go to the Emergency Room and use that for primary health care, or too often they go into debt and end up in bankruptcy.

Americans should not be faced with such choices. We need a public option that is nationwide, available from day 1, and answerable both to Americans and to Congress.

Please vote "No" on any other plan. It would be better to postpone this reform than to do something that is worse than what we have now.

Thank you,
(your name)

Some people already have a public option.
Sometimes it's paid for by taxes, and sometimes it requires a co-pay. Why, I wonder, can't the rest of us have access to it?

The Senate and Congress members all have a public option, paid for by American taxpayers. They know very well that it works. They use it and their families use it. Employees of Veteran's Hospitals around the country have the President's choice model. They can select from an array of health insurers all part of the government program. This is partially paid for by the employee through a reasonable co-pay. It is unlikely that these insurance companies will use Rescission of Coverage when the pool is so large. This is a tactic commonly used against members from small companies or small pools of clients.

Former Governor Dr. Howard Dean speaks eloquently on the public option, and answers all the tough Republican talking points.

As Dr. Dean emphasizes, the AMA doesn't support any plan where doctors are told what to do with their patients -- and this is what we have now! We need a system where doctors can make decisions with their patients, and where people's policies are not canceled when they or someone in their family gets sick.

Dr. Dean answers how the doctor's rates will not be cut with a public option. And, he explains why Kent Conrad's idea of a "co-op" will not work. There are just not enough numbers in small states to provide a cost effective co-op.

You are armed now with logic and sense. Letters/emails or telephone calls will help.... Please click on the link above (Bill Press Show and Public Option Tool), and let them know what you think.

It is important!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update on Health Care Reform

Just wanted to update everyone who might not have heard President Obama talk about health care reform this afternoon. Since it's still very much in the works and there is not a finished bill yet in Congress or the Senate, it was the last subject on his agenda.

I took great hope when he said that there would be a public option in the plan for health care reform. But, what was even better, was that he said the private health insurance companies would have to follow certain rules if they wanted to be on the list.

-- They would no longer be able to exclude new patients from access to health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

This was very exciting to us at Mindbridge, because this makes life so difficult for so many people who either need to change jobs or for those whose company switches providers!

-- We are expecting that Rescission of Coverage from health insurance will no longer be permitted. He said that private health insurance companies would no longer be allowed to serve only the healthy.

This will be important to make the public option affordable. The only way that any insurance works is to spread the risk among many. If the public option were to inherit all the sick people and the private insurance has all the healthy ones, the public option would be way too expensive.

There were questions about the unfairness of the public option. The President scoffed. He said that since the government had been accused of "not being able to do anything right" he found it illogical that the private insurance companies would be complaining that they could not compete.

Yeah for Obama!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Private Health Insurance Companies Insist on the Right to Cancel Your Insurance Policy if You Get Sick:

It's Called Rescission of Coverage...

When a private, for-profit health insurance company denies you coverage simply because you presented them with a big bill or a diagnosis which predicts big bills in the future, they have rescinded, or canceled your policy.

Executives from the 3 largest health insurers Tuesday, June 16th, told federal lawmakers that they would continue to cancel medical coverage for sick policy holders. Both Republicans and Democrats criticized the practice, but the insurers held firm.

This practice has left thousands of Americans without medical insurance at a time when they were facing costly medical bills.

Can anyone explain to me why this is less interesting news today than Senator Boxer's request to be called Senator rather than "Maam"?

WellPoint, Inc, United Health Group and Assurant canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, and saved their company more than $300 million in medical claims over a 5 year period. They targeted anyone with a diagnosis of breast cancer, lyphoma, high blood pressure and more than 1,000 other conditions.

Employees terminating these policies were praised in performance reviews. Neither Richard Collins of United Health's Golden Rule Insurance Co., nor Don Hamm, of Assurant Health, nor Brian Sassi of Well Point would commit to limiting rescissions only to fraudulent applications.

Even Republican Representative Michael C. Burgess from Texas said, "No one can defend... the practice of canceling coverage after the fact...."

The insurance executives held that they had the right to use rescission when "insurers ignore the law." Yet, lawmakers had been listening to testimony by many people from around the country who were dropped as soon as it was clear they were going to reduce the company profits -- ie, as soon as they had an illness that would need treatment.

The Los Angeles Times reported these stories:

One nurse from Texas said she lost her coverage after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. -- Her mistake was that she had failed to disclose a single visit to a dermatologist for acne. Additionally, it was found that she had listed her weight incorrectly. She had to cancel her scheduled mastectomy because the hospital wanted a $30,000 deposit. By the time her Representative, Joe Barton, had talked with the president of the insurance company and gotten her coverage reinstated, her tumor had grown from 3 centimeters to 7 centimeters and all the lymph nodes under her arm needed to be removed as well.

The sister of a man who died in Illinois of lymphoma, said his policy was rescinded for failure to report gallstones and a possible aneurysm that his physician had never disclosed to him, although he noted it on his chart.

At Mindbridge, we personally know a local business owner whose daughter died a few years after being born with severe birth defects. She needed a series of operations and after the first two, his health insurance policy was canceled. He was left with the bills. When he inquired about this, he was told that he had left off his application form a single visit to a doctor for "asthma" when he was 10 years old.

The insurance execs protest that they use rescission when they find "fraudulent applications" would be more believable if they found those mistakes or ommissions as often when the family members were all healthy and securely paying their premiums on time, as when the family is in need of health insurance because someone is very ill.

Another Republican from Texas, Representative Joe Barton, said, "...A company has a right to make sure there is no fraudulent information...but if a citizen acts in good faith, we should expect the insurance company that takes their money to act in good faith also."

When the committee chairman asked each executive if his company would commit to immediately stop rescissions except where they could show "intentional fraud" the answer from all three was, "NO."

Representative John Dingell of Michigan responded that this was exactly why we needed a public option for consumers.

CNN reports that when asked whether it bothered him that people were going to die because they insist on reviewing a policy when someone forgot to tell they they had been treated for acne, Hamm replied, "Yes sir, it does...."

This is the Problem with Private Insurance:

Any private company has the right to accept or reject any application for services. The health insurance companies do this based on tables of costs for services for particular diagnoses. This is how they estimate their costs and profits. We can accept that this is a necessary part of doing business. (- And this is a problem we will discuss shortly.)

However, when a person in good faith buys insurance, and they are accepted, they have every right to expect that the "insurance" company is actually going to be there when they need the insurance. Isn't this what insurance means?

If not, then they should call themselves something else, like, "Money Collecting Companies" or "Good Health Companies" so that you would have a clue that they are only going to be there for you when you and your family are "in good health."

But, the other problem is the exclusion that private, for profit insurance companies exercise for pre-existing conditions. This can be used to rescind your policy if you smoked a single cigarette when you were 18 years old, and later develop lung cancer.

This has the effect of keeping a person a slave to whatever company has been paying for their insurance once they develop "a condition." If you happen to lose your job, or worse, if you weren't working at the time that the condition was discovered, you will never qualify for insurance anywhere else. Or, if your employer decides to change carrier companies, all the employees who have been receiving treatment for "conditions" will be ineligible for fairly priced insurance. This can throw you in to the "high risk" pool which is far more expensive.

Without a public option that accepts everyone, these people will either go without medical help, or continue to mortgage homes to pay for needed medical treatment and, too often, end up losing their homes. Until the recent mortgage crisis, this was the most common reason for bankruptcy.

NBC tried to help with explaining the ins and outs of health insurance, but if you listen carefully she suggests asking questions before you sign up, and meeting with your doctor beforehand to go over your medical records. If your employer is offering only one health insurance company, you might just be out of luck.

We at Mindbridge submit that it should not matter whether you smoked one cigarette when you were 18, or whether you were ever treated for acne, or whether you were ever treated for asthma. the pool of people in the United States is so large, that there will always be more than enough healthy people putting money into the system that they aren't using, that we will cover the costs of those who are not so lucky and actually need financial help for their medical bills.

This is why we need a public, single payer, option, and this is why people need to be able to, and ought to switch from their current private, for profit, health insurance companies to the public option without penalty. It will not be cost effective if all the healthy people stay with private insurance companies, and the unhealthy people all end up in the public system.

Lawmakers' Ties to Health Care Industry:

Children with Autism Denied Insurance:

The Complete Story on Single Payer Health Insurance from Bill Moyers:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Reasons for Alarming Health Costs!

We have to talk about this because the American government is being bombarded, bombed, hounded and harassed by constituents in the "health care insurance" business. We have to talk about this, person to person, without all the hype and politics.

I can't believe that I keep hearing from the "news" shows that we have the best health care in the world, yet when the studies are done, we fair somewhere around Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in infant mortality. This is a slight exaggeration, but according to The British Health Journal, "The United States spends twice as much on health care as a percentage of gross domestic product as other industrialized countries. But the United States is behind the other countries in providing its citizens with good health outcomes, quality of care, access to care, efficiency, and equity, the report concludes."

Well, for twice as much money, we must get something.... Let's look at this report by The Conference Board of Canada. What are our scores?

Report Card:

1 Japan A
2 Switzerland A
3 Sweden B
4 France B
5 Australia B
6 Norway B
7 Italy B
8 Germany B
9 Austria B
10 Canada B
11 Finland B
12 Ireland C
13 Netherlands C
14 U.K. D
15 U.S. D
16 Denmark D

It is notable that the United States got one A, in "self-reported health status". You might realize that this has nothing to do with the health industry. This is simply a measure of our knowledge of health. We know when we are sick. However, we were the only country on the list to get a D in "life expectancy", "premature mortality" and "infant mortality". Denmark and UK have D's in specific diseases. But, no one else has D's for general mortality rates.

Our only B, is in "mortality due to cancer" which means, I think, that statistically speaking, it's better to get cancer than to be overweight or to have high blood pressure or respiratory disease. An unhealthy American is at greater risk of death than an otherwise healthy cancer patient.

Well, we could solve this if we had more competition, couldn't we? Isn't competition the stabilizing and equalizing element in a capitalist system? Yes. So, why are the lobbyists for the insurance industry fighting any talk of a government single payer system? Why do they keep saying that "They don't want the government to come between them and their doctors"?

I don't understand why the news commentators are so happy with a junior college graduate working for the insurance company coming between their doctors and their treatment, but let's look at the salaries of the top insurance companies. I think this it the reason for the intensity of the arguments.

Health Insurance Company CEO Salaries for 2005:

The numbers are numbing, which is why we should do something about this:

* United Health Group
CEO: William W McGuire
2005: 124.8 mil
5-year: 342 mil

* Forest Labs
CEO: Howard Solomon
2005: 92.1 mil
5-year: 295 mil

* Caremark Rx
CEO: Edwin M Crawford
2005: 77.9 mil
5-year: 93.6 mil

* Abbott Lab
CEO: Miles White
2005: 26.2 mil
5-year: 25.8 mil

* Aetna
CEO: John Rowe
2005: 22.1 mil
5-year:57.8 mil

Ron Williams
2008: $24,300,112 and personal use of an aircraft and
vehicle, financial planning and 401(k).

* Amgen
CEO: Kevin Sharer
2005:5.7 mil
5-year:59.5 mil

* Bectin-Dickinson
CEO: Edwin Ludwig
2005: 10 mil
5-year:18 mil

* Boston Scientific
2005:38.1 mil
5-year:45 mil

* Cardinal Health
CEO: James Tobin
2005:1.1 mil
5-year:33.5 mil

* Cigna
CEO: H. Edward Hanway
2005:13.3 mil
5-year:62.8 mil

* Genzyme
CEO: Henri Termeer
2005: 19 mil
5-year:60.7 mil

* Humana
CEO: Michael McAllister
2005:2.3 mil
5-year:12.9 mil

* Johnson & Johnson
CEO: William Weldon
2005:6.1 mil
5-year:19.7 mil

* Laboratory Corp America
CEO: Thomas MacMahon
2005:7.9 mil
5-year:41.8 mil

* Eli Lilly
CEO: Sidney Taurel
2005:7.2 mil
5-year:37.9 mil

* McKesson
CEO: John Hammergen
2005: 13.4 mil
5-year:31.2 mil

* Medtronic
CEO: Arthur Collins
2005: 4.7 mil
5-year:39 mil

* Merck Raymond Gilmartin
2005: 37.8 mil
5-year:49.6 mil

* PacifiCare Health
CEO: Howard Phanstiel
2005: 3.4 mil
5-year: 8.5 mil

* Pfizer
CEO: Henry McKinnell
2005: 14 mil
5-year: 74 mil

* Well Choice
CEO: Michael Stocker
2005: 3.2 mil
5-year: 10.7 mil

* WellPoint
CEO: Larry Glasscock
2005: 23 mil
5-year: 46.8 mil

Angela Braly
2008: $9,844,212
Other compensation included use of a private jet for
her and her family and just under $10,000 for legal

* Wyeth
CEO: Robert Essner
2005:6.5 mil
5-year: 28.9 mil

Who would have guessed that they earn more than Major League Baseball players? What does this mean per minute? William McGuire is paid $234 a minute. If he takes 5 minutes to walk to the men's room, and spends 5 minutes in there, we have paid him $2,374.43 to take a piss. This is based on working 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. If he only works a 12 hour day, double the amount to piss -- $4,748.86! If he takes weekends off, McGuire's pee break costs us $6,641. If he takes an hour for lunch, his lunch costs his insurers $39,846.74. This does not improve our health care! I am going to say that again. Paying a man $6,641 to pee does not improve our health!

I don't know about you, but I think the government could do this for less.... Maybe they would need 4 guys to do the work that McGuire does. At $90,000 per person, it would still save us about $124,440,000 per year against United Health Care costs. This is the reason that the "health care" insurance industry is fighting any thought of having a government single payer system.

Whereas Republicans normally speak highly of competition, they do not want any competition in this field. It's no wonder. Any government program that pays it's executives $90,000 a year to administer a government health insurance, is going to win the competition hands down. My goodness, these companies might have to lower their executive compensation to compete!

Shake up Your World View:

It is also worth mentioning, since our auto industry is in such dire straits that Japan, in first place for health outcomes, gives health care to every citizen. Their auto companies, Honda and Toyota, have never had to supply health insurance to their employees or retirees! This has been, as you can imagine, a great savings for them and has helped to make them the most competitive companies in the world. So, when someone complains about the American auto unions, please remind them that the Japanese worker gets the best health care in the world from his government, while General Motors has to pay for the health care of their workers. The playing field is not even.

In China, a family pays a doctor to keep them healthy, so they keep him on a monthly retainer. If anyone in the family gets sick, they stop paying him until they are all well again.... Do you see how this changes things? The health industry in China is really a health industry, where we really have a sick industry. Our medical people are paid when we are unhealthy.... Go ahead, have another cigarette and that Big Mac and support your local health care professional. Just a thought....

Please Put in Your Two Cents!

It was never more important to let your public officials know what you want. Believe me, it is not intuitively obvious to them. There is way too much "stupid talk" clogging the airwaves.

To contact your Senator, Congressman or any other government official, go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

Put in your zip code, and they will give you the names of every State and Federal elected official. Click on any name, and you'll be taken to their record with an opportunity to click again to go to their individual website where there will be another link to click on to email them.

You are on the internet now to be reading this blog. Please, do not put this off. We have thousands of lobbyists paid thousands of dollars to win against our best interests. Support your Congressman and Senator in doing the right thing for you. Write them or call them ASAP. Take back your government.

Prickly Shark Story at the Monterey Aquarium

Tuesday night a rare Prickly Shark was captured and held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/news/) for a few hours, until 1:30 pm on Wednesday afternoon.

Why, you might ask, did they go to all that trouble to hold the fish for only a few hours?

The Prickly Shark is a denizen of the deep, normally living in the Pacific at depths of 3,000 feet in submarine canyons. It is distinguished from other sharks by its thorny skin, and the characteristic dorsal fin of the shark is broken, so that it seems to be a double dorsal. The second fin is a bit smaller than the forward or first dorsal. And, it's head is smaller than the characteristic Great White or Grey or Tiger Shark, more similar to a Sand Shark or Catfish.

Deep water fish, according to an aquarium spokesman, Ken Peterson, have trouble adapting. I suppose that traffic at 3,000 feet deep is not what it is in Monterey, and it's likely that these creatures are a bit shy and private. We would say that he was quite adaptive at getting his desires across to the staff. -- Who ever said that Sharks were "primitive"?

He flipped upside down and went into what seemed to be an hypnotic state. I had always heard that Sharks needed to keep moving to breath as they didn't have any way to move water across their gills except to keep moving, so this must have put him at risk for suffocation as well. (Fish disassociation?) This was a signal to researchers that he needed to be put back into the wild.

They did tag the Shark with a tag that will register depths, temperature, latitude and longitude for six months before it pops off, and will teach researchers more about this creature without any harm being done.

This Aquarium has a history of quickly releasing captured wildlife back into their natural habitat. They have also held Great White Sharks for six months or less 4 times and successfully returned them to the ocean. Good for them. It's too bad that this can't be done with more wild animals in zoos as well....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Belmont Stakes Morning Odds and Post Time

Summer Bird
Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

Good Morning to all on Belmont Stakes Day. This is a beautiful morning in New York. We've had two days of fairly heavy rain, but today should be dry.

Just wanted to give you the morning odds.

By Post Positions:

1. Chocolate Candy (10-1)

2. Dunkirk (4-1)

3. Mr. Hot Stuff (15-1)

4. Summer Bird (12-1)

5. Luv Gov (20-1)

6. Charitable Man (3-1)

7. Mine That Bird (2-1)

8. Flying Private (12-1)

9. Miners Escape (15-1)

10. Brave Victory (15-1)

More updates will be available up until Post Time at 6:27pm Eastern time at http://www.BelmontStakes.com.

As you can see, Mine That Bird and Charitable Man are the first and second favorites according to the morning odds at Belmont, and won't make you much money with a win, although it would be great fun to watch Borel become the first jockey to win the Triple Crown on more than one horse (Triple Crown History).

Summer Bird (12-1) is Mine That Bird's brother, and was 6th in the Kentucky Derby despite the fact that he was in the gloppy, sticky mud the whole race having started at post position 17. He had also been lightly raced to that point, and the Derby doesn't favor the inexperienced. He might just take the early lead since there isn't a sprinter on the ticket. He has an experienced Belmont jockey on his back in Kent Desormeaux which is particularly important in the Belmont. You would think that this long race would favor the closers, but it doesn't. Historically, the stalkers do much better at Belmont, or the close closers. The only horse to come from way back was his father and Mine That Bird's father, Birdstone who won the 2004 Belmont Stakes. At the Belmont Stakes, it pays to be in front or close to the front horse when you pass the mile marker. This is the horse that will give you the best chance for a win with great odds. His mother's sire won the Preakness, so there is definitely speed in his heritage, as well as stamina.

Dunkirk (4-1) is another horse who seems to just be coming into his groove. He has shown speed and stamina, but he's also been a little gawky and awkward up until now. His trainer, Todd Pletcher, who is not given to excitement, has shown some this week after watching his workouts. His jockey, John Velasquez won the Belmont in 2007 on Rags to Riches, owned by Dunkirk's owners. He is a New York Jockey who knows Belmont well and has ridden more than 3,000 winners. He was excited by Dunkirk's workouts. His advice to the other jockeys to beat Mine That Bird was, "sit on the rail".

From the number 2 and number 4 post positions, Dunkirk and Summer Bird will have an easier time getting to the rail than Mine That Bird leaving from post position 7 at the Belmont Stakes.

At (10-1) Chocolate Candy is another good bet, although many feel that even though he's been working out at Belmont for most of May, he still seems to favor the synthetic surfaces. The dirt will be a little tricky today after two days of solid rain. It might dry up and be soft, but not sticky, or it might be a little challenging.

It takes 3 in the money to make a race. The other horse we think has a great chance, even though the odds are not in the bettors' favor, is Charitable Man (3-1), leaving from post position 6, right next to and just inside Mine That Bird. As we have been saying, he's 2 for 2 at Belmont, although he hasn't raced against the best. He wasn't at the Kentucky Derby and he wasn't at the Preakness. He might take the lead, but if he doesn't, he's a close stalker and these horses are favored at the Belmont Stakes.

We can imagine a race with Summer Bird and Charitable Man in front, with Dunkirk and Mine That Bird coming up from behind to round out the front 4. What will be the final order? That is the question of the day. The Belmont is often a surprise.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twitter in China has been shut down!

Remembering Tiananmen Square, 20 Years Ago:

Twenty years ago, in China's Tiananmen Square, a lone student stood before tanks to stop the killing. Today, in commemoration, China has blocked YouTube and Twitter and most blogs that offer access to people outside of China. No foreign visitors or newsmen are allowed into the square today many tell us. By reports, the economy in China has improved, but has anything else really improved?

How did the massacre start?

The death of a pro-market, pro-democracy and anti-corruption official, Hu Yaobang, brought 1,000,000 people into Tiananmen Square to mourn in community. Protests were not organized or unified. There had been protests from April 15th through April 17th before the students marched to the square. 500 students from China University of Political Science and Law gathered before the Great Hall of the People until the police attempted to move them. By midnight, 3000 from Peking University joined them, and then 1000 from Tsinghua University. And thus the crowd grew. There were impromptu speeches. Many sang patriotic songs.

In the morning of April 18th, some presented seven demands and demanded to see members of the Standing Committee. Others tried to force their way into the Shongnanhai building complex demanding to see government leaders. Security police prevented this and the students formed a sit-in until April 20th when they were sent away by police using batons.

The funeral of Hu Yaobang was to be April 22, so 100,000 students gathered in the square before it was to be closed for the funeral. Throughout China there were various kinds of protests, and boycotts at the Universities. Their complaints had to do with corruption and demands for freedom of the press. Urban workers joined them because they were concerned about inflation and corruption.

In May, the students were well ordered, organizing an hunger strike and boycott of classes, just two days before Gorbachev was to visit.

Three young men lobbed paint filled eggs at the massive portrait of Mao Zedong. Other students, showing their respect for order, helped the police to arrest them. They were kept in prison until 1998 and 2000. The hunger strike was the main focus and did rally widespread support both in China and outside.

Today, in 2009, those three men met in Washington. Two are currently living in the United States and one, Lu Decheng, is living in Calgary, Canada. The Canadian government helped his wife and two children to be able to immigrate to Canada to join him just last year. Six months ago a new baby was born to them.

Back in China, in May 1989, two members of the leadership, Zhao Ziyang and Li Peng differed in their ideas about the protest. They had expected it to die down. Zhao Ziyang had argued for a soft response, whereas Li Pang argued for a crackdown. Ultimately, the lengthy demonstration was seen to be a threat to the stability of the country.

There were reports of protests in 400 cities. People were traveling to the Square to join in that protest. Martial Law was declared on May 20th. The hunger strike was in its third week and the government decided to act before there were deaths.

General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was ousted from leadership for being too soft. The local military was not in favor of a crackdown. They had been turned away once by the numbers of protesters. The political leadership looked for individual divisions willing to comply with orders. They brought in soldiers and tanks from outside the city -- the 27th and 28th Armies of the People's Liberation Army -- to take control of the city.

Protesters burned buses to use them as roadblocks. The soldiers used tear gas, rifles and tanks to clear the streets. The assault on the square began at 10:30 pm, June 3rd. APC's and armed troops with fixed bayonnets approached from various positions, shooting ahead and off to the sides. Students seeking to hide were pulled out and beaten. By 4 or 5 in the morning, tanks smashed into the square, crushing vehicles and people.

The unknown man who was famously pictured standing in front of the tanks to stop them at one intersection (the Avenue of Eternal Peace, ironically), has never resurfaced. It is believed by some that police executed him. Jan Wong in Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, wrote that he is alive and hiding in Mainland China.

The Chinese government claims that 241 died, including soldiers, but the Chinese Red Cross immediate figure was 2,600 deaths, mostly civilians.

Afterward, the government arrested protesters and their supporters and the foreign press was banned from the country.

China Today:

China is cracking down on the internet. 20 years ago students were demanding freedom of the press, and today, authorities are shutting down blogs, forums and social media such as Twitter to stem political discussion.

Technology is seen as a threat to an authoritarian society where information is tightly controlled.

China has the world's largest online population. People have gone to online communities to spread information. The government has Internet Monitors who close message boards. Blogs maintained by government critics are closed down. YouTube has been blocked in China since March and Twitter was shut down Tuesday night and Flikr could not be accessed as of yesterday. http://bit.ly/9ob87

In a country with freedom of the press, we will sometimes have opinion and propaganda masking as "news". There is nothing we can do about this except to ask those in public places (airports, bars and restaurants, medical waiting rooms etc..) showing such fake news to shut it off or change the channel.

Some Triple Crown History

Willie Shoemaker came the closest to winning the Triple Crown on two different horses in 1959. He won the Kentucky Derby on Tomy Lee (above photo, inside rail), just winning in one of the most exciting finishes ever. Then, at the Preakness, he was aboard Sword Dancer for a second place finish. At the Belmont, again on Sword Dancer, he won. This got me wondering whether Sword Dancer was in the Derby so I looked it up. Guess who got second in that exciting finish above? Sword Dancer!

So, in 1959 Sword Dancer was edged out at the wire in the Derby, was second in the Preakness, and first in the Belmont.... The question is: Is Mine That Bird a Sword Dancer? Does he have the heart and the stamina to be the strongest on Saturday, in spite of having raced the toughest races in the last month and a half?

Another comparison. From the above photo, you can see that Sword Dancer was not a huge horse. Neither is Mine That Bird.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Belmont Stakes 2009: Post Positions

Hi There. Today is the day and the post positions have been selected.

Post Position:

# 1: Chocolate Candy
# 2: Dunkirk
# 3: Mr. Hot Stuff
# 4: Summer Bird
# 5: Luv Gov
# 6: Charitable Man
# 7: Mine That Bird
# 8: Flying Private
# 9: Miner's Escape (Zito entry)
#10: Brave Victory (2nd Zito entry and he could make switch here.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Belmont Stakes 2009: Update

OK Horse fans, as we hoped, Rachel Alexandra has pulled out. She is a great filly, but the Belmont is just too far for her. She will do well as a seasoned filly and it made no sense to risk breaking her in this one. At present, she is posing for Vogue! Fashionable lady....

This makes Mine That Bird,(5th photo) Kentucky Derby winner, the unchallenged favorite. Calvin Borel, his Derby jockey, is back which will give him a great chance to finish in the top 3 if not on top.

If Calvin wins this one, he will be a Triple Crown Jockey! For those of you who are not frequent bettors, this means the odds are not very good and a bet on him to win will not earn you much money. You might want to include him in the exotics.

We mentioned Charitable Man and Dunkirk last week as powerful long distance horses, and they are now tied in the betting odds for 2nd place at 5/1. Dunkirk was at 4/1 last week, and Charitable Man at 9/2.

Charitable Man (2nd photo) is undefeated at Belmont. His style is to be leading or stalking and Mine That Bird will have to run past him if he wants this win. And, Mine That Bird is tired after the first two legs of the Triple Crown. And, Dunkirk is less experienced, although built for the distance. Without a speed horse to push his pace, Charitable Man may well be out in front from the start.

Dunkirk (4th photo) was a favorite at the Kentucky Derby, and disappointed a lot of fans. Yet, inexperience is not an asset at the Derby. The big grey sat out the Preakness, has been practicing at Belmont and should have his best run. There's not a lot of news about Dunkirk. His jockey isn't making any predictions, but he has noted how competitive Dunkirk is and when he wants him to have an easy workout, he has to keep him away from other horses. His trainer, Todd Pletcher, is excited now by Dunkirk's stride. He seems a different horse from the gangly adolescent who ran at the Derby.

And, following the progress of last week to bet on the underdogs, Chocolate Candy (3rd photo) has moved from (14/1) to (12/1). Chocolate Candy has been at Belmont since the Derby. He's comfortable at the track and his last workout under rider Molina, he covered a half mile in :50.25. Molina says, "He just skips over the track.... I had to hold him back from going faster." His jockey, Mike Smith, can never be counted out.

Other odds are:

Flying Private moving from (25/1) to (16/1) just after his Preakness run where he exceeded expectations with a late run in the final quarter. He couldn't quite keep up with Mine That Bird.

Mr Hot Stuff at (22/1) is a beautiful horse and worth a look. He's had some good runs although his Derby was terrible. He has A seasoned Belmont winner on his back, Edgar Prado and a trainer who has done great preparation for the Belmont. Although he has several in his bloodline who won the Belmont or who like distance races on dirt, he didn't seem comfortable on the dirt at the Derby, and since then he has been on artificial track at Keeneland. He will be flying in to NY tomorrow, so he won't have much time on the dirt at Belmont. He is a closer and there isn't a speed horse....

Miner's Escape (30/1)(a Zito entry) was the winner of the Federico Tesio race at Pimlico. Zito doesn't give him as much confidence as he does to his partner, Brave Victory.

Summer Bird (35/1) has the same sire as Mine That Bird, Birdstone. He is a closer, and should like the distance. At the Derby, he had to go wide and only finished 6th, but he has shown some late speed which should do him well at Belmont. His jockey, Kent Desormeaux has had a week at Belmont to get to know him. Desormeaux used only hands to urge him and he increased his speed for every quarter and came out of the workout with more energy and enthusiasm than he had at the start. He is fit and ready. He has been training in blinkers and hind shoes with toe grabs that improve his stability on the dirt. His trainer, Tim Ice, began training only last summer. This will be his first visit to the Empire State Building, today.

Luv Guv (40/1) named after Eliot Spitzer only passed horses who went backwards past him in the Preakness.

Added this week are Brave Victory (25/1) who was third to Charitable Man's victory in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont the weekend after the Kentucky Derby and a Zito entry. And Nowhere to Hide (50/1) also a Zito entry, who showed less speed than Musket Man in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Musket Man will be sitting this one out to give him a better shot at the rest of the season.


So, where are we? There are a number of great horses at this year's Belmont which is going to make the bettor's choices difficult. Yet, we have some picks.

Starting with the best odds, these are all horses who have been resting and working out at Belmont:

Summer Bird at (35/1) (Top Photo) and the same sire as Mine That Bird, should not be counted out. These are good odds and he has a great jockey. He has new equipment and has been loving it at Belmont this week. He's feeling good.

Chocolate Candy at (12/1) is looking good. He's also been resting and working out at Belmont. He's also got a great jockey in Mike Smith.

Todd Pletcher never shows excitement and he is excited this week (in the same way he was not excited before the Derby) over the way Dunkirk (5/1) has been moving. He's a little bit of an unknown because we've never seen him really put it all together. He could do it this Saturday.

Charitable Man (5/1) (second photo) has been undefeated at Belmont. He is the most likely horse to take the lead (given the current entrants) and he has the stamina to keep going. The closers are going to have to run him down and he's not going to slow down for them.

Mine That Bird is hard to bet against, especially with Calvin Borel on his back because Calvin is red hot this year! But, odds are against any horse who has run the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He has to be tired, and he'll be up against 4 horses who are not. He is just coming to Belmont tomorrow, and he'll be racing against 4 horses who have been here for a few weeks. He will be flying in, and he'll be up against 4 horses who have made Belmont their home for the month of May. They know it wet, and dry. They know it warm and cool. They know the food and the sounds at night. I just don't think he can overcome all this. That is why there are so few Triple Crown winners.