03 June 2008
I Finally Saw "SICKO"
So, SICKO was not an eye-opener. It was, however, a trigger for my PTSD that kept me writing for hours afterward. I went to bed at 5:45 AM.
Given the above, it was providential to receive an email from Congress.org this morning asking if I am satisfied with my health care. Congress.org is an opinion gatherer that sends my comments to, in this case, the President, the Secretary of HHS, both California senators and my representative in Congress. I chose to have my remarks sent in letter form primarily because letters must be handled and emails can disappear without being read. Here are my comments sent out this morning:
"The US healthcare economy is discriminatory, negligent and immoral. The individual person is not accountable for his or her efforts to remain healthy, to recover from trauma or wounds, or to assist others in their own communities with efforts to maintain a healthy diet and living environment. How do I know this? Because someone else is the customer in the healthcare market place. Providers (hospitals, clinics, physicians, etc.) refer to individuals as 'patients'. This is by definition a passive role in a system in which others dictate the terms of care and treatment.
The only way to change our healthcare economy is to remove it from the marketplace paradigm completely. Already, the supply side of this economy is regulated by licensure, accreditation, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement algorithms. Private insurers collect premiums as income with the market motivation of retaining as much income as possible, so reducing expenditures through the tax code and through gatekeeping.
As a fundamental function of government, the US should establish a national health service paid from income tax revenues and provide care and treatment for everyone--as the other "first world" countries do,
What am I going to do? I will be emigrating to Italy or France and begin to live with enthusiasm rather than being inhibited by fear of losing my savings and home due to prospective medical expenses."
Why live in fear?
02 June 2008
The American Way: Hire Someone To Do It
Privatization of basic functions of government. Bush and his lackies reminded me of Boss Hogg and his sheriff. The Administration's first venture into contracting out basic functions of the federal government was the brain-child of the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Even as his top generals advised him and Congress that over 250,000 military personnel were needed to attack Iraq, Rumsfeld and his buddy Dick Cheney, the Vice President, saw advantages to a lean fighting force. All those military personnel who were in support operations could be replace with contractor personnel. Additionally, longtime experience with the resources of Halliburton and its personnel subsidiaries could substantiate issuing sole source contracts to these companies to perform as many of the non-combat jobs possible. Why, they could even hire combat personnel through Halliburton's KBR and a new firm, Blackwater. The only oversight would be a contract administrator in the DoD's staff in the Pentagon.
Official casualty numbers do not include contractor personnel. To date, the U.S. government has not reported to the American people the casualties incurred by private contractor personnel even though we are paying for their hiring, training and replacement. Sorry to be so cold in my language, but I find no better way to express these costs (the accounting term for 'hired persons') paid by the U.S. taxpayers. I doubt that the DOD accounting system has a means of recording human losses in terms other than dollar costs.
I resent this Administration's accounting of several thousand hired, supplemental soldiers, cooks, drivers, field support personnel killed or wounded in this war as an accounting entry in a contract's reimbursable costs.
01 June 2008
Mr. President: Has It Been Worth It?
I've read some of the autobiographies of surviving Nazi functionaries after they were released from prison. How similar their "apologias" seem to the recent book by Scott McMullen, the President's press secretary. Interviewers ask him "why now" is he coming clellan with his participation in the propaganda campaign to get popular support and media enablement for attacking Iraq. Why was he not courageous enough to raise his objections publically to the media back in 2002-2003?
He admits his participation in the conspiracy against truthful government. I'd call his book a long confession statement of guilt of the crime of conspiracy to defraud Congress and the American People. Where is the federal prosecutor who will bring formal charges against him?
Without a Congressional investigation to determine if impeachment can be supported by the facts, dozens of Executive Department employees may never have to face their own roles in facilitating the deaths of 4,052 U.S. military personnel in Iraq. Respected political researchers attribute the Democratic Party's taking control of the Congress to the overall dissatisfaction of the voters with the Iraqi War and occupation. Why, then, did Nancy Pelosi , Speaker of the House of Representatives, say that impeachment was off the table for her party's agenda?
Madame Speaker, it is not too late to begin impeachment proceedings against this President, Vice President, Secretaries of State, and Defense. how many more young men and women will die before this immoral war ends? The Speaker and Senate Leadership have adequate, Constitutional power to stop the war now.
Popular support is for ending our occupation there. And we can use the money at home. The campaign messages from Barack and Hilary should be the same: We will end our occupation and troop presence in Iraq when elected.
We the people cannot abide a government that deceives us with impunity or without regret. Impeachment should begin this week.