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My real name is Dave but online I go by Spiney.  Why Spiney?  Well the last few years and much of my future has been defined by a big change brought on by 3 back surgeries and (1) neck surgery.  I have 4 levels of my lower back or Lumbar fused together with donor bone and held together with plates and screws. I have the same done to 2 levels of my neck or cervical spine.  So I am very aware of my spine 24 x 7.

I must give credit to Conan O’Brien, or actually one of his writers Pierre Bernard for the “Recliner of Rage” tagline. I use that because most of this will be written from my New La-Z-Boy recliner, I wore the old one out after 10 years, or my bed. That is where unfortunately I spend the majority of my days.

Because of this I am unable to work a job or better yet, run my own business like I did for 15 years full time and another business for about 8 years part time. So I have a lot of time on my hands.  I’m in chronic pain and have serious sleep issues so the time I have can be an hour here, there, or mostly in the middle of the night when pain and insomnia are my pals. I’m an info junkie.  always have been, but today there are so many more sources.  The Net, cable news, NPR, XM, BBC, a slew of monthly magazines, Borders when I can get there, and the occasional newspaper.  I also watch The History Channel, History International, the cable channel owned by Al Gore and Steve Jobs: Current, the Science and Discovery channels. Yes I do interact with humans when possible, but I don’t get out much, so it’s mostly my Wife and family. Oh I also moderate a Neck and Back Pain Yahoo group.

What I hope to accomplish here is to say the things I would say to people if there were intelligent people to discuss this with.  Things I yell at the TV about, or talk my wife, or cat, or who ever will listen. I hope someone reads this and I encourage response. Thanks for listening, Spiney

Spiney hasn’t written in a few months. Mainly because I got tired of blogging about politics. The more I watch the news and read blogs like my friend Wes at The Humble Libertarian the more I feel hopeless and that all politics is dirty. But this week  the non-stop Health Care Reform coverage has really got my goat.

We are in the worst economic conditions since the great depression. No one disagrees with this. Because of the Trillions spent on the Stimulus bill, money spent to buy into GM, Chrysler, The Tarp money spent to shore up Wall Street, etc our country’s deficit is at the highest it has ever been.  This administration has spent more in their first year, than was spent by all administrations up until now, including WWII. Our country is on the verge of bankruptcy and Moody’s Financial has said that our credit rating will be lowered for the first time ever!

For years we have been warned that Social Security and Medicare will be bankrupt in a few years. So now we will add on top of the an estimated $980 billion dollar program. A program that adds 153 new governmental  agencies.  Governmental agencies add no productivity to the economy, they just make work and drain money from the taxpayers, that’s you. This new Healthcare plan also cuts $580 Billion dollars from Medicare. This will effect our senior citizens who are already strapped paying for medical cost. So how does this help them?

We are being told that this new Health Care Plan will reduce our deficit by $120 billion dollars after 10 years, and even more after 20 years. These numbers are estimates by the CBO the Congressional Budget Office. But they are estimates. How can they really predict what is going to happen in 10 and 20 years. No one in the government saw our recent financial collapse coming, even those agencies whose job it was to keep an eye on all of our financial institutions. With that collapse we lost Trillions of dollars, and with the loss in tax income from people without jobs and homes without owners several of our largest states and cities are in financial ruin. California hands out IOU’s to it’s suppliers and constituents.  And it has now come out that 11 states will  not be able to send out State Income Tax Returns. It’s your money but they don’t have it to give back to you. Most say it will take until August until you get your tax return.

The U.S. Government is telling you that they know better how to run Health Care than the business sector. They also said they could run the Postal Service which is in Bankruptcy. They are going to cut out Saturday delivery very soon. They also said they could run Amtrak the federal passenger rail service. Amtrak loses money hand over fist every year. Every year it needs a financial bailout from the government to keep it running.  And compared to the rest of the Western World we have the slowest trains in the world. Plus despite all of your money the Government gives to Amtrak have you ever bought a ticket for one of their trains, very expensive. No wonder people still drive their cars instead of riding the rails.

In this bill they propose to cut payment to Doctors for Medicare patients by 20%.  Doctors are already less than thrilled to treat Medicare patients.  Many now say they will drop out of the program with these cuts. This program will put 30 million more people on the Medicare system with less doctors to treat them. Have you waited in your Doctors waiting room lately, or called for an appointment and told they will see you next week. Or worse yet, have you ever had to sit in the ER. An average wait when I go is at least 2 and as much as 4 hours to be seen, and as much as 9 hours to get out. Think about how much more this will go up when 30 million more people have access.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to agree that the current system doesn’t work. If you happen to have good health insurance it’s the best.  But I’ve been on the other side. I’ve gone broke paying for health care.  Both my Wife and myself have health issues. I have Chronic pain from 4 back surgeries and many doctors visits a year. My wife suffers from chronic and almost constant migraines. Because of her migraines we visit the ER and doctors often. My Wife and I also owned our own business for 15 years. One of our largest monthly expenses was health insurance. In the end in 2005 we were paying over $1200 a month for health insurance. That was just for 2 adults. There needs to be affordable coverage for the neediest among us, and health insurance cost need to be made more affordable and their constant increases kept in check.  This can be done through competition. Right now I am limited to buying health insurance to a few companies within my state of PA. And the big player who sets their prices wherever they want in this state is Capital Blue Cross. It is the same way in almost every state, if not every state. If insurance companies from all over the country could compete in every state the competition would drive the price down, just like it does in every other field.

The Government could have an option for the neediest, and those of us who can afford insurance can buy their insurance through private firms at competitive prices.  The other thing that needs to be done to keep health care cost down is everyone who can afford health care must carry at least catastrophic coverage. That way hospitals won’t have to pickup the cost for those who can not pay. And when they do it gets passed on to all of the rest of us. There are many who say they can’t afford health insurance and want the government to provide it for them. But on the other hand they really choose to buy other things instead of paying for health insurance. They have cool tricked out cars, the latest electronics, and go on expensive vacations. All the time the roll the dice saying that they are healthy and not worried. But then they could have an accident, that’s why they are called accidents, or worse an unexpected disease or major health care. Even simple appendicitis will set you back several thousand.  And how many couples find their selves in an unintended pregnancy.  Again you are talking a few thousand dollars, and that’s if everything goes well.

When we are in an extended depression, with high unemployment that is predicted to last, this is not a good time to add an almost trillion dollar program to the government. One that will admittedly create new tax burdens for business. Businesses that are already hurting and just hanging on.

If this Health Care Bill is so wonderful and such a no brainer why has the deadline been moved almost a year. Why must there be so many special backroom deals cut to exempt a few states from the Medicare cuts in order to get the votes from that senator or congress person. Also why now are they not even willing to take an up and down vote, on the record to pass or fail this bill. Instead they are now looking to use the Deemed function, which I admit I don’t totally understand, but they will basically pass or fail it with one vote Yes or No with no individual record. They don’t want this record because they are all up for election in November.

Why to a feel a need to blog this and why am I concerned. It’s this, we are going to create another huge government bureaucracy. These never work out good. They always end up costing much more than they were ever estimated at. In the beginning all are supposed to be big money savers. I challenge you to find one government program that actually saves us money. And you are talking 1/6 of our economy. We don’t make anything in America anymore we just service things. and Healthcare is one of the biggest. Again I agree we need reform, but this isn’t it. It’s 3000 pages of new laws that those who are pushing it don’t even know what’s in it.  Nancy Pelosi speaker of the house stated this week that we will have to pass the bill to see what’s in it. Now isn’t that something, pushing a bill that you don’t even know what is in it. That’s what scares Spiney. What do you think?

I attended the viewing on Tuesday and the Funeral tonight for Ian Hinkle, my cousins son who passed away suddenly from complications of N1H1.  At the viewing there was an endless stream of teenagers, all crying both the boys and girls. Someone made the comment that you could see fear on their faces as they waited to walk pass the casket. There was a line from 5pm until 9pm and this is a small town. I believe almost everyone from the high school attended. His long distance girlfriend who he met online drove in all the way from Indiana. This is the first time they saw each other face to face.

Tonight was the funeral which was more a celebration of life service. There was a chorus from his high school, a band calling themselves “Ian’s Angels” and an acoustic guitar duo who wrote a song for him. The band played a spot on version of “I wish you were here” by Pink Floyd. Everyone lost it at that point. It ended with a power point presentation to honor him that his classmates put together. It included accolades from the kids and the staff at his school.  There were also about 15 kids who got up and gave personal testimony to their relationship with Ian. It was beautiful. Everyone said he was the greatest kid who never said a bad thing about anyone, and who would go out of his way to help everyone. Also that he put 110% into everything he tried from sports to music, to academics. My cousin, his father said tonight that the only thing that keep him going is the thought that God must have some higher purpose for Ian. Many of the kids said that this made them realize they need to put away the petty differences and look at the big picture. That they will be better people to honor him.

I wish I had known him more. I only really met him and clicked with him this past September. We had much in common. He loved the drums and history. He wanted to be a history major. We could have talked for hours.

They had him cremated because they wanted him at home, not in the ground. In fact his Dad, Mom, and sister all got a locket with a little bit of his ashes in it, to hold next to their heart.

I’ve been to many, many funerals. I have to go to another one tomorrow at 9am. I’ve seen people taken before their time, My Mom included, but this was the most touching and saddest I’ve ever been to. But also the most heartfelt and lovingly remembered.

After seeing the outpouring of love from his friends and classmates his father got up and said through choked back tears “I have been feeling totally lost and hopeless over this, but this tonight gives me some hope, Thank you all.”

Last, in a selfish way, or soul searching way it made me think, “Who would be there for me, and what would they say?” I need to get out there and touch more lives and be more positive. Since my injury I have been in a self imposed exile. The internet makes it easy to think you are well connected, but in reality your not.

I certainly left feeling I wish I had known him better.  Spiney

I woke up to shocking news this morning. My cousin’s 16 year old son, Ian died of the swine flu. He was a strong, healthy 16 year old. I had just talked to him last night via email about playing the drums. He was bummed because he couldn’t play this week because he was sick.

I tried to get a regular seasonal flu shot this week. In fact I’ve tried for the past two weeks. No one has them available. The local Sam’s club had what was a very limited supply this morning. They ran out in 10-15 minutes and throngs were turned away.

Every day we are warned on the TV, radio, net, newspapers of the coming pandemic and we better get our flu shot. Yet there are none to be had. Because of some screw up at the lab they had to destroy a large batch of seasonal flu vaccine. And the manufacturing of the H1N1 is going much slower than they think.

This is coming from the same government that wants to take over the health care industry. They feel they can do it better than the free market. Yet the swine flu and seasonal flu shots are coordinated by the CDC, the Center for Disease Control. If they can’t get this right, and they have seen it coming for at least 2 years, how can they take over the whole health care industry?

This blog entry is dedicated to Ian Hinkle, age 16 of Weatherly, PA.

After busting on Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol for the past year. Saying Sarah looked like a slutty stewardess, and joking about A-rod of the NY Yankees knocking up her daughter it is good to see him get a taste of his own medicine last night. He confessed to multiple sexual affairs with multiple female employees because he was responding to a blackmail charge. He made a joke out of it, but here a married man with a child confessed to this. People in glass houses…   That’s what Spiney thinks, what do you think?

a Friend and fellow blogger Wes E. Messamore writer of the Humble Libertarian has written an excellent comment on Michael Moore’s latest film “Capitalism a Love Story”. I can’t improve on his work so I ask you to click on , this link , to read it.

All I can add is that the next time Mr. Moore is in Cannes France to accept yet another award for a film that shows how much he dislikes his country, he may want to apply for asylum. I’m sure France would be thrilled to have him and he would much more enjoy the political climate there. What do you think? Spiney

The following are not my original words. I tried through Google to find the author, but alas I could not find him or her. But I do love what it has to say, and I wanted to share it. Please take the time to read it and leave your take on it.

Thank you, Spiney

Read This..This is where the blame really falls

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 535 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 535 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 535 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 535 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red ..
If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 535 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 535 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…
We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess

Dear President Carter, I was at the DC Rally on 9/12 and I am not a racist. I had an African American who was my best friend in my wedding. I listen to inner city African American Preachers on my Christian Radio Station WDAC.  I have nothing against anyone just because of their color.

Even though I didn’t vote for President Obama I was proud of our country on January 20, 2009. I was actually a little ashamed that it took until 2008 for a African American to make it into the Presidential Election. I thought to myself here could be a new beginning, maybe my generations chance at a President Kennedy like experience. It didn’t take long until I realized that was not to be. I don’t dislike President Obama the person. I dislike his policies, the radicals that surround him, All the money he is spending, and the direction he is taking our country. I have often said I wish he was white, for only one reason, so it would be politically correct to disagree with him!

President Carter I could not vote for you because I was only 16. But I did support you in your campaign and I was at your inauguration. I felt the same chance for a fresh start after the heavy hand of the Nixon administration, and Gerald Ford, someone we never elected. Here was a non insider, plus an extremely intelligent man a nuclear scientist, and yes important for me, a Christian man. But then the oil crises hit and you told us to wear a sweater. You showed a weakness on foreign policy, especially during the Iran Hostage Crises. In the end I was glad to see you go. and while I like President Ronald Reagan, I voted for John Anderson in my first Presidential Election, 1980. I remember you as a weak president. Though I will give you your proper dues on arranging the most important Egypt – Israeli Peace accords. That you can be proud of.

I see a lot of you in President Baraq Obama as he makes one of his first moves as President a worldwide apology trip.

President Carter, you are a smart man, so please don’t make the mistake of wrongly accusing me and many others of being racist, just because we disagree with President Obama’s policies, advisers, and actions.

Sincerely, Spiney

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