Thursday, 02 May 2013
Given all the recent knife violence, we need to start a drive to register knives. We know that they're dangerous. You're not even allowed to take nail clippers on a flight because even that tiny thing you use to trim your hangnails is clearly dangerous. You can't have pen knives because they're dangerous. Mind you, this is a knife that has a blade less than 2 1/2 inches long and does NOT lock into place. The Fight Attendant's Union says that a knife that's this small is dangerous and the Pilot's Union agrees with them. Given that, how much more dangerous is that steak knife or that 10 inch chef's knife? What about the machete out in the garage you use to hack back the honey suckle? Or the hatchet you take camping?
According to the information, while the number of murders is down over all and while the percentage of all murders being committed with guns is also down. The number of murders being committed with knives and similar object is rising. It has been increasing since 2008. So we just need to make people register their knives.
Let's look at the recent items around here...
This was just 4 hours ago - a woman's ex stabbed her and her children. The mother of 3 is dead along with her 12 year old. The 8 year old is clinging to life with a brain injury and other problems. The third is an 8 month old baby and is unharmed.
This was last month - a mentally ill student went to campus and started randomly stabbing people with an exacto knife.
This was in January - A man stabbed a neighbor for wearing a red hat.
This was from September - A man stabbed his girlfriend when she told him she was HIV+.
This guy used a hatchet - A man attacks his neighbors with a hatchet.
This kid used a machete - on his own grandparents
So if we're going to control guns, which are one of the best means of defending yourself from someone armed with a knife, then we need to start controlling knives, hatches, axes, and other things with a blade.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
I'm really rather upset about this whole health care thing. I don't really care who fixes it but someone has to. Do I think @Obama is right? No. I don't think that making us all buy something from yet another private corporation is the way to fix the interlocking corporate complex that's busily bilking all of us for every last cent. I give him points for trying but not so much for results.
Before you try to tell me this isn't a problem, let me start off by telling you some stories. I have too many friends and family members are quietly having some kind of crisis over medical expenses. Let's begin with my parents. My Dad was career military. After that he worked for the Marshall Service as a US Marshall. He should have good retirement benefits right? WRONG!
He was told repeatedly that he was earning free medical care for life for himself and his wife while he was being shot at in places like Midway and Iwo Jima and Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. He was assured that he'd have care after they irradiated him FIVE times at Bikini Atoll and White Sands, NM at the nuclear test blasts. What did he get? This man who had enough bars, medals and ribbons to cover his uniform literally from the epaulets to his belt - got what everyone else in this country gets once you are old and not of use any more. He got Medicare and Medicaid. He got stuck in some piss-filled nursing home. They tried to medicate him into insensibility. They tried to intimidate him. Not the brightest thing to do with a man who was trained to resist drugging, resist torture and who thinks that a ball point pen is a weapon.
My mother really got the short end of this because in order for him to qualify for Medicaid, she had to spend her own retirement savings down to $2000 total. Now my father has died so my mother's income just got cut in half. Her savings are gone, thanks to the Medicaid spend down. My mother is stuck sitting in a house full of my Dad's ghosts which she can't afford to keep up on her newly reduced income. She can't sell it because Medicaid owns his half of it. She can't move out because then it will be sold so that they can take half of it.
Then there is my friend Krystal. Krystal has a good job and so does her husband. They both have health insurance. Despite that, her family has had to declare bankruptcy twice due to her medical bills. Two brushes with cancer and a stroke caused by chiropractor have ruined her family financially. Her children are ready to go to college but they'd best have scholarships because their parents have used every penny to pay for Krystal's bills. The money that had been put aside for their college funds has been burned up Krystal's illnesses.
I have another friend, Alyssa. Alyssa is a hair dresser and mostly stay at home mom. Her husband works hard to keep coverage for his family. However, Alyssa has been sick a lot lately. She needed surgery. The hospital refused to schedule the surgery unless she paid the $3000 deductible to them in advance. Nevermind that they probably won't file first and that the deductible probably won't even be applied to their bill, the hospital's billing staff was determined that she was going to pay it up front. This meant that Alyssa had to keep going to the ER each month, which didn't require a deductible to get periodic treatments and pain medication to manage her condition until she could pay the deductible. Since her ER visits were average $8500 each, it would have been cheaper for the insurance company to waive her deductible and send her for the surgery that ultimately solved her problem.
Then there's Tom. Tom has a bit of unusual issue. He's got male menopause or Low T or what ever one wants to call it this week. The short of it is that Tom is at all the same risks for osteoporosis and other "menopausal" problems that women get from not having enough estrogen. Yet his health plan refuses to pay for his testosterone treatments. Why? I think they're hoping that by the time its an issue for him, he'll be covered by someone else.
Worst of all is Judy. Judy's ex husband should have very bad things happen to him. Judy divorced him after she discovered that he had developed a substance abuse problem. She found out that because he had been a bad boy, she now has to pay the price for it. She has Hepatitis C. Hep C, for those who don't know is a very quiet epidemic. It spreads and remains silent, other than some flu-like symptoms. Most people never find out they have it until liver is failing. Some studies say that infection rates in the USA are as high as 30% of the population (one person out of every three) yet doctors continue to refuse to perform the inexpensive screening test for it. Why? Treatment is EXPENSIVE. Without insurance, people are facing $10,000 per month or more in medication costs alone. With insurance, Judy is facing $750 per month in co-payments for her medication. Judy sold her house and moved in with her parents so she could pay her copays to get the treatment she needs to live. Her copays and her house payment were about the same amount. And Judy was worried that the treatment would make her too sick to work and she might loose the house anyway.
Here are some numbers for you. The entire population of the USA is 311,591,917. Out of that, 2,227,000 filed for bankruptcy in 2005. That's nearly 10% and that's from 7 years ago. The numbers have been climbing so fast no one has good data to publish just yet. Of the people who declare bankruptcy, 76% of them started off with health coverage. 62% still had the same health coverage when they filed for bankruptcy. 62% of bankruptcies are due to high (greater than $10,000 in out of pocket costs) medical bills. Out of pocket costs means that is the part that the patient is expected to pay AFTER insurance has paid. 48% of bankruptcies list high medication costs as a contributing factor. And just so you know that this isn't frivolous bankruptcy, these people are HURTING before they file. 22% (nearly 1 in 4) of them did without food before filing. 30% (1 in 3) had at least one utility shut off prior to filing. 61% (over half) did without medical care. 50% (half) failed to have one or more prescriptions filled. That's what we want - people do without the care and medication they need to become productive citizens again. Because it's soooo much better for them to end up on permanent disability......
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
There are a few things that have been bothering me about Penn State and Jerry Sandusky. He was originally charged with 52 counts, 48 went to trial and he was convicted of 45 counts of child molestation. Here's what my issues with this whole thing are. Child predators are nearly always very specific in their "tastes", if you will. They have narrow specific qualities that "trip their trigger". Many of these "triggers" revolve around physical appearance. Physical appearance in children is determined by 2 things - age and ethnicity. A 7 year old boy does not have same kind of physical appearance as a 14 year old young man. Humans have this thing called puberty....
The boys that Mr. Sandusky is accused of molesting run the gamut from 7 years old to 14 years old. They also cross all kinds of ethnic boundaries. Yet most predators hunt almost exclusively within their own ethnic group.
So that begs the question about what is REALLY going on at Penn State.
To quote the move JFK, when you want to know what's going on, follow the money.....
In this case, despite all of this, Jerry Sandusky is getting the largest pension in the history of the University. he got a lump sum payment of $148,271 when he retired in 1999 and continues to receive nearly $60,000 a year in pension payments. That's handy since Sandusky can use that money to pay his victims. That's a pension, though, that is one of the biggest in Pennsylvania. A bit odd for a lowly assistant coach, don't you think? Especially since Joe Paterno, his incredibly famous boss, didn't get nearly that much money.
So we have an incredibly wealthy university - both the management, campus police, and coaching staff - who spend decades covering up the systematic molestation of young, poor boys. Despite the fact that Jerry Sandusky is "banned" from bringing young boys on campus, he's still allowed to run summer campsNow, ask yourself how they got that incredibly wealthy football program? Just what is a few hours of "favors" from a 10 year old boy going for these days? I have the horrible suspicion that someone at Penn State can tell you.....
Sunday, 08 July 2012
So I had a customer who wanted to use a Rocket Theme called Enigma. Its called Enigma because what they show on their web site is actually custom written code that is not included in the theme. Its not really a WordPress theme if you have to hard code the advertised features into each page. Worse yet their gallery widget is so poorly coded that it actually causes the database back end to die. It even did it on their own demo server.
So I asked for a refund and was basically told to f off even though they admit it is broken and despite posting in their support forums my requests were closed repeatedly even though they were obviously not able to fix it.
Rocket Themes officially sucks.... bunch a broke a$$$ shit..... they should go work for woothemes. Maybe their f-tarded-ness would balance out and produce a working product.
Sunday, 01 July 2012
While it's attractive, like many good looking people I know, it's incredibly broken. And I mean broken like the drunken mall Santa... Trying to add or look at too many photos at the same time causes Apache to burn up all the system memory. Then the kernel process - OOM (Out of Memory) steps in and starts killing stuff in an attempt to keep the operating system functional. Unfortunately, that seems to be mysql :/ which means that since Rocket Theme runs on Wordpress, you guessed it, your whole Wordpress blog dies with an ugly error messsage.