Archive for February 2011

Shoplifting is a silent crime that has cost retailers an estimated $13.7 billion in merchandise in the U.S. from June 2009 to October 2010, according to the Centre for Retail Research in England. Surveying retailers worldwide, shoplifters cost retailers $107.3 billion in that period. The survey included 1,103 of the largest retailers in 42 countries, with $873.8 billion in combined sales.

A couple living in Portland, Oregon helped to increase those statistics by allegedly shoplifting about $5 million of merchandise from Safeway stores. What did they mostly steal? According to the crime report, they mostly stole DVDs and sold them to pawn shops. The loss prevention team of Safeway was keeping track of this couple for several years and has Richard Remington age 52 pulling off 103 thefts and his girlfriend Angela Evans age 32 stealing merchandise 75 times.

Allegedly they stole about $400,000 of merchandise a year from Safeway over a span of several years and now they face 24 counts of theft. Of course they pleaded not guilty to these crimes.

Yes, you read that correctly. According to an article in the Telegraph, British doctors are being told to advise women that abortion is safer than giving birth. As you know, Britain practices socialized medicine and now this country has come up with the most absurd advice. This draft guidance is from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is for all doctors, nurses and counselors advising women contemplating terminations.

Its first recommendation on “what women need to know” instructs health professionals: “Women should be advised that abortion is generally safer than continuing a pregnancy to term.”

The advice, which would be given to women considering terminations, has caused anger, with anti-abortion campaigners accusing doctors’ leaders of forcing an “absurdly liberal agenda” on women in a vulnerable situation.

In addition, the guidance also says that women who are deciding whether to have an abortion must be told that most do not suffer any psychological harm. Until now, their advice has been that while rates of psychiatric illness and self-harm in women are higher among those who had an abortion, there was no evidence that termination itself was likely to trigger psychological problems. However, there have been more than 30 studies showing an association between psychological trauma and abortion.

But then, what would you expect from a country practicing socialized medicine and contemplating death panels to save medical costs.

A recent article in a local newspaper, The Mountain Mail, outlines possible legislation that would allow Colorado to produce, use and export medical marijuana. As a result, Chaffee County commissioners are looking to set in place land use stipulations for marijuana growing and manufacturing operations. Chaffee County is mostly a rural mountain area but it seems that the commissioners need to have the foresight to regulate all use of medical marijuana.

In 2000 the voters of Colorado approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; however two things have happened since then. First, the Obama administration said it would no longer prosecute pot cases in states where voters approved pot for medical purposes. This is significant, because Federal law prohibits use and production of marijuana. In other words, if you are caught smoking, selling or growing marijuana the police can arrest you on Federal charges. However, by not prosecuting marijuana use or production leaves the door wide open for open market production of medical marijuana.

Second, Colorado state medical board has changed regulations on growers and the number of patients they can serve. As a result, the pot industry has exploded in Colorado, from 5,000 medical marijuana users to 175,000 or more and growing. That’s a lot of “sick” people needing medical marijuana! It seems that this is definitely a growing market.

If the Chaffee County Commissioners follow through on zoning, it appears only pot growing and pot manufacturing operations would be allowed in the county. Under these regulations, and subject to whatever statutes come out of the Legislature, growers could sell product to pot retailers located in municipalities or to other shops in other counties and cities. In other words, Chaffee County would have the distinction of becoming a pot exporter.

The article goes on to urge the commissioners to stop any further expansion of pot growing or manufacturing operations in the county. There are now three pot growers in the county that are being “grandfathered.” Apparently, this means that if commissioners were to decide that no grow or manufacturing operations would be allowed in the county, these three would not be affected because they were in place before county regulations were approved.

If a more liberal legislation is passed will it lead to a “cartel” of drug production and distribution in Colorado? Will the Mexican drug cartel come in and help develop this business in Colorado? Will Colorado have the distinction of being known as the drug cartel capital of “medical marijuana” growing? The commissioners should consider this before making their decision as well as the Colorado legislatures.

According to an article on Politico, the Democratic National Committee wanted to honor Nancy Pelosi with a resolution commemorating her years as Speaker of the House. However, the resolution seemed not to live up to the “standards” that Nancy Pelosi wanted it to say. Her daughter did some editing on the resolution but it still didn’t live up to Pelosi’s standards.

Pelosi wanted the resolution to include her fight against HIV and AIDS, because it was “why she went to Congress.” Then, she wanted to insert a paragraph on her “accomplishments for equality,” mentioning the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in December.” Finally, since, as she said, ‘I’m not going anywhere,’ she wanted to add, in the final ‘whereas’ clause, ‘…and will continue the fight for America’s working families.”

The committee applauded that point, and approved the amended resolution on a voice vote. The Pelosi resolution, submitted by a roster of Democratic luminaries headed by DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, was one of dozens of ceremonial acts considered by the committee, on such topics as praising President Obama’s State of the Union address, honoring the victims of January’s Tucson shootings and memorializing Elizabeth Edwards. Most of the resolutions were approved without changes.

This is so unbelievable that with all the problems our country is facing that the Democratic National Committee spends its time on senseless resolutions that pat themselves on the back instead of working on real problems.

In a recent news series from a local Denver TV station reported that criminals can now steal your credit card information without ever laying hand on your purse or wallet. In addition, victims living in the Denver area are more inclined to be involved in such crime because Denver is a test market for RFID chips for new credit cards.

The crime these thieves can commit is considered as “electronic pickpocketing” and it’s made possible by a computer chip embedded in your credit card, called radio frequency identification or RFID. RFID chips are being used in credit cards to make it easier to pay for things. All you need to do is swipe your card over the credit card reader and you’ve paid. The way you can tell if your credit card has the RFID chip is if it has 4-wavy lines on the front of the card. This is known as “pay wave” technology and it is also making it easier for thieves to get your credit card information.

Here is how thieves can steal your credit card information from your RFID credit card. With only a small laptop computer and a credit card reader you can buy online for $100, the thief can wave the credit card reader across the back pockets of men and women’s purses. This picks up the credit card numbers and puts it into the laptop for retrieval. It doesn’t matter if your wallet is hidden in a purse or your credit card is buried in your wallet. The credit card reader can read through this and pick up your information.

Credit card companies say that even if a criminal was able to swipe your credit card number and expiration date, they couldn’t make purchases without the 3 digit security code on the back of the card. However, this is not the case most of the time. Just as long as the thief has your credit card number and expiration date, they can still buy things by using your credit card.

But there is a way to protect yourself from electronic pickpocketing. You can buy secure sleeves for your credit cards for less than a $1 each, with 20 per packet, by clicking on this website Or if you have a debit card with the RFID chip, most banks will exchange your card for one without it.

Finally, don’t forget to check your credit cards to make sure that you are not helping out thieves who are electronically pickpocketing your wallet. For just a minimal investment you can protect your credit card and your identity.

When you receive an official notice from your state’s Department of Labor and Employment telling you to call a number to discuss your claim, you would expect that number to be right. Unfortunately, a woman from Colorado Springs, Colorado thought so too until she dialed a number that sent her to a sex talk line.

At first she thought she misdialed, so she carefully dialed the number again. The number she was given was to people living outside of the Denver metro area to call. She was sent to a second number and once again she heard the recording. The recording said: “There are students, women, housewives, waiting to talk to you about sex.” Hopefully, she didn’t get charged for these two calls. Calling a sex hotline number can be very costly, I am told.

A representative with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said that the phone number was a typo on her letter only. You would think that some of these letters are form letters, so how could she be the only one getting the wrong number?

I’m tired of pundit writers bashing the Baby Boomers generation. Take for instance Ed Morrissey’s latest article on HotAir. He calls this generation as the worst generation ever. He tries to convince his readers that the baby boomers are spoiled by citing an article written by Paul Begala (born 1961). Begala calls this generation, “the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation” in U.S. history.Then he goes on to compare this selfishness to the Wisconsin’s budget battle. This I believe is nothing but a bunch of miss thinking on both of these pundits.

The United States Census Bureau defines the demographic birth boom as between 1946 and 1964. But when you look at actual chart, by 1960 the demographics are falling dramatically. I believe that the Baby Boomer Generation is from 1945 and 1960.I was born in that era and I really don’t agree that this generation should be slammed as the worst generation in history.

First of all, look who we had as leaders when we became of age – Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. We went through the Viet Nam war where politicians ran the war instead of military leaders. Our boys served and died there and were spit upon by crazy left-wing liberals when they returned. LBJ never gave the military the opportunity to prove their worth. Politicians ran that war and it turned out miserably. Richard Nixon got us out of the war that the Democrats started but he was impeached for his wiretap escapades. As for Jimmy Carter, those were the years where inflation and interest charges were double-digits and Iran took advantage of this peanut farmer’s ideology. These people are not exactly the best role models during our growing up years.

Now according to Morrissey, the baby boomers are in charge of the country. While this may be mostly true, it isn’t exactly true. Nancy Pelosi was born in 1940 and Harry Reid was born in 1939 Not exactly Baby Boomers but pre-baby boomers. However, John Boehner, the recent Speaker of the House, is a true baby boomer born in 1949 and he seems to be a level-headed, straight talking man who the baby boomers should be very proud of.

What the baby boomers learned while growing up is not what any of these bashing pundits claim in their articles. Our parents lived through the Great Depression and World War II. We were taught that nothing is given to us, but that we have to work for everything.  God, country, freedom and family were the four important things to live for. We are not and were not demanding children but enjoyed the prosperity and simple life of the country we grew up in. As for the “hippies” during the 60’s, not all baby boomers were hippies. Those people were the “nuts” who were spoiled brats. Most of them were young teenagers during this time while the “older” baby boomers were working hard to get through college and trying to earn a living. Principles taught to us by our parents.

Then Morrissey goes on to say, “Instead of sacrificing for the next generation, the boomers as a rule want the next generations to sacrifice for them. As a group, they have used their political clout to keep significant reform of entitlements and public pensions off the table until now, when it’s almost too late to fix any of them.  That may not make them the “worst” generation in America — with a few moment’s thought, one can come up with better examples — but it’s hardly a worthy successor to the generation that liberated half the world and worked for more than 40 years to liberate the other half.”

How far from the truth are his statements. Who does he think make up the Tea Party? Who does he think are declared “Independents?” The majority of the Baby Boomers still believe in our country, working hard and not asking for hand-outs and that’s what has made this country great. Before these misthinking pundits want to bash the Baby Boomer generation, talk to them to find out what they really stand for. Why not look at what is happening now to find out why this country is in such bad shape. Don’t blame any generation, blame today’s leaders for all of these problems because present leaders are not all Baby Boomers.

In Overland Park, Kansas the police are warning Jeep owners that the doors on their car are targets for thieves to steal. These low-life thieves are taking the doors off Jeep Wranglers and selling them online. The doors cost about $1,000 each to replace but who knows what the thieves are asking for it online. In just a few weeks, four thefts have occurred.

It seems that it is easy to steal the doors on a Jeep Wrangler. What keeps the door in place are a simple pin and a bolt that can be taken off. Removal of the door is then easy to do. All police can tell Jeep owners to do is to make sure they lock the doors. However, you can buy specialty kits with bolts that are harder to remove.

But why target Jeep Wrangler doors to steal? Probably the thieves who are committing these quick and easy crimes are selling the stolen doors to feed their drug habit. A true lover of Jeeps wouldn’t even think about stealing another Jeep owner’s doors.

Last night, CBS showed another episode of Under Cover Boss. This time the President and CEO, Denny Slagle, was from Mack Trucks. It was founded in 1900, has 5,000 employees and is a $4B corporation. In 2008 Mr. Slagle took over the reins and unfortunately the recession hit the next year. Just like other corporations they had to downsize their facilities and offered other locations to their employees if they wanted to stay with the corporation.

Mr. Slagle’s intent was a “health check” on the corporation to see how everyone was doing. He headed to Hagerstown, MD where the Mack truck engines are built. He was part of an assembly line and found it difficult to keep up with the repetitive motions of that job. Tracy, the person training him, loves this job because she doesn’t have to think about anything but doing the repetitive motions of assembling a part of the engine. They have to produce 140 engines daily with about a 2 minute time frame. I don’t think I could do that. Tracy was one of the employees who had to move from their South Carolina plant to Maryland to keep her job and found not being with family was very difficult – but at least she has a job!

He went to another assembly line that upgrades the engines to meet emissions control. There he found an employee who loves his job but had family problems. The rest of the show was the same old same old type of scenario that Under Cover Boss shows. Although it was quite entertaining and informational, watching how Mack trucks are built are fascinating, this show is really getting boring.

What did we learn from this show? Not much, the boss is still incompetent but a generous guy. He gave money to the people he met, along with trips and awards.  He promised that upper management will do more town hall meetings to keep the employees informed about the company but that was all that seemed really important.

How ironic this show was when compared to the striking union teachers in Wisconsin. Here you have people who really want to keep their jobs and love the company they are working for. I don’t know if Mack Trucks is a union shop or non-union. But when given employees a chance to work or not work – they chose to work. The teacher union members should take a page out of the playbook of this show and show some loyalty to their job and their employer. But then, union members get paid whether they work or not and that’s the problem.

In a nice, quiet community south of Denver, law enforcement is ramping up a task force to catch online child pornography. Since last summer; the Douglas County Sherriff’s Office task force began using a social network tool to catch online predators. They were surprised at the overwhelming number of people in Colorado sharing and trading child pornography.

The Douglas County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and the Special Victims’ Unit (SVU) are expecting to arrest twice as many people this year than last year. All of these people will be charged with distribution or downloading images and videos of children as young as infants being tortured, degraded and raped. The task force is writing up to five search warrants a week and has made five felony arrests so far. In 2010, the unit arrested 14 suspects for possessing child porn.

The unit began catching more suspects last summer when it started using peer-to-peer file-sharing networks that work like Napster. The software opens windows into other people’s computers and allows you to view and take what’s there.

Police officials can’t tell if children are being abused and photographed in Colorado. However, whoever is manufacturing these pictures is difficult to track down when compared to the people who are looking at these pictures as well as downloading the images. Looking at one image is considered a felony and will get you a long stay in jail.