What We Stand For

The Communist Party of Indiana CPUSA struggles for socialism: to better the lives of Indiana's working families, to protect and extend labor's ability to organize, for the needs of women, children, immigrants (documented and undocumented), the disabled, LGBT, and all people who strive for affordable quality health care, housing, and education. We stand against racism in all its forms. We stand for jobs for all. We stand for peace. We support all who struggle world wide for the dignity and self-determination of the majority of their nation's people and against imperialism, occupation, and exploitation for private profit.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Labor Day Parade in Princeton, IN

This is an invitation to all Single-Payer supporters to join with the California Nurses Association (CNA)/National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) in the 123rd Labor Day Parade in Princeton, Indiana. The parade is part of the Labor Day Celebrations which is one of the oldest in the Nation and is made up of thousands of working men and women and their families from
the Tri-State area. Join with us in exposing thousands to the concept of Single-Payer. If you have a blue Medicare for All t-shirt we encourage you to wear it. Any pro Single-Payer logo is welcome including signs and banners. We will have a trailer for those who need to ride.

Who: All Single-Payer Supporters

What: Labor Day Parade

When: September 7, 2009 Labor Day 9:00 A.M. *Central Standard Time*

Where: Princeton, Indiana which is 25 miles north of Evansville

This parade takes two hours to complete depending where you are in the parade line up. We are unit number 3 which means we will get through the parade route in less time.

The best way to get to the parade staging area is to go to the Gibson County Fairgrounds where the parade will end and park your car and then ride the bus to the staging area. I have attached a map of the Fairgrounds that shows the parking areas in black. You can access the parking areas from either entrance. Buses will run back and forth from these areas to the staging area
until the parade starts. After the parade the buses will again make runs to the down town staging area for those who park near the staging area. The main highway and streets in Princeton will close during the parade so driving into or out of the city is very difficult during the parade. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting there early. The ideal
time to catch the bus at the Fairgrounds is 7:30 A.M. Central Standard Time but they will continue to run up until starting time.

In addition to the map of the Fairgrounds I have attached the map of the parade route and the additional parade information. You can also access this information and much more at the web site www.labordayassoc.com. There are food booths at the Fairgrounds.

Web site directions: Go to www.labordayassoc.com and on the left side click on “Celebration 2009”. When this page opens up you will see Parade Map and Parade information. This is the same information that is attached. Check out the pictures of past parades. There are more old pictures being added each year.

Directions to the Gibson County Fairgrounds or parade staging area: Coming from the North on US 41 take the first Princeton exit on the ramp into Princeton. This is the second ramp which you will be going east into Princeton on Broadway/Indiana State Road 64. Do not confuse this with
Interstate 64.You will travel 1.25 miles and turn left on Embry Street. This street goes by both the entrances to the Fairgrounds (this is where you can catch the buses to the staging area). Or you can continue east on Broadway/64 for .4 miles to the staging area. You will go to the Courthouse Square and on the east side is Main Street. Turn right onto Main which is
the staging area. You can also get to the staging area by going to the second Princeton Exit off US 41 which is Main Street. You follow it into the staging area.

Coming from the South on US 41 you can take the first exit for Princeton which is Main Street. Follow it north until you arrive at the Parade staging area. To get to the Fairgrounds go the second Princeton exit and take the first ramp which you will be going East on Broadway/Indiana State Road 64.

Do not confuse this with Interstate 64. Go 1.25 miles to Embry Street and turn left. There is a sign for the Fairgrounds but it is easily overlooked. Embry will take you by both entrances to the Fairgrounds.

You can also come into Princeton from the East on Indiana State Road 64. Do not confuse this with Interstate 64. Coming from the North you can take Indiana State Road 57 South or 231 South. Both of these cross 64. Turn right on to 64 and go west until you come to Princeton. The second stop light is Main Street turn left and you will be in the Parade staging area. If you are
going to the Fairgrounds continue on to Embry Street and turn right and follow the street to the entrances to the grounds.

If you have any questions feel free to call me at 812-215-9848 or email me at gfritz@calnurses.org.

See Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan and Citizens United for Universal Health Care/HCHP Northeast Chapter for more information.

See the Labor Day Association for more parade information.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Top Five Health Care Reform Lies—and How to Fight Back

| PA Editors Blog | August 12, 2009

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of "death panels" and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: "No 'death panel' in health care bill." What's the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.

Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama's reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option — a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers — that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down.

If you're happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can't afford health care now.

Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that.

Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage. And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation.

Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens' Medicare benefits!!!

The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care — in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.

Lie #5: Obama's health care plan will bankrupt America!!!

The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy — to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy.

Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care. The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade — and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses. Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama's reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.

We're closer to real health care reform than we've ever been—and the next few weeks will decide whether it happens. We need to make sure the truth about health care reform is spread far and wide to combat right wing lies.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Union families show anti-Obama rally 'what real Americans want'

Paul Kaczocha | People's Weekly World | August 6, 2009

WAKARUSA, Ind. – In just a few hours on Aug. 5 the Steelworkers Union organized a bus load and several cars from Gary, Ind., to take the two hour trip to this small sleepy town near Elkhart and in the middle of the Amish area also known for RV and trailer construction.

More than 1,200 people from around the area gathered to support President Barack Obama and health care reform amongst other issues.

In contrast, The Young Republicans organized a smaller effort to protest Obama and health care reform efforts.

Earlier in the week many of these same protesters tried to disrupt a forum on health care with Congressman Pete Visclosky, sponsored by the Democratic Alliance group in Chesterton, Ind. The protesters are mounting “recess rallies” nationwide targeting Democrats and the president.

Obama spoke at the bankrupt and recently-purchased Monaco Coach RV manufacturer while supporters and protesters rallied outside. Unemployment in the area is nearly 20 percent in the state where it has reached 11 percent. Obama announced a $39 million stimulus grant to the company that purchased Monaco to make 400 electric trucks.

Ula Woods a school bus driver from Gary said she came to the rally, “to support Obama and his health care plans.” JC, also of Gary and a SEIU member and custodian, said he came “for health care reform and jobs. I am laid off with 59 others.”

Helen Johnson of South Bend, Ind. said “She came to show Obama that we support his efforts to get health care for all the people that don’t have it.”

Mike Olszanski, a retired steelworker from LaPorte, who was standing amongst the anti-Obama protesters with his sign calling for a single payer solution for health care.

“I’m for socialized medicine, and these people are saying that they don’t want the government to do anything with health care. I’m glad I came to show these young Republicans what real Americans want,” he said.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Portuguese Trade Union Job Safety and Health Seminar Sparks Discussions and Demands

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 30, 2009

Dr. Mariana Alves Pereira from the University of Lusofona located in Lisbon, Portugal sent a strong message to over 75 transportation union leaders that Vibration Acoustical Disease VAD is a problem that requires their immediate attention. She presented study results from over 20 years of research that impressed Seminar participants. This is a relatively new area of research.

This Seminar, organized by the National Federation of Transport and Communication Unions FECTRANS, was led by its coordinator, Amavel Alves. FECTRANS represents subway [metro], railway, bus and truck drivers. Alves opened the Seminar by stating the need for safe and healthier conditions; the need for more studies and research as part of the European Campaign for a safer transportation system.

The main topics of the Seminar, a Seminar that was in part supported by the European Union organizations in charge of transportation, focused on worker fatigue and ergonomics, i.e., musculo-skeletel diseases.

Pereira spoke at length about the growing dangers of Vibro Acoustic Diseases stemming from Low Frequency Noise. She said that many neurological problems which heretofore have been left undiagnosed, now can be labeled and treated.

Manuela Calado an official with the Portuguese government, and related to the European National Agency, reported on efforts by the government to protect workers. But, she said that, it would take the pressure of the trade unions, like FECTRANS, to get these government agencies to do the right thing.

Dr. Frank Goldsmith, former director of Occupational Health for Local 100, Transport Workers Union from New York City, reported on the study of the Health Status of Urban Mass Transit Workers that was conducted a few years ago by Dr. Steven Markowitz of Queens College, City University of New York. The study covered all 60 job titles of the 38,000 bus and subway transit workers employed by the New York City Transit authority.

That groundbreaking report was the first stage of an in-depth study that will be continued in the near future. Problems such as steel dust in the subways, job stress and ergonomic issues for bus operators, and general issues of occupational exposure to carcinogens and respiratory problems were described.

Goldsmith represents the World Federation of Trade Unions at the United Nations.

In an extensive discussion following these reports, the Portuguese union leaders from all part of Portugal, including Lisbon and Porto from the north, reported on their working conditions and the need for continued strong trade union support and demands at the appropriate government agencies. Bus operators, lorry drivers [over the road truck drivers] and subway workers gave example after example of their working conditions and their strategies to protect their members.

Many of them agreed that vibration and noise issues are present in their places of work. The issue of vibration acoustic disease they said was a new one for them, but they were pleased that it was reported and looked forward to taking the appropriate actions.


Anabela Vogado, the occupational health specialist for FECTRANS, in the afternoon session, reported extensively about the increasing pressure to work longer and longer hours per day and week. This has made worker fatigue a major labor issue. She cited European directives in describing the need for trade union actions.

Vogado's report sparked lengthy comments from many of the Seminar participants.

Jose Manuel Oliveria, President of the Railway workers Union [SNTSF] voiced strong support for all the reports and urged quick action.

At the close of the Seminar Alves, himself a subway train operator said that these reports and comments would NOT be put on the shelf. They will be used to develop plans to be brought to the proper officials for action.

The conference was simultaneously translated into both Portuguese and English.

He said that in the current period of economic and financial crisis, all of these issues are all the more important to address. Sitting back and doing nothing is NOT an option.

National Health in Portugal: Specialty Care

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 26, 2009

Portuguese National Health Service Remains Strong

Based on the post Dictatorship Constitution, the Portuguese National Health Service was established in 1979. Over 90% of the population uses its system of public hospitals and salaried physicians. This needs to be said, because recently, the directives of the European Union, followed too closely by the governing Socialist Party, has allowed some of the funding for the NHS to deteriorate. This opened the door to the insurance monopolies.

This has resulted in the selling of private insurance policies to some people. On the other hand recent attempts to regionalize the NHS were soundly defeated. The struggle continues.

Abortion Rights

Under the NHS, and since a couple of years ago, there are full abortion rights up to 10 to 14 weeks. This being a Catholic country, these rights are all the more significant. It took mass pressure to uphold the rights of women in this regard. In Spain, there are full abortion rights for over 20 years…there the law allows abortions up to 12 weeks.

Personal Medical Records on Data Base

There is a national database of individual medical records so that everyone in the system can have their records pulled up when traveling to any part of the country. This is still a dream on the U.S.

When traveling out of the county and when health services are needed, the cost of the services are fully reimbursed upon return.


Since 1979, again the new Constitution, organ transplants are a common medical procedure. Under the law, in accidents and similar occurrences, all organs are made available. Only, if people specifically reject this possibility will the organs not be removed. That is the kind of default system that works.


There is a National Registry of Organs.

As the U.S. goes through its latest struggle to beat off the insurance carriers, medical device, supplies and equipment companies; drug companies and the banks; here in Portugal the people enjoy full health care rights.

Maybe the U.S. needs a constitutional Amendment for the right to health care like what was needed for other crisis and important economic and social issues?

Coalition Politics Portuguese Style: A Case in Point

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 26, 2009

As most people know, the Portuguese Communist Party is a strong and powerful Marxist – Leninist Party. It has historically taken very robust positions on all of the issues of the international working class movement.

What is not known is that it has an equally aggressive mass electoral policy.

Peniche, For Example

In an earlier Blog, I referred to the United Democratic Coalition –CDU where the PCP along with the Greens and many independent work together. In these coalitions, the final outcomes in terms of leadership, when they win, are not always predetermined.

For example, in the historic town of Peniche with a population of 16,000 people, the Socialist Party has held the Mayor position for decades. Peniche is where the fascist/dictatorship of Salazar jailed members of the Communist Party and others. [It is the 35 anniversary of April 25, 1974 when the dictatorship was overthrown; and 75 years since that prison was built.]


Four years ago, the CDU for that town put forward candidates for the:

Town Council
Municipal Assembly/Parliament
Local Boroughs

The CDU was and is made up of the CPC, the Greens and many independents. They all agreed, however, to the Platform of the CPC. The program had simple things like: street lights; taking care of green and garden areas; playgrounds; social support systems and local school development.

The Town Council has 11 members and the CDU won over 50% of the votes. They also won the Assembly and most of the boroughs.

This made Peniche a "Communist Town." As reported earlier, there are 308 towns in Portugal and the PCP heads up 33 of them.

The different thing about Peniche is that the Mayor of the town is not a member of the PCP; which is fine with everyone. Of course, he ran on the PCP platform.
Now that is non-sectarianism at its best.

Note: In Portugal, there are about 60,000 members of the PCP with about one-third being elected to government positions, or about 20,000 PCP serving the public.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Portuguese Transportation Union Leader: Main challenges

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 27, 2009

Privatization Struggle Highlights Union Focus

Amavel Alves is the co-ordinator of National Federation of Transport and Communication Unions [FECTRANS.] He comes from the subway Metro workers union where he was a train operator/an engineer.

He said that main goal of the labor federation over the past few years was to better focus its work under one umbrella: Industrially and Geographically. He said that FECTRANS is the largest federation of its kind; there is another one, which is far smaller. It is affiliated with the CGTP the National Federation in Portugal.

International Solidarity

While FECTRANS is not officially affiliated with any of the two international federations it works strongly on international labor solidarity. He said that FECTRANS believes in class-oriented trade unionism, "Without a Shadow of a Doubt." He said that the union works with the Trade Union International - TUI associated with the World Federation of Trade Unions.

Three Main Challenges

Alves said that there are three main challenges before the union:

A. Fighting Against the Wage of Privatization. We are struggling to keep our work in the public domain. He said that the current financial and economic crisis caught the privateers "red-handed." "They are a bit more cautious these days." He said that unemployment in Portugal is at it's highest since the end of the dictatorship: 1974.

B. Fighting Against Recent Labor Codes. The labor movement is struggling against the anti-union direction of the European Union and also the current Portuguese government.

C. Struggling to Maintain and Improve Working Conditions. The struggle against increasing working hours is crucial, he reported. Also, casual labor is causing troubles. Truck/lorry drivers are facing increasing driving hours.

More to come; stay tuned

Portugal Takes its Ballots and Street Heat Seriously

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 24, 2009

In Portugal: 35 Years Since the Revolution:

Traveling to Portugal and of course Lisbon, or any place that you're not familiar with, you always buy a guide to help to focus your limited time. The "Green Guide" by Michelin gives a good description of Portugal and even mentions the dictatorship of Salazar. You learn that it ended in April, 1974. Foders guide marks that date, but little more.

The Lonely Planet guide is far more political, it is published in England. The town of Peniche was highlighted as a good place to visit. Stating that it was the location of one of Salazar's main prisons.

But, what is missing for more politically minded travelers is that Peniche, the Abu Ghraib and Guantanomo, of its time, and after having Socialist mayor's for many years, elected a Communist Party leader as its Mayor three years ago. They could have also said that this wasn't a fluke. Of the 308 municipalities in Portugal, 33 have Communist Party or over 10%.

Thirty-five years ago, April 25, 1974, the dictatorship, lead by Salazar, came an end. The military and peoples' movement brought democracy to the Portuguese people and ever since the Portuguese Communist Party [PCP] has been in the leadership of keeping the promise of democracy, economic and social rights; and peace a reality for workers' and their families.

Year 2009 Balloting/Elections

In the year 2009, the PCP has won important victories in the European Parliamentary elections; and, is looking forward to the elections for national government offices and municipalities in September and October of 2009. After decades of right wing and dictatorships, they take democracy seriously in Portugal.

While the wave of ultra right wing parties had some success in the large European countries; the Communist Parties of Greece and Portugal out paced them. They were not rubbed out completely, but they did not do very well.

At the same time, the Party leads mass demonstrations throughout the country to make it possible for the thoughts and ideas of workers and communities have a voice. As is explained, every form of expression is needed to pressure the government and the employers.


In the 2009 EU Parliamentary elections, the PCP polled 10.67% of the vote, which was higher than achieve in the previous similar election in 2005, or 9.1%. The most recent national elections vote, 2005, of the PCP was 7.8%; which was an increase from the 7.0% four years earlier. Municipal elections found the PCP candidates doing even better in 2005 than in the previous local elections where they were voted into 30 municipalities.

In the EU Parliament and the Portuguese Parliament the PCP representation stayed the same.

Street Heat

Keeping the streets hot with demonstration is a hallmark of the PCP. On May 13, 2009, over 250 trade unionists hit the streets to protest the new Labor Code by the National government. On April 25 the 35th Anniversary of the Revolution, over 50,000 marched. On May 1st, MAY DAY, Lisbon had a demonstration of over 250,000 with demonstrations in 55 other Portuguese cities.

And, then on May 25, a coalition of political parties demonstrated for peoples' rights; about 85,000 strong.

Elections in September

National elections will take place on September 27 this year; with municipal elections two weeks later. The Party hopes to improve upon its 7.8% of four years ago; and improve on its 33 cities with Communists in the municipal elections

The Annual Festival of the PCP will precede these national and local elections, September 3-5, 2009. Each year, the Party attracts over 550,000 people. This festival has the traditional foods and speeches and debates.

The main issues have been:

The directives coming from the European unions of increased privatization; cutbacks on pensions and health benefits; increasing the age to retire and other anti-working class and anti women issues; these demonstrations and elections will keep worker and their families alert to the dangers ahead.

They will also, as reported, voice solidarity with trade unions and workers from other EU countries to stop the assault.

More to come; stay tuned!!!

For a relatively small country with 11 million people and 1 million in Lisbon proper [2.3 great Lisbon] this population is ready to fight. [Sweden has 3 million people.]

Portuguese Railway Workers in Major Struggles Against Privatization

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 25, 2009
Railways in Portugal/European Union: The Union Perspective Against Privatization

As most U. S. railway travelers who look forward to rail travel in Europe and parts of Asia know, similar experiences in the U.S. are rare. The "fast trains" of France, the TGV, are reaching ever corner of the European Union countries. This is both good news and bad news.

Jose Manuel Oliveira, President of the Railway Workers Union [SNTSF], reports this mixed experience.

On the positive side, there are plans to link Lisbon in two ways to the rest of Europe. The "fast train" link would be to France and up to Paris; and the other would be a direct link to Madrid, Spain. These are fully supported by the SNTSF. Another project which does not have their support is to put a similar "fast train" on the cost of Portugal, linking Porto to Lisbon and then South. Oliveira said that the current travel time for that route is already quite short; so the use of valuable resources to reconstruct that line would be a mistake.

There is a problem with the rail gauge between Portugal and the rest of Europe. The Portuguese gauge is narrower; so, it would have to be rebuilt in conformance with the rest of Europe.

The main problem part of these projects is what has not been determined: if these expansion projects would be: fully public; joint ventures with other governments such as the Spanish; or would they be fully private. Regardless of who runs the lines, public money would be main, if not only, financing of the expansion.

After the Dictatorship

The Portuguese system, called the CP system, since the end of the dictatorship in 1974, has been completely public. In a note, Oliveira said that since that same date, all the buses were also made fully public. That meant that there is a fully articulated system between the public trains and buses that needs to be maintained as we go forward, he said.

But, over the past years the public bus lines have been severely cut to the rural areas. This has forced people to buy cars. This has come as a result of EU directives and the government of Portugal going along. It is against all environmental and climate change imperatives.

Suburban train lines are under attack. The new train between Lisbon and the town of Setubal was built with only public moneys but it was turned over to a private company for its running. And, the practices of those running that suburban line are to strongly discourage those workers from joining the union. Security cameras document the activities of the workers and especially if these workers are being engaged by the union.

Wage Growth

From 1993 to the present time the union has been able to win 23 wage increases for the workers; but at the same time the managerial personnel's salaries were increased by 120%.


Olivier said that his work in the World Federation of Trade Union's Trade Union's, Trade Union International [TUI] for the International of Rail and Transport unions is essential to their work. He is the President of that TUI and the General Secretary is from Brazil. With powerful political organizations such as the European Union making decisions that directly affect workers lives, the WFTU-TUI on this issue can help deter those most dangerous attacks on workers rights and solidarity. Of course, the EU is just a part of the G8's efforts to maintain the goals of the neo-liberal agenda.

This TUI is an independent formation whose members come from the WFTU and the more centrist International Trade Union Confederation ITUC.

The Greens and Portuguese Communist Party Combine in National Elections; A Word On Health and Labor Rights

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July/August 2009 | Portugal
Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Greens and the Portuguese Communist Party United in Elections: A Word About National Health &
Workers Rights: The 1975 Constitution

In the last national elections, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Portuguese Green Party coalitioned under the banner of the CDU: The United Democratic Coalition. In those elections, 4 years ago the CDU elected 15 for the national parliament. The Parliament has a total of 230. The 15 number is determined by the voting strength at the polls and the use of proportional representation. Within the CDU, the PCP won 13 and the Greens 2 to the Parliament.
In the upcoming September 27th elections the CDU will again be the coalition to run. This very different from the actions of the Green Party of Germany and France which acts as a front for corporate interests and opposes labor unions and peoples' economic and social rights.

A Word About Health and Workers' Rights/Vacations

The peoples' victory over the Dictatorship in April 25, 1974 brought about the demand for a new constitution. The dictatorship's constitution was completely discarded and for over a year the peoples' movements discussed and debated a new one. On April 2, 1976 a new Constitution was made legal.

In that Constitution a new set of labor and workers rights were emblazoned in print and law. More on that soon.

In the field of health rights for the people, the Constitution made health care a legal right for all Portuguese. This would cover both the private and public sectors. However, about 30 years later, in 2004, changes started creeping into the system stemming from the lessoning of public financing support for the national health care systems of public hospitals and salaried physicians. This has cleared the way for private insurance companies to offer policies to fill the gaps. Sound familiar? More on this soon.

Under current law, every worker receives 22 days of vacation a year. Under the labor code there is a possibility of adding 3 days.

A Travel Note:

In traveling by car from Lisbon to the southeast areas, you travel over a relatively new bridge that bears a resemblance to the San Francisco Bay Bridge. In fact, with the small streetcars, which resemble the cable cars of the San Francisco in the historic Alfama District; and, the common disasters of earthquakes and fire, in Lisbon in the mid-1770s and in San Francisco in 1906….the comparison are very significant.

That bridge was finished during the Dictatorship in the mid-1960s and it was named the Salazar Bridge. After the revolution, the bridge is now named, the April 25th Bridge.

Stay tuned………..

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The invisible program

New York Times
Paul Krugman
August 1, 2009, 12:05 pm

Matthew Yglesias leads us to a commenter at Marginal Revolution who looks at life expectancy and concludes that “semi-socialized medicine” is good for the young but bad for the old. Tyler Cowen made the same argument in the Times a while back:

On average, European systems are relatively good for the young, who are generally healthy and need treatment for obvious accidents and emergencies, with transparent remedies. European systems are less effective for the elderly, the primary demanders of discretionary medical benefits.

As Yglesias points out, such arguments weirdly miss the fact that older Americans are covered by Medicare. If you say that American health care works well for the elderly, then the part of our system you’re praising is the “socialized” part.

This is part of a broader phenomenon. Everyone’s favorite story about the evils of socialized medicine is the fact that Canadians wait longer for hip replacements. But who pays for hip replacements in the United States? Medicare, in most cases.

So we make fun of people who want to keep the government’s hands off Medicare. But Medicare blindness isn’t just a problem for the rubes.