Nice country you got here…

Be a shame if someone broke in here and completely trashed that nice First Amendment ya got there…..

This is too important to be dealt with civilly. Civility will bring us only defeat. We need to recall the spirit of those construction workers in New York City who, upon seeing a treason rally after the invasion of Cambodia, charged into the protests with their fists flying. The next time you see a person walking down a street with an anti-war button, even if they are minding their own business, call them a name. Start a screaming match with them. If a relative if yours opposes the war, refuse to speak to them, except in support for the war. If a bookstore displays anti-war books in a prominent position, refuse to shop there and explain to the owners exactly why.

Ah, the thinking gentlemen of the right. Start a screaming match with me in the street, pal. Please.

You pay their salaries

You should therefore know what they are up to. Here’s an interesting quote from Al Gore:

…this Administration has turned the fundamental presumption of our democracy on its head. A government of and for the people is supposed to be generally open to public scrutiny by the people — while the private information of the people themselves should be routinely protected from government intrusion.

But instead, this Administration is seeking to conduct its work in secret even as it demands broad unfettered access to personal information about American citizens. Under the rubric of protecting national security, they have obtained new powers to gather information from citizens and to keep it secret. Yet at the same time they themselves refuse to disclose information that is highly relevant to the war against terrorism.

They are even arrogantly refusing to provide information about 9/11 that is in their possession to the 9/11 Commission ³ the lawful investigative body charged with examining not only the performance of the Bush Administration, but also the actions of the prior Administration in which I served. The whole point is to learn all we can about preventing future terrorist attacks …

With that in mind, check out the Foundation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy. There’s an article about the founder, Steven Aftergood, here.

Got Insurance?

Just a quick thought on the whole topic of health converage. (Particularly pertinent since one of us is very sick this week.)

Many of you are aware that I had a British person in my house for the last month. We got into a conversation about health coverage. He found it unthinkable that if my finacªe or I was to get sick, like really sick, we could end up being denied coverage or fronted coverage like a bad gambling debt that would follow us for the rest of our lives.

Here’s what I found unthinkable:
One night, he told me, he woke up about 4:30 am, not feeling well at all. His stomach hurt and he was nauseated. By 6:00 am he was in agony. When the woman at the doctor’s office up the street unlocked the door to pick up the London Telegraph, she nearly hit him in the face.

The doctor saw him immediately, told him that his appendix needed to come out as soon as possible. The hospital was called, surgery was scheduled. and my friend caught a cab over to the hospital, which was the absolute fastest way to get there.

He was admitted and on the table getting his appendix removed by mid-afternoon. He spent a day or so recovering at the hospital and then went home. His total cost?

CAB FARE.

He had an interesting take on the whole US lack of coverage for 42 million people: It does really discourage initiative to have any kind of life other than the most traditional, 9 to 5 existence. I have talked about that here before. What I hadn’t thought about was to attribute this sad fact to some sort of intent on the part of the “powers that be” to maintain this state of affairs in such as a way as to maximize profit and to minimize cultural dissent. An interesting theory.
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I know, I know…

I said that I wasn’t going to blog any more about Iraq. You just have to go read this, though.

We drive around in convoys, blast the hell out of the area, break down doors and search buildings; but the guerillas continue to attacks us. It does not take a George Patton to see we are using the wrong tactics against these people. We cannot realistically expect that Stability and Support Operations will defeat this insurgency.

Why should I bang on about it when our own Colonels are saying it so much more eloquently than I could?