in case you missed it | Not safe to get sick… yet


Not safe to get sick yet

It was an epic battle, almost Homeric in scope. Sides were taken. Lines were drawn. Aspersions were cast, lies told, accusations made. But in the end Congress passed a health care reform bill.

And yet what drama preceded that last vote! How surreal it was to watch Americans argue against their best interests, tossing the word “socialism” around as if they actually understood what it means. But that was no stranger than watching Catholic bishops sound off on health care reform as if it they, not Congress, had been elected to represent the people. And then there are the Republicans, who made it clear for the record that they value corporate profit more than people.

Still, the bill passed. And that is, as Vice President Joe Biden so eloquently put it, “a big fucking deal.”

But don’t think it’s safe to get cancer just yet. Though the bill will be signed into law on Tuesday, March 30, its most important measures don’t become effective until 2014. Health insurances companies have until then to put their profits before humans.

That’s a long way off if you had the bad timing to get sick right now.

Nipples in the news again

For a progressive city, Boulder is sure full of prudes — constipated, uptight, irrational prudes.

It started with nude bike riders and naked pumpkin runners, who pedaled and ran with their junk showing. Prudes complained to the cops because — gasp! — there’s really nothing more horrific than seeing another person’s genitals. The cops cracked down, leaving several harmless pranksters facing the possibility of being classified as sex offenders.

So the city’s leadership decided it was time for a new ordinance, one that would enable the cops to cite bike riders and pumpkin runners, but would spare the latter from being lumped in with rapists and child molesters. This almost resulted in female nipples being outlawed, as well. Thanks to the leadership of Macon Cowles and Lisa Morzel, that provision of the proposed ordinance was eliminated.

But then Catharine Pierce went out to garden in a legally permitted state of undress — topless and wearing a thong — and the prudes freaked again.

The police, rather than telling complainants that Pierce was within her legal rights to go topless, showed up and asked her to put on a shirt out of concern for children playing nearby. Because if a child ever saw a woman’s tits, he’d be scarred for life.

Pierce, to her credit, refused. And there wasn’t a damned thing anyone could do about.

This has set the prudes to asking whether City Council needs to restore the ban on female nipples to the proposed ordinance.

What’s the message here? Perhaps it’s this: “Women have the freedom to go topless like men — as long as they choose never to do it.”

Or this: “Female nipples are bad for children to see (unless babies are sucking on them), but male nipples aren’t.” (It’s doubtful that any Boulder cop has asked a man hanging shirtless in his yard to cover up for the sake of nearby children.)

Or maybe this: “Police will try to enforce nonexistent laws if enough people whine.”

Well, here’s our message: Boulder prudes who are offended by the sight of female nipples should move to Colorado Springs, where similarly minded prudes will spare them even the sight of pink puppet cleavage.

Colo. lawmakers scale back on drug war

It wasn’t an admission that the war on drugs is a failure, but it was still significant. On Tuesday, March 23, the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of House Bill 1352, which would reduce sentences for drug use, possession and marijuanarelated crimes. The bill is designed to save the state about $50 billion on incarceration costs and to shift the emphasis from imprisonment to drugtreatment programs, which have proven to be more effective at helping people with drug addiction than a stint in prison.

Hey, it’s about bloody time. If we want to help drug addicts rather than simply punish them, prison isn’t the answer.

Treatment is.