Alone “Bias” Ourselves

It should be no surprise that bias is prevalent in any news outlet. It is human nature to be bias, it’s like preferring one brand of soda over another. However, when it comes to journalism and delivering the news, the facts get lost or disregarded in the opinions of the owners of the media outlet. Take for example, MSNBC, clearly favoring any liberal policies and opinions and willing to spin a news story to favor one of their own like minded individuals. Generally favoring the Democratic party.

On the other side of the coin is Fox News. Clearly a right wing media source, whose intent is to undermine any liberal minded individuals, liberal policies and propaganda. And proudly supports the GOP (Republican party).

True journalistic integrity has gone out the window, when reporting opinions and speculation rather than facts and honest investigation. The future of a pundit’s job relies solely on his or her ability to report in favor of his or her news affiliation. No one should question the “facts.” Simple editing can turn an opinion into a favorable or unfavorable one, depending on who is backing the news organization.

Although I am not a supporter of Ron Paul, this video is a good example of how the media can misconstrue and paint a bad image of a political candidate.

It should be mentioned that some media sources are so far extreme to the right or left, they may be considered radical. One such establishment is the radical right John Birch Society. The JBS, which arose in 1958 by Robert W. Welch Jr. The overall agenda of the John Birch Society seems to be to protect America from an elite wealthy shadow government or family bent on one day turning the world into a one world government. Or as some have come to call it “The New World Order.” This group has some very radical and despicable ideals. The following is a piece taken from the Wikipedia page on the Society:

The society opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming it violated the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and overstepped individual states’ rights to enact laws regarding civil rights. The society opposes “one world government“, and it has an immigration reduction view on immigration reform. It opposes the United Nations, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and other free trade agreements. They argue the U.S. Constitution has been devalued in favor of political and economic globalization, and that this alleged trend is not accidental. It cited the existence of the former Security and Prosperity Partnership as evidence of a push towards a North American Union.[18]

A daughter of staunch Birchers, Claire Conner, has even posted a video exposing some of the radical ideals of this group. The video can be seen here: Who Are the Birchers Today?

There are some people who believe that such a radical group who’s publications include The New American are an unbiased news source, with only the best intentions of the American people in mind. I would venture to guess that those same people are staunch supporters of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh.

With all of that said, there are plenty of radical left wing pundits pushing their agenda in an equally ferocious manner. Such candidates include: Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann; just to name a few.

In conclusion, where you get your news is your business; but, realize that one must follow the money to understand what the media wants you to hear. Everyone has an agenda and therefore bias. Therefore it is better to seek the least bias news outlet rather than those that claim to be unbiased.

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Has Society Lost it’s Moral Compass?

I’ve heard a lot of people state that the world has become a decadent place. One of murder, war, violence, insensitivity, rape, racism and any other horror one can think of. Those people also like to say it’s not like it use to be, when society had values and morals. For example, when they were growing up. This I say is rubbish.

If one looks closely at history, society has always been filled with violence, decadence, war, murder, rape, racism and so on. Let’s go way back to the ancient Romans. Public execution and death provided entertainment for the public at the coliseum. Christians were fed to lions. Prisoners were brutally murdered in a kind of reenactment of famous battles and the poor class was left for dead from starvation. If a person was not born into nobility he or she had a very hard life indeed. There was no opportunity to rise to a higher social class.

Moving forward many years to the English empire, the average person was destitute and starving. No hope of moving up in societies ranks. Torture was prevalent. The king and church had an iron grip on justice and wealth. There were no court systems like those of today. Torture, was a common practice to gain information from the condemned. And painful deaths awaited those who were accused of a crime. Imagine slowly dying in an iron maiden. Or being quartered, having your limbs pulled off? And once again there were nor trials for the accused. Imagine being accused of witch craft? A person would be tortured until the individual either confessed or was killed in so called experiments that would prove whether or not a person was indeed a witch or not.

Now let’s jump all the way up to the 1950’s. The so called golden age of moral values and a God fearing nation. Perhaps this was a good time, provided you were a middle class white male. For African American’s and other minorities, times were not so friendly. Racial segregation was rampant. Hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan made life dangerous for minorities. Prejudice was the norm and African American’s were looked on as a sub human group. Torture and threats came at black families on a regular basis. As well, it was difficult, if not impossible for a black man or woman to raise their social status. Jim Crow laws prevailed. Who knows where we would we would be without the bravery and messages of equality from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, just to name a few.

In conclusion yes times are bad and violence and hatred are prevalent; but, in comparison to how society has progressed, I would almost dare to say this is perhaps one of the most peaceful eras the world has seen in a long time. Yes, it could be better. But, that is up to us. And using violence and hate speech are not going to make things better. Treat others as you want to be treated.

Customer Service

After spending twelve years working with the public, I know a thing or two about customer service. The old saying goes, “the customer is always right.” Well, that is not always true. I am going to use my experience in working in the pharmacy as an example of poor customer attitude.

Most of the public has no idea how their insurance works. The insurance dictates the price to charge the patient for his or her medication. Not the pharmacy, unless they are paying without having insurance. I had one, for lack of a better term, gentleman, scream and use profanity at me because he had a very high copay. Nearly a thousand dollars if I remember correctly. He swore up and down that I was messing up the price of his prescription. I went so far as to run his prescription under the cash price and then again under his insurance. I did this to demonstrate that the insurance was picking up a little piece of the cost. He did not believe me. I advised him to contact his insurance and see if he had a deductible to meet. He finally stormed out of the store, without his medication. Several hours later he came back and apologized indirectly at me. Meaning he asked another employee to pass the apology along. He stated that I was right, he had a deductible to meet, which he found out after contacting his insurance company.

People will also complain about the wait time, which we usually told them it would take roughly twenty to thirty minutes to fill their prescription. A lot of them scoff at that time line and make remarks such as, “can’t you just put a label on it?” In short, no we can’t. There are people who are in front of you that we have to work on. We have to enter the data in the computer, electronically contact the insurance with the information and get a copay back or if the customer is unlucky, the medication may require a prior authorization. Meaning that the insurance wants the doctor to contact them and explain why he or she prescribed that particular medication versus something comparable that the insurance company is willing to pay for. In this case the doctor will either make the effort to get the medication authorized, which can take up to three or four days, or the doctor will change the medication to something else. These kind of things take time. The medication also has to be counted or poured out into the proper container and then checked by the pharmacist to insure it is the correct medication and that it will not interact with any other medications the person is on. So, the long and the short of it is, we can not simply place a label on it.

The list goes on as to what customers will complain about. And unfortunately some companies in a way, encourage such belligerent behavior by giving the complaining customer monetary compensation. Such as twenty five dollars in store credit. Kind and patient customers are not rewarded for being good patrons and allowing the employees to do their job in a safe and timely manner. One does not want the pharmacist to mess up or miss something vital in filling the medication that could cause adverse reactions to the patient. Being rushed and bullied could cause such mistakes to occur. Then a lawsuit would be on the establishment’s hands.

It is my opinion that well behaved and loyal customers should be the ones to be rewarded. Not these customers who switch pharmacies just for some promotional discount, for instance twenty dollars store credit for having a prescription transferred from one pharmacy to another. These kind of people are just abusing the system and do not necessarily intend to become regular patrons.

If everyone worked with the public for one month, I believe, hopefully, that there would be more respect between employee and customer interactions. Treat others as you would want to be treated.

Easily Offended?

First off I’m glad to hear that DOMA is gone. Finally LGBT couples can have the same benefits as traditional married couples. Finally, we are catching up to current times.

 

Has our society become a bunch of super sensitive sissies? One of my friends told me about a friend of his, from the south, who moved to Chicago for a job. This person called a woman at the work place “hunny”and was fired for sexual harassment. Honestly, that was considered harassment? There are certainly worse things to be called. Plus, people in different regions have different colloquial dialects. It is just what these people heard growing up.

However it is confusing in society. We are desensitized to a great deal of things such as violence, adult themed material and subject matter and hearing profane language in music, movies and television. But, these same people are offended when being called “hunny?” What is our society coming to?

Tragedy in Small Town USA

On Saturday May 25, 2013, Police Officer Jason Ellis of the Bardstown Kentucky Police department was shot an killed. On May 30, his funeral procession passed by my current subdivision in Bardstown  with several hundred officers from counties and cities from all over the state. Citizens of Bardstown lined the route of the funeral procession in honor of the fallen officer. It was a somber experience. However, it was uplifting to watch the community come together to honor this man and show support to the family and fellow officers from all over the state.

Now, it is suspected that members of the Bardstown gang: BMG, Bardstown Money Gang, may be involved with the murder of Officer Ellis. This past winter, Ellis arrested the suspected leader of the BMG, a gang which consists mostly of people in their late teens and early twenties. (wtvq.com) Members of the Bardstown Money Gang were also convicted of beating a New Haven resident, sixty two year old Joseph Hagan at a local restaurant, Huddle House. During the incident, words were exchanged between three members of the BMG; Deandre Douglas, Darian Ellery and Martin Barber, ages twenty, nineteen and twenty three respectively. According to the local Bardstown newspaper, The Kentucky Standard’s records, Deandre Douglas was indicted with trafficking a controlled substance in June of 2012. (kentuckystandard.com)

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Please note that the following paragraph is merely hearsay and is not based on hard proof of any kind.

It is kind of odd that a person told me several weeks prior to the events surrounding officer Ellis, that the beating of Joseph Hagan, the sixty two year old New Haven resident by members of the BMG was a gang war. It was stated that Hagan was an alleged member of the famed Cornbread Mafia, who have been accused of growing 182 tons of marijuana in ten states, including Kentucky. And, Marion County Kentucky, which borders Bardstown’s home of Nelson County, is the Cornbread Mafia’s headquarters. It was also stated that the Bardstown Money Gang was interested in taking over the territory of distribution of illicit substances from the Cornbread Mafia.

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If anyone who should read this has any solid information pertaining to the murder of Officer Jason Ellis, please contact the Bardstown police department.

The community of Bardstown will forever remember Officer Ellis as a hero and keep his family in their thoughts and prayers.

Why Can’t I Teleport Yet?

Sometimes I’m amazed at how technology has evolved. I’ve got a smartphone with a voice that can give me turn by turn directions, play my favorite tunes and let me surf the internet. I remember when the only phone my family had was a land line connected to a “party line.” In other words the phone number was shared among different houses. And you had to make sure the person at the other house wasn’t using the phone before you could make a call. teleportationNow, despite having a phone like I have, I wonder, why can’t we teleport people yet? Honestly, what is so hard about transporting a human great distances by breaking down every atom in their body and reconstructing it somewhere else?

Jokes aside, new devices that will allow all, or most of your gadgets to communicate with each other aren’t too far away. For instance, rumor has it that Apple is working on an iTV that can be controlled by an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. And then there are these Google Glasses. These glasses allow the wearer to surf the internet and have the content appear in the lens, all while those around are unaware of what the wearer is looking at.

One day my phone will talk to my car, house, TV, computer and everything else I own. And I’ll just sit back and wonder, what the hell are they saying.

Slaves to Technology? (Life Without a Smartphone and Other Such Things)

Could you go a day without your smartphone? How about two, three days? A week? Honestly, I don’t think I could. I recently went to a three day rock festival, Rock on the Range, and I didn’t want to bring my iPhone. I didn’t have the ability to tweet, check Facebook or text anyone. It was partially nice to be unreachable and partially unsettling. I know I’m not the only person to feel this way. Tory Shepherd comments in this article. Like Shepherd, many of us can’t stand not having our phones with us 24/7.

Other technological items are equally difficult to be without for more than a few hours, perhaps minutes. How long does the average person use the computer a day? And what happens to us when these computers fail and go down? Absolute anarchy. Society screeches to a halt. What about TV? Could you miss your favorite show, or watch it without DVR?

Again, Shepherd comments in the article that in an Australian survey, nine out of ten people under the age of 30, are addicted to their smartphones. And another survey claims that people are spending up to 16 hours per day using technology. Think of what you could accomplish in 16 hours if you weren’t hooked into our technological civilization. Shepherd also comments that the United Kingdom offers a summer camp for adults meant as a “digital detox.” Honestly, I don’t know if I could do that.