Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Courage & Consequences

Code Pink welcomes Karl Rove on his book tour! In their special style, they let Karl know what they think about this "resume" of deeds in the Bush2 administration.
Essentially, they ran Karl out of the venue, no books were signed- ironically his book is titled "Courage & Consequences".

In an unrelated interview, Joy Behar was asked if she would read Karl's book, her response was "I prefer non-fiction".


I sat through an Aflac presentation at work a few years ago. It is not medical insurance per se, but it does pay money for you to pay bills & such while you are unable to work, due to illness.
After the 1/2 hour presentation where they talked about the different tiers of coverage you can buy, they abruptly announced, by the way, we
flat out do not cover anyone with a health history/diagnosis of heart disease or diabetes.
They have the (depending on your perspective) cutesy/annoying commercial with the Duck quacking away the word AFLAC!!!! so people wondering aloud about how to cover bills when sick could hear the answer. Imagine if they had to have truth in advertising about their "blanket" policy.... Bold, all caps print:

How would they make that statement into a snappy jingle?

They are coming to do another presentation next month. I'm curious to know if the new health care reform applies to this kind of "insurer". That would be great if they could not pick & choose who they would cover- because that was sure a blatant pre existing condition exclusion if ever there was one. Looking forward to seeing what the duck is going on with Aflac!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Floral arrangements

Ok, I need to rant about floral marketing. I realize this is not the most pressing issue of our times, but something needs to be said! I have elderly relatives who either have everything they need & have asked us to not send "stuff", or if we do send stuff, send things that will eventually go away, so they don't have to find space to put it, or eventually have to dust it!
They are all on restricted diets, either post heart surgery- no salt, fat,etc, or gastric woes, no nuts, sugar, fresh fruit. That kind of narrows it down to floral arrangements.

The presentations make me crazy! Often they have an arrangement shown with a price. The arrangements usually has a vase in the photo, but when you click for details, it will say just the bouquet or add another $10 bucks for a vase. Why not just say the price with the vase as shown?? The add ons don't stop there. Of course there is shipping, usually another $10 or more bucks, plus tax, and often an additional fee for "handling". That $19.99 bouquet is gonna cost you $35.99 when all is said & done.

The web sites are set up in layers..... so the above FTD example, shown above, says right there in Black & white *MAKE EASTER SHINE*. Sounds good to me. I'm sending it to Mom.

But once you get into the layers, (oooh! this one actually does include the vase shown)...of the shopping cart- it tells me the earliest delivery date is......
2 days AFTER Easter-- April 6th. So instead of making Easter shine, the header should have said, SHINE EASTER ON & SEND FLOWERS 2 DAYS LATE-- AFTER THE ACTUAL HOLIDAY!!!

That is called bait & switch. Clearly they were marketing the flowers for Easter, just did not mention they would not be available for Easter, right about the same time they are asking for your credit card number.

So I bailed from their web site. Stop wasting my time!!!
I thought about calling them, but screw it, if they are going to mess with me like that, I'm going to a different florist. Besides, that arrangement arrives in a box as well.
Some assembly required. Shipping & handling not included.

The other florist had a "Growers choice" special.... they put together whatever flowers into a dazzling display. The Vase was "free" but they added a few bucks for additional shipping cost.
Sure enough, that $19.99 special wound up costing me $35.99 but at least they will get it there
by April 1. Interesting date.... Who do they think they are fooling???

Monday, March 29, 2010

Split personality?

The Palin factor.

Notice how she seems to have a split personality?

She is the Queen of the Tea Party, denouncing how the two parties have it wrong.
Then she is stumping for McCain & attending Rethuglican party fundraiser events.

Palin lashes out at the elite/gotcha media.
Now she is working for Faux snooze.

Palin said her comment to "reload" means "vote".
Then she posts a map with crosshairs on it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Who was that kid? Meet Marcelas Owens.

The L.A. Times reports:
"11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who stood quietly next to President Obama on Tuesday as he signed the long-debated legislation, has kept the jitters at bay, friends say, by pretending his mom was sitting in the front row.

She wasn't. She died three years ago of pulmonary hypertension, largely untreated because she lost her health insurance when she lost her job as an assistant manager at a Jack in the Box restaurant in Seattle.

"It's tough not having my mom around," Marcelas, a fifth-grader at Seattle's Orca elementary school, said at a news conference with Senate Democratic leaders this month. "But she's been with me in spirit every time I talk."

Plenty of American families have succumbed to a combination of illness, unemployment and debt. Marcelas' mother, Tifanny, fell ill in 2006 at age 26 with the crippling condition that causes abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

"If she still had her healthcare, she'd probably still be here," Marcelas' grandmother, Gina, told reporters.

The family's troubles began when Tifanny Owens started missing work because of her illness, said Joshua Welter, who worked with the family at the Washington Community Action Network. Jack in the Box "let her go after she missed so much work," Welter said.

Jack in the Box spokesman Brian Luscomb said the only Tifanny Owens in their records was a team leader, the equivalent of a shift supervisor, who resigned "for family obligations" in 2006. "She was not involuntarily terminated," he said.

With no income, Owens couldn't afford transitional health coverage. Owens would occasionally go to the emergency room, and in one visit, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which cannot be cured but can often be treated.

She was admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center in June 2007, and died a week later.

Marcelas, a plump-cheeked, soft-spoken youngster, became a celebrity of sorts after Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) began talking about his family on the Senate floor."

This young boy could just as easily go on with his childhood, and not be a spokesperson/advocate for health care, he is clearly doing this from the heart, and it is sweet that he was included front and center for this major, historic event. I omitted the part of the story where cut throat conservatives accused him of being prostituted for the cause. Can't a kid be allowed to follow his hearts pure desire to advocate for a cause that changed his life forever? Stand tall in your place in history Marcelas, I'm sure your Momma is proud of you.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cry Babies

Of course we know the GOP/teabaggers have upped the ante & are now either doing acts of violence- the bricks are flying through windows, or promoting them , Palin's advice of "Don't retreat - instead reload".

Just to make sure that is not ambiguous, she adds a (gun) crosshairs graphic & addresses.

When called out on this obvious call to violence, Palin said the press is "ginning up" the topic.
A call of arms to "reload" means voting, she said.

The phrase “to gin up” means “to rev up,” to incite, or to concoct, usually referring to heightening enthusiasm or interest in a topic.

No sale.

Telling an angry mob of gun toting wingnuts to reload & publishing addresses is benign?

If Palin were really promoting people to vote, wouldn't she be giving out the addresses of the places to vote?

Palin's god bless the troops, lock & load rhetoric is like a hateful cancer, and she is more than happy to spread it around. The Queen of the teabaggers churchlady has a nasty mean streak.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Oregon buried the 122nd soldier killed in war yesterday.

United States Army Private First Class

Erin L. McLyman

Age: 26
Died: March 13, 2010 in Balad, Iraq
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon

Unit: 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

It is heartbreaking to see this young life cut short. Her military base was attacked in Iraq, and she was killed. State flags flew at half mast in her honor yesterday. I did not know her or her family, but I still have this wave of sadness hit me. I can feel the sting of the loss and deep sorrow they must feel. The Governor makes a point of attending every military funeral, and he remarked that when he started doing this in 2003, he never thought he'd still be attending military funerals in 2010.

Erin McLyman's Father, saying goodbye

Thursday, March 25, 2010


To those in the GOP who have a hard time accepting the fact that the health care reform program will cost billions:

Just pretend the money is going for a useless war, then you will find it acceptable!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The sore loser department

The Utah Attorney General's Office announced this
morning that it will join several states in a lawsuit
challenging the health care reform legislation
passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday
An unprecedented mandate and other provisions violate the U.S. Constitution and infringe on individual and state
rights,” said Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. “This
lawsuit will help make sure the rights and the
interests of American citizens are protected."

The attorneys general of Utah, Alabama, Florida,
South Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota,
Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Washington
have agreed to file the lawsuit if the president signs
this bill into law. Other states are expected to join in
the litigation.

Oh! And McCain iced this lovely cake, with this remark:

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year." – Sen. John McCain

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

This shows just how out of touch McCain is--- did he really think we didn't notice the GOP had not been cooperative all along?

These states that don't want healthcare, should do the deed 100%.
No Medicare or Medicaid.
No VA.
No "socialist program", like Welfare or Childrens health care SCHIP.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Socialist Government Takeover of Healthcare Approved!

In a shocking move by the House Representatives, politicians banded together to do the unspeakable.
They voted to spend public money- not on wars, not on Wall Street bailouts, not on one of a zillion pork barrel projects.... but healthcare, for the people!

Every one of the 178 house republicans opposed the bill.

Likely President Obama will have a huge press conference so he can make a big deal about signing the bill. 32 million people will have health insurance as a result. Savor it!

Ted Kennedy is probably smiling from above.

I know this is a "rough start" to America fumbling it's way to true Universal health care. But we also know that it is not something the government is new to.
Medicare & the VA have been running "Socialized Medicine" for decades. Ironically- Medicare is an item people seem genuinely happy with. So they don't have to reinvent the wheel.

Whatever plan they begin with will not stay the same. There will be kinks to work out, and fine tuning along the way. Health Insurance companies are still involved, but new rules will kick in, and they will need scrutiny to make sure they are not inventing creative ways to circumvent the new rules.

The GOP would have us think we have lost freedom.
Yet others are celebrating the freedom of no longer being denied coverage, and having the health care deck, stacked against us.

The hope is the program will migrate away from the for-profit insurance based format, and become a real public option.

The government finally took action & this may cause less than 45,000 people per year from dying needless deaths. And it ticked off the GOP.
Win-win in my book!

SHOCKING AND INHUMANE.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is it! Healthcare 101

Do we really want to keep singing this song??

Might I suggest a theme song for the process?

Friday, March 19, 2010

No Justice, No Peace

I can barely make myself write this post, on the seventh anniversary of the Iraq war. It's not even a war, it is an illegal occupation, and I am disgusted that it still rages on, long after the evil empire that started it is no longer in power. I'm not going to write a long rant. I'm sick of it. I am ashamed that our country was duped into it, and even with new leadership, we are not only still stuck in the quagmire, but we have escalated in Afghanistan, and now inching over the border into Pakistan, with drone planes. I want it to stop. These wars have bankrupted us both morally, and financially.

4385 U.S. Soldiers have died, and an estimated 1,366,350 Iraqis have died.
Millions of lives, and trillions of dollars ~ wasted.
We are not any more secure.
Democracy has not been installed.

The following is a no holds barred video that came from the blog of the recently deceased Brother Tim O'Donnell.
I learned about him through Border Explorer, who had mentioned he was a total hands on, radical liberal man of faith, who walked the walk. Anyway, after he passed away, I went to his web site & found this video.

The following is a graphic video portraying the reality of the U.S. presence in Iraq, it speaks the truth.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Song For Ireland

Mary Black has such a beautiful voice ~ enjoy the scenery of the old sod ~ Ireland.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Let's get this baby delivered!

This healthcare reform bill has taken entirely too long. I'm disappointed we don't have a real public option on the table, but the way this has been turned upside down- with billions flowing into the pockets of Congress, to buy votes for the for-profit "Wealthcare" industry, it's become quite clear we are going to have to push through whatever we can. Something is better than nothing, and we have to start somewhere.

It has been revolting, the way the GOP has stalled, thrown in obstacles, played the abortion card, and the insurance industry has sent out paid groups of angry villagers, promoting the notion that paying for-profit insurance companies equals "freedom".
They stooped as low as touting the idea of "death panels", where boardrooms of government officials would decide who would get care, and who would not. For anyone paying attention-- they would know the for-profit insurance companies had played the role of death panels already, for years.
Denying claims approval. Witch hunts to find any reason they might get to disqualify a paying customer by finding any remote pre existing condition. If not outright denial of claims, it would be constant changing of policies, raised co pays, more out-of-pocket expenses, and a greater percentage of costs for prescription meds, which are some of the most expensive prices on the planet. With no end in sight. Health insurance companies have begun raising their rate by 24% and more.

The AFP reports: "Obama on Friday delayed a trip to Asia by three days, until March 21, in hopes the plan that would extend health coverage to 31 million uninsured Americans could be voted into law and reach his desk for signature before he left.

Democratic leaders in the House are struggling to garner the 216 votes needed to adopt a measure already passed in the Senate, even though they hold more than 250 seats in the 435-member chamber.

Democrats, pointing to independent analyses which show the plan would lower health insurance premiums for most people and reduce the federal budget deficit, say the Republican opposition is simply aimed at wounding Obama politically ahead of key midterm elections in November.

But the reform plan now under consideration also faces opposition among House Democrats, some of whom say it doesn't go far enough in reining in private insurers and others who want tougher safeguards against using insurance to pay for abortions.

That process, known as "reconciliation", would let Democrats frustrate Republican filibuster obstruction tactics in the Senate and allow the healthcare overhaul to be finalized before Congress goes into recess on March 26."

I'm glad they are going to use the reconciliation process. A simple majority will be used to (hopefully), pass the bill. This pulls the plug on these narrow minded, clueless members of congress like Stupak, and even Lieberman, who have been willing to tie up the whole process, by holding their votes hostage, trying to make themselves and their pet causes a one man blockade. These people have lost sight of the "For the people" concept, and are corrupted & lack the humanity and compassion, to take action for the 31 million Americans who have no health care coverage whatsoever.

As for the GOP, walking lockstep in opposition, they never have come up with any alternatives. The party of no, just focused on obstruction, and came with with an alternative plan that looks something like this:


So if you have a Democratic Congressperson sitting on the fence about healthcare, please contact them, and let them know you want a Public Option & Health care reform. If they are concerned about funding, tell them to cut the war budget.

Let's get this baby delivered!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Give it the old college Crime?

Apologies-- this photo needs to be updated,
to include a total of 9 players involved in legal issues.

Perhaps this stupid clip, from 2008 was a sign of things to come with the athletic program @ the University of Oregon.
It seems the almighty star athletes of the football team, pampered with full ride scholarships, a brand new athlete only study center, and all that glory is not enough. Several team members have engaged in criminal behavior, From street fights serious enough to land someone in intensive care & needing surgery,
to driving under the influence & without insurance, to a long time lovers quarrel that resulted in domestic violence. the quarterback engaged in a burglary of a laptop computer. There are other issues,
but frankly with so many arrests, it's hard to keep track.
Friday was the big sentencing day.

The star Quarterback Masoli, confessed to second-degree burglary, a low-level felony the court is handling as a misdemeanor, for stealing items from a Eugene fraternity house earned him a season-long suspension from head coach.

Freshman running back LaMichael James pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment for a dispute with a girlfriend and was suspended for the first game of the season.

He will be given credit for time previously served toward his ten day sentence, and he must pay a $100 fine.

It is being reported he will likely not serve his 10 days in jail, due to jail overcrowding & matrixing out of criminals.

James is also required to report no later than 2 p.m. on April 1st to the Center for Family Development for a domestic violence evaluation. He is not allowed to have contact of any kind with the Victim, Heidi Lee Siebenlist.

The Judge dismissed four other counts of Strangulation, two counts of Assault in the Fourth Degree, and Harassment.

Wait a minute!

You steal a computer & get suspended for a year.

You get into a domestic altercation that involves strangulation & get a one game suspension??

I think the University just inadvertently endorsed domestic violence.

Coach Chip Kelly is wish washy. In a pathetic press conference, he apologized to fans & faculty (but not the students!!!). He is the same coach who, back in September, when running back LeGarrette Blount punched an opposing player after Oregon's loss to Boise State, prompting Kelly to suspend him for the season.

Kelly later reconsidered the suspension and Blount came back for the final two games, including during a critical stretch in the Ducks' Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State. Critics invoked Kelly's rollback of the punishment in recent months, when nine Oregon players have gotten in trouble ranging from fighting to DUII, as an indication the coach would go soft on misbehavior.

Coach Kelly said each case needed to be individually assessed, and that you could not "group them all together".

I disagree. Yes you can. The Athletic department can and should draw a line in the sand, saying you engage in criminal behavior, you are off the team. The University itself has a code of ethics, but apparently the Athletic department is not required to adhere to that code? That would have sent a clear & authoritative, responsible leadership message to the team. Actions speak louder than words.

What Kelly & the Athletic department did was create a gray zone..... some crimes might be OK, you get to keep your scholarship, even if you engage in strangling your ex girlfriend? M. James lawyered up & plead guilty on the lessor charge, and had the more serious charges dropped.

One message board had this post:

Fire Coach Kelly. That will send a message not only to his players that they will be next up - as to being outed from their scholarships. But it will send a clear message to any subsequent football coach at OUR PUBLIC COLLEGE - that enabling and hand holding and refusing to hold fully accountable illegally acting pampered college athletes is a thing of the past at better deserving University of Oregon.

Kelly - you need to GO. WE don't need you. We don't DESERVE you.

YOU are replaceable. You and your undeserved and unethical multi-million dollar public salary - for certain.

Last year, some students came out with a video "I love my Ducks" (the Duck football team), which resulted in a product line of I Love my Ducks t shirts & apparel.
Now there is a new theme & product like
I love my THUGS...

For the record, I don't love my thugs. The fact the Coach apologized to the fans & Faculty, and not the Students of the Campus-- you know the ones that are there for the main purpose the University primarily exists for-- higher education, shows where his head is at, and how out of touch he is. His 5 year, $7 million dollar salary might be clouding his decision making.
I think it is BS for the coach to let the domestic violence crime yield a 1 game suspension.

Friday, March 12, 2010

If they can't discriminate, the party is off!

CNN reports:

- A Mississippi high school faces a lawsuit over its decision to cancel its prom rather than allow a lesbian high school student to attend with her girlfriend.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleges that officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, are violating the student's First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

The ACLU asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to reinstate the prom.

"All I wanted was the same chance to enjoy my prom night like any other student. But my school would rather hurt all the students than treat everyone fairly," said the student, 18-year-old Constance McMillen, in an ACLU news release. "This isn't just about me and my rights anymore -- now I'm fighting for the right of all the students at my school to have our prom."

At the center of the lawsuit is a memorandum from the school to students, dated February 5, which states that prom dates must be of the opposite sex.

Also, when McMillen expressed a desire to wear a tuxedo to the prom, the superintendent told her only male students were allowed to wear tuxes, according to court documents.

Superintendent Teresa McNeece also told McMillen that she and her girlfriend could be ejected from the prom if any of the other students complained about their presence there, according to the documents.

The prom was canceled after McMillen and the ACLU tried informally to get the school to change its stance."

A few thoughts come to mind here.

• Yay ACLU for stepping in!

• I hope they press the High School to reinstate the prom....

• Even better- maybe some Civil Rights activists will put together something better.

A "come as you are" event. The bottom line is the prom is an event to celebrate the culmination of 4 years of high school.

I always hated the pressure to have a date, the fashion, etc. Why not be able to attend by yourself, with a friend, with a same sex date, and even attend as a group w friends?

As an aside, don't public schools get Federal funding?

Are they not required to adhere to anti discrimination laws?

If they discriminate, they should lose Federal funding.

Whatever academics they are teaching students, they are inadvertently teaching discrimination.

Constance M~ You are wise beyond your years.

By the way-- this IS a public high school & it appears they have taken their web site down. That's OK, they can be reached by mail or phone:

Itawamba Agricultural High School

11900 Highway 25 South
Fulton, MS 38843

PHONE: (662) 862-3104