Monday, October 22, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Had to archive this little gem from the Washington Post. It's so surprising that the rule came in favor of the universal healthcare mandate, although a somewhat cynical friend speculated that right-leaning Chief Justice Roberts may have framed the ruling as constitutional only under the taxation clause as a short-term tactic toward the long-term strategy of wiping out taxation and anything hanging on it eventually. Sigh. For the moment, though, hurray, America! You've joined other civilized nations in protecting the health of your own citizens. Long time in coming...
But in the midst of diving around various analyses of the healthcare case, here was this about another recent ruling by this court:
Taken in context with the conservative majority’s other recent rulings, Alito’s majority opinion [in Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000] revealed the most class-based double standard the court has exhibited since before the New Deal. In the 2010 case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — rendered by the same five justices who signed onto Alito’s ruling inKnox — the court ruled that corporations could directly spend their resources on political campaigns. These two decisions mean that a person who goes to work for the unionized Acme Widget Company can refuse to pay for the union’s intervention in political campaigns but has no recourse to reclaim the value of his labor that Acme reaps and opts to spend on political campaigns. Citizens United created a legal parity between companies and unions — both are free to dip into their treasuries for political activities — but Knox creates a legal disparity between them: a worker’s free-speech right entitles him to withhold funds from union campaign and lobbying activities, but not the value of his work from the company’s similar endeavors.
Does that not just kill you? With the good comes the bad, I guess. Holding my nose as I party...
Monday, December 19, 2011
Democracy for New Mexico started in July 2004. In the next six years, Barb became beloved by Democratic party activists. She created a space through which both she and others could work for the party’s success and also challenge it to be more progressive from within. She was a true-blue progressive who was inspired by Howard Dean to take back the party, which led to her blogging. She was also a bold and fierce voice for LGBT rights. She and her partner, Mary Ellen Broderick, together made a strong case for the right to marry and domestic partnership legislation here in New Mexico. In general, Barb had a strong, compassionate heart and incredible drive for achieving justice.
Perhaps less known about her was the degree to which she participated in the debates happening on other people’s blogs—participation that back then was critical to creating a New Mexico blogosphere that had depth and punch. Before the New Mexico Independent brought cyberspace to the forefront of political journalism, Barb was a big part of creating the burgeoning blogosphere here, peopled by those on the left, the right, and somewhere in the middle. She actively participated in comment threads of other blogs and cited other blogs in her own work.
We began m-pyre in October of 2004, as a place for three friends to talk about anything and everything. We defaulted *a lot* to politics. Unlike Barb, none of us manifest a political praxis through party activism. But due to the nature of our political system, electoral politics is an area of unavoidable debate that no one who is political can easily escape. Whenever we went there, Barb was generally with us. Her presence can be found throughout the m-pyre archives: sharp, insightful, stringent, occasionally polemical, and at times just plain laugh-out-loud funny. She was also encouraging and supportive, something often in short supply in this incredibly male-dominated environment.
I never actually met Barb, in person. Instead, we got to know each other from conversation in the same cyberspaces. But I got to know her in a way that I won’t ever know droves of people who I see plenty in the flesh. I really dug Barb. She cracked me up and made me think. At times, she made me raise my eyebrows. Sometimes, I thought she went too far. Other times, she was absolutely spot on. I can't count the times I thought to myself, "wonder what Barb says about that." I figure a lot of people knew Barb in this way. I'm sure they'll join me in the sentiment, when I say, I’m going to miss her a lot.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight...
Ah the ironies of listening to Arcade Fire's brilliant The Suburbs as I labor to create the plan for a walkable, urban, transit-oriented development on Albuquerque's sprawling West Side.
Thanks, Mags for the kick in the donkey to get this gem of an album!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
(See Graded and Ungraded Employees.)
That's the end of accountability, I guess, because the Mayor had no plans to address any issues with pay disparity, gender inequity, departmental inequity, etc.
I've done a very surface-level analysis of the Planning Department, for example, which headed by a woman might have the best chance for gender pay equity, one might expect. On average, men make $6,000
Likewise, of the 25 top earners at the City, 20 are men (80%), and on average, these high-paid men make $6,000 more than high-paid women. Mayor Berry, if you care, is #25, making just over $100K per year.
Hurray. Such accountability, Mayor Berry! Way to go.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Friday, November 05, 2010
This American Life did a brilliant show asking and answering a bunch of my questions surrounding mid-term elections, looking at liberal and conservative machinations (or lack thereof).
(Especially Act III: Jack Hitt Goes to Washington - interviewing Democratic Party insider Paul Begala about whether Democrats have a VERY secret messaging strategy or whether they're just incompetent.)
One story included an interview with a die-hard conservative adamantly opposed to tax increases who found himself traveling Colorado to stump AGAINST the tax-cutting ballot propositions 60, 61, and 101, which would have cause perpetual budget crises for the state and caused businesses to flee.
They were all roundly defeated. There you have it! Good news from an abysmal election...
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
A Poetry Reading
Sunday, September 12th at 3PM at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas, NM
free to the public
Author of more than 100 books, will read from her newest book: My Town: A memoir of Albuquerque in poems, prose and photos (Wings Press, San Antonio). Author John Nichols wrote the introduction to the book, which is about growing up in the Duke City in the 1940s and 50s against the backdrop of Cold War politics, the Bomb, the area's race relations and the power of the desert.
Other recent titles from Randall include: To change the world: My years in Cuba (a memoir); and, With their backs to the Sea (poems). Two forthcoming titles are: First Laugh (Essays) from the University of Nebraska Press; and, Ruins (Poems and photos) from UNM Press.
Founder-director of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, is part of the performance troupe Nearly Fatal Women and literary director of the Arroyo Arts Collective as well as editor of the online magazine "Speechless." Her class "The Poem Noir: Poetry goes to the movies" at UCLA Extension University has become famous over the years. Lummis' books of poetry include: Falling short of Heaven; Idiosyncracies; Spreading the Word; In Danger; and Open 24 Hours.
For all Duende poetry readings, wine, free snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are available. The event is free, though we encourage donations for the poets. For more information, contact Jim Fish at the winery at (505) 867-3062, email email@example.com or online at http://www.anasazifieldswinery.com/events.htm.
The next Duende Poetry Series reading will be in January, 2011. The series presents four readings per year. The September 12 reading is supported by the Witter Bynner Poetry Foundation of Santa Fe.
To reach the winery, turn onto Camino de los Pueblitos from Highway 165 in the Old Village of Placitas, across from the Presbyterian Church, follow the road through two stop signs, then turn left into the winery parking lot. From outside Placitas, take I-25 to exit 242, drive six miles to the old village and Camino de los Pueblitos, and continue on to the winery.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Okay, I have to post this letter from a local health care provider almost in its entirety or you won't believe it. Has it really come to this? Do that many people really drop everything and decide to spend umpteen hours waiting to be seen at the emergency room for ... hangnails or something else that can wait for an appointment? Really?
One way Presbyterian is working to help lower the cost of health care is to make sure patients get the health care they need in a setting that is most appropriate for the level of care they need. That’s why the Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Department is starting a new process for helping patients who come to the Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Department with non-emergencies beginning July 26, 2010.
All patients who enter the Emergency Department at Presbyterian Hospital will receive a medical screening exam to determine their appropriate level of care. Patients with conditions that are not emergencies will be directed to an onsite patient navigator, who will make an appointment for patients to be seen quickly in a primary care office or refer patients to urgent care if primary care is not timely enough or inconvenient.
If patients still wish to be treated in the emergency department after being informed their condition is not an emergency, they will be required to pay for services at the time of treatment. Under these circumstances, the health plan will likely not reimburse the patient.
Through this effort, emergency department services will be better accessible for patients with life-threatening emergencies. All State and Federal laws and regulations will continue to be followed to ensure patient safety and protect the health care system. Careful monitoring will occur to ensure patients receive timely care and patient safety is not compromised.
Patient education is central to helping patients determine the “right level of care at the right place” for their medical condition. We hope you will join us in our efforts to help educate your employees about accessing care most appropriately and maximizing their insurance coverage for the level of care that their health requires. Of course, true emergencies will continue to be covered by insurance, according to your Group Subscriber Agreement or Summary Plan Description.
We are very optimistic about this new and innovative approach as we work to make healthcare more affordable, accessible, and of the highest quality.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Lest we forget what we are supposed to remember on this Memorial Day, a reading from Archibald MacLeish.
The Young Dead Soldiers
The young dead soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.
They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us.
They say: We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.
They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.
They say: Our deaths are not ours; they are yours; they will mean what you make them.
They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say; it is you who must say this.
They say: We leave you our deaths. Give them meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.