Why Employers Hate Unions

•June 12, 2009 • 1 Comment

I have mixed feelings about Unions.  On one hand, they do serve a good purpose in making sure its members earn decent and livable salaries (usually), get decent benefits, vacation pay, etc; on the other hand, they also abuse their power.

While I can understand their purpose and agree with it, I have a problem with most Unions’ stand about companies having to tolerate poor performance/behavior from employees for unreasonable amounts of time.  It really isn’t fair to the employer (not all of them are dogs after all).   IF an employee is absent a lot, doesn’t do their job, doesn’t keep up, causes extra work for their fellow employees who have to pick up the slack, a company should be allowed to replace that person.  I don’t think a union should force a company to tolerate such poor performance and have to pay the person on top of it.

An article on the NorthStar Writers’ Group today gives an interesting take on the GM and UAW:

But that’s me, and it’s probably you. If you want to know why General Motors is now in bankruptcy, get this: GM’s recent big triumphant new contract with the United Auto Workers stipulates that an employee who helps himself to an unexcused absence can be fired – once he’s done it six times.

Six times!

© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Can you imagine what would happen if I just didn’t show up to work with no phone call, no email, no explanation?   I might get away with it once, but since I’ve never tried that I can’t say for sure.  But I could pretty much guarantee I’d be fired the second time I tried that.  I remember once in my first job and apartment, I had no phone.  I woke up with a fever and sick as a dog.  I had to walk a block to the pay phone to call in sick.  And I did!

At GM you can take all your scheduled PTO (paid time off) time (vacation, sick days, personal days) and still blow off work with NO notice or anything 6 times before you can be fired?  That’s like an extra week off each year……………….guaranteed by your union.  How nice for the GM employees.  However, I wonder about GM’s management team for agreeing to this nonsense to start with.

Years ago while I was living on Cape Cod, I worked for a while in a Bradlee’s department store.  For those who don’t know Bradlee’s, they are like Target stores.   Anyway, they were also unionized and it was a pain in the butt to fire anyone.

So the next time you are shopping, and the staff is unresponsive, lazy, rude, etc.  I’d bet if you asked you’d find out they were in a union and the Store’s management can’t do crap about it until they have a bazillion complaints on file.  It’s no wonder so many companies don’t want unions for their employees.  In which case, my suggestion to those companies would be to treat your employees with all loyalty and respect you demand and pay them living salaries.

Unions were good at one time; then they got too big, too political, too powerful…….now they seem to create as more headaches than any good they might do.

The Pandemic That Isn’t

•May 1, 2009 • 3 Comments

I know I said I wasn’t going to do anything on the Swine Flu issue, but Sandy over at Junkfood Science has done a fabulous job of cutting through the media hype and hysteria over this, and well………..I just couldn’t NOT do something here.

Swine Flu update: April 29, 2009

Part One of the Swine Flu epidemic here.

By the end of the day, panic over swine flu had reached pandemic proportions, with more than 117,607 news stories appearing on Google News. As media professor, Robert Thompson, at Syracuse University in New York, told Reuters this morning: “If as many people had swine flu as those [in media] that are covering swine flu, then it would be a pandemic to reckon with.”

He was more right than readers realize. As of tonight, the World Health Organization’s Swine Influenza Update reports 91 confirmed cases of the swine flu in the United States and one death; while Mexico has 26 confirmed cases, including seven deaths.

117 cases

117,607 news stories

That’s 1,005 news stories for each case of the flu.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Realizing that the CDC‘s own statistics show that over 30,000 people – in the U.S. alone – die every single year from influenza (63,000 in 2005); and the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) own statistics state that between 250,000 and 500,000 people die every single year globally from influenza, I’ve been wondering WHY all the hysteria over less than 2,000 cases globally and less than  200 deaths globally?  I don’t hear about pandemic levels every year during flu season.  So why all the hysteria so soon?

The media is having a field day with this.  The fact that the WHO is calling this a near pandemic has me questioning their credibility.  Actually, it is just confirming their lack of credibility for me.

The bigger question for me though is WHY they feel the need to try to keep us in a constant state of fear?   Why are so few of us questioning this?

Does H.R. 1913 Violate The 14th Amendment?

•April 30, 2009 • 10 Comments

I’ve been bombarded with “special news” lately about everything.  Swine Flu being the latest and greatest of course, but my roommate is covering that over at the JustMyTruth blog, so feel free to check it out.

I’ve often wondered what every new “pandemic” warning was covering up.  This time it looks like it might be the International Gun Treaty that everyone says Obama is all set to sign which would greatly diminish our 2nd Amendment guarantee to ‘keep and bear arms’.  I’ll save that for another time when I have been able to decipher the whole thing intelligently.

For now, I want to talk about H.R. 1913 otherwise known as the ‘Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009’.

I’ve been bombarded this past week with “must read” email notices about this bill.   The name alone makes me laugh…..this bill will PREVENT nothing (just like every other bill made that ONLY law-abiding citizens will obey anyway while criminals do as they damned well please).

Let me state here and now that I am actually against the whole premise of the bill, for reasons I’ll go into later on.

The calls for action have been claiming that this bill limits our free speech, is an attack on christian preachers (sorry if you preach that homosexuals are not worthy of life and someone takes you seriously you have helped incite them), though I admit this is a really tricky thing since free speech without self-responsibility can create havoc and harm, it is a fine line to walk between that and censorship (which I abhor).  They also state it will include pedophiles (and possibly rapists) as a protected class under “sexual orientation”.

The bill does not define sexual orientation OR limit it to homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transvestites, etc.  Apparently some in the House actually feel that since pedophilia is listed UNDER sexual disorders (along with those I’ve mentioned here) in the DSM-IV that they will be provided extra protection under the law from “attack”.  The reasoning being given is that if a mother discovered her child were sexually molested, and she confronted the perpetrator and slapped him (actually he’d be lucky if that was all she did), he might only be charged with a misdemeanor while the mother could be charged with a felony.

Personally, I don’t think any person in their right mind or in good conscience would feel the mother was guilty of a worse crime than her child’s molester.  Then again, knowing politicians and shyster lawyers just LOVE twisting common sense so hard you can’t recognize it anymore, I’m not wondering if these “panic” emails don’t have some merit.

First, what exactly defines a “Hate Crime”?  I know in MY mind what that means, and I’m sure you do also, but for some reason the government feels the need to actually “define” it and provide special protections to certain groups of people:

Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

    `(a) In General-
    • `(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person–
      • `(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person–

Is it just me, or does this not also define “crime” in general to you too?  We already have laws on the books regarding the fact that it IS against the law to attack another person; whether by fist, club, gun, knife, whatever else you might think of using.  So right here, I want to know why an attack on me as a white, heterosexual female not be considered as terrible a crime as someone else?    Seriously, why should crime that kills or injures me, or anyone else not included in this “protected class”  not be prosecuted to the same extent?

This bill will require jurors to now also consider what a person was feeling or thinking to determine if it is a “hate crime” or just a “crime”.   Aren’t all crimes hate crimes of some sort?

This bill really just expands Federal authority in these cases.  I’m not sure that is necessary as any State is free to request help from the feds at any time in any situation IF they so desire.

Another good breakdown of this bill can be found here.  In particular the section under additional views which spells out the objections of some of the House members nicely.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, my main objection to this bill is that it goes against our 14th Amendment to the Constitution:


Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Note that last sentence:  nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Now it just seems to me that by making special laws for some people, when that same crime committed against anyone else would not be pursued as hard perhaps, we are denying other segments of the citizenry “equal protection of the laws”.

And THAT is my whole problem with this bill.  I’m sorry, but a homosexual being beat up or killed for being gay is no more serious a crime than some white straight guy being beat up and killed for no good reason.

Sorry, murder is murder, assault is assault and one’s religion, sex, etc should have NOTHING to do with how it is investigated and prosecuted……………..Justice is supposed to be blind and this bill removes that blindfold and creates a new form of discrimination.

That’s how I see it.

It’s Been A While…

•April 25, 2009 • 2 Comments

I know I’ve been really bad about posting lately.  I have no excuse other than I allowed myself to crash after my lay-off from work.  I’ve just not been able to really focus on anything, let alone reading/researching/writing.

Today I stepped about a mile outside of my own personal comfort zone and did something I’ve never done before.  I participated in a small protest here in Phoenix……sign holding and all!  Trust me, for ME THIS was a huge step as I absolutely abhor doing anything that draws attention to myself.

I did attend the Tea Party Rally here in Phoenix on April 15th, but that was a little different, at least in my eyes it was.

Anyway, today’s protest was to “End the Fed” (as in the Federal Reserve Bank).  It turns out that right here in Phoenix we have the Fed’s cash processing center.  And before anyone tries to accuse me of being anti-government, understand that the Federal Reserve is NOT a government agency….it IS a PRIVATE bank!!!

So we spent the glorious morning we had here with our signs exercising our first amendment right to peacefully assemble/protest.  OK, so I didn’t do any yelling or anything, BUT this was still a major step for me.

In my life I never dreamed I’d turn rebel or activist, let alone wait until my 56th year to do so, and yet this seems to be the path I’m being pulled to.

I just want to see us go back to the basics of our Constitution.  I just want government reduced in size to what our founding fathers meant it to be.  I don’t need the government telling me how to live my life or pursue my happiness.

I’ll get to blogging shortly.  Think I’ve lazed around enough for now, and now I need to pick myself up and start focusing again.

This Is So “Hitleresque” It’s Not Even Funny!

•April 8, 2009 • 4 Comments

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, American philosopher – (1863-1952)

Winston Churchill must be spinning in his grave to see all he fought against being utilized in what was once a free country.

You have to ask yourself what exactly WWII was about.  Did all those fighting men (and women) die for nothing?

The UK is starting to look more like Hitler’s Germany than any semblance of a free society.

‘Snoops’ to nag their friends to live healthier lives

Well-meaning ‘snoops’ are being recruited by the Government to nag their colleagues, family and neighbours into living healthier lives.

Public health “mentors” will be enlisted by the NHS to offer ‘on the spot’ advice in their local neighbourhood when they see people smoking, eating or drinking too much.

The Government hopes that the volunteers will help to get across its messages on healthy living in a new and influential way but the plans have been criticised as evidence of the creeping ‘nanny state’.

While this might sound all well and good, how many people appreciate their family, friends, neighbors “preaching” to them about their personal lifestyle habits, etc?  We used to call people like this “busy-bodies”.

The article goes on to say:

The mentors, who as volunteers are not paid, are expected to work to influence the people around them, offering advice to workmates, family and friends about how they should change their unhealthy habits.

Eating a third fried breakfast of the week in the office canteen, having a drink ‘for the road’ at your local pub or chain-smoking another cigarette while waiting for the bus could all see the mentors spring into action to offer the Government’s advice.

Considering how I was the only one in my office who smoked, ate all the so-called “wrong” foods, and was overweight………….it is amazing to me that I was also the only one who never got sick, wasn’t always running to the doctors office for a sniffle or ache.   Seems to me that my co-workers’ “healthy” habits were rather unhealthy.

I’ll go on with what I know works for me and keeps me healthy.   I’ll go on using natural remedies for those times that I don’t feel well, and can still not lose time from work because of it.

The government really doesn’t know me or my body and therefore is in no position to tell me what is healthy for ME.

This new “one size fits all” mentality is going to do more harm than good and in the end cost a whole lot more than just leaving people alone.

Then there is also this to consider:

Ministers are concerned that some people are turned off by its traditional methods of advising on public health, including large-scale advertising drives such as the recent £75 million Change4Life campaign.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said: “If local health bodies have got spare money to spend they should really be focusing on higher priorities like recruiting more school nurses and health visitors.

Susie Squire, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When the struggling NHS cannot provide taxpayers with prompt doctor’s appointments or the right drugs for their ailments, there is no way the Government should be pouring money into costly gimmicks.

The NHS is crying broke….BUT they always seem to find the money for programs that have little to do with providing the care they are set up to provide.   It’s amazing they have the money for this stuff, but don’t have the funds to hire on more medical staff to handle the amount of people in need of real care!

But then this is what can be expected when you allow government to provide for your needs.  They then feel the “right” to tell you how to live since it is all taxpayer monies being used.  No matter that you yourself ARE providing the taxes and paying your way, so to speak.

IF this is what Obama has in store for us in this country in terms of healthcare……….I’ll take my chances without his help then.  Thank you very much!

Read the FULL STORY here.

The UK isn’t the only “free” country invoking “behavior modification via peer pressure” on its citizens.  The U.S. is doing the same thing, just taking a different route.

Under the guise of “Wellness Programs” many companies are not only providing such services but many are offering financial incentives to participants OR charging those who don’t participate (or don’t meet the “one size fits all” healthy standard) more for their health insurance.

Even Japan is getting into the act with it’s “Metabo” rules for employers, who will be fined IF their employees don’t meet the appropriate “waist” size mandated by the government.

One size does NOT fit all, and sooner these busy-bodies learn this the better, AND healthier, we will all be!

Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind…. Henry Grady Weaver

Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety….Daniel Webster

If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life….Henry David Thoreau

Who Is Left To Trust?

•March 17, 2009 • 11 Comments

Professional, peer-reviewed and published medical studies have long been the most trusted source of information.   I don’t know about you, but I was always taught that those in the medical profession were honest and above-board.  They spend years in school learning, they constantly stay on top of the latest new discoveries and reports.  The welfare of the patient is always first, and they never allowed their own personal beliefs interfere with their Hippocratic Oath.

There have probably been instances in the past where these reports and their researchers were called into question, but I admit to not having paid much attention.  Like most of us, I didn’t stop and listen until it hit home personally.

Tobacco Control is the area that brought my attention to the lies and deceptions of these so-called studies.  Today, most of these “studies” are issued by press release before the studies themselves are even made public; before they have been peer-reviewed and published.  By then it’s too late to undo any damage the exaggeration or lie has embedded in those who want to believe it.

And don’t even get me started on the pharmaceutical companies.  I swear they create “diseases” to match some new pill they designed.  Have you ever really paid attention to one of those ads and listened to the “possible side effects”?  I have, and I’d rather deal with my initial and immediate problem than use their pill and risk any one of the worse conditions that might occur.

The FDA is no better.  The corruption, fast-tracking, under-staffing and all around ineptness of this agency makes me wonder why they even exist, sucking up taxpayer dollars in the process.

We are being bombarded daily with fear mongering news headlines.  Everything is a “new study reports” scare tactic of one kind or another.   It’s never ending and I for one am getting burnt out hearing it all.  It’s like the story of the boy and wolf.  He cried “wolf” so often that when there really was a wolf to worry about, no one believed him.  That’s how I feel.  The media blasts us day in and day out with this will cause cancer; that will cause heart attack; the other will [fill in the blank].  I tune them all out now.  I no longer believe what is being reported.

However, for me, the worst mis-use of trust is with the medical profession.  When you have scientists fudging numbers to make a study show what they want it to show……………..well, I have real issues with trust after that.

Here’s an example of why it is so important to pay attention and make your own informed choices after doing your own reading and research.

One of the biggest cases of academic fraud in medical history

One of the largest known cases of academic fraud and misconduct made the news this week when Anesthesiology News reported that a leading medical researcher was found to have fabricated much, if not all, of the data in his research.

Scott S. Reuben, M.D., of Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, is said to have made up and falsified data in at least 21, and perhaps many more, studies published at least since 1996, according to the results of a year-long investigation by Baystate Medical Center. Jane Albert, a spokeswoman for Baystate, said that the fraud was spotted after questions were raised about two studies for which Dr. Reuben had not even received approval to conduct human research.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Medical research is supposedly peer-reviewed before being published and ONLY peer-reviewed studies ARE published.  So, you have to ask why so many of this man’s studies were approved for publication in medical journals IF, obviously, nobody actually reviewed them?  And if they were properly reviewed, then I’d start demanding independent reviews since obviously “peer-reviewing” doesn’t work.

This is just ONE person.  Don’t think for a moment that he is the only one.  The EPA even fudged it’s own work so that a study would match the press release they issued BEFORE the study was complete.

It’s truly a sad day when not only can you not trust your government but now we have PROOF that you can’t even trust the medical profession.  And this is just one reason why I no longer believe everything I hear.

Bailout Money to Pay Executive Bonuses?

•March 14, 2009 • 9 Comments

I admit it! I don’t get it!  I don’t understand the whole financial industry.

Seriously.  I don’t understand a business contract being written that guarantees huge bonuses every year, even IF the company loses so much money that it needs the government to bail it out financially, on the backs of the taxpayers for 2 or more generations to come!!!

How do these people sleep at night?  How do they look themselves in the mirror?

Insurance giant paying out $165 million in bonuses

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger, Ap Economics Writer 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.

AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.

The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

What company pays huge bonuses after suffering a $61.7 BILLION loss?  Better yet, WHAT legal eagle writes a contract guaranteeing said bonus no matter how poor the business decisions made were?  And what company in their right mind would even agree to this?    Is it just the financial industry that is this convoluted?   AIG so far has already received $170 BILLION of taxpayers’ money!!!

Can you imagine telling your bank that you need a loan to keep you afloat, and then spending it lavishly on a vacation in some super expensive resort for a month?  Can you imagine telling your boss that you don’t care IF they are about to lose their business you still demand your yearly raise and bonus?

This official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that Geithner had called AIG Chairman Edward Liddy on Wednesday to demand that Liddy renegotiate AIG’s current bonus structure.

Geithner termed the current bonus structure unacceptable in view of the billions of dollars of taxpayer support the company is receiving, this official said.

In a letter to Geithner dated Saturday, Liddy informed Treasury that outside lawyers had informed the company that AIG had contractual obligations to make the bonus payments and could face lawsuits if it did not do so.

It’s lawyers like these that make all lawyers look bad.  I wonder how they managed to get AIG to guarantee these bonuses no matter if business was about to fold.

Liddy said the company had entered into the bonus agreements in early 2008 before AIG got into severe financial straits and was forced to obtain a government bailout last fall.

The large bulk of the payments at issue cover AIG Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the insurer.

A white paper prepared by the company says that AIG is contractually obligated to pay a total of about $165 million of previously awarded “retention pay” to employees in this unit by Sunday, March 15. The document says that another $55 million in retention pay has already been distributed to about 400 AIG Financial Products employees.

Just to add insult to injury these bonuses are going to the same people who actually manufactured this disaster?   They are being rewarded for bankrupting the company?  I’m sorry, the logic here escapes me.  I’m just a simple taxpayer who works her butt off just to meet basic living expenses.  I live within my means. I take responsibility for my choices, good and bad.  AND if I make the wrong decisions, I am the one who pays for it, there is NO bailout for me.

But he also told Geithner that he felt it could be harmful to the company if the government continued to press for reductions in executive compensation.

We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses, which are now being operated principally on behalf of the American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” Liddy said.

OK, seriously, WHAT planet are these people from?  The only way to attract and retain the best and brightest is guaranteeing them all the money they want even if they bring the company to the brink of disaster?  WHAT other company does that?  More insulting is that they are offended that the government wants to restrict their bonuses after feeding it all that taxpayer money?

Personally, considering the mess these people put AIG in, if they are best and the brightest then AIG might want to re-think its hiring practices also.

I’m about to join the millions of already “laid off” unemployed taxpayers, so excuse me if I feel NO PITY for these greedy brats!  All of us, our children, grandchildren and great-children are going to be paying off this money and they want OUR sympathy and understanding?  I don’t think so!

Just for the record, I feel this way about any and all hugely obscene bonuses, especially for executives in companies that are in trouble and laying off it’s lower-level employees.  It is absolutely disgusting!!!

You can read the FULL STORY here, I just can’t wrap my brain around the arrogance and audacity of AIG and the rest of the Wall Street crowd.

Someone explain to me WHY our economy, our very lives basically, are dependent upon and ruled by these cretins?  AND WHY ARE THEY BEING REWARDED FOR POOR SHODDY WORK?

“For The Children”…Vatican Style

•March 10, 2009 • 1 Comment

I have my own personal reasons for disliking organized religions.  I also have my own first hand experienced reasons for hating the Catholic Church.  They are entitled to their positions, it is their God-given right.  But so am I.  The difference is, I don’t try to force them to live by my personal beliefs, whereas they try to force all of to live by theirs.

I heard a piece of a story on CNN yesterday, though missed the bulk of it.  An internet search tonight found the world talking about this case.

A nine-year old girl, in Brazil, is raped by her step-father, ends up pregnant, with twins.  The doctors find she is too small to handle carrying and giving birth to one child, but two would kill her.  Her mother and doctor feel that abortion is the only thing to do.  Abortion is illegal in Brazil except in cases where the mothers life is in danger, or rape.  This girl met both those conditions, even leaving out the fact that she’s ONLY nine.

So what is the Church’s reaction?  In their tolerant, loving, understanding, following Jesus Christ manner……………………the mother, doctor and everyone else who in any way assisted and allowed this abortion is to be excommunicated!  Personally, I don’t really find this to be such a bad thing, but that’s just me.  According to CNN even the Pope had his say in this matter, which of course was just backing up the Church of Brazil.

The church at least had the good grace to take the girl’s age into consideration and felt she didn’t deserve to be excommunicated.  Too bad they don’t think her age is important enough regarding the pregnancy and death sentence they wanted to force on her.

And just to add insult to injury?  There is NO mention in any of the articles about the low-life male who was her step-father being excommunicated.  So this just confirms what I’ve always believed religious folks think, in the eyes of the Church, a man can rape and impregnate his child/step-child/any child/woman and it’s ok, just don’t let that child/woman have an abortion to save to her life.  Talk about disgusting and twisted!

By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

A Brazilian archbishop says all those who helped a child rape victim secure an abortion are to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

The girl, aged nine, who lives in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, became pregnant with twins.

It is alleged that she had been sexually assaulted over a number of years by her stepfather.

The excommunication applies to the child’s mother and the doctors involved in the procedure.

The pregnancy was terminated on Wednesday.

Abortion is only permitted in Brazil in cases of rape and where the mother’s life is at risk and doctors say the girl’s case met both these conditions.

Police believe that the girl at the centre of the case had been sexually abused by her step-father since she was six years old.

The fact that she was pregnant with twins was only discovered after she was taken to hospital in Pernambuco complaining of stomach pains.

Read the FULL STORY here.

According to the various stories I found, this same man also raped this girls older and disabled 14-year old sister.  And the Church has not said one word, not one, about this man’s actions.  But then why should I expect them to, they consistently try to cover up all their priest who sexually molest/abuse little boys.

I’m not sure what has me more disgusted the man raping the child or the church not caring about the child’s life.

“What would Jesus Do?” is a question they should be asking themselves.  The dogma they spout is nauseating as is the blindness of these people who think they know what is best for everyone.

They care more about a fertilized egg or two in a womb than they  do in a living, breathing, walking this earth human being.  That child will carry the scars of the sexual abuse and rape with her for her entire life.  They are not even worried about that.

And people wonder why I hate organized religions so much!   No room for understanding, forgiveness, exceptional cases.  Bunch of hypocrites!

Karma!  That’s all I can say and I’m glad I won’t have theirs.

Harassment or Boredom?

•March 7, 2009 • 3 Comments

You can’t make some of this stuff up!  Honestly!  The nannyism going on in the world today has definitely gotten out of hand.

From the UK, I bring you what could possibly happen if a police officer is bored working in what obviously must be a crime-free town:

Motorist stopped by police for laughing

A motorist was stopped by a police officer and questioned because he was laughing at the wheel.

Motorist stopped by police for laughing

When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: ‘Laughing while driving a car can be an offence.’ Photo: ELEANOR BENTALL

Gary Saunders, a company director, was using a hands-free phone when he burst out laughing at a joke told by his brother-in-law, who he was talking to.

A few moments later he noticed a traffic officer flashing his lights at him and gesticulating at him to stop his Renault.

When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: “Laughing while driving a car can be an offence.”

The officer spent half an hour questioning his suspect before reluctantly allowing him to carry on his way.

However, he took another hour-and-a-half of Mr Saunders’ time by ordering him to produce his licence and other documents at a police station.

Mr Saunders, the managing director of Spontex Workwear, of Liverpool, said the delay meant that he missed an important appointment.

“I couldn’t believe it when he told me I’d been pulled over for laughing,” he said.

“I was driving very safely in the Birkenhead Tunnel and took a call.

“He said something funny and I was laughing – simple as that. I never took my eyes off the road and was in full control of the car.

“I definitely wasn’t speeding so I asked what the problem was and he told me I was laughing too much.”

Now, I’m fully aware of the fact that just about anything can be  distraction while driving.  I’m also fully aware of the fact that the majority of us know this AND are responsible enough to NOT allow distractions to actually distract us to the point of being irresponsible.   Personally, I think having kids in the car with you is one of the most distracting things you can do, but I don’t hear about that being an offense.

You really have to wonder if they officer was in a bad mood and looking to harass someone or if he was just so terribly bored he needed something to do.  Worst case cause would be he had to meet a ticket quota.

But wait, it gets better:

He went on: “The officer accused me of throwing my head back in a dangerous way, which I denied since it is definitely not something I do.

“It became a bit ridiculous when he wanted to know the colour of my hair as I have alopecia and there isn’t a hair on my head.

“When I pointed this out he asked: ‘What colour was your hair when you had some?’

“It went from ludicrous to unbelievable. He definitely had a bee in his bonnet about something and I got the brunt of it.

“In the end he reluctantly admitted that he had nothing he could accuse me of, but still required me to take my documents to the station.”

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009

WHAT exactly does the color of his – or lack of as the case may be – have to do with any of this?  Nothing, that’s what!  This officer was just in the mood to give someone a hard time I think.

You can read the FULL STORY here.

There’s just nothing else I can say about this as it is just too ‘way out there’ for even me…..LOL

Happy Saturday everyone!!  And don’t forget “NO LAUGHING WHILE DRIVING“!

Government Controlling Invitro Fertilization?

•March 5, 2009 • 6 Comments

I’ve tried really, really hard to ignore writing anything about the “Octomom”.  Honestly, I did try!  But the more I hear, the more I can’t ignore it.

The office I work in has CNN on TV all day long, and of course I sit right there.  I won’t go on a rant about how all the anchors sound “screechy” and how some days my poor ears just can’t take it; which is why I try tuning it out as much as possible.  But every now and then, something comes through that catches my attention.

I will admit that I love Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty.  It amazes me that they are allowed to say the things they do say, given that I’ve noticed how biased and one sided the “news” is on CNN.  Anyway, one of Jack Cafferty’s commentary’s/questions earlier this week was related to the “Octomom” (as she’s been dubbed) as her actions have spawned some new legislation being considered in a couple of states to limit the number of embryos that can be implanted at one time:

Octuplets’ birth spawns bills limiting embryos

Women under 40 could have no more than 2 embryos implanted at one time

updated 5:05 p.m. MT, Wed., March. 4, 2009

ATLANTA – Lawmakers in two states, outraged by the birth of octuplets to a California mother, are seeking to limit the number of embryos that may be implanted by fertility clinics.

The legislation in Missouri and Georgia is intended to spare taxpayers from footing the bill for women having more children than they can afford. But critics say the measures also would make having even one child more difficult for women who desperately want to become mothers.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Read the FULL STORY here.

According to the story, these implantations cost upwards of $10,000 per session:

Supporters say the bill would cut down on the number of unused embryos. But opponents argue that would severely limit the options of women paying $10,000 to $15,000 for each fertility cycle.

Now, since this whole circus began, and it has slowly come out that Nadya is, in fact, on welfare; the one question I have not heard asked is “how did she afford the implantation?”  I mentioned this to my roommate tonight, who promptly told me she heard on one of the news reports that Nadya claims to have used her severance pay from her last job to pay for it.   I’d love to know what job that was that gives out such hefty severance pay.  So I did a search to see if I could find that answer.  No luck really.  Some say she was on disability.  Again, nice that disability pays so well? I wonder why my roommate’s disability doesn’t pay that well?  Who knew that disability paid so much that someone could afford a $10,000 doctor’s visit?

But seriously, why would any ethical doctor, whether he treated her all along or not, implant so many embryos into a woman who had NO income, 6 children under the age of 7 at home already?

And because of her selfishness, stupidity, delusions; and her doctor’s unethical and negligent actions, lawmakers now want to control IVF treatments for every other woman – innocent and responsible women no less – so that their states’ won’t get stuck paying the bills that California is now saddled with to support Nadya and her 14 children.

Here’s Jack Caffety’s commentary/question regarding this topic:

March 4, 2009

Should government limit embryo implants?

Posted: 06:00 PM ET

From CNN’s Jack Cafferty:

The California woman who had octuplets to go with the six children she already had continues to stir debate around the country. The latest comes from Georgia, where lawmakers want to prevent the same thing from happening in their state.

Should government limit embryo implants?

A Georgia state senator has introduced a bill limiting the number of embryos that can be used during in-vitro fertilization.

A state senator has introduced a bill that would limit the number of embryos that can be implanted in a woman’s uterus during in-vitro fertilization. He doesn’t want taxpayers to have to end up paying for raising children that result from multiple births if the parents can’t afford it.

The limits would be two embryos for a woman under 40 and 3 for a woman older than 40. These numbers are slightly lower than what’s considered normal by most doctors. Breaking the law could result in a fine of up to one-thousand dollars.

And it’s not just Georgia. Missouri is considering a similar bill and laws just like this are already on the books in England and Italy.

Some fertility doctors suggest the proposed legislation would hurt a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, that there are special cases where they need more than 3 embryos.

Critics also suggest this bill is a backdoor effort to ban abortion. That’s because the bill says “a living in vitro human embryo is a biological human being who is not the property of any person or entity.”

It’s not likely to pass in Georgia anytime soon because of a crowded legislative calendar, but the fact that it’s being discussed at all is cause for alarm in some circles.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government limit the number of embryos a woman can have implanted?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

You can read some of the responses HERE.

The responses he got were of course mixed.  Some people said YES and some said NO!  Go figure….LOL   But the question and responses got me to thinking hard.   Of course my first reaction was of course they should if the woman is on welfare.   That makes perfect sense to me.  Then again, exactly how does someone on welfare afford in-vitro fertilization?

This is where my conflict comes in though.  If you are collecting welfare, disability, whatever, you are basically being supported by the taxpayers.  And while I don’t believe that has to mean the taxpayers get to decide what you can and cannot do, I do think it means that you are less free to make choices if those choices deliberately end up costing the taxpayer even more.   I’m not a fan of government intrusion as it is, and definitely NOT wanting government intruding into MY personal life choices at all!!!!  I couldn’t live that way.  And yet, I would feel obligated to if the very basics of my life’s needs were being paid for by others.

One of the responses Jack got, was the perfect response.  The writer said that the government had NO place legislating this, but that the states needed to re-vamp their welfare programs.  This is so very true.  Some people fall on hard times and require a helping hand, however, that hand shouldn’t be only feeding them indefintely, but instead helping them learn to feed themselves again, so they can once again stand on their own two feet.  Welfare was never supposed to be a career or heirloom passed from generation to generation.

I’ve always said that if you need to apply for welfare, then what you received when you applied is all you should ever be allowed….except for maybe cost of living increases.  However many children you have at that time, you could receive monies/food stamps for, but that you should not receive more just for having another child or three.  The only exception I can see to this is if you are already pregnant when you apply, OR you were raped and can’t bring yourself to have an abortion.  Other than that, there is NO excuse for expecting the hard working taxpayers to continually and endlessly pay for your pregnancies, and children.

I’ve heard that medicare (which is usually part of the welfare/food stamps package) does not pay for birth control.  THAT makes no sense to me.  It is far less expensive to cover the price of a woman’s birth control pill/method than it is to pay for her repeated pregnancies, births, child-raising for 18 years.

So, my response to these legislators in Missouri, Georgia and any other state, considering this outrageous intrusion, would be to look at your own states’ welfare program and fix it!

If something is broke you fix it, you don’t pass new laws to pretend something isn’t broken.  And you don’t pass new laws that infringe on the people’s right to make their own choices in life.

Learn to enforce your existing laws.  Learn to create laws that make sense and don’t infringe upon responsible people.  Learn to audit and/or oversee the agencies responsible watching that clinics operate properly.

Just once, I’d like to see these irresponsible people pay for their actions instead of us innocent, responsible people!

21st Century “Scarlet Letter”

•February 26, 2009 • 2 Comments

Do you remember “The Scarlet Letter”?

The Scarlet Letter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Scarlet Letter (1850) is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered his magnum opus. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who gives birth after committing adultery and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

The novel takes place in 17th-century Boston, Massachusetts during the summer, in a then Puritan village. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter in her arms and on the breast of her gown “a rag of scarlet cloth” that “assumed the shape of a letter. It was the capital letter A”. The scarlet letter “A” represents the act of adultery that she has committed and it is to be a symbol of her sin – a badge of shame – for all to see.

Jump ahead to the 21st Century and real life, NOT a novel, presents us with an updated version using the premises of this well known novel:

Bill calls for special Louisiana licenses, plates for drug dealers

By Mike Hasten • Louisiana Gannett News • February 16, 2009

BATON ROUGE — If drug dealers want to stay in business after being arrested more than once, they should have to let the world know what they are, says a Lafayette lawmaker who says he’s tired of seeing drug deals and their effects in his neighborhood.

Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, has pre-filed HB11, which would require second-offense drug dealers to carry special driver’s licenses and put brightly colored license plates on their cars.

“I’m pushing for it to be bright orange,” said Hardy, who envisions that if dealers know they could face such a stigma, they might get out of the trade.

“Drugs destroy communities and destroy families,” he said.

“They lead to rape, murder, burglaries, drive-by shootings and the list goes on and on. We can no longer defend the drug dealers. We need to do something about them.”

Hardy said the intent of his bill is “to embarrass them. If they don’t want to be upstanding citizens, make them stand out. They want a badge of honor? Here it is.”

Copyright ©2009 The News Star

Read the FULL STORY here.

Now, before anyone asks me “what’s wrong with that?”, let me state that my first thought was YES!!! That lasted all of about 2 seconds before I realized the implications, and path this could take.

The article mentions about the wife who may have to also use the dealers’ car and the kids riding in it being stigmatized. The legislator’s response is that since they are benefiting from the dealers’ activities they can wear the same shame. What IF the wife doesn’t know he was dealing drugs to start with? Seriously, consider that a moment. And not for nothing, but I don’t think the sins of the father should be forced upon the innocent children (who have NO choice or control about who their parents are and what they do).

From here, you can see they could do the same thing with sex offenders, murderers, thieves, etc. Do you honestly think they will stop with drug dealers? There will always be someone out there trying to shame/stop someone else for/from doing something that mr/ms “I am perfect you need to live as I do” doesn’t like.

Before you know it, we all will be bearing the “mark of sin” for something or other.

Granted, drug dealers are the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned. Yet I feel our government, and the puritanical nannies that never seem to disappear, helped fuel this problem. Personally, if they legalized this stuff, they could tax it. Think of the revenue THAT would bring in, not to mention the billions of dollars, of taxpayers’ money, that could be saved that are currently wasted on the failure known as the “war on drugs”. The enforcement people at the DEA could be put to better use fighting other crimes, helping protect our borders, maybe even working with the FDA to do the job they have trouble doing….protecting our food! There’d be no job loss if the DEA were disbanded, they could all be reassigned to other areas where good help is really needed.

So while part of me applauds this man’s gumption with this idea; a greater part of me sees the implications and where it could lead.

I also have to wonder, are all the problems in Louisiana taken care of that this man feels it wise to pursue this with taxpayer dollars?

Mandating Health Insurance Behind Closed Doors

•February 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

If certain politicians, lobbyists, insurance companies, the medical profession and pharmaceutical corporations get their way, having health insurance will not only be our individual responsibility, BUT IT WILL BE A MANDATORY OBLIGATION as well.  And there is talk of actually punishing, via special taxation, anyone who does not have health insurance if they are able to.

AND these discussions and plans are being made secretly:

Behind closed doors

How many Americans knew that since last fall, key stakeholders in the health insurance industry and lobbyists for a wide range of interests in managed care have been secretly meeting with Democratic staff of Senator Edward Kennedy, working to develop the terms for legislating universal health insurance? As the New York Times reports, the talks taking place behind closed doors are unusual. Staff aides said that anyone who revealed the details of the group’s plans outside the secret meetings have been threatened with expulsion.

Reporter Robert Pear writes:

The ideas discussed include a proposal to penalize people who fail to comply with the “individual obligation” to have insurance. “There seems to be a sense of the room that some form of tax penalty is an effective means to enforce such an obligation, though only on those for whom affordable coverage is available,” said the memorandum, prepared by David C. Bowen, a neurobiologist who is director of the health staff at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Now, I’m fully aware of the importance of health insurance.  Most especially if you are one who needs to see a doctor several times a year, has medication to be regulated and taken, or was in an accident or has terminal illness.  Yet, how many stories do we hear about people with health insurance who still end up losing everything due to medical bills because the health insurance doesn’t or won’t cover their medical expenses.  What good is having health insurance then?

Then you have someone like me, I see a doctor once a year only because I have to have my thyroid checked to get my prescription renewed.  If not for that, I wouldn’t see a doctor even that often.  I’m a healthy person, even though I smoke, I rarely get ill, let alone sick enough to need a doctor.  Yet I keep paying into my employee sponsored health insurance every month, never meeting even the lowest deductible so that one visit and lab work is always out of pocket for me.  So WHAT exactly do I have this insurance for?  Just in case?  Hell, given how insurance companies do everything they can to avoid covering your particular need, I call that a waste of money I could just put into a flexible spending acct, so it’s ready for me to use when I do need to.

According to the New York Times article Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company (bold emphasis is mine):

Many of the parties, from big insurance companies to lobbyists for consumers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, are embracing the idea that comprehensive health care legislation should include a requirement that every American carry insurance.

While not all industry groups are in complete agreement, there is enough of a consensus, according to people who have attended the meetings, that they have begun to tackle the next steps: how to enforce the requirement for everyone to have health insurance; how to make insurance affordable to the uninsured; and whether to require employers to help buy coverage for their employees.

The talks, which are taking place behind closed doors, are unusual. Lobbyists for a wide range of interest groups — some of which were involved in defeating national health legislation in 1993-4 — are meeting with the staff of Mr. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, in a search for common ground.

While President Obama is not directly represented in the talks, the White House has been kept informed and is encouraging the Senate effort as a way to get the ball rolling on health legislation.

Well, so much for transparency in this administration!

IF health insurance were affordable, they wouldn’t have to think about making it a law and mandating it.  If you’re let go from your job, you are usually offered the chance to get COBRA, as I was when I left my job in NYC to relocate here to Phoenix.  It was only going to cost me about $400 a month, and they wanted 2 months payment up front.  Someone explain to me how anyone NOT working can afford that?  Needless to say, I was without insurance (which I really didn’t notice) for a few months until I found a good job.

Some participants in the talks said Congress should specify the benefits. But “the sense of the room seemed to be” that Congress should leave details to a group of experts, according to the memorandum.

Under this proposal, the experts would define the minimum coverage “within statutory parameters” set by Congress. Insurers might be allowed to offer different benefits with the same overall value.

The group has also been discussing the possibility that federal standards “may supersede state benefit mandates.”

I don’t know about you, but the thought of politicians setting standards parameters disturbs me.  I mean, they’ve pretty much shown that they don’t have a whole lot of love or respect for us simple taxpayers.

While I totally agree that healthcare costs are out of control and health insurance costs are not affordable to the average person privately, I find my heels digging in over this idea of actually mandating that every one have health insurance, and if you can afford it on your own and don’t have it, you will be punished.

Maybe it’s a rebellious streak in me, but I’m fed up with these people dictating MY private life choices this way.

Make insurance affordable to the average low-middle income person and we will more than likely choose on our own to have health insurance.  Try to FORCE me, and I WILL resent it, and fight back.

If You’re Camera Shy

•February 22, 2009 • 2 Comments

Don’t go to England! They have cameras all over the place. All in the name of safety, mind you. Ignore the fact that the cameras don’t actually stop any crimes from happening, and don’t really aid in arresting the culprits they do catch on cameras. But hey! At least you think your safe!

Well England is taking it to the next level. Why? Well apparently they are as incapable of enforcing certain laws as we are here in the States, so their answer, in this really trying economy with everyone including governments being flat out broke, is to spend MORE taxpayer money to install MORE cameras inside stores that sell alcohol. They want to cut down on the number of minors who buy alcohol.

Buying some wine? Spy cameras will be watching

By James Slack
Last updated at 1:43 AM on 21st February 2009

© 2009 Associated Newspapers Ltd

Big Brother CCTV cameras are to be fitted inside shops and supermarkets on the orders of the state to keep track on anybody buying alcohol.

A law is being quietly pushed through Parliament giving councils the power to order licensed premises to fit the surveillance cameras. Pubs will also be covered.

The footage of people innocently buying a bottle of wine in a shop or a pint of beer in a bar must be stored for at least 60 days, and be handed over to the police on demand.

CCTV camera

Anyone buying alcohol – in pubs, shops and supermarkets – will be monitored by CCTV cameras

Critics say it will mean that citizens will now be tracked everywhere they go. The UK already has more than four million closed-circuit TV cameras covering the streets – the largest number in the world.

Cars are also automatically monitored using cameras that check registration plates. Now shops and pubs will also be covered.

The measures form part of the Policing and Crime Bill, but have not been highlighted by Ministers.

Under a code of conduct, which will be enforced by the Bill, any business that intends to sell alcohol will have to agree to install the cameras.

Phil Booth, of the NO2ID privacy campaign, said: ‘We are already a country with more CCTV cameras than anywhere else in the civilised world, but this law is systemising the surveillance of a nation. People will be treated like suspects wherever they go.’

James Brokenshire, a Tory home affairs spokesman, said: ‘The risk is that these provisions could be used as a way to impose blanket CCTV requirements where they just aren’t necessary. This mustn’t be another way of extending the surveillance society by the back door.’

Earlier this week, the Mail revealed how police were warning pubs they would not support their licensing applications unless they agreed to train the intrusive cameras on their customers.

The first blanket policy has been introduced in the London borough of Islington, where all applicants wanting a licence to sell alcohol are being told they must fit CCTV.

Other forces are adopting similar tactics. But the planned new law goes much further, as it will allow councils – which ultimately hand out all licences – to insist on the CCTV cameras.

Ministers have also been restricting the public’s right to ‘watch the watchers’.

Earlier this week, a law came into force which carries a maximum ten-year jail term for anybody taking a picture of a police officer if it is ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, who is piloting the CCTV measure through the Commons, recently admitted that he couldn’t remember the last time he was in a pub.

Mark Hastings, spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘It’s an extraordinary admission from someone who is proposing measures that, on the Government’s own admission, will cost the pub sector hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

‘It shows how disconnected he is from the realities of what it’s like trying to stay in business in the current environment.’

What really caught my attention in this article though was at the end. I’ve bolded it here:

The Home Office said the clause in the Bill was intended to allow police and councils to target premises where problems were occurring, such as underage sales.

It was not meant to penalise businesses that act responsibly. It will be up to councils to decide which premises must have cameras, and they will be trained on the areas where alcohol is sold.

Excuse me, BUT if you know what premises were selling to underage people, why not just shut them down or pull their liquor license? WHY does everyone always have to be inconvenienced or punished or watched just because they can’t or won’t enforce existing laws? They do the same damned thing here too.

It is the word “was” that really caught my attention. Note they didn’t say “is intended” but “was intended”, which tells me they are just trying to soften the blow because they know that that local councils will push this more and more for even more reasons. In other words, the bill is NOT limited in scope but free to be expanded upon at will apprently.

Don’t think it won’t happen hear, remember earlier this month I posted about Madison, Wisconsin looking to put cameras outside of bars, supposedly to prevent fights and such.

Cameras prevent NOTHING.

Personally, I’m getting a little sick and tired of all this “for the children” crap. What is the problem with parents watching their own kids, and what’s wrong with law enforcement people actually enforcing the law as they are paid to do? Granted, teens are rebellious, and you know what? You really can’t stop them. IF they can’t get it one way, they’ll get it another. Our total failure of the “war on drugs” should be proof enough of that.

Here’s a wild idea – why not actually educate the kids to be smart and responsible? Why not actually teach them about making smart choices? And while we’re at it, why NOT insist that law enforcement actually enforce existing laws and strip liquor licenses from those establishments that you KNOW are selling to the underage? Is this really too hard to do?

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

Snuck Into The ‘Stimulus’ Package

•February 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I really hate how our elected officials truly believe we are too stupid to see what they are doing. President Obama assured us there were NO ‘earmarks’ in the stimulus package. Now, the way I interpret that is he was assuring us that everything dollar in that package was there to help actually stimulate the economy; that there are no ‘earmarks’ for special interest pet projects that really are not necessary, at least not immediately.

Using my understanding of “no earmarks” I actually expected to find that all the money we are borrowing from China and Saudi Arabia will actually be used to help ailing businesses stay afloat so more citizens don’t lose their jobs, and also to help the citizens with more food stamps, some financial aid while looking for a new job after being dumped from the job they did have, and helping the State’s pay for some infrastructure such as teachers, fire and police, etc.

Well, in this wonderful ‘stimulus’ package, that I’m not sure we should be doing to start with, is about $3 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services. I know, you’re probably thinking “what’s so wrong about that”, aren’t you? Well, you have to read the bill to understand. To me it looks like there is NO stimulus for anyone other than the agency involved with this money. OH, and government starting to dictate our health and wellness regimen.

Sandy over at the Junkfood Science Blog did a nice breakdown on this segment of the bill. I strongly urge you to read the whole thing and then tell me this is still a good thing:

Government-oversight of healthcare — End of discussion?

As we all know, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R.1). Whether or not the enormity of this legislation, and what it means for the future of our healthcare, is understood probably depends on whether people have read the 1,434 pages of legislation and get the real meaning of words like quality, cost effective, harmonize, biosurveillance, public health, health disparities, genomics and preventive wellness.

There are seven versions of the legislation at various stages, including the final version the House approved, the Senate’s amended sections, and the most current print version for the public. There are widespread misunderstandings, rumors and healthy doses of doublespeak in the media about what the legislation says. The simplest solution is to go directly to the source.

© 2009 Sandy Szwarc

Read the FULL STORY here.

I don’t know, the words Government and oversight being used together looks like an oxymoron to me. I mean, the government couldn’t oversee itself out of a paper bag with a detailed map. I personally am not confident that they know better than I or my doctor what is best for my health.

The language is vague and many argue that it really doesn’t say that the HHS will have the final say over how your doctor treats you; but that is why government cannot be trusted. They have it worded so it doesn’t explicitly say that, but use language that actually implies they most certainly can. That is IF you really read it carefully. How many will actually do that?

What really bothers me about this though is the additional $3 Billion that will be used for a National Health IT database.

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

For years, JFS has been warning of the plans being made for nationalized integrated Health IT, the research on its effects on patients’ clinical outcomes, costs (both financial and to lives and medical errors), the public-private stakeholder interests behind this agenda, and privacymultiple security concerns. As reviewed here, the National Coordinator for Health IT position was created in 2004. To date, it has focused efforts on mandating integrated electronic medical records for providers of care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. and

This legislation expedites the adoption of nationalized electronic medical records with $3 billion in additional funding and empowers the Office of the National Coordinator to establish the technical standards, certify and regulate electronic medical records (EMRs) in accordance with the determinations of the Secretary of HHS and “towards a coordinated national goal.” It also “updates the Federal Health IT Strategic plan to include specific objectives.” These include mandating:

You’ll have to read the full story linked above for the rest of this. But let’s just say that the government’s idea of ‘voluntary’ is to dictate that if a hospital or doctor doesn’t comply with the EHR and/or HHS standards of care (meaning what they deem you need and not what you may really need) they may or may not get paid.

All this is supposedly going to save billions of dollars in healthcare costs and millions of lives (as IF no one will ever die again?). Sandy did another piece that shows just how such programs really don’t save anything or anyone:

Medical Homes and care coordination are tested

Older Americans who, understandably, have more chronic conditions of aging, are sadly also blamed for accounting for “disproportionately” large amounts of Medicare spending. It is sometimes thought that the increased services those suffering from chronic conditions require could be due to inadequate counseling on diet, medication, and self-care or not having ready access to medical care.


So, in 2002, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) competitively awarded grants to 15 health care programs to study care coordination. It also contracted with Mathematica Policy Research Inc. to conduct an independent evaluation of the findings. Their conclusions were reported in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.



“None of the 15 programs generated net savings,” the authors found. “None of the programs reduced regular Medicare expenditures, even without the fees paid to the care coordination programs.” In fact, “for total Medicare expenditures including program fees, the treatment groups for 9 programs had 8% to 41% higher total expenditures than the control groups did, all statistically significant,” they said.

Read this FULL STORY here.

So this study found it actually increased costs rather then lowered them. The government in it’s intelligent way (and I use the word intelligent very loosely and sarcastically here) will go ahead and implement such plans anyway.

I don’t know about you, but this sure does look like ‘pork’ to me. I call THAT an ‘earmark’.

As I said when I started, “government oversight” is an oxymoron.

And A Little Closer To Home…

•February 6, 2009 • 3 Comments

Madison, Wisconsin is considering the use of surveillance cameras INSIDE BARS in their downtown district as a “safety” measure.

TUE., JAN 27, 2009 – 10:05 AM

Coalition’s ideas to make Downtown safer include surveillance cameras in bars


Surveillance cameras could capture ugly behavior near and inside Madison bars if a Downtown coalition’s ideas move forward.

An effort led by Downtown Madison Inc. to make the central city safer is producing a range of strategies for bars that includes surveillance cameras in establishments, training for all staff, better interaction with police and more.

The effort, begun last year and involving perhaps the broadest coalition ever to confront crime and violence Downtown — and the perception of it — includes the city, UW-Madison, bar owners, police, the business community, neighborhood leaders and others.

The initiative has taken on a special urgency after two people were killed outside Downtown bars last year.

Copyright © 2009 Wisconsin State Journal

Read the FULL STORY here.

OK, color me cold and heartless, BUT……………….2 people are killed outside downtown bars in a 12 month period and this is a cause for alarm? I guess Madison, Wisconsin is a pretty quiet town IF this is a real crime spree. And just because they were killed outside of bars, why is it automatically assumed that the killers/victims were inside the bars first?

I’m sure they have all their evidence and all the parties were drunk, BUT……how exactly are cameras going to prevent this? All the cameras will do is record. IF someone gets rowdy and rambunctious the camera cannot guarantee they won’t still pick a fight and kill someone. The cameras will just provide some proof of rowdiness inside. Once they get out the door all hell could break loose.

These cameras will not prevent anything. The best they can do is to provide a picture of who was in the bar, and MAYBE identify the agressor.

This is just another illusion of “safety” and a feel good policy, so the authorities can say they are doing something to combat crime in the area.

Next move will be cameras on the streets (like in the UK), and they can tell you that those cameras do NOT STOP crimes. Won’t be long until they are in your home too.

The entire world is going Orwellian. Doesn’t that frighten anyone else?

Wells Fargo Bank….BUSTED!

•February 3, 2009 • 2 Comments

I’ve decided that these people are not only stupid, but they obviously have absolutely NO RESPECT for the taxpayers, many of whom just happen to be their own customers.

Wells Fargo Bank, AFTER receiving $25 Billion in bailout money, that your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying off, actually booked a nice expensive junket in Las Vegas to award their employees for “good work”.!!!!!

Bailed-out Wells Fargo plans Vegas casino junkets

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s top mortgage officers are going to Las Vegas this month. (Getty Images Photo / February 3, 2009)

Wells Fargo & Co., which received $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money, is planning a series of corporate junkets to Las Vegas casinos this month.

Wells Fargo, once among the nation’s top writers of subprime mortgages, has booked 12 nights at the Wynn Las Vegas and its sister hotel, the Encore Las Vegas beginning Friday, said Wynn spokeswoman Michelle Loosbrock. The hotels will host the annual conference for company’s top mortgage officers.

The conference is a Wells Fargo tradition. Previous years have included all-expense-paid helicopter rides, wine tasting, horseback riding in Puerto Rico and a private Jimmy Buffett concert in the Bahamas for more than 1,000 employees and guests.

“I was amazed with just how lavish it was,” said Debra Rickard, a former Wells Fargo mortgage employee from Colorado who attended the events regularly until she left the company in 2004.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press

Read the FULL STORY here.

Now, I’m all for rewarding and recognizing good work, but can we get serious for a moment? While it might be good for employee morale, considering the state of the economy, considering the fact that you had to ask the government (TAXPAYERS) for $25 Billion to bail you out of a hole you dug for yourself…………..isn’t an expensive junket a little outrageous? I don’t care if it’s an annual event. I’m sure your “good working” employees are intelligent enough to understand that this would be a slap in the face of every taxpayer for decades to come.

You’d think they would have more smarts after the bashing that AIG took for their two conferences after their two bailouts. You’d think they would have been smart after the bashing that CitiGroup took over the plane they planned to buy (and canceled after being outed).

Like I said, you ‘d have to be some kind of stupid after all that.

At least they didn’t wait a day or two to “change their mind”, common sense must have come up and given them a clue……….or perhaps it was the delicious outrage and bashing all over the news today that smacked them upside their heads:

Wells Fargo cancels Las Vegas trip

Bank that collected $25 billion in bailout money faced criticism

updated 2 hours, 53 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Wells Fargo & Co. abruptly canceled Tuesday a pricey Las Vegas casino junket for employees after a torrent of criticism that it was misusing $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money.

The company initially defended the trip after The Associated Press reported it had booked 12 nights beginning Friday at the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore Las Vegas. But within hours, investigators and lawmakers on Capitol Hill had scorned the bank, and the company canceled.

© 2009 The Associated Press

Read the FULL STORY here.

You really just have to shake your head and wonder “what the hell were they thinking”. Obviously they weren’t, but you still have to just wonder.


•February 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment


The UK is the first horse out of the gate on the latest war on…………………………SALT!!! Not to be outdone by the U.S., especially those damned uppity New Yorkers………….the UK is off and running in their effort to change the salt habits of the British people! The U.S. and Australia will not be far behind I’m sure.

Fast food crackdown on high levels of salt

COUNCIL inspectors are to investigate fast-food outlets in a crackdown on salt levels.

Twenty establishments will be chosen at random during the week-long investigation.

They will be told the results but no action will be taken. The move, by Edinburgh City Council, coincides with Salt Awareness Week, which started yesterday.

They are also promoting salt awareness in their own staff canteens.

Environment leader Councillor Robert Aldridge said: “Too much salt in our diets is dangerous to our health. It can cause high blood pressure and triple our risk of heart disease and stroke.”

Adults should consume no more than 6g of salt per day.

© 2009 owned by or licensed to Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd.

OK, it’s still not table salt…………………………….YET; but how long do you think it will be before they come into your home and check your salt shakers – IF you are still allowed to have them that is? As I posted last night, New York City is already seriously looking at the sodium content of food, and with their track record I’d bet they’ll be banning salt by next year!

To think that Great Britain was once a world power; that they managed to beat Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s – with a smoking prime minister at the time no less – it is painful to watch the UK and the US try to outdo each other in this ‘who’s the biggest nanny’ race that seems to be going on.

Australia isn’t doing too bad in the nanny department either. It’s amazing to see all these once FREE nations succumbing to such Orwellian measures lately.

When is this going to stop? These public health people, globally, have lost their minds. On the one hand they are screaming about saving lives and living longer (if not forever if you really listen to them), and on the other hand theres others talking about over population. Well someone better make up their damned minds because I’m getting dizzy here already!

First It Was…Then……Now It’s…

•February 2, 2009 • 7 Comments

First it was smoking and smokers. They were to blame for your hair and clothes smelling bad. They were to blame for all the death and disease in the world (I’m still waiting for hangnails to be blamed on smoking – though they did blame nail fungus on smoking if you can believe that).

Then fats, sugars and calorie counts/nutritional information on menus.

New York City has been on a nanny binge ever since they got away with the smoking ban back in 2003.

Even the State is getting into the act considering a “obesity tax” on non-diet soda. I guess someone forgot to tell them that most overweight people seem to already drink diet soda the most. OH WAIT………..that’s right……………it’s “the children” we are protecting once again. Trying to make soda too expensive for them to drink to spare them becoming overweight or obese. Is anyone else sick and tired of this emotional blackmail battle cry of “for the children”?

With the war on obesity barely started, NOW the city of New York is coming after your SALT!!! OK, maybe not your table salt, but the sodium in the packaged foods (for now).

That’s right, salt is next on the hit list of things that nanny will control for you. Too bad IF you don’t like the taste of food with less salt. The UK was actually proposing last year to change salt shakers so that they had fewer holes in them………as IF people would be too stupid to just shake more and longer, OR bring their own?

Sandy over at Junkfood Science has the latest craziness out of New York City to control salt intake.

Who decides what you can eat? Sating on salt

Most consumers trust that public health policies are guided by the best science and are enacted after medical experts have carefully weighed the health benefits for the public against the potential risks for harm. The fact that this does not happen was demonstrated this week with the launch of a major nationwide campaign that could put millions of people at risk. But this story received barely a blip of news coverage.

This new program is being led by the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. — Yes, the same department that is requiring hospitals to give itself full access to your medical records and has also mandated that every lab in the state report to it all blood sugar results without patients’ knowledge (or informed consent or ability for patients to opt out) so that it can identify people for state “disease management.”

Dr. Thomas R. Friedman wants to put the entire population on a low-salt diet and is leading a nationwide low-salt initiative, partnering state, local and federal governments and private stakeholders to cut salt in our foods in half within the next decade. The significance of this initiative may have been lost on media. Perhaps it sounded harmless and intuitively helpful because “everyone knows salt is bad.”

© 2009 Sandy Szwarc

Read the FULL STORY here.

According to the New York Times article on this:

Throwing the Book at Salt

Published: January 27, 2009

After a string of victories over smoking, trans fats and calories, Dr. Frieden, the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is waging a new campaign: to lower the amount of sodium America eats.

But don’t go hiding your saltshakers. The city isn’t going after the seasoning people add at the table or in the kitchen. That makes up only about 11 percent of the salt people eat, Dr. Frieden says.

His targets are packaged foods and mass-produced restaurant meals, which contribute 80 percent of the sodium in the average American diet.

Read the FULL STORY here.

Well, isn’t that mighty generous of herr Freiden? ONLY packaged foods are his target. FOR NOW anyway!!

I should probably note here, that I salt everything. I mean I salt first, before even tasting it as most foods do NOT have enough salt for my taste. About the only things I don’t salt are pork, breads, cereals, desserts. I’ve actually had people get insulted because I immediately take a salt shaker and salt my food without even tasting it first. I happen to be a salt-a-holic. My blood pressure has always been 90/60 (my ex used to ask if I was even alive……..LOL). Over the past 10 years I have noticed that I still salt everything, just not as much as I used to. In other words, I’m using less salt these days. My blood pressure over the past 7 years has been between 110/70 and 120/75. Seems to me, the less salt I use the more my BP goes up, not down as it should! Then again, given how low in the normal range it used to be, I suppose this is not a bad thing after all………LOL

But I digress…..back to the NY Times article:

When the food company executives had finished lunch, Dr. Frieden made his pitch: Over the next five years, identify the foods that are contributing the most sodium to people’s diets and cut the level of salt by 25 percent. In a decade, cut it by another 25 percent. And do it in unison with your competitors.

If they refuse?

“If there’s not progress in a few years, we’ll have to consider other options, like legislation,” he said in an interview last week.

I’m only surprised he didn’t just jump right in with legislation. Why bother being polite and giving food company executives a chance to do your bidding in hopes that the people will be too stupid to notice their food doesn’t taste the same anymore, when you have Bloomberg on your side ready with legislation? I mean, the city really doesn’t have anything better to worry about anymore! Right? *that last sentence was dripping with sarcasm in case you couldn’t tell*

Although he has jurisdiction over only New York City, Dr. Frieden is presenting the plan as a “national salt-reduction initiative” that includes support from a half-dozen other health departments around the country and organizations like the American Medical Association.

See? I knew he wouldn’t be happy with just NYC………….we wants the whole nation. And trust me, once he gets the food industry to lower the sodium in foods, he’ll watch the sales of table salt and then come into your home after your salt shaker!

I don’t understand why anyone listens to these people anymore. I mean they are same type that years ago told us:

Even trans fat, in the form of margarine, was once promoted by health officials as healthier than butter. It turns out that trans fats were worse for heart health than saturated fats.

These people just never know when to leave well enough alone. As Sandy points out in her story:

The lowest sodium intakes — the 1500 mg/day that the New York health department says everyone should be eating — were associated with an 80% higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those consuming the highest salt diets. The lowest salt intakes were also associated with a 24% higher risk of all-cause mortality. Clearly, low-salt diets are not associated with lower risks for the general population. Conversely, the Albert Einstein researchers were unable to show that even the highest salt intakes were associated with increased risks for developing cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure or for premature death.

All I can say is they can have my cigarettes, my fats, my sugars, my salt and anything else they think they have a right to control when they pry them from my cold dead fingers. Until then [insert favorite epithet here]!!!

Here’s a twist on an old saying attributed to Martin Niemöller:

When the health-Nazis came for the smokers,
I was not a smoker,
therefore, I was not concerned.

And when the health-Nazis attacked the obese,
I was not obese,
therefore, I was not concerned.

And when the health-Nazis attacked the drinkers and the alcohol industry,
I was not a drinker,
therefore I was not concerned.

Then, the health-Nazis attacked me and the freedom loving Americans who remained,
and there was nobody left to be concerned.

CitiGroup’s (mis)Use of Our Bailout Money

•January 26, 2009 • 2 Comments

Remember back in late November all the money that our government gleefully handed over to the banks after their huge, very public “boo-hoo we’re going to go under if you don’t give us millions/billions of dollars”?

Remember the fiasco after AIG was bailed out? Two weeks AFTER receiving $85 BILLION they threw a $440,000 bash! Remember how they then came back asking for ANOTHER $40 BILLION and then AGAIN had another bash, this one a little less expensive but a bash just the same?

Now, you’d think the banks would have learned given all the bad publicity AIG’s greed and stupidity brought them. But NOOOOOOOOOO, I guess CitiGroup got the idea that they were somehow above the rules and regulations here.

You’d think that after the CEO’s of the Auto Industry were publically chastised for FLYING CORPORATE JETS to Washington to beg for a handout (and GM is looking for more now), that they would have thought twice about spending U.S. tax dollars, especially by buying FOREIGN goods. But oh no, these people are so out of touch with reality it’s not even funny.

I saw this reported on CNN this afternoon and almost choked on my lunch. I couldn’t find it on their website, but did find it in the NY Post:




Last updated: 10:06 am
January 26, 2009
Posted: 1:02 am
January 26, 2009

Beleaguered Citigroup is upgrading its mile-high club with a brand-new $50 million corporate jet – only this time, it’s the taxpayers who are getting screwed.

Even though the bank’s stock is as cheap as a gallon of gas and it’s burning through a $45 billion taxpayer-funded rescue, the airhead execs pushed through the purchase of a new Dassault Falcon 7X, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The French-made luxury jet seats up to 12 in a plush interior with leather seats, sofas and a customizable entertainment center, according to Dassault’s sales literature. It can cruise 5,950 miles before refueling and has a top speed of 559 mph.

There are just nine of these top-of-the-line models in the United States, with Dassault’s European factory churning out three to four 7Xs a month.

Citigroup decided to get its new wings two years ago, when the financial-services giant was flush with cash, but it still intends to take possession of the jet this year despite its current woes, the source said.

Read the FULL STORY here.

This just adds insult to injury (on top of the fact that it is US tax dollars benefitting another country when our own economy is in the toilet). Back in November it was reported that CitiGroup was going to cut 50,000 jobs, and this apparently was AFTER receiving $25 BILLION of OUR money.

So hearing about this $50 Million corporate jet just really makes my blood boil. I’m so glad I don’t bank with them.

This does show, however, the extreme need for total transparency. It is imperative that we demand to know exactly what these monies will be used for.

We need to demand of our representatives that IF they choose to give the new President the additional funds that WE THE PEOPLE have some heavy duty strings attached to it AND demand full accountability!!!!

It Could Happen Here…

•January 26, 2009 • 3 Comments

And probably will eventually, the way things are going in this world!

Thanks to Sandy over at Junkfood Science for finding this story out of Australia:

Lunch box police

Well, it’s happened. School principals in Australia want teachers to have the power to police lunch boxes from home to remove any offending cookies or chips that are deemed by the State Government as unhealthy. Victorian Principals Association chief Fred Ackerman has backed the move, according to the Herald Sun, saying teachers need the authority to enforce ‘healthy eating’ habits.

The problem with allowing government/special interests in deciding on what is or is not ‘healthy’ is that they tend to go overboard. The word ‘moderation’ seems to cease existing for them. Once they decide that cookies are bad, then even eating one cookie per year is bad.

The really frightening sentence above is (emphasis is mine):

Victorian Principals Association chief Fred Ackerman has backed the move, according to the Herald Sun, saying teachers need the authority to enforce ‘healthy eating’ habits.

I’m all for educating people about “healthy eating habits”, but I have a problem when some official starts using words like “need the authority to enforce”. It is NOT up to schools or teachers to tell parents that they are not allowed to let their children have a little desert or treat with their lunch. Such a thing presumes that the parents do not feed their children breakfast or dinner or any healthy food.

I remember when my son was about 3 or 4, he went through a period where he would eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was concerned and spoke to his doctor who assured me that it was perfectly alright and quite common. Apparently all kids do it with one food or another at some point and it usually doesn’t last long at all. She was correct for about 2 months later he started wanting other foods.

For the most part, PB&J sandwiches are the easiest to pack for a child’s lunch as you don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Can you imagine a school banning ‘jam’ or ‘jelly’? You have to wonder what they are thinking and then worry that these same people are actually in charge of ‘educating’ your child?

“Teachers in Victoria should have the power to be lunch box police so they can confiscate chips, chocolates and sugary sweets to ensure children are healthy,” the principals said. They’ve found themselves pitted against parents who are reported to be against schools becoming a “nanny state” and that they will continue to put treats in their child’s lunch. The Herald Sun added that: “Education Minister Bronwyn Pike also said she was against the idea of taking parents’ lunch box rights away.”

You can read the FULL STORY here.

Were I one of those parents, I’d be taking the schools to court for trying to usurp my right as my child’s primary guardian/educator and would yank my kids out of school – hiring a tutor if I couldn’t home-school myself personally.

Schools are to teach academics. Schools education should mirror and reinforce parents’ life skills training, which would include the various ways to eat healthy (given allergies and personal preferences, yes there are various ways). Schools are NOT supposed to be monitoring what lunches a parent gives to their child. It is NONE of there business. For all they know, that PB&J sandwich and one cookie is all they could afford to give the child, who would be going home for a decent dinner anyway. I mean eating healthy isn’t exactly cheap and if a main meal is dinner, as it is for most folks, then lunch doesn’t have to contain all the food groups every single day.

What exactly do we teach children with these bans? Certainly not self-responsibility and thinking. They only need ‘nanny’ to tell them what not to do, rather than think and make a decision based on good information.

Anyone who thinks this couldn’t happen here, obviously has their head in the sand. I mean we have schools banning the game of tag as it might harm some child, either physically or emotionally……….food allergies are running rampant (makes me wonder about all this over protection that children’s immune systems are so weak these days), it will only take one threat of a lawsuit from a parent whose kid is allergic to milk against a school not banning all dairy products.

What is more frightening is that all these over-protected kids will one day be the worlds’ leaders. How can they lead if they’ve never had to think or take responsibility for themselves?