Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Just Flies: Where Did It Go?

July has to be the fastest month of the year.  At least for me it is because July seems to fly by like a week or less. I can't remember much about July 2012 except the Cincy T-shirt Festival which was last Friday.  I haven't been drawing or painting much this past month, but I do remember going swimming at the Y several times to cool off. Now it is the last day of July 2012, and I guess it is time to get back to work on several pieces started or prepared to start.  Here is a wood piece that I took a break from that I am going to get back to work on.  Altarpiece No. 2 is a small wood piece that I am having a little fun with and that is not finished. Hopefully, I will get to work on it this coming month as it is a rather small case that still needs lots of work.

Here are 2 wood surfaces that I hope to paint later that I put together from smaller pieces of wood that were leftovers.  I never know what gems might come out of just playing and having fun with pieces of wood. Anyone care to make a suggestion what I might paint on the 2 pieces below.

The summer flies by much too fast, so enjoy it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Car Insurance v. Healthcare Insurance

I agree that if the private sector can do the job then the public (government) sector does not need to get involved.

Let us take automobile (car) insurance for example.  If you watch just a little bit of TV, you see a plethora of car insurance commercials. Why is that? Why is the government not involved in car insurance other than stating that you must have liability insurance just in case to run into another car and injury someone in the car or standing nearby on the street?  I think the answer is because there is competition throughout the country when it comes to car insurance.  Have you ever counted how many different insurance companies are offering car insurance on TV?

Now let us take a look at healthcare insurance.  The Congress has given healthcare insurance companies a virtual monopoly within states so that there isn't really any competition like with car insurance. The healthcare insurance companies were able to manipulate the laws so that they could maximize profits and not maximize coverage of individuals and families.

While the Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly known as Obamacare, may not be perfect. The insurance companies did not ingratiate themselves with the people by canceling policies when people got sick, or, not giving coverage for the so-called preexisting condition, or keeping children on the family's healthcare insurance until age 26.

I think it is safe to say that healthcare insurance companies used a variety of strategies to payout less for healthcare while at the same time charging the insured with higher premiums nearly every year.  Insurance company personnel receiving bonuses based on the number of people denied treatment for serious conditions is no way to run a healthcare system, in my opinion.

So now we have Obamacare. Well, many more people will be insured and once families get to know what benefits they will have because of it, I think more people will like it.  I did not say everyone will like it, as I am sure the presidents of the large healthcare insurance companies will never like it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

IBM and the Holocaust - A Book That Needs To Be Read

For the last several weeks, I have been working my way through a book that has opened up a  piece of Holocaust history that I was totally unaware.  I have mentioned this book before, and I will mention it again and again, because it has importance as a historical record of past events, but also because it is relevant to the present and the future, in my opinion.

IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black (2001) is a long book filled with details about one of America's most powerful corporations in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and right up to the present day. What they did, or what one man, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., did to make vast amounts of money is a story that needs to be told and retold.  Making money is not a crime, but making money while others die and suffer is another story.  IBM played a very significant role in the Jewish Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s. There is no way that they can say they were unaware of what their machines were doing as it related to the destruction of European Jewry.

That the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum does not sell this book in their gift shop at the museum is only a temporary situation.  As soon as I finish this book, my next action will be to write to the executive director of the museum and state why IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black needs to be on their shelves. A museum dedicated to telling the whole truth can not selectively decide that this book should not be seen and read.

Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July is Coming

July 2nd, just a couple of days until The Northside 4th of July Parade at noon down Hamilton Avenue. I missed it last year as I was laid up from surgery on my left leg.  I tore the muscle away from the tendon and had to have surgery to repair my leg.  (Dr. David Argo and the people at Beacon did a great job putting me back together.)  This year I plan to be out there in my folding chair watching the ladies with the folding lawn chairs do their thing along with the rest of those in the parade. Over the years Northside has become more conservative in its parade antics, but there once was a time when the people in the parade really pushed the envelope. Not so anymore, Northside is now middle-class.

So, after all the fighting about issues that concern us all, perhaps we can all take one day to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

4th of July, collage w/ acrylic paint on envelope, by F.D. Zigler.