Saturday, August 29, 2009

Twisted Folk's Tales

Presenting the great Ronald Reagan's version of "The Little Red Hen," populated with lazy American farm animals expecting hand outs and one hard working entrepreneurial chicken.

My version approaches it from a different angle:

The Little Red White & Blue Pig
Once upon a time there was a little red, white and blue pig who had inherited bags and bags of wheat grain. He called his neighbors and said “If y…-er we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to sell. Who will help me plant it? I can pay four dollars an hour'
"Not I, I need a job with medical insurance," said the cow.
"Not I, I need to earn enough to send my kids to college," said the goat.
"Not I, I need to earn enough to invest money for my nest egg," said the goose.
“You are all lazy and unproductive,” said the little red white and blue pig.
“I will,” said the chihuahua, who had snuck onto the farm looking for food.
"It pays fo…er three dollars an hour," said the little red, white and blue pig. “You can work from sunrise to sunset, and I’ll even let you have a half hour for lunch, plus one toilet break!”
And he did. The wheat grew tall and ripened into healthy golden grain. "Who will help me add chlorine dioxide gas to my wheat?" asked the little red, white and blue pig.
"Not I, it’s too dangerous" said the goat.
"You’ll take out all the vitamins," said the goose.
"A low fiber diet is linked to constipation and diarrhea" said the cow.
"I will," said the little chihuahua. He was still hungry, so his wife and puppies came along to help.
And so the little chihuahua and his family helped with the chemicals and grain while the little red, white and blue pig went to his air-conditioned office and called his business manager about starting a new company to manufacture vitamins and anti-diarrhea pills.
At last the time came to bake the bread. "Who will help me bake bread in my sweatsho…er bakery" asked the little red white and blue pig.
"That facility is unsanitary" said the cow.
“I demand overtime and a safe workplace!” said the goose
"You’re violating labor law," said the duck.
"Bunch of socialists," said the little red, white and blue hen, so she hired some goons to knock sense into the barnyard animals.
“I will help you,” said the little chiuahua, who was now supporting many family members on the farm and back in his desert home. So the chiuahua family worked and worked, until one early morning they arrived to find the bakery door padlocked shut.
“Go back to where you came from, wetback” said the little red, white, and blue pig. “I’ve sold all my wheat and don’t need you anymore. I’m into venture capital investments now.” Soon the pig couldn’t keep track of all the places he had invested his money.
One day the eagle came to the farm and said it was time for the little red white and blue pig to help pay for the water, fences and roads on the farm that the pig had used for his businesses. “I’d like to help, but I’m incorporated in the Cayman Islands. You’ll have to get it from the animals that live here.”
Later the little red white and blue pig bought the barn with money he had borrowed from the big red chen. When the pig’s investments collapsed, the pig convinced the eagle and other animals to loan him money at 0.9% interest so he wouldn’t have to turn over the barn to the big red chen. Maybe one day the little red white and blue pig will return the money, although he recently was forced to award himself a bonus for all the hard work he was performing.

Money Driven Medicine

DR. DONALD BERWICK: It is, I guess, politically correct, widely believed, that to say that American health care is the best in the world. It's not. There's a much more complicated story there. For some kinds of care my colleague Brent James calls it rescue care. Yes, we're the best in the world. If you need very complex cardiac surgery or very advanced chemotherapy for your cancer or some audacious intervention with organ transplantation, you're pretty lucky to be in America. You'll get it faster and you'll probably get it better than in at least most other countries. Rescue care we're great. But most health care isn't that. Most health care is getting people with diabetes through their illness over years or controlling the pain of someone with arthritis or just answering a question for someone who is worried or preventing them from getting into trouble in the first place. And on those scores: Chronic disease care, community-based care, primary care, preventive care. No no, we're no where near the best. And it's reflected in our outcomes. … We're not the best health care system in the world in infant mortality rates. We're like number 23. There is an index that is used in rating health care systems, which is the rate of mortality that could have been prevented by health care. There are at least a dozen countries with lower rates of preventable mortalities than the United States and not one of those countries spends 60 percent of what we do on health care.

Pro-life/Pro-lies Part 2

I've read a few conservative blogs that address health care without mentioning death panels and Obama's secret plans to...dare I say it...enslave hard working white Christians all over the world! Buried in with all the liberal loathing and France bashing are some good points. For example, comparisons between nations' infant mortality rates usually have the U.S. placing in the upper 20s, 30s or 40s, depending on your source. Actual conservatives (not the paranoid conspiracy theorists) have been quick to point out that this is comparing apples and oranges. While the U.S. is following the World Health Organization's methodology, all those dozens of other countries with lower rates are holding back data, according to the critics.
Similar arguments are made about life expectancy ratings. You'd think that the death panels and inferior care provided by socialized medicine, the French, Germans, and Canadians would be dying faster than US citizens and our superior health care. Instead the US comes in at #35 or #50, depending on the source. Does this mean that countries with universal care have a better system than ours? Not according to Steve Chapman:

One big reason our life expectancy lags is that Americans have an unusual tendency to perish in homicides or accidents. We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks.

Chapman and the conservatives are right to point out that there are a lot of factors that go into a nation's health and well being than simply having health insurance. It's the "unusual tendency" Chapman refers to that intrigues me. We can argue about the validity of statistics, but there is obviously something unusual going on.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

God's Protection Racket

You can read about Florida's Governor Charlie Crist's divine hurricane prevention plan here.
Crist told a group of realtors that in 2007 he left a note in Jerusalem's Western Wall that read, "Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie." Crist said that he's had friends place the same prayer in the wall for the last 2 years, and Florida has been spared hurricanes since. Crist isn't taking credit for the lack of hurricanes. "I give that to God," Crist said. "But it's nice."
In 2008 Candidate Obama also visited the Western Wall. The full story is here. There was a scandal when someone allegedly stole Obama's note where it was then published in a newspaper. The note read :
Lord - protect my family and me. Forgive my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.
President Obama is now on vacationing in Martha's Vinyard. His arrival there was delayed a few hours by Hurricane Bill.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pro-life & Pro-lies

I just read the Conservapedia -"The Trustworthy Encyclopedia"- entry on "Obamacare," which features graphics that incorporate a hammer and sickle, stormtrooper jackboots and snakes attacking a balding middle aged white male in a suit. A far more trustworthy, less hysterical analysis can be found at's 7 falsehoods about health care reform .

One of the biggest concerns of the anti-health advocates (besides death panels, bureaucrats and nazis) is the poor quality of care that a "socialized" system would provide, since the U. S. obviously has the best system around. So why do so many countries with "socialism" have healthier citizens?

Just check out the CIA World Factbook's country by country comparison of infant mortality rates. According to the CIA entry, this "rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country." The United States come in at 44th, with 6.26 deaths per 1,000 during the first year. Compare that with Singapore, that had the best rate at 2.31 deaths per 1,000. The wealthy U.S. ranks behind places like Canada and France. And Sweden. And Japan. And Ireland. And Singapore. And Hong Kong. Don't forget Cuba. We did manage to edge out Croatia.
Since the far right usually postures itself as being concerned for the lives of "unborn" babies, the high infant mortality rate of the US should probably bother them as well. Too bad no one has yet stepped forward with any alternatives to the ones offered by the evil socialists and baby killers of the left. As the cliche goes, the right to life ends once you have been born.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Protect our right to bear assault weapons, bullet proof vests and armor piercing bullets!

CNN and the mainstream media have been reporting how right thinking individuals who love liberty and hate oppression have been bringing firearms and assault weapons to Obama rallies. For example, here.
It should come as no suprise that a group of brave men who love God and hate the corruption of Washington would want to bear arms when near that fascist apostate Barack Hussein Obama. And that group is called al-Qa'eda.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Divine Medicare

Twenty years ago I would watch Pat Robertson perform remote faith healings on the 700 Club. He would close his eyes and say things like "a woman in Topeka is suffering from liver problems," then say God was curing her at that very moment (unless you were watching the later rebroadcast.) Like the proposed reforms in health care, such treatment required payment. Just send your money to Jesus in care of Pat Robertson at the Christian Broadcast Network.

Robertson is now promoting health products like diet shake mixes. His"age-defying protein shake" helped him leg press 2,000 pounds a few years ago. See the CBN promo here.

James Randi debunked such nonsense in his book The Faith Healers over twenty years ago. He describes how Pat Robertson rebuked the aid virus in one viewer, while fellow televangelist Oral Roberts claimed to have "frequently resurrected the dead at his services."

Back in college I had a Pentecostal roomate who described seeing a faith healer cause a man's leg to grow 2 inches. This clip from Youtube describes how such a "healing" can be done.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Unhealthy Outrage

The AP has yet another story about outrage of the non-existent Obama health care reform, this time concerning Republican Senator Charles Grassley:
Grassley says only people in the country legally should be covered by a government-funded health care program, and opposes any plan that "determines when you're going to pull the plug on grandma."
None of the bills in Congress would provide health insurance to illegal immigrants, but it didn't keep people from expressing concern about it.
Who picks the vegetables found in stores, plucks chickens in sweatshops and packages the beef for old fashioned American dinners? At least some of these laborers are undocumented, and preventing them from having access to healthcare is a bad idea. Germs don't care if you are born in Kenya, Mexico or Iowa.