Monday, January 24, 2011

Numbers

Some numbers to think about…

20% decrease in violent crime from 1980 to 2007

1.8 million people in the US under correctional supervision in 1980

7.2 million people in the US under correctional supervision in 2007

13 percent of illicit drug users are African American

35 percent is the number of drug related arrests that are of African Americans

17,000 is the number of deaths annually from illicit drug use

103,350 is the number of deaths (annually) from alcohol related causes

256.2 per 100,000 is the rate for which black adults are imprisoned for drug offences

25.3 per 100,000 is the rate for which white adults are imprisoned for drug offences

Less than 1% is the difference in illicit drug use rates between whites and blacks


 

And the Republican's are looking for ways to cut the budget? Oh, I forgot. Republicans are big believers in the corrections system that we have and wouldn't mind adding to it. With private prisons. Who pays for those?

From Citizen K.:

A Rush to Judgment...

This is well worth reading! Click on it...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Asian medical innovation:

Life should be cheap | The Economist:


"America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is excessively risk-averse: it often takes twice as long to approve a new medical technology as European regulators do. America’s confusing approvals process deters upstart medical-technology firms, since they typically lack the deep pockets and army of experts required to navigate it. And for a device to succeed in America it must be blessed not just by the FDA but also by the bureaucrats who oversee Medicare and Medicaid, the two huge government health-care schemes. Obtaining that blessing can take years."

The worlds finest health care?

"A night in an American hospital typically costs 25 times as much as a night in an Indian, Brazilian or Chinese one; a night in a European hospital typically costs four times as much."

Something

else I found...so true!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The FBI

Failed again. I read that they raided over 100 known mobsters last night and there wasn't a Senator or Congressman among them. Somebody had to have tipped them off...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At Last!

The Health Care bill repeal has passed in the House! Tomorrow's plan is to repeal gravity. Followed the next day by a bill repealing, black people, brown people, red people and yellow people. (this excludes carrot colored people...The Boehner Amendment)

It's wonderful to watch our government in action!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winner

Yes, I play Lotto. $1 a game. That's about $100 a year and don't tell me how poor my chances are. I know. But the facts are this; someone wins. And on Saturday night someone won $32 million. On a whim, I decided to investigate a little further and read that there was one winner and they picked the winning ticket at a convenience store in Orosi, California. I've been to Orosi. It's memorable because of the poverty that is endemic in that part of the San Joaquin Valley. Here's a link to the stats on Orosi. If you read the stats you will see that the income levels are far below the California average. The population is over 80% Hispanic and I can tell you from personal experience that most are employed in agriculture as pickers. I would guess that there is a large percentage of that number that are undocumented. Lots of citrus and lots of grapes harvested here. In a previous life I enjoyed some church mission trips here; to Lemon Cove, Corcoran and to Ivanhoe as well. All poor. Agriculture breeds poverty. I can guarantee you that this new millionaire will be the only one within a twenty mile radius. Only the workers live here. The corporate farmer doesn't come to Orosi.
 I didn't win but I'm glad someone from Orosi did.

Progress Notes from

- Doctors for America

I was reading Dr. Kevin Pho's newsletter and ended up on this site after reading one of the articles...some good reading here! The one that caught my eye was entitled "It's easier to get a gun than mental health care: mass shootings are a symptom of our broken health care system."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From the Upper Left:

: I hate to say I told you so…

Me too. I need to be included in the long list of people who 'told you so'.

Hey! It's only a $1 billion wasted. If they had kept it up, it could have turned into some serious money!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Social Security Sense

Social Security Benefits are Modest —

Short article with good data and the truth as to why the conservatives are trying to sell you and your future down the river...charts too!
Everybody likes charts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guns and more guns

It's a national bad habit.Our children and our grandchildren have toy guns in their hands as soon as they can stand and toddle. 99% (I'm making that % up) of the people/characters seen on television by those children, has a gun in their hands at one time or another. The amount of filmed gun violence seen by our children grows along with them until by the time they are old enough to watch R rated films, murder and mayhem are almost, but not quite, boring to them. They've seen it all.


Then if they choose to go into the military, they can use guns for real! Big guns and little guns but all very real. Did you know that we are now buying bullets from Israel because we can't make them fast enough for our grown up kids. They are averaging over 250,000 bullets per enemy dead! 


I went to Cabo San Lucas in 1990 and was surprised to see militia with rifles over their shoulders at the airport and walking around town. Shocking! A couple of years later, my wife came on a trip to Cabo with me and I warned her ahead of time about the 'guys with real guns' that she would see. Even prepared, she was scared when she saw them. We had nothing like that at home and we figured it was the sign of being in a third world country. And it was. Now we see automatic weapons routinely at our airports and other public venues. Just a sign of being in a third world country I guess.


I have hunting weapons but I gave up hunting many years ago. The weapons are in the back of the closet and I suppose I should look at them and dust them off every now and then. But I never get around to it. And hunting isn't necessary. It's expensive, dangerous, and we have all the food we need at the store. Is there a good reason to hunt? I don't know what it might be. When I stopped hunting, I thought of it as growing up.


Pistols are a real problem for me. If you're not involved in some form of law enforcement, I see no reason to have one. If you must have a pistol; can't bear the thought of doing without...do you really need one that holds more than, let's say...six bullets? Of course not. Actually just one is enough to kill a loved one by mistake or in a fit of anger. 


Well, I can vent here and could even write to 'Dear Wally', our congressman but I doubt that with his siege mentality he would be interested in addressing the issue of gun control. So I'm just venting a little. 

Incredible!

I saw this a few minutes ago and had to say Whoa!

Dinner Time

I made a great dinner last night. We agreed. And it was easy…although it does require some shopping at Trader Joe's for some of the ingredients.


 

½ cup of TJ's cubed Pancetta bacon

½ cup chopped sweet onion

½ pkg of Baby Spinach, rough chopped – TJ's

8 mushrooms, sliced – TJ's

5-6 eggs, beaten till well blended – TJ's

Crystal Hot Sauce

TJ's 21 Season Salute - seasoning


 

Using a medium sized frying pan, cook the Pancetta on medium heat. Add the onions when the bacon is almost done, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs and begin to stir while lowering the heat to medium low. After a minute or two, add the spinach and stir in well. As the eggs begin to firm up, add the mushrooms, 4 generous dashes of Crystal and 4 shakes of the 21 Season Salute. Turn the heat up to medium/medium low and cook the mixture slowly for about 5 minutes. Use your own sense of when it's done but the eggs need to be moist and not rubbery. This takes the proper heat and more time stirring the mixture. If you want the very best taste, put the heat on low and stir for about 20 minutes. But, if that's boring, just turn the heat up a little and stir for about 5 minutes. You can see how well you are doing by looking at the bottom of the pan as you stir. No matter how you prepare scrambled eggs, they need to be cooked as slow as possible. Remember; you don't want rubbery eggs! Ever!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Still Alive


The good news, so far, is that Rep. Giffords is still alive. I'm still certain that the shooting was caused by the Tea Party (Koch brothers) and the Republican Party. Certainly not directly, but just as certain by their hate filled rhetoric that they have flooded the nation with during the past two years. And longer.
Yes, Rep Giffords is still alive but six have died and 12 more are wounded. Each of the six were important people. Equally. And all were injured or killed by a man with a gun. A mentally ill man with a gun. Hello, NRA?
The Republican Party has always gone out of their way to attract those who were mentally ill; Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachman are the most obvious. I won't include Rush in the list of those who are ill because he doesn't really deserve any sympathy. He knows what he is doing to make a buck and he would flip in a minute if he could get more cash as a Democrat. He doesn't have beliefs, he has a shtick!
Speaking of the NRA as I was; where do we stand with the NRA argument that says that we are safer when good citizens have guns…guns that can be used to shoot those who would inflict violence. (That whole argument makes my head spin) I guess all of the good citizens were home that day or out at the shooting range.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More on Giffords

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head while holding a public event in Tucson, according to multiple news reports


 

Fox News said Giffords was shot point blank in the head by an unidentified gunman who also indiscriminately shot at least 11 others. The network said the gunman is in custody.


 

Giffords, 40, a Democrat, is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly. She took office in January 2007, emphasizing issues such as immigration reform, embryonic stem-cell research, alternative energy sources and a higher minimum wage.


 

Isn't Arizona a 'open carry' state?

And I can see where the issues she emphasized might lead…

Education

I was reading, once again, about the problems of the schools. I decided to do some research as to how much we value teachers and came up with these figures from the US Government, Department of Labor & Whatever. These are the annual pay figures for the year 2009. Today's figures will be lower, of course. I included some pay figures from other occupations just for comparison.


 

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education $30,500    

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education $56,660    

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education     $61,230    

Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education $61,370    

Vocational Education Teachers, Middle School $51,310    

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education $63,860    

Vocational Education Teachers, Secondary School $61,620    

Special Education Teachers, Preschool, Kindergarten, and Elementary School $63,440    

Special Education Teachers, Middle School $65,140

Special Education Teachers, Secondary School $67,390

Adult Literacy, Remedial Education, and GED Teachers and Instructors $70,410

Self-Enrichment Education Teachers $41,410

Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School    $103,600    

Education Administrators, Postsecondary $100,830    

Education Administrators, All Other $84,530    

Athletes and Sports Competitors $126,200    

Fashion Designers    $81,490

Hoist and Winch Operators    $67,000    

Boilermakers    $69,620    

Insurance Sales Agents $76,520    

Real Estate Brokers    $84,510

Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance $72,290    

Fish and Game Wardens 65,730    

Physical Therapist Assistants $56,820

Public Relations Specialists     $66,690


 

"According to the Census Bureau, over an adult's working life, high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million; associate's degree holders earn about $1.6 million; and bachelor's degree holders earn about $2.1 million. Unless, of course, you have a bachelor's degree in education.


 

I was hoping to find the wage figures for a high school coach. A football coach to be exact. But that figure was not to be found and I'm not surprised. By the way, did you ever notice that during heated discussions about school finance, cuts to the athletic department are never mentioned? Okay, if they are mentioned…they are dead last!


 

Automatic

I just read this news bulletin 5 minutes ago…


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona Reportedly Shot in Tucson
A Democratic congresswoman from Arizona was shot along with
several others during a public event at a grocery store in
Tucson, according to news reports. The condition of
Representative Gabrielle Giffords remained unclear. The
Tucson Citizen reported that Ms. Giffords had been shot at
close range in the head.


 

My first thought? Tea Party. Why did I think this way? Rep. Giffords is a Democrat. Isn't it a shame that the events of the past two years have made me think this way?

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm thinking

...now that the Tea Bag people have government mandated health care under fire and seem poised to destroy it altogether, that it would make sense for them to look at some other socialist plots and put them on the list to destroy as well. The most obvious of these socialist schemes is/are the Public Utilities. Electricity, gas, water and, in a minor way, phone service. The government has long interfered with them, stifling their profits in the name of 'the public good'. Who are they kidding? It's time to take the shackles off and let the utilities seek their own level of profitability in the market place. I'm also thinking that there are a lot more government mandated services out there that need to be investigated...

But, wait...I'm thinking again; wouldn't that endanger peoples lives if they couldn't afford the new and higher rates? Health care isn't as important as electricity? As water?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just wondering

I was scanning the Google Reader and trying to sort the wheat from the chaff as the websites flew by as fast as I could scroll…and then I spotted this from Stephen Colbert.


 

If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.

-Stephen Colbert


 

I don't know when he said this but I do know that when I stopped and scrolled down to the comment section there was plenty of rage going on. Rage from those who felt singled out by Mr. Colbert. Rage from those who were sure it was just Democratic liberal clap trap. So I read it again. Hmmm? The quote doesn't contain a single word regarding liberals, conservatives or ? So, how were his words political? Why did these obviously conservative Republicans start foaming at the mouth?