Friday, July 31, 2009

Health Care Roulette

There is a lot of buzz about health care these days.
Blue Dog Democrats- Dems behaving like Republicans.
The GOP & their same antics.... only help the rich & the "I got mine" mentality.

Deals & bargains & what sounds like the trend is to take the best & essential components,  right down the flusher.

But the thing that has me rankled, pissed off & steaming mad- is the money.
That and the total lack of ethics.

Senator                                         Lifetime contributions from Insurance/Pharma
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)--------- $1,203,205
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)------- $206,297
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)--------- $442,165
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)-----------  $342,228
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)------- $702,595
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)------ $161,706

                          TOTAL: $3,058,256

Over Three million dollars from Insurance & Pharma. 
Don't tell me these people are not going to be swayed on how to vote by all that money. 

It is not ethical. 
It is clearly a conflict of interest. 
It should not be tolerated. 

We need to insist they give back the money or get off the committee. 
No future promises of contributions either. 

We don't have a health care system, and even the process is sick. 

I can't even begin to express my outrage & anger that this is being allowed. 
It is not just that they are on the take, or that is being tolerated & all that dirty money is public knowledge.....
but they are compromising one of the most important things to "We the People"- our ability to be healthy, and get proper health care. 

In other health news.....
39 people died  of Swine flu, the week of July 24
There were 3154 new cases in one week's time. 

Total US Swine Flu #'s

43,771 Confirmed cases/ 302 Deaths

July 24, 2009 is the last day that CDC is providing individual confirmed and probable cases of novel H1N1 influenza. CDC will report the total number of hospitalizations and deaths each week, and continue to use its traditional surveillance systems to track the progress of the novel H1N1 flu outbreak. For more information about CDC’s novel H1N1 influenza surveillance system, see Questions & Answers About CDC's Novel H1N1 Influenza Surveillance.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Patriotic Crap!

O M G!!!!

I actually came across this weird ass product while looking for a sympathy card in the card aisle at the store.

This guy is for real touting is as a great thing.... but tune in for the spin:

 He prattles on about how *amazing* it is that this company Actually uses U.S. Flags-- MADE IN AMERICA!!!!! What a jaw dropper- because most U.S. flags are made in China. 
and then in smaller print *Assembled in China*.

Like a moth drawn to the flame I hit the on button.... & yes this crappy thing began to wave.... and play music loudly. Ugh... too much! Make it stop, I thought.... so I pushed the button no avail.... the damned thing started playing a 2nd, then third song. 

A part of me wanted to do a primal scream right there in the card aisle......
but I walked away.... behaving like I did not know who the hell started the damned thing on it's patriotic music rampage.  I did not know if I should laugh or cry, or just run my cart over the thing & put it out of it's misery. 

The maker of this disaster is also responsible for the Furby motion toy. 

Wapo reports:
He put a flag trivia quiz on the box. And he touts his attention to detail -- such as the decision to make the toy in China but to have the flag made by Valley Forge Flag Co. in Pennsylvania."We would never put a foreign-made flag on the thing, for goodness' sake," he said. Ahhh but his creative flair does not end there....
Levy recognizes that the technology behind the Wave flag has other applications beyond the patriotic. He is working on a version that displays NASCAR banners and another using college flags and fight songs. Another idea Levy wants to pursue is baby gifts for hospital shops that say "It's a Boy" or "It's a Girl" on a waving flag that plays a lullaby.
"We're in a fashion industry -- never get caught with your trends down," Levy said." 
I'm guessing his staunch "Made in America" (but only the flag, not the complex electronic parts of manufacturing) public display will end with the US flag. I bet China can make flags cheaper, faster, and maybe even more toxic?
Like the NASCAR crowd will give a shit!
*** Sorry this was the only video I could find of this product. Needless to say I am not subscribing or endorsing his bozo review.... you just had to see the pathetic product it to understand what I'm talking about.  Plus the article said he gave one to then president Bush & his partner in crime- Rumsfeld. Ewww! Now I loathe this product even more. 
I would have loved to hear the opinions about it, amongst workers in the Chinese manufacturing facility. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

Usually, if there is some kind of special rebate program, we generally fall a day late or dollar short, or just shy of qualifying. Kind of a Murphy's law thing. But this time (maybe) the planets were aligned properly, or the Rebate Gods smiled upon us.
I'm talking about the Cash for Clunkers program. It's a government deal, trying to get old gas guzzlers off the road, giving you a nice chunk of change off the price of a vehicle. Ahhh yes, there are a bunch of qualifying requirements.
You can go to the Cars Website to read all about it.

On the website on the far right there is a tab to click to then input your vehicle info.
It will generate the number of combined mileage (city & hwy) the EPA rates your vehicle. Regardless of what actual mileage you get or no matter how much of a clunker your vehicle really is.
It must meet the magic number of 18 or less to qualify.
Must have proof of being fully insured for a year prior.
Must have proof of registration for 1 year.
You must be able to drive the vehicle to the lot.

Which is strange, because the dealer is ***required*** to drain the oil & put silicone in the engine, which will cause it to seize & destroy the engine. The point of this program is to get gas guzzlers off the road.
Even crazier is within the same year & model of vehicle different engine sizes & features will disqualify or qualify you.
Some folks will be off by just 1 mile of the government mileage rating.

On the flip side-- you have to pick a vehicle that will get at least 5 mpg better to get $3,500 off the price
but if you get one that is 10 mpg or better, you get $4,500 of the price.

Last year they just radically changed how the mpg is calculated ( more like how people actually drive)-- so even the most tightwad sippers like the Honda FIT or the Toyota Corolla are currently rated as combined mileage of 28.
Lots of cars like the Ford Focus fall short of the 28 or better.

If I actually qualify for some crazy good promo, I want the max---
#1 We are not wealthy people & the only reason we are doing this is because my 15 year old vehicle was not on the same page as we were, with waiting a few more years till Hybrids or electric cars are affordable & available.

But alas.... she became an inferno.
The A/C quit because of some vacuum vent. They no longer make the part- so it would have cost us $600 to pay for labor ro take out the dashboard to replace this part w a part from the junkyard. No warranty on how long junkyard parts might last...
and then the windshield wiper sheered off while on the freeway in a downpour.

Driving the van in 95+ temps on the freeway, I seemed to repeatedly hit traffic at a standstill. Had to keep the windows open to breathe but breathing fumes in a sweltering oven box. I thought I was gonna die. Then I would arrive home cranky & take a good 15 minutes to cool down & become human again.

We've had this baby for 15 years. In her heyday she was a gem, although she sucked gas @18 mpg.... she could haul people & stuff like crazy. Back then our 2 kids were young & we needed & used that much space. Plus 15 years ago 18 mpg was decent mileage for the size of vehicle it was. (BTW the 2009 same version of the Caravan minivan gets *17*mpg -- in 15 years time, they went backwards instead of making progress w fuel efficiency).

That was then now ~ we are empty nesters.
Mostly I am in the vehicle myself, or with the Husband & occasionally all 3 of us w one of my sons.
So I don't need a 7 passenger vehicle. But other things were starting to fall apart too- I won't bore you with the details.
Bottom line it did not make sense to throw any more $ into it & the $4,500 money off a new vehicle was worth way more than the blue book value.... and it was devaluing by the day.

So we actually jumped through the flaming hoops-- and did a little negotiating, as well as scooped up a 0% financing.
So we are just paying for the vehicle- no interest.

We got the best damned deal we could find,

It was a little tricky finding a compact "sipper" car, for 2 not-very-compact people. The husband is 6'6" & I'm 6 feet tall & "large boned". In any case I wanted the simple practical vehicle that will not suck gas.

After many weekends of test drives, number crunching, searing hot temps, annoying car dealers, ultra annoying car dealers that caused us to bail out of buying from them.... hey! We are not high end purchasers,,,, but a new car is a big ticket item & customers are customers. They deserve to be treated well. For the record, telling me *I* have to pay $100 for them to restock a car they just sold off the lot (not a special order). No.

I hate the whole dealing/dealers/ numbers back & forth games thing. You feel like you are negotiating with the Wizard of Oz.... some unseen poobah in a back room saying yay or nay to different numbers.
It sucks royale. There must be car dealers & dealerships in hell.

Plus we went from main wage earner being unemployed to being called back to work to buying a new car.
You can bet we spent some sleepless nights wondering if this was the right thing to do.

Decent used cars were pricing out pretty high too.... so we just went for it.

We drove that baby off the lot yesterday.... a Toytota Matrix- which is really a Corolla with a wagon style body.
You can fold the seats down flat to make the back all cargo space, or it is a 4 passenger vehicle.

Woo Hoo!

We still have to wait for the dealer get it submitted to the Cash for Clunkers program.
They have X amount of dollars for the program & the program ends when the cash runs out or November.
The dealers would like us to think this program might just last a few days-- because knocking that much off an invoice is a rare event.
If it went so fast we missed the boat because we did the deal 1 day after the program opened....
then the deal would be unwound & we bring back the car. We will know in the next 2 weeks. Crazy Huh?

Anyway we were @ the front of the line for the program & hope it all comes together.... or we may just wind up w a used car???
To be continued.

Here is a stock photo picture, of our maybe new car.... we actually got that color.

I hope I have not bored you to death with Car Talk.
Maybe you or someone you know has a qualifying Clunker & together we can save the planet.
Just wear your fireproof panties, there are flaming hoops to jump through!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Putting the birther thing to rest....

That Blue Gal blogger.... I think she's having too much fun. 
I hope she keep's 'em coming...... 

Love is all you need

Going to a wedding today.
Nice to be immersed in a celebration of love.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


What's the hurry, the droids in Congress ask, about getting a health care bill in place so soon?

I can't believe these people are so very out of touch they are oblivious to the crisis of health care in America.
You know what their problem is? They are spoiled rotten.
While they enjoy a fat paycheck, and top notch Cadillac health insurance policies, millions of Americans are shut out. 

People I know have difficulty just getting access to the low income or free clinics.
They are so maxxed out they have to limit the number of patients they can even see.
*IF* they are seen, there is then worry about being about to afford expensive diagnostics test, or prescriptions.

It seems to me, the name of the game is *sky's the limit".
Insurance companies make deals with Doctors about reasonable & customary charges, Doctors then charge the max to get bargained down to an amount that is acceptable. Pharmaceuticals are so far out in left field... with absolutely no limits on what they can charge.

Ahh but health care makes up 1/5th of the nation's economy. It's a cash cow for profit.

Even people who are lucky enough to have health insurance-- a majority are not happy with a variety of issues.

Obama called this lack of a health care system "maintaining the status quo" in which 14,000 citizens lose their health care every day.

Random snippets:
"With the ever-higher premiums and the lesser and even denied care the present private insurers see fit to provide..there should be no reason not to go with the Public coverage. The Private Insurers even restrict us as to what Doctors we can see and what Procedures can be allowed. Is not that called Managed Care ? Those insured on the Public Plan, Medicare, do not have to endure those restrictions. So why should all those Private Policy Payers be treated so callously ? ( That is..those deemed Healthy enough to be 'insured' at all, by these greedy companies.)"

Yes what we have is the pay more get less program.

" Insurance Companies are 'For Profit' Corporations...not Health Providers. The only Health they care about is a Bulging bank account."

I'm seeing increased co pays & this year, my coverage only pays 80%-- last year it was 100%.


Here's a quote from that site:

"The US health care system ranks last among other major rich countries for quality, access and efficiency, according to two studies released Tuesday by a health care think tank.

The studies by the Commonwealth Fund found that the United States, which has the most expensive health system in the world, underperforms consistently relative to other countries and differs most notably in the fact that Americans have no universal health insurance coverage.
What's the h

"The United States stands out as the only nation in these studies that does not ensure access to health care through universal coverage and promotion of a 'medical home' for patients," said Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis."

* Please note the ranking was done in 2007. The only thing that has changed is 2.6 million lost jobs in 2008, and 65,4000 jobs were lost in January of 2009.

So really , the only things that have changed is more people have lost jobs, and probably lost healthcare (COBRA extended insurance coverage is a great idea, but is SO expensive it is beyond cost prohibitive. )

In closing, I wish we could pull the plug on Congressional health care insurance & require them to use the free health clinics. Then they would understand the hurry. 

To any politician who has the gall to ask what's the hurry, here is my response-- are you familiar with the medical term *flatline*? America's health care system is currently DOA ~ dead on arrival.  We don't have a system. We have predatory insurance companies running the show and all others are on their own. 

I think the key point about the Health care plan is that they are using this as a political hot potato & trying to make it divisive. 

It is NOT about supporting Obama..... because of course they will abuse that. 

It is about people working multiple jobs & turned away from the free health clinic because they are maxxed out. 
It is about not getting access to a specialists or care you need. 
It is about not affording the tests needed to diagnose & then probably would have a hard time affording the meds.  

It is NOT about supporting Obama- it is about supporting the millions of people in this country who are suffering, hurting & literally dying because they can't afford medical care. It is one of the top reasons why people go bankrupt in this country. 

We are the only huge industrialized nation without universal health care. 

Because even though Presidents come & go, the need for universal health care remains. 

It is a dire & urgent need- of the people. 

Take the frigging politics out of it. 

And the notion we must cut back on other spending to do so-- my answer is this:

Look at the War budgets. 
By all means-- cut back there. $890 billion dollars would have bought a decent health care system. Of all the things that government wastes money on, like Wall Street bailouts, and other pork barrel spending, this is something We the People really, desperately need.
It is not wasteful spending. 

It's not out of line- the hurry  & urgent rush to get Universal health care in place, in fact it is so critically late, it has been  fatal in some cases.  Yes, people are dying for healthcare in America. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something completely different

Potato salad has NEVER had this effect on me. You???

Ok... then I found this parody......

Who could resist mocking this routine???

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The GOP Sotomeyor perspective....

Yes, the GOP would have us believe anyone who is not a white guy in a tie, is a real oddball for a Supreme Court justice.

Maureen Dowd wrote this editorial: (Excerpts)

You can’t judge a judge by her cover.
A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.
After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They’ve had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.
So when Republican Senator Jon Kyl, without so much as a howdy-do, went at Sotomayor, and soon was asking her if she agreed with Barack Obama’s contention, when he voted against John Roberts, that a judge’s heart is important, the would-be justice was as adroit as her idol Nancy Drew.
“No, sir,” she said, indicating that the only bleeding-heart thing about her was the color of her jacket. She added that “it’s not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It’s the law.”
President Obama wants Sotomayor, naturally, to bring a fresh perspective to the court. It was a disgrace that W. appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men. And Sotomayor made it clear that she provides some spicy seasoning to a bench when she said in a speech: “I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging, but I accept there will be some based on gender and my Latina heritage.”
The judge’s full retreat from the notion that a different life experience is valuable was more than necessary and somewhat disappointing. But, as any clever job applicant knows, you must obscure as well as reveal, so she sidestepped the dreaded empathy questions — even though that’s why the president wants her.
“We apply law to facts,” she told Kyl. “We don’t apply feelings to facts.”

“The law requires some finality,” Sotomayor explained about her case, with an iciness that must have sent a chill up the conservative leg of Alabama’s Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, even as it left Obama hanging out on an empathy limb.
Republican Lindsey Graham read Sotomayor some anonymous comments made by lawyers about her, complaining that she was “temperamental,” “nasty,” “a bit of a bully.” Then he patronizingly lectured her about how this was the moment for “self-reflection.” Maybe Graham thinks Nino Scalia has those traits covered.
But the barbed adjectives didn’t match the muted performance on display before the Judiciary Committee. Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it’s delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.
W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.’s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.
Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.
Senator Graham said Sotomayor would be confirmed unless she had “a meltdown” — a word applied mostly to women and toddlers until Mark Sanford proudly took ownership of it when he was judged about the wisdom of his Latina woman.
And then there’s the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents — including Bush Sr. — ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and throw the 2000 election to W.
Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law."

Sessions Sucketh

Friday, July 17, 2009


I've been doing a weekly update re the Swine flu, or H1N1 for those wanting to protect the Pork industry (but scientifically, they really did track it back to actual Swine). 

This week 3371 new cases were officially confirmed. 
52 people died. 

New US totals~ 40,617 cases, 263 deaths. 

I was quite miffed when the CDC decided to go to a weekly update, but now it has become even worse. 

I think your jaw might drop too- when you hear the reasoning behind the latest decision. 
This may be the very definition of backwards thinking.... or just flat out stupidity.

MSNBC Reports:
Worldwide cases of the new H1N1 swine flu virus are spreading so fast that overwhelmed global health officials have stopped counting and officials with the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they'll soon follow suit.
WHO (World Health Organization) had reported nearly 95,000 cases including 429 deaths worldwide. But the numbers are outdated, with Britain estimating it had 55,000 new cases last week alone."

Yes- Health Officials are going to STOP counting/tracking the deadly disease because it's spreading too fast. 

From the WHO website:

" The 2009 influenza pandemic has spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread as widely as the new H1N1 virus has spread in less than six weeks.

The increasing number of cases in many countries with sustained community transmission is making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for countries to try and confirm them through laboratory testing. Moreover, the counting of individual cases is now no longer essential in such countries for monitoring either the level or nature of the risk posed by the pandemic virus or to guide implementation of the most appropriate response measures."

Is it just me, or does it seem that the major medical bureaus are both dropping the ball & throwing in the towel?

Personally, if there is a spike in local fatalities due to this disease, I really do want to know about it. 

It sounds like they are gearing up for the fall, when they expect classrooms full of kids will be passing around germs and regular flu season. 

The thing that floors me is that the WHO declared this a Level 6 Pandemic. 

According to their own Pandemic flow chart.... they are supposed to 


In summary:

The WHO is not going with their own FLOW & flew the coop on Swine Flu.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Historic relic for the Smithsonian

I've always dreaded it, and I was happy to see a story in today's paper saying the Obama administration is looking at getting rid of the Homeland Security Color Coded Terrorism chart.
The thing that remains embedded in my memory is traveling through the airport, post 9-11. After a heavy & shoeless search at the metal detector check in point, (mine was extended, because I have a Titanium knee, so I always set off the alarm, and get sent to Area B - to assume the daVinci pose & have a TSA agent frisk me & use the hand held wand.  After passing this stringent test, you could proceed into the inner sanctum of the real airport zone. There, you'd hear a prerecorded message being broadcast throughout the airport. Don't leave your bags unattended & a brief announcement about what Homeland Security color code the *Terror Threat o' the day* was. 
I remember being in the restroom, beginning to hear the message, but then it was drowned out over the sound of flushing toilets. 
I'd reconciled there & then, the sound of flushing toilets was equally effective. We would get these vague "remain vigilant" advisories, that were in fact too vague to be meaningful. 
At least when you flushed the toilet, something happened. There were tangible results!

I think it was the Michael Moore movie, where a speaker did a segment reiterating this same theme- that the color would NEVER be announced as blue or green, because we were being programmed to *live in fear*.

Bloomberg: "The five-color coding system, created after the Sept. 11 attacks, goes from green, signaling a low threat of attack, to red, signaling a severe threat. Since its introduction in March 2002, the level has been changed 16 times but remained most of the time at mid-level yellow (elevated) or orange (high), the statement said.

The threat level has never been lowered to blue (guarded) or green. It was elevated to red only once, on Aug. 10, 2002, for flights to the U.S. from the U.K. after British police said they foiled a plot to blow up aircraft bound for the U.S., the department said. The alert level was lowered to orange six days later."

 I bet if you asked 10 different people what colors are on the chart & what they mean... most would not know.... I don't know,  because I always thought is was a bogus tap dance to keep us afraid & to pretend like they were doing something to prevent terrorism. 

So thumbs up to the Obama administration for the initiative to scrap this useless relic, let the Smithsonian add it to the museum collection of worthless Bush paraphernalia. 

It would be more amusing, and just as productive to recreate the robot from the Lost in Space show, to deliver WARNINGS! to us. Don't get me wrong, I don't think terrorism is a joke, just that the terrorism color coded chart is & was a joke. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

from the heart

Only you can judge best your circumstances,but you can never get this moment in history back, live your history!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nobody told me there'd be days like these.....

John Lennon~ Nobody Told Me

Oy! Today has been a bit bizarre.... it started out with low rumbling thunder, but then it built up to BIG BOOMING THUNDER. We don't get much of that in the Pacific Northwest, so it's quite a 
rarity. After attending the Quaker Friends Meeting today, by the time we left, it was a open 
skies downpour. I offered to swing by my son's place, let him get his bike and Uniform, have 
lunch @ our house & drive him to work

I rode my bike in heavy rainstorms like this, he said.
So have I--- and it sucks ~ let me give you a ride. I am trying to steal little moments of time 
before he heads off on his journey to do a portion portion of a cross country bike ride tomorrow.
But seriously-- I did not want him being struck by lightening either.

Besides, I had put together a top notch bag of travel stuff for him. It had to be compact to fit in 
the Pannier (bike) bags, but none of those lame ass prefab First Aid kits that really don't have
the stuff you need.
We are talking the extra large & regular sized bandaids, Neosporin, Bug bite gel... all kinds of
misc stuff. In this last week we got him to the store for a compact sleeping bag, a one person 
tent. Threw in an ensolite pad, and a emergency blanket tarp for under the tent & a bag 
of bungee cords to strap all this stuff on.
He is *ready to roll*.

Anyway he made it safely to the workplace, but now the rear windshield wiper.... which
accidentally got turned on while the bike rack was on, rendering it dysfunctional.... was now  
flapping wildly at high speed & would not turn off. Damn.
I was on a run to Trader Joe's for Coffee. A huge BOOM if thunder shook the ground & my 
vehicle & for a few minutes TJ's went black.
Got the coffee & stuff & headed out. Noticed streetlights in busy intersections were stuck on
blinking red lights only.
Apparently some power grids had been effected. In fact I am typing on battery mode right now,
choosing to not be plugged in to electricity in this storm!

On the way home, the rains picked up.... pretty heavy when all of the sudden the driver's side 
windshield wiper torks itself out and flips beyond the windshield & is kind of stuck on the
rearview mirror.
Great! I'm driving on the freeway at 55 MPH in a heavy downpour & I can't SEE.  
The passenger side wiper is still humming along, so I wind up driving slower & leaning all 
the way to the right to see out of the passenger window.
This is on a van on a truck frame, so we are not talking compact car.... I am having to really 
s-t-r-e-t-c-h to see out the damned window.

Thankfully, the next exit is mine. I purposely drive slow to catch the stoplight. I can now get
out of my car & manually move the wiper so I can see. When I do, thunder & lightning are
booming & flashing. At this point I dare not ask *What next*... sometimes it is better to not 
tempt fate in this way. So I lay the broken wiper back flat like it is supposed to be- still raining 
and I get stopped at another stoplight.... another boom of thunder & flash of lightening. 
So now as I am driving suddenly the other windsheld wiper begins to flap back enough to take
the metal of the broken wiper and twist & bend the metal into a curly bent metal loop.  
At this point, I am now both a little scared, because it is still raining like crazy, and I can't see,
but I am half laughing, saying this is un*fucking* believable.
What next-- Locusts??
Was it not bad enough the wiper tweaked itself on the freeway, but now it is all crunched into
a not remotely usable item. Cue the song!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Something to *SWINE* about

My weekly rant-- THE SWINE FLU UPDATE

3344 New Swine Flu cases this week

41 Additional Deaths

Total Confirmed cases: 37,246
Total Deaths: 211
I realize I have been relentless about reporting these updates.
The media AND the Government have dropped the ball.

I received an H1N1 (Swine) flu update e mail from the government. 
It had a link to

Quote " In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with H1N1 (swine) flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 (swine) flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions."


41 people died THIS WEEK!

I know they have to walk a fine line, so as to not create hysteria, but things have gone too far in the other direction. The CDC reports updates once a week. 
The public is being told the focus is on a vaccine for the fall flu season, but people need to keep on top of it now

Workplace conversation:

Co Worker: You seem to be hitting that hand sanitizer pretty hard......

Me:  40 people a week are dying from Swine Flu in the US. 

Co Worker: What???
Where did you get that information?

Me: From the Center for Disease Control website. 

Co Worker: Why are we not hearing about this in the news???

Me: Michael Jackson?

Co Worker: Ugh!

Me: I figure if I am touching door handles in this workplace with so many people, I should dose my hands. Besides, co workers are taking cruises to Mexico.... I'm concerned they can be bringing Swine flu back with them. 

Co Worker: ** Takes a dose of hand sanitizer from her desktop bottle.** 

So there you have it. It's hard to report on this topic with interesting & creative flare. It's a bummer and the death toll numbers are a dirge. But dammit.... people need to be aware & 
hell~ hitting the hand sanitizer can't hurt. 

By the way.... hand sanitizer, to be effective needs to be 62% alcohol. 
You don't have to buy the brand name stuff- generic is fine- as long as it's 62% alcohol. 
Sorry Purell.... but people don't need to pay twice as much for the brand name. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

News Blackout?

I just checked the Afghanistan war casualty page, and see that 35 soldiers were killed in the month of June.

20 have died in the month of July.

In Pakistan, US drone plane bombing is causing mass exodus to get away from the dangerous border, creating massive refugee camps.

While the airwaves are flooded with news of GOP goofballs- Sanford, Palin, and the impending crescendo of a rock star's massive/ public star studded funeral "event", I really had to dig to get info on the war in Afghanistan, it's almost like there is a news blackout. Oh sure, Micahel Moore might report six more soldiers died in Afghanistan today, but I am not hearing about it on MSM. So we've become a nation of distracted people, easily slipping in to an apathy about war, and what the U. S. is doing in other countries.

We have not heard news updates about the surge in Afghanistan, or the withdrawl in Iraq, or much about Iran for that matter.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Memorial overload

I feel drunk with Michael Jackson memorial overload.

May he finally find peace .

I feel sorry for the kids. Will there be weird custody battles?
I can't imagine a 79 year old (MJ's Mom) having enough energy to raise 3 young kids.
How old is the youngest??? 7 years old?
If old man Joe really did beat his own kids.... where is the wisdom in this decision?

I'm sure we will be hearing all about it ad nauseum.

It was just nice to see them without the masks, out in public.
Sure they need to be kept from the pirahana media, but they need to have normal lives too.
Living behind a mask ain't no way to live.

I feel sorry for a kid named "Prince", and it's not clear if the 3rd boy child is actually named Prince II, or if "Blanket" is really his name.... that's a rough path to take either way. They gave Blanket a Michael Jackson action figure doll to hold during the funeral service.
I hope they set aside a therapy fund.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday Tune

Sarah McLaughlin~ Blue

Sunday, July 5, 2009

America~ Give Generously

Moore premiered in select locations a cheeky trailer asking the audience to help out the disadvantaged by giving money to the ushers. Then a line of fresh-faced young people marched in with collection cans and t-shirts that said "Save Our CEOs." The audience hooted and applauded.

Yes, those crazy Wall Street banker types are having to go light on bonus money & perks because of those TARP money rules. Michael Moore's next film takes a glimpse into the world of high finance.

I love his "I already gave at the Bailout" remark.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Check out the Double Flute

Looking Wolf Native American Flute Player of the Year 2008

Got to hear Looking Wolf @ the World Beat Festival ~ what a treat!

My new favorite song is *What the world Needs*

Go to Looking Wolf's web site to listen to it, and read his amazing story.

4th of July


Grand Ronde Pow Wow ~ This land is their land

Ever since I was a young age, I always felt aligned with the Native Americans.
I think they have a beautiful culture, and even though we were taught that Columbus "discovered" America, the more I studied history, the more  I had to question-- how could he have discovered it, if people were already living here?
I have always found Native Americans to be welcoming, inclusive, genuinely kind and caring people.
I did meet some Indians in the Wounded Knee area who were particularly unhappy and untrusting of the White man's government... and frankly, they have every right. I remember having a conversation with an Elder, saying, it is not MY government either..... they don't represent me.

And so the cycle goes. But the Native Cultures have always been in tune with Mother Earth. Respectful of the land, so much so that even when the Lakota tribe was offered a large sum of money to settle up on the land they had been cheated out of, they refused. The land was not for sale, even though by all standards, many were living deep in poverty.... financial poverty, but Spiritual wealth. They never sold out, and have taken the high ground.

It is that America that I love and cherish & honor. The kind and respectful spirits, those who know we are here visiting the land, and we must care for it. A higher calling. A spiritual awareness.

Perhaps this is the flag I should be flying? One planet, one people.

Ever since the wars of choice ~ Afghanistan & Iraq, I have displayed the flag in the way that is proper flag etiquette. Upside down, as the official distress symbol.
Because whether we want to admit it or not.... we are a nation in distress.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mavericky or Fishy.... you decide!

Slate Magazine/ John Dickerson wrote of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's resignation:

"Maybe she's just being mavericky? Perhaps. That's certainly how she framed her departure. To stay in office as a lame duck would have been to do the predictable thing, she said. But the challenge for Palin in the 2008 presidential campaign and again now is persuading voters that her maverick instinct isn't just unpredictability and erratic behavior—qualities that can turn maverick-ness into a liability. Only dead fish go with the flow, she said, in what was a welcome addition to the political phrase book. But if you're not swimming with the current, your options are still tough ones: Either you're swimming upstream, or you're flapping around on the dock."

"The larger reason for Palin's early departure was that she was having no fun. Ever since she returned to Alaska from the national stage, being governor has been a chore. Her political opponents have launched 15 ethics charges against her. The state economy has turned sour, and she got into an ugly squabble over federal stimulus funds. It's much more enjoyable to travel the country waving to adoring crowds of GOP activists."

It's true Sarah Palin is a kind of cash cow for the Republicans, but methinks there is something fishy about Palin's patriotic weekend resignation. Is there more lucrative money for Sarah in some other endeavor? Does she have some scandal brewing she can't bear to handle the public & media scrutiny over?

I sure do hope Palin is not gearing up for another presidential run. It was hard enough to endure the last one. All that blinking & winking, and beauty queen strutting, while inciting hate and a crowd of angry villagers. 

Forget the fish analogy-- Palin is a trainwreck!

Swine Flu update

Click here for details

Last week: 27,717 cases   127 deaths

This week: 33,902 cases  170 deaths

6185 new cases, 43 deaths

Since the press isn't covering it, I thought I would. 

40 or more (non-celebrity) people a week, are dying from swine flu in the United States.