Insurance is NOT the Prescription for American Poor Health

This article was originally published in May 2009 –

The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose-CA, V.A.Caminiti – [Second in a series]

Public Safety / Public Health

…capitalism mutated in the very same way as we encouraged the banking industry to strip safeguards

Can you imagine if you had to be insured to receive basic police services?  How about clean water?  Sewer?  What if you dialed 911 and the operator asked you for your location and your 911 insurance code?  How did the American public become so disinterested and callous in only a few short very greedy years.  Once again, our flaws have seemed to overwhelm our instincts.  Even self-preservation and our natural desire to propogate the species seems to have been compromised to our own detriment.  Isn’t it unnatural for us to not be concerned with the health of all our neighbors – their well being.  How did we become cheerleaders against ourselves – humanity ?

Be very careful and very thorough when approaching this discussion.  The rules, the basis and the players have all changed.  When this discussion took place back in the 1960’s – the very same insurance companies that were prohibited from engaging in risky investments with their financial reserves were essentially providing a public service.  But alas, this is where American capitalism mutated in the very same way as we encouraged the banking industry to strip safeguards and effective regulation, such as Glass-Steagall.

Capitalism is a particularly useful economic tool.  It inspires great things and great philanthropy.  Unfortunately, there is a selflessness to philanthropy and charitable deeds that seems to have eluded many Americans.  While it is a great transition to move from selfishness to selflessness – the journey of the transition is a school unto itself.  Humility knowledge and the gift of discernment may in fact be the destination; however this is all as personal as prayer.  Our public practices are the product of this personal investment; and our business practices can be joyful in the fact that as capitalists and business owners we are part of a community of those that make our business run efficiently and profitably.   Whether a business owner, operator or employee … we all have the responsibility to contribute to the public welfare as well as for those around our own campfire.

This article doesn’t have sufficient literary real-estate to foot-note all the particulars so without apology we’ll aim for bold points.

Cui BonoWho benefits?

Shareholders, stakeholders and investors benefit.  And any departure from this financial turbine is described by the neo-con extreme rightists as a move toward Socialism.

This Latin phrase familiar to many means – ‘who benefits?’  Precisely.  Who benefits if our Health approach is saddled with not one, not two but three layers of profit for absolutely no value to the insured?  Who?  Well it is shamefully simple – the industries that have self-proclaimed they are essential to the delivery of health care – but actually – they deliver the illusion of health care and enormous amounts of red-tape and acrimony.  Millionaire doctors are common-place.  We’re not talking about upper middle class, respectable gentry – we’re talking millionaires in alarming disproportion to the ability of their customers to deliver that kind of wealth for services.

The answer to this puzzle is even more alarming.  Just imagine that a group of entrepreneurs managed to create a collective of physicians and hospitals and convince them that they could guarantee payment for performed services.  We’ll call them the health insurance group analysts.  Now imagine that small private and institution run hospitals are bought up by another entrepreneurial enterprise offering consolidation of services in order to increase profit and contain costs.  Sounds great, right? And then let’s round it off with yet another group that helps design and counsel physicians and hospitals in how to play the game.  The only thing we haven’t actually talked about yet is delivering health care to sick people – so far the discussion is only about money.  And there’s more to come.  Public offerings, new consolidators of health administration and create the fertile birth canal for an entirely new industry; that is, Medical Administrative Services companies whose primary deliverable is processing the voluminous medical insurance paperwork for corporate physicians.

Who benefits?  Shareholders, stakeholders and investors benefit.  And any departure from this financial turbine is described by the neo-con extreme rightists as a move toward Socialism. After all, the promotion of the public well-being has been removed from the very essence of corporate capitalism in stark contrast to its very reason for existing – so why not replace the beneficiaries of health system with shareholders instead of citizens.  The neo-cons and the convoluted agenda they promote have altered the course of modern society, backward to the 1920’s.  It appears the only public services left that haven’t been dismantled are Police, Fire, Water and Sewer – but not for the lack of trying.  In many enclaved real-estate developments around the country, insurance company underwritten private fire companies have been put into service.  They respond to fires of their insured – only.  Sound like the roaring 20’s?  Does it ring of ‘protection’ schemes during the height of the Volstead Act and other ancestors of the equally disturbing Patriot Act?

Debating / The Baiting

…and other buzz words that are the intellectual equivalent of knock-out drops are still the descriptive terms for the argument.  That is to say – the arguments they are having in the public forum have been crafted by the insurance industry.

The Argument for Basic Public Health – what the disrupters call Socialized Medicine – has never been stronger or more sensible.  Tragically though, half the support for the argument disappears because Progressives and Liberals have not been represented – graft free – through the Democratic Party.  The public may be “trusting” their Democratic President with unprecedented solidarity – but they are not as trusting of the Democratic Congress.  Much of this is the result of desperate Rightist pundits working the rope lines whenever and wherever possible.  Hillary Clinton was famously lampooned by ultra-rightists talking heads for her clumsy declaration of a ‘Vast Right Wing Conspiracy’ – but as history has revealed, there are plenty of Right Wing C0-dependents deserving of scrutiny and deposition, at the very least.

However, a significant amount of skepticism haunts Democrats and will continue to haunt them because of the public perception that they were nothing more than ‘eloquent shoulder-shruggers’  that argued vociferously during elections but actually accomplished little else during the 12 years, including 6 years of total American National Government madness.  The bulk of the screaming and dissent ultimately emanated from the Internet wired public. Very few voices in the Democratic Party were brave enough to live their convictions and distinguish themselves with articulate disagreement or simply brave fundamental disagreement.  Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, respectively, come to mind as demonstrative of some of the distinguished few.  And while there are more – most played it safely by putting on their war-paint for Kodak moments, while the public groundswell shook them up.  If nothing else, the Democratic Party went through some significant changes it hadn’t planned when many of the dinosaurs were retired during the last Democratic portion of the last Presidential contest.  So keep in mind – supporters of the President are admiring him for being a Republican and a Democratic dinosaur slayer, although Congress does not share that distinction.

Surely the endless stream of Congressional tidbits about entitlements, insurance reform and other buzz words that are the intellectual equivalent of knock-out drops are still the descriptive terms for the argument.  That is to say – the arguments they are having in the public forum have been crafted by the insurance industry.  They haven’t been crafted around American Health, yet we bought the bait and are fishing with it.   The simple fact is – the reason our health care is so expensive in this country is fundamental.  Unlike public safety, Police, Fire, Water, Sewer and other basic citizen’s services – health is for profit and the ultimate goal of the insurance companies is to minimize benefits and maximize profits. That might even work in a well running capitalistic economy, but that train is most demonstrably off-the-rails as well.

We have been, in effect, brain-washed into believing that our health system is requires insurance reform, when simply – no insurance would be the better solution.  A public health system serves everyone and if those of significant wealth chose to have private health services – the system would in no way prevent it.  Similarly, insurance fraud – one of the singularly most expensive non-return expenses of our health system, would essentially vanish.  The opportunity for young people to participate in community service by volunteering as part of National health programs could help end the reign of terror held over us by the collective avarice driven by the requirements of  ‘return-on-investment’ of  insurers and health services companies.

What’s the Prescription?

… recapture our self-respect and once again become brave good neighbors and partner with our brave young citizens who have put their healthy young blood on the line without question, while we have sat idle and permitted the looting of our treasury and over 55 years of international good-will and leadership.

It seems as though we need to finish the diagnosis in order to prescribe a fix.  But this becomes particularly difficult because Congress has made some startling assumptions.  That is to say, that by empowering only the parties that abused the system and engineered a health insurance paradigm that ostensibly circumnavigates accessible efficient health care – we’re in actuality only treating symptoms and not the underlying disease.  At the very least, this is an overwhelming deficit in our overall public safety and Homeland Security approach, which should be of paramount concern when talking about the overall health of Americans.

The health care reform discussion continually addresses improving the obfuscation as though there were legitimate solutions to be found, therein.  There haven’t been and will not be solutions by supporting an approach that at its roots is health-for-profit.  That would be as inane as suggesting that an alcoholic should be treated by changing brands of Gin.

We need to call-0ut the writers of the new public lexicon that have indoctrinated an alarming number of Americans in believing that a responsible functioning public health system is tantamount to Communism.  We need to demand that public figures be held accountable for their rhetoric and challenge those that have used their seat or office in Congress as a personal lobbying firm shilling for corporate interest instead of representing the public good as they promised by taking their Oath of Office.  So we must begin with ourselves.  Our understanding of health – preventative medicine – education – exercise – nutrition needs and enormous overhaul. But, equally important – we need to consider how insurance became the controlling factor in delivering health services.  After close historical and modern perusal, it is clear that these additional burdens to the pockets of Americans were designed out of greed, not an interest in protection as is suggested by aid or relief, but perhaps more in line with “protection” as in type of policies the Sopranos’ might offer their clients.

Here’s a prescription for another common unfortunate ailment – complacency:

  1. We recapture our initiative to think in private and practice in public.
  2. We stop promoting bad practices and stop habitually adopting talking points of broadcast ideologues that profit by misinforming the public and further profit by shilling for financial interests.
  3. We exercise our capitalistic right to withhold business from broadcast personalities that pretend to be journalists and actually engage not in commentary but in propaganda, even if inconvenient.
  4. We (many of us) must admit that we were willing accomplices and contributed to this mess by our actions or inactions.
  5. We take responsibility not only for the welfare of our families or those we hope to impress – we take responsibility to think on a larger scale than our personal comfort and thus improve our Nation.
  6. We take the time to know things that are important and stop making excuses because it takes time or interferes with our leisure.
  7. We recapture our self-respect and once again become brave good neighbors and partner with our brave young citizens who have put their healthy young blood on the line without question, while we have sat idle and permitted the looting of our treasury and over 55 years of international good-will and leadership.
  8. We do not live in fear and we practice rules of law – instead of languishing in rules of exception.
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Merging and Purging : A Developing Story

by V.A. Caminiti

The merge lane was marked very clearly and visible from both the freeway and the meter controlled entrance.  Not a law, but in actuality, instructions for conduct.  So why is this guy in the blue pick-up truck hugging the bumper of the car in front of him? Why isn’t he permitting me to move onto the highway in the same way the driver in front of him yielded to the car that preceded mine?  More importantly though, how have I gone from the bliss of Zen to seeing ‘Red’ in mere seconds?  Why has my serene enjoyment of John Mayer’s ‘Stop This Train’ in magnificent fidelity been replaced by envisioning retaliation in some twisted homicidal Walter Mitty daydream?

The answer may be a sad commentary on humanity, but it is not elusive.  We’re humans.  We’re a developing species. We are territorial, tribal and often unreasonable.  We exist with so much solitude in our tons of moving steel as though we are anonymous – much as a costume party – and we act territorial and primitive as though our automobile were a cave and other drivers are intruders.  The chain reaction is as social a phenomenon as the contagion of yawning.  Before long the freeway has become the sad scene of competitive rudeness and anti-social behavior that would send us racing a child to a team of Ritalin dispensing psychiatrists should they exhibit this type of behavior on a school play-ground. We’re also creatures of habit, good ones and bad ones and we confuse feelings with facts. We become intellectually and spiritually lazy when we simply react instead of taking the responsibility to examine the consequences of our actions in a socially responsible way. 

On the other hand, we’re cognitive social beings with the ability to reason and innately improve our surroundings and our species.  It seems though; there is something that is disrupting our progression. Many believe it is the 24/7 sensory smorgasbord enticing us to feast habitually and ultimately overwhelming our ability to reason.  My observations put me in the column of those that concur. Not unlike celebrity endorsements of products, marketing is a valuable tool of capitalism, but there are techniques of marketing that have been deemed as an unfair manipulation of man’s mind.  Most of my generation (when the US lead in world education standards) learned of the outlawed practices of overt subliminal advertising – although actual tests revealed that the conclusions were false, the public outcry was overwhelming – believing that signs flashed  for a nanosecond on a movie screen to ‘buy popcorn’  were actually effective. 

This reaction to James Vicary’s claims, foremost by Vance Packard in his book “The Hidden Persuaders” led to global condemnation in 1958 of a practice that wasn’t borne out by science but did conveniently mesh with ideological fear monger’s claims of insidious communism looming in sleeper cells throughout the world.  This was possible because even the most reasonable person didn’t require massive testing to deduce that bombarding individuals with multi-sensory images of any product or thought would result in, at the very least, familiarity. And, to that end, familiarity, unto itself, does not necessarily breed contempt but it often breeds acceptance. So naturally the opportunity to use this as collateral to support the concept of the ‘Red Menace’ was a viable tool to many.

It is the job of public relations firms to work the channels of acceptance to the point that the line between truth and fiction becomes blurred to the extent that people vociferously campaign against their own best interests. This is considered a major success when accomplished and is employed by corn-syrup laden soft-drink peddlers, non-nutritious convenience food makers and scores of companies selling essentially tap water in plastic bottles.  The image of two bath tubs will for the next  ten years indelibly represent  the transformation of dysfunction into a four-hour erection , just as a twenty-year  concerted assault on the word ‘Liberal’ has transformed it into a pejorative and deny it as the basic philosophy of every major religion in the modern world. 

The provocateurs posing as news analysts and worthy commentators, quite often use their visibility, as a launching pad for the marketing of ideology, and in 15 years created an industry of allegedly conservative talk into a multi-billion dollar business that essentially benefits from controversy.  Many believe it is simply propaganda driven by the oligarchy that controls it.  On the other hand, many of us believe that it is not about the specific ideology, but about the wealth that can be amassed by ostensibly promoting an irrelevant orthodoxy – that above all else – must result in deep controversy.  The result has been an annuity, powered by team sportsmanship and the duped are lulled into jingoistic ranting that defies logic since the meat on the bone is generally no more than meaningless sayings or slogans that are ill-advised or simply inconsistent with their own self interests … i.e. the recent ‘Tea Bagging’ farce.Hence, we are a ‘nation of laws’ not a ‘nation of gold’.

This is the perplexing nexus that provides cover for the most desperate capitalists.  Those, for instance, that systematically transformed our financial centers into casinos over decades of obfuscation and herding public support with dreams of wealth as carrots on sticks. But, in actuality, the wealth was cleverly disguised debt with the illusion of prosperity.  The realization that a misguided lust for wealth transformed the offspring of Rosie-the-Riveter and G.I. Joe into the pawns that owe the company store more than they can repay is most alarming.  Moreover, the massive sensory assault of the marketers has managed to persuade a large segment of society to cheer for the very powers that have enslaved Americans with inescapable debt, compound cynicism and a disquieting disregard for our responsibility as good neighbors and fellow humans.

This ubiquitous toxicity is not without an antidote, and it is heartening that young and fresh minds around the world are beginning to cease the reign of avarice by seizing the reins of influence and exposing the danger of complacency when people start realizing that ‘fat, dumb and happy’ is not a goal but a terminal diagnosis. The ‘usual suspects’ have to redouble their marketing efforts to the emerging demographic that is no longer pleased with suppressed self-esteem in lieu of designer jeans and a Maitre D’ that knows their name; or, owning  a ridiculously impractical automobile that not only is wasteful and harmful – but is a part of story of how we’ve been shirking humanity. 

This is not only an introspective …  just look around.  Have you seen the antique thinking that still roams a significant number of corridors in our government? Have you listened to the treasonous rhetoric from relics that have been placed in elective office by defective voting practices and a political street game that is tantamount to a rigged roulette wheel?  This is not a politically convenient observation for the abuses are on both sides of the aisle, but it is refreshing that the there is some change we can believe in and it’s starting to come through the door. 

History will most likely treat the ‘Right’ very harshly for fronting for the Oligarch’s coup of our American National government.  Some of the dinosaur citizens will continue to repeat manufactured arguments, just short of denying the holocaust,  because they have been addicted to a certain news station on their car radios during drive time.  The continuous banter that FDR was a socialist, reviving arguments that were debunked before Joe McCarthy was elected Senator from Wisconsin in 1946. 

Yet the dwindling loyalist royalists clamor like street car bells on Market Street; repeating baseless commentary of feckless commentators instead of thinking independently and rationally; thereby,  personifying P.T. Barnum’s observation – ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ – and punctuating it by judging patriotism by the number of times a showman says ‘God Bless America and the Troops’ and by counting the number of flag pins on his very expensive suit. A nation whose bittersweet history is built on the backs of immigrants and aliens, with complex problems that cannot be resolved with silly slogans and crowds cheering an unlicensed plumber turned inconvenient celebrity or political pundits and politicians that haven’t dealt with the fact that everything they’ve said in the last twenty years is digitized and available in 5 seconds with internet access or even a cell-phone and Google.   To argue for archaic and primitive torture of other human beings is to deny ourselves the very thing we cherish, freedom.

There was a popular movie a few years ago, ‘Pay It Forward.’  It seemed the message was a universal and not very original idea. In fact, it seemed quite consistent with what my family instilled in me as a child.  My parents were practicing humans without the plethora of vices that I came to be fond.  They taught us the distinction between ‘want’ and ‘need.’  Faith, Hope and Charity were life principles, not slogans. Plastering the American Flag on a container for keeping beer cold would be tantamount to using my childhood glow-in-the-dark Rosary beads as sling shot.  Surely I disagreed with parents on scores of issues as generational and even principled responsibility, but always with respect … well mostly.  And that seems to be the most important element of any disagreement; respect.  Thomas Jefferson based an entire thesis on this essential concept and without respect, there is no dialogue; and without a dialogue, there is no learning. 

So the next time I get on the freeway, I’m going to remember what I wrote here today and quell my primitive longings to impale someone’s head and carry it on a stick and when I get cut off or shut out, I’m going to resist the urge to pursue the offender and mete out justice by paying it backward and cutting him off (or even just daydreaming about it) and I’m going to turn up John Mayer or maybe listen to Jim Lehrer instead.  I’m going to continue to think a little more each day how I can make a difference and break more of the bad habits I’ve given refuge to in my very being; and I’m going to think of ways to express myself that aren’t about ad hominem attacks on my detractors but a well reasoned response that will encourage a dialogue, instead of a scrimmage.  I hope you’ll join me; even if we disagree, we’ll learn.

The ‘Right’ Wronging America

Two of Forty-eight

It has been just two months since Barack Obama has been inaugurated as our Nation’s 44th President and just two months since the remnants of the most extreme ideologues of the Republican Party have reacted in a most bizarre combination of panic, jingoism and un-American behavior. To the untrained eye, it appears to be random stupidity. Yet, recent events suggest that it is precisely the same tactics they (Republicans) used to prop up Newton Leroy Gingrich and begin deconstruction of the Constitution as a result of the 1994 Congressional elections. Remember, the cast – Roger Ailes’ political communications team – eventually to include the most unsavory and possibly most unstable neo-conservative talkers the United States has ever given comfort and inalienable rights.

While challenging the status quo is the raison d’être for journalism and commentary – the ‘news-talk’ / ‘ journo-tainment ‘ megaplex is primarily controlled by a deliberate, disparate and desperate group of conservatives that have become driven to preserve and recapture power. Routinely they wander into the territory of treason while painting themselves red, white and blue; and, quite unfortunately, they have managed to become icons for the severely uninformed. In an effort to not be upstaged, moderate media outlets have routinely covered the misinformation and in a sense have ventured to legitimize the dialogue in an effort to justify their hunger for the content, thereof.

 

Just Say No

Tonight, President Obama held a press conference with an opening statement, directly addressing recovery plans for our troubled economy. While many Americans are scratching their heads and trying to understand the elements of the problem and the solution – the Right Wing Party hierarchy has passed the word by perverting Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug slogan – ‘Just Say No’ And the is precisely what they have done. No plans, no alternatives, no dialogue – simply planting their feet like recalcitrant imps, screaming “No!” A phrase earlier adopted by former Senator and felony indicted Ted Stevens of Alaska, when he refused to budge by reducing the earmark request for the famous bridge-to-nowhere.

However, this evening, no Republican was inebriated enough to attempt a public rebuttal to the President’s conference, since they haven’t actually had a meaningful legislative idea since former Congressman and felony indicted Tom Delay made redistricting congressional strongholds a pay-to-play gold mine for the good ‘ole boys on the Hill. Not a single meaningful discourse, but alas, the journo-tainers were all over the television screen in little boxes, big boxes and full screens with displaying inept clairvoyance and a fumbling grasp of the supernatural that would make Rod Serling guffaw from the grave.

A Republican strategist (names of these journo-tainers purposely omitted) on CNN , this very evening, suggested that President Obama’s very brief and perfect response to a mindlessly aggressive and accusatory question by CNN’s reporter at the conference, was somehow an omen of Obama’s crack-up. A chink in the armor of the president that gave him reason to opine that there is now a greater possibility that Obama will be a one-termer.

 

Got Flag Pin?

Now one might think that is just a bit of overplay by a partisan hack –but alas, this is not the point. This is the antithesis of a Hazmat team. This is the neo-con / deep left emergency squad sending the message to place toxic waste throughout the mediaplex with a flag-pins stuck in the waste. Not long after the questions were done … I had the pleasure to make my nightly call to Mom. Alas, she was surprised to hear that Obama was reported to have lost his temper at the news conference. My immediate reply – “you’re watching Fox News, right?” “Yes,” she replied – “how’d you know?” “Elementary my dear, elementary.” I then commenced to explain what I’ve written below. When my 90 year-old Mother was able to respond: “You know, I think you’re right! They were also talking about him laughing in his interview on Sunday when talking about the economy. It seemed quite unfair and inaccurate.” The axis has shifted. My Mom lives in Fox Country – Florida, and she’s not buying it anymore.

 

Hail Mary

Just imagine, the information was out early in the day. The plays were phoned-in, emailed, tweeted and possibly sent by Morse Code or banging rocks. Seconds after President Obama finished his interview on 60 minutes – I imagine the group that coerced the corpulent former VP to fire one or two over the bow of the ship-of-State, realized that perhaps their idea to have Dick Cheney, the most toxic figure in American public life since John Wilkes Booth, throw a Hail Mary pass was not working in their best interests. Indeed to cover their complicity in Cheney’s corrosive comments, they began leaking to the press anonymous and attributed comments that he should keep quiet. Is anyone buying it? Perhaps the crowd that listens to the caustic right wing mediaplex – but the dwindling group is now mostly a group of very sad extremists easily satisfied by leaders and media stars that are addicted to prescription medicine or have been proven wrong in every major decision they have made.

In either case, they come with the turf and free-speech comes with a great cost. History will not treat these dingos of political blood-sport and avarice very kindly. In fact, ‘the present’ doesn’t seem to tolerate them very well either. While I am an Independent because of my distaste for the legacy stench in Democratic Party – it has not been difficult to caucus, if you will, with Democrats. Now it’s time for principles and principals. It doesn’t matter what Party they belong to as long as they promote a practice of Americanism. Not conservatism, not liberalism and certainly not hooliganism, but Americanism – a theory that human rights is worth dying for, even if it provides the potential for someone to be un-American.

Our new President understands this and practices it. It’s in his bones – not something he portrays for the public. We hardly noticed him before until we realized that this selflessness was something that many of us experienced in our own families and life-styles, long before propagandists sold their self-respect for a few pounds of cash and a fancy car.  And we like it.  In fact, we are it.

Campaigns are Presidential Auditions – McCain Struggling

It was an unscheduled quick stop for the Bill Clinton campaign.  Cellphone service was terrible and the quick bathroom break for the bus occupants and the 20 minutes of rapid exchanges on pay phones would suit nicely as the traveling press was otherwise cut-off.  As the traveling team assembled the name Jennifer Flowers began circulating the stale air of the bus.  By the time cell service was available, everyone on the bus knew what everyone else knew and in what appeared to be a riot – reporters fought to get  information to their editors.

Not much time passed before there was a news wave worthy of a surfing competition; and, not long after that Bill Clinton’s denials had won over evidence.  There was no doubt in any ones mind that Clinton had engaged Flowers, but the Flowers promoters were not handling their end very well and the relationship appeared to be more of a professional engagement than it did an affair of the heart.  An apology to Mario Cuomo by Clinton was delivered because of a disparaging remark Clinton made on one of the tapes that Flowers secretly recorded of their phone calls as Rush Limbaugh became a household word badgering Clinton by playing the tapes on a loop.

Why the story?  Simple. This was a Presidential campaign that was led with extraordinary leadership  While the dynamics of the team may have been closer to tobacco auction with James Carville’s Tommy Gun Talking with Bayou Bullets – there is no doubt that Bill Clinton was calm, cool and collected.  He was all that one would expect of a world leader.  Calm, collected, thoughtful and nearly immune to shame.  While Clinton may have misplaced some requisite humility, it was clear to many Americans that anyone who could run a campaign with the hired guns of the media ground force pummeling him, as Limbaugh did daily, he was a natural leader.  His propensity for womanizing seemed to be more palatable to voters than four more years of the testosterone challenged George H. W. Bush, who ultimately managed to lose an election after winning a war, which sent bookies in Ireland reeling.  Perhaps the nation was tired of being talked to as though they were children by someone who they knew couldn’t give rat’s ass about their circumstances, and did it sounding like Mr. Rogers

Now fast forward to end of the Clinton Presidency – George W. Bush is in contention for the Republican Nomination – the Democratic convention is strictly pro forma, Gore is the de  facto nominee.  The neoconservative movement has become emboldened with each failed Clinton scandal.  Flowers, Jones, White-water, Vince Foster’s suicide – while ignoring some important facts – budget balanced, budget surplus (although is a total BS accounting term that means we actually owe less), unemployment down and every military engagement on Clinton’s watch was brief and successful.  The conflict in eight state-nations formerly known as Yugoslavia was brought to the beginning of an end.  Africa is still a distant drum, but even the political parisans are not going to challenge Clinton for limited or non-engagement.  The Clinton score sheet is excellent, NAFTA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell hadn’t yet been rejected by the body politique as abysmal failures.

George W Bush comes out swinging, in fact, quite impressive.  He mows down his opponents and makes a rag doll out of John McCain.  This same John McCain, hero, maverick, but, there was not enough distance between the Keating 5 scandal and McCain yet.  The accusations of McCain fathering a black child, were merely a warning – the neocons were going to have him for lunch – and they did.  Meanwhile, back at the phony ranch of the Connecticut Prep school and Yale educated Howdy Doody of presidents – it wasn’t George Bush’s impressive leadership that out stepped McCain – it was McCain’s campaign and leadership skills in 2000. The fact that he didn’t actually win the election is another matter.

McCain’s lack of focus wasn’t apparent when he was told his dream of furthering the family legacy of his father and grandfather would not come to pass and that he would not be considered again for Flag rank in the Navy.  Decisively, he rowed the lifeboat to Arizona and immediately cashed in his chips and was all but handed a Congressional seat in the US House.  More public service and a new career.  What could be more admirable.  It was, he was. Irrespective of his politics or changing views he was effective.

But in the campaign against George W. Bush, the neocons were pushing their agenda and McCain was no neocon.  Not that he wouldn’t drink their scotch and smoke their cigars, but he wasn’t going to join their club.  He didn’t see the reason to do it – he had powerful group of supporters, although not any longer the compassionate Goldwater Republicans, they were Republican’s.  The insidious influence of Richard Perle, William Krystol and the “think tanks” they touted hadn’t yet coursed through all the arteries of the Republican Party until George W. Bush, day-dreaming of his legacy, propped the door open for them like an unconscious drunk on a bender.

McCain in 2000 though, brandished his expertise, and no one challenged that; after all, half the people in his gunsights had tickets to Canada ready while he was doing time in the Hanoi Hilton.  But even McCain’s patriotism and prisoner of war scars were no match for the Joe Six-pack crowd and the Bush jingoistic gymnastics.  A most baffling anomaly – John McCain, son of an Admiral, a former prisoner-of-war and decorated Viet Nam Vet, married to the Chairman of the largest Budweiser distributorship in the country – loses the nomination to the son of a President, delinquent Air Guardsman whom red-necks favored 4-1 for best drinking buddy.

They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but that may not be true, although they may not learn them well.  John McCain lacks more skill now than when he was thrown out of the ring by Bush.  He adopted new tricks to compensate, hired the a cadre of impressive lobbyists (a force with whom McCain casually cavorts) and by the time the Republican National Committee realized that their own candidate was accidentally going to be McCain – they brought all the fireworks and operatives that created the Bush presidency to McCain, Rove included.  Under McCain’s own leadership, he is essentially no match for the Obama organizational style in a fair fight.  To his detriment he has taken to lying.  Not the political overstatement or understatement that many are comfortable with, but rather, outright lies. More lies (2 videos).

While style is only an element of candidates campaign / leadership skill, it is abundantly clear that John McCain has a propensity for the unusual and that his campaign is more about marketing than governance.  What else could explain the pick of Sarah Palin as VP.  The obvious fact that she is a woman and considerably younger than McCain in order to deflect voter’s fears of McCain’s age were a marketing decision by his campaign seems to be imploding.  With more reversals than a high school foot-ball game, McCain’s weak grasp on economics and cadre of banker-advisers that  are reminiscent of a  Washington Mutual television ad, speaks volumes.   The McCain’s foolish move on Monday of airing a commercial trying to fix blame on the economic leadership of Obama was intolerable and dishonorable, much as we fear the disease inside the McCain campaign has metastasized and the audition is not going very well.

George Bush – John McCain : The ‘Kevin James’ of Politicians

-The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose California; by Binx101

Bush Badmouths American Political Rivals While on Foreign Soil

“… Bush read the words with little evidence in his eyes that he actually had any comprehension of their meaning …”

As astounding as it may be, disgraceful President George Bush has taken the Kevin James approach to a foreign country and thus is moving into unprecedented lower approval ratings than Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate disgrace hearings. Not only was it frustrating to listen to him struggle with his native tongue, but to further use the 60th Anniversary of Israel, as a platform to issue criticism of American political rivals, speaks volumes to this feckless puppet leader’s contempt for dignity and his abysmally poor judgment.  Reading speeches that appear to be penned by Neocon political assassins, Bush mouthed the words with little evidence in his eyes that he actually had any comprehension of their meaning; often tipped off by his inconsistent facial expressions that seem oddly misplaced.

McCain – More Time Traveling

“… in another time traveling experience had previously criticized the Bush Administration for not sitting down and talking with Hamas …”

The echo chorus from career lobbyist, Sen. John “Loop Hole” McCain was no surprise, yet in stark contrast to one of his previously flipped positions.  That is to say,  McCain tripped over his own contradictory position while rushing to capitalize on Bush’s, somewhat treasonous blunder.  Clearly trying to legitimate his Obama / Hamas comments – “Loop Hole” began nodding in assent at any opportunities yesterday and today to hammer Obama.  While still unclear if he began doing it again today because he forgot he addressed it yesterday – staffers have purportedly been helping the struggling ‘time traveler’ with the actual facts.  Not unlike fellow neocon water carrier, Kevin James, McCain is always willing to volunteer a resounding opinion, irrespective of whether he has any clue of the subject matter; providing he can work in some anti-Obama sentiment.  The record however shows that McCain, in another time traveling experience had previously criticized the Bush administration for not sitting down and talking with Hamas, among other rival governments in the Middle East.

Dana Perino – Carries the Torch Back Home

“… she glared at the Press Corps with Kevin James eyes.”

In a typical press conference, that seem more like a ‘smirk-offs’ these days, Dana Perino, with shrugged shoulders and incredulous gesturing, tried to convince the American press that Bush’s disgusting words, suggesting the some Americans were akin to Nazi appeasers, specifically should be understood to exclude Barack Obama.  As though offering this piece of illogic was not enough, she went on to accuse those criticizing the President’s offensive remarks, as the politicizers of record, as she glared at the Press Corps with Kevin James eyes.

Developing story …..

Reports that Kevin James was coaching Lauren Caitlin Upton in preparation of the Miss USA TEEN competition.



Obama White House : Antidote for Neo Conservative Contract on Americans

The Almost Daily Binx – San Jose, CA

The Setting

“… porked up Democrats made good eat’n …”

It was nearly 14 years ago, that former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich (R, GA), conservative operative, led the charge (with a Falwell-esque flurry of misinformation) in order to distract Americans from the ultimate end game and whip up public dissatisfaction with Democrats; who, riding on the coattails of Bill Clinton’s popularity, sat comfortably back on their heels and miscalculated their ability to fend off political attacks from the sitting position.

Not only did Democrats nearly invite the attack, but in many cases, the lumbering Democratic, pork-proud politicians fell under their own weight and invited the slaughter.  It was hunting time for those with growing appetite for tasty Democrats. Fattened up nicely and as easy to catch as box turtles, the porked up Democrats made good eat’n whether slow roasted as the Clintons, or served rare,  on a skewer sitting on a bed of House Ethics Complaints, as was former Speaker of the House Jim Wright, as Gingrich worked the Minority Whip, fanning the flames in the House.

The Circumstances

“Gingrich … he was driven, albeit, the Democratic leadership were lazy sitting ducks, but Bill Clinton would be the ultimate gift that kept on giving.”

Even life-long Democrats were tired of career doormen posing as legislators at what seemed like the biggest private club in the world. Congress.  And so, much of the electorate felt that change would be good.  Now the stage was set.  Democratic legislators were drunk with power,  POTUS could be easily distracted by a well formed ‘babe’ or finely adorned pizza. But mostly, public sentiment would be caught off guard and the corporate media would spin the Republican temporary shut down of the government as Democratic foot dragging, instead of Republican retaliation.

In retrospect, irrespective of the truth surrounding the power-play, it elevated the presiding Republicans to the level of public activists. Further, assisted by Roger Ailles pet propagandist – the corpulent drug addict, Rush Limbaugh, as Gingrich executed his plan with precision.  From the moment Gingrich replaced newly appointed Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, as minority whip in 1989,  until he obliterated the self-absorbed Democratic majority in the House – he was driven, albeit, the Democratic leadership were lazy sitting ducks, but Bill Clinton would be the ultimate ‘gift that kept on giving.’

The Message

//www.light-to-dark.com“… among Neocon propagandists, it was not only pure theatre and puff, but curiously written in the code of white supremacists.”

Key though, throughout the assault on Democrats, was a singularly disturbing undertone, equating support for the Democratic party and/or Liberalism in general, as distinctly anti-American.  This undertone has taken root in our society – whereby even the corporate media has adopted a lexicon that assisted in the conversion of the American lexicon.  While a key instrument in the overall set-up, a theatrical play to the emotions of the  American people to demand change – the play only included the Brutus moment’s, never a peep from a Democratic ‘Marc Antony’ in the form of a “Brutus is an Honorable Man” speech.   Thus, Democrats walked into their shallow graves, following dyslectic and mostly incoherent party orders, and lied down while the hijackers of the Republican party threw dirt over them and with the credo of the coup. ‘The Contract with America’ would soon be recognized as The Contract on America, on Freedom, on the Constitution and on Truth.  Most of the contract, never came to pass, although it is revered as the document of a defining moment, among Neocon propagandists, it was not only pure theatre and puff, but curiously written in the code of white supremacists.

The Scam

“… the Exterminator – Tom Delay – would soon be unleashed in the House,”

Any fan of ‘film noir’ or classic mystery novels knows that crimes typically have victims that are key characters.  In the case of bunko though, the ideal victim is lulled into complacency, lured by confederates or simply led into compliance by his own dim wits.  We Americans rushed to casting call and got the part of the victim en masse.  We tuned in, turned up, and turned in droves.  Invoking the popular presidency of Ronald Reagan long after his tenure, became the battle cry, as though George H. W. Bush, hadn’t even existed, or  for that matter, presided over one of the finest made-for-TV Wars, with essentially no casualties other than the US Treasury and the increasing Military Industrial complex stake-holder’s taste for profits. Branded a liar by his own party for raising taxes to pay for the war he and James Baker (both protagonist and Secretary of State) had started, infuriated Neo Con operatives in the Republican party and exposed the beginnings of the coup.  But no one was watching.  The Patsy was just beginning to get the treatment, particularly when the Congressional Crayon box was recaptured – new lines could be drawn and the Exterminator – Tom Delay – would soon be unleashed in the House, long before facing the legal charges he now faces as a former US Congressman and current raconteur.

The Collaborators

“… the American Dream of a Christian Nation that tolerates Jews and  possibly some other helpful minorities.”

Essentially, Democrats willing to play along were not only given the opportunity to exist, but to actually flourish.  Republicans were merely the vehicle of the coup, select Democrats from the entrenched old school party were invited to participate.  Indeed their speeches would be castrated, their votes would be relied upon when necessary and their political power would remain unchallenged so long as they became bi-partisan examples in the Congressional reach around that was mostly out of view.  This was not at all what it seemed. It was for the most part a collaboration with forces that were far more dangerous than any of the unconscious taking up space in Congress would ever realize, as they were hypnotized with the power of pork  At the same time they were helping the Neocons begin the the shredding of the US Constitution, bit by bit.  It would be years later though, that Presidential impostor George W. Bush, would blatantly brag about the powerful shredders and how they were good for the American Dream of a Christian Nation that tolerates Jews and  possibly some other helpful minorities.

Today

“… blindly comply with the teachings of a self-appointed “religious” leader (the small ‘c’ “christians” version of a ‘Mullah'”

The rancor of the “Contract with America” has long subsided.  What is left are the remnants, the victims and  a “juiced-up” hate machine that quite often declares it is a Christian movement.  That is to say, alleges they are a Christian movement, and not unlike their fundamentalist brothers and sisters, alleging themselves to be religious Islam, they are terrorists.  Homegrown, cultivated, and disturbed terrorists.  What we like to refer to as small “c” christians,  preaching hate-of-things they dislike;  and, preaching hate-of-people who don’t agree with them.  There is no talking, only slogans or shouting.  There is no reason, only conformity.

They preach of their work, preventing dangerous Liberals from taking hard earned American-worker’s wealth and “converting” it by redistributing it among those that are merely freeloaders. Then sometime before, during or after the elaborate multi-media revivals, they convince droves, of these very same Americans, to voluntarily line up and convert large sums of their money into the small “c” christian non-profit corporate coffers.  Freely and enthusiastically the downtrodden repeat praise for a God that has as much to do with the corporate fund-drive that they have just contributed, as He does with someone’s decision to blow their own brains out.  They pretend that they understand what religious scholars have failed to comprehend as they blindly comply with the teachings of self-appointed “religious” leaders (the small ‘c’ “christians” version of a ‘Mullah’) as they curse the ignorance and bloodshed of Shia and Sunni barbarism.

Tomorrow

“The Nomination of Barack Obama for Democratic Candidate for President, will change the national discussion.”

There is great hope for the United States.  Perhaps the Age of Reason will meet the Age of Reality as youthful Americans organize to solve the problems a bloated and selfish generation or two before them created by looting the American treasury and stuffing their mouths with more than they could possbly swallow in one hundred life-times.

Obama spoke of volunteers and has a campaign, that considerably under the radar – has obliterated and essentially blind-sided the fattest of the Democratic old network.  The network, that is, that assisted the Neocon coup of the Republican party and the obfuscation of critical facts from the eyes of the American electorate, thus aiding and abetting actual acts of treason.  While the Republicans are largely acknowledging that they are disadvantaged, they still have a hypnotic hold on a great number of Americans that suffer from a National plight – Hubris.

Obama has taken control of the Democratic party despite the threats of the true party purse string elite.  Hillary Clinton, is the last chance that the coup of American National Government, and the Contract with America propaganda have to survive.  That isn’t to say that Hillary Clinton herself is a bad person, but she is definitely a Democrat with a foot dangerously dangling in compliance of the NeoCon agenda by her deep connection to the corrupt Democratic machine hold-overs.  Perhaps its Stockholm Syndrome and perhaps it’s her Republican roots – but Hillary Clinton’s camp is the camp of the porkers that applauded while Americans have been abused and bullied by policies that they were unable or unwilling to prevent.  The Democrats that were so corrupt, that they cowered while an exterminator from Texas with the scruples of gutter snipe, ate their lunch, stole their toys, and took their bus-fare while they sat quivering in the Congressional sandbox.

The Nomination of Barack Obama for Democratic Candidate for President, will change the national discussion.  He’s proved it by not responding in the methods of the Hillary Old School Democratic desparate attacks.  He’s proven it by assuming ostensible control of the party with his team-building spirit and positive mention.  He’s proven it by speaking directly to issues.  And, he’s proved it by looking the threatening Old School Democratic and Republican Corruption Machines straight in their collective eyes and saying – “Not this time!”

Although we shudder to think at what the remnants of the Power Brokers will look like – we think they’ll be drawn to sing in the choir anyway.

//www.light-to-dark.com/Stephen_Pitt_Cartoons.html

Special thanks to Stephen Pitt,  for his original artwork included in this article. – Binx101

Barack vs. The Oligarchy : Deal or No Deal?

22 April 08, The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose, CA, by Binx101

PA Primary Underway in America’s Family-rooms

“Abandon any thoughts that this is democracy in action.”

While it is assumed that only the popular vote statewide will reign accurate today, American homes will be lit up with the glow of TV’s carrying the coverage from a variety of sources.  Sports analogies ad nauseum will be hoisted as commentary and in-depth analysis will challenge consciousness.  Yet, the simple approach will be denied since “More = Wins  / Less = Loses” is not the vehicle that will inspire folks to buy a plethora of products that drive Corporate news profits.

While not a hard and fast rule – some info-tainers will use hockey allegory and others will make comparisons via baseball.  It’s all in the demographics provided by the analysts that no-one sees inside the infotainment HQ.  But, make no mistake – this is not about the USA, this is about the US currency that is the ultimate object drawing your viewership.  Abandon any thoughts that this is Democracy in action.  That will wait until after the election and will be relegated to the heady pages of the not so profitable periodicals, Web-life and Congressional reports.  A few radio outlets can be added to the list, but with very few exceptions – they are mostly entertainment and focus on listener consensus, lest they cannot survive.  Yes, there are exceptions but they are very limited.

The Power is Not in the Electorate

“coalition-of-the-shilling.”

What ???  Unfortunately this is, for the most part, true.  The power is in the hands of the Oligarchs that essentially tell the electorate how to vote.  How to cast their ballot based on political operatives that influence the community, churches and the above-mentioned smorgasbord of media outlets.

Take ABC the during last weeks faux-debate of the Democratic opponents.  By now, any interested American with an Internet connection or a TV knows there is considerable criticism of the manner in which the debate was handled.  Our own words on the subject can be found <here.>

After the article was written it was learned that the question that George Stephanopoulos posed to Barack Obama about Mr. Ayers was actually part of the list of talking points that were provided to Right Wing Activist Promoted – Sean Hannity – a Fox News info-tainer.  Hannity is known for his promotion of Right Wing extremism and his close relationship with Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter and a variety of the coalition-of-the-shilling.  Careful examination will reveal to anyone with the time that this is a widely deployed practice.  The talking points are unmistakable and reformed “Republican Conservative Hit-man” David Brock, routinely tracks the major disinformation of the American public at Media Matters.

You know that phrase, The Most Trusted Name in News?  Forget it for now.  It has deteriorated into oblivion since it was first flown as a flag – and we helped it with a collective fixation on ourselves.

The Power is in the Power

“…self importance is the fulcrum that political charlatans use to leverage their doctrine.”

It is political operatives (now reformed David Brock tells us) that move elections by moving people’s minds in a carefully plotted direction over a period of time.

It is brainwashing.

It is programming.

It is an American political reality.

It is as difficult to detect as a dose of arsenic in an almond flavored liqueur.

Many Americans obsessed with achieving social status, whether locally among a small rural crowd or in larger economically aggressive circles, are perfect subjects.  Why else, would any responsibly minded individual spend 50K on an SUV to negotiate the parking lot of the mall, that averages 13 miles to the gallon, in an era when energy, carbon foot-print and green initiatives abound.  It is because self importance is the fulcrum that political charlatans use to leverage their doctrine.

And the Power is the Oligarchy

“… the Nation has never been less secure, including the final months of the Revolutionary War.

A hand full of people are actually controlling the game.  Even after proving that the Ohio and Florida elections were essentially rigged in the 2000; even though miscreants such as Rep. Peter King -R, NY on a drunken tear described that “others” would see to the “counting” and declared a Republican win long before polls closed.  Follow his career and the careers of long list of political operatives with marching orders in Congress.  Parties that “we” the American people empowered with thoughtless votes because someone bought us a pulled pork sandwich, or got the zoning board to change a long-standing ruling that favored us, or got a friend’s friend’s friend’s son into Annapolis or West Point.  Great guy that Pete King !

Create a need and fill the gap.  We’re very simple. We say things that are truly indicative of the oldest social rules of society.  You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours – the mainstay of simpleton compromise.  The mainstay of political compromise. An unusually dangerous practice when a Nation is in peril, a currency is in terrible danger of further devaluation; and the Nation has never been less secure, and that includes the final months of the Revolutionary War.

Hillary Clinton Endorsed by the Man That Paid 24 Million to Destroy Her???

“What experience?  Certainly not being the President’s wife.”

Perhaps it’s all just coincidence or perhaps she agreed to pardon George Bush for war crimes that are certain to be charged; or perhaps it’s just a matter of magnanimously letting bygones-be-bygones; but, doesn’t it ring particularly peculiar that Richard Mellon Scaithe (you want to see power? – try to find a picture of him – go ahead, use the google !! )- the known financial backer of the “War on the Clintons” including Whitewater, Foster, Hubbell and the “intern,” felt compelled to give her a listen ???  Did you read  his interview as he expressed that he sorta-kinda was impressed by her??  As though one meeting with his board around a table was all it took to undo a decade and half of vitriol and warfare ???  (For anyone unconvinced of the dark workings afoot – we’ll be offering a series of $100 NYC bridges and  $25 Rolex watches for sale soon on our website, and forwarding the profits to offset health care expenses for the uninsured)

It would be hard to conceive that Hillary Clinton believes that the residents of Pennsylvania are so collectively stupid that they wouldn’t suspect something of on unsavory alliance.  Yet, the Corporate Media is with few exceptions – silent on the matter.  All fist pumping aside – wasn’t it a tad suspicious when Hillary Clinton began articulating that John McCain’s experience was superior to Barack Obama??  Yet to date, not one corporate media outlet has demanded that the Clinton campaign provide data relying to her repeated claims of experience.  What experience?  Certainly not being the President’s wife.  If that were a benchmark, wouldn’t the Republicans have been more encouraged to run Laura Bush instead of McCain, who is clearly out of his mind and in the pocket of Oligarchy’s Founders Club?

The Oligarchy Antidote – Americas Youth and their Revolutionary Spirit

“A pusillanimous pipsqueak of atomic proportions that appeared in a Cameo on a TV show that depicts his style of leadership. Deal or No Deal…”

There is truly on one thing our Nation can count on right now and that is to have faith in the youth of our Country.  A youth that is not so lazy and marred.  A youth that respectfully marches off to war, even when they don’t understand. Alas, many more didn’t march off to war and among this youth our Nation will rely to grab control of a runaway train.  They’ll seek the counsel of wisdom and experience from a dwindling yet less graft susceptible bench of experience in order to help temper our collective anger; and, to tamp our disgust at our appointed President.   Disgust at his utter disregard for the many crises he’s caused around the globe, dutifully following the orders of his handlers, defiantly wearing a smirk of incomprehension as though it were a handle-bar mustache.  Proud to defy our eyes and ears; George W. Bush describes a beautiful landscape while we stare in grief at the wreckage in his wake.

A pusillanimous pipsqueak of atomic proportions that appeared in a Cameo on  a TV show that depicts his style of leadership. Deal or No Deal, missing all but the neanderthal shrugging, raised eyebrow and indiscernible breathy utterance that traditionally follows in succession near feeding time.

Much more of our youth has witnessed the mind boggling performance of the Oligarchy’s latest virtuoso, and we trust they can see the difference between smoke and mirrors, and a chance to bring America to a rehab with public service, volunteerism and reasoned discourse; as well as, abolishing the “voodoo economics” that Ronald Reagan sold us with the same lack of understanding and unbridled enthusiasm as he sold us Borax when he hosted a TV series.   A time when theatre goers rejected him yet the Oligarchs mustered the resources to support his rise as Goverenor so they could appoint him as President while the voters went through the motions.