Saturday, October 20, 2018

Evil E-Cigarettes

Image result for teen smoking a e-cigarette
Why are clearly harmful products allowed to be sold and advertised in America? It is even worse when the not necessary products are very popular especially among   our kids. We have an E-Cigarette epidemic happening among middle schoolers and teens. We made it expensive and harder for kids to get cigarettes so then why is it so easy for them to vape while the nicotine from all that vaping is extremely harmful for their health too? Our government needs to crack down on E-Cigarette companies to do more to get their product out of the hands of teens instead of attracting them with cool advertising and appetizing flavors.
Vaping is very popular to do among teens. We have solid proof that it is all so very harmful to Americans. Even the FDA our Food & Drug Administration, called it a dangerous epidemic that has a path to addiction and it all must end. As usual Trump does nothing but golf and go on his self-promotion tours daily in between his lies on any subject in particular. The FDA is at least sending warning letters   to the retailors and are giving an ultimatum to the manufactures of the E-Cigarettes like Juul, Blu, Logic, Vuse and Markten.  The FDA is telling these companies that they have 60 days to keep the products out of the hands of underage   teens or face a possible ban on its flavored E-Cigarettes.
It is estimated that there are 2 million users that are very young teens. Popular flavors are usually the mango and mint. Most kids don’t even know that they are putting a harmful chemical into their bodies because it just tastes like candy. Juel has a device that has a USB charger and that can blow up in your face too. There is NO reason for these products to even be allowed to be sold. Why doesn’t Trump ban them from the market? Instead of protecting American kids from harm he rather spend our tax payer money on taking kids away from immigrant parents forever also at tax payer expense.  He is our Idiot in Chief!
E-Cigarettes have lower toxic chemicals but have higher concentrations of nicotine. Teenagers’ developing brains are especially vulnerable to addiction. Should businesses refuse to sell E-Cigarettes? Nah, they are making too much money on them. Screw the American teen and all Americans too. Let our kids smoke harmful brain altering chemicals and also give them weapons at gun shows who haven’t closed down but toy stores did close down and let them loose! How again is he making America great?

Friday, October 19, 2018

They Are Afraid of this Election

Image result for cartoon of Democratic wave at the mid-term elections
It is two weeks to the election and the Trumptards are panicking. On social media their pages all look similar. They proudly pose in front of their monster trucks or motorcycles and their photos always have them draped in or on the American flag. The only way to respect our flag is to proudly let it fly on a flagpole or to be draped over the coffin of a brave American soldier. Most Trumptards never served in the military but they like to buy their weapons at gun shops with no background checks and they like to wear military shirts as if they ever served our great country. They love Trump because he is one of them with his five time deferments from the Vietnam war over bone spurs in his feet  and also draped himself in the flag disrespectfully at his now daily self-promotion rallies in rural states.
They all have a very ugly agenda saying that they are bringing back America to its former glory wearing Trump’s for personal profit hats that disrespects every American soldier like they did nothing. Make America Great Again! America was always great and we don’t need these clowns to tell any soldier otherwise past or present. They should be bursting into flames when they say that America is in a bad place. They are fear mongers who think fear is a good thing rather than peace and diplomacy. Our Bully in Chief in his childish way   calls everyone stupid names from handicapped citizens to other world leaders. They are in fear of illegals who they think are pouring over our border. It is what they thought of their very ancestors the Europeans who swarmed Ellis Island who suffered the same prejudice they are swarming now.
They say they came here legally but seem to forget that now there are many roadblocks to citizenship. They incite fear saying the illegals bring crime meanwhile in reality crime has been the lowest in decades. The only real crime is in how Trump and his followers murder the truth.  Democrats will not take the Giuliani crap that truth isn’t truth and Trumptards are quick to say stupid things like calling folks snowflakes or that they drink the Kool-Aid that I think is supposed to be insulting but just doesn’t make sense in any discussion as a moot point.
They say that America is the nursemaid to the world and that the world has their hands in our pockets. Trump thinks it is fine to side with evil Dictators and that we don’t need allies, we don’t need Europe or the Middle East or Asia. It is all about the old white guy turtle faced turds who are afraid of losing their power in our government and that is what these mid-term elections are all about. The mid-term elections are the only way to stamp out the bigotry and hatred. If the Democrats could win back the House, then there is the possibility that Trump can finally be impeached. It is time to get the sad extinct dinosaurs out of the government and to have representatives that represent the many colors of Americans.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Are You Addicted?

Image result for cartoon of guy addicted to computer games

Are Americans addicted to everything? Even playing games? Now we can play games all day from our phone and on social media sites like Facebook too. You don’t need to buy expensive gaming machines and those endless cassettes to feed into them for finger fun. It is so easy now that we have another kind of addiction to add to all our other problematic addictions. Because you can also interact with perfect strangers and play a game with them, gaming addictions is a global problem. A popular event is the World Championships for particular video games are held everywhere. The prize for the winners in the competition of best gamer in places like Vancouver to play games like BoBoKa or BurNing is $25 million dollars.
Gaming is huge business. It is also becoming a public health issue. Recently the World Health Organization made Gaming Disorder an Official Disease. Why hasn’t America done that too? Is it because America doesn’t want to cover another addiction by health insurance? People are doing so many things to their bodies that they just don’t have to do like opioids, booze and now too much playing games all day long. We know how to treat those other self- imposed addictions but how do you treat a gaming addiction? There is the first gaming rehab in America called restart. It has already treated over 300 gaming addicts since it started and the place has a waiting list to get in.
Serious addicts will play games for 13 hours straight, not take showers, not clean house, not eat properly and go into a demise of various health issues including lack of exercise. They eventually don’t care about anything else in their lives. The additions are real and just like alcoholism or drug addiction you just can’t stop. It takes a lot of time and work. In rehab the gamer has NO access to social media. They do household chores and literally clean themselves up. There are no TV’s or video screens and they undergo a 8 week detox from video of any kind. The brain of a gaming addict has a lit up brain just like a cocaine addict has.
Gaming companies like it that way. The companies even hire people to do what they call “Persuasive Design” to get us hocked on a game. Psychologists say it is unethical. So should addictive games be a crime? Aren’t they all addictive? The videogame developers are making it even harder to stop playing. Some studies have shown that gaming can cause structural changes to your brain. The fancy words are found through the reward system of judgement. The ventral striatum, ventral pallidum. And midbrain dopaminergic neurons. All that damage to my brain just for constantly trying to eat everything in sight on Pac Man for years and years? YES!
Most gaming addicts are men between the ages of 18 and 30. They come from nice families. But at a cost of about $30,000 dollars for a 8 week rehab, most middle class families can’t afford it. Again, should insurance pay for the gaming rehab? For $7,000 a month there are hallway houses for gamers to live and they are not allowed to have anything other than a flip phone and must get a job. Can anyone stop being impulsive? The Entertainment Software Association does NOT want to even discuss the problem and neither does health insurance companies yet cigarettes have warnings and restricted places to smoke. Booze is not advertised everywhere and has a age limit restriction. Selling drugs is illegal without a prescription to have yet gaming is encouraged. It is an issue we need to look at especially when we look at the people we love always on a device playing games all the time.  

Our Pill Bouncers

Americans are victims. From Doctors that prescribe addictive pain killers like candy, health care is so different from one person to another and also co-payments for prescription plans can be so dramatically different in price  even from one family to another. Who or what is responsible for this mess?  I blame it all in part on mergers of big corporations that happen daily. Recently shareholders voted on if health insurer Cigna should acquire Express Scripts for $67 billion dollars. They did and now together under one roof they are the country’s largest Pharmacy Benefit Manager or PBM. So now this merger, CVS Caremark  and Optima RX are the biggest managers in America that control about 80% of the market. As usual the average American who has to pay a co-payment for their meds are screwed and victimized by just another large corporation.
Image result for cartoon of PBMs as bouncers at a barWhat is a PBM and why would a company want to spend $67 Billion dollars to merge. Why do Americans have so little money for medications but the big medication distributor companies have $67 billion dollars to play with? Americans are victims. A PBM is like the bouncer at the bar. They are the middle man to your meds. They control who gets the meds for free and who has to pay hundreds of dollars for the same exact bottle of medication and they get paid to do it. They are the middle man in almost every transaction. PDMs process prescriptions for insurers and determine which drugs get covered by insurance, how much insurers will pay for them, how big your personal co-payment will be and they even influence which pharmacy you will use.
Like bouncers at the bar, PBMs have lists of which drugs insurance companies will or won’t cover and how much you will pay for your pills. PBMs say these lists help patients get competitive prices. But the drugs on these lists can also be good for drug companies and often leads to more prescriptions. For certain drugs, when you fill your prescription, drug companies   pay the PBM a cut called a rebate. The FDA say that these rebates keep drug prices high. The PBM’s deny that claim. The blame the high prices for our meds is on the drug makers deal because they alone set the cost. Small independent pharmacists are virtually out of business because they just can’t compete with the big guy pharmacies.
If you thought the Mafia was a racket, it is nothing compared to how Americans are being held hostage by everything having to do with our health services. It is like going to a restaurant where the prices for the food isn’t disclosed. We just don’t even know what the hell that bottle of meds really costs. Arkansas became the first state to regulate PBMs. Shouldn’t Congress get involved and pass some National law on the problem? Nope. Our bloated rich Congressmen could care less about the people they represent. They pass laws giving themselves full and completely paid benefits from doctor’s care, hospital care and paid prescriptions paid to them by the taxpayers. They literally are the Kings and we are the poor sick towns folk on the other side of the moat protection their castle life.
We need lawmakers to get rid of the entire co-payment system. We need to get rid of the Old turd richasaureses in our government.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Paying Taxes Makes America Great Again

Image result for cartoon of Trump family tax fraud

President Donald Trump helped “his parents dodge taxes” in the 1990s, including “instances of outright fraud” that allowed him to amass a fortune from his parents. Trump received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, starting at the age of 3. The President and his siblings helped his parents build their wealth by hiding millions of dollars in gifts in a “sham corporation,” . The President assisted his father in taking “improper tax deductions worth millions more.” He also helped to “formulate a strategy” for his parents to undervalue their real estate holdings on their tax returns to reduce their tax bill.
Over a months-long investigation, the Times reviewed more than 100,000 pages of financial documents — bank statements, financial audits, cash disbursement reports and canceled checks. They included more than 200 tax returns from Fred C. Trump, the President’s father, and other family partnerships and trusts. The Times also interviewed some of the President’s father’s former employees and advisers.The records reviewed by the Times did not include Trump’s personal tax returns or his recent business dealings.
Trump’s taxes have been largely a mystery since he first ran for office. During the campaign, the then-candidate broke with presidential election norms and refused to produce his tax returns for public review. They have remained private since he took office, and Trump has repeatedly said he’s under audit by the IRS, which has been ongoing since at least 2016, according to the President. It is a lame excuse not to reveal his tax returns. Being under audit by the IRS does not preclude someone from releasing their tax returns publicly.
Though Trump has not released his returns, the Times story offers the “first public accounting” of the income the President has received over decades from his family’s businesses.
The Reality of how Trump gained his wealth is far different from the persona he displayed in the media for years after decades of depicting himself as a self-made man.
He began earning money from his father when he was a toddler, and after college graduation his father gave him the equivalent of $1 million a year. By the time he was in his 40s and 50s, the yearly sum was more than $5 million, the Times reported. Trump’s father was “relentless and creative” in finding ways to funnel wealth to his children, according to the Times. Trump was on his father’s payroll for multiple positions. Loan after loan was provided and often was never repaid. Trump got money for his car, money to buy stocks and his first Manhattan office. He was even given $10,000 Christmas checks, according to the Times.
“Evading gift and estate taxes became a family affair” when Trump’s father was diagnosed with dementia in his 80s, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Times. One previously unknown event uncovered by the Times shows how Trump and his siblings were able to gain ownership of most of his father’s businesses on Nov. 22, 1997, a year and half before his father’s passing. To do so, they used a special type of trust called GRAT, short for grantor-retained annuity trust. Those kinds of trusts help to pass wealth like stocks, real estate and art collections from one generation to the next without paying any estate taxes.
For the Trumps, that meant putting half their properties into the trust under Trump’s father’s name and the other half into his wife’s name, according to the Times. Then Trump’s parents gave their children roughly two-thirds of their assets in the trust. Trump and his siblings bought the remaining third by making annuity payments to their parents for two years.Once it was done, Trump and his siblings owned nearly all of his father’s empire “free and clear of estate taxes,” according to the Times.
Trump and his siblings also lowered the value of their father’s real estate holdings to $41.4 million, dodging hundreds of millions in gift taxes, according to the Times.Over the next decade, the same set of buildings would be sold for “more than 16 times the amount,” .Still, the biggest payday Trump ever got from his father came after his death, on May 4, 2004.

The President’s share was $177.3 million, or $236.2 million in today’s dollars.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Greatest Salesman Since Hitler

Image result for trump as hitler

It is a sad story of a complete failure in life but throughout his life he always tossed the truth aside in favor of the acting job of success. Trump is a great actor and devotes all his time all his life into self-promoting his image. He is an idiot who was born on third base and instead of stealing home he ran to second base. The Republican Party respects him because he got away with cheating on taxes and he and his father avoided jail. There is deep pockets corporate American companies that pay off him in campaign contributions and like his brand of fraud of America for personal profiteering.
Trump lied as usual and said he was rich because his father gave him a “small” loan of a million dollars. He was off by $412 million dollars. All throughout Donald’s life he had his daddy’s money. It was fraud money. He passed a billion dollars off to his kids and should have paid $550 million in inheritance taxes. The Trump family cheated our government out of $550 million dollars. The lesson to be learned is that Trump is a terrible business person who had 5 bankruptcies on his various businesses. Trump owned $200,000 at age three. Trump claims he loves the police and the military and all of America but at the same time he didn’t pay taxes to support the police, military and all of America.
The Republican Party and Corporate America is proud that Trump stole from our government. He beat the system. Should that be the American way? Wouldn’t making America Great Again be to get him the hell out of our government that his family committed fraud?
He rewards those who admire him. The large tax cut on the very wealthy is running up our deficit, our debt is so high that we must pay almost $500 billion dollars a year just to pay the banks we owe interest. Trump should thank the media who sold his success lies since the 1970’s always filming him living lavishly. Things that were easily provable were ignored like the non- payment of taxes. They ignored to even see if Trump actually owned the properties he claimed.  They ignored the fact that he was failing at his ownership of a casino where it is virtually impossible a business to fail at since people go to a casino to give you money for nothing. The media ignored that his University was a fraud taking tuition and not giving classes. The media ignored that his Foundation was a fraud where he was taking money out of it to please himself and not donating funds to the needy. And now that the Justice Department is Investigating all his crooked friends and business partners who are convicted felons, he is holding on to his public fraud with daily self-promotion rallies and constant firings of the investigators from the FBI, CIA and Justice Department.
Now that people are fact checking his life, he has created the term “fake news” in his own defense. His whole life has been a constructed lie. His life was an acting role of something he wanted to be but in reality he never made money of his own the honest way that we all have to follow. Trump is a great actor in that he has brought this Pandora box scheme into our Presidency. He is a salesman of unbelievable skill and has hypnotized a population of followers no matter what. Hitler was a bad house painter who also sold himself to the German people and convinced that population to participate in horrific crimes against humanity. Are Americans going to let this salesman of his own narcissism bankrupt us financially and morally?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Columbus Day

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Today Americans celebrate Columbus Day to remind us of the spirit of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 expedition to America. We celebrate the contributions of Italian Americans and all immigrants who contribute to the greatness of America bringing with them their unique traditions, cuisine and values. It has always been the diversity of America that has always made America great. Today in Manhattan was the 74th Columbus Day Parade that is the largest celebration of Italian heritage in America. This year they finally spelled the Verrazano Bridge correctly. By now there are third generation Italians living in America many who don’t speak Italian anymore but even if they don’t practice the language they will never forget how to enjoy cook and produce great Italian food, products and maintain the hard working ethics of their poor immigrant grand-parents who worked hard, educated themselves and now prosper in our great economy here in America.
Who doesn’t like all things Italian from the exotic great cars like Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo to the practical Fiat? Who doesn’t want to get into one of those cars wearing Donatella Versace, Miuccia Prada, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli or Salvatore Ferragamo? And then who doesn’t want to eat fine Italian food by Giada De Laurentis, Rocco Di Spirito or even Hector Boyardee yeah the guy who put pasta in a can. Okay maybe not the can pasta guy. Now back to my great Italian evening. And dine with fine Italian wine from Sardinia, Sicily, Abruzzo and Tuscany? Who doesn’t want to view the great paintings and sculptures by Michelangelo, Picasso and Botticelli? And then there are the great opera singers like Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, Andres Bocelli and Cecilia Bartoli. If you want softer music there are the greats like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Jon Bob Jovi, Madonna and Lady Gaga.   Italy  is only about the size of Florida but it is packed with greatness enjoyed by people all over the world and here in America who embraces the Italian culture with open arms.
Today’s parade went straight down 5th Avenue. Over 100 marching groups performed and 25 parade floats participated in the festivities as well as stage performances. Present were the famous Cuomo Family who have dedicated generations to New York political life. Father Mario the past and son Andrew the present Governor, Journalist Chris Cuomo, Doctor Margaret Cuomo who instituted AP Italian in schools. We have the Gabelli  Funds investment group. The Grand Marshal was Guy Chiarello from the Columbus Citizen Foundation who has donated over $3 million to scholarships for 750 students. Dean Donna Rapaccioli head of the Gabelli Business School at Fordham University from the Bronx who works near the famous Arthur Avenue where anyone can sample the great cold cuts and pastries from Italy.
All ethnic groups are the foundation of America and what they all have in common is that they came to America and learned the language, and came here for one reason and that was to become American. They arrived looking up at the Statue of Liberty and arrived at Ellis Island and from there they became the fabric of this country. All immigrants make this country great.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Music Soothes The Soul

When you are sad, at times you need comfort music. It is sad when a competent self-sufficient woman says that she remembers 100% under oath that a man has sexually abused her and she is ignored. Then that man is rewarded with the highest judicial job in the country for a lifetime appointment that can last the next 30 years. That 100% named sexual abuser now has the power to vote for cases involving sexual abuse crimes that can affect the outcomes for all men and women Americans. He also gets the job even though he has never tried a single case in any courtroom.
The woman is a clinical psychology professor. She is a biostatistician who specializes in the design and analysis of clinical trials and other forms of intervention evaluation.  She teaches at two Universities and one of them since 1988. And our Senators ignore her. The nation has seen why women don’t want to share their personal feeling of worthlessness then and now even after a lifetime of dealing with your memory of assault but having to move on with your life and be productive and contribute to making lives better. Now her reputation has changed significantly from being the brilliant professor to being the girl who tried to ruin the career of a sexual abuser. Now rapists will continue to rape and women will continue to hide in shame and worthlessness even now.
Image result for rodgers & hammerstein musicalsSo, I turn to music to sooth my soul. What could make you happier than a good old musical? Listen to the song from the musical Oklahoma, Oh! What a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way. I’m sure the attempted rapists is singing that song now. Listen to just about anything those guys wrote in collaboration, Richard Rogers & Roger Hammerstein, and you will feel happier as people have been listening to their music for 88 years. Watch some good old musical movies like South Pacific and see the girl and sing along to the song called, “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair” while thinking about the professor who can’t ever wash that man out of her mind. Watch the King of Siam and see the woman sing the song called “Getting to know You” getting to know all about you as all of the world had to get to know these two people’s sad and sick past. . Climb every mountain and forge every sea in expectations   from the musical called The Sound of Music.
The lyricist and composer both went to Columbia University and grew up in Manhattan. They both married women named Dorothy. If you hate musicals then listen to their great songs. Republican are now singing to their song called The Lady is a Tramp sung by Frank Sinatra, written by Rogers. If you are the sad Democrat listen to the song from the musical Showboat called Old Man River also written by Hammerstein. If you feel empathy for both the sexual abuser who will get that great job even with the damaging accusation, or for the sexually abused woman who has exposed her entire life to the world, sing along to the song called “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in sympathy for whomever you choose. Also written by Rogers & Hammerstein. The words to the song say when you walk through a storm, hold your head up high.
The songs of these composers put the words, music and dance together and helps us all to understand just what life is with all its curves and turns. Watch their musical called Carousel where she sings the song called “If I Loved You” and how wonderful sex could be for all willingly and lovingly as it should be. In Carousel there is the self-destructive physically abusive man learning how to love. In South Pacific there is inter-racial love. They wrote Cinderella where the girl sings, “In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whomever I want to be.” They wrote about hope. We all talk with their words and we don’t even know it because it is in the air we breathe. Big Sigh Folks!