Firefox’s newest Add-on for Christians (and this may explain the hit count loss at The Daily Pitchfork… I’m just sayin’):
From the Developer:
Flee sexual immorality (1Co 6:18).
Christian Anti-Porn will filter links and alert the user if any porn websites are clicked. This will not completely block but rather display Bible verse with the crucified Jesus Christ and to remind every Christian that he is going to crucify Jesus Christ again if he proceeds to such websites.
This add-on is not an ultimate filter for porn. God is the ultimate filter and only He can guard you and give you enough grace to overcome sin. Hence, pray to Jesus Christ who died for our sins.
Localizations: English, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, French, German, Korean, Greek, Russian and Italian.
WARNING: This add-on is useful only for Christians. When other people saw Christ in them (followers of Christ), they called them as Christians. These are the true, Bible only, non-compromising Christians who are ready to give their lives to Christ and to live a sinless life. This add-on will be useless to anyone calling themselves as Christians and yet having no Christ in them. However, this add-on will be useful to anyone who wishes to come out of their false Christian livelihood to truly live in Christ without sinning esp. pornography on the Internet.
As I already said in description, this is not the ultimate porn filter. God is the ultimate porn filter, so pray to Him and He will give you the Holy Spirit who will convict you in your heart when you are about to sin. Ask Him His grace which will help you overcome any sin. God bless You.
I don’t pretend to understand Afghanistan, but I do know it’s a big, poor, backward Islamic country in Central Asia with all sorts of warring factions that have been at it for decades, or even centuries. I know that American soldiers have been fighting there for eight years and that the situation is still a huge mess.
And now President Barack Obama, after sending 21,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan in March, is set to announce next week that he’s going to send over another 30,000 or so, which will bring the total number of US troops in that big, poor, backward, bewildering, violent Islamic country to about 100,000.
I don’t know much about Afghanistan, but I’m pretty familiar with America, familiar enough to know that America is not up for this. I don’t know if it’s possible to pacify Afghanistan – or Pakistan, Iraq, Iran or anyplace else in the region. I don’t know if this can be done even with millions of American troops fighting for 100 years.
But I do know, as I think everyone knows or should know, that America is not ready to fight Islamism like it fought Nazism and Communism, which means that in its wars in the Middle East, America is destined to lose. The only question is how long these futile adventures will last.
Actually, America fought one war in the Middle East that was not seemingly futile, not at all – the one in 1991 against Iraq. That was a “necessary war,” to use Obama’s term for the mess in Afghanistan. Back then, Saddam Hussein invaded an American-allied country, he electrified the entire Middle East, he was bidding for control, direct or indirect, over two-thirds of the world’s oil – he had to be stopped and turned back.
So president George H.W. Bush set a very clear, reasonable goal – forcing Saddam out of Kuwait – then sent half a million soldiers to do the job, accomplished it in six weeks with minimal allied casualties, then brought the troops home, leaving Saddam and Saddamism in ruins. That was a so called “good war.” But Afghanistan? After 9/11, the Americans should have retaliated by carpet bombing select areas of that country, killing tens of thousands of people, terrorists and civilians both, to let al-Qaida, the Taliban and everyone in the Islamic world know that there is a terrible price to pay for attacking America and killing 3,000 innocents.
Instead, America decided to “transform” the region. The result is that another 5,000 Americans have been killed, soldiers this time, bombs are still going off every which way in Iraq, and now a new president, this one a liberal Democrat, not a Republican neocon, is driving deeper and deeper into Afghanistan.
And what about Pakistan? And Iran? Are they next? “All options are on the table,” says Obama.
AMERICA’S PROBLEM is that it still wants to be a military superpower but is no longer willing to pay the price in blood and money, so it tries to do it on the cheap and as painlessly as possible, and winds up fighting endless wars with impossible goals in distant, hellish places.
If the US were serious about taking on a military challenge of this scope, it would reinstate the draft. This isn’t Grenada they’re dealing with, this is an enemy with outposts across the Middle East, and parts of Africa too. And the US means to go to war against this enemy with a volunteer army that’s drawn from less than 1 percent of American families!
“The problem in this country with this issue [of Afghanistan],” said Democratic Congressman David Obey, “is that the only people who have to sacrifice are military families, and they’ve had to go to the well again and again and again and again, and everybody else is blithely unaffected by the war.”
The American people won’t stand for a military draft; it’s a taboo subject . They won’t even stand for a war tax; that’s another taboo. But neither will they stand for the idea that America is not a military superpower anymore. And nobody in that country, not even the messiah of change, has the guts to tell them that they can’t have it both ways.
So the US pretends it can fight World War III like Grenada, its army is so far beyond overextended that there isn’t a word for it, the country spends more and more billions of dollars that it doesn’t have, and this has been going on now for almost a decade.
At this point, is anybody confident that if and when the US gets out of Iraq, after all these years of horror and devastation, it will leave behind a stable, decent, more or less pro-American country?
Is anybody confident of such a happy end to the war in Afghanistan?
I don’t think so. I think if America knew right after 9/11 what it knows now, there is no way on earth it would have started these wars.
But now Obama wants more – not because he believes he can salvage the situation in Afghanistan, but because he’s afraid of what will happen if he abandons it to the likes of al-Qaida and the Taliban. Which is a very legitimate worry. I worry about that too.
But the only way the US can salvage Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Pakistan, or Iran, or any country in the Muslim world, is to fight like it fought every other major war in its history – with a draft, with war taxes, with a clear, reasonable goal and the readiness to pursue it to the end.
Is America up for that today? No, it’s not, I’m happy to say, because, like I said, even millions of American soldiers fighting for 100 years might not be enough to neutralize the threat of Islamism.
It’s fight or flight, which means the only choice left is flight. The US is not a military superpower anymore, and it’s just hurting itself and a lot of other people by pretending.
The time has come for America to wrap up these endless, failed third world wars.
It’s not going to be easy. And the worst part is that after Obama deepens America’s commitment with 30,000 new soldiers, getting out is going to be even harder.
Think what you will of Mr Bugliosi (and I can’t see how one cannot respect his win percentage, at the very least), but this is simple logical deduction. Anyone in their right mind can see something amiss… worthy of real investigations and prosecutions. It is only the very most gullibly ignorant or ideologically entrenched in protection of the criminals that deny it.
I have an enormous amount of friends who call themselves Christians. Being that I was raised and have lived most of my life in the south, I have been around the Bible Belt Christianity and have even been immersed in leadership positions within churches, so I have a first hand understanding of how Christianity works down south, by and large. A very good friend recently told me that no matter where in the world he goes, he can have amazing conversations and learn new things, but the moment he goes back home, it is almost as if entering in some medieval world of superstition and myths. I must concur that my home county/state is full of these religious fanatics (as opposed to “Christians). For there is a differentiation.
Let me say that most people are raving, yet unaware, hypocrites, by and large. Sure, they mean well coming from the understanding they have been taught by the fear mongers that control their lives (and sadly, the preacher man in the south has far more control than most people will admit). These preachers don’t get that superiority BS from their imaginations. They feed from those that lavish them with praise and undue respect (and money, homes, retirement accounts, etc). These “men of God” use every possible tactic to take money and control lives. This is just simple fact. Maybe not 100%, but to deny it happens on a large scale is ludicrous.
And in many cases one cannot even blame the preacher. If you had people stumbling all over you to praise you in your “position” of authority, it easily goes to one’s head (like in any human circumstance). Lavish praise and unadulterated sheople-like following would tend to make a person big headed.
So, recently I have had a few discussion regarding faith, especially when it comes to healthcare for all people.
I can’t help but think about the “Good Samaritan” story and how most (yes, MOST) Christians I have spoken with seem to believe that everybody should NOT be healed from their sicknesses, UNLESS they have the money to pay for it (none come right out and say this, except one, but the insinuation is inescapable).
“A Jewish man was travelling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.‘ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Does anyone else sense an unreconciled dichotomy here? Can anyone fully explain to me how one can follow Christ and NOT believe that sick people should be healed, even free of charge? Maybe ESPECIALLY free of charge, for if Christ had been asking for money, how many would consider Him a miracle worker?
How is it that Christianity has basically become the antithesis of the Good Samaritan? How did the followers of Christ become the priest and/or the “Temple assistant”? How is it that we pat ourselves on the back about how we help people in the world, yet we have no qualms about denying healthcare to the sickest of us.
Can you truly call yourself Christ-like, if you don’t do the shit He did?
The logic goes like this: giving free healthcare is immoral because God obviously is showing favor to rich people by giving to them the means to take care of themselves. For us to give to the poor (who are obviously NOT favored by God) is to do something immoral and against God. We simply cannot allow someone to get something for free. As if every human being that doesn’t have health insurance is a dead beat.
You see, these “Christians” have worked too damned hard to be giving away their heathcare that God favored them with. The others can just eat shit and die (or get a better relationship with God thru Creflo Dollar). Whatever!
I don’t know about you, but I am beginning to think that the people that most claim to be Christ’s are the ones that He will not know at the nut cuttin’ time.
As I have done before, I receive regular articles from Manufacturing & Technology News and wanted to post the article with my observations. To me, this simply points out that Corporatism rules this country and that those who are in control of corporations don’t give a single rat’s ass about the American workers or their well being (at least from their job perspective).
Corporations are anti-worker. Corporations are entities set up with one goal in mind: making the most profit for their share holders as possible. Period. They do this off of the backs of labor and always have.
So, when I read such stuff as Mr Farr writes (and Richard notes) like blaming government for the current fiasco, I have lived the last 30+ years watching corporations take off towards those “best cost countries” (aka cheapest labor and overhead possible). His blame is hollow when he and his ilk are just as responsible for this mess as any government official ever alive. And both parties are complicit.
I have been calling on Emerson Electric companies for 20+ years. I have actually sold Emerson Electric owned product and know first hand how cheap they are and how they run in to the ground any entity they buy up. So, Mr Farr, excuse me as I call your Bullshit for what it is… Bullshit.
By Richard McCormack
One of the country’s most important industrial companies says the United States is not a good place to manufacture and it will continue moving its assets offshore.
The federal government is “doing everything in [its] manpower [and] capability to destroy U.S. manufacturing,” says David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Co., in a presentation at the Baird 2009 Industrial Conference in Chicago Ill., on Nov. 11. In comments reported by Bloomberg, Farr added that companies will continue adding jobs in China and India because they are “places where people want the products and where the governments welcome you to actually do something. I am not going to hire anybody in the United States. I’m moving. They are doing everything possible to destroy jobs.”
In his Powerpoint presentation available on the Emerson Electric Web site, Farr notes that the federal government is damaging prospects for U.S. economic growth with a $1.41 trillion federal deficit (10 percent of GDP); $12 trillion in government debt that will grow to $20 trillion in 10 years; a policy of printing money; a “non-targeted $800-billion stimulus”; bailouts for Wall Street and the automobile companies; the prospect for cap and trade legislation; a “government takeover” of health care to the tune of more than $1 trillion; increasing taxes and regulations; and a “lack of U.S. $ support” for manufacturing. The global stimulus “soon will fade,” says Farr.
What does it mean for a company like Emerson? “We continue to increase our international and emerging market presence,” says Farr. The company has increased its emerging market sales by 19 percentage points over the past 10 years, from 13 percent of total sales in 1999 to 32 percent in 2009. It is now generating 55 percent of its sales from overseas operations, a figure that will grow to 60 percent by 2014, with 40 percent of total sales coming from emerging markets.
“Emerson’s investment in emerging markets is continuing to pay off with sales growth,” say Farr. In 1999, the company generated $12.4 billion in annual sales from mature markets and $1.9 billion from emerging markets. By 2009, sales from mature markets grew to $14.2 billion, while sales from emerging markets more than tripled to $6.7 billion.
The company projects sales from mature markets in 2014 of between $16 billion and $17 billion, while emerging market sales will reach almost $12 billion.
Between 1999 and 2009 “73 percent of growth is from emerging markets!” Farr exclaims. “More than 60 percent of our growth is expected to come from emerging markets over the next five years so Emerson will continue to invest in these key markets.”
In 2001, the company had 21 percent of its 360 manufacturing facilities located in “best cost countries.” Today, Emerson has 250 manufacturing locations and 36 percent of them are in “best cost countries.” That percentage is going to increase to more than 40 percent.
Emerson is following the money. Infrastructure investment in the United States now accounts for 21 percent of the global total of $12 trillion, down from 27 percent in 2004. Asia Pacific’s share of global infrastructure investment has increased from 18 percent of the global total in 2004 to 27 percent in 2009. That number is expected to continue going up — to 31 percent of global investment in 2014 and 37 percent in 2019.
The current recession has been destructive and the United States will have a hard time recovering, says Farr. U.S. job losses of 7.3 million to date are only slightly less than the total of the last four recessions combined (8 million). The current downturn is having a big impact on Emerson and its employees. The company has reduced its headcount by 15 percent. It has closed 55 facilities and has incurred $540 million in restructure expenses.
The 2001 recession was also tough on the company. It reduced its headcount by 14 percent, closed 75 facilities and incurred $437 million in restructuring expenses. “But the world did not change much,” says the Emerson CEO. With the current recession, “there will be some fundamental changes going forward.”
The company reported sales for its 2009 fiscal year ending in September of $21 billion, down from $25 billion in 2008 and $22 billion in 2007. It had an operating profit of $3.2 billion in 2009 (15 percent of sales).
I will say this. At least now we will see the true spirit of the Corporate Controllers of this country. What you, as a poor redneck just trying to make ends meet needs to know, these jobs will NEVER come back. The vast majority of jobs that have folded up (either for good or to move overseas to those “best cost countries”) are NEVER going to come back to the USA. If you had a decent paying job making parts for an American automotive company… sorry, your job is gone FOREVER. If you were lucky enough to move to an Asian automotive company, get ready to see your wages decrease (or NEVER increase to accommodate inflation). And when it gets bad enough, watch as these jobs disappear, as well.
We used to think that China was the “best cost country”, but I read recently that Mexico is now.
You think that is going to help your chances keeping a good job as these corporations (who ONLY care about the profits) move out even more over the next two years?
It is a snow ball rolling down hill and I see it growing and growing.
BTW: My comment on the article:
Comment: Mr Farr’s comments have a ring of BS to them. I have called on Emerson Plants for almost 20 years and have watched as they took every advantage of “best cost countries”, with NEVER a thought of the American worker in mind. This moving away was happening long ago and the fact is that government and Corporations are BOTH instrumental in this fiasco. Corporations control our government. This is so evident that surely there is no argument. So, Mr Farr, I see this as just another way for you to fulfill your obligations to make as much profit for your shareholders as you can. But do not think for a second that you can start this crap and think that everyone will believe it. Emerson Corp is set to make money… with or without Americans. I say you take your entire shebang elsewhere, then.
Thank Goodness. We finally have a month dedicated to the nincompoops who are still starry eyed and ignorant to what is happening to our country.
WASHINGTON—In an effort to combat what organizers are calling “our current epidemic of complete and utter obliviousness,” the American Foundation for Paying Attention to Things has declared December “National Awareness Month.”
“All across the country, millions of men and women are dangerously unaware,” AFPAT spokesperson Karen Teeling said during a press conference Monday. “What’s worse, the vast majority of those suffering from this debilitating state of mind don’t even know it.”
“That’s why this December we’re asking that all Americans stop whatever it is they’re doing, and take a moment to open their eyes for once—just once—in their lives,” Teeling added. “It’ll make all the difference in the world.”
According to AFPAT, planned events for National Awareness Month include a 10K charity walk, during which participants will be forced to actually interact and engage with the outside world for a change, as well as several advertising campaigns, which will help get the word out about things other than what currently happens to be playing on television.
Awareness-month organizers will also hand out large reflective ribbons, in hopes that, by wearing a 9-inch yellow reminder on their chests, citizens across the country might actually remember that something is going on.
“Obliviousness doesn’t discriminate,” said volunteer Robert Fargo, who added that his own father might still be alive today had he been more aware of his surroundings. “Adults, children, the elderly, those staring slack-jawed as their very existence rushes by—obliviousness can strike them all.”
Defined as the ability to realize what one is doing, to whom one is doing it, and what the consequences of doing it or not doing it may be, awareness is considered to be a major factor in a number of modern human endeavors, among them: decision-making, prioritizing, and just basically walking around without always bumping into things.
While lack of awareness—or “unawareness,” as the foundation calls it—has reached dangerously high levels across the nation, organizers said there are still steps that can be taken by everyone to address the issue.
“A simple self-exam once a month can greatly reduce the chances of becoming unaware,” AFPAT founder Michael Poe said. “First, position yourself in front of your bathroom mirror. Second, make eye contact with the reflection in the mirror. Now, while still maintaining eye contact, take three to five minutes to think about the fact that you exist as a human being.”
Added Poe, “As long as you can remember to do that and not just completely tune out for an entire year or so, you should be all right.”
In addition to distributing literature about raising awareness of awareness itself, and launching a series of bus ads featuring such slogans as “Hey, you! Come on, snap out of it,” organizers listed a number of symptoms Americans can look for when attempting to deduce whether or not they’re aware.
“Lack of coherent thought is usually a sign of being unaware, as is a fleeting attention span, and forgetting what this particular sentence pertains to midway through reading it,” said Dr. Howard Sturges, who has treated several hundred cases of acute obliviousness. “If you suspect you have such a disorder, please contact a health professional immediately, or, as you likely know him, the man in the white lab coat with the shiny thing around his neck who has that office with all the chairs and patients inside of it.”
Though they remain confident about the success of the upcoming monthlong event, members of the American Foundation for Paying Attention to Things maintained that the cure for the national unawareness epidemic ultimately lies with the individual.
“We’ll do what we can to help, but at some point it’s really up to all Americans to make sure they can leave the house in the morning without setting the place on fire, show up to work without looking like a complete moron, or carry on an intelligent conversation without getting distracted by different tile patterns on the floor,” AFPAT chairwoman Sheila Winters said. “Hello? Hello?”
I think my buddy Jay Midnyte would be interested in Mr Simon’s thoughts on free market capitalism.
The MIC (Military Industrial Complex or Big Military) is in full tilt. They are growing in terms of money spent and control they have in the world.
But even worse is the fact that as normal industrial output is stifled and jobs are forever lost, we have the military to take their place, right? Just like the other night at the Veterans Day Parade and the young father whose son just joined the Air Force simply because he could not find work or afford college: we are being forced into service (one way or the other) of the military, instead of items we can use and consume for peaceful purposes.
But, if you ever took time to study history, you would find that previous Empires died the same death while the citizens were being told the same lies. The Roman Empire was over-extended and became too militaristic and could not support the behemoth it grew in to (much of its purpose, too, was to control the earth’s resources).
I have always questioned the replacement jobs that military produces for the manufacturing sector and whether or not it is sustainable. It, of course, is not, but it is a seeming light at the end of the tunnel for poor, young, rednecks and minorities. Nothing could be further from the truth, as is displayed by the fact that we have privatized much of our military and it costs us far more to do what we could do by necessity, if we were truly attacked (and we have not been attacked by any of the people we now occupy).
Read the full story at Washington’s Blog, but it has been confirmed that Defense Spending Creates Fewer Jobs Than Other Types Of Spending:
The table first shows in column 1 the data on the total number of jobs created by $1 billion in spending for alternative end uses. As we see, defense spending creates 8,555 total jobs with $1 billion in spending. This is the fewest number of jobs of any of the alternative uses that we present. Thus, personal consumption generates 10,779 jobs, 26.2 percent more than defense, health care generates 12,883 jobs, education generates 17,687, mass transit is at 19,795, and construction for weatherization/infrastructure is 12,804. From this list we see that with two of the categories, education and mass transit, the total number of jobs created with $1 billion in spending is more than twice as many as with defense.
So how do you like the idea that your country has strong-armed us into being its military slaves while, at the same time, indiscriminately killing and occupying innocent others?
@ JEFF: You went to a PROPER USA UNDERGRADUATE INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING FACILITY SO YOU GET IT. Chavez and Correa AND Lula and Bachelet have a LITTLE power, not a lot. That power is concentrated in the natural resources sector and for Chavez and Lula in the tech sector. When the sweep of 1998 cleared out the dictators, the new breed learned how to leverage what power they did have into more freedom from AMERIKKKA.
Chavez can bark and if he wants he can probably end the world if Russia gets cheated out of what its owed from its JVs but he cannot assemble enough men to rout AMERIKKKA in a ground war. Less still Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay or Chile.
Bachelet, probably the closest person this regiion has to Nelson Mandela, does it with moral right on her side. Chavez by gathering the peoples´ pride and bluffing. Testing choke points. Bill Clinton knew this and went with a half-assed PLAN COLOMBIA in his usual triangulating style. Bush tried to overthrow Chavez twice, failed, and folded his tent. Obama, nowhere near as smart as Clinton or Chavez, and not as tough as Bush, is searching and not finding. I expect he knows that a united Latin America is bad for him. I expect he knows that Chavez can outthink hiim but is less-coldblooded. So, Obama uses the imperial approach via Colombia for now and with lots of US troops later.
Obama,unlike the Big Dog or Bush, is chickenshit with very little life expeience and has no patience. He is also saddledwitha monster ego so ifthe counterparty doesn´t being by kissing his ass for whatever reason: black presidennt, handsome,smart perfect….he´s lost.
@ JEFF CONTINUED: My experience in gambling and finance gives me a good read on these things. Intially,my problems with Obama were financial. It didn´t like how he was stealing from the American people and using his color as a sword and shield at the same time, when with a decent tan, I hae the same color, but with Levantine not African features. I assumed he´d continue USA middle-east policy and use some form of ANTI-DRUG thing to get the FED into Latin America.
That´s when I sought Cindy Sheehan´s help and experience as multi-faceted intelligent movement. She has been down here a lot and knows the scene. I expected a bank raid and as she is as much anti-FED as ani this skirmish or that one, I knew she and her crew would sharpen-up my viewpoint.
I did not expect that Obama would risk the popularity he built up by being the most aggressive imperialist in my lifetime. If this were a game like chess or poker, I´d say that once he or someone in his inner ciircle realized THAT HE COULD GET WEAK SUBURBAN WHITE LIBERALS AND PREACHY OLD BLACK PEOPLE to buy into a fascism worse than anyone´s since McCarthy´s and love it, he´d have free domestic reigh which might give him an international edge. That´s what he´s testing here. He´s going to get a lot of people down here killled before he realizes that AMERIKKKAN VALUES don´t play here…. Read More
These cultures are too traditional and too finely balanced for bullshit. The history is too bloody for anyone to be seeking out more blood, so TOLERANCE and UNDESTANDING are the urban watchwords. I dont know enoughoranythng really about rural culture to offer an opinion. What´s happening in Colombia is totally fucked and I believe at some point the AUC is going to have the same realization the FARC has come to (SORT OF). Why kill your brother when the enemy is AMERIKKKA.
I probably defend Uribe more than most Wesstern peace movement peiople because I´ve seen his peaceable side and I know his family history and how that makes him a puppet and I would be no more courageous. I also praise Cesar Gaviria and Ernesto Samper more than most Western peace movement types because they were not or ever NWO types and they were not given a chance to lead despite Gaviria´s having taken down Escobar and Samper´s economic ideas which everyone else started adopting after Samper was gone.
We wait. We watch. We keep ouselves and famiilies safe. I dont have the AMERKKKAN option anymore. I can´t run to the embassy like a chicken. AG Eric Holder made that clear with his confirmation hearings: he was goiing to be a religious hardass, anti black to some degree and XEROTOLERANCE. In short, WORSE THAN ASHCROFT, even though as a prosecutor he was known for fairness.
… to see what is obvious to the rest of us.
Story and audio at above link…
Barack Obama was elected on 4 November 2008 after a campaign that promised change.
One year on, BBC’s Newsbeat traveled across the country to find out how people feel in Obama’s America.
In the first of five reports, Jonathan Blake travels to Tennessee where unemployment is highest among young people to see how he’s trying to fix the economy.
Of course she didn’t. But she did call me and was sorry that I was unable to join in on the town hall conference call (some of the latest and greatest technology available).
Wow, what a chipper woman. It might help had you not called my FAX line, for goodness sake. I am sure I would be interested in asking you about those 71 that will die in our district simply due to the lack of health insurance. Rep Grayson mentioned them in this series of videos starting with the following:
And speaking of which, I’d like to share the list that Chris Kromm of Facing South (written by Sue Sturgis) sent me that shows the numbers per congressman of folks in the south that will die due to lack of health insurance. I’m sure you can shrug this off just like Jesus did:
I dunno bout you, but that seems like a lot of dead folk. I’m sure they are all dead beats, anyway, right?
At least we won’t starve to death (h/t A Tiny Revolution):
Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood.
“The current recession is likely to generate for children in the United States the greatest level of material deprivation that we will see in our professional lifetimes,” Stanford pediatrician Dr. Paul Wise wrote.
The analysis is in line with other recent research suggesting that more than 40 percent of U.S. children will live in poverty or near-poverty by age 17.
Right. Just more dead beats, huh?
Originally found here.
Oh, the irony of it all.
Indivisible? Dude, Com’on. I know how embarrassing that must have been… choking when making a speech in front of red-meat starving idolaters. Wait, that’s right. That’s what you do for a living.
So what caused the man’s little mis-quote? Why would he not be able to remember the one word, “indivisible”?
Because that particular party, especially that faction of it (and the Demo’s are just as guilty but don’t have the same red-meat starving idolaters smacking their lips over such roadkill) are set up to DIVIDE. THAT is what they do. That is what the fake two party system is intended to do… keep just enough of the air heads on both sides divided so they can pass the mantle back and forth every 4 to 8 years.
When will you wake up?
As I was re-reading information on the Pledge of Allegiance, just to see how well Rep Akin’s research is conducted before these embarrassing speeches, I came across something I had never seen before (and Akin and most others conveniently fail to discuss, but is poignant in our current times): we were instructed way back to use the Bellamy Salute when making this pledge.
What do you think?
Somehow or another, I am not surprised.
I had met two very young men/soldiers directly after these insane and non-justified wars began. These two lads met in Iraq. They both were somber and had just gotten matching tatoos. “Only the dead see the end of war” Plato.
There is blood on the hands of many many people for these things, along with the ‘silent’ voters!!!
Fort Hood has felt the strain of repeated deployments
Base leads Army posts in number of suicides since Iraq invasion
By Ann Scott TysonWashington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 6, 2009
Fort Hood, the Texas military base that was the scene of a mass shooting Thursday, has been hard hit by the growing strain on the Army from multiple combat deployments — with its personnel suffering the highest number of suicides among Army installations since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to official data– 8,000+.
After many years of lengthy war zone rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army personnel are experiencing record rates of suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental health problems, as well as worsening alcohol and drug abuse.
The psychological toll on the all-volunteer force today is unprecedented, Army officials say, acknowledging that they do not know how much the Army can sustain before it breaks — making the health of the force a major consideration in President Obama’s current deliberations over sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
It’s unclear what motivated the Army psychiatrist who is thought to have opened fire on fellow soldiers Thursday, although it’s clear he had worked in settings where the effects of combat stress were pervasive.
A small but increasing number of soldiers undergoing the mental strain of repeated combat deployments are taking lives — often their own.
This year, 117 active-duty Army soldiers were reported to have committed suicide, with 81 of those cases confirmed — up from 103 suicides during the same period last year. Ten suicides have been reported at Fort Hood this year; more than 75 of its personnel have committed suicide last year. Fort Hood’s high number of suicides is also linked to the fact that it is the Army’s largest base, with more than 53,000 soldiers.
These numbers do not include the extended deaths of wives being killed due to PTSD. An estimated 30 percent of those returning from combat suffer mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Such problems grow worse with repeated deployments and the constant exposure to danger and the sights, smells and emotions of seeing others killed or wounded, according to Army mental health surveys.
Those who treat the mentally wounded, including doctors such as Hasan, are not immune from the symptoms. It is not uncommon for therapists who treat patients for post-traumatic stress disorder to experience some symptoms vicariously after hearing account after account of the horrors of the battlefield.
Hasan was a psychiatry intern at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from June 2003 to July 2009, Army officials said. In that position, he probably treated soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Violent outbursts such as shootings by soldiers at Army bases have occurred in recent years, including at Fort Hood, where several killings were reported over the past two years.
Historically, one of the worst shooting incidents involving soldiers took place Oct. 27, 1995, at Towle Stadium at Fort Bragg, N.C., when a soldier opened fire on paratroopers in a formation, killing one Army officer and wounding 18 others
I wrote about Taiwan here with a breakdown of how their system is implemented and who and what it covers and for how much. Today, I received a letter from my friend Doctor Sutherland, who is the TN Chair of PNHP. He expressed delight in the fact that our calls this week must have made a difference, because the Wiener Amendment is again going to be voted on (probably Saturday):
Politics are unpredictable! The Weiner amendment for Single-Payer is now back on the floor of the House thanks to calls, emails and faxes sent to the Congressional leaders this past week.
This is our last big push to get true health care reform passed this year. Please call your Congressperson tomorrow and flood their switchboard with our voices to pass Single-Payer. The public is confused and tired of the way the Congress has tried to cobble more of the same dysfunction on our broken system- give them a simple and efficient plan to vote on to get true health care reform now.
Push for “Improved and Expanded Medicare for All”! Send this out to all your colleagues and families and friends.
Health care is a human right.
I have been to this man’s house and spent time with him. He is wealthy and has a very renowned practice in Memphis. He could keep his mouth shut because he and his wife are set for life. But just like many of the other Doctors that are ready to fight for Universal Healthcare, even to the extent of going to jail for it, I believe he sees the injustices and wants change. There isn’t a dubious rationale that I can imagine and I have a great deal of respect for him and his views. He went farther to add Ida Hellander’s letter to members and activists:
Dear PNHP Board and Activists,
Quick update and “last call” for lobbying your Representative to support Medicare for All!
The latest news from Capital Hill is that there could be a vote on the Weiner amendment for single payer as soon as this Friday, although it may not come up until Saturday. The House is expected to vote on the Democrats’ bill at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Kucinich amendment did not make it into the final bill, and is dead.
Last minute calls to encourage your Representative to vote “yes” on the Weiner amendment for single payer are encouraged. The Congressional Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.
As Harvard health economist William Hsiao told the New York Times yesterday “you can have universal coverage and good quality health care while still managing to control costs. But you have to have a single-payer system to do it.”
Its not too late to make a difference. Call.
But, also read detail about a system that was implemented in Taiwan and how, who and why they did it in this fashion (remembering that we, America, is the only industrialized wealthy nation IN THE WORLD that doesn’t implement something similar.
Health Care Abroad: Taiwan
By Anne Underwood
New York Times
Nov. 3, 2009
William Hsiao is a professor of economics at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the 2004 book “Getting Health Reform Right.” He served as a health care adviser to the Taiwan government in the 1990s, when officials decided to reform that country’s health care system and to introduce universal coverage. He spoke with Anne Underwood, a freelance writer.
Q. Taiwan instituted universal insurance in 1995. What was the health care system like before?
A. Only a portion of the people were insured, including civil servants, employees of large firms and farmers. The military had its own system of coverage. But 45 percent of the population did not have insurance, and they faced financial barriers to access to health care. President Lee Teng-hui felt strongly that he wanted to do something concrete and visible for all the citizens. He thought of introducing national health insurance to touch the lives of all the people. There was a sense in Taiwan that health care is needed by everyone and a country has to assure everyone equal access.
Q. How did you become involved in the health care reform process?
A. The government initially appointed four Taiwanese professors to lead a task force of technical experts. But the four professors all had different ideas. It was like a wagon drawn by four horses, with each going in a different direction and nobody driving. After a year of this, government officials realized there was a problem. In addition, they wanted someone who understood health systems and health care abroad and what lessons other countries could offer to Taiwan. The domestic experts did not have much international experience.
I was invited to a three-day workshop, where they tested me. At the end, I was put in charge of the task force of four professors and 16 other technical experts. It turned out to be a big advantage that I’m not Taiwanese and had no aspirations of getting a job in Taiwan. At the end of the day, our recommendations and findings were perceived as more objective and free of self-interest.
Q. What was your assignment as head of this task force?
A. We had to design a national health insurance plan for Taiwan, based on international experience. Government officials wanted to understand how other advanced countries fund and organize health care and learn from their successes and failures, so I made a study of the systems in six high-income countries – the United States, the U.K., Germany, France, Canada, Singapore and Japan.
Q. And what was your conclusion at the end of this study?
A. We adopted a single-payer system along the Canadian lines. I did not invent it. I’m just in the transfer-of-knowledge business.
Q. Why did you choose the Canadian model?
A. Canada has a single-payer system with universal insurance coverage. It offers people free choice of doctors and hospitals, and it has competition on the delivery side between public and private hospitals. The quality of health services is very high, and people were very satisfied with the system from the 1980s through the mid-1990s.
Unfortunately, in the early-to-mid 1990s, Canada went through a severe recession for four or five years. The budget became very tight. The government underfunded national health insurance, which led to long waiting lines for elective surgery, MRIs and so forth. But when Canada adequately financed its N.H.I., it was a very good system.
Q. In Taiwan, can people choose any doctor or hospital they want?
A. Yes, any provider. Americans talk about choice. But in fact, insurance plans in this country restrict what providers you can go to. Canada gives its citizens more choice of providers. So does Germany. So does England. So does Taiwan.
Q. How comprehensive is the coverage?
A. It covers prevention, primary care and hospitalization, among other things.
Q. I‘ve read that it also covers Chinese massage, acupuncture, traditional herbal medicine, mental health care, dental, vision and long-term care.
A. Yes, these services are covered. We tried to design a benefit package that would give people what they value. For many Taiwanese, that includes traditional Chinese medicine. Though Chinese medicine is not 100 percent proven to be medically effective, people believe in it. And some therapies have been proven effective. For example, when acupuncture is given in certain spots, it stimulates the brain to release opiates.
Q. The Taiwanese system also covers home care.
A. You need home care by visiting nurses for people who are chronically ill or bedridden. It’s not rocket science to recognize this. Some people argue that the patients should pay for home care themselves. But if people have to pay out of pocket, they might not ask for visiting nurse services and their illnesses may get much worse. Then they will need to be hospitalized.
Q. Is the system very expensive?
A. Expensive is a relative term. Taiwan spends 6 percent of G.D.P. on health care, compared to 16 percent in the United States.
Q. How much do people have to pay?
A. If you’re employed, your employer pays 60 percent of your premium. The employee pays 30 percent, and the government subsidizes 10 percent. The government fully subsidizes the premiums for the poor and gives partial subsidies to veterans, the self-employed and farmers.
Q. How much is the typical premium?
A. The total insurance premium for employed workers is 4.6 percent of wages. That’s much lower than in the United States, where the average is between 12 and 20 percent of wages for those who are covered by their employers.
Q. Are there co-pays, too?
A. Yes. The task force felt that service should not be totally free or else people might waste services. For example, we studied what happened in Taiwan when some insurance policies gave prescription drugs free to everyone. One-third of the drugs dispensed were never taken but thrown away. You can imagine, if you have free office visits, some people will say, “I have this little ache. I’ll go see the doctor because it’s free.” We wanted to moderate this waste.
Q. How high are co-pays?
A. The charge is $2 for a visit to a clinic and about $4 to a hospital outpatient department. The co-pay for hospitalization is now 10 percent for the first 30 days and 20 percent for the days beyond 30 days. For prescriptions, it’s 20 percent of the cost of the drug, but capped at $6 for each prescription. Taiwan also sets a ceiling on the total co-pays, so patients won’t face bankruptcy.
Q. How long did it take to implement this program?
A. Less than a year. Mr. Lee pushed through the legislation in four to five months, because an election was coming. Then he asked for the new system to be implemented six months after that – and they did it.
Q. What percent of the population is now insured?
A. Within the first year, Taiwan managed to insure 95 percent of the population. That increased that by another percent or so each year, until they reached 98 percent. They had trouble with that last 2 percent, because some were living overseas and others were homeless. The government literally sent people to find the homeless under bridges and enroll them. Now they have close to 99 percent enrollment.
Q. Has this translated into better life expectancy or lower complication rates from major diseases?
A. There is evidence of positive health results for select diseases, like cardiovascular disease and kidney failure. But overall, it’s really difficult to say that national health insurance has improved the aggregate health status, because mortality and life expectancy are crude measurements, not precise enough to pick up the impact of more health care. That said, life expectancy is improving, and mortality is dropping. And everyone now has access to good health care.
Q. What does the system do particularly well?
A. In addition to covering everyone, it has a uniform system of electronic health records. Every patient has a Smart Card. When you go in for services, the physician puts the card into his computer. You give him the code to access your records, which are all stored on the card – what medications you’ve taken, what tests, along with the results, the last time you saw another physician. With a single, unified electronic system, it improves treatment and it also vastly reduces claims processing. Hospitals and doctors get paid in a week or two. It’s a paperless system. That’s why it keeps administrative costs down to 2.3 percent of the total premium. In the United States, it’s more than 10 percent.
Taiwan was also able to control health-expenditure increases very well in the early years. Unfortunately, now that the government budget is tight, it is overdoing it.
Q. What are the system’s weaknesses?
A. In the legislative process, compromises had to be made. First, the president yielded on payment reform, so Taiwan kept its fee-for-service payment system. Unfortunately, that encourages doctors and hospitals to give more treatment in order to boost their income.
Second, the Taiwanese system doesn’t have a systematic way to monitor and improve quality of care.
Third, in the legislative process, they rejected a provision to adjust the premium automatically when the national health system depletes its reserves. In every country, health care costs are increasing faster than wages. When that happens, the premium has to go up. But that provision wasn’t incorporated into the law. As a result, the system is running a deficit. National health insurance tries to cut the fees for hospital and physician services. But eventually these fee reductions will adversely affect the quality of health care.
Q. What’s the most important lesson that Americans can learn from the Taiwanese example?
A. You can have universal coverage and good quality health care while still managing to control costs. But you have to have a single-payer system to do it.
Originally found here.
Pete at DrugWarRant shared these two stories of elections that prove many more Americans are gaining some sanity (as of 8:45AM CST DrugWarRant’s website is down). The tide turns:
Medical marijuana users in Maine will be able to buy their pot at licensed dispensaries after voters approved a bill that expands the state’s existing medical marijuana law.
The new law allows patients to buy marijuana at nonprofit dispensaries. It also expands the medical conditions under which people can be prescribed the drug.
In unofficial returns, Question 5 was leading 60 percent to 40 percent with half of precincts reporting.
Original link found here.
Another story of sanity:
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — The skiing town of Breckenridge voted Tuesday night by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 to legalize the adult possession of marijuana.
Breckenridge voters passed Measure 2F, which removes criminal penalties from the town code for the private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older. The ordinance also removes criminal penalties for the possession of bongs, pipes and other drug paraphernalia.
It passed 73 percent to 27 percent.
Original link found here.