Monday, August 17, 2009

Continuing Comments on our National "Debate"

I can't believe the BS I've been reading. Long wait times in Canada? Try being injured in an accident in Kentucky without insurance and after losing a job.  Let's see how long you wait. What if you do get cancer, are between jobs, and can't get into Medicare without being automatically turned down more than once? Guess how long you'll be waiting for care, then.  Go ahead, guess.  If you give up, highlight the area between the parentheses. (  Pretty much for the rest of your life. )

I just don't see what these so-called conservatives and alleged libertarians are bitching about. False rage is false rage, whether you're the one lying, or the one being lied to.  This bullshit I keep hearing about "Real time access to checking accounts" is pure and deep.  I've read that section. What it amounts to is the same as the debit system you can use at gas pumps. It's a streamlined payment system, nothing more.

Rationed care care in England? Well, more than once in my life, I've been rationed completely out of health care. People die in the US waiting for care, but since they don't die in hospitals, I suppose they don't count.

There are people out there who keep calling this "bill" Orwellian.  Well, folks, as of this past Thursday, Senator McConnell's office confirmed what I all ready found out for myself--there is no bill in Congress right now.  There are proposals running around the hill, and flat out falsehoods being spread on the "grass roots" across the country.  Wanna know how big these falsehoods are?  I'd love to, too.  I just can't wrap my mind around them. 

By the way, where were these people screaming about Orwell when the Patriot Act passed?  (I'm sure I have company in my desire to read a Pat Riot Act to some of these jackasses.)

Careful, pundits.  You can burn those grass roots by spreading too much bullshit.  (Actually, this little blade is all ready burned.  Sorry, anti-media media.  I'm not taking anymore.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I went to Senator McConnell's office today and spoke with his office manager. The meeting went *swimmingly* well. (For those needing to use translation services, that last sentence actually means, "The meeting was very cordial and rational.") The manager told me that this topic is "bringing people out of the woodwork". It appears that most of us are what I've heard called "middle-of-the-road". Today, I learned that I can use the word "us" when referring to the "middle of the road" in politics. I am reluctant to take that label even, as the likes of Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly claim to speak for those folks--and I disagree with them on just about every position they have.

I gave her that quote I overheard on the news about how someone was concerned that government was getting into God's decisions on life and death. I told her in my opinion that while the statement the protester made was indeed true, governments since their implementation have been muscling in on God's territory--it's nothing new. I backed that up by telling her that governments have declarations of war (which I added to her that I do not oppose) and they have death penalties (which I also added that I do not oppose--besides, a heinous enough crime deserves a heinous punishment. Death is death, and it's never a good thing, but we ultimately have no way around it). (At this revelation, she raised her eyebrows. I told her that I try not to accept labels from others, but I consider myself liberal. I reached that decision by reading some John Locke, but departing with him on limiting the concept of Liberty to white, land-owning Christian males. I figure, I said, that if one has a brain and a pulse, one has a birthright to liberty--property ownership, gender and religion aside.)

I told her I am not afraid of my taxes being raised if this passes--just so long as I can get health care and get into the position to pay taxes once again. I have heard, I told her, self-professed conservatives telling liberals to put their money where their mouths are. I am one who does. At every job I've ever held, I said, I marked that little line on the W-2 that says "Any additional amount you wish to be withheld," with either the number 5 or 10. I am willing to chip it in voluntarily, because I have grandparents in retirement, and I want to make sure they're funded. Not just my grandparents, though--yours and everyone's. I like to think that extra 5 or 10 dollars I pitched in helped train soldiers, too--helped with their care when they were injured, and helped protect them when they went into battle.

All this I told her, and I told her about Lewis Black's comment about Mitch McConnell's appearance on Meet the Press. The Senator related a story of a friend of his had a friend in Canada who had to die because the province's government decided the fellow was too old to support. She had never heard of Lewis Black before, and I told her that he is an angry comedian who said, "A friend of a friend? That's not even enough to substantiate an urban legend." My telling her this further released the tension I sensed, and she said, "That's actually fair." It appears Senator McConnell would agree with the assessment. She told me the Senator is a very deliberating man who keeps his office walls covered with every political cartoon about him--both positive and negative, as he has a sense of humor about himself. I told her that I did not envy the Senator's position as a public servant, and that I realized that with cameras on you and limited time to speak, you don't always get to be as eloquent as you would like to be.

I am now feeling the hope that the scoffing people are mocking "Obamatons" for. Hard nosed scoffers are right--no president can bring hope. However, I found that hope by merely being an individual reaching out to a Senator who is (supposedly) in opposition to the party I joined. To close with one more thing I told the office manager, I don't know how *independent* my mind is. I just know that it's a curious one--and it impels me to look into anything I hear anyone saying. To me, that is far more important than the bragging right of independence.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Into the Elephants' Den

Wow.  Three updates, three days in a row, and all in the same week!  (If I had started this streak on a Friday, it would've been three days in a row in two weeks, so nyah!)

I'm sure some of you read my entry a couple of days ago. Well, it was mostly a dark humor piece. (So, I made the Pink Floyd references about as obvious as I possibly could--hopefully without violating copyrights. Did you catch the Arlen Specter joke?) But, I have this philosophy that all good humor, dark or otherwise, is based loosely on truth. Kinda like those town hall meetings, but not quite as loose.
The truths in the "Money. It's a Hit." entry are that I did remember the CFPR founder from some kind of testimony broadcast back in '87. I don't remember his 14 indictments on Medicare fraud, but they're a matter of public record these days--I just looked his name up and found them. I have also been paying more attention than I should to things that upset me on profound levels. That's true as well. Anything not overtly true is exaggerated (only *slightly*) for minimal comedic effect. (Or, is that "affect"? All I know is I won't use "impact" in sentences like that one.)

So, after seeing the people who were inadvertently funny on TV opposing health care, I have decided to meet with my senator (the one seen on Meet the Press talking about a "....friend down in Florida who had a friend up in Canada....") to discuss *my* view on things. Ladies and gentlemen, when *I* get pulled this far into a political debate, it's big. I mean, *real* big. I've spent all of my adult life trying to avoid conversations with politicians, and here I am going to see one in his very own office. Daaaayyyumn.


Special Blogger Addendum

Yes, against my usual tastes, I used the word "addendum".  I try not to use words that end in "-dum" because I'm still partly immature and would have to work too hard to stifle a snicker.  But, this is writing, so I can use it and snicker away.

I was watching the news (I'm having a hard time breaking that habit), and saw a woman ranting at a meeting in Iowa.  "We are scared because we are about to get Big Government (my aside---OOOOOOOOHHHH!  OOOGIE BOOOOOOGIE!) involved in life and death decisions that should be left in the hands of Almighty Gawud!"  (Spelling used to reflect my opinion of the speaker.)

Listen.  I'm the one with Attention Deficit Disorder, and I all ready know 1-Big Government (OOOOOOOOHHHH!  OOOGIE BOOOOOOGIE!) is all ready involved in those decisions (always has been, always will be) and 2-Big Corporations are all ready making said decisions in health care.  (If you don't believe governments decide who dies and who doesn't, then what are declarations of war and death penalties all about?)

It just seems to me that your average human being (let's forget for a minute that we're only talking about Americans specifically) should be able to point things like this out rationally and shut these screaming meemees down.  How the fact that governments have loooong been in the life-or-death business has escaped these ranters, I have no idea.  How also the fact escapes them that health insurance industries are far less benevolent than government (and that's saying something!) I am equally amazed.   I have to say....BRAVO, folks.  I can't tell if you're using your brains or some ganglion or plexus nearer to your wallets.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More Bullshit Than We Should Stand

Dear hearts, I've been paying too much attention to you.  There seems to be a lot of ignorance out there about historical symbols and political allegiances.  Get it straight, gentle nitwits--The golden hammer and scythe on a red background is a politically leftist symbol.  The swastika is far right symbol.  The first is for government taking over industries.  The second is industries taking over government.

If you're going to play rough, at least get the rules right.  Bush and Reagan were the fascists, Clinton and Obama are the least, if you stretch your limited imaginations past their breaking points.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Money. It's a Hit.

So, really.  Don't give me any do goody-good bullshit.  I'm watching.  I'm listening.  It's all I can do these days.  I'd rather be distracted.  Trust me on that.  I'd love to have gone to work this morning and still be there now.  I can't.  I'm injured.  In the course of the treatment I've been begging and borrowing to afford (I refuse to steal), I've discovered two things--One, I have arthritis in my knees.  That's right.  Both knees.  And two, since I've been stuck unable to afford treatment for so long, unable to move about like I once did, the weight I tried to lose stayed on--and I developed full blown diabetes.  Great.  Two more medical conditions I can not afford, and two conditions that keep me away from the only kinds of work I've had since I was a teenager--retail, or construction.  As poorly as I'm getting around these days, finishing my education is going to be quite a challenge, too.  So much for that office job (with the occasional field work).

I sit around between my weekly physical therapy appointments (and my at-home upkeep sessions) watching whatever anyone else has turned on.  To my chagrin, news is going 14 hours a day around here.  I hear about freed journalists.  I see pictures of the Capital complex.  I hear, and I shudder while listening to, speeches.  And monologues..."reports", if you will. 

I see commercials about "conservatives" for patients' "rights".  I know the face of the guy who founded the group.  And for some profoundly hard to understand reason to me, the guy actually has the nerve to show his face in public.

"Hey...When I was 13 years old, weren't you the head of the HMO my parents belonged to?  Or, didn't your company acquire it?  Also, didn't you, when I was a tad closer to 14, have to testify before Congress about your company's fundamentally flawed billing practices for Medicare?  Were you not also at least indicted on 14 counts (one for every year of my life up to that point) on Medicare fraud?  And, now, you come out pretending to be concerned about my rights as a patient?  How dare you insult me, sir.  I might have been young, but I remember the uproar you caused for my family--and untold numbers of others'.  And I know you're blocking something that could benefit me in my darkest hour of need--by painting your opponents in your damned color scheme."

That's right.  It's a gas.  Grab that cash with both hands, and maybe you'll have enough to get through the clinic's door.

Hah.  There has also been a newly former governor babbling lately.  Something about her parents and her disabled child having to face our President's "death panels". 

Get away.  Is that the evil we're all about to face these days?

It wasn't this President's Single Payer Plan panel that told me a couple of years ago that, "You'll pay 900 dollars this year, then turn around and pay another 900 dollars to re-enroll next year before we cover your pre-existing high blood pressure.  Sure, you need the drugs right now, and you'll be forced to pay full price for them while you're paying your monthly dues.  Did we mention on top of that 1800, you'll be out monthly fees?  Well, you will."  Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that a private insurance company telling me something along those lines?  Does the word "insurance" apply, or should it be pronounced as one of my great-great-great uncles up in Cicero, Illinois pronounced it?  (He was Irish, and from a suburb of Chicago...And, yes.  He was in direct competition with Al Capone.)

I overheard one thing too many on this debate.  I heard some "ordinary person", who opposes our current push for reform.  "This isn't about health care.  This is about fighting Socialism."  ....No it isn't.  It's about money--yours and mine--and the folks who keep sucking it out of us in new, creative ways.  It's about how they're playing us for saps, and raising any specter they can (apparently, except for Arlen) to keep us scared and distracted, while more generations of schmucks like me get sick, need help, give them money hand over fist....and are forced to wade through a bunch of unregulated, and decreasingly regulated nonsense. 

Money.  So they say.  Shell it out, and maybe your doctor your insurance company will pay.  Or maybe not...and you're out of luck.  And health.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Occasionally, I'll see something posted online that I just have to respond to. It doesn't happen very often; I try to tune general jack-assery out, but I have an occasional failing. Want to know my tipping points? I don't care, so here they are from most irksome to least

  1. Anyone who uses the word "sheeple".
  2. Anyone whose first resort of witticism is sarcasm*.
  3. Anyone who has firm, uninformed or misinformed opinions on any subject.*
  4. Folks who decry "partisan sniping", then engage in it themselves.

I "got into it" with some dude named "stratslayer" on Youtube. This 38 year-old possible metal musician (another irk-point for me as a music lover) was pissing the industrial backed line on Global Warming.

I study geology. I know about a little thing called "carbon sequestration". Since I have an overwhelming distaste for overly fancy words, I explained it thusly (paraphrased, as I can't be bothered to recall my own words):

Ease off on the "sheeple" business. (That line might have been nastier--I don't know, as I have irrational reactions to metalhead assholes who imagine themselves to be wicked free thinkers.) These environtmentalist types may be wrong, as all water absorbs carbon dioxide, and the oceans contain a *lot* of water. They may be right, though, because if too much carbon dioxide gets into the atmosphere for the oceans to absorb, temperatures could rise to the point that methane crashes out of the oceans' solution. Only at that point are we truly screwed.

Apparently, that was enough for this metalhead to label me "sheeple", and a few other things. This, he did on my public Youtube page. Privately, I got more of the same, plus a little extra about how I have nothing intelligent to say to him. (Ah, shit...Haven't I heard that from a punk-rockin' 20-something a couple of years ago? Didn't take it from Arizona punkkid, won't take it from a fellow Gen-Xer. I know our secrets--a lot of us had classes that served as nap time, and stratslayer's favorites must've been Music and Science.)

Anyway, he wants people to look up information on IPCC errors, or something like that. (Imagine ... who benefits if the IPCC is wrong, and carbon dioxide not only isn't a greenhouse gas, it isn't even emitted by human activity? Right! The energy industry. I'm pretty reluctant to badmouth them. The last guys who did that "lost" elections.)

I responded to him. That's why I'm disappointed in myself. But, to keep the response as civil as possible, I forced myself to (mostly) stick to a form-letter style. Here's how that went, as it's still up in another window:

The comment you posted about this user being a "sheeple" has been deleted. Please turn off Michael Savage and try posting again. Although this user is not Harvard educated (as a *cardiologist* ... OOPS!) like Michael Crichton, he is still capable of forming opinions independent of self interested industrialists and misguided environmentalists**. Please come up with a real rebuttal. Thank you, and try again.


*That includes MEEEEEE!

**As if there really is such a thing as a misguided environmentalist.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Updates: As If They're Warranted

Hello, anyone.  Pua, Avery, whoever else may still be reading.

I know I promised to keep the updates coming, but so far nothing worth reporting has happened.  I have had a predictable slide into depression over my leg injury. 

I'll torture myself telling why one more time:  Not only have I not worked since February 27th last year, I haven't been able to go hike around the nature sanctuary in town since the year before.  Raven Run park...Look it up, find some pictures, and understand why I love the place.

I like taking a camera, a pad and pen out there to write and snap pictures to my li'l heart's content.  It's a beautiful place all year 'round, but my two favorite seasons are Fall (which I missed last year) and Spring (which also missed last year, and am missing currently).  Ah, the colors, the cool and refreshing breezes, the palisades of the Kentucky River....It's a Holy place to me.  And I haven't seen it in about 18 months.  It's only five miles away from me, but it might as well be on the other side of the planet.

Talking about that to my doctor, though, did bring about one positive thing--we accidentally caught an anxiety disorder.  I didn't even know to research it because my anxiety attacks weren't triggered by emotion.  They were triggered in my stomach.

A few years ago, strange things started happening when I went without eating for long stretches.  (For example, my favorite meal plans involve only breakfast at 8 in the morning, then dinner at 5 or 6 that evening.)  Well, a couple of years back, I would start getting pressure (nearly painful, at that!) right at my sternum.  In quick order, I would feel a warm rush up into my head, then tremendous pressure behind my eyes and in my ears (quieting the world down, too) coupled with intense flushing.  It happened in front of my dad one was one of the few times I saw him look scared for me.  (Quick note--my dad survived pancreatic cancer, so I had to reassure him, "Oh, I'm ok.  This is just something that happens when I skip lunch nowadays.")

So, because I talked about my depression and was given a medication for it, those odd little attacks have stopped.  I've also lost weight accordingly--not having to eat to stave off an attack. 

I think that sums up the past year pretty accurately.  It also gives a clue about why my updates have been few and far between.  Changes going on in my life have slowed to a crawl.

If you're viewing this page in Firefox, you aren't seeing this scroll right now. (No big loss, really...just wanted to let you know I love Firefox!)