Monday, July 28, 2014

The Crime Of The Century


“Many of the city’s best and brightest investigators” — including detectives from homicide, counterterrorism, intelligence, transit, and four different precincts — have yet to crack the case of the crew who strung two bleached American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge. While the stunt does not appear to have been terror-related, it could have been, so the NYPD is taking the breach pretty seriously. Which just makes it more sad that they haven’t caught anybody yet, considering the leads they do have point to some punk kids, not Ocean’s 11–style masterminds.

Investigators are also scouring social media, pulling phone logs and running hundreds of license plates, police sources said. They are tracking down all calls made from the bridge around the time the flags were replaced early Tuesday. They obtained the online handles of at least two of the suspects and are going through computers records for their proper names, the sources said.

If law enforcement can go to such great lengths for what "could have been" a terror-related crime, what stopped them from prosecuting investment and bank executives who criminally tanked the economy back in 2007? Instead the government bailed out the banks and the banks had to pay fines, which barely dented their profits.

But young people committing what could have been a terror-related crime. They need to be caught and made an example of. We can't tolerate such lawlessness in our society.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bike Project Progress

I went to Pedals 2 People on Saturday and used their tools to remove the bottom brackets from the Specialized and the Fuji. I had the Fuji almost completely stripped of paint so now I was able to remove the rest and start painting. The Cistristripper was great in removing the paint from the Fuji. I used a wire wheel to get the stubborn bits off. Then I sanded with 400 grit paper. Last of all I washed the frame with Mineral Spirits.

I hung the Fuji frame in my makeshift paint booth, which I changed during the day since I had the garage door open. The painting seemed to go well. It's important to resist the urge to hurry so you don't get runs or drips.

The interesting part is coming up. I decided to go with orange and blue on the Fuji and I'm trying to come up with a design. I want it to look nice but since this is new to me, I don't want to do something complex and frustrating. Plus, art and design are not my strong suit so I got that going for me. Regardless, I'll gain experience and hopefully do something worthwhile on the Specialized frame.

Specialized covered in Cistristripper.

Cistristripper on the Fuji's remaining paint.

 Paint booth.

 White primer on the Fuji.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

As Seen From A Bike

A doe and her two fawns this morning.

Looking Out For Her Constituents

Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted this on her Facebook timeline yesterday. Surprisingly, the majority of the comments are calling her out on her hypocrisy.


So what's the deal here? Medicare Advantage Plans are still Medicare but they're offered by private companies. These companies must follow the Medicare reimbursement rules, but they can charge different out-of-pocket expenses and they can set different rules for obtaining services like specifying which doctor or facility you can go to. (Remember how our congresswoman was so concerned with the government telling you where to go for health care? Not so much when it's a private company doing the same thing.) Medicare beneficiaries are not required to use Medicare Advantage, but they can if they choose to. And they can choose which plan they want. The term of each plan is one year. There's a ton of information about Medicare Advantage that eligible persons need to research before they make a choice.

One part of the Affordable Care Act contained a reduction in subsidies to Medicare Advantage. Remember the $700 billion Medicare talking point? The reduction is in payments to private companies. Medicare Advantage subsidies are a huge part of their profit line. From a Kaiser News article:

At UnitedHealth Group, one insurance giant, Medicare Advantage plans account for a fourth of all profits, said Ana Gupte, an industry analyst for Leerink Partners. Another, Humana, owes two-thirds of its profit to Medicare Advantage, she said.

So you can see why the insurance companies are against lowering the subsidies. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Children Of The Sun Trail Maintenance

Last week I called the state DOT maintenance office and asked if they were going to sweep the trail. I was told that because of the budget they were focusing on road repair. Sweeping the trail has not worked its way up the priority list yet.

I also told them about the mini-sinkholes in the asphalt on both ends of the bridge crossing Farwell. That got their attention and they patched those up quickly.