Archive for the ‘- Business… None of yours’ Category
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014
The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.
Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.
That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.
Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.
These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.
Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.
These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Business... None of yours | Tagged: gas, war, abuse, SEC, government, wealth, news, money, law, resources, corruption, Wall Street, greed, Congress, regulation, business, history, United States, politics, illegal, influence, oil, power, Energy, BIG OIL, enterprise, UBS, Offshore drilling, Africa, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mining, lobbyist, European Union, Foreign Policy, Angola, Securities & Exchange Commission, drill, continent, Global Witness, human rights, international finance, lobby, Dodd-Frank Act, Dodd-Frank, ilicit, bribe, NYSE, Stock Exchange, SBM Offshore, Weatherford International, New York Stock Exchange, Switzerland | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 20, 2013
Did you know? (No, you probably didn’t.)
In a report dated August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) conducted a criminal and administrative investigation and found that Alabama claimed, and was paid millions in unallowable performance bonus payments under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIRPA).
This FRAUD was because of INCOMPETENCY in Alabama governance.
The HHS OIG found that the Alabama state agency overstated its FYs 2009 and 2010 current enrollment in its requests for bonus payments. The State agency overstated its current enrollments because, rather than Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ACA, Alabama, Alabama Legislature, Associated Press, Barack Obama, Bentley, budget, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, CHIP, CHIRPA, CMS, Crimson Tide, defraud, federal, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GOP, government, governor, health, HHS, incompetence, incompetency, insurance, Medicaid, Mississippi, money, Montgomery Alabama, news, Obamacare, OIG, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, politics, PPACA, quiet, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, State Children's Health Insurance Program, United States, waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 24, 2013
I may step on a few toes with my next remark, but I can always apologize, and ask forgiveness if it so be the case that my remarks are found offensive.
However, suffice it to say, that our nation’s Congress, has, for at least the past 20 years, or so – and even moreso in the past decade plus – embarked upon a very Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: Africa, Ancient, Ancient Egypt, Big Business, business, corporation, Democrat, Egypt, employees, enterprise, entrepreneurship, faith, Golden Parachute, GOP, government, Hebrew, Hebrew language, Hebrews, history, jobs, money, Moses, people, Pharaoh, policy, politics, profit, prophet, religion, Republican, Seychelles, tax, United States, values | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 28, 2013
Chattanooga is an old, old, old, old city.
It’s older than Civil War old.
Throughout the city there are narrow streets, many (if not most) of which need widening and repaving. Interstate 24, which leads into the city, is in sore need of widening. Because of the twisting, winding route it takes as it leads into, through and around the city and it’s numerous mountains and hills, it can be treacherous. When any slowdown for any reason occurs, traffic can be backed up for 15-20 miles, or more. When wrecks occur on that route, they’re often fatal, and create even longer delays. The only other major route into the city is US Highway 72. There is no bypass. If there are problems on either of those two routes, significant delays can take hours. (See a Google Map of the area.)
It has a university – University of Tennessee, Chattanooga – with other smaller colleges & universities nearby (Lee University, in Cleveland & Southern Adventist University, in Collegedale). One of three hospitals in the area (each which has numerous campuses) Erlanger, is a Level One Trauma Center, and teaching hospital for the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Memorial Hospital, is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives system, and is a teaching hospital, while Parkridge Hospital is operated by TriStar Health.
Because of industrial waste released by area manufacturing, in 1969, Chattanooga had the filthiest air in the nation. The Tennessee River which serves as a boundary for the area was equally polluted. For many years, troubles GALORE plagued the city, including economic inequality, poor race relations, deteriorating economic infrastructure, rapid population decline, and departure of industry.
Recognizing that the city and area residents were suffering a slow suicide, officials and interested citizens embarked upon a plan to revitalize the area, including cleaning up industrial waste, reinvigorating the economy with employment opportunity, and looking forward, rather than backward.
EPB (Electric Power Board), one of the public utilities in the area, came upon an idea to infuse their power grid with Fiber Optic cable to enable better response times, to pinpoint areas of concern, and to re-route electricity during power outages when lines were downed by trees or severe weather. They faced stiff opposition in the form of legal fights by Comcast (principally), yet were successful in overcoming. In turn, they sold High Speed fiber optic Internet Connectivity to area residents at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to the Wall-Street-traded Comcast. They also provide better service.
While the area’s renaissance is by no means complete, it has advanced with enormously significant strides.
Obama to visit uneven Chattanooga area recovery
published Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Mike Pare, Deputy Business Editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press; MPare@ TimesFreePress.com phone: (423) 757-6318
by Mike Pare
When President Barack Obama flies into Chattanooga on Tuesday to tout new economic initiatives, he’ll see a city recognized in a national study as a metro area emerging from the recession as an “economic frontrunner.”
Area Development, a national business magazine covering site selection and relocation, ranked metro Chattanooga at No. 86 — in the top quarter — among 380 metro areas examined for the study titled “Leading Locations for 2013.”
While in Chattanooga Obama is expected to unveil new ways to spur the nation’s sluggish economic recovery.
At the Amazon distribution center at Enterprise South industrial park, the president will see a growing, state-of-the-art distribution facility with 1,800 full-time jobs created since 2011. The Chattanooga facility, along with Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Alabama, Amazon, Atlanta, Barack Obama, Bristol, business, center, CEO, CHA, Chattanooga, Chattanooga Tennessee, Chattanooga Times Free Press, CLEVELAND, Columbus, connectivity, Dalton, Democrat, Democratic, economic, economy, enterprise, EPB, fiber optics, fulfillment, Georgia, high speed Internet, Huntsville, Indiana, Internet, Jeff Bezos, jobs, Kingston, Knoxville, living, Louisiana, manufacturing, Memphis, money, Nashville, Nooga, Obama, Odessa, policy, politics, president, private enterprise, region, regional, Rome, South, southern, taxes, Tennessee, Texas, TN, TVA, United States, University of Tennessee, Volkswagen, wages | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 22, 2013
Ever wonder why healthcare costs are sky high?
Part of the reason is that in Alabama – as in other states – healthcare providers cannot independently decide to open up a hospital without government approval.
And no… it’s NOT “ObamaCare.”
“It’s expensive to navigate the Alabama Certificate Of Need process, but both sides said it is best for their patients that they continue this fight.”
Yes, it’s EXPENSIVE, but REALLY?
It’s better to FIGHT than HEAL?
You’re scheduled for surgery, and you want your surgical team to “continue this fight” instead of attending to your healthcare needs?
Such a remark… is not worthy of further comment.
However, I will address the matter of Alabama’s Certificate Of Need Law.
Most folks are not aware of the complexities of this matter, much less the hows & whys of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Alabama, American Hospital Association, Certificate Of Need Law, Don Siegelman, Federal Trade Commission, New York, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Richard M. Scrushy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 21, 2013
Does Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi, front door
Torn between numerous thoughts, I struggled with the headline, and opening paragraph.
The headline “Public Food Establishment Not Fit For Human Consumption” would be adequate, I suppose, but I really like this lead as a headline much better: “I feel like I should’ve eaten a cucumber sandwich.”
That was actually a SMS which I’d sent a good friend of mine, who had mentioned that earlier in the day, he purchased some cucumbers at a local Farmer’s Market, was pondering how to prepare them, and was considering preparing cucumber sandwiches. Naturally, I gave him a fair amount of good-natured ribbing over the matter (suggesting perhaps that he should consider joining a ladies tea party group) particularly given that he has a penchant for sausages & “fair food,” sometimes aka “carnival food.”
How did I feel after that decidedly “ungastronomic” experience?
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Here is but one.
Back to the Greenville, Mississippi fiasco.
It may be best to characterize the experience with a few terms:
• Clip Joint
• Nickel and Dime
• Avoid at All Costs
Having read the reviews on UrbanSpoon.com, I was somewhat prepared – with strong emphasis upon the minimal aspect.
The following video is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: bread, Business and Economy, cook, cooking, Cracker Barrel, Cucumber, Cucumber sandwich, dining, Doe, Doe's Eat Place, Eat Place, eatery, eating, environment, farmers market, Filet Mignon, food, Food processor, French Fries, Garlic Bread, geotag, geotagged, Google Earth, Google Maps, Greenville, Greenville Mississippi, Headline, home, link, Mississippi, Mississippi Delta, Nelson Street, Organic matter, Pullman loaf, recreation, Recreation and Sports, restaurant, Rib eye steak, Sandwiches, Street View, Sunday, Surface water, travel, trip, United States, UrbanSpoon, water, Yoghurt | 5 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 4, 2013
Reverend Carl Ralph Nuss, Cullman, Alabama, has plead GUILTY to violating Federal Law – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
This is how he treats our troops?
I have nothing good to say about this, save that he plead guilty.
I hope the judge gives this criminal the maximum sentence.
And you know what else is REALLY sad?
Reverend Carl R. Nuss
Carl R. Nuss is a minister of the Gospel.
Apparently – and sadly so – he doesn’t know the Gospel too well.
Hopefully, this criminal and his criminal enterprise will soon be put out of business.
Cullman Car Dealer Pleads Guilty to Violating Legal Protections for Active-Duty Service Members
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2013
BIRMINGHAM – A Cullman used car dealer pleaded guilty today for violating federal protections for active-duty military service members by refusing to reduce the loan interest rate and repossessing the vehicle he sold to a man who was later deployed overseas with the Alabama National Guard, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.
CARL RALPH NUSS, 75, entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Harwell G. Davis III to the two counts of the March indictment charging him with violating Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Active duty, Afghanistan, AL, Alabama, Alabama National Guard, Army, Associated Press, Car dealership, Carl Nuss, Carl R. Nuss, Carl Ralph Nuss, crime, criminal, criminal enterprise, Cullman, Cullman Alabama, Data Formats, discrimination, FAQs Help and Tutorials, FBI, federal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, geotag, geotagged, greed, Harwell Goodwin Davis, HTML, investigation, law, Light-emitting diode, loan, Markup Languages, money, National Guard, North Alabama Wholesale Autos, Nuss, PAL, Plea, repossession, Rev. Carl Nuss, Rev. Carl R. Nuss, service member, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, television, Texas Hill Country, troops, war | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 2, 2013
Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!
Moylan’s Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cheers to beers: Alabama raises a glass to home-brew, Brewfest and craft breweries
(Gallery by Tamika Moore | email@example.com)
This weekend Birmingham played host to a sold-out Magic City Brewfest at Sloss Furnace, featuring more than 200 different beers from more than 70 craft breweries around the nation. Although 2013 marked the seventh annual Brewfest, it was the first since homebrew became legal in Alabama, thanks to legislation passed in May.
Because home-brewers in Alabama can now share recipes and bond over their successes and struggles, Brewfest has a renewed “electricity” in the air, said Gabe Harris, president of Free the Hops, the grassroots nonprofit that worked to help pass the homebrew bill.
“It feels great to have home-brew legal in Alabama,” Harris said. “Every craft brewer at Brewfest started out as a home-brewer, and everyone is really excited to be here this year.”
Because craft brewers across the state feel passionately about spreading the homebrew “gospel,” the Home-brew Association set up a tent at Brewfest specifically to educate people about the brewing process.
“We’ve had tons of people at the tent asking some really intelligent questions,” Harris said.
Spencer Overton, homebrew manager at Birmingham brewery and bar Hop City, said Birmingham is now on the “cutting edge” of craft beer. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AL, Alabama, ale, Art, beer, Birmingham, brew, brewski, business, craft, craft brew, craftbrew, creation, creativity, drink, enterprise, entrepreneurship, government, history, Homebrew, Homebrewing, law, legislation, micro, North Carolina, Overton, private enterprise, sales, Sloss Furnace, Spencer Overton, twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 1, 2013
Google ordered to hand private customer data over to FBI investigators
Judge who earlier ruled National Security Letters unconstitutional orders Google to nonetheless comply with them
Matt Williams and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 1 June 2013 11.49 EDT
A US judge has ordered Google to comply with FBI secret demands for customer data, despite earlier ruling the warrantless orders unconstitutional.
It was unclear from the judge’s ruling what type of information the government sought to obtain with the letters. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
District court judge Susan Illston this week rejected the internet search giant’s argument that so-called National Security Letters (NSLs) violated its constitutional rights. As such it ordered Google to hand over private information relating to US citizens to federal agents.
It comes despite Illston earlier ruling Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Associated Press, Electronic Frontier Foundation, FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Google, National Security Letter, Susan Illston, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
If you like bacon, ham, pork sausage, barbecue, ribs, or any other pork product – including cold cuts & pizza – get ready to pay at least 2 – 4 times more, and for shortages.
Wall Street minions – who manage Smithfield, an American company no more – have no patriotic qualms about taking food off your table and out of your mouth to feed the mouths of the people who steal our nation’s military secrets, defraud our motion picture & music copyrights, and have an historical track record of Shanghai-ing anyone & everyone who gets in their way.
You think I’m kidding, or that I don’t know what I’m writing about?
Just recollect back a few months – oh, say about 7 – to Thanksgiving in November 2012 when pecans were 2x – 3x the price they were usually.
And why was that?
After all, pecan farmers had a record bumper crop… and that typically translates into lower prices for consumers.
It’s because the Chinese suddenly discovered they liked pecans, and were willing to pay premium prices (translate: much MORE then you’re willing to pay), and so the growers shipped pecans over to China.
As I continue to contend, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.
Okay… so it may cost more. So what?
How about this?
Were you aware that the Chinese company that bought Smithfield sold pigs that had been fed a substance banned in the USA & England & other nations?
Shuanghui Group, China’s largest meat processor, sold pigs fed Clenbuterol in 2011. Here are three links about the ordeal.
And, would it surprise you to find out that Goldman Sachs is one of the top investors?
1.) “According to Chinese government data, 18 outbreaks of food-related clenbuterol poisoning occurred between 1998 and 2007. The most recent report indicates one person died and more than 1,700 others fell ill.”
2.) “Meanwhile, at Jiyuan Shuanghui’s processing facilities, of the 689 pigs awaiting slaughter, 19 tested positive for clenbuterol. Shuanghui, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, has shut down the Jiyuan branch affected by the contamination so it can conduct its own inspection.”
3.) “And in recent months the additive has earned notoriety in China after a string of people got sick from eating pork products full of it. Hundreds took ill in one incident in March, and this week, 286 people in Hunan province after eating pork contaminated with ractopamine, a chemical very similar to clenbuterol. Chinese livestock farmers began using clenbuterol in pig feed in the late 1980s to boost growth and get animals to market faster, but it was banned in 2002 as the health risks of eating the meat became better understood. Clenbuterol-tainted meat dizziness, headaches, hand tremors, and other unpleasantness. It’s especially risky for people with heart troubles.”
Shuanghui Agrees to Acquire Smithfield Foods for $4.72B
By Shruti Date Singh and Jeffrey McCracken – May 29, 2013
Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., China’s biggest pork producer, agreed to acquire Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) for about $4.72 billion to boost supplies for the nation that’s the biggest consumer of the meat.
Closely held Shuanghui, parent of Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. (000895), will pay $34 a share for the Smithfield, Virginia-based producer, both companies said today in a statement. The offer is 31 percent more than yesterday’s closing share price.
China’s consumption of pork is rising with the expansion of its middle class while there are questions being asked about the safety of the country’s food supply. Smithfield’s livestock unit is the world’s largest hog producer, bringing about 15.8 million of the animals to market a year, according to the company’s website. It owns 460 farms and has contracts with 2,100 others across 12 U.S. states.
The takeover is valued at $7.1 billion including debt, which would make it the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company, according to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Bacon, barbecue, BBQ, bellies, belly, Bloomberg, business, CBOT, Chicago, Chicago Board of Trade, China, corporate, cost, farmers, food, food poisoning, food safety, food security, Goldman Sachs, greed, ham, history, inflation, jobs, markets, money, Morgan Stanley, New York, pecans, Pizza, poison, pork, pork bellies, ribs, sausage, shank, Shuanghui, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Smithfield, Smithfield Foods, takeover, traitor, Troutman Sanders, Tyson Foods, United States | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 25, 2013
Ross Perot was right.
Scene: 1992 Presidential Debate: Former Arkansas Governor William Jefferson Clinton – D, President George H. W. Bush – R, and Ross Perot – I.
White Male Audience Member: Yes, I’d like to direct my question to Mr. Perot. What will you do, as President, to open foreign markets to fair competiton from American business, and to stop unfair competition here at home from foreign countries, so that we can bring jobs back to the United States?
Ross Perot: That’s right at the top of my agenda.
We’ve shipped millions of jobs overseas, and uh… we have a strained situation because we have a process in Washington, where after you’ve served for a while, you cash in, become a foreign lobbyist, make $30,000 a month, then take a leave, work on presidential campaigns, make sure you got good contacts, and then go back out.
And if you just want to get down to brass tacks, the first thing you ought to do is get all these folks who got these one-way trade agreements that we’ve negotiated over the years, and say ‘fellas, we’ll take the same deal we gave you.’ And they’ll gridlock right at that point, because, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: 1992, Bill Clinton, debate, economy, employers, George H.W. Bush, Giant sucking sound, government, history, jobs, labor, money, Perot, policy, president, presidential, Ross Perot, United States, Washington, Washington D.C., Washington DC, worker | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
“How hard is it to criticize an organization that seriously thinks that it’s okay to call “Internet Use Disorder” a mental illness? They’re going to take shot after shot. And the response will be ineffectual and weak. They’ll bob and weave, talk about the “living document,” and unleash their line of bullshit.”
For more than two years, author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg has embedded himself in the war that broke out over the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the DSM—the American Psychiatric Association’s compendium of mental illnesses and what Greenberg calls “the book of woe.”
Since its debut in 1952, the book has been frequently revised, and with each revision, the “official” view on which psychological problems constitute mental illness. Homosexuality, for instance, was a mental illness until 1973, and Asperger’s gained recognition in 1994 only to see its status challenged nearly twenty years later. Each revision has created controversy, but the DSM-5, the newest iteration, has shaken psychiatry to its foundations. The APA has taken fire from patients, mental health practitioners, and former members for extending the reach of psychiatry into daily life by encouraging doctors to diagnose more illnesses and prescribe more therapies—often medications whose efficacy is unknown and whose side effects are severe. Critics—including Greenberg—argue that the APA should not have the naming rights to psychological pain or to the hundreds of millions of dollars the organization earns, especially when even the DSM’s staunchest defenders acknowledge that the disorders listed in the book are not real illnesses.
Greenberg’s account of the history behind the DSM, which has grown from pamphlet-sized to encyclopedic since it was first published, and his behind-the-scenes reporting of the deeply flawed process by which the DSM-5 has been revised, is both riveting and disturbing. Anyone who has received a diagnosis of mental disorder, filed a claim with an insurer, or just wondered whether daily troubles qualify as true illness should know how the DSM turns suffering into a commodity, and the APA into its own biggest beneficiary. Invaluable and informative, The Book of Woe is bound to spark intense debate among expert and casual readers alike.
The Real Problems With Psychiatry
A psychotherapist contends that the DSM, psychiatry’s “bible” that defines all mental illness, is not scientific but a product of unscrupulous politics and bureaucracy.
On May 22, the American Psychiatric Association will release the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5. It classifies psychiatric diagnoses and the criteria required to meet them. Gary Greenberg, one of the book’s biggest critics, claims these disorders aren’t real — they’re invented. Author of Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease and contributor to The New Yorker, Mother Jones, The New York Times and other publications, Greenberg is a practicing psychotherapist. The Book of Woe: The Making of the DSM-5 and the Unmaking of Psychiatry is his exposé of the business behind the creation of the new manual.
Can you talk about how the first DSM, published in 1952, was conceived?
One of the reasons was to count people. The first collections of diagnoses were called the “statistical manual,” not the “diagnostic and statistical manual.” There were also parochial reasons. As the rest of medicine became oriented toward diagnosing illnesses by seeking their causes in biochemistry, in the late 19th, early 20th century, the claim to authority of any medical specialty hinged on its ability to diagnose suffering. To say “okay, your sore throat and fever are strep throat.” But psychiatry was unable to do that and was in danger of being discredited. As early as 1886, prominent psychiatrists worried that they would be left behind, or written out of the medical kingdom. For reasons not entirely clear, the government turned to the American Medico-Psychological Association, (later the American Psychiatric Association, or APA), to tell them how many mentally ill people were out there. The APA used it as an opportunity to establish its credibility.
How has the DSM evolved to become seen as the “authoritative medical guide to all of mental suffering”?
The credibility of psychiatry is tied to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 20, 2013
This OpEd is probably some of the best, and most genuinely warranted criticism of President Obama which I’ve yet read.
As late former president Theodore Roosevelt wrote:
“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.* Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”
-Theodore Roosevelt’s OpEd Column entitled “Sedition, A Free Press and Personal Rule” published May 7, 1918 in the Kansas City Star
*Roosevelt’s sharp criticism of President Wilson‘s leadership during World War I led the Post Office to warn that the Star that such views might cost the paper its second-class mailing privileges.
Obama A Big Hypocrite? Ask Legal Schnauzer, Roger Shuler
By Joan Brunwasser (about the author) Permalink
Life Arts 5/18/2013 at 22:24:54
My guest today is Legal Schnauzer, Roger Shuler. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Roger.
JB: Your recent piece The President Paints Himself Into An Ethical Corner By Voicing Outrage Over Evolving Scandal At The IRS is pretty scathing. What’s got you so upset?
RS: In early January 2009, just a few days before he took office, President-Elect Obama said he intended to “look forward, as opposed to looking backwards” on apparent crimes under the Bush administration. As president, Obama seems to have followed through on that pledge because his Justice Department has failed to review political prosecutions such as the one involving former Governor Don Siegelman in Alabama, where I live.
Political prosecutions, of course, were just of one of many improper acts on the justice front during the Bush years–torture, warrantless wiretapping, firings of U.S. attorneys were among the others. In essence, Obama issued a decree that no one would be held accountable for those acts.
Obama’s “look forward” statement made no sense at the time, and it makes even less sense now, coming after he expressed outrage the other day over disclosures about the IRS targeting conservative groups for political reasons. Obama said in a news conference that he would not “tolerate” such actions, that wrongdoers must be held “accountable,” and the problem must be “fixed.”
But his inaction toward the DOJ shows that he will tolerate the targeting of political opponents, that he will not hold individuals accountable for such actions, and he will not take steps to fix the problem. Obama was uttering empty words at his press conference about the IRS. Many of us expect that from a Republican chief executive; we should demand better from a Democrat.
JB: For readers unfamiliar with the Siegelman case, Roger, can you give us a brief overview of what happened and why anyone outside of Alabama should care? It didn’t happen under Obama’s watch so how can he be blamed?
RS: Don Siegelman was a Democratic governor in a deep-red state, a state where Karl Rove has a strong power base. Siegelman accepted a campaign donation from a businessman named Richard Scrushy, and then appointed Scrushy to a health-care regulatory board–a board on which Scrushy had served under three previous governors.
The standard for a bribery conviction in the campaign-donation context is that the prosecution must prove an “explicit agreement” in a something-for-something deal (known in legalese as a “quid pro quo.”) No evidence at trial pointed to such an unlawful deal, and the federal judge presiding over the case (a George W. Bush appointee named Mark Fuller) gave incorrect jury instructions that did not include the “explicit agreement” requirement. He allowed the jury to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: A Free Press, Alabama, apeal, appeal, Atlanta, Barack Obama, Democrat, Don Siegelman, Elena Kagan, Free Press, George W. Bush, GOP, injury, IRS, justice, Kansas City Star, Karl Rove, law, legal, miscarriage, Obama, OpEdNews, politics, Post Office, prosecution, Republican, Richard M. Scrushy, Richard Scrushy, Roosevelt, scandal, SCOTUS, Siegelman, Theodore Roosevelt, United States, Woodrow Wilson, World War | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 11, 2013
Thanks to a newly introduced aspect of ObamaCare, hospitals are now mandated to publicly show how much they charge for procedures.
Aren’t you glad?
I mean really… who goes to a grocery store or gas station and doesn’t know how much they’ll pay?
Part of market-based competition includes Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: Alabama, Antiques and Collectibles, breathing, business, cheap, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, comparison, COPD, cost, cost comparison, cost effective, Crestwood Medical Center, Decatur, DO, doctors, expense, expnsive, fainting, healing, health, Health care reform, healthcare, heart, high blood pressure, hospital, HTN, Huntsville, Huntsville Alabama, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital System, hypertension, inexpensive, infection, lungs, MD, Medflight, north Alabama, nurses, Ontario, pass out, passed out, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, physicians, RN, shopping, syncope, treatment, uncomplicated, United States, Urinary Tract Infection, UTI, WHNT-TV | 4 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 3, 2013
Among defense contractors, QinetiQ North America (QQ/) is known for spy-world connections and an eye- popping product line. Its contributions to national security include secret satellites, drones, and software used by U.S. special forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Former CIA Director George Tenet was a director of the company from 2006 to 2008 and former Pentagon spy chief Stephen Cambone headed a major division. Its U.K. parent was created as a spinoff of a government weapons laboratory that inspired Q’s lab in Ian Fleming’s James Bond thrillers, a connection QinetiQ (pronounced kin-EH-tic) still touts.
QinetiQ’s espionage expertise didn’t keep Chinese cyber- spies from outwitting the company. In a three-year operation, hackers linked to China’s military infiltrated QinetiQ’s computers and compromised most if not all of the company’s research. At one point, they logged into the company’s network by taking advantage of a security flaw identified months earlier and never fixed.
“We found traces of the intruders in Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Alabama, AMCOM, Army, Aviation and Missile Command, Barack Obama, Center for Strategic and International Studies, China, CIA, computers, cyber war, Defense contractor, Erik Schatzker, espionage, FBI, George Tenet, George W. Bush, hack, hackers, hacking, HSV, Huntsville, Lockheed Martin, military, NASA, National Security Agency, NSA, Qinetiq, Redstone Arsenal, RSA, secrets, spy, Stephen Cambone, United States, Verizon Communications, war | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 29, 2013
British winemakers credit climate change for boom in bubbly sales
By Anthony Faiola, Published: April 28, 2013
CUCKMERE VALLEY, England — Blessed with soil similar to France’s Champagne region, vineyards in England nevertheless produced decades of low-grade goop that caused nary a Frenchman to tremble. But a Great British fizz boom is underway, with winemakers crediting climate change for the warmer weather that has seemed to improve their bubbly.
Sparkling wine undergoes an early fermentation process at the Ridgeview Wine Estate in East Sussex, England. Warmer summers are producing wines competitive with some from France.
- GRAHAM BARCLAY/BLOOMBERG NEWS
Increasingly hospitable temperatures have helped transplanted champagne grapes such as chardonnay and pinot noir thrive in the microclimates of southern England, touching off a wine rush by investors banking on climate change. Once considered an oxymoron, fine English sparkling wine is now retailing for champagne prices of $45 to $70 a pop. In recent years, dozens of vineyards have Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
While this story is about the nation known as Georgia, given the numerous convoluted and antiquated laws governing beverage alcohol in the Southern United States, it could very well be Georgia… Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, or Arkansas.
Something Old, Something New: Georgian Wines Adapt To Changing Market
April 17, 2013
by Glenn Kates
KISISKHEVI, Georgia — Seven years ago, Burkhard Schuchmann, a retired German railroad executive, arrived for the first time in this lush region, where the snow-capped Caucasian mountains cast a long shadow over the grapevines that line the low-lying fields.It was 2006 and Russia had recently imposed a crippling embargo on Georgian wine.Schuchmann decided to open a winery nevertheless.
“To see it from today’s point of view, Georgians can be lucky that the embargo came,” Schuchmann says. “Because then they were forced to [focus on] quality and to think about marketing. There was no need before.”
After mostly “satisfactory” inspections by Russia’s consumer-rights agency in February and March, Georgian wines will soon be sold in Russia again. But Russians, perhaps expecting the sweet, syrupy taste of years past, may be surprised by the changing nature of Georgian vintage.
Burkhard Schuchmann opened a winery in Georgia because he thought he could compete outside of Russia by modernizing the industry.
In 2005, Georgia exported 80 percent of its wine to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: agriculture, Alcohol, Arkansas, beverage, Bidzina Ivanishvili, booze, bottle, business, drink, enterprise, entrepreneur, Europe, export, farming, food, Georgia, Georgian wine, government, history, import, industry, investment, liquor, marketing, money, Moscow, regulation, rural, rural life, Russia, Schuchmann, Southern United States, Soviet Union, Tbilisi, tradition, wine | Leave a Comment »