The Valdez of Our Day

The Valdez of Our Day
by
Captain Jack

Maybe a better title would be, “The Katrina of Today”, or maybe “Obama’s Katrina.”

The Obama administration has been involved in resolving this oil spill since the beginning but they have been doing a worthless job of keeping the American people informed.

It makes sense keeping BP involved in this cleanup effort since it’s their disaster and America doesn’t own off shore oil rigging equipment. Still, we need to know what is going on. It is now obvious to everyone that BP has been lying to us about the scope of the disaster. Has Obama been involved in this deception or just victim to it, but either way, it’s wrong. We need to put as much effort into this as we can.

It was a good move on our part to forbid BP from continuing to pump toxic dispersants into the waters, after how many hundreds of thousands of gallons were injected. And, why are we (and BP) pumping dispersants into the water? Is this to aid with the clean up? Doubtful.

Hey Obama, be careful what you are doing here. If you try to keep this disaster secret, you will make this a disaster worse than Bush’s handling of Katrina.

Medical Costs

Medical Costs
by
Captain Jack

In order to fix what we think is broken, we should try to understand how we got in this mess. The problem with our out-of-control medical costs exemplifies this handily. Knowing how we got in this mess will usually help us figure out how to get out of it and at the very least can help us avoid stepping in the same hole again once it’s fixed.

If you only have one power company, they can charge whatever they want for electricity and you can either pay through the nose or freeze to death. This is an example of supply and demand. There is a large demand and only a single supplier. That is why most of our power providers are tightly regulated — to prevent this type of abuse.

Computers were expensive at the beginning. I remember when my first desktop computer cost me $1300 for a run-of-the-mill computer. Now you can buy a computer for $300. Why the difference? Supply and demand, obviously. Now there are numerous companies trying to sell you a computer.

So let’s think back about 30 years. Medical care was expensive. You paid almost $30 for a doctor visit. No, not for the co-pay, not for the deductible. That was the cost of the visit. Sure, that was expensive then, but nothing like what we’re paying today.

What has changed since then? What has caused the prices to sky rocket?

Do you think that it might possibly have something to do with supply and demand? You’re right on the money.

We have a higher demand for medical care now than we did back then. There were more doctors available per patient than we have now. Considerably more. And, why is that? The reason is two fold.

1. The AMA restricts how many doctors get through a medical degree.  They control the supply. The AMA should be terminated. It is not benefiting society, but causing the deaths of many Americans due to unavailable affordable health care.

2. The second reason is along the same line. What else changed 30 years ago? What changed that affects how many people graduate from medical school? You’re probably way ahead of me on this one. Yes, it’s because the cost of education has gone through the roof. 30 years ago many colleges were free or close to free. Today, only the elite can afford to send their kids to medical school.

If we all paid $10 per year to provide free medical education to anyone interested and capable of graduating, we would save hundreds of dollars a year in medical costs. But, no, we don’t want to pay an extra dime on our taxes and see what this stingy attitude has done to our once great nation?

Define Socialism

Define Socialism
by
Captain Jack

I found it rather amusing to read David’s prior post on the social foundations of America and our founding fathers. I was not in the least suprised by the confused response to his references to socialism.

As sad as it is, Americans have no clue what Socialism is. They’re taught to hate and fear it because it represents the arch enemy of democracy, communism. Many tyrants in the world’s history have used the term socialism to hide and sweeten the sound of the awful deeds they wrought upon their people as well as the earth as a whole. Even Hitler was selling his hate-filled and corrosive politics as a form of socialism.

No wonder Americans are so afraid of the sound.

But, alas, a couple years in school (well, higher education perhaps) one quickly learns that socialism is either a political theory or an economic theory that is constructed for the benefit of society, for the benefit of the social.

Since this is primarily a political blog though not exclusively, my understanding of David’s reference to the term socialism was that of a political bent. It’s important for everyone to know that there is world of difference between socialism and communism, even though some like to blur the lines. There is also a world of difference between political socialism and economic socialism.

Obviously, political socialism is political decisions made for the benefit of society. Economic socialism is a form of economy that is similar to communism where some or all of the businesses are owned by society. It is obvious that using the term communism for this type of economy is easier to understand by everyone involved than to use the term socialism. This is obviously why the republicans try to use this confusion at every opportunity.

You can go to five different sources and get five different definitions for socialism. Too bad. It’s an easy opportunity for those intent on keeping their uneducated followers motivated. Fear Socialism!

American Values

American Values
by
David Schlecht

One of the greatest strengths of our great country is our freedom to say what we want. Freedom of Speech. No matter how much you love or hate your country, you can always feel free to make suggestions and get interviewed on the news. But, one would think that the average news media would put the America haters on much less frequently than the others, but you would be wrong.

What are some of the principles upon which America was founded? What are the first few you come up with?

Here’s my short list:

1. Freedom from an oppressive government. The constitution contains many references that protect a society free from a tyrannical government. We have freedom from undue search and seizure. This includes the right to be viewed as innocent until proven guilty.

We also have a very obvious freedom that is so basic and obvious that it is not even explicitly stated in the constitution. That is the right of Habeas Corpus. This is the law that says we can’t be imprisoned without a day in court to defend ourselves.

2. Our constitution and endless documents from the founding fathers makes it undeniably obvious that this country was also founded on the concept of freedom from religion. Our founding fathers knew that it doesn’t matter what religion it is, but if a religion controls a government then you will always end up with another Taliban. Ever heard of the Dark Ages?

It’s unacceptable for American to oppose the basic principles upon which this country was founded but our freedoms apply to those American haters as well as anyone else so they are free to have and to express their opinions.

But, why would a news outlet have these America haters on the air time after time after time? Is it possible that the news outlet hates what America stands for? Is it time to honestly evaluate your news source?

Drill Baby Drill

Drill Baby Drill
by
David Schlecht

If nothing exposes the bankrupt Republican policies, this has to to make even the most true blue Republican wonder. The week after Obama endorses offshore drilling as safe and necessary, we see a vivid and naked example of exactly what we’re doing.

Oil drilling and transportation is not safe. See what happens when we “drill baby drill?”

Today is the day we have to get serious about getting off dangerous and harmful energy. TODAY! We can’t keep waiting to pass this decision off to our kids and grandkids. TODAY!

There are better alternatives. No matter what the commercials say, nuclear energy is not one of the alternatives. It’s even less safe than oil.

Other than the profits of billionaire oil executives, is there any excuse not to get off oil starting today?