Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Babies having babies...

When I was a teenager there wasn't an adult in the world who knew anything, understood anything or could have stopped me from doing anything I wanted. I thought I was just as capable of making decisions as any other "adult" I suppose. It wasn't that I thought those things, it's just how I acted and reacted. I never consciously thought "I know everything" or "I know as much as they do", I just acted on my own whims and went on my way ignoring the wisdom of those who'd already walked the path I was hell-bent on following.

Sometimes now I look at kids and the decisions they make and despair. Don't they realize they are making choices that are forever shaping their future? We do so many things without any thought of consequences. Feels good now.

Teen Birth Rate Rises for First Time in 14 Years

The teen birth rate in the United States rose in 2006 for the first time since 1991, and unmarried childbearing also rose significantly, according to preliminary birth statistics released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The statistics are featured in a new report, "Births: Preliminary Data for 2006," prepared by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, and are based on data from over 99 percent of all births for the United States in 2006. Although the findings in this early version will not change, the final report will have more detailed data.

The report shows that between 2005 and 2006, the birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 rose 3 percent, from 40.5 live births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 in 2005 to 41.9 births per 1,000 in 2006. This follows a 14-year downward trend in which the teen birth rate fell by 34 percent from its all-time peak of 61.8 births per 1,000 in 1991.

"It's way too early to know if this is the start of a new trend," said Stephanie Ventura, head of the Reproductive Statistics Branch at CDC. "But given the long-term progress we've witnessed, this change is notable."

The largest increases were reported for non-Hispanic black teens, whose overall rate rose 5 percent in 2006. The rate rose 2 percent for Hispanic teens, 3 percent for non-Hispanic white teens, and 4 percent for American Indian teens.

The birth rate for the youngest teens aged 10-14 declined from 0.7 to 0.6 per 1,000 and the number of births to this age group fell 5 percent to 6,405. The birth rate for older teens ages 18-19 is 73 births per 1,000 population - more than three times higher than the rate for teens ages 15-17 (22 per 1,000). Between 2005 and 2006 the birth rate rose 3 percent for teens aged 15-17 and 4 percent for teens aged 18 and 19.

The study also shows unmarried childbearing reached a new record high in 2006. The total number of births to unmarried mothers rose nearly 8 percent to 1,641,700 in 2006. This represents a 20 percent increase from 2002, when the recent upswing in non-marital births began. The biggest jump was among unmarried women aged 25-29, among whom there was a 10 percent increase between 2005 and 2006.

In addition, the non-marital birth rate also rose sharply, from 47.5 births per 1,000 unmarried females in 2005 to 50.6 per 1,000 in 2006 - a 7 percent one-year increase and a 16 percent increase since 2002.

The study also revealed that the percentage of all U.S. births to unmarried mothers increased to 38.5 percent, up from 36.9 percent in 2005.

The report contains other significant findings:

* The preliminary estimate of total births in the U.S. for 2006 was 4,265,996, a 3 percent increase -- or 127,647 more births -- than in 2005.

* Birth rates increased for women in their twenties, thirties and early forties between 2005 and 2006, as well as to teenagers.

* The Caesarean delivery rate rose again in 2006, to 31.1 percent of all births, a 3 percent increase from 2005 and a new record high. The percentage of all births delivered by cesarean has climbed 50 percent over the last decade.

* The preterm birth rate rose slightly between 2005 and 2006, from 12.7 percent to 12.8 percent of all births. The percentage of births delivered before 37 weeks of gestation has risen 21 percent since 1990.

* The low birthweight rate also rose slightly in 2006, from 8.2 percent in 2005 to 8.3 percent in 2006, a 19 percent jump since 1990.

* As a result of the increases in the birth rates for women aged 15-44, the total fertility rate - an estimate of the average number of births that a group of women would have over their lifetimes - increased 2 percent in 2006 to 2,101 births per 1,000 women. This is the highest rate since 1971 and the first time since then that the rate was above replacement - the level at which a given generation can replace itself.

The full report is available at

More information on maternal and infant health birth characteristics, including the latest information on multiple births, can be found in another new report released today: "Births: Final Data for 2005," also available at

Monday, January 28, 2008

Student Loans, Nurses & Medical Care

A week or two ago I received an update from the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses. Typically I just scan the reports looking for local names. If there's a problem we post them on the Fayette Front Page or the Georgia Front Page.

Until I started wandering through all the releases coming from various places, I had no idea there were so many Boards overseeing almost every facet of worker imaginable. More on that some other time...

What struck me when I read through the release (posted below) was the number of nurses defaulting on their student loans.

I was under the impression that hospitals and doctors were crying out for more nurses. It seemed to be a field where shortages were rampant.

Also, I've been told, that the pay is fairly decent. So why are all these people defaulting on their loans? They lose their license and thus can't work in the field they studied.

It seems to me that the schooling to become a nurse is pretty demanding and takes a bit of self-discipline. If Jay Leno stopped me on the street for a Jay Walk session and asked a multiple choice question on which profession would be the least likely to default on student loans, nursing would be the first I'd probably cross off the list.

I don't know the stats on which professions default the most. I have no idea what the overall loan default percentages are either.

What do they do when they lose their license? Can you imagine the stress these folks were under as they were harassed and badgered to pay the monthly payments? Had they already decided to get out of nursing or been forced out? Where are these people now? What profession do you choose after you fail as a nurse? Is there really a shortage of nurses? Is it possible these folks never managed to find a job in nursing? I would be they started out in college or technical school with high hopes. What happened?

There are some others on the list who have had their licenses revoked. Drugs. Arrests. But there are only a few.

Maybe there should be some mandatory financial training classes in college. Make it a core class and make them take a minimum of one class per year of training. Balancing checkbooks, handling loans, finance and related areas should also be a mandatory class taken every year of high school. Teach kids not to live above their means. Teach them how credit cards siphon off future financial stability.

The people on the list below were probably a cut above the norm. They wanted a future and were willing to study hard to get it. It's a shame they ended up on the default list, whatever the reason.

Actions Taken by the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses at its January 9 and 10 Meeting

The Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses held its bi-monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 9 and Thursday, January 10, 2008.

The Board voted to suspend the following licenses because the licensees defaulted on student loans:

Akina S. Hines, Camilla
Alantria N. Flowers, Cuthbert
Albertha Pinckney-Smith, Savannah
Amanda R. Peacock, Cordele
Ame L. Gilbert, Barnesville
Amy L. Morris, Glennville
Andtria L. Williams, Jonesboro
Angela N. Troup, Vidalia
Anita L. Prichard, Dawsonville
Antoinette A. Williams, Atlanta
April A. Ross (Renfroe), Milledgeville
Aqueelah Beyah, Lithonia
Arlene H. Gantt, Hephzibah
Arlisa Jones, Bainbridge
Ashlee J. Middleton, Blakely
Belinda H. Braswell, Metter
Brandy D. Newsome, Vidalia
Callie J. Jackson, Lincolnton
Carla T. Thomas, Valdosta
Cassandra Dallas, Austell
Cathy D. Bowen, Milledgeville
Charlene L. Hare, Carnesville
Charleset H. Williams, Martinez
Christina M. Gurka, Lakeland
Christy L. Lindsey, Thomaston
Clyde A. Wilson Jr., Brandon, MS
Crystal Lawanda Davis, Atlanta
Crystal Lynn Taylor, Macon
Cumonica L. Shedrick, Albany
Darrik J. Garth, Austell
Deanna M. Smith, Fitzgerald
Deanna M. Young, Blackshear
Deborah J. Smith, Stockbridge
Debra A. Strange, Bonaire
Deloris C. Lunsford, Tifton
Derrick G. Shorts, Atlanta
Desianne L. Devine, Register
Donna A. Winn, Allegan, MI
Donna D. Giddens, Ocilla
Dontressa L. Murray, Lincolnton
Elaine M. (Mickens) Merritt, Stone Mountain
Ernestine N. Bass, Warner Robins
Evangela H. Hampton, Tifton
Felicia A. Battle, Thomasville
Felicia A. Riles, Augusta
Gail B. Brown, Decatur
Genise Spires, Eastman
Gillian M. Nelson, Macon
Gladys N. Leaks, Thomasville
Gloria J. Sloan, Thomasville
Grace Enweani, Austell
Hattie Gibbs, Albany
Helen J. Smith, Douglas
Jacklyn D. Davis, Twentynine Palms, CA
Jacqueline S. Deaton, Watkinsville
James T. Worthey, Atlanta
Jamie E. Moody, Ludowici
Janet A. Green, Macon
Janiel R. Walton, Hephzibah
Jason E. Muder, Rome
Jeanne M. Russell, Duluth
Jennifer Miller White, Moultrie
Jerry L. Brown, Thomasville
JoAnn J. Lewis, Stone Mountain
Joann Scruggs, Macon
Jodi M. Boykin, Covington
Jolisa L. Simpson, Baxley
Joyce A. Woniewala, Lawrenceville
Karen A. Brinson, Brunswick
Karen M. (McCann) Hood, Adel
Keaver M. Griffin, Macon
Keisa R. Presley, Baxley
Kimberly D. Rich, Ringgold
Kitrina W. Stubbs, Albany
Labrethia D. Cross, Rome
Lakesha E. Caldwell, Concord
Latasha V. Sterling-Hardson, LaFayette
Latashara Y. Thomas, Douglas
Lavette Denise Kindler, Duluth
Lee J. Tolbert, Hinesville
Lena S. Macdougald, Murphey, NC
Leta S. Gwin, Chatsworth
Lillian A. Newkirk, Dublin
Limiza W. Hubbard, Cordele
Linda D. Hortman, Pavo
Linda M. Young, LaFayette, LA
Lisa J. Rosson, Stone Mountain
Lisa M. Eads, Cartersville
Lisa V. Mobley, Braselton
Lori R. Norris, Loganville
Lynda Gaines, Macon
Lynette D. Dillingham, Augusta
Lynn S. Nichols, Mount Airy
Mable Brown, Albany
Maria P. Mock, Thomasville
Marietta D. Hardison, Leesburg
Mary E. Kendrick, Moultrie
Mattie Thigpen Murray, Thomasville
Melanie L. Grant, Thomson
Melanie M. Reese, Cordele
Nakema J. Cooper, Byron
Nathalie L. Wright, Savannah
Natosha L. Manning, Thomasville
Nedra L. Neal, Americus
Norissa A. Jett, Stone Mountain
Olga L. Alamilla, Fitzgerald
Pamela J. Waters, Milledgeville
Pansy M. Jones, Stone Mountain
Patricia A. Walker, Savannah
Paula Kleckley, Kathleen
Rebecca F. Mayfield, Buford
Rhonda R. Kendrick, Snellville
Robert Saxby, Macon
Robin W. Jones, Moultrie
Roosevelt Robinson, Decatur
Rowena L. Hamilton, Silver Creek
Sabrina L. Fife, Savannah
Sharon N. Richardson, Ivey
Sheila E. Smith, Statesboro
Sonja C. Williamson, Americus
Sonja D. Stokes, Griffin
Sonya E. Chandler, North Augusta, SC
Stephanie R. Hodges, Macon
Stephanie S. Frazier, Alpharetta
Stephannie M. Tumblin, Macon
Sylvia D. Gilchrist, Hephzibah
Sylvia V. Rawls, Sylvania
Tammy M. Reeves, Macon
Tara Lynn Crocker, Snellville
Tawanna L. Quiller, Thomaston
Theresa A. Lambert, Carrollton
Theresa Bennett Scott, Cordele
Theresa C. Bennett, Cordele
Theresa M. McCarter, Macon
Tiffiny N. Walker, Brunswick
Tina M. O’Neal, Dublin
Toni M. Frankum, Rabun Gap
Tonya D. Stroman, Marietta
Tonya Y. Wiley, Savannah
Torya C. Horne, Doraville
Travis N. Trammell, Atlanta
Valerie A. Gates, Decatur
Vernice M. Bailey, Metter
Vicki L. Floyd, Warner Robins
Vicki Lynn Floyd, Warner Robins
Virginia A. Feagle, McIntyre
Voneeka P. Campbell, Atlanta
Wendy J. Green, Austell
Wendy L. Nolan, Loganville
Wendy L. Tyson, Ocilla
Willie L. Bell, Bainbridge
Yarlardo L. Henderson, Atlanta

The Board voted to suspend the following license for failure to pay child support:

Wendy Janeen Green, Austell

The Board voted to ratify 152 licenses by endorsement, 43 licenses by re-instatement, and 189 licenses by examination.

The Board accepted the voluntary surrender of the following license:

Sharon B. Blaine, Morganton

The Board voted to accept the following Public Consent Orders that place licensees on probation:
Diana M. Jacobs, Douglas: Arrest/Conviction
Bethany Grace Simmons, Thomson: Substandard Practice
Cindie Kae Strickland, Pine Mountain: Impairment/Substance Abuse

In other Board news, the members of the Board elected their 2008 officers. Jane Harte of Savannah was elected President and Barbara Mitchell of Buena Vista was elected Vice-President. Mary Lynn Owensby of Madison was elected Cognizant Member.

The next meeting of Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses is scheduled for Wednesday, March 5 and Thursday, March 6, 2008 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Professional Licensing Boards in Macon.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Talking to the aliens

I know what these sheep were doing... Keep an eye out on your sheep and keep an eye out on the sky for alien ships...

Seriously, I bet they've been watching all those Chick-fil-a commercials and they're practicing for their very own commercials. They'll be plugging sythetic wool maybe? Hmm...

100 Sheep Baffle Farmer by Forming Circle in English Field
Holy sheep.
About 100 woolly sheep formed a perfect ring while grazing in a field in England on Friday, baffling the farmer and other witnesses, the Daily Mail reports.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Russell Bird, who photographed the bizarre occurrence.,2933,325821,00.html

Yowzer, what a way to catch a tuna...

Bet this guy watches where he steps in the future! We've all done something seemingly simple that led to a disaster of some sort in our life. How many times have you wished for a do-over with foreknowledge?

Shark Bites Australian Fisherman Who Reeled It
A mako shark attacked a fisherman on his boat deck, biting him on the leg after the man reeled it in while fishing off Australia's east coast Sunday, an official said.
The 20-year-old deckhand was airlifted by helicopter rescue, said Brian Russell, a spokesman for the rescue service. He was flown to the Gold Coast Hospital where his condition was reported as stable before he underwent surgery.,2933,325855,00.html

Friday, January 25, 2008

Strange New World

Isn't it a strange new world we live in? I'm not just talking about all the techno advances and discoveries that occur every day, almost every minute. I'm also not referring to war (always been around), climate change or any of the usual things the media slaps in our face every day.

I'm talking (or actually writing) about movie stars and musicians. In this particular instance, movie stars, musicians and military.

I find it funny sometimes that people get so hyped about those robber baron business owners. The guys that pay people's wages, produce the products in their homes and provide food to us all.

What about the "stars" that make so, so much money? Our true "elite" upper class. Our royalty. They spend a million dollars on a wedding and we think it's cool. They live in a world were one day's fun could feed a town in Africa. They wear a suit or dress that would pay for a full quarter for a student at most colleges. They have a party that costs more than a house.

We drool over their life-style and want it for our own. Well, not me, but I certainly wouldn't turn down the money!

They live in a bubble, looking out on the masses. Yes, they have their pet causes and some of them really make a strong effort to make a difference. I definitely don't begrudge them their money or the efforts of some to make a positive difference in the world.

I just find it interesting that we have such a problem with business men and women who scramble every day to make their company productive and profitable, yet we give our "hero" stars a complete pass.

Taking that one step further, I can't believe the credence we give to the opinions of our entertainers. They don't have access to anything more than you and I when it comes to news. Yes, they may know a few more politicians than the average bear, but you know as well as I that politicians of a certain slant are going to provide information to folks that supports their point of view. Slanted.

So some musician or movie star states their opinion on the war, the economy, the President or politics and the world listens. Those who worship at the altar of stardom suck up every pearl of "wisdom" (cough, cough) that drops from their heroes lips and then they spout the same views.

We give so much power and credence to people just because they have musical or acting talent combined with the luck that plucked them from a plethora of others with similar talent to stardom.

Here's the story that sparked that toxic rant (I happen to think Bono is doing a lot of good, please don't infer from my words above that I have any problems with him. I like U2, too ;-)

Bono, Gates Discuss Africa During Singer's Pentagon Visit
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

In the Pentagon, "U2" usually refers to an Air Force high-altitude spy plane, but this week it referred to the rock group, as lead singer Bono met with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Jan. 22.

"It's a matter of age that I thought U2 was an airplane," Gates told a Pentagon news conference today.

For years, the Irish rocker has championed relief to Africa, the world's poorest continent. Bono took advantage of a trip to Washington to meet with Gates.

The secretary said today that he was very impressed with Bono and his knowledge of the situation in Africa.

The singer had read a speech Gates delivered at Kansas State University in November "and had liked a lot what I said about also strengthening the non-military side of the U.S. face abroad," Gates said.

During that speech, Gates said that one of the most important lessons from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is that military success is not sufficient to win the war on terror. A soft-power approach -- using all aspects of government -- is needed. This include economic development, nation-building, establishing the rule of law, promoting internal reconciliation, good governance, providing basic services, training and equipping indigenous military and police forces, and strategic communications.

The secretary spoke with Bono about establishing U.S. Africa Command. "He did share some of the concerns that he has heard," Gates said. "We gave him some information on AFRICOM, and he was not ... hostile to it. I would say that he was open-minded about it and just recommended that we take care in how we proceeded."

The meeting went for about 20 minutes, Pentagon officials said. The singer was not wearing his trademark sun glasses, according to Pentagon employees who saw the singer arrive.

Gates said the singer seemed very well informed.

The secretary also said his daughter "nearly had an aneurysm when I told her who I was meeting with."

Monday, January 21, 2008

An Urgent Appeal to all Friends of Jekyll Island State Park

Crunch Time Has Arrived!

Senator Jeff Chapman has recently said he believes legislation has become necessary to defend the remaining open beachfront of Jekyll Island State Park from commercial exploitation. He is currently seeking public support for his “Open Beach Resolution” and is also asking the public to comment on the need for additional legislation to protect “the people‘s park.”
The success of Senator Chapman’s effort may well hinge on how much public support he can muster for. If enough people visit the Senator’s ***website - - to endorse his Open Beach resolution and submit ideas for protective legislation, then he will be armed with public support when introducing a bill that would block the commercialization of Jekyll’s most popular public beach and point the way toward responsible revitalization of Georgia’s Jewel.

***NOTE: If the link to Senator Chapman’s website fails to activate when you click on it, please enter it in your internet address bar manually. Or, you can Goggle Senator Jeff Chapman to get to his website.***

If you haven’t yet endorsed the Senator’s Open Beach resolution, please do so now.
If you haven’t yet passed along word of the Senator’s initiative, please do so now. If each of us manages to arrange for just three other people endorse the resolution, we can triple our contribution to its success.

We’ve worked very hard to get to this point in our defense of Jekyll Island State Park. With the Georgia General Assembly session just underway, we need to shift into high gear now, meaning quick and aggressive action is needed in support of Senator Chapman’s Jekyll Resolution.

A Request for Contributions

The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, in an effort to retain its grassroots character, has yet to ask for funds from its supporters, relying instead on sporadic contributions and the good graces of a small core of people at the center of our organization. However, our lack of money is now limiting our ability to publicize our cause and the opportunity Senator Chapman has given Jekyll’s friends. With Jekyll legislation on the horizon, we need to be able to buy radio time and newspaper space across the state.

We are therefore asking for contributions, in any amount, to support our effort. Checks should be made out to the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island and sent c/o of David and Mindy Egan, 308 Old Plantation rd., Jekyll Island, GA 31527. The IPJI is registered with the State of Georgia as a non-profit public service organization.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shocking results on chicken

By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaWater is one of the world’s most precious resources. But if you combine it with salt and an electrical charge, it becomes one of the strongest disinfectants, too.

Scientists at the University of Georgia are studying ways to use electrolyzed oxidized water, or EO water, to sanitize fresh chicken in processing plants along with other things. It can be up to 10 times more effective at killing harmful bacteria than traditional methods.

"We wanted to use the water on chicken carcasses to see if it cuts down on the levels of salmonella and campylobacter," said Yen-Con Hung, a food scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Two steams of waterEO water is created when a saltwater solution goes through an electrolysis process, said Hung. It separates the water’s positive and negative ions. This makes two forms of water, one very acidic and one very alkaline.

Working with CAES poultry scientist Scott Russell, Hung tested both forms of EO water on fresh chicken carcasses. They found the acidic EO water killed foodborne pathogens on the chicken. The alkaline EO water cleaned the chicken.

“The alkaline stream of EO water mixes with the fat on the chicken and cleanses the surface and protects the carcass in the future,” Russell said. “It’s just like when your grandmother mixed fat and lye to make soap.”

Technology licensed and used in U.S.Pennsylvania-based Murray’s Chickens is the first poultry processor in the United States to use the UGA EO process to kill pathogens, Hung said. EAU Technology holds the license on the UGA technology.

"In mass production, this technology would be very cost effective," Hung said. "When you want to use it, you push a button. You don't have to worry with mixing up concentrated liquids, and it's more effective than chlorine rinses."

In his laboratory on the UGA Griffin, Ga., Campus, Hung has found the acidic water effectively kills harmful bacteria on eggs, apples, lettuce and cutting boards. The alkaline water is a useful general cleanser.

Widely used in Japan and KoreaThe technology is widely used in Japan to sanitize dental and medical equipment. Many Japanese homes have EO washing machines that need no detergent. Koreans use it in dishwashers.

In the U.S., the wholesale and retail cut flower industry uses the water to prevent the spread of diseases and extend shelf life. “And the water doesn’t have to be changed every day,” Hung said.

Hung hopes to see the technology used in U.S. fast food restaurants.

“We’ve had several outbreaks of foodborne illness related to fast food. This could help prevent future cases,” Hung said.

OK, who do YOU think is at fault here?

Alright, here's the scenario. A 31 year old woman driving with an expired car registration. When they check it turns out this will be her 76th ticket. Yep, 76th. She owes close to $19,000 in fines. Yep, nineteen thousand in unpaid fines and court fees.

How does anyone get away with 76 traffic tickets and still end up driving? I know when I was younger I walked away from being ticketed a few times just because the cop either liked me or felt sorry for me, not sure which. I know how just having the lights pop on behind my car filled me with extreme trepidation. OK, they scared me half to death.

So I'll ask again... how in the world do you walk away from 75 tickets? Texas is supposed to be tough on crime. Somehow I think that this woman is going to pay her current bail, go out, grab a drink and get behind the wheel of a car again.

Yep. 76 tickets will land you in jail
HARLINGEN, Texas - Tickets for expired car registration usually don't result in jail time. Unless, of course, that ticket is a driver's 76th. Valerie Ortiz Sanchez, 31, was arrested Monday during a routine traffic stop when officers discovered she had 76 outstanding traffic warrants and nearly $19,000 in unpaid fines and court fees dating back nine years.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Toxic Predators

It's a shame that there are slimy sub-humans who prey on children. It's a shame we have to have safeguards to the extent we do because of these vermin. Get the idea that I dislike child predators?

I wrote a blog recently about the Internet, the loss of freedoms and similar. I am a firm believer in the freedom of press, freedom of speech, but there are lines. Don't step on my toes when you're spouting your words, don't cram them down my throat, don't touch the babies and children in the world while you're pontificating.

The slime of the world cause more restrictions to be placed on those of us who walk within the bounds of decency.

MySpace is making some changes to protect the kids, Face Book is probably not too far behind. Here's two stories you'll find interesting that are related yet somewhat two sides of the coin:

MySpace agrees to new safety measures
ALBANY, N.Y. - MySpace has reached an agreement with more than 45 states to change to help prevent sexual predators and others from misusing it, state officials said Monday.

The Race for the American Mind
Last year's scamnesty bill had widespread support among the powers-that-be, with the president, the Democrat majority and mainstream media all singing its praises. Yet it went down to defeat, slain by a new-media coalition of talk radio and blogosphere warriors. Working tirelessly to expose the truth and rally the grassroots, they became a David who slew a Goliath.

You can run, but you can't hide...

Seems we can't get away from cell phones, iPods, Blackberries (should it be Blackberrys? I know there's at least one grammar teacher in my readership ;-), and the like. Go to a restaurant and TVs are hung on the walls. Stand in line at Wal-Mart and many other stores and you can watch Jay Leno... and a whole bunch of advertising. Cars now have DVD players as part of the package and if your vehicle is too old to have that luxury you can pick up a portable that plugs into what used to be a cigarette lighter and is now a plug for laptops and other electronics.

We are connected. We are bombarded.

Personally, doesn't bother me a bit except the televisions. I choose restaurants where I can talk to whoever I'm with. I want to get away from the mind-numbing blare of the TV. I'd rather make friends with someone new in line at the store than have advertising pumped into my brain.

Microsoft's latest venture is rather interesting. They're collaborating to make a digital grocery cart console. You'll be able to find out where products are in the store, scan and pay for items and... listen to advertising. We're moving one more step away from interaction with people. Many stores now have the self service lines where you do it all yourself. This I gather is the next step, complete with advertising to pay for it.

Video ads are planned for grocery carts
SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. is bringing digital advertising to the grocery cart. The software maker spent four years working with Plano, Texas-based MediaCart Holdings Inc. on a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find products in the store, then scan and pay for their items without waiting in the checkout line.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bloggers beware... Think the Internet is beyond the reach of the Government?

This is by far one of the most thought provoking, and scary, articles I have read in recent weeks. The author, Selwyn Duke, has been reading my mind. Actually, I'm sure there are quite a few of us in the world who've had thoughts. Duke pulled the facts together in an easy to read, well written article that hopefully won't end up being a prophecy of our future.

We have to be vigilant and guard our freedoms. When so-called free-wheeling groups like Google, YouTube and others cave the Internet becomes more vulnerable to the political correctness police.

The Race for the American Mind
Last year's scamnesty bill had widespread support among the powers-that-be, with the president, the Democrat majority and mainstream media all singing its praises. Yet it went down to defeat, slain by a new-media coalition of talk radio and blogosphere warriors. Working tirelessly to expose the truth and rally the grassroots, they became a David who slew a Goliath.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

19 Bald Eagles Die After Eating Fish Waste in Alaska

KODIAK, Alaska — At least 19 bald eagles died Friday after gorging themselves on a truck full of fish waste outside a processing plant.
Fifty or more eagles swarmed into the truck, whose retractable fabric cover was open, after the truck was moved outside the plant, said Brandon Saito, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who coordinated the recovery operation.,2933,322313,00.html

Still not gonna eat oysters

Toxic Note: OK, since I posted the warning about oysters (recall, bad toxic oysters) two stories have been posted about people finding pearls in those nasty, slimy critters. Pearls that are worth one heck of a lot of money. Oysters for life if you like 'em.

If I thought there was a fairly good chance I'd be lucky number three, I might start buying them simply to cut 'em open and look. I still wouldn't eat them. And I'm not sure I could stand to touch them either. It's hard to open those shells.

Given the fact that I have yet to win even $50 in the lottery I think I'll save my money and fingers.

New Jersey Man Discovers Pearl in Fried Oyster
WASHINGTON BOROUGH, N.J. — Two weeks after a Florida man found a rare pearl in his seafood, it's happened again — this time to a New Jersey man who was eating fried oysters.
Mike McHenry thought he had chomped down on a piece of shell Wednesday night and instead spit out a pea-sized pearl.,2933,322306,00.html

China, lead and coal mines

I've talked toxic about this before... the number of products coming from China laden with lead. Seeing all of the recalls for products I'm well aware of how many recalls include the manufacturing location of China. It's not just lead paint, it's also defective or below standard products.

In my toxic note on the subject I tossed out the possibility that they were out to get us... Who needs nuclear weapons when you can poison the kids and destroy the economy? Destroy the economy you say??? It's killing some of these companies to have to recall all the toys and other products.

Today a news story floated across my screen (posted below) that stated China had the worst record in the world for deaths in coal mines. I had thought all the lead based paints on toys and products from China might be happening due to the low cost of paint (maybe they bought all our rejects) or, as said earlier, a desire to cripple the U.S.

Now I'm thinking this through a little deeper. I know they have a large population in China. Maybe human life doesn't have a high enough value in China (by my standards).

All those people who are involved in painting our lead covered toys are being exposed on a much higher level than our kids. Expendable? Lower caste? Lead soaked brains make happy drones?

If they didn't make so many of our products it would be easier to boycott China-made. But that begs a bigger question. If we're not buying then where do the factory workers in China go? If life is bad for them now, and it must be horrific if they're breathing and touching lead all day, then what would it be like on the streets?

I think we need to toughen up our standards and figure out a way to enforce them. Big money involved in enforcement.

See how easy it is to get off on a tangent? I start writing about life and end up on enforcing regulations.

It would be interesting to do some comparative stats between life in America vs. life in China. Quality, life expectancy and other comparisons could tell an interesting story. Maybe I'll add that to my list of things to do someday.

Here's the story:

China's coal mines kill 3,786 in 2007
BEIJING - Accidents in China's notoriously dangerous coal mines killed nearly 3,800 people last year, state media reported Saturday — a toll that is a marked improvement from previous years, but still leaves China's mines the world's deadliest.

Friday, January 11, 2008

FDA Warns About Potential for Botulism in Canned Green Beans

New Era Canning Company Voluntarily Recalls Product

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about a potential Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) contamination of canned cut green beans manufactured by New Era Canning Company, New Era, Mich., and labeled as "GFS Fancy Blue Lake Cut Green Beans." C. botulinum is the bacterium that causes botulism.

The bacterium produces a toxin that can result in a life-threatening illness or death. To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with this incident.

The canned cut green beans were distributed to retailers, restaurants and foodservice institutions by Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids, Mich., with lot code 19H7FL and UPC code 93901 11873, in large institutional-sized, 6 pound 5 ounce (#10) cans. The green beans were distributed to food service customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and sold through GFS Marketplace stores in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. There is no evidence of primary distribution outside the United States.

Customers who have the affected cans of cut green beans or who have used the green beans in recipes should throw cans and food away immediately. Any food that may be contaminated should be disposed of carefully. Even tiny amounts of the C. botulinum toxin ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the eye or a break in the skin can cause serious illness. Skin contact should be avoided as much as possible, and the hands should be washed immediately after handling the food.

When disposing of this product, double-bag the cans in plastic bags. Make sure the bags are tightly closed, then place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside of the home. Restaurants and institutions should ensure that such products are only placed in locked receptacles that are not accessible to the public. Additional instructions for safe disposal may be found at Anyone with questions can call FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

As part of this ongoing investigation, FDA is working closely with Michigan Department of Agriculture state officials and New Era to identify all products that may be involved. Michigan Department of Agriculture, under its state authority, seized most canned products in the company's warehouses. New Era is voluntarily recalling 171 cases of the green beans (6 cans per case).

Symptoms of botulism poisoning in humans can begin from 6 hours to 2 weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness that moves progressively down the body, affecting the shoulders first, then descending to the upper arms, lower arms, thighs, and calves. Botulism poisoning also can cause paralysis of the breathing muscles, which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided. Individuals who have these symptoms and who may have recently eaten the cut green beans currently under recall or other food products made with these green beans should seek immediate medical attention.

FDA learned of the potential contamination on Dec. 20, when testing of product collected during an FDA inspection showed a presumptive positive result for C. botulinum. This incident illustrates the important health protection role that FDA inspections play and the need for firms to have adequate preventive control systems in place. Prevention of foodborne illness is a key element of the FDA's new Food Protection Plan, launched November 6, 2007.


Toxic Note: OK, I'm a vegetarian myself, but I think this is kind-a over the top... Not just kind-a over the top, it's so over the top I'm drowning in the overflow. If this guy isn't completely certifiably beyond-a-shadow of a doubt so mentally ill he needs a 24/7 straight jacket I think he should be cut up piece by piece, boiled and then fed to some nasty animal. He is an animal and should be treated like one...

PETA Asks That Accused Cannibal Not Eat Meat in Jail
Animal rights group PETA has asked the jail housing a man accused of murdering his girlfriend and possibly eating her body parts not to feed him meat, the activist organization told
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals faxed a letter Thursday to the Smith County Sheriff's Jail in Tyler, Texas, asking that 25-year-old Christopher Lee McCuin be placed on a strict vegetarian diet to prevent him from being "involved in any senseless killing" while he's behind bars, said PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich.,2933,322190,00.html

What is it with people??? Here's a twofer of deadbeats...

Man Runs Over Estranged Wife in Swiss Hit-and-Run, Returns for License Plate
NYON, Switzerland — A man drove over his estranged wife, fled the scene and then returned briefly to retrieve his license plate without helping his dying spouse, police said Friday.,2933,322046,00.html

Police: Florida Dad Who Wanted Son Killed Baby Girl
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A Florida man is facing first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing his 4-month-old daughter.
Every time Marcos Gomez-Romero looked at Ariana Rodriguez-Romero he would get angry, because she was not the boy he wanted, the Orlando Sentinel reported.,2933,322107,00.html

You know someone's gonna write a book...

Marriage Annulled After Separated Twins Marry
Twins separated at birth have married each other without realizing they were brother and sister, it has been revealed.
The British couple's marriage has now been annulled by the High Court after judges ruled the marriage had never validly existed.,2933,321991,00.html

Toxic Note: I remember years back reading VC Andrews first book... this is a story made for her.

Mannequin Stolen From Washington Police Car

Toxic Note: Let this be a lesson. All dummy's should come equipped with GPS. There are many more nasty little thoughts that went through my head regarding dummy's sitting in police cars, but I'll avoid the obvious and let you have some fun.

LACEY, Wash. — Sure, Trevor was a dummy, but police want him back — and whoever stole the uniformed mannequin from a patrol car could face felony charges.
Trevor, outfitted with sunglasses and a uniform, routinely sat in a Lacey police car for a couple of hours at a time as a reminder to motorists to slow at key places in this town north of the state capital of Olympia. On Friday, police said, the driver's side window was broken and Trevor was nowhere to be found.,2933,322008,00.html

Man in anti-smoking ads still smokes

NEW YORK - He's the poster boy for the state's new anti-smoking campaign. But 48-year-old Skip Legault is still smoking — despite an amputated leg, two heart attacks and a stroke. The state Department of Health confirmed Friday that they chose a smoker for the ads, saying it helps underscore the risks associated with nicotine addiction.

Geez, what does it take to get someone to start to think about quitting? Or is there a point where you say, what the heck, I'm a gonner anyway, may as well enjoy one thing... Don't know about you, but I think I'd've quit when they started looking at my leg while holding a knife...

Federal Court Dismisses Another Lawsuit Against Gun Industry

( - A federal court has once again invoked a 2005 law in dismissing a lawsuit filed against 25 gun manufacturers on behalf of nine "gun crime" victims.The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is intended to protect the gun industry from politically motivated lawsuits.

The best laid government plans...

Concerns Build About Public-Safety Network Requirements
Congress mandated a nationwide transition to digital television in 2009 so analog TV airwaves would be freed up for use by emergency first responders — but that part of the plan now appears in jeopardy and lawmakers might have to revisit it.
The top candidate to build out a nationwide wireless network and manage a multibillion-dollar public safety communications system in the emptied spectrum — a start-up venture called Frontline Wireless — walked away from the plan this week.
The spectrum freed up by the shift to digital TV is to be sold in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction that begins Jan. 24. It is possible no one will offer the $1.33 billion bidding minimum.

Idiot? Crazy? Dupe? Priest?

So, what do you think?

'Priest' with 7.7 lbs of coke arrested
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A man claiming to be a Catholic priest was arrested Friday at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after he was caught carrying 7.7 pounds of cocaine under his robes, a spokesman for Dutch border police said.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FBI egg on face...

If you're not going to pay a bill, this is one that shouldn't be on the list of choices...

Phone company cuts off FBI wiretap for unpaid bill
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A telephone company cut off an FBI international wiretap after the agency failed to pay its bill on time, according to a U.S. government audit released on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Crack is the worst of the worst

Toxic Note: I don't begin to understand how someone can think they can get involved with crack and come out on top. Some of the tales I've heard from the many who try to help people beat the trash are unbelievable. It turns you into something that isn't human and it's not pretty. Here's another tale of someone who's mind is full of holes as a result of crack. Crack is toxic beyond toxic.

Police: Dad threw 4 children off bridge
BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. - A day after reporting his four young children were missing, a shrimp fisherman broke down and confessed that he threw them off an 80-foot-high bridge to their deaths, authorities said Wednesday.

Autism Update: Major discovery

A few days ago I wrote a bit about autism and vaccinations (scroll down on the righ to the archive and you'll see the article). Today this bit came across my desk and I thought you might find it interesting. Reading the article I gather this is a major discovery that could have a huge impact on the future of prevention and treatment:

Study: Rare gene change linked to autism
A rare genetic variation dramatically raises the risk of developing autism, a large study showed, opening new research targets for better understanding the disorder and for treating it.

This is one you HAVE to read...

There are so many comments I could make about this story... I won't 'cause I'm still laughing so hard it's difficult to type. I will say these two guys should not have been arrested for fraud, they should have been arrested for dumb.

2 bring corpse to store to cash check
NEW YORK - Two men wheeled a dead man through the streets in an office chair to a check-cashing store and tried to cash his Social Security check before being arrested on fraud charges, police said.

Flu / Influenza Map

Found something you might be interested in peeking at occasionally... It's the CDC's Weekly Influenza Summary Update. It's a map showing outbreaks of the flu.

There are some other informative links to the left of the map.

Stay healthy, wash your hands, take your vitamins and stay away from people with red noses.

New Era Canning Company Recall of Certain Lots of Mexican-style Chili Beans, Green Beans and Dark Red Kidney Beans Because of Possible Health Risk

New Era Canning Company of New Era, Michigan is announcing a new recall to include Mexican style chili beans, green beans, and dark red kidney beans that were shipped to food service and retail customers because a records review identified the possibility that a small number of cans from each lot may not have been adequately cooked.

New Era is recalling these products as a precautionary measure because cans of vegetables that have not been adequately cooked have the potential for the growth of Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning. Botulism can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. The incubation period can be 2 hours to 2 weeks; in most cases the symptoms appear after 12 to 24 hours.

This recall only affects a small number of cases from the products with the specific codes listed below: GFS brand Fancy Mexican Style Chili Beans in 6 lb. 12 oz. cans, GFS Reorder #192015, UPC 9390119201. The recall is limited to 43 cases of product with 6 cans per case of lot number 00249 5AJ6LC with a 4 digit time stamp number ranging from 2113 through 2235 printed on the end of the can after the lot number (For example: 00249 5AJ6LC 2113). Only product bearing time stamps of 2113 through 2235 are included in the recall. The canned Mexican style chili beans were distributed to Gordon Food Service foodservice customers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin and sold through GFS Marketplace stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.

Kitchen brand Blue Lake Mixed Cuts Green Beans in 6 lb. 6 oz. cans. This recall is limited to 57 cases with 6 cans per case with lot number 00249 6FG5GA printed on the end of the can. (All cans of this lot are under recall). The canned green beans were not sold at retail, but were distributed to a Michigan restaurant by North Oakland Commodities.

Great Value brand Dark Red Kidney Beans in 15.5 oz. cans, UPC 7874237085. This recall is limited to 12 cases with 12 cans per case with lot number 00249 CKJ6LD printed on the end of the can. (All cans of this lot are under recall). This lot of canned dark red kidney beans was sold at Wal-Mart Stores in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

We have been alerted that some of our cans may be missing the can codes. Any cans of these products without a code should not be opened or used, and should be disposed of as outlined below.

Neither New Era or the Food and Drug Administration are aware of any illnesses related to these products.New Era Canning in conjunction with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Michigan Department of Agriculture is thoroughly evaluating all processes and procedures to determine the cause of the problem.

Any food that may be contaminated should be disposed of carefully. Even tiny amounts of toxins ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the eye or a break in the skin can cause serious illness. Skin contact should be avoided as much as possible, and the hands should be washed immediately after handling the food. Customers who have the product or any foods made with these products should throw them away immediately. Double bag the cans in plastic bags that are tightly closed, then place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside of the home. Restaurants and institutions are encouraged to assure that such products are only placed in locked receptacles which are not accessible to the public. Additional instructions for safe disposal can be found at Anyone with questions can call FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

Customers with questions may contact New Era Canning at 1-800-282-9007 Ext. 111.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pacific Cycle Recalls Children's Trailer Bicycles; Can Detach from Adult Bicycle and Injure Children

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, incooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: InStep "Pathfinder," Schwinn "Run About," and Mongoose"Alley Cat" Trailer Bicycles

Units: About 7,000

Manufacturer: Pacific Cycle Inc., of Madison, Wis.

Hazard: The coupler connecting the children's trailer bike to the adult's bicycle has welds that can fail, posing a fall hazard tochildren.

Incidents/Injuries: Pacific Cycle has received one report of the coupler failing, resulting in a fall and abrasions to the rider.

Description: The "Pathfinder," "Run About," and "Alley Cat" are single-wheeled, children's bicycles that connect to an adult's bicycle by a coupler. The recall includes model numbers: 12-PF250, 13-SC250, 13-SC350 and M5101. The model number is located on the lower seat tube of the frame. The affected couplers have welded plates; bicycles that have couplers with cast parts are not included in this recall.

Sold at: Bicycle stores and retailers nationwide from January 2007 through August 2007 for between $80 and $120.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled wagon away from children and contact Tricam Industries for instructions on how to return the wagon and obtain a refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Pacific Cycle toll-free at (877) 564-2261 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit,,

Dairy linked to 3 deaths, miscarriage

When I was much younger (much) we lived in Great Britain. The milk was delivered to our porch step in glass bottles. Many days it was so cold the milk would be frozen and popping out of the top. The little paper cover would sit jauntily on the top of the ice-milk. It's been quite some time since I had milk from anywhere other than the grocery store. I found it rather sad that a 5th generation dairy would have problems. Of course, it's much sadder that there have been deaths and probably unreported illnesses.

Here's the story:

BOSTON - At Whittier Farms dairy, the fifth-generation owners brag of the quality of their Holstein cows and still deliver milk right to your door, in glass bottles. Customers like the products because they are a hormone-free taste of old New England.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Vaccinations and Autism

I almost hesitate to mention the topic. There are some passionate beliefs on both sides of the issue of vaccinations. The number of children suffering from Autism is growing and many have believed that a component in vaccines contributed to or caused the problem.

The study below seems to refute the belief that vaccinations might cause Autism.

So, if it's not vaccinations, what is it? Why are the numbers increasing? Diet? Toxins in our foods? Pesticides? Hormones in foods?

For a while I was using a product that, among other things, purported to somewhat counteract the affects of vaccines. It was supposed to neutralize the metals we take into our system. I tried it for about a year and didn't see any health benefits. It was expensive so I stopped taking it. However, I had a good friend who's daughter was Autistic. She gave her daughter the same product and noticed a striking improvement. Her therapists, who had not been told about the inclusion of the product into her diet, independently reported a marked difference in her abilities.

I saw the little girl a few times before she took the product. She was removed, it was impossible to understand what she was saying and touch was out of the question. About 6 months later I saw her. I noted a huge difference. Her speech was clear enough I didn't have any trouble understanding what she was saying. She responded to the people around her. I won't bore you with all of the little differences I noted, but overall it was remarkable.

Her mom had done quite a bit of research and was fairly well convinced that vaccines had been the trigger.

I don't know. I suppose I'll be spending a little time wandering around the Internet again doing some reading!

Here's the article. Let me know what you think about vaccines.

California autism cases continue to grow
LOS ANGELES - Autism cases in California continued to climb even after a mercury-based vaccine preservative that some people blame for the neurological disorder was removed from routine childhood shots, a new study found.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

China tries unsafe product crackdown

BEIJING - Last August, the Chinese government unleashed its most extensive campaign since the 2002-03 outbreak of SARS, the mysterious killer disease. The goal: to shore up China's battered reputation as a manufacturer of quality goods

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Global Hot Air from the BBC

Toxic Note: Great article!

Billions of people now ‘know' about global warming and how it threatens the planet. They ‘know' that it is all the fault of decades of irresponsible, profligate industry and capitalism. And yet, what exactly do they really know? Have they delved in to the research data? Have they made it their business to acquire a thorough understanding of atmospheric processes and of climatology? Or have they simply heard it ad nauseam on the news. Heard it so insistently, emphatically and endlessly repeated that it must be true. Surely?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Two British Women Die From Identical Infection After Giving Birth on Same Day at Same Hospital

Fox News: In what is being called more than a coincidence, two new mothers who gave birth at the same British hospital on Dec. 21 died afterwards from identical infections, The Daily Mail reports.
Within 72 hours both women died from complications linked to streptococcus A infection, which normally causes sore throats.
The Daily Mail identifies the women as Amy Kimmance, 39, and Jasmine Pickett, 29.,2933,320106,00.html

Original Story, Great Britain:
Two new mothers die of identical bug after giving birth at SAME hospital on SAME day
Two mothers have died from an identical infection after giving birth at the same hospital on the same day.

Quotes from various sources (linked below):

- Is group A strep infection an emerging infectious disease?
Yes. Health problems associated with strep A bacteria are not new, but reports of fatal infection with invasive strep A bacteria have been increasingly recognized in the United States since 1987. Researchers do not know why the new strain of strep A is on the increase or why it targets certain otherwise healthy people.

- Group A streptococci (hemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes) cause a broad spectrum of diseases, ranging from simple and uncomplicated pharyngitis and skin infection to life-threatening invasive illness that includes pneumonia, bacteraemia, necrotizing fasciitis, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and nonsuppurative sequelae such as acute rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis.

- It has recently been estimated that there currently are more than 18 million cases of severe group A streptococcal disease such as rheumatic heart disease in the world, with more than 500 000 deaths each year.

Here's some links to info on Streptococcus A:

Streptococcus A - Necrotizing Fascitis, (1994)
Group A Streptococcus -
Group A streptococcal infection -
World Health Organization -

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Weis Markets Announces Voluntary Recall of Weis Baker's Basket 18 Ct Fruit Miniatures and 2 lb Platters of Mini-Fruit Diamonds

Toxic Note: I see a LOT of this type recall.

A lot of people with nut allergies have SERIOUS nut allergies. They could die from eating nuts.

How is it that companies don't know they have nuts of some sort in their products?

I know a little 9 year old girl with a nut allergy. She wouldn't die from eating them, but it does affect her and if I understand correctly, at any point it could become serious. Or she could outgrow it. Either way, right now this little 9 year old can pick up a package, scan the ingredients in about two seconds flat and tell me whether there's anything nut related in it. She can't have anything that used a nut based or related oil. She knows which brand of refrigerator cookie is OK, which one is not.

These companies, who could suffer serious, serious, losses if anyone suffered from their mix up, can't figure out whether there's something nut related in their foods before shipping them off to stores?

The recalls don't normally say where the products are made, although they'll tell you where the stores are located that are selling the products. I'm wondering if this is something similar to the Chinese and their love of lead-based paints on our toys. Is the food being manufactured in another country where they either don't have the same concerns, or... do they enjoy seeing how many Americans drop before anyone figures out it's some obscure nut problem? How many companies can we take down? How much damage can we do?

Who knows. Toxic things cross ones mind when looking at all the recalls that drop into my in-box at the Fayette Front Page.

Here's the recall:

Weis Markets Announces Voluntary Recall of Weis Baker’s Basket 18 Ct Fruit Miniatures and 2 lb Platters of Mini-Fruit Diamonds Due to Undeclared Allergen (Walnuts)

Weis Markets today said it has initiated the voluntary recall of its Weis Baker's 18-count Fruit Miniatures and two pound platters of Mini-Fruit Diamonds in four varieties – Nut Diamond, Cheese Raspberry, Apricot and Mixed assortment. These products are being recalled because they may contain walnuts which are not identified on the label.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to walnuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

These products, which were sold in Weis Markets' Bakeries, have been removed from store shelves and destroyed. The 18-count Fruit miniatures come in clear plastic containers and the two pound Mini Fruit Diamonds are packaged in a platter with a clear top. The UPC and code dates are listed below.

This problem came to the company's attention after a customer complaint. Concerned customers may return this product to Weis Markets for a full refund. Customers with concerns or questions about this recall may contact Weis Markets' customer hotline at 866-999-9347, Extension 3, which is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weis Baker's 18-count and two pound platters of Fruit Miniatures – Nut Diamond, Cheese Raspberry and Apricot are sold at Weis Markets including its Mr. Z's, King's and Scot's Lo-Cost units. Weis Markets operates 156 stores in five states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and West Virginia.

The UPC Codes for the recalled product with a sell by date up to 1/5/08 are:
UPC 210100-00000 18 Ct Fruit Miniatures
UPC 210112-00000 2 lb Fruit Miniature Platters

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Search Under Way for Georgia Man Suspected of Stabbing Father, Grandfather to Death

DECATUR, Ga. — Police are searching for a 22-year-old man suspected of stabbing his father and grandfather to death at a Decatur home.

Decatur Assistant Police Chief Keith Lee says Miller Jordan III is wanted for two counts of murder in the deaths of Miller Jordan Sr. and Miller Jordan Jr.,2933,319263,00.html

Bible Reading Mom Kicked Off Bus

Snapshot: A mother in Texas was reading to her children from the Bible on a bus. They were headed to church. The bus driver asked her to stop. She refused. They called another bus, kicked her off the main bus, took her to church in a separate bus.
Toxic. I think, based one what little is included in the full story below, this is toxic.

Unless the woman was reading at the top of her lungs, I have a serious problem with anyone going to the extremes the bus company went to stop this woman from reading the Bible to her children.

Have you ever been on a bus where some obnoxious boor was waxing eloquent about his or her exploits? Have you ever had a mentally challenged individual sing? Have you been entertained by someone who decided to read their poetry verse out loud? Have you been on a subway where someone played their boom box loud enough for others to hear?

Do ya think that the bus would stop and provide another means of transportation for any of the individuals above?

I think that every member of every church in the town in Texas should start riding the buses. And reading. Anything. Bibles, their kids school books, the newspaper... How many buses can the company provide for people choosing to read to their children?

Maybe people should start requesting a separate bus, forwarn the bus company that they were going to be reading to their children thus they needed a separate conveyance to avoid bugging the bus driver.

There is common courtesy that should be employed on any public transportation. But it isn't. For every decent person who respects the right for peace in public there is one who believes they have the right to get in their face. If they're obnoxious they get bumped or arrested.

Most people would be thrilled that a parent was willing to read to her children... that she was doing something with them,... that she would spend her money on bus fare to take them to church.

At a minimum the bus company over-reacted. In my estimation, they were flat out wrong.

Here's the stories:

Texas Woman Forced to Leave Bus After Reading Bible Out Loud
A Texas woman is demanding an apology from her city’s mass transit system after she was booted off a bus for reading the Bible aloud, reported Monday.,2933,319346,00.html

Bible-Reading Woman Kicked Off Fort Worth Bus
FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth woman wants an apology from the city's mass transit system because of how she was treated Saturday while on her way to church. Christine Lutz claimed she was kicked off The T for reading the Bible aloud to her children.