Members of Greenpeace protested the destruction of mountains at the Progress Energy plant in Arden, today. Five scaled a smoke stack to unfurl a banner, and sixteen managed to sneak inside the facility. Some on the inside “secured themselves to a coal conveyor belt in an attempt to stop the flow of coal into the facility.” The word from Progress Energy is that operations continued as usual. Lest you get any funny ideas, the corporation tweeted, “All tresspassers [sic.] have been safetly [sic.] removed.” Progress Energy, incidentally, burns coal so people can save the environment by driving around in electric cars.”Read full article » No Comments »
Everybody knows hospitals have to charge patients with money more in order to cover indigent care and emergency room abuse. But one man with an inflated hospital bill wants to sue. In response, “the state’s hospitals” want to make it legal to collect overdue bills without a trial. Robert Talford is objecting to being charged 24 times the going rate charged by pharmacists for a pill. As somebody who was once charged twice for a single $800 procedure, $400 three times for a single ambulance ride across the street when I could have walked, and $86 for a pill I did not want to take, you can guess which side I favor. (By the way, the next time I went to the hospital, my records indicated I was schizo and that I had had a C-section. I merely said that explained what I did with the baby.) Not to worry. Hospitals are gung-ho on informatics, hiring six-sigma black belts to push numbers and prove they are holding personnel accountable to high standards of quality.Read full article » No Comments »
The Macon County News covered a visit by Democrat Cecil Bothwell, who is running for Heath Shuler’s seat. Bothwell indicated this was not the time to cut government spending. He justified this position by referring to FDR’s make-work programs and a historically low interest rate on US Treasury bonds. Bothwell would not privatize Social Security or Medicare. Instead, he would eliminate the $106,800 cap on annual personal contributions. Bothwell would also like to improve the current successes of Medicare by extending benefits to cover the middle class for the short-term and eventually converting to universal healthcare.
To pay for the expanded entitlement programs, Bothwell would cut military spending. If he was calling for activating the Constitutionally-allowed practice of issuing letters of marque and reprisal, I think I agree on this point. He also called for making the likes of Mitt Romney pay the same tax rate on capital gains taxes as wage earners pay on income taxes. In addition, Bothwell would like to impose a quarter-cent tax on financial transactions and commodity trades.Read full article » No Comments »