Saturday, November 29, 2008

New FDA Regulation Allows Poison In Infant Formula

How much Melamine is safe for infants? Well back in October the FDA said they didn't know, but now they have set a level of 1 part per million of melamine in formula, provided a related chemical isn't present. No research is cited, no explanation of why it's safe, just a new regulation that is higher than the level previously allow and even higher than regulations in countries like Taiwan.

The chemical that poisoned infants in China is now considered safe in low doses for our kids? How much poison is not all that bad? This is another attempt by the outgoing Bush administration to shove through regulations that are beneficial to business, especially imported goods business, and detrimental to our citizens. Another last minute "F*#k You" on the way out the White House door.

Couldn't we just arrest the guy and his henchmen and charge them with treason now?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wal-Mart Stampede Ends In Death For Employee

That happy face logo of Wal-Mart's seems pretty ironic today as a throng of suburban New York shoppers crashed through the doors of a Nassau County Wal-Mart and trampled a 34-year-old part-time worker to death. A crowd of 2000 people had already lined up outside the store by 5:00am this morning. People in the real of the crowd began pushing and soon the crowd broke through the glass doors and rushed into the store.

As they did they knocked Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens to the floor and proceeded to trample him to death in a mad rush for bargains.

Aside from the horrific idea that buying cheap crap at Wal-Mart was more important than a human life, this was an entirely preventable death and that is also shocking. Why the store had insufficient preparations for the crowd, had not given employees training in crowd control and had insufficient security on hand should be the subject of a big fat lawsuit.

I was watching a program on TV last night showing at least 5 scenes of shoppers doing similar things in the past, though no deaths were involved. The videos showed people first crowding and then being pressed forward through too-narrow doors and passageways and some falling. Instead of helping the fallen shoppers to their feet, the crowd simply walked over and around them as though they were simple an inconvenience.

I had remarked to my partner that it was amazing no one had been killed in these "black Friday" sore promotions, and BINGO, my prediction paid off in a tragic way.

Crowds have an energy and mind of their own. even people who are decent and law abiding can turn into an ugly mob in the right circumstances. I would be quick to criticize the shoppers for being inhuman, but their actions are all too human. Whether we like it or not, we still have a certain amount of "herd mentality" in us, and in the worst cases it comes out. The Wal-Mart stampede is just an example of that.

What we can do to prevent this in the future is avoid creating circumstances where this thinking takes over. We could start by making sure anyone who is planning a mass event like this sale, has proper preparation and a permit, much like a Parade Permit for a public event. This might keep greedy retailers from pulling stunts that cause these kinds of accidents.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

President Elect Obama's Thanksgiving Message

Macy's Parade - Guilty Pleasure

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade before going to church this morning I remembered why I love Broadway so much. The cast of In the Heights did a wonderful number from the show and the male cast of South Pacific did "There is Nothing Like a Dame". South Pacific hasn't been on Broadway since its first run and it still is filled with the clever lyrics and great music that made it a hit.

For me South Pacific was only a movie, since I was too young to see it in the theater as a kid. Watching this number I remembered not only how great the show was, but how homoerotic the scene was. A whole stage full of shirtless muscular guys talking about what they do without women. No irony that Ray Walston was one of the stars in the movie. Now I guess I am going to have to go to New York and see it live.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Obama's Help Out For Thanksgiving

One of the things I like about Obama is how he can do things that just look ordinary. No hoopla, no big press op, just do it. He was helping hand out food for Thanksgiving to the needy in Chicago today at a church. This is raw video and you can see him and his family helping out. No granted, he just dropped by for a few moments. The Secret Service would not let him just hang out, but it is genuine and it has been so long since we have seen that quality in a President!

Bush Drinking Again? Sure Looks Like It!

It's no secret that I am a recovering addict. I last used drugs and alcohol over 20 years ago and have been clean and sober ever since. I know a lot of recovering alcoholics and I have seen my share of them have slips, so I can tell you with some knowledge that I really believe President Bush has "slipped".

From the pictures of him downing the traditional Peruvian cocktail, a Pisco Sour, to his reclusive and erratic behavior of late Mr Bush looks very much like a drunk who has fallen off the wagon. Slurred speech, (well he always sounds like that) confused and disoriented. Looking very tired and downright unhealthy!

I am not the only one who thinks so either. The problem is having a lame duck president who is soused and liable to do just about anything. I understand why Laura wants to live in Dallas and let him live on the ranch!

Now the question is how do you do an intervention on the President? If he is drinking again, the Secret Service has been enabling him. Worse he has been wandering around world leaders and you know how "handsy" he can get, just ask Angela Merkel.

Maybe he would just like to take a long vacation at the ranch and just let President Elect Obama step in for the news few weeks?

Crazy Straight People Trying To Defend Marriage Again!

It amazes me how crazy fundamentalists get about LGBT people getting married. To hear them talk you would think that because I might marry my partner of 14 years, their marriages would shatter. Say what?

Logic has nothing to do with the arguments against gay marriage, the entire issue is emotional and has no shred of logic to it. Just look at the campaign that has gone online by the Alliance for Marriage Foundation. Their website which is supposedly designed to protect DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) is filled with emotional appeals to people about how important their marriages are to them.

I have no argument with the importance of marriage to the married couples. It is important, and it is a sacrament of the church. My problem is the government getting in the sacrament business! Governments should protect the legal rights of couples and the churches should do the marriage. Civil Unions for everyone!

Another insidious feature of the "protect DOMA" website is that all the quotes are from Hispanic or African-American people. They obviously believed the flawed statistic that African-America Obama supporters overwhelmingly voted for Prop 8 in California.

Look, all you crazy straight fundamentalists, if you want to defend your marriages, don't get divorced. Even better, do a whole lot of soul searching and compatibility work before you get married! That would really defend your marriage.

Meanwhile, I have decided that until I get the full rights of every citizen of this country, including the legal equivallent of marriage, I will refuse to support any politician or official who actively denies me my full rights as a US Citizen. I would stop paying taxes, but I really have a thing about jail time. And for all you crazy straight people, well go work out your sexual insecurity issues somewhere else and leave me alone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Citi Group Bailout Is A Mess

I was reading about the Citi Group bailout and wondering why this plan went through with not so much as a "pardon me" from Congress, yet the automakers are still scrambling. Granted GM and the other big three didn't come with any kind of plan and they should have been asked what they were going to do with any money, but the Citi mess is silly.

According to Paul Krugman, here is a short summary of the deal:

A bailout was necessary — but this bailout is an outrage: a lousy deal for the taxpayers, no accountability for management, and just to make things perfect, quite possibly inadequate, so that Citi will be back for more.

Amazing how much damage the lame ducks can do in the time remaining.

With the incompetence shown by this administration in the past it is amazing the Congress has not asked for a little accountability with the nation's treasure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pardon Time! Bush Breaks Out The Pardon Pen

I can only assume Bush is sitting in the Oval Office sipping Schnapps and chuckling as he spends his final days issuing pardons of thieves and drug dealers. Most of whom I will bet are white and wealthy (just a guess). Here are the 14 he did today. Look for higher profile ones to follow soon.

_Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo. She was convicted for unauthorized use of a pesticide and violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

_Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws.

_Richard Micheal Culpepper of Mahomet, Ill., who was convicted of making false statements to the federal government.

_Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer of Fort Worth, Texas, for reporting or helping cover up a crime.

_Andrew Foster Harley of Falls Church, Va. Harley was convicted of wrongful use and distribution of marijuana and cocaine.

_Obie Gene Helton of Rossville, Ga., whose offense was unauthorized acquisition of food stamps.

_Carey C. Hice Sr. of Travelers Rest, S.C., who was convicted of income tax evasion.

_Geneva Yvonne Hogg of Jacksonville, Fla., convicted of bank embezzlement.

_William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was sentenced for making false entries, books, reports or statements to a bank.

_Paul Julian McCurdy of Sulphur, Okla., who was sentenced for misapplication of bank funds.

_Robert Earl Mohon Jr. of Grant, Ala., who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

_Ronald Alan Mohrhoff of Los Angeles, who was convicted for unlawful use of a telephone in a narcotics felony.

_Daniel Figh Pue III of Conroe, Texas, convicted of illegal treatment, storage and disposal of a hazardous waste without a permit.

_Orion Lynn Vick of White Hall, Ark., who was convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government property.

Bush also commuted the prison sentences of John Edward Forte of North Brunswick, N.J., and James Russell Harris of Detroit, Mich. Both were convicted of cocaine offenses.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dubai Atlantis Resort - Ultimate FIreworks Show!

The economy here may be tight but in Dubai that still have money to burn, literally. The new Atlantis resort opened with a gala celebration that featured what surely must be one of the world's largest fireworks spectaculars ever presented. The event involved the entire "palm island" and could best be seen from space. The video below is a pale comparison to the real thing but it's the best I could do.

Word is the party cost over $22,224,000 and was attended by a host of celebrities, all of which I assume still have lots of cash. Now I know who will live in all those super high dollar high-rises they are building.