Perspectives From The Edge

SPEAKING MY MIND

Kevin "The Iceman" Tapee" June 4, 2016

 

Perspectives from the Edge: II've spent a fair amount of time researching a topic that I wanted to do a video blog about. You may not sense it in writing that I actually research topics but hopefully you can sense it on air. So this week I had planned a fairly good blog but alas it has been replaced with this. I'm sick… not physically sick, rather sick and tired. While researching my topic today I came across several stories that further leads me to believe that we are doomed. I'm not going to go into detail as that would only increase my dark attitude. Suffice to say that we spend entirely too much time worrying about stupid stuff. We, as a society, worry about crap that in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter. We need to worry about larger issues. There is a simple reason we don't try and fix big problems, its hard work! We don't seem to like hard work in America anymore. If we can't solve it in an afternoon we complain about it on Facebook and simply let it be. We make stupid people famous and condemn those we should honor. We celebrate to idiotic and impugn what should be celebrated. We respect those who don't deserve it and disrespect those who should be respected. We allow ourselves to be torn apart when coming together is the right answer. I'm sick….. maybe you are too…. I hope so…. It's not too late to make a difference.

IT'S ALL ABOUT POLITICS 2016

Kevin "The Iceman" Tapee" Febuary 15, 2016

 

Perspectives from the Edge: I was recently asked on social media what I thought about super delegates going against the voters and supporting Clinton over Sanders in New Hampshire. I don't want this answer to sound like a dissertation but it might. The first thing is to define what a super delegate is. A super delegate is a high ranking member of a particular party that is given the right to cast his or her vote for whomever they wish at the national convention. Standard delegates are bound by the result of the state's primary to cast their votes for the winner of the primary, super delegates are not. The proper term for delegates are pledged delegates, the delegates that cast their vote based on who won the primary, and unpledged delegates who are able to cast their ballots for whomever they wish. There have been as many as 800 plus unpledged delegates at the democratic convention whereas the Republicans try to limit the number of unpledged to three per state. So the question is why would an unpledged delegate support one candidate over another. There are many reasons not the least of which is personal preference. This year will be particularly interesting if Sanders and Trump are the nominees. Neither candidate appears willing to come to the center to court moderate undecided voters. Both share the moniker of being radical, even in their own party. One reason a delegate would support Clinton over Sanders is the perception that Clinton has a better chance to defeat any of the Republican potential nominees. Current polling shows Clinton trailing Trump by fewer percentage points than Sanders, who if the election were held today would be defeated soundly by Trump. The numbers are similar when Clinton and Sanders are paired against Cruz. It gets interesting after that. The ultimate goal of both parties is to win the White House. Unpledged delegates in the Democratic party are weighing who the best candidate might be. Mainstream Democrats are not sold on Sanders ideas of expanding healthcare and providing more services at government expense. More than a few economists have done studies indicating that the proposed Sanders tax increases would not pay for the new programs and would increase debt. Clinton is also proposing additional programs but not to the level of Sanders. It boils down to which pill is easier to swallow. Clinton is a pro at politics and would come to the middle and court moderate Democrats, Independents and Republicans. With that in mind some unpledged delegates see her as the best shot at winning the White House. It's also important to note that the primaries are about the individual parties and not the opposite party. Republicans are campaigning against each other and trying to win the votes of fellow Republicans. The one that speaks the most Republican will win. Same for the Democratic side. The difference is that when we hit the general election neither side can win with just their parties voters. In the general election you have to appeal to independents and moderates who sway in the wind despite having party affiliation. There are voters who cross party lines to vote for someone from the opposite party when that person shares the same ideals and beliefs of the voter. This is merely speculation on my part but I feel if Sanders and Trump were to be the nominees, we would see the possibility for a viable third party candidate. Neither Sanders nor Trump are likely to woo voters who are on the fence. Many fear that Trump is too far right and those same voters live paycheck to paycheck and have done the math and know that under Sanders their conditions would worsen. The climate would be right for someone like a Michael Bloomberg to waltz in and set the election on its ear. At this point I have not decided where my vote will go. I am not a registered Democrat so I have no real thoughts on Sanders or Clinton. As for the Republicans? I have strong feelings about more than a few of them and they are not positive. Tell me what you think?

GAMING AFFECTS US ALL

Kevin "The Iceman" Tapee" Febuary 2, 2016

 

I recently saw a commercial for a new mobile game that contained spurting blood and body parts being chopped off. Needless to say I was somewhat shocked by the commercial and a little worried about how these images would be interpreted by younger players. It came with an age warning but who pays attention to those? Recently my son came home from school and related a story that he had been told by his video game design teacher. He told the class that there was no relation between video game violence and violence in real life. I started to wonder if this was true. From what I have been able to read he might be right.

 

Common thought is that games do lead to violence but the science doesn't back it up or is at best inconclusive. Studies have shown that when video games sales are up, during the summer and holidays, violent crimes go down. Researchers are not sure what to make of the data. They're not sure what it really means. Speculation is that since new games typically debut when kids are out of school. Which would indicate that rather than committing crimes the kids are playing the new games.

 

The question scientists are asking are do games make kids violent or do violent kids gravitate towards the violent games? Sound questions. I think that we expose our kids to too much violence already. do we really need a video game with blood spurting out of the spot where a man's head was moments before? Tell me what you think?

IS HEALTHCARE AFFORDABLE???

Kevin "The Iceman" Tapee" January 12, 2016

 

Recently I was at the doctor's office for a routine appointment. He and I started talking about how medicine has changed in the last few years. It was quite eye opening. Up until two years ago this doctor had a phlebotomist on site to take blood samples. It was convenient for me to go see him and have blood work done without taking a separate trip to a lab to sit and wait for it to be done there. I asked why the change? He replied that after the passage of the ACA (Affordable Care Act "Obamacare") insurance companies require him to refer patients to specialists whenever possible. I had no idea that a phlebotomist would be considered a specialist. Since the enactment of the ACA I have noticed that I as the patient do far more work than I have in the past to keep up with my health.

 

Anytime I see my primary care doctor anymore he refers me to someone else when in the past he just made the medical call and treated me himself. The ACA has done anything but streamline medicine and make it easier for people to access health care. If anything it has complicated matters. I recall friends of mine telling me they couldn't wait for it to pass so that insurance companies would end up having to issue policies no matter what and the ACA would finally end the greed of these companies. If anything Obamacare has made the healthcare industry rich beyond even what they could have dreamed. During the first year of the ACA insurance companies saw profits soar by 43% and stock prices that posted triple digit returns. Something tells me that secretly the insurance companies knew that the ACA would mean a windfall in profits for them, after all they donated 22 and a half million dollars to Obama's campaign in 2008. In addition to the insurance companies hospitals, drug companies and medical supply companies have also seen profits fly since the passage and enactment of the ACA. All of this is good news for those that invest in medical related stocks but not good news for the little guy searching for insurance. One segment of the working population left out in the cold are part time employees. The ACA does not require employers to cover part time employees. These Americans are still required to have health care which can be a daunting task on a part time salary. For some the choices are not different than they were prior to the ACA, food or insurance. In addition to part time employees there are a whole host of companies that are exempt from the ACA.

 

There are too many to list suffice to say the number of companies is in the hundreds if not more than a thousand. A recent search of the website freerepublic.com revealed a list of the companies that are exempt. Not surprisingly a large number of health related companies are on the list. The list contains unions, school districts, health companies, manufacturers, as well as restaurants. A partial list includes Cracker Barrel, DISH Network, Jack in the Box, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Universal Orlando, Waffle House, Wellspring, and Pepsi just to name a few. Once again the Republicans in the House have moved to repeal Obamacare. We will see how far it goes but I would argue that rather than make it easier and more affordable it has overly complicated a process that was already difficult.