Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Kudos to our mayor and city council for standing up to the relentless and endless pursuit of their goals by the group “against everything.” This group does not represent the majority of us and my sympathies to the mayor and city council who must listen to them meeting after meeting.
What is government for? Government is how we live; it regulates, taxes and protects us. It is to be happy in. How else can we live but with government?
Ah, answering that question comes Big Business with their politicians running over the earth with their guns and machinery in pursuit of power and profit.
The structure of this poem is borrowed from the poem “Days,” by Philip Larkin, an early 20th Century American poet.
Regarding the letter from Anne Vance, “Looking for the good,” challenging a letter-writer to “list one (presidential) failure” (June 27) — Here are just a few:
Failure: To uphold the “Oath of Office,” i.e., upholding the Constitution and the laws of this country. Examples: By presidential edict, has overridden laws passed by Congress by choosing not to enforce laws he does not agree with; ignoring Supreme Court rulings re Arizona immigration law by refusing to cooperate with Arizona law enforcement.
Failure: To be “open and transparent” as promised in campaign messages. Examples: Much info about this president has been sealed from public scrutiny; writing ObamaCare behind closed doors with no conservative input; providing funds for campaign financers for failed green energy businesses and facilitating rules that benefit other green energy campaign supporters.
Failure: To be an ambassador for our country. Example: Going around the world apologizing for American arrogance without once acknowledging the possibly millions of Americans who have given their lives while fighting for freedom for all mankind without asking for a square inch of foreign soil in exchange.
Failure: To fix this economy. Example: He said that if he was given the stimulus money, unemployment would not go over 8 percent. It went to 9 percent, and is still over 8 percent; and there are very few indicators that this economy is recovering.
Failure: To fulfill the U.S. role as a world leader. Examples: Not standing by our longtime Middle East ally Israel; not knowing “what to do”! He intervened in Libya, but not in Egypt, and not in Syria. Putin, Iran, Venezuela, et al, are laughing at our weakness.
Failure: To unite this country. Example: Every time there is an alleged white-on-black offense, the president is at the podium excoriating the supposed violators well before an investigation has even begun.
There is a lot more. Check out Judicialwatch.org for info about political corruption in both parties.
Healthcare law falls short
This week the Supreme Court largely upheld Obama’s 2010 healthcare legislation, the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA). This will provide many significant improvements, include a ban on refusing coverage for pre-existing conditions, required coverage of (limited) basic primary care and extension of coverage of adult children under parental insurance up until age 26.
However, the provision to make the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA optional at the state level represents a death blow to the hope of ending the crisis of un-insurance in the United States.
The improvements above are real, but the ACA remains inadequate. It categorically excludes millions of undocumented persons, and will still leave over 25 million Americans uninsured when fully implemented.
The private insurance industry will continue to rake in profits and pay CEOs obscenely, while insured families will still pay progressively more for progressively less. Continuing high out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc.) will lead to more self-rationing of care, expensive delayed care, and medical bankruptcies.
The ACA creates no effective mechanism for shifting care priorities to health promotion, primary care and prevention, nor for reforming perverse incentives in provider compensation. It perpetuates massive avoidable administrative waste and fragmentation of the system.
Meanwhile, Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA itself remain under political attack.
Ultimately, the ACA fails to resolve our two main crises in health care: access and costs. Having the ACA is far better than not having it, and I am pleased that it passed. However, only a truly universal, publicly-funded system that guarantees health care to everyone living in the United States will effectively address both access and cost.
To learn more about Gorge Health Care for All visit www.gorgehcfa.org.
My thanks to our library for making me recognize how hard it really is to define pornography, but fairly easy for most of us to know it when we see it.
So, let’s let a majority of the elected library board decide it for the library’s computers, magazines and picture books. Anybody who disagrees can always start a recall movement against those highly paid positions — or go buy the item for herself or himself.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge