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Everything posted by Lokicolt

  1. 6 Months With Comet (Pic Heavy!)

    Comet did awesome that weekend, especially for a critter who hasn't seen much of anything but the inside of his paddock and the high desert. Yes he is a work in progress, DR, and she has already changed bits several times to try different things. Save your bullets and your judgment :)
  2. Is It Wrong To Be Forced To Work Holidays?

    As a single mom and a horse owner, those are two jobs that I do 365 days a year. The job I do that actually pays me in monetary value is in the healthcare industry. While I don't normally have to work holidays, overtime and weekends, I will and have, if needed. I have also held jobs in the past such as waiting tables, retail and a call center that required working weekends and holidays. Not my first choice, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. As someone previously mentioned (I think Blondy), there are lots of unemployed people who would jump at the chance for a job even if it meant working holidays, so treading carefully seems prudent when it comes to picking such battles with employers. Having superiors who are willing to work with their employees' time-off requests makes the pill a lot easier to swallow.
  3. Forgetting Child In Car?

    Exactly it. Even though I was cognizant of fact, I had absolutely zero control over my physiological response. Me no likey!
  4. The Supreme Court Judged Yesterday That

    Maybe, maybe not. But there is a lot to consider here. Coming out of medical school leaves people in tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands in debt. Making big money is their only hope of getting a return on the investment. Second, the liability is extraordinary. They are responsible for patients being put under, as well as their prolonged sedation during the procedure, which could go for hours. There are multiple ways of administering anesthesia and multiple drugs to potentially use just for starters. What also must be factored in is the procedure itself, the duration of said procedure, the age and weight of the patient, his or her allergies, and patient status and overall condition. Is it a young, reasonably healthy person or someone with chronic illness or systemic disease? Is it a geriatric or very young patient? They must carefully review the medical records of each patient so they are aware of every aspect of the patient's health to be able to formulate what anesthesia to use, how to dose, when to back it off, and so forth. The liability on health care professionals is substantial. A miscalculation on the anesthesiologist's part, or overlooking one minute detail such as an allergy could cost the patient's life, and open up a world of lawsuits. Thus, insuring medical professionals and entities is costly. This is all in addition to the long hours these folks put in, being on call, working ER Trauma or ward. Two of the fields I code in are OB Triage and Orthopaedics, and in addition to working rotations at the hospital, they also rotate with the university's individual clinics. Plus, because we are an academic hospital, they are responsible for their residents and fellows, and occasionally medical students. Those two fields also see a lot of volume in terms of sheer numbers. When all that is said and done, they have reports to complete and sign off on so coders like me can review the records, level it, and code it accordingly for billing. If there are any discrepancies, we have to try to pin them down long enough to request corrections be made, attestations be done on resident reports, etc. On top of all that, they have their own families to tend to, amid all the time being spent on their careers. Lots of things to take into account. I don't think the medical industry is the place where we need to start stripping away high-dollar salaries. Entertainment venues like professional football players and actors seems like a better starting point then the medical field. There's a reason doctors get paid the big bucks. This alone isn't the reason health care costs so much. Other factors that drive up the cost of healthcare is taking in to consideration that certain payers are particular about what they pay. Medicare is the largest third-party payer. I can tell you that coding Medicare patient records is often challenging because in order to pay for many procedures they require what they call "Medical Necessity Edits." This means that certain diagnoses and/or symptoms and conditions must exist for Medicare to pay for the service. It makes sense for an 87 year old who's getting a pre-surgical work-up to receive and electrocardiogram right? For all practical purposes, the doctors need to be sure that patient's heart is in condition to hold up through major surgery. But if there is no condition in the patient's record that warrants such, via the medical necessity edit, such as hypertension, heart disease, history of myocardial infarction, etc. then the procedure has to be coded not medically necessary and we eat the cost of it. The payer CHOOSING what they will and won't pay for adds to costs because that's money the medical organization and providers have to eat. Medicare also dictates, via CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) the working "cost" of what procedures and health care services are offered at, taking into consideration things like demographics, geographical location and socioeconomic considerations, etc. What costs X dollars in Houston may cost 3X dollars in New York. People who can't afford health insurance can't afford the $200k in treatments for cancer. It either piles up their debt or if the organization has a write-off account for the established impoverished, that's where that cost goes. I know we have one for UNM's HSC. And it's big. I'm not sure about no plans to bring in additional physicians. Not sure how that would be possible. The day the ruling went through, I received both an email alert from the national coding organization I am certified through, as well as the CEO of the entire Health Sciences Center letting us know of the ruling. The CEO already addressed that we will immediately need to start preparations to bring in many more health care professionals to accommodate the surge. I suspect other organizations are going to start gearing up to do the same. This may be an effort to make more people pay into the health care system, and its success in doing so remains to be seen. Implementing this will be very interesting.
  5. Forgetting Child In Car?

    One time one of my children stuck one of their life-sized baby dolls in the little one's carseat. I'd forgotten about it and was out running errands during the day (good ol' scorching New Mexico heat), sans children, and went to get in my Jeep and noticed the shape of a baby in the back. In the fraction of a millisecond it took for my eyes to see the baby and my brain to process logically that it A)wasn't real, B)that neither of my children were infants, and C)nor were they with me, it was still more then enough time for my sensibilities to be pitched head-long into panic. I took the baby doll out of the seat and put it on the floor lol. I can't really explain it, but something about it made me uneasy. Even though fleeting and illogical, that mini panic attack was horrid and it took a few minutes for my heart rate to come back down lol. I couldn't help but wonder how many people walked past my car and went ballistic seeing the shape of a baby left in there. They probably walked off cursing me out for a sick joke lol.
  6. If You Don't Like Obama You're A Racist!

    I don't know Phurgus personally, nor do I have any idea whatever incident(s) everyone is talking about regarding her past. I can't comment intelligently on any of that as I'm frequently the unicorn that misses the drama boat here, and I'm ok with that. That said, I took her post to be one of jest, or just a means of stirring up a hornet's nest. Had I believed there was any real nefarious intent, I would have just ignored the thread completely. No one can instigate or rile you up without your active participation.
  7. The Supreme Court Judged Yesterday That

    I would like to see that as well. My health insurance with dental for my two children and I is over $400 A MONTH. Yep. $200 PER PAYCHECK, and my coverage is 60/40. The mindboggling part is I work for UNM Medical Group, one of the sub-entities of the University of New Mexico's Health Sciences Center, which is the conglomerate that oversees all the clinics, research centers and academic hospital. A medical powerhouse, one of the largest networks in the state, and I STILL pay $400 a month. The HR folks have acknowledged the high premiums and claim they are trying to work with the providers to lower the cost for employees. I sure hope that's the case. Balance would be really nice but I'm not going to hold my breath. I forgot to put this in my first post, but as some already pointed out, I find it most curious about this "penalty." If someone can't afford health insurance, how can they possibly afford the penalty? How's the gov't going to enforce that?
  8. The Supreme Court Judged Yesterday That

    Yup. Voted 5-4 as a Constitutionally allowable tax under the Federal taxing authority. Get ready, that individual mandate requires all individuals to have health coverage, or face a penalty. Almost as silly as how Medicare Part B is managed. It's "optional" so you don't HAVE to take it, but down the line if you do enroll, you are penalized for every year you DIDN'T have it.
  9. Too Much To Ask?

    Let me start by saying WOW. Good idea...you get your time in, for several days for $100 bucks. Not bad. I'm going to file that away. I'm a single mom and my parents watch the kids for me during the week as they are retired, so I am loathe to ask them for time on the weekends for me to go riding or doing whatever. I have never hired a babysitter and wouldn't know what to offer to pay. Thanks for the head's up on this. I think you could go either way on this. I'd start by offering her perhaps a little more money to incorporate a few chores in, (ie vacuum and dishes) and see what she says. If she opts no, then $100 it is, and you get to come home to clean. Booo lol. Being that you're her customer, I think it's ok to ask for 'reasonable' things without overdoing it. With such good rapport with your family, it's worthwhile to keep her on. I feel you on the chores though. At the end of the week, I just want to relax but instead I find myself looking at the kitchen floor and saying things like "Good Lord, look at this floor." Kids, dogs, horses, living in a desert, eh, c'est la vie. PS - Love the name Weylin.
  10. Frustrating Times

    I have a dog-aggressive horse as well, and that is a behavior I have not attempted to curb at all. Loki is a well-established dog bully, my dogs having learned over the years to always keep an eye on him if they are out with me in the pasture. I find it most helpful when we are riding in a public place and a loose dog charges. As I've aged, I've developed more intolerance for bad behavior in dogs. One of my neighbors has a big stupid GSD that barks at everything, all the time. She has a special talent for carrying on during ungodly hours when I'm trying to sleep. What chaps me is that they just let it continue. I have also have new neighbors across the street with a little fluffy white Lhasa Apso looking critter that is always off leash. Since they leave the property gates open, frequently in the afternoon the dog will come up my driveway if it sees my dogs out while I'm feeding. Part of me doesn't mind cuz it's cute and friendly and clearly wants to play. Part of me minds because I feel like they should do a better job minding their dog. I have "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dog" signs up around the perimeter of the property that were up when I bought the place, but I was told by a lady working at a feedstore that "Beware of Dog" signs are actually a liability, that you acknowledge in some part that your dog is aggressive and thus acts as admitting of fault. Apparently something happened with her mother in a similar situation which prompted them to remove all of their signs.
  11. Animal Breeding.

    Great Doodles! Great googly moogly.
  12. Barnyard Animals Drown At Lake Superior Zoo

    Smokum - I appreciate your sentiment. Even though they are barn animals that are relatively easy to replace, it is very unfortunate, and I'm sure for the animals' keepers, these poor critters are not THAT easy to replace, emotionally. Very sad. Poor critters. I had my fill of flooding after Katrina, but dare I say, I desperately wish we could move all that water over here to New Mexico. We need it. New Mexico burns year after year, the latest 100+ acre fire about ten miles from my house. And that one is small peanuts compared to "Little Bear" and the really big national forest destroyers.
  13. Animal Breeding.

    I think that mentality is all too common, and unfortunately part of the problem. Two purebred animals doesn't automatically equate to "let's breed them!" I have a 13 year old male Doberman I got from a dobie rescue way back when I was in college (I'm dating myself but he's been around longer then my children, by a LONG time), who is a von Willebrand's dog and the product of the backyard breeding - "purebred+purebred= let's breed!" mentality. Of course they didn't bother to test the animals for genetic soundness. Never crossed their minds. They saw dollar signs. My question is...other then the two animals being purebred, was there anything other then the money that was a good reason to breed? This I agree with, though I will qualify the answer further by suggesting that my idea of the animal "proving" itself is not necessarily because it is purebred, shows, etc. Later posts in the thread elaborate on this. Sad truth, nick. My sister works for a vet clinic, and says the number of people who call in demanding immediate care for poor fido who's had a bleeding mass protruding from his back end for a month now is simply staggering. She also notes that more often then not, the people most willing to do anything for their animals, including expensive surgery to retain the animals' quality of life, are usually not their wealthiest clients, instead people who are willing to take out loans and/or make payments every month, any arrangement the clinic will work out. On the contrary, there are a startling number of clients who will have an animal euthanized (in one case, even a long-time family pet) because it had become inconvenient, and they already had a sparkling new purebred puppy to replace it. I'm under the impression it is vastly different in America then it is elsewhere in the world, as Americans are fixated on appearance, and a tremendous number of breeds have been modified beyond even practicality because of the "look" that was being sought, and because that "look" has become so exaggerated, the animals has been rendered all but useless based on its original purpose (ie the English bulldog). I'm a Dobie owner and a huge fan of the breed, and found it very interesting that all across Europe, they have banned the alteration such as tail docking and ear cropping as it is unnecessary and at this point, simply a cosmetic feature. Ah here is the kicker. When breeding animals, I think the most important things to consider are the animals' breeding "credentials" as well as the "market" for said animals. Papered or not, ranch owners will always need solid working ranch dogs, thus, that's your market. If your animals are proven workers with great brains, personalities and work ethics fitting of the breed/environment, and you have people willing to pay for your ranch dogs, go for it. Show titles, confirmation blue ribbons and pedigrees probably won't amount to much working a herd of cattle. That's not to say some Australian shepherd breeders won't use their animals to work cattle as well, but who knows. I'd be very curious to see how many show animals actually "work," aside from exercising on a treadmill for muscle tone, or being therapy dogs. Because of the cost of the animals, their maintenance and potential for injury, I wouldn't think it would be that many, but you never know. Like in all things, common sense is applicable. I don't know that I agree that ONLY purebred animals merit consideration in breeding. Because of the onslaught of congenital illness due to inbreeding, many purebreds are plagued with high genetic risk. Mutts on the other hand seem to benefit from the mixed gene pool and if you're breeding working cattle dogs, and you've got two mutts that love their jobs and excel at it, and people interested in their progeny..so be it. There's no guarantee when it comes to genetics and that is always something to keep in mind.
  14. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    Wow. You need to calm down, nick. The kvetching is my version of debate, which I thought this is what this forum was, fully aware that my opinions won't change the law. That didn't stop it (nor has legality ever) stopped something from being debated. Clearly I'm no good at debate. My bad. I also apologize for not being so well versed as to the actual uses of medicinal marijuana. I've got a lot of nerve coming in here and offering my opinion about a topic when I'm not so intimately educated on every facet. Frankly, I'm not interested enough in marijuana to research it in depth. It must be so scary to think that an ignoramus like me has an opinion about the state of affairs in my own country via my perspective, AND actually gets to vote. Oh the horror lol. What do you expect out of a village idiot. Sheesh.
  15. Wow I had no idea gay men couldn't donate blood. That's crazy. Probably time to reboot this ban.
  16. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    My thoughts on the decriminalization of marijuana: Great. Go for it. I live in a state where medical marijuana is legal. Wonderful. I have no beef with that. I don't deny that it can be used as long term pain control for a variety of ailments. The state has legalized it for that purpose. Great. The problem is not with the state, it's with the Federal Government. The feds are the ones to watch out for, as they don't share the idea of legality. Personally, I think the feds need to back off and let the states handle it. Explain to me how that isn't the federal government violating the rights of people who have been declared legal users and/or growers of marijuana. Who's blaming the entirety of the economic downfall on the poor exclusively? I think you are either misunderstanding, or jumping to false conclusions here. Sorry but the blame game starts at the top, and rolls all the way down to the bottom. I'm an equal opportunity blame-assigner. I think this has become a dead horse and I do find the posts taking on the tone of insult rather then debate, so this is my last attempt at reiterating my point: I'm not interested in stripping rights away from everyone little by little. The higher ups in this country have already done that and bought and paid for our silence by any means necessary in any way they could. What I AM interested in holding people accountable. You want to stop pouring tax payer dollars down a drain, then we need to start finding the holes and plugging them, and holding people accountable for the abuse of such. No one is exempt here. But since this thread is about WELFARE, and NOT the war in the Middle East (don't get me started on this), it didn't seem pertinent to point out that I can't stand politicians, and think just about every single one of them needs to be raked over the coals as well. While you might think this is an invasion of rights and privacy, it's no more so then a police officer pulling you over and asking to search your vehicle via "probable cause." I think we believe so many things are "rights" when some are actually "privileges," and can be revoked if we abuse them. The topic of drug testing for welfare recipients (TO ME, and how I view it) is an effort to stop abusers from taking advantage of the system, using it to enable their drug habits. Obviously, if it's become a law, it's a big enough problem that it merits examination. Rules generally come into being because the need for regulation has arisen. If someone has a better plan, let's hear it! But don't even try to suggest that things have been working out just fine like they are, because we all know they haven't, not in public assistance, not in legislative spending, not in Congress, the war effort, the suffering public school system, etc. The only thing that is going to save this country is reform. We have got to change the way things have been going, from top to bottom. I'm willing to investigate any idea that attempts to curtail system abuse, whether it's guy flipping burgers at McDonald's or a U.S. congressman. I'm not in some higher wealthy tax bracket looking down my nose at those less fortunate. I am a hardworking tax payer looking for changes to get us back on track as a nation.
  17. Forgetting Child In Car?

    It happens, though I'm not sure how. I'm a single mom and even sleep deprived, scatter-brained and strung out, I never forgot that I had a child in the car with me. For the mothers of children who have been lost this way, my heart goes out. I don't know how one can forget that, but I'm also not in their shoes, and can only assume it was a horrible accident to a person stretched beyond her means.
  18. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    This right here: BAZINGA. Thank you skippitb. Great idea. Marijuana is still illegal. You brought up basic legality. It's illegal. You want to do it in your house, on your own dime, great, but better make sure you don't get caught, and make sure you don't start affecting others. My personal opinion doesn't change the fact that it's still illegal, and you shouldn't be using your welfare money to buy drugs and if there is ANY way to stop system abuse from happening, then we should explore every last avenue as a means of doing so. I have implored the "coke head friend", who is actually a family member, to abandon his job and lifestyle since that has been the driving factor in seeking means of staying awake for days on end. He acknowledges that, but he can't stop. The economy is bad, and he's supposed to just walk away from a job that pays phenomenally? I'm torn on this. I think he's in a bad place, but still see his reason for keeping a job. He's got to keep working so the government can heavily tax his higher income bracket so they can give that money to welfare recipients! The number of people like "coke head friend" who are supporting the rest of the country is shrinking every year. Maybe walking away from his job isn't such a good idea. This sums up the sad, sorry state of affairs in this country. An effort to detect an illegal behavior has directly caused the fabrication of more harmful and undetectable and heavier hitting concoctions. It's the totally the government's fault? Maybe it's the lack of training for analysis based thought that Mondae's Mom pointed out in some of "us" but this sounds like an argument that comes out of my three year old's mouth: "Well if you hadn't done THIS, I wouldn't have done THAT." Here's the flip side argument: If people were better at guiding themselves ethically, the government wouldn't have to step in AT ALL and start legislating better behavior. Cause and effect much? The government can't legislate morality. When people fail to govern themselves with reasonable and decent behavior, the burden then falls to the government to try and compensate for it. We want less government? YES WE DO!! But we AS A PEOPLE have to start governing ourselves! The attitude that "I deserve, and if you deny me this, that or the other, it's a violation of rights" is EXACTLY what the problem is here and why nothing has changed. I brought up Ivory Annie's berating because it fits perfectly. She was totally blasted for being irresponsible and entitled, and yet, I look at this argument and see nothing but entitlement also. "I want this, I should have it, I 'need' it, and if the government enforces stipulations on receiving it, my rights are violated and I'm being discriminated against." That, to me, is the summation of this entire issue. I reiterate my point on all this, no matter how bastardized my opinions have made this thread because I'm not in agreement with some of you, while the logistics of this law leave a lot to be desired, it is a step in the direction of personal responsibility and accountability. That is what this ALL boils down to, IMO. I will gladly support any effort to do so.
  19. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    I concur that weed is really the only narcotic that I'm aware of that stays in the body long enough to test positive after any length of time. That said, I still don't see why a random drug screening (lottery of sorts) is that unreasonable. I honestly don't. The money I work for is being taken away and given to someone who didn't work for it. The drug test, while perhaps misguided in the logistical sense, is a means of detecting who might be using that money for the wrong reasons. I do not understand or agree that that is unconstitutional. When you depend on someone else to provide for you, in my experience there is a certain amount of "say" the other person has. Maybe I was raised differently, but there's no way my family would remain silent and let me do whatever I wanted if I lost my job, lost my house and just decided to live on one of their couches indefinitely, especially if they thought I was using drugs. Maybe that's just me, but I expect that as well. I'll help out anyone that needs it, and I have, repeatedly, often to my detriment. But there comes a point where I expect certain conditions for such. My generosity is not unlimited. If there's a better way, let's hear it. I'm all for it. I have no real interest in chiseling away whatever rights we think we have (half the time I believe those are also but a delusion), but I DO firmly believe in accountability and personal responsibility. I'm not completely without reason. There are drugs I could care less about. I know a lot of pot smokers, ranging from daily users to every-once-in-a-blue-moon users. With the exception of ONE individual, they are all functional and hold jobs. Ironically, the ONE individual in question is jobless, has been for many years, has government benefits, and continues to enjoy doing so while being more or less provided for by his wife and parents. I also know someone who uses cocaine heavily to stay awake for his job. The nature of it is intense, 80+ hour weeks continuously, permanently on call (there is no time off, and any time he tries to take is usually mired with endless phone calls, computer work, reports, etc.) This individual is worried about his usage and it becoming a problem, but continues to fire on all cylinders because he has only been working for a few years, but because of the nature of his job and the very high international money involved, is on a fast path to hitting six figures in the next year or so, which is more then most will accomplish in a lifetime. If they tested, he'd fail. But they'd also be S.O.L because there's a high turnover for the job due to high stress and long hours. What I never see, however, is any good or productivity coming of heroin use. Because of the nature of MY job, I see it day after day. Major withdrawal, inability to go without, inability to function without, forget holding a job, increased risk for exposure to Hep C and other STDs. Random drug tests might offer users the option of managed treatment such as methadone or subuxone, which could likewise get them back on their feet. Yes, employers make known their intent to drug test, and as perspective new hires, we have the ability to refuse and not get the job. Likewise, how is it unfair for the government to say, "We'll give you this check, but we do random drug screening." If the perspective recipient chooses to, they can likewise refuse the check and not get anything. You want something from someone, you are subject to their conditions, whether it's doing business with someone, shopping websites, agreeing to terms on iTunes, signing up for a credit card, choosing a bank, etc. EVERYWHERE in life there are terms you agree to in order to engage their product or service. If for no other reason, I am in the camp where drugs can be considered a luxury item. As with every other luxury item, when finances become slim, it's a good idea to start slimming down the luxuries.
  20. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    tokengirl - To be honest, I don't know for a fact it's a urinalysis they are using. Could be blood, hair, I have no idea. I through that out as a generic label. Point is...yes, I still support it because it's an effort to hinder the would-be abuse by individuals who have no interest in actually using that money in the manner or limited duration for which it was intended. As I understand it, this drug test is for welfare recipients, not EBT, not lunches in the public school system, not disability or unemployment. I could be wrong as I know very little about it. No that stuff isn't free. WE pay for it in our taxes, as everyone else pointed out. And if insisting on a drug test is so unconstitutional for people asking for a welfare check, where is the ACLU to come run to my aid declaring it's unconstitutional for me to have to take a drug test to get a job?? In my unintelligent opinion, declaring something "unconstitutional" has become a convenient weapon for anyone and everyone for dodging accountability. When are the excuses going to stop? Do we want reform or don't we? When can we as a people stop walking on eggshells to appease everyone, all the time, with absolutely zero compromise ever entering the picture? When do we as taxpayers actually get a return on the investment? I guess it's just me being unconstitutional, but the tighter money gets, the less and less I feel like sharing it.
  21. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    Equinitis - that's a hard call to make. My heart goes out to this woman. It really does. Living in near poverty, a part of me can't help but ask why they had so many children if they were barely scraping in the dirt as it was? I honestly couldn't give a decent answer to the question of this widow, and that is why it's difficult to draw a broad stroke across the board for every single case to fall above or under. Based on your description, she does sound like a good person who needs some help. I acknowledge that and agree she does. But part of me is still shaking my head because as a taxpayer, I don't *want* to support someone else, long term. The logical side of my brain keeps asking why they kept having children. I do sincerely hope she gets a foot under her with her education, and eventually moves on to the point where she no longer needs assistance. I'd sincerely hope that is a long term goal. If it's not..then there ya go. That would be why there are more and more hands in the pot, and less and less to go around. To Ivory Annie's question - I believe it is also Florida and Kentucky that are adopting the mandatory drug testing for welfare. I don't care that it costs money to test. As a taxpayer I WILL pay for that. If the government can take my money without my consent to give to other people, let 'em take a few more bucks to cover the cost of a urinalysis as well. I have YET to hear a decent argument as to why this is unfair or unconstitutional. I'll lean on the argument in favor is that if I have to take a drug test to get and maintain a job, somebody wanting government assistance should have to take one to receive it. Sounds good to me. I hope this law spreads like wildfire. To Blondyy - funny how it works isn't it? The government starts taking animals away from you and imposing limits on ownership when you have to many that you can't adequately take care of, but kids? Free rein. Enter the facepalm.
  22. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    I have no interest in condemning people who hit a bump in the road of life and need a helping hand back on their feet. What's not acceptable is abusing the system. Those are very good questions. Would the answer be fairly applicable to all people across the board? Or is it so grey and so hinged on each individual that it would take nothing short of a review panel for every case to decide who is using the aid as intended vs. who seems to be making themselves comfortable on the hand-outs. Ivory Annie met disapproval for owning horses while taking advantage of government cheddar. What I took away from that thread was that most here seem amicable to supporting the programs to help people with SHORT TERM assistance but the entitlement was problematic, as was the number of people who make careers out of financial aid programs. Nobody knows how long the food stamp mom has been collecting on her EBT card in line in front of us at the grocery. But I seriously think if she's been on EBT longer then 6 months...then it's time to start rethinking the game plan. Owning "luxury" items is something we work hard for. When misfortune in the shape of unemployment or the death of a spouse strikes, getting some help to ride the wave through is what those programs are for. But if the months start to draw out longer and longer, then it seems only prudent and reasonable to start making serious changes that impact the budget. If you're still driving around in an expensive car, or owning horses, or getting pricey nail sets upwards of 6 months of government assistance, then it might be time to cull those things you really don't NEED. I don't begrudge people needing help. I've been there as an unemployed single mom. I just think common sense is in order, when deciding how much ice cream to buy on the EBT card, or how frequently you're hitting up the nail parlor with some of your welfare money. And unfortunately, that's pretty tough to define. I'll just ditto Milo on the need for increased regulation. Now where the indebted government can come up with the funding for the manpower to implement that, without incurring the wrath of amnesty groups and the ACLU and such....therein lies the question.
  23. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    Since the nuance of the thread leans heavily on judgment, I'm wondering: At what point does observation turn into judgment? Is it acceptable for it to do so? Is it always wrong and malicious to start cataloging things that don't seem to add up and formulating a logical hypothesis? I take notice of things and I will use those observations to act in my best interest, whether I want to decide what's a safe place to go jogging at night, making financial decisions, or even just being a taxpayer. When certain observations seem to occur with such a frequency, I don't know anyone who *wouldn't* start speculating. And this is coming from frustration from the fewer and fewer people who are supporting the rest of the country. It's not a good idea to slap stereotypes on people, but it's also not a good idea to BE a stereotype. Besides, judging comes in handy. It aids in self preservation, good vs. bad decisions and possible outcomes to said decisions. I also think to an extent, skepticism and suspicion are natural inclinations to situations where we believe we're being deceived in some capacity; a cheating spouse, missing money or items, etc. Fact is, I guess I am judgmental. If I see someone behaving a certain way (especially in public) and presenting themselves in a certain light (whether it's perpetuating a stereotype, or bad manners, or creating a social scene), that individual just opened him or herself up to my judgment, along with everyone else who's around. Sometimes, ya just gotta call a spade a spade. We're all judged by each other, perpetually. We either take the judgment and criticism, or we amend ourselves to the possibility that maybe we're doing something wrong. To me it's no different then some of the ridiculous people on FB, and we ALL have at least one on our friend list who insists on being none-too-discreet about their lives, social status, financial situation, material gain, relationship issues, or their all around proven history of unsavory behavior. And we all know someone like this because they're the ones always posting the "DON'T YOU JUDGE ME" cards and posters and constantly declaring how he/she doesn't care what others think and if her friends are going to judge her, then they really aren't her friend, blah blah blah. If one's behavior is such that he or she is constantly getting negative attention/feedback/perception from others...then it might be time to start looking for the reason. If you don't want it judged, don't put it out there. S'all I'm sayin'.
  24. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    I'm embarrassed to admit it, but this made me laugh out loud, your description that is. I felt bad cuz it's your family, but your eloquence struck me as hilarious. :) Cesspool of losers LOL. Like button. Still, sorry that's your family Bummer. But kudos to you for taking the high road.
  25. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    I don't have a land line. I do have several computers including my laptop, Xbox, PS2, and internet, and I have an iPhone. Why? Because I want it, and I'm willing to pay for all the bells and whistles. I LOVE it. LOVE it. I can't WAIT for iPhone5 right in time for my next 2 year contract renewal. I'm not on any govt. assistance, but the point is, you can get iPhones for good prices with contracts. I think I also got mine for about $150 when it was all said and done.