Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Competition in Health Insurance?

Paul Krugman notes that in an article by digby that the opposition to a government healthcare option is being led by congressmen from states where a single company has an essential monopoly.
"So here’s a suggestion: while the opponents of a private plan say that they’re trying to defend market competition, what they’re actually doing is defending lucrative local monopolies."
I think we need to shed some sunlight on the real issue here. So-called competition in health insurance is currently a charade. Government competition and/or stricter regulation is needed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Planned Parenthood in Pasco

At a recent hearing before the Pasco, Washington, Planning Commission there was testimony concerning the opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city. The site is adjacent to an elementary school playground on on side and a major arterial street on the other. The purpose of the clinic is to provide reproductive health care as well as information and education. Abortions will not be provided at the clinic.

These are the arguments for the clinic.

  • Franklin County has an excessively high rate if STI’s and teen pregnancies.
  • County spends tax-payer dollars to deal with STI’s and unintended pregnancies.
  • There is a need for better access to reproductive health services. It is a 1.5-2 hours bus ride to other office. Much of the target clientele have transportation issues.
  • Proposed site on major street with easy access by foot or bus.
  • Services are provided regardless of patients ability to pay.
  • No plans for controversial birth terminations. That is not a current need.
  • Pasco teens are not getting good reproductive health information.
  • Despite the news splash, violent attacks on clinics are very rare.
  • Property values near the Kennewick clinic have gone up
  • La Clinica and Miramar don’t provide all the same services and when they do they cost more.
  • If PP were going into a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood no one would care.
  • Existing community health organizations don’t have the fund to provide the services PP does.
  • The people who use the services are not well-represented at the hearing
  • Not everyone has decent parents who can deal responsibly with sexual health issues
  • The arguments against the clinic are based on myths.
  • Religion should not govern the making of public policy. We don’t live in Iran.
  • Most family-provided sex education is poor. Most kids think they invented sex.
  • Absence of PP denies many people of the choices provided by law
  • PP is there when churches and parents are not.
  • PP is another source of safe and appropriate healthcare
  • It’s the protestors that cause problems at PP clinics, not the clinic.
  • PP gives people the tools to make their own best choice.
  • People who are claiming to be godly are being hateful and judgmental.
  • If permit is denied, the bullies win. Decision makers show their cowardice.
  • Abstinence is included in comprehensive sex education.
  • PP educators are trained how to communicate in an age-appropriate manner
  • Abortion not needed in Pasco. Education is needed.
  • Absence of PP services harms women. Women are people too.
  • People are more concerned about property values than providing needed services to their community.
  • Contraception is given to those who are or are about to be sexually active. Without it there will simply be more people having unprotected sex.

Arguments against PP clinic:

  • Location near a school is inappropriate.
  • PP activities are against scripture.
  • Parents should teach children about sex
  • Logic doesn’t matter. Bible (the way I read it) is more important.
  • Young people should be completely subject to their parents
  • PP treats patients poorly
  • PP activities cause future guilt in patients.
  • Women that get pregnant should always attempt to give birth
  • Teenagers should always have their babies
  • PP building was a part of school district a decade ago. People might still thing it is.
  • If permit is approved there will be no chance to stop abortions at the site later
  • PP near a school is a danger to the children
  • Comprehensive sexual education doesn’t work
  • PP will attract protestors endangering nearby children (repeated many times)
  • Sex education is an encouragement to engage in sex
  • PP not needed. La Clinica provides the same services
  • PP will reduce property values
  • PP is there to indoctrinate children but the reproductive counseling given by religious groups is not indoctrination.
  • Morning-after medication is abortion and shouldn’t be used
  • Protestors have a constitutional right to harass reproductive health clinics
  • All health-related issues for minors should be handle through their parents.
  • Healthcare for minors should not be confidential.
  • There is discrimination against people with large families.
  • Teen pregnancy should not be seen as a problem
  • It is appropriate for people to have many children and struggle with the hardships that come with them.
  • If PP is approved voters will show their displeasure at the polls
  • In Las Vegas there are a number of PP clinics. When PP goes into a neighborhood it becomes a ghetto.
  • In the nearby school there are children who have do-not-approach orders against past family members. The publicity generated by protestors will expose those children to maybe having their picture on public display.
  • God doesn’t want PP clinics
  • A position against PP is the only moral position that is OK.
  • The planning commission should go beyond it legal responsibilities and just say no to PP because it is the right thing to do.
  • The presence of protestors will be detrimental to the businesses.
  • The presence of protestors will keep people from buying houses nearby.
  • I’ve got gross-out pictures of aborted fetuses
  • All PP does is perform abortions
  • Church is the answer to educating children properly
  • I don’t need a reason to be against PP. I just believe because that’s what my spiritual leaders tell me to do.
  • PP services not needed. Catholic family services are sufficient.
  • High teen pregnancy rate is because of media images not lack of education
  • High teen pregnancy rate is because abortions are easy to get
  • It doesn’t matter what other services PP provides. If they do abortions they should not be allowed to exist.
  • Grace Clinic and churches provide the same services as PP. PP not needed.
  • Abortions are coming to Pasco
  • One woman risked her life to continue a pregnancy that was destroying her kidneys. After child was born she was able to get dialysis and eventually a kidney transplant. It was a risk worth taking.
  • Protestors will make too much noise
  • Another woman refused the abortion option and gave birth to a Down’s syndrome child. Child died at age 15 but it was worth it to her.
  • We need a growing population
  • If people are opposed to PP then it shouldn’t go in. No matter what.
  • Protestors will require more expense from law enforcement
  • Contraception is wrong.
  • Abortion has terrible consequences
  • PP does not provide adoption services
  • Abortions endanger public health.
  • I feel guilty about talking my wife into an abortion.
  • Children shouldn’t know about such things as PP.
  • PP increases number of teen pregnancies
  • PP employees are prejudiced about their support. Christians who oppose are not prejudiced.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

En'Wezoh Wins

A young man who was a hot-shot at Kamiakin High School becomes student president at Washington State. I'm looking forward to what he does politically after he graduates.

Anti-Choice Antics

Why is it that the same anti-choice crowd that wants to shove their version of "morality" down everyone's throat, so blatantly unethical in so many other things they do?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How the City of Kennewick wastes tax-payer dollars

Whassup with breaching a contract to the tune of $3 million? Who should have known better? The city attorney? City staff? The elected officials? How did this fubar come about?

Shared via AddThis

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bloom where you’re planted

My daughter gets a blurb in The Olympian and the Tacoma News-Tribune. She once prepared lunch for me by just walking around the neighborhood.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Non-toxic Pesticide

Some folks in Maryland have come up with a non-toxic termite killer. Basically it is modified glucose. The spray disables the ability of termites to fight infections so all the sprayed bugs eventually quickly die off from fungal infections.


Noticing that all the federal government cars are GM reminds me of the James Bond movie in which all the cars were American Motors.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Supervolcano in Washington State?

A team headed by New Zealander Graham Hill traced the magma column of Mount St Helens 15 kilometers down to a pool that reaches to both Mt Rainer and Mt Adams. This thing is bigger than the pool under Yellowstone.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Origin of Life

The latest thinking seems to go towards life arising out of basic chemistry. Fundamental reactions create conditions for continuing reactions that are at the root of metabolism. Once these appear natural selection comes into play and the more successful reactions continue until eventually the collections of molecules get more and more lifelike.

This means that life isn't a unique accident but almost inevitable given the right conditions. We should probably expect to find life throughout the universe wherever it is possible.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Castration of the SEC

Under the Bush-appointed Chrisopher Cox, the SEC was like a hen house guarded by the fox. Anyone who was paying attention could figure out that one could do pretty much anything and the worst cases would get a mild slap on the wrist.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Reagan Did It

Krugman calls it the way it is. The root of today's economic crisis is clearly in the deregulation of the Reagan era.

Anytime anyone wants to talk about the quality of Republican governance, let's be sure we point out the absolute disaster it has turned out to be.