Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Massachusetts Considers Stealing Parental Responsibility

While worrying about what Islamophiles have in mind for Sharia law, consider what liberal Massachusetts politicians have in their sights.

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are set to consider a proposed ban on spanking children in the commonwealth.

State Rep. Jay Kaufman filed the spanking ban petition at the request of an Arlington, Mass., nurse who wants Massachusetts to become the first state in the country to stop corporal punishment.

And, liberals claim it is Pres. Bush who wants to usurp rights. Riggghhhttt!

Link in this blog:
Lawmakers To Consider Spanking Ban

Monday, November 26, 2007

Aptos Theater of the Morally Confused

Yesterday a little after twelve o’clock, noon, still chilly from the Northern California morning cold, they stood statuesque, more or less evenly spaced every ten feet or so along the bridge. Facing east, dressed in all dark attire, mostly black, they held large white signs with black lettering. Cars zoomed beneath their feet going where ever necessary on a Sunday. It was only the travelers crossing over Highway 1 on Rio del Mar Blvd. who could read the signs: “war ain’t the answer;” “support education not war;” and billions of dollars wasted on war, which could be better be used for education. That sort of rhetoric.

I admire passionate people willing to make the effort to witness for their cause. It sure beats to hell the people more content with the likes of “reality” television, video games and other shallow endeavors. Sunday’s people were trying to make a difference. Too bad they lack wisdom to accompany their passion.

Humans have a tremendous capacity to commit evil and an equal capacity to ignore it. What is it within so many Americans that prompt them to an advocacy that ultimately empowers philosophies that enslave tens of millions of the world’s people? These Americans apparently lack the ability to be grateful for the sacrifices made by others, which ensured the freedoms enjoyed by the citizens of United States of America. Lacking is the wisdom to understand that these freedoms are transitory and dependent upon constant vigilance. Samuel Adams spoke well to the unwise.

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
Yes, go from us. We need not your moral confusion.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Healthcare is Not Broken, Values are Broken

The healthcare system is broken and needs to be reformed. People are falling through the safety net. Or, so we are told.

A ninety year old woman is dying of leukemia. Her eighty-six year old husband is dying of congestive heart failure. Recently their doctors initiated hospice. Hospice is a Medicare funded program where the patient is given comfort drugs, and there is a cessation of life sustaining efforts. Prior to hospice, both were treated under standard Medicare programs, of which they became eligible to receive in the 1980’s. Preceding Medicare, the couple paid for their medical care out-of -pocket and through medical insurance that they purchased. Until they reached the mandatory age for Medicare, they received not one dime of government assistance. Rather, they continuously worked hard to become eventually eligible to receive the government benefits that they paid for with their taxes. Now they have around-the-clock in-home care givers paid from the couple’s own personal saving accounts. Hospice assists in making the couple as comfortable as possible, as death waits in the wings. The story is not captivating, nor highlights governmental inequities, so the main stream media would not deem it worthy of attention.

A twenty-four year old man is hospitalized with leukemia, and he has no health insurance. His doctors struggle to find a specialized hospital to accept him and to get him qualified for emergency Medi-Cal coverage. This man’s medical condition is a personal tragedy. But, his lack of health insurance is of his own making, and the local newspaper features his plight on the front page.

Victor Vega,

The 24-year-old musician and sometimes construction worker from Simi Valley was like a lot of people his age. He was going to live forever. He didn't need insurance and couldn't afford it. If he became sick, someone would take care of him because that's the way the world works.

From the local newspaper, Vega’s life revolves around neither personal nor financial responsibility.

Vega, who was born in South Lake Tahoe, (the South Lake Tahoe qualifier is no doubt inserted to inform the readers that Vega is not an illegal alien) has lived in Simi Valley since he was a teenager. He lays tile when he can find work, but his life revolves around his band, Old School Crisis, his girlfriend and his friends.
There is plenty of new residential construction in Simi Valley. Maybe he’s not a good tile setter.

Vega’s current hospital was forced to accept him when he showed up at their emergency room. His condition requires specialized treatment not available in most hospitals. Because he has no health insurance, nor any ability to pay, the specialized hospitals refused to accept him as a transfer from his current hospital.

Vega hit the nail on the head when he stated,

"I didn't have insurance, and I knew it would cost me an arm and a leg," he said Monday from a glassed-in hospital room. "Just the doctor's visit — I talked to her for about five minutes. That was $437."
Vega could afford the “arm and a leg” if he were responsible enough to get a full-time job. He could afford to purchase health insurance with his disposable income if he was willing to forego some routine creature comfort or frivolous expenditure. Instead, he is a leech sucking from the public trough, both government and private.

Late at night on the second Thursday of November, the Vegas took things into their own hands. Acting against medical advice, Vega discharged himself from Simi Valley Hospital. Dressed in sweats and a T-shirt, he was rolled in a wheelchair to his friend's truck.

They left a hospital that couldn't provide what they needed in favor of one that could. They drove 24 miles to Olive View, went into the emergency room and demanded care.

Hospitals can refuse patient transfers but are required by federal law to treat people who come to the emergency room. The gambit worked. Vega was not only treated, he was admitted and told he could get chemo even though his Medi-Cal application hadn't yet been approved.

Vega worked the system all right. The government forces the hospital emergency room to accept him. His unpaid costs are absorbed by the hospital, which then raises everyone else’s hospital and insurance rates. The government compounds the theft by reaching into your pocket and removing more dollars to pay for Vega’s Medi-Cal benefits. He benefits through no effort on his own. He benefits precisely because he is irresponsible.

The medical care system is not broken. However, the personal values for many people are broken. And, the government’s growing nanny state mentality is facilitating personal irresponsibility under the guise that government is required to operate a “safety net.”

I am not totally cold hearted. I’d be willing for the government to offer Vega hospice drugs to ease his suffering, as his family and friends care for him until death. Under these circumstances, Vega’s continuing life is not a social responsibility, nor a proper government function.

Link in this Blog:
Uninsured cancer victim fights for treatment

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Socialism & Cocaine Living Well Together

Anyone who does not know the significance of the cocaine drug trade and the concomitant destruction of human lives is living on some other planet. Originating from Africa, which does not produce cocaine, is this story.

Amid growing demand in Europe, South American traffickers are moving billions of dollars worth of cocaine through the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau, an amount so large it dwarfs all other economic sectors combined and could destabilize the coup-prone country, a top U.N. official said.

"The fear is that the influx of drug money can easily generate a situation of instability, because the appetite among different local partners to get involved is getting bigger and bigger," Antonio Mazzitelli, West Africa director of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, said in a Thursday interview. "It's no different than other wars and conflicts in West Africa in which diamonds or oil have created instability. It's a dangerous situation."

The drive to enrich oneself at the expense of others is a base human condition. And, who might these drug traffickers from South America count among their supporters? None other than the socialist president of Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Those politics have not endeared him to the United States, his nemesis in the late 1980s and 1990s when he led coca growers, or "cocaleros", in protests against Washington-directed forced eradication campaigns. The plant's small green leaf has been chewed as a mild stimulant here for millenia, but is best known outside the country as the base ingredient of cocaine.

The Bolivian government has long worked with U.S. narcotics agents to eradicate the Bolivian coca fields. All of that is coming to an end.

…last month he expressed his desire that all U.S. military personnel leave Bolivia, Morales on Friday said he wants any and all armed foreign troops out.

Bolivia is on a socialist fast track fueled by cocaine money.

His version of socialism requires state control of all basic services, including telecommunications.

Morales has increased Bolivia's annual natural gas revenues from $300 million to $2 billion a year by exerting greater state control over the industry.

Water utilities have reverted to state control and authorities are negotiating the re-nationalization of the country's main telecommunications company, Entel, which is owned by Telecom Italia SpA. Officials have indicated electrical power could be next.

Morales has allied himself closely with Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's leftist president, and Fidel Castro, Cuba's aging leader.

Morales trumpets the standard anti-capitalist and western imperialism clap trap of the socialists.

But his vision of socialism is guided, Morales said, by the communal decision-making of Bolivia's indigenous societies and their "way of living in harmony with Mother Earth."

Living in harmony with Mother Earth is just another way of saying that the indigenous peoples were in a near Stone Age developmental stage when first contacted by Europeans and had not yet developed the mechanisms to further exploit the earth.

Utilizing his anti-capitalistic stance, Morales stated that,

…he and other Latin American leaders are exploring possible legal means for demanding compensation for the developed world's "ecological debt."

"It's not possible that some in the industrialized world live very well economically while affecting, even destroying others," said the 48-year-old Aymara Indian. Scientists count this Andean nation's rapidly melting glaciers among the most profound signs of global warming.

How about the industrialized world exploring legal means for demanding compensation from Boliva, and the other South American countries involved in the cocaine trade, for devastating the lives of millions of cocaine addicts and fueling rampant crime?

Links in this blog:
Cocaine could destabilize Guinea-Bissau

Bolivia's Morales recounts police abuse

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thin Skinned & Suspicious Arabic Speakers

Six Arabic speaking men spooked a passenger or passengers on an American Airlines flight resulting in the flight being cancelled and all passengers inconvenienced. Now the Arabic speakers are suing.

Six men of Iraqi descent, who were heading home from doing training for the U.S. military, have sued American Airlines, saying employees detained and publicly humiliated them after another passenger voiced suspicions.

The men, who sued in U.S. District Court in Detroit alleging racial discrimination, say airline employees grounded their Aug. 28 flight from San Diego to Chicago and detained them, believing they were security risks.

I suppose that the 9/11 hijackers would similarly have sued if someone had objected to their presence and ultimately have caused them to not be able to complete their missions of infamy.

The Iraqi descent guys were returning from giving training to U.S. Marines on Iraqi culture. Presumably these trainers speak English. Why the hell were they speaking Arabic when it is reasonable to expect that it would cause passengers to be nervous? Yet, their lawyer. Lawrence T. Garcia stated,

"These are some of the most pro-American people around," Garcia said. "There's no reason to suspect that these people were a threat on this airline. ... This is the face of prejudice and racism that happens today."
The lawyer’s comments are what you can expect from a member of an often unprincipled profession.

As for being the “most pro-American people around,” that’s a bunch of B.S. If they were, they would have accepted the misunderstanding and learned to be more careful in their behavior. The only evidence in hand is that these individuals are thin skinned and that they have an attorney who will make scurrilous justifications for the lawsuit from which he stands to make money.

Link in this Blog:
Detained Arabic-speaking passengers sue American Airlines