WTF… June 4, 2014







1) joe1On Monday (6/2) I read about this 4-year girl, Desirae Cechine, who a very sick little child. Just 3 months ago her toughest choice in life was whether she should have an oatmeal raisin cookie instead of a chocolate chip cookie with her milk but then she started with the fevers and then a bulge around her neck showed up.

Mom said something like, “Hey, WTF…”; took her to the doc and the doc said… nothing to get overly excited about… swollen lymph node… minor infection.

So the mom and the rest of the family goes about their business… even took a small vaca as Desi took her meds and was doing a good job at being a 4-year old kid. Then in April… little Desirae is doubled up in agony…. next stop… ER.

48 hours… all sorts of damn tests… and the little kid is now saying WTF herself… in little kid speak, of course. But, still: WTF!

Mom says, eventually, a doc came out and said with tears in her eyes… “Your daughter has a huge tumor in her abdomen. I’m so sorry. It’s cancer, and it looks really aggressive.”

It was neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer that strikes about 650 kids per year in the United States. Desi’s case was theDesirae worst kind… high-risk stage 4.

Desi was now in a life and death against the odds to continue living her life as a little kid.

Now, the damn tumor is 4 inches long and growing around her aorta.

Laura Palada, the mom, said “We’re living in a nightmare… One day she’s playing at school, doing gymnastics, then boom, you’re living in a hospital unit now. It’s scary for her, watching all the kids pushing their IV poles around. I’ve noticed her maturing really fast.”

Desi was on chemo at Loma Linda University Medical Center (CA). Chemo is tough… tough on peeps like you or me… for a little kid? Its real tough. Heck… they’re little kids.

Then a doctor at Loma Linda said… Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side has a revolutionary treatment program that could do Desi some good… give her a real chance.

In fact, I hear the commercials on CBS radio all the time… it’s one of their biggies… “Where you treat your cancer can make all the difference in the world.”

Dr. Michael La Quaglia, at Sloan Kettering, is a legend in the field of neuroblastoma, performing about two tumor surgeries a week. No big deal… right? Heck… two ops a week? Piece of cake.

memorialsloanketteringGrok this… most hospitals do maybe two, or, three, or even, four, a year… at most.

Plus, Sloan Kettering uses a special antibody therapy and not the grueling bone marrow transplants that are routine protocol elsewhere. The simple ’splanation is they inject the necessary antibodies… aka 3F8… into a patient’s bloodstream, it binds to neuroblastoma cells and says to the sick person’s white blood cells… “Hey this crapola here? Yeah, right, this neuro shit? Kill it!” And it tends to do just that… kills the bad stuff.

Sloan Kettering docs say at least three-quarters of Sloan Kettering’s high-risk neuroblastoma patients get through surgery to remission, and 60% of those are long-term survivors… long-term meaning at least 10 more years of life.

Bottom line… that translates to a 50% success rate… which would be better than nothing for little Desirae. Especially, when outside Sloan Kettering, the average survival rate for kids with this neuro shit is 40% at 5 years continued life expectancy.

So? Freaking fantastic… let’s do this…

Not so fast, my little buckaroos…

The family’s HMO said… we don’t cover that treatment.

No trip to Manhattan; no Sloan Kettering; no giving the kid a chance to live… at least a stab at a better chance than she has right now… a exponentially much better stab.

So, now the family needs to come up with $250,000. Mom says, “We have to get her there. I will sell a kidney, sell everything I own and declare bankruptcy if I have to.”

Desi says “I want to go on an airplane and play with my toys and get better.”

And, I say, what the Sam Hill! I thought all this new fangled medical bullshit was supposed to stop these insurance companiesdesirae-hospital-bed from making arbitrary decisions that keep folks, like Desi, away from treatments that are needed to give them a chance to get well again. I mean this ain’t something like get shot up with grapefruit extract and stop cancer pie-in-the-sky type stuff. This is a proven treatment that blows away the other types of treatments and with less detrimental side effects. So… what’s the problem?

I’ll tell ya what it is… the money… the moolah… the dough re mi… they don’t wanna spend it. It cuts into their profits. No one will say that but that’s the real reason.

I am sorry… I truly believe we live in one of the best countries there is… for plenty of reasons. We got things that others can only dream of… we ain’t perfect and we have done some real dumbass stupid stuff as a country… like… well ya’ll know about all the dumbass stupid stuff we done.. .so there is no reason to hash it all out here… but… overall I think this country is one hell of good place to live. That is unless ya’ll need to get certain types of medical treatments. Then, if it’s not some run of the mill medical stuff, the insurance peeps say… um… sorry we don’t cover that… it’s not in your plan. Or, it’s not medically necessary. Or, maybe even both things.

Well, damn it, I betcha Desi and her mom think a visit to Sloan is a medical necessity. So, just make it be in the plan. This ain’t some bullshit scam being run… it’s a proven medical treatment that works… just do it… make it so… give Desi a chance to live.

What? It might cut into some profit margin? Ya’l l won’t hit the target for the year? Ya’ll might need to take a little less? Well, it’s all about saving lives not about just making money. Least wise it should be. Find a way to do it.

And ya’ll know what… we… and Desi… wouldn’t be in this mess if we had a single payer medical system. But, a certain group of politicians said “no” to that and we had to get this multi-tier structure that we got now. It’s better than what there was but still… that single payer system would be a lot better as well as simpler.

And, I don’t care… lives need to come before profits. So, get this kid to NYC and into Sloan because after all… where you get treated really does make all the difference in the world… especially, when it comes to living or dying.

I’ve said this before and I’m gonna say it now… no person should ever want in this land of ours for medical care… it should be an inalienable right… right next to the pursuit of happiness. I mean, if, you ain’t healthy then how in the hell can you be pursuing happiness?

You can’t. Can ya?

Kids need to be out playing not in hospitals. But, if they need to be in a hospital then shouldn’t they have the best chance they can to get better so they can get back to playing… to being a kid? Life is too short there ain’t no need to make it shorter.

2) And just a day earlier… NYDN led a story off with this… “Funny what a little good publicity can accomplish.”

Guy, by the name of Jeffrey Rusch, had what could be called a bad day or two… feeling pretty crappy, couldn’t breath right and

Jeffrey Rusch
Jeffrey Rusch

getting worse as the day wore on… he decides to hit the ER and they check him out… take X-rays and whatever other tests they felt were needed. An MRI showed 20 tumors in his brain. A CT scan showed a large tumor in his lungs and others in his liver and bones.

Turns out his body is loaded with cancerous tumors.

The hospital admits him so he can start treatment. He’s given emergency chemotherapy and then doctors drained his fluid filled lungs and hit him up with steroids to help lessen swelling in his brain.

Just an “aw fuck” kind of bummer news blast and chain of events.

Then his insurance company said it would not pay for the treatment he got in the ER and after ebign admitted to the hospital.

“Aw fuck” just became “You have got to be fucking kidding me” type of day.

Strangely enough… little Desi? From California. Jeffrey? Yes sir, buddy… California.

Anthem Blue Cross said Jeffrey “… didn’t meet the criteria for a medical necessity”.

Jeffrey’s wife told a local TV news station, “I would call saving my husband’s life medically necessary.”

The television interview aired Wednesday (5/28). Next day, Thursday morning, their phone rang… Anthem Blue Cross said… Hey! We was only kidding… what’s a little black humor among compadres…

Ummm… no… they didn’t… but, they did say Jeffrey’s treatment was now covered.

One more time… stop being so damn cheap and money grubbing and just pay what’s needed; when it’s needed. No one is asking for anyone to pay for stupid stuff… just the stuff that is medically needed for a person to try and live… is that so difficult? Really?

And btw and FYI… Anthem is owned by WellPoint. Their CEO Joseph Swedish made almost $17 million during his very first year at the helm.

Just saying… I mean, yeah, it’s an important and tough job balancing budgets and making sure peeps get the medical help they need but… like I said… just saying. $17 million a year… and folks getting denied the help they need… having to go through red tape and jump through hoops… just saying is all.

I cannot say this enough… the affordable Health Care Act has helped…immensely… but we need single payer health insurance. Compared to other folks in other countries we don’t always get what we should so we can be healthy. And, it costs too damn much! Way too much… per capita, we are spending way more than the next most expensive nation for our health care.

3) Then there was this piece I found in HuffPo… it’s my last medical thing today… I promise… well… maybe…

Anyhoo… I spied a piece that started off like this…

“As time wears on, the following prediction will seem less like science fiction and more like science fact: The Republicans will eventually try to take credit for the Affordable Care Act. The fact that it’s proving itself to be increasingly successful, along with the reality that much of the law was originally conceived by Republicans, makes it absolutely ripe for the plucking.

Indeed, it wouldn’t be surprising if, in 10 years or so, the Republicans were to not only claim credit, but also to campaign on preserving it. Keep your government hands off of our blah, blah blah! Clearly, they won’t claim credit for passing the original law, but they’ll surely take credit for preventing the state exchanges from being dismantled, along with some of the consumer protections in the law.”


AND… the piece goes on to say it’s already happening in Kentucky. Mitch McConnell’s reelection as the elephants’ top senatemcconnell-trails- rep from that state is not a slam dunk…some say he is fighting for his political life. Now, I ain’t privy to Kentucky’s state of affairs but I do know, from everything I have read, that the governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, has said Kynect… their version of the rollout of the ACA…or if you prefer… Obamacare… is working and working damn well.

Simply put, Kentucky’s rollout of the ACA was one of the smoothest that happened in the country. 330,000 Kentuckians obtained coverage through Medicaid, a program whose expansion was 100 percent funded by the federal government. Directly due to the enactment of ACA.

Another 82,000 people purchased private insurance through the Kynect exchange; most of them utilizing subsidies provided the ACA.

Over 410,000 folks were medically insured or got better medical coverage due to the rollout of ACA… aka… Kynect.

But, McConnell, I reckon in an effort to cover all bases… as well as his derrière… has issued the following statement… “If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace,”

And, an authorized spokesperson for McConnell said that McConnell’s campaign states that Kynect creates a “marketplace of private insurance plans” and states like Utah and Massachusetts had established similar systems before Obamacare became law in 2010.

Wanna know what burns my cookies here??? It’s this… McConnell said, after Obama got elected the first time, that his top priority… his words not mine, or anyone else’s… was to get Obama out of office.

You are an elected official and your prime focus is to get someone unelected? It’s not jobs, not fixing roads and bridges, not providing for the welfare of the people of your state, education… any of that necessary good stuff… it’s to get somebody unelected.

Then… after he, the Bam Man, got reelected and was able to sign into law the ACA… the elephants, partially led by McConnell, tried every damn thing they could to get the law repealed. In fact, he, McConnell, on the day the law was signed, introduced a bill to do just that… repeal the ACA.

And, to this day the elephants are still trying to introduce legislation to repeal the ACA… and after 50 or so House votes to dorepeal it that… repeal the Affordable Care Act… they have not succeeded and have yet to come up with one alternative that would work in its place… outside of saying stuff like Americans are already provided with universal health care… it’s called the emergency room.

Hello! That’s one of the reasons why health care costs are so damn high… the system is overburdened with peeps going to the ER for basic medical care. That is not what the emergency room is for… the operative word being emergency. Every day health care is not… and should not be… an emergency.

So… now he… McConnell…wants to start laying the ground work that what Obama did by getting the Affordable Care Act up and running is not that big a deal because it was already done before in Utah and Massachusetts??? Excuse me? Then what the hell was ll the hubbub about bub?

To be fair… I have always said, as have others, that old Mitt’s health care sytem that he got passed in Massachusetts was essentially what the ACA was based upon… and… right from the get go, I have said, along with a lot of folks much more smarter than me, that health care is a necessity … andslogan making sure it is affordable and accessible is a necessity.  So, if there are problems then come up with solutions and not obstructions.

Did the elephants ever do that… the McConnell led elephants? Nope.

So stop telling falsehoods and get off the fence and just do what’s best for the people…

Used to be a slogan from way back when… it was from Eldridge Cleaver a Black Panther member… but the slogan was valid then and, I believe, valid now… “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.”

Stop being a problem for America, Mitch.

4) On Monday (6/2) there was this little piece in the NYDN that said country singer Brad Paisley likes to take photos with his fans… and so-called haters.

What this is all about is that there appears there are some peeps that belong to a Kansas based religious organization that goes by the name Westboro Baptist Church. And, these peeps like to go around picketing certain entertainers and brandishing signs that make all sorts of claims about God… and I would assume Jesus, too. I mean they are supposedly Christians… so, I reckon that’s a safe assumption. God; Jesus… all one being… what the heck is God anyway? An entity? A being?

Anyway… they were out there picketing the venue where Paisley was doing a show and as he was about to go into the place he took a selfie, twittered it with the caption “Westboro Baptist Selfie!! Or west-Burro(ass) selfie. Hopefully they can hear the show out here.”

Now… this ain’t about what a bunch of Billy Bobs… I mean, Brad Paisleys… did or did not do… I personally don’t care a whit. And, it’s really not even about these church folk picketing… I mean supposedly it’s their so-called God given right to do that in America. That’s the way some folks think… that it’s a God-given right… Me? I ain’t so sure. Not that demonstrations aren’t ok. I mean I’m all for demonstrating. Hell, I did enough of it back in the day. It’s just that I ain’t so sure its a God-given right.

Regardless… What I aim to point out is what these folks’… the demonstrators’… signs said… specifically what one sign said… which was “God hates drunks”.

Now, I don’t claim to b e an expert about Christianity… nor, am I an expert on the bible… but I am knowledgeable about the Bible. And, probably, a lot more than the majority of folks who be walking around today, I have read the Bible. In fact, I’ve actually read the damn thing more than once or twice or thrice. I’ve actaully read some stuff from the Jewish version and the Muslim version, too.

JesusNow… in all of my readings of that book nowhere have I ever read in that book, or, seen or heard from any religious person… and I got 12 years of Catholic upbringing and schooling… that God hated anybody. He… excuse my sexism… may hate evil… He may hate sin… He may hate hate, but, to be honest, the God I was taught about doesn’t hate anything or any other beings. Oh, God could be judgmental at times and wreak all kinds of havoc on peeps’ lives but he was not hateful.

And Jesus… who was God on earth… at least according to Catholics and other Christians … in fact, hung around with all kinds of sinners… whores, drunks, gamblers, thieves… name it he was in the midst of them. He didn’t hate these people; He wanted to save them… he despised sin not people.

In fact, if anything, if, Jesus was to suddenly appear at that demonstration then Jesus would have probably said something to the effect of what Matthew wrote (9:11-13) … “And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

That ain’t hating my friends… that’s called having mercy and love.

One of the reasons I like Pope Frankie is he tells his employees… go out in the streets and minsiter to the people.. help them. Kinda like what I was taught the church was supposed to do but never really did… in my opionion… sorta why I question religion’s validity. Not God just the institution of religion in any form.

5) While traveling around the news wires, I saw this on Tuesday (6/3) … A Brooklyn bandit needed his scalp stapled after a good Samaritan rendered an officer assistance and smacked the thug in the head with the cop’s baton.

Early afternoon on Friday (5/30) a dude was in a NYC store and passed some counterfeit moolah… he brought some shoes. As he left the store one of the clerks realized what he had done and called the police.

A nearby cop responded… quick as a bunny… and, asked to see ID… the dude pulled out a wallet stuffed with funny money.

Cop says… assume the position… guy books.

A 30 something lady sees the escapade and takes a wallop at the dudes head… misses… by now the cop goes to grab the guy who resists… the two… cop and suspect… fall to the sidewalk.

And, here is where things got dicey… the lady says she saw the dude grab for the cops’ weapon… saw the cops night stick laying on the ground… so, she just grabbed it and wonked the guy on his head.

The perp was now dazed and confused and the cop made the collar.

I got one thing to say… you go, girl… and… ya’ll got bigger balls than me. Bet that cop’s glad you do, too.

6) Last week Gwyneth Paltrow said that the pressure of fame, in the age of the Internet, is as terrible as being raped, and Charlize Theron said as brutal as being in war.

Now… is it… the kind of rape where while you’re trying to relive yourself in a field in India because you have no indoor plumbingmurdered and you get gang-raped, strangled and then hung from a tree? Like those two teenage girls had happen to them in India? Or… is it the kind of rape we see in this country where a woman is forced to have sex against her will?

I just wanna know what kind of rape we be talking here.

Are you freaking out of your mind???

Rape is rape… it is one of the most ultimate violations of a person’s body and to compare it to being out in the public eye because you are famous… get the fuck out here!

You chose to be famous… those girls in India and any other woman who gets raped didn’t choose that fate. It was violently forced upon their beings. It is one of the most horrific grievous violations that can ever be perpetrated from one person unto another.

To be clear on this… the girls, who were 14 and 15, had gone into the fields because there was no toilet in their home. Autopsies confirmed the girls had been gang-raped and strangled before being hung…

How in the hell could anyone ever compare that to being scrutinized by the public over the internet?

Paltrow get over yourself… you ain’t that freaking important.

As far as Theron’s comments about fame and being as if she were in a war… shades of Tom Cruise all over again.

How can you dare to compare your life and being in the public’s eye to being in a war zone? A place where bodies get annihilated … arms and legs get torn asunder… people die… blood and guts get splattered all over the place…

I’m sorry that is sickening and horrific… and… then a person has to come back… if, they are lucky enough to accomplish that fate… and get over seeing that all that horror?

You think you being scrutinized by peeps is like being in war? You need to get over yourself, too.

Just once I want the power to be the emperor of the universe and take peeps, like these two, and, tell them you got nothing… just like Dylan’s girl in that son his… Like a Rolling Stone… go live like that… with nothing… for three months… then come back and tell me how hard it is being in the public eye…

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People call, say, “Beware doll you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal
How does it feel?
How does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone…

But…these two ninnies are not the worst …  ya know what’s worse… this…

Last month, the head of Uttar Pradesh state’s governing party told an election rally that the party was opposed to the law calling for gang rapists to be executed.

“Boys will be boys,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said. “They make mistakes.”

Yeah… right…  then ya’ll wonder why things never seem to get better? We need to get rid of dinosaurs who think like this.

7) In Tuesday’s NYDN a story reported on how some heavy metal musician… supposedly the meanest baddest one out there… did something that sorta was out of character for his image.

Aaron Lewis
Aaron Lewis

Now, I am not a big metal music follower… neither back in the day or now… and I have no idea who Aaron Lewis is or even heard of his band… Staind.

But, let me set the stage… so to speak… seems there was this young lady who was crowd surfing and some dudes were touching her inappropriately… Lewis saw what was going on and he stopped right in the middle of the band’s song “Something to Remind You” at Saturday’s Rockfest 2014.

And this is what he said… “Listen up you fucking assholes, that fucking girl right there is like 15crowd surfer fucking years old and you fucking pieces of shit are molesting her while she’s on the fucking crowd.”

The dad of three young girls was not even close to being done… “Your fucking mothers should be ashamed of themselves, you pieces of shit. You should all be fucking beaten down by everyone around you for being fucking pieces of shit. If I fucking see that shit again I swear to God I will point you out in the crowd and have everyone around you beat your fucking ass.”

Of course, we know all this because there was video that went viral.

He said, in reaction to questions about what he did, “ (I’m) not sure how anyone in my shoes would’ve reacted differently.”

I am… sorry to say… a lot of peeps would have either ignored it or just let it go by as just boys being boys. So, whatever props this guy is getting, he deserves… and, for the record… his mom raised him right. And, she need not be ashamed at all.

8) Heard about the Texas lady who had a fight with her sister-in-law and for some reason had a catfish in her hand and used it to whack said in-law right in the kisser with it?

Yep… it really did happen.

Then, the husband got all pissed off about wifey whacking his sister and had some words with wifey.

Sister-in-law got all pissed off and called cops said there was some argument going on and was ge3ttign physical. Cops cam and said, more or less, unless ya’ll wanna go to the pokey just settle down amd act civilized. And, no more cat fishing with

someone’s face.

Sort puts cat fishing into a entirely new light.

Me? Only catfish I like are filleted, coated with cornmeal and flour and then skillet fried.

fried catfish
fried catfish


9) Just read this… Why Koala bears hug trees… Sleeping-Koala-Bear-1600x2560

Noo, they are not closet conservationists or Greenpeace members… and… no, not so they won’t fall off the tree while munching on eucalyptus leaves… it’s to keep cool.

Turns out the tree trunks can be over 5 degrees Celsius cooler than the air around everything.

So, why don’t the critters just pant like other critters do? Like dogs? The scientists say because it would dehydrate them. By hugging the trees they can save about 50% of their moisture. Or, need for water to replace that moisture.

Imagine that.

10) This weeks gratuitous pics…











Noémie Lenoir (born September 19, 1979) is a French model and actress.NoemieLenoir8


























and another thousand words…



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  1. I can remember sitting in the waiting area of our local hospital while my husband was being treated in the ER (first time ever passing a kidney stone) and there was a young mother and child who had been there for hours. Seems her husband was replacing a light bulb in the fixture that was on the garage. It’s was cold, it was icy and he slipped off the ladder and couldn’t get back up. Ambulance brought him to the hospital where he waited and waited until his HMO contacted the ER with the okay to treat him. Nasty things HMOs.

    According to the TV ads, St. Jude Children’s Hospital is the leader in cancer treatments for children and no one is charged for their services. I’m surprised Desi wasn’t sent there for treatment.

    I almost included the gang-rape in India in Monday’s blog but couldn’t get past my anger to do the story justice. American woman complain about the war on women, and there is one, but women in many other countries have it a hell of alot worse then we do.

    Great blog that makes you think.

  2. Good job Joe. Stories like this have actually pissed me off to the point that I’ve stopped giving to cancer research. Call me cynical if you like. I no longer believe there will ever be a cure for any our ills. There’s no money in it. The money is in the treatment. I have a friend currently in the process of 3 treatments of some sort for prostate cancer at $90,000 per treatment. Imagine what it would cost drug manufacturers if we were come up with a cure.

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