Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The price of ignorance

An open letter to Freepers and their ilk.

The next time you walk by a homeless person on the street, desperate to pretend he isn't there, maybe it's time to stop and think "if but for the grace of God." Because, given the situation we're in economically, it could well be the grace of God that protects you from that fate. With hundreds of people competing for the same jobs, mostly on the lower end of the pay scale, people who never imagined they'd have to choose between food and rent/mortgage are going to be forced to to do just that. And the chances that it will be you are getting higher all the time.

So pay your cable bill and suck up all the putrid crap Fox News chooses to spew for as long as you can, blithely unaware that you'll soon be on the chopping block no matter how hard you work or how long you've been at your job. Because of the decisions made, decisions you have supported wholeheartedly, the corporations and money men on which you hang your hopes will abandon you to your fate without a backward glance. The people you slavishly devote yourself to praising and worshiping won't be bending over to lend you a hand up. They will pay you as much attention as you pay the homeless fellow you passed on the sidewalk this morning. If you're not producing something for them, or buying what they produce, you are less than nothing in their eyes.

Think about that when you are dragging the extension cord from your friend's house to plug into the travel trailer that is about to become your home. Oh, it's against local ordinances to live in a travel trailer in someone's driveway, but what choice do you have? At least you have options--not like those people curled up inside a cardboard box under a freeway overpass.

You'll continue to scarf down the pablum spoon-fed to you by the cable networks, sure that things are getting better, all the while completely unaware that nothing is being done to actually make things better. How does it help the economy to throw money into the arms of people who will then flee to distant shores, or continue to make the same mistakes that have put us in this situation in the first place? Or, better yet, hoard it against future need? Yet this is the only course of action our "conservative" politicians will support. Anything else they fight to the bitter end. Talk about accepting failure as the only option.

Stand up for this all-or-nothing capitalist model, the one that says the only thing that matters is the profit margin. Go ahead. Be happy that your "conservative" representatives fought against any meaningful health care reform, because when it all falls on you in the end it'll be too late to do anything about it. Take pride in the fact that you fought for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries' bottom line when your child is hacking up a lung and you can't afford insurance anymore. At least you don't have "socialized medicine" to fall back on. A little bootstrap levitation will get that kid out of bed and off to school where s/he belongs. Or will it?

Continue to blame immigrants or "liberals" for this country's woes, because what's happened can't have anything to do with massive deregulation of industry by your conservative "saints" Ronny and George. The fact that our last President--your President--decided, however unwisely, to launch and fight two wars on credit after running through the first budget surplus in generations within a matter of weeks--has nothing to do with anything. The "free market" "greed is good" people who have been robbing all of us blind and bailing as the economy crashes aren't your friends. They aren't anything to you, except maybe the ones who exploited your gullibility, Con Men in silk suits with private jets and vacation homes around the world.

Keep listening to your well-paid pundits like Hannity, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh. It won't be they who are squatting in their family's yards when the jobs vanish. And if you think for a minute that they give a shit what happens to the likes of you, you're out of your mind.

Be quick to knock on the door of your mega-church, where your well-heeled evangelist minister will be looking for the back door himself as people start to realize where the last of their hard-earned money has gone. It won't be going back into the community but, actually, either will he. He'll be boarding a plane to parts unknown with whatever he's managed to steal from the church coffers on the way out the door. And if she's lucky, his wife will be going along. If not, well, there are plenty of hot babes in countries whose names you never thought you'd have to pronounce.

This has always been a class war, folks... you've just been the ones on the losing end of it. While your jobs were quietly being shipped overseas, or filled up with low wage replacements, as you were busy being hypnotized by FOX, the winners were laughing all the way to the bank. We were all their victims, but you...well, you were in a class by yourselves. You were the fang-bangers in this equation, happily laying your throats bare for their vampiric bite in the dim hope that somehow you might be somehow transformed into one of them.

Well, you're not. And you will never be.

Did the irony of well-paid pundits who vacation in Europe and own multiple homes calling other folks "elite" totally escape you? I imagine it did. Too bad. Maybe you'd have seen the signs of the class war yourself if you'd actually been able to grasp the irony.

See, when it all comes down, and it will, we will blame the money men. But we will also blame you--those who cheerfully made it all possible with your determined ignorance and blatant obliviousness. I just wonder if you'll have the insight to place the blame where it truly belongs, or if you'll continue to blame those who were not only innocent, but tried the whole time to wake you up to the dangers.

Social conservatism is a mite mean-spirited and thoughtless, when you get down to it. But it's understandable to some extent. Humans have always feared that which is different. But what they like to call "fiscal conservatism" is a scam through and through, a way to get people like you to continue to vote against your own interests on behalf of an ideology that has been thoroughly discredited time and again.

The one thing you cannot say is that you weren't warned.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Attention Veterans

At V.A. hospital, a rogue cancer unit

More aggressive oversight may have prevented slew of botched procedures

If you're a veteran or if you know a veteran, read this and disseminate. What you don't know can hurt you.

By Walt Bogdanich
updated 1 hour, 56 minutes ago

For patients with prostate cancer, it is a common surgical procedure: a doctor implants dozens of radioactive seeds to attack the disease. But when Dr. Gary D. Kao treated one patient at the veterans’ hospital in Philadelphia, his aim was more than a little off.

Most of the seeds, 40 in all, landed in the patient’s healthy bladder, not the prostate.

It was a serious mistake, and under federal rules, regulators investigated. But Dr. Kao, with their consent, made his mistake all but disappear.
He simply rewrote his surgical plan to match the number of seeds in the prostate, investigators said.

The revision may have made Dr. Kao look better, but it did nothing for the patient, who had to undergo a second implant. It failed, too, resulting in an unintended dose to the rectum. Regulators knew nothing of this second mistake because no one reported it.

Two years later, in 2005, Dr. Kao rewrote another surgical plan after putting half the seeds in the wrong organ. Once again, regulators did not object.

Had the government responded more aggressively, it might have uncovered a rogue cancer unit at the hospital, one that operated with virtually no outside scrutiny and botched 92 of 116 cancer treatments over a span of more than six years — and then kept quiet about it, according to interviews with investigators, government officials and public records.

Much more here:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31470106/ns/health-the_new_york_times/

Story continues below ↓
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Health Care reform

Edited on Thu Jun-18-09 09:01 AM by G_j
We Have A New National Leader On Single Payer Health Care (If We Will
Get Behind Her)

Please read this whole alert as there is a new video issue ad, a new
"text to" cell phone number, a new action page, a critical and
groundbreaking conceptional analysis you will find NOWHERE else and

First, Marcy Winograd has produced a stunning new issue advocacy
video ad on single payer health care. We want to make this a national
example of what EVERYBODY needs to be doing in their own districts
right now, for us to win the policy change we deserve. In just 30
seconds Marcy takes control of the terms of the health care debate
and redefines them. And you really need to see this video right now.

New Single Payer Advocacy Video:

Please watch the video above. And then do everything you can to help
get it out there, propagate the link, tell your friends about it, or
if you can make a contribution to help get it on the air.

Marcy's underlying point is resoundingly simple. To get Congress to
actually act on good policy, each individual member must feel their
OWN re-election directly threatened if they do not. That is why Marcy
is about to start running issue challenge campaign ads a YEAR before
the primary election in CA-36.

And Marcy has tremendous credibility issuing this challenge to the
Democratic incumbent, Jane Harman, having pulled 38% against her
opponent in 2006. Harman is one of the worst of the worst, having
interceded with the New York Times to stop the publication of a story
on George Bush that would have defeated him back in 2004, having
being briefed on all the torture as it was happening and doing
nothing to stop it, and slavishly serving AIPAC to the detriment of
the national interests of her own constituents.

There is a massive industry sponsored conspiracy afoot, to pass off
some kind of watered down, phony health care reform bill as the
change we believed in. And it all revolves around two MEANINGLESS
marketing buzz words they are spending millions of dollars to implant
in our brains, and you may not have realized how sinister these two
words were until you read this entire alert.

And the two words they are trying to make come out of all our mouths
are "quality, affordable".

Monday, June 08, 2009

Howard Dean

is pissed off, and you should be too.


When enough people get as? mad as Howard Dean, the United States will
join the rest of civilization and every American will have health care

Health care rant

Edited on Mon Jun-08-09 02:20 AM by NanceGreggs
First off, I hope you don’t mind my gushy, over-the-top salutation. I have found over the years that nothing attracts the attention of an egotistical idiot quite like perceived flattery – and, quite frankly, I knew you were ripe for the pickin’.

Secondly, I hope you don’t mind if I call you Dick from here on it, being as (a) it is a derivative of your given name, and (b) you are one.

So let’s get to the point, Dick, re your statement on Sunday, June 7, on the GOP Propaganda Network Fox-News, that a public option for health care would "be the first steps in the -- destroying the best health care system the world has ever known”:

If you were intelligent and informed (which, as we both know, you’re not) you would have looked at the stats and realized that “the best health care system in the world” is not likely to be affected by anything the US voters do – being as we don’t have, and never have had, anywhere close to the best health care system, even in our own hemisphere, no less the world.

I realize that as with everything, subjective rather objective opinions may come into play – so if you’re thinking along the lines of citizens going bankrupt over health care costs, or people dying as a result of being denied coverage by insurance companies as being “the best health care system”, I gotta give you right. If that’s your criteria, I won’t debate you.

The problem is, Dick, that the vast majority of the citizenry not only don’t accept such criteria as a measurement of victory in the “Best Of” category, they find it to be illogical, ridiculous, and preposterous – and consider those who promote such criteria to be reprehensible, disgusting, and downright despicable.

I understand that you are afflicted with GOPism (a degenerative disease whose first symptom is a loss of hearing, coupled with a complete inability to control what comes out of one’s mouth), so I’m going to explain this to you nice … and … slow. And don’t be ashamed to rely on a bevy of advisors and consultants to translate the following plain English into – well, uh, plain English.

Ever driven past an office tower occupied/owned/operated by a large insurance company, Dick – you know, one of those fancy-schamcy places that employs thousands of people, complete with all the accouterments of expensive artwork on the walls, to-die-for executive offices, and boardrooms whose decor just smacks of wealth and power?

Now, think … it … through, Dick. Who do you think is paying for all that? When those billions of dollars in health care insurance premiums roll in, who do you think is the priority – the old lady in Tucson who needs a hip replacement, or the bean-counter in the corner office who’s collecting the Big Bucks for finding a reason for denying her claim?

Think (I know it’s hard work, but try) about how IT MAKES FINANCIAL SENSE for a company that is working on a FOR-PROFIT BASIS and is looking out for the BOTTOM LINE is, shall we say, apt to find ways to deny valid claims for health coverage to millions of people who have paid for said coverage in order to INCREASE PROFITS and thereby SAVE THEIR OWN JOBS, and keep the CASH COW alive and well.

Let me try to put this in terms that even a Dick can understand: As long as every penny NOT spent on health care is a penny EARNED in profits, there is NO incentive for any health care insurer to choose the providing of HEALTH CARE over the lining of their own pockets.

Get it now?

Oh, probably not. Because you are, after all, a Dick of the first order.

As you said, “Because government -- when the government's involved more and more in the details, and you start the one pay deal, and you've got the government competing with private enterprise, with all the incentives government has and the power, they will destroy the marketplace for health care, and it will be a mistake, and the American people better be careful in what they want.”

To which I can only reply: If the government’s involvement in “details” is so detrimental to any enterprise, why is that same “government” allowed to wage war, oversee vast military operations the world over, decide on where money will be spent, how much, where and when?

As for the American people being careful of what they want, Dick, I think we can agree they spoke very loudly and precisely in the last election. And what they don’t want is another asshole like yourself telling them they’ve got “the best health care system the world has ever known” when they know the difference between shit and Shinola – a difference you might want to acquaint yourself with in the days to come.

Now, I don't want to get into your personal space about your own medical afflictions, but I can tell you for a fact that if you want to seek medical help for that GOPism thing you're dealing with, your own medical insurance is not likely to cover it, due to its categorization as a "pre-existing condition that requires extensive and expensive long-term treatment, said condition being one the insured could have avoided via use of easily-accessible symptom reducers such as intelligence, facts, statistics, and common sense."

Gotta tell ya, that's ONE diagnosis I'd have to get behind.