Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Child Dies in Poverty: Mother Can't Afford Funeral

Dear Friends,

My friend Nancy's (@planetscape) friend Nicole just lost her sweet little boy. Nicole, who also has serious health issues, barely scrapes by, frequently with Nancy's help. The other tragedy in this story is that Nicole doesn't have the money to pay for her beloved son's funeral. Please let's join together and do what we can to relieve Nicole of this burden.


The following is a letter Nancy wrote to her friends at PerlMonks, a forum for programmers.

I am deeply saddened to report that David, [koolgirl]'s 6-year old son, has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from pediatric myocarditis caused by coronavirus infection.

David was the sweetest child you will ever have the privilege to know. He was bright, funny, cheerful, autistic, and loved animals, especially his beloved dog, Gizzy, who passed late last year. He loved pirates, riding his brand-new bike that Santa brought, and Disney's Cars and Planes, and was thrilled to be starting Cub Scouts this year.

As some of you may know, [koolgirl] nearly lost her legs a few years ago due to peripheral venous insufficiency and resulting gangrene. She should be on disability, but has not yet been accepted. She works very long, hard hours to keep her little family together.

I hope this plea does not seem gauche, but we would like to request that donations for David's Memorial be made to PayPal via rockwaretech@gmail.com

Please note that time is of the essence; [koolgirl]'s appointment with the funeral director is tomorrow morning.

(I do have [koolgirl]'s express permission to post her email here for this purpose.)

In Memoriam
Samuel David Edwards
May 6, 2007 - January 26, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Email Smears - Debunking the Idiocy Yet Again

Every once in a while, I'll come across an email that accuses President Obama, his administration or even Michelle Obama of some malfeasance because you know, he's an illegitimate, Kenyan born, Socialist, Marxist, Manchurian candidate Antichrist hell bent on destroying the United States from within, and she's an angry black woman who dares to question if America's kids are getting enough exercise and not eating enough healthy foods, and you can't trust those uppity negroes for a second or some such nonsense.

A friend told me he had received an email about the First Lady and was wondering about its legitimacy. I told him that if it had anything to do with Michelle Obama it was probably a bunch of bullshit, but if he'd like to forward it to me I would gladly research it so he could then shove it up the ass of whoever sent it to him - in this case, his uncle. You gotta love family.

So, here's the email:

"I guess we can just add this little tidbit to the pile of crap these two morons have already amassed at the taxpayer's expense!!

………. put a blood hound on this trail and see what he finds 
Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the no-bid contract to build the disastrous Obamacare website.Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of '85, is senior vice president at Canadian company CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the so far costing $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov.Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.Toni Townes, Pricenton '85, is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa.George Schindler, the president of the CGI Federal's Canadian parent CGI Group, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract. 
Soooooo...........Let's see if we can connect the dots here ... 
1.) No American companies considered for building Obamacare's website; 
2.) CGI Federal was chosen by God knows which criteria and hired; 
3.) CGI Federal was given a NO BID contract worth $93 million; 
4.) A top executive at CGI Federal was a Princeton classmate of Michelle Obama;  
5.) Previous company's experience was building a gun registry for the Canadian government;  
6.) CGI Group was fired by Canadian Government for overruns that cost Canada $100 million; 
7.) CGI has continued its practice of overruns as the Obamacare enrollment website has gone from $98 million to costing U.S. tax payers $678 million, and it's still going up. 
Does this bother anybody else besides me?"

We'll if it were true, then yes it would bother me. But it's not true, therefore, no, it really is just you.

Luckily, there are still a few of us who have learned that receiving an email making incredible claims usually turn out to be exactly that. Incredible. We are also lucky that there are nonpartisan fact checkers in this world who make a living dispelling such rumors. A quick Google search of the email turned up such right wing sites and The Daily Caller and The Washington Examiner which immediately caused concern. Enter Snopes.com from which the following info is summarized:

1 - CGI Federal was indeed started as a Canadian company in 1976. It has offices in 40 countries and 66 branches in the US.

2 - Toni Townes-Whitley was hired by CGI Federal in 2010. While she and Michelle Obama have a number of linkages because they went to the same school and been members of the same organizations, it's unclear how well the two know each other during their time at Princeton or afterwards.

3 - Healthcare.gov was NOT a no-bid contract. Besides CGI, IBM, Computer Sciences Corp. and Quality Software Services also applied for the contract.

4 - The contract to develop Healthcare.gov grew out of CGI's initial bid and contract to provide tech services for the Dept of Health and Human Services (here's the kicker) in 2007, three years before Townes-Whitley joined CGI and two years before Barack Obama became President.

5- CGI's president, George Schindler, donated $1,000 each to the Barack Obama AND Mitt Romney Campaigns in 2012.

6 - The $600 million+  number is mistakenly based, whether unknowingly or in this case more likely maliciously conscious of the fact,  on the total amount of money CGI had received for all of its government contracts related to health care for the previous several years, not solely the contract to develop Healthcare.gov. According to testimony, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has stated that so far the "website cost $118 million with about $56 million expended on other I.T. to support the web." Total: $174 million, with cost overruns possibly hitting $300 million, not $678 million.

So to sum up, CGI was hired in 2007 by the Bush Administration, has offices in the US, Healthcare.gov was NOT a no-bid contract, and may cost up to about 40% of what this email claims when all is said and done. What CGI building a Canadian gun registry, or Townes-Whitley serving in the Peace Corps in West Africa has anything to do with the subject at hand is lost on me, unless it's just more obfuscation to try and confuse the gullible reader about 2nd Amendment rights and those evil liberals working in the Peace Corps.

It's really not that hard, people. Check fact before forwarding emails under the assumption it's true.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chris Christie: "I am not a bully."


By the way, at the 3:00 mark, Christie is railing about losing out on a $400 million Race To the Top federal education grant because there was missing information on a months long application that he forced his staff to redo over a Memorial Day weekend because he didn't like that it favored the Teachers Union. When they blew it, he tried to blame the Obama administration on not letting them know about the missing info. Passing the buck. It turns out that they actually WERE informed and had two weeks to comply, and didn't. Christie then threw his Education Secretary under the bus. Passing the buck.

Funny, I don't remember Christie apologizing to anyone in the Obama administration after accusing them of his screw up.