September 2009 Archives

The Conundrum of the Hypocrite


Pretty much summing it up.

Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

by John Gray

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican's would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host's keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn't tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, "We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I'm a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have".

A Soujorn Sans Internet

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10 days without internet at all.

How was it?

A relief and easy as pie. Coming back to check on the local forums and cruising around the typical news channels demonstrated a decidedly immense lack of change. Same old same old. What did I expect? Not much...and I was right. The pressure of the 24 hr news cycle is not productive at all and there is much to be said for disengagement on the whole.

Climate Change is an Obama Plot


You heard it here first.

How exhausted were you by the health care tirades and the constant barrage of absurd and feckless claims by its opponents? I mean seriously, Obama Death Squads? Well, as Krugman points out below, its time to get ready for the next level of inanity and screaming hysterics from the Climate Change Deniers Club, who basic premises as usual will have little to do with facts or reality and much more to do with upholding the notion of defeating Obama at any cost.

It's Easy Being Green

by Paul Krugman

So, have you enjoyed the debate over health care reform? Have you been impressed by the civility of the discussion and the intellectual honesty of reform opponents?

If so, you'll love the next big debate: the fight over climate change.

The House has already passed a fairly strong cap-and-trade climate bill, the Waxman-Markey act, which if it becomes law would eventually lead to sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But on climate change, as on health care, the sticking point will be the Senate. And the usual suspects are doing their best to prevent action.

Some of them still claim that there's no such thing as global warming, or at least that the evidence isn't yet conclusive. But that argument is wearing thin -- as thin as the Arctic pack ice, which has now diminished to the point that shipping companies are opening up new routes through the formerly impassable seas north of Siberia.

Even corporations are losing patience with the deniers: earlier this week Pacific Gas and Electric canceled its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest over the chamber's "disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort the reality" of climate change.

So the main argument against climate action probably won't be the claim that global warming is a myth. It will, instead, be the argument that doing anything to limit global warming would destroy the economy. As the blog Climate Progress puts it, opponents of climate change legislation "keep raising their estimated cost of the clean energy and global warming pollution reduction programs like some out of control auctioneer."

It's important, then, to understand that claims of immense economic damage from climate legislation are as bogus, in their own way, as climate-change denial. Saving the planet won't come free (although the early stages of conservation actually might). But it won't cost all that much either.

How do we know this? First, the evidence suggests that we're wasting a lot of energy right now. That is, we're burning large amounts of coal, oil and gas in ways that don't actually enhance our standard of living -- a phenomenon known in the research literature as the "energy-efficiency gap." The existence of this gap suggests that policies promoting energy conservation could, up to a point, actually make consumers richer.

Second, the best available economic analyses suggest that even deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would impose only modest costs on the average family. Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the effects of Waxman-Markey, concluding that in 2020 the bill would cost the average family only $160 a year, or 0.2 percent of income. That's roughly the cost of a postage stamp a day.

By 2050, when the emissions limit would be much tighter, the burden would rise to 1.2 percent of income. But the budget office also predicts that real G.D.P. will be about two-and-a-half times larger in 2050 than it is today, so that G.D.P. per person will rise by about 80 percent. The cost of climate protection would barely make a dent in that growth. And all of this, of course, ignores the benefits of limiting global warming.

So where do the apocalyptic warnings about the cost of climate-change policy come from?

The Whole Healthcare Issue is a Moral One


The economic considerations are really irrelevant to the actual core issues. Do you or should you give a damn about your the plight of your neighbor?

The Morality of Health Care Reform: Competing Voices

By Terrance Heath

During Take Back America 2008, I spent part of a day running around with a camera and a microphone asking people which issue was most important to them in the upcoming election. Just when I thought I was done, the camera turned to me and I was faced with the same question.

My answer came quickly and easily: health care reform. When I explained why, the argument that came out of my mouth was based more in morality than economics.

"In a country as wealthy as this one," I said, "It's criminal that a single child lacks coverage and does without health care." I was thinking of my own two kids -- particularly Dylan, who was less than a year old, and had regular well-baby checkups. But I was also thinking about children like Deamonte Driver, whose death from complications due to lack of access to dental care and a resulting abscessed tooth made headlines a couple of years ago.

It wasn't because the cost of providing coverage and care to children was less than the cost of not doing so. (Though an $80 tooth extraction would have spared Deamonte the need for brain surgery and $250,000 worth of medical care because of the spreading infection.) It was because of a core belief that, as a country, we have moral imperative to make sure everyone has access to quality health care.

I don't remember where I heard it, but it's something a core belief of mine: Freedom and liberty are meaningless concepts without two things--knowledge of them and the ability to act on them. To my mind, the former is basically education, and the latter means health care. I've come to believe that a country that can't provide those two basic things to its citizens can't have more than a tenuous grasp on the two concepts above.

Not long ago, I wrote that on election night Americans weren't just choosing a president, but choosing the kind of country we want to be. Voting for Barack Obama, on the basis of his campaign platform after eight years of George W. Bush and a Republican Congress, signaled that we were approaching a crossroads as a country and were deciding which road to take.

If this past August is an indication, we're still at that crossroads, shouting at each other over which road to take.

With her acuity for distilling and channeling diverse American voices in her work, Anna Deveare Smith in her recent New York Times piece captures voices on both sides of the health care reform debate, revealing perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that reforming health care will require of us: not only are we still deciding what kind of country we want to be, but continuing down the path of change we apparently chose in November will mean changing the story we tell ourselves about who we are and who is included in that "we."

That choice is illustrated in two of the voices Deveare Smith. One, a nurse from the Western United States, illustrates part of the problem some Americans have with health care reform, and specifically with universal health care achieved through a government-funded public heal care plan.

When you come to the West, you have a different mentality. There's an independence and an individuality here that you don't get anyplace else, because when you're in the city, you're kind of like part of the hive. You know, people that take the light rail in to work and come back and live in these big apartment buildings and have restaurants and things and they're fine with that.

Here, people are really, really proud, and they cherish their independence. And they cherish the fact that we are all individuals. And that's what we're afraid of, is that we're going to lose our individuality and we're just going to be part of the hive. If you're just part of the hive, then what are you going to do? You're going to cull out the weak links. You're going to cull out the lady that's on crutches and got diabetes, because she may be a good grandmother and she may be a good person, she lives by herself, and her house is paid for, but you know, her medicines cost a lot.

Another voice, that of a doctor from Montana, shows how much will have to change if we're going guarantee quality , affordable health care for all.

American culture simply has never been based on caring about what happened to your neighbor. It's been based on individual freedom and the spirit of, if I work hard I'll get what I need and I don't have to worry about [the] fellow that maybe can't work hard. It's a pretty cynical view of America.

But I honestly think that drives an awful lot of this debate -- the notion that I've done my job, I've worked hard, I've gotten what I'm supposed to get. I have what I need and if the other people don't, then that's sort of their problem. And unfortunately the big picture -- that our nation can't thrive with such a disparity between the rich and the poor, the access people and the disenfranchised -- that hasn't seemed to really strike a chord with Americans.

So your average person actually has fairly good access. They're happy with their physician and they're really frightened that something's going to happen to that, on behalf of people that maybe they don't think it's their job to take care of.

Anti-Beckdom Call

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We've got big news -- Glenn Beck's show is making less than half the money it was making when we started calling on companies to pull their advertisements from the show. This is huge and it's thanks to you -- more than 200,000 ColorOfChange members have spoken out, and 62 advertisers have listened.

Data from a media tracking firm shows how deeply we're hitting Fox's pockets; they are now sacrificing more than a half-million ad dollars a week to keep Beck on the air.

Of course, Beck and his supporters are fighting back with everything they've got. Today, we need your help to make sure the 62 companies who have pulled their ads from Beck's show stand strong, and to turn up the pressure on his remaining advertisers.

Please join us in thanking the companies that have pulled their ads, and in calling on his remaining advertisers to stop supporting him

During the last week in July, Beck's show pulled in over $1 million from advertising. The first week in September, that number was down to less than $500,000, even as his ratings have gone up.1

It's clear that our campaign is making a significant financial impact, despite Fox's insistence otherwise.

What's happening is a simple matter of supply and demand. Fox has a limited amount of time devoted to ads each day. If 62 companies refuse to run ads during Beck's show, the demand for that time is reduced, and the rates the network can charge for the show plummet. In Beck's case, almost no major companies are willing to advertise during either of his twice-a-day broadcasts, so Fox can't collect as much ad revenue as they could before. If we can keep the advertisers away, Fox will have to decide sometime soon whether it's worth losing money to keep Beck's poison on the air.

Beck's smear campaigns

Beck claims to be a patriot who asks hard questions and gives his viewers the facts. In reality, he consistently uses lies, distortions, and exaggerations to stir up anger and fear, and to distract his viewers from working towards real solutions to the problems facing our country. He seems determined to create an atmosphere in which the White House can accomplish nothing, and he's doing it partly by launching vicious smear campaigns on Obama'a character, policies and advisers.

Last week, Beck and his supporters took credit for both Van Jones' resignation2 and for the demotion of Yosi Sergant, who was "reassigned" at the National Endowment for the Arts following vicious attacks by Beck 3. And Beck has made it clear he's got other targets.4

Holding the line

Our campaign is working. Respectable companies don't want to be associated with Beck or support his show with their dollars. It's resulting in a major loss of funding for his show, and at the same time, it's making clear that Beck's race-baiting and fear-mongering are far outside the mainstream.

The longer Beck stays isolated, the more of a problem he'll be for Fox, and the harder it will be for him to spread his lies and distortions. If we can keep the pressure on, Fox will have to make a choice: 1) drop Beck because it doesn't make business sense to keep him; or 2) communicate to the world that they're so intent on providing a platform for race-baiting and fear-mongering that they don't care if they lose money (a serious problem for a public company like News Corporation, the owner of Fox).

More than ever, it's time to keep the pressure on. You can help by joining us in thanking the advertisers that have stopped supporting Glenn Beck, and calling on those whose ads are still running on his show to follow suit:

Thanks and Peace,

-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani and the rest of the team
September 14th, 2009

Time Lapse Proof of Climate Change


For the naysayers

Salute to Turing from British PM

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Better late than never I suppose.

Treatment of Alan Turing was "appalling" - PM

The Prime Minister has released a statement on the Second World War code-breaker, Alan Turing, recognising the "appalling" way he was treated for being gay.

alan_turing.jpgAlan Turing, a mathematician most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes, was convicted of 'gross indecency' in 1952 and sentenced to chemical castration.

Gordon Brown's statement came in response to a petition posted on the Number 10 website which has received thousands of signatures in recent months.
Read the statement

2009 has been a year of deep reflection - a chance for Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those who came before. A unique combination of anniversaries and events have stirred in us that sense of pride and gratitude which characterise the British experience. Earlier this year I stood with Presidents Sarkozy and Obama to honour the service and the sacrifice of the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago. And just last week, we marked the 70 years which have passed since the British government declared its willingness to take up arms against Fascism and declared the outbreak of World War Two. So I am both pleased and proud that, thanks to a coalition of computer scientists, historians and LGBT activists, we have this year a chance to mark and celebrate another contribution to Britain's fight against the darkness of dictatorship; that of code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of 'gross indecency' - in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence - and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison - was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.

I am proud that those days are gone and that in the last 12 years this government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community. This recognition of Alan's status as one of Britain's most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long overdue.

But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind's darkest hour. It is difficult to believe that in living memory, people could become so consumed by hate - by anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices - that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European landscape as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls which had marked out the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe's history and not Europe's present.

So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better.

Gordon Brown

hat tip to John De Silveira

New Hubble Pix



The new Wide Field Camera 3 aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, took this image of hot gas fleeing a dying star 3,800 light-years away in the Scorpius constellation. A so-called planetary nebula, it is also known as the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula. What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The star itself, once about five times as massive as the Sun, is some 400,000 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the hottest known in the galaxy. In what amounts to a kind of galactic recycling, the lost gas, enriched by elements like oxygen, nitrogen and carbon produced by the formerly massive star, will form the stuff for future stars.


The Hubble's new Wide Field Camera 3 peered into one of the more crowded places in the universe in this view of a small region inside the globular cluster Omega Centauri, which has nearly 10 million stars. Globular clusters are ancient swarms of stars united by gravity. The stars in Omega Centauri are 10 billion to 12 billion years old. The cluster is about 16,000 light-years from Earth. The photograph showcases the new camera's color versatility by revealing a variety of stars in key stages of their life cycles.

More pix

The Speech that Ate the World


Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama

Back to School Event


Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone - how's everybody doing today? I'm here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we've got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I'm glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it's your first day in a new school, so it's understandable if you're a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you're in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could've stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday - at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn't too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I'd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I'd complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I'm here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I'm here because I want to talk with you about your education and what's expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I've given a lot of speeches about education. And I've talked a lot about responsibility.

I've talked about your teachers' responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don't spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I've talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer - maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper - but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor - maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine - but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life - I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that - if you quit on school - you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country.
Now I know it's not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that's like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn't always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn't fit in.
So I wasn't always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn't have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.


Well, this is it!

Tonight, at the Venice Film Festival, I will premiere my new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story." After 16 months of production, I am proud to present this work of mine to you. It is unlike anything you'll see on the silver screen this year.

Twenty years ago this week I premiered my first film, "Roger & Me." Tonight, my new film will premiere at the oldest film festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. It is an incredible honor they've bestowed on us, and we feel very privileged to be able to present "Capitalism: A Love Story" tonight in Venice.

The director of the festival said that our movie was "incredibly symphonic" and that he was moved by its epic nature. Jeez, these Italians! Everything's an opera to them!

But seriously, I do believe we've made something that will knock your socks off. I showed it to a friend of mine last week and he said, "It's your most dangerous film yet." (But I assure you, you'll be completely safe watching it in your local theater.)

I've kept a pretty tight lid on what we've been up to while making this movie and you're about to see exactly what that means. It isn't easy, in the age of YouTube and the internet, to keep something like this under wraps, but we've pulled it off and I can't wait to show you this latest effort of mine.

So wish us well tonight. We'll be home soon to open the movie all across the country (September 23rd in New York and L.A., October 2nd everywhere else).

I'll leave you with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."

Michael Moore

P.S. If you haven't seen the new trailer for the movie, check it out.

Safe Water for Everyone


For real...

This is Your Beck on Drugs

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Gotta be...

Health Care Killers Map


AHIP = America's Health Insurance Plans

ahip_chart.jpgclick chart to enlarge

A Call to Arms for Pittsburg


If we do not alter our present paradigms both political and economic we are doomed to submerge slowly but inexorably beneath the chilly waves.

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

by Chris Hedges

Globalization and unfettered capitalism have been swept into the history books along with the open-market theory of the 1920s, the experiments of fascism, communism and the New Deal. It is time for a new economic and political paradigm. It is time for a new language to address our reality. The voices of change, those who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, will cry out Sept. 25 and 26 in Pittsburgh when protesters from around the country gather to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers from the world's 22 largest economies who are convening for a meeting of the G-20. If we heed these dissident voices we have a future. If we do not we will commit collective suicide.

The international power elites will go to Pittsburgh to preach the mantra that globalization is inevitable and eternal. They will discuss a corpse as if it was living. They will urge us to remain in suspended animation and place our trust in the inept bankers and politicians who orchestrated the crisis. This is the usual tactic of bankrupt elites clinging to power. They denigrate and push to the margins the realists--none of whom will be inside their security perimeters--who give words to our disintegration and demand a new, unfamiliar course. The powerful discredit dissent and protest. But human history, as Erich Fromm wrote, always begins anew with disobedience. This disobedience is the first step toward freedom. It makes possible the recovery of reason.

The longer we speak in the language of global capitalism, the longer we utter platitudes about the free market--even as we funnel hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars into the accounts of large corporations--the longer we live in a state of collective self-delusion. Our power elite, who profess to hate government and government involvement in the free market, who claim they are the defenders of competition and individualism, have been stealing hundreds of billions of dollars of our money to nationalize mismanaged corporations and save them from bankruptcy. We hear angry and confused citizens, their minds warped by hate talk radio and television, condemn socialized medicine although we have become, at least for corporations, the most socialized nation on Earth. The schizophrenia between what we profess and what we actually embrace has rendered us incapable of confronting reality. The longer we speak in the old language of markets, capitalism, free trade and globalization the longer the entities that created this collapse will cannibalize the nation.

What are we now? What do we believe? What economic model explains the irrationality of looting the U.S. Treasury to permit speculators at Goldman Sachs to make obscene profits? How can Barack Obama's chief economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, tout a "jobless recovery"? How much longer can we believe the fantasy that global markets will replace nation states and that economics will permit us to create a utopian world where we will all share the same happy goals? When will we denounce the lie that globalization fosters democracy, enlightenment, worldwide prosperity and stability? When we will we realize that unfettered global trade and corporate profit are the bitter enemies of freedom and the common good?

Healthcare simplified


One of the most straight forward arguments I've encountered yet found in a local paper forum:

Originally posted by Skeptical1:

If people would take their ideological blinders off and look at the whole picture you would realize that we are already paying for nationalized healthcare. First off, collectively, governments (federal, state, and local) are the biggest employer in the nation. We all pay toward the healthcare for all of those employees regardless of the level of government. We also pay for veterans, medicare, and medicaid.

Secondly, the next largest covered group is employees of companies who contribute to the healthcare cost of their employees. A portion of the cost of everything we buy, food, gas, electronics, cars, houses, etc. and a portion of every service we purchase, phone, internet, electricity, legal help, dry cleaning, etc. is paying for the healthcare of the employees of those companies.

Additionally in Polk County we pay a 1/2 cent sales tax for indigent healthcare, so we who live in Polk County are not only paying for those insured all over the country we are paying for those not insured and illegals if my understanding of our indigent healthcare service is correct.

The purpose of health insurance sold to governments and employers is to pool the risk and reduce the collective cost of healthcare for that group. When a person walks into the emergency room who is uninsured and treated that individual doesn't have the leverage a group has so that uninsured person may pay $10,000 for a broken leg, which a person in a group may pay $5000.00 for. Here is where it gets interesting. In most cases that uninsured person can't pay the bill, so the hospital takes that cost and rolls it into the cost it charges health insurance companies, who in turn roll the cost into the premiums that all of the rest of us pay for health insurance; therefore, we are all paying for that uninsured person's broken leg through our insurance premiums and through every product and service we purchase as explained above.

That said, we would all be better off if that uninsured person was insured and only had to pay the $5000 for the broken leg like the rest of insured people pay. We, every person in the nation, would have just saved $5000 fixing that person's leg if he/she were a part of a risk pool and insured.

Like it or not, we are already in a nationalized healthcare system, and the way to reduce cost is to make it so everyone is insured to make the currently uninsured a part of a collective risk pool and reduce their costs that we are already paying, so we end up paying less for their healthcare. That is called being fiscally responsible. Currently even if an illegal walks into a hospital and gets medical treatment we are all paying for it. Civil debate and proper legislation can stop that and reduce overall healthcare costs by eliminating illegals from the equation and placing the currently uninsured in a risk pool to reduce their cost that we are already paying.

I am not proposing a single payer system. I am not proposing a government option. There are many ways to meet the needs of providing insurance for all legal US citizens and that is what the debate needs to be about. My argument is that we are already paying for the uninsured at inflated rates, and by insuring them we can reduce that cost because they become part of a risk pool that can leverage reduced costs; therefore, cutting the cost of their healthcare that we are all already paying for, like it or not.

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