Monday, August 31, 2009

Town Hall Craziness & The Conspiracy Theorists

UPDATE: 1:44 & 2:06 PM Aug. 31, 2009

Bill Moyers Disses Obama as "Spineless" by Refusing To Fight For health care as a "RIGHT" rather than giving into "the Vested Interests"



"I think if Obama fought, instead of finessed so much, he stood up and declared for what is really the right thing to do and what is really needed instead of negotiating the corners away, instead of talking about bending the curve, and talking about actuarial rates, if he were to stand up and say, 'We need this because we're a decent country', I think it would change the atmosphere."

Moyers said that conservatives have dominated the debate over health care lately. "In the last few weeks, the right wing has been winning the debate. How [Obama] lost control of the narrative, I don't understand. Well, yes, I do. He didn't find the right metaphors, as you were just saying, and he didn't speak in simple powerful moral language. He was speaking like a policy wonk to the world of Washington, not a country of people who are hurting. ...

Bill Moyers Disses Dems as "Spineless" by Patrick Gavin at Politico via Truthout Aug. 30,2009


And now a featured most popular video from Tangle which used to be GOD TUBE re-branded to reach a wider less skeptical audience.

TANGLE IS AN ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIANS

We help unite the Body of Christ by allowing you to connect with other Christians, Share the Gospel & grow in your relationships - ALL for the glory of Jesus Christ.



Tim Hawkins - The Government Can



Poster for September Religious Right & Conservative Conference in St. Louis. With the success of taking control of the debate over health care at Town Hall Meetings & in the Media with the support of Fox News & CNN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal & New York Times and their successful campaigning on the internet the Religious Right & Conservative Movement has been "Reborn & Re-energized" & as far as they are concerned "Vindicated" as Obama turns into a Paper-Tiger on a number of issues. So we need to pay attention to what they and the Tea Bag Movement et al are up to before time runs out. They have become the loudest voice in America & they have the number, the anger, outrage, resentment & the GUNS.



Anyway talk about the death of the Religious Right has as they say been exaggerated but every couple of years someone decides that the Religious Right is dead & has lost "The Culture Wars" ah not so much.

As has been said before the Religious Right in the 1970s & 1980s set out to recreate America in its own image & according to its agenda one school board, one PTA Meeting, one city counselor & one Congressmen & one senator & one military officer at a time. Their numbers are estimated at about 20 million Americans who can be rather loud , noisy and overwhelming as they stack Town Hall Meetings or fill the streets around an abortion clinic. So we should never underestimate them no matter how crazy or bizarre they appear to act because they now have a foothold in every major institution including the US military & Pentagon & the Congress & Senate & combined with a myriad of Front organizations, think tanks and well funded lobbyists..

When The Going Gets Tough, The Right Starts A New Group By Kyle at Right Wing Watch & People For The American Way | June 30, 2009

Despite all of the predictions that the Religious Right was on its deathbed, they sure do seem to be extremely active of late.

Of course, they don't seem to have any new ideas or desire to change their agenda in any way, but in last few months have seen a flurry of new groups popping up designed to fill some unseen void that has been apparently responsible for their current predicament.

In the last few months we seen the arrival of the Faith and Freedom Institute, which was followed by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, while Newt Gingrich was unveiling his Renewing American Leadership effort, and Lou Engle was announcing his Call to Action.

And now we come to find out via Pam that pretty much every Religious Right group has joined together under the umbrella of something called The Freedom Federation, including Renewing American Leadership and Call to Action, which were just recently created - so now you have two new groups created specifically to fill this void...


Odd Obama named Grassley as one of the friendly Republicans well not so much -doesn't inform Secret Service of a man at his Town Hall who threatens to kill Obama, WTF!!!
Sen Grassley (who promoted the false Death Panels conspiracy ) Allows Vet To Verbally Threaten Obama With Gun-Hardball Chris Mathews



Sen Coburn Tells Woman Crying Over Health Care "Govt Is Not The Answer" CNN Rick Sanchez



Sen Coburn as a conservative ideologue of course has no real sympathy for this woman . According to his radical 19th century Conservative ideology & his Religious Right views this woman and her husband created their own problems by not working hard enough, or not praying enough or by not being born into a wealthier family.If God had loved them he would have taken care of them.

As Rick Sanchez points out even if Sen Coburn helped out this woman and a few others there would still be over 45 million Americans left in the lurch & in need. As for local churches and communities they do not have the resources to help out large numbers of people in need.

Bachmann Roundup by Bill Prendergast at Daily Kos,August 28, 2009

Bachmann got the Billionaires for Wealthcare treatment.

The guy said "I agree, we have the best healthcare system in the world...... if you can afford it. He then went on to state " I don't want to give up my Social Security to socialism, I don't want to give up my Medicare to socialism. Bachmann got punked.




Note how a large number of people in the crowd seem to support this man and the woman who speaks after him -though others try to shout them down as they have been told to do and keep repeating various phrases which we know were sent out to them as Talking Points through the myriad anti-Health Care reform websites set up by the health insurance industry, the Republicans and the Religious Right or by e-mails. The hypocrisy is glaring when we see one of anti-Obama protesters claim their political representative will not listen to them or answer their questions. In this case Bachman is one of their own & so everyone is supposed to treat her with respect.

and more on the upcoming meeting of Religious Right & conservatives & "Real Americans " How To Take Back America Conference '09 in St. Louis Sept. 26-28.

Those wacky wingnuts and their zany conspiracy theories are just getting started. Next up: Obama's planned genocide by david Neiwert, at Crooks and Liars Aug. 30, 2009


In a few weeks, there’s going to be a big gathering of right-wing True Believers in St. Louis, at a convention called “How to Take Back America”....

...it promises to be something special. Guest wingnut luminaries speaking at the convention will include Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Steve King (the guy who claims that gays and lesbians wouldn't become hate-crime victims if they didn't flaunt it), Joseph Farah of World Nut Daily, and Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin (more about him shortly) plus, of course, such convention organizers as Phyllis Schlafly.

As Kyle at RightWingWatch notes, it looks to be a smashing good time, especially at the workshops, where you can bone up on such subjects as:

"How to recognize living under Nazis & Communists"

"How to deal with supremacist judges"

"How to defeat UN attacks on sovereignty"

"How to stop socialism in health care"

"How to counter the homosexual movement"

"How to stop the killings: pro-life solutions"

The video above was compiled from footage spotted by Kyle from a webcast promoting the conference.

Fundamentalist guru Rick Scarborough -- all you need to know about him is that he's an avid associate of Alan Keyes -- is featured in the first segment of the video, bemoaning the "crucifixion" of the 2008 election results. It's there mostly for the jaw-dropping amusement value.

The second half of the video is just downright weird: radio talk-show host Janet Porter, another of the conference's organizers, launches into a somewhat confusing array of conspiracy theories involving vaccines. Porter's theory is that President Obama and other nefarious types are currently trying to drum up hysteria about H1N1 flu so that they can give us a vaccine that will kill large numbers of Americans.

Seriously. That's her theory.

She even had on a woman named Jane Burgermeister on her radio program earlier this month, promoting precisely that theory:

Specifically, evidence is presented that the defendants, Barack Obama, President of the U.S, David Nabarro, UN System Coordinator for Influenza, Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, David de Rotschild, banker, David Rockefeller, banker, George Soros, banker, Werner Faymann, Chancellor of Austria, and Alois Stoger, Austrian Health Minister, among others, are part of this international corporate criminal syndicate which has developed, produced, stockpiled and employed biological weapons to eliminate the population of the U.S. and other countries for financial and political gain.

The charges contend that these defendants conspired with each other and others to devise, fund and participate in the final phase of the implementation of a covert international bioweapons program involving the pharmaceutical companies Baxter and Novartis. They did this by bioengineering and then releasing lethal biological agents, specifically the "bird flu" virus and the "swine flu virus" in order to have a pretext to implement a forced mass vaccination program which would be the means of administering a toxic biological agent to cause death and injury to the people of the U.S.

Now that is some top-shelf AAA Venusian-grade Crazy there, folks. It's almost enough to make me want to fly out to St. Louis just to witness it.

And let's not forget the high-quality advice we'd be getting. For instance, there's Gen. Boykin. Most folks remember Jerry Boykin as the general who made the war in Iraq out to be a religious crusade by "God's Army". But there's much, much more to Boykin than merely that; he also happens to be one of the chief upper-echelon culprits responsible for the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison. And before that, he was directly involved in devising the FBI's disastrous strategy that produced the human disaster at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas


and also see article at McClatchy Newspapers on Conspiracy Theories which are becoming more and more bizarre.

Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make birthers look sane by Steven Thomma at McClatchy Newspapers, Aug. 28, 2009

WASHINGTON — Is the federal government building secret camps to lock up people who criticize President Barack Obama?

Will it truck off young people to camps to brainwash them into liking Obama's agenda? Are government officials planning to replicate the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, using the guillotine to silence their domestic enemies?

No. The charges, of course, are not true.

However, the accusations are out there, a series of fantastic claims fed by paranoia about the government. They're spread and sometimes cross-pollinated via the Internet. They feed a fringe subset of the anger at the government percolating through the country, one that ignites passion, but also helps Obama's allies to discount broader anger at the president's agenda.




and so it goes,
GORD.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Creation Science 101 Song & Pastor Anderson Inciting Violence

UPDATE: 12:28PM. Aug. 30, 2009

Since its Sunday time for news & views on the Religious Right & their Sermons of Hate.

First some words of wisdom as it were from Christian Reconstrucionists & The Religious Right the difference between the two these days is becoming more difficult to discern. (See side bar video on Reconstuctionism and note at end of post)

"We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe."

-- Gary Bauer, Family Research Council

"But integration and equality are myths; they disguise a new segregation and a new equality...Every social order institutes its own program of separation or segregation. A particular faith and morality is given privileged status and all else is separated for progressive elimination."

-- R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1973), p. 296

"All sides of the humanistic spectrum are now, in principle, demonic; communists and conservatives, anarchists and socialists, fascists and republicans,"
R.J. Rushdoony.

"When someone tries to undermine the commitment to Jehovah which is fundamental to the civil order of a godly state--then that person needs to be restrained by the magistrate...those who will not acknowledge Jehovah as the ultimate authority behind the civil law code which the magistrate is enforcing would be punished and repressed,"
wrote Bahnsen.

"So let us be blunt about it ...We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."

Gary North


And now a musical interlude a little song about the Bogus " Creation Science"
"Creation Science 101" by Roy Zimmerman



The Young Turks / Pastor Incites Gun Toting Obama Protesters
Pastor Anderson should be arrested for inciting violence against Obama
Pastor Anderson hates & prays for Obama's death . Anderson preaches
that the Bible & GOD hates Barack Obama & that Obama should die.
GOD is a GOD of vengeance. Anderson incites and encourages others
to take action against President Obama




Be warned this video is foul & nasty
How does Obama think one can compromise with anyone so filled with anger & hate for so many of his fellow citizens.
And more from Pastor Steve Anderson as he prays for Obama to die & goes on an insane rant against Gays etc.



For more on Pastor Anderson see for example:
Pastor Anderson: God Punishes Gays “With the Death Penalty” Chattah Box.com,August 20, 2009

Pastor Steven Anderson believes in a God of hate, wrath and vengeance and he preaches his frightening message of hate to his congregation of young families three times a week at his independent, fundamental Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.

One of his frequent subjects of scorn is homosexuality and Pastor Anderson teaches his followers to not only hate gays, but advocates that they be punished and executed with the death penalty.

Pastor Anderson heads the Faithful Word Baptist Church, which he describes as a “…King James Bible only, separated Baptist church” that opposes “…worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism.”

The church doctrinal statement spells out his belief that gays should be put to death. “We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.”


and check out Anderson's Church's website Faithful Word Baptist Church website

Doctrinal statement

We believe that salvation is by grace through faith. Being born again by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is the only requirement for salvation.

We believe in the eternal security of the believer (once saved, always saved).

We believe that the unsaved will spend eternity in torment in a literal hell.

We believe that life begins at conception (fertilization) and reject all forms of abortion including surgical abortion, "morning-after" pills, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), birth control pills, and all other processes that end life after conception.

We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.

We oppose worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism.



Religious Right-Evangelical Fundamentalism & the Slippery Slope or The Thin Edge of The Wedge


The agenda of the Religious Right is not merely to tinker with the already existing ideology of Liberalism or Secular Humanism but to replace it with a Bible based theocracy no matter how long this might take. Any compromise with their agenda by Liberals or Secular Humanists they will see as a weakness on the part of Liberals & Secular Humanists which they will continue to exploit.

Members of the Religious Right movement often try to present themselves as representing "True Christianity" or "Real Christians". Their language may at time be more subtle than that of someone like Pastor Anderson but essentially there is not much difference in their beliefs and agenda. For instance they may not call for the death penalty for sinners such as homosexuals but may argue against Gays having the right to marry or the same rights as heterosexuals or they may talk in terms of wanting to cure Gays . Most members of the Religious Right may not call for the death penalty for abortion doctors or their patients but argue against the use of abortion with a few or no exceptions. They may also argue not just against abortion but any form of birth control from the morning after pill to birth control pill to condoms. For instance Right To Life or Pro-Life organizations may claim they are mainly disturbed by the legalizing of Late term Abortions but once they stop these abortions they will attack the use of abortions in almost any case.On other issues such as Darwinian Evolution versus Creation Science or Intelligence Design once they can get schools to accept teaching Creation Science they will go onto demanding more caveats for the teaching of Evolution arguing both are "equally Competing Theories" or are just two different views or opinions.

One should be skeptical about the agenda of the advocates of the Religious Right agenda for their aim is to eventually censor any views, opinions or even scientific theories which are not compatible with their literal reading of the Bible. As for history they insists on teaching the history of the United States which is compatible with their rigid conservative Christian & exceptionalists views of American history ie America was founded by "True Christians" and as the result of Divine Providence and that America is God's Chosen Nation. Any facts or views which contradict or devalues this view of history are to be ignored or expunged as being heretical. Since their view of history is entangled with their religious beliefs any historical view which contradicts their views must according to the rules of logic be seen as heretical.

Gary Bauer for instance is part of The Religious Right movement but also has opinions which are more in tune with Christian Reconstructionist who believe that God Law is to be derived from a literal inerrant reading of the Bible which should therefore be the law of the land.

He would approve of making certain actions which are not sanctioned by the Bible into criminal offenses such as adultery, homosexuality , pre-marital sex those who practice witchcraft.

He has now come out to defend the Bush administration's use of torture as he believes the Bible can be used to justify the use of torture. He also believes that the Iraq War could be defended by the Just War Doctrine which includes pre-emptive war. Though like most Americans on the right doesn't bother to mention the War against Iraq was based upon deliberate lies, misinformation,and propaganda erroneously connecting Saddam to the 9/11 attacks & to Al Qaeda told to the American people and the United Nations.

Gary Bauer: Torture Apologist at Right Wing Watch PFTAW Aug. 28, 2009

Yesterday Gary Bauer dismissed the idea that the US was torturing people by saying that what was being done was really no different that what happens at a frat party. Bauer's statement was notable not only for its apparent support for such methods, but also for the fact that Religious Right leaders have, for the last several years, remained mostly silent on the issue as a whole.

But now the President Obama is in office, Bauer seems to have decided to speak out in defense of these practices and has penned two separate columns doing so today.

In the first, Bauer argues that torture is acceptable under the Just War Theory because it "creates a set of conditions that, if met, justify the use of force to save innocent lives facing imminent death"


Gary bauer's response to Obama's Ramadan Address:

Bauer: Obama ignores Islamic threat One News now.com Aug. 26, 2009

Gary Bauer, chairman of American Values, says Obama does not seem to understand why the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001.

"Radical Islamists hate America, hate our Western allies, hate Christianity, and hate our freedoms," he states bluntly. "And the president can make these nice statements all he wants -- but unless he understands that we are at war with radical Islamofascism, we are going to face very grave dangers in the months and years ahead."

Bauer says it is almost breathtaking to see how much the Obama administration feels compelled to promote Islam.



And yes mike Huckabee is firmly entrenched with the Religious Right who would prefer to dismantle the US federal gov't and set up more localized governments which would enforce God's Law.


Mike Huckabee And Friends by Kyle at Right Wing Watch,Aug. 28, 2009

I've written a lot of posts recently (and not so recently) about the sorts of right-wing figures that Mike Huckabee regularly associates with, especially in light of his upcoming appearance at the How To Take Back America Conference which is being hosted by a gaggle of radical right-wingers such as Rick Scarborough, Janet Porter, Phyllis Schlafly, Don Wildmon, and others.

One of those others is Mat Staver, who is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the group that was selling the "proud to be a right-wing extremist" cards earlier this year, and who recently declared that gay marriage would lead to an entire generation of violent criminals and also blasted the state of Vermont for granting marriage equality, saying "if [elected officials] can't understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they absolutely are not competent for public office" and warning that "what we are seeing in America is literally the beginnings of another revolution" from the "silent majority" who will draw a line in the sand, leading to "another American Revolution."


And on Christian Reconstructionism and how its extreme theology & political ideology has influenced & filtered into the Religious Right see:

Invitation to a Stoning
Getting cozy with theocrats Walter Olson Reason OnLine.com November 1998


Mainstream outlets like the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post are finally starting to take note of the influence Rushdoony and his followers have exerted for years in American conservative circles. But a second part of the story, of particular interest to readers of this magazine, is the degree to which Reconstructionists have gained prominence in libertarian causes, ranging from hard-money economics to the defense of home schooling. "Christian economist" Gary North, Rushdoony's son-in-law and star polemicist of the Reconstructionist movement, is widely cited as a spokesman for free markets, if not exactly free minds; he even served for a brief time on the House staff of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the Libertarian Party presidential nominee in 1988, when Paul was a member of Congress in the '70s. For his part, Rushdoony has blandly described himself to the press as a critic of "statism" and even as a "Christian libertarian." Say what?

... As a "post-millennialist" school of thought, Reconstructionism holds that believers should work toward achieving God's kingdom on earth in the here and now, rather than expect its advent only after a second coming of Christ. Some are in a bit of a hurry about it, too. "World conquest," proclaims George Grant, in what by Reconstructionist standards is not an especially breathless formulation. "It is dominion we are after. Not just a voice... not just influence...not just equal time. It is dominion we are after."

Well, OK, it's easy to laugh. Yet grandiosity does sometimes get results, especially when combined with an all-out conviction that one is historically predestined to win (the Communist Party in the '30s comes to mind). Reconstructionism has a record of turning out hugely prolific writers, tireless organizers who stay at meetings until the last chair is folded up, and driven activists willing to undergo arrest (Reconstructionist Randall Terry founded Operation Rescue, the lawbreaking anti-abortion campaign) to make their point.

..."The Christian goal for the world," Recon theologian David Chilton has explained, is "the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics." Scripturally based law would be enforced by the state with a stern rod in these republics. And not just any scriptural law, either, but a hardline-originalist version of Old Testament law--the point at which even most fundamentalists agree things start to get "scary." American evangelicals have tended to hold that the bloodthirsty pre-Talmudic Mosaic code, with its quick resort to capital punishment, its flogging and stoning and countenancing of slavery, was mostly if not entirely superseded by the milder precepts of the New Testament (the "dispensationalist" view, as it's called). Not so, say the Reconstructionists. They reckon only a relative few dietary and ritualistic observances were overthrown.


and so it goes,
GORD.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

U.S.Media Favors Angry Town Hall Mobs

UPDATE: 12:33 PM & 4:16 PM Aug. 29, 2009


"We ration health care the way we ration other goods: We make it too expensive for everyone to afford."
Quote by Ezra Klein at The Washington Post

"...things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty,understanding and feeling are concomitants of failure in our system. And those threats we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self interest are the traits of success."
-Cannery Row, John Steinbeck

'If we believe men have any personal rights at all, then they must have an absolute moral right to such a measure of good health as society can provide.'
"
Robert (Bobby) Kennedy 1968


American citizens lining up at a free health care clinic- if the U.S. health care system is so great why are people lining up for this service- according to American Conservatives, Republicans and The Religious Right these people don't really matter. If an American cannot afford even basic health care that is their problem and their fault. They should have made more money or been born into a wealthier family or just simply prayed more.

If they were "Real Americans" & "Real Christians" then God would have made sure that they prospered.

Yet conservatives accuse Obama of creating a system which would ration health care but the current system already rations health care.

As for Social Darwinism it seems the conservatives, Republicans & the Religious Right believe that those who cannot afford basic health care should be just allowed to die as they represent "the less fit "specimens of Americans.



Radical Religious Right Leader Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition & Christian Alliance & Sean Hannity of Fox News

Over 1,200 grassroots activists packed into a ballroom at the Gwinnett Place Marriott this past Saturday to hear from nationally syndicated radio personality and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed, six gubernatorial candidates, members of Congress, and other national headliners, including Lt. Colonel Oliver North and Jon Voight.


Let's begin with a funny bit by Jon Stewart as he debunks claims by the Anti-Health Care Reform wingnuts who just make shit up which they then drum into the heads of the suspicious angry anti-Obama basewho according to statistical analysis are the main consumers of Fox News Propaganda.

Jon Stewart Takes On Healthcare Disinformation Queen Betsy McCaughey [Rachel Maddow Edit]





Anyway the madness continues as the Republicans & their angry mobs and phony grass roots organizations created by lobbyists for Health Insurance Industry, Big Pharma etc.while being pumped-up by Fox News shout & scream at Town Halls creating hysteria & inciting violence all fueled by misinformation, lies and Propaganda of the anti-Obama crusaders. Facts, reason, civilized debates are all ruled out in favor of conspiracy theories & hysteria.

And yet Sean Hannity on Fox News presents himself as some sort of impartial observer & commentator who is sharing his objective views on what is going on in America. But in fact Sean Hannity has aligned himself with the likes of Ralph Reed and the Radical Religious Right & the Conservative Movement in America. Hannity is also considering running for the US presidency in 2012.Hannity has acted shamelessly as a propagandist for the Bush/Cheney regime & continues to do so while attacking & smearing Obama at every turn.

So here's a funny spoof on the anti-health care reform from Mother Jones.

Spoof on the Hysteria raised by the Health Care Insurance Industries & Republicans & The Religious Right & Fox News.



Meanwhile an ad is posted showing over 450,000 doctors in the U.S. are in favor of a major overhaul of the health care system in America.But why listen to these doctors when the conservative movements Spin Machine tells Americans that only a few doctors in America want to radically change the system.

Health Care Reform: 450,000 Doctors Can't Be Wrong

The U.S. has a catastrophically fragmented health care system that provides incentives for sick care instead of prevention. The system is in dire need of reform -- reform to save lives, to save families and to save money for both patients and the American health care system.

Stand with more than 450,000 doctors who support health care reform. Call Congress: (202) 224-3121.
Take more action by visiting http://www.healhealthcarenow.org




We Ration. We Ration. We Ration. We Ration. by Ezra Klein at Washington Post Aug, 28, 2009

"Look at Canada," says Charles Krauthammer. "Look at Britain. They got hooked; now they ration. So will we."

So do we. This is not an arguable proposition. It is not a difference of opinion, or a conversation about semantics. We ration. We ration without discussion, remorse or concern. We ration health care the way we ration other goods: We make it too expensive for everyone to afford.

I've used these numbers before, but let's repeat them. A 2001 survey by the policy journal Health Affairs found that 38 percent of Britons and 27 percent of Canadians reported waiting four months or more for elective surgery. Among Americans, that number was only 5 percent. This, Americans will tell you, is the true measure of our system's performance. We have our problems. But at least we don't sit in some European purgatory languishing without our treatments. That's rationing.

There is, however, a flip side to that. The very same survey also looked at cost problems among residents of different countries: 24 percent of Americans reported that they did not get medical care because of cost. Twenty-six percent said they didn't fill a prescription. And 22 percent said they didn't get a test or treatment. In Britain and Canada, only about 6 percent of respondents reported that costs had limited their access to care.

The numbers are almost mirror images of each other. Twenty-seven percent of Canadians wait more than four months for treatment, versus only four percent of Americans. Twenty-four percent of Americans can't afford medical care at all, versus only 6 percent of Canadians. And the American numbers are understated because if you can't afford your first appointment, you never learn you couldn't afford the medicine or test that the doctor would have prescribed.



As Eric Boehlert at Media Matters points out one of the interesting things about this story of health care reform and the angry conservative mobs at Town Halls is that the media treats them as representing a grassroots uprising against Obama which is based in reality and on the facts. They are treated as if every wild accusation or conspiracy theory they can come up with should be taken seriously. They are depicted as representing the "Real Americans" who are genuinely angry over what the Obama administration is doing to the country.

Yet he argues when the anti-war protesters filled the streets in Washington & in other cities in America to protest against the Iraq War before and after it began the media tended to characterize them in negative terms or to just ignore them. The American media referred to these protesters in disparging & derogatory terms calling them misguided crazies who were acting UnAmerican & to view their activities as being traitorous in a time of war.

When someone like John Dean expressed his outrage about the war and that the whole thing was a lie based upon propaganda and spin of the Bush Regime he was called a person with an anger problem and was possibly mentally unstable . Because how dare a liberal Democrat dare to attack the president & vice-president of the United States.

Now we know that all the things liberals and democrats and those few lone voices in the media said about the Bush administration were true. Bush et al wanted to go to war against Saddam & they were willing to fabricate evidence to build their case. Once they got into Iraq they made one major mistake after another creating a situation in which the war destroyed most of the country and with a draconian ill-conceived occupation which just made matters worse. And they were wrong from the get-go millions of Iraqis did not greet the US troops with flowers but rather suspicion which it appears was quite justified as hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed and thousands captured abused and tortured . These missteps and War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity fueled a popular insurgency throughout Iraq. The Insurgency was really just a popular resistance movement against the foreign occupiers of their country.

Why Do Angry, Right-Wing Mobs Get Media Respect? By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America. Posted August 25, 2009.

Meanwhile, the media has always lashed out at liberal protesters.

As early as June 2003, The New York Times was fretting over whether Dean's "angry message" would be his downfall. "All the Rage," read a Newsweek headline on a Dean profile.

And in two features in the summer of 2003, The Washington Post described Dean as "abrasive," "flinty," "cranky," "arrogant," "disrespectful," "fiery," "red-faced," a "hothead," "testy," "short-fused," "angry," "worked up," and "fired up." And trust me, none of those adjectives was used in a complimentary way. In fact, the Post took pains to distinguish Dean's anger from that of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whom the paper termed "brilliantly cranky."

Bad luck for Dean, because back during the Bush years, there was really no worse crime, at least in the eyes of the Beltway press, than being "angry." (Especially being an angry Democrat.) It was practically a deal breaker. Serious people simply didn't conduct themselves that way in American politics. They didn't let their runaway partisan emotions get the best of them.

But oh my, how times have changed! Suddenly this summer, as right-wing mini-mobs turn health care forums into free-for-alls, as unhinged political rage flows in the streets, and as the Nazi and Hitler rhetoric flies, anger is in. Suddenly anger is good. It's authentic. It's newsworthy. Reading and watching the mini-mob news coverage, the media message seems clear: Angry speaks to the masses.

Instead of being turned off by the displays of passion the way they had been when liberal protesters took to the streets prior to the Iraq war, media elites have been touting the mini-mob trend as a "phenomenon" (USA Today) staffed by a "citizen army" (Bloomberg News).

...Bottom line: Liberal protesters don't tell us anything about the mood of America. But angry right-wingers do, according to the press.

That glaring double standard is part of a long-running Beltway press trend in which media elites lash out at angry liberals, regardless of whether they're right or wrong. The trend was highlighted again just last week when news broke that former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge admitted that very senior players in the Bush White House urged him to raise the nation's terror alert system for purely political reasons. Writing at The Atlantic, Marc Ambinder defended journalists who scorned liberal Bush critics years ago when they made that exact same claim about the nation's terror warning system. Journalists were right to dismiss the allegation, wrote Ambinder, "because these folks based their assumption on gut hatred for President Bush, and not on any evaluation of the raw intelligence."

Salon's Glenn Greenwald quickly noted, "As always: even when the dirty leftist hippies are proven right, they're still Shrill, unSerious Losers who every decent person and 'journalist' scorns."

...If ever there's ever been a political movement fueled by, and carefully constructed around, irrational "gut hatred," it's today's right-wing mini-mobs. But you don't hear much from Village pundits like Ambinder about the "gut hatred" of Obama, do you? That doesn't seem to turn off pundits, reporters, or producers.

In truth, right-wing "gut hatred" has become the news story of the summer. It's being celebrated and rebroadcast all season long. That deranged "gut hatred" of a new president barely halfway through his first year doesn't delegitimize the protesters in the eyes of the Beltway press in the way the same press corps seemed to write off anti-war protesters as being fringe radicals. (Too angry!) The "gut hatred" of Obama is what makes the mini-mob news.

...Let's see if the press continues to treat angry (unhinged) conservative protesters as inherently important and newsworthy after having spent years dismissing angry liberals as insignificant and out of the mainstream.

-------------------------
"Sean Hannity Mulls Wing-Nut Dream Presidential Ticket with Sarah Palin But, you know, only if God calls." by Joshua Holland, AlterNet August 25, 2009.

also see:
WND Exclusive ELECTION 2012 President Hannity? Talker drops hint Talk-show host says he won't rule out bid for White House at World Net Daily Aug. 21, 2009

Ralph Reed has returned to the fray with a vengeance enlisting a number of big-hitters & angry white men such as Sean Hannity of Fox News & Dick Armey former house leader & Lt. Colonel Oliver North (of the Iran -Contra scandal who said he would kill a five year old if he was ordered to) and actor Jon Voight who fears Obama is part of some Russian devised Communist plot or sent by the Illuminati to help create The New World Order or possibly just one of the Lizard People.)These conspiracy theories tend to morph into one another at the will of the True Believers.
But still the American media treats these Nutters as if they were rational and represent "Real Americans". If these people were not so bloody dangerous they would be laughable.

And from Ralph Reed's newest incarnation Faith & Freedom Coalition website

Over 1,200 grassroots activists packed into a ballroom at the Gwinnett Place Marriott this past Saturday to hear from nationally syndicated radio personality and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed, six gubernatorial candidates, members of Congress, and other national headliners, including Lt. Colonel Oliver North and Jon Voight.

The major purpose behind the Freedom Rally was to formally launch the Georgia state affiliate of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a new grassroots venture that is sweeping the country, forming chapters from coast to coast. Reed also unveiled VoterTrak, the organization’s new online organizational tool, which will be used over the next decade to build a database of 10 million conservative voters.

Citizens for Faith and Freedom Rally at America’s Health Care Town Hall Meeting
August 15, 2009

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, spoke to America’s Healthcare Town Hall in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park on August 15th.

Thousands attended the gathering that was dedicated to free markets and patient centered healthcare reform. Other speakers included former House Majority Leader Dick Armey who is currently serving as Chairman of Freedom Works and talk radio host Herman Cain.

Reed told the crowd:

“We are here to say loud and clear that we will never allow government bureaucrats to get between us and our doctor. The Democrats and the media may smear grassroots citizens who show up at town hall meetings to protest Obamacare, call them ugly names, insult them, and accuse them of being un-American or evil, but we are American citizens. Our right to protest has been purchased with the blood of patriots who paid the ultimate price so that we could be free men and women and have the ability to petition our government. We will not be intimidated, we will not be silenced, and we will not go away.” Ralph Reed Aug. 2009


and so it goes,
GORD.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Will Obama & Democrats Honor Ted Kennedy By Insisting On Universal Health Care As A Right

Senator Ted Kennedy fought for Universal health care and as people watch clips of his speeches & interviews hopefully this will give more Americans a better idea of the fear tactics used over the years by Republicans & the Health Care Industry over each & every reform proposed and that these fears did not come true.

The scare tactics and fear mongering is just a tactic used to convince people that a particular proposal would do the country untold harm or do untold harm to them personally even though this is not the truth of the matter. So they will lie and misrepresent facts to win people over rather than using a more reasonable approach . But they can not do this because they know their arguments against Universal Health Care are flawed. The only people who benefit from keeping the status quo for Health Care in America are those involved in the private health care industry including the Health Insurance Companies & the pharmaceutical companies etc.

Given Democrats clear majority in both houses and combined with the emphasis now put on the goals which Sen. Ted Kennedy had over the last thirty years especially as he said that Health Care should be regarded as a Right for all Americans this should encourage Obama and the Democrats to pass a real substantive health care reform bill.

Republican survey suggests Gov't run health Care is a plot to kill off Republicans
besides pulling the plug on Granny

Steele claims even though Medicare is poorly run he doesn't want to mess with it.
Steele claims no Republican has been using scare tactics, fear mongering , lying or misrepresenting the facts.
Steele Falls Apart, and Rep. Anthony Weiner-Rachel Maddow




Ted Kennedy and the Missing National Conversation Arianna Huffington at Huff Post ,Aug. 26,2009

...For over four decades, Kennedy, in his words and his actions, forced us to question how we, as a nation, were treating the poor, the forgotten, the working families struggling to make ends meet. He gave voice to the voiceless, refusing to let us forget about their plight.

"Programs may sometimes become obsolete," he said during his stirring speech at the 1980 Democratic convention, "but the ideal of fairness always endures. Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue... The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs."

As our economic crisis -- yes, the one that has come to an end for Wall Street but not the rest of America -- threatens to turn the American Dream into a living nightmare for millions of our citizens, those human needs are more pressing than ever. And the work of compassion more necessary than ever. There is a newfound urgency to Ted Kennedy's message.

His best speeches always spoke to our idealism, calling us to tap into the better angels of our nature. The passion that Kennedy brought to the fight for America's underprivileged reminds me of the story of abolitionist Wendell Phillips, who, after making an impassioned speech condemning slavery, was asked, "Wendell, why are you so on fire?" Phillips looked at his friend and said: "Brother, I'm on fire because I have mountains of ice before me to melt."

Kennedy was all about melting the icy mountains of indifference. And he set about doing it both with fiery rhetoric and hard-fought legislation.



Below Fox news promotes the notion that the health care reforms would include death panels in which disabled, old or feeble would be encouraged to just go ahead & die. Goldberg & Fox News then continue with their lies claiming this is the return of Nazi Eugenics.

First it is not true. What the Bill includes is the right of a consultation paid for by Health Care services with a doctor concerning "Living Wills" so patients/clients can decide beforehand if they wish to on what action is to be taken if they are in a situation such as a coma or vegetative state what measure do they want medical staff to take ie keep the person breathing etc by machines indefinitely or to stop taking heroic measures & allow nature to take its course. Patients are not being required to take part in these consultations -
So should all efforts be mad to keep someone alive who may no longer have brain activity or be in a coma over an extended period or similar type circumstance ie chronic severe pain which can not be aliviated - Health insurance industry has been involved in Living Wills and end of life decisions for decades this is nothing new. Conservatives & Republican officials know this and yet are exaggerating the the situation to discredit health care reform.
In a living will those who wish to can decide before hand how these circumstance should be handled in their case & it is therefore a personal decision,

In Canada we have had Universal Health Car for some forty years & doctors are not instructed by the gov't to terminate patients just to save money. Doctors take all the measures they can to sustain life no matter what the circumstances . But some people have definite ideas about how these extraordinary circumstance in their case should be handled whether ceasing treatment or continuing with treatment .

More lies from Fox News-

Goldberg Compares VA Pamphlet to Nazi Eugenics




Another Faux Populist organization created by anti-Obama anti-Health Care Reform lobbyists being put under scrutiny by CREW: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington-

The organization is
U.S.Citizens Association

Check out link for videos at U.S. Citizens Association & interviews of British MP Daniel Hannan who has been criticized for his extremist anti-Government run health care & for his radical views on others issues.
The U.S.Citizens Association on TV

CREW Urges MSNBC to Pull Misleading and Delusional Health Care Ad

WASHINGTON - August 27 - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin asking that MSNBC stop airing an ad sponsored by the U.S. Citizens Association. The ad, which ran at least once on August 27, 2009, during Morning Joe, violates Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and NBC's advertising policy.

According to its website, the U.S. Citizens Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to, among other things, informing "the public on the fallacies of the information being spread by the liberal socialist organizations and the facts on capitalism versus socialism." The ad, which can be viewed on the organization's website (http://www.uscitizensassociation.com/USCA_tv.html) opposes healthcare reform and includes the following statements:

"# Government can tax and print money, which will eliminate private healthcare and impose socialized medicine.
# You will wait months and years for treatment. Many people will not get treated at all.
# You will pay for free healthcare for over 20 million illegal aliens."

In its letter, CREW noted that some of the ad's claims are ludicrous, for example, the U.S. has been taxing citizens and printing money for over 200 years, without any obvious impact on private healthcare. Other claims, such as that healthcare will be rationed and 20 million illegal aliens will receive free healthcare, have been debunked.

The FCC expects broadcasters not to air false or misleading ads and NBC requires a "reasonable basis for the claims" made by an advertiser and that claims "fall within the bounds of reasonable debate." By airing U.S. Citizens Association's ludicrous advertisement, MSNBC appears to have violated both FCC and NBC policy.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, "The ad goes beyond misleading and well into delusional. There is no reasonable explanation for airing an ad that irrationally argues because the government can tax and print money, private healthcare will be eliminated. MSNBC should be embarrassed this one got through and pull it immediately."


and so it goes,
GORD.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy Universal Health Care Bill For All Americans -Obama Are You Listening?

UPDATE: 1:18 PM, & 2:15 PM Aug, 27,2009

Keiffer Sutherland To Promote Universal Health Care (in the US)
introduces a film of Keiffer's grandfather Tommy Douglas' analogy about Mouseland and the Fat Cats to promote Universal Health Care in Canada and eventually he was successful.



MESSAGE FOR OBAMA & AMERICANS
Health Insurance Industry & Republicans misrepresent Canada's Health Care
from RealNews Network
First some words from Canadians on Universal health Care as a RIGHT
Bureaucrats in Canada do not interfere between doctors & patients
Cost 10% GDP & US 15% GDP
Per person can 300$ per capita & Us spends $1,000 per capita
Canada spends less on Health Care but provides for all Canadians
Canada's outcomes on Health Care is better than outcomes in the United States
86% of Canadians approve of Canada's Health Care System

Canadian Doctors for Medicare hosted a celebration of Medicare in Canada. The speakers included Roy Romanow, former Saskatchewan Premiere and Commissioner on Health Care in Canada. They tell Americans that Canadian universal health care works and encourage Americans to implement a single payer universal health care systems.


SORRY problem with Video at RealNews Network
Link:Real News Network

Let this stand as Ted Kennedy's farewell message of Hope to President Obama And America
Ted Kennedy On Universal Health Care-
Not a matter of privilege but a Right for All Americans
Ted Kennedy On Health Care 1978





Ted Kennedy: Health Care “Has Been the Passion of My Life” by Firedoglake via CommonDreams,Aug. 26,2009

by Christy Hardin Smith
Ted Kennedy, the lion of the Senate, has passed.

...Sen. Kennedy wrote a piece for Newsweek last year regarding his passionate work on health care, and the motivations for it. It is a fitting tribute to him that those words resonate just as strongly today:

. . .quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

Whatever health care bill comes through the legislative process, if there is any care or concern for the public at large in the bill, it will have been due -- in large measure -- to the constant fight from Ted Kennedy.


Ted Kennedy On Health care



For thirty years Ted Kennedy fought for Universal Health Care not tinkering half hearted bipartisn piece of crap- Get With it Obama -or forget about it- if it is not Universal Health Care or close to it then all the efforts of millions who voted & worked tirelessly for Barack Obama was all just a waste of time & energy as President Obama takes the side of the Rich & Powerful of the Health Insurance Industry and the Pharmaceutical Companies & the Greedy Doctors who have forgotten their Hypocratic Oath & the owners of Hospital Chains who spend half their time trying to cut corners to increase their profits. It is either now Obama or Never.

And Sen. Byrd says to honor Ted Kennedy the New Health Care Bill should be named after Ted Kenndy

Sen. Byrd Wants Health Bill Renamed For Kennedy at Huffington Post, Aug. 26, 2009

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) called on Wednesday for health care reform legislation to be named after the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)

"My heart and soul weeps at the loss of my best friend in the Senate," he said in a statement. "In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health-care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American," Byrd, 91, said in a statement.


And Robert Creamer argues that passing a substantive health care bill would be a true and lasting tribute to Sen. Ted Kennedy to show his fight over the last twenty years was not in vain.

Greatest Tribute to Kennedy: Pass Health Care for All by Robert Creamer at Huffington Post Aug 26, 20009

There has been much commentary that the Senate debate on health care would have benefited from the parliamentary and personal skills of Senator Ted Kennedy had he been present over the months of illness that took his life last night. But it would have benefited even more from his moral clarity.

He knew - better than anyone - that the debate over health care is not mainly about competing policies, programs and formulas. It is certainly not about the myths and lies propounded by the far right. He knew it is about right and wrong.

The decision facing America is whether - at long last - we will inscribe into our law the principle that health care is a human right - that everyone among us deserves health care simply because we are all human beings.

Ted Kennedy believed that to his core. It was his life's passion. It would be fitting if his passing itself served to refocus the health care debate on the moral principle that lies at its center. It would be his last great contribution to the struggle that more than any other defined his 47-year career in the Senate - the battle to make health care for all a reality in America.

... But there should no longer be any debating the fundamental principle that all of us deserve the same quality health care - no matter how much we earn, or who our parents are, or where we live, or the color of our skin, or how old or sick we may be.

That principle is accepted worldwide as a central element of what it means to live in a civilized society. It is a core tenant of what we understand to be universal human rights.

Yet the Republicans and far right have fought against the implementation of that principle in America ever since Roosevelt first called for universal health care in the 1930s. They fought it under Truman. They fought Medicare when it was passed as a first step to fulfilling that principle in the 1960s. They fought the State Children's Health Care Program that expanded that principle to children.

Their rhetoric is always the same. Ronald Reagan's speeches against Medicare in the 1960s - his charges that Medicare would lead to socialism and tyranny - could just as easily be transcriptions of the talk show tirades of Limbaugh and many Republican members of the Senate today.


Senator Edward Kennedy: Courage to Believe by Michael Roth at Huffinton Post, Aug. 26,2009

Late last night the nation lost one of its great public servants. It is difficult to think of another elected official since WWII who supported programs to help the most vulnerable members of our society with the energy and intelligence consistently displayed by Senator Edward Kennedy. His vision of justice was tied to a commitment to mitigate the cruel effects of economic inequality and entrenched power without unduly compromising economic growth and individual freedom. His support of education as a vehicle for the creation of opportunity has inspired countless students and teachers. He had the courage to maintain his beliefs and to find ways, even in dark times, to make progress.

and he concludes in reference to achieving Universal Health Care:

We have already missed Senator Kennedy. In this season of lies and distortions aimed to preserve profits and privilege, we have already missed him. In this season of posturing and bloviating without apparent thought of legislating, we have already missed him. We have already missed his uncanny ability to combine forceful advocacy with thoughtful, pragmatic compromise.

May the memory of his passionate and reasoned voice for health care as a right and not a privilege be the basis for extending and improving our health care system. May we continue to have the courage to believe in the possibilities for positive change. This would be the greatest tribute to a remarkable man.


Thomas Frank argues that the health care issue has become a symbol of the Democratic Party and if as a party has any real meaning then it will insist on passing a meaningful and substantive health Care Bil. This should be the Democrats and President Obama's Passion.

Health Care and the Democratic Soul by Thomas Frank at Huffington Post ,Aug. 26, 2009

At this point, it's fair to ask whether Democrats remember why health care is their issue in the first place. As health-care debates always have done, this one has pushed to the fore all the big questions about the rightful role of government, and too many Democrats have sought to avoid them with mushy appeals to consensus and bipartisanship. The war is on and if Democrats want to win they need to start fighting.

In the early years of the campaign for national health insurance, the battle lines were more clearly drawn. Back in the '40s, the issue was part of an "economic bill of rights," a grand Rooseveltian idea pushed by President Harry S. Truman.

Truman had a knack for populist phrasing. "In 1932 we were attacking the citadel of special privilege and greed," he declared in accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in 1948. "We were fighting to drive the money changers from the temple. Today, in 1948, we are now the defenders of the stronghold of democracy and of equal opportunity, the haven of the ordinary people of this land and not of the favored classes or the powerful few."

...So we have come full circle: The reformers shake hands with the special interests, while conservatives denounce the whole thing in the name of the common man and the Founding Fathers.

After I listened to a few angry town-hall meetings on the radio, the situation was clear to me. Democrats had to meet this pseudo-populist challenge by rolling out the real thing, the New Deal vision that is their party's raison d'être.

So far, however, many in the party's leadership haven't been able to awaken from their bipartisan reverie. When Mr. Obama found his plans under attack, for example, he promptly began to downplay the "public option," an obvious predicate to cutting a deal and placating the insurance industry. In other words, the prospect of a populist outburst from the right apparently moved him toward abandoning the most populist element of his party's plans and toward an even more Beltwayist position--to move that much closer to the caricature of Democrats traditionally drawn by the right.

and Thomas Frank concludes :

Maybe Democrats are afraid it will hurt their standing with those generous fellows on K Street if they channel Harry Truman and say what needs to be said: That government can be made to work for average people. But it will hurt even worse if they refuse to say it.



Healthcare Reform Named After Ted Kennedy Must Not Suck by Bob Cesca at huffington Post, Aug. 26, 2009

If they're going to name the final healthcare reform bill after Senator Kennedy, we ought to be demanding with voices as powerful and booming as the late senator's...

The bill must not suck.

But if it does, perhaps they should name it after Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. The Blame Baucus and Grassley for This Sucky Act. Or maybe borrow the name of the House bill, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, which, by the way, reminds me more of a frozen diet meal than a robust healthcare reform bill (the final House bill is actually pretty robust -- it's just a ridiculous name).

On this day of national mourning, we're reminded that Senator Kennedy's political legacy has been inextricably bound to the cause of universal healthcare. Affordable, portable, reliable healthcare.


and so it goes,
GORD.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Torture Investigation to Go Ahead Given New Information

UPDATE: 1:36 AM Aug. 26-2009

Whatever keeps America secure is by definition permissible
Or the ends justify the means

Morality & Ethics are for LOSERS!!!

Winners do as they please...
& then find a passage in the Bible as their defense

While Obama tells Liberals & Progressive to stop talking about torture or the need for health care reform and just "DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY!!!"

In Disney World or ObamaWorld -The Pollyanna Syndrome just wish the bad stuff away

If we follow Obama's logic then there should not have been investigations into Watergate, or Iran/Contra affair or about America's illegal involvement in the Coup in Chile which overthrew Salvadore Allende or maybe even the Nuremberg Trials since they just upset a lot of people.

Crimes committed by the super-wealthy and the powerful are to be pardoned or just forgotten while some poor youth is given 7 years in jail for possession of a few grams of marijuana or breaks some other ridiculous law. The American Justice like the Canadian justice system is made up of a lot of outdated laws based upon prejudices & superstition.


Tony Blankley and other fanatical Pro-Bush Neocons see nothing wrong with the abuse and torture of detainees in fact they seem to relish and get off on the very thought of torture and see it as pay back for 9/11 as they blame not just the hijackers and Al Qaeda but in their blind desire for revenge all Arabs, Afghans, Iraqis, & Muslims. Blankley , Cheney, and others want to teach these upstarts not to screw around with the Mighty God Blessed American Empire which is above any man made laws .

Even Obama seems to agree since he is insisting the investigations be narrow and reveal as little publicly as possible to defend his friends in high places or to insure in the future he won't be held accountable.
Then again is all this just another sign that America is fast becoming a failed state in which there is violent rhetoric tossed around dealing with a host of issues while the country is in an already lost war and is in the midst of an economic melt-down and is a debtor nation to China and where corporations if at all possible are taking their companies to other nations and keeping their profits in Swiss Bank accounts or some of shore island.

New Torture Horrors From the Bush Administration.
Mock Executions threatened by a Power Drill
Rachel Maddow reveals new torture horrors that will be in a CIA report to be released monday. She is joined by guest Michael Isikoff.



Kudos to Maddow for taking on this story dealing with Bush era torrure. Of course I have a caveat which is that once again Maddow and others are talking about torture being a rare event rather than as those on the ground as it were allege it was a widespread policy applied to a majority of detainees at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, & other facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan .

The other issue I and others have is that there is evidence that abuse & torture is still taking place in American run facilities or by America's allies including the Iraqi puppet regime and the puppet regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan etc. plus in the dozens of secret prisons run by the Americans in other countries. So it is doubtful that Obama is going to pursue this matter in an open and dilligent manner and putting a stop to abuse by Americans or their allies or the continuing practice of handing detainees over to foreign governments of whom it is know that they use torture routinely not for intel but as a terror tactic.

Note: Of interest is that the so called Iraqi death squads used power drills on their victims in supposedly sectarian violence. Bodies were found every day over the course of the war in Baghdad and other cities sometimes up to one hundred naked mutilated corpses were found tossed into the streets. So did the CIA help train these Death Squads or were they on "a ride-along program" or was it all the work of the CIA. The CIA did help the death Squads over a decade or more in El Salvadore and other Latin American countries to fight off those evil antiAmerican Catholic Priests and Nuns and school teachers and social workers and lawyers and Union organizers and members of the press and media and University students etc. America is always out to defend against "democracy breaking out" in Latin America or Africa or the Middle East or Asia etc.

Tony Blankley "Responsibility (For Torture) Is At The Top!" The Fish Rots From The Head! Chris Mathews
http://MOXNews.com/ August 25, 2009 MSNBC HARDBALL



Accountability, How High Up the Chain of Command?
There was an atmosphere which gave the Green Light for CIA and military personnel to take whater action they wanted to-
Torturing became just a matter of routine practices used on numerous detainees at Gitmo, in Iraq & Afghanistan



Does Obama believe that Americans are above not only American law but also International Law which he is also ignoring.
When detainees are held indefintely this is contrary to law
When detainees are denied legal counsil this goes against the law
Denying detainees any communication to their families this is also contrary to the law
Keeping detainees in isolation for extended periods of time is contrary to the law & human rights
Sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, stress positions, sexual abuse, intimidation, humiliation are torture techniques- threatening to kill members of ones family or raping someones wife or child are also abuses and torture techniques

The International Community on these issues should not leave this matter up to President Obama because there is for him a conflict of interests & if the International community refuse to do anything then there best bet is to shut down the World Court and vacate the United Nations headquarters in New York- The UN like the League of Nations is a paper tiger when it comes to the US or other major powers. It is therefore up to the smaller nations to cooperate so that the United States or other powerful nations such as China or Britain etc. are no longer athreat to them.

We Finally See The Rule Of Law Being Brought Forward! Sen Whitehouse On CIA Torture Report



CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims
Documents Fail to Exonerate 'Enhanced Interrogation' Techniques by Spencer Ackerman


For months, former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that two documents prepared by the CIA, one from 2004 and the other from 2005, would refute critics of the Bush administration's torture program.

...Those documents were obtained today by The Washington Independent and are available here. Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney's claims that the "enhanced interrogation" program run by the CIA provided valuable information. In fact, throughout both documents, many passages - though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney's contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA's interrogations.

For Example;

The first document, issued by the CIA in July 2004 is about the interrogation of 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and whom, the newly released CIA Inspector General report on torture details, had his children's lives threatened by an interrogator. None of that abuse is referred to in the publicly released version of the July 2004 document. Instead, we learn from the July 2004 document that not only did the man known as "KSM" largely provide intelligence about "historical plots" pulled off from al-Qaeda, a fair amount of the knowledge he imparted to his interrogators came from his "rolodex" - that is, what intelligence experts call "pocket litter," or the telling documentation found on someone's person when captured. As well, traditional intelligence work appears to have done wonders - including a fair amount of blundering on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's part:

In response to questions about [al-Qaeda's] efforts to acquire [weapons of mass destruction], [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] revealed that he had met three individuals involved in [al-Qaeda's] program to produce anthrax. He appears to have calculated, incorrectly, that we had this information already, given that one of the three - Yazid Sufaat - had been in foreign custody for several months.

This is a far cry from torturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into revealing such information. It would be tendentious to believe that the torture didn't have any impact on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - he himself said that he lied to interrogators in order to get the torture to stop - but the document itself doesn't attempt to present a case that the "enhanced interrogation" program was a factor, let alone the determinant factor, in the intelligence bounty the document says he provided.



and concludes:

Again, perhaps the blacked-out lines of the memos specifically claim and document that torture and only torture yielded this information. But what's released within them does not remotely make that case. Cheney's public account of these documents have conflated the difference between information acquired from detainees, which the documents present, and information acquired from detainees through the enhanced interrogation program, which they don't.

In a statement, Tom Parker, the policy director of Amnesty International's American branch, said, "Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Vice President Cheney's track record, the two CIA memos released today are hardly the slam dunk we had been led to expect. There is little or no supporting evidence in either memo to give substance to the specific claims about impending attacks made by Khaled Shaik Mohammed in highly coercive circumstances."


Cheney's dilemma the documents released do not vindicate Cheney but give more proof traditional non-torture forms of interrogation worked better than enhanced techniques.

Washinton Independent has finally obtained the documents on torture which Cheney said would vindicate his assertion that the use of torture techniques produced actionable intel better than more traditional interrogation methods- well not so much

Obtained: The CIA Documents Dick Cheney Says Vindicate Torture By Spencer Ackerman 8/24/09 Washington Independent


Cheney Calls for Release of Memos Showing Results of Interrogation Efforts FOXNews.com , April 20, 2009

Former Vice President Cheney says he knows how successful the interrogation techniques were in collecting intelligence for the United States and wants that information to be released to the public as well as the legal memos explaining the decision to allow the heavily criticized methods.


And the CIA is adept as Dick Cheney at clouding the issue of torture:

Here’s How the CIA Can Fudge the Question of Whether Torture ‘Worked’By Spencer Ackerman 8/24/09 The Washington Independent

For those, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, who want to argue that CIA torture “worked,” a footnote on page six of the 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on torture provides a blueprint for muddying the waters. Rarely if ever, according to the report, did torture occur by itself. The CIA also used the rapport-building techniques that trained interrogators like the FBI’s Ali Soufan have urged, for a combination approach that might be called Good Cop/Psychotic Cop.


International Committee of the Red Cross:
The Geneva Conventions: the core of international humanitarian law


The third Geneva Convention applies to prisoners of war.


This Convention replaced the Prisoners of War Convention of 1929. It contains 143 articles whereas the 1929 Convention had only 97. The categories of persons entitled to prisoner of war status were broadened in accordance with Conventions I and II. The conditions and places of captivity were more precisely defined, particularly with regard to the labour of prisoners of war, their financial resources, the relief they receive, and the judicial proceedings instituted against them. The Convention establishes the principle that prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. The Convention has five annexes containing various model regulations and identity and other cards.

The fourth Geneva Convention affords protection to civilians, including in occupied territory.

The Geneva Conventions, which were adopted before 1949. were concerned with combatants only, not with civilians. The events of World War II showed the disastrous consequences of the absence of a convention for the protection of civilians in wartime. The Convention adopted in 1949 takes account of the experiences of World War II. It is composed of 159 articles. It contains a short section concerning the general protection of populations against certain consequences of war, without addressing the conduct of hostilities, as such, which was later examined in the Additional Protocols of 1977. The bulk of the Convention deals with the status and treatment of protected persons, distinguishing between the situation of foreigners on the territory of one of the parties to the conflict and that of civilians in occupied territory. It spells out the obligations of the Occupying Power vis-à-vis the civilian population and contains detailed provisions on humanitarian relief for populations in occupied territory. It also contains a specific regime for the treatment of civilian internees. It has three annexes containing a model agreement on hospital and safety zones, model regulations on humanitarian relief and model cards.


For further reading see:

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:entered into force June 26, 1987.



and so it goes,
GORD.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obama Defender of Profits Over The Health & Well-Being Of Americans

...“Tyranny … was in its origin secularism, a rule founded on man-made laws...” ...“This secularism is the religion of humanity, the most oppressive, dangerous, and persecuting of all cults, because it has no law beyond itself as a check to its lust for power.”


R. J. Rushdoony- Religious Right Reconstructionists- The Chalcedon Foundation

Yes, we are talking about tyranny—an unprecedented, all-fronts campaign to transform the United States from a constitutional republic of free men and women into a socialist anthill controlled by an all-powerful, all-intrusive federal government. This has been in the works for a long time; but since the inauguration of Barack Obama, it has been raised to a whole new level of intensity...

Quote from article at Religious Right -Reconstructionists' website of "The Chalcedon Foundation"


"For many Obama supporters who supported President Obama's candidacy because they believed he would rally the public to pass a reform agenda, the White House focus on legislative chess in the healthcare debate has resulting in grumbling about whether or not President Obama is the President they voted for. Fairly or unfairly, Obama now faces a rising tide of doubt in his administration from the very supporters who have backed him most steadfastly since the election."


Quote by Jeffrey Feldman at Huffington Post

"Alone among advanced countries, we treat health care like a market commodity to be distributed according to the ability to pay, not like a social service to be distributed according to medical need.

...One thing is certain: We need a complete overhaul of our health system. Tinkering at the edges won't do it. Expanding coverage through government subsidies and mandates, as advocated by the president, won't either. Besides being a windfall for insurers and drug companies, that approach will just add to our soaring costs and be a temporary fix, at best. In my opinion, it makes no sense to throw good money after bad."

Above quotes by Dr. Marcia Angell

The Fear Mongering on the right against President Obama and his administration and his allies the evil pernicious "Secular Humanists" who according to the Religious Right & other Fanatics Obama et al are out to turn America into a "Socialist Police-State" continues as can be seen in a recent article at the Religious Right website for Reconstructionists "The Chalcedon Foundation"


A Review of Fighting for America’s Soul: How Sweeping Change Threatens Our Nation by Robert Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Coral Ridge Ministries, 2009) Reviewed by Lee Duigon August 17, 2009 at The Chalcedon Foundation


...“Tyranny … was in its origin secularism, a rule founded on man-made laws,” R. J. Rushdoony wrote. “This secularism is the religion of humanity, the most oppressive, dangerous, and persecuting of all cults, because it has no law beyond itself as a check to its lust for power.”2

Yes, we are talking about tyranny—an unprecedented, all-fronts campaign to transform the United States from a constitutional republic of free men and women into a socialist anthill controlled by an all-powerful, all-intrusive federal government. This has been in the works for a long time; but since the inauguration of Barack Obama, it has been raised to a whole new level of intensity...


( Laundry list of grievances against the US Federal Government which they believe under Obama it is now a pivotal moment a crisis in US history as the Communist, socialist , Secular Humanist anti-Christian forces are at work to destroy Christian America- GORD.)

* The government’s promotion of abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research: by inflicting death on the most defenseless, the statists limber up to deal out more death all around.
* Its promotion of homosexuality and other kinds of immorality, with the aim of redefining and ultimately doing away with the natural family.
* A campaign to limit the scope of private charity, to replace it with assorted welfare programs run by the government.
* A brief look at some of the far-left ideologues who have been brought into the government (and by far left, we mean far left).
* Weakening the armed forces by subjecting them to various social experiments demanded by militant sodomites and radical feminists.
* Using international treaties to erode America’s national sovereignty—and circumvent the Constitution.
* Attempts to limit the free speech of Christians and conservatives.
* The promotion of “health care reform” as a means of sealing the deal for a totally statist America.

None of this is a product of Mr. Knight’s imagination. He is writing about real legislation that has actually been proposed in Congress, and even passed, real money spent, with real quotes from real officials. That the American people, by and large, are hardly aware of this threat to their liberties, and to their prosperity, seems amazing to us who have followed recent events.


On the other hand Church leaders in Canada have stepped into the fray to support Government financed Halth Care:

Canadian Council of Churches comments on U.S. health care debate" By Dennis Gruending at Pulpit And Politics Aug. 20, 2009

The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) has written to three large American religious groups offering positive comments on the value of a publicly financed and administered health care system. Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, the CCC’s general secretary, sent a letter on August 10 to the National Council of Churches, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Association of Evangelicals. (The CCC has not yet posted the letter on its website at the time of this writing). I had reported on Pulpit and Politics on July 27 that some prominent American religious groups, including the powerful Southern Baptist Convention, were altogether opposed to significant health care reform, while others including the Catholic bishops and the American Evangelical Association were not prepared to support any plan that might include paying for abortion as a medical procedure. Rev. Hamilton’s low-key intervention comes at a time when American special interest groups are orchestrating a campaign of fear and misinformation about health care reform. Some angry Americans are showing up at town hall meetings on health care carrying handguns, rifles, and even automatic weapons – claiming that it is their constitutional right to do so in the United States of America. This is a chilling development that really does cross the line, and it is more in keeping with Germany in the 1930s or with experiences in recently-failed states than it is with a healthy, functioning democracy.

...Hamilton tells her American coreligionists that prior to 1966 Canada had a health care system that failed to provide over 30% of the population with medical insurance. That situation, she says, “created enormous human suffering and ethical problems for those who believed with Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:26, ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together with it…’” She adds, “With varying degrees of fervour, Canadian churches publicly began to advocate for the establishment of Medicare. Canadian churches wanted health care for all.” Hamilton then provides a brief description of this country’s Medical Care Act and describes it as “one of Canada’s hallmark policies towards social inclusion and the alleviation of suffering related to poverty.” The CCC in recent years, she says, has continued to urge that Canada’s public health system be strengthened.


Obama Calls "Public Option" Source of "Confusion" in Reform Debate by Jeffrey Feldman at Huffington Post, Aug. 22, 2009

In the latest signal that he will not echo voter pleas for a robust "public option," President Obama used his Weekly Address to draw attention away from the issue that has galvanized the most ardent supporters of health insurance reform in America.

Emphasizing that the main goal of his reform initiative is "consumer protections," President Obama then went on to say that much of the " fears about government-run health care" were a result of "confusion over what's called the public option".

Contrary to President Obama's argument, however, there is mounting evidence that the passionate demand for a "public option" has finally produced a clear, symbolic focus with the potential to rally widespread support for a healthcare bill amongst the majority of the President's supporters. In this perspective, the problem in the health care reform debate is not public fears stemming from a focus on the "public option," but the vague, evolving language used by the Obama administration in its attempt to rally support for health insurance reform from the health insurance industry itself.

The new effort to switch focus away from the public option comes at a time when grassroots organizations are leading the public in a highly visible, fast growing movement to make the public option the essential element of any health care reform bill.


Chris Hedges has a good point and is right on the money. Health Care should be considered as necessary and as a right in a civilized society. The problem is America is far from a civilized society The American myth is that everyone is basically and literally supposed to be on their own. No one and no government is responsible for or to its citizens except against foreign invaders or those who might harbor some hate or distrust of America. Even when a city is flooded the victims are blamed for the rising waters - or maybe because they allow Gay Pride Parades. And 9/11 the Religious Right( Falwell, Dobson, Hagee etc.) says is God's punishment for abortions, Gay rights etc. Ah What a messed up country!!!

Americans do enjoy blowing whole countries up leaving dust and rubble where cities once were . And they don't mind spending Billions and Trillions of dollars playing their War Games or what used to be called The Great Game in which other countries are just pieces on a Chess Board and who cares if those killed, tortured or butchered are made out of flesh and blood since they are just a bunch of foreigners. Meanwhile they treat the citizens of foreign countrie ie Iraq, Afghanistan Pakistan as a bunch of barbaric subhumans while disrespecting their culture and their religious beliefs.

Now Americans erroneously believing themselves advanced and civilized fight by remote control using Drones which it seems the US Media is so proud of as a drone hits a village kills a couple of insurgents and a couple of hundred innocent citizens. How is this any different than dropping U2 Rockets on London or dropping Atomic Bombs on a civilian population or some misguided patriot turning themselves into bombs killing soldiers and civilians indiscriminately.

Even Obama seems to believe this is progress since fewer Americans are being killed though he forgets this may lead at some point in time to more "Blow-Back" tomorrow next year or ten years from who knows.

Meanwhile they pay hundreds of millions to Blackwater Mercenaries(aka XE Services) as "Death Squads" as torturers and thugs treating Iraq and Afghanistan as Free Fire Zones- hunting down Arabs, Afghans, Pashto etc. & Muslims in the name of Jesus.
While their own citizens die from lack of Health care ( 18,000 a year) or from the lack of food or shelter or get laid off to improve the profits of their employer.

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery By Chris Hedges August 24, 2009 "TruthDig.com" via information Clearing House

Percentage change since 2002 in average premiums paid to large US health-insurance companies: +87%

Percentage change in the profits of the top ten insurance companies: +428%

Chances that an American bankrupted by medical bills has health insurance: 7 in 10

—Harper’s Index, September 2009

August 24, 2009 "TruthDig.com" -- Capitalists, as my friend Father Michael Doyle says, should never be allowed near a health care system. They hold sick children hostage as they force parents to bankrupt themselves in the desperate scramble to pay for medical care. The sick do not have a choice. Medical care is not a consumable good. We can choose to buy a used car or a new car, shop at a boutique or a thrift store, but there is no choice between illness and health. And any debate about health care must acknowledge that the for-profit health care industry is the problem and must be destroyed. This is an industry that hires doctors and analysts to deny care to patients in order to increase profits. It is an industry that causes half of all bankruptcies. And the 20,000 Americans who died last year because they did not receive adequate care condemn these corporations as complicit in murder.


Robert Reich in this article on health care complains that there are six senators are the ones deciding on health care reform but none of them seems interested in real substantive reform. So the whole thing is a great failure even though a majority of Americans are in favor of real substantive reform. Is it because Obama and others in his administration owe to much to the Health Insurance Industry & Big Pharma & to the a group of greedy unpatriotic doctors more interested in making obscene amounts of money rather than be concerned about the well being of all Americans . Is the political scene as it were just too corrupt to really change anything unless there's a big juicy bribe in it for them.

Because being wined and dined by Lobbyists and getting free trips to Vegas, or Hawaii or to Florida or Disney World and a few stock options or "paid for escorts" or young boys or girls depending on your fancy is all just part of the perks or a promise of a lucrative job as a CEO are all bribes but no one is allowed to say that. That seems to be why some Americans become politicians, senators, congressmen, vice president or President or Secretary of State because there's a lot of money to be made as Dick Cheney, George Bush, Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice & Karl Rove can testify to and best of all you get away even with torture , murder and blowing whole cities up because there is no accountability . After they leave office they can go work as a consulting taking it easy while making a million or two a year mere peanuts to these corrupt greedy insincere Machiavellian self-serving hedonistic materialists.

"Why the Gang of Six Is Deciding Health Care for Three Hundred Million of Us" By Robert Reich August 23, 2009 "Huffington Post -August 21, 2009

- - Last night, the so-called "gang of six" -- three Republican and three Democratic senators on the Senate Finance Committee -- met by conference call and, according to Senator Max Baucus, the committee's chair, reaffirmed their commitment "toward a bipartisan health-care reform bill" (read: less coverage and no public insurance option). The Washington Post reports that the senators shared tales from their home states, where some have been besieged by protesters angry about a potential government takeover of the nation's health care system.

I don't get it. Of the three Republicans in the gang, the senior senator is Charles Grassley. In recent weeks, Grassley has refused to debunk the rumor that the House's health-care bill will spawn "death panels," empowered to decide whether the sick and old get to live or die. At an Iowa town meeting last Tuesday Grassley called the president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi "intellectually dishonest" for claiming the opposite. On Thursday Grassley told the Washington Post that Congress should scale back its efforts to overhaul health care in the wake of intense anger at town hall meetings. But -- wait -- the anger is largely about distortions such as the "death panels" that Grassley refuses to debunk.

This week on Fox News Grassley termed the House bill "the Pelosi Bill," and called it "a government takeover of heath care, exploding the deficit because it's not paid for and it's got high taxes in it."

I really don't get it. We have a Democratic president in the White House. Democrats control sixty votes in the Senate, enough to overcome a filibuster. It is possible to pass health care legislation through the Senate with 51 votes (that's what George W. Bush did with his tax cut plan). Democrats control the House. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is a tough lady. She has said there will be no health care reform bill without a public option.

So why does the fate of health care rest in Grassley's hands?

It's not even as if the gang represents America. The three Dems on the gang are from Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota -- states that together account for just over 1 percent of Americans. The three Republicans are from Maine, Wyoming, and Iowa, which together account for 1.6 percent of the American population.

So, I repeat: Why has it come down to these six? Who anointed them? Apparently, the White House. At least that's what I'm repeatedly being told by sources both on the Hill and in the administration. "The Finance Committee is where the action is. They'll tee-up the final bill," says someone who should know.


Dr. Marcia Angell argues tha Health Care Reform will in fact save money in the long run and that Obama is wrong to give into those who will gain the mmost by keeping the status Quo.

Health Reform: Throwing Good Money After the Bad by Marcia Angell, M.D., at Huffington Post, Aug. 24, 2009

...In the trenchant words of Deep Throat, let's follow the money. This year we will spend roughly $2.5 trillion on health care. Although about half that money comes from federal and state governments, most of the total is funneled to private insurers and entrepreneurial providers. Alone among advanced countries, we treat health care like a market commodity to be distributed according to the ability to pay, not like a social service to be distributed according to medical need.

For nearly two-thirds of Americans, we rely on hundreds of private insurance companies to set prices and benefits and pay providers. They profit by refusing to cover the sickest patients and limiting services to others. In fact, we have the only health system in the world based on avoiding sick people. Insurers cream 15 to 25 percent off the top of the premium dollar for profits and overhead (mainly underwriting) before paying providers.

Providers themselves have high billing and collecting expenses to deal with the Byzantine requirements of multiple insurers. The innumerable health facilities, both for-profit and nonprofit, also have high overhead expenses to cover their business costs, executive salaries, and the promotion of their profitable services. Altogether, overhead accounts for at least 30 percent of our health bill. If we spent the same percentage on overhead as Canada, we would save about $400 billion this year.

...Promises by for-profit insurers and providers to mend their ways voluntarily are simply not credible. Regulation of the present system is also unlikely to modify profit-seeking behavior very much, without a bureaucracy so large that it would create more problems than it solves.

Nearly every other advanced country has a largely nonprofit national health system that guarantees universal care. Even countries with private insurers, like Switzerland and the Netherlands, require uniform prices and benefits and limit profits. Not only are expenditures much lower in other advanced countries, but health outcomes are generally better. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, they offer on average more basic services, not fewer -- more doctor visits and longer hospital stays, and they have more doctors and nurses and hospital beds. But they don't do nearly as many tests and procedures, because there is little financial incentive to do so.

and she concludes that :

One thing is certain: We need a complete overhaul of our health system. Tinkering at the edges won't do it. Expanding coverage through government subsidies and mandates, as advocated by the president, won't either. Besides being a windfall for insurers and drug companies, that approach will just add to our soaring costs and be a temporary fix, at best. In my opinion, it makes no sense to throw good money after bad.


and so it goes,
GORD.