Sunday, July 21, 2013

Obamacare - The Data Hub

The Affordable Healthcare Act is full of surprises. One of these is The Data Hub. This is a comprehensive database of personal information established by the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been charged with the task of implementing ‘Obamacare.’ In a Government Accountability report, the Data Hub is to provide “real-time access to federal data and third party access to sources needing to verify consumer eligibility.

Based on the current news of abuses of information by federal organizations, The IRS, The NSA and other agencies this is bound to make a reasonable thinking man/woman nervous.

This Data Hub would include our personal information such as income, financial data, family members, immigration status, incarceration status, our social security numbers and all of our private health information. These facts will be stored in dossiers. Sources of this data are coming from the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Social Security Administration, Medicare and Medicaid and the Peace Corp. Any eavesdropper or fraudster with hacking capability could access the confidential personal records of the entire United States of America.

The Department of Health and Human Services guarantees this data will be safe and secure. Yeah right!

The Data Hub will be used daily by ‘Navigators’, which according to the GAO are community and consumer nonprofit groups. The Navigators will let the citizens know which health exchanges award grants and provide impartial information to the lot of us. They will direct us to the appropriate agency for further assistance.

What does this mean? Thousands of Navigators will have unfettered access to the Data Hub, however there are currently no guidelines on what qualifications the should have, how they will be hired, trained and monitored. This is frightening and appears to be a violation of our personal privacy and civil rights.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Reaction to the George Zimmerman - Trayvon Martin Verdict

I am amazed at the reaction to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin trial. Good friends of mine are tearing their clothing and gnashing their teeth. Had George Zimmerman been of the same race as Martin, this would have been just another blip on the nightly news.

The fact is a jury is instructed to consider just the facts presented by the prosecution and the defense in making a decision and in a capital case find that Zimmerman’s claims were true by 100% beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact most of the public is not privy to all the facts that came out during the trial. Obviously the jury concluded there was not enough preponderance of the evidence to find in favor of the prosecutions argument.

From all accounts, under the state law of Florida, this should never have gone to trial. No one should be charged with a crime unless prosecutors themselves really believe that the person committed a crime.

The case was so weak that the local Sanford District Attorney refused to bring charges against Zimmerman. On orders of the governor, an outside District Attorney, Angela Corey, had to be brought in to handle the prosecution. In fact Sanford Florida Police Chief Bill Lee was fired because he refused to charge Zimmerman with a crime. However show trial moved forward to satisfy “the will of the people.”

The prosecution and their experts’ language consistently showed a lack of certainty. Prosecutors are not supposed to bring cases where the best they can say is that something might “possibly” have happened or that there was a “chance” that it did. In this case the prosecution’s own witnesses could not get definitive statements from their own witnesses.

The lead detective on the case stated that he believed Zimmerman’s version of the events, going as far as to say the voice crying for help on the 911 call was Zimmerman and that Martin’s father lied about the voice on that call.

Comments by Al Sharpton and President Obama have stirred up adverse race relations and demanded vengence.

The national media bears culpability for sensationalizing this trial and fixating on the race. NBC and The Today Show went so far as to doctor the recordings of the 911 tape.

Pictures were shown on TV and in news stories of a 12 year old Trayvon Martin, when in fact Martin was a well built six foot tall former high school football player. The media even went as far as describing Zimmerman as a “White Hispanic.” You can draw your own conclusions about that racial remark.

The defense was prohibited from any mention of Martin’s prior arrests or the fact he was smoking marijuana when the altercation took place.

The facts brought out in the case, even from an eye witness proved that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, holding him down, beating him and attempting to grab his gun when he was fatally wounded.

I concur that Zimmerman should not have followed Martin, especially not while in possession of a fire arm. Zimmerman had a right to report suspicious activity in his neighborhood, but should have left well enough alone after contacting the police. Bringing the gun was a bad idea.

However the situation escalated to the point that there was no option for retreat.

Now the national media and the Federal government, including our President, want to bring civil rights violations against Zimmerman, based on the fact that things did not go as they planned. In my humble opinion this is a politically based ploy to satisfy the desires of the masses. Perhaps this is a just a bone to throw by the government to keep the more raucous and vocal dissenters from rioting and damaging property.

This is my opinion of the matter and I most assuredly respect your opinion.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Dream number 12098

The first thing I notice is that I am inside a medium size room. The walls are covered with 1960’s style faux wood paneling and the floor is green indoor/outdoor carpeting. I pay no attention to the ceiling, but it is probably a tiled dropped ceiling, judging from the light.

Father Jon is anxious. He tells me that Father Chris has left and he is now in charge of the Church. We’ve moved the Church to this building. Father Jon is very concerned about the situation and the fact that he has inherited the head position.

I tell him not to worry, that God will take care of all things. I say just trust God, listen and obey and all will be well as I walk out the door. The building looks like a small white frame cottage that is surrounded by asphalt.

Suddenly everything changes and I find myself in bed. Only the bed is one of many beds in a row. Am I in a hospital? I don’t know. A lady in a gray dress with a white apron comes over and tells me it is time to get up and go shopping. I agree and I am whisked into a supermarket.

I look up and down the isles and find what I am looking for. I pick up a box that holds 24 cans of evaporated milk. I was told by the lady in gray to bring this back so we could use it to make ice cream. I head to the checkout. The store is strange. It is one that I do not recall being in before.

The cashier scans my purchase. I do not recall paying, because I am whisked back to the bed room. Perhaps it is a hospital ward or an infirmary. I don’t know.

Upon presenting my evaporated milk to the lady, she scolds me. “This is made with water! It clearly states this on the cans. We need the kind made from milk. Go back!”

I feel foolish. I thought all evaporated milk was made with milk. Silly me.

And then I find myself in a metropolitan city. At first I believe it is New York, but I am not certain.

There are lots of very tall buildings and lights. It is gloaming time and I find myself in a group. But I am talking to a young lady I scarcely knew from my high school day.

She was the younger sister of a friend. Her name was Lynn. She is very shy. She tells me that I promised to take her shopping. Alright! I think I only spoke with her once or twice and that was over forty years ago.

We walk along and I ask her about what she has been doing lately. I am so confused because I am sixty-one and she would be in her mid fifties, but we look young. I no longer have a beard. I am a fresh faced kid with dark combed hair and she is frightfully thin and has short red, wispy, curly hair.

She eventually overcomes her shyness and tells me all about herself, and then suddenly we find ourselves in a car driving down a country road.

I pull over to look at the map. We must be in a Bavarian town because one road that forks to the left states this is Stradivarius Road. The map guide says this is where the famous violins were made. It looks like fun, so we take a drive down the road. I am very disappointed since what left of the town is reminiscent of Covington Kentucky and nearly all the homes and shops are vacant and have foreclosure notices.

I am thinking how sad and wondering where the stain was put on the violins when I am awakened and notice it is 4:50 am. I get to sleep another hour and a half. However I can’t go back to where I had been.