Friday, August 21, 2009

My angry healthcare rant

Accoring to the latest polls, Americans are losing confidence in Obama. I wonder if a significant portion isn't progressives. Frankly, I’m getting a little pissed. He needs to stand up to the lying obstructionists and push through health care reform.

I’m really sick of these political fuck-tards, Nazi sign carriers and Fox News detractors. I can’t see how you could stand for the American people and deny healthcare reform. Insurance premiums double in four years. This is A-okay with the Republicans politicians and a ton of brainwashed Americans. We’re paying through the nose for the uninsured. This is just great with the Republicans. Heathcare will continue to eat up our budgets, and this if just fine with the Blue Dogs. I’ve never seen a more obvious sucking up to corporations. They’re laughing at you all while taking their record profits to the bank. They’ve successfully brainwashed you and bought you. Isn’t American about the people, not the companies?

Half of the dissenters say we don’t need healthcare reform at all. They got theirs already, so to hell with the rest (apparently they’re so rich they don’t care that their premiums go up 25% a year). The other half lies about how they want to see “responsible reform.” We see these commercials paid for by the insurance industry talking about “healthcare reform the right way.” Do they think we’re stupid? Co-ops are “the right way?” Co-ops are a freaking joke, another distraction. “Litigation is the only problem” they say. Yup, if we just stopped those pesky lawyers our healthcare system would be perfect! How can anyone defend the insurance industry? Listen folks, the free market doesn’t work in this case. The incentive is to screw hard working Americans out of healthcare they’re entitled to. They get raises and promotions for denying coverage. Apparently the Republicans think this is really cool! How in the world can you defend this? There’s no competition now. Companies collude with each other like small town gas stations, they don’t compete against each other. This is just great to the “no healthcare reform” crowd.

Don’t even get me started about idiots ranting about “gov’mnt control” or “socialism” while they pick up Social Security checks and get Medicare. I’d like to detach you completely from the “socialist” teat and see how loud you scream. Take your freaking kids out of our “socialist” schools and put your own house out when it catches on fire while you’re at it.

Some of the Dems are just as bad. These politicians are bought and paid for, straight up. I am interested in hearing what the insurance companies would like out of this bill. I’m interested because that should be exactly what we DON’T do. These guys are laughing to the bank while Americans die.

A few weeks ago I supported slowing down to listen to concerns and try to reach an acceptable compromise. Well I’m done with that. Time to punish the liars and thugs. I’m looking forward to the day when we pass serious much-needed healthcare reform in this country and all the nuts get so mad they can’t sleep.

I was hoping a good hate-filled rant would make me feel better, but it’s not. I can’t even read the Denver Post forums anymore or I get upset. Obama, get this done, chief.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The War in Afghanistan

To “win” in Afghanistan, we must win over the people.

To understand this conflict and why the Taliban is having success in Afghanistan we must walk in the shoes (or sandals) of an average Afghani. Before the Taliban, Afghanistan was run by multiple clans, which operated like gangs. They set up checkpoints and took what they wanted—whether money, your daughter or your life—from Afghani citizens by force. There was no law and no justice. As you can imagine, for your average Afghani, anything was better than this.

So then the Taliban rolled in town and cleaned thing up. They set up a justice system, and even if sharia is tough and often sick by our standards, it was at least consistent and relatively free of corruption. People had recourse against assailants, there was some semblance of order. Gone were checkpoints and many citizens of Afghanistan were finally free of the violent gangs. The Taliban opened schools, and although girls couldn’t go and the curriculum was very strict Islamic teachings, at least it was better than no schools at all.

So again, to understand, walk in their shoes. They don’t “follow” the Taliban because they hate America. The average poor Afghani doesn’t give a fart about America. They care about their herd of goats, their garden, and feeding and schooling their children. Taliban provided these things when no one else would.

We cannot win Afghanistan without providing these things for the Afghani people. Dissolving the Taliban is one goal, but the second goal has to be to create a working government in Afghanistan that can provide security and other basic needs for the people. If we don’t some other radical group will.

The people will define success our in Afghanistan. If America shows them we can help provide for their basic needs, they might just help us take their country back from the Taliban. This is not an easy task, as Afghanis have always distained outsiders. However, if we bomb them and do the Dick Cheney “just kill them” thing, they will side with the Taliban in droves. With only a relatively small number of troops in Afghanistan the last few years, we didn’t have the troops we needed to invade villages, kill the bad guys but spare the innocent women and children. Instead we bombed them, and although we surely had some success, the collateral damage was hurting our cause. When Americans are killing more civilians than the Taliban, it’s no wonder why the people were still siding with the bad guys.

Many experts that know Afghanistan much better than me or anyone else on this forum think we’re best off pulling out of the country altogether. While I don’t agree, I see their point that an armed outside presence in Afghanistan has a real danger of pushing more people over to the Taliban. I think our approach to Afghanistan now is a pretty decent balance of kicking bad guy butt while trying to win over the people. But the worst possible thing we could do now is to take the gloves off. They will remember and they will NEVER be on our side. Now, instead of being a bit cold to America, they’ll make it their mission to kill us for generations and generations.

It's never as simple as just killing bad guys, and we have to think through this enough to ensure long term success and the best outcome for America's interests.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gates Gate

This whole Gates thing is making me mad. I'm raving pissed at Glenn Beck and other media prostitutes who are taking this chance to make ludicrous charges about Obama being racist. But I'm also pretty darn angry at Prof Gates.

At first I thought for sure this was profiling by the 911 caller, as well as the policeman. I thought this was the situation: An elderly, well dressed black man with a cane and a professional driver were fiddling with a key in their front door. Anyone who would call the police in that situation are racial profilers, little doubt of that.

Turns out that wasn’t the situation at all. Gates and his driver actually broke the screen door down to get inside. And when I heard the actual 911 call, I was downright embarrassed. Here’s a transcript of the call. and here’s the audio recording. (If this link doesn't work you can Google it. It's worth hearing). This lady is obviously calling out of concern. She acknowledges that the men might be residents, but says she thought she would call just in case. When asked by the 911 operator what the men’s races were, she didn’t even know. She thought one might have been Hispanic. How could she be profiling if she didn’t even know their races at all?

Of course, an critical point is that Crowley still made a mistake in arresting Gates. He had no grounds to do so, which is why the charges were dropped. He should have just walked away. However, I now see that it is extremely unlikely Crowley or the caller were racist. We later heard about how Crowley taught his coworkers about racial profiling. That doesn't exonerate him, but it does make it more unlikely that he would treat Gates differently. I find myself thinking the only one thinking about race in the whole issue was Gates. He acted very badly. I'm sure he was very tired from getting back from China and wasn't in the mood to be confronted, but that's no excuse. I think Crowley was offended at being called a racist and his ego was wounded and he made the wrong call by taking Gates in. But this was more of a cop power trip than racist. It's a "how dare you talk to ME like that" moment. Guess maybe there's a chance he wouldn't have taken him in if he were white, I just can't see a shred of evidence.

And I wish Obama would have kept his thoughts to himself on this one. In a press conference early this year on something I can’t remember, someone asked him why he hadn’t condemned some action earlier. He said “I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” He should have taken his own advice on this one. Could be the first blunder Obama's made.

I'm angry at Gates because there's no doubt racial profiling is a significant problem in America. But now by "crying wolf" he's decreased the credibility of minorities that are profiled. Now these idiot rednecks in Colorado think every time someone shouts racial profiling, it's another Gates Gate. Plus he's given the right more fodder in their race bating antics. He owes the black community an apology for that. Anyway, I just hope this whole thing goes away now.