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Nataline Sarkisyan Dies After CIGNA Denies Liver Transplant

Because of my friend Bethani Roam’s recent struggle with liver failure, a subsequent liver transplant, and then an on-going battle with the threat of rejection, the story of Nataline Sarkisyan is one I find touching. It has raised distinct and unavoidable questions this evening.

It is a heart-breaking story. Nataline died last night at UCLA Medical center, the result of leukemia and subsequent liver failure…and some would say, the result of her health insurance company refusing to approve a liver transplant. On December 11, her doctors contacted CIGNA for authorization, which the company refused to issue. On Thursday, around 150 people, including her family and nurses protested outside CIGNA’s offices in Glendale, CA. The uproar prompted CIGNA to reverse its decision, and during the protest, a messenger came with the word of the insurer’s change of mind.

The victory cheers were short-lived. Within hours, Nataline died. The authorization for the liver transplant had come too late.

Now according to the Associated Press:

Attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare in the case. The insurer “maliciously killed her” because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said.

Is something wrong with our medical situation here in America? Should insurance companies have more say over the treatment of a patient than does the doctor? This does not seem right to me, and I grieve for this family. At the same time, I don’t perceive CIGNA as an evil entity, with no heart, and set on merely accumulating money. Perhaps I am naive.

Do you have thoughts about medical care in America? I believe it to be the best in the world, but when I hear of cases such as these, it brings me up short, and I must pause to consider their ramifications. For it could be me…could be my child…or another of my loved ones. What is the solution?

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My devotional blog is here.

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Rod-Straight Parenting

Can you hear me clapping over here? https://i0.wp.com/www.krane.net/walt/art/hatsCelebration.jpgIs that confetti flying through your screen and can you see my party hat?

A modern-day father has shown his backbone! Yes!

The Softpedia story was revealed on EBay when, after discovering his son smoking pot in the backyard, a father decides, as punishment, to sell the Christmas present he had bought for the son. Calin Clabel reveals some of the dad’s statements:

“So I was so relieved in that I had finally got the Holy Grail of Xmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time. I couldn’t wait to spread the jubilation to my son. Then, yesterday, I came home from work early and what do I find? My innocent little boy smoking pot in the backyard with 2 of his delinquent friends.”

“I thought I could still justify getting him this present. Maybe it would make him stay home more and ‘rock out’ on this fake guitar thing. He pretty much spends all his free time at his friend’s house playing it anyways (while high on marijuana, I would imagine”

“After I caught him getting high on my patio I did the typical yelling, screaming, kicking out the friends, etc… but I had not decided on a suitable way to punish him. As of the time of me writing this, he does not know I got him Guitar Hero 3. I will show him the auction once it is posted and we can watch it finish together. Sort of a “‘Father-Son bonding experience'”

Unfortunately, this dad’s actions flies in the face of the norm for 21st century culture here in the United States. What do you think? Is that action too harsh? After all, it is Christmas. Could he have chosen a better way to discipline his son? Will this make his son bitter and more likely to rebel further?

I told you my thoughts in my opening lines. What are yours? Be brave now.

Image of painting from Walter Kane at Google images

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Meet The Real Thumbelina

She’s five years old and when you hold a ruler to her, the top reading is 17 inches. Her name is Thumbelina. She’s a horse, and the Guinness Book of World Records has titled her The World’s Smallest Horse.

ThumbelinaLittlest pony: Thumbelina. Click enlarge for full image (Picture from the Daily Mail)

Enlarge the image

Thumbelina was born on a miniature horse breeding farm, Goose Creek Farms in St. St. Louis, Mo., but from her birth, it was evident she was a much smaller horse than anyone there had ever seen. She weighed only 8 pounds when she was born, and at one year of age, she stopped growing. Her weight now is 60 pounds.

‘The tiny mare has become sometime of a celebrity in St. Louis, but her owner, Mr Goessling, insists they will never sell her, no matter what price is offered.

“She is too precious to us to sell,” he said. “I think my parents would sell me before they part with Thumbelina.”

Now a Foundation has been established, and Thumbelina travels around the country spreading cheer and raising money. I took the following information from her website which indicates that her touring is over for this year, but in 2008, she will again be traveling. Hope some of us can visit with her. I’ll sure be taking my grandchildren to meet her if I get the chance.

From May to November of 07, Thumbelina will be bringing smiles to children across the country. The Thumbelina Children’s Tour will make stops in all 48 continental states (plus Washington DC) to brighten the day for kids and staff at over 100 hospitals, special camps and schools, group children’s homes and shelters from coast to coast. Our goal is to raise over $1 million for these very worthy charities and institutions. We hope to see you all along the tour.

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My devotional blog is here.


 

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Bargain of the Evening–One Dollar

Anybody up for this bargain reported and pictured by the Associated Press?

SOLDIERS GROVE, Wis. — The Kickapoo River bridge is a big structure with a small price tag: one buck.

Village officials fear the nearly century-old bridge, which hasn’t hosted traffic in 31 years, will collapse into the river and want to get rid of it quickly. Village board member Vicki Campbell said they hope high scrap prices help attract a buyer who may want to sell the bridge’s steel parts.

“With the steel prices what they are right now, we thought this was an opportune time to sell it,” Campbell said.

They previously tried a similar offer, she said, but the buyer backed out.

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To Share The Millions

Jerry has not been as fortunate as I for he has never been selected, while over recent years, my name has come up numerous times. At first I ignored these million dollar offers and news of unclaimed fortunes to which, with sterling clarity, I was noted to be the beneficiary. Repeatedly, I was said to be the next of kin to an astounding number of persons who have either been killed in grievous plane crash or by some other wretched accident. Finally, I am convinced. Many of my relatives–formerly unknown to me–have in an inopportune way died in foreign countries, and I, the next of kin, am set to inherit multiple fortunes.

The latest notification of another fortune came this morning, and with unexceeded rapidity of movement, I tapped out my acceptance of the proposal. Made a couple of minor changes in the details, particularly as regards the handling of the cash, but I am certain I will be able to cut this deal, and such a slight alteration should in no way hinder the consummation of such a striking business transaction.

It’s early in the morning as I write this–still pitch dark in Lake Havasu–and as I worked through these business dealings, a spirit of compassion swept into this motor home and flooded my already soft heart, and it came to me that I should share the news of my good fortune with you. Given the generous nature with which I am endowed, I have concluded that I should not only share the story of these fortunes I am about to inherit, but that I should give much of the money to you, the readers of my blog!

I want to hear from any of you who need (or just want) money. You altruist ones will probably plan to build church buildings, or set up foundations for the needy, or trust funds for widows and orphans. Some of you may admit to needing a new toy–a boat or motorcycle or a practical Rhino. Some may be looking for seed money to start the business you’ve always longed to establish. One of you may dream of spending a year cruising on the QE II. (I might be persuaded to join you. Just tell me when you’re leaving.) Whatever it is, let me know and I will make the decision about who receives the money, and in what amounts. Don’t worry about asking for too much, for I believe I am on a roll, and scores of millions of dollars are about to be mine–maybe billions.

Wanting to allay any skepticism that might try to wedge into your fine brains, I have included here the exact notification I received this morning, and one from a previous time. I’ve also set out my excellent, timely and brilliant response.

This one I received earlier:

DEAR FRIEND,

I KNOW THAT THIS MESSAGE WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE. I AM THE BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER IN BANK OF AFRICA (BOA), OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO. I HOPED THAT YOU WILL NOT EXPOSE OR BETRAY THIS TRUST AND CONFIDENT THAT I AM ABOUT TO REPOSE ON YOU FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF OUR FAMILIES.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING THE SUM OF (USD$25) MILLION TO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHIN 10 TO 14 BANKING DAYS. THIS MONEY HAS BEEN DORMANT FOR YEARS IN OUR BANK WITHOUT CLAIM. I WANT THE BANK TO RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU AS THE NEAREST PERSON TO OUR DECEASED CUSTOMER (THE OWNER OF THE ACCOUNT) DIED ALONG WITH HIS SUPPOSED NEXT OF KIN IN AN AIR CRASH SINCE JULY, 2000.
I DON’T WANT THE MONEY TO GO INTO OUR BANK TREASURER ACCOUNT AS AN ABANDONED FUND. SO THIS IS THE REASON WHY I CONTACTED YOU SO THAT THE BANK CAN RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THE DECEASED CUSTOMER. PLEASE I WOULD LIKE YOU TO KEEP THIS PROPOSAL AS A TOP SECRET AND DELETE IT IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED.
UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR REPLY, I WILL GIVE YOU FULL DETAILS ON HOW THE BUSINESS WILL BE EXECUTED AND ALSO NOTE THAT YOU WILL HAVE 30% OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED SUM IF YOU AGREE TO HANDLE THIS BUSINESS WITH ME? AND 10% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR ANY EXPENSES THAT WARRANT ON THE PROCESS BEFORE THE FUND GET INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT SUCH AS TELEPHONE CALLS BILLS (ETC).

BEST REGARD.
MR YUSUF MUSA.

And this is the one that popped onto my screen this morning, along with my response.

Esteemed Fellow,

This is wishing you a wonderful day.

My name is MR. song, director of Foreign operations of (Hong
Kong’s)bigest banks I want to seek your candid collaboration in handling a business venture that I feel it would be of mutual benefit to you and I.

May I ask your permission to present you as a Beneficiary to this fund, worth over seventy Million,The Previous Audit reports shows that the fund has been there for the past five years.unclaimed. I am offering you this opportunity, believing that you will be capable of keeping the fund in safe custody when it hits your bank account, and you Will
hand over my share of 70% on demand and keep 30% to yourself .

if you are willing to make this deal with me, contact me with this my secured email: songya@sify.com

Yours Truly,

Mr. Song Ya.

Mr. Song Ya:

Perhaps you have forgotten, but when you contacted me before, I said,
yes, I wanted to be involved in the money deal. Just bring the cash by
my house. On the spot I will peel off your share of 70% and keep the
30% myself. If you’re not here in the US, please hire someone to make
the delivery. I’m willing to pay them a little bit, as I’m positive
you are also. You should have no trouble finding my address.

I’ll be waiting to hear from you. This is coming at a good time for
me, as I’m a little short on cash right now. Christmas coming up and
all…you understand.

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A Free House, but the Town May Be Non-Existent

 

In May of 2006, not long after I started blogging, Helen and I became interested in buying a Victorian mansion that I had seen for sale on eBay, and before the escapade was over we had hundreds of hits, more than 80 comments and people from across the blogging world had been invited and were wanting to be involved with us. If you haven’t read of that timely encounter you will probably want to link over there now and read about it. Don’t miss the comments for much of the glory of the projected transaction is revealed in those segments.Well, we didn’t quite swing that deal, but tonight I have found a house that is totally free…well, not exactly free, but sort of free…for the couple who are desperate to sell their home have said that on their death, the purchase price of said piece of property will be returned to the buyer. Even offering their inheritance if certain criteria are met.Think about this if you’re in the market for a free house, and if you could live in Wexford, Pa. How could you go wrong, I ask?From the Associated Press comes this story.

WEXFORD, Pa. — It could be the deal of a lifetime. A Pittsburgh-area couple, Bob and Ricki Husick, are offering anyone who buys their home full cash-back upon their death and even their full inheritance, currently worth at least $500,000.The Husicks have been trying to sell their home for almost a year, but have failed to do so in the current shaky market.Bob Husick said he’s asking $399,900 for the four-bedroom, three and a half bath home about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. According to the Husicks’ offer, the buyer would get the money back when the couple dies. And if the buyer agrees to care for them in old age, they could also inherit their retirement home in Arizona, bringing the estate’s current value to about $500,000.

Whoops! When I checked out Wexford, I found that in 2005 Money magazine designated Wexford to be the 28th best place to live in the United States. There also was this article that said there was no such place as Wexford, Pa. Interesting…take a look.

Well, anyway, it’s a free house, so if you’re considering the move, it will be worth your while trying to figure out if Wexford, Pa. is a town or not. For sure, let us know if you become the new owner of the house. We promise to give you the housewarming of the century! From all over the blogosphere, we will advance to the new house for the party–in or out of Wexford, Pa. Helen will be in charge of all refreshments. 🙂

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Off to Prison, You Donut Snagger

 

donutsIMG_3028.jpgPicture courtesy of Bees Kitchen

Noted to be at a location in Farmington, Mo of a mid-morning in December, Scott Master walked into the store. A nod to chilly weather, Masters wore a hooded sweatshirt, a sweatshirt which among other things had ample pockets. Oblivious to the fact that within the span of a few months he would become world-renown, he strolled the aisles of the quiet store and then approached the donut case. He gazed at the sugary morsels. The sign posted over the donut case read: 52 cents each. I’m not sure about this part, but I suspect that standing stock still, he turned his head in all directions, checking to see if he were observed as he considered the deed. Thinking it to be an unnoticed move, he reached in his hand and grabbed one of the freshly fried donuts.

Safe now, he supposed, no one having raised an alarm, he casually moved past the seven green checkout lanes. He walked the space between the customer service desk and the pharmacy heading for the side exit. Had he raised his head as he walked through the door, he would have seen a large sign reading Country Mart Thanks You.

The clerk was named Gibbs and she had seen it all. “I saw him take a donut,” she said to a co-worker. “Let’s see if he pays for it.” He didn’t pay. The co-worker followed him to the parking lot and suggested Master go back into the store. Masters declined, offering instead the donut in question. She declined, grabbed Master’s arm, and a tussle ensued. The police were called, and Masters was arrested.

 

The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a strong armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. Given Masters’ criminal past, prosecutors could boost that sentence to 30 years to life.

The 41-year-old Masters has been arrested more than a dozen times for crimes ranging from shoplifting to drug possession to torching a car for insurance fraud.

From Fox11AZ.com

On this site and in my personal life I often rant about the decline of our society, about liberal judges, about undisciplined young people, about the lack of enforcement of our laws, and about prison sentences so light and inappropriate they are laughable. Now, what do I say? How would I judge Masters were I so asked? Should a man actually go to prison for 30 years because he stole a 52 cent donut? But wait, it’s not just the donut. He is a repeat offender. He should be taught a lesson. He should pay for his crimes. But isn’t such a sentence excessive? Are the prisons too full to hold a donut thief? What about community service? Does this punishment fit the crime? Is this what we really want? Would it be downright silly to lock up a donut thief for 30 years? Is this another example of the judicial system gone wrong? But can I have it both ways? Should the clerk have chased down the donut thief in the first place? Well, why not? He stole a donut, didn’t he?

I don’t know. You tell me. 🙂

EDIT 8:30 Thursday Here is a case that may be harder to judge than the previous one–a much more serious case.

The father of a 14-year-old Texas girl who was raped, sodomized and then strangled with a belt and shoe laces, wants to know why President Bush supports halting the execution of the Mexican national who confessed to killing his daughter and her friend.

Fox news

Warning: You will need a strong stomach to consider all the details. Read the entire article here.

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My devotional is here.







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Sterling Silver at 16 and at 69

Classic Rose Sterling, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I was thumbing through old flatware at the Hospice Thrift Store on McCulloch in Lake Havasu when I found this piece, a dinner knife marked sterling silver. It was priced at 25 cents, and my heart jumped in recognition when I spied it, for I recalled that such a piece had been a gift when, in 1955, I graduated from high school. I was then 16 years old. I am now 69.

The design is identified as Classic Rose, it is a Reed and Barton piece and the pattern has been discontinued. My gift was a spoon, given by a store in Hopkinsville, Ky…wish I could recall the name of the store, but I do not. The store owners were gracious to all graduating seniors in the area and extended an invitation to come in and choose and register a silver pattern. A spoon in the chosen pattern was their graduation gift to us. I selected this one– Classic Rose, but sad to say, I do not have the spoon, and have no idea where and when it went astray.

Tonight, I googled Classic Rose Reed and Barton Sterling Silver and found lots of product for sale, although I didn’t see a dinner knife offered. Here, though, is a salad fork that is available for $50.00.

I don’t believe I will sell my knife, but will keep it around to remind me of the day when I was 16 years old and walked into a jewelry store to select a sterling silver spoon.

And..it was a pretty good move I made last week, wouldn’t you say, when at 69, I walked into a thrift store and for 25 cents bought a sterling silver knife.
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Hail Power Shopping!

Not sure whether it can be detected by any known test, but if such were so, I believe my DNA would indicate a dominant bargain hunting gene. Southern California, where I have lived most of my adult life, is replete with fine discount stores–even discount malls, where every store offers its merchandise at slashed prices. When my children were home, the day after Christmas always found us at South Coast Plaza for splendid after Christmas sales. Jerry didn’t usually join us, for he isn’t a shopping gene carrier, although, when he does shop, he doesn’t mind a bargain or two.

I’m a bit surprised at myself, given my proclivity for bargain-shopping, that I haven’t utilized the internet more, for I’m convinced there are great buys to be found there. This morning, I came across what appears to be such excellent shopping material that I have bookmarked this source, and I certainly want to share it with you.

money-head.jpg

In the past 10 years, the internet has completely revolutionized the way we shop—so much so that there’s rarely a compelling reason to make purchases offline anymore. But the rise of online shopping has also given rise to an ocean of choice, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deals available to you. If you’re a die-hard bargain shopper, you can spend tons of time looking for deals on the internet—and you can be very successful. But if you don’t have an abundance of time to dedicate to bargain hunting, you can still save buckets of cash by following just a few simple tips.

Read the entire excellent article here.

Several of my friends already do a great deal of shopping on the internet, and seem quite pleased with the results. If you are one of those who shop in this way, I’d like to hear from you. Do you have favorite places, has such shopping worked out for you, do clothes fit when you order them, have you had to return anything…and was that a great hassle? Let us know.

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You May Have $25,000 Coming to You

hummer

Buy a Hummer, Get a $25,000 Tax Break

Some Members of Congress Are Moving to Close the Tax Loophole; Auto Dealers Want to Keep It

from ABC News

Among the provision’s strongest opponents are automobile manufacturers and dealers who argue that repealing the exemption amounts to a tax increase.

“It’s an unwarranted tax increase on small businesses,” said Bailey Wood, spokesperson for the National Automobile Dealers Association, noting that the exemption list is not that complete.

I know many people who have large SUVs–Hummers, Escalades and such– and I’m bringing your attention to this article in case you don’t know about the tax write-offs that may be available. I’m aware the article actually is about trying to close what many consider an unwise loophole. Anyway, check it out here.