Tag Archives: politics

Trump Terror

11 Nov

I was actually happy when Trump got the Republican nomination.  I thought Jeb Bush, with his family-backing, and Texas oil money, and far-right support was more of a threat.  I highly doubted anyone would take Donald Trump seriously.  I mean, all he had going for him was money and trash-talk!  I felt voting for him was akin to voting for a Kardashian.  They’re in the same camp–you know their names from the stupid stuff they say and do on television, but you don’look to them for any serious leadership.

And I knew if nobody took Trump seriously (because HOW could they!!!) that whatever democrat was running would be a shoe-in.  I wasn’t sad to see it was Hillary.  I had actually voted for her over Obama in the primary that first time around when she ran.  I knew her face, thought she worked really hard as Secretary of State, and yeah–I wanted a woman in the White House.

But I thought women’s rights were farther ahead than they actually are.  I really think if Hillary were a man, things would have played out differently.  It would have been an EQUAL assessment of two candidates.  Not just a singular attack on one and blind-spot toward the other.  They would have dug into her dirty laundry–sure–that’s part of the political game these days.  And believe me, they ALL have their share of dirty laundry.  The political machine is so caught up in money now, that ALL candidates that make it to a certain lever most certainly made back room deals to get funded.  They all owe somebody.  Every politician has to water down a certain policy they care about, because a special interest group contributed to their campaign.

That makes them all lairs.  They all manipulate.  Every politician is shady.  I expect it.

But they would have used the bad stuff to equal disadvantage, apples-to-apples.  They didn’t.  When people called Hillary a liar, I was like–yeah.  Of course.  But what I didn’t expect was to people to hold that against Hillary in a militant way, when they didn’t hold the male politician to the same standard.  I would challenge that every accusation, every piece of dirty laundry found on Hillary was used against her in a more drastic way then it is used against any man that has run or held office.  People were a LOT harsher on Clinton then they’ve been on most males in politics.

The patriarchal double-standard reared it’s ugly head.

Even so, I didn’t think the country would go for Donald Trump.  How could they?  He is a caricature.  He’s all fluff and propaganda, and realty TV!  He has no political experience, no solid policy ideas, only hateful sound-bites.  His business dealings were murky.  The guy claimed bankruptcy and didn’t pay taxes.  He wavered on issues, and lost all three debates.  His supporters were the trashiest, most backward, belligerents in the country.  He got caught candidly admitting his penchant for sexual abuse.  Americans would not get behind any of that.  We might like to see the train wreck on TV, but we expect more decorum and have higher standards for our president.

The leader of our country–the leader of the world.

I was in absolute shock when we didn’t.

This week was difficult.  I felt suddenly scared and alone.  I knew every person from my small town voted republican.  I felt since Trump is against many of the minority groups I belong to (women-in social standing, impoverished, gays) that my Utah work managers were also.  My hometown was also.  My Facebook friends were also.  My parents were also.  I was suddenly marginalized.  Cowering at the fringes.

And my groups are actually dominant groups OF the marginalized groups.  The illegals, people of color, transsexuals, Muslims–all have it way worse.  If I felt scared and alone, how must THEY feel???

I saw many Trump supporters come across my Facebook feed.  And they shut-down dissent by telling anyone liberal or sorry about the win to “get over it.”  They discounted their opinions, silencing their views.  I try not to make waves on Facebook.  Or at work.  I know I am more progressive then my small-town peers.  I understand I have lived in more states, have more education, watch documentaries and learn about issues.  I’m a moderate, but a progressive one.  That sets me apart from most loud political views.  I get that people that just don’t know, don’t necessarily hate, but they are ignorant.  I can let some things go.  And I am usually quiet.  I scroll past the politics that are opposite to my views, the hate-memes, and ignorance.  Because these people are family.  Or they are my past.  I grew up and went through every year of schooling from kindergarten to senior year with some of these people–it’s just not worth it.

But when people started hassling Cool on her Facebook page, I stopped to think.  She was upset and posted why.  People wrote long diatribes, personally attacking her.  People told her to shut up about it.  People said to “move on.”  And in a society that just accepted what Trump stands for, and voted him in the highest office–I decided we could no longer afford apathy.

A lot of the reason he got voted in was because people didn’t like either candidate so they didn’t vote.  A whole, big section of youth, and moderates, and democrats just didn’t vote.  Which left privileged people to make our decisions.  People whose lives look nothing like mine.  People who don’t have the same problems and worries as me (or other marginalized groups).  It made me think a lot of that Holocaust quote, which I will not directly quote (because I’m too lazy to go search for it, and I already have more tabs open then I like) so I will sum the sentiment up:  They took the criminals, and I was not a criminal so I didn’t say anything.  They took the gypsies, and I was not a gypsy so I didn’t say anything.  They took the Jews and I was not a Jew so I didn’t say anything.  So when they came for me–there was nobody to speak for me.

We always have to remember how the Holocaust started so nothing even remotely similar can repeat itself.  It’s not just about some tyrant stealing power–it’s the apathy and silence from the real majority that allows that to happen.

And Cool and I spent a very large part of the year watching WWII (and everything around the periphery of that) shows, interviews, and documentaries.  I know what apathy can lead to, I know how things got started in Germany back then.  So I felt motivated to stand up where I could in my own life.  I made a new policy that I would not be silenced by the privileged few.  I would not stand down as a woman.  I will not hide as a gay.  I will not let my poverty minimize my power.  And I wouldn’t stand by and say nothing when others were hassled–not anymore.  I will act with integrity and stand for what I believe in.  Even if it causes confrontation.  I will deliberately show my ethics and speak my morals.  I have to counter the negativity and hate that was just sanctioned by a vocal majority by stopping the silence and apathy.  First in my own life, then maybe even on a larger scale.

Here’s what I wrote to Cool (and her frenemies on Facebook):

hypocracy

 

And I wrote to her (and those frenemies of hers):

“Words of wisdom: I will not be shut-down or silenced. I will continue to voice my ethics and let my values guide my actions. Hate has no place here. Don’t let societal pressures make you falter. Speak your mind. Speak your truth.”

Because right now it’s super-important for all those just marginalized by the ignorants and the haters to have a voice.  Remind people we’re here and we’re just as valid.  And we have dreams, hopes, and rights.  We deserve an equal chance.  We deserve respect.  That dissent is not unpatriotic.  To speak out for injustice is as American as you can get.  It’s what this country was built on.

I also got brave and wrote from my heart on my own Facebook page.  Knowing I was outnumbered by right-wingers.  Knowing there was hate for my groups just under the surface.

“I try to keep politics off my page. Nobody really wants to hear it–you’re not changing anyone’s mind. And I don’t identify with either party. I think with all the money, and lobbyists, and Super-PACS all candidates that make it that far have to be corrupt just to be in the game. But I am in shock and dismay.

For me, this 2016 election result is not about red or blue, winning or losing, it’s about standing for my values, and modeling my ethics. I will not be shut-down and I will not falter in defending my morals for fear of antagonism. It’s not about, “move on, get over it.” Trump’s values do not align with mine. And friends/family I hope I know you well enough that Trump’s quotes/feelings are not in your heart either.
This is a country of immigrants, mentally ill, minorities, women, gays, impoverished, of “other.” Big-Money shouldn’t have the largest and last say in all matters. As a proud American I recognize how fortunate I am to be born here and at the status that I hold. But that’s all it was–luck, completely out of my control. I will raise my voice to defend the little people– outsiders like myself–because that’s the kind of person I am.
If you can’t respect that, if you are ignorant to the sentiment of this message–mostly I feel sorry for you. And a little afraid. For myself, for the others like me, for this great country, and for you. God bless, and may the universe be kind to you and yours.”
I was disappointed I only got 3 likes and one comment–none of those from family.  So the fears and isolation are real.  Those people on my Facebook WOULD turn against me.  I have to watch my mouth and watch my back.
But I will not be silenced.  I will not go down without a fight.
I took my new personal-policy of not being silenced to my job yesterday.  Crissy bought us ice cream.  She got 4 different flavors of candy bars.  Derick the Douche loves Reese’s PB cups best, so she specifically got ice cream in that flavor for him.  He claimed it before he saw it.  The rest of us decided which flavors we wanted.  Derick then saw the ice cream, and saw his flavor was smaller then the rest.  He said he wanted oreo instead (it was the biggest).  But an Indian gal had already picked that one out.  White, male, privileged, dominant Derick the Douche wanted it, and pushed for it.  She conceded.  I spoke up–“No Siama already chose that one.”  And I like PB, and didn’t particularly care which ice cream flavor I ate (I love ALL ice cream!) so I told him to take the Twix one I had picked.  He pouted and tried to take hers anyway.  I put my foot down.  Which, I never would have done before.  He’s always that way.  It was none of my business.  But under my new policy, I was not going to stand by and let him bully a minority and take the (perceived) better ice cream away from her.
I used my policy a second time in the same night.  A chronically slow, co-worker, who is always late, always lagging on his buckets, and actually disallowed to do basic tasks because he messes up, ruffled my feathers.  I always do the document imaging at work.  My co-workers don’t like to.  Everyone is supposed to do it.  We even have it assigned to a certain color.  But I do the lions share-no matter what color I am assigned.  Night after night.  Because I am a hard worker.  I’m motivated.  And it needs to be done.  I’ll do the scanning–ALL of the scanning.  Night after night, month after month, year after year-I do the majority of the scanning.  To the point, they don’t even know HOW, some of them, including the boy in this story.
For once, Crissy (who is just a sub and usually doesn’t work) was helping with the scanning.  She got stuck and didn’t know what had gone wrong, and this kid (Josh) was near so went over to help her.  But since he never scans, didn’t know how.  And they all just KNOW that I’m the scanning bitch at work.  In an accusatory tone, he called my name–like ‘YOU fucked this up, now come over and fix your mistake so Crissy can finish our work.’  That’s what his tone and body language said.  And he’s used that tone on me before.  Usually I let it go to keep the peace.  Even though it’s a totally inappropriate tone for work, and completely condescending.  I usually let it go.  Even though it makes me mad and makes me feel ‘less than’ I let it go.
But last night I called him out on it.  I said, “Are you asking for my help or accusing me of something?”  And he still looked agitated and a little hostile toward me so I continued, “You don’t need to use that accusatory tone on anyone at work–especially when you’re asking for their help.”  Turns out, I had not messed anything up.  But even if I had–so what?  And um–scanning is not MY job.  They are supposed to be doing their share and they never do–so don’t come accusing me of anything regarding scanning!  Anyway, Crissy had pressed something wrong, and it was no big deal, I simply showed her how to fix it, and we went on with work.  But my defense had made the kid mad.  He was storming around, slamming his stuff, and had a shitty demeanor for the rest of our shift.
But I wasn’t silenced.
And that felt good.  In a week where shock and horror ruled.  So I will continue on, living ethically, not hiding behind fear or apathy.  I will act with morality, defend those without a voice, and stand up for my beliefs–because they’re just as valid as Trumps, and those who voted for him.
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Chipotle “Interview”

18 Aug

I’ve been waiting to post this, but I feel the time is now.  And I debated using the company’s name, but this is information widely available online, and Chipotle stands behind these hiring practices, so I figure it’s fair game.  All summer I searched and searched for a part time “summer” job.  It would have been ideal to work from the last week of May to the first week of August.  But things didn’t work out that way at all.  With my very specialized experience it was VERY difficult to secure any non-animal work.  At all.  Cleaning, restaurant, warehouse, service, laundry.  I tried to apply for anything, and wasn’t picky–except that it be actual part time (we are NOT talking 35 hour Wal-Mart part time, but more like half of full time).  Also, I didn’t want a night job–other then I guess, my cleaning position at Cat’s Meow which sometimes started as early as 3AM.  But that was MY choice and my sleep schedule, not imposed and consistent.  Anyhow, one of few (5 our of what felt like thousands of apps?) jobs that extended an interview offer to me was Chipotle. 

And I felt like finally I was a shoe-in for something.  The ad said “entry-level” and “part-time.”  And with my animal science DEGREE and one job at Campus Dining Services I thought I would be an obvious choice.  Plus, I like their food, and it is really close to school and home.  So I did a lot of research on their website.  Which was off-putting because I don’t really believe in “natural” marketing or organic or cage free–any of those jargon-y terms meant to evoke an emotional response from consumers who know very little about agriculture.  But I do strongly believe in ethics and it seemed like Chipotle (for stock numbers, or not) cared–or at least wanted to portray they did.  But I researched, researched, researched, putting aside my application to do so.

My story is the 2nd review.  You can see I’m not the only one that was annoyed.  Needless to say, I was unimpressed.  Job searching can be L-A-M-E.

 

1.

ul 9, 20131 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Crew Member Interview

Crew Member
 Spokane, WA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Chipotle in May 2013.

Interview Details – I applied online and did not think much of it. A few months later I received an e-mail telling me that I had an interview the next week.

Upon arriving it was clear that this would be a group interview as one was already in the process. I sat with a few other girls until it was our interview time. We were offered drink cups but none of us took the offer.

The interview itself was strange. It felt like we were competing to see who would answer first and who would answer the best. The questions were basic though. Why chipotle? What do you know about Chipotle? Etc. The manager then told us a lot of background about Chipotle.
After the interview, he said he would call us if he wanted us to come back for a 2nd interview. Not even an hour later, I received a call from him asking me to come back the next day.

The next day, I was on my way to the interview when I saw I had a voicemail. It was the manager. He evidently was not aware before the 1st interview that I am 17 and you must be 18 to work at Chipotle. He basically was telling me not to come in so I wouldn’t waste my time. I do not believe this is professional whatsoever. They should really check the ages of the people they interview before hand.

Interview Question – What do you know about Chipotle? Do some research before the interview   Answer Question

pig in boots

2.  Crew Member Interview

Crew Member
Spokane, WA
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks – interviewed at Chipotle in July 2014.

Interview Details – The whole process seemed unorganized, and a little excessive for a fast food restaurant. It took 33 days from the time my application confirmation arrived to the e-mail invitation to an interview. They do not disclose the fact it will be a group interview, or inform you how many positions are available to fill. The manager met my group (of 6) 10-15 minutes later then the stated time, and took us outside in 89F to commence the interview. Literally one question was asked: “Introduce yourselves, tell us about what you like to do for fun, and oh by the way, why you’re interested in Chipotle.” We went around the table with answers then the rest of the time the manager talked about the company, himself, and hiring policies. He said he would look at our applications after this interview to check availability (ummm, shouldn’t this have been done first–like during the 4+ weeks between my application and interview??!) and call us probably tomorrow for a 2nd interview. Despite answering the only question well, two and a half hours post-interview I got an e-mail rejecting me. So I assume something on my application immediately disqualified me–something that should have been checked prior to wasting my time!

Interview Question – Just a basic introduction–but remember to bring in info about the company in your answer! Answer Question

Green Bluff 031

3.

Jul 12, 2014

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Crew Member/Line Person Interview

Crew Member/Line Person
 Spokane, WA

I applied online – interviewed at Chipotle in July 2014.

Interview Details – I applied to Chipotle online and got an email a few days later saying I had an interview with them that Saturday. After extreme research on the company and reviewing all possible interview questions I felt very prepared. I went in and saw it was a group interview which I was not at all surprised considering I read other interview reviews on here. When I walked in they ere finishing up on another group interview so we sat their patiently. Then we went outside and talked. He asked everybody to write down our names and numbers on a sheet then asked everyone to answer what they knew about chipotle, what they like to do for fun, and what they were passionate about. After we all answered he just explained a lot about chipotle and asked an open question to the whole group of what we thought was the most important to the company: Food, Business, or People. I was the first to answer this question. He then talked more about the company and at the end asked if anyone had any questions. I asked how many open positions there were and no body else asked any questions. about 3 hours later I got an email telling me I didn't get the job.

Interview Question – There was only one real question. "What do you know about Chipotle, what are you passionate about, and what do you do on your free time.   View Answer

My Newfound Hatred for Traffic Cameras

4 Aug

The City of SpoKompton royally pi$$ed me off today.  Like red-hot searing anger.  They mailed me a traffic ticket.  It seems that when I was coming home from work the other day, I was caught on camera making a right turn on red.  Without coming to a complete 3 sec stop.  There were time-stamped pictures, my license plate, and a video clearly showing I had broken the law.

And believe me, readers, do NOT comment on this post that I was in the wrong so I should indeed have to pay the $124 ticket.  I will come unleashed.  I’m that belligerent about it.

Why I’m so mad:

-It was at 5:12 in the morning.

-There was NO other traffic.  Even the video showed I approached a clear intersection, slowed down, turned, and what followed was a clear intersection.

-You could also see in the video clear crosswalks and sidewalks = no pedestrians.

-Not know the letter of the law is not an excuse, but puh-leeze.

-I think the law needs to change to make sense.  When nobody is there are you’re making a right–why force a 3 sec stop?

-I could see paying a ticket in the very maximum amount of $50.  I can understand that–and I would pay without fussing to the authorities (though you better believe I would fuss on here).  But charging me as if I blew through a whole intersection during a red light?  Nonsense.

-This particular intersection is notorious.  So much so that when I am driving during any sort of daylight hours, I take the (longer) back way–just because the scene is so terrible.  You see, I have to turn left from my residence–and there is no left turn arrow.  And the preceding stoplight of traffic going the opposite direction (coming toward this intersection) is timed so that just as this infamous intersection gets a green–the cars race up the road going straight.  Negating a left turn.  You could sit through 3 or 4 cycles (I have) before finally getting enough time and room to dart quickly to complete a left.  And I have–many times.  Most people that end up in the left turn lane inch into the middle of the intersection, then finally just go.  It’s either block the cross-traffic or run the yellow/red.  So they are forced to wait all day or go either on yellow, or after the light has already changed to red.  There are LEGIT failure to stops making it dangerous.  So DURING HOURS WHEN THERE’S TRAFFIC it’s a dangerous intersection.  BUT have they put in an arrow?  Do they place police there to watch?  Do they change the timing of the lights?  No!  They don’t really care.  Nothing changes to fix the problem and make notorious intersection any safer or user-friendly.  I’m mad about my ticket because the above factors tell me my ticket is not about safety, but money.

-I see way worse offenses go unticketed at this intersection then my right on red.

-They only give you 2.5 weeks to pay the full amount of money.

-What’s NOT to be mad about?

Here’s an article talking about how other people are also angry:

Rolling Right Turns

Rolling right turn violations have been proven to have very little effect on driver safety. In fact, a review of US Department of Transportation statistics shows that an average motorist could drive a billion miles — the distance from Earth to Jupiter and back — before being involved in an accident that resulted from a motorist making a right-turn-on-red. Even these few crashes involved failure to yield the right-of-way; previously stopping, or not stopping, were not the primary cause of these accidents.

Cities with ticket cameras sell the cameras to the public by explaining that they’ll help prevent right-angle crashes. However, the majority of tickets given out inevitably end up being for minor rolling-right-turn violations.

According to the LA Times, Los Angeles officials estimated that 80% of their red-light camera tickets are for rolling right turns. And according to the Chicago Daily Herald, rolling-right-turn violations have accounted for 90% of the tickets generated in several Illinois communities. These tickets are often given to drivers who actually stopped safely but were inches over the line.

Drivers have long interpreted the “Right Turn On Red” law to mean that they must yield to other traffic and to pedestrians before executing a right turn when they confront a red signal at an intersection [my emphasis]. As noted above, this interpretation has worked out extremely well from a safety and traffic movement perspective. Strict enforcement of provisions that require the driver to come to a complete stop, at a specific spot, did not occur until the advent of red-light ticket cameras.

Consequently, while almost all motorists observe the “yield the right-of-way” requirement, they do not always come to a complete stop before executing a right turn on red. National accident data clearly indicate that coming to a complete stop is not necessary, and possibly undesirable, if it causes rear-end collisions.

The NMA believes that the best course of action is to change the law so it is in sync with the way motorists successfully comply with the concept of “Right Turn On Red.” That means removing the requirement mandating coming to a complete stop and replacing it with language that further emphasizes a right turn on red can only be executed after yielding the right of way to all other vehicles and pedestrians. All states, not just those that permit the use of ticket cameras, should make this change in their Right Turn On Red law.

That’s what I’m sayin’!  And from another site:

At The Ticket Clinic, we have seen many red light camera tickets for making a right turn on red.  The red light camera laws state that a red light camera ticket cannot be issued if the driver makes the turn in a “careful and prudent” manner.  While Florida law requires the driver to come to a full stop and a police officer can issue a ticket in person if the driver does not come to a full stop, the red light camera tickets have a lower standard.  Yet, because of the vague language cities are taking a liberal reading of “careful and prudent” and issuing red light camera tickets if the driver does not come to a full stop.  Many individuals are unaware of this distinction between and chose to simply pay the red light camera ticket because they think they must be guilty.  But as long as a pedestrian, bike or oncoming car, a rolling stop when making a right on red that is made carefully should not be a citable offense.

But what to do?  Unfair, ridiculous or not–I have the ticket and I’m now responsible for it.

I was am also really stressed out because I absolutely cannot spare over a hundred dollars.  So I looked online trying to find a way out.  It was obviously my car based on the clear pictures and close-up license plate number.  I obviously did not stop for 3 sec before completing my right turn.  The video shows a red light.  So I did irrefutably break the (stupid, pointless–gerrrr) law.  There was a letter on the internet that Cool gave me that did get the charges dropped for someone two years ago:

To Whom it May Concern,
I received a letter claiming I committed a violation of a speeding law in the District of Columbia on 04/21/2012. As per the instructions, I am writing to plead ‘not guilty’ to this charge. Although this option is said to result in this matter going to court; it is my suggestion that the charges simply be dropped. This suggestion comes out of respect for tax payers, and my request that their hard earned money not be wasted in such proceedings. As there is no evidence of my involvement with this alleged ‘crime’, as well as the fact that I am not granted my 6th amendment right to face my ‘accuser’ (a camera); I see no way the government could prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I also see find no legal requirement for me to implicate someone else in this process, as it is the government’s responsibility to prove a person’s guilt. It is also my 5th amendment right to remain silent on the matter.
If it is the government’s decision to move forward in this matter, I would request copies of any evidence the prosecution may have of my involvement in the “offense”; as well as, all maintenance records for the camera(s) involved.
Sincerely,

But I thought the cities are now savvy to that.  They have proof in the form of 3 pictures, a video, time stamps. . .  I am desperate though, so I perused the internet further:

Argue the Reliability of the Camera

When in traffic court to fight the ticket, ask whether the camera was indeed working properly at the time it generated your ticket. Cameras are machines and they can malfunction. If the prosecution cannot decidedly prove that the camera was working properly, they do not have a solid case proving that you ran the red light. Also, those reviewing the pictures can make a mistake in deciding on the accuracy of the picture. Question if they are absolutely certain the picture proves that you ran the red light.

Witnesses at Trial

The red light camera manufacturer is supposed to appear at trials regarding red light traffic tickets. A representative from the camera company is there to testify whether the camera was working properly and when it was last maintained. If no one shows up to represent the camera company, you can argue that no one is there to verify whether the picture is accurate.

Hearsay

One can try arguing that the photograph is hearsay and is therefore inadmissible under the Sixth Amendment. It is hearsay because you cannot cross examine the photograph or the camera. The Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to confront their accuser.

In summary, it is best to have a traffic attorney represent you. If you are not familiar with traffic law, you will not be able to mount your own defense in court. Without knowing the law or how to prepare a defense, you will likely lose your case.

This seemed like some good ideas, but I in no way want to go to court, but what other choice do I have, right?  So I looked at the evidence again and noticed you don’t see the driver in the pictures or video.  It can’t be proved that I was behind the wheel at this particular time.  So I’m going to try to fight it based on that, and hopefully I can avoid paying the city’s bills for them.

And because this is so stupid, expensive, and a huge pain in my a$$, I’m making some changes:

-I will avoid that intersection–even in the early morning hours when no people are around.

-I will vote down any legislation regarding use of traffic cameras.

-I will talk (more) trash about SpoKompton.

-I may or may not remember to fully stop for 3 seconds at any right turn regardless of the traffic/pedestrians even though it seems like complete over-kill and money-making schemes to me.

Saint George Vet: Issues

9 Jun

What are the most significant issues facing your chosen area of study?

There are many issues important to public health. Some of the most pertinent issues of today are zoonotic disease, food safety, and disaster preparedness. Combining talents of veterinarians and public health professions, will help alleviate the effects of these issues on not only domestic fronts, but worldwide.

Veterinarians strive to eliminate disease in animals, especially Zoonotic diseases that are also communicable to people. Treating the effects of disease is essential to combating the spread of sickness, but more effective is avoiding the disease in the first place. Prevention is a crucial element in combating zoonotic disease, as understanding viral and bacterial life cycles can help prevent human behaviors which may promote diseases. Collaboration of agricultural producers, veterinarians, safety inspectors, and law enforcement is critical to eliminating such disease threats.

Food borne diseases are another area of concern to society. Veterinarians and public health officials help educate the public, producers, and politicians making laws to help keep food borne illness and disease at bay. The public health industry also strives to implement environmentally friendly livestock operations. Again, coordination of experts is crucial in combating issues pertaining to keeping the food supply, and the environment, which that food is produced, safe. These efforts lead to better health for citizens and a safe, healthy environment for everyone to enjoy. Efforts to raise agricultural and environmental standards boost the food supply, making food available to more people around the world. Raising the standard of living on a global scale by implementing safer farming practices is a win-win situation for everyone.

Another area of concern to both veterinarians and public health officials is disaster preparedness. Interactions involving emergency forces, producers, veterinarians, and lawmakers can help people in both the United States and worldwide deal with unforeseeable events. Prevention and simultaneous development of standard operating procedures can prepare us for imminent danger. If subsequent damage does occur from the incident, a plan for recovery emphasizing teamwork and communication should be in place.

Important issues such as zoonotic disease, agricultural safety, and disaster preparedness crucial to public health and veterinary medicine can be combated with collaboration of experts in both fields.

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Dental is Not Medical?

9 May

I’m sure 4 out of 5 dentists would disagree, Group Health.

 

Health insurance and I have always had a thing.  I don’t really know how that got started, but here’s a quick run-down:

-Before I was 24 (I don’t remember exactly how MUCH before now) my parents yanked me off their insurance early and without any warning.  I think they did this because they had just found out I was gay and were acting homophobic, and to a lessor extent felt I was acting entitled and wanted to save their money.

-Not knowing what to do, and not having the means or motivation, I remained uninsured.  My veterinary hospital job (a small, privately-owned business) of course did not offer insurance.

-During this time, I went to the school medical center where they told me I was too late to get sutures (did nothing for me) under my mandatory student health fee.  It was the only time I utilized my student health “privileges.”  I can’t remember how much it added to my tuition every semester.  When I needed rabies vaccinations they were not covered by my health fee and I had to pay over $300 out of pocket because I wasn’t in their vet program–I think their classes get vaccinated as part of their tuition.

-Also during this time I had to go to the Emergency Room on a Sunday.  I received an IV, anti-nausea injection, and had a brief conversation with someone who charged me $1200 for less then 3 minutes.  I was also charged $840 for emergency room type nickle and diming fees from everyone and their brother who was within a blocks radius.  Which of course I could not afford on my practically minimum wage vet assistant salary.  Though they said they didn’t accept payments, I created my own payment plan and paid $100-200/month until the bill was paid off.  They do not send you to collections if you pay on it consistently.

-Other then that I never went to a medical doctor.  I got glasses & contacts on CareCredit and went to the dentist with my own money.  I paid for my own Invisalign on CareCredit as well.

-For the first time ever, a veterinary job (in Seattle) offered me health insurance as part of my benefits package.  I was dismayed to find out how much my “benefit” would cost me monthly and tried to revoke it.  I can’t remember if they took away my health insurance, paid it themselves, or gave me a raise to pay it.  And I only lived in Seattle for a year, so if I had insurance it wasn’t for very long.  And when I went to the dentist there, I had to pay anyway, because if I had a plan, that wasn’t on it.

-I never went to the doctor or had any health problems during this time either.

-By the time I moved HERE I had already been without health insurance for a long time.  And didn’t have any conditions, prescriptions, or problems, so I didn’t really want to pay for it.  When my job “offered” it I was wise to the me paying for my own benefit scenario and refused.  They were very worried about liability so they gave me a “raise” in order to force me to be insured.   I thought since I had it, I would try to utilize it to get my money’s worth.  But the only thing I really use it for is teeth and eyes.  Group Health covers neither.  But they do cover acupuncture and chiropractor visits (in full).  So that makes sense *sarcasm* And when I called the gal on the phone had major attitude and treated me stupid for thinking dental WAS medical.

-I got glasses using my insurance.  And it was cheaper then when I had paid for it all on my own using the CareCredit card.  The exam and service was hardly outstanding though.

-As soon as I talked about going part-time, my employer yanked away my health insurance.  They did this before I actually went to part-time hours.  The manual said that to be considered full time you had to work that amount of hours for 60 days, so I figured it would be the same going from full to part time as well.  It was not–at least for me.  AND  even though I had anticipated 30 hours b/c our employee manual said 30 hr was considered FULL time, and I mostly wanted to keep my vacation time, but the insurance didn’t hurt.  When I brought that up, they said the employee manual wasn’t a CONTRACT and they were now considering full time MORE hours, (so I couldn’t have that status).  BUT  the receptionist who works exactly 30 hours (only because she works through every lunch and gets paid for it) still got to keep her vacation time.

-My boss then had the audacity to try to pressure me into finding private insurance b/c she couldn’t imagine being uninsured and it was a liability. . .

-During this time I never so much as got a cold and had no need for medical attention of any kind.

-Later when the 2nd vet got divorced and needed health insurance, it was granted to her even though she worked a maximum of 29 hours a week, and that’s being generous because she constantly strolled in 8-8:30 AM (late).  So I guess it’s not the number of hours but WHO YOU ARE at my last job to qualify for benefits.

-When Obama was proposing mandatory health insurance and comparing his plan to Canada’s system, I was fully behind it because Canada knows the story.  Even when work began to fret about the changes, I thought–good now they will HAVE to pay for my health insurance, serves them right for playing so dirty.  But it didn’t happen that way at all.  My job is another small business so they were exempt–I was again on my own.

-I was a part-time student and they made student insurance ONE credit over part-time status.  I was in a loop-hole, and I felt Obama mislead me.  This was not like Canada’s system at all!  This seemed to me like coercion to get healthy people to pay into the system in order to expand benefits for people with preexisting conditions.  And why should I (already near the poverty line) have to pay for other sick people when I am healthy?

-But I am a rule follower so even though I disagreed I tried to see my options.  I applied to Medicare.  Even though I am a part-time student and part-time employee, I was not poor enough to qualify.  Again–who would be if not people like me?  So I checked into my state’s funding for Medicare rejects.  They have a discount program for people of low financial means that are not quite low enough to be considered poverty.  And the news?  My cheap insurance would be catastrophic coverage ONLY (no check-ups, prescriptions, co-pays, nothing at all unless I suffered some tragedy) for a mere $210/month.  And the offers went up from there.  I checked into my other options and I would be looking at $250/mo–at least.  And that’s if I didn’t want anything.  If I actually wanted anything back for that money it was sky-high–I’ve repressed the numbers b/c they were so horrible.

-I have still not had any sort of medical attention, or had so much as a cold (thanks sleep schedule and Zicam!) since I’ve been off health insurance.

-It’s all I can do not to scratch eyes when Planned Parenthood is touting the benefits of the new healthcare plans on Facebook.  And everyone who likes it writes it’s because they have such-&-such condition and now they can get healthcare!  Paid for healthy people like me forced to pay into the system, but that don’t actually use it.  Sounds a lot like redistribution of funds (from healthy to sick, no matter the income) to me.  So I can see the comparisons to socialism–and I am not for it.  I can’t afford to pay for the medicare of some old, sickly smoker. . .

And so that was a little longer story then I anticipated explaining how:

a)  Obama misrepresented his plan and I stupidly voted for it

b)  I got stuck in a whack loophole

c)  insurance companies and greedy bastards

d) employees of small businesses (vet hospitals) are screwed

e)  Cat’s Meow is shady with their benefits, and I’m glad I don’t work there

f)  dentistry is for reasons unknown is not a medical profession

g)  I am willfully uninsured

h) now that I wrote this jinxy post I’m going to get hit by lightning and require a bunch of emergency medical attention.  Hopefully not–but if I did I would try for Care Credit or make small payments. . .

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Food No, MOOD Stamps

22 Apr

“Working the system” is not really a thing anymore.  When you apply for government aid (food stamps/EBT) you are jumping through a lot of hoops.

America's Next Top Model

I think politicians must get bogged down in the details:  you have to work a minimum of 20 hours/wk to qualify, but you can’t make over such-and-such dollar amount.  Who does that leave in between?

If you’re a student they count your current loans for tuition against you as if it’s income, but they don’t count the school loans you’re paying back as an expenditure.  I say if you count one you have to count the other–it’s the same story.

At the federal level, you can’t legally marry or domestically partner with someone same-sex in order to get all the dreams of desirefinancial benefits “traditional” married couples garner.  BUT you have to count that person in your rent instead of claiming the whole thing.  Which is convenient–for the government.

The process = ridiculous!

You fill out an online quiz, but they never say you don’t qualify there–that would be too easy.  They send you the first (of about a thousand) mailers telling you to come in 4 days later for an “appointment.”  Be careful when you apply because this “appointment” is always a very quick turn-around and if you miss it, it’s a no-go on the stamps.  When you get there, you quickly see the location (the DSHS) is crawling with people.  Unshowered, unhygienic, desperate-looking people all smelling of cigarette smoke and greasy hair.  Suddenly, you feel too clean, too put-together.  You’re sorry you chose freshly washed clothes and even sorrier if something is a known brand.  Known brands, even the crummiest of brands, are a big no no at the DSHS.

You also quickly realize you’d better get in the long line.  Behind the coughing people, the women toting four small, dirty-faced children, and the adults with meth-mouth.  You thought your letter said “appointment” which implies a set time to meet with one person, but everyone else is lined up outside the door.

When you get inside, it’s like a bus stop.  Uncomfortable, worn plastic seats and tired looking employees.  The workers at the DSHS look jaded and worn down.  They have seen it all and they are not going to put up with shenanigans.  You have to touch the computer screen to sign up, and with all this sniffing and coughing, you begin to worry about catching a cold or flu.

Then, the waiting.  It seems there’s no rhyme or reason for who gets called first or where they are called to.  Someone from back behind you in line gets called to window 13, the lady with the 4 kids that was first in line, fills the seats and hollars sporadically for so and so to stop kicking that chair (nevermind the man in it).  Another person gets called to the doors to be led back to the cubicle area.

You notice 2 armed security officers, windows and counters between the public and the employees and wonder about your safety.  When you are finally called, you are grateful to stop waiting, and to get away from ill-people, bad smells, and unruly children.  But soon see this was a false sense of relief–the worker looks accusatory.

The Girls Who Starts to Lose Her CoolThey don’t ask to see any of the (many, many) documents your letter requested you bring.  The documents you had to search around for, get signed, jump through hoops to collect.  They never want any of those things.  Even though you brought your lease, they may not ask for it.  They’ll say–how much rent do you pay?  And take your word about the answer.  This last time they asked me, “How much do you think your car is worth?”  Rather then asking for my registration, looking at the blue book value, or tapping into the DMV’s government system.  They will say, where’s proof of this?  And you hadn’t thought of this, nor had your letter requested it.  They print you out more forms–you must have your school sign this (that’s a process that requires a week of time, three steps, and five people) and you must bring some check stubs, a letter from so and so, and this other paper.  You have 4 days.

The process is not standardized at all.  It depends on who you get and how tired/jaded that person is, also how their day is going, and their perceptions of you.  When I had just spent a lot of money moving from Seattle to the opposite side of the state, had to pay first/last/deposit on an apartment, and didn’t have a job yet (ie the time I MOST legitamately needed financial help) I was denied before my paperwork was processed, and I suspect it’s because the lady I got at the DSHS felt like my Roxi capris I wore said $$$$.  But that shouldn’t matter, or cause judgement.  I could have gotten the name-brand jeans at Goodwill, got them as a gift, borrowed them from a friend, or had them for ten years. . .  The clothes someone is wearing does not give an accurate picture of their monetary situation.  While Cool got another gay who saw she was “family” and didn’t ask for any paperwork then hooked her up with the maximum amount.  So it’s not about what your situation is, any max dollars or min hours–it’s all in the employee you get that day.

So this particular time I got caught in several loops.  I’m a student, so they want to see my loans, but not the undergrad loans I pay back.  Because I am a part-time student in a non-degree program they couldn’t count the loans though–much to their dismay.  BUT you have to work 20 hours a week or have work study to qualify.  Because unemployed people with zero income need food stamps least of all?  So I didn’t make ENOUGH money to get the stamps, weirdly enough.  But I took the work study paperwork, thinking that there was a slight chance my tutoring may count. . .

But the paper required me to sign up for the tutoring gal, complete the government forms at HR, go back to the tutoring gal and have her sign off the hours, make an appointment with my financial aid advisor who informed me work study money was depleted long ago, then she had to fax my form to someone and call DSHS (the work study application is good enough), then I had to take the signed form baaaack to the DSHS and wait a second time.  Lots of time and hooping jumping.

I was invested.

I got a youngish dude so I felt hopeful.  The men are always a little friendlier than the crabby old women employees for whatever reason.  He read my work study hours aloud “5-10 per week.”  Then he asked another lady what the work study code was.  When I saw her I knew my chances of qualifying for food stamps were gone.  She looked as if she had worked there for the last 30 years, and especially tired and jaded.  She told him they would need to see my financial aid letter (my incoming student loans) which would immediately disqualify me.  And when she left, he said he had done a work study before and knew they required a minimum of 16 hours/wk.  Which no one had told me.  And my tutoring employer hadn’t known what amount of hours to put so she randomly said 5-10.  So that’s a pain, I could have told her right in the beginning or not bothered around with it at all, if my first DSHA lady had informed me of the complete criteria (16 hours/week),  So Juan said he had to deny me, too bad it didn’t say 16. . .

And that sucked just because of all the time I had now wasted being for nothing.  And I knew Juan had wanted to hook angel 3me up with EBT, because he had already seen those hours, but I knew he wasn’t able to because he involved that lady who had seen my paper, and was probably some superior to him.  So she ruined everything!  I wish the internet had told me of the work hours criteria so I wouldn’t have wasted any time at all with their stupid process!

Later that day I had a voicemail:  Juan said he thought I had dependants, which would require 16 hours of work study, but I’m only applying for myself so that weekly hour amount doesn’t apply to me.  So I do indeed qualify for the max amount of food stamps.

But that makes no sense because they primarily try to give people with children the aid most of all.  So a mom would probably have less restrictions and get more food stamps, then me.  It makes sense to me that Juan was going to give me EBT, but then he couldn’t in front of that lady–so he waited until she was gone and hooked me up later.

Juan hooked me up!  When I go through the list of things I’m thankful for every night before sleep, he is often featured for his compassion and generosity–and for tweaking the rules.

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Birth Control as Cure-All

28 Mar

Before we had sound medical science alcohol was used for a huge number of ailments.  You name it (disease, disorder, mental conditions (including “female hysteria” aka woman’s orgasm), and even surgery– alcohol was used to treat it.  More examples here:

http://www.barlifeuk.com/index.php/2011/07/drink-to-your-health-the-history-of-alcohol-as-a-medicine/

But then, research uncovered FACTS and we moved away from such rudimentary practices.  Or did we?  I would suggest, for as many good, and legit reasons birth control pills are prescribed there are just as many reasons that fall into the cure-all b/c we don’t know and don’t gave a damn about finding out category.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am very happy birth control is so widely available. I’m glad it gives women control over her own body and child-bearing decisions.  (All stats from Planned Parenthood–an organization I SUPPORT).

-majority of women believe birth control allows them to take better care of their families (63%), support themselves financially (56%), complete their education (51%), or keep or get a job (50%). The financial success and emotional well-being of women are undoubtedly tied to contraception, while unintended pregnancies put a financial strain on everyone. The cost of unwanted pregnancies in the U.S. average an estimated $11.3 billion per year

– Oral contraception can cost as much as $1,210 per year for women without insurance

– 40% of births are unplanned. Birth control not only empowers women, but considering only 5% of men around the world even wear condoms. . .

-ugh–what a yucky stat!  I think the world should focus on the condom instead of how to get more and more BCP out there.  Condoms help prevent STDs too (AIDS!!!).  A lot of unintended pregnancy would be averted if men would take responsibility too.  Plus, it isn’t good enough to force women to have children, make it impossible for her to plan her own choices, AND put the whole burden of sexual activities consequences onto her.   This leaves men to enjoy as much sex, with as many people as possible–with no worry of consequences.  Then, if there IS an unintended pregnancy HE has the choice of how much involvement he wants to have.  Finally, at the same time men don’t have to think about sex, or be responsible for it’s aftermath, THEY get to make the laws regulating women’s access to preventative methods and what she does with her own body.  Tell me how everybody doesn’t see reproductive issues as political power issues?!

That was a train (though a very important one) away from my actual point:  The point is, birth control for women’s freedom and family planning is good.  It’s liberating.  It gives women power, and that is excellent BUT I think it can be lazy medicine.  I think it is haphazardly doled out as a band aid fix-all. Cramps?  Get on the pill.  Acne?  The pill.  Irregular periods?  The pill.  PMS?  The pill?  You’re a woman?  It’s too complicated to delve into what the underlying cause of your problem might be.  Besides, all the research is done about MEN’S problems.  The research funding goes to impotence–there’s no $$$ left to study little menstrual cramps–that’s just part of being a woman after all.

That’s dis-empowering to women.

It’s not for everyone. And just like any Monsanto product, we don’t really know what it is doing to us in the long term. And I think now that would be very hard to study, because we’ve run out of control groups. Even in lesbian populations (not your primary birth control user) BCP are being routinely supplied for skin or period pain.

Anatomy 2

How we (Cool and I) got birth control pills:

–>for 1 day of extreme, incapacitating, horribly painful cramps once a month.

-w/o even an exam of the repro system.
-w/o BW
-no R/O
-even with a hx of hypertension
-in a lesbian–or without even asking sexuality

-33% of teens aged 15-19 and nearly 800,000 women who have never had sex, who use oral contraception for non-contraceptive purposes.  most common reasons why women use the pill are reducing cramps and menstrual pain (31%); menstrual regulation, which for some women may help prevent migraines and other painful side effects of menstruation (28%); treatment of acne (14%), and treatment of endometriosis, a condition that can cause pelvic scarring, severe pain, and sometimes infertility (4%). About 14% of all women use birth control exclusively for reasons other than contraception.

So it’s great that birth control can band-aid so many conditions.  But my questions are:  Aren’t there any treatments specific to those actual conditions?  Why?  And do we KNOW long-term affects of birth control use?  Against an equal control group who has not been exposed to birth control.  Do we know this information for the intended use for reproductive issues AND these extraneous conditions as well?

I suspect the answers are still a mystery and here are the reasons for that:

-it’s because the research/interest for women’s health just isn’t there
-a doctor’s (male-dominated profession) mentality “quick fix” “cure all”

And that’s not good for women at all.

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