Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Insurance Mandate Violates Rights, Indentures Nation

Passage of the highly contentious $1 trillion "health care" bill wrought sweet jubilation and great resentment among Americans today. Among those in doubt, nearly 70% in recent news poll surveys opposed the legislation. Poll after poll again and again showed a mere 35% ever firmly supported it.

Congress' tepid siding with constituents over this hotly sensitive issue wilted only after constant barrage of promises of vote exchanging, poll-scouting, campaign contributions and even in some cases, outright bribe that lasted well over an entire year. This secretive and thuggish approach to governance has shown its rough and blanketing underbelly.

Even those valiantly opposed for months on end gave way to the tempting giggle of the tantalizing moment, the promised miracle gift that was but all along a trojan horse. When in December, Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Tom Harken of Iowa, Chris Dodd of Connecticut (self-dubbed in the CNN interview as the "class of '68) went on air to extoll the generosity and benevolence of the government in giving the people of America the greatest Christmas gift. And at the time, Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio stood strongly in opposition to his own party, but most importantly in opposition to the usurpers who hid behind masks of the 'public interest', 'doctor societies', and the 'well-meaning reform lobbies'.

In the public 'debate' that ensued it was the health insurance company's voice who became heard, right next to Democrats and Republicans (as in CBS' "60 Minutes"), as the people's voice was rudely excluded. In this grotesque game of partisanship, the same old lines were trumpeted out like a bad high school marching band, in what Nancy Pelosi soliloquied was her goal as "bringing to life a dream of many decades" and to realize the "dream of Harry Truman."

Needless to say, Rep. Kucinich himself did an about face in the eleventh hour and politely ushered in the dissenting horde who quickly came willing to acquiesce and dispose of whatever conscious of law and justice they ever once had.

The legislation, promised to be signed tomorrow, mandates all Americans, regardless of income, class, race or creed, to buy a health insurance policy. If they do not, they face hefty civil and criminal penalties which could add up to a 3-4% wage garnishing or even a sentence of imprisonment beyond a nominal time.

For the 32 million Americans who do not buy health insurance, in three years time they will, whether desired or not. And with the reason for many not having health insurance being in large part the exorbitant expense of medical costs, they will field all the greater of a burden. While the true issue at stake, in everyone's mind, has been reducing the exorbitant cost of health care, the debate has gone elsewhere. By focusing n the need for coverage rather than the unreasonably high cost of coverage, the entire legislation misses its point and will do little to curb costs and provide more efficient medical care. In fact, it is very likely the opposite will occur. Americans, while required now by law to buy health insurance, will be hammered by radically high costs they simply cannot afford.

Already a civil suit is being arranged to combat the legislation and have it declared unconstitutional. In an unprecedented action, attorney generals from 10 different and disparate states will bring suit, arguing that the provisions mandating coverage on all Americans is unconstitutional. In tips to the press, their argument will convey that if a person chooses not to buy health insurance that due to the fact they are not engaging in interstate commerce, the federal government does not have constitutional authority to force one to buy coverage against their will. In particular, with no transaction ever having taken place, the refusal to buy health insurance coverage would fit outside the interstate commerce clause, which supporters of the bill have fervently invoked. The states of Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Utah, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota, Montana, Washington and Virginia plan to join in the suit.

A recent CNN poll taken two weeks prior to the bill's passing showed that nearly 40% of all doctors would leave the medical profession if the bill were to pass. This alarming statistic, while perhaps somewhat inflated, is telling in the fallout from the bill will without question cause great upheaval in the medical profession and have a major impact on the development of young doctors entering the industry.

Yet despite all the tragedies of the entire foray, one fact stands alone. Upon each newborn's first breath taken as a human being on American soil, his or her time will immediately tick to the time of the health insurance industry dollar, as his or her life will be measured in premiums, copays, almighty health insurance risk charts and diagrams so carefully planned and made 'full-proof' by the certified men in the white coat. No longer will life be measured in years, but rather health credits, 'healthy' behavior stipends and overall levels of 'equanimity' with the system. This dangerous conformity mandated by law is no freedom, but only the breeding ground for coercion and despotism.

With the health insurance industry and pharmaceutical corps in charge, there's little telling of what may be required of our bodies next. Regardless of what newscaster or even president may say, the debate is never over. For in a free country, each man and woman may speak and act how they see fit on any rule and by law always have the liberty to challenge and change it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti: Newest Target in War on Terror

Trouble was brewing in Haiti long before the now infamous January earthquake left over 200,000 dead and Port-au-Prince in a charred heap of helpless rubble. The United States government involvement and often occupation of the storied democratic nation has only worked to sour relations with Haitians while in recent years literally killing any chance of restoring democracy to Haiti. The U.S.'s support of former 'President' Batiste Artiside, one of the most notoriously corrupt Haitian dictators, throughout the 2000s led directly to the lawlessness and looting which reigned right up to and through the horrific earthquake tragedy.

But now rumors of renewed occupation are rife across Haiti and even more insinuating in European political circles. French and Italian relief effort ministers have blamed the United States for inefficiency and misplacement of begging priorities int he relief effort. While French minister Alain Joyandet was the first to criticize that U.S. involvement resembled a covert takeover and attempt at occupation upon putting a questionably immediate focus on achieving military dominance over the island. The Associated Press reports that Italian minister Guido Bertolaso characterized the U.S. military's action as"out of touch with reality". Bertolaso also made calls for establishing an international position to coordinate civilian humanitarian efforts.

Meanwhile, a defiant and ever-obviously ineffective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refuted claims by admonishing those who dare criticize U.S. efforts. According to Ap, she stated "I deeply regret those who attack our country, the generosity of our people and the leadership of our president in trying to respond to historically disastrous conditions after the earthquake."

In ignoring her own advice that, "we are foolish to keep our head in the sand and pretend that we can't [accept reasonable criticism]", Clinton lashed out at those who recently grabbed too much attention by speaking up. Yet, the paternalistic tone of U.S. foreign policy antagonizes the world beyond any other degree in recent times. The military demands red carpet treatment always for Americans, and even in horrific disaster the Americans must be spotlighted as the heroes, and as that, entitled to command any and all relief operations. To the U.S. command, they are also entitled to the island's long term self-government over any practical objection and without any qualm of the moral hazard it reaps internationally or the lust for revenge it satiates to those far away who are death-defyingly defiant.

Clinton is the epitome of the pig-headed American, imperial with ambitions and shallowly low in moral qualm or class. As the top 'diplomat', or rather hard-headed enforcer, it constantly astounds and amazes that she's the best America has to offer.

But that almost sums up what Clinton and her shadowy band of puppet masters want it to be all about. Security is becoming a dangerous phenomenon and Clinton boasts herself as a big fan. But what she and other international conspirators do not boast themselves on is people, and it's become painfully clear that people were certainly left out of this equation.

The people of Haiti are the ones suffering and for Clinton to mar that by chiding the international community and furtively waging war on Haiti, she and the U.S. government are sorely mistaken of what the word "relief" means.

The AP also reports a confirmed 60 U.S. deaths in the Haiti earthquakes. It remains unclear how many of these deaths involved U.S. military personnel.

A Dozen Predator Drones to Pakistan: Fill 'er Up Boys!

As headlines zipped across the news ticker last week I couldn't help but ask, 'Why the hell is the U.S. giving the government of Pakistan a dozen of our most-secretive and recently effective aircraft, the now infamous Predator Drone?' After all, Pakistan is already a nuclear weapons giant, developing an effective bomb over 10 years ago in 1999.

In addition, the Pakistani government is highly unstable, extremely unpopular and headed by a U.S.-backed puppet in President Al-Zadari who is a 'softer' version of the belligerently hard-fisted military dictator Perez Musharraf who resigned in 2008amid constitutional controversies. Many Pakistanis still suspect Musharraf was involved in the assassination of political icon and opponent Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.

Meanwhile, the once-fabled but now real but small cadre of idealistic, disparate and unconnected young men tagged the foreboding "Al-Qaeda" is growing their presence and gaining once-unattainable political popularity in Pakistan.

It's not hard to remember the famous images of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983 or Kennedy, Carter, Bush I and Obama foreign policy advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski pep-talking Afghan mujahadeen fighters that same year.

It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that your friends today may very well become your enemies tomorrow.

With that in mind, perhaps it isn't a great idea to give a highly unstable developing nation and almost certain future enemy our most top secret weapon. And if we don't know how to properly caretake of such a weapon with massive implications, perhaps we shouldn't even be using it ourselves.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scott Brown: Ironically, a Neo-con Brings a Ray of Hope

Ironically, Scott Brown's recent election victory for U.S. Senate for Massachusetts has changed the outlook on national politics. In particular, in the health care debate, victory may burst the cloture-secure pro-health care industrial complex bill count, whose ramming through is still in peril. While Brown has done little to deserve the clamor and attention, the carefully groomed neo-conservative signifies a growing unrest with the continued business as usual out of Washington. Hypocrisy can no longer slide by unexcused but that doesn't necessarily mean the next dupe elected won't fool the public.

Yet, Brown who is now pitched as the "new hope" stands dangerously close to conducting politics with a fascistic edge. He has been quoted as saying "Waterboarding is enhanced interrogation. It is not torture." In an age when even children's films can emphasize the twisted logic of an imperial giant, Brown's naive statements are not those usual held high by a statesman.

The man who was 1982 Cosmopolitan magazine's "America's Sexiest Man" during his tenure at law school at Boston College is a born attention grabber and with an acting streak so convincing he may well be dangerous in his eloquent ability to woo supporters.

Meanwhile, his opponent, Martha Coakley displayed her ineptitude in campaigning and even as an even worse purveyor of ideas. While her resume read impressive, any real leadership she couldn't even come close enough to grasp. Coakley essentially, was a failed cause from the start.

While personally I can say proudly I am very happy that Brown's election means a chance to stop the unconstitutional health care "reform bill" that was paid and written for and by the very interests who work only to gain greater profits, often at the expense of the patient. But I'm hardly a fan, as his incoherent tirades lauding the War on Terror and mouthpiecing the American empire as an all-knowing force for only good reflect his ill will and possibly dark dealings.

But at least for the moment, in a day where it takes a fascist to stop a fascist, I might actually not mind having just one more around.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti: Disaster Made Worse

Shocking devastation grips Haiti. Reeling from a 7+ magnitude earthquake which trapped, crushed and killed as many as 200,000 people, Haitian cities like Port-au-Prince resemble a dismantled heap of rubble much more than the familiar likenesses of themselves.

For the earthquake which ocurred one week ago, supplies to help the surviving and save the missing are still amassing and coming in. The woeful delay however is not due to any failure of logistics or lack of aid, but rather top-down mismanagement that is strangling the island to a standstill and failing to help those in need.

As the U.S. military heads up the United Nations rescue program, more emphasis is being placed on who's in charge of the rescue effort rather than who the rescue effort is hoping to help. Sadly, little aid has reached Haitians who are being kept increasingly behind automatic M4 rifles for 'protection' and also behind any credible chance of actually stemming the damage of the horrendous disaster.

While much of the management failure can be intuited by a half-asleep observor, hard evidence also confirms the failure.

On Saturday, as the wrtech stench of flesh and death still simmered in Port-au-Prince, the U.S. government delayed multitudes of aid supply planes containing valuable medicines and food for reeling inhabitants of the now toppled island. And why? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton needed the landing space and a massive security-based no-fly zone to give an address not to Haitians, but the world, in an effort to grandstand America as the almighty good-intentioned giant eager to assist the helplessly depraved Haitians.

This sort of diplomacy may have worked with President Kennedy in Berlin ("Ich bin ein Berliner"), but is far distant from achieving any world harmony and peace today.

Even worse, as reported in The Telegraph by Laingo and Leonard, French Minister of aid recovery to Haiti, Alain Joyander, recently accused Clinton and the Americans of turning the rescue effort into a subtle blueprint for occupation and a deliberate means of restoring American-enforced 'law and order' to the long ignored and impoverished nation.

To those who view Haiti as small, vulnerable and amenable to United States wishes, we must remember that Haiti stands as our greatest ally in the long historical struggle for freedom, autonomy and political independence. After becoming the second real western democracy in 1798 and overthrowing and expulsing imperial France from their island, we have many more reasons to praise Haiti than most think.

Thus, in the endless history of nations, it is essential to remember the past struggles and honor them with due respect. While more and more aid is needed desperately for Haiti, we should continue to help. But also to make sure recovery is the real goal and overlording and hoarding condemned as the most dreadful sin.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: The Ignored Holiday

America is a nation well known for having an abridged idea of holidays. Wrought by intensive non-stop labor and little time for rest, early immigrants had few designated days on which to celebrate. This trope continues into the 21st century as Americans work constantly and celebrate very little, besides the addition of tradition-based holidays to the national calendar.

Americans have about 6-7 days each year where perhaps a majority takes off work. These include: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And interestingly enough, all of these holidays are celebrated mainly on vague notions concerning values, morality and good will.

Yet Martin Luther King, Jr. Day stands alone, unparalleled by any other day as a designation purely to remember a specific mass movement that revolutionized America. In its uniqueness, this clever holiday has much to offer America. Its importance should emphasize the courageous and upright acts of Dr. King and the vision he and millions of others strove to make reality.

To honor King, and more importantly his ideas of equality, rememberance should be the main goal of this solitary and often ignored national holiday.

Growing up as a younster in a well-insulated all-white private elementary school, Matin Luther King, Jr. Day was presented to students as a foreign, pseudo holiday.
We attented school that day in ordinary fashion, with only the minimalist attempt to observe or even discuss the achievements of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

One year when our lone black pupuil took the day off, our teacher politely instructed us that it was "O.K." as the student deserved it, being black and all. But what poor Mrs. Fox did not realize was its intention as a holiday for all Americans, as a lesson unto our history and the course of our nation.

Most Americans are sorely mistaken when it comes to the third Monday in January. After all, the Civil Rights Movement's whole point was equality for all, rather than the unfettered reign of the brute force of group supremacy.

If Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not celebrated and held in respect, the message screams out clearly that the Civil Rights Movement and its objectives are unimportant. So let this tract be a lesson to all people, particularly employers who need to give the holiday thought, reflection and official observance if it is to have any real meaning at all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Death of Struggle?

Good old fashioned hit' em hard came around down
and self-defense's right to strike lays trampled on the ground.
No one seems to notice the flag bearer fall
Our sacred values, our very own with too much gall.

Riff-raff considered unconsidered,
and those with might not ever allowed to fight.
Knock 'em down with a pre-emptive strike
Humiliate 'em all and laugh in embarassment alike.

It is hidden or maybe left behind,
but that ardent swagger's gone alright
and conformity left only to stand in its sight.

With tentacles so epic reaching ablight,
the conquering vandals cover all with fright.

Time to bring it on.
If you still have some, you may lay it on.
With broken spirit and threatened lives, will the brave
stay on through the night?