Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Macho Response: William F. Buckley, Jr. (November 24th, 1925 - February 27th, 2008)

"It's very hard to stand up carrying the weight of what I know."

- William F. Buckley, Jr., the father of modern Conservatism and the National Review, when asked why he was always seated on television.

The grand old man died on my birthday. Damn. Here's one more from him, which, I think, sums it all up nicely:

"There's something known as American conservatism, though it does not even call itself that. It's been calling itself "voting Republican" or "not liking the New Deal." But it is a very American approach to life, and it has to do with knowing that the government is not your master, that America is good, that freedom is good and must be defended, and communism is very, very bad."

Hear, hear!! WFB is dead. Long live WFB!

Some Women's Mind Ain't Good Because The Penis Done Ejaculate All In Her Brain (Discuss)

Well, this explains a few things,...and I love the way she says "pee-nis":

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birthday Boy

It's my birthday, so I'm just going to give you some random thoughts, before I continue with the pressing demands of My Existence 101. And (in order to understand what I'm talking about) you're just going to have to search the blog, to find the relevant posts, because I ain't linking this shit until Monday:

I'm glad I have a blog, so when I remind you I called the Obama cult (and this presidential election) long before everyone else - finally - no one can doubt my words: They're dated, you slippery bastards.

My next band, Little White Radio (2.0) is going to eat your sorry asses alive.

From the day of my conception, strong willed women (with extremely weak minds) have been the negative force of my existence. And, yea, that means exactly what you think it means.

I wish my sister, Younine Mingus, was still alive. (Figure it out.)

Now that I've been betrayed by the wife that I loved, discovered her overwhelming love of bullshit cultism and, finally, understand it's dynamics (and parameters) in society, expreienced the sheer screaming agony of divorcing her, and have been further taught the limits of love and friendship in everyday life, I sincerely hope I can be allowed to simply die in my sleep, quietly, and a hell of a lot sooner than later.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barack Obama's Cultish Political Platform

Barack knows that at some level there’s a hole in our souls,...Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that, that before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken.”
-- William Kristol, quoting Michelle Obama, in the New York Times

If I remember correctly, somebody's already offered to help with that:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hey, Somebody Wrote A Book About My Home!!! (Including Foster Care And Just Everything!!!)

In the South-Central neighborhood of Los Angeles, where Margaret B. Jones grew up in the 1980s, gangs recruited “with the same intensity as the N.F.L. did,” she says, and shootouts and hits were so ubiquitous that “the odds were stacked against a male child living to see 25.” Peddlers went door to door selling life insurance policies, reminding parents of these deadly stats, and even teenage girls and elderly church ladies carried pistols to protect themselves. As the crack epidemic metastasized, and turf wars escalated, the ’hood became a combat zone, with police raids and deadly face-offs between Bloods and Crips becoming routine parts of daily life.

A dealer the young Ms. Jones made deliveries for lays out the unforgiving rules of the street:

¶ “Trust no one. Even your own momma will sell you out for the right price or if she gets scared enough.”

¶ “War has no room for diplomacy, war is outright vicious. Never expect mercy and never show it.”

“There is no greater sin in war than ignorance. Never speak or act on anything you aren’t 100 percent sure of, or someone will expose your mistake and take you down for it.”

This violent world has been memorably depicted before in Sanyika Shakur’s “Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member” (1993) and Leon Bing’s “Do or Die” (1991). What sets Ms. Jones’s humane and deeply affecting memoir apart is not just that it’s told from the point of view of a young girl coming of age in this world, but also that it focuses on the bonds of love and loyalty that can bind relatives and gang members together, and the craving after safety and escape that haunts so many lives in the ’hood.

Although some of the scenes she has recreated from her youth (which are told in colorful, streetwise argot) can feel self-consciously novelistic at times, Ms. Jones has done an amazing job of conjuring up her old neighborhood. She captures both the brutal realities of a place where children learn to sleep on the floor to avoid the random bullets that might come smashing through the windows and walls at night, and the succor offered by family and friends. She conveys the extraordinary stoicism of women like Big Mom, her foster mother, who raised four grandchildren while working a day job and a night job. And she draws indelible portraits of these four kids who became her siblings: two young girls she would help raise, and two older boys, whom she emulated and followed into the Bloods.

Ms. Jones — or Bree, as she was known to family and friends — was abused as a child, put in foster care, and after three years of carrying a trash bag filled with her possessions from one temporary home to another, ended up, at 8 ½, in Big Mom’s home in South-Central — a part white, part Native American girl who looked utterly out of place in this nearly all-black world.

Bree had been told she had attention deficit disorder, reactive attachment disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and labeled “S.E.D. (severely emotionally disabled).” By age 8 she had “decided not to hurt anymore” and mastered the art of detachment: “I was shocked that I hadn’t thought of it before. I would watch my life from the outside rather than feel it from within. If I couldn’t feel it, it couldn’t hurt me.”

Though her foster family’s love would help heal Bree’s heart, the numbness always threatened to return, and she observes that this sort of emotional hibernation was rampant in South-Central. When Bree went to visit her foster brother Taye in prison — he’d been sentenced for selling drugs — he told her he loved her but didn’t want her to come back for any more visits: waiting for visits and letters, he said, “was killin me,” and he’d decided he wasn’t going to “even find out what was up wit y’all.” He had to do his “time solo” or he “ain gonna make it.”

Ms. Jones’s portraits of her family and friends are so sympathetic and unsentimental, so raw and tender and tough-minded that it’s clear to the reader that whatever detachment she learned as a child did not impair her capacity for caring. Instead it heightened her powers of observation, enabling her to write with a novelist’s eye for the psychological detail and an anthropologist’s eye for social rituals and routines.

She tells us how her brother Terrell became an “official” Blood, getting “jumped into” the gang by surviving a savage initiation beating. (“So five grown men beat 13-year-old Terrell for two minutes in the street.”) She tells us about getting a .38 for her 13th birthday and learning how to cook up a batch of crack to pay her family’s overdue water bill. She tells us about survival tips for visiting the local park. (“You must always scan the park, figure out who is where and the best escape route from each direction.”) And she tells us about the iconography of the tattooed tear many prisoners and ex-prisoners wear on one cheek. (It “can mean a few things, but usually it’s that the wearer killed someone in prison or lost a loved one while in prison.”)

Ms. Jones’s own story is strewn with loss and death and grief. She saw a gang elder named Kraziak, who’d patiently taught her about the history of L.A., gunned down by rival Crips. She saw her next-door neighbor Big Rodney, who used to give her books to read, grabbed by the police in a violent raid.

Both her older brothers, Terrell and Taye, were sent to prison, and after his release, Terrell, who’d talked of getting a straight job so his children wouldn’t grow up in the ’hood, was shot to death by Crips as he sat outside Big Mom’s house, waiting to meet his son for his weekend visit. Ms. Jones’s friend Marcus, a brother figure with whom she used to drive around Los Angeles, dreaming of what life might be like “beyond the lights” of the city, was shot and killed, she says, and her boyfriend, Slikk, was arrested for an attempted murder he didn’t commit.

Although one of Bree’s teachers urges her to apply to college, the idea initially seems “almost unimaginable” — “so beyond my reach that I couldn’t really picture myself doing it.” Finally, however, she does apply and eventually graduates from the University of Oregon with a degree in ethnic studies. She finds love with, of all men, a Crip who “changed every detail of my life” and who taught her that “we are not each other’s enemies,” we “were just born into different streets and neighborhoods.”

“Unlike most of my homies,” she writes, “I made it out of L.A. with my life and without a prison record. Wait, let me reword that, as it is not entirely true as it stands. I made it out of L.A. with what life I had left. I wake up in the morning, and where I live, in a little house on a dead-end street in a small Oregon town, I hear birds singing in a big-leaf maple outside my bedroom window, and I thank God because I know it shouldn’t have been so.”

There are “some parts of me that did die in L.A.,” she adds, “and that I’ll never get back, and other parts of me that die daily because I exist away from the city, in a world where people can’t begin to imagine what it was like where I grew up.”

One of her friends in prison writes her that “so few of us will ever get the chance to see what it’s like outside L.A.,” that she should “be our eyes.” That Ms. Jones has done, and with this remarkable book she has also borne witness to the life in the ’hood that she escaped, conveying not just the terrible violence and hatred of that world, but also the love and friendship that sustained her on those mean streets.

By Michiko Katutani, writing for the New York Times

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blogging Bill Maher

The thing that strikes me about this first segment is how seriously unfunny Bill Maher is. I didn't laugh at one of his "jokes" if you can even call them that. One of my best friends is a comedian, and he's funny, even in casual conversation, but Bill Maher? Hardly. Also, there's this: He bags on Mitt Romney, because Romney bagged on France, and then he makes the observation that Romney lived in France (as I did) yet he doesn't consider that a good reason to listen to Romney when he says we don't want our country to go in the same direction as theirs. Which is just putting-my-fingers-in-my-ears stupid. My conclusion about the first segment: Bill Maher is weak - and not funny - and, yea (being a punk) I'd wear his Bush t-shirt just to piss people off.

On this segment, Maher starts off by naming his guests - mostly Republicans - but then he casually disses the Republican gathering Amy Holmes is reporting on, CPAC. Which, for me, raises the question: If Republicans are such bad people, or so stupid, then why has he invited a bunch of them on this segment? The conversation about McCain goes well, giving some pros and cons about the man, at least from the Republican perspective. The panel discussion starts off as a bust, without much said that was worth the time.

This segment becomes revealing when Matthew Dowd stops Maher's conspiracy theory about terror alerts and gets booed for doing it. It says a lot about Maher's audience that the truth isn't something they want to hear. Much better (I guess) to hate the president, by stoking their anger on their own ass-backward beliefs, than for anything Bush actually did. What losers. Hurting all of us - our standing with each other and in the world - just because they want to believe nonsense. Such people are dangerous. Overall, the cynicism on this program is galling. Here's my message to Maher fans: Being cynical doesn't equal "edgy" but just equals "dark" - like you're viewing each day as though you can't pay your rent - and who needs that? (I certainly don't, so, damn it, donate to this site.)

O.K., here, Bill Maher's nuttiness just gets the better of him and he even admits it ("You're all looking at me as though I'm crazy") as he starts going off on an anti-medicine rant. It's obvious the man is filled with silly conspiracy theories but, incredibly, this nut job is actually taken seriously, by the Left, as a thinker. That's the most hilarious thing about the show. (I like how Jonah Goldberg just sits with his head down most of the time.) Next Maher starts defending Sexy Sadie by refering to him as a spiritual leader - which forces P.J. O'Rourke to add, "Or so he said." - throwing Bill Maher's so-called atheism into high relief. (He's such a NewAger: Everything about these segments say the guy's a fucking flake if ever there was one.) Goldberg's perspective on the waterboarding discussion is kind of informative and, considering the crowd, probably needs to be said. Goldberg's certainly the smartest guy up there, being the only one willing to freely use the words "idiots" and "whackjobs".

"I love liberals, but they are so sensitive" Bill Maher says, completely missing that no one minded the fat joke just before the crack that prompted his reaction. ("The line should be "I love liberals, but they are such selectively PC hypocrites".) The talk about Obama had good stuff in it. And, of course, that was naturally followed by more talk about Bush being simple minded, which is really just too simple minded for comment. Actually, I'm glad that brings the program to a close: It's not nearly as smart as I'd been lead to believe, by a long shot.

Oh, No, No, Mon Ami: This Is Not Done!

"As for John McCain's supposed extra-marital "romantic" relationship a decade ago with an attractive lobbyist more than 30 years his junior, who cares?

In other words, Americans care,...less about infidelity itself, especially at the level of innuendo or rumor."

- Roger Cohen (above) the New York Times' writer for the International Herald Tribune, suggesting that - since Americans didn't buy his paper's lie about a McCain affair - we've become like the French, who he (correctly) describes as "cynical, incorrigible, suave and hypocritical", all traits those at the Times can identify with.

Look, give me a break. This is even sillier than the Frank Rich column I just read that suggests Hillary's loss has parallels to the war in Iraq. (Rich, above, at least, correctly identified Bill Clinton as a major source of irritation, even if he failed to recognize Hillary Clinton as the main problem in her own right.) But what these three NYT columns show us - and it's the reason I love the smoke-clearing clarity of election years - is this:

The New York Times, our so-called "paper of record", plays favorites and, consequently, is completely out of touch with reality - and has been for quite a long time.

Like the San Francisco Chronicle, the NYT can blame their dwindling readership on online reading habits all they want, but, the truth is, both papers appear to be insane to anyone who really appreciates news and/or wants something worthwhile to chew over in the morning. Instead, they offer nonsensical Leftist talking points, which they try to sell as mainstream American views and values, and then blame the news-hungry public when we won't eat the rancid ideological meat they throw at us. It's really outrageous.

First of all, we are nothing like the French. I'm from South Central, Los Angeles. I have none of that (above) in me. I don't even feel comfortable speaking French because all that poo-poo, la-la, coo-coo, nonsense just sounds gay. If any Americans are really like the French, they look like this:

And if American sex lives were filled with adultery, and the other forms of selfish chaos the French excel at, they'd look like this:

And, seriously, that's no way to be at-all. Conclusion:

Fuck the New York Times. They're full of shit. If they think we're going to buy stupid crap like this, they really must be turning French themselves.

No, No, There's No Cult Of Oprah, People Just Don't See What They Don't Want To See

[Note: you must click the links to discover why I'm posting this,...]

"Oprah can glide like Cleopatra through the world, a phalanx of dutiful assistants teasing her hair and refreshing her lip gloss and straightening the shoulders of her Armani suit and I refuse to think any less of her. Oprah is a well-groomed, engaged, enthusiastic professional with a media empire at her manicured fingertips; she's had her image and her show and her brand restyled over and over and over again by a multimillion-dollar team of overpaid experts, each of them, in turn, as slick, cheerful, motivated and creepy as the last -- but I love that woman like the beautiful black mommy I never had.

Oprah! Even when she's irritated, she's lovable and intriguing. Oprah! Even when she's bossy and impatient and self-absorbed, she still wows you with her generosity of spirit and her openness and her warmth. I love fat Oprah. I love skinny Oprah. I love in-between Oprah. I love "I'm never dieting again!" Oprah. I love marathon-running Oprah. I love "screw marriage!" Oprah. I love "my little yapping doggies are my babies" Oprah. I love the whole Oprah franchise, with every one of the billions and billions of Oprahs served. I love the whole Oprah universe, with every one of the trillions and trillions of Oprahs that exist under the sun, to infinity and beyond!

Oprah! Oprah! Oprah! Tell us what to read! Tell us what to wear! Tell us who to vote for! Tell us how to redesign our emotional landscapes! Tell us how to be stronger, more confident, more put-together, more professional! Show us how to become glossy and intimidating -- traits we loathe in others, but secretly covet!

If I were ever motivated and ambitious enough to write a book, and my book made it into Oprah's Book Club? Not only would I let Oprah put her "Oprah's Book Club" logo on the cover of my book, I'd allow Oprah's logo to dominate the cover. "Hell, let's just scrap our original cover and go with an enormous photo of Oprah's face," I'd tell the publisher, and then I'd mention that if, instead of calling to tell me that she picked my book, Oprah would prefer to move into my home and sleep with my husband and polish off the rest of the Valentine's Day candy and grind her boots into my couch like Rick James, I wouldn't mind that, either.

Now you think I'm joking. No. Oprah is the one smiling, flawless powerhouse in this world that I trust, and I trust Oprah in everything that she does. I don't care if someone writes a book about how Oprah is secretly evil. Oprah could behave like an insufferable diva or a grandiose fool, and I wouldn't care. She could hire someone whose only task was to dust the stray specks of dirt and lint off her butter-yellow couches all day long, and I would think that was a good choice, because Oprah doesn't make any bad choices,...(And by the way, I love the look on Oprah's face when yet another mortal confesses his or her undying love. Yes, yes, you love me, of course, can we get on with this?")

- The totally deluded Heather Havrilesky, writing for

I Have A Dream: Nader's Back (No, Really.)

"Ralph Nader is launching a third-party campaign for president. The consumer advocate made the announcement Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." He says most Americans are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties, and that none of the presidential contenders are addressing ways to stem corporate crime and Pentagon waste and promote labor rights."

- From the SFGate

The Pride Of The Party

"Bill Clinton likes to tell anyone who’ll listen that he governed as an 'Eisenhower Republican,' which is kind of true — NAFTA, welfare reform, etc. If you have to have a Democrat in the Oval Office, he was as good as it gets for Republicans — if you don’t mind the fact that he’s a draft-dodging non-inhaling sex fiend. Republicans did mind, of course, which is why Dems rallied round out of boomer culture-war solidarity. But, if he hadn’t been dropping his pants and appealing to so many of their social pathologies, his party wouldn’t have been half so enthusiastic for another chorus of 'I Like Ike.'”

- Mark Steyn, of the National Review Online, showing how the Democrat's childish knee-jerk sense of rebellion drove them to validate ideas they didn't agree with.

And, I'll add, this failing is reflected in (almost) everything the Democrats do,...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

O.K., I Admit It: I Just Got Turned On To Jesus. Coming To The Lord. Going Down On My Knees. All That.

Don't Be Scared (This Won't Hurt A Bit)

"As the 'quack busters' become more organised and active, evidence of the backlash against complementary medicine is appearing all over the place - such as the removal of PCT funding for homeopathy, the threatened closure of the homeopathic hospitals, many negative news stories in the press and so on,...some groups seem simply hell bent on trying to 'stamp out' complementary medicine in any way possible."
- Taken from Italy's frightened Cybermed News announcement that all references to SCAM have been eliminated from the BBCHealth website.

Methinks we have their attention now,...

They're Baaaack: Beware The Ides Of March

Except For Prayer (And The Unnecessary Dig At Dad's DNA) I Think This Christian's Very Funny

"Get your story straight, and tell the truth, for once, for Heaven's sake" is where Christian comic, Anita Renfroe, got a smile out of me (it happens) it's just too bad more people don't take that one to heart once they grow up and move away from home. My life would certainly have been better. It's like they need their Mom and Dad around - forever - to simply be honest. Instead, they want to fill me with all their bullshit reasons why they lied, like I care.

That's probably why so many people are always so paranoid and cynical about the idea of "Big Brother": If lying is a big part of their regular M.O., they've always got something to hide. Which means I've got to be spied on, too, because they're such assholes. And those are the same people who are always crying that I should be trying to make this a better world.

And why is it O.K. (apparently even funny) for a woman to say, "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about", but let a man voice anything of the kind and he's a violence-prone asshole who's keeping society's fingers permanently glued to 9-1-1? Double standards, like that, drive me crazy.

So does the dig at the father's DNA: Why do women - even a gathering of Christian women - think that's O.K.? But let any man say any-thing about a woman - totally in reaction to how women behave - and then, they throw the words "sexist" and "misogynist" out, like their shit appears in plastic bags. It's maddening.

Especially because they won't admit it's a double standard. But that much I understand because, once they admit there's a double standard, then they have to admit they're treated better than men - and expect to be treated better than men. So they lie.

And, I guess, that's the whole ball of wax right there. How a woman can go from this:

To this:

But nobody can say, exactly, how that happened.

I guess I'll let another comedian finish this shit - I'm thinking much too seriously today:

Who's In Charge? (Make That Move)

And we're off:

“Either homeopathy works or controlled trials don’t!”
David Reilly, a homeopath, making an idiot of himself at the 2001 Harvard Medical School Complementary and Integrative Medicine Conference.

"He was saying ... 'you got to take this fall.' He was saying, like, 'as your commanding officer, you got to follow orders.'"
- Devaughndre Broussard, the "soldier" accused of killing journalist Chauncey Bailey in the Your Black Muslim Bakery cult case, which will be covered on 60 Minutes tomorrow night. Broussard claims he will reveal the name of the killer on the program. (I really like the idea of a fucking bakery with a "commanding officer",...cults are a trip.)

"Video Catches Bus Driver Fighting With Student"
- CBS5 (KPHO out of Phoenix, Arizona) which - quite obviously - should read "Video Catches Student Fighting With Bus Driver". Shouldn't it?

Who's in charge?

We Are All One (Sure We Are)

Con Ed

"When people say you're not part of the team, it means they want you to be part of the fan club."

- Susan Leal, recently fired head of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, who, when asked if she was part of the mayor's fan club, replied, "Not now."

"What they should be doing in earnest is forming opinions, not about me but about GM and what this company is doing that is ... hugely beneficial to the causes they so enthusiastically claim to support."

- General Motors Corp Vice Chairman, Bob Lutz, who has been criticized for calling global warming a "total crock of shit."

"[Leading health experts] suggest that organic producers are taking advantage of consumers by charging higher prices for foods that offer little or no extra benefit."

- From Sean Poulter, writing in The Daily Mail about cooking expert Delia Smith's rejection of organic food. An upcoming BBC Horizon program is also challenging "the commonly held belief that organic, better for health, the environment and animal welfare."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hey, Are You O.K.? You're Turning Green,...

"[The Greens are playing] an important role [in Europe's death], one that will grow as the global-warming and anti-globalization cults increase in popularity. The neo-pagan nature-worship of the Greens opposes the foundations of Western civilization and the principles that have given freedom and prosperity to unprecedented numbers of ordinary people. If Green parties ever achieve enough political power to implement its policies, the Greens’ hatred of technology and capitalism, the proven engines of freedom and prosperity, will accelerate Europe’s demise."

From an interview with Bruce Thornton, author of Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide, on the National Review Online (You ought to click and read this one, Kids: I've seen some of what he's discussing with my own eyes)

Oprah Winfrey Is Backing The Wrong Man Or Woman Or Whatever Roseanne Is Pissed About

"When Oprah makes her employees sign her fifty page non-disclosure statement, she doesn't "hope" they can't break it, she pays teams of experienced lawyers to MAKE SURE they can't break it, or be sued in an experienced court by an experienced judge."

Roseanne, commenting about the Billary/Obama/Oprah contest (I can't believe I've had reason to write those words) on The Huffington Post

You're A Dope: I'm A Rock Star (Not A Politician)

"BILL MOYERS: What does it say to you, Susan, that half of American adults believe in ghosts? Now I take these from your book. One-third believe in astrology. Three quarters believe in angels. And four-fifths believe in miracles.

SUSAN JACOBY: I think even more important than the fact that large numbers of Americans believe in ghosts or angels, that is part of some religious beliefs. Is the flip side is of this is that over half of Americans don't believe in evolution. And these things go together. Because what they do is they place science on a par almost with folk beliefs.

And I think-- if I may inveigh against myself, ourselves, I think the American media in particular has a lot to do with it. Because one of the things that really has gotten dumber about our culture the media constantly talks about truth as if it-- if it were always equidistant from two points. In other words, sometimes the truth is one-sided.

BILL MOYERS: When you wonder,...if any candidate has the will or courage to talk about ignorance as a political issue I find it hard to imagine a politician going very far, getting very far by telling his or her constituents--

SUSAN JACOBY: They're dopes.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah. You're ignorant. By ignorant you mean lack of knowledge, unaware.

SUSAN JACOBY: Lack of knowledge, right.

BILL MOYERS: You don't mean stupid, which means--


BILL MOYERS: --unintelligent.


BILL MOYERS: Or dimwitted.


BILL MOYERS: But I can't imagine a politician succeeded by saying, 'We're an ignorant culture and an ignorant people.'

SUSAN JACOBY: No. But I can imagine a politician succeeding by saying, 'We as a people have not lived up to our obligation to learn what we ought to learn to make informed decisions.' I can imagine candidates saying, "And we in the Congress have been guilty of that too." Because it's not just the public that's ignorant. We get the government we deserve.

In other words, you wouldn't say to people, 'You're a dope.'

- Taken from a transcript of a Bill Moyers conversation with Susan Jacoby (above) author of The Age Of Unreason

You Don't Get It (You're A Space Man)

"I knew I'd be a bad fit at Rodale. To no small degree, I knew this even before I was hired. Certainly I knew it with a rare clarity by the time I'd gotten settled in at my executive-editor's desk,...said desk was positioned so that I faced out the window, with my back to my office's glass-paned entry door. This meant (1) I had to work while facing into the daylight and (2) I'd never know when people were about to enter my office or might simply be hovering outside in the hallway, watching me. I find it impossible to work comfortably like that, and I soon found other Rodalians who felt the same way,...But I was told I'd have to make do; all of the desks at that campus were positioned according to the dictates of feng shui, a personal passion of Ardie Rodale (above) the eccentric matron who then still ran the company, at least for the record. See, the important thing was that the building was in harmony with the universe, even if the employees contained therein weren't. There's an important lesson right there about some of these New Age types..."

- Steve Salerno, writing on his SHAMblog about his regrettable time in the NewAge publishing business

Because A Stiff Upper Lip Was Asking Too Much

"Support for development in Africa; peace in the Middle East; fair migration; dealing with climate change; and creating international institutions ‘fit for these tasks’."

- Frank Furedi, author of Invitation To Terrorism: The Expanding Empire of The Unknown, listing what Tony Blair called ‘British values’ in the NewAge. This appeared in Spiked!

"Very soon there will be no more George W. Bush to dump on, hide behind, and blame for the widening cracks in the Atlantic alliance. Instead Europeans may well have to call on the old pro, Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, to lead them in negotiating sessions with jihadists, Iran, and Russia."

- Victor Davis Hanson, explaining how Europe's going to get there, in the National Review Online

Self-Help and Actualization Movement (SHAM)

I just found a great interview with my man, Steve Salerno, the author of "SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless", one of the best books I've read on the subject of Self-Help, NewAge, cultish thinking, and many of the other subjects TMR deals with. But, of course, Steve's a much nicer guy than I am, so it'll probably go down easier. Plus, it's radio! Just click the link, above, put it on in the background, and decide for yourself if I'm a crazy sexist divorced asshole,...or if maybe, just maybe, I might be a crazy sexist divorced asshole who knows a few things you don't.

BTW, Steve also runs SHAMblog, one of my favorite online hang-outs, where he allows other people to discuss whatever may pop into his head. So go over there - yea, pay a visit - and then hurry up and get your skinny butts back over here:

I'm not done with you yet.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You're Being Fed A Bunch Of Big Ol' Lies About The True Nature Of "Universal Healthcare"

"To hear the various supporters of universal access, single payer, or whatever is the current euphemism for socialized medcine describe it, proclaiming universal coverage is going to solve not only the cost problems of American medicine but also those of access. It’s as if the Obamas and Clintons of the world believe that there exists vast underground reservoirs of medical care which only have to be tapped to provide Americans with all the medical care they can eat. But, as anybody who has waited in our department or cannot get a timely appointment to see his doctor can tell you, we are operating pretty much at capacity right now and not only is there no reserve to tap but medical care is not a tappable commodity anyway, at least not like that. The only extra capacity will come from eliminating waste and unnecessary uses of medical services, something which will not happen when medical care is free because, unless there is some direct cost to the consumer, there is no incentive not to go to the doctor for every little thing.

In fact, everything about “Single Payer” is going to make medical care an even scarcer commodity. Just an increase in demand, that is, giving the Holy 47-million-uninsured (PBUTHN) sudden and equal access with no possibilty of increasing the supply of medical care, by itself will lead to a relative scarcity. That’s just simple math. Additionally, after an initial bonanza of insurance money to mollify the various short-sighted medical societies pushing single payer (including, unfortunately, my own) the pressure on reimbursements in the absence of any competition will be down, and down, and further down until at some point there will be so little incentive to see more patients for the government dime that we will stop working so hard and adopt a more European approach to a full waiting room or a long list of patients needing elective surgery. Try getting a doctor in the VA to see patients in the late afternoon for a preview. I mean, if we’re going to be government employees (de facto or otherwise) we may as well get all of the perqs including all the usual holidays, coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and the sure knowledge that we can never be fired. Remember, doctors in the German Federal Republic work around forty hours a week. The baby-boomer armies who will shortly pillage and burn their way down our medical Danube are going to need a lot more hours of our time than that to collect their booty of knees, hips, colonoscopies, and other plunder.

The correct play is to make going to the doctor cost something for everyone (no matter the income level) to discourage frivoulous use of services, enact national tort reform to begin to give physicians some cover behind which to start to exercise more common sense, to frankly eliminate most government involvement in primary care letting the market decide how much patients will pay for a doctor, and if we must provide free health care, limit it to the extremely poor and to government backed major medical insurance for which all but, again, the very poorest should contribute something. We might also start asking the elderly who have assets to kick in a little more for their own medical costs. I wouldn’t want to bankrupt anybody but would it kill many of the elderly if Medicare was means tested just a little? The idea is to set the stage for a little more patient and family involvement in real medical decision making, not the pretend decision making we have today where the answer is usually, “Do everything that someone else’s money can buy.”

Integral to this would be to start implementing EMTALA like it was intended, that is, to offer only a free screening exam and if no emergency medical condition is discovered, to allow the hospital the option of sending the patient home to follow up with his own doctor for whom they can pay if they want to. This would remove the “out” that people currently have to avoid taking money out of their tatoo budget to pay their minor, primary care-type medical bills. I’d also get rid of the Childrens Hospital (I)nrichement Program, also know as “CHIP.” Almost a complete waste of money as, again, most children just need a little low-cost primary care. I don’t think it would bankrupt us to pay for major medical expenses of children because, and hold onto your hats, most children, even the children of the Holy Underserved, are fairly healthy. Just pay for their necessary major medical care directly out of tax money and stop trying to comprehensively insure a population that doesn’t really need it.

The idea is to decrease the federal obligation, money that we don’t have and the borrowing of which is going to bankrupt our nation. Better to have a low tax economy where people are free to spend their own money how they like. If they decide to get that bitchin’ nose ring instead of their antibiotics, well, that’s just freedom, baby!"

- The Great Panda Bear, M.D.

I Am So Pissed (You People Are So Dumb)

"ABC reported in 2006 that 'in less than a year' after the ads began running, Miralus sold some 6 million tubes at $8 a pop. (For the math-impaired types,...that adds up to $48 million.)"

- Steve Salerno, writing about HeadOn! on the SHAMblog

$48 million dollars - for a "homeopathic" stick of wax. And they got all that money in less than a year. At $8.00 apiece: That's a whole gang of idiots out there.

And it probably never occurs to them, that they've given their money to people who are laughing at them, does it? No, they're too stupid for that. Or the fact they've given their money to unscrupulous people - possibly criminals - and for what? A stick of wax. Not the hungry, the sick, or the poor (or even to donate to this site where it's needed) but for people who laugh at them for how pathetically stupid they can be.

Is it any wonder why I could less about this totally unrealistic, and stupidly hubristic, desire to "Save The Planet"?

Fuck the planet. You don't know shit about it. Focus on saving yourselves,...