10/17/10 09:02 - 54.ºF - ID#52972
Library Budget Cuts
As usual, I came here to talk about politics, I haven't been writing as much, though I have been active, SB CREW Quakers VOICE
Anyway, I read in the Buffalo News Erie County is cutting $4 million cut from the library budget.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how insane these cuts are. Cutting jobs, and open hours at the library? When library use is up? When so many people are unemployed, and might need to use the library computers to look for a job? When parents are cutting back and taking their kids to use the library?
That ain't right.
When times are tough, we need to work together.
So I just wrote a letter to some of my local representatives and sent a letter to the Buffalo News. I hope you will email somebody and protest.
Here's my letter to the Buffalo News
I strongly oppose cuts to the library budget. According to the article "Libraries, trimmed again" in Sunday's News, The County proposes cutting $4 million dollars, changing their budget from $22 million to $18 million, that's almost 20% savings.
Essentially each resident is saving 20% too. Since we pay about $30.13 per resident, we each save $6 per year. And the price we pay, is 200 lost jobs at the library. Just to save $6 per resident, we sacrifice 200 more jobs in Erie County.
This proposal is outrageous.
The county executive is pinching pennies, and as a direct result we lose 200 jobs. This is horrible mismanagement of government resources, by a county executive who is willing to ignore the obvious, in favor of his blind devotion to budget cuts.
I'm a homeowner, and I'm proud to pay taxes for the vital services in our community. Especially in times like this, when so many people are looking for work and may need a computer or other help from our libraries.
We should be expanding programs, not cutting back. The county should contribute its share.
Don't cut the budget.
Last Modified: 10/17/10 09:04
12/23/09 09:18 - 18ºF - ID#50641
"No to Health Bill:"
It's a good article, make sure to take the time to read it.
I don't know what to do.... *sigh* this issue is so important to me, you guys have no idea how many hours I've spent reading about it, researching, calling my representatives, calling and emailing leaders in congress, talking to people, blogging about it, even working with my church on a statement of conscience about the issue.... damn, it really has been like a part time job. I know way to much about the personalities of moderate US Senators who aren't even in my state, and how much campaign contributions they get from the health insurance industry, and who their spouse works for....
Our healthcare system is just wrong, and the debate about fixing it has been disgusting. We have some shady double dealing Democrats in this Senate, and the Republicans have been no help at all... ok, I don't know if you want to hear my rant, because I'm too tired to be careful with my words. I keep struggling to use language you can play on the radio.
What kind of healthcare system do I want to see? Medicare for All !!!!! But that's just out of the question because nobody will make a profit except for the actual freaking doctors, oh that would be awful. We might actually spend money on medical care.
Don't give me that bull about socialized medicine and the magical free market, unless you can tell me this; What value does the insurance industry bring to the system? They're just middle men, skimming off a few dollars off the top (33%) for no reason except to create a few more millionaires in their corporate offices by denying people care. We spend 16% of our national wealth on healthcare, at least 5% more than every other nation on earth.
You're sick? Pay or die. Oh we're scared of 'rationing care', and 'death panels', too bad that's what we have now! They're called "Insurance Companies" they decide what treatments we all get, and how much to charge for them, but they don't even see the patient! Doctors actually have to hire an extra person just to call the 1-800 number for the insurance company to find out if they can treat their patients or not. oh screw it, I'm ranting.
Why not Medicare for All? They tell me that Medicare doesn't pay enough to doctors and hospitals. Gee, no way we could possibly fix that... uh, maybe, raise the payments? Seriously, I bet it's a lot easier to raise the Medicare payments than it is to get the insurance industry to take care of their customers. How about I take my $360 per month that I pay my healthcare company, I give $200 to Medicare to help pay doctors more, and I take the other $160 and put it in my pocket, because that's what I save by cutting out the Insurance CEO who is making a million a month by trying to deny people care.
We also need to get rid of the Fee-for-Service system, which pays doctors and hospitals to provide more care, not better care. This often leads to duplicating tests, expensive procedures, and excessive prescriptions. 'Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning' is bad for business. Our system isn't about keeping people healthy, it's about waiting to you're sick and then trying to cure you with heroic and expensive medical procedures.
Why is our system so stupid? and why is it so hard to fix it? I'm just watching the Senate in disbelief.
Truth is, it's not that hard to fix. Just lower the age for Medicare, every few years, until everyone is covered. Get rid of the fee for service billing system. And lower the cost of education for doctors so we have enough of them to go around.
Study that graph for a minute, it says that our government pays more per person than any other government on earth, and that doesn't even count what we pay out of pocket for premiums, or what our employers pay into the system. Over all, we're $2,000 more per person than the next guy, which is Switzerland. Yes, it really is that out of control.
And for all that money we get lame results.
So back to the current bills in congress. I don't know what to do. The bill in the House was mostly better, but in the Senate we have a bunch of corrupt senators who are willing to take us all down for their own greed and arrogance. And I'm angry with the Republicans for not even trying to be constructive. I watched the Senate Finance Committee hearings, don't try and pretend that Republicans give a damn about doing anything, they refuse to cooperate with Democrats on principle (that principle is 'you suck, I hope you fail, and bring the country down with you so we can have power back'). Arlen Specter was already thrown out of the Republican party, and Olympia Snowe is probably next if she keeps talking to Democrats.
alright, I'm rambling. I'm not ready to give up on Healthcare Reform, maybe this is just the first step. But I really think the first step should be lowering the Medicare age to 55.
I'll close with the statement on Healthcare from my church.
"We are deeply concerned that medical treatment currently provided in the United States, is beyond the reach of many people.
Our belief is that every person should be treated compassionately. Each of us has unique value, and all deserve to live to the best of our potential. Healthcare is a basic necessity of life which our society has an obligation to provide. Medical treatment should not depend on one's current occupation, income, race, gender, age, disability, or medical background.
Every person will require healthcare at some point in their lives, and should receive the treatment they need.
We seek a more just, sustainable and simplified healthcare solution."
12/10/09 04:11 - 22ºF - ID#50530
I am not taking my camera outside! Here's the view from my windows.
This is my front porch. notice that it has WINDOWS! all this snow came through a 2 inch gap along the bottom. There's a bird in there now too, and it can't figure out how to get out.
Seems fitting that the world is gathered in copenhagen to talk climate change.
this is not natural. it was 45 here yesterday!
11/06/09 04:49 - 39ºF - ID#50235
Healthcare Bill Moving forward.
I support the Healthcare Bill in the House. I wish it did more, but it's a good start. and it will help millions of people.
Here's a sweet breakdown from FCNL, the Quaker Lobby
AARP and the AMA have both endorsed it
that's a good sign. AMA is the American Medical Association, made up of doctors and hospitals and such. the AARP, most of us know, that's for retired people. So I guess we can assume, based on their endorsement that the bill will not 'pull the plug on grandma'.
I'd definitely prefer it over the Republican proposal that was finally released this week.
A key difference between the two bills is that the Democrats forbid companies from denying you based on preexisting conditions. Actually here's an in depth and specific look at what the CBO said about the Republican bill, from the NY Times
well, there's the best analysis I've found so far to compare the Healthcare Bill from the Republicans and Democrats, if you find any better links, hook me up.
and I'm not going to discuss Republican fear mongering right now because I'm being civil :)
11/04/09 10:16 - 38ºF - ID#50219
war on the environment
I just wanted to mention this.
the Republicans are boycotting the committee meetings for the Environment and Public Works committee.
That committee is trying to work on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. That's how we build a 21st century economy so we can start making solar panels and other cutting edge stuff in America. I think that stuff is kind of important. But the Republicans aren't showing up. This is a video from the hearing, notice that the bottom half of the table is empty. The only Republican is James Inhofe, he stops buy for 2 minutes, drops off a statement and leaves. This is the video of that.
one of the things I hate about politics is when people put loyalty to their political party over loyalty to the country and its citizens. I think we should be talking about the environment right now.
This is especially a problem in light of the fact that the World is meeting to discuss Climate Change in Copenhagen in mid December
We need to get our act together.