An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Conservatives’

Arizona effectively legalizes doctors lying to patients

It isn’t often that one can point to something that the government of America has done and talk about how it is beyond foul.  In the world of right-wing insanity, this has got to be a step up.  It really doesn’t get much better than this.  In Arizona, there has been a new law that has been passed that say a doctor can lie to a patient about their own child.

You see, despite all the anti-choice propaganda, a lot of these women are having abortion for the reason of sparing a child from having to live a life that would be nothing but suffering.  Whenever it is found that children have birth defects, the mother gets to have the option to abort, and save both herself suffering, and the fetus’ suffering.

It is called the “Wrongful Birth” law.  It effectively allows a doctor to withhold information about a woman’s fetus if birth defects are found, in the interest of preventing her to have an abortion.  This even includes if the defects are so serious that they could kill the mother.  This law allows doctors to completely ignore the Hippocratic Oath.

This is going to be a short and sweet post.  Arizona law-makers, thank you for sending a “Screw You” message to women everywhere, along with to decency.  The levels of selfish conceit here I are blinding.  It cannot be argued that this is a law that is attacking women.  They will dress it up as protecting babies, but it is entirely done to take the choices away from women.

And this leads to the ultimate truth about the “pro-life” movement.  For the most part, it isn’t “pro-life.”  If they are against capital punishment, and the wars, then one can accept that they are pro-life.  However, for the most part, it is simply anti-choice.  They are against the fact that women in this country are able to choose for themselves how to conduct their lives.  Since the Republican base has now transformed almost entirely into middle-aged to elderly white men, then it makes a lot more sense why this is so.  These people have always been against women.

However, as with all the laws that these conservatives insane-asylum rejects have put out, it ignores the true consequences of its reach.  Prenatal care is for more than just the problems, like birth defects.  It exists to help find out if there are life-threatening complications, such as ectopic pregnancy, which can kill a mother if she doesn’t abort.

But given other bills, like the ones that say that there should be no abortion even in the instance to save the mother’s life, it is no surprise the Republicans went down this road.  Women, you have to take action.  Get as many as you can, and tell them all – do NOT support a Republican vote.  Even if you are a conservative, these people are beyond that.  They have gone into the realm of your typical insane asylum, and it needs to stop.

Peace out,

Lefty

The Universal Health Care Debate

This is an area which I am very firmly on the side of yes, we need universal health care.  However, I am not a completely idealistic man.  This must be a practical application.  This must be done right.  It must be done so that it can maximize efficiency, and minimize problem.  A lot of people seem to be of the mindset that true universal health care is impossible.  They are basically just dismissing it off-hand.  Not only do I believe that universal healthcare in the US is possible, I believe that it can be done fairly easily, and can benefit everyone.

Universal health care is a simple concept.  The idea is that you have a system that is built around having a system that can provide health care coverage to all members of a given society.  Some people seem to believe that this is a totally novel concept.  One of the big problems in modern society here in the US is that people don’t seem to realize that not only has this been done before, it is being done now, and in a lot of places, it is being done very well.

A study was recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that says that the system that England has, NHS, is the most cost-effective and most efficient system on Earth.  And where does the United States rank?  According to an article in The Guardian, which was about the aforementioned study, we are the least cost-effective, and the least efficient.  This is not the first time that this has come up.  Article after article comes out about how the United States spends more on its healthcare than the rest of the industrialized world, and we are the least efficient.  If we were getting more bang for our buck, maybe that would mean more, we aren’t.  Instead, there are millions of Americans uninsured, and we have people in this country who honestly have to ask the question of whether or not they will eat for dinner, or get medicine.

So, what is the solution?  Well, that’s pretty simple – scrap Medicare and Medicaid and simply give people in this country universal health care.  Rather than look at the perks first, let’s take a look at the problems.  The biggest hurdle against this, as it has been very well pointed out, is that this nation’s bureaucratic system is a total mess.  Those who make this argument are not wrong.  The next big argument is when people look at Canada, and make the argument that people have to wait for various services.  Britain has a similar problem.  This is not being argued.

Let’s address the last problem first.  While it is a problem in Britain and Canada, the fact is that, according to over 10 years of surveys, polls, and other forms of research, Canadians and the British are more satisfied, overall, with their healthcare than Americans are.  Only eight percent of Canadians want to trade in their health care system for a privitized one like the US.  According to 2005 Harris poll, 75% of responders believed that we should have a system like they have in Europe.  The numbers are totally stacked against this.

Looking at the bureaucracy problem, one thing that doesn’t get reported is that universal health care would actually aid this problem!  For real, billions of dollars are wasted every single year in the endless stream of paperwork that is required in order to make the system we have work.  Our current system is the ultimate example of the bureaucratic mess that our country is in.  At best, what we have is a patchwork system that leaves some with great health care, while others with none at all.  With a universal health care system, this would get much better.  Because things would be consolidated underneath one banner, the endless amount of mess that our current system has would be removed.  Plus, it would save money, lots of money.  According to studies that were conducted by groups like the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office, a single-payer system could cover every single person in the country, and still save billions of dollars.

Then there is the Libertarian argument, that this is encroaching on the freedom of the free market, and the socialized medicine is wrong.  Capitalism is a great thing, when a nation is coming into its own, when it is on the rise.  But America isn’t growing anymore.  We have hit a spike, and now we are leveling out.  Japan had the same thing happen to it about 20 years ago.  So, free-market capitalism is no longer palatable for this country.  Socialism, in an economic respect, is useful when growth is longer major, and a group needs to look to the people within it.  A mixed economy, of socialism and capitalism, is the only one that truly works.  And if we want to see the Libertarian argument debunked, it is pretty simple – let’s start with a public option.  Watch as the private insurance companies simply cannot compete.  If the Libertarians want to have a free market, let’s let them have it.  Instead of telling them to go, let’s introduce another player into the mix.  Free market, right?  Well, we introduce another player, and when everybody runs to the public option, and the other companies go belly-up, then we’ll know.

With this nation looking to fix our debt problem, this is an area that could save up to hundreds of billions of dollars, and is not even being looked at.  But the biggest problem to universal health care is something that is almost never talked about.  Of all the argument that I have heard, this is probably the most compelling, and I fully agree that this will be a problem, should a single-payer or public option system be implemented – ethnic medical problems.

Now, when one talks about this, there is going to be somebody who says that they are a racist.  That is not true!  In fact, looking at this is the exact opposite.  It is about realizing that certain ethnic groups are more susceptible to different medical conditions.  This is proven.  Certain groups are more prone to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, you name it.  If we are going to have a universal system, the PC liberals will have to step very far outside of their comfort zone and realize that, while science has proven that there are no different races, there are different ethnic groups who come with a different sets of medical complications.  I am not in way advocating that we deny them coverage, but if we are going to approach this, we have to have informed doctors who know which groups to watch for which conditions.  There is always somebody who will feel that this is a racist thing, but it isn’t.  Ethnobiology, in reference to medicine, means that we have to start holding our doctors to a higher standard.  If a group is more prone to cancer, you watch them for cancer.  And with universal health care, since everybody would be covered, this is definitely something that we would have to take into account.

Not only is universal health care possible, it may just be the only option we have got at this point.  America is in trouble when it comes to health care.  The costs of medicine in this country have outpaced the rise in wages.  More and more people are choosing to ignore their health in place of other crucial services, like food or shelter.  So, if it is so easy, and so simple, why hasn’t it been done?  Well, the answer to that is money.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent over the last few years by different insurance companies to lobby against stuff like this.  Just like how pot was made illegal, it was just good marketing against this that got us to this point.  Misinformation has been the weapon of choice by the conservatives and the Libertarians against univeral health care.  Add to that, that when Obama has a super-majority in the House and the Senate, he was unable to make anything happen, and dropped single-payer and the public option almost the first day, it was doomed before conception.  But this needs to be addressed.  We have to start asking ourselves, both as a nation and a species, how we want to treat one-another, and what kind of future we want.

Peace out,

Eli

The Liberal Agenda that Needs to Exist

A common statement amongst the conservatives and the Libertarians is that there is a “liberal agenda.”  While this has been a very effective tool for the Tea Party and the Ron Paulites to exploit to death, it is a concept that simpy doesn’t exist in the world of modern political discourse.  The problem with politics these days is partly due to the fact that there is NO liberal agenda.  They really could use one.

The Tea Party and the people who pull their strings have a very simple agenda, and it is one of the reasons that the liberals are losing a very open culture war that is going on.  The right wing of this country has discovered a very clear and very effective tool to get whatever they want – total attack, total offense.  People will complain about the endless political battle, but what those who do fail to understand is that this is not just an isolated incident.  The Republican Party has realized that this strategy can work.  And it is working.  Every single day, the liberal side of this country is losing ground.  Every single “compromise” that Obama has made has been worth nothing.  It has been nothing but the liberals losing ground on the social progress front.

The Tea Party is actually deserving of some acknowledgement.  They are able to motivate their base in a way that the liberal side of politics couldn’t hope to.  This is one of the reasons that the liberals are losing the culture war that is happening right now.  Progress is stopped dead.  Their agenda is simple – keep us constantly defending, knowing that the left-leaning politicians are not strong enough to stand up and fight back.  Keep us constantly in retreat, and they will inevitably win.

Those who follow the Tea Party are viewed as laughable by some of the more scholarly political commentators, but it is not a laugh to me.  Their strategy is not only effective, it is very sinister.  In order to get elected, Republicans now have to please the Tea Party base.  They have to promise them whatever they want.  It has sunk a couple of political campaigns, like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell.  But others have done very well, like Allan West.  The fact is that the Tea Party is being used by scum like Eric Cantor to completely eliminate all the moderates from the Republican Party.  As these racist and often impoverished white people scream about how the hispanics and the blacks and the gays are what is wrong with this country, the liberal community on the whole does nothing.

This is part of the real problem in America – the liberals need to, and pardon the frankness, grow some balls.  There is NO liberal agenda.  There should be.  There should be a very clear agenda that the liberals, not the most hardcore, but those who are left-leaning enough to be helpful, along with the moderates, should support.  Why support it?  Look at what the other side wants – to get rid of voting rights for minorities, and women.  They want to roll back a woman’s rights to her own body.  They want to take away a woman’s right to vote.  They want to make it illegal to be gay in this country, as many states already have laws in place to have.  They want a lock-step attitude toward the goal of taking away the freedoms of everybody who isn’t white.  They want to lower taxes to completely unsustainable levels.  They want to take away public education (Ron Paul, anyone?).  They want to get rid of America’s social safety net entirely, even though most of those ignorant Tea Party Republicans are using it.

So, what should be on this liberal agenda that people should actually be fighting for?  Well, that’s simple.  To start with, there needs to be an expansion of the social safety net, while cutting out the waste that we do have in it.  We need to have universal healthcare in this country.  We need to fix the education system that is absolutely a joke to the rest of the world.  We need to advocate for an education system that doesn’t teach that one side is right, the other is wrong.  Just give us the facts, and we’ll be the judges.  We need to leave the Middle East and slash the budget of a military that is outdated in the first world.  We need to increase taxes on the wealthy.  We don’t want to bleed them dry, but there is no reason that a guy who is making $5,000,000 a year can’t pay a little more.  That is just bologne.  We need to bring back secularism to how our country runs.  Even those who are religious should get behind this.  There is no reason that Christian doctrine should govern how America does things.  We need a police force that is actually working for the betterment of the common man, not as a machine of the state, and not as people who are continually busted abusing their power.

So, that is what our agenda should be.  You know what else we need?  We need to get rid of these politicians who are always advocating for compromise.  Obama was weak because he failed to realize that this strategy that the Republicans put into play was a very clever play to keep us always on the defensive, and every single “compromise” has screwed social progress.  The liberals get next to nothing, and in return, they give up nearly everything.

There was a time when it was not only considered good politics, but generally being a good person to compromise.  You give somebody some of what they want, they give you some of what you want.  That was a good way to do business.  But in this country, that isn’t how it works anymore.  It is now a mess of people using the system to drown out the voices who speak against them.  It is the Republicans very cleverly keeping the liberals doing nothing, and every day, we are losing ground.

So that is what our agenda should be.  They say only the bad guys have an agenda.  Well, as my favorite YouTube vlogger pointed out, they are right.  Only the bad guys do, because the good guys are too afraid to say that they have one too.

Peace out,

Eli

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