Monday, October 31, 2016


Patient welfare
Vs. AvMed profit

THIS IS ALL ABOUT what I perceive as a way for AvMed to increase its profits at the expense of its subscribers – its raison d’ĂȘtre.

For 2017, AvMed raised the “tier” – the level that determines the subscriber’s copay for a specific prescription – for one of my medications from Tier 2 – copay $7 – to Tier 4 – copay $75. The drug, Fenofibrate, has been on the market for several years and replaced, for me, Omega 3 which, like Finofibrate, AvMed jumped from Tier 2 to Tier 4 for 2016.

Sharon Robison, Manager, AvMed Medicare Member Engagement Center - no address included in her communication – informed me by mail that I could avoid a $75 copay for Fenofibrate by having my Primary Care Physician (PCP) prescribe Gemfibrozil instead. Gemfibrozal is Tier 2; the copay is $7.

I checked with my pharmacy and found out the full retail price for Fenofibrate is LESS THAN the AvMed copay – and that’s sans coupons, discounts, or drug discount cards. We are in the final throes of the 2016 presidential election disaster – no matter who wins, America loses – and my level of skepticism on all things is high; my suspicion is that AvMed is using Fenofibrate as a money maker – over and above what it gets from the government.

My pharmacist told me that Fenofibrate was developed several years ago to supplement Gemfibrozal because the later often was contra-indicated for people taking statins – which I do. Ms. Robison’s missive failed to apprise me of that little fact.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH),

    Compared with gemfibrozil, fenofibrate produced significantly greater reductions in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides and significantly greater increases in HDL. These changes were evident in patients receiving and not receiving concomitant statin therapy.

Between my pharmacist and the NIH, there appears no medical advantage for the patient to switch from fenofibrate to gemfibrozil; indeed this would be a step back.

It is interesting that of the several companies in the area that offer Medicare Advantage plans, one plan, HealthSun, rates Fenofibrate as a Tier 1; i.e., $0 copay. Others listed it as Tier 2 or Tier 3; only AvMed listed it in the $75 copay tier. AvMed’s copay was the same if the drug is purchased from a local pharmacy or via AvMed’s mail order partner.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services generally sets guidelines for Medicare programs (which explains why most Advantage plans look pretty much alike). It apparently allows program owners, e.g., AvMed, Humana, and United Healthcare, flexibility with charges, most noticeably in re hospital stays and, to my chagrin, pharmacy copays.

There was a time when access to “my” specialists was critical, but that time has passed. I now can, albeit reluctantly, deal with PCP capitation.

Medicare programs are highly competitive. I can’t understand why AvMed would shoot itself in the wallet by what appears to be price gouging. I don’t sit in the AvMed board room so I’m not privy to management’s decision making processes, but if appearances count for anything . . .

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Aluminum casings
Expand to fill
Cylinder’s chambers

MY #1 SON, THE COP, and I went to the range the other day. It was my first chance to try out my Taurus 605 wheel gun.

I had a box of .38s for the paper target and five rounds of Liberty Civil Defense aluminum-case .357 magnums. My son brought along his .40 service weapon and a .45 ACP pistol.

“ACP” for those not already “in the know” stands for “Automatic Colt Pistol,” a/k/a semi-automatic. .45 wheel guns normally fire .45 Long Colt ammunition, although now there is a moon clip adaptor to allow wheel guns to fire the less expensive, more commonly available .45 ACP ammunition.

Taurus, which made my .38/.357 magnum, made a .45 ACP wheel gun and several companies – notably Ruger and Smith & Wesson make .45 ACP wheel guns. Still, according to The Truth About Guns the results of firing an ACP round from a wheel gun are poorer than firing the same round from a semi-automatic. The bottom line seems to be if a shooter wants the power of a .45 ACP round, the answer is to buy a .45 semi-auto.


I am used to firing .38 Specials from an over/under Derringer. Kick (recoil)? Negligible even with the very small (6 inch total length) gun. The kick from the Taurus 605 loaded with 158 gr .38 Specials from Wal-Mart seemed, strangely enough, more than with the Derringer. Maybe the difference was the age of the shooter.

My son convinced me to burn up a couple of clips (magazines) of his .40 service weapon. I was prepared for more recoil than I had with the .38. If there was a difference, it was not noticeable to me. Then he insisted I try the .45 ACP.

It’s reasonable to expect a major increase in recoil as the caliber gets bigger, but the .45 was easy to handle.

Finally, I loaded the .357 magnum Liberty Civil Defense high speed rounds. We both have the aluminum ammunition; he has yet to fire any from his .40, so, having fired three rounds I handed over the Taurus for his use.

Aside from being a bit of a flame thrower – I didn’t measure the flame, but it was substantially greater than the .38, .40, or .45s we had been firing – the recoil was no worse - in my opinion - than the .40 or .45. It may have been the loudest round fired, but as far as recoil nothing to write home about. My son is more than 6 feet tall and fires lots of rounds both on his own and to remain qualified with the (police) department – and his targets show it. I’m shorter, but I weigh in at “around” 180. How a lighter, delicate person would rate the recoil remains to be seen. (I intend to loan the Taurus with five rounds of .38 FMJ rounds for a woman in my neighborhood to try.)

Sticky casings

It’s a good thing I waited until the end of the shooting session to fire the Liberty Civil Defense aluminum ammunition. With all five rounds expended we discovered that the casing were expAnded.

Normally the casings fall out when the Taurus is tipped up. Not so with the Liberty’s. The aluminum cases were solidly stuck in their chambers. The ejection rod was immobile.

We waited maybe 10 minutes for the casings to cool and then we managed to bang the ejection rod to pop out the casings. Number One Son surmised that the heat generated by the power expanded the casing; letting it cool down allowed the casing to return to its pre-firing diameter.

I told him that this situation made use of the Liberty Civil Defense bullets a show stopper – what if I needed to reload? His logical reply: If you need to reload, run. I suggested he try several rounds in his .40 to make sure the semi-auto could eject a spent casing. (Never stand near a person firing a semi-auto pistol or rifle; casings fly in all directions; not so with wheel guns.)

.45 ACP revolver??

Having been impressed with the .45 semi-auto firing Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) ammunition,
and knowing .45 ACP ammo is less expensive and more available than .45 Long Colt (LC)
and knowing I wanted something with more “knock down” (non-lethal) power than my .38/.357 without the “pass through” of the high-speed Liberty Civil Defense ammunition,
I’m toying with the idea of searching for a revolver that fires .45 ACP.

There ARE some around; there was a Taurus (Raging Bull) that fired not only .45 ACP but the .454 Casull cannon. Taurus discontinued the weapon. Ruger makes (made?) the Redhawk 5032 that fires both .45 LC and, with provided moon clips, .45 ACP. But at a “suggested retail” of more than $1000, it’s a “bit” out of my price range.

At one time, c 1917, the U.S. Army bought .45 ACP M1917 wheel guns from both Colt and Smith & Wesson. While it might be possible to find an M1917, it might be a dangerous buy, given the advances in ammunition pressures since World War 1. The Army wanted something reliable (a revolver) to “supplement” the M1911 .45 ACP semi-automatic, not known for being a rugged, accurate, care-free weapon. (Semi-autos require much more Tender Loving Care (TLC) than wheel guns; no disassembly required to clean a revolver after use. I can clean my wheel gun in half the time it takes my son to break down, clean, and reassemble one of his semi-autos, and he does that regularly.) A Colt M1911 manufactured in 1922 recently sold for $1,700; like the Redhawk, out of my price range…and it was in only “fair” condition. The same site listed a Ruger Blackhawk from 1983 with .45 ACP and .45 LC cylinders for a mere $450 for a pretty nice piece.

Charter Arms offers/offered its Pitbull revolver in .45 ACP. According to the Personal Defense World web site,
“When Charter Arms introduced the Pitbull line, it didn’t use moon clips at all, but instead the ejector star/ratchet at the rear of the cylinder was made thick enough to contain small, spring-loaded plungers. When a cartridge is loaded into the chamber, the plunger is depressed and then pops back out to engage the extractor cut in the cartridge case. The round headspaces on the front of the cartridge case and, when the revolver is empty, the cylinder is swung out and the ejector rod pressed vigorously to extract the spent cases.”

The 5-shot, 2.5-inch barrel .45 ACP Pitbull lists, on Charter Arms web site for $500 +/- $25.

Then again

Most .357 loads are “slower” than the Liberty Self Defense aluminum ammo. Ballistics 101 lists .357 specs from a number of manufacturers, albeit Liberty is noticeably absent. The Liberty’s are hard to find and a bit on the pricy side. OK, they are lead free.

Plus, the Taurus 605 fires the less expensive .38 “Wal-Mart plunkers” as well as .38 +P (but given the punch of the .357, why?)

I believe I just convinced myself that, as much as I enjoyed firing the boy’s .45 ACP semi-auto I’ll hang on to the paid-for Taurus 605. Besides, I still have some Wal-Mart .38s and 15 rounds of Liberty aluminum to burn through. I just have to remember to fire the Liberty rounds at the end of a session.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dangers of compartmentalization

UHC finds another way
To discourage business

UNITED HEALTH CARE, or United Healthcare – either way, UHC – provides several Medicare Advantage plans in South Florida and perhaps elsewhere.

On its web site it lists two email addresses for its Preferred Choice and Medica plans: MemberServices and Enroll, both

Member Services is for existing members. The Customer Service Representative with whom I dealt either (a) didn’t know what customer service means, (b) considered the answers to questions I asked a state secret, and (c) lacked initiative.

Still, that was better than the Enroll address. Several emails sent to Enroll bounced.

I mentioned that to the Member Services CSR and her reply: We have nothing to do with Enroll or IT services (ergo my comment re lack of initiative). Were you or I alerted to a problem with customer or prospective customer support we would have quickly escalated the issueto a supervisor. An Enroll CSR I contacted by phone put me on “hold and forget.”

The dangers of compartmentalization.

Granted, with enough digging a determined person probably can find most sought-after information.

But some information won’t be found.

Some plans from Humana, and Aetna's Coventry Summit Ideal plan “capitate” their Primary Care Physicians (PCPs).

What is “capitate” you ask?

Basically it means that while the plan may list 1,000 specialists, a specific PCP may refer to only 100 specialists on the plan list. It’s a “sub-network.”

Some plans, such as HealthSun – that, incidentally has good customer service – has some “capitated” and some non-“capitated” PCPs. An email to HealthSun CSRs with a short list of prospective PCPs will generate an answer: who is “capitated” and who is not “capitated.” (There is a temptation to wonder: If a “capitated” PCP becomes a non-“capitated” PCP, does that mean the PCP was “decapitated?”)

Both Preferred Choice and Medica plans have extensive provider lists, but finding out if

of the PCPs is “capitated” is an impossibility except by phone. (A call to Aetna's customer service for Coventry's Summit Ideal was answered promptly; there was no email option. All Summit Ideal PCPs are "capitated.")

The reason it is an impossibility for a "some" answer is volume.

As an example, a prospective member checks the PCP options. The prospective member (hereafter “PC”) fails to find his/her current PCP – everyone should have a personal physician – so the PC looks at the plan’s provider list and selects 8 or 10 plan PCPs within the PC’s area. Few people want to travel 20 miles, or even 10 miles, to visit a PCP.

Admittedly the PC could call the number associated with Enroll, but then, if the plan has both “capitated” and non-“capitated” PCPs, the Enroll CSR would have to write down the names of “n” PCP candidates, check while the PC is on hold (more often “hold and forget” as happened when I called the UHC Enroll number), and then have the Enroll CSR read back the list noting who is, and who is not, “capitated.”

Medicare Advantage plans are “big bucks” business. The plans’ owner gets far more federal dollars than a we pay Medicare – currently slightly more than $100/month. Apparently for some, such as AvMed, the formulary is a major money maker.

The sad thing about the UHC plans is that while their Evidence of Coverage and Formulary contain information that I can appreciate, I can’t contact anyone who can – or perhaps will – answer my questions without a run-around or “hold and forget.” AvMed had email accessible CSRs and even assigned a “personal” CSR (who, when she vacationed, failed to have a backup to check her emails). HealthSun’s CSR response is a great marketing tool for the plan.

The bottom line for me regarding UHC’s Medica and Preferred Choice plans is that while they both are pretty good, the lack of customer support is a show stopper, at least for this scrivener.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


You’d better
Shop around

WHEN IT COMES TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE plans, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles got it right: “You got’ta shop around.”

This scrivener seconds that emotion.


I had an “regular” AvMed plan when I was working for a now-defunct company called DMR. When I signed up for Medicare years later I ended up with an AvMed Medicare Advantage plan. We had a decent relationship until AvMed cancelled my PCP, a doctor who was an excellent diagnostician.

Miffed, I signed up with Humana – for a year.

With Humana I discovered “capitated” PCPs.

Capitated & Decapitated

With AvMed, my PCP could refer me to ANY specialist on AvMed’s Providers’ List.

Not so with Humana.

While Humana had a lengthy Providers’ List, the doctor who became my PCP had a very much reduced list of specialists to whom he could refer.

Humana was unable to tell me which doctors could refer me to my vascular surgeon (Abdominal Aerobic Aneurysm, FemPop Aneurysm); it was left to me to contact PCP prospect after PCP prospect until I found a PCP whose personal specialists list included my vascular surgeon.

Fortunately, with Medicare, a patient can change PCPs every month. I did. During the year I was a Humana client I changed PCPs three times.

As soon as October rolled around, I signed up once more with AvMed.

Prescription “tiers”

Medicare Advantage programs have multiple “tiers” for prescriptions. “Tier 1” usually are free to the plan client. These typically are low cost generic medicines. Publix, a supermarket chain in Florida and Georgia, fills some prescriptions for “Tier 1” drugs at no cost to plan or plan client; consequently Publix gets ALL my prescriptions.

I started the year with a Tier 2 medication. The next year, AvMed jumped it from Tier 2 to Tier 4. Tiere 2 cost me $7 for a 30-day supply of pills; AvMed now demands a $75 copay for the same number of pills. Quite a jump.

I checked some discount pharmacy offers and discovered that a number of sources offer the medication at prices LESS THAN AvMed’s $75 copay.

Did all Advantage plans list my medication as a Tier 4? I already knew Tier 4 copays varied by plan provider.

Turns out different plans put the medication at different tiers. I found one – HealthSun – that showed the medication as a Tier 1 (no copay) on its Formulary list. Others listed the medication as Tier 2 or 3.


When comparing Medicare Advantage plans, ask the competing providers for

    EVIDENCE OF COVERAGE; this commits the plan to provide the things it promised Medicare to provide. Skip any overviews; they are just marketing.

    FORMULARY; this lists all the medications the plan covers. If your medication is missing from the list, ask why; is there an alternative. The Formulary also tells you the medication’s tier level. (The Evidence of Coverage sets out the copay for each tier level.)

    PROVIDERS’ LIST; this identifies all the physicians who work with the plan - BUT CHECK FOR “CAPITATION” - as well as hospitals, urgent care centers, pharmacies, and other suppliers.

In most cases, the information is online. You may have to contact the plan to find out the URLs, but usually they will be provided quickly. AGAIN, check about capitation.. If you have specialists who have been treating you and you want to keep them, this is a critical question. Some plans have a mix of capitated and non-capitated PCPs and many plan Customer Service reps will tell you which are capitated. If you select a capitated PCP, you need to call the doctor and find out if you can be referred to your preferred specialists. (HealthSun, ibid., has both and CSR Malissa Soriano has proven to really provide “customer service” in sorting out who is and who is not capitated.)

Medicare Advantage programs can be wonderful things, but as with any insurance – home, health, auto, etc. – keep in mind what Smokey Robinson and the Miracles advise: “You better shop around.”

Monday, October 10, 2016


AvMed copay
Greater than
Pharmacy’s price

I AM A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE subscriber. Most of my Medicare years have been with AvMed – I had Humana for a year and quickly returned to AvMed – but my loyalty is starting to waiver.

Last year AvMed raised the “tier level” – this determines the copay - for one of my medications from Tier 2 to Tier 4. On request, it provided my Primary Care Physician (PCP) with a lesser-cost Tier 2 alternative: fenofribrate. (My PCP claims he never got the message; I complained and AvMed sent the information directly to me. For this and several other reasons I have a new PCP.)

Generic fenofribrate was a Tier 2 drug; the copay was $7 for a 30-day supply (30 tablets). For the 2017 calendar year, AvMed moved the drug to Tier 4 with a $75 copay. That’s a painful increase: from $84/year to $900/year copay.

WHY the two-tier jump is beyond my ken and, thanks to a crashed hard drive, my email contacts with AvMed “disappeared.” (To its credit, AvMed customer service is pretty good.)

Perhaps the jump is the work of the current incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his “law-by-sneakiness” Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA); he has mucked about with the healthcare system to the detriment of many.

I don’t know if fenofribrate is a Tier 4 drug for all 2017 Medicare advantage plans – I suspect it may be; if it is, AvMed’s $75 copay is competitive with other plans’ Tier 4 copays:

    BlueMedicare HMO MyTime Plus (HMO) - H1026-061-0 - $65
    Optimum Platinum Plan (HMO) - H5594-002-0 - $69
    Simply More (HMO) - H5471-051-0 - $75
    CareOne (HMO) - H1019-001-0 - $85
    Harmony Maximum (HMO) - H4627-006-0 - $85
    Humana Gold Plus H1036-065C (HMO) - H1036-065-0 - $85
    Optimum Gold Rewards Plan (HMO) - H5594-001-0 - $85
    Preferred Choice Broward (HMO) - H1045-005-0 - $85
    Medica HealthCare Plans MedicareMax (HMO) - H5420-003-1 - $89
    Humana Gold Plus H1036-237 (HMO) - H1036-237-0 - $97
    Coventry Summit Ideal (HMO) - H1609-018-0 - $100

The exception was HealthSun HealthAdvantage Plan (HMO) - H5431-012-0 - $30.

The information above is from

For kicks, I checked for Fenofribrate in my area. The site returned RETAIL (full) prices of

    Walgreens - $76
    CVS and Target/CVS - $77
    Kmart - $82

Of those, with free discounts or coupons, the price for a 30-day supply of fenofribrate dropped to

    Walmart - <$22 (d)
    CVS@Target - $32 (c)
    Walgreens - <$33 (c)
    CVS - $43 (c)
    Kmart - <$50 (c)
    Publix <$60 (d)

In the above, c = with coupon; d = discount.

There also is a discount card available at My DiscountRx Card.pdf, but I have no idea the amount of discount using that card at my regular (Publix) pharmacy.

The question remains: If Medicare is supposed to help limited income seniors, WHY IS THE COPAY HIGHER THAN THE LOCAL DISCOUNT OPTIONS?

It will be a little inconvenient to fill the fenofribrate script since my new PCP will have to give me three scripts for the medicine – coupons and discounts are “subject to change” and what is “best price” at one pharmacy one month may not be the following month. As it is today, I insist that all scripts (prescriptions) be given to me to take to the pharmacy of my choice; I lack confidence in medical practice front offices. Currently, all scripts are for 90-day supplies; it is more convenient.

I wonder, given the RETAIL cost of finofribrate (ibid.) how much AvMed is about to make when my copay is about the same as the full price of the drug at local pharmacies. Unless, of course, AvMed knows that the wholesale cost of finofribrate is about to drastically jump – rather like stock market insider trading. (But that fails to explain why the HealthSun HealthAdvantage Plan only has a $30 copay for Tier 4 drugs.)

There is more to Advantage plans that “just” medications. There are related plans (e.g., dental, vision, hearing) and hospital/ER/urgent care copays to consider as well as being able to see ANY provider on the plan’s provider list (e.g., Humana’s capitated lists that limit PCP referrals). As with auto and home/renter insurance, it pays to compare plans. What may be good for me may not be good for others. There are options not only within Advantage plans, but there is “straight” Medicare and extra cost Medicare Supplement plans

Fortunately I have a little time to select a plan for 2017. Interestingly, the deadline is December 7, a date most plan participants will remember as Pearl Harbor Day, that “infamous” day in 1941. (Sixty years later, on 9-11-2001 we were attacked again.)

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Workplace safety and
Hackers in your home

FIVE DAYS A WEEK I get Advisen FPN in my email. Advisen focuses on insurance issues. It claims that Every business day, Advisen’s editors sift through more than 60,000 articles from more than 4,000 domestic and international news sources to find up to 15 of the most relevant articles to commercial insurance professionals. Advisen delivers these top news stories directly to your inbox via Front Page News.

While selling insurance policies never was my business, following insurance issues via Advisen FPN helped me stay up-to-date on current threats to my clients’ “business as usual” operations.


Under the heading Workplace Safety – 3 Strategies to Stay Ahead of Conflict readers are provided steps to avoid or mitigate workplace violence. The article begins:

    In light of the recent news of tragic shootings and workplace violence around the country, employers are left wondering how they can protect their operations and employees from such events. Rightfully so – employers also have a duty to protect their employees, clients and customers from harm and can be held liable for failing to do so.

Beginning steps:

    Establish a written policy on workplace safety. Policies must mandate a zero tolerance message and should require employees to report threats and comments that suggest suspicious or concerning behavior.

    Establish a clear reporting component. Employees are the eyes and ears of the organization. Employers should have or implement an “Open Door” policy that encourages employees to report concerns to their supervisors or human resources. This allows employers to identify, investigate and assess employee concerns as soon as possible.

    Use of background checks to assist employers in identifying job applicants with violent histories that indicate risk for dangerous behavior. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance regarding an employer’s use of criminal background checks in hiring. That guidance discourages employers from following a policy of outright refusing to hire ex-offenders.

Employers should expect employees at times may encounter difficult periods in their lives that could serve as triggers for violent and disruptive behavior. For this reason, employers are encouraged to consider formal Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).

Between the hammer and the anvil

All of the above must be implemented with federal and state laws and union restrictions else he organization could find itself having to fend off legal actions. Including an employment law specialist, or inviting EEOC participation in program development is a good investment.


Beware of your refrigerator.

Be suspicious of your thermostats.

Know that your cameras see more than you do.

According to a San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune article,

    Devices in people’s homes and offices that are connected to the Internet — things such as routers and cameras, rice makers and thermostats — could increasingly be taken over by hackers in the coming weeks and used to commit crimes or even paralyze businesses and government institutions.

    Cybersecurity experts have been issuing the warning since last week, when a piece of software involved in a major cyber attack was publicly released for anyone to tap.

The article includes a graphic that details The ‘open windows’ that let hackers into your home”

The Times-Union notes that

    There’s yet another related threat, one that hasn’t been getting much attention. It involves profiling people.

    “Anyone with access to a fully connected home can build a detailed profile about the occupants,” said Alfred Chung, senior product manager at Guidance Software in Pasadena.

    “They can gather data about the time of day when the home is occupied, the number of people inside the home at various times, personal details like age, appearance and gender of those living in the home …. With connected appliances, they can even tell what food occupants store in their fridge.”

Consider what this information might mean to a thief. Consider what it might mean to a kidnapper who wants information about a client’s business.

I’m not a software guru, but I will provide one bit of advice, one I practice: Change passwords frequently, but not always at the same date; be unpredictable. Use the longest, most complicated password the device being protected will accommodate. 3uvWef=-ANmn4%vb!$kQx@U+d&%2 is far better than MyC0ffeep0t.(I use passutils.exe to generate all of my critical passwords. There are other password generators available as well.)

Convenience has its price. The minimum price to pay is the “inconvenience” of frequently resetting passwords on Internet-connected devices.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Black lives
And barriers

TWO ITEMS IIN THE NEWS prompt this effort;

‘Black Lives Matter’ Mob Surrounds, Attacks Trump Supporter For Wearing MAGA Hat (September 29, 2016)

A variation of this article reported basically the same thing: BLMers are intolerant of anyone who might think differently. Man attacked by angry mob at Black Lives Matter demonstration for wearing 'Make America Great Again' hat (29/09/16)

The second news item that caught my eye was about Turkey’s plans to finish construction on a border wall between it and Syria
“by the end of February, Turkish media reported. Not everyone in Syria appreciates the wall; another article, titled “Turkey building barrier wall on border with Kobane, Syrian Kurds protest”

BLM Attack

According to news reports, An Arab-American supporter of Donald Trump was chased and beaten by an angry mob during a Black Lives Matter protest in southern California Wednesday.

Feras Jabro, a 21-year old San Diego resident, was attacked by demonstrators in El Cajon, California who had gathered to protest the recent shooting of a local man by police.

But when protesters noticed Jabro’s “Make America Great Again” hat – a symbol of support for the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump – some in the crowd went
berserk, charging Jabro, who attempted to flee.

The unfortunate Trump supporter was cornered, however, and beaten before being escorted away from the mob after attackers removed his hat.

While some protesters continued to follow him, Jabro was able to find safety around a police detail assigned to contain the demonstration.

This is an on-going problem as proven by headlines in October 2015 and August 2016.

Violent Black and Latino Activists Invade Trump Rally – Trump Supporters Strike Back (October 14, 2015) and Protesters Crash Trump Fundraiser, Beat and Rob Trump Supporters Leaving MN Convention Center (Aug 20th, 2016)

What is sad about both situations is that the anti-Trump people refuse to consider any opinion but their own. This is the way of anarchy.

Granted, neither presidential candidate really is a worthy candidate – although they probably are what we, as a nation, deserve. We have not had a “decent” president since I can’t remember when – Harry S, probably.

The Walls

China built its 13,171 mile-long “Great Wall” to keep out invaders. According to Wikipedia , Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BCE;[2] these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall.[3] Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BCE by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).

Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.

The Romans also were great wall builders according to The Walls of Rome. As with the Chinese, the walls were to keep invaders at bay.

Likewise the walls around the Temple in Jerusalem. Unfortunately for the Jews, the walls were breached by both the Babylonians and the Romans.

While no one seems upset that the Turks are building a wall to keep out Syrians in general and Kurds in particular, there is loud wailing and gnashing of teeth about the walls - in truth mostly fencing – that Israel and the U.S. are building. set that the Turks are building a wall to keep out Syrians in general and Kurds in particular, there is loud wailing and gnashing of teeth about the walls - in truth mostly fencing – that Israel and the U.S. are building.

In Israel’s case, the wall is to make it more difficult for Arab terrorists from the so-called “Palestinian Authority” to enter Israel to murder as will. (No one seems particularly concerned with the fencing along Israel’s border with Gaza or the fencing along Israel’s border with Lebanon.

The U.S.-Mexican border fence is to keep out drug traffickers more than “undocumented immigrants,” known as “illegal aliens” before “politically correct euphemisms” became the order of the day. How far has this gone? See AP Won't Use the Term 'Illegal Immigrant' Because Of Its 'Anti-Ethnic Undertones' and Politically Correct Bot Will Correct You If You Say “Illegal Immigrant” on Twitter

The Democrats, led by Obama and Clinton (Hillary, that is), condemn Trump for promoting the wall, but as president, several Web sites report that the Obama Administration Is Spending $75 Million Securing Mexico's Southern Border. (American taxpayers protecting Mexico and not the U.S.?)

Attacking Trump for promoting a wall to keep out drugs and criminals is hypocrisy on a field of dishonesty. That’s politics in America.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Voters’ choice:
PC or honesty

NO ONE WILL ARGUE that candidate Donald Trump is (very) often not “politically correct.” Like an umpire or referee, he “calls’em as he sees’em.” (The Howard Cosell of politics?)

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton almost always is politically correct, but her honesty has proven questionable.

Trying to deny that Mrs. Clinton is dishonest flies in the face of reality.

Likewise, suggesting that Mrs. Clinton is able to make decisions on critical matters in short time, is as fruitless as the incumbent’s decision making abilities.

On the other hand, Trump is brash. He makes decisions based on information at hand – in the case of a nuclear attack from any foreign source, the president has less than 10 minutes to decide: “Shoot/Don’t shoot” (U.S. missiles).

The U.S. defense establishment and the politicians in its pocket only consider Putin’s Russia a threat, ignoring China with its state-of-the-art navy, North Korea with its nuclear-tipped ICBMs, and Iran. While Iran lacks an ICBM capable of reaching the U.S. it threatens U.S. interests and allies in the region.

Clinton considers Putin as a thug; he may well be a thug. But his decisiveness appeals to Trump, who is equally decisive, making communication between the two countries possible. Remember the “mutual destruction” threat that prevented a nuclear war when Russia was a major power.

Clinton, as Secretary of State, ignored appeals from State Department diplomats in Libya; her distain for their safety led to the deaths of four men. Not the type decision maker the U.S. needs in the White House.

Trump is no diplomat. He is accustomed to saying what he thinks and in getting the job done. Politically correct he is not.

He DOES admit at least some of his egregious remarks; in many cases, he admits the remarks and then – should anyone care to listen – explains why he said what he said.

As Clinton’s all-day tv advertisement suggests, his remarks are not for young ears. Given that, why does she run the ads when children are at home in front of a tv set? Seems a perfect example of yet another Clinton oxymoron.

Ronald Reagan was politically INcorrect on occasion, as when he called the former Soviet Union the “evil empire.” Most presidents – Democrat and Republican – are politically incorrect from time to time. Johnson picked up his beagle by the ears and raised the hackles of animal lovers everywhere. FDR interned Japanese-Americans because they looked different. (He did not intern German Americans – even those associated with the pro-nazi Bunds – and not Italian Americans.)