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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Zero Violence"


"I hope there's not an expectation from people that all of a sudden there's going to be zero violence. That's not going to happen,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush

That. of course, is not what we were meant to believe, however, Mr. Bush. Most of us never really expected "zero violence", but none of us ever expected this sharp a rise in violence either. I think former CENTCOM commander General Anthony Zinni said it best:

U.S. troops were "led to believe they would be greeted with flowers in the street and hailed as liberators -- they weren't. They were led to believe that the world was behind them and that this was the right cause. And they can see where they're not treated as liberators. They're treated as occupiers, as crusaders..."
-General Zinni

When then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice said it, it was a lie. When Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney said it, it was a lie."


And this lie was a killer.

-Noah Greenberg

Media Madman
America's Growing Health Care Crisis or
Maybe I'm Just Not Yelling Loud Enough

The lead story in the New York Times (nytimes.com) health Section is "Study Sees No Gain in Using Antidepressant to Treat Anorexia". Whereas Anorexia effects between 1 million to 3 million Americans, figures which represent only about 0.3 to 1 percent of our nation's population... There are 62 million Americans who are either uninsured or under-insured when it comes to health care. This number represents in excess of 20 percent of all Americans... even the anorexic ones. These are Americans born with birth defects; Americans with cancer; Americans with type One Diabetes (also known as Juvinile Diabetes, or as I like to call it "No Fault Diabetes"); hundreds of other diseases which strike Americans due to no fault of their own.

Yet, The New York Times Health Section's very first article is "Study Sees No Gain in Using Antidepressant to Treat Anorexia".


So I went down the list of every other promoted article that merited mention on The New York Times Health Care front page. Here's the list:
-KFC Is Sued Over the Use of Trans Fats in Its Cooking
-The Price of Day Care Can Be High
-Breast-Feed or Else
-Men Are Better Than Women at Ferreting Out That Angry Face in a Crowd
-A Philosopher's Take on the Rhythm Method Is Rattling Opponents of Abortion
-With That Saucy Swagger, She Must Drive a Porsche
-For a Medical Student, a Shocking Lesson in the Real World
-How to heal the loneliness engendering despair, the helplessness, the hopelessness? Medical school did not teach that.
-The Claim: Sex During Pregnancy Can Induce Labor

Not a peep about Health Care for every American.

It is my belief that every single health related article on every single day should start with, "Although this only applies to those of us who can afford health care..."

As I looked down the page, the words "health" and "care" don't even appear together until the second to last article mentioned. "HEALTH CARE POLICY - In Texas Town, New Drug Plan Baffles Patient and Provider Alike". And although the continued failures of the Bush administration Medicare Drug Prescription Plan is an important issue, it still doesn't mention the persistent problem that we, right here in the most Western of the Western nations in the world, are experiencing: It is that every American can't see a doctor when they are sick.

Until we can rely on the "advertiser-conscience" Main stream Media to pay attention to the plights of 62 million Americans (and climbing), there will be no real attention paid to it at all.

This is the subject that requires marches on Washington. This is the subject that requires threatening phone calls (as in "I will not vote for you because of this") to our nation's representatives, all of whom have the best health care coverage we, the American people's money can buy. If we won't do it for ourselves, maybe we can do it for our children who will be spending upwards of thirty to forty percent of their take-home pay on medical terms such as "deductibles" and "out-of-pocket expenses" and "co-pays" and, my personal favorite, the unpaid overage of your medical bill known as the stuff "outside of the
"usual and customary".

We can fix the economy with a real health care plan. we can create jobs and disposable income and all of the other stuff which allows the average middle class American the ability to enjoy life, work at a well-paying job and contribute to the good of the nation. Just like most of our moms and dads before us.

"To make our health care system work for all Americans, we have to choose between two philosophies: one that trusts government to make the best decisions for the people's health care, or one that trusts the people and their doctor to make the best decisions for their health care. ... And the best way to reform this health care system is to preserve the system of private medicine, is to strengthen the relationship between doctors and patients, and make the benefits of private medicine more affordable and accessible for all our citizens."
- President George W. Bush, May 1, 2006, from Whitehouse.gov

Not a word about how the average American will be able to afford health care on their diminishing dollar or what to do about the 62 million. The dumbest thing that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush wants to do about health care is to create HSA (Health Care savings Accounts) which will allow Americans to "save" money to pay for health care. Funny thing about that is if we could "save" the money, wouldn't be be spending it now to pay for our health care needs as they arise now? The next dumbest thing was the proposal of using these HSA funds for "catastrophic illnesses". Maybe it's just me, but isn't "preventative medicine" a better idea? Preventing heart disease; preventing maturity onset diabetes; preventing cancer; all of which could be accomplished with annual check-ups and screening tests.

All of us who care by now already know that there is no convincing Bush and his "base" of "haves and have-mores" to take real health care reform seriously. After all, they got theirs, right?

We have to get to work on this. The first step that needs to be taken is to convince the New York Times that there really is a health care crisis in the United States and that it is their responsibility to remind everyone that it really does exist.

-Noah Greenberg

Reverse Robin Hood

Rob from the poor to give to the rich. The DSCC analyzed the impact of the GOOPER's latest tax bill on Ohio residents:

GONE: Tuition Deduction That More Than 134,000 Ohio Students Benefited From in 2003. According to the Senate Finance Committee, 134,885 Ohio students and families saved nearly $287 million from the expiring tuition and fees deduction in 2003. Making matters even worse, tuition and fees at Ohio University have increased 69 percent since 2000 and the average student borrower leaves school saddled with $20,000 in debt. [Senate Finance Committee Press Release, 11/7/05; IRS Data, October 2005; Chronicle of Higher Education, 2005-2006; State PIRG's Higher Education Project]

GONE: Retirement Saver's Tax Credits That Benefited More Than 25,000 Ohioans in 2003. In 2003, 250,655 Ohioans used the Small Savers Tax Credit to save more than $47.9 million in taxes. The Small Savers credit allows lower-income families to deduct up to 50% of the contributions they put into retirement plans. [IRS Data, October 2005; Kansas City Star, 4/3/05]

GONE: Educator Expenses Deduction That Benefited More Than 127,000 Ohio Teachers in 2003. In 2003, 127,762 Ohio teachers saved $30 million from the educator expenses tax deduction, which allows teachers to deduct to $250 of out-of-pocket expenses they pay for books and classroom supplies. [IRS Data, October 2005; IRS Tax Tip]

SAVED: $5 billion in Tax Breaks for Big Oil. Tax loopholes that save the oil industry $5 billion were removed from the original Senate version of the bill in February but under pressure Congressional negotiators put them back in the final bill. The $5 billion tax break for big oil could have been used instead to partially offset the increase in middle class taxes.
[Republican Policy Committee, 2/7/06; Washington Post, 4/26/06; Joint Tax Committee, 5/9/06]



Just isn't right! Kick the GOP crooks out.

-Forwarded and Commented by Robert Scardapane

Just a quick note in relation to the"Satan Barbie" comments below: When comparing Michael Moore to Ann Coulter, one has to put this one thing into perspective: Michael Moore relied on actual facts and interviews while Ann "Satan Barbie" Coulter relies on name-calling, heresy and blasphemy. Michael Moore uses the truth as a way of educating while Ann Coulter spews foul-mouthed insults at those who lived through tragedy to solidify a "base" that has blinders on and may never take them off. -Noah Greenberg

There will be a fight to rival the WWF Smackdown: george carlin and the most evil woman in america, ann coulter, will be on leno (the tonight show/nbc). Since coulter has already embarrassed herself and what's left of the shambles of her neo-con brethren with her disgusting comments about the victims of 9/11, this should be good. Anything that puts Her Vileness in her place seems worthy of staying up late for. -Victoria Brownworth

Satan Barbie

In case you miss it, Satan's Barbie Doll (Ann Coulter that is) slandered the 9/11 widows in her latest trash book. The 9/11 widows responded today:

"We are forced to respond to Ms. Coulter's accusations to set the record straight because we have been slandered. Contrary to Ms. Coulter's statements, there was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again. We adored these men and miss them every day.

"It is in their honor and memory, that we will once again refocus the Nation's attention to the real issues at hand: our lack of security, leadership and progress in the five years since 9/11.

Read the full press release at: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/6/7/12598/08438 

-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane

"WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) issued the following statement today in response to remarks made by right-wing pundit and author Ann Coulter.
“Ms. Coulter’s shameless attack on the victims of the worst act of terrorism in American history can only engender disgust at her tasteless statements when she asserts that their husbands’ deaths bring them joy. Her bookselling antics and accompanying vulgarity deserve our deepest contempt.
"Her foul remarks trivialize the deaths of every single person who died that terrible day, including the lives of those brave police officers and firefighters who ran into those burning buildings,”
-Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane

Satan Barbie and More

How could any sane person call Bush's Leni Riefenstahl a "pundit"--a word that's supposed to describe someone who knows something that's REAL? Coulter knows no reality whatsoever, only lies, myths, unrealities and slanders, because the brain cells in her head--which seem to be few and far between--are scrambled with cholesterol-laden margarine.

I really pity anyone as unable to tell truth from falsehood as Coulter. We should just ignore her. She is SO extreme and shrill she does liberalism a huge favor by making the whole wide range of NeoCon manias obvious and laughable, so our best bet is to send encouraging letters to her! In any case, some day God will make her stand at Purgatory's blackboard and write over and over with squeaky and crumbly chalk, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain." That's a busy blackboard, with a long line of penitent wannabe angels writing the same squeaky message century after century, including the ill-tempered prophet Elisha who sicced bears on little children, the guys who persecuted Socrates, Bernardo Gui, Tomas Torquemada and the other Inquisitors, King James and his witch-hunters, the seance-meister who invented "the Rapture", media phonies like Billy Sunday, Father Coughlin, Jim Bakker, and one of these days Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, several murderous ayatollahs and imams and oh-so-religious Jewish and Christian prime ministers, premiers, kings, princes, dukes, counts and presidents, and all the others who've committed large-scale hypocrisies in the name of God, claiming to have a direct Internet hookup to God's will.

In the meantime we're stuck with her here on earth, but after Coulter's face-lifts start sagging she'll go the way of the late and unlamented Joe Pyne, the first of that right-wing insult talk show ilk. Remember him? (I didn't think so--he's long forgotten by most Americans, even by those who lived through the era of his diatribes.) My favorite Joe Pyne story appears in Wikipedia, as follows. The article also relates some of his peculiar phobias, since these extremist reactionaries tend to be hysterics.

Pyne was confrontational with guests on his show and often attempted to throw them off-balance by opening the conversation with an insult. One occasion when this backfired was when he began a dialogue with Frank Zappa by saying, "So I guess your long hair makes you a woman." Zappa responded with "So I guess your wooden leg makes you a table."


I didn't hear that talk show but knew a couple of people who did and were chortling about it. They said that from that clever rejoinder Zappa took control. He kept on in a loud voice, nonstop, talked rings around Pyne, made one sarcastic joke after another at the expense of Pyne and his fellow crackpots who adored the Vietnam war, armaments buildups, nukes, air pollution, woman-bashing, the super-rich, etc., till he got cut off with an extra commercial! To imitate Zappa's cleverness would be a great way to rattle Coulter, O'Reilly, and the rest. Talk faster, talk cleverer, never shut up. It needs a showman to answer a showman (or woman).

Or, if we catch these guys in public, we can make some fun ourselves, which I had the pleasure of doing some years ago when Phyllis Slavely (did I spell that wrong?) preened for a televised press conference in a busy airport. It was spontaneous, so the airport cops couldn't clear the area or prevent people from walking to and from the terminals, although they kept us some distance behind Mrs. Hypocrite and her entourage. As the cameras were setting up I recognized her, and since I still had a couple of hours until my connecting flight I bought a giant roll-up poster in an airport shop. I always carry a black permanent marker pen, just in case, and quickly wrote on the back of the poster in huge heavy letters: PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY! PLEASE MOM, COME HOME! YOUR KIDS HAVEN'T SEEN YOU IN SIX MONTHS! (Or something like that--don't quite recall.) Then I went behind her and held the sign up high, trotting back and forth, jumping up and down like Woody Allen playing "Zelig at the Nuremburg Rally". Don't know if it got on TV since I was aboard an airliner for many more hours, but some camera journalists grinned and gave the V sign.

-Jenny Hanniver, Chris Tennant and other forwarded remarks from NBC News

In response to "Children and Gay Marriages", Billie M. Spaight writes:

How do children of such marriages suffer? Only because the rest of society has a crummy attitude about gay marriages. If the rest of society didn't, there would not be a problem. Genes are genes and they will out irregardless of upbringing.

In response to Madman's view on health care, Billie M. Spaight writes:

I loved what you said about healthcare.

Society is really crazy when it comes to medical things and genetic things. While I feel that morality is vital, I feel that compassion is an important moral trait and that extends to all things genetic and medical. I honestly feel that there is a gay gene--or set of genes.

And when it comes to disability rights and healthcare as a civil right...well you've already seen me go ballistic on healthcare...if I get started on disability stuff---whew! That's "nuclear" with me and has literally broken up relationships in my life. Talk about Madman--I'd be the Madwoman!

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-Noah Greenberg