- Rainfall Totals
- New Laws
- Jerry's Willing
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Helping Homeless
- Better Warning
- The Wall
- Societal Suicide
- Sacred World
- Current Affairs
- Gyrating Market
- Wyoming Train
- Canadian Healthcare
- Yosemite Moon
- Trickle Up
RAINFALL TOTALS FOR DECEMBER: Boonville 3.72 inches, Yorkville 5.8. That brings their respective totals for the 2018-19 rain year (October through September) up to 10.47 (Boonville) and 13.32 (Yorkville). Typically, the next two months are when this region receives the most rain. The forecast for New Year's week...
"Dry weather with cold morning temperatures are expected through mid week. Overnight temperatures will moderate toward the end of the week as clouds increase and a chance of rain returns to the northern portion of the forecast area." (National Weather Service)
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME NEW LAWS?
by Jim Shields
Sacramento lawmakers certainly made a lot of new laws this year, sending the most bills to the governor’s office in more than a decade.
In all, legislators sent 1,217 bills for Gov. Jerry Brown to mull over. He ended up signing 1,016 into law that will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
If my Political Science degree is still working, I believe that for at least the past decade California averages about 900 new laws every year. That means 9,000 laws have hit the statutory books in those 10 years. That’s probably 8,500 too many new laws. What is needed is a new law that mandates before any new law can be signed by the governor, an old law must be repealed, a straight-up one-for-one swap.
Another thing I’ve always said is I never get upset or outraged when politicians are on extended vacations, or off on a taxpayer-funded world-wide tour, AKA boondoggle, or just missing in action because they don’t have the time to tend to their elected responsibilities. It’s well worth whatever amount of tax dollars they’re scooping out of the hog trough because while they’re away from the people’s chambers, they can’t cause much harm, mischief, grief, and other assorted monkey business such as drafting unnecessary, pointless, and in many instances, inane new legislation.
Anyway, here are some of more noteworthy new laws ranging from a PC-generated “Gender X” sexual identity to socially engineered “Beverages For Children.” I’ve compiled these summaries from the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, other published reports, and my own renderings.
Here are a few of the changes due to new laws that the California Department of Motor Vehicles may include in your next driver’s license examination.
AB 516, Temporary Paper Plates: Authorized California dealers must place a paper plate with a number and expiration date on every vehicle they sell, whether new or used. The objective is to reduce the number of offenders passing through payment booths and improve road safety.
SB 179, Gender Identity: With this new law, people who apply for a license or identity card will have the option to select their own gender, which includes the categories for female, male or non-binary. Those who choose the “No binary” option will receive a card with an “X” gender category.
SB 1046, Breathalyzer on Engine Start (Between Jan. 1, 2019 and 2026), repeat offenders for DUI or those who receive a first DUI offense and have caused injuries, must install a breathalyzer on the engine ignition (IID) for a period of 12 to 48 months. These regulations apply to DUI infractions involving alcohol consumption or the combined use of alcohol and drugs.
AB 1274, Verification of Polluting Emissions: The exemption from smog verification for vehicles that have been purchased new will extend from six to eight years. During the two years of this exemption, the vehicle owner will not have to do the smog check but pay $25. The charge of $20 during the first six years of exemption to verify smog will continue.
AB 2685, Driving Privileges for Minors: Courts will no longer be able to suspend, restrict or delay issuing a minor’s driver’s license for one year for truancy or for being under the guardianship of the state. Suspensions or delays reported to the DMV prior to Jan. 1, 2019 will remain in effect.
AB 2989, Motorized Scooters: People over 18 years old will no longer need to use a bicycle helmet to use a motorized scooter. This law also amends existing law that prohibits a person from using a motorized scooter on a highway that has a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour, unless it is on a special Class IV bikeway as well as Class II.
AB 1925, Unsafe or Unattached Loads on Vehicles: The DMV must include at least one question on 20 percent of knowledge tests (written exams) on traffic laws about California’s unsecured load code. The purpose is, in part, an effort to verify that applicants understand that abandoning or dumping any animal is a criminal offense.
AB 544, Decals for Low Emission Vehicles: The green and white decals for the circulation of low emission vehicles in collective transport lanes (HOV) will be valid until Jan. 1, 2019. The DMV created a new sticker program to allow certain low-polluting vehicles to travel in HOV lanes regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle for a period of four years. Vehicles that have received a green or white decal between Jan. 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018 will be eligible to request a red decal and will give them access to the HOV lanes until Jan. 1, 2022. The DMV will also issue light violet color decals in 2019 that will grant access to the HOV lanes until Jan. 1, 2023.
AB 2115), Passing Waste Service Vehicles: Driver approaching a waste collection truck with its amber lights flashing must move into an adjacent lane, if possible, and pass at a safe distance. If you can’t change lanes, slow to a safe and reasonable speed. It’s part of an effort to protect sanitation workers.
Employment and Employee Relations
SB 3, Minimum Wage Increase: Workers in companies with 25 or fewer employees will have a salary increase of $10.50 to $11. At companies with more than 25 employees, the increase will be $11 to $12. This law was approved in 2016 and will continue until the minimum wage reaches $15.
AB 1066, Overtime for Agricultural Workers: Under AB 1066, agricultural workers will receive an overtime payment in their salaries. This regulation will slowly increase the wages for extra hours for agricultural employees over a period of four years. Changes begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for employers who hire more than 25 employees.
SB 946, Street Vendors: The law, passed in 2018, protects the activity of street vendors in the state and allows them to sell on the streets. However, under this measure, local authorities will have the power to establish regulations based on aspects of health, safety and public welfare.
AB 2770, Protection Against Lawsuits in Cases of Harassment Complaints: This new law protects victims of sexual harassment and employers from being sued for defamation by the alleged harasser in cases of a complaint of sexual harassment and while the employer conducts your internal investigation.
SB 820, Confidentiality Agreements: This measure prohibits confidentiality agreements in cases of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination that are signed as of Jan. 1, 2019, unless the claimant requests the inclusion of the provision.
SB 1300, Waiver of Legal Claims: This workplace law prohibits employers from forcing new employees or those seeking raises to waive their right to file legal claims. However, employees could still waive those rights as part of an agreement, such as in cases for compensation packages.
AB 1976, Breastfeeding at Work: This legislation requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place for breastfeeding that is not a bathroom.
Health and the Environment
AB 1884, Straws at the Customer’s Request: California restaurants will only provide straws or plastic straws to customers who request it. Restaurants may receive fines if they do not comply with this legislation.
SB 1192, Beverages for Children: Restaurants in California may only serve water or milk without flavor in children’s meals that combine a food with a drink. Clients can order it if they wish.
AB 626, Home Cooking as a Microenterprise: Allows cities and counties to authorize and regulate the sale of home-made foods.
AB 485, Sale of Pets: Prohibits the sale of breeding dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and requires that these animals be obtained from animal shelters or rescue groups.
Public Safety and Law Enforcement
AB 2103, Shooting Proficiency: Whether or not to issue concealed weapons permits remains at the discretion of local sheriffs and police chiefs. But as of January, you will need to prove your proficiency in shooting and safe handling of your firearm if you want a license to carry it in public. The training requirement has also been raised to a minimum of eight hours.
AB 748, Police Transparency: Requires that the images of body cameras on police officers and any other audio recording acquired by a police agency be disclosed to the public. This must be done within 45 days after a police shooting or excessive force causes death or injury to a person.
SB 1421, Police Transparency: Allows public access to police records in cases of force, as well as investigations that confirmed the lack of honesty in the work or sexual misconduct.
SB 1391, Juvenile Justice: Requires that juveniles ages 14 and 15 accused of crimes be tried in the juvenile justice system instead of being prosecuted as adults.
SB 1200, Gun Control: Eliminates fees for requesting a Firearms Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) and adds ammunition and bullet drums to the list of items related to firearms that can be confiscated.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
ONE WAY OUT
They caught the illegal immigrant who killed the officer in Newman. He had a wife and a five month old boy. Jerry Brown is responsible for that. Him and his liberal administration. It's political murder. His sanctuary state has allowed another murder of a peace officer. You gotta be kidding me, man! When is enough going to be enough? This is crazy! It's not the way America should be. Liberal Democrats can't be allowed to run around with laws that are killing innocent people and law enforcement officers. Something's gotta be done. I'm willing to start if anyone will follow me. It's sick and it's got to be stopped. I praise the law enforcement people in Stanislaus County for doing such a good job. I only wish they would let me go down and give that guy a trial, a .22 hollowpoint right between the eyes. No trial.
Jerry Brown's sanctuary state provides protection for criminals coming here from other states who know they can be protected by Jerry Brown. It's like putting a wolf in a pack of sheep as far as our local communities go. Somebody better do something.
God bless Donald Trump, he’s trying.
PS. Now the Jerry Moonbeam Brown administration is trying to blame PG&E for the big fires. But we all know that it is environmentalists that caused the problem. Them and the Jerry Brown administration for not allowing PG&E to clear around the PG&E poles to solve the problem. They passed a bill to do that but Jerry Brown vetoed it. So he is a murderer, a political killer. There is so much evidence that the state has been lax on cutting grass alongside the roads because of environmentalists. PG&E is not letting grass grow by the highway or brush all over our roads and sidehills. PG&E is not preventing people from clearing around their houses because of some extinct bug or blade of grass. It's the environmentalists. And the Brown administration for allowing it to happen. It's a bunch of horseshit. It's high time something is done about it.
PPS. The sitting ducks in Mendocino County waiting to have a tragedy are the roads that run inland from Highway 1 like Simpson Lane, Oak Street, and all those lanes that run up there that are dead ends. No way out. Plus Brooktrails. That's another one, a hotspot which will have a terrible tragedy one day. There's only one way out. How stupid are these people?
THIS SOUND 'PROGRESSIVE' TO YOU? "Every two years, the CA Democrats elect 7 self-identified females and 7 other than self-identified females from each Assembly District in CA as delegates to the state party. Those who are elected will have a chance to vote for the new party chair and other leadership. The race is hotly contested and will determine how welcoming, grassroots-focused and innovative the party becomes or how beholden it will remain to big money interests."
KEY PHRASE HERE IS, "will have a chance." And, I guess, "self-identified females" means 7 transvestites trump "7 other than self-identified females," the whole of it adding up to more evidence that the Democrats, rather than represent everyday working people are furiously pedaling to keep up with the latest in sex fads.
* * *
JUDGE NADEL of the Mendo Superior Court is considering the odd case of the Anderson Valley Land Trust vs. CT Rowe of Peachland. Having read the Trust's complaints and CT's rebuttal, and being predisposed to CT's side of the dispute in the first place but trying mightily to put my bias aside, it seems clear that CT, and before him his mother, Briana, promptly met the Trust's claims that the Rowes were violating their agreement by getting into compliance. How this thing — essentially a beef between people who have known each other for years — got all the way into court is surprising, to me anyway. Check that: maybe it got all the way into court because the contending parties have known each other for years.
I REMEMBER BLOVIATING at the time the local Land Trust was formed that it was one more tax dodge for people fortunate enough to own tracts of Valley land, land heavily used for at least a century before the new gentry arrived with their lawyers, accountants, gentry-friendly tax laws and their smug assumption that it was all for preservation of the natural world as their pals in the wine industry simultaneously poisoned the land and erected signs claiming that their vineyards were "fish friendly" as the fish disappeared forever from the Navarro, not to mention the Valley's long gone frogs and much of its insect population. It remains unlikely that the less blessed will ever be invited to picnic on the "conservation easements" granted the gentry "in the public's interest," so it's no surprise here at Boonville's beloved weekly that the Trust would reach for the protection of the courts to run up an uppity member's legal bills. Hell, most of the judges, if not all of them, have their tidy little estates in land trusts.
* * *
IS HARD DOPE available in the bucolic Anderson Valley? Heroin no. Gotta go to Ukiah for that. Methamphetamine and the oxy drugs in pill form are expensive but can be had for a steep price. How do I know? Not being a consumer, I don't for sure, but I talk to people who do know and that's what they tell me. I also think that a lot of young people get sucked into harder drugs via the mythology that marijuana is harmless. Every single kid I've known, without exception, who started smoking dope as a young teenager wound up a mental cripple or straight up nuts as an adult. The only effective drug programs I've seen feature toothless addicts who plausibly warn the young, "Don't wind up like me." I also thought those scared straight programs that brought juvenile offenders face to face with prison lifers were effective, but objections from the candy ass lobby put an end to them on the grounds that the convicts were a little too real for the young. In Mendocino County, where dope is a way of life, and semi-legal with store front sales here and there, the confusion engendered in the young is understandable.
* * *
THE ANNUAL Women's March in Eureka, an overwhelmingly caucasoid town, has been cancelled because not enough women of color participated. The march had been scheduled for 19 January, but in lieu of the event organizers will discuss "a way to broaden cultural representation going forward."
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 30, 2018
DAVID BICKART, Los Angeles/Willits. DUI.
RYAN CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Community supervision violation.
MICHAEL DONAGHUE, Ukiah. Disposal of refuse in state waters, probation revocation.
FREDERICK FITCH, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
BOBBY GRAY, Ukiah. Placing pollutant near state waters, trespassing, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
JAMES OWENS, Boonville. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
JEFFREY WELLS, Novato/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ERIN WINKLER, Fort Bragg. Burglary, protective order violation, disobeying court order.
JONATHAN YOUNG, Trinity Center/Ukiah. Stolen property, disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
REACHING OUT TO THE HOMELESS, ONE PERSON AT A TIME
by Shirley MacQueen
Last week I was deeply moved by the Spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving, and helping others facing difficulty, loss and hardship in their lives.
I rode my bike from East San Rafael to Fifth Avenue and D Street to deliver a Christmas gift to my dentist and his staff with gratitude for the care they have given me over many years. On my way home I encountered a homeless young woman sitting alongside East Francisco Boulevard, neatly folding her clothes from a black plastic bag.
I was riding on the pavement, as that section of roadway is a hazard with heavy traffic and uneven paving. As I rode past, I startled the young woman who had not seen my approach, but I continued on my way until I felt an overwhelming need to apologize to her for my indifference.
I cycled back, dismounted and apologized. She smiled and cheerfully said, not a problem. I asked was she homeless? Yes. Did she have somewhere to sleep that night? No. Did she have family in Marin? Yes, Petaluma and Bolinas, but left because it was an abusive environment. This young woman was 25 years old, clean and presentable and conversant, and should never have reached this plight of being so vulnerable and exposed to a myriad of dangers on the street.
I reached into my jacket where I usually keep a $20 note with my ID, for an emergency. I had found one. To my disappointment it was only a $5 note as I had broken the $20 earlier on a small purchase. She was grateful nonetheless, and with a smile, told me her name. Despite her unfortunate situation, she was cheerful and I felt miserly. I wanted to do more.
I rode home, picked up a $20 note and filled my backpack with a possum merino wool hat, scarf, socks and healthy snacks and rode back, hoping she would still be there. She was, still neatly folding her few meager items of clothing. When I offered her the $20 to buy a decent meal that evening, she asked if I would like the $5 back. No way. In Marin that would barely cover a drink.
I stayed awhile, making light conversation, but in my heart wishing I could take her home to a warm shower, a bed and safe shelter. I am not in a position to offer this comfort but would do all I could to help her and others exposed to harsh winter weather, and the plight of being abandoned by families and society.
She mentioned she had sought shelter during the countywide Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (REST) program. Why was this canceled before another shelter was made available? I know of the Mill Street shelter, and that Homeward Bound is in the process of providing additional emergency shelter. Marin Square in my neighborhood has been mostly empty buildings for the past 5 years, with only several stores still in business. This empty space alone could provide temporary shelter for the homeless, and with plenty of parking space for a mobile shower unit, like the ones already in use in other cities.
We need to do something, not just talk and write about this deplorable situation in a high-income community.
As the Phil Collins song says, for most of us living here in Marin, it’s just “Another Day in Paradise,” but for those less fortunate who do not share our inherited or earned privileges, it’s just another day of abject misery and a struggle to stay alive.
Until the county and social services provide the care they should for those in need, let us as citizens living comfortably in Marin help just one homeless person at a time, one day at a time. At the very least, offer a kind word, which was my starting point that day.
We can do better than a stable. Let us continue to help this young woman and others find safety and shelter while they try, with the necessary support, to rebuild their lives.
(Shirley MacQueen, of San Rafael, commutes on her bicycle to work at the Kentfield Rehabilitation & Specialty Hospital.)
THE FIRE NEXT TIME: A GRIEVING DAUGHTER’S FORCEFUL CALL FOR BETTER WARNINGS
After the death of her mother in the Tubbs fire, Jessica Tunis helped to persuade lawmakers to improve the state’s emergency alert system. One official says she turned tragedy into a new law that will save thousands of lives.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Judging by what they say and do, a lot of people along the coasts, at least the ones that are the most “educated” and who pull the financial and governmental strings, are hell-bent on societal suicide. The trick is to disassociate these self-immolators from the rest and not let them destroy everyone else. I mean, what do you do when their societal motto seems to be “anything goes”? We know in our bones anything doesn’t bloody go, anybody that has had to earn a living and raise a family and care for old people knows better or should know better. You have to walk a line and do things right and hope that bad luck doesn’t run you over.
THE ANCIENT GREEKS did not think of themselves as possessing a ‘religion’. They acknowledged many gods, of many different kinds: from Olympian deities through river nymphs to abstractions such as Victory, Fortune, Fear and Rumour. They invoked these powers through a great variety of practices, including blood sacrifice, prayer, cursing, libation, oracular consultation and healing rituals. Their sacred world was so capacious that it happily welcomed new gods from elsewhere. But only rarely was this sprawl of gods, rituals and ideas understood as a unified field.
— Tim Whitmarsh
PURA VIDA NEW YEAR’S DANCE, DEC 31, MENDOCINO
Monday, December 31, 3 course meal served until 9pm, then dance dance dance in the New Year to LIVE Latin music with PURA VIDA! $20. pp at the door includes free Sparkling Wine at midnight. Garden Room at the Mendocino Hotel on Main St. In beautiful downtown Mendocino. LIVE music starts at 9 - hope you can join us!
The United States stock market is carrying volatility to unbelievable levels. Those who are scrambling to create some sort of edge that will give even the slightest bit more profit have created electronic systems that are still a mystery. These systems have unintended consequences because they are so sensitive. The result is wild gyrations. The experts have outfoxed themselves, and now this needs to be acknowledged and fixed before we all lose whatever is left.
"Behind the Post Office, Waitin' for His Monkey"
(Photo by Harvey Reading)
25 WAYS THE CANADIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS BETTER THAN OBAMACARE
by Ralph Nader
Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare. No health insurance system is without problems but Canadian-style single-payer — full Medicare for all — is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal.
In the early 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson enrolled 20 million elderly Americans into Medicare in six months. There were no websites. They did it with index cards!
Below please find 25 ways the Canadian health care system is better than the chaotic U.S. system.
Replace it with the much more efficient Medicare-for-all: everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital. It will produce far less anxiety, dread, and fear.
In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth – everybody in, nobody out.
In the United States, under Obamacare, 28 million Americans (9 percent) are still uninsured and 85 million Americans (26 percent) are underinsured.
In Canada, the health system is designed to put people, not profits, first.
In the United States, Obamacare has done little to curb insurance industry profits and in fact has increased the concentrated insurance industry’s massive profits.
In Canada, coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income – rich and poor are in the same system, the best guaranty of quality.
In the United States, under Obamacare, much still depends on your job or income. Lose your job or lose your income, and you might lose your existing health insurance or have to settle for lesser coverage.
In Canada, health care coverage stays with you for your entire life.
In the United States, under Obamacare, for tens of millions of Americans, health care coverage stays with you for as long as you can afford your insurance.
In Canada, you can freely choose your doctors and hospitals and keep them. There are no lists of “in-network” vendors and no extra hidden charges for going “out of network.”
In the United States, under Obamacare, the in-network list of places where you can get treated is shrinking – thus restricting freedom of choice – and if you want to go out of network, you pay dearly for it.
In Canada, the health care system is funded by income, sales and corporate taxes that, combined, are much lower than what Americans pay in insurance premiums directly and indirectly per employer.
In the United States, under Obamacare, for thousands of Americans, it’s pay or die – if you can’t pay, you die. That’s why many thousands will still die every year under Obamacare from lack of health insurance to get diagnosed and treated in time.
In Canada, there are no complex hospital or doctor bills. In fact, usually Canadians don’t even see a bill.
In the United States, under Obamacare, hospital and doctor bills are terribly complex, making it very difficult to discover the many costly overcharges or massive billing fraud.
In Canada, costs are controlled. Canada pays 10 percent of its GDP for its health care system, covering everyone.
In the United States, under Obamacare, costs continue to skyrocket. The U.S. currently pays 17.9 percent of its GDP and still doesn’t cover tens of millions of people.
In Canada, it is unheard of for anyone to go bankrupt due to health care costs.
In the United States, health-care-driven bankruptcy will continue to plague Americans.
In Canada, simplicity leads to major savings in administrative costs and overhead.
In the United States, under Obamacare, often staggering complexity leads to ratcheting up huge administrative costs and overhead.
In Canada, when you go to a doctor or hospital the first thing they ask you is: “What’s wrong?”
In the United States, the first thing they ask you is: “What kind of insurance do you have?”
In Canada, the government negotiates drug prices so they are more affordable.
In the United States, under Obamacare, Congress made it specifically illegal for the government to negotiate drug prices for volume purchases, so they remain unaffordable and skyrocketing.
In Canada, the government health care funds are not profitably diverted to the top one percent.
In the United States, under Obamacare, health care funds will continue to flow to the top. In 2017, the CEO of Aetna alone made a whopping $59 million.
In Canada, there are no required co-pays or deductibles in inscrutable contracts.
In the United States, under Obamacare, the deductibles and co-pays will continue to be unaffordable for many millions of Americans.
In Canada, the health care system contributes to social solidarity and national pride.
In the United States, Obamacare is divisive, with rich and poor in different systems and tens of millions left out or with sorely limited benefits.
In Canada, delays in health care are not due to the cost of insurance.
In the United States, under Obamacare, patients without health insurance or who are underinsured will continue to delay or forgo care and put their lives at risk.
In Canada, nobody dies due to lack of health insurance.
In the United States, tens of thousands of Americans will continue to die every year due to lack of health insurance and much higher prices for drugs, medical devices, and health care itself.
In Canada, health care on average costs half as much, per person, as in the United States. And in Canada, everyone is covered.
In the United States, a majority support Medicare-for-all.
In Canada, the tax payments to fund the health care system are modestly progressive – the lowest 20 percent pays 6 percent of income into the system while the highest 20 percent pays 8 percent.
In the United States, under Obamacare, the poor pay a larger share of their income for health care than the affluent.
In Canada, people use GoFundMe to start new businesses.
In the United States, fully one in three GoFundMe fundraisers are now to raise money to pay medical bills. Recently, one American was rejected for a heart transplant because she couldn’t afford the follow-up care. Her insurance company suggested she raise the money through GoFundMe.
In Canada, people avoid prison at all costs.
In the United States, some Americans commit minor crimes so that they can get to prison and get free health care.
In Canada, people look forward to the benefits of early retirement.
In the United States, people delay retirement to 65 to avoid being uninsured.
In Canada, Nobel Prize winners hold on to their medal and pass it down to their children and grandchildren.
In the United States, Nobel Prize winners sell their medals to pay for their medical bills.
Leon Lederman won a Nobel Prize in 1988 for his pioneering physics research. But in 2015, the physicist, who passed away in November 2018, sold his Nobel Prize medal for $765,000 to pay his mounting medical bills. According to a report in Vox, the University of Chicago professor began to suffer from memory loss in 2011, and died in an Idaho nursing home.
In Canada, the system is simple. You get a health care card when you are born. And you swipe it when you go to a doctor or hospital. End of story.
In the United States, Obamacare’s 2,500 pages plus regulations (the Canadian Medicare Bill was 13 pages) is so complex that then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said before passage “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
In Canada, the majority of citizens love their health care system.
In the United States, a growing majority of citizens, physicians, and nurses prefer the Canadian type system – Medicare-for-all, free choice of doctor and hospital, everybody in, nobody out and far less expensive.
For more information, see Single Payer Action.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
HALF DOME, Yosemite
(Photo by Ansel Adams)
YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE SOMETHING TO EAT and little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave.
— Billie Holliday
TRICKLE UP NOW
Dear Senator Harris,
We need to change to a system with sharing at the heart of it; that would allow for other positive democratic ideals to surface - social justice, tolerance, compassion; sharing of resources - food, water, land, wealth, knowledge, skills, ideas; sharing in the decisions and ideas that shape our lives.
No more a government that cares only about wealth and the wealthy. Here in the USA: 40 to 45 MILLION people are living in poverty! We are ranked 36th in the world in terms of access to clean water and sanitation! The statistics for the US are unbelievable for one of the world's wealthiest countries. [from Statement on Visit to the US by Prof. Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, who was invited to study poverty here by both Presidents Obama and Trump]
We must change our economic systems. Corporations are one of the most tyrannical systems ever invented. Control is at the top, where the majority of the wealth concentrates - the workers are expected to obey and be grateful they have work, while being paid a pittance compared to the pay at the top. This system wasn't so bad in the '60's when corporations at least thought it was good to be loyal to workers and treat them well. But that all changed in the '80's, when the focus became to maximize profits, to the detriment of all else, humans and nature. Since these huge corporations own the media as well, they make sure people know what they want them to know, and nothing else: people need to behave in ways that support the corporations, no longer "citizens" but "consumers"; and these huge corporate institutions now have tremendous influence over our government as well as the general population. When the system failed in 2008-09, banks, which had caused people to lose their money and their homes, were the ones bailed out!!! In Michigan we had people forced out of their homes, which were then destroyed, razed by bulldozers or Military war games, rather than let people stay in their homes! This is unconscionable, it is sick, but that's how Trickle Down economics works - or, rather, DOESN'T WORK. We are run by an unjust, unsustainable, environmentally destructive economic model.
We ask you to enforce the Anti-Trust/Monopoly laws, and to pass stronger ones so that we can no longer have eight people own more wealth than HALF the people in the world! We ask you to hold people in positions of power accountable, not let them all go "Scot-free", like Nancy "impeachment-is-off-the-table" Pelosi, and President Barrack "Let's-look-forward-not-backward" Obama. NO! That let Trump and his ilk know, "Hey we can do whatever we want and get away with it!" Bush/Cheney/ Rumsfeld/Rice, et al - they are all war criminals! Yet what was done about it? ZERO! The Democrats in power did absolutely nothing, and in fact cheated to get Clinton the nomination in 2016! Is this disheartening?? You'd better believe it!
We agree with the changes proposed by Bernie Sanders and "Berniecrats"! Trickle-UP economics! Social democracy!
Sincerely, Nancy MacLeod
PS: No more government that cares only about "protecting American interests" abroad. While there are people suffering anywhere in the world, we cannot be happy. Diplomacy and real help are what is needed - no more a government that attempts to solve problems in the world with bombs and violence!…or walls and prisons!