Posted by: coastcontact | October 5, 2015

“Right to Die” is Now Legal in California

Since 1997, four states in the US have recognized the right to die with dignity. Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California in 1997, 2009, 2013, and 2015, respectively, have laws that provide a protocol for the practice of physician assisted suicide.

Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Province of Québec, Canada have legalized voluntary euthanasia. On February 6, 2015 the supreme court of Canada officially declared that denying the right to assisted suicide is unconstitutional.

Jack Kevorkian is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient’s right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He was often portrayed in the media as “Dr. Death“; however, many consider him a hero as he helped set the platform for reform. He famously said, “Dying is not a crime.”

Should the state pass laws that decide if it’s legal to commit suicide? I believe it should be your choice no matter what the reason.

Representative Jason Chaffetz a Republican from Utah appeared on Fox News Sunday today to announce his plan to run for Speaker of the House. Along with the apparent front runner, Kevin McCarthy from California, there is a third possible candidate, Daniel Webster from Florida. Chaffetz said that McCarthy has the votes to win in the Republican caucus but not enough votes to win a majority in the entire House.

This situation could give the Democrats an opportunity to determine who will be the next House Speaker.  All 188 Democrats plus 30 Republicans would provide the needed majority.  Imagine if the Republican Party is split over a selection.  That will give Democrats the ability to negotiate agreements on Planned Parenthood, the Import Export Bank, and other key issues in the coming months.  Nancy Pelosi must be in high spirits.

This may be a fantasy on my part but given the spilt vision in the GOP, I would not be surprised if this came to pass.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 2, 2015

Coverings Worn by Muslim Women

The final debate prior to a national election in Canada for the prime minister’s position was partially focused on the right of Muslim women to wear a niqab.  The number of Muslims in Canada is about 1 million people.  According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey about 3.2% of the Canadian population, making them the second largest religion after Christianity. Muslims are not likely to influence the outcome of the election. The dilemma for western nations is the question of acceptance of Muslims. If their growing numbers results in sharia law taking priority over national laws then there will be a problem.

So what is a niqab?  The BBC offered the following explanation and drawings of the various head covering used by Muslim women.

Hijab, niqab, burka – there are lots of different kinds of coverings worn by Muslim women all over the world.

Some wear a headscarf to cover their head and hair, while others wear a burka or niqab, which also covers up their face.

Headscarves are seen as a sign of modesty, and a symbol of religious faith.

But how can you tell which one is which? Check out our guide to the various different types.


The word Hijab describes the act of covering up generally but is often used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women. These scarves come in many styles and colours. The type most commonly worn in the West covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.


The Niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf.


The Burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body, often leaving just a mesh screen to see through.


The Al-Amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close fitting cap, usually made from cotton or polyester, and a tube-like scarf.


The Shayla is a long, rectangular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.


The Khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear.


The Chador, worn by many Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak. It is often accompanied by a smaller headscarf underneath.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 1, 2015



Comments from President Obama

My solution to the issue of mass shootings is mass confiscation of guns. I know others will say that this could lead to a dictator but look at these facts. All of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and other nations have freedom of a democracy and no dictators. The death rate from use of guns in Canada is one-fifth that of the United States.

Originally posted on 503me's Blog:

I really didn’t plan on writing today about this subject, but this one happened in my state. Yes another shooting with several left dead at a community college here in Oregon. All I could think of when I read about this, is that its just too close to home and when does it stop?

No other country has mass shootings like this, unless they are a third world country mired in hopeless conflict and wars. We are fast becoming a first world status with 3rd world conditions. Why?

Why do we continue to put up with this? When will it be okay finally to admit that it’s not alright for everyone to have guns. There must be some way to stop this senseless violence. What will it take? I am so tired of hearing that guns are our constitutional right and don’t take guns away from people. Guns kill- that’s…

View original 357 more words

Posted by: coastcontact | September 30, 2015

The Right to Spread Disease

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is widespread in many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. Measles begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, along the hairline, and behind the ears and then affects the rest of the body. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. Children routinely get their first dose of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine at 12 months old or later. The second dose of MMR is usually administered before the child begins kindergarten but may be given one month or more after the first dose. For anyone planning to travel internationally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) strongly encourages all Californians to make sure they are protected against measles and other dangerous diseases before they go abroad.

In December 2014, a large outbreak of measles started in California when at least 40 people who visited or worked at Disneyland theme park in Orange County contracted measles; the outbreak also spread to at least half a dozen other states. On April 17, 2015, the outbreak was declared over, since at least two 21-day incubation periods (42 days) have elapsed from the end of the infectious period of the last known outbreak-related measles case.

Pneumonia is one of several serious common complications of measles and the most common cause of death from the virus, said William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. Measles kills one or two children out of every 1,000 infected, according to the CDC.  At least one person was reported dead from this disease in July 2015.

At the end of June 2015 California passed a law requiring all children be vaccinated before they will be admitted to public schools. Three days after Gov. Jerry Brown signed one of the nation’s strictest mandatory vaccination bills, several hundred opponents rallied in Santa Monica on Friday and vowed to repeal it.  Opponents of California’s tough new vaccine law filed petitions this past Monday seeking to put a referendum on the issue on the November 2016 ballot, but it may be a month before elections officials determine whether the ballot measure qualifies.

People have called California’s governor a fascist and other names for signing the law. The mystery is why would you not want to protect your children?

Posted by: coastcontact | September 29, 2015

Bill Clinton Defends His Wife Hillary

Bill Clinton on wife HillaryAppearing on Erin Burnett’s “Out Front” on CNN former president Bill Clinton did a good job of defending his wife Hillary on her performance as Secretary of State.

“When we look at the job that Hillary did as secretary of state, she goes down as perhaps the worst secretary of state in history,” Trump said then.

Bill Clinton pointed to his wife’s efforts to impose sanctions — getting Russia and China on board — that precipitated negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal. He said that while that deal has proven controversial, the sanctions were roundly considered a success.

“Even the Republicans admit that the sanctions on Iran were well done,” he said.

“And that was a major achievement, to get Russia and China to agree to sign off on these sanctions and enforce them,” he said. “She did that. That’s what made the talks possible, so even the people who don’t like the Iran deal, like the sanctions.”

He also highlighted her work on the new START treaty with Russia, saying that “having these two sides still committed to reducing the number of nuclear warheads and missiles, I think, is a good thing.”

He said Hillary Clinton’s efforts to expand the number of beneficiaries from the George W. Bush-era anti-AIDS program known as the “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief,” or PEPFAR, from 1.7 million people to 5.1 million by using more generic medicines.  The expanded program did not cost on additional cent.

“These are all facts, so they’re not common to the diatribe here,” Bill Clinton said.

Of course there was no discussion about Libya, Benghazi, and e-mail records.

Posted by: coastcontact | September 26, 2015

Los Angeles – The City that Never Looks Back?

  Once upon a time there was a very smart man named Henry Huntington, nephew of Collis Huntington who built the Southern Pacific Railroad, who believed that Los Angeles would grow into a very widespread city. He conceived an electric railroad that would connect all of the area. That year was 1901. Along with his financial partner, banker Isaias W. Hellman, he proceeded with his dream. The electric car system, called the Red Car, stretched from Newport Beach to the south, San Bernardino and Riverside to the east, and the northern parts of the San Fernando Valley. The system was shut down in 1961. Its demise was caused by the belief that the Los Angeles area would be better served by the car. Large-scale land acquisition for new freeway construction began in earnest in 1951.

Pacific_Electric_Railway Relief_map

About 10 years ago Los Angeles County created a 1½ mile long replica of the old Red Car in the San Pedro area near other tourist attractions just for fun. It cost millions to build and maintain but only collected $460,000 in revenue. Now it too will be shut down.

These are my photos taken with a Panasonic FZ150 camera.



There used to be a funicular in downtown Los Angeles but that too has been shut down.

Angel's Flight edit  #2 - Copy

Angel’s Flight

Interestingly the Los Angeles new light rail and subway system that won’t be complete for another 20 to 30 years is being built along and near the paths of Huntington’s Pacific Electric. They also want to build a loop trolley line in the downtown area.

Posted by: coastcontact | September 23, 2015

Auto Manufacturers Cannot be Trusted

Once again we have been reminded that auto manufacturers cannot be trusted. Remember that fact when you shop for your next car.

I always held Toyota in the highest regard. I used Toyota as a standard when urging my employees to do their best. I would say, “I want Toyota quality.” Those were my words in the 1980s and 1990s, well before Toyota’s developed an acceleration problem that cost lives. In my opinion there has never been an adequate explanation of the cause of that problem. Toyota ended up paying out a staggering $1.3 billion to settle lawsuits related to unintended acceleration, and in some of those cases the drivers were probably at fault.

General Motors kept quiet about the ignition switch that would shut off while their cars were in motion. That too cost lives. 13 people died. Almost 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s were recalled and the company paid a $35 million fine. What is sad is that it would have only cost 57 cents to fix each faulty ignition switch.

Now we have the VW installed software that masks the real performance of its diesel cars. There is no direct impact on the buyers of the cars but the company and its dealers will notice a substantial decline in sales.  The company management is to blame for this stupid decision.  20% of German exports are cars shipments.  Imagine what the impact will be on German factories.

How many other industries lie about their products?  

Posted by: coastcontact | September 22, 2015

Jeb Bush and Multiculturalism

Most nations in the world reject multiculturalism.  Even in Canada they have decided to define Quebec as the French speaking, French oriented province while the rest of the country speaks English and is oriented towards the UK.

CNN reported that Jeb Bush argued today that the United States is “creeping toward multiculturalism” and described it as “the wrong approach.”

But Bush, who’s fluent in Spanish and lives in Miami, has made cultural diversity a key staple in his campaign. He routinely talks about his wife, who’s from Mexico, and the “bicultural” children that they’ve raised together. On Monday, while addressing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Houston, Bush lauded the country’s mixture of cultural backgrounds, saying the immigrant experience adds a “vitality that is different and unique and extraordinary for our country.”

So what is Jeb Bush’s real opinion? At this point in the race to win the GOP nomination I am guessing that his words today, Tuesday, are meant to win the Conservative vote in Iowa.

His real problem is that his desire to win the nomination has made him turn and twist as Mitt Romney did in 2012. We all know how that worked out. No one believed him in the race against Obama and the loss that year was overwhelming.

No matter who the Democratic nominee is; Jeb as the GOP candidate, will face the argument that he does not have a clear reliable opinion and cannot be trusted on any issue.   The Democrats are collecting the words of every GOP candidate and will be using them after the conventions in 2016. Hillary couldn’t be happier.

Posted by: coastcontact | September 21, 2015

What Bernie Sanders means by ‘democratic socialism.’

These are the reasons I am supporting Bernie Sanders for president. This is the Washington Post article.

Bernie SandersGOFFSTOWN, N.H. — The shorthand that the media uses to describe Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has changed.

“It used to be that I was known as ‘the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress,’ which is true,” Sanders said during an appearance Saturday at Saint Anselm’s College here. “Now I’m a ‘self-professed democratic socialist.’ Things change when you run for president.”

In response to a student’s question, Sanders, whose campaign for the Democratic nomination has surged in recent weeks, went on to give a lengthy of explanation of what “democratic socialism” is — and is not.

“So what does that mean?” Sanders asked the students. “Does anyone here think I’m a strong adherent of the North Korean form of government? That I want all of you to be wearing similar colored pajamas?”

When the laughter died down, the longest-serving independent in Congress asked how many of the students were familiar with the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland and Norway.

“Are these democratic societies? Obviously they are,” Sanders said, relaying that voter turnout in Denmark tends to approach 90 percent.

“Is it a society where the government owns every mom-and-pop store?” he asked. “Of course not. You have all kinds of capitalist entrepreneurship going on, a lot of wealth being created. But what else do you have? … An effort to make sure that all people benefit from the wealth that’s being created. So you have a much more equitable distribution of wealth and income. … I talked to a guy from Denmark, and he said, ‘In Denmark, it is very hard to become very, very rich, but it’s pretty hard to be very, very poor.’ And that makes a lot of sense to me.”

In Denmark, Sanders said, health care is a right, and college education is free. “Sounds like a very terrible form of government,” he said sarcastically.

In Finland, Sanders said, the public education system is the strongest in the world. There’s a strong child care system. Wages are generally higher than in the United States. And retirement programs are strong.

“Now is all that stuff free? No,” Sanders said. “They pay more in taxes. … And the wealthy there pay a lot more in taxes.”

But at the end of the day, Sanders said, Americans should ask themselves what it would be like to have a country where the elderly don’t have to worry about how to pay for prescription drugs, where all parents have access to high-quality child care, and where they know their children can go to college, regardless of their income.

Sanders acknowledged the Scandinavian countries he cited “are no utopias.” But he asked his audience to compare how secure people are there compared to here.

“We’ve got an economy that basically says everybody is out there on their own,” he said. “And if you don’t make it, well that’s tough luck. You don’t have any health insurance and you get sick, good luck to you. … You’re a bright kid and you come from a family that doesn’t have any money. Tough luck, you’re not going to go to college.”

“So what democratic socialism means to me,” he said, “is having a government which represents all people, rather than just the wealthiest people, which is most often the case right now in this country. And it is making sure that all of our people have health care as a right, education as a right, decent housing as a right, child care as a right. That’s what I believe.”

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