Sweden Just Added a Gender Nuetral Pronoun to its Dictionary

Standard

Sweden is known for being a progressive peace loving country, and it can now add one more item in the list of reasons why many people consider this country is considered the most progressive, especially when it comes to gender equality. It has made a gender neutral pronoun official by adding it to the countries official dictionary.

The new pronoun, “hen” is in addition to the feminine “hon” and the masculine “han”. In fact, the pronoun has been embraced informally for decades, since the 1960’s. It really started taking hold in the early 2000’s when the transgender movement embraced the word. Now that it is being added to Svenska Akademiens ordlista as one of the dictionaries 13,000 new words, the gender neutral pronoun is sure to become an even bigger part of speech.

The word, while embraced by the transgender community, Monster says that is not only used to refer to transgender people. In fact it is often use to refer to people who’s gender is unknown or is deemed irrelevant. The adoption of a gender neutral pronoun is important because language both shapes the way people think, and is a reflection of their cultural attitudes and ideas.

For example, the adoption of a gender neutral pronoun can both stop people from focusing on a person’s gender rather than their ideas and accomplishment, and is a reflection that a group of people are working towards that ideal.

Ex-Big Pharma Rep Comes Clean About the Industry

Standard

To say there is a lot of money in the pharmaceutical industry may be one of the biggest understatements of our age. With billions of dollars on the line, pharmaceutical reps are encouraged to push drugs that are billed as helping with a plethora of medical and psychiatric conditions. One of these sales people has come forward to say that they have been misinforming people to get them to take their drugs. There are also accusations of doctors and psychiatrists prescribing drugs for conditions that may not warrant them. One alarming fact is that 50 percent of the side effects of some drugs are still not known at the time they are approved by the FDA and released for use by the general public.

Given the relationship between big pharma and the medical profession, it should come as no surprise that some doctors act, in essence, as legal drug pushers stated pinterest. Doctors and psychiatrists regularly receive benefits from drug companies and their reps for pushing their company’s pharmaceuticals. This has become such a problem that there is actually a website now where people can see if their doctor takes money from this industry. The more they take, the more inclined you should be to steer clear of them. They will be less inclined to ‘fix’ what’s wrong with you and simply ‘medicate’ it, so they can boost drug sales.

Fmr. Congressman Barney Frank Tacitly Admits Netanyahu Victory a Defeat for Obama

Standard

Former congressman Barney Frank addressed the Huffington Post following the historic come from behind victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night. Jason Halpern the Israeli election was being closely watched given that Netanyahu’s Likud party trailed in polls conducted in the waning days of the election. The opposition party favors a two-state solution with Palestinians and was amenable to President Obama’s ongoing talks with Iran. The Likud party is the polar opposite. The party has taken the pragmatic approach that Palestinians must eschew terrorism before any talks can be conducted at statehood. Also, the Likud party favors increased sanctions against Iran as opposed to the Obama negotiations which they view as a pathway to nuclear proliferation for state sponsor of terrorism.

In fact, the acrimony between Obama and Netanyahu is greater than what was had between President Clinton and Netanyahu in the late 1990s. Congressman Frank gave his opinion on the Likud party’s victory and claimed Netanyahu and his allies in the GOP congress merely want war with Iran. It was as much as a tacit admission that a Netanyahu victory was a defeat for Obama’s Iranian foreign policy. While it is still possible for Obama to carve out a deal with Iran, it will be much harder given that Israel remains deeply opposed to the plan. David Axelrod, Obama’s former political strategist, lamented the effectiveness of Netanyahu’s last minute negative campaign against the opposition party.

FEMA Appeals Usually Land On The Side Of Insurance Companies

Standard

FEMA Reopens All Hurricane Sandy Flood Claims

Insurance companies don’t like to pay claims. If they are forced to pay, they find ways to reduce what they owe. Just ask anyone that lost property during Hurricane Sandy. Insurance companies low-balled hurricane damage estimates and in some cases, if not all, fraud played a role in them. FEMA came up with an appeals process in 2004, but that process hasn’t helped hurricane victims. FEMA sided with the insurance companies.

Some homeowners fought the insurance companies and found proof of fraud, so they felt confident that FEMA would grant them what they deserved stated Marcio Alaor BMG. But when homeowners got the FEMA verdict they couldn’t believe it. The government sided with the insurance in almost every case.

Part of the problem is FEMA doesn’t review all of the appeals. Servicing companies hired by insurance companies do most of the work in the appeal process. The servicing companies then send the appeal to the adjustor that wrote the claim in the first place. The adjuster gives his input, which is usually what he said in the first place.

Obviously the FEMA appeals process is dysfunctional. Once again, the government displays its ineptness when it comes to any kind of problem-solving and practical resolutions.

Virginia City Official Says God Ended Slavery Not The Government

Standard

Thomas Dunn, a Leesburg council member, wanted everyone in a recent public meeting to know that the hand of God freed the slaves not the government. God was solely responsible for stopping racial injustice, he said. Dunn said the hand of God touched the hearts of man and brought unity to the diversity that existed during those dreadful years.

Dunn was adamant about his view on slavery. The council member also said God is the only one that can end racism. Dunn’s comments were prompted by the public’s plea to create a Leesburg Diversity Commission. TheRealDeal says that commission would be able to communicate and encourage minorities to apply for city government jobs and foster a nurturing environment in Leesburg.

The opinionated Dunn didn’t vote for the creation of the new commission. He abstained from the vote. Dunn said the commission was not the answer to the town’s problems; he said God was. The play on semantics that ensued from Dunn’s comments proves that religious beliefs always played a role in politics. When religions begin to unite and accept each other’s similarities, and be discerning about their differences, maybe the world of politics will function differently.

Obamacare Supreme Court Case Divided Along Ideological Lines

Standard

The case “King v. Burwell” has once again divided the Supreme Court along ideological lines. The liberal justice such as Associate Justice Elaine Kagan believe the federal subsidies were intended to be applied to anyone eligible. She said it was the correct view to take when looking at the law in context. Merely focusing on four words limiting the subsidies to exchanges run by the individual states is too narrow. Quite likely, Justice Kagan believes the health care law is serving a higher public purpose and should deserve the benefit of the doubt rather than suffer scrutiny over dogmatic interpretations of the law as she posted via LinkedIn.

However, Associate Justice Samuel Alito issued the most pointed question to Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., Obama’s Solicitor General, when he asked why he is making the argument that the four words “established by the state” should be interpreted by the High Court differently than what it is understood to mean. The words, which were written relative to the federal subsidies for Obamacare, literally mean they were available only to state run exchanges. Justice Alito pointed out that if Congress did not intend to make that the case they why didn’t they phrase it using language such as “established under the act” or “established within the State”. Justice Kennedy expressed his concern that if the Congress had intended the subsidies should apply to all types of exchanges, why did the IRS have to make the call to extend billions of dollars to states using the federal exchange.

Republican Party Still the Party for the Rich

Standard

Briefly it appeared that the Republican Party might change direction in order to appeal more to middle-class voters but now that dream seems to have passed. Jonathan Chait charts the demise of the Republican reformicons in his New York Times article, indicating that the party still favors the rich far more than any other economic group. The withering away of campaign-finance restrictions may have helped the stalwarts of the familiar trickle-down approach to secure the status quo.

Chait also admits that those who wanted to change the direction of the party may not have been as reformist as they claimed. Marco Rubio and Mike Lee were two of the most visible Republicans delivering a pro middle-class message and yet their plan to change the tax structure would still see the lion’s share of cuts given to the richest in the land. Imaging advantage suggest that once the plan was analyzed by the Tax Policy Center it found that the poor and middle-class would save only 1/2 to 1 percent of their annual income due to tax breaks but the wealthiest in the nation would save nearly 3 percent according to numbers from AuntMinnie. When the dust settles it may be that even the most progressive wing of the Republican Party never intended to help anyone but the rich.

Mr. Netanyahu Goes To Washington

Standard

According to reuters.com, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impassioned speech before congress on Tuesday prompted a sarcastic and predictable rebuttal from Paul Waldman of The Washington Post. Poo-pooing Netanyahu’s claims about Iran being a different head of the same ISIS hydra, Mr. Waldman compared the prime minister’s statement to George Bush claiming Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were working in tandem.

This comparison is a bit of a problem, though, in that Iran has made repeated moves to bring about territorial control of surrounding nations while dragging out discussions with the United States. To date they have made vassals of the Shia portions of Iraq and completely dominated Syria. Through Hesbollah, Tehran rules Lebanon politically, and has established hegemony over western Afghanistan. The U.S. has catered to demands as well, handing out sanctions relief, plenty of time to dominate neighboring territory and almost $12 billion in assets. As of today, Iran has made absolutely no concessions in return.

Yet, Paul Waldman has no reason to suspect the Iranians of ulterior motives, and every reason to suspect Israel’s prime minister. In fact, what really fired Mr. Waldman’s indignation was Mr. Netanyahu’s criticism of the U.S. administration’s negotiation over Iran’s nuclear program, especially when he had the temerity to label it “A bad deal.”
“Where does that leave things?” Questions Mr. Waldman. He states sarcastically, “There’s something weird about arguing that Iran is a nation run by genocidal maniacs who want nuclear weapons so they can annihilate Israel.”
A theater of the absurd!

Admittedly, there is “something weird” about it. In fact, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called over the weekend for the destruction of Israel, stating that the “barbaric” Jewish state has no cure but to be annihilated. Quoted directly, the Ayatollah stated: ” During its 66 years of life so far, the fake Zionist regime has tried to realize its goals by means of infanticide, homicide, violence and iron fist while boasts about it blatantly.”

To get a grip on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s concerns, we need only Google up a map of the world, slide our finger over the Middle East, and point to Israel. In doing so, we can take note of its size, and the hostile factions surrounding it.
Now we need only imagine the Supreme Leader of Iran with nuclear military capability.
Imagine that bad a deal.

Senate Overturns NLRB Ruling on Unionization

Standard

Washington, D.C. – Across parts of the country, labor unions are suffering severe setbacks. Just last week, Wisconsin passed a right to work law which will allow people to opt out of paying union dues. Unions had become ensconced in American politics with federal and state laws promoting their growth. However, a trend emerged with President Reagan to diminish their influence. In response, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), now dominated by Obama appointees, issued a new ruling designed to fast track unionization. The ruling reduces the amount of time required from the point when a Union requests representation of a company’s workers and the vote to unionize is held.

It has been the fact that unions can enamor workers with promises of better pay, benefits, and working conditions. Employers have made effective use of the waiting period before a vote to explain the realities of unions and dissuade sufficient numbers of employees from voting to enact collective bargaining. However, Jason Halpern points that the NLRB has shortened waiting period in what amounts to a political sop to unions. The Senate GOP invoked a little known rule to override regulations. The vote to override a regulation cannot be filibustered. As a result, the GOP passed the measure by a party line vote of 53 to 45. Their joy over passage of the measure will be short lived. President Obama promised to veto the bill. The GOP lacks to votes to override it.

House Expected to Give Up Quest to Defund Amnesty Via DHS Funding Bill

Standard

House Speaker John Boehner is widely expected to give up the fight to defund the president’s amnesty bill through the funding of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The GOP had promised voters they would block the amnesty plan by the use of the power of the purse. However, as the Examiner would report, Senate Democrats blocked the bill from receiving a floor vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to adopt any drastic measures that would break the Democrat’s filibuster.

For days, House Speaker John Boehner asserted his chamber had done its job in passing the bill and the Senate had to find a way to break the filibuster. However, Boehner now plans to bring a floor vote for a clean DHS funding bill as early as this afternoon. Some pundits have speculated the GOP may tack on a rider to the clean bill defunding the president’s extra-constitutional plan to allow 5 million illegal aliens to remain in the nation with green cards and work permits. Should the GOP adopt that tactic, the bill would proceed to the Senate free of any filibuster threat.

At the same time, many believe House Speaker Boehner will merely give Democrats what they deserve: funding for amnesty. Boehner claims the reality is that there is no way to break the filibuster. In addition, the DHS faces critical national security challenges which requires additional funding. Many Republicans believe they cannot allow the DHS to endure a government shutdown.