June 21st, 2011
By: J.D. Heyes
The bank robbing outlaw Jesse James. The gangster Al Capone. Drug dealers and traffickers. Kids selling lemonade without a permit. Which one of these doesn’t belong?
If you guessed the last one not only are you right, you are probably someone Big Brother may want to talk to someday, because obviously you’re not an adherent to the growing American police state mentality.
What does it say about the state of our nation when scalpers can freely make a small fortune selling parking spots to U.S. Open spectators, but if young children try to sell lemonade to help fight pediatric cancer, their operation is closed down by bureaucrats and the kids are fined $500?
According to a local news report, children of some well-to-do families near Bethesda, Md., set up their stand last week in the hopes of bringing in some bucks to help cure an awful disease. Montgomery County officials spotted the stand and swooped in, warning that since the kids didn’t have a permit they would have to shut the stand down. When they didn’t, the county fined their parents.
“This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don’t have a vendors license, the kids won’t be allowed to sell their lemonade,” Carrie Marriot (of Marriot Hotels lineage) told local news reporters.
Understandably furious and confused, Ms. Marriot called officials to inquire about the situation. She was told, in essence, that the county isn’t beating up on little kids, but rules are rules and, well, a lemonade stand with a few cases of bottled lemonade could draw in more unapproved (as in, non-permit holding) enterprises.
“Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You’ve got coolers and coolers here,” Jennifer Hughes, the county’s permitting director, told Ms. Marriot.
Yes, she said, but only to raise money to help fight a terrible disease. “Does every kid who sells lemonade now have to register with the county?” she asked.
So much for charity in America.
Oddly, the county gives out permits to people who want to overcharge U.S. Open and other golfing venue spectators, some to the tune of $60 a day, with the intention of pocketing every penny. Why is that okay with Montgomery County?
Because they charge $300 per permit.
There are some real criminals in America – some very bad people who do awful things to our society. None of them dare sell lemonade without an expensive permit in Montgomery County, Md., though.
At last report, after getting a fair amount of pressure from around the country no doubt, the county was gracious enough to waive the $500 fine if the kids moved the stand to “a more private, safer area.” What a bunch of saints, huh?
June 3, 2010
By Ethan A. Huff
(NaturalNews) Recent reports revealing the dangers of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) diabetes drug, Avandia, have not gone unnoticed. Santa Clara County in Northern California recently filed a lawsuit against the drug giant for suppressing evidence that the drug increases heart attack risk.
The lawsuit is demanding that every person in California who has taken Avandia receive restitution from GSK. California state law prohibits companies from falsely advertising their products, and according to Santa Clara County, GSK did just this with its Avandia drug.
“GSK’s unlawful conduct has cost patients, their insurers and government payers millions of dollars, and it has caused needless suffering to thousands of Californians,” explained Miguel Marquez, Santa Clara County’s acting county counsel. “This is precisely the sort of corporate malfeasance that California law prohibits.”
February 22, 2010
Silver Buzz Cafe
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have released a report billed as “the first annual checkup for every county in the nation.” The results are available online, so everyone can now find out how the county they live in ranks in terms of health outcomes. It allows residents to know how healthy their county is and how it compares with neighboring counties.
Pat Remington, Associate Dean for Public Health at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and lead author of this new report says – “It really is a call to action, not just for public health officials, [but] for educators, employers, community organizers to come to the table and start working together to improve the health of an entire community.”
The researchers ranked states based on health outcomes, which they describe as how long people lived (mortality) and how well they feel while they are alive (morbidity). They also ranked them according to other health factors, such as:
-Access to healthy foods.
-Health care access and quality.
-Number of children living in poverty and unemployment.
-Percentage of people who smoke tobacco.
Vermont and Mississippi were ranked as the healthiest and least healthy states overall, respectively. One surprising observation is that, within a particular state, the healthiest and unhealthiest counties are often side-by-side. For example, Chester County is ranked as the healthiest in Pennsylvania, but neighboring Delaware and Philadelphia Counties rank 36th and last in that state.
The report authors hope that the new report will help change the landscape. Dr. Remington commented that after Juneau County, Wisconsin, was ranked unhealthiest in the state, the first response was anger and denial. However, rather than just accepting the results, the communities were motivated to make things better. The local health officials decided to add community access to health care, so everybody could be seen by a doctor. They also opened a free dental clinic and doctors started handing out books to improve literacy. So, the new report may spur authorities, providers and patients in poorly ranked counties to work together to improve the situation.