With regard to the raid of the factory in New Bedford: Channel 5 (and others) are reporting that federal agents have taken some of the arrested alleged illegal immigrants to Texas, apparently without regard to where their families were. Regardless of your stance on illegal immigration, the stories of the feds’ actions are really pretty repulsive — splitting up families, separating a mom from her 7-month-old baby. Come on. There’s got to be a better way to do this. Gov. Patrick looked absolutely furious on TV, and that stands to reason, knowing who he’s dealing with: “It has taken more than one call to Secretary Chertoff, to the head of ICE, to get instructions to the folks on the ground to cooperate with us in the practical work of protecting these kids,” Patrick said. Chertoff is a callous ghoul, qualities amply displayed during the Katrina debacle. Patrick should bring in reinforcements to bear from the Congressional delegation, too.
$100 million dollars from a large philanthropy is about to be spent to map the individual genes of 20,000 people in order to find the genetic indicators of schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. These disorders seem to be inherited, but apparently finding the specific genes is very hard compared to some other inherited diseases, hence their need for an extremely large sample of unprecented scope, consisting half of people with various forms of schizophrenia, and half “normal” people. The researchers claim the hope is to be able to diagnose a patient’s type of schiophrenia and better understand how to treat each case, as well as to predict a person’s risk. They also plan to make all 20,000 individual’s genomes publicly available on the web in their entirity, which (with the exception of Craig Venter’s DNA) is also unprecented, and alarming. Though these people will probably all be anonymous, and will surely consent, I’m not sure it is a good idea to be mapping so many people’s DNA and making it public, or, for that matter, doing these sorts of genetic determinism experiments to begin with. Also, the article doesn’t mention it, but there are also scientists who believe that we should [...]
What Are Mandatory Health Care Plans? by DrSteveB Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 04:14:11 AM PST We have reached the point where almost everybody is in favor of “universal health insurance.” The problem is, as they say, in those pesky details. Why even the health insurance industry has a plan for “universal health care”… so long as they can get you and the government to fork the money over to them along with their 31% overhead and profit. Various flavors of so-called “Mandatory” or “Mandated” health insurance schemes have, unfortunately, become the most popular sort of plan to get us to universal health care. This diary will provide a generic outline, rather than picking on any one specific proposal, of what these sort of plans are composed of. And why they inherently don’t work well. * DrSteveB’s diary :: :: * Variations of individual and employer mandated health care go back at least to Nixon. Bob Dole once sponsored a form of mandatory health insurance along with 19 other Repuglicans. One version of employer-based mandated health care trying to get to universal was passed in Hawaii in the early 1990s and has recently been sliding to failure. Progressive laws [...]
Universal Health for Insurance Companies by DrSteveB Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 05:59:17 AM PST Last week I outlined the generic components of so-called mandated or mandatory plans. This week we will, with the help of Professor Len Rodberg (warning: it’s a PowerPoint file; not Len himself, he is flesh & blood, just his slideshow) briefly outline some of specific national proposals that have been in the news lately: * America’s Health Insurance Plans * Better Health Care Together Campaign * Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured * Sen. Ron Wyden with SEIU & Safeway * Federation of American Hospitals * John Edwards What they share is the goall to keep the insurance companies healthy… lets see how that works. * DrSteveB’s diary :: :: * First a note about Len. Len is not only a great guy, but has been involved in numerous progressive health care reforms from numerous single payer plans going back at least to the Dellums bill (look it up), to early promotion of Community Health Centers, to compiling and analyzing of hospital statistics statewide. He is the only Urban Studies professor I know of with a PhD in Physics (seriously). As we noted [...]
This morning a story arose on MSM about a New Bedford raid on a leather manufacturer. Seems he was hiring “illegal” aliens and the talking points centered around who was going to take care of these aliens children. The children, it seems where left at schools and day care centers an no one to pick them up. Well, this blurb turned into the lead story of the day for political talk radio pundits. The “left” wants them to have amnesty or at least immediate release so that they could take care of their kids. The “right” harps about the term “illegal” and “crimalien”. Both sides are just reinforcing total bullshit. I’ll say it again, total bullshit. www.spp.gov www.augustreview.com Yes how long can they hide this, the fact that the US Federal government is actively involved in dissolving the US Federal government. The exchange rate has already been quoted as four dollars per Amero. So that would make this latest psy-op in New Bedford Massachusetts a provable operation to reinforce to the “right” that yes the immigration man is still working. It is also reinforcing the “left” as “masters of “”compassion”” with their self serving pandering about those poor, poor helpless [...]
Kudos to George Bachrach for his defense of Deval Patrick on Braude’s show on NECN last night (Wednesday 3-7). George helps put thing into a proper perspective and helps show the minority party as trying to blow this all out of proportion. And showing the Republican party “grappling to have the same relevance as the green party” by filing for an ethics investigation. Rich stuff. See: http://www.boston.co…
A unique take on this issue, cross-posted from BMG homepage comment made by: policycenter, 3/7/07 I have been involved in the HC financing business for over 30 years and I know bad legislation when I see it. The MA reform legislation is some of the worst that I have ever seen. Let me tell you a little story that you should pass on to your MA political types. I am a Vietnam Veteran and the MA legislation reminds me of a anti-personnel mine that the Viet Cong would set for american infantrymen – it was called a Bouncing Betty. When you stepped on this mine it wouldn’t initially go off until you took you foot off of it and then it would bounce up to waist high and explode. The MA health care reform legislation is the MA politicians political version of the Bouncing Betty mine. When the politicians that support this half-assed legislation realize that it is unworkable, it will bounce up and blow their political ambition to bits. 3 words underlie this scenario: Fiscal. Stewardship. Lacking.
Check out this article written by David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix about who the Governor has hired. Sorry, I don’t know how to hyperlink. http://www.thephoeni…
Let me pose this question. Do you think the Massachusetts GOP is overplaying their hand by pushing an ethics probe? Why not leave well enough alone and let the two major Boston newspapers continue to write about the Ameriquest call, hell they are even reporting about what people think about the story as a front page item. That’s a windfall for the local GOP. We’re in what seems to be an otherwise slow news cycle locally, so this might still have some life left in it for a few more days. But instead the Republican Party and Brian Dodge submitted a letter to the state Ethics Commission. We later find out that the Mass GOP only submitted the letter because the state watchdog groups who questioned the phone call saw nothing illegal and were not going to pursue any further action. Here: Government watchdogs have said the governor’s phone call was a poor decision – especially since Citigroup does millions of dollars in business with the state – but it does not appear to constitute any legal violations. and here: The GOP filed the complaint after Common Cause of Massachusetts, which was critical of Patrick’s telephone call, declined to do [...]
Wal-Mart’s tax loophole which allows them to deduct the rent money they pay to themselves is costing us. There are more than 20 Wal-Marts in Massachusetts, according their store locator. They are located in cities like North Adams, East Falmouth, Lynn and Brockton. If you live in a city with a Wal-Mart, take a look at your public schools. Are there overcrowded classes? Have arts and music programs been cut? Do the buildings need some renovations? Is there enough money for all-day kindergarten? There’s a connection between this loophole and the squeeze on schools. Citizens need to let their senators and representatives know that this loophole has to go. It’s not just about fairness to the schools. Closing this loophole is fair to the businesses that pay rent to someone else. These businesses don’t get to keep their rent money the way Wal-Mart does–so why does Wal-Mart get to enjoy that tax deduction? Tax gimmicks like this are infringements on the free and fair marketplace. Remember that this budget hasn’t been passed yet, so it’s important to remind our legislators that this loophole needs to be closed out of fairness to our schoolchildren and the other businesses, who don’t have [...]