Feds approve powdered alcohol


In other words, Palcohol would make it easier and cheaper to drink. Whether this is a good thing isn’t for us to say but Palcohol’s opponents include the liquor industry and some state legislators, who say they fear an outbreak of abuse.

An outbreak of alcohol abuse?  Is that supposed to be ironic?

Colorado, where marijuana is legal, last month passed a measure that temporarily outlaws powdered alcohol. Other states are considering similar measures…

Ban this.  Ban that.  Why not?  If I remember my American history lessons, alcohol prohibition was a success, so why not bring it back?

Deceptive advertising or highway robbery?


The FTC says that DirecTV’s offer of a discounted 12-month subscription package constitutes deceptive advertising because it requires a two-year contract that increases by $45 per month in the second year, with early cancellation fees of up to $480 for anyone who tries canceling before the two-year term is up…

Hey Verizon, are you listening?  My two-year contract (with a ridiculous cancellation fee) is almost up, and I, can’t, wait.

The FTC also charges that DirecTV violated the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA)…

Well, that’s a new one for me.  Who names these Acts?  How many Acts are on the books?  Is here a Highway Robbery Act?

Joan from Moreno Valley, California, agreed:  When you sign up, DirecTv representative are not honest in how they represent this company …. You have to pay a hidden fee to link the equipment after paying lease fees on said equipment. I STRONGLY suggest you do not use DirecTV or Dish for that matter. Additionally, with Direct even if you sell your house and not buy again, there is no way to get rid of the early cancel fee.

My choices in New Mexico are Comcast and Verizon.  Although satellite TV is available here, I don’t have a balcony, so it’s not available to me.  Plus, with the high winds in New Mexico, they’re talking about not allowing the satellite dishes at all.  If I’m stuck with Verizon again, well, that’ll just be my luck.

And this just goes to show you that not everyone with Irish ancestry is lucky.  Happy early St. Patrick’s Day.

States form task force to probe herbal supplement industry


Now Schneiderman has put together a coalition of state attorneys general from Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico to further investigate the business practices of the herbal supplement industry…

How many states do you need to form a coalition?  And how come all the other states aren’t interested?

More than half of American adults take some kind of herbal supplement, spending an estimated $60 billion a year in the belief that the supplements have some kind of healthful effect, even though numerous studies have found that healthy adults who eat a balanced diet don’t need to take supplements and may not derive any benefit from them…

Okay, that answers my question.  Although corporate and industry influence is always a factor also.

A 2013 study from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research estimated there are about 65,000 dietary supplements on the market consumed by more than 150 million Americans, most of them supposedly medicinal herbs, although as Schneiderman’s research demonstrated, many of them don’t contain much of anything…

Ah, the placebo effect, where would we be without it?

Many consumers seem to feel that, even if supplements don’t do any good, they’re not likely to do harm. That’s not necessarily the case, however.  More than half of FDA Class I drug recalls between 2004 and 2012 were for “dietary supplements.” Class I recalls are reserved only for products whose use poses a high risk of “serious adverse health consequences or death.” One of the most dramatic examples of harm caused by use of supplements involved ephedra-containing herbal weight loss products, which caused hundreds of deaths before ephedra was banned from the market in 2004…

How could the harms from supplements be recorded if no one really knows what’s in a lot of those pills?  It’s just like all the toxins from fracking that we don’t know about, making some of us sick and unable to find the cause of our illnesses.

Renters fared worse than homeowners during the Great Recession


“Given their financial fragility and low levels of financial literacy, the findings suggest the renter population could have a difficult time responding to income shocks and the financial consequences associated with them,” the study concluded.

As robertmgoldstein says:  So many “no Duh” moments, so little time…

17 People Who Were Fired For Using Facebook


Virgin Airlines crew members were fired after publicly discussing the atmosphere of their job on Facebook. They shared the number of times that certain airplane engines had been replaced and that the cabins were infested with cockroaches. It was certainly terrifying.

If I did a lot of flying, after reading this, I might have nightmares about cockroaches… Do you know how big the roaches are in Texas?  Forget it, you don’t want to know.

Nathalie Blanchard had been living off of disability insurance for depression since 2008. But when Manulife, the Canadian insurance company making the payments, got into her Facebook page, they saw her “relaxing at the beach, hanging out at a Chippendale’s-style club, and generally having a lot of fun.” She immediately lost her insurance benefits.