Canastota is a little town in central New York. All of 20 miles from my home town of Utica. Canastota has a few of distinctions.

It is the onion capital of the world. Miles and miles of onion growing fields.

Carmen Basilio was born and raised in Canastota. Carmen was once the welterweight and middleweight  champion of the world. Separate occasions, of course.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Canastota. Probably because everyone liked Basilio and the financial backers for the Hall of Fame were mostly located in the central New York area.

On this day in 1958, Basilio beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight title. Robinson is considered one the greatest boxers ever. Some consider him the greatest.

Basilio and Robinson fought 5 times. Basilio won only the one time mentioned.

Sport writers referred to Basilio as the Upstate Onion Farmer.

Basilio’s boxing career began in 1948. Boxing was everything back then. The boxing world of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s different from today. A class sport. Many followers.

Basilio boxed during my grammar, high school and college years. I recall other middle weight boxers of the era. Basilio fought some. Kid Gavilan, Tony DeMarco, Gene Fullmer, and Art Aragon.

Canastota is located between Utica and Syracuse. Due to Basilio’s presence and popularity in the area, several Basilio championship fights were held in Syracuse.

The healthcare battle ended yesterday. The Republicans deserved to lose. They failed to come up with a better law for the people.

The bill hurt the poor and old. It traded affordable health care for millionaire tax breaks. Th bill would ultimately be more expensive and uninsure millions of people.

It was written for the insurance companies and the rich.

I predict the budget battle will be similar. Certain of the same values. Like tax breaks for the rich on the backs of the poor.

The solution my friends is a one payer system. The guide is already there. Medicare. The wheel does not have to be reinvented. Difficult to make the law. The insurance companies would be hurt big time. The whole idea is contrary to basic Republican/Conservative beliefs.

The Prime Steakhouse has been open 9 years. Last night was my third time there. I was unhappy with my first two visits. Decided to give it another shot last night.

I was alone. Sat at the bar. Watched the North Carolina/Butler game.

First the game. I have lacked interest in the tournament because my Syracuse is not part of it. Last night was the first game I watched.

The tournament features the best of the best. Some better than others, however. North Carolina unquestionably superior to Butler. North Carolina the winner 92-80. Could go all the way.

The Steakhouse. A winner! A fantastic filet mignon accompanied by delicious sauteed spinach.

Bartender John a social person.

Be advised. Pricey.

Even the healthy must eat. I refer to organic food consumers. They now have a happy hour.

The Green Pineapple is located in the quiet end of Duval. An organic food store, among other things. Announced a once a month happy hour. To be called Be Happy Hour. Organic champagne, organic wine, beer tasting, various foods. The first wednesday every month.

Respectfully, I believe the Republicans spoke with a forked tongue in the healthcare battle. Obamacare broken! Disaster around the corner! Etc. They were not aware how the people really felt when confronted with Obamacare and the proposed new law.

Yesterday morning, the present Washington State Governor was on Morning Joe. His name, Jay Inslee. Impressive. Possible Presidential timber down the road.

He is happy with Obamacare! Works for Washington State. Yes, there are problems. Nothing that cannot be remedied. Coverage and savings there. Google Inslee and Washington State re the Affordable Care Act.

My gut feeling is it worked for Washington because Inslee and his predecessor Christine Gregiore followed the rules and guidelines how to take advantage of the law. They did not say I’ll do this part and not that, they did not pick and choose, etc.

Smathers Beach in use. Especially this time of the year with the Spring Breakers invasion. The beach crowded. Young beautiful bodies. The young ladies all attractive in their bikinis. Most playing volley ball.

On this day in 1961, the beach was dedicated and named for State Senator George Smathers. Better than a statue. The beach can be used 365 days a year.

Enjoy your day!




  1. ACA is and has been broken and actually leaves more uninsured as well as being judged as a tax.
    This first stage of Trump care appears to be not much better, but, as in normal politics today is completely partisan and with still too much input from the insurance companies.
    Mr Trump has previously said that he believes in single payer.
    I see republican/conservative views as health insurance not being an American right. To which happen to agree. Where do our rights end. Are we also entitled to successful careers, quality housing whether free or just affordable, citizenship, life insurance, drivers license,etc. Where does the ‘free’ stuff end and just who is supposed to pay for it. Some of us know that this ‘stuff’ isn’t free and will be paid for by some of us, our kids, grandkids and great grandkids.
    I still see ‘users’ and ‘recipients’ daily with their designer clothes and shoes, cigarettes, smart phones, junk food on EBT cards and Escalades that are so brazen and arrogant that they thank the folks that pay for their ‘entitlements’ and laugh about it.

  2. Patrick,

    I agree with you on most political stands. Except for health care. We are the richest nation in the world, with the best medical research, doctors and ability to care for people in the world.

    The ONE thing that this federal government could do and should do is provide health care for its citizens. Almost all other 1st world countries do this for their people.

    One solutions…Medicare works wonderfully for elders, and the system is already in place. They should just open up the eligibility from birth to death, instead of at age 65. Then figure out how to fund it.

  3. Well, medicare does work well. At least for me it does and most I know. But, its not the end all. It requires additional/supplemental insurance. And, fraud is a pretty high percentage of its cost.

    If the government could get its head out of its backside, and effectively pay for something similar I would probably go along with it.

    I know most other countries have something similar, but, they seem to have their problems too.

    But, because other countries have it really doesn’t make me want to jump in that wagon.

  4. Louis, Medicare is not that great for me. I have only the freebee (pays some of hospital stays) Plan A. I have paid into FICA for a free Plan A, so I take it though I have not yet used it. Plan B is too costly for me bc I only do a small dr office visit one time a year – required by fed govt for drs’ medicare patients. Plan B cost is taken out of the patients monthly social security check at about $120 now. So $120 times 12 months – too much for me when I can pay out of pocket or get term payments the small office visit of $80. The other plans I do not need. I am a healthy senior and hope to stay that way till a massive heart attack hopefully takes me away to avoid surgeries, chemo, radiation, plastic knees and so on.

  5. Diana,
    You are extremely fortunate to be of Medicare age and still healthy enough that you don’t need medical care. Congratulations.

    I have a friend who reached 60 years old without ever being in the hospital..then he was in Key West and developed a severe cellulitis from a scrape on his arm. He almost died in the hospital in KW.

    He’s a believer now in good medical coverage. He never even thought about it before.


  6. The debate over health care is just beginning, in its infancy really. I happen to follow Senator Sanders logic that a great nation should take into account the health and welfare of its citizens. Some argued that government should not be involved, heck for some that argument extends to all sorts of issues and blends with state obligation and personal choice. I see no difference in paying through taxes for national defense or health care. The option of a single payer system is both established and practical. Look other nations pay a tax very similar to ours, if you add up all the ancillary taxes we pay, and have programs better than ours. It can be done and done well with effort and purpose. The focus on the flaws of national health care is time wasted; the focus should be on improvement. The social security system may well have never gotten off the ground with this much negativity and that saved a whole lot of Americans from being without the basics.
    Look, America has changed, benefits through employers was going south long before this issue. The jobs that provided those benefits aren’t likely coming back to the extent needed and even if they did the health care shortfall wouldn’t change. I have seen the shift in major industry over a thirty-year period, from active employee health coverage to retiree health benefits, all greatly diminished in coverage while contribution and co-pay increase.
    The reality in this debate is as follows, one party began the process of filling the void in health care in the early 90’s, and the process developed the first prototype a decade plus later. There was no involvement or intent by an opposing party to give the America people what the needed, not by action or word. The time for both to refine, rearrange or reconstruct is at hand. This is the social security effort of today, it must be done and done well.

  7. Now I would think that time needs to be spent to find flaws and why they happened before more time can be spent finding a fix. Of course, time is costly.

    As long as we’re on health care, I strongly suggest anyone in Key West go elsewhere. I suppose there may be a good health provider somewhere in that town, but, my experiences proved different.

  8. Tom, re your friend almost dying in KW from an arm scrape…My millennial kid is arriving first time to KW Tuesday. I told her that I would cover the cost for a Dolphin Safari trip out to snorkel and see dolphins. But I told her to avoid that if she has any open wounds. MRSA is here and is deadly. The millennial then had an email fit with me about how KW waters could have MRSA and endanger the poor dolphins blah blah blah. I can see the writing on the wall for a week of dealing with a millennial here – I tell/show her something, yet she digests it completely different. Wish me luck.

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