Monday, September 28, 2009

Forced flu vaccines refused by NY nurses

I am definitely on the side of the nurses -- if they can be forced by NY State into having flu shots, it won't be long before the government is forcing all of us to have them.  Shades of Big Brother!  We have a right to say what goes into our bodies, and no government has the right to demand/enforce flu vaccinations.  Many health workers (doctors and nurses) dispute that the flu vaccines are effective or safe.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Short video excerpt from one of my favorite movies

I think this particular excerpt is very apt for this time on Earth when fear is being used by propagandists to control the minds of the people...   If you haven't seen Defending Your Life, I highly recommend it to you -- you can rent it on or at your local video store... It's a movie I could watch over and over -- and I have.  Meryl Streep, Albert Brooks and Rip Torn are perfect for their parts.  Albert Brooks wrote the movie and it is based on reports from near-death experiencers.  The script stays very close to what thousands of people have reported after their experience of "dying."


Friday, September 25, 2009

The Elephant in the Living Room that NO one is talking about

OVERPOPULATION and its deleterious effects on the planet.  See:

Given the way the climate change crisis is being handled (not!), we won't have much success with this suggestion, either.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why the Regressive Right Desperately Wants to Erase the Bush Presidency

You hardly hear anyone on the right mentioning Bush anymore -- it's almost as if he never existed.  Do you ever wonder why that is?  I think the following essay tells the true story:


The obvious answer is that Bush was a total disaster as president who was hated by a country that couldn't wait for the clock to run down on his nightmare. Who wants to be associated with that?

The less obvious answer is even more telling, though. It's true the Bush folks were grossly incompetent, at least at the things they didn't care so much about. But the deeper and more profound reality is that this was far less a failure of one fool than it was the acid test for an entire ideology, which in fact failed the exam miserably.

...We tried their ideology. Big-time. And it totally sucked.

Unless, of course, you happen to like war, recession, environmental destruction, constitution shredding, prejudice, hatred, greed, deceit and failure. Those things enjoyed rather remarkable success, actually.

by David M. Green

Hey, wasn't that George W. Bush presidency really fantastic?

You do still remember it, don't you?

Wasn't it great? Don't you have lots of warm and fuzzy memories of it? Isn't it a shame that he couldn't have a third term?

Okay, so maybe you don't see it that way. Maybe the last eight years weren't such a party for you. But remember the regressive right? Remember how much they loved the guy? Remember how they adored Ol' Georgie, especially back in 2001, 2002, 2003? Remember how they gloated and stuck it all in our faces? Remember how much they loved not only Bush's politics, but his in-your-face, my-way-or-the-highway, love-it-or-leave-it, macho cowboy routine delivery?

I don't know about you, but I recall all of that really, really well, thank you very much. Painfully well, one might say.

Which makes it all the more puzzling that the troglodytes of the right seem to have disappeared their former grand hero almost completely these days. Isn't that odd? They never talk about him anymore, as if he had never even existed. They seem quite desperately to want to vanish him entirely, like the body of some beaten-to-death prisoner at Abu Ghraib.

Hmmm. Wonder why? Wonder what gives?

I'll go out on a limb here and speculate that it might have something to do with the fact that the Bush presidency was a spectacular failure. You know, a total train wreck. A complete cock-up. A gigantic exercise in FUBAR so bad that nobody wants to be associated with it, anymore than with syphilis or projectile vomit.

But that's kinda weird given the former adoration directed toward the Caligula Kid. Isn't that kind of intellectually dishonest? Can it be that the right in America is actually disingenuous? I mean, everyone knows they are destructive, selfish, hypocritical, racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, imperialistic, nasty, brutish and short. But who would have thought they were dishonest too? This is almost more than I can bear!

If you pin a regressive to the wall and torture them (a practice which I recommend as often beneficial for both parties involved), they will do two things to try to stop you from beating them up about Lil' Bush.
First, they'll attempt to deflect your attention away from the whole painful affair by talking about a certain Ronald Reagan fellow, patron saint of lost causes. That's an interesting move, given that Junior Bush was more Reaganistic than was Reagan himself. And, especially, given that Reagan was last in the White House an entire generation ago, making him about as relevant to many Americans today as Millard Fillmore.

It's also more than a bit weird because, of course, Saint Reagan bears little resemblance to Ron Reagan, the dude who actually was president. (Indeed, Ron Reagan the person - a guy so out of it during his presidency that he actually introduced himself to his own cabinet members and his own children in White House receiving lines, and used 3 x 5 cue cards even to read his small talk lines with people ("Pretty humid today, huh?" "How 'bout those Yankees?") - actually bore little resemblance to the presidency he played in the movies, but that's another story entirely.) Saint Reagan solved all our economic problems. Ron Reagan, on the other hand, gave us the worst recession since the Great Depression (until little Bush would trump him), and tripled the national debt (until little Bush trumped him again). Saint Reagan was a great champion of American values. Ron Reagan shredded the Constitution in the Iran-Contra Affair. Saint Reagan was tough on the Soviets and ended the Cold War. Ron Reagan nearly agreed to eliminate all American nukes in a pow-wow with Gorby, tucked tail and ran from Lebanon, and was so powerful that he succeeded in rolling back the Soviets from every square single inch of the Carribean island of Grenada, current population 90,343. And so on...

So playing the Reagan card is the first game used to avoid the horrid little reality of Bushism. But if that particular line of diversionary legerdemain fails miserably, the next thing you're likely to hear is that conservatives have abandoned George W. Bush because he wasn't really a conservative. (!!!)

This is my favorite. Oh yes, indeed.

Do they mean by that that Bush was too nice in his foreign policy, concerning himself too frequently with world opinion rather than American self-interest?

Do they mean that he failed to invade other countries - like, say, Afghanistan or Iraq - when he should have?

Are they upset that he was too squeamish to deploy American military forces in endless wars based on lies?

Or are they angry that the administration didn't privatize everything in sight, including the country's armed forces?

Do they mean that he was too nice to the mealy-mouthed diplo-nothing-burgers at the UN, rather than sending a thug over there to jam policy down their throats?

Do they mean that he wasn't unilateral enough, always worrying about what Europeans and other pansy countries were concerned about?
Is their problem with him that he coddled the Russians and refused to shred the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty?

Or that he was far too deferential to bearded, Birkenstock-wearing, Al Gore-adoring dittoheads, and wouldn't unsign the Kyoto Accord?

Or that he failed to undermine the International Criminal Court at every possible opportunity?

Maybe it's all about how he negotiated too much with North Korea.

Are they angry that Bushiekins didn't have the guts to piss all over international law by authorizing illegal invasions, torture and renditions?

Are they miffed that he constantly kowtowed to Palestinian terrorists, never taking the side of Israel in the endless rounds of Middle East peace negotiations he presided over?

Oh, I know what I was. They're angry that he didn't slash taxes during his presidency! That's obviously it.

Or, wait, was it that he was too pro-choice, both at home and in US family planning policy abroad?

Maybe they're fuming because he didn't put real regressive, pro-government, pro-executive branch, pro-corporate, 13th-century-social-policy-preferring, justices on the Supreme Court - people like John Roberts or Sam Alito, for example.

Could it be that they really wanted a president who would absolutely thrash the historic barrier between church and state, and all they got was this lousy Bush-Cheney 2004 tee-shirt instead?

Maybe they're pissed because Bush refused to spy on Americans. Or that he was so weak-kneed that he went and got warrants before he did it. Or that he waited for Congressional approval to do any of this.

Or is it that he refused in principle to autograph over a thousand signing statements appended to legislation, which would have effective wiped out the role of Congress in American government?

Possibly they don't think he was a real conservative because he refused to jump on Air Force One and fly across the country in the middle of the night in order to intervene in one family's legal, medical and ethical nightmare over whether to unplug Terri Schiavo from life support.

Maybe, as fans of small government, they're angry that he used FEMA so effectively to save lives and to save the city of New Orleans, before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.
Could it be that Bush was too tough on corporations, refusing to give them tax credits for exporting American jobs, or blocking any massive giveaways to them under his prescription drug bill?

Or was it that the Bush White House was just too much in favor of corporate regulation, across the board?

Certainly it must have had a lot to do with how Bush took the lead in fighting for the very survival of the planet by calling the country into battle against the peril of global warming, a total fabrication by evildoing scientists.

Are they mad that the Bush White House flinched at politicizing the institutions of government - for example, I'll just pick one at random here, the Justice Department - in order to turn them into agents of the Republican Party?

Or are they angry that there was hardly any cronyism in the administration, so that party workers could never get government jobs - say like running the Iraq occupation, for example - because the president was too scrupulous.

Probably they're just furious that Bush let accused terrorists and other assorted brown people run free in America, because he didn't have the guts to defy a bunch of mamby-pamby lawyers and open up a bottomless-pit of a jail in some hell-hole somewhere, like say at Guantanamo Bay.

And I know they're still mad that he didn't have the stones to steal elections when push came to shove in confronting those tough, take-no-prisoners Democrats.

Are all of these failings why regressives don't think George W. Bush was one of them as president? Of course not. In fact, Bush did all of these things. In fact, he and his fellow-travelers fulfilled every single item on the regressive wet dream checklist during his presidency.

Except for two. First, they expanded the size of the national government through reckless spending. And, second, because they were careful not to take any popular goodies away so that voters would experience the real pain of regressive politics, they paid for it all (and the tax cuts, and the wars) by borrowing. Future generations could pay for it. Plus interest, of course.

Those are both important issues to the right, to be sure, but it is absolutely ludicrous to argue that those two items, stacked up against everything else he gave them listed above, remotely suggest that Bush was not a conservative. Utter nonsense.

So what's going on?

The obvious answer is that Bush was a total disaster as president who was hated by a country that couldn't wait for the clock to run down on his nightmare. Who wants to be associated with that?

The less obvious answer is even more telling, though. It's true the Bush folks were grossly incompetent, at least at the things they didn't care so much about. But the deeper and more profound reality is that this was far less a failure of one fool than it was the acid test for an entire ideology, which in fact failed the exam miserably.

I know how shocking it can be that regressives are hypocritical or deceitful. Go figure, eh? But, truthfully, this is the biggest whopper of them all. The King Kahuna. The Mother of all Deceits. So big, in fact, that I'm pretty sure that they even lie to themselves about it at the same time they're lying to us.

Because if they didn't, here's what they'd have to admit: We tried their ideology. Big-time. And it totally sucked.

Unless, of course, you happen to like war, recession, environmental destruction, constitution shredding, prejudice, hatred, greed, deceit and failure. Those things enjoyed rather remarkable success, actually.

Americans can be astonishingly stupid, and embarrassingly easy marks sometimes. But, even so, they're usually able to see that these are bad things.

If only there were national figures within the supposed opposition (that means you, Mr. Happy Face, in the White House) who were willing to label this disaster for what it was, perhaps we might have stamped out the scourge of regressivism for a generation or six by now. But, alas, that would require a modicum of political courage.

Unfortunately, that's just about the only thing regressives have.

Even more unfortunately, it is often enough to carry the day, even when your ideas are so unequivocally destructive.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You don't see racism? LOOK AGAIN.

And read this column -- speaking truth about the dangerous situation we now face in our country, with the right wing racist propagandists ratcheting up the fear and prejudice in their ignorant followers, many of whom have guns wedded to no brains.


I am loathe to give this insane beast Rush Limbaugh any room at all on my blog, but he has carried his racist propaganda WAY too far...and he influences far too many ignorant people, with very dangerous potential. It's important for intelligent people to be warned about him. Here is his latest attempt to incite a rightwing racist nut to do injury to the president. Limbaugh is an affront to the human race (to which I doubt he even belongs). He should be deported to the dark planet that spawned him and the other rightwing hate-baiters like Beck, Coulter, O'Reilly, Hannity, and Malkin. Read about Limbaugh's latest rant, if you can stand the disgust it will bring you:


By D. Day

The Harvard Medical School released a study yesterday that I dare you to read without your heart breaking.

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.

This is well up from a 2002 estimate showing 18,000 preventable deaths per year from a lack of health insurance. And the increase is directly related to the increase of the uninsured, as well as the scaling back of public hospitals or free clinics or access to care, particularly for those in poor areas. Diabetes and heart disease are two of the most common preventable diseases among this class of the uninsured. As one of the professors in the study puts it, "it's completely a no-brainer that people who can't get health care are going to die more from the kinds of things that health care is supposed to prevent,"

If anything, we're going to see this get worse, if nothing changes. Jobless rates are expected to remain high for years, according to the OECD. With the rapid job loss in this Great Recession, nobody expects as rapid a return. And that means more people dropping off the health insurance rolls. In addition, employers will raise costs and lower coverage, if they even keep it. And for every new member of the ranks of the uninsured, the chances increase exponentially for a preventable death.

The need for fundamental health care reform isn't just a statistical issue, or about budgets, or bending cost curves. It's a matter of life and death.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Racial hatred against Obama

Maureen Dowd's column:

It's obvious that much of the hatred aimed at Obama is fomented by racial prejudice, especially in the south (but not only in the south, unfortunately). Southerners who still cling to the rabid belief that the South should have won the Civil War are most unhappy to see a half-black man in the White House. Many of them (ignorant though they themselves may be...and are) don't like his elegance and intelligence, believing themselves to be superior to him because of their white skin color. How ridiculous!  Yet that is how their minds work. Clinging to Jim Crow type of thinking, they
resent mightily that a black man would be able to raise himself above their level. They would like nothing better than to see him pulled down, and our country along with him.  And this is what they call "patriotism" and "Christianity." 

Monday, September 14, 2009

The 60 Questions of Our Life--New Discovery channel program

This new show should be interesting, but I agree with this author -- some very important questions are being left out...


"Curiosity: The Questions of Our Life" is the name of a new 60-episode five-year "landmark" series just announced with much fanfare by the Discovery Channel.

So what are those 60 "fundamental questions and underlying mysteries of our time"? They're looking for nominations.

Princeton, Georgetown and Syracuse are among the universities who've delightedly signed on to come up with them. Discovery has primed the pump with examples like these: What is consciousness? What will our understanding of genomics mean for future generations? Where are the aliens? Where will artificial intelligence lead? What is our universe made of?


A 2-minute video that is intriguing, to say the least

I was browsing through the Internet and came upon this wonderful brief (2-3 minute) video of a documentary that is in the making, called The Holy Rascals. You'll have to see it for yourself to appreciate it: a Jewish Rabbi, a former Catholic (Dominican) priest, a gentle little Indian man, a Native American/Catholic woman -- all expressing the same view, beyond religion.  The Dominican priest was exited out of the Catholic church by the man who is now Pope--then Cardinal Ratzinger. Cardinal Ratzinger accused the priest of being a "Feminist theologian," which the Cardinal (now Pope) considers a heresy. The priest's offense?  He referred to God not only as a Father but as a Mother and as a Child, and talked about Original Blessing instead of Original Sin.  The parts shown in this preview are very beautiful, with heartfelt comments by the "holy rascals"!  I will definitely want to see the documentary when it comes out!  Here's the link for the video preview:

My own thoughts about the brief remarks made by each of the people in the video is that they are closer to the truth about life than all the religious dogmas and creeds and rules and laws that man has managed to place over the clear, simple understanding Jesus and other teachers were trying to bring to the people of Earth.  I particularly liked what the Indian man says in the last part of the trailer: "In the process you find out not what you are but what you are not." That may at first sound puzzling, but I hear it as a process of elimination as you go through all the identifications you have given yourself in life--none of which you may be able to take with you when you die.  They may be just roles we play in our identification as a man, a woman, a son, a daughter, a mother, a father, a welder, a teacher, etc., etc.  When you look deeply into your eyes in the mirror, do you ever wonder just who you really are?  I used to do this when I was just a little girl, around age 9 or 10 -- trying to perceive someone...something...deeper than just the face and body of the little girl I saw reflected back in the mirror.  I knew somehow there was a mystery to my existence that I wanted to understand.  And as my body grew older and changed from young girl to teenager to adult to middle age, and now to old age, I am more certain than ever that I am definitely not that body, in which the cells are constantly changing, creating an entirely different body every 7 years--yet I always feel like the same one.  So who is that "same one" that feels exactly the same inside, no matter how much the outside changes? Who survives the transition we call "death"?  For anyone who may be asking that question, as I have been throughout my life, I think this documentary will provide some interesting perspectives to help answer it.

More perspectives on the same question can be found in other internet sites -- one of which I have found particularly helpful:


Glenn Beck (ugh!) exploits 9-11 tragedy for ratings

What a piece of work this man is! He represents the Crazy Stupids of our nation--and I'm sorry to say there are far too many of them. It would be great if the racists, numbskulls, and fear-filled haters-of-change could have their own planet, so the rest of us could help Mother Earth recover from them.

Excerpt below taken from a piece by David Niewert

There really isn't more shameless a huckster working the snake-oil circuits of cable punditry these days than Glenn Beck. He embodies the worst of right-wing talking-head traits: obsessively wrong, compulsively stupid, reflexively mendacious, and always, always, shamelessly opportunistic.

He never misses a trick. Especially the 9/11 tragedy. He's managed to turn it into a big annual right-wing nutfest, particularly with this year's debut of the 9/12 teabaggers protest, a project Beck launched some six months ago.

On Friday, he devoted a long monologue to weeping, once again, before his national audience, and gnashing his teeth and doing that Glenn Beck schtick.

Not, mind you, in memory of the victims.

No, what ticks Glenn off is that we haven't built a new building to replace it yet.

Moreover, he manages to lay the blame for the delays -- which are in fact less than meets the eye* -- not on the usual kinds of delays that happen with massive construction projects, but on liberals in Congress and political correctness, or something like that.

Beck: I believe the only reason we haven't built it isn't because of Americans. It's because we are being held back. And who is holding us back? Politicians! Special interest groups! Political correctness! You name it. Everybody but you!

Beck doesn't bother to explain what the hell he means because, with his audience, it doesn't matter. They could care less about facts, it's the gut reaction that counts on Planet Beck.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

President Obama's school speech today instantly turned all kids into Nazis --

As soon as his speech was over, millions of kids starting turning in their parents to the government.  According to the right wing warning system, the big bad black president is not yet done indoctrinating the kids. He wants to make sure they all become communists--or fascists--or both. And he is building mammoth concentration camps to contain all the parents being turned in by their indoctrinated children.  How DARE he tell our children to "increase their critical thinking skills"???  Is he trying to turn them all into liberal Democrats???
Read all about his insidious, traitorous speech at:

A respected voice of reason speaks up--Obama needs to LISTEN!

Mr. President, We Need a Fighter to Take on the Deranged Right Wing
by Bill Moyers (You can watch Moyers speaking rationally and sensibly about all this on the Bill Maher show at: He is a voice of reason speaking in the midst of the insane asylum of politics today)

The editors of The Economist magazine say America's health care debate has become a touch delirious, with people accusing each other of being evil-mongers, dealers in death, and un-American.

Well, that's charitable.

I would say it's more deranged than delirious, and definitely not un-American.

Those crackpots on the right praying for Obama to die and be sent to hell — they're the warp and woof of home-grown nuttiness. So is the creature from the Second Amendment who showed up at the President's rally armed to the teeth. He's certainly one of us. Red, white, and blue kooks are as American as apple pie and conspiracy theories.

Bill Maher asked me on his show last week if America is still a great nation. I should have said it's the greatest show on earth. Forget what you learned in civics about the Founding Fathers -- we're the children of Barnum and Bailey, our founding con men. Their freak show was the forerunner of today's talk radio.

Speaking of which: we've posted on our website an essay by the media scholar Henry Giroux. He describes the growing domination of hate radio as one of the crucial elements in a "culture of cruelty" increasingly marked by overt racism, hostility and disdain for others, coupled with a simmering threat of mob violence toward any political figure who believes health care reform is the most vital of safety nets, especially now that the central issue of life and politics is no longer about working to get ahead, but struggling simply to survive.

So here we are, wallowing in our dysfunction. Governed -- if you listen to the rabble rousers -- by a black nationalist from Kenya smuggled into the United States to kill Sarah Palin's baby. And yes, I could almost buy their belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, only I think he shipped them to Washington, where they've been recycled as lobbyists and trained in the alchemy of money laundering, which turns an old-fashioned bribe into a First Amendment right.

Only in a fantasy capital like Washington could Sunday morning talk shows become the high church of conventional wisdom, with partisan shills treated as holy men whose gospel of prosperity always seems to boil down to lower taxes for the rich.

Poor Obama. He came to town preaching the religion of nice. But every time he bows politely, the harder the Republicans kick him.

No one's ever conquered Washington politics by constantly saying "pretty please" to the guys trying to cut your throat. (THAT'S FOR SURE!)

Let's get on with it, Mr. President. We're up the proverbial creek with spaghetti as our paddle. This health care thing could have been the crossing of the Delaware, the turning point in the next American Revolution -- the moment we put the mercenaries to rout, as General Washington did the Hessians at Trenton. We could have stamped our victory "Made in the USA." We could have said to the world, "Look what we did!" And we could have turned to each other and said, "Thank you."

As it is, we're about to get health care reform that measures human beings only in corporate terms of a cost-benefit analysis. I mean this is topsy-turvy -- we should be treating health as a condition, not a commodity.

As we speak, Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, has been fined a record $2.3 billion dollars as a civil and criminal -- yes, that's criminal, as in fraud -- penalty for promoting prescription drugs with the subtlety of the Russian mafia. It's the fourth time in a decade Pfizer's been called on the carpet. And these are the people into whose tender mercies Congress and the White House would deliver us?

Come on, Mr. President. Show us America is more than a circus or a market. Remind us of our greatness as a democracy. When you speak to Congress next week, just come out and say it. We thought we heard you say during the campaign last year that you want a government run insurance plan alongside private insurance — mostly premium-based, with subsidies for low-and-moderate income people. Open to all individuals and employees who want to join and with everyone free to choose the doctors we want. We thought you said Uncle Sam would sign on as our tough, cost-minded negotiator standing up to the cartel of drug and insurance companies and Wall Street investors whose only interest is a company's share price and profits.

Here's a suggestion, Mr. President: ask Josh Marshall to draft your speech. Josh is the founder of the website He's a journalist and historian, not a politician. He doesn't split things down the middle and call it a victory for the masses. He's offered the simplest and most accurate description yet of a public insurance plan -- one that essentially asks people: would you like the option — the voluntary option -- of buying into Medicare before you're 65? Check it out, Mr. President.

This health care thing is make or break for your leadership, but for us, it's life and death. No more Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. President. We need a fighter.

That's it for the Journal. I'm Bill Moyers. See you next time.

How far can the rightwing INSANITY go?

Watch the following two very short videos of mothers fearful about Obama's speech to the school kids (which he is giving right now). They tell the story of right wing insanity far better than anything I could say. Of course, none of the nutcases who are keeping their kids home from school today will be listening to his speech--they actually DO fear it might turn them into Nazis...or worse. My god, hasn't this gone far enough? The control the right wing propagandists have over the stupids in their ranks is obscene.

As one commenter puts it: The woman (in the 2nd video) is obviously play-acting, but can you really spot the difference between her and those dumdums at the town halls? Can you distinguish her rhetoric from that of the so-called "thinkers" of the con-servative movement? American con-servatism is a brain defect ..., and the Republicon Party is a den of vipers. 'Nuff said.

Monday, September 07, 2009


by David Michael Green

I share the opinion of Professor Green -- and also the following reader's comments: The National Democratic Party recently sent me a pledge form.

I returned it with a note saying that I wouldn't be giving the party another dime until it got what the great Bill Moyers suggested: a spine implant.

This is a party that will ALWAYS snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Unless something changes, unless Obama and his lieutenants come right out and tell the GOP to bugger off, I'm done with Reid and Rahm and the rest of the prevaricating, wavering, cynical, triangulating, pants-wetting, fair-weather cowards.

It's all quite sad -- and infuriating.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Reliving the Past -- Obama should listen to Biden!



Mr. Biden has been a voice of reason, warning the administration of the dangers of increasing our military involvement in Afghanistan. President Obama has not been inclined to heed his advice, which is worse than a shame. It’s tragic.

Watching the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan is like watching helplessly as someone you love climbs into a car while intoxicated and drives off toward a busy highway. No good can come of it.


VERY IMPORTANT ARTICLE WRITTEN BY A DOCTOR FOR ALL PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS!! Changes in diet can make an astounding difference!!! This doesn't just apply to kids with autism. So many have ADHD these days, they are being drugged daily. A Harvard Medical School neurologist is giving us a new way of looking at how to cure children of physiological/mental/emotional disturbances. The first thing this doctor says is that "Everything is connected." You will want to read entire article at:

Please pass it along -- this is an extremely important article! So many kids and parents are suffering -- and need to know this information.

Think about it. Rates of autism have skyrocketed over the years, from an estimated 1 child in 3,000 to just 1 in 150 kids today. Sure, wider criteria for diagnosis and better detection might explain some of it -- but not an increase of this magnitude.

The real reason we are seeing increasing rates of autism is simply this: Autism is a systemic body disorder that affects the brain. A toxic environment triggers certain genes in people susceptible to this condition. And research supports this position.

Today I will review some of this research and explain how imbalances in the 7 keys systems of the body may be the real cause--and thus the real cure--of autism.

Dramatic scientific discoveries have taken place during the last 10 to 20 years that reveal the true causes of autism -- and turn conventional thinking on its head. For example, Martha Herbert, MD, a pediatric neurologist from Harvard Medical School has painted a picture of autism that shows how core abnormalities in body systems like immunity, gut function, and detoxification play a central role in causing the behavioral and mood symptoms of autism.

She's also given us a new way of looking at mental disease (and disease in general) that is based on systems biology. Coming from the halls of the most conservative medical institution in the world, this is a call so loud and clear that it shatters our normal way of looking at things.

Everything is connected, Dr. Herbert says. The fact that these kids have smelly bowel movements, bloated bellies, frequent colds and ear infections, and dry skin is not just a coincidence that has nothing to do with their brain function. It is central to why they are sick in the first place! Yet conventional medicine often ignores this.


Friday, September 04, 2009

The speech Obama SHOULD give to Congress next week

...but (unfortunately) won't. Oh, how I wish he would!!! Why can't common sense and compassion finally prevail in our country? (Answer: Because of corporate/government power and greed)

As imagined by Dave Lindorff

My Fellow Americans.

I stand before you a chastened president. I made a mistake. Two mistakes really. (wild applause from Republican side)

I thought that Congress could do its job and through the deliberative process, produce a health care reform plan that would win broad support across the aisle and among all of you. But I'm afraid that I was wrong. Health care is an enormous industry--maybe the biggest and most powerful industry in the country--and it has far too much power in Washington. Literally thousands of lobbyists, carrying tens of billions of dollars in campaign contributions--have invaded these halls (and my house too!) (relieved laughter) and distorted the process, and in the end have stymied reform. (some hissing)

Meanwhile, I have realized that the answer has been staring us in the face all along.

And that was my second mistake. I told the American Medical Association that while single-payer medical plans, where the government is the insurer, might work well in other countries, the idea of government running health care was not part of our American tradition. In fact, it is, and has been since 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Medicare program. Medicare is a single-payer program, and polls and surveys show it is enormously popular with older and disabled Americans. Medicare has relieved our parents and grandparents from the fear that they will not get medical care when they stop working, and it has lifted the enormous burden and worry off of younger Americans over how to pay for the care of their elders, and it has done this with enormous efficiency, all while allowing recipients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. (applause)

So we really don't need to re-invent the wheel. There is no point in members of Congress having to hold endless hearings, and to sit and listen to the pitches of lobbyists from the medical establishment. We can just expand Medicare to cover everyone. (applause)

How much would that cost? Well, we know that 10% of the elderly--the oldest and sickest among them--account for 50% of total Medicare costs, so that means the other 90% only cost some $200 billion a year. Even if we assumed that the rest of the population's medical bills were as high as those 90%, it would mean that expanding Medicare to cover them would cost less than $1 trillion a year, and probably closer to $750 billion. So roughly speaking, we're talking about adding $750 billion a year to the cost of Medicare.

Now that's a big number, and I know that some of you--a lot of you--worry about higher taxes. But let me assure you, expanding Medicare to cover everyone is going to save you money--virtually everyone. Let's look at why that is, and why you cannot just look at the federal tax when you consider those savings.

Today, the United States spends nearly 20 percent of GDP on health care. That is more than double what any other country in the world spends on health care. And you know what? We don't get our moneys' worth for all that dough. Canadians, who spend half that percentage of their GDP on health care, and who have what amounts to Medicare for all with their single-payer system (they call it Medicare too), have longer lifespans and better infant mortality statistics than we do. In fact, Cuba and Mexico have better child health statistics than we do!

By the way, I want to introduce, in the gallery, Shirley Jean Douglass, whose father, Tommy Douglass, was the founder of Canada's Medicare program. We will be consulting closely with experts and administrators of Canada's Medicare program as we move forward with our own reform. (applause)

Now I've been accused of lecturing (laughs and applause), and I don't want to sound like a college professor here, but let me just highlight a few reasons why simply expanding Medicare to cover all of us makes not just moral but economic sense. If we were to make that change, we could immediately eliminate the Medicaid program, which as you know is funded by the states, and costs them (and you) about $400 billion a year, mostly to cover low-income families and individuals. Now that money would not be totally eliminated, because Medicare currently doesn't cover all health care costs--just 80%. And Medicaid covers the remaining 20% for those elderly and disabled people who cannot afford to pay for Medi-Gap private plans. Even so, eliminating Medicaid for the poor, who would be switched to Medicare, would save at least $300 billion. We could also eliminate the Veterans Administration--which incidentally is an excellent example of true government healthcare, with publicly owned hospitals and doctors on salary, and it runs very well and very efficiently.

Something those folks at last month's town meetings who were saying government can't do anything right should think about. (wild applause from Democratic side)

Sorry. I just had to say that. (more applause)

Anyhow, eliminating the VA would save another $100 billion so we've already saved more than half the amount that was added to the cost of Medicare in order to cover everyone. (applause)

But there are far more savings.

One of the biggest would be the elimination of about $300 billion that is spent each year by hospitals and doctors to provide care to people with no insurance who end up in hospital emergency rooms. The cost of this "charity care" is factored into higher hospital and physician bills, and ultimately into higher insurance premiums paid by the rest of us. Since all those people would now be covered by Medicare, that expense would vanish.

American companies currently pay about 25 billion a year in workers compensation insurance--money that ultimately comes out of workers' paychecks. That would no longer be necessary, because people injured on the job would be covered by Medicare. (smattering of applause mostly from Republican side)

Car insurance rates would be dramatically lower, because car insurance would no longer have to pay for medical costs following an accident. The same is true for homeowners insurance, which would no longer have to cover the costs of someone being injured on your property. (applause from Pennsylvania delegation, with among the highest car insurance rates in the nation)

And of course, the biggest savings of all--about $3000 per person or $12,000 per family every year--namely the cost of private insurance premiums paid by you and/or your employer, would be gone. Think about that a minute: no more co-pays, no more annual deductibles, no more employee share of insurance premiums for yourself or your family. And for businesses that provide health care coverage, a huge savings that will make them more competitive in the global marketplace, and that will also allow them to pay higher wages to their employees. (prolongedapplause)

Oh, and there is one other huge, if unquantifiable savings to consider. If everyone has Medicare, the total cost of health care will go down dramatically, because everyone will be getting timely treatment, instead of having to put of exams and early treatment of illness or injury. And no one will suffer the terrible anxiety or worrying about whether they can pay for health care for themselves and their families.

So yes, your Medicare withholding will be perhaps 25% higher if we expand Medicare to cover everyone. That tax is currently set at 2.9% for you and 2.9% for your employer, so it would go up to about 3.7% of your paycheck. For someone earning $600 a week, that would represent an increased deduction of about $4.50 a week. For someone earning $1200 a week, it would be an increased deduction of $9. That is a pretty good deal for not having to pay for insurance coverage any more, wouldn't you agree? (applause, plus some boos from largely silent Republican side)

Now for you folks already receiving Medicare, there have been a lot of scare stories out there, some of them being promoted by some irresponsible people right in this chamber (pause for applause and nervous laughter), suggesting that if we expand health care coverage, it will come off of your benefits. Don't you believe it! (applause)

We live in a democracy, and when a lot of people want something, or benefit from something, they collectively defend that particular thing. In the case of Medicare, if everyone is receiving it, and receiving it in the same manner as everyone else, that creates a huge voting bloc in favor of defending that benefit, so by expanding Medicare to all, we would be creating a powerful political force that will defend Medicare from attack, just as the universality of Social Security has made that program bullet-proof (something my predecessor learned when he tried to promote the idea of privatizing it). (wild applause from Democratic side)

So here's the deal.

I'm admitting it was the wrong move to try to lay it on you poor folks in Congress come up with some completely new, complicated reform our existing health care system--if you can even call it that. My good friend and former colleague in this building, Chairman John Conyers, had it right all along: We have a great system that we just need to expand to cover everyone.

So to get it started, I'm going to send Congress a couple of bills. One would immediately shift everyone eligible for Medicare over to Medicare. I'm calling this the States' Medical Cost Relief and Medicare Expansion Act. It will not only begin the process of expanding Medicare, but will provide badly needed financial relief to states that are suffering from declining tax revenues and rising health care costs because of the recession. (applause)

I will also send Congress a bill that will expand Medicare coverage to all Americans and to legal residents. (applause, some boos from Republicans)

I am sure that as financially sound as this change is, there will be opposition from the medical industry, so let me add that this is, for me, a moral imperative too. For too long, this great country has allowed health care to be a matter of whether or not you had a job with health benefits, or enough money to pay for insurance yourself. That is unacceptable. We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and just as we believe that every child needs an education, we believe that everyone deserves to have access to quality medical care. (loud applause)

So let me add this: If Congress does not pass these two bills by the end of the current session, in time for the holiday recess in December, I will declare a national emergency because of the recession and the huge rise in the uninsured that it has caused, and will issue executive orders implementing both these measures. It's not the way I would prefer to see things done, but if Congress cannot act, I promise you and the American people, I will. (applause and boos)

Let me also say that this program is a priority for me and for all Americans, and anyone--Republican or Democrat--who gets in the way can expect to hear from me, and from the American people, in this coming election year. (applause)

Thank you and good night. (applause)

DAVE LINDORFF is not a speechwriter for the president. He is, however, the author of "Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For-Profit Hospital Chains" (Bantam Books, 1992). His work is available at

Political manipulation of the threat level

EXCELLENT analysis by John Dean of Tom Ridge's claim in his new book, hot off the presses. Ridge claims that, in his role as Homeland Security czar, he was pressured by Ashcroft and Rumsfeld to raise the color-coded threat levels, without any intelligence justification, just before the 2004 election. Ridge says he questioned this at the time in his own mind: was this being done for political reasons? (D'oh!) All of this is plainly spoken of in his book--and has been used by the publisher and author to drum up sales for the book. BUT--when interviewed on Rachel Maddow's show, Ridge backpedaled like crazy, ending up denying what he wrote in his own book!!! Talk about rightwing duplicity/hypocrisy!! (And you have to wonder what kind of threats has Ridge been receiving since writing those words. Is he backpedaling to save his life? Just wondering...) Read the following for the complete story:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

AN ESSAY OF GREAT WISDOM--if only Obama would follow it

by Lincoln Mitchell

EXCERPT:  If the Democrats pass the health care bill, and are able to do it with a public option, not only will the Republican Party have been proven beyond a doubt to be irrelevant in Washington today, but they will have once again put themselves on the opposing side of groundbreaking legislation. It might be better for America if this program were passed with bipartisan support, but passing it alone won't hurt the Democrats. Failing to take advantage of this opportunity will, on the other hand, hurt both the Democratic Party and the country which it governs.

David Brooks, among others, has argued that for Obama to pass health care legislation without any Republican support would be a big mistake and ultimately even destroy his Democratic majority. This argument raises two important questions. The first question is: so what? Clearly it is worth trading off this temporary Democratic majority for health care reform. The reason millions of Americans voted Democratic last fall was to pass progressive legislation such as health care reform. There is little point in having a Democratic majority if the party is afraid to use its majority to actually do anything. Inevitably the Democratic majority will be reduced and eventually the Republicans will come back in power. It would be a mistake to let this time go by without passing progressive legislation and get nothing out of this period of Democratic dominance, however long or brief it may be.