Monday, June 18, 2007
Refineries To Cut Expansion
Are you kidding me??? In a time when the United States needs, desparately, to get more fuels available to the public at an affordable price, refineries are seeking ways to cut back on expansions and it's all due to the congress and the White House or so they say. What a surprise.
Doing something like that is going to keep gasoline prices through the roof for a long time. Also, what a surprise. The money hungry oil companies do not want to bow down to what they KNOW they should do, build new refineries which would give some relief to the increasingly higher prices for gasoline.
The White House and congress are pushing for ethanol production which would help with prices but, as I posted the other day, it would not help in the least if you can't find a station to fill up. So, it's up to the oil companies all the way around. Somehow, I get the feeling that isn't going to happen.
This is yet another SHAME OF AMERICA. Oil companies, when the consumer has had all they can take, you won't like the outcome.
Categories: Are You Serious?, Shame of America
Insurance Companies Cancel Policies Retroactively
Ever heard of rescission? Insurance companies certainly have. Those who can only buy insurance themselves, not through a group policy, are going to be dealing with that term if they try to use the policy. One lady did that. She is a young person in her twenties who has never been sick in her life. She believed that the policy she bought as a student would take care of anything she needed it for. After all, she had never been sick before.
Recently, she found out that she has a rare optical disorder that, if not taken care of through surgery, she will go blind. She has already lost part of her vision. She sent in a claim so that the surgery could happen. What came from the insurance company was a series of letters detailing her account being investigated for fraud. They were threatening rescission, which is actually a retro-canceling of her policy so that they do not have to pay out anything.
ABC news got involved when they heard about her. They contacted the company involved, Blue Cross of California. They said that they were not intending to cancel her and that they had sent out only one letter that told her they might investigate. This, of course, is not true. Since then, the company has stated to ABC news that they stopped the investigation and are going ahead with paying for her surgery. At the time of the story, the lady in question had no contact from the company saying this.
Isn't it time that the insurance companies wake up to the fact that the public are their bread and butter and if the public chooses not to have a policy with them, they will go down like so many other companies have in the past? I can't be the only one who remembers how insurance companies dropped the ball during the Katrina crisis and are still doing so as long as they do not pay out on policies owned by people with needs from that storm. WAKE UP, AMERICA!!! This is a shame we cannot ignore.
Categories: Beyond Bizarre, Shame of America
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Spielberg Endorses Clinton In Bid For White House
This is going to be a personal rant. Sorry in advance but I have strong feelings about Ms. Clinton and they are not good. I live in the state where that woman and her husband were in the Governor's House. Those of us who have the sense to see it, do not like the way she operates. A case in point is the story yesterday of John McCain opposing her in her atttempt to put "pork barrel" spending into an already bloated package for the troops in the war on terror in Iraq. Yes, there should be a lot of spending for that but not the bloat that usually comes with the favorite parts of a bill that get railroaded through the congress because of a pet project.
And now, a man I have admired for years, Mr. Steven Spielberg, is putting his endorsement on this Clinton woman. I can no longer say that I admire him. No one could possibly be this blind yet they are. So many are.
You know, it has never been proved one way or another about that White Water thing in Arkansas some years ago. The questions died and nothing was settled. It is crazy but people who used to be associated with that particular situation and the results seem to be disappearing and dying. Does this not bother anyone? Does it not bother anyone that she was the voice behind the man in the White House and that did not turn out too great? If anyone has a question at all about who was doing the decisions, they only need to read what went on in those years. Hello????? Does no one notice anything here? That woman was wanting the White House for herself when she and her husband were IN the White House. Does no one see this?
It is time for America to wake up! It is time for the U.S. to get the idea that we are not all that and a bag of chips anymore. We are not respected abroad anymore. We are not the only country with the capabilities of nuclear power (that's "nu-clee-ar", Mr. President....not "nu-cue-lar") anymore and some day soon, one of those others is going to flex their nuclear muscles and we will be in deep doo doo.
Time to wake up, America. Stop the Shame of America with this. Do NOT allow Ms. Clinton another voice in the White House. It is already too bad she has a voice in the senate via New York. Does no one think it strange that she did not bother to try to get elected in her HOME STATE? Guess why? She wouldn't get elected to dog catcher here, that's why. Think about it.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Dan Rather Accused Of Sexist Comments
Seems that the head guy at CBS thinks that comments made by former anchor, Dan Rather, are sexist and aimed at Katie Couric, Rather's successor. Rather stated that CBS was taking the Evening News and "dumbing it down, tarting it up" because they appear to be bringing on celeb topics instead of coverage on the war. His accusations include that the whole thing is to bring in a younger audience.
The problem that I see here is that Dan Rather is more than likely right. If CBS is trying for a younger audience, which it definitely sounds like it is, it does not matter that Katie Couric is the anchor. What does matter is that this particular news agency seems to believe that it is necessary to "dumb it down, tart it up" in order to attract the age group in question. Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?
If this is the tactic it takes to bring in the younger crowd then there is something wrong with the younger crowd in the first place. The "dumbing down of America" is a Shame of America and should not be encouraged or allowed. People should be aiming higher than a 7th grade educational level in reporting the news or in any other type of reporting, like magazines and documentaries.
So, is Dan Rather guilty of sexist remarks or is CBS guilty of more "dumbing down America"? Don't we have enough of this in our school systems? This is definitely another Shame of America in motion.
Categories: Shame of America, What's Wrong With This Picture?
Monday, June 11, 2007
No Confidence Vote On Gonzales
I put this into the Shame Of America for one reason. If they must have a no confidence vote on Gonzales over the firing of lawyers who are only willing to prosecute Republicans and not look at ALL wrongdoing, then I say that we must, MUST have a no confidence vote on the congress since I have little to no confidence in them working for our benefit. We, the people, are not getting what we voted for in our congresspeople, no matter what the general public may think.
The problem here is that there is little wrongdoing being uncovered in the congress. We do know that people in the congress are doing wrong things, illegal things. However, there seems to be some unwritten rule that states that unless it is going to be found out anyway, we do not tell all. We do not blow the whistle on that person because we can use them for favors that we may need in the future.
What is totally unacceptable are lawmakers who circumvent the law in order to get what they want. We have far too much of that going on, no matter what party affiliation they might belong to. It is totally unacceptable unless you happen to be in the congress. Then it is definitely acceptable as long as it does not go public and even then, it can be public with a nice spin to it. The spin doctors are ready, willing and certainly able to give it a different slant so that the guilty party can go free.
And we wonder why only certain people have to actually serve time in jail for wrongdoing. Guess why? Influence, power, money. Well, Paris Hilton found out it isn't just about money when an outraged judge gets ahold of it. However, in the congress, it is a different story, isn't it? Will we ever know what really goes on in that closed society? Doubtful. Nevertheless, it is a Shame Of America.
Categories: Shame of America
Monday, May 21, 2007
Gas Prices Go Up-The Continuing Saga Of The Great Ripoff!
I have repeatedly mentioned gas prices going up...well, because they are and because I don't like it just like you don't like it. But now, the national average is at $3.22!!! We are blessed that our gas price has not risen that high as yet. Ours is sitting, for the moment unless it rose just after we left the station like it has in the past, at $3.04. Of course, the holiday is coming up. Always a good time to rip off the drivers.
This is called the great ripoff because I truly believe that the oil companies that have had record profits are fully capable of bringing down the price should they choose to do so. Perhaps that is childish of me to believe that but I do. Why? Because the artificial rise in prices and the shortage that we had in the early 70's was a tryout. It was sort of a practice run. Those who are pulling the strings are giving us all the higher prices and we are expected to just TAKE IT! Why? Because we always do that. We take it. We take it when the prices on food rise a few cents because it's only a few cents, after all. We take it when the lawmakers put through bills that have all sorts of riders attached that we really do not want to see go into law but the riders become law because we do nothing about them. It's the usual and customary practice of the lawmakers to do this. We take it.
Is there anything we don't take? Not much. We stand up for our rights when it gets so outrageous that we can no longer sit idlely by. Wait. That was in the 40's in W.W.II. Since then, we have lost the will to do the right thing. Did we do the right thing in Korea? Perhaps. Did we do the right thing is Vietnam? NO! A thousand times NO! We quit! WE QUIT! We fought and let all those Americans and South Vietnamese die. For what? So we could quit! We took it. That is a shame of America! We lost what the oriental mind calls "face". We lost our standing in the world with that. Then, we elected someone who could not find what the word "is" means when he was caught literally with his pants down IN THE WHITE HOUSE! We lost face again. And we just take it because it's okay to be immoral in the White House as long as we don't go to war. Right? Right.
Now, we have an administration that has dropped the ball so many times that we have second rate standing in the world. What do we do? We take it, of course. When the disaster of the Tsunami happened, where were we with the help those people so desparately needed? Where were we when Katrina hit? That was our OWN people in our own country? Where are we? Nowhere. There is no help. How do we know? Ask the Katrina victims that are being yet again victimized by the insurance companies that turn down those who held legitimate policies for years. Meanwhile, the FEMA people sat down and gave out dollars and dollars to people who were scamming them. What is going on here? Well, again, we take it.
Tell me something here. What happens when we are labeled as terrorists because we do not believe the way someone else does? Do we take it then? Do we lie down and let them run over us then? Some of us won't. Most will. Most will see the guy who comes in like a savior and listen to him because he knows that all we do is take it.
When are we going to get some backbone? I saw some of that with the disaster of 911 when the whole congress, President and the country joined together and believed one thing. Get off our sleeping tushes and kick some terrorist tail. That thought lasted for a couple of months. And then they forget.
We got stickers to put on our cars, in our windows that said "September
11. We will NEVER forget!" But we did or more specifically, those in
congress who now are against the war.
Perhaps it is once again time to get out the bumper stickers and the signs in the windows.."We will NEVER forget" instead of once again take it.
Categories: Are You Serious?, Shame of America
Jimmy Carter Has Lost It!
Jimmy Carter's critical barbs hit President Bush and Tony Blair in an effort to sell a book. His book. I am wondering here where Mr. Carter's loyalties lie. Certainly not with the office he held. Certainly not with his country. Certainly not with Britain. Where? Obviously with himself and a few bucks in the pocket.
His scathing comments about Tony Blair tell me that Mr. Carter had a different agenda even in the White House and when he could not make a bigger name for himself then, he chose to write a book and do a supposed "tell all". How commercial is that? I have no respect for someone who does this sort of thing while our country is at war! I realize that this war is not popular. Few back it now. BUT what happens if we do leave that country without a working plan? You know.
Carter obviously has zero respect even for the office of President and none for the sitting President. He has none for the outgoing Prime Minister of England either. What kind of comments could cause me to say all that? This:
"Britain's support for the war in Iraq was a "major tragedy" for the world, Carter said Saturday May 19, 2007 as he criticized Tony Blair's unwavering support for President Bush. Asked how he would judge Blair's support of Bush, a Republican, the former Democratic president said: "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient."
How can a former President talk so poorly about someone who has been so very loyal to our country?
Carter was quoted Saturday as saying "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." The Georgia Democrat said Bush had overseen an "overt reversal of America's basic values" as expressed by previous administrations, including that of his own father, former President George H.W. Bush.
Carter made the comments to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper's Saturday editions.
If the values of America have been lowered, can it be possible that Mr. Carter was part of the problem rather than the solution? Mr. Carter's critical comments are ill timed and reckless in the extreme. If he had things like that to say, he should have said them to the current President or in private to family who would not leak it to the press. What he should not have done was to write a book so that he could slam a sitting President while he makes bucks off of it. Shame, Mr. Carter. Shame on you.
Mr. Carter, you receive the Shame of America reward for today.
Categories: Are You Serious?, Shame of America
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
911 Calls-Are Dispatchers Taking Them Seriously?
Just recently, it was brought to my attention that there is a very real problem concerning 911 dispatchers. Now, I am not talking about all of them nor most of them. However, there are some who should not be in that particular job at all.
For instance, there was a recent call to 911 where a little boy said that his mother was on the floor passed out (she had not been drinking). The dispatcher told the boy to stop playing on the phone. This is the actual transcript of the call made by a 5 year old boy:
In a recording of the first call, the son is heard saying, "My mom is passed out." The operator responds, "Where's Mister Turner at?" Robert Turner explains that his mother is unable to talk. The operator then says "Okay, well, I'm going to send the police over to your house to find out what's going on," and then hangs up.
But neither the police nor medical personnel ever arrived, according to family members.
Three hours later, the boy called again.
"It was taking too long," he told a local reporter in Detroit. "And she said the same thing."
In the second call, the operator asks to speak to his mother, "before I send the police over there." She then tells the son, "You shouldn't be playing on the phone. Now put her on the phone before I send the police over there to knock on the door, and you're going to be in trouble."
Again, neither police nor medical personnel responded.
The mother of this young boy died due to the neglect of the dispatcher. This is all too frequent to ignore. In 1994, a boy was being beaten. Over 20 people called in to report this. The dispatchers, that's with an "S", apparently ignored these calls. They were later fired as they should have been. The result: the boy DIED!
In Anderson, SC., sheriff deputies ignored calls, again with an "S", from a STABBING victim.
In Memphis, a 63 year old man lay on the floor of a pool club while other customers frantically called to dispatch to get help. He died because the agencies were fighting over who should respond to the call.
What part of STUPID is this? ALL of it. BUT why is this happening? Shouldn't we be able to count on the 911 call to get help? After all, we are paying taxes so that it can exist.
The reality is that these dispatchers are not certain when the call comes in, if it is legitimate or not. There are thousands of prank calls every year. These calls take their toll in the lack of responses to the real calls because the dispatcher cannot determine if the call is real or not.
One recent survey reported that 25 percent of all 911 calls are pranks, creating a dilemma for emergency agencies. And in 2003, another national study found that 70 percent of all cell phone calls to 911 are dialed inadvertently.
Still, critics say there's not enough training for 911 operators. The National Association of Emergency Numbers says there's not even a national standard for 911 operations.
There is also strong criticism that few communities use enough of their annual budgets to train workers on even the basics of handing emergency calls.
This is positively scary. According to that, we cannot ever completely count on 911 calls to bring help, no matter how critical the need. Don't you think it's time to get ahold of your local authorities and find out what is going on and what you can do to help this situation? If you do not think that this is your problem, wait until you have the need. It might just be too late.
Categories: Are You Serious?, Shame of America
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Sex Ed In School--Going Too Far or Just Right?
Today, there was a story on ABC/GMA about sex ed in schools. But now there is a twist. A few states are advocating the teaching of sexual orientation. They will teach about bisexuals, gays and homophobia, among other things. The general idea is that children are inundated with sex everywhere...on TV, magazines, radio, the internet, music, signs. Everywhere you go, there is some reference to sex in some way. The children are now seeing this as "normal", whatever that means. But somebody thinks they are getting the wrong message. Ya think?
Now, parents and guardians are giving up their rights to teach their children about sex. Why? Because it's an uncomfortable topic? Or they don't care where the kid learns it? Or there just isn't anyone knowledgeable enough to teach the right things on this subject? Many kids are adrift because of that. So, the schools, due to larger numbers of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, are fighting back by giving sex education themselves. All those wrong messages are compounded by more wrong messages.
What is wrong with this picture??? First, parents and guardians should tell the child about sex in the privacy of the home where the kid gets more information given in the proper way. At school, what they get is a clinical version of the sex act. Is it any wonder that children grow up or don't grow up....having sex without understanding what the beauty of it really is? Is it any wonder that the kid gets such a skewered view of it that they question what sex they ought to be? Where are the children getting the idea that sex is so commonplace that they cannot leave high school or even middle school/Jr. high school without having the sex act? Peer pressure, of course. But there is also the clinical teaching from the school because they don't want to be accused of having porn in class. Therefore, they must teach this watered down, impersonal, it's only sex view of what it's all about. If it feels good, do it type of attitude. Is it any wonder the kids come away learning that sex and love have nothing at all in common?
Second, the kid gets sex ed..101, the watered show. After that, he/she gets the new and improved version that teaches about sexual orientation. Please. Some of these kids didn't know they HAD an orientation until the school made them aware of it. So now the child understands that he/she MAY be really quite normal if he liked the dolly instead of the GI Joe or she liked the cars and trucks instead of the beautiful Barbie. Now they understand that the very normal feelings that they thought were all weird are explained away as being something that used to be in a closet but now is okay to bring out, name and flaunt, if necessary.
What is happening to our children? They are being taught wrong things and actually, it appears that they are being indoctrinated into a different society than what I grew up with. Is that good or bad? In my opinion, it is extremely bad for the child. These people at the schools are throwing out information that the child might be too young to hear and/or understand. How on earth would they know? These people really do not know the kids they teach. The kid is one way at school among the classmates and another way at home. The parents and guardians possibly will know the young person better than the school could ever know them. Unfortunately, some or maybe most of the parents and guardians would rather have the schools teach what they find to be either offensive or embarrassing or might be a time waster.
Our children are learning that sex is okay and rather common. How many kids in their class have already had sex because it was made to sound just like another lesson in school. For goodness sake, they hand out condoms in school and expect them not to use them!! That rates are a rather large, king sized DUH!! What are these officials thinking here? What are the politicians thinking? Politicians? Getting reelected, what else? Do they care about your kid? Absolutely not. They could care less. You must take up the fight to bring sanity back to this country before it's too late!
I say Sex Ed in school is going too far. What do you say? I say that kids do not need to hear about sexual orientation. What do you say? If you allow the school to teach your child things that ought to be taught at home, then you cannot be surprised when the girl comes home pregnant and wanting your help and love. Or the girl is forced by the boy to head for an abortion clinic to "get rid or it" because the boy can't TELL HIS PARENTS what he has been doing. Why not? Because he has college to think of. What about the girl? He could care less about her. The girl is now at the mercy of the boy, the parents, the system. She is caught in a trap that no one taught her was WRONG in the first place. She got the information from the sex ed class and thought it would be different. Why? Because they taught her that it was sanitary, fun and all you have to do is "be careful", use the condom. Don't get a disease!! HELLO??? If you didn't DO the sex, the disease wouldn't be there, the pregnancy wouldn't be there, the future would be bright for all concerned.
It is time for the sane people of this country and world to stand up and take responsibility. Yes, RESPONSIBILITY. It's a word most people would rather not hear because it would be too inconvenient, wouldn't it. Too much time to teach the child the RIGHT WAY to think about sex. Teach them to understand that there is a time and a place but only if you are 1) in love, 2) understand something about love (not the teen version where the girl is gaga over the boy and the boy is showing off to all his friends), and most important of all, 3) be married. Ouch! That last one hurt didn't it? Too many people believe that extramarital or living together arrangements are a good thing. Try it out first. If it works, think about marriage. This is why marriage is becoming almost an obsolete idea. This is why children today do not see what the fuss is about. This is why the parents MUST take control of what the kid learns in school before it's too late.
What's wrong with this picture? Everything!!!
Friday, March 16, 2007
This is an Off The Cuff scam alert. Have you noticed those ads that promote the free Xbox, free Rachel Ray items, free computers (laptop, desktop), free anything that you do not have to pay for if only you will accept one of these offers? I have seen them on Iwon and several other pages. Also, I have received emails on these same things. The whole idea is that you are going to get something expensive for free if only you will qualify by accepting small offers of items you will not really want in the first place.
As you accept or deny each page of offers, there are more to choose from. You go through pages and pages of offers. At some point in each category, you must select one offer from this page, two offers from that page. Some pages have only offers for signing up for credit cards. Others have equally stupid offers that, if you sign up for them, you will be finding too many things in your mailbox that you had no idea where it came from.
By this time, you begin wondering if this will ever end. They tell you that you have ALMOST qualified and that you only have this much more to do. Each time it says that, you are expected to accept one or more offers. From what I have seen, there may be an end and people might be satisfied to do all that to get the FREE item, which, if you are paying attention, really isn't free at all. At the point I stopped and had accepted three offers, more than they told me I had to in the first place, I was still apparently 2 offers short of my FREE item. Can you see how much more money this is going to cost?? I, frankly, do not know how I got wrapped up in this stuff. But I have learned. I hope that you do before it costs you anything.
Frankly, I have no idea how far this goes since I could never get farther than the offers you have to take. I will not accept a credit card so I didn't get any farther. At one point, I did take a couple of offers that only cost a couple of bucks each. Some offers say they are free and all you have to pay is shipping which will be a small sum considering the item they are sending you.
Now comes the rub. If you pay by credit card or debit card, which is the only way they take these small payments, then the card number is open for them to use it as they will. People have learned this when the so-called company tells you something is a trial period and that you have X number of days to respond. Likely, the time is too short to do anything about it. In none of the pages you read about the product does it say that you will be billed a larger amount.
People are now learning that when they sign up for the smaller amount, as their bank statements come in, they find themselves being billed for much, much larger sums of money. For example, these items we have researched so far are:
Online Supplier-this place is listed in the frauds page. They send you a CD or book about "how to sell on Ebay". You are charged a very small fee for shipping...$1.95-$1.99. Remember, you were trying to qualify for a much larger, FREE item. At that point, it is likely that you believe you are finished especially if you do nothing more. However, on the bank statement you will find a $49.95 charge. It will have a long number such as 8009309932ONLINESU01 of 800-9309932 CA. You have no idea what the notation is. You will have no idea what the charge is for. We looked this up on one of the frauds pages and discovered that people try to call the 800 number only to find out that there will be a one hour "on hold" and they never get to talk to a human. Others have tried to email them and receive no response. BEWARE!! THIS IS A SCAM!!
Triclear-This is under beauty products. It is supposedly a FREE trial offer. It costs only the shipping according to the information page. The shipping charge is about $5.95-$6.95. You are told to try it out and if you are not satisfied you can cancel. Regardless of your actions, on your statement you will find a charge for the shipping the original package and then a charge of anywhere from $49.95-$69.95, which is supposed to be your next monthly installment since they are supposedly sending out another box of product for the second month. It is vital that you cancel this item before it reaches that stage. Unfortunately, most people who have signed up for this did not cancel the first part. Possibly they forgot about it since it was a FREE TRIAL OFFER and nothing else was sent out to the consumer. BEWARE. This is A SCAM!!!
Video Professor-This one requires only the $6.95 shipping charge. You can check out the item when you receive it and order others like it for a fee. At no time, are you told that it IS a trial period until you get the item in the mail. Items are CDs for learning how to write html or something else that you might not know about on a computer. The page looks like an online school of some sort. These are all learning CDs of one kind or another.
However, when you receive the item, you find in TINY print, that they are going to charge you $79.95 after the TRIAL period is over. This one we were involved in ourselves. I called the company. They were nice but wanting me to keep the item. I told them I did not want it and expected them to allow my returning it. It required a " return authorization number". If you do not get that, they will still charge you for $79.95. We returned the package with delivery confirmation. We received the card back and have not been charged the $79.95 to date. BUT, others have not received the item and have been charged $79.95 as well as a couple of charges for $5.95 (unknown) and a couple for $1.00 (unknown). What we have received though is a couple of $1.00 charges that are unknown since we cancelled all business with these people. That puts them into a fraud category unless they are willing to credit these charges back to us. We are still waiting on that. BEWARE!
In each of these cases, the people at the other end are hoping that you do not act on cancelling within a time period, whether you know what that is or not. They expect INACTION . Do not ignore these so-called FREE offers if you should get them. They will lead to unnecessary and unknown charges on your statement.
These and all others that you find must be reported to your local bank and authorities. Hopefully, they will be able to help you. If not, then take it to your attorney general in your state. If you do not do this, others will be scammed too and those who are doing this will reap much money. Then, they will switch to another product or sales pitch. In any case, these are scams and must be reported.
If you have others that you would like to include, please go to my comments section and send them to me. People will be able to access the comments section and be warned like I am warning you.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The Witch Hunt Continues
One of the things that really makes me mad is the way those "in the know" in Washington, DC, like to get in there and try to pick at certain people until they crack. If not, they at least succeed in running people out of town whether it was warranted or not. Today, the witch hunt is on Karl Rove again. All I can say there is, if the person or persons who are throwing all these critical statements, aka Dems mostly, are seeking dirt, then I certainly hope that their little political and personal closets are squeaky clean, which I doubt.
I have had it with this process. Yes, we supposedly live in a free country. Well, it's free as long as you play by the rules of those in power. I have no idea whatsoever whether Karl Rove is innocent or guilty. However, he is being torn apart in the MEDIA again...and again. What strikes me as interesting is that there are few dems getting this treatment. Is someone actually going to lead the American public to believe that there are NO dems that have skeletons in their closets? Oh please. Yet, the sheep follow the largest, supposedly the most reasonable voice, whether it's right, wrong, destructive or honest and helpful.
At this point, we are talking about attorneys being fired for apparently not doing their jobs. My take on this whole process is that this President is a lame duck, meaning he is not allowed to run again for this office. Therefore, he is doing what he must to preserve his role in history. During his watch, our country had the worst nightmare happen. Not his fault. At that time, the country came together in unity because we had a common foe. How soon we forget. Now, the ankle biters and the backside biters are out in full. After all, it's almost an election year. The dems want back in power in the White House and they think they can get it by bringing up or manufacturing all the dirt they can find. It would be amusing if it weren't so immoral and cold.
For those who really like the front running candidates, please check them out carefully. Not everything is as it seems. It never is in Washington. The thought for the day in that town is "cover your backside". These people are good at it. If not, they don't get to keep their jobs. Hey, these are the same people who are writing bills and making law!!! Are we sure that we want that type of person in Washington? Uh, good luck, if you believe in such things which I don't. Frankly, I suspect that we, as voters, would have to clean the town out almost in order to get honesty and integrity. It appears to be mostly missing. A recent exception is General Peter Pace. (See my other posts on him)
I recall reading in the Bible that there would come a time when men's hearts would grow cold. I think we have arrived. The dems are out for blood. The sad part is that they are taking too many of the rest of us with them. I do not endorse the republicans or the democrats. I have found good people in both parties. But I can see a blood fest when it's in front of our noses. Unfortunately, much of the American public may not....until it is too late. WAKE UP, AMERICA!!! This is your Shame!! I believe that there are still things about the front runners that will shock you. DO NOT SIMPLY TAKE SOMEONE'S WORD FOR WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE. Seek the information on them for yourself. Quit letting the MEDIA and the politicians be the only ones to tell you what is going on. Find out!! Make informed decisions. When you do, go to the polls and VOTE THESE PEOPLE OUT!!!!!
Monday, March 12, 2007
More Heads Roll Over Walter Reed Debacle
Thursday, March 08, 2007
FBI Oversteps With Patriot Act?
This is another Shame of America post, like it or not. It seems that the FBI has been underreporting it's use of the Patriot Act in order to force businesses to turn over records of their customers in a terrorist investigation. While the Patriot Act does appear to give such agencies broad scope in what they can do, it was obviously not enough for the FBI. Why not? They can practically do what they want now. Yet, that didn't do it for them. They had to go beyond that, allegedly.
The article states that a report from the Justice Dept., due out Friday, is blistering in it's assessment of the FBI's actions. In addition to forcing businesses to work with them, they were telling telecommunications companies that they would follow-up on this but never did.
Apparently, the FBI is allowed to send out national security letters in terrorism cases that do not have to have approval by a judge. These letters require businesses, telephone companies, credit bureaus, banks, internet service providers to provide very personal information about subscribers and customers.
I don't know about you but I do not feel that they should have the right to do this without approval of some judge somewhere. Of course, having seen what judges do, it is likely irrelevant anyway but it would be nice if they simply did not have all that power without some type of checks and balances.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A blistering Justice Department report accuses the FBI of underreporting its use of the Patriot Act to force businesses to turn over customer information in terrorism cases, according to officials familiar with its findings.
The report, to be released Friday, also says the FBI failed to send follow-up subpoenas to telecommunications firms that were told to expect them, according to several government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report by the Justice Department's inspector general had not yet been released.
Overall, the FBI underreported the number of national security letters it issued by about 20 percent between 2003 and 2005, the officials said. In 2005 alone, the FBI delivered a total of 9,254 letters relating to 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Walter Reed Debacle Fueling Dems
As is highly predictable, the democrats are using the Walter Reed debacle to slam the President again on his Iraq policies. With more and more people turning against our involvement in the war, criticism from the very people who approved of it in the first place is gaining tremendous strength. And of course, the dems are crying "failure, failure, failure" at the Bush administration.
Tuesday, President Bush told the American Legion that he was appointing a bipartisan committee to look into the mistreatment of wounded troops. He also directed the Veteran Affairs head to set up a task force to probe into the treatment of American troops in medical facilities. To cap the day, President Bush is inviting the press to a naturalization ceremony for 5 wounded soldiers.
The underlying problem here is that those who knew about this outrage should have acted on it. Sending troops to war is necessary. Taking care of them after they are wounded is essential and an obligation that we cannot shirk as Americans. How our troops are treated is vitally important to them, their families and to the US as a whole. How can we, in good conscience, call ourselves Christian, humane and compassionate if we are not that to our own troops??? What is it going to take in this country to wake America UP!!!!!
Make no mistake, it would be WRONG, WRONG, WRONG to bring home the troops right now. We are in this war. We are committed. If we do NOT win this thing, we are history as a respected country. The world opinion of us is deep in the hole now. How can we turn our backs on those we have committed to defend? It is our own fault that we are not respected now. This did NOT come with this particular President. It came way back when we turned tail and ran from the Vietnam war. We GAVE UP!! After all of those precious boys, men and women lost their lives, we snuck out of town. There are other places where we did the same. Do you honestly think that if we do this again, we will be respected, honored or treated as heroes?? No way. We will be second class. We call them third world countries. Some day, we will be that to them. Unless we change the tide NOW, RIGHT NOW!!!
How can we change our standing in the world? Get a grip, finish what we started in Iraq. You may not agree with the administration but we MUST finish what we have started. We were giving these people hope. You, who want to take the troops out, want to rip hope out from under them. You want to take their lifeline and cut it. Where is the humanity in that? I saw it today in a survey. The question was:
Do you think Congress should pass legislation requiring U.S. troops to come home from Iraq within six months if Iraqi leaders fail to meet promises to reduce violence?
And how many of the voters said yes? TOO MANY. You are believing the MEDIA hype. You are listening to the rhetoric of politicians who have agendas. These people are seeking office. Of course, they are going to tell you what you want to hear!! Get a clue, America!!!! When are you going to see the real enemy? Probably when it's already too late. That is not that far off.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats are using the uproar over Walter Reed Army Medical Center as their latest cudgel to batter President Bush for his Iraq war policies as the administration shows signs it fears political damage from the revelations.
Reports of patient neglect and shoddy outpatient rooms at the hospital have brought Army brass to Capitol Hill to explain and apologize. Bush's handling of the war has been widely unpopular with voters, and reports about Walter Reed come on the heels of his decision to send more troops to Iraq - which has also met a negative response from the public.
Democrats are stepping up their anti-war rhetoric and casting Walter Reed as the latest Bush administration failure in planning for the war and other contingencies.
Perhaps it is time to get on our collective knees and pray to God that our country is still standing in a few months. It doesn't look too good from here.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Man Jailed For Surveilance
A landlord in Oneida, N.Y., has taken things a bit too far this time. Believe me, I have had landlords almost like this guy. Anyway, the landlord was in court Thursday for having hidden cameras in his tenants' apartments so he could watch as they had sex. His sentence was 2-6 years in state prison for four felony counts of unlawful surveillance. I think he got off pretty lightly. He said he was sorry. Uh huh. Oh, and there was one more little thing about the guy. He was a retired Fire Chief. Nice.
ONEIDA, N.Y. - A central New York man was sentenced Thursday for installing hidden cameras in his tenants' apartments so he could spy on them while they had sex.
Patrick Kaiser, 49, of Oneida, was sentenced to two to six years in state prison. He was convicted in December of four felony counts of unlawful surveillance.
He was sentenced in Madison County Court, Kaiser told the judge he was sorry for installing cameras in an apartment so he could spy on his tenants while they had sex.
Here's the thing. If we do any surveilance, we are as likely to get into hot water as not. Yes, there are circumstances where we are able to lawfully do surveilance but we run the risk of being sued or being in trouble with the law one way or another. However, the government is allowed by law to do this and it is perfectly legal. Why? Because they are doing so in the name of national security!
Is America going to wake up? We must!!! If we do not, SHAME ON AMERICA!!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Atheists Battle Christians
This country was founded on Christian beliefs and Christian values. I do admit that it has gone considerably downhill from that awesome beginning. Today, you have so many laws against the very things that the founding fathers had claimed when the country began so many years ago.
A disclaimer: I am not "homophobic". I am not pro-abortion. I am not an atheist. I am a Christian. I am pro-life. I am a firm believer in truth and honor.
At this time, atheists are trying, at the Supreme Court level, to claim that faith based initiatives violate separation of church and state. The trouble here is there is NO SUCH THING as separation of church and state. The constitution is clear in that it talks about the government not having a right to start or run a church. It does not say anything about separating the state FROM the church. In fact, the founding fathers were quite interested in making sure that the government stay in line WITH the Christian values they had at the time.
The reason I had the disclaimer is because at this time I think that the atheists are going to get a small foothold just like the gays did with gay liberation. It was a small group but they made a lot of noise. Now, though I do not agree with the gay movement, they are a voice in our country. If you do not believe that, simply check out how many shows on TV talk about that very thing, even in sitcoms.
Atheists are a small group but they choose to have a large voice and, due to the MEDIA yet again, they are heard with a seemingly louder voice than should be. Yes, they have a right to a voice too. Yet, my voice in only heard here, online on my website and in this blog. Perhaps someday, I will be heard round the world but, today, the atheists are heard. I would not mind except that they are trying to break down the very reasons that this country was formed.
Atheists Battle Christians (the media says "people of faith". Guess it's not politically correct to be Christian anymore. And it has begun.)
March 4, 2007 — This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case brought by a group of atheists who claim the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives violates the separation of church and state. It's just one example of how atheists are becoming increasingly assertive — arguing not only that religion is false, but also a threat to civilization.
Outside the court, atheists and people of faith squared off. Inside, the Freedom From Religion Foundation made its case against the president's pet program.
We are going to fall from within. The United States cannot take too many more hits before it cracks. Soon, we will see our freedoms go completely. Those of us born and raised here do not know or most likely understand what it is like to be enslaved and suppressed. Even those people who come from slave backgrounds do not totally understand this because those in their family who went through this are no longer here.
Isn't it time for the Christians (people of faith) to rise up and be counted? Time for us to get a voice, one that we have silenced for too many years. Time for us to show who we are, children of the King! If you have been doing something, do more. If you haven't done anything yet, find a way and do it. If you are unsure if God wants this, grab a Bible. God wants us to believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. He wants us to be the authority on this earth. It was His plan in the beginning for us to own it!!! Now we must take it back.
If you have questions or would like more info on Christianity, please come to my website,
Lura's Bookcase . Thank you.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
General At Walter Reed Fired From Job
From the Shame of America column, Walter Reed top administrator has been fired for the incredibly poor conditions at that hospital that houses our wounded Vets. In a place where the medical care should be topnotch there were roaches, mold, mice, rot and incredible red tape that would do an IRS agent proud. Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, the top man at the medical facility, got canned for not being on top of the multitude of problems that had cropped up. He had only been at the facility for about six months. (You thinking what I'm thinking here? The problems at Walter Reed more than likely did not start with the General. He simply could not deal with the overwhelming difficulties that arose. I am sure that the problems were there to start with.)
At this point, the hospital is about to face new allegations that it has had troubles for a long time and knew about them and did nothing. While they are awaiting news of a Pentagon review of the facility, soldiers housed there are expected to wake at 6am and be prepared for "unusual daily inspections" at 7am. Some believe that this is a form of punishment due to trouble caused by bringing in the media.
March 1, 2007 — The Army today fired the top administrator at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, following embarrassing news reports that prompted a Defense Department probe of an outpatient center for roach and mice infestation, mold, rot and nightmarish red tape.
Although a 45-day Pentagon review has only started, Army officials informed Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman this morning that the nation's oldest military service had "lost trust and confidence in the commander's leadership abilities to address needed solutions for soldier-outpatient care" at the hospital. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey made the decision yesterday, Army officials said.
Once again, there is a difference in what the soldiers that are right there are saying and what the "official" take on the problem is. Personally, I believe that the soldiers are getting crappy care and that the government is trying to minimize the impact of what we are doing to our wounded vets. This is truly a Shame Of America. Our vets should be taken care of so well that they can't do anything but praise the hospital for it's care and concern. But that is not how this works.
This is Shame of America in action again.
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.
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?
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.