Sunday, March 26, 2017

Health Care Costs - Excerpt from Let's Make Our World Better by Warren William Luce

Used by Permission


The other major budget buster besides the military industrial complex and intelligence is health care costs. The Affordable Care Act was intended to provide health care to all citizens. Prior to its enactment, there were about forty million Americans without health insurance. At the end of the first year, less than seven million were signed up for insurance. That is far from achieving its purpose. There are both good and bad provisions to the act. The claim that it will lower health costs is very questionable. Premium increases are rising significantly and taxpayers are going to be billed for subsidies to those who can't afford insurance and tax credits to the middle class income earners and businesses.

It's not a good act, and rather than working together to fix the problems, congressional members played the blame game, trying to affix all the fault to the administration to gain political advantage. There was plenty of blame to go around including the insurance companies, but the primary criticism needed to be directed at Congress. There is that old adage, the administration proposes, and Congress disposes. Congress makes the laws; the administration enforces them. Costs will increase due to extensive free screening care costs billed by the insurance companies, subsidies to those who can't afford insurance and tax credits to the middle class income earners and businesses.
We're spending $3.3 trillion every year on health care or almost $10,000 peer capita. With average life expectancy at 78.3 years, we rank 36th in the world. Almost every country ranking higher spends half or less per capita that we do. Most have health care systems that are on par with ours. Japan, ranking first with a life expectancy four years greater than ours, spends about a third of what we do per capita.
Obviously, there is something drastically wrong with our health care system. If other countries can provide good health care at $4,000 per capita or less, so can we and should. We can save $1.45 trillion every year in health care costs when we correct the flaws in our system. The individual, businesses, the insurance companies, and the government (taxpayers) will all benefit.

So, why are our health care costs twice as high as they should be? The Institute of Medicine reports that the health-care systems wastes $750 billion every year with millions of unnecessary and expensive tests, inefficient delivery of care, excessive administrative costs, inflated prices, and fraud. The Arizona Daily Star reported that about one third of the health care that is provided is not needed and does nothing to benefit the health of the patient. That's almost a trillion dollars spent unnecessarily every year. Medicare and Medicaid constitute about 40% of the health care costs, which means that we could save the government (taxpayers) almost $400 billion every year.

The ACA does nothing to address that enormous waste but rather increases it. The Act requires that insurance plans cover preventive immunizations, and free other basic services. How naive can you get? There is no such thing as free medical care. You will pay as the insurance companies raise premiums. Medicare and Medicaid costs will go up as the taxpayers are billed by insurance companies for those "free services."

"Preventive healthcare services" as the way of screening for early detection are a major factor in the unnecessary care provided. They're incredibly expensive. About 13% of American women will get breast cancer. That means 87% will not, yet they will be tested for it. Of those, tests often produce false positive results, which require more expensive testing and sometimes invasive procedures.

Applying that concept to the many other diseases means that a vast majority of healthy Americans will be tested for diseases they don't have. We're talking about hundreds of millions of unnecessary tests. It doesn't take a math genius to understand the immense costs that will be incurred. The concept of screening, preventive healthcare services if badly flawed. It's especially egregious as we know how to actually prevent disease. Screening is okay where special circumstances exist such as a family history of a disease. Yes, preventive screening will save lives, but many, many more will be saved when we focus on keeping people from getting sick, which we know how to do but give it little attention...

There is one more factor that's perhaps the most important, and that is our attitude about our health, how we think about our health...Actually, the length of our lives is not too important. We're all going to die sooner or later. It's the quality of life that is important... And as a result you'll save yourselves and other taxpayers a hell of a lot of money helping to reduce our annual deficits by $350 million.
~~~



A Personal Note: I have learned more from this one book, about all the issues that we are all facing...in the United States... and what I've shared is only about the first section--Politics!

I'll be writing an official review; however, since the author allowed it, I'm sharing enough about what's happening right now...e.g., about the Affordable Care Act, which has just failed, or passed for a while longer, depending upon how you look at it...

For me, I'll be stopping "early detection tests" unless I feel like there is a problem, for me, or get to a point that I am no longer able to make my own medical decisions ...Each of us has to deal with the bureaucratic mess we are in regarding health care... Please share this, if this is an issue of importance to you! Thank you!

The Spring Book Festival - March 27-29 - Check it Out!





Welcome spring 2017 by attending:
THE SPRING BOOK FESTIVAL
MARCH 27-29


Find your new favorite books and authors. Fiction of every genre, from Children's Literature to Fantasy, Romance to Horror will be represented by a diverse list of Indie authors at discount prices; many are free. 
You say you like Non-fiction, too? Don't worry, we've got that.
Enter the $150 giveaway in prizes!
Come join us and tell your book-loving friends!





Book Readers Heaven Supports Indie Authors

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kayla Krantz's Sequel, Alive at Sunset... Not Recommended...



ALL AT ONCE, the blackness was upon him. It drowned out his senses, and not only did he not know where he was, he had not a clue who he was. When the blackness had come, it had buried pieces of him deep into the unconscious folds of his mind. Groggy and unfocused, his mind had turned to a blazing pit of non-understanding. He wanted to do nothing more than sleep, but he couldn’t—not in this place. 
When he opened his eyes, he found his sight wasn’t of any use to him. His eyelids threatened to droop from the weight of his exhaustion, but he managed to keep his eyes open to survey his surroundings, which looked gray and hazy. Around him, a field stretched away for miles, but it was hard to tell what else it contained through the thickness of the fog. The air weighed him down, making him feel uncommonly heavy. Frosted grass crunched beneath his feet with every step, but he wasn’t aware he had been moving. The sudden feeling of his legs made him stumble, and the crunch of the icy ground seemed deafening as he struggled to catch himself from falling. He kept his balance and looked around, hoping to see anything familiar. 
The haze compromised his vision like a set of walls he somehow had the ability to walk through. If he could see, would it even matter? He pulled himself from the thought and whipped around frantically; the haze remained thick on all sides. “Hello!” he called out. His voice echoed strangely in the barren land, but he got no response from within the depths of the darkness. 
Tiny lights floated in the haze, resembling large fireflies; they were the only signs of life he could see. He couldn’t make heads or tails of the place, but he knew he would get no closer to finding an answer if he stayed put. He sighed and walked forward again, wary of falling. The icy grass beneath his feet seemed to be the most reliable thing. An answer had to be here somewhere—he just needed to look harder. If he let panic sink its fangs into him, then all rationality would go out the window. 
He kept walking, feeling drawn to some unseen source. He frowned deeply. What was out there, calling to him? There was the possibility nothing was out there at all. He might follow the longing in his heart until he collapsed from exhaustion. Either way, he had to find out…he had no other hopes, nothing else to accomplish besides discovering where his feet were taking him. 
He crept forward, and a tree branch smacked him gently across the face. He swiped out in defense, but once he realized it wasn’t a threat, he groaned and pushed it away. The fog seemed to thicken. It formed tendrils that ran down his throat and made blindfolds over his eyes like white cataracts. He waved his hand in front of his face, desperate to clear the haze out of his eyes and even more desperate to catch any glimpse of his surroundings. He stumbled over his feet again and fell forward, arms out in front of him as his chest collided with the ground. 
“Ooff!! The sound slipped from his mouth involuntarily as he blinked, his vision swirled black to mix in with the fog. The cold grass blades brushed his nose, the ice turning to water as his breath landed on it. He sat up, furiously wiping at his face, not noticing the dirt under his nails. He looked around, hoping the fog would be thinner toward the ground, like smoke, but he still couldn’t see a thing. He exhaled dejectedly and stood to his feet. Stumbling aimlessly along, he hoped to find something, anything, to alert him to where he was. 
A piercing scream sounded from somewhere deep in the fog—a pained wail from a female. He didn’t jump from it, almost like part of him expected it…or he had heard it somewhere before. If he found the source of the noise, would it get him out of this strange parallel universe? The screaming stopped as suddenly as it had started, and he frowned. It would be impossible to pinpoint the source on his own. 
He smacked at the heavy tendrils of fog that gouged at his eyes and clung to his cheekbones. He wouldn’t be able to stand the haze much longer; it was driving him insane.
 “Where the hell are you?” he yowled into the white smoke around him, finally losing his hold on his temper...
The piercing female scream sounded again, right by his head, shattering his eardrums, and distracting him from his current threat. He held his hands over his ears and pushed himself forward on his elbows, trying to free himself from the bind of ivy. The scream beside his head dulled for a moment, and he seized his opportunity to act. 
He reached into his pocket for his precious dagger and managed to pull it out. In one quick, efficient movement, he sliced the thick tendril off of him. It fell limply to the ground like a deadened hand. The moment he was free, he wasted no time scooting away from his prison. The ear-shattering scream had risen to unbearable levels—the sound seemed to radiate from the very ground itself. The red color he had seen earlier was bright and fluorescent, radiating out into the air from something hidden in the fog. 
He couldn’t see “it” exactly so he took a hand off of one ear—a risky move with the deafening scream—but he reached out and grasped the item, trying desperately to see if whatever it was, person or object, could help him. Pain shot up his arm, and he found that the harder he tried to pull his hand away, the more attached to him the item was. Nearly paralyzed, struggling between life and death, he fought to stay conscious, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he could do so. The pain was everywhere at once, alerting him to places in his body he hadn’t known existed...
When he was about to give in and let this place take the last of his life, the pain and the fog vanished all at once as if it had been a staged performance. He could see his surroundings, see the strange place he had somehow ended up in. Beneath the haze, the sky held no light. The ice melted from the grass, and the shrunken blades grew luscious and long. 
In his hand, where the red light had been, he clutched a bone with a heavy, beautiful, long-stemmed rose wrapped around it. With the haze gone, Chance knew who he was once again. He knew everything.
~~~





I've been having parts of a song come to mind the last few days as I was reading Alive at Sunset. "One way or another, I'm gonna getcha..." No wonder, I realized since the serial killer in Krantz's two books must have that as its theme song! The other songs, by the way, were inspiration to the author as she wrote...

Krantz continues to provide a compelling, suspenseful story as she moves into the second book of what will be a trilogy. Readers discover as this book begins that Chance has been in a coma for three years.  In the meantime, Luna has left home and gone on to college where she's living with a new friend Amanda... During the entire three years, Luna visited the hospital to verify that Chance is still in his coma...and she is safe!

But, now, Chance has awoken...

And there is where issues began... First, we soon discover that Chance has been employed as a nurse, without any credentials whatsoever. Ok. this did not make sense, added only a disruption to the story, and the beginning of disbelief on my part. Krantz seems to not be able to separate the basic setting for the story and build it, free of the fantasy or paranormal happenings in the book. Chance could have been hired as a nurse aide or other service worker in a hospital and still could have performed the damage he accomplished there! 

And then, Chance sees the opportunity to get to Luna through her roommate, setting up Amanda as a dumb blond character that, while believing Luna that Chance could have been a killer...but now, he's been in a coma and is oh, so nice...Duh!
So she allows Chance to move in with her and Luna! And then, there are major discussions between Chance and Luna, while Amanda is in the apartment, without NO disruption??? Just NOT believable, especially since Amanda was jealous of Chance.

In the earlier book, Luna had got into major problems with her father who chose to take Chance's opinion over Luna's... We had no other character development for her father or mother for that matter. In the second book, the parents are back in the book, again, with no background on either to make them more real to readers. Yet a major event occurs, and Luna is traumatized...with no explanation whatsoever about making up with him after what happened in the last book.

Frankly I am amazed, chagrined, and totally puzzled how his young author has developed such a creative skill to present her stories, yet fails so badly with basic character development, setting, and ensuring that the story is believable...  Their is no continuity for minor, but important characters. They seem merely tools that are used to support the main characters and readers recognize that we are missing much about the overall scope of the book as we would normally expect...and receive...

In the second book, Chance is a "normal" serial killer that merely went about the business of taking revenge on those that cost him three years of his life. It became even more of a slasher story since the murders were senseless, quick, and did only one thing, hurt Luna...

At the same time, Krantz adds a human touch to Chance, which does soften, only slightly, his bloody thirst, when he discovers one of this heinous actions has resulted in more than expected...




As I've said, the basic story line is suspenseful, but only in the true slasher situation, where you're totally involved in who is going to get killed next. I did not feel the intrigue coming through in this second book as was experienced with the paranormal DreamWorld aspect. And the totally unbelievable concept that Chance moved in with Luna and had free access to her is pure mind-boggling nonsense. Sure, she had been traumatized and was facing a similar situation... but having the roommate date and have sex with a killer while the girl about whom he has an insane obsession is in the other bedroom... well, it boggles the imagination.

I am being specific about the critical issues in this book, because it is obvious to me that the author has much talent. It is my recommendation that she reads more genres (and different types of music!) other than what she obviously wants to write in. She needs to learn about the basic outline of a novel that surrounds the specific genre activity. So far, she's not making it happen and readers soon lose interest in the blood, guts and gore... Sad to say...



GABixlerReviews

Guest Blogger J. J. White Shares "Will History Repeat Itself?" Plus Info on his Novel, Nisei...




Will History Repeat Itself?

J.J. White


President Trump’s travel and immigration ban for the citizens of Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya, though controversial, is certainly not unique. Many past presidents have issued similar bans, including Bush, Obama, Carter and Reagan. Trump’s biggest mistake in using the 65 year-old provision of the Federal Immigration and Nationality act to authorize the ban, was his bad timing. In all the previous bans, the presidents justified their actions because a crime had recently been committed against the U.S., as in the case of the 1979 kidnapping of U.S. embassy employees in Iran. Had Trump waited for another terrorist attack on U.S. soil before issuing the ban, few in our country would have questioned his motives.

          My newest novel, NISEI (nee-say) is the story of Hideo (Bobby) Takahashi, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who, after Pearl Harbor, must overcome prejudice, internment, and the policies of his own government to prove his loyalty to his country and then go on to fight with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most highly decorated regiment in WWII.

While researching the book, I came upon a copy of the Immigration Act signed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924, which essentially banned all travel and immigration of Asians to the U.S. At the time, the country had been brought to a frenzied state of paranoia by the media and politicians who had convinced U.S. citizens that any more Asian immigration would cause a loss of jobs and bring about a threat to their safety.

 As I continued my research, I observed this jingoistic attitude carried on into 1942 when all Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans were classified as enemies of the U.S. and were interned in concentration camps after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. To be fair to Roosevelt, there was a legitimate threat of an attack on the west coast of the U.S. from the Japanese Imperial Navy at the time, and so, by incarcerating all Japanese descendants in the U.S., he eliminated any threat of spies aiding the invasion. Still, try explaining that to a Nisei like my protagonist Bobby Takahashi who was born on U.S. soil.

Is it possible that the same type of prejudice and incarceration suffered upon the Japanese-Americans during WWII could also be impressed upon Muslims in the years to come? Anything is possible, of course. It’s hard to say how our country would react to something as horrific as a nuclear or biological attack from foreign radical extremists, but the comparison of the prejudice of the Japanese-Americans of past decades and the Muslims of today is palpable and amazingly similar.


If we don’t want history to repeat itself, we need to stay diligent and strive to defend our republic from those who would allow fascism to prevail over democracy. 
~~~

·         First Place in the Columbus Creative Cooperative Great American Novel competition. (Ohio)
·         Second Place in the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards. (Florida)
·         Second Place in the Southwest Writers 31st Annual Novel Competition.  (New Mexico)

Local award winning author brings history to life on the pages of Nisei, a passionate tale of life after a pearl Harbor for a Japanese American man.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States government encouraged all eligible young men to enlist immediately in the fight against its enemies overseas. All eligible young men except Japanese-Americans. Nisei is the story of Hideo Bobby Takahashi, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who must overcome prejudice, internment, and the policies of his own government to prove his loyalty to his country. Narrated by Bobby Takahashi and read by his son, Robert, 46 years after Bobby’s death, the story details the young Nisei’s determination to fight honorably for his country and return to the young love he was forced to leave, a girl he cannot have because she is white.
~~~



I will be discussing my book,
 NISEI in the Jane Von Thron room
 at the Cocoa Beach Library,
Wednesday, July, 20 at 6 pm.
A native of Vermont, J. J. was dragged kicking and screaming to Central Florida by his parents when his father relocated to work at the Kennedy Space Center. J. J. was a precocious and adorable little boy who overflowed with the creative juices that would prepare him for success as a noted author. Unfortunately that was stifled at a young age by an overwhelming desire to take things apart to see how they work. Thus, the left side of the brain won the battle over the right and he became an engineer. He graduated from The University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Engineering and has worked primarily in the electric and electronic engineering field for most of his career. While this was going on he married the lovely Pamela and they raised two daughters who grew into wonderful young ladies.
A while back, as luck would have it, he ruptured the L5 disk in his back playing tennis as if he were eighteen–years–old, again. With nothing to do but lie on his stomach for days on end, the right side of his brain saw an opening, and pounced on the left brain and thus the creative juices once again surfaced.
Since that time he has penned seven novels and over two hundred short stories. He has had articles and stories published in several anthologies and magazines including, WordsmithThe Homestead Review, The Seven Hills Review and The Grey Sparrow Journal. His story, The Nine Hole League, was recently published in the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Volume 13. He has won awards and honors from the Alabama Writers Conclave, Writers-Editors International, Maryland Writers Association, The Royal Palm Literary Awards, Professional Writers of Prescott, and Writer’s Digest.
He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece Tour Bus, published in The Grey Sparrow Journal. His novel, Prodigious Savant was published by Black Opal Books in October, 2014, and followed by Deviant Acts in 2015. He enjoys writing, surfing, golf and tennis and lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife, editor, and typist, Pamela. http://jjwhitebooks.com/


Thanks so much to Author J. J. White for sharing at Book Readers Heaven! Please check out his book, Nisei... as well as his other novels.

As usual, pics, etc., were selected by me to complement the article.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Kayla Krantz Presents Horror, Paranormal and More in Dead by Morning!

LUNA NOTICED HOW sweet the air seemed as she stuck her hands in her pockets. She took a deep breath, enjoying the feeling. Her walks always gave her a sense of freedom that she missed during the routine of her weekly activities. She let the feeling engulf her as she headed around the grass lining the park. It was her favorite part of town—quiet with less traffic. She could hear the birds in the nearby trees as she stepped into the park. 
Like every Monday, a group of teenagers surrounded the swing set, talking and laughing amongst themselves. Luna bowed her head to avoid making eye contact. A normal teenager would have been excited to see her classmates out of school; Luna felt anything but. She scurried past them like a rodent, hoping with all her might that none of them would notice her. 
But one did. One always did. His excitement showed as he jumped off the swing he had been sitting on. The last words spoken by the brunette beside him fell on deaf ears as he focused on Luna. 
“Hey, there,” he said, smiling as his stride fell into step with hers. Luna clenched her hands in frustration. I need a new route, she thought blankly as she glanced at him through glassy eyes. He raised his eyebrows, exaggerating the scar on his left cheek. “Nothing for me today?” 
“No. I don’t wanna waste my breath, Chance.” 
“Telling me you’re not gonna say anything is still saying something,” he pointed out. Luna glared at him. She would give anything to have him leave her alone, but history said he wouldn’t. 
“Are you gonna follow me again?” The cocky smile made another appearance. 
“I prefer to think of it as walking you home. It’s too dangerous for a girl like you to walk around town alone.”
“Chivalry? Really?” Luna rolled her eyes. He was anything but a gentlemen. His string of girlfriends at school was proof of that. “It doesn’t hurt.”
“Please leave me alone.” 
Chance yawned. “Nah, I don’t think so.” Luna gritted her teeth. Einstein’s definition of insanity ran through her mind. There was no reason today would be any different from previous ones. Chance didn’t seem to mind the silence. He strode beside her, his stance tall and lithe as he pretended to be her guardian. Luna hated the feeling of intimacy the forced walks created between the two of them. They weren’t even friends, but Chance’s attitude could easily convince someone otherwise. Why does he push this so much? she wondered. 
Their social statuses at school lie at opposite ends of the spectrum. They had nothing in common…yet every day she was forced to face him. That was a question for which she was sure she would never get an answer. Luna peered at him from the corner of her eye. “Can I ask you something?” 
Chance seemed surprised. “Yeah, sure.” 
“Why do you make me walk with you?” 
“Why do you always walk the same route if you hate this so much?” he countered. Luna didn’t blink as she broke the gaze, once again reminding herself to change her route during her next walk. In her small hometown, it would be impossible to avoid him forever. 
“I should be able to walk wherever I want,” she said as they closed in on her block. 
“And you can,” he said. “I’m merely watching out for you.” Luna didn’t respond. Twenty more steps and she would be free. Chance would surely stay one step behind all the way to her door. His dark clothes exaggerated her shadow as she opened the door and went inside without a parting word.
~~~



Dead by Morning:
Ritual of the Night Series


By Kayla Krantz

While keeping me reading and in suspense on what was going to happen, there were a number of things that were off in my opinion. And really detracted from the storyline. Specifically, the role of the parents of the main character, Luna. For me, it felt that the author had not done a good job of developing the father, even though he played a relatively important character. The way he acted was just not what would be normally expected from a father. Then I wondered whether it was me who just didn't have experience with today's fathers, sad to say... Even if that is true, I have to say that I couldn't accept that he did what he did. I can say that it added to the methodology of the villain and to the potential of perhaps some kind of paranormal ability he had...Still, I'll be commenting on this again in the review of the sequel...

If we were talking just about regular teens, we might say that Luna had a stalker--one that intuitively she didn't like, yet he followed her and harassed her continuously. Chance is a boy who is all charm...everybody loves him...except, it seems, Luna. So we start out thinking that his attraction to Luna is just because she hasn't fallen for his charm.

But as things move on, the horror starts... Because Luna is not only being stalked by a fellow student, Chance, she is being stalked in her nightmares - Think Freddie Krueger...
You've entered Dreamworld...
Where those creating dreams can pretend to be another person, looking like somebody else, and they can bring into the dream just about anybody they want and torture them, kill, or mutilate, etc. Luna is imprisoned and chained to the wall in a lonely cabin and sees her best friend, Violet murdered!
Her dreams start at the same place the next night... and the next...

At the same time I felt the pull of the suspense of what was going to happen, I was also repelled by the violence, especially the deaths and how they were done. This is definitely a "teen slasher" movie, so you'll have to decide your preference.

Action continues as Chance continues to stalk Luna, as well as classmates. There are scenes that sometimes are done outside of dreams, as well as inside dreams. Luna, for instance, is first dreaming of a cabin in the forest and then winds up chained to the wall there...and this story flows through like a television program serial that picks up where she was when she woke...

She at least has one individual with whom to talk. There were some issues for Max, who is described as mean when he is first introduced and miles away in another town...but then as the story goes, there is no further reference of his being mean, is described as a best friend, and he seems to be able to get to Luna quickly when needed. In any event, Max knows something about the Dreamworld, at least more than Luna, and he starts providing her feedback on what is happening.

But many of Luna's classmates begin to be murdered but no police action seems to be possible...? Luna, for instance, sees one of the girls who broke her word to Chance and told Luna about what he'd done...only to be later burned to ashes in front of Luna at the forest cabin...

Of course, it would be hard to explain to other people that you see all these things in your nightmares, but that the results are real to the involved people! That's why the suspense and intrigues keep readers involved...

I won't say that I'd highly recommend this book, given the issues I've raised, but I would at least recommend that you check for more information and read other reviews... There is both something mesmerizing as the author is quite able to creatively imagine and write suspenseful scenes... But a lot of confusion as to why characters are not developed sufficiently to not disrupt attention by the inconsistencies.  Probably an indepth content editing would have fixed this novel easily...


GABixlerReviews


Proud author of Dead by Morning, fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all time inspiration mixed in with a little bit of Eminem. When she began writing, she started in horror but it somehow drifted into thriller. She loves the 1988 movie Heathers. She was born and raised in Michigan but traveled across the country to where she currently resides in Texas.
Claim a free book of hers by signing up for her newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/cwZHEz
Other places she can be found:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaylakrantzwriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaylathewriter9
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108956159394665688329
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14006736.Kayla_Krantz

A Perverse Political Atmosphere - Excerpt from Let's Make Our World Better by Warren William Luce

Congress in Session
A Perverse Political Atmosphere

The words politics, political, and politician have a negative connotation that implies scheming, sleaziness, and even dishonesty. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines politician as a word often used derogatorily with implications of seeking personal gain and of a schemer as distinguished from statesman.

You've heard of the "sleaze factor." It's a phrase coined by a major news magazine referring to the political payoffs and influence peddling in Washington, D.C. Surely, you have seen the polls that rate respect and trust by profession with
politician at or near the bottom of the list? Will Rogers has said that we have the best congress money can buy. Even on of their own referred to himself and his colleagues as "gutless" for failure to do the right things. Richard North Patterson, in his marvelous novel, Balance of Power, speaks of the "sheer cowardice of politics" and rightly so.

The two political parties are polarized and generally unwilling to compromise in solving the serious problems that confront our nation. There is frequently a state of quarrelsome disagreement between the administration and Congress, who are vying for power and political advantage. They don't seem to care about the tremendous damage they're inflicting on the country and the people.
The're serving special interest groups and playing partisan politics for the purpose of gaining re-election support, power, and material possessions. Their priorities in government are self, special interests, their party, and lastly, the good of the country.
The bottom line is political expediency and a greater interest in their own well-being than that of the country as a whole. Their differences on issues are not because they're true ideologues but because they're scheming politicians vying the power.
It's time for some strong language. We, the people, are damn sick and tired of the traitors in Congress destroying our country. Treason is defined as betrayal of a trust, impairing the well-being of a state to which one owed allegiance or the crime of aiding and abetting an enemy of the state.
Surely, the members of Congress have betrayed the trust given to them to us, the people, to govern honestly, wisely and efficiently. Without a doubt, they have harmed the well-being of our country with their dysfunctional behavior and their refusal to work together to solve our country's problems. One of our worst enemies, even more so that terrorism, is our rapidly mounting national debt and the unsustainable annual deficits. They're clearly aiding and abetting that enemy by deliberately refusing to compromise on curbing spending and increasing revenue so as to balance the budget. Unquestionably, by definition, they are guilty of treason...

I'm getting a little carried away here out of frustration with politics and what the politicians are doing to our country. Therefore, in accordance with my philosophy of being kind and showing love to others, I have to say that it isn't entirely the fault of the individual politicians. They're good, decent people most of the time just like the rest of us. Of course, they love their country. But it seems that when they get into their political mode, that self-interest comes to the fore, their integrity suffers and they become willing to do almost anything to stay in power.
We, the people, must share the fault. By our votes, we pressure them to be everything to everyone, and we want our share, which is usually more of the "pork." Hence, to keep our vote, they employ their spend-spend-spend authority. Groups of us pressure them through the lobby process to get our way. The corporations and wealthy exert heavy pressure to have it their way. They're caught up in the inefficient, divisive, and even corrupt political party system. Often, their personal tendency to do the "right thing" is thwarted by having to be loyal to what the party dictates. Still, if they exercised the integrity that they should, those practices would stop, and they would always put the good of the nation and the people first.
We, the people, must give them better guidance by both our vote and correspondence when they get in office as well as doing the "right thing" ourselves. Let's get one thing straight right up front. They seem to think they're in charge. They are not. We, the people, are! They need to write that down! They suffer the delusion of importance, power, and indispensability when they're but servants the hired help. They are dispensable and can be replaced. However, about ninety percent of the incumbents are reelected, and in that, we're sending them the wrong message...

We understand that it can be very difficult at times. That's when the other principle "the majority rules," comes into play. They need to understand that the great majority in our country is the middle of the roaders, the moderates, and not those on the left or right. They are entitled to be heard, but because they're often antagonistic and uncooperative, their goals of only having it their way cannot be considered. The majority rules.

We, the moderates, believe in the work ethic, which is something that they need to pay more attention to...Frequent recesses, especially when they have so much work to do for the country, is dereliction of duty. That's damn serious, people.

We strongly believe in living with our means. We, the majority, have conservative values but are also compassionate and see the need for entitlements. We believe every American, every human being, indeed, is entitled to the basic needs of life--food, shelter and health care. But we also believe Americans aren't entitled to be freeloaders in those respects or behave irresponsibly at the taxpayers' expense. There is a great deal of that in our society, and they need to address that problem.

Our Founding Fathers were dead set against political factions, warning that they breed corruption and deceit. How right they were. Yet, we accept politics as a normal and essential function of governing. We need to change that perception. Political parties aren't necessary or desired for a well-functioning government...

We need an "American Spring," a revolution in how things are done there in Washington, D.C. Show that you love your country, and do what's right for the country...Make history as the Congress that rises above politics, really cares, and does what's right for America. And when you do what's right for America, it will be good for the world.



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