Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hilzoy neocons vindicated?

Hilzoy on Finkelstein
The end of the post sums it up nicely:

Towards the end of his article, Finkelstein writes:

"The mistake the neocons made is that we were not conservative enough, not patient enough. Such impatience with dictatorships is understandable, indeed laudable. But the frustrating truth is that there are limits to what can be achieved by outsiders. Instead we have to wait as national movements, one by one, stand up for their rights. And sometimes, tragically, we even have to stand aside as those movements are crushed by their oppressors."

Well, yes; that would be one way to put it. Another would be to say: neoconservatives were not just insufficiently patient; they were reckless beyond belief, willing to bring down unspeakable costs on other people without bothering to weigh the possibility that their simplistic and unrealistic views of the world might be wrong. If Mr. Finkelstein wants to change his ways and become more "patient", power to him. To my mind, though, this column, with its equally simplistic (and insulting) view of his opponents, shows that he has not changed nearly enough.

Mr. President

I received an email from the president today asking for money. Here is my response:

Mr. President

I would like to contribute, but I like to eat and keep a roof over my head. I'd like to keep my small business but I'm not sure I can do that either. I know that you inherited this mess and the opposition party (I call them that because that's all they know how to do, oppose everything) is not making it easy, but it is your job to lead on all the problems, to provide solutions or to back the people who can.
BTW why do I need to donate money that I don't have to help you do the job that you get paid for? And for which I voted for you. And donated to help you get elected. And spent time helping to insure that people voted. I thought about 1100-1200 people work in the WH. I imagine most of them have other job priorities but isn't this one of the most important things you can do in your time as president?
Health care. What we have now is so backwards in providing care that the only way to fix it is to start over. I have a saying that is of course over the top, but when I have a complete mess and the only way to fix it is to - nuke it. Take the situation back to zero and start over. So I "nuke" my office every so often. That's the concept that we need in health care. "Nuke it" and start over from scratch. Single payer, universal health care for all citizens. Roll Medicare, all the state programs into one, single payer system, like the Canadian or almost any of the European/Australian systems. Take health care away from business, both in the purchasing and supplying.
So here's what I say .... Screw the insurance companies. They've had years/decades to make this better. But they went the other way. It is now time for all the citizens of this country to join the 21st century and have actual health care.
And in case you are wondering, no I don't have, nor can I afford health insurance. I am a few years away from Medicare, which has anyway been limited by congress at the request of the insurance industry so that they can sell supplemental policies. Once again screw the insurance companies. They've made their billions at our expense.

It was our turn. We spoke out, very loud. We donated. We trusted and continue to trust that you will do your job. But it is now your turn.
Thank You.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I don't get conservatives. They seem to want to take away liberties, freedoms, and now even life itself. Well not all life, only humane, caring doctors. They seem to want to suffer even more in life and to make others suffer.
UPDATE - looks like not just Doctors.
So does anyone with an once of sense now have to look out for (wackos) terrorists on every street corner?

I'd say the problem is Christian religion. Or maybe all religions, but look at the Christian religion as that seems to be the religion of choice for conservatives. Maybe it's the suffering thing, for we must all suffer for the sins of humanity. What a load of crap. Unless you believe that there are only a finite number of souls and we are all reincarnated. I wasn't there, I was born in the last century, not 20 of them ago. I may have some responsibility for Bush being president as I didn't work hard enough to not get him elected, (oh wait I believe that he was appointed, anointed or some such).
What is it that makes someone so selfish, so inhumane, so..... well un-christian? Do they even read the book they profess to adore, especially the part about oh I don't know, Christ?
I have been looking off and on for about 50 years for the answers to this and I haven't heard or found any. When I was in bible study and actually read the book (10-11 years old) and found it to be, well bullshit. This is not a book about how to live your life, it's about how people with limited education, no scientific knowledge perceived the world. It seems that with knowledge the world is or should be a less scary place, but religion has to keep it scary or no one would follow. And not only scary but that what little piece of it someone has will be taken away if they don't stay scared.
So now our politics are not only infused with this crap, it has totally affected our lives. We can't have health care for all, not enough suffering. We must wage war, not only against other cultures, but even within our own culture. The war on drugs, the war on abortion (and make no mistake it is a war), what is the desired end result?
I am asking questions because I don't see anyone else asking them. I don't have answers but I'd like to hear if you do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Freedom - a long rant about the basics

Our freedoms and ideals, that we used to take for granted, if not gone, are eroding rapidly.

Innocent people now have to fear having their houses broken into, not by common criminals but by those thought to protect us, the police. Police who use overwhelming force, wear masks, have no name tags or badges. This is not happening everywhere but it is happening, to innocent people, to mayors of cities.
The police cover it up or arrest people on bogus charges. Mostly this seems to happen due to the "War on Drugs", a futile prohibition which has cost lives, families and futures.
Now that we know that we were/are being spied upon by our government should we worry that this won't be the only reason? Of course they're not all storm troopers -
We find that our leaders failing on such personal levels as paying taxes, which the average citizen doesn't get away with. Our large corporate heads demand outrageous salaries and bonuses with no responsibility for these sums, their only allegiance is to themselves and maybe their shareholders. These people are supposed to be leaders as well and they have failed miserably, just like the majority of our politicians.

We used to at least think that some of our national leaders could be trusted to have the people's best interest at heart and mind but mostly they have quietly, and not so quietly removed or devalued most of our ideals over the last few decades, with the convoluted legislation and regulations they have enacted. And with party rules that help keep out only the "approved candidates".
I wonder how many of the politicians even know all the ins and outs of the laws they have voted on. I wonder how many have even read the entire bills. Many of the bills are hundreds of pages long or are so vague in their language that there is never agreement exactly what they say. Or they leave the actual rule making up to departments, like the IRS, Treasury (bank/wall street bailout), and we see how good that's worked out.

So my questions are:
Has it always been this way and are we only now becoming more informed (not by the MSM of course), or at least more aware? Or as I believe we have been sinking into the cesspool bit by bit until the overwhelming stench has awoken more and more of us.

What can we do about this as a nation of , for all intents and purposes, 2 political parties, one of which has gone batshit crazy. I mean we all expect politicians to lie to us, just not so blatantly and with so little understanding that there is public proof of their lies. Of course we actively campaign for Democrats but is that enough? And are they enough?