Saturday, December 19, 2009


Killer of three trips over
his baggy pants and falls
to his death from fire escape.

One of the first things I heard this morning when I turned on my TV was an announcer telling us that Iran would not have missiles that would reach the United States for at least ten years. Boy, was I glad to hear that. Apparently some people worry about such things. They seem to believe that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and missiles to attack us, or at least Israel. I cannot understand this paranoia when it comes to Iran. Does anyone with a mind above that of a second grader really believe that Iran is preparing to attack the U.S., or even Israel? Do they think the Iranians are so stupid as to believe either the U.S., Israel, or even the rest of the world would somehow fall to their weapons, no matter what they were without some kind of massive retaliation that would destroy them? This is about the stupidest idea I have ever heard. If it is true that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb (and there is no evidence for this), and if it is also true they are trying to develop missiles with a longer range (that they probably are), they are obviously developing them to protect themselves from being attacked by Israel and the U.S. who constantly threaten them. As I can see no objective basis for believing we are about to be attacked by Iran I am forced to conclude that our verbal and probably illicit spying on them has to do with our hostile attitudes towards them rather than vice versa, trying to set the stage for an Israeli attack (with our blessing). Iran has not attacked another country for over 200 years, can we say as much?

It appears that the Senate has completed its dirty work and managed to more or less kill any meaningful reform of our totally dysfunctional for-profit health care system. The optimistic view seems to be that when the Senate bill has to be reconciled with the House bill something meaningful might ensue. I doubt it. I don’t believe our Congress or President had any serious intention of reforming health care. If they had they would have worked toward a single-payer system in the first place. They gave in to the Insurance industry before they even started. And with their billions of dollars to spend on false advertising, and their hundreds and hundreds of lobbyists, they have apparently managed to convince many Americans that health care is just too expensive, the government is too incompetent, or what they have is the greatest health care in the world. I guess people will believe anything if they see it repeated often enough on TV or hear it often enough on talk radio. I find it utterly amazing that there are some people who would seemingly rather die than have government health insurance. You can thank Saint Ronnie for helping convince people that government is all bad.

A California man, instead of having a crèche on his lawn, had a scene of Jesus shooting Santa Claus. Jesus is standing there pointing a double-gauge shotgun at Santa who is lying dead on the lawn. I gather one of the reindeer was stretched over a fender of the car. When the neighbors complained he claimed it was a work of art, with Santa representing commercialism. Not bad, but they will probably try to crucify him.

I hate to dwell on it, but I cannot reconcile myself to the fact that so many of our “leaders” in Congress and elsewhere simply do not want all American citizens to have health care. Until now I would never have believed this could be the case. How can any thinking, feeling, responsible, human being be opposed to health care for his/her fellow citizens, some of them to the point of actually praying they not have it? I do not have a very high opinion of human nature, it is true, but I would never have believed this. To me this represents greed, selfishness, and egocentrism magnified to the highest degree possible. I believe there are animal species that have more concern for their fellows than human beings do. I find this shocking and I am having a great deal of trouble trying to accept it. What makes it worse is that this seems to be a peculiarly American problem. All the rest of the industrialized world provides universal health care, and even in non-industrialized countries, not matter how “primitive,” people try to help those who are ill and cannot care for themselves. In the New Guinea Highlands, where I lived for a time with people who might be said to have been still living “in the stone age,” people took care of others when necessary. If someone became so old and inform they could not longer care for themselves someone would bring them food and firewood, often someone who had just volunteered to do it. They did not believe in modern medicine, the little they knew of it, but they cared for each other. They did not say, “I’ve got mine, you get yours.” When it comes to empathy and caring for each other it is capitalism that is the truly “primitive” form of society.

What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for individual competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis.
W. Edwards Deming

There are 33 football bowl games this year.

1 comment:

Smaug71953 said...

Thanks for your insights, morialekafa. Iran's economic output is comparable to that of Alabama's. I live in a southern state, 'full of them there rugged individualists' who quiver at every Faux Noise screech of fear mongering about Iran. These folks are tea baggin' and believe that Iran is a serious threat to the US. I constantly invoke the economic realities of how small countries on the other side of the world cannot do much harm to the US, but their worldview, shaped by Beck, Hannity, Faux & Friends (what a name) keeps these otherwise rational folks from understanding that Iran isn't much of an existential threat.

I'm constantly astonished at the mob fear reaction that Faux Noise is able to engender in so many people. I cannot stand to watch Faux Noise for more than a minute without gagging. And, I work with a large number of college education individuals. I'm frightened by the power of the reich wingnut propaganda machine to compel otherwise intelligent Americans to react like "invasion of the body snatchers" - blind fear.

What has happened to our country?