Privacy of Medical Records

Recently, I received in the mail a notification about a class action lawsuit regarding the prescription drug modafinil. Anyone who bought modafinil between 2006 and 2012 it is entitled to receive money from a settlement in the lawsuit. I have had a modafinil prescription for several years and, no doubt, I am entitled to participate in the settlement and receive some amount of money from it. I wonder, though, how they found out about my prescription. Medical records are supposed to be highly confidential. In many instances, it’s like pulling hen’s teeth when I want to get information from my own records. How did some lawyers I’ve never heard of get my name and address as a person who has bought modafinil? How did they do it without my knowledge? I suppose my modafinil prescription is now a matter of public record, since the lawyers involved in the settlement are no doubt required to file with the court a statement certifying that they gave notice of the settlement to a list of named people who were determined to have been modafinil users or purchasers. I’m not sure which is more unsettling, that I got overcharged for the drug, or that lawyers I don’t know were able to find out I used or bought a certain drug.

Happy Birthday Magna Carta

No, Magna Carta is not the melted rock that comes out of volcanoes, but it is a bedrock of Western society and a major ingredient in the documents that formed the foundation of the United States of America. If you don’t know what Magna Carta is, or even if you do know what it is, then go here and read. This year is its 800th birthday. It wouldn’t be a bad time to also read the documents our founding fathers crafted to form this nation (you know – Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights), and to ponder whether, and how far, our government has strayed from the guarantees they vested in the citizens of this nation. These documents are supposed to protect us from a government that has become too powerful for our own good. That rumbling you’ve been hearing in the background is our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves wondering when we’re going to notice. Liberals, of course, would be quick to point out that it wasn’t the citizens who made the King sign Magna Carta for the benefit the lower and middle classes but, rather, the barons for the benefit of the rich folks.


I stopped at the post office this morning to pick up mail. When I got out of the car, I noticed that the lanyard on the flagpole had apparently slipped and the US flag was on the ground. As I approached, at least six people looked at it and walked on by. When I got to it, I picked it up and hung it on the hook, went inside and told a postal employee about it. They immediately got somebody out to re-raise the flag.

The people who just walked past the flag on the ground really got to me. My thoughts turned from them to the people I’ve seen toss empty cups, hamburger wrappers, and other trash out the window of their car. Then I thought about the people I’ve seen kick trash on a sidewalk instead of picking it up and putting it in a trash container two or three feet away. Then I thought about, well, I’ll just say my mind didn’t run short of more examples along the same lines.

Ultimately, though, my thoughts turned to the founding fathers. I’ve often thought they must be turning over in their graves with what’s become of the government. But, this time, I thought they must be turning over in their graves with what’s become of the citizens they created this country for.

“The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.” – United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 (The Flag Code), §8.b.

Article about the Betsy Ross Flag. I haven’t personally verified the information, but you might find it interesting. I found it interesting to ponder the possibility that it might’ve been six-point stars rather than five-point, inasmuch as six-point stars now seem to be viewed by many people as a jewish symbol.