Jul 24, 2007

Starving Person: I Don't Want Food if I Have to Wait in Line to Get It...

A Simple & Preventive Medical Procedure Saves Bush from Cancer. Many Americans Don't Have this Option!

It's absolutely not true that when president Bush went in for a colonoscopy the doctors found his head up there! The doctors found some polyps and removed them. Those polyps could have turned into cancerous ones if left untreated. This is the benefit of having health care coverage, including preventive care!

Thus, the president [all the people's elite representatives enjoy full health care] was able to schedule an appointment for the procedure. That was good. But, what about the estimated 48 million of Americans who don't have health insurance, and many more who are under-insured?

The question is this: should you die if you can't afford medical insurance?

Of course, medical care is expensive, though it generates huge profits for the insurance companies whose number one priority is to make money, often by denying benefits and necessary medical procedures. It's time we re-think our approach to healthcare. But, we do need our citizens to get informed, pay attention to the debate, and, hopefully, demand a resolution to this mess. The status quo won't give up without a fight, that's a given. However, if the majority wants a solution, one will be found.

We should also go beyond the simplistic labeling, like, "socialized medicine," socialize this or that... There are some institutions that should operate for the public good, outside the struggle to make a profit. Public libraries, national parks, heck, even the military, aren't seen as direct profit makers! Likewise, for our healthcare system. It should be set up to serve the public, as a non-profit entity. There's plenty of room for profits in this model too, but, for example, it won't be necessary to spend big sums of money on administrative and advertizing costs. Medicare is much more efficient on the other hand.

Prevention is another important way to reduce future costs, because, it was cheaper that Mr. Bush got a diagnosis and a simple procedure today instead of being treated for cancer later on.

All advanced countries have some kind of public medical care, only the US is left out, whereas some many of its citizens [whose number is bigger than many other ..countries!] spend the most (as a % of GDP). In all those countries, despite the problems in their systems, consistently majorities approve the public health care they enjoy. We've heard about the problems (ie. waiting times) in Canada and Britain, but, still, those citizens prefer the system they have to a private system with many uninsured. Their waiting times might be shortened too if they excluded millions of their citizens from access to healthcare as we do here!

Even in a system where some procedures require a waiting period, a person needing a procedure like Bush's could be treated. Can you image a starving person being told that there's free food available only to reply, "what? there's a line to get in? Forget it!"... Com'on now, let's be realistic and do something about insuring everyone in this country. This is what I call a progressive culture of life!

Jul 17, 2007

Republican Leaders Obstruct The Needed Change of Course in Iraq

The GOP is forced to stand up to the wishes of 70% of Americans.

This is the bottom line regarding the all-nighter at the US Senate: It's time to stand up and get counted. The vast majority of Americans want our troops out of Iraq, but the Republicans are filibustering. A filibuster is a delay tactic used by both sides on occasion which basically means that the obstructionist side doesn't allow the resolution of bill to come to a vote. Majority leader H. Reid (D-NV) decided to keep the Senate working without a break, forcing the Repubs to keep talking until they drop. This move is rare and of uncertain outcome. The Senate's rules require 60 votes to stop the "debate" and have a vote. Although there are several Repubs who now want an end to this war, there aren't 60 votes available.

The House can pass a bill by simple majority, and it seems that it will be able to do so if one emerges from the Senate. However, any bill before it becomes law the president has to sign it... Now, you see this ain't happening. But, it's important for our Congress to take a stand against a stubborn and incompetent president whose actions have brought so much suffering, has divided our country & our friends, while uniting our enemies and made them stronger.

UPDATE, 7/18

New Polls Confirm Americans Want Out of Iraq

A new CBS/New York Times poll shows that, even though the GOP successfully prevented a Senate bill on troop withdrawal from Iraq, there is a big majority (61%) of Americans that believe Congress should give money for the troops only if there a timetable for withdrawal. [add to this another 8% that wants no more money for this war].

Most Americans don't believe the escalation ("surge" in Bushspeak) is working, while 74% think the war is going badly. On the other hand, half of the Republicans think the war is going well...

President Bush: "AlQaeda is on the run"

At least this was what he was telling us since the invasion of Iraq and up to a few months ago. Now, he's not saying anything about this subject, probably because he's been briefed by his own intelligence agencies, which just issued a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)--a collection of reports--most of them classified. Unfortunately, according to the latest NIE, Al Qaeda has become stronger, has set up shop in several new areas, has recruited thousands more, while its ally, the Taliban, is back in force in Afghanistan & Pakistan where it controls large areas and has increased its attacks on US forces.

The war in Iraq was the best thing that happened to Al Qaeda and all its terrorist sympathizers. Iraq has been a lab for terrorist training and recruitment, while traditional enemies have allied in an effort to harm the US. After all the money, the blood, sweat and tears we've shed in the Near/Middle East, our country [have you noticed the increased usage of the world "Homeland"?] is not safer than before. For goodness sake, what was all this expedition to far away lands for? Bad decisions upon bad decisions, coupled with cronyism, incompetence, and hallucinations.

Jul 7, 2007

We Have to Go Far Quickly. LIVE EARTH Events Raise Awareness For a Better Environment.

Did you watch any of the Live Earth events? Did they make you think or plan to take any action regarding the environment? It is about the environment--beyond global warming--and what kind of house we'll leave to our kids, the future generations. Sadly, the loudmouths and lowest-common-denominator agitators here in the US, have already labeled this latest effort a failure. Why is it that these conservatives don't like conservation? Why don't they like sensible acts that individually and through our governments can do to make a better place to live in?

The Earth's climate is always in flux, we know this. There's been a global
warming trend, much in acceleration in the last couple decades. This is what the scientific consensus is telling us; and that humans are responsible for this warming trend. The Earth would be doing whatever it would be doing by itself, but it doesn't take a genius to see that, since the industrial revolution, humans have been dumping huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, etc. This does have an impact. Not a good one. We see its adverse effects in the quality of the air, in the polluted lands and waters. It's this simple. Isn't it? Now, why shouldn't we do something to help ourselves?

These Live Earth events are meant to raise awareness and prompt governments & private institutions to make more environmentally friendly policies. The good news is that everyone can do simple things without any sacrifices. Simple things, like, recycling, turning off lights & electric devices when not in use, use less gasoline, use less energy, pollute less, plant more trees, preserve forests, replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs, and so forth.

This issue shouldn't be another case of applied ignorance and indifference.

Jul 3, 2007

Bush Stays the Course! [Meaning: Shred the Constitution, Waste More Lives in Iraq, Take Care of the Praetorians... ] And a Scooter for Libby!

UPDATED, 7/5 [with excerpt from Libby's book, "The Apprentice"]

The Emperor May Have No Clothes, But He Wields a Mighty Pen... [until Jan. 2009]

Did you see how dainty Paris Hilton looked coming out of jail? Poor thing. Her wealthy family & the preferential treatment she had gotten in the past couldn't help her this time. She did the crime and she did the time. It's a lesson I hope she's learned--that impaired driving can kill. Revealing a covert CIA officer's identity can also kill and imperil the agent's contacts abroad--but this lesson has escaped the narrow minds that reside currently in White House!

A few days ago, the defenders of legality and the spirit of the law [I want to laugh but this is very serious stuff] got a victory when they denied amnesty to millions of trespassers who broke into our country to clean our toilets, nanny our children, trim our lawns, pick our fruits & veggies, etc.

Bush Keeps Adding to His Legacy
Yet, Bush came to help his special advisor. Lewis "Scooter" Libby didn't get a pardon, not yet. This will come after his appeals are exhausted. He still faces big fines they say. Yeah, but thanks to that Law & Order actor--now running for president--Libby has raised many millions of dollars for his defense fund. Thus, no pain there either. Damage to his reputation? Come now, what reputation? These people don't care, because they don't put the country above their own private interests. Libby will land a plush job (like Wolfie did after leaving the World Bank) and will be invited to parties and be deemed a hero by the conservatives who still support Bush & Co. He doesn't have to mingle with the common folk or talk to his critics. Maybe a book deal will bring him more money!

Bush said he respects the jury's verdict, but somehow he finds it necessary to vacate the conviction. Sure, when was the last time this so-called unitary executive had much deference to the law & the US constitution? He, and his cohorts, even tried to argue that the White House (which includes the Office of the Vice President) may not be part of the ..executive branch!!! Whatever. I think we're past the point of debating rationally about issues and we're now in the realm of absurdity.

Here are some of the responses regarding the Libby case/amnesty... Here's one editorial, and here another. No need to repeat the excellent points made elsewhere regarding this bad decision by "the decider". But, as Bill Maher asked, "Who cares?" Joe Sixpack doesn't care; it's not about sex!

The GOP obviously thinks lying about a
sex affair between consenting adults is a greater sin than lying under oath while obstructing justice in covering up for treacherous behavior in the White House! I have to repeat this slogan, Clinton lied, nobody died. Bush lied, people died.

Can you imagine what the super-patriots would be yelling if someone in the Clinton WH had revealed the identity of a covert CIA agent? And, how the conservative "scholars" and other "experts" would be asking for impeaching of the president who had tried to cover up a crime in his administration? And, how the Congress (then controlled by the Republicans) would have absolute authority to investigate the cover up and enforce subpoenas?.... I'm just sayin'

UPDATE 7/5: Today, Libby paid the $250,000 fine. No sweat. Did you have any doubts that he'd be short on money? His defense fund has raised more than $5 million; his legal fees amount to $3-5 million. Unlike most of us, serious violations of the law and the public trust bear no consequences in this Bush White House. Actually, like most of the criminally incompetent before Libby, a promotion and more money come from obeying the laws of the ..cabal. It's not about law, but loyalty! Now, let's watch Libby's rehabilitation and the perks that'll follow...

PS. I do remember president Clinton's pardons too, especially the fugitive Frank Rich whose wife was a loyal fundraiser for the Clintons. The US president has unlimited power to pardon, but this, obviously, should be used judiciously, and not for those who have connections and other social privileges.
During his trial, Libby said he was very optimistic about his future because he had God on his side! Um, sure....

Excerpt from The Apprentice, by Lewis Libby

"At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."

OK, I know it's "art," fiction, porn, bestiality, depravity, or whatever. Who knows, maybe Libby will become a writer for Hustler mag or get another author's advance since he can now bank on his infamy! Oh, the perks available to him...