Please Stop Voting for Conservatives. You’re Hurting Your Country.

At the end of this post you’ll find a link to a predictable report on poverty in the United Kingdom, posted today on The Independent’s site. I know.  It isn’t just Tories and Republicans.  It’s also public officials who know better, cooperating with Tories and Republicans.  In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton — a Democrat — signed so-called welfare reform legislation which was destined to put more families on the streets.  He was cooperating with Republicans in Congress, and complying with misguided public opinion.  It was a self-serving, rotten thing to do, but he wanted to be re-elected (which he probably would … Continue reading Please Stop Voting for Conservatives. You’re Hurting Your Country.

I Haven’t Traveled Outside the U.S. and Can’t Verify, but This Looks so Nice

Many Americans think of the United Kingdom — England in particular — as a classy place where there are no lapses in etiquette.  Many Americans also think of that neck of the woods as full of educated people, all of whom graduated from Cambridge or Oxford. A British accent of any type sounds more sophisticated to us than our own ways of speaking.  Obviously, I don’t hear my own California accent, but I’ve been uncomfortable with it since the early 1990s, when I saw the Al Pacino film Scent of a Woman.  You might recall the central character’s crass reference … Continue reading I Haven’t Traveled Outside the U.S. and Can’t Verify, but This Looks so Nice

This Isn’t Unheard of in the United States, Either

At the end of this post, please click the link to an article on The Independent’s site.  It describes how forty-seven prosecutions for sex offenses in the jurisdiction covering England and Wales have been dismissed due to lack of disclosure by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Defense attorneys were kept in the dark about details that could have helped their clients.  This happens in many countries, including the United States.  We’ll never know how many innocent people have spent time in prison or had their reputations ruined after oversights or corruption interfered with their defense.  Likewise, we’ll never know how many dangerous … Continue reading This Isn’t Unheard of in the United States, Either

Yes, I’m Part English. And Irish. And Welsh. And I Haven’t Traveled.

Please see the link at the end of this post.  It goes to a Mental Floss UK article by James Hunt, explaining something most Americans find confusing. Some of us are sophisticated with our ancestry, and some of us are not.  I blame my lack of sophistication on the fact that I’ve never so much as applied for a passport. Still, I’m learning the dialect used by people in the country where most of my father’s family came from:  England.  The internet helps, when I find a website that’s trusted to post accurate information.  The out-of-print reference book British English A … Continue reading Yes, I’m Part English. And Irish. And Welsh. And I Haven’t Traveled.

Expecting Healthcare Providers to Inform on Patients

During the 1990s, an anti-immigration ballot initiative in California (United States) included a requirement that hospitals report undocumented immigrant patients to a government agency. Voters passed the initiative, but as far as I know a judge blocked enforcement of the hospital reporting requirement. The damage may have been done, though.  Trust isn’t always easy to restore. Every person should be able to get healthcare without intimidation.  There are exceptions, though.  In California, certain types of illnesses and injuries must be reported, and there are valid debates on whether more harm or less is caused when treatment for a sexually transmitted … Continue reading Expecting Healthcare Providers to Inform on Patients

Amber Rudd Takes the Fall

Yesterday, Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary, due to the Windrush Scandal constituting a serious ethics violation in government, and the fact that the public has been lied to about the way immigration enforcement in the U.K. actually works.  Some people are questioning why Prime Minister Theresa May hasn’t turned in her resignation as well. I’m in the United States, and I’m recalling the Watergate Scandal of the 1970s.  Although President Richard Nixon did have to resign eventually, he received a pardon from his successor, Gerald Ford.  He didn’t experience the consequences that his subordinates suffered. The United States has … Continue reading Amber Rudd Takes the Fall

Let’s Hope This is as Good as it Sounds

At the end of this post, please find a link to an article posted today on The Guardian’s site. Until recently, Theresa May preferred to avoid saying too much about National Health Service (N.H.S.) England funding because her party was avoiding saying too much.  Pressure from Jeremy Corbyn and quite a few other people — including the general public — may be working, though. Lack of N.H.S. funding has been fatal to some patients.  There’s no way around resolving the problem, especially with baby boomers getting older.  Don’t scapegoat immigrants.  More people are needing more care, regardless. It’s the same in the … Continue reading Let’s Hope This is as Good as it Sounds

Protecting the Powerful at the Expense of the Vulnerable

People tend to look for a sense of community.  They join a church, a political movement or some other institution, or just identify with a segment of society.  Then the church, political movement, segment of society, et al., can do no wrong. Always think of this when you feel inclined to lower the bar for the institution you identify with.  We all have a responsibility to set standards for our own behavior, and that means refusing to excuse the associate who is dangerous. When people talk about the value of community policing and in-house investigations, they’re often in denial about … Continue reading Protecting the Powerful at the Expense of the Vulnerable

Some Taxes Aren’t as Big a Hardship as You Think

I don’t recall which year merchants began charging for paper or reusable plastic bags in San Francisco.  It may have been in 2012. I was already in the habit of bringing my own bag to the store, so I found it easy to adjust. Not everyone has the advantage of finding time to focus on those details, though.  It seems unlikely anyone who is grocery shopping with a van full of kids will remember to load bags into the van before leaving the house.  So, the parent who has to look for bargains on groceries to feed a large family … Continue reading Some Taxes Aren’t as Big a Hardship as You Think