January 28, 2004

Bloggers and Davos ...

Bloggers inside, Davos secrets are out -- an excellent article in the International Herald Tribune.

09:01 AM in Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink

January 27, 2004

Health Care on Voter's Minds

In today's Washington Post, an interesting article about the voter's mind. For the New Hampshire voters, healthcare is the most important issue. In a national wide poll mentioned, the economy and healthcare top the list for most voters. The war on Iraq continuing to drop in the importance of many voters.

09:53 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

January 26, 2004

Candidates on Healthcare ...

The Portsmouth Herald has a good summary of the candidates healthcare ideas.

06:05 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

January 23, 2004

Daily News Observed - Healthcare & Legal News

Summary of news about healthcare and legal issues from a variety of sources.

HealthLeaders Daily News --
AP/Washington Post

AP/Washington Post

Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

USA Today

Kaiser First Edition - Early morning look at healthcare news
Sen. Kennedy To Propose Universal Health Care Plan Boston Globe

Kaiser Health Policy Watch
New York Times Examines Potential Impact of Proposed California
State Budget on Public Health, Uninsured

Public's Concern Over Cost of Health Care Grows, Survey Says

Physician Group Unveils Health Care Reform Proposal To Expand
Health Coverage to More U.S. Residents

FindLaw Daily Opinion Summaires - U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Nothing worth reporting today

Posted with ecto

08:15 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2003

Real State of the Union Address ...

I will gladly admit that I missed the "speech" choosing to read the entire speech today <http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/29/politics/29BTEX.html?pagewanted=print&position=top> for myself.

Having done that, here are my thoughts:

  1. Tax Cuts -- same old thing -- imbalanced and disporportional.

  2. Health Care -- I don't think the whole litigation line means much. I also wonder, so how is one supposed to pay for this "affordable" health care, perhaps from their dividend tax cut. What I read was, we are not getting serious about health care for all, just for those who have it. There is a "disconnect" when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are faced with a $210-million health budget shortfall and are forced to reduce the beds at the County-USC Medical Center <http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rancho29jan29.story>, which provides health services for those who have no medical coverage.
  3. Energy and the Environment -- what can be said here. What happened to electric-powered cars?
  4. Human Services -- as Mr. Bush said himself, "This is a nice start." Where is the real substance to providing compassion and help. I may have missed the section on making sure a single American child does not go hungry, or the discussion about violence in America. Maybe they are coming later in the speech.
  5. Combatting AIDS -- noble cause and worthy of consideration, however, how about domestic AIDS programs?
  6. Fighting Terrorism, Domestic Security and Disarming Iraq -- it seems worthy of putting all these together. My only comment is, it reads well.

So, if I look back at the speech, our major issues are the last items. Everything before "Fighting Terrorism, Domestic Security, and Disarming Iraq" we are doing well on, since we don't need the extensive discussion.

In the entire speech, Mr. Bush used 5,467 words, of which, 2,762 specifically dealt with this last issue. The President referenced "Al Qaeda" 8 times and specifically mentioned "Saddam Hussein" 19 times. So clearly, this is a national issue, given that the word "education" was mentioned only twice.

Well, from where I sit Mr. President, words don't lie. The state of your union is about Al Qaeda and Hussein -- roughly 50% I would say (2,762/5,467). This means that education is actually -- well -- not important, going fine or what?

I guess I'm still waiting for the true state of the union to be acknowledged by the President, because what I see and what he sees -- well they are miles apart.

01:24 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 28, 2003

State of the Union ...

Tonight is the State of the Union address -- and the "state" of our Union does concern me. I feel uneasy about the future and not sure what I can do about it. Jimmy Carter's words from his Nobel lecture come to mind, "I am not here as a public official, but as a citizen of a troubled world ..."

These are troubling times.

Our economy is troubling. State budgets are being cut, usually in the area of education and health-related expenses. Yet, our military budget is greater than the next fifteen countries combined. How do we justify this?.

Our gross national economy exceeds that of the three countries that follow us -- yet, hunger is growing in America. Healthcare for all -- is just a nice sounding phrase.

Again, I agree with Jimmy Carter's words:

"... instead of entering a millennium of peace, the world is now, in many ways, a more dangerous place. The great ease of travel and communication has not been matched by equal understanding and mutual respect."

In our post-911 society, it seems our sense of peace has given way to fear and distrust. Our fears have allowed our personal liberties to be reduced. Our fears have allowed us to dehumanize those who we don't trust.

I don't think I will ever understand two things: that evil does exist and unfortunate events happen to nice people.

Evil continues to exist in our world. It will most certainly always exist, but, that doesn't give us the right to commit evil acts in return.

Likewise, unfortunate events happen to people we know all the time. We don't know why and we cannot do anything about it. People get cancer. People get sick. People hurt each other.

This doesn't mean that we just shrug our shoulders and go on with life. It means that we must dig deeper and embrace our common commitment to alleviate the human suffering that we can. It means that despite theological differences, we should have a common goal.

It also means that we cannot distort religious beliefs to allow for cruel and inhuman acts.

These are troubling times.

The other day, we stumbled across the book Prayers for Peace. A book that grew out of 911. As I read through the pages, what strikes me most is that our responsibility is to live a meaningful and peaceful life. On this, thousands of words could be written, for now, I think the best words are this ancient Tibetan meditation:

May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.

01:18 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)