Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will Raj Bhat Die?

"This apple grew in Raj Bhat's backyard.
An apple still waits a bite."


Raj Baht is a pharmacist. He's on a hunger strike to protest the unfair working conditions of his former employer Medco.

Around half of all Americans are on prescription drugs. Many insurance companies now make patients get them filled by mail instead of the pharmacy down the street. Mail-order drug giant Medco fills more than one million of these each week. Such high demand may be putting potentially hazardous pressure on the pharmacists who process prescription orders.

Bhat says the company enforces hourly quotas on pharmacists that leave little room for careful scrutiny of doctor handwriting, and reprimands those who call for clarification.

He says this leaves room for potentially deadly errors.

Bhat has eaten nothing and has had only water to drink since July Fifth. While he waits to see if the appeal gets taken up, he says his other hope is that the Senate Finance committee looks into the case.

-Pharmacist on hunger strike against prescription giant Medco


I first learned about this story here.
Then I read his blog. The blog he is now to weak to update.
Then I read this article, which I have excerpted above.
And this one where he was on day 7.
And this one where he was on day 75.
And I got the story greenlighted on FARK.

He is protesting to help save us.

How do we save him?

Start by calling MEDCO Health Solutions and demanding answers.
Delaware 1-31312 22-3461740

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

And so, TeenArabella is now College Arabella.

Two weeks before Labor Day I took my daughter off to college and left her there. My next sentence is going to surprise you.

I was as happy as a pig in shit.

Rewind to last April with her approaching graduation. I was feeling all the proper emotional angst and pressure of family travel arrangements, graduation announcements and all the final things that go along with the end of the school year. Never, it seemed had so many of these things fallen so quickly and back to back.

And I was right. The school year was ending a bit earlier because of all the building of new schools that Ted Strickland is determinedly building all over the state in his eventual plan to switch to a year-round school. Our school district has not escaped the round of we will build you new schools and funnel you money in exchange for promising to drug test your kids and God only knows what all. And who cares. Come fall we would have shiny new buildings for our kids to go to and God Bless America, that's what really counts. Right?

Back to my life. The day before graduation, half of our duo of Mighty Mutts Inc. died. Tipper, who as technically and officially My Dog was suffering badly. Hip Displasia, fever, in and out of lucidness. She was a big dog and it seems for big dogs, 9 in human years is ripe old age in dog years. "The Decision" had to be made. The kind of decision where you go to the vet with Two Dogs and walk out with One Dog.

It tore our hearts out. I'm every day of 39, but my mother held me and rocked me like the last 30 years had never passed and I'd just come home with a skinned knee while I sobbed out my grief over our fallen doggie.

When graduation came we had no tears left for our graduate walking down the aisle. We were all watery smiles because we had a reason to celebrate after the day of grief before. While other people were merely snapping photos of their child we were showing pictures of the child we had buried just the day before. See, this was our dog...she's gone now... "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion," Dolly Parton says in Steele Magnolias and that day was our day to cry and to laugh.

Mind you Arabella (not her real name, but what I call her on this blog) is my only child. When I first stated blogging she was LittleArabella, and she and I got along famously. My pathway with Teen Arabella was not exactly strewn with roses, but I think we got along better than you would believe. But what I didn't realize is that four years of unexpressed Teen Angst would rear their ugly head in I'mNearly18Arabella. It seems with college on the horizon, some idea of being beyond her parents reach and therefore constant and unyielding care beckoned to her like a siren song to sailors.

Suddenly, I was wrong about everything. Everything. My brain had melted and was suddenly mush. Angry mush. We could not have a conversation about so much as oatmeal without it turning into screaming matches that were unparalleled in our history.

I was not ready to let go. She was not ready to budge an inch.

My mother played GrandmaReferee and was more successful than I'd like to give her credit for. I wanted Arabella to listen to me! But oh well. We were moving towards orientation weekend. Which was hell by the way. They immediately separated the impending college students from their guardians, which, as far as I was concerned was fine with me. The few times we were together, we fought like cats and dogs.

My mom's hearing is not as good as it used to be. She would miss Arabella's snide remarks which, like a dumbass, I would insist on responding to. My mother, not hearing, would wonder why I was fuming, Arabella was pouting and we would explain and explain again. And when she still couldn't hear, shout an explanation to which she would say, OH! and reach a conclusion we'd already done except now we were mad all over again from having to explain our sides of the argument all over again.

Like I said, Orientation weekend was hell.

I wish I could say it got better as we got closer to her leaving date, but it didn't. My mother took over completely the washing and packing of Arabella's stuff. I was merely the checkbook and the ride to Wal-Mart. We did have a couple of successful shopping trips because we both can be hypnotized by thrift stores, bargains and shopping even under the worst of circumstances. But these trips were not what they once were....something between us had changed.

The daunting task of moving my daughter to a college campus in another state, albeit only two and a half hours away was set. We had our hotel plans, her dorm assignment, her class schedule and a list of things to settle with financial aid.

I insisted that my mother go with us. I was afraid I would be over-emotional. I was afraid we would argue. I was afraid. I really didn't know what I'd feel but a sneaking suspicion was coming over me.

I wasn't going to be sad. I was going to be happy. Relieved.

I mean really, college was the best place for her at this point. She had the academic achievements and talent to be there. She wasn't quite adult enough to be completely on her own, but she did need to spread her wings. Cue the Dixie Chicks singing "Wide Open Spaces". I mean really, did I really need a country song to drive home the point?

And we fought a big while we were there, but it was a token resistance. I think I planned to stay on campus too long. We should have dropped her off and left, but honestly, dragging my mother with me and all that her MS entails, I owed it to her to be able to travel and rest. We drove up on a Wednesday and got her moved into the dorm. We stayed over on Thursday and went to Financial Aid and got her room arranged. I had planned for her to have dinner with us that night but she was busy with her new friends already.

Friday was leaving day. We made a last minute trip to the ubiquitous Wal-Mart for things we had forgotten or never had. We took her back to the dorm.

And then the oddest thing. She went into her dorm and brought me out a lovely red purse. She'd bought it at Target the night before with her own money. She saw it and thought of me.

And we hugged. And then we said goodbye. She walked into her dorm and looked back a couple of times, but she went through the door and didn't come back out again.

And we drove away.

My eyes were dry.

It is possible to leave your kids at college and not be sad. I was telling this to my blog pal, Jo, over at TheSkepticOne and she said, "You should write about this and tell other parents that they can survive leaving their kids at college."

And so I did.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That Agonized Howl You Just Heard...


...is Newt Gingrich realizing he will never be President of the United States.

I don't know if you noticed - GOP, Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Right-Wingers - have all lost their collective minds and Newt Gingrich is no exception. This poor guy, who's chin wagging blow-hardiness is only second to Jay Leno in lack of sincerity, had convinced himself he had a shot at the Oval Office.

See, while the GOP was running around screaming that the sky is terrorism, economy, bank bailouts, GM, BP, foreclosure, cash-for-clunker, healthcare reform, death panels, illegals, border fence, mosque at ground zero, still no birth certificate (you've gotta be kidding me), wise latina, Glenn Beck is the new Dr. King like New Coke was the Old Coke is the New Coke falling, falling the sky is falling and it's all Obama's fault....

Yes, while the GOP has been running around screaming that Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to America since the McDonald's drive thru, President Obama - yes, PRESIDENT Obama, has been acting like the only adult in a room full of preschoolers and has been ignoring the din and actually governing.

And the poor GOP'ers. They thought they were gaining ground with all their rhetoric, especially with FOX cheerleading them on and making sure that the entire world knows their side and the rest of the MSM discusses their side so Obama's message gets tossed in the wind and maybe, just maybe you might here something like, "know who's ass to kick" or "talked about like a dog" or

Obviously the country has gone through a tough stretch since I took office. When I was sworn in, I know you showed the Inauguration, we were losing at that time 750,000 jobs per month, the economy was shrinking at a pace of about 6.5%, which is unheard of since the Great Depression, and so the last 20 months has been a non-stop effort to restart the economy, to stabilize the financial system, to make sure that we’re creating jobs again instead of losing them, and in the midst of all that we’ve also had the oil spill, we’ve also had two wars, we’ve also had a pandemic, H1N1, that we had to manage, and a whole host of other issues. What has been gratifying is the fact that the economy now is starting to stabilize and grow again, and what’s been satisfying is seeing how resilient the American people are. As much as you said it’s been tough for me, the truth is, it’s not tough for me; you know I’ve got people, pundits on the news who may say things about me.

Of course, you think about what the American people have gone through, losing jobs, seeing their home values go down, their 401Ks declining, those are the folks who
I draw inspiration from because I get letters every night from them and I read them. And as tough as it’s been, they remain hopeful, they remain optimistic about America, and so I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about me. I spend a lot of time worrying about them.

- President Obama from his appearance on "The View"

And that was just from an appearance on The View. LOL. The View! He went on The (Not So Subtley Color Coordinated Black and White and Elisabeth with the precious S in her name instead of a common Z was in ALL WHITE get it, get it, huhn huhn?) View and let Queen Barbara Walters lisp him right back into the hearts of American women everywhere who know the truth when they hear it. Which is kinda funny how most of the time they fall for FOX lies.

Anyhow, I'm not gonna look a Barbara Walters gift horse in the mouth. She is the Queen for a reason folks.

So a few speeches later and Obama telling all of congress to fuck off, the rich are not getting the free ride that was the Bush tax cuts anymore, and even more surprising, holding his ground, suddenly, Newt Gingrich and the rest of the right realizes that all their efforts at misdirection, lies, spin, and downright idiocy of the past two years don't amount to a hill of beans and that he will only be President of his local Hair Club for Men chapter if he's lucky.

Because Mr. Obama is the President and he's actually governing.

Can I get an Amen.