Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gun, Guns and guess what? More guns!

For gun folks visiting here this is a JOKE.

A J-O-K-E.

Did I tell you this is a joke?

Let's see if you have a sense of humor...

There are places that sell guns.

There are people that buy guns.

There are people who buy guns, and clean them.

There are guns that sit in holsters.

There are guns that soldiers use overseas.

There are gun shows for guns.

Bullets go into guns; sometimes it's referred to as ammunition.

Sometimes guns are loud.

Policemen carry guns.

Detectives carry guns.

Average, normal, everyday Americans use guns.

My brother-in-law used to hunt with guns until he switched to bow and arrow when he started guiding other hunters at the outfitter where he works.

My brother-in-law used guns to bag 2 zebras in Tanzania.

He also used guns to help his boss bag an elephant and a giraffe.

I have fired a gun several times, at empty beer cans (and I'm a decent shot, too).

My husband has fired a gun several times (he's a way better shot than I am).

One of my other brother's-in-law used to hunt deer with his guns.

His guns now sit in a locked cabinet in the basement.

Three of my many nephews own and use guns.

My brother-in-law owns about 20 guns.

He once used a gun to shoot a turkey in his back yard.

He also once used a gun to shoot a pesky woodpecker off of my 80 year old father's home (that's a funny story, but not for this post).

Sometimes, when people push the accelerator on their car really heavily, it is known as "gunning" it.

If a person really goes after something, it may be known as "gunning for it".

Guns are sometimes used in film-making.

Laser gun

Ray gun

Stun gun

BB gun

Paint gun

Air gun

Zip gun

Spray gun

Salad shooter

Happy Saturday all.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

A letter to Republicans everywhere

Imagine this scenario:

You live in a neighborhood where you know most of your neighbors. Not block-party-every-weekend-know, but you know their names and faces and exchange waves as you get the morning paper or walk the dog.

One neighbor, however, is a bit of a loner. That neighbor never comes to barbecues, never passes out candy at Halloween, never waves or says hello when you do.

They look pissed most of the time when you see them. And lately instead of ignoring your attempts to be friendly as they usually do, the person has started flipping you off.

They also start to build a very high, very thick wall around their yard. Hanging racist signs on that wall for all the neighborhood to see, and put some graphic pictures of violence on those walls, too. There's lots of pictures of guns and weapons of every type. They hang a confederate flag and start fires in their driveway as a nightly ritual.

Would you be concerned and worried for the safety of your neighborhood and yourself and family?

Surely not, right? Those things hanging on the wall are just pictures. And that kind of violent, anti-social behavior isn't really a vague threat of doing something?

The rightwing media is whipping people like this neighbor into hating everyone in the neighborhood. It is feeding their paranoid delusion that everyone outside that wall is the enemy, they are people that person has to fear, to kill if need be.

People are talking openly on Hannity's website (and on other websites) about revolution and succession.

Why? So they can keep their weapons and build their walls?

No one's trying to take their guns or keep them isolated.

But they won't listen to folks in their own neighborhood, their very own neighbors among whom they live because they want nothing to do with the African American family that lives next door.

Or the small Latino family that lives across the street.

Or the gay couple who lives on the corner.

Or the [insert non-christian religious group/athiest here] family who lives in the house just behind them.

It's going to take an outside intervention, from people these folks might respect just a little and think of as fellow human beings.

The GOP wants feel like it's part of this country?

This is your chance to take the lead and stop this shit right now.

It's time you acted and talked to your neighbors who are on the fringe and are ready to end this country.

Yours are the only voices that this scared, angry neighbor who lives among us all will listen to.

And if you don't speak up, or you do and they won't listen, then I don't know what the answer is.

But at least you will have done something.

And doing something is always better than turning a blind eye and doing nothing while the most frightened among us turn to violence and war to solve their feelings of powerlessness.

Read more...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Overview of Federal Budget to be released at 11 AM


According to the Government Printing Office, an overview of the first budget proposed by President Barack Obama is set to be released today at 11 AM. Politico reports the document is 134 pages long.

Here's a link to the page where the GPO announced the title of the budget:

"A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise"

For PDF links to the current budget, click here.

As I mentioned in my line-by-line posts on ARRA titles from a couple of weeks ago, the economic stimulus bill appeared to resemble closely a "typical" federal budget. In other words, it looked like gap coverage for budget shortfalls for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2009, in addition to spending for public works projects.

As soon as the overview of the budget is released I will begin looking at it when I have time as I am drafting the final chapter of my dissertation.

In the meanwhile, why not check it out yourself?

We're in for a bumpy ride in the coming weeks in terms of bipartisan peek-a-boo.

I promise to do my very best to keep those politicians honest about what's in the budget in order to *correct* any *misinformation* the congressional party of "no" might try to promulgate.

**Update (2/26/09 3PM) Here's a link to the overview as posted on the GPO.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Race hate from CA politician

From the Huff Post at 3:30 today, February 25:

According to the AP, Mayor Dean Grose of Los Alamitos, CA sent the following image and text in an email from his personal account on Sunday:



"No Easter egg hunt this year".

As Americans, this kind of bigotry and outright hate cannot be tolerated.

The mayor's excuse: he was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelons.

There's no excuse.

Politicians like this cannot be allowed to stay in office.

If you try to say this isn't offensive, try listening to one of the African American recipients of this email:

Local businesswoman and city volunteer Keyanus Price said Tuesday she received the e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose and wants a public apology.

"I have had plenty of my share of chicken and watermelon and all those kinds of jokes," Price told The Associated Press. "I honestly don't even understand where he was coming from, sending this to me. As a black person receiving something like this from the city-freakin'-mayor - come on."

It's offensive.

Period.

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Jindal? Really?

I'm not sure who managed to make it through Jindal's awkward, halting, weird *response* to Obama's address to congress. But we suffered through it.

As a candidate eight weeks from her Ph.D. in English (one of two specialty areas is in Classical through Modern Rhetoric), I estimate he failed on four of five major points.

1. Audience
He failed to connect to his audience. What does Louisiana have to do with the rest of the 49 states? For example, what does the Louisiana school system (whose numbers of failures and dropouts have risen by two percent since he took office a year ago) have to do with the school systems in say, Kalamazoo? Or Chicago? Or Fort Worth?

2. Logos
He actually used one of the strongest cases of government failure (the abominable response to Katrina) as a model for national recovery?

3. Kairos
He was the wrong guy at the wrong time: typically the best speakers are those with access to the actual material on which they discourse. Jindal is a governor. Not a sitting senator or representative (altho' he spent 3 years in the house under Bush). Therefore, he wasn't part of the debate process nor the vote on the stimulus package.

4. Delivery
Delivery is one of the five major canons of rhetoric. Yeah, I think that's about all I need to say about that one.

Don't get me wrong, Jindal seems like a nice man. It's sad he doesn't use his given name.

However, I do strongly believe we need a solid multi-party system in our country-- I don't know how that's going to be if this is the best the GOP has to offer.

PS: To those who have left comments in support, especially those who are conservatives who are leaving comments of support, thank you. And thanks for the email addresses you have left as an invitation for a civilized dialogue. I really appreciate it.

To the 8 individuals who keep trying to abuse *me* through the comments about a *post* that was written over two days ago, you won't get a voice on this blog. In other words, you can stop checking that post to see if I am posting your comment. I'm not going to. Really, it's kind of sad that you keep coming back on a minute to minute basis to check it. Save yourself the hassle.

I have set a boundary and to the mentally unstable people that are failing to respect that boundary (*especially the one who has left me 15 comments since I started moderating them last night), you continue to fail to bully me into putting your hate onto my blog space. That's not free speech. That's manipulation and anti-social, psychotic disorder. Thanks to a friend for posting this link to her blog: www.wiredsafety.org/cyberstalking_harassment. I've got a few folks who fall into this category for sure.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thanks, thanks, thanks!

Just wanted to post a quick thanks to the 478 (and counting) people who popped by my blog today.

I find my good will has been worn through; despite my best efforts to be civil, some just wouldn't stop harassing; you know who you are. No gold stars for you today.

I found it infinitely amusing to read your comments to each other about what you said to me on my blog on your group blogs. Hi-larious. Seriously, don't you people have jobs or school?

Aren't you guys all about freedom of speech? I guess if it's anyone but you... (again, talking about the same small group of crashers who ruined the partay). The rest of you were great. It was nice to chat with you. Particularly you, wow. I look forward to reading your views on things in the future if you wish to comment again.

And while I am still able to be a grown up and have a shred of a sense of humor, I am suspending immediate comments temporarily.

I am soothed somewhat by the fact of my HUGE (HUGE! HUGE! HUGE!) google ad profits from today and yesterday.

From this graduate student to all who came; my student loan payment thanks you, as do our cat's kidneys that are being sustained by subcutaneous fluid injections daily. (Those things add up!)

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A conservative wimp with an ego to grind

If you missed my post yesterday, I posted an unaltered thread of comments from freerepublic.com, a right wing blog that on one if its threads is inciting the assassination of our sitting president.

For our president's safety, for the good of our country and for my own safety I copied the html for the thread and then called the Secret Service.

I got lots of hits yesterday and among them were some from a link posted on that right wing blog. I was curious to know how the people on FR had a link to my blog, since I had not directly linked to them (although I did leave the embedded links intact--I began to notice click, after click, after click from FR and knew it was more than backlinks).

It happens that the person who linked my blog to freerepublic.com was a commenter I came across on another blog who didn't agree with me and treated the host of the blog and others commenting there with a lot of froth and disrespect.

That person then went to FR and accused me of taking the comments on FR out of context.

Here's how you know I did not.

For example, take this first comment:

Free Republic
Browse · Search

News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

To: Jeff Head

We need to be perfectly clear that by “stopping” him we mean using political means to stop his political agenda.

6 posted on 02/22/2009 2:07:54 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

This comment is to Jeff Head from Petronius Maximus. Notice that before the date and time stamp there is a number "6" underlined. That is the post's numerical position in the thread. This then is the sixth comment. In the very last line of this time/date stamp, the reply stamp is given. This comment replies "To 1" the first comment on the list.

Now look at this comment:

To: PetroniusMaximus
We need to be perfectly clear that by “stopping” him we mean using political means to stop his political agenda.
Political means are covered by The Three Boxes:


The soap box


The ballot box


The cartridge box



When all else fails, vote from the rooftops. (Somebody else will have to post the appropriate picture.) [emphasis in the original]

41 posted on 02/22/2009 2:28:31 PM PST by cayuga (Just sitting here waiting for 0bama's Reichstag Fire.)

This is post number 41 from cayuga to Petronius Maximus. This comment replies "To 6", the comment presented above. At the end of the suggestion that a sniper "vote from the rooftops" cayuga states that someone "else will have to post the appropriate picture".

Then here's the picture someone posted, with it's stamped information:


75 posted on 02/22/2009 2:57:18 PM PST by Eaker (The Two Loudest Sounds in the World.....Bang When it should have been Click and the Reverse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies ]

A *direct* response to cayuga's comment 41 by Eaker. Check the embedded links; it's all there, unless they took it down.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Meet some domestic terrorists

****Update: Thanks, saysuncle for the link! Those visiting from there might read the comments section in this thread for my views about guns; I am not against them as the blogger who directed you here so inaccurately portrayed. This post also recognized the fact that the picture was originally from a left-wing source-- at least that's what the Secret Service told me when I talked to them yesterday AM.****

After the outrage over the Post cartoon from last week, Alan Keyes had the nerve (there's not a strong enough word to describe his actions) to say more hate-filled, violence-inciting things about our president.

I'm not wasting my blog space posting the youtube video with Keyes' lies and insanity. And he's still on about Obama not being a US citizen.

Makes my blood boil every time I hear about it.

Secondly and more importantly, the free republic (dot com) is a website that is slowly sowing the seeds of a presidential assassination. Yes, you read that right.

***And let me say this to anyone who wants to minimize this or make excuses for these rightwing domestic terrorists-- your comments will be deleted. This post is not open for debate.***

Comments, yes. Debate, no.

If anyone reading this has any doubt as to the violent image the online GOP is fomenting for itself, here's proof.

This is that group of folks in their own words.

I've left the links intact; feel free to read them if you don't care about losing your breakfast or lunch.

Here's an excerpt from one of the escalating threads responding to Keyes' lunatic, fringe rants:

Free Republic
Browse · Search

News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

To: Jeff Head

We need to be perfectly clear that by “stopping” him we mean using political means to stop his political agenda.

6 posted on 02/22/2009 2:07:54 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus

To: PetroniusMaximus
Nothing to the contrary is suggested. However, one can still recognize that the course we are on will ultimately lead to the destruction of our constitutioonal [sic] republic, chaos and potential civil war, without advocating them in the least.

Clearly, we must educate those round us as to the true nature of the crisis and problem so that the people themselves can begin the turn-around with the elections of 2010 and sweep into full effect in 2012.

I believe that is exactly what Keys [sic] is trying to help do...and he speaks the truth in so doiung [sic].

14 posted on 02/22/2009 2:13:10 PM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))

To: PetroniusMaximus

why do you feel the need to “make that perfectly clear”? Where has anyone suggested otherwise?

21 posted on 02/22/2009 2:16:47 PM PST by mamelukesabre

To: PetroniusMaximus
We need to be perfectly clear that by “stopping” him we mean using political means to stop his political agenda.


Political means are covered by The Three Boxes:


The soap box


The ballot box


The cartridge box


When all else fails, vote from the rooftops. (Somebody else will have to post the appropriate picture.) [emphasis in the original]
41 posted on 02/22/2009 2:28:31 PM PST by cayuga (Just sitting here waiting for 0bama's Reichstag Fire.)


Then here's the picture someone posted:


75 posted on 02/22/2009 2:57:18 PM PST by Eaker (The Two Loudest Sounds in the World.....Bang When it should have been Click and the Reverse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies ]

This isn't free speech; this is a threat against our president and our politicians. That gun looks illegal, too.

This pissed me off so much, I called the local office of the Secret Service and reported it. The agent I spoke to said they were aware of this organization and that they (and those who post there) had been investigated before. "We're aware of them and their activities" the agent said.

Apparently, this picture is an old one from a left-wing group during the Bush years, the agent told me. It's getting recycled and used by right-wing extremists now that Obama is in office.

I'd feel the same way if I had known about this when Bush was president.

Here's a particularly scary reply, so riddled with lies and misinformation:
To: Kimberly GG

We’ve got a civil war brewing on our border that will bring millions of refugees to America. Our borders are still being ignored. Zero has ACORN using anarchist tactics to sieze homes now. He’s deliberately causing the collapse of our entire economy. We’re importing muslims at an alarming rate. Zero is totally erratic in his foreign policy dealings. And Last but not least he seems to want to enrage the American public.

30 posted on Sunday, February 22, 2009 5:20:28 PM by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)

Now more than ever, we must stay vigilant of the blogosphere. These crazies are armed, pissed, and ready for civil war. I for one, am not going to sit idly by and let them accomplish their radical agenda.

Completely. Totally. Crazy.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Universal Health Care quiz with answers

This quiz was created by John R. Battista, M.D. President, Connecticut Coalition For Universal Health Care. These items are derived from statistics from the WHO.

1. Which of the following industrialized countries does not guarantee health insurance to its citizens?

A. Taiwan
B. Israel
C. Spain
D. The United States
E. South Africa

Answer: D. The United States is the only industrialized country not to guarantee health insurance to its citizens. Over 15% of Americans are uninsured over 46 million Americans.

***********

The Following Set Of Questions Address the Issue of Whether the United States Has the Best Health Care System In The World

2. Infant mortality and life expectancy are the two internationally accepted means of evaluating the effectiveness of national health care systems. Where does the United States rank on these two measures relative to other industrialized nations?

A. First
B. In the top third
C. In the middle third
D. In the bottom third
E. Last

Answer: D. The United States ranks in the bottom third of all industrialized countries in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality.


3. Efficiency is a second means of evaluating health care systems. Efficiency measures the performance of a health care system relative to the dollars spent. When the World Health Organization assessed all the countries in the world in terms of efficiency in the year 2000 where did the United States rank?

A. First
B. 23rd
C. 46th
D. 72nd

Answer: D. The United States ranked 72nd, the poorest of all industrialized countries.

4. Satisfaction is a third way to assess the performance of a health care system. Where does the United States rank relative to other industrialized nations in terms of citizen satisfaction with their health care system?

A. First
B. Top Third
C. Middle Third
D. Bottom Third
E. Last

Answer: E. The United States ranked 40th in the world according to the World Health Organization study, the lowest in the industrialized world.

5. When the World Health Organization ranked the overall functioning of the health care system of every nation in 2000 using an aggregation of efficacy, efficiency and satisfaction where did the United States rank?

A. First
B. Thirteenth
C. Twenty-fourth
D. Thirty-seventh
E. Fifty-fifth

Answer: C. The United States ranked 37th, the lowest of all industrialized countries. France ranked first.

Conclusion: There is no basis for asserting the United States has the best health care system in the world, although the best health care in the world is available in the United States for people who are able to pay for it. On the other hand, one could reasonably assert the United States has the worst health care system among the industrialized nations because it is least efficient and results in the poorest satisfaction while delivering outcomes in the lower third of industrialized nations.

***********
The Following Set of Questions Seeks To Address Why the American Health Care System Performs Poorly Relative to Countries with National Health Insurance


6. Which of the following factors explain why the United States ranks in the bottom third of industrialized nations on basic health statistics?

A. The large number of uninsured
B. The high incidence of smoking
C. The limited access to health care characteristic of Medicaid programs
D. Managed care

Answer: A, C and D. The large number of uninsured is the main reason the United States fares poorly relative to other industrialized countries. Problems with access to health care in the Medicaid population contributes to the poor US health care statistics. Managed care programs perform more poorly than unmanaged care programs on all quality of care indicators. No other industrialized country utilizes managed care.

7. The uninsured contribute to poor health statistics because?

A. They seek less preventative health care
B. They tend to seek medical care later in the course of illness when it is less effective to treat
C. They are disproportionately people of color
D. They are disproportionately poor

Answer: A and B. The uninsured contribute to poorer health care statistics because they do not seek routine, preventative care and seek medical care later in the course of an illness when it is more difficult to effectively treat. As a result the uninsured are in poorer health and die earlier than the insured population. At least 18,000 yearly deaths occur in the uninsured population which would be prevented by national health insurance.

8. The inefficiency of the American health care system relative to other industrialized nations is explained by which of the following factors?

A. High administrative expenses
B. High cost of prescription medications
C. The high number of uninsured
D. Increase cost for services with for-profit health insurers

Answer: All of the above. At least 25% of total health care costs are spent on administration in the United States. Other industrialized countries spend less than 10% on average. This is due to the high number of insurance programs in the United States and the high administrative costs of for-profit insurance companies due to their marketing expenses, high salaries, profits, and expensive managed care programs. Prescription medications cost almost twice as much in the United States as other industrialized countries due to the lack of negotiating the cost of prescription drugs with pharmaceutical manufacturers in many parts of the American health care system such as traditional Medicare, where it is prohibited by law. The uninsured contribute to the high cost of American health care due to increased costs associated with treating illness later in its course, the failure to prevent illness, and the increased utilization of emergency and inpatient services. About 50% of emergency room visits and hospitalizations by the uninsured would be prevented by national health insurance. For-profit health insurance companies increase cost for services. The same services delivered in for-profit Medicare cost on average 19% more than if they had been delivered under traditional Medicare. The same procedure in the same hospital the year after for-profit conversion costs 15% to 30% more.

9. Dissatisfaction with the American health care system relative to the national health insurance programs of other industrialized countries is related to which of the following factors?

A. High cost
B. Financial insecurity
C. Lack of insurance continuity
D. Frustration with accessing care

Answer: All of the above. The high cost of health insurance and health care is an almost universal source of dissatisfaction with the American health care system, where total costs are twice that of other industrialized countries on average. Cost is the main reason over 15% of Americans are uninsured. Financial insecurity about health care is common in the United States because 25% of the insured population are underinsured to the extent that a major medical illness is likely to cause bankruptcy. 50% of all bankruptcies in the United States involve medical bills. Lack of insurance continuity is a major source of dissatisfaction among the large percent of families whose medical insurance is employment based. When employers changes health insurers this requires changing medical providers 25% of the time resulting in dissatisfaction with the lack of continuity of care and increased time and cost involved. In addition, because people with medical conditions find it difficult and expensive to obtain medical insurance if they leave their job, particularly if they have medical illnesses, about 25% of employed Americans are locked in unwanted jobs to sustain health insurance. Frustration with accessing care is a source of dissatisfaction among Americans who seek to access care through a managed health care insurance programs due to limited provider networks and difficulties in receiving the care their health care provider recommends due to pre-approval requirements and limitations on their health insurance coverage. Dissatisfaction is higher in managed care insurance programs than in unmanaged programs.

Conclusion: High administrative costs, the failure to negotiate prescription drug prices, the uninsured, for profit insurance companies and managed care are the main reasons the American health care system is ineffective, inefficient and unpopular relative to the health care systems of other industrialized countries.

***********

The Following Set of Questions Address the Forms of Universal Health Insurance Which Could Be Utilized By the United States in Developing Universal Health Insurance

10. Universal Health Insurance Could be Obtained in the United States through which of the following programs?

A. Publicly funding a national health insurance program for all citizens.
B. Premium support for people who have trouble paying for health insurance leaving our current system intact.
C. Medical savings accounts to make the purchase of health insurance more affordable while leaving our current system intact.
D. Mandating the purchase of private health insurance by all Americans who are not covered by public health insurance.

Answer: A and possibly D. The public funding of national health insurance is utilized by most industrialized nations. Switzerland and Germany mandate the purchase of health insurance through sickness pools and subsidize the cost of health insurance for people of limited income. A variant of this model was proposed for the United States under the Clinton administration and has recently been enacted in Massachusetts . International experience suggests that in order to obtain true universal health insurance under this model there must be very strong government control of the private insurance industry and substantial government support for individuals with limited means. Premium support without a mandate will decrease the number of uninsured but will not result in universal coverage. Medical savings accounts will do little to decrease the number of uninsured because most of the uninsured can not afford to take advantage of the benefits of medical savings accounts.

11. Which type of national health insurance program is less costly?

A. Publicly funded universal health insurance
B. Mandated universal health insurance with public assistance for families with limited means

Answer: A. Publicly funded universal health insurance is less costly because it is more efficient to have all citizens in a single health care insurance program with a single payer. Mandated universal health insurance with private insurers is the most expensive approach to universal coverage among other industrialized nations but is about 30% less expensive than the United States due to the savings which result from not having an uninsured population in combination with much tighter controls on private insurers including provisions they be run not-for-profit and avoid managing care.

12. Are public funded universal health care systems socialized medicine?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Sometimes

Answer: C. Sometimes. Some publicly funded systems such as Canada keep the private fee-for-service system of medicine and the private ownership of hospitals intact. **They are not socialized medicine.*** Some publicly funded systems such as Great Britain and Spain utilize national health services in which health care providers are salaried employees of the government and hospitals are publicly owned and operated. National health service systems are socialized medicine in a way which is similar to the VA System and Kaiser in the United States.

Comment: The greater efficiency of publicly funded national health insurance in combination with the public’s aversion to socialized medicine has led most national health insurance advocates to support a Canadian style national health insurance program for the United States. This approach is given form in HR 676, introduced by Representative John Conyers, which is currently under consideration by the United States Congress. It has 60 co-sponsors and has been endorsed by the Green Party, a wide variety of health care provider groups, health care advocacy organizations, labor unions, faith groups, and local governments. The following set of questions address concerns about what might occur if a Canadian style national health insurance program along the lines of HR 676 were to be enacted in the United States .

***********

The Following Questions Address the Concern that Canadian Style National Health Insurance will Result in Poorer Quality of Care than our Current Health Care System

13. Since Canada passed publicly funded national health insurance over 30 years ago their health care statistics relative to the United States have?

A. Gotten much worse
B. Deteriorated slightly
C. Remained the same
D. Improved slightly
E. Improved very significantly

Answer: E. Improved very significantly. Infant mortality and longevity were poorer in Canada than the United States when Canada passed national health insurance over forty years ago. Current Canadian health care statistics are much better than those of the United States to the point that the poorest third of Canadians have better infant mortality than the average American and Canadians live significantly longer than Americans.

14. When the United States health care system is compared to the Canadian health care system in terms of treatment outcomes for acute illness such as pneumonia, myocardial infarction, appendicitis, sepsis, and spinal meningitis the United States outcomes are?

A. Clearly superior
B. A little superior
C. About the same
D. A little worse
E. Clearly inferior

Answer: C. They are about the same. Medical practices are quite similar in all industrialized countries for the treatment of acute illness and the outcomes are similar.

15. Which of the following are significant factors in accounting for why universal health insurance countries have improved health care statistics relative to the United States ?

A. Increased preventative health care
B. Increased office visits
C. Increased hospitalization days
D. The lack of uninsured
E. Lack of managed care

Answer: All of the above. There is more preventative health care, increased office visits and increased days in hospitals in industrialized countries relative to the United States despite decreased cost. Each of these is believed to improve health care outcomes. Managed care, characteristic of the United States, has been shown to provide poorer outcomes than unmanaged care.

Conclusion: Quality of care in the United States and health care outcomes are likely to improve in the United States under a Canadian style national health insurance program due to increased access to health care and doing away with managed care which has been shown to result in poorer quality of care.

***********

The Following Set Of Questions Seek To Address the Concern That Universal Health Insurance Will Be Even More Costly Than Our Current System and Result in Escalating Costs Through Time

16. When Canada passed National Health Insurance over forty years ago it spent the same amount per capita on health care as the United States. Today, Canadian spending on health care relative to the United States is?

A. About one-third of what the United States spends.
B. About one-half of what the United States spends.
C. About two-thirds of what the United States spends.
D. About the same as what the United States spends.
E. About one-third more than what the United States spends.

Answer: B. Per-capital spending in Canada is approximately half of the per-capita spending in the United States. The percent of gross domestic product spent on health care has doubled in the United States relative to Canada since passage of the national health insurance in Canada.

17. If the United States were to enact a Canadian style national health insurance program the total cost of health care in the United States would?

A. Decline by around 50%
B. Decline by around 10%
C. Stay about the same
D. Increase by around 10%
E. Increase by about 50%

Answer: B or C. Studies by the General Accounting Office, Harvard University and many additional studies all predict savings in the neighborhood of 10%. However, increased demand as the result of universal insurance coverage may make the cost about the same in the short run.

18. Short-term, decreased costs in a Canadian style health care system for the United States would result from?

A. Decreased administrative expenses
B. Decreased cost of prescription drugs as a result of negotiation
C. Decreased fees for health care providers
D. Managing medical care
E. Decreased emergency services

Answer: A, B and E. Short term savings would result from decreasing administrative expenses from 25% to less than 10% and negotiating the price of prescription drugs saving an additional 5% of total health care costs. Additionally savings result from decreased demand on emergency services and avoiding hospitalizations through outpatient intervention. Health care provider fees would not be significantly changed. There would be no managed care.

19. Long-term decreased costs in a Canadian style health insurance system relative to the United States result from which of the following?

A. Decreased utilization of emergency services
B. Increased preventative health care
C. Prevention of hospitalizations
D. Earlier intervention in the disease course
E. Cessation of treatment for the terminally ill.

Answer: All of the above. Long term savings from universal health insurance result from increases in preventative care and earlier treatment intervention. Increased utilization of outpatient services would result in decreased utilization of emergency services and the prevention of many hospitalizations.

20. The cost to the average American under a Canadian health care style system as per HR 676 would be?

A. Increased by more than 20%
B. Increased by less than 20%
C. About the same
D. Decreased by less than 20%
E. Decreased by more than 20%

Answer: E. Decreased by more than 20%. Although the total cost of the American health care system would initially be the same or decreased by up to 10% , the cost to the average citizen would be decreased by much more than 20% due to the way in which health care insurance costs would be paid for and the lack of co-pays for health care under this comprehensive insurance package. For example, there would be no out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs, hospitalizations or long term health care. Under HR 676 health insurance would be paid for by existing government programs combined with a 4.75% tax on payroll and self-employment income, a 1/3rd of 1% tax on stock transactions, a 5% increased income tax on the top 5% of Americans and a 10% increased income tax on the top 1% of Americans. Although taxes would increase, close to 95% of Americans would save money and an average citizen would save above 50%.

Conclusion: A Canadian style national insurance program is likely to cost about the same as our current system in the short term. In the long term, increases in health care spending are likely to be constrained by about 50% from what they would be if our current system were to continue. The cost to the average person would be substantially less in both the short term and long term due to the fact that the cost of health insurance would be tied to income and out of pocket expenses would be eliminated.

***********

The Following Questions Address Concerns About A Canadian Style National Health Insurance Program for the United States In Terms of Government Control And It’s Impact on Business


21. If a Canadian style national health care insurance system were enacted in the United States through HR 676 which of the following would be true?

A. Americans would have to select their health providers from a limited government approved panel
B. Americans would have to get pre-approval of prescriptions by the government before they would be covered
C. Elective surgical procedures such as knee replacements would require pre-approval before they could be scheduled
D. There would be waiting lines for elective surgery and diagnostic procedures similar to Canada

Answer: None of the above. There would be no managed care under HR 676. Because the American health care system would be fully funded to cover all current medical care there would be no lines, just as there would not be lines in Canada if it were funded at American levels, twice the health care spending of Canada.

22. If a Canadian style national health insurance program were to be enacted in the United States through HR 676 which of the following statements about its impact on business would be true?

A. International American corporations would become more competitive because of decreased health care costs for their employees
B. The private health insurance industry would be severely curtailed
C. A significant drop in medical innovation and drug development would occur
D. Profits of the pharmaceutical industry would increase due to expanded insurance coverage

Answer: A and B are correct. The cost of health insurance for international companies for major international corporations such as General Motors would be significantly lessened making them more competitive internationally. The private insurance industry would be severely curtailed. There is no evidence that national health insurance would significantly impact medical innovation. Currently the majority of new medications are developed in countries with national health insurance and the American government would continue to fund a significant part of the research involved in medical innovation and drug development. The payments to pharmaceutical companies for prescription medications would be reduced and although demand may increase pharmaceutical profits would likely decrease.

Conclusion: Americans would experience greater freedom of choice and less insurance control under a Canadian style national health insurance program than our current health care system. Most businesses would be strengthened by a Canadian style system, although the pharmaceutical industry would become somewhat less profitable and the private health insurance industry would be severely constrained.

***********

The Following Question Addresses The Reasons Why National Health Insurance Is Unlikely To Be Enacted In The United States In The Immediate Future

23. Which of the following factors is significant in making it difficult to pass national health insurance for the United States ?

A. The strong influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries on elected officials
B. The lack of publicly funded elections
C. The lack of public support
D. The irrational belief that private for-profit health insurance is more effective and more efficient than not for profit and publicly administered health insurance

Answer: A, B and D. The insurance and pharmaceutical industries are leading contributors to the campaigns of public officials and vastly outspend advocates of national health insurance in lobbying against national health insurance legislation. For this reason, most health care advocates support the public funding of elections and the strict regulation of lobbying as the surest way to pass national health insurance. For some years there has been majority support among Americans for a Canadian style insurance system for the United States . The most recent poll, a February 2007 poll conducted by the New York Times, revealed 64% of Americans believe the government should guarantee health insurance for all American citizens. When the Citizen Advisory Board was established by the government to obtain input from citizens about health care reform, a Canadian style health care system was by far and away the leading reform supported by the public.

****However, the irrational belief that for profit health insurance is more effective and efficient than not-for-profit or publicly administered health insurance continues to sway elected officials and some of the public despite the vast, well documented data which shows this belief to be without factual basis.***


How'd you do?

There's LOTS of myths about universal health care and most, if not all, of them have been created and perpetuated by insurance and pharmaceutical companies-- the ones with the most to lose with the notion that health care for every American is a right, not a privilege.

Read more...

Test your knowledge of Universal Health Care

I found the following quiz online, put together by John R. Battista, M.D. President, Connecticut Coalition For Universal Health Care. These items are derived from statistics from the WHO.

There are 23 questions. Some may have more than one answer, or none at all.

I will post the answers by 9 PM tonight:

1. Which of the following industrialized countries does not guarantee health insurance to its citizens?

A. Taiwan
B. Israel
C. Spain
D. The United States
E. South Africa

2. Infant mortality and life expectancy are the two internationally accepted means of evaluating the effectiveness of national health care systems. Where does the United States rank on these two measures relative to other industrialized nations?

A. First
B. In the top third
C. In the middle third
D. In the bottom third
E. Last

3. Efficiency is a second means of evaluating health care systems. Efficiency measures the performance of a health care system relative to the dollars spent. When the World Health Organization assessed all the countries in the world in terms of efficiency in the year 2000 where did the United States rank?

A. First
B. 23rd
C. 46th
D. 72nd

4. Satisfaction is a third way to assess the performance of a health care system. Where does the United States rank relative to other industrialized nations in terms of citizen satisfaction with their health care system?

A. First
B. Top Third
C. Middle Third
D. Bottom Third
E. Last

5. When the World Health Organization ranked the overall functioning of the health care system of every nation in 2000 using an aggregation of efficacy, efficiency and satisfaction where did the United States rank?

A. First
B. Thirteenth
C. Twenty-fourth
D. Thirty-seventh
E. Fifty-fifth

6. Which of the following factors explain why the United States ranks in the bottom third of industrialized nations on basic health statistics?

A. The large number of uninsured
B. The high incidence of smoking
C. The limited access to health care characteristic of Medicaid programs
D. Managed care

7. The uninsured contribute to poor health statistics because?

A. They seek less preventative health care
B. They tend to seek medical care later in the course of illness when it is less effective to treat
C. They are disproportionately people of color
D. They are disproportionately poor

8. The inefficiency of the American health care system relative to other industrialized nations is explained by which of the following factors?

A. High administrative expenses
B. High cost of prescription medications
C. The high number of uninsured
D. Increase cost for services with for-profit health insurers

9. Dissatisfaction with the American health care system relative to the national health insurance programs of other industrialized countries is related to which of the following factors?

A. High cost
B. Financial insecurity
C. Lack of insurance continuity
D. Frustration with accessing care

10. Universal Health Insurance Could be Obtained in the United States through which of the following programs?

A. Publicly funding a national health insurance program for all citizens.
B. Premium support for people who have trouble paying for health insurance leaving our current system intact.
C. Medical savings accounts to make the purchase of health insurance more affordable while leaving our current system intact.
D. Mandating the purchase of private health insurance by all Americans who are not covered by public health insurance.

11. Which type of national health insurance program is less costly?

A. Publicly funded universal health insurance
B. Mandated universal health insurance with public assistance for families with limited means

12. Are public funded universal health care systems socialized medicine?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Sometimes

13. Since Canada passed publicly funded national health insurance over 30 years ago their health care statistics relative to the United States have?

A. Gotten much worse
B. Deteriorated slightly
C. Remained the same
D. Improved slightly
E. Improved very significantly

14. When the United States health care system is compared to the Canadian health care system in terms of treatment outcomes for acute illness such as pneumonia, myocardial infarction, appendicitis, sepsis, and spinal meningitis the United States outcomes are?

A. Clearly superior
B. A little superior
C. About the same
D. A little worse
E. Clearly inferior

15. Which of the following are significant factors in accounting for why universal health insurance countries have improved health care statistics relative to the United States ?

A. Increased preventative health care
B. Increased office visits
C. Increased hospitalization days
D. The lack of uninsured
E. Lack of managed care

16. When Canada passed National Health Insurance over forty years ago it spent the same amount per capita on health care as the United States . Today, Canadian spending on health care relative to the United States is?

A. About one-third of what the United States spends.
B. About one-half of what the United States spends.
C. About two-thirds of what the United States spends.
D. About the same as what the United States spends.
E. About one-third more than what the United States spends.

17. If the United States were to enact a Canadian style national health insurance program the total cost of health care in the United States would?

A. Decline by around 50%
B. Decline by around 10%
C. Stay about the same
D. Increase by around 10%
E. Increase by about 50%

18. Short-term, decreased costs in a Canadian style health care system for the United States would result from?

A. Decreased administrative expenses
B. Decreased cost of prescription drugs as a result of negotiation
C. Decreased fees for health care providers
D. Managing medical care
E. Decreased emergency services

19. Long-term decreased costs in a Canadian style health insurance system relative to the United States result from which of the following?

A. Decreased utilization of emergency services
B. Increased preventative health care
C. Prevention of hospitalizations
D. Earlier intervention in the disease course
E. Cessation of treatment for the terminally ill.

20. The cost to the average American under a Canadian health care style system as per HR 676 would be?

A. Increased by more than 20%
B. Increased by less than 20%
C. About the same
D. Decreased by less than 20%
E. Decreased by more than 20%

21. If a Canadian style national health care insurance system were enacted in the United States through HR 676 which of the following would be true?

A. Americans would have to select their health providers from a limited government approved panel
B. Americans would have to get pre-approval of prescriptions by the government before they would be covered
C. Elective surgical procedures such as knee replacements would require pre-approval before they could be scheduled
D. There would be waiting lines for elective surgery and diagnostic procedures similar to Canada

22. If a Canadian style national health insurance program were to be enacted in the United States through HR 676 which of the following statements about its impact on business would be true?

A. International American corporations would become more competitive because of decreased health care costs for their employees
B. The private health insurance industry would be severely curtailed
C. A significant drop in medical innovation and drug development would occur
D. Profits of the pharmaceutical industry would increase due to expanded insurance coverage

23. Which of the following factors is significant in making it difficult to pass national health insurance for the United States ?

A. The strong influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries on elected officials
B. The lack of publicly funded elections
C. The lack of public support
D. The irrational belief that private for-profit health insurance is more effective and more efficient than not for profit and publicly administered health insurance

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Few words for this one...

I'm not going to even introduce this:



Liberals want to "tear apart" the country?

They want liberals to leave?

Because we won and we are trying to fix things? To educate people? To help the poor and the sick? To end the futile wars that have taken thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of foreign lives?

How messed up is it that those who are trying to pick up the pieces are getting demonized like this? Liberals are murderers and rapists and Muslim's who kill their wives? This guy is on crack.

Rush is crazy; pure and simple, unadulterated loony tunes.

And people call the left bad for refusing to buy into their fear.

Flush can go fluck himself. I don't know what flucking is, but he can go right on ahead and do it.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Smoking gun

Yesterday began as what I thought would be a blah kind of day.

After puking my guts out for three days, I was tired yesterday morning and not prepared for the flame on my comments--- all because I posted on something I believe in.

See, I think that people are free to speak their minds, to criticize their government, to draw attention to lying politicians, and to protest hate speech, in all its forms.

I also think it's important in public discourse to be sensitive to current events.

***********

Oscar Grant was fatally shot (in the back while lying on the concrete) on New Year's day in the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, California by a police officer.

Grant was unarmed.

The entire incident was captured on cell phone video and ignited a firestorm of anger at the murder of this young man.

***********

Obama signed the ARRA 2009 Tuesday in Denver. He said he's taking the full measure of the success or failure of this bill. It's his bill.

***********

So yesterday, given the confluence of these things I posted the hateful panel published by the New York post.

It's racist, incites violence against our legislators (indeed our president), and shows a deep insensitivity to large groups of African Americans who historically have been dehumanized as primates.

It was suggested by a new commenter to my blog that this panel was "stupid stuff" and that I should: "Save that for the things that truly are racist, and you will have more credibility when such things do happen". This same commenter wrote: "The African Americans I have read today don't understand what the brouhaha is all about".

I was even told to: "Get over your misplaced 'righteous' outrage".

A) I don't need credibility to call something racist. It was pretty obvious to most thinking Americans that this panel was inappropriate at best.

B) Misplaced 'righteous' outrage? Because I am calling something racist and characterizing it as an incitement to violence, I am being "righteous"? You bet your ass I am righteous when it comes to hate against others because of their race.

C) This commenter had no evidence that African Americans were pissed about this? WTF?

Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said the Post showed a "serious lapse in judgment" by running the cartoon. "To think that the cartoonist and the responsible editors at the paper did not see the racist overtones of the finished product should insult their intelligence," Ciara said in a written statement. "Instead, they celebrate their own lack of perspective and criticize those who call it what it is: tone deaf at best, overtly racist at worst."

Jeff Johnson, a former activist turned Black Entertainment Television host, said provocative cartoons are good, but that "none of this is appropriate on any level."

"The Post ultimately has to answer ... [for] a specific reference to the president of the United States to violence and to his connection to an animal likeness," Johnson said.

In California, civil rights leader Earl Ofari Hutchinson called on the Post to apologize. "In times past, that depiction of African-Americans has been vigorously condemned as racially offensive," Hutchinson said in a statement issued from his Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. "The cartoon also subtly condones violence. We call on the Post management to issue an immediate apology and a statement that racial insults will not be tolerated by Post writers and cartoonists."

Today protesters are calling on the paper to apologize, and want it to fire the cartoonist, Sean Delonas, and the editor who approved it. "It's clear that you are out of touch with this entire country," said State Senator Eric Adams. "Americans went to the polls to elect a man of honor from its country, not a monkey, not a chimpanzee. This is not funny. This is not a cartoon. This is disgusting."

"It's just not very funny," said one New Yorker. "And I could see how people would think it's in poor taste, not a very good job. I guess I don't get it. In light of everything going on in the world today, it seems gratuitous. I guess I don't find it particularly amusing. I think it has undertones of being racist, so I don't know if it's blatant. And I think sometimes subtlety is worse than being blatant."

Here's what Eric Holder had to say about race in our country in a speech yesterday:

"One cannot truly understand America without understanding the historical experience of black people in this nation. Simply put, to get to the heart of this country, one must examine its racial soul.

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been, and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial. It is an issue that we have never been at ease with, and given our nation’s history, this is in some ways understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area, we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.

But we must do more. And we in this room bear a special responsibility. Through its work and through its example, the Department of Justice, this Department of Justice, as long as I’m here, must and will lead the nation to the new birth of freedom so long ago promised by our greatest president. This is our duty. This is our solemn responsibility.

We commemorated five years ago the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Brown v. The Board of Education decision. And though the world that we now live in is fundamentally different than that which existed then, this nation has still not come to grips with its racial past, nor has it been willing to contemplate, in a truly meaningful way, the diverse future it is fated to have. To our detriment, this is typical of the way in which this nation deals with issues of race. And so, I would suggest that we use February of every year to not only commemorate black history, but also to foster a period of dialogue between the races.

Our history has demonstrated that the vast majority of Americans are uncomfortable with and would like to not have to deal with racial matters. And that is why those of us, black or white, elected or self-appointed, who promise relief and easy, quick solutions, no matter how divisive, people like that are too often embraced. We are then free to retreat to our race-protected cocoons where much is comfortable and where progress is not really made. If we allow this attitude to persist in the face of the most significant demographic changes that this nation has ever faced—and remember, there will be no majority race in the United States in about fifty years—the coming diversity that could be such a powerful, positive force will instead become a reason for stagnation and polarization."

Lee Camp opined what the panel should have looked like this morning in Huff Post:



I'd say that was about right.

There's an online petition to the Post seeking an apology and the firing of those involved with letting this garbage get printed. It's time we grew up America and left off childish things.


Read more...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Okay, now I'm pissed again

From today's NY Post (owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch) a "critique" by Sean Delonas:



Anyone else think this is an incitement to violence with not so subtle racist undertones?

Cannot wait for Keith tonight... I can hear his Rupert pirate voice already.

I swear I woke up in a good mood today.

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Left to my own devices

Tom's off to Berkeley for the next few days to meet with his collaborator on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) project.

He's also getting ready to do a Beryllium-10 run on some ice core samples from Antarctica and is working on his application to go to our seventh and least visited continent next fall for the drilling of a new core.

I am enjoying my hiatus from the froth and spittle of my usual posts for now and taking a nice breather from pulse-pounding blog patrolling for conservative miscreants with lies to peddle.

I am hoping to have a meatier post for tomorrow, but still something on the lighter side, likely without nudity (apologies for this one below--- kind of :).

Hope you all have a great hump day.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What kind of liberal are you?

I came across this quiz online.

Here's the link.

My results:

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or neo-hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.


I'd say that's about right on.

My wish for the day:

I wish I had oodles of cash laying about so that I could invest in stem-cell research stocks that are going to go through the roof now that Obama is in the White House and will allow for this important medical research to progress. Well, and also to invest in companies developing commercial space travel, but that's a post for another day (seriously, those low orbit space flight developer deelios are going to make people as loaded as Microsoft).

*Yes, Dad, I know I need to be working on my dissertation, but I am incapable of writing anything remotely intelligent at the moment between my tummy tantrums. At least I am not writing about you and your tighty whities at the moment.*

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Sick Day, Part Deux

Apparently, it's not enough that I am literally getting turned inside out by this flu.

I am a glutton for punishment; why else would I be writing a dissertation?

But to add insult to infirmity I googled the name of an old ex, only to find he's doing trips to Ethiopia for charity and walking 5K marathons with his wife.

Who is he kidding?

I cannot believe some poor girl actually married that narcissistic mooch.

She's obviously a better woman than me and puts up with him flirting with and ogling any woman within a 25 nautical mile radius.

I think I'll put fever googling on the same list of "do nots" as drunk dialing.

Not a good idea.

Not good.

Hope everyone had a great Presidents' Day.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Sick Day

I'm taking a sick day (or two) for the next couple of days. So my posts might be a little lazy (i.e., I might just post goofy youtube videos or dirty jokes from the web).

I caught the nasty stomach flu that I affectionately refer to as the plague.

Yuck.

I hope all are well.

Thanks for the visits and the comments on yesterday's rant.

I'll be checking in as I can.

In the mean time, I didn't see this live, but boy it's a good one.



Dan Akroyd and some regulars as GOP nincompoops.

Priceless.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some sneaky people are circling the drain

And they want each and every one of us to go along with them.

After all the drama from the last two weeks, ARRA passed congress and will be signed by the President as early as tomorrow.

I have to admit, I think Chris Dodd is an ass for slipping in that pay cap for CEOs (and the next 20 highest paid employees) for TARP recipients. It's retroactive, too. It's not the caps I'm pissed about--it's how it was done in an underhanded, dirty way. I don't care what party you espouse, that's just shitty.

I hope now the press will focus on the meat of the bill instead of focusing EVERY broadcast on how Obama's bipartisanship has failed.

Huh?

Obama didn't fail. The GOP did. Even after meetings and concessions for tax cuts, the GOP still flipped him the bird by voting nay--all but three of them.

Why isn't the press talking about their LACK of bipartisanship?

Some crazy whackadoos are still up in arms about Obama's citizenship. Get over it. Geesh. Here's an article that explains how the whole myth got started and how the lies that have sustained it are dangerous proof that people MUST back up their claims with valid sources-- especially on the internet. It's not a question of validity; it's become a question of ethics.

I have been remembering my feelings after the SCOTUS gave the 2000 election to Bush 43. Yeah, I was pissed, but I don't think I was radicalized by his appointment. Some people on the right are collectively losing their minds.

They are not used to being told no, or that they're wrong, or that they're NOT IN CHARGE anymore. They had eight years and we are where we are because of their so-called leadership.

Seriously, I am starting to think there are two different Americas.

In one, folks care about people, their jobs, their health, their equality, their education.

In the other, they care about power, being correct, and things.

People vs. things.

Kind of an easy choice, right?

Apparently not.

I am continuing to get insults of "elitist" when I correct someone's argument with stuff like, you know, facts. Really, how is "elitist" an argument? It's an opinion. Please see this post from a while ago. I am worn out by retards.

The GOP wants its sheeple poor and stupid and afraid. Those types are much easier to control. Those who don't question. Those who are afraid that the "white way of life" is ending. Those who see anyone who isn't like themselves as an enemy.

I've got news for them. This country isn't a white America. Nor is it a black, brown, pink or purple America.

It's America, retards. In all its glorious colors and diversity.

We are the great social experiment. And I for one am not going to let morons like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter (two very white, very unhappy people) tell lies about our country and its people without calling them on it.

Rush actually had the cojones to tell his listeners the Dems were trying to pull one over on the American public.

Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Democrats:

"have reformatted the [economic recovery] bill -- they've made it a PDF file when they posted it. ... And, so, you can read every page, but you cannot keyword search it. It's not a text file as legislation normally is as posted on these public websites. They don't want anybody knowing what's in this."

In fact, as Adobe Systems notes of PDFs: "You can run a search using either the Search window or the Find toolbar. In either case, Reader searches the PDF body text, layers, form fields, and digital signatures."

Are these people really as stupid as they sound?

Yup, I am indeed starting to think they are.

And who says we don't need money for education in this country? The GOP: The Group Of Poop-for-brains.

Hope all are well this fine Sunday.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

In the name of...

... all kinds of love, may each and every one of you have a great day, this Saturday.

If you missed my early morning post yesterday, I've copied and pasted the poem I wrote for my brother's wedding 13 years ago. It got lost in my usual froth and spittle from the later post.

[The ranting will return as usual on the morrow.]

Song

For just one moment
I dreamt I saw the start of life
Back to the rivers of all things beginning.

Growing, grown. Changed, changing.
Time, the journey. And to live, the mystery.

Days and years flown by with eyes which saw and wept.
With a heart which hurt, but then understood.

Perhaps it is the joy in life that hides from us,
Urging us forward ever more to seek it.

Like a drop of rain will find a single seed lying in darkness in the ground
And awaken it, so Life takes care to find us all,
Prepared or not for its arrival.

Life loves us through the people with whom we share our struggles
And our strengths.

It breathes its hope onto us from every living creature
And every watchful stone.

We, you, me, we are made to sing the joy of being which is our blessing.
To light our hearts
And dance the dance.

To celebrate that which brings two lives together today,
Today when we are reminded that we are given other hearts to love us.

And so, I am grateful that Life has carried us all here
As scattered seeds upon the wind.

The raindrop whispers its song to us
And today, my friends, I sing that song for you.

Happy Saturday all.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Lies, lies, lies

The GOP is lying about everything from:

  • The final size of ARRA. It started at 736 pages--- it's now up to 759 pages--- which means 23* WHOLE pages of amendments have been added. John Boehner just claimed on the floor of the House that the bill is over 1,100 pages long. This cements further that this man has not even looked at the bill, much less read it.
  • How much time reps and senators have had to read it (um, like two weeks now?)
  • The crap about the health care records director being a new position (George Bush created the position FIVE years ago; here's a link to the fella's bio)
  • The purpose of the health care record system that Limberger LIED about yesterday, as did Fox without even bothering to verify facts and sources
  • The provision that will STOP people like Flush from getting the same prescription from multiple doctors. A doctor, in reality as put forth in the bill, will be able to access a list of prescriptions any patient is currently filling at any pharmacy.
There's more, but my complexion is finally starting to clear and Valentine's Day is tomorrow. I want to be in a good mood for my husband's sake and mine, too.

Frankly, I am sick of this whole bipartisan bullshit.

The GOP ideas are the ones that got us here, today, having to spend our way out of this mess in a terrible economy where unemployment is nearing 8%, housing foreclosures are affecting the secondary market now (not just the bad loans), and small businesses are shutting door, after door, after door.

Obama tried, they've all said no, and acted like tools. That's it. They had their shot.

It's time to move on and move upward.

Be part of the solution or get the hell out of the way.

Check out this video of Dave Obey making the closing case against the GOP's lies this afternoon on the House Floor:



PS: We must stand up against the lies. The Bush Administration lied time after time after time. Here's the link to a petition to urge an investigation of these criminals:
http://ga3.org/campaign/btcpetition?qp_source=btc_hp

* Funny thing to prove my well-placed fear of numbers. I had to change this number 3 times today.

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The Friday Paean

My brother got married 13 years ago by a judge in a gorgeous mansion in Denver (neither he or his wife are religious), no readings--except for this.

They asked me to write something for the ceremony. (He was good enough to read the only reading at our wedding last May.)

Of course, I waited until a week before to try to put a pen to paper.

This came out in 20 minutes.

It was pure inspiration; the kind of stuff that comes so rarely and I truly believe is not possibly from me alone.

I've had friends use it for their weddings.

I hope you enjoy it. It's best when read aloud.

Song

For just one moment
I dreamt I saw the start of life
Back to the rivers of all things beginning.

Growing, grown. Changed, changing.
Time, the journey. And to live, the mystery.

Days and years flown by with eyes which saw and wept.
With a heart which hurt, but then understood.

Perhaps it is the joy in life that hides from us,
Urging us forward ever more to seek it.

Like a drop of rain will find a single seed lying in darkness in the ground
And awaken it, so Life takes care to find us all,
Prepared or not for its arrival.

Life loves us through the people with whom we share our struggles
And our strengths.

It breathes its hope onto us from every living creature
And every watchful stone.

We, you, me, we are made to sing the joy of being which is our blessing.
To light our hearts
And dance the dance.

To celebrate that which brings two lives together today,
Today when we are reminded that we are given other hearts to love us.

And so, I am grateful that Life has carried us all here
As scattered seeds upon the wind.

The raindrop whispers its song to us
And today, my friends, I sing that song for you.

Happy Friday all.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

When you're hanging by a rope...

...either tie a knot and hang on or ...

Guess what?

Another Republican has said "no" to Obama.

Can they not see they are getting played like fiddles?

Completely guarantees a Democratic Census in 2010.

I think Obama threw the GOP enough rope to either climb aboard OR to hang themselves.

I think definitely they have chosen the latter.

We have one smart man in our White House (and a strong, smart group of foxes and wolves as his pals).

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A testicular projection

My husband is convinced that I have baby rage.

Baby rage is typically defined as the feelings provoked by screaming ovaries at the sight of nommy, cute babies.

You see, we decided to let the whole procreation thing work itself out after being married. I have never been one of those women who HAD HAD HAD to be a mommy. He's never been a guy who HAD HAD HAD to be a daddy.

Babies are cute, but I've never felt like them the way I do about my philosophy products: MUST HAVE THEM. I thought for a very long time I was missing the mommy gene. I kind of still think I am. I'm not a hundred percent sure. Is that normal?

Do women absolutely know when they are ready to have a baby (one that's planned, anyway)?

Even as a little girl, I wanted to play with my plastic Black Beauty, Ginger and Merrylegs and Barbies (sometimes at the same time, but the scale was all goofy and even as a five year old that was bothersome) and not the plastic, peeing baby dolls my relatives would buy me. Just an aside, those urinating dolls are gross and creepy.

Tom and I actually got into a bit of a snit the other day. You know, one of those spousal snits when you're both on the same side of the argument but the man, I mean, one of you doesn't realize it?

He kept saying: "We can't have a baby right now. We can't have a baby right now".

I kept saying: "I know; I don't want a baby right now. I know; I don't want a baby right now. That's why I take that teeny pill every morning".

He kept repeating the above.

I kept repeating my lines until he said something that really freaked me out: "We can start trying this time next year to get pregnant, but not before".

Can a 37 year old woman have a mid-life crisis?

I distinctly felt my ovaries shrink and recede a bit.

I know Tom and I would be good parents. Hell, we have a cat that will be sixteen years old this Saturday with advanced chronic renal failure that is bounding from chair to bed to dresser, eating a ton of food every day and pooping the stinkiest cat poop you've ever smelled. Tom and I even joke we're going to start photographing and cataloging her poo because we simply cannot reconcile the notion that the econo-sized toostie rolls in the litter box came from our tiny cat's bowel.

It's become one of our ongoing jokes and last night I took it to the next level (after the photographing and cataloging) by suggesting that we would bag and freeze it.

Tom then said "And get it bronzed like baby shoes".

He keeps bringing it up. NOT ME.

I think his epidydimus are screaming at him.

I think he's projecting his baby rage onto my ovaries. And as this woman knows, those girls are not things which take testicular projection lightly.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Requiem in Swear Words: The Sopranos

There's a big gaping hole in my world.

I miss The Sopranos.

I found this online today.

It is an amazing (and foul-mouthed) compilation that tells the entire story across six seasons-- using only the words "f*ck" (including every derivation of that term) and "sh*t":


the sopranos, uncensored. from victor solomon on Vimeo.

I need to keep things light for a few days.

I've been way too serious for a while now and it's starting to affect my complexion and my sex life.

Way too much info, I know. Sorry family members who might peek in; you know I swear, but the sex thing, not so much.

Happy Hump Day all.

PS: Meeting with diss. chair went excellent. One chapter to go, a conference presentation next month, defense in April, and I am degreed. Wa-hoo!

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