House Calls

Responding Before a Call Is Needed
Under a pilot program aimed at heading off 911 calls and
trips to the hospital, some paramedics visit chronically ill
patients at their homes to check their vital signs and

I was happily surprised to see this item in the NYT last week. It's a good start to what I think could be a very helpful and effective community health care program. Read more about House Calls


No News

So I tune into CNN last week to catch the general gist of Obama's jobs speech (admittedly I knew better) and got only another several seconds of personal impotent fury. Because Anderson Cooper begins with a question that makes the assumption that the first stimulus bill was an abject failure, which question was answered by Donna Brazile with numbers proving that it wasn't, whose response was then refuted by somebody from the other side of the aisle, after which I turned the whole mess off. Read more about No News


A More Perfect Union

Once upon a time, a UPS driver accidentally dropped that big black signing thingy they carry on my foot, causing it to swell up painfully and necessitating a trip to the emergency room to get pain meds. Because nobody is going to prescribe Vicodin because you call them up and say your big toe hurts. Read more about A More Perfect Union


Vintage Government

"Anonymous death came early and often. Each of the thousand trains that entered and left the city did so at grade level...Every day on average two people were destroyed at the city's rail crossings. Their injuries were grotesque. Pedestrians retrieved severed heads...Fires took a dozen lives a day. In describing the fire dead, the term the newspapers most liked to use was 'roasted.'"

It's obviously not Somalia - not with a thousand trains a day and newspapers. And China has lots of trains still, I believe, but no, not China. Read more about Vintage Government


A Cautionary Tale

Hey, hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?

Anybody here remember 1968? I do. Bobby Kennedy. Martin Luther King. Eugene McCarthy. The Battle of Chicago. Viet Nam.

Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ. The villain of the piece. Or so many people have pegged him. He was a reluctant warrior in a war he didn't particularly want to fight but which he made the mistake of believing America couldn't afford to lose. Not on his watch. Tragic mistake. Read more about A Cautionary Tale


Just Sayin'

"The trouble with Italy, particularly the southern provinces, is that there is no middle class. You have the upper class, living in idleness and greater luxury than the nation can afford, and the peasant toilers under them, obliged to support this top-heavy fabric, and an expensive army and navy besides, by lives of hardship and deprivation." National Geographic, “Emigration to America an Industry.” Dec. 1909. Read more about Just Sayin'



Polis. The word means "city" in Greek. It also refers to the citizens of the city. And when we're talking city here, we're talking city-state. So the polis is both place and people.

It is also the root word for politic. Politics. Political. Politicians.

Politics is the means by which the people decide how they wish to live in their city - um, city-state - er, country. And whenever someone takes part in making those decisions, they are, ipso facto, a politician. Read more about Polis


Political Snippets

I have to offer here three little snippets from my Facebook page only because I have a lot of editing to do today and no time to think up anything fresh. So here 'tis.

My debt ceiling/deficit solution: (a) let elapse the Bush tax cuts on the richiest rich - I'd compromise on a mil and up; (b) raise the taxable maximum on Social Security; and (that's *and*, not *or*) (c) pass a new regulation stipulating that Medicare coverage be denied to "tenmillionaires" unless their annual medical bills exceed 1/10 of their annual income. Read more about Political Snippets