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Posts by MD Expat in PA

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  • Colorado shooter politically motivated, said ‘no more baby parts’ after attacking PP

    11/29/2015 3:20:11 PM PST · 184 of 187
    MD Expat in PA to DJ MacWoW
    Aaron Gardner - Colorado Police cannot confirm "baby part" quote from Dear

    I get what you are saying and I mistrust the MSM as much as anyone, however, "cannot confirm" does not mean a hill of beans - it is neither a denial nor a confirmation.

    Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting Police Response,

    OK. I listened to the entire thing. When they go to "Code 3" the dispatcher says calls coming in are saying shooter is in the parking lot. Around 2:08 dispatcher says one party is hiding in the bathroom (can't determine where) then shortly later the dispatcher says "they were in front of the PP when the call first came in....something about male by a white van and another call adjacent that also has all its doors open...then about the person being shot inside Elite Vision...dispatcher mentions PP. at around the 6:32 mark cop says he just got shot and shooter is behind PP. Then at around the 7:03 mark officer says "stop shooting...he's shooting at you as you're coming in...cop says he's been shot...PP ......officer down....he's behind his vehicle (not sure of that was the shooter or the cop who was shot), NW corner of the PP building ...lots more....shooter was shooting from the SW corner of the PP when last seen....at around 28:40 officer asks do we have contact with anyone inside PP - are we sure he's not inside?...then another officer says I've been shot...(yelling) where is the shooter right now? Where is shooting from, where is he at? Fire coming out of the PP....

    There is no mention of the bank except for one part of the broadcastify audio where an officer asks for the shooter's location relative to his as he was at the corner of the bank building, no mention of a bank robbery or the shooter having ever been inside the bank.

    The audio neither proves that the PP was not the shooter's ultimate target nor does it disprove it. I read one report that Dear while in the parking lot, was shooting a propane tanks he brought with him, trying cause an explosion, probably shooting wildly which may be why some like the person inside the Elite Vision were shot. So who knows if he was targeting PP or just randomly trying to cause mayhem, death and destruction because he was a mental case?

    But with that being said, I think that PP and the liberal gun grabbers including in the White Hut and the MSM will paint it as it was anyway - "Let no good crisis go to waste". But on the other hand I dislike when we conservatives also jump to conclusions and repeat falsehoods (like he was a tranny) and rumors and wild conspiracy theories about "False Flags" and such. It does more harm than good IMO.

    I like facts and do what I can to vette sources of information and accuracy whether it comes from the LameStreamMedia, Conservative Media, Bloggers, or my FRiends and am willing to wait a bit for more information to come out before forming an absolute opinion or saying I'm sure of what happened and why.

  • Colorado shooter politically motivated, said ‘no more baby parts’ after attacking PP

    11/29/2015 12:43:55 PM PST · 174 of 187
    MD Expat in PA to DJ MacWoW
    I understand that but those early police scanner chatter could have been as the result of people calling the police thinking it was a bank robbery because Dear parked his car nearer to the bank than the PP and hadn't yet entered the PP. It is not unusual for police scanner chatter to be confused and get things wrong early on.

    Again, if it were bank robbery gone wrong, I would expect there to have been witnesses from inside the bank. Where are they?

    Also "The official told CNN that propane tanks were found in the area of Dear's car in the parking lot, and that authorities believe he was trying to shoot them to cause an explosion." That's not the MO of a bank robber.

  • Colorado shooter politically motivated, said ‘no more baby parts’ after attacking PP

    11/29/2015 12:13:00 PM PST · 168 of 187
    MD Expat in PA to Timpanagos1; Jack Straw from Wichita; DJ MacWoW
    I think the confusion stemmed from early witness reports, witnesses that because they saw some LEO cars in front of the bank when they first heard the gunshots, assumed it was a bank robbery.


    Fox News Channel and The Gazette report witness accounts that claim the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic actually began at a nearby Chase Bank location.

    Fox News talked on-air to a witness at a nail salon near the Planned Parenthood clinic who "first thought [the incident] was a bank robbery." Cell phone video captured by the witness appeared to show a Chase Bank branch as the first location where law enforcement moved in.

    The witness said the suspect ran from the bank to the Planned Parenthood clinic.

    The Gazette reported:

    Denise Speller, manager at a nearby haircut salon, said she heard roughly 10-20 gunshots in the span of less than five minutes. She said she saw a police cruiser and two officers outside near Chase Bank, not far from the Planned Parenthood facility. One of the officers appeared to fall to the ground and the other office knelt down to render aid, then tried to get the officer to safety behind the car, she said. Another officer told Speller to seek shelter inside the building.

    Note that one witness quoted was inside the hair salon, and the other inside a nail salon, (same place?) not inside the bank. She "thought" the bank was being robbed because that's where she saw the first police car - the one she could see from inside the salon from her vantage point. Also note that the first responders where outside "near" the bank which is also near the PP. Also one of the witnesses claimed to see him "coming from the bank" but that could have been misreported and might have been "coming from the direction of the bank".

    Where are any witnesses from inside the bank - tellers or customers, who saw this guy come in and try the rob the bank first? Most banks have surveillance cameras so I would expect there would be video of the prep inside the bank trying to rob it. Also bank robbery is a federal offence so the FBI would be in charge of the investigation if it were a bank robbery attempt gone bad.

  • Candidates! A war on scammers is needed!!!

    11/29/2015 10:51:26 AM PST · 41 of 42
    MD Expat in PA to Paul R.
    As long as there are gullible and yes, "greedy" people (no insult to your elderly relative intended), there will be scammers and scammers, con-men, flim-flam artists, confidence men, and they are probably the next to the world's oldest profession. And as times change, their methods and level of sophistication changes as well.

    Once and a while I get one of those "Nigerian" emails that Gmail sends straight to my junk mail folder, but as long as there are no imbedded links or attachments, I will read them for the pure entertainment value.

    I can't believe the scammers still send those; they are so ridiculously worded and so obviously a scam and so much has been written and broadcast about them in the forms of warnings and PSA's over the years, who would ever fall for it? But evidently enough people still do. It doesn't cost the scammer much to send out millions of emails at a time so if even one person falls for it, even for only a few thousand dollars, it was well worth their while and a nice ROI.

    The telephone scammers can be even worse as they pressure and sometimes intimidate and even threaten their callers.

    There is the scam that's been around for a few years where the caller says they are from the IRS and that a big tax bill is owed that must be paid immediately via a CC or Western Union payment or the person will be arrested within hours, that there is already a warrant out for their arrest. Thousands of people fall for that one even though the IRS and consumer advocates have put out numerous PSA's and it's been covered on national and local news - if you owe taxes to the IRS, they will not, never will they call you or email or text you, the IRS will send letters and finally registered letters - Return Receipt letters and believe me as I have firsthand knowledge, having legitimately owed taxes to the IRS to know how they work. Most people don't fall for it as they know they don't owe taxes to the IRS or are smart enough to hang up and or call the IRS themselves, but yet enough people still do fall for it - often people who have criminal records or outstanding warrants for other crimes or may by coincidence owe some back taxes. Of the many thousands of people these scammers call, it only takes one out of many thousands of calls to make it profitable.

    Also granted that overseas scammers are hard to go after, but, I say: Declare war on these bastards. At a minimum, HEAVY pressure on the gov'ts of countries the scammers operate from is in order.

    The problem is it is often difficult or nearly impossible to track them down. Email addresses and telephone numbers can easily be spoofed and routed and re-routed again and again, making it appear to originate from one place or country but is actually being sent from another. And in truth while scammers can be anywhere in the world, increasingly from Russia and other Eastern European countries and from Asia - the Philippines that from what I understand is a hot bed right now along with countries long known for this like Nigeria or Jamaica or India, those governments have enough problems that scammers are not much of a priority.

    Make services like Western Union at least ask questions about large transfers of funds out of the US, and delay processing as needed if anything looks amiss. Perhaps banks should talk to their elderly customers about large or repeated withdrawals.

    And if our government does that, there will be a huge outcry from many, including many here over government intrusion into private transactions. There are already rules about withdrawing or transferring large sums of cash or into travelers checks from bank accounts, the bank having to report cash transaction of over 10k or in aggregate of that amount to the IRS and a lot of people are against this, but at the end of the day if someone wants to transfer funds to another party for whatever reason including for buying or investing in something stupid, donating money to a scam charity or getting ripped off, as long as it is not for the purposes of evading taxes, laundering money, drug money, transferring money to known terrorists, the IRS and US Government really doesn't care and nor should they except for prosecuting offenders when caught.


    But some are very much against any such reporting and I would think any type of delays in transactions (warning - a bit of a nut job site ahead and that doesn't get all the facts correct FWIW):


    The station nearest us is pretty good about that, in fact, but the one our relative watches a lot is not. Neither has discussed this type of scam - I think I'll e-mail them to create a PSA that can run relatively often, since the scam or variations of it are so common....In our relative's case, she wanted so badly to have more to give to church, leave for the kids, give to a friend with health problems, and not have to scrimp so much herself... It's sort of like a well-intentioned greed that blinds decent and caring and trusting people. She (our relative) is actually very "sharp" for the most part (NO dementia there!) and yet...

    I am sorry that your relative got ripped off, I really am, but IMO no amount of PSA's or increased government oversight and delays in banking transactions (which I do not think would be a good thing overall) is going to help prevent this sort of thing. And I really hate to be harsh here, but it is sort of like as the comedian Ron White says - "You Can't Fix Stupid".

    While your relative might have had some very good and noble intentions for the windfall money she thought she was going to get - money for nothing as it were or something that must have sounded to any rational person, too good to be true, (especially after being asked to send the scammers the taxes owed up front) she was still "greedy" IMO - a promise of a large cash windfall, a lottery prize, etc., for money that she didn't earn....she was acting on greed even if not selfishly to the extent it blinded her to common sense and what you think is otherwise her normally good judgment.

    As for local TV or radio stations running PSA's, FCC rules say that broadcasters have to give a certain amount of airtime for free for legitimate PSA's, but the broadcasters are not the ones who create and produce them, they are often produced by non-profit groups or government agencies like local police departments.

    Here are some examples of PSA on fraud:

    Senior Fraud PSA

    PSA: Senior Scam Stopper Campaign with Paula

    Mesa Police Department PSA - Senior Fraud

    What I am trying to say however is that no amount of PSA or increased government oversight is going to prevent fools from being separated from their money. When it comes to our vulnerable elderly relatives (and also FWIW, our young adult children who are also vulnerable to scammers) , the best we can do is try to educate them on the various scams and how not to be a victim and to call us first before making any investment or transferring money to unknown parties. You might also want to get with your church and hers to put warnings in the church bulletin or hold seminars - your local police departments might be willing to come and conduct such. Also contact your local TV station's consumer advocate - most have one. But doing such may require your relative to be interviewed and she may be too embarrassed or too frail to do so.

    As I have insomnia, I'm often up very early and turn on the TV and have come across paid TV ads that seem to be "religious" but are nothing more than scams, no better and even worse than even the worst infomercials peddling diet pill and exercise plans, ....

    Peter Popoff - Miracle Spring Water

    Sadly Peter Popoff and his ilk make a lot of money under the guise of religion and scam a lot of well intentioned but very gullible and often poor and sickly and not well educated people out of their money. I wonder how many fall for it, but evidently enough do to enable him to continue to buy the air time.

  • FDA Approves First Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Containing an Adjuvant

    11/28/2015 2:11:22 PM PST · 62 of 67
    MD Expat in PA to riri
    By all means, don't take those damned shots because like Polio and Small Pox - what was the big deal? / s

  • COURT RECORDS: Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooter NOT Republican, Identifies as Woman

    11/28/2015 1:58:48 PM PST · 117 of 152
    MD Expat in PA to familyop

    Your comment #1339 on the other thread has nothing to do with my comment. All I was saying was that what you posted in #116 on this thread that was intended to prove that Mr. Dear identified as a woman, was not a particularly reliable source.

  • High Military Court Will Decide Case of Marine Punished for Bible Verse

    11/28/2015 1:51:19 PM PST · 45 of 46
    MD Expat in PA to unlearner
    Re: Bergdahl - on this I absolute do not disagree with you at all. Bergdahl should have been court-martialed and either facing a firing squad or life in prison by now. But Bergdahl still faces serious charges and the possibility of prison time. Although I doubt the White Hut will allow that to happen if Obama has any say in it.

    Military selects rarely used charge for Bowe Bergdahl case

    On the other hand, it seems like they want to make an example out of this woman. If it had been a verse from the Koran, she never would have been told to take it down for fear of workplace violence.

    I would agree with you if posting the Bible verses were the only issues at hand. Sterling never faced prison but was bumped down in rank and given a bad-conduct discharge, which after reading the transcript - I have to agree with.

  • COURT RECORDS: Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooter NOT Republican, Identifies as Woman

    11/28/2015 1:23:57 PM PST · 107 of 152
    MD Expat in PA to familyop
    Proof? I wouldn't say that.

    Use this website at your own risk. There is no warranty.

    This is a privately owned genealogy website using a purchased copy of the Colorado voter list, which is unrestricted, public domain information.

    Could have been an error in the CO voter list or an error in the privately owned genealogy website when they uploaded the data. Who knows....

  • High Military Court Will Decide Case of Marine Punished for Bible Verse

    11/28/2015 12:14:31 PM PST · 43 of 46
    MD Expat in PA to odawg; eccentric; unlearner
    She was not engaged in a combat zone and that order countermanded centuries of hallowed tradition.

    So men and women in the military only have to obey orders if they are in a combat zone? Who knew? I guess if you are black female, military orders and disciple don't apply?

    And what centuries of hallowed tradition was she following by putting up not 1 copy, not 2 copies but 3 copies of the exact same quote - "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" -- in 28-point type on her computer's tower, her monitor and her desk, a computer and desk she shared with others. Did her or could her fellow Maries with whom she shared this workspace also tape 3 copies of a saying (Biblical or other) on the same computer?

    And she wasn't even quoting it correctly: "No weapon that is formed against thee (or you) shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."

    Sterling told military officials that the posted passage helped her summon patience when dealing with short-tempered Marines who were frustrated with their CAC problems.

    One could see it as her posting the "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" quote as an admonishment not to give her any sort of guff or complain too much which might be why "A military judge determined that the quotations, "could be interpreted as combative ... [and] could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline," court records show." Not because they were religious, even if that was the reason that her CO objected, but because it was seen as being antagonistic toward those she was there to help.

    Monifa is not the problem. So-called conservatives who don't have sense enough to defend basic Constitutional freedoms is the problem.

    "At the time, a military court subsequently noted, Sterling was "locked in an antagonistic relationship with her superiors" that extended beyond the dispute with over the biblical phrases, and she faced several charges of disobeying orders."

    Monifa refused to wear as ordered by a different officer, a class C uniform claiming a medical exemption for a hip injury (a medical chit) that had a handwritten note on that said wearing a class C uniform could be "difficult" but was not explicitly excused from wearing one; she then refused to report to gate duty when ordered claiming "stress reaction" and that she believed her medical chit which recommended "light duty" exempted her from standing; another time she refused another order to report for gate duty, this time by a Major, citing that a migraine medication she was on would cause dizziness and drowsiness but then admitted during her court martial that while she usually took the medication as prescribed, at night before going to bed, on the day she refused to obey that order to report to gate duty, she'd taken the medication in the morning so as that a migraine wouldn't interfere with her attending church services earlier that day.

    Read the transcript of her 1st appeal here and get back to me on Monifa and how her "Constitutional Right" not to follow orders were trampled on and whether she deserved to get booted out of the Marines.


  • High Military Court Will Decide Case of Marine Punished for Bible Verse

    11/28/2015 8:26:50 AM PST · 26 of 46
    MD Expat in PA to Mr Rogers; smokingfrog
    She taped three paper copies of the same quote -- "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" -- in 28-point type on her computer's tower, her monitor and her desk. (Which were not solely her's but that she shared with other Marines FWIW)

    Sterling told military officials that the posted passage helped her summon patience when dealing with short-tempered Marines who were frustrated with their CAC problems.

    In Sterling's first appeal, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals in February upheld the conviction. A military judge determined that the quotations, "could be interpreted as combative ... [and] could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline," court records show.

    Other convictions included in Sterling's original case involved charges of refusing orders to perform duties for which Sterling said she was medically exempted. Those charges and convictions factored into her sentencing, but are not the subject of her current appeal to the military high court.


    I tend to think perhaps that this had less to do with religion as it did with Monifa's attitude problems. Note that the quote seemed to be more about "her" and people who irritated her than with God.

  • Fleetwood Mac - The Early Years 1967-1970

    11/28/2015 7:44:43 AM PST · 15 of 26
    MD Expat in PA to WhiskeyX
    I discovered the old (Early Years) Fleetwood Mac in the early 80's when I was a big fan of the band in their then current lineup. It sort of got me into that style of blues rock. I still have Kiln House and Bare Trees and Mystery to Me and all the Buckingham / Nicks era records.

    FWIW, I used to have this record on vinyl that I bought at a really cool 2nd hand music store - from 1969 when she was recording with Chicken Shack as Christine Perfect, a year before she married John McVie.

    Christine McVie - I'd Rather Go Blind

  • Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun Evangelical Christians

    11/28/2015 7:05:06 AM PST · 54 of 83
    MD Expat in PA to Little Ray; elcid1970
    Sure - Someone's blog and an anonymous twitter-er. That' certainly a trustworthy source. / s

    When you read this:


    Fox News Channel and The Gazette report witness accounts that claim the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic actually began at a nearby Chase Bank location.

    Fox News talked on-air to a witness at a nail salon near the Planned Parenthood clinic who "first thought [the incident] was a bank robbery." Cell phone video captured by the witness appeared to show a Chase Bank branch as the first location where law enforcement moved in.

    The witness said the suspect ran from the bank to the Planned Parenthood clinic.

    The Gazette reported:

    Denise Speller, manager at a nearby haircut salon, said she heard roughly 10-20 gunshots in the span of less than five minutes. She said she saw a police cruiser and two officers outside near Chase Bank, not far from the Planned Parenthood facility. One of the officers appeared to fall to the ground and the other office knelt down to render aid, then tried to get the officer to safety behind the car, she said. Another officer told Speller to seek shelter inside the building.

    Note that one witness quoted was inside the hair salon, and the other inside a nail salon, (same place?) not inside the bank. She "thought" the bank was being robbed because that's were she saw the first police car - the one she could see from inside the salon. Also note that the first responders where outside "near" the bank which is also near the PP.

    Where are any witnesses from inside the bank - tellers or customers, who saw this guy come in and try the rob the bank first?

  • Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun Evangelical Christians

    11/28/2015 6:19:18 AM PST · 13 of 83
    MD Expat in PA to Little Ray
    I do not think that it had anything to do with a bank robbery.

    I think this came from one of the witnesses:

    Brigitte Wolfe, a manager at the Jun Japanese Restaurant in a strip mall across the street from the Planned Parenthood, said six policemen had taken positions in her restaurant and ordered her staff and three customers to stay inside as the scene unfolded across the street.

    "We have a bank across the street, so we thought it was a bank robbery, and then all of a sudden we saw SWAT and ATF pull up," she said. "Then we actually had a police officer come to the window tell us to lock the doors and stay away."


    If it had started out as a bank robbery, there would have been witnesses from inside the bank.

  • Terrified neighbours call police to 'domestic dispute' - but find man alone screaming at SPIDER

    11/28/2015 4:31:07 AM PST · 77 of 241
    MD Expat in PA to Daffynition
  • FDA Approves First Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Containing an Adjuvant

    11/28/2015 3:20:24 AM PST · 54 of 67
    MD Expat in PA to American in Israel
    the autism rates are up to 1 in 48 now

    According to the CDC it is more like 1 in 68 (or I’ve also seen 1 in 250 quoted) but even that is questionable as that this is the number children who are being identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Also many children who were once being diagnosed as being mildly retarded or “slow” are now being diagnosed as somewhere on the Autism Spectrum.

    Some children displaying symptoms of ADHD are also being co-diagnosed as being on the ASD and IMO, ADHD is itself being way over diagnosed.

    Autism rates are up, but is it really on the rise?

    Facts About ASD

    It is stunning just how many children who suddenly develop autism within days of their MMR vaccinations. Or suffer SIDS

    The Autism-Vaccine Myth

    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

  • Eagles of Death Metal Discuss Paris Terror Attacks

    11/27/2015 2:28:05 PM PST · 27 of 27
    MD Expat in PA to Salamander
    Oh, I remember the Benatar idiocy very well.

    Yes. It was very stupid as while the song lyrics were hard to listen to, it was a statement against child abuse and had nothing to do with recruiting children to follow the Devil.

    Anyone else old enough to remember the madness surrounding Tull's Aqualung album? That one ended up in *lots* of "album burnings". And for nothing. Ian was defending God against those who take His name in vain.

    Honestly I don't recall that but it doesn't surprise me.

    Many people think that the song Aqualung is about a pedophile - a disturbed, vile and disgusting man and someone deserving to be shunned and despised and spat upon, but according to Ian Anderson - "The lyrics give a description and backstory of Aqualung. He is described as a dirty, paedophilic, homeless man. This, however, is merely the view of average passerby. By viewing Aqualung as a disgusting paedophile, we can excuse ourselves with not helping him. In verse two and three, the truth of Aqualung is told. He is simply an old man, who is lonely, sick and in pain, whom nobody cares for." "But for the Grace of God, go I"

    The song is about having compassion for those less fortunate and not judging based on appearance or misfortune. I don't think Ian is a "Christian" per se - he describes himself as being "somewhere between Deist and Pantheist" religiously, according to his foreword to the pamphlet for his 2006 St Brides charity concerts for the homeless, he none the less seems to have a very kind heart and soul, something that people would not necessarily know from his stage persona.

    The idea came about from a photograph my wife at the time took of a tramp in London. I had feelings of guilt about the homeless, as well as fear and insecurity with people like that who seem a little scary. And I suppose all of that was combined with a slightly romanticized picture of the person who is homeless but yet a free spirit, who either won't or can't join in society's prescribed formats.

    So from that photograph and those sentiments, I began writing the words to "Aqualung". I can remember sitting in a hotel room in L.A., working out the chord structure for the verses. It's quite a tortured tangle of chords, but it was meant to really drag you here and there and then set you down into the more gentle acoustic section of the song.

    And Ian Anderson, while admitting to be a "liberal" and having many political disagreements with, had a very close and long time personal friendship over the years with Tony Snow and wrote a very nice tribute to him when he died which was posted here:

    Tony Snow: A Tribute -- by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

    Tony Snow and Ian Anderson - Flute duet

    Jethro Tull Ian Anderson Aqualung Classical

    But why bother reading the lyrics when a song title will do? Not to mention "Alice Cooper Goes to Hell". That album was pretty much a sermon but few noticed. :-\

    While I liked the Alice Cooper songs "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out For Summer" as those songs got heavy airplay at the time, I have to admit that wasn't a big Alice Cooper fan back in the late 1970's or of the whole shock or glam rock genre - or of Black Sabbath or KISS...at the time I was more into Southern Rock or California Rock - Little Feat, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and bands like Boston, Styx, Heart but also more progressive bands like Rush and Queen and ELO and in the very late 70's, the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and Blondie and The Ramones, The Clash and Bob Marley, but at the same time I "discovered" the music my older brother was into - EL&P, the Beatles and The Beach Boy's - their classics but also their "Pet Sounds" LP. I also liked classical music and jazz of all types and of classic swing music, i.e. Benny Goodman and of Motown and the Blues - Moody Waters and others lesser known Blues and Jazz artists going back to the 1920's and of instrumental blue grass and classic country like Pasty Cline. I developed very broad and eclectic tastes and appreciation of various musicals styles back then that I still have today.

    But I do recall the controversy when Alice Cooper released the song "Only Women Bleed" (which was about as close to a "sensitive ballad" as Alice may have ever done - LOL!) and how that many radio stations refused to play it and how both feminists and religious groups objected to and called for it to banned from the airwaves, because, well to the overly religious folks, it sounded like he was singing about female menstruation and that's something that can't ever be talked about and the feminists who thought he was signing in praise of "wife beating". Neither group evidently ever listened to the lyrics of the song in its entirety and completely overlooked that the song was a statement against domestic violence and not advocating for it.

    Alice Cooper - Only Women Bleed

    The song has perhaps even more poignancy when he performs it today, after Alice got clean and sober and was "Born Again" as we know of Alice's past struggles with drug addition, alcoholism and womanizing.

  • Brit Hume: 'Trumpkins' Are Being Fooled By The Donald About His Mocking A Disabled Reporter

    11/27/2015 11:10:38 AM PST · 223 of 254
    MD Expat in PA to ez
    Lest we forget that good old disable Serge was the sleazebag who rented the house next door to the Palins and they had to build a 9 ft fence to keep him from looking in their windows.

    In the interest of accuracy that wasn't Serge Kovaleski but Joe McGinniss.


  • Eagles of Death Metal Discuss Paris Terror Attacks

    11/26/2015 5:45:04 AM PST · 22 of 27
    MD Expat in PA to Yaelle; Salamander; mkjessup; Mount Athos
    I think the lyrics are meant to be a parody of metal music or probably more precisely - a parody of what some uptight and ultra religious folks probably think rock and especially metal music is all about. The band and the band members are not Satanists and the lyrics of the song are not meant to be an endorsement of the Devil. They are not truly a "metal" band but incorporate many musical styles including blues and bluegrass and pop rock and "easy listening rock", i.e. The Eagles, but with a "metal" edge but also at the same time being very satirical. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea but with an amazing line up of some great rock musicians.


    The band outside of founding members - Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) who grew up together are good friends; the band has a revolving line up of musicians including Jack Black and Dave Grohl and I think on occasion Jack White and many other well known studio musicians.

    At age 7, Hughes' mother, Jo Ellen, moved him to Palm Desert, California. In high school, he became friends with Josh Homme (later of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age). They became good friends after Homme stopped a bully from picking on Hughes. Hughes graduated from the Greenville Technical College with a degree in journalism and worked as the manager of a video depot in Palm Desert for several years.

    In a 2007 interview, bandmate Josh Homme stated "Jesse Hughes and I have a theory; we're socially liberal but government conservative guys".[1] Hughes has also said "I wanted to be a Republican politician, for God sakes. I'm a conservative, dude".[2]

    Hughes and Homme formed Eagles of Death Metal in 1998. Hughes credits Homme with saving his life, claiming that during the recording of the second Eagles of Death Metal album Death By Sexy, he fell into serious drug addiction and that Homme not only drove him to rehabilitation, but paid for it as well.[3]

    Homme is from what I understand a great guy and that he helped his best friend through such a difficult time and not only insisted on and drove his friend Hughes to rehab but then also paid for it, I think says a lot about his character.


    FWIW, just the other day I was watching a "Behind The Music" show on Pat Benatar. She and her husband Neil Giraldo were talking about the song they, along with another band mate wrote and recorded for Crimes of Passion album - "Hell Is For Children" and how some religious groups at the time objected to the song as they thought it was a call for children to become Satanists and devote their lives to Satan based for what it seemed, only on the title of the song - "Hell Is For Children".

    But the reason they wrote the song was to make a statement against child abuse after reading an article about several children who had been locked in a closet for years and suffered terrible from physical, sexual abuse and horrible neglect and other articles at the time about child abuse. Neil Giraldo said he was dumbfounded how anyone could listen to or read the lyrics to the song they wrote and come out thinking that they thought that Hell was a good place for children or that it was an endorsement for children to join Satanism. It was actually quite the opposite.

    Pat Benatar - Hell Is for Children - Live 2001

  • Slow Roasting Turkey

    11/26/2015 4:14:27 AM PST · 49 of 59
    MD Expat in PA to LoneRangerMassachusetts
    Help. Any thoughts? I'm shutting down the oven for the night and will resume baking in the morning to keep from over baking it.

    I'm of the opinion that slow roasting at 180 is perhaps not the best or the recommended way to roast a turkey - too low of a temp IMO - salmonella is not your friend FRiend. But then I looked it up on the interwebs and found several recipes for slow roasting turkey and you said you've done it for years so there's that. With that being said, many so called food safety experts don't recommend this method or slow cooking in a crock pot but they also say you shouldn't stuff a turkey either = pish on that. : )

    But all the slow roasting methods I read recommend pre-heating the oven to a much higher temp to start - anywhere from 500 to 400 or 375 and putting the bird at that high temp and cooking anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour or more so as to raise the temp of the surface and cavity of the unstuffed bird to a safe temp in order to kill any bacteria and THEN turning the oven down to 175, 180 to 200 for the remainder of the cooking time at 1 hour per pound and some also say to raise the oven temperature for the last 1/2 hour or so of cooking for browning. I've always started my turkey (stuffed) at a temp of about 500 for about 15-20 minutes, covering the breast, legs and wing tips with foil so they don't brown to fast and then lowering the temp to 325 for 20 minutes per pound, taking off the foil for the last 1/2 hour.

    As for taking the partially turkey out of the oven and I presume refrigerating and then resuming cooking in the morning - that doesn't sound safe at all. It is doubtful that the bird will cool sufficiently and you will basically be putting a partial cooked and perhaps still somewhat warm in spots but not to a proper temp, bird back into a low temperature oven - you will have still raw meat and partially or fully cooked meat stewing all together at a temp just above the minimum temp for where it should finally get to in order to kill any bacteria. Don't do it! I think Whole Foods and some other grocery stores are open today so ditch the partially cooked bird, buy a new one and start over.

    I also agree with those who said it might have to do with if whether or not the turkey was brined or injected with broth which could affect the cooking time. A bird not brined or injected with broth or one that is very low in fat, I think would possibly cook more quickly, rise to a higher temp more quickly. I doubt that it being hormone free would have anything to do with cooking times.

  • California girls fight to become Boy Scout members

    11/25/2015 4:06:13 PM PST · 40 of 45
    MD Expat in PA to Morgana; DoughtyOne
    The moms of those six girls should start their own club. I'll bet there are millions of other moms out there that would love to have an alternative.

    Agreed. I can't vouch for this organization but when I Googled "Girl Scouts alternatives", this group came up first. It sounds great, so good in fact I'm do some more research and am going to pass the info to my niece and nephew as my niece has 4 girls - a 9 year old and 8 year old triplets and my nephew 2 daughters age 8 and 5. I wonder if any FReepers have any knowledge or experience with this group that they'd like to share - positive or negative?

    Frontier Girls, a Scout Like Youth Program For Girls Offered as an Alternative To Girl Scouts - Who Are We?

    Not only do they have badges for Fire Building, they also have badges for firearms, several and for fishing and hunting and camping and canoeing....along with many, many others in many different categories that mirror those of the original BSA and GSA.

    There are existing Troops and Quest clubs in CA but if not close enough, these moms could start their own Frontier Girls Troop. According to this some Frontier Girls Troops even partner as "sister" clubs with some local Boy Scouts groups.


    "While Frontier Girls does not have an official national partnership with Boy Scouts, many Boy Scout troops across the country now run a sister troop of Frontier Girls. These troops camp together, have ceremonies together, do community service and parades together, and more. It only makes sense when the siblings are frequently present for meetings and such anyway. With a Boy Scout/Frontier Girl partnership, the girls have something to do at the same time and place as the boys. They are still separate, but work together, so it is the best of both worlds. The girls are allowed to earn any age appropriate badge that the Boy Scouts offer, even if Frontier Girls has not yet written their own requirements. If you've ever heard a girl say they want to do what the boys do, then Frontier Girls is for you."


    But then again perhaps the focus on traditional values, on patriotism, personal responsibility and morality might not appeal to some moms like the ones who want to demand their daughters be able to join the Boy Scouts ....

  • Avis Car Rental Latest Statement regarding Israeli citizen renting car.

    11/24/2015 3:27:34 PM PST · 146 of 153
    MD Expat in PA to machogirl; Mount Athos
    Avis policy/non-policy/inconsistency caused the primary issue.

    And I agree that confusion and inconstancy with their policy (the "may" and "shall" confusion) and with their consistently or more importantly not consistently enforcing it, with employee training and with how much leeway each location actually gives their employees to override the "rules" was probably, I think, the primary issue here.

    I am willing to give the Avis clerk some benefit of the doubt in this case that she was not perhaps singling out this man just because he was Israeli but rather that perhaps she was only trying to follow what she thought was company policy and practice and what she was trained and expected to do unless other evidence to the contrary comes to light - i.e. that she treated him differently from any other foreign car renters only because of his Israeli citizenship. But I would also care to mention that many Palestinians and other ethnically Arabs are legally Israeli citizens and carry Israeli passports so one can't necessarily assume that she assumed the customer was Jewish. Just saying.

    Over the years I've worked at several big retailers- "We Be Toys" and Target and a big regional grocery store chain among them. I also managed several convenience stores for a local chain when I was in my late teens and early 20's where I learned a lot about business management, more so IMO if I had gone to college, and then later in customer service for a 3rd part benefit administrator dealing with COBRA participants, so I know a bit about the ins and outs and highs and lows of customer service.

    When I worked at "We Be Toys", I was trained to work the customer service counter and especially on the "We Be Babies" side and at the baby registry side of the store. We were trained and had very strict rules to follow regarding returns and refunds, especially for those customers without receipts or gift receipts or with outdated receipts - receipts over 90 days old. And the Baby Registry returns were the absolute worst to deal with.

    I can't tell you how many times I had hormonal pregnant women bring in big bags of stuff that they got gifted to them at their baby shower(s) that they didn't want and wanted to make exchanges for, for everything in their bag. And sometimes some of the stuff didn't even have any store tags or any gift receipts and or were nowhere to be found on their "We Be Babies" gift registry and sometimes it was also very evident that the baby clothes or products couldn't have possibly have been purchased at "We Be Babies" since they were not even brands or items we even stocked, or had tags from other stores on them, but they still insisted on exchanging them or getting a full store credit. I even had one woman try to exchange items that had Target or Wal-Mart tags on them for credit or exchange for full credit at "We Be Babies" and yelled at me, cursed at me for not giving her an exchange or store credit for those items because they were sort of like and similar to items on her "We Be Babies" gift registry .

    But if the customer complained enough and loudly enough over a return without a receipt or gift tag or on their registry or for a product we didn't stock, that following my training and my following the "official" rules, I refused to give them, I would have to call a manager in order to resolve.

    Sometimes the manager on duty would back me up and refuse the exchange but sometimes, more often than not, he or she would override me and let the customer return a product either without a receipt or old receipt or without a gift receipt and even sometimes for items we didn't even stock, obviously purchased at another retailer like Target or Wal-Mart, giving them a full retail credit (and sometimes not even for the lowest or current or sale price as was our official policy) or even an estimated credit for items we didn't even carry - as a credit - as a gift card for a future purchase.

    It was all rather arbitrary and confusing and frustrating to me as an employee. If the manager over road the rules as to keep good relations with the customer - perhaps looking for getting future sales, I get that, but then to the customer I now looked like the "bad guy" or even was seen as incompetent to the customer. I had no say in the matter as my first duty was to follow the rules as I was taught and to follow, to the letter of company policy, but if a store manger decided otherwise - that was at his or her discretion and not mine. One time I couldn't get a manager to come to my register after repeated calls and for over 20 minutes of waiting, I finally gave the now even more upset customer a store credit for something that by the rules, I shouldn't have and got reprimanded and written up for it. And BTW, the customer's "thanks" to me was to call me a bitch and give me the one fingered salute as she left the store.

    I was often damned if I did and damned if I didn't.

    And that same manager a week later reprimanded me for not wearing the "right" type of pants. We were supposed to wear and had to provide ourselves, chino style full length pants in either kaki or black and a red collared top like a polo or golf shirt with at least 1/4 length sleeves and that at least came below the belt line. That manager said that my pants were not chinos but were black denim and that I wasn't allowed to wear that to work and would be written up if I wore them again. I told her that I had worn these very same pants to my interview and asked the HR manager if they were OK and that she had said "yes", they were fine and that I'd been wearing them to work at least 2-3 times a week with no problem or complaint. They were not black denim but were a heavier cotton twill, and identical to the kaki colored pants except for being black that I'd wore to work for the last 6n months without any complaint from her or any other manger.

    I quit two weeks later.

  • Will Smith: ‘Everybody Is Prejudiced,’ But ‘Racism Is Actually Rare’

    11/24/2015 11:34:20 AM PST · 52 of 73
    MD Expat in PA to newfreep
    BTW, an oldie-but-goodie of his movies for me is "Enemy of the State".

    I was working in Baltimore City when parts of Enemy of the State were being filed a block from my office. FWIW Hackman played the same character in that movie as an earlier (1974) movie - The Conversation.

    It was amazing watching all the big tractor trailers; dozens and dozens of them lined around for several blocks and all the equipment - the lights and sound equipment, what seemed like miles of cables, trailers full of costumes, all the extras, the support staff and the security people and even the caterers who set up just outside my office window to feed the crew - all the people and equipment that arrived a good two weeks before the actors ever arrived that were all necessary to film what ended up being all of about 10 minutes on screen. The same thing happened when Barry Levinson was filming some scenes for Liberty Heights across the street. It was amazing to watch.

    And when they were filming, you could always tell when Will Smith came out of his trailer because the deafening shrieks of the young and not so young girls.

    But I understood that Gene Hackman used walk on his own a few blocks up the street to the local deli to buy his own lunch. I didn't get a chance to see or meet him but I understood from some co-workers who did that he was so unassuming and such a "normal" and regular guy that he sort of blended in and that a lot of people, most people in fact didn't even recognize him. But when people did, he was very gracious about signing autographs or just talking with them.

    I could not care less about celebrities or fame or stardom or for their autographs (I wouldn't walk across the street to get someone's autograph) but I am fascinated with the craft of movie making and of good acting. Gene Hackman always impressed me with his versatility as an actor (playing good guys, bad guys, conflicted guys, in comedies, dramas, thrillers, westerns) over his long career and all the other great actors and directors he's worked with and I always thought it would probably be cool to sit down over a few glasses of beer and talk about movies and the craft of acting with him for a few hours. There are a very few other actors who I could see myself doing that with, Paul Newman would be one of the others.

    I understand that Hackman is a Democrat and is probably fairly liberal but he's never been one to talk or preach much about it and during a rare interview on Larry King Live (1985) in July 2004, Hackman stated that although he is a Democrat, he liked President Ronald Reagan, who had died the previous year and is known to be quite shy in life and was once quoted as saying "If I start to become a "star", I'll lose contact with the normal guys I play best."

    I can't find a source but recall once reading about Hackman at one of the Oscar's one year, where he was up for a nomination. He didn't walk the "red" carpet and in fact as the awards show was about to start, he wasn't in his assigned seat, that no one could find him. It turned out he was out back of the theater, smoking cigars and shooting the breeze with the limo drivers.

  • Will Smith: ‘Everybody Is Prejudiced,’ But ‘Racism Is Actually Rare’

    11/24/2015 10:24:48 AM PST · 48 of 73
    MD Expat in PA to neocon1984

    I am of Norwegian descent too in fact my later father was born in Norway. The joke he liked and told often was “You can always tell a Norwegian. But you can’t tell him much”.

  • Avis Car Rental Latest Statement regarding Israeli citizen renting car.

    11/24/2015 6:45:22 AM PST · 120 of 153
    MD Expat in PA to machogirl
    The driver's license must be valid at the time of rental, and remain valid throughout the rental period.

    Back in the summer of 1999 I had just started a new job as an office manager/bookkeeper/chief baby sitter and general bottle washer as it turned out, at a small commercial window and door manufacturer and installation company. The owner of the company had just purchase a new and very specialized production costing, job estimating and billing software system and two weeks into the job, asked me to go with him to Toronto for a week of training on the new system at the software developer's headquarters since it was supposed to interface with our accounting software.

    I'd never even flown before live alone been outside of the continental US. I was a bit nervous flying for the very first time but didn't want to let on. BTW, the Sunday afternoon of our flight out was the same weekend that JFK Jr. crashed his plane into the Atlantic ocean, so here I was sitting at BWI, having gotten there extra early and waiting to meet up with my boss and for our flight and all the TV monitors were tuned to CNN with nothing but wall to wall "plane crash" coverage!

    And then the plane wasn't the jet I was expecting but a little turbo prop and it was in mid July and very stormy, quite bumpy - lots of thunderstorms around - very turbulent. When I got on the plane, even though it was much smaller than I expected, I looked around and told myself repeatedly - "this is a bus, a bus with wings, I've done busses before, everything is OK, it's just a buss" and every time we hit rough turbulents that even made my boss, a frequent and sometimes international flyer look a bit nervous, I'd look at one of the flight attendant and if she didn't look concerned I figured it was normal and OK. It wasn't until the flight home and many subsequent flights I've taken since including two years ago a business trip to the UK that I realized just how bad and just how very rough that very first flight was. I was sort of glad to have gotten that out of my way on my first flight as I didn't have anything to compare it with.

    Back then, pre-9-11 one didn't need a US passport to travel to Canada but I did have to have a valid state issued picture ID and absent a US passport, I had to have an original state certified birth certificate in order to get through Canadian customs and give the very nice Canadian Customs officer the reason for my trip and answer a few of his questions.

    When we arrived at the airport in Toronto, we went to the rental car counter (don't remember if it was Avis or Hertz) as my boss had reserved a car in advance but when he presented his US driver's license, frequent renter's card and his AAA card and passport, the very nice clerk politely informed him that she couldn't rent the car to him. Why? Well it seemed that his Maryland driver's license was going to expire in two days.

    I ended up having to rent (and drive) the car in my name as my driver's license was still good and would be for the length of our stay and the rental agreement but the rental had to be put not only in my name but also on my credit card, not his as there was some sort of rule about that - that the CC had to belong and be in the name of the renter/driver and IIRC he had to sign a waiver that he would not drive the car. In addition to my driver's license and of course my CC, IIRC, I think I might have also had to show my birth certificate as further proof of my identity since I didn't have/carry a US passport at the time.

    My boss was very patient and understanding with the clerk; after all she was only doing her job and he hadn't realized or forgot that he needed to renew his license and was also very apologetic to me and somewhat embarrassed over the whole situation and of course said that as soon as we got back to the US, he'd promptly reimburse me for the cost of the car rental which he did.

    At least the traffic signs were in both French and English and that the Canadians drive on the same side of the road as we do but I have to admit I was a bit nervous at first. The highway going from the airport to our hotel, about 5 miles away was huge - about 6 lanes wide in each direction - Toronto is a huge and sprawling city BTW and this was pre-GPS so my boss had to play navigator. But it really freaked me out as I was first driving on the highway and going with the flow of traffic, and I looked at the speedometer and saw I was going 110! But then soon realized that was in kilometers, not MPH and I was doing just under 70 MPH. LOL!

    And when I traveled to the UK, I decided to take a train, two trains actually to get from the Manchester airport all the way to the east coast, The East Riding of Yorkshire - Hull, and travel locally by taxi rather than drive myself in a rental car - the whole driving on the "wrong side of the road thing" sort of scared me. The train trip was actually quite nice, comfortable and enjoyable; some of the scenery going through the "Midlands" countryside was unbelievably beautiful including passing by the ruins of an ancient. 11th Century Norman Castle, but there were some unexpected delays due to rail line work so on the trip back to the airport, I cancelled my train tickets and I hired a private car for not much more of a cost as I was afraid of missing my return flight.

    And I have to say that all the local Hull taxi drivers, including one who took me into the city the one afternoon in between meetings for some local sightseeing (many great museums in Hull, all within a short walking distance), and the driver who drove me from Hull to the Manchester airport were all amazing - very friendly and helpful and all seemed to like us "Yanks" very much. The only problem I had was the "language barrier". While we all spoke "English" the Yorkshire accent was at times hard for me to understand as was my "American" accent to them - one taxi driver thought she detected a "southern accent" and asked if I was from Texas. She was very disappointed when I told her I wasn't - she told me that Texas was the one place in American she'd like to visit if she ever had the chance - she wanted to go to a "Dude Ranch" and ride horses and shoot some guns and that she loved American style BBQ. : ),

  • Amish man runs marathon in traditional slacks and suspenders

    11/22/2015 3:51:22 AM PST · 65 of 70
    MD Expat in PA to Daffynition; Jonty30
    There are a lot of misconceptions about the Amish. Among them are that the Amish are dour and are against having any type of "fun"or any type of recreation.

    Amish youth while in school, either at Amish or Mennonite schools or the few who send their children to public schools, and into young adulthood (and even the girls play sports); they often play sports like baseball, softball, volleyball or even hockey or basketball in some communities, even some participating in organized leagues with the "English", however generally once married, participating in organized sports outside of playing with the family, with the kids, is somewhat frowned upon in most Amish communities. But Leroy Stolzfus at 22 and not having yet grown a beard is probably not yet married.

    Do Amish play sports?

    On my travels through northern rural Lancaster County, on my way to and from work from York, aside from the buggies, I often see Amish traveling on these types of scooters. I am amazed how physically fit they must be to use these scooters on the country roads, especially up the hills.

  • Charlie Sheen Is HIV Positive — Inside His Shocking Diagnosis

    11/16/2015 5:21:12 PM PST · 94 of 98
    MD Expat in PA to Norm Lenhart
    But it looks like Keith will remain after Charlie is gone.

  • N.J. mall charging up to $50 to visit with Santa, report says

    11/16/2015 4:54:57 PM PST · 24 of 33
    MD Expat in PA to dfwgator
    Speaking of Dan Aykroyd and Santa - Trading Places 5 LOL!



  • Poll: Do you agree with Trump that tough French gun laws led to more deaths in terrorist attacks?

    11/15/2015 12:11:41 PM PST · 79 of 119
    MD Expat in PA to BlackFemaleArmyCaptain; JudyinCanada; roadcat
    So, a room full of unarmed citizens who are being attacked have the same chance of survival as a room full (or partially full) of armed citizens? Of course citizens need to be armed. Everyone is in a war with savages who will attack random people, anywhere.

    Given the details of the tactics used, it's not at all clear that an armed citizenry (short of a populace which commonly toted Uzi machine pistols) would have helped that much in this instance. That is in contrast to the Kenyan shopping mall attack where a more broadly armed citizenry would almost certainly have decreased the total casualties -- a lot of lives were saved in that attack by Kenyans who did have permits rushing to the site and providing covering fire for people to escape.

    Yep. At that music venue, perhaps full of 1200 people, there were probably two shooter terrorists. There was no hope for the initial victims shot from behind and above, nor from grenades tossed at them. But there were plenty of people hunkered down on the floor powerless to do anything. There were pauses as the terrorists reloaded. If any one of the 1200 people had a gun and retaliated against the two terrorists the victim count might be far far lower. All it would take is one patriot with a gun.

    I agree that an armed citizenry would have helped perhaps in keeping the death toll down especially at the concert venue where after the initial spraying of gunfire, the terrorists then had people lie down on the floor and then systematically shot them one by one. A couple of armed citizens may have died too but at least not before taking out one or more of the murderers before they killed even more.

    In the Kenyan shopping mall attack there were armed citizens who did save lives by shooting back and providing cover for the innocents to escape.

    But as for the people sitting at the cafes or near the windows of the restaurants hit, they never had a chance. Even if they had been armed, these were from what I understand drive by shootings from a moving car.

  • VIDEO: Pat Sajak STUNNED By Woman’s Letter Choices… But Why She Did It Will Drop Your Jaw

    11/15/2015 11:37:09 AM PST · 12 of 16
    MD Expat in PA to lowbridge
    Thank you for your service Nura and also for being a classy lady.

    What a nice counter point to all the negative stories we read here.

  • A society that regards women fighting as "entertainment' is headed down the tubes.

    11/15/2015 10:38:30 AM PST · 27 of 133
    MD Expat in PA to MarvinStinson
    As for women boxing, blows to the breast cause breast cancer.

    No it doesn't.

  • Our Perverted Tax Code Actually Encourages Poor Not To Work [MUST READ!!!]

    11/15/2015 10:31:20 AM PST · 63 of 63
    MD Expat in PA to dila813
    You don't get that HSA Contributions are capped? And you are experienced?

    And you called my complaint about this absurd, but now you are trying to pretend that I am anti-HSA and high deductible insurance?

    You can't even follow a forum thread, let alone recognize a new family penalty that was created by Obamacare.

    Your reading comprehension is rather poor since I mentioned the cap on contributions and never did I ever say that your complaint about this was absurd or that you where anti-HSA.

    Additionally "HSAs were established as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 8, 2003. They were developed to replace the medical savings account system."

    The contribution caps have remained largely unchanged since inception and have nothing to do with Obamacare.

  • Our Perverted Tax Code Actually Encourages Poor Not To Work [MUST READ!!!]

    11/15/2015 5:03:01 AM PST · 60 of 63
    MD Expat in PA to C. Edmund Wright; dila813
    What you seem to be missing is that people are paying 600-800-1000 more a month for those low deductible plans...and even if the "employer is paying it" - ultimately the consumer is because its a cost of hiring them.

    No. I do get that. I am a corporate payroll and compensation manager and also have a strong background and experience in employer benefits.

    Low deductible health plans, especially traditional PPO's have significantly higher premiums than do HDHP's. Whatever the cost share scheme the employer has in place and now with ACA - Obamacare employers have to ensure that the employees' cost share of the premium meet the affordability test as a % of income, it is a cost to the employer.

    The portion of the premium that the employer pays, along with other benefits that may be 100% employer paid like Basic Group Term Life Insurance, STD, LTD, EAP's, and Federal and State unemployment taxes, workers compensation insurance etc., all are a cost of doing business and of course are ultimately included in the price of products or services passed on to their customers and such are also counted as part of the employees' total compensation - many employers give their employee's "Total Compensation" statements on an annual basis that enumerates not only their base wages, but other non-cash compensation / benefits. Believe me; I've often had to crunch the numbers for management on total employment costs - the total cost to fill a new position for example, not just the cost of the gross wages but of the total costs including employment taxes and benefits, even estimates on on-boarding, orientation and training costs.

    Last year the company for which I work added a HDHP - a PPO plan identical to our existing PPO in terms of benefits, the only difference was the high deductible and the lower premium and the cost share - but we made the HDHP even more attractive by the employer picking up a bit more of the % of the premium as opposed to the traditional PPO plus offering a generous upfront tax free employer contribution to an HSA if enrolling in the HDHP - $1,500 for individual and $3,000 for family coverage. This year we are still contributing the same amounts to the HSA's but are doing it on a per pay basis and not front loading. We are still offering the traditional low deductible PPO but increased the cost share as much as we could while still being compliant with the ACA affordability and may likely no longer offer it the following year or two - will phase it out eventually and only offer a HDHP.

    We also instituted a "wellness" initiative so that if an employee does things like get a routine annual physical, an annual dental or vision exam, get a flu shot, a biometric screening, depending on sex and age; a mammogram, colonoscopy or prostate screening, quit smoking, among a several other options (you don't have to do all of them but at least 6 out of a list of 10), they get a credit back of about $9 each pay. Hey, not a lot of money and not perhaps worth the hassle for some but that's approximately $235 per year, but that is unfortunately taxable.

    The reasoning for more and more employers moving to HDHP's, and as studies and statistics seem to bare out - The Kaiser Foundation being one of many such studies available, is that people who are enrolled in a HDHP tend to take more responsibility for their health and healthcare choices. Not that they will not get healthcare but that they will make smarter choices when doing so.

    They are more likely to get routine preventative care, do things like lose weight, stay on maintenance meds for conditions like HBP, diabetes, etc., shop for less expensive services like diagnostic labs, outpatient surgery or even in patient hospitalizations (and yes, prices do vary even among participating providers), even shop for doctors, look at their consumer ratings and malpractice history and at their fees - in other words shop as a consumer, hence why HDHP's are often referred to as Consumer Driven Health Care. And perhaps not run to the doctor's for things like a simple common cold that can be self treated, opt for the cheaper generic drug if equivalent, if they have to pay out of pocket or use their HSA funds rather than just a $10 - $20 co-pay. When people have a very low deductible combined with small co-pays or a 10% or 20% co-insurance, they typically aren't too interested in what those services actually cost even though they and their employer are actually paying those costs via higher premiums.

    If employees are made to be more savvy consumers because they are made more responsible for the costs, they will tend to attempt to be healthier and that in theory keeps the employers' overall claims history actuarial rates lower and hence their premium lower for all employees. That's the idea at least. Those cost savings in terms of underwriting based on claims history tends to work better for larger employers and with a younger and healthier workforce and with few catastrophic claims like cancer and I won't even get into the cost savings for larger employers going for "self insurance" vs. "fully insured" but there is still a significant cost savings for even most smaller employers.

    When you save 10K a year on premium, you can afford 10K a year in deductibles...and WORST CASE scenario? You break even. Best case? You save a ton of after tax money.

    I absolutely agree with you in principle. However I was amazed how many people at my company didn't opt for the HDHP as I did, even though the plan benefits were the same and with lower payroll deductions and the generous employer contribution to an HSA because the high deductible "scared them" or they found it too complicated, or those who did enroll in the HDHP but opted not to contribute any of their own funds on a pre-tax basis. Too many people, and not just those making low wages, live hand to mouth. They see some extra $'s in their net pay and they see it as a "raise" and spend it instead of saving it.

    When my company first offered the HDHP with the HSA, of course being the "geek" I am, I did the math. I figured the difference between the lower pre-tax payroll deduction for the HDHP premium and then figured the maximum amount I could contribute on a pre-tax basis to the HSA - the savings on the lower payroll deduction plus some extra going into my HSA, along with my employer's contribution so that I could maximize the benefit along with the tax savings and not seriously impact my net pay to the point of negatively effecting my budget. When I figured the pre-tax deductions, even with contributing the near the max I could afford into my HSA on a pre-tax basis, even as I was having a bit more deducted from my pay, the net effect on my take home pay was minimal.

    But a lot of people in my experience will not go through or even understand that exercise, just as some at my company will opt out of contributing to our very robust 401k plan with a generous employer 4.5% match - dollar for dollar up to 3% and .50 on the dollar up to 6% on top of a tax free annual employer profit sharing contribution that averages about 2.5% of annual wages.

    But another point with an HSA is that you can only use the funds that have actually been contributed (unlike an FSA that is front loaded but also a "use it or lose it" at year end, does not roll over nor is portable like an HSA). So if you have a major health problem early in the plan year, especially in the first year when you and or your employer may not have contributed much if anything and you may not have enough in your HSA to cover the high deductible and max out of pocket costs. You can of course file claims for covered medical expenses to your HSA as those funds accumulate and become available to reimburse yourself, but in the meantime you could be on the hook for and harassed by collection agencies if you don't have other funds or are not able to pay via a personal CC.

    At another company I worked for back in 2003, they moved our heath plan to a HDHP, the only option being offered, and a young guy who was married with 3 kids, a very healthy and physically fit guy, a bit of a "health nut", had a skiing accident the 2nd week in January and broke his leg in 3 places, required surgery, pins, physical therapy. He had practically nothing accumulated yet in his HSA to use and had to use his savings and CC's to pay the max deductible and max out of pocket costs that were at the family rate. He was able to recoup the money over time by filing claims to his HSA as funds were available but he couldn't recoup the lost interest from his savings or the CC interest.

    With all that being said, I very much like HDHP and HSA's. I like that HSA's roll over and are portable and after a certain amount is accumulated, you can opt to invest in investment instruments much like a 401k so that it so that it grows over time. And if I am not mistaken, once you reach age 65, any funds in your HSA can be withdrawn and used to pay for Medicare premiums or supplemental Medicare insurance and even for non-medical expenses - all tax free.

    You talk as if there is another option available to me. The only option I have is a High Deductible plan with an HSA.

    I presume that your employer is only offering a HDHP with an HSA? Is your employer contributing anything and have you truly looked at how much you can contribute on a pre-tax basis to maximize? Or are you self employed and paying for your own insurance?

    I have a family of 5 with 3 sickly people. I contribute the max every year to the HSA and still end up with a zero balance every month. The rest is paid with after tax money.

    I get how that can happen. The max out of pocket for a HDHP for 2016 for a family is $13,100 per year but the max contribution for a family (a family being 2 or more family members) is only $6,750 per year.

    I agree that this is a short coming of the rules around HDHP's and IRS contribution limits and for a family like yours, that hurts and I think the rules on contributions should be changed, but then again, I would ask you if you could really afford to contribute more to your HSA even if you could than you do now? If you can, you could always put aside the extra into a savings account or a short term CD which would be better than not putting anything aside. The interest rate might be low and not as advantageous as a pre-tax deduction but it would be better than not putting anything extra aside.

    But I will also say that as far as paying with "after tax money", I recall a time, even going back to the late 70's when at best, most if not all employer's only offered "Major Medical", i.e. hospitalization/major surgery plans that at best only paid about 50% of covered hospitalization and surgical costs and there were no "pre-tax" payroll deductions for those premiums and they didn't cover routine office visits or diagnostic tests or Rx's.

    I recall when I was just graduating from HS and I had yet again, another bout of strep throat and tonsillitis, my tonsils should have come out years before but our family doc just kept giving me antibiotics and an Rx for codeine which did nothing except knock me out. And while a very nice man and probably a good doc if he'd been the doc back in the Gunsmoke days, he was also the old fashioned type of doc who only charged $5 for an office visit and also told my dad when he said the Rx for codeine was more than he could afford at the time, said, "well just give her a shot of whiskey or brandy with honey every few hours for the sore throat and cough, but I just kept getting sicker and sicker.

    But after my last bout and being so sick and feverish that I could hardly stand and my tonsils so swollen that could barely swallow and was even having trouble breathing, he finally told my parents to take me to an ENT specialist who saw me the next day after looking down my throat, literally said "Oh my God! It's a wonder you don't have species!" and told my parents, "If this was left untreated much longer, do you understand she could actually die from this!", the infection was that bad and I was that sick and was admitted to the hospital that same day and two days later finally got a tonsillectomy.

    My dad did have "major medical" insurance through his employer at the time which was a rarity for non-union construction workers like my dad, but it only covered 50% of the surgery and only 50% for some but not all of the hospital costs. The rest my dad had to work out and negotiate with the hospital and with the ENT on a payment plan. The ENT after my dad paid half of his bill, he wrote the rest off. If I recall correctly the hospital did too.

    Back when the private market, back when health providers, doctors and hospitals were not restricted by and beholding for compensation to the insurance companies and by government regulations, I think people were better off to negotiate reasonable payments. Not to mention the predatory lawyers and the ridiculously high cost of malpractice insurance that has done a lot to drive up the costs of health care.

  • Out Paris attack [Amateur Footage Youtube Upload]

    11/14/2015 5:43:42 AM PST · 11 of 15
    MD Expat in PA to lilypad
    If someone had a weapon he could have popped those idiots right off that balcony.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding your comment. Are you talking about the people hanging off the windows including the woman hanging on by one hand? They were not they terrorists, they were trying to escape the shooters inside.

  • Our Perverted Tax Code Actually Encourages Poor Not To Work [MUST READ!!!]

    11/14/2015 5:40:26 AM PST · 53 of 63
    MD Expat in PA to dila813; C. Edmund Wright
    Yes, HSAs work better for healthy people.

    High Deductible Health Plans combined with an HSA, (which BTW, long predate Obamacare) especially if the employer makes contributions which are tax free, are excellent for young, healthy singles or couples, folks who never get sick, or have chronic conditions and have to take Rx’s to manage their conditions, and only use their health plan for things like annual well care physicals, flu shots which are 100% covered and not subject to the deductibles.

    But also understand that the annual deductible for a family and the annual out of pocket limits which for 2016 for a family is $13,100, that applies to the entire family and not to each family member individually.


  • Explosion, shootout reported in Paris (Just Breaking)

    11/13/2015 1:54:08 PM PST · 152 of 1,945
    MD Expat in PA to DoughtyOne

    Thank you sir for your reasoned comment. So lacking here anymore.

  • Favorite"Woman"Songs.Title or lyrics,tell us your Favorites.Freeper Canteen 11~13~15

  • Target won't stop selling 'OCD' sweater.

    11/12/2015 7:04:43 AM PST · 61 of 61
    MD Expat in PA to smartyaz
    I am offended by the perpetually offended.

  • All Wheel Drive (Vanity)

    11/12/2015 6:21:53 AM PST · 87 of 112
    MD Expat in PA to bankwalker; newb2012; Spunky; doorgunner69; PA Engineer
    25 MPG - Nissan Rogue - comfortable - reliable

    I bought a Nissan Rogue last year. I am very happy with it overall, very peppy acceleration, I get about 26 MPG and that is mostly city or country roads, I get closer to 30 MPG highway and it handles well, roomy, good cargo space, probably more than I need, however it is not truly fulltime AWD. It has an Automatic AWD system.

    Here is something I found on a car forum that gives a pretty good explanation:

    Automatic AWD system is the newest kid on the block. PR agency generated names like "Real Time 4WD", "intelligent AWD" or "active AWD" are hiding the fact that automatic AWD is essentially a sophisticated 2WD system. Automatic asymmetric AWD would be the best term for them.

    Here is how they work: Under normal conditions one axle gets 100% of the torque - meaning you are driving in 2WD. During traction loss at the driven axle (could be front or rear) a fully automatic system (hydraulic, mechanical or electronic) makes some of the torque to the axle with traction available. This means you have to lose traction in 2WD on your driven axle first and then the other axle will be added and try to keep the car moving and stable. Once the primary driven axle regains traction and both axles rotate at the same speed again, the system reverts back to 2WD. So, for a moment you had AWD. Automatic asymmetric AWD is much less capable in off-road settings than full time AWD systems and inferior to full time 4WD. However, automatic asymmetrical AWD is becoming more and more sophisticated and offers pretty much everything consumers expect for everyday (pavement) driving.

    The plus side of this is that most of the time when you are driving, the Rogue is in 2WD mode and that results in better gas mileage. The downside is you have to depend on the automatic AWD system to "sense" when it needs to go into AWD mode. There is an override AWD button so you can manually put it into AWD mode, but I've found it shuts off especially a low speed or when the system "senses" AWD is no longer needed. Last winter, travelling on some hilly and snow covered country roads, the AWD override kept shutting off - very frustrating and I had to put it into low gear to get enough engine torque especially going downhill on snowy or icy hills, and it is really the only thing I don't like about my Rogue.

    FWIW I have owned 4 Subaru's - a 1984 Legacy manual transmission station wagon that I owned for 12 years, put 200k miles on it without any problems and only routine maintenance and replacing the clutch at 70k, and then "sold" it to my nephew for $1 who put on another 30k on it until he sold it for $500 - the only thing wrong with it aside from the interior being very worn and a few minor rust spots, was a wheel bearing that was going bad and CV joint but otherwise, the engine and transmission was still sound.

    I will also say that my 12 year old Subaru wagon got me and me and my dad back and forth to the hospital during the blizzard of '96 when my mom was in ICU at Johns Hopkins and my husband volunteered and used it to shuttle doctors and nurses back and forth to the hospital. "Ethel" as I'd named her, by then wasn't much to look at but she was a beast in the snow. My husband said he got through some nearly impassable streets and snow drifts, passing some 4WD trucks and full size SUV's that had gotten stuck. We also would buy several 50 pound bags of cat litter or sand and put in the back of the wagon for some extra weight and that also was handy if needed for some extra traction if stuck on ice. FWIW I've seen way too many people driving big SUV's or big 4WD pickup trucks think that they are invincible and drive in bad weather conditions just as they would on dry pavement - AWD, 4WD, 2WD, etc., it often comes down to the skill of the driver.

    I next owned a Forrester (great crossover), then a Legacy sedan with all the bells and whistles and then a Tribecca full size SUV (which sadly Subaru discontinued).

    AWD Rundown: The Top All-Wheel-Drive Systems

    #1 - Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

    All-wheel drive has always been synonymous with Subaru. Unlike many setups that are adapted from 2-wheel drive, Subaru's symmetrical system starts out and remains in this format, intended to provide power continuously to each wheel in all conditions. True to its name, symmetrical AWD is exactly that: symmetrical. This unique hardware balance gives Subaru vehicles greater on- and off-road stability due to the setup's even weight distribution. The main advantages of this system are balance, control and traction, making it a favorite in cold-weather climates.

    I like my Rogue but I think that when it is time for my next car, I'll probably get another Subaru.

    And FWIW, I am not a lesbian, or a vegetarian or a liberal, but I do play golf. : )

  • 'Star Wars' fan who saw movie early dies

    11/11/2015 3:33:40 PM PST · 21 of 23
    MD Expat in PA to nonsporting; Anoreth; Monty22002
    I wish I had listened and trusted in Jesus Christ to save me. And now I must pay the penalty for my sin ... forever." (the unbelieving dead 'Jedi Master')

    You sir or madam are IMO a despicable and a miserable sorry excuse for a human being and you are exactly the type of person who gives some - fortunately in my experience – only a very few "so called Christians" a bad name and even the type of person who actually drives some away from a belief in God with your indignant self-righteousness.

    Perhaps you should really look deep within yourself and look into your own "sins" and failings and shortcomings in your own life before casting stones at others.

    You have no idea what this man's religious beliefs were or what his faith in God was. And who are you to judge him?

    "He is now one with God and with the Force," his wife, Ashley Fleetwood, wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday. He died in his sleep and in peace, she posted.

    Instead of praying for this man who suffered greatly from a terminal cancer and got to see a movie that he was a fan of but that that he wasn't going to live long enough to see, or praying for his wife and family who evidently loved him greatly and for God to give them comfort and understanding of His greater plan, in their time of loss and sorrow - no - instead you post a picture of someone roasting in the pit of Hell. Nice. Real "How Very Christian of you". You are the worst example of the type of so called "Christian" who revels in the idea and image of people roasting in Hell because evidently you know, beyond all doubt that you are so much better and would never deserve such a fate. Or maybe you do.

    Again, perhaps you should take a real deep, long, hard and unflinchingly honest look into your own life and your own spiritually and shortcomings and how you treat others as compared to how Jesus actually did - the sinners, the prostitutes, the lowest of the low, the outcasts, the lepers, tax collectors and the thief on the Cross next to Him. And also consider who in your own life would do something nice for you if you were in your final days of a terminal illness that might give you a bit of joy and a temporary distraction and reprieve from the pain and knowing your physical life was near its end. Would they help you have a bit of joy from something you enjoy in life or would they give you or post pictures of you roasting in Hell?

    FWIW, I know a lot of devout Christians who are big fans of Star Wars. Some of them even see it as analogous of the fight between Good and Evil. Their religion is not "Jedi" but some see it as a basic story of good against evil - not perhaps "Biblical" but none the less a story of the triumph against evil. YMMV.

    I feel very sorry for you that you would post something so hateful on this post.

  • Creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Starts Kickstarter Campaign to #BringBackMST3K

    11/11/2015 2:09:50 PM PST · 54 of 55
    MD Expat in PA to r_barton
    If they do MST3K to The Wizard of Oz, I'll kick in $5. ;-)

    It would probably be way too expensive what with copyrights (if they could even get them) and the longer run times compared to the cheesy B movies which had pretty short run times, but I've always said I'd love some see some more modern movies get the MST3K treatment. Think about what they could do with Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 , Armageddon or Avatar.

  • Creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Starts Kickstarter Campaign to #BringBackMST3K

    11/11/2015 1:49:55 PM PST · 50 of 55
    MD Expat in PA to SamAdams76
    Also it's purely a guy show. I haven't met a woman yet who liked that show. So I would watch it after the wife went to bed.

    I am a woman and I love MST3K. I own several MST3K on DVD. I remember my husband (now ex-husband) coming into the living room to find out why I was laughing so much, tears streaming down my face. He asked me what I was watching and what was so funny and I said, "sit down and watch this with me" (I think it was one of the "shorts") and he didn't get it and thought it was stupid. FWIW, he didn't like Ren & Stimpy or The Three Stooges or The Marx Brother's or South Park either.

  • Sony announces plan to stop making Betamax video tapes

    11/11/2015 7:49:22 AM PST · 47 of 62
    MD Expat in PA to CrazyIvan
    Maybe I should stock up on thermal fax paper before they stop making it also.

    There is a scene in the movie "Almost Famous" where Ben Fong Torres from Rolling Stone wants young William to send in his story using a Mojo. William asks what's a Mojo?

    Ben says; "A mojo. It's a very modern machine that transmits pages over the telephone. It only takes 18 minutes a page."



    I remember at one of my first office jobs using one of those early fax machines with the thermal paper. It was so cutting edge back then, but it took forever to send or receive more than a page or two. I also recall that the thermal paper had a tendency to not lay flat and want to roll up and that the text would fade out and the whole thing would become a big grey blur and become completely illegible after a short time.

  • OOPS: Donald Trump -- not exactly an expert on TPP

    11/11/2015 7:05:12 AM PST · 122 of 153
    MD Expat in PA to mkjessup
    Tell us about the last 10 billion dollars YOU earned eh?

    If personal wealth measured in billions of dollars was the reason - the main qualification that someone should be elected as POTUS, then we should consider Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomburg, Sheldon Adelson, and George Soros - all much wealthier than Trump.

  • Ted Cruz Unfolds Harrowing Tale of Pulling His Sister Out of a Crack House

    11/06/2015 9:45:41 AM PST · 24 of 37
    MD Expat in PA to traderrob6
    Rehab, AA etc are highly available and successful but only if the abuser truely wants the help.

    It is true that AA and NA are free and available to anyone who wants it and it works for many, but sometimes alcoholics and addicts need to detox and rehab for a time, especially for those who have dual diagnosis such as severe depression or those who are bi-polar- they may also need medications and therapy for underlying issues – something that AA or NA can’t give them.

    But unless you have a really good health insurance plan that covers in patient addition treatment at at least 80%, most are way too expensive for most – a 7 day detox is expensive but a 60-90 day rehab, even if covered by insurance, is way too expensive for most. At best they usually get is 48 hour psych hold but only if they were arrested for a DUI and or are suicidal or a threat to others.

    True story. I was good friends with a woman I knew from AA and Al-Anon. She had been sober for over 15 years, had been very active in AA and sponsored many, helped many, but she relapsed after her very painfull divorce. Unknown to me, her family, other friends and her work, she was drinking heavily but was still functioning enough that no one really knew. She had also started to have increasing thoughts of committing suicide.

    One day on a weekend, she developed a very severe tooth abscess with a high fever and went to the ER because the pain had become unbearable and her dentist didn’t have emergency or weekend hours.

    While there, especially after her blood test came back positive for alcohol and that she also had a very high BP, she told, finally confessed to the ER doc about her relapse, her heavy drinking and her increasing thoughts of committing suicide and asked him if he could help her – and this was difficult for her to do but she was desperate for help and even asked the ER doc if she could get a psyche consult.

    And what did he do?

    After telling her to “well just don’t drink anymore”, he gave her a prescription for lithium to help with any withdrawal symptoms, and an antibiotic and then also Percocet for the tooth pain, telling her to follow up with a dentist on Monday and then sent her home.

    After getting home, she called several rehab centers but none could take her right away as they had no available beds or they were not covered under her insurance plan and some, many wanted thousands of dollars up front. She called her former AA sponsor and she only told her that she should just pray and go to a meeting.

    Very despondent, two days later after going to work and then to the dentist who gave her an Rx for Oxycodon, even after she told him that she was an alcoholic and suffered from depression, she downed two bottles of wine, all of the lithium and all of the Percocet, half of Oxycodon along with another Rx for a muscle relaxer she’d been given for lower back pain several months earlier. The only reason she didn’t die was that she emailed a rambling email to a close relative, not exactly a suicide letter but disturbing enough that her relative tried to call her and after she didn’t answer, called 9-11 and drove to her house. She was taken by ambulance to an ER and diagnosed with a drug OD and was then sent to a psyche ward for a 48 hour hold, but with no real treatment or any follow up plan after her release except for and Rx for anti-depression meds.

    She was fortunate to recover and get back to AA and also find a good psychiatrist and then a therapist specializing in dual diagnosis to treat her alcoholism and her depression and a new AA sponsor who had been what she’d been through, but a lot, way too many are not so fortunate.

    We as a society and sadly a lot of medical professionals do not do a very go job of knowing how to treat alcoholics and drug addicts even when they do ask for help.

  • The Worst Damn Freeways In America

    11/06/2015 7:42:53 AM PST · 51 of 74
    MD Expat in PA to Vigilanteman
    True story. My wife has booked a flight in and my sister a flight out on Christmas Day 2013 so I could do a single airport run. Who would think PennDOT would work Christmas Day? Well, they had one lane closed on the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. We couldn't tell that they were doing a damn thing . . . just had one of the inbound lanes closed and were stacking up traffic like morning rush hour just for pure spite.

    PennDot is horrible. After I moved to York PA but was still working in Hunt Valley MD, one morning I left for work at my usual time and traffic was staking up on I83 just before the Glen Rock exit. The right lane was closed all the way to the MD line, some 10 mines - during morning rush hour. Why? Well a couple of PennDot workers were in a pickup truck riding the shoulder and spraying the side of the road for mosquitoes causing a 1 1/2hour traffic delay during morning rush hour. And that is just one of my many PennDot horror stories.

  • Porn scandal: Top prosecutor keeps releasing raunchy emails (PA)

    11/06/2015 3:29:47 AM PST · 32 of 62
    MD Expat in PA to HarleyLady27
    She shut down an investigation of corruption in Philadelphia because, according to her, it was "racist."

    She also refused to charge former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D) in the pay-to-play investigation of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, even though a draft presentment called for him to face charges.

    Fumo, a Democrat was already in federal prison on a corruption conviction unrelated to the turnpike when the pay-to-play case was brought.

    She basically buried the investigation into a pay-to-play, a major corruption scandal among PA officials of the PA Turnpike commission were money was actually exchanged for favors, all of them BTW D's, some not ever having charges brought against them, or a few on the lower level of the D party, i.e. the scapegoats, allowed some to plead, ending mainly in plea deals for minor offenses - in other words a slap on the wrist.


    Since taking office, Kane has appointed former federal prosecutor H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. to investigate Governor Tom Corbett's (R) handling of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal (an investigation which showed that no wrongdoing by Corbett took place), and brought criminal charges against former turnpike officials (and then dealt plea bargains with the accused parties, which resulted in none of the accused serving any jail time).

    Then FWIU, she illegally leaked sealed grand jury testimony that convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky and his attorneys will now attempt to use to get his conviction overturned.

    In July 2013, Kane made national headlines when she refused to defend Pennsylvania's gay-marriage prohibition in court, calling it "wholly unconstitutional."

    On March 17, 2014, AG Kane announced that she had shut down a corruption investigation begun under her predecessor, saying that "the undercover investigation was poorly managed and badly executed, and relied on an undercover operative whose credibility had been compromised." The investigation was following up on reports of corruption among current Philadelphia politicians, all of the suspects belonged to Kane's Democratic Party. In response, the Committee of Seventy called on the state legislature to designate an independent counsel to investigate the closing of the case. Local prosecutors in Philadelphia picked up the case, and secured a number of guilty pleas as well as grand jury indictments related to the case.


    The Kathleen Kane Saga: A Timeline

    When the Government starts taking our rights away it's called Tierney

    I think you mean tyranny.

    Understand that Kane is only using the porn email scandal, leaking them to the press in order to create a subterfuge and draw attention away from her own and those of other D's - much more serious levels of corruption.

    Sure - the very raunchy and some actually very pornographic - XXX email attachments being sent and received on PA email addresses were wrong and some were very disgusting, although some others were your typical internet memes, some of which I've seen posted here, some only PG-13 rated, but understand that she is only using this and leaking them to draw attention away from the investigation into her own corruption and the abuse of her office for political reasons and gain and in attempt to punish those some even in her own AG office, who called her out on it or assisted with the investigations on how she handled or failed to handle the Philly and Turnpike corruption scandals her persecution of former Governor Tom Corbett who was exonerated of any wrong doing in the Sandsuky investigation .

  • Telemarketers probably don’t like Lenny

    11/04/2015 10:38:06 AM PST · 25 of 25
    MD Expat in PA to Jack Hydrazine

    That’s a classic!

  • Telemarketers probably don’t like Lenny

    11/04/2015 10:34:03 AM PST · 23 of 25
    MD Expat in PA to Afterguard
    This is pretty simple. We just don't bother to answer the phone unless it's someone we know. And they have to tell us who they are. My answering machine call log will store 50 missed calls. It is always maxed out.

    I ditched my land line years ago as everyone I knew would call me on my cell phone number and all the calls I was getting on my land line were either telemarketers, even with being on the Do No Call List although that did cut down on them somewhat, or wrong numbers.

    I have been getting calls on my cell from unknown numbers but I never answer them. If they don't leave a VM, it's a scam or telemarketing call.

  • Telemarketers probably don’t like Lenny

    11/04/2015 10:26:18 AM PST · 22 of 25
    MD Expat in PA to dfwgator
    Telemarketing Call from “Boiler Room”

    The Boiler Room was a fairly decent movie.

    Over the years I had worked at several small companies as the bookkeeper / office manger and often would also answer the main telephone line or have all sales calls sent to me and used to get calls all the time from "boiler room" stock brokers. Some of them could be extremely abusive, berate me with the foulest language imaginable, and threaten that I'd be fired as they were BBF's of the owner or belonged to his country club when I wouldn't transfer their calls to the owner of the company. Those and the "toner slammers". I never fell for it. And in fact at one company, an architectural firm, the partners dubbed me The Terminator because I was so good at screening out telemarketing calls. : )

  • Telemarketers probably don’t like Lenny

    11/04/2015 5:04:44 AM PST · 1 of 25
    MD Expat in PA