Veterans Administration

In their latest efforts to downsize government, cut costs and eliminate waste, the GOP want to privatize the Veterans Administration (VA). If they succeed, I suggest that the next step should be to privatize the biggest money waster in government, the Department of Defense (DOD). Then the next time we want to go to war, the government can solicit competitive bids from Blackwater, Halliburton et al. No more cost-plus contracts for defense contractors.

Valley fever

When I lived in California and first heard of Valley fever, I thought that someone was pulling my leg about a phony illness. Valley fever is real and it kills about 170 people per year, yet it never appears in the news. Why not? Media hysteria is rife when it’s EBOLA or a measles outbreak, but nada about Valley fever. I believe that is because it affects minorities more than whites. Blacks are fourteen times as likely as whites to contract the illness, spread by a fungus found in the dry soil from California to Texas. California puts its prison population at risk because it locates many of its prisons in the central valley.

It also affects animals. My wife’s aunt and uncle are snowbirds from Canada in the winter. One year their pet dog took ill during a winter stay in Southern California. Upon returning home to Canada, the dog died. Only after its death did the Canadian vet determine that the dog died of Valley fever, a disease unknown there.

Please see Mother Jones