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Jolie

Jolie

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  1. Jolie

    Should raw milk be illegal to sell?

    My post-nursing career has taught me more about food safety than I ever imagined possible. My personal opinion on the OP's question is no. I don't think the sale/purchase of raw milk should be illegal. I'm not a fan of the nanny state and I believe that people have the intelligence to inform themselves of the risks/benefits of the products they buy from local small-scale suppliers and make the choice themselves. For those who don't want to be bothered by these details, there are large scale producers of food and beverage products that are subject to local and federal regulations intended to protect consumer and food safety. The frequency of those inspections vary greatly by location and type of operation. The quality of those inspections vary greatly by the personnel who conduct them. And the overall effectiveness of those inspections varies greatly by the response of the stakeholders: whether deficiencies are corrected and follow up enforced. I encourage everyone to realize 2 things: Much like a JCAHO or State inspection in a healthcare facility, a health inspection of a food producer is a snapshot of a single moment in time that may or may not bear any resemblance to the usual operating conditions. Inspections are rarely random and unanticipated. And also like healthcare, the actual quality and safety of the product received has far more to do with the overall culture of the operation than the score stamped on an inspection report. We all know hospitals that boast national recognition where we would not admit our hamsters, and other little-known, unassuming facilities that actually deliver excellent care. It's the same in the food industry. Know where your food is coming from and you'll be fine.
  2. Jolie

    President Trump

    I for one am desperate for an alternative to the high cost and poor coverage issues realized under the Affordable Care Act. We are a self-employed family of 4. We purchased our first individual family health insurance policy in 2010 when we opened our business, crafting a plan with our local BC/BS affiliate that covered all care in our primary provider's office without regard to deductible and minimal co-pay. Other care was subject to a $5K family deductible, which seemed high at the time, but quaint now. We had no maternity care, which we did not want or need, but did have vision coverage and behavioral health coverage. We were on our own for dental. Our premiums were approximately $500/month. Fast forward 7 years. We now pay $1500/month for a plan with a $15K family deductible, so those numbers have tripled. That means we pay $18K/year and then the first $15K out of pocket, totaling $33K for anything other than the mandatory preventive services, many of which we have no use for. If we paid full price out of pocket for the preventive services we use, it would probably amount to about $500 per family member. So for our $18K premium, we can expect to receive about $2K per year in actual services. I understand that's how insurance works, spreading costs out over pools of participants. But keep in mind that $18K isn't the starting point for our actual insurance coverage. $33K is. That is unsustainable. We pay a larger % of our income for healthcare than anything else. It out-paces the cost of our home, cars, utilities, food, and even college education for 2 children. We earn a relatively high income and can barely afford this. I can't imagine how families with more modest incomes do it. Besides cost, the other issue that impacts us is that so many insurers have pulled out of the individual market in our state. When we purchased our first policy in 2010, there were a number of companies from which to choose, and several different plans offered by each company. We had a wide range of choices for cost and benefits. We are now down to 2 companies offering individual plans here, and none include out of area care, other than life-threatening emergencies. Both our children are in college. One attends about 2-1/2 hours from the city where we live, and must travel home for any healthcare service to be covered. Her college is very small, does not have a student health center, so if she has a minor illness such as strep, she either has to drive 150 miles home to have her visit counted toward our deductible, or pay fully out of pocket to go to a local urgent care or doctor in her college town. Our younger child attends college 1/2 way across the country, so we had no choice but to purchase a separate college-based policy for her, with additional premiums of about $200/month. But at least she doesn't have to fly home to get her strep throat checked. I firmly believe that unless/until the primary responsibility for payment rests with the individual consumer, costs will never be reigned in. A plan to reduce costs must include personal responsibility for payment, coupled with the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, the ability to purchase coverage that meets ones needs and budget, not a pre-determined set of benefits, transparent pricing and reporting of outcomes, negotiation between consumer and provider, and the establishment of pre-tax/tax free personal healthcare savings accounts. I understand that low-income individuals will require subsidies, and welcome that approach, but EVERYONE must pay his/her own bills from his/her own (potentially subsidized) account, removing the perception that healthcare doesn't cost much because other people are paying for it.
  3. Jolie

    Septic tank advice :)

    Consult with a reputable plumber or home inspector. How to best manage your septic system will depend on the specifics of how it was built, how it is positioned on your property, how old it is, etc. With care and maintenance, it will function just fine.
  4. Re: other countries' immigration rules....do you know how easy it was for me to get into [insert Central American country here] last month? I literally walked up to the customs guy, handed him $10 and my passport. He asked me what I do for a living, not that it mattered much. He handed me my passport and my stamped tourist card back and said, "Welcome to our country." The tourist card had a space for passport number and nationality, neither of which did he bother to fill in. 90-day tourist cards and permanent residency are not the same thing, I get it. But try getting to the US that easily - and legally - from Mexico or Central America. They are way more generous to us than we are to them, and it's not like they have good reason to be. We have a lot of Mexican/Central American blood on our hands. I believe you are missing a simple and obvious point. The Central American country you visited didn't welcome you with open arms out of generosity. They warmly welcomed you because it was to their economic advantage to do so. They didn't check your profession or desired length of stay because it was all irrelevant to them. Regardless of your reason for visiting (business, personal, voluntourism, even nefarious activities), your visit left their country better off financially. The same can not be said for most crossing the borders into our country. That doesn't mean that we should refuse entry to all, but it does mean that we must be judicious in planning and pacing immigration so that we can absorb those who enter our country in a manner that betters their lives without overburdening our citizens and legal immigrants and visitors. You discuss the possibility of our citizens someday being financially disadvantaged and seeking refuge in other countries. I daresay that if/when Americans are perceived to be a financial detriment, your Central American welcome would be far less generous. I don't mean that as a slam on another nation. I fully understand there are necessary limitations in the care and protection of one's own citizens.
  5. Jolie

    Democratic Primary 2016

    Thanks, Tweety. That is exactly what I did. Omaha News, Weather, & Sports | WOWT NBC Omaha | WOWT - Elections
  6. Jolie

    Democratic Primary 2016

    I stand corrected. EACH of the major Democrat candidates managed to get approximately 700 votes in the Iowa Caucus. The actual total was 1406 votes statewide, with Martin O'Malley receiving 8, Bernie 697 and Hillary 701. The Democrat vote total fell short of the Republican last place finisher, Rick Santorum, who received 1783 votes. This information has been broadcast by local news outlets, but not to my knowledge, by national media. I find that curious. Omaha News, Weather, & Sports | WOWT NBC Omaha | WOWT - Elections
  7. Jolie

    Democratic Primary 2016

    We're hearing plenty about it here (next door to Iowa) where many believe that the caucus outcomes were doctored to favor Hillary. 6 consecutive coin tosses went her way, although finding independent confirmation (witnessed, not just reported) of that is difficult, if not impossible. I don't understand an electoral process that ends in a coin toss, but the Iowa Dems can do whatever they please. It's their party. What I found interesting and almost as difficult to confirm was the raw number of participants in the Iowa Dem Caucuses. News reports by local Council Bluffs and Des Moines agencies the day after the event revealed only approximately 650 people state wide participated in Democrat caucus, versus several hundred thousand for the Republicans. It is truly sad that these candidates can't muster more interest than 650 people statewide, no matter how small or rural the state. No wonder the Iowa Dem Party has tried to avoid releasing raw numbers.
  8. Jolie

    Democratic Primary 2016

    A Socialist facing the likelihood that something he worked for and earned is going to be given to someone else. Oh, the irony!
  9. "So I think that the pope is a very political person," Trump said. "I think that he doesn't understand the problems our country has. I don't think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico. "Mexico got him to do it," he continued, "because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they're making a fortune and we're losing." Pope Francis is planning the visit to tour areas that have been the hardest hit by Mexico's long-running war with the drug cartels. "The Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drugs trafficking, the Mexico of cartels, is not the Mexico our Mother wants," he said. Donald Trump slams Pope Francis for Mexico visit - UPI.com Above is the quote from Trump in the article you linked. I don't see any mention of climate change, so I don't know why you're introducing that subject. I agree with Trump that this Pope is political. As I said before, that is not inherently good or bad, just an observation of a tendency that will invite criticism from those who disagree with his stances on various topics that are not doctrinal in nature. My friend is wholeheartedly supportive of immigration for those who enter the country legally, and has sponsored relatives who have done so. One obvious goal of such a policy is to prevent the admission of those with a history of criminal activity, and to facilitate deportation of those who are found guilty of engaging in criminal activity on American soil. Are those stances with which you disagree?
  10. I don't believe it is reasonable to assume that Trump has insulted all of these people. I am a Catholic and I tend to agree with Trump that this Pope is very political. (Not that others haven't been, and not that it is inappropriate, but by veering away from matters of doctrine, he invites criticism.) There are plenty of Catholics who disagree with the Pope on many matters, so please don't assume that we are insulted by Trump's (or anyone else's) comments. The Pope's infallibility applies only to the truth of doctrine, not political matters. One of my co-workers is a Mexican immigrant who would help build the wall if she could. Having spent years taking the steps to immigrate here legally, following the requirements to bring additional family members, and working towards citizenship, she has absolutely no time for those who disregard the laws she followed. I can ask her, but I doubt that she was insulted by Trump, either.
  11. Add in 20% of Democrats willing to defect from Hillary, versus less than 14% the other way, and you have a close race. The survey by Washington-based Mercury Analytics is a combination online questionnaire and "dial-test" of Trump's first big campaign ad among 916 self-proclaimed "likely voters" (this video shows the ad and the dial test results). It took place primarily Wednesday and Thursday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. Nearly 20 percent of likely Democratic voters say they'd cross sides and vote for Trump, while a small number, or 14 percent, of Republicans claim they'd vote for Clinton. When those groups were further broken down, a far higher percentage of the crossover Democrats contend they are "100 percent sure" of switching than the Republicans. New Poll Shows Donald Trump Is a Real Threat to Hillary Clinton - US News
  12. I don't expect you to know the history of back and forth between Muno and I. It is long-standing and has run the gamut of clinical issues to political ones. While not in this post, you will find specific objections raised by both of us in virtually every thread in which we have both participated.
  13. Jolie

    Who Would Be Your Choice For President

    At this point, I have no idea.
  14. Jolie

    Who Would Be Your Choice For President

    How will Bernie Sanders (or any newly elected President) convince the Senate and House to vote for what the American people want? And what if the peoples' wants differ from the President's wants? Obama's first 2 years as President came with a Democrat controlled House and Senate, yet he struggled to get Obamacare passed. What does the next President need to do to overcome challenges with Congress and the citizens?
  15. Added to the conditions outlined in the following article, we can expect challenging financial times in the year to come. Despite being in the midst of a so-called recovery, the global economy is still appears to be in a recession, American workers aren't benefitting from the long-in-the-tooth bull market, underemployment remains high, inflation is much higher than the U.S. government's official tally, a third of Americans have no emergency savings, and most worry more about their finances than anything else.This is all after trillions of dollars and years of meddling from the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world. As a result, the U.S. could experience an economic collapse in 2016. 7 Signs of a U.S. Economic Collapse in 2016
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