Friday, November 30, 2012

Typical Two-Faced Political Bullshit: Fiscal Cliff (The Rich Man's Crisis)

$400 Billion in Cuts over the next decade, to be taken from the rest of the pie (mostly Medicare)
President Obama has proposed a $3.8 trillion 2013 budget.  He is currently negotiating with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to make needed cuts in the budget.  First on the chopping block is Medicare and other entitlement programs at a minimum of $400 billion to be cut.

Typical two-faced political bullshit
He has offered this as a bone to conservatives who will have to also deal with increased taxes, which serves as a bone to liberals who now have to deal with deep cuts into Medicare.  

Yet no effective Congressional authority will ever venture to even suggest cutting our health care overhead with a single payer system, a system that works to keep health care costs under control in every other industrialized country.  Medicare, without the corporate insurance industry overhead, would cost the government just 4% as opposed to the current 13% to 20% of health care costs, when the insurance industry takes its cut. Instead of having to pay exorbitant health insurance premiums, people would pay a 4% income tax to cover 100% all their health care needs, medical, dental, vision, and medications.  When they are out of work, they would still be covered.

All employer health care costs are eliminated by a single payer system.  Gone.  

Privatized corporate insurance has an overall 30% overhead for administrative costs (claims denials, advertising, and Wall Street profits).

A single payer system would be a major stimulus for the economy with $2.6 million in new jobs, $317 billion in business revenue, and $100 billion in wages (Single-Payer/Medicare for All. An Economic Stimulus Plan for the Nation; Robert Fountain, IHSP, NNOC/CNA).

Neither does anyone in Congress venture to ever discuss the $600 to $900 billion of future veterans' health care costs.  Over 50% of returning troops are eligible for disability.  600,000 have been treated since 9/11 so far (The True Cost of 9/11; Joseph Stiglitz).  Is this part of the entitlement programs to be cut? 

Doctor's, nurses, and other activists, have been calling for a single payer system for years (got healthcare?; documentary film).  Yet Congressional committees refuse to consider this option or send it to the budget office for fiscal comparison studies.  Nearly 60% of doctors and over half the public are for a single payer system (PNHP).

The aversion to single payer is the dreaded S word: socialism.  But there are many democratic countries that have single payer systems.  A government health care insurance program would cover all people for all medical expenses just like police, fire, highways, libraries, schools and many other government services that serve to guarantee a minimum standard of life.

A recent 2012 Harvard study found that 48,000 Americans die annually for lack of health care, and nearly 50 million Americans have no health insurance. The ACA (Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare) is suppose to give health care insurance to an additional 30 million. But some of this will be offset with these budget cuts, plus the unregulated health insurance industry gouging us with exorbitant premiums, deductibles, and denials.

The privatized corporate health care insurance industry is more accurately an American sick care profit center.  The sick care pharmaceutical, health insurance, medical device, and cancer industries serve their investors well by keeping people sick, on medications, chronically ill, and in need of expensive treatments.

People in America, unlike any other country, are forced into medical debt to stay alive.  Many have to sign over their houses.  Medical debt is responsible for over half, and up to 88% of bankruptcies and foreclosures (PNHP on medical debt).

So now Obama proposes to cut Medicare.  How many more will have to die for lack of health care?  What will the impact of Medicare cuts be on health care in America?  Why do we not cut deeply into war, which has cost us trillions and will cost hundreds of billions more in veterans' care?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Experiencing small towns: Deindustrialization, Militarization and Privatization

By guest writer, Maureen Cruise, RN


Know Justice: Know Peace

The destruction of Hostess Brands by corporate pirate "raid, strip & run"  strategy is just another resounding iceberg crash in the tragic meltdown of the glacial US economy.  Nationally the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes, 570 bakery outlet stores and the loss of 18,500 jobs will occur mostly in small economically fragile towns across the country.  Such closures plunge many small communities into depression era conditions while the rising tide of unemployed people struggle to stay in their homes and feed their families. Labor negotiations for livable wages, job security, pensions and health care are failing to trump corporate profiteering.

For some big picture reality:  19 Facts About The De-industrialization Of America That Will Make You Weep http://www.businessinsider.com/deindustrialization-factory-closing-2010-9?op=1 To this information should be added the 2008 Harvard Business School study that 42% of US jobs are vulnerable to being sent overseas.  The new generation of outsourcing not only "brawn but brains" is white collar professional jobs such as engineering, radiology, law, finance, IT management, research & development, clinical trials, book editing, even travel vacation/surgery.  "The Globalization of White Collar Work:  Facts and Fallout of Next generation Outsourcing." 2006.    

For a smaller picture, first hand recent observation of the deadly effects of corporate profit driven closures, merging with increased outsourcing of government agencies to corporate entities and in combination with the tax flow to the rise of a heavily policed and militarized state, read on.

I have just returned from Columbus GA, a small financially fragile city with an enormous military base where our tax dollars train foreign military and police forces in repressive and violent techniques including torture, kidnapping, mass evacuations of villages and assassination.  This base, Fort Benning, also features a new DRONE  research, testing and launch center.  In addition, we visited the largest Corrections Corporations of America for profit immigrant prison...Stewart Federal Detention center in near by Lumpkin, GA...an economically depressed community.

The intersection of three elements in this economically compromised area of Georgia provide a stark view of our rapidly deteriorating country. Depressed economies (business closures, job losses, social service strain) with increased tax dollar expenditures for enhanced local police departments, militarized response to community security, undercover operations and surveillance of ordinary law abiding citizens coupled with the most egregious federal tax dollar expenditures for wildly profitable private prisons.

Columbus GA:  400 workers just lost their jobs at Dolly Madison/Hostess bakery.
And Columbus recently increased it's police force by 100 officers "housed in a newly constructed 125,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility.  The Columbus Police Department is not only among the largest departments in Georgia, supporting 488 sworn officers and 98 civilian employees, but it is also one of the most modern in the region, fully capable of responding to bomb and terrorist threats. We are renowned across the nation for being progressive in our thinking and creative with our tactics, and our officers endeavor to uphold the highest level of professional and ethical law enforcement." Police dept. website.

In the 20010 census the per capita income for the city was $22,514. About 12.8% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line. Columbus has a total population of 189,885, 72,124 households, and 47,686 families residing in the city.  The largest employer is Fort Benning Military Base with 41,000 employees followed by the school district 6,000 and then financial, insurance and healthcare services representing about 20,000 jobs combined.

In Columbus, we few thousand people at the SOAW fully permitted, legal, constitutionally protected conference, rally and vigil were met with hundreds of state and local police, dozens of motor vehicles, roaming dog teams, helicopters, military police, surveillance stations and undercover agents, and most likely homeland security infiltrators. (Several of the infiltrating agents were identified at the conference and rally but the agency remains in question..some of the same agents greeted us across state lines in Alabama at a picket line for Farm Worker Justice. This leads me to assume they are probably feds of some sort.)

All this wasted tax money for heavy handed, armed policing and surveillance  of a fully permitted conference, rally & vigil of peace groups with a 23 year peaceful history in Columbus!!  While the numbers of unemployed rise.

In Lumpkin, GA ( Stewart County):  Visitors arrive to see a family member held at the Stewart Detention Center… (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles…)

Stewart Detention Center outside Lumpkin is the largest immigrant detention facility in the U.S. holding 1,752 inmates...many held without due process or convictions.   "Because they're paid per detainee, per day by whichever government entity they've contracted with, CCA and other private prison firms need a steady stream of inmates in order to remain profitable. They rely on lawmakers to ensure that demand for their product — prison bed space — remains high. A growing segment of the population believes illegal immigrants are to blame for much of what ails the state, from low employment to high crime." Correction Corporations of America uses some of their profits (tax payer money) to lobby legislators across the country to sponsor anti immigrant and harsh sentencing laws in order to keep their prison census at capacity.  Money is also spent producing the anti immigrant propaganda that softens the electorate to supporting that legislation (In California Governor Brown vetoed the 2012 Bill which would have ended "Secure Communities"  funneling of law abiding undocumented immigrants into the for profit prison system.   Also "Private Prison Finds Gold in California")

Who is paying for this? Taxpayers, of course, with detention budgets for ICE at $1.77 Billion last fiscal year, to detain approximately 33,442 people in jails nationwide. Many of whom are held for very minor immigration and traffic charges.  Corrections Corp. of America is a $1.6 billion and their business is booming. Federal taxpayers pay Stewart County $60.50 per inmate held at that jail per day through an agreement with ICE. That works out to $97,647 per day, based on the last fiscal year's average daily inmate count. Lumpkin county, however, keeps only 85 cents per inmate per day for its administrative costs and pays CCA the rest, or $59.65 per inmate per day. Since 2007, the county has collected about $1.7 million through this arrangement, county officials said. That represents more than half of the county's $3 million annual operating budget.

  • Detainees have died at Stewart Detention Center (SDC)
  • Families are still denied contact visits at SDC.
  • On multiple occasions water service has been interrupted at SDC.
  • Inmates have been denied meals.
  • At least one American has been detained at and deported from SDC.
  • Immigrants are still held in solitary confinement at SDC. Often guards make those determinations.
  • Inmates who assist other inmates with language translation are labeled "gang leaders" and moved.
  • Medical care is inadequate, Inmates are denied and delayed treatment. No MD on premises.
  • Inmates perform many of the jobs at the facility, cooking cleaning, laundry for a few dollars a day.
  • Corrections Corporation of America makes millions in profit at SDC.
Stewart County remains Georgia’s poorest county.  The per capita income for the city was $16,146. About 24.2% of families and 26.7% of the population were below the poverty line . The median income for a household in the city was $22,315, and the median income for a family was $27,321.  As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,369 people, 552 households, and 367 families residing in the city.

Legislators guarantee that federal tax dollars disappear into corporate coffers while tax subsidized corporations buy and crash domestic industries and outsource professional jobs.  The banks and credit entities write laws and lobby congress to ensure mounting debt for education, cheat people out of their homes, bankrupt the sick, disabled, poor and vulnerable.  These institutions cross our borders, they steal our jobs, they break the laws.....And the government response is to use our tax dollars for policing, private prisons, armaments and surveillance of "we the people".

Be well!
Maureen Cruise

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

As Featured in All Lights Film Magazine

Doctors Carol Paris and Margaret Flowers arrested
The Got Healthcare? film got press on the online front page of an international film magazine.

Check this out...PNHP Docs on the front page.  Visit the site and comment. Kindly find the news of Got Healthcare in All Lights Film Magazine portal.

Filmmaker Jon Raymond and I spent the past three days at the American Film Market where we introduced Got Healthcare? to several dozen companies for both international and domestic distribution.  This film features many activists from PNHP, Healthcare for All, Single Payer Now, CNA/NNU and others.   The topic was well received..at times with enthusiasm...and we hope the film will be as well.

It is our goal that Got Healthcare?  find distribution and further the advancement of Single Payer Universal  Healthcare in the US.  Maintenance of the European model of non profit/national universal healthcare  is becoming an issue with the first ever Goldman Sachs managed "for profit"hospital in Britain's National Health Service.  A recent UK & World News article describes the millions in debt  incurred by this misadventure in the first six months of operation and the plummeting level of satisfaction among the British utilizing this hospital.

In addition, United Health expansion in Brazil is reported in the WSJ October 8, 2012:
Maureen Cruise RN
United Health Group Inc.'s $4.3  billion deal to take over Brazil's Amil Participates SA represents a major bet on the international future of the health-care business, part of a broader effort by American insurers and hospital operators to seek growth overseas. The United Health deal is just the latest sign of "the globalization of the U.S. health-care sector," he said. "It's a demand for U.S. expertise on both the health-care provider and the health-plan side."

Please share the Got Healthcare? website with your email lists.
Maureen Cruise
Producer Got Healthcare?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hollywood would Never ever give this Information a Forum

Got Healthcare? (the question of the century) is a 90 minute documentary film. This stream of conversation documentary is a passionate energetic discussion on the various issues that continue to surround health care reform in America and the world. Doctors, nurses, and activists (both pro and con on reform) seemingly converse in a give and take of ideas compared and contrasted through editing. It was shot beginning in 2009 during the height of street protests, as formation of the current U.S. law was debated. The film contains updated reactions to the new law from as late as 2012. The film focuses on the issue of a single payer (Medicare for all) system, unlike any other health care related films that are currently prominent.


Out in the Street Films is happy to have Maureen Cruise, RN, join their team as an executive producer for distribution. Maureen was one of the main activists interviewed in the film, and upon seeing the final cut became enthused about having the film widely seen. She has a wealth of experience in politics and as a retired public health care nurse in Los Angeles County. She is a walking encyclopedia on all issues concerning healthcare reform. The stream of conversation film style uses interviewees to tell the story and explain concepts instead of the more traditional high profile "name" actor with cute graphics. The film was shot on a very low original production budget of about $3,000 and without a production crew by producer-director-photographer, Jon Raymond. Jon also edited the film. The final effect is an unpolished gritty street reality look, as much out of necessity as by choice.

Current global corporate pressures threaten to to water down or remove social and economic benefits in numerous Euro nations, including healthcare. A recent United Kingdom news article titled, Fury as first privately run NHS hospital racks up £4.1m loss (Oct 28 2012 by Nick Dorman, The People) indicates that the NHS (Britain's National Health Service) failed at an attempt to privatize health care with patient satisfaction down from 1st to 14th place. As you may know, Europeans are very aware of what happens in the US, often incredulous even, and rightly so. Understanding our very sick system, might prepare worldwide audiences for any such moves on the part of their increasingly right-of-center veering administrations. A clear unapologetic view of the US for-profit system and it's criminality (45,000 Americans die annually for lack of healthcare according to a Harvard study) should scare the pants off anybody who understands and enjoys healthcare as a human right. It is a shocking situation, and non Americans will be astounded by the facts in this film. Maureen, a long time street activist and independent film lover applauds Got Healthcare? as follows:
My office file is full of amazing indie films made by one or few persons with no budget, yet who provide very interesting, well researched and sensational knowledge that I appreciate having. I see these films at forums and issues conventions. Hollywood would never ever give this information a forum. Their focus is entertainment not information. And it is star driven. My celebrities are the people in the street. HOORAY! So I am thrilled that many people are making documentary films and disseminating what corporate media has not only ignored but also drowned out with glossy schlock. The questions for me are: Does this interest people? Does it reveal information? Does it strengthen our human bond? Do people like it? - Maureen Cruise

Maureen is also a member of PNHP (Physicians for a National Health Program) and CNA (California Nurse Association). PNHP, CNA and member doctors and nurses are prominent throughout the film, among the 65 street activists interviewed. Maureen has promoted the film at various activist events where it has been screened and well received as the following typical testimony indicates:
I watched the movie and it's excellent! Especially liked the way you traced the trajectory of Obama's downfall from single-payer preference to the mess that is PPACA. The woman who defined Socialism as a shortage of toilet paper is, alas, a classic. I've met many like her. The American public has so much to learn..... We're grateful for your efforts, and hope to spread the word far and wide. - Carol Tvaroh

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Without You, They don't Exist


Hey all you kids out there in TV land. It's not that I think you're necessarily ignorant, or uneducated, or unread, or misinformed. It's not that it matters what I think. What matters is what you think about what you do, and how you are. Do you feel good about living in America? Be honest. Did you ever wonder what it might be like on the Riviera or the French countryside or maybe Tokyo, or one of those European countries where the most used form of transportation is the bicycle? How about the cool high speed trains? Do you even know about real life in other countries? Not just to visit, but to live there now, in the 21st century. Or are the clashes between protesters and police reported in American media all you really "know"?

Are you actually voting for Romney or Obama because you really believe that between these two characters we have the best possible candidates there are? Or are you voting for one because you feel there is no other choice, and the system is rigged, and so you must pitifully stick your tail between your legs and vote for these guys. Do you have any integrity? Does this make you feel good about yourself? Has our government's leadership done anything to actually make things better in the last half century? What would that be? The build up of the greatest war machine ever known, ten times the greatest force of any other country, so unapproachable that it's a joke to say we actually have military enemies? And all this at the expense of our infrastructure, education, health care, economy, food quality, and housing; and more so under Obama than under "bring it on" Bush?

It doesn't matter if I think you have no integrity. It only matters that you think that of yourself. You can't help it if you've been brain drained by the Wall Street owned and operated media. And I know that, if you do believe that you only have two choices, then you do watch way too much TV.

TV watching, especially the news, is known to cause ill effects on society, as found in many scholastic studies. You probably think you have a lot of integrity because you do what you feel is right given the circumstances. What if you aren't aware of all the circumstances?

It's a running joke that people who watch the news everyday are less informed than people who watch none. Thomas Jefferson said this about newspapers. Do you believe everything you read and see in the news? What about what you don't see? What about the stuff that is blacked out in the name of nationalism? What about the stuff that is important to people but doesn't sell airtime? What about the agenda that the media has you on. The war is not on the agenda. Fluoride, GMOs, the cancer industry, foreclosures, the actual state of the American economy are all not on your agenda, because you watch the news.

There is research out there that strongly indicates that fluoride is a cause of cancer in this country, and even responsible for lowered IQ scores in children. Don't let you kids drink public water. Fluoride is placed into nearly every municipal water supply. GMOs are also known to be a huge cancer risk and found in nearly every non-organic American food. Food manufacturers spend tens of millions in campaigns to kill or degrade this information (as in your TV news). Why isn't it questioned? Because you don't care, or don't know about it, or didn't see it in the news.

The US cancer industry appreciates your valued support in keeping as many Americans as sick as possible, and as expensively as possible for as long as possible. And cancer is probably the most expensive, chronic sickness that humans can suffer from. The medical device, pharmaceutical, and "health care" insurance industries all join in thanking you for your continued support to their quest for sadistic greed. This is their American dream. Big money. May tens of thousands of Americans continue to suffer and die prolonged painful deaths so that the few of those who matter may live laughing in sadistic luxury.

So maybe if you like Obama, you're thinking that this kind of philosophy will give Romney more votes. So what? Did things really improve since Bush left office? You can't win by voting for these guys. You lose. You feed their expense accounts. Without you, they don't exist.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Be careful who you vote for. He just might stick it to you like he has been for half a century.

Did you ever wonder why there are only two main candidates in the presidential election? Why do we have just a two-party system? Do we have a two-party system? There are others out there. Some independents actually win elections. Jesse Ventura became a Reform Party governor. Bernie Sanders is an independent Senator. Sanders is one of the few voices in politics that ever bother to criticize the status quo. We need more.

Cindy Shehan, Rosanne Barr, and Jill Stein all have very active political voices and followings in the current election. So why do people think there's only a two party system? Why do they think that voting for a third party candidate is a waste of a vote? Why do they think they are stuck with the best of two evils? It's amazing to me that so many people think this way. They only do so because those same people all think this way. It's like saying I believe I suck because I believe I suck. If only I believed I was good, I'd stand a chance of being good, maybe great. If even just a majority of people were to start thinking in terms of voting for the best of all instead of the best of evils, there would be no more two party system. There would be no more worst of evils. There would be no more independents that don't stand a chance.

We see decade after decade, at least since Johnson left office, that both parties are pretty much the same. Good cop - bad cop. We see people tricked by the political money controlled media into believing they have to accept the tiny little bits of what they perceive as better in one candidate over another. Why do people accept this?

When you go the market, if you have a choice only between milk about to expire in five days versus milk about to expire in four days, do you just go with the five day milk? Are you that lazy that you can't find another store with fresh milk, good for a month? If you keep buying the five day milk, why should the store get fresh milk like the farmer's market down the street? They have no incentive because you accept their crappy milk. The minute I hear someone admit they vote for the best of evils, they lost me. To them I say, it's your fault, because you keep voting for assholes, and I resent it. You're screwing this country. You're screwing me. You're screwing yourself. Why?

OK. Enough food analogies (from the root 'anal'). You get the point. There are only two major candidates because you, the people, believe there are. It's all in your head, as it was in mine for a long time. You have the power to unseat the two party system and make government work for you, and all you have to do is know that you have that power, because you do have that power.

It's a great thing that a black man became president. Unprecedented. It's wonderful. But is this really what the presidency is about? The color of skin? All Wall Street has to do to win you over and make you roll over like sheep is to put a black man on the ticket with the word "change" and you are sold. How easy is that? I voted him in too. I was excited. But then what did he actually do? He maintained all of Bush's policies. He broke his promises. He keep GITMO open. He signed a law that allows arrest and conviction of American citizens without due process in direct violation of the Constitution. He escalated war. Bush could never get away with all that without massive protest and outrage. I doubt Romney could either. You think Occupy was protest and outrage? Imagine what it would have been with Bush still in office. Imagine what it will be if Romney wins? Does that scare you?

Would you prefer a totalitarian America? Doesn't that scare you? Are you not bothered that police departments across America now have military grade weapons and tanks that they roll out against nonviolent protesters? Does it not bother you that police continue to be held above the law, commit murder of innocent people and get away with it scot free? These people in office have absolute power, like a dictator, but with the sham of a staged election to lull you into complacency. Because he is Obama, we all just roll over and accept this police state on the brink of totalitarianism. He gave us a few tidbits of crumbs of change to make us believe that this is how it has to be when you go up against the system. And you accept that?

Do you think the new health care law (ACA) actually helps people? There are a very few token cases cited in the media of people whose lives were actually saved by this band-aid law. This law was passed to shut you up. Doctors and nurses continue to press and protest for better reform for all Americans, not just a select handful. We see this year that 48,000 Americans die every year from lack of health care, compared to 45,000 in a 2009 Harvard study by the same scholars. While the law helps a few, it actually cuts out many more in the name of insurance profits. As long as profit is tied to people's health, people will die for the profits of the investors. But because it's called 'Obamacare' we accept it as teeny tiny little baby step in the right direction. Is it really? Insurance companies have the system rigged in their favor. That's what they do. It's all they do. Don't take my word. Ask doctors.

Do you think not voting is a vote for the opposition? That's negative logic. That's a con man's logic. You're being conned. If it's Romney or Obama it doesn't really matter. It's not Republicans against Democrats. It's fat cat politicians against actual working people like you who feed them with your life blood and sweat; you who send your sons and daughters off to a useless war for oil and war profits at the expense of poor education, poor health care, and a dismal economy. Keep working for the man, keep being exploited and the man will keep on doing it to you. You keep him in his ivory towers with his white tie galas to celebrate your stupidity. He keeps taking your money, borrows from your future, and your children's futures, to pay for his luxury, and you accept it. You cheer for it. You keep asking for it. You get what you ask for. Be careful who you vote for. He just might stick it to you like he has been for half a century.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

People are not Savings Accounts for Bankers

Whenever someone says money is the problem, someone else will invariably say, no it's not money, it's the way people deal with money. It's the people who abuse money. Wrong. It is money. If there were no money people wouldn't have an option to deal with it, right or wrong. It's not about people. I mean just look at all the upstanding (mostly white, mostly male) people on Wall Street.  They can't help it if the system works the way it does. They're just trying to survive on a minimum mid six figures. They're just giving their clients what they want. So right there we know it can't be the people who deal with the money. It's the money!

In this clip from Margin Call, Jeremy Irons, perched in his ivory tower, says that without money we'd kill each other for food. Bullshit.  The second I heard that line I suspected this film was Wall Street propaganda. But I haven't seen the whole thing yet so I'll limit my criticism to Iron's dialog here.


As long as money exists as a universal exchange for almost anything you need, even your own health, there will always be people who exploit it and hoard it. Money has only been around for a few thousand years. Humanity got along just fine with out it for many more thousands of years before that. You might look back at bartering and say, 'so am I supposed to trade cows for a living now?' No. People traded livestock because that's what they owned. People own many more things now; computers, cell phones, TVs, cameras, art, music. Barter today might not be so bad an idea. In fact EBay is just one step away from modern day barter, and Amazon and others have simialr operations were people sell all kinds of possessions on the open market.

Is it really so absurd to live without money? What would happen? Would people resort to crime to just take whatever they want, like how we see Wall Street taking people's lives at the rate of 45,000 annually for health insurance profits? Or how the military industry takes millions of innocent lives, devastates millions of American and foreign families, and proliferates and perturbs more wars just to make exorbitant profits?



I think we need to guarantee all people a minimum standard of living, even regardless of citizenship. If war profiteers didn't need to spend hundreds of trillions on useless wars, sucking up over half the federal budget, we could easily afford this. But without money, there would be no affording things. Everything would be resourced based. Do we have the resources to house, feed, educate, and maintain people's health? Of course we do. Do we have the resources to build war machinery and award padded contracts? Without money there is no padding. You provide your services in exchange for comforts and necessities of life. Maybe there could be incentives for more resources for people who earn them. But what would be eliminated is the making of money just for the sake of accumulating money.

Money is not wealth. Money is simply a medium of exchange. If we can't limit money to being only a medium and not a commodity in itself, then it no longer works as a medium, because it is hoarded. A phone line is a medium. If phones were commodities then they could be hoarded and only a very few could have a phone. People try to hoard phone lines by having monopoles. But it hasn't worked yet. There are still many competitive ways to have a phone line. A phone line also has limited value, while money has universal value as long as everyone accepts it.

There's no easy answer. I've heard about individual based currencies where people issue their own money in exchange for someone's goods or services. That currency would have limited value. If the person has a good reputation their money becomes valuable. But they control it. Not the government. And there is no making money on the exchange of money.

Another idea might be to remove interest charges, or at least to limit them to a flat rate and not an annuity. You borrow money for college, you pay it back when you can at a flat 5% interest rate that doesn't increase year after year. If you borrow $10,000 you pay back $10,500 forever. No interest accumulations. People are not savings accounts for bankers.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Are you desperate for Obama?


Chris Hedges: '...when you reduce people to a level of desperation, they're much easier to control...'

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Failure to Communicate


Have you ever been told that you have a communication problem? This is a standard fall line that authoritarians use to intimidate people who they want to control. If they can convince you that you can't communicate, then anything and everything they want to blame you for is suddenly justified. In reality these people have no imagination and are simply using a scene they (or one of their primate ancestors) saw in a movie that impressed them as a way to justify their self imposed authority, just as the Captian does to Cool Hand Luke.

However, communication is not simply one person's responsiblity. It involves many parts. There are books written on the subject of communication. There are industries that exist over dealing with this thing we call communication. There are scholars who spend decades researching every aspect of this deep and far reaching subject. Departments of colleges are dedicated to communication. So how then is it possible that Cool Hand Luke is solely responsible for a 'failure to communicate'? What if what he has to say isn't understood, is misunderstood, is ignored, is belittled, or marginalized? What if he is misinterpreted, or the person receiving the message speaks a different language or perceives a different meaning? What if Cool Hand Luke has no intention of being understood, nor cares if his message is heard or received?

What if Cool Hand Luke isn't listening, doesn't want to listen, or thinks the person talking is a total jackass? What if the person talking is a total jackass and has nothing of any merit to bother listening to? What if authority should always be questioned, and never accepted without question? That's not necessarily a failure to communicate. That's just telling someone to fuck off.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Newsroom: Fucking Awesome (so far)

"And [to the conservative panelist] with a straight face, you're going to tell students that America's so star-spangled awesome that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.
...there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're 7th in literacy,
27th in math,
22nd in science,
49th in life expectancy,
178th in infant mortality,
3rd in median household income,
number 4 in labor force,
and number 4 in exports.

We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. ...o when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don't know what the fuck you're talking about?! Yosemite?!!!"
Happy 4th

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prop 29: People are Suffering NOW because they Can't Get Treatment

by Maureen Cruise, RN
Prop 29 will unfortunately probably pass no matter what ...Three people ..one MD, one JD and one TV writer ...separately ALL said the exact same thing to me...they "don't care if the money is burned " as long as the tobacco industry gets hurt. Must be a TV ad? .... depressing....

 There is always a larger context.. to No on 29.

I am 100% for extra taxes on tobacco...but Prop 29 tax dollars belong to all the people of California. Public money should go to non profit public institutions for the public good. NOT to a group of unelected, unaccountable appointees in a program to spend almost a billion dollars of public money annually as they please, within some very broad guidelines. Prop 29's program cannot even be amended for 15 years...maybe never with a 2/3 of legislature requirement to amend.

Cancer research currently receives more federal tax dollars than any other disease, $5.4 billion in federal funding. Cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases together net $8 billion dollars of federal money and receive additional private funding (LAT 4/27/12).

People are suffering because they can't get treatment.... cancer, lung disease, cardiovascular disease treatment ...without becoming bankrupt. We need money to give people healthcare services. It is the people's money and should go to unmet human needs.

Only 20% of the funding goes toward smoking cessation. The funds will dwindle if the prevention part of the program is successful...unless other sources are tapped.

We have information about cancer prevention. It is known that environmental toxins, certain pharmaceuticals, food additives, fossil fuels and chemicals are part of the cancer matrix along with some lifestyle choices. Environmental laws are being ignored by administrative agencies and drug are fast tracked bypassing safety considerations.. Our legislatures would not even ban BPA in baby bottles! BPA is ubiquitous in plastic food containers. We have knowledge about prevention that is ignored.

Prop 29 can outsource jobs, spend millions for over-priced expensive equipment and pay high salaries to people sitting behind desks, while actual healthcare services to people in dire need are being slashed. California's public health institutions funding has been decimated over the past 20 years. ...shuttering the major public health information centers for disseminating prevention information to millions of people.

$ 800 million dollars could be used to expand much needed access to medical services and generate thousands of jobs right here and NOW. We need jobs and we need healthcare. Tax money should go toward alleviating current problems and serve the most urgent needs of California's residents. Investment should be for jobs and access to treatment here in our state.

As LAT reported (4/27/12) " California can't afford to retain its K-12 teachers, keep all its parks open, give public college students the courses they need to earn a degree or provide adequate home health aides for the infirm or medical care for the poor." Now is not the time for billions spent on research. We need healthcare here and now.

Be Well,
Maureen Cruise RN

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Ballot. and NO on 29

This is a guest post by Maureen Cruise RN, former nurse and current activist (I don't vote, and this is why).

Americans have freedom of the press but they do not exhibit freedom of the mind.
Alexis de Tocqueville ' "On Democracy in America" 1835
At the 9/2009 Blue Cross Sit-in - LA - where she gave me a 28 minute interview used as narration in my film, got healthcare?
Non partisan Ballot and candidate choices are the same across all party identification.
My Primary Ballot is a GREEN PARTY Ballot. After serving on the California State Democratic Party Executive Board and as a delegate to the state party for 2 terms, my conscience would no longer allow me to continue working within that fraudulent and corrupt political arena.

As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1831 comparing the two major US political parties ....There may be persons of principle within American political parties but there is no party of principle.  Nothing has changed there. Corruption and the deception and manipulation of the public ...most specifically one's own party "flock"...is the main game in town.

So I vote my conscience rather than vote against my conscience. A vote for candidates who are responsible for increasing human suffering is an endorsement of that human suffering. I do not buy the lesser of two evils argument. Then we always have evil...which we have freely supported and endorsed. A wasted vote is a vote for what you don't want.

Once in office, who knows the deals made. We do our best to cut thru the nonsense by relying on what we do know now....but realize we cannot know the future with any certainty.

GREEN PARTY PRIMARY
I am voting for Dr. Jill Stein for Green Party Presidential candidate.
Central Committee: voting for 2 so far..Mike Feinstein (former mayor of SM...a great guy) , Linda Piera-Avila.

Nonpartisan Offices
*US Senate..Marsha Feinland (because she is not Feinstein)
*Congress 33rd..David Steinman ( because he is not Waxman)
 Assembly... Torie Osborn a single payer universal healthccare advocate and Sheila Kuehl's pick.
Richard Bloom...Not a fan. Kind of an arrogant sarcastic guy...a conservative democrat Mayor of SM
Betsy Butler...heard her speak two years ago defending corporations. YIKES!

* Diane Feinstein  and Henry Waxman are NOT progressives. They both voted for war and surveillance and diminishment of our rights. Waxman in particular is an egregious fraud. He admitted publicly to not reading bills on which he votes.  After voting for the healthcare bill he joked that now we might find out what is actually in it. His committee's energy bill was very corporate and fossil fuel friendly. His healthcare bill written by corporate insurance lobbyists. See my article below published in the LA Progressive.

JUDICIAL I used a few sites. More can always be done but I am done!

Good site for looking at the candidate's endorsers, answers to some questions, listing of candidate priorities.

A conservative site I use to decide who not to vote for. I combine info from this with the LACo Bar and LWV info to make the distentions.

LA Co Bar ASSOCIATION does an exhaustive research/interview/ data laden comparison for these qualities...non partisan.
 Integrity and character
 Judgment and intellectual capacity
 Fairness
 Experience
 Industry and diligence
 Judicial temperament, including whether the candidate would be courteous and considerate of counsel, parties, witnesses and jurors, and whether the candidate is even-tempered
 Professional ability and knowledge of the law
 Absence of health problems that affect the ability to serve as a judge
 Positive professional reputation in the community.
LACBA SUPERIOR COURT EVALUATIONS
Having completed its investigations and deliberations, the Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee reports its final evaluations for the candidates for the following Superior Court offices:
SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE NO. 3
Sean D. Coen __ Qualified
Joe Escalante __ Not Qualified
Laurence N. Kaldor __ Not Qualified
Craig Gold __ Qualified
SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE NO. 10
Hon. Sanjay T. Kumar — Exceptionally Well Qualified
Kim Smith — Not Qualified
SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE NO. 38
Hon. Lynn Diane Olson — Not Qualified
Douglas Weitzman — Not Qualified
SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE NO. 65
Shannon Knight — Qualified
Andrea C. Thompson — Well Qualified
Matt Schonbrun — Qualified
SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE NO. 78
Hon. James Otto — Exceptionally Well Qualified
Kenneth Hughey — Not Qualified
SUPERIOR COURT OFFICE NO. 114
Ben M. Brees __ Qualified
Eric Harmon __ Well Qualified
Berj Parseghian __ Well Qualified

EVALUATION OF NOT QUALIFIED CANDIDATES - SUPERIOR COURT
The committee rated the following 6 candidates as “Not Qualified:”
Joe Escalante, Kenneth Hughey, Laurence N. Kaldor, Hon. Lynn Diane Olson, Kim Smith, and Douglas W. Weitzman. That evaluation reflects the Committee’s opinion that these candidates do not adequately possess one or more of the attributes necessary to perform the judicial function satisfactorily.

MY VOTE.....
> Office 3: Craig Gold
> Office 10: nobody
> Office 38: nobody
> Office 65: Shannon Knight
> Office 78: James D. Otto
> Office 114: Eric Harmon

For DA: There are three non conservatives. See LA Times article below.
MY CHOICE: Danette E. Meyers opposes death penalty and would like 3 strikes revisited among other positions I like ...especially juvenile court treatment.
Bobby Grace is also good on many things. Probably OK as well.
Jackie Lacey supports the death penalty. That's a NO for me.

The cigarette tax state proposition 29 NO for me.
Michael Hiltzik writes a very cogent and thoughtful piece about this position. I have printed it below. My belief on this vote preceded his article because of the past 10 years I spent diligently researching propositions like this one. Beneath the surface is the important part....which never reaches the light of day for most voters. When props involve millions of dollars... examine them carefully! This prop involves billions. Corporations have dozens of staff members whose job it is to figure out how to write props and get the public to indirectly and unknowingly add public money to their private profit coffers.

REMEMBER Prop 3 in 2008?...Jamie Lee Curtis on TV pleading "for the children " !  Prop 3 did NOT give one more kid access to healthcare. Actually did damage. Took money from public treasury used for actual healthcare to fund the medical device industry, huge construction corporations for remodeling of already the BEST funded hospitals in the country. Did not give anyone healthcare. This was a public giveaway to profiteering corporate industries allied with the university hospitals...whose management staff members get lucrative corporate board positions, millions in speakers fees, targeted research money....and the ever present revolving door. Fancied up the facilities with big screen TV's this years model of last years machines with NO ADDED VALUE to healthcare needs. No one got care from this prop and it's misleading advertisements. Costs us plenty. Everyone was on the bandwagon "for the children & children's hospitals".  It hurt children and their families. A fraud.

29 is NO....contrary to all the TV ads assailing the villainous tobacco industry...which is truly villainous. There is always more to the story with initiatives when they involve money, setting up commissions and assignment of specific recipients.  Sight unseen, most if not ALL initiatives should be opposed when 1.) they involve the dispersal of millions of dollars to 2.) specifically named entities. Those seemingly benign entities have financial relationships with not so benign entities.

Some good may occur...some people may stop smoking. But a near billion dollars to start will be funneled to a "selected committee" to decide how it is spent. Once the money diminishes...this committee will be established as a precedent within the matrix of our universities and in need of funding

After researching initiative & props very carefully over the past 10 years, I have come to realize that most are sophisticated corporate scams which funnel large amounts of tax dollars to a very specific few entities at the expense of solving the primary problems facing our population. The initiatives ALWAYS sound wonderful and righteous (of course) ...straight from heaven and the angels.....but have often hidden results that may actually damage the public at large. When recipients of that monetary largesse are specified they always benefit some special (usually corporate) interests that make a lot of money from initiative "ballot box voting".   Added benefit ...it saves them from paying bribes and using pricey lobbyists to convince legislators (who are very expensive).   And the voters choose the situation...what could be better!

Over the past 30 years a very strong triangulation between political institutions, the universities and corporations with revolving doors between them and money flowing freely has developed. Universities are seen as "the good guys" and people trust that money flowing there will benefit society. More and more universities & government employees are paid millions by corporate interests to implement their plans and funnel research money to specific uses. The pharmaceutecal and medical device industry is Notoriously expert at this using university hospitals, research staff, academics and grad students. More on this ....read ANY of Dr. John Geyman's books about the Medical Industrial Complex and how it works through public groups like major universities . Also Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America by Charles H. Ferguson . He is the producer of academy award winning documentary "Inside Job".

The key questions for me involve context as well as the proposition itself.
What..Who.. How.. Does this solve our problems, meet our public needs, efficiently, is it NON PROFIT public?

We need prevention...used to be a public health project. Public health system has been eviscerated due to lack of budget despite being efficient, accessible and non profit.  Why isn't the money going to revive that?  It is much less costly than interfacing with For Profit institutions.

1. Does this prop guarantee that money is spent for prevention or cure? NO
Funds research for "treatment " ...very open ended. Will that "research" money be funneled to the pharmaceutical industry...not for cures but for more drugs and treatment devices?
2. Who decides ...The board members selected will decide. Any room for payoffs here?
3. Funding is an individual product tax...good ... but still the money should be funded to an efficient existing non profit public entity

I am a nurse...was a public health clinic nurse...I am both opposed to smoking, the tobacco industry and opposed to this measure.

Prop 28. I am leaving 28 blank...I do not believe in term limits at all.

County measures H and L: No idea yet. still researching

Be Well,
Maureen

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Choose Life

You don't have to chose the lesser of evils. You can choose life. Have you ever heard the expression, 'life is too short' or maybe someone might say they can't deal with this person or that because they spend too much negative energy? When you deal with negative energy you drain your positive energy. Energy and life are resources that you own, along with your time and labor. The most valuable thing you can give someone is your labor. These things are priceless.

Did you ever have a 'friend' who drains your energy and time? You get into arguments about maybe even the most trivial things. Then one day you wake up and ask yourself, why am I doing this? Why am I spending my time and energy in this self-destructive downward spiral?  If something drains your time, your labor, or your energy, it is self-destructive. You have better things to do.You squander your valuable time for what, some useless arguments?

This is the fallacy of both money and politics. We do things for money that we would never otherwise do. Is money really all that important that you have to drain your most valuable assets, your time and labor? Money is a contrivance. It's only a medium, not a goal. It's not tangible. You can only use it to trade for other things that are tangible. Those who exploit you for a paycheck rob you of your passion and your life. You deny yourself of who you are, just for money, just to gain some tokens of exchange. How absurd is that?

I know it's maybe impossible to live without money, and yet you have to ask yourself at some point, am I living or dying? Get busy living or get busy dying. Perhaps you can reach some kind of compromise. Work for the man by day and do your passions by night. Then strive to do your passions by day as well. But you do have control over at least some of your own time, don't you? Are you going to spend it exploited in futile arguments over useless politics that serve only the rich and empower them over you. They are nothing without you and yet you let them rob you of your own life.

So why vote when you know politics is all a sham, a drain of your time and energy? You know it's always the same story. Choose the lesser of evils. But what you are actually doing is choosing to ignore your own passions, ignore your life, and spend your valuable life energy to vote and validate the status quo of the political black hole that sucks in all our life and energy like a debt that continually grows and can never be paid off. When you choose the lesser of evils, you choose evil, and not life. You can choose to ignore evil.

Decade after decade it's the same story and yet people fall right back into the trap like sheep lead to slaughter. Politicians lie and make false promises to get elected, to get you to give to them your most valuable assets, your time, energy, and labor. Your life. They have all the resources to push your buttons. They tell you what you want to hear. "I support gay marriage." "I'll end war." "I'll close GITMO." "I'll give everyone healthcare." Then they get elected and don't come through and you rationalize that at least they tried their best and they did make some kind of tiny dent, temporary though it may be. Are you really that stupid? Can I interest you in some Mississippi delta real estate?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vote for the Best of Two Evils?

So I walk into this hamburger joint called America. From where I live, America is the only place available. I'm not about to pick up and travel my ass off to find a freakin' burger. So I look at the menu on the wall. There are really only two candidates to choose from. The Big Grande double cheese double meat burger, or the Super Special double cheese double meat with special sauce and secret spices. Then there's the much less popular green burger, a vegetarian delight (so they claim). Of course there's the single with cheese and the grilled chicken; a fish sandwich or super salad. Now I'm not the typical fool who just buys whatever. And I'm not going with any of those less popular burgers. After all, if most people favor the top two, democracy rules, right?

I do my research. So I pull out the iPad and check out this place. Turns out all the food at America is grade A inspected and FDA approved by the US department of agriculture. The beef patties are grade A pink slime exposed to ammonium hydroxide according to top US standards of corporate profiteering. Then I look at the underground forums. It seems the Big Grande is consistently laced with mold and causes chronic healthcare problems. But the Super Special is even worse. There are claims of maggots and worms found in this one. The green burger is also laced with mold, and the other options likewise. Apparently nothing in America is safe from mold and rot. The establishment is corrupt and only cares about profit. But at least the Big Grande doesn't have maggots. What to do? I really don't want to go somewhere else. America has the best deal around and it's always been good in the past. But damned, maggots or mold?

I don't think so. Screw America. I'll make my own pasta marinara with broccoli.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The American Social Unit: You and your TV

Time has Run Out for Failed Capitalistic Democracy.

When we resolve to elect a president based on the fact he is the lesser of two evils, we marginalize the democratic process and it becomes of low importance and low priority. Not that it hasn't been just that for decades.

The two party system is good cop and bad cop against the people of America, held as suspects of the one percent. Occupy has proven to have the ability to create working organized anarchies. Plural because civilization by consent and autonomy has no leader, no command nor control. I believe that is natural and that time has now run out for failed capitalistic democracy.

It is time that we find new ways of life as occupy has done. Time to live outside the system, to find new standards of exchange other than government issued currency. People are controlled because they choose to be. Voting is a referendum on the plutarchy. If truly all the 99 percent put themselves up against the one percent we wouldn't need elections, government, nor money. But it will take a critical mass mutiny against our wage slave owners. May Day every day.

There are those who use the system to live outside of it. False IDs on the black market. False SSNs and credit identity allow them to live lucratively, though on the run. But they prove it can be done. If Wall Street can commit financial crimes against us, should we not do the same against them? The law is by and for the rich and continues to warp in that direction. It's only a matter of time before we are all lost to this  corrupt system. Is it really unethical or wrongful to commit fraud against this twisted financial system? Does anyone really care if banks are defrauded? It takes guts to say no.

Submitted as a response to a Smiley and West discussion.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Problem: It's Money that Matters. Money and Sadism.

The problem with capitalism is money. Pretty much everything requires money and especially the basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, infrastructure, energy, transportation. If we could eliminate money, everything would be fine. The occupy people have done this by living on a resourced based social needs system (until they were dispersed by federally coordinated police in riot gear).

Until a resourced based system works for everyone (without fear of police), what we need to do is to guarantee people basic necessities. It's not like we can't afford this. The trillions we spend on war, and the exorbitant wealth that the few have can be put to this task. After all, the rich remain rich only because they feed off government corporate welfare. So don't tell me that America is about competition and earning one's wealth. It's not. It's about scam, greed, and government bailout. It's time for us to take the cue from our leaders and bailout all the people.

We need to guarantee all people a basic minimum necessities (as illustrated by Michael Moore in Capitalism: A Love Story). But I don't buy that people need jobs. People only need jobs if you assume that people need money and that jobs are the only way to get it. People don't need money. People need basic necessities.

The government should provide for all and give people an opportunity to return the favor with their skills and talent. At some point as people become better skilled and masterful, they can trade for bigger and better things beyond the basic minimums. People need the freedom to pursue the things they love to do, and not have to work at whatever job they can find just to survive to pay rent and electricity. Capitalism (true capitalism) can work for people who achieve beyond what they are given; for people who return something to society. But it can not work for those who must struggle to even feed their families or find a place to live. It is nothing new. We have always known this.

No one really wants to live at a minimum standard, and this gives people incentive to excel at what they love. The incentive of working to make money just to live is pure hell. For those who are unable or unwilling to go beyond the minimum, then so be it. That's a small problem to be left with. This is not socialism, certainly no more than government corporate bailouts are.

Our current system is sadistic. I believe that too many of the rich stay rich and protect their wealth, not for necessities, not for luxuries, not for honor or status alone. They do this because they are sick with greed and sadism. They revel at the power of having exorbitant wealth while so many have to scrimp and crawl just to survive. They want to keep people down. These are the things that plague our society. It's not joblessness, not unemployment, not the economy, not politics, not leadership. It's the sickness of people in power. We are controlled by the sickly cruel and sadistic wealthy who feed on power and control like junkies.

We need to identity exactly when and where this sickness takes place and find ways to address it. We need to cut it from our society like the cancerous tumor it is. Along with Michael Moore, I think the root of all our problems stems back to the issues of money and what we jokingly refer to as capitalism.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fifty Medical Doctors for Single Payer Urge Supreme Court to Strike Down Individual Mandate

Fifty medical doctors who favor a single payer health insurance system today urged the US Supreme Court to strike down the individual mandate.

In a brief filed with the Court, the fifty doctors and two non-profit groups – Single Payer Action and It’s Our Economy – said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional.
            
 The individual mandate is the provision of the ACA that requires Americans to purchase health insurance from private insurance companies if they do not otherwise have coverage.
The doctors are challenging the government’s claim that the individual mandate is necessary to reach Congress’ goal of universal coverage.
“The court should decide the constitutionality of the individual mandate based on the best available evidence,” said attorney Oliver Hall. “That’s why it is so important that these medical doctors provide the court with the information in their brief, which demonstrates that Congress can address the United States’ healthcare crisis by adopting a single payer system.”
“It is not necessary to force Americans to buy private health insurance to achieve universal coverage,” said Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. “There is a proven alternative that Congress didn’t seriously consider, and that alternative is a single payer national health insurance system.”
“Congress could have taken seriously evidence presented by these single payer medical doctors that a single payer system is the only way to both control costs and cover everyone,” Mokhiber said. “Instead, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), chair of the Senate Finance Committee which drafted the law that became the ACA, had two of those doctors – Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Carol Paris – arrested and thrown in jail. Those doctors are now two of the 50 who have signed onto this brief challenging the Constitutionality of the ACA.”
“If the US Congress had considered an evidence-based approach to health reform instead of writing a bill that funnels more wealth to insurance companies that deny and restrict care, it would have been a no brainer to adopt a single payer health system much like our own Medicare,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers. “We are already spending enough on health care in this country to provide high quality universal comprehensive lifelong health care. All the data point to a single payer system as the only way to accomplish this and control health care costs.”

"People will have the greatest control of their own healthcare if the insurance industry is removed from between doctors and patients,” said Kevin Zeese of It’s Our Economy. “And, people will no longer be threatened with increased premiums, decreased coverage and financial ruin caused by a health crisis."
 Both Kevin Zeese and Dr. Margaret Flowers are organizers with the National Occupation of Washington, D.C. (nowdc.org).

A copy of the brief and of this press release are attached.  As one of the signers I am available to comment via e-mail.

Marc Sapir, MD, MPH

Monday, January 23, 2012

Don't Vote. Revolt!

A friend told me that it's not so much the 1% that screw over the 99%, but more importantly it's the 20% that screw over the other 80%, which makes a lot of sense when you realize we live in a kiss-ass-corporate Plutarchy that rewards people for keeping the 1% where they are. You must know of the Peter Principle that states, "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." So how about you do away with hierarchies? Enter the Occupy movement and organized anarchy.

The caveat is that the Peter principals screw up, but they tell people exactly what they want to hear. Enter Barack Obama. Obama quelled the uprising masses who had it with the Bush-ocracy, by telling you, "yes we can," plus "change." Except he continued the Bush policies of war, torture, Gitmo,
corporate welfare bailout, and added in the removal of due process from American law. The American police state, by way of Obama's signature, now has the power to arrest you and lock you away without due process. So much for upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This law makes liars out of the President, the Congress who passed it, and every military and police person who executes or upholds it. The U.S. is now officially a country run by sadistic murdering thugs.

And now you say it's an election year so lets look at the candidates. Are you kidding? Everyone but everyone knows damned well there is not one candidate, especially Obama, who will change a damned thing to stop the American Police State Corporate Welfare Plutarchy on its current course toward the fall of the American empire (which would actually be a good thing). So why bother watching the election media sideshow? You know all of them are lying sacks of human
waste. It matters not who gets elected. It will remain business as usual. The only course of salvation is to ignore and marginalize the politicians who champion the status quo of American Empirical Sadistic Repression of anyone who doesn't kiss up to the 1%. Don't bother to vote. Don't waste your time watching polls and debates or listening to talk shows about candidates. It is all subversion to keep you from thinking about the reality of the demise of what was once an American dream of democracy and freedom.

Maybe you think not to vote means letting the Republicans (or Democrats) win. So what? Progressives are quelled into complacency by Democrats like Obama who promise and talk a good game, and then make Bush proud. It would be better to let things demise with Republicans in charge which would cause a backlash and uprising. It has to get worse before it gets better. That's reality. Otherwise, you remain catatonic Wall Street wage slaves. Don't think for yourself. Better get to bed so you can keep on working for the man.

What you really need is media programming on alternatives to our government. Why are we watching these idiots with baited breath until election eve? No one cares anyway, except the ego-maniacal airbrushed politicians themselves and their benefactors on Wall Street. I'm not advocating an all out revolution or coup. I'm just saying we should marginalize our government and especially our so called "leaders" by ignoring them and finding alternative ways to live without them. They earn no respect. Ignore the ignorant idiots.

Imagine a world without money. Now don't go off half cocked thinking this is ludicrous. What's ludicrous is watching another debate where people cheer the annual systematic death of 45,000 Americans through denial of healthcare so that corporations can make a few extra bucks. What's ludicrous is listening to politicians promising the moon and stars and knowing all too well they will never deliver, nor could they if they wanted to. You know this is true. You know they are liars. So just stop and think for a moment. Why watch futile debates over futile elections?

Think about some alternatives to this screwed up society. I don't have answers. I have questions, I have a need to find out what can we all do to overcome this madness. Listening to another election is not the answer. You need debate to hash out and brainstorm about what else we can do, and not to choose between frick and frack for president. Politicians will not do anything to upset their money train. But upsetting the money train is exactly what is prescribed, and you know it.

You need radio and TV shows where people debate alternatives to our current government and our current society. You need programs where people talk about anarchy and how organized and successful it can be. You need programs where people talk about how a leaderless society can make decisions where you have the power to decide by consensus. You need talk about true democracy. You don't need to watch another police state election where protesters get their heads bashed in and idiots become rulers of the American Empire.

Imagine. Imagine a world without money. Imagine if people lived through shared resources, by helping each other out with professional courtesy, by trading services for services, goods for goods. You could call it barter. But that's really way too simplistic a description. It's more a concept of a shared resource society. To live without money, would deny Wall Street the power that money holds over you. Think about it. Perhaps increased social services for people in need. What you need government for is to provide housing, healthcare, food, clothing, shelter, education (not indoctrination), child care, jobs, a living wage. You need your government to guarantee minimal social, health, and financial security standards of life for all people.

You don't need them to guarantee that Wall Street makes exorbitant profits. The DOW is not a measure of America's wealth or success. It is a measure of the 1%'s wealth. Why are you a wage slave to the 1%? This is a feudal society. You need to find a way out. The news media agenda has been set by the 1% to have you waste your attention and energy arguing over Democrats vs. Republicans, which is nothing more than asking a prisoner to choose between a good cop and a bad cop. You need to get out of jail. Wake up.

Don't vote. Revolt!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thoughts on The Occupy Movement

I’d like to point out something here I’ve been thinking about. I know, it’s a dangerous thing for me to be doing. But...
I’ve been thinking that historically the occupy movement is really nothing different than what’s been done. One revolution after another and historically it seems to always go the same way. The revolutionaries get out into the streets, become exposed to the powers who then beat them down. We see this again now with Occupy being evicted, arrested, beaten and basically tortured to submission by the American police state.

So, what’s different this time? Technology? The internet? Live streaming? I guess all that is something. But I submit that the real power is with words and ideas (the graffiti). Not with confrontation and getting your heads bashed in. I’ve said before, stop using banks, stop using oil, drop direct deposit. Even doing it just a little bit would go a long way if enough participate.

So I’m reluctant to get out in the street because I don’t want to be on the Gestapo hit list. Yet I’ll do it on occasion. But really, I keep thinking what’s the point? Real change has to be organic and has to be critical mass. I like the graffiti.  But there are a lot of ideas there. How to implement them effectively. I think there needs to be a lot more thought about what we do before we do it. Because so far, I don’t see a lot of point to what’s being done. Yeah, a few small victories (and defeats) here and there when we occupy this or that. But really. We have technology. We have the ability to mass communicate. So far the internet is a true democracy. We have some tools here we aren’t using well enough yet.

Think in terms of Facebook. One guy codes up a storm of social networking and becomes the richest kid in history. We could do something  just as dramatic. Not necessarily for money but for the movement. We need some ideas here. What could there be to make it happen? In your wildest dreams, if you had all the resources in the world, what would you do? What could we do? Yeah, its happening to a point with the occupy streams and so on. But there's got to be something bigger and better out there we haven't thought of yet.

MAY 1968 GRAFFITI: French Political Vandalism

By Esteban Gil
In the decor of the spectacle, the eye meets only things and their prices.
Commute, work, commute, sleep . . .
Meanwhile everyone wants to breathe and nobody can and many say, “We will breathe later.”
And most of them don’t die because they are already dead.
Boredom is counterrevolutionary.
We don’t want a world where the guarantee of not dying
of starvation brings the risk of dying of boredom.
We want to live.
Don’t beg for the right to live — take it.
In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure
the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society.
The liberation of humanity is all or nothing.
Those who make revolutions half way only dig their own graves.
No replastering, the structure is rotten.
Masochism today takes the form of reformism.
Reform my ass.
The revolution is incredible because it’s really happening.
I came, I saw, I was won over.
Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!
Quick!
If we only have enough time . . .
In any case, no regrets!
Already ten days of happiness.
Live in the moment.
Comrades, if everyone did like us . . .
We will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, occupy.
Down with the state.
When the National Assembly becomes a bourgeois theater,
all the bourgeois theaters should be turned into national assemblies.
[Written above the entrance of the occupied Odéon Theater]
Referendum: whether we vote yes or no, it turns us into suckers.
It’s painful to submit to our bosses; it’s even more stupid to choose them.
Let’s not change bosses, let’s change life.
Don’t liberate me — I’ll take care of that.
I’m not a servant of the people (much less of their self-appointed leaders).
Let the people serve themselves.
Abolish class society.
Nature created neither servants nor masters. I want neither to rule nor to be ruled.
We will have good masters as soon as everyone is their own.
“In revolution there are two types of people:
those who make it and those who profit from it.”
(Napoleon)
Warning: ambitious careerists may now be disguised as “progressives.”
Don’t be taken in by the politicos and their filthy demagogy. We must rely on ourselves.
Socialism without freedom is a barracks.
All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
We want structures that serve people, not people serving structures.
The revolution doesn’t belong to the committees, it’s yours.
Politics is in the streets.
Barricades close the streets but open the way.
Our hope can come only from the hopeless.
A proletarian is someone who has no power over his life and knows it.
Never work.
People who work get bored when they don’t work.
People who don’t work never get bored.
Workers of all countries, enjoy!
Since 1936 I have fought for wage increases.
My father before me fought for wage increases.
Now I have a TV, a fridge, a Volkswagen.
Yet my whole life has been a drag.
Don’t negotiate with the bosses. Abolish them.
The boss needs you, you don’t need the boss.
By stopping our machines together we will demonstrate their weakness.
Occupy the factories.
Power to the workers councils.
(an enragé)
Power to the enragés councils.
(a worker)
Worker: You may be only 25 years old, but your union dates from the last century.
Labor unions are whorehouses.
Comrades, let’s lynch Séguy!
[Georges Séguy: head bureaucrat of the Communist Party-dominated labor union]
Please leave the Communist Party as clean on leaving it as you would like to find it on entering.
Stalinists, your children are with us!
Man is neither Rousseau’s noble savage nor the Church’s or La Rochefoucauld’s depraved sinner.
He is violent when oppressed, gentle when free.
Conflict is the origin of everything.
(Heraclitus)
If we have to resort to force, don’t sit on the fence.
Be cruel.
Humanity won’t be happy till the last capitalist is hung
with the guts of the last bureaucrat.
When the last sociologist has been hung with the guts of
the last bureaucrat, will we still have “problems”?
The passion of destruction is a creative joy.
(Bakunin)
A single nonrevolutionary weekend is infinitely more bloody than a month of total revolution.
The tears of philistines are the nectar of the gods.
This concerns everyone.
We are all German Jews.
We refuse to be highrised, diplomaed, licensed, inventoried, registered, indoctrinated,
suburbanized, sermonized, beaten, telemanipulated, gassed, booked.
We are all “undesirables.”
We must remain “unadapted.”
The forest precedes man, the desert follows him.
Under the paving stones, the beach.
Concrete breeds apathy.
Coming soon to this location: charming ruins.
Beautiful, maybe not, but O how charming: life versus survival.
“My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I’m not selling bread, I’m selling yeast.”
(Unamuno)
Conservatism is a synonym for rottenness and ugliness.
You are hollow.
You will end up dying of comfort.
Hide yourself, object!
No to coat-and-tie revolution.
A revolution that requires us to sacrifice ourselves for it is Papa’s revolution.
Revolution ceases to be the moment it calls for self-sacrifice.
The prospect of finding pleasure tomorrow will never compensate for today’s boredom.
When people notice they are bored, they stop being bored.
Happiness is a new idea.
Live without dead time.
Those who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring
to everyday reality have a corpse in their mouth.
Culture is an inversion of life.
Poetry is in the streets.
The most beautiful sculpture is a paving stone thrown at a cop’s head.
Art is dead, don’t consume its corpse.
Art is dead, let’s liberate our everyday life.
Art is dead, Godard can’t change that.
Godard: the supreme Swiss Maoist jerk.
Permanent cultural vibration.
We want a wild and ephemeral music.
We propose a fundamental regeneration:
concert strikes,
sound gatherings with collective investigation.
Abolish copyrights: sound structures belong to everyone.
Anarchy is me.
Revolution, I love you.
Down with the abstract, long live the ephemeral.
(Marxist-Pessimist Youth)
Don’t consume Marx, live him.
I’m a Groucho Marxist.
I take my desires for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires.
Desiring reality is great! Realizing your desires is even better!
Practice wishful thinking.
I declare a permanent state of happiness.
Be realistic, demand the impossible.
Power to the imagination.
Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking.
Imagination is not a gift, it must be conquered.
(Breton)
Action must not be a reaction, but a creation.
Action enables us to overcome divisions and find solutions.
Exaggeration is the beginning of invention.
The enemy of movement is skepticism. Everything that has been realized
comes from dynamism, which comes from spontaneity.
Here, we spontane.
“You must bear a chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star.”
(Nietzsche)
Chance must be systematically explored.
Alcohol kills. Take LSD.
Unbutton your mind as often as your fly.
“Every view of things that is not strange is false.”
(Valéry)
Life is elsewhere.
Forget everything you’ve been taught. Start by dreaming.
Form dream committees.
Dare! This word contains all the politics of the present moment.
(Saint-Just)
Arise, ye wretched of the university.
Students are jerks.
The student’s susceptibility to recruitment as a militant for
any cause is a sufficient demonstration of his real impotence.
(enragé women)
Professors, you make us grow old.
Terminate the university.
Rape your Alma Mater.
What if we burned the Sorbonne?
Professors, you are as senile as your culture, your modernism
is nothing but the modernization of the police.
We refuse the role assigned to us: we will not be trained as police dogs.
We don’t want to be the watchdogs or servants of capitalism.
Exams = servility, social promotion, hierarchical society.
When examined, answer with questions.
Insolence is the new revolutionary weapon.
Every teacher is taught, everyone taught teaches.
The Old Mole of history seems to be splendidly undermining the Sorbonne.
(telegram from Marx, 13 May 1968)
Thought that stagnates rots.
To call in question the society you “live” in, you must first
be capable of calling yourself in question.
Take revolution seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.
The walls have ears. Your ears have walls.
Making revolution also means breaking our internal chains.
A cop sleeps inside each one of us. We must kill him.
Drive the cop out of your head.
Religion is the ultimate con.
Neither God nor master.
If God existed it would be necessary to abolish him.
Can you believe that some people are still Christians?
Down with the toad of Nazareth.
How can you think freely in the shadow of a chapel?
We want a place to piss, not a place to pray.
I suspect God of being a leftist intellectual.
The bourgeoisie has no other pleasure than to degrade all pleasures.
Going through the motions kills the emotions.
Struggle against the emotional fixations that paralyze our potentials.
(Committee of Women on the Path of Liberation)
Constraints imposed on pleasure incite the pleasure of living without constraints.
The more I make love, the more I want to make revolution.
The more I make revolution, the more I want to make love.
SEX: It’s okay, says Mao, as long as you don’t do it too often.
Comrades, 5 hours of sleep a day is indispensable:
we need you for the revolution.
Embrace your love without dropping your guard.
I love you!!! Oh, say it with paving stones!!!
I’m coming in the paving stones.
Total orgasm.
Comrades, people are making love in the Poli Sci classrooms, not only in the fields.
Revolutionary women are more beautiful.
Zelda, I love you! Down with work!
The young make love, the old make obscene gestures.
Make love, not war.
Whoever speaks of love destroys love.
Down with consumer society.
The more you consume, the less you live.
Commodities are the opium of the people.
Burn commodities.
You can’t buy happiness. Steal it.
See Nanterre and live. Die in Naples with Club Med.
Are you a consumer or a participant?
To be free in 1968 means to participate.
I participate.
You participate.
He participates.
We participate.
They profit. 
The golden age was the age when gold didn’t reign.
“The cause of all wars, riots and injustices is the existence of property.”
(St. Augustine)
Happiness is hanging your landlord.
Millionaires of the world unite. The wind is turning.
The economy is wounded — I hope it dies!
How sad to love money.
You too can steal.
“Amnesty: An act in which the rulers pardon the injustices they have committed.”
(Ambrose Bierce)
[The definition in Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary is actually: “Amnesty: The state’s
magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.”]

Abolish alienation.
Obedience begins with consciousness;
consciousness begins with disobedience.
First, disobey; then write on the walls.
(Law of 10 May 1968)
I don’t like to write on walls.
Write everywhere.
Before writing, learn to think.
I don’t know how to write but I would like to say beautiful things and I don’t know how.
I don’t have time to write!!!
I have something to say but I don’t know what.
Freedom is the right to silence.
Long live communication, down with telecommunication.
You, my comrade, you whom I was unaware of amid the tumult,
you who are throttled, afraid, suffocated — come, talk to us.
Talk to your neighbors.
Yell.
Create.
Look in front of you!!!
Help with cleanup, there are no maids here.
Revolution is an INITIATIVE.
Speechmaking is counterrevolutionary.
Comrades, stop applauding, the spectacle is everywhere.
Don’t get caught up in the spectacle of opposition. Oppose the spectacle.
Down with spectacle-commodity society.
Down with journalists and those who cater to them.
Only the truth is revolutionary.
No forbidding allowed.
Freedom is the crime that contains all crimes. It is our ultimate weapon.
The freedom of others extends mine infinitely.
No freedom for the enemies of freedom.
Free our comrades.
Open the gates of the asylums, prisons and other faculties.
Open the windows of your heart.
To hell with boundaries.
You can no longer sleep quietly once you’ve suddenly opened your eyes.

The future will only contain what we put into it now.

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