Monday, November 14, 2011

Homeless Hell, Albuquerque

Only last Wednesday I became homeless.
The city of Albuquerque, in order to "save money", replaced myself and 12 other employees with inmates from the Bernalillo County jail, and layed us all off.
It is, to put it mildly, disgraceful the lives that homeless people are forced to live in to survive.
Most of the year they are forced to live on the streets as the city has no shelters at all.
There are 3 private shelters, Joy Junction, where the homeless are required to sleep on thin "mats" on the floor.
Women and children sleeping on the floor, the heat is so inadequate that although no one freezes to death there, they suffer.
There are far more homeless people than shelter space, so many of the homeless in Albuquerque sleep, in the winter months, on the sidewalk, with only a thin blanket keeping them alive in their misery.

This will be continued as often as I am able to get to the library to work on the articles.
If you continue reading, be prepared to learn of the horrors the homeless in Albuquerque face every day.

And learn who the homelss are.

This is a real nightmare, in the richest country in the world people live like refugees from Sudan...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Massive protests held against US role in Afghanistan

Holding banners "Permanent US military bases equals permanent slavery of Afghan people", "Occupation equals killing plus destruction" in their hands, the protesters shouted "Death to America" as they marched on the downtown street.

KABUL -- Hundreds of Afghans held a massive protest against the United States in the downtown area of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Sunday, demanding an end of the U.S. role in Afghanistan.
Protest in Kabul

Anti-US protest in Kabul
AFP: About 500 people poured onto the streets of Kabul earlier on Sunday and chanted anti-American slogans over the deaths of the children. Marching through central Kabul they shouted "Death to America -- Death to the invaders." A placard carried by a veiled woman read: "Occupation = killing + destruction."
Holding banners "Permanent US military bases equals permanent slavery of Afghan people", "Occupation equals killing plus destruction" in their hands, the protesters shouted "Death to America" as they marched on the downtown street.
"The involvement of the US government in Afghanistan, that has a long history of cruelty, has not improved conditions in the country, but increased corruption, poverty, murders, poppy cultivation and trafficking," says the pamphlet handed out by the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan, the organizer of the protests.
Hangama, one of the organizers, told Xinhua, "Our aim is to condemn the civilian casualties caused by U.S. troops here in Afghanistan and we don't want the American presence in our country. "
The protesters called for an end of the U.S. role in Afghanistan and strongly condemned the U.S. intention to establish a permanent military base in the country.
"As the United States wants to establish a permanent base in Afghanistan, we call on our people not to allow the U.S. to occupy our country, not allow the Karzai government to sign the shameful agreement," said Hangama.
Women and even children were among the protesters, while a great number of policemen were on high alert in case of security incidents.
At its climax, the protesters burned U.S. President Barack Obama's effigy, shouting "Down with the U.S.".
Azada, a female protester said, "Today we demonstrate here to condemn the civilian causalities caused by the U.S forces and Taliban in our country. We want American troops to stop killing the innocent person, the children and the women."


Read more: http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2011/03/06/massive-protests-held-against-us-role-in-afghanistan.html#ixzz1G4jDnf00

America is not broke.

Speech delivered at Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, March 5, 2011
America is not broke.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'├ętat, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.
I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees. It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their fair share of taxes, the state can't function. The schools can't produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us millions of jobs.  That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes, reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from circulation.
The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. It's part of the Big Lie. It's one of the three biggest lies of the decade: America/Wisconsin is broke, Iraq has WMD, the Packers can't win the Super Bowl without Brett Favre.
The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them. But just in case that doesn't work, they've got their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled, the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things:
1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day – this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart -- because you -- yes, you, too! -- might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone, don't rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.
2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked. As the economy and the stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat: Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or it's Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future. It was friggin' awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. "Here! Take our money! We don't care. We'll even print more for you! Just take it! But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!"
The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).
Until now. On Wisconsin! Never has a Michigander been more happy to share a big, great lake with you! You have aroused the sleeping giant know as the working people of the United States of America. Right now the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50 states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT! We reject anyone tells us America is broke and broken. It's just the opposite! We are rich with talent and ideas and hard work and, yes, love. Love and compassion toward those who have, through no fault of their own, ended up as the least among us. But they still crave what we all crave: Our country back! Our democracy back! Our good name back! The United States of America. NOT the Corporate States of America. The United States of America!
So how do we get this? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to freedom and morality and humanity.
Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois -- whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn't have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury. They couldn't be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to have more – something more than all the riches in the world. They had to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job -- their $19,000 a year job. That's how much some rookie pilots on commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilots flying people here to Madison. But he's stopped trying to get better pay. All he asks is that he doesn't have to sleep in his car between shifts at O'Hare airport. That's how despicably low we have sunk. The wealthy couldn't be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They wanted to take away his sleep. They wanted to demean and dehumanize him. After all, he's just another slob.
And that, my friends, is Corporate America's fatal mistake. But trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement -- a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and that point is upon us. Many people in the media don't understand this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks during brutal winter weather. "Why are they all standing out there in the cold? I mean there was that election in November and that was supposed to be that!
"There's something happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you...?"
America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!
Madison, do not retreat.  We are with you. We will win together.

Follow Michael Moore on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MMFlint

Monday, March 07, 2011

Who Really Runs American Politics?

Today it seems there  is a lot of hate in politics. 
Pundits like to point out that politics has always been "dirty". 

Here is what I see: all around, good people, warm hearted people, well meaning people, like yourself. 
Good people on the right, like McCain or Alan Dershowitz on the left. 

People like Noam Chomsky. 

I have seen Chomsky debate Alan Dershowitz. 
Dershowitz clearly makes the case that we here are familiar with, and Chomsky makes the Arab case. 
My guess is that it's because an Arab "charmed" him. 
Have you known any Arabs? 
They can be extremely charming. 
He is a good man with a good heart, yet he is completely wrong on Israel. 
People have a tendency to agree completely with those they really like or admire. 

That's why some people like Obama, and some like Ronald Reagan. 
Obama seems to be mainly practicing the art of politics. 
He is trying to say the right things and do the right things to be re-elected. 
But he's not a Communist. 
I've read his books, I've heard his speeches and listened to people who have known him well. 
Obama wants to remain President. 
That is his goal, that is what he is committed to. 
 
Economics drives politics. 
It's all about economics. 

I believe corporations control the politics of the US,  others believes "the people" do, and that Communists are trying to take over, and that that is the major political economic conflict, that and Islamism, should be our concerns. 

One reason so many people are uncertain about what to do or how to sort out the political complexities is that our major problems today are economic, and economics are complicated, purposely. 

I think we as a nation need to be united, because the elite, the corporate elite, are united, and their interest is the bottom line, not the country or its people. 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011

Governor Walker Union Buster, and Proud of it

Some Americans comment on the uprising in Wisconsin by attacking unions.
This question is not whether unions are human institutions. 
No one is asking for the unions to be dubbed as perfect. 
Every human endeavor has the potential for corruption. 
Including the  far rights  beloved corporations. 
The issue is whether or not workers have the right to join together and negotiate about wages, conditions and so on. 
That is what the demonstrations are about. 
Governor Walker has as his demand, abolishing public worker's rights to negotiate with employers. 
Anyone who believes  that corporations do not at least have the potential for being corrupt is ignoring the mountains of evidence that proves otherwise. 
Try this google search: " List of Corporations convicted of felonies" 
Big business is not the grandfatherly caretaker some believe that it is. 
Workers need to be able to defend themselves in some way. 
No human institutions are perfect, we have that as our goal, we have to work towards that, but we shouldn't just , for example, say, 'unions have had problems, therefore, let's trust the magnanimous corporations, they'll take care of us!' " 
The workers of Wisconsin are demonstrating for basic human rights. 
The right to organize to negotiate, as a group, for wages and conditions.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You Don't Need A Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows


Recently, on Arutz Sheva,  a writer opined about possible similarities between the demonstrations in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and so on, and speculated whether the wave of anti-government forces would sweep out Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

A better analogy would be Wisconsin.

Thousands of peaceful demonstrators surround the Capitol Building in Madison.
Thousands of Libyans are protesting against Qaddafi's regime.

They are asking for the same things, jobs and financial security.

We see the same situation with all of the major protests being covered in the Media.
In all cases, the authorities, including Republican Governor Walker in Wisconsin, refused to talk to the demonstrators.
Change is not just sweeping the Middle East, the cry for change is here in the U.S., as well.

Governor Walker has threatened to bring in the National Guard.

Although there are many differences in the demographics, political systems, religious beliefs, and so on, the basic demand is Jobs and financial security.

These are issues that will always be with us.
In the past we made tremendous strides in advancing and protecting the human rights of workers.

Recently President Obama said, "It’s a disgrace that veterans should be homeless."

It’s a disgrace that children are homeless, as well, and single mothers and young people.
And people who can't find work when 20 million Americans are unemployed.
A Republican Congresswoman said on CNN last night  "People need to get used to it.
If they have troubles, and they think there is a social safety net, its not going to be there, because there is going to be less jobs, and fewer taxpayers.”
This is something I have discussed, that the politicians are already visualizing a country, this country, as having less employment and fewer opportunities in the future.

I have heard Chavez disgusting diatribes against the Jewish people,
So personally, I would love to see him overthrown, but there's no real analogy with the Chavez regime and the middle-east uprisings.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Courtney!


Before Kanye West took over as the reigning king of Twitter, there wasCourtney Love. While West's tweets usually address his new album, his search for a Persian rug or his ever-increasing sense of his own awesomeness, Love's tweets are darker and smarter and more revealing (sometimes literally).
According to the Hollywood Reporter, they're also at the center of a potentially groundbreaking legal battle: Attorneys for Dawn Simorangkir, a fashion designer with whom Love had been squabbling, claim that some of Love's 2009 Simorangkir-related tweets were defamatory. The case is headed to trial in February.
In the meantime, Love is currently living in the UK and tweeting furiously about everything and everyone. We've waded through dozens of tweets about obscure British gentry and Winston Churchill's walking stick to find the gold within. Some of Love's latest and greatest tweets, decoded:
The tweet: no trouble, buy property, make art, babies be heroic everyday, get my stray sheparded into a school and rock some words.smoking too, surf?
The interpretation: This one was from December 31st, so we're guessing it's a New Year's resolution. The "stray" presumably refers to daughter Frances Bean
The tweet: oh my god, if i had had a college education none of the money would be stolen and my husband would be alive,. dont joke,
The interpretation:Self-explanatory.
(On Trent ReznorKe$ha and more, after the jump.)
The tweet: i guess they figure if they make enough trouble people will still kepp thinking im on drugs and insane despite that never really having been
The interpretation: With Love, there's always a shadowy "they." No sure who she's referring to here, though. Usually, it's lawyers.
The tweet: @Keshasuxx not slamming you, yr tall and pretty very tall and very pretty and i dont know what your here for. Fame itself? do you LIKE music
The interpretation Love has been on a Twitter campaign to save Ke$ha, from a lifetime of being...Ke$ha. Apparently, it isn't going so well.
The tweet: ok im going into the other room to watch "Gosford Park" did you know Julian Fellowes refused me as a friend on facebook?#FAIL
The interpretation: British people are mean.
The tweet: i dont mean to make russell mad but i watch his genesis and im so proud of him and i dont doubt he loves her, so?
The interpretation: Love had apparently been insulting Russell Brand's wife, Katy Perry.
The tweet no he [unrepeatable] me, it wa shim on my door, not the other way around, tho i waited 2 days in no b4 he came it was not,,,,great
The interpretation: Since this came in a flurry of Trent Reznor-related tweets, we think Courtney is saying that Reznor pursued her during their long-ago affair, that she waited for him in New Orleans and did not find the end result to be a satisfactory one.
The tweet: i think the washington post was really ridiculously harsh ive only ever seena nother review like that and it was insf, it was sexist & lame
The interpretation: We're guessing she was referring to this.
By Allison Stewart  | January 6, 2011; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  Riffs  | Tags:  Courtney Love 

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Tone down the rhetoric"


Some of us are turning this tragedy into a contest to see who can most successfully pin the blame on the other side's political affiliation.

It was in many ways a senseless tragedy.
A mentally ill man who may have been encouraged in his insanity by violent rhetoric.
The more we learn about the assassin , the more he appears to be an extremely disturbed individual, noticeably so.

Both sides should tone down the rhetoric.
The average Republican, the average Democrat, doesn't support violence in our politics.
The average American supports the same basic goals as any other average American.

If the American Empire crumbles, it will be in large part because the American people turn against each other as the "empire" crumbles

There are some things people on the left and the right are wrong about.
We should dicuss them factually, rather than emotionally.

Now if an Arab or Terrorist sympathizer comes here, it might be difficult to deal with them in that way, but I've found that they are fairly easy to defeat in debate because the facts are on our side, as long as we keep the debate logical rather than emotional.

 Maybe the ultimate meaning of the tragedy in Arizona will actually honor the memory of those killed in Texas.

Perhaps we should, "Tone down the rhetoric".





Sarah Palin: Violent threats have consequences

Sarah Palin put 20 Democratic members of Congress in her crosshairs, and Sarah Palin bragged that 18 are now gone, leaving Rep. Giffords and Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia.

There has been an astonishing acceleration of violent right wing rhetoric. At the same time, the mainstream media has come to accept armed revolution (second amendment remedies) and violence as legitimate political discourse instead of calling it out as behavior that crosses a very dangerous line. In the past week alone, incendiary devices were received at the offices of the Democratic Secretary of Homeland Security and the Democratic Governor of Maryland.
This is what Sarah Palin and others like her have wrought with their violent and vitriolic rhetoric that literally places gun sights on people who don't agree with their extreme views.
Apologists on the right are already saying that while tragic, this event was simply the result of an isolated act by a deranged individual. There have always been deranged individuals. But they have not always had easy access to guns nor have they always lived in a 24-hour-a-day media machine that promotes a toxic soup of violent attacks on political opponents.
How can anyone not be haunted by the prophetic words of Rep. Giffords herself in March 2010, after her office was vandalized, threats received, and her name and district identified by Sarah Palin in her infamous crosshairs:
"Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they've gotta realize there are consequences to that action."1
Will there be consequences?
.What happened in Arizona yesterday was not an isolated incident, but rather the culmination of a long stream of threats and attacks, most in response to the Congresswoman's support for health care reform.
In November of 2009, a staffer fearing for Rep. Giffords' safety called authorities after a visitor dropped a handgun during another "Congress on your Corner" event at a local Safeway in her district.2
And on March 22, 2010, just hours after Rep. Giffords cast her vote in favor of health care reform, a vandal jumped a gate and smashed the glass front door of her Arizona office. 3
It was just days later that the now infamous map featuring Rep. Giffords' district in the crosshairs was posted by Sarah Palin's PAC. In announcing the map, Palin issued a chilling tweet urging her supporters "Don't retreat. Instead -- reload!"4 Incredulously, through a spokesperson, Sarah Palin is denying that the crosshairs on her map targeting 20 Democrats who voted against health care reform represents gun sights.5
As if the crosshairs weren't clear enough, Jesse Kelley, Rep. Giffords' Republican opponent in a hard fought race for reelection held an event two months later that makes the stakes all too clear. He asked supporters to donate $50 in order to "shoot a fully automatic M16" to "get on target" and help "remove Gabrielle Giffords."6 Sarah Palin subsequently praised Jesse Kelly on Fox Business News saying: "I don't feel worthy to lace his combat boots." 7
Sarah Palin: Threats of violence have no place in our democracy. End the use of shooting images in rightwing political rhetoric and stop validating political figures who use violent metaphors in their political calls to action.
We agree with Keith Olbermann who said last night that "Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our democracy."8
We must put a stop to the escalating hate rhetoric of the right and its very specific calls to armed violent action. Lines of decency have been crossed.


Originally Posted on Credo Action Web site

1YouTube video of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on MSNBC, March 25, 2010. 

2 "Gabrielle Giffords Town Hall: Gun Left Behind," Huffington Post, August 13, 2009. 

3 "Rep. Giffords' Tucson office vandalized after health care vote," Arizona Daily Star, March 22, 2010. 

4Sarah Palin's Twitter feed, March 23, 2010.


Saturday, January 08, 2011

People are dying because of Brewer Medicaid cuts


People are dying because of Brewer Medicaid cuts. 
More will die. 
Steven Daglas, a conservative Republican committeeman from Chicago, says this is outrageous, and he has, with a team of specialists, drafted 20 different ways of paying for the surgeries to save 98 lives that are currently at stake, without adding to Arizona's deficits, and Brewer refuses to look at the report. 

The choice is not freedom or slavery, it's not "second amendment" solutions or Communism. 
Obama is not a communist.
I've read his books. 
He is a capitalist. 
I hoped, although I didn't really expect, that he would be a great President. 
I think the reality of Obama is that he is a politician, and will do what he thinks will increase his chances to remain President. 
That's how it is with most politicians. 
I have known some, and I got the impression that their major concern was, always, keeping their job. 

I wish I had simple answers to all of our problems, particularly overpopulation, poverty, crime and violence . 
I wish I could just say, well, its the Republicans or the Democrats or the independents. 

I think the situation is complex, and beyond solution by slogans or icons or 
gunfire. 
The bottom line though, is to gain factual knowledge of the situation we are in and have a goal for what a long term goal would be. 
My view, and I am trying to learn more, is that we live in an oligarchy. 
The oligarchy's concern is profit. 
I'm not saying that's bad, in and of itself, I'm just stating what seems to be a fact. 

If a country is run strictly as a corporate possession, and profit is the main purpose of the government's policies, there will be human problems and societal problems as a result. 
If 30 million people are unemployed and can't find a job, and don't have some type of safety net, and cannot get another job, there will be crime and violence. 
No doubt at all about that, is there?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Another Patient Dies From Arizona’s Medicaid Cuts As Gov. Brewer Ignores Possible Solutions

 "I refuse to believe that any person or state will spend $1.25 million to save 5 squirrels a year, but not 98 human beings. It can’t be true. That just doesn’t make any sense,"  so said the gracious and charming Republican Representative from Chicago, Stevden Daglas.
This is something we don't really expect to see from a Republican lawmaker.
This article gives a background to the public emergence of this fine man, and, hopefully, a new wave amongst Republicans.
It was originally published on Think Progressive's web site.


As ThinkProgress previously reported, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) advocated for and passed budget cuts last year that cut off urgent transplant funding that was previously promised to 98 Arizonans. In late November, Mark Price, an Arizona father who had been battling leukemia for a year, died due to complications related to chemotherapy treatment he was receiving. Price was awaiting an organ transplant that could’ve saved his life, but he was unable to receive one in time due to Brewer’s budget cuts.

Now, the University of Arizona Medical Center has told the press that another patient passed away in late December because they were unable to get their organ transplant funded. Although the attending physicians declined to release the name of the patient out of respect for the family’s privacy, they confirmed that the patient that passed away was one of the 98 Arizonans cut off from organ transplants by Brewer and the GOP-controlled state legislature. He “was our patient. He was on our list,” said surgery department spokeswoman Jo Marie Gellerman.
Local news station KGUN reported the second death and tracked down two patients who are still waiting for transplants. They interviewed 48-year old David Hernandez, who has a terminal lung disease and will die without a transplant. They also highlighted the case of 27-year old Tiffany Tate, who also needs a lung transplant to save her life. Despite placing three phone calls and an e-mail, the station was unable to receive any response from Brewer’s office.
KGUN was able to interview Sen. Frank Antenori (R) — a Brewer ally who has long fought for provisions to prevent abortions, based on his supposed belief in the sanctity of human life — who told them that he wishes the legislature “had the money and it was flowing from the hills to fund everything we want to fund. Tough decisions are being made because we’re in a budget crisis right now.” Interestingly, the station found out that all state employees are entitled to medical benefits subsidized by taxpayers, and that “yes, they do cover organ transplants.” Watch it:
After learning about the plight of the 98 Arizonan patients, Steven Daglas, an Illinois State GOP Central Committeeman, worked with several others to analyze the Arizona state budget and finances to develop funding solutions that would allow the state to fully fund the transplants for all of the remaining patients without actually raising any new revenue. The possible solutions included using $2 million from an AIG settlement that the state of Arizona will receive or “transferring $1.2 million in funds that Arizona once planned to use to build bridges for endangered squirrels.” Yet even after repeatedly sending his proposal to Brewer since December, Daglas has received zero response from the governor. He told The Arizona Republic that she may be ignoring his proposal out of the fear that he’s trying to politically damage her, but he explained, “I’m a Republican guy from Illinois…We’re just concerned about these transplant patients and want to help“:
Since early last month, Daglas and those with whom he is working have been reaching out to the governor and her staff with the ideas. Among other things, they sent a letter that required a signature confirmation so they knew the information was getting through. But they haven’t heard back.
“We’re worried that maybe her office is thinking that we’re offering these ideas as a way to attack her or make her look bad, and that isn’t it at all,” Daglas said. “I’m a Republican guy from Illinois. We have plenty of problems up here. We’re just concerned about these transplant patients and want to help. We have provided detailed information about the suggestions, the statutes, the original sources and so on.”
The failure of Brewer to respond to the funding proposal has frustrated Daglas, and this morning he joined with five of the patients in need of transplants and launched a website, Arizona98.com. The website lists 26 possible ways that Arizona can shift funding in order to pay for the transplant procedures without having to raise any additional revenue. As the Arizona Republic notes, the savings Arizona is supposed to have by not funding the transplants amount to $1.36 million. As Arizona98.com notes, “The fact our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters (hard-working citizens and good people) have been deemed expendable at a price of $13,877.56 per human life still does not make sense.”