Saturday, February 27, 2010

Olson, Boies on Bill Moyers Journal

In 2000 (and the at the beginning of 2001) I had no love for Ted Olson, for his role in shutting down the recount that could have spared us 8 years of agony under the Bush quasi-dictatorship. (Actually the role Olson played was not as decisive as that of the 5 Supreme Court idiots that gave us the worst presidency in recent American history, and that includes the Reagan presidency.)

Anyway, last night's appearance by Ted Olson on the Bill Moyers Journal partly redeems him from the disgrace he so instrumentally contributed in unleashing upon the country ten years ago.

With David Boies, his opponent in Bush v. Gore, Olson made cogent, logical, unassailable arguments in favor of gay marriage. Those who still hold on to their illogical, slippery-slope-based arguments against allowing same-sex couple to marry, AFTER watching the conversation Olson and Boies had with Bill Moyers, are either irrational or dishonest (or both).

No rational human being can continue to defend this hateful form of discrimination using arguments that have been debunked and shown devoid of any basis over and over again, like those that Olson and Boies have countered in their impassioned and rational defense of the right of same-sex couple to marry in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Denying same-sex couples "the right to be as miserable as everybody else" (as comedian Bill Maher would put it) is as despicable as denying people of different race or ethnicity the right to marry, which always comes down to trying to shove one' sense of religion-driven moral delusion down society's throat.

You can watch the whole discussion here.

NBC Olympics Coverage Sucks, Once Again

I could go on and on and on to explain why NBC Olympics Coverage sucks. I won't. Suffice it to say that when I was a kid, in Italy, when the Olympics started I went "underground", only two resurface about two weeks later after watching hundreds of hours of live coverage of every conceivable contest.

Since I moved to the United States nearly 20 years ago, I have come to the conclusion that NBC is run by a bunch of morons who think that people will sit mesmerized by their "brilliant", tape-dalayed packaging of competitions that have ended hours before, making it nearly impossible for anyone who lives in the age of the Internet to watch a competition without knowing the results.

Not only that: they package races and matches in such a way that you can only know in which 5-6 hours span the competition you wish to watch will be shown, forcing you (only theoretically) to sit through 5-6 hours of unwatchable crap and commercials in order for you to enjoy the one race you were really interested about.

NBC = No brains corporation.

I just hope one day ABC/ESPN will snatch the broadcast rights from this incompetent, idiotic crowd.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Last Ditch Effort

Below is a letter I wrote to President Obama in a last ditch effort to convince him and his administration to back th public option. Feel free to do with it what you wish.

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing because time is running out to put a stop to the immoral conduct (when it is not downright criminal) of health insurance companies that use the free market as an excuse to raise premiums unreasonably, to drop customers who threaten their bottom line, to let them die for profit's sake. You, Mr. President, may be the common man's last bastion against these profiteers.

That is why I am writing. To remind you of the hope you represent for the middle class, of the power you have to make good things happen. You speak beautifully, Mr. President, but you will be judged not for what you say in your beautiful speeches, but for the actions you took in support of the speeches you made.

I am also writing to ask that you fight for our freedom. Freedom, you see, is not just a slogan to use on the stump, or to rally the "troops" behind a common cause (as when your predecessor said that "terrorists hate us for our freerdom"). Freedom is a tangible asset, too. But for too many, when it comes to health care, it is as intangible or inconsequential a concept as there ever was. What does freedom mean, if your choice is limited to the least harmful, less overpriced product? (One that, to add insult to injury, will soon be mandated at the individual level) What freedom do you have when you are all but chained to your employer because you cannot afford to lose your health benefits? What is freedom when you must use what little money is left at the end of the month to pay outrageous medical bills or premiums that no other resident of any civilized nation could even begin to imagine?

And, Mr. President, what is the meaning of freedom when your only hope against an expensive chronic medical condition (not necessarily a catastrophic one, but one that consumes, day after day, both your financial resources and your will to fight) is that you will fall below the poverty line, so you can receive public assistance if it is not too late?

I know that your plan addresses some of these issues, albeit too timidly. But it is not enough. What I hope, Mr. President, is that you will fill freedom with meaning, by backing the public option at last. It is, after all, only an option. Not a mandate or a socialist takeover of health care, but a choice, for those who want it. Freedom without options is just a word. Please make freedom tangible for Americans of all political convictions and walks of life.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When Your Local Government Is Out To Screw You

I hate traffic light cameras. Where I live, I can think of a couple that I studiously avoid in order not to get caught in the lottery-like process that is crossing the intersection before the camera goes off. Turns out that many municipalities are tweaking the lenght of the yellow light to trap as many motorists as possible into getting caught running a red. And, they are doing it at the expense of driver safety.

It always comes down to this: we get the government we deserve, even at the local level.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Boycott FedEx

Chris Hedges's recent article explains why you should join him (and me) in boycotting FedEx.

FedEx is just one of countless American (and global) companies that view labor as a necessary evil to be kept to a minimum and to be reduced to serfdom.

Reading the article sparks one unavoidable question: Could what happened to Dean Henderson have happened in any civilized country? The answer is no, because civilized countries have universal health care (for my less sophisticated readers universal does not equate government-run.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Remembering Howard Zinn

Ralph Nader has ideas on how best to honor the memory of Howard Zinn, who passed away recently.

No Hell Hot Enough

There is no hell hot enough for health insurance companies like Anthem Blue Cross and the politicians that aid and abet them.

Things like these are a good reminder that Democrats (as a whole) are not much better than Republicans when it comes to fighting against moneyed interests on behalf of the people.

This is a sad, sad indictment of the commingling of business and politics and a good indication of the insanity of the electorate.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Splendid Ed Schultz Rant From Connecticut Free Clinic

First off, I'll say that I am not Ed Schultz's greatest fan. Often I consider his style unnecessarily abrasive, but his heart and mind seem to be fully behind health care reform. He has been an outspoken advocate of single-payer healthcare and/or the public option. Well, today Ed Schultz was in Hartford, where the National Association of Free Clinics was holding a one day-event to provide free visits, vaccinations, antibiotics and exams for over one thousand CT residents unable to afford or obtain health insurance.

Broadcasting from the Hartford Convention Center, Schultz went into an impromptu rant about the lack of compassion and decency that Congress and the President have shown to the people who suffer for the United States' unwillingness to treat all of its sons and daughters not equally but fairly in the face of health adversity. It is not often that you see someone so passionate and so compassionate use his mic and the cameras in front of him to shed light on the desperate plight of so many and on the national disgrace that many insist on calling the best health care in the world.

As a bonus, Ed Schultz called Sen. Lieberman a coward (for not standing up for the people of Connecticut and, presumably, for never accepting to defend on camera his indefensible obstructionism against the public option.) I will go one step further and call Sen. Lieberman what he is: an accessory to second-degree murder. He along with all those who stalled health care reform by threatening to filibuster any bill that contained the public option.


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Monday, February 01, 2010

A Possible Way Out Of Negative Equity

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), suggests that many homeowners who are burdened by negative equity (owing more on their home than their homes are worth) is to walk away from their mortgages and rent instead.

According to Baker's analyses, not only would homeowners themselves benefit by such a move, but the economy at large would benefit as well.

Unfortunately, the present administration (and any administration that will follow) is much more interested in keeping struggling homeowners in chains to the banks than in helping reverse the economic downward spiral that has middle class and poor Americans in its grips, and will continue its destructive policies for a long time to come.

What the architects and the beneficiaries of the New World Order understand is that they benefit the most by creating a modern slave economy, and they are fully intent on prosecuting any policy that will accelerate this enslavement process.
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