Friday, February 20, 2009

More Unfair Taxing Proposed

Living in a rural area without access to public transportation, this would be horribly unfair. On an average, I drive 40 miles each way to work. It's 90% highway miles in a car that gets about 30 mpg. As it is, I fill up the 15 gal tank at least twice a week, sometimes more. If the system changes, people living in urban areas will pay the least (if they avail themselves of public transport or live close to work) but, as history shows, will benefit the most from road improvements. State roads tend to be the last repaired when compared to city streets, federal highways. And lord help you if you live on a dirt road!

Nope, not a fair solution at all.

Personally, I favor toll roads. People who use the roads pay for the upkeep -- especially the large trucks that are so hard on them.

Also, states should be forced to use materials that will last! That cold patch junk is useless. Black top should be thick enough to stand up to the weather.
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Taxing Miles Driven Instead Of Gas Burned?
(AP) U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn.
Most transportation experts see a vehicle miles traveled tax as a long-term solution, but Congress is being urged to move in that direction now by funding pilot projects.
drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars since gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers.
Besides a vehicle miles traveled tax, more tolls for highways and bridges and more government partnerships with business to finance transportation projects are other funding options,
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who to Believe?

You see the ads on TV, in the popular magazines. They describe 'Exactly' how you feel. The finally understand your pain! Now all you have to do is bring this information to your poor, uninformed doctor. He's been out of school for a long time and probably hasn't seen the ads on TV explaining that the perfect drug for you is just a scribbled prescription away. Your salvation is at hand!

The only problem is, the drug company has an agenda. Profits.

The drug may have side effects that are worse than your illness. It may not work for you at all. Your insurance (if you're lucky enough to have insurance) may not cover the cost. You may not even have the condition they describe so well.

Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of convenience: when all the other tests are negative, this is the diagnosis. But don't tell that to the drug companies...they have your best interests at heart...
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Drugmakers’ push boosts ‘murky’ ailment

WASHINGTON - Two drugmakers spent hundreds of millions of dollars last year to raise awareness of a murky illness, helping boost sales of pills recently approved as treatments and drowning out unresolved questions — including whether it’s a real disease at all.

Fibromyalgia draws skepticism for several reasons. The cause is unknown. There are no tests to confirm a diagnosis. Many patients also fit the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome and other pain ailments.

Experts don’t doubt the patients are in pain. They differ on what to call it and how to treat it.

But critics say the companies are hyping fibromyalgia along with their treatments, and that the grantmaking is a textbook example of how drugmakers unduly influence doctors and patients.

Drugmakers respond to skepticism by pointing out that fibromyalgia is recognized by medical societies, including the American College of Rheumatology.

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Study: Avoid routine X-rays for back pain

Part of patient education and responsibility should include all diagnostic tests. Weighing the risks/rewards can only happen when the physician is upfront and honest. If a test will not give an answer, it should not be ordered. Exposure to radiation coupled with the high costs associated with unnecessary tests should fall under the 'Do no harm' mantra.
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WASHINGTON - Routine use of costly X-ray, MRI and CT scans on patients with lower back pain may be unnecessary and, in the case of two of the tests, expose people to low-dose radiation, researchers said.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor or miss work.

Experts say while most patients have no serious underlying condition causing the pain, doctors often immediately order imaging procedures that can check for problems like herniated disks, muscle injuries, arthritis or broken bones.

"Some clinicians still do lumbar-spine imaging routinely or without a clear indication, possibly because they aim to reassure their patients and themselves, to meet patient expectations about diagnostic tests," or other reasons, the researchers wrote.

Patients who insist on having an imaging procedure should be told of their limited usefulness, Kochen added.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

13 Things To Keep To Yourself At Work

Going to the article will give great examples of each. What an eye-opener!
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Do you know what TMI is? Chances are you're either guilty of it or have been its victim. It stands for "too much information" and it's making daily life awkward for people across the country.

1. Medical history:
2. Confidential work information:
3. Plans to quit:
4. Online venting sites:
5. Matters of the heart:
6. Politics:
7. Salary information:
8. Religion:
9. Your privileged life:
10. Therapy sessions:
11. The Rubik's Cube that is your personal life:
12. Gossip:
13. Your Chris Rock routine:

If you haven't suffered through one of these conversations, your time will come ... or you are a walking diary.

Painful chitchat on a train is one thing, but workplace TMI is its own monster. At work, oversharing can damage your reputation, make your co-workers avoid you in the hallway and even damage your career.

Here are 13 things you shouldn't share while on the clock:

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Many, Many Steps Backwards

This is and will be a huge step backward for all involved, but especially for women.

Where is the outcry?

Allowing the Taliban even a small foothold will be a monumental mistake.
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Pakistani government does deal with Taliban on sharia law

  • Story Highlights
  • Pakistani Taliban's interpretation of sharia includes banning girls from school
  • Deal with the Taliban comes after a visit by U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke
  • Taliban: 10-day cease-fire in Swat Valley is good-will gesture towards government
  • Critics warn that previous dealings with the Taliban have allowed it to regroup
  • Next Article in World »

It marks a major concession by the Pakistani government in its attempt to hold off Taliban militants who have terrorized the region with beheadings, kidnappings, and the destruction of girls' schools.

Sharia is defined as Islamic law but is interpreted with wide differences depending on the various sects of both Sunni and Shia Islam.

He said the government's decision amounts to a marriage of convenience made under duress.

Pakistan's military operation in the region is unpopular among Pakistanis, but efforts to deal diplomatically with militants have not worked in the past.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

More From the Article About Martyrs

"The world’s 2.1 billion Christians are a religious minority in eighty-seven countries. The Geneva Report of 2002 estimates that up to 200 million Christians are being denied their full human rights, as defined by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, simply because they are Christians. Since 2000, there have been forty countries where at least one verifiable death attributable to anti-Christian violence has occurred.
In Saudi Arabia, it is considered a religious obligation for Muslims to hate Christians and Jews. Apostasy from Islam warrants a death sentence. The Saudi Ministry of Education textbooks for elementary and secondary school children demonize Christians, Jews, and non-Wahhabi Muslims. The reports of harassment, surveillance, arrest, and torture of Christians in Saudi Arabia are too numerous to relate in this article.
The situation in India has become particularly problematic. According to the All India Catholic Union, a Catholic rights group, there have already been more 200 episodes of anti-Christian violence this year perpetrated by Hindu extremist groups. Among these acts are the gang rape of two Christian women, the murder of missionaries and priests, sexual assaults on nuns, ransacking of churches and convents, desecration of cemeteries, and Bible burnings.
The past year in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, saw three Catholic high school girls captured on their way to school and beheaded, a Christian market bombed, and the president of the country refusing to overturn a controversial death sentence looming over the heads of three Catholic men. International groups have recorded 134 reports of violence perpetuated against Christians by extremist groups since 2000, including church bombings, altar desecration, killings, and false imprisonments.
“Christians are, in fact, the most persecuted religious group in the world today, with the greatest number of victims,” reports Nina Shea.
“The most atrocious human rights abuses are committed against Christians solely because of their religious beliefs and activities—atrocities such as torture, enslavement, rape, imprisonment, killings, and even crucifixion. Roman Catholics, together with Protestant evangelicals, are the prime targets.”
Religious freedom is pivotal to a free society. Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is the prerequisite for the exercise of all other basic human rights. . . . Where religious freedom is denied, so, too, are other basic human rights.

So the next time you think to tell me how wrong I am to believe in God, to trust that the Bible is truth, to pray for this country - remember that people are actually dying for these beliefs.

You don't have to believe, but can you stand by and allow others to be killed, maimed or imprisoned just because they believe? Because they pray? Because they try to improve the lives of people around them? So many people on this forum are quick to judge other countries treatment of certain groups. When will you defend the rights of these people?

The Greatest Story Never Told: Modern Christian Martyrdom

I'm not Catholic, just Christian. I decided to look this up because my faith comes under constant ridicule - called into question daily. Persecution does not require that I be physically beaten or killed. Verbal abuse seems to be rampant, not only on Clipmarks, but in general.

How soon before verbal attacks progress to physical attacks? It's happening all over the world already.
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Dying for Christ seems almost surreal to most Westerners. We live in a part of the world where Christianity rarely makes the news unless it is to be mocked or defamed. Otherwise, the media is strangely silent about modern Christian martyrdom. “Three things distinguish anti-Christian persecution and discrimination around the world,” said Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “First, it’s ugly. Second, it’s growing. And third, the mass media generally ignore or downplay its gravity.”
The secular West has been looking the other way for a very long time. Even the average church-going Christian is not likely to know that 45.5 million of the estimated 70 million Christians who have died for Christ did so in the last century.
While Christians in the secular West languish in spiritual mediocrity, Christianity remains a deadly serious matter almost everywhere else on the planet.
Christians are a religious minority
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