Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All 50 States Need to SUE the Insurance Companies

McCarran-Ferguson was originally designed to empower both the federal government and the individual states so that they could act to prevent insurance companies from becoming abusive monopolies.

How ironic that it has instead enabled the health insurance industry to achieve exactly the opposite result because the federal government has chosen not to pass legislation targeting insurance monopolies and the states have, for the most part, shirked their regulatory responsibilities.

States haven't gone after obvious Health Care Monopolies because their budgets are stretched too thin.

All 50 States need to bring legal action collectively and the Federal Government needs to join the suit.

Allegations of price-fixing, bid-rigging, exclusive sales contracts, local price cutting to freeze out competitors, and the dividing up of markets need to be full explored so we can get rid of our dysfunctional corporate health care system that's choking the economy to death.

On a macroeconomic scale it would return money to "our" pocketbooks and be more profitable for America. Less money out of our paychecks going to Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelsons friends at Well Point would be a boom for the economy. It would enable an increase in savings and investing as well as spending.

Our money is being horded by the few to the detriment of the overall market place. That money needs to be returned to the tax payers in mass and available to stimulate the economy across a broad sector of markets as a whole versus the gain of a few Senators from Aetna named Lieberman and Nelson and the hysterically wealthy and tone deaf CEO's they greedily represent.

As conservatives like to say - enforce the laws on the books! It's time to sue the Insurance companies regardless of the Healthcare Bill that Passes.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home
With thanks to Jerry Policoff

Enforce Anti-Trust Laws Against Insurance Companies - TODAY

I found this article very informative and wanted to pass it along
___________________________________________________________________
For OpEdNews: Jerry Policoff - Writer

One of the more under-reported aspects of the healthcare reform efforts currently making their way through the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington is the antitrust exemption conferred upon the insurance industry sixty-four years ago with the enactment of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. The Act fostered the growth of giant health insurance monopolies whose Wall Street driven for-profit corporate culture has produced a dysfunctional American healthcare system where profit takes precedence over health care.

The irony is that the McCarran-Ferguson Act was never intended to exempt the insurance industry from antitrust law or to protect it from strong regulation and enforcement. In fact it was designed to do exactly the opposite. The Act came about as a result of a Supreme Court decision, United States v South-Eastern Underwriters Assn., which found that insurance companies that sell policies across state lines are engaged in interstate commerce, and are thus subject to federal antitrust law.

Up until that decision regulation of the insurance industry was the responsibility of the respective states. Many states were concerned that they no longer had that authority, and McCarran-Ferguson was designed to restore the power to regulate insurance to the states while also empowering the federal government.

The Act permitted the federal government to regulate insurance, but it also stipulated that only the states have broad authority to regulate the insurance industry unless the federal government enacts specific legislation intended to regulate insurance and displace state law.

In plain English that means that the states have the power to regulate the insurance industry but so does the federal government if it enacts specific laws directed at the industry.

McCarran-Ferguson also unambiguously stipulated that the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 (which prohibits abusive monopolies) and the Clayton Act of 1914 (passed by the U.S. Congress as an amendment to clarify and supplement the Sherman Anti-Trust Act by prohibiting exclusive sales contracts, local price cutting to freeze out competitors, and in general prohibiting abusive monopolies), apply to the business of insurance to the extent that such business is not regulated by state law.

In short, McCarran-Ferguson was designed to empower both the federal government and the individual states so that they could act to prevent insurance companies from becoming abusive monopolies. How ironic that it has instead enabled the health insurance industry to achieve exactly the opposite result because the federal government has chosen not to pass legislation targeting insurance monopolies and the states have, for the most part, shirked their regulatory responsibilities.

It is time to restore the original intent of McCarran-Ferguson by subjecting the insurance industry to state and/or federal regulation and through vigorous enforcement of federal antitrust law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently saw it that way. The House bill specifically subjects the health insurance industry to antitrust law, stripping it of any perceived exemption.

Not so with the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Senator Max Baucus and his special interest-friendly gang of three, which produced a bill reportedly written by one Elizabeth Fowler. Fowler, no stranger to Baucus, had worked for him from 2001 to 2005 as Chief Health and Entitlements Counsel for the Democratic Staff of the Senate Finance Committee. She returned to the Senate in February of 2008 as Senior Counsel to Senator Baucus. In between she served as Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs for insurance giant WellPoint, Inc., a small detail left out of the February 26, 2008 Max Baucus press release announcing her return to his staff where her portfolio would "include the panel's yearlong preparation for broad-based health care reform."

Apparently Baucus, Fowler, and WellPoint saw no need to strip the insurance industry of its antitrust exemption, so they didn't even though it was never intended to actually be an anti-trust exemption.

Senator Patrick Leahy had other ideas. He proposed an amendment to the Baucus Finance Committee Senate bill that would subject health and medical malpractice insurers to federal laws forbidding price-fixing, bid-rigging, or the dividing up of markets, an amendment favored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who maintained that a repeal of the anti-trust exemption would produce more competition and better prices for consumers. President Obama also implied support for the Leahy amendment when he voiced criticism of the antitrust exemption in his weekly radio address, complaining that the health insurance industry is "earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exemption from our antitrust laws."

The final word on the Senate bill belonged not to Max Baucus, but to Harry Reid, so one might have expected the removal of the antitrust exemption to make its way into the Senate bill that was finally passed last week.

The media has largely ignored the fact that the final Reid bill never did address the anti-trust issue, thus leaving the perceived exemption intact, and at odds with the House bill. The obvious question is why, and the answer would be Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. Nelson, a former insurance industry executive (He served as CEO of the Central National Insurance Group, as chief of staff and executive vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and as director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance), took issue with the Senate bill depriving his insurance industry friends of the right to legally defy federal anti-trust law. The insurance industry had also lobbied to keep the Leahy anti-trust provision out. Harry Reid, desperate for Ben Nelson's vote which would give him a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority, went along, and out it went.

Does the continuation of the insurance anti-trust exemption really make a difference? In a word, absolutely!

Both the Senate and House bills leave regulation of the insurance industry to the states which have never been known for holding the industry's feet to the fire. A recent study by The Center for American Progress found that State regulatory authorities rarely bring consumer protection suits against insurance companies and that is especially true in the states most dominated by one or two insurance companies that enjoy virtual monopoly status. In fact in the five states with the least competition four of the five had brought no such suits in the past five years. The report suggested that most states are stretched too thin, and lack the resources to enforce antitrust laws, citing Congressional testimony by Georgetown health policy professor Karen Pollitz's pointing out that "In four states, the Insurance Commissioner is also the fire marshal." Senator Leahy cited the study in support of his effort to repeal the antitrust exemption for health and medical malpractice insurers. "If we remove it, they will have to compete," Leahy saidin a conference call with reporters.

Of course we have come to learn that the minority, not the majority, rules, if the minority bears the name of Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman (sometimes referred to as the Senator from Aetna).

There are some serious reformers who find much to fault in the healthcare reform bill just passed by the Senate, but who think it is time to hold our collective noses and pass this bill. I respect their opinions, but unless this bill undergoes some serious revision during the House/Senate reconciliation process I fear dreadful consequences if this bill becomes law.

First and foremost, it is absolutely essential that federal antitrust law be recognized as something that applies to the health insurance industry, and the time is long past due for it to be utilized to strip the industry of the monopolistic power it both enjoys and abuses.

I don't see the insurance companies mending their ways, and now, armed with mandates, they will have even more power and more money with which to thwart any attempt to enforce regulations that already exist, or that may be enacted in the future.

To the extent the insurance industry has attained its exempt antitrust status; it is because the states and the federal government never exercised the regulatory authority that McCarren-Ferguson explicitly granted them.

Any effort to reform health care has to start with reigning in and dismantling the health insurance monopolies. We need no laws empowering the government to do this, just an acknowledgement that present law allows it and always has.



www.progressives4pennsylvania.com

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"I randomly stumbled upon this book online and it looked intriguing. I recommend the hell out of it!" -- Jonny Bear
"I randomly stumbled upon this book online and it looked intriguing. Little did I know it was more than just a curious cover.... I recommend the hell out of it!" -- Jonny Bear

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Band on the Road
A Book for Our Modern Times

Virginia Beach, VA – A modern story that unfolds a hundred and one truths about life and takes us to an unforgettable journey, Paul Burke’s Journey Home is a short and deceptively simple book about a struggling band traveling from one place to another for their gigs. As they pursue their dream, we meet their friends, their families, and the strangers that will affect and be affected by the band members. But the story is far larger than what we are made to believe at first.

http://ping.fm/hx4n3

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm a big fan of Voice of the Wetlands check them out - http://ping.fm/6Las0

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Health Care is Crippling the Country - Where are the Republicans - Drinking?



Okay now that the Republicans won't play and big pharma and big insurance have Joe Lieberman all wrapped up (yes that's him boozing with Grahm and McCain) who is going to break the monopoly and price fixing that is crushing the middle class and destroying our economy and Country?

Since the middle class and small business (99% of the Country) isn't getting any help from the Republicans - not one - we need to strip the mandates out that require everyone to have insurance and that provide an economic windfall to the 1% of the Country Republicans and Joe Lieberman answer to.

If we aren't going to get competition for big pharma and we can't buy cheaper drugs from overseas (so much for free trade) and we can't buy into medicare (no public option) how are we to create competition and incentives for the private insurers to lower their cost?

Small businesses just got informed by blue cross their rates are going up 37% this year. There is no incentive for a monopoly to lower costs. The collusion in pricing needs to be investigated and the anti-trust exemption needs to be terminated - with prejudice. The insurance companies have a gun to our head and the republicans are loading the barrel with glee.

The fact remains that In 2007, before the current economic downturn, an American family filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of illness every 90 seconds; three-quarters of them were insured. Over 60% of all bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were driven by medical incidents. The share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50% between 2001 and 2007. Most victims are middle class, well educated and had health insurance - (The American Journal of Medicine).

If they don't fix how much it costs the middle class and keep squeezing us to pay their CEO's 20 million dollars a year they are going to break the country. The money needs to stay in the hands of the middle class so they can support the broader economy not just a few CEO's. The insurance companies can't be allowed to skim 40% off the top for salaries and profit. Their manufactured monopoly has to be broken up by the Government. It's called governing. It's the SEC's job to do this and Congresses job to legislate the rule of law when monopolies are crushing the overall economy. It's bad for our National security on top of everything else. For all their preaching of free markets the Republicans are elected to eliminate competition and consolidate power for their big business and fiscal allies in the corporate world.

How stupid are our representatives? Spare me the republican talking points they have offered nothing and are only playing politics to win power in their little world of politicking. Meanwhile the Country is crumbling. 1% of the population is doing well. That eventually will lead to civil war. And there are plenty of guns out there.

The republicans hope health care reform and this President fail because they govern for 1% of the country and 1% alone. How can there not be one republican who doesn't understand the cost of health care is weakening our Country? The republicans can't do what's right for the country because they are scared the corrupt who they take their money from can lead the ignorant against them in any election and win because they control the media.

As it has been for a long time the Republican party worrying about their own seat in Congress have sold out to the highest bidder and have proudly become a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate America. They do "NOT" represent the middle class.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's "Journey Home" About?



I get asked this question a lot and even though its a one off question I haven't been able to come up with a one off answer. There aren't any vampires in it if that helps. Journey Home took over twenty years to write and finish so that should tell you it has some substance and thought behind the story. It's not a formula book. It was a labor of love and written to offer a little entertainment and maybe a slightly different way of looking at the world.

It's deep but its fun and the story has a bunch of twists and turns. After reading a slew of classics I finally sat down and wrote the book I always wanted to read. It was an unbelievable process filled with frustration, heartache and joy, peaks and valleys. The sheer determination and energy put into it I think comes out in the end. It was worth the struggle to see it through. The reader comments speak for themselves.

But what is Journey Home about? Well it's about everything. It's about life, its about love, its about adventure, its about travel, its about music, its about crime, its about anger, its about bloodshed, its about death, its about life - oh wait I already said that - its about humor, its about the art of creation, its about song, its about earth, its about the universe, the stars in the sky and the water in the ground. Its about consciousness, its about a band, its about teenagers, its about adults, its about decisions, choices, and results. Its about wrong and right and the middle area between the two.

Its about a bunch of people thrown together with a few other people and a bunch of stuff happens, some good, some bad, some horrible, some supreme with still more people and everyone having a helluva time whether they know it or not.

In fact if I started to get into the details I would give the story away and I'm not going to do that. So if you want to know what Journey Home is about read the book. What is so awesome about reading is that it involves you, and your inner self,and what you bring to the story,and how you interpret what is around you, and how it mingles with your internal dialogue, and Journey Home is about that as well, and oh yeah there's sex.

Paul
Journey Home

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Message To Tea Baggers and the Greens



Of course some want the health care bill killed it wasn't their parties idea. But that kind of us against them thinking is what enables corporate america to step into the divide and take control. The corporatist are going to rig the system in their favor. No matter what political party you align yourself with the corporatist win as they fight tooth and nail to direct OUR tax dollars their way, and WE THE PEOPLE loose.

Most of us just want the politicians whichever party they belong to doing a good job for the american people.

Over 60% of all US bankruptcies are attributable to medical problems. Most victims are middle class, well educated and have health insurance - (The American Journal of Medicine)

The insurance companies and their representatives in Congress would love to perpetuate a business model that is crippling our overall economy – a bunch of great Americans aren’t they? Because its about their wealth and not the health and well being of the entire Country.

If we get a compromise reform Bill through this Congress that ends the pre-existing conditions exclusions, adds full insurance portability, makes it illegal for insurers to drop patients or raise their rates just because they get sick, repeals the anti-trust exemption, allows for national programs but prevents consolidation, conglomeration and "too big to fail", and gets the same policy prices for us as the congressmen and women pay - as well as setting up exchanges to increase competition, then we will really have done something important.

That the republican party hasn't taken the opportunity to participate in the bipartisanship that was offered to them by this new administration is unconscionable bordering on treasonous and flat out petty.

Their main goal is to win elections - not govern, and to the extent they are on the other side of the isle try and make sure this Presidents star doesn't rise any further.

These are not people with "our" best interest at heart. Us against them is ruining this country and quite frankly I think the tea-baggers should sit down with the greens.

Both the far right and the far left have a lot in common mainly their total disgust with the Status Quo, wall street and big oil stealing our tax dollars. Why are the hyper profitable oil companies receiving tax dollars - millions - when that money could be going to veterans benefits?

I saw the fire congress bumper stickers believe me we all feel the same way. You want us against them? How about the people vs the lobbyist and the corporate buyout and rigging of our so called representative government. How about a tax overhaul so that everyone is paying their fair share, how about the corporate person hood overturn so that CEO's are held accountable for their actions?

A slavish focus on profit margin might be good for the individual or a business, but it is one helluva lousy way to "govern" a Country. Most congressmen both (D) and (R) are just personally owned and wholly owned subsidiaries of Corporate America.

Sad but true. But there is hope even though major corporate media won't talk about it because they are gaming the system, consolidating and just the P.R. machines for the biggest of the big conglomerations and their political puppets in congress.

Still - we - us - far right - far left and those in the middle can fix it all with campaign finance reform.

The status quo doesn't want us talking about that (anything but that) but that's what should happen. Campaign finance reform is what we should ALL be talking about morning, noon and night. We have a broken country hijacked by the highest bidders. Campaign finance reform - make that your number one talking point - then we can get back to governing by common sense, and stop accusing each other of complete non-sense. People who want clean air and clean water and to help their fellow Americans are not socialist, commies who hate Jesus, and right to gun ownership, deficit hawks - do not want to see people kicked out of their homes.

It has been my experience that it is the rare politician who puts country first but not rare at all for the citizens left, right and center. We need to join together to fix our politicians because they are incapable of fixing themselves - campaign finance reform and lobby reform TODAY!

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ask Interior Secretary Salazar to protect America's wilderness from Bush-era "no more wilderness" policy. http://ping.fm/UhIvg

Former Medic's Lettter About Health Care to Congress

Reposted with permission - this Veterans Senator is Jim Webb -

___________________________________________________________

Dear Jim,
I am troubled by the direction we are taking in the healthcare debate. I was recently turned down by the Veterans administration for healthcare due to the fact that my income is more than allowed even though I’m one serious illness away from bankruptcy.

This was not what I was told in 1969 when I was needed by my country to fight the highly lucrative war in Vietnam. Robert McNamara’s book sure shed light on just how expendable we were as common Americans who did not enjoy the deferments received by the children of then members of congress.

I was a medic and lucky that my time was in Army hospitals and away from the battles. It was still difficult and to this day I still see the boys we picked up from the sidewalks that had managed to get to the high floors before jumping to their deaths because of what the war did to them.

Strangely, most were clutching bibles as something that meant something special to them, something bigger than they, something stronger than the fear and disorientation in their lives.

America turned her back on us as we came home from a war that we didn’t want or ask to join. She turned and looked away when my brothers’ caskets were carried from Dover to their final resting place and I can’t help but think that she is turning her back on us again.

We have all fought and died for this country and not just the military but every auto worker, steel worker, teacher and housewife. We are all living in the greatest country on earth and we can’t even afford to keep ourselves and our families alive. Shouldn’t healthcare be a basic HUMAN consideration that is on par with military and education as government run and supported programs?

The recent votes touted as “victories” in congress still offer NO support for the unemployed and uninsured but yet the insurance industry has managed to gain an even stronger role and a more lucrative role in our healthcare.

These are the same fat cats who turn us down for healthcare procedures if you’re lucky enough to have insurance. The same ones who will bankrupt us if we can’t pay their fees. The same ones who have paid congressmen to vote their way and not vote for the little guy who doesn’t enjoy their privileges or influence.

What do we have to clutch and hang onto as congress throws us to our death? Is there anybody in D.C. working for us that doesn’t put special interest ahead of all of America? Is there anybody? Please help us Jim. I stood with you and other veterans at your rally at election time ...and helped you. Help us Jim, please help us.
______________________________________
Do your part and help our veterans take action here

Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't forget look for "Journey Home" for your friends at amazon http://ping.fm/YnOMd
The Solar World Round Up and The Tyranny of Oil - http://ping.fm/qkrDd

Solar World Round Up 12-11-09



While the status quo stifles invention, progress and our standing in the world, promotes two wars to gain pipelines for their antiquated technologies and dirty energy business models that destroy our health and national security - progress is coming. There is no stopping it just a lot of foot dragging and disinformation.

The tyranny of oil and their price fixing - how can gasoline prices go up when demand is down and supply is abundant...you are aware that the price at the pump has gone up again aren't you? Price fixing, price fixing, price fixing oil, coal and nuclear the three heads of the apocalypse have a strangle hold on our tax dollars and politicians, and set prices through comodoties trading agencies in Atlanta.

The wrenching away of control by the insurance companies is just the first battle. Big oil we're coming after you next. Better start bribing the Joe Lieberman's of the world with more money.

In regards to health care if we do get a compromise reform Bill through this Congress that extends coverage to millions of people, ends the pre-existing conditions exclusions, adds full insurance portability, makes it illegal for insurers to drop patients or raise their rates just because they get sick, repeals the anti-trust exemption, allows for national programs across state lines, and it costs us the same as it costs the politicians, and there are exchanges to increase competition, then we will really have done something big, something important.

It's not all doom and gloom here people and we are going to go through the same thing with big oil, nuclear and coal as we try and get a clean energy bill passed. So roll up your sleeves, take a breath and get ready for the next round. I know I am. I can't wait!

In the meantime progress is happening. We have to make sure it isn't compromised, bought out, shelved and/or consolidated away. That's how the big boys do it they buy the competition out and keep feeding us their same tired old crap that was new back in 1900's.

Heck back then they liked electric cars better too but the big boys ripped up all the trolley tracks. They successfully manipulated the masses and led us down the primrose path to two unnecessary wars and a bunch of pissed off people because we are trying to extract oil off their lands while completely marginalizing their populations and propping up their abusive royalty.

Why do you think the Iranians hate us? We supported the Shah of Iran who did our bidding while he chopped off his citizens hands and feet. When you lie with dogs...as the saying goes and the chickens have come home to roost...I think we should let corporate america make all our decisions and long term planning for us. After all they have done such a good job.

Who, who makes a long term plan of dismantling mass transportation and replacing it with a transportation system that relies on resources that we don't have enough of ourselves - that we have to bargain and deal with other countries, that props up our whole industrial structure? I'll tell you who - self serving, ignorant and completely stupid assholes - that don't have a clue and can't long range project and don't care as long as they get rich - that's who.

Here's your Solar World Round up for this week
___________________________________________________

Sopogy introduces new solar technology at NELHA
MicroCSP is an achievement in rugged, modular and cost effective solar thermal technology.” The 2-megawatt thermal energy plant utilizes 1000 proprietary ...

Mission Statement; Solar Energy Trade Mission to India, February 15-19, 2010
Export opportunities in Maharashtra include solar thermal systems and rooftop solar energy units. The goals of the second Solar Energy Trade Mission to ...

Australia Government Calls For Applications
On A$1.5 Billion Solar Program
15 , will target 400 megawatts of solar generation from commercially proven technologies. Two projects will be selected--one solar thermal and one solar ...

India's green energy promises
... will be a statutory requirement to purchase a percentage of electricity from clean sources, and a program for developing solar thermal electricity. ...

Innovation in solar technology helps conserve water, create jobs
It seems cruelly ironic that tapping into Southern Nevada's vast solar energy potential could slowly drain our desert. Traditional solar thermal power ...

Israeli Cleantech Heats Up

In October, Siemens purchased Israel's Solel, a market leader in solar thermal power. The list of Israeli energy startups goes on and on. ...

Lockheed Martin ramps up its green energy efforts
It has a solar thermal test bed the size of a football field in New Jersey and an ocean thermal energy conversion program, which uses the temperature ...

1300MW solar power to be added over three years
“The Clinton Foundation, of the former US President, will undertake two solar
thermal power projects of 3000MW each in Gujarat and Rajasthan. ...

$13M Awarded to Wind and Solar Projects in Ohio
Grants started at $250000, but solar thermal projects, such as the Great Lakes Brewing Company's hot water heating systems, received much less. ...


Beyond Oil - Action Alerts

Expose Exxon - Action Alerts
Follow the oil money

Monday, December 07, 2009

Call Randy Huffman, Secretary at DEP, and ask him to intervene at Coal River Mountain. Call him at 304-926-0440.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Three Heads of the Apocalypse



The so-called conservatives (I wish they actually had been) since Regan have been promoting ideology over practical, common sense governing for decades. Milton Freidman and Ayn Rand and the mythical pillars of the free market system being a panacea for ALL of our problems is patently naive, a prayer for easy answers, a license to steal (wall street deregulation) and none of it takes into account the evil men do.

If the subsidies that went to big oil had gone to clean energy technologies over the past four decades since the oil embargo in the 70's we wouldn't be in a war in Iraq, have put 100's of bases in the Mideast - propped up a corrupt royalty in Saudi Arabia. They have pissed off the poor and exploited so much so that we now have Al Quaeda. All of that thank you very much as a result of so called "conservative" policies.

If they had been true conservatives they would have never gone into the "war and spend" business, but then again Texas (Exxon Mobil) needed more oil reserves to sell...if they (Regan, Bush, Clinton, Bush) had governed the country instead of trying to buy overseas loyalty to preserve the status quo, and their own pockets - the "honest" assessment of our national security would have been addressed much differently.

During the oil embargo of the 1970's it was well demonstrated just how vulnerable we are to rely on an energy source controlled by foreign entities. We should have moved away from non-renewable resources and towards clean energy starting back then. But what was the first thing Regan did when he got into office? He took the White House solar panels down.

Think about this - Russian bases on American soil - Arabian bases on American soil - do you think the "tea baggers" would stand for that in their neighborhoods?

WE have military bases all over the world - and WE are surprised that there is something called Al Qaeda...those are the result of so called "conservative" policies - but truth be told there is nothing "conservative" about imperialism.

There is a clean energy sector busting at the seams to get out and re-kindle the economy but if the status quo can't make a dime off of it they are going to legislate out (through their corrupt politicians they OWN) any innovation and progress that competes with their outdated last century technologies and business models. Subsidized monopolies are not free market enterprises.

Public campaign finance reform is what we need so we can start governing for the good of the country instead of whats good for Enron, Halliburton and the dirty energy kings - coal, oil and nuclear power - those are the three heads of the apocalypse and all are national security risks.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Health Care Amendments Bipartisan Support for REFORM! - http://ping.fm/Yjdkp
Is your Senator an insurance puppet ? http://ping.fm/iU7FL Pls RT!

Health Care Amendments Bipartisan Support for REFORM!



Lieberman's face is the vision of deceit. Tom Carper can't believe he is such a shit stain.

But while Lieberman continues to be a flat out whore I thought the votes on the following amendments are more than indicative of the broad bipartisan support and the realization that the health industry is milking us dry and that reform is a MUST.

The laws regarding the health industry as they have been gamed by the health lobbyist and their "whores" on Capital Hill has to be undone. The monopoly the health industry has cobbled together since the 1940's has to be terminated with prejudice. It is a major factor in the collapse of the United States economy across a broad spectrum of markets.
_________________________________

On its fourth day of floor debate, the Senate finally began to vote on amendments to the healthcare reform bill on Thursday.

Getting the first nod in a 69-31 vote was the amendment proposed by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on Monday that would promote and expand preventive healthcare for women. Insurers would now cover a range of women's health screenings and would encourage no copays for those services.

The amendment, which calls for coverage of screening procedures, such as mammographies and Pap smears, would also cover cervical cancer, postpartum depression, heart disease and diabetes. The amendment received some bipartisan support with three Republicans—Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME), Sen. Susan Collins (ME), and David Vitter (LA)—voting for it.

After that vote, the senators moved to a competing amendment that had been offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), which would prohibit government panels from determining which specific women's procedures would be covered. Her amendment just failed 59 41.(Amendments need at least 60 votes to pass.)

Meanwhile, the amendment proposed Monday by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to remove nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts from the Senate bill was turned down in a 58 42 vote. Had the proposal passed, the Senate bill would have had to be returned back to the Senate Finance Committee.

Other amendments proposed (but no votes had been scheduled yet through Thursday) are:

* A bipartisan proposal from Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and seven other senators that would permit Americans to purchase lower cost prescription medications from other countries, such as Canada. This amendment is likely to spur challenges from the pharmaceutical industry.
* An amendment offered by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D VT) that would repeal the health insurance industry's antitrust exemptions—similar to the provisions found in the House bill.
* Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) filed an amendment supporting the idea that surpluses generated by the Senate bill be reserved for Social Security, and that savings from the long-term insurance program be reserved for that program.

This is a repost from Janice Simmons a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online.
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Insurance Puppets Home Page

Thursday, December 03, 2009

America's 11 Hottest Species Stressed by Climate Change - http://ping.fm/ymkfK

America's 11 Hottest Species Stressed by Climate Change


(Photo by 'Ebe)

WASHINGTON, DC, December 1, 2009 (ENS) – Honeycreepers that sing in Hawaii's mountain forests, the lynx that inhabit the snowy Rocky Mountains and New England, and the grizzly bears of the Rocky mountains are among America's top 10 threatened species already suffering from global warming, according to a new report released today.

The report was produced by the Endangered Species Coalition in conjunction with a coalition of groups, including American Bird Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

It focuses on 10 species or groups of related species that are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act or are candidates for listing. The 11th species, selected in an online poll, is the polar bear, which is listed as threatened under the act.

The global warming threats to these species include increased disease, diminished reproduction, lost habitat and reduced food supply.

"Global warming is like a bulldozer shoving species, already on the brink of extinction, perilously closer to the edge of existence," said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. "Polar bears, lynx, salmon, coral and many other endangered species are already feeling the heat."

"The species in this report are representative of all imperiled wildlife, plants, and fish that are now facing an additional, compounding threat to their survival, and why we need to take action today to protect them," Huta said.

If President Barack Obama and Congress do not lead, these impacts will only worsen, said Huta, who called President Obama's decision to attend the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen next week "encouraging."

"On the cusp of the Copenhagen meeting, the administration has the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in protecting imperiled wildlife from global warming," said Huta. "Simply put, we need binding agreements that will reduce emissions."

Topping the list of the Hottest Species in America is the Kauai creeper or 'Akikiki, which is a type of honeycreeper, a group of birds that shows tremendous variation. At least 59 species originally occurred in Hawaii, but, with human settlement came multiple introductions of exotic species that caused the extinction of all but 17 honeycreepers.



The imperiled 'Akikiki inhabits the wet mountain forests on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. (Photo © Jack Jeffrey courtesy Endangered Species Coalition)

"Hawaii is the epicenter of extinction in the Americas," said George Wallace, American Bird Conservancy's vice president for oceans and islands. "There are a number of factors that have led to the disappearance of so many of Hawaii's native birds since it was colonized, including introduced pigs, goats, cats, rats, and mosquitoes. Global warming adds a huge new, incipient threat to the 'Akikiki and the other remaining endemic birds of the archipelago."

Avian malaria is a serious threat to the 'Akikiki, one that could be exacerbated by global warming, says Wallace. An increase in temperature of slightly less than 4°F in the montane forests of Kauai would result in an 85 percent decrease in the 'Akikiki's safe haven where malaria transmission is currently limited by cool temperatures.

In response to a petition from American Bird Conservancy and Hawaiian bird expert Dr. Eric VanderWerf, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing the 'Akikiki under the Endangered Species Act, along with the Akeke'e, another imperiled honeycreeper found only on Kauai.

Elkhorn coral of Florida's reefs, number two on the list, are bleaching due to the rising temperature of the ocean as a result of global warming. A related threat, ocean acidification, caused by the ocean's absorption of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, impairs the ability of corals to build their protective skeletons.

Bull trout found in the streams of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington is number three on the list of Hottest American Species. Bull trout require the coldest water of all species native to the Rocky Mountains, but as late summer flows are affected by global warming, fewer rivers will be able to provide ample cold water for these fish.


Lynx kittens in Maine (Photo courtesy USFWS)

The Canada lynx still found in the mountains of Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming is number four on the list. This species depends on high elevation habitat with cold, snowy winters. As temperatures rise with global warming, the snowpack and forests that lynx rely on are predicted to move up in altitude and north in latitude.

Pacific salmon that spawn in the streams of California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington are number five on the list. Salmonids typically die when exposed for very long to fresh water temperatures above about 20º C. (72º F.) Global warming has pushed the average summer temperatures of many west coast river systems above that mortality threshold, killing many fish.

The leatherback sea turtles that breed in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and are found offshore of Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coast states occupy slot six on the list. Global climate change threatens reproduction on nesting beaches throughout the leatherback's range

The grizzly bears found in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming are in the seventh slot. "Grizzly bears are denning later in the fall due to global warming," the report states, leading to an increase in hunter-bear interaction and a decline in grizzly bear food sources.

The small, colorful bog turtle found in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia is number eight. By altering hydrological cycles, the report states, global warming will either dry out or flood the turtle's habitat.

Only one plant made the list - it is the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, which is still found in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and North Dakota. This orchid relies on regular rainfall to maintain the distinctive Prairie potholes that are the seasonal wetlands of the Great Plains. Both the possible spring flooding and summer drought could harm the orchid.

Number ten on the list is the flatwoods salamander found in the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. With droughts predicted to become more frequent and intense in these states due to climate change, the salamanders are imperiled.

In an online vote earlier this year, the polar bear was chosen by the Endangered Species Coalition's activists and supporters as America's Hottest Species. The polar bear was the first mammal to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due primarily to global warming.

Sea ice is the key habitat for the polar bear providing dens, hunting grounds, and means of travel, but global warming has an increased effect in the Arctic, with water temperatures increasing faster than elsewhere.

"The loss of summer sea ice will result in the decline of suitable hunting grounds for the polar bear, forcing them to travel greater distances to hunt," the report states. "Declines in polar bear fat storage have already been seen resulting in stress to the bears and sometimes death."

Besides the species listed in the report, Huta points out that climate change is dangerous to a host of other species such as the Pacific walrus, the pika, the wolverine, the Boreal toad, Mason's skypilot, and the bearded, ringed and spotted seals. All literally losing ground to climate change.

Click here to view the report, "America's Hottest Species."

This is a repost from the Environment News Service!

To help click here

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do not worry as to whether you are fat or thin. Worry rather as to whether you use your body, mentally and physically, as an expression of thy ideal.

Edgar Cayce Reading 308-8

Monday, November 23, 2009

"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” - Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Take the "Journey" for the Holidays! http://ping.fm/H6Qyi

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Take the "Journey" for the Holidays! http://ping.fm/oWhT8

Friday, November 20, 2009

And O that all would realize, come to the consciousness that what we are--in any given experience, or time--is the combined results of what we have done about the ideals that we have set!

Edgar Cayce Reading 1549-1
Urge the EPA to close loopholes for automakers and gas emissions. http://ping.fm/6mE5t
Please join us on Dec. 7 at 2pm at the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection headquarters in Charleston, WV for a rally and protest to save Coal River Mountain.

Speak - Kristen Stewart - Movie Review



With all the Twilight promotion going on I wanted to throw out two movie reviews and a third recomendation that feature Kristen in powerful roles. The first one Speak based on a novel of the same name is more than a movie. On its own its a great story and the acting of Kristen Stewart the self proclaimed "regular chick" is vibrant and strong. Its as well done a movie as you could expect for the subject matter. We have all been to high school and witnessed and wandered through the minefield. The battle scars are real and so is the pain.

There are plenty of strong performances as the cast obviously came together on this effort. This is by far my favorite role for Steve Zahn and D.B. Sweeney plays the role of Kristen's father perfectly.

Chances are if you are flipped out over the Twilight Series you have watched everything you can get your hands on regarding Kristen Stewart. But if you only have a passing awareness of this actress because of the media blitz or you are outside the target market ignore the hype and see for yourself this powerful actress, and this moving movie.

The other movie I would recommend is The Cake Eaters - Kristen Stewart puts her body through some contortions. Her character has a rare degenerative nerve disorder. This is a directorial debut for Mary Staurt Masterson - Bruce Dern also stars in this heartfelt drama. This is a sweet movie with plenty of edge and tension between the characters.

Do your self a favor and rent it from net flix.

For a little lighter fare although Kristen brings her "A" game we also enjoyed Adventurland

Keep up the great work Kristen and don't get too caught up in the fame. I think this "chick" has her feet on the ground and I hope I get to see her performing and growing for a long time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arsenic and Old Lace - Movie Review



Frank Capra directs this farce of a farce and its a great movie - where the heck did Priscilla Lane come from she's a hoot. Cary Grant is at his best bumbling, stumbling and trying to play it straight. It's a mad cap adventure of dimwitted police, weird straight off a horror movie set characters and quick pacing. Peter Lorrie is in this movie also and he's casting about frustrated and at his overwhelmed and perplexed best.



This really is a classic movie and I fell in love with Priscilla Lane immediately and you will too! It all takes place on Halloween - so it's spooky fun. If you love old movies and haven't seen this one yet - move it to number one on your net flix list.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

North Korea goes rogue not the President of the United States. http://ping.fm/nTxf7

Thoughts on Sarah Palin and the United States of America



Sarah strikes me as an empty headed prop who won a popularity contest at a small high school gymnasium by intimidating the other girls and romancing the administration. It looks like she bites the hand that feeds her as she turned on McCain the first chance she got - which was immediately.

That's the kind of class and dignity we are looking for in a President (?) - Sorry Palin worshipers she may be a sociopath.

The President of the United States is a very serious job. Our spin doctors and campaign managers have turned it into a high school popularity contest, but in reality the stakes are much higher.

You can not govern by slogan. Look at the damage done by deregulating Wall Street. That move was promoted and championed because of two words "free market". Nice concept but in the intricate world of market economies a complete fallacy. You can not govern by cute little slogans. "Trickle Down" has lead to the unconscionable concentration of wealth in 1% of the population through subsidies and give aways of our tax dollars to the corporate insiders who place their people in our government.

Granted its a costly game of brinkmanship, sloganeering and manipulation to get the population to vote one way or the other, but at the end of the day to the extent we relinquish control and fall prey to easy answers big corporate america runs the show.

And corporatist and corporate america are unqualified to govern the country because their focus is too singular on their particular profit margins. Great focus for a successful business but absolutely wrong and a severe lack of vision for guiding this huge country over the realities of our collective landscape.

The fruit of their electioneering of politics has created an us against them mentality among the citizens in our Country. And it has created an artificial out of touch ruling class that cares only for the acquisition of personal wealth. The reality is that we are all in this together. And if we don't make room for one another there will be trouble no matter how right one group thinks they are over another.

That is hardly the Country we all want or aspire to and not the vision of the United States we all desire to see unfold. In short we are better than that.

While Sarah might be a fascinating soap opera of a character, fun to loath or root for she is only qualified for a People Magazine Cover in the same respect of a Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan - what will she do/say next escapade.

All of these new media celebrities are the same version of the same m.o. - say or do something shocking to get the world of rubber neckers gawking just like the well worn metaphor of a car wreck.

Whether Glenn Beck is crying or predicting something ludicrous or Rush is flame throwing and lambasting something even he doesn't believe, or some new media celeb is releasing a sex tape - its all shock value in the mode and method Howard Stern used to get famous and rich.

That may be one way to achieve a personal goal of wealth and fame but that personality trait is absolutely the worst trait to reward in our politicians.

Good governance requires good citizenship an understanding of how our Country works as a Nation of laws, the intricacies of the market place and in getting along with other people who may not share your same views, culture, beliefs and habits. It requires a true patriotism not in name alone but a commitment to actually put the Country and the people first over individual gain, profit and popularity.

Forcing ones self and opinion down another's throat doesn't win you many friends. No matter how right you think you are its counter productive and tone deaf.

Creating a nation and world where we are "free to be" as long as we don't hurt each other and live sustainably side by side is the goal. Jumping up and down screaming my way or the highway leads to bloodshed.

I would put forth that if you aren't living by these two rules of thumb "live and let live" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - it is you no matter what bible you are carrying or what uniform you are wearing that is doing the wrong thing.

That's Pollyanna thinking for the Alpha Dogs like Palin but in actuality the alpha dogs are the ones who are clueless when it comes to anything other than their own selfish- self interest.

That kind of self absorbed me first focus might be good for ones bottom line but it's one helluva lousy way to "govern" a Country.

North Korea goes rogue not the President of the United States.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Public Campaign Action Fund

Monday, November 16, 2009

Industry Coalesces to Fight Antitrust Repeal



The American Insurance Association, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, wrote a letter to legislators objecting to “onerous provisions included in the bill that without due consideration go far beyond the issue of expanding health insurance coverage.”

Too bad idiots - your price fixing and gouging days are over....

“The primary purpose of federal antitrust law is to encourage pro-competitive behavior and to promote the growth of private competitive markets,” the letter states.

No its not that's why there is only ONE Baseball League. The purpose of Anti Trust Law Exemptions are to preserve a monopoly among the "recognized" entities and since they don't authorize or recognize anyone outside of their group - anti-trust exemptions are a barrier to entry for "real and independent" entrepreneurs.

The fact that they are gathering "coalescing" together tells me that this "Exemption" is desperately coveted by them in order to maintain their monopoly and continue to enjoy the privilege of arbitrarily driving up consumer rates.

The reason that "Major League Insurance" screwed up - screwed the pooch - is because they got so greedy they disrupted and threw into turmoil the overall economy and the future of the overall economy. They are also terrified of the oversight the FTC will get into investigating their business practices and arbitrary pricing.

Support the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3692) and Section 262 - the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act from 1945!

Its about damn time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tell Lieberman he's a disgrace to his faith and Country for putting money over people. http://ping.fm/bJIqB

Monday, November 09, 2009

"Two-thirds of the energy in the fuel burned to produce electricity is lost in the process of generation and delivery."

Friday, November 06, 2009

Solar World Round Up 11-06-09

While the GOP keeps up the steady drum beat about doing nothing to address health care - in other words doing the insurance companies bidding. America falls behind.

I'm sure the GOP will be staking out the same do nothing position when it comes to energy reform doing Exxon/Mobils bidding, and America lags behind. The Status Quo wants every last one of our dollar bills for themselves. Who cares if they cripple the entire national economic system and chew up our "disposable" income crushing our economic backbone - small business.

Meanwhile China is spending multiple billions of dollars on clean energy technologies across the board, wind, solar and electric cars while we fight to preserve our outdated business models and the enormously rich and vastly few they benefit.

Hurry up and pass this health care reform so we can reform the energy sector and spur on jobs for our unemployed. Boehner doesn't even know the difference between the Constitution and the Deceleration of Independence and he wants to run Congress. He doesn't speak for me that over tanned freak. Get off the golf course and pick up a history book asshole.

Here's the rest of the world beating us to the punch while we protect the uber wealthy's profit margin on outdated health care and energy systems.
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Space Age solar technology lands on earth
Mother Nature Network
If approved, Rice Solar Energy Project (RSEP) will become the nation's first heliostat power plant tied to the public electrical grid. ...

Absolute Auction near Boulder, CO
Reuters
This energy efficient, low-maintenance house offers easy living and significant energy savings with its solar electric photovoltaic system, solar thermal ...

Ex-United Technologies Rocket Scientists To Build 150 MW Solar ...
By Susan Kraemer
Abengoa has several in Spain, and plans one in Arizona. United Technologies has licensed the original technology to the new company SolarReserve and its wholly owned subsidiary Rice Solar Energy, LLC, (RSE). ... In reality, even wet-cooled solar thermal, utility-scale solar's piggiest water hog, uses only 1/60th of the water that nuclear can use and one 1/50th as much as a coal plant can; according to the (pdf) Report to Congress on Concentrating Solar Power Commercial ...

Germany to Help Develop Moroccan Solar-Thermal Energy Projects
Bloomberg
Solar-thermal systems heat a fluid by concentrating the sun's rays on a tube. The liquid produces steam that turns turbines. ...

Ryan Davies Finds Hot Technology Produces Solar Power for Half the Price
International Business Times
... where Ryan's company is awaiting permit approvals to build a solar thermal plant that will provide peak power to some 2500 homes. The Energy Report: ...

By 2050 solar thermal energy could provide 47% of the UK's low ...
Brussels, 25 September 2009. Since heat accounts for nearly half of the overall energy demand in the European Union, the solar thermal industry will no ...

Solar Thermal Molten Salt Project For California
Energy Matters
by Energy Matters Rice Solar Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of Solar Reserve, has filed plans to construct and operate a large solar farm in Riverside County, ...

My Turn: What's good for environment is good for economics
BurlingtonFreePress.com
Unfortunately, however, we now import almost half our solar panels, while countries like Germany and Spain get more energy from solar energy than we do. ...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Big Government is the Problem - Guess Again
Hot new blog posting - http://ping.fm/vcWh3

Big Government is the Problem - Guess Again



I ran across this quote again - "When the government gets involved, everyone loses in the long term," posted by some empty headed student in one of those big Texas universities. I have been listening to this shit since Regan got elected. It just gets repeated over and over again until a certain type of individual actually thinks its true. The only scenario where government would be a bad idea is if people where angels. Well mankind is far from angelic. We are base, short sighted and driven by greed, jealousy and envy, and some would argue that's our good side.

The fact of the matter is that when government (a.k.a. - law) wasn't involved men shot men in the street and banks were robbed - the pablum puking repetition of the rhetoric that government is bad serves no purpose. This is a nation of laws - not dictators or armies or royalty and it's a better system than most. But it is government who put that system in place and it is government that is supposed to manage it - not lobbyist. And it has to be big to effectively manage a continent with global interconnectedness and relations you freakin' idiots.

A well thought out system of checks and balances however can be corrupted when "individuals" sell out.

The problem is our lazy uneducated population from which we draw individual representatives from and how easily their morals are bought off to stay elected or gain title, power and stature for title, power and stature sake. The system as now rigged by individuals requires a ton of cash to keep your job as a representative but that's no excuse for selling out or an excuse for citizens to be apathetic.

The solution is campaign finance reform. And I would remind everyone who insists on making empty headed statements about government being bad to step back and think about it. Hyper self interest and a slavish focus on the bottom line may work for an individual business model but it is one helluva lousy way to run a Country.

I would remind the geniuses that swallow the rhetoric that running an individual business and governing (ie managing) a Country are two different things. It's a question of balance. When one sector of the market gets a choke hold (monopoly)on the macroeconomics and structure it thwarts and stifles economic growth and inventiveness across the whole broad market.

The inverse is actually the truth - when government doesn't get involved everyone looses in the long term. It all depends on what we the people tell the government to do. The government is our tool. When we hand it over to individuals, corporatist or the military its function of oversight, and ethics gets abandoned.

The single mindedness of one market sector and its laser like focus on its one business model doesn't take into account the ramifications or unintended consequences of its actions across the whole market nationally and internationally.

To put it in simple terms your State forests would have been clear cut by now because individual market sectors have zero self control when its only focus, goal, and pursuit is to maximize profit. Why do you think overfishing is an issue? Because the individual corporations, companies and businessmen say - the next guy can cut back I'm making as much money as I can.

No one cuts back until a law and a power able to enforce that law is passed by the majority to ensure our collective survival and the continuation of that market and all that is linked to it. That law and that power is called Government. Without it and this isn't hyperbole we return to the wild,wild west. And in case you didn't know it no amount of being right has ever stopped a bullet.

So wise up and get a clue. People are now so comfortable they think government is bad. It is government that has provided that comfort by replacing the rule of the gun with the rule of law.

Without laws and because of deregulation the economy goes through boom and bust cycles rocking everyone's world. Unless you are okay with all that and would like a return to the gun model of running a country, city, town and street I suggest you pull back and think about who is telling you Government is bad?

I'll answer that for you. It's the individual self interested who have been restricted in their pursuit of profit because they do more damage than good to the big picture.

They have no moral compass or long term understanding built into their business plan of maximizing profits through any and all means or when it comes to making a quick buck, and to everyone else be damned.

If the free market is so all powerful how come it can't get a foot hold in Hatti? Because it's the rule of the gun on that island and not law. If there were no laws there wouldn't be a global economic infrastructure and corporatist mechanism in place for you all to worship at.

As usual mans sight needs to be raised up from staring at his own belly button. Part, a small but loud part, and very well funded with national media outlets at their disposal echo the chant of laws are evil (they call it regulation or government because we all know laws aren't evil - they are set up to prevent evil) and claim what holds it all together and props it all up as evil because their particular financiers are encumbered by governance.

Romanticism of rugged individualism (the retarded cowboy) has never saw beyond itself or governed effectively. Greed is not good and Clint Eastwood isn't going to ride into town and save us all from the evil Bush-whackers. We save ourselves by governance and the rule of law.

Pick up a history book and go back to economics class. Although the individual profit whores (Bush-whackers) don't want an educated public because it would screw up their schemes of power and manipulation. It's too hard to manipulate an educated population with empty headed slogans and fear - Government is bad - yeah right - guess again.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home
To make a difference click here

Monday, November 02, 2009

Break Up The Insurance Companies - Like AT&T!

The fact remains that big insurance by refusing care to patients and reimbursement to doctors over typos has ticked everyone off. They have a monopoly over the whole process and a well financed lobby team (including Liebermans wife) and representatives on both sides of the isle.

A friend of mine recently laid off just he and his spouse is paying $2,500.00 dollars a month for his COBRA. Health insurance costs more than his mortgage. Anyone taking up the insurance industry's cause doesn't know what they are talking about.

If you think the insurance companies are going to voluntarily lower their cost while having a monopoly over the process – you are being disingenuous …Over 60% of all US bankruptcies are attributable to medical problems. Most victims are middle class, well educated and have health insurance - (The American Journal of Medicine)

The insurance companies and their representatives in Congress would love to perpetuate a business model that is crippling our overall economy – a bunch of great Americans aren’t they?

90% of the wealth concentrated in 1% of the population is no way to run a country but a heck of a way to establish a royalty ruling class. Yacht sales can not sustain 350 million people. I'm for the public option, competition and a level playing field or break up the big insurers like we did AT&T.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

This article from the LA Times is Tremendous!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Solar World Round Up - 10/30/09



While the oil still flows in the waters off Australia's Coast - the status quo back home isn't going to give an inch. Anything the progressives want we are going to have to take from them. If we do nothing we'll have oil spills everywhere, mercury to breath, mountains destroyed, the extinction of tuna (that means no more tuna fish sandwiches everyone)and more and more nuclear everything, waste, subsidies and proliferation.

The dirty energy extractors and their profit margins are going to march the economy and our collective, global survival right off the proverbial cliff. They can't stop themselves. They know better but they will try and eliminate any and all competition stifling innovation and any and all competition.

Thank god for Europe. They are a little more sane when it comes to global, environmental and economic survival. They know its a balancing act. Winner takes all, dog eat dog, rugged individualism leads to ruin, pollution, and war.

Those are the facts so we better stay on top of our elected leaders and kick to the curb anyone who stands in our way of a more perfect, equitable and sustainable world.

When we are done with health care we have to fix Energy, Wall Street, Election laws and the Tax Code. This all has to be done or we loose the world to the dirty fuel extractors and their addiction to short term profits. People of vision stay strong and focused our time is NOW!
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Here's what the future is bringing - America you are behind the curve....

German Energy Giants Eager for US Green Transformation

Earlier this month, Siemens also announced its plans to acquire solar thermal power company Solel Solar Systems Ltd. of Israel for $418 million. ...

7 Solar Innovators From Israel That Could Fuel Our Planet

Solel is one of Israel's most talked about solar energy companies, up there with brightsource and zenithsolar. Building solar thermal power plants in Spain ...

LEBANON: Solar power helps schools, hospitals

The solution, say many Lebanese environmentalists, is a combination of solar thermal power to heat water, and photovoltaic panels for back-up electricity. ...

The Oil Drum: Australia/New Zealand | Details of Solar Flagships ...

The successful solar thermal project in round 1 will be allowed to include hybrid solar generation combining gas or other types of renewable energy, adding no more than 15 percent of the project's total electricity output. ...

Can Renewable Energy Save The World?

Solar thermal or concentrated solar power concentrates the sun's heat to generate steam and drive a turbine, the usual method of generating electricity. ...

DeSoto desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center Commissioned

In addition to the desoto plant, FPL is building a 75 MW solar thermal facility in Martin County and a 10 MW solar PV facility on the Space Coast. ...

Solar Electricity Cost Competitive | International Business And ...

Wind energy and hydroelectric power are indirect forms of solar thermal energy. Solar chimneys, solar towers and the vortex engine are among the more recent proposals by which to generate electric power from solar thermal energy. ...

Solar goes retail in Rhode Island with opening of display room

On display are Solar Thermal Energy Storage System components: solar panels, vacuum tube solar collectors, controllers, and storage tanks. ...

National Lab Shows Costs of Solar Moving Toward Grid Parity

For residential customers, installation costs can represent up to half of the cost of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems (used to ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Australian Oil Rig Blowout Creates Environmental Catastrophe - (With Photos) http://ping.fm/tDHF7

Australian Oil Rig Blowout Creates Environmental Catastrophe



WASHINGTON (Oct. 28, 2009) – The impacts of the nine-week West Timor oil rig blowout are creating an environmental catastrophe for wildlife and ocean ecosystems, Defenders of Wildlife said today. In August, the West Atlas/Montara offshore drilling rig, widely touted as a “safe, modern” operation, suffered what the rig’s operators termed a “loss of well control.” Despite three attempts to stop the resulting massive oil spill, oil continues to leak into the surrounding ocean.



“A global-scale environmental catastrophe so large that it is visible from space is unfolding in one of earth’s last marine wilderness areas,” said Richard Charter, government relations consultant with Defenders of Wildlife, “It is time for the dithering, excuses, and failed response efforts to end and for the international community to get the full story on how and why this spill has been allowed to continue for so long. This persistent mess is too big and too damaging to hide any longer.”



Estimates of the volume of oil spilled since the August 21 Australian blowout have now expanded as much as five-fold, to more than 9.7 million gallons, while the oil slick has covered several thousand square miles of ocean waters. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is now discussing allowing essentially the same kind of “environmentally-responsible” offshore drilling to go forward off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida’s Gulf Coast and Panhandle beaches.



“If anything like the Australian blowout ever takes place off of the Southeast U.S. beaches or in Florida waters, the economic and environmental consequences will last for decades,” Charter emphasized.



Worldwide, conservation interests have become increasingly concerned as satellite images have shown that the mega-spill has spread from Australia’s whale and sea-turtle rich Kimberley Coast into distant Indonesian waters as well. Three prior attempts to stop the flow of oil have failed, and a fourth attempt this week had to be postponed due to equipment failure.


Satellite imagery of the spill can be downloaded courtesy of Skytruth

and here:


__________________________________
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.

Thanks to the Friends of the Lower Calaveras River for the repost of this press release

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lieberman is a corporate whore - his wife works for a big insurance lobbying firm - give Joe a piece of your mind http://ping.fm/yx7f6

Joe Lieberman is a Piece of Shit



...and always has been - for the record Sen. Lieberman has long been known to cultivate the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, which provide jobs in his home state and contributions to his campaign fund.

His wife, Hadassah joined Hill & Knowlton last year. The legendary lobbying and PR firm hired her as a “senior counselor” in its “health and pharmaceuticals practice."

Lieberman is beyond contempt and a real slimy piece of shit. The contempt for him is real. This move "IF" the wormy, mealy mouthed, flip flopper, sticks to his word (he never does) but if he does lead a filibuster to prevent a VOTE on healthcare this will be Joe's last act as a politician. He will get run out of the Senate and Connecticut. What a bunch of intellectual lightweights and misfits that re-elected him. I can tell you one thing he's not much of an independent. He's a hack for the Status Quo and his days are numbered.

Here's his website - give the complete piece of shit a piece of your mind.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Broad Support for Public Option

When respondents were asked to decide about "a government-administered health insurance option that anyone can purchase," a clear majority favored it. Fifty-seven percent supported it overall (though Republicans were against it by 2 to 1).

Those who opposed the broad public option were asked about a Plan B version: "What if [it] were offered as an option only to people who cannot get insurance through their employers?" Another 18 percent of the full sample supported this idea - making 75 percent in all who would support a public option as a choice for those who cannot get employer-based health insurance. And among Republicans, 59 percent supported this approach.

Abortion, Love and the Corporate CEO

I think the whole anti-choice movement is born out of the fear that someone is going to abort their belief in the second coming...I can fathom no other rational explanation and reconcile their free market passions with their elimination of self determination when it comes to child rearing.

In other words its perfectly okay for a corporate ceo to be unregulated ruining lives, the environment, spoiling the food chain and water and wreaking the economy and environment for self directed financial gain and profit no matter who gets hurt but those rules of unfettered self determination don't apply to individuals when it comes to child rearing and that responsibility.

I can not reconcile their concern with a microscopic cellular unconscious molecular mass with their entire disregard for human life after it is born.

Nor can I reconcile their love of the death penalty and their shooting of doctors, and defenseless animals with the teachings of their messiah or their complete contempt and utter disregard of the poor, uneducated, hungry, sick and dying at home and abroad with their obsessive action and violent defense of a microscopic cellular mass.

Abortion is not a religious event for most and those to whom it is a religious issue should have more faith in their god and the way he directs our lives and the choices and roads he lays out before us...Life is a learning experience and I severely doubt that any of this would be here if we all didn't have a lot to learn.

The sheer magnitude of the infinite variety of life on this earth as represented in the animals, trees, fish, insects, frogs, flowers, weather, culture, size and shape, color, grass, fields, mountains, streams, rivers, valleys, music, art and literature as well as the birds of the Galapagos Islands should certainly be a clue, and hint as to otherwise that their isn't only one way for life or ourselves to evolve and certainly not one way for us to live our lives outside the guiding principle of love.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Scientology Again - Paul Haggis's Public Awakening



It is such a shame that true believers get associated with corrupt organized religion - whether in a theocracy, catholic church or any other sect, cult or philosophy good people are used, misrepresented and taken advantage of to empower the few at the top.

There is a lot of bad mixed in with the good in the pews and I implore people of all walks of life and in all countries to look for your answers within your own self because it is there that they lay. Listen to your own consciousness it is the true honest voice of right and wrong. No dogma, no building, no cloaked, bearded, staff holding man or woman can direct you better than your own inner voice.

You can suppress it for a time but it will surface time and time again in your own consciousness the innate knowledge of the right way to be. Within you and within everyone is where the voice of your creator resides.

The only temple you need is your own body for it is there that the creator however you imagine or whatever you call him will meet you and confront you with your self and the choices you have made in life.

When will people realize that this whole Earth, this whole universe and all that is in it is sacred. We did not create it but how we individually choose to act upon it is our destiny as individuals and together globally as all of mankind.

We are all equal and what is different about us is the same - our sex, our culture, our education but where the rubber hits the road we are all the same flesh and blood. There is no pope, no priest, no ayatollah, no written scripture, no book and no dogma that holds greater truth, instruction or greater wisdom than you already posses in your inner core of being. We all know the difference between right and wrong. And we all know that excuses do not absolve our heinous acts toward each other.

Worship as you see fit, love your rituals, read the words in the books that remind you of the inner truth that resides in all of us and enjoy life. Know that no matter what choices you make they must be worked at and know that each individual has their own road to travel to enlightenment. You can not force your beliefs on others. That is repression and control for the enrichment and empowerment of others. As long as you are not harming any one do as you see fit and let your conscience be your guide.

Remember always no matter where you are in the world and I suspect universe that if you aren't following these two rules: live and let live and do unto others as you would have them do unto you - you are the one doing the wrong thing.

Paul Burke
Author - Journey Home

Read Haggis's Letter renouncing Scientology in the link above or here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

AUSTRALIAN OIL SPILL APPROACHING
"EXXON VALDEZ" SCALE - http://ping.fm/l1RuE

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Blogs Up at http://ping.fm/KzwNo
The Cost of Healthcare in America - Insurance Companies Anti-Trust Status - Federal Health Insurance to Everyone - Solar World Round Up - all with links to take action!

Solar World Round Up - 10/15/09

While we continue to slowly pull the healthcare bill away from the death grip the insurance companies have on it - Olympia Snowe - who cares - the fact remains the insurance companies have been living off of blood money and ripping us off for decades.

We're pissed and the party is over - even their ultra hush, hush anti-trust exemption from 1945 is finally being talked about.

They are scum (that's not hyperbole)and do not care about the economy as a whole or the damage and pain and suffering they have caused regular people. They don't care - too bad you made a typo - have fun dying. We're not sorry YOU got sick - thanks for the policy payments! That's whats going on people and they are finally being called out on their bizarre behavior. They gilded the lilly for so long pushed the premiums up too high. Those of us who have been saying WTF for decades are finally seeing some action on the HILL not because its the right thing to do but because its a huge drag on the economy - freakin' geniuses no duh.


Here's what's happening in the rest of the world while the dirty energy sector is asleep at the switch getting ready to defend their turf as doggedly as the insurance whores. Get ready for another battle but stay focused on health care and pump up the volume. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!
_________________________________________________


German industrial conglomerate Siemens acquires Israel's Solel Solar Systems ...
The Canadian Press
Its US arm, headquartered in Irvine, California, is developing a solar thermal energy plant in the Mojave Desert. The deal is expected to close this year. ...

Ohio State's Solar Decathlon Entry Is Entirely Home-Grown
Popular Mechanics
... Sanyo solar panels, is net-zero in terms of energy—it produces as much power as it consumes. Sixty evacuated tubes provide hot water from solar thermal. ...

Eve Samples: Solar energy growing in Indiantown should be first step to more ...
TCPalm
s solar-thermal plant in western Martin County is to think that a new era of clean energy has finally dawned in the Sunshine State. ...

Midwest Renewable Energy Association Receives $3.3 Million Award
RenewableEnergyWorld.com
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) has been teaching about solar electric and solar thermal technologies since 1990 and has offices in Custer ...

$4 Million in stimulus funds to help homeowners 'Go Solar' with hot water systems
Connecticut Plus
The new Solar Thermal Incentive Program is part of the comprehensive State Energy Plan that has qualified for $38 million from the American Recovery and ...

Solar Thermal: Leading by Example
RenewableEnergyWorld.com
The Reichstag building uses passive solar, combined heat and power, a geothermal heat pump, solar PV and solar thermal for almost all its energy needs. ...

Clean all around – solar hot water | DIY HOME ENERGY
By admin
Lately, there has been a lot of talk around the water cooler about renewable energy sources. This includes technologies based on natural elements, such as wind, the sun, the ocean and thermal energy from the earth itself. ...
DIY HOME ENERGY - http://www.diyhomenergy.com/

Bridging the development gap
Edmonton Journal
Andy Reynolds, program leader for clean energy at the Alberta Research Council, sees enormous potential for the province to develop solar thermal energy. ...

Duke Announces Solar on Customer Rooftops
Clean Energy News
Since solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can be more costly than buying electricity at today's prices, Michael particularly recommends solar thermal (hot water ...

US NAVY: Navy Finalist in Two Categories for Platts Global Energy Awards
Trading Markets (press release)
... wind energy generation, solar photovoltaic energy generation, solar thermal energy systems, geothermal energy generation and ground source heat pumps. ...

The NAVY - you right wing elitists - and political whores - the Navy - the freakin' Pentagon knows damn right well that oil is unsustainable and a national security risk - keep playing politics and slow our real independence down to a crawl - Un-American morons.

Love,

Paul
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