Fear: Why health care reform will never be good.

Fear is a great motivator, and is useful for short term situations. It prompts us to jump out of the way of the oncoming car, and it prompts us to cross the dimly lit street when there is a gang of young kids wearing hoodies and carrying baseball bats in your path. But fear is not a place to make long term rational decisions from.

What has this to do with health care? Almost everyone I have talked with has approached the health care discussion from fear. We have all heard the sad stories about people with no or little health care and the economic hardship it caused them, and most people, subconsciously are thinking “God, that could be me… I want to figure out how to make someone else pay for it.” I know you, my reader, will probably deny this because you don’t want it to be true, but it is. You are thinking from fear.

The basic premise for the fear is also true; you could face real economic hardship because of the cost of health care. However, the real problem is that it is so expensive, far more so than it should be. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use our collective brain power to figure out how to make health care affordable instead of how to mandate that someone else pick up the tab?

At my last colonoscopy in a local hospital, I was charged $13,000 for the procedure including $2800 to lie on a gurney in the hall for 2 hours as recovery room time. During that time, no medical staff checked on me, I just waited there until a nurse removed my IV 2 hours later. How can this be justified? I don’t think it can. Compare that to my first which was done in a doctors office for a total charge of $700 ($1024 adjusted for inflation) 20 years ago. Something is wrong, and it is not who is paying the bill, it is the bill itself.

Then there is the issue of supporting an entire industry which provides no health care, but adds greatly to its cost. I am talking about insurance of course. When I visit my family doctor, he has a team of people dedicated to billing insurance companies. Who pays for that? We all do. On the other end of that connection, there are thousands of people employed by health insurance companies who decide whether or not to pay my claim. Who pays their salaries? We all do. Who pays the 15% profit margin1 which is the average for the health insurance business? We all do, and no one ever got well by taking a big dose of Blue Cross.

1) http://biz.yahoo.com/p/522qpmd.html

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Myth of pH 10 Colloidal Silver

Some people are under the misconception that colloidal silver generators can produce alkaline water of pH 10. This is absolutely false. It is however possible to produce colloidal silver which reads pH 10 on an electronic pH meter. This is because standard electronic pH meters have silver based probes which do not read correctly in solutions containing silver, gold, and most transition metals.

From the pH Meter Guide at http://www.professionalequipment.com/guide-to-pH-meters/articles/

Since standard electrodes contain silver in the reference solution within the electrode, there are numerous applications where this kind of electrode can’t be used. The subsequent solutions cannot be measured with general purpose electrodes.

Heavy metals including silver, iron and lead
Organics such as acetone
Low ion solutions such as distilled water
High sodium concentrations such as solutions containing large amounts of salts

The standard electrode supplied with most electronic pH meters is the silver based electrode.

The true pH of the colloidal silver solution can be determined by using the correct pH meter electrodes, called Calomel electrodes. Calomel electrodes are based on mercury instead of silver, so silver in the solution does not interfere and produce a false reading. It can also be verified with Hydrion pH test paper, which is also not affected by metal ions in the water.

A knowledge of general chemistry and the periodic chart of the elements should also make it clear that silver solutions cannot be pH 10 unless there is sufficient sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, or other elements present from columns one or two of the periodic chart (except hydrogen). Elements from column 1 are called alkali metals because they react with water to form hydroxides. Elements from column 2 are called alkaline earth metals and also form hydroxides in water. Of these elements, only sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are friendly to the human body. Beryllium for example is very toxic.

Normal water has a pH close to 7 because a portion of the water ionizes creating 10-7 moles of H+ ions and 10-7 moles of OH ions per liter of water. The 7 comes from the mathematical operation of taking the logarithm of 10-7 which is -7 and multiplying that by -1 giving 7.

To make water more acid, there must be more H+ ions than OH ions. To make water more alkaline, there must be more OH ions than H+ ions. At pH 8, there is 10-8 moles of H+ ions, and 10-6 moles of OH ions per liter. The exponents always add up to 14.

Where do the extra OH ions come from? They come from the alkali or alkaline earth hydroxides. Thats why only these elements can raise the pH of the water to any extent.

Silver does not form hydroxides with water. During electrolysis, silver hydroxide is formed at the anode, but quickly decomposes into silver oxide, which is not an alkaline substance.

At pH 10, there must be 1000 times as many OH ions and 1/1000 times as many H+ ions.

Anyone claiming that their colloidal silver equipment produces ph 10 alkaline water is proving their ignorance of basic chemistry.

Starting with distilled water with a milliliter of 1 molar sodium carbonate, the pH measures slightly over 7 to 7.5. After reducing the resultant silver with invert sugar, the pH us usually less than 7 because of the formation of gluconic acid which results from the oxidation of the sugar. Never is the pH anywhere near a true value of 10.

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End Of A Five Year Project

For the last 5 years, I have run a website, www.cgcsforum.com, where I taught the science and art of making silver and gold nanoparticles for health use. Last week, I closed it down.

Originally, I started the site because another discussion site would not allow me to post, as I had challenged the owner’s ideas, which were not based on anything scientific and not even logical. So he simply would not allow me to post in his yahoo group. Since I have a physics/chemistry education, and lots of practical experience in the field, as well as programming and website administration, the colloidal gold and silver forum was born.

Over the years, many people learned how to make real colloidal products from my site, based on science, and backed up by myriad published scientific papers from several disciplines. But as time went on, I noticed the quality of my members was dropping. At first, the new members were eager to learn, and were readers and experimenters. Lately though, they refused to read the information already presented by myself and other members, and instead just wanted a cookbook and someone to hold their hand. When they didn’t get that, they were upset and demanding. It seems just like with welfare, when you give away something valuable for free, people soon think its a right.

This just took too big a toll on me, so I shut down the forum. Still, people are emailing me with technical questions which they should already know, or could find out for themselves.

I created a monster.

Eventually, it will die down. Or I will.

Shutting down my site was like losing a friend though, and I consider many of the members are my friends even though we have never met. Many are not even in this country.

Well, I have a lot more free time now, but also plenty of projects which need to be done.

Good bye old friend.

UPDATE: Because so many of my members asked me to reopen the forum, I have. I no longer spend as much time as I did before, and delegated some of the responsibilities to other members.

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Circulon Contempo 18X10 Double Burner Griddle Review

Last weekend, I purchased this unit which claimed to be non-stick and metal utensil safe. I thought it would be ideal for cooking bacon. So far I have made two batches of bacon. I cook on a Jenn-Aire gas cooktop, and cook bacon on med-low. The non-stick worked really well, but there is a problem.

After only two uses, the griddle has severely warped. If there is anything that irritates me, it is warped pans. This griddle has bowed up in the center by a full 1/8th inch. I consider this to be totally unacceptable and is a sign of poor quality metal or heat treatment during manufacture.

I would not recommend this particular item to anyone, and would question buying any Circulon products in the future.

Perhaps the store I bought it from will take it back. I hope so.

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My Favorite Baked Bean Recipe

Every so often, I get a hunger for baked beans. This is my favorite recipe.

2 Cups dried navy beans
1 Cup Ketchup
1 Quart Water
1 Med. Onion, chopped
1/4 Cup Dark Molasses
2 tsp dried Mustard
4 Slices Bacon
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp baking soda

Put beans in a quart of water plus 1 tsp baking soda and soak overnight
Drain and strain beans, rinse with plain water
Add other ingredients
Cook in a crock pot for several hours until done.


Cook until done in slow cooker

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Its not fair!

No matter what one talks about, someone is going to say it just isn’t fair. What is fair at all? Are we born with a little book explaining what we should get out of life? Of course not. What we are entitled to is simple Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Happiness itself is not a guaranteed right, only the right to pursue what makes us happy.

Lets examine some of the unfairness.

He has more stuff than I do…. that’s not fair. Bull, did you ever stop to think that maybe he worked for more stuff than you did? If you want more stuff, then work towards having more stuff. Don’t expect someone else to give it to you because you think its not fair.

He has a better job than I do…. that’s not fair. Well, did you work as hard as he did? Did you educate yourself as well as he did? Are you as smart and creative as he is? Probably not.

He makes more money than I do… that’s not fair. I work just as hard as he does. Well, your value to society is not entirely determined by how hard you work. It is also determined by how creative and knowledgeable you are. People get paid either for their physical labor, their specialized knowledge, or their creativity. Labor has been rapidly been replaced by technological advances, so labor is not worth what it once was. Creativity and knowledge rules. You are worth only what society deems your contribution to be worth, not what you think you are.

In short, get over it.

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iPhone 6 — The Next New Feature

We all know how hard it is to come up with new features, and we all want the next new feature don’t we?

Well, I was working on this computer the other day, with my iPhone sitting beside my mouse pad. Inadvertently, I grabbed the iPhone instead of the mouse and tried to drive the mouse cursor. What! My mouse isn’t working!. Oh, that’s not my mouse, that’s my iPhone.

So, I decided that the next new iPhone feature could be an optical mouse. Perhaps the backside camera could be used. The iPhone already has a blue-tooth system, as does many computers.

Now, I really don’t need a mouse in my phone, but then I don’t need or use many of the iPhone features. Maybe someone else would.

So — You heard it here first 🙂 The iPhone5 with built in iMouse. Apple are you listening?

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VW Jetta Radio Problem

My wife and I recently purchased a new 2011 Jetta TDI from Young’s VW in Easton PA. The car came with a “Premium 8″ (RCD-510) Radio which is a dual-din* touchscreen device sporting satellite, am, fm, bluetooth, and flash drive players.

When the salesman demoed the car to us, he showed us the hands-free telephone features built into the radio. By pushing the telephone button on the steering wheel, the radio would display a set of telephone menus. These menus allowed us to dial a number from the radio screen, pair our phones, look at our contacts list from our cell phones, answer a call, etc. It was a very nice system.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and these bluetooth phone menu features have all disappeared from the radio. It was simply not possible to bring up the phone menus again. The bluetooth still worked using the voice commands, but no other bluetooth functions worked. It wasn’t even possible to hang up a call, as the steering wheel button no longer had any functionality.

I called up the dealer’s service department and made an appointment to have the radio fixed. After examining the radio, the dealer informed me that my car never had those features and that I must have dreamed it up. In essence, he called me a liar, and said he could do nothing.

The owners manual for my car says it has the phone features. The owners manual supplements for my car says it has the features. I saw the features. But I feel that I am screwed on this situation. Its like buying a car with air conditioning, having it work for a couple weeks, then fail; and then having the dealer tell you the car never had air conditioning!

I know I wasn’t dreaming, and neither was my wife who was watching the whole demo. I suggested to the dealer that he talk to the salesman who sold us the car, but I was told that he no longer worked there. Apparently the dealer does not want to talk to the ex-salesman.

At this point, I have no options as to how to proceed. The dealer told me that these features cannot even be added to my car, that my radio cannot be upgraded or swapped for a higher end unit.

I think this is my first and last VW.

*) 4″ by 7” Touch screen radio

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Clarion NX501 Review – Updated

This is an update to my initial review posted Here.

Well, I have had my Clarion NX501 for a couple of months now, and thought I would update my review. The software in the unit has been updated to the latest version, so theoretically there should be no bugs, and it should work perfectly.  However, theory and practice sometimes just don’t match up.  I wish I could say that I’ve come to love the unit, but in truth, it is still not worth the price I paid for it, and I feel I should take away the 1/2 star I gave it.

The problem of updating the maps is still not resolved, and the local shop I bought it from told me that the best thing I can do is not attempt to update the maps.  Of course, that makes the unit pretty useless since the 911 address changes mandated by the federal government.

But there are other problems with the unit that I need to address.

First, is visibility.  On bright days, the sun shines on the screen, and completely washes out the display.  Looking at the screen straight on, it looks ok, but that is really hard to do while driving.  My wife has a touchscreen radio in her VW Jetta, which does not have this problem, so it is entirely possible to make a display that is visible under harsh conditions.  My solution was to reinstall my Tom Tom, which has great visibility, and can be aimed at the driver.  So the navigation unit works great at night, and when the sun does not shine directly on it through the windshield, but I cannot rely on it.

Secondly, there is a startup issue with the satellite receiver.  If the car is shutdown with the NX501 in FM receiver mode, the satellite receiver does not come up reliably when the car is restarted.  The display says “Loading…” forever.  To get the satellite radio to function again, I have to power off the radio while the satellite is trying to load, and then power it back on.  I’m sure this is a software problem with the NX501.

Third, there seems to be a problem with the touch screen.  Often, when touching the screen to perform some function, like choosing a preset, or selecting something from the screen; the NX501 beeps to acknowledge the action, but it doesn’t actually perform the action you tried to do. It just does nothing, until the action is repeated several times. Again, this is poor programming, and is totally unacceptable.

Fourth, the touchscreen layout is not conducive to operation while driving.  The buttons are too small, and the displays are too crowded.  It really requires a stylus to operate well, but who carries a stylus in their car, or can find it just to change the radio station.  Again, not good programming practice.

Fifth, the media player (USB flash drive) interface does not work correctly.   The player only works if the USB flash drive is inserted AFTER the radio is turned on.  If the flash drive is connected when the NX501 is powered up, it never finds the flash drive.  This is again a software issue, and is another reason NOT to get this unit.  If it worked properly, the USB cable with the flash drive could remain in the glove box, and be selected at any time.  As is, the user must pull out the flash drive and then reinstall it after the car is started and the Nx501 turned on.

Of course, nothing is all bad (well ok, some things are) and I find that the best part of the NX501 is the bluetooth.  This unit connects flawlessly to a smart phone, and the hands free is perfect.  It also plays music very well through the BT.  I have tested it with an iPod Touch, and an iPhone 4.

So that is my analysis after using the NX501 for a while.  I am really sorry I bought this unit, and hope that my findings help others in making their choice.  Doing it over, I would opt for a Kenwood or a Sony.

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Death of America — Why we are becoming a third world country

I was fortunate to have grown up during the 50’s and 60’s. It was a time when American’s could do anything, opportunities were plentiful, people enjoyed a high degree of freedom, and the country still had a moral compass. However, the seeds of our destruction had already been sown.

The first nail in our coffin was the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) in 1913 with the cooperation of Woodrow Wilson. The Federal Reserve Bank is neither federal, nor a reserve. It is a privately held bank1, owned by a handful of families2. With the Fed’s birth, congress abnegated their constitutional duties to “coin money and regulate the value thereof”3. Decisions made by the FRB are not required to be ratified by any branch of the US Government. Essentially, the FRB has free reign over our money supply, a responsibility constitutionally assigned to the House of Representatives. The only involvement by the US Government in the FRB is in choosing its chairman of the board. However, the chairman of the board hold no legal responsibility to the government, and therefore to this country.

Once that happened, America began paying interest to the FRB for money it borrowed. This interest now amounts to an astounding figure. Think of 5% of trillions of dollars every year. Every year, we are paying 5% of this countries wealth to a few private individuals. Remember the golden rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules”.

A word about currency is in order for those readers who have never thought about it. A Federal Reserve Note is not wealth, it is an IOU. It even says that it is a ‘note’, which is a document that acknowledges debt, not a payment. The IOU is against the citizens of the US which means YOU. When we purchase goods with US dollars, we have not paid the debt, we have merely issued an IOU, or a promise that the holder will be able to collect or exchange that IOU for something of real value on demand. Originally, paper money was a receipt issued by a bank for silver or gold deposited with it. Whoever held the receipt could go to the bank, present the receipt and obtain the amount of silver which was represented by the receipt. (Yes, the British Pound was a Troy pound of silver at one time!). There is a world of difference between having a pound of silver, and an IOU.

For years, we have been buying cheap goods from China, Japan, Mexico, etc with IOU’s against the citizenry. This would not be so bad if we actually created anything useful those countries could trade our IOU’s for, but we do not. The IOU’s are accumulating, and we have nothing real to pay the debt with. At some point (actually now), the foreign countries like China are wising up to the fact that our IOU’s are no good, and that will eventually (soon, very soon) mean that they will stop supplying the essentials of life and leisure which Americans can no longer produce within our borders by our own people.

There are several economic fallacies which the American people have fallen for over the years. Some are obvious, and some require some thought.

#1: Money is wealth. No, paper money itself is not wealth but can be traded for wealth. People can have little money but a lot of wealth, a lot of money but little wealth, etc. Wealth is goods and services. Money is an IOU.

#2: Businesses pay taxes, so let them pay more. No, every penny of tax a business pays comes from its customers. That’s you. So when the populace wants to tax businesses more, they are really volunteering to pay more taxes themselves.

#3: Public servants pay taxes. No, like businesses, every cent a government worker, school teacher, or other public servant pays came from a taxpayer in the private sector. The worker employed in the private sector pays all of the taxes in America.

#4: Government or unions can mandate a persons worth to society by decree or by threat of violence. No, a person’s worth is determined by what he does for society, and what society deems his services to be worth. This is why minimum wages ultimately fail. It is why we buy so many things from foreign countries instead of making them ourselves. It is also why unionism ultimately weakens the economy and the country.

#5: Money in a savings account, certificate of deposit, or other interest bearing investment makes a person richer. No again. Banks always pay less than the inflation rate which means that even though you are gaining money, you will lose wealth. Banks would lose money if they didn’t charge more in interest than the real inflation rate. As long as the government insists on creating inflation, you will lose.

#6: People are entitled to health care, housing, food, etc. No indeed, for one person to be entitled to the services of another, another person must be forced to provide those services. This leads to either slavery or the inability to provide the entitlements. People are entitled only to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No one is automatically entitled to health, wealth and happiness. These things must be worked for. Our founding fathers knew this to be true, and it is still true today. People cannot be free and be ‘entitled’ to anything that requires the wealth and services of others. Entitlements only lead to loss of freedom, and ultimately a loss of wealth.

#7: Poor people pay no taxes. No, anyone who buys anything is paying taxes that are hidden in the price of the item. This includes property taxes, excise taxes, fuel taxes, phone taxes, etc. A significant portion of every purchase is tax above and beyond any sales taxes levied on the item, and since even poor people buy things, they are still paying taxes; just not income tax

#8: Rich people do not pay taxes. Of course they do. The top 5% of wage earners pay 57% of the personal income tax collected in America. The bottom 50% of wage earners pay less than 3%. This does not even include all the hidden taxes on goods and services that they buy. This is according to data from the IRS.

These seeds were planted right out in the open, and few people noticed, or cared. They have been carefully nurtured though, and now the American public is reaping their harvest.

The lack of knowledge about economics, and the belief fostered by government that people are entitled to things they did not work for are literally destroying the fabric of this country. I doubt it is possible to repair, and the end result will be total collapse, both economically and politically for the United States of America.

1) The Federal Reserve Bank is a corporation, with all of its stock held by member banks. The US Government holds no stock in the FRB.
2) See Who Owns The Fed for a detailed analysis.
3) Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 5 of the US Constitution.

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