Craig T. Nelson on Government Aid
So gunfire has been blamed for starting some 21 wildfires this year.
On the 21st of June ‘target shooters’ ignited a fire that quickly engulfed 9 square miles and forced the evacuation of 2,300 people before the fire contained.
Clarke Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Sports Shooting Council said that perhaps only 5% of the wildfires in the state were caused by shooting and that he doesn’t “know how much of a problem it really is”.
Authorities are unwilling to enforce gun restrictions in fear of a backlash, 2nd amendment yo!
Image source: CBS News
So this happened, the news finally broke the news. After the US Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, CNN and the Fox News channel literally started breaking the news by letting everyone know that the the judges ruled against The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Unfortunately, this wasn’t true. The truth is, Obamacare stands with a 5 to 4 ruling for the universal healthcare act.
Almost everyone knows the story of that silly woman who spilt hot coffee on herself and sued McDonald’s for MILLIONS! And I was no exception, I had laughed and mocked her in the past. So when Susan Saladoff appeared on the Colbert Report to promote her new documentary Hot Coffee, I was intrigued when Saladoff said that I had the facts all wrong.
So I sat down to watch Hot Coffee, after all I didn’t completely believe that I could get the facts that wrong, though out the movie I had to stop watching several times just to vent my rage. I’d been had along with many many other people. How could we all have been so blind?
In truth, the lady that spilt the coffee was not driving, as many people believe, but in the passengers seat in a parked car. When she tried to put sugar into the coffee, it spilt, the crazy thing is that the coffee was so hot it burned through her skin! I don’t mean it burned a little or she had red marks, I mean she had open flesh wounds caused by the coffee, they may as well have served her hot oil. The other thing many people don’t realise is she didn’t set out to sue McDonald’s for all they were worth, she only asked them to cover a portion of her medical costs, and they flat out refused and then offered $800. After the poor traumatised woman needed surgery and skin grafts they offer $800?!? The final fact that outranged me that is conveniently left out of the story is that McDonalds had received over 700 official complaints about the temperature of their coffee which they ignored. They were aware of the issue, they knew that at that temperature it would only take 3-7 seconds to receive 3rd degree burns! And they did nothing! Once the case was settled, Ms Liebeck was unable to tell the real story due to a gag order, while McDonalds went about trumpeting how an absurd old lady sued when she spilt hot coffee on herself, frivolous law suits are plaguing our country and that this is why we NEED tort reform! Say what?
As well as explaining what tort reform is, laws that allow someone that is harmed to recover their losses, Hot Coffee analyses several issues with Tort Reforms in the United States, many of which are unknown or misunderstood by the general public.
For ‘some’ reason we have been lead to believe that every man and his dog are filing frivolous law suit after frivolous law suit agains the poor corporations or the job creators, who simple do not have the financial resources to keep these money hungry vultures at bay. In truth there are so few frivolous law suits you could count them all on one hand. The current system is set up in such a way that there are several fail-safes through out the whole process designed to weed out the money hungry vultures while allowing the honest folks a fair trial. As Saladoff points out it’s always someone else with the frivolous law suit, not you.
Hot Coffee also analyses Mandatory Arbitration and Caps on Damages, again most people aren’t even aware of these things until its too late. Many companies, and even employers, are sneaking in clauses into contracts which essentially prohibit you from suing the company no matter what harm they cause you. I say sneaking because often these clauses aren’t in the original contract, but arrive later and indicate that if you continue to use the service these additional clauses will automatically apply to you.
Hot Coffee highlights how corporations are manipulating and taking away our civil liberties day by day by day and they aren’t playing nice, they are using every dirty trick in the book. Don’t get me wrong I am a consumer and I don’t think everyone needs to run for the hills, but I think there comes a point when we need to open our eyes and say enough is enough. Or at least be aware of what is going on before its too late.
Documentary: Hot Coffee
America’s school system is broke. Opportunities for low income families are beyond limited and the children suffer. Sure, people succeed in spite of their situation but as a “land of the free”, it denies the future generation a higher probability to excel and make meaningful contributions to society.
Documentary: Waiting for Superman
Do you know about Chevron’s (formerly Texaco) 1,212 square miles (3,140 km²) oil disaster in Ecuador. It is a truly heart breaking story about one of the world’s largest organisation abusing money and power instead of admitting the truth and accepting responsibility. Sara McMillen, Chevron’s Chief Environmental Scientist does a terrible job trying to save face and deny any wrong doing by Chevron-Texaco.
Documentary: CRUDE: A Joe Berlinger Film
Michelle Rhee is the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst a program started to improve the schools in the USA.
Rhee was appointed chancellor of Washington D.C public schools in 2007 and quick got to work reforming the stale system. At that time only 8% of eighth graders students were at the right grade level for mathematics, even though the state has the third highest budget per student in the US.
During 2007 Rhee closed 23 schools, fired 36 principals and cut roughly 121 office jobs, which freed desperately needed resources. While Rhee deemed these radical changes necessary, as the schools closed were doing more harm than good, she was faced with major resistance from parents, teachers and neighbourhoods.
In 2010 an agreement was made with the teachers unions that would offer a 20% pay rise and bonuses to teachers of high achieving students in exchange for weaker teachers to be reviewed and dismissed if required.
The teacher reviewing program, whereby teachers were observed by an outside organisation for 30 minutes five times a year. During these sessions teachers would be rated out of a possible 400 points for the year. If the final score was less than 175, the teacher was considered ineffective and dismissed. Teachers scoring between 175 and 249 were given a one year warning to improve performance. And so Rhee was able to dismiss a further 241 ineffective teachers.
While Rhee is seen as a highly controversial figure, dismissing countless teachers and closing schools, her results are unquestionable. After just 3 years as chancellor the reading pass rates of students had increased 14% and the math pass rate increased by 17%. Due to her methodical and somewhat ruthless approach she was able to reform the school system of Washington D.C like no before.
In 2010 the Washington D.C Mayor, Adrian Fenty, ran for re-election but lost, believed to be largely to the unpopular reforms of Rhee, which came as a shock as the reforms had clearly improved the students performance. This is when Rhee founded her organisation StudentsFirst see more information at students first.org
In this Telegraph article Rhee talks about the future of American school and what steps must be taken, no matter how difficult, in order to better prepare students for university or the workforce.
Image source: The Telegraph