Sunday, November 08, 2009

Things That Make You Go Huh

Today is Sunday and I have decided to devote Sundays to my posting about, well, about things that bug me, perplex me, or otherwise interest me.

First off, for weeks there has been this controversy about offering Swine Flu vaccine to prisoners, both domestic and at military prisons such as Guantanamo Bay, while ordinary United States citizens cannot get their vaccine. A lot of baloney, if you ask me. Clinics in New York were prepared to vaccinate up to 4,500 people per day at each of seven different clinics. That would be a total of 31,500 people who could have been vaccinated. A total of 1,700 people showed up. Just who are these people who want to be vaccinated but cannot be due to a shortage caused by vaccinating prisoners? Oh, by the way, no prisoners have actually been vaccinated yet. A weeks worth of "news" coverage on a total non-issue, if you ask me.

Here is something else I found interesting and may explain why there are so many illegal and non-union workers in the building trades. Federal law requires that workers on stimulus-funded projects receive so-called prevailing wages, roughly equivalent to union pay. In New York that would be about $50 an hour for someone doing interior demolition. Now, and maybe I am out of touch, it seems as though $50 an hour is a tad high, and certainly explains why someone would be motivated to seek out cheaper labor.

Oh, they passed a health bill in the House last night. That is all well and good, I guess. The problem is that I turn 65 on December 4th and this bill seems to affect a lot of the Medicare and Drug supplement plans I have also applied for. Not that anyone could possible understand the bill, but it seems to cut Medicare Advantage programs and eliminates the donut hole in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Seeing as how I have applied for a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, what should I do now. It isn't like you can wait and see how it all shakes out. You have a limited time each year within which to make your decisions about these things. By the way, Medicare Advantage Plans are reasonable, but not cheap. I pay a bit over $100 month for Medicare Coverage and about another $300 a month for my Medicare Advantage Plan. Not complaining, but I do wonder how this new health bill, however it turns out, will affect all of this.

And the price of a Nathan's Hot Dog at Coney Island has now gone up to $3.15. One of the problems? Higher feed costs have driven up the price of beef. Let's hear it for ethanol. Food for fuel, what a concept. This is also affecting, among other things, the price of tequila as more and more agave fields are being converted to growing corn due to higher corn prices.

The New York Daily News sportswriter Frank Isola said in today's paper "The Knicks shattered the NBA record last night for the fastest team to hit rock bottom." And here I thought they had done that a couple of years ago. But only 234 more days until LeBron becomes a free agent.

Finally, don't you just love the commercial with the woman with the small children complaining about how the tax on beverages such as fruit drinks (not fruit juice) and sodas will break the family budget. I don't know about you, but I just want to shake that lady and say "Just give the kids a glass of water when they are thirsty. Water from the tap. It is free. It is better for them."

Well, there you go. My weekly rant. I feel much better now. I am sure that will change though, especially when I start getting hate mail from union members and mothers with fat kids.