In 2008 President Obama took office along with legislative majorities in both houses and a universal health care plan, single payer plan and eventually a buy-in to Medicare plan were high priorities on the legislative agenda. A compromise destined for failure (all too obviously torpedoed by the insurance companies) was hobbled together over two years of deal making and breaking and eventually passed without a mandate for universal participation.
Since the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2010 a resounding chant echoed in the halls of congress.
Six years later the chant was modified by the Trump campaign and it became “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” and “replace” was defined as “lower premiums and better coverage”. The Hillary campaign overwhelmed with “Benghazi” and “email issues” embarked on a campaign of carefully phrased soundbites regarding healthcare and a paranoid campaign staff obsessed with controlling the message about almost anything else. Read more
On Saturday April 22, 2017, many within the Southwest regions celebrated Earth Day by enjoying the areas national and state parks and basking in some of the finest weather we have to offer. Many also felt a need to demonstrate and speak about the value that science brings to our lives and took to the streets all over the world including Las Vegas and St. George, Utah. Erin O’Brien a biology professor at Dixie State University organized a March for Science traversing the St. George Ancestor Square and downtown Park areas. The march was attended by some two hundred participants and observers.
In our current world gone insane we can easily see the root cause of the wild and crazy events surrounding us in an ever-increasing cloud of insecurity, fear and lies that are a long way from any discernable truths. We know that we cannot always be counted on to act responsibly and cautiously with words. Words are important and we should have learned from those that use words in such careless ways and we should have learned from the results of careless words in the calamities of the 20th century bloodbaths (total lives lost over 150 million) and those lives were lost because of stupid words pertaining to making countries great, superior and portraying their murderous aggression as beautiful. Nothing beautiful about destruction. Romanticizing and waxing poetically about destruction is not decent even when the destruction is necessary to stop those that are already insane.
A dear friend of mine suggested that writing an article and/or commenting on a particular article in The Mesquite Weekly is not quite everything that deserves a good howl at the moon. We need a space to simply let our emotional rollercoaster take its ride. Up and down and loop around. Wherever it wants to go to get to here and there and everywhere and even nowhere.
However, the editor and publisher have taken the position that the Mesquite Weekly will no longer be engaged in any emotional rides in this publication. In a world in chaos with social and cultural constructs built to respond with primitive and tribal instincts, rants and raves are not in our or anyone else’s best interest. We still content that censorship is not a consequence of our change in position, but an affirmation of engaging this publication in a dialog that employs reason and rational discourse in the pursuit of our common interest to be factual and truthful. Words are the primary conveyors of ideas. We cannot convey our ideas and thoughts when we cannot agree on the precise and agreed upon definitions of these conveyors. Words are important. Our ideas and thoughts must be expressed with a reasonable degree of accuracy to enable these expressions to be understood with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
We may hear the words, but not really grasp their meaning. After pursuing the “ridiculously unreasonable” and traveling down that path as a matter of habit and becoming comfortable or entrenched with such pursuit, the “absurd” as such, may no longer be within our sphere of comprehension and madness ensues. The events of March 2017 may eventually be described as “March Madness” (apologies to the NCAA tournament). Let me begin with one such occurrence of madness by presenting a news commentary by the Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano (the title alone speaks volumes of Napolitano’s creditability):
Now that recreational use of marijuana has been decriminalized, the Nevada state legislature is considering a bill that will enable local authorities to issue permits to allow marijuana smoking in public places such as casinos. The bill (Nevada SB236) was introduced on March 6, 2017 and passed to the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee for deliberation and debate before it is presented to the Senate for a vote. The title of the bill and brief description is presented as follows:
“Requires a license or permit issued by a local government to operate certain businesses in which the use of marijuana is allowed or to allow the use of marijuana at certain events.” (BDR 20-43)
The full text may be viewed at: https://legiscan.com/NV/text/SB236/2017. Read more
On the last day of the full moon during March 2017, a few good friends had the privilege of visiting the newly formed Gold Butte National Monument. Our experiences were memorable beyond all expectations. Enhancements by the beginnings of an anticipated spectacular desert spring bloom; rock formations bathed in moonlight; a flickering firelight and stories shared with a visiting Gold Butte legend contributed to this mythical and spiritual commune with this land.
Memorable moments beg to be shared and I would like to remind everyone that just outside of Mesquite is a place called Nevada. The area surrounding Mesquite in the springtime is enchanting when the desert blooms. The variety of color and intensity of blooms exhibited on desert daisies, roses, various bushes and of course cacti is astonishing. You simply must open your eyes and your heart to the treasures that surround you and be a part of this enchanted land.
Not only does the vegetation display itself in all its glory, the landscape also appears alive with a display of fascinating shapes and colors. This stunning rock garden covers the area and provides a portrait of its geological history, ancient sea beds and violent volcanic upheavals. Ancient sand dunes that evolved into sandstone formations show their varied layers and mineral content in multicolored displays that are constantly changing in form and color from the effects of wind and rain. Read more
This is a short “how to” on always speaking the truth.
First rule: Never lie!
Second rule: Be sincere! (no snickering)
Third rule: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat and Repeat, Again and Again!
Those are the rules, they are simple and they are the only rules. We must return to our childhood and explore how we came to know and to speak the truth. Do you remember your first imaginary friend? Your older siblings and even the adults in the family would accuse you of fibbing about your friend. But you stuck to your guns and told them that you speak to, hear from and see your friend. You told them that you believed that as the truth.
As you attained what some call an “age of reason” your imaginary friend, one would assume took a back seat or wandered off into never-never land. Now just hold on a minute… NOT SO! You know better and you know that friend is still around. He may have changed a little (not a lot really) and you still speak to and hear from him (I would use a gender-neutral description but he does appear to be mostly male). He helps you with everyday truths and how to tell these truths without ever lying. Read more
The myths surrounding Obamacare range from death panels to covert communist (Russian?) activities. Paul Ryan talks about the “disaster” and the “pending doom” and gloom and the end of the world being caused by Obamacare. The repeal can be done with a stroke of a legislative pen, but the replace is a painful struggle. Apparently, there are millions that now understand that the more pressing challenge in their lives was not having insurance at all. Twenty million people have embraced the ACA and now will fight to keep it. Read more