Category: "culture/news"

Muslim Community Center

If Muslims shouldn't build a community center in lower Manhattan because a few nutjobs from one sect of their religion committed grave crimes near there, then we shouldn't allow any churches to be built near schools because a few nutjobs from one sect of that religion have raped children.

Or maybe the psychopath killers in al-Qaeda don't represent all Muslims any more than the psychopath rapist priests represent all Christians.

Election announcement

This April I will be running for the office of north ward alderman in Adrian, Missouri. Last spring I was appointed to serve the remainder of someone else's term, and now I am running for my own term. No one else filed for this office, so I am running unopposed.

The city has several projects going and I look forward to seeing them completed. Any day now we will be breaking ground on our water line replacement project. After that is complete (early this summer) we hope to begin some improvements of street surfaces. We are also looking at plans for expanding our water production plant. These infrastructure improvements are laying the groundwork for the next period of growth in Adrian.

I look forward to seeing these projects completed and if you live in my ward (north of Main Street) I would appreciate your vote this April.

Serve and Protect

What if police coverage worked like health coverage?

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Fortunately, we all share the cost of providing police protection to everyone.

This American Health Care

This American Life devoted two episodes to the health care system in America. I found them very informative.

More Is Less (MP3)
Someone Else's Money (MP3)

Tool-Using Monkeys

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Health Care: The Problem

Much of the discussion our nation is having about health care is centered around the advantages and disadvantages of various proposed reforms. Maybe we need to give a little more attention to the problems themselves. I understand that conservatives have many legitimate concerns about a greater role for government in our health care system. Those concerns should play an important part in the national dialogue. But what I'm not seeing from conservatives is an acknowledgment of the problems with our current system.

A Harvard study (PDF) concluded that 44,000 Americans die each year because they lack health care coverage. That's 14 times the number of deaths from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many Americans enthusiastically supported two costly wars because they felt this would prevent future attacks like 9/11. As tragic as those attacks were, their cost in human lives and in dollars pales in comparison to our health care crisis.

As I've pointed out before, in the United States we spend a greater share of our money on healthcare than any other nation in the world. Yet by many metrics, we are less healthy than the other developed nations (all of whom have some sort of universal coverage).

So before I advocate any specific reform, I would like to hear some reactions to the problems of American healthcare, especially from conservatives. What do you have to say to those who cannot get coverage because of pre-existing conditions? Setting aside specifics for a moment, can we all agree that it would be a good thing to have everyone covered? Or would you prefer that things go on basically as they are now?

Health Care Fact Check

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healthcarefactcheck.com

Military equality

TMBG @ JJ 2009

Left to right: John Flansburgh and John Linnell

We took Emma and a friend to the 2nd annual Jiggle Jam, a children's music festival headlined by They Might Be Giants. TMBG has been one of my favorite bands for over a decade and it's been great to see them expand into children's music. They've released three records for kids and the music is very good. Our whole family enjoys it. This was my 4th time seeing the band live, Sara's 3rd and Emma's 2nd. They were excellent as always. They even played a song from their next children's album, Here Comes Science, due out in September.

We had a great day. You can see some more pictures here. (I finally got around to updating the theme of my photo gallery to match the rest of my site.)

City council

Tonight I was sworn in as an Adrian city councilman. The mayor resigned a few months ago and one of the aldermen was acting as mayor. The council decided to appoint him as mayor and they needed someone to serve the rest of the alderman's term (about 14 months). I volunteered and the council appointed me. I went to every council meeting for around a year when I was helping out at the newspaper. I got familiar with the issues they were dealing with and became interested in the process.

Adrian is a town of around 2000 people and it's growing at a healthy pace. We're in the middle of building a new water plant. The city also owns a nursing home. This town has always been my home and probably always will be. It's a great place to live. I love it and I want it to succeed. I'm looking forward to serving.

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