Tuesday, January 02, 2007
To be in better health next January 1st than today. Measured by body fat, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. I also want to run to Tome in 5 hours instead of 6. That will depend on my hip, but I think it may be doable. To bench 250lbs by April 1st.
MUSICTo be a better musician - measured by my ability to play "pasaditas" on the acordeon more to my satisfaction up to 120 bpm in most keys. My ability to maintain steady rhythm for up to 5 minutes on all of my instruments (acordeon, guitar, bass, keyboard, bongos). To hear and sing different harmonic intervals and values (major chords, minor chords, major 3rds, minor 3rds, 6ths, 5ths, etc.) To read and write more music, including songs for the next Mezcla Experience album which will be more hip-hop oriented.
KEEP LIFTING, KEEP JAMMIN'!
NM LOOBS! The Quality of NM Education shows itself!!! (Govenor should be proud!) See paragraph 6 before the main story starts!
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James Brown Apollo Tribute
James Brown Funeral Coverage
Soul Generals Jam
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ALBUERQUE MINIMUM WAGE increases as of yesterday! And for the county on the 13th! Someday our politicians and worker advocates will push for living wages instead of minimum wages, but hey it's still an improvement! Thanks to the councilors who pushed this through!
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Column: A HEALTHY NEW YEAR from the NY Times (sent to me via email)
A Healthy New Year
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: January 1, 2007
The U.S. health care system is a scandal and a disgrace. But maybe, just
maybe, 2007 will be the year we start the move toward universal coverage.
In 2005, almost 47 million Americans - including more than 8 million children -
were uninsured, and many more had inadequate insurance.
Apologists for our system try to minimize the significance of these numbers.
Many of the uninsured, asserted the 2004 Economic Report of the President,
"remain uninsured as a matter of choice."
And then you wake up. A scathing article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times
described how insurers refuse to cover anyone with even the slightest hint
of a pre-existing condition. People have been denied insurance for reasons
that range from childhood asthma to a "past bout of jock itch."
Some say that we can't afford universal health care, even though every year
lack of insurance plunges millions of Americans into severe financial
distress and sends thousands to an early grave. But every other advanced
country somehow manages to provide all its citizens with essential care.
The only reason universal coverage seems hard to achieve here is the
spectacular inefficiency of the U.S. health care system.
Americans spend more on health care per person than anyone else - almost
twice as much as the French, whose medical care is among the best in the
world. Yet we have the highest infant mortality and close to the lowest
life expectancy of any wealthy nation. How do we do it?
Part of the answer is that our fragmented system has much higher
administrative costs than the straightforward government insurance systems
prevalent in the rest of the advanced world. As Anna Bernasek pointed out
in yesterday's New York Times, besides the overhead of private insurance
companies, "there's an enormous amount of paperwork required of American
doctors and hospitals that simply doesn't exist in countries like Canada
In addition, insurers often refuse to pay for preventive care, even though
such care saves a lot of money in the long run, because those long-run
savings won't necessarily redound to their benefit. And the fragmentation
of the American system explains why we lag far behind other nations in the use
of electronic medical records, which both reduce costs and save lives by
preventing many medical errors.
The truth is that we can afford to cover the uninsured. What we can't afford
is to keep going without a universal health care system.
If it were up to me, we'd have a Medicare-like system for everyone, paid for
by a dedicated tax that for most people would be less than they or their
employers currently pay in insurance premiums. This would, at a stroke,
cover the uninsured, greatly reduce administrative costs and make it much
easier to work on preventive care.
Such a system would leave people with the right to choose their own doctors,
and with other choices as well: Medicare currently lets people apply their
benefits to H.M.O.'s run by private insurance companies, and there's no
reason why similar options shouldn't be available in a system of Medicare
for all. But everyone would be in the system, one way or another.
Can we get there from here? Health care reform is in the air. Democrats in
Congress are talking about providing health insurance to all children.
John Edwards began his presidential campaign with a call for universal health
And there's real action at the state level. Inspired by the Massachusetts
plan to cover all its uninsured residents, politicians in other states are
talking about adopting similar plans. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has
introduced a Massachusetts- type plan for the nation as a whole.
But now is the time to warn against plans that try to cover the uninsured
without taking on the fundamental sources of our health system's
inefficiency. What's wrong with both the Massachusetts plan and Senator
Wyden's plan is that they don't operate like Medicare; instead, they
funnel the money through private insurance companies.
Everyone knows why: would-be reformers are trying to avoid too strong a
backlash from the insurance industry and other players who profit from our
current system's irrationality.
But look at what happened to Bill Clinton. He rejected a single-payer
approach, even though he understood its merits, in favor of a complex plan
that was supposed to co-opt private insurance companies by giving them a
largely gratuitous role. And the reward for this "pragmatism" was that
insurance companies went all-out against his plan anyway, with the
notorious "Harry and Louise" ads that, yes, mocked the plan's complexity.
Now we have another chance for fundamental health care reform. Let's not
blow that chance with a pre-emptive surrender to the special interests.
I wish you and your entire family an amazing New Year.
May it be filled with good health, prosperity, laughter and love.
Te mereces eso y MUCHISIMO mas.
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