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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, for half my life
Home country: USA
Current location: Sw corner of Ala. for the rest of my life
Member since: Wed Feb 27, 2008, 01:09 PM
Number of posts: 39,509

About Me

Being the "Queen of Everything" (Mr. dixie is the Prince of What's Left) but................ Golden Retrievers RULE!!!

Journal Archives

Good vibes and etc. for DU's ms.smiler, please guys.

ms. smiler is a member who has written a bit her about her fight with mortgage fraud.
She and I have been e-mailing for some 3 years now, and I know her for a smart caring woman.
Sadly, today her son informed me she has had a pretty bad stroke.
I have asked him for the hospital address so I can send a card.

I am a bit taken aback by this sudden news.

Former NSA director had thousands personally invested in obscure tech firms

Keith Alexander, who served as its director from August 2005 until March 2014, had thousands of dollars of investments during his tenure in a handful of technology firms.

Note: defense and other firms that benefited from Gov contracts.

He also had as much as $15,000 invested in Datascension, a "data gathering and research company."
Public trades in the firm were suspended by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2014 due to "a lack of current and accurate information" about it.

The former NSA director also had investments as recently as 2013 up to $15,000 in RF Micro Devices, a company that makes "high-performance semiconductor components" for "aerospace and defense markets," among others. Federal records show that RF Micro Devices has done $10.5 million worth of business with the government, including $9.5 million of the Department of Defense (which could include the NSA).

Oh, and what is he doing NOW, just a few months after leaving his long tenure at NSA?

Since leaving the NSA, Alexander has founded a company called IronNet Cybersecurity, which offers protection services to banks for up to $1 million per month.


New York Court to Decide if Chimps Are People Too

A US court has never been asked to consider the question "Who is a person?" in the same way that a New York appeals court will have to answer it in a case that started today.

This case is the first of its kind and raises the issue of whether high-order animals — non-human primates, dolphins, elephants, and orcas — are people and entitled to certain rights as people.

Tommy the chimpanzee, 26, is at the center of the case. He is owned by a human and spends his days watching television in upstate New York, where disagreements have arisen about his living conditions
. https://news.vice.com/article/new-york-court-to-decide-if-chimps-are-people-too?utm_source=vicenewstwitter

I know at first look this may tempt people to make light of the issue, but consider this, further down the article:

The Nonhuman Rights Project's lawsuits are rooted in genetic, cognitive, physiological, evolutionary, and taxonomic evidence that the plaintiffs are autonomous, self-aware, self-determining, and able to choose how to live their lives, as provided by some of the world's greatest working primatologists," the organization said in a statement.

Dr. Alasdair Cochrane, an animal rights expert at the University of Sheffield, UK, told the London Evening Standard that he sees the divide that separates human rights and animal rights shrinking.

"As the advanced powers of other animals, such as chimpanzees, becomes better understood, it is little surprise that the legal wall that divides humans from other animals is being chipped away. It is my view that it is just a matter of time until it crumbles," he said.

How hospitals are avoiding paying Medicare and sticking YOU with the bill.

I found this info from a March posting in the Soc.Sec. Medicare group, and went to the link, and found there is an actual step by step procedure to avoid this problem, which I downloaded as a pdf file to keep.
Original posting here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1261246....
to Tace.

Ok....this is the problem:
Odds are that you do not know a key question to ask if you ever find yourself in a hospital for an overnight stay that could last from one or two days, or perhaps much more.
What you and anyone accompanying you want to know is whether you are being classified as “under observation.”
This means that legally you are not an inpatient.
If you are admitted as under observation, you are likely to find yourself owing the hospital a large amount of money, because your Medicare or other health insurance will not provide the benefits associated with inpatient status'
. Many, many Americans nationwide that were classified as under observation have faced unexpected bills of many tens of thousands of dollars.

To clarify: Medicare DOES pay for inpatient care, if you are admitted as an "inpatient".
but admission as "under observation" Medicare says is an OUTPATIENT service, and pays much much less.
YOU get billed for the difference.
The hospital comes out ahead because Medicare inpatient coverage is not as high as other insurance, so by listing you as" under observation"
, you have to pay the higher hospital bill, that Medicare did not pay for.

Here is how to avoid the problem:

READ this:http://worldnewstrust.com/medicare-madness-how-americans-can-lose-benefits-in-a-hospital-joel-s-hirschhorn
Make a copy of this:http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/self-help-packet-for-medicare-observation-status/

Also note that last link is to a Medicare advocacy group, which could come in handy for a lot of Medicare issues.
There is a lawsuit in the making about the "under observation" rule, btw.

the rich aren’t just grabbing a bigger slice of the income pie — they’re taking all of it.

According to Pavlina Tcherneva in a Washington Post article

The chart is mind numbing..worth going to the site.

can anyone here post it for me, I can't do photo downloads

Nurse reported Ebola symptoms many times before being quarantined

Teresa Romero Ramos says when she first told health authorities of her symptoms she was given only paracetamol.

Her first contact with health authorities was on 30 September when she complained of a slight fever and fatigue. Romero Ramos called a specialised service dedicated to occupational risk at the Carlos III hospital where she worked and had treated an Ebola patient, said Antonio Alemany from the regional government of Madrid. But as the nurse’s fever had not reached 38.6C, she was advised to visit her local clinic where she was reportedly prescribed paracetamol.

Days later, according to El País newspaper, Romero Ramos called the hospital again to complain about her fever. No action was taken.

On Monday, she called the Carlos III hospital again, this time saying she felt terrible. Rather than transport her to the hospital that had treated the two missionaries who had been repatriated with Ebola, Romero Ramos was instructed to call emergency services and head to the hospital closest to her home. She was transported to the Alcorcón hospital by paramedics who were not wearing protective gear, El País reported.

23 Reasons Why Jeb Bush Should Think Twice About Running for President

But there are plenty of reasons why Bush should think long and hard before subjecting himself (and his family) to the ruthless scrutiny of a presidential campaign. His history is an opposition researcher's dream—clouded by embarrassing family episodes, allegations of philandering, offensive comments to black voters, and dubious business dealings.

The black sheep brother: Volumes have been written about Jeb's siblings, especially former president George W. Bush. But his brother Neil, who helped bankrupt a savings and loan and once toured Asia with the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon while he was promoting the development of a 51-mile underwater highway between Russia and Alaska, will give reporters plenty to chew on.
The black vote: During his first failed campaign for governor in 1994, Bush was asked in a debate what he would do to help African Americans. "Probably nothing," he replied. In 2000, his administration purged 12,000 eligible voters from the rolls because they were incorrectly identified as convicted felons. More than 40 percent of them were African Americans.
The failed charter school: After wining just 4 percent of the black vote in his first failed run for governor, Bush teamed up with the Greater Miami Urban League to start Florida's first charter school. In 1999, the state implemented a school grading system at Bush's insistence. His own charter school received a D. By 2008, the school had earned a C- and was $1 million in debt; the state shut it down that year

Many many more...keep this list in mind.
Add to it!!!

To understand today's global conflicts....take a hard look at a map

Worth the read, it is not long.
Just found it, it was written in 2012, now seems very prescient.
I would also add that geography AND history provide the lens thru which we observe global conflict.

Geography Strikes Back
To understand today's global conflicts, forget economics and technology and take a hard look at a map, writes Robert D. Kaplan

If you want to know what Russia, China or Iran will do next, don't read their newspapers or ask what our spies have dug up—consult a map. Geography can reveal as much about a government's aims as its secret councils. More than ideology or domestic politics, what fundamentally defines a state is its place on the globe. Maps capture the key facts of history, culture and natural resources. With upheaval in the Middle East and a tumultuous political transition in China, look to geography to make sense of it all.

Snip......Why, for example, are headlines screaming about the islands of the South China Sea?
As the Pacific antechamber to the Indian Ocean, this sea connects the energy-rich Middle East and the emerging middle-class fleshpots of East Asia. It is also thought to contain significant stores of hydrocarbons. China thinks of the South China Sea much as the U.S. thinks of the Caribbean: as a blue-water extension of its mainland. Vietnam and the Philippines also abut this crucial body of water, which is why we are seeing maritime brinkmanship on all sides. It is a battle not of ideas but of physical space. The same can be said of the continuing dispute between Japan and Russia over the South Kuril Islands.

snip.....Why does President Vladimir Putin covet buffer zones in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, just as the czars and commissars did before him?

and what about Europe, and the Balkans, and Greece, and..........lots of good info. at the link.


Pipeline politics in Syria

Much of the media coverage suggests that the conflict in Syria is a civil war, in which the Alawite (Shia) Bashar al Assad regime is defending itself (and committing atrocities) against Sunni rebel factions (who are also committing atrocities). The real explanation is simpler: it is about money.

In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Assad forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run a pipeline eastward, allowing those Shia-dominated countries access to the European natural gas market while denying access to Sunni Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latter states, it appears, are now attempting to remove Assad so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.

The standard Shia-Sunni conflict is little different from many other socio-ethnic-economic-political-religious (SEEPR) conflicts that originate in competition for resources, but in Syria it has a lucrative twist. The pattern of SEEPR control in Syria is similar to that in many other Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan Africa countries (and is arguably common in every country, but more so in traditional societies): Who controls the government controls the state’s resources, and by extension, the wealth derived from them. In Syria, the Sunnis have tried to unseat the Alawites ever since France installed them during the French mandate that ended in 1943. But now the stakes are higher, thanks to natural gas.

Any review of the current conflict in Syria that neglects the geopolitical economics of the region is incomplete. (Nearly all media reports fit this description.)
Take “The Geopolitics of the Syrian Civil War,” published in January by STRATFOR’s Reva Bhalla, which provides an effective Syria-specific revision of Robert Kaplan’s “Geography Strikes Back,” complete with historical acuity, but without mentioning the pipeline. Reports such as these shed little light on current geopolitical economic developments that are at the heart of the issue. Oil and natural gas pipelines bring large amounts of wealth to states which control them, thus attracting international attention, intrigue, and in many instances, terrorist activity.

We are now bombing TWO groups in Syria, for TWO different reasons.

We are bombing both ISIL AND a "new" Al-Quada "affiliated" group in Syria.
That was the happy headline that greeted me this am.

Just to be clear...here is the WH reasons for bombing ISIL in Syria:
Senior Obama administration officials: Airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria are legal because they were done in defense of Iraq


and here is the WH reason for bombing another group in Syria:
The White House this morning is confirming that airstrikes against the al-Qaida-affiliated Khorasan Group in Syria were carried out due to its plotting of an 'imminent' attack against the US. This information was also confirmed earlier today by the US Central Command.

same source as above

"Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on."

Kurt Vonnegut
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