Monday, September 14, 2009

Knees or feet?

Greetings good citizen,

It’s nice having extra ‘downtime’ so I can expand the amount of material I comb through for your reading pleasure. Naturally, simply cutting and pasting someone else’s work in this space doesn’t do you any good, you could just as easily find these pieces for yourself.

My job is to add to the perspective of the original writer, make the piece more interesting.

Tonight’s offering is sure to set some folks teeth on edge without reading further than the title.

Where do you suppose I stand on this issue? Do you care or is it more important to know where you stand? Are you a ‘weak, fearful thing?’

[Hat tip: The Automatic Earth]

Americans have become weak and fearful things


Today, a friend forwarded to me a news article with this headline: "Fines proposed for going without health insurance." Here are some things I don't get:

1) If folks can't afford to reroof the Old Manse or buy groceries or put retreads on the Jimmy, how (and why) are they going to get insurance, and

2) If they can't afford insurance, how are they going to afford the alleged fine, and

3) Who is the Insurance Police, who's going to rat me out, and

4) Why did The Bastards wait until the whole country is unemployed to pull this shit, and

5) Who elected these boobs -- wait, I have a long-standing soft spot for boobs; make that "idiots" -- anyway, and supposedly to act in our interests? Not me.

My elected representatives so far stand mute on these salient and vexing points.

I tell ya, I'm glad I'm old and won't have to watch much more of this nonsense go by. Although, my Ma's 85 and going strong, still tearing up trees and throwing rocks, I seriously don't think I can take it. I'll blow the beans out of my pressure cooker one of these days.

And you? Well?




It's like this ole buddy. Mandatory insurance can be made to sound worse than it is. Especially given that the word mandatory scares the hell out of Americans, even though we already have mandatory drivers license and drivers insurance, income tax, building permits, school attendance, vehicle registration, home insurance for mortgages, personal identification, security scanning at airports, income tax filing, dog licensing, sales taxes, etc. (Looking at this short partial list, I can hear the libertarians locking and loading as we speak.)

For example, Spain, which is now considered to have the best overall health system in the world, has mandatory health insurance. So do many other countries, though they do not think of it in those terms, and though they are often technically purchasing it from the government at very low costs, which they perceive (and rightfully so) as a tax. This helps offset the government cost of insuring retired, poor, unemployed and others who cannot afford insurance. The government covers these people anyway, but must recover the cost. (What a novel idea for running a government! Knowing how you are going to pay for things.)

A U.S. "public option" (we are not even allowed to utter the term socialized healthcare, or even universal healthcare, because anything universal, which is to say fair to all, is a goddamned commie plot -- the cold war lives on in our capitalist state indoctrination) could cover everyone unable to afford insurance by providing it at extremely low cost. So low that even people below the poverty level, and thus qualify for supplemental income tax rebates, would have insurance. It would simply be deducted from their $500 tax rebates or whatever. So they would never even see it being paid for.

The insurance companies love the mandatory part, which would deliver millions of new customers into their hands and let them set the price. But they hate any so-called public option, which would give those poor customers an alternative. So they've done a pretty good job of torpedoing the public option. Good enough to scare Obama off it for a while, even though any such public measure of his would always have been a half measure and still depended upon the insurance corporations to exist. Now it's back, but who knows what it looks like now, or will look like when the fight is over.

And insurance companies especially fear the possibility of a national health card, which inevitably comes with any sort of government sponsored public healthcare. It's just too damned efficient. For instance, in France, doctors have no files, just a card reader and an Internet connection that links to the patient's permanent files and scan images. But it also tracks costs, fees and billings. And in France (or Germany, I forget) if the doctor is not paid within 72 hours, the insurance company is fined. Health insurance companies in Germany are totally non-profit, but sell other insurance -- auto and home -- for profit. They see providing efficient health coverage as a good leader item and a chance to show off their performance to customers. A public option is the first step toward such a system, or something similar. But I suspect we will never see a national health card. These thugs in America would never stand for it. They like to count their money unseen.

Elected officials, the strong liberal ones at least, are mute on this because to say anything resembling the above is political death. The brownshirts who worked them over at town hall meetings at the behest of the healthcare industry would not be so easy on them next time, given what's at stake for the capitalist overclass. Which is to say the healthcare industry's corporate criminal cartel.

And besides, they own the joint. Our government is now a corporate criminal enterprise extorting the wealth productivity of the people. The people are so used to it and so conditioned they no longer know how to ask questions or extrapolate outcomes. They just react in fear of any new public proposal that would change the status quo. [Or so it would seem…]

As for the mandatory part and the fines, that is a red herring if ever there was one. People who have a hard time paying for healthcare (and who doesn't?) get scared out of their britches by such threats. That's why the Republicans put it in there. To scare people away. First you take a good and reasonable thing like universal healthcare, and turn it into a scary authoritarian mandatory thing with grave punishments. Put some stink all over it, something obvious and odious. Make it a burden AND a threat.

That is one of the poison pills for the bill. There will be others to come. After the death panel thing, and the way the people swallowed it, we already know the outcome. Hell, one of the anti-healthcare lies being circulated around here right now is that Obama wants to have mandatory abortions of anyone born with low IQ or is otherwise substandard. Which is OK with me because it would spell the end of the Republican Party.

But whatever they do, there will be no rounding up and fining of the underemployed, unemployed or broke. That's 50 million people these days. Any effort would be mostly a paperwork exercise, at this point. And besides, they do not want your body. They want your money. Thug's work the neighborhoods where the money is, not where it ain't. We live in an extortion based criminal enterprise masquerading as a government, so one shudders to think of the paperwork liens that could be placed on homes, etc. They are paperwork too, but have the strength of law behind them. The commissariat judges who provide the legal muscle for the cartels.

All of which is moot as long as medical and pharma costs in this country are astronomical and still rising, making doctors, executives and major shareholders in the crime syndicate richer than ever. And as long as drone missiles, 400 military bases and two ongoing wars keep draining an already looted public treasury that is forced to run international indebtedness anyway.

Whenever we see something like the mandatory health insurance covered in the media, it is there for effect, not to inform us. It is there to cloud the issue and scare the piss out of people toward the ends of the corporate state. To make them fearfully ask the wrong questions and miss the real issue.

The real question is this: When are we going to rise up against our government and the criminal cartel that owns it?

And with each passing day I am more convinced that the answer is -- never. That takes true inner convictions and ideals, not to mention courage. The real thing, not political rhetoric and ideology. Convictions are measured by actions. And true convictions are arrived at through the clear-eyed self-examination and deep questioning and personal sacrifice of individuals. And defining one's self as something necessarily other than the state. We failed to do so too long ago. We are now state property. A mass of people rallying and surging back and forth in response to state manufactured pseudo events and faux choices. If I still loved this country I would weep for it. But I've watched us too willingly acquiesce to this fate for too long. I don't think we have the reservoir of cultural, moral, spiritual and political strength to turn things around. Or even conceive of what can be, other than what we've seen. Instead, we are issued empty terms as convictions, such as democracy and diversity.

Surely though, the noisy pseudo drama of pseudo choices will go on in a pseudo democracy. If I were a younger man, it might possibly be instructive, in a chilling way. But a guy gets tired of learning the same old lesson year after year, decade after decade. The lesson being that Americans have become weak and fearful things. Ignorant of any sort of real self agency in shaping their country's government.They embrace the notion of "working within the system." Then too, the consequences for doing otherwise are dire. Our corpo-government crime syndicate makes that very clear. In a mob neighborhood, everyone is afraid.

In closing let me say, by all means go ahead and blow the beans out of your pressure cooker. I did. And I found that it left me with a clearer head (or maybe a less cluttered delusion of my own, who is to say? But either way, now the decor inside the old cranium allows me to sleep better at nights). People will call you nuts, say you've gone over the brink. But I find that there is plenty of fine company down here at the bottom of the cliff.

In art and labor,


PS: I hear on the BBC this morning that the US is still number two (behind Switzerland) in economic output. The difference between the quality and security of our lives and that of the Swiss can be seen as a measure of what is siphoned off by the cartel. Evidently there is quite a bit of wealth being produced by the people left to steal, leaving public amenities and the people to run on pure debt. Thus, don't expect our criminal overlords to let up on us any time soon.

So what do you think good citizen? Are American’s ‘washed up’? Are we so weak and fearful that we all forgot who runs this country…or who defends it? [Our kids! Sadly, commanded by their kids.]

There are all kinds of ‘considerations’ that factor into the larger equation but in the end we return to the same old place that those who battle tyranny and oppression always end up, facing the same old question: is it better to live on your knees or die on your feet?

Sadly, if you live on your knees, you’re already dead.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


1 comment:

  1. You do realize, the reason healthcare prices rise is because there are less doctors, more patients.

    Making healthcare "cheaper" by spending US tax dollars on a public option, will increase the number of patients. Thus the price for everyone not on the "public option" will rise as will the price the government has to pay for that public option.

    The only solution to lowering prices in healthcare is to get rid of what is rising the price: government regulation.

    If you lift the AMA's restriction on the number of doctors, then there would be more supply to meet demand. Also, we currently already have socialist welfare that pays for life-threatening conditions even if people can't afford it (which is killing our economy).

    For example, spending $500,000 on healing someone who has a 0% chance of returning to the workforce to keep them alive, it takes an idiot to not see the massive damage done.