Happy New Year!

I just took a long shower and changed my bed sheets for the New Year, a tradition I began as a child to remind me of “turning over a new sheet” for the New Year.

Best Wishes for a Safe and Healthy New Year to All.

David Garnet

Universal Health Care Highest Priority

I am “un-insurable” because I have a serious pre-existing condition. So I have to keep a weak job just to get insurance. What kind of free country is that!? Millions of innovative Americans are imprisoned by dead end jobs just to get health care. What about a better America which allows more of us to be self-employed, adjusting to the market needs? Now that’s real “free-market” thinking! For that to happen we must first have universal health care. There is no other way for the US to move forward in the world.

Next I voted for a Green Economy. To fix the market crisis long term, we need to change to adapt to a greener world. Other countries are already ahead of us on this. But we can catch up easily if we want to.

Movon.Org sent me an email urging me to vote for the issues most pressing for the Obama Administration. Please go vote and make your voice heard!

NIght of the Jaguar- Enticing Read

I just finished listening to “The NIght of the Jaguar” by Michael Gruber. Books on CD is my favorite way to pass the long hours driving to and from my family home 7 hours away.

NIght of the JaguarThis novel has it all; murder mystery, philosophy, psychology, contemporary geo-political ideas, clash of ancient and modern culture, you name it.

The top few characters develop nicely, learning from and integrating their experiences to grow from them.

The gist surrounds mysterious murders by a giant jaguar, which we know from the beginning is a little Columbian Indian who transforms into this god like beast, his own god, in fact. All this seems too implauseable, and we hear that from several characters, including the main character, Jimmy Paz, who retired as a cop after solving some bizarre voodoo killings years before. But over time, he begins to piece events together, all of which lead him to re-constitute some of his heritage, expressed in the character of his shamanistic Cuban mother.

In my favorite parts, the various characters discuss the scientific plausibility of spirits, their powers, their effects on the real world. It sound like Gruber did his homework, since the conversations seem well researched and make sense.

Gruber broaches tricky territory trying to convince us that spirits can take shapes not scientifically possible. But with all those philosophy of science and psychology discussions in the book, he set the leap up fairly well.

During Jimmy Paz’s defining moment, he realizes that it is simply not possible to be able to understand all workings of the universe, and that believing so hampers one’s ability so sense and respect the unknowable, the mysterious aspects of the workings of mind and matter which we may never fully grasp, no matter how much research is done. His wife, a psychiatric MD, and friend, a brilliant scientist, are not convinced. Much like the world we live in, there are the believers and the skeptics. But Jimmy brings us along with him in his transformation into a believer, at least in Jaguar spirits who take real form to kill.

All in all, a great read, or listen, in my case. This book on CD was read by Jonathan Davis, who does a fantastic job of rendering all the different characters voices and accents, from Brit to American to Florida Cuban.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Unethical

I just had a frustrating conversation with an employee of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company. I cannot believe what I was told.

Anthem has paid for only 7 out of a possible 12 yearly covered visits to a chiropractor. Yet, the insurance company will not cover further treatments for me this year, claiming that my yearly quota has maxed out.

This makes no sense, since they have only covered 7 out of 12. The reason for the discrepancy? I made several visits, paid out of my own pocket, to a chiropractor outside Anthem’s preferred provider list. So what? Since Anthem refuses to cover those expenses, I should be okay, right? Wrong!

Because I dared submit a claim, even though they didn’t pay a cent, Anthem Blue Cross counted them against my allowable benefits! Anthem penalized me for simply asking for their help and then being refused. How absurd! How blatantly unethical. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has unethical business practices.

After telling the employee how wrong this policy was, she said she would not discuss the immorality of Anthem policies. I asked her if she enjoyed working for Anthem, and she answered she loved her job and would never leave it. She stated that if I had not submitted those claims, it wouldn’t have been a problem. I can’t believe she could say that to me with a straight face (I assume). Be quiet and you’ll be okay. That is the message.

Anthem is a shameful company. I’m sure that Anthem and other American Insurance Industry companies implement this bait and switch trick on thousands of unsuspecting customers who dutifully pay their insurance bills.