Fed funding to protect our cities

Ppl complain about how much money our federal govt spends. But so much of it really MUST be spent.

For example, I read an article today about how Boston is one of the most prepared cities for crisis. I think we can all agree now, in retrospect, that the US Govt funneling BILLIONS of dollars into crisis preparedness of major cities was $ well-spent.

You should read the article, b/c it goes into the drills they did.

boston 4-15-2013The drills, which included hostage situations, HazMat incidents and a movie theater shooting, brought together emergency officials from the city, state and federal government, as well as from the Boston Police, SWAT teams, the Fire Department, EMS, local hospitals, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Coast Guard. All in all, there were over 600 participants in the November drill, from over fifty different departments and agencies.

“What the Urban Shield program does is test it all at the same time – bomb squads working, swat teams working, fire, HazMat, search and rescue, command centers activated, all your radio systems, hospitals activated – everyone’s kind of working together,” says Baker, who worked closely with the city to execute the simulation. “That’s where you start to find your gaps – who can’t speak to whom on the radio. You identify the real problems when you get everyone together.”

This is a good use of money. Especially after what we’ve seen happen this past week in Boston. Those ‘boys in blue’ really knew what they were doing, and KUDOS to that whole city!

On a slightly related note, about the whole federal funds thing. Back when Hurricane Sandy happened, so many Senators voted AGAINST giving funds to those affected by the storm. They needed to rebuild, and get back to work, re-open businesses. But Congress didn’t want to give them money. For a natural disaster.

Two of those who voted against giving them money, were the 2 Senators from TX. Well, now those 2 Texas senators are asking for money for what happened when that private business caught on fire & exploded in West, TX. I’m sympathetic for the city. But why, time & time again, are we against something until it hits us personally. Are we that disillusioned that we are no longer able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes? I’m looking forward to finding out what happened there as well. That is, if that private company did not follow federal regulations. I’ve heard that there was at least 1 safety mark against them. Let’s see what we get out of this investigation as well.

west tx

Bad guy with a gun

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” ~ Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president (Dec. 2012, right after Newtown shooting).

Except for maybe when a good guy with a gun almost shoots another good guy trying to stop the bad guy.

Or maybe making it more difficult for the bad guy to get the gun in the first place.

And there’s this:

“We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone…. That means closing the Hinckley loophole so the records of those adjudicated mentally ill are in the system. This isn’t new, or a change of position, or a concession. I’ve been on record on this point consistently, from our national meeting in Denver, to paid national ads and position papers, to news interviews and press appearances.” ~ LaPierre’s statements in front of the House Judiciary Committee in 1999

He also spoke in favor of preventing juvenile felons from ever owning guns, setting up instant background checks at gun shows and keeping schools gun-free.

And then there’s the GOP Guru:

reagan gun2

reagan_gun_control-190547

reagan gun3

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.

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Clinton liaison for Israel & Palestine

Am I the only 1 who thinks that sending former US President Bill Clinton to motivate a treaty & peace between Israel & Palestine, is a likely solution?

He almost had them at the cusp of something back in 2000. No one has come close to what he’s been able to do in extreme foreign circumstances.

UPDATE (Nov. 21, 2012): I knew it! Well, I knew it’d take a Clinton! I just had the wrong Clinton pegged! I saw Hillary Clinton do her whirlwind tour yesterday, from Myanmar/Burma to Israel, Egypt, & the West Bank. AND NOW LOOK! CEASE FIRE. THANK YOU, Sec. Clinton.

Florida’s blue

So. Florida has finally gone blue. That is, it’s electoral votes are now called for Obama. Four days later. Only most of America is done with the election, and we’ve already discovered that we can definitively call an election without Florida.

Now, I think you know where I’m going with this, as this is not the first time I’ve proposed that we get rid of Florida.

Let’s just saw the doggone appendage off! Who’s with me!?

President Obama’s Acceptance Speech 2012

I was a little sad on Wednesday. Simply b/c of cretins that were being mean to others, loved ones. There was so much anger spewing around on fb, & I allowed myself to be upset by it. But I shouldn’t. I worked hard on the campaign to help President Obama get re-elected. SO, I’m going to celebrate America coming out in huge #s to select the right man! Here is the acceptance speech.

Transcript of speech after the jump.
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WTFHOD

Obama on same-sex marriage

Today, I got an email today from my President. I thought I’d share it here, b/c it made me feel like I may not be living in time-space continuum anymore.

Yllw* –
Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:
http://my.barackobama.com/Marriage

I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,
Barack

Here’s my old post from November 2008 (seriously? I’ve been complaining about this that long?!): I didn’t realize it was still 1960

Gallup poll on acceptance of marriage (sigh… same-sex marriage, since I think we’re still calling it that for now).

*name has been changed to protect my own self ;)

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.

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