Monday, August 31, 2009

Obama, Gates are gutting America’s defense industry

When Gen. William Snow arrived in Washington, D.C., to direct the buildup of the artillery for the Allied Expeditionary Force, he thought his office ought to have stationary reflecting the importance of the task.

His request was rejected. Rather than fund this excessive extravagance, it was suggested the general purchase a rubber stamp to mark his correspondence.

By: James Carafano Examiner Columnist
August 31, 2009

Note: this one should be in our Toxic Treadmill blog, too... at a time when our country needs all the protection it can get, at a time when we need our military more than ever, they're cutting funding??? Ah, this one needs to go in my Bizarro World blog, too.

Obama, Gates are gutting America’s defense industry

When Gen. William Snow arrived in Washington, D.C., to direct the buildup of the artillery for the Allied Expeditionary Force, he thought his office ought to have stationary reflecting the importance of the task.

His request was rejected. Rather than fund this excessive extravagance, it was suggested the general purchase a rubber stamp to mark his correspondence.

By: James Carafano Examiner Columnist
August 31, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: Other Places - A Family's World War II Experience in Germany and the US

Author Ria Veeren takes readers back to World War II and the struggles of one Dutch family in Other Places. The story is her story as she tells of her immigration to America in 1948 and also of the events which led to her immigration.

Of interest in the book are parts of her family's life in Holland and in Germany during World War II and her father's role in providing for his family during a time of war. Excerpts from her father's, Jack Veeren, diary will appeal to those who have an avid interest in history. The elder Veeren, a photographer, served as in interpreter for the Americans immediately after the war.

Those of who have never lived through a war or have the memories shared by the greatest generation will benefit from learning about the effects of a war on everyday people. Other Places is this experience for one family and worth reading.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Uh... duh: Births Decline in Most Areas Hardest Hit by Hurricane Katrina

OK, ya'll tell me if you couldn't figure this one out for yourselves...

Births Decline in Most Areas Hardest Hit by Hurricane Katrina

Births in most of the Gulf Coast areas hit by Hurricane Katrina plunged
in the 12 months following the deadly storm, according to a report from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, "The Effect
of Hurricane Katrina: Births in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region, Before and
After the Storm," examines birth certificates for the 12 months
preceding Katrina and the 12 months following the storm, (Aug. 29, 2004
to Aug. 28, 2006). The data cover residents in the 91 Federal Emergency
Management Agency- designated counties and parishes of Alabama,
Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Special detailed data are presented in an interactive map for 14
selected FEMA-designated coastal counties and parishes within a 100 mile
radius of the storm's path

Key findings include:

* The number of births in the 14 counties and parishes decreased 19
percent in the year after Katrina compared with the previous year.
Births decreased by 30 percent for the selected parishes in Louisiana
and 13 percent for the selected counties in Mississippi but increased by
6 percent for the selected counties in Alabama.

* The number of births to non-Hispanic black women in the selected
parishes of Louisiana fell substantially (51 percent) after the storm.
Births were also down for non-Hispanic white (14 percent), Hispanic (21
percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander (34 percent) women.

* In Orleans Parish, the central parish of New Orleans, the proportion
of births to non-Hispanic black women fell from 78 percent of total
births before the storm to 60 percent in the year after Katrina hit.

* The proportion of births to teens for these 14 selected counties and
parishes were unchanged after the storm, except in the selected parishes
in Louisiana, where they decreased 11 percent.

* Cesarean deliveries for the 14 selected counties and parishes rose by
10 percent in the Alabama and Mississippi counties and 6 percent in the
Louisiana parishes.

The full report is available at

Book Review: defining Twilight; Enticing Teens to Learn

"Quick," I said to my teenager. "Define futilely." The eyes that bore back into mine were blank, almost oblivious to my question. "Are you woolgathering?"

"What is this?", asked the teenager who was now experiencing grave misgivings over the decision to walk in to the room with me as I sat reading.

So began my excursion into defining Twilight by Brian Leaf, a delightful book chock full of vocabulary words. What's the deal?

The Twilight book series by Stephenie Meyer has been the latest rage among teens and young adults for a couple of years now. The movie is seen on a regular basis at my house as others descend in droves. The books are so popular that I've walked in and found the teens playing Twilight Trivia or reciting favorite lines of the movie. The books are kept close as a reference so the kids can be sure of their facts.

I admit I had seen the movie, but had not taken time to actually read the book. When asked to review defining Twilight, I knew I had to bite the bullet and jump head first into the land of chaste vampires. The Twilight book was fun to read, and it was full of wonderful words not commonly used by teens today. Do they understand the meanings?

Enter Leaf's defining Twilight, and it's a match made perfect for any student studying to take one of the college entrance exams. Leaf has provided an entertaining way to use the Twilight book as an aid to learning vocabulary. It's a great concept. Read the page in the book, and define the word. There are also quick exercises to use to complement learning the definitions.

It sure beats digging out the old Digests I had to use when I was studying for the SAT. Perhaps I would have scored better on the standardized tests of my day if someone had made learning the vocabulary more pertinent to the times.

Leaf will release his second book in the Defining series in October. I can't wait to see the words he defines and introduce them to my teen.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Warnings from America's Founding Fathers

RJ Note: Excellent!! I couldn't have said it better. Listen to the voices of our Founding Fathers--

Warnings From the Grave
by Doug
Aug 27, 2009

The men we have come to revere as our founding fathers were strong, opinionated, ordinary men. They didn’t think of themselves as heroes, yet they saw what needed to be done and did it regardless of the personal risk and sacrifice involved.

They must have wondered on many of those long lonely nights away from their lovers and their children if their sacrifices would ultimately be worth while. Surely in those lonely moments of doubt, they must have imagined the challenges, we, their posterity would face. Would we have the courage and the wisdom to face them and prevail? Would we be willing to pay the same price they did to preserve liberty for ourselves and our posterity?.....

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Diverse Coalition Unites To Counter Google Book Settlement

/PRNewswire/ -- Librarians, legal scholars, authors, publishers, and technology companies today announced the formation of a coalition - the Open Book Alliance - that will counter the proposed Google Book Settlement in its current form. The proposed settlement is between Google, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the Authors' Guild. Approval of the settlement plan currently is pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The deal is also currently being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department on antitrust grounds.

"Just as Gutenberg's invention of the printing press more than 700 years ago ushered in a new era of knowledge sharing, the mass digitization of books promises to once again revolutionize how we read and discover books," said Open Book Alliance co-chairs Peter Brantley and Gary Reback in a blog post at "But a digital library controlled by a single company and small group of colluding publishers would inevitably lead to higher prices and subpar service for consumers, libraries, scholars, and students."

"The public interest demands that any mass book digitization and distribution effort be undertaken in the open, grounded in sound public policy, and mindful of the need to promote long-term benefits for consumers rather than those of a few commercial interests," continued Brantley and Reback.

Brantley is a director of the non-profit Internet Archive and Reback is a noted antitrust attorney who serves of counsel at the firm Carr & Ferrell, LLP.

The Open Book Alliance will work to inform policymakers and the public about the serious legal, competitive, and policy issues in the settlement proposal. Members of the Alliance include:

-- Amazon (
-- American Society of Journalists and Authors (
-- Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (
-- Internet Archive (
-- Microsoft (
-- New York Library Association (
-- Small Press Distribution (
-- Special Libraries Association (
-- Yahoo! (

In 2005, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors' Guild filed suit against Google, objecting to the company's mass digitization of millions of books on copyright violation grounds. The parties privately settled for $125 million and devised a scheme that would permit Google to charge libraries and consumers for access to the digitized books. Under the deal, Google, the Authors Guild and the AAP would gain significant new powers to control the fledgling market for digital books.

The New York court considering the settlement has established a Sept. 4 deadline for submissions on the settlement and indicated it planned to make a final decision on Oct. 7.

Following are quotes from some members of the Open Book Alliance on their concerns about the proposed settlement:

"The library community in New York is concerned by the ramifications of this settlement on libraries, their patrons and the common good. Access, affordability and patron privacy issues are key concerns of ours that we do not believe have been adequately addressed so far. A public policy issue of this magnitude should not be handled in this matter, but by Congress in a deliberative and open format that allows for greater input from concerned parties and the public." -- Michael J. Borges, Executive Director of the New York Library Association.

"We look forward to the day when a completely electronic, searchable, and universally accessible repository of digital books brings untold value and knowledge to individuals, organizations and libraries. In the meantime, we are greatly concerned about Google's efforts here, and we believe that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) must look into the full ramifications of this settlement on issues of copyright, access, affordability and privacy." -- Janice R. Lachance, CEO, Special Libraries Association.

"We're seeing Google the Good morph into Google the Grabby in all of this. First, Google dangles the prospect of a huge, accessible, digital library in front of us. But then it shows utter contempt for the people who wrote the books, by scanning them without the approval of copyright holders. Google didn't mind stomping on authors to get this project going. If the settlement goes through as it stands, sheer marketplace domination will mean every author will have to swallow the rules set down by a cabal of a registry board or sell no digital books or future, new digital inventions." -- Salley Shannon, President, American Society of Journalists and Authors.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Urban Libraries Council Weighs in on Google Book Settlement

/PRNewswire/ -- The Urban Libraries Council (ULC), the membership organization representing 140 major North American public library systems, is calling for revisions to the Google Book Search settlement that is now before the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York. In a statement submitted to the court this week, ULC says that it applauds the intent of the settlement, making millions of books available to the users of public libraries. The statement raises concerns, however, about the inadequacy of the proposed free public access service, the lack of protection for reader privacy, the failure to provide for no-fee fair use of copyright-protected material and the unrestrained possibility of monopolistic pricing.

"The Google Book Search database is a major undertaking that will shape the future of books, libraries, research, publishing and learning. It is essential that the interests of the public be represented as this new model for the organization and distribution of intellectual content comes into use," said Susan Benton, ULC President and CEO. "As it stands, the proposed settlement's provisions for general public access and use fall far short. Public libraries have long pursued a major goal: the broadest possible access, at the lowest possible cost, to opportunities for learning and growth for all Americans. By storing and disseminating seven million books from the collections of our great research libraries, Google Book Search can help democratize our intellectual and cultural heritage. But without attending to these serious public needs, the settlement will only widen the gap between haves and have-nots."

The proposed settlement is the result of a class action lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers against Google in 2005, claiming that the Google Book Scan project is a massive violation of the plaintiffs' copyrights. The settlement builds a comprehensive licensing agreement between Google and the plaintiffs, establishing new practices and standards that would be controlled by Google and a new private entity, the Book Rights Registry.

ULC's statement to the court addresses four public issues: public access, reader privacy, fair use and monopoly.

The settlement provides for free public access to the database through one designated computer terminal in each public library building in the United States. ULC believes that this provision is inadequate and unworkable, and that a system that allows free public access throughout library computer networks is needed.

Reader privacy and confidentiality, a strong legal requirement in most states and a cherished public library value, have not been addressed by the settlement, according to ULC. A system that allows anonymous access to the database through library computers should be developed.

Fair use of copyright-protected material, for non-commercial research and educational purposes, is a well-established feature of the American intellectual property system that ULC supports. The proposed settlement allows Google to impose per-page licensing charges for all printing from the database. ULC believes that limited free printing should be built into the settlement.

Unregulated monopolistic pricing practices are a distinct possibility under the system created by the settlement, with Google and a new, privately controlled Book Rights Registry in charge. The public interest should be protected, ULC's statement maintains, by a public library presence in the membership of the Book Rights Registry.

"This is a pivotal moment in the history of access to recorded information, not unlike the introduction of moveable type or the birth of the Internet," said Ms. Benton. "It's essential that we get it right by making the needed changes before the settlement is approved. The principles of the broadest possible access to knowledge must guide the next era in the information age."

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Battling Inflammation Through Food An Emerging Field

/24-7/ -- Scientists have identified the inflammatory process as the common soil in a diverse range of chronic degenerative diseases. The news, recently reported in the LA Times article, discusses how foods like cherries may help rheumatoid arthritis or avoidance of gluten may fight off psoriasis.

"Chronic inflammation is an emerging field," says Dr. David Heber, a UCLA professor of medicine and director of the university's Center for Human Nutrition. "It's a new concept for medicine."

According to the article by Shara Yurkiewicz, "The activated immune cells and hormones then turn on the body itself, damaging tissues. The process continues indefinitely, occurring at low enough levels that a person doesn't feel pain or realize anything is wrong. Years later, proponents say, the damage contributes to illnesses such as heart disease, neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease or cancer."

In addition to eating foods that may reduce inflammation, foods that actually cause the inflammation should be avoided. Individual biochemistry and genetic makeup differences may render even normally healthy foods as instigators of chronic activation of the immune system in some people and not others.

Cell Science Systems, maker of the ALCAT Test for food and chemical sensitivity, offers a way to pinpoint which foods may be causing inflammation and recommends an individualized dietary regimen to avoid those specific foods.

"The ALCAT Test provides customized feedback as to which foods and chemicals are activating your immune system," said Roger Deutsch, founder of Cell Science Systems and co-author of "Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat". "We believe in eating anti-inflammatory foods; but we also believe in avoiding specific foods that may not be compatible with your own biochemistry. It's all about customization."

According to a study released by the National Institutes of Health, treating Alzheimer's disease with DHA and EPA, found in fish oil and many plant sources, slowed its progression in a subgroup of the study population. While the ultimate goal of consuming anti-inflammatory foods and supplements is to prevent chronic illness, this study lends credence to the value of this emerging field.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Be Sure Congressman David Scott Sees Red on Saturday

Saturday, August 22 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Congressman David Scott's Office
888 Concord Road
Suite 100
Smyrna, GA 30080

Those who oppose health care reform in its current bill are asked to wear red to the event being held at his office. Go on and tie a couple of red balloons to your wrist as well. Have a great attitude!

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Healthcare Reform Neglects Nation's Long Term Care Sector Warns Long Term Care Community Businesses

/PRNewswire/ -- The Community Cares Coalition (CoCares) - a national coalition of community long term care businesses and organizations providing key services to the skilled nursing community - today said that while long term care businesses support reform measures to increase efficiencies in the healthcare system and promote cost savings, the current reform proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent administrative rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS') that cut $44 billion Medicare funds to long term care will have the opposite impact on nursing home care and the businesses and organizations that support the nation's long term care sector.

"FMS began building the business 20 years ago by helping retirement communities save money and improve their cost efficiencies through group purchasing," noted CoCares member Tim Gregson, President of FMS Purchasing and Services based in Clearwater, FL and the largest independently owned group purchasing organization in the Southeastern United States. "Wielding a machete to Medicare funds for eldercare has no place in healthcare reform. Our lawmakers must stop, seriously consider the dire implications of these enormous cuts and revise healthcare policy to truly reflect reform and improvement in our healthcare system. Leaving long term care out of healthcare reform represents a gaping hole in what should be sound, logical public policy."

More than 30,000 frontline nursing home caregiver jobs are in jeopardy and the long term care community faces a reduction in business activity by $5 billion the first year these cuts take effect. A recent analysis of the impact of the Medicare cuts by the American Health Care Association also indicates a reduction in labor income by more than $2 billion and a loss of more than 59,000 long term care sector jobs overall.

"The economic impact of these Medicare cuts could be a knock out punch that puts many local economies down for the count," added Gregson. "Healthcare reform should improve outcomes, not cause negative ones."

Nationwide, the long term care industry provides almost two million jobs and accounts for approximately 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). CoCares emphasizes that stability in Medicare and Medicaid is the key toward ensuring that patients receive high quality nursing home care or care in assisted living settings and supporting businesses are able to provide key services and products that enhance the delivery of care.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ALIPAC Asks NC Community Colleges to Keep Ban on Illegals

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is calling on the North Carolina state Board of Community Colleges to reject illegal immigration and reject pressures to lift a ban on illegal immigrants in NC Community Colleges.

"Only those who can prove they are legal immigrants or US Citizens should be admitted to any of our taxpayer institutions, including Community Colleges," said William Gheen of ALIPAC.

"The scientific and unscientific polls tell us a vast majority of North Carolinians support the ban on illegal immigrants. We also know that the vast majority of communications the board has received on this issue have opposed a lifting of the ban. We hope the board will stand with the taxpayers who fund their operations and keep this ban in place."

A recent WRAL online poll shows that only 14% support allowing illegal immigrants to attend NC Community Colleges. At the time of this press release, 82% oppose allowing illegals into college! These findings are consistent with the certified scientific polls on such matters.

"We do not need anymore incentives or magnets for illegal immigrants in North Carolina," said William Gheen. "We finally got our state government to stop giving licenses to illegal aliens and now this board wants to consider letting illegal aliens back into our colleges, now that the Governor's race is over?"

The North Carolina Community Colleges supported the ban in 2008, when candidate Bev Perdue was in a close race for Governor and was a member of the same board when this controversial issue came up.

"If they reverse their policy this year, it will be clear that the ban was merely a publicity stunt to protect Democrat candidate Beverly Perdue's run for Governor," said William Gheen.

Members of the public can continue to submit their opinions on this matter to the board via Mr. Richard W. Sullins, Executive Director of the State Board, at 919.807.6969 or

For interviews or more information about Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, please visit

Never Has There Been a More Timely Need for Your Voice to Be Heard!

RJ Note: Say it loud. Say it proud. And, by all means, let your opinions be heard by the policymakers.

/PRNewswire/ -- Bobalu Media, LLC continues its aggressive growth with the launch of People want their opinions heard about all the poignant issues in today's political and social environment. The latest site developed by Bobalu Media, LLC will offer the ideal platform for people not only to be heard by others who will rate the comments but also have the chance to have their message emailed directly to the President if it scores a high enough ranking on the site after 14 days of being posted. Once the postings reach an approval rating of 60% or higher from other users and have been posted a minimum of 14 days those opinions will be forwarded directly to the President from

Bobalu Media, LLC is not associated with any political party or group, special interest or lobbyist and we welcome views from everyone who wants to be heard. Anyone can register for free at and choose between a transparent registration or an anonymous registration. The vision behind is to create a mega town hall in a worldwide environment. People can speak out, utilize their right to freedom of speech and be heard and, once heard, have other people express their opinions on the subject matter being discussed. Once the posts reach an approval rating of 60% or higher from other users those opinions will be forwarded directly to the President from

"It can now be argued that a niche social site can wield more power than any other medium currently in existence, and Bobalu's deployment of is a leading example of how fast these sites seize market share," says Daniel Weixeldorfer, Founder of Bobalu Media, LLC.

Bobalu Media, LLC will be launching 7 additional niche content sites during the remainder of 2009.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

United States Mint Launches Third Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coin at Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois

/PRNewswire/ -- The United States Mint launched the third 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coin Friday, July 13, on the grounds of Springfield's historic Old State Capitol. The new coin, placed into circulation today, bears a reverse (tails side) design that honors Abraham Lincoln's professional life in Illinois.

"The professional life design--Lincoln speaking in front of the Old State Capitol--sums up his Illinois experience," said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. "Illinois is where Lincoln evolved into a successful lawyer and politician. His service in the state legislature and Congress, and his debates with Stephen Douglas, paved the way to his election as President."

United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin joined in the ceremonial launch of the Lincoln professional life one-cent coin. To commemorate the event, children ages 18 and younger received a newly minted one-cent coin bearing the new design, while adults in the crowd exchanged their currency for a minimum of two rolls and up to six rolls of coins bearing the new design. The coins, packaged in two-roll sets, also became available at noon Eastern Time today on the United States Mint Web site,, and at the toll-free number 1-800 USA-MINT (872-6468). The set contains one roll of 50 coins from the United States Mint at Philadelphia with no mint mark and one roll of 50 coins from the United States Mint at Denver bearing the "D" mint mark. There is an order limit of five sets per household.

The "professional life" design is the third of four new designs appearing on the reverse of the one-cent coin this year. The coin's reverse--designed by United States Mint Artist Infusion Program Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart--includes the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and ONE CENT. The coin's obverse will continue to feature sculptor Victor David Brenner's familiar likeness of President Lincoln, which debuted in 1909. Inscriptions on the obverse are IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 2009.

The United States Mint also will issue numismatic versions of the four redesigned one-cent coins with the same metallic content as the 1909 coin (95 percent copper, five percent tin and zinc). These coins will be minted in proof and uncirculated condition, and will be included in the United States Mint's annual sets and other product offerings. The fourth coin in the series, to be released in November, will feature a design emblematic of Lincoln's presidency in Washington, D.C.

Created by Congress in 1792, the United States Mint is the Nation's sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and gold, silver and platinum bullion coins.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Stop the Abortion Mandate in Obamacare

via Facebook:

Joe DeCook sent a message to the members of Supporting Our Health Care Professionals In Their Battle To Defend Life.

Subject: August recess and the healthcare bill

Protect your doctor from being forced to decide between violating his/her conscience and having to quit medicine. Stop the abortion mandate. To better inform you regarding the issues, the questions to ask (in letter, on the phone, in a town meeting), there are excellent resources at:; (if you're not on Facebook, go here:

The info is concise, accurate, focused, thorough, useful.

Dr. Joe DeCook/aaplog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Institute Chastises Congress on Health Care Reforms, Offers Five-Point Program for Reducing Health Care Costs by 50%

RJ Note: It seems as if tort reform could go a long way to help reduce health care costs. Why is it the members of Congress do not propose this? Is it because they are lawyers and wouldn't want to sacrifice lawsuits for the good of the country?

/PRNewswire/ -- The Gilchrist Institute for the Achievement Sciences, an economic and political think tank, has released a five-point program for health care reform aimed at members of Congress and the New York State legislature.

Gilchrist Institute Director Dr. Robert Flower states, "We are challenging Congress to 'get real.' The current programs are fine. It's the application that needs reform and the administration that needs to be changed. These 5 proposals alone could reduce the existing health care system costs by over 50%."

The recommended measures are:

1. Pursue Health Fraud: Health Fraud is estimated at $100 billion a year. Having citizens participate in a small share of the payment obligation, combined with an intensified crackdown by the state and federal governments will go a long way in reducing this significant amount.

2. Medical Tort Reform: The Fair & Reliable Medical Justice Act proposed by the Republicans could save the health care system an estimated $150 billion a year.

3. Life/Health Insurance Plan: Taking a whole life policy at younger ages and dedicating it to terminal (end of life) circumstances would go a long way to decrease health care costs nationally. A whole life insurance policy at age 25 for $200,000 would cost approximately $250 per month for some 11 years, then no further payment would be necessary. The policy will grow to over $1 million by age 90. It would then be assigned, pledged or sold to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies when terminal life is commenced. This could save approximately 30% of overall health care costs in this country -- approximately $300 billion.

4. Interstate Policy Enabling Legislation: This is probably the single greatest consideration the insurance companies fear. It is ridiculous and totally restrictive economics to prevent companies from selling health care policies interstate. This consideration will expand significantly the competitive potential generating better options and price benefits to the public. This one factor could decrease premiums by as much as 10-15%.

5. Illegal Resident Health Tax: With over 12 million illegal immigrants draining the system each year, it would be prudent and just to charge them a tax for these services. At $2,000 per year, a sum of $24 billion would be generated. This alone could reduce the health care debt by 5%.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

What Defines "Un-American"?

RJ Note: Why is there so much dissent in America over health care? Is it because the elected officials do not appear to be listening to the public who elected them? Hasn't poll after poll shown the American public is not interested in the current health care reform bill being pushed by the democrats?

What everyone seems to agree on is that health care could using some reform. But not at the expense of American freedom of choice.

What defines "un-American"? Today, Pelosi and Hoyer seem to think it means anyone who is not 100% in agreement with the current bill. How many people in Congress have even read the bill? How many will? If the members of Congress are so in agreement with this bill, then why don't they want to have to comply with it?

Back around 1776, being "un-American" indicated loyalty to a government who was ruled by a monarch and who wanted to heavily tax those families in the American colonies. Remember the term "Taxation without Representation"?

Are we back to having taxation without representation? I hope not.

Boehner Statement on Speaker Pelosi & Majority Leader Hoyer’s “Un-American” Comments

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in this morning’s USA Today calling Americans who express vocal opposition to the Democrats’ health care plan “un-American”:

“For months, House Democratic leaders have worked to silence any opposing views in this health care debate, both here in Washington and around the country where millions of Americans are struggling in this economy. Every poll taken in the last month shows that a majority of Americans are concerned about, if not outright opposed to, the Democrats’ plan because of the cost and consequences it would mean for their own health care. Each public forum should give every participant the opportunity to express their views, but to label Americans who are expressing vocal opposition to the Democrats’ plan “un-American” is outrageous and reprehensible.

“The American people deserve answers to basic questions about whether the Democrats’ plan will increase health care costs, add to the deficit, increase taxes on middle-class families and small businesses, put government between doctors and patients, force anyone to lose their current health coverage, kill jobs, promote taxpayer-funded abortion, or cut Medicare. The fact is Democrats have not been able to address the very real concerns the American people have.

“It’s time for Democrats to start listening. When we return to Washington in September, Democrats should scrap their costly plan and finally work on bipartisan reforms that give Americans what they are seeking: better access to affordable care.”

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Curious about AARP and AMA

I've been seeing stories, hearing stories, reading stories about how the membership of the AARP and AMA are not happy with the stance the two organizations have taken on Obama and Pelosi's health care destructo plan.

I don't know enough about either organization to be able to speak with any authority on WHY the top dogs would so blatantly go against what appears to be the majority of their member's wishes.

I know they're big business. I know there's a LOT of money involved. I know they lobby. I believe they both donate to candidates and endorse certain candidates.

I've heard and read that the top echelon is comprised of liberals and Democrats (usually one and the same, but not always ;-)

I have to believe that somehow they believe they are going to benefit from working with Obama and Pelosi. Maybe they've been promised something.

I've been polling doctors and medical professionals as I come across them. Not one of them has had anything but disdain for Obama and Pelosi's plans for our health system. They all agreed that something needed to be done, but not what is being crammed down our throats from above. Many had read through the various proposals and really knew what they were talking about.

My doctor yesterday told me she's called every friend and relative, some who are very involved in the Democratic Party, and told them her views, what they could expect. She said most had no idea what was included in the proposals and what might happen if they made the changes they're proposing.

I am guessing that one part of the AMA and AARP decision making process is being done in complete isolation from the membership. They sit in their cushy offices and are being serenaded by Obama operatives. They are being wined and dined and led down the path of destruction. They think they know better than the rank and file.

I heard this morning that AARP is waffling, at least in appearance. They're trying to say they're not really endorsing any particular plan, they just want what's best for the membership.

Does anyone really believe that the motivation for those making big bucks in their big beautiful offices is really sitting there going "hmmm, this would be good for our members" without any consideration for their own job security? Even those who may honestly be trying to do that have to be influenced by their peers, by their proximity to power, by their comfort with Obama and friends... It's big business and big business looks out for the bottom line. The future of the business.

For groups like AARP and AMA I'd imagine they walk a fine line. They have members on all sides of the political spectrum. They have to run a business while trying to keep those members happy. They exist to lobby and get favors. There's always a quid quo pro.

I wonder why groups like that don't have member votes? Why wouldn't they send our email proxy votes or allow members to log into a secure member only, one vote only, website page to decide whether to endorse someone or something?

If all an organization wants from me is my dues and I don't have representation, or they go against my values and beliefs, I'm not joining. I think the reason AARP may be prevaricating on their stance is that members are screaming. Maybe some or many are dropping their membership. It's always about the bottom line. These days, my experience has been that you can get all the discounts AARP provides without the membership. If you're not using their insurance, what's the point if they're just going to endorse a plan that will ultimately destroy our health care system and result in fewer medical options for seniors? Makes no sense.

Mark Tapscott - New email endorsement shows AARP going all-out for Dems, Obamacare

Not that there was any doubt about it, but a new email campaign by AARP's liberal Democrat-dominated Washington staff makes it crystal clear that the leadership of the 40-million member seniors group is going all-out for Obamacare and the House Democrats' version of it, H.R. 3200.
The email alert is especially interesting because AARP is a tax-exempt non-profit that is barred from participating in partisan campaigns, though it is allowed to do a limited amount of legislative lobbying of Congress. No doubt the AARP leadership in Washington will argue they aren't doing anything they aren't allowed to do as a 501(c)(4), but this new email campaign throws the spirit of the law right out the window.

Read the full story

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Defining Twilight

RJ Note: Who knew that this latest rage not only has tons of people reading again, but it would be educational too?

(NAPSI)-Fans of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series can't resist the allure of Edward's myriad charms-his ocher eyes and tousled hair, the cadence of his speech, his chiseled, alabaster skin-and it could improve their vocabulary.

A new study guide for mastering these vocabulary words and others found on the SAT, ACT, GED and SSAT exams can help students learn more than 600 words based on their context in the popular vampire-romance series.

To use the book, "Defining Twilight" (Wiley) by Brian Leaf, you refer to the page where each vocabulary word appears, read the word in context and come up with a definition. Then you check your definitions against those provided in the workbook, make corrections and complete the drills.

The book also offers synonyms, word parts and memorization tools as well as drills and quizzes to integrate the new material.

"I would never have believed that students could study vocabulary and enjoy a great book like 'Twilight' at the same time, but Brian Leaf makes it possible," said Peter Facinelli, who plays Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the "Twilight" saga movies.

The book will be followed with a "Defining New Moon" vocabulary guide. To learn more about the book and read an excerpt, visit and the "Defining Twilight" Facebook page.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August Rumor Swirls Around Mars

Every year about this time, people say to me, 'Gee, I hear Mars is going to get really close to the Earth in August, and it will look as big as the moon,'" says Emory astronomer Horace Dale. "I wish there was something we could do to stamp out this rumor."

The annual Mars hoax began in 2003. In August of that year, the Red Planet came within 34 million miles of the Earth, which is pretty close, in astronomical terms -- and the closest it had been in more than 59,000 years. But even then, it only looked like a large, bright star to the naked eye.

"If you ever look up in the sky and Mars is the size of the moon, then something has seriously gone wrong with the laws of physics," Dale says.

Dale created a Mars Geocentric Distance Calculator. Read more about this calculator and what it does at eScienceCommons.

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Arts Across Georgia

Monday, August 3, 2009

Veterans, Seniors, Doctors & Small Businesses All Oppose House Democrats' Health Care Bill

RJ Note: Should the current bill be passed into law, we all have a great deal to worry about. Stand up and let your representatives know your thoughts. Now is the time to attend meetings, call, and let your voice be heard.

According to new polls last week from WSJ/NBC News, National Public Radio, and Pew, more Americans now oppose the Democrats’ government takeover of health care than support it. Why? Because it will raise costs, destroy jobs through a small business tax and onerous employer mandates, and put bureaucrats in charge of decisions that only patients and doctors should make.

But if you take a closer look, the opposition to the House Democrats’ bill is even more pronounced among key stakeholders around the country. Veterans, seniors, doctors, and small businesses are all voicing their opposition to the House Democrats’ government takeover of health care. Consider this:

- Veterans Groups Oppose House Democrats’ Bill. A group of six veterans organizations, including Amvets, Blinded Veterans Association, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Jewish War Veterans of the USAA, and Vietnam Veterans of American, wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that they have “grave concerns” about the bill and that they “would oppose this legislation because it could limit health care choices for veterans, increase the cost of health care for veterans, deny coverage to dependents family members of veterans, and threaten the quality of health care offered to veterans through the VA system.” And the American Legion wrote a letter to Chairman Waxman that it “is deeply concerned with veterans’ related issues” in the Democrats’ proposal.

- Seniors Concerned About Medicare Cuts, Believe Dem Bill Will Worsen Health Care. A new Gallup poll this morning says: “By a margin of three to one, 36% to 12%, adults 65 and older are more likely to believe healthcare reform will reduce rather than expand their access to healthcare. And by 39% to 20%, they are more likely to say their own medical care will worsen rather than improve.” Who can blame them? Among the chief concerns many Americans – particularly seniors – have about the Democrats’ government takeover is its Medicare cuts. The Associated Press reported yesterday that “Democrats are pushing for Medicare cuts on a scale not seen in years to underwrite health care for all. Many seniors now covered under the program don’t like that one bit.” An independent analysis of the House Democrats’ government-run plan shows the legislation slashes Medicare to the tune of $361.9 billion. That means fewer choices and lower health care quality for our nation’s seniors.

- Doctors & Medical Societies Oppose Government Plan, New Mandates. In a letter to House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Waxman, seven state medical societies, three specialty medical associations, and two former President’s of the American Medical Association representing 43,000 doctors wrote that they were adamantly opposed to the Democrats’ bill, especially to the government-run system that will crowd out the private market and the employer and individual mandates as well.

- Small Business Groups Say Dem Bill Would Destroy Jobs, Reduce Access to Care. A broad coalition of job-creating groups – representing small businesses to homebuilders and manufacturers – has come together to oppose the Democrats’ government takeover of health. In a letter to Congress, this coalition wrote: “We are specifically concerned with a proposal to mandate that employers either provide health insurance or pay a new eight percent payroll tax. The House ‘pay or play’ proposal is even more troublesome because employers are also mandated to pay the majority of employee premiums. Exempting some micro-businesses will not prevent this provision from killing many jobs.” And the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), representing small businesses across the country, also weighed in saying it would destroy jobs and reduce access to affordable health care: “NFIB opposes the [Democrats’ bill] because it threatens the viability of our nation’s job creators, fails to increase access and choice to all small businesses, destroys choice and competition for private insurance and fails to address the core challenge facing small businesses – cost.”

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Moob Reduction?

RJ Note: It is rather fascinating to see man boobs. And, then there are those you see at the beach and you think, "Get some support now."

Gee, men who undergo breast reductions get to use liposuction. Wouldn't it be great for women if they could use the same procedure in reverse to increase size?

Men Around The World Seek Cosmetic Surgery

/24-7/ -- Cosmetic Surgery Guru reveals that men around the world are turning to cosmetic surgery in increasing numbers, driven by the recent economic downturn and a growing concern over "moobs" ("man boobs").

Male cosmetic surgery rates are not only growing in America, the UK and other countries where the stigma attached to male cosmetic surgery has all but disappeared, but in the Middle East too. According to the Dubai Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine (DCAAAM), men now account for one in every five of Dubai's cosmetic surgery patients.

Although non-invasive treatments like Botox and laser hair removal for the back are the most common amongst men, surgical procedures, particularly male breast reduction, are becoming increasingly popular.

Credit Crunch

Public interest in cosmetic surgery has remained strong, despite the credit crunch. Men worldwide are looking to cosmetic surgery to boost their performance in an increasingly competitive job market. Some men who have been made redundant are using cosmetic surgery for therapeutic reasons: to improve self-esteem.

In Dubai, low oil prices and other negative economic factors have caused many people financial problems. Such problems have inspired men to invest in hair and beauty treatments as well as surgery, to boost their employment status as well as their confidence. The DCAAM predict that by 2013, men in Dubai will be spending $100 billion on cosmetic surgery each year.


Gynaecomastia, enlargement of the male breast tissue, is becoming a serious concern to a growing number of men worldwide. Bryan Mayou of London's Cadogan Clinic sees "an increasing number of men coming into (his) clinic with body-image problems and low self-esteem because of this particular condition."

Gynaecomastia currently affects 40-60% of men to varying degrees, although this figure is set to rise in line with obesity rates. Some scientists blame high levels of the female hormone oestrogen in food and drink for accentuating the problem. Men feel most inhibited by the condition in summer months, when they would normally remove clothing in hot weather or when swimming.

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), 44% more male breast reduction surgeries have taken place this year compared with last. In Scotland, this figure is closer to 80%. The male breast reduction process, which takes place under general anaesthetic, involves making small incisions under the armpits of the patient so that liposuction can be used to remove excess fat from the breast area.

In the UK, where men account for 10% of all cosmetic surgery patients, breast reduction has replaced the facelift as the fifth most popular male cosmetic surgery procedure. 323 male breast reduction procedures were carried out last year, compared with just 22 five years ago.

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