SOMERS’ FALLS FLAT ON HER (now) ORGANIC FACE: HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET?

One of the things that disturbs me most is when certain B-list celebrities grab hold of concepts like “ORGANIC” and turn them into their cause celebre (and newest moneymaker) via marketing spin. A sucker is born every minute. But sometimes the sucker is being sucked by an even bigger sucker. Allow me to explain.  Case in point. Suzanne “Sucker” Summers, who makes her home in the Coachella Valley and makes her money by exploiting every health and body craze that surfaces. Why is she a sucker? Because she believes her own press, and has bought into the propaganda put out on the right about the Affordable Care Act (read on).

Before going into her views on “Obamacare,” let’s talk about her latest marketing endeavor. Here she is this month on the cover of GOING ORGANIC magazine, distributed widely for free throughout the Coachella Valley. I always note the irony of this publication because it’s printed on Glossy paper that isn’t recycled and doesn’t even break down easily in a compost bin. But that’s a different story for another time.

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And what is GOING ORGANIC magazine doing this month besides raking in cash from all of its’ advertisers and contributing to landfill waste with it’s used and unused copies? Why, it’s shilling for Suzanne Somers’ new moneymaker, a line of health and beauty products that capitalizes on the concept of organic.

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Oh no. Here she goes (blows). If it’s not the Thighmaster or another poorly written book, it’s going to be something to try and help you save face. Organically of course.

Proving that a good publicist can get you coverage almost anywhere and on almost any topic, she was recently featured in the WALL STREET JOURNAL giving her opinion on “Obamacare.” The Somers summation? It’s a “socialized ponzi scheme.”

She goes on to criticize the Canadian health care system because she is intimately informed about it since her husband hails from that country up north (remember him? Alan Hamel? He used to do commercials for the ALPHA BETA supermarket chain back in the 1980’s. He isn’t just a ‘has been.’ He’s also a Canadian).

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Suzanne Somers Canadian husband shilling for the Alpha Beta Supermarket chain in a 1980’s era television commercial

Then she makes her first big blunder: she compares the ACA to the system in Canada as if they were one and the same.

Canada has a single-payer system. The ACA just requires Americans to purchase insurance from private health care companies on an exchange. Apples and oranges, but it’s all the same fruit to this nut. To add insult to injury (and to push her “socialism” claim) she falsely attributes quotes to Lenin and Churchill, which the WSJ was forced to print a retraction for and correct online. Ooops!

The final laughable moment comes when she laments that healthcare will be so unaffordable for seniors that they won’t be able to afford her new Organics line. She ignores the fact that seniors remain covered under Medicare, which IS a single-payer system just like the system in Canada she originally criticized. It’s a lot more “socialized” than anything the ACA will produce.

Three might have been company, but with this kind of loony logic it’s starting to feel like a crowd. Come on Suzanne. Get a grip.

But that’s not the point, really. We know what Suzanne is up to, because it’s what she’s always up to. She’s trying yet again to appear relevant, because she just wants you to know that she has a new line of products called SUZANNE ORGANICS. She’s pulled this trick before (anyone remember the Thighmaster?) And if you use these new products along with her Thighmaster and buy a couple of her books you won’t even need health insurance anyway. This is why her publicist convinced the WSJ to give her a silly platform. It’s not about selling healthcare or insurance. It’s about selling her products, which in all their permutations always boil down for Ms Somers to some version of “ME…ME….and more ME.”

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To read a great Daily Kos story about Suzanne’s expert opinion on “Obamacare” click here http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/29/1251558/-The-stupid-It-gets-even-stupider?detail=email

To send a note to GOING ORGANIC magazine and ask them why they don’t print on recycled paper and prefer to go all glossy or ask them why they are willing to shill for a nutcase like Suzanne contact publisher Estelle Foster at Estelle@GoingOrganicMagazine.com or editor David Stern at David@GoingOrganicMagazine.com

To watch husband Alan Hamel in a 1981 Alpha Beta commercial click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsP4nGGQ7Ww

OBAMACARE, SATAN, HITLER MOUSTACHES and the “WHITE SUPREMACIST ISN’T DOING HIS JOB” HAIRCUT

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It’s been pretty frightening lately.

It would make sense that I’d be scared, being in a fight against cancer and all.

But what’s more frightening is the insanity surrounding the current U.S. President and his healthcare reform program that was passed into law.

For one thing, I am alive right now due to an early pilot rollout of the Affordable Care Act in my county. I’m an example of someone whose life was SAVED by what they call OBAMACARE.

For another thing, people I actually like shock me when they get on the subject of President Obama and/or the ACA.

I thought I’d found a great barber in town, a nice man who was still operating the same shop after 25 years. But on my third visit, while reading a Los Angeles Times newspaper article on the ACA with an accompanying photo of President Obama, I caught my barber looking over my shoulder. Seeing the image of Obama, he stiffened.

“You know, yesterday I had one of those skinheads in here to get his head shaved,” he said, and then went on to describe a tattoo on the back of this man’s head that is consistent with the white Supremacist movement.

My barber continued. “I told this guy, ‘Hey you’re not doing your job.’ And he asked me what I was talking about. I said ‘Obama’s still in office.’ We both laughed.”

I didn’t.

And now I don’t get my hair cut there anymore.

Then there has been all this nonsense and government shutdown over the “we must stop Obamacare at any cost” agenda of those on the right. Notice I didn’t say extreme right, because they aren’t on the extreme right. They should be on psychiatric lockdown at the nearest hospital, but instead they are right in the creamy center of the GOP.

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And then there’s Satan. Yes, recently Justice Antonin Scalia reminded us of the personhood of Satan and his wiliness. And so many of these anti-Obama crazies are convinced that our President is the anti-Christ and signing up for Healthcare under the ACA is secretly joining the Satan Fan Club. It’s all linked together in an apocalyptic conspiracy to destroy the world. But according to Representative Michelle Bachmann who sits in the House of our glorious United States, that is actually a good thing. Because it means Jesus is coming back super fast. “Maranatha!” she said in a recent interview, which is kind of like saying “Cool dude,” in Evangelical Christianese.

Yesterday, while driving home along Highway 62 I passed a group of protesters with posters of President Obama with Hitler moustaches painted on them. It’s usually such a scenic drive. This view just made me want to puke.

But worst of all, just now while writing this post in the local Carrows I had to move to another table in the restaurant because the old couple next to me who are obviously on Medicare would not stop talking about the horrors of Obama and his ObamaCARE at the top of their lungs.

I interrupted the couple and  said to them politely but firmly, “Excuse me, but you’re offending me with all your loud talk about Obamacare.  And you don’t really know what you’re talking about because I got cancer in February and got insurance through an early rollout of ‘Obamacare’ and wouldn’t be alive now if it weren’t for that. And I was here before you, quietly enjoying my meal, but you came in and sat down and now you’re talking so loudly and offensively that I’m going to have to move to another table right  in the middle of my dinner.” I started to pack up my laptop and pile my silverware onto my plate.

“You don’t need Obamacare,” The old man’s wife told me. “There are things like cancer societies and charities that you could have gotten help from. You didn’t need that.”

I shook my head.

“My cancer treatment has already cost over 500,000 dollars and you don’t know what you’re talking about. There was no cancer society rushing to give me insurance. And aren’t you on Medicare, maam?  Isn’t that a government healthcare program?”

That’s when the old man told me that “I’d better move” or he was going to “make” me move with some kind of violent assistance.

And that’s when I really lost my temper. Because I don’t have to take that. And I’m not going to.

“You need to shut the fuck up,” I told him, “Because before you were offending me but now you’re threatening me, and if you want to do that then I’m going to call the police and we’ll see how this all ends up.” His eyes widened, but he didn’t stand up or make any other movement because he could see I was damn serious.

That’s when my waitress intervened and stood in support of me. And then  the old man’s wife wisely reached her hand across the table and grabbed hold of his arm and told him to keep quiet.

Like all  bullies he finally backed down. And indeed he should have.

I have no doubt that tomorrow they’ll still be bitching to each other about the crazy faggot who went off on them in Carrows while they are standing in line to pick up their Medicare Part D prescriptions at Walgreen’s. All paid for by the government financed single-payer system for those over 65. I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y.

My mom is going to cringe when she reads this, knowing I said the ‘F’ word to some senior in Carrow’s — but mom, he threatened me and I needed to let him know I was serious. He deserved it.

They used to send ambulances with trained medical personnel to put people like this in straitjackets and take them to the hospital to protect the rest of us from their dangerous delusions. And they’d provide them with medication and compassionate care. Not anymore.

Now they just let the nutcases roam free and hold office. They’re also running barber shops and cutting our hair, waving signs and shouting at us from the roadside as we drive by in our cars, sitting next to us in restaurants talking at the top of their lungs and saying the most offensive things with no concern for anyone else around them. Beaming out at us on television making arguments with no legitimate facts or figures behind them. Frightening half the populace with talk of the devil and death and evil and ruin and the apocalypse all wrapped up in a little brown secretly muslim tootsie role named Barack Obama.

What crazy world are we now living in? What the heck is wrong with these people? And why do we have to put up with them at every turn? It’s wearing me out.

In a final SHOUTOUT from LOONEYTOWN, two-time Republican Tea Party Candidate for Idaho’s state House Gregg Collett hates Obamacare and doesn’t think “…the government should be involved in health care or health insurance,” even though his TEN kids are all on Medicaid.  (you can read more about Mr. Collett at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/18/1248637/-Idaho-tea-party-candidate-wants-government-out-of-health-care-has-10-kids-on-Medicaid?detail=email

My final thoughts are summed up in the cartoon below. The only way to get through this is to not lose your sense of humor. But even though I’m laughing, I’m scared. People really are getting frightening.

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I DON’T YET FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS…BUT I’M GETTING THERE…

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It’s been a long hot summer and quite awhile since I’ve posted to the blog. I’ve been busy putting off plans for the Homestead and tending to my health. It’s the most I’ve been able to do.  In late February/early March I was diagnosed with a rare yet treatable skin cancer. By April it was spreading aggressively across my skin (back, legs, face, scalp, arms, chest – you name it) and had metastasized to my digestive tract. It still remained treatable, but it upped the game (and the price) of my cancer treatment.

To date, I’ve had five chemotherapy treatments with a drug called Doxil. It’s used to treat breast cancer, the particular skin cancer I have, and sometimes ovarian cancer. It’s effective but also expensive. The treatments I’ve been receiving have gone for about $50,000 a pop. Yes, that’s right. There is no “typo” there. In chemotherapy treatments alone I’ve “spent” $250,000 on my health in less than six months. And this doesn’t count consultations with my oncologist, CT scans and other procedures associated with my treatment. But that’s not all. I’ve had lots of doctor and ER visits, rides in ambulances, and a hospital stay. Want to know what all that can cost?  Read on…

Some backstory:

I  didn’t have any insurance when I first got signs that I was sick. To make matters worse, I’d been laid off from my job (a part-time job with no benefits) two months before, so I didn’t have any money.

It was irresponsible, but I waited almost three months to go see a doctor. I felt caught between a rock and a hard place. I had NO money and NO insurance. The thought of walking into any medical facility in the United States seeking diagnosis or treatment was altogether frightening.

Rationalization and denial became my M.O.  I told myself I was stressed, that my body would heal up on it’s own, that I was young and it couldn’t be that serious.If I kept my head in the sand long enough, maybe it would all just go away.

Here’s where Obama and Health Care Reform come in. In 2013 I was lucky enough to qualify for an early roll-out pilot of the Health Care Reform law that was taking place in select California counties. Now that I had insurance I made an appointment to see a doctor. “First available” was in February. That is when I learned I’d be facing the biggest challenge of my life.

The Cost:

I’ve had countless doctors visits, which bill at several hundred dollars each. At each visit I have extensive blood tests that also run into the hundreds of dollars. I’ve had three ambulance rides to hospitals, each of which can go for over $1,000 a pop. I was in the hospital for one week for observation after they gave me my first chemotherapy dose. Cost for care: just under $100,000.

And then there are visits to the E.R. In the past six months I’ve been to the emergency room more times than I care to admit. Add ’em all up, and they’re worth another $100,000.

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That much, you say? Let me give you just one example:

After my fourth chemotherapy treatment I was having really bad stomach pains and had to go to the E.R. twice within 24 hours. Remember, my cancer is in my digestive tract. It does all kinds of crazy things with my stomach, intestines, esophagus. Think vomiting, diarrhea, etc. And sometimes PAIN.

The first time I was there for about 7 hours and had a CT Scan. I was given DILAUDID by injection and allowed to sleep on a bed for six hours. Then I was sent home – told to come back if the pain didn’t subside. When the Dilaudid wore off the pain was the same. I drove back to the E.R. and waited there for 2 hours until they prescribed some additional medication and discharged me.

FIRST VISIT: $13,479.37

SECOND VISIT: $3,067.47

GRAND TOTAL FOR 24-HOUR EPISODE: $16,546.84

The Million Dollar Man:

So, to summarize…I’m not quite at a million dollars, but they’ve spent more than half a million in six months just to keep me alive.

Something about that just doesn’t seem right…Should it really cost this much? A bag of medicine that drips into your arm at $50,000 a pop? An Emergency Room visit that lasts less than 12 hours and costs over $13,000? Hospital stays that cost more than I will ever make in a year?

I used to think that the key to reforming our healthcare system would be the extension of health insurance so that every American is covered. I don’t believe that is enough anymore. The cost for healthcare in this country, driven up by the for-profit nature of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, is unsustainable. The whole system is sick. Much more sick than I am.

Feeling Like Patty Hearst:

Someone’s getting rich. Someone or some corporation is getting filthy rich.  And government’s getting stuck with the tab. I feel like I’ve been held captive by an out of control healthcare system that has used my unfortunate situation to milk the system for all it’s worth. Like I was kidnapped, kept in a closet, brainwashed and then forced to help some freaks rob a bank.

Do I really want to be a part of this? Do I have any choice?

But I’m getting better. I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Note: All the external cancer sites are now gone as a result of treatment. In a few weeks I will have procedures to determine the progress of treatment within my digestive tract. A recent test shows that the cancer has not spread elsewhere in my body. I may require additional chemotherapy treatments, but I am hoping to be in complete remission by the end of the year.

 

OFF TO A SLOW START AT THE HOMESTEAD…

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A great book by the Canadian Doctor Gabor Mate that I finished reading about six months ago. I had no idea it would foreshadow what I am facing now.

I have been trying to figure out an easy way to explain to readers of this blog and supporters of the SECOND CHANCE HOMESTEAD project why it seems that progress both in cyber and real space have cranked to a halt. I’ve only been able to make a few posts here when I intended to do three or four a week, and I have only been able to barely begin a few of the projects on site that I originally planned to have completed by now.

 What has been holding me up? Wasn’t I going to hit the ground running February First when I took up residence?

 I did, but ran into a wall in the middle of the month. I’ve been hesitating to write about this because I don’t want the subject and direction of this blog and project to take a left turn into a day by day account of…well – some very unexpected circumstances that I’ve had to sit back and make my priority.

 While I expected to be chasing around chickens, ducks, and goats by now, my body said “Wait a minute. There’s something we need to deal with first.” I have recently been diagnosed with some serious health challenges, including several sites on my body of an aggressive skin cancer that can spread rapidly without detection or treatment. Luckily it has now been detected and I am in treatment. It is starting to at least slow down – a little.  I don’t really want to go into more detail at this time except to say that I have caught it early and have assembled around me a very competent health team to walk me through this. My doctor, his Physician’s Assistant, his Registered Nurse and L.V.N. work very well together and are providing me with the support and treatment I will need to beat this. They have my complete trust, and have already helped me establish a strong footing on the path to healing. As a complement to Western treatments I am also receiving weekly treatments by a highly skilled Acupuncturist who works out of Palm Springs.

 My prognosis is good. My health should generally be restored in six to twelve months and all expectations are that I will be “cancer free” or “in remission” at that time. There are a few other things I’m facing, but they should also be fairly resolved in that time period, and nothing is life threatening.

 I didn’t realize how much of a “Second Chance” I was getting moving to this place. I thought this year would be about revisioning my life, not saving it. But if saving my life is where the universe wants me to begin, I’m more than willing to start there. I hadn’t been feeling well for awhile, but I had put off going to the doctor for because I had no insurance.

 A shout-out to OBAMA and HEALTH CARE REFORM.When I moved to SECOND CHANCE HOMESTEAD I became a resident of San Bernardino County, and was able to get full medical coverage under an “early rollout” pilot program of the new Health Care System that will go statewide in 2014. I was finally able to make an appointment with a doctor and it’s a very good thing I did. 

At the time of diagnosis my body was ready to take a real turn for the worse. It was one of those “just in time” moments. If I’d waited another couple of months I would have faced certain early death.  

 Healthcare is expensive, and so are the drugs that go with it. One of the medicines I was prescribed cost over $3,000. I wouldn’t have been able to take it if it wasn’t for OBAMACARE.

 I don’t want this project or blog to devolve into a “let’s beat cancer!” crusade. I will keep trying to move forward as best I can, and ask for your understanding and patience if this takes a little while. I will from time to time give an update of my health status.

 Prayers, well wishes, and good thoughts are welcomed and deeply appreciated at this time. I know I have a lot of love being sent my way.

 SECOND CHANCES. They come in all kinds of packages and at the most unexpected times. But this really isn’t what I meant when I moved here to start SECOND CHANCE HOMESTEAD. But how often do plans work out just the way we’ve intended them to anyway?