Friday, April 5, 2013
Monday, December 10, 2012
Thanks for letting University of Colorado alumni and students know your opinion on the recent Marijuana legislation passed by the voters and how it's effects should be limited on our campus. Sounds like a most reasonable approach. I think pot should be treated like alcohol [and guns] on campus -- students must be 21 years of age to come under the new Am. 64 (just like the laws on guns and alcohol), so it shouldn't be too difficult. (Indeed, what a clever ploy to permit guns in a specific dormitory, which basically blows the 'concealed' part of 'concealed carry' law for anyone who chooses that dorm! And, by analogy, might you be considering designating a Pot Dorm??)
Seriously, President, Benson, do you think you might have overstated the case just a tad when you put your $1B figure on the cost to the University of Am 64?? When you address the alumni community, in particular, I think you may want to do a more careful job of calculating--lest it look like you are politicizing the fact that you are a disgruntled loser on this issue. What about off-setting the value of the loss of productive lives and opportunity caused by an unjust, minority-focused War on Drugs? And the cost of running so many people through an expensive 'justice' system for what are essentially victimless crimes or health issues?
You are, however, undoubtedly correct in stating that that is a conversation that needs to continue, as Jared Polis has also noted.
Friday, November 9, 2012
I am wondering whether some of the country's ultra-wealthy will want to take a different tack in terms of how they use their $$ in campaigns. There is a distinct irony here in all these folks spending all this money to protect their financial interests through the political system where they actually lost billions. Wrong investment strategy.
Ridiculous Talking Point Award goes to: "Romney was better than his campaign" (first heard from the mouth of Chris Robling, half of Chicago's WGN Political Duo). Romney was IN CHARGE of his campaign. It was HIS campaign, HIS hires. What if he'd been elected and all you could say about him was that he was better than his 'Administration'? Puh-leeze.
The idea--thrown out in the President's acceptance speech--that Obama would want to sit down and talk with Romney is probably only about being gracious. The unsuccessful GOP challenger landed his party's nomination essentially by default, after the ultra-conservatives were discredited one-by-one. I can't be the only one who doesn't see him as wielding any power in the party now. But seriously, based on the chameleon-like policy changes that marked his campaign, wouldn't we be surprised if Romney took any kind of leadership role in marshalling the GOP back to its center? Or in anything? Heck, he'd have to move to a new state to get even a senate seat... Well, maybe he'd like to live in Utah. Looks like could win there.
Many are predicting the GOP will regroup or become even further marginalized, but regrouping toward the center has not been the GOP's strength since before Reagan. They have created a monster that many of us wish they'd dismantle, but perhaps if this election means anything, it means that if they don't dismantle, they will lose their voice. If you missed the stunned faces of Sarah P and [some white guy in a suit] on Fox going on and on about their worn-out, racist-based, 'real American' saw, you can see it here via Jon Stewart's show. Regrouping may not happen very soon.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Buzzword Bingo for Presidential Debate No. 2
Want to watch tonight's Obama-Romney debate, but still put-off by the last one? Are you an Adult ADHD suffer whose afraid of going bananas before the 90 minutes are up? Solution: Fidget around with Buzzword Bingo!
Here's the card for this one, folks.
Buzzword Bingo - Presidential Debate Redux
Saturday, October 6, 2012
To prevent lapses into boredom in the upcoming election debate series, here's a Bingo card you can use against all the expected buzzwords -- which is why I call it Buzzword Bingo.
Enjoy! And if you have suggestions for improvement, we'd love to hear them.
|Buzzword Bingo - Veeps Debate 2012|
Friday, September 7, 2012
'Community colleges' should not be placed in the same category as 'high school'. Many lower income families use community college as a stepping stone to the more expensive four-year universities and colleges. I see the US president's efforts to make it possible for more Americans to attend community colleges as well-placed and supportive of CU's broader educational mission.
Community colleges are not 'anti-higher-education,' they are part of higher education.
Whereas there is a misguided attack on higher education in the public dialogue, I think CU should see community colleges as its ally in countering this attack, for all the reasons stated in President Benson's essay.
* * *
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
If you're over the age of 50, you probably know that AARP specializes in warning seniors about scams that can end up costing them their life savings. Perhaps AARP should be letting you in on what seems to be a scam run by your local hospital--one that affects not only seniors, but others, too.
I recently checked the cost of some potentially life-saving heart/stroke prevention ultrasound tests. A carotid artery screening that costs $60 at a non-hospital company (one of the traveling health test companies - Lifeline Screening, Inc., in this case), goes for (I hope you are sitting down) $1,931 at Boulder Community Hospital's Imaging Department. The aortic aneurism ultrasound screen, also $60 at the non-hospital company, is billed at $995 by BCH.
This seems off the charts to me and a highly non-transparent way of dealing with the problem of who pays the costs, who has insurance, how much insurance rates are, and all that flows from that.
Understandably, I couldn't remain silent when I spoke to the scheduler who quoted me the figures, so I gave her the $60 price at Lifeline. She rather graciously but somewhat edgily said "I don't set the prices, I just schedule tests." She also said she didn't know what the insurance company would pay, but those were the 'asking' rates. She was trying to assure me that no one really pays these rates. I wasn't convinced.
I feel like something is very wrong here. And I suspect it stems from the hospital lobby. Not the one at the entrance to the hospital, either; no-- the one at the entrance to the halls of Congress.
I'm aware, from some prior price-checking on MRIs and other tests (also huge discrepancies, though nothing like the carotid artery ultrasound noted above), that the hospital benefits from some special Congressional legislation [read: SPECIAL INTERESTS] that allows them to recoup extra costs and charge more money for the same services as a non-hospital health-care provider, for some policy reasons that don't quite pass the smell test. And, based on the Camera's recent story about rural hospitals struggling and urban hospitals reporting strong profits, I think the policy should perhaps be tweaked for the rural hospitals, but for the others, it's less clear that the policy should be continued.
Perhaps some healthy competition will change this, but I don't understand it and it doesn't seem right to me. People should definitely be aware of the lower-price options if they (and their doctor) decide such tests will be conducive to their good health---when I think of it---to avoid the possible heart attack they might suffer when they are quoted the hospital's prices!
I know these hospital rates are charged but often negotiated and that those who pay these rates are subsidizing folks who can't pay, but this doesn't seem right if the practice contributes to costs and premiums continually rising; and, more importantly, people should know they have options before they choose to have their tests at the hospital, regardless of whether they are uninsured, have high-deductible insurance or whatever.
Lastly, why is it more democratic for sick people to subsidize poor sick people, rather than having the costs transparent and subsidized by all (i.e., like the la single-payer healthcare systems in Canada and Europe)?
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Perhaps you'll agree that these lines capture the joys and warmth of the winter holidays. If I were Garrison Keillor, I'd read this one aloud.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year
Our two wise cats stay close to home,
Content to let the sun's rays roam
Over their somnolent forms,
Hunt dust-bunnies, play 'catch-the-comb.'
The sun retreats at half past four,
The chipmunks chatter at our door.
The moles break into squirrel's store,
The crows berate them: "Nevermore!"
And as the darkness wends its way
In your direction, come what may,
We hope your heart and home are bright
As star and lamp on miracle nights.
Monday, June 27, 2011
This summer, I have totally changed my view about veganism. It was originally my idea of a straightjacket. Now, I don't see it that way at all. Even if I don't adopt it on a permanent basis (that might be more extreme than I want to be right how), I think it might actually be my ticket to longevity (Dr. Katz agrees.).
Two events have effected my recent interest in a vegan diet. First, I plowed through Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, so I am highly uninclined to eat animal products. Secondly, I'm so proud of myself for lowering my bad cholesterol by 17 points in six months with some serious dietary changes that I've been reading up about the vegan diet for that reason as well--many experts believe that a vegan diet will cause your cholesterol numbers to take a drastic plunge.
The way I do things is that I take in a ton of information and then try to make it my own. In this domain, this means that I've been inventing vegan recipes. My first invention just passed a serious test by pleasing the picky palate of my French husband!
Give it a try, and let me know what you think. It would probably be best if you view it--as I do--as a starting point. For instance, I created it with fresh, organic spinach. Since some of the sauces were left over, I made it on the second day with organic broccoli raab from our CSA, Red Wagon Organic Farms-- it was a huge hit two days in a row! This is meant to be served as a main dish (it has ample protein and fiber), but if you modify it into a side dish, I'd love to see your comments on that. And an added bonus: you can put the polenta, marinated sun-dries (if you DIY), and light sauce together to day before. On the second day I made this (with leftovers on both), it probably took me 20 minutes or less from saucepan to table. With a kitchen kibbitzer, you could easily serve this to guests.
For the polenta:
2 c water
1 c cornmeal (polenta), uncooked
1 T olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 t salt (sea salt would be nice)
few turns of black pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine water, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to boil over high heat. Whisk in cornmeal, stirring or whisking continually, reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until mixture thickens but is still spreadable. Brush a 7-9” pan (or 9” pie pan) with oil and pour in mixture. Optional: Sprinkle with chopped tarragon, or oregano and) chill in ‘fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
For the marinated sun-dried tomatoes: (buy ‘em already marinated, or marinate (rehydrated, if nec) yourself:
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1/8 c olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 t Italian spices
Marinate the tomato pieces in the oil, garlic, and spices for 30-minutes or overnight.
For the spinach (or other greens that you like; chard should work, maybe borage? collard greens, mustard greens, kale?)
6 oz fresh baby spinach
in microwave for 3 minutes. Before serving, chop into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors.
In blender or food processor:
1/3 pkg silken tofu
1 T sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 c Pasta Sauce of choice (I used Safeway Select Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
Blend until smooth.
Finishing the polenta:
Heat 1 T canola oil in medium saute pan on medium-high heat.
Remove polenta from refrigerator and cut into squares of about 3” square.
Fry squares in the pan until browned (about 5-8 minutes per side, maybe up to 10 mins).
On each plate, place a square of polenta. Spoon about 1/8 of the chopped spinach (thin layer) on top of polenta. Add 4-8 pieces of the marinated tomato julienne slices. Spoon about 1/8 c of the light sauce on top of that. Drizzle the dark tomato sauce around the plate and criss-cross over the top of the polenta tower. Top with a sprig of oregano or whatever you have on hand. Cut up a few leaves of fresh basil and sprinkle over all.