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October 9th, 2009
Wow. I think I was as shocked in my pre-coffee stupor this morning as Barack Obama must have been to discover that he’d won the million-+ dollar Nobel Peace Prize for nothing more than running a campaign on deception, cleverly labeled ‘Hope’. Surely, thunk I to myself, they must be kidding! Since when did Alfred Nobel authorize his endowed prizes for great contributions in science, literature and politics to people who haven’t done a damned thing other than maintain the bad old status quo?
I mean, it’s not like the U.S. has turned Iraq over to the puppet government we installed there after invading the country for lies in the last administration, as if Saddam Hussein (who got hanged years ago) was responsible for 9-11 or was any threat after years of embargo that had hundreds of thousands of Iraqis starving after Daddy’s bullshit mercenary war in the early ’90s. Last I checked, which was this morning, ridiculously overstretched U.S. troops and well-paid mercenaries were still there and still dying.
Nor is it like the U.S. isn’t still negotiating with warlords and drug kingpins in Afghanistan, or that the puppet government we installed there is in charge of anything other than the pallets of cash passed out to those drug lords. And yes, our troops and mercenaries are still dying every day there too. Why, last I checked – again this morning – Obama was still trying to get a troop surge there, despite not having any troops to work with after 8 years of decimating our vaunted “All-Volunteer” force.
Oh… and civilians by the multi-thousands in both countries are still being slaughtered wholesale, while our overstretched troops play the old game of “take this hill today, abandon it to the enemy tomorrow” that lost us Korea and Vietnam. Then there’s Pakistan, which Obama is bombing regularly with drones and slaughtering thousands of innocent civilians we’re not even at war with. And of course there’s Iran, which Obama is threatening daily with carpet-nukes because he doesn’t like their diminutive not-really leader’s rhetoric as our troops surround his nation. Oh, and then there’s Columbia, and Obama’s troop build-up there to ostensibly take on the drug cartels he’s supporting out in the open in Opium-Land.
The whole world is topsy-turvy crazy, and the Nobel committee is leading the pack. Wow. Just… wow.
Wake me up when Barack Obama does anything real in this world to end and/or prevent war. Until then, I’ve just got to consider this as being just what it is. The Nobel Hope-Against-Hope Prize.Filed under Barack Obama, Humor, Hypocrisy, Snark, War | Comment (0)
September 21st, 2009
Scam of Ages, aimed at me,
Let me hide myself from thee;
Let the sickness and the blood,
From my wounds and years of life,
Be by some miracle then cured,
Saved from bankruptcy assured.
September 16th, 2009
Last week we (or “current resident”) received a slick 4-color 6×10 card stock mailer that looks at first glance to have come from our NC-11 congressional rep, Heath Shuler. At the top the reverse-on-blue header reads:
“Congressman Shuler Is Fighting To Make Medicare Prescription Coverage Even Better”
and on the bottom reverse-on-red the italicized message reads:
“Call Congressman Health Shuler today at 202-224-3121. Tell him thanks for fighting to improve Medicare without making seniors pay more, and ask him to keep on fighting until we get the job done.”
The wording struck me a little odd. Why would Heath tell me to thank him for his notably atrocious Blue Dog position on health care reform? I mean, it’s not like he cares what Democrats in his district have to say about the issue. So I flipped the mailer over and read on the bottom of the address/postage space:
“Paid for by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.”
Whoa. Billy Tauzin’s notorious PhRMA lobby. The one that got a secret back-room deal with Obama before this issue ever got to committees in the House and Senate. And who are now sending deceptive mailers like this all over the country as part of a $150 million PR campaign to promote their continued obscene profits on the backs of senior citizens, while the mandate to force all citizens to purchase junk policies from the for-profit insurance industry amounts to a ~$12,000 per year (plus steep annual hikes at four or more times the rate of inflation) tax increase on the middle class. Earmarked directly to the Murder-by-Spreadsheet crime syndicate, this porker is uglier than Hogzilla.
FACT: According to an analysis of the proposed Part D changes by the Wall Street Journal, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that any decrease in average spending on prescriptions by seniors will more than be made up for by an increase in premiums seniors must pay for Part D. CBS News reported that CBO has confirmed seniors will be paying 20% more for Part D coverage by 2019 under this giveaway to Big Pharma.
FACT: The Baucus plan also abets another huge giveaway to insurers by allowing them to charge older people (age 50-64) up to five times as much as younger people for the insurance policies everyone will be required to purchase.
FACT: The per capita (per person) cost of ALL health care in the U.S. per year comes to right about $3,750. That is all care, for all people, insured and uninsured, Medicare, VA, Medicaid, SCHIP and charity. Why would anyone want to pay $12,000 a year for what actually costs $3,750? A government-run single-payer system could be paid for by graduated taxation based on actual costs and those taxes would be far cheaper even to the richest of the rich than the cost of a single for-profit insurance policy.
According to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics Shuler has received the following contributions from shady players:
$195,262 from the health sector employees and PACs.
$13,750 from health insurance companies.
$74,800 from Big Pharma.
$77,062 from health professionals.
$27,900 from hospitals.
$10,500 from the nursing home industry.
$399,274 in total. Now, the figures from CRP are what the Blue Dogs (individually) have received since 1989 from the PACs and pools of various health related industries, but Shuler’s only been in office since 2007. So that’s quite the hefty haul over less than three years!
Below is the letter I have written in response to this blatant insult from the Drug Pusher’s Union Propaganda Squad…
Continue reading »
September 3rd, 2009
Since January 20 of this year – which was more than eight months ago – we’ve been handed some rather clever lines of defense for the things Barack Obama is NOT doing with his executive power, with his supermajority in the Senate, or his eminently workable majority in the House. Things we the voters gave him in the first actual electoral mandate of the 21st century last November. We voted for change. We haven’t gotten any.
We’ve been told Obama’s “got this” because he can shoot hoops in the WH basement with skill, and grab flies out of the air like a Kung Fu master. We’ve been told Obama’s playing “multidimensional chess” with his opponents by continuing every single one of the illegal and anti-democratic policies of his Neocon predecessor. And now, with the health insurance reform debate gone all Town Hall during recess, we are told we don’t really need health insurance reform, single payer health care, or even a public option to facilitate the expected mandate we’ll be handed that forces us to pay more money than we’ve got to the murder-by-spreadsheed for-profit industry.
We still have “state secrets” privilege on who’s lobbying in the Oval Office. We still have DADT in the military. We still have two illegal wars going, a new third front opened in Columbia, off-the-books deficits accumulated by the fact that there’s twice as many paid mercenaries in those war zones than U.S. soldiers, we’re still rendering and torturing “detainees” who haven’t been charged with any crimes and haven’t been afforded the status of POWs, and we’re still bailing out Wall Street gamblers to the tune of multiple trillions while not even beginning to address reinstating necessary regulations.
A plethora of Democratic/Progressive activist groups have sprung up to pressure Congress and the White House on these issues as well as health insurance reform, letter-writing campaigns, calls and emails to representatives and senators, mass demonstrations… You name it, it’s being done. And what we get from the WH is insults and dismissals as those of us anywhere to the left of center are repeatedly told to STFU.Balance of Power, Barack Obama, Class War, Corruption, Debates, Democrats, DNC, Elections, For-Profit Insurance, Health Care, Legislation, Outrage, Party Platforms, Policy, Protests, Torture, Universal Care, War Crimes | Comment (0)
August 4th, 2009
Something insurance reform won’t fix
a medical disorder caused by the diagnosis, manner or treatment of a physician.
Iatros is the Greek word for physician. -genic means induced by. Iatrogenic disease is a disease caused by a physician. Given the sheer complexity and technological wonders of modern Western [allopathic] medicine have led to some stretching of the strict meaning of the term, which is now applied to ANY adverse effect associated with ANY medical practitioner or treatment. Thus it can be used to describe the cancers caused (years down the line) by radiation and radioactive isotopes used to treat initial problems, prescription errors, hospital-contracted infections, problems caused when a surgeon leaves an instrument or two in the patient, a chiropractor who breaks the patient’s neck, etc., etc.
When I was busy educating myself as much as possible when my daughter determined to have her baby at home, I discovered that the nations that have the best statistical outcomes – fewest maternal and infant deaths or injuries – actually encourage home births because hospitals are dangerous places to both mothers and infants. They’re dangerous places for anyone these days, it seems. According to statistics compiled by OurCivilization.com, there are 8.9 million “unnecessary” hospitalizations every year in this country, which lead directly to 1.78 million “Iatrogenic Events.” Of 7.5 million “unnecessary” procedures ordered annually by physicians, another 1.3 million patients suffer direct harm. That adds up to 16.4 million people channeled into a harmful situation by their medical providers every year, and 3.8 million cases of direct harm to those people that they otherwise would not have suffered.Class War, Debates, Economics, For-Profit Insurance, Health Care, Outrage, Universal Care | Comment (0)
July 22nd, 2009
Those crazy “Birthers” are getting an awful lot of ink and air time lately, offering good comedy fodder for late night television while occasionally making regular people turn away in revulsion. Like the “Teabaggers” weren’t hilarious enough to use the name of a sexual weirdness as their moniker, or to publicize their racist rants and ridiculous charges against the President, after being the very same wackos who accused those who questioned any illegal act of the last administration by calling them traitors.
CNN commentator Roland S. Martin has a piece up today (July 22) entitled, Obama birth issue is nutty that proceeds to make good fun of the wingnuts. But since one of George W. Bush’s first serious actions as President after 9-11 was to arrange the biggest government overhaul since the New Deal – by inventing the so-called “Department of Homeland Security” – there are Americans out in the hinterland who are suddenly quite confused about their legal status. I’m one of them, and so is recent Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. Who, like me, actually wasn’t born in the United States of America.
McCain, like me, was a Navy brat. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, I was born in the Philippines. There used to be a clear law on the books that held the children of American citizens born in a foreign country are indeed ‘natural born’ American citizens, even if they automatically get dual citizenship for the country in which they were born. I had that until I was 18, though after that I would have had to formalize, and I was never very fond of Ferdinand and Imelda “Shoe-Lady” Marcos. So I let it slide. Still, if nobody questioned McCain’s citizenship qualification for POTUS, the fervor with which wingnuttia rants about Obama seems even crazier. I mean, even if Hawaii hadn’t been a state when he was born, did not all Hawaiians receive automatic citizenship when it WAS made a state? It was a territory, after all. Like Puerto Rico. Which apparently some wingnuts in Congress think is a foreign country too, thus Judge Sonia Sotomayor couldn’t be a citizen. Weird.9-11, Barack Obama, COM, History, Humor, Intelligence, John McCain, Media, Military, Outrage, Racism, Slime Machine | Comment (0)
July 16th, 2009
Soon to be ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin has an op-ed published in the WaPo today [July 14] that obviously wasn’t written by Lady SaladMaster, and which derides Obama’s cap and trade policy while promoting ‘the usual’. Drill, drill, drill plus mountain destruction for un-clean coal and going nuclear. While I understand this attempt to keep herself in the ‘Puglican lineup of erstwhile power brokers even in her new persona as a Quitter Extraordinaire, I’d like to take on some of her ghost-writer’s points.Biofuels, Climate Change, Economics, Energy, Humor, Hypocrisy, Media, Nuclear Power, Propaganda, Sarah Palin | Comments Off
July 6th, 2009
Despite beauty queen-like blustering, circular speech patterns full of airhead nonsense, and empty threats against bloggers (like me), Sarah Palin’s hilarious family soap opera got even funnier over the past week. It’s not “Troopergate” that finally ended her quest for national prominence and the highest office in the land – from whence she could dictate how the rest of America’s families should be just as dysfunctional as her own – it was that lovely free house she got in exchange for a cushy construction permit way back when she was just the Mayor of Wasilla.
Seems that fancy big sports complex and hockey rink built with ample taxpayer Pork looks suspiciously like the lake house hubby Todd says he built with his own two secessionist hands (with a little help from some ‘builder buddies’) used building materials ordered at the same time from the same suppliers by the same company that ‘won’ the contract for the complex. Same siding, same windows, same roofing, etc.
And while my grandson who voted for the first time last election thinks that’s rather a nifty perk for being a politician, we did have to explain to him that it qualifies as a bribe – quid pro quo – and is illegal and always has been illegal. As in breaking the law, even in Alaska.
Thus did Sarah hold a hastily called press conference on the weekday federal holiday we euphemistically call “Independence Day” and announce that she will not be finishing out her first (and only) term as governor of the Great State of Alaska. Her reasons were several, they are disjointed, they make no reasonable sense, and if the boredom factor is in any way true, she’s got no business ever having gotten into politics in the first place.Corruption, Hypocrisy, Sarah Palin | Comment (0)
June 18th, 2009
Events in Iran following the outrageous actions of losing candidate Ahmadinejad (try to say it three times fast) and the supreme Ayatollah against massive street demonstrations in Tehran and across the country have turned violent. Though the secondary Ayatollah, the Iranian military and about half of the elite Republican Guard are supporting challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi, or at least staying out of the fray.
Six members of the Iranian national soccer team wore green armbands in solidarity during the first half of a World Cup qualifying game yesterday (June 17). The government has tried hard to cut off all lines of communication to the outside world, but sporadic cell phone service has allowed text updates and cell phone videos to be distributed. Twitter put off scheduled maintenance to keep its service going during this dramatic confrontation, incoming posts at #iranelection.
HuffPo’s Live Blog has incoming information day and night, the University of Chicago has opened a dedicated Iran fax line [at 1-888-308-3025 for incoming] as cell service gets more unreliable. Various volunteers have been receiving cell videos from Iran and posting them to YouTube.
Here’s how you can help, and many people have set their computers up for proxy to cover individuals reporting from Iran. Election challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi is posting regularly on his Facebook page, which can be read in English by clicking that version at the bottom of the page. He has called for a national day of mourning for “those killed in post-election clashes” June 18.
The whole world is watching, President Obama said the other day, and it’s true. So wear some green, try to keep up, and let’s all hope for the best outcome.Filed under Activism, Blogosphere, Elections, Media, Protests | Comment (0)