Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do Not Forget.

There are approximately 63,000 American troops in Afghanistan, as part of an international force of greater than 100,000. As of today, 295 of those international troops have died since January 1, 2009. This is already more than died all of last year.

More troops have died in Afghanistan since March of this year than died there during the entire three-year period from 2001 to 2004.

Somehow, this has escaped the notice of the “Support the Troops, Oppose the War” crowd. They accused G.W. Bush of “genocide” during his terms, and protested with bloody hands and faces contorted in pretend-grief. Yet their vitriol has fallen strangely silent now. I’m certainly no apologist for G. W., but this doesn’t pass the smell test with me. “Hypocrites” doesn’t seem to quite capture it.

No, as usual it will fall to us to support, care for, pray for, and uplift the Soldier, the Sailor, the Airman, the Marine, to an all-sufficient God, trusting that He is able to protect those we love from danger.

Once again, we fight in silence. Without fanfare. Without help from well-funded political machines, nor desiring such help. The veterans. The wives and husbands. The mothers and fathers. The children. The America-lovers. The Liberty-protectors. The productive, the independent and self-sufficient.

Those of us who struggle in silence, neither seeking hand-outs nor demanding apologies; working to feed our families, and, it turns out, many others’ families as well. Once again, we will take time out before, after, or during our seemingly interminable toil to offer thanks for the opportunity to work an honest day, to beg mercy for ourselves and our families, to ask forgiveness for our shortcomings, and to offer a heartfelt prayer for men and women, many of whom we have never met and will never meet.

We will ship care packages as our mothers and fathers taught us to do, and as they learned from their mothers and fathers. We will send letters. We will pray prayers. This is our work as those who love what our country used to be and what, God willing, it will be again someday, when this madness is past.

We may shed a tear as we realize how blessed we are to spend our nights at home with our loved ones, and as we realize that there are 63,000 American heroes who have chosen to spend their nights away from theirs as their gift to a nation that can not, will not understand the nature of that sacrifice.

Finally, with tears rolling down our cheeks, the returning heroes, embraced by loving arms or by the flag they faithfully served, will be welcomed home. Without fanfare. Without vitriol. Without expectation.

And then, still silently, we will return to work as before.

Mystery Solved: The Death of Michael Jackson

At long last, the odd and twisting case of the death of pop icon and tragic precautionary tale Michael Jackson has been solved. It was, it turns out, murder. His killer? The American private health care system.

So says immensely-qualified sage Charles Osgood, known best by his dulcet-toned CBS Sunday Morning hosting duties, but also, apparently, an expert on the complexities of health care.

“Michael Jackson was one of those Americans who liked his health care plan – and decided to keep it,” chides Charles Osgood. “That health care plan was Dr. Conrad Murray and his supply of sedatives”.

Yes, Mr. Osgood. That is definitely an apt analogy. The majority of the American people are just like Michael Jackson. We all have private doctors, hired at $100,000 per month, who are under orders to give us rhino-doses of tranquilizers. At this point, the 24-hour senility watch on Mr. Osgood should have sprung into action. But sadly, he rambles on:

“And yet, he [Dr. Conrad Murray] was only doing what his patient demanded – and in a way, what you hear many Americans demanding: providing privately-funded health care, unfettered by government regulation of any kind…”

Well said, Charley. Oh, and as a doctor myself, I really appreciate your point-of-view. Let me see if I’ve pretty much got your point, okay?

1. Americans who like their health care plan are just like Michael Jackson.

2. The illegal abuse of a corrupted physician’s privileges by a sad, twisted personality with the money to buy and sell some people like furniture, and the selling of wildly improper and dangerous care, just to make a buck, is a perfect analogy to the way most Americans interact with the health care system.

3. By extension, people who are drug addicts are simply exercising their right to health care choice, too. They’re not “drug dealers”; they are “curbside pharmacists”.

4. By further extension, men who visit prostitutes are simply exercising their rights to health care choice as well. They’re not hookers; they are “reproductive therapists”.

5. Doctor Murray was a very typical doctor. His willingness to inject massive doses of surgical anesthetics into an emaciated and clearly-addicted media personality is exactly what the hundreds of thousands of health professionals are forced to do on a daily basis. We are mindless drones, our finely-honed skills for sale on the open market, to be used, misused, or abused at the behest of the highest bidder. We are stupid, idiotic, and depraved vessels of medical knowledge, ready to bow to any master, whether government, insurance industry, or rich patient. Thanks, Charley. I guess lousy journalism is the only respectable profession left.

6. Americans demanding that their government stay out of their private decisions about how they hire people to care for the health of them and their children is rash, erratic, and irresponsible. They are idiots, incapable of even self-preservation without “government regulation”.

I won’t presume to speak for the entire physician community, Mr. Osgood. As for me, though, I would find your genuflection at the altar of medical fascism to be deeply offensive, were you not so entirely irrelevant. You are as important to the real nature of this debate as your contemporary Andy Rooney, but without the Vaudeville side-show entertainment value.

I am glad to hear that you think that people who gripe about changes in their health care are so repulsive, though. I’ll be sure to remember that when Medicare goes down the tubes. Will you remember to keep your mouth shut? Or simply fulfill your destiny as a journalistic hypocrite?

Howard Dean: Dissent Is “…undermining the country”

The hypocrisy is almost unbelievable. On MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Dean claimed that Republicans are so obsessed with undermining President Obama that they are willing to “undermine the country” in order to do it. He laments the fact that Republicans and Democrats can no longer sit down and work through things.

Why on earth would anyone try and sit down and discuss anything with fascist-leaning Democrats? What possible benefit could come from negotiating with them? There is not a single thing about fascism that I want to give in to. They have nothing to offer that is beneficial. I do not want the government to control industry. I do not want government to control health care. I do not want government to control finance. There really isn’t anything to “sit down and have a conversation” about, Governor Dean.

As for undermining President Obama, well, yeah. I guess I do hope that he is undermined. Since he has conclusively demonstrated that he is an enemy of the U.S. Constitution, he is to be resisted and defended-against. So are all the other Democrats.

They are attacking the Constitution. They are making us unsafe in a world that wants to destroy us and our freedom. They are spending us into an oblivion that will make us weak, poor, and indentured for generations.

As for undermining the country – Obama and his American fascist party are doing that without a single finger being lifted to help.