Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blog #92: Health, With or Without the Care

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Would You Like Your Health With or Without Care?

(Senator Shelby, in answer to Chris Wallace’s question, what’s wrong with President Obama finally coming around to backing a government run program, and mandates on businesses to supply their employees health care.) “There's two things. One, you don't know how much its going to cost, and who's going to pay for it. And secondly, it will be the first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known. (Why is that?) Because when the government is involved more and more in the details, and you start the one pay deal, and you've got the government competing with private enterprise with all of the incentives and the power, they will destroy the marketplace for health care and it would be a mistake, and the American people better be careful in what they want.”

Friends, what you have in Senator Shelby’s rant is pure warmed over Reaganomics. What’s wrong with his analysis? On his first point, sure you know very well who’s going to pay for it. All of us. Including business, and the rich who can afford to finance their own health care, but who will also get to contribute to the care of the community. And as to his second point, and this is the ringer, “it will be the first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known.”

Really, Senator Shelby? Of course you personally have excellent health care, under a system run by the very federal government you’re trying your damnedest to scare the rest of us to death about using. President Obama simply wants you and your fellow Senators and House Members to share . . . he wants all of our citizenry to have access to that system par excellence that serves the members of the Senate and House. He gets depressed when your wonderful private insurance providers deny patients’ treatments in order to save money and create profits for their executives and stockholders. He thinks people who pay monthly premiums for health care insurance should be able to get the care their doctors order and which they have paid for. Which is often not the case for the Health Insurance companies hire skilled persons whose sole job is to find ways to deny coverage to policy holders services which will cost the company money.

And as for the Senator’s statement about it being “the first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known,” yes, ours may well be the best health care system the world has ever known. For those few who can afford it. It’s a damn shame that most of us are priced out of it. The whole point of the president’s initiative is to correct the free market system you praise so glowingly. To help it get to the point where it will include us all.

You cry that the poor private insurance companies won’t be able to compete with a government run agency which does not need to make a profit, and thereby would not stand in the way of their patients needing treatments. If the private insurance companies can’t compete, then so be it. Let them fail. That’s capitalism in its purest form.

We the people of these United States need to be offered a system which unconditionally offers us the treatments we need, a system that does not hold back services so that insurance company stockholders can earn dividends on the denial of service to the insured. That lame-o minority leader of the House, John Boehner whined Thursday that if we want health care run like the Post Office then be his guest. Well, friends, the Post Office is a privately run company, one which just has to have the postage rates approved by Congress. What President Obama has proposed is a Government entity which would exist so that every person who wished could get as fine a health care as do Senator Shelby and Rep. Boehner.

And so conservative purists and libertarians will scream to high heaven about our abandoning our basic “every man for himself” philosophy and they’ll decry the government’s intrusion into the private free market. But the United States of America is the richest and most powerful industrial nation in the world. We pay the highest health care rates of any country, and yet we rank 37th in the quality of our care, and that ranking is shameful. Obama said it clearly, and we couldn’t agree more. America can do better than that. It is simply a matter of focusing on the problem, and removing the dead weight, and feeding upon that which works.

And so, Richard Shelby, turncoat Senator (first elected as a Democrat, then switched to Republican the year the Republicans took over the House) just what would it take for you to convince me that you are indeed serious and the people of America need to listen to you? How about if you first renounce that cushy government run Health Care program you qualify for as a Senator? Renounce it and then sign up with Humana, or one of those other for-profit gouging companies you are so busy extolling. However, if you did do that then it would be plain as the nose on your face that you had lost your power of reasoning, and so Senator or not, no one in his right mind would take you seriously. Senator Shelby congratulations, you have come up with the 2009 version of an honest-to-god Catch 22. Welcome to the Twilight Zone in the World of the Irrelevant.

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Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security


Homeland Security Report Right on the Money

Remember all that crap back in April when someone outed that report being prepared by the Department of Homeland Security that predicted right wing extremists might be going out of control due to several factors, the country had elected a black man for president, a fear that the Obama administration was going to take people’s guns away, and that President Obama was turning the country into a socialist state, not to mention the crashing economy thanks to the mess left by the Bush/Cheney regime. Remember what a tsunami of indignation that news of the report stirred up among the outraged right, so much so that Homeland Security honcho Janet Napolitano had to renounce the report and apologize for its preparation.

Well, guess what? That report’s prophecies are unfolding right before our very eyes and ears. Last Sunday an abortion doctor who had been nightly assailed on that slanted travesty of television that Rupert Murdoch laughingly calls Fox News, was forcibly removed from this life. Finally one of Bill O’Reilly’s listeners took him up on his nightly tirade and murdered the doctor as he was acting as an usher in his church. Murdered in cold blood in a house of peace no less? That’s a principled pro-lifer for you. And O’Reilly, like his boss Murdoch, lacks basic human qualities like shame. He feels no remorse, he boasts loudly that he would do it all over again. And he probably will, ranting on about whoever takes over Dr. Tiller’s practice. Isn’t it wonderful to be a deity, standing head and shoulders above mortals, in a zone where have no responsibilities, and you can do no wrong.

The Many Faces of Conservatism

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In addition to the doctor’s demise an army private was murdered in front of a recruiting office by a would be muslim recruit. Three sheriff’s deputies were murdered in Florida recently, and finally on Wednesday a guard at Washington’s Holocaust Museum was murdered by an 88 year old white racist who probably wanted to go out in a blaze of glory himself. He did get shot for his trouble, but the last I heard he was still alive.

A Face of Rant

Is that enough proof for you, Murdoch and O’Reilly? Words have consequences. Obviously there is a market for the kind of rabble-rousing distortion you promulgate. There’s a market for all kinds of garbage in this world. However, we have a suggestion. Quit fanning the flames. Stop being the cheerleaders for insurrection. Once it begins you just might find out that you don’t like this Armageddon you’re trying so hard to bring on.

Instead try reporting the news straight for a change, rather than warping it to fit your own ideology. And to Fox News listeners might we suggest a switch to CNN and/or msnbc for a real change. Have a heaping helping of truth and objectivity with your news in the case of CNN, or opinion with a human dimension in the case of msnbc. You might be surprised at how satisfying hearing undistorted truth can make you feel.

Op-Ed columnist and Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman has an excellent column on this subject in Friday’s New York Times. You can access it by pointing your browser and clicking here!

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A Message in the Interest of Your Health

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The other day I was thinking back on my life. At least on that portion of it that I care to reminisce on. I used to smoke. I ended up smoking from two to three packs of cigarettes a day, and towards the end I decided that it was the paper that the tobacco was wrapped in that was deadly, and I switched to leaf wrapped cigars. I smoked for thirty years, starting at age 16 where cigarettes and popcorn filled that 10 minute break every hour beautifully when I was an usher in a movie theater. I finally quit at age 46. It was not easy, tobacco is the most addictive substance I have ever had to deal with, and after I quit I used to beat on the walls in frustration. But I knew I could do it, as my father had been a heavy smoker his entire life, and he up and quit one day.

Thinking back on it, all of my friends who smoked and didn’t quit are dead now. Have been for a long time, most of them dying from lung cancer. As for me, after I quit I had symptoms of emphysema, which as I read about it meant that carbon dioxide which was heavier than air had collected in the lower cavity where my weakened lungs could no longer expel it. I devised a home treatment for this, hanging upside down on a gravity exerciser, and expelling that heavier than air CO2 by blowing it out with the help of gravity. Who really knows if that did any good, but doing it gave me a definite sense of accomplishment, and that leathery sound in my voice got a good deal less leathery.

It is good to note that finally Congress is poised to allow the Obama FDA to put some meaningful restrictions on smoking. Like so many ex-smokers I am vehemently against the smoking of tobacco. What little satisfaction that comes from its use is more than outweighed by the harm that it does to your system. I know all that stuff about this being a free country and all, and we should be free to kill ourselves if we wish. But the nation’s health is important, non dangerous drugs like marijuana are outlawed, but real killers like tobacco and alcohol are left to forces of the free market. But friends, never forget the message of that graphic above: Cigarettes, they make you cool. But also they make you dead.

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Good News for the Limp of Heart

Last week we told you about our favorite mythical drug, See-All-Is, which can put the spark back in your spigot, the vim back in your vigor. It treats a condition us well troddened ones are prone to called e.d., which stands for erectile dysfunction. Of course the real problem is our libido won’t stand up, it just lies there limply.

This week we have great news for all See-All-Is users. No more will you have to take a pill and then wait patiently, maybe for hours, until it decides to go into effect. Not a minute longer, my dear friends. The makers of See-All-Is, America’s favorite getter upper, have developed a brand new version of the pill that you take daily. It’s a version guaranteed to spice up both your life and our bank accounts. Think about it. No more waiting. Now for the first time ever you can be ready to answer mother nature whenever she makes that call, day or night. But only with the new, daily See-All-Is.

See-All-Is also comes in elephant-sized doses

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Good News for the Summer Camp Crowd

There is good news for fans of Nick Scipio’s Summer Camp series. Volume Four-Christy had a new chapter added June 2, 2009. The stories begin with Scipio’s main character, Paul Hughes, a teenager whose family spends their summers in a nudist camp. The series chronicles Paul’s life as he grows up, and the volumes are named for the females who influenced his growth. The first book is named for Susan, the camp owner who was instrumental in teaching him about sex. The second volume, Gina, details his life with his first girl friend, the third volume Kendall, his life with his second girl friend, who emerges from an arrangement whereby Paul had two girlfriends simultaneously for a time, to succeed Gina as his sole girl friend.

By this time Paul is in college, as are both girls, and he is studying architecture, with both girls studying medicine. Paul breaks off with Kendall early in volume four, and at chapter 16 Paul has discovered a new girl friend. However, the introduction to all four volumes happens in the present, and has Paul married to Christy, and the father of two girls. By chapter 16 though, his relationship to Christy is fractured at best, and we will have to wait for further chapters to find out how they finally get together. If my synopses sounds a bit like a tv soap opera, well so does real life, which is why soap operas are like they are. Scipio draws characters who are both richer than life, and yet have their share of human foibles. His writings compare favorably to my other two favorite “coming of age” authors, Russell Hoisington and Wizard, whose writings also appear on storiesonline.

You can access Summer Camp, Book Four Christy here! However due to the adult nature of the content you will have to register before access is granted. If you are new to the series we suggest that you go to Nick Scipio’s author page, and download the series beginning with Book One. His author page can be found at here! All of storiesonline’s content is free, however we hear that donations to the site are welcome and paid tiers of membership are available.§

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And so does this week’s Little Eddy Blog wind itself down. As we Antler Dance off into the sunrise on this outstanding morning, we would like to wish a most happy upcoming birthday to Sol Dean-Badeaux, who will be partying in celebration of his 6th birthday next Saturday, June 20. We will be with him in spirit, and hope one day to be in Seattle once again in the flesh. Unfortunately we are awaiting the invention of Star Trek style transporters, and they don’t seem to have made their way off of a television screen and into our fractured economy as of yet.

Happy Birthday, dear Sol. Here’s hugs from me to you, to big brother Cedar, and to parents Daniel and DeAnna. May the Seattle Space Needle Angel bless the lot of you. And as for the rest of you, we’re happy you came and hope you can find your way back next week. Good Bye, and thanks muchly for stopping by.

The Real Little Eddy

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