Saturday, February 21, 2009

This will be my last post on this site...

Sadly, this will be my last post on this site...

My original intention for this site was an experiment in community blogging. It never really took off, and has become a site where just I add a post from time to time. I had really wanted a site where everybody could blog together, Democrats, Republicans, people who don't care about politics, men, women, young, old etc. It started off pretty good, but has tapered to mostly just my posts.

I really appreciate the people who continued to visit U-Blog Press just to see what I had to say next =)

I am still a contributor on my friend John Good's blog Left in Aboite, and I will probably post more on his site in the future.

If you are a contributor to this site, please feel free to continue to add your posts. I just will not be adding any myself.

Thank you for visiting!!!

Stan Matuska


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Feds want your medical records

By Bob Unruh© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A little-discussed provision in President Obama's economic stimulus plan would demand that every American submit to a government program for electronic medical records without a choice to opt out, and it has privacy advocates more than a little alarmed.

Patients might be alarmed, too, privacy advocates said, if they realized information such as documentation on abortions, mental health problems, impotence, being labeled as a non-compliant patient, lawsuits against doctors and sexual problems could be shared electronically with, perhaps, millions of people.

Sue A. Blevins, president of the Institute for Health Freedom, said unless people have the right to decide "if and when" their health information is shared, there is no real privacy.

"President Obama has pledged to advance freedom," she said. "Therefore the freedom to choose not to participate in a national electronic health-records system must be upheld."

Blevins' organization, one of the few raising the alarm at this point, said the stimulus plan would impose an electronic health records system on every person in the U.S. without any provision for seeking patient consent or allowing them not to participate.

"Without those protections, Americans' electronic health records could be shared – without their consent – with over 600,000 covered entities through the forthcoming nationally linked electronic health-records network," Blevins said.

The organization said Americans who care about health privacy should contact members of Congress and the president to let them know about the need for opt-out and consent provisions.
According to the institute, the measure currently includes plans for:

An electronic health record "for each person in the United States by 2014."

A national coordinator to develop a "nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information."

The institute said the medical privacy rule established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 already allows personal health information to be passed along without patient consent for treatment, payment and "oversight." The recipients of such information could be any of the people in the 600,000 organizations in the industry.

"Nobody wants to stop the proper use of good technology," Blevins said, "and for some people privacy is not an issue."

But she said the bottom line is that patients "would end up losing control of his or her personal health information."

"There's a lot at stake with electronically transferring health data and paying claims within the $2.2 trillion healthcare industry," warned the organization, which works on issues of health freedom in the U.S.

Another group, Consumer Watchdog, even suggested today Google is trying to lobby for the "sale of electronic medical records."

The group said, "Reportedly Google is pushing for the provisions so it may sell patient medical information to its advertising clients on the new 'Google Health' database."

Consumer Watchdog said, "Americans will benefit from an integrated system capable of making our medical records available wherever we may need them, but only if the system is properly used.

"The medical technology portion of the economic stimulus bill does not sufficiently protect patient privacy, and recent amendments have made this situation worse. Medical privacy must be strengthened before the measure's final passage," the group said.

WND previously has reported on attempts in Minnesota by state lawmakers to authorize the collection and warehousing of newborns' DNA without parental consent.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been successful in stopping the action there so far.

The Citizens' Council on Health Care has worked to publicize the issue in Minnesota. The group raised opposition when the state Department of Health continued to warehouse DNA without parental consent in violation of the genetic privacy and DNA property rights of parents and children.

Twila Brase, president of CCHC, said at the time the problem is that "researchers already are looking for genes related to violence, crime and different behaviors."

In an extensive interview with WND at the time, she said, "In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals."

In fact, published reports in Britain note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied, because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age 5.

Brase said efforts to study traits and gene factors and classify people would be just the beginning. What could happen through subsequent programs to address such conditions, she wondered.

"Not all research is great," she said. Classifying of people could lead to "discrimination and prejudice. … People can look at data about you and make assessments ultimately of who you are."

The Heartland Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening is one of the organizations that advocates more screening and research.

The group proclaims in its vision statement a desire to see newborns screened for 200 conditions. It also forecasts "every student … with an individual program for education based on confidential interpretation of their family medical history, their brain imaging, their genetic predictors of best learning methods. …"

Further, every individual should share information about "personal and family health histories" as well as "gene tests for recessive conditions and drug metabolism" with the "other parent of their future children."

Still further, it seeks "ecogenetic research that could improve health, lessen disability, and lower costs for sickness."

"They want to test every child for 200 conditions, take the child's history and a brain image, and genetics, and come up with a plan for that child," Brase said at the time. "They want to learn their weaknesses and defects.

"Nobody including and especially the government should be allowed to create such extensive profiles," she said.

The next step, said Brase, is obvious: The government, with information about potential health weaknesses, could say to couples, "We don't want your expensive children."

"I think people have forgotten about eugenics. The fact of the matter is that the eugenicists have not gone away. Newborn genetic testing is the entry into the 21st Century version of eugenics," she said.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Trust me... I know that look!

This is a relatively recent photo of President Obama. I think he needs a cigarette!!! Poor guy. I know he is trying to quit smoking, but I don't think he has succeeded. Now I hear that he can't even sneak away for a puff because his Mother-in-Law is keeping her eye on him! You would think the leader of the free world would be able to do what he wants!!!
Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it over 20 times! And I even quit between cigarettes! LOL - but not really funny. I still smoke and hate it!
I just hope that if President Obama really really needs a cigarette, that he is able to get one.

Monday, January 19, 2009


You may have seen this somewhere before.
I got it off of John's blog
I remember when the number was 4000.
I thought "wow, that's an incredible number of deaths in Iraq."

As time went by, I didn't pay too much attention to the numbers climbing. Then today I thought about it some more. Since I last stopped and actually paused at the incredible number of deaths just a few short months ago, I realized that there were 226 American soldiers still alive back then, who are no longer with us today...

Each soldier's death is just as sad as the next; yet we seem to pause to remember primarily when the number reaches some rounded number, such as 4000.

Today, I am remembering all 4226 solderiers who gave their lives in Iraq... and in addition, I pray for the souls who are alive today, yet will increment the number in the days to come...

It's time to end the American bloodshed and bring our troops home; but in the mean time, I will remember that each number represents what was once a brave, living, breathing, feeling, young American soldier.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


BREAKING NEWS!!! 11 Macy's stores to close!

Yes, that is the breaking news I heard today!!! What??? That's the breaking news??? I couldn't believe it!

It used to be that breaking news was something pretty earth shattering, such as an earthquake, massive casualties or the death of a very well known celebrity or president.

When did breaking news become news that is just new news? "Breaking News, the unemployment numbers for December are now in." "Breaking News, President elect Obama has just landed in Hawaii.". Really? Was there any specific reason I needed to know this... and as breaking news?

Now, I realize that the term 'breaking news' actually sounds like it should be news that is 'breaking' - meaning new news; but in past years, that is not how it was used. I remember that the term was used very infrequently; so when I heard it, I knew something terrible had happened, and I would stop what I was doing to hear the breaking news.

It wouldn't be so bad if they had different background audio/sound/music for the breaking news to discemminate the urgent serious breaking news from the new news. As far as I can tell, the background audio is the same no matter what the breaking news is about.

Well, that's my gripe. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, I don't know; but like the 'boy who cried wolf', I will probably miss a real tragedy because I am starting to tune out the breaking news.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Fla. woman claims 'Merry Christmas' got her fired

By MELISSA NELSON, Associated Press Writer Melissa Nelson, Associated Press Writer – Fri Dec 26

PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Christian woman claims she was fired from her job because she greeted callers with "Merry Christmas," but the vacation rental company says it's no Scrooge and the woman is just a disgruntled employee.

Tonia Thomas, 35, said she refused to say "Happy Holidays" and was fired, even after offering to use the company's non-holiday greeting. The Panama City woman filed a federal complaint that accuses the company of religious discrimination. She is seeking compensation for lost wages.

"I hold my core Christian values to a high standard and I absolutely refuse to give in on the basis of values. All I wanted was to be able to say 'Merry Christmas' or to acknowledge no holidays," she said Tuesday. "As a Christian, I don't recognize any other holidays." Thomas said she is Baptist.

Her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., said she wasn't fired for saying "Merry Christmas," but would not elaborate.

"We are a Christian company and we celebrate Christmas," said Andy Phillips, the company's president. Thomas is "a disgruntled employee," presenting a one-sided version of what happened when she was fired Dec. 10, Phillips said.

Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based legal group that advocates for people discriminated against because of their religion, is representing Thomas before the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Their complaint also accuses the company of harassing and taunting Thomas after she was fired by calling the police to watch her pack her belongs and leave.

Thomas could have hard time winning the case, said G. Thomas Harper, a Jacksonville-based labor attorney who writes a newsletter on Florida employment law.

"I wouldn't think an employee has the right to insist (on saying Merry Christmas) unless that really is a tenet of their faith. She would have to make a strong case that was part of her beliefs, if not, it becomes insubordination," he said.

Thomas has found another job, but she makes less than the $10.50 an hour she earned with the rental company. She said the trauma of being fired and the pay cut has made for a tough holiday season for herself, her husband and their 6-year-old son.

Harper said when it comes to holiday greetings, the smartest choice might be ignoring the season. "The best option is just not to say anything," he said.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Save the whales!!! I the bows!!!

"Save the bows!!!" That's what I found myself saying repeatedly as we unwrapped our Christmas gifts. What? Am I insane? Save the bows? Are we the only kooks out there who do this? I don't think so.

It just doesn't make sense to throw away a perfectly good looking bow when it can be re-used next year. The problem with that is that bows are so incredibly cheap!!! We spend a LOT of money on Christmas gifts, so what's another $5.99 for the large bag of new bows?

Not one person laughed or made any disparaging comments when I requested their bow off of their priceless gift. A sign of the times? I don't think so. It's been a "tradition" around our home for years! And yours too???


Friday, December 19, 2008

Congress gets a raise

So, Congress is getting a $4,700 pay increase, during this recession. I'm not really sure if that is supposed to be a statement or a question.

To be fair, they didn't even have to vote on the raise. It is an automatic 2.8 percent increase. They would actually have to vote to NOT receive the pay increase... but, should they have passed on it as was done in 2000?

You know, I'm not against wage increases. In fact, I was all for raising the minimum wage, even though I know there are cons to that as well. In today's economy, I think that if a member of Congress has trouble making ends meet with an average salary of $169,300 per year, that they should just get out of office. The main reason for wage increases is to offset the cost of living, but should that even be a factor if you are making over six figures???

If nothing else, the timing is just bad. With so many unemployed, and the economy in a seemingly never ending downward spiral, it just doesn't make sense. But then again, it's only an additional $2.5 million per year. What the heck is that though compared to the billions being tossed out like candy already? How about just setting an example to the banks, auto makers and the average person? Or is the message do as I say, and not as I do?