Pennsylvania smacks down Valley Swim Club

valley_swim_protestersSo a state investigation has ruled that the Valley Swim Club in Montgomery County, PA did discriminate against 56 black and Hispanic children when they cancelled their agreement to swim at the club. The findings state that racial comments by members led to the canceling of the contract. In addition to having to return the contract fee, they were fined $50,000.

I notice that the report says of out of 334 members of the club, not one is black. They tried to hide this fact earlier in the summer saying they did have minority members. Maybe they were counting the landscapers (I’m not stereotyping, when I was there I did see black landscapers).

I have to say it couldn’t happen to nicer folks. I hope their club goes bankrupt and the members have to swim at a public pool.

Who has this good health insurance?

Angrier and angrier I get.

I keep hearing people saying that they’re worried about losing their health insurance. The Rethuglicans keep saying the American people are happy with their insurance providers and their doctors. Really? I’ve spent the last 3 weeks dealing with insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and whoever else I had to deal with and at no point have I thought “Wow, insurance companies are awesome.”

Isn’t it patently clear that the insurance companies need to be eliminated? How in the world has the Republican party convinced American people to argue on the behalf of the very companies that turn down our claims, cancel our health plans, and overcharge us for the privilege?

And another thing? Why aren’t we going after the pharmaceutical companies? Yesterday I received 36 boxes (72 doses) of generic Imitrex (sumitriptan succinate) at a cost of $5,200 (not my cost – what the drug costs). That is $72 per dose; for generic. There has got to be the understanding that controlling costs in the healthcare industry without reigning in the pharmaceutical industry is like losing weight while maintaing that Cheesecake Factor diet. Of course when your Chief of Staff is in the pocket of the pharmas.


Assaulted by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh

glenn_beck_time Today I couldn’t avoid the right-wing assholes. The Phillies happen to be on the same radio station as Limbaugh, so when I got in ┬ámy car this morning who else but Limbaugh blaring his fascist drivel; quick switch to the iPod. Then when I returned home, I checked the mail and who’s on the front of Time but Glenn Beck.

Quick use of a Sharpie saved the day. Much improved, don’t you think?

Cluster Headaches: Imitrex Injectable vs. Generic Sumitriptan Succinate

If you suffer from cluster headaches you’re likely familiar with Imitrex injectable. You’re also likely to be familiar with the high price of Imitrex. The introduction of a generic version last year was welcome news. I’ve been taking the generic version for some weeks now, 4mg doses no more than 3 times per day and so far the generic version seems to work the same as the branded version. The cost is dramatically lower for the generic version. At my local Target, the cash price for two doses of was $214 for branded Imitrex vs. $164 for the generic.

One question I had was whether or not the generic and branded were the same; bottom line is they are. You can use the same stat dose pen kit. I made the following video to illustrate the differences.

Is Blockbuster still around

There was a story today about how Blockbuster will be closing upwards of 1,000 locations by the end of 2010. My question is “Why wait”? We decided years ago after being treated poorly by Blockbuster to stop giving them our money. Between Redbox, Netflix, and various on demand options – we decided that Blockbuster didn’t deserve us as customers.

It’s bad enough that technology has turned against Blockbuster, but what they failed to do was create loyalists out of their customers. I know I definitely felt Blockbuster was a necessary evil and as soon as I had the chance to be rid of them, I was. If you develop a brand, a service, a product that evolves into a relationship that your customer values, then those customers will follow you onto your next venture.

Blockbuster’s other problem is that it didn’t innovate it’s service soon enough. Netflix has 10 times as many users, connects through set-top boxes and Xbox, and streams to PCs and Macs. Meanwhile Blockbuster is stuck in the 80’s. When they finally go under it will be met by “ho-hum” from me.

Republicans off the rail. Maybe it’s time for a 3rd party

For years I have disagreed with the idea of a third political party – that there were two main parties and to get things done (like elect a President) you needed to support one of the main parties. When Arlen Specter switched parties earlier this summer, it was due to the type of political expediency; he was not a Democrat, but closer to them than the current Republican party. I think that many people would have thought that that if there were a third party, would have come from the fringe edges of the liberal side of the country. What has become apparent to me is that the true need is in the Republican party as the party moves more dangerously and sociopathically to the extreme ends of conservatism. These are the conservatives that include crazies like the birthers, secessionists, teabaggers, the town hall meeting attendees, etcetera, etcetera. This is not representative of the entire membership of the Republican party and those more moderate Republicans are being pushed out and silenced. The party is represented by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. I have to believe there are more viewpoints than that. But as they hold their party hostage, even rational and fair-minded Republicans are required to heed this fringe element, even if it puts them further out of step with the general public (the public who reserves secession for Texas – that is asking Texas to secede.)

At a point when this country is divided to the point where there is no valuable debate, we are left with one side in power, the other side babbling like village idiots, and the everyone else in the middle ducking and taking cover. Does it have to be this way?

I’m not saying that the current Republican party line doesn’t have place in this discussion, what I’m saying is that we need more intelligent discourse in order to get things right, and while the Republican party is busy entertaining thoughts of revolution, teabagging, birthing, and seceding – intelligent discourse is not on their list of to dos.

*Photo by Sage Ross. Creative Commons License