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Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Thursday - February 09, 2006

Candid Camera

Everybody’s out to make a buck. Especially if you live in dirt poor Appalachia coal-mining country. But where does one draw the line? I have a sad feeling that in the story below there have been bad feelings between the guy’s wife and his brother for a long time. There’s always a story within the story. Is that why we have lawyers and courts? Was it worth $800? Why would any news service expect a dirt-poor resident of this region to have a phone? Enquiring minds want to know ....

Sago Mine Survivor’s Wife Sues His Brother
February 8, 2006, 4:31 PM EST
GRAFTON, W.Va. (AP)

The wife of Sago Mine survivor Randal McCloy Jr. is suing her brother-in-law for taking pictures of her comatose husband and selling them to the National Enquirer. Anna McCloy’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Matthew McCloy, the supermarket tabloid and its parent, American Media Inc.

The family has said Matthew McCloy was paid $800 for a photograph that appeared in the National Enquirer last month of Randal McCloy on life-support at a West Virginia hospital. McCloy was one of 13 miners caught in a Jan. 2 explosion at the Sago Mine. One miner was killed by the blast, and 11 others died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

No telephone listing for Matthew McCloy could be found. American Media said it did nothing illegal in publishing the photo and the accompanying story.

“Matthew McCloy’s intent in cooperating with the story was to call attention to the very serious issue of mine safety—a view fully supported by The National Enquirer. No one intended to do anything to harm Randal McCloy,” spokeswoman Barrie Gordon said.

The lawsuit, filed in state court last week, replaces a suit filed against the tabloid last month in federal court.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 02/09/2006 at 06:34 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - January 30, 2006

Greed In Los Angeles

C’mon! Get real! Los Angeles is upset over nude cartoon characters in a video game? Are we talking about THE Los Angeles? Porn capitol of the world? Home of more adult filmakers than any place on Earth? The city with more hookers than almost anywhere in the US? The town where cocaine and booze are the two basic food groups?

This is utterly unbelievable! This sounds more like a shakedown than anything else. How can a city attorney stand up and shake his finger at a video game maker who he claims is indulging in “greed and deception” while filing a lawsuit to blatantly and openly grab part of their profits? How do these people sleep at night ... ?

imageimageCity Of LA Sues Over Game Porn
(SMARTHOUSE)

The City of Los Angeles has sued Take-Two Entertainment, the makers of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for hiding pornographic material in a game and is requesting that the company give up part of its profits from the game. Mid last year gamers discovered they could unlock the porn hidden in the game. At the time, the company insisted that hackers had created and inserted the material into the game, however investigations initiated by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and the Federal Trade Commission found that the company itself had created the porn.

The discovery prompted the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to change the rating of the game from Mature to Adults Only, effectively keeping the game out of most retail outlets. The legal action is just the latest problem for Take-Two, which sold 30 million copies of its wildly popular video game series Grand Theft Auto, but has recently lost sales, profits, and investor confidence from a debacle over hidden sexually explicit content. Shares in the Company recently dropped 14 percent. The drawn-out saga became the political issue for explicit content in video games and drew battle lines between concerned parents and politicians on one side, and the video game industry on the other.

Now, L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has announced that he is asking that the company hand over a portion of the profits from the game.He said “Greed and deception are part of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas story - and in that respect its publishers are not much different from the characters in their story. Businesses have an obligation to truthfully disclose the content of their products, whether in the food we eat or the entertainment we consume.”

Losing the legal game could mean lost profits for Take-Two, which already lost millions over the incident. The company was forced to remove the mature-rated game from retailer’s shelves and replace it with “Adult Only” packaging. And most retailers won’t stock AO-rated games on shelves, so Take-Two lost even more sales. Earlier in the week the company announced fiscal 2005 year earnings that slashed year profits almost in half: to $37.5 million from $65.4 million the prior year.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2006 at 09:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedOutrageous •  
Comments (11) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - January 27, 2006

No More Free Drugs

As if the new drug prescription program for Medicare patients wasn’t complicated enough, now most major drugmakers are discontinuing their discounted prescription plans. Memo to old people: it’s cheaper to just die ...

Drugmakers to Cut Off Some Free Prescriptions
Friday, January 27, 2006
(WASHINGTON POST)

Several of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers say they will no longer provide free or discounted medications to low-income elderly and disabled patients because they should be covered by the new Medicare drug benefit. But for about 1 million Americans with serious illnesses such as AIDS and cancer—patients who last year relied on the pharmaceutical industry’s giveaways—that means Medicare coverage could cost them more than $3,600 this year.

Hardest hit will be patients such as James Hayes. Suffering from AIDS, the 45-year-old North Carolina man takes an average of 10 drugs each month at a cost of $3,700. In recent years, he has relied on several drug company patient assistance programs for his lifesaving medications. Because he is on disability, receiving $1,900 a month, Hayes qualifies for the new Medicare drug benefit.

But in the past few weeks, drugmakers such as GlaxoSmithKline have sent Hayes and others letters saying that as of Jan. 1, anyone eligible for Medicare would be dropped from its program. The cheapest Medicare drug plan he can find is expected to cost him $6,000 out of pocket. “I can’t afford that. I am struggling to make ends meet right now without going into bankruptcy,” he said yesterday. “I’m scared I’m going to have to go off of my drugs.”

Less than four weeks after the drug benefit went into effect, some of the neediest seniors have found themselves worse off. Although the new program, projected to cost $700 billion in the first 10 years, was intended to shield retirees from burdensome drug costs, several quirks in the law have had the opposite effect for some. “These are individuals who did have something before; they had patient assistance programs,” said John Coburn, senior policy analyst for the Chicago-based Health & Disability Advocates. “We are seeing the unintended consequences of this law.”

Drugmakers blamed the Bush administration for issuing a legal opinion that suggests companies could run afoul of anti-kickback laws if they provide free drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. That guidance, from the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office, warned that providing free medicine to someone enrolled in a Medicare plan could be viewed as an effort to keep the patient on that particular product, rather than a generic or cheaper version sold by a competitor.

Administration officials, already racing to fix other glitches in the new drug program, yesterday pointed the finger back at drugmakers, saying there are a variety of legal ways to assist low-income patients. If a drug company’s patient assistance program ends, “that’s the manufacturer’s decision,” said Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He said drugmakers could continue their patient assistance programs as long as they remain separate from Medicare or contribute money to charities that help poor patients.

- More on this here...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/27/2006 at 07:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedPolitics •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - January 25, 2006

Of Dogs And Men

Ancient Chinese Proverb: “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” Start scratching, Google ...

imageimageGoogle Agrees to Censor Results in China
January 25, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)

Online search engine leader Google Inc. has agreed to censor its results in China, adhering to the country’s free-speech restrictions in return for better access in the Internet’s fastest growing market. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company planned to roll out a new version of its search engine bearing China’s Web suffix “.cn,” on Wednesday. A Chinese-language version of Google’s search engine has previously been available through the company’s dot-com address in the United States.

By creating a unique address for China, Google hopes to make its search engine more widely available and easier to use in the world’s most populous country. Because of government barriers set up to suppress information, Google’s China users previously have been blocked from using the search engine or encountered lengthy delays in response time.

The service troubles have frustrated many Chinese users, hobbling Google’s efforts to expand its market share in a country that expected to emerge as an Internet gold mine over the next decade. China already has more than 100 million Web surfers and the audience is expected to swell substantially _ an alluring prospect for Google as it tries to boost its already rapidly rising profits.

Baidu.com Inc., a Beijing-based company in which Google owns a 2.6 percent stake, currently runs China’s most popular search engine. But a recent Keynote Systems survey of China’s Internet preferences concluded that Baidu remains vulnerable to challenges from Google and Yahoo Inc. To obtain the Chinese license, Google agreed to omit Web content that the country’s government finds objectionable. Google will base its censorship decisons on guidance provided by Chinese government officials.

Although China has loosened some of its controls in recent years, some topics, such as Taiwan’s independence and 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre, remain forbidden subjects. Google officials characterized the censorship concessions in China as an excruciating decision for a company that adopted “don’t be evil” as a motto. But management believes it’s a worthwhile sacrifice. “We firmly believe, with our culture of innovation, Google can make meaningful and positive contributions to the already impressive pace of development in China,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s senior policy counsel.

- More ChiCom Sucking-Up By Google Here ...


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Posted by
The Skipper   United States  on 01/25/2006 at 06:12 AM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedOppression •  
Comments (11) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
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It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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