Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court Says Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Deep in the heartland of the USA, the Supreme Court of Iowa has unanimously ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional!

This is amazing stuff. Iowa now becomes the third state where gay marriage is legal.

That is a very telling ruling. The court recognized the unfair nature of the anti-gay marriage laws and said so. I suspect now there will be an outcry for impeachment of the entire court in Iowa, but that is unlikely to happen. It seems Iowa values human rights more that ideological dogma and that is a hopeful sign!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Walgreens Offers Jobless Free Clinic Visits

Last month FedEx Office made a generous offer to those seeking employment. They had a "free resume day" at their locations where job seekers cold print off 25 copies of their resume for free. It was not just a successful PR move, but it actually helped people in need.

Now another corporation understands the economic climate and the problems faced by unemployed. Walgreens is offering free clinic visits at its network of "Take Care" clinics across the country. For people who loose their jobs after March 31, the drug store giant will offer free health care and treatment for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments.

Quest Diagnostics, the lab associated with the drug store will also offer free tests for a variety of diseases as part of the plan.

Bravo for them! It's refreshing to see companies use some of their "bandwidth" to help out in tough times. Now the real problem is getting Congress to get off their duffs and pass effective health care reform for our country.

What do I mean by "effective"? Well my version goes like this. If you are an American citizen, you can walk into just about any hospital or doctor's office in the country and get treatment without going bankrupt. The system would be a "single payer" health insurance system and the government would be that payer. Private health insurance would still be an option if you really wanted to waste a lot of money, but a basic level of health care would be considered a right not a privilege.

What about all the insurance companies? Well I hear them complain constantly about rising health care costs and how little they make on health insurance, so this will help them out of a tough business. Maybe they could start selling dirivitaves?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Queen's iPod & A Special Gift

After being widely criticized for the gifts President Obama gave to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his children, his gift for the Queen was much more thoughtful.

You will see a lot of press about the iPod he gave her, loaded with video of her visit to the United States in 2007. Nice gift and very personal. What you probably won't hear about is the additional gift which was a rare record album autographed by Richard Rogers of Rogers and Hammerstein fame.

The Queen and her husband Prince Phillip are big fans of the song, "People Will Say We're in Love" from the musical Oklahoma. They used to hum it to each other as a personal signal when others were around. Very thoughtful gift as well.

And for the Obama's...well the standard framed photo of the Queen and Prince.

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Qualcomm has created the next generation in mobile computing. Organic based wireless networks.


Happy April 1!

Norm Coleman Moves Closer To Conceding Defeat

Norm Coleman, the Every Ready Bunny of the GOP, has lost another battle to change the results of a recount in the Minnesota Senatorial race.

An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
Norm Coleman's lawyers all but conceded defeat Tuesday and promised to appeal after a panel of three judges ordered no more than 400 new absentee ballots opened and counted, far fewer than the Republican had sought to overcome the lead held by DFLer Al Franken.

Read more here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Congresswoman Murkowski On Jindal's "Volcano Monitoring" Comment

Being a bit of a vulcanology enthusiast myself, I know the importance of the "volcano monitoring" that Bobby Jindal railed against in the GOP response to President Obama's speech a few weeks back. So do the folks in Alaska.

Aw Nuts! Another Salmonella Scare - Pistachios This Time

Seems our food supply has just not been as safe as it should be. Take the latest recall of pistachios. The FDA issued a warning on any foods containing pistachio nuts because of Salmonella found in bags of nuts shipped from California-based Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc. the nation's 2nd largest pistachio supplier.

The FDA learned about the problem last Tuesday
, when Kraft Foods Inc. notified the agency that routine product testing had detected salmonella in roasted pistachios. Kraft and the Georgia Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the next day.

Time to put teeth back into the FDA and other inspection and regulation agencies!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mt. Redoubt Still Erupting

This amazing photo is from the geostationary satellite MTSTAT from the National Weather service. It show Mt. Redoubt's volcanic ash cloud from space. And to think that Bobby Jindal thinks we don't need anything called "volcano monitoring"? Ask the residents of Ankorage if they think we don't need it!