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10 Criminal Facts About The History Of Alcatraz

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This is from ListVerse.

The Rock is on my bucket list.

Today, Alcatraz is one of San Francisco’s most notable landmarks. It gained its infamy from movies and TV shows keen to exploit the history of the prison and its notorious “residents.” Understandably, this kind of place has a few stories to tell.

10 The Alcatraz Citadel

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Photo credit: US Government

Most people think of the history of Alcatraz as the history of the prison, but the two are not exactly the same. Before the penitentiary even existed, the island hosted a military fort known as “Alcatraz Citadel.” Back in 1847, the US Army realized the island had strategic and military value as it could guard against attacks coming into the San Francisco Bay. Around the same time, the California Gold Rush caused traffic coming into San Francisco to skyrocket, so a military outpost seemed like a good idea.

In 1858, Fort Alcatraz was finished. It was armed with a host of long-range cannons capable of firing almost 3,200 kilograms (7,000 lb) of iron in a single barrage, topped off by four 16,300-kilogram (36,000 lb), 15-inch Rodman guns, capable of taking out an enemy ship several miles away with a single blast. All of a sudden, Alcatraz was one of the most heavily fortified military installations in the country.

Due to its high intimidation factor, Alcatraz Citadel didn’t see a lot of action. As soon as the fort was built, Alcatraz also provided disciplinary barracks for soldier-convicts. In the decades that followed, the barracks became the most useful part of the fort, particularly during the US Civil and Spanish-American Wars. Finally, in 1907, the Army removed all of the fort’s artillery and turned it into a military prison.

9 Prison Turns Federal

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Photo credit: Chicago Bureau (FBI)

In 1915, Alcatraz was officially renamed “Pacific Branch, US Disciplinary Barracks” to reflect its status as a military prison where soldiers would either serve out sentences or come in for retraining. This lasted until 1933 when the US Department of Justice turned it into a federal prison.

In 1934, Alcatraz was reopened as a maximum-security federal prison located on a remote island surrounded by freezing waters and powerful currents. Right off the bat, it was clear that “The Rock” wasn’t your average penitentiary. It was fitting for the most violent inmates who posed security risks in other prisons.

It didn’t take long for Alcatraz to welcome one of its most notorious inmates, Al Capone. Ten days after the penitentiary opened, Capone was transferred there from a prison in Atlanta where he had been serving an 11-year sentence for tax evasion. According to reports, Capone’s fame and money had afforded him a luxury lifestyle in Atlanta, something that changed as soon as he arrived in Alcatraz. Anything out of line earned him a trip to solitary confinement.

Capone spent five years in Alcatraz and was released in 1939. By then, he had suffered for years from untreated syphilis and experienced frequent bouts of paralysis and dementia. Capone spent most of his remaining time in and out of hospitals and was diagnosed with the mental age of a 12-year-old. He died of a stroke in 1947.

8 Alcatraz Island Lighthouse

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Photo credit: Jaredzimmerman

It’s often forgotten that Alcatraz boasts another impressive landmark—thefirst lighthouse on the Pacific Coast. It went into service on June 1, 1854. Due to the Gold Rush, San Francisco saw a tremendous growth in population and needed a lighthouse to safely guide ships through the bay.

In 1906, the 15-meter (50 ft) lighthouse was badly damaged by an earthquake and deemed unsalvageable. It was replaced in 1909 with a 26-meter (85 ft) lighthouse located at the south end of the island. This lighthouse remained the same until 1963.

At that time, the traditional lenses were replaced with an automatically rotating beacon. The automation coincided with the closing of the penitentiary, making the upgraded lighthouse part of the museum that Alcatraz became. In 1970, a large fire destroyed all of the buildings on the island (except for the prison), including the warden’s home and the keepers’ quarters. The lighthouse was only scorched and remained operational.

7 The Escape Attempts

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Photo credit: Benlechlitner

Even though Alcatraz is arguably the most famous prison in the world, it only operated for 29 years. Its notoriety was mainly derived from its reputation as an impenetrable fortress from which nobody could escape. That didn’t stop people from trying, though. During its history, 36 men tried to escape from Alcatraz on 14 different occasions (two of them twice).

Twenty-three of those men were caught, six were shot while trying to escape, and two drowned. We don’t know what happened to the other five, who are listed as missing and presumed dead. Officially, nobody has ever escaped from Alcatraz.

However, rumors persist that some inmates may have made it out alive. We know it’s possible to survive the cold waters surrounding the island. On April 14, 1943, four inmates took two guards hostage and made their escape. Two of them were caught swimming, another one was shot and drowned, and a fourth, Floyd Hamilton, was also presumed drowned initially. However,Hamilton survived his escape attempt and spent the next two days hiding in a nearby sea cave before emerging to turn himself in.

Not all escape attempts were as well planned as that one. The first escape attempt occurred on April 27, 1936, when inmate Joe Bowers simply began scaling the chain-link fence in full view of the guards. When he disobeyed orders to climb down, he was shot and fell to his death.

6 Alcatraz And Birds

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Photo credit: Department of Justice

Alcatraz has a longstanding relationship with birds. Everybody knows that one of the most famous residents of the prison was the “Birdman of Alcatraz,” an inmate with a penchant for raising canaries. He gained worldwide fame from the eponymous movie starring Burt Lancaster.

Robert Stroud (pictured above), the real Birdman of Alcatraz, was quite different from his movie counterpart. Stroud was a violent repeat offender who killed two people and tried to kill a third. Furthermore, he never actually had any birds at Alcatraz but rather at Leavenworth before his transfer to Alcatraz.

The name of the island is also inspired by birds. In 1775, when the Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala was the first European to map San Francisco Bay, he named the island “Alcatraces,” which was eventually anglicized to Alcatraz. Although we’re unsure of the meaning of the word, it’s commonly believed to be an old word for “pelican” or “strange bird.”

Today, the island is overrun with birds. Many colonies of seabirds call Alcatraz home, and parts of the island are closed off to tourists during breeding season to protect nesting birds.

5 Creepy Karpis

Alvin Karpis, nicknamed “Creepy” for his off-putting smile, had the distinction of being the longest-serving inmate at Alcatraz. The prison lasted for 29 years, and Karpis was around for 26 of them, serving a life sentence forkidnapping and robbery.

Karpis was a member of the famed Barker-Karpis Gang, which became better known as Ma Barker’s Gang. The Barker brothers’ mother, Kate, was supposedly the ringleader. To this day, it is still debated whether she took part in any criminal activity, although Ma Barker and her son Fred were gunned down in a shoot-out with the FBI in 1935.

In 1936, Karpis was captured alive after being declared Public Enemy #1 for kidnapping the son of an influential banker. J. Edgar Hoover was present at Karpis’s arrest and personally brought the outlaw in. Karpis was imprisoned at Alcatraz until 1962, when he was transferred to McNeil Island Penitentiary in the state of Washington. There, he befriended a young inmate nicknamed “Little Charlie” and even gave him guitar lessons. Little Charlie would become better known as Charles Manson.

4 Uncle Sam’s Devil’s Island

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Photo credit: Philip Grosser

Before becoming a federal penitentiary, Alcatraz had been been a military prison for decades. During the US Civil War, the prison housed many Confederate sympathizers and even San Francisco civilians who celebrated the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Later, it was used to imprison Native Americans.

Despite its history, Alcatraz wasn’t officially designated a prison until 1907. From that point until it became a federal penitentiary, Alcatraz was commonly known as “Uncle Sam’s Devil’s Island,” a name popularized by conscientious objectors imprisoned there during World War I. Philip Grosser, the most prominent conscientious objector and one of the country’s leading anarchists, spent three years in Alcatraz and wrote a pamphlet entitled Uncle Sam’s Devil’s Island upon his release.

Grosser exposed the cruel tactics used in Alcatraz. According to him, objectors were singled out and tortured by being stuck in cages 58 centimeters (23 in) wide and 30 centimeters (12 in) deep. Depending on the prisoner, a board would sometimes be bolted to the back of the cage to reduce its depth even more. The prisoner was forced to stand upright for eight hours straight then sent to solitary confinement for the remaining 16 hours of that day. The process was repeated each day for months on end. The experience eventually contributed to Grosser’s suicide in 1933.

3 Ghosts Of Alcatraz

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Alcatraz once housed some of the most evil people on the planet, so it has its fair share of ghost stories. However, the island’s spooky past extends beyond the federal penitentiary. Even before the Spanish stumbled upon it almost 250 years ago, native people were already wary of the island, claiming that it was inhabited by evil spirits. Sometimes, they would even use the island as a prison, banishing members of their groups there for violating tribal law.

During its time as a penitentiary, guards and prisoners often reported hearing wailings, feeling sudden cold spots, and seeing ghosts of soldiers. Even James Johnston, the prison’s long-serving warden who dismissed the idea of ghosts, admitted to hearing a woman’s cries coming from inside the walls. After it burned down, the warden’s own home became a hot spot for alleged supernatural activity. However, the infamous D-Block, which housed the solitary confinement cells (aka “the Hole”), remains the go-to choice for all of your ghostly needs.

2 The Great Escape Of 1962

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Photo credit: FBI

Even though Alcatraz had its fair share of escape attempts, only one was intricate enough to look like it came from a Hollywood movie. In fact, the opposite was true—the real escape was later turned into a movie (blandly called Escape from Alcatraz) starring Clint Eastwood.

The escape on June 11, 1962, involved three men: Frank Morris and brothers Clarence and John Anglin. Using homemade tools, the three of them had drilled into the walls of their cells to reach the vent holes. They also manufactured false wall segments to hide their work and even created dummy heads (as pictured above) out of papier-mache and human hair to place in their beds. After making their way to the roof, the three men climbed down a drainpipe. They headed for the water carrying a makeshift raft and life vests fashioned out of prison-issue raincoats.

The results of this daring escape plan are still debated five decades later. A few weeks after the escape, the body of a man supposedly dressed in prison garb washed ashore but was too damaged to be identified. Officially, Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers drowned, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to think the inmates (at least two of them) escaped from Alcatraz. The idea that it’s impossible to survive the waters in the bay is a myth—several people have been able to swim from the coast to Alcatraz. Fitness buff Jack LaLanne even did it in handcuffs while towing a rowboat.

1 Closing Down The Rock

On March 21, 1963, the prison at Alcatraz closed down. Although some people blame the closure on the high-profile escape attempt by Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers, the decision had actually been made before their escape. In fact, Alcatraz had already begun transferring its inmates to other prisons.

Alcatraz was closed for financial reasons only. It would have cost $3–5 million to renovate the prison and keep it operational, not taking into account the day-to-day costs. Although the prison’s isolation had originally been a main selling point, it also became the prison’s downfall because fresh water, food, and supplies had to be brought in by boat regularly. As a result, Alcatraz cost about three times more to operate than other federal prisons.

Frank Weatherman had the distinction of being the last inmate to walk the corridors of Alcatraz. He had also been the last person to receive an inmate number. Weatherman gave a brief statement to the press, expressing a feeling undoubtedly shared by many before him: “Alcatraz was never no good for nobody.”

Since then, Alcatraz has turned into a popular attraction that gets around a million tourists each year. However, even after the prison officially closed, Alcatraz still had its share of controversies, such as several attemptedoccupations by Native American protesters.

 

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MLB to ban home plate collisions

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This is from ESPN.

More of the wussification of America and sports.

I will admit the home plate collisions are brutal.

But when you block home plate do you expect the runner

to stop and walk around or ask permission to cross the plate?

These changes and others will make me give up on baseball.

The changes to football has made me stop watching.

I can see Johnny Bench‘s feelings about the collisions at

home plate but he did block the plate.

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.

 

Sources tell ESPN’s Buster Olney that there is a strong desire for MLB’s rules committee to fast-track the specific rule changes in time for next season.

Under the rules changes being discussed, sources told Olney:

• Catchers will not be allowed to block home plate.

• Runners will not be permitted to target the catchers.

• The question of whether or not the plate was blocked or the runner targeted the catcher will be reviewable, with an immediate remedy available to the umpires.

• Catchers or runners who violate the new rules will be subject to disciplinary action.

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings.

 

“This is, I think, in response to a few issues that have arisen,” Alderson said. “One is just the general occurrence of injuries from these incidents at home plate that affect players, both runners and catchers. And also kind of the general concern about concussions that exists not only in baseball but throughout professional sports and amateur sports today. It’s an emerging issue, and one that we in baseball have to address, as well as other sports.”

Alderson said wording of the rules change will be presented to owners for approval at a Jan. 16 meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

“The exact language and how exactly the rule will be enforced is subject to final determination,” he said. “We’re going to do fairly extensive review of the types of plays that occur at home plate to determine which we’re going to find acceptable and which are going to be prohibited.”

Approval of the players’ union is needed for the rules change to be effective for 2014.

“If the players’ association were to disapprove, then the implementation of the rule would be suspended for one year, but could be implemented unilaterally after that time,” Alderson said.

The union declined to comment, pending a review of the proposed change.

MLB intends to have varied tiers of punishment.

“I think there will be two levels of enforcement,” Alderson said. “One will be with respect to whether the runner is declared safe or out based on conduct. So, for example, intentionally running over the catcher might result in an out call. So I think that the enforcement will be on the field as well as subsequent consequences in the form of fines and suspensions and the like.”

Discussion to limit or ban collisions has intensified since May 2011, when San Francisco’sBuster Posey was injured by Florida’s Scott Cousins. Posey, an All-Star catcher, sustained a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, injuries that ended his season.

Posey returned to win the NL batting title and MVP award in 2012, when he led the Giants to their second World Series title in three seasons.

Mike Matheny, the St. Louis Cardinals‘ manager and a former catcher, made an emotional presentation about the impact of concussions on his life. MLB estimates that about 50 percent of concussions are related to collisions.

Hall of Famer Johnny Bench tweeted out thanks to MLB on Thursday for moving to ban home-plate collisions.

@MLB thank you for the new collision rule! I addressed this with MLB after Posey was nailed. It’s taken too long!

 

Will Executive Action be Used on Immigration Reform? WH Won’t Rule It Out

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This is from Town Hall.

It would not surprise me if Obama uses Executive order

to legalize the illegals.

The DemocRats need the voters to stay in power.

 

Hmm. Didn’t Obama just say that he won’t act unilaterally on immigration reform? Why, then, didn’t White House spokesman Josh Earnest rule out the possibility of using executive actions?

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Earnest said: “I don’t want to speculate about what sort of actions the president might or might not take.”

The Hill provides the context:

 

 Obama has come under pressure from immigration activists, who have challenged the president to act unilaterally now that a comprehensive immigration bill appears stalled in the House. The president was heckled twice during events in San Francisco on Monday while discussing immigration reform, with protesters each time demanding an end to deportations via executive order. 

In 2012, the Obama administration announced it would stop deporting some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children, assuming they met certain criteria. […]

But while the White House has ruled out a sweeping halt to deportations, it is unclear whether Obama could use his executive authority, which includes the ability to grant temporary work permits, to help some of those here illegally.

Earnest did go on to say, however, that fixing a broken immigration system is something that can only be done with Congress, echoing what Obama told one of the hecklers who interrupted his speech on Monday. Looks like we’ll have to wait and see what the president actually does, not just says.

 

NBC confronts Pelosi with ‘pass it to see what’s in it’ clip; hot mess follows

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This is from BizPac Review.

I am speechless.

Nancy Pelosi still can’t see it.

Confronted by Meet the Press host David Gregory on Sunday about her famous Obamacare statement of 2010 — “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” — the San Francisco congresswoman didn’t give an inch.

pelosi 1“I stand by what I said there: When people see what’s in the bill, they will like it, and they will,” Pelosi said, in utter defiance of reality.

“It took a great deal for us to pass the bill. I said, ‘If we go up to the gate and the gate is locked, we’ll unlock the gate. If we can’t do that, we’ll climb the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in.’”

Set aside for a second the fact that Pelosi might have thought she was talking about the Democratic approach to immigration. The former House speaker had no visible qualms about defending the handiwork she and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid produced during the disastrous years, from 2008-2010, that Democrats held both houses of Congress.

“It doesn’t matter what we’re saying here,” Pelosi nattered. “What matters is what happens at the kitchen table of the American people.”

Actually, what matters is what’s been happening with congressional Democrats who aren’t lucky enough to be from San Francisco and who abandoned President Obama Friday by voting for the “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Ill.

What matters is what’s going to happen to Democrats who don’t start listening to their constituents when election time rolls around in November.

What matters is that the American people are seeing what’s in the bill. It’s what conservatives have been saying was in the bill for three years now.

They’re seeing it. And, no matter what Nancy Pelosi says, they don’t like it at all.

 

Sen. Feinstein apparently wants to ban 19th century revolvers

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This is from The Examiner.

The Wicked Bitch Witch of The West tries to strike again.

DI Fi wants only the elites like herself armed. 

That, anyway, is the only conclusion consistent with the “logic” she articulated Sunday morning on CBS’s Face the Nation (emphasis added):

Having said that, the weapon was a .223 MP15, the MP stands for military and police, clearly designed not for general consumption, but through practice now general consumption. Same gun that was used at Aurora. Would I do a bill? Sure I would do a bill. I mean I believe this down deep in my soul.

The notion of Feinstein‘s possession of a soul is a debate for another day. Let’s instead look at her contention that by naming the rifle model the M&P15, with M&P standing for “military and police,” Smith and Wesson is tacitly acknowledging that this firearm is appropriate only for the government’s hired muscle.

What a peculiar idea. Smith and Wesson, keep in mind, has put “military and police” into the names of lots of guns, including revolvers, dating all the way back to 1899, with the Model 10,once named the Smith & Wesson Military & Police.

Similarly, an iconic Colt revolver is the Detective Special, which has served both detectives and private citizens well for over 85 years.

Feinstein, of course, once carried a revolver (in San Francisco, no less–not a legal option for those of us who are not among the “elite”). Was it an S&W Military & Police, or perhaps a Colt Detective Special? Maybe, maybe not–but does it matter? Even a revolver that has not been labeled with a too-deadly-for-private-citizens name is, after all, a revolver, and presumably about as “deadly” as a revolver named for its usefulness to law enforcement and the military.

This column recently noted that a California bill, passed by the legislature, but vetoed by even anti-gun Governor Jerry Brown, proves gun rights advocates’ long-held contention that the hysterical calls to ban “assault weapons” have nothing to do with so-called “military features” that we were once told distinguish “assault weapons” from “acceptable” semi-automatic rifles.

Feinstein, though, has now taken the insanity to a perhaps unprecedented level. Now it’s not just ergonomic refinements and cosmetic features that render some guns “unsuitable” for private ownership. Now, the name of the gun is enough to justify a ban.

She would probably really object to this correspondent’s idea for an AR-15 platform rifle marketed as the “Regime Changer” (“Recall Ballot From the Rooftops Launcher” is an awkwardly long name for a gun). That, of course, just adds to the idea’s appeal.

Update: On second thought, let’s try to talk S&W into telling Feinstein that the “M&P” stands for “Militia and Patriots”–that should scare her as much as anything.

San Francisco joins sugary drinks fray with tax proposal

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This is from Yahoo News.

 

Instead of actually  addressing the problem of childhood obesity

they use a bandaid approach by  raising taxes.

The rules for what you can buy with food stamps.

Like chips, doughnuts, soda, candy,chips and deli food that is

not prepared.

Last but not least  the parents need to do their part and have

their children exercise.

There to many babies momma situations without and Male

influence in the children’s lives. 

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – San Francisco may become the latest U.S. city to try to curb the consumption of sugary drinks with a proposed ballot measure to impose a tax on beverages seen as a culprit in rising rates of childhood obesity and diabetes.

Supervisor Scott Wiener on Tuesday formally proposed asking voters in November 2014 to impose a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda and other drinks with added sugar sold in the famously liberal northern California city.

No other U.S. city has enacted such a tax, though a similar proposal is in the works in the southwestern Colorado town of Telluride, according to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Two other California cities, Richmond and El Monte, failed last year in their attempts to become the first in the nation to impose taxes of a penny per ounce on businesses that sell sugary drinks.

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year spearheaded a ban on the sale of large, sugary drinks last year, but the move was later declared illegal by a state judge after a challenge by soft drink makers and a restaurant group. New York’s highest court has agreed to hear an appeal.

“We know that this will be a long road,” Wiener said in introducing the measure to his colleagues. “This type of proposal has occurred in other cities and the beverage industry always comes out full guns blaring, so we’re going to need to pull together to make sure that this wins.”

A ballot measure would need two-thirds support from voters in order to pass.

Wiener said his proposed measure would reduce the consumption of sugary beverages while specifically setting aside proceeds of the tax for physical education and health programs.

“Voters really want to know where their tax money is going to go,” he said.

In both Richmond, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and El Monte, located east of Los Angeles, revenues from the proposed taxes would have gone to each city’s general fund.

‘WASTEFUL DISTRACTIONS’

The tax would amount to an extra 24 cents per average 12-ounce (35 cl) can of soda. Wiener said it would bring in an estimated $30 million in tax proceeds annually. It would apply to drinks with added sugar and at least 25 calories per ounce.

A third of the expected tax windfall would go to San Francisco schools for physical education and healthy lunch programs, and the remainder would go to city parks and recreation programs and community health organizations.

Roughly two out of three California voters surveyed in a Field Poll last fall and released in February said they would support taxing sugary beverages if proceeds were tied to improving school nutrition and physical activity programs. The poll of 1,184 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Wiener’s proposal will go to a city Budget and Finance subcommittee for a hearing in the spring.

The board would vote between May and July on whether to add the tax measure to the city’s elections ballot, Wiener said.

A spokesman for the American Beverage Society said raising taxes and restricting drink consumption would not necessarily lead to a healthier population.

“Californians have rejected beverage taxes like the one San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener proposes because such measures are unnecessary, wasteful distractions from serious policymaking,” spokesman Chuck Finnie said in a statement.

The society, which represents industry leaders including PepsiCo Inc and Snapple Group Inc, has spent millions of dollars fighting proposed soda taxes around the country.

“Providing people with education, opportunities for physical activity and diverse beverage choices to fit their lifestyles are proven strategies for maintaining health,” Finnie said.

 

5 Scandalous Obamacare Horror Stories

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This is from Town Hall.

See liberals do have consequences.

I am wanting for more Obamabots to find out they have a

massive rate increase or are losing thier coverage.

 

Obamacare is hurting people. A lot of people — and not just the ones who are wasting all day trying and failing to sign up for the dysfunctional 600 million dollar website. Millions of Americans are losing their insurance, losing their doctors, and taking huge hits to their wallets because of Obamacare. Here are some of their stories…

 

 1) Man with leukemia loses his health insurance: Michael Cerpok is a high school drop-out, one of six kids born to a school teacher, and doesn’t come from a wealthy family. He has run two businesses for more than 25 years and says he may have to do more to literally stay alive. 

“I’ve worked hard because I’ve had to, and I’ve had to, because cancer runs in my family, says Cerpok, who picked his current health insurance based on that family history. His monthly premium is just about half of his monthly take-home pay.

Back in 2006, he found out he had an incurable form of leukemia that requires ongoing treatment until he dies.

In 2012, his treatment bill was more than $350,000. But because of his insurance, his out-of-pocket was only $4,500.

That is about to change because Michael just got a letter from his insurance carrier saying as of January 1, he would be dropped from coverage because of new regulations under Obamacare. His doctor at the Mayo Clinic may be gone as well.

“Now it doesn’t mean I can’t go see my current doctor, but my $4,500 out-of-pocket, is going to turn into a minimum of $26,000 out-of-pocket to see the doctor that I’ve been seeing the last seven years,” he said.

 

 

 2) I was laughing at Boehner until the mail came: Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

“I was laughing at Boehner, until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

 

 

 3) Premiums will cost 25% of their after tax income:: Take, for example, Jacqueline Proctor of San Francisco. She and her husband are in their early 60s. They have been paying $7,200 a year for a bare-bones Kaiser Permanente health plan with a $5,000 per person annual deductible. “Kaiser told us the plan does not comply with Obamacare and the substitute will cost more than twice as much,” about $15,000 per year, she says. 

This new plan, Kaiser’s cheapest offering for 2014, would consume about 25 percent of their after-tax income. The new plan still has a $5,000 deductible but provides coverage for things her current policy does not, such as maternity care, healthy child visits and coverage for dependents up to age 26. Proctor has no use for such coverage, since her son is 30.

 

 

 4) Liberal blogger at the Daily Kos: Hey, Obamacare’s doubling my monthly premium: My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe. 

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any f*cking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

 

 

 5) ) Obamacare “has raped my future” My name is Ashley Dionne and I’m a 26-year-old recent graduate from Michigan. 

…I went back to school and got a second degree and finally found work at a gym. I work nights and only get 32 hours a week for eight dollars an hour. I’m unable to find a second job at this time.

I have asthma, ulcers, and mild cerebral palsy. Obamacare takes my monthly rate from $75 a month for full coverage on my “Young Adult Plan,” to $319 a month. After $6,000 in deductibles, of course.

Liberals claimed this law would help the poor. I am the poor, the working poor, and I can’t afford to support myself, let alone older generations and people not willing to work at all. This law has raped my future.

It will keep me and kids my age from having a future at all.

This is the real face of Obamacare and it isn’t pretty.

 

Obamacare’s winners and losers in Bay Area

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This is from The San Jose Mercury News.

  Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura define the term useful idiots.

  They proudly proclaim their belief in Obamacare and their voting for Obama.

   Now their ignorance is costing them and the nation dearly.

 

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

“Welcome to the club,” said Robert Laszewksi, a prominent health care consultant and president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates in Virginia.

For years, the nation has been embroiled in the political rhetoric of “Obamacare,” but this past week the reality of the new law sank in as millions of Americans had their first good look at how the 3 1/2-year-old legislation will affect their pocketbooks.

This much quickly became clear:

As state- and federal-run health insurance exchanges debuted across the country offering a range of prices for different tiers of insurance coverage, the new online marketplaces — which represent the centerpiece of Obamacare — could greatly benefit more than 40 million Americans who now lack coverage. But an additional 16 million — who buy individual health insurance policies on the open market — are finding out that their plans may not comply with the new law, which requires 10 essential benefits such as maternity care, mental health care and prescription drug coverage.

In California, 1.9 million people buy plans on the open market, according to officials with Covered California, the state’s new health insurance exchange. And many of them are steaming mad.

“There’s going to be a number of people surprised” by their bills, said Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of  ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. “The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that’s true across the country.”

 

Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare.

“Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance,” he said, “but most people will not.”

Covered California officials note that at least 570,000 of the 1.9 million people who buy their own insurance should be eligible for subsidies that will reduce their premiums.

drop because Obamacare doesn’t allow insurers to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer, he said.

 

People like Marilynn Gray-Raine.

The 64-year-old Danville artist, who survived breast cancer, has purchased health insurance for herself for decades. She watched her Anthem Blue Cross monthly premiums rise from $317 in 2005 to $1,298 in 2013. But she found out last week from the Covered California site that her payments will drop to about $795 a month.

But people with no pre-existing conditions like Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference.

ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. “The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that’s true across the country.”

Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare.

Even those who don’t qualify for the tax subsidies could see their rates drop because Obamacare doesn’t allow insurers to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer, he said.

People like Marilynn Gray-Raine.

The 64-year-old Danville artist, who survived breast cancer, has purchased health insurance for herself for decades. She watched her Anthem Blue Cross monthly premiums rise from $317 in 2005 to $1,298 in 2013. But she found out last week from the Covered California site that her payments will drop to about $795 a month.

But people with no pre-existing conditions like Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference.

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,”

Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

 

A frustrated Vinson went on the Covered California site to see what she would pay for the same policy if she lived in Los Angeles or Sacramento. She discovered she would save at least $100 monthly.

According to data compiled by ValuePenguin, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco as well as Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties have some of the highest health insurance rates in the state. Covered California officials say that in addition to the higher cost of living here, more hospitals in the Bay Area are owned by hospital groups that can demand higher rates because of the lack of competition.

Not all of the sticker shock can be blamed on Obamacare.

Health care inflation costs routinely increase at least 4 percent annually, said Ken Wood, a senior adviser for Covered California. Those increases, he noted, are due to an aging population and the rising costs of new medical technology and drugs, among other factors.

But Wood, Wu and others also said premiums will rise as a result of people getting better insurance under the new law, which requires most Americans, with few exceptions, to buy health insurance no later than March 31, or pay a minimum $95 annual penalty.

The law’s intent is to cover people who are now uninsured by making insurance accessible to everybody. But that means rates will rise for many because sick and healthy people will now be charged the same premium.

Adding a required list of 10 essential benefits to all plans is also significant. A study published last year in the journal Health Affairs said more than half of Americans who had individual insurance in 2010 were enrolled in plans that would not qualify because they didn’t meet all the new requirements.

Wood likened these mandates to the higher cost of buying cars today that must have safety features like air bags and anti-lock brakes.

The law also will often make some policies more expensive because it limits out-of-pocket expenses to $6,350 annually for an individual and $12,700 for a family. In addition, the law restricts the minimum and maximum premiums that people can be charged based on their age.

Now, a 64-year-old can be charged almost five times more than a 21-year-old. Beginning Jan. 1, it will be a 3-1 ratio.

Those explanations, however, don’t completely satisfy Waschura and Vinson.

“I’m not against Obamacare,” Waschura said. “It’s just the initial shock. I’m holding out hope that there will be a correction over a handful of years.”

But to Gray-Raine, the breast cancer survivor from the East Bay, that correction has already come.

“Obamacare is a huge step in the right direction for those of us without employer coverage,” she said, adding that she hopes everyone will “join in and make this new legislation a success for all.”

 

 

 

VIDEO: Robert Spencer at Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley on how political correctness about the jihad threat costs lives

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This is from Jihad Watch.

Myself and many others have made the same point about Muslims Jihad.

 

 

Tuesday evening I spoke to a packed house at the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley. My topic was “Political Correctness About the Jihad Threat: It Gets People Killed.”

Many thanks to the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley for a great evening.

 

 

East Bay Woman Accused Of Credit Card Fraud After Restaurant Mix Up

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This is from CBS 5 KPIX San Francisco.

If the woman perpetrating this fraud was white her picture

would be on the page.

The odds are she is a Hopey Changer so no picture.

People of all races commit fraud but their pictures make the news.

 

NEWARK (CBS SF) — A woman who dined at a Newark seafood restaurant on her birthday and was handed the wrong credit card by the waitress at the end of her meal was arrested after she took the card and headed to a nearby mall on Sunday evening, police said.

Jheline Demesa, 22, of San Leandro, ate dinner at Ray’s Crab Shack at 5989 Mowry Ave., where the waitress mistakenly gave her a credit card from an adjacent table, police said.

Instead of returning the card, Demesa allegedly left the restaurant with it, police said.

The real cardholder tried to cancel the credit card a short time later but learned that transactions had been made on it at the NewPark Mall across the street, Newark police Cmdr. Mike Carroll said.

The victim notified police about the incident at 6:20 p.m., Carroll said.

The restaurant owner managed to find an image of Demesa captured by a surveillance camera inside the eatery and gave it to the victim, who went to the mall to look for her, Carroll said.

The victim and mall security located Demesa then notified police, Carroll said.

Officers arrested Demesa shortly after 8 p.m. on suspicion of commercial burglary and credit card fraud, Carroll said.

Demesa was booked into the Santa Rita Jail, police said.

 

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