Sunday, February 19, 2017

Opuscula

Mangling the language
To suit liberal mentality

THE MEDIA TELLS US that President Trump wants to deport immigrants.

What Trump repeatedly said was he intends to deport ILLEGAL immigrants. Immigrants, like the many that inhabit my part of the world, are LEGAL immigrants, and that have no fear that, barring commission of a serious crime, they will be deported.

This morning (19 Feb 2017) a tv talking head said that the only immigrants that should be deported are ones who commit a crime.

By definition, ILLEGAL immigrants already committed a crime when they crossed into the U.S.

These people, in liberal speak, or “undocumented aliens” in real-world speak that are — you guessed it — illegal immigrants.

THE LEFTISTS ARE CORRECT in one aspect. They say it is inhumane to deport parents who are illegal immigrants while their children are left in the U.S.

Absolutely correct.

Deport the children with their parents. That’s the only humane thing to do. Family sanctity and all that.

Unless the children were born in the U.S., they are as illegal as their parents. The U.S. has a long tradition of helping to keep families together; so to that end, deport the U.S.-born children with their parents. As a sop to the leftists, give these deported illegals with born-in-the-U.S.A. children a high spot on the immigration quota lists.

I DO part company with the government when it comes to selecting a destination country for the deportees. Unless it is the illegals’ desire, don’t send them back to the country they left; that might put lives in danger. Give them an destination option — maybe Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will welcome them as he is welcoming Syrians. Mexico’s President Vicente Fox might welcome Spanish-speaking illegals, many of whom are Mexican nationals anyway. (For my two cents, the government should deport the Americans who employ the illegals; since that cannot be done, they should jail them for — at a minimum — the same number of years they employed illegals.)

LEGAL immigrants are safe — assuming they are law-abiding residents.

The leftists are correct — this country was made great by immigrants. The first immigration law only came into effect in 1870. Passports were required after 1918, following the European lead. Prior to that time, all immigration was legal. In other words, while America was made great by immigrants, until 1870 all immigrants were legal. These people, and their descendants made the nation great, as did LEGAL immigrants after that year.

Aside from the illegals who entered the country illegally, there are many – from many countries — who are illegal because they over-stayed their visas; they went “under the radar” of the woefully inadequate and perhaps incompetent Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Some of those who “extended” their stay in the U.S. may well behave as good citizens, but still they are illegal and need to be sent packing. Again, WHERE to send the illegals should be the illegal’s choice — going “home” may be dangerous to their health.

FOR THE RECORD — The Democrats are not the only ones who reward illegal — sorry, “undocumented” — aliens; GOP presidents also have put illegals on a fast track to citizenship; a reward for breaking the line and preventing law-abiding applications for immigration to wait longer and longer. They hurt the U.S. and they hurt their own neighbors at home.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Opuscula

Patient is caught
Between doctors’
Offices’ ineptness

MY SPOUSE BROKE HER ANKLE — in two places. She was taken to a local hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) where she was x-rayed, was seen by an ER doctor and by a passing orthopedic surgeon.

The bones were aligned and a splint applied and she had an appointment with the orthopedist for the following week, “when the swelling went down.”

She was released after only 9 hours in the ER.

SO FAR, SO GOOD.

She kept the appointment with the very busy orthopedist who confirmed what we already knew: surgery was necessary to secure the bones.

The surgery was scheduled for the following Thursday, with a pre-op session with the surgeon on Wednesday. She was told she needed clearance from her Primary Care Physician (PCP) before the surgery.

She called the PCP’s office and tried to make an appointment.

“We can’t make an appointment until we have an order from the surgeon.”

The spouse calls the surgeon’s office and requests the order. The surgeon’s office assures the Spouse that this will be done.

Friday before the surgery the Spouse calls the PCP’s office to confirm they received the order.

“Sorry; we never got the order.” One of the PCP’s office staff volunteered to contact the surgeon’s office and ask that the order be faxed — or refaxed — to the PCP’s office.

The Spouse calls the surgeon’s office and the office staff assures her that they will resend the fax.

The Spouse calls the PCP’s office to confirm arrival of the fax.

Ring-No answer.

The PCP’s office is closed from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and calls are routed to an answering service.

At 2:10 p.m. the Spouse calls the PCP’s office. The call is answered by the service.

She tries again at 2:20. Same thing.

Finally, sometime between 2:20 and 2:30 someone at the PCP’s office had the good sense to wonder why they were getting no calls and realized that the calls were still directed to the answering service. (The answering service could not or would not contact the PCP’s office via an alternate number to tell the clerks to turn off the answering service.)

When she FINALLY gets someone at the PCP’s office she is told that yes, they received the surgeon’s orders, but that is insufficient; they also need a progress report. This is the first my Spouse heard of the additional document.

She calls the surgeon’s office, is put on “Hold and Forget.” She redials and finally gets to a person who allegedly can — and will — get the latest demand for paperwork over to the PCP’s office. The surgeon’s admin person promises to fax the paper and then call the PCP’s office to assure the PCP’s clerks knew the fax was waiting in the machine.

My Spouse called the surgeon’s office to confirm the second fax was sent and that the clerk who promised to call the PCP’s office to assure the fax was found. The surgeon’s clerk asked my Spouse “Did you want me to call the PCP’s office?” DUMB! Of course; that’s why she gave you the PCP’s number.

My Spouse calls the PCP’s office — it must be the 10th time today — and learns that FINALLY all the paperwork the PCP needs is at the PCP’s office and that she has an appointment scheduled for 1 p.m. — lunch hour for the doctor.

My Spouse is not employed by either doctors’ office. She is the PATIENT yet she apparently is expected to coordinate all the paperwork — paperwork about which she knows nothing. Not her job.

Having worked in Medical Administration in the military and in a civilian hospital, and later worked as a Risk Management consultant, I cannot fathom why the surgeon’s office does not routinely fax a pre-op requirements package to the PCP and why the PCP’s clerk failed to tell my Spouse that she needed BOTH documents when she initially tried to make an appointment.

My Spouse’s PCP is an excellent doctor burdened by an incompetent administrative staff. Still, many of the problems must be laid to the surgeon’s office staff. The surgeon’s clerks should have known what typically was requested of a PCP. There should be a check list.

GOLD STAR The wife’s PCP, Dr. Eduardo Perez-Stable, gave up his lunch break (“I need to diet, anyway”) to see my Spouse to make sure she could have her surgery on time. The Spouse has been his patient for several years, and he is the reason she stays with the practice despite the administrative foul-ups.

While the PCP was reviewing the paperwork from the surgeon’s office the PCP noted one “minor” discrepancy — the surgeon’s admin people had the Spouses operation slated for her left leg . . . the fracture was on her RIGHT leg. Oops. (At least the screw-up was not in the operating room.)

Perhaps incompetency is contagious; it certainly seems epidemic in my neck o’ the woods.

Now, if only the insurance company will authorize the surgery. (It did -- finally -- three hours before the scheduled surgery.)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Opuscula

Pick your battles

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP keeps “shooting himself in the foot” by what appear to this scrivener as knee-jerk reactions.

Had he NOT spoken so harshly about the Federal judge in Washington (state), and had he zipped is lip while the government’s appeal was in progress, maybe the three Federal judges reviewing the earlier judge’s decision might have overturned the initial decision.

But “his mouth runneth over.”

IN MY OPINION, I think the president’s executive order was correct and legal. I am not a lawyer or Constitutional scholar, but I do know a little U.S. history.

FDR (a) interred Japanese Americans and, to a far lesser extent, German-Americans and Italian-Americans during WW 2 and (b) refused nearly 1000 Jews escaping Hitler’s murderers from landing on U.S. shores, claiming there might be nazi spies among them.

Trumps immediate predecessor in the White House banned all people from more predominately Muslim countries for six months — three months longer than Trumps ban on all refugees from only seven Muslim-dominated countries.

Does anyone recall street protests on the ex-president’s action?

There is more “banning” history at Good for the goose
But not for the gander
elsewhere on this blog site.

Trump’s rhetoric often is akin to pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire. For the president, it not is WHAT he says — or “tweets” — but HOW he expresses himself.

In a presidential way he told Boeing that a new presidential plane was too costly. Boeing renegotiated the price. Unlike some other “wins” claimed by the president — notably convincing auto makers to keep production in the U.S.; GM’s president is reported as saying she planned to keep jobs here, anyway — Trump seems to be preparing for new negotiations with other governments: China — a country that “owns” the U.S. through loans and the cheap, government subsidized products; Cuba — a no-win situation as Cubans in the U.S. are divided: to open trade or to embargo Cuban goods; Mexico — the U.S. ALREADY (under an agreement with Trump’s predecessor) is paying for a wall to protect Mexico from incursions into the country across its southern border.

While the United Nations hardly is a country, Trump may follow Congressional majority opinion and reduce the U.S.’ financial support.

He is doing what he promised to do before the election.

But sometimes ….

His twitter slam on Nordstrom — and other stores following Nordstrom’s lead — for dumping daughter Ivanka's clothing and accessories line may be justified, but the questions are: (a) was it necessary and (b) does Ivanka need daddy to “whip” the retailer into line. Nordstrom claims the (suddenly, post-election??) the woman’s label wasn’t selling?

    Looking at Nordstrom locations, I suspect that the store really DID note a decline in Trump sales … its customers hardly are the “despicables” Hillary Clinton so disparaged. Interestingly, Ms. Trump resigned her position with the line before Nordstrom “dumped Trump.”

    Neiman Marcus, as well as the online stores Belk, Jet, and ShopStyle, all have distanced themselves from her brand. Kmart and its subsidiary Sears, later joined the “dump Trump” parade.

    Some other retailers, while not “dumping Trump” stopped promoting the line.

    While the Trump line may have been banished from several “name” stores, her products still can be found at a number of stores.

Trump needs to learn to “pick his battles.” There are times to simply ignore things. Trump twitters often seem like Chicken Little screaming “The sky is falling.”

As president, he must learn that he need NOT offer his comments on anything and everything — often his tweets are based on knee jerk reactions and lack a basis in fact.

I can understand Trump Twitters over a proven biased leftist media, but he needs to show some restraint.

Some of his tweets inflame when inappropriate; some of his tweets, e.g., those about Nordstrom et al and Ivanka, sound like a whine. He might have done better by inviting the retailers’ CEOs to a sit down at Trump Towers or, if they prefer, at the White House.

Free advice to President Trump: Pick your battles. Say (tweet) a little less and consider your words carefully.

You are the president now; act accordingly.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Opuscula

When comedy
Fails to be funny

I LIKE COMEDIES, CARTOONS, JOKES … almost anything that prompts a laugh or at least a smile.

What I DON’T like are comedies, etc. with a political ax to grind, when the writers only attack one side.

THERE ARE A FEW comedies, etc. that poke fun at everyone and everything. There are no “sacred cows.” I might not agree with a particular show/cartoon/whatever, but I’m willing to put up with the jab knowing the everything and everyone is fair game for the writers.

Laugh-In and the UK’s That Was The Week That Was were good examples of what tv comedy could be.

Not so Saturday Night Live.

SNL has gone from amusing to having as its raison d’être “Trashing Trump.”

Poking fun at all politicians is fine. Poking fun at selected politicians in a party publication likewise is OK. But SNL — to the best of my limited knowledge is not a product of the Democrat party nor broadcast television; SNL is not of DNCtv — really, even if it now seems that way.

I don’t object to writers poking fun at the president PROVIDING the president is not the only target. Washington is full of fodder to keep the writers writing for decades to come. Likewise state government — Jerry Brown and California ALWAYS are good for a laugh — providing you don’t live in California. Brown is not eligible to run in the November 2017 elections so Bear State residents will have a new governor “no matter what.” (If Californians thought the GOP primaries were bad with a starting field of — what, 16? — hopefuls, there are so many running for governor in California that it boggles the mind.)

There once was a program on Israeli tv — back when there only was one tv station — called Nekui Rosh, usually translated as “Brain Wash.” The writers pilloried politicians on all sides of the political spectrum — in Israel at the time there were something like 36 different political parties, each with its own, narrowly focused agenda. In one of the two the worst political moves Meacham Begin ever made, he proved to be thin skinned and forced Nekui Rosh off the air. (The other “worst move” was failing to insist that Anwar Sadat take Gaza as part of the Egypt-Israel peace agreement; Sadat refused to accept Gaza and absorb it into Egypt.)

There is a web site, Go Comic s, that includes editorial cartoons. Among the cartoonists who create the editorial cartoons are many who are firmly in the liberal/leftist camp; who would attack a conservative effort even if it benefited the left. Mr. Obama can do no wrong, President Trump can do no right. To be fair, there are a few who favor the conservative/right, and even fewer who deflate egotistical balloons of politicians of all stripes.

I count a number of leftist/liberals among my acquaintances. I long ago learned that when talking with them, they are like horses (or mules) with blinders — they can see only one direction. Suggest something different than what they believe and like two of the famous three monkeys, the cover their eyes and ears. It is their way or the highway.

As far as SNL goes, I am “hitting the highway” in search of more balanced attempts at humor.

Of course, Trump tweets DO provide great source material for writers and cartoonists. Unfortunately, his tweet phrases often over ride the message the president is trying to convey.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Opuscula

Flying cars
Nothing new

I WAS LOOKING FOR AN IMAGE OF THE WRIGHT BROS. PLANE, THE ONE FLOWN AT KITTY HAWK NC.

I found the image and I also found a headline that read: The Wright Brothers were NOT the first to fly a plane - a German pilot beat them to it two years earlier in a flying car, claims leading aviation journal

Since I read the other day that people are trying to develop “the first flying car,” I read the article with some interest. (See A commuter's dream: Entrepreneurs race to develop flying car)

This image above provided by Urban Aeronautics/Tactical Robotics shows an Israeli-made flying car. Urban Aeronautics conducted flight tests of its passenger-carrying drone call the Cormorant in Megiddo, Israel, late in 2016. The company says the aircraft can fly between buildings and below power lines, attain speeds up to 115 mph, stay aloft for an hour and carry up to 1,100 pounds. (Urban Aeronautics/Tactical Robotics)

According to England’s Daily Mail,

    The Wright Brothers are famous for flying the world's first successful airplane in 1903 - yet they may have been beaten to the record two years earlier, according to a prestigious aviation journal.

    Jane's All The World's Aircraft claims in its 100th anniversary edition that German aviation pioneer Gustav Weisskopf was actually the first man to successfully build and fly his 'Condor' plane in August 1901.

    Condor was designed to be part-car, part-plane and may have been the first flying car, according to the prestigious aviation journal Jane's.

True or not, flying cars have been around at least since the 1950s in the U.S.

A web site called Jalopnik tells visitors that

    A man by the name of Glenn Curtiss patented the flying car in 1917, according to Popular Mechanics. Curtiss meant for his Model 11 Autoplane to be a luxury car on the inside, as opposed to the more bare features of airplanes at the time. World War I complicated the development process, and the Autoplane never flew.

    While one of the earliest flying cars never actually got to fly, later ones did—and it wasn’t much later, either. The “Roadable” flew briefly in 1921, and the “Fulton Airphibian” got approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and flew successfully. Popular Mechanics adds that for some reason—it couldn’t be because of its name, because no one could hate that kind of creativity—the Airphibian didn’t catch on with investors, and it never had a production version.

Curtiss, for those who don't know the name, went on to develop a number flying machines, both land based and sea based.

Others tossed around ideas and attempts at air-road vehicles during the mid 20th century, but the car often referred to as the first flying car—perhaps since it was the first to go into production—came out in 1949. According to Popular Mechanics, engineer Moulton Taylor developed a two-seater vehicle with wings able to be folded and hauled behind while driving on roads.

Taylor called his invention the “Taylor Aerocar,” and the New York Daily News cites 1954 as the year that the production version came around. The vehicle had a ground speed of up to 60 mph and an air speed reaching 117 mph, according to Popular Mechanics. Its maximum altitude was 12,000 feet.

Available on ebay

The WyoTech web site identified seven -- 7 ! -- flying cars from the 20th century and includes images of of each.

As A Civil Air Patrol cadet (Miami Compositie Squadron 2, if anyone is curious) I was on an FAA survey of aircraft coming to and going from Tamiami Airport, then a small field with a tower that controlled flights via red and green lights — no radio communications. During the survey a guy drove up towing wings and tail assembly behind his car. We watched as he mounted the “flying parts,” and took off for a brief flight.

I think it was a Taylor Aerocar based on the photographs on the WyoTech page.

Bottom line

As King Solomon allegedly said, אין חדש תחת השמש or “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Hopefully, the folks racing to buld the “first” — that’s not the first — flying car will do some reseach to find out why, while many of the flying cars of the past flew, they never found enough buyers to become commonplace.

For about 20 years, from the end of WW 2 until the late 1950s, very small cars had a small following. But then tiny cars, such as the “smart”® car may be making a come back.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Opuscula

“Mister” Trump vs.
“President” Trump

Edward R. Morrow must be spinning in his grave.

NBC news reader Matt Lair — sorry, Lauer — is a leftist living in a fantasy world.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Lauer, reading news assuredly prepared by others, told us that Mister Trump did something that displeased him and his NBC masters. President Trump does that a lot — displeasing the leftist media.

While Trump’s predecessor was in office, when Lauer and his leftist cohorts wrote or read copy, it was “President this” and “President that.”

It might be remembered that Lauer was in tears when ex-president Barak Obama awarded his pal and VP, Joe Biden, with the Medal of Freedom.

When I was a young airman — back when Wilbur and Orville Wright were flying in Kitty Hawk — we had to salute all officers and address them as “sir” or “ma’am” as the case might be . . . even if the officer was a cur of the lowest pedigree, and there were a few of those.

We, new recruits, were told we were saluting the rank, not the person. What we thought of the person was irrelevant.

Later, as an honest reporter and editor I followed the AP style guide that instructed me to use a title at least on first reference, along with the person’s given (first) name. If the person had an “official” title, e.g., President, The Reverend, Secretary of …) that was used on first reference; thereafter, following references omitted the title unless omitting the title would cause confusion, e.g., Mrs. Clinton so readers would know the reference was to Hillary and not Wm. J.


Crying for the camera

Is shedding tears for public acknowledgement a new leftist tactic?

While Lauer held back the tears on camera when Obama’s Medal of Freedom gift was given to his VP, Joe Biden, Lauer’s emotional display was quickly made public by his associates at the network.

Then we have Senator Chas. Schumer, D-NY, crying over Trump’s TEMPORARY ban on issuing visas to people — ALL people — from seven countries known tor exporting terrorism.

    Never mind that Schumer’s fellow Democrat and now ex-president, Obama, blocked visas from the same countries — and more — for six months during his reign. (Trump’s ban is for only 90 days but can be extended. Where were the Schumer’s rants and tears when Obama put his ban into place?) Where were the protesters? Don’t today’s protesters have jobs or are they are on public assistance (welfare)?

Admittedly, there are conservative cryers, too. But reading the Daily Beast, most conservative tears are shed over close family members.

The UK’s Guardian suggests that At one time tears could finish a political career, but now crying is an important tool in the campaign armoury, The Guardian noted that Perhaps no politician has benefited from crying more clearly than Hillary Clinton.


Questionable accomplishments & awards

Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 — his first year in office, for for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. Which somehow fails to agree with his unilateral decision to end sanctions on Iran and its nuclear weapons development and his apparent “blind eye” to North Korea’s threats to peace.

Biden received the Medal of Freedom from Obama "For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I'd like to ask the military aide to join us on stage," Obama said in the ceremony. "For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

How many more Americans should be thusly honored - millions. As his boss buddy, Biden never served a day in the U.S. armed forces -- including Reserves and National Guard. There is no indication he ever performed any service for his community.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Risk Management

Businesses banning guns
May put clients in danger

THE OTHER DAY I was in a medical clinic. As I approached the door I read a sign that read “No guns allowed, not even with a concealed carry permit.”

Fortunately I had left my canon in the gun safe so I went on inside.

As I did, I had two thoughts about the rule.

Thought 1: Would a potential terrorist abide by the clinic’s rules? (Do they abide by the rules in Chicago, LA, and New York City – the answer, based on FBI statistics, is a resounding NO.)

Thought 2: If a potential terrorist started shooting — as did the fellow in my local airport (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International) — would there be any way to stop the shooter. I did not see any armed guard or police presence in the clinic.

Apparently others had the same thoughts.

ADVISEN FRONT PAGE NEWS (FPN), an insurance-focused source, included as its first item on 3 FEB Florida businesses that ban guns could be held liable for leaving patrons defenseless.

A Miami Herald piece by Kristen M. Clark of the Herald’s Tallahassee bureau bore the same headline.

Ms. Clark poses a question:

    Say a movie theater in Florida banned its patrons from carrying concealed handguns, but a mass shooter came in anyway and attacked — not unlike what happened in Aurora, Colorado, almost five years ago.

Having posed the query, she continues that Under an NRA-backed measure proposed this week in the Florida Legislature, victims who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon could sue the theater for damages, because its weapons ban left them disarmed when they might have been able to use their gun to thwart or stop the attack.

The Herald article continues:

    “It’s the premise in Florida that if a private business wants to prohibit guns in their location that’s open to public, that’s fine; they can do that,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube said. “But if you’re going to do that, in my opinion, I should have some assumption that I’m going to be protected as a conceal-carry permit-holder because you’re taking away my ability to defend myself.”

    The proposed law change would subject private businesses to potential civil penalties if an incident happens that “could reasonably have been prevented” had guns and other weapons not been banned.

    About 1.7 million people have concealed weapons permits in Florida, the most of any state in the country.

In the airport

Florida law bans guns in airports, even in “unsecured” (before TSA screening) areas.

The liberal web site Think Progress has an article by Bryce Covert headlined Days before airport shooting, Florida lawmakers worked on bill to allow guns in airports that claimed the shooting at FLL was the was the sixth mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year. Ms. Covert did not bother to note that it was the only incident at an airport.

She noted that Florida lawmakers began rallying support for SB 140, a state bill that would repeal laws which, among other things, ban guns in airport terminals like the one where the shooting occurred. If passed, the legislation would allow those with concealed carry licenses to bring guns into passenger terminals.

Specifically, SB 140 states:

    An act relating to openly carrying a handgun; amending s. 790.06, F.S.; authorizing a compliant licensee to openly carry a handgun; revising the list of specified locations into which a licensee may not openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm; reenacting s. 790.053(1), F.S., relating to the open carrying of weapons, to incorporate the amendment made to s. 790.06, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an effective date.

In particular, the modified S. 790-06 would prohibit weapons

9.(14.) Inside of the sterile area of any airport or

10.(15.) Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

The numbers in parenthesis (* *) are from S. 760.06 FS as it currently reads.

The bill is available on-line as a text file and in Portable Document Format (PDF).

IN THEORY, if the modified law was in force, a person with a carry permit, might have been able to shoot the attacker, saving lives. The reason for the “in theory” is that the person firing at the attacker needs to take into consideration innocent by-standers; the same reason cops don’t fire into crowds.

Interestingly, the revised law would permit open carry as well as concealed carry. There are many pros and cons to open carry that probably will be debated by Florida’s legislators.


Related web sites

Sun Sentinel time line

NeoGAF blog opinions

Florida Senate Bill 610 “find a balance” between gun owners’ rights and private property rights”