Thursday, June 28, 2012

NY and Chris Christie: FAIL

I'm generally a Chris Christie supporter, on most issues, typically financial, but he and the state of NY completely fail on this issue. Minor amounts of marijuana are a menace to society, HOW EXACTLY?
Some college kid gets high in his dorm room, some adult in their own house, gets high on pot.


You drink in your own house, don't you? Alcohol is a drug. What is the difference between alcohol and pot? Pot, easily the less dangerous of the two, is illegal. How does this make sense? How does it harm or injure me or society as a whole when someone else possess and uses some marijuana?!?!?! It doesn't. Period. Furthermore the proposed laws keep recreational users out of jail where they sometimes wind up and where they receive the criminal record that will lessen their job prospects. THIS IS BACKWARDS.

We should be keeping otherwise hardworking, law-abiding citizens IN SOCIETY, WORKING AND PRODUCING AND PAYING TAXES, not taking them OUT of society, COSTING TAXPAYERS MILLIONS IN FEEDING AND CLOTHING PEOPLE WHO CAN FEED AND CLOTHE THEMSELVES. Have you seen the Federal and state budgets? Do you mean to tell me that we need to find ways to spend MORE MONEY WE DON'T HAVE!?!?!

Jesus, civil rights advocates have, FOR YEARS, been screaming to get small time drug users (not dealers) out of JAIL and into rehab, if necessary (and many of them can afford to pay for the program themselves), again, SAVING YOU MONEY.

Furthermore, any rejection of this idea, at both the Federal and State level is nothing more than the lawyers and the cops afraid that their respective businesses will take a hit when they can't bust people for harmlessly smoking a joint, and fighting the charge - essentially a lot stupid busy work. Because there simply is NO GOOD REASON that stands up to criticism as to why possession of a little weed should be CRIMINALIZED.

How many people die a year from Marijuana? 0.
How many people a year die of alcohol or tobacco? Just tobacco: 435,000

More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.1,2
And no, I don't smoke anything, personally I find it to be disgusting and unhealthy.

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Of Vice and Men - New York Weed Bill Dies & Chris Christie's Veto Threat
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

State of Medicine: DISMAL

This just in: YOUR HEALTH IS A FOR-PROFIT INDUSTRY. That means "health care" companies want you to pay in as much as possible to them, receive as little treatment and medicine as possible (keeping their expenses down) and die soon after getting sick. WAKE-UP.

Survey Results
June 2012
The survey was conducted by fax and online from April 18 to May 22, 2012. DPMAF obtained the office fax numbers of 36,000 doctors in active clinical practice, and 16, 227 faxes were successfully delivered. Doctors were asked to return their completed surveys by fax, or online at a web address included in the faxed copy. Browser rules prevented doctors from filing duplicate surveys, and respondents were asked to provide personal identification for verification. The response rate was 4.3% for a total of 699 completed surveys.
  • Doctors from 45 states responded, in addition to 130 who did not provide their geographical information.
  • Most are in solo or small group practice (81%) and office-based (89%) versus hospital-based (11%).
  • Most of the doctors are mid-career (77%) and have been in practice between 11 and 30 years.
  1. Almost unanimous that medicine is on the wrong track, and overwhelmingly blame the government;
  2. Government-imposed solutions (PPACA, electronic health information) destined to fail;
  3. Highest numbers ever opting out of Medicare or refuse Medicaid;
  4. Vacuum in leadership in medical profession, feel abandoned by AMA & organized medicine;
  5. Corporate medicine (including hospital and insurance companies) is intentionally trying to destroy private practice;
  6. Doctors are pessimistic - failing financially & assume things will worsen;
  7. See doctors and patients as the solution - not government;
  8. Believe direct payment by patients will restore accountability & patient control;
  9. Restored autonomy, elimination of government involvement, increased patient responsibility and free market reforms are solutions.
  • 90% say the medical system is on the WRONG TRACK
  • 83% say they are thinking about QUITTING
  • 61% say the system challenges their ETHICS
  • 85% say the patient-physician relationship is in a TAILSPIN
  • 65% say GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT is most to blame for current problems
  • 72% say individual insurance mandate will NOT result in improved access care
  • 49% say they will STOP accepting Medicaid patients
  • 74% say they will STOP ACCEPTING Medicare patients, or leave Medicare completely
  • 52% say they would rather treat some Medicaid/Medicare patient for FREE
  • 57% give the AMA a FAILING GRADE representing them
  • 1 out of 3 doctors is HESITANT to voice their opinion
  • 2 out of 3 say they are JUST SQUEAKING BY OR IN THE RED financially
  • 95% say private practice is losing out to CORPORATE MEDICINE
  • 80% say DOCTORS/MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS are most likely to help solve things
  • 70% say REDUCING GOVERNMENT would be single best fix.
Respondents were allowed to submit open-ended comments, and 178 did so. This discussion incorporates comments that are representative of those submitted.
1.Culture of Frustration
An overwhelming 9 out of 10 doctors say they think that the U.S. medical system is “on the wrong track,” and 8 out of 10 say that current changes make them think about quitting. Only 5% say that they are “re-energized” by the changes. These are all-time high numbers since the 1960’s. Said one doctor from Alaska: I feel sorry for those who are valiantly trying to practice good medicine in such a dysfunctional system,” while others point out concerns about the coming crisis for the most sick and the poor as doctors bail out of the system.
Other representative comments include:
I have been in practice for 28 years and medicine is now the worst for doctors it has ever been.” Orthopedist, TX
“I would not consider letting my teenagers become physicians. My husband is also a physician.” Anesthesiologist, WI
“Medicine is circling the drain. Heaven help us as we all age.” Sports Medicine, KS

2. Declining Patient-Doctor Relationship
Doctors lament the deteriorating patient-doctor relationship, once held sacred as the lynchpin of quality, compassionate medical care, with 85% saying that the relationship is declining, and only 10% say it is at least holding steady.
One respondent from Missouri writes: “Medicine is no longer about treating and taking care of patients. I spend more time telling patients about additional paperwork they need to fill out.”
Doctors largely blame their loss of control over their practices for that declining relationship, as 9 out of 10 say they have LESS autonomy than they expected to have when they started practicing. “Get back to the doctor patient relationship. Eliminate all the middle men parasites” (Family Practice, AZ)
Another threat to the relationship is the doctors’ inability to guarantee patient privacy in this era of electronic medical records (EMR).  Two out of 3 answer that electronic medical records (EMR) compromise medical privacy and confidentiality. “Electronic medical records should be trashed or at least not connected to outside electronic world to help avoid confidentiality abuse” writes a neurologist from Missouri. As might be expected, psychiatrists are the most vocal in their opposition;  one from Texas says "doctors have to fight for patients’ rights to control the flow of their health information in electronic health systems.” Another from Massachusetts sees no wiggle room: “EMR has no place in a psychiatric practice.”
Others point out how the electronic medical systems interfere with doctor-patient communication: “Patients are constantly complaining about my colleagues being too rushed, looking only at the EMR and ‘not caring’ about them,” writes an endocrinologist from Florida.
3. Ethics vs. Money
Doctors say that they are frequently caught in a bind of choosing between practicing at the highest ethical level that puts their patients first and the relentless pressure to ratchet down costs. They say the difficulty is exacerbated by government regulations and insurance company contracts that micromanage their medical decisions.  Six out of 10 say it is getting harder to adhere to the Hippocratic ethic of medicine, while only 2% say it is getting easier.
One-third report it is about the same, but cross-tabs of results show that many of those are doctors who are in independent, direct practices with no insurance contracts and no participation in government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, where they have no third-party interference nipping at their heels.
Doctors also believe that cost-cutting tactics imposed by government are unlikely to do so, and even if they do accomplish some short term savings, will do so at the long-term cost of quality of care. Seven out of 10 say “Pay-For-Performance will NOT reduce costs, and 2 out of 3 say it will NOT improve quality of care.
The use of so-called “physician extenders” may cut costs, but doctors say again, that patients will suffer the consequences. Two out of 3 say that giving nurses more responsibilities will worsen the quality of care.

4.Too Many Hands in the Cookie Jar While Doctors Squeak By
One of the most dominant themes in the open-ended comments was the negative impact of third-parties contracts, whether with and with the government or insurance companies. Doctors believe that too many people are skimming their cut of health care dollar without providing any useful service or actual medical care, while paying doctors less and less. And they say that the impact on patient care is devastating.
Writes one from Pennsylvania: “[Insurance] overanalyzing physician decisions with non-qualified RNs is tedious and delays really necessary treatment.” And from an orthopedist in Minnesota: “Doctors have lost control and are being told what to do by hospitals, insurance companies and the government who only care about money – not patients.”
These concerns are reflected in doctor’s financial circumstances. Two out of 3 say they are either just squeaking by or are losing money, and 51% expect that to worsen in the next 5 years.
Doctors describe the “hassle factor” and see it as an intentional tactic by insurance companies and the government to squeeze more money out by delaying payment to the doctors:
“…using hassle factor tactics is actually part of their business plan. (hassle ---> frustration ---> patient drops complaint & pays more - and during the period in question, the money in play earns interest for the insurance company)” - Geriatrician, NY
Lawyers are tied for third place with third-party payers in the rankings of who is most to blame for the current problems in medicine, and tort reform was a close fourth for what would most improve medicine. “Ban ambulance chasing lawyers from advertising and encouraging lawsuits with no risk to plaintiffs,” writes one doctor.

5. The Endangered Species & The Corporatization of Medicine
“Medicine has become big business and doctors have become workers who are exploited by big business.” (Psychiatrist, CT)
Doctors say private practice is looking like an endangered species, to be run out of business by the increasing power of corporate medicine. Ninety-five percent say medicine is becoming too controlled by large corporations, including giant hospital systems, large hospital-controlled groups and what they view as collusion of corporate medicine and insurance. “What a mess…hospitals that have become corporate and want ALL of the money they can get from EVERY patient at EVERY encounter” writes a family practitioner in Florida.
Traditionally lone wolves, doctors in solo- or small-group private practice feel mounting pressure to join large groups or hospital systems because of economics and the preferred deals they can negotiate with insurance companies. Others are looking to “share the pain” of the regulatory and administrative burdens. A California general surgeon says “I was in solo private practice for 20 years before reluctantly taking a salaried job at our county hospital.”
They also point out that doctors previously ran the hospitals, but that now the corporate-system hospitals pull the strings, all to the detriment of patients. “The power of hospitals is huge and has destroyed physician's autonomy and his ability to demand improvements in health care,” write a general surgeon in North Carolina. And from a family practitioner: “When the airlines were taken over by business instead of being run by pilots, the industry went to hell. Same thing has happened to ‘healthcare’-- doctors used to run hospitals and their practices. Now they are ‘providers.’
A good number are responding by bailing out of private practice and the accompanying hassles of running their own business in exchange for the security of mid-level salaried positions as employees of those systems: “As a solo doc, I am being forced out of my practice by the bureaucracy…Those that suffer will be the patients” (Ophthalmologist, PA)
One doctor sums it up with his apology: “I sold my soul to a hospital. Sorry!”

6. Leadership Vacuum & the Faltering AMA
Doctors have very little expectation of any support or solutions from organized medicine and their professional associations. More than half (57%) gave the American Medical Association a failing grade – an F – for the job it has done representing them and their concerns. A “D” was awarded by 17%, and only 3% deemed their work to be worth an A. “The AMA sold out,” says a pain management specialist in Missouri, and others made veiled references to reports of the AMA’s “deal” for their support of the Affordable Care Act:
“There should be much less cronyism and favoritism between medical organizations and government. The PPACA is a monstrous bill designed to give government COMPLETE control over our lives…” (Endocrinologist, FL)
National specialty groups and state/local medical societies fared a little better, earning ranking of “C.”
But the doctors did single out a few groups for high marks – most of them engaged in political advocacy, such as the Christian Medical Association, Physicians for a National Health Plan, Docs 4 Patient Care, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and the Doctor Patient Medical Association.
While the public positions of most professional associations are largely unpopular with the doctors, many are afraid to speak out. One out of 3 says they are hesitant to voice their opinions about health care politics, policy or legislation because of reaction from their patients, colleagues or administrators.
7. Separation of Medicine and State
Hands-down, doctors blame government involvement in medicine for the current problems in medicine, and are not shy to say they want it out. Two out 3 doctors ranks government involvement as the top reason, one-half rank health plans/insurance as the top reason (see #8 below), and third-party payers and lawyers are tied for the third highest ranking at 40%.
The reasons cited range from the deluge of regulatory compliance that siphons time away from patient care, to de facto rationing achieved through complex payment schemes, to cushy relationships that favor corporations and special interests in medicine:
Unfortunately as regulations have increased there has been a direct impact on the cost of care increasing.” (Anesthesiologist, KY)
“American healthcare is finished. The damage done by government/corporate control is irreversible…Only the powerful will have decent medical care (government employees)
Neurologist, FL
“Government gets away with rationing by making doctors the scapegoats when someone alleges that an ACO made a profit by skimping on care.” (Internal medicine, NH)
They say that the government second guesses them and treats them like cogs in a machine. “I did not go to school for 25+ years to be computer programmer for Federal Govt.” writes a Florida ophthalmologist.
Doctors say that a key government provision in the Affordable Care Act – the huge expansion of Medicaid enrollees – is likely to backfire, as almost half (49%) say they will stop accepting Medicaid payments.
Medicare draws even more complaints. Three-quarters (74%) say they will stop accepting new Medicare patients or leave it completely. Another 27% say they will start restricting services to their current Medicare patients. “I wish I could opt out completely,” writes one. Another: “Will stop as soon as I can afford to.”

Surprisingly, it’s not just the lower payments that send them running, as 52% report that they would or might be willing to treat some of those patients for free. “I  want to focus on what is best for my patients and not what a government official deems cost effective...I would be willing to do charity care weekly for the poor and underinsured if there was tort reform,” writes a family practitioner in Washington state.
Not surprisingly, 71% of the doctors say that reducing government regulations and mandates is “most important” to improve medicine right now. (Second highest is “increased patient responsibility.” See # 9 below).
“Only the free market will fix this mess. We need to eliminate government and government-protected corporate greed from medical care.” (OB/GYN, TX)
“Less government will mean better and less expensive medical care. Government is the problem. Are there any long term Government run programs that aren't riddled with inefficiency and corruption?”(General Surgeon, IL)
“The federal government needs to get the HELL out of the practice of medicine. Here's the bottom line: you cannot give away free medical care. Until they stop entitlements, this whole system is doomed, unfair, and chaotic.”(Internal Medicine, WA)
“Government at any level should have no role in medicine except medical licensing and business licenses. Period!” (Orthopedist, MN)

8. Insurance vs. Medical Care
Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not – that a piece of paper that says you are “covered” by insurance, or “enrolled” in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through bureaucratic hoops. The major problem is the politicians equating health ‘insurance’ with ‘health care,’” writes a family practitioner.
About three out of 4 (72%) say the ACA individual insurance mandate is unlikely or will not improve access to actual medical care.
And they report that insurance companies are often barriers to reforms that would give patients tools to find and negotiate for more affordable care. Fifty-nine percent would post prices or consider posting them, but 40% report that their insurance contracts gag them from disclosing prices.
But the crucial issue for the doctors is that third-party payment by insurance companies instead of direct payment from payments not only increases the costs care by adding compliance costs for them, but also hands over power to the insurance companies to ‘call the shots’ and micro-manage treatment through the power of the purse. I spend 6-8 hours weekly trying to get insurance companies to cover most of the cost of medications that my patients need,” writes one psychiatrist.
Other comments:
“Decrease power of insurance companies to dictate health care.” (General Surgeon, MN)
“[We] take time away from patient care to do coding for the benefit of insurers. (Neurologist, MO)

9. Patient, Heal Thyself
Doctors say that many problems in health care could be fixed if patients would get more involved, take more responsibility for their health, and pay for their care themselves instead of asking doctors and other medical professionals to file the insurance claims and wait for payments. “More patient involvement” was ranked as a “most important” factor by 68%, just behind reducing government regulations and mandates.
“Patients would be more thoughtful consumers if they had more ‘skin’ in paying for health care. This is why lots of patients who never took generics are now taking them.” (OB/GYN, OH)
“Patients need to take responsibility for their own good health. They should not believe that they can live any lifestyle they desire and have others pay for their health misfortunes that result from this lifestyle.”
(Anesthesiologist, TX)
“The best chance for controlling cost is limiting government interference and increasing patient responsibility for cost. If the patient pays at time of service and files an insurance claim on their own, it reduces the likelihood of superfluous utilization, AND reduces insurance company denials since the patient is following up on their own claim. Also, removing insurance purchasing from employers makes insurers responsible to policy holder, not employers.” (General Surgeon, GA)

10. Physician 2.0: Back to the Future
Many doctors seem to have reached a tipping point and are ready to rally against forces they see as threats to medicine. “I think that the doctors need to stand up and fight with a united front instead of taking these changes lying down,” writes a podiatrist in Florida.
One of the ways of fighting back gaining traction is to change the very structure of their practices. Even though private practice is under tremendous pressures, doctors believe a return to direct practices as a way to restore ethical, affordable medicine, and to put patients’ back in the driver’s seat along with their doctors.
A cardiothoracic surgeon in Florida spells it out:
“The most important thing would be to eliminate third party payments. Patients and physicians should decide what tests need to be done and what treatment will be administered. The patient should pay the physician for service. Whether they then get reimbursed is between the patient and the third party payer. This would put patients and physicians in charge.” (Cardiothoracic Surgeon, IA)
Doctors want patients to value their services as they would any others. Explains one:People pay for car repairs before they get their car without problems. If people paid for their care they would get better care.” And another: “Women spend hundreds on hair treatments and give a tip on a regular basis.
It’s clear that doctors are ready to team up with patients to create a new/old paradigm. “Physician 2.0” is a reinvention of the old time country doc, and those who have already shifted into it express the most satisfaction with medicine. Four percent of the survey respondents report they have already moved to direct practices:
“I am opted out [of Medicare & Medicaid] and cash based for 12 years now as an internal medicine practice. I have never been busier, deliver a high quality consultative product, am financially secure, and cannot wait to go to work every day..” (Internal Medicine, MN)
“I opted out of all insurance 6 years ago and really enjoy practicing medicine again. I have found that many people that do not have insurance are quite happy to pay a reasonable fee for their care.”(Family Practice, SC)
Based on this survey, more are expected to follow in their footsteps.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Mentoring Program: Don't Worry, Your Son is Excluded

Global mentoring program launched

Updated: June 21, 2012, 2:12 PM ET

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ESPN president John Skipper on Thursday announced a new collaboration between the State Department and espnW called the Global Sports Mentoring Program.
The program is part of the State Department's larger Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative, which is pushing to get more women and girls involved in sports to "experience the benefits of participation: improved health, greater self-esteem, and greater academic success."
"Our goal is to identify women worldwide who are emerging leaders in sports: coaches, managers, administrators, sports journalists, marketers, and then match them with American women who are the top leaders in these fields," Clinton said during Thursday's news conference. "Through mentoring and networking we want to support the rise of women sports leaders abroad, who, in turn, can help nurture the next generation of girl and women athletes."
The announcement coincides with Saturday's 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it be in athletics or academics.
"It is a great honor for us at ESPN to work with [Secretary Clinton] and to work with the State Department in this important program to empower girls and young women," Skipper said. "We at ESPN have long believed in the power of sports to improve lives. As Secretary Clinton pointed out, it is incontrovertible that young women who play sports have a greater chance of success in all facets of life."

Brandon Jacobs: Guerilla NFL Running Back and Dad

File under all men, especially athletes, are philandering monsters:

Brandon Jacobs bonds with fan

Updated: June 21, 2012, 2:58 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk |

Brandon Jacobs made good on a promise to repay a young fan who emptied out his piggy bank in an effort to keep the running back with the New York Giants.
According to The Sacramento Bee, Jacobs, a free-agent signee of the San Francisco 49ers, took 6-year-old Joseph Armento and his 4-year-old brother to Jump On In bounce house in Boonton, N.J., on Wednesday as a gesture of gratitude for Armento's desire to keep the running back with the Giants.
After the boys' mother, Julie, explained to Joseph why Jacobs signed with the 49ers, Joseph recently sent $3.36 to Jacobs with the hope of keeping him in Giants blue.
Jacobs was so touched by the gesture that he vowed to take Joseph to Chuck E. Cheese with his son, Brayden, when he returned to New Jersey to gather some of his belongings.
"He told me he really wanted to get out there with the kids," Julie Armento told The Bee. "He really wanted to enjoy it, and he did. It was amazing."
Jacobs played alongside the three boys for a couple of hours.
"It was just us in the whole place, and we were just going room to room -- just bouncing and flipping all over the place, hitting each other with balls, sweating, our shirts filthy," Jacobs told The Bee. "We were just dirty, stinky boys, you know?"
Jacobs was released by the Giants on March 9 after the two sides could not agree on terms of a restructured contract. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent after spending seven seasons with the Giants and winning two Super Bowls.
Joseph Armento did not get his wish of keeping his favorite running back in blue, but Jacobs gave one of his biggest fans a signed Giants helmet and memories he won't soon forget.
In turn, Jacobs said Armento's loyalty has motivated him.
"I'm at a point in my career when people have stopped believing in me and not believing that I can still play," Jacobs said. "But that's not the case. Joe believes in me, gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of want-to. And I'm ready to go. I can't wait until the season starts."
Jacobs also gave Armento a $5 bill to refill his piggy bank.
"He had some interest in there just for being a good kid," Jacobs said. "He's worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boston Globe: Thinking About... Dads?

On Father's day, the Boston Globe prints an article, on mobile, the leading article, about.....
Moms and spanking? Examine the link. Community/moms? And this is published on Father's day?
And the lead sentence suggests the author has been asking only MEN why they spank their children. Why do men spank.... in the community/mom's section? On Father's day? Then he aludes to the fact that if you do spank, someone can get your name and call social services and then the parent could lose their children to gestapo-style state workers who will label you a violent savage and steal your children. THAT PART IS TRUE. And should've been followed up on, but alas, was not. As for spanking, if you don't give your kids at least a few light taps (and most likely ONLY a few) to get their attention when they are deliberately ignoring you as a moody 3 and 4 year-old, then you're going to be brandishing fists with them at the age of 13 - that is from my grandfather, age 90, 1 of 10 children, father of 3 and grandfather to 6. He has successfully forecasted such events in my extended family for going on 4 decades.

Exclusive Magazine Preview

What if spanking works?

Studies show that most parents don’t want to hit their kids — and that some 90 percent do it anyway. Why even the most modern moms and dads can’t stop asking themselves the most controversial question in parenting.

(Henrik Sorensen/getty images)
By James H. Burnett III June 17, 2012

IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG for me to realize that asking a man why he spanks his children is like asking him when he stopped beating his wife.

I’d been trying to interview parents about spanking for weeks when I finally got the name of one mother who, as a friend we shared put it, had more opinions on the matter than Jimmy Durante had jokes. I gave the woman a call one day and began to explain what I was working on — that’s when she slammed down the phone.
A few moments later, she called back to apologize. “I’m at work — that is not a conversation to have around other people,” she hoarsely whispered. “I know you say a mutual friend told you to call me. But for all I know, you could be Social Services or something.” She insisted that I not call her again.
Things continued more or less like that with more than a dozen other people — uncomfortable silences, hang-ups, an astounding number of variations on “Thanks, but no, thanks” — until I reached Kevin Cargill, a 35-year-old real estate professional in Boston.
“I can’t lie, my wife and I do spank our daughters, and I’m not ashamed of it,” Cargill tells me with a nervous chuckle. He says spanking has sometimes been the only way to get through to his girls, who are now 12 and 13. “But at the same time, I can’t say that around everyone. It’s a serious thing, man. And there are people out there who’ll think you’re a beast if you admit to spanking.”
Countless debates at the edges of playgrounds may roil over how much screen time is too much and the right age to stop breast-feeding, but there’s no more radioactive topic in parenting today than corporal punishment. This despite the fact that it was almost universally accepted just a generation ago. These days, a mother in a mall parking lot who merely raises a hand above her youngster’s backside — the disciplinary equivalent of a poker player’s bluff — is sure to generate dirty looks and tsk-tsking from complete strangers. And if she dares follow through on the threat, she stands to lose friends and the respect of her colleagues and may even find herself the target of a state investigation.
Spanking your kids isn’t illegal in Massachusetts, or anywhere else in the United States, but that mother’s worry that I was an investigator was no idle concern. This was a lesson Don Cobble, former pastor of a Woburn church, learned the hard way.
In 1997, Cobble was investigated by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services over allegations that his discipline of his 9-year-old son had veered into abuse — a fine line made finer by the fact that Cobble used the strap of his leather belt. Two years later, the state’s highest court cleared Cobble’s name, but the damage to his reputation was long done. “Ours was not a huge community, so news spreads and friends quickly became former friends,” he says. “I guess what bothered me most was how many people turned on me, as though I was less than human after they found out.”Continued...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Action Film in Colorado: Your Rights Ignored, Trampled

What in the HELL is this filth!?!?!?  The local law enforcement down in Colorado saw, in their infinite wisdom, to barricade an intersection and start pointing shotguns at people, including handcuffing innocent people after removing them from their vehicles!?!?!?!

Calm down boys. You ain't Tommy Lee Jones, jumping out of helicopter's while slinging rope around the bad guys with sword drawn. First off, this is a small town bank robbery - meaning, in all likelihood, little money was stolen. Secondly, waving guns around IS AN INVITATION FOR OTHERS TO PANIC AND DO SOMETHING DRASTIC. Like what? Run, for one. Scream at you, QUICKLY REACH FOR I.D., and the like. When you've done nothing, the appearance of weapons is confusing and stimulates a broad variety of reactions, few of them good. Further some citizens may have outstanding tickets, warrants from another state for petty crime, or late child support payments. That would be typical. These otherwise law-abiding citizens may think this tremendous conflagration is meant for them and they may, in their stricken panic, flee or attack. They would then be tackled or shot by the surrounding officers (shot by these trigger-happy, Special Forces wanna-be's, most likely), causing a diversion and ALLOWING THE REAL VILLAIN TO ESCAPE.

That is why you do not INDISCRIMINATELY STORM A BUSY INTERSECTION WITH GUNS. You ascertain a physical description of the suspect and create a checkpoint. At worst, you stop the cars and look into them ONLY TO IDENTIFY PERSONS WHO FIT YOUR DESCRIPTION. Observe any suspects. Are they panicky? Nervous? ARMED? CARRYING LOTS OF CASH?!?!?! They just robbed a bank, dipshits. Its not like they're a soccer mom in a minivan. What are cops taught at the academy anyway? I could get a band of rogue thugs to arm themselves and assault an intersection of confused, unarmed civilians. Do Police use discretion and common sense?

Not in Aurora, Colorado, they don't.

Clusterfuck from top to bottom and more rights violated than I can count.


Also? When Tommy Lee Jones has Harrison Ford trapped in a car-filled tunnel in the movie "The Fugitive," he keeps everyone in their cars and shines a light in them, looking for his suspect. No civilians are removed or handcuffed. Not even in the movies. Morons.

June 5, 2012

Yeah, but They Caught the Bank Robber...

People stopped at an intersection in Aurora, Colorado, on June 2 suddenly found themselves staring at cocked and loaded guns held by police, were dragged out of their cars, handcuffed, with police demanding to search their vehicles, and then detained as criminals for two hours. In other words, they were arrested mass style because police "had a tip" that a bank robber was stopped at the light.
According to news reports:
Responding officers barricaded the area, trapping about 25 cars near the intersection. Then police went car by car and pulled out each occupant at gunpoint and handcuffed them.
What really is disconcerting is the lack of protest from the drivers to people making comments on the articles. The cops got a suspect, so everything was justified. Yet, when a cop points a gun at you, he is ready to blow you away, and if a child or even an adult had made a "suspicious" move, that person would have been shot to death and no doubt people would have found a way to justify that, too. Welcome to Amerika.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Agree with Mish: Bankrupting Taxpayers is No Talent

Below is a post from Mike "Mish" Shedlock. Mish is known for his outspoken criticism of Unions and raising taxes. And Mish is spot on. Facts are facts. Unions were brought in when labor laws in this country were weak or else non-existant. Look, the free market works, WHEN IT IS ALLOWED TO WORK. If a CEO wants to pay himself 16 million a year, first off, the shareholders should have him drawn and quartered, and second, another company can (and should) pay their CEO much less, and pass the savings on to get better employees, or else lower the cost of their products and over time the second company will pummel the first company as they will have a competitive advantage. There is no cheating the free market.
Below, the issue is one of unions that contain workers who work for the state, that is, the public. If unions, by threat of strike, are able to drive up their wages, is that good? 
 Good for whom? Its great for workers who are getting paid more for the same job. Its good if there is serious inflation and workers need the money to keep up with it. Its bad for the people paying the workers wages: and that would be the private sector. The private sector actually CREATES jobs as the private sector must sell something for which there is demand for. The public sector spends money that it collects FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR. So if the public sector spends more money, it must take more from the private sector, thus HURTING job creation and private sector growth. OR ELSE, the state must borrow more money - money that must be paid back AT INTEREST.

Posted: 06 Jun 2012 02:33 AM PDT
Congratulations to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker who became the first governor in US history to win a recall vote.

The New York Times reports Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Vote
Gov. Scott Walker, whose decision to cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers set off a firestorm in a state usually known for its political civility, easily held on to his job on Tuesday, becoming the first governor in the country to survive a recall election and dealing a painful blow to Democrats and labor unions.

Mr. Walker soundly defeated Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, the Democrats’ nominee in the recall attempt, with most precincts across the state reporting results. The victory by Mr. Walker, a Republican who was forced into an election to save his job less than two years into his first term, ensures that Republicans largely retain control of this state’s capital, and his fast-rising political profile is likely to soar still higher among conservatives.

The result raised broader questions about the strength of labor groups, who had called hundreds of thousands of voters and knocked on thousands of doors. The outcome also seemed likely to embolden leaders in other states who have considered limits to unions as a way to solve budget problems, but had watched the backlash against Mr. Walker with worry.

Voters went to the polls in droves, and some polling places needed extra ballots brought in as long lines of people waited. One polling location was so swamped, state officials said, that it found itself using photocopied ballots, which later had to be hand-counted. The final flurry of television advertising — with Mr. Walker outspending Mr. Barrett seven to one — seemed to have little impact on the outcome. Nearly 9 in 10 people said they had made up their minds before May, according to exit poll interviews.
Liberal fools and union sympathizers in Madison, Milwaukee, and the extreme Northwestern part of the state voted for the recall, but overall the county vote was 60-12 in favor of Walker.

For an interactive map of percentages, please see Wisconsin Recall Election Results

Public unions survive by coercion, threats, bribes, and vote buying. Cities and states are broke as a result. Even FDR agrees.

Message From FDR

Inquiring minds are reading snips from a Letter from FDR Regarding Collective Bargaining of Public Unions written August 16, 1937.
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.

The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.

A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.
For more on public union slavery, coercion, bribery, and scapegoating please see ...

Finally, actual Wisconsin results prove Union-Busting is a "Godsend"; Elimination of Collective Bargaining is the Single Best Thing one Can do for School Kids

It's time to implement national right-to-work laws and put an end to public union collective bargaining nationally.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Citizens Have.... Rights?

To defend their property and person from illegal intrusion from.... anyone?  Really? You mean, AS THE FOUNDING FATHER INTENDED WHEN THEY WROTE THE CONSTITUTION!?!?!?!?

Imagine that.

And No. Police Officers are not above the law.


If you are a cop and don't like this, THEN GET A DIFFERENT JOB.

   It's about damn time.
Every time police Sergeant Joseph Hubbard stops a speeder or serves a search warrant, he says he worries suspects assume they can open fire -- without breaking the law.
Hubbard, a 17-year veteran of the police department in Jeffersonville, Indiana, says his apprehension stems from a state law approved this year that allows residents to use deadly force in response to the “unlawful intrusion” by a “public servant” to protect themselves and others, or their property.
The solution this is simple: Don't undertake unlawful intrusions.

The issue arises because of a case in Indiana where the State Supreme Court held that you had no right to resist unlawful entry by the police.

That's patent nonsense.  An unlawful act by the police is exactly the same, in terms of the law, as that of an armed criminal.
Young cited a hypothetical situation of a homeowner returning to see an officer raping his daughter or wife. Under the court’s ruling, the homeowner could not touch the officer and only file a lawsuit later, he said. Young said he devised the idea for the law after the court ruling.
“There are bad legislators,” Young said. “There are bad clergy, bad doctors, bad teachers, and it’s these officers that we’re concerned about that when they act outside their scope and duty that the individual ought to have a right to protect themselves.”
That's exactly correct.

Unfortunately "authority" positions tend to attract sociopaths.  This is a fact; the person who is mentally unstable and seeking to show how "macho" he is will be attracted to a position that gives him a badge, a gun, and the "right" to abuse both.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that in virtually no case are police officers held personally to account for violations of citizen rights.  The usual "recourse" is to sue, but then you're suing yourself if you live in the jurisdiction, as your taxes will pay the judgment!

This is a crock, yet it is rare that the pigs (not police officers) involved in such illegal acts are personally charged and imprisoned for the same offense an ordinary citizen would face if he or she engaged in identical conduct.  This is even true in "relatively mild" cases where disparate treatment is common; there is an officer here in our county who was caught twice operating under the influence.  He was finally arrested after he crashed -- his previous DUI was "overlooked" and in addition he was investigated for aggravated assault with a firearm also involving the use of alcohol off-duty.  

You or I would have been arrested and prosecuted for both of those previous events.  He wasn't.
Never mind that suing is difficult when you're dead, as was discovered in Louisiana after Katrina.
That, incidentally, was one of the rare incidents in which actual criminal sanction was (finally) handed out, with the pigs involved being prosecuted for not only killing an unarmed man but also planting a gun on him in an attempt to justify their act of murder.

Let me be clear: There's a hell of a difference between a pig and a police officer.  A police officer acts within The Constitution and The Law.  He obtains a warrant before he performs a search.  He confines the use of "no-notice, no-knock" warrants to legitimate circumstances where imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm to uninvolved and innocent parties exist, rather than using them as a "show of force."  He takes responsibility for his or her errors, including "accidentally" raiding the wrong house and understands that if he does that he's in the wrong and runs the risk of being shot as he's unlawfully entering private property -- he is in fact an armed felon committing a breaking and entering!  This in turn drives said officer to be damned sure he's raiding the right address and to restrict said "raids" to those circumstances where they are utterly unavoidable -- and that's very, very rare.

I fully support police officers and the rule of law.

I spit on the shoes of pigs and their testosterone-laden Rambo re-enactments along with the "special treatment" that is so-often handed out when they violate the rights of citizens or simply break the law.

I'd love to believe in the rule of law providing sufficient recourse against unlawful acts by the cops but the fact of the matter is that it isn't and never can be, because if you're dead suing is cold comfort for your next-of-kin and the officers involved are almost never held to personal criminal account when they storm the wrong address in search of drugs (for which shutting off the water and power and demanding the occupants come out with their hands up is more than sufficient to prevent destruction of evidence) or otherwise abuse their badge and hardware in their testosterone-loaded fantasy re-enactments of Rambo.

We don't demand that you stand back and then sue if someone breaks into your house and rapes your wife.  You have a well-recognized unalienable right to end that assault via the use of force right there, right now.

The same right exists when the bad actor who is assaulting you illegally is using the emblem and weapons of government as a means of enabling his felonious conduct.