Saturday, 30 June 2007

Health "Insurance" is the Problem

It is impossible to insure one's health. The industry is a racket. Politicians whinge about the "uninsured", not perceiving that if the health-care industry didn't raise prices by dint of the fact that health insurance exists for so many, people could actually afford to go to the doctor when something is seriously wrong.

Speaking of serious health problems and visits to physicians, I once had a life-threatening cause (a brain tumour) to visit my doctor in Princeton, where appointments were difficult to schedule because of the number of people who went for the enjoyment of it--hobbyists, I used to call them. As I sat waiting, I chatted with an acquaintance of mine who, as a professor's wife on an HMO plan, was there for the sniffles. Health Maintenance Organizations send their members to physicians gratuitously, clogging up the system, but I hear that they don't "cover" serious problems.

Health insurance, ridiculous lawsuits against physicians (which drive-up costs--more on that later), and HMOs ought to be outlawed. That would be a good start to curing a very sick system.

~~M-Jeanne de M.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Revealing Poll

From Sean Hannity's site, here is a poll, ostensibly of his listeners (a.k.a. "Great Americans", as he encourages them to call themselves --and himself):

The question: What issue do you think is the most important in the '08 presidential election?
Results: 1.
Illegal Immigration
Free Trade
War on Terror
(134)--> Hannity's listeners not interested in education? What a surprise!
(424)--> Well, that's good, since it is a non-issue anyway.
Gun Rights
International Relations
So, international relations are not important?
Social Security
Free Speech
Homeland Security

I note with interest that very few of his Great Americans are interested in International Relations, and Free Trade. I would like to point-out that, despite what he believes, Sean Hannity is NOT "the Voice of America".

Pulling up Stakes from under President Reagan's Big Tent

Republican President Ronald Wilson Reagan

Apparently, anyone who agrees with President Bush, especially on his immigration reform bill, is being defined as "a R.I.N.O."--a Republican in Name Only. What a sad state of affairs. These name-callers are intra-party bigots who are one-issue voters. Their conceit is that they are Reagan conservatives, but they don't fully understand what that means. President Reagan's Big Tent is now swarming with factions, each of which insists that the others don't belong there. The rampant conjecture on what "Dutch" would do is often incorrect.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Immigration Bill Dumped, Opportunity Squandered

Watch the chaos continue. Now, NOTHING will be done. Deporting twelve million people--a sick idea that is a pipe-dream and the suicidal public-image ideal of some people in Republican party. The party is no longer a big tent, but a conglomeration of factions who will destroy the whole. For them, every candidate must march in lockstep with their each and every viewpoint, so they stay home on election day when their ideal doesn't exist. No one candidate is perfect, and if they believe they will get a perfect anti-illegal migrant bill, it will be a cold day in Hell when they do. "Principled" Republicans have denounced the President, and the party that sticks together shall win in 2008. Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face comes to mind, as does another applicable old saw: they cannot see the forest for the trees. Radio talk-show host Hannity declared in 2004 that the Democrats would never again be a majority or run the White House. And now, with his help--let me feed his huge ego (to partially paraphrase him: in the hot, hazy, humid, hateful Hannity Days of Summer), they certainly have, and shall continue to do so. The party's over. What party? The Grand Old Party.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

My Walnut Torte

Lacking any inspiration to comment on current affairs today, I offer my recipe for Walnut Torte.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Spanish and Colombian Soldiers Killed in Lebanon

Fatah Al Islam, grupo vinculado a Al Qaeda, principal sospechoso .-Tres de los militares muertos son españoles y tres colombianos.-Alonso garantiza la permanencia en las tropas en el exterior

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Mao "Serving the People"? Yes, after Butchering Them...

Fashionable among the lefty loonies of Hollywood, but they don't play in Peru--in fact , they fall flat up there on Machu Picchu: Communist Slogans

While visiting the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu in the Andes mountains of Peru, actress Cameron Diaz wore a trendy bag which bore a red star and the words "Serve the People" in Chinese, which was one of Chinese Communist leader Mao's most famous political slogans. The phrase is abhorrent in Peru, where the Maoist Shining Path insurgency brought pandemonium to the country during the 1980s and early 1990s with a campaign of massacres, assassinations and bombings. About 70,000 Peruvian people were killed during the Maoist slaughter.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Glad Midsommar

My photos from Midsommar in Sweden. By now, the celebrations of the eve are finished--or something!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Svensk traditions on Midsommar Eve, here is a video you can watch right now. Well, that is not quite accurate! Usually the music is by Sweden's late national songwriter and poet, Evert Taube (a cousin of mine).

Senators Clinton and Boxer: Pugilists in a Losing Battle,,,

...and these are the Enlightened people of the New Age...?
The rioting youth in Venezuela, upset over President (a.k.a. Dictator) Hugo Chavez's silencing opposition media outlets, ought to have served as an object lesson for them! But, no; apparently they'd rather employ the time-tested tactics of the communist apparatchiks.

Sens. Clinton and Boxer Try to Squash Conservative Talk-Radio

Two peas in a pod: Hillary and Hugo

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

This is Sick: Irreverent Al Sharpton, Where Art Thou Now?

Austin, Texas; June 19th, 2007

During a crowded "Juneteenth" Black people's holiday, a girl was inadvertently hit by a car occupied by two men of Spanish heritage (I'm not sure if they were U.S. or Central Americans).

The car's passenger went to check on the girl, who had not sustained serious injuries. He was mobbed and killed. The car's driver managed to escape the blood-thirsty throng.

This is truly disturbing. It is also reminiscent of black American "Reverend" Al Sharpton's involvement in a similar incident in New York City's Borough of Brooklyn.

1991: A Hasidic Jewish driver in Brooklyn's Crown Heights section accidentally killed Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, and anti-Jewish riots erupted. True to his code, Al Sharpton raced to pour gasoline on the fire. At Gavin Cato's funeral he condemned the "diamond merchants" -- code for Jews -- with "the blood of innocent babies" on their hands. Sharpton mobilized hundreds of demonstrators to march through the Jewish neighborhood, chanting, "No justice, no peace." The crowd needed blood. An innocent bystander, Australian rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum, was surrounded by a mob shouting "Kill the Jews!" and stabbed to death.

This is Al Sharpton's America, where no tragedy (involving black people, and this one sure does) is left unexploited. Reverend Sharpton, where the Hell art thou now?

~~M-Jeanne de M.

Fifty-Four Percent of Swedes Polled Say "Eugh" to E.U.

From James Savage of The Local: Sweden's News in English, comes the following quote:

"Swedes would have voted against joining the euro if a referendum had been held in May 2007, according to a new poll by state-run Statistics Sweden.Some 54 percent of those asked would have voted no, up by two percentage points since November 2006. Yes votes accounted for 33 percent of responses, with 'don't knows' accounting for the remaining 13 percent."

Tiny Malta Has a Huge Problem

Each year about 2000 Africans land on the beautiful island of Malta, some of them on their way to mainland Europe. EU law says they must remain there, even though the Maltese people don't want them. Illegal migrants want to stay in Malta, even though there is an acute job-shortage.

Malta is a 122-square-mile island with a homogeneous population. It is an archipelago 55 miles away from Sicily. 1,900 of its native inhabitants reside on each square mile. In many ways, Malta is groaning under the weight of unwanted additional population.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Bulgarian Connection

Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria is pictured here with her husband, their daughter, Alexandra, and son-in-law, Jorge Champalimaud Raposo de Magelhaes (Magellan), around the time of the young couple's wedding in 2001. I took the photos at a family party. I became acquainted with Princess Marie Louise at several such events. She is a charitable conservative lady, and similarly to her brother, King Simeon II, is pro-American. The King and his sister are cousins to Queen Elizabeth II. King Simeon was deposed at a very young age by the communists, and the family went into exile in Spain. The De Magalhaeses were married in Portugal four days before 9-1-1, which stranded many of the attendees for a while. They now have two children.

Recommended Reading: Crown of Thorns,

"Mr. Groueff's moving and exciting book is at once a testimonial and a défi. It tells us that history will not forget the brave--and that memory will not forgive their oppressors. A grand experience, grandly told."~~William F. Buckley, Jr.

Airbus and Boeing at the Paris Air Show

UPDATE: Boeing's Dreamliner

Both aeroplane companies are doing swell.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Rushdie Knighted? Why, for Heaven's Sake?

I see no compelling reason to do this. In fact, I see some reasons to NOT do it!

Britain's effort to self-destruct from within could do without this.

Thank God the Knight Commander of the British Empire still has meaning (the honor which was bestowed upon my husband), even if the Knight does not.

President Sarkozy Secures Parliamentary Majority

France will again be the most important country in Europe. Not only did President Sarkozy attain a parliamentary majority yesterday, but he has dynamic plans.

François Fillon, the prime minister who led the UMP's campaign, said voters had made a "clear and coherent" choice for change, endorsing Mr Sarkozy's reform program for the fourth time in recent presidential and parliamentary elections.
He said his government would reach out to all political factions and forge a new national consensus.
"We are going to reform, renovate, and experiment with new ideas."

Alain Juppé, the second most senior member of the UMP-led cabinet, was defeated in his home district of Bordeaux, and will resign today., Founder of Médecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) is the new Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the French government.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Outrage in the Air: Animals!

When Dogs Fly...the End of Civilization is at Hand

Bravi, La Motte and Ekberg!

The thread at the New York Times Travel section comments area just keeps getting sicker, with the exception of Dana La Motte and Alf Ekberg, who realize that dogs traveling in the cabin of the plane is just plain unsanitary as well as uncivilized. The defensive dog-owners who rebut them are a vicious breed.

If dogs are going to fly, let it be in the cargo section or on their own planes. And someone actually has pitched-in the thread a post about an airline which flies dogs in the cabin---on seats next to their owners. I believe that it is a specialty airline and cruise ship company that caters for dog-hounds and their curs. Imagine dogfights breaking out at 30,000 feet. Fools!

So peanuts, perfume and smoking are disallowed on planes, but any stinky, flea-ridden beast is welcome?

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Lebanese Cuisine Becoming Popular in Sweden

The Lebanese people, among whom are many French-speaking Catholics (not making any religious or cultural value judgments here; many Americans have no clue about Lebanon), have some industrious immigrant communities in Sweden. I became more aware of this when viewing the Swedish film, Yalla, Yalla!, which examined in a humourous way the assimilation attempts by a younger generation of Swedes with Lebanese heritage. I've long been fond of Lebanese cooking, and was taught by a relative's wife to make tabbouleh when I was just 18.
From The Local, a newspaper from Sweden written in English, comes this article.

The Hon. Fred Dalton Thompson on the Castro-Chavez Axis

The Fred Thompson Report

The President of the Czech Republic on Freedom vs Oppressive Climate Propaganda

Vaclav Kraus Speaks

Friday, 15 June 2007

Seven Sick Saboteurs Sentenced in U.K.

Home Secretary John Reid said: "The outcome of this trial once again shows the extent of the very real and serious threat the UK faces from terrorism."

Queen Noor of Jordan

The beautiful Queen Noor is an accomplished matriarch.


Addendum: Queen Noor is of Lebanese and Scandinavian extraction. She is a Princeton University alumna.

A site in the Netherlands devoted to the Royal Hashemite Kingdom rulers of Jordan

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Boeing Poised to Soar at Paris Air Show

Boeing Closes in on Huge Order of 787s

Clip: Next week at the Paris Air Show, the largest aviation gathering of the year, Airbus will undoubtedly announce a lot of airplane orders.
But Boeing is set to steal the show.
The most influential player in the aviation business is working to finalize this weekend a huge order for about 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, worth at least $5 billion even with discounts.

Paris Air Show 2007

Louisiana Town Bans Pants that Show Cans...

...and other private parts: Draggin', Saggin', and Caggin'(French for pant-loadin')'

It's about time. Why is this abomination allowed in the first place?

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Into the Unknown with George Noory

Tonight on the Sci-Fi Channel: Coast to Coast A.M.'s veteran broadcaster, gentleman George Noory discusses paranormal phenomena with guests.
Into the Unknown is produced by Hallock Healey Entertainment, producers of SCI FI’s hidden-camera hit, Scare Tactics.
George Noory visits with paranormal investigators in Florida who have recorded the voice of a local woman singing in her home. But here's the twist: She's been dead for more than five years. Paranormal expert Joshua P. Warren unveils a new, high-tech tool in the quest for proof of life after death: The Paranormal P.C. — a computer designed specifically for recording ghostly activity. In addition, George interviews actor Gary Busey and finds out more about the star’s “near-death” experience. Gary goes into detail about how he “crossed over” and tells George how the “angels” spoke to him and changed his life forever.
I'll be watching....

UPDATE: I really enjoyed the show, which covered many fascinating topics in half an hour. Bravo, Mr Noory--may you make many more television appearances! Coast-to-Coast Radio

Friday, 8 June 2007

Aeroflot Deal Still Afloat: UPDATE--Done Deal

Boeing News

President Bush met with Russian President Putin yesterday. I do hope that cordial and meaningful relations continue between the two countries. Russia is resolved to modernise its fleet of Aeroflot planes; the U.S. company BOEING could be the beneficiary of that deal, and by extension, so would thousands of U.S. workers.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

The Stem-Cell Research Issue

Contrary to what the overly vociferous ignoranti believe, it's not about whether or not to use the issue of someone's loins, i.e. an embryo for harvesting cells for any purpose, rather, the long-lived argument is about whether or not the government ought to fund it. There are plenty of universities and private companies doing stem-cell research. Is it really desirable to have Uncle Sam in on it?

I have known many scientists, some of whom innovated cancer therapies and others who replicated liver cells. I don't care what they do in the laboratories with research, as long as they don't clone Hillary Clinton or Michael Moore!

The Ignorant Identify Themselves...

...outside the G8 Summit in Germany

And, as usual, the protesters are probably sending up a great mushroom cloud of cigarette smoke, those hypocrites. I have nothing against cigarette smoke, by the way--but I object to those who pollute while pointing fingers at others!

Is President Clinton Good for Something after All?

Sculpture by Seward Johnson
Our Democrat-loaded congress has refused to cooperate with President Uribe on trade. Vacuous ex-Vice President Al Gore has snubbed him.
They are short-sighted hypocrites. This idea by Colombia's President is great:

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Night at the Museum

It's an "all-star extravaganza"! Though it is filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, the scene is the Museum of Natural History in New York City. I don't want to give away the story, so I'll just say that my husband and I really enjoyed it, and think that this movie may inspire young people to be interested in history.

Ten Myths and Key Facts about Border Security and Immigration Reform Agreement

May 18, 2007
Myth/Fact: Ten Key Myths About the Border Security and Immigration Reform Agreement
White House News
In Focus: Immigration
1. MYTH: This is amnesty.
FACT: Amnesty is the forgiveness of an offense without penalty. This proposal is not amnesty because illegal workers must acknowledge that they broke the law, pay a $1,000 fine, and undergo criminal background checks to obtain a Z visa granting temporary legal status.
FACT: To apply for a green card at a date years into the future, Z visa workers must wait in line behind those who applied lawfully, pay an additional $4,000 fine, complete accelerated English requirements, leave the U.S. and file their application in their home country, and demonstrate merit based on the skills and attributes they will bring to the United States.
FACT: Workers approved for Z visas will be given a temporary legal status, but they will not enjoy the full privileges of citizens or Legal Permanent Residents, such as welfare benefits and the ability to sponsor relatives abroad as immigrants.
2. MYTH: This proposal repeats the mistakes of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.
FACT: The 1986 Act failed because it provided amnesty for 3 million immigrants, did not adequately secure borders, did not include a workable employer verification system, and created no legal avenue to meet the labor needs of the American economy.
FACT: This proposal addresses every one of the shortcomings from 1986:
No Amnesty: Illegal workers must acknowledge that they broke the law and pay a fine to be eligible for a Z visa.
Border Security: Border security benchmarks must be met before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect. These triggers include: constructing 370 miles of fencing and 200 miles of vehicle barriers at the border and increasing the size of the Border Patrol to 18,000 agents.
Employer Verification System: An Employment Eligibility Verification System must be ready to process new hires before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect.
Temporary Worker Program: A temporary worker program will relieve pressure on the border and provide a lawful way to meet the needs of our economy.
FACT: The 1986 Act offered green cards after just 18 months, but under this proposal, green card applicants must meet a number of responsibilities – something which will take most candidates more than a decade.
3. MYTH: The government will not and cannot meet its promise to crack down on the hiring of illegal workers.
FACT: Before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect, an Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) must be in place and ready to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining jobs in the United States.
FACT: Employers will be required to verify the work eligibility of all employees using the EEVS, and all workers will be required to present stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents. Tough new anti-fraud measures will be implemented to restrict fraud and identity theft.
FACT: Employers who hire illegal workers will face stiff new criminal and civil penalties. For example, the maximum criminal penalty for a pattern or practice of hiring illegals will increase 25-fold, from $3,000 per alien to $75,000 per alien.
4. MYTH: This proposal would cut in half the amount of fence authorized by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
FACT: The Secure Fence Act of 2006 – which authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing; more vehicle barriers, checkpoints, and lighting; and increased use of advanced technology – will remain unchanged.
FACT: At least half of the additional fencing authorized by the Secure Fence Act must be built before the temporary worker program and Z visa could go into effect.
5. MYTH: The trigger period will cause a rush to the border.
FACT: To be eligible to apply for a Z visa, illegal immigrants must prove they were in the country prior to January 1, 2007.
FACT: Anyone caught crossing the border after the new law passes will be fingerprinted and permanently barred from receiving work or tourist visas from the U.S., creating a strong disincentive to illegal immigration.
6. MYTH: By providing an opportunity for citizenship to illegal immigrants already here, the bill will exponentially increase extended-family chain migration.
FACT: The proposal reforms our immigration system to create a new balance between family connections and our national interests and economic needs.
FACT: Visas for parents of U.S. citizens are being capped, while visas for siblings and adult children are eliminated.
FACT: To help keep our economy competitive, a new merit-based system similar to those used by other countries will give preference to attributes that further our national interest such as: job offers in high-demand fields, ability to speak English, and education.
7. MYTH: The temporary worker program is bad for American workers.
FACT: The temporary worker program relieves pressure on the border and meets our economic needs by allowing workers to enter the country to fill jobs that Americans are not doing.
FACT: The program protects American workers by requiring U.S. employers to advertise the job in the United States at a competitive wage before hiring a temporary worker.
FACT: To ensure "temporary" means "temporary," workers are limited to three two-year terms, with at least a year spent outside the United States between each term.
FACT: A cap of 400,000 is set on the program, which can be adjusted up or down in the future depending on demand.
8. MYTH: Illegal immigrants will come out of the shadows and on to the welfare rolls.
FACT: Z visa workers are not entitled to welfare, Food Stamps, SSI, non-emergency Medicaid, or other programs and privileges enjoyed by U.S. citizens and some Legal Permanent Residents.
FACT: In order to apply for and maintain Z visa status, workers must remain employed.
9. MYTH: Government agencies will not be able to share information to pursue immigration violators.
FACT: Under this proposal, there will be unprecedented information sharing between Federal, State, and local agencies to ensure that immigration laws are respected and enforced.
FACT: The new Employment Eligibility Verification System, which employers will be required to use for all employees, will rely on unprecedented information sharing across Federal and State databases, including Social Security records, passport and visa records, and State driver's licenses.
FACT: For Z visa applicants, DHS has authority to share information with law enforcement about terrorist aliens, security risks, and criminal aliens, including aliens who lie on their applications and aliens who commit fraud.
FACT: Under this proposal, DHS will receive Social Security Administration "no match" information on individuals and information on multiple uses of the same social security number by more than one individual.
10. MYTH: Senators are being asked to vote Monday on a lengthy bill that they will not have time to read.
FACT: Monday's vote is only a procedural vote to bring the bill to the floor for debate, not a vote on the bill itself.
FACT: This bill is the product of months of extraordinary negotiations between Senators from both parties and Cabinet-level officials.


Texas Employers for Immigration Reform

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Sensible U.S. Immigration Reform

My husband and I are supporting President Bush's initiative. What kind of country would the United States be if it deported millions of illegal immigrants instead of trying to integrate them? Sure, the bill is not perfect, but it is more humane than the alternative which is being promoted by people in both major political parties.

To those who believe that the "conservative" way is to blindly boot those people out, consider what President Reagan said about how wasteful it is to have unharvested fruit, when it is allowed to rot because no one among U.S. citizens is willing to pick it. What would "Dutch" do? Certainly not the same thing as you! President Reagan and President G.W. Bush: two humanitarians who understood the issue.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

One of the Greats: Ray Price and His Cherokee Cowboys

I don't have to say much about Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys--when this webpage says it all. Though I wish the site would play some of Ray's older music with fiddle and steel guitar, instead of For the Good Times, which, comparatively speaking, is a dirge.

Ray Price is now eighty-two years old. On the website, there is a link to the story, "Hank & Ray", about his professional and personal relationship with Hank Williams.

Ray's 80th Birthday in Texas