Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuskegee Experiment and Reverend Wright

I bet Obama could hear the rooster crow for a second time as Reverend Wright took liberty to associate the possible creation, rise and distribution of HIV with the devious 40 year Tuskegee experiment. Yes, the Tuskegee Experiment on uneducated African American Men was a national tragedy, a national crime and a national shame. I personally escorted one of the survivors to the Presidential apology and have seen patients wither away from AIDS. Yes the spread of HIV could have been stemmed if it was not for Ronald Regan being asleep at the helm. Personally I do not believe HIV is a manufactured disease, like Wright, but I do believe the virus could have been controlled. We have learned so much since then, we have learned that experimenting on minorities is wrong and not stopping epidemics because of a pseudo-moral high ground is bad. However we are still making mistakes like attacking the wrong country because of 9/11 and not implementing stop gap measures when it comes to using corn for fuel.


AMR Employees Strike Looms on May 2

Paramedics in California do not want your sympathy; they want a fair and equitable wage so they can afford healthcare premiums and not qualify for food stamps. I don’t think this is asking for too much. As a veteran Paramedic I know what my fellow Medics are experiencing. Year after year, more and more advanced skills are added to our repertoire of life saving techniques but our pay remains the same. The ambulance services want you to run hard, document properly, and transport, transport, transport. They do not want complaints or complainers or increase the pay scale. I applaud the 300 union members. Don’t stop until you get what you want. It is sad that Medics are abandoning the ambulance services for nursing so they can make a good wage and not work as hard as a bonus. Hell, it takes 2 years to be a Paramedic and 2 years to be a RN; now do the math. A Medic makes 10.50-18.00 an hour out of school; the RN makes 26.00-35.00 an hour. Which one would you choose? Besides nurses don’t carry morbidly obese patient down steps, recover mangled body parts or venture into crack houses looking for seizure patients. They only stop at motorcycle wrecks to lend assistance and call 911 for the…you guessed it, the Paramedics….contrary to the Johnson and Johnson commercial. Believe me, I would hang drugs, turn patients, do am and pm care and then chart all day if it meant I didn’t have to see one more patient mangled beyond recognition or miss one more school play.
Now, I think the pending strike is a “Low Press” event, because the public does not know what jobs EMT’s actually perform, they honestly believe we are a nonessential part of Public Safety. We don’t possess the neat regalia of leather and helmets, or gun belts and body armor. So Paramedics are practically invisible.

In current events, A Paramedic lost her right arm while responding to a call. The ambulance she was riding in hit a parked vehicle on the side of the road. Her name is Bonnie Ames she lost it responding on a call. Donate, I did.

In current events, Paramedics and EMT’s are scouring the grounds in Virginia after the night of Tornados. They will be tired, focused and committed to their job. There will be no sleep, there will only be pain and some of those Medics have families and children who need help with homework and

Every time SWAT goes to a stand off, Fire Fighters fall off a ladder or a drunken Physician wrecks their car you can find a Paramedic. Wreck your SUV press the blue OnStar button and OnStar calls Paramedics, press your call alert button because you slid out of bed, alert company Paramedics, slip on a sidewalk and break your leg, have a stroke, bursitis flares up, overdose on Lortab, Paramedic, Paramedic, Paramedic, Paramedic…are you getting the picture. Let’s face it we are a necessary evil. I know we are as innocuous as a television remote, but if you can’t find us, just like a remote, there is desperate search and just like the remote we can change things rather quickly. And for these facts alone there should be a consensus for those 300 Medics in California. AMR pay them, give them their pay increase and a break on the health insurance they need deserve it.


Friday, April 25, 2008

New York Detectives....Acquitted

Three African American men were shot, while trying to flee, outside of an illegal strip club…three undercover detectives just happen to be investigating for prostitution, drug sales and illicit behavior. The three detectives are found innocent of all charges, the groom is deceased and his two friends are still suffering the wounds of that night. But I have not heard one person, one person say, “Man…those officers did their jobs.” I don’t want to sound like I am for the overkill 50 shots. Yes, there are ignorant and racist police officers, both Black and White, on patrol right now. Yes, those officers will shoot in fear, arrest African American Men because they can and they will continue doing so. But those three detectives in New York were protecting themselves and the public. Question: How do you stop a car that is trying to run you over? Answer: You keep shooting until the vehicle comes to a stop, it’s just that simple. That might sound insensitive but if you ever seen any copudramas you know uniformed officers always shoot at cars trying to run them over. Being a groom does not exonerate you from your actions. And a valuable lesson has been learned today…the Blue line is real. Let’s just hope a riot does not break out.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Paramedic Strike Looms

The article below appears in The Signal Santa Clarita Valley. It was reported and written by Signal Staff Writer Katherine Geyer.

About 60 paramedics and emergency medical technicians working in the Santa Clarita Valley are preparing to go on strike beginning May 2, a union official said late Monday afternoon.
The union representing the 300 Los Angeles-area American Medical Response employees rejected the company's proposal Monday afternoon and today the union will begin writing up its notice to strike.
The union asked for improved wages and increases in the employer's contribution toward health insurance, said Matthew Levy, national director of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics.
AMR had not yet prepared a response to the outcome of the negotiations late Monday afternoon, but AMR spokesman Douglas Moore said earlier Monday, "We are prepared to provide services if they do strike."
Moore could not discuss details about the contract, but said in a statement, "AMR is committed to bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement that is fair and equitable to all parties."
AMR is contracted with Los Angeles County to provide emergency services countywide. The strike would affect employees in the Santa Clarita, Antelope and San Gabriel valleys.
Since the contract with the union expired last September, the union has signed multiple extensions as negotiations continued. When the union rejected an offer on April 6, union members voted to authorize a strike.
The contract's language regarding health insurance was Levy's biggest concern on Monday, he said.
Employees hired since 2004 must pay for 35 percent of their health insurance and the union asked that employees pay 20 percent, he said.
"Our members are health care professionals that take care of sick people all the time," Levy said. "With the way AMR is paying them and providing them with health insurance, they themselves can't afford to be sick."
Switching to a self-insured insurance plan, in which AMR would contract with an insurance provider, could mean larger co-payments and deductibles for employees, he said.
The union had also asked for wage increases beginning at 9 percent. Levy said Monday's proposed 5 percent wage increase was "not even close."
He said EMTs who have been working more than a year typically receive $9.50 an hour.
"Starting wages in that division are just substandard and non-livable," he said.
As health care professionals, the employees are required to give a 10-day notice of a strike. The union will instead be giving a 20-day notice.
"We would love not to have to do this because people are so passionate about the work that they do," Levy said. "As a union, while we are committed to tightening up on AMR, we are committed to public safety ... We believe AMR will be able to rely upon other companies in the area."
Although the union will be issuing its intent to strike, Levy said he remains optimistic the two parties will resolve the issue before May 2.
"We're always willing to talk," he said.
Levy said that although the workers plan to picket, it is unlikely they would do so in Santa Clarita because it is a small operation locally. He said the union will be encouraging Santa Clarita members to join the picketing at the larger Antelope Valley or Irwindale offices.

Paramedics are paid less than most CNA’s but perform a job almost on the level of a PA. Why is this so? My personal opinion is that Paramedics as a whole do not present a united front to the commercial EMS industry. In essence, it is easier to work two jobs than to be blacklisted, and thus labeled a troublemaker, for trying to start a union. I have survived in this pitiful industry for 20 years and have seen the goings on when Paramedics have tried to voice their concerns, request basic benefits and comparable pay. And to this day Paramedics in some areas of Alabama only make 10.50 an hour. Is this fair? I know I made a bad career choice but when I leave the field who will replace me? Personally, I don’t care; my family already has a Paramedic living with them. And the last Paramedic class I proctored had only 3 students and all three applied for nursing school. Is it fair that the people who start I.V’s on AIDS patients and are exposed to noise pollution, sleep deprivation and physical pain from lifting the metabolically challenged make less than the people who mop the floors in any given hospital? Hell No! So I say strike Paramedics strike and maybe someone on this side of the Mississippi will grow some balls.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recession Fears Grow at Home

I have been keeping track of oil prices and they have hit a new high of 113.00 dollars per barrel. Oh joy. This transmits to my household as exactly one less trip to the grocery store and Wal-Mart. Simplicity is king, fuel is expensive, and this is war. Higher fuel prices mean higher food prices and higher food prices mean less people can afford to eat, a la Haiti,…even if they have food stamps. Personally, I am adjusting my budget, setting some credible restrictions, sorry Starbucks, and looking into buying chickens. Yeah, I said chickens, live cluck, cluck chickens… have you seen the price of eggs recently or the cost of a two-piece at KFC. Hell, have you see the price of milk for that matter. It seems like my paycheck is the same amount but buys less and less everyday. I mean, when you go into Dollar General and almost nothing cost a dollar something is incredibly wrong. I commute to work but the price of gas it took to get there has risen almost two dollars to get back home. Well, I won’t blame anyone for my struggles but I am sure as hell going to make a way. And that’s what Men do (capital M intended)…make a way to survive, so if you see a guy riding a cow on his way to work, that would be me…just toot your horn and go around.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Walk of Doom

There are places in the world that OSHA has no influence over and this path is one of them. I think I would have to have Zombies chasing me before I took this pathway.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Six Million Dollar Man

If you are older than 35 you should know who Steve Austin is and what he meant to kids everywhere. I watched the intro to one of my favorite shows and I almost,almost jumped up and ran out of the house...seriously. I used to get so pumped when this show came on. Well that was then, now they don't rebuild them...they give them a disability check. You can see more videos like this one and others you thought you forgot about here at...

You Remember That

Retro Junk

and of course

You Tube


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

YFZ...Yearning for Zion

I am still trying to figure out who in their right mind let the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) cult organization take root. There are elderly men taking 14 year old wives, women who can’t cut their hair or wear red and men calling themselves prophets. I know someone had to get wind that something weird was going on when the women started dressing like they escaped from of the set of Little House on the Prairie. And I am sure M.Night Shyamalan got the idea for his movie, "The Village" from these guys. Did the lessons David “We Aint Coming Out” Koresh and the Branch Davidian or Jim “Kool-Aid” Jones and the People’s Temple teach us mean anything? Did the authorities actually have to wait until a 16 year old girl screamed out before they hauled off 401 women from the Zion compound? I mean come on, religious freedom is an inherent right enjoyed by every citizen of these United States, but where do you draw the line? I mean if a cult organization decided that they wanted to hold church on Tuesday morning and pray to the Majestic Gerbil of Infinite Holiness, that’s fine. But if that same cult organization decided that His Holiness the Gerbil needed to bless the inside of your rectal vault, someone should be calling 911. I know you cannot stop people from praying, but you can stop crazy.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Joke of the day...Brokeback Woman

I found this bawdy joke on Dysan.net If you are offended...so what it's a funny joke.

A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife. She was determined to keep the ranch, but knew very little about ranching, so she placed an ad in the newspaper for a ranch hand.

Two cowboys applied for the job. One was gay and the other a drunk.

She thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied she decided to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him around the house than the drunk.

He proved to be a hard worker who put in long hours every day and knew a lot about ranching. For weeks the two of them worked hard and the ranch was doing very well.

Then one day, the rancher's widow said 'You have done a really good job, and the ranch looks great. You should go into town and kick up your heels.'

The hired hand readily agreed and went into t own on Saturday night.

He returned around 2:30 am , and upon entering the room, he found the rancher's w idow sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine, waiting for him.

She quietly called him over to her.

'Unbutton my blouse and take it off,' she said.

Trembling, he did as she directed.

'Now take off my boots.' He did as she asked, ever so slowly.

'Now take off my socks.' He removed each gently and placed them neatly by her boots.

'Now take off my skirt.' He slowly unbuttoned it, constantly watching her eyes in the fire light.

'Now take off my bra.' Again, with trembling hands, did as he was told and dropped it to the floor.

Then she looked at him and said: 'If you ever wear my clothes into town again, you're fired!'


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Save Gas…The Old Fashioned Way

Fuel prices are the number one issue on the minds of every working and driving American. Whether you own a fossil fuel hog SUV or a compact car you are feeling the backhanded pimp slap of the oil companies each time you fill up. But in order to survive as a major commuter, I have had to improvise and retrain myself how to save fuel the old fashioned way and let me show you how.

The first five things you should do are:

1. Check the air pressure in your tires.

2. Make sure your coolant levels are correct and balanced.

3. Make sure you get rid of all extra weight in you vehicle, if you have removable seats in your van or SUV take them OUT. Empty your trunk and if you have roadside assistance on your cell phone get rid of your spare tire.

4. Make sure your car is tuned up with new spark plugs, spark plug wires and air filter.

5. Leave early to avoid rushing.

Now some of my readers are consummate comfort hogs and this is okay. You have to have the AC, you have to speed, and you have to have all 8 cylinders of your SUV edging the price of fuel even higher for the rest of us. But there will come a time when the gas prices will force you to read this entry so bookmark it now.

The next six things you should do are:

1. Set a fuel budget and stick to it. That means when the price of fuel creeps higher your range of travel should shorten.

2. Become frugal as hell. If you are like me you have seen the dollar menu at McDonald's shoot skyward. You are paying an added fuel cost. For that matter you are paying that everywhere else also. Be aware of what you are doing.

3. Buy locally grown items if at all possible from the source i.e. farmers market or the farmer themselves. If you like Tasmanian Butt-Fruit believe me it is higher than you should ever be paying.

4. Catch rides if at all possible. Hey, I did say you had to be a goody two shoes just past the cost of shopping on to someone else.

5. Do not travel on peak season regardless of the upcoming holiday. Traditionally prices go up with official start of summer.

6. Slow Down if you are old enough you should remember the orange 55 on the dashboard. That was the speed at which a car got the best fuel economy, I don’t feel you should do the granny-trot down your interstate system but backing off the accelerator pedal will decrease your fuel consumption.