America’s Health Care System at the Bottom of the Heap

August 15, 2011

By Terry Smiljanich:

We all know health care expenses have risen dramatically, not just in America but around the world, as more sophisticated and expensive medical procedures become available. America has, however, the most effective health care system in the world – right? Wrong. Compared to eighteen other major economies around the world, the United States comes in almost dead last! We spend the most by far for what almost ends up being the least effective health care.

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Legalized Corruption – The Comcast Merger and the FCC

May 31, 2011

By Terry Smiljanich:

In one of the most blatant examples of just how corrupt politics has become in Washington, D.C., the head of the Federal Communications Commission, just a few months after voting to allow one of the largest corporate mergers in history, has accepted a high paying job at the new giant NBC/Comcast media company. This raises an interesting question: can we call it corruption, if it’s all perfectly legal under current rules?

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When Did the Consumer Become the Enemy?

May 24, 2011

By Angie Moreschi:

Why is it that every time you turn around these days, you find a lawmaker up on Capitol Hill trying to stick it to the consumer?  Of course, it’s very important to protect multi-million dollar corporations from those pesky people who buy stuff from them; we all know that.  But gosh, isn’t this going a bit far.  First, we must ensure our oil companies continue to get their tax breaks, and now Republican Congressman from North Carolina Patrick McHenry is taking cheap shots at the person trying to set up a Consumer Protection Bureau.

Consumer Advocate and Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren came up with the crazy idea that there should be someone looking out for consumers these days, since they’re getting ripped off so much.

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How To Cancel Xbox LIVE Gold Automatic Renewals

April 1, 2011

By Terry Smiljanich:

The Deceptive Game of Automatic Renewal

Are your children playing too much Xbox LIVE and ignoring their homework? Are they on an automatic renewal program through your credit card? Have you tried to cancel the automatic renewal of the yearly charges by Microsoft and run into a problem? Join the crowd.

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How To Balance The Budget In One “Easy” Step

March 7, 2011

By Terry Smiljanich:

Even though former Vice President Dick Cheney used to say that “deficits don’t matter,” back when the Republicans were running up huge budgetary imbalances, deficit reduction is the new mantra for Republicans, Tea-Partiers, and increasing numbers of Democrats, including the President. On the chopping block are billions of dollars in cuts in domestic discretionary spending, including home heating oil subsidies for the poor, Public Broadcasting, Pell Grants, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Accepting for a moment that such draconian cuts in the federal budget are prudent, especially when the country is trying to recover from a serious recession, isn’t there a better way to achieve this goal?

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Power Balance Wristbands – Back in the News With More Nonsense

January 17, 2011

By Terry Smiljanich:
Power Balance, the company that promotes its product line of bracelets with holograms, was forced by the Australian consumer protection agency to admit the following in a disclaimer:

In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct .  .  .  [under Australian law].

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Less Government! No Deficit Spending! OK, How?

November 11, 2010

By Terry Smiljanich:

Common themes ran through most of the successful campaigns during this 2010 midterm election: less government, lower taxes, no deficits. Voters spoke loudly and clearly – we want chocolate fudge sundaes with no calories!

Now a bipartisan deficit reduction commission is also chiming in making some controversial proposals on how to reduce the deficit.  Let’s take a look at what’s on the table.

The federal 2010 budget is $3.54 trillion. The deficit this year is $1.42 trillion. Thus, to bring the deficit down to zero, we would have to cut the budget by 40%. No politician could get elected on that impossible platform. There are certain sacred cows in the federal budget.

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Surprise! Congress Sides With Banks and Robo-Signers

October 26, 2010

By Terry Smiljanich:

The debate over who controls Congress – the voters or the financial industry – is finally over. Your congressman believes that what is good for Bank of America  and JP Morgan Chase is good for the country.

How can we be so sure? Just look at how Congress responded to the recent “robo-signer” foreclosure mess, in which banks have been filing false affidavits by the thousands throughout the country in support of their foreclosure actions. What was Congress’ response? Well, why not just pass legislation making it easier for the banks to continue this practice?

Here Come the Robo-Signers

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Replacing Cigarettes with Smoke Sticks – Is it Safe?

September 29, 2010

By Terry Smiljanich:

Katherine Heigl, formerly of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy, recently “lit up” an electronic cigarette on the Letterman Show, thereby providing some free advertising to a relatively new smokeless tobacco product which is showing phenomenal sales in the United States. These “smoke sticks,” also known as “e-cigarettes,” deliver nicotine without the combustible smoke by-products found in regular cigarettes which contain most of the deadly carcinogens – but are they safe?

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First Look at the Galaxies from World’s Largest Telescope

September 20, 2010

What will the world’s largest telescope see when it’s pointed to the stars and planets?  CWN is bringing you an insider look from our very own Senior Editor Terry Smiljanich.  Terry is on location in the Canary Islands guest blogging as Historian for the University of Florida on this expedition to explore the galaxies… and beyond!

Click here to learn more.

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