An April Fools Joke promotion from last year...
Monday, September 28, 2009
From Media Matters:
Glenn Beck and other right-wing media figures have recently fearmongered about how President Obama and progressive policies will harm children; among other things, Beck and these other media figures have repeatedly accused Obama of "indoctrinating" school children, aired unauthorized videos of children singing Obama's praises, and attacked Obama's "school saftey czar." On his September 25 television show, Beck plans to continue the trend by hosting 9-12 Project mothers, along with their children, who are "concerned" about "their kids' futures."It'd be funny if it weren't so sad. Some kids are putting on a pagent for Black History Month and Obama is the first, for all intensive purposes, "black" President.
So, of course, they're going to sing about him. He's effing historical!
But the wingers, who made the praise and worship of Bush almost mandatory... It's freak-out time...
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I don't have any of these chronic diseases:
Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death, accounting for more than 30% of all U.S. deaths each year.We should, in fact, cut them out of insurance too. Why? According to the Centers for Disease Control:
Cancer, the second leading cause of death, claims more than half a million lives each year.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower extremity amputations, and new cases of blindness each year among U.S. adults aged 20–74 years.
Arthritis, the most common cause of disability, limits activity for 19 million U.S. adults.
Obesity has become a major health concern for people of all ages. 1 in every 3 adults and nearly 1 in every 5 young people aged 6–19 are obese.
We could save 75% in medical costs just be telling them to pike off! What a great libertarian deal!
Chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths each year in the United States.
About 133 million Americans—nearly 1 in 2 adults—live with at least one chronic illness.
More than 75% of health care costs are due to chronic conditions.
Approximately one-fourth of persons living with a chronic illness experience significant limitations in daily activities.
The percentage of U.S. children and adolescents with a chronic health condition has increased from 1.8% in the 1960s to more than 7% in 2004
Thursday, September 24, 2009
But the 58% of Americans opposed to the war, opposed to a continued U.S. presence there, should have a clear-eyed view of what that means. It means condemning thousands to death, and hundreds of thousands to worse. When the Taliban returns to Kandahar and women are properly, in their view, denied any and all access to medical care and education, it should not be a surprise. It should not be a shocking revelation when homosexuals are stoned to death for the crime of existing. It's not an insidious Taliban secret to be later revealed; it is their modus operandi. The United States will not have caused it, but it will have been a party to it. We will have known something terrible was about to happen, and we will have let it. That's a lesson we learned in Vietnam, too.
First, all this "bad stuff" is already happening. And, in fact, we never really put an end to it, save Kabul. So all this "doom and gloom" about "what will happen" is rubbish when it is compared to what will likely happen if we continue.
Because the inescapable reality of what war does to populations is horrific. Death by infrastructure collapse and death by social/civil/criminal structure collapse are as real as death by bombs and guns. And is often the leading cause of death in any theatre of operations.
For example, it was estimated, back in 2006, that over 650,000 Iraqis had died because of the destruction of their society and infrastructure. This is well beyond the 95K to 110K estimated by Iraq Body Count that only tabulates press stories on casualties and goes to show the unintended consequences of military action on civilian populations beyond such euphemisms as "collateral damage."
So, we saved them from Saddam. And, yeah, he was a "bad guy." But, one must reflect that until 1991 we supported Saddam in these atrocities. As we have supported all kinds of tin-pot, murdering dictators over the past fifty years. This has, of course, run concurrently with basic indifference to the problems in The Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Sudan and Somalia. So, obviously, other people are not important. Until, of course, someone threatens our oil supply, or raises the prices of bananas, or something. So pardon me if the "plight of others" argument falls on deaf ears.
But, beyond that, does anyone in their right mind think that gays won't be stoned to death in Afghanistan no matter who is in power? Or that women will suddenly get rights again? We're talking about a country where two teenagers were EXECUTED for eloping. Even now the reality on the ground includes this:
Despite all these changes many challenges still remain. The repression of women is still prevalent in rural areas where many families still restrict their own mothers, daughters, wives and sisters from participation in public life. They are still forced into marriages and denied a basic education. Numerous school for girls have been burned down and little girls have even been poisoned to death for daring to go to school.I agree Afghanistan is a fucked up place to be. But acting like we're going to fix it? Are you high? We've already been fail-sauce for the Iraqi women who are now worse off than under Saddam:
The dire circumstances many Iraqi women now face seem particularly harsh in comparison to the relative autonomy and security women once enjoyed in pre-Saddam Iraq. According to Women for Women International, a charity that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives, women were once encouraged to go to school and even held professional positions in government, medicine, and law.Women didn't have it great under Saddam, though we lied a whole lot about it to make it sound worse. Now that we've "rescued them" they've got worse. And, with the ascendancy of religion in their political sphere, they've been pushed back fifty, or more, years with ever reason to believe that it will likely get worse with little prospect of getting better for at least a generation...
Yet when Saddam Hussein came to power in the 1970s, women’s status began to decline, and has continued to do so throughout the US occupation of the country.
Interestingly enough, gender equality and the protection of women’s rights were cited as major reasons for the US-led invasion of Iraq. According to a December 13, 2007 article in The Guardian by Mark Lattimer, President Bush said in 2004 that "the advance of freedom in the Middle East has given new rights and new hopes to women...the systematic use of rape by Saddam's former regime to dishonour families has ended." However, as the situation in Iraq began to deteriorate after 2003's invasion, the status of women in the country became secondary to the stabilization of the country as a whole.
Today, according to Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs, “Women are the forgotten victims of Iraq. Despite the billions of dollars poured into rebuilding Iraq and recent security gains, a quarter of the women interviewed still do not have daily access to water, a third cannot send their children to school and since the war started, over half have been the victim of violence.”
I think it takes a LOT of arrogance to believe we can fix anything in light of the last fifty-years of disaster we've created. We failed in Lebanon and ran away. We failed in Viet Nam. We've failed in Iraq. We failed in our support of the Shah. We continue to support Saudi Arabia which is every bit as bad as Afghanistan (and say nothing).
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Brooklyn Tabernacle, a 3,500-seat evangelical prayer palace in downtown Brooklyn, was built in 1918 as one of the largest and grandest vaudeville houses in North America. It is still a hot ticket. Its youngish, racially diverse congregation packs the pews each week to praise God and bask in the sounds of a Grammy-winning 250-voice gospel choir. But the tabernacle is more than just a popular church. It is also a destination for evangelicals from all around the United States and beyond, laymen and ministers alike, who come as acolytes to study prayer.I don't see what the problem is, the bible is very clear: Exodus 22:29 "Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me." (Human sacrifice)
And since they're evangelicals... And believe in the WHOLE bible, not just the new testament, I figure if Leviticus is good enough for them to bash the gays with... Exodus is as applicable... :)
And there is some dietary advice as well:
CANNIBALISM: Deuteronomy 28:53-58Of course, you have to be under siege... But surely, we're under siege from the "War on Terror" by "Muslim Extremists" so it would apply...
And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.
The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
Seriously though, I think the biggest problem I see with Christians is not that they "don't know the right way to pray" but that they're really, really ignorant of most of their religious tracts and teaching. This allows their preachers, with no shame, exploit them by picking-and-choosing what they wish to teach and manipulate their "flock" with...
Sometimes I think many, perhaps even "lots," of Christians would drop their Old-Testament-based gay-bashing if they were properly trained. Of course, I usually get over this silly flight of fancy after a good chuckle... But, who knows, maybe...
Another area a solid biblical education might shed some light on would be abortion. Biblical-based anti-abortion advocacy is one of the more annoying perversions of the Old Testament. "Thou shalt not kill" is a mistranslation of "Thou shalt not MURDER." Murder from a biblical perspective is the unauthorized killing of a born human. Not a fetus. A live-birth born human.
For example, in Exodus Chapter 21:22-23, the bible is clear that if you push a woman, and she miscarries, you just pay a fine. Like you killed some-one's goat or sheep. However, if the woman is injured, you must pay an "eye for an eye..." in justice which is covered immediately thereafter in Exodus 21:23–27 as well as Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
This is because, in the Bible, unlike an unborn child a woman is an actual person. Well, at least to some small extent because, really, you really read the Old Testament, you really get a strong indication that women aren't actually "full" people. Rather sort of hybrid between property, housekeepers, cooks and fuck toys.
Anyway, I found the concept of "learning to pray" pretty amusing as applied to evangelicals. These "whole bible" fundamentalist-zealots can't even figure out how to pray. Even though the answer is right there... ;)
Really, it was in the grand scheme of things, stupidly trivial. And now, with the law passing both the House and Senate... Either Obama vetoes the law, which the Republicans will use against him, or he signs it, which becomes a major problem.
If they bother to enforce it.
With the insurance, those medicines cost just $1,700 a month.
And one should wonder why the drugs cost so much. I've known since the 1980's that the so-called "research costs" argument was a load of crap:
The report comes on the heels of a recent Families USA analysis that found prices rose more than twice the rate of inflation last year for the 50 most-prescribed drugs to seniors.And that was in 1999.
Among the nine pharmaceutical companies examined in the report - Merck, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacia, Abbott Laboratories, American Home Products, Eli Lilly, Schering-Plough, and Allergan - all but one (Eli Lilly) spent more than twice as much on marketing, advertising, and administration than they did on research and development, and Lilly spent more than one and one-half times as much. Six out of the nine companies made more money in net profits than they spent on research and development last year.
With the Medicare give-away, drug companies become even more ludicrously profitable:
...pharmaceutical industry profits increased by over $8 billion in the first six months after the Medicare drug plan went into effect.And yet people say we don't need reform...
According to the analysis, the Medicare drug program contributed to this surge in drug profits through a combination of three factors: the failure of private plans to negotiate low prices, the elimination of billions in rebates paid by pharmaceutical companies for drugs used by low income beneficiaries, and the increased sales by drug manufacturers due to the Medicare subsidy. The high prices under the Medicare program have resulted in billions of dollars of wasted taxpayer funds.
“The Republican Congress passed a Medicare drug bill that put the interests of the drug companies first and seniors last,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman. “The program is a multi-billion dollar giveaway to the drug companies.”
There's a reason we pay twice as much as most other first-world countries, yet finished 37th in over-all (world) health-care. Our system is broken. It doesn't "need a tweak." It is ridiculously broken with quasi-monopolistic, predatory pricing and profiteering.
Sure, the insurance companies are pretty bad actors in this drama. But the problems are everywhere.
These are the numbers I was alluding to earlier in my post. In case anyone is interested in the incredible profiteering of drug companies: (Sales and expenses as a percentage of sales)
Merck and Co., Inc $40,363M 17% net profit 15% marketing 6% research
Pfizer Inc. $29,574M 13% net profit 39% marketing 15% research
Squibb Company $18,216M 26% net profit 30% marketing 11% research
Corporation $18,144M 4% net profit 37% marketing 15% research
Abbott Laboratories $13,746M 20% net profit 21% marketing 10% research
Products Corporation $13,263M -18% net loss 38% marketing 13% research
Eli Lilly and Co. $10,862M 28% net profit 30% marketing 19% research
Corporation $9,815M 25% net profit 36% marketing 14% research
Allergan, Inc. $1,563M 14% net profit 42% marketing 13% research
So ACORN must be punished. And the Democrats, displaying the signs of 'learned helplessness' are following their lead. And now look at the potential train-wreck:
Top 100 (Mostly Fraudulent) Contractors that will be facing the possibility of suspension by idiotic the Republican legislation (I've updated it so you can see those that are innocent of fraud by highlighting $0.0 fraud amounts in green):
Largest amount is 2007 Total Fed. Contracts currently under management (in millions), small number is total fraud instances, last number is total fraud since 1995 (in millions).Going along with stupid stuff like this, for cheap points, is exactly why I don't give the Dems money anymore. They're almost as worthless as the Republicans.
1. Lockheed Martin $34234.9m 50 $ 577.2m
2. Boeing Company $24304.9m 31 $1561.4m
3. Northrop Grumman $18506.5m 27 $ 790.4m
4. General Dynamics $14687.7m 9 $ 63.2m
5. Raytheon Company $12233.2m 17 $ 475.8m
6. BAE Systems $10119.2m 3 $ 1.3m
7. L-3 Communications $6802.2m 5 $ 41.3m
8. United Technologies Corporation $5874.1m 13 $ 383.0m
9. SAIC $5230.9m 10 $ 14.5m
10. KBR $4872.5m 18 $ 103.0m
11. McKesson $4686.8m 8 $1356.7m
12. Computer Sciences Corporation $4017.4m 5 $ 43.0m
13. Humana $3403.1m 10 $ 129.7m
14. MacAndrews AMG Holdings $3361.7m 0 $ 0.0m
15. Textron, Inc. $3110.8m 9 $ 22.3m
16. Hewlett-Packard Company $2851.3m 4 $ 204.8m
17. General Electric $2824.3m 32 $ 37.4m
18. Government of the United States $2821.6m 0 $ 0.0m
19. Honeywell International Inc. $2602.9m 30 $ 641.2m
20. ITT Industries $2599.2m 6 $ 109.7m
21. URS Corporation $2443.8m 3 $ 0.6m
22. Bechtel Corporation $2436.6m 15 $ 359.6m
23. Booz Allen Hamilton $2386.1m 1 $ 3.4m
24. Oshkosh Truck Corporation $2357.6m 0 $ 0.0m
25. Health Net, Inc. $2259.7m 16 $ 687.1m
26. University of California $2201.8m 25 $ 69.3m
27. Royal Dutch Shell PLC $2118.4m 20 $1101.6m
28. Triwest Healthcare Alliance Company $2110.8m 0 $ 0.0m
29. Los Alamos National Security LLC $2038.0m 0 $ 0.0m
30. Harris Corporation $1957.0m 3 $ 1.6m
31. Bell Boeing Joint Program $1901.5m 0 $ 0.0m
32. DRS Technologies, Inc. $1891.7m 2 $ 10.0m
33. Agility (f/k/a PWC Logistics) $1869.9m 0 $ 0.0m
34. United Space Alliance $1822.9m 1 $ 0.0m
35. Alliant Techsystems Inc. $1791.8m 2 $ 8.3m
36. Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC $1605.1m 2 $ 0.4m
37. DynCorp International Inc. $1590.3m 4 $ 0.8m
38. IBM Corporation $1552.9m 10 $ 823.6m
39. CACI International, Inc. $1532.4m 1 $ 0.0m
40. Fluor Corporation $1530.3m 22 $ 186.4m
41. AmerisourceBergen $1513.7m 8 $ 36.1m
42. Merck & Co., Inc. $1418.0m 10 $5834.7m
43. FedEx Corporation $1406.4m 18 $ 120.2m
44. Westinghouse Electric Corp. $1371.4m 4 $ 3.9m
45. CH2M Hill Companies, Ltd. $1347.3m 6 $ 2.8m
46. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. $1230.1m 2 $ 37.5m
47. UT-Battelle LLC $1217.1m 3 $ 0.3m
48. Rockwell Collins $1193.5m 0 $ 0.0m
49. Navistar Defense LLC $1166.8m 1 $ 0.0m
50. Dell, Inc. $1144.0m 9 $ 8.6m
51. Force Protection, Inc. $1139.6m 1 $ 1.9m
52. EDO Corporation $1116.9m 0 $ 0.0m
53. Evergreen International Airlines $1105.6m 2 $ 1.1m
54. Cardinal Health, Inc. $1087.1m 3 $ 635.0m
55. Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. $1043.0m 2 $ 0.2m
56. Valero Energy Corp. $1027.3m 21 $ 280.5m
57. Exxon Mobil $1020.9m 39 $2309.6m
58. MITRE Corporation $ 973.3m 0 $ 0.0m
59. General Atomics $ 972.8m 0 $ 0.0m
60. BP P.L.C. $ 964.3m 27 $1306.7m
61. SRA International, Inc. $ 820.7m 1 $ 0.0m
62. McDermott/Bechtel Group $ 820.1m 0 $ 0.0m
63. Sanofi-Aventis $ 813.1m 5 $ 289.9m
64. Unisys Corporation $ 812.2m 5 $ 3.9m
65. VSE Corporation $ 740.8m 1 $ 0.0m
66. Tetra Tech, Inc. $ 739.4m 0 $ 0.0m
67. Small Business Consolid. Reporting $ 728.2m 0 $ 0.0m
68. Accenture $ 686.5m 5 $ 13.9m
69. Government of Canada (CCC) $ 680.6m 1 $ 6.0m
70. GlaxoSmithKline $ 680.0m 16 $4280.7m
71. Shaw Group $ 679.9m 3 $ 12.9m
72. University of Chicago $ 672.3m 4 $ 22.7m
73. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology $ 669.2m 6 $ 6.6m
74. Aerospace Corporation $ 659.8m 0 $ 0.0m
75. Battelle Memorial Institute $ 656.2m 2 $ 0.6m
76. AECOM Technology Corporation $ 642.4m 0 $ 0.0m
77. The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory $ 638.3m 0 $ 0.0m
78. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. $ 633.9m 0 $ 0.0m
79. Research Triangle Institute, Inc. $ 624.7m 0 $ 0.0m
80. SK Holdings Co., Ltd. $ 623.3m 0 $ 0.0m
81. Johns Hopkins University $ 623.3m 4 $ 4.6m
82. Rolls-Royce PLC $ 612.7m 0 $ 0.0m
83. Institute for Defense Analyses $ 610.3m 0 $ 0.0m
84. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation $ 602.4m 0 $ 0.0m
85. International Oil Trading Company $ 601.3m 0 $ 0.0m
86. QinetiQ North America Operations $ 588.2m 0 $ 0.0m
87. B.L. Harbert Holdings, LLC $ 577.7m 0 $ 0.0m
88. ManTech International Corp. $ 571.9m 0 $ 0.0m
89. Integrated Coast Guard Systems $ 567.5m 0 $ 0.0m
90. Afognak Native Corporation $ 558.6m 0 $ 0.0m
91. BearingPoint Inc. $ 552.5m 6 $ 135.7m
92. Management & Training Corp. $ 550.4m 8 $ 9.1m
93. Chugach Alaska Corporation $ 546.7m 1 $ 0.0m
94. Wyeth $ 535.5m 5 $ 116.7m
95. AT&T Inc. $ 531.1m 7 $ 15.3m
96. ARINC $ 529.2m 1 $ 1.1m
97. Corrections Corporation of America $ 521.3m 5 $ 59.5m
98. Daimler AG $ 517.5m 9 $ 443.2m
99. General Motors Corp. $ 517.2m 12 $ 313.7m
100. AP Moller-Maersk A/S $ 517.1m 1 $ 3.0m
EDIT: For grins I counted. 35 of 100 have not commited fraud against the government. However, one of them is the government.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The tin ear of the GOP... Crap sticks...
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.This would, literally, stop virtually all civil and military procurement. Looking at defense as a sub-set of government procurement fraud, through the very late 1980's and early-to-mid 1990s there were about 2000-to-500 referrals for defense contract fraud prosecution a year. With a defense budget and contract base about one-half what it is now.
These were not little companies. These were companies like GE, Northrup, Lockheed, etc. After a lot of settlements and prosecutions, there was some significant, but not complete, clean-up of these issues.
In Clinton's last year as President there were about 180 fraud referrals and that number had been holding, more-or-less, steady for about five years after the early-mid-1990's clean up that started under Bush I. By the time Bush II left it was about 15 referrals a year.
Not because the problem went away. But because ideologues with their idiotic economic and business beliefs had taken over the government. Or as the IG said a few months ago to Congress: the investigation of contracting fraud is one area of many “...that have dropped in priority and have largely been neglected.”
Which means it's probably time for another clean up. Oh snap! So much for the war on terror. Hard to blow up innocent civilians with your drones when you have no bombs.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Teabagger Socialist-Free Purity Pledge
I, ________________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:
I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.
I will complain about the destruction of my 2ndAmendment Rights in this country, while I am duly >being allowed to exercise my 2ndAmendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.
I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls. Also.
I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:Social SecurityIf a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care
State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
US Postal Service
Roads and Highways
Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
The US Railway System
Public Subways and Metro Systems
Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
Rest Areas on Highways
All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009federal senate appropriations--http://grassley.senate.gov/issues/upload/Master-Approps-73109.pdf)
Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
Public and State Universities and Colleges
Public Primary and Secondary Schools
Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
Public Parksand Beaches
State and National Parks
Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, Stateor Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies
I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American HistoryI will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.
The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
The government-operated Statue of Liberty
The Grand Canyon
The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC
I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.
I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.
I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.
Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.
Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.
SWORN ON A BIBLE AND SIGNED THIS DAY OF ____________ IN THE YEAR ______________.
Signed Printed Name/Town and State
Friday, September 18, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.And for those who think it can't happen to them... I've had a good half-dozen businesses fail during this recession. And not a single one thought "it could happen to me..." Until it was too late. Then there are the high-end sales, advertising and marketing employees who are being laid-off left and right. Great, six-figure, gold-plated jobs are now gone...
"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.
Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.
McMansions foreclosed. BMW's repossessed. And $1,700 month COBRA payments unaffordable.
Inside me, as much as it upsets me to hear of their pain and suffering, part of me laughs at the misfortune at some of them. Those that were the arrogant ones, those who looked down on others and thought they were "special" and "better" because of the accident of their birth. Those who never acknowledged that much, if not all, of their success was by, in a great part, pure luck-of-the-draw.
Always, with them, it's the litany of "I accomplished this with my own two hands" and never understanding that they're really products of their environment and the opportunities it has afforded them. And without them, they really wouldn't be any "better" than those not fortunate enough to have the educational opportunities, the wealth, the connections, the up-bringing, the right skin-color or gender, or any other random bits of luck that gave them the foundation of their gilded life...
They used these invisible hands to construct the false-narrative of their smug superiority. Watching them fall... There's a certain pleasure in watching life's uncaring justice be applied with a heavy hand to the hard-hearted as they become the the hard-luck cases.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is announcing $25 million in grants to states and health care systems to launch a national experiment on alternatives to medical malpractice lawsuits.Some basic facts:
The grants will be up to $3 million each for three years. They can be used to examine a broad range of ideas, including programs in which doctors and hospitals quickly acknowledge a mistake, offer an apology and restitution, and pledge to take corrective action.
The Health and Human Services Department will conduct a review of existing programs to determine what works and which ones deserve grant money.
Proposals to rein in the cost of medical malpractice have divided Washington for years. The announcement Thursday follows President Barack Obama's pledge in his speech last week to take on the issue.
1. Medical malpractice is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States. More people die of malpractice than breast cancer or traffic accidents. Considering how high the exposure is to those two risk factors, versus medical care to which only a percentage of Americans are exposed to on an annual basis, it's far more dangerous than either.
2. People rarely sue. Only one-in-eight malpractice errors result in a claim. Mostly because people don't realize that malpractice has occurred. And when they do, people are more likely to forgive than to litigate.
3. Malpractice lawsuits, insurance and payouts are only 2% of all medical care. Malpractice payouts by physicians and their insurers were a mere $4.5 billion in 2001 – less than 1 percent of the country’s overall health care costs of $1.4 trillion.
4. Only 5 percent of doctors (1 out of 20) are responsible for 54 percent of malpractice payouts. Yet the medical industry protects these doctors instead of yanking their license..
So, Obama, instead of pointing out that malpractice is not what drives the excessive costs and profits of the medical industry, is focusing on 1% of the problem. A problem that is caused by, to a great extent, the doctors who refuse to police themselves and abject greed through deliberate over-medicalization. The bottom-line is that doctors need, and deserve, to be sued because they, frankly, do not police themselves like professionals "should."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey shows physicians support reform plan that includes both public and private optionsWe can only hope.
A RWJF survey summarized in the September 14, 2009 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 62.9 percent of physicians nationwide support proposals to expand health care coverage that include both public and private insurance options—where people under the age of 65 would have the choice of enrolling in a new public health insurance plan (like Medicare) or in private plans. The survey shows that just 27.3 percent of physicians support a new program that does not include a public option and instead provides subsidies for low-income people to purchase private insurance. Only 9.6 percent of doctors nationwide support a system where a Medicare-like public program is created in lieu of any private insurance. A majority of physicians (58%) also support expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.
In every region of the country, a majority of physicians supported a combination of public and private options, as did physicians who identified themselves as primary care providers, surgeons, or other medical subspecialists. Among those who identified themselves as members of the American Medical Association, 62.2 percent favored both the public and private options.
The survey was conducted between June 25 and September 3, 2009 by Salomeh Keyhani, M.D., M.P.H., and Alex Federman, M.D., M.P.H., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. While the survey was conducted in several “waves” over a tumultuous summer for the health reform debate, no statistically significant differences were identified in physician responses throughout the summer.
It wasn't the worst thing that's ever hit me on the Internet. I had one of these install itself back in 2001 and I had to reformat and re-install windows to get rid of it.
But there's another lesson. The way companies do business through deception. This malware is easy to see for the experienced Internet user while successfully preying upon those that aren't sophisticated enough to know this is BS. For someone like me, it's just inconvenient.
But what about something a little less clear, like Comcast and the transition to digital TV:
And the FCC agrees:
Consumers Union — the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports — sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. It states that Comcast and other cable operators appear to be trying to profit from the upcoming transition from analog broadcast TV to digital (DTV) on Feb. 17, 2009:
"With the DTV transition quickly approaching, consumer confusion in the television programming marketplace is at its peak," the letter reads. "Cable operators appear to be leveraging content to strong-arm confused consumers into paying much more every month for cable programming they have previously received at no extra fee. We believe the timing of this rate hike is deceptive."
Consumers Union also says Comcast has moved some popular cable channels to digital only — in effect forcing consumers to upgrade or accept fewer channels for the same price.
On Wednesday, the Federal Communication Commission released a statement that backed Consumers Union's concerns: "We agree with Consumers Union. … We have also received complaints that cable companies are moving channels to a digital-only tier and charging consumers the same monthly rate for a reduced number of channels. If consumers wish to continue watching the same channels that they were before, they must now buy a more expensive package or rent more expensive equipment."Comcast, of course, doesn't agree. Though they're very happy to keep charging you the same price for less service. And they're more than happy to give you a huge rational why their deceptive practices aren't deceptive.
Which gets us to the the bottom line: without government to protect our interests, when they bother to do so, we're at the mercy of these thieves who have no positive regard for their customer base. We are not a client base to be nurtured and treated with respect.
Only the hopelessly niave could somehow believe that competition will get the average consumer a "fair service for a fair price" from big business as it approached oligopoly or monopoly in the market place. When we get to this place in the market, rather than competition we become a captive audience and are a commodity to be bled dry as cheaply as possible using a model to maximize revenue that will look something like this:
To obtain the profit maximizing output quantity, we start by recognizing that profit is equal to total revenue (TR) minus total cost (TC). Given a tableI learned to do this in advanced managerial accounting. You can be sure the people that set the prices for Comcast know how to do this too.
of costs and revenues at each quantity, we can either compute equations or plot the data directly on a graph. Finding the profit-maximizing output is as simple as finding the output at which profit reaches its maximum. That is represented by output Q in the diagram.
There are two graphical ways of determining that Q is optimal. Firstly, we see that the profit curve is at its maximum at this point (A). Secondly, we see that at the point (B) that the tangent on the total cost curve (TC) is parallel to the total revenue curve (TR), the surplus of revenue net of costs (B,C) is the greatest. Because total revenue minus total costs is equal to profit, the line segment C,B is equal in length to the line segment A,Q.
Computing the price at which to sell the product requires knowledge of the firm's demand curve. The price at which quantity demanded equals profit-maximizing output is the optimum price to sell the product.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
His greatest impact in the founding of our country was his unremitting advocacy for Christianity in public life and in education. He advocated that the U.S. government require public schools to teach students using the Bible as a textbook, that the government furnish an American bible to every family at public expense and that the government require that the following sentence be inscribed in letters of gold over the door of every home in the United States: "The Son of Man Came into the World, Not To Destroy Men's Lives, But To Save Them."
Rush is, naturally, a favorite of the "America was founded as a Christian nation" crowd. After all, besotted by religion, and incapable of stopping, he publicly continued to advocate such government actions even after the ratification in 1791 of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ...." and is famous for saying: "Where there is no religion, there will be no morals."
But as we now know that simply isn't true:
Other rural Chinese kids, as well as city children in China and Canada, generally agree with the village boy’s opinions, says psychologist Charles Helwig of the University of Toronto. His new findings support the idea that universal concerns among children — such as a need to feel in control of one’s behavior and disapproval of harming others — shape moral development far more than cultural values do.In short, children, regardless of the culture in which they're raised, pretty much learn morality the same way. And learn very similar moralities. Regardless of the dominant religion in the culture, here being Christian (Canada) and Chinese Ancestor Worship mixed with some Buddhism (China).
“It’s remarkable how little cultural variation we have found in developmental patterns of moral reasoning,” says Helwig, who presented his results in Park City, Utah, at the recent annual meeting of the Jean Piaget Society.
Helwig and like-minded researchers don’t assume that kids’ universal responses spring from a biologically innate moral-reasoning capacity. Instead, they say, children gradually devise ways of evaluating core family relationships in different situations. Kids judge the fairness and effectiveness of their parents’ approaches to punishing misbehavior, for example. These kinds of relationship issues are much the same across all cultures, from Helwig’s perspective.
Children everywhere stew in the same pot of family conflict, with different cultural seasonings added for flavor, in Helwig’s view. When parents restrict behaviors that children regard as personal choices, such as what clothes to wear or which friends to hang out with, disputes inevitably arise. Parental restrictions on behavior that kids view as morally wrong or as a violation of conventional social rules are often accepted, even if grudgingly.
Of course, we also have all those studies that note the correlation of morality and religion, at least in European-descent peoples, seem to be inversely-related as well. So this should come as no surprise.
The normally nonchalant Barack Obama looked nonplussed, as Nancy Pelosi glowered behind.The rest of the column is worth reading. For a change. For those who don't know, Wilson is quite heavily steeped in the more racist elements of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, among others.
Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.
But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
August 31, 2009 - PETRI BAKING Products Issues Allergy Alert On One Code Of Stop & Shop Molasses CookiesAs many as there were, imagine how bad it is in China where they lack strong regulatory agencies...
August 30, 2009 - TEXAS COFFEE Company Recalls Red Pepper Because of Possible Health Risk
August 28, 2009 - Voluntary Prodcut Recall: Chef Pierre® Gourmet Lemon Meringue Pie, Day Code 9159 Only
August 28, 2009 - Voluntary Product Recall: Steinbeck Country Green Onions
August 28, 2009 - OCEAN MIST FARMS Announces Precautionary, Voluntary Recall of 1,746 Cases of Iceless Green Onions
August 27, 2009 - Quesos MI PUEBLITO, LLC Recalls Cheese Products Because of Possible Health Risk
August 27, 2009 - Melon Acres Announced the Recall of Cantaloupes Distributed Through Farm-Wey Produce of Lakeland FL Due to Potential Health Concerns
August 27, 2009 - Undeclared Sulfites in "Island Snacks Natures Mix"
August 21, 2009 - Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Issues a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Accusure® Insulin Syringes (1/2 Cc – 31 G – Short Needle) Lot #6jcb1 and Accusure® Insulin Syringes (1 Cc – 31 G – Short Needle) Lot #7cpt1
August 21, 2009 - Kroger Recalls Super Kids Enriched White Sandwich Bread Due to Undeclared Milk in the Product
August 21, 2009 - Nutracoastal Trading LLC Expands Its Voluntary Nationwide Recall Of Steam Dietary Supplement
August 20, 2009 - Undeclared Sulfites in "Cleopatra Candy" Mixed Nuts
August 19, 2009 - Van's International Foods Issues Allergy Alert On Undeclared Wheat, Gluten, Milk And Egg In Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes
August 18, 2009 - Quesos Mi Pueblito, LLT Issues a Recall on Mi Pueblito Queso Fresco Authentic Mexican Style Soft Cheese
August 14, 2009 - Hospira Issues Urgent Device Recall For AC Power Cords
August 14, 2009 - Frozen Culinary Circle™ Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese
August 14, 2009 - Shun Fung International Trading Inc. dba Yummy Foods Co.
August 13, 2009 - Barr Laboratories, Inc. issues a voluntary nationwide recall of Dextroamphetamine/Amphetamine 20mg Tablets, Lot number 311756
August 12, 2009 - Limited Recall of 772 Cartons of Iced Jumbo Green Onions due to Possible Health Risk
August 12, 2009 - Liberté Yogourt Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Walnuts and Plums in Its Méditerranée Wild Blackberry Yogourt 6oz Product Distributed in the USA
August 12, 2009 - Peregrina Cheese Corporation Recalls All Products Manufactured In Its Plant Because Of Possible Health Risk
August 07, 2009 - Adams Extract & Spice, LLC Announces Recall Because of Possible Health Risk
August 03, 2009 - Tanimura & Antle Expands Possible Distribution Area of Voluntary Romaine Recall
Thursday, September 10, 2009
But I still read a couple of blogs. One is Matt Barrows (Sacramento Bee) and the other is Matt Miaocco (Press Democrat). While they're both very insightful sports writers (a rarity) I normally I don't read the comments at the end of the blog posts. Mostly because they're stupid; but occassionally curiosity gets the better of sense, then I do. In the comments of Matt Miaocco's blog (a 49ers beatwriter) I ran into a post comment I just had to respond to:
FACT:Shaun Hill has the best win percentage as a starter in the nfc.Fact -- He started 10 games and these are his wins:
Bengals - 2-14
Buccanneers - Second & Third teamers.
Rams (twice) - 2-14
Bills - Collapsed after 4-0 start, finished season 1-5 (when we played them)
Jets - Collapsed after Favre injury, finished season 1-4 (when we played them)
Redskins - Collapsed, finished season 2-6.
There's your seven wins -- a rogues gallery of incompetency. A fluke of scheduling. Pure, unadulterated luck not QB competency.
FACT:No NFC team won more games in the last 7 games than the 49ers.Fact, nobody had as easy a schedule to finish-out the year:
Rams finished 0-7
Bills finished 2-5
Jets fished 3-4 (1-4 from when Favre got hurt)
Rams (again) 0-7
There's your "winning" record vis competency... Not a single win against a winning/competently-finishing team. Not a single team won more than two games during that stretch, except the Jets, who had a healthy Favre for two of the three wins. But not when they played us.
It was an exceptionally easy schedule. In that final seven there were only two good teams in there -- Dolphins and Cowboys. We lost to both of them and were not able to score a TD against their first team defenses.
FACT:Shaun Hill had a better qb rating than the SB winning QB from last year.Fact, TWENTY-THREE QBs had better ratings than Roethlesberger and 11 had better ratings than Hill. Only one of those QBs also went to the Superbowl. He lost. BFD.
And, as we've seen, Hill played against the easiest schedule in the NFL. Two good teams shut us down. The five bad teams lost to us, though we did manage to come close to losing a couple of those games... Seriously, barely beat the collapsing Redskins and barely beat the Rams...
You want to hang your hat on that... Go ahead. It's a fool's paradise.
This video shows highlights from President Barack Obama's speech to America's student Sept. 8, 2009.
The first part of this video is a NASCAR commercial made with the White House encouraging students to stay in school. It features Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Can you be any more pathetic and demonstrative of your brutal incompetency Mr. Insurance Company Executive?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.Let's face it, the wingnuts live for a crises.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America
Friday, September 4, 2009
"The way they do statistics in the Netherlands is different. Plus, it's a much smaller country, a much smaller base to do the stats on."This is why Johnny Conservative is so dumb... And why you can never compromise with the wing-nut population in America. There is just no possible way to, with facts, to convince a wing-nut of anything they do not wish to believe.
Beck is just crazy... Plain crazy...
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Haven is a Christian-based shelter run by Union Mission Ministries, which was directed by Stephen McPherson’s grandfather, the late Rev. Ted Bashford.Useless hypocrites.
Court records show Stephen McPherson repeatedly molested two of the sisters under his supervision and manipulated them by citing Bible verses that he said justified the abuse. Melina McPherson engaged in sexual acts with the third sister, cited Bible verses to justify her actions and told the victim that “they had a special relationship,” according to court records.
Stephen McPherson already is serving time on related sex abuse charges. He pleaded guilty in January to sexually abusing the two girls in Chesapeake. The McPhersons moved to Chesapeake in 2000 and took the three sisters there after adopting them, records show.
He was ordered to serve 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration charges.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drug maker, will pay a record $2.3 billion civil and criminal penalty over unlawful prescription drug promotions.By the way, when Archer Daniels Midland was price-fixing with Rorche, even as they were under indictment, through litigation, and post sentencing, they still continued to price fix vitamins. It took a second trial, with more convictions, penalties and fines, plus DoJ monitoring, to get them to stop.
Announcing the settlement Wednesday, the Justice Department said that it included the largest criminal fine in U.S. history -- $1.2 billion. The agreement also included a criminal forfeiture of $105 million.
Authorities called Pfizer a repeat offender, noting it is the fourth such settlement of government charges in the last decade. They said the government will monitor the company's conduct for the next five years to rein in the abuses.
To promote the drugs, authorities said Pfizer invited doctors to consultant meetings at resort locations, paying their expenses and providing perks.
"They were entertained with golf, massages, and other activities," said Mike Loucks, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.
Loucks said that even as Pfizer was negotiating deals on past misconduct, they were continuing to violate the very same laws with other drugs.
You really have to be delusional to believe that big business is, by-and-large, interested in anything but the bottom-line profits, no matter how they earn them. And if they have to screw you over, they just don't care... No matter who you think you are.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Characteristic Behavior: Speech becomes more social, less egocentric. The child has an intuitive grasp of logical concepts in some areas. However, there is still a tendency to focus attention on one aspect of an object while ignoring others. Concepts formed are crude and irreversible. Easy to believe in magical increase, decrease, disappearance. Reality not firm. Perceptions dominate judgment.Amazing how well he describes the people that ascribe to fundamentalist religion, movement conservatism (Maoism, Leninism, Libertarianism) and most Internet sports forums...
In moral-ethical realm, the child is not able to show principles underlying best behavior. Rules of a game not develop, only uses simple do's and don'ts imposed by authority.