Saturday, December 17, 2011

So Many Options

The Author of this post is Herman Barry

There are so many direct TV deals out there this time of year I hardly know which one to pick. The kids have been on me forever to get more TV channels but to be honest I’m a little worried that if I do they’re never going to give me the time of day! It seems like technology has really taken over our lives in a way I wasn’t expecting it to – I think once they both hit high school was when it became a real problem. My daughter is always, ALWAYS texting and my son’s all about his video games…I wouldn’t mind any of this too much if they had actual human interactions every once and a while but it seems like most of what they do these days is in front of a computer screen. I love my kids to death but I don’t want to doom them by not making sure they get plenty of social skills before they go off to college. I know this is normal but I can’t take it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Planning For Retirement Early

My wife and I are trying to decide what will be best for us as we go into our retirement years. We're seeing a big push against nationalized medicine in the United States and we both realize that if we should happen to have an unforeseen major illness in the household it could financially cripple us and put us back to work when we should be looking at enjoying our later years. This is still quite a ways off. We did decide to do one thing though that may or may not benefit us but there is a trade off to get it. We're contemplating retiring to Canada where health care is appreciated for its population and is very well respected for its quality. Since it will be cold no matter where in Canada we go, in the winter that is, we decided to vacation there first. What area of Canada are we going? We came up with three areas to try, the Lake Louise area in Alberta, Calgary the home of the famous Stampede, and Newfoundland where my mothers side of the family came from.

We originally purchased a home in Central Florida with the expectation that we'd retire into our existing home, hopefully paid off by the time we retired. However, with the ever increasing costs for prescriptions, hospitals, doctors, and or other services we're realizing that this country, the country we were born in, could care less about it's citizens and would rather help companies realize greater profit from the citizens it serves rather than take care of them. Canada for some reason is quite a bit more affordable to be cared for in. Former President Bush Jr even tried to keep Canadian medicines from being purchased by Americans because it is so much cheaper to buy there than here, where it's made.

I think spending some quality time in different areas of Canada will satisfy our questions and help us make up our minds. When and if the housing market returns to a profitable level we may sell up and move north, where it's citizens are respected and treated with care and cared for in an affordable way.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

GOP Candidates Reveal Plans Too Early!

The GOP, or Grand Old Politicians, have revealed their intents to America finally, care of Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry! This will be a short article as it doesn't need any further comment. The comments of these politicos speak for the party.

Rick Perry in his Alzheimer's speech expressed a need to dissolve the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce, to name two of the three. I'm excluding the Energy Dept. as it isn't relevant to this information.

Okay, monitoring of education and the work force will be gone!

Newt Gingrich just recently stated the need to eliminate the minimum age a person can collect Social Security, reducing the minimum wage, and even going on to agree with historian David Barton who claims that Jesus opposes the minimum wage. WHAT? Jesus said that? When was this? How much did Barton have to drink when he wrote this? This is one of the reason why we have a separation of church and state! We need to maintain this separation firmly!! I digress.

One last GOP decision. Get rid of all the Mexicans in America. Put up a double fence and run electricity through it to keep them out!

How will the GOP tacticians explain to the farmers in the southern states that their crops will have to die on the trees and vines because Americans are too good to pick your produce. It's too hard and it's too hot and their backs hurt. The Mexican immigrants were able to do the work and were happy to get the work so now explain to the farmers why they can't have the needed labor to supply the tables of America with their wares. The GOP 'decision makers' are sitting on their fat arses because they've shot themselves in both feet at once. There I go and digress again.

Okay, here's how I see it. I may be wrong but I don't think I could be off by much here.

We chase away the needed labor for the American farms so they can't bring needed goods to market.

We require our elder citizens to continue to work later in life after they've put in more work that most will ever do in their lives.

We lower the minimum wage so multiple jobs will be required, where there are none right now(Jobs Bill people).

We eliminate the oversight of educational requirements in American so we can be the stupidest labor based 1st world country in the world creating a poor/wealthy standard. Keep people poor and ignorant and you control the nation!

I saw Rick Santorum on television today addressing Gay marriage. Who really cares about Gay marriage right now? People need work to support their families and he thinks Gay marriage is a hot topic!

When is the GOP going to work with the President on a jobs bill. They complain and vote it down but offer nothing useful in return. Why are they re-elected?

They're re-elected because the schools don't teach our children HOW and WHY to vote. They don't teach them impartially how to select a candidate to represent them. Social Studies? They teach our children squat, never have-never will be useful.

That's another reason to keep America stupid. When we need required education the most they want to remove the safety's and destroy what control we do have.

The Republican Party that I belonged to in the 70's and early 80's is dead. It doesn't exist anymore or else I wouldn't be an Independent. It's an abomination and a disgrace what's happened to it.

I hope America is content top have India and China pass us. In education I think they already have. Don't complain when you talk to Microsoft and get someone in India answering. Microsoft knows why and it's not just because it's cheaper.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This Looks So Good I'm Going to Make It Myself.

Simple and delicious roasted lamb shanks.

Nov. 2011
Okay. I made the lamb shanks and they were decent. I don't think I'll make them again though and here's why. When the collagen cooks down it becomes almost jelly-like and is desired by many for it's flavor. I for one don't care for it. The taste was alright but I just didn't like the tactile sliminess of the meat. It was slippery and felt greasy in my mouth. You be the judge but I've already convicted this dish to a recipe coffin.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Singing along with Jersey Boys on Broadway

Guest post written by Sharlene Harris

One of the things that I thought would be really good for my family and I to go and do when we went on our big New York City trip a few weeks ago was to go and see a Broadway play. I mean, you just can't really go on a trip there without going and seeing a Broadway play! That's what I always hear at least and it's such a big part of the New York experience, too. So I went out of my way for us to go and see a play while we were there a short time ago.

I looked online to see if I could find some good discount prices on play tickets. While I was online doing that, I ran across some info on Miracle Ear. I'd been thinking about getting some hearing aids for a while by then, so I decided that now would be as good of a time as any to do so.

I was really glad that I got fitted with those once we were sitting there enjoying the play. I think that it definitely made a difference in my enjoyment. Plus, you want to make sure that you're getting your money's worth out of your vacation.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Is Socialism, or Communism, in America's Future?

I'm not making a statement about the current president but rather a commentary about the state of affairs in the United States, and the rest of the world, right now and the foreseeable future. Economic forecasts are a hit better than bleak and millions have lots virtually the value of their homes to it.

What am I, a layman, seeing that would lead me to a conclusion such as the one in the title of this article? What's not to see. What has happened in the past, for those that actually paid attention in history class or watched the History Channel, when the masses rose up in large numbers to protest the oppressive state of affairs in their country. What happened to the Czars in Russia? It became the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic because a group of individuals offered a 'ray of hope' to the 'down-trodden masses' and they stood behind the new banner of hope, care of Lenin, Marx, and Trotsky. In Germany it was a bit more militaristic but the situation the people were in after the Treaty of Versailles has a shade of familiarity to it with regard to lost currency value and rising costs of basic goods, not to mention lack of employment(sound familiar). The 'down-trodden ' masses rallied behind Hitler, Goebbels, and Goring as their saviors. In hindsight, not a wise decision but a decision made from desperation during difficult times.

While I'm not really saying that Fascism, Socialism, or Communism is knocking at our doors I am saying that we must keep a firm grasp of the reality of our situation. We have corruption in Washington D.C., plain and simple and I believe it's more widespread than it appears at face value. We all have to acknowledge that every senator and representative in the Capital is NOT given a multi-million dollar salary. Correct? So how is it that the longer term politicians always seem to leave office as millionaires? Why do we, the citizens of the United States, allow our elected officials to accept money from ANY source other than their elected salary? Why do we not make it a crime to allow a politician to accept any compensation, whether cash or consideration or material goods, from potentially biased sources that do not have the interests of the American people first and foremost? How many politicians receive money from Big Oil? From Drug Companies? From Banking Institutions? From Wall Street Corporations? I'm talking about both sides of the Congress, not just the one you may think I was going to direct this at. When I vote I never vote by party, I vote for the person I think is going to represent us the best out of the field of candidates running. It's not always an easy task given what we have to deal with.

President Obama is taking the majority of the heat for the economy right now and it goes with the job unfortunately. Granted, this has been coming since the Reagan administration to a lesser degree, reversed during the Clinton administration to a surplus economy, and thrown in the septic tank with George Junior. Obama is now the lucky broom holder and I do not envy that job because he'll be wrong no matter what he does to try to fix things. Allow me to get to my point since diverging to the list of blame receivers, even though Congress has, and had, the final say in all things economic, not the presidents. Recently a jobs bill was put to Congress to vote on and was defeated with pride by the GOP. Okay, it's what they said they would do. Candidates have also publicly stated that their main goal in 2012 is to defeat Barack Obama. What about home values, jobs, health care, domestic industry to name but a few? Wonder why people are camping out in parks protesting what's going on in America? This country of ours is sick and needs healing. It's not going to be healed by the church, big business, China, Mexico, fairies, or leprechauns! It has to be healed with hard decisions and bold visionaries. We need to be looking ahead and not dwelling on yesterday or today, in a few hours today will be yesterday and you can't affect the past with today's decisions!

One last point before I stop typing.

The conservative branch of Congress, for some reason, is reluctant to go after 'big money' for tax revenues. Many wealthy individuals, Warren Buffet to name one, have expressed a desire to help the country and pay their fair share of taxes. Why won't Congress accept their money? I honestly don't know. The politicians that are the most adamant about going after tax revenues seem to want to get it from the soon to be 'poor middle class', eliminate the 'poor class', and protect the 'wealthy class'. Should we be looking into where these officials are getting their 'contributions' from? I think that's long overdue! Should their financial interests be publicly printed? They're supposed to be but is that ALL their compensation that they will either be getting or have received in other ways? I don't know but I'm wondering more and more every time I see a senator or representative say the rich 'need the money so they can reinvest back into business to keep America working'. The corporations that are getting all the breaks are investing in jobs, they're just not jobs in the United States! Why is that? There's more profit to be made in using cheap foreign labor and materials then selling this junk back to Americans through an American company name.

Why are everyday people that ordinarily would never camp out and protest now doing just that? It's time to stop the economic greed in this country or a sometime down the road in our future we could be calling each other comrade.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some Things Change, Others Don't.

A while back, a very friend of mine went into the hospital for a surgical procedure. The condition that they entered into having this done was that they needed to be put to sleep for a short while. No big deal, take a nice nap and wake up all done, maybe a little discomfort but like I said - Done! No one mentioned the walking from here to there in a , or should I say infamous, hospital gown. You know, a small sheet with arms and two short sleeves. Anybody who's ever been in the hospital knows what I'm talking about. The robe that has two small ties in the back which also don't line up with your butt. That's what goes on display when you go from here to there, of course! I don't know why they couldn't find some way to use soft cotton scrubs or even a disposable scrub or something, just to retain some assemblage of a person's dignity till they reach the operating theater. I know medical nursing scrubs wouldn't work because they'd have to cut them off of the patient and that would get expensive. I'm talking about paper scrubs or something along those lines that the hospital could buy for a lot less than fabrics but that could change quickly as well. A wide variety of scrubs can be obtained at if anyone wanted to acquire quality garments for personal or professional use.

I really feel for the patients in the post operative area where family or close friends tend to be while the patients regain their wits. This is a really bad time for the modest patient since they usually have an IV in one arm and they're trying desperately to keep their classic 'johnnie' closed with the other. Even if they made disposable tops or a top with a reusable adhesive like paper tape that has a limited use but will work for the short time it's needed. It may seem a small issue to some but for others it could mean putting off a necessary procedure due to modesty issues, which is ridiculous. I know paper clothes are manufactured because many service companies use them when dealing with contaminants so that all tainted materials get disposed of with the lowest expense involved. Just something to think about. Waiting in the sterile waiting room with the boring talk show or news program on and no remote to change the channel makes you think about many things to offset the tedium of waiting and it's amazing what you come up with and then forget when you're told the wait is over and to come in.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Get out of debt: Pay the right bills first

<a href='' target='_new' title='Get out of debt: Pay the right bills first' >Video: Get out of debt: Pay the right bills first</a>

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Something Special

Thanks for the guest post by Jo Levy

My Christmas present to my kids this year was something that they will never forget! My children are nine and twelve, and they have been talking about going to Disney World for the past three years. My husband had the idea then that we should start saving up for a vacation for the whole family to go to Disney down in Orlando for this upcoming Christmas. Even though it has meant that we have had to make sacrifices, it was worth every penny that we saved when our kids opened their present to go to Disney! My daughter, Olivia, started screaming and jumping up and down yelling that we were the best parents that she has ever had. Our son, Thomas, started crying and asked if he could call his grandma. To make sure that we could leave our house securely, I checked out http://allhomesecurity.COM to make us feel safe while we are in Orlando. My kids can’t wait to see their favorite characters and get their autographs! Disney World here we all come!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Michele Bachmann Newsweek Cover

I'm at a loss to see what the furor is about over this cover. I'm trying to see the difference between a campaign photo and the cover photo. In a line-up I'd have no trouble identifying her based on these photos.


Other similar comparison for a control photo:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Be Careful What You Do On Camera-You Never Know!

During the Casey Anthony murder trial the camera never sleeps, as this idiot waiter who got one of the elusive rare seats, found out the other day. This is a partial transcript of what he did, how he got caught, and how the judge felt about it.
(as reported on

"a spectator got a seat and into the courtroom and happened to be in camera view, clearly knew it and the judge said gave the one finger sign of affection, which i think you know what that means. it was not funny to the judge because it was on camera. quite frankly, it could have impacted the whole case here by affecting the jury's impartiality. a viewer watching notified a reporter in the courtroom via a twitter account of what happened in the background. that reporter notified a bailiff. a bailiff went over, whispered to the judge, they pulled the picture, looked at it and called up the 28-year-old who had been in the courtroom doing those antics and the judge was not pleased. he told him that he had jeopardized the whole case and then he gave him a very harsh judgment. he sentenced him to six days in jail, a $400 fine, $200 plus fine associated with court costs and things moved on. i guess this 28-year-old kid, a waiter at tgi fri days learned there's no goofing around. this is a murder trial."

The RAW video of the indiscretion:

Judge Perry held up a sign that was posted on the door leading into the courtroom that read "Any gesture, facial expression or audible comment showing approval or disapproval during a court proceeding is absolutely prohibited."

I'll bet he now wishes he picked his nose instead!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Cigarette Package Graphics. What's Your Brand?

New graphics for cigarette packages need pictures because people who smoke evidently can't read, I guess!

Is It Worth It to Be Able to Eat and Smoke at the Same Time Brand?

Trendy T Shirt Brand?

2 Pack a Day Child Brand?

Brown Lung Brand?

I Don't Know How to Say Smoke Somewhere Else Brand?

Airbags Have a New Meaning Brand?

Hole Mouth Brand?

Cardio-Pulmonary Excavation Brand?

Tijuana Smalls-Extra Small Brand?

When I smoked I preferred to buy the brands that told me if I smoked that pack I could suffer low birth weight. I wanted to buy the brands that were safe for me but I guess harmful to women since I can't give birth anyways.

Joking aside, I smoked for over 20 years and have been smoke free for over 4 at this point. Chantix was my saving grace.

To view the original article just click this link to the MSNBC page.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration / AP

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Visit of Epic Porportions

Guest post written by Wanda Dein

My son is coming to the airport tomorrow evening, and I've been getting the house back in order for his visit. I cleaned his old room and made it look very inviting. It looks just like it used to when he to live here years ago. My son has been living out in California for a number of years, and while he's had a lot of success, we don't get to see him as much as we'd like to. From what he tells me, he is going to be able to move back in the area in another year or so. Until then, I will just have to be patient and get the most of these visits.

Several days ago, I finally visited I wanted to get everything resolved before my son comes home and I'm glad I did. I want to hear every single thing that he has to say about his life out in California. I really miss him dearly, and in my mind I am counting down the days until he comes back this way with my beautiful daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

Send Me Your Birthday and SocSec Number Today!

They may as well say it just that way! Identity thieves want your specifics in order to skillfully rob you of your hard earned savings or credit or worse, your life! This sounds to outrageous to be true but unfortunately it's truer than one might think. Every year more people than I care to count have gotten twinners. Twinners are those shadowy people that have become you, essentially making you both co-owners of your money and credit, not a good member of the family to have. The easiest way to spot fraudulent activity in your financial life, aside from checking your bank account daily, is a credit report from the three credit bureaus in the country. These days it's so easy to get your credit score that you could actually trip over the offers that are out there for those not credit bureau savvy, like me.

"I'll get to it later", "not right now, I'm busy", "not on the weekend, I'll do it Monday I guess". What a bunch of lame excuses! You don't have to look very far to find an offer for a free credit score. What's the problem with that. The majority of these sites are very legitimate because some of them would like to offer you protection from financial evil do-ers and nare-do-wells! I tell you one thing, it's a lot easier to check your score(s) and feel better or be warned early than to have to get your score(s) to bring with you to the police department to press charges against unknown individuals. By the time they catch up with them it's usually cost you quite a bit of whatever savings you may have retained and chance are it could be years to get your credit corrected properly and your good name cleared. Some people never fully recover from this kind of attack and feel the effects for years.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Major League Baseball Encourages Fan Violence!

What were they thinking? Seriously, what was Major League Baseball thinking when they paid for and ran this commercial promoting, and justifying, violence against a rival team's fan? After the probably fatal attack on a San Francisco Giants fan by Los Angeles Dodgers fans you'd think they'd say, "maybe this would be in seriously bad taste". Evidently, not! I guess showing a violent Yankees fan is okay so long as it's against a Red Sox fan because of the rivalry history between the two teams.

I'll bet the MLB marketing execs that okay-ed this ad have also videotaped their children in fights while encouraging them along at the same time! It wouldn't surprise me!

This is the ad that's on YouTube. I saw the ad on the Cartoon Network around 4:30 in the morning at work and was stunned when I saw it. You be the judge.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where Sheriffs are Boss!


An illegal alien(unknown nationality), in Polk County, Florida , who got pulled over in a routine traffic stop, ended up "executing" the deputy who stopped him.

The deputy was shot eight times, including once behind his right ear at close range.

Another deputy was wounded and a police dog killed.

A state-wide manhunt ensued.

The murderer was found hiding in a wooded area.
As soon as he took a shot at the SWAT team, officers opened fire on him.

They hit the guy 68 times.

Naturally, the liberal media went nuts and asked why they had to shoot the poor, undocumented immigrant 68 times.

Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel:
"Because that's all the ammunition we had."

Now, is that just about the all-time greatest answer or what!

The Coroner also reported that the suspect died of natural causes.

When asked by a reporter how that could be, since there were 68 bullet wounds in his body, he simply replied:

(BEST QUOTE of 2009)

"When you are shot 68 times you are naturally gonna die."

That's Who You Say You Are, But ....

Identity theft is a serious crime that has gone beyond getting out of proportion. It once was a person needed to worry that a credit card, or a credit card bill, would be intercepted before it got to either you or the recipient of a payment. If it was intercepted after making the payment they would not only get the card number but your checking account number as well. People with outside mailboxes know exactly what I mean. Some, not all, credit card companies have taken some steps to making your bills safer by not putting the full account number anywhere on the bill. That shows respect for the cardholder because they wish to protect you from the not so good element out there. The outdoor mailbox is one of the reasons I no longer write checks anymore. Florida is also known for not having many public postal mailboxes available either. I came from Boston and almost every street corner had a mailbox, big and blue and made of steel! Thank goodness for electronic payments. Identity theft protection has been an ever growing industry because there's a great need for it. Credit reporting agencies aren't the easiest to set things straight for consumers so heading off problems before the become debt mountains is important, to say the very least.

A while back there was a flashy commercial where the founder of this credit/identity protection company put his social security number on a tractor trailer and had it driven through a metropolitan city, telling the viewers that he had no worries because his company would protect him and if something unforeseen did happen they had a million dollar policy to back them up. I read somewhere that someone successfully stole his identity and those commercials are no longer shown. Please tell me if I'm wrong but I don't think I am. There are several successful companies that make a valiant effort to secure your persona, so to speak, and probably the better of the bunch is a company called IdentityHawk. They offer a comprehensive set of tools to protect your identity, give you a status of the health of your identity, information monitoring, and immediate alerts when suspicious activity threatens your standing as a unique individual in order to keep your identity unique to you alone! I've included a couple of links to this company for you to take a look at and see what you think. I started thinking on it a lot after I went to my lawyer about my will and he told me half of his cases were identity theft issues. When lawyers smile when they tell you something like that it's time to protect before you need to be healed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What a Time They've Had.

That's right, they don't smoke on purpose because it's their house that smoked and soaked. A few weeks ago my 2nd cousin Steve in Austin decided to make a deep fried turkey, like I often do. The only differences between myself frying a bird and Steve is that I don't use propane and if I did I wouldn't do it on my back porch. See where I'm going with this folks? The good news is that the house he owns with his wife Danielle and their 2 sons(I hope they don't learn to cook from daddy) is still in one piece but a bit dark in a few spots and smells like a wood smoker has been placed in the kitchen. Oh joy, Danielle is off her chain over this because that house 'was' her pride and joy for the past 8 years. I'd then been searching around for them for some fire and water damage restoration companies because their water damage insurance agent is as useful as a piece of dried wood. I guess he figured that unless you lived in Corpus Christi you had no water worries, wrong! I found a few that can handle smoke damage in the austin area as well as dehumidification austin area services as well.

I really feel bad for Danni and the kids though as it's been a huge disruption in their lives, not to mention the scare they had not knowing if they were going to have a home to go back to after the fire. Fortunately, the austin fire dept did a remarkable job in suppressing the conflagration and kept the damage isolated to the kitchen area of the house. However, smoke knows no boundaries when it comes to permeating the walls and furniture in adjacent rooms. That brings me to the final, and most effected, area being the smokey water damage. I don't know how bad it really was as I haven't been able to get to see them since the fire but I do remember when the downstairs kitchen of the 2 family house I grew up in in the north caught fire. Even the upstairs smelled like smoke for weeks and there was no damage at all on our floor. I digress as I've spoken of this before. The steam cleaning restoration company I found that can clean smoke, as well as water, damage for austin residents said it wouldn't be a problem as that's what they do every day.

I hope that before I get to see them they don't have a tornado to boot and have to deal with wind damage, unless it clears all the smokey essence from the house. I doubt it though. I know the pro's can do it better than I can but every little bit helps.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Remember the Old Ones.

A close friend of mine went into an outpatient clinic for a small surgical procedure. The condition that they entered into having this done was that they needed to be put to a twilight sleep. I went in the back with them while they were being prepared for their appointment with the surgeon and was surprised at the nurses in the back, both men and women. The scrubs of old were gone and all these new, colorful scrubs were everywhere, even with the male nurses. I remember as a child that the hospital was white and the world had colors and that was that. White was the ONLY thing that was clean and sterile to wear. Looking at the guys the last thing I would have thought was that they were mens scrub uniforms, mainly because of the way they fit and how they looked. They looked like vacation clothes. I even saw an orderly wearing olive green scrubs. I asked him if they were comfortable and he said that the old style was okay but the newer ones breathed a lot better because of the breathe-ability of the natural fabric as opposed to the synthetics of the past. I think this would work because they're always looking for some new ways to lift the spirits of the patients. Nothing looks more depressing than everyone in the same scrubs.

I really feel for the patients in the recovery area where family or close friends tend to be while the patients come back around for the trip home. This is a tough time for most patients since they usually have an IV in one arm, an oxygen cannula in their nose, and they're trying desperately to keep their mind off of what they just went through. Who wants to see a nurse sweating next to them, it starts making you think there might be something wrong them.

Even if they made some of the older styles with better fabrics that would be a plus for them. Remember that service people service better when they feel better! There was even one nurse with scrubs flare pants on, which I thought was pretty cool since I grew up in the flared jeans days. It may seem a small issue to some but little things add up when it comes to patient morale. I say "why not?".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

National Health Care of Canada - Why It's The Best!

This article is extracted from their website that I have placed a link to at the end.

Mission and Vision

Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health.

Health Canada is committed to improving the lives of all of Canada 's people and to making this country's population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.
Core Values - Our Values in Action

The Dialogue on Values and Ethics resulted in the identification and description of the following core values for Health Canada . In pursuing and fulfilling our vision and mission, we achieve personal, organizational and public good by:

Taking Pride in What We Do
We are motivated and guided by our personal integrity.

1. We recognize our potential
2. We take the initiative to improve ourselves and the way we do things
3. We act with sound judgment

Building a Workplace Community
We respect each other and work together in a healthy environment.

1. We embrace diversity and nurture empowering relationships
2. We communicate honestly and effectively
3. We create an environment that promotes learning and innovation

Caring for the People of Canada
We advance the public good with purpose and passion while honouring democratic values.

1. We provide credible information, reliable advice and quality services
2. We establish and maintain good working relationships with our stakeholders
3. We responsibly and wisely manage resources entrusted to us

By being accountable for our values and their integration in our work, we lay the foundation for excellence at Health Canada.

By working with others in a manner that fosters the trust of Canadians, Health Canada strives to:

* Prevent and reduce risks to individual health and the overall environment;
* Promote healthier lifestyles;
* Ensure high quality health services that are efficient and accessible;
* Integrate renewal of the health care system with longer term plans in the areas of prevention, health promotion and protection;
* Reduce health inequalities in Canadian society; and
* Provide health information to help Canadians make informed decisions.

What We Do

Health Canada plays five core roles in order to realize our vision. In fulfilling these roles, our Department draws on our strengths as a science-based department. We generate knowledge through the research, analysis and evaluations that we conduct, partner in and support. We also draw on the knowledge that is being generated around the world to help us and others make informed, effective choices across all five roles.

* Leader/Partner
* Funder
* Guardian/Regulator
* Service Provider
* Information Provider

Core Roles

* Leader/Partner through the administration of the Canada Health Act, which embodies the key values and principles of Medicare.
* Funded through policy support for the federal government's Canada Health and Social Transfer, replaced on April 1, 2004 by the new Canada Health Transfer. Health Canada also transfers funds to First Nations and Inuit organizations and communities to deliver community health services and provides grants and contributions to various organizations that reinforce the Department's health objectives.
* Guardian/Regulator through a stewardship role that involves both protecting Canadians and facilitating the provision of products vital to the health and well-being of our citizens. Our Department regulates and approves the use of thousands of products, including:
o Biologics,
o Consumer Goods,
o Foods,
o Medical Devices,
o Natural Health Products,
o Pesticides,
o Pharmaceuticals, and
o Toxic Substances.

We deliver a range of programs and services in environmental health and protection, and have responsibilities in the areas of substance abuse, tobacco policy, workplace health and the safe use of consumer products. As well, Health Canada monitors and tracks diseases and takes action where required.

* Service Provider through the provision of supplementary health benefits to approximately 749,725 eligible First Nations and Inuit to cover:
o Pharmaceuticals,
o Dental services,
o Vision services,
o Medical transportation,
o Medical supplies and equipment, and
o Crisis intervention mental health counseling.

We support the delivery of public health and health promotion services on-reserve and in Inuit communities. We also provide primary care services on-reserve in remote and isolated areas, where there are no provincial services readily available.

* Information Provider through performing high quality science and research, we support policy development, regulate increasingly-sophisticated products and provide the services, information and management essential to affordable and world-class health care for Canadians. Through research and surveillance, we provide information that Canadians can use to maintain and improve their health.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Activities

In order to ensure that the Department is working to achieve tangible results for Canadians, Health Canada has established four strategic outcomes and key areas of program activities.

Strategic Outcome #1 Strengthened Knowledge Base to Address Health and Health Care Priorities

Under this strategic outcome, the Health Policy Branch is responsible for carrying out the following key areas of activities:

* Implementing the Ten-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care
* Maintaining confidence in the publicly-funded health care system
* Accelerating the use of information and communications technologies
* Expanding and improving the indicators of health system performance
* Advancing health sciences policy
* Renewing the health protection legislation
* Establishing the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada and developing a regulatory framework
* Improving access to health services by official language minority communities
* Strengthening international collaboration on health

Strategic Outcome #2 Access to Safe and Effective Health Products and Food Information for Healthy Choices

Under this strategic outcome, the Health Products and Food Branch is responsible for carrying out the following key areas of activities:

* Transforming our efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness as a regulator
* Increasing responsiveness to public health issues and greater vigilance of safety and therapeutic effectiveness
* Enhancing transparency, openness and accountability to strengthen public trust and stakeholder relationships
* Providing authoritative information for healthy choices and informed decision making

Strategic Outcome #3: Reduced Health and Environmental Risk from Products and Substances, and Safer Living and Working Environments

Under this strategic outcome, the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency are responsible for carrying out the following key areas of activities:

* Reducing risks in the workplace and from environmental hazards, consumer products (including cosmetics), radiation-emitting devices, new chemical substances and products of biotechnology
* Reducing tobacco consumption and the abuse of drugs, alcohol and other controlled substances
* Implementing the new Pest Control Products Act
* Improving efficiencies
* Informing, consulting and involving Canadians

Strategic Outcome #4 Better Health Outcomes and Reduction of Health Inequalities Between First Nations and Inuit and Other Canadians

Under this strategic outcome, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch is responsible for carrying out the following key areas of activities:

* Implementing the First Ministers' commitments on Aboriginal health
* Addressing early childhood health priorities
* Acting on major threats to Aboriginal health
* Supporting effective health services in First Nations and Inuit communities.

You can explore the resources of the Canadian National Health Care system at this link to get an UNBIASED view of what they really do for their citizens that is being withheld from American citizens!