Opinions

Gumption Editor, Lewis, Shares Thoughts on Recent SCOTUS Decision

Constitutionality of Obamacare, Passes Legal Litmus Test of a Heavily ‘Right-Wing’ Supreme Court, GOP Disheartened.

My thoughts may not matter to you from the next Joe Schmoe, but I like to believe that I have an informed opinion on this matter. My mother, who passed away in 2010 after a 1 year-10 month battle with breast cancer, and myself are DIRECT beneficiaries of the (obnoxiously named) “Obamacare” health care legislation. For my family and friends, especially those of you who may want to believe I lean to the right, know this, I WILL be voting for OBAMA in November because of this single piece of (watered down) legislation! For all the damn whinny Republicans out there, ENOUGH! I’m tired of hearing your diatribes on why this law is “bad for America.” Just turn on Fox News and see so-called “facts” about exactly why this is “bad.” My mother, God rest her soul, died of cancer, but was a primary beneficiary of Obama’s efforts to reign-in healthcare costs and greedy insurance companies. And for those Nay-Sayers out there who say the law didn’t even take affect until recently, I respond, how dare you disrespect the improved care my mother got. I know for a fact that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act was felt by my family as early as 2009, when she was first diagnosed. Also, I benefited because after she died I got really depressed, suicidal even, and could not have afforded in-patient and out-patient therapies, let alone these damned expensive medicines, such as Saphris (which is like $600/month without insurance). The bill, in my opinion, was extremely less effective after the GOP bitched and complained, eventually getting portions of the bill altered or removed entirely. I apologize in advance for this digression, but the Op-Ed below, by Larry Champeau, was published by personal request of Mr. Champeau himself. Mr. Champeau happens to be a close relative of mine, one I value dearly, as did my mother. His views on this topic are very fair. I especially like the first few sentences:

I really don’t care for the rhetoric coming from the right and the Tea Party concerning this decision, (and I’m a conservative). Their position is the law needs to be repealed. As I understand it, this law will force insurance coverage for all American’s. I think it’s a sad commentary on our healthcare system that not all people, in the richest nation on earth, are not covered in at least a minimal way for those catastrophic events we all know can happen.

Matt Lewis
Tucson, Ariz.

– 30 –

Recent SCOTUS Decision on ‘Affordable Care Act’ (A.K.A. Obamacare)

I really don’t care for the rhetoric coming from the right and the Tea Party concerning this decision, (and I’m a conservative). Their position is the law needs to be repealed. As I understand it, this law will force insurance coverage for all American’s. I think it’s a sad commentary on our healthcare system that not all people, in the richest nation on earth, are not covered in at least a minimal way for those catastrophic events we all know can happen. I work in the medical field, as does my wife, and I can’t tell you how many times a simple examination, for a complex health problem, could not be accessed by an individual because they had no insurance and could not pay for it out of pocket, what happens in this case? They pay a visit to the Emergency room at the local hospital.  The emergency rooms are filled with people utilizing it as a clinic, knowing that the hospital will have to treat them because they are required to provide a certain percentage of indigent care. Who pays for this service? All the working people with insurance. What happens to our rates because this happens? Our rates are elevated to cover all those who can’t pay. Do we really want to repeal something that will continue this system, I think not! So here is something to think about when you enter the voting booth this November.

Larry Champeau
Norman, Okla.

– 30 –

Who will be Romney’s VP? Does anyone really want to be?

By Derek Evans

Mitt Romney says he is in the process  of choosing his vice presidential nominee. Like always there are rumors of who it might be, but those rumors proved to be insignificant in 2008. I don’t think one single rumor had John MCCain’s  VP nominee being  Sarah Palin. In reality the vice president pick, really isn’t that huge to the outcome of the election, voters vote for President, not Vice President.  But it is still interesting who Romney will pick, here are who I think are the most likely choices. For one there is Ohio United States senator Rob Portman. Portman would be a safe pick for Romney, he is from  a huge and very important swing state Ohio. He also wouldn’t outshine Romney , unlike how Palin outshined MCCain in 2008. Portman does have some baggage , however having served two jobs In the George W Bush administration, he was United States  trade representative under Bush from 2005 to 2006 and director of office of management and Budget from 2006 to 2007. I don’t think Romney should choose anyone with any ties whatsoever to Bush. Another possible pick   is Florida United States senator Marco Rubio. Rubio seems to be a young growing star in the Republican Party, much like Obama was before the 2008 election, but I think Romney and the Republican Party in general would look very hypocritical if the pick is Rubio. In 2008 Republicans attacked Obama for lack of experience being only a one term senator well it just so happens Rubio is also a one term senator. If Romney thinks simply adding Rubio will get him the Hispanic vote he is mistaken. It might even hurt him more with Hispanics because they might feel offended that Romney would think simply running with an Hispanic will get him the Hispanic vote.  Another possibility is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Much like Rubio, however I don’t think Jindal is ready at all and might be a possibly for presidential nominee in 2016 if Obama is reelected. There is also New Hampisher senator Kelly Ayotte , but after Palin I highly doubt Republicans would choose another woman.  One more possibility I see if Governor of New Jersey Chris Chirstie, but I think he is to happy with his current job to leave. I beg the question, does any Republican really want to be Romney’s vp nominee that bad? If Romney losses it might kill his running mate’s political career.

Journalism is Alive and Well

By Matt Lewis
Date Published: April 12, 2012
After speaking to a class of eager young journalists on Tuesday, I realized one thing – journalism is alive and ‘feisty’ (to use a term from The New York Time’s former Executive Editor Bill Keller). Here is what the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) recently reported:JUDY WOODRUFF (Reporter): “So, just before we get to specifics, it seems to me the bottom line when it comes to audience is that, for most of the media, there’s been a — what, a stemming of the bleeding in audience numbers?”MARK JURKOWITZ (associate director of the center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism for the Pew Research Center): “Yes. We saw some — we saw a little bit of a turnaround in audience numbers, particularly in television. One thing we should — to give it context — is, 2011 was a big news year. We had the earthquake in Japan, we had the Arab Spring, we had the intensification of the presidential race. So there were a lot of major news events, and I think that was reflected in growth of almost 5 percent, for example, in the network news audience, which reverses declines, a small, but, you know, modest growth in local television news, which reversed declines, a little bit of an uptick in cable, although there the big news is that CNN in prime time actually enjoyed a significant jump. And the newspaper sector was down in circulation, but only about 4 percent, which, frankly, stems the bleeding a little bit. So in terms of audience members, 2011 was not grim.”
** To watch the full story click here or the image below. There is also a transcript of the conversation below the video content. **

The students I spoke to seemed full of promise and undeterred by previous reports of the media industry that have painted job prospects as bleak and grim. What creates optimism in youth you might ask? Is is ignorance or naïvety? Is there something they understand that older generations don’t? I would say it’s a combination of these two things; but to be honest my generation and subsequent generations understand far more than they are given credit for. While this is a digital age where everyone only reads headlines and Tweets, the young people of today are far more curious and adventurous than prior generations. They know they have to blaze a trail to even have a shot at success. We watch shows like ABC’s Shark Tank.
Essentially, my argument breaks down to two parts. The media is a vital element in society, no matter what form or medium the information is delivered. Second, the drive and stamina of the journalists, editors and related support staff (lawyers, accountants, janitors, et cetera) are what make any newsroom possible. Yes journalism outfits are not as profitable as they once were; no surprise there, since it’s a widely reported fact. From the local, small-town paper to The New York Times, revenues are down, staffs are being let go and brick-and-mortar news headquarters are disappearing.
The vibrance of young journalists, however, will guarantee journalism’s success for generations to come. The cub reporters have what I like to call ‘the gumption,’ it’s sort of like ‘the right stuff.’
When we have convinced older people to join Facebook and get smartphones, we have simultaneously done journalism a favor and harm. Because of the shift in platforms, we have a leg up on our older, often wiser counterparts simply because we are familiar with the technology. There is a caveat to this, though, we don’t have the business acumen to make this a successful enterprise – at least not yet. Trust me when I say we will. We will soon! These college students don’t want to graduate without a job. They will either create their own media outlet, similar to what we have done here at The Gilbert Gumption – OR – they will help existing companies to find a way to profit from new technologies.
The best advice I can have for formalized institutional media outlets is to remain agile, embrace change and work damned hard (and fast) to develop new, solid business foundations.
– 30 –

GLBTQ Community Grows:
Deserves Respect

Source: iREADray.com
By Matt Lewis
Visit Matt’s Site @ mattalewis.com
Date Published: March 12, 2012
If you search the term “gay” on the search engine Google, you get more than one billion results in less than a second. A number of those links are to news stories about Dharun Ravi. Here’s oneHere’s another. If you don’t know who Mr. Ravi is, read the links I provided. Personally I am appalled by Mr. Ravi’s attitude toward homosexuals.
He should realize this community is growing exponentially. I’m not simply talking about homosexuals, but those who are friends and allies of those who are. I am not saying you have to become gay or even accept this movement as something you believe in, but please, for Christ’s sake understand that this is a community that has undergone someof the most difficult discrimination over the past few decades.
Yes women, blacks and latino/as as well as many others have also been targeted. At some point many of these folks have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse because of the “color of their skin and not the content of their character.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wished physical or outward appearances would no longer be the catalyst for how society judges a person or group of persons. I think we all have the goal in a way – aside from a small, fringe group of extreme radicals. So many have been so oppressed for so long that too many are taking their own lives for fear they will be castigated-in– and cast-out of– society.
The numbers are widely publicized in the news and on blogs like these, so I will spare you the heart-wrenching facts and stick to something I do best – opinion. I saw a meme on Facebook the other day; it was something I really connected with.
It said something to the effect of “The rights of gay people are not a political issue, but a human rights issue.”
This country has seen radical and rapid change in a relatively short period of time as compared with other significant changes as viewed through the lens of historical context. This is a good and bad thing. It is often forgotten that this country was not founded upon religious pretenses, but rather religious freedom. Our founding fathers and mothers were escaping a tyrannical system across the pond, which did not allow for political or religious freedom. In this country we are the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I hope we never forget that. For those who don’t feel the freedom to “be who they are,” I hope you have the brave heart to take on those who are holding you back – and remember you have a friend and brother on the battlefield in me. I won’t lie to you and say it will get better in your lifetime like all those lackluster videos of the “It Gets Better” campaign. The truth is unless you change your own vantage point about this world and try your hardest to make it better, you are as much of a problem as you are part of the solution.
It takes more than one person, yes.
But it takes one person at one moment in time to start a revolution – for example George Washington.
He fought to free our country and became the most powerful man of the newly freed world. When I read stories like the recent one from the Sydney Morning Herald that says that gay youths in Iraq are being beaten to death I start to wonder what purpose our occupation of Iraq served. We now have a country who hates us (more); one that we only invaded to take control their oil reserves. Do the people of Iraq have any more freedom now than they did before our government chose to invade? Was it even our place to invade? Some may argue yes. I argue no.
Am I an expert? No. Should my political opinions matter? I suppose in some small context, but it likely will only be important to those who care what I have to say. If you don’t agree with what I have to say the let’s have a discussion. That is what this country and great ideas are made of – multiple discussions that lead to a “more common” goal.
If I make you mad, then either try to convert me or leave me alone, please. I digress. So back on point, if you feel things aren’t improving fast enough, well simply look to America as a beacon of hope – again. The Los Angeles Times put together this map that shows the rights of gays throughout the United States of America.
GUEST POST BY MATTHEW A. LEWIS. VISIT MATT’S SITE AT MATTALEWIS.COM.
To guest post on http://www.iREADray.com email Ray at rayceojr@gmail.com
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