Comments by Gandalf47

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Posted on March 15 at 10:36 a.m.

I think the correct expression, if it is indeed accurate, is that "CA is in the top third of PER CAPITA tax in the US). I guess that proves the next statement that, "our schools are in the bottom 1-2 for student spending", if results are the measurement.

On Brava, Mayor!

Posted on January 31 at 12:45 a.m.

AZ2SB - If u r in AZ, the police DO have the right to destroy cell phones by "smashing it on the sidewalk or pouring water on it". They are also permitted to shoot it, beat it to death with a baseball bat, or hold a pillow over it until it is dead.

Well, maybe they don't NOW, but I am sure that JB is working on that when she isn't putting Obama in his place.

Seriously, for CA - I think the fine for a first offense should be $250, the second offense should be $500, and, if there is a third offense, then the driver should lose their license to drive for a year, with a year's probation after THAT. As someone who I am sorry to say has used my cell phone while driving, even with a bluetooth device, I can't even IMAGINE texting while driving. It's hard enough to do either, let alone both at the same time, and the potential to do harm to or kill oneself or others while doing it is as dangerous as a DUI and just as dumb.

On Texting while driving

Posted on January 23 at 10:12 a.m.

Agreed that Cottage treats "all comers", regardless of insurance. This is because they are REQUIRED to do so by law. Having worked on the "inside" of the local health care system, I know that even though Cottage is a non-profit, it is run like a for-profit hospital. Cottage has the luxury of a huge endowment, an equally-huge donor base, and a "cozy" relationship with local government. Cottage is the 800 pound gorilla in the health care community in SB. In fact, it is the ONLY gorilla in this area, metaphorically-speaking.

I am aware of the State seismic requirements as they pertain to acute hospitals, and know that in order to make the hospital safe, significant additional expense is required to comply with the new law (no "grandfathering" allowed in this law). I have first hand knowledge of this process, and know that Cottage necessarily had to spend a lot of money to upgrade.

My concern as a citizen of SB (which is balanced by my feeling of good fortune to have a "state of the art" 21st century hospital for our community, considering that the genesis of the original Cottage Hospital, which started as a 19th Century hospital, and was retrofitted continually throughout the 20th Century), is that, beyond the necessary safety upgrades, combined with the ability to assimilate new technologies into a new building (which is much cheaper than retrofitting an old building), there are many amenities that are not necessary, and which come at a cost to whomever ultimately has to pay for the bill, whether it be the patient, the insurance company, or the government. Cottage may officially be a "charitable" organization, but they did not become the sole hospital "system" in SB by operating like a charity. Other medical professionals generally cannot go "on the record" to express their displeasure with Cottage, as they could find themselves with no local hospital in which to practice.

If you are part of the "1%" who populate a significant portion of SB, you will have access to the best care money can buy. If you are one of the 99% with insurance with co-pays and deductibles (including Medicare), or with no insurance at all, or with Medi-Cal or MIA coverage, you will find that authorization for many of these "state-of-the-art" capabilities are slow to get, or hard to come by at all, due to their very high cost. I have had family members who had to wait three+ weeks for a non-elective surgery due to snafus between Cottage, the surgeon, and the insurance company. Somebody has to pay for this multi-hundred million dollar upgrade, and Cottage is not going to absorb the expense itself. Lest one feel sorry for Cottage, they are planning a similar, but on a smaller scale, upgrade for Goleta Valley Hospital.

On Skimming the Cream

Posted on December 23 at 12:03 p.m.

Marshall - keep on fighting the good fight on this issue. I have four family members, including one child, who rely soley on Medi-Cal for their care. Before Medi-Cal was available to them, they had to resort to using the ER when they became seriously ill or injured. They had no resources to pay those bills, which went unpaid. For you heartless nay sayers on this thread, you can't get blood out of a rock. Would you have a person who is has been rendered destitute simply die or suffer for lack of healthcare coverage?

I worked in healthcare my entire career before losing my livelihood due to the "deprecession". I had health coverage through my employers for my entire career, and have had none since. When I recently NEEDED surgery to save my life, I had to sign up for SB County MIA, as I could not qualify for Medi-Cal, even though I had ZERO income. Should I have just died due to my condition to satisfy the small minority of citizens who have means and healthcare coverage?

Healthcare IS a basic human right. Not just in America, but in the world. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of people die to lack of or insufficient health care every year around the world? I guess "survival of the fittest" is now defined as whether or not one has the means to afford health care.

Shame on those of you who think poor, elderly or disabled people should just be ignored when it comes to health care. I guess 'tis the season to be a Scrooge - Bah! Humbug! Sadly, I gess Dickens' tale is timeless.

On Save Medi-Cal

Posted on October 29 at 9:26 a.m.

How much does it cost? It sounds as if most insurance policies, private or governmental would not likely cover it as "medically necessary". I have had fungus on my toenails for twenty years or more, and have tried many different remedies (some that I don't even want to talk about), but it seems as if this would be considered a "cosmetic procedure", like botox, etc., and would be excluded. Anyone know for sure?

On New Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails Available on the Central Coast

Posted on September 10 at 12:13 p.m.

I was a freshman at UCSB in 1965, when Jack Curtis, the "Old Man" to whom they refer, led a team that was on nobody's radar to the Camellia Bowl (Great Fun!). As long as there was football during my years at UCSB, I never missed a home game, whether we played at La Playa Stadium, or later, at the new - and for us, magnificent, Harder Stadium, and even went to as many away games as we could, too, with my buddies - more great fun! Some of my fondest memories of those years were from those football games. Thanks for the memories, guys, and I wish you as much success in you current fights as you had back in the day when you were playing for the Gauchos back in the 60's, succeeding against all odds.

Godspeed, guys.

On UCSB Football, Circa 1967

Posted on September 1 at 9:29 a.m.

billclausen - obviously, this is a parody of Huell Howser, who sounds like this all the time, except the sound has been manipulated and the visuals have been altered. Huell is either naturally high or "on something" al the time. lol

Here is a link to an article that I read from one of my mothers' Republican online health newsletters (she is in her 80's):

Prohibition on alcohol didn't work the first time, and it has been more than long enough this time with pot. It's time to wise up and regulate it, tax it, and save untold billions of dollars in law enforcement and prison costs in prosecuting it.

On End War on Marijuana

Posted on August 26 at 7:59 a.m.

Starshine - once again, documentation of selective "feminism". If it gets you what you want, flaunt it. If the shoe happens to be on the other foot, you consider it harassment and "demeaning".

It is opportunistic to prey on the male of the species (we think about sex, like, what - 50 times a minute? It's like shooting fish in a barrel). It's not a level playing field.

I know a particular young woman who has "blinked and smiled" her way out of more traffic tickets than I can count. I am probably just as polite and compliant to the officers as she is, but I always get the ticket, and she never does.

Double standard, and, once again, selective feminism.

On The Dirt on Flirting

Posted on May 12 at 11 a.m.

I know one of the Santa Barbara School District nurses, and I won't embarrass her by mentioning her name, but she is one of the most dedicated and over-worked people that I know. She is always trying to think of an "angle" to improve services, or "find" money. She carries three cell phones with her at all times, and only one is her personal phone. This woman is an RN, who is also blessed with administrative skills, and could earn a much larger salary working for Cottage Health Systems, or some other large medical organization, but she has chosen to dedicate herself to the SB School District while they have decimated her budget, taken away most of her resources, and now, are threatening to take away her job.

It may be a blessing for my friend, because the stress of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear for too many years now has taken its toll on her health. She has sacrificed her own health for the kids in the District who need her. She has been a salaried employee, and easily worked more than 60 hours per week.

To my friend, I say "good riddance" to an employer who does not appreciate what you have done for them, but I know that is not what you are concerned about. You are concerned for the KIDS who, as Ms. Brechwald explains, are going to be left "holding the bag" (in some cases, a colostomy bag), and the District is going to find that the liability that they will incur will be greater than any amount they ever paid to you.

On Nurses Are Needed

Posted on May 4 at noon

Lars, kudos for acknowledging that Obama deserves credit for taking out Bin Laden. Not to drag this out, but, respectfully, I have two questions for you: 1) You did not address the indisputable fact that Bush gave up on actively hunting Bin Laden by invading Iraq, defunding the CIA unit dedicated to that task, and by stating publicly to a reporter's question, "I am truly not that concerned with him (Bin Laden)". 2) What specific (you used the word "specifically") verifiable sources can you cite that ANY information leading Bin Laden's location was obtained through "interrogations begun years ago at Guantanamo", which some others have stated categorically were "enhanced interrogation techniques", which we all know is otherwise known as torture? I know that it has been mentioned on TV and online, but what VERIFIABLE sources can you cite? Nobody outside the intelligence community knows for sure where or how they obtained that information, and the canard that has been thrown out by some (led by Liz Cheney, et. al.) that it was obtained by "waterboarding", cannot be verified. It is just a talking point that those who supported the use of torture are using to now justify it.

President Bush declared definitively that we would get Bin Laden "Dead or Alive", then inexplicably took his eye "off the prize" and focused his attention and US resources to Sadaam Hussein instead. In fact, President Obama had to resurrect that effort after he took office in 2009 which has resulted in the outcome for which we all have been waiting almost ten years.

On Why I Can’t Vote For You Again, Mr. President

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