Links About the Insanity Plea and Housing

Safety Walks wrote an opinion piece about a recent killing, where an unhoused person with mental illness pushed a woman, Michell Go, in front of a subway train, killing her.

He turned himself in. The news stories noted, repeatedly, that he was mentally ill.

SW says:

61-year-old homeless attacker, Martial Simon is identified as a schizophrenic by his family. While he was ordered by a judge to undergo a psychiatric evaluation when he was arraigned on murder charges Wednesday, this is not sufficient. Many attacks on Asian Americans have been waged by persons who should be housed under professional mental health care supervision.

Rising homelessness and the crisis of housing affordability for very-low income and mentally disabled persons exacerbates and encourages street violence.

From: Opponents of Anti-Asian violence must fight for mental health and housing reform.

I agree.

Some additional study.

Podcast episode: Uses of the Insanity Defense, from Stuff You Should Know.

The insanity plea is rarely used, and it rarely succeeds. I wonder if it succeeds more when the victim is a person of color, or Asian specifically.

//I’m still working on this page. Check back as I learn more.



CalCare, AB1400, Single Payer Insurance Readings

Letter to the Editors 1

The press are quick to render opinions about whether government can run health insurance or not, but they don’t simply look at the empirical facts: all the wealthy, industrialized nations, except the United States of America, have either government insurance, government price controls, or government hospitals and clinics.

The United States is the odd-man-out with it’s large private, profit-driven system.

Government absolutely can operate, not only health insurance, but actual hospitals. These other governments can outperform the American system.

CalCare, AB 1400, only replaces commercial health insurance with government health insurance similar to Medicare. It doesn’t touch the healthcare providers.

For the average consumer, it increases your ability to choose a provider.

However, remember why Medicare exists: it’s to insure the unprofitable consumers of healthcare. CalCare also fixes parts of the healthcare system where the private market stumbles.

To wit, CalCare would create an Advisory Commission on Long-Term Services and Supports, that could create a framework for better quality control of nursing homes and similar long term care services, a barely-functioning, barely-profitable part of the healthcare system.

This is a long overdue reform, in a so-called “market” with shady “long term care insurance”, nursing homes that feel like asylums or prisons, and administrators that engage in fraud.

CalCare is government intervention that’s long overdue, and has been proven, in other countries, to improve health outcomes, control costs, and allow the average consumers broad choices.

I urge the Assembly to pass CalCare, AB 1400.

Letter 2 (Comment on Asm Medina’s post on Facebook)

I’ve participated in online support groups for various health issues, to help maintain myself, for around 20 years. These groups are international, with participants, mainly from the industrialized, English-speaking world.

The conversation, at times, turns to healthcare, as you might expect. Then, the drama unfolds:

An American is having a problem with their insurance company approving a procedure, or getting a referral to a specialist.

Someone from Australia, Canada, or the UK explains how they got what they needed. The American explains how their insurance works.

The non-Americans are surprised. Surprise turns to confusion and sometimes anger. Inevitably, the confusion turns to pity.


Among the industrialized countries, America has the most dysfunctional healthcare system, and the rest of the world pities us. We need swallow our pride, and follow the lead of the rest of the industrialized countries: our government needs to step up and fix the system.

Please vote for AB 1400 to put us on the path to international dignity and respect.


Two Videos of People with COVID-19, from Early 2020

These are videos from April 2020. I’m writing this in January 2022. We’re still in this pandemic.

That dude had diabetes and a load of snacks. That’s going to make his blood thicker, which impedes the ability of blood to deliver oxygen to the fingertips and toes. That’s why diabetics lose their toes.

He thinks preventing gatherings isn’t worth it. OK, that’s straight up nuts to me. Preventing gatherings is what you do during an epidemic.

His anti-lockdown attitude got him a lot of press coverage in March 2020, as a COVID-19 survivor who was against shutting down.

Now, as of January 7 2022, we’re at over 800,000 dead, and going through our largest surge yet. Society here is a lot more “opened up” than it was during this initial surge.

Meanwhile, some other countries have seen far fewer deaths from COVID-19. China – 4,600. New Zealand – 51. Taiwan – 850. South Korea – 5,900. Australia – 2,300. Japan – 18,000. Vietnam – 33,000.

Vietnam isn’t doing that great, but it’s a poor country of 95 million people. California, possibly the wealthiest large place in the world, has a population of 40 million people, and around 66,000 deaths from covid.

Our covid response has been such an abysmal failure that people across the political spectrum have lost hope and are fatalistic, assuming that “we’re all going to get it,” and “sars-cov-2 will become endemic.”

They opine about their “freedoms” and “rights”, without noting that these rights rest on a foundation of good health.

Americans talk about “individualism”, but cannot tolerate solitude, and insist on gathering together in groups to commune with each other, even if it means spreading disease. Individualism, it seems, is partially about exacting random biological violence against others.

Unable to cope with what looks like global failure, Americans are blaming China for the pandemic, and violently lashing out at Asian people. (In Asia people are angry at China, but I doubt that it leads to random verbal and physical attacks.)

This video is also from March or April of 2020, when the disease wasn’t understood:

A recap of March 2020 from the South China Morning Post: