Dave Stancliff 2014-05-18 blogarama.com

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why Does the NRA Have Final Say About the Next Surgeon General?

                                         Good Day World!

The National Rifle Association is calling the shots in Washington again.

It’s tedious, if not downright criminal.

The White House’s pick to serve as the nation’s top doctor has been stalled since February because the NRA opposes him. Why, you ask?

The answer isn’t pretty, and is one of many reasons why I equate the NRA with the Evil Empire.

They don’t want to see Vivek Murthy become the surgeon general because…get this;

He said that gun deaths in America are a public health problem.

Horrors! How dare he say ANYTHING bad about guns! The goons at the NRA were compelled to reject a man who would even suggest guns are a problem of any kind.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who endorsed Murthy’s nomination, told reporters that it’s the public dying out there in record numbers. “Who can disagree with that?” he wondered.

What about President Obama? He’s sure being quiet about the subject. 

With the NRA actively against Murthy, few Democratic lawmakers have the balls to force a fight with them. Apparently they’re feeling vulnerable running for reelection in red states this fall. They’re just a bunch of career cowards!

Something is terrible wrong when an entity like the NRA has the final say about who is going to be the next surgeon general.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Call Me Crazy, But I Can’t See Building Memorials to Death and Wars

Image: 9/11 Memorial Museum Preview - New York City Good Day World!

 I confess.

I never believed it was a good idea to build memorials dedicated to tragedies and wars. Call me unpatriotic, or whatever you want.

I just can’t see pouring millions of dollars into a shrine for death or war. There’s plenty of books and movies that remind us of those wars and tragic events, so no one is going to forget about them.

Memorial building is an enterprise worthy of being listed on the stock market.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum opened this week to outrage among some victims' families over a gift shop at the site and a black-tie reception held close to the unidentified remains of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

And more controversy has erupted with news that a restaurant is opening soon inside the museum offering “an array of local, seasonal fare in a relaxing and comfortable environment,” according to the museum guide.

From top to bottom, people are employed, some making a career out of memorial shrines kitsch. There’s some coffee mugs and stationary with 9/11 printed on them at the new museum. Manufacturers make a mint out of memorials.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, like the New York site, receives no federal, state or local funds. That’s a good thing. The fact that they have to run them like businesses is not lost on me. It’s an expensive proposition.

Between 60 and 70 percent of the museum's annual operating cost of about $60 million will come from revenue generated from the gift shop and the museum's admission fee. People are making money building memorials and maintaining them, don’t kid yourself.

Sometimes taxpayers end up funding memorials like the Holocaust Museum. It receives federal funding of $52 million a year. The rest of the $87.6 million operating budget comes from private donations and investment income.

I’m really against using tax payer money to make these memorials and to maintain them. Why do we have to make such a fuss over death and war?

How about a memorial to love instead? Perhaps there’s some other positive things worth remembering.

Whatever they are, keep them privately funded, and don’t use tax-payer monies to do it. Now, there’s a thought.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pretty Soon You Won’t Be Able to Use Air Because It Belongs to the Federal Government

                                                Good Day World!

I can understand the anger over our Federal Government which routinely ignores what most Americans want.

States are stripped of their sovereignty with regularity. Voters can vote to legalize marijuana at the state level, but the feds refuse to stop harassing the pot providers and people who buy it.

Since Barack Obama came into office, the assault on state’s rights has been constant. I remember when he ran for office and said he would respect the rights of voters who legalized pot at the state level. That was pure bullshit. His actions say otherwise.

In the relentless war on marijuana the feds keep imposing new ways to harass marijuana dispensaries, growers, and users/patients. Here’s the most recent example:

Marijuana growers operating legally in Colorado and Washington state took another hit from the federal government on Tuesday when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that pot growers are (still) not allowed to use federal irrigation waters according to an NBC news report.

On Tuesday, in what's called a "temporary policy" decision, the bureau reiterated that federal law still rules.

"Reclamation will operate its facilities and administer its water-related contracts in a manner that is consistent with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, as amended. This includes locations where state law has decriminalized or authorized the cultivation of marijuana. Reclamation will refer any inconsistent uses of federal resources of which it becomes aware to the Department of Justice and coordinate with the proper enforcement authorities," it said.

That last line means that the bureau won't actually be enforcing the law so much as letting the Justice Department know when it believes marijuana growers are using federal water.

The decision is termed "temporary" because a permanent policy decision would require a lengthy process that includes public hearings. The government wants to avoid any high profile battle so they’re taking this sneak-around approach.

In a statement to NBC News, Justice Department spokeswoman Ellen Canale said, "The Department of Justice will continue to enforce the Controlled Substances Act and will focus federal resources on the most significant threats to our communities. Our efforts will be guided by the eight factors set forth in the August 29, 2013 guidance memorandum."

Here’s those eight factors (PDF)

Meanwhile, many in the burgeoning legal marijuana industry saw Tuesday's announcement as more of the same in terms of federal harassment for something that is sanctioned at the local level.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Poem: ‘Oh Say, Can You See?’

Good Day World!

Every now and then I like to share my poetry.

Here’s a poem that means a lot to me. I did my tour of Duty in Vietnam in 1970. The ghosts of comrades still slip by me in my toxic dreams.

Somewhere, still hidden in the secret chambers of my brain there are huts burning and women and children screaming in terror.

oh say, can you see?

here’s what I see with my PTSD:
burnt villages, burnt roads, burned-out buddies
burnt memories, a burned-out family
that puts up with me

oh say, can you see
others like me?

our wounds are invisible, impossible to see
we wander through life seeking normalcy
while vaguely existing, a cure someday unlikely
we try to tread lightly, lightly…

oh say, can you see
others like me?

my night’s bring terrors infrequently
unexpectedly, like Charlie
my old enemy, known for being places he shouldn’t be
and on some sweat-driven nights he visits me

oh say, can you see
others like me?

days are no protection for my malady
intruding thoughts are another uneasy reality
what I see doesn’t always square with what’s happening to me
silently, invisibly, silently, silently…

oh say, can you see
others like me?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Stupid and Pathetic Things Politicians Say

Good Day World!

 When it comes to outright lying, politicians take the prize.

They’ll say anything if they think it’ll get them votes. No matter how stupid, or inaccurate, they spew partisan views and make wild accusations.

The most recent example is an Arizona rancher and Republican congressional candidate.  

Gary Kiehne (photo) said during a primary debate that the vast majority of mass shootings in the United States are committed by Democrats.

If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people,” Gary Kiehne, who is running for the state's 1st U.S. Congressional District, said during Saturday's GOP primary in Florence, Arizona. “So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.”

Where the hell did Kiehne get that information from? I searched the internet for anything pertaining to his claims and came up with a big zero! But do you think that bothers Kiehne, the lack of evidence for his claim? I sincerely doubt it.

Kiehne is a demagogue.

A demagogue is a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, fears, prejudices, and ignorance of the lower classes in order to gain power and promote political motives.

Demagogues usually oppose deliberation and advocate immediate, violent action to address a national crisis; they accuse moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness. Demagogues have appeared in democracies since ancient Athens.

They exploit a fundamental weakness in democracy: because ultimate power is held by the people, nothing stops the people from giving that power to someone who appeals to the lowest common denominator of a large segment of the population.

Will one more demagogue get elected? That’s all we need. Another divisive voice in that rat pack called Congress!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Getting Your Pet a Rabies Shot? Think Twice and Get Advice

Good Day World!

Like most pet owners I really didn’t think much about getting my 8-year-old pug’s rabies booster shot last year.

It didn’t occur to me she could die from it. I don’t think I ever read a story about a dog dying from a rabies shot. That is until now.

I can’t stop reading about the dangers of rabies shots for animals now.

Millie, my pug was sicker than I ever saw her before after getting the rabies shot. A horrid red rash broke out three days after she got it. She had lumps the size of marbles all over her body.

My wife and I immediately called the vet and took her in.

She was given steroids to combat the effects. For weeks afterward Millie was listless and barely reacted to noises that normally would have sent her into a barking jag.

She shivered, withering away before our eyes. The look in her big brown eyes stayed sad. She died several months later.

I want to share some of the things I’ve learned out about rabies vaccinations for animals. One of the first things that struck me is that all dogs - from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane - get the same dosage.

Let me put that into perspective; a 3-pound Chihuahua gets half the dose that is given to a 1200 pound horse! All dogs get 1 ml of vaccine and horses get 2 mls of vaccine. Even a layman such as myself can see that doesn’t add up.

According to Veterinarian Jeffrey Levy DVM PCH, that dosage disparity is why small dogs are 10 times more likely to have problems from vaccines. Makes sense to me. Now, if your vet tells you that “dose doesn’t matter” and “there’s nothing in the vaccine that can hurt your dog,” challenge them to take a rabies vaccine at the same dose per pound they give to a Chihuahua!

My guess is they’ll pass on the offer.

I read a recent article about vets who had their titer (an antibody titer is a laboratory test that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in blood) levels tested at their 20th vet school reunion.

As you may, or may not know, all vets get rabies vaccinations after graduating from school. Guess what? Everyone who had their titer levels tested was still protected.

So why are dogs supposed to get rabies shots every three years? I know I’m no expert, but there’s more than meets the eye here regarding rabies shots. The law requires rabies vaccination for dogs and cats. That’s for our safety, not for the animals.

You should know however, that all vaccines, including rabies, are medically approved for use in healthy animals only. So if your dog or cat is shows any signs of acute or chronic disease, the manufacturers do not recommend administration of the vaccine.

What are the rabies laws (http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws) in your state or locality? Check to see if your state offers medical exemptions to the rabies vaccine for health compromised animals.

To that effect I found this Petition for Health Exemptions to Rabies Vaccination http://www.change.org/petitions/california-take-action-to-help-dogs-too-ill-to-receive-the-rabies-vaccine).

If you’re interested in improving your dog's chances for a safe vaccination go to :http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/09/23/rabies-vaccination-12-ways-to-vaccinate-more-safely/ .

Here’s a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pQHQw-5XCw with more good information on the subject.

There is a growing awareness of the dangers of rabies shots and titers are increasingly used to demonstrate effective immunity and avoid unnecessary revaccination.One last resource I want to mention is The Rabies Challenge Fund (www.RabiesChallengeFund.org) which is financing concurrent 5 and 7 year studies at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, with a goal of extending the state-mandated interval for boosters.

It’s one of the most important vaccine research studies in veterinary medicine today and it may save the lives of countless cats and dogs in the future.

20130815_134402

I don’t want pet owners to be surprised if their dog or cat has a negative reaction, or dies, from a rabies shot - it’s one of those laws that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.

We got another pug after Millie’s death. Her name is Molly (photo right). She hasn’t gotten a rabies shot, nor will she ever get one. It may make her a renegade to the system, but she’s healthy and happy. She’s also an indoor dog that doesn’t wander the great outdoors exposing her to some rabid animal.

I don’t recommend my actions to anyone. It’s up to you to decide. Hopefully you’ll do the research and come to your own conclusion about the safety of rabies shots for small dogs. 

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Help! I don’t have my mobile phone and I’m nomophobic

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Good Day World!

I remember growing up with one phone in our house. It was considered a luxury, not a necessity.

You couldn’t take the phone outside, but if you were out in public, there were things called phone booths.

If you’re thirty or younger, you can Google “phone booths” to see what I’m talking about. The other day I read about a collector (of what the article didn’t say) who bought a “gently” restored (mostly original parts) 1905 phone booth for $35,000! Who knew?

Part of the reason that old phone booth sold for $35,000 was because it was a first of it’s kind. It really looked nice with a solid wood panel door and double-glass windows and walls for sound proofing.

I seldom used phone booths. They always made me claustrophobic. I seldom called anyone until I was a teenager, at which time my calls were made from home so I didn’t have to put my money into a pay phone. Another reason I didn’t like phone booths.

At no time - and you can quote me - was I ever worried about having to make a phone call. If an emergency came up I dealt with it. The result wasn’t always pretty, but I’m still here, right?

I assure you, the idea of carrying a phone around with me was as foreign in 1970 as being a participant in the Asia games, sometimes called the Vietnam war. I never dreamt of the possibility. I was clueless as to the onrushing technology that would soon be found in nearly every American home.

In 1977, my second son was born and the first cell phone was made in Chicago. Then companies in other places started to make cell phones. As you may suspect, there are now more cell phones than landline phones.

The results of a semiannual US wireless industry survey (go to http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10316 ) were stunning to say the least; 91 percent of Americans have a mobile phone!

All of which leads me to my main point today:

The fear of being without your mobile phone is on the rise.

The experts even have a name for this fear; nomophobia, or No Mobile Phobia. It’s defined as the anxiety a person feels when out of range of a cell phone tower, or if they don’t have their mobile phone with them for some reason.

This phobia, according to an NBC News report, is a growing problem. A 2013 poll in the United Kingdom said sixty-six percent of respondents reported being nomophobic.

It came as no surprise to me that the 18 to 24-year olds were the most likely to report being afraid without their mobile phone. This new condition is a generational thing, from everything I’ve read thus far.

The younger you are, the more likely you will be stricken with this fear, according to the researchers. The study said women are more likely to worry than men if they don’t have their mobile phone with them. That makes sense to me.

The study also concluded that “more than one in two” nomophobes never switch off their mobile phones.

Old timers like myself are less likely to panic if we forget to take our cell phones with us. That’s not to say I haven’t got a tiny bit spoiled by the convenience of carrying one. I seldom use the thing, but I admit it’s comforting to know that if I fall down and can’t get up, I can fish it out of my pocket and call for help.

In a complete moment of transparency, I’m copping to a growing case of nomophobia!

I can sympathize with those youngsters today who never knew about things like phone booths, and who got their first mobile phone when they learned how to string sentences together using abbreviations and popular slang.

There’s no turning back now. Any day I expect to hear that newborn cell phones - pink or blue, take your choice - will be given to new mothers and fathers when they check out of the hospital (sponsored by one of the megalithic mobile phone makers, of course).

It sure would be nice if I could swap phobias. Out with the old claustrophobia, and in with the new nomophobia.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I just have two phobias now.

Time for me to walk on down the road…