The New York City Department of public records has put 870,000 images online here. Due to overwhelming traffic, the image archive is currently unavailable, but you can be sure I'll be picking it over and bringing you my favorite finds.
It happened again, with the same account as the last time. Since yesterday, someone has charged up a storm on my debit/credit card. They paid for airline tickets and hotel (Windsor Inn) through Travelocity; they made three online gaming transactions and bought an assortment of unrecognizable products and services and, get this, they even paid Catholic school tuition in Bridgeport/Fairfield CT!
This man sat down next to us at breakfast this morning with two other people. He discussed his own career path and the internet-based business world with another successful entrepreneur who is looking for opportunities to move from the bricks and mortar world to the internet.
I'm definitely in an occupation that suits me. I really love to listen to people because it's a non-stop education process. I suppose I blog because the expressive part of me is relatively submerged in my everyday life. I might speak one word for every hundred I listen to, so blogging forces me to exercise my voice.
One of the nation’s largest medical debt-collection companies is under fire in Minnesota for having placed its employees in emergency rooms and other departments at two hospitals and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, according to documents released Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general. The documents say the company also used patient health records to wrangle for more money on overdue bills.
The company, Accretive Health, has contracts with dozens of hospitals around the country. Since January, it has faced a civil lawsuit filed by Attorney General Lori Swanson of Minnesota alleging that it violated state and federal debt-collection laws and patient privacy protections.
Ms. Swanson, though not bringing further charges on Tuesday, said she was in discussions with state and federal regulators to prompt a widespread crackdown on Accretive Health’s practices in other states.
“I have every reason to believe that what they are doing in Minnesota is simply company practice,” she said in an interview, but declined to be more specific.
An Accretive Health spokeswoman said, “We have a great track record of helping hospitals enhance their quality of care.” Hundreds of internal company documents released by the attorney general’s office cast a spotlight on the increasingly aggressive medical-collection techniques used against patients at hospitals across the country.
“Patients are harassed mercilessly,” a hospital employee told Ms. Swanson. Another hospital employee complained, “We were told if we don’t get money from patients, in the emergency room, we will be fired.”
Accretive debt-collection employees, calling themselves “financial counselors,” are instructed by the upper management ranks to stall patients entering the emergency room until they have agreed to pay a prior balance, according to the documents.
Patients with outstanding balances are closely tracked by Accretive staff members, who list them on what employees refer to as “stop lists,” internal documents show. In March 2011, doctors at Fairview complained that such strong-arm tactics were discouraging patients from seeking life-saving treatments, but Accretive officials dismissed the complaints as “country club talk,” the documents show.
While it's legal to share patient information for the collection of debts, this seems like it crosses the line, allowing debt collectors access to privileged information on all patients, regardless of whether they owe money, in order to identify a subset that owes money. Placing these debt collection agency people in admissions, as if they're part of the hospital staff, strikes me as a transparent scam to get around medical privacy laws.
As the door to the visiting room at Federal Correctional Institute-Englewood opened and Rod Blagojevich stepped in, one thing was clear to his awaiting visitors.
Even in dull prison khakis he still has political charisma.
“He is the same person there as he was here,” said Sam Adam Jr., Blagojevich’s former attorney who visited him Sunday at his prison near Littleton, Colo. “You know that expression, ‘Does it play in Peoria?’ Well, it certainly plays in Littleton.”
As the toned — and not yet grayed — Blagojevich walked across the roughly 40-by-60 foot room where other inmates visited on rows of plastic chairs with loved ones, he was greeted over and over, Adam said. Blagojevich reported to the prison on March 15.
“He’s like, the man,” Adam said. “When he walked in the inmates kind of broke the rule … (calling) ‘Hey Rod, hey Rod.’ A couple of people called him ‘Gov.’”
Blagojevich stopped briefly to shake hands with family members before he sat with Adam and Adam’s father, Sam Adam Sr., for a roughly 90-minute chat.
Here's another Eden Lost commentary from a person who apparently misses America's morally better days, when the whole town turned out for a lynching.</sarc>
Eden Lost narratives and complementary Promised Land or restoration narratives arise from the universal human need to find meaning, purpose and hope in the face of inevitable loss. These narratives contain elements of denial, and by that I don't mean that these stories are intrinsically bad, but denial can open the door to some pretty bad things. Cults and brutal tribal warfare immediately come to mind. On the other hand, people living in abject misery may need narrative support for the conviction that survival and restoration are possible.
This man cultivated a persona supported by the fiction that he was descended from Austrian aristocracy. He embodied the role of this character so thoroughly, for so long, that the lie became the smallest part of the character, so much so that friends and admirers who suspected the fiction didn't seem to care.
Is identity authentic only to the extent that it develops through unconscious processes, even if those processes are partly defensive? How much of who we are can be deliberately cultivated before it isn't who we really are?
A Stevenson High School dean is being investigated for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a student, Lincolnshire police Chief Peter Kinsey has confirmed.
Police have examined the texts and forwarded information to the Lake County state's attorney's office for further review, the chief said, though he added there was no immediate indication of any criminal activity.
"If you were a parent or an adult, you would say it was inappropriate … that the conversation occurred between the staff member and the student. But it is nothing of a criminal nature," Kinsey said. "We said, 'Let's play it safe.' We are letting the state's attorney see if they think there is anything criminal."
Kinsey, who had not personally reviewed the text messages, confirmed they were allegedly sent by a dean. He said the texts did not meet the criminal definition of "sexting," and that no photographs were involved.