POLITICS--It's amazing how cute the headlines can be, both in how they're being written and presented, and in how we're supposed to read and take them at face value. Ever get the idea that we're all being tooled? No worries...you're not alone...and I am happy to help with translating the double-speak for you.
1) From the Public Policy Institute of California:
The California Economy: Underemployed and Discouraged Workers
Translation--With all due respect to the Millennials, who've never known a robust economy, and who don't realize how life is so wonderful with a full-time job and benefits, and who've never known anything but part-time jobs, most of us are underemployed.
Those of us older folks who remember the Reagan and Clinton eras, back when both conservatives and liberals alike showed much more kindness and respect towards their fellow Americans, and when bipartisanship was a reality and not just a buzzword, respect the need for an adult and his/her family to have a respectable, affordable lifestyle based on pay, benefits and retirement.
California's rich and powerful elites are doing fine, so why aren't you. You've got part-time work, you're out of the unemployment figures, so rather than work like hell for an economy with "real" jobs, just lower the bar and tell everyone you're fine...and diminish those declaring we've got a service economy from hades to be haters, bigots, and whiners.
2) From Fortune Magazine:
UnitedHealth Hasn't Given Up on Obamacare Altogether
Translation--All the King's Horses, and All the King's Men, won't stop Obamacare from being financially sustainable unless we're all willing to pay 2-3 times more for our health care while getting 2-3 times less.
But hey, why try to fix the problem, and replace a financial whirlpool into chaos, when it's easier to just demean and defame those who are simply pointing out the Emperor Has No Clothes.
United and all the other creepy, self-serving health plans who (in large part) got us into this mess, and who wrote this politically-and-not-economically driven "Affordable Care Act" are now bailing out because (gasp!) they're losing money no matter how much more we're all being asked to pay into the system, and because (gasp!) the competitive/capitalist approach to health plans fighting to reduce costs and improve care isn't part of the ACA.
And the plans that United will stay with? Those similar to the ones that those who have health care through their employer now have. But improve FULL-TIME employment with benefits to really fix the problem?
Well...did you read the first translation above about underemployment? Easier just to blame the evil conservatives and Republicans instead of focusing on reality, right?
3) From The Sacramento Bee:
Medi-Cal set to expand coverage to undocumented children
Translation—No ... our taxpayer dollars would, never, never, NEVER pay for those not here illegally! No, those who employ workers illegally, or the legal residents/relatives paying for and sponsoring their families, couldn't possibly be asked to clean up their mess.
After all, we were promised by our government leaders this would neeeeeeeeeeever happen, right?
How much nicer to have the rest of us pay for their mess, and decry those who want more Medi-Cal funds to go to cancer and autoimmune disease and disabled native-born and legal immigrants as bigots, monsters, and Nazis. After all, why should an African-American child born in South LA have a higher priority for our tax dollars than an "undocumented" child whose parents and parents' employers knowing broke the law?
4) From NBC News Online:
Most Americans Live in Areas With Unhealthy Levels of Air Pollution, Study Finds
Translation--The LA/Long Beach area tops the list of unhealthy regions in our nation, which means that those who have been encouraging waves and waves of development and population influx, without ignoring the science of having too many people in too small a condensed region, are anything but environmentally smart or even friendly.
But isn't it so much easier to blame those asking how we can allow so much population influx and development without enough water and space? After all, asking to have enough infrastructure to sustainably accommodate hordes of new residents is the same as opposing affordable housing and racial justice, right?
Because there's nothing so politically successful when trying to ram a bag of flaming razor-blades down the throats of those playing by the rules, and demanding we all play by the rules, than to demean and defame those trying to point out the obvious.
Final Translation: Yes, we're being led by liars and cheaters and scoundrels.
But if you don't like it, then leave. After all, look what a great job we did in kicking out the generations who built this state to what it is now. Yes, their money and resources and jobs are in Texas and all sorts of other states, but at least we don't have to hear them all complain anymore, so the problems they decried aren't really true, after all.
And if you try to take action to fix the lawbreaking, science-defying, truth-smashing efforts we're shoving down your throats? Well, look out...because next we're coming for YOU.
(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at email@example.com. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)