kid gets away with murder, literally

I was in TX last month visiting my new favorite person in the world! My sister just had a baby, y’all!!

Anyway, in TX, I saw something on the news about a 16-yr old boy who was driving drunk & killed 4 people. So, when I came back home, I looked it up to see what came of it. Apparently, it was a little while ago, and this is what I found:

pic links to article

pic links to article

Obama signed a law (Monsanto edition)

Original & "red" HRC logo

Original & “red” HRC logo

If you’re reading this, you’re obviously are social on the internet, and noticed that fb “went red” on Tuesday. There was a social solidarity to wear red on Tuesday, as SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the US) was hearing arguments against Prop 8 in California on Tuesday, and against DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) on Wednesday. HRC (the Human Rights Campaign) changed their logo to red in support of marriage equality.

I did wear red on Tuesday, but I didn’t really change my profile picture on fb. I don’t know why. I didn’t really feel like it. It’s kinda interesting to see everyone “as one” kinda. Maybe it’s partly narcissism, but I don’t think so, b/c I’ve changed my profile picture to that “I’m w/ Coco” image when Conan O’Brien had his show taken away. Maybe it’s b/c I’m searching for a job, and I have gone through & only kept “non-political” pictures as viewable by everyone… I honestly don’t know why I didn’t change it. I just didn’t feel like fb is the place. I sign petitions, I make phone calls, and send emails. All my friends know my stance. Changing my picture on fb is not going to be my “voice”, I guess is what I’m thinking.

Here’s the thing. There’s so much going on right now. Our elected officials are acting like punks. Mississippi passing laws so that clinics that service uninsured, urban ppl can’t stay open. Arkansas passing unconstitutional laws that their own state officials asked them NOT to pass, b/c they WILL be sued and they can’t afford to pay out for lawsuits that will win b/c they already know they’re unconstitutional. What a WASTE. So much GOVERNMENT WASTE. It’s so sad :(

Ok, so back to this SCOTUS thing. They will strike down Prop 8. If they don’t, so much of California is against it now (remember when it passed, it was b/c all those Mormons (LDS Church) paid to pass it through back then). California is easily influenced by ads (like the GMO labeling law that didn’t pass this past Nov). Anyway, California can undo that law now; unlike Ohio, the majority of ppl there are against a ban on same-sex marriage. And DOMA – they DEFINITELY will strike down DOMA. If, in the unlikely event that they don’t, Congress WILL. There are enough liberals AND conservatives in Congress against it that they will def repeal it if SCOTUS doesn’t strike it down first.

At any rate, we’ll hear about both these in June. JUNE, ppl.

In the meantime, like NOW, can we talk about our stupid, bull-headed Congressmen? I know I need to be specific about what exactly I’m mad w/ them about right now, but it’s the whole stupid sequester. What they had written up last year, “knowing” that they’d NEVER want to accept it, so it was their own ultimatum to themselves. But it DID happen, b/c of their stubbornness.

They now have to pass through appropriations for every little thing that they want exempted from the sequester.

Um, why don’t you just work on a budget that BOTH sides of Congress will pass?

So, as a result of our Congress being SO BULL-HEADED, we have to have them pass through bills for any part of government spending that we don’t want SHUT DOWN.

Thus HR 933, Congress’s temporary 6-month appropriations bill will allow agriculture in the US to continue, with federal funding. Shortly before this Agriculture Appropriations bill got pushed through for the President to sign into law, a rider was “anonymously” attached to it. This is section 735, aka the “Monsanto Protection Act”. It basically deregulated the farming industry so that farmers can grow crops without the “burden” of the government watchdog.

[sidenote:  what’s kind of interesting here is that Republicans, who are AGAINST govt regulation are also upset with Obama for DE-regulating the agriculture industry.  Do you see the hypocrisy?]

Let’s discuss what just happened. [Or, “break it down, y’all”]

- there was a govt shutdown looming.
– the agriculture industry was in jeopardy. [which would lead to food shortages, and thus a sharp rise in groc costs in an very vulnerable economy just beginning to re-emerge]
– there was a bill to help farmers.

Now, here’s the thing about this bill, WITH THIS RIDER attached:

- the President does NOT have a “line item veto”.
– – this means, he must pass the bill into law, or shut down the WHOLE thing, which means NO govt. funding for farms.
– it’s a temporary 6-month funding bill
– if he DID VETO the entire thing (which he could do), Congress had enough votes (2/3s) to over-ride his veto, and it would still pass.

Do I like the “Monsanto Protection Act”*? No.
Do I understand how it passed through? Yes.
* in quotes, b/c it’s not a real act/bill/law on its own, it was a section of a bill.

I hope you do too now. And, more than anything, I urge you, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. Please let them know how you feel, and YOU DO VOTE.

What we’ve learned in Nov. 2012 national election is that while Super paks spent BILLIONS of dollars, they learned that we won’t necessarily vote their ppl into Congress (or the White House). Remember, Karl Rove’s super PAC spent $103 million on ads; they got 1% return on their investment. Remind your Congress ppl that lobbyists can fund their campaign, but only YOU can give them their job.

Contact your Senator
Contact your US Representative

Call, Tweet, or FB your Representatives. They are supposed to REPRESENT YOU!

However, I did notice something today that made me smile.  My gloves, that I wear daily, b/c my fingers are as cold as they can be….  ;)

pink glve

Related Posts:

gay marriage is wrong. Right?
My thought on the whole Bert & Ernie thing.
I didn’t realize it was still 1960

And here’s an interesting article I found a few years ago:
Are Homosexual Civil Unions A 600-year-old Tradition?
It mentions how in medieval France, they had a term “affrerement” (like brotherment) that served as a legal contract. They “pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ — one bread, one wine, and one purse.”

152 shots in less than 5 mins.

The Hartford Courant disclosed a new piece of info this wk that we didn’t know before… That Newtown shooting… 152 shots were fired in less than 5 mins. B/c in that Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, were multiple, extended 30-round magazines. His mother would not have been able to purchase this if, in 2004, Congress had not let the Assault Weapons Ban expire.

He wouldn’t have been able to buy a magazine with more than 10 rounds in it if the 2004 law had been renewed. So, he would have had to re-load 14 times. Lag-time where he could have been stopped. The Assault Weapons Ban also banned 30-round magazines.

He’d need to re-load over a dozen times to do what he did in 3-4 reloads, more chance for error (drop a mag, or have something jam, or stumble). If the law had been renewed, he’d still only have had access to a 10-round magazine. Not the 30-round mags that his mama was able to purchase since the law didn’t renew.

Contact your Senator
Contact your US Representative

Call, Tweet, or FB your Representatives

They are supposed to REPRESENT YOU!
More

free Coach lure

I got an email from Coach today (I actually get one daily). But today’s had a subject line boasting “20% off & free gift w/ purchase!”.

Considering they charge over $20 for shipping, I figured 20% off would basically amount to free shipping. So, of course, I clicked to see what they had on sale, and what the free gift was. This is what I saw at the bottom of my long email filled w/ awesome looking totes & wristlets:

Really? I’m not buying a hundred dollars of MEN’S things! Do ppl really spend $100 in the men’s section of Coach? I get Kenneth Cole, or Express for men. But I don’t know any men who want any Coach things.

Again, at the bottom of a picture w/ a shiny, pretty tote & a signature wristlet.  Those sneaky so & so’s.  Not even a picture of some men’s item.  I don’t even know that I’ve ever even noticed a men’s item there before… ?!?!

bully the movie

There’s a new movie coming out, “Bully”.

It’s gotten an “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, ONLY due to the usage of the “F-word” in this film. But the words used are those of children, ages 11-17, told to other children. There are much more violent & adult-themed movies given a rating of PG-13.

But this movie, one that should prob be shown in schools, one that is teaching our youth of the real consequences of bullying, has been given an “R” rating, & will not be seen by those who need to see it most.

These kids already know these words. Geez, I am shocked by how much kids know these days. I certainly did not use any type of bad words when I was a kid. I never saw a movie that had the “F-word” in it until I was 18; and my jaw dropped when I heard it b/c I was in a large public space & there it was, coming off a huge movie screen. But these kids today? They hear bad words & see questionable content everywhere. I don’t remember songs with bad words on the radio when I was a kid either. But I hear stuff on the radio now; & even when they attempt to bleep stuff, you know what they’re bleeping.

Anyway, I’ve signed this petition. It was started by a Katy Butler, a high-schooler in Ann Arbor, MI. I heard about this on the Ellen show today (it was a previous episode on my dvr); and I had to post about it. Katy has started this petition to change the rating to PG-13 so that this movie can be seen by those who need to see it most.

Pls sign this petition: MPAA: Don’t let the bullies win! Give ‘Bully’ a PG-13 instead of an R rating!

You may also want to contact the Motion Picture Association of America: ContactUs@mpaa.org
Phone & Fax # for offices in major cities: http://www.mpaa.org/about/contact

Trailer for the movie:

you can’t win w/ health insurance

You just can’t get your own health insurance. You can’t. It’ll suck.

Though, my new company health insurance plan sucks too. So, which to pick?

Our company used to have our health plan through Kaiser Permanente. A handful of us were the only ones who liked it. Everyone else didn’t. So, we switched to Anthem, which everyone else loves, but I hate.

They love it b/c they use their own docs. Even w/ Kaiser, which didn’t really allow for that, they did, & just paid the extra surcharge.

Well, I don’t have a doc. So, when I had to make an appt just to get a refill on my old prescription, I picked a doc & called to make an appt. Was told there wasn’t an opening for 2 months. I told them I didn’t care who I saw, anyone was fine, I just needed a new script. 1 month wait for that.

What if I was seriously sick? It’d be 2 months? I’d be dead by then.

W/ Kaiser, I’d call in the morn & would get to see a doc that afternoon. It might not be *my* doc, but since everything was on the internal computer system, they had my complete health history right in front of them. If I needed an x-ray or blood taken, I’d simply go downstairs to either lab.

W/ the new Anthem, if I need blood work, I need to go to a special Quest lab. I don’t even know where those are. I’m not sure that x-rays are covered.

photo from flickr user Steve Rhodes - click to go to his photos

A co-worker thought she’d stepped on a nail, so called to get a tetanus shot. She was told she’d have to pay the co-pay for the appt, plus whatever the shot cost (this can be $85 or more, depending). She also found out that if she’d asked for the same shot the day before, it’d be just the $15 co-pay b/c it woulda been a “preventative procedure”. Now that she’d stepped on a nail (she thinks), it’s a “diagnostic procedure”. Um…. sounds like pre-existing condition to me.

But isn’t that the whole point of insurance. Doesn’t the word itself mean that you’re investing your money in the case that something does happen?!?! They’re the ones that are supposed to be there to FIX whatever happens. I know that’s how my car insurance works. I don’t get a new bumper before I’m in an accident.

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day.

I know many of us have talked about bottled water, & I know I’ve said to some of you (on occasion) to please STOP buying bottled water.

Esp. since clean water has come more to light, w/ the recent earthquakes in Haiti & Chile. Clean water is a commodity, it’s not something that’s even available here in the US. While we don’t really see it, 10% of the US don’t have access to clean water like we do.

Most of us, however, do have clean water readily available to us.

But even if you don’t, please stop buying cases of bottled water. It irks me to no end when I see ppl at the groc store going out w/ cases & cases of it in their carts.

Forget the waste it creates. Obvs, that’s not an issue to these ppl.

Think about that it’s just NOT good for you to drink it.

First of all, it’s not really regulated like it should be. The FDA only has 1 person on staff to make sure that bottled water is safe. Why? Well, from the FDA’s website:

“FDA monitors and inspects bottled water products and processing plants under its general food safety program, not a specific bottled water program. Because FDA’s experience over the years has shown that bottled water has a good safety record, bottled water plants generally are assigned low priority for inspection.”

But mostly, b/c we know that these plastics are made w/ a chemical called Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE). There was a study done at Goethe University in Frankfurt. They found that water was more often contaminated when PET plastic bottles than in glass bottles. They believed that oestrogens leached from the plastic into the water.

I found this on the Environmental Working Group’s website:

“Toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and haloacetic acids, are formed when disinfectants (chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide or chloramine) react with organic matter, urban and agricultural contaminants, bromine, and iodide during the treatment of drinking water (EPA 2008a). While only eleven DBPs are currently regulated in the U.S., up to 600 different chemicals may form as byproducts of disinfection (Richardson 1998, 1999a,b, 2003), including 74 DBPs that are not regulated but that may be associated with either DNA damage or carcinogenicity (Richardson 2007).”

They also listed as contaminants in bottled water:
chloroform – FDA regulates that you must have less than 80 ppb of trihalomethanes (THMs), i.e. chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and chlorodibromomethane. The 80 ppb limit was actually reached as a compromise between public health & treatment costs. “Chloroform is listed as a carcinogen in the California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (also known as Proposition 65), with safety standards for oral ingestion at 10 ppb (OEHHA 2008).

- Haloacetic acids – “Haloacetic acids are genotoxic and carcinogenic; they can also produce significant metabolic disturbances (Robertson 2007).”

- Nitrate – “According to EPA, infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the drinking water standard could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die (EPA 2001b).”

- Ammonia – “Ammonia triggers asthma attacks in some people and at high levels of exposure it is linked to a broader range of health problems (Makarovsky 2008). According to a 2004 government review: “We do not know if exposure to ammonia causes birth defects, or if it can pass to the fetus across the placenta or to infants via breast milk” (ATSDR 2004).”

- Drugs – Acetaminophen & Caffeine

You can read through the article for details on the pollutants above, plus more found. (Arsenic, Radioactivity, Boron are among the ones that stood out to me).

Then, you have the water cooler jugs at offices. The plastic water jugs for the water cooler is made from Bisphenol A (you’ve all heard of BPA, originally developed as a synthetic estrogen). You can easily search the gov’t.’s archive of public medical journal articles & find all sorts of issues w/ BPA.

From one article:

“We are confident that adult exposure to BPA affects the male reproductive tract, and that long-lasting, organizational effects in response to developmental exposure to BPA occur in the brain, the male reproductive system, and metabolic processes. We consider it likely, but requiring further confirmation, that adult exposure to BPA affects the brain, the female reproductive system, and the immune system, and that developmental effects occur in the female reproductive system.”

Just read through a handful of the articles. Links to breast or prostate cancer, reproductive failures. There’s heart disease, diabetes, obesity, & asthma. If that’s not enough, you also have the cognitive and behavioral problems linked to exposure to BPAs.

There was a study a couple years back that said that 93% of Americans had BPA in their urine, & stayed in the body much longer than originally thought.

Anyway, please stop using the water bottles. Or, at least only when necessary, & recycle it after ONE use; don’t attempt to re-use it.

If you want to read more, Steph had once written a post about bottled water, you can read it here. Or, you can read more about the 7 different types of plastics that she had posted about here.

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