Archive for June, 2007

The PBS debate was the first good debate

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Oh My!  What a breath of fresh air.  FOX tried to spice up their debates with a lot more interaction with the moderator to which CNN topped that by having Wolf Blitzer speak more than any other candidate.  Both just turned into an unfair and unequal farce of what a debate should be.  PBS had a debate tonight allowing equal time and the candidates speaking in an orderly manner and none diminished by lack of exposure as happened grossly in both previous debates.  No candidate was squeezed out by the ego of a moderator or the focusing on the star candidates.  PBS.org will host the replay of the debate video that must be seen.  I see the Republicans will have a debate hosted by the same group September 27th.  Considering the topic of inequality (highlighted by today’s Supreme Court rulings rolling back the Brown v Board of Education decision which is the basis for Civil Rights coming to schools across America) was the common thread of all questions it will be interesting to see how Republicans will spin the answer to the question of how the Bush Tax Break that helped the top 2% benefits the poor or perhaps how 50,000,000 without insurance cannot lead to Universal Health Care for all.  The substance of the debate showed the Democratic vision of what to do with social programs and help people that need help and the lack of such vision the Republicans have.  Not that there was anything truly surprising said but it was the form of the debate that was interesting.  Of course everyone had their answers down and no one was caught off guard and I believe it just highlighted the fact that the Democrats have a stable of solid candidates with great ideas and there are no losers in the batch.  Again, PBS.org hosts the video replay of the Democratic debate beginning in the morning of 6/29/07.  It is must see for politicos.

OK…I officially hate Mitt Romney!

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

I officially hate Mitt Romney.  As if his political positions are not enough but now I officially hate Mitt Romney! 

What do you know about the present state of things in the world?

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Here is a poll from MSNBC that asks many questions about social and political issues we see in our world today.  Some of the questions about Iraq make me scared since they show how little people really know about the biggest news story in the past several decades.  The answers about American Idol reinforced my view of America.  Story is here.

That stupid email that wanted me to avoid buying gas for one day

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

I received that email from seemingly everyone I know trying to get me to not buy gas for one day.  The idea was that the oil companies would choke on gas and the world would all correct itself because i didn’t fill my tank that day.  The concept was hugely flawed as Snopes shows here.  The larger concept was that it would make a difference.  If you REALLY want to make a difference please pass this video onto the people that sent you the boycott email and stress that making a difference doesn’t hinge on one day’s action.  Video is here

Math class bringing awareness of social injustice

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

I never saw math like this but if I did maybe I wouldn’t have hated it so much. 
 

Pick a social issue and you will get a math lesson.  Your homework is here
 

Radical Math Teachers are educators who work to integrate issues of political, economic, and social justice into our math classes, and we seek to inspire and support other educators to do the same.
 

We are committed to making sure our classrooms are places that are nurturing for all students, that celebrate different cultures, histories, and styles of learning, and that reflect the just societies we are hoping to bring about through our own lives and teaching practices.
 

We encourage our students to ask the question: “What are the problems that my community is facing, and how can I use math to understand and help solve them?”
 

We seek to foster a love of mathematics in our students and to ensure they become mathematically literate.   We also prepare our students for math-based college majors and careers.
 

We believe that it is possible to teach math from a social justice perspective and at the same time cover state and national standards, prepare students for standardized tests (which we don’t necessarily support), and allow for the exploration of mathematical ideas on abstract, theoretical, experimental and artistic levels.

An open letter to Republicans who are NOT millionaires…or billionaires.

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

A letter from 2004.  Not necessarily the best written nor does it have specifics backing up the author’s points.  The broad strokes are true.  The last paragraph where he says he supports the Patriot Act’s allowance of the government to search your home and all records without cause is either a very funny line or something out of George Orwell’s 1984…I can’t tell. 
 

 

http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/04/02/con04075.html
 

 

Letter to a Non-Wealthy Republican
 

A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
by David Swanson
 

I have often heard Democrats accuse Republicans of being selfish. That’s nonsense. The economic policies of the Bush Administration have dramatically benefited only the wealthiest two percent of Americans. There are a lot of Republicans nowhere near that level of wealth. To my mind, most people who have voted Republican have not been selfish enough. I encourage everyone to vote their economic self-interest.
 

By voting Republican, you are voting for higher taxes. The vast majority of President Bush’s tax cuts have gone to corporations and the extremely wealthy. What tiny cuts other people have received have been more than made up for by hikes in state and local taxes and fees. By closing loopholes for corporations and asking the super-wealthy to continue to pay their share, it would be possible to significantly reduce taxes on those who actually have trouble paying them — that is, most of us.
 

By voting Republican, you are voting to send jobs overseas. President Bush is the first president since Hoover who is expected to finish his term with fewer jobs in the country than there were when he entered office. In fact, we’ve lost about 3 million jobs under Bush. Tax cuts for the super-wealthy didn’t create jobs, so Bush tried tax cuts for the super-wealthy in case that might do it, and when that failed Bush gave tax cuts for the super-wealthy a try — but with no success. He’s out of ideas, but he steadfastly supports the trade agreements that are hurting our country and others, benefiting only multinational corporations. If we want to keep good-paying jobs in this country and encourage them elsewhere, we need a different approach to trade that replaces NAFTA and the WTO with agreements that don’t destroy jobs.
 

By voting Republican, you are voting to pay more for health care. Every other wealthy nation in the world pays less and receives more health care than we do, because we have something they don’t: our beloved HMOs and for-profit health insurance companies. We could do what other countries do and provide private health care with complete choice of doctors but with everything paid for by the government for less than what we’re paying now. We could fund it with a tax on employers that would be lower than what they now pay for lousy insufficient health insurance. You would have no more premiums or co-payments. You’d just have comprehensive and preventive care. We all would, from cradle to grave, including the 45 million of us who now have no coverage at all.
 

By voting Republican, you are voting against affordable prescription drugs. There is no reason why Americans should pay 64 percent more than Canadians for prescription drugs. The same single-payer health care system that pays for your doctor visits can provide you with prescription drugs at no cost. But don’t wait for Bush to create it.
 

If you keep voting Republican, you will be voting for lousy schools and voting to keep paying for preschool and college that could easily be free. We have the money to create not only excellent primary and secondary schools, but also to make quality pre-Kindergarten and college available free of cost. These projects sound like fantasies, but they would actually cost much less than what Bush has spent on tax cuts for millionaires.
 

If you vote for Bush, you are voting for unaffordable housing. We could create jobs at the same time as affordable housing if we acted nationally on the model that some states and cities have had great success with. Don’t hold your breath as long as Bush is president.
 

If you don’t vote to stop Bush after his first four years, you are opting not to be paid for overtime, not to have any job security or pension security, not to adjust the minimum wage for inflation. You are choosing longer hours for lower pay.
 

If you vote to give this guy four more years in the White House, you will be putting Social Security at risk of being privatized and gambled away on Wall Street. Social Security is sound through 2042 and will stay that way if you vote for someone who will leave it alone.
 

Of course, there are a lot of other non-economic reasons to vote for a President. I think we need to set them aside. I resent being lied to and the lives and dollars being poured into this war in Iraq. Others think it’s courageous and noble. Let’s set that aside.
 

I have problems with the “PATRIOT Act,” which allows the government to search your home and private records without cause or notification. Others think that’s necessary. Let’s set that aside for a moment.
 

And let’s try to get past the so-called social issues. I suspect that you don’t view voting Republican as voting against your economic interest, but as voting for something else: defending your traditions or your morality. But keeping gay people from getting married won’t make your own marriage any easier if you can’t pay the bills. Protecting fetuses won’t protect children if we can’t provide them health care or education.
 

And no justification for voting for Bush will prevent billionaires from laughing at you all the way to the bank.
 

David Swanson
www.davidswanson.org
 

A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY

Do you need a booster seat at Denny’s?

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Can you see over the dashboard when you are driving down the street for your dinner in a sack?  How are those lifts working in your shoes?  One of the most interesting looks at the overall power of a First World nation and the weakness of a Third World nation exists at the North Korea/South Korea border.  That look will have you see the handful of South Korean border guards, of whom all are over 6 feet tall.  As you look to the north you will see the North Korean border guards checking in at a little less than five and a half feet tall.  This was highlighted in a CNN report on North Korea.  What makes one set of border guards taller than the other?  Nutrition and health care and the way people live overall.  America has been the tallest nation for 200 years and that has come to an end.  Why are we no longer the tallest nation?  NO it is NOT immigration because even when Hispanics are excluded from the numbers we are not the tallest in the world anymore as we have been passed by Denmark.  It is due to the fast food-ization of the nation and the lack of health care for children when bones are forming.  Story is here
 

But then again what do you expect when 9 million children have no health insurance?
 

Begin outrage here
 

Continue outrage here
 

Encounter more rage here
 

Now go eat your veggies shorty!

Health Care in the USA is in need of health care itself

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

In military news, a new Harvard Medical School study shows around 1.8 million U.S. veterans lack basic health insurance or access to care. The number of uninsured veterans has increased by nearly three hundred thousand since President Bush took office in 2000.  Story is here
 
So what is the backlog of VA cases?  It is obscene!  Check out the first paragraph here.  Story is here
 

So how many Americans so not have health insurance plans?  Even FOX News can’t spin this.  Story is here  The huge number of uninsured Americans now exceeds the cumulative population of 24 states plus the District of Columbia.  Story is here
 

Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. This report—an update to two earlier editions—includes data from surveys of patients, as well as information from primary care physicians about their medical practices and views of their countries’ health systems. Compared with five other nations—Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom—the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. The U.S. is the only country in the study without universal health insurance coverage, partly accounting for its poor performance on access, equity, and health outcomes.  Story is here
 

So in which states are you going to fare best if you are sick?  Story is here
 

Among 33 industrialized nations, the United States is tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly 5 per 1,000 babies, according to a new report. Latvia’s rate is 6 per 1,000.
Story is here
 

America spends twice as much for health care as other industrialized nations. For that investment, the United States has bought the highest infant mortality rate among 23 industrialized nations; one of the lowest healthy life expectancy rates for people older than age 60, some of the highest insurance administrative costs and among the lowest use of electronic health records, or EHRs.  Story is here
 

A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses (14). Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.  Story is here
 

 

Watch the video clip and see why things are the way they are in our nation.  Story is here
 

A truly in-depth view of income, poverty and health insurance from the US Census.  Story is here
 

 

When someone says they are pro life…ask them if they are pro Universal Health Care because the two are hand in hand and those that are not pro Universal Healthcare CANNOT logically be pro life.  How can they?

A view of Presidential elections

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

America has ebbed and flowed in its political leanings for President.  In this series of images I cannot understand how Mississippi turned so flamingly red when previously it was green for Labor considering the two are the antithesis of one another.  Image is here

Why has there been no revolution in America?

Friday, June 15th, 2007

There is a super wealthy and politically powerful Upper Class that is literally raping the nation.  Meanwhile, the huge Lower Class continues to lose economic ground while their elected representatives sell them out to benefit the Upper Class.  Yet no rational person thinks that a large fraction of the population is ready to rise up in revolt against the evil status quo political-economic system that so clearly is not serving the interests of the overwhelming majority of Americans.  Why not?  Story is here

Hottest year ever

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Hottest year ever.  Story is here

DemocracyNow featured excerpts from Michael Moore’s latest movie “Sicko”.

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

DemocracyNow featured excerpts from Michael Moore’s latest movie “Sicko”. 
Here is the official website for the movie http://www.sicko-themovie.com/
Here is the movie’s YouTube page with more personal comments on health insurance.  “Sicko” is due to be released on 6/29/07. 

 
   

 

Ahead of “Sicko” Release, Michael Moore Brings Health Care Campaign to California State Assembly

Michael Moore’s campaign to overhaul the nation’s health care industry has officially begun. On Tuesday, the Academy Award winning filmmaker joined 1,000 members of the California Nurses Association in a rally outside the California State House to secure guaranteed health care for all in this country. Moore also testified at an unofficial legislative briefing inside the State House. The organizing coincides with the upcoming release of “Sicko”, Moore’s new documentary on the nation’s health care system.
 
   

 

“Sicko” Interviewees Tell Harrowing First-Hand Stories of U.S. Health Care Failures

As Michael Moore called for legal action against health insurance executives, lawmakers also heard testimony from several people featured in “Sicko.” Dawnelle Keys talked about how her 18-month-old daughter died after being denied treatment at a hospital. Andy Bales of the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles testified about how hospitals dump patients on Skid Row. And Dr. Linda Peeno spoke about her work as a medical reviewer for the health insurer Humana. She says she denied one patient a life-saving operation to protect company profits.

 

 

If we give bombs to the Iraqi insurgents…what can go wrong with that?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

We have been fighting the Sunni insurgency for 4 years in Iraq and now we give them bombs.  Read about that idiocy here.

Only chumps pay taxes!!

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Only chumps pay taxes!!!  Why pay taxes?  Taxes are for little people.  If you paid taxes you didn’t do it right!  For instance take a look at these huge multinational corporations and guess their tax bill. 
 

Take GE for instance, they made $11 billion in profit.  Guess what their tax bill was?
 

Take SBC for instance with their almost $9 billion in profit…guess what they paid in taxes.
 

AT&T made $5.5 billion in profits and their tax bill was what??
 

Compare and contrast your taxes you paid with some of the biggest corporations in the nation here.  So you say you paid more in taxes than a massive corporation making billions of dollars?  You aren’t doing it right!

If Bush was an alcoholic then why is he drinking?

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

This is exactly the thing that ex-drunks are not supposed to do.  Look at the photo in this story

The JFK airport terror thing…um…yeah

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Things apparently were not what they seemed.  Story is here

Who really supports the troops episode 23847

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Un- Freakin- BEEE-  lievable!!!!!  Story is here

Kuwait is the next “Axis of Evil” nation

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

WMD…don’t make me laugh!

Saddam was a threat? We OWNED the northern and southern 1/3s of Iraq and the airspace above the remaining 1/3 HELLLOOO!!!  Saddam didn’t control his own country!!!

Oil?  Getting pretty warm…

Saddam’s flipping from the Dollar to the Euro for oil trade??  BINGO!  The world uses US Dollars to buy and sell all oil.  However the Dollar is dropping in buying power and the result is that holidng $1 and 1 Euro sees the dollar worth less so it makes economic sense to change to the Euro.  Who else wants to switch more and more trading to Euros?  Iran and Venezuela…which are ironically listed as evil nations.  Now it comes out that Kuwait wants to switch.  Let’s see the hilarity ensue when the nation we just rescued from Saddam a few years ago slaps us in the face with dropping the dollar.  Story is here

By the way if the world drops the Dollar for the Euro for oil trading our nation’s economy will completely fail.  Have a nice day!

Creationism vs Evolution. A cold knockout right after the ding-ding in Round 1.

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Scientific American gives 15 good reasons why Creationism is just a nice story.  Story is here