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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Health Care Reform: A different view

From a Student:

This is in response to the blog entry. ~just my .02

“Health Care Reform” as it is currently discussed will not change the quality of people’s health. Why? They are talking about insurance reform, not health. The basic underlying issues are not being addressed: lack of personal responsibility for lifestyle choices, political agendas, economic considerations, and a culture that does not value health and quality of life above other issues. Most people don’t care about consequences of lifestyle until they get smacked by them (in an obvious way). They spend more money on their hobbies than their health. Then, when something does happen, they want someone else to pay for their care. If they had to pay themselves, they would care more about prevention! (I recognize that there are groups that require special consideration -the poor and such)
They aren’t all to blame however. The people that DO care and seek information and try to do the right thing are confused by the conflicting information that is out there. This is because of one major reason (that I can quickly identify). Companies that are currently in control and making they most off the current system do NOT make money off of healthy people. These would be the pharmaceutical companies and those that they “support” - lobbyists, advertising/media, physician continuing “education”, medical “researchers” and “studies”, etc. Sick people buy drugs. They support entire economic factions, and entities that “diseases” support have a vested interest to keep their jobs and make money for share holders.

Other factors that I believe play a role: Our education system, the political corruption, environmental factors, and our cultural values.

Unless we address all the factors involved and address them in a objective intelligent and unbiased way, we will not see change. Unless we change our individual and cultural paradigms, and find ways for everyone to be healthy AND prosper, things cannot change. Even if this passes (and I am not sure it would be a good thing to hand over more of our rights and control to a political system), the industry will find other ways around the regulations to make money.

first posted 9-26-2009

Sunday Morning News and Views Part I

"Flintstone's, meet the Flintstones! Their a Yabba-dabba-do time family, In the town of Bedrock, their a page right out of history." An annimated re-imagining of Jaki Gleason's "The Honeymooners. The program was made for adults and their families, airing in prime time. It ran six years, 1960 to 1966, became number one in reruns world wide, and new episodes were produced as the Flinstone and Rubble families grew in syndication. The show paved the way for the Jetsons, and while tame by comparison, also to South Park and The Simpson's, opening up prime time to animation. The Flinstones premiered 50 years ago tonight.

"The Flintstones" was also the first television series to show husbands and wives sleeping in same bed.
The previous versions in pilots has them as the Hillbillies, and later as the Flagstones. Jakie Gleason was going to sue ABC for stealing his characters and concepts, but was told not to, since it was animation and popular with families.

Yabba-Dabba-Dew as "Yahoo" in the script but read by an actor who remembered his mother use to love the old "a little dab will do" Brillcream commercials, she ad libbed...

The company running ads that say that "Harry Reid" is very "out of touch with America", is a Washington DC based Political Action Committee and lobbying firm, with non-disclosed financing, meaning no accountability.

"Hey Jude" was written by Paul McCartney to console Julian after his dad's split with his mother, and some say the Beatles. Today Julian is a photographer as well as a musician, a Beatles memorabilia collector (buying up all he can at auctions or from individuals) and humanitarian.

Tomorrow is the "First Monday in October", the official start of each Supreme court Term. For the first time there will be three women on the court.

On this date in 2003 reality trumped fantasy as 380 pound tiger ended the Sigfried and Roy show at the Mirage. After morethan 5700 shows at the Mirage alone, on Roy's 59th birthday, the Tiger grabbed Roy and sent him to the hospital near death. Sigfried and Roy Horn do not blame the tiger, continuing their constant campaign for animal preservation.

The Obama administration on Sunday warned Americans of potential terrorist threats in Europe and urged them to be vigilant in public places, including tourist spots and transportation hubs. The terrorist alert in all of Europe is real and high, with some worry about here in the United States. The source is Osama bin Laden himself, the man the mighty US could not seem to catch or kill.

Suicide is the third leading killer of America's youth.It is contagious, with news of suicide or knowing someone who commits suicide actually increases the suicide rate. Firearms, suffocation and then jumping are the methods in order. The nation is spending millions on "means reduction",  making it harder to take your own life. For example, a forty five million dollar net is being erected below the Golden Gate Bridge. In 2009 14%, or almost one in seven high school students admitted they had thought of suicide. Most suicides are actually a cry for help, never intended to succeed, yet they use methods that do succeed, or can easily lead to death. Increasingly young people are becoming cynical, negative, angry and feeling a sense that there is no future or real ability to succeed at life. A feeling of lonely- ness and isolation, even in crowds, can easily wipe over a young person in despair. The very signature of a generation, their rebellion against the status quo, against what came before, fuels both anger and despair. If you look at the world, and others, in a constant negative light, your world, situation  and future becomes negative.

Legos has been named the most popular toy ever made, influencing books, fashion, the Internet. Lego means "play well" in Danish.A lego's convention drew grownups 18 to 96, featuring recreations of 19th and early 20th century toys using legos.Brick Fair, in northern Virginia attracted 40,000 adults this past week.   AOLS is the acronym or the 40,000 adult fans of Legos, accounting for 5% of all Lego sales. The founders of Google, the CEO of a major oil company, grandmothers and teachers, marines and scientist play with legos. They become organizing fanatics, creating their own masterpieces from well organized drawers, boxes and bags. Castles, sculptures, replicas, animation, even furniture are just the start of the world of lego inventions and imaginations created by fans and a new generation of Lego professionals.

Sunday Morning News and Views Part II

Gliese 581 G is a planet 20 light years away that falls within the "Goldilocks" zone, meaning there is oxygen, signs of water and all other conditions make it close enough to earth to possibly spawn or support earth-like life. Scientist confirmed this find this week, at the same time NASA announced massive layoffs and delays in any future space program. The beginning and end of a dream.

Today Germany pays off the last of damage sit owes the allies for the FIRST WORLD War. Bonds taken to compensate the allies will finally be retired, 90 years after they were issued.

Maria Bartaromo of the Wall Street Journal says "everyone is focused on their 401K." What world does she live in?

For all those who sear that we have a "liberal media" I point to her CNBC, NBC and Wall Street Journal work, as well as to Fox News and the majority of newspapers which are more like the Review Journal than say MSNBC.

Twenty years ago police could arrest you for any reason, from your clothing to your words, to "disparaging" another or another work place or worshiping your God. Suicide was high, most commonly "death by cop."

In 1988 a Bruce Springsteen concert had 100,000 East German Youth singing "Born in the USA" under the watchful eyes and guns of the infamous East German (GDR) not so Secrete Police.

The Obama administration is warning Americans about potential terrorist threats in Europe and urging U.S. citizens to be extra vigilant when they're in public places such as tourist spots and transportation hubs.The State Department on Sunday came out with a travel alert for Europe that advises U.S. citizens living or traveling there to take more precautions about their personal security. The alert is one step below a formal travel warning advising Americans not to visit Europe. U.S. and European security experts have been concerned for days that terrorists may be plotting attacks in Europe with assault weapons on public places, similar to the deadly 2008 shooting spree in Mumbai, India.

"Waiting for Superman", a film that looks critically at education, but also looks at ways education works, was features on most media this morning, The bias taken on Wall Street Journal Report was decidedly anti-union and pro-charter schools. No one seems to know how political and youth bias principals are in hiring and terminating teachers, not to mention gender and ethnic or racial bias. It is presented as "the freedom to choose your own team." Younger teachers and charter school "owners" (they are for profit) do not seem to see age discrimination as an issue, although most teachers will tell you that is is. The pitch is that teachers have "disproportional influence in the statehouse" and the districts.

We are 28th and 29th in the world in math and science in the "new normal" economy of the world. The argument is for uniform national standards over state and local decisions on what is best based on the needs and economies of the local citizen. Again a decidedly pro-business, anti-worker bias in the WSJR coverage.

The book no-one reads: The Yellow Pages. The printed books earn 11 billion dollars a year, according to Ammon Shea in his a new book, "The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads."

35,000 people attended the annual "Farm Aid" in Milwaukee last night. Neal Young, an even co-founder, criticized the quality of corporate factory farm generated farms and processing plants, calling for people to support local produce and farm products. The number of small and family farms continues to decline each year.

For the fist time since 1929 the top one half of one percent of the population controls over 80% of the money in the country, with fewer than one percent of the population controlling 87% of the wealth. Between 2008 to 2009 over 4 million people fell out of the middle class to the poverty line. In the past year the number of people on food stamps went up 17%. Income fell between 2008 and 2009 in 38 of the 50 states, with several states, including Nevada, showing drops of an average of 20% or more. Mortgage rates are at a 50 year low, but the vast majority of Americans cannot qualify due to being top heavy on homes, having gone down in income or having lost or changed jobs. 37 million American mortgages under Federally guaranteed loans have defaulted since 2008.

Sunday Morning News and Views Part III

Let he who is without sin toss the first stone.

Increasingly, in what is being called the "blog" effect", Americans are fast to attack and see and use only negatives freely, often without research or thought. Cynicism, misused ironic or sarcastic language, short hateful slogans are growing with both the young and segments of older America equally guilty. This sort of one sided simplistic Crucifixion led to the rise of Nazi Germany, Saddam Hussein and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Are Americans losing our freedoms by choice and hateful slogans and attacks against those we disagree with or do not like, instead of discourse, reason and compromise. Are we willingly giving up liberty and calling a "return to the intent of the founding fathers?"

Political advertising against incumbents coast to coast use the same voices, the same images, the same claims and the same language ("failed stimulus", "Obamacare", "tax and spend", and so on). The "grass roots" campaign to unseat Republicans in primaries and Democrats in the general election is actually centralized, well financed by unnamed "investors", with a political agenda to build personal fortunes for those who are already wealthy.

Non-patrician Politicfact, which evaluates commercial messages, indicates that overwhelmingly Republican messages do not hold up to research or the "truth test". They are inflammatory cookie cutter claims. In one case they accuse a Democrat who has never held or run for office "a career politician" and "part of the Reid machine", language used coast to coast with no effort to localize or even try to be accurate to that particular race. It's a cookie cutter, well financed, well planned attack from the top and with national and not local money, against all Democrats regardless of actual voting history or ethnicity. Images of "illegal" aliens crossing through fences grace ads regardless if the Democrat they seek to defeat is Jewish or Catholic, Hispanic or Black, Caucasian or Asian/

$65,000 for a 250 pound block of the Berlin wall, claiming to be from Check Point Charlie. Its' on e-bay today. Meanwhile there is a major movement among the youth of what was East Germany for equity and even a new division or return to a divided Germany. This generation does not remember what it was to live under a communist dictatorship, to not be allowed to travel where they want to when they want to and to be dictated to as to profession and other elements of what the west considers their personal lives. What young eastern Germans now is the dictatorship of capitalism, with high unemployment, inflated prices and an increasing divide between those who have full freedom (the wealthy) and those who are stuck in an economic hole behind an unseen wall, unable to move upward or do what they feel they should be free to do, because they cannot afford to do so. They see older Germans holding on to jobs in a hard pressed, yet one of Europe's most healthy societies, because of the near depression level recession that hit the world over the past three years. The world changes and life is different, but those too young to remember life before the fall of the wall only know their own situation, and see the world through their own prism.

The Las Vegas Sun has a very local obituary for Las Vegan Tony Curtis, including recent photos and stories of his art work stacked in his home. Surrounded by his paintings, actor and artist Tony Curtis conducts an interview in 2007 in the studio at his home in Henderson. The photo was taken by Leila Navida for the Las Vegas Sun. Curtis was a prolific painter and artist as well as a film star and icon of his generation. Click here for the photos and obituary:

Sunday Morning News and Views Part IV

Face the Nation notes for this Sunday morning:

Too many people have been convinced that there is only one side to every argument, your own.

Lost is the reality that we need to have the courage of our resolve and the courage to doubt and to work with others in compromise for the better good.

Instead we hate, shout, name call and vilify.

Senator Sanders is a Socialist, serving in the US Senate as an independent. He says people understand that the president and the Democratic President have made some substantial legislative progress, but despite all of that the middle class continues to collapse, poverty is increasing and the gap between the wealthy and the middle class is increasing. He feels that the president is not doing what FDR did in the 1930's and sided with the American people. He is too much a bridge builder and administrative leader, trying to bring people together. But the Republicans have said no, launching more filibusters than the total in the history of the American Congress, and refusing to talk or budge. They are building and feeding upon the unemployment and weakness of America. They are looking to gain power, with every single day 40 votes blocking legislation, unprecedented in American history. He ways he is on the floor of the senate and knows that politics and not progress are the agenda of Republicans and on the streets the Tea Party. He believes that more progressives and the moderates Republicans call liberals will turn out, but it may not be enough. Remember, he says, that under Bush we did all we had to do to create the recession, by privatizing, allowing companies to go overseas and encouraging large scale spending on homes, luxuries and other non-essential items without providing any health, safety or financial net. The rich were allowed to grow exponentially richer, now controlling the economy with 85% of the money under their direct control while the middle class saw actual shrinkage in size and individual prosperity.

Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico says that elections are won in the last 40 days. Its about the rank an file and the people. The president has done a much better job than many Americans perceive, thanks to well financed Republican and special interest advertising and the politics of anger and hatred. The president avoided a depression, lead for the stock market to start to come back, provide basic health care for Americans, created jobs (although you cannot force the number of jobs people want without a move FDR made that would be rejected by Americans today, the Civilian Conservation Corps and other programs that would be called "communist" or "socialist" today. Richardson says that we should take on the Tea Party and not be afraid of them. By reducing deficits and fighting tax and spend those people are cutting into education, medicare, social security, roads, police and fire protection, national defense, homeland security and other necessary services for the American people and our nation. We need to stop talking about Washington bills and initiatives and start talking about what they do and what they are in human and real terms. It is important we come together, that we not stay home, that young people, minorities, woman and those with a real stake turn out and vote.

Democrats buried the hatchet with Bush and the past and moved forward. Republicans are talking about head rolling, investigations, persecutions and if they could, codifications. Which way is the true American way. George Washington did away with such retribution. Thomas Jefferson believed in both sides sitting down and talking. If we want to go back to the founding fathers, we need to listen to them and not those who put words and concepts into their mouths.

The consensus on Face the Nation is that on the ground Democrats are gaining ground, despite heavy advertising by their opponents and Republic backed PACs with names that sound benevolent or populist. It will be a close election, with Democrats losing seats as every party does during an off presidential election year when their party is in the White House.

The president put the first Latino on the Supreme Court, set the first time in history three women will sit on the court, provided the path to the end of pre-existing conditions and coverage caps in health care, ended the war in Iraq, positioned us to do the same in Afghanistan within two years, increased homeland security, headed off a major depression, did put Americans to work (but if you do not have a job that does not really matter), saved our financial system, and put us on a path to continue as leaders in both energy and transportation.

But the message that is resounding is one of slogans, half truths, lies and negative thinking being bought and paid for by big international business and special interests groups. It has been so strong it has caused nothing short of a revolution within the Republican party and now threatens to do that in America itself.

Republicans want us to go back to the Bush years spending levels, while Tea Party wants much deeper cuts. If we go back to 2008 spending levels, we will see a 28% cut in spending on education, creating a major gap and damaging any progress. Deeper will gut education, leaving it to be something only the wealthy can afford. Do we want a permanent poor and lower middle class caste system?

Selling Nevada to the Highest Bidder

Americans for New Leadership is group spending millions to defeat Harry Reid, with $300,000 in TV ads in September alone. Yet there are no donors listed on their legal paperwork an executives are kept confidential. So who is working to defeat Reid.

Some of the other groups spending heavily to defeat Reid do have disclosure with large corporations and millionaires, all from out of state behind them.

Karl Rove is running a large number of shell groups to defeat Reid and other Democrats, with large checks in the millions but no disclosure required.

Are we going to allow Nevada to be sold to the highest bidder?

Elvis Fans and people who knew Elvis for Documentary

We are making a documentary about the king and we would like to have some of the biggest Elvis fans in our documentary. If you are a big Elvis fan we would like to do a phone interview with you and ask you some questions regarding your love for Elvis. Please respond with a phone number you can be reached at and we will get in touch with you. If you are selected for the film crew to come shoot you then you will receive $400 as well as be featured in the documentary. 

The above is from Craigslist, so please take the suggested precautions.