THE NEWSLETTER

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

 

I received a lot of letters and other emails regarding the new Pope. I feel it is better to devote tomorrow's "Not From a Madman" to it rather than share the day. There seems to be more coming in and I prefer to get it all out at the same time, if possible.
-Noah Greenberg

More from the Doctor and Madman

Doctor:
The first clue that there was a problem with Schiavo's diagnosis is that court appointed doctors could not agree. Brain death is brain dead simple to diagnose. There should not be any confusion whatsoever. The fact that there was speaks volumes. if there was doubt as to whether she was dead or not, common sense says err on the side of life? Would you bury someone alive if you were not sure they were dead? As for PVS it's a little trickier, but not that much. If there is ANY concious awareness, then the patient is not in PVS. Assessing for conscious awareness is pretty simple. The video clips that played incessantly on the news clearly showed conscious awareness...smiling at your mother was still considered conscious awareness the last time I checked.


As for social security, yes it is earned...you have to WORK to get it. As long as one is able bodied, one should have to WORK to receive benefits at public expense...that is a very conservative notion. I'm glad you agree that folks should have to WORK to get benefits. However, there is a myth about SS...the dollars you put in to SS go to pay CURRENT retirees, it's not kept in an account somewhere for you. Since there will soon be nearly as many retirees as workers, the sytem is unsustainable. If federal workers, including the congress, get to invest


Madman:
I can see why there was so much confusion in Florida. When 2 physicians (I had the opportunity to investigate the credentials of Dr. Mary A. Whelan and they are impressive as well) cannot agree on something they really should agree upon, how can any novice make a decision. The problem that was faced was this: The court appointed doctors and the court decided to "trust" the opinion of the doctors that they appointed. It was obvious to me that the courts refused to take into consideration the opinions of the doctors hired by the Schindlers and probably Michael Schiavo as well.

As for FDR's 2nd Bill of Rights, I believe in the right to EARN those things as well. A well-run Social Security Administration can do anything they chose with MY MONEY until I need it. I have no problem with the SSA making smart investments on my account. I just want the money there when I retire. The inherent right somes into being because, over the course og my 44 years, and the fact that I have worked full time for 24 of them (I worked full time for most of my time in college) I, and my employers, have put in almost $200,000 into the Social Security Trust Fund. Had the federal government invested it wisely, instead of letting Presidents, past and present, borrow it at 1.9%, thta money might have been worth a lot more.

I am also certain that, as a "youth" of 24 years of age, 30 years of age, 38 years of age (George W. Bush once made a statement, "I don't think it's relevant what I did as a youth." in referring to a drunk driving conviction at the age of 38) that I would have had the discipline to have saved that money myself. It betters society to make sure out youth of today saves for when they become the elderly of tomorrow, so that, financially, they don't become the burden of the "youth of tomorrow."

Social security is not a "reward." It is "Earned." We "WORKED" for it.


Doctor:
Their retirement savings in higher yielding investments, why can't the rest of us?

My personal retirement investments have yielded an average annual return of 12% over the past 30 years and long ago left my SS "account" in the dust.


Madman:
My personal retirement account IS Social Security. I live in the New York area and I have played by the rules. As I have said before, let the Federal Government invest my money into the stock market without giving large sums of it to brokers in the form of commissions. I still like my plan better (obviously).

If, in 2001, the President had a majority in the senate, he might have been able to squeeze a Social Security Privatization plan through congress. In that scenario, it wouldn't have been just the employees of Enron that would have suffered from their crimes. It would have been the Social Security Trust Fund! Social Security needs to be guaranteed. It can't be a probability.

Our difference regarding Social Security appears to be this:
I want to fix the current system and have those at the upper end of the income ladder help those at the lower end. I believe that removing the cap, lowering the overall rate from 6.2% to 5.95% on what the employee pays ONLY, keeping the employer share at 6.2% up to the cap (which would increase according to the CPI yearly), and sending everybody back a check between January and March of the following year for $595 (representing a rebate on the first $10,000 for everybody) is a better plan

You appear to want to trash the current system and have an every-man-for-themselves system, but I might be reading this wrong.

If you want to fix the system, then come up with a plan. I have. Right now, the oft-mentioned but never-written plan President Bush is pushing has almost two-thirds (4% of the 6.2% collected by SSA) of the money in the “lock-box” (yes, President Bush has used that term himself) to be invested in the stock market at stock market commission rates.

If this small amount of money, percentage-wise is what it takes to let our elderly retire with dignity, then so be it.

This is part of my “Society of Life.” If it’s liberal, then so be it. If it’s progressive, that’s good too. If it’s fiscally conservative… well, that’s what I’m going for.

Answer the question raised by this scenario:
A 26-year-old husband and father is killed in a car crash. The wife is pregnant with their 2nd child, bed-ridden and unemployed. There has been no health insurance reform, Social Security has been privatized, leading to no survivor benefits for a young man’s family and the wife has no one to help her out.

In my scenario, with a Single Payer Universal Health Care System, or a percentage-paid health care system and an updated and fixed Social Security System, the wife and first-born child would have survivor benefits from the SSA and she would be able to have her baby in a hospital without fear of someone forcing her to pay back money she doesn’t have due to a bankruptcy bill that protects only the wealthy, not the rest of us.

My “Society of Life” addresses people when they are breathing the air (polluted or not). My “Society of Life” cover ALL LIFE, even the living.


Here's something I picked up on watching one of the Network Morning Shows this morning:

The morning show (I forgot what channel it was on) was discussing parent who left their children in their car, resulting in the death of that child, or another child. The question being presented was, "Should these parents be charged with a crime?" and, "Should these parents, if convicted, be sentenced to jail time?"

Scenario 1: A Hispanic doctor (I believe he was in Texas) who usually did not take his child with him on his way to work accidentally (all of these situations were accidents) left his infant in the child seat, locked the doors and the baby dies of exposure. He was sentenced to 20 years probation and 500 hours of community service

Scenario 2: A Hispanic father left his child in a car, not realizing that the baby might die due to heat exposure. The child was left alone for 45 minutes. The father was found guilty of manslaughter and will spend the next few years in prison.

Scenario 3: A Caucasian mother took her child out of her SUV, but left her older child in the car with the engine running. The older child managed to put the car into drive, running over his mother and sibling. The sibling died. No charges were ever filed. She now heads a group that does the public good in making parents aware of the dangers of leaving a child in a car alone.

Scenario 4: A Caucasian father of an infant is going to take his daughter to the day care center. This is usually the mother's task. The father forgets he has the child, leaves her in the SUV, and the child dies of exposure. No charges are ever filed. The mother and father were interview. They felt that the punishment of losing their child is punishment enough. I agree.

None of those parents meant to kill their child. All of these parents were devastated. None of these parents, in my opinion, deserve to go to prison or to have their lives ruined any more than they already have.

Why were the Hispanic parents tried (then convicted) while the Caucasian parents were not?

-Noah Greenberg


Evil Quotes

"incredibly outrageous,"
-Tom DeLay on Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, an appointee, approved by President Ronald Reagan and approved by the senate

"judicial activists,"
-Tom DeLay referring to Republican appointees to the Federal Bench

"We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That's just outrageous, and not only that, but he (Justice Kennedy) said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."
-Tom DeLay to Fox News Radio

"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior,"
-Tom DeLay, in a statement referring to Justice Kennedy

``I probably said - I did, I didn't probably - I said something in an inartful (which isn;t even a word, according to my spell-checker) way, and I shouldn't have said it that way, and I apologize for saying it that way.''
-Tom DeLay responding, in effect, to Tom DeLay and the criticism of his apparent "threat" to Justice Kennedy

"judges can serve as long as they serve with good behavior. "We want to define what good behavior means. And that's where you have to start."
-Tom DeLay, referring to the US Constitution and a clause that might allow the US Senate to remove
Justice Kennedy

Let's not forget that Justice Kennedy was appointed by The Conservative hero, President Ronald Reagan. Kennedy is considered a staunch conservative. What Justice Kennedy is not, obviously, is a lap dog for the Right, like Justice Antonin Scalia (Dick "Go F*ck Yourself Cheney's hunting buddy) or Justice Clarence (How should I vote this time, Antonin?) Thomas.

Isn't it amazing the lengths that Tom DeLay will go to in order to take the focus off of his questionable practices? Isn't it amazing what Tom DeLay will do to keep his crooked enterprise going? Does anyone out there still think he has done nothing wrong? The Republican Friends of Tom DeLay state that "he did nothing illegal." I say "so what?" By using his position to "stretch the law", DeLay has spit in the face of the American people.

This guy (DeLay ) is nothing more than an embarrassment to the people he represents and to the rest of the United States. DeLay's gotta go.

 

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg