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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Thanksgiving Madman

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


There will be no Note from a Madman tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day. After dinner, I plan on needing, and taking a nap. -NG



Enjoy the 3 "F's"


The "GREAT" Bush Recovery
But, Doctor... How Come I Still Feel Sick?

They just can never get anything right. For example: The Bush administration is constantly telling us all that "jobless claims are falling", even despite the FACT that real wages continue to fall, along with personal savings (which remain in a NEGATIVE situation), home sale prices and many other economic indicators. The only other statistic that seems to rise consistently are the numbers of Americans who fall off the unemployment rolls. They are no longer part considered a of the nation's workforce.

But now... today... the day before the big Thanksgiving weekend and two days before "Black Friday", the US Labor Department announces that "Oops! We were wrong... again." For the week ending November 18, instead of new jobless claims (that's filing for unemployment insurance, boys and girls) "only" clocking in at just under 310,000, it is showing up at over 321,000, a 12,000 jobless claim increase.

Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!

Now, follow the Bushie logic: New higher interest rates, the result of the "great Bush economic recovery", are the cause of the great housing market value come-down. The great housing market come-down leads people to stay at home and not use their purchasing power, which resulted from their borrowing on their home's values, thus putting them further and deeper into debt.

So other than the fact that they don't know what they're doing, everything is going according to plan.

Got it?

QUESTION: What are the four scariest words in the English language?
ANSWER: Anyone in the Bush administration saying "We've got a plan!"

Watch your pocketbooks, wallets and piggy-banks, boys and girls of the American middle class. There's only one place that these guys and gals keep going to fund their "big government" expenditures: They're coming right to you!

On a similar note, the Bushies forget, or just fail to mention, that the economic growth rate fell to just 1.6 percent over this past summer, a mind-numbingly small figure. Either this has been the longest recession ever or someone's cooking the books. I am not heartened that these guys are in charge.

To go along with the bad news of jobless claims, has anyone else noticed the price of gasoline inching itself upwards? In New Jersey, I saw the gas prices at my corner Raceway station rise seven cents from the time the polls opened on Tuesday, November 7th to the time they closed at 8:00PM. I wonder what these prices will do tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) when you all have to drive to Grandma's house for your tryptophan dinner. I wonder what they'll be like on Christmas day. I'll need to get my crystal ball back from the glass polisher for that one.

Still more sobering news from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor statistics: After capping out at 14.316 million US manufacturing jobs in August of this year, the Bush administration has found a way to lose approximately 104,000 of those jobs in just two months. The October projections come in at a lowered 14.212 million manufacturing jobs, and that's just two months before Christmas, too. There's going to be a lot of little green guys filing for unemployment insurance, maybe sooner than expected..

Just as a comparison, at the same time in Bill Clinton's presidency, the October manufacturing job rate was a hefty 17.552 million American jobs. Taking into account the population growth we experience since, this means that in a mere eight years, George W. Bush's administration has lost about 20 percent of all US manufacturing jobs, with most (if not all) going to foreign-owned manufacturers.

And, somehow, they thing that losing American manufacturing jobs will spark our economy.

If all that isn't bad enough news for you, then take into account another blue-collar job that's been hitting the skids lately. In that same August to October timeframe, our nation has lost 143,000 jobs in the construction industry. Better stay in school because there aren't going to be any blue-collar jobs left here at home.

Added to all of this, somehow again, the Bushies still can't stop the growth of their huge GOP-led government. Again, in that same August to October span, the government payroll has taken on almost an additional 1.6 million news employees. Let me say that again: From August, 2006 through October, 2006, our "Conservative" government has hired an additional 1.582 million people to be put on the payroll which our middle class taxes pay for. At the median family income of $45,000 per year, that's an additional $71 million in payroll.

Is anyone else tired of hearing the word "conservative" follow "compassionate"? I know I am.

In closing, a little poem:

Today, as I watched President Bush pardon a turkey,
I realized that the Commander in Chief,
Was merely showing his feathery friend,
A professional courtesy.

-Noah Greenberg

The following was published awhile ago in an earlier Note from a Madman. However, I think it deserves a new read, so to speak. -NG

Physician, Train Thyself

Good medical care comes from good doctors. Good legal representation comes from good lawyers. One might ask the question, "What's the difference between the two?" The answer is simple and could make a newcomer to the land of liberty and freedom shake their head in bewilderment:
If you are accused of a crime, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer, but if you are in sick you do NOT have a right to see a doctor.

We go as far as to require attorneys to perform Pro-bono work (charitable work) but make no such requirements of doctors. Perhaps there is something to that. After all, lawyers don't have to serve an apprenticeship the way doctors do in order to start a successful practice. And let's not forget that, even though law school is an expense, it pales in comparison to the costs of a good medical school education. Look at it this way: A college graduate could actually earn their law degree on line. That graduate could then pass a state's bar exam. They could represent you in a civil matter or prepare your will, or do any number of other tasks that one requires an attorney to do. You might not want them to represent you if you were accused of a capital offense, but for a speeding ticket, you might take a chance.

As far as I know, there are no on-line medical schools, but imagine if there were. Would you trust a prescription written by a "correspondence school doctor"? How about risking a hernia operation by a graduate of EMed-U (I made that one up)? I wouldn't trust my dog to a veterinarian who didn't graduate from a real veterinarian school, so you know I wouldn't trust a doctor from a "fake" medical school.

Here are other questions you need to ask yourself: Are the best people: A) Getting into medical school and; B) Are they even applying to medical school in the first place due to their limited finances? Do we want the best doctors or the best doctors that can afford medical school tuition? What if the next great neurosurgeon is now digging ditches on the Gowanas Expressway in Brooklyn, NY because he wanted to get married to his High school sweetheart and start a family instead of asking her to wait until they are 30 years old or so?

Where am I going with all of this, you may ask? (Go on.... ask.)

I recommend a new system be put in place in the United States that recognizes talent in the science field as early as High School. I recommend a system that would keep tabs on young and talented students with an eye on allowing them a way to go to college, then medical school.

Let's say that student "A" graduates from high school in a poor district of an inner city with high grades. Student "A" attends a public college, mostly on scholarships and financial aid and graduates with honors. Student "A" wishes to become a doctor, but the financial burden would be too great. Student "A" instead heads out into the work force. Even if the student makes it in the business world, we should have wondered what might have been.

Now, let's say we have a plan that allows us to send Student "A" to medical school on the public dollar. No loans. No part time jobs. The student is just that... a full-time medical student who may become the next great research doctor, or heart surgeon, or emergency room doctor, etc. What if, in return for the years of school this doctor has received at public expense, this doctor gives four years of his life, after residency, internship, and whatever else doctors have to go through, at a minimum, but livable wage. Maybe, instead of working in an urban clinic for four years, this doctor might want to repay his debt as an Army surgeon or a doctor on a Naval vessel in 2 or 3 years.

Maybe if we identified the best young people who want to be doctors, we can have the best doctors. Maybe then we can cut the cost of health care by staffing clinics with young, supervised physicians instead of hoping that some good-hearted doctor will help out the poor and indigent when he gets a chance.

Don't just stand up and say, "It'll never work'" or, "the guys in office will never go for it," or, "the medical establishment wouldn't stand for it."

Maybe this is an idea that needs a lot of work, but you have to start somewhere. Why not here and why not now?

Here are questions that should always be asked when confronted with your ideas: If not now, then when? If not me, then who?


-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg