You did say cut the pork

October 31st, 2005

Our elected representatives in Washington may not be able to get anywhere close to a majority willing to cut pork in the bloated federal highway bill. But they seem to have other more popular ideas on ways to reduce pork, and beans, and potatoes, and …

With more than 38 million Americans too poor to buy adequate food, the US Congress has begun to take away the food stamps many of them receive.

The Republican majority on the House Agriculture Committee has approved budget cuts that will take “food stamps” away from an estimated 300,000 people and could cut off school lunches and breakfasts for 40,000 children.

The White House proposed the restriction earlier this year.

Perhaps there are good reasons for the cuts, what with the booming economy and low prices from free trade and all.

The action came as the US Government reported that the number of people who are hungry because they can’t afford to buy enough food rose to 38.2 million in 2004, an increase of seven million in five years.

The number represents nearly 12 per cent of US households.

Well, surely Oklahoma is the exception having adopted right-to-work and given business so much in tax breaks and other incentives. Let’s check a USDA report on hunger released this month:

Hunger 2002-2004

State      Rank
OK         1

We hold that ranking thanks to an increase of 2.3% in hungry Okies since 2000.

I give up. Maybe the cuts are just plain wrong.

Halloween horrorscope

October 31st, 2005

This is so wrong for me.

Michael’s Daily Scorpio Forecast

Forget about the dishes in the sink. If there’s a knock at the door, stick them in the oven. Slip into your most flattering jeans, do what you can with your makeup and pretend you were on the phone.

1. I already always forget about the dishes in the sink.
2. Why an oven when we have a dishwasher?
3. I possess no jeans that flatter me.
4. Nobody wants me doing anything with makeup.
5. Excuse me, I’ve got to end this; the phone’s ringing.

Oklahoma college kids don’t panic

October 31st, 2005

Living close to a college town, I regularly hear about the stories of crazy student hi-jinx. But evidently, Oklahoma’s college students are no match for students in other U.S. institutions of higher learning.

The best advice lawyer C.L. Lindsay has for college students is this: Don’t break the law.

Lindsay, who has a law degree from the University of Michigan, is also the founder and executive director of the Coalition for Student & Academic Rights, a non-profit network of lawyers that helps college students and professors with legal issues.

Each year the organization gets thousands of phone calls from panicked students around the country…

That’s why Lindsay and the coalition are flooded with calls, many of which come from the East and West coasts (“Nobody from Oklahoma ever calls”).

Must be due to that Sooner Pride. Still, the College Student’s Guide has some good tips for an eventual interaction with campus police:

•Stop when the officer approaches you
•Look the officer directly in the eye
•Stay relatively still
•Control your emotions and what you say
•Keep your hands in sight at all times
•Ask permission before reaching into your pockets or bag, or doing anything potentially threatening

But don’t

•Make any sudden movements
•Ever touch a police officer (the officer might think you’re trying to grab his weapon)
•Ever run away or resist arrest (both of these are crimes)
•Get in the way of a police officer chasing someone else (that’s also a crime)

Say no to Oklahoma Aging Dept.

October 30th, 2005

I am at the ripe old age that begins my transition into senior citizenship (and will be chalking up another year next week). I’ve been solicited by AARP for a couple of years now and already qualify for senior citizen discounts at a few retailers. Yet, it stills feels a bit odd knowing that this applies to me: (NewsOK reg)

State official wants Aging Department

I’m not sure how much thought was put into the name, but there’s got to be something better than the “Aging Department”. Allow me to offer some alternatives that more accurately reflect the agency’s mission:

  • State Sage Department
  • Department for the Wise
  • Savvy Seniors Department
  • Department of Elderly Excellence
  • Old Folks Homeland Security
  • Department for People of Discernment
  • Oklahoma Hindsight Department
  • Department for Grandmas and Grandpas

You see what I mean?

Rosie anticipates Dick

October 29th, 2005

Being a social idealist from southeastern Oklahoma can’t be easy. Rosie testifies to that:

I think I may have actually found that friend I can talk to, someone who’s interested in what I have to say. Hold your applause momentarily while I tell you the best part, “IT’S A GUY, IN OKLAHOMA!” Now you may applaud. Thank you, thank you, I never could have met him without you. For the time being, he reminds me of a male version of me. He’s bright, clever, and horny. He’s me with a dick. He’s me with a (real) dick. I haven’t met him or Dick yet, but this could lead to my getting laid sometime in this lifetime.

Uh, I guess it’s OK to wish her luck.

Watering down health care

October 29th, 2005

You may have heard about Exxon-Mobil eeking out a profit in this era of high oil and gas prices.

Exxon Mobil raked in $100 billion in just three months, and $10 billion went right onto its bottom line. Take a moment to digest that.

The oil company’s third-quarter revenue and profit were both records for any publicly traded company

I heard one Exxon executive attribute the staggering profits to new approaches of efficiency in business practices. Cutting health care costs may be one of those efficiencies.

Exxon workers got bogus flu shots

Preliminary tests indicated the syringes were filled with purified water, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said.

Iyad Abu El Hawa, 35, was arrested Thursday. El Hawa, owner of Comfort & Caring Home Health and two other home health centers in Houston

No one’s accusing Exxon of foul play, but when an obscenely profitable company like Exxon gets reamed (or I should say, their employees) by a scam like this, what’s the likelihood of struggling American companies getting scammed in a desperate effort to squeeze every ounce out of health care costs? A business executive losing billions of dollars a year surely can’t ignore opportunities like Iyad Abu’s Cut-rate Clinic or Irv’s No-fat Health Insurance in an attempt to minimize expenses.

The worst thing is that I seriously doubt this is an isolated incident. And there is no reason to believe such fraud in medical service won’t increase right along with the escalating amount of money flowing into the health care sector.

To those that say America’s health care system is one of the finest in the world, pointing to the number of wealthy folks from outside the country seeking it, I agree. For those with money, it’s great. Even for those without any money and on public assistance, it’s OK. But for those people who struggle to make a living with lower income jobs, it’s terrible. And to write those hard working Americans off because they “choose to live like that”, or “should have gone to college”, as we ship decent paying jobs out of the country, is more than fool-hardy; it’s shameful.

Okie round-up

October 29th, 2005

Yet Another Small Town Moment gets their flu shots.
Thoughts and Meanderings thinks through her Powerball winnings.
construction time again moves to Davis; an hour from the mall.
My Oklahoma Life trains to be a Master Naturalist.
tempest in a teacup is terrified for her son.
10,000 Fists in the Air moblogs a Model “A” Ford.
Wholesale Pants Wearhouse gets work restrictions.
This is not for you stands against Halloween.
Okie Funk teaches TABOR.
JMBzine packs it in Portland.
Incurable Insomniac is happy with old farts and coffee.
Conversation Station misses well water and chili.

Okie coke

October 28th, 2005

At the fast food place today, the young lady ordering ahead of me was asked, “Do you want a drink with that?” “Yes” she said. “A Coke… Dr. Pepper.” I mention this to two guys at work and get the responses: Coke and cola.

I’ve come across the pop/coke/soda debate before, but this is the first time I’ve seen this definitive nation-wide map break it down.

image

Generic names for soft drinks by county

By the way, it’s soda.

Nurses pose for good cause in OKC

October 28th, 2005

If you like nurses, and also like those calendars with photographs of provocative professionals, the Oklahoma Nurses Association has a calendar for you. (NewsOK reg)

In the calendar, nurses are shown flexing their muscles, working out, riding bicycles, shooting targets at a pistol range, playing golf and in hospital operating rooms.

The goal is to attract more attention (people) to the nursing profession.

The state is projected to need 7,800 more nurses within 10 to 15 years, according to federal health officials.

Calendars are available for $12.95 by calling the Oklahoma Nurses Association at (405) 840-3476 or by ordering online at www.oknurses.com.

Want a peek?

ODL adds up

October 28th, 2005

TechnoBiblio sums it up: Technology + Libraries = ODL

I think the fine folks at ODL (Oklahoma Department of Libraries) are doing a great job. Not only are they helping to up the bandwidth throughout their rural libraries (lots and lots of them have T1s), they are also the only state library that I am aware of that has posted a podcast to their website.

Link to ODL podcast.