Sunday, October 19, 2014

Double Bind

I heard about the new Ebola Czar Ron Klain, on the radio during  my morning commute to work. My first thought was oh, he's connected to some lobby and that turned out to be true. He lobbied for Fannie Mae. I guess that's the kind of experience we need in this country for coordinating a response to a complicated public health situation. No experience in medicine or healthcare, but plenty of experience in Washington D.C. It's at the point now where some of the people I talk to are convinced that our government and our inept healthcare system want an Ebola epidemic. True story. I don't want to give in to "hysteria or fear" but I am really afraid that the only thing we have to look forward to are a bunch of hacks running  the government, their only qualifications are going in and out of the revolving door where incumbents and lobbyists trade places. I don't even wonder anymore why nothing gets done except for an exceptional amount of bombing of other countries, there's always money for that, while everyday American's are on a downward spiral and no one cares.
Janet Yellen made a speech about rising inequality and she's awfully concerned about it. According to what I've read she actually has tools she could use to alleviate this situation but has failed to do so. She did work for Ben Bernanke and helped engineer the bailout, so I have no doubt as to who's side she's on and it isn't ours. To that end, Russell Brand says he's on our side by marching down to Wall Street and doing a bunch of talking about revolution and promoting his upcoming book. Johnny Rotten called him out because he's telling people to stop voting. Which I can't say as I blame him when all you are voting for are corporations. I think it's a little to convenient that some joke telling guy, with a messiah complex, is now running around, trying to be the next messiah. "The last time this country was taxed by an elite group that didn't represent them, there was a revolution and they threw those people out. That is what you should do on this occasion." Thanks for that Russell, maybe you could try that in your own country.
Meanwhile, in this country we have an election coming up and plenty of money is involved in our government sell out, only now we don't know where the money is coming from, maybe from big oil companies who don't want anything done about climate change. When court rulings favor big money it doesn't matter what party you vote for. In America, there is this illusion of "freedom" and the rugged individual against what has to be some of the most repressive times we've ever known. There is an ongoing situation in Ferguson, where, after  an unarmed man was shot by a cop, riots ensued and police in paramilitary gear showed up.
We are free, but we are not free.
Our government is bought and sold. If you vote you are screwed, if you don't vote you are screwed.

"Double binds are often utilized as a form of control without open coercion—the use of confusion makes them both difficult to respond to as well as to resist"
 Double bind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Indigenous People's Day

Truly, something to celebrate.
Columbus was never here. He made it to the Bahamas, a destination that seems very popular to this day. However, North America he never set foot on. It seems that wherever Columbus went, slavery, rape and pillage were to follow. There is evidence that "Columbus knowingly aided the rape of captured indigenous people." Great guy, I can see why we celebrate him. Still, most of America persists with this "tradition" of Columbus Day. Seattle wised up. In Seattle, Columbus Day now 'Indigenous Peoples' Day'
 California created Indigenous People's Day back in 1992.
Seeing that there is a big lull in consumer opportunities, this federal holiday is a retail gold mine. So I guess  Columbus Day will be with us for years to come, despite the fact that history shows, why we celebrate this day in the first place isn't really true.
Less than a month ago I read about a $554 million settlement the Navajo Nation won from The U.S. The BIA and through them the U.S. government mismanaged and lets just say ripped off the Navajo Nation for decades. Yes, we're #1 all right, we excel at exploitation. This settlement does not include water rights claims and health issues from  uranium mining.
This is only a guess, but I am pretty sure we won't be hearing about the landmark Cobell v. Salazar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia settlement of $3.4 billion, the largest class action lawsuit against the U.S. government. The government removed the judge from this case, a Judge Lamberth, Reagan appointee, because he had lost his "objectivity," he "repeatedly ruled for the Native Americans in their class-action lawsuit." Well, we can't have that can we?
I am very happy that the Navajo people finally got justice, however, it doesn't make up for what these people have lost and the way they have been treated. Maybe this money will help them with basic services they so desperately need.
Meanwhile, there will be a parade tomorrow, to celebrate Italian Americans contributions to New York City.
Where's the parade for the Native Americans contributions? I guess we'll continue to live in denial and sweep all that under the rug, then we can get ready for what I so fondly call "Thankstaking." Just in case you have kids, here's something helpful; What to tell your kid on Columbus Day (Opinion) -
It's pretty bad when there's so much misinformation and just plain obfuscation, thanks to the miseducation system. Don't count on the U.S. school system to teach the truth, you're on your own. I think Indigenous People's Day would be a good place to start, while your on your way to that mattress sale.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Only The Insured Can Afford Ebola

I've often wondered what it's going to take to wake people up, say, a bucket of ice water? While the ice bucket challenge for ALS seemed to catch on and create a life of it's own, I don't see anyone calling for a race for the cure for Ebola. There's no ribbon color designated that we can wear to show our support for it's victims.
What I saw was a dangerous and inept healthcare system in a country that boasts of having the finest healthcare in the world, releasing a contagious victim of Ebola into the general population. Then when the man is finally rushed to the hospital in a very serious condition, who is now critical, his family is quarantined and forced to share space with the aftereffects of their Ebola afflicted relative, exposing them to more danger. Naturally, there are no protocols as to who exactly is going to clean up the mess.
If Mr. Duncan could evade what ever hodge-podge system we've patched together to supposedly keep Ebola out of the US, it's probably more of an epic fail than we think, because there's probably more Duncans out there, or should I say, in here?
Obviously the biggest problem is that Duncan got into this country in the first place, but come on, what the hell is up with that Quack, er, doctor, or nurse not "fully communicating"? Not shocked, not at all.
 From what I've experienced, when it has come to my family members being hospitalized I saw so many mistakes, errors in judgement and outright neglect that I had to email ombudsmen and JAHCO, regarding the poor quality of care my father received in a teaching hospital, one of the supposed BEST  in the Philadelphia area. If that can happen to someone with the BEST healthcare insurance, in the best facility, what the hell happens to someone without any?
I guess maybe something like what happened to Mr. Duncan? 'Mistake' in how hospital handled U.S. Ebola case? -
 From what I can gather, our healthcare system has been in crises for a very long time. Probably due to resources being funneled into shareholders profits. What I see is such a breakdown of so many systems in this country, that it doesn't surprise me that maybe the idiot nurse or moron doctor didn't think that this man might be infected with Ebola risking an outbreak here in the US, but were they even held responsible in any way? I mean are they still employed? Because these people have no business doing what they are doing, who knows if they are even capable of flipping burgers?  I mean, did Mr. Duncan have an accent? Wouldn't you have picked up on that and at least ask where he's from or been a little curious? Then an equation of being from Africa + Ebola outbreak = Infected? It's not rocket science!  This is only a guess, but I am thinking Mr. Duncan had no health insurance, meaning here's your antibiotics, now stop wasting time and money and move along....then the other part of me thinks that Mr. Duncan knew he was exposed to Ebola and didn't have a tinkers chance in hell of surviving the illness in Liberia, judging from the victims he witnessed dying there. So he lied and "answered “no” to a question about whether he had had contact with any person who might have been stricken with Ebola" before getting on a plane, then admitted to the nurse in that ER that yes, "he did respond that he was in Liberia" This tells me a whole lot. I think he colluded with what ever family he had in Texas to high tail it out of Liberia and escape the conditions there and if on the chance he did contract Ebola, he'd be in a better place to survive it, what he didn't count on was the amount of stupid he'd encounter in that hospital. Then the best part? My favorite, Rick Perry! He's wearing some nerdy glasses, really makes him look more intellectual don't you think? "Texas is one of the few states certified by the CDC to conduct Ebola testing." You don't say?
However, that test might be very expensive. Something probably only the insured could afford.
When you have insurance, you can take advantage of every life saving screening your doctor can write a note for. Then you too can enjoy invasive procedures and false positives, leading to stress and pills and more painful procedures. Afterwards, you might be able to sigh with relief when they figure out all you went through was for nothing, because there wasn't anything wrong in the first place. Not so for people without insurance, they go without and they do without and for three days Mr. Duncan probably took his antibiotics to no avail, probably with the knowledge that he had Ebola and it was only a matter of time until his symptoms became serious enough to warrant a second try.
Even though Rick Perry tries to reassure us that Texas is prepared for this kind of virus, it seems to me that it's woefully unprepared and underfunded. Governor Perry has made sure that Texas has "the highest uninsured rate in the nation" So no, Rick Perry, it doesn't seem that Texas or maybe anywhere in the U.S. is a good place for any kind of illness if you are uninsured, like I wrote about previously, The Polygon: The Politics Of Ebola it will be these very people, that would be most likely to spread this disease. But still we will deny our citizens a national healthcare system. We do so at our own peril.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We Vote For Inequality

Photo from The Atlantic
You know, I read that Eric Holder was resigning and the first thing I thought of was, I wonder if he's going to work for a bank? The lobby he previously worked for represented Bank of America, what a surprise.
It doesn't take a genius to figure it out when you look at his record of failure regarding prosecuting the banks for the fallout resulting in bailouts and the ensuing recession that laid the economy to waste with millions losing their jobs.
Then I started thinking about Flood Wall Street, one of the things that got me was, 300,000 people could march for climate change, I didn't read anything about pepper spray or people getting arrested (correct me if I'm wrong) However, if you go marching on Wall Street, you get the bull. The pictures that I saw with a corral around that Wall Street bull and the police force protecting it speaks volumes, it's the golden calf and obviously needs protecting. Because it's ok, to march against climate change, just don't bother the hedge fund managers.
It wasn't lost on me that while people are taking to the streets, protesting climate change, now it's time to bomb ISIS or ISIL or IS. Like, is that a coincidence? It seems like the only industry we've got left is the defense industry. I guess it's ok to bring out the bombs, I didn't hear anyone threatening to cut off the funding for that. I wonder what the carbon footprint of an airstrike is?
Then it's don't look now but there was some lame apology from the chief of police in Ferguson, that wasn't an apology at all. Here, we have another incidence of people taking to the streets, and a serious amount of militarized police pushback, that was pretty mindblowing. Oh yeah, and Eric Holder went down there to straighten things out. I hope he has better luck with that than the banks. So far, a month later and still no answer what caused an unarmed mans death.
The underlying thread in all this is inequality. Yeah, I am talking about Syria too, if Bashar Al Assad's government was at all fair, there wouldn't have been a revolution there and in so many other Middle Eastern countries and yes, the U.S did our share of bleeding the oil wells dry there, spreading our "democracy" and destabilizing that part of the globe.
What really gets me is most Americans and especially the people I encounter daily have no idea that corporations are destroying the planet, steering us into more wars and making sure they aren't prosecuted for any wrong doing. Last December, President Obama called inequality the "defining challenge of our time" I am not holding my breath waiting to see if he's up for the challenge. In the meantime there's an election coming up and there will be an astounding amount of people voting against their own self interests. I talked to a woman I work with yesterday, she won't be voting and she told me the reason why was because she doesn't know who to vote for and she's not going to bother to figure it out. Which is the majority of people. I don't blame them, the only person I am remotely interested in is Bernie Sanders maybe he'll get to run for president. It seems as if this two party system we have is really a one party system, making sure things stay exactly the way they are. Short of the revolution Chris Hedges talks about nothings going to change. You might as well just vote for inequality because it seems like that's all we get.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Corporate Climate

This is why I won't be marching,
Corporate fronts.
The Climate Group, endorsing This March, among its members?  BP, China Mobile, Dow Chemical Co., Duke Energy, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Greenstone. The Environmental Defense Fund, In other words, it's bullshit. Chris Hedges: The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals - Chris Hedges - Truthdig
Remember this?  Obama Affirms Climate Change Goals
 Hey, read the New York Times! Here's what Maureen Dowd chose to wrote about, Willie Nelson Feels Maureen Dowd’s Pain -
She wrote about Willie and Weed, but not a damn thing about climate change. Did she write one thing about Willie Nelsons's eco-friendly lifestyle? Willie Nelson still rocking biodiesel tour bus

I wonder why?
Because...Oil, Black Gold, Texas Tea, Petrodollars. So what are we doing?  Bombing ISIS. Iraq, Syria,
That's what we do, oh yeah and fracking. Maybe if Jesus comes back and tells us we are in big trouble, our Puritan descendant's will listen. Until then, good luck U.N,. UN Climate Summit - UN Climate Summit 2014
The truth is, we would rather wage war than clean up the environment and find alternate sources of renewable energy. There is no such thing as climate change, repeat after me, there is no such thing as climate change, global warming. You can march all you want, however, until corporations stop controlling our government it doesn't matter how many people march. I wonder what the carbon footprint of all the people going to NYC to march will be?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Are You Ready For Some Football?

I played football in my backyard when I was a kid with my brothers. That was pretty much it for football and
No Shit. Pic from Morningstar
me. I was really good at soccer and basketball. I got so good that boys would actually pick me first. You rarely got knocked down in soccer or basketball, if you did it was usually an accident. In football, it seemed to me that getting knocked down was the whole point. People were always getting hurt, especially my brother, he was always in the emergency room. Watching football was always a big deal on the holidays. I spent many miserable days when my husband would sulk or flip out because of whatever his football team did. I just don't like football.
The big topic at work wasn't bombing Iraq or ISIS, or as my friend would say as a joke, "is, is", it was that Ray Rice knocked out his wife with a punch in an elevator. "Did you see the video?" I kept getting asked. No I didn't and I don't want to. Here's the thing, domestic violence goes down everyday, everywhere. It's just that now with surveillance people behaving badly are caught on film. I am sure that the incident on that elevator wasn't the first time that asshole punched his wife. He'll probably punch a woman in the future. As long as men think they can get away with this behavior, they will continue to do it. Because keeping their hands to themselves isn't an option. It really doesn't surprise me that the NFL was utterly incompetent handling this situation and it did remind me of the whole Penn State affair. Because we worship these football people. They are like Gods. What is one punch worth?  Two games, which is what the NFL initially suggested.
We live in a culture of violence, football is a violent game, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a whole lot more stories or incidents of domestic violence that surface after this, what do you know? There are, only this time it's a grown man beating a 4 year old. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces two years in prison if found guilty of child abuse - NY Daily News
These are just the incidents we know about. It seems to me that the football industry is run by corrupt millionaires just like our government. The NFL has an image to keep polished but that image just keeps getting tarnished. Michael Vick abused animals and he's still playing. The litany of abuse is pretty bad, but then you are dealing with an organization where brain injuries and death are just part of the game. I don't know how much this could affect these players behavior but the whole culture of football is something I could never identify with. I did however, observe a whole lot of bad behavior based on a persons status on the high school team and how many women the captain of the team could use. Fights that would break out depending on which team you were cheering for. Then there's the whole insanity of cheerleading. To me football was just a huge waste of time. Being in a room full of yelling, screaming, wing eatin', beer swilling dudes, never did anything for me. The more I learn about what really goes on in football, the less I want anything to do with it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back To Iraq

It's pretty clear to me that President Obama can't get anything done in this country, so lets go back to Iraq.
There are plenty of people who think Hellfire missiles are the way to go and bombs away! Don't get me wrong I'm no fan of ISIS or ISIL but didn't we give them weapons in the first place? Let's extrapolate this to when we armed Afghan rebels way back, Operation Cyclone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Which gave birth to Al Qaeda, and you know the rest.  A couple of weeks ago I was reading about Chuck Hagel, who made an arms deal with Turkey. That's no accident, Turkey is going to play a major role in this new/old conflict.
Why does it seem like we are caught up in an endless circle jerk? We pedal weapons or just give 'em away like candy and what do you know? People get carried away shooting, raping and pillaging and the next thing you know it's time for more bombs and  "advisers." Don't blink because if you do there will be boots on the ground. Not shocked that this is going down again. 
Billions of dollars and ten years spent training Iraq forces to control their own country. Only to discover that isn't working out, which really, it's our fault, all of it.
I don't know, but I am just going to throw it out there that there was a disappointing jobs report two days ago. Fast food jobs ain't cuttin' it anymore and those people are striking for $15 an hour. The economy is stagnant. People are either pissed off or mired in their own misery. They don't give a damn about Iraq, they don't even understand what's going on outside of the Fox News channel in their living room. They are exhausted from working two or three jobs.Then you have this;
Pic nicked from The Guardian
The President decided to go see Stonehenge while at the NATO Summit in Wales. Putin is out of control and I am so sure all these NATO countries are going to pony up and start chipping in so they can bankrupt their countries with endless conflict. I don't have a problem with the President sight seeing. But he needs to open his eyes and look at his own people, his own country. I guess the view is better at Stonehenge.