“For more than one hundred years the United States people have yearned for a sensible Health Plan that could be effective, affordable and available to every citizen. While all industrialized nations provide their own Health Plans the US has stayed behind on what is one of the most important services that any government can and must provide whether industrialized or not. Its value is not political but humane!”
“Universal Health Care should not be merely an option to the peoples of the world but a right as vital as the air they breathe. Government in any form or shape has a responsibility toward its citizens that is embodied in the protection it is committed to guarantee!”
‘Professor, I was hoping that by now the US Health Care Plan would have been properly installed in favor of a universal service plan and as a result a few million more people could inhale without fear the CO2 we continue to produce on this continent. For myself and my declared hypochondria, it is most welcome as there are some interesting new ailments to consider!”
The Professor laughed, seemingly glad to discuss the topic that has become a major depository of gossip and often the originator of nasty echoes in our nation. He replied:
“Unfortunately we are still at it. Glad you asked but before we discuss it let us have a mid-morning pick me up that will include a drop of Grappa!.”
I felt at once that the topic would encourage the good Professor to provide a sound analysis of the health care situation in the US and would help me personally to understand its virtues and pitfalls. I feared that the great lunch that Antoine had prepared would become a second rate attraction. Not quite. After the glorious lunch that I shall describe in another issue, we moved to the Professor’s “Electronic Nest”, as he calls a room equipped with the latest electronic hardware. We sat down as Antoine appeared with two Expresso coffees and another offering of Grappa.
“Let me tell you that the Health Care Plan has brought an incredible display of obtuseness on the part of a small portion of the population. The odd part is that the majority of the people in the country consider health care as one of the top public priorities, especially those who expect their insurance premiums to double in the next few months!”
The Professor pressed some keys on the remote control and several screens lighted up at once. Curves, data, pictures, tabulations, charts and several recording chronometers that showed numerals in some and increasing figures on others.
“Let us do this the Scotland Yard way. Let me put the facts on the table, or the screens. Then we can comment, discuss, argue and review.”
“I am all eyes and ears, Prof!”
He nodded and said:
“First is that absurd complaint that the U.S. government cannot effectively run anything. Yet this is the government that created a most effective system to project our technology into space, put a man on the moon and will eventual assist the citizens of this planet to seek and develop new planets to conquer. You know, my friend, the way we are mistreating our natural resources it won’t be long before we will have to look for new horizons and what better than a far away star in a remote constellation where beer and coffee is still a nickel each.”
He pointed at another screen and added:
“This is also the government that runs a health insurance program — Medicare — that continues to provide outstanding services to older people in a way that private initiatives can not match in quality or costs. Then there is a Veterans Medical Program that provides medical assistance to millions of US Armed Forces veterans and a Children’s Health Insurance program. To say that the government can not run a medical insurance program is utter nonsense!”
“Fine, Professor but there is matter of costs that have to be taken into account. Somehow, Government services often cost much more than private sector services.”
“You are talking about building tall walls in Baghdad. Not applicable here. Private insurance companies in the US spend around 30 percent of their income on marketing, administration, shareholder dividends, special investments, gratuities and of course those exorbitant salaries and bonuses for its top management. Medicare on the other hand operates at approximately an overhead cost of about 3 percent. It is easy to imagine the extent of the savings realized if Medicare is to provide universal care; the savings realized are sufficient to cover those uninsured in our country and have enough additional funds to develop major research projects in a number of ailments and the building of additional facilities. ‘
At this point the Professor paused to point at another screen that showed additional data on costs. I asked at once for a printout which the Professor gladly produced. I was not going to copy all those figures that, after the Grappa, might end up in total confusion.
Aware of my amazement at the detailed content of the screens he said;
“While statistics allow quick evaluations, they are not always the answer to a specific situation. They are just like adopting a pit bull as a pet. You have to handle it with care. However, and depending on the degree of perceptiveness of the user, statistics provide the backbone to most controversial arguments.’
“I am glad you said so. I always recall Disraeli’s famous reference to statistics: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics!”
The Professor laughed and observed:
“The printouts will give you enough statistics to determine how far or how close the positions about Health Care differ. It will certainly aid your millions of readers to clarify some of the many doubts that seem to cloud this important subject!
He quickly listed some of the major figures that were enough for a sound comparative review. He went like this’
“Our per capita cost is about 7,600 dollars compared to 5,600 in Switzerland, 3,500 in Germany and France, and 2,900 in the UK
‘Those figures tells us a lot, Professor. But how do these expenditures impinge on results such as longevity?”
“Sharp question, my friend. Japan boasts the longest living rate at 82.07 years, followed by France at 80.87, the UK at 78.9 and the US at 78.14!”
The Professor shook his head and commented:
“Mind you, the US has an excellent level of quality and in many areas is without question the best. Our medical profession is recognized as outstanding same as most of the facilities in operation. In the total context however we drag miserably as our insurance cost structure does not allow a greater percentage of the population to access adequate health care. This of course affects any efforts at prevention.. Remember that Insurance premiums keep increasing at incredible rates; notice that these rates grow at four times the rate of growth of the average worker’s wages and there are millions that have no resources to be able to use adequate health care!”
“Interesting, Professor but why is it that only 30 percent of Americans rate our existing health care system as good or excellent?”
“Listen, if you are a member of Congress, a major corporation executive, a government official, a lobbyist or a celebrity of some sort, you are satisfied with the Health Care hat is provided to you and your family. The fact that our per capita health care spending is double that of any of the developed countries does not mean much to you, if at all. It is the rest of the crowd that has to put out with the insanity of the system!”
“Those are harsh terms Professor.”
“Reality, sometimes is not only harsh but also deplorable. Take the exorbitant billing costs incurred by health care providers. Every hospital and medical practice must support organizations that include massive billing departments that seem to be forever busy submitting (and resubmitting) claims to the hundreds of insurance companies who have managed to engender hundreds of different insurance plans. Just try to understand one of those insurance policy applications, my friend. In addition to patience and a very complacent mood, you must be able to understand the language they are written in! The administrative staffs in other countries need no more than a few employees in their billing, maintenance and operation management activities.”
“How about those stories that foreigners rush to the US for medical care?”
“True. We do have excellent clinics and medical treatment. The number however is not the amounts suggested by some of the pundits and talk show hosts, who in some instances have confused people from Puerto Rico and Hawaii, both US states, as foreigners. They also do not mention the fact that close to ONE MILLION Americans go abroad to obtain medical care, mainly because of cost. Traffic in health care occurs in every region of the planet. People from Argentina go to Brazil and vice-versa, same as Algerians that go to France, Dutch go to Germany, and Moroccans that go to Spain.”
I felt that a number of questions in my own mind had been answered. Besides, I have been asked by a number of my readers to elucidate, whatever that means.
“Thank you Professor. This session, including the wonderful lunch, has been most shall I say, elucidating?”
The Professor laughed again, poured more Grappa in my glass and said;
“By the way, when we meet tomorrow, please buy me some Alka Seltzer; this Grappa has the Roman habit of upsetting part of the internal piping!”
“Sorry Prof. My insurance company would not allow it! Sounds like you have a pre-existing condition!”
All rights reserved©2012 Marco Miranda sr.
I started by saying:
“Ahmed, do not give me all that crap about sacrificing your life to satisfy some vague reference in the Koran. Why do you think that such sacrifice is justified?”
He looked at me with a smile on his face. He does have a strong resemblance to George Clooney when George does not shave for a month, and is half asleep. He replied;
“You have your Ten Commandments and that gives you some absurd moral strength to believe that your religions are unique and everyone else’s are a simple derivation of some primitive witchcraft practice.”
“Not at all Ahmed. Faith is most important to all human beings; what we condemn is some of the extreme practices of some religions, like that sacrifice program some Islamists seem to prefer.”
“Listen, there is a reason for our sacrifice. I am going to tell you, but must ask you to keep quiet about it. Okay?’
“You have my word. Go on!”
“You see, here on earth we Muslims are forced to avoid alcoholic drinks so that we never learn the flavor of a Chambolle Mussigny wine, a cold beer, a real dry martini or a solid Vodka and Pineapple juice. Then we are not supposed to smoke, so we never taste the aroma of a Cuban Cohiba, especially after a great supper enhanced by great wine and warm Cognac. We are not allowed to dance in public especially with a female and worst of all, we can not make love to a woman unless she is married to us and arrives at the wedding as a virgin. Got all this?’
“Yup. I can understand now why you bastards want to blow yourselves up and hope there is a place somewhere with 72 virgins waiting for you!”
The undeclared war between our two major political parties are not bringing new avenues of governing but creating an ambiance of mistrust and tension. What else can you expect when one of the leaders declares openly that his only objective is to replace the current emperor?
“Is this the way it is going to be?’
I asked the Professor referring to the push, pull and twist performance offered to us by the Democrat and Republican Parties under the mediocre shade of the White House.
The Professor shook his head sadly and replied:
“Allow me to quote a great philosopher who said, ‘If humans had been made responsible for the creation of man, they would still be arguing about whether that protein or that bacteria were the right one to get the process started!’
All I could say was:
“A good thing someone else did the job, as imperfect as the results were. Now, give me your view on this disgusting situation that has brought our government with all its pending obligations and needed resolutions to almost a complete stop.”
The professor was quick to observe:
“I think they all failed to appreciate the seriousness of the situation. On the one hand, the interest shown by one of the parties on a given project, has to include all kind of non-essential items in a clear demonstration of the erotic attraction pork has on anyone in our government. In this respect, the President and his staff have failed to remove those items that were certain to give the opposition an orgasm of rebuttals, criticism and plain ole bitching; the recent Weapons Plan is the perfect subject to attack in a million different shades. I begin to detect an atmosphere in Washington reminiscent of that at the Roman Senate a couple of thousand years ago! The two main factions in the Roman Senate could roughly be compared to our Republican and Democrats, or if you wish, Conservatives and Liberals.”
I said: “That is an interesting observation, Prof. Kindly expand.”
“Happy to, sir, but before I must have a cappuccino properly escorted by those delightful apple pie biscuits that only the French can make!”
Moments later the Professor expanded, as requested:
“The Roman Senate can be blamed for the creation and institutionalization of lobbyism, pork projects, bribery, blackmail and all sort of irregularly convincing techniques that acted against the moral and ethical nature of their Senate. Their corruption reached levels that made it easier for the conquered empires, kingdoms and provinces, to set their own course and eventually led to the collapse of the empire, often being a matter of buying their own freedom. The effectiveness of the Senate as a means of control and supervision of a large empire, gradually turned into an oratory contest where the interests of the people were totally ignored.”
“How about opposition in the Roman Senate?”
“If there was a significant majority favoring one of the parties, the whole thing turned into a dictatorial exercise, something not unusual in our own coop. So the opposition developed some protection against imposed rulings and a new industry was born’
‘The most common was the poisoning industry. Exotic compounds from Northern Africa became popular and could be administered easily. Then you had the use of sharp instruments, using those fine steel blades from Gallia, Iberia and Greece, and a variety of accidents that included from deadly snake bites to drowning, chariot accidents and waves of “self inflicted” hangings.”
“You better stop Professor.”
“Why? Didn’t you want to know about the Romans?”
“Yes, but I am afraid our politicians might get some ideas if they read this!”
All rights reserved©2012 Marco Miranda sr.
At this time of the year, I expect the appearance of Santa Claus in my neighborhood. This time it happened early one morning and the place was the fifth tee of the lovely golf course where I practice, suffer and enjoy the usual surprises of the course.
I think I exaggerated my club selection. I tried a two wood in a 130 yard, 3 stroke hole and, having hit the ball with unusual power, it disappeared from my view going beyond the trees around the green.
All of a sudden, I felt a presence from the golf cart a few feet away from the tee. I turned and found Santa Claus leaning against the cart with arms crossed and the usual affable and relaxed look.
“Santa, what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be spreading cheer, dropping gifts from chimney tops and letting go of your usual Ho,Ho,Ho!?”
He let go a short Ho-Ho and said:
“Gee, you sound like a Union organizer! Am I not allowed a few moments to visit friends and even drop by Walmart to replace my worn out boots and sox?” His colorful clothes were not visible because he wore a Stevenson raincoat of doubtful need as there was a bright and clear sky with not a cloud in sight.
We embraced and he commented;
“I had to come. Things on this planet continue to offer the usual combination of great deeds with great abuses of power and heartless actions. I am delighted to notice the increase for the need of toys and books for children, representing a clear improvement in the universal concern for their upbringing and welfare. Their improvement in education can only anticipate generations prepared to accept and enjoy the better features of civilizations. On the other side of the coin, I see the evil sides continue to plant and harvest twisted ideologies, aims and goals!”
I was glad to hear such remarks from someone like Santa Claus. While he claims to be nothing but a Distribution Executive, as he jokes about his performance, he has a deep understanding of all matters in our planet. As he declares: “If I do not keep up with events on this planet, the Boss can quickly assign me to one of those dark and stinky planets occupied by ignorant sardines or drunken rejected souls!”
We laughed with the usual joy as he pulled a KitKat from his bag, offered me one and quickly fed himself not one but two of the sticks. Then he added
“I would need a few centuries to give you a detailed rundown on advice, planning and execution to turn Planet Earth into the paradise that Our Boss had in mind!”
He paused for a minute and then he said:
“Mind you, most of the so called successful nations like this are gradually going in the direction taken by the Romans a few thousand years ago. You should slow down the worship of gold and power that can only lead to a rich and poor society and a return to slavery.”
I asked him:
“What is the answer to that?”
“Simple. Re-establish the parameters of values, the justice of compensation and eliminate the vacuums of equality and charity. The US is the only country that can project a set of measures that can benefit the rest of the humanoids in the planet!”
He smiled and patted me in the back. He said:
“Let us change the subject. We cannot spend the next six months talking about the world situation. They do not pay me to do that!”
He laughed with his usual resounding ‘Ho,Ho,Ho’ and added:
“Speaking of thinks to improve, let me insist that you use the right club in each hole. You might save a lot of money in golf balls and won’t hit sleepy caddies in the parking lot as your ball just did!”
MIS CONVERSACIONES CON PAPÁ NOEL
El seleccionar el palo de golf adecuado en el campo de golf es sin duda un elemento importante en toda partida. Esto a mí no me molesta ya que cuento con la adecuada seguridad y experiencia en estos lances. En este caso, escogí una madera tres para cubrir una distancia de 130 metros de hierba, de inmaculado corte, y llegar a una plataforma con el hoyo rodeado por una pared de árboles y protegido por un par de “bunkers de arena”.
Mis cálculos fueron simples. Una madera tres debería llegar fácilmente a cubrir 200 metros, pero esa distancia puede reducirse con habilidad a una distancia menor, como es el acortar la empuñadura del palo de golf y reducir el movimiento del palo.
Aún bajo los efectos de unas Navidades llena de festejos llego a mi mente uno de esos pensamientos que a veces nos invaden cuando menos lo esperas. Esta vez fue Papá Noel. “Que diría Papá Noel si estuviera presente?’ me pregunté.
La respuesta no se hizo esperar. Sentí movimientos detrás de mí y al girarme me encontré con Papá Noel que me observaba sonriente.
“Papa Noel, que haces aquí?” pregunté. “¿Se supone que deberías estar distribuyendo juguetes a través de las chimeneas y coreando tu Ho-Ho-Ho a los niños del planeta?”
Me respondió con su acostumbrada sonrisa y dijo:
“¡Ha! ¡Pareces un miembro del Sindicato! ¿Acaso no puedo dedicar unos momentos para visitar a amigos e ir a Walmart a comprar unas botas y calcetines nuevos?”
Ante mi estupor, me abrazó mientras decía:
“Tenía que venir a este lado del planeta. Me ha dado gran placer el confirmar que las nuevas iniciativas en el campo de la educación de niños esta teniendo óptimos resultados. ¡Un futuro mejor está a la vista!”
“Cien por cien, siempre que vuestras tribus dejen de imitar a los antiguos Romanos cuya excesiva adoración por el oro y el poder trasformaron su sociedad en un conjunto de pocos ricos y muchos pobres, reviviendo de esta forma la esclavitud.”
Sonrió y apoyó su brazo en mi hombro mientras señalaba la atractiva serenidad del camino al hoyo, que yo acababa de atacar y dijo:
“Mejor hablamos de otra cosa, o sino terminaríamos discutiendo del tema por una semana entera. A mí no me pagan para emplear mi tiempo en discusiones de carácter sociocultural, sino en difundir alegría, imaginación y anuncios navideños.”
Soltó una carcajada con su típica sonoridad y alegría y concluyo:
“Tienes que mejorar tu forma de dar el golpe a la bola de golf. Tu golpe ha sido un fracaso y la bola ha terminado muy lejos del hoyo. Tienes que tener en cuenta no sólo la necesaria condición de la empuñadura del palo sino también la posición firme de los pies y su necesidad de asentarlos en la dirección necesaria, mientras mantienes los hombros firmes, correspondientes a una ligera inclinación de no más de 18 grados, que obliga la empuñadura del palo a emplear las necesarias correcciones, en lo que respecta a una medida coordinada que permita una acción efectiva. Además, estás empleando una madera tres para un hoyo que no necesita nada más que un hierro 8, o en el peor de los casos, un hierro siete. Además la camisa que llevas aun tiene la etiqueta de la lavandería, lo cual confunde la sincronización de movimientos y el sentido de energía a demostrar. . . . . . . “
Ante tal crítica, no estaba seguro si pegarle al risueño gordito con un wedge o con un Big Bertha. Pero al final, seguí sus consejos y con el hierro 7 mi pelota quedó a unos centímetros del hoyo.
"Feliz Navidad," escuché.
Me di la vuelta.
Se había ido.
"Coño, ese Papá Noel haría un estupendo caddy..."
This Confidential Report was requested by the State Department as one of the documents adding to President’s Obama’s informal records. It was filed in January of the year 2030 by Joe Doe, the adopted name of a close friend and assistant of president Barak Obama,
Barak Obama, our President has a fabulous memory. Those near him, including family members, are continuously amazed at his unique talent to remember dates, events and more incredibly exact sentences, remarks and just about everything he reads or just glances quickly
He and I meet regularly to exchange opinions and comments about his more critical themes. I am listed as White House Business Assistant and have no specific job description. The other House members look upon me as a sort of personal assistant to the President, involved in duties that I make sure are noticeable; I regularly bring books to the President and also submit short reviews of non-important events to the Press Sec and, in general, appear busy with matters that interest the President. The President and I are very careful in maintaining our relationship strictly on an official basis, at least in the eyes of the other members of the White House.
How did this relationship develop?
We first met in elementary school in Chicago and were quick to sense in each other a unique facility to interpret events, sayings and other circumstances in a quick and very private manner. We also discovered, once we reached high school that we could easily predict scores in most of the sports pursued in the school, as well as major local and world events. We even fooled around with lotteries that benefited both close friends and needy persons we encountered in shops and also in poor neighborhoods. We also ‘previewed’ major sports events and also political matters. We knew what major lottery number would be drawn, same as the result of many competitions, major events and matters of public interest. We both agreed to maintain this unique gift we had in strict secrecy and, at all time and all costs, unknown to our closest relatives or friends.
In many cases we regretted that we were unable to give people adequate notice; nature events like earthquakes, hurricanes, deadly epidemics, unexpected wars and death of well known personalities. Often, they happened suddenly and found us unable to give any sort of notice. As we matured, we realized that we possessed a unique talent that from the days we identified it, seemed to have been granted to us for the purpose of improving and benefiting people in all places.
When we reached High School we were both extremely careful not to let anyone know about our special skills and managed to disguise our latent know- how by becoming reporters of the school newspaper and other publications. We did not give the unique talent we had much importance but managed to keep it closely within ourselves and as far as we both knew had never told anyone about it.
We parted company when my family moved to London and I enrolled in King’s College there, while Barak entered the University of Chicago.
I knew in detail the details and major features of the process that took Barak to the White House. It was then that we again established relations but I did not accept a position in the White House until his last year during his first term, both of us knowing that a second term was coming.
I remember his sentence when I arrived at the White House;
“If we do nothing in this next term, my ‘withchie’ friend, this country is going to go the way those nations that shine for a while and then flop into misery, ignorance and silence!” \
We discussed in detail the plans to follow, entirely based on our joint capacity to identify events that our unique perception had outlined for us. In the last seven years – it is now the year 2030, the United States has changed the entire face of the world. We have almost eliminated misery from the face of the earth and have instilled in all a new respect for what is more important, a common desire to protect the universal doctrines first adopted by the United States during President Obama’s second and third terms.
In terms of development of world peace and cooperation, the USA Revival Planadopted at the beginning with major opposition by the world leading nations and then seriously embraced once the Plan disclosed new developments and set down the basis for new systems and applications. It is important to note that the so called Zero Plan, a major part of the USA Revival Plan, had a direct effect on all radioactive systems and facilities the world over and could easily remove or neutralize the radioactive capacity of all substances capable of leading to enriched uranium that would lead to Plutonium and the popular neutrons! Worldwide Nuclear energy became a tightly controlled industry through this effective US system
The president’s knowledge of the Nuclear industry surprised me. He did not hesitate to list the various steps involved in power generation along with the many forms of nuclear experimentation, production of enriched uranium, reactor breeding of plutonium and some of the steps needed to create induced radioactivity and eventually provide reactors with the necessary fuel to generate electric power.
When I commented on his amazing know how he replied with his usual good humor;
“You and I have similar capabilities. While I had to pay a lot of attention to the nuclear industry, you were becoming an expert on English Literature, British Soccer and the inspirational capacity of young lady tourists in London!”
We enjoyed that short moment and quickly returned to the development of relations with the other nations and especially the application of the Zero Plan
It is important to note that practically all nations in the world adopted most of the policies and developments realized in the United States during Obama’s second and third terms in the White House. The result has been an intense development cycle all over and the welcome arrival of new concepts of world cooperation.(in many ways encouraged by theUSA Revival Plan and, of course, its Zero Plan.) I include below a brief summary of the items we examined.
SUMMARY OF KEY APPLICATIONS OF US’S REVIVAL PLAN
Early in 2014, the President and I developed a USA Revival Plan in the quiet and comfortable corners of Camp David. A brief outline of the Revival Plan is included below. It reports on the key items of the highly successful US Revival Plan from 2014 to today in 2030.
1. Secure the Supreme Court’s approval of the Revival Plan. One way or the other.
2. Appoint the five man committee that would shut down Congress and arrange for its entire structure to be eliminated. Pensions and other benefits would be revised so that those annual exorbitant fees, salaries and commission would not exceed an amount in dollars equal to the numbers in the age of the subject that is to be terminated.
3. The 50 states in the Union would be at once substituted by a 5 Region Commission. The existing state structures in each state are to be terminated at once while the new, lean organization is installed.
4. The ZERO PLAN, developed by a secret Research Center in the US that had developed a total neutralization of all radioactive substances, is to be utilized at once in all countries by a special‘substance shut down” so that all weapons utilizing radioactive substances would be rendered useless. Exception was made to those reactors employed for medical purposes and power generation,
5. A new Education System in the United States would be applied at once. All schools would maintain a minimum schedule of six hour a day for all ages. With exception of football, sports are to be pursued in every school. The practice of football in schools and as a popular sport is eliminated in its totality. The considerable health damages and costs caused by football are thus avoided. Football injuries (15 percent of school sports injuries is the highest rate in all sports along with a cost of 27 percent of the national Health budget.) Teachers were to be evaluated and licensed, same as all civil and contracted employees.
6. The existing Health System in the United States is to be shut down at once. Instead a complete new application of the entire insurance industry and a revision of the existing structure applying to clinics, medical schools, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, health service industry, is to be employed. It is hard to accept that a country with an excellent quality of medical expertise utilizes a confusing cost-and-profit system that includes complex insurance formulas, high rates of compensation to legions of ‘consultants’, expensive formulations of simple products, and a honeymoon of clinical costs that also include another honeymoon of costs from the pharmaceutical and distribution sectors, licensed products and not very clear research costs.
7. New Immigration policies would be applied by the new 5 Region Commission, which at one time had to deal with an opposite situation as large numbers of US citizens were leaving and obtaining nationality in other countries.
8. The Armed Forces, including State National Guards and Police Forces would be reorganized along with policies of national use affecting transportation, public works and services and an entirely new system applying to crime.
9. The United Nations and new initiatives. From an expensive and useless world organization, the UN was transformed into a quick and bright system that provided assistance to all nations and at the same time applied its unique capacity to intervene in critical situations. For instance, a Middle East country suffered the inability of its government at the cost of several thousand lives (around thirty thousand per year). This happened for several years and would have been resolved in favor of its people in no more than weeks. In line with the policies we have adopted, such case would have been quick to resolve and bring peace to that country. In terms of action, the new United Nations would have landed in days two thousand tanks and 400 airplanes along with 5,000 troops, all of them from the new United Nations.
10. The Conquest of Space is another of the objectives of the new organization that include most nations with capabilities to contribute to a uniform Space Policy.
Villefranche Sur Mer, France
It was in the playground that I began to realize that our imagination was constantly subjected to games that we play with our minds.
In the last few Christmases, a number of commercial establishments in the empire have removed the word Christmas from their greetings in an effort to comply with some absurd application of political correctness.
Idiocy is a peculiar characteristic, state of mind or genetic quality that according to reliable statistics never fails to affect a part of the population of any community. It is everywhere. It is contagious. It is annoying and appears when least expected. Fortunately it is not fatal and can be, with the proper precautions, be ignored or denied. It can not be cured.
The idiot’s target this time is Christmas. Its intention exceeds the idiocy level and enters the selected circle of those affected by crass stupidity. We shall offer no additional comment on this. The worrisome part is that this kind of protest is likely to extend to other dates and events.
Next they will think up something objectionable about the New Year (our Gregorian calendar is not the only one) and we are liable to offend those who celebrate the 7,633th year of the Blue Flea calendar. They will not miss our cherished national anthem. (Why vilify those British cannonries making whoopee above Chesapeake Bay?). How about Martin Luther King’s Birthday? And forget about Governor Wallace’s? Or in the same trend of stupidity how about Washington’s ? What would King George’s descendants will say?
We can go on anticipating the displays of idiocy until hell freezes over. Or better yet, and in order to avoid more idiocy to flourish when hell is mentioned, we better say “until a serious temperature drop will cause an indiscriminate slow down of molecular activity at or around minus 273 degrees Centigrade and turn a warm place of punishment into an uncomfortable slab of ice. Not that there is anything wrong with that!”
Any time the Professor feels the need for a long, sit down review of matters, he selects a unique restaurant at the top of one of the tall towers that face the Statue of Liberty , the Hudson and the lively New Jersey shores. This particular restaurant is more of a garden suspended among the clouds in a particular part of Manhattan; besides the ample views, the décor of the restaurant gives an immediate feel of a sophisticated garden in the clouds. Often, you see all tables still in action well into the afternoon. The seduction of the atmosphere is easily conducive to long meals and even longer conversations, discussions and memorable intervals.
This time, the subject was an ample one and worth of a long review. As we savored the initial Dry Martini, the Professor smiled and said;
“Next week I shall be in London where, among other tasks, I have been asked to lecture on the elections in the United States and their effect on our banking projections; ours are a source of fascination and mystery to most countries that use a democratic system to prop up their governments. Our popular elections whether for a modest Inspector of discarded cookie wrappers or elevated government officials, are positive signs of popular intervention that raises interest in most friendly nations. The banks subtle actions are cleverly disguised into exciting maneuvering. At least that is what my friend writes in his message to me.”
I smiled and added to the Professor’s comment;
“Writing about our Presidential elections however is something similar to editing the memoirs of people that have spent their lives within Psychiatric Health institutions or becoming active traders in the ever changing seductions of the Wall Street financial institutions and banks!”
‘You are touching upon a sensitive subject. Our financial institutions come up with unique schemes that generate mountains of cash benefits maneuvered in such fine fashion that it is us the modest users of banking that end up paying for the sleek jet executive planes, the huge mansions on Long Island, the summer villas in Bermuda and a hundred- foot yatchs parked in spots in the Mediterranean like Villefranche Sur Mer, Santa Margherita or Puerto Banus!”
He smiled and nodded indicating that I should continue my inspired outburst. I did;
‘Professor, your descriptions make me wonder about my occupation, degree of economic alertness and my hunger for luxuries, comforts and pate de foie gras for breakfast. How do they manage?”
“It was risky games performed with other people’s money. Our banks have evolved quite a bit since the end of the Second World War, and I am not exaggerating!”
We then shared a pot of Coffee prepared with a new brand of Dominican coffee that seems to be taking the place of some of the more attractive brands. Once we ate another lovely eclair, he turned to me and said;
“Speaking of banks and floating funds, perhaps you can bring me up to date on the inversion I made at your suggestion that you engineered in your own unique manner. By now, the earnings should be such that I could buy the house I rent in Southampton and also the boat and the apartment in Marbella. Right?”
‘Professor, take a look at your accounts in London, Geneva and Santa Isabel in Bermuda! As long as you don’t ask me about my Investment Psychoextorsion Procedures, I shall continue turning you into another charitable magnate!’’
He smiled and said: “Have another éclair!”
The lofty goals of the human race have been purged by the barriers that man has constructed around quality education. Years ago, education was a driving force for the advancement of a society into the modern world; Kennedy comes to mind when he said: "ABC is for you and me." However, now, in this modern world, it is best to be an ignorant fool so those that have had the privilege of a higher/costly education can take advantage of the profit that ensues from unopinionated masses and videogame gaga kids who consume voraciously, like fire ants in summer.
A grandson's path to choose: study or play?
Children are an echo of nature's inspiration, spontaneous, original, innocent.