Good News For California

Can Speaking At A Government Meeting Get You Arrested?
The Atlantic recently published an article that indicates that speaking in public to a government body may get you arrested if politicians don’t like what you say. Recently, a Kaplan, Louisiana teacher asked school board members why the superintendent just received a five digit salary increase when teachers had not had a raise in 5 years. The teacher asked the question during a public comment period during the meeting. The school board president asked a police officer to remove the teacher and she was thrown to the floor, handcuffed and taken to jail. Isn’t this a right protected under Amendment 1 of the Constitution? To learn more about the power of government to stifle dissent, click on And also read how the Lozman case presently before the Supreme Court may impact this.

Good News For California
The website, ZME Science, recently posted a report that earthquakes are not caused by moon phases, the time of year or other non scientific gibberish. For eons, people have superstitiously attributed earthquakes to moon influence or time of year. In fact, earthquakes occur when underground rock suddenly shifts along tectonic plate fault lines. For those planning a trip to California and who are worried about mud slides, fires, drought and traffic, this is a bit of good news. Scientists note, however, that California is due for a huge earthquake sometime soon. To read more about earthquakes, surf over to You never know how much the earth will move or when it will happen.

Website Tracks How Lack Of Healthcare Affects Disease Treatment recently posted research that indicates individuals lacking healthcare coverage frequently delay or go without necessary treatment. A recent survey conducted by the site shows that nearly 10 percent of survey participants delayed or ignored treatment when not covered by health insurance. More participants reported that their current health was worse without insurance. Ninety percent of insured patients reported they were in good health. To learn more about the health toll uninsured people face visit, The site presents data in easy to interpret graphics. This is a very necessary report in light of the fact that Congress has not yet passed a new appropriation for CHIPS, a child health insurance program. Shame on Congress.

Tax Time Hints From The IRS
The IRS recently posted hints for consumers on how to choose a tax preparer. Some of the advice seems obvious such as “never sign a blank return.” To learn what to look for in finding a qualified tax preparer, click on Another government service paid for by your tax dollars. Note: employers are required by law to send out tax documents by the end of January. If you have not received your employer tax forms by the end of January, contact the IRS.

Poorest Counties Listed By State
The data maven www.24/ recently reported on the poorest county in each of the 50 states. The site lists states alphabetically and includes the annual income of the poorest county compared to the average income in each state as well as comparing both averages to the national average income. Generally, the poorest county in each state has about one half the income average listed for the state as a whole. Some counties fall way below their state averages. For instance, the Sumpter County Alabama income of $20,428 is only about 44 percent of the state average of $44,758. To learn which of the 62 New York counties is the poorest, click on

Not All Microbes Are Dangerous
National Institute of Health, researchers recently posted results of a study that found microbes on the skin of mice promote healing and provide immunity to infection. These beneficial bacteria work with mouse immune systems to defend against disease and accelerate wound healing. Researchers originally published the study in the journal Cell. To read an understandable summary of the research, visit Will this program survive the Republican budget cuts? Contact your representatives to find out. And so it goes.

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    The idea for this blog arose from fourteen years of writing columns on the same idea that I produce monthly for my computer club newsletter. Over the years I found a number of the Internet URLs featured in a particular column became dated because I ... Read Full
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