BERNIE SANDERS CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

March 27th, 2017

Bernie Sanders has called for healthcare for all in the United States, saying that “We have got to end the international disgrace of being the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right not a privilege.” Read about his speech here.

I have written several times on this blog, including the post just before this one, about the benefits of such healthcare in France which I have experienced personally.  Indeed, other people in many countries in the world have such care and we lag far behind in this matter.

Hooray to Bernie for standing up and speaking out on this.  I urge everyone to support him in this effort.  It is to our benefit to do so and to have universal healthcare here.

US HEALTH CARE

March 24th, 2017

France has universal health care paid for with tax money.  They also have what is regarded as the best health care in the world (the country of Louis Pasteur and Marie Curie is carrying on the tradition).  As many of you know, I had personal experience of that system a few years ago when a medical emergency sent me to the hospital there.  I had two surgical operations and was in the hospital in Tours for two months.  I can assure you French medicine is both excellent and costs magnitudes less than in the US where some people have excellent medical care and many have none. My two months in the hospital in France cost my health insurance the equivalent of $6000.00, which would have paid for a weekend in the hospital in the United States at the time.  This also included three meals a day for my sister who came each day to be with me.

CHU de Tours

University Hospital of Tours

By contrast, the title of an article I just read was “US health care debate: A bipartisan drive to lower life expectancy.”

I read in the article:

“According to the Congressional Budget Office report released Monday, 21 million Americans will lose [health care] coverage by 2020, and 24 million by 2026. How many of these people will die as a consequence?

“Under the Republican House plan, a 64-year-old worker earning $26,500 will see his or her premium increase from $1,700 to $14,600 by 2026 due to the disproportionate cuts in tax credits for older consumers. A 21-year-old earning the same amount would see his or her premium drop from $1,700 to $1,450.

“In so far as overall premiums drop, this is because older workers—whose health care costs are higher—will simply leave the market because they can no longer pay for insurance. The result will be a sharp increase in mortality and fall in life expectancy, which is already on the decline in the US due to the rise in suicides, drug abuse and other social ills.”

Read the complete article here.

This is not the description of medical care in a developed country.  The US could have health care like that of other first world countries, but it will require a revolution in thinking and in practice.

TRUMP POLICIES LEAD US TO LOOK MORE AND MORE LIKE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY

March 15th, 2017

Poor and Hungry Children in the US

According to an article published today on alternet.org, Robert Reich says that Trump’s plans for “huge leaps in military spending plus tax cuts will mean big cuts to programs like food stamps and Medicaid (at a time when the U.S. has the highest poverty rate of all advanced nations, including 1 in 5 American children).”

I would ask if a country with 1 in 5 children living in poverty is an “advanced” nation. It looks more and more to me like a third world country or at least to being on the way to one.

These latter are characterized by a hugely wealthy elite who are very small in number compared to the entire population, a small “middle class”, and the vast majority of the population forming a poor class. We are not a third world country yet, but 1 in 5 children living in poverty certainly excludes the US from first world nation status, or should.

I am alarmed and don’t really know what my responsibility as a citizen is. I can protest Trump and his evil policies and vote for people who say that they would have different policies. But what is needed, it seems to me is a huge resistance to Trump now and to what he stands for going forward. We need a sort of political revolution in order to establish a true democracy where the majority of the population are the holders of power and government programs are for the good of the people, not of corporations. We really have a “corporatology” now not a democracy.

How can we change this?

TRUMP, HITLER, AND IMMIGRANTS

March 3rd, 2017

Below is part of a chilling article by Heather Digby Parton which appeared today on Alternet (www.alterner.org).

In response to talk in the Trump regime about immigrants, especially Muslim and Latino ones, the author wrote:

“But the drawing up of lists of criminals of a certain ethnicity to publish for public consumption brings to mind the most famous scapegoating of a population in history. That would of course be the systematic persecution of the Jewish population of Europe during the Nazi era.

“From the early 1930s onward, the pro-Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer published lists of crimes allegedly committed by Jews. When Adolf Hitler came to power the government took over the job in order to further stoke anti-Semitism. The point of Trump’s order is to stoke anti-immigrant paranoia, almost entirely directed at Latinos and Muslims. The parallel is ugly but it’s accurate.

“Trump may not stop there. During the presidential campaign he was caught on tape saying that he thought Muslims should have to register on a national database, which also brought up a nasty echo of the Nazi era. The idea wasn’t discussed much again until after the election when it was reintroduced by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a key Trump adviser on immigration. The president said, “You’ve known my plans all along.”

“The administration hasn’t officially proposed a Muslim database yet. But the sinister implications of the VOICE program should make clear that no matter how much he modulates his tone and how many times he fakes a “pivot,” Trump is prepared to go in the most sinister direction.”

NYC Department Stores That Sell Trump Products

February 26th, 2017

NYC Department Stores
X marks stores that sell Trump products

X Bed Bath & Beyond
1932 Broadway, 10023
several other stores in NYC

Bergdorf Goodman
754 5th Avenue (58th Street), (212) 753-7300

X Bloomingdale’s 1000 Third Avenue at 59th Street, (212) 705-2000

X Burlington Store (2 in NYC) 4 Union Square South, 235 Sixth Ave)

X Century 21
22 Cortlandt Street between Broadway and Church Street, (212) 227-9092

X DSW
213 W. 34th St 212 967-9703
2220 Broadway 917 746 9422
2 other NYC locations

X Filene’s Basement  620 Sixth Avenue btwn 18th and 19th Sts
Broadway and 79th Street

H&M 34th St. @ Herald Square (646-473-1165), 34th St. at 7th Ave., 51st St. and 5th Ave., 558 Bway, 125 W 125th St.

Henri Bendel
712 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street, (212) 247-1100

X Lord & Taylor 424 Fifth Avenue at 38th Street, (212) 391-3344

X Macy’s Herald Square
at 34th Street and Broadway, (212) 695-4400

Saks Fifth Avenue 611 Fifth Avenue at 49th Street, (212) 753-4000

X Saks Off Fifth
1 (212) 320-4700
850 3rd Ave, Brooklyn 11232
125 East 57th, NYC 10022

We have the choice of not purchasing any Trump products and not patronizing stores that carry them.

SOME REFLECTIONS ON TRUMP

February 25th, 2017

Below is a link to an article about Trump barring a number of news outlets from a White House briefing with Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer.

The Real ‘Enemy of the American People’ Sits in the White House  

Dean Baquet executive editor of the New York Times wrote, “Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of the New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”

Dean Baquet

Indeed this is a frightening development and one that does not bode well for this country.  Trump has called the media “an enemy of the people”.

I am not sure what as a concerned US citizen I should do.  I can encourage the New York Times staff and I can post this on my blog, of course.  But what to do substantially to stop the totalitarian Trump regime is a much bigger question.

The World Can’t Wait posted a very prescient article on its website today.  It’s last sentence is:

“People look at [Trump’s first weeks in office] and think of Hitler – and they are right to do so. The Trump regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.”

Before I read that article, I had been thinking about Hitler–for some time.

HERE is a link to the complete article.

Please comment on this post or send me your remarks and we will post them for you.

This is a very frightening time in US history and we need to work together to stop Trump’s march to fascism.

PROTESTING TRUMP IN NYC

January 20th, 2017

Yesterday, George and I joined a huge number of people protesting Donald Trump here in New York at the Trump tower where he lives.

He, of course, was in DC at the time where there was also massive protest, but since we could not go there, we were very glad for such a big protest here.  Last Sunday we had been with just a handful of people in Central Park close to Trump’s residence, so I was very happy to see a big turnout yesterday.

There were a number of well known figures, the mayor of New York and Michael Moore among them, who gave speeches.  I was really glad that the crowd was so large, even though we were too far from the podium to hear the speeches at all well.  It was just glorious to have so many people out and protesting noisily.

I never thought to see a fascist government in the United States.  I was always censorious of the German people for allowing Hitler to come to power.  Experts on fascism talk about the ways Trump resembles the German fascists and ways he is different, but the analogy is unfortunately evident.  I must do what I can to stop Trump from doing here what Hitler did there and to get him out of office peacefully and legally.  Certainly showing up with thousands of other citizens to express disapproval and demand change is a good start.

OBAMA DOES NOT CLOSE GUANTANAMO PRISON

January 19th, 2017

Despite saying that he would since early in his term, President Obama is not going to close the prison at Guantanamo where forty-five prisoners still languish. Below are remarks by Jeremy Varon, a long time advocate of the closing of the prison and torture center.

“The continued existence of the detention facility at Guantanamo is a devastating policy failure for President Obama and stain on his legacy,” stated Jeremy Varon with Witness Against Torture. “The prison never should have existed in the first place, and it should not exist now. It is a place of torture, a giant crime scene with which the United States has never fully reckoned. In Gitmo, America has institutionalized the idea of indefinite detention without charge or trial. Holding exclusively Muslim men, the prison is also the fiercest edge of an Islamophobia that has only gathered steam.”

“And Guantanamo lies at the ready for Trump or even some future president to re-populate with U.S. captives,” he continued. “Sadly, it remains a part of America’s security apparatus, laws, and very soul.” From http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/18/thats-it-eight-years-later-obama-white-house-admits-gitmo-wont-close

For his part Trump not only wants to leave the prisoners there, but to send others to the nefarious prison camp.

This is a shameful and sad step on Obama’s part and will allow Trump to do his worst.

We can write and call both Obama and Trump as well as our representatives in both houses of Congress.  If anything, things under Trump will probably be worse for the remaining prisoners.

Shameful.  Another shameful blot on the United States.

Response to 2016 Predidential Election

November 14th, 2016

Below is the text of a letter I mailed to Donald Trump about his choices at this time.

“That more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton is not disputed and the actual number of votes for her will be even larger as the counting comes to an end.

“In the light of this, a choice you have is to accept the uncontested will of the American voters and concede in her favor.  Such a decision on your part would not only be fair and just, but would help this country revise a very outdated system for election of its President.

” Failure to do so will leave you colored with illegitimacy and could limit your effectiveness in office.

“I urge you in the strongest possible terms to respect the will of the majority of American voters and step down now. ”

I have no illusions about any impact of this letter.  It was just something I could do.  I am very grateful for those people who are out on the streets and at Trump Tower demonstrating.  I will do some of that in due course.  I just felt that doing something was imperative.  It is now time for me to consider what more substantive things I can do to respond to this disastrous situation for my country.

Suleiman Abdullah Salim speaks of The Darkness

October 14th, 2016

Released by the CIA without having ever had any charges against him and no explanations, Suleiman Abdullah Salim is trying to move on.  He suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress, not surprising after his torture at the hands of the CIA.

A peace loving man, he raises pigeons and stands in this photograph next to their cage.

Read his horrific story told in the NY Times here.

with-pigeons

Suleiman Abdullah Salim

We must not forget the men and boys who were tortured by the US and we must do all we can to keep this from happening again.


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