Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More thoughts about the U.S. Senator from Missouri

I was thinking about the money that people are claiming that Conrad Burns of Missouri is supposed to have pork-barreled into Montana. Of course, I've never really seen any of it, so I wonder if it's true or just a myth he's trying to sell. And then I realized that the continuing flow of tourists through Montana, when they could get other places faster if they took other routes, may (possibly) be credited to him. They want to see how we can be so dumb as to elect him in the first place and then re-elect him.

And I think Ben Steele is correct: if we lose Conrad we'll never be able to replace him, thankfully.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thoughts on medical insurance

I still don't get it: why do so many politicians and others in this country think that health insurance will solve the problems of lack of health care? I have good insurance, particularly good drug coverage, yet every time we get a new prescription that is unusual or mixes up drugs in a way that the insurance company doesn't want to accept, the doctor has to write a statement of medical necessity and send it to the drug company. It seems to me that a prescription is already a statement of medical necessity. So my conclusion is that the insurance company is just jerking us around.

And medical insurance doesn't mean that you have all the coverage you need. The insurers force the doctors and hospitals to cut their costs so they make up the difference with the uninsured. At the same time, the insurers will force you to justify every medical expense and limit your access to some medical procedures or at least hassle you so they can keep the money longer and make more interest.

The only insurer I've not had major discussions about coverage with is Medicare. So, if a government-run program is so bad, why is medicare so successful at helping people pay for their medical costs?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thoughts on Immigration

I never thought I'd say this, but it seems to me that baby bush finally has something in the works that will work, although he is probably aware that it will not pass congress because of the likes of the usually follow-the-president, Denny Rehberg. He is, I think, deserting the ship. As is Conrad Burns of Missouri.

But baby bush has a plan that will work for those who want the cheap labor from the south and for those who want to close the border to illegals. First, let me recall to you how in the 1990s, the meat packers closed down the immigration service when it started checking papers at meatpacking plants after only one state found itself short of workers. Then, let me remind you that the standard of living of many people in states with large illegal populations will go down if they lose the cheap labor that does their yard work, baby sits the kids, and cooks their meals.

What would be far more effective than a Texacal wall, would be an easier way for temporary workers to come into the country. It should be far easier then to capture and handle the illegals who come across the border with mayhem in their minds and do it by continuing to sneak across.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Thoughts about our trip

My wife and I just got back from a 4,000 mile trip in our little Subaru, which got between 27 and 36 miles per gallon at Interstate speeds. One of the eeriest parts of it, in some respects, but rewarding, was visiting the grave of the almost-14-year-old Charles Rightmire in Superior, Mont. He was my father's brother and none of us had visited the site in years so it took us most of the morning to find the grave. What surprised me was that in the county courthouse in Superior I received a copy of his death certificate in about 30 minutes or less and it cost only 50 cents. I don't think that would have happened in one of our larger counties.

We also had lunch in the Space Needle and saw a unique art show in Seattle, met a horse in San Jose, had a joint birthday party with my wife and 4-year-old granddaughter in Santa Barbara, and had another in San Juan Capistrano while waiting for my oldest son to run a boat race from Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico.

We also had dinner one night on the way back on the sidewalk cafe (Las Vegas Blvd.) in the Paris Casino in Las Vegas. I only lost two dollars in the casino before they called our seating. We were across the street from the big fountain that went off three or four times while we were there. We watched the tourists roam the streets, mostly in touristy-type clothing and enjoyed the food which wasn't anymore expensive than eating at a much less fancy place in Billings.

All in all, it was a good trip, although I had not realized until now just how empty central Wyoming is. I think it's emptier than most parts of Montana (although I wouldn't take a bet about the area south of Fort Peck lake).

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