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September 25, 2007

Huge monk protests in Myanmar/Burma

Myanmar anti-junta protests biggest in 20 years | World | Reuters

YANGON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people joined Buddhist monks on marches in Myanmar's former capital on Monday in the biggest demonstration against the ruling generals since they crushed student-led protests nearly 20 years ago.

"I'm very excited and frankly I'm worried too," a teacher said as she watched the massed opposition in Yangon to 45 years of army rule that has impoverished the Southeast Asian nation of 53 million people.

(Thanks, Alecks!)

Community college instructor fired for saying that the story of Adam & Eve was a metaphor

DesMoinesRegister.com

A community college instructor in Red Oak claims he was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted.

. . .

Bitterman, who taught part time at Southwestern and Omaha's Metropolitan Community College, said he uses the Old Testament in his western civilization course and always teaches it from an academic standpoint.

Bitterman's Tuesday course was telecast to students in Osceola over the Iowa Communications Network. A few students in the Osceola classroom, he said, thought the lesson was "denigrating their religion."

"I put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn't given any more credibility than any other god," Bitterman said. "I told them it was an extremely meaningful story, but you had to see it in a poetic, metaphoric or symbolic sense, that if you took it literally, that you were going to miss a whole lot of meaning there."

September 24, 2007

The Miss America pageant scams women

Winners Cite Broken Promises in Pageants - New York Times

This fall, Ms. Wood entered the Wharton School, the business-studies arm of the University of Pennsylvania. But she has yet to receive any of that scholarship money, having been locked in a dispute with the Miss South Carolina pageant for more than two years.

“You are talking about an organization that is promoting itself as the largest scholarship provider for women in the world,” Ms. Wood, 26, said of the Miss America Organization. “When contestants try to collect their funds, they encounter one obstacle after another.”

Ms. Wood said she was told that she would not get the $20,000 for winning the Miss South Carolina pageant in part because her two local pageants had not paid her $950 that she had won from them (Ms. Wood said that after she enrolled in classes, one group reneged on payment and the other dodged her when she tried to collect). In turn, because she did not receive the state money, the national pageant sent her a letter in June saying she was ineligible for the $5,000 from it, even though the deadline to use her national scholarship had not passed. “It’s like a game of gotcha,” she said. “What is very clear to me is that the goal is to not give out the scholarships if at all possible.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield Calls Miscarriage "Elective Abortion," Denies Claim

Complaints: Blue Cross Blue Shield Calls Miscarriage "Elective Abortion," Denies Claim - Consumerist

Now, on Aug, 29 2007 my husband and I suffered a devastating miscarriage. Being near midnight we went to the ER. The hospital was very compassionate about our loss and was able to get us in quickly and expedited our treatment. The following day I called BCBS and informed them that we had made a visit to the ER, and was told it wasn't necessary to call them just for ER visits, but only when we are admitted. Believing that BCBS would never make the mistakes at they did the previous and only time we have used our insurance I thought everything would go smoothly. Boy was I wrong!

On, Sep, 21 2007 I received a statement for BCBS that they were denying all of the claim. I called them and asked why they were denying the entire claim, and was told by Jane, "We do not cover ELECTIVE abortions. If you chose to terminate your pregnancy for non-health threatening reasons, BCBS will not cover it." WTF!!!??? I asked her, "Are you saying that my records state that I had an ELECTIVE abortion, in an ER at 12 o'clock in the morning?" It was then, I think it clicked in Jane's mind what she was dealing with and told me how sorry she was. I lost my cool and even started crying. I had a miscarriage not an abortion, and being treated in such a condescending way by BCBS really ticked me off. Thinking what an incredibly huge screw up, BCBS will be right on it trying to fix this, well you would be wrong. I was told to call the hospital and have them fax over my records stating I didn't have an elective abortion. Who the heck can get an elective abortion in a busy ER at 12am, anyway?

They don't have this problem in other countries. We need scialized health care right away.