Thursday, July 27, 2006


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Help, I Need a Brochure!

No, this is not “normal,” 78 murders in Oakland this year. Real estate at all-time highs and earnest Berkeley/Albany parents worried about their kids getting shot at parties. We have more money, more desperation, more death and violence than in years past.

County Supervisor Nate Miley’s office said, “Well, that’s Oakland and the City Council’s responsibility.” I said, “ We have nothing for people, no support services to offer the broken, the battered and the frightened.”

Nate Miley got lots of great press for his violence prevention program and feels he’s spent enough resources on Oakland. I sounded so pitiful on the phone that Miley’s staff felt sorry for me and said they’d send over a brochure.

I didn’t bother calling my City Council Member, Jean Quan. Jeanie prefers not to talk about crime: it frightens people who vote.

So my dear friends and co-workers if it feels like we’re standing alone in a flood of violence, diseases of desperation and community disintegration that’s because we are. Politicians say they want to help the sick, the poor, the injured, the unparented and the over and under-medicated but the truth is they don’t mean it.

See, the county hospital catches all the fabulous failures of our bureaucratic and inept county and city services. Jails fail to prevent chronic illness and disability, compassionately release inmates to Highland. Adult Protective Services fails to protect –that’s right Highland. A nursing home ships a psychotic patient from Hopunk California because they get paid extra to take care of the guy and they realize he bites and throws feces. No problem, send him to Highland. How about Behavioral Health they cost effectively under-manage mental illness and substance abuse for years and then just send their clients to the Highland. Violence prevention fails to prevent violence, that’s right, let Highland deal with it.

That’s why our patients and our hospital get defunded and attacked by politicians: we take care of people. Politicians hate us because we remind them of their failures. They don’t come to Highland to see victims of violence and their families – they hold Summits and press conferences to talk to campaign donors and to expound on how much they are doing about the problem.

See, people fall between the bureaucratic cracks. County’s all about spreadsheets, power points and political pork programs; it’s no longer about people or their problems. Caregiving has become an act of political defiance. So, for all you baby docs, yes, our leaders indifference is more frightening than the carnage and yes, it is up to us the fix world as well as our patients. But don’t despair Supervisor Nate Miley is going to send us a helpful brochure!


“Bald, black and broke.”
-San Francisco Bay Guardian Personal Ad

I almost answered that ad, I figured at least the dude’s honest. For the record, my husband has a full head of hair and a job and so you wonder what do personal ads have to do with the job, the Medical Center. Well, the subject of relationships has come up.

For the last ten years I’ve done lots of moonlighting. My second job consists mainly of working with other folks to keep my first job open. We’ve, rallied, vigilled, blogged leafleted, called, faxed and emailed. We had a “fire Dave Kears” campaign and rally once. I stood two cars away from a huge spotless sedan in a reserved parking space in the county lot when then Supervisor Mary King came out, turned red, and ripped our literature from her windshield and shredded it.

Mary and I had a relationship. She misrepresented me, my values and my interests and I called, faxed and flyered her with what I felt was helpful information. That’s as much relationship as I need with a politician. I just want them to do the right thing; I don’t want to do lunch.

When activists, organizers, and wonks get together into groups with bylaws, committees and minutes the strategy discussion often becomes should we compromise with a politician who’s not doing the right thing so we can build a “relationship” or should we do something that would make a difference.

The whole notion that the Medical Center should be subsidizing the county budget with “debt” and “interest” payments is a big hot steaming pile of horse…..

I feel so hurt, so dirty, so used, I thought we had a “relationship” with the board of supes. Boo hoo.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Go Gavin!

Free love, good eats and universal healthcare. Gavin Newsom beat Dellums to universal healthcare. Read all about it. Click here:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Discussing Utopian Visions of Healthcare

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Wright Lassiter III CEO. ACMC (left)
Ron Dellums Mayor-Elect of Oakland (right)


Leave it to the Supes to use a natural disaster as an opportunity to dismantle the Medical Center. All hospitals must be earthquake safe by 2012 to be in compliance with state regulation. Kaiser got the go ahead to expand and the Supes blessings but the poor Medical Center trustees are out behind the back room arguing with the Supes. The Supes want to build an outhouse and the hospital trustees and Wright Lassiter III want to build a hospital.

That’s the kind of progressive visionary thinking Alameda County deserves. In the event of a major earthquake the hospital will crumple and prisons will be left standing. If current county budgetary trends continue, getting jailed might be the only way for the uninsured to get healthcare.

Wright Lassiter III Doing Diligence

Alameda County Medical Center CEO Wright Lassiter III will discuss his
strategic vision for ACMC at the next Vote Health general membership

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm
on Monday, July 17
California Nurses Association located at 20th and Franklin Streets, Oakland
For more information, please call 510-832-8683.

The Oakland City Council will vote on a resolution in support of SB
840, Sheila Kuehl's single payer bill, the following night, Tuesday, July 18th.
The city council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at city hall.

Kay Eisenhower,
Chair Vote Health

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dave Kears

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Dave Kears’ Weed Not Greed Treatment Center

That’s right! The time has come to identify and treat Alameda County’s most pernicious, widespread and contagious social problems. It’s an epidemic, a pandemic and it’s maiming and killing thousands- it’s a scourge, a plague, it’s the “green death.” That’s right it’s greed. Overpaid overfed bureaucrats, policy shakers and makers, politicians have gotten richer and richer undeserving the poor. The Sheriff, Dave Kears (Director of Health Services) and Susan Muranishi (Chief Administrative Officer) salaries are over half a rock and that’s without kickbacks, pensions, junkets and free food.

They vote themselves frequent fat raises while cutting and privatizing public services like healthcare. They give themselves awards and hold fancy parties for other greedy people and everyone congratulates each other as they divide up the public funds for the next fiscal year. It’s a public health crisis: TB, AIDS, homelessness, sexual exploitation of children and imprisonment in general are all up and our leaders are throwing a victory party with melon martinis and novelty napkins.

The time has come to take county government and medical marijuana to a higher level. All the “top dogs” will live communally in the Weed Not Greed Treatment Center.

Let’s take a quick look at our leaders after a week of intensive treatment:

Dave used his left toes to pick up a pair of worn running shorts, he kicked them into the air and caught them in his right hand knocking over a lamp and a half can of beer in the process. He grabbed a chair with his left hand and stepped into the shorts pulling them up over his bare ass. He looked under a pile of clothes for a shirt but couldn’t find one, and wandered out of the room shirtless and shoeless looking for his friends.

Charley Plummer wore an open black bathrobe and sat fully reclined in a pink vinyl Lazy Boy, in the common room. Susan Muranishi lay on the red rug on the floor. One of her favorite Gucci silk scarves tied around her breasts as a top. She lay very still but her belly button ring, a plastic peace sign with a bell jingled each time she breathed. She sounded like a snoring cat.

Dave: “Hey Chuck, I’m so sorry about last night, that was my bad.”
Charley: “No problem, Dave I’ve been known to get a little psychedelic myself.”
Dave: “That’s righteous of you dude, I think I love you.”
Charley: “I love you to.”
Dave: “I mean it Chuck, your kindness will never be obliterated.”

See at Dave’s Weed Not Greed Treatment Center the motto is why get rich when you could get high? Dare to care, dare to share. Toke for a cure: treating corporate crime one spliff at a time.

You can support Dave Kears’ Weed Not Greed Clinic by participating in the “Toke for a Cure” Smoke Out and Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition.