Friday-Sunday, May 27-29, 2005
Manpower Shortages in the Military
Why not invoke what I call the "Dirty Dozen" option?
Considering there are more than 2 million people in our prisons systems why not gives those who are not "total psychos", but who seem to be either rehabilitated or in prison for "non psycho" crimes, like drug possession, white color crimes or even assaults (which sometimes means bar fights where alcohol and sex might have played too big a part) the option of serving their country? Rather than languishing in prison, some of these inmates may make excellent soldiers. I, for one, would much rather blow away some of those insurgent bastards than remain in prison given the choice. Using psychological evaluations, I'm sure out of 2 million we can harvest a few hundred thousand who would do their country proud.
Star Wars, Money and a Poor Sense of Priorities
"We are long overdue for a passenger aircraft to be taken
down by a shoulder-launched missile. We have been extremely, extremely lucky."
-Representative John L. Mica (R-FL)
Is this a member of the Greed Over People (GOP) party coming to his senses and telling the people of the United States that the Bush administrations is failing US? No, of course not. Is this the thoughts of a member of the US Congress upset at the Department of Homeland Security's ineptitude toward protecting US at home? Nah.
Part of the reason that President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush was re-elected was because many Americans felt that he has kept US safe, this despite the horror of 911 that occurred almost 8 months into his watch. How did GW get away blameless. by the way?
So what is Rep. Mica speaking about then? Why he is speaking about the necessity of a high-tech missile defense program he wants placed on every commercial airplane in the US?
STAR WARS FOR EVERYBODY!
Although truck and car bombs at American airports are more of a threat than shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles in the US, the "Wrong Wing" of the "Greed Over People" party are pushing this expensive measure to protect us at home.
"This is not as big a threat as people might think."
-K. Jack Riley, director of the public safety and justice program at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization They have studied threats from shoulder-mounted missiles and have placed them further down on the list.
The Air Line Pilots Association, Boeing and the Air Transport Association of America want other alternative defense measures put into place. They want simpler, more cost effective measures such as: Controlling the areas in and around our nation's airports; limiting the supply of missiles; and making cheaper changes to airplanes that would allow pilots the ability to land a jet that's hydraulics had been damaged.
"The cost versus the benefit here does not play out,"
-Jim Proulx, a Boeing spokesman
Okay... we know what his issue is. Boeing's fuel consumption per plane would rise significantly if this measure was installed. But Mr. Proulx' argument still makes sense, despite his self-centered reasons.
The Department of Homeland Security's own study in 2004 stated that the infrared systems would be useless or only marginally effective against several types of shoulder-mounted missiles.
Large passenger jets have the ability to fly and land even with the loss of an engine.
Many Democrats and Republicans alike are for the airline missile defense system. But why?
"This is not the result of considered analysis of potential threats, terrorist capabilities or intentions. It should be."
-Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA), Homeland Security Committee Chairman
It appears Mr. Cox gets it. The question to ask is, "Who benefits the most from this system?" One might answer that the passengers of commercial flights would benefit the most. But we all know who REALLY benefits... The lobbyists and manufacturers of the airline anti-missile measure would benefit the most.
We still haven't protected out ports. We still have incredibly lax security at our major airports Police at New York City's Brooklyn Battery Tunnel check cars as they exit in Brooklyn for seat belt violations instead of as they enter the tunnel for suspicious vehicles.
Money shouldn't drive our anti-terrorism measures. Necessity should.
A Secret Club to Decide Our (Healthcare) Future
45 million people don't have health care coverage in the
That's what the US Census Bureau says.
That number is up some 1.4 million people from 2002 and
5.2 million people from 2000! I wonder what happened in 2000 that
might have made a difference? Oh yeah! "G"lobal
"W"arming Bush was selected as President of these
Funny that when you mention health care, no one says, "God bless President Bush. We're lucky to have him." That's probably because the "luck" is "bad" especially for the growing number of the United State's uninsured.
Now we hear of a "secret panel" that has been working on "fixing" the health care crisis in the US. More proggresive groups, such as Families USA, the AARP, and the AFL-CIO have joined forces with the likes of the "Greed Over People" party's own Heritage Foundation and the Ultra-Conservative, anti-worker United States Chamber of Commerce. It seems that the ultra-right that concerns itself only for the corporate bottom line realizes that as long as people are employed in the US, their employers must foot some of the bill. They must also realize that as the uninsured go to the hospitals, and when they cannot pay their bill, the US taxpayers have to pick up the slack.
The enemy is the lack of health care. The allies have joined forces for different reasons. The progressives are concerned with a Society of Life as it pertains to the rights of every individual American to receive health care when sick, without losing their shirts. The Right has joined the battle because it takes away from their ability to keep more money and thus, more control.
The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Johnson & Johnson, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, Pfizer and the Service Employees International Union are also a part of the secret group. Funny how President Bush, the Greed Over People part controlled House and Senate don't have representation here.
If you were to ask the Progressives what their ultimate goal is, they might answer, "The complete health care coverage of every person in the United States, regardless of ability to pay." I wonder what the right would answer?
"People are uninsured for different reasons. No one solution will work for everyone. We need different solutions for different groups of the uninsured."
-Dr. Mary E. Frank, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a participant in the talks
Isn't it amazing that the head of the American Academy of Family Physicians can overlook the obvious? Dr. Frank, a Single Payer Universal Health Care System would make sure everyone is insured. Someone please tell me why it couldn't be achieved?
Here are some of the "solutions" being offered by the secret group:
Proposal 1: The federal government could require parents to arrange health insurance for their children up to a certain age, say 21. If the children were not eligible for public programs like Medicaid, the parents could obtain tax credits to help meet the cost.
Madman: Tax credits. That means parents and their families, as they are living hand-to-mouth, first have to pay MORE taxes, then maybe, they'll get a little extra back after filing their income taxes.
Proposal 2: If an employer does not offer health benefits to employees, the workers could designate amounts to be withheld from their paychecks, along with taxes. These amounts would eventually be forwarded to insurers to pay premiums.
Madman: a) How much are those "premiums going to be? b) What if the workers are living "hand-to-mout"? c) How in the world is the Federal Government going to "require" a family's wage earner making just over the $26,000 poverty line to provide anything for their family other than the basic staples necessary to live? It never ceases to amaze me how the Right thinks that all Americans have some "disposable income."
Proposal 3: The federal government could provide tax credits to low-income individuals and families or small businesses to help them pay for insurance. The full amount of the credit would be sent directly to the insurer.
Madman: Isn't this the same as proposal number 2?
Proposal 4: Medicaid could be expanded to cover any adult with income below the official poverty level (about $9,600 for an individual). Each state would decide for itself whether to do this, and the federal government would provide financial incentives for states to take the option.
Madman: That $9,600 figure is per adult. That $9,600 "poverty level", when figures on a 40 hour work-week, comes out to $.15 per hour, less than the national minimum wage! Who comes up with this crap?
Proposal 5: The federal government would offer small grants to states to help them establish insurance purchasing pools. Individuals and small businesses could buy coverage through these pools.
Madman: Just give the 2.9 percent Medicare that the federal government charges as part of their payroll tax back to the states and let the states determine the best way to use the money. If you're going to put the onus on the states anyway, give them the means to provide for their people.
The Right believes in smaller government until it costs them an extra penny. They believe that when you give big business an advantage, big business will provide for their workers by using a "trickle-down" philosophy. Progressives simply want health care for everyone. Period. And that's why I'm a Progressive.
A Real New York Time Headline
"States Ending Payments for Sex Offenders' Erectile Treatments"
Is there no end to the gall of the pharmaceutical industry? Erectile Dysfunction pills were being supplied to sex offenders at a cost of thousands, maybe millions to the US taxpayer. Many of these "habitual sex offenders" are on public assistance or other publicly funded programs that allow them pills such as Viagra to help "stimulate" them.
Are you kidding me?
Do we really need Medicare and Medicaid funding Viagra and Cialis at all? Last I looked, sexual activity was an "elective" activity, not a necessity. Quality of life is certainly important, but isn't grandma's heart medicine more important than grandpa's... well... you know.
Put that "Viagra" money back into necessary medical treatment for daily "necessity" of life issues.
"They will be throwing roses as the Israelis withdraw"
from the occupied territories.
-Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, as quoted by Seymour Reich, president of the Israel Policy Forum, who met with Abbas and other American-Jewish leaders.
When have we heard before that a Shi'ite populace was going to greet us or our allies with "flowers?" Let me remind you: It was Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney who promised just that very same thing in regard to the Iraqis' response to the US invasion and occupation.
$50 million to Palestinians to improve their quality of life. President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush calls Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas a courageous democratic reformer and is rewarding the new leader of the PLO (yes, that's what they still are, the PLO) and his people $50 million.
Palestinians were "in dire need to have freedom"
And Israelis are in dire need to go to the market and not get blown up. I wish they'd stop downgrading the meaning of the word "Freedom".
"It is time for our people, after many decades of suffering and dispossessions, to enjoy living in freedom on their own land."
That land you speak of, Mr. Abbas, does it include the "right of return" to Israel proper? Does that land include the "right" to push the Israelis into the sea? When you, Hammas and Hezbollah, all political forces in the disputed territories, speak about "freedom", are you including the "freedom" of the people of Israel to live on their own land in Peace?
Any changes Israel made in expanding its boundaries since the end of the 1948 war for independence "must be mutually agreed to,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush
That sounds to me as if GW and his Greed Over People Party want Israel to "ask" the PLO for permission to stay in Jerusalem, and maybe even Israel itself!. I wonder what odds you can get on that? A year ago GW said Israel should be able to keep their larger settlements in the West Bank and other areas. Now, with Abbas at the White House, President Bush says Israel must remove illegal, makeshift outposts from the West Bank and stop expanding Jewish settlements. Hypocrisy all around.
Israel's wall "must be a security rather than a political barrier."
What is the difference, Mr. Bush? Let me answer that rhetorical question. There is none.
"You cannot have a democracy based upon rule of law if you have armed bands of people who will use their weapons to try to achieve a political outcome,"
Isn't that exactly what lives just outside the Israeli borders now, Mr. Bush? GW hasn't even ordered Abbas to dismantle terrorist groups in his territory. He can't because Abbas can't.
How many more
innocent Israeli citizens and tourists need to
die for semantics and political correctness, Mr.
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