Doctors Without Decency

From thinkprogress.org:

Conservatives have slung all kinds of hyperbolic, outlandish, and phony attacks on attempts to provide health care to all Americans over the years, but tea party darling Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) may have taken the cake today when he equated universal health care with slavery. Speaking at a Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee hearing, Paul argued that if you believe people should have a right to health care, you believe in enslaving doctors, nurses, and hospital janitors:

PAUL: With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.

Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery.

I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

Original article:    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/11/rand-paul-health-care-slavery/

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GOP 2012 Presidential Hair Apparent

Who Owns Water?

Many of my friends do not have water flowing into their homes- this is not at all unusual in Alaska. Many people rely on hauling water from a stream or spring or some collect the rainwater falling off of their roofs. Some time ago I read that in Washington State the state claims to own even the rainwater (and we all thought that was pretty wacky)… It’s spring breakup here and although there is still snow on the ground its melting fast and melting snow has to go somewhere. We have lots of (laboriously dug) ditches around the property and (if you count the small duck pond) we have or are developing 3 ponds.

My “outside” work increases exponentially as the weather improves and a fair amount of that work has been to develop a way to handle the way we deal with water.

Having said all of that, I found this article very interesting:

(NaturalNews) On Wednesday, April 27, the Obama administration’s US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) jointly released a new draft guidance for the federal Clean Water Act that aims to dramatically expand both the scope of what constitutes a “water source,” as well as the legal power federal agencies can exert over those water sources.

If enacted, the proposal will basically allow the EPA and ACE to control any stream, pond, or even puddle that they determine “has a physical, chemical or biological connection” to any larger body of water, which includes even privately-owned water sources.

One of the biggest impacts of the guidance will be to reverse previous Supreme Court decisions that have established the proper constitutional limits on the scope of federal government regulatory authority over not only water, but other natural resources.

By undoing these decisions, the EPA and ACE will essentially be giving themselves a free pass to arbitrarily develop and establish their own rules, and they will be able to do so without proper congressional approval.

“Under this new guidance, a bureaucrat at the EPA will be able to dictate radical new rules,” said US Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ). “This is just another example of the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to circumvent Congress and develop rules and regulations that far exceed the authority granted to the agency under existing public law.”

The EPA and ACE, of course, claim that expanded jurisdiction is needed to protect water from pollution and other contaminants. But given how the EPA has already given pollution exemptions to companies like Monsanto in the past, as well as allowed millions of gallons of toxic COREXIT to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP disaster, it is clear that protecting water is not necessarily the EPA’s primary agenda. Instead, the draft actually takes more control away from individual citizens, and gives it to corrupt bureaucrats — all in the name of protecting water quality and promoting public health.

“Through vague definitions and broad interpretations laid out in this draft guidance, EPA and the Corps have once again shown little regard for the practical implications of their actions or Congress’ intentions under the CWA,” said Ashley Lyon, Deputy Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Despite a letter from 170 members of Congress opposing the guidance, EPA and the Corps have crowned themselves kings of every drop of water in the country – except maybe a backyard swimming pool.”

The agencies are accepting public comment on the proposal for 60 days:
http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guida…

You can also read the entire proposal for yourself here:
http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guida…
Sources for this story include:

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle…

http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guida…

Government Accountability? Ha!

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Flashback to five years ago with a different guy living in the White House… he put a bunch of corporate ass kissers in positions of power, but the Greedy Old Patriarchy  think that they can get away with ignoring the mess that they helped create by pretending that the new guy in the White House is the big problem.

 

QUITTER QUEEN=DUH KULTCHA KWEEN

While Barbie-Bubblehead attempts to keep herself in the limelight, there are others who are actually worth paying attention to: This article “Class Warfare: The Final Chapter” written by Michael Pirsch and found on the TruthOut.com site is long, but nails it…

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” -Warren Buffett to The New York Times, November 26, 2006

There is overwhelming evidence that we are entering the final chapter of class warfare in the US. Today, in the “public arena,” it is forbidden to say class warfare, and many citizens do not regard themselves as working class. The assault on language comes compliments of the propaganda apparatus, which includes: public relations, marketing, corporate media and the entertainment industry, universities, think tanks and so on. Its purpose is to distract our attention from serious matters so we can focus on trivial matters – usually involving consuming. Edward Bernays, the founder of the modern propaganda industry, described the process:

Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of … in almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.[1]

In addition to inventing the propaganda model still in use today, Bernays’ model created support for World War I, first in England and then in the US, calling the war to save Morgan’s billions the war for “making the world safe for democracy.”

We have been overwhelmed by the propaganda apparatus to the point that it controls our thought processes, causing us to become relentless shoppers, even against our own interests. It controls our thinking in the public sphere so that we support the wealthy elite, even against our own interests. Far too many of us have been rendered thoughtless and clueless as to what it means to live in a democratic society. It is not democracy because the government says it is; it is democracy when the masses are informed and act through their delegates to develop policy that promotes the general welfare. Today there are two sovereign nations that exhibit more democratic tendencies than all others: Venezuela and Bolivia. Because of their efforts to build democracy, both sovereign nations have been under attack by the US. In Venezuela, the US sponsored a coup in 2002. In Bolivia, the US government has sponsored a secessionist movement made up of the wealthy elite, whose tactics includes murder of government supporters. The Bolivian government expelled the US ambassador for his role in the destabilization attempt. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have adopted new constitutions which were the result of a process that involved all citizens and especially both countries’ indigenous populations, who were previously completely excluded from any role in government. Both countries have improved access to their medical systems, increased literacy and established local spaces where democracy can be practiced. This shift causes the US empire considerable distress, because the empire fears the spread of real democracy more than anything else.

An essential element in a democracy is the development of a critical consciousness that allows us to resist succumbing to the siren call of the propaganda apparatus. Hugo Chavez, in a 2003 interview, spoke of the need to develop critical thinking:

It seems to be part of a larger social defect in the US – that’s a society that should really develop some kind of response to the intellectual battering that seems to take place daily. I sincerely hope that one day the US public will develop some kind of critical consciousness, that they will remove the veil from their eyes and see the media powers for what they are. No part of the human community can live entirely on its own planet with its own laws of motion and cut off from the rest of humanity. They must be critical, and make it their personal responsibility to humanity and morality to discover the truth.[2]

Eduardo Galeano, well-known Latin American author and critical thinker, continued in the same vein:

Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few. More and more have the right to hear and see, but fewer and fewer have the privilege of informing, giving their opinion and creating. The dictatorship of the single word and the single image, much more devastating than that of the single party, is imposing a life whose exemplary citizen is a docile consumer and passive spectator. Never before have so few fooled so many.[3]

What better time than now for the wealthy elite to crush any chance of developing any critical thought. A substantial majority in the US have been so overwhelmed by the consumer/celebrity culture that distracts from the real situation that they are now fearful of harboring a critical thought, let alone speaking critically about the surrender of democracy to the wealthy elite. No matter what outrage the wealthy elite throws at us all, every indicator suggests there would be little, if any, resistance to that outrage. In fact, now is the best time for the wealthy elite to finally win the war and put into action all the highly repressive measures passed by Congress this decade. The repression already authorized, if put into full effect, would make the US a recognizably totalitarian state.            (Please read the rest of this piece here )

Desperate for Democracy


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker renews jabs; Democrats end talk about negotiating… click for link.