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Monterey County Herald

Joe Livernois: Tucson attack spurs mental health debate

Jow L. wrote: "The more we know about Jared L. Loughner, the more evident it has become that the suspect was not likely influenced by inflamed political rhetoric. He was not guided by Sarah Palin, Karl Marx, Glenn Beck or Adolph Hitler. It is increasingly clear that Loughner's motivation was simply the sinister influence of an unstable mind." I agree that Laughner is a full-fledged whacko with no self control. But I'm not willing to let the Glenn becks, Sarah Palins and Rush Limbaughs off the hook completely. I suspect that Laughner was influenced by these prominent people to act on the things in his crazy mind. Their armed-resistance rhetoric may have given Laughner the impression that Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, etc would actually approve of his actions, and that's what he may have been seeking, their approval. In the last couple of years people have been warning that sooner or later so some nut was going to act on what he was hearing from the Becks, Palins and Limbaughs and start shooting. Well, its happened. Sane people know the difference between a metaphor and a literal truth. Insane people don't. We've known about the "lone nutcase" phenomenon for generations now so people with powerful voices should take that into account and choose their words carefully. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 12, 2011 | post #7)

Monterey County Herald

2010 grand jury report: Jurors call for local trauma center

The reference in the article to 33 cents on the dollar related to the cost of the flights, not the actual trauma care. The answer as to who makes up the difference is iin the previous sentence "Those costs are made up in insurance premiums and by patients with financial means, the report said." In other words, you and I are paying 2/3rds of the cost of life-flights through health insurance premiums while our taxes for medicare make up the other third. Personally, I'd rather see the $25,000+ per flight we're paying ($7.325 million last year) go into local trauma CARE instead of mere transportation. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 11, 2011 | post #4)

Monterey County Herald

2010 grand jury report: Jurors call for local trauma center

Those "life flights" drive me nuts. At a minimum of $25,000 a pop they suck up the equivalent of the entire annual insurance premiums of five to seven local residents FOR EACH FLIGHT! Multiply that by 293 flights last year and remember that doesn't include a single penny for treatment, just transportation. And we wonder why insurance premiums are so high. Providing trauma services locally would be a good start at getting health care costs under control. The fact is local hospitals CAN and DO provide trauma care if the patient is unlikely to survive a flight or if weather grounds the helicopters. If local hospitals can do it sometimes, is it really much of a stretch to have them do it regularly? -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 11, 2011 | post #3)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

Ron, you said in one of your posts last Sunday "I have tried to make the Herald become more fair and balanced." You have tried to MAKE the Herald more fair and balanced. My point is that making the Herald do anything is not within your power, so it is futile to try. You can, however, make suggestions and requests. The Herald would be wise to at least consider your requests, but the paper is not obligated to follow your instructions. That's all I'm saying. Along those lines I noted in my post yesterday that I think the Herald should return to a two-page editorial section so there will be more room for a greater diversity of opinions. However, I was also realistic enough to acknowledge that I'm not the one who makes the Herald's business decisions. The Herald will sink or swim on its own decisions, not yours and not mine. In a free-market system that's how things work. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 11, 2011 | post #22)

Monterey County Herald

Letters: Beware of new blood suckers

In response to Jeffery Olms's lettter, just because he sees MST busses that aren't full, doesn't mean they never get full. A lot depends on the time of day and the route segment it happens to be on when he sees it. Since buses pick people up and drop them off in a somewhat irregular fashion, they may only be full for a portion of the route he never sees. Smaller buses are used on some routes. MST has to use buses that meet peak demand, not average demand. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 10, 2011 | post #14)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

On this forum it is par for the course for right-wingers like yourself to label me in far worse fashion than nuts. I've been called a moron, a liar, and a "liberal puke." Evidently you can dish it out but you can't take it. When I wrote that I figured turnabout was fair play, but I've since reconsidered and realized that an insult for an insult doesn't set things right. Sorry, it shouldn't happen again. Liberals have branded me a right-wing Christian fanatic for defending the cross on Del Monte Beach and for arguing that courts limiting religious expression to private property is a violation of First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. I must be doing something right since both sides attack me. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 10, 2011 | post #16)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

You're entitled to your opinions, and you are free to share them here. What you are not entitled to, nor am I for that matter, is to decide what the Herald should print on its editorial page. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 10, 2011 | post #15)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

Yes and no. By its own admission the Herald's opinion page is the most widely read. Yet in the last 15 years or so the Op-Ed space has gradually shrunk from 13 pages a week to 7 pages a week. They used to have two full pages Mon-Fri and three on Sun (none Saturday). Then during the bean counting years of Scripps-Howard and Knight-Ridder (when the Herald was really, truly HORRIBLE) they reduced Sunday to two pages, then one, and every other day of the week to one page. (Scripps-Howard added one op-ed page on Saturday and boasted they were expanding editorial content even though the overall number of pages per week was reduced!) Before all these cutbacks, there was a wide variety of opinion columnists. I think the Herald should go back to two pages a day to make room for a wider variety of opinion writers. I think it would attract more subscribers, but since I'm not the one minding their budget, I can't determine what they can afford to do. It might help if they devoted every square inch they do have to substantive issues, and moved the lightweight stuff like Robs Rules of Order to the social pages. However, you shouldn't necessarily expect the opinion page to reflect YOUR viewpoint. It is by definition a page set aside for the newspaper editors to express THEIR opinions, with additional space for readers to express theirs. If the editors want to print a higher percentage of columns and cartoons that reflect their viewpoint, that's their business. Literally, it's THEIR business! Paul Miller at the Pine Cone doesn't print any liberal opinions, but I'm not trying to make him print anything different. Sometimes I call his editorial page the "whine cone" for his constant whining about the left, yet I still enjoy reading that paper. in short, you're never going to "make the Herald more fair and balanced." Especially since you seem to have set yourself up as the sole judge of what is fair and balanced. I suspect reader bias is as much a factor here as editorial bias. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 10, 2011 | post #11)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

Your phrase "doctors would be given payments to give advice...to steer people away from life saving operations and treatments" just twists a simple idea into something sinister. What it would have done (the provision was actually REMOVED from the final health care bill) was cover consultations between patients and doctors about what to do if one was NOT expected to survive an illness. People have these discussions with their doctors already, it is (and would be under the bill) a completely VOLUNTARY discussion, about whether the patient would want costly "heroic" measures taken to prolong their lives if they could not communicate their wishes at the time. The alternative is letting relatives agonize over whether to keep Grandma on feeding tubes and respirators indefinitely in the hope she might recover, or let her slip away peacefully. Ideally, the individual would make this decision beforehand, and not leave it to the relatives to second guess their wishes. What on Earth is wrong with having insurance cover the doctor's visit to help the person decide? Nobody will be forced to do anything against their will, but since modern medicine is now capable of keeping bodies "alive" even when they can no longer do even the simplest tasks, like speak, eat or poop, it is a good idea to know what the individual would want before the time arrives. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 10, 2011 | post #10)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

And this is where I go back to saying Ron the Wise is nuts. There was nothing sneaky about the health care bill. Its provisions were discussed openly in the news media. The only deviousness was on the part of many Republicans, like Sarah Palin, who twisted words until perfectly reasonable provisions sound like things to fear. Thus "end of life counseling" became "death panels" and popular regulations on health insurance companies (like not being able to drop you when you get sick and no denial of coverage for preexisting conditions) were branded as "government run health care." I understood the bill before it was passed. But I was paying attention to the details, not the distracting rants of a few frightened rabids. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 9, 2011 | post #6)

Monterey County Herald

Rants & Raves

I usually think Ron the Wise is nuts, but in this case I agree with him wholeheartedly. The sexual orientation, political registration, religion, race, or personal habits of a judge are not relevant because, unlike the other branches of government, Judicial offices are officially non-partisan. The only thing that counts is whether the legal reasoning stands up to scrutiny. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 9, 2011 | post #5)

Monterey County Herald

Pacific Grove clubhouse flap: It's business, not personal

I hear you. In may last job I had a small role in the local wedding industry. Wedding parties are almost without exception VERY loud, and while most guests are well behaved, some do get out of control and get violent. One drunk stormed into the food service area and punched his hand through a pane of glass, and bled all over the floor. I've seen horny couples run into a men's room stall together even with other men in the rest room. And then there are the guests who drink too much wine and throw up. It makes disgusting a purple splat that stains pavement for weeks. Wedding parties are seldom quiet affairs. And when a wedding party is paying $20,000-$30,000 for the event the venue operators will be more interested in accommodating them than the neighbors. -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 7, 2011 | post #5)

Monterey County Herald

Methyl iodide bad news for state's children

A well-written piece, I agree.  (Jan 6, 2011 | post #2)

Monterey County Herald

Monterey council eyes smart meter ban

Since so-called "smart meters" transmit date wirelessly, the signals can be intercepted by hackers who might A) use t hat information to determine who is on vacation so they can rob your house; B) corrupt the data so your billing information would be inaccurate; C) generally wreak havoc with the electrical system. Wireless transmissions can also be innocently altered or corrupted by interference from other wireless signals resulting in erroneous billing. Some people say they are sensitive to certain RF frequencies and can become ill from them. Even if its only one tenth of one percent of the population that would still leave over 100 Peninsula residents who would be unable to escape their effects because the meters will be everywhere. Long-term health effects of being in close proximity to low-level RF transmitters is still not completely understood. A wired or fiber-optic smart grid would eliminate these problems, but would cost PG&E a bit more to set up. So because PG&E is being cheap, we get to be guinea pigs. Good for Monterey! -Mr. Toy www.montereypenins ula.info  (Jan 5, 2011 | post #3)

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