User-agent: * Allow: / Trenton Butcher Block: June 2011

"Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Defend."

Commentary on national and local events from the standpoint of a Trenton city resident and state worker.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sorry, But you know the drill

Sorry about the wrong number published in the last two posts.  I just fixed it and it should work now.

Yes, your thieving state senators voted to steal the cost of living increases away for all retired New Jersey public employees.  That part is a dead serious fact.

I also intend to publish the names of all senators who voted for this so-called pension reform bill on Monday and all assemblymen who vote for the same bill on Thursday under a picture of a hanged Mousilini along with the names, addresses and phone numbers of their major party opponents in November's election.

Yes, things are going bad for us.  Without massive public support It looks bad now.  Unless lots of people call their assemblymen between now and Thursday to let them know to vote no on pension reform, everybody who put in their 25 years with state, county , local government or a school board in New Jersey can kiss their annual cost of living increases goodbye for the next 30 years.

So call 888-875-6558 and tell your assemblyman how you feel about getting screwed out of your cost of living increases..

Com'on.  Help me out on this one, because I am nothing  without your support.  Let your assemblyman know if he votes yes, his name will appear under a picture of a hanged Mousilini and the text that follows will accuse him of being a thief and scumbag worse than Mousillini and that seniors everywhere should contribute time, talent and treasure to his major party opponent's November campaign.

Yes, Steven Sweeney, Mulligans ane not just for golf.  You have to deal with your Republican opponent Mr. Mulligan this fall.  With union time, talent and treasure from across the state, nation and world, (yes contributions from my friends in Abu Dhaubi are welcome) maybe I can just accomplish the impossible and take out the state senate president with absymetrical force.

Remember, it took just a few muslim terrorists with little boxcutters to send two Boeing 747s into the twin towers and shock the shit out of USA, the most powerful nation on earth.  It also took just a handful of Nazi commandos to rescue Mousilini from imprisonment by the allies and put him back in power for another three years.

Yes, I at Trenton-star.blogspot intend to be a terrorist and a commando.  I want to take down the New Jersey Senae President who voted for this stupid piece of shit.

Let's show Stephen Sweeney that Mulligans exist in other places besides golf and that all Mulligans are not jokes.

I'm sure Mr Mulligan is just as conservative and hostile to state workers as Mr Sweeney, but he won't have Sweeney's leadership abilities and won't be Senate president.  By getting rid of Sweeney, regardless of who he is replaced with, we would have succeeded in chopping off the head of the snake.

Just that action alone will send fear down the spines of any state legislator who thinks once about going along with Christie's union-busting schemes.

Help me, let's get Mr. Mulligan elected a state senator from District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester counties) this November.

Kill off theTrenton Irish Gangster.

No Westies in Trenton!!!  Send the filthy mick back to Hell's Kitchen where he belongs (Along with his filthy mick buddy George Norcoss III).  If Hell's Kitchen (in Manhattan) is not to his liking, perhaps the South Jersey equivalent, Gloucester City will do as a retirement home for this creep.  He can then play with the other Irish Crip dope-pushing redneck creeps that live there.  (For more on gang activity in the working-class Irish American garden spot of South Jersey, click here.  To confirm its Irish-American ethnic makeup, click here,_New_Jersey ).
I actually an 1/8 Irish and don't hate Irish people.  I am calling this scumbag a mick because that's what he is, a filthy Irish gangster.  The expression is kind of like what John McCain said about Vietamese.  He called them gooks and when asked to clarify, he said his captors would always be gooks to him.

Harm us, and you made an enemy for life.
Remember that Mr. Sweeney in your dottage when you watch the value of your state pension dindle down to nothing.  (I'm shure you are really "concerned" (notice the sarcism).  You always got your Ironworkers pension, which is indexed to inflation to fall back on.  Most of us are not as fortunate as you to be getting multiple pensions.

You can't force us to eat cat food without escaping our wrath.

Remember the Windsor Thunder from the cell phone commercial.  They're pretty hopeless too, but the cell phone company is asking us to root for them.

Let's send Sweeney to the dustbin of history where he belongs!

This is in Italics, because I am  going off on a tangent here.  I just want to write about my good"friends" the Westies.  They are an Irish gang out of New York.  They also have a presence in New Jersey.  Contrary to what most people think (Hell's Kitchen has gone upscale and is not a down-and-out Irish enclave anymore), my personal sources the Westies still exist and are alive and well in New Jersey.  They are supposed to be involved in several businesses (including a famous restaurant in Atlantic City that curiously has never been organized by the Italian mob-dominated Local 54 and a well-known New Jersey-based fertilizer and grass seed company that's based in Monmouth County)  No specifics here, even butcher boy doesn't mess with the Westies.  For more on the "good old days and Local 54, click here and   ).
How does an Irish gang survive in the Land of the 5 Families?  They persisted when similar Irish gangs were knock`ed out of existence because they were more ruthless than the Italian Mafia.  The Mafia is afraid of the Westies.  Take this for example.  When the Columbian mob wants to get rid of you, they make sure your appropriately "dressed".  They give you a Columbian Necktie.  Well, the micks also know how to "dress up" their victims.  It gives them an "Irish Tux".  What's an Irish Tux, you ask?  Well after they kill you (hopefully you are already dead before this happens), they cut your gut open, puncture both your lungs, then attach cinder blocks to your ankles.  Then it's off to the East River, never to be heard from again.  (Don't worry, the catfish will consume your mortal remains before they ever resurface.  Since your gut has been cut open and your lungs have been pierces, there is no body cavity to accumulate gasses, so your body will never come to the surface and float on top of the water.

For more about the Westies, click here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Jersey Senate Votes to Take Cost of Living Raises Away From All Retirees

Many seniors have unwittingly let thieves steal food from their mouths  by following the advice of Jersey 101.5, the Trentonian and other Republican media outlets and calling their legislators to urge them to pass the so-called pension and health care reform package for public employees.  No doubt, some of those that called were retired public employees that thought their benefits would be "grandfathered in"  Little did they know the bill that passed the Senate today calls for ending cost of living raises for all public retirees (including cops, state police, judges and teachers) for the next 30 years.  Nobody gets grandfathered in.  It is important to call your assemblyman NOW and let them know that you will "remember in November" if they vote to steal food out of the mouths of existing retirees.

You would not knowingly let a thief into your home to steal from you.  And most likely you would not encourage a politician to steal money from your own retirement check, but that's just what many seniors did when they called their state legislators and told them to vote for the so-called pension reform package.

Most of the major media outlets have come straight out with Governor Christie's promise to increase homestead rebates if the bill passes, but have not said anything about how it will affect existing retirees, regardless of when they retired.

There is a provision in the bill that says that there will be no cost of living increase for any retirees (regardless of when they retired) for the next 30 years.  That's right, urge your legislator to pass the bill so you can get a bigger homestead rebate and you will be cutting your own throat because inflation will eventually destroy the value of your pension.

Right now public retirees get annual cost of living increases based on the Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers.  This is the same CPI that is used to provide for annual increases in Social Security and veteran's benefits.  Most retirees of governmental entities went to work on their jobs and stayed there for their whole careers on the assumption that they will receive a good pension when they retire and the pension would retain its value because it would go up with inflation.

Well the thieves under the golden dome want to take that away from you.  Now, your pension will be worth half what it is now in 20 years assuming the present low levels of inflation.  If we get a dose of 20 percent Jimmy Carter inflation during that time, your pension will be eaten up a lot faster.

It is still not too late to preserve your pension.  Call the following number, which is a call routing line operated by CWA 1038.  Your call will be routed to your state assemblyman's office.

To Save The Pension Cost Of Living Allowance Tell Your Assemblyman to Vote No on Pension Reform.


Your Call Will Be Routed to Your Assemblyman's Office

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hey Christie, It Ain't Over till Its Over

Yogi Berra was a famous New York Yankees baseball player and manager.  Today he's best known outside of baseball circles for his famous saying, "It ain't over till its over".  Like any other truism that catches on, it is true in many other areas beyond the context in which it was original said.  In a baseball game, all it takes is a rally in the bottom of the ninth and that big lead the other team had evaporates into thin air.  All the fans who left the stadium early then get to miss out on the show they paid to see, a come from behind victory.  The same is true in life and could very well happen in the unions' battle to keep health care a negotiated item, rather than something to be determined by legislation.  All we have to do is believe in ourselves, leeping fighting back, and let our local legislators know their jobs are on the line in the elections this November if they tick off the half million New Jersey public servents covered by the state's health plan.
It's all a question of "which side are you on" as the old union organizing song went.  If  you read the Trentonian  last Thursday, you would think it was all a done deal.  Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver agreed to post the Sweeney bill which will increase pension contributions for workers, require the state to make regular contributions to the pension fund and tequire public employees in state, county and local government, including school districts, to pay drastically more for health insurance.  In a speach Governor Christie made to his bosses at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, he was enthusastic and supportive of the proposal and said he can't wait to sign it.  His corporate masters greated the speach with applause.

Ditto for the Jersey 101.5 radio station.  Both claim passage of the law would be a great victory for taxpayers and help insure higher property tax rebates and lower property taxes.  If you read the Trenton Times on Thursday, you would have gotten a version a little closer to the truth.  This paper promoted the plan as a great victory over crybaby unions, but admitted that a majority of Democrats in both houses oppose the plan and that passage into law is a dicey proposition.   The only way it could pass in the legislature is if the Democratic leadership can strongarm a few other Democratic legislators to vote for it and all Republicans go along.

If you believe in unons and collective bargaining, you should be opposed to this bill.  Of course if you work for state of local government, the cost and quality of your health benefits are on the line.  For everyone else, remember te plan to cut retiree benefits and make everyone pay more is a national program being waged against government workers everywhere on all levels, federal, state and local.  (Remeber Wiscosin!).  Since state and local government happens to be the largest group of employees in NJ (500,000 strong) under the same health plans, don't think changes in their benefits won't affect what your employer offers you.  Believe me an increase at the state's leading employer will have a ripple effect to to private sector and you will pauy even more than you are now.  After all, why should you pay less than the 30 percent of salary government workers have to pay!  Suppose you buy your own health insurance or are retired.  The cuts are not just about employer provided health insurance, the Republicans are also going after Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  All will cost more and beless generous in coverage if the Republicans have their way.

Remember an attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.  Help back us in this fight because after all your Social Security is also on the line in Washington and Christie wants to eliminate Medicaid benefits for state residents with low-paying jobs and reduce them for all other Medicaid recepients.  (It's in the same budget that includes the increase in public employee health care contributions.)

So which side are you on?  The choice should be simple.  Is your home (or car) your largest asset.  Do you get most of your income from work, pensions or Social Security?  Then you should be with us.  Those who own large businesses or have big stock portfolios or trust funds to support them probably would benefit at least in the short term by being on the opposite side.  Since us working people outnumber the rich, we should win, if we let the politicians know we vote for our class interests and will not be swayed by talk of elusive savings on property taxes or paltry increases in homestead rebates.

Now for the meat of the matter.  CWA 1038 is operating a phone bank thatautomatically directs your call to the appropriate legislator.  Just call the number and enter your zip code and you will be connected with the appropriate legislative office.

Tell Your Legislators Not To Legislate Public Employee Health Benefits.




You wull be directed to the appropriate legislative office.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unlikely Fact, Republicans Put 1st Minortiy Man In Vice-Presidency

Charles Curtis was Herbert Hoover's vice president.  He held office from 1928 to 1932.  As a Kaw Indian, he was the first non-white to hold the nation's number 2 political office.

No, this fact did not come from The Onion. It is a dead serious fact.  Charles Curtis,who was 3/4 American Indian and 1/4 white, was America's first racial minority in the Blair House.  He served as Herbert Hoover's vice president.  Here is Mr .Curtis's Wiki article:

His running mate, Herbert Hoover was also not all he is believed to be in modern folklore.  He was born to a poor Quaker family in West Branch, Iowa.  His father was a blacksmith .  He lived in a 2-room house.  Both his parents were dead by the time he reached the age of 9 and he went to live with relatives in Oregon.  He went to Stanford in California and got a degree in geology, but could not get work as a professional in his field when he graduated, so he took a job as a laborer in a California gold mine.

He met his future wife at Stanford, and she also graduated from the college's first class along with Mr. Hoover.  She had a degree in engineering. As you can imagine, a female engineering graduate from the late 19th century would be a ball of fire.  And she was.  Go the Hoover Library in West Branch and you can see the pistol she carried around New York City when she lived with her husband in the Waldorf.  A pistol-packing 1st Lady.  A true earlier-day Sarah Palin,

While working as a laborer in the gold mine, Hoover saved his money and bought a good suit.  He got a job interview with a British mining company and said he was the manager of the mine where he worked and secured a job as a manager of a gold mine in Australia.  On this job, he became a millionaire.  This story of resume fraud was told by the tour guide when I visited West Branch in August, 2000. (which a good part of it is now a restored site that looks like it did in Hoover's childhood, the Hoover Library as well as Hoover's grave, with an Eternal Flame, like Kennedy's.  The grave, fittingly is located next to a restored prairie adjacent to Interstate 80.)  As a child, Hoover would have played on that prairie, and in many ways his mind never left West Branch and its prairie during his whole life.

Who says resume fraud never pays?  I believe there was a line in the Shogun novel where one of the Japanese officials was talking to the Portuguese sea captain who was the subject of the book.  They were discussing the history of the  captain's homeland and the captain's life story.  The captain said his people, the Portuguese, fought the Spanish and secured their nation's independence.  The Japanese said it is wrong to go to war against your own emperor, but all is fine so long as you succeed. "So long as you succeed."  That is key.  And Hoover succeeded magnificently.  He had enough money by the time he retired that he was able to live in an apartment in the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City.

So Herbert Hoover wasn't as honest as George Washington in the cherry tree story?  And Richard Nixon was also a paragon of virtue.  Running a government is a lot like running a Mafia family.  And presidents share some of the personality traits of dons as Nixon came to show.  Hoover showed us that Presidents can also be as underhanded as the most deceitful of 19th century robber barons.  He was a self-made millionaire and was not above cheating a little to get the upper hand. (Here is the best account I can find of Hoover's early life.  It glosses over the resume fraud, but does back up my claim that he worked as a day laborer in a gold mine after he finished college.

Nothing new here you say.  Hoover was a rich man.  It didn't matter whether he was self-made or not, fact is , he presided over the nation during the Great Depression and sat in the White House eating fillet Mignon while the working class starved.  A modern day Nero, you think.

What if I was to show you that the man was a noted philanthropist, even before he entered politics.  What if I was to show you that he cared a lot more about civil rights for minorities back at a time when many Democratic officials were members of the Klan.  More than a little surprising, you say.

As a young swashbuckling ex-patriot, he lived in the foreign colony in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion.  He served as a guide for the US Marines and helped them rescue the civilians who lived there against the anti-royalist and anti-foreigner Chinese rebels who attacked the compound where the westerners lived during the rebellion against the Chinese emperor.  (More of a real war hero than let's say George W Bush - who served in the National Guard to get out of Vietnam - or Bill Clinton - who also avoided Vietnam - or Barrack Obama - who also never served under fire.)

During the First World War after Mr. Hoover already made his bones (and millions) in business, he went to Europe and headed up the Commission for Relief in Belgium and helped with the effort to feed refugees along the Western Front.  After the war, he went to eastern Europe and headed up the Salvation Army's relief effort there.  When I was a kid, my uncle Frank, who lived in Lithuania during WW I, told me that it was the Salvation Army, not the Red Cross, that kept him and his sister and mother alive when they got trapped in Europe from 1914 to 1923.  He said the crap about the Red Cross in our high school history book was just a bunch of propaganda put there by middle class American writers that didn't want any credit going to a bunch of holy rollers.  He said the Salvation Army's assistance was invaluable, even if he didn't agree with their religious views.  For more about Hoover's role in feeding Eastern European refugees in in the post World War I period, see
  I forget the significance of the imagry, but at West Branch, there is a statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis, with a veiled face, in honor of Hoover's European relief efforts.

So Herbert Hoover saved my father's mother's life so I can be here to write this.  Thank God for Mr. Hoover!

Sadly, the record of Hoover on civil rights was somewhat mixed.  On the positive side, he actually believed in the Quaker belief that all men were created equal regardless of race and believed that the black man and the Indian could pull themselves up by self reliance and hard work.  He picked Kansas senator Charles Curtis, a Kaw Indian as his running mate for the 1928 presidential election.  Mr Curtis became the first non-white elected vice president, a fact that has been largely forgotten today.  He was a strong supporter of Booker T Washington, the man who helped found trade schools for blacks across the country such as the Bordentown Manual and Training School (Later Johnstone and now the Medium Security Juvenile Facility) in Bordentown, NJ.  I hope you can see the irony in an institution originally created to train blacks to succeed now being used to warehouse black juvenile prisoners.  For more on the Bordentown Manual School see

On the negative side, it was Hoover's opportunism and duplicity that caused southern blacks to break from the GOP.  He's why Martin Luther King and all the other civil rights leaders of the 1950s and 1960s were Democrats.  The story goes like this.  Under President Coolidge, Hover was Secretary of Commerce. (He and Howard Taft were the only two American Presidents who served as cabinet members prior to running for President. )  There was no FEMA back in those days and the Commerce Department was responsible for distributing government assistance after natural disasters.  In 1927, the Mississippi River flooded vast tracts in the South and Hoover was tasked with distributing the aid.  Hoover was aware that the money would go to the white landowners and never be used to help rebuild the homes of black sharecroppers who were wiped out by the floods.  Hoover made a deal with Booker T. and with the NAACP to keep quiet about the misappropriation of aid in exchange for increased participation in the government once Hoover took office as President.  Washington and the NAACP took the bait and the sharecroppers, as usual got screwed out of their government money.

Hoover then executed his "Southern Strategy" during the 1928 election and openly courted white voters in the South.  He carried several southern states, the first Republican to do so since Reconstruction.  The whites backed him because they didn't want Al Smith, a Catholic and northern liberal to make it into office.  Hoover agreed with white leaders to allow the "old south" status quo to remain in place if he was elected.

By screwing over the black leadership, Hoover forever caused the blacks to break from the GOP, which they have consistently supported from the Civil War up until 1928.  He's why most blacks are still Democrats today.

Hoover was a revolutionary.  He was the nation's first modern Republican president.  Besides inventing the Southern Strategy as a way to get southern whites to vote for the GOP, Hoover also helped pioneer open cooperation between government and business.  As Secretary of Commerce, he believed that the Commerce Department should help businesses become more profitable and believed in giving government money to businesses to help them out.  He was the father of "Corporate Welfare", a policy that is a hallmark of Governor Christie's administration today.

To be fair to Hoover, it is important to note he did not sit by idly and let the nation suffer during the Great Depression.  As a man who believed in hard work and self-help he saw noting wrong with using public works projects to create jobs for unemployed workers.  He was responsible for starting work on the Hoover Dam, outside of Las Vegas.  Originally the dam was called Boulder Dam, but it was eventually changed to Hoover, in honor of the man who commissioned it.  There would have been more public works projects, but Hoover, who was considered a liberal within the Republican Party at the time, was unable to get congress to go along with the idea of deficit spending to create infrastructure.  (Today that's standard policy during a depression).

Like him or not, it is important to know Hoover to understand modern Republican politicians.  He believed:

No direct handouts to individuals.  People should be encouraged to help themselves.  Setting up educational and training programs is fine.  Providing relief during times of war or natural disasters is fine, but otherwise direct assistance should never be given.  (Read this:  No Social Security, Medicare, Medicare, Heating Assistance, Section 8, etc.)

The government should become the partner of business.  Financial aid and tax breaks to businesses are essential to make American industry more efficient and competitive.  (Reads:  Corporate Welfare, such as Christie's $110-million tax break to Panasonic for a new corporate headquarters and $220-million break to the Revel Casino in Atlantic City are just the ticket for success.)

Blacks and other minorities are OK.  (Reads:  We don't believe in biological racial superiority such as the whites did in the Old South or the Nazis did in Germany.  However, if they can't pull themselves up on their own, then the deserve to rot in the gutter.  No affirmative action needed or allowed.)

I always had an interest in Hoover.  He was Iowa's only president and I spent several years living in that state.  They like Hoover there.  You can count the number of Democratic governors elected in Iowa since the Civil War on one hand.  They name buildings after Herbert Hoover there, that's how popular he is there.

I don't think he was a bad man.  He was a paradox.  He helped feed millions as a philanthropist.  He put the first non-white person into our nation's second-highest office.  However, his rural background meant he never really understood the realities of life for the urban  poor.  According to his own experience, a little hard work and brazenness was all poor people needed to rise to the top of the world.

Fact is, Hoover would never had succeeded if his relatives in Oregon never took him in and if Stanford was not tuition-free.  He got the benefit of having relatives who were successful businesspeople taking him and also benefited from the California tradition of free college to all comers.

Today, most poor people don't have benevolent relatives who will train their kids to be successful businesspeople.  Most poor people can't just run off to the state university on a free ride and get a 4-year degree either.  Also, we have gotten better on verifying things, so Hoover's adventure into resume fraud wouldn't work today either.

If we get rid of assistance to individuals and give all our tax money to corporations, we will create a very cruel world.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Have a Readi-Cat and a Smile

Readi-cat is a contrast agent used by x-ray technicians to make your innards show up better on film.  Believe me, the taste of this product can not be confused with gin martinis which are my favorite drink,  I would not recommend drinking Readi-cat unless told to do so by a medical professional.

Back in the 1970s, Coca Cola had "Have a Coke and a Smile" as its slogan.  Whis is a take on that.  Today I am going for a cat scan of my abdomen because I have been getting pains in my gut.  Probably they're just muscle spasums related to a fall I had about two weeks ago.  Readi-cat is a nasty-tasting liquid that the x-ray technicians use to make your guts stand out better on a cat scan.  You drink it in three parts.   The first part, which is enough to fill a 16-ounce glass goes down 2 hours before the procedure.  It contains barium and tastes a lot like the Maalox brand of antacid.


It's now Saturday morning.  I had my cat scan yesterday and it was no big deal.  On a scale of 1 to 10, cat scans rate about a 2 in the level of discomfort endured by the patient.  You drink some crap that tastes like chalk, then go through a doughnut hole type doo-dad that reminds me of the time machine on Stargate.  A wheel inside the donut spins around and you get to see some flickers of laser light coming through a piece of glass on the donut, but beyond that, nothing for the patient to do.  It takes all of about 5 minutes.  Compared to an MRI, a cat scan is a piece of cake.

Looking forward to getting back the results.  Hopefully, the docs find out what's wrong so they can fix it or at least I start to heal up on my own soon.

It is Now Saturday June 11.  I got word back on Wednesday that I broke my sixth and seventh ribs on the right side.  The emergency room at Robert Wood Johnson - Hamilton missed this fracture when I went there Friday before Memorial Day.  It took Princeton Radiology's cat scan to find the problem.  According to my doctor, the stomach pain was what is known as "referred pain".  You have nerves that are attached to the back of your 5th, 6th and 7th ribs then go through your  belly in the front.  Break one of these ribs in the back and get pain in your gut.

Well problem found, but a little late.  I already have started healing.  Thanks docs, but no thanks for taking a couple weeks to diagnose my problem.  That's American insurance-company driven health care for you.  Slow and ineffective.  Thanks Corzine for getting rid of the Traditional Plan and switching all state employees to managed care.  I hope you are proud of saving the taxpayers a few pennies.  I will remember that the next time I have to be in agony for a few weeks as a result of managed health care.

How is managed care resopnsible, and how would traditional health insurance make a difference?  For those old enough to remember having such a policy, traditional Blue Cross/Blue Shield allows you to go to any healthcare facility anywhere in the world and get treatment without referrals,  Employer-paid health plans have dropped it in favor of managed-care options which restrict your choice of doctors and hospitals and also ofter require "pre-certification" before getting more expensive procedures such as cat scans and MRIs.

In my case, I went to the emergency room about a day or so after breaking my ribs, but the hospital only did an X-ray.  They couldn't find the breaks on x-ray.  Perhaps they didn't bother doing a cat scan because emergency rooms are overwhelmed with non-trauma patients, because people without health insurance get there knowing they will get to see a doctor.  Also, perhaps they didn't do a cat scan, knowing that would require precertification by the managed care provider.

In my case, I saw my doctor the following Tuesday after I was doubled-over all morning in an office meeting.  By this time I decided that maybe there is actually something wrong even though the emergency room said I was fine.  I couldn't get the cat scan done that Tuesday, because the procedure had to be precertified.  That meant I had to wait to Friday.  I couldn't get it done in a hospital either because of insurance company rules,  They wanted it done in an outpatient facility where it took me a few days to get the results back.

Altogether, everything slowed the process down and the diagnosis came too late to do me much good.

Now if I had traditional Blue Cross I could have insisted on a cat scan at the hospital when I first showed up and had an answer that day.