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( citydweller )

Comments made by citydweller

Tougher Sex Offender Laws Force Some Parolees Into Homelessness

While the Editors noted some of the flaws in Jessica's Law, they missed the fact that the law was passed by initiative and therefore the ability of the Legislature to correct its unintended consequences is limited. The People are unlikely to do so, and we are forced to rely on the courts to make such corrections as the Constitutions of the United States and the State of California may permit.

Chelsea's Law, in contrast, is a legislative enactment, is much more narrowly drawn, and if it turns out to have flaws in its execution, can be amended by a future Legislature.

Although one may guess at Assy. Fletcher's motives, one good consequence is that this act of the Legislature probably prevented another hysterical initiative.

September 3, 2010 at 10:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

None

My favorite KPBS memory is when Tom Fudge returned to the air and described what he went through with his bicycle accident.

July 19, 2010 at 3:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

Whatever one thinks of the Compton Cook-Out, it has created a teachable moment, and the one fact that caught my attention is that while UCSD accepts African-American applicants in proportions similar to UCB and UCLA, fewer of those accepted choose to go there, resulting in a student body with a paler complexion than at its sister schools in LA and the Bay Area.

One can invent any number of hypotheses to explain the differential "harvest rate." I hope that the notoriety generated by this kerfuffle will spur UCSD to do the kind of quality research on which it prides itself.

February 25, 2010 at 12:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Many Layers, And S.D. Connections To Male Circumcision Debate

I was not given a choice about circumcision, and while I accept that my mother acted with the best of motives, I still wish she had not.

By contrast, when I was about 7 and had a series of throat infections, I was sentient enough to refuse the tonsillectomy that was at the time standard medical procedure. Given what medicine has learned in the last 60 years, I'm grateful that choice was left in my hands.

Religious attitudes are often at the root of genital mutilation -- it's just that we have no respect for the African religions that dictate this treatment of females while we pay obeisance to Judaism and Islam (the latter at least postpones the procedure to an age where the boy can protest, if not refuse), and so we have proscribed the former while winking at the latter.

January 26, 2010 at 10:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Many Layers, And S.D. Connections To Male Circumcision Debate

I was not given a choice about circumcision, and while I accept that my mother acted with the best of motives, I still wish she had not.

By contrast, when I was about 7 and had a series of throat infections, I was sentient enough to refuse the tonsillectomy that was at the time standard medical procedure. Given what medicine has learned in the last 60 years, I'm grateful that choice was left in my hands.

Religious attitudes are often at the root of genital mutilation -- it's just that we have no respect for the African religions that dictate this treatment of females while we pay obeisance to Judaism and Islam (the latter at least postpones the procedure to an age where the boy can protest, if not refuse), and so we have proscribed the former while winking at the latter.

January 26, 2010 at 10:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In S.D.

The pharmacy is the appropriate model for dispensing medical marijuana. The pharmacy where I get morphine is 1/2 block from an elementary school but we don't hear any nonsense about how this is a "danger to children."

The people of California determined that marijuana should be available for legitimate medical purposes and it's time to dump the "killer weed" imagery and treat marijuana like any other pharmacological substance that can do great good or great harm if misused.

December 11, 2009 at 5:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Where Are Your Oranges From?

My oranges came from Henry's -- no sticker, but these are Valencias and my guess is that they are from California.

In winter, I get Hamlin oranges grown in Texas. They are much sweeter juice oranges than what is produced locally.

Zip 92103

October 9, 2009 at 10:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

How Can We Maintain Academic Integrity in the 21st Century?

Interesting discussion. Outside of Florence School there is a poster. It shows a picture of an office building and a picture of a school building. Under the first appears the text "Your job" and under the second "Your child's job".

This encapsulates the problem: we have turned education into work, and the ethics of capitalism come into play: get the most output for the least effort. Above all, "get the job done."

The "morally reprehensible" approach is ultimately counterproductive. Over the course of my 65 years, I've been told many things are morally reprehensible, from keeping library books overdue to sexual orientation. If the younger generation learns to discount this talk sooner than I did, we've made progress.

The real problem with cheating is that it makes it impossible for the educator to know whether the objectives of the assignment have been met. And the students' willingness to subvert the process means that they haven't bought in to the goal of being educated.

We need to be as serious about inculcating the desire to learn as we are to producing measurable learning. Cheating will take care of itself if we do that.

September 9, 2009 at 9:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

No Easy Answers to Fixing State's Overcrowded Prison System

Given the political dynamics that push the state to ever-harsher criminal law and administration, I welcome the intervention of the Federal Courts. The problem is very complex, but I'm hoping we can use the court order as cover to move in the following ways:
1. Re-orient the prison system from punishment to protection. Incarceration should be reserved for those who represent a threat to others, and only for as long as they do represent a credible threat.
2. Remove from criminal law those statutes designed to protect people from themselves, most notably the War on Drugs. If the Feds feel differently, let them pay for incarceration. California should only think of incarcerating those whose use of or trade in drugs causes them to injure others,
3. Redesign the educational system so that there are alternatives to schooling that manifestly doesn't work for boys in general and minority boys in particular. I may be too far removed from these groups to say what this should look like, but I'm thinking it should be more like work, giving those who choose it a sense of accomplishment, general work skills and perhaps some entry-level skills. Exposure to the world of work would also provide motivation to later obtain academic skills knowing what they are useful for.

August 19, 2009 at 11:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The High Cost of Health Care (Part 1)

Now I have Medicare, but the insurance I had before was catastrophic, and not in the sense that I bargained for. Even when my doctor asked for pre-authorization, that did not guarantee that insurance would pay it. If they didn't pay, I'd be triply penalized:
1. I'd have to pay the bill. 2. The amount charged to me is usually a multiple of 3 times what the insurance company would have paid if they acknowledged the charge. 3. The expense would not count against my annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses, thus negating the whole purpose of catastrophic coverage.

Public option? You betcha! Even though Medicare outsources their claims administration, the administrators do not have a profit motive to reject claims, and the Medigap insurers are clearly bound by the standardized policies and the Medicare determinations so that their administrative costs are quite low.

August 4, 2009 at 1:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )