Saturday, September 19, 2009

I don't kill baby orphans for profit!

I don't know that anyone reads this blog any more, with face book and all those immediate gratification sites, but I just need to get this off my chest...

I don't kill baby orphans for profit, nor do I support any corporation that does. I am not a racist. I am not ignorant or stupid or naive. I do not consider myself overly selfish, uncaring or greedy. And I can back all of these statements up with tax records, testimonials and empirical evidence!

I do not support health reform. I know that by saying this out loud (or anywhere on the web) I am setting myself up to be judged with a number of automatic prejudices. Well, I'm tired of being silenced by it.

People say there are greedy corporations out there taking advantage of us. This means we are assuming we don't have a choice, that we are being hoodwinked, that we are too stupid to know what's good for us. Well, maybe some of us are, but not most of us, and I don't think me. We always have a choice. (Here is where some would roll their eyes and sigh and call me dumb... no, really, it's happened... and if you are doing it, just stop it! Go read some other blog, you have a choice!)

For the most needy of us there are systems in place to make sure they are taken care of. I know, because I worked tirelessly for two years to make sure they received the best health care, including preventative. It was Medicaid and SSI that provided the funding, but it was not the system that was helpful. The bureaucracy did it's best to withhold, prevent payment and ration care through complicated paperwork, documentation and back logs of which these people could do nothing against. It was dedicated staff at SAIL, a private organization, that fought for their rights and provided outstanding support, despite the government's shortcomings.

In this sense, for our most needy, they are right, the system is broken. Our government needs to fix medicare, medicaid and social security, before they mess with the private organization. Make sure your own house is in order first. They also need to let the young and able opt out now, so we have a chance at independence in the future. Unless we increase taxes on everyone, we can't support these programs for our generation. Let's call it like it is and be honest, we need to sack up and start paying if what we're going to do is let the government take care of our most needy.

For those of us that can afford or barely afford private insurance, we don't have to pay those prices, we don't have to have insurance. We can forgo other expenses in order to pay for insurance, we can choose to have a job with insurance. As a nation, we spend more of our income on "entertainment" than we do health insurance. Where are our priorities? We can look to churches, co-ops, and already in place government programs to help us. We can appeal to our doctors and hospitals, communities and neighbors.

I don't remember much, but when I was little my mother got cancer. Her insurance covered it, they also spent all of their savings and went into debt, but as soon as she had beat it my dad quit his job because life was too short, and started his own business. This meant they lost their insurance when mom had a "pre-existing condition." They found their own insurance and paid for it, making choices and sacrifices to be able to pay for it. They managed. And I say if they can do it, so can we.

I have a problem with government "taking care of people." (unless your talking "takin' care a peeps" said gansta style with hand gestures, I have no doubt they're really good at that.) It was not designed to do so. Individuals are designed to take care of one another. If you see a need in your community, you need to step up and take care of it. Letting the government do it is inefficient. It takes too much time, creates middle management and oversight, and opens the door for corruption and abuse. The government doesn't care about us. People care about us.

And it's not because the President is black. First of all, he's not, he's only half black. Second of all, he's not the branch of government in charge of legislation or money, so my beefs not with him. And Third, good grief, really? That shouldn't even be an issue in this day and age. Stop giving power to that kind of argument, people!

So no, I don't want to kill baby orphans for a profit. This argument isn't as easy as labeling me stupid or heartless. I just feel the problems need to be addressed on a grass roots level, from the bottom up, and I believe they can be. If you don't believe that, and you think the government can do it, good! I hope you start running for office soon. (Dad, this does NOT include YOU!) Because the ones in there aren't going to be able to do it. We are the people, we need to do it. And if you're a Christian, (another thing you can't say anymore without people assuming things about you) "He has no hands, but yours." So get to work!


trinity_ray said...

Your mistake was in listening to the extremists. NO...not even the extremists. You can be extreme in your views and still be fair, reasoned and rational. Your mistake was in listening to the unfair, unreasonable and irrational...the propagandists and their ill-informed hordes. And these people live on both sides of every discussion in America today…they’re Republicans and Democrats. Just stop listening to them.

I don't believe you kill baby orphans anymore than I believe the President wants to set up "death panels" and kill my grandma. (Like you) I also don't believe that any of this has anything to do with race...Jimmy Carter was just wrong. But that's the world that he knows...the place he inhabits. And so he saw the world through that prism. I lived in Georgia for several years and I can understand why someone would see the world that way…as a place where race is always palpable…always a consideration.

And this is what it all comes down to (President Obama has even said so)...what do you believe the role of government is in America today? That's what we're all really discussing….not healthcare…not really. And our answers will be largely informed (like Jimmy Carter's) by the worlds we the prisms through which we see the world.

As a point of example, I live in a city of 2 million people where guns are used for one thing…to kill other people. Another pregnant 18 year old was shot dead just last week. Is it any wonder then that I would disagree with my father-in-law (the avid hunter who lives in a small town) as to gun laws in this country? It’s about the worlds we inhabit…the prisms through which we consider these issues.

You know how I feel about all this and so I’m not particularly motivated to rehash it all here. Though as you might expect I still disagree with your faith in the corporate system or in some quant (said with the utmost respect) ideal that your neighbors are going to come together and help you pay for your root canal. Community organizations have limits of scale. There are things they do very well and things they simply cannot do.

You say that if I believe so strongly in the government that I should run for public office. Well, I say to you that if you believe so strongly in the corporate system go to New York and try to get a meeting with the CEO of Blue Cross / Blue Shield. Then go to Washington and try to get a meeting with your state senator. Let me know how that works out for you.

For there to be “choice” in a capitalist society there has to be options. When the “options” are restrictive (expensive plan A or expensive plan B for example) then there really are no options at all.

Your argument here seems to be that your mother and father struggled under a terrible (corporate it should be noted) healthcare system and that this should be good enough for everyone else. What? Why? It’s a testament to your parents that they were able to make a way for themselves when the odds were stacked against them. But why should others have to bear this same burden when we can imagine a better way?

But most importantly…stop listening the hordes lead by the propagandists. I don’t agree with many of your views (no, really) but I respect that you’ve considered the issues and present them in a fair, reasonable and rational way. I feel like America would be a vastly better place if we just killed our TV’s and started thinking for ourselves…and talking respectfully to one another…

All the other stuff is a fraud.

chrissyrudd said...

Wow, Trinity, quite the response! Care for a social experiment? I'll stop reading wsj and Huffpo, and not watch CNN and Fox, if you do it with me? Kill your tv with me? :)

trinity_ray said...

You know I was just saying to someone just last night that since having the baby I only watch like 15 minutes of TV each day. And I don't miss it at all! I just don't have time anymore. I watch the weather in the morning (to see if the hell fires have come yet) and that's it. When I get home at night I play with baby, feed baby, try to feed self, put baby to bed at 8:30 (all this with the help of my lovely wife of coure) and then from 8:30 to maybe 9:30 or 10 I get on the computer, listen to music or read...and then I go to bed myself. I'm not saying all TV is bad...I miss the Sundance Channel and I still catch a Jon Stewart or two every weekend...but most TV is bad. Anyway, I've just been surprised by how little I really do not miss it.

trinity_ray said...

Of course re-reading your response I see now that you weren't talking so much about the physical act of watching TV as giving up on the media.

I don't inherently have a problem with Fox or CNN or any of the rest. Every media source has it's bias (some more blatant than others). Frankly, I think that's the genius of a show like Jon Stewart's...he wears his bias on his sleeve. There's no question where he stands. This in turn is whay he was recently voted the most trusted news source in the country (yes sad, but yes true).

No, my issue is with the TV shows that have no nutritional value whatsoever...or shows that illustrate that it's okay to yell, or lie or cheat ("reality" TV).

I don't like what most mass media has become but it's all we have. It's shortcoming is in that so many people swollow what its selling without flinching...without thinking for themselves. Read the Huffpo, NPR, newspapers of all stripes...even take in a Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olbermann from time to time. But just question it! Think for yourself (America generally I mean...not you specifically per se).

chrissyrudd said...

To set the record straight, I have never said "I heart corporations!", all I'm saying is their goal is to make money. It's not good, it's not bad, that's just what they do. If they didn't do that, where would we be? It is unequal, some say unfair. I haven't figured out how I feel about it. But this post isn't that I'm listening to the crazy (or "not crazy") media, what I'm frustrated about is not being able to say, "no I don't see it like that" to anyone without being told, or it being implied, that I'm less than intelligent. Sure I have different experiences, but that shouldn't invalidate them.

trinity_ray said...

I agree.

I think you should be able to say whatever you'd like so long as it's not blatantly ignorant or prejudice...which I've never heard you say. And in fairness you should be able to say those things too...I just wouldn't pay any attention. Which is what I'm suggesting to you...just ignore the ignorant people...the unfair, unreasonable and irrational people. You're not one of them and they are the minority (though they seem to capture the majority of the attention).

You and I have different views and we talk with civility to one another about those views...that's the way it should be. I'm convinced of late that to do it any other way is all wrong. I don't have time to yell at people who yell at me anymore. "Fuck them if they can't take a joke" is my new mantra.

And to set the record straight, I'm not sure I've ever said "I hate corporations." Sure, I hate some corporations but not the idea of corporations or even capitalism. I just think there's a place for it...let the robber barons sell me tube socks and video games...they have no place in healthcare in my opinion.

chrissyrudd said...

Thanks Trinity, sounds like a good plan.