Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pets continue to die from toxie treats: No one held accountable in sham settlement

Good Day World!

Accountability, or should I say the “lack of accountability” is commonplace when it comes to corporations these days.

They just pay off their accusers and don’t have to worry about standing trial for killing animals. Case in point; pet treats from China have been poisoning American pets for over a decade and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop it.

If you poisoned a pet, or were falsely accused of doing it, and the case went to court there would be a resolution. You’re either declared innocent, or guilty. If guilty, you can’t pay the judge to rule it’s no one’s fault for what happened. You have to fess up.

But corporations can. They pay millions to lawyers because they know they caused damages, but they don’t want to have to admit their guilty. Does that sound right to you?

Here’s a couple of the latest examples of what I’m talking about:

PET JERKY TREAT DEAL: SIX THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

“No one is admitting fault in a $6.5 million class-action settlement in the legal battle between pet owners who claimed their animals were injured or killed by eating chicken jerky treats made in China and the makers of two of the nation’s big-name brands.

At least one of the two dozen pet owners who sued Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Waggin’ Train LLC said Monday that the agreement is a “bittersweet” victory.

Food and Drug Administration officials say many brands of the jerky strips, nuggets and other products have been linked to deaths of more than 1,000 dogs and more than 4,800 complaints of pet illness. But, the agency also says it hasn’t been able to pinpoint a cause, despite extensive testing.” (Rest of the story here)

VETS, PET OWNERS DEMAND TO KNOW: WHY CAN'T FDA SOLVE JERKEY TREAT MYSTERY?

“When Zoe, a 3-year-old pit bull mix, showed up sick last week at a Coral Springs, Fla., animal hospital, veterinarian Sofia Morales said there was no mystery about what was wrong with the dog.

The first clue was that Zoe had all the signs of Fanconi syndrome, a rare and often fatal illness that arises from kidney problems. The second was that she’d been eating jerky pet treats made in China, which have been linked to the disorder.

“Fanconi is so rare, that when you see it, your mind goes, ‘boom,’ the treats,” said Morales, who has treated three dogs with the problem in the past year, far more than one vet should expect.

“I have never seen so much Fanconi in my life. The only common denominator among these dogs is jerky treats," she said. Morales is among thousands of frustrated animal experts and pet owners nationwide who say that if problems with Chinese-made jerky treats are obvious to them, they should be obvious to the Food and Drug Administration, the agency that oversees pet treats, too.

Part of the problem is the treats themselves. Whether they’re made of chicken, duck or sweet potatoes, the nuggets, jerky and tenders are hard and stiff and difficult to break down in solvents for chemical analysis.

Another issue is that there are few validated tests sensitive enough to detect some contaminants.

In January, New York state agriculture officials used tests that found trace amounts of unapproved antibiotics in the treats, a discovery that forced the biggest makers of jerky treats, Nestle Purina Pet Care Corp. and Del Monte Corp., to issue voluntary recalls that pulled the bulk of the products off store shelves nationwide.”

(Rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road

Monday, June 2, 2014

National Veterans Service Fund Bookkeeper Rips Group for $800,000

Bookkeeper Stole $830K from Veterans Organization: Police Good Day World!

Forgive me regular readers, my post today is a little later than usual.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about the problems with the VA and veterans not getting the care they deserve.

As a veteran, I have a stake in what’s happening, but then so do non-veterans. For example, a veteran’s family is effected by the current care in the VA system when their loved ones dies waiting for help (cancer, ect.).

Or, they have to watch them suffer from PTSD with little or no help from the VA. Claim cases are backed up years.

What I’m leading up to right now is a look at private organizations/charities that help veterans. They not all created equal, shall we say. Some use most of the money you donate for operating costs with the leftover going towards helping the vets.

The reasons for this happening are varied. Here’s a link to check a group’s credentials.

One of the most disgusting – at least to me – reasons is corruption. The most recent example is a bookkeeper for a national veterans organization. She’s accused of stealing more than $800,000 from the organization and using company credit cards for her personal airfare, vacations, and Internet purchases.

Her name is Cynthia Tanner – that’s her photo above. For five years she stole money and cooked the books at the National Veteran Services Fund. She’s only been formally accused of embezzling for one year –2013 - (that’s where the number $800,000 comes from). It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the charges will be filed and we’ll get a grand total.

Bottom line, always research who you give your  money too. You may just be financing the next Cynthia Tanner!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Truth, or Not the Truth: Truthers of all Feathers

Good Day World!

This Sunday let’s talk about irony in the news.

Case in point, “Truthers.”

Instead of a fact-finding group, Truthers believe things that fly in the face of reality. You know what I’m talking about.

WW II ended 70 years ago, but there are still people who say the Holocaust never happened.

Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, Truthers take up positions on real-life events that shouldn’t even be an issue. What’s clear cut to the world, is a mystery to be investigated by Truthers.

However…

The claim by Truthers who believe 9/11 was a conspiracy, is another matter. I can’t help questioning some of the supposed facts and strongly suspect that there were a lot of things that went down on 9/11 that the government is still hiding.

In a Public Policy Poll taken by NPR last year 11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen. At first glance, that doesn’t sound like too many people. Consider this: according to the 2012 census, there are 313. 9 million people living in America. That’s 34,529,000 people who think something was up.

9/11 Truth Truthers

Adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement dispute the results of official investigations of the September 11 attacks of 2001, that al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airliners and intentionally crashed two planes into the World Trade Center buildings and one into the Pentagon, with another unintentionally crashing in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

TRUTHERS IN THE NEWS LAST WEEK

Two missing Sandy Hook memorial signs have been recovered in Herndon, Virginia - far from the states from which they were stolen - and a Virginia man has been charged in the case.

One memorial sign was stolen from a playground in Mantoloking, New Jersey, and the other from Mystic, Connecticut.

The signs were dedications to Sandy Hook Elementary School students: 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 7-year-old Grace McDonnell, who were fatally shot in December 2012.

Truelove allied himself with people who believe the Sandy Hook massacre was staged or faked to encourage stricter gun laws, police said.

Truelove was charged with receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor. DeBoard said investigators were considering upgrading the charges to felonies, and that Truelove faces charges of grand larceny in Connecticut and New Jersey. They found Truelove already in jail on a probation violation.

Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory Video Debunked By Experts

ANOTHER STORY

In Connecticut a man stole a 50-pound vinyl peace sign from a Mystic playground built in memory of a Sandy Hook shooting victim then called the slain girl's mother to tell her why he did it, according to one of the playground's supporters.

William Lavin, the organizer of the "Where Angels Play Foundation" that built the playground honoring Grace McDonnell, said Lynn McDonnell received a phone call from a man on Tuesday claiming he had stolen the sign from the playground because he believes the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax. The caller told McDonnell her daughter "never existed."

HERE’S ONE OF MY FAVOURITES

Tornado 'Truthers' : Obama Made the OK Tornadoes!

"Popular conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says the government wields a "weather weapon" that can "create and steer" tornadoes.

Can you hear that “Looney Tune” melody? It plays too often in our society!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

‘Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment’ Passes House, On to Senate

MID DAY NEWS BREAK:

I blogged about the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment two days ago. Now, I’ve got some updated news for you.

In a truly historic vote – the first Pro Pot vote in Congress -  the chamber voted 219-189 to approve a measure that would prevent the Justice Department from using money provided by Congress to crack down on those using, prescribing, selling and distributing marijuana for medical purposes in states that allow it.

So what does this mean in the bigger picture?

Congress is ready to rethink how we treat medical marijuana patients in this country. This amendment gives states the right to determine their own laws for medical marijuana use; free of federal intervention. It also gives patients comfort knowing they will have safe access to the medical care legal in their state without the fear of federal prosecution.there is still work to be done to get this bill out of the Senate.

And if it becomes law as written, Farr’s amendment would apply to California, 32 other states and the District of Columbia.

On to the senate, where if sanity prevails again…it’ll pass!

Vitalii Sediuk: A Look at the Most Hated Man in Hollywood

Good Day World!

Vitalii Sediuk is a Ukrainian media personality who is notorious for physically accosting American celebrities at film premieres and awards ceremonies since 2010.

Sediuk's attacks have generally not been well-received in U.S. media.

The Los Angeles Times has described his escapades as having "a sinister quality," while the Hollywood Reporter has labeled him "a shameless attention fiend and mischief-maker."

In reporting on Sediuk's actions at the Cannes Film Festival the Huffington Post, while noting that Sediuk calls himself a prankster, asked "is anyone really laughing?"

Vulture has described Sediuk as "Borat without the wit or satire," while Uproxx has called Sediuk a "creep," and The Wire has referred to him as "a reprehensible piece of human garbage."

His latest prank: Brad Pitt 'attacked by Vitalii Sediuk' on the red carpet at Maleficent premiere in Los Angeles.

Maybe that’s why he’s been called the Most hated man in Hollywood! Here’s a slideshow of his many 'pranks.'

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, May 30, 2014

Workplace Reality: More Robots, Less Humans

Good Day World!                                        
                                                       
Years ago I had a theory that cockroaches would inherit the earth. I still think there’s a chance, but now it looks like robots will, instead.

There have been many troubling signs in the last few decades that robots are well on the way to making humans obsolete in the workplace.

When I watched IBM’s Watson whip every human contender on Jeopardy, I knew our days were numbered.

It’s hard to contend with a robot who makes fewer mistakes than you do and doesn’t get bored performing tedious tasks.

Here’s something to consider; there will be 1.2 million industrial robots working worldwide according to Marshall Brain, founder of How Stuff Works and author of Robotic Nation.

You can’t go a day without seeing some form of robot. They analyze documents, fill prescriptions and work in checkout lines in stores nationwide. They handle many other tasks that were once performed by humans.

Google has been working on automated cars. Seven test cars have driven 1,000 miles with human supervisors in the passenger seat. It’s just a matter of time before we get in the car in the morning, program it, and sit back and relax during our daily commute.

ATM machines reduce the need for bank tellers, virtual assistants can answer the phone 24 hours a day. In 2008, Aeon Co., a major Japanese retailer, introduced a four-foot-tall yellow and white robot at a store whose job was to babysit children while adults shopped. Can full-time robot nannies be far away?

Robots can reach areas that are inaccessible to humans and provide crucial help in rescuing victims from natural disasters. The most useful robots could be aerial drones that  provide aerial inspections or ROVs, which can help locate underwater objects and determine the condition of bridges and pipelines, according to the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University.

Lawyers and paralegals must be concerned with the arrival of software that can do their job in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost. Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, CA provides software that helps analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000, according to a New York Times report.

Guess who else will have new competition for their job? Astronauts. NASA and General Motors got together and built an android - Robonaut2 - who will initially handle menial jobs such as cleaning the space station and assisting humans in space operations.

It won’t take long for them to take the next step and replace a human crew.

In ancient Greek and Roman mythology there were stories of metal men that, through the use of godly magic, came to life.

In the real world of the 21st Century there’s the MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System), made by Foster-Miller, which has provided armed robots in Iraq. Drones and other machines are also increasingly used in reconnaissance and combat missions.

Especially troubling to an old journalist like me is the software developed by  Northwestern University Narrative Science that specializes in machine-generated stories. Robots writing stories! We must be headed for the end times.

Why robots? That’s simple. They are cheaper than beat reporters. Look at the Big Ten Network, partially owned by Fox Cable. Their director of new media didn’t make any bones about telling Bloomberg BusinessWeek that they use the service for baseball and softball coverage because it’s less expensive. Yeah, but what about quality coverage for their readers?

I’m not saying robots will start locking humans away like in the movies “The Matrix” or “I, Robot,” but I suggest we’re getting closer to a future when there will be no jobs for humans. Then what? The robots get tired of us stupid humans like in the movie “Terminator?”

Artificially Intelligent machines have, to all intents and purposes, been around for years.  Take a look at traffic lights, computers that run hospitals, airports. shops and homes.

Our world would come to a grinding halt without the robots that run our lives. But what will happen when there are no jobs for humans?

I guess that’s what scares me. I also think robots will figure out a way to eliminate the cockroaches some day!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Okay…so what’s in a nickname anyway?

Good Day World!

Do you have a nickname?

  When I was in elementary school back in the stone age when we used stone tablets instead of texting, there was one kid who literally stood out from the rest of us. He was at least a head taller than any other kid in school. He was as tall as the teachers. Everyone but the teachers called him “Bean Pole.”

   We always asked him what the weather was like “up there,” chuckling all the while at our cleverness. I can’t recall his real name. He was a mild-mannered individual who took the daily razzing, and his nickname, in easy stride.

  Bean Pole’s story illustrates one way we get a nickname: someone gives us one based upon our physical characteristics. How many 300- pound “Tinys” have you known? Sometimes it’s desirable to have a nickname. It can symbolize acceptance, affection, and a form of endearment.

  Nicknames have a long history in Indian society where most people have a nickname (call name or affection name) that’s not related to their proper name. One of my favorite is “Bablu.” I just like saying it. “Bablu…Bablu,“ it flows like poetry.

And how about those Aussies? From poetic to ironic, they’re known for nicknames like “Bluey for a person with red hair.

Usually, someone else gives us our nickname. During the Vietnam war, American soldiers and Marines used nicknames a lot. The most common came from your home state. For example, if you were from Texas, you were called “Tex.” And a lot of other things, but I won’t go there.

  The guys in my squad had some interesting nicknames. There was “Swamp Rat from Louisiana; “Crow (a non-Native American skinny little white guy who was older than the rest of us) from Missouri; and King” who had a hard-to-pronounce last name and was a Native American (Comanche) with a regal bearing. You didn’t want to call him “Chief however.

  They just called me “Stan.” Part of my last name. That was a common practice. We called our company clerk, “Klod,” because his last name was a tongue-twister (German I believe) and too difficult for dumb grunts like us to pronounce.

   Sometimes nicknames come from ethnic backrounds. When I worked at Ford Motor company as an automation tender/welder in 1972, I noticed we had a lot of foreign-sounding (translation: Eastern European) names on the timecards when I punched in and out.

  I often called for one electrician, whose nickname was “Ski,” to come see what was wrong on our production line when something wasn’t working properly. Or, if the line went down for unknown reasons.

  If I’d had to say his full last name every time we needed help, we wouldn’t have made our production quotas! Ski was neatly stitched on his white uniform pocket just above his real name, signaling he was okay with the nickname. He pronounced his full last name for me once and I asked him if anyone ever got it right? “My wife,” he replied happily.

Many people aren’t okay with nicknames others give them. Cruel names like faggot” or wetback.” Mean-hearted nicknames are nothing new and I suspect they’ve been a form of ridicule since man started scratching things on cave walls.

  Right about now you’re probably asking, “Dave, what is the origin of the term “nickname”? Where does it come from?”

In a nutshell, after extensive hours of research and repeated caffeine binges, I discovered the compound word for nickname is ekename, literally meaning “additional name,” and first mentioned in European manuscripts in 1303.

It came from an old English phrase eaca (increase) and by the fifteenth century, the syllables of the phrase became “an ekename” which led to “nekename.” A spelling transformation over the ensuing years eventually gave us “nickname.”

Of course it’s more complicated than that, but you get the idea. I was going to share my wife’s and my endearing nicknames for each other, but when I mentioned that to her the room suddenly got cold!

Did you know that John Wayne’s nickname "The Duke" came from a dog his family owned that used to follow him about?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rohrabacher-Farr Ammendment will Protect People Who Use Medical Marijuana

Good Day World!

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment would protect people following their state medical marijuana from federal arrest and prosecution by prohibiting the DEA from spending taxpayer money to block the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

The U.S. House could vote today on a bipartisan amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill that would prohibit the federal government from wasting taxpayer money interfering with state medical marijuana laws.

The amendment is being offered by five Republicans and five Democrats. A vote several weeks ago on allowing Veteran Administration doctors discuss medical marijuana with their patients received 195 yes votes. Support for letting states set their own marijuana policy without federal interference is rising quickly.

This vote is about letting states help their citizens without interference from out-of-control federal agencies,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Members of Congress have an opportunity to both protect the patient/doctor relationship and save taxpayer money. No person should have to fear being arrested for following the advice of their doctor.”

The amendment is being sponsored by Reps. Rohrabacher (R-CA), Farr (D-CA), Young (R-AK), Blumenauer (D-OR), McClintock (R-CA), Cohen (D-TN), Broun (R-GA), Polis (D-CO), Stockman (R-TX), and Lee (D-CA).

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly three-in-four Americans (72%) believe that efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth, including 78% of independents, 71% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans. There is strong support for state medical marijuana programs, with 80% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans supporting the sale and use of medical marijuana in their state. (read the rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Here’s Seeing You! Bionic Eye Tech Advances

 Good Day World!

 Got some eye-opening news for you today.

A visual prosthesis, often referred to as a bionic eye, was once the stuff of science fiction.

Now the blind can see with modern technology breakthroughs. Read the latest news on bionic eyes, and how they came about in the 21st century.

About visual prosthesis, aka bionic eye.

This Wikipedia article offers insight into experimental visual devices intended to restore functional vision in those suffering from partial or total blindness.

First ‘Bionic Eye’ Retinal Chip for the Blind

This article talks about a new bionic eye that came out last year. It works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera, housed in the patient’s glasses, into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina.

Bionic Eye Breakthrough: Helping the Blind to See

Learn how a genetic disorder as retinitis pigmentosa no longer means living in the darkness thanks to the Argus II bionic eye.

More related stories”

Duke Offers Bionic Eye helping the Blind to See

FDA Approves first Bionic Eye for the Blind

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Discussion: Are Republican Politicians and Activists Above the Law?

Let's start with the most former grifter-in-chief . Trump has got away with being impeached twice (a feat no other American president h...