Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cops are revenue generators

So the State of Florida recently had a two day event called "Operation Green Light." What this event was, was all of the offices for the state's county clerks would waive the collection fees for people who had old traffic tickets whose fines had been sent to collection agencies. Watch the report here.

Orange county alone has 400,000 unpaid traffic tickets, which they claim is millions missing from the county's budget. Did you get that? Counties admit that traffic tickets are about getting more money. The police departments' primary mission is bringing money into the county coffers, not preventing crime or catching lawbreakers.

I am one of the people who is in collections for an old ticket. I got a speeding ticket in Melbourne in 2001, 14 years ago. I went to the clerk's office when I got the ticket and paid the fine. Ten years later, I got a letter from a collection agency, claiming that I had underpaid my fine by $45.50. I sent them a letter, telling them that I had paid the fine that I was told to pay at the time, and the fact that the clerk miscalculated the fine when I paid it was not my problem, as I had a receipt.

They responded by saying that fines from a government agency are not subject to the statute of limitations, nor are they subject to the Federal Laws on Collecting debts. They can continue to hound me about it until the end of time. What I DID discover, however, is that they cannot suspend my license, nor can they place it on my credit bureau reports. I sent them a letter telling them that I was not going to pay it, and that there was nothing that they could legally do to force me to do so.

In other words, all they can do is continue to send me letters every month, which they have done since the summer of 2012. In other words, they have spent more in postage trying to collect this fine than the amount of the fine would net them.

This is why government is so wasteful: they just don't understand money. Even with armed collection agents that can force you to participate, the ability to force you to pay or go to jail, and exceptions to the law that allow them to abuse the system, they still can't make money.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Special ed racket

Did you know that a child who is diagnosed with things like ADD can get special privileges in school like extra study guides, extended time on tests, and other perks, but that the student's school transcripts and diplomas will not reflect that fact? Did you know that schools are paid more for having these students under their care? For instance, New York State spends an average of $14,413 per year more to educate a disabled student than a regular-enrollment student. 

There are students who actually need these things, but as you can imagine, there are schools and parents that will take advantage of this system. The benefit to the school is increased funding, and the benefit to the student is a slanted playing field.

There are even schools that children attend that allow them to ride horses as a part of their "therapy." A large number of disabled students and their clever parents, critics allege, have managed to get public schools to pay for attendance at expensive private schools like the one just mentioned. The San Francisco Chronicle describes the case of a student with learning disabilities and an anxiety disorder whose parents “enrolled him in a $30,000-a-year prep school in Maine—then sent the bill to their local public school district.”

In the last three decades, special-education programs in the United States have grown at a tremendous pace. Much of this growth reflects a growing incidence of students diagnosed with the mildest form of learning disability, called a Specific Learning Disability (SLD), and thus the hardest to distinguish from an ordinary cognitive deficit. Between 1977 and 2006, the proportion of public school students diagnosed with SLD trebled, from 1.8 percent to 5.6 percent. By the end of that period, 40.7 percent of all students enrolled in special education had been identified as having an SLD. A limited but growing body of research suggests that financial and other incentives may be responsible for a portion of these increases.

Read more here

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Best headline ever

Man shoots armadillo, hits mother in law.


Women's bodies throughout history

I actually found an interesting article over at HuffPo:

Women's Ideal Body Types Throughout History.

The "ideal" woman's body type has taken on a number of forms over the past 3,000 years. In ancient Egypt, it was slender shoulders and a narrow waist; during the Italian Renaissance, it was a round stomach and fair skin; in the 1980s, it was an athletic build with curves.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I, robot

Fast food workers continue to protest, despite the fact that they received a twelve percent raise from $8 an hour to $9 an hour, paid time off, and educational benefits, with a promise of another twelve percent nest year to $10 an hour. Why? Because they claim that they want fifteen dollars an hour. They further claim that the money they get forces them to decide whether to pay the electric bill or the rent, but doesn't allow them to pay both.

Looking at the pictures in the article, it seems like many of them have smart phones and designer clothes:

The money quote?

“If we want people to stop selling drugs, stop murdering, robbing, raping and killing … then we have to pay them something to keep them vitalized and civilized,” added Rev. Rideout III.
So this is essentially a threat, that unless we pay up, they will kill people.

There is another option: Employers can simply replace them with robots, like these. At some point, the cost of installing and maintaining a robot will be less than the cost of salary, training, paid time off, Obamacare, and loss from theft, botched orders, and waste. When employees price themselves out of the market and the robots take their jobs, there will be no going back.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

CCW prevents mass shooting

On March 22 a man who opened fire on children and adults in a Philadelphia barbershop was shot and killed by a citizen with a concealed carry permit.
The armed citizen had been walking by the barbershop when he heard gunshots. He ran inside and shot the gunman.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Illegal immigrants being hired as cops

From the USA today, illegal immigrants are being hired as cops:
Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap. Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said he has no problems with green-card holders becoming police officers because they've made a long-term commitment to the country and have undergone extensive background checks. But he worries about the security risks associated with allowing any immigrant with a work permit to become an officer, especially considering that the Obama administration has given hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants work permits.
"We're handing over a gun and a badge to somebody whose background we don't really know a lot about," Krikorian said.

Read the whole thing, and think about the ramifications of a heavily armed, militarized police force, who have no loyalty to our nation, our laws, or our Constitution.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nursing homes are taking people

Paramedics refer to nursing homes as 'God's waiting room.' In Florida, they are almost universally filled to the bursting point with patients who are largely catatonic, and are poorly cared for by an overworked and underpaid staff. What this means is that the staff that doesn't quit for a better job are stuck there for one reason or another, and the usually begin viewing their patients as a burden.

During my 20 some odd years as a Paramedic, I would frequently walk into a nursing home and see patients who had been left there for hours, lying in adult diapers that were filled to capacity. I learned to associate the smell of unwashed bodies, human excrement, and disinfectants as the "smell of nursing homes." 

They hide these conditions from prospective clients and their families by putting the most healthy and most frequently visited patients in the front of the building, and hide the most neglected in the back. If you found a patient in the last room on the left as far from the nurses' station as possible, in the back hallway of the building, you could bet money that the patent was the one that the nurses found to be the most bothersome, and the patient was most likely being ignored.

I once responded to a call for a patient because the staff claimed that they could not take his blood pressure. I asked when the last time his BP was taken, and they told me just 2 hours before, and that it was fine then. When I got there, it was obvious from the advanced state of rigor mortis that this particular patient had been dead for at least four hours.

Why does this happen? Because nursing home care for a patient who is on Medicare is a cash cow. The goal here is to keep the patient alive and under the care of the nursing home for as long as possible at the lowest cost possible, so that profits are maximized.

I know a physical therapist who was instructed to stop rehabilitating patients for walking unassisted once the patient could walk a certain distance. It seems that once a patient can walk a certain distance (IIRC it is 30 feet, but I may be wrong) they are no longer eligible for the higher amounts paid for nonambuilatory patients. 

But one day last summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled Mrs. Palermo’s copays, and complained about inexperienced employees who dropped his wife on the floor, Mr. Palermo was shocked to find a six-page legal document waiting on her bed.&nbspIt was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money. Read the article, and it will open your eyes as to how the Medicare system is being played, and how this is causing people to be treated like cargo.  
I once had a supervisor at an ambulance company tell me that it was our job to treat the customer well, but that the patient was not the customer, the nursing home and hospital was. "You see," he explained, "the nursing homes and hospitals called for us, not the catatonic patients. The patients were just cargo, and no one cares about whether or not cargo is happy."

Another supervisor at a different ambulance company and I had a conversation where I was explaining that what we were doing was Medicare fraud. During this conversation, I was told: "We are making money, the nursing home is making money, and the patient doesn't even remember his own name. We all win here, so don't rock the boat. You want to keep your job, don't you?"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

You don't need that

One of the most common things that you hear in Central Florida when you carry a concealed weapon is that you don't need to carry a gun to the theme parks, because they are for kids, and no crime happens there.

The place is, of course, a target rich environment for all sorts of criminals. Child molesters, for example:

The report states when deputies searched Jiang's phone, they found numerous inappropriate pictures of children between 4 years old and 7 years old taken inside of the park -- including one in a bathroom stall.