Friday, November 25, 2011

Cat artist

Maulana and Mufti like to steal my chair, but won't sit still the moment I get even the little iPhone camera out.

Here's my latest work in pastel. I'm going to have to up the 'diabolical' level on these paintings to fit in with my Windmills of Doom series. Stay tuned ....

Another day at the windfarm

I've been trying to figure out how to express in a photo just how massive these windturbines can be. The turbine in the background is truly massive, but don't just take my word for it.

The smaller turbine in the foreground is spinning like mad but the big one in the background isn't budging. When I cycled past, the wind almost blew the bike's wheels out from under me, it was that windy. Maybe it's some type of not-so-secret US Army experiment. At least this time the army helicopter didn't chase me away.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mainstream media really is biased

We often hear how the media is biased leftward -- it has a Liberal bias. I was never really sure what that meant until I saw it in action. When I wrote editorials in Canada, I often spoke with the editors of the editorial pages and I can tell you with absolute assurance I found no left-wing bias in the people I worked with. Since I've been in the US, what I've found is a left-wing bias in news reporting. This article explains how it works in one of the biggest daily newspapers in Wyoming.  (PS, I didn't create the cartoon ....)


If you've ever wondered if some in the mainstream media love big government, wonder no longer.

A couple of weeks ago, the Casper Star-Tribune (CST) posted a front page article highlighting the story of an enrollee in the Wyoming Healthy Frontiers Demonstration program, the state government's attempt to expand Medicaid. The story mentioned a Wyoming Liberty Group series criticizing Healthy Frontiers, but then, a few days later, the CST published a staff editorial that praised Healthy Frontiers' expansion. Wyoming's largest newspaper removed the last vestiges of impartiality by condoning an unproven and controversial new government program.

At no point did the CST news article or editorial reveal how this program would leave low-income earners to languish in yet another poorly run government program.

Even worse, the article and editorial chose to ignore the back door funding received by the private contractor, Dr. Hank Gardner, the president and CEO of Human Capital Management Services (HCMS) and alleged brain behind Healthy Frontiers.

The legislative appropriations for Healthy Frontiers were earmarked for costs associated with enrollees. But HCMS gets paid through office of the governor and Workforce Services contracts. This amounts to more than $45,000 per month for data analysis and clinical prevention services.

This, no one wants to talk about.

HCMS declined to respond to legitimate access requests for records that could either justify or discredit the design of Healthy Frontiers. It claims to have data and research from thousands of state welfare recipients but says that as a private company, it does not have to make them public because, it claims, it is not required to submit to the same level of transparency as the government. In effect, HCMS gets paid thousands of tax dollars every year for a program designed with data it refuses to reveal.

What is it hiding? Well, according to Sen. Charles Scott, R-Natrona, "[we] are looking for data that doesn't exist."

Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

Not only did the CST articles fail to reveal the link between HCMS and Healthy Frontiers, it referred readers who wanted information on Healthy Frontiers to a private company in a blog post.

The post referred readers to one Brenda Burnett of Nova Solutions (sic). Nova Solutions, however, is a furniture company.

Knova Solutions, though, is a private health services provider which also happens to be a subsidiary of - wait for it - HCMS!

Why is one of the state's largest daily newspapers referring readers to a private company receiving millions in taxpayer dollars to keep Healthy Frontiers, a government program, on life support?

What's going on here? We have a state agency using its own budget to fund a program through a private company that is not subject to public scrutiny. Nobody reports to anyone and the money keeps flowing to HCMS. In the meantime, the people this program is supposedly designed to help receive a sub-standard product at the taxpayers' expense - and the mainstream media cheers them on. This is crazy!

Learn more about the Wyoming Liberty Group's battle to obtain the elusive data Healthy Frontiers is allegedly based on. Wyoming Liberty Group's articles, written by our investigative journalist, JP Eichmiller articles can be read here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wind Turbines

Out cycling again, this time around Warren Air Force base - an air force base with no runway - you don't want to know. Not only does this base have 'things that must not be named,' they have a few wind turbines. For those of you wondering how loud these things are (when they are turning, that is), I couldn't hear the small ones (that were, in fact, turning) over the program I was listening to on my iPhone.

I could hear, however, the sound of a helicopter. I thought, "I didn't realize wind turbines made helicopter sounds." Then I saw the helicopter and thought, "Well, I guess it's time for me to get outta here."

The near turbine had blades that looked about twice as long as the blades on the turbines you can see in the distance. The big blades stood silent in the breeze. The far blades were turning, though.
 These are close ups of the massive turbine.