My Mother’s Book Now Available at Amazon.com

Prima Elisa’s Book may be purchased online at amazon.com.  It is also available on the Kindle Store.

My mother (Prima Elisa) has finally finished her long awaited book of vignettes from her youth.

You may purchase her book at Amazon.com.

I Never Had A Banana Split is a collection of vignettes (short stories) about growing up as a Chicana in the East Los Angeles area.  It will bring back fond memories of your youth and give you a vivid understanding of Elisa’s life experiences in a fun-to-read account of her life.

Sample sections of the book for your review are available on the amazon.com site.   If you have enjoyed Elisa’s writings in her blog,  you will surely enjoy reading her book.   The list price is $12.50 plus shipping and handling for the paperback book.  The Kindle book sells for $8.50.  Both versions of the book are now available.

Contact me at: 462dave@gmx.com if you are interested in buying the book.

462Dave

Dish Network’s Hopper Is Falsely Advertised

 

 

I recently cancelled my DIRECTV contract after viewing the impressive advertisements for the new Hopper System by DISH Network.  The ads falsely boasted the Hopper’s ability to watch and/or record up to six programs at the same time.   What the ad fails to tell you (except for very tiny print at the bottom of the screen), is that the only time you can access six programs is during primetime hours (8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.)

The Hopper supports up to 4 televisions with the addition of three “Joeys”.   The deceptive advertising gave me enough reason to cancel DIRECTV and switch to DISH.

I assumed that I could save money and still have a “Whole Home System” that is comparable to my DIRECTV sytem.   The Hopper seemed to be an extremely advanced device with many new great features that appealed to me.   I visited the DISH.com online webpage and they even sweetened the pot with additional online discounts.   I was sold!

Now I am suffering from buyers remorse …….. and I am stuck with a two year contract.   I am already missing my DIRECTV System that was well worth the extra money.   The following are several reasons why I believe that I made a big mistake:

  • The Hopper only has 3 channels.  Only three channels can be accessed at the same time using a Hopper with three Joeys, except for the “Primetime Anytime” option which allows you to record four networks channels between 8:00 P.M. through 11:00 P.M. daily.  One of the Hopper channels is used during “Primetime Anytime” recording.  Primetime Anytime recordings are limited to four networks …. ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.  The other two Hopper channels can be use to watch live television or record an event (live TV or on demand events).
  • If you are not using the “Primetime” feature, the household is limited to watching or recording three programs at the same time, except for programs that have already been programmed an earlier time.  If I wish to watch a show at 10:00 P.M. and my wife and daughter are recording a program and watching live television on their respective TVs,  I am shit out of luck. (SOL)
  • There are other features that do not work as advertised on the Hopper, such as:   Bluetooth, Picture-In Picture, skip commercials, Pandora, and Search, and Photo Sharing.
  • The AMC channel is not available on the DISH system.  Two of our favorite programs are Breaking Bad and Mad Men.  Mickey will never forgive me for losing those top rated programs.
  • I have already been over charged by DISH for my first month of service.  The online discounts were not reflected on my invoice, and when I called in to have the bill corrected I was totally confused by the explanations given.   I did get part of the promised discounts restored after a frustrating experience.
  • I was given two free PPV Movie codes as a new customer reward.  Only one of the  free movie codes worked when I tried to order the movies.    AAAGGHhhh

If you currently have Directv in you home, I advise you to stick with them.  The DIRECT Whole Home System is far superior to the Hopper System.  DIRECTV will offer you discounts as an incentive to stay with them.   I wish that I had not been so hasty to make a change to DISH.  I am seriously considering canceling and paying the $350+ penalty.

 

462Dave

Joe Paterno Was Dirty – Involved in Coverup


The Special Investigation Counsel issued its’ Final Report regarding the Jerry Sandusky child abuses that occurred at the Penn State Football Facility that were made possible by Sandusky’s close ties with the University leadership.   The findings were very detailed and very damning.  The most scathing details are directed at the following:

  • Former President Graham B. Spanier
  • Former Senior Vice of President-Finance and Business Gary C. Schultz
  • Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley
  • Head Football Coach Joe Paterno
  • The Penn State Board of Trustees

 

After carefully reviewing the entire report, I am convinced that all of the above individuals were directly involved in an attempt to coverup the Sandusky activities involving young boys at the university football facility. (click on report link below)  Joe Pa was very influential in decisions allowing Sandusky to have continuous access to the football facilities for over fourteen years after the first reported rape of a young boy in the locker room shower in 1998.

Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan Final Report

Many Penn State loyalists have refused to believe that “Joe Pa” was part of the coverup.  Joe Pa was worshipped by many loyalists who believed that he would never commit such a sin.  A campus mural depicted Joe Pa with a halo over his head.  However, the Report clearly finds Paterno to have been very much involved in the attempts to conceal the Sandusky crimes against innocent children.

Joe Pa was also a con. Paterno hastily renegotiated his contract with the university early last year.  The renegotiation happened right around the time he learned he would have to testify before a grand jury about Sandusky, one of his former assistant coaches.

Paterno’s contract with Penn State was set to expire at the end of the 2012 season.  However, according to the New York Times, Paterno cleverly negotiated favorable terms if he retired at the end of 2011 instead.

The terms included a $3 million payout and the forgiveness of loans totaling $350,000 given to him by the university, the use of a private plane, and the use of a luxury box at Beaver Stadium by him and the Paterno family.

Just days after police arrested Jerry Sandusky last November, Paterno announced he would retire at the end of the 2011 season.  However, the board of trustees fired Paterno later that night.

After JoePa’s death in January the board gave the Paterno family a package worth about $5.5 million.  Joe Pa’s legacy now includes his ploy to grab all the cash and rewards from Penn State before the axe was to fall on his head.  Joe Pa is no longer protected by his halo.

 

This story is still not over.  Joe Pa’s reputation and legacy will surely be further tarnished when all of the facts are revealed.  There will be trials for Spanier, Schultz and Curley later this year.  Based on the report …. Charges could also filed against other Penn State leaders that were aware of the coverup.  The amount of liability and damage to the reputation of the University is beyond comprehension.  It’s not a happy day in Happy Valley.  Hopefully the victims will receive a fair settlement for crimes that may have been prevented.  After all …. they deserve compassion and compensation for their damaged lives.

 

 

 

 

How Does Obamacare Affect Those That Already Have Healthcare Coverage?

Todays blog deals with individual/s that already have health insurance through a private plan, Medicare Plan, or an employer plan.  Most individuals that already have health insurance are not affected by the Obamacare Plan unless they opt to purchase coverage through a plan exchange.

One of the main features of ObamaCare is the creation of a new federally financed health care entitlement that will subsidize the insurance premiums for low and moderate income Americans, beginning in 2014.  The amount of the subsidy is inversely related to family income and will be an administered by new state-based ”exchanges” that will replace today’s small group and individual markets for health insurance.  Small company employers may elect to move their high cost company plans to more affordable plans through the exchanges.

Some states are threatening to refuse to set up such exchanges. This would result in the federal government stepping in to accomplish such a requirement.  Medicaid extensions are apparently not required in states that refuse to modify their Medicaid Plans, however, this could produce a significant political backlash and potentially deny an important benefit to those that most need it ….  the very poor.

There has been much misinformation on television and over the internet regarding the effect of Obamacare for individuals that are already insured.  Frankly, Obamacare has little, or no affect on such individuals and families. However, there are some potential benefits in the future for those that are currently insured, such as:

 

  • Children up to the age of twenty-six may remain covered under their parents healthcare plan.  Most plans currently drop children from their parent/s plan after their 19th birthday.
  • If you lose your current health insurance due to a job loss/change, relocation, illness, etc. …  you cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.  Your employer must provide you with healthcare coverage under the employers existing healthcare plan.  You may buy coverage through the exchange if you are self-employed or unemployed.
  • You may keep your current healthcare plan if you prefer.  Nothing in the Obamacare Plan requires you to give up your current health insurance.

The above terms are based upon the best information that I have been able to procure through current available means.  I assume no liability for errors or omissions, however I believe this information to be factual and current.  Beware of the politicians and political “talking heads” who are telling us that Obamacare will greatly raise taxes, add to the National Debt, and cause millions of Americans to lose their current health insurance.

Republicans are using many lies and scare tactics in their attempts to sway public opinion.

I have not found any reliable evidence of reductions in Medicare Benefits, or any tax increases other than a tax increase for those in a very high income bracket.  There will also be penalties for those individuals who chose to take a free ride (not purchase insurance when they can afford to pay for it).   Such penalties may affect up to 1% on the population.

I will try to continue to post other details regarding Obamacare as I am able to study and confirm my sources.   I have no political ties to the Obama campaign.  The objective of this blog site is to share important information regarding a variety of current topics.   Please feel free to comment.  Political statements and Obama bashing will be ignored.

 

What Does Obamacare Really Mean for Americans?

The Supreme Court has ruled …. Obamacare is Constitutional.

 

I have been closely monitoring the debate and procedures associated with the enactment of The Patient Protection and  Affordable Healthcare Act, informally referred to as Obamacare.  There has been lots of attention paid to this matter by the opposing political forces and the media.  Those whom have expressed the highest level of objections are either very misinformed or highly motivated by politics.  Obamacare is a historic advancement that will have a major positive impact on healthcare for millions of Americans for many decades… perhaps centuries.

There is much to be learned about this complex matter.  I will cover just one important element of the plan in this blog.  There will be more topics covered in future blogs.  The following requirement is of major concern to many Americans:

The Individual Mandate

Many individuals, who have adequate income, object to the requirement under Obamacare to buy health insurance.  I am very familiar with this point of view.  As a Chairman of a Board of Trustees for a large Health and Welfare Trust,  I heard this objection time-after-time from younger workers who didn’t wish to enroll in a healthcare plan.  They desired to have the cost of such coverage added to their salaries.  This is not acceptable for the following reasons:

  • In order to keep the costs low for everyone in a healthcare plan, all eligible individuals must be added to the mix.  If you remove those that are younger and/or most healthy,  the costs go up greatly for the rest of the group.
  • Those that elect to opt out of the healthcare plan become a burden on others when they, or their dependents, are seriously ill or injured in the future.  Emergency rooms are heavily burdened by uninsured individuals who either cannot obtain insurance or refuse to purchase healthcare coverage.  Tax payers usually wind up paying the costs.
  • Many doctors and healthcare providers deny services to those that are without coverage.  They often must pay in advance for treatments, often paying a much higher cost than the typical amount paid to a healthcare plan.
  • Healthcare plans usually provide a fair and equitable way to negotiate and resolve disputes between patients and healthcare providers.  Typically, an appeal process and an arbitration procedure are very well defined in such plans.  The avoidance of lawsuits is a great cost saver and results in lower fees charged by doctors and hospitals.
During the current election season, the Individual Mandate has become a political “hot button” for Republicans.   What they fail to tell you however, is that the Republicans were the first to include such individual mandates in their healthcare reform proposal during the Clinton years.  The plan was authored and endorsed by Bob Dole, Bob Bennett, Orrin Hatch, Dick Lugar, and Chuck Grassley, and backed by most Republicans.  Now that it has become Obama’s Plan,  the Republican party has performed an “about face.”  Mitt Romney used his “etch-a-sketch” to reverse his position.
This has become an angry and ugly political period in our history.  I pray that we, as a Nation, have the wisdom to move forward with progressive advancements.  I pray that we do not revert to the past, when many Americans were denied their fundamental rights and benefits due to their skin color, financial status, ethnic origin or sexual preference.
I welcome your comments.   Obama bashing will be ignored.

 

Penn State Should Be Exposed For It’s Crimes

 

Penn State University has been revered for decades as a football powerhouse and a highly respected educational institution.   Due to the arrest and prosecution of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, now Penn State and it’s leadership will be remembered for shameful and disgusting actions while ignoring and concealing the activities of a vicious serial child rapist.

Sandusky is the worst kind of pedophile who preyed upon underprivileged young boys for decades, using his status at the university to gain full access to the facility and the athletic programs conducted there.  Even after his lewd acts had been revealed to the administrative managers, including head football coach (Joe Paterno), Sandusky continued to use the facilities and his access to sporting events to conduct his loathsome conduct.

The entire truth about the internal coverup regarding Sandusky may never be known.  Due to powerful political ties to the State of Pennsylvania Legislature, Penn State, Temple University, and The University of Pittsburgh  are the only state-operated Universities in the country that are exempt from State Right-To-Know Laws.  In 2007, Penn State President Graham Spanier spoke forcefully against the state-related universities being included under an expanded state open-records law.  Thus, these universities are allowed to conceal their finances and business records including (but not limited to) personnel records, communications, letters, e-mails, salaries and donations.  I don’t know how you feel about this secrecy …… but something smells fishy in these waters!

There will soon be a trial for two of the Penn State officials, former athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the former vice president for finance and business. They are charged with perjury and failure to report a crime.  Their trials will be held later this year.  In the meantime,  Penn State is trying to rush into settlements with the many victims that Sandusky left in his path.  It behooves the University to settle these probable civil suits before the truth be known about their huge cash pile.  It’s rumored that Penn State has been hoarding  ”Billions” of dollars in it’s cash reserves.  Members of the football coaching staff are rumored to be paid over one million dollars annually….  far more than professional coaches.

This Dynasty must be dismantled.  It is now a Cash Cow and a Football Mill.  Penn State has lost its real purpose….that is to educate our youth and prepare them for their future careers.  Whenever I have conversations with the locals about Penn State, it’s always all about football, “Joe Pa”, and the harm that Jerry Sandusky caused to their beloved football program.

I just don’t get it.

 

Ten (10) Reasons NOT TO VOTE For Mitt Romney

 

I have been watching intently while the Republican Party has conducted the selection process for a Presidential Candidate for the November Election.  I never thought that I would witness such a circus event.  The Republican Party appears to have lost its direction and identity.

 

I am not a hardcore liberal, nor do I always vote a straight Democratic Slate.  One of my local choices for the State Senate is Dave Argall, a Republican.  I will not, however, consider voting for any of the Tea Party candidates or “Blue Dog” Democratic candidates now or in the future.

The Republican choice for the presidential election came as a total surprise to me.  Never has the “Grand Old Party” selected such a poor candidate to run for the highest office in the country.   I can’t picture Romney as the leader of the free world for obvious reasons.  The top ten reasons why I will not vote for Romney are  as follows:

1.   Romney is a member of a cult (I might as well address that issue first).  While many believe that religion is not fair game in politics, I disagree when it pertains to cults.  The Mormon Doctrine is based on many far-reaching myths that I will never accept as true products of religion.  The Book of Mormons is loaded with fiction, racism, and cultism.

2.  Romney cannot be trusted to keep his word.  Mitt Romney is the quintessential politician who will tell you whatever you want to hear.   I have never seen a presidential  candidate backpedal on nearly every position that he takes on key issues.  He contradicts himself on a regular basis and seldom will clearly explain his contradictions.

3.  Mitt Romney has no connection to mainstream Americans.  He has lived a life of wealth and high status.  I don’t begrudge his successes, but surely he has never lived in my world.

4.  Governor Romney is being controlled by “Big Money”.  His views on taxes and the economy will highly benefit the extremely wealthy while eliminating many benefits for those that need help the most.  Poor children and the elderly would suffer the most under the Ryan Plan and the Romney proposals for economic change.

5.  Social Security and Medicare would be threatened by a Romney Presidency.  He supports the Ryan Plan which would do away with Social Security and Medicare as we now know them.  Social Security and Medicare are vital to millions of Americans when they reach retirement.  Many will face poverty if the programs are eliminated or drastically altered under the Ryan Plan.

6.  Romney tells many lies in his statements regarding President Obama.  I can respect his disagreements with the President,  but I cannot accept the lies that he tells in order to sway voters away from Obama.  I have a huge problem with liars.

7.  Romney does not respect the many hard working immigrants that have lived and worked in America for decades.   He suggests that they should all volunteer to leave the country instead of seeking a way to provide a path to legal residency.

8.  Romney knows very little about Foreign Affairs.  His views on Russia and Iran are hawkish and are very much like the 1960′s views of the world.  Romney’s recent statements regarding China are very divisive and a threat to the profound progress that has been achieved in recent years in our relationship with China.

9.  Candidate Romney used bullish, divisive and destructive tactics against members of his own party while bidding for the presidential nomination.  During the Primary Debates and Elections, Romney has demonstrated the lowest level of respect and dignity that I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.  Such disrespect was always reserved for members of an opposing Party until this election cycle.  I am, like many other Americans, totally disgusted with the whole Republican campaign.

10.  Quite simply ….  I just don’t like Mitt Romney.  The Republican Party has let big money buy the nomination for a totally unqualified wannabe.  All they need is Sarah Palin to complete the ticket.  Big money donors need to taken out of the equation.

I welcome your feedback….please leave a reply (below).  Insults against Obama will be ignored and deleted.  President Obama will be the subject for a future blog.

I also encourage everyone to vote in the November election.  We cannot let ugly politics discourage us from voting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 999 – And Good Riddance!

Herman Cain will likely withdraw from the presidential campaign today.  Cain was never really a competent candidate.   It’s amazing that so many desperate Republicans would line up behind such an egomaniacal windbag.

 

Herman Cain came onto the political scene like a “Medicine Man” with his “999 Potion” that would cure the nation.  Naive followers ignored his lack of knowledge and experience.  It was his character that finally brought him down.

It’s back to the book tours and motivational sessions for Herman Cain.  He may be able to dazzle a room full of trainees with his gift of gab.  He wasn’t, however, able to remain credible for long in front of a National audience.

The presidential race will be less entertaining without the daily reports of Cain’s womanizing, woman bashing, and political blunders.  I for one …… won’t miss Herman Cain.

Candidates like Cain, we don’t need!  Goodbye Mr. Cain!   And Good riddance!

Pokerist – Texas Hold’em Poker Online


I have a new addiction.  When I gave up my life-long beer drinking habit, I knew that it would dramatically alter my afternoon routines.   However, I never thought that I would replace sipping on a few beers with hours of playing poker online with a new family of friends.  Pokerist has me completely hooked. It’s fun and addictive.   It’s also a new way to meet friends and enjoy playing poker with players from around the world, in real time.

 

Every afternoon I look forward to hooking up with my new friends that I have met at the poker tables in the Pokerist site.  It’s amazing how poker exposes personalities and social attitudes.  Often, aggressive players tend to spoil the games for those that are just playing for the social experience. Clashes are not uncommon.

 

If you really want to sharpen your poker skills and learn how to take advantage of table position, aggression, intimidation, and an abundance of chips   … there are certainly opportunities to hone your skills.   Be prepared to take the heat, however, from players that are in the game for friendly enjoyment and a casual poker game.

You have an option to chat with fellow players if you desire.  You may also turn off the chat feature or turn off the chat for selected players.  You have the option of being unsociable if you prefer that style of play.  I personally enjoy meeting new players from around the world.  I believe that this aspect of the game is what makes the game extremely enjoyable and keeps me coming back for more.

You can register through your Facebook account (preferable for PC users), Xbox, or you can load the game App from the Apple/Mac App Store.  The upload is free.

There is no real money involved in the Pokerist games.  You are, however, able to purchase chips from within the game.  The average price is $1 per million chips.  There are also websites that sell chips at reduced prices, usually less than one-half the cost of chips purchased from within the game.

Sharing chips is prohibited and may result in temporary penalties such as limited communication and possible temporary playing suspensions.

Thus, albeit you are playing for play money, there is a potential cost involved.   You are given an initial amount of chips when you register your user name.  You may also win chips in the daily chip lottery, or receive chips from Pokerist after having a bad day at the tables.

If you are an experienced poker player, or a newbie, and would enjoy playing poker with others from all parts of the world,  give Pokerist a try.  You can find me at “462dave”.  I have experienced an incredible bond with my new poker family from England.  I enjoy sharing my afternoons with the Doggett family every day.  I am sure that we will meet in person someday soon, although we are separated by the vast Atlantic Ocean.  The world just keeps getting smaller.

 

 

Shame On Penn State – They’ve Made It All About Football

 

The entire Nation has been focused on the shameful scandal that was unfolding at Penn State University this past week.   As many as a dozen young children (boys) have allegedly been raped or sexually abused by a former Penn State assistant football coach.

 

The shocking news, if proven, reveals much about the distorted values and the warped minds of those associated with the Penn State football program and their devoted fans.  It’s hard for others, outside of Pennsylvania, to understand how a successful coach and a winning team can be so highly worshipped by the Penn State students and the rabid fans.  The lives and welfare of the innocent victims is hardly discussed in their expressions of disappointment regarding the firing of their beloved football coach “Joe Pa”, and the fact that he will not be able to coach the last home game of the season.

Upon reading the Grand Jury Report that was released to the media, I became shaken and ill.  As a father, grandfather, uncle and soon to become great-grandfather,  I can’t begin to imagine such a horrible thing happening to one of them.  More amazing to me, I can’t imagine a major university brushing such a horrible thing under the rug in order to protect their football program.    Even more amazing to me is the unbelievable reaction of the Penn State students and fans that have been interviewed by the media.

 

I am aware that the media has not covered this story to the extent that they interview students or fans that are sickened and disgusted by the actions of the University Leaders and the involved football coaches, including Paterno.  But the eyes of the Nation only see what is presented to them on television, the Internet, and the newspapers.  The rabid worshipping of Joe Pa and his football program makes little sense in light of the current circumstances.  The worshippers make no mention about the horrendous accusations or the welfare of the children.

 

Big football programs have distorted the values of many students and fans that have converted football into a religion.   The football team and/or the coaches are revered as saints.  They walk on water and are larger than the educational institution that they represent.  Such a distortion is shameful in and of itself.   But under these circumstances, the shame is beyond belief.  Attending a university should never be all about football.   It should be about attaining a good education, including morality and social awareness.   The victims of these crimes deserve more from the Penn State Students.

 

I welcome your input.  I know that many Penn State fans will have much to say in   response.   I only ask that we can have a respectful discussion.  Personal attacks will go directly into the trash.