Friday, July 24, 2009


Woman auctions her virginity
to help ailing mother, but
no kisses or caresses allowed.

Absolutely amazing. I’m tempted to say, only in America, but upon reflection I’m sure there are other governments just as stupid and uncaring as this one. I’m speaking of health care, of course. Virtually everyone who has studied the issue agrees that a single-payer system would be the best, in terms of efficiency, cost, and universal coverage. Even the President of our country acknowledges that a single-payer system would be the best. A huge percentage of the American population is in favor of a single-payer system. Many leaders in Congress agree that it would be the best system. Canada and other countries have such health care and like it. However, here at home, a single-payer system is apparently not even under serious consideration. Why is this so? Well, some of our Congresspersons, mostly Republicans, are not interested in the health of their constituents or the American public, being only interested in their party and in destroying the other party (it’s their strange idea of politics as usual). Then there are those who, apparently ignorant of the meaning of the term socialism, don’t want a single-payer system because they insist it is socialism (you know, like the Post Office, universal public education, medicare, veterans benefits, and such, that we already practice). There are also those, mostly corporations, that make enormous profits from the existing terribly expensive and terribly flawed system that now exists, so they don’t wish to change it. There are also a small number of Democrats who are paid by these same corporations to sell out 47 million of their fellow citizens for pieces of silver. Finally, there are also the terribly, even obscenely wealthy, that cannot bear to think of giving up even one percent of their fortunes to help others who are less fortunate. The fact that America is the only one of the most “advanced,” “civilizations,” on the planet that does not provide universal health care matters not a whit to those who take the basic position, “I’ve got mine, screw everyone else,” like many of our Congresspersons. I suppose this is only to be expected in a culture that believes “greed is good,” “shop til’ you drop” is a virtue, “he who has the most toys wins,” and apparently can’t built storage fast enough to contain all their excess possessions (probably mostly junk). We desperately need, I fear, a cultural revolution. Even Harry and Louise have come around and now want universal health care. It seems everybody does, but, like the weather, no one does anything (sensible) about it. This bickering about health care has been going on since the time of FDR. Obama is right, it’s time to do something about it. NOW.

I return, somewhat reluctantly, once again, to the subject of Afghanistan. I am still waiting for someone, anyone, to explain to me what the hell we are doing in Afghanistan. We will soon have some 68,000 troops in that far off land, for reasons I cannot fathom. Yesterday, I think it was, I heard some big mucky-muck explain that we would be there for many years because we want to create a nation that…that…that…I think will be able to become a self-sufficient one, with a stable government, capable of managing its own affairs, and whatever. Afghanistan has never been such a nation and most probably never will. But even if it could be, what business is it of ours to waste our troops and money trying to establish such a country. The Afghans didn’t ask for this, and don’t want us there. They got along for centuries, turning back everyone who tried to conquer them. And nation building is certainly not the goal that was explained to us when we attacked them, ostensibly looking for Osama bin Laden, whom we have never found, even though for years we have claimed to know where he was. Nor did we go there initially to fight the Taliban, we went there to presumably fight al Quaida, but somehow this has become a “war” against the Taliban (which the Afghans themselves would probably throw out of their country if we were not there butting in to their business). Most everyone now admits Afghanistan is a mess, we don’t have a really clear cut goal for that troubled part of the world, but, as in Vietnam, we just can’t bring ourselves to acknowledge defeat. It reminds me of a joke I once read, where a boy was asked to use the words defeat, deduct, defense, and detail in a single sentence. He replied “de feet(in Afghanistan) of de duck (al Qaida) went over de fence (to Pakistan) before de tail (we had any plan). Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Will we, as a nation, ever go back to insisting that our elected leaders do something for the public that elected them, or will we continue just stuffing the fat cats and corporations that have managed to take over the world? We have arrived at a point, I think, where no one even expects our leaders to do the right thing by the public. We criticize other nations like Mexico and Iraq for corruption while we have elevated corruption to a level heretofore undreamed of.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
Unknown, Often attributed to Abraham Lincoln

Characters based upon the Apache leader, Geronimo, appear in more than 25 movies.

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