All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

A Political Health Care Rant

The last time I did a rant of some kind, I touched upon a lot of issues that really weren’t related to each other. This time, though it might not seem like it, it’s all mainly about one thing, health care, though I might go off the range a couple of times. It’s time for this, though; I’ve written about it often enough in posts on my other two blogs, but not this one. I just need to clear the air, so here goes; and no, the image has nothing to do with this post, as we all know by now.

Nutrition in the 1,000 Days
Bread for the World via Compfight

On Saturday night, the House Democrats finally pushed through the first stage of what will be a very massive and comprehensive health care bill. Well, at least they pushed through a bill, on a vote of 220 – 215. How comprehensive it will be is still in dispute by everyone outside of the House of Representatives.

Why? Because we have no idea what’s really in the bill. What is it going to cover? We already know it’s not covering abortions, but we have no idea what it’s going to cover. We’ve heard that it’s going to be funded by fees and cuts to Medicare. What kind of cuts to Medicare, and why? What kind of fees? I know that if it still has that stupid provision I heard about back in late September about charging individuals $900 and families $3,800 if they decide not to get onto a health care plan, I don’t support that at all. After all, the President said that any health care bill he signed wouldn’t hurt the middle class; just who do we all think those fines, or fees, will be laid upon? The rich have enough money to not have to worry about it, and the poor have Medicaid.

What I have heard is that they won’t allow insurance companies to not cover someone for preexisting conditions, which is a biggie because I got caught under something like that back in 1984 (and still have my tonsils because of it). They also won’t allow insurance companies to drop you if you’re already sick under the plan, unless insurance premiums stop being paid. That’s actually another good thing. I tell you, in general I don’t trust insurance companies and it’s because of stuff like this. However, in my mind, they should have passed these laws years ago, instead of tying it to a health care plan.

Okay, let me go on the record by saying this; I do believe this country needs to have a health care plan to protect everyone who doesn’t have insurance. Having said that, without knowing what this plan is, I don’t know if this is the plan we signed on for. The President said in his 8 principles that any plan Congress came up with has to NOT increase the deficit. Suddenly, this plan is coming with a $1.2 trillion price tag over 10 years; how the heck is that not going to raise the deficit?

Now, raising the deficit is something the Republicans seem to be hanging their hat on, but those phonies and hypocrites were responsible for getting this country into the mess it’s in now, with unemployment finally reaching 10.2% and more than 15 million Americans out of work. They say that they’re worried about the financial burden on our kids; yeah, they’re worried about the money but they could care less about the environment, which they say doesn’t matter to them and that they don’t believe there’s anything wrong with, as Greenland is about to lose its ice mass and glaciers, Alaska has already lost much of its glaciers, ice is melting at both the North Pole and Antarctica at alarming rates, and the snows of Kilamanjaro are disappearing rapidly. Sure, there’s no threat of global warming; please!

And, why is it that these same Republicans, the party of NO, the party that just today supposedly came up with its own version of a health care plan that not only isn’t a health care plan, but is something that half the states in the union have already had in place for nearly 30 years, couldn’t decide to work with the Democrats and actually voice their concerns about portions of the bill while the debate was going on? Why didn’t they offer anything? Oh yeah, because their lobbyists would have had a field day and their political funds would have dried up (I just dropped receiving email from the lobbying from my local Chamber of Commerce because these people obviously have no compassion for anyone except businesses). Someone tell me how rich people are supposed to care about anyone else being able to have health care? Heck, months ago a Republican representative said health care was a privilege, not a right; who elected this moron?

Also, just who were these idiots (yes, I’m name calling) who were showing up at these town meetings over the summer and screaming about the potential for a health care plan instead of engaging in some kind of civil discussion. Here’s the thing; no one took you seriously except for the Republican politicians who were hoping that some kind of public outcry would scare people off this plan. Most of you who were being convinced that a health care option would be a bad thing are the very people who probably need this health care. Rich people don’t march, so they didn’t care. You made jerks out of yourselves and no one heard a single thing you said. I tell you this, it’s certainly a good thing I’m not a politician because I’d have walked right up to you, got in your face, and dared you to keep screaming at me. Threatening? You bet! People tend not to act stupidly when they’re called on it.

One final point; this idea of a public option. Folks, let’s just call it what it is; a government sponsored health care plan to compete against other insurance companies. I’m not sure whether I’m for it or against it, but I don’t think it’s needed. Instead. what would spur competition of prices would be to lift the lid on insurance companies across the country to be able to market their insurance in any market they saw fit. Too many communities have only 2 or 3 insurance company options at the most from which to choose from, and all of them have somewhat inflated rates. For all these people griping about how much the government health care plan is going to cost, who hasn’t at least a couple of times this decade had double digit insurance premium increases at work, where the average seems to be at least 8% every year, and the cost of pharmaceuticals going even higher? With more competition, prices would naturally have to come down, and that might solve some of the problems instead of the government funding their own insurance plan, which they already do through Medicare and Medicaid.

Now, if people were complaining that, instead of a health care plan, we should have been concentrating on improving the economy, I’d have gotten behind that. Sure, we had this stimulus package, but most of that was undercover, to the point that some people are just getting their stimulus money, and others have used it in ways that weren’t its purpose. This wasn’t supposed to save jobs; it was supposed to help create new jobs. But, in my opinion, most of these politicians had no idea how to create jobs. I had my ideas on how to create jobs, but no one ever asked me. What happened to our money czar? Oh yeah, she couldn’t take the job because she had illegal help that she didn’t pay any taxes on; sheesh (okay, we actually do have a new money czar, but I was on a roll here)!

By the way, I had my own version of a health care plan that a colleague consultant didn’t like, saying it wouldn’t be effective, and he came up with his own health care plan, which would have been effective. However, in retrospect, my plan over 10 years would have come to $500 billion at the most, while his would have come to $2 trillion; I still win fiscally.

Morally, this country needs a health care plan. Only the United States and Italy don’t have one for its citizens. Financially, I’m not sure we can afford this one, especially if the figures I mentioned earlier are still a part of the plan. And also, if it’s taking money away from Medicare, which is going to end up closing hospitals at the same rate, eventually, that banks are closing now, a health care plan won’t matter because we won’t have anywhere to go. That plus there’s already a shortage of doctors and nurses in this country because reimbursement is too low and malpractice insurance is too high.

I keep wondering if I were in Congress how I would have voted on this bill. This is something that most people don’t think about; these bills that get put before our elected officials almost never have everything we want in them, and sometimes have stuff sneaked in that has nothing to do with the bill. That’s how the anti-gambling statute got pushed in, through another bill that protects our borders, and why every American who’s paying to play poker online is actually breaking the law. With the little bit I know, this bill wouldn’t be close to my first choice. I might have had to hold my nose, but I think I’d have probably voted for it in the end.

Nope, glad I’m not a politician. Certainly glad I’m not a Republican (I’m not a Democrat either, by the way), since it seems that, so far, in this year they haven’t come up with a single proposal to try to advance something. Think that’s the wrong way to look at it? Prove me wrong. At least they did come together last week with the Democrats to vote for an extension of unemployment; can you imagine how bad that would have looked?

Okay, off the soapbox now. I’m not expecting this one to be read that much, so back to the lighthearted fare most of us are used to tomorrow; whew!


eVitamins

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2015 Mitch Mitchell

No-Self Pings

As y’all know, I’m pretty good with my internal linking. One of the problems with internal linking, though, is that I’m always pinging myself, so to speak, and getting all these messages that turn out to be from me on those older posts.


Not only is it somewhat irritating, but lately a bunch of those things show up in the spam filter, which is freaky. That didn’t used to happen, but a couple of months ago I was testing another WordPress plugin on my business blog. I don’t even remember what it was, or what I hoped it would do. What it did overall, though, was start sending my self pings into spam on all my blogs; ugh. I think that’s one of the problems with having everything on the same hosting service.

Anyway, I was going through Kristi’s last Fetching Friday post, and one of them was a link to a guy talking about WordPress plugins you might not know about. I went to the link, and in that guy’s post he had a separate link to another blog. Followed that one, and came across a plugin called No-Self Ping.

Now, if this thing works, it’s perfect, and just what I wanted. I had to write this post so I would have something to link back to so I could test it. This means I don’t yet know if it works, but as soon as I post this, with the couple of internal links I have above, we’ll know for sure. Here’s hoping for great things.

Leaves Fall Leaves Iron On Heat Transfers

Price – $11.99






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

Do Images Increase Readership?

There’s been some conversation I’ve been reading lately about the effectiveness of adding images into one’s blog posts. Many people think it’s absolutely essential to add an image of some kind to break up all the white space of a post. Others think that if the images don’t match the content then what’s the point.

I have to admit that I’ve always belonged to the latter. I’ve rarely added images to my posts unless I happened to be talking about something in particular. Mainly, it’s because it’s just one more time consuming thing to try to do when I could be doing something else, like internal linking or eating dessert.

I decided to try something new. For my next seven posts, I’m going to be posting an image. The image probably won’t have anything to do with anything I’m writing about, because, well, most of the time what I’m writing about doesn’t have an appropriate image. Of course, me being me, I’m doing something a little bit different than many of the other people.

Y’all should know by now that one of my affiliate programs is Imagekind. That image to the left underneath my two books is from their site. People put up pictures on that site to sell them as prints, framed or not. They have all sorts of different prices. It’s actually a pretty neat little deal. I’m not a photographer, but I know what I think looks pretty cool. So, every image, or at least every image unless I say differently, for the next 7 posts, which includes this one, is going to be from their site. If you click on the image, it’ll take you to their site, where you can purchase this image, or search around and find something you like. I’m going to be posting some images I thought were particularly cool.

I’m only doing this initially for 7 days. I want to see if images really do bring more traffic, drive traffic away, or has no effect whatsoever. Also, I’m hoping that someone at least clicks on a few pictures, and who knows, might even buy one. Not only me, but the people who created the pictures will probably be extremely elated.

Of course, I’m also going to have to tweak the sizes of these images from time to time, because I need to make sure they don’t overwhelm the page. This one fits right into the middle of the content. I’ll have to figure out if it should be at the very top of the content, where I see a lot of images, or maybe shrink it some and make it a part of the content in some way, like I usually do. What do you think about this one, if you’re inclined to share?

Anyway, enjoy the images; it might be a recurring thing later down the road, or it’s a 7 post experiment. Let’s see how it all goes.

Cooking Lessons In Your Own Home – Nationwide

Price – $280.00






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

How The Eating Plan Has Fared

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Starting A New Eating Plan. I knew it was time to do it because I had lost control over my diabetes numbers. The problem with diabetes isn’t one bad day; it’s many bad days in a row, because that’s when bad things start happening to your body.

Something I didn’t talk about in that previous post was where my numbers had been, compared to what I needed to shoot for. Here’s some figures for you. The American Diabetes Association says one’s glucose level should be between 80 – 120 mg/dl, or milligrams in a deciliter, which is 1/10th of a liter. Too much information? Well, let’s just stick with the numbers then. Anyway, the high figure used to be 140, and I like to try to shoot for between 110 and 140 because I just feel better in that range. When I start getting too close to 100, or lower than that, I start shaking or getting light headed; that’s never fun.

Anyway, the day I started on this new plan, which was two days after my diabetes clinic, the Joslin Center, had told me to increase the amount of insulin I needed to inject twice a day from 30 units to 40 units of 100 milliliters. That’s a bunch, because when I was first injecting, I was only at 15 units. My glucose figure had a 2-week average of 225. Just a few nights earlier, I had recorded a reading of 365; that kind of thing is scary, and it was after I’d eaten pasta earlier in the evening.

The eating and exercise plan started Monday the 26th. By the 29th, my afternoon reading was 110; 30th, my morning glucose reading was 130. I even lost two pounds. I felt pretty good going into the weekend, as my wife and I decided I get Friday nights and all day Saturdays off. After all, it’s hard to stick to a tight eating plan without a break here and there. I ate whatever I wanted last weekend, but I didn’t overeat, and I didn’t do much damage to myself, which was nice.

That Sunday, I went back on the plan, but I changed up some. Instead of straight chicken and mixed vegetables I added hamburger and salmon and spinach into the mix. I also added some ham slices for a sandwich instead of a full meal, and also allowed myself a quick snack, if I needed it, of a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter on it, and a much thinner layer than I would have had before the eating plan.

Last week my glucose numbers continued to fall, to the point where I had to cut back on my medication. One morning my reading was 110; phenomenal for me. Two days, though, my readings were under 100, once at 87, the other time at 97. Remember those shakes I mentioned earlier? I knew on those days that I needed to cut back on my medication, but I also had to eat sooner than 3 hours, and mix in some of the snacking I’d talked about. I didn’t lose any weight during the week, but as I said in my initial post, the goal really was about reducing my glucose levels. My average for the last two weeks had come down to 151, and I’m happy with that since my readings were a little higher over the weekend. But during the week, I only had one number over 140; wow!

So, this does prove that, when all the chips are down, one can modify their diet and bring down glucose levels. It also says that people can probably find some of their own maladies and, by changing their diets somewhat, modify some of their issues. Kind of like how, by changing my mother’s diet a few weeks ago, we were able to reduce her high blood pressure to almost normal.

Of course, I’m still not off the hook here. All I’ve done is given the medication a chance to work with me. But being able to reduce how much of the medication I’ve had to take, it means that my program is working, and probably if I decided to give up my fun nights, I could probably reduce it further. But I’ll never eliminate the medication completely, and if I gave up my one night, I’d probably have problems sticking to the plan as well. For now, I’m a happy guy.

By the way, notice I call it an eating plan rather than a diet? I think the terminology is important as well. People have problems sticking to diets, but having an eating plan, which includes some “free” days, makes it quite tolerable indeed. It may only be semantics to some, but I see dieting as something much different than what I’m trying to do. I may be crazy, but I’m getting the results I want, so it’s working for me.


Low Price Guarantee

Linking To Your Tags

Earlier today I was checking out one of the many blogs that I follow called Online Social Networking. I’m not sure where I originally met Larry online, but we started our blogs around the same time.

I was reading this one particular post, which was pretty good, but that’s not what caught my eye. For the first time, I noticed that Larry has a lot of links in each post. I’d never really paid much attention to it, though I’d clicked on a link from time to time, but tonight it really drew my attention. I decided to hover over some of them, and what I discovered has lit something in my mind.

Before I tell you what, let me mention these couple of things. Larry’s blog has a PR of 4; as I always say, I don’t overly care about page rank, but it’s a number so we’ll use it for the moment. He has an Alexa rank of 52,170. He has 703 RSS subscribers. He doesn’t write as often as I do, his posts aren’t as long as some of my posts are, and he has very little in the way of marketing items.

What he does have, though are those links. And what I noticed today was that many of those links aren’t just internal links, but are links to his tags.

As I’ve said, I’m relatively new to tags. I’ve done more tagging on my finance blog than I’ve ever done here. I have categories here, but not as many tags. Still, I could recognize the importance of the internal linking even more than I have up to this point. I link to much of my content when I think about it. However, there’s nothing wrong with doing some of that internal linking to either tags or categories. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever seen, and I wish I had thought of it before now.

Of course, I don’t think that’s the only reason his blog is ranked better than mine. He sticks to his one particular topic, which is pretty much anything that has to do with social networking and social media, while I kind of dabble in, well, pretty much whatever I want to dabble in. But one of those things we all need to remember with our blogging is internal linking and SEO, and this is one brilliant step that I’m going to start doing, just as I hope to start tagging some of my missives a little bit more also.

Oh, I still won’t have PR for awhile, but I’ve been wondering if there might be ways to increase my Alexa rank, since they still like me, and this might be the next step in helping to put me over. Also, something else I’m going to start doing is paying more attention to other articles I’m reading on other blogs, and if something fits an old post of mine, I’m going to link to it. Anchor links are important to do, even if the content isn’t on your own site. And other people deserve some love also, as I got this week from Kristi’s Fetching Friday post.

Something to important and yet to simple; oy! 😀

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
by T. Harv Eker