Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why I didn't enroll in Obamacare...

I didn't enroll, bluntly, because I already have self pay health insurance. Mine was grandfathered in because it was real insurance.  You know, the type that actually pays for stuff? Which is unlike my old insurance, which most people who were thrown off probably had.  Mega Life and Health was an insurance that "renewed" every six months and went up in price every six months so you were not actually covered for any length of time.  You were only covered for six months. They also didn't pay for…oh, lets see…squat.

But my insurance now, is an actual insurance.  Do I love it, no.  Do I like it, yes. Is it affordable, relatively. In comparison to Obamacare…it comparable.  Did I find out all the ins and outs of what I would possibly get, no. But the website was not friendly.  And since I was in no rush, I didn't sign up.

However, that doesn't mean I don't support it and think it's a better deal for most people.  People on the higher end of the income ladder will pay more, so that people on the lower part of the income ladder will have similar health coverage to everyone else.  That people are now actually understanding what a deductible in health care is, and how much everything actually costs is a good thing.  Perhaps now, or in the near future, we can have real conversations about true health costs. Yea, I don't think that's gonna happen either...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm geeking & freaking out at the same time….


Ok, so the USA is building Iron Man…Really! It's not even classified.  It's real! Releasing the problematic issues of encasing multiple men in metal to go out into the world to "fight", I'm about as geeked out as I can possibly be. OMG! Can they paint it red and make sure that every single one of them has a slight dick-like personality as well?

While the Army's Iron Man suit—officially called Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS)—will not have flying capability, little missiles, or repulsors, the feature list is still extremely impressive. 
RDECOM wants TALOS to have ballistic and shock protection—using an armor that will get from flexible soft surface to hard metal solid, capable of repelling ammo when applying an electric current. Oh, and fire-retardant capability. The Army also wants the suit to "store and release energy to prevent injuries and increase performance." 
And as if that wasn't impressive enough, the suit will have integrated communications, body and external sensors, and a head-up display that will give battle information graphics in real time along with night vision. It will be more Google Glass than Jarvis in this generation, but you get the idea. 
Another feature for the suit is an optional attachable exoskeleton that will provide with hydraulic mechanisms to improve both strength and speed. Like the others, this technology exists already.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Entitlement vs. Dreams

So a young African American teenager has made it into eight ivy league schools! Yay for him. But as usual, people online have a problem. However, as a university professor myself, here is one exchange that sticks out to me:



I don't care what color a person is. This boy obviously has what it takes. What the schools are 
looking for are more than just scores. They are looking for someone who is driven, and this kid 
obviously. So those of you who would like to play the race card, you need to take a hard look into yourself and figure out how you can be more accepting of others' accomplishments, no matter what color they are.


    • Avatar


      Lol you are completely missing the point here. You need to realize that there 
      are people who have higher scores on every single category but still rejected 
      from ivy league schools. Maybe you just don't know how it feels to be rejected 
      from your dream school that you probably worked as hard (or harder) as that 
      african kid.
    Here's the problem for me in jonbaek1's response. People seem to think that just because they worked hard for something, and dreamed about it, and put their all into it, that they are somehow entitled to get this thing they have worked hard for.  Musicians know all about hard work, study and practice and getting….mmmm….nothing. You can work hard for YEARS, DECADES even, and still be making less than a secretary. You can be at Lincoln Center one day, and playing on the street the next.  Working hard and dreaming doesn't entitle one to get anything.

    I deal with this type of thinking all the time as a university professor. An "A" doesn't just magically happen, and I'm not changing your grade because you put your all into it. If you did not reach the standards set for an "A" grade, I don't care how hard you worked, how talented you are, and how much effort you put in.

    The entitlement culture is not just a poor people's issue, it is a society-wide issue. No one is more entitled than anyone else to anything. That's not the way the universe works. This "african kid" did the work and got rewarded. Some people feel cheated by this. They feel their place has been usurped simply because this "african kid" got A PLACE.  Are his dreams less important than other's dreams? What makes others more entitled to get their dreams than this "african kid"?  

    H-U-M-A-N. Who decides who is human…
     

      Friday, March 14, 2014

      Love Glow: New Music! For my House Heads...

      Just released a new deep house song with a label and producer out of South Africa, Luka. We've gotten some nice reviews…Deep House baby! #ILikeMusic

      "...the original is just my kinda perfect. Alison has a beautiful voice." - pheel, Brazil

       "This is an exceptional piece with lovely vocals by Alison Crockett.Turn down the lights,close your eyes and dance the night away!" - Sammy Rock, Cyberjamz Internet Radio

      "Love Alison Crockett's voice!!" - Richie Jones, Sound 3 Recordings

      "Love this and will support heavily!!!" - Jamal Ahmad, Jazz 91.9fm WCLK & SoulandJazz.com
         
      "Really liked the last stuff from Luka and I'm always excited to see Alison on a track!" - T-Bird,Wtnr Radio.com Spain


      "So nice to hear Alison Crockett back on the mic. Effortless, classy melodies that warm the soul as the groove shakes on. I'll slip this into the mix, early doors." - Amar Patel, Straight No Chaser


      "Good tune,i will play on my radio shows for sure...love Alison!" - Barry King, www.wrnradio.us

         

      Sunday, March 9, 2014

      My journey into Obamacare...



      I haven't done it yet…but I'm on my way. At least to look at it. My health insurance, though not great, is ok.  Better than the last fraudulent insurance that I picked up when I moved in the the DC area. I have United Healthcare….Well, an off shoot of that company called Golden Rule.  It's a PPO which means I can go anywhere without having to get a doctor referral first. It has a $5000 deductible, so essentially that means I pay for 90% of all the healthcare I am my kids use because we're pretty healthy.

      I avoided going to the  healthcare.gov site because, well, frankly…I didn't have time to deal with the mess that was the website. But now it seems that the website is better and I'm starting the process of seeing if Obamacare stacks up to my insurance that I pay myself.

      I put this video up because I'm sick of people thinking that we have the best healthcare in the world.  My mom spends 2-4 weeks out of every year delivering free health care to poor people in Mississippi. They don't have any money to go to the doctor and many don't have money for expensive prescriptions. Obamacare's medicaid expansion would cover a lot of people, but I believe most southern governors have opted out of that. Heavy sigh…

      One of the most baffling parts of this video you see the Fox news business journalist stating that the poor just need to…stop being poor.  Yes…that's what we need to do. Just stop being poor.  I wish I had thought of that! Then we all afford to get expensive, over-medicated, over-technology based health care.  We could all afford then to get healthy food, and live in great neighborhoods, and have robot vacuum cleaners. People just need to stop being poor.

      Uh huh… the story continues….

      Wednesday, October 16, 2013

      Rich people - You ain't better than me!

      So yesterday I was reading about Food Stamp recipients causing almost riot-like conditions due to their EBT cards showing no limits. They "ransacked" the store for a few hours, getting as much food as they could from Walmarts in the Louisiana area; sometimes as much as 7 or 8 carts.  When the computer glitch was fixed and the cards were restored to normal, people just left their carts, filled with food in a heap on the store floors. The store was a complete mess!  Those greedy poor people, making it hard for those Walmart employees! That's what government assistance does to people, it makes them dependent and entitled.  They are going to have to pay for that.  See?! We should cut entitlements to "those people."

      We find out later that when the EBT card glitch is found out by Walmart, they let people continue to buy food in an unlimited way. Other stores in the area did not accept the cards once the glitch was found.

      Now before we judge anyone -- how many of us employed, middle/uppermiddle class people would pass by an ATM spewing money without picking up some frantically and stuffing it in our pockets -- profusely? Better yet, how many of you would frantically pick up as much money as you could and then -- walk into the bank and return it?  I would bet not many... and you're supposed to have jobs and money and take care of yourself! You would most likely look at it as a windfall and a blessing from God that this money just blew into your hands.  You work hard and deserve this lucky find as you ask for nothing in life and the bank is insured by the FDIC so they are not loosing money.

      I, too, heaved a sigh when I first saw this story.  Why do they have to do this because everyone against welfare and food stamps is going to have a problem and moan about the evils of the welfare state.  But the problem really is: why do we think that people who are living on the edge financially should behave more virtuously than anyone else.  The above comparison is just as likely and no one would be calling those people greedy thieves.

      We are demonizing the poor in this era, just as they did in Victorian England, rationalizing that if they just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, if they just worked harder, if they were just better people, they wouldn't be where they are now. Of course there are people who bilk the system -- rich people know all about that. Why is there a different standard of ethics for people who have a certain measure of desperation built into their daily lives in a way that people who make over $75,000 per year have no idea about. And I said that right, $75k. The median income for a family is around $50,000.  If you're making more than that, you eat regularly and have a lot more choices that you can make than if you made $45,000 with 2-3 kids. It's stressful, but don't get it twisted, ramen noodles ain't a staple in your house.

      Now I ask you: what would you do if you had been just granted a windfall, no matter how short or illegal, of a staple of life, how would you handle it?



      Tuesday, September 17, 2013

      I'm not racist, but...

      Whenever I hear these words I get ready for the elephant sized shoe to drop. Not because I think that person is horrible but because of the "but".  There is nothing that can come after, "I'm not racist..but" that isn't racist, at least in some way.


      The FLOTUS advocates drinking one extra glass of water per day. The first thing you hear is, "I'm not racist but..."
      "She doesn't need to tell me what to do! Why is the first lady in our business?!"
      "I already drink water but her words make me just want to drink a soda instead..."


      A new Miss America of east Indian descent was crowned.  You hear,"I'm not racist, but..."
      "Shouldn't Miss Kansas whose a marine, has tattoos and hunts have won instead?"
      "This isn't Miss India, this is Miss America!"
      "Miss Kansas would have represented OUR values..."
      "A terrorist for Miss America?! That muslim isn't even American!"

      See, the long heavy sigh inducing I'm not racist...but phrase is suspect because the person is coming from a place of discomfort about something that is obviously racially motivated, and they want to hide from or justify that fact to themselves.  Now that American institutions are starting to look like a part of urban and suburban America, a certain subset of the population who did not think of themselves as outwardly racist are showing their own personal feelings of discomfort at the new status quo. I've felt this discomfort as a black woman dealing with new cultures in America and overseas.  But, see...that's MY problem, not theirs. Other races aren't usurping my job or space in society; they are just living like I am and competing for the same things I want. I just have to adapt, which is what I did and am doing.

      A powerful black woman can advocate healthy living and a woman of Indian ancestry can symbolize beauty, poise and elocution. We should be rejoicing that the country is now starting to look like what the founding fathers overarching original intent was for this American experiment. A place all could come regardless of class, economic background, religion or culture.  A place where if you worked hard, you could become a Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet or, better yet...Oprah.

      I encourage those who use the words, "I'm not racist but..." to look into their hearts and see why they need to put those qualifying words in front of their statements. It's not racist to admit your discomfort with race. That's called being a normal human being. It is racist to ignore those feelings and blame the person you are speaking about for some imaginary problem that you made up to cover your discomfort. An Indian-American woman winning Miss America over a blond marine is uncomfortable for some, but that has nothing to do with the participants or the contest. A Black First Lady talking about health issues is something that all first ladies do; Laura Bush touted literacy and and Nancy Reagan said, say no to drugs.  It's time to own up to and move through our own personal discomforts so that we can move past these non-issues and just get onto arguing about stuff like normal people....