Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Japan Tops List For New Cars
With all the ingenuity that Americans have, with all the technology coming out of this country, we are sitting low on the car lists this year, apparently again. Seems that Japan is serious about making cars. Seems that Detroit and overseas aren't nearly as serious. Having worked in a Japanese owned parts plant for Toyota, I can tell you that the Japanese have a completely different way of looking at production output and health care of the employees. It is pretty good. And this was 13 years ago. Imagine what they have come up with since then!
At the plant I worked in, we took exercise breaks. We were in an all employee meeting first thing in the morning. We were not pounded over the head with production stats and the quota that I have always had to accomplish at other places I had worked. Nowadays, they include NAPS!!! I could have used that one. But the atmosphere is different than it is in a conventional American plant. There, it's all about the numbers and getting out the product. Hurry, hurry, hurry. The Japanese are all about quality instead of simple quantity. They want both. In order to do that, you have to keep the employees happy and in a comfortable environment. We had that.
DETROIT (AP) — Consumer Reports' latest auto reliability and survey rankings find overall domination by Japanese automakers, strides from the Detroit Three and stumbles from Europe. The findings, released Wednesday and featured in the magazine's April issue, are based on more than 250 tested vehicles and data collected from 1.3 million subscribers' vehicles.
For the second time in 10 years, all the magazine's top-10 picks are Japanese nameplates. This year's list includes five new models: the Toyota RAV4, Infiniti G35, Toyota Sienna, Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Honda Fit.
I think that it's time for the Big Three or Big Four, or whatever it is these days, to get a clue that some folks are serious about making cars, making money and making strides in a more modern world. It is time that the Big Three or whatever need to quit worrying about stopping new designs that would include more efficent, non-gas using autos. They need to grow up and go with the flow. Up to now, they seem to have gotten stuck in the past. Japan has no such problems. They want to make good cars, make more money and they are quite happy to take the hard earned money from Americans and take it back to Japan.
Wake up, America!!! This is your Shame of America tonight.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Tailgater Gets More Than He Bargained For-Road Rage
Road rage strikes again. Frankly, I do believe that you could find a road rage article in the news almost everyday. People are getting really tired of being tailgated, cut off, people standing on the brakes in front of you and an assortment of other offenses that anyone who drives would hate.
Remember the lady with the ice cup? Well, this one tops that. The lady had a 9mm and shot it at the tailgater. Bet he doesn't do that again anytime soon. I do not believe that shooting at someone is right. However, I do understand the frustration that happens when someone acts like the road belongs to them alone. Nevertheless, shooting is illegal and rightfully so. What if that shot had bounced off something and hit a child? We cannot just do whatever we want to even if someone else is being.....less than courteous.
Take the time to let the frustration go. Even if the other guy/gal isn't being polite, we must be to show them how to be courteous and polite.
HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A woman who told authorities she was fed up with tailgaters pulled out a gun and shot at the tires of a pickup that got too close, police said. Officials believe the bullet missed the pickup, and no one was hurt.
Bernadette Headd, 39, was in rush-hour traffic Wednesday in suburban Detroit when the pickup pulled behind her, police said.
Headd changed lanes and fired one round from a 9 mm handgun, police said. The driver followed her and flagged down a deputy, who stopped her and found the weapon.
"She said she was tired of people tailgating her," Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Smart Cards Also Called National Identity Cards
Are we ready for national identity cards? From reports, these cards will also be "smart cards" much like the credit cards are becoming now. What is wrong with this picture? Well, for one thing, your privacy will become a myth, not that it is much now with the Patriot Act and Homeland Security.
While I was a trucker, the government signed into law that each trucker had to have a CDL or national driver's license which, in theory, could track what laws the trucker was breaking and had broken more efficiently. Previously, truckers AND auto drivers could have more than one license, many had multiple licenses so that if they broke the law with one, another could be gotten out to drive on. Often, a trucker could have many, many tickets and still drive because no one knew about the tickets. Car drivers could do likewise. However, when the CDL came into effect, again in theory, the federal computers were to connect with the state, county and local law enforcement to run drivers licenses for "wants and warrants" thus checking all 50 states for violations. I say, in theory, because at the time I was driving, the system still had some bugs. I have no doubt that it is much more efficient and effective now.
The convenient part to this is that when the federal, state and local law enforcement were able to connect computers, they did not just check CDLs anymore. They began to check all drivers. Now, it becomes wonderfully convenient to issue a national identity card that would supercede your drivers license, social security card, all id cards, credit and debit cards, virtually all cards in your life would be wrapped up in one.
Before you do a happy dance, just think about that for a moment. This card will likely track everything you do. It might have GPS in it. It will certainly be able to ID you at any given moment. "So what?" you might ask. Well, someday soon, it will be harder to have freedom when someone is tracking you 24/7. There was such a thing as privacy but that is a thing of the past. You don't believe it? There are surveillance cameras right now in places you would not believe possible for them to be. Even though we have believed all our lives that we are free, we are not. (See Smart Cameras post below this one)
I wonder when the American public is going to wake up and see that we are slowly and now not-so-slowly losing our freedoms, our privacy, our security. You think you are more secure now? Don't you believe it. There is not much that is secure in this world, let alone this country.
Have you ever had anything stolen from what you believed to be a secure location? I have. It feels like a violation of my life. Do the research. Nothing is very secure anymore...including online anything. My husband has looked into online security. It is largely a myth.
Our freedoms are being stolen even as we sit here on the net doing mostly nothing. Legislators that we voted in are going against everything this country used to stand for. We are being duped into believing that we will become safer if only we are willing to sell off our privacy. But you know what? Privacy is about the only defense we had against the bad guys. Privacy meant that we had something of our own. We could live as we wanted to do, no matter what others thought. But now, there is no such thing. We have sold out to be secure in a place where there is no such thing.
Here is an article from people who oppose the national identity cards.
National Identity Cards...eventually smart cards.
Since September 11th, the nation has struggled to come up with new ideas to prevent such a catastrophe from ever recurring. Disturbingly, many old and repeatedly rejected ideas have reentered the national discourse as well. Among them is the proposed introduction of a national identification card system. EFF opposes any such scheme:
* because no compelling case has been presented for its utility or effectiveness as a crime-fighting tool,
* because of its inevitable costs (in dollars, privacy, and liberty), and
* because of its high potential for abuse, by entities in both the public and private sectors.
Published: May 6, 2005, 4:00 AM PDT ( Do the math. This act will go into effect NEXT YEAR. Are you ready for this? )
What's all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?
President Bush is expected to sign an $82 billion military spending bill soon that will, in part, create electronically readable, federally approved ID cards for Americans. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the package--which includes the Real ID Act--on Thursday.
What does that mean for me?
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.
The House of Representatives has approved an $82 billion military spending bill with an attachment that would mandate electronically readable ID cards for Americans. President Bush is expected to sign the bill. Bottom line:
The Real ID Act would establish what amounts to a national identity card. State drivers' licenses and other such documents would have to meet federal ID standards established by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Real ID Act hands the Department of Homeland Security the power to set these standards and determine whether state drivers' licenses and other ID cards pass muster. Only ID cards approved by Homeland Security can be accepted "for any official purpose" by the feds.
Question: Why don't we hear about this on the evening news? Why isn't this more common knowledge?
Now, what are you going to do about this? Sit at home and veg on the couch til they give you your own personal tattletale card? Or is this important enough to contact your congressperson or senator? You decide....perhaps you would like to do that BEFORE it's too late?
Smart Cameras? The New Age Of Technology...Good Or Not?
Smart surveillance cameras are coming to a city near you sometime in the not to distant future. Sound good? They say it would make things easier to spot the criminals but then they also say that it can change cameras from passive observers (grainy video of robberies in C-stores) to detecting suspicious behaviors and apparently predicting what a person is up to. It's called intelligent video". Ah ha, thinking cameras that read people's minds??? Seems so. Is this what you want in your neighborhood? Not sure I do. Oh, I should tell you that this technology is not quite ready yet but it will be....soon.
The people who are thinking these things up have already placed hundreds of surveillance cameras in cities, so much so that those who are observed tend to forget they are in place. I would not do that if I were you. To quote from the article on this subject----
"Intelligent surveillance uses computer algorithms to interpret what a camera records. The system can be programmed to look for particular things, like an unattended bag or people walking somewhere they don't belong."
This may not be disturbing to you right now but what happens when that camera shows you doing something you believe to be innocent but is programed to trip an alarm because the government is picking up people who do what you are doing, however innocent you may believe your actions to be? Some day, Christians and Jewish people, who are already well aware of government gone mad, will be hunted down using surveillance such as is described in the article below.
There are many Americans who still believe that this is a free country when there is ample evidence to the contrary. We are losing our rights and freedoms line by line, bill by bill, and have been for too many years because of dishonest politicians and government leaders. There are leaders who are taking the wrong road though they may actually believe it to be the right one simply because we live in such perilous times. Leaders that love our country may still send us to second class status in the world thinking that they are doing the right thing. We are there RIGHT NOW!
Do we need more surveillance? Actually, NO! Why not? Because if we have more, someday you will be jailed for something you did not do. Perhaps you will be caught trying to feed your family as they starve. Maybe you will be found helping others who have been wrongly targeted by the government, either for jail or extermination. Do not believe that they will never do that here. Never be that blind. I can hear it now. "It will never happen in this country. Never!" "We are Americans, land of the free, home of the brave." Is that right? Do not be deceived. We are almost out of freedom. Someday, possibly soon, blogs and sites like this one will be banned from the net. Someday soon, it will be illegal to speak your mind. It already is in some respects. (See my article on Free Speech Zones)
The world is already unfair, now you want freedom and justice? Justice has a price. Justice requires people to understand and believe in it. Unscrupulous people can and do twist the justice system to work for themselves rather than working as the founding fathers had in mind. This country is so far removed from what the original authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution had planned that if they were to come back and see what has happened, they would not even recognize that this is the same country they fought for. I am actually grateful they died in ignorance. It would break the hearts of those first fighters of freedom.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - The next time you walk by a shop window, take a glance at your reflection. How much do you swing your arms? Is the weight of your bag causing you to hunch over? Do you still have a bit of that 1970s disco strut left?
Look around - You might not be the only one watching. The never-blinking surveillance cameras, rapidly becoming a part of daily life in public and even private places, may be sizing you up as well. And they may soon get a lot smarter.
Researchers and security companies are developing cameras that not only watch the world but also interpret what they see. Soon, some cameras may be able to find unattended bags at airports, guess your height or analyze the way you walk to see if you are hiding something.
You know, those who develop this type of cameras and those who are willing to have them placed in all sorts of places, will tell you it's all about safety and security. Those are the true buzz words these days, aren't they? Gets folks all nervous and full of fear. But are the cameras and other surveillance items worth your freedom? If you believe they are...at what cost?
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Another Step In The Wrong Direction: Powder-sized Smart Tags
What is a smart tag? Have you ever heard of an RFID chip? Many of the big retailers are now putting these chips into their merchandise so that people cannot steal the item. As they leave the store, the scanners catch the thief by sounding off with a loud noise that alerts the store personnel. You've heard that sort of thing at Walmart, right? Maybe you even had that happen when you buy something that the scanner doesn't cancel out and you have to stand there while the employee makes certain that you bought the item.
Well, things are getting a bit more techno here. The Japanese have made a chip that is the size of tiny bits of powder. In other words, if you were interested in not having such a thing as that chip in the stuff after you purchase it, it will be extremely hard to find the chip. Now this latest chip is 60 times smaller than it's predecessor which looks about the size of the period on the end of this sentence. The only hitch in the gitalong....(old saying from some hill folk) is that the new chip needs an external antenna.
Okay, that brings about some really weird pictures in my mind. Here you have your wrapped sandwich and it has an antenna. Can we get a better radio station with that?? Then there is the very real possibility of some enterprising individual who could decide to throw the stuff on someone to track them. Okay, the company says that isn't going to happen. Yeah right. I don't know about you but I wasn't born yesterday.
This is gearing up to be a really difficult time in our lives. I realize that it's the thing to enjoy GPS systems and tracking so that your pet doesn't get lost or put a tag in your small child's shoe but, folks, this is dangerous territory we are stepping into right now. We are on the brink of some very difficult times.
TOKYO (AP) - Tiny computer chips used for tracking food, tickets and other items are getting even smaller. Hitachi Ltd. (HIT), a Japanese electronics maker, recently showed off radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips that are just 0.002 inches by 0.002 inches and look like bits of powder. They're thin enough to be embedded in a piece of paper, company spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi said Thursday.
RFID tags store data, but they need to be brought near special reading devices that beam energy to the chips, which then send information back to the readers. The technology is already widely used to track and identify items, such as monitoring the distribution of food products or guarding against forgery of concert tickets.
In the books of Revelation, Ezekiel, Daniel in the Bible, the prophets are saying that we live at a point where if we choose to go in this direction, our life with the Lord Jesus is gone from us. We must choose our Lord instead of going the way of the world. God is quite clear that if we choose the world, our love for Him is not in us. There will come a time, and I believe it is soon, that we will have our faith tested in a way that no one has tested it before.
There are people who believe that they have gone through hell. I do not doubt for a moment that they have gone through hardships I cannot imagine. Katrina victims, slaves in the Sudan, the people in Israel and Iraq who live with the possibility that they might have family that will not come home because of the car bombs and other such things. It is so hard to live in this world right now. BUT, it is easy compared to what is coming. There are no words to describe, truly, what we are about to face.
It is time for you to take a good look at your life. Evaluate. What is the most important thing for you right now? If it is not taking the time to get down on your knees and ask the Lord Jesus into your heart, then it is possible that not only will you go through the things that are about to come, you will also be at the mercy of the system and the Anti-christ who is about to run this world. It is a nasty place but it is about to get so very much worse. Are you ready for this? Seek the Lord while He may be found. For there will come a time that He will say that it is too late.
A Correction And A Happy Note
A few days ago, I mentioned the lady who threw the cup of ice into a car. She was facing 2 years in prison for the road rage action. At the time I believed that the sentence had already been set, that the judge had ruled in the case. All the stories I read led me to believe that. However, yesterday the lady was given her sentence. I am rather happy to report that she received probation instead of the 2 year sentence that I had reported before.
All I can say here is that I must give a great big thank you to the judge who has decided to be reasonable, totally unlike the prosecutor who should have recommended this in the first place or community work, which to me would have been the right thing to do as well.
The best thing is that the lady will now have her children restored to her. She will likely think twice about her actions in the future and her husband will be able to come home from Iraq to a wife and children instead of finding out that his family has been torn apart while he was gone serving his country.
That's it for the moment from What's Right With This Picture? Everything!!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Road Rager Gets Two Years For McMissile
From the title of this, you would think that the person with road rage getting two years in prison is a good thing. I cannot stand folks who take their feelings out on others when they are driving. As an ex over-the-road trucker, I have practically seen it all when it comes to how drivers act when they are angry. Road rage is getting to be very dangerous. No, that's wrong. It has become dangerous, so much so that prosecutors have had enough. I agree....up to a point. But then, there is the other side of the story. Perhaps it is time for that to be told too. I have seen both sides.
I was at a truckstop where it was extremely difficult to find a parking spot. When I thought I had one, my spouse (at the time) got out of the truck and stood in the spot so I could get there without someone else taking it. We were extremely tired at the time. I had just about had all the driving I was capable of. As I was about to pull into the parking spot, I heard the airbrakes of a truck come on. A guy jumps out of the truck with a shotgun and aims it at my truck shouting that it is HIS parking spot and I had better not try getting in there if I knew what was good for me. (you could pull through from either end. He had come from the other way) I could have tried to get the spot anyway. After all, first come, first gets the spot. (ever had that happen at the grocery store or Walmart? Yep.) However, I did not believe my life was worth a lowly parking spot no matter how tired I was. I left and found another one.
That type of road rage is becoming more and more typical. But then, the people who inspire road rage are more creative in how they try to make others mad too. One of the most terrifying moments of my driving career happened on a highway going around Columbus, Ohio, one morning in rush hour traffic. It wasn't quite bumper to bumper. The flow was going at about 30 miles an hour at about 7:30am. A car comes up beside me, driver leans down in his seat to look up into the cab of my truck. He sees me, gives me the universal number one sign (for those of you who do not know what that is...it's THE FINGER) and then proceeds to go past me, cut in front of me and slam on his brakes.
Trucks do NOT stop on a dime, no matter what anyone might think. I smoked my brakes trying to not run over this idiot. (smoking truck brakes means that a truck will be less effective in stopping because the brakes have become hot. Hot brakes do not stop. In effect, there are no brakes at all after a while.) He then sped off. I breathed a sigh of relief. A few moments later, he is back on the driver's side of my truck, once again giving me the universal salute followed by more cutting me off and slamming his brakes. This goes on for at least five or six times. I am praying for a cop to show up because I'm certain that if he keeps this up, I will be charged with manslaughter for rearending a car and killing the driver. While it would have been justified on my part, I do not want to live with that for the rest of my life.
I have no idea what started this. I have no idea when it will stop. I have no idea if I will be accused of manslaughter when, not if, I run this brain-dead individual over with my truck with no brakes. No cops show. Eventually, he tires of the game and leaves. I shakely breathe a sigh of relief and thank God that I survived and that he did.
Why am I writing all this? Because today in the news, there was a story about a lady who is being sentenced to two years in prison for throwing a McDonald's plastic cup of ice at a car after they had cut her off a couple of times. Perhaps you think that I am sympathetic to the other car. NO WAY! Perhaps you think that the ice thrower is justified. NO! However, what is bothering me is the sentence for what she did. Yes, a cup of ice can be dangerous if thrown from a moving vehicle. But the people in the other car received a bath in ice and got sticky. There was no other harm. In this case, the prosecutor is trying to make a point. Okay, I buy that. BUT I have seen cases of drunk drivers who were in court because they killed someone who got 2 years or less. HOW is this fair? One hand...drunk driver kills a kid or a family man or a wife and mother or a whole family. Gets two years. A woman throws a cup of ice. Result..people get wet and sticky. Gets two years. WHERE is the justice here?
Prosecutor, get a gripe, man! You wanted to send out a message. You are. You are sending a message that you have no sense whatsoever, that you are vindictive, that you can't see the difference between someone who injures and kills and someone who needs to do community work. The problem is that the judge has no sense either.
Okay, let's look at the facts here. The driver of the car that is cut off has three children in the car as well as a sister, has a husband in Iraq for his third tour of duty. Can you see any desperation here? Whether she is right or wrong (I think she was wrong, for what that's worth) she is defending her children from possible stupidity and harm by the other car. The driver of the cutting car has two adults in the car and no sense whatsoever. Thing is, even the people from the second car think that the sentence is too harsh. Where is the justice??? Compassion? You decide if justice was served in this case. I think the judge needs to laugh in the prosecutor's face and hand out community work and save this family.
Feb. 20, 2007 — A mother of three was sentenced to two years in prison for throwing a cup of ice through the window of a car that cut her off in traffic.
Jessica Hall, a North Carolina mother, drove down I-95 on a hot, sticky and gridlocked day with three kids whimpering in the back of the car, a pregnant sister in the front of the car and her husband serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.
This is yet another SHAME OF AMERICA post. I do hope the prosecutor of this case reads this. Oh yes, I am not alone in how I think about the case. When you read the article on the ABC news page, there is a survey. Check out the results of that.
They Come Out Of The Woodwork
Sometimes I absolutely hate national elections. Don't get me wrong. The democratic way of life is great, if it works. We are able to vote for the best.....or least obnoxious...candidate available. The trouble is that most of the candidates these days are truly obnoxious, sanctimonious liars and con artists I've ever seen. It does not matter what party or flavor of the month. They come out of the woodwork to get into the game. And it is a game, sometimes truly dirty, nasty and ugly.
What would be amazing would be a candidate that I did not find offensive. The list of objectionable candidates is getting truly long for both sides of the show. I get the feeling that the whole thing has already been decided. Us poor, oblivious voters just get the info a day or two after the election.
Anyway, the latest in a long line of offensive candidates is John McCain, veteran of Vietnam. There was a time when I thought he wasn't too bad. That view is certainly changing as he begins to gear up for the show....fight. The things he said a few years ago are not what he believes now. He is a democratic republican. You know, he believes whatever it takes to get himself noticed. For instance, he is now one hundred percent against Rumsfeld. When the man resigned, he was for him wholeheartedly. Yeah right. The word "two faced" comes to mind. Ah but that is nothing new in good ol' DC.
Another extremely offensive individual is one of the candidates for the dems, Ms. Clinton. I am sorry. I have no respect for this woman who is seeking the office her husband (I wasn't having sex..she was...it depends on what IS is..Clinton) held a few years back. I was grateful when his term expired and he wasn't able to have another one. Now she wants to be in there? No way do I want that. She is obnoxious in the extreme. She stated just yesterday that if Pres. Bush does not redeploy troops (to HER satisfaction) in the next 90 days, she will work to remove the authorization that Bush has in this matter. Ah but, then she said that WHEN (Are you kidding me??? When??? IF is more like it.) she is elected, she will bring troops home right away. Is that right? Then she apparently does not have the faintest clue about war and the lasting effects of same. I get the feeling that the only reason she chooses this path for a warcry is because it would be popular. Of course it would be popular. Every time someone dies over in Iraq, it hurts. BUT that war needs to be won, not dropped like a hot potato. Sometimes people have to do the hard things first.
At least Mr. McCain would be keeping troops there for a while until the situation stabilizes. The last time we pulled out of a conflict (can't call the Vietnam war a war. It was a conflict because the congress never seemed to have the guts to call it what it was....a war) we lost a great deal of respect from the rest of the world. Not to mention that we let done the very people who were depending on us to help them. Did we belong in Vietnam? I don't know but when we did get there, we should have finished what we started. What would happen if we dropped out again? Hmmm? The last shred of the respect we have won back would be gone in a flash, if we still have any respect by the time the elections are over and the new Pres. takes office. Our respect level is mighty low now with all the scandals over in Iraq and other assorted places.
Isn't it time to find a person who doesn't lie, is honorable, is trustworthy? That cannot be a current politician because once they find Washington, they get indoctrinated into the way things are done there. Honor, if it was there in the first place, appears to be out the window. Oh, I should mention that there are actually some good people in Washington but they are few and far between and sometimes hard to spot. Maybe we need to find a way to spot them. Maybe we just need to see what is in front of us instead of burying our heads in the sand like we have been doing for so many years that we would not know how to dig out. Anybody got a shovel?
Categories: My Take on Things, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Monday, February 19, 2007
One More Set Of Stats On The Web
Once again, someone has leaked out the private information of more than 1,700 Connecticut state workers onto the internet. This is getting to be a regular deal, isn't it? Names and social security numbers are floating around the net and they say it's "inadvertent". If that isn't enough, and it should be, this information appears to have been running around out there since October 2003!! Some state worker found his name on a site that seems to have that info.
They join the apparently increasing list of businesses and schools that have already had the pleasure. That includes the Vets Administration, several banks and universities. Seems the personal info was available on a website that lists vendors names used by the state. The list is available to the public. This particular slipup seems to have been "in house" this time. They are sorry for the situation.
When are people going to see that the info is available to just about anyone that wants it? Even if you do not use some type of paid for service to search out people, you can find lots of folks.....for free. If you do not believe it, just do what everyone does and "google" someone. I think you will be surprised what you find out.
Time to wake up to the fact that privacy is not available anymore. No matter how private you think your information is, it is not what you think. It is even possible for hackers to get into your personal computers and obtain all of what is on your harddrive. ALL of it. Your info will never be private again. That is the thing that is really hard for me to convince myself but I do know it is true. When things like this come up, all I want to do is go back to when it wasn't possible. Of course, that is a fantasy. The reality is here. Big Brother is truly watching now. Orwell was right. He was just a little early.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - More than 1,700 state workers recently learned that some of their personal information, including their names and Social Security numbers, had been inadvertently posted on the Internet.
The information on the Web site for the state Department of Administrative Services may have been there since October 2003, The Hartford Courant reported Saturday. The employees were notified by letter just last week. State officials apparently learned of it last month when a state worker found his name on a site.
Guess I should rename the category "Are THEY Serious?".
Categories: Are You Serious?, My Take on Things
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Another Scare For The Public
This probably should come under the heading of What Drives You Crazy?. Over the years, we have heard of many things that could have hurt us such as the killer bees that have apparently decided they didn't want to be that lethal. At least we have not heard of them in many years. I do know they are still around though. However, I read today that we can look forward to a bird flu turned human flu pandemic. Then, when we are scared out of our minds, they tell us to get to the grocery store and stock up on food because if we do not, there is likely to be a food shortage due to the up-to-40% loss of employees and delivery personnel
Homeland Security is trying to get us ready for this. I did read about this pandemic, which isn't as yet. The symptoms of a pandemic are not there yet either. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) we are waiting for this to occur. They do think it is a probability.
What I have trouble with is the fact that these folks are sitting around, looking forward to this particular virus, calling it more or less inevitable. But what really drives me crazy is that the journalists are writing about how to get prepared for it by stocking up on groceries. Hello? Are those groceries going to sit around for years until this thing hits? Even if it were to hit relatively soon, which is unlikely since they have not tracked any human cases in or near the US, we would have plenty of time to get the groceries, I would think.
What the real problem here is that they are using scare tactics much like they did with Y2K. Uh, did any of you have difficulties with that? The truth is...they DO NOT KNOW!!! They are only speculating on the possibilities of this happening. I am all for being prepared but I am not interested in a stampede to the store because some bird flu turned human flu is likely to hit us in the year 2014. I really think we have time to plan this out, don't you?
If you will read up on this a bit, you will see that they have had some human cases around the world, limited primarily to the Asian area but they are not at epidemic or pandemic levels.
Also, you might want to know the difference between an epidemic and pandemic.
Epidemic-a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time.
Pandemic-an epidemic that is geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world.
The experts are looking for a pandemic. The thing is, I agree that it is highly likely. But I must also say that it will not occur until and unless certain conditions are met. These conditions are foretold in the Bible as prophecy. It states that, yes, there will be a worldwide spread of disease, famine, but it also mentions earthquakes, floods, and assorted problems. So, I would not start to pack and look for a safer place to live because there is no place you can hide from such things. Rather, if we seek to put our trust in the Lord instead, we will find true happiness.
So, how about not buying into the scare that this thing is about to hit. The WHO on it's website gives a number of conditions that need to be before such an event takes place.
In the long run, we can simply watch and learn as much as we can about these things instead of letting the media scare us. That is all from What Drives You Crazy?.
Categories: My Take on Things, What Drives You Crazy?
Saturday, February 17, 2007
More Weird and Strange From Texas
I have to admit I think that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is probably a couple of cards shy of a full deck when he orders children to take shots that will hurt them and NOT allow the parents any say. However, some members of the legislature in that fine state are actually competing with the gov. for first place in the wacko department.
Now, I do not believe in depriving people of their rights in any way. BUT, I also think that it is vitally important to have some common (which is not so common) sense when they become legislators. You know, the guys who pass bills that turn into laws? Ahem, well, seems that this one enterprising state Rep., that's representative, has introduced a bill allowing blind people to HUNT! As in hunt animals. Shouldn't this be in the comically weird column somewhere? Who does this? Correct me if I'm wrong but don't we already have some really creepy hunters out there that can't tell the difference between a deer and a cow? Or how about any game and a person? A horse? A minivan? Come on!!!!
Okay, I do realize that technology has come a long way. However, this seems a bit far fetched even for that. There is one other teensy thing here. What satisfaction can a person have hunting if they cannot see the game they are trying to shoot? I really thought that the whole thing was all about the hunt and what the hunter can see. Perhaps I do not have the right idea here. I am not a hunter. Is there some big deal here that I am missing??? I really did think that the whole point of hunting was to get the animal and if the hunter is responsible then the individual takes the meat home to the family. BUT, responsibility also says that the hunter does not endanger his/her fellow hunters. I simply cannot conceive of how a blind individual could do this. If I am wrong, I will state it right here. That is, when someone can prove to me, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this is a good idea. I'm waiting but I will not hold my breath.
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas lawmaker is aiming to allow the blind to hunt. Texas State Representative Edmund Kuempel has introduced a measure that would allow blind people to hunt any game that sighted people can currently pursue. He hopes it will be passed after the legislature reconvenes in January though he does not expect it to come into affect until 2008.
"This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that's great," Kuempel told Reuters.
The bill may find little resistance in Texas, where politicians of all stripes endorse hunting, which is wildly popular in the state.
I quote: The bill may find little resistance in Texas........Are you KIDDING me?????? I knew there were strange puppies in Texas but this is truly weird and dangerous to anyone coming within a mile or so of such. I said to others that I like Texas but after this, I may wish to rethink that.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Jet Blue or Jet Glue?
It seems that passengers on several Jet Blue flights a couple of days ago had to sit in the airplane, on the tarmac within sight of the terminal for a period of up to about 10 hrs. Even the pilots could not get through to the people who could do something about the mess. What was causing the problem? SNOW! Blizzard. It was terrible and terrifying.
Now, Jet Blue has a reputation for customer service and satisfaction. The CEO of Jet Blue backed that up by telling the passengers who had to sit for so long that it was unacceptable (meaning somebody or somebodies are going to lose their jobs which is only right considering what the customers had to go through with their decisions). Who in their right mind would let passengers in several planes sit for up to 10 hrs. within sight of the terminal? Whoever it was has received their walking papers by now, if the company keeps up their satisfaction policy.
Unfortunately for Blue, or possibly Glue at this point, the customers do not believe that "unacceptable" is enough. Well, seems the CEO agrees with that and is refunding the tickets and giving a round trip ticket to everyone involved. But that is not acceptable either says one passenger. She did not feel that it was enough. Okay, I can understand that up to a point. She sat in a plane for several hrs. with staff in the plane setting the toilets up as off limits when they got to overflow. Uh, where were the needy folks going to go after that, may I ask? I dunno either. Uh, did someone ever hear of portable stairs? Emergency deplaning? Did anyone have even half a brain with all this?
Well, since I did not go through what they did, it is hard to decide what is right and acceptable. However, I believe some kudos should be for Jet Blue because they are trying to work it out with folks. Isn't that worth something, at least? I know that it is the least they can do but it also shows that they cared enough to try to right a wrong done. Perhaps they could find a way to compensate these folks in other ways too.
NEW YORK (AP) - JetBlue Airways Corp. tried to calm a maelstrom of criticism Thursday, after passengers were left waiting on planes at a New York airport for as long as 11 hours during a snow and ice storm. The airline said 10 incoming and outbound flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport were "significantly delayed" with customers on board during Wednesday's storm. Reasons included congestion, frozen equipment and an effort to keep planes ready to go in case the weather broke, said JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin.
More than 250 of JetBlue's roughly 500 flights nationwide were canceled Wednesday, but "fairly normal" service resumed Thursday, he said. Calling Wednesday's delays "unacceptable," the airline planned to offer the affected passengers refunds and free flights.
And there you are. One more for the Are You Serious section!
Insurance Scams--Look Who Is Scamming Now!
I have heard of insurance scams for years. Some guys/gals end up in court and go to jail, some don't and keep on doing their thing taking money from the unsuspecting. This time, there is a major insurance scam but...are you ready?...the scammer is the insurance company!! Oh yeah. Remember State Farm, "like a good neighbor, State Farm is there"? I do. I certainly remember those commercials about State Farm with the nice little jingle that you don't forget for a while. As you probably do, I recall that they were one of the most respected companies in the country. They had a great reputation.
What I want you to do now is remember that name, State Farm, because I have a feeling they are in for a whole lot of lawsuits. Seems that they decided to put off paying up on the damage from Katrina in Mississippi. Well, they were dragging their insurance feet for about 15 months without paying out to their own clients, some 35,000 people. They STILL haven't paid many of them. You know the ones, those folks who have been paying them faithfully for years? I am certain that many people were insurance poor because they had to pay premiums on this thing and that thing. One couple from Mississippi, who had just completely renovated their home when Katrina hit, asked State Farm to pay up on their insurance claim. In order to get the company to pay them they had to sue, move out of state and completely start over before the insurance company finally handed the check over.
Please remember State Farm, the "like a good neighbor" company. You can attach the words greedy, impersonal and scam artists to their names now. Oh, and they are no longer going to have new policies for the people of Mississippi, the state in which they are the largest insurer. I can see it now that Mississippi residents are in for a lot of problems with this company, even those who didn't get any damage. You can see it too. The premiums are going to go sky high, especially for tornado and flood coverage. If those folks do not change companies, it is going to be a bigger nightmare than it already is. Of course, then if State Farm does this, naturally it opens the door for the rest to follow.
At some point, it will be impossible to get that type of coverage in that state or in any of the other states that had damage from Katrina or the other hurricanes or tornadoes resulting from that time of extreme weather. In fact, it would not surprise me to find out that insurance companies will no longer insure anyone in such a high risk area. What does that mean to Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida? Simply that they will no longer be wonderful places to buy a home because people cannot have their homes insured. And for anyone who has not bought a home lately, you must have insurance in order to get a loan on a home. This is truly the SHAME OF AMERICA when the greed outweighs the health and wellbeing of people.
It's a bit hard to wrap your mind around it, huh? Okay, here's the thing. The insurance company comes along and being the largest insurer in the state locks folks into paying them lots and lots of cash, monthly payments for land, houses, cars, furniture, life, you name it, they insure you for it. They take loads of money from you for years and because they have been one of the "trusted" names in insurance, you are completely confident in the fact that, should the time come to need them, "like a good neighbor" they will be right there on your doorstep, check in hand. What a crock. This upstanding company is likely to be a good neighbor in bankruptcy court in no time, right after they get sued and sued and sued because they won't make good on their end of that contract they made with the insured after the insured has paid and paid and paid.
Feb. 15, 2007 — State Farm, Mississippi's largest home insurer, says that starting Friday it won't write new policies in the state, in part because of increased litigation after the damage caused to Mississippi homes by Hurricane Katrina.
Some are calling the move heartless, while others are calling it just plain greedy. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says that State Farm's tactics have hurt thousands in his state.
So now I, like a good neighbor, am telling you about the greed of this company. I am certain that they have their side to the story too. I can guess what it is. We are now going broke because we actually have to pay out on the claims, unlike in the past when we only had to pay occasionally. This is different, therefore, we can't afford it so we fight it claiming we do not owe them or we will drag our feet until they go broke and can't sue us anymore.
That's all from the SHAME OF AMERICA for now.
Microsoft And The Anti-trust Cases
It seems that there are folk out there in the wild beyond (my house) that believe that Microsoft has tried to be a monopoly. NO WAY! How could this be so??!! Let's see. You cannot have anything but windows when you buy a new machine unless you are an advanced person in computers and, believe me, I am NOT one of those. You cannot get rid of those programs that come with windows that are truly annoying, and there are several of those. You cannot change anything about a microsoft product. It is locked in, so to speak. Okay, I really don't know what I am talking about except Microsoft has made a monopoly (which even I, mostly a point and click chick, can recognize) out of it's products and several groups of people are suing the pants off of dear Microwhatever.
Micro-gates is, of course, denying the claim that they are a monopoly. Well duh! What else would they do if they didn't want to pay out millions of bucks? The claim in these cases, in Iowa and Minnesota, is that Micro is charging more because there ain't no competition. Micro is saying "Nay. We are the Knights of Honesty and Compassion and we would never charge more than the market would tolerate!"
The fact that micro is or has faced 206 class-action lawsuits since 2000 should have no bearing on what people tend to believe about them, don't you think? Maybe I am being a tad unfair to them. NAH!!
Oh say, about that Minnesota case, even though the lawyers went after $300 million, the case was settled for $174.5 million. Not a bad piece of change. Those people in that class action suit must have gotten a pretty penny out of that. Well, the lawyers got roughly $59.4 million. Here's the kicker...you knew there was one, right?...the six clients of the lawyers got...ready???......$5000 a piece. SAY WHAT? Okay, you got me. Where did the rest of the cash go? Here is the story. You tell me cuz I dunno where it went. It was just gone.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Wednesday settled a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of Iowans who bought the company's programs between 1994 and 2006. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
The lawsuit sought more than $330 million from Microsoft for allegedly engaging in monopolistic and anticompetitive conduct that caused customers to pay more for software than they would have if there had been competition.
I have to say that something like this could actually drive somebody crazy...if they thought about it too much, which I won't because I have had enough and it's time to go.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Anti-American Cleric Flees Iraq for Iran
And just when you thought that things were getting worse...they get better. This so-called cleric flees to where? Iran. Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't Iraq and Iran in a really long war not too terribly long ago? And weren't the clerics, at that time, acting like they hated Iran? What has changed here? Well, guess this guy didn't like the hot kitchen so he got out. Translate that to..there was a security crackdown and he was afraid they would find out about him. One of his buddies says that he left weeks ago. Yeah, right.
Personally, I do think that many of the clerics and other "in power" type folks are really the enemies of Iraq getting back to a state of stability. That would be a major reason for all the bloodshed right now. I don't have too much more to say about this. I just thought it was a curious thing that this guy flees his homeland to a proven enemy. Wonder if he ever was funded by anyone over there? Who knows.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr fled Iraq for Iran ahead of a security crackdown in Baghdad and the arrival of 21,500 U.S. troops sent by President Bush to quell sectarian violence, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
Al-Sadr left his Baghdad stronghold some weeks ago, the official said, and is believed to be in Tehran, where he has family. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. monitoring activities, said fractures in al-Sadr's political and militia operations may be part of the reason for his departure. The move is not believed to be permanent, the official said.
Edited on: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:42 AM
Categories: My Take on Things, What's Right WIth This Picture?
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Evolution Ok'd In Kansas Schools Science Classes
Just when you think that maybe there is hope for this country, some group of non-thinking people decide to take several GIANT steps backwards instead of going in the direction that this country was founded on, that is, intelligent design (that's what they call it these days. Personally, I call HIM our God!!).
In case you have lived in a cave or for some reason chose to not read the real history books (which are few and VERY far between), this country was founded on the Christian ethic. The founding fathers were almost ALL Christians who decided that enough was enough and chose to live by their beliefs instead of being told how to worship as had been the case in the past. Because of that, they drew up the Declaration of Independence, divorcing themselves from the Church of England and the government that required them to live that way. That document was signed by Christians who wanted this country to live in a different way than the rest of the world. Only a handful of men who signed the paper were not Christians. People can argue that point all they want but if they truly want to know the truth, they will research this point. Those who do will find that this country has strayed quite far from what the founding fathers had in mind.
A case in point is the Kansas State Board of Education who have put in place new guidelines that reflect what is called "mainstream scientific views of evolution." I guess we are once again in the courtroom challenging Charles Darwin, only this time we lost. You want to know WHY they did this? Because when they had the "intelligent life" view of creation, they got ridiculed. They couldn't take the heat. They gave in to the evolutionists' pressure. Oh COME ON!!!! Frankly, these people can't make up their minds. How pathetic is that? Oh, you think they did make up their minds? Right. They have had **5** different views on this question in the last several years. This is just the latest one.
Hey, it's time for you to make up your own mind on this question. God, primordal goo or apes. Which one do you want to come from, huh? I pick God. At least, there is some intelligence there. Well, a LOT of intelligence there. In fact, IF you check it out for yourself, and then are HONEST with yourself, you will find that God is the ONLY answer. Primordal goo doesn't work, not even scientifically. They cannot prove the theory of coming from apes either. No matter how much they try, there is a major gap in that evolutionary theory. Doesn't work.
TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas state Board of Education on Tuesday repealed science guidelines questioning evolution that had made the state an object of ridicule.
The new guidelines reflect mainstream scientific views of evolution and represent a political defeat for advocates of “intelligent design,” who had helped write the standards that are being jettisoned.
The intelligent design concept holds that life is so complex that it must have been created by a higher authority.
If you feel that Kansas is right, I pity you. The Kansas Board of Education is dead wrong and some day they will see that. I pray that it is not too late for them or those who back them.
That's it from What's WRONG With This Picture.
Magnet Schools...What Are They and Are They Good For Us?
What is a magnet school? That question came up in a nearby community in our state recently. And the stuff hit the fan. The big deal was that some folks did not want such things for their elementary school age children. Others were very much for this since this type of school focuses on particular curriculm rather than just cover the standard "readin, writin and rithmetic". So, I went looking to answer the question of what a magnet school is and a few more. Here is what I found:
1) A magnet school is one which functions in the traditional school setting, but with an emphasis on a few target areas of instruction to best prepare students for the future. South Beaver Elementary School
2)A magnet school is a school or education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds. Magnet schools were conceptualized as one response to remedy racial segregation in school enrollment. As a desegregation strategy, magnet schools allow for the reassignment of children or faculty to reduce, eliminate or prevent minority group isolation in one or more K-12 schools of a local education agency. Magnet Schools Definition
I guess the problem I have with this second definition is the idea of setting up a school system that is there strictly for the purpose of desegregating schools. However, the second definition, while likely true to an extent, is not what I have found them, or at least one of the magnet schools, to be. Therefore, the first definition, granted it was for a specific school but relevant nevertheless, is the one that satisfies what I know to be true.
Since I live in Arkansas, I tried to discover what, if anything, was so special about a magnet school. I also wanted to know if such a school existed in our state. Frankly, I had only to look in my own family to find the answer. A member of our family attends a magnet school, an especially fantastic school at that. It is amazing in it's approach to teaching, incredible in it's skill in graduating superior students that go on to places like MIT. The last school year, 2005-2006 graduated 112 students (they usually house up to 150 students, junior and senior high). The grants and scholarships totaled some $10.2 million. That's 112 students that took home an average of $850,000 EACH. Did you see that? Now I call that a valuable school indeed.
Now, I cannot tell you what other magnet schools are like but I can tell you that this particular school is scholastically far above the national average. It is a very tough school to graduate from but the rewards are incredible. The classes are college level, sometimes beyond what is taught in a normal college. Certainly, it is far above most high schools.
So, what is the value of such a school? Friend, it's our future and it's about time we found a way to build more such schools because if we do not, our country will fall even farther behind than we are now. So yes, I am for magnet schools, at least that are like this one.
That's all for now from What's Right With This Picture?
Monday, February 12, 2007
Ground Hog Day In Snow
Now this is one for the books. Has to be. N.Y. is dealing with a
snowfall of.....ready?....115 inches of snow in Oswego county and it
ain't over yet! The forecasters say that it should stop on Monday. For
reference, my husband is 6ft.3in., that's 75 inches. The snow that fell,
NOT the snow they have piled up, is 40 inches taller than he
is!!! WOW! Can we say TOO MUCH SNOW!!! I have to admit that I am happy
to live far south of all that.
One thing that is going to be bad is the meltdown. But at the moment, folks are simply trying to survive what is in front of them right now. That much snow has to be covering the first story of any house in the area. I am unable to process all that, frankly. I cannot imagine that much snow anywhere. Although, I was in a blizzard that brought on a good deal of snow that was piled to about 10 ft. some years ago. That still isn't as bad as this storm since the totals are before they pile it. The next question I have is...WHERE would they pile it????
(CBS/AP) The snow got even deeper Sunday but the end was in sight after a weeklong series of squalls that have buried towns on one corner of Lake Ontario. By early Sunday, the persistent streams of squalls fueled by moisture from the lake had piled snow 115 inches deep at the Oswego County town of Parish, about 25 miles northeast of Syracuse.
Categories: Are You Serious?, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Man Accused In Hit-and-run Out On $250 After Second Arrest
This is truly one of the Shame of America stories. It seems that this guy ran down a 12 year old boy, then left the scene. Oh, they caught him and put him in jail. He got out on bond. Then, if that wasn't enough for this wonderful citizen, days later, he was arrested again. This time it was for driving on a revoked license. Did they keep him. Nope, he is out again on a $250 bond. Are they serious?????
The first bond was $100,000. He got out. Then it was a token amount, $250. Where are the officials in this thing? Where is the judge that would allow someone to just walk out of the courtroom twice? Why didn't they keep him after the second set of charges if not the first? You be the judge? Is the judicial system doing it's job or not?
There are new questions about a Mid-South man who is out on bond after a hit-and-run crash that killed a 12-year-old boy. Terrance Whitelow was released on bond after that deadly crash. He was arrested days later for driving on a revoked license, and released again.
I have nothing more to say here. I think the story speaks for itself. SHAME OF AMERICA
Friday, February 09, 2007
Ads Sparked Bomb Scare
Now here is a crazy story. The whole thing is becoming worse than that Anna Nicole Smith story. As for that one, let the family alone and in peace. They just lost a family member. Give it a rest. The story of the bomb scare in Boston, that's officially the stupidest thing an advertiser can do, scare the crap out of the public. Who would buy the product after that? Well, given the people who are watching such things on tv, never mind. I answered my own question.
I've seen some truly idiotic advertising to date...but then I think some of the commercials are brought to you by Brain-Dead America. Want examples? Okeee Dokiee. How about Sonic. Does anyone actually think this is cool advertising? Or are they scraping the bottom of the barrel because the guys who think this crap up can't find anything else?
Okay, there are these commercials see? (sounds like the beginning of a truly bad joke) Sometimes there are two guys...one is so stupid that he obviously can't put on his socks in the morning. The other guy plays on the stupid jerk, rolling his eyes like he could be somewhere else instead of in BrainLeak Holler. Of course, the first question I have is..if the guy is that stupid, why is the second guy with him???? To look smarter since he obviously isn't????
Second commercial has a married couple. The woman always slams the guy making him look even stupider than he acts by himself. She appears to be the smart one. Yeah but if that guy is so brain-dead, why did the woman marry him in the first place? All it says to me is that only completely stupid people are pulling into Sonic. They cannot possibly be smart if they go there because of that advertising. So, that's the second commercial. Yep, it's a replay of the first type commercial with different players, different day. At this point, and since Sonic has really high priced food anyway, we have decided it ain't worth the trip.
There are others but it is not worth my time to advertise them here anyway. Back to the current story. In Boston, they are trying to calm down after a truly nightmarish scare and calling in the Homeland Security folks to iron the situation out. For all that, they get a "We regret that it came to this" speech by Turner Broadcasting. Oh please!!!! Traffic was stopped. The subway system was disrupted. Why? All for some bright guy's idea of an ad campaign for a late-night cable television cartoon that had most of the devices depicting a character that was making an obscene gesture. Nice. So upstanding.
When is enough enough? We live with commercials of one type or another. They sway us to buy this or turn on that. In fact, if you check it out, we are being brainwashed by said commercials. You don't think so? Okay, what about this. You are watching your fav tv show, looked forward to it all week. There you are vegging on the couch. On comes the show! Great. Commercial break. You decide to stay. On comes a pizza ad or perhaps you need some cosmetic. If you are a guy, it's those potato chips, beer or how about that new car that you have been eyeballing for weeks. The commercial comes on and that did it!!! You have to have the pizza right now or the chips, or hey, you get up and get that beer because at this point, you cannot do without it....possibly you simply have decided to take that trip. But what did it for you? Your decision or that commercial?
There are all types of suggestive advertising on television, billboards, radio, magazines. You name it, they got it. We are flooded with the stuff and, frankly, if it didn't work, why is it there? Ah, it's only for the weakminded, right? Right. You have never in your life gone to the store, restaurant or your own fridge because you wanted something you saw on tv. Never? Right.
It is time to at least slow down the madness. Turn the sound off. Well, that helps but it does not completely get rid of the influence if you sit and watch it anyway. We are being told that we're sick and need all sorts of pills to "cure" us. We MUST have the pizza, beer and the shoes. BRAIN WASHING!!!! When is enough enough? You need to answer this question for yourself.
(CBS/AP) Several illuminated electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots threw a scare into Boston Wednesday, briefly disrupting traffic and subway service, in what turned out to be a publicity campaign for a late-night cable television cartoon. Most of the devices depict a character making an obscene gesture.
Peter Berdovsky, 27, of Arlington, and Sean Stevens, 28, of Charlestown, were each arrested Wednesday night on one felony charge of placing a hoax device and one charge of disorderly conduct, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
In a news release announcing Stevens' arrest, she said the men worked together to place the devices. At an earlier news conference she said Berdovsky had been hired to place the devices.
This ought to be What's Wrong With This Picture? but this time it really is The Shame Of America. And that's about all I can say on that.
Autism In American Children
A new study concerning autism in children states that 1 out of every 150 kids has it. The number is actually one half million children with autism. Sounds pretty scary, doesn't it. That number is higher than I ever expected to see. From that, I would say that it must be that too many children were not diagnosed with it in the past. On the other hand, experts do say that the number is on the rise and that it is NOT simply because of the lack of diagnosis in more children. Also, it can be regional. What is causing this? Are the doctors just not seeing the situation? Or is it simply that more kids are having this problem than we ever knew? The experts do not know the answer to this question. I think that it is vital that they find out!
Feb. 9, 2007 — More than half a million children in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder. This was the finding reported Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also views the new data as "confirming the upper end of estimates" from recent U.S. and non-U.S. studies.
Categories: My Take on Things
What Drives Me Crazy: Ads on TV For Lawyers
This is a pet peeve that goes wild when I see lawyers on television in a commercial. It's bad enough that I have to see them there but THIS is too much. I am an ex over-the-road trucker with a number of miles under the belt and 8 1/2 years of experience. What galls me is that the lawyers seeking clients are targeting truckers and truck accidents. Now, I am not trying to say that some people don't have claims against the over-the-road guys. I do know that is true since there are some drivers out there that do not respect the truck they drive nor the roads they run on. Nor do they respect the car drivers that are good guys too.
However, this is the OTHER SIDE of the picture. I was out there on those roads and saw many, MANY times when the car drivers did not respect the truck nor did they bother to care what they were doing to harm the driver of the truck. For instance, it seems that the car drivers do not know or perhaps care that a truck does NOT stop on a dime. In fact, if you will check it out, a truck...going at 55 miles an hour....takes an entire FOOTBALL FIELD (100 yards or more) to stop if the truck is loaded to 40,000+ pounds. Since the trucks weight something too, the grand (legal) total comes to 80,000 pounds of truck and load coming down on some car driver. That does not include the possibility that the roads are wet or snowy or some other hazard. So the car driver decides to pass the truck, come back into the lane and slam on the brakes. WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN? Now Aunt Fanny and family are in the hospital (or worse) and they are going to SUE the pants off that trucker that couldn't stop if his life depended on it, which it does.
The trucker must maintain a good driving record or he is out of a career. Is the driver of the car going to be out of work? Nah. If he hasn't killed himself with that assinine stunt, the idiot goes on to work. Maybe IF he is charged (which is doubtful) he loses his right to drive but he still has a career if he can get to work. (It's called carpooling, pal) The poor trucker needs to find other employment and that is only IF someone else will take this so-called reckless person who now has a record because of some foolish car driver. He can no longer be a trucker. Career is history.
That isn't the only thing that car drivers do. They ride next to the truck usually in the slow lane, pacing the truck (meaning staying right there next to it so the trucker can't get back into the slow lane). There is absolutely NO THOUGHT to the fact that the trucker, if it's a two lane, is now in a terrible place if there is a car or truck coming in the other direction. I have seen car drivers that actually enjoy the problem of the trucker in that situation. I've been laughed at by a car driver who obviously wanted me to be scared. What they do not seem to think about is that if it comes down to the car or truck coming AT the trucker in the fast lane, he is going to move over anyway in order to save that family in the approaching car. The jerk in the slow lane can hit the ditch. He deserves what he gets, in my opinion.
When the cars are pacing the truck or sit right next to a tire, that is scary to me. There is NO THOUGHT to the fact that tires blow rather frequently on big trucks and the idiot pacing the truck is endangering his entire family as he does this. I have had several blowouts on my truck. You have to understand that the trucker often does not even know that the tire blew out. One of my tires on the trailer blew so I stopped to check on it. I was told I had a flat by another trucker behind me. Didn't know it happened. When I looked at the bottom of the trailer, it was blown out and one of the support beams was twisted because the tire blew upward, thank goodness. Do you have any idea how much force that was? It was like a bomb going off. Size of the hole in the trailer? About 3 feet wide and to a depth of about 9 inches. The trailer was out of commission for a while to get fixed. Oh yeah, I was driving a refrigerated unit. That is a lot more metal and insulation than a box trailer.
I am certain it is no surprise that cars have a better manuverability than trucks. Truckers are often at the mercy of the car driver that can't seem to get a clue that trucks are dangerous to be around if the car driver is being stupid, which many are. We cannot stop on a dime nor can we turn on a dime. Those who get upset or indignant about what a trucker has done need to take a class in being around trucks first before they judge who is wrong. It is about time to educate the public in sharing the road with the trucks and give them some room. Know why? Because there is not one thing you can think of that you buy....not one...that doesn't come by a truck, one way or another. Go ahead. Try it. I can tell you that almost every item bought in this country comes by truck. And when there is an accident involving a truck or a trucker is charged unfairly, the price of your goods go up, up, UP! It's time to give the truckers a break.
Then there are the road rage nuts. These people are certifiable and should be locked up for their own protection. These brain-dead individuals "play" with the truck. They do everything they can to aggravate the trucker, usually in rush hour traffic. They stop short by slamming on the brakes. They give you the "number one" symbol and then cut into your lane without signalling or giving any space, bumper to bumper. They drive right up close and personal behind the truck. These people don't appear to know that they are in serious trouble since the trucker has no idea that they are there at all. The trucker cannot see the car. If you can't see the mirror of the truck, the trucker cannot see you! Where is a cop when you need one?
I said all this in order to get it across that lawyers who go after the trucker need to take the time to be certain that the car driver didn't cause the accident, whether the police found that out or not. On a number of occasions, I have seen the police AUTOMATICALLY assume that the trucker was at fault simply because he or she is the professional driver and "should know better". ARE YOU SERIOUS????
Lawyers, it is time to (shocker) be fair to the truckers and see their side before you put up ads that are prejudicial in their own right. The AUTOMATIC assumption with the ad is that the trucker did the dirty deed and "we are out to get them and get them we will. How much do you want? Okay, we can get that and more!" Yeah, I know. The world ain't fair. Well, neither are you. And that is how you earn your nasty money. There is no honor in that but then, most lawyers have no honor anyway. Ya know, I did find a lawyer or two that does have honor. Usually, they won't take a questionable case. It would be nice to see more of that kind rather than the ones that end up being politicians. Did I say LAWYER? I meant LIAR!
Shame on you, lawyers. And that is what drives me crazy today.
Edited on: Friday, February 09, 2007 2:19 PM
Categories: My Take on Things, What Drives You Crazy?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Ted Nugent's Inaugural Act Creates Stir
If you will check back to another blog I wrote about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, you will find that I had a number of things to say about him. I questioned his judgment about the new order he has unilaterally written to be obeyed without question, I might add. Girls, ages 11-12, are ordered be vaccinated with a drug that is questionable at best with unknown side effects. The governor, in his wisdom? thought that this vaccine would be the answer to all their woes. Not so, governor, especially if you don't even consult the parents and guardians. How about checking with the girls? Think they want this? You dream.
Now here we are again. This time the governor invited Ted Nugent, an apparently close friend of the govs, to be the entertainment at the second inauguration for Perry. Nugent was so respectful of his friend at this occasion that he showed up in a cutoff T-shirt with a Confederate flag on it. Did I mention that the ball was black-tie? His performance included machine guns that he used on stage. He shouted offensive words about people who do not speak English.
Is this really the kind of guy Texas wants in office? Oh please. His judgement is clearly in question here. While I am grateful that we are not having such a person running our own state, I shudder to think of the precedent setting situations looming in our own faces because of what he is doing in his own state. Surely the population is getting a clue here? Hopefully, but I won't hold my breath.
For this story, the link is: WKYC TV
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) ---- Musician Ted Nugent is getting mixed reviews for his performance at the second inauguration of Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Nugent appeared on stage at the black-tie gala Tuesday in a cutoff T-shirt with a Confederate flag on it.
He used machine guns as props and shouted offensive remarks about non-English speakers, according to people at the event.
Perry's spokesman, Robert Black, says Nugent is a good friend of the governor's.
Isn't it about time we spoke up here and let others know that we cannot condone such actions by elected officials? After all, Perry may be governor, duly elected, but he does NOT run a kingdom that he can order anything he wants. Even now, his own party is asking him to rescind the order for the vaccines. Why? Because of the public cry and outrage. Surely, there is some clue being gotten here. Hopefully so that none of the rest of us have to endure the same situation in our states. Time to stand up and be counted.
Helium Shortage? Are They For Real?
This is a story that has been around for several years yet I heard about it for the first time tonight on our local tv station. Of course, they were simply boo hooing the fact that the balloon people would have less helium for the balloons for Valentine' Day instead of taking it seriously. So, I looked up a few things about this story that really surprised me considering helium has been so easy to come by, seemingly.
From what I've learned, there are two types of helium.....one is the type that you fill balloons, use with arc welders, Macy's parade balloons, dirigibles like the Goodyear blimp we see over sports events. Then there is another kind, very rare, that is used for a very different purpose or should I say purposes. It's called Helium-3, an isotope that they will be able to use in fuel for a type of nuclear fusion that would, in theory, burn cleanly in a reactor. Scientists believe that if they can harness this, a space shot could go all the way to Mars in a weekend instead of months. Astronauts could see the outer planets where there is a vast supply of the very helium that we are growing short of right now. Can you say SHORT SIGHTED? There certainly are many of that type of person in our world. In fact, they are abundant, unlike the helium.
But the uses I've told you about are not all. NASA uses helium in their space launches now to pressurize space shuttle fuel tanks. Other industry uses it for arc welders and to detect leaks. In addition, liquid helium cools infrared detectors, nuclear reactors, wind tunnels, and the superconductive magnets in MRI equipment.The loss of this element could be very damaging to our existence.
The most amazing thing is that nearly the entire world's supply of helium is stored within a 250 mile radius of Amarillo, Texas. They call it the Helium capital of the world with good reason. And there is a "but" in there. Most of the helium is owned by the Federal government who is getting out of the business and selling off the supply it has been gathering since 1960. The government is selling to all comers and the thirty-two billion cubic feet of the gas that are bunkered underground in Cliffside, near Amarillo, is going to be kaput in about 10-25 years.
What does this say about us? We are using up the elements of our planet without regard to their necessity. Is helium a necessary element on this planet? The answer, IF we are HONEST, is yes simply because it is already here. There must be a reason for its' existence in the first place.
We have a government that is shrugging it's shoulders and telling us that it is not valuable enough to save, not necessary to seek out more. How careless and reckless can we actually get? Well, that question is already being answered right now, isn't it.
There are two kinds of stable helium. You know the first one: It puts lift in birthday balloons, Thanksgiving Day parades, the Goodyear blimp.
The other kind, an isotope called helium-3, may not be as familiar. It's a naturally occurring, but very rare, variant of helium that is missing a neutron. Helium-3 is the fuel for a form of nuclear fusion that, in theory, could provide us with a clean, virtually infinite power source.
Gerald Kulcinski, director of the University of Wisconsin's Fusion Technology Institute, is already halfway there. Kulcinski is in charge of an "inertial electrostatic confinement device," an experimental low-power reactor that has successfully performed continuous deuterium-helium-3 fusion - a process that produces less waste than the standard deuterium-tritium fusion reaction.
The next step, pure helium-3 fusion (3He-3He) is a long way off, but it's worth the effort, says Kulcinski. "You'd have a little residual radioactivity when the reactor was running, but none when you turned it off. It would be a nuclear power source without the nuclear waste."
For more information on this subject and the rest of this article, please visit Wired .
Categories: Beyond Bizarre, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Sunday, February 04, 2007
How Old Is Too Old To Drive?
That's a good question but one that is not that easy to answer. According to the parents of the child that got killed, it is less than the age of the older person who was driving the car. But that is a bit too simplistic. There is a great deal of evidence that there certainly should be a cutoff time so that those who are less able to drive safely should relinquish their licenses and find another way around. However, can you legislate a particular age to such a thing? I doubt it.
The problem is that seniors are staying active and healthy much longer than they used to. They may be a tad slower but not all seniors at a specific age are no longer qualified to drive. It varies from person to person. I think that is as it should be. If you legislate a certain age, you cut off some folks who simply do not deserve the problems this might entail. In other words, it is just not fair to the healthy person who has worked all their lives to so that they can retire but live an active retirement.
While I have sympathy for the mother of the child killed this week and sympathy for the others who have lost relatives to elderly drivers, I would have to say that if you legislate this into law then you must also legislate a law concerning teen drivers, making it harder for them since they have a very high rate of accidents and fatalities. Then, you must look at those others who are young adults since they, too, have the statistics concerning accident rate.
See, it just isn't that simple. I firmly believe that we need to take this on a case by case basis. Frankly, I doubt that it will happen that way but I can hope. Thing is, some day it may be you behind the wheel when someone decides that you are too old even if you may not be. But just because someone else thinks so, you may be banned from driving for the rest of your life.
One more thing. Do not get me wrong here. If a person is too dangerous on the road, they should hang up the keys but I can see problems there. Who decides this? The person themselves? Yeah right. That person will likely believe that they can drive safely whether that is true or not. Perhaps there should be a way to test the driving. Hey, I know. How about the same driving test people take when they first get a license. Wow! Wonder why no one thought of that!
(AP) After an 84-year-old driver plowed through an elementary school lunchroom this week, killing an 8-year-old boy, his mother pressed lawmakers to bar the elderly from getting behind the wheel.
"We very much support a mandatory limit on the driving age for seniors," Amanda Wesling wrote in a missive directed at driver Grace Keim, who authorities say was en route to a driving class at a senior citizen's center Monday when she struck and killed 8-year-old Ryan Wesling.
So, the question is...how old is too old to drive? I have no idea and quite likely neither do you.
Edited on: Sunday, February 04, 2007 11:35 PM
Categories: My Take on Things, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Global Warming Debate Shifts To Who Pays
Isn't it always the case? It all comes down to money, the almighty buck. The scientists warn about global warming, which may or may not be the hazard that they say it is. Who knows. Could be or not. But they have been warning about this particular problem for some years now. Humans were recently blamed for the whole thing in a report by those same scientists. Yep, the factory stacks and the cars just have to put out that hot air and fumes. Or was it the aerosol cans now? Possibly the lack of recycling is contributing. Okay, I am being that way.
The problem I see is that they holler and holler about the crisis, in this case the global warming, then when it comes right down to it, the whining begins when no one will fund the project. Wonder why.
(CBS/AP) An international report giving greater certainty to global warming will shift the debate in Congress from what's causing climate change to the economics of who will pay to confront it.
The outcome will sort out winners and losers.
As lawmakers squabble over the details in a half dozen approaches to reducing the flow of heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases from power plants, cars and factories, an overriding political worry hangs over the process: cost and who will foot the bill.
Did you get that? Lawmakers are squabbling over it. That could take years, probably will. All these warnings sound urgent and yet........
So, what's wrong with this picture? Some well intentioned person or people gave the problem to CONGRESS. Those guys are more interested in funding themselves than spending the money on something unimportant as the fact that at some point our little booties are going to fry. Oh yeah, CONGRESS. Now yer talkin' Won't get a thing accomplished there til the global is warmed, that's what. How's that for fast! Yeah, right.
Categories: My Take on Things, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Orders Mandatory Vaccine For Girls
I am, at this moment, trying very hard to keep my temper in check as I write this about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a conservative Christian or supposedly one. This person has by-passed all of the state legislature, the voting public, the parents of the girls involved, the girls involved, the schools, the groups who are set up to protect just such situations and quite arrogantly written an order to require mandatory vaccinations against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. He is targeting 11-12 year old girls although he magnanimously is granting the ability for girls that are older to get the same vaccinations. Please take note that I said MANDATORY.
The first question I have to Rick Perry is...who the heck do you think you are, BUD? Trying to be God or something? You are an arrogant jerk who thinks that he can single handedly stop a disease that is going to continue with or without you, Pal. Or do you even READ those scriptures? Surely even you can tell that this is a really bad idea. Whatever happened to citizens' rights or is that passe now? Do you realize that this is the United States not Germany?
This guy plays God while the parents of these girls have NO SAY whatsoever in the lives of their children. The last time I heard about something like this, it was a DICTATOR in a COMMUNIST country. Is Rick Perry now controlling his own little kingdom? Hey, I thought that he was a governor of a state, not a nation. And in case anyone cares to check, I've talked to residents of Texas who do not care for his way of doing things.
It's a shame (YES I said SHAME. Another SHAME of AMERICA that people like this get elected) that most people who go to the polls vote uninformed, don't you think? Those of us in Arkansas certainly know about that. We sure are good at putting tin-horned dictators in office here too. Who am I thinking of? Well, there's our most famous one....Mr. Clinton. Then more recently there is the guy who is trying to gear up to become President, Mr. Huckabee. Mr. Perry and Mr. Huckabee must be thinking along the same lines since Mr. Huckabee is capable of putting through some pretty damaging orders of his own...a la the BMI reports supposed to be attached to report cards for every child in Arkansas.
So, from here it looks to me like the dictator of Texas deserves this....WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? Perhaps you can answer that, Mr. Perry. Want to check it out, Reader? Here ya go:
And here is the order in all it's glory:
My suggestion here especially if you are from Texas and oppose this order is to contact your congressperson or state legislature. If you are not from Texas and feel as strongly as I do because, at some point since this is a precedent setting order and some bright jerk from another state will grab it and run, contact the Governors office in Texas from the order page or contact your own governor, congressperson or state legislator to speak your mind about it. It is most assuredly worth it to do so especially if you have a daughter. She should not be subjected to such treatment at the hands of some jerk political wannabe.
What's Wrong With This Picture is brought to you by....a very pissed off citizen of what I THOUGHT was the United States. I must be in the wrong place.
Edited on: Saturday, February 03, 2007 10:05 PM
Categories: Shame of America, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Friday, February 02, 2007
Cops Punished For Pregnant Woman Arrest
I have to admit when I first heard of this story this morning, I was ready to blast at the city that could have such incredibly ignorant and cruel police officers on their payroll. I still think that way but the city is doing something about it....after a lawsuit was filed, of course. Here's the story. A woman, who had warrants and traffic violations, was stopped on an apparently routine traffic stop. At that time, she informed the officers that she was bleeding and in need of a hospital. She told them that she was three months pregnant and feared that she was losing the baby. These incredibly civic minded servants (she said sarcastically) ignored her pleas. After NINE requests to go to the hospital the FEMALE officer asked her "What is that to me?"
EXCUSE ME?????? Who is this cruel and snotty person that can ask such a thing of a woman who is BLEEDING??!!!!!! At some point, these FINE UPSTANDING OFFICERS (who in my opinion should no longer have a job and be charged with some type of murder charge) took her to jail where she spent the night. Upon release in the morning, she went to the hospital where she delivered a premature baby boy who died right after birth. Could that child have been saved from this? Only the Lord and the doctors know that but if he could have been cared for properly and lived, then these officers should definitely be charged with murder, again IN MY OPINION. Oh yeah, I should mention that the lady has sued the officers and the city in question. And of course, the city has suspended those people AFTER THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED...yesterday. Oh yeah, that nice city of Kansas City, Mo. has certainly done their duty, right? Right. They are investigating.
By the way, I should mention that ALL of this is on video tape. Exerpts from it can be seen at the CBS news site. I call this "The Shame of America". Okay, this is one incident in one city BUT this type of thing goes on all across the nation in one way or another and it certainly is the SHAME OF AMERICA that this particular city does nothing whatsoever about it until a lawsuit comes up. I'm certain that the lady didn't stay silent about it for almost a year!!!! I would not have. I would have been SCREAMING about it. They almost certainly allowed that child to die while they had their fun taking a "criminal" with traffic violations to jail. They didn't believe her obviously. Guess they didn't see the BLOOD when they checked her in? Gee, does that mean they didn't do their jobs and search her then? COME ON!!!
Welcome to America's Shame. Compassion is not there in those officers. I have to say that I have all the respect in the world for the many, many men and women of the police force across the country that care about people and do not act like that. I'm certain that there are far more of them than there are of this type of person.However, they are definitely out there and I, myself, have run into a few of them too. (I used to drive an over-the-road truck where I saw police and highway patrol nearly everyday. MOST of them are great people, caring and kind.)
Kansas City, Mo., the public calls on you to do your duty to this woman. Investigate it quickly and thoroughly. Then, if your officers are to blame, fire them....and prosecute as if it was a member of the public.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Psychologist makes patient wear dog collar
I have to admit I am searching out the strange and unusual news items at times. This is one of those not-so-unusual items. Seems the doc in charge wanted to get his bulimic patient to trust him so he gets a dog collar, makes her wear it and then he commands her to do what he wants. Well YEAH! That'll make her trust him. How could it not! First thing I have to ask is WHAT"S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
One thing you have to wonder is just how sick are we as a society? The psychologist seems to need one of his own kind here. The guy is a sicko and he appears to be using his practice (I've always wondered why it is called "practice" when they are supposed to have a degree in whatever they do!) to drum up new fantasies for himself. The truly bizzare thing is that the guy thinks this behavior is all right, says it's within the guidelines of his profession. Excuse me? Are they serious???
Check it out for yourself. Here's the link:
Off The Cuff is brought to you by those of us FROM ARKANSAS that think things are getting a little too nuts out there. Thanks for watching. Now we will return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Categories: Beyond Bizarre, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Woman jailed after reporting rape
In the newest "What's Wrong With This Picture" we find the fearless police in Tampa, Florida, in an effort to do the right thing?, arrested a woman who had just been raped. Apparently, she had the nerve to have an outstanding warrant. Oh please, police, can't you see the shame in this? At least check out her story first! At least give the woman a break here!
I, too, have had problems with those folks in Tampa. Nah, I didn't do anything important. It was actually a misunderstanding that resulted in my staying, as a guest, in the graybar overnight. Why? Because the police in that town do not have ears to hear anything but the one who complains, regardless of motive, about anyone else. I do believe that these wonderful officers of the law go to a different police academy than the rest of the country. They have their own type of law and it ain't "user friendly" to the public.
One note of disclaimer here. I don't believe in such a thing as a morning-after pill to prevent a potential pregnancy. Don't now. Never will. It is against my beliefs. However, these folks didn't just prevent that. Want to read the story? Here is the link:
Categories: What's Wrong With This Picture?