Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Drubbing

“Every government that exists — or ever existed, or ever will exist — is a kleptocracy…” L. Neil Smith

Okay I am pretty pissed. I am under the impression that I live in a compassionate, caring, and kind nation that genuinely care about mankind in its whole. Certainly there is ample evidence in the relief effort launched in the wake of the staggeringly horrific situation in Haiti. People and resources pouring into the country as fast as possible, celebrities writing songs, donating money, hosting concerts, and the 82nd Airborne on the ground with no intention to leave anytime soon. All of this is exactly what I knew in my soul would happen in the aftermath of the catastrophe. We are Americans. When there is trouble anywhere in the world, our citizens step up and make things better without regard to consequences.
My ire comes from an indignation over the fact that we are woefully and ignorantly incapable of providing the same for our own citizens in time of need.

To wit. Health care reform. To wit. Conducting the business of government. To wit. The unadulterated treason being perpetrated by the Republican faction within our government!

Once more they have shown themselves to be the bribe taking, deceitful, mendacious, duplicitous, double-dealing, fallacious, erroneous criminals that they are! I have much stronger language in my voluminous vocabulary but will refrain in the face of convention, and the fact that I have difficulty spelling some of my ancillary yet most applicable invectives.

Now I am not talking about those misguided (IMHO) citizens of this nation I still consider to be the panacea for the ills of the world who, in their ill-advised bliss, vote Republican. We have the right to be wrong at any given time, or the right to accuse other folks of being irrational. That is the beauty of this country. We have the equal ability to succeed or fail without the loss of our guaranteed rights and privileges…as do the policymakers of this most noble homeland.

I am speaking of those medicine show mavens who have sold their snake oil to the public and couched their sales pitch with a fabricated testimony on the glory of this wonderful nation. The ideals set forth by our Founding Fathers. Said iconoclasts that were instrumental in the development of this country had to originate it within the confines of what they knew to be true. In the 1700’s AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, psychosis, neurosis, influenza, hepatitis, obsessive compulsive disorder, Ebola, ALS, Hodgkin’s, and irritable bowel syndrome did not exist as we know it. Well, these maladies and the other 111,000,000 referenced by Google probably did exist, but the treatment was significantly different. Back then healthcare was simple. If you were not able to fight an illness off at home, you called a doctor. If after using the state of the art technology at the time (leeches, bleeding) you did not get better, then you died. It was the same for the rich and the poor. You get sick beyond the skills and abilities of whatever healthcare provider comes available and what you received was (hopefully) a eulogy, and a faceful of dirt.

Today panaceas abound. We have cures for many disease, remedy for mental difficulties, surgery to completely restructure your inner and outer appearance, medication to ease the symptoms of everything from cancer to the most annoying disorder in the world…erectile dysfunction. What was once a simple truth, you get sick and either you get better or die, has now become a quagmire of HMO’s, PPO’s, experimental procedures, and cosmetic enhancement. Unfortunately in amongst of all this liposuction and medicinal therapy there are real illnesses that can be treated, if, that is, you can afford it. The Congress and Senate do not have to worry about this. Once elected, they receive the best of care, on the American people’s nickel. They have healthcare professionals on staff at the Capital building. They don’t even have to take a sick day if they don’t want it. All they have to do is walk down the hall and see a doctor. Right then, when they want it. When they are at home they can walk into any federal or military hospitable and show them their “I’m a congressman\Senator” badge, and a nurse instantly asks them if they would like a cup of coffee or a pillow while they wait. (Okay that might be an exaggeration…the coffee thing, that is)They also receive a salary that places new hires in the 33% tax bracket. Pretty good work if you can get it.

Criminal? Treason? He must be out of his ever-loving mind. Well in the first place, my mind is most definitely not of an ever loving disposition. To my detriment, I have not learned to love all men as my God instructs. I do not love people who hurt others intentionally. I do not love bigots. I do not love hypocrites, I do not love snake oil salesman that play with the wellbeing of people not fortunate enough to live a life as sheltered and nurturing as the congress and senate. I did not capitalize these last two words. This is not a simple grammatical error, it is intentional due to the fact that, given their actions, these organizations do not deserve special recognition. They deserve to be fired, and possibly imprisoned.

But how is that valid you might say. Well here it is. Every person chosen to serve in the congress or senate must take an oath. Here are the words to that oath;

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

These ignoble purveyors of spurious and blasphemous rhetoric swear these oaths, purportedly in the name of principled governance. Not to assert, insist, confirm, avow, announce, establish, verify, pronounce, acknowledge, uphold, encourage, or sustain anything, but to augment personal agenda’s that are long on speechifying and short on warrant. They have taken these undertaking with specific mental reservation and most certainly for the purpose of evasion. They exempt themselves from laws and regulations the American public must comply with. There is no true faith and allegiance to this country while they aggressively pursuing an obstructionist course of action for a serving President’s diagram for effective governance.

I went looking for the duties of the congress and found many words on what they are supposed to do, but little on what they are required to do. The Constitution give them powers to do much, all of which is administered by the Executive Branch except, that is, those things the congress decides to butt their noses in. The chief instruction given them in Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution is; “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States…”

I ask you, how well are they looking after the general welfare of the millions of people without health care? People who work and pay taxes but cannot afford insurance. And how exactly are they providing for the general welfare when they take money from insurance companies in the guise of Lobbyists and actively work against healthcare reform. How loyal are they to their oath when most of their time in the House of Representatives is spent getting themselves re-elected with PAC and lobby funds? How is that not treason?

Criminal? I tried to find substantive evidence for the criminal actions of congress, but could not find any. Hmmm…

Perhaps a RICO investigation might be in order. The Mafia came tumbling down under this statute once there was evidence provided my informants, who were criminals who guilty and made deals to avoid prosecution. Where are the rats in congress? They are enjoying the largesse of those who elected them, and the protection of their positions. Crime is defined as: “an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.” Except that there is no legal prohibition for what they are doing. That might be because when the legislative branch and the executive branch create laws that hold restrictions to personal action of any sort add caveats to those selfsame laws that exclude them from compliance.

The logjam that is Washington cannot be in the best interest of or even associated with the public welfare. We have elected a group of individuals that, upon taking residence in the nation’s capital, seemingly forget that they were elected by the people, most of whom cannot afford healthcare. The absolute refusal of the Republican members of congress to work for the good of the people is criminal. Allowing people to suffer and possibly die for lack of proper health care is negligent and injurious to those members of the population without the resources to obtain said care. This is a violation of the law. Article 1Section 8 of the Constitution, which they swore to uphold, calls for the providing of the common defense and general welfare of the United States which is populated by many people whose welfare and defense from sickness is not being furnished.

So, they are acting in both a treasonous and criminal manner under the same part of the law, and we refuse to do anything about it. This is not just a Republican crime, it is a Democratic crime. First in that the Democrats have allowed it to happen. Next is the general cowardice of the same Democrats to stand up for what they are sworn to do. So we can add cowardice to the list of transgressions.

Except, that is, for the President. He is charging into the face of the enemy and refuses to back down. If JFK were writing “Profiles in Courage” today Obama would have a chapter. I will say that I am not pleased that he has had to surrender to some of the realities of Washington. I do applaud his determination in the face of adversity. He walked into the Oval Office and after the first photograph of him shaking some Republicans hand had to go to war on yet another front. Washington.

It has come to this. I have been writing this piece for about three months, and I am weary of the process. I keep charging off to research my points and watching the news for ammunition in my literary skirmish, and have grown somnolent and disenchanted. I will leave this battle to the noble warriors and reprehensible fiends we engage in battle. It is lunch time and I must take some medicine. Medicine paid for (mostly) by the prescription drug benefit of my healthcare insurance provider.

I will leave you with two quotes I garnered from the research for this paper;

“…The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage”

Alexander Tyler

I do not know, given my fatigue and lowering blood sugar, if bondage is inevitable, or that the bond holder might be Republican or Democrat. I do know that our greatest President (IMHO) had an answer for those who would pervert our country with treasonous, criminal, and cowardly actions;

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
Samuel Adams, (1722-1803)

Deciding to Love or Hate: Which Will You Choose?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Well, at least that is how Shakespeare put it. I do not really know what there is to love and whether it is feasible to find something to love in this world. I do know that as a feeling, love is the most disturbing of emotions. It has no rhyme or reason to exist in humankind, yet it does. I read book upon book on the subject and stay in a quandary over what exactly this unsettling pursuit is supposed to be in my life.

I find it much simpler to hate. For some raison d’être there is much more of this most negative manifestation in all we do in this world. There is war, and crime, and abuse, and prejudice, and intolerance, and disdain for all that is kind and true. How can one see the need for tenderness in the face of callous disregard for the very humanness we all share? The answer is fully plain. We live in a society programmed to do instead of feel. As an emotion, hate always drives some manner of action, and deeds resulting are more interesting than those emerging out of benevolence and concern. Hate grows out of anger and anger grows out of indignation.

As imperfect organisms, we tend to embrace ideals familiar to us. In modern society our ideals are driven by external influence. We read a newspaper, or a magazine. We watch television. We watch television. We listen, read, perceive, and misinterpret, pretty much on a universal basis, that which is put before us. We have cable and satellite TV. We have hundred of channels to watch on numerous issues specifically designed to capture the attention of the viewing public. There are several levels of viewing possibilities. Local stations offer toned down language in programming to ensure a wholesome environment for our children, but only until nine or ten o'clock. Then the cable giants take over. There are horror movies, and martial arts movies, soft-core pornography, stand up comedy focusing on the vulgar and frighteningly graphic documentaries on the ills of society.

We teach our children with these mediums of expression. We have MTV and reality shows displaying abrasive, abusive, pornographic, and intensely misanthropic content. There are sound bites and imagery flashed at us in millisecond blasts negating the ability for anyone to make rational decisions as to there veracity. All we see is brought to us at the speed of light and we have little chance to discern true value, consequence, implication, or merit.

We glorify the negative in the guise of rugged and determined individuality. We have series that glorify the life of organized criminals, we have contests where people submit to disgusting and revolting behavior in order to achieve monetary or professional gain. We teach procreation to our children by allowing pornographic content to instruct our teenagers this vital and necessary process. We glorify the deviancy of society while negating the positive.

Where is the Love Channel? Where is the Values Channel? Where is the show that teaches us that it is okay to display affection for one another? Not anywhere readily found. What we do have are afternoon talk shows parading solutions to societal ills hosted by would be, wannabe mavens of collective reform whose real intention, in my opinion, is hawking their latest help-yourself-by-buying-my-book-or-attending-a-seminar-that-costs-more-than-most-of-you-can-afford.

I could keep this tirade going if it were not for the weariness I have over the negative side of human existence. I marvel at the propensity for self-destruction we have, and question my own motives in putting these words on paper. I do so because I live in a country that, at least idyllically, allows me to speak that which bothers me, and that which enriches me. I started to investigate love, and I regressed into the easier side of the issue. I seek the feeling by searching for the action. I do not know that love is necessarily a definable action. I know with hate, there is a manifestation for the feeling, and we flaunt it regularly. I do not know if we illustrate love as well as we should. I think that we believe that we must do something with our hate, and little time in contemplation of what we will do with our love. I think the difference might be that hate, in our practice, demands engagement while love just requires sensation.

Sensation occurs in humankind and does not have to be directly attributable to an outside influence. By this reasoning, the sensation of love needs no focal point and can be quite comforting. One can just love without reason and it can occur with little or no action. Hate requires a commitment to action in response to the sensory input of some perceived hostility or animosity toward something or someone. It entails work, and work is definitely an action. Love gives of itself, without much effort and is generous in what it gives. Hate takes all it can get its hands on, and is miserly in what it gives back. This, ostensibly, asks the question: do we seek generosity or parsimony? Generosity gets my vote.