Archive for big government

"I don't want to live in this wrecked world the GOP has given us. I'll take 'big' government."

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evolution of gop smaller devolution devolved

I love reading comments, tweets, and letters. There are so many insightful, thoughtful, smart, funny people out there. I salute them, I bow to them, I build them shrines. The GOP deserves every bit of criticism and snark they get, including today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The GOP fault line," Opinion, May 1

Richard A. Viguerie argues that tea party Republicans are ascendant because a majority of Americans agree with their premise that big government is bad.

But shrinking government is an idea that sounds good only on paper.

Let's ask the question a different way: Do you want clean air and water, or should factory owners be free to pollute with impunity? Do you want meatpacking plants inspected for cleanliness? Should we shutter the national parks?

Of course not. Americans want and need a stable, functioning government.

Throughout my working life, I toiled away with the understanding that I had a social compact with my leaders. I would pay my taxes and, in return, I'd have good schools, roads, jobs and pensions.

But for the last 30 years, I've been told that I should keep paying my taxes — but get little for it.

I don't want to live in this wrecked world the GOP has given us. I'll take the "big" government any day of the week.

Cheryl Holt

Burbank

***

With his well-written Op-Ed article, Viguerie seeks to change the meaning of the well-respected term "conservative" and to confine its use to his ideologically pure wing of the GOP. That may be good politics for the Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Tom McClintock wing, but it defies history.

Viguerie wants to change the English language and generations of tradition for political advantage. The real question is whether the media and others will let him get away with it.

Thorpe Vincent

Woodland Hills

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"What is #Christie doing if not trying to control the free market?" He's protecting monopolies.

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chris christie tesla free marketImage via.

Oh that scamp New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, he says he is all about the free market. He's so supportive of a free market that he's doing whatever he can to stomp all over it in the name of "protecting consumers." Isn't that just like Governor "Heartbroken"? Always so concerned about his people; why, he's so concerned that they're still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy due to his broken promises and (alleged) nefarious deeds.

Gee, when you think about it, his position is about as hypocritical as that of pro-forced birthers who demand that Big Government stay out of our lives as they force trans-vaginal ultrasounds up women without their permission while denying them the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. To protect "children." But they're not "children," they're zygotes and fetuses. But I digress.

Both are the kind of "protection" we can do without.

And with that, here is today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The car dealers' racket," Opinion, March 17

So New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed a decision last week by the Motor Vehicle Commission to "protect consumers" and effectively kick Tesla out of the state by prohibiting it from selling its electric vehicles directly to consumers.

It appears, however, that the Christie administration is actually protecting long-established dealership monopolies.

Christie recently huffed, "We have an opportunity problem in this country because government is trying to control the free market." What is Christie doing if not trying to control the free market?

Another Christie talking point: "We need to talk about the fact that we're for a free-market society that allows your effort and your ingenuity to determine your success; not the cold, hard hand of government determining winners and losers."

I challenge Christie to come up with a better example of the free market at work than Tesla Motors, the first successful new American car company in more than half a century.

Linda Nicholes

Huntington Beach

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Women again asking partners to beat them, "much like pre-Roe." Laws don't prevent abortions.

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texas abortion laws women's reproductive rights choice

Unless you've been hibernating for the past few years, you are well aware of how the GOP has been successfully denying women their reproductive rights by retrofitting this country with pre-Roe v. Wade legislation. How's that power trip outreach thing workin' for ya?

Check out the image below from The Rachel Maddow Show that lists some of the restrictions set by mostly white, male Republicans, the same Republicans who insist that Big Government is a very bad, intrusive, commie pinko thing... unless it forces women to do whatever mostly white, male Republicans want them to do with their bodies. Powerful legislators are making choices for women, choices that women should and can make for themselves:

abortion laws women's reproductive rights choice

Access to health care services has been severed with increasing and alarming frequency. Now women must seek help from those unqualified to provide safe, legal medical procedures. Even more disturbing: women are so desperate that they are trying to perform abortions themselves, without doctors, resulting in trauma, injury, and even death.

None of this is necessary. None of these new laws prevent women from terminating their pregnancies. Instead, it causes patients to resort to dangerous, even fatal methods. So to all you "pro-lifers" out there, lives aren't being saved, they're being lost, because you are forcing scores of clinics to close. Here's Maddow's exclusive reporting from Texas:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Amy Hagstrom Miller, Whole Women's Health founder in McAllen, Texas:

"We're also seeing more and more women take matters into their own hands... People go over the border, they get medication to try to self-induce abortion, and so sometimes they'll come to us afterward for an ultrasound, to see if they're still pregnant. Sometimes they'll be actively bleeding... So we saw an increase in self-induction... With flea markets, with crossing the border...

The sad thing is, with the misuse of the medication, something that is actually pretty safe, women could really do harm to themselves not knowing what they're doing...

We have seen women putting things into their vagina trying to dilate their cervix, we've seen people ask their partner to beat them, just the same stories we heard pre-Roe. We've seen people doing douching with Coke or douching with Lysol... It's very much like pre-Roe...

This law didn't do anything to prevent the need for abortion... We just blocked their access to getting it safely... It's obvious we're gonna have a public health problem on our hands."

Lucy Carreon, patient advocate:

"It's unthinkable that a complete stranger, whether it's an individual or a group such as the Supreme Court, you know, they can make such a personal decision for someone that they don't even know. That's crazy."

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

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VIDEO: Safety of alternative meds vs. conventional meds reminiscent of George Carlin's "Baseball vs. Football"

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george carlin baseball v football

Maybe it's because I've been feeling like a truck ran over me for the past week or so, or maybe it's because I was raised by a superb internist who regularly gave me insight into this very subject, but a Sunday L.A. Times op-ed stuck out like a sore thumb... a sore thumb that shouldn't be treated with unregulated meds.

It starts out with a comparison to one of my all time favorite George Carlin routines, "Baseball vs. Football" (a must-watch video if you've never seen it before) in which he says, "Football has hitting … and unnecessary roughness and personal fouls. Baseball has the sacrifice... in baseball, the object is to go home! And to be safe!"

These days, at least as it relates to the political priorities of all too many lawmakers, safety is vastly underrated:

Some might say the same can be said for conventional and alternative remedies. Conventional medicine has chemotherapy; alternative medicine has aromatherapy... Orthopedists operate; chiropractors adjust.

Then it gets to the heart (literally) of the matter. Please take a moment to read the entire piece, because too many people don't seem to be aware of many of the dangers associated with remedies that are not subject to government oversight. For example:

Unfortunately, because of the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act, dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so companies are under little obligation to support their claims or admit their harms.

For example, blue cohosh can cause heart failure; nutmeg can cause hallucinations; comfrey, kava, chaparral and valerian can cause inflammation of the liver; monkshood and plantain can cause heart arrhythmia; wormwood can cause seizures; stevia leaves can decrease fertility; concentrated green tea extracts can damage the liver; milkweed seed oil and bitter orange can cause heart damage; thujone can cause neurological damage; and concentrated garlic can cause bleeding.

In 1992, one of the worst dietary supplement disasters in history occurred when about 100 people developed kidney failure from a "slimming" mixture that contained the plant Aristolochia. At least 70 people required kidney transplants or dialysis; many later developed bladder cancers.

Memo to GOP: Regulation exists for a reason, and that reason is to keep us safe in any number of ways. "Big government" isn't always a bad thing (forced trans-vaginal ultrasounds being one major exception), and the insistence by some conservatives that corporate profit should trump the health and welfare of Americans is as absurd as it is dangerous.

More from George Carlin (with whom I had a few awesome personal encounters):

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying. [...]

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - We might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In the world of medicine, it should be obvious to our elected officials that sudden death is something we should go out of our way to avoid, not encourage via willful negligence.

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