Posted by: coastcontact | September 17, 2017

Canadian Health Care

This is real personal for me. I have a daughter with a very serious gastro intestinal disease.  She has a Blue Cross independent medical plan that currently costs about $5,000 per year.  The deductible is $4,000 annually.  Until that deductible is paid Blue Cross pays about 50% of each doctor’s visit.  The plan DOES NOT cover all medications.  Consequently the medication for her disease IS NOT covered despite a doctors presentation explaining her need for a special medicine that has no generic substitute.  The consequence is that the medication is bought from a Canadian pharmacy at 1/3 the cost in the United States.  The cost of the medication is $250 for a 90 day supply from Canada or a 30 day supply in the USA.

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Posted by: coastcontact | September 13, 2017

5 DACA Myths Debunked

Summary from CNN

Myth 1: It’s a pathway to citizenship

DACA gives beneficiaries a temporary reprieve from deportation, allowing them to stay lawfully in the country, granting them work permits and allowing them to obtain driver’s licenses. And it stops there.

“This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” Obama said when he announced the program five years ago. “This is a temporary stopgap measure.”

Myth 2: They don’t pay taxes

DACA recipients have paid about $2 billion in state and local taxes, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates.  If they work they also pay income tax.

Myth 3: They get Medicaid and Obamacare

Some types of immigrants living in the United States have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but under DACA, Dreamers are not eligible. DACA grantees cannot get Medicaid, either.

The only way for Dreamers to get health insurance is by receiving it from an employer, being a spouse’s dependent, going to a community clinic or purchasing it on their own outside the exchange, paying the entire premium.

Myth 4: They are going to college for free

It depends. DACA opened the doorway for undocumented immigrants to enroll in college, pay in-state tuition and, in some cases, gain access to financial aid packages.

While DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid, some states let them pay in-state tuition, and a few offer them state-sponsored aid.

Myth 5: They are stealing jobs from American citizens

There’s actually a shortage of qualified workers in the United States, the Federal Reserve said in a survey of businesses across the country released in July.

Posted by: coastcontact | September 10, 2017

Sofia Vergara at 45

Ladies you don’t have to look.  Men of all ages will look.  It is the nature of men.  I have been a fan of Modern Family from its inception because the concept is so damn real in  the 21st century.  Ed O’Neill as Sofia’s husband must love that part.  The program must make lots of older men believe that there is still a chance that they may have a gorgeous young wife.  Unless you are the owner of a very successful business (as Jay Prtichett is in the story), forget it.  It doesn’t hurt to dream!

Posted by: coastcontact | September 5, 2017

“Land of the Free – Home of the Brave”

“Land of the Free – Home of the Brave” we are not quite there.

5 key quotes from Trump’s DACA statement

President Trump just released a lengthy statement following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the administration would rescind DACA. Here are the key lines:

•”I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”

•”This is a gradual process, not a sudden phase out. Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months. Thus, in effect, I am not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act.”

•”Few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers.”

•”We will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion – but through the lawful Democratic process – while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve.”

•”It is now time for Congress to act!”

Has anyone recently read the words of Emma Lazarus that are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty?

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Posted by: coastcontact | September 4, 2017

A 2058 Prediction

The year is 2058. America’s greatest foreign relations challenge in the 21st century, North Korea’s desire to obtain a nuclear weaponized ICBM that can reach the United States has been stopped thanks to American and Chinese negotiators. The real threat has become nature. Rising sea levels and a warming climate has resulted in the United States becoming a super advocate for controlling all things that can further harm the environment.

Those that questioned the theory that climate change is real and doubted the effects that will result have largely become silent. They have become as rare as those who claim the world is flat.

Former Vice President Al Gore (deceased in 2036) is remembered as the man who first rang the warning bell about global warming. While his dates and impact were incorrect, his prediction that the world would be experiencing major changes thanks to global warming were correct.

There is now a 6 meter (20 foot) wall at the beach around much of southern Florida. Coastal plains have become part of the sea everywhere that is not protect by a sea wall.

Back in 2017 there were three successive years of Houston, Texas flooding that were called once in 500 years or once in a thousand year events. Even those who grew up there were trying to decide whether it was worth the fight to live in that flood plain. Most people have abandoned that city along with those who have left New Orleans.

Phoenix, Arizona summer temperatures now reach 120 Fahrenheit (49C) or more on the very hottest days. The population has grown because there is now an abundance of water and farming has become a significant industry in that state.

Los Angeles still has a Mediterranean climate along the coast but inland high temperatures now frequently reach 115 Fahrenheit (46C) in the summer. The highest temperature in the San Fernando Valley in 2057 was 120 Fahrenheit and the National Weather Service says more days close to that record are anticipated in the future. The humidity is now more similar to the east coast of the United States.

Solar panels are everywhere. Without them the cost of air conditioning would be too expensive for most families. Even now in 2058 many families have moved into communes to afford living in southern California.

Posted by: davidbancroft | August 31, 2017

Jewish Boycott and the Muslims

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

A while ago, Iran’s Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Muslim World to boycott anything and everything that originates with the Jewish people.

In response, Meyer M. Treinkman, a Jewish pharmacist, out of the kindness of his heart, offered to assist them in their boycott as follows:

“Any Muslim who has Syphilis must not be cured by Salvarsan discovered by a Jew, Dr. Ehrlich. He should not even try to find out whether he has Syphilis, because the Wasserman Test is the discovery of a Jew. If a Muslim suspects that he has Gonorrhoea, he must not seek diagnosis, because he will be using the method of a Jew named Neissner.

“A Muslim who has heart disease must not use Digitalis, a discovery by a Jew, Ludwig Traube.

Should he suffer with a toothache, he must not use Novocaine, a discovery of the Jews, Widal and Weil.

If a Muslim has Diabetes, he must not use Insulin, the result of research by Minkowsky, a Jew.

If one has a headache, he must shun Pyramidon and Antypyrin, due to the Jews, Spiro and Ellege.

Muslims with convulsions must put up with them because it was a Jew, Oscar Leibreich, who proposed the use of Chloral Hydrate. Arabs must do likewise with their psychic ailments because Freud, father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew.

Should a Muslim child get Diphtheria, he must refrain from the “Schick” reaction which was invented by the Jew, Bella Schick.

“Muslims should be ready to die in great numbers and must not permit treatment of ear and brain damage, work of Nobel Prize winner, Robert Baram.

They should continue to die or remain crippled by Infantile Paralysis because the discoverer of the anti-polio vaccine is a Jew, Jonas Salk.

“Muslims must refuse to use Streptomycin and continue to die of Tuberculosis because a Jew, Zalman Waxman, invented the wonder drug against this killing disease.

Muslim doctors must discard all discoveries and improvements by dermatologist Judas Sehn Benedict, or the lung specialist, Frawnkel, and of many other world renowned Jewish scientists and medical experts.

“In short, good and loyal Muslims properly and fittingly should remain afflicted with Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Heart Disease, Headaches, Typhus, Diabetes, Mental Disorders, Polio, Convulsions and Tuberculosis and be proud to obey the Islamic boycott.”

What medical contributions to the world have the Muslims made?

David Bancroft

Posted by: coastcontact | August 26, 2017

Charlottesville Jews try to heal

Two weeks after neo-Nazis marched chanting ‘Sieg Heil,’ Charlottesville Jews try to heal

Congregation Beth Israel is the sole synagogue in Charlottesville and, although the sounds and sights of bigotry and hatred that stirred fear in worshippers as they prayed that day remain fresh, the community is now focused on moving forward.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—As a Jewish musician sang a prayer for healing, Beth Epstein started to cry.

She didn’t realize how broken she felt until now.

Two weeks ago, neo-Nazis marched past her synagogue on Shabbat chanting “Sieg Heil” while on their way to a white supremacist rally at Emancipation Park, one block away.

Epstein, 51, remembers looking out the window from the room she was now sitting in at Congregation Beth Israel and glimpsing a swastika. Later that day, 32-year-old Heather Heyer would be killed when a driver with ties to the neo-Nazi movement allegedly plowed into a crowd. Two state troopers would also die that day.

Congregation Beth Israel is the sole synagogue in Charlottesville and, although the sounds and sights of bigotry and hatred that stirred fear in worshippers as they prayed that day remain fresh, the community is now focused on moving forward.

More than 250 people—much larger than a usual Shabbat crowd at the Reform synagogue—showed up Friday night to draw inspiration and comfort from prayer and music by artists who journeyed there from around the country.

“My general feeling is that the Jewish community will come back stronger from this threat just like America will,” said Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, a member of the synagogue who attended the healing service.

The white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched on the town Aug. 12 had chanted threats aimed directly at Jews: “Blood and Soil!” and “Jews will not replace us!” They held signs reading “the Goyim know,” a slur referring to non-Jewish people, and “the Jewish media is going down.”

The synagogue had felt it was important to continue weekly services that day, but leaders had taken certain precautions, said synagogue president Alan Zimmerman. Services started an hour early, and they moved Torahs, including a Holocaust scroll they knew was irreplaceable, to a congregant’s house for safekeeping.

As the white supremacist ralliers raged, Zimmerman stood outside the synagogue with an armed security guard hired by the congregation because he was concerned for his congregants praying inside, he said. Men in fatigues armed with semiautomatic rifles passed by, Zimmerman said, and he recalled hearing one shout: “There’s the synagogue.”

“I had no choice but to be out there,” Zimmerman said. “I’m not suggesting I could have done anything, affected anything, but there was no other place that I could be at that moment.”

Zimmerman felt close to crying, he said, as he later told the roughly 40 people gathered in the synagogue that it would be best for them to leave through the back door after services and travel in groups.

Signer said he had requested a police car and an officer at the synagogue that day, but the department was unable to fulfill the request, Signer said. There has been intense scrutiny over what many have criticized as a lack of police response to the eruptions of violence throughout that day.

“I am very frustrated and have called for accountability for those failures here,” Signer said. City Manager Maurice Jones countered in an Aug. 17 statement that police were stationed within just a few blocks of the synagogue that day.

As worshippers attended services, Beth Israel rabbi Rachel Schmelkin stood on the steps of the First United Methodist Church gazing out at the chanting protesters, as she sought to drown out the hate with music. Wearing her prayer shawl and carrying a guitar, she played more than 20 songs with themes of love and kindness. Despite the outward displays of hate, Schmelkin said, she was reassured by the other clergy supporting her, including rabbi Tom Gutherz, who was attending services that day, and the broader Jewish community. “We aren’t alone,” she recalled thinking.

Now, she said, “I’m now thinking of how do we heal? How do we start to heal as a Jewish community?”

Schmelkin, Zimmerman and Signer were in the crowd Friday evening enjoying prayer, songs and poems of hope. The artists had travelled to the service in Charlottesville, from Los Angeles, New York City, Cleveland and Chicago to help the community the best way they know how: music.

“Our reaction to violence and our reaction to hatred is that we sing louder and we make better music and we just we throw more love at it,” said Los Angeles musician Julie Silver, paraphrasing a quote by another Jewish musician, Leonard Bernstein.

“Good and evil exist in the world,” she said. “We just have to make sure that our good shines and that’s the best we can do.”

Though Jewish people are always aware that anti-Semitism exists, the brazen chants from that weekend seemed to have brought that threat to the forefront of the Jewish collective conscience across the country, said rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

In the days after the Charlottesville rally, the Anti-Defamation League tracked instances of anti-Semitism, including a man urinating on a Philadelphia synagogue, a swastika drawn on a California high school campus and a bomb threat written on dorm walls at Washington State University.

“What Charlottesville did was really shake our community to realize it’s not simply a historical memory or a small thing,” Jacobs said. “People woke up as this is something we need to be paying attention to.”

Wendy Tanson travelled from Chapel Hill, N.C., with her husband, James Falek, on Friday to participate in the musical services and reflect on what happened. Recent threats to Jewish communities nationwide, such as the act of vandalism at the Boston Holocaust Museum, have shown Tanson, 54, that what happened in Charlottesville can happen anywhere.

“This synagogue specifically was threatened in a profound way two weeks ago, in a way that shouldn’t happen in 2017,” Tanson said. “We felt it was important to be here and stand up and be counted.”

Over the past two weeks, the events of Aug. 12 have reverberated for others who attended the healing service on Friday.

Dana Mich, 30, said she has been thinking a lot about her grandfather, who survived the Holocaust. Jan Dorman, 60, said that during walks on the downtown mall she pictures the violence she saw on the news versus what she knows about the city she’s lived in for decades. Sara Rimm-Kaufman, 47, recalled waking up in the middle of the night before the Friday services, worrying that the synagogue would be a target for anti-Semitic acts this Shabbat.

After formal prayer services, Silver led the congregation in singing uplifting songs of hope. People got out of their chairs, linked hands, smiled and danced around the room, and Silver thought: “We are a resilient people.”

“We have a strong, vibrant Jewish community here,” said longtime congregant Fred Epstein, 50.

His wife, Beth Epstein, agreed. Though she was brought to tears earlier in the services, she joined in the dancing by the end. “I hope it continues,” she said. “It’s really special.”

Posted by: coastcontact | August 23, 2017

There’s No Place Like Home

 

Vacationers dreaming of overseas travel are facing so many limitations that it seems the best place to visit is their own home town. OK maybe it is safe to visit any place in their state. Wait that might not be accurate either. Is it safe to visit Time Square in New York City?

Here is a list some of the State Department’s latest travel warnings and alerts.

Mexico Travel Warning:
We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico issued December 8, 2016.

Baja California (includes Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali): Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state.

Baja California Sur (includes Los Cabos and La Paz): Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides.

Puerto Vallarta: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas because of continued instability.

Other parts of Mexico are also listed as unsafe that include most cities One big exception is Mexico City named by the State Department is Mexico City.

Europe Travel Alert:
We issue a Travel Alert for short-term events we think you should know about when planning travel to a country.

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe. This Travel Alert expires on September 1, 2017.

Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe. While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.

So after September 1, 2017 it will be safe? Given the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Spain I am guessing the travel alert will be extended.

 

The list of other countries that there are warnings or alerts is long. Go to https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html to see if your destination is included.  You may be surprised at the number of countries that have warnings or alerts.

After the attacks in Nice, France and Barcelona, Spain we canceled our long planned European cruise and land excursions.

We will be spending six nights in Toronto, Canada and six nights in NYC.

Posted by: coastcontact | August 20, 2017

Jerry Lewis – A Great Comedian

I remember the funny part of the movie that made Martin and Lewis famous. It was My Friend Irma. A 1949 American comedy film.

The storyline follows two women, Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson) and Jane Stacey (Diana Lynn), who room together in New York. Irma is a somewhat dim-witted blonde who deep down has good intentions. Jane is an ambitious woman who dreams of marrying a rich man. She winds up as a secretary for a millionaire, Richard Rhinelander (Don DeFore).

In that movie Martin and Lewis had a small part as operators of a street cart where they sold freshly squeezed juice. Jerry was the squeezer and he did it by hand not with a machine. He held up his hand as if squeezing a piece of fruit and said “I can’t even shake hands with my girl friend.” Of course it was the way he said it and his protruding jaw that made the scene so funny. Lewis had me laughing and the Martin and Lewis comedy team lasted for about ten years.

Posted by: coastcontact | August 18, 2017

Pride in Southern Heritage Does Not Require the Confederate Flag

Associated Press Report:
Robert Castello literally wears his Southern pride. The visor, suspenders and ring he donned Thursday were all emblazoned with the familiar design of the rebel battle flag.

Castello, whose Dixie General Store sells Confederate-themed hats, shirts, stickers and signs in rural eastern Alabama, said he doesn’t have any use for overtly racist groups like the Klan. Read More…

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