Obama’s Stolen Strength.

February 20, 2008

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What comes to mind when I think of Barrack Obama? A candidate of nothing. An interesting man, a talented orator, a devoted father/husband, and a political novice. A shell of a president. A man with a brilliant future, several years from now, when he has the experience to command anything more than an audience. His own supporters have been stumbling in interviews when simply asked to state one legislative accomplishment. Why then is he winning? Two words: incandescent speech. When the man talks, he glows. He beams of confidence, optimism, and truth. In reality those beams consist of arrogance, naivety, and rhetoric. I appreciate a good public speaker and do value words. I would never lobby his lofty speech against him like some people have. Now his lack of experience is another issue that I have no problem holding against him.

So what is my point? You already know I support Clinton, but respect Obama (that does not mean I have to respect people who vote for him). Words are really all he has and now the news is reporting some of his words are not his own. Yes, I speak of plagiarism, a borderline curse word in the academic setting. Apparently plagiarism is completely acceptable in the campaign for the White House. Because he continued his surge of victories after the story broke. A man running solely on his words shouldn’t be simply quoting others. Many of you will jump to his defense, that is was his speech writers who plagiarized, but therein lies the problem. If words are all he has and we don’t hold him responsible for his words then there is nothing left of his candidacy.

In defense of being “just words”

Obama responded nearly word for word and without attribution, a quote from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’ — just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ — just words.”

On another occasion

Deval Patrick: “I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”.

Obama: “I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”

On Pharmaceutical Ads

Edwards’s 2004 stump speech: “I love the ads. Buy their medicine, take it, and the next day you and your spouse will be skipping through the fields.”

Obama: “You know those ads where people are running around the fields, you know, they’re smiling, you don’t know what the drug is for?”

During Announcement Speeches

Edwards (2003) : “I haven’t spent most of my life in politics, but I’ve spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change Washington.”

Obama (2007): “I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Unionized Labor

Edwards: “We need a president not afraid to use the word ‘union,’

Obama: “We need a president . . . who is not afraid to mention unions,”

Working Class

Edwards: “Hard work should be valued in this country, so we’re going to reward work, not just wealth.”
Obama: “We shouldn’t just be respecting wealth in this country, we should be respecting work.”

 

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Cloverfield Attacks Again

February 4, 2008

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Cloverfield, the much hyped monster movie, might be coming back. After a killer first weekend (followed by a big drop off) the creators of the film are looking to further cash in on the movie by making a sequel. REALLY? I mean I thought it was okay, as a one time thing. If the monster survived the end of this movie, how exactly would anyone even try to kill it next movie.

You can read my early review of Cloverfield here.


Who Will Snoop Dogg Vote For?

February 2, 2008

Political activist / Media correspondent Snoop Dogg, oh wait, I mean Blunt Smoker/Rapper/#1 Pimp Snoop Dogg is torn up about who to vote for. Or at least thats the implication between CNN political ticker headline Snoop Dogg torn between Obama, Clinton. Now I have no problem with this article, I mean people are always curious what candidates celebrities support.  And with the rockstar like craze Obama has been using to help people look past his weak credentials and even weaker plans, it is refreshing to see a celebrity not just jump on the wagon.  Many celebrities with little to no political knowledge have jumped behind Obama helping to raise money and awareness.   Some how there is this implication if you don’t support Obama over Clinton you are some racist who hates change.

What I thought was funny is that the article is the top story on the CNN ticker, which is a blog I frequent several times a day.  If I were Snoop I would write a rap about the two candidates and switch between the verses who I was supporting.  Add in his characteristically smooth hooks and he now has new hit that every station will jump to play throughout the primary season.


Crazy for Christmas

December 8, 2007

While its normally against my no lame-old-people -TV policy, I might have to check out HGTV tomorrow night.  Sunday, Dec. 9, @ 9 they are airing a special “What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House?”  I love insanely decked out houses.  I think its great if someone want to be that excited about the holidays.  Plus as a kid, those lights meant Christmas was soon, so it attaches an emotional significance.

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“What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House?”
It’s a holiday twist on the series, What’s With That House? Every neighborhood has one … the house that just doesn’t fit in. And for the holidays, these houses actually go out of their way to stand out! What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House? has host George Gray taking viewers behind the closed doors of the most-talked-about houses in the neighborhood to meet the characters who live there and check out their unique take on holiday decorating.


Jello+Booze=I’m in!

December 5, 2007

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Jello Shots. They bring to mind different things to different people. For me I think of drinking them until I felt sick at Pitt with Alex, I think about 21st birthdays, I think about taking them continuously while playing board games, I think of the shore, and I think of pure unadulterated trashiness. But with a little modification, the bacchic undergrad drink/snack of choice can be converted into a holiday party favorite. Check out what PopSugar had to say:

Article

It has recipes for the classic Jello Shot (which done in red and green automatically becomes a holiday treat ), it also has a recipe for “Spiked Punch” jello shots, and my personal favorite the “Margarita Jello Shot”.

Margarita Jell-O Shots

6 oz package of Lime Jell-O
Two cups (16 oz) boiling water
6 oz tequila
2 oz triple sec
1 oz lime juice
1 oz cold water

  1. Empty Jell-O packet into a large bowl or container
  2. Add boiling water to bowl. Whisk together until fully dissolved. About 3 minutes.
  3. Add tequila, triple sec, lime juice and cold water. Whisk together.
  4. Spoon or pour into prepared cups.
  5. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

It also has pictures to show you what they should look like, ideas about the colors, and more advanced jello shots.  It shows for all of the less technically skilled folks how you make jello shots that are orange slices.  (Hint: You make a half an orange and cut the slices after the jello sets)

Enjoy!  (Drink Responsibly)


Automated Pharmacy

November 13, 2007

This article/press release is somewhat positively biased, but it does shed some light on Medco’s plan for pharmacy. It is interesting to consider the prospect of automated dispensing and how it will affect the jobs of pharmacists. I was asked in my interview for the University of Pittsburgh, “If I were to tell you that in ten years dispensing was completely eliminated by the use of machines, would you still want to be a pharmacist, what would you expect to do, and why?”


INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined executives from Medco Health Solutions, Inc. today to announce the company’s plans to build the world’s largest and most advanced automated pharmacy in Central Indiana, filling a growing nationwide demand for lower-cost medicines. The new 318,000-square-foot pharmacy, slated to open early in 2009, will cover an area equivalent to six and a half football fields — bringing approximately 1,300 jobs to the state by its anticipated peak operation in 2012.

“Medco has pioneered the use of computers, robotics, optical scanners and other technologies to create drug dispensing systems which are virtually error-free,” said Kenneth O. Klepper, Medco President and Chief Operating Officer.

The state’s business-friendly environment, modern transportation infrastructure, skilled labor pool and proximity to several schools of pharmacy including Butler University and Purdue University were other notable factors in the site selection process. Medco intends to provide competitive salaries and a comprehensive employee benefit package for a wide range of positions, including electrical and mechanical technicians, managers, warehouse specialists and more than 100 pharmacists, among other types of jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2008, with the majority of the hiring expected in 2010 and 2011.

Medco is leading the charge on transforming pharmacy care from a “generalist” practice to a “specialist” practice. “With advancements in science and technology blazing a path of personalized medicine, we can no longer take a shot gun approach to pharmacy,” Klepper said. “To that end, Medco has created condition-specific resource centers staffed with hundreds of pharmacists who receive specialized training in specific chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and asthma. This focus on one chronic disease state enables these specialist pharmacists to better help patients optimize their health.”

Coupled with its unparalleled dispensing pharmacy practice, Medco has created an industry leading end-to-end specialized pharmacy practice model.

Medco’s mail-order pharmacy business received an additional boost when the Federal Employee Program(TM) (FEP) awarded a contract for its mail-service and specialty prescription drug program for 4 million federal employees, retirees and their families, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

Medco’s two existing automated dispensing pharmacies in Willingboro, N.J. and Las Vegas dispensed 90 percent of the company’s mail-order prescriptions in 2006. Medco’s automated pharmacies currently have the capacity to fill more than 2 million prescriptions per week. Medco opened the world’s first fully automated pharmacy in Las Vegas in October 1996 and the world’s then- largest pharmacy at 280,000 square feet in Willingboro in 2001.

Full Article


Veteran’s Day: Our Heroes, Our Homeless

November 11, 2007

Who are homeless veterans?

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says the nation’s homeless veterans are mostly males. The majority are single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities, 45% suffer from mental illness, and half have substance abuse problems. They have served in every war from the second World War to Iraq.

How many homeless veterans are there?

The VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And nearly 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year. Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.

Why are veterans homeless?

In addition to the complex set of factors affecting all homelessness — extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to health care — a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

Doesn’t the Department of Veterans Affairs take care of homeless veterans?

With an estimated 400,000 veterans homeless at some time during the year, the VA reaches 25% of those in need. For more information about VA homeless veteran programs, go to www.va.gov/homeless/.

What services do veterans need?

Veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing and nutritional meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental health counseling; and personal development and empowerment. Veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance.

The solution?

I don’t know. More government money, more private charity, and more awareness would be a start. But on a personal level, I think the first step is just keeping in mind when you see the homeless on our streets that many of them fought for our country.  I also think this is a cause that organized religion really can and often does step up for.  I know personally, my church and the Catholic church in general does a lot to help the plight of the homeless.