Save The Arizona 98

I usually have avoided doing anything too political on my sometimes blog. I have tried to focus on general things and what is happening in my life. I feel that being too critical of any body for what they do politically is their business as I feel what I do politically, is my business.

This is one time I have decided to speak out. As a transplant survivor, I am appreciative of the extra time I have due to getting a transplant.  I hope to be around for awhile. I am supportive of others who have a transplant. Life is important and should never be made a second priority to money and the economy as much as possible.

There is a situation in Arizona that angers and saddens me. There are 98 people who were promised transplants be the Medicaid program there. The Republican Legislature and Governor Jan Brewer cut these people off from getting their transplants due to the money crises in the state due to the recession.

These poor people were promised their transplants. Without the help that the Medicaid program would give them, they will not be able to get their transplants and they will die.

Governor called transplants an optional procedure and that transplants do not work. An insurance company that works with the state came up with this.

As I understand it. The total cost for the transplants is 5 million dollars. There are 30 million that came from stimulus money that has not been spent. Governor Brewer says the money has been allocated but not spent.

She has reufused to call a special session to address the issue, despite calls to do just that. No one has lost their life yet, but it is only a matter of time.

I am leaving a notice  that explains this more than I can tell you here. If you feel that you can help out you can donate money to the National Transplant Assistance Fund, which is trying to help the 98.  I will end this with a call from one of the leaders in this matter Bob Aronson and a news release he has issued. It explains this better than I can:

Arizona, The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Poorer and the Sick Get Dead.

…In late October Bob Aronson, heart transplant recipient and founder of Organ Transplant Initiative (OTI), started a nationwide drive to reverse the Arizona decision that denies Medicaid patients vital organ transplants. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710 He also has a very popular blog site devoted to donation/transplant issues with recent posts aimed at the Arizona issue http://bobsnewheart.wordpress.com/.

“Everyone on the transplant list is dying,” says Aronson, “And Governor Brewer’s claim that transplants are an optional treatment is totally without foundation. The only option to a transplant is death. I know, I would have been dead three years ago if I had not received a new heart.”

Aronson a former Minnesota Governor’s Press Secretary and now living in Jacksonville, Florida says, “I understand how serious budget problems can be, but you don’t solve them by killing your citizens.”

Organ Transplant Initiative has rallied people from all over the country with their “Save the Arizona 98” campaign. Additionally the group has a website http://www.savethearizona98.com where people or organizations can buy T-shirts and other products bearing the slogan, “Save the Arizona 98.” All profits go to the National Transplant Assistance Fund and there are no administrative fees or expenses charged to the proceeds. The site also offers the option of donating directly to the fund and designating the specific person or persons you want to help.

“Governor Brewer blames so-called Obamacare for the Medicaid problems,” states Aronson, “But Arizona approved cutting transplants before the Obama bill passed congress.” He notes that, “While Americans have a guarantee of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Arizona has opted to deny life and liberty in favor of the Pursuit of Mexicans, “Because,” he says, “The Governor has diverted millions of Federal stimulus and other dollars, to her border protection program.

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Working on Nano, Taking charge

I’ve been working on Nanowrimo this month as I get ready for the writing to take place starting on November 1st. I got the planning out-of-the-way, that is, the outline and a short synopsis of the story. I’ve written a short description of the main characters and some background.

I try to let things be a little loose when I write. I enjoy watching the characters grow and change in a novel from where they start out. Sometimes I’m surprised on where the characters take me and the story. That’s what makes writing fun. If you plan the whole plot too much, you end up with a mechanical story. It also becomes boring. You know what each character is going to do and you end up with a wooden story.

The story I’m doing is a sequel to my Space Pirates: First Encounter, story On Lulu.com. The first book seemed to scream out for a sequel and after it took me so long to get the first book out, I plan to work on the second book and get it out sooner. I have another book ready to write and want to get that out this year, also.

So, I’m planning an ambitious schedule for myself this year. As long as my health holds out and my Mom stays healthy, I should be able to get it done.

We got a wind storm around here today. It seems like a good day to hunker down and write. I’ve stuck my nose out amd it is no day for man or beast right now. We had a few 50mph gusts, though the worst seems to be in Chicago, at the moment.

Wait, I hear the wind howling. Well here it comes. I think I’ll sigh off now and do some upper body exercises. Got to take charge and stay strong. I’ll keep you informed on Nano and my progress. Hope your day is fantastic and safe.

A Long Quiet Summer

If you noticed, I tok the summer off from doing a large amout of writing. It was the first time in nearly 4 years that I took a break. Not that I wasn’t busy. It was just that doing writing, was not hight on my list of things to do this summer.

I had the house to take care of. Ther ehas been a few things that needed fixing and I got some new TV’s as the pace of technology has made the old TV’s obsolete. I wish the shows on TV were better, but at least they look better than they once did. The rest of it was just the usual things that needed to be done around the house. It keeps me busy, but it is a good feeling to see things getting done.

Also, my mother had cataract surgery. Which meant doing the drops for her. I’m still doing them and will be for at least the next month or so. Before that, we discovered that my mother has the ‘wet’ kind of macular degeneration. That meant going back and forth to the doctor for treatments and check ups. That will go on for awhile, yet. So That has kept me busy.

I did finish my third book and now it is out on http://lulu.com/ and amazon.com. Just put ‘Space Pirates: First Encounter’ in the search box and you will see my book by me, Joe Kaminski, Jr. I’m pretty happy with the book ans a few who have read it so far thought it was the best I had written. I’m sort of surprised with that. I always thought that my second book, ‘In The Company of Legends,’ was better. But who is to argue with what the people want. I’m working on the sequal to the Space Pirates book and I’m thinking of working on the first draft for the Nanowrimo challenge in November. That will give me an incentive to write and get the book out.

I did do some writing during the summer, but it was mostly on Facebook. I’ve been especially involved with writing on the Coffee Party site. It seems to me that they have the right idea as regards to debating in a civilized manner and using fact, instead of invective as the basis for getting their point across. While some might think the group is too liberal, I find the people to truly concerned in the problems of the country. They are a group some of you might look into.

I have no desire to be a part of the Tea Party. While they might have a point about high taxes and deficit spending, a lot of the membership goes much too far in some of their taactics and viewpoints. Sorry, but some of the membership is too racist for me and some of their rhetoric frankly, scares me. In this country we need calm, honest and far sighted leadership and the Tea Party does not provide it, in my opinion.

Besides that, I have been taking care of things at home and my mother has needed a little more care than in the past, as she has had some eye problems. I have been giving her drops almost every two hours over the last few weeks. They are being lessened now, so I have more time to do some other things and can now get back to writing.

I followed the dissappointing baseball season of the two Chicago clubs. The Cubs had a terrible year and fell out quickly. The Cubs offense was terrible this year, especially their two main hitters, Lee and Ramirez. The White Sox took longer, but a weak pitching staff caused them grief and lost like 7 or 8 games in a row and the Twins took the division. Now it’s just mop up time and waiting for the Blackhawks to start hockey season. They won the Stanley Cup in June and ran around like drunken sailors during the short off-season. Hope they get it together quick.

Well, no more excuses. Time to get back to writing and the blogs. I can’t promise that I’ll write as much as I did before, but I’m going to try. A lot will be about Nanowrimo. I’ll keep you informed about my progress, so that will be an incentive. If anyone want to join and be part of the challenge, let me know. Perhaps, we can encourage each other.

That’s it for now. I’ll be writing more later. Thanks for dropping by.

Where Have I Been?

I’ve spent the better part of the last month being quiet. I was a conscious decision; just to remain silent and let the world go on without me commenting on it. Sort of like Dylan said, watching the river flow.

Not that I did nothing. I finished up getting my 3rd book out and on Amazon.com and on Lulu.com

I also set up my second book for e-publication. That book, ‘In The Company of Legends,’ should soon available on the iBookstore site and available for iPad and iPhone. Look for it.

But the rest of the time, I just did things around the house and did a took my Mom for a few doctor visits. I also had a little sickness, a fever that set me back a couple of days, but nothing major.

I only did a little writing. Seems I have a little writing block. I have some good ideas, but no motivation to work on them. It not that I’m sitting on my laurels, I have few if any to rest on. So that’s why I figure I have a little writing block. Maybe with this, it will get unjammed.

Last week, I had a few errands to do and headed out the back door and went to my car in the garage. The day was warm, but not humid. In a way, it reminded me of a summer day when I used to bound out of the house and go off to play a few games of baseball with my friends and enjoy the day.

Only it wasn’t the same. The house where I bounded out of, I now run, with all the responsibilities associated with it. Instead of getting on my bike, I’m riding a car. It now my own money I use to get what is needed, not my parents. All of that is good. Yet, it was a whole lot easier when it really wasn’t my reponsibility. Just a little change from the past.

I stopped at a Family Dollar store at the old Angelo’s Supermarket. I remember when the parking lot was crowded with cars as people went in and out of the store. Now, the parking lot is empty and in need of repair. There are a dew people in the store, but nothing like when Angelo’s or Reliable as it also was called, was rocking.

Family Dollar share the old Angelo’s spot with a Bargain Store. They also have some name products, including food and pop. Though the stuff is new, it always looks old. The store is owned by Hispanics, I presume. I also think that they get their products from Mexico. Maybe that’s why they look a little worn out. I just don’t trust the place, though the prices are low enough. It’s just the look that gives me concern.

As I walked to my car U was looking at the park that is next to the stores. Pulaski Park it is called. It used to be called Douglas Park when I was younger. It didn’t seem anyone was in it. The old swimming pool looked abandoned. The I noticed some workers cleaning the pool. I guess they were cleaning tit before the kids came later in the day to swim and cool off. I used to go there as a kid. I wasn’t much of a swimmer, but it was nice on a hot summer day.

When I was a kid, playing baseball in the fields in our neighborhood or park was the big thing. Or, maybe a little football when the weather got cooler. These days, kids play soccer to ride skateboards, it they are not texting or playing video games. I like it better when I was a kid. But I suppose the kids today will complain about their kids some day over the way they play in the next 30 years. The cycle of life will continue.

I went home still thinking that I was transported to 1962. I knew it was 2010, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. It’s cool either way. I’ve grown up, but I haven’t grown out. I can’t wait to take another little visit again, someday soon.

BP, The Gulf and A Broken Promise

Maybe it’s the cloudy and cool weather over the weekend. Or the hangover after watching the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. Though it may just be the continued bad news coming from the Gulf on the oil spill. But I am in a dark mood over what has happened there and am saddened over the broken promise that seemed to be made 40 years ago.

In 1970, I was in high school (ok, that ages me, but who cares), and we observed Earth day. We learned that Mother Earth (as we called our planet in hippie talk back then) was a fragile planet. It was under attack from polluters of every stripe and shape. The air we breathe, the water we drink was under siege and we were told that we had a responsibility to protect her and the rest of her children, including ourselves.

Over the years we recycled, cut pollution in the air and the water. We have invented new technology to protect our fragile planet. We have come a long way.

But it is not enough.

We still have a greed for oil and drill, baby, drill became a mantra for some. We want to be free from foreign oil, so we built these rigs and congratulated ourselves that they were safe. But they weren’t. BP gave us a plan that must have been put together by some cashier working in a BP franchise gas station. In our greed for oil, we accepted that plan. Now we find the plan was a fraud a make believe plan concocted in never never land.

This type of thinking was going on for years. It is not just one President who is at fault. But, perhaps more. Government agencies were not watching at the gates. They worked in cooperation with the big oil companies and today we are paying for it.

Our ineptitude has caused almost irreparable harm. It will be years for the damage to be repaired. Perhaps it never can be made right. In this instance, we have failed ourselves. It is not acceptable. It needs to be stopped.

This is not about global warming. This is about reckless greed. It is about looking at our needs in the short term, rather than looking at the long term and protecting our way of life. Now we are paying the price. We better remember what has occurred here, or like anything else in history, we will be doomed to repeat it.

Is This Really America?

Recently, I heard Sarah Palin state to people that “we are all Arizonians,” when she supported the immigration Law of that state. Now, no matter what you may feel about that law and about immigration in general. That statement troubles me.

Being a history major and a history buff to this day, I can only think of the Civil War and what we were fighting for. Yes, we were fighting slavery in one aspect. But we were also fighting to preserve the Union. Confederate soldiers stated that they were fight for their state, be it Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina or any of the other Confederate States. Robert E. Lee left the US Army to fight on the side of Virginia. It was not country that he defended, it was his state.

The Union was preserved and eventually those Confederate States were welcomed back to the Union. It was a slow, painful process, but it eventually occurred.

Now, nearly 150 years after the beginning of that Civil War, we hear a popular political figure state that a state is more important than country. I would wish to remind Palin and others who think as she does, that we are Americans first and citizen of our respective states second. To think or act in any other way destroys the Union and destroys the identity that we have as Americans. I am not an Arizonian. Nor am I a Hoosier, Pennsylvanian, New Yorker. I may be a native of any and all of these states, but I prefer to be know as an American first.

So, call me an American. Talk to me as an American, If you disagree with me, do so as am american. I am not a states righter. I believe in Union first and what ever my state has power over second, Let it always remain that way.

It’s Still My Fantasy

Those of you who know me through the years and through my blog know that I never have had the best of health. As a result, I never had the opportunity to play organized sports. I did play some pick up baseball and flag or two hand football when I was a kid. I even played a little basketball here and there.

But as I got older and could do less and less, I had to give up those kind of activities and I became a professional couch potato. I became a darned good one, as a matter of fact. So I never became a folk hero in sports. I didn’t mind I have developed other skills that are just as good. And I can always fall back on my couch potato skills, if need be.

But there are video games and I became a fan of the sports games. It has become a release for me as I became more proficient in playing games like baseball, football and basketball. I’ve now added hockey to my sports talent, at least in my fantasy world.

I’ve played the EA sports games and I like them. I’ve played Madden Football, MVP Baseball, the basketball games. I’ve also played the Take Two Sports games; Baseball and Basketball and enjoy them, though a little less than the EA games.

These last couple of weeks, however, I had a chance to purchase two games by Sega Sports. Sega sports have since lost their contracts to EA and others, but, in my opinion the two games that I picked up are the best I have played.

The graphics in the NFL2k3 are excellent and the play is crisp and well executed. The commentary is well done. It is far better than Madden and it’s a shame that Sega does not make the game any more. Sega or a group that came out of their company has a ESPN Football 2k5 that is supposed to be the best ever. It is so good that some prefer to download updated lineups than play the Madden Game.

I haven’t bought that game yet. You almost can’t get it. Some sell the game on Amazon.com for $43. That is too rich for my blood. I’m satisfied with my 2k3 game and will play that for awhile. At least till I catch up to 2010 year.

I also bought the NHL 2k3 game. I used to watch hockey a lot, back in the early and middle ’60’s. I watched the Blackhawks on WGN when people like Hull, Mikita, Hall and Nestorinko ruled the Chicago hockey world. Over the years, however I watched hockey less and less. It wasn’t on television much and you know out of sight, out of mind became the norm.

Laying the hockey game (which is well done) has rekindled my enjoying the sport. I can see myself as a here in the fantasy hockey world as I have in baseball, football or basketball. Who know? Perhaps I can win the Stanleyy Cup along with my World Series, Superbowl and NCAAChampionship.. Let the fantasy begin.

There’s No Politics In Baseball

Last week The Arizona Diamondbacks play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. During the series protesters rallied against the Arizona Immigration Law in front of the ball park,

Now this is not about the law that was passed. Whether you like or don’t like the law is not the point. But I don’t feel protesting political points of view have a place at a ball game. People go to the ball game for one reason, maybe the only reason: to leave their troubles at home and enjoy the game. They would want to get away and not think of their problems, either personal or political.

I know I would want to enjoy my time at a game and not think of the controversies around me. I want to watch my team, whether Cubs, Sox, Bears, Bulls or Hawks without politics thrown in. When I leave the ball park and get back to the real world, I’ll consider your concerns and if I want, I’ll act on them. But until I come home, don’t bother me. I want to get out and watch a game and relax. Leave one thing alone. Let me watch my game in peace, if you don’t mind.

Catching Up

Just thought I’d catch up with all of you on some things since I’ve been busy lately. Some of it is serious some not so serious.

Been watching thr e immigration battle in Arizona. I believe that the law has a lot of unintendeed problems for it, like:

  1. whaere are you going to put all those ‘ilegals’ once you arrest them. Do you have that many jails in Arizona?
  2. If you send them back or keep them in jail, who is going to pay for all of this?
  3. Are you willing to pay for all the court costs and lawsuits that will certainly follow when the law becomes enacted?

Just thought I’d ask. In a practical sense, it’s a terrible law.

We’re beginning to see what greed can really do to everyone in the Goldman Sachs scandal. We need good and strong financial reform. I just hope Washington will get off their partisan political games and do right by the American people and certainly do it in such a way that the rest of us don’t get hurt. Work together!

I’ve been on Facebook a lot lately. I’ve caught up with a lot of some old college and high school friends. It been interesting to hear their stories on what they have done over the years. It’s a lesson in living and life. I’m not trying to relive the past. I’m satisfied with where I am at. But, I celebrate where my old friends are at. I’m glad to see that they have, for the most part, done well.

The Cubs are wining lately. They’re back at .500 after 20 games. Baseball season has bee fun so far. Then it’s only April. Check again in July and see if I’m still excited.

I’m still writing. Tru to write something everyday. I got enough projects to last for awhile. My main problem is focusing on one to finish up on and prepare for nano in November. Maybe it still will be a sequel on my sciennce fiction book.

That’s it for now. I’ll try and write something more substantial next time.

Getting A Little Disgusted At Times

I haven’t done much as far as the blogs over the last few weeks. I’ve been busy with various duties at home and taking my Mom to the doctors and such. It’s been hard to sit down and just write as I had hoped I would be able to do. I have some time in the evening, but there have been times that I am so tired after all the running around during the day, that all I want to do is just sleep.

Part of it is that I am also disgusted with the way things are in the country. Everybody is mad at someone or something. No one wants to soberly look at the problems and solve them in a pragmatic manner. They want it their way or the highway. I don’t hate anyone. I just want people to get it together and solve things. No liberal agenda and no Conservative agenda. Just looking at what will work and what doesn’t and go from there.

I don’t hate Obama and I don’t hate Tea Parties. I don’t hate Palin (though I admit, I don’t care much for her either. Same goes with Limaugh Beck or Hannity).

I don’t watch Fox News but I don’t spend my day watching MSNBC either. To tell the truth, I’d rather watch a Cubs game or even a Sox game, if the Cubs are not on.

I think that the health Care bill, while certainly not the best thing, is a lot better than nothing and should be given a chance. I think those who propose resistance against our elected government are being being dangerous and just on the side of being treasonous.

We should argue resonably and with passion, but not with hate and bitterness. Someone is going to gat hurt out there and I hate to see it happen on either side. We need a solution, not a Civil War.

I’d rather pray for our country rather than fight it. Now that I made my point, I’ll get back to the ball game.