somervilletom

Person #5011: 248 Posts

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  1. That's because ... (0 Replies)

    One key reason why you haven’t reports of people being screwed is that we’ve had both state “blue-sky” laws and federal protections in place since the Great Depression that protect people from such abuses.

    Not surprisingly, those who either don’t know or don’t care about the epidemic of abuses that happened in the first few decades of the twentieth century would have us discard such protections.

  2. No argument from me! (0 Replies)

    I enthusiastically agree that once again the allegedly “progressive” and allegedly “Democratic” MA house is helping the very wealthy and hurting everybody else. Mr. DeLeo did it to Deval Patrick (as liberal and Democratic a governor as we’ve had since Mike Dukakis), and he did it to Mr. Baker. We can safely describe it as a bi-partisan screw-job to the 99%, benefiting the 1%.

    Welcome to the “leadership” of Bob DeLeo.

  3. Demonstrates the actual values driving the Catholic church (2 Replies)

    The stance of the Catholic church towards contraception, abortion, and pre- and post-natal fetal care accurately reflects the actual value system that has driven the institution for millennia.

    The institution values women ONLY as “breeders”. The institution cares not one iota about babies or “life”, except possibly as a self-serving expansion strategy. Mary is revered solely because she is the “mother of God” — and even that was accomplished while denying her even the pleasure of the sex act.

    At best, the most radical elements of the institutional Catholic church are striving to force the institution to recognize aspects of womanhood that the rest of society admitted a century ago or longer — and those elements face great, even insurmountable, institutional resistance.

    Your wife and you will continue to commit a mortal sin each time you practice intimacy while using artificial contraception. Each of you will be expected to make full confession of such sins each week before accepting communion — offered by only celibate male priests.

    I invite you to contemplate the interior emotional gymnastics required in order for you and your wife to feel welcomed, celebrated, and affirmed each time you attend mass.

    One strategy we Democrats might consider is a full-throated embrace of those religious traditions that reflect our values, and a clear denunciation of those religious traditions that betray them. We Americans eagerly shout about the awful attitudes towards women espoused by some sects of Islam.

    I suggest that it is perhaps time for us to be as vocal in our condemnation of the equally abhorrent attitudes towards women espoused by the institutional Catholic church.

  4. Sorry, I was confused (1 Reply)

    I was thinking of the anti-choice candidate Mr. Sanders has been promoting.

  5. I fear that the "successful" result of that will be ... (1 Reply)

    I fear that if this strategy is successful, the result will be a “Democratic” President and congress that:
    - Expands the right-wing assault on women
    - Expands the right-wing assault in immigrants, minorities, and other scapegoats,
    - Perpetuates the myth that taxes are both terrible and too high

    The people who think anti-women candidates like Ossoff have to either be offset by MORE people who value the rights of women, or they have to be persuaded to vote for the Democrat even if they oppose the pro-choice stance on abortion.

    We gain nothing and lose a great deal if we betray our core values in hopes of ballot-box “victory”. We must change the culture. We must reassert our values.

    Our culture is reverting to the dark ages of our misogynist, racist, and — yes — plutocratic past. We can debate the forces that drive that reversion, and discuss how best to reverse it.

    I think meaningful political victories for us will happen ONLY after we accomplished the harder task.

  6. I'm picturing ... (1 Reply)

    I’m picturing a gay black woman who got testy with you when you suggested that you opposed the Massachusetts law requiring her to be paid the same as you for the same work. I’m picturing you telling her that you think you’ll get smaller raises in the future in order to pay for her gains, and that you think that’s unjust. I’m picturing you in an exchange with her that mirrors the posture you’ve been taking here for months.

    I somehow doubt, therefore, that she was insisting that you wear a pink hat, a black-lives matter button, or a rainbow flag. I suspect that she was instead asking you to show empathy for her pain and suffering as well as your own.

    I fear you are perpetuating a false dichotomy by arguing — always — that your needs and concerns as a white working-class male should take priority over all others.

    I don’t hear you arguing for a big tent, at all. I hear you relentlessly arguing for the primacy of white working-class males. Period.

  7. Won't make a difference in 2018 or 2020 (1 Reply)

    It takes more then two or four years to remake the political landscape. The last time it was done — by the right-wing forces that still dominate our culture — the effort began with Barry Goldwater’s landslide loss of 1964 and did not affect the federal government until Ronald Reagan’s surprise win of 1980. That’s sixteen years — a generation.

    I suggest that we need to be organizing and influencing at the neighborhood and block level. We need to infiltrate and retake the organizations that the right wing took over — religious groups, chambers of commerce, Rotary Clubs, etc. We need preachers, priests, rabbis, and imams across America to be advancing our values at every service. We need passionate Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims demonstrating outside businesses that oppress workers and women. We need police organizations loudly opposing police violence and demonstrating against DoJ harassment of immigrants.

    Politics is a lagging, not leading, cultural indicator. We need to change our culture first, knowing that political change will follow.

  8. Reversion to tradition (1 Reply)

    Pregnancy was treated as a pre-existing condition for decades before Obamacare. This began when the government ruled that insurance companies could not discriminate against women in their coverage. The insurance company response was to classify pregnancy as a pre-existing condition.

    I suggest that this stance towards women is no “afterthought”. It is an intentional reflection of sexist and misogynist attitudes that have dominated the GOP my entire sixty-plus year lifetime.

    The situation described in this post is immoral, and has been US policy for decades.

    Conversely, I am under the impression that Massachusetts state law prohibits the hospital from enforcing collection of the amounts rejected by the insurance company. I wonder if the OP tried simply refusing to pay. I ask because another scam practiced by health care providers for decades is to send bills for such exorbitant amounts in hopes that the recipient will see the bill and simply pay.

    My experience has been that when I withhold payment for any amount beyond the state-approved BCBS rates for whatever the procedure is, the provider always applies a credit (with name like “Insurance company adjustment”) to the bill.

  9. Maybe ... (5 Replies)

    Maybe he could launch a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of millions of men, women and children world-wide. Maybe he could tour the country giving guest lectures at colleges and universities, while greeting the public afterwards. Maybe he could work to provide affordable homes.

    My takeaway is the Barack Obama will be the target of viciously brutal attacks for the rest of his life — from both Democrats and Republicans — whatever he does. Just like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were treated.

    I think he should continue do whatever he chooses. I encourage him to continue to privately offer an uplifted middle finger to the naysayers — the only appropriate response, in my book, to the kind of undeserved and unbridled hostility that every Democrat has faced for the last forty years from “Democrats” and Republicans alike.

  10. AMEN at repealing the 22nd amendment (0 Replies)

    The 22nd amendment was put in place by sore-loser Republicans and it has been harming America ever since.

    I don’t know if Dwight Eisenhower would have prevailed had he been able to run for a third term, or what the consequences might have been.

    I do know that Bill Clinton would have handily defeated George W. Bush. We would not have invaded Iraq. We would not be fighting ISIS today. Similarly, Barack Obama would have creamed Donald Trump. We would not be living in fear of imminent nuclear catastrophe brought about by having an incompetent, ignorant, insecure tyrant in charge of humanity’s most powerful arsenal EVER.

    Repeal of the 22nd amendment is at the very top of my list of required changes to the US constitution.

  11. I'm sorry, I just fundamentally disagree (1 Reply)

    We’ve already gone round this a gazillion times, I’m not sure there’s much more to say. I profoundly disagree that white flight “is the product of individual attitude, not public policy”.

    I suggest that basing school funding on property taxes is a canonical example of public policy at the local level. Steadfastly resisting efforts to shift funding for schools away from property taxes is, in my view, clearly public policy. Decades of social science research show that race and gender are clear indicators of economic disparity.

    Whites are able to escape neighborhoods with bad schools, high crime rates, and abusive cops. Blacks are far less able to do the same. So whites leave and blacks remain. The whites tend to take their affluence with them, and so the economic circle is joined. The black neighborhoods get worse, the white neighborhoods get better.

    If schools were funded primarily from statewide income taxes, then an affluent family moving from one town to another would not have nearly as devastating an effect as it does today. If we followed the example of Maryland and allowed cities and towns to impose a surtax on individual incomes — and used the resulting increased tax revenues to fund increases school, fire, and police spending in struggling cities — then we could make real progress.

    Such tax regulations pretty much define “public policy”, and the public policy we follow in Massachusetts results in a starkly segregated state.

    Individual prejudice does not drive that white flight. It still happens. Individual prejudice does not motivate affluent whites to observe that black neighborhoods have higher crime. It still happens.

    Your own apartment community is not representative of the state as a whole. I suspect that you do not live in one of those 86 cities and towns where not a single mortgage was written for a black or latino home owner.

    The facts about life in Massachusetts today tell a starkly different story than your personal experience admits.

  12. This should have been resolved with Brown (1 Reply)

    In my view, this was resolved decades ago.

    De facto segregation is real, even if some of us choose to argue otherwise.

    In my view, it is no different than arguing that “forced rape” is different from “rape”.

    Rape is rape and racism is racism. End of discussion.

  13. Disgusting (1 Reply)

    I’m sorry, but I find this exchange (among whites, I might add) truly revolting in 2017. It is simply revolting that when faced with hard evidence of continued segregation in Massachusetts, some of us try to explain it away with tire arguments and red herrings about Chinese practices.

    Look, guys. Learn something about US slavery. The US is the ONLY nation that paid slave traders to kidnap blacks in one part of the world, forcibly remove them to North America, and keep them and their progeny in bondage — raising them like cattle, impregnating them whenever the owners chose, and so on. It’s called “chattel slavery”, and it is VERY different from other forms.

    The American south of the mid nineteenth century was among the most prosperous economies of the world — for slave-owners. It was an economy utterly dependent on forced slave labor for its prosperity. The “state’s rights” arguments advanced by its proponents were moral contortions performed in an attempt to hide brutally disgusting moral obscenities.

    NO OTHER CULTURE IN THE WORLD created such an economy based on such practices.

    The horrors done by Americans to our black slaves were, in fact, unique.

    Jeesh.

  14. Not so fast (1 Reply)

    Marijuana is illegal under federal law in every state in the union. Anyone who possesses marijuana is subject to arrest and prosecution by federal authorities whenever they choose.

    There most certainly IS a question about legality, and I suggest that anyone who ignores reality of our current US Attorney General and President does so at their extreme peril.

  15. We know ... (1 Reply)

    It isn’t a “big racial conspiracy” to admit that economic inequality is a HUGE driver of racial inequality.

    Do you also accuse Elizabeth Warren of seeing a “big racial conspiracy” when she correctly raises the same concerns?

    Here are her words, cited from the above link:

    “After Brown v. Board of Education and the court-ordered segregation of public schools, many Southern states established voucher schemes to allow white students to leave the education system and take taxpayer dollars with them, decimating the budgets of the public school districts. Today’s voucher schemes can be just as harmful to public school district budgets, because they often leave school districts with less funding to teach the most disadvantaged students, while funneling private dollars to unaccountable private schools that are not held to the same academic or civil rights standards as public schools.”

    The history of voucher programs is racially charged in ways that are reminiscent of poll taxes and literacy tests.

  16. AMEN @ separating school funding from property taxes (1 Reply)

    I enthusiastically agree that it is tying school funding to property taxes that creates the issue.

    Any protections for women, minority and disabled passengers associated with taxis are happy accidents. The core issue is the medallion system created by government (with the strong support of medallion owners).

    Rideshares have nothing to do with charters. The public school system is NOT a monopoly created primarily to benefit a small class of moneyed owners. If anything, the proposed “privatization” efforts of public education strive to make it exactly that.

  17. Charters vs Uber (2 Replies)

    From their inception, charter schools (and private school vouchers) have been a euphemism for government funding of lily-white schools for racist parents.

    The concept of “Charter schools” plays the same role in this philosphy as “Creationism” plays in the anti-evolution crusade — truthy-sounding, apparently innocuous, and yet landing in exactly the same place. It is no accident that so many of the parent who crave charter schools also believe that the earth is 6,000 years old.

    It is also no accident that Ms. Devos is pursuing ways to provide private school vouchers in spite of the flagrant constitutional issues that plague them.

    When the current administration — and the white racists that support it — face the reality that their pet projects are flagrantly unconstitutional, they simply seek ways to bypass those constraints.

    Uber, and ride-sharing services like it, broke a monopolistic strangle-hold that taxi companies used to gouge riders while providing abysmal service.

    The suggestion that public school systems are remotely comparable to those taxi companies is deceitful racist rubbish. I see no truth in her analogy at all.

  18. Some questions (1 Reply)

    Is the value of people maimed and killed in dwelling fires that could have been knocked down by sprinklers lower in Springfield than in Boston? Is the value of the possessions lost in those fires lower?

    Are men and women whose lives are ruined by the lead point they ingested as toddlers in Springfield less valuable than their counterparts in Boston? You write “lead paint poisoning is a very serious thing” — and proceed to utterly dismiss regulations preventing it for the part of the state you are ostensibly working to improve.

    In my view, there are different arguments to be made that are more compelling and that don’t require throwing people — especially poor people — under the economic bus.

    Massachusetts as whole — and western MA in particular — will benefit greatly if people can choose to live in affordable single-family homes with yards that are within an easy walking distance of their jobs or of public transportation that gets them to their jobs. That is only possible by locating those jobs outside the I-495 loop, by decreasing funding and tax incentives for automobile-centric transportation, and by increasing funding and tax incentives for pedestrian-friendly and bicycle-friendly transportation. This is especially true in western MA.

    But please — seriously — a wood-frame eight-unit apartment building without sprinklers is a death-trap WHEREVER it is located.

    Whatever policies we adopt MUST result in making safe and affordable housing available to every Massachusetts resident.

  19. Thank you for posting this (1 Reply)

    The mainstream media has been lying about this in an apparent attempt to heighten audience outrage. Pretty much every air traveler has heard gate announcements of overbooking — the misleading headlines of this story pander to the resulting fear and anger.

    The other United story was similar. Media headlines suggested that two young women were arbitrarily denied travel because of their clothing. The actual facts were buried deep in the resulting stories — the women in question were dependents of United employees traveling for free under a company policy that included a dress code that explicitly prohibited the apparel worn by the two women.

    I’m not a fan of United. I am a fan of media accuracy, especially when the mainstream media is under such a relentless attack by an administration and political movement based on lies and dishonesty.

    I appreciate you highlighting the blatant lie of these headlines. This issue is NOT about overbooking, it is instead about flagrant corporate abuse of its customers.

  20. @Christopher: You're being obtuse (1 Reply)

    The entire federal government and military intelligence community was not merely “aggravated” by Mr. Snowden, they were pursuing a high-profile world-wide effort to extradite, charge, convict, and — some argued — even execute him.

    Mr. Hoover never charged MLK with anything. Yes, Mr. Hoover harassed him. Still, the animus against MLK was nothing like that against Mr. Snowden.