Medical Care Goes to the Dogs

Occupy AmericaIf you live in Wayne County and need medical coverage, you better have a child.  If not, you will be dumped into their “Patient Care Management System” or “Adult Benefit Waiver Program” which equates to “sucks to be you, we don’t even answer the phones here”.

After calling several other numbers and eventually getting their number, I was left dangling to listen to 40 rings of the phone which then hung up.  Even the recording which answers the phone has a voice which sounds like “we could care less about you, scumbags”.

After finding a number where they would answer the phone, I was told that I had been dumped into the worst provider group in Wayne County.  Most doctors do not accept this “coverage” and of those who do, many are sub-standard providers.  So, if you don’t have medical coverage, yet are working hard to scrape part-time work up, you deserve sewer-level health coverage.

Michigan’s economy is in shreds due to no fault of the millions of workers who showed up to jobs at companies that refused to change with the times.  Now, the state is begging tech companies to move or start here and there is no base of trained workers.  Instead of training workers on the job, everyone wants the workers to become destitute going back to school.

Let’s face it. Many of these jobs don’t require a degree.  Some on the job training and safety classes would get entry level workers who could move up as they learn more.

Many jobs listed didn’t even exist 10 or more years ago when these workers were getting degrees.  Yet, corporate America does not want to invest in the workers, just pump profits out of them.

The government is supposed to work for the people, not the corporations.  Yet, all legislation is geared to help companies make profits at the expense of the workers. When the workers need help, they are spit on by the state. Michigan legislators, we the PEOPLE are watching you.  The time of reckoning is coming soon.  You cannot keep protecting big business and stepping on the humans who vote for you.

Yes, we want businesses to flourish.  This keeps the economy going.  But we do not want all the benefits of their success to go in the pockets of a few individuals.  If the business profits, the workers should too.  Working people should not need state-scum level insurance to keep their health up.  And encouraging people to have children just to keep decent health coverage is wildly irresponsible.

Just sayin’.

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Last Letter to Bush and Cheney

This is re-posted from Truthdig.com because I think the young man’s words need reading by everyone.  He makes some excellent points that should not be forgotten.

The Last Letter

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

To read Chris Hedges’ recent interview with Tomas Young, click here.

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness. 

 

thecuttingedgenow

                         THE ECONOMY

A STUDIED LOOK AT THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY CAN BE VERY REVEALING.   FIRST OF ALL, THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WON THE ELECTION  LAST NOVEMBER.  BUT, THE 1% STILL CONTROL THE MOST IMPORTANT SOLDIER IN THIS ECONOMIC WAR,…, AND HIS NAME IS…., TA-DA,  BILL,  YOU KNOW, DOLLAR BILL

I AM NOW IN THE MIDST OF RESEARCHING A TIMELINE OF PRODUCTION COSTS VS. CONSUMER COSTS, AND SO FAR THE RESULTS ARE ADDING UP JUST AS I EXPECTED THEM TO.  THIS IS EXPLICITLY REFLECTED AS THE PRICE OF OIL FELL FROM appx. $98 DOLLARS PER BARREL TO $92 DOLLARS PER BARREL IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS, AND YET THE PRICE OF REGULAR GAS, @ THE PUMP, ROSE   FROM $3.499 PER GALLON TO $3.699 PER GALLON.(HELENA-WEST HELENA, AR)   THIS IS  ECONOMIC GENOCIDE BY PRICE…

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What Has Obama Done? Check the List

If you are still undecided on the election, or, have chosen Romney, please review this film clip of what Republicans have to say about Mitt Romney.  It is not good.  A leader of a country should not be nick-named “flip flop” BY HIS OWN PARTY.

To all the undecided who want to know just what the President has done in his four years, please review the list below.  If this is the type of leadership you want for your children, there is only one clear choice for President: Obama.  Obama represents the best hope of America stabilizing over the long term back into a functioning economy and society that is fair and just for everyone.

1. The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to help women fight back when they don’t get equal pay for equal work.
2. The Recovery Act supported millions of jobs and helped to stave off a second Great Depression.
3. He pushed for and won middle-class tax cuts that benefitted every American worker, and saved the typical family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.
4. President Obama rescued the auto industry, and now GM and Chrysler are healthier than they’ve ever been. The American auto industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs since June 2009 — and they most likely wouldn’t exist right now without President Obama’s leadership. And they won’t be sending Jeep jobs to China.
5. He doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping to make college more affordable for nearly 10 million families in need of education for the current economy.
6. His student loan reform ended billions in subsidies to banks serving as middlemen and reinvested those savings directly into students.
7. The President established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.
8. His Race to the Top Initiative helped spur nearly every state to raise academic standards.
9. His tax cuts, social-welfare programs, and economic policies lifted nearly 7 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2010.
10. President Obama has signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office.
11. We’ve seen 5.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 31 months.
12. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since President Obama took office and continues to drop.
13. Health care reform — passed after decades of failed attempts by every previous President — provides affordable health coverage to every American and will lower premiums by an average of $2,000 per family by 2019.
14. Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.
15. Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
16. Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn’t passed.
17. The parents of over 17 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage.
18. President Obama has ordered the overhaul of federal government regulations to make them smarter, practical, and more efficient. Just a fraction of these commonsense initiatives will help save businesses $10 billion in the next five years alone.
19. His historic investments in clean energy have helped more than double the amount of electricity we obtain from wind and solar sources and helped increase biofuel production to its highest level in history.
20. President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save drivers more than $8,000 at the gas pump, not to mention lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment.
21. President Obama has taken unprecedented action to address climate change, reaching historic international agreements to curb carbon emissions, and taking action here at home to reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and promote clean energy production.
22. He has taken historic action to protect our environment — signing one of the largest expansions of protected wilderness in a generation and putting in place standards to reduce toxic air pollution that will save thousands of lives.
23. President Obama fought for and won landmark Wall Street reform that reins in the abuses that led to the financial crisis and ends the era of taxpayer bailouts for irresponsible corporate greed.
24. Wall Street reform created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation’s first federal agency focused solely on consumer financial protection — and the Bureau is already protecting families from unfair and abusive financial practices from Wall Street banks and shadowy corners of the financial industry.
25. As part of President Obama’s commitment to transparency, the White House has posted its visitor records online for the first time ever.
26. President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to energy has helped cut the United States’ dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in 20 years.
27. President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq.
28. He announced a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people.
29. President Obama sent the largest security assistance package to Israel in history and funded the Iron Dome system, which is protecting Israeli homes and schools from rocket attacks.
30. President Obama rallied the international community to implement the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.
31. Through the President’s historic increases in Veterans Affairs funding, he has expanded and improved healthcare and job training access for our returning veterans.
32. President Obama negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries. At the same time, he also secured commitments from dozens of other countries to lock down nuclear materials.
33. His administration naturalized 11,146 military service members as U.S. citizens in 2010; more than in any year since 1955.
34. President Obama set a bold new plan for the future of NASA space exploration, using the skill and ability of the private sector for short trips to the International Space Station, while building a new vehicle for exploration of distant space, and doing everything in his power to support the economy on Florida’s Space Coast.
35. President Obama recognizes that tourism is one of America’s largest economic engines; he’s worked to encourage international visitors to come here, maintaining our security while keeping millions of Americans in good, paying jobs.
36. He has affirmed his personal support of marriage equality, directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in federal courts, and took the practical and compassionate step of extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners.
37. He fought for and won the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to serve openly for the first time in history.
38. When Congress failed to fix our broken immigration system, his administration did everything in its power to improve it, streamlining the legal immigration process and announcing a policy that lifts the shadow of deportation from hard working young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
39. Oh, and he gave the order to send troops in after Osama Bin Laden — and has decimated al-Qaeda’s senior leadership.

No Virginia, Racisim is NOT Dead

From the New YorKKK Post’s “Page Six” column, Oct. 24, 2012

The following post is re-published in its entirety from Lyndon LaRouche Watch and written by By DENNIS KING and GERALDINE PAULING.  No copyright infringement is intended and credit goes to the authors.  But it is disturbing enough that it needs to be re-distributed.  If you needed a reason to vote, this is it.

OCTOBER 30, 2012—Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch’s New York tabloid published a cartoon last Wednesday that more appropriately belongs in a Ku Klux Klan rag or as a poster for Lyndon LaRouche’s street-corner agitators. Sean Delonas, the longtime cartoonist for the Post, depicts an angry white man on horseback (Mitt Romney) chasing down a terrified skinny black man fleeing on foot (President Obama)—and the Romney figure is aiming an assault rifle and attached bayonet at the Obama figure’s backside.

Think for a second: the target of the Romney figure and his weapon is the President of the United States, our President, our Commander in Chief. The Post apparently sees nothing wrong with displaying racial contempt and fantasies of violence against President Obama, but we suspect that if a white President—even Jimmy Carter—had been depicted in a cartoon as the target of an assault rifle/bayonet attack by his election rival, the Post’s editors would have failed to see any humor in it and would have declined to publish it.

The Post will laugh this off by claiming it’s all just a metaphor for Romney surging (supposedly) in the polls, that the gun is shooting polling charts rather than bullets, and that the bayonet and horse are intended merely to satirize Obama’s comment about horses and bayonets in the final Presidential debate between Obama and Governor Romney on Oct. 22.

Don’t believe these excuses. The cartoon clearly evokes an image from the Old South of an overseer or slave catcher chasing down a runaway slave. (As in the image above, the overseer usually would have been on horseback and the slave almost certainly would have been on foot, but the overseer would have had a whip as well as a gun and would not have been trying to kill the slave—slaves were valuable property.)

A white man on horseback chasing a black man on foot also suggests the KKK night riders and their reign of terror against freed slaves shortly after the Civil War. The original Klan was headed by Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Confederate cavalry general—and the image of a Champion of the White Race on horseback would become as central to Klan tradition as the burning of crosses.

Although Obama’s remark about horses and bayonets undoubtedly inspired Delonas to some degree, this only increases the cartoon’s racist import. For the knee-jerk hatred of Obama by so many Republicans goes back to group fantasies about the Rebellious Slave, or in this case the uppity educated n___, who must be put back in his place.

In the Oct. 22 debate, Obama very definitely transgressed the taboo against uppity behavior that is part of the racist group fantasy. He did this by forcefully challenging—on TV before 59.2 million Americans—the foreign-policy notions of the Great White Republican Hope, forcing Romney to agree with him on many points, and landing a devastating blow with his quip about how the U.S. military has moved beyond the era of horses and bayonets.

The Post had been delighted by Obama’s non-aggressive performance in the first debate, but when he defended his record with wit and verve on Oct. 22, the paper’s number-one Obama hater, Michael Goodwin, complained that the President had “mocked, personally attacked and sneered at” Romney and had shown “utter contempt” for the Republican candidate. Goodwin seemed blissfully unaware that he was describing precisely what he himself and other Republican media hacks had been doing to Obama ever since the campaign season began.

In the group fantasies about race that are shared by millions of white racist Republicans, Obama—the Rebellious Slave/Uppity Negro—must be punished symbolically as well as politically for his many transgressions. And the perceived humiliation of Romney in the Oct. 22 interchange (on military preparedness, of all things) must be reversed—which the Delonas cartoon did by portraying the Republican candidate as a looming figure on horseback with fury in his eyes (and a giant phallus in the form of the assault rifle) charging down on a curiously diminished President who is depicted as an almost monkey-like figure.

In the twisted dream-logic of the racist group fantasy as manifested in this malignantly iconic cartoon, the verbal instruments of the white man’s humiliation (the horse and the bayonet) become the physical instruments of the black man’s punishment. Some individuals will also see in the image intimations of repressed homosexuality erupting into anal rape. Certainly the trajectory of the overly large rifle and the bayonet—and the sadistic leer on the horseman’s face—suggest this, but we will stick here to a politically-oriented analysis. For even without any sexual allusions, the hunting down of the Obama figure fits with the group fantasy’s punishment motif.

By supposedly humiliating Romney in the final debate, Obama symbolically humiliated those right-wing whites who are caught up in the group fantasy and for whom Romney is (in psychohistorical terms) the “delegate.” Obama has also humiliated these folks on a daily basis by the very fact that he is President. Thus, the group fantasy–which is an essentially timeless artifact in which the traditional racial hierarchy still exists–decrees that Obama the transgressor must be punished in a way that not only reverses the humiliation but also humiliates the transgressor himself a hundredfold in order to make the traditional racial order whole again.

Neither Obama nor Romney set out to play his assigned role in this group fantasy. The roles are being projected onto them by elements of the electorate who in turn are being driven by something that has deep historical roots: first in the centuries of slavery and second in the Jim Crow era, when thousands of black men were lynched not only because of accusations that they’d attacked a white woman but also for a variety of perceived slights against white people—talking back or otherwise behaving in an uppity way, showing a talent for business, or even just displaying independence of mind. And blacks were not just strung from a tree like some rustler in the Old West—they were subjected to beatings and torture first, sometimes including castration and dismemberment, or were burned alive. (Please note that we are not trying to say that cartoonist Delonas wants to bring back the era of lynchings; as a transmitter of the group fantasy in the 21st century he probably gave no thought to the deeper historical and psychological levels of what he was depicting. The power of group fantasy springs from the fact that it operates chiefly on an unconscious level.)

Today, violent racist retribution against a black person will gain a white bigot a long prison sentence if he’s caught. But those Americans who are caught up in the group fantasy and happen to view the Post cartoon can experience a certain retributory satisfaction by gloating over the cartoon’s payback motif before they go out to vote for their hero on horseback. And meanwhile the group fantasy continues to exercise both a symbolic and political influence via the dog-whistle comments about the President that are coming fast and furious from Republican circles as Election Day approaches.

The first impression of the Delonas cartoon for many supporters of Obama will be that it is profoundly disrespectful of the President and indeed of the Presidency itself. But this has been the case with the attacks on Obama from his first day in office. Respect is simply not part of the equation for individuals who refuse to acknowledge that Obama is legitimately our President even though he was duly elected and sworn in as such.

A huge percentage of Republicans say they don’t believe Obama was born in the U.S.A., and indeed if they were right he would be an illegal occupant of the White House. But the “Birther” theory is only code language. Most Republicans know perfectly well that Obama was born in the United States. What they are really saying is that they cannot—will not—accept a black man as their President unless he is willing to be a Clarence Thomas-type puppet for their own political agenda.

Apparently many of the Republican Birthers don’t believe that a black man can ever be their equal. The best known of the Birthers, Donald Trump, said on Fox News on Oct. 24 that Obama is the “least transparent” President we’ve ever had, and offered $5 million to the charity of Obama’s choice if the President would release his college records and applications—the strong implication being that the President with untransparent skin couldn’t possibly have won acceptance to or performed successfully in top schools without special assistance.

When the Post endorsed Romney on Oct 25, it chose to adopt the not-a-real-President trope in a sly manner—with a front-page headline “THE ONLY CHOICE.” Consider: Romney is running against a President who has the support of approximately half the population of our country, and massively outpolls Romney in New York City, but the Post won’t acknowledge that he’s a choice—even a bad choice. This stance carries its own Planet Bizarro logic: if Obama’s not a legitimate President but only a “shuck and jive” President (Sarah Palin’s phrase), then voting for him is as meaningless as inserting on the ballot the name of one of those fictional black presidents who kept getting assassinated–right under Jack Bauer’s nose–on the Fox network’s 24.

The Post has become increasingly unhinged during the last days of the Presidential race. After Richard Mourdock, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Indiana, announced that conception of a child by way of rape is God’s will (thus greatly embarrassing Romney who nevertheless continued to support Mourdock), the Post’s Andrea Peyser declared that Romney is the true feminist candidate for President and that Obama is the world’s worst sexist because he calls his wife “Sweetie.” (Peyser said nothing about her own newspaper’s relentlessly demeaning descriptions of scantily clad women; see the picture of the new Daniel Craig co-star on p. 13 of the Oct. 28 issue with the text underneath: “Double-oh-wow! Meet the new Bond girl, French sexpot Bérénice Marlohe…”)

But don’t think for one moment that the Delonas cartoon is simply part of the electoral silly season. The Post has a long history of pushing the envelope of sports-bar bigotry—as in the notorious 2009 cartoon portraying a rabid chimpanzee bleeding to death with two cops standing over it, one with a smoking gun, and a caption that refers to Obama’s stimulus package.

And perhaps some long-time Post readers will recall the cartoon from about 20 years ago in which Rev. Al Sharpton—falling or shoved out of an airplane—is descending to earth with his necktie sticking straight up like a noose (as in “necktie party” noose aka lynch-mob noose).

Let’s draw a line against the racism of the New York Post and the Republican fever swamp by turning out in massive numbers for Obama. And then, remembering all those suggestions by the radical right that Obama be sent “back to Kenya,” New Yorkers should warmly and courteously invite Rupert Murdock to “self-deport” (or better yet, just teleport) back to Australia.