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Posts by MD Expat in PA

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  • Robot kills a VW plant worker

    07/03/2015 9:20:50 AM PDT · 38 of 39
    MD Expat in PA to mrsmith
    From my factory tech years I can tell you there are great rewards for breaking safety rules... if you get away with it. Horrible penalties if you don’t.

    Sadly that is probably all true in all too many factories. And even in those that put safety as a priority - it only takes one stupid mistake. : (

    Fortunately my present employer; a manufacturer making OEM parts in PA and with a plant in NC, we as a company and our parent company headquartered in the UK are all about safety – perhaps to the point of it being “overkill” IMO sometimes, but then OTOH, not really a waste of time either. Of course we do it in part to maintain our ISO certification and to keep our workers comp claims down and thus our overhead costs and insurance rates down and our profitability up and also to reduce personal injury (STD and LTD) claims resulting from non-work related lost time accidents and health insurance claims.

    Every newly hired employee including administrative (office) employees, outside sales reps, even our executives and also all our agency temps and contractors – all of them without exception have to attend a full day of safety training within their first week of hire and everyone without exception has to attend at least one monthly safety training and we are actually increasing the number of hours per quarter of safety training required for all employees and tracking attendance. Our quarterly bonuses even depend in part on monthly safety training attendance/participation of no less than 97%. Less than 97% participation during any quarter means we don’t get 50% of our quarterly bonus (the other 50% is based on quality /customer satisfaction / returns for defective products.) Our annual bonus is based on meeting operating profit goals but also has a tie in to the safety and quality indexes as well.

    Those monthly safety trainings vary to the extent of what is covered but not necessarily the topic. For instance, while employees who work on the plant floor may be given more intensive training on lock out / tag out procedures or fork lift safety, HAZMAT training, how to read material safety data sheets (MSDS), emergency response and emergency first aid, etc., - all employees, even those not working on the plant floor get at least some training on those topics.

    As an administrative person (I am the company’s payroll and HRIS manager), for instance, a few months ago I had to take a forklift safety training; that training not being focused as for someone operating a forklift or working around them on a daily basis, but as a “pedestrian” as I and others do have to sometimes walk through the plant where forklifts operate – I sometimes have to recalibrate or clean time clocks in manufacturing areas or go to meetings in offices of the plant managers and supervisors and walk through production areas to get there. We also get training on proper PPE – even as I am not a manufacturing employee, when I walk through certain areas of the plant I have to wear safety glasses and or steel toed safety shoes (company issued and or paid for) and have to obey the posted signs that warn that certain areas are completely off limit to all personnel except those with authorized access.

    Other recent monthly safety topics covered topics like severe weather events (tornado warnings for instance and where to shelter – and we had one just this week), winter weather hazards, HAZMAT situations, fire evacuations, including a mandatory yearly “hands on” fire extinguisher training for all employees, ergonomics and proper lifting techniques, basic first aid with a focus on procedures – what to do, who to call and even what not to do and other safety topics, not only for at work but also for safety at home - topics like the dangers of texting while driving, the proper use of ladders and step ladders, basic electrical safety, safe storage and handling of household chemicals, how to avoid heat stroke and what to do if someone has it, etc. Sometimes the safety training requires us to watch one of those cheesy “Safety Videos” - some of them very graphic or very “dry” and some of them even unintentionally funny because they are so “cheesy”. But some of them are very good and thought provoking.

    One of the more light hearted but yet effective was what us office/admin folks got last December for our monthly safety training. The training involved watching selected clips from the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and after watching, we were asked to list all the “unsafe” things we saw Clark Griwswald doing in the clips. While it was very funny, the training did make some good points on things like electrical and ladder safety, and how not to carve a turkey - LOL!

    Our VP of Operations and our Plant Managers and supervisors sometimes purposely walk through the plant in areas that require the use of safety glasses and not wearing them to see if anyone calls them out on it, and anyone who does, they give them a $50 gift card and they get recognition on the company’s safety bulletin boards. The same goes for any employee who identifies a safety hazard or a worker working in an unsafe manner.

    And I got one of those gift cards and recognition a couple of months ago when I was walking through the plant on my way to a meeting and saw several areas of oil/grease on the walkway area near the loading dock left by some rigging contractors who were bringing in and installing some new equipment, probably grease leaking from one of their forklifts/hoists. I got several of those “caution” slippery floor tent signs from the nearest safety station and placed them over the greasy areas and called the Safety Manager to alert him to the condition, for him to get it properly cleaned up – and I stayed there until he got there to take over to make sure people did not walk on, slip and fall on the grease. I also had to file on our safety database, a “near miss” report, detailing the hazard I identified and then the Safety Department commented on what steps needed to be put in place to prevent the same potential hazard from occurring in the future – in this case - inspecting a contractor’s forklifts or other equipment for oil or grease leaks before allowing them into our plant – the same sort of daily inspection we require for our own equipment : )

    We also have a policy that any employee is allowed to identify a potential unsafe or hazardous condition, even to the point of shutting down a production line without any fear of retribution even if they end up being wrong about the hazard. Workers who violate safety instructions or fail to follow SOP’s can be written up and can and will be terminated for repeated violations.

    While we typically will work to “re-train” a worker who violates a safety or SOP, we did terminate someone in the last year who had been written up on several occasions for repeatedly not following SOP’s and for violating safety procedures and suffered an injury as a result. That employee FWIW was also required to undergo a mandatory post accident drug and alcohol test and failed – tested positive for both alcohol and marijuana. He was suspended without pay and sent to our EAP for counseling and weekly drug testing with the caveat that if he complied and stayed “clean” over the next 30 days, he would be reinstated but subject to monthly testing for the next year, but since he failed to comply – didn’t go to counseling and failed follow up testing, he was terminated and FWIW, when he filed an unemployment claim, PA upheld that it was a rightful termination for cause on our part and denied him unemployment benefits. And his worker’s comp claim was also denied because we proved he had violated SOP’s.

    And we are pretty strict with the lock out /tag out procedures to the point of that the tag has to have the photo ID of the person responsible for placing and removing it. I know this because they have to come to the HR office to get the photo ID printed out from our ID card system to be placed on the tag.

    FWIW - earlier this year we had a long time employee (over 20 years), a maintenance mechanic turn in his notice as he had found a job with another manufacturer that was much closer to his home and IIRC for slightly more money. We hated to lose him as he was a very good and dependable worker and very well liked and we even made him a counter offer, but he declined because while we offered to match his offer in terms of hourly rate of pay, we couldn’t give him the 1st shift hours and less time being on the on-call rotation and less mandatory OT and more flexibly in hours that he wanted.

    But after working for his new employer for only three weeks, he quit, leaving without notice and called our plant manger asking if he could come back. He quit – walked off that new job because of what he saw as a complete disregard for safety by the management and his fellow workers and very unsafe conditions including not using proper tag out / lock out procedures when working on high voltage equipment. He felt the conditions at that plant were so unsafe that it wasn’t worth risking his injury or death no matter the pay and better hours and shorter commute. And not long after he left, that manufacture had a near fatal electrocution injury and I’m sure OSHA and their Worker’s Comp insurance carrier is all over them like “white on rice”- something we try to avoid by doing everything we can to not have work place injuries or deaths in the first place.

    Unfortunately we couldn’t give him his old job back as it had already been filled but he was offered a job as a 3rd shift lathe operator at an hourly rate just slightly below what he had been making, but he took it and seems happy to be back. We reinstated him so as to let him keep his seniority based on his original hire date and therefore he doesn’t have to wait a year before applying for another position in the company.

  • Revamped Bubble Wrap Loses Its Pop

    07/03/2015 8:28:24 AM PDT · 14 of 30
    MD Expat in PA to JoeProBono; glennaro
    styrofoam "peanuts"…have you ever tried to get rid of those things? If you accidently spill them it's like herding feral cats to collect them all!

    Yep. I had a opened box with those “peanuts” sitting on the back seat of my car that fell over when I had to brake hard and those damned peanuts went everywhere. And to make matters worse, I had my car windows open so it was like a mini tornado of Styrofoam and they also got statically charged, I guess from flying around and they stuck to everything - me and the windshield of my car included. I went to the carwash to vacuum them out, but the static charge made most of them jump away before the force of the vacuum could suck them up. Even after cleaning up as many as I could, for almost a year, every couple of days I’d get into my car to find a lone peanut on my seat or on the dashboard or steering wheel - staring at me with their tiny Styrofoam eyes, taunting me, daring me to catch them : ),

    I purchase quite a few things from Amazon and notice they do not use bubble wrap or Styrofoam "peanuts” but what I would call air filled pillows:

    And surprisingly – no matter how hard you try, they do not “pop”. It takes way to much force to break them and when you finally do, all you get is a very unsatisfying "whoosh".

  • Robot kills a VW plant worker

    07/02/2015 2:10:51 PM PDT · 29 of 39
    MD Expat in PA to mrsmith
    I’ve worked with industrial robots. As with ALL machines- even the simplest- you have to follow the rules or they will damage you.

    It seems to have happened as technicians were assembling the machine. "When the robot started up, it grabbed the man and thrust him against a metal slab,"… “The 21-year-old man, who was working within the metal safety cage confining the robot, later died from the accident.

    I would note this was not a “robot” as in a free roaming or free “thinking” robot out of a sci-fi movie. From what I understand it was basically a machine designed to work, grab and move parts inside of a caged area, i.e. an area not intended for humans to be inside of while the “robot” was working.

    Sounds to me a perhaps the contractor and or the plant managers were not following standard “lock out / tag out” procedures. There is no way that they should have energized the equipment while a worker was still inside the caged area.

  • 'Top Gun' Sequel to Put Maverick In The Pilot's Seat Again

    06/30/2015 1:37:55 PM PDT · 55 of 80
    MD Expat in PA to drewh
  • Six arrested at Houston's Lakewood Church after heckling senior pastor Joel Osteen

    06/30/2015 7:03:20 AM PDT · 33 of 104
    MD Expat in PA to metmom
    So much for all the love Osteen preaches about. ….While their behavior could be called into question, it’s not criminal trespass to go where the public is invited in.

    It is not criminal trespass to go where the public is invited in, but it would be criminal trespass if they are there just to, only disrupt and when they actually do nothing but disrupt.

    I would guess that your church welcomes any and all people who are not members, but are perhaps interested in becoming one or wanting to learn about your church’s teachings. But inviting them in doesn’t give them free reign to disrupt the services. If they have questions or even disagreements about your church’s teachings, standing up and yelling and protesting during the actual church services, is not the way to go about it. Would you not agree?

  • Jersey City man with 86 prior arrests facing new shoplifting charge

    06/30/2015 6:00:18 AM PDT · 26 of 30
    MD Expat in PA to Sooth2222; ETL; SMGFan
    I’m pretty sure he wasn’t stealing them for his own use.

    Shoplifted items like that along with items like disposable razors and razor refills, makeup, paper products, laundry products, even baby food and formula and believe it or not, even expensive meats, are often sold at “seedy” flea markets and swap meets, sometimes across state lines from where they were stolen. Some items also end up for sale on eBay or Craigslist.

    The seller often employs “boosters”, i.e. “professional” shoplifters, many of whom are drug addicts, to steal the items for them. Sometimes store employees are recruited. The “boosters” steal the items and then sell them to the seller for pennies on the dollar for quick cash to feed their drug habits. The seller in turn “re-sells” the items cheap, well below the retail price, but still at a large profit since they paid very little for the stolen items, for much less than they could even buy them at wholesale.

    And OK – yes I do think the SWAT team footage was a bit of an overkill but then again…..

    You would be surprised how often this happens.

    Back in the late ‘80’s I was an assistant manager for a grocery store chain. I was working the night shift one night right before Christmas and about a ½ before closing one of the stock clerks alerted me to some suspicious activity. We had been alerted by the local police and the local retailers assoc. of a ring of shoplifters who had been stealing meats and health and beauty items – their MO was to line their grocery cart with large boxes or packs of paper towels to make a “hidden well” in the middle and they would then go to the meat counter and place all sorts of very expensive cuts of meat in the middle - steaks, roasts, etc. or to the H&B aisle and load their cart with H&B items.

    They would then either try to get the grocery cart into the back room of the grocery store or try to get to the restroom, where they would stuff the meat or other items inside their pants or under heavy coats or they would try to wheel the grocery cart past the checkout lanes without being noticed and make a quick dash out the front door to a waiting and running car.

    I got several stock clerks together - I and one other clerk followed them and not stealthy - I wanted them to know they were being followed and watched - I stationed one at each exit and at each door to the backroom. I also instructed all the cashiers to be on the lookout if they tried to get past their lane. I also told them if push came to shove, not to try to physically restrain them but just to make their presence and the fact we were on to them known.

    When these shoplifters figured out they couldn’t easily get out of the store with stolen merchandise they went through the checkout lane and tried to pay for the merchandise with an out of state personal (and rather suspicious looking )check and of course with no ID, which of course was denied. So they left the cart and everything in it at the checkout and quickly walked/ran out to a running car that was waiting for them in the pickup lane. I followed them and managed to write down the plate number (out of state tags BTW) and gave it and their description and the make and model of the car to the police who had already been called but hadn’t arrived before they sped off. Of course the cops couldn’t do much of anything since we’d prevented them from stealing anything, but they thanked us for the information as it matched similar reports from other stores.

    And FWIW, this was a white couple, probably in their mid to late 30’s and they had 3 kids with them ranging in age in my guess from 10 to 5 years old. And they were not abnormal looking or disheveled looking and probably would have gone unnoticed if not for a very bright and observant employee. And while it was December, it was not a particularly cold night but the couple and their kids were wearing very bulky coats and clothing.

    The cop told me this “family” was part of a ring that had recently come into the area and that they used the kids to help them steal, placing items under their coats. And he told me that they were very unlikely to be stealing the meat because they were poor and hungry but were either druggies and would sell what they shoplifted for quick cash to buy drugs with and or they were “Travellers”, i.e. “gypsies”. Sad -sad for the kids that is. The cop also told me that some local flea markets had recently been raided for stolen merchandise including one vendor who was selling meat out of a cooler with the store labels removed.

  • Charlie Daniels on the Confederate Flag, Restraint and Common Sense

    06/28/2015 3:15:03 PM PDT · 58 of 81
    MD Expat in PA to real saxophonist
    Several members of my family, including my ex-husband, my brother and a nephew in law, marched with the Yankee Rebels Drum & Bugle Corps in the 1970’s and early 80’s.

    I seem to recall they stopped using the Confederate flag sometime in the early ‘80’s due to PC pressure.

  • Kagan, Sotomayer Not Legitimate Members of Supreme Court

    06/27/2015 2:53:14 PM PDT · 91 of 252
    MD Expat in PA to Uncle Sham; IronJack; C. Edmund Wright; napscoordinator; Nero Germanicus
    I can prove that Obama is illegal just using the Twentieth Amendment, Section Three and have made this case many times on this forum.

    OK. Prove it! And by that I mean actually PROVE IT and not just by repeating the speculations and sadly, the way too often easily debunked and often wild conspiracy theories based on the musings and postings of yourself and people on the worldwideinterwebs and or some half baked real estate agent / dentist / part time correspondence school attorney (yes, by that I do mean Orly Taitz /s ).

    Do I have doubts as to whether Obama’s Hawaiian BC is legitimate? Sure, well maybe I do. But truthfully a lot of it and at least some of the people pushing the idea seem to far too often also seem to fall into and be in the very same groups as the 9-11 Truthers and Sandy Hook Hoaxers and the Moon Landing Was Fake brigades – in other words – often lacking a lot of credibility IMO and some stemming from professional cranks with their own credibility issues.

    The reality, whether we like it or not, there is no real solid proof of Obama’s ineligibility to serve as POTUS nor has any legitimate legal challenge to his eligibility has ever been presented and more importantly, no challenge has ever been taken up by or affirmed by any court – state, local or federal.

    Officials of the state of Hawaii has certified that his BC is legitimate and therefore his citizenship and eligibility, (whether or not you or I agree or interpret who is a “natural born citizen” is a different matter), but even more importantly, Congress has confirmed many if not most of his nominees including Kagen and Sotomayer to the Supreme Court, and did so without ever questioning his eligibility to do so in the first place, to nominate them or any other appointee - so in other words, the point is now way past moot.

    If Obama’s nominees were illegal because he was not legally eligible to serve as POTUS in the first place, Congress should have, would have, could have, might have acted then, but they didn’t.

    And I’m not even sure you fully understand the intent of the 20th Amendment or particularly the 3rd clause. The main purpose of the 20th was to move the term of POTUS, the inauguration date up from March 4th (or actually in actual effect from April) to January 20th and thus effectively shortening the prior much longer and unproductive “lame duck sessions” that hampered the Government for several months every 4 years and were no longer as necessary as they had been prior to modern modes of transportation, back in the days “when any newly elected official might require several months to put his affairs in order and then undertake an arduous journey from his home to the national capital, but it eventually had the effect of impeding the functioning of government in the modern age.”

    It also addressed the issue of what would happen if the President and or the Vice President elect died before being to officially take office, or if by January 20th, there was still a question or dispute as to the outcome of the election as in the result of the Electoral College, i.e. that “eligibility” question, not per se the question of whether the POTUS elect was a “natural born citizen” or meeting the age and residency requirements in the first place – the eligibility criteria set forth in the Constitution, but as to the question of Electoral College outcome, whereas by if by January 20th what would happen if there was no clear winner who had been certified. At least that is my read of it. YMMV.

    If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

    The bottom line is that Congress did not enact its powers under the 20th A and the 3rd clause in either 2008 or in 2012 to question Obama’s eligibility because Obama had already been deemed to be qualified to serve by both his party and in every state in which he was on the ballot. And FWIW, as far as I understand, it would be up to the individual state election laws to determine who was or wasn’t eligible to be on the ballot, although Congress in certifying the votes and results from the Electoral College, would have the last say if a legitimate question as to eligibility arose, but Congress didn’t act so again, the point is now moot and Obama’s SCOTUS picks, having been confirmed by congress, whether we like it or their decisions or not are not “illegitimate” just because you deem Obama to be a usuper in your non-legal and non-binding opinion.

    Liberals think that Roberts and Alito are not legitimate because President Bush was appointed not elected.....both sides have issues with the justices in one way or the other. Yes did this stink? Yes. But liberals thought Citizen’s United stunk so we get some and we lose some.

    Yep, people seem to forget that. I would also add that if McCain had won the election in 2008, that the liberals would have suddenly have become “birthers” and would have claimed that all his nominees were invalid because he was not a “natural born citizen”. I also seem to recall some speculation both from the right and left that Romney really wasn’t a “natural born citizen” as well. I would hazard to guess that if Carly Fiorina were to somehow get the GOP nomination, that some on the left would call for the immediate repeal of the 19th Amendment – LOL!

  • Supreme Court Rubber Stamps Same-sex “Marriage” — Time for Nullification

    06/27/2015 2:25:53 PM PDT · 74 of 80
    MD Expat in PA to kvanbrunt2
    great! the feds broke it, they own it. At the state level grandfather the marriages past into the new legislation.

    I am looking at it, and I will admit, rather selfishly and shamelessly so from the prospective of being an HR and Payroll manager, working for a US manufacturer who has plants in more than one state and employees working, mostly in sales positions coast to coast, all across the country.

    Prior to yesterday’s SCOTUS ruling and since my company had chosen years ago to offer benefits to both married couples based on the prevailing worked in state’s law (including same sex couples) and also to both same and opposite domestic partners, if a same sex couple was “married” in and still living and working in a state that already recognized same sex marriage, then for both federal and state tax treatment, especially for Section 125 – pre-tax benefit deductions and 401k and life insurance beneficiary elections and survivor benefits, they would be treated for PR and tax and benefit purposes just like a heterosexual married couple.

    But if a same sex couple was “married” and was “legally” married in a state that recognized it but later moved to and was working in a state that didn’t, I would have to treat the employee’s tax deductions for Section 125 deductions as a pre-tax benefit for Federal taxation, but as a post tax deduction for that state and in fact I would also have to impute the employer’s share of the premium attributable to the “same sex spouse” as imputed income, taxable income for those state’s taxes. The opposite goes for states that recognize civil domestic partnerships, same or opposite sex, as the Fed’s do not recognize them at all for federal tax purposes, but some states do and even down to some local jurisdictions within some states.

    Trust me - this sort of thing a real problem and nightmare for us PR and benefits folks to keep track of and stay on top of as the “rules” are they are constantly changing from day to day, and sometimes even retroactively. Not to mention the countless hours I and our benefits manager spend, not to mention all the legal and consulting fees we incur just trying to keep up with ACA (i.e. Obamacare) requirements and reporting.

    My point is that if states “started another word for man-wife marriage” but also refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone, not to mention the question of “grandfathering those already married”, then from a legal and PR prospective these employees would or might in many of these states have even less legal rights than would an employee in registered domestic partner relationship in states that recognize them for tax purposes. And if the state by “starting another word for man-wife marriage” enacted legislation to give them the same tax treatment as far as benefits and taxation under state law, but was still not calling them “married” on the state level, the feds might not treat them as being “married” for federal purposes. So in that case, I’d have to treat them as “married” or as in a “domestic partnership” for state and or local taxes and benefits but no so for on the federal level.

    Not to mention that say a gay couple got “married” in a state that didn’t previously allow “gay marriage”- as of yesterday, I am now legally required to, have to treat them as “married” for both federal and state taxation and benefits and perhaps even retroactively, but there is no guarantee that when I file my company’s monthly or quarterly payroll tax returns, that any of those states who still dispute the SCOTUS ruling, will have to accept them, i.e. treating the Section 125 deductions as “pre-tax”.

    Like I said, from where I sit, how this all affects my job and my responsibility to my employer to stay in compliance – it is, and continues to be a huge and very complicated mess.

  • Drug overdoses surpass car accident deaths in Pennsylvania

    06/27/2015 9:05:37 AM PDT · 14 of 16
    MD Expat in PA to knarf

    To clarify, I am not a doctor. The MD stands for Maryland as in I’m originally from Maryland now living in Pennsylvania : )

  • Supreme Court Rubber Stamps Same-sex “Marriage” — Time for Nullification

    06/27/2015 8:53:13 AM PDT · 36 of 80
    MD Expat in PA to kvanbrunt2
    The states could refuse to issue marriage licenses now that the feds have taken it over. Start another word for man-wife marriage.

    True but from a legal perspective and pertaining to things like spousal benefits, insurance, taxes and such; what a mess that would be, even more of a mess than now.

  • Drug overdoses surpass car accident deaths in Pennsylvania

    06/27/2015 5:38:10 AM PDT · 10 of 16
    MD Expat in PA to knarf; RC one
    It's also a bit suspicious that, seemingly overnight, those (we) bible thumpin' clingin' rednecks start to act like down and out bums in an inner city slum ... and fail…..All these years and Pennsylvanians, dressed in nice clothes driving SUV's OD on smack…..Sorry .... I don't but buy? it.

    I don’t know where in PA you live, but here in Central PA; York, Lancaster and Lebanon counties, not to mention Dauphin Co. and of course Harrisburg or as I like to call it - “Detroit on the Susquehanna”, heroin and OxyContin abuse along with Meth to some extent, is a very real problem around here and I’m not just talking about in the “cities” of York, Lancaster and Lebanon where the problem is more evident among the Blacks and Hispanics although not solely restricted to those groups, but also in the rural areas and the small (and mostly white) towns.

    My former boss who retired last year and has two nieces who graduated from HS in the Manheim area of northern Lancaster Co. within the last couple of years, told me that her nieces told her that heroin and OxyContin and other opiates were very easy and not all that expensive to get if one wanted to, even to buy right in the HS’s – everyone knew who was selling and who was buying. And these were not only the “down and out bums in an inner city slum” types, but a lot of middle and upper middle class white kids. And it isn’t just the “kids” as in the “High” school kids. A lot of adults are using these drugs too.

    That’s because, like prescription pain medications, heroin is an opioid... When a physician stops prescribing opioids or those drugs become too expensive, a patient may switch to heroin, which is relatively cheap and easy to obtain.

    Here is my concern and I will point out that there are legitimate uses for Rx opiod pain killers which are a God send for those people who are in severe pain, post op, etc. or have chronic very painful conditions. But now many doctors just will not proscribe them anymore even when indicated. I’ve even read stories about late stage terminal cancer patients not being able to get Rx pain killers anymore out of the concerns over their addictive properties. Like the last thing a terminal cancer patient in severe pain or society at large has to worry about is them becoming “addicted” to an opiod pain killer if they only have weeks or months to live.

    And when they are legitimately proscribed, both the doctor and the patient are made to feel like criminals or reported to, put under suspicion, are now tracked by the DEA.

    Yes, without question there are some people who are at first legitimately proscribed pain killers who end up addicted to them (Rush Limbaugh is one such an example that first comes to mind) and there are some doctors who proscribe these very dangerous drugs like candy, but IMO, the vast majority do not, but all now suffer for the bad actions of the few. And now those people who need them can’t get pain relievers and are told to take an OTC pain reliever like Tylenol or Motrin that while not “addictive” have their own set of problems and potential complications and don’t work nearly as well.

    Back in the mid 90’s I had a severe back injury and was proscribed Percocet and a muscle relaxer, both Rx’s were not “refillable” and I only took them for a few days to get me over the worst of the pain and the severe muscle spasms and “flushed” the pills I did not take once I no longer was in pain. But just last month when I suffered another similar back injury, all I got was a referral for physical therapy (and that is not a bad thing) but nothing for the debilitating pain, I was just told to take an OTC. When I asked the Dr. about an Rx for muscle relaxers, she at first gave me the “stink eye” and then gave in after I told her I had been proscribed them by my former Dr. and assured her that that not only did I not take them regularly but that my last Rx for them, that the bottle was still half full and expired when I had flushed them, but not before giving me a long lecture about only taking them before bed, not driving, operating machinery, etc.

    The last time I got a pain killer Rx of an opiod was when I had a severely abscessed molar. I had to have the molar removed and the dentist wrote me an Rx for an antibiotic and for hydrocodone - only for 10 pills but thank God he did as the otherwise the severe pain would have driven me to madness. But having taken both Percocet and hydrocodone for very short periods of time, I can understand why they are or can be addictive to some. I deducted while taking those drugs, is that they really do dull the pain but they don’t really make the pain go completely away, but they do make you more oblivious to it and just about everything else – you still feel some pain but you don’t care about it as much about it nor anything else.

    On a related side note, my older brother who lives near several big “retirement communities” near the Jersey Shore told me that one day he went to a local liquor store to buy a bottle of wine for him and his wife for their wedding anniversary dinner. He’d been to this liquor store a few times before but he noticed that the liquor store was very crowded on that day, filled with a lot of very “elderly” folks, a lot of them using canes and walkers, some on oxygen and they were buying several bottles of cheap brandy or whiskey at a time and they didn’t look like your typical “boozers”. i.e. alcoholic types, very nicely dressed, diving nice cars, etc.

    Curious, my brother asked the liquor store owner why on that day there were so many “old folks” and the owner said, “Look at the calendar – it’s the first week of the month when they get their SS payments so they are stocking up.” “Stocking up?” my brother asked. “Yes, they are stocking up on their “pain relievers”” the liquor store owner told him, “A lot of these folks have severe arthritis or other very painful conditions but their doctors will no longer proscribe them any pain relievers so they come here to get some liquor to help them with the pain instead.”

  • Former Major Leaguer Darryl Hamilton killed in apparent murder-suicide

    06/22/2015 3:46:28 PM PDT · 8 of 32
    MD Expat in PA to Pearls Before Swine

    More unusual but not completely unheard of. The murder of Phil Hartman by his wife comes to mind.

  • Maryland governor announces 'aggressive' cancer

    06/22/2015 2:26:03 PM PDT · 11 of 58
    MD Expat in PA to iowamark

    Damn. I was even semi-seriously considering moving back to Murland from Pennsyltucky. Very sad to hear.

  • Was Dylann Roof driven to racist murder by a GIRL?

    06/22/2015 6:06:17 AM PDT · 9 of 28
    MD Expat in PA to mad_as_he$$
    Even odder none seem to have a bit of shame for not saying anything to anyone.

    That is IMO a tough call sometimes and get’s into a rather slippery slope for most of us.

    From what I understand he had both white and black friends. But as I understand he “partied” with, drank heavily and he also did drugs with his “friends” - both black and white. I’m guessing that his drunken and or drug fueled rants were passed of my most of his “friends”, even his black freinds as mere bluster. Most likely none of them took him very seriously in that he would actually do anything, i.e. act out on it.

    FWIW, occasionally, very rarely fortunately, I’ve seen some posts here on FR that goes into some very “dark” territory – very racist or anti–Semitic – supporting Neo-Nazi views – and I’m talking StormFront sort of crap and a very few that even called for the cold blooded murder of all gays or suspected gays on sight. I think most of the time it is from some keyboard warrior who talks “big” but is posting from the comfort of his mother’s basement and probably never leaves the comfort of his mother’s basement and would probably faint out cold if anyone actually confronted them “IRL” and fortunately the Mods here do a very good job of removing and zotting all such posters.

    But the few that slip by before getting the Zot? What am I supposed to do? Call the FBI? The Department of Homeland Security just because some idiot is spouting racist views?

    Unless I have very specific and very personal knowledge that someone I know in real life, is actually planning a mass murder and has the plan and the means to do so and to my knowledge the intention of doing so, it is not my job to report every racist, Neo-Nazi Mother F’er to some government authority just because they spout off their mouths.

  • In New Jersey, Regulators Pay Close Attention to Halal Rules

    06/21/2015 4:05:28 PM PDT · 7 of 17
    MD Expat in PA to nickcarraway
    Yawn. It is not any different from what NJ does pertaining to Kosher food.

  • Rush Limbaugh - Do You Know the Savior?

    06/20/2015 12:14:19 PM PDT · 20 of 50
    MD Expat in PA to kindred

    Why is this posted in the News/Activism forum? This should be, and even that’s questionable, posted in the Religion forum.

  • Mazatlan Forks Over $355,000 in Back Wages

    06/20/2015 7:28:04 AM PDT · 13 of 14
    MD Expat in PA to Thank You Rush
    One has to wonder just why this place of business was singled out. It’s not like it’s the only place in the country getting by breaking the rules about I9’s, labor laws etc.

    I can’t answer that. All I can say that every employer I’ve worked for in a PR/HR capacity has taken the rules pretty seriously and I wouldn’t work for one that didn’t. It is not worth the risk to me legally or professionally.

    We had one instance in the last couple of years were a new hire could not provide the necessary I9 documentation and on the 4th day, he was told he could no longer work for us and was terminated although we legally had to still pay him for the time he did work in the 1st three day. And the thing was, I was pretty sure he was a US born citizen, he had a valid PA driver’s license (a list B I9 document) but didn’t have and any I9 list C documents, either a SS card (claims he lost it) nor a birth certificate (claimed it was destroyed in a fire). We even gave him time off to go to the local SS office to obtain a replacement SS card but grumbled about it and refused to do so.

    But then we also do background checks and drug testing prior to hire and use E-Verify for each and every new hire. But an E-Verify doesn’t relieve the I9 requirements of the employer having to see in person, the employee’s original I9 documents.

    But I am sure that a lot of employers do play fast with the rules or ignore them completely. The restaurant business along with the construction and landscaping and agriculture companies seem to have more problems with this than some others.

    I’m guessing that this restaurant was “singled out” because at least one employee made a complaint to the DOL regarding not being paid for overtime and not getting paid for time worked. It only takes one complaint to open an investigation.

  • Mazatlan Forks Over $355,000 in Back Wages

    06/20/2015 6:53:03 AM PDT · 11 of 14
    MD Expat in PA to Gaffer
    I remember working for $1/hr at McDonalds in 1964. They routinely rounded down to the nearest hour. And I mean rounded DOWN. 1.75 hrs was 1 hour.

    While before FLSA that probably was allowed (although unethical IMO) that would be illegal now days.

    Today employers can use a rounding rule and the most common type is a 7 minute rounding rule with rounding to the nearest ¼ hour and that is what we use at the manufacturing company for which I currently work.

    But such a rounding rule has to be applied as to not always go in favor of the employer. For instance if an employee clocks in for their 9:00 AM start time at 8:53 the employer can round up to 9:00 AM and if they punch for their 5:00 PM at 5:07 PM it can be rounded down to 5:00 PM but if they punch out at 5:08 PM it has to rounded up to 5:15 PM and if they punch in at 8:52 it has to be rounded back to 8:45 AM. For those employees who consistently violate the punching rules, by which I mean purposely punch in more than 7 minutes before the start of their shift or more than 7 minutes after the end of their shift, all of which is spelled out in the employee handbook and posted at the time clocks, we still have to pay them for the additional 15 minutes even if that results in paying OT, but it becomes a disciplinary issue that can lead to termination after written warnings.

    But rounding to more than a ¼ hour is now illegal.

  • Mazatlan Forks Over $355,000 in Back Wages

    06/20/2015 6:31:06 AM PDT · 9 of 14
    MD Expat in PA to MNDude

    Interestingly it doesn’t matter if the workers were “legal” or if they hired legally or not from a DOL perspective as once employed, once the worker works, the employer has to follow FLSA rules regarding the record keeping of actual time worked and the pay of hourly workers and the OT rules.

    According to the Department of Labor, workers' weeks were capped at 40 hours when they actually worked 60 or more hours. Other employees were not listed as part of the restaurant's records.

    I’m guessing that the “other employees” who “were not listed as part of the restaurant's records” were likely illegal.

    But even if some or all were illegal, the employer is still in trouble for screwing with their pay. I suspect an extensive audit of the restaurant’s I-9 record keeping, if not already underway, will soon follow along with an IRS audit for payroll taxes.

    I will also add that the I-9 rules say that the documentation of legal status to work in the US has to be provided / completed within 3 days of the date of hire. If the employee fails to provide the documentation within those 3 days after their DOH, or they fail E-Verify, the employer can terminate them, but is still liable to pay them for their wages for hours worked, including OT up until that time. If the employee does not have or cannot provide a legitimate SSN, the employer still has to withhold and file and pay for payroll taxes, using all zero’s as the SSN.

  • Friend gets letter from U.S. OPM indicating personal info compromised in the database hack

    06/20/2015 6:01:41 AM PDT · 48 of 64
    MD Expat in PA to satan; All
    I received mine by email.

    I would be very careful, very distrustful in fact about any email purporting to be from the government especially any that have embedded links (and FWIW, links can be “spoofed” – the link might show as a legitimate .gov or other website but it redirects elsewhere) and that goes for any email with links purporting to be from your bank or credit card company, etc.

    The government simply does not, at least to my knowledge, ever communicate via email. For example, every year a number of people get emails (or even text messages) claiming to be from the IRS regarding back taxes with threats of legal action or even arrest and of course “instructions” on how to pay, typically via a wire transfer or money gram. It is a scam! Always! The IRS will never send you an email or even call you on the phone. If they are about to do something such as garnish wages or take other legal action regarding taxes owed, they will send you a certified/return receipt letter and you would have received many letters previously to them taking such an action.

    ETA – according to this:

    Note that the email is not from the OPM but their contractor CSID who is sending out these emails (very stupid idea IMO) but while it is supposedly legit, I’d still be wary and would follow this advice:

    If you’re still unsure whether the email you got is real, check OPM’s website for more information and updates. If you think you’ve been tricked by a phishing email or a fake call, then file a complaint with the FTC and forward the email to

    For those individuals potentially affected by the incident announced on June 4 regarding personnel information, OPM is offering affected individuals credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance in order to mitigate the risk of fraud and identity theft with CSID, a company that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution. This comprehensive, 18-month membership includes credit report access, credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and recovery services and is available immediately at no cost to affected individuals identified by OPM. Additional information is available on the company’s website, (external link) and by calling toll-free 844-777-2743 (International callers: call collect 512-327-0705).

    If you are interested in enrolling in the no cost credit monitoring and recovery services offered by the OPM via their contractor CSID, I would not click on the links in the email but go to the OMP website by typing the url in your browser: and enroll from there.

  • Some people unhappy that a woman will be featured on the $10 bill instead of the $20 [tr]

    06/19/2015 2:57:47 PM PDT · 49 of 64
    MD Expat in PA to C19fan
    Actually, Martha Washington was on the $1 silver certificate for a time, beginning in 1886.

  • Melissa Harris-Perry on Rachel Dolezal: ‘It Is Possible That She Might Actually Be Black?’

    06/14/2015 11:09:36 AM PDT · 24 of 121
    MD Expat in PA to Dr. Ursus
    Like this I suspect:

    The Elaine Dance

  • Run, Donald run! (shows typical Media arrogance)

    06/14/2015 9:27:05 AM PDT · 26 of 27
    MD Expat in PA to Terry L Smith
    Then WHY were they called ‘The Trump Towers’, huh?

    Dear Terry,

    There is a building in NYC called Trump Tower.

    There are other buildings with Trump Tower in the name, in NYC and others (some planned, never built or completed):

    The World Trade Center Towers were never owned or managed by Trump. The World Trade Center Towers were owned by the Port Authority of New York.

    All the time that I had connections with my adopted home town of Stamford, CT, which was in that time a ‘NYC bedroom town’, the towers were referred to, by all the NH&H railroad riders, as ‘The Trump Towers’.

    Perhaps your connections in CT were all idiots?

  • Ben Carson calls for "covert division" to monitor and report on gov't workers

    06/11/2015 8:19:46 AM PDT · 27 of 32
    MD Expat in PA to null and void
    It’s called the NSA. They already know which levers to push to get any government employee to comply with their wishes.

    The NSA doesn’t to my knowledge investigate all government workers, only those; both active duty military service members and civilians, civilians working directly for the DOD or for those working DOD contractors, but AFIK, only those with sensitive and high level security clearances. It’s not like the NSA is following USPS workers or VA or SSA or IRS workers to make sure they are not slacking off on the job or stealing office supplies.

    Many years ago I worked with and was friends with a guy who later went into the Navy and was stationed on a submarine. Joe used to occasionally send me post cards and pictures from his various ports of call and short letters. I was pretty oblivious at the time that the guy had a big crush on me (only found out much later from a mutual friend) – he was pretty shy and sort of nerdy and never indicated he liked me in that way - I thought we were just in the “friend zone” : (

    But anyway, he was back state side on leave and called me up, and I was having a Christmas party and invited him to come, which he did.

    About two weeks later, two guys in dark black suits came to my work and after flashing their ID’s to my boss, asked to speak with me. They were from the NSA and evidently Joe had put me down as a personal reference (or maybe not) and they were there to ask me questions about Joe as he was up for a promotion or duty that required some sort of high level security clearance – of course the details about which, I was not told but I did guess it might have had something to do with cryptology since Joe was quite the math whiz.

    They asked me about my relationship with Joe, “where and how I met him, how long I’d known him, what he’d been like as a co-worker, was he in your opinion dependable and trustworthy, did he ever steal items from work”, and things like “have you even known him to have any mental issues”, “has he to your knowledge ever been involved in any subversive organizations”, “has he ever written to you and divulged any sensitive information”, “do you have any knowledge of him ever using drugs or drinking to excess.”

    I did know that when we worked together that Joe was somewhat liberal on some social issues, perhaps leaning more libertarian, somewhat conservative on others, not as conservative as I was as we used to sometimes spiritedly debate on politics, but nothing that would give me any pause or alarm as being a “subversive type” and he was pretty much as far as I knew, a pretty straight arrow sort of guy and very, very smart and I was happy to give him a good but honest reference to the NSA guys.

    As to him using drugs, I told the “Men In Black” that no, I’d never seen him use drugs or ever had any indication that he ever did so. And when it came to drinking, I told the one NSA agent, “No, I’ve never known Joe to drink if much at all and never to excess and in fact I had a Christmas party two weeks ago and Joe came and I think he had no more than one beer the entire time he was there” and then the one NSA guy said, “Yes. We know”.

    And yes. That comment sort of more than freaked me out!

    I had images of the NSA sneaking around the bushes outside of my apartment on the night of my Christmas Party or someone being on the inside – did I really know everyone who came, it was a rather big party…..had my apartment been bugged?....

    But on seeing my rather alarmed and shocked reaction to the other NSA guy’s “Yes. We know” comment, the other NSA guy clarified by saying, “Your and Joe’s former boss was at your Christmas party too and she was also one of Joe’s references and she told us the same thing, “that Joe only drank one beer the entire night”, when we interviewed her yesterday.” That sort of made me somewhat feel better – LOL!

    Many years later, after my divorce I was dating a guy for about a year who was a USN Commander and stationed at Ft. Meade. I knew that he was part of a unit at the NSA called something like “Information Warfare” and that he had a very high level security clearance and all he ever told me about but his “job” and all I wanted to know, probably more than I wanted to know, was it something along the lines of “sometimes we wear the white hats and keep the bad guys out of our sensitive systems and sometimes we wear the black hats and try to break into the bad guy’s systems.”

    I never got a visit from the NSA while we were dating but shortly after we started seeing each other, one night after a romantic movie and dinner date, we were walking and holding hands and suddenly out of the blue, he asked me, “So where were you born and what was your mother’s maiden name?”

    I smiled and told him, “I know you have to give your bosses at the NSA information about all your close personal relationships, and they’d want to check my background for security purposes, so if it makes it easier for you, what if I just give you my SS number?”

    He sheepishly smiled back and said, “No that’s not necessary. But your mother’s maiden name would be helpful”.

  • (Christian) Woman 5 Months Pregnant Planning to Have Abortion Because the Baby Has Down Syndrome

    06/11/2015 7:05:03 AM PDT · 67 of 103
    MD Expat in PA to wardaddy
    We always gave the docs the stink eye when asked about feta protein testing and other crap

    I do not think that all prenatal testing in and of itself is a bad thing, but obviously it all depends on how such test results are used. If they are used in order to give a reason to abort murder the child because he or she is not “perfect”, then that is without question wrong – morally, ethically and medically.

    However if prenatal testing is used to diagnose a problem that in some cases can be treated in utero or prepare the OBY and the mom for what might be a high risk pregnancy or delivery as is sometimes the case with kids with Downs, prepare to have a neonatal team on standby in case of problems or birth defects and complications or even prepare the parents, put them in touch with Downs Syndrome advocacy and support groups – then I don’t see such testing as a bad thing.

    For instance when my niece and her husband found out they were pregnant again, only 4 months after my niece had delivered their first daughter via an emergency c-section after 48 hours of labor and her having some preeclampsia, they found out on a routine sonogram that they were having triplets and that two of the babies shared the same uterine sack.

    Her OBY at the time told my niece and her husband that this pregnancy was so “high risk” that she should either abort all three babies or have a “selective” reduction, i.e. abort/murder one or two of them for the sake of the other(s). He even went as far as to tell them that if she didn’t do this, that she might likely die from a ruptured uterus and hemorrhage out and bleed to death, or have a miscarriage and that he wouldn’t continue to be their OBY unless they at least agreed to have a “selective reduction”.

    My nice and her husband were devastated but instead of listening to their OBY, they sought out another OBY, one specializing in multiples and high risk pregnancies and found him at the Penn State Milton Hershey Hospital (and FWIW, their doc was the same doc that delivered the sextuplets made famous in a TLC show, although FWIU, he didn’t have much nice things to say about that mom).

    The new OBY told them that yes, there were risks, that the pregnancy would not be easy for her, but nothing like their previous OBY had made it out to be (and he basically called him an idiot for suggesting abortion and implied that he should probably find another career). He told my niece – “with my and my team’s experience, your dedication as a mom, and more importantly with God’s help, you and your babies will be just fine”.

    But what the new OBY did was have my niece closely monitored especially for eclampsia and other complications. About halfway through her pregnancy, she had to get weekly hormone shots in order to prevent a miscarriage and ultrasounds to ensure the babies were doing/developing OK. Early on one sonogram looked as if the twins sharing the same uterine sack might have been conjoined twins that would have made the delivery even more complicated, but thankfully that was not the case.

    And in her 3rd trimester she was put on “bed rest” and admitted to the Penn State Milton Hershey Hospital specialized high risk OBY ward. This put a great hardship on her husband and their not quite 1 year old daughter but was necessary to ensure a safe delivery that was scheduled to be done via a c-section, hopefully no sooner than at 32 weeks and the care she received was outstanding. And at 32 weeks, the night before the scheduled c-section, she went into labor and was rushed to the OR. And in the OR, there wasn’t just her OBY but a whole team of other doctors and nurses and 3 separate neo-natal teams, one for each of the babies. Her husband who was in the delivery room said it was like a highly skilled precision military operation – everyone worked together as a team but each one had a specific job and carried it out with precision. And my niece did have eclampsia and gestational diabetes and after giving birth was given medication for those issues.

    All three babies were in the neo-natal ICU for several weeks. One of the girls (and all 3 were girls), the smallest of the 3, was born with a slight heart valve defect and with immature lungs and it was touch and go for her for the first week. But the heart valve defect was treated with medication and all three girls not only survived but thrived.

    They are 7 years old now and you would never know they had been preemies.

    And when their mom and dad and I and the rest of their loving family and friends look at them today, we can’t imagine life without them, and how sad and absolutely evil it would have been if one or any of them had been aborted.

  • My school district fired me after I gave a free meal to a student who couldn’t pay

    06/11/2015 5:54:52 AM PDT · 33 of 39
    MD Expat in PA to Conscience of a Conservative


  • Walgreens, insurers push expansion of virtual doctor visits

    06/11/2015 5:18:36 AM PDT · 14 of 17
    MD Expat in PA to Cincinatus' Wife
    Programs offered by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and the insurers give customers around-the-clock access to doctors who can diagnose and treat conditions like allergies, a sinus infection or pink eye that don't require a physical exam.

    I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing depending on the quality of the doctor doing the triage and whether or not you are going to be forced to use a “virtual visit” before being seen in person.

    For instance because of my deviated septum, I’m very prone to getting sinus infections when I get a head cold. I’ve had enough of them to know when I have one and when it’s bad enough to require an antibiotic and they always prescribe the same thing. But to get that Rx I have to make a doctor’s appointment to be seen in person but since it’s not deemed an “emergency” sometimes I can’t get an appointment with my doc until a week or two later – so it is either, if left untreated going to get much worse and become an emergency or it’s going to resolve on its own by then but not without a lot of suffering and missed days from work. My only other choice is to go to an urgent care place or the ER and wait and wait and wait to be seen. And FWIW, some insurance plans will not pay for ER visits if it is determined not to be an emergency.

    I’m also highly allergic to poison ivy and when I’m exposed I have to be put on steroids and again another in person doctor’s visit that is IMO, not necessary.

    I once injured myself while trying to start a gas powered lawn trimmer. I did a stupid thing by putting my arm through the handle to try to get better leverage as it wouldn’t start. I didn’t think much of it at the time but a few hours later, noticed this very big nasty- purple-yellow bruise on my forearm and later a big lump. But what concerned me was that a few hours later my hand was tingling and becoming numb and felt cold. This was on a Sunday evening and I really didn’t want to go to the ER. So I called a local hospital’s “ask a nurse” hotline to help me decided whether or not it was an emergency or something I could treat myself.

    I spoke to an RN/ nurse practitioner and she was great. She asked a lot of questions and determined that it was probably a contusion and gave me advice such as to ice the area and keep it elevated, what to look out for and if the numbness continued or got worse to see my doctor the next morning, but then said, “since you are having the numbness and tingling in your hand, my advice is that you should probably go to an urgent care center or ER to have it checked out” which I did. And all they did, after grilling me over and over about how I got the contusion and giving my husband nasty looks as they seemed to think I was lying about how I got it – implying that he was abusing me, after convincing them that this wasn’t the case, all they did was send me home with instructions to ice the area and keep my arm elevated.

  • My school district fired me after I gave a free meal to a student who couldn’t pay

    06/11/2015 3:56:51 AM PDT · 16 of 39
    MD Expat in PA to 2ndDivisionVet
    My school district mandates that, after three incidents in a row, kitchen supervisors take away that child’s hot lunch and replace it with a slice of cheese on a bun.

    Are they taking away an already prepared hot lunch and throwing it in the trash and handing the kid a cold cheese sandwich instead? If that’s the case, it seems a bit wasteful not to mention a bit unfair to the kid. Go after the parent(s)/gaurdian for getting behind on paying for the lunches but don’t punish the kid.

    But I do not agree that the answer is to provide tax payer funded free lunches for every child. I also think that rules against brown bagging are beyond stupid.

  • Pat Robertson's Comforting Words For Mom Whose Baby Died: Could Have Been Hitler

    06/10/2015 3:43:40 PM PDT · 51 of 57
    MD Expat in PA to donna
    I’m sorry. The video you posted doesn’t help old senile Pat’s cause one bit.

    First he says that in the Old Testament, God controlled all such things; who lived and died but in the New Testament, he says we’ve come to realize that people die not because God has any real say in the matter at all anymore but because it’s our own fault and because of our own responsibility. Medical malpractice? So it was the doctors’ and nurses’ fault that her child died?

    But on the on the other, other hand, Pat also says God saw this poor suffering 3 year old child and says God saw this child and saw that he might have grown up to be the next Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Jeffrey Dahmer so He let him die, or perhaps He even caused him to die. One might guess that God was asleep at the wheel when the actual Hitler, Stalin and numerous other tyrants and serial killers were spared being killed at 3 years old. No, it was this child God decided needed some killin.

    Dear grieving mom:

    God let your child die because he was probably going to turn out to be one evil SOB, worse than even Hitler. On the other hand, you should really look into suing his doctor. Then again, it might have been all your fault because you dress immodestly and didn’t give your husband enough sex.

    Feel better now?




    If you do sue his doctors and nurses and win a crap load of money, send some my way, will ya?

  • Pat Robertson Tells Grieving Mother Her Dead Baby Could’ve Grown Up to Be Hitler

    06/10/2015 3:02:26 PM PDT · 73 of 83
    MD Expat in PA to bkopto
     photo Aw Jeeze_zpsuhlm7o89.jpg
  • McKinney Officer Resigns Amid Pool Party Investigation

    06/10/2015 1:25:12 PM PDT · 108 of 115
    MD Expat in PA to snarkybob
    I don’t live in Maryland and have almost no info on what happened there.

    What? You live under a rock?

    In McKinney there hasn’t been any looting or burning.

    Not yet. But there were “kids” vandalizing the pool and fighting with each other and with the residents and assaulting residents and security guards. But it’s OK since they didn’t loot or burn it down. Perhaps that didn’t happen because the police showed up and got things under control before it got to that point.

    Also it’s probably more difficult to file a lawsuit on a mob than on an individual.

    So if you and your neighbors are having a backyard party and a bunch of “youts” from outside of your neighborhood come in and crash it, you would call your lawyer before calling the police?

  • McKinney Officer Resigns Amid Pool Party Investigation

    06/10/2015 1:12:16 PM PDT · 106 of 115
    MD Expat in PA to snarkybob

    And CVS and the other business owners should relax and sue the rioters in Baltimore. We don’t need the police, we just need better lawyers.

  • Moving on! Removal trucks spotted at disgraced Josh Duggar's D.C. rental home

    06/10/2015 1:10:01 PM PDT · 96 of 108
    MD Expat in PA to Jan_Sobieski
    Josh’s sisters have publicly stated the extent of the infraction and have defended him (his repentance from sin and salvation) and moved on.

    To be more precise, only two of the sisters (Jessa and Jill) molested by Josh have made any public statements. And those two are currently angling to get their own spin off TV “reality” show. Just saying.

  • McKinney Officer Resigns Amid Pool Party Investigation

    06/10/2015 12:38:45 PM PDT · 103 of 115
    MD Expat in PA to snarkybob
    The party’s over the cop has resigned. Problem solved

    And Tatiana and Grace and the other flash mob party crashers have learned there will be no repercussions for their criminal activities. Their problems are solved.

  • Woman Struck by Broken Bat During Sox Game Expected to Survive

    06/10/2015 12:32:29 PM PDT · 14 of 17
    MD Expat in PA to RayChuang88
    But I do think MLB may have to impose much larger netting in all ballparks (the same as they do at Japanese professional baseball parks) because one of these days, a foul ball going into the stands at over 80 mph or a sharp fragment of a broken bat going into the stands at over 50 mph will hit someone with tragic results.

    Perhaps MLB should enclose the entire area where fans sit with high impact resistant Plexiglas. Or make every fan wear batting helmets. That would make it a lot more fun to watch a game. / s /

    Spectators getting hit and seriously injured with broken bats or foul balls are a very rare occurrence.

  • McKinney Officer Resigns Amid Pool Party Investigation

    06/10/2015 7:58:29 AM PDT · 74 of 115
    MD Expat in PA to snarkybob
    There was 1 cop who got out of line. The cop is gone. Problem solved.

    And thus - the “lesson” for all cops has once again been learned.

    If the perp(s) are black, it has to be hands off policing. Cops now know that even when faced with an out of control mob of black “youts” running amok, assaulting residents, destroying property, not following orders to disperse – they now know to just stand down and let them have their space and give them more “space to destroy” just like Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did during the riots in Baltimore.

    The lesson learned and the “problem solved” is that no white nor any black cop is ever going to risk taking down a black perp, no matter what that perp, he or she has done because they don’t want to, not only lose their job or be forced to resign under pressure, but also face a criminal or a civil rights prosecution for doing their jobs.

  • NTSB: No evidence that Amtrak engineer used phone at time of crash

    06/10/2015 7:28:56 AM PDT · 28 of 55
    MD Expat in PA to DiogenesLamp
    Same reason as the "German Wings" Airplane crash. A Despondent Homosexual felt the need to kill himself and his passengers, so he increased speed to crash the train.

    While there has been a lot of speculation as to the sexual orientation of Andreas Lubitz, nothing in his background really proves that he was “gay” or that “gayness” had anything to do with why he decided to crash the plane. He was however bat sh!t crazy and with prior serious episodes of depression and feelings of self aggrandizement and “flights of fantasy” and phycosemantic illnesses which should have alone have kept him from flying. There are a lot of bat sh!t crazy people in this world and FWIW, and not all of them are “gay”. Just saying.

  • McKinney Officer Resigns Amid Pool Party Investigation

    06/10/2015 7:02:01 AM PDT · 63 of 115
    MD Expat in PA to scooby321; Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
    It would seem that according to some here, that Officer Eric Casebolt should have stood down and given them more “space to destroy” just like Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did during the riots in Baltimore.

    He should have calmly walked up to the out of control and nearly rioting teens thugs who were crashing a private community pool and then running amok through the neighborhood, throwing bottles at cars, etc., and said something like, “Hey-Diddly-Ho Neighbor-eeno! I understand the underlying cause of your violence and as a whiteman, I know it’s all my fault and I understand you’re a victim of white micro aggression. So why not just do your beat ups on the residents, your vandalism, your drinking and smoking dope, having sex in public, and assaulting security guards who asked you to leave, and all like that, just a wee bit, a little more quietly and “Godspeed lil' doodles!”” / s

    This was not about race but it is now as this black man, who is a resident of the community and saw what was happening can attest as he is now is under death threats by the thugs and race baiters, with calls for his radio show to be cancelled and being called an “Uncle Tom” for simply telling the truth.

    Radio host: 7 'knuckleheads' ruined pool party for all

    Here is a picture of the supposedly 14 year old poor innocent Black Barbie In The Pink Bikini (who is actually 20 years old and the organizer of the for profit “party” held on private property on which she had no permission to do so) and who BTW also appears to be the “girl” who was earlier, before the cops showed up, beating up on an older white woman while she’s trying to leave and get her children safely to their car.

    And here is her white friend Grace who was also part of the flash mob.

    Nice “kids”…. Who would you rather have at your next pool party? Officer Eric Casebolt or Tatiana and Grace? Just asking.

    Did perhaps Officer Casebolt overact? Maybe, but I don’t know. FWIW he didn’t pull his gun out on Black Barbie In The Pink Bikini but he only did so after several of her “friends” came up behind him and one reached around as if he was reaching for a gun. I guess he should have let them do a beat down on him.

    It would seem that the crowd who was causing all the trouble were not dispersing as ordered to do so and were mouthing off to the cops and crowding around them and coming back after being told to leave the area. And why do I think perhaps the cops including Officer Casebolt had had prior run ins with some of these “kids” before….

    Baltimore police officers break silence on riots, murder spike and Freddie Gray

    (CNN)Forty-two people were killed in Baltimore in May, making it the deadliest month there since 1972.

    When asked what's behind that number, a Baltimore police officer gave an alarming answer. Basically, he said, the good guys are letting the bad guys win.

    "The criminal element feels as though that we're not going to run the risk of chasing them if they are armed with a gun, and they're using this opportunity to settle old beefs, or scores, with people that they have conflict with," the officer said. "I think the public really, really sees that they asked for a softer, less aggressive police department, and we have given them that, and now they are realizing that their way of thinking does not work."

    FWIW, I am no fan of overly aggressive policing and yes, there are certainly some rouge and out of control cops who deserve to get reigned in and culled from the heard of the mostly good cops trying to do their jobs, or even prosecuted when their actions are illegal and I will call that out when that is the case, but OTOH, when the cops are afraid of doing their job because of the fear of PC and prosecution if the thugs they are arresting are black - good luck with that “softer, less aggressive police department” some would call for.

  • Run, Donald run! (shows typical Media arrogance)

    06/10/2015 4:52:04 AM PDT · 13 of 27
    MD Expat in PA to Terry L Smith
    lastly in reference to 9/11, those were his buildings!

    Hum. No. Trump had nothing to do with the building of or the ownership or operation of the World Trade Center Towers. They were built and owned by Port Authority of New York. In 1998, the Port Authority decided to privatize the World Trade Center, leasing the buildings to a private company to manage, and awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.

    Trump didn’t even lease any space in either of the original Twin Towers.

  • Texas Police Officer Suspended After Pulling Weapon On Teens During Pool Party

    06/08/2015 5:16:41 PM PDT · 72 of 72
    MD Expat in PA to Finny
    My criticisms here have been of the deranged and hysterical police officer in that video who made a bad situation worse. I saw a lot of what looked like "nice, innocent teenagers" of all colors in the video at the top of this thread. Did you take the time to actually watch it?

    I watched the video. Both of them. Did you? I saw a cop trying to instill order over a bunch of thugs running amok, the thugs who were causing all the trouble, not obeying police orders and while he was detaining one of them, a bunch of other “thugs” approached him from behind and he did the right thing IMO. I guess in your opinion, he should have stood down and given them more “space to destroy” like Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did during the riots in Baltimore.

    Texas resident: Cop was right, deserves a medal

    many of whom can he heard addressing him and other cops in this video respectfully as "sir."

  • Texas Police Officer Suspended After Pulling Weapon On Teens During Pool Party

    06/08/2015 4:35:16 PM PDT · 70 of 72
    MD Expat in PA to Finny
    I would hate even more to be a teenager thug nowadays.

    I would hate to be a teenager thug who crashed (i.e. for those of you in Rio Linda – not having been uninvited) a pool party at a private community pool in TX with a bunch of her thug friends who heard about it on Twitter and FB after one of her other thug friends posted the “”flash mob” pool party crashing invite”; climbing fences to get in because they had not been invited by a resident, and unlike some of the other black kids who had been invited and those of the and the black residents of the community who had every right to be there, but who were NOT engaging in criminal activity like openly drinking, smoking weed and harassing and assaulting people including security guards, damaging property, and, well …. acting like “thugs” and who were as a result of not acting like thugs, were not “hassled” by “the man”.

    One resident, Benet Embry, a black man, posted on Facebook about the events leading up to the police call. “Look, I LIVE in this community and this ENTIRE incident is NOT racial at all,” Embry wrote. “A few THUGS spoiled a COMMUNITY event by fighting, jumping over fences into a PRIVATE pool, harassing and damaging property. Not EVERYTHING is about RACE. WE have other issues that NEED our attention other (than) flights of made up make believe causes.”

    In another post he is critical of media coverage of the incident. “I’ve never seen such irresponsible reporting and miss management of media resources in my life,” he said.

    Another McKinney resident, Bryan Gestner, posted on Facebook, “This was a Twitter party that turned into a mob event. Jumping pool fence. Assaulting 2 security guards, attacking a mother with three little girls. The video doesn’t show everything.” He continued saying the kids were drinking and “smoking weed” and they would not listen to any of the adults around the pool.

    “This isn’t about race,” he continued. “This is about outside kids invading our neighborhood and had no respect for authority or the residents here. I have a target on my back now and I have been threatened by these punks that they are gonna shoot up my house when all I did was try to control the mob and actually tended to the girl and the boy that had a bloody lip.”

    “Yall don’t know the whole story,” Gestner continued. “I commend the officer for handling this situation.”

    Gestner wrapped up his post alleging that these same kids came back into the neighborhood Saturday night. They were “kicking in people’s front door, stole a truck and crashed it into many vehicles. They vandalized dozens of cars and were stealing things.”

    And I can’t help but notice that “Black Barbie in the Pink Bikini” who got taken down and handcuffed by the “bad policeman”, looks an awful lot like the girl in the pink bikini who was also filmed, before the cops showed up, assaulting a woman.

    Allegedly this “nice innocent teenager” who was, even as she had not been invited, was only there to swim, work on her tan and celebrate the end of the school year (yea, like I have to really wonder what school she attended and how often she ever bothered showing up) became enraged because someone, supposedly the woman she was assaulting, had the audacity to say something so un-PC as “go back to your section 8 housing development and swim in your damn own pool.” And according to how these teenager thugs were behaving, if it had been my community pool, I doubt I would have said anything nearly so nice. YMMV.

  • Search is on for World’s Best Steak

    06/07/2015 6:47:17 AM PDT · 51 of 52
    MD Expat in PA to nickcarraway; driftless2
    I’ve been to the Ruth’s Chris in Baltimore and the steak was “OK” – good , but IMO not all that great, and the meal and the service over all was just so so, at least on the night I was there – not nearly as good as I was expecting given the price and their reputation. And the side dishes were below par IMO and seemed like an afterthought. For instance I ordered a side of green beans almandine and the green beans were way over cooked and came to the table looking somewhat grey and were lukewarm and there were probably about 3 slivered almonds on top that hadn’t even been toasted. The garlic mashed potatoes were only average, barely tasted any garlic and was on the dry side like it had been sitting in a warming tray for a very long time. I was not impressed with the meal and that our server was very snooty didn’t help and I’ve never been back.

    The Prime Rib in Baltimore is better IMO and the atmosphere is great – a throwback to a 1940’s style supper club complete with a piano bar. If you are ever in Baltimore, check it out.

    I’ve been to Outback many times and their steaks are not bad but are a bit too over-seasoned (or marinated?), too salty for my taste – and that’s not to say that seasoning is a bad thing, but too much obscures the flavor of the meat and is often a sign that the quality of the beef isn’t all that good.

    But I have to say that one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten out was at a steak house in Frederick, MD - The Red Horse. Moderately priced place and kinda homey and old school but the steak was cooked and seasoned to perfection and melt in your mouth tender. And this was the first steak house that I’ve ever heard of the choice of having the steak cooked “Pittsburg Style” or “Pittsburgh Black” - charred on the outside but still rare on the inside. And when I used to have a grill, that’s the way I started doing steaks at home – lightly season a good thick cut of prime and well marbled steak and get it up to room temperature, then throw it on a very, very hot and well oiled grill and let it sit until it nicely flames up for about a minute, then turn it over until it flames again, pull it off the grill and serve – Yum – now I’m hungry!

    And speaking of Outback, back in 2001 my husband and I went to Myrtle Beach the week between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve to play golf (and yes it was barely warm enough to play – they were having a bad cold snap that week, it even sleeted one night and morning, but the price of the hotel and golf package was pretty cheap – something that he liked).

    When we arrived late Christmas Eve afternoon/early evening, very few places were still open even the hotel dining room except for the nearby Outback Steak House and we by then after having driven straight through from Baltimore, were famished. We ate dinner at the hotel on Christmas Day, it was a buffet – OK but not great, but it was included in our package, so we were looking for other places to eat for the remainder of the week. Part of the golf package we bought included coupons for several restaurants including one for the Greg Normal Australian Grille.

    We were expecting something along the lines of a somewhat higher end Outback style joint. Boy, were we wrong.

    For one thing, although there was no “official” dress code, we were dressed in kakis and golf shirts and felt WAY underdressed compared to many of the other diners – men in jackets and ties and women in dresses. And the food, while on the pricy side, even with our “coupon”, was absolutely outstanding as was the service. I had the wood grilled salmon and my husband a wood grilled aged Angus rib eye steak – both were excellent. I also had the French Onion soup (which doesn’t appear on their current menu) but it was absolutely the best French Onion soup I’ve ever had and was probably a meal all on its own. There was something about the herbs and the beef broth and the quality of the cheese – all French Onion soups I’ve had since pale in comparison.

  • The 147th (2015) BELMONT STAKES! Will the 37-year drought end today??

    06/06/2015 3:16:00 PM PDT · 59 of 160
    MD Expat in PA to ETL
    Secretariat: Belmont Stakes (1973) with extended post race coverage:

    I remember watching the ‘73 Belmont live on TV and my mom and I jumping up and down and screaming, rooting for “Big Red”. : ),

    “He is moving like a tremendous machine” is IMO one of the most famous and most accurate phrases in all of sports history.

  • The 147th (2015) BELMONT STAKES! Will the 37-year drought end today??

    06/06/2015 2:27:51 PM PDT · 44 of 160
    MD Expat in PA to Dilbert San Diego
    The big races that make up the Triple Crown; the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, while those races are the main attraction, they are not the only races on those days at those tracks. For instance at Belmont, the Belmont Stakes race is the final of 11 races at Belmont today. There are also in recent years other entertainments such as concerts before and after the big race. It is pretty much an all day event.

    There are also lots of food vendors, I think also beer gardens and wine tastings and all sorts of other vendors. And having grown up in Baltimore, and although I’ve never been to it, the Preakness was not just a one day event but consisted of many events in and around town in the week leading up to the race.

    I did enjoy watching the hot air balloons.

  • Westboro Baptist Church protests outside Beau Biden's funeral

    06/06/2015 1:54:32 PM PDT · 37 of 42
    MD Expat in PA to Sarah Barracuda
    When those Westboro morons die, someone should protest their funeral see how they like it

    When old Fred Phelps (finally) assumed room temperature, his “family” held no funeral for him. I wonder why?

  • Bee-pocalypse Now? Nope. [Private beekeepers have solved colony collapse disorder]

    06/06/2015 5:50:27 AM PDT · 32 of 83
    MD Expat in PA to bert
    I have a good eye for bees look at the extensive acres of white clover in the near by state park. Nary a bee. I look at the poplar trees, nary a bee.

    So I have to ask – so in the years with nary a bee, did all the white clover and poplar trees suddenly die off too?

  • Bee-pocalypse Now? Nope. [Private beekeepers have solved colony collapse disorder]

    06/06/2015 5:25:19 AM PDT · 24 of 83
    MD Expat in PA to exDemMom
    The problem might have reached national attention in 2006, but it was a concern much earlier than that in the scientific community. I first learned about it when I started graduate school in 1994; it was an active subject of research in the entomology department.

    From what I understand and have read in some scientific journals, periodic mass bee die offs (what has been more recently named Colony Collapse Disorder) has happened, long before neonics and other pesticides and GMO crops and cell phones….

    History raises questions about the almost exclusive focus on neonics to explain the regional bee crisis. Periodic occurrences resembling what has come to be known as bee Colony Collapse Disorder have been documented as far back as 1869. In the last half century, the domesticated honeybee population has declined by about 50 percent, with incidents common well before the introduction of neonics, which was hailed by environmentalists because of their comparatively modest environmental footprint. The term CCD was originally used to describe the phenomenon when worker bees suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. The term, with its alarmist ring, was co-opted by activists in the mid 2000s to describe a new development—mass bee deaths.

    Science Collapse Disorder -- The Real Story Behind Neonics And Mass Bee Deaths

    And I seem to recall reading somewhere (I can’t find the article now) that honey bee die offs, what sounds very much like CCD, had even been documented earlier than the mid 1800’s, even back to the 1700’s both here and in Europe. It seems to me to be a cyclical problem that resolves and self corrects over time.

    Colony Collapse Disorder: It Could Just Be Stress

    I understand that some crops are dependent on insect pollination, especially on bees but not necessarily even honey bee pollination and FWIW, bees are not the only insect pollinators, other insects such as moths and butterflies, ants and other flying insects, such as various species of flies are also good pollinators, and some if not many crops are self pollinating, i.e. with wind and FWIW, honey bees are not native to the North American continent.

    I live in central PA and work in rural Lancaster County PA – lots and lots of farms and orchards, especially apple orchards around these parts.

    Despite the eco-alarmists saying that the decline of honey bees will mean that we will have no food eat, including crops like strawberries or apples – “no honey bees – no food” - every day on my drive back and forth to work, I drive by a local farm and farm stand that has a big “pick your own strawberries” field and they also grow other produce; tomatoes, zuchinni, other squashes, corn, etc. and despite the decline of honey bee populations here in PA, CDC, they seem to be doing just fine. I wanted to stop by yesterday on my way home from work to pick some fresh strawberries but they were so full up with customers, to the point there was no place to park, that I drove by and went home empty handed. When I went to the National Apple Harvest Festival in Adams County PA last year, and as I’ve been going to this festival every year for the last 10 years, the decline of honey bees here has seemed to have little effect on the amount of apples available.

  • Sarah Palin Calls Lena Dunham A 'Pedophile' And Defends Duggar Family

    06/06/2015 4:00:38 AM PDT · 20 of 20
    MD Expat in PA to Oliviaforever
    Not sure she could be a predator at age 7.

    Jim Bob Duggar seems to agree, at least when it comes to his son (from the interview on Fox):

    At that point, Jim Bob Duggar told Kelly that his wife “actually said pedophile in that [robocall]. And actually a pedophile is an adult that preys on children. Joshua was actually 14 and just turned 15 when he did what he did.

    “I think the legal definition is 16 and up for an adult preying on a child. He was a child preying on a child.”

    However, that’s not at all meant to defend Dunham’s actions and more importantly her very casual if not celebratory attitude, IF they are even true. Keep in mind that the woman is a serial liar. She lied about being raped so it wouldn’t necessarily surprise me if she lied or greatly embellished this in her “book” to make her seem “cool” and “sexually liberated” even from an early age.

    If true that at age of 7 she looked at her 1 year old sister’s vagina, even to the point of “spreading it open” to see what it looked like, I wouldn’t necessarily, given her age at the time, call that molestation.

    However other passages in her book claiming that she bribed her sister with cookies and other treats in exchanges for kisses on the lips that didn’t seem very “sisterly”, that she laid on top of her in a sexual manner and then there is the masturbation while lying next to her sister…..that to me would be a red flag of a disturbed mind or of a child who herself had been molested. And FWIW, Dunham’s sister is now a lesbian.

  • The Palins compare Lena Dunham to Josh Duggar

    06/06/2015 3:25:37 AM PDT · 73 of 80
    MD Expat in PA to Maelstorm
    The touching occurred when the individuals were sleeping and fully dressed and that appeared to be the extent of it. It is my understanding that none of those touched even knew so he touched them so lightly they didn’t wake up and none of it involved touching genitals from what I’ve been able to ascertain.

    March 2002: The 33-page police report reveals that Jim Bob Duggar tells police his son admits he fondled the breasts and genitals of several victims while they were sleeping in the family's home, and that similar incidents happened four to five times.

    July 2002: Duggar says his son Josh came to him in July and reported that he touched one of the victims while they were sleeping on the couch. Duggar says his son was punished after the incident, according to the police report.

    2003: In March of 2003, nine months after the first incidents, Jim Bob Duggar and his wife Michelle Duggar are made aware of two more incidents, according to the report. In one instance, he allegedly molested a victim while she was sitting in his lap, according to the report. Around the same time, the person (name redacted) put his hand beneath a victim's dress in the family's laundry room, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar tell the police.

    He did more than just lightly touch them over their clothes and it involved more than just arms and legs and breasts. And in at least two instances, the girls were not sleeping when it happened. While the names have been redacted, the child sitting in his lap (while he was supposed to be reading to her) is believed to have been the younger sister who was 4-5 years old at the time. I read one report that at least one girl woke up as Josh was pulling her blanket off of her and she went to her parents in tears. Also note that this happened not once, not twice but at least on 7 to 8 separate occasions, at least 2 of which happened after his first “confession(s)” and after having been “punished.