Friends of Padre Steve’s World, Yesterday President Trump delivered a speech at the Lincoln Memorial in his “Salute to America.” For Trump the speech was as non-partisan. Although he talked about the “spirit of America” and detailed many military, scientific, and economic accomplishments, appealed to American Exceptionalism, and threw in a couple of comments about […]
During the 2016 presidential campaign, we heard “Medicare for all” as the solution to insure all Americans. We are hearing it again now in 2019. Currently, Medicare is not 100 percent coverage at no cost to the insured. If politicians in D.C. can’t make it available without costs to those with Medicare now, how are they going to make it a reality to all Americans?
I am guilty of thinking that after paying into Medicare for more over 40 years, that once I reached 65, I would have healthcare insurance for free. I was mistaken.
Medicare has four (4) parts. The parts are explained in a handbook. As I write this, next to me is “The Official U.S. Government Medicare Handbook”. The subtitle is “Medicare and You, 2019.”
Medicare Part A is “premium free” and only covers hospital admissions, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home health care. I found at this link that Medicare Part A has a $1,364 deductible for each benefit period. Benefit periods begin with admission to a hospital through the date of discharge. After 90 days of hospitalization, the insured is responsible for all hospital costs.
Medicare Part B covers doctor services. If an insured is admitted to a hospital without Medicare Part B, they are responsible for the cost of doctor services. There is a $185 deductible per year for Medicare Part B. After your deductible is met, Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of doctor services.
The current cost for Medicare Part B is $135.50 per month. That amount might be higher depending on annual income. Currently, most providers do not accept Medicare for vision and dental because what they pay for is limited. Read the rest of this entry
In 1983, I became aware of Christian Contemporary Music. One artist that I fell in love with is Bryan Duncan. Bryan considers himself a “misfit for church”. I can relate to that. Some of his music carries elements of Blues and Jazz that I really enjoy.
Bryan Duncan is a Dove Award and Grammy Award winning artist who has sold over a million records. Along with being lead singer in at least 2 bands and singing on compilations, he has also written two books and is a member of the Black Sheep Harley Davidson’s For Christ.
My heart is heavy for those on the metastatic breast cancer journey. When cooking, I like listening to music. This evening, it was Bryan Duncan’s “Joyride” CD. When I heard the song below, I thought of those on the journey, and the song became my prayer for them.
A Most Relevant and Uncomfortable Message: Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day Oration Of 1852 — Padre Steve’s World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps
In Illinois, there are two programs for disabled persons to provide them with help at home. One is DORS, and it’s for those under age 60. DORS is administered through the Illinois Department of Human Services and provides services to individuals with disabilities so they can remain in their own homes and live as independently as possible. DORS, personal assistants are selected, employed, and supervised by individual customers. That means the personal assistant (PA) gets to meet the client and see the premises before they agree to take the job and/or before the client agrees to hire them.
For those age 60 and over, there is the Community Care Program which is administered through the Illinois Department on Aging. Under the Community Care Program, home healthcare agencies (HHA) apply with the state government for approval. The agencies then hire “home makers” which for all intents and purposes perform the same work as personal assistants under the DORS program.
HHA’s train by having applicants watch 16 hours of videos. The agency I am assigned to includes in their recruitment material, “No previous experience required”. That speaks volumes, clearly indicating that clients, many of whom are in pain or feel lousy and need assistance, are expected to provide on-the-job training.
Before age 60, they seem to think that disabled persons are capable of interviewing and orientating persons who are going to be in their homes. The attitude I have experienced from HHA agencies and various personnel with the Illinois Department on Aging, is that once people live to see their 60th birthday, they are stereotyped as elderly patients whose minds have stopped functioning and who can be disregarded as long as they are patronized.
From March 19th through May 30th, I’ve had 3 or more hours each day, Monday through Friday, consumed by homemakers and/or the agency that assigned them. It turned out to be the most stressful and inconvenient thing I’ve ever experienced. Geez! Homemakers were expected to make my life easier. I should be enjoying evenings and weekends instead of being exhausted and at times, traumatized.
My experience with the Community Care Program lasted less than 3 months but seemed like a year and thus, the reason this post is longer than most posts that I write.
Mueller to testify, government secrecy, Supreme Court news, China-Canada tiff, NRATV, and ICE insight
By Robert A. Vella
He didn’t want to, but former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will comply with a subpoena to testify in public before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees next month. Whether or not Democrats will ask probing questions about his truncated prosecutorial decisions, as well as about his reluctance to investigate leads implicating President Trump in criminal behavior, will reveal how serious they really are about impeachment and their constitutional duty to check abuses of power by the executive branch. Government secrecy, a trademark of authoritarian regimes, is obviously increasing under Trump as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are being undermined by administrative actions and policies on top of Monday’s egregious ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. Addition of the contentious citizenship question to the 2020 census has run into a logistical obstacle which can now only be overcome by overt intervention by the Supreme…
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On June 7, 2019, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced to 12 1/2 years for killing Justine Damond.
In April, Noor was found guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter. He was found not guilty second-degree murder.
ABC news reports
Speaking in court before the sentence was read, Noor said that he had felt “fear” as he pulled the trigger. But when he saw Ruszczyk Damond on the ground, “I knew in an instant that I was wrong.”
“I caused this tragedy and it is my burden,” he said. “I wish though that I could relieve that burden others feel from the loss that I caused. I cannot and that is a troubling reality for me. I will think about Ms. Ruszczyk and her family forever. The only thing I can do is try to live my life in a good way going forward.”
Justine had called 911 after hearing screams in the back of the building where she lived. She waited for the police and approached the police car when it arrived. She was unarmed. Noor shot Justine through the open driver’s side window, although he was sitting in the passenger’s seat and his partner did not see any threat. Justine was in her pajamas.
Fox News reports;
“The defendant fired his gun over the body of his partner,” Lofton told the court at sentencing. “He did that in a residential neighborhood. He did that without saying a word. He did that despite Ms. Rusczyzk not saying a word. He did that despite the fact that she had nothing in her hands but a cell phone.”
Friends, followers, and visitors!
It’s been a week since I published a post. My, time does fly. It’s not that I can’t think of anything to write. In fact, there are about 10 different posts I want to write. Several are results of trials. There is an award I need to accept, (thanks, Ilene), and I can’t leave politics out of what is on my mind.
Yesterday, I managed to catch-up on 5 days of blogs that I follow, but there are over 400 Word Press notifications of blog posts in my in-box. I might not be able to catch-up on those, but try to start fresh this week. Please forgive me if you’ve not seen me on your blog recently. Read the rest of this entry
This is bittersweet. It’s bittersweet because I know others who are at stages or points in the journey and I want so badly for them to be healed. By sharing this, I hope cancer patients reading it are filled with hope.
There are no words to express the appreciation for the support I receive. This has been some journey, and along the way have been friends who are consistent in contacting me. Some have busy lives, but they always find time to check-in with me. They have helped to keep me positive.
In addition to the above, much appreciation goes out to friends and relatives who took time to understand the type of cancer and treatment. Not all breast cancer is the same; it depends on the receptors on the cells. Everything we read about cancer on the internet and in advertisements does not apply to all types of cancers.
Cancer treatment is not a one size fits all.
On March 1, 2019, I had surgery due to breast cancer. Within weeks, I received the news of the pathology reports, but didn’t want to post about it until I got a printed copy. On April 29, 2019, I saw my oncologist and received a copy. I am now cancer free but not really because there is no cure for cancer known to man. My former oncologist repeatedly told me that there is no cure. Why then, should patients put themselves through treatments that at times makes them think they are better off dead?
The more my former oncologist told me there is no cure, the more I researched in effort to learn what I can do for self-help. I asked God to rebuke that oncologist’s pessimism. It’s not that what he said isn’t true, but he added no hope in the equation.
In December after spending 4 days in the hospital because of the negligence of my oncologist to treat me for a urinary tract infection, I changed oncologist. My new oncologist discovered that the former one staged me incorrectly. My former oncologist should have ordered a cancer marker test before assuming the cancer in my right breast traveled to my left side through my lymph system. I learned in December that he made that conclusion without ordering a cancer marker test. (The cancer marker test in January 2019 returned a low score, indicating no cancer cells in my blood stream.) The new oncologist took time to go over the first PET Scan taken in September 2018, and the second PET Scan taken in November 2018. He sent me through a battery of tests, all with very encouraging results. Read the rest of this entry
Just a point made at trial. The allegation that Justine banged on the police car was refuted by forensic evidence that found none of her fingerprints or DNA on the police car.
Mohamed Noor (1985- ) in 2015 became the first Somali American police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2019 he became the first police officer in Minnesota, of any race or ethnicity, found guilty of a crime for an on-duty police shooting.
Like Ilhan Omar, Noor came to Minneapolis in the 1990s as a child when his family fled the war in Somalia.
On the night of July 15th 2017, Justine Damond (nee Ruszczyk), a 40-year-old White woman, called police to report what sounded like a rape behind her house. As Noor tells it, when he and Officer Matthew Harrity arrived in a police car in the alley behind her house, there was a loud bang and then Damond suddenly appeared at Harrity’s open window. Her right arm was raised. Harrity said “Oh Jesus!” as he tried to draw his gun.
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The incident happened on October 18, 2015. It appeared to be another case of a Black man on the side of the road being shot down by a cop who claimed that the “suspect” had a gun and he feared for his life. The family of Corey Jones waited more than 3 years for the trial of Nouman Raja, 41. The trial lasted 8 days, and the jury deliberated for 4 hours. The all White jury of 4 men and 2 women convicted Raja of manslaughter by culpable negligence while armed, and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.
The manslaughter count is punishable by up to 30 years. The attempted murder count, for the bullets that missed Corey, is punishable by 25 years to life. On April 25, 2019, Raja was sentenced to 25 years in prison for both counts, to be served concurrently.
The most interesting evidence in this case was the audio tape of Corey Jones calling for a tow truck. Raja gave a false report that he immediately identified himself as a police officer. Sun-Sentinel reports:
The main reason ex-cop Nouman Raja was found guilty Thursday — let alone even charged in the fatal shooting of stranded motorist Corey Jones — was an extraordinary audio recording.
This case, joining a series of police killings of young black men across the country, turned on the discovery of Jones’ recorded call for a tow truck that early morning of Oct. 18, 2015, on a highway off-ramp.
Played repeatedly in Raja’s eight-day trial, it allowed the jury to hear the tragic 3:15 a.m. encounter between the Palm Beach Gardens police officer and the beloved musician and family man, ending in six gunshots.
Prosecutors said Raja never identified himself as an officer and acted so aggressively that Jones must have thought he was about to be carjacked or killed. Raja said he first thought the SUV was empty, but then saw Jones inside. Raja’s supervisor testified the officer had been told to don a police vest if he approached a civilian. He didn’t. Prosecutors also questioned why Raja didn’t pull his badge from his pocket. Read the rest of this entry
Thanks for the news and the update.
At least nine people who were arrested by a Dallas police officer who was eventually accused of murdering a man in his own home have had their cases dismissed, according to a new report. The development could be damning for Amber Guyger, the now-former cop who was indicted for breaking into the home of Botham Shem Jean before shooting him to death.
All of the dismissed cases originated before Guyger killed Botham Jean, a 26-year-old native of St. Lucia who was simply home watching TV when the off-duty officer illegally entered and killed him under the implausible excuse that she thought he was burglarizing her own apartment. Citing court documents, the Dallas News reported that “Dallas County prosecutors in one case wrote that they were seeking the dismissal because the fired officer was ‘indicted for murdering an innocent man in his own home.’”
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From time to time, I receive surveys after making a customer service call. The journey into kicking breast cancer opened up another area where I receive numerous surveys from hospitals and other service providers.
I’ve now decided to toss all surveys when I receive them. The following is why.
First, I have to thank someone who once called me almost daily with questions. Her questions never ended without first giving me numerous, multiple choice answers. At times, I lost count of the number of choices and by the time she placed a period or question mark, I no longer remembered her question. Her questions were not based on my reality, experience, nor knowledge.
That experience woke me up to the surveys I receive from businesses and organizations. Most will include a three line block at the end to write comments, but they do not provide where the comment(s) apply to one or more of their questions. That gives me the impression that whatever is chosen as an answer to the questions is what goes on record, without comment.
It surprised me when I received a survey from the hospital several days after my discharge. I had been admitted for four days. I was admitted after taken to the ER by ambulance. For 2 days I called the Cancer Center twice to report having a urinary tract infection. My then oncologist did not prescribe an anti-biotic and going into the fourth day of having declining white blood cells and excruciating pain, I ended up having a seizure. Add dehydration, (because he told me to take Benadryl) low blood pressure and allergic reaction to a chemo drug that I practically begged him not to give me, and you can understand how my attitude turned to being distrustful.
Did the survey include a question as to whether I believe my hospitalization was avoidable due to the decisions of my physician? Nope. Read the rest of this entry
Dear friends and visitors,
Here’s wishing all a safe and blessed holiday.
The following was originally posted in 2016. It doesn’t seem that long since I first saw the movie Risen. It is one of my favorite movies.
Risen is about a Roman Tribune named Clavius who is tasked by Pilot to find the body of the crucified Jesus Christ that is no longer in the tomb, and before the three days predicted that he would rise from the dead.
Clavius sets out to find the followers of Yeshua for them to tell him where they have hidden the body. Instead, Clavius finds more than he anticipated — a man who he ordered killed and saw dead, alive again.
Below is a video interview of Cliff Curtis who played Yeshua in the movie. When asked about his preparations to play the role of Jesus the Christ, Curtis said that he didn’t want to talk about or preach love and peace — he wanted to be love and peace.
Following that video is a scene from the movie that I enjoy, and hope that you will too.
Here’s another previously published post. Hopefully, it will minister to someone. Also hopefully, I’ll be back to writing new posts in about a week.
This was originally posted long ago. Hopefully, it will bless someone again.
Chicago has elected its first black, female mayor, becoming the largest U.S. city to do so, and she is a University of Michigan alum.
Lori Lightfoot also made history by becoming the first openly lesbian candidate to run for the office. Chicago is now the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Lightfoot earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UM in 1984, graduating with honors, before earning a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago.
After receiving a full scholarship to the University of Chicago Law School, Lightfoot moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. With the exception of a one year clerkship on the Michigan Supreme Court in Detroit, she has lived in Chicago since 1986.
Most recently, Lightfoot served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown LLP before announcing her candidacy for mayor in May 2018.
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Where women get their mammograms matter.
An article published in the Chicago Tribune says;
“In Chicago, black women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with breast cancer when the disease is at a late stage, making it more difficult to treat. Black and Hispanic Chicago women are less likely than white women to get diagnosed with breast cancer early, when the illness is more treatable, in part because racial minorities are less likely to be diagnosed at high-performing centers of excellence in breast cancer care, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.”
This is not an old article. It was published on January 3, 2019. I do not live in Chicago but experienced how difficult it is to get a mammogram and even more difficult to get aspirations and biopsy.
Until last year whenever I called for an appointment, I was given an appointment with no questions asked. My primary physician’s office is located in a medical center. In the same center is a Prompt Care facility, a Women’s Center, labs, and diagnostic equipment. However, when I phoned last year to schedule a mammogram I was asked if I had previous issues. When I answered “yes”, I was told that I needed a diagnostic mammogram that was only given with a doctor’s order, and only at the Women’s Center located in the hospital. No problem.
I called my primary physician’s office. There, I was helped by someone other than my physician or his nurse and was instructed that if I was having issues to go to Prompt Care because my physician did not have an available opening until three days later.
I went to Prompt Care and the physician examined me and wrote up the order for a diagnostic mammogram. Then I waited to be contacted by the Women’s Center for an appointment. That didn’t happen. Read the rest of this entry