Can't we all just get along?

There is so much health-care hullabaloo (I like that word) going on right now that I think my head may explode. I'm pro health-care reform 100%. On one hand I don't have health insurance and I wish I could go to the Dr without paying an arm and a leg but on the other hand I believe more in natural medicine than anything else. I have a distrust of prescription drugs since they rarely do anything but mask the problem. Nevertheless, I don't expect everyone to feel the way I do about natural medicine so I fully support cheap insurance run by the *gasp* government. Yes, the government is not my favorite institution but I find it doubtful that it will make us a *gasp again* SOCIALIST COUNTRY. I don't understand every one's horrific fear of socialism. As if capitalism is the best form of government out there. Please.

I was reading an article, Guns That Talk (which I highly recommend) from the Huffington Post that made some great points. Many health-care reform crazies have been having conniptions about their gun rights being taken away (who the hell is even talking about that?) and how in order to be patriotic one must bring a gun to the protest! Yes, and sing the national anthem with banners of Obama looking like the Joker or Hitler. Pick one. The writer points out that if this were during the Bush years and people were bringing guns to a Bush speech...dear lord imagine the repercussions. For just wearing an anti-Bush shirts people were escorted off the premises Interesting. Robert Koehler, the writer, points out:

That was then: "Free speech zones" were the norm; protesters were routinely whisked out of sight at every Bush appearance, even though, you know, we have a First Amendment and all.

This is now: A dozen guys with guns gathered outside a convention center in Phoenix on Monday as President Obama spoke. At least two of them had assault rifles slung over their shoulders. "Phoenix police said the men carrying guns at Monday's event did not need permits, as the state of Arizona has an 'open carry' law," the U.K. Telegraph reported. "No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested."

What is the mentality of these people? I cannot believe that they actually feel so threatened by health-care reform that they think a revolution is in order. I am ecstatic about their protesting name though: Tea-baggers. Priceless.

But for Obama being such a Nazi socialist he is being awfully nice to all the people who are attempting to defy him. Does that seem like Hitler behavior to anyone? These gun toter's say they're merely practicing their 2nd Amendment rights. But what does it mean when you bring a gun to a protest? What will these people need protection from? Themselves? Especially the guy who held a sign with a Thomas Jefferson quote about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants...Yes, nothing aggressive about that.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm completely for protesting passionately for what you believe in. But to rage and blither absolute nonsense while toting a gun, well, that just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. If these people maybe had better information and better sources (ahem: Fox News, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush that enough?) then maybe I'd be more inclined to listen to them. But I don't believe in aggression or guns for that matter. At least until I'm being threatened with the same. That's not the case here though. All we're asking for is help. For the people who can't afford insurance or who have been turned away by money-hungry insurance companies. Studies show that in 2007 nearly 46 million Americans were uninsured. Between 2008 and 2010 nearly 7 million more people will also lose their coverage. I can only assume that these town hall protesters just don't care about those figures or anyone but themselves for that matter. I guess they're okay with the thousands that die yearly because they can't afford medical care. You betcha!

So where does all this craziness stem from? I read another fascinating article from the Huff Post, this time from Johann Hari, who makes some excellent points. She covers basically all of the right-wing lunacy dating back to the Bush years. Lunacy based on, no not facts, but well...lunacy. Here's an excerpt:

You have to admire the audacity of the right. Here's what's actually happening. The US is the only major industrialized country that does not provide regular healthcare to all its citizens. Instead, they are required to provide for themselves -- and just under 50 million people can't afford the insurance. As a result, 18,000 US citizens die every year needlessly, because they can't access the care they require. That's equivalent to six 9/11s, every year, year on year. Yet the Republicans have accused the Democrats who are trying to stop all this death by extending healthcare of being "killers" -- and they have successfully managed to put them on the defensive.

The Republicans want to defend the existing system, not least because they are given massive sums of money by the private medical firms who benefit from the deadly status quo. But they can't do so honestly: some 70 percent of Americans say it is "immoral" to retain a medical system that doesn't cover all citizens. So they have to invent lies to make any life-saving extension of healthcare sound depraved.

These claims have become so detached from reality that they often seem like black comedy. The right-wing magazine US Investors' Daily claimed that if Steven Hawking had been British, he would have been allowed to die at birth by its "socialist" healthcare system. Hawking responded with a polite cough that he is British, and "I wouldn't be here without the NHS." Frank Laffer, the right-wing economist lauded by David Cameron, claimed on CNN that it would be a disaster if the government got its hands on Medicare, the program providing healthcare for the elderly, paid for entirely by... the government.

This tendency to simply deny inconvenient facts and invent a fantasy-world isn't new; it's only becoming more heightened. It ran through the Bush years like a dash of bourbon in water. When it became clear Saddam Hussein had no Weapons of Mass Destruction, the US right simply claimed they had been shipped to Syria. When the scientific evidence for man-made global warming became unanswerable, they claimed, as one Republican congressman put it, that it was "the greatest hoax in human history", and all the world's climatologists were "liars". The American media then presents itself as an umpire between "the rival sides", as if they both had evidence behind them.

She believes most of the right-wing crazyness stems from religion which seems agreeable on my part but we'll leave that for another post. Until then I will continue to watch the madness and hope that change will prevail.

Until next time.


Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson