Midnight Cowboying – Why I’ve Sided with Iran on the Nukes

There comes a time when you finally got to put on the other shoe and give it a whirl for a mile or two. Abstract reasoning, the crux of international diplomacy, has left the Bush Administration as quickly as a preacher caught in the whorehouse. Some question if it was ever there, with choices like Bolton for the UN or Baker actually defending Saudi Arabia against survivors of 9-11. But as we enter the era of regional power nuclear proliferation, we must stop for a second and be rational for moment. I come here to praise Iran, not to bury them.

Iran, if you will remember, have brought us great advancements in the science of math to astronomy, though they went under the banner of Persia back then. While their flag and traditions have evolved into modernity, they are among the oldest cultures who still have their base memes intact. Remember, it was the Zoroasters that came and told the Jews of ancient Israel that Christ had been born, but of course now they want to send them bombs.

Which brings me to my point, mutual assured annihilation. Though Russia, under the guise of the Soviet Union, and the USA had their nuclear moment as superpowers, the evolution of the atomic age has now passed down to regional powers. Recently, Pakistan and India had their nuclear moment, but they stood down and were later loosely united by the smiting power of an earthquake. Though the Kashmir question has not been fully resolved, recent bus travel across the border tells the tale that atomic power will not be the final judge, jury and executioner.

The torch of Pandora has now been passed to the regional powers in the seas of sand. But currently, the only regional power to have a nuclear arsenal is the Israel. See, the paradigm of mutual assured annihilation only works if both sides are armed with weapons they know they cannot use because it assures their total destruction. Since Israel is the only holder of said weapons, Iran is assured of only their complete annihilation. So of course they reserve the right to acquire nuclear weapons to assure their preservation, or Israel must disarm. Those are the only two real options here.

I find it ironic that we went to Babylon to find out what the rest of the world already knew, that Saddam didn’t have jack. In fact, due to problems in acquiring replaceable parts, the basics of any modern conventional army, he was no more than a paper tiger. Of course, the current administration knew this, because they had the receipts, but they were on a mission to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons. I have often wondered why we did not stop in Israel, and check on their atomic weapons, which we also have the receipts for.

So my question is, why the double standard? The atomic power paradigm only works if both sides know they cannot use their weapons, which is why they got them in the first place. Why are we against the Iranian right of self preservation? Or why are we not asking Israel to disarm? I prefer the latter for the record, for Jesus would be rather sad if we turned his Holy Land into a parking lot, and I would hate to see that guy cry.

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Ye Olde open thread.

US Snipers Use “Bait” to Attract Kills

Oh yeah this is just great. Evidently there is some kind of “classified” program where US snipers in Iraq will put out objects like weapons and detonation cord in the street, and then shoot whoever picks it up.

Well Good God people, if I were an Iraqi father and I saw a weapon or blasting caps in the street where some kids would pick them up and get hurt, you are damn right I would go pick that stuff up to get rid of it…

Except in BushCo’s Iraq…you get your brains blown out for being a good citizen and looking after the neighborhood kids.

Where in the hell did my country go?

Read the article yourselves please…I’m disgusted.

Snipers Use Bait

“WASHINGTON – Army snipers hunting insurgents in Iraq were under orders to “bait” their targets with suspicious materials, such as detonation cords, and then kill whoever picked up the items, according to the defense attorney for a soldier accused of planting evidence on an Iraqi he killed. Gary Myers, an attorney for Sgt. Evan Vela, said Monday his client had acted “pursuant to orders.”

This is heinous. I could see if there were uniformed forces vs. uniformed forces that some kind of lure might be within the laws of war…but this baiting of people in a city is beneath contempt.

“…the sworn statement of Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of a Ranger sniper scout platoon. “Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy,” Didier said in the statement. “Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. forces.”

Just when you think it is no longer possible…something even more evil shambles from the ruins of Iraq…what kind of monsters are these people running our country? Where did common decency go?

How can a sniper tell a “terrorist” from a “concerned Dad” who picks up a weapon in the street?  The black market in weapons is a source of cash. If I could not get to work because of ethnic cleansing by the Iraqi police, I would grab something to sell to feed my family. There is NO shortage of weapons in Iraq, and the pretext that anyone grabbing a weapon is going to use if against US forces and thus becomes a target…that is beyond barbaric.

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What Did You Expect?

That’s the question one must ask concerning certain events and individuals when one considers past actions and statements.

viagra generico 200 mg in farmacia senza ricetta pagamento online a Genova Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Columbia University Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President of Iran was invited by Columbia University to give a speech and answer questions from those in attendance. What did he think was going to happen? Perfumed rose pedals would be thrown at his feet? That every questioner would come from the Jeff Gannon school of journalism? Fawning approval of his governments policies? If that’s the case then Mister Ahmadinejad is in violation of his countries drug laws.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=cheap-propecia-online Yasuo Fukuta elected President of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party. How does the press react? Like Mr. Fukuta will be some kind reformer. Hello! Yasuo Fukuta is a member the LDP a party which has ruled Japan since 1954. It’s members are proud social conservatives with a strong nationalist bent. During the more than a decade Japan’s economy was in recession they threw large amounts of money at useless public works projects which amounted to nothing but further increasing the countries debt. 

go here The UN holds on conference on Global Warming George “I dyne  Global Warming” Bush has other ideas. With all the brilliance and insight of an amoeba President Bush will hold is own conference on follow url (dening) global warming later this week. One can only imagine the “Solutions” that will emerge. Increase greenhouse gas emissions after all they’re green aren’t they. Clean air and water: What do you mean? Air comes in tank and water comes in a nice source plastic bottle how could there be any problems. Arctic ice and the Polar Ice Caps? A new ice machine will solve all are problems. As you can see only the most http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=apo-furosemide-40-mg-for-lasix Brilliant of Ideas will spill forth from this collection of Einsteins.

vardenafil contrassegno senza ricetta online in italia Senator Larry Craig back in the news Larry gives new meaning to I’m guilty only when I’m not guilty because I changed my mind. Larry is one amazing person. He went to that airport toilet because he had just signed up for http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=propecia-sale Tap Dancing lessons. He was throwing old school see Gang Signs. The stall was extra wide to accommodate his viagra generico 200 mg prezzo a Venezia Extra Wide Stance. What did you except from guy who is in complete denial about everything.

Hillary to Sunday talk hosts …gotcha!

Some in the media are criticizing Hillary’s performance as displayed on the Sunday talk shows this past weekend. The primary criticism that I have heard is that she appeared on all five but made no news. In my mind, and I am sure in Hillary and her campaign’s, that makes for a successful day.

Another criticism voiced by Chris Matthews and his panel is that she never answered a question. Perplexed, What is the lead? they exclaimed. The lead is that Hillary knows how to play hardball. She took on all the talking heads of the Sunday programs and she beat the crap out of them. In doing so, all in one day, she has inoculated herself from going on again until after the primary season. All said, a very good day for Hillary.

The Clinton campaign has learned one thing very well, that is, how to manipulate the media. Most people who have been placed in the position of being a guest on such a show, been an interviewee for a probing reporter’s questions, or subjected to a hearing process where elaboration in answering questions is allowed have availed themselves of one or the other executive television workshops. Such coaching and counseling sessions work the principal through the gamut of questions posed and the appropriate way to answer the question while at the same time getting your message across. I thought Ms Clinton especially good in her responses to Chris Wallace on Fox. Her laughter at his attempts at entrapment demonstrated her contempt for his methods and effectively mooned the Right-biased persuasion of Fox’s management.

While I am not a Hillary devotee, I was very impressed with her Sunday performances. Hopefully, the other candidates will get the message, take the training and chop to pieces the lazy, self-centered, self-important, and self-proclaimed Washington News stars. There will be no star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame if their respective performances continue as shown on Sunday past.

The Life Philosophy of an Atheist

Recently I’ve been having a very productive discussion with a friend of mine who is quite a devout born again Christian.  He has been open to reading some things I have suggested, including Sam Harris’s “Letter to a Christian Nation.”  My friend’s questions forced me to really think about and articulate my own personal life philosophy, one without any sort of god, but with definite moral codes.  My friend has been a strong supporter of the Iraq war and used to be a Bush supporter, but seems not to be anymore.  The fact he and I can have civil and productive exchanges says a lot about how our friendship has grown and trust and openness have developed.  I credit my friend to a large degree with this as he has been patient with my liberal rants many times and has been open to looking at things from a different angle. 

Below is some of our exchange.  I was hoping this would stimulate further conversation here.  I would love to hear your philosophy of life!

Friend:
I had a further thought for you about Sam Harris’ moral creed. My wife was telling me about ancient Greek culture, which was based on honor versus shame, rather than our concepts of virtue and guilt. I just finished watching The Last Samurai. The Samurai had a similar, honor-based morality, and it was very moving for me to behold.

Some South American tribes have a moral code whose highest ideal is to trick one’s enemy. The more you can deceive him before you kill him, the better you have done. That particular code has no appeal for me, but at least it’s self-consistent.

Response
I think this boils down to the question “Is there one ‘true’ morality”? As a biologist and evolutionist, I don’t think necessarily. There are ways societies work with their own rules, that make for success and ways that lead to failure and that group dying out. I don’t see nature as having morality.  It is amoral (not immoral). I see humans as one of the results of evolution. So we are just creatures like any other.

Watching our chickens, they are like you might imagine little dinosaurs. They are fairly ruthless with each other. The strongest get the highest status, the safest place near the Rooster (the protector). Lower birds live on the outskirts. Youngsters are kept in their place with force, until they grow big enough to challenge the adults. Do I want them to behave in this non-compassionate way? No. But this is what they do.  Their systems are a product of years of evolution. It is the way the strongest genes are passed on. I see humans as products of this same system, though we are also growing in self awareness, and perhaps in that way, maybe capable of looking further ahead.

While I might strongly disagree with some of the moralities you have stated, (and chicken culture) I can see them in the context of biology. I guess they have worked for the group(s) who have had them, to keep that group alive and propagating.

Friend:
My question is, why would Sam Harris prefer one system of morality over another? For the Greeks and Japanese, the highest act was to die while fighting one’s enemies. For you and me, the highest act might be to show kindness to our enemies, even in battle. For a South American native, the highest act is to trick your enemy and then kill him. Each moral code has some justification. How does an atheist like Sam Harris choose between these contradictory moral codes? He seems simply to have settled on the one that came to him courtesy of the Judeo-Christian tradition in which he was raised.

Response:
Well, Sam might ask why you have chosen Christianity as your moral code. As you know, most of the major world religions declare themselves the “truth”. I would say you chose Christianity because that is what you were exposed to. Had you lived in a Muslim country, you would likely have chosen Islam, Israel Judaism, etc, and in both instances be really glad you did not get led astray by those nasty Christians who are teaching the way to hell. In addition, Sam might ask you why you interpret the Bible/Christianity in the way you do, because you could be following other parts of the Bible instead of what you choose to pick out as the most relevant. As he says, everything from the inquisition and slavery to kindness and non-violence, can be justified by the Bible.

I always wonder why you seem to feel you need “outside guidance” on a moral code. I actually think you have a strong internal morality that has nothing to do with the Bible or Christianity; you just need to trust yourself to listen to it. My sense is you are sometimes concerned that if you did not have certain religious boundaries that you might do bad stuff; be mean to your parents, not nice to your wife, run off and do selfish things etc. I actually think you would not do these things, even if you did not believe in a Christian God. I think you would quickly see how those “immoral” actions would impact negatively on yourself and those you love and you would choose a wiser course. What I’m saying, is that I don’t think one needs the 10 commandments, or an in depth study of Biblical passages to decide what is the right thing to do. In the end we will act for the interest of those we love, and for our own well being.  This is what makes society work and people live happily. I guess I don’t see anything wrong with that. The only difference I see world wide is how big you consider your “clan” to be. Do you only identify with the well being of your family, your town, your state, your nation, or the whole planet? When you get to realizing everyone and the entire planet are worthy of compassion and care, all part of “your group”, then you see things quite differently.

You and I were talking about illegal immigrants. There is a big thing going on with the Right now about how bad they are, and how they might be taking jobs from Americans or bringing terrorism here or just be outlaws in some way. We are told to not think of them as people just like ourselves, but faced with a different set of circumstances. I think you heard my point that the children of those immigrants are as worthy of care and love as your kids, or the kids I see at school. They are humans with value, life with value, experiencing tears and happiness as fully as you or I or the kids we know here. When you see them like that, as part of your “clan”, as fellow human beings, it is no longer “moral” to say “tough luck, your parents should not have put you in this position”. You start to see the planet as a whole, the human species as a whole, all life as worthy of care and compassion. You start to look for solutions that are bigger than “keep the illegals out so we can maintain our way of life here in the USA.” You start to look for ways that will be good for all the humans on the planet.

Then you realize its not OK to blow up Iraqi children (or Afghani children or Sudanese children..), while trying to save fetuses and blastocysts here in America. You start to see the contradictions in that.  If you believe human life is valuable (or God-given ets), then all human life is such. You start to be able to put yourself in the shoes of an Iraqi Father, his children killed and injured as “collateral damage” in the US attempts to do what ever we are trying to do there. You realize those kids are as precious as your kids. When you see a photograph of a dead Iraqi child, you cry like she was your own child, because she was someone’s precious little girl. War quickly becomes a less palatable option. You start to see the true horror. When a fighter jet flies over your house, you can imagine if it was hostile and dropping bombs and missiles on your neighborhood, and realize this is exactly what we are
doing to people just like ourselves.

These are all things one does not need a Bible, Torah or a Koran to discover. In fact I would say all those books seem to make it harder to realize the humanity in others, as they both make a lot of distinctions between “us the believers” and “them the non-believers” As you know dehumanizing the “enemy” is necessary to enable killing them. We had to dehumanize the “japs” “krauts” “kooks” and now the “Hadjis”. We have to make ourselves forget they are actually just like us, that causing their suffering and death is pretty much like going to our own home towns and killing our neighbor’s children and blowing up their homes and farms.  They are all our neighbors, and in an increasingly small planet, this becomes more and more apparent.

I guess I’m just jumping further ahead in how I see some of what Sam Harris is saying. The solutions to humanity’s challenges are not going to be found by analyzing biblical or Koranic verses. The future of our civilization and our planet is going to be dependent on realizing the humanity in all of us, and the value of the planet itself to sustain us.  If we continue in an “us vs them” mentality, with the technology we have now to destroy each other and to destroy the environment, we are NOT going to make it as a species. Maybe that is inevitable, that we just can’t get there, to rise above our most base instincts of tribe and protection of our own resources. But I believe there is hope we can. So I guess to a certain extent I feel like religions are a distraction, even an impediment, to doing what we need to do in the next century or two to ensure the happiness of our children and grandchildren and I’m assuming we actually care about them.

When you see religion as all mythology, as I basically do, it becomes a side issue, and distraction, to what is really going to count. I know you and I won’t agree on this, but I’m just saying where I am, as you know. I know you see religion as the only road to salvation after death, but I see death as lights out, its over, and believe it or not, that’s more or less OK with me. I’ve reached a peace with that. Its a tough thing to come to terms with, as we are certainly evolutionarily programmed to abhor and fear death, (which keeps us alive and propagating) which is why we want to have something after, some desperate hope or promise that its not “over”. But I can create meaning in this life I have now. Its my choice and knowing its the only chance I have to be a conscious being, it is truly a precious few years here. As Sam would say “Once you stop swaddling the realities of the world’s suffering in religious fantasies, you will feel in your bones how truly precious life is.. ” I think perhaps one can only understand that statement from the point of view of a non-believer. Maybe that’s why atheists don’t fly planes into buildings.
😉

Well, I guess I’m done now. 🙂
Now THAT was rather a rant, aye? 😉

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Waddya want on the next Saturday Night Bike Blogging?

Just a quick query.

I’m heading into work tomorrow, which probably means I’ll have work the balance of the week. So, of course, with a full work day and almost two hour cycle commute each way (Jesus H. Christ, would you stop whinging already, McF?), I likely won’t have time to blog again until the weekend.

Which gives plenty of time to collect info. What do you want in the next Saturday Night Bike Blogging? Take the poll and/or add a comment. I’ll check it out on Friday evening, and get cogitating.

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What is your speciality?

Original thinking or secondary research?

Many of the web blogs that I follow are of a type wherein their contributors excel in reading various media reports, the output of other sources, blogs, etc. Often it is a practice on such blogs for an author to transcribe large portions of another’s work and lace it together with fairly innocuous, segue remarks …usually, a sentence or two of little original content. While this may be a service to those who are unable to find original articles for themselves, the procedure adds little to original thinking.

 

The most memorable bloggers are those who do primary and secondary research and use that material to generate additional thoughts and one’s who express the conclusions of such thought process in their own words. An occasional quote from another adds credibility to the author’s own conclusions. A reproduction of another’s work adds little to the body intellect.

I have watched the articles published here on Docudharma and am pleased to compliment the authors. For the most part blockquote is used sparingly. Quotes are usually short and germane. The thoughts of the essay writer are the important issue. If a fact, documented by another, is helpful, by all means quote it. However, don’t let’s fall into the trap of measuring our contribution by the pound, especially, when most of the weight is provided by the thought process of another. There are other blog sites where your tonnage is amply rewarded.

The Locker Room

(A little middle of the night sports roundup.

My Mariners are out of it. And Alexander has a broken wrist. Meh.

FP’ed 2:55 AM, Tuesday, September 25, 2007. – promoted by exmearden
)

how to geting finasteride from online drugstore MLB

So, in the AL, 3 teams have already clinched their playoff spots, with the Angels and Indians already clinching their respective divisions.  The Red Sox also have a ticket to the after-party, though the Yankees are only 1.5 games back.  It is beyond the mechanizations of my helmet-holder to understand why the Yankees haven’t statistically clinched a spot yet….but so say the websites.  It looks like a lock to me.

The NL has a wider range of possibilities and no teams have clinched yet.  Right now the Mets, Cubs, and D-backs are sitting atop their respective divisions, but none are more than 3.5 games up on their nearest rival.  The Mets are the only of these playing today (probably right now, depending on when you read this).  The wildcard race is also tight, and any of the current division leaders could end up in that mix, though it doesn’t seem likely.  It looks like a runoff between San Diego and Philly; San Diego has a half-game lead and a game in hand (which they play tonight).

(edit/update: the mets lost to washington 13-4; San Fran is up 7-4 on San Diego in the 5th)

NFL

Week 3, 5 teams still undefeated.  Colts, Cowboys, Packers, Pats, Steelers.  And the Titans and Saints play tonight.  Yeah, like I’m staying awake for THAT game…

I guess I should probably mention that Brett Favre has tied Dan Marino’s all-time touchdown pass record.  420.  Yippee.  I’m not a fan of Favre’s, so someone else will need to talk him up.

This is not a good video, and certainly not his best run of the day, but with all fingers here are crossed for Brian Westbrook, who injured his ribs in yesterday’s game.  (I found it helpful while watching to imagine that the Eagles were wearing the green -n- silver…these throwback uni’s are hideous!!)


My Saturday was completely tied up with my daughter’s Cross-Country meet so I have very little idea what the NCAA week was like…care to fill me in??

NASCAR??

Oh, and NASCAR hit my radar this weekend, as the unwashed masses descended upon my own humble home state to cheer as cars drove around an oval.  This is believed to be somehow entertaining.  And apparently the winner cheated…

After Edwards won the Dodge Dealers 400, his No. 99 Roush Fenway Ford failed postrace inspection. Officials determined the car’s right rear was too low, and NASCAR chose to take possession of the car and bring it back to its Concord, N.C., facility for further testing.

If NASCAR’s finding sticks, it is likely – based on precedent – that Edwards will keep the victory but be penalized driver points. Team owner Jack Roush also would be docked owner points, and fines also could be assessed. from this Yahoo! News story

 

Tennis

The U.S. and Russia will play for the Davis Cup finals in November.  Please don’t ask me to explain the groupings or schedule for the Davis Cup.  Please.  Just look at the pretty pictures….

Andy Roddick…

…and James Blake
of the U.S. Davis Cup team.

Women’s World Cup Soccer

Quarterfinal Results:
Germany 3, North Korea 0
United States 3, England 0
Norway 1, China 0
Brazil 3, Australia 2

So it’s Germany v. Norway on Wednesday,
Brazil v. U.S. on Thursday

Team Norway:

I’ll end my diatribe with a quote from this Yahoo!News story

Frankly, it’s nice to see that the league is cracking down. Rogue cheerleaders have used unsavory methods to decide the outcome of NFL games for too long. Today, at last, the league freed itself from their wicked influence.

Monks Marching

Whooey — the intertubes really have changed things.

This week Jon Swift is a guest blogger at mike’s round-up at Crooks & Liars and I’m already impressed with yesterday and today’s posts.

Swift says:

Something seems to be happening in Burma or Myanmar or whatever, but it must not be very important because hardly anyone is blogging about it.

Never let it be said that DocuDharma shall let this challenge go unanswered!

Jon links to comments from left field which in turn links to the front paged New York Times story on what’s going on in Burma:

Myanmar’s military government has sealed off the country to foreign journalists but information about the protests has been increasingly flowing out through news reports, exile groups in Thailand with contacts inside Myanmar, and through the photographs, videos and audio files, carried rapidly by technologies, including the Internet, that the government has failed to squelch.

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of an assassinated independence hero, Aung San, came to prominence when she became a leader in the pro-democracy demonstrations of 1988.

Her political party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory in Parliamentary elections in 1990, although the junta, fearing her charismatic appeal, had already placed her under house arrest.

The military government annulled the result of the 1990 elections and held on to power. But it miscalculated the public mood again in 2002 when it released her from house arrest and allowed her to tour the country, visiting party offices.

She drew increasingly large and enthusiastic crowds until a band of government-backed thugs attacked a convoy in which she was traveling, killing several people. The government seized her again and placed under even stricter house arrest, cutting off her telephone and deepening her isolation.

The latest protests began Aug. 19 in response to sharp, unannounced fuel price increases of up to 500 percent, immediately raising the prices of goods and transportation.

They were led at first by former student protesters and other activists, but most of these leaders had been arrested or were in hiding when the monks began their protests last Tuesday.

The monks were apparently motivated at first by an attack on a small demonstration at which security officers fired shots into the air and beat a number of monks.

Since then, the monks’ protests have spread from city to city and have become more overtly political.

Please click the link in Jon’s quote to see an amazing video from Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi on non-violent protest.  It is quite astonishing — and so is she.

Of course the NYT story also blurbs that Bush and Rice, et al. are very “concerned” about what’s going on there – and there have been economic sanctions on Burma for some time – which does not, of course, help the people there nor stop the tyranny.

As Comments from Left Field responds:

As is par for the course with Bush, when he wants to ignore obvious human rights abusing but oil friendly, authoritarian governments, he’ll have some in his government throw out chastisements followed by no action. With Burma, Bush has used both Condi and Laura as PR distractions for his complete failure to do any thing of substantce to aid the pro-Democracy movement or to end the unjust confinement of Suu Kyi.

What I find amazing about this story is that due to the internet, we can find out what’s going on in a country in severe lock-down – and have it end up on the front page of the New York Times.

I ask anyone who has more in-depth knowledge of Burma to add their thoughts in the comments.

Until then, here are a couple of videos.  The first is short but stunning, showing the monks marching in Rangoon:

And here’s a poignant song to the monks:

The internet can be a strong agent for revolution and reformation.  This story shows that very well.

I wish for peace for Burma, and for justice.

Noted Without Comment

There is essentially nothing I can add to this, which is the biggest unreported story in America as far as I am concerned:

For the fourth year in a row, U.S. marijuana arrests set an all-time record in 2006, according to the just-released FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Marijuana arrests totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005. Similar to previous years, 738,916 or 89 percent were for possession, not sale or manufacture, and marijuana possession arrests again exceeded arrests for all violent crimes combined…

Despite record arrests, marijuana use remains higher than it was 15 years ago, when arrests were less than half the present level, and marijuana is the number one cash crop in the U.S.

Health Care and the Bargaining Table: A No Win Situation! w/poll

So, the UAW have struck GM with the main sticking point being health care.  Is anyone really surprised?  What’s amazing to me is that health care is still on the bargaining table at all.  Is there any hope that this will change in the near future?

Medicare for all?  Health care for all Americans?  Everyone’s covered?

It’s called HR 676, the Conyers/Kucinich plan for Universal Single Pay Not for Profit Health Care for all Americans.  Notice that I didn’t write health insurance for all Americans.  This is not a health insurance plan.  There are no insurance companies involved.  Indeed, Dennis is the only preisdential candidate offering a plan that doesn’t involve the insurance companies.  There will be no mandated coverage.  You won’t lose your job because your not carrying health insurance.  You’ll be covered.  Period.  And so will all other Americans.  Period.

Our health care system is broken, and H.R. 676, the Conyers-Kucinich bill, is the only comprehensive solution to the problem. It is also the system endorsed by more than 14,000 physicians from Physicians for a National Health Program. Nearly 46 million Americans have no health care and over 40 million more have only minimal coverage. In 2005 some 41% of moderate and middle income Americans went without health care for part of the year. Even more shocking is that 53% of those earning less than $20,000 went without insurance for all of 2005. In fact, the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine estimates that 18,000 Americans die each year because they have no health insurance.

Will keeping the same basis for the system and allowing the insurance companies to set their prices, which have been skyrocketing, help?  Will subsidizing the insurance companies keep them from raising rates?  Will mandating coverage bring all Americans Universal health care?  What happens when someone can’t afford adequate insurance and has a major medical event?

“The underlying problem is that we treat health care like a market commodity instead of a social service. Health care is targeted not to medical need, but to the ability to pay. Markets are good for many things, but they are not a good way to distribute health care. To understand what’s happening, let’s look at how the health care market works … ”
Dr. Marcia Angell – February 4, 2003

The point of the title, of course, is that if HR 676 becomes law, health care wouldn’t be on the bargaining table.  The workers would be covered.  Management would be covered.  I would be covered and you would be covered.

As always,

Go Dennis!
Kucinich 2008!
Choose Peace and Health Care!

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The Dollar Sucks So Bad that Israel Demands US Aid in EUROS

SATIRE — This is a petite follow-up to my recent Essay — My Big Fat Rant: Saudi Arabia Set to ABANDON the U.S. Dollar — wherein I discuss strategies for protecting yourself against the accelerating crash of the USD.

How bad is it?

Secretary of State Rice has acknowledged a communique from Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Levni which requests that all foreign aid payments and loans from the United States be made in Euros rather than in Dollars. Foreign Minister Levni cited the rapidly declining dollar and it’s disfavor as a world currency as reasons for the request.

FYI (and ROFL) — the Euro is now worth about 1.4 US Dollars.



I’m going to keep this Essay short because, like a fine champagne, a mere sip of this elixir of exquisite irony is enough to savor the cacophony of the underlying thud as life as we know it hits bottom.

“In the spirit of Yom Kippur, the United States will not hold Israel to any agreements obligating them to accept Dollars as payment for their foreigh aid. We will translate our obligations into Euros or whatever currency that best fits Israel’s needs” Secretary RIce said in the Friday, Sept 21 announcement.

“We need to place our Israeli obligations at the top of our national prioriy list. Israel should not suffer any inconvenience due to currency fluctuations” said Rice before heading off to Camp David.

“In the spirit of Yom Kippur?” Oy vey.

A similar request from Egypt was declined last week. Who’s next? Haiti? Sudan? Signs are now appearing in the government offices of the poorest nations of the world that read:

Sorry folks, we can only accept Euros for our foreign aid. Thank you for your cooperation.

Actually, this “story” really is very funny; perhaps because it has the ring of truthiness.

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