Good Bye America
The number-one question people ask us is, "What possessed you to move to Mexico?" The number-one answer we give is that we simply could no longer afford to live in America, so we found a country where we could, and moved there.
We found ourselves in a position not unlike many Americans: A major illness strikes, unexpectedly, and though insured and with incomes, the cost of funding the illness simply becomes too much. It becomes, essentially, impossible. We were not alone.
It turns out that more than 50% of bankruptcies filed in 2001 were medically related and were filed by middle-class homeowners who not only had an income but also health insurance. The prevailing myth that most bankruptcies are due to credit card debt is not true. Less than 1% of filed bankruptcies are due to credit card debt.
Researchers found that, in those surveyed, 1.9 to 2.2 million U.S. residents filed a "medical bankruptcy". The average person filing for bankruptcy during the 2001 period spent $13,460 on co-payments, deductibles, and uncovered services even though they had private insurance.
"Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates, you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy. Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick. Health insurance offered little protection," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study.
Another one of the study's authors, Elizabeth Warren, said, "It doesn't take a medical catastrophe to create a financial catastrophe. A larger share of American workers are going to have insurance that's like a paper umbrella. It looks good, and it might even protect you in a sprinkle, but it melts away in a downpour."
In the fall of 2002, we began to feel the sprinkle on our paper umbrella turn into an unstoppable downpour. We had to do something before the full brunt of the downpour tore the paper umbrella to shreds and our lives along with it. We began to look to other alternatives to purchase our prescription drugs and found them.
Other Americans are finding themselves in the same boat with not many options from which to choose. I was reading the other day where a married couple from Illinois sued the Federal government for the right to import prescription medications from Canada.
They lost. The judge dismissed the case. Maybe they should sell everything and move to Mexico as we did.
Moving to another country
The Umbrella Of Nuclear Mushroom
Deliberations over the UN sanctions against North Korea or Iran for their nuclear programs bring to memory the League of Nations talk before the WWII. Was German refusal to pay reparations a casus belli? Re-militarization of Rhineland? Extensive military production? No single such issue is a casus belli. Politicians bogged down in details don't see the grand picture of the imminent war. Then and now.
The West demonstrated its impotence in the face of nuclear proliferation. China got nuclear weapons with impunity. Pakistan received a minor slap of sanctions. North Korean rulers sagged under the weight of sanctions: the Japanese refused to sell them melons. Sanctions against Iran would hardly include oil, and even so the mullahs can do without the oil for some time; yet rising price of oil will be blamed on the sanctions.
Ahmadinejad needs a rhetorical, not battlefield enemy. Iran will use the bomb to gain dominance in the Muslim world. That spells a development of the Shiite axis, huge discontent in the Arab world, and the arms race. Arab states will rush to develop nuclear weapons to be on par with Iran. The Arabs know that Iran won't attack Israel with nuclear weapons, but could well attack them. Central Asian countries will also be concerned because Iran includes them in its sphere of dominance. They have oil money and Russian support against Iran, and will join the arms - probably, nuclear arms - race.
Iran will provide nuclear shield to Israeli enemies such as Syria or Hezbollah. When Muslim Brotherhood officially comes to power in Egypt and switches the policy to confrontation with Israel, Iranian nuclear protection will allow them to build up the Egyptian army in safety. Arab nuclear umbrella invalidates Israel's only viable military strategy, preemption. If Iran signs a mutual defense treaty with, say, Lebanon, Israel would be unable to operate against Hezbollah since, technically, every Israeli incursion in Lebanon is an aggression. Lebanon would be able to conduct an undeclared war against Israel, Egypt would mobilize and move its troops into Sinai, but Israel - concerned with Iranian nuclear protection - could do nothing.
Nuclear containment is a game of nerves. With Iranian nuclear warheads in Lebanon and Palestine, what would Israel do? Escalating, like Kennedy did in the Cuban missile crisis, is unlikely. Israel already lost her credibility when we did not stop the Iranian deployment of Zelzal-2 missiles in Beka'a. Iran will move its nuclear weapons in Lebanon under a mutual defense treaty, a clearly protective measure. Every reasonable person would agree that Iranian nuclear weapons defend Lebanon, not are intended for aggression. Israeli government won't act, as it didn't act against Egyptian, Libyan, Algerian, Moroccan, Pakistani, and Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran would win the war of nerves. Mutually assured destruction works against tiny Israel.
With sufficiently aggressive leadership, Iran could provide nuclear umbrella to any state willing to attack Israel. Iran could threaten nuclear retaliation against Israel if we attack enemy population centers or even anywhere deep in the enemy territory. Soviet Union successfully used that approach in 1973. It provided Egypt with SAM-5 anti-air missiles to limit Israeli operations to the front zone, and moved the missiles with nuclear warheads to prevent Israeli nuclear retaliation. Iran could use the nuclear umbrella to inhibit Israeli preemption, penetrating strikes, and generally any combat on the enemy territory. Bereft of Sinai, Israel lacks the territory of her own to conduct mobile defense. Iranian nuclear capability opens the way for the Muslim world to encroach on Israel by conventional means.
Online Sports Betting
After the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2005 (H.R.4777) was amended with the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act (H.R.4411) passed to Senate on July 13, 2006 by the House, there as been too much speculation about online sports betting.
Commonly referred as the Leach-Goodlatte Act after Congressmen who introduced those anti-gambling initiatives, Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia.), many questions about its viability have been asked so far. Preventing the use of some payment instruments and fund transfers for unlawful Internet gambling has been a major concern for Congress since a while.
Since its introduction in the early 1990s, the Internet gambling industry has grown considerably, spawning a number of new careers, however, U.S. Senator Bill Frist stated that "this industry threatens to undermine the quality of life of millions of Americans by bringing an addictive behavior right into our living rooms..."
Online sports betting is in fact a way to enjoy from the comfort of your own home an activity that otherwise is only available through land-based casinos and sporting venues in states of America where gambling is legal. Sports books operators consider that banning gambling is not a solution.
While roulette and card games such as poker, blackjack and bridge can be truly addictive, online sports betting is a territory where small-stakes players go for up to $10 tournaments, which may not be considered an addictive behavior. Online sports books are more likely a sort of therapy to relax after a stressful working day.
Nevertheless, several professional sports organizations, such as the NBA, NHL and the NFL didn't see the things from the same approach. Professional sports teams joined to the claim of getting banned online sports betting in the United States, arguing that college students are vulnerable to this costly addiction, specially those who are enrolled in a college sports team.
Most of the actual Internet sports books operate from offshore locations where gambling is not illegal, such as occurs in many Central American, Caribbean and European countries. Even though, a large number of Sports betting operators are American with online activities aimed to American bettors.
Online sports betting comprises diverse sporting activities such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer, accepting U.S. currency and the uncertainty of Internet Gambling banning in America floating in the air.
Only time will tell what will happen in the online sports betting industry due to the recent legislation passed here in the United States. While some have already closed their doors to U.S. customers, others are waiting to find a loophole to allow U.S. citizens to continue gambling online.
President Bush Videos Great Entertainment For All Parties
The actual film footage of President Bush is hilarious, because we all know that he is not one of the best public speakers around. He is always saying the wrong thing, or getting his words twisted in a way that he did not intend. One of my favorite videos of this type of footage is when President Bush says something like, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, I never get fooled again. I have also seen other footage of President Bush that was modified in a way to make him seem even funnier than he already was. When I think of these types of videos one comes to mind first, the video that slows down President Bush's speech so that it sounds like he is drunk. This video is hilarious and has made many appearances on different late night talk shows. The final types of video are spoofs that poke fun at President Bush. An example of this type of video I have seen is one that has a look-alike comedian standing on stage doing his own rendition of President Bush's State of the Union Address. This is probably my favorite video, because the comedian is making up new words, forgetting what he was talking about, and other common things that President Bush has been known to do. If you have a little free time and you want to get a good laugh, then just search for President Bush videos online and you will have a wonderful time.
Zionism Is Not Fascism But Could Be
The United States and Britain did not support Israel in the 1948 War of Independence. The Soviet Union did, for a reason. Stalin remembered the huge role Russian Jews played in establishing the Soviet regime, and was sure they would build a socialist state in the Middle East.
The Exile made the Jews afraid of the mob; they long for stronger state. Jews are smart and opinionated, and many want the power. Monarchies reserve the first roles for hereditary rulers. Democracies do not elect the Jews, a distinctive minority, to the top positions. Non-democratic socialism offered the Jews the best chance to ascend to power. Jews, imbued with the idea of changing the world to the better, embraced socialism which promised a just and safe society. Stalin was sure that the Jewish state would be socialist.
And so it was. Israel based its agriculture on kibbutzim, a radical version of Soviet collective farms. Just as in the USSR, kibbutzim were successful initially, but quickly degraded. Simple enterprises can be communal, but economic development causes diversification.
Israel is not just a "welfare state." She redistributes much more of the GDP than any civilized country. Israeli redistribution level qualifies her as a socialist state. Many Israeli groups depend on government paychecks rather than jobs for living, particularly elderly Soviet immigrants who never worked in Israel, many large Sephardi families, the religious establishment, and the Arabs. Israeli government manipulates the voters through arbitrary welfare policies.
Strong trade union secured internationally non-competitive work terms and huge pensions and other benefits. Bulging state sector of Israeli economy symbiotically joined the military, and thrives on producing unnecessary weapons at unreasonable prices.
It takes mind control to make the working people agree to tax shearing of 63% (consolidated tax rate) of their income, and Israeli government controls the minds. There is no free press in Israel. Government owns some media outlets, and the oligarchs who depend on the government own the others. Censorship long extended from military matters to police brutalities to purely political issues. Sharon made critique of the withdrawal from Gaza incitation, a punishable offense.
Brainwashing in Israeli schools and army is unprecedented by the standards of civilized countries, and is on par with Soviet propaganda. Leftists permanently control educational institutions, and cram the young people with anti-religious (anti-Judaic) sentiment, and the absurd of Arabs being good neighbors (and so, implicitly, the Israeli army that opposes them being a bunch of murderers).
Small Israeli establishment is deeply interconnected, and any dissent is detrimental to the political position and income. Just as in the Soviet Union, and in a striking contrast with the Western countries, there are no large independent political sponsors in Israel. Non-mainstream political parties lack financial opportunities.
Militant government is certain about its righteousness. Extreme polarization of Israeli society allows for drastic measures against opponents. With world opinion behind the Arabs, discontent is directed against the fringe Jews: the religious and the right. Population depends on the government for security, and readily submits to some injustice.
Ever enlarging police sufficiently counters the Arabs, and grow by extending control over the Jews. Israeli left-leaning courts join the police in suppressing political dissent. Administrative detention without trial, intended to deal with the terrorist suspects, is extensively used against the Jews.
Governments readily oppose inner (harmless), not outer (dangerous) enemies. Israeli government opposes not Arabs, but religious Jews. To crash the religious and nationalist feelings, the government is ready to sacrifice Jewish land to the Arabs and to accept a huge number of Arabs in Israel.
The left will try to cover their strategic errors by enhancing the totalitarian features of the Israeli state.
Israel, a small country with pervasive security apparatus, drifts into the Orwellian nightmare. Faced with all-powerful police and harsh suppression of dissent, Israelis opt for the leftist Newspeak. Old terms acquire new meaning, and old ideals continue bereft of their essence. Zionism, a desire of Jewish state in the Promised Land, came to denote any policy of Israeli government. Ostensibly Jewish state gives away Jewish lands, and accepts the impending Arab majority. Unwilling to abandon their ideals, and prevented by the government from achieving them, Israelis emasculated the ideals.
Israel is superficially pluralist. Knesset is highly fragmented, and so was the Reichstag days before the Nazi came to power. Political fragmentation, superficial discussion that does not touch the real issues, economic devastation, and grave military situation are the prerequisites for totalitarian takeover. Hopeless population tried every option to achieve peace and prosperity, and now will accept any regime which promises them.
Israel will unlikely become a dictatorship, but Nazi Germany also wasn't. Germans dissented from the Nazi line on many issues, including the major ones like euthanasia and atheism. Nazi never entirely controlled German media. German police respected basic rights of criminals and moderate dissenters, and courts behaved reasonably in non-political cases. The USSR had no free press, but retained the elections. Some Soviet bloc' countries had multi-party system. Totalitarianism comes in many flavors; their common denominator is absence of rational political choice. Israel had crossed that line.
Are Illegal Mexicans Really Bad For America
I've been thinking again. I know some of my readers regard that as a dangerous thing. For instance, the guy who ended his last letter to me with a "your hypocrisy knows no bounds". I get these sorts of letters all the time.
But, I have been thinking and, of course, I have been thinking about America's obsession with shutting down the Mexican-American border. You would wonder why I don't tire of this rhetoric and the reason is simple. America needs the likes of your humble and gracious columnist reminding them to get out of that box of uncritical thinking and untested assumptions.
So here goes:
1. When last I wrote on this issue, I dealt with just one of the "Let's-run-out-all-those-diseased-Mexicans-out-of-our-country group's axes to grind
The Nuclear Option And The 4th Crusade
"American nuclear forces on global alert" is what CBS dished out as this author awoke on that chilly October morning in 1973 while attending Madison College in Virginia.
This was Nixon's response to Brezhnev's announcing the potential deployment of Soviet airborne troops into the midst of the Yom Kippur War in an effort to stop Israel's advance toward Cairo.
It was both amazing and amusing watching the Soviet's quickly back tract in the face of stern American resolve.
To put things in a more contemporary setting is to beg the question - should the United States consider the use of nuclear weapons to deter potential attacks by Muslim extremists.
This politically incorrect notion must be given weight in light of the worldwide jihad that has been declared against the U.S. by Muslim terrorists and the nation-states that support and hide them. It is nothing short of the 4th Crusade and it is taking on religious overtones in the form of a global holy war financed by these terrorist nations.
It is fair to say that national dogma promulgated by an Islamic theocracy is more rigid and less flexible than what is accepted within a pluralist democracy.
This is not to suggest that all Muslims are extremists and practice Islam by the strictest rules of the Koran. Many are fine citizens of democratic nations who enjoy the fruits and prosperity of hard work within western cultures while practicing Islam.
And some would argue that Muslim extremists are no more radical than the extreme Christian Right in this country.
One thing is for sure - Islamic culture in general is more inflexible that Western culture by a county mile.
This was demonstrated recently when the Muslim world refused to accept the Pope's repeated apologies concerning his medieval reference to Allah being an evil force.
And several years ago when Islamic factions took over town councils in two Italian villages through the electoral process - they called for the immediate shutdown of all Christian churches within those municipalities even though the local Christian community tolerated Islamic worship and Mosques for many years.
This should give pause to all Americans about the enemy we face. Extreme elements within Islam have declared a "holy war" against America bent on its absolute destruction.
Little attention was given to French President Jacques Chirac when he publicly announced last year that France would use nukes if attacked by Muslim extremists.
Since terrorists raid in small numbers and their cells are dispersed within a country, Chirac wasn't talking about using nukes on his own soil. Neither was he going to detonate one of those big firecrackers in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. His intention was very clear - and "aimed" by way of the Middle East.
Despite France's failed historic reliance on "appeasement diplomacy", their one great show of strength on this issue has thus far saved them from intimidation and attack.
Some say that using such powerful and destructive weapons in retaliation of a Muslim extremist attack is unfair and inhumane because the American government can't seem to exactly link the attacks to any particular nation.
That leaves America exposed to even further molestations.
Political correctness should not hold back the United States from projecting and potentially using its nuclear arsenal to protect its citizens and global interests from the very terrorist nations that seek our downfall by whatever means they can employ.
Surfacing a Trident submarine in the Persian Gulf with hatches open may send a clear message to our foes, that unlike the prior Crusades, we intend to win this one.
As Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan proved to our enemies at the time, "power achieved is power perceived."
Achieve Political Success Through A Promotional Product Political Campaign
All political candidates may not agree on political, societal or economic issues, but it is safe to infer political candidates agree that a successful political campaign builds public support and success.
Political campaigns, similar to marketing campaigns, must use effective and useful slogans in order to grasp a typically uninterested audience. In order to do so, political candidates need to get up and work for support. How can Barack Obama or Rudy Giuliani accomplish this, you inquire? Well, that is simple - through political promotional products!
The single most important thing to accomplish in any campaign, whether it is a marketing campaign or political campaign, is name recognition. A political candidate will never achieve success if no one knows who they are. A simple way for a political candidate to accomplish name recognition is by using promotional products in their political campaign. Two very simple and common ways to do this is through using catchy political signs in yards or bumper stickers on cars. Other promotional products ideal for a political campaign are buttons. These three promotional products can effectively promote any political candidates name at home, while driving and while walking around.
Every political candidate wants to ensure their constituents are able to quickly identify the issues their political campaign supports. This may seem easy at the surface, but it is not. The current political campaign for president is filled with multiple potential political candidates. All of these potential political candidates have very different views on a myriad of issues. In order for political candidates to effectively clarify what issues they support, they could consider printing their causes on different colored awareness bracelets. This way, supporters and political candidate alike would be able to quickly identify which issues are important and to whom. Another way issue recognition can be clarified is through political balloons. Balloons have been used in political campaigns for years, but that is because they are easily noticeable, readable and depending on their size, can be seen for miles.
Trying to decide what promotional products to give at conventions or election night? A great promotional product that is perfect for outdoor conventions is a hand fan. A politically themed hand fan can allow potential voters to sit in the comfort of a cool breeze while they listen to a political candidate's speech. Looking for a perfect promotional product for election night? Get a plethora of stress balls to hand out to political campaign workers and supporters. A political stress ball can help calm everyone's minds as the voting numbers roll in through the evening.
Political campaigns may be stressful and time consuming for political candidate, but through using political promotional products, getting voters attention can be simple.
Augusto Pinochet President Of Chile Born 1915
After seizing power in a bloody CIA-backed coup, General Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile with a rod of iron for two decades, during which human rights violations became the norm of Chilean life.
Hailing from an upper-middle class background, Pinochet entered the military academy in Santiago at the age of 18, graduating three years later as a second lieutenant. By 1968 he had risen to the rank of brigadier general.
In 1970, Salvador Allende, a Marxist, became president of Chile with the backing of the Christian Democrats, and began restructuring Chilean society along socialist lines. In the process he expropriated the US-owned copper-mining companies, alienating the US government and foreign investors. He further annoyed Washington by establishing relations with Cuba and Communist China, which the United States did not recognise at that time. As a result, America imposed tough economic sanctions and the CIA spent millions of dollars destabilising the Allende regime, much of it going into Pinochet's pockets.
By 1972, the Chilean economy had collapsed. With no foreign investment, production had come to a standstill. There were widespread strikes, inflation, food shortages and civil unrest. With the backing of armed forces, Pinochet staged a military coup on 11 September 1973. It was bloody even by Latin American standards. The navy seized the key port of Valparaiso, while the army surrounded the presidential palace in Santiago. Allende refused to step down. When the palace was overrun a few hours later, he was found dead. It appears that he shot himself rather than face inevitable torture and execution.
A junta took over and declared marital law. Those who violated the curfew were shot on sight. Pinochet was named president two days later. He broke off relations with Cuba - Nixon had staged his famous rapprochement with China by then - and moved against Allende's supporters. Some 14 000 would be tried and executed or expelled from the country, while Pinochet claimed he was only trying to 'restore institutional normality' of Chile.
In June 1974 Pinochet assumed sole power, with the rest of the junta relegated to an advisory role. Under Pinochet's tyrannical rule, it is estimated that 20 000 people were killed and torture was widespread.
While Pinochet continued to maintain tight control over the political opposition, he was rejected by a plebiscite in 1988. He eventually stepped down in 1990 after immunity from prosecution in Chile. He stayed on as army chief of staff. However, during a shopping trip to London in October 1998, he was arrested on a Spanish warrant charging him with murder. He was later accused of torture and human rights violations. For 16 months, he fought his extradition through the British courts, and then in January 2000, Home Secretary Jack Straw decided that he was too ill to stand trial and sent him back to Chile.
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