Voting Rights

April 29, 2010

I recently ran across the following quote on the Internet:

"i agree. bush is evil and anyone that worked with him and help in his
games. Will get theres in the end by gods way not by people. and some
can say we voted him in but he cheated the 1st time around. and if he
was that bad then why did half the same people that voted for him
before and critize how bad he is voted for him again.. i swear
stupidity and no common sense. some people dont like obama cause
1- he black / coming from a white person view(know a lot of white
people didnt want him in just cause of his race-stupid i know.
2- he too young../ which it shouldnt matter the race just as long
as the JOB GETS DONE. AND THE PEOPLE ARE taken care of.. yea the
founding fathers would shit them selfs if they saw a black man
being president. but it was time for a change and personally.. as
long as obama is for the people and keeps his word i would not hate
him . but alot of people needs to understand it takes time. to undo
the evil.."

I tried to reword it so that it would sound like a tirade against President Obama from someone who blindly supported President Bush, but I gave up.

The point I want to make with this is that these words came from someone who obviously feels very strongly about her beliefs and most likely made sure to get out and cast her vote.  But what sort of vote was it? Was any thought given to the qualifications of the candidates? Or did she simply follow the party line and vote the straight ticket to stop George Bush from having a third term in office? (Wasn’t that part of the campaign rhetoric? John McCain was simply the reincarnation of Bush.)

I see myself as a moderate who leans more to the right than the left. But I refuse to be considered a Republican. In my mind, the two major parties, with the help of the press, have created a terrible chasm in our country. The professional politicians have us so preoccupied with arguing over politics that we are blind to what they are doing to us.

Right now we can say Obama and the Democrats are destroying our nation by taking away our individual freedoms and putting our great grandchildren in debt. But the truth is, they are just carrying on where Bush and the Republicans left off.

Greece is in terrible disarray because their national debt is over 100% of their gross domestic product. Simply put, they owe far more than they can collect in taxes. Spain is right behind them.

And the United States is heading in that same direction.

We need to stop the bleeding (earmarks, legislation that puts us more deeply in debt, printing more money to pay the debt and causing inflation) as quickly as possible.

The Democrats would have us believe the Tea Party people are a bunch of radicals looking to destroy the nation. If the Republicans were in power, they would be sending out a similar message.

I’ve been to a Tea Party rally and I’ve read their literature. They want to stop the madness in Washington and the only way to do it is to vote out the professional politicians that think tax dollars are their money to spend however they see fit… to get themselves re-elected.

The Tea Party groups are not calling for an armed rebellion. They are encouraging people to do things the American way… at the voting booth.

So, are we going to stay home, because it’s not worth the effort – and let the elections be decided by people who demonstrate their high levels of education and intelligence by writing less than intelligent rants on the Internet – or are we going to carefully study the candidates and vote for those who promise to find ways to fix the mess that Washington has become?

If I had my way, every person in the House of Representatives would be replaced as would one-third of the Senate. Maybe then our politicians will wake up to the fact that they are supposed to be representing us – not their party, and not the groups that finance their political campaigns.

If you’re tired of being at the bottom of your representative’s priority list, fire him or her! These are the folks who refused to increase social security payments because of the recession… but gave themselves a raise. What does that tell you about how they feel about the people they represent? They hold us in disdain.

Everyone of us has the privilege of voting. Technically, it is not a right, but it should be an obligation. Start studying the candidates now so you can make an educated decision in November.

Universal Health Care

July 22, 2009

I’ve barely scratched the surface in my attempt to get to the truth of this matter and I’ve learned that politicians cannot be trusted. But I already knew that.

I’ve also learned that journalist and talk show hosts cannot be trusted, but I already knew that as well.

I continue to be amazed at how solid arguments can be put together on both sides of an issue. Those ‘solid’ cases are usually built on half-truths and distorted facts. In many cases, the same statistics are used by both sides.

So, who do we believe?

I was once told not to believe anything I heard and only half of what I see.

The two videos below are prime examples of extreme sides of an argument. The first was produced by a union.

The video certainly painted Tommy Douglas as a superhero and Richard Nixon as a lowly dog. It seems that most liberals enjoy kicking Nixon. However, it seems to me that placing the blame on one man is not justifiable. There have been numerous leaders since then who did nothing to further the cause of Nationalized health care. A number of them were Democrats. Let’s be fair!

Speaking of Democrats, Al Gore wrote a book on the environment prior to being elected as Vice-President. For eight years he said nothing about global warming. Was he muzzled by his boss? Did Bill Clinton disagree with Al’s thinking?

Back to the subject at hand. Here is a humorous look at the other side of the argument.

Is this the reality that the union video ignored? I’ve heard of many Canadians coming to the U.S. to get treatment. I’ve read that Canadians have a sixteen percent higher death rate from cancer because it takes so long to get treated.

The union video states that Canadians live longer than citizens of the U.S. But I’ve seen studies showing that people in the northern United States live longer than their counterparts in the South. The extreme weather changes are credited with the longer life spans. Thus, a national health system probably has nothing to do with it. Living closer to the North Pole is most likely the cause.

So who are we to believe?

I’ve a good friend in London. He cannot speak for the Canadian system, but he lives with the English system, which is similar to the Canadian. Therefore I asked his opinion. Here are his thoughts:

The NHS isn’t bad at all. It suffers like all healthcare programmes by consuming too much money – but it’s generally recognised to do a reasonable job.

The current Labour government spent a shedload of money on the NHS a couple of years ago and brought down waiting times for all manner of operations. It also (by mistake) paid the doctors a huge raise, with no commitment in return. So the doctors were happy.

Here are some points:
1    Everyone is entitled to see a doctor and have hospital care, free of charge. A levy called National Insurance paid by employees and employers is supposed to pay for this (and more) but it’s not enough (check this).
2    For accidents and emergencies the NHS is superb. No private hospital can match it.
3    There are lots of private hospitals and health schemes. They’re of variable quality. Basically you pay for nicer surroundings and easier access to specialists.
3    You pay for your prescriptions, but this is a fixed fee (about £5.70 I think). Private patients pay more. Over 60 and children pay nothing (yippee!)
4    Old people are going to cost the NHS dear.
5    Some stuff is controversial – fertility treatment for example, and life-prolonging drugs which are hideously expensive and only work for a year. A committee called NICE arbitrates the subsidy of expensive medicines. It generally gets the balance right.
6    The Labour government made a huge mistake 10 years ago by bringing in a pile of ‘professional’ managers to run the NHS (previously it was doctors and nurses). This put the costs up massively but arguably without making doctors, hospitals and nurses any more available. The Labour government couldn’t manage its way out of a paper bag.
7    The biggest government IT project in the world is the NHS ITification. The aim is to put all doctors, pharmacies and hospitals online ia a private broadband network (called the NHS Spine) making patient records, etc available to everyone. Imagine the security issues. Predictably, it has cost billions (of pounds), made loads of IT consultants rich, and achieved close
to bugger all.

There’s lots more!

It should be noted that the taxes in England are much higher than they are here. And, according to Point 1, it’s still not enough to cover the cost of the program.

My friend is the picture of health and has little need of the system. He also leans to the left. I took that in account while reading the points he didn’t seem to be concerned with.

I think he is absolutely correct with Point 4 – old people will cost the system dearly. They’re (or should I say we’re) already putting a massive strain on Medicare – which is costing about ten times what our politicians predicted when they put it in place.

Point 5 concerns me. A committee (NICE) makes the decisions concerning life-prolonging drugs. What constitutes a life prolonging drug? Insulin?

This combined with Point 6 – government management sucks – are my biggest concern with any nationalized plan.

So, my jury is still out. I’m not convinced that Nationalized health care is good and I’m not convinced it is evil.

What I am convinced about is President Obama and his congress are trying to shove something down our throats and they don’t even know exactly what it is. I’m amazed at how many Americans seem to be unconcerned.

I’m also wondering what the reaction would have been if George W. Bush and his congress had tried similar ram-rod tactics. Were the Bush haters so glad to replace him that they’re willing to let Obama become the next Hitler?