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March 2008

February 2008

Health care is a lot of things, but it’s NOT a right

Who knows more about your family’s health needs?  A politician?  An employer?  A government bureaucrat?  The reality is nobody knows more about your situation than you do.  With that in mind you should have the right to purchase health care and health insurance as you see fit.  You should be free to provide for your health care needs without restrictions being placed on you by the government, or the threat of penalties hanging over your head.


Knowing your needs (not to be confused with wants), you have the capability, the opportunity, and the right to purchase health care.  You also have the right not to make that purchase.  Because you have a right to freely earn an income and spend it as it as you wish – to buy food, shelter, transportation, whatever else - means you have choice.  Health care is a choice.


Health care is an expenditure.  You can buy DVDs, TV’s, eat out often, purchase laptop computers, another car, a nicer home.  You can buy health insurance in any number of packages - or not.  The decision, the freedom, the right to purchase health insurance is no different than deciding to buy shelter, transportation, or any other life expense. 


Health care is an individual responsibility.  You should not have it in your head that your neighbors have to buy health insurance for you.  That’s why it’s so frustrating when people opt out of their responsibility to themselves and/or their family. Too many people in this country don’t want to use their own assets to pay for their own health care.  They want someone else to do it.  It’s a matter of individual priorities, not a right.


Picking up on that ‘someone else should pay’ line of thinking are Democrats.  Liberals like Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton have abused people with the notion that health care is a right, when it’s not.  We need to get liberalism and socialist notions out of health care.  We don’t need more government in health care, we need less.  Less government intrusion will lead to lower costs and increased competition so that more people have the opportunity to be taken care of well, so that people are not left to fall through the cracks.


For those truly in need, we have Medicaid for the poor.  We have the S-CHIP program for poor children, we have Medicare for the elderly.  It is our moral obligation as a society to take care of people who otherwise cannot afford health care.  But that doesn’t make it a right, and it definitely doesn’t mean buy things of privilege and expect your fellow citizens to pick up the tab for your health care.


Followup: Officer robbed while writing PAULA charge

Schroeder_bakerdjis_fabinski IOWA CITY -- At 1:18am (Feb 28), an Iowa City Police Officer was issuing a Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age (PAULA) charge to 19-year-old Michael Roy Schroeder in front of One-Eyed Jakes. While the officer was writing the charge, two of Schroeder’s friends, 19-year-old Michael Stanley Fabinski and 20-year-old Michael Alexander Bakerdjis rushed the officer. Fabinski ripped the citation book from the officer’s hands and fled with it and Bakerdjis forcibly pushed the officer back as he ran past.

The officer pursued Fabinski and caught him when he slipped and fell. While the officer was wrestling with Fabinski, Bakerdjis grabbed the officer around his duty belt and began trying to pull him away from Fabinski. The officer disengaged from Fabinski in order to protect himself. Both subjects again fled. The officer pursued Fabinski and caught him when he fell a second time. The officer was able to place Fabinski under arrest. Bakerdjis was seen walking nearby. He attempted to hide behind some bushes but was arrested by another officer. Schroeder had fled the area but was later located at Currier Hall.

Although each provided a local address, police learned that the three young men are all from Bloomingdale, IL. The three have known one another since childhood.

The police officer suffered minor injuries, abrasions, during the incident.

All three were arrested and transported to the Johnson County Jail for the following offenses:

• Michael Roy SCHROEDER – 100 Currier Hall #419
o PAULA (simple misdemeanor)
o Public Intoxication (simple misdemeanor)
o Escape or Absence from Custody – Misdemeanant (serious misdemeanor)

• Michael Stanley FABINSKI – 201 E Burlington St #1531
o Consumption/Intoxication (simple misdemeanor)
o Interference with Official Acts (simple misdemeanor)
o Preventing Apprehension, Obstructing Prosecution, or Obstructing Defense (aggravated misdemeanor)
o Interference with Official Acts – Bodily Injury (aggravated misdemeanor)
o Robbery 2nd Degree (Class “C” felony)

• Michael Alexander BAKERDJIS – 302 S Gilbert St #1228
o Interference with Official Acts [2 counts] (simple misdemeanors)
o Assault on Peace Officer (serious misdemeanor)
o Preventing Apprehension, Obstructing Prosecution, or Obstructing Defense (aggravated misdemeanor)
o Robbery 2nd Degree (Class “C” felony)

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Getting Down to Business

Floor debate in the Iowa House had an interesting turn this week, when House Democrats admitted that without a tax increase on Iowa businesses, they will be unable to balance the state budget this session.


Prompting the comment was an amendment put forth by House Republicans that would have mirrored the federal economic stimulus package by allowing an accelerated write-off for businesses for certain assets they own, called bonus depreciation.


The Democrats defeated this amendment on a partisan vote, 53 to 47, with every single Democrat casting a vote against the bill.


This was a great opportunity to stand up for hometown Iowa businesses, who will be hit with a tax increase of up to $30 million. The reason the Democrats gave for voting down the amendment, as stated above, is that the additional revenue generated through the tax increase was needed to help them balance their budget.


This is a sad statement – when state revenues are coming in at record levels – that Democrats need to raise taxes just to balance the budget.


Recently, the Legislature gave Microsoft a big tax break to land a server farm in central Iowa. Tax incentives are an effective way to lure new businesses to the state. Shouldn’t our hard-working, existing businesses in Iowa be offered some tax relief as well?


The Democrats, with their runaway spending, don’t think so.


The Heritage Foundation had this to say about bonus depreciation:


“The best part of the agreement is tax cuts for businesses.  "Bonus depreciation," which allows companies to rapidly deduct qualified investment from their tax liability, makes new investment opportunities more profitable and attractive. This provision would increase business investment, which would create jobs and strengthen the economy.”


Republicans will continue to offer real tax relief to stimulate the economy and help Iowa’s businesses.


Stewart Iverson

Chairman, The Republican Party of Iowa


50+ singles dinner for March

The 50+ singles dinner for the month of March will be 6:00 PM on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at the Motley Cow, 160 North Linn St, Iowa City. We can accommodate a maximum of 40 people at this restaurant so you must RSVP. RSVP by Friday, March 7, to Barbara 354-7674 or barbaracoralville@hotmail.com

50+ Singles Breakfast

The 50+ singles group is an affiliate of the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. It is an informal group of widowed, never married and divorced singles who gather to laugh, share and make new connections of friendship and caring. The group meets weekly for breakfast on Saturdays from 9:30 - 11 AM at the Old Country Buffet at Coral Ridge Mall, and for dinner the second or third Saturday of each month at 6 PM at local restaurants.

For further information, contact Barb at 354-7674 or barbaracoralville@hotmail.com, or Susan Rogusky at 319/356-5224 or susan-rogusky@iowa-city.org.


What To Do About Climate Change

by Indur Goklany

The state-of-the-art British-sponsored fast track assessment of the global impacts of climate change, a major input to the much-heralded Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, indicates that through the year 2100, the contribution of climate change to human health and environmental threats will generally be overshadowed by factors not related to climate change. Hence, climate change is unlikely to be the world's most important environmental problem of the 21st century.

Analysis using both the Stern Review and the fast-track assessment reveals that notwithstanding climate change, for the foreseeable future, human and environmental well-being will be highest under the "richest-but-warmest" scenario and lower for the poorer (lower-carbon) scenarios. The developing world's future wellbeing should exceed present levels by several-fold under each scenario, even exceeding present wellbeing in today's developed world under all but the poorest scenario. Accordingly, equity-based arguments, which hold that present generations should divert scarce resources from today's urgent problems to solve potential problems of tomorrow's wealthier generations, are unpersuasive.

Halting climate change would reduce cumulative mortality from various climate-sensitive threats, namely, hunger, malaria, and coastal flooding, by 4–10 percent in 2085, while increasing populations at risk from water stress and possibly worsening matters for biodiversity. But according to cost information from the UN Millennium Program and the IPCC, measures focused specifically on reducing vulnerability to these threats would reduce cumulative mortality from these risks by 50–75 percent at a fraction of the cost of reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs). Simultaneously, such measures would reduce major hurdles to the developing world's sustainable economic development, the lack of which is why it is most vulnerable to climate change.

The world can best combat climate change and advance well-being, particularly of the world's most vulnerable populations, by reducing present-day vulnerabilities to climate-sensitive problems that could be exacerbated by climate change rather than through overly aggressive GHG reductions.

The full text of this policy analysis is available here.

Indur Goklany is the author of The Improving State of the World, from which much of this paper is derived, and The Precautionary Principle: A Critical Appraisal of Environmental Risk Assessment, both published by the Cato Institute.


Evidence mounts against global warming

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has reported that many U.S. cities have endured record cold temperatures so far in 2008. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

Not widely reported, the snow cover over North America, much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

Global_warming_3 In a review of hard scientific fact, all four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

Scientists are linking the cooling to reduced solar activity, a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases.


Work by city road crews scheduled for this weekend

IOWA CITY, IA. -- City crews will be working this upcoming weekend to attempt to clear some of the most severely ice impacted residential streets. It is hoped that the warm weather which has been forecast for this weekend will assist in breaking the bond between the ice and the pavement. Thus far the ice has proven extremely difficult to remove.

Crews will also be working throughout the weekend to keep storm sewer intakes clear of ice and snow to prevent street flooding. If significant street flooding is observed, please call 356-5181 to report the location.

Residents are asked to utilize off street parking this weekend to allow equipment room to work. Please use caution when traveling in areas where the road crews are working.


New Horizons Orchestra seeking members

The New Horizons Orchestra is a community string ensemble, made up of musicians of all ability levels, from beginners to advanced instrumentalists. The orchestra meets at the Senior Center once a week to practice a variety of string orchestra literature, including classical, movie and musical tunes, and contemporary compositions.

Other than being an adult, there are no age, ability or Center membership requirements for participating in the orchestra. Members vary widely in both age and playing ability. Several have picked up their instruments again after a long break and once again are enjoying the opportunity to make music with others in a group.

The group meets under the direction of Megan Glass, a Masters student in Music Education. Dues are $75 per semester paid to the director at the first sessions in Jan and in Jun.

The New Horizons Orchestra practices on Friday from 10:00 to 11:30 AM at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center at 28 S Linn Street, Iowa City.

For further information, contact Megan Glass at 321-8635 or glass01@mchsi.com , or Susan Rogusky at 356-5224 or susan-rogusky@iowa-city.org .


Rasmussen: New York Times unfavorable

New_york_times_2 According to a Rasmussen telephone survey, only 24% of American voters like the New York Times.

The liberal paper recently put itself into a controversy over an article it ran concerning John McCain.  The story was run as hard news, but was based in innuendo and speculation, implying McCain had an affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman several years ago. 

The Rasmussen survey revealed that 66% of those who followed the story, believed it was an attempt by the paper to hurt the McCain campaign. Only 22% believed the Times was just reporting the news.


Johnson County Republicans to hold spaghetti dinner event

Johnson_county_republicans IOWA CITY, IA. -- The Johnson County Republican Central Committee has announced the date for its 5th Annual Spaghetti Dinner.  The event starts at 6 p.m, March 14th in Montgomery Hall at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.  Catered by Zio Johno's, menu items include spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and a choice of meat or meatless sauces.

Speakers for the event will be prominent Iowa politician Bob Vander Plaats, and Iowa GOP Chairman Stewart Iverson.  A silent auction will also take place during the dinner, featuring items donated from local businesses.

The cost for the event is $10 per person, $25 for a family of four.  For pre-payment and RSVP information, contact Cathy Grawe at 337-6193 or email her at:  cgrawe@mchsi.com.

About the JCRCC
The Johnson County Republican Central Committee is responsible for coordinating all activities of the Republican Party in Johnson County, Iowa.  The Committee consists of committee members from each precinct in the county, elected every two years at the party precinct caucuses.