Saturday, April 05, 2008

A word to journalists and writers culling original material from this site: My mother is dying, no-thanks for the false memories

Journoland/Fat Chance Hotel America--You know, you people could have the decency to quote me. At least someone at Reason magazine did, I'll grant him that. To do otherwise is plagiarism. Plagiarism is bad enough, but you don't really understand who you're hurting here: My mother has osteo-arthritis. We don't have the money to treat it, and she's dying slowly. Fortunately, I worked in a hospital for a few years as a teenager, and could do a much better job at caring for her than they can--and I am.

If we could afford the Remicade-infusions, she could walk normally again. She could be there for her new grandchild more often, and she wouldn't be wracked with pain. It would slow the progress of a disease that will ultimately kill her. I don't expect those who have never known this kind of want to understand. How could you? That's what builds character, and there are worse things than being poor. The poor have character-in-spades over the comfortable. Make of that what you want.

Unless you're completely destitute, the government won't pay for it at all. Meanwhile, the criminal enterprise and their backers occupying the White House are openly looting our Treasury. Of the current candidates now running for president, I can only say my faith rests with Barack Obama. Clinton and McCain are part of the problem, and we're only going to hear lip-service from them on real social and economic reforms. We'll also have a wider war with either Clinton or McCain, and it will be with Iran. These are bad people, and they are liars. Somehow, everyone knows this instinctively, yet tolerates it. It's not tolerable. Government is the answer, not politicians, and I believe Obama really can unite this country if he genuinely wishes to do it. He has the charisma and the intellect, but does he possess the will? That's the question.

That all remains-to-be-seen at this point, and you have to figure-in the fact that the Republicans will try to derail anything he proposes that helps the public outside of military-spending. They want all of the money to go to the selfish interests whom they truly represent, because it isn't we the people. I cannot agree with anyone who says that government is unable to solve these problems, because it has worked before, and with a better balancing of the federal budget than this political generation has. The majority of the responsibility for the current deficit and economic woes rests squarely with the former GOP congressional majority and the White House under George W. Bush.

It's all a matter of will, and it will require a reinstatement of progressive taxation. It shouldn't stop there: it's time to tax all products coming from China, and time to rollback NAFTA, GATT, and the spate of trade policies that exists to discourages the domestic production of necessities. How many plastic things do we really need from China? I'd say "quit buying them," but nobody has the money to
anyway. But there's always money for war-profiteers, so why not for the public? Greed again, and the lust for power. Obama seems to understand where the public is coming from on all of this, and if you ask the right questions, they feel almost exactly as I have written here. You just have to truly listen and comprehend. There are natural social repercussions for not doing so.

The social contract won't be able to withstand the kind of pressure we've seen since Reagan forever. For decades, we were told of the "peace-dividend" that was just around the corner when the Cold War ended. It never came, and it never does without a demand. So, with the Treasury depleted, the funds will have to come from the wealthiest Americans. It's my opinion that if they don't want to pay their fair share, they shouldn't be allowed to do business here. Not even through subsidiaries. If foreign companies wish to, they should be encouraged to. That aside, it's more costly to have a workforce that's sick all the time. That makes sense when you're not a member of N.A.M. or the Central Committee in China. The personal is always political, and health care is crucial to a functioning society.

In my mother's case, remember that insurance
pays only a fraction of most medical costs, and coverage was so expensive for us that we had to drop it, thus, dropping the infusions. It's criminal, plain-and-simple, that this kind of situation exists in the United States for anyone. But it does, it's ubiquitous. Having no national health care plan is a violation of all of our human rights, clearly stated in the U.N. Charter. Wonder no more why political parties like the Libertarians or the GOP harp over "violations of our national sovereignty" when they suspect the business community here doesn't dominate the dialog over health care.

There would be a lot of people in legal jeopardy the day America came under the discipline of international law. With the American Empire in-decline, that day could be sooner rather than later. Anyway, my mother is dying of this disease, and we could slow its progress if we lived in a civilized nation. But we don't. Wonder no more why this blog exists, but don't mistake this story as being my only motivation. Perhaps a trip to Cuba for my mother is in order, somewhere civilized and humane. Maybe France, maybe the UK.

When will she die of osteo-arthitis? I don't know when that's going to be, but if there are any of you out there with a shred of human decency (and the money), you'll hit the donation button to your left. Also, I have a dear friend in Toronto who is very ill with a debilitating illness. Her Internet site is "Ladybroadoak," and she needs and deserves your help. Please help her if you can. If you have the money to give, you need to do so.

My mother is a good woman who has given-up most of her life to public service...but where is it for her? Luckily, she has two sons who can care for her, and we do. But that's not going to get her the care she needs, or the medication she must have to live a reasonable life. Things aren't going to get much better for anybody with the rising-costs of necessities that are flowing from the high-cost of oil. It's time for some fundamental changes in how our economy is regulated. Getting rid of the worthless Department of Homeland Security and filling its offices with an economic recovery bureau that administers price-fixing would be a good start.

For around a generation, we Americans have forgotten what's important. We forgot why the Great Depression happened, and we forgot that government can solve the problems facing this society. But there's a missing-ingredient: the American public. We have to participate, and that's our legal right. It doesn't just mean voting, it means understanding that we all have a responsibility to one another. It means trusting each other, and behaving as if we really do deserve better, rather than succumbing to greed and indifference. Until we get on the same page about this and act accordingly, our problems will continue to be our own collective fault. Dr. King said "chaos or community," and the choice is ours to make. The personal is political.