Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wacko or Prophet?

Former Arkansas governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee seems well aware that the Supreme Court may legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after hearing oral arguments on the contentious issue this week. But that doesn't mean he concedes that the court has the ultimate authority to decide the issue. Here's Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor, last night at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston.
I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that — the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God. When it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created. [Mike Huckabee, via CNN]
Last week, Huckabee warned that America's dramatically increased support for same-sex marriage could lead "toward the criminalization of Christianity" and an America in which "criminal charges" could be brought against religious Americans who fight against same-sex marriage. Ben Frumin

Impressions of Baltimore

Having spent the last number of day at home due to the onset of a flu virus I have taken in hours of coverage of our latest police/black confrontation. Some impressions from one who has lived in the diverse State of New Jersey about two hours from the city of Baltimore.

New Jersey and Maryland share a similar union controlled economy. Maryland of course benefits from it's neighbor Washington DC and has been in a boom for the past ten years or so. This of course doesn't seem to filter down to the inner city residents unless you happen to be of the opinion that various forms of welfare and food stamps lead to core strength and growth. Nancy Pelosi has stated in the past that increased welfare can actually help an economy. In my opinion union based economies produce stratified economic conditions.

My impressions of the people on the street, in government, and the media:
I can't get my head around how many obese people inhabit inner city ghetto's. While statistically mired in poverty food appears inexpensive to this group based on waist size. Male youths appear either massively obese or rail thin, female youths appear overwhelmingly overweight. This is all anecdotal of course but seems consistent with inner city youth of my own State.
The Baltimore government mirrors big city government throughout the Northeast. Generations of progressive democrat administrations pumping out patronage. The mayor does a press conference wearing an Under Armor ball cap. Very stylish in the urban setting I'm sure. The police are multiracial, the kid had a violent rap sheet, I'm sure dozens of these cases pop up daily in a big city like Baltimore.          
The media are doing their job. There are just to many of them. They keep the pot on the boil. Most of these kids and young adults would head home to watch a ballgame if they didn't have a camera crew to dance with.

I have had the pleasure to work with the good people a Shiloh Baptist Church here in Jersey. Some of the finest people I have even been around.  They have to be heartsick over watching generation after generation of their youth debase themselves into such a culture.

Just some random notes from a flu ridden bed bug.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Wanna Bet?

Wanna bet on the upcoming Presidential race?  Here are the current odds offered to betters by Paddy Power, Irelands largest gambling site:

Healthcare costs continue to rise.

Paying health care bills is only getting more difficult for consumers: Out-of-pocket costs for patients rose 11 percent in 2014, according to new data.
The report by TransUnion Healthcare said that out-of-pocket costs jumped to an average $2,491 per patient in 2014, up from $2,245 the year before, mostly because of skyrocketing costs in joint-replacement procedures for areas such as the knee and hip. Costs for those procedures surged by nearly 20 percent, it said.
“Our latest report demonstrates that consumers continue to feel the pressure of rising health care costs,” said Gerry McCarthy, president of TransUnion Healthcare, a subsidiary of the large credit report company. “Despite a slowly improving economy, many consumers are finding they have less money to make these payments. This issue is not just about patients, though, as thousands of health care administrators across the country face the challenge of providing quality care while also seeking fair compensation.”
Meanwhile, patient deductible costs rose nearly 7 percent in the last year from $1,062 in Q4 2013 to $1,133 in Q4 2014.
"This increase occurred prior to the government reporting that 16.4 million people now have secured health care coverage during the most recent open enrollment period of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," TransUnion said.
Read: Employer health plan deductibles see big jump
Compounding the problem, the report found, is that the amount of revolving credit that people can tap to help pay increasing health care costs decreased. For every $100 in health care costs, consumers had $1,350 in revolving credit to potentially make those payments in the last quarter of 2014, Transunion said. For the same quarter in 2013, consumers had $1,520 in revolving credit for every $100 in health care costs.
Transunion said the report included anonymous data estimates for patient payment responsibilities from thousands of providers, including health care clinics from across the nation.

The Intolerance of the Tolerant Ones...

It turns out no one wants to hear what Khloe Kardashian has to say about the protests in Baltimore.
On Monday, as the protests turned to riots, the 30-year-old reality star took to Instagram to share message that read "Pray for Baltimore":