Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Your flight schedule arrived along with the stamps in your care package. Thank you.
I picked up a 3 CD Jazz set the other day and ripped it to my computer. However, since I didn’t have it set to download on the MP3 format, they should have called it “slowly transferring data from the CD drive to the computer” rather than ripping. Nonetheless, it works in the background while I do other stuff. I finally have found a real use for multitasking. However, having it set for auto eject, I don’t get to hear the rest of the cut playing when it is done ripping (just another thing to complain about).
I got to thinking about all this foolishness about a national approach to health insurance. Now as I understand it the Republicans want to throw out the Affordable Care Act, and in replacing it they have difficulties making the same rules apply to all states and little things like pre-existing conditions, birth control (interesting the same folks that don’t want death panels want to restrict a woman’s right to protect herself against unwanted pregnancies). They also have rules that make it illegal for the government to negotiate with drug companies (Medicare and Medicaid) to get pricing contracts. So, Members of Congress (House and Senate) who have full health insurance coverage available to them can’t come up with a plan for the whole country that they like. However, every member of Congress has the option of going through the DC exchange under Obama care and revives a 70% federal subsidy if they do. So, to make it simple, why not simply have every citizen eligible for the same plan that Members of Congress can enjoy? Rather, these bozos (I propose that as the formal name for elected and appointed national office holders, keeping the first letter in lower case) blow smoke and use mirrors when it comes to what their health insurance is. All Congressional staffs qualify under the small business rule so their staffs have similar access. Now, of course, it isn’t mandatory, so what to hell, we can compromise on that and make it “available” at the Congressional rate. Regardless whatever they come up with, one will want to look very closely at what options they give themselves.
On an allied note, the Republicans are great about criticizing 3rd party payers and the like. But they are 3rd party decision makers—no connection with citizens of the US, but they sure want to decide for us.
I guess that is enough negativism for one day so I won’t tackle the pestilence until another missive.
I trust this finds you well, happy, and well covered by medical insurance.
Warmest regards, Ed
012 Enquirer Headlines
Fiction in 1126 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Captain Batan threw down the Enquirer and shook his head. Pointing to the newspaper, he said to Detective Philipson, “Now he’s blaming Thomas A. Edison for the bodies. How does he get his information? He knows about the note.”
Detective Philipson held up his finger and his facial expression said, ‘I know.’ Then he picked up a flash drive and said, “He got into the City Electric utility tent and took pictures.” Tossing the drive up and down in his hand, he continued, “He took the note off the corpse and read it.”
Captain Batan grabbed for the jump drive and said, “Let me see that.”
Detective Philipson handed to him and watched as the Captain put the drive in a USB slot on the computer on his desk, hit and few keys and watched him slowly do a burn while Frank Mallard was messing with the crime scene in the utility company tent. “I thought we had a squad car on the scene to prevent intruders.” Then he thought for a moment, “Elmer Diggins, I will bet anything. How long?”
Detective Philipson said, “Eight days.
Captain Batan sat, rather collapse into the desk chair and put his head in his hands. His misery was interrupted by the cheerful voice of Special Agent Fleishman, “From the looks of things, I would guess you have another body.”
Detective Philipson handed the Special Agent the Enquirer.
Special Agent Fleishman looked at the paper and asked, “Are you getting crime scene information from the newspaper now?”
Captain Batan said, “The reporter staked out the City Utility tent we put up to stop bodies from causing problems when they appear. One appeared and the reporter took at least one photograph, and a took a note off the body and read it. He claims the note was written by Thomas A, Edison, you know the man who literally invented the technology of the 20th Century single-handed—he created civilization as we know it with just a few muckers to help him.”
“Muckers, what are muckers?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
Captain Batan looked Special Agent Fleishman up and down and asked, “You have heard of Edison, haven’t you?”
“Yes, he was some kind of early inventor,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.
“He invented independent research laboratories, electric light bulbs, phonographs, and copy machines, just to name a few” replied Captain Batan. “Muckers was the name given to the workmen he employed to help in the hard work of intention.”
“Then I am guessing this Menlo Park is where his lab was,” said Special Agent Fleishman.
“Yes, from 1876 to 1881,” replied Captain Batan.
“You seem to know a lot about Edison, Captain,” said Detective Philipson.
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the man and read everything I could about him,” replied Captain Batan. “When I had a paper to write in science or history or even sometimes in English class, I would write it about him. He was a fascinating person.”
Special Agent Fleishman asked, “Anything in your research that would lead to him dumping corpses into the future?
“Noting,” replied Captain Batan. “But with your assistance,” nodding to Special Agent Fleishman, “we should pay him a visit in early 1881 before his move to New York.”
Detective Philipson said, “I get it the note says, Menlo Park, so if we go just before he leaves we will have covered all bases.”
“You just might make lieutenant yet,” said Captain Batan. “Let me get the note copied and then” smiling at Special Agent Fleishman, “you drive.”
Captain Batan, Detective Philipson, and Special Agent Fleishman materialized
at the front gate of Edison’s Menlo Park on January 3, 1881, in a foot of snow. The men pulled open the gate in the picket fence and walked to the long two-story building following tracks in the snow. At the door, Captain Batan knocked. They waited and no one responded. Captain Batan tried the door and it was open. Inside there was a desk at which a slightly portly man with a bushy mustache was seated. The man was fiddling with several metal strands and looked up when the door opened.
The man said, “I suspect you are here to see Mr. Edison. Well, he isn’t here. I’m one of his employees, my name is John Ott, maybe I can help you.”
Captain Batan moved forward, stuck out his hand and said, “Mr. Ott, we are policemen doing some background on a crime and a note from Mr. Edison showed up at the crime scene. We need to authenticate it and find out if it has any bearing on the case.”
Mr. Ott replied, “I am sure Mr. Edison would want us to help. Can I see the note?”
Captain Batan handed John Ott the copy of the note he had made. Mr. Ott sniffed at it, turned it over and around and then said, “This is some sort of copy, isn’t it?”
Captain Batan said, “Yes, we need to keep the original for forensics. So, I had it copied.”
“Can you tell me how it is copied?” asked John Ott.
“I’m sorry but I am not technically inclined,” replied Detective Batan.
“Pity,” replied John Ott. “We are trying to improve on an idea called mimeographing. If you knew how this was made it would help us immensely.”
Captain Batan said, “All I can tell you is that this is a 100% accurate representation of the original down to the size of letters.”
John Ott again looked at the copy and said, “The signature is spot on. However, the note was not written by Mr. Edison.”
“How can you be sure?” asked Detective Philipson.
Mr. Ott turned his attention from the Captain and pointed to the last line, “Mr. Edison would never offer a substantial reward.” Then patting his pockets, he pulled out a hand full of notes. “These, gentlemen, were written by Mr. Edison. You will not the completely different slant, closing of letters from the note you have. Either your note was written around one of the many autographs Mr. Edison has given to school children visiting here or someone has learned to forge his signature.” With that, he handed each man a few notes that he had taken from his pockets and said, “Mind I need those back.”
When Captain Batan, Detective Philipson, and Special Agent Fleishman had returned all the notes that Mr. Ott had given them, for inspection he asked, “May I keep the copy of the note you brought?
Captain Batan, handed him the note and said, “Thank you, you have helped us immensely.”
However, John Ott was too engrossed in handling the photocopy that he neither heard the Captain’s thanks nor noticed the three men leave.