August 8, 2011
On a recent weekend I flipped the channel by one of my old favorites, CSPAN-2, or BookTV as it is known on the weekends. I have drifted away from the channel over the last year or so as it devolved into a right-wing corporate mouthpiece, kinda like Faux, but without commercials or the blondes. Now it is mostly a roosting place for the conservative think-tanks (Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute, Hudson Institute, Hoover Institute, AEI, etc.) to pimp their corporate-funded propaganda. I did linger long enough to hear the speaker relate the story of a teenage girl who had gotten pregnant by her boyfriend. Heeding her family and friends advice she went to the clinic. There she was accosted by the self-assured anti-choice zealot intent upon making her change her mind. The teenager went in but had a change of heart and left. The speaker crowed, “End of story.” Now the point of the speaker was for the right-wing leaders to switch from a statistical arguments to narrative arguments in order to make a deeper connection with the targeted audience. There was an air of envy that the creative types in the past tended to promote a liberal narrative in the arts and on to the mass media. I would posit that the corporate masters long ago learned that creativity can be bought and has gladly served the interests of the powerful to mislead the public. But my central point is that while the right-wing is glad to see a simplistic world of black and white, good and evil, and right vs. wrong, the messy details of reality are to be ignored. In the story of the pregnant girl who will pay the medical costs of carrying the fetus to term and for delivery? What if there are complications? More messy. Who will pay for the infant’s living costs? Who will provide daycare, transportation and education expenses so the girl will be able to gain employment and support her family? More messy. Will the tax exempt religious institutions provide adequate care for those millions? They didn’t do it before FDR. Do the ends justify the means? Accosting women about a personal matter in the public sphere with screaming condemnation would seem to violate the liberty and the right to be left alone the right-wing propagandists espouse. Maybe they would approve if she resorted to a second amendment solution to being attacked. Just more messy details that spoil “the story”.
currently reading The Years of Talking Dangerously by Geoffrey Nunberg, Jazz a history of American Music by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns, and Justice Brennan Liberal Champion by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel.
November 2, 2010
The Green Party and the Tea Party have now merged to form the Green Tea
Party. Our platform is ANTI-oxidant. We must take our country back from those
globalist Oxidants. Oxidants are a threat to our Liberty and our genome. As
Americans our Founding Fathers, Mother Nature and Earl Grey have given us the
individual freedom to fight these “free Radicals” without government or third-party
interference. We are all Natural; natural ingredients, natural laws and a natural
movement. We reject any stimulus and only accept decaffeinated. We began
with boiling intensity. We are steeped in our beliefs. We are brewing more powerful
every minute, but we are not bitter. We will keep America from going to pot and
serve America from the teapot. We demand personal choice for all– sugar, honey,
milk or plain. We are anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumoric. We
welcome supporters from Black, White, Darjeeling and even Oolong. Take a sip
and you will find we are your cup of tea. We are the Green Tea Party.
October 2, 2010
to provide free occupancy to an uninvited squatter. These squatters not only take over the space
but consume food, spew out the waste, keep the owner up at all hours and even make the owner
physically ill, all for months on end without a single dollar of payment. These actions violate
even the most fundamental property rights. Yet there are many conservatives who want to punish owners with prison time for evicting the squatters. In the extreme some nuts have killed people who assist the owners in the eviction process. Many of these owners are poor singles with little
outside income. Their circumstances do not matter these opponents. These opponents not only
want to deny any aid in evicting the squatters, they want to use precious government resources
to harass the owners. What corporate hotel chain would put up with being forced to let squatters
take over luxury rooms, demand 24-hour room service and not pay a nickel. The time has come to demand that conservatives end their hypocrisy and let these owners control their own property without external meddling. The time has come to support Liberty. The time has come to properly frame this issue: it’s not an abortion, it’s an eviction!
October 26, 2009
We have heard the Blue Dawgs express their major concern that healthcare reform will break the budget. They also bemoan the “interference” by the government in the free market. With healthcare decisions being so personal no one wants multiple rules restricting treatment. The healthcare industry is one sixth of the nation’s economy. These facts only increase the importance of getting the right reform. So what to do to allay the Blue Dawgs’ fears? Here is my suggestion. The government should eliminate farm subsidies to pay any increase in healthcare costs. No busted budgets, no more “evil” government manipulation of the agriculture markets. To decrease any rise in healthcare costs using a single payer system will reduce any farm subsidy offsets. An added benefit to the single payer is that it allows the market function without the heavy waste of the insurance company overhead (exec pay, admin costs, and high profits) which adds NO value to the end service. Having a single payer system will simplify healthcare provider administrative procedures and reduce their costs. Lets focus on improving healthcare and drop the parasites. Win-win. So, come on Blue Dawgs we know you value your principles over the big donors from agribusiness and insurance companies.
September 18, 2009
I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room yesterday for an hour or so. During that period SIX drug salesmen called. What’s going on there? Big Pharma has an army of hungry salesmen relentlessly pushing doctors to prescribe more drugs including “off-label”. What reasonable doctor could withstand this onslaught? This seige takes doctors away from their primary mission. Direct advertizing to consumers on television and publications pours gasoline on this fire. It’s no wonder our national healthcare costs have spiralled out of control. I overheard one peddler express worry with pending reform measures that layoffs maybe coming soon. Which piece of proposed legislation or insurance industry group has a solution for this threat?