Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time Magazine Article: The ‘00s – Say Goodbye (at Last) to the Decade From Hell

What will we remember from the first decade of the 21st Century? Time Magazine concludes that it was one of the worst post-World War II, peacetime, decades ever. Quite a bit was pure nature unleashed but most of it was self inflicted. An excellent article by Time’s Andy Serwer hits the highlights spanning the decade from 2000 to today. Even though we haven’t even reached 2010 yet, and 2011 is still a little more than a year away, I have to agree that the faster we can get out of this decade the better.

Regardless of your political views or economic philosophy, the measurable events of this last decade are pretty bad. While my generation, Generation x, is just starting to flex its collective economic and political muscle, I hope that this trial by fire experience has instilled a sense of practicality and common purpose that has been missing for quite some time. A lot of mistakes were made during this decade, mistakes that have rocked us to the foundation of our economy and society. In short, it will get better, it should get better, and it has to get better (just have to get past December 21, 2012).

Please feel free to click on the hyperlink above to the article and come back to offer your thoughts and perspective. Could it be that Generation X is the next Greatest Generation since the generation that led us through the Great Depression and World War II?

Picture found at:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

RNC Purity Pledge: And they call me a COMMIE

I don't know if I should laugh, shrug it off, or be fearful that the Republicans have a list like this. This has the scary ring of "Party Loyalty" that Communist Totalitarianism (or National Socialism) demands. In similar fashion, the Republicans are PURGING the Party of anything that whispers of cooperation, bi-partisanship, or a moderation of Conservative Ideology.

In case you missed it, in order to get Republican endorsements or financial support, you have to support 7 out of the 10 Republican Commandments:

(1) support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;

(2) Support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) Support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) Support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) Support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) Support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) Support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) Support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) Support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing, denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) Support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further.

Boy! I'm sure glad they clarified all that. I guess that I'll just have to live with the disappointment of knowing that I won't get their support or money.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Healthcare Reform: Expanding quality, affordable health care options no help to Virginia according to Gov-Elect McDonnell

In case you missed it, Gov-Elect Bob McDonnell made the Sunday morning news circuit to crow about last Tuesday’s sweeping victory in Virginia. When asked about the U.S. House of Representative bill that was narrowly passed (220-215) just before midnight on Saturday, Gov-Elect McDonnell admitted that he hadn’t read the entire bill but that “either way my preference would be not to have Virginia participate from what I know this plan contains.” He went further stating that he’s “very concerned about turning this significant section of the American economy over to the federal government.” Where do I begin…?

First, for all the ranting and raving from the Tea Baggers, Birthers, and the rest of the Conservative Purists about Congressional Members (Democrats and President Obama) about not reading the bill, when are they going to pick up their pitchforks and torches and go after the Gov-Elect for not having “read the entire bill?” The answer… They’re not. They got their guy and they are just fine to continue using duct tape and Crisco for their version of health care.

Second, while the U.S. Federal Government is the largest employer in the nation and has greater collective bargaining power to negotiate rates and reimbursements to private insurers, and the Medicaid and Medicare systems (along with the VA, and Armed Services) are government run and for the most part work very well, they still don’t have the 25% administrative costs that private insurance has and passes along to their policy holders. Also, private health insurers are exempt from federal anti-trust laws which allow them to collaborate and “conspire” to set rates in a totally un-capitalistic and non-competitive system. For all their hollow advocacy for pure market competition, fiscal and social Conservatives continue to support the private health insurance industry which already has a non-competitive advantage over this “significant section” of the American economy.

I guess that the additional public options that Gov-Elect Bob McDonnell supports are laying hands, speaking in tongues, dancing with rattlesnakes and drinking their venom, or praying in front of a TV tuned to the 700 Club. Lest we forget that God gave man FREE WILL to make rational decisions. There’s nothing rational about healthcare reform that doesn’t have some form of a Public Option and doesn’t take away the anti-trust exemption from private health insurance to make them compete. It just isn’t Christian to support suffering and greed.