Friday, January 25, 2008

This is how sick Americans get help? ...

A bus rolls into town (Partnership for Prescription Assistance, sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry). The sick must go to downtown (not a good place to park for those with vehicles, but not bad for buses depending on how far away the sick person in need of meds lives). They must be there between 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. They must know they names of the medicines they need and their insurance status (oh, my).
Staffers use computers to quickly sift through 475 patient-assistance programs to find possible matches for patients, who answer about a dozen questions, including age and income.
What these people get is a match up of 'eligibility criteria.' Hallelujah!

Next they actually have to see if the wonderfully bloated pharmaceutical industry will give them some charity.

This is how we take care of the sick and needy, when we feel like it, in the country with the 'best medical care in the world.'

Last week I got an itching rash on face and neck. I got into the doctor the day I called (only because I've recently changed doctors because it was impossible to ever see my former choice of doctors and then when one did get an appoint one still hardly saw her except in passing). The itching was 'driving me crazy.' I can just see myself going downtown on a bus (I wouldn't have been able to manage parking, etc while climbing the proverbial wall) to get a match up for medications. If I hadn't had health insurance I would have been in the emergency ward, it was that bad.

Sorry if I can't get that excited at this latest example of corporate largess. What a waste we make of our resources. [But it's nice that the people driving the bus and managing the operation have jobs.]

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

So please understand, in all ways, that the greatest tragedy of global warming, this very serious and urgent climate crisis, is inaction. Is a belief in human powerlessness in the face of a problem we ourselves had the power to create. Is the blinkered moronicity that allows leaders to make decisions exactly as if money were edible. Is the trap within which the public is caught that makes it difficult to have the time and resources to do more than buy what they're offered and try to chill out a little bit every evening by the flickering glow of reality television.

And in that frustration, there's the seed of hope. We did this to ourselves. We can't change the inexorable laws of physics that are destabilizing our weather. Yet we can change each other's minds and willingness to act, we can help each other find the way out.

Apparently Zakaria and his editors at Newsweek have some difficulty with basic constructs of logic. ... that's putting it mildly.
Jackals all ...
In other words, a Clinton administration official and the entire top level of the Bush administration blew the cover of a CIA operation.

Grossman is alleged to have blown it for his corporate clients, while the Bush administration did it for a lot less: retribution, retaliation, politics. But since Grossman stayed on after the Clinton administration, he was clearly given the "loyal Bushie" test and seemingly passed.

Why is the media so alarmed that the Democratic Party is bringing out so many voters who aren't white males?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Talk about the simple minded ...

If one takes the NSF, Clear Channel and Karson Productions at face value one might just believe that divorce causes global warming.
A study at Michigan State University shows that rising divorce rates have a negative impact on the environment due to increased levels of energy and utility consumption.

Credit: NSF/Clear Channel Communications/Karson Productions
If divorce does cause increased energy consumption then marriage (which is still very popular I understand) reduces energy consumption. Cohabitation (also quite popular) would also reduce energy consumption.

The extended family should reduce energy consumption while the 2 adults + 2 kiddies model would increase the use of energy.

I won't even mention that population growth has an effect on energy consumption.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

If I were younger I think I would move to a state ...

... that is not growing by leaps and bounds.

The following is a missive from the Arizona Democratic Party:

Managing explosive growth will be one of the most important chapters in the "Story of Arizona," Governor Janet Napolitano told us in her State of the State Address on Monday.

In anticipation of the doubling of our state's population in the next few decades, we have made enormous strides in the past five years, the Governor said.

"We've added 652 new lane miles of freeway, and secured hundreds of millions more dollars for transportation projects. We've implemented a forest health strategy, created our first-ever statewide drought and water conservation plan, and worked to prevent wildfires. We passed the most significant air-quality legislation in a decade. And just last month, we signed an historic agreement among the Basin States to manage Colorado River water."

Growth will continue to challenge us all, and the Governor proposed strategic initiatives to protect our resources while building the critical infrastructure to eliminate the "time tax." She said we should:

  • Invest in rail transit, including a Tucson-to-Phoenix line;
  • Build on our water conservation efforts;
  • Send voters a statewide transportation plan to approve in 2008 or 2009;
  • Send voters a plan for state trust land reform to approve in 2008;
  • Enact an energy and climate change bill that would move Arizona's conservation efforts forward in the following ways:
    • Require utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources;
    • Require that 10 percent of fuel sold in Arizona is low in carbon emissions;
    • Implement statewide energy conservation standards for new construction, replacing the patchwork of local rules that exists now;
    • Implement new energy efficiency standards for appliances and new standards to reduce emissions of diesel exhaust.

    Growth creates opportunities, and as we grow together, we must work to grow smart at every level of government. Please voice your support for the Governor's growth proposals by writing a letter to the editor, or by writing to your state legislators to ask them for their support, too.

    For more information about Governor Napolitano's State of the State Address, or a copy of the speech, please visit

    Please note that I have no quarrel with Janet Napolitano. I doubt, even if she was so inclined, that she could change the 'growth' mentality in the state of Arizona and she is probably a better manager than any Republican we have in the state. Still I am very sad about where Arizona is taking itself. It's a beautiful state but will not be so in a few decades if the signs are correct.

    We, they or whomever is going to do to Arizona what was done to California. I don't know this because I thought ahead and tried to stop it. I know this because I've lived and participated in it. Even benefited from it. Nothing (not hippies, not Edward Abbey, not global warming) will stop humans from fowling their own nest in the name of growth, economy, wealth and opportunity. Nothing until the last shoe drops, that is.

    Have a good day!

    Yesterday's QUOTES ...

    What you can glean from these events, in fact the only data, is what the two candidates are actually saying, and I wish that reporters would stick to that.

    Out of all the horrible media elements to be found in New Hampshire easily one of the worst is this sickening arrogance among American “journalists” that they are the arbiters of success, they are in control of who wins. Voters? Har, what the hell is this, a Democracy?
    Why does Obama want to sound like a wrong-headed Republican? ...

    The takeoff, both in productivity and in optimism, came only around 1995. I’m not giving Clinton credit for that takeoff; the truth is that we don’t know why it happened. But it definitely didn’t happen on Reagan’s watch.

    I understand why conservatives want to backdate the good things that happened in the 90s, and pretend they happened in the Reagan years. But why is Obama playing along?

    If he [Obama] wants to change the trajectory as Reagan did then he should take a page from his political strategy instead of his rhetoric, stop praising him and bury conservatism instead.
    Kos bamboozled ... Markos unfortunately confused message discipline with ideas. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Democrats have been the party of ideas, the Republicans have been the party of propaganda. That has not changed much in a long long time.

    Saturday, January 19, 2008

    Yesterday's QUOTES ...

    ... as we saw over the last few weeks, the Pentagon correspondents laundered propaganda, which was then used by the White House to launder rhetoric through the White House press corps.
    And the beat goes on ...
    EMINENT DOMAIN LAWSUITS, WASTE OF TIME? ... Republican governing at it's best!
    This sentencing was particularly interesting:

    ” …. and to access adjacent lands; including the right to trim or remove any vegetative or structural obstacles that interfere with said work; … “

    For you people out east and west of Nogales, you had better hope your home is not interfering with the government’s project. demonstrated that, at least regarding Clinton, [Obama's] knee-jerk reaction was not to work with her and "transcend differences."
    I'm starting to worry about the danger of McCain, who many people who ought to know better still don't realize is just a war-mongering right-wing crackpot. (whose "objections" to torture don't extend to actually voting against it.)
    Blindly protecting the border ... But this situation really goes a long way to demonstrating my strongest criticism of border enforcement. You can hire all the U.S. Border Patrol agents you want but if you don’t have the intelligence agencies to bring in valid information, it’s a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.

    The DEA, the FBI and ATF are all in the middle of a hiring freeze. ...

    [...] The result is something like a blind giant – heavy on the muscle, manpower, and weapons, but little idea what’s happening south of the line, and sometimes little idea what’s happening to the north.

    The meanings of 'change' ... Democrats are being asked whether they believe in party, in which case they should be for Hillary, if they believe in power they should be for Edwards and if they believe in personality, they should vote for Obama.
    As Bill Buckley admits, it's not just the "stupid" buyer that regulations are supposed to watch out for -- it's all the rest of us since we live in the town where the kids are playing with matches. ... The Robber Barons made their money and increased their power. The rest, including the giant globe we live on, is expendable.
    Media Mess ... It's as if a pack of hyenas were crossbred with the characters in Mean Girls and then sent out to play at journalism.

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

    The emissions thing?

    The emissions thing? The health thing? The global warming thing? Texans like leading the country in everything, even pollution.

    They really do make them tough in Texas.

    OK, I've had it ...

    I keep trying to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. But comparing President Clinton to President Reagan making it 'sound' like Reagan was the more impressive of the two is cowardly, manipulative or insane. And I don't think Obama is insane.

    Here are the excuses for Obama's perverse behavior:
    Obama: Reagan Changed Direction Of Country In Way Bill Clinton Didn't by Greg Sargent

    Leading The Village By Their Collective Snouts by tristero
    President Clinton was a competent President. Reagan was a disaster. We have to break this mold that suggests that in order to be elected Democrats must to sound like Republicans. President Clinton went to close to that divide and Obama is carrying it even further.

    This is NOT what the Democratic Party needs. Edwards and Hillary have demonstrated that they are not cowards in this regard. But Obama is cowardly (or by conviction) heading into the Republican camp. Really, a Lieberman with a personality can do even more damage to Democrats. This is not what we need.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    Edwards, Obama, Clinton ...

    Blog for Arizona links to this cartoon which capsulizes my concern about Obama's stated 'make nice' philosophy. Obama is not always that 'nice' to his opponents. To me it seems that people who espouse this approach often use it selectively as a way to avoid handling critical problems often to the detriment of the very people who were depending on them.

    Make nice isn't my approach to life and personality cults make me very uncomfortable. Fairness, competence and accountability are more appealing to me. Right now we have none of these working for us in the US government. I'm not sure just adding 'make nice' to the mess we are in will amount to much.

    Obama and Clinton appear to have cleaned up their who's-the-racist act so Obama, who appeared to be campaigning like a Republican against one of his own party, is not currently on my 'will not vote for' list.

    Since the title of the post mentions Edwards I'll add that I started out prefering him. Now it's between Edwards and Clinton and I'm not sure which would be best. I just don't think Obama is the best of the three. I'd prefer he stay in the Senate and try again in 8 years. We should be able to understand him better by then.

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Obama is too Liebermanesque for me ...

    Eriposte writes:
    The bottom line is that it is not acceptable to falsely accuse patriotic Americans who have fought very hard for minorities and African-Americans through their lives, of being racists. Moreover, when prominent people make false charges of racism, they severely undermine the civil rights movement and those who are fighting to reverse racism in American society.
    Unlike Eriposte I am NOT convinced that Sen. Obama is NOT
    a ... bigot, somewhat racist and someone who likes to repeatedly and falsely smear other people as being racists.
    Obama is using Republican character assassination tactics within the Democratic Party. He's taking some of Hilary's strengths and twisting and lying in such a way to make the opposite seem the case. And he does not hold his people accountable for their actions and statements (where have we seen this management style before?).

    I will NOT vote for Obama if he is the nominee no matter what unless he immediately changes this behavior. A Liebermanesque as president will not be an improvement. It will just succeed in bringing the Democrats down to the Republican level.

    UPDATE: Obama, Clinton take a detour to the high road
    OK, good, keep it up and really impress us!

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    A geological whodunit ...

    Or perhaps it's a case of 'how did it happen?' Follow the complicated tale in:
    The river that raised a mountain

    Saturday, January 12, 2008

    Logical progression ...

    Start a war against an unstoppable demand and what do you get? A war than can never be 'won.'

    The US had the sense (or good luck) to back off prohibition. But the country we live in now gleefully elected President Cuckoo Bananas (albeit with the underhanded assistance and protection of the 'press' not to mention the anointing made by Los Supremos); doesn't have the capacity to accept that hemp is not the same thing as marijuana; and is doing everything in its power (quite successfully too) to exponentially ratchet up the violence and devastation of the War on Drugs.
    ... a terrifyingly common crime in Latin America has moved across the border into the United States: Criminals and their family members are being kidnapped by fellow criminals and held for six-figure ransoms.

    [For Arizona-Mexico border reporting read the Border Reporter]
    It's not that we in the US don't deserve to share some of the problems we have caused in other countries. It's that none of these problems had to happen at all.

    Why can't we learn? Why can't we stop ourselves? Certainly the US is contributing to the evidence demonstrating that Homo sapiens are not very sapient after all ...

    Tuesday, January 8, 2008

    The Fashion Taser -- the jokes on us ...

    Taser International's newest weapons for the public will come in leopard print and fit in a holster with an embedded MP3 player ...
    I am not adverse to ordinary citizens owning Tasers.

    However, since there is this absurd notion, despite examples to the contrary, that tasering someone is no more than a big joke [all the more so because it hurts a lot and usually doesn't kill] it's possible that the public will use Tasers with much more frequency than they use firearms. After all, the police have provided such a fine example [after example, after example] of how the Taser can be used just to shut someone up because they are annoying you.

    Most people know firearms are a serious business. But Tasers? They appear to have become a joke! How long they will remain so if quarreling boyfriends, girlfriends, brothers, sisters and the like start getting frequently zapped remains to be seen.

    Ethics ... an affair of caprice?

    Monday, January 7, 2008

    The perils of hiking in Arizona ...

    The 61 hikers were transported by helicopter after water covered multiple bridges in [Sabino] canyon, making them unsafe to cross ...
    In Arizona 'surprise' flooding is common. Rain 'uphill' can, and does, flood completely dry areas 'downhill.' Just because you haven't seen anything like rain doesn't mean that that bone dry river bed won't have a wall o' water coming down it the next time you look.

    If you can stand sour, complaining, irritating and the polar opposite of simpatico people read the comments to the above Arizona Daily Star article.

    A campaign against Katrina victims? ...

    This article in the Tucson Citizen could give one that impression:
    Katrina victims' claims reflect sky-high hopes, USA TODAY
    A one sided article attributing much greed to Katrina survivors. Wonder how greedy all those people BushCo stored in poisoned trailers are? The one's that aren't too sick to function, that is.