health care, road trips, tech talk, occasional rant

random emails Aug-Dec 09

to the Class Notes for Harvard Class of ’70 (I haven’t added a class note in at least 20 years)

John Freeman (1970, COL) writes, “I have recently returned from having successful open-heart surgery in Istanbul, Turkey.   I am a health insurance drop-out, so I was thankful to find an affordable solution overseas.  F– you American medical system!

Now that my heart has been fixed I can resume my reasonably happy life in Reno, visiting my reasonably happy daughter and my unreasonably awesome grandson in NorCal.

I guess I am semi-retired – I do a little bit of contract web programming, but otherwise, do what I feel like!  I am contemplating a teaching job or other real employment to help my retirement fund.

I blogged the heck out of my heart thing – – from there you can get to my website,”

to the Bill Moyers Show – 7/24/9

I thought I would share the effect this program had on me.
I have been a strong, noisy proponent of health care, gosh knows we need it.  But your two women thoroughly depressed me, so that now I am very discouraged and not sure if I care if the whole thing goes down the drain again.
And I am a 60 year old man with heart problems and no insurance so you bet this matters to me.
I doubt that was your intent, but that was the effect.  The idea that what they might pass is just as screwed up as what we’ve got was a very dispiriting message.

sent to TPM (Talking Points Memo) – 7/25/7

I just occurred to me, that this wasn’t just any police department, it was the department of the town where Obama went to law school.

So just maybe, Obama had been  at the wrong end of an encounter or two with the ole Cambridge PD back in the day…

Although it was my (white) experience that the Cambridge PD hate all of us annoying uppity college types, regardless of color :)

sent to Eugene Robinson – 7/25/7

I love you man on this Gates thing.

I just watched your appearance on Morning Joe (on HuffPost, JLinkins column), and I was just stunned again at the obtuseness of these big city east coast white people that are just so damn pleased to be white that I have a sneaking feeling that they feel sorry for you for not having the joy of growing up Irish in Philly/Boston.  Their perfect smugness really wears me out.

I am of the white persuasion, but because of a couple of unfortunate incidents in my life, I have NO trouble picturing an authoritarian cop totally f—ing with Gates for no other reason in the world than he didn’t like the tone of his voice.  And as you so correctly said, since he is black that meant a trip to the station, whereas for Larry Summers that would have meant hassling him on the porch for an extra 10 minutes.

You gave respect to Mika, but I think she is a hormone-soaked you-know-what, and I frankly had trouble making it through her screeds back at you.

Anyway….  you are forsaking your usual mellow persona to fully represent on a topic you feel deeply, and I just want to say GOOD FOR YOU!

sent to (their citizen’s media watchdog address) – 7/25/7

Subject:     Politico honcho’s on Charlie Rose a coupla nights ago

Very depressing to me.   The naked amorality with which they view their profession was laid right out there and they’re proud of it.

Number one takeaway?   They want to “dominate” their market segment.

Let’s make a lot of money calling the political horse race, and leave old-fashioned things like illuminating the issues to the losers.

I dunno, I could go on about, but instead … watch it.   If it seems like a healthy manifestation of journalists going about their business, then great, forget about this mail.   If it kinda makes your skin crawl, then I’m sure you will have better words than I to describe it.