Saturday, January 30, 2010

An American Poem

Free as Birds in the Perilous Night.

This is a tale of a people who were free as birds in high steeples.
They had wise leaders and good laws and fair judges. This is what set them apart
from all others to start.

They worked hard and long building a place where people felt safe. They even invited others to share in their wealth. However, these folks had to make a real effort. Most did not care if they were white, black, red, pink or yellow as long as they worked hard and were good fellows. There were of course some rules to follow but not so many as to make them feel hollow.

Now not everything was perfect in this place of good cheer. Because as you know there were no perfect persons here. They always had their ups and their downs as they built up their farms and cities and towns. They even treated many unfairly and had awful conflicts until they could see things more clearly.

They had children galore and they would have lots more. The kids brightened their spaces. Some went to schools and some worked with tools and some went of to war and other bad places. Some had no children at all but that was okay because that was their choice and they still had a voice. Some loved their companions in an opposite way. This caused some concern but was eventually solved as the people evolved.

They had some bad times some Dust and a Bust. They fought several wars even one deemed unjust. Then they did nothing at all and some were emboldened. These took out two buildings that came down in showers. It must be said that the innocents killed had no intent to hurt those who brought down the two towers. However, in the end, the people stayed mighty and united.

Then came an action against a faction maybe not involved in the fray. Thus were the people divided. Some into red and some into blue and and some, just a few, who were independent. This division continued for many a year and left many in fear that the country would be held in derision.

So as time has gone by, they continued in flight. Some stayed to the right. Some stayed to the left. Some stayed in the middle. And some did nothing at all. Those that always went right and those that always went left found themselves going in circles. Those in the middle also had problems because that path is muddled. And those who did nothing at all will still be around if we fall.

So I ask, does might make right? Is it black or white? Is it red or blue? Or, do we even have a clue? Can’t we back off of this perilous path by being ourselves? Can’t we be true to the calling we have? Aren’t we the light in the perilous night so all the world’s people can see that there is a chance to ensure that their future is bright?

By: Jesse Jon Hall --- January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

President Obama's Dilemma

President Obama gave another good speech about the "State of the Union" the other night. It was an OK talk that had a few light and a few heavy moments. He played to the press, the left, the right, the middle and tried to stay true to his views.

WTFO- I've watched both of his speeches to Congress. At the first he was impolitely called a liar. During this speech a member of the Supreme Court tacitly implied that he was a liar (mouthed that what he said was not true). In addition, I thought I heard several calls of derision from the Republican side of the aisle. What ever happened to politeness and common decency? It is one thing to have an opinion and an opposite view. However, when the President of the United States is derided and called a liar in front of the entire world it should embarrass us. That behavior certainly emboldens our enemies and discourages our friends.

The fact is, it does not matter who the president is, Congress (and the Supreme Court) just does not get it!

No matter who the president is, Congress holds the keys to our future as a country. They can't get along and they can't work together to do any of the work that will help the people. They can get big paychecks, have great healthcare, build their fortunes, take all the perks they want from special interests and just go on day-to-day without suffering any consequences. In fact, the only time they suffer is when they get caught lying, stealing money or having an affair.

The right-leaning Supreme Court can sit back and interpret the Constitution for the benefit of big money, corporations and unions with no regard for the voice of the individual.

Is there anyone out there who believes that we need to have a way to have the issues that are really important (to us) brought directly before the PEOPLE (A Federal Initiative System) such as those initiative systems available in several states? Then Congress could concentrate on the really meaty issues such as regulating cell phones on the highway and building bridges to nowhere.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Corporation and First Amendment Rights

The recent majority decision by the U. S. Supreme Court regarding the regulation of the corporate "right" of free speech is confounding. I asked the question "when did corporations become people"? I found a good dissertation of this concept on Third World Traveller's web page. Good reading. The treatment of corporations as people can be traced back to the 1880's and was reenforced in the 1970's and beyond. So it is a well established precedent. However, I re-read the U. S. Constitution just recently and nowhere in the document can I find the word corporation. I can find the words "We The People".

WTFO- In this recent case, defeating the Mc Cain/Feingold legislation is a very narrow decision. A corporate group made a movie of Hillary Clinton and wanted to show it on commercial communication channels within a time frame prohibited by the ACT. By my way of thinking, preventing the showing of the corporate movie was not an infringement of that corporations right to free speech. Here is why. I don't think it was illegal for that corporation to have this movie shown in public theaters, or on television or streamed to internet sites. In fact, it is my understanding that this movie was available to the public in these forms. So, the "public" was not denied the opportunity to view this movie if the public so chose.

I am reminded of Michael Moore's movies. These were available (and are still available) to view at anytime by any individual who wishes to see them.

So, how could the corporation even claim that their "First Amendment Rights" were violated? I am not a "respected scholar" such as those esteemed men and women on the United States Supreme Court nor am I an Expert on the Constitution of the United States however, I do believe that the Majority opinion is biased in this case.

I believe that this decision is a fatal blow to my right as an individual to make an informed an educated voting decisions. Now I will have to endure countless hours of corporate advertising in all forms of communication in the last 30days prior to any election. Everyone knows the power of words and pictures. Only the moneyed people (corporations, unions and others) will have the power (money) to get their views in the media and to the masses. Individual rights are now smothered by corporate rights.

I am for a new amendment to our Constitution regarding this situation. How about you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Well, for what is is worth, I am back. My wife made it through her surgery OK and I'm thankful for that. Received the hospital/doctors charges and it was over 100K Dollars. I have good health coverage but I am always amazed at hospital and doctors charges. Anyway, it got me to thinking about health care issue and cost controls. Here are some thoughts.

We live in a capitalist society that is supposed to thrive on competition and the checks and balances of a free market. This means that the person / corporation who can provide the best product at the lowest competitive price should be rewarded with the lion's share of the consumers business. However, it seems as though health insurance companies, doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses and all others in the health industry want their cake and eat it too so to speak. They set and control the price of their various services and under the new health care plan we will be forced to buy (in a pool) their services at their price. If we don't, we will be fined or penalized. WTFO- Is this a "Free Market"?

Along these lines, I am old enough to remember when the people did not have any type of health insurance / health coverage. I know for a fact that my mother and father had none. This in a time when doctors made house calls and a hospital stay did not put one in debt for a lifetime. Nor did a doctors house call or one's surgery or stay in a hospital require others to "chip in" to pay for another's health care.

I had three stays in a (Catholic) hospital when I was a child. All required a doctor's care and each event required at least a one week stay in the hospital. I know that with my parent's income at the time they could not have afforded a high-cost hospital or doctor's bill. So, how did they manage to pay for those three events? Why do you suppose that doctors made house calls or that surgery and a hospital stay did not cost and arm and a leg? I believe that at that time doctors and hospitals had to compete. They did not have an insurance company or the government (We The People) to pay their bills.

Somehow, around the year1956, things changed. That is when I first started hearing about Kaiser (insurance) Plans. It seems to me that that with the invention of medicare and health insurance everything changed. Doctors stopped making house calls, people began to abuse the system, go to the doctor for every little sniffle or use the emergency room for non-emergency care. With these inventions, (interfering with a free market) health costs began to rise.

Would it better to go back to a free market and pure competition in our health care? If each person / family were responsible for their own health care costs would fewer people go to the doctor or go to the emergency room? Would people keep better care of themselves? If fewer people went to hospitals or to a doctor would not those institutions have to lower their prices and make themselves more available?

I said at the beginning of this article, I have good health coverage. However, I also know that not only me but someone else has to pay for this benefit. It seems to me that such a system encourages the health care industry to charge whatever they can get away with because so many people are paying into it. There has to be a better way and I think that we may be better off to be self-reliant as were the americans of an earlier time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

To Ms. Chilli : The "O" stands for "OVER" as at the end of a radio transmission where the person transmitting ends his or her transmission with the statement OVER to let the person receiving know that his or her transmission has ended.
Thanks for commenting on my blog. Also many thanks to those who have become followers. I have not posted new blogs lately as I have been busy helping my wife get through surgery. However I will start up again soon. Again, thanks for your time and energy in reading my blog and commenting on them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Never in My Wildest Deams

Just read in the paper about a right wing politician saying that if Obama's health plan passes the U.S.A. will have a mini-revolution.

WTFO- Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would see this much hullabaloo over an issue. I guess that is why all the right wingers are arming themselves at an alarming rate. What are they going to do bomb more government buildings (Tim McVeigh style)? It is sad to think that we must rattle swords instead of having a debate about ideas. I have not heard one idea from the right except NO WE CANT.

Small business and large corporations are fighting the health plan tooth and nail. Can't Rush Limbaugh's and other republican followers figure out that they are fomenting and promoting violence against innocent people just to keep from spending their money? It is true that they would take the pennies off a dead mans eyes just so they could have bigger houses, nicer cars and more power. In fact, sadly, most owners and heads of businesses large or small think that the common laborer and working man is just ignorant and stupid.

He who is given much is obliged to give much!