Monday, March 26, 2007

Vietnam A Day to Remember

Cpl. Raymond Frank Schopmann
4/39 Infantry
Born 09 November 1949
K.I.A. 26 March 1968
Gia Dinh Province
Vietnam

Vietnam War Memorial
Washington, D.C.
Panel 46E 041

Friday, March 23, 2007

Vietnam and a Sacrifice Never Forgotten

Every year a specific date on my calendar approaches. It is a period of time in which I tend to reflect on days of long ago more so than at any other time of year. It was in that now distant past, a day when a town mourned the death of one of its own. Sadly today many seem to have forgotten that sacrifice, I never will. It was a time which gave birth to days filled with war protest. It was a time when America began to question the wisdom of the leaders of this great nation.

Again we face a time of question. Again we live in days when the people question the wisdom of our leaders. There are so many things which are happening today that make people once again think about the great cost of war. Once again people protest in the streets. Once again people are thinking about the true cost of war. Once again mothers cry.

Today I offer to you something I wrote some time ago while thinking about a friend, a soldier who was no more than a boy. Yes a boy who lived all of his years before he was old enough to vote. I hope that in reading my words you find something here, perhaps a sweet memory recalled, that you can take away with you. Perhaps it will be something simple like a prayer for a world filled with peace and justice.

My Old Letter of Remembrance:

On a recent trip to the Capital one thing I found somewhat sad was the visit to "The Wall." Fifty Eight Thousand names, each one with a story and a mother. When you walk past, it seems so long. There are so many names that the names just seem to fade into a blur of meaninglessness and sorrow. To hear numbers is not fully appreciated until you walk the length of the wall and experience it. Of course it was my intention to find the one name that had any personal meaning to me.

When I found it, I just looked at it, touched it, stared at it for a long time, quietly, and remembered childhood. I remembered my hometown and the way it was then. But most importantly I remembered the only citizen from town honored on that long black wall. The one whose name my hand reached out to embrace.

I remembered the sadness of the entire neighborhood at hearing the news. I remembered a mother’s complexion as white as snow as she sat in front of that coffin. I remembered a thirteen year old boy who did not want to look down into that coffin beneath the glass as he attempted to hold back tears!

I write this these many years later still not fully grasping the depth of emotion caused by the event of war. Talking about waging war is easy when you don’t consider the consequence or the next long black granite wall. Perhaps that is what these verses are about! No, they are simply about Ray.

Of Flags, Gold Stars, and Broken Hearts

A verse from the song
Requiem for the Masses reads
“Red was the color of his blood flowing thin
Pallid White was the color of his lifeless skin
Blue was the color of the morning sky
He saw looking up from the ground where he died
It was the last thing ever seen by him”

Now many years afterward
As I reflect
On what it all meant
Now as I reflect
On what is left behind
A Sacrifice of Valor
Given in the Name of Freedom
One name among many
A name Etched in Black Granite
"The Wall"
A Silent Sentinel
And a Grateful Nation

As it was in 1968
So it is today and forever
A flag folded in a tight triangle
Three equal sides was it folded
Father, Son and Holy Ghost

A flag handed to a grieving mother
A flag to honor a Son
Measure the value
Cloth in place of Child

A Gold Star Shining Bright
A Gift to a Mother
From a Nation indebted
A Gold Star to honor a Mother
Measure the value
Gold in place of Child

A Nation of Mothers who have known grief
That Nation of Mothers
This shall always know such grief
For that Nation and that Mother are united
And that Honor shall be extended
To every Mothers Son
Until we all learn
The better way
The way of Peace

In Memoriam

Cpl. Raymond Frank Schopmann
4/39 Infantry
Born 09 November 1949
K.I.A. 26 March 1968
Gia Dinh Province
Vietnam


As the Sound of the Wind

On a Windswept dune Near the Sea
Silence is broken only by a gentle Whisper
It is the Sound of the Wind

Sun Upon my Face warms me
As I Stand and Gaze out to Sea
Far beyond the Breaking of the Waves

Remembering the Child that once played here
Wondering where the Child has gone
And asking why has He gone away

The empty Sound of the Wind fills this Place
Like a Whisper of Memory
Of a Friend a Child of long Ago

And as the Whisper of Wind
Beyond the Golden horizon Journeys
I remember those Days

Like a Gentle breeze a Whisper
As the Sound of the Wind
Of a Child by War taken Away

In Memoriam

Cpl. Raymond Frank Schopmann
4/39 Infantry
Born 09 November 1949
K.I.A. 26 March 1968
Gia Dinh Province
Vietnam
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Snake Oil Sam Plays Supreme Court Justice

Sometimes subjects come into the courts and into the news which capture my interest. And sometimes those subjects simply beg for my comment. As The Supreme Court of the United States of America is currently in the process of hearing such a case and since I am pro free speech I would have to say that this is a subject which fits that category of commentary value.

Just how far do our rights to offer a statement of belief extend and does anything outweigh or limit our individual rights? At the beginning of this article let me say that I believe that there are circumstances in which we are limited in speech. And this particular case is a perfect example of that limitation.

In this particular case a high school student in the State of Alaska held up a sign during a school sanctioned event, the viewing of the Olympic torch passing the school, containing the words “Bong Hits for Jesus” which is a rather vague and innocuous statement at best.

The schools administration deemed it as a reference to support for illicit drug use. The message is not of importance in this case so let’s not be distracted by what the message was. It could have just as easily expressed a message such as “I Love Mommy.”

An important point is that the school did not request or instruct any students to make such a sign. It was done without the knowledge or sanction of the school or its administration. Had the school requested that the students of this school make signs for the event then what was written would have been an issue of free speech since the school has no right to direct the conscience of the student. But it did not so therefore it is not an issue.

At best under such a set of circumstances the school would have been within its right to give the student a failing grade for being off point as it was an event about the Olympic games. But since no such signs were requested or sanctioned by the school then it is clear that no such free speech issue is raised.

As a matter of record this student did not report to school on the day of the event and was not on school property but rather on park property adjacent to the school at the time of the event.

Yet anyone who knew him, not being aware of his absence from class that day, would recognize him as a student of the school and associate his actions at that time with the school and he therefore became in part an ambassador of the school as are all students during such events.

Since he was among a crowd of students who were in attendance at class that day this student cannot hide from ambassadorship responsibility that day regardless of his truancy status. The law required that he be present at school that day and he was in fact in attendance albeit sans official documentation.

Do We Lose Our Right to Free Speech at Any Time?

With those issues at rest it is important to consider how students in school have limited right to free speech. When a student is a part of a school sanctioned event as has been determined here that student becomes obligated to act in conformity with set rules.

As long as those rules are a written code on file and available to all students and the public at large, for examination, and are written in accord to legal standards of conduct set forth by the community at large then they are binding upon all of the student body.

The school did not take anything away from the student since the student has the same rights of all American citizens when not under the control of the school during a set timeframe as dictated by the legal authorized school authority.

In addition the student always has the availability of the justice system which is established to protect those rights. So nothing was improperly denied this student or any other student.

In addition, the action of the school represented no physical harm to the student. If there was no set standard the end result of unabridged rights would be a potential argument that any student could simply refuse to go to school at any time. And it would be a reasonable argument.

There has to be a balance to free speech or else that right would result in absolute chaos. Just because a person has a right to freely express him or herself it is not an arbitrary license to say anything at anytime to anyone. This is an issue which applies not only to students in the setting of a classroom or school sanctioned activity.

It applies to the workplace as well. An individual in the conduct of company business is obligated to act as an ambassador of that business. If the employee is in disagreement with a limitation of speech then that individual has the right to leave the position.

And if an individual does things which cause a blemish on the reputation of the company during hours of employment then that company has the legal right to severe the individuals employment in accord with the terms of the rules of employment set forth in rules of conduct.

That is not to say that the employer has the right to tell the employee what he must say or believe but as it relates to employment the company has a right to regulate conduct on the job.

The same set of rules can be related to the conduct of a student while under the authority of the administration and authority of the school. If the student has a problem with the school policy then the student has the right to seek alternative education through private school or a home study curriculum.

It is therefore concluded that in the case being considered by The Supreme Court of the United States of America that the school district was within its legal right in the actions which it took on the day in question.

This court rules in favor of the school district. God save the court.

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thanks Home Depot for A Great Way to Steal

Well, I just went to Home Depot to get some stuff for a project. At checkout I was informed by the cashier that I did not need to sign for any credit card purchase under $50.00 which is a concern to me. I believe that it creates an unnecessary opportunity for anyone who gets a hold of your credit card to charge that amount to your card without any problems.

Why Home Depot would create this policy I don’t know? Does it really add that much time to the line for someone to sign their name on a screen? This is yet one more stupid policy of corporate America. I would be very uncomfortable giving my business to any company that does not do all that it can to protect my credit when related to its use at those companies stores.

If you feel the same way I do then I would suggest that you go to a
Home Depot Site Link and register your concern with them. I understand that other large companies are doing the same thing in regard to credit card use. This is clearly an issue of concern to anyone who uses credit cards.

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Monday, March 19, 2007

Top Secret

Would only that I had the time I would say much, however life is filled with peril, stress and anxiety of life. I am limited as to how much I blog as of late and for that I truly do apologize to my many loyal readers.

All that I can say now at this moment is that I have been spending countless hours on a super secret project. Now that it is finished I should have a little more time to blog. I can’t mention the subject of the project but can say that I was quite pleased with the finished product albeit ever so humble a work.

I wish all well. Stay safe and stay true to your beliefs. Let your life be dedicated to fairness and equality. All we have when day is done is a belief in something and a desire to see freedom ring.

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

What is wrong with America?

The other day I was at a store and got into a discussion with the cashier. She asked me if I knew any employer who needed a good phlebotomist. I asked her a simple question. If she were a qualified phlebotomist why was she working in a low paying cashier job?

Her response made my blood boil. She said that even though her last name has a Spanish sound she doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. Every time she goes for a job interview she is told that if she can’t speak Spanish then they can’t hire her since she is not qualified for the job.

Now I have nothing against Spanish speaking people, as a matter of fact it is one of the childhood languages of Mrs. Sam. But when has it become a requirement in the United States of America that one must speak Spanish in order to qualify for a job?

Wake up America!

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Is Fez Whatley a Basket Case?

Suddenly it seems to be clear why Fez has not been there for Ron Bennington and the boys as I have suggested in a past post. After hearing how much mental anguish Fez has been going through recently it makes me feel badly for him.

Apparently Fez is suffering from some sort of extreme psychological issue which may be related to his difficult childhood trauma. Growing up in his dysfunctional family might have sewn the seeds to his current issues.

Ron, being such a good friend is attempting to help his sidekick and girlfriend through counseling and hypnotic therapy. In addition to being of benefit to Fez it makes for a great radio bit. But if Fez truly wants to get better he really needs to consider being put on a good non generic medication.

It is also important for Fez to remember that “Monkey house rocks a fat ass.” Fez is someone who needs to overcome his obsessive compulsive disorder and I know that he can do it. You have it in you Fez. Don’t let your mental condition get you down. I never let it bother me. You can be a total lunatic and still function in society.

Remember Fez, “Mighty horse rocks a fat ass.”

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007

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Monday, March 12, 2007

A Definition of Disappointment

Disappointment: Turning on 77 W.A.B.C. at about ten minutes before ten on a Friday night only to discover that the grand southern gentlemen Barry Farber was guest hosting and you missed the entire program.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

United Healthcare Takes One on the Chin in New Jersey

Well, it seems that it has been some time since I have been inspired to blog philosophic about anything. But after reading something which I had been informed about a few days ago it has now made the Business Section of The Record of Hackensack so it must be true. Let’s talk about how life is becoming a real bitch for the bitches at United Healthcare.

I still maintain that if United Healthcare doesn’t stop the shit that they have been dishing up to the medical professionals who serve the healthcare needs of the community that United Healthcare is destined to find itself on the outside looking in. But that is on their shoulders. Let them figure that one out for themselves.

Quest Diagnostics has gone to the New Jersey State Legislature seeking a positive solution for the current crises which is being created by some filthy rats who think that United Healthcare is the be-all-and–end-all of the medical community. Their arrogance in thinking that they can issue a fine in any dollar amount to any medical practitioner is being met with stiff opposition in New Jersey.

Every other State Legislator throughout these United States worth his or her salt should follow in the footsteps of the New Jersey State Legislator and pick up this banner in protecting the rights of the medical community to decide whom they choose to utilize as a primary diagnostic services provider.

Such decision should not ever be left to the whim of some “mafia life” big wig to play with such an important industry as if it were an unrepentant child’s toy. I only wish that I had become a doctor so that I could have the opportunity to spit in the eye of the executives of United Healthcare for their now failing attempt to strong arm the entire medical community.

It is the medical professional who is responsible for the health and welfare of the people. The only purpose served by the executives at certain power hungry health maintenance organizations is to sit at a desk looking at piles of money while masturbating. Those executives serve no other purpose in life. Such greedy individuals are leeches and blight on the community.

That being said I would like to take a moment to address an issue which was touched on in the newspaper article referred to above. As reported it seems that the matter of Quest Diagnostics no longer being the in network provider to United Healthcare as that contract is now the venue of Laboratory Corporation of America has had a significant and lasting effect on the price of stock of Quest Diagnostics.

The price of the stock of Quest Diagnostics [DGX] as that article stated the drop in price of 18% in one day and has not since then recovered. All that I can say to that is Quest Diagnostics C.E.O. Surya Mohapatra and his highly qualified executive team is in the process of expanding the company on an international level in the fashion of the recent HemoCue accusation.

By way of identification and investing in advancements in cutting edge technology and global insights in the field of medicine and information technology Quest Diagnostics is intent on becoming a $10,000,000,000.00 (that’s ten billion) company in the next few years. I believe that the target date I had read about regarding that issue was 2010.

So, since it seems that investors still haven’t gotten the message I just want to set the record right. That message is that the United Healthcare issue, though disappointing, is not all that big of a deal. It is nothing more than a speed bump in the road. It is a speed bump which, as you now know, has now been made a little lower in New Jersey. Hopefully the rest of the States will follow the lead of New Jersey.

The entire Quest Diagnostics community has pulled together in the usual family fashion in order to keep the company strong. With the current leadership team in place and a highly motivated and dedicated workforce within a company that is strategically positioned throughout the marketplace one would have to wonder why this companies stock is so undervalued.

It should not be long until the message gets out that the stock listed as DGX is the shining city on the mountaintop. So it would seem that if you have a few bucks laying around collecting dust that you should pick it up and just close you eyes, click the heels of the ruby red slippers together and repeat after me, “there’s no place like DGX, there’s no place like DGX, there’s no place like DGX.” Now go invest in DGX.

And before you know it you’ll be back in Kansas Dorothy.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Supplement: One of the problems with desktop publishing is that in a rush to rant one sometimes tends to get things said in personal conversation confused with facts. Such is the case with this article. I must admit that I misspoke when making reference to the New Jersey State Legislature.

After reading Bruce Friedman’s article at
Lab Soft News and re-reading the article in The Record I see that the issue was in fact addressed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Still, as it is the controlling agency in this matter it still represents a significant blow to the attempt by United Healthcare to strong-arm a very important industry.

I hope that agencies in all states follow the lead of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hot Wired

The internet is a fascinating place of discovery, information and maybe even power. I recently wrote an article on the subject of the outcome of a “wrongful birth” lawsuit in which Laboratory Corporation of America was a defendant. Because of a simple comment on a financial message board this blog was hammered with hits from across the U.S. from a link back to this blog from that message board.

The question asked about the court case in that financial message board post was something on the order of “when was the case heard in court?” All that I can say is that it was heard just prior to the date of my original article about the subject of the court award against Lab Corporation of America.

What I really find mind blowing is that anyone who is interested in Wall Street, you know the guys who just took it on the chin, are interested in what I have to say about this or anything for that matter. After all, I am just a small town snake oil salesman.

Could it be that old Snake has the juice on Wall Street? Could it be that old Snake could possibly with the use of words affect the value of the stock of either Quest Diagnostics or Lab Corporation of America? Are stock market investors making buy and sell orders after reading my humble little blog? Wow, now that is a somewhat disturbing thought.

Smile the next time you see me folks. I got the juice!
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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A Bridge Is a Nice Gift

Have you ever had a difficult time finding the perfect gift for the man or woman in you life? Well if you have then I have the perfect gift for the man or woman who has everything. A bridge! That’s right a bridge. Sure it is a little old and could use a fresh coat of paint, but the price is really a bargain. Actually it is free to anyone willing to move it from the current location.

And if that seems like too much work then the current owner, PennDot, will permit you to leave it at the current location which is above the Upper Delaware River at Pond Eddy, New York.

In either event, whether you move the bridge to a new location, or keep it where it is you must agree to be responsible for any costs associated with the rehabilitation and future maintenance of the structure.

The bridge is a familiar landmark to those who travel North and South on scenic route 97 along the Upper Delaware River in Sullivan County New York. This bridge is on the Federal Register of Historic Places so you can be sure that it not just some old insignificant bridge.

As an added incentive to anyone wanting the bridge, PennDot, with the help of the Federal Highway Administration, will pay for dismantling the structure if the new owner wishes to move the bridge to another more suitable location.

I would consider taking it for myself but Mrs. Sam is always complaining about all the stuff that I drag home already. You know one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. So, if I bring a full size 30 ton steel bridge home I know that she is going to have a few choice words.

Since I am writing this article on March 1, 2007 it occurs to me that this is the day that United Healthcare has threatened to begin to fine doctors who send lab work out of network. What does this have to do with a bridge?

Well, since if they do in fact fine doctors in the way that they have said that they will, then United Healthcare is going to need to build a bridge back to all of the medical professionals who jump ship.

This free bridge could be a perfect opportunity for United Healthcare to get a leg up on the bridge building. This bridge is already good to go and sturdy enough to support all of the doctors who are going to walk away from United Healthcare when they receive the penalty notices in the mail.

So if anyone of the executives at United Healthcare or anyone else reading this blog is interested in obtaining this free bridge I here and now advise you to contact PennDot District Environmental Manager Gregory Augustine at 570-963-4070 in order to get the ball rolling.

Don’t wait, a sweet deal like this doesn’t come along every day and it won’t be long before some lucky person or group will be able to hold their head up high and declare that they are the proud new owners of the
historic Pond Eddy Bridge.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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