Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mark Twain's War Prayer - - Excerpt

" . . . O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen . . . ."

Single Payer Health Care Now

18,000 people die every year in the United States  because they are refused treatment in a hospital.  Why?  They have no health care insurance.  47 million Americans do not have health insurance - - 6 million more than when the Supreme Court chose George Bush as their president.  Millions more are about to loose their insurance as they loose their jobs.  With real unemployment now hovering around 17 percent, millions more people are without insurance.  Millions of us just one illness away from poverty and destitution while the health-insurance company owners are awash in profit, pounds of flesh ripped from the bodies of “unhealthy mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and, most of all, children”.  Our current health care system, ranked 39th in the world, is, as Nick Metel wrote last month, “an old, failed relic, broken beyond repair.”

There are alternatives, alternatives that don’t rely on a profit motive.  Single payer is such a system.  Single payer as in Medicare available to all seniors in the U.S.  “The government, which is the ‘single payer’ covers all citizens and pays the bills when they visit private (or public) doctors, hospitals and other facilities for medical care, wrote Mike Dennison in the Billings Gazette. “All would have basic coverage, regardless of whether they have a job, or where they work.  Nobody gets billed for basic care.  Nobody goes broke because of medical bills.

Who supports single payer?  According to the latest polls, 68 percent of the American people do.  51 percent of American physicians do.  The nursing unions do.  American business leaders do. 

Who opposes single payer?   It seems the only hold-outs for the current system are President Obama, big pharma, the health insurance companies, including AARP and their congressional lackeys who claim single payer is off the table.  Funny how small their tables are when it comes time to enacting policies that benefit the majority of people in the country. 

The time has come to scrap the for profit health care system.  Representative John Conyers of Michigan and 93 co-sponsors have introduced HR676 that would establish national health insurance and a single payer system.  500 labor unions have endorsed the bill.  Led in part by the California Nurses Association, the national coalition supporting single payer has 85,000 institutional members.

The time has come “for our leaders to ensure that no citizen is ever again added to the lost of those who have died due to a lack of health coverage, a list that adds 18,000 names each year according to the Institute of Medicine.”  18,000?  That’s five 9/11s.  But congress and Obama are not going to do it unless we apply political pressure.  Call or write members of congress and the president and demand that they institute real change we can believe in. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ron Paul - - What if . . . . ?

Wish I knew how to get the video itself here but maybe I'll be able to figure that out soon.  In the mean time, enjoy this.