Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why health reform won’t work — a historical perspective - Part 3

Technology, aided by the information revolution and faster and cheaper computers, has exploded. Newer and more powerful imaging devices, moving cardiac cath labs out of the hospital, enhanced lab analyses and creating a completely new flow of information are making medical decisions easier and faster. For some physicians, they can be on call and never leave their homes. An orthopedic surgeon can have a huge LCD screen in his living room. The hospital and some of the clinics where he works can route digitized X-ray images to that screen and he can then decide the next step.

Why health reform won’t work — a historical perspective - Part 2

Ronald Reagan had won the 1980 election and his pro-big business push for supply-side economics, lower taxes and deregulation changed the course of America’s economy. Remember the famous line from the movie “Wall Street,” uttered by Michael Douglas’ character, “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”

Why health reform won’t work — a historical perspective Part 1

The economic model of the United States’ health care system — which really isn’t a system — is not the supply and demand free market model some would have you believe. And some of those who want you to believe that it is a free market knows full well it isn’t, but fooling the public serves certain purposes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Change in Situation

As long as I’ve been a journalist, I’ve felt ethics and transparency were keys to how I comported myself and how I guided The Amarillo Independent. I tried to uphold high standards when the Indy was a print product and then when I converted it to a news website.

The Independent’s political and public policy positions, when in print and online, mostly reflected my own views, although sometimes molded and tempered by others working with me. Then, at the end of August, I converted the website to a blog — a personal blog for which I was solely responsible.

But I now must disclose a change in my situation. I have accepted a position consulting with KVII - ProNews 7. My part-time effort working with the ProNews 7 staff will focus on hard news and investigative reporting.

What needs to be clear here is that to the degree that I express either public policy positions on this blog, those remain mine and only mine. However, note that I will also promote ProNews 7 on my blog now.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is the defeat of the bond issue for the ARC a backlash against city leaders?

Backlash.

That’s the word that comes to mind to describe the defeat of the $31.5 bond issue for the $37.5 million Amarillo Recreation Complex. The measure, which would have raised taxes $25 per $100,000 valuation per year for homeowners to put the city further in debt, had the backing of the “establishment,” a/k/a the good ole boy network that includes the newly renamed City Council.

Why the backlash?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Don't increase the Amarillo City Commission's powers -- reject charter changes

Tuesday is Election Day.

With no candidate on the ballot you’d think that this isn't an unimportant election with no significance for the future of the city of Amarillo. If you think that, you’re wrong. This election is more important than the last one at which we elected people to the City Commission.

Why?

Original Text of article describing Wallace Bajjali's troubled past - published Nov. 16, 2010

By Gina Haschke, Greg Rohloff and George Schwarz
The Amarillo Independent

The principals in the development firm that the Amarillo City Commission is considering as the master developer for downtown revitalization are no strangers to litigation, with one of the firm’s showcase Houston area projects the subject of a foreclosure and lawsuit. And, those same principals, David G. Wallace, and Costa Bajjali, are on the periphery of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission fraud investigation.
Last Tuesday, Wallace, co-founder and chief executive officer of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, Inc., impressed city commissioners and staff with a presentation touting his experience with developments in his hometown of Sugar Land, where he served as mayor until 2008. He also touted his firm's developments in other cities, including Waco and the Houston area.
(See the video of Wallace’s presentation here.)