Trivia 1Z

Only in America would it be considered front page news when a health insurance provider agrees to a process where the doctor's decisions are not to be interfered with. United HealthCare of Minneapolis has reported that it will no longer demand that doctors obtain authorization from low paid clerks before prescribing a course of treatment for their patients. Sadly, the policy is being pursued not because of some newly found decency but as a business decision to protect the corporation from the pending regulations being considered by governments at both the state and federal levels. Of course, any force that creates an atmosphere where the opinions of bean counters gives way to the informed decisions of professionals is. While long over due, a massive step in the right direction. (1)

The much praised "Three Strike Law" that the Right so loudly proclaimed would virtually eliminate repeat criminals has been shown to have deterred essentially none of the state's long time criminals. A just released study by UC Berkley law professor and researcher Franklin Zimring shows that arrests of felons facing the 3 Strikes sentences dropped by less than 1% in the last five years even though the law is responsible for the convictions of over 50,000 convicts. In fact, in the three years preceding the 1994 passage of this measure, crime rates had been steadily dropping. The drop actually leveled off in 1994 before resuming its sharp decline continuing to this date. Nevertheless, the feel good law will likely face no political pressure for repeal as politicians are very adverse to calling for the logical repeal of a failed agenda when the public remains of the uninformed opinion that it is supposed to be working. In the meantime, people with two strikes on their criminal records will continue to face 25 years to life in prison for the ghastly crime of stealing one piece of pizza from a table where the occupants had left those remains on their way out the door. How sad, but how very, very Republican. (2)

In another of the many reports showing just how huge of a failure this nation's War On Americans Who Use The Wrong Drugs truly is, an announcement by government authorities (exactly whom was not detailed but the story implicates "drug-intelligence officials" (a three word oxymoron) who are claiming that the actual influx of drugs into the US is three times higher than previously thought. Now, understand gentle readers, the actual amount of drugs entering this nation isn't increasing, only the estimates of that influx is increasing by a factor of three. Do you suppose that the government will finally accept the defeat in this psychopathically self destructive war that it has only avoided admitting to solely by ignoring reality this long? Do you suppose that the government will finally cease imprisoning Americans for exercising their birth given right to behave as they like as long as that behavior damages no other American? Do you suppose that the government will finally admit that the trillions of dollars that it has spent fighting a war that only exists in the poorly informed minds of conservatives is completely and utterly lost and some new, more intelligent and less punitive way to deal with American's problems with various addictions should be explored? Yeah, of course you do!

Instead of acting intelligently and humanely, the various anti-drug agencies are already finger pointing at each other as the cause of the under counting and claiming that each should have more control and power over the others. Of course, that control and power will come with another massive increase in the amount of American taxpayer's funds that will be flushed down the same drain as all of the previous funds. In fact, I predict that this "new information" will be used to justify another round of huge contributions to Columbia, both in financial assistance as well as police and military training and equipment so that Columbia can continue its own war on its own population, fighting a war against drug producers who exist only to provide 100% of their crops to be exported into the US. Within just three or four years, this nation will become trapped in another war that we can neither win nor should win. We will begin, as we already have, by providing "advisors" and "trainers" to the government's military and police. We will, as we already have begun, provide millions and possibly billions of dollars of war equipment produced by our nation's Corporate American Welfare war machine producers. Finally, we will, with much pomp and ceremony and promises of quick and thorough victory, send our finest young men and women off to fight another war that is none of our business against a people who are not our enemies but who will, eventually, become our enemies. Finally, a decade or two later, we will. With our tails between our legs, declare a moral victory and leave the nation of Columbia a burned out shell, proclaiming our undying support for whichever government we have since installed. Want to bet on it? (3)

Well, one of the areas in California quickly becoming known as the racist and homophobic capitals of the world is at it again. In a twin city type of sprawl, Lancaster and Palmdale have displayed great tolerance for skinheads and homophobes and anti-American "Freemen" type groups but very little tolerance for blacks or Hispanics of gays or just about anyone who isn't a white, Christian, Republican. Their political representatives, of course, are as intolerant as their electorate and Sen. Pete Knight has become some what of an hero in that area. His latest clash with the Twentieth Century is his authoring and absolute support of Proposition 22, initially titled, misleadingly, the "Definition of Marriage" by its backers by changed to "Limit on Marriage" by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. What gives this story its saddest aspect is that Knight's brother, John, was openly gay and died of AIDS in 1996. Knight's son, David, has also declared himself gay and attempted to introduce his partner to his father, an attempt that began a three year and counting refusal by Knight to speak to his son.

People like Knight and his ilk will forever try to drag America kicking and screaming back towards the eighteenth century, a time when bigotry and homophobia and all of the other nasty and despicable traits of his were not only acceptable but were the "common wisdom" of the time. If California's voters support this vile type of exclusionary politics then the deaths of the children at the Jewish center and the gay man in Wyoming and the black man in Lancaster will be given the endorsement of the state's voters. Wouldn't that be sad?!?(4)


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