Wednesday, October 29, 2014

why your uncle's opinion on ebola is essentially worthless

Your uncle has been listening nonstop to frightening tales of horrible deaths for weeks, and if he's sure about anything, he's sure that anybody who's been in west Africa should be quarantined for 21 days after they arrive in the US.

Your uncle is full of crap.

I know this because I know your uncle has never once submitted himself for a three week quarantine after being exposed to the flu virus; nor would he ever do so.

This, despite the fact that flu has been known to survive 17 days on banknotes.

Do you have that firmly in mind? Your uncle could catch the flu from a dollar bill 17 days after someone sneezed on it. And someone could catch the flu 17 days after one of your uncle's messy sneezes on a dollar bill.

But has the man ever submitted himself for voluntary isolation after having knowingly been exposed to someone with the flu? No, he has not, and he is not likely to do so, despite the fact that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 Americans die every year from influenza and pneumonia. Not one - which is number of people who have died from Ebola in the US as of this moment - but 50,000. That's roughly the population of Greenwood, Indiana or Hoboken, New Jersey - wiped out every year by flu and pneumonia.

Your uncle demanded an Ebola Czar and now he's livid that President Obama appointed a non-medical person to the position. But what does it matter? People like your uncle who need an Ebola Czar don't believe doctors anyway. And doctors are busy this time of year, treating flu victims.

Your uncle may be a serious man, but he's not serious about this. He's just afraid. 

And people like us should maybe be afraid that, next Tuesday, people like him could cast more ballots for the cynical candidates who feed his fear than the rest of us cast for candidates who face the world as it is, not as we're incited to fear it might be.

So, yeh, get out and vote. Take a couple of friends along when you go, and vote like it matters.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

If... Poverty in the US

We're a long, long way from erasing poverty in the US. Not even close yet.

That said, if I'm glad that something like 10 million of my fellow citizens — who couldn't afford health insurance in the past — are now covered (with real coverage, not just the old laws that prohibited poor people from being turned away by hospital emergency departments) — then why would I vote for someone who wants to return those citizens to higher risk and expose taxpayers to the greater costs associated with emergency-room-only health crisis interventions (because somebody pays for the costs of health care for uninsured people)?

We're not even close to addressing the systemic issues that contribute to poverty in the US, but we've taken the first steps to remove inadequate health care from the list of factors that can plunge people into poverty and keep them there. So why wouldn't I get out on November 4th to vote for someone...
  • who doesn't believe that poverty is inevitable
  • who doesn't assume every poor person is a moral failure
  • who is willing to work for an America where we refuse to bow to problems that are solvable when we work together
...seriously: why wouldn't I?

Monday, October 27, 2014

If... National Security + Moral Law 01

If, following a brief excursion into madness, I'm grateful that torture is once again off the table as sanctioned U.S. policy and practice, then why in the world would I give my vote to a candidate for the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives who condones or advocates torture as a tool of national security under some vague "whatever it takes" doctrine?

And why would I not get out on November 4th to vote for a candidate whose core understanding of the American way rejects torture—period?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If... Where the Economy Meets Health Care 01

Some people in Congress — you know who they are — have fallen strangely silent about the Affordable Care Act  (that's pronounced Obamacare by my sneering drunk unclebecause they misled us (even if they merely served the whims of others who manufactured the lies) about what a disaster the law would be for the U.S. economy.

If I'm glad -- and quite impressed given the obstacles -- that the Affordable Care Act has so far cost less than projected by its most fervent advocates, and saved more than the most optimistic pre-calculations, then why, why, why would I vote for someone whose party wants to repeal it, or at least gut it, for reasons that confound reason?

And why wouldn't I get out on November 4th to vote for a candidate whose party is determined to protect and extend affordable, quality, health care to all Americans? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

in the wind | tweets from the space ending 10.18.14



"yes means yes" | California's new targeted consent for sex law
 jimhancock.blogspot.com

If... Health Care 01 
jimhancock.blogspot.com 

Intimate Partner Violence Starts Young... 
jimhancock.blogspot.com

If... The Economy 01 jimhancock.blogspot.com

who cares | apps + websites to help kids learn empathy 
http://bit.ly/1xzPIWL @commonsense

If... Health Care 02 jimhancock.blogspot.com

don't panic | vetted facts on how Ebola spreads jimhancock.blogspot.com 

If... Public Policy 01 jimhancock.blogspot.com


If... Health Care 03

I have several family members who suffer longterm, debilitating medical conditions.

If I'm glad  -- downright relieved, to tell the truth -- that they not only can't have health coverage denied or dropped because of those conditions AND that there's no longer a lifetime cap on covering treatment for those conditions, why in the name of all that's sane and sensible would I vote for someone who wants to undo that? 

In fact, why should I not be tempted to take that intention as a sign of ill will and insult to my taxpaying, law-abiding, patriotic, medically challenged family members?

And why in the name of sense and sensibility wouldn't I get out on November 4th and vote for a candidate whose party is determined to protect and extend affordable, quality, health care to all Americans?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

If... Governance 01

If I'm glad to live in a nation governed by constitutionally shaped laws and policies enacted in a balance of power among legislative, executive and judicial branches -- and if I'm committed to preserving and improving that governance -- why would I vote for someone whose party chose, and threatens to choose again, to shut down that government without regard to the cost to justice, public health and safety, national security, and the economy in general and working Americans in particular?

And why wouldn't I get out on November 4th to vote for a candidate whose party embraces the constitutional duty to govern for the common good?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

don't panic | vetted facts on how Ebola spreads




Ebola Deeply is a pop-up journalistic site—hopefully short-lived—that deals only in vetted Ebola news. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

If... Public Policy 01

If I want the women I respect, admire, and depend on to be paid a fair wage for the value they create in the workplace, why would I vote for someone who has filibustered and otherwise obstructed measures designed to ensure that women receive equal treatment under the law?

And why wouldn't I get out on November 4th to vote for a candidate whose party is determined to defend equal treatment under the law for every American?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

If... Health Care 02

If I'm glad  -- possibly grateful -- that my family members can no longer be denied health coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions, why would I vote for someone who wants to dismantle that?

And why wouldn't I get out on November 4th and vote for a candidate whose party is determined to protect and extend affordable, quality health care for Americans?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

If... The Economy 01

If I'm glad that banks and other lenders must now tell me exactly how much I will pay for the money I'm borrowing or the credit card I'm swiping, why would I vote for someone who is determined to undo that as soon as possible?

And why wouldn't I get out on November 4th and vote for a candidate whose party passed the law that requires that disclosure and is determined to protect and extend financial transparency and fair dealing for Americans?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

If... Health Care 01

If I'm glad  -- maybe even grateful -- that my health insurance covers my under-employed son or daughter until age 26, why would I vote for someone who is determined to undo that as soon as possible?

And why wouldn't I get out on November 4th and vote for a candidate whose party is determined to protect and extend affordable, quality, health care for Americans?

That goes double if I'm the sub-26-year-old who wouldn't have health coverage if it weren't for the Affordable Care Act (what my drunk uncle refers to contemptuously as Obamacare).

— RANTS + REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON GOOD —

[mostly]