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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

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Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  High Noon in Baltimore at CareFirst Blue Cross-Blue Shield
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PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

High Noon in Baltimore at CareFirst Blue Cross-Blue Shield

by Charles Loubert

We protested for a Medicare for all system with no pay for treatment. We learned that going to jail gets you exactly what we've been fighting for!

How does an old man get arrested?

Here’s the story. I joined 30-some folks in front of a highrise building housing offices of Carefirst in Baltimore's Canton community. Our collective brightened up a damp, drab October 29th at lunch hour. Marching and chanting slogans like “Patients, not profits!," "Singlepayer now!," "Everybody in, nobody out!," we weren’t welcome. Front doors of this public building were locked so we couldn’t enter.

Later, a group of four walked to the back entrance to confront a Carefirst spokesperson while others continued marching in front.

Heading the small delegation of four was Kevin Zeese, executive director of Prosperity Agenda, US. He organized our little adventure locally for the national group called Mobilization for Healthcare for All. So far there have been 26 sit-ins in 23 cities across the country. 138 arrests have occurred while over 200 people willingly risked arrests. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a staunch Medicare for all activist, accompanied Zeese. She suspended her pediatrics practice to work on this cause full-time. Her sparkling personality and intense dedication has inspired many to to work toward a single-payer medical system. Dr. Eric Naumberg, a pediatrician from Columbia, went with Zeese and Margaret. Eric, a quiet, compassionate man, is single-minded about single-payer. He contends that too much of his time and energy trying to be a healer has been sucked away by fighting with insurance companies over denial of necessary treatments. Rounding out the little group was Maryland State Delegate Jill Carter (D-Baltimore). They demanded of the insurance spokesperson an end to insurance abuse and immediate approval of all doctor recommended treatment.

On returning to us, Zeese reported the Carefist response: “He told us to send it in writing and we’ll consider it.”

My silent response, “Fat chance!”

Four of us then decided to risk arrest. The plan was for our entire bunch to fill the spacious lobby in the back. However, as we approached the entrance, a rushing tide of Baltimore police, ran for the doors to block our way. In the excitement, Margaret and Eric, along with a Millersville teacher, Patricia Courtney, slipped in and sat down. A policeman and I, simultaneously, spied an unattended door. The race was on. This creaky-kneed old body got there first. Huffing and puffing, I fell on the floor with the others.

When asked to leave, we smiled politely but refused. Officers seemed reluctant to arrest, except the young stud that I beat. Of course, they did their duty. We really tried to be dignified as they marched us to the awaiting paddywagon, but it’s tough to do with handcuffs on. On the ride to Central Booking, we tried to laugh about our situation. Don’t know how the others felt, but I was a bit queasy anticipating this new and mysterious experience in my life.

Why submit ourselves to this degrading aggravation? Let me recount only a few of a myriad of well-known reasons:

  • 47 million of our fellow citizens are uninsured;
  • 120 Americans die every day from lack of coverage;
  • One million of us go bankrupt from medical debt, and 78 percent of those had insurance;
  • Sometimes those insurance denials are a death sentence for patients who trusted their insurance company to protect them from harm.

Health insurance injustices should raise everyone's blood pressure to dangerous levels. We should want to buck the political-corporate establishment that shames our country now. If that doesn't arouse frustration and anger, you need to be resuscitated.

Here’s an example of bypassing the present madness. One of my sons lost his medical coverage because the small construction company he works for could no longer afford to carry it. He is an excellent interior house painter and drywall installer.

His teeth became painfully infected. They began to rot, loosen and fall out. He couldn’t afford to get them fixed. On Craigslist he found a dentist who was willing to trade dental work for painting the walls in his house. So, the dentist got a great paint job, and my son got a new set of choppers and a healed mouth.

A young father I met just this week recounted his CareFirst story to me. When his daughter was born, his wife’s water broke earlier than expected. He rushed her to the hospital. His doctor found no pulse in his wife’s tummy. Something was terribly wrong! An emergency caesarian section was performed. The baby’s umbilical cord was positioned so that it cut the flow of blood and life giving oxygen. The doctor’s quick and heroic action saved her life.

There seemed no reason the deny payment for great medical treatment. Ah, but the insurance company manufactured one. They denied payment on grounds that the young dad did not seek a second opinion! Took him a while, but he did pay cash for the life of his now-healthy, vibrant 4-year-old daughter.

Back to our arrest story.

Central Booking was very busy that day. Eric and I waited in a long line of handcuffed men. Margaret and Patty were processed in another area.

When we finally got in the door, the first person we were required to talk to was a nurse. She carefully took our vital signs and asked us about our general health. Next we were shuffled to a physician’s assistant who grilled us thoroughly on our entire medical histories. Finally, we faced an extensive review of what we had revealed earlier.

Can you see the irony?

We protested for a Medicare for all system with no pay for treatment. Going to jail gets you exactly what we have been fighting for! Any incoming inmate with any kind of medical problem can count on a whole team of medical experts to give the full spectrum of needed care.

Eric and I were put in a small, crowded, smelly and very cold holding cell to await a hearing. Our younger cellmates were fascinated and questioned us eagerly about why we were among them. Despite being bored, detoxing, miserable and cold, this mixed-race bunch of so-called “bad guys” coexisted peacefully. No nasty name-calling and no fights. Complaining was directed at people outside the cell. Surprisingly, we became a quasi-impermanent family.

Everyone, other than we two old guys, was arrested for drug offenses. If marijuana were legalized, we would have had the miserable place to ourselves.

Everyone, other than we two old guys, was arrested for drug offenses. If marijuana were legalized, we would have had the miserable place to ourselves.

It took approximately seven hours to get our hearing with the Court Commissioner. When we rose to leave, many of our young brothers stood up, slapped hands and wished us luck.

The Commissioner quickly set our trial date and released us on our own recog. That’s "recognizance" to those of you not educated in a jail cell.

After picking our belongings confiscated by police, we were greeted by the smiling face of Kevin Zeese. We found out he had called several times to track our progress through processing. Thank you Kevin!

Would I do this again? Yes if the cause was righteous.

Did I learn anything? Yes, that we are all One Family, and we ought to take care of each other.


Charles Loubert is a retired counseling psychologist and mediator who has written two unpublished books.



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This story was published on November 9, 2009.

 

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