Saturday, February 28, 2009

Healthcare and Conscience

So Obama is moving to strike the "I don't have to treat you" regs from health care. You know, the ones that say if you have a "religious or moral" reason to refuse care to someone, that's just peachy. About time.

David Stevens, head of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is now whining. "It is open season to again discriminate against health-care professionals."

No - it is not discriminating against Christians. It is saying that "Christians" cannot discriminate against others. There is a difference. And if you can't stand the idea of treating a gay person, dispensing birth control pills, or vaccinating teenagers against cancer-causing viruses - DON'T GO INTO THE PROFESSION.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Doing What to Social Security?

Less than a year ago, there were right-wing wonks all over the news touting the privatization of Social Security. What glorious benefits we'd reap! What money would roll in! And all we'd have to do is junk that socialist system that is sooooo dated, and put everyone's retirement money into private 401(k)s. No longer would 30-somethings have to pay in to support gramma and pops, and we'd all get rich together.

I wonder where those people are now.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Crazy Conspiracy Theories

I love conspiracy theories. The more whacked-out, the better. The British royals are really lizards, Hillary has a love-child with the Grey Aliens - lots of fun to read. But I really DON'T like it when the crazies turn out to be right. As in, creepy right. Ever hear of the Bilderberg group? Maybe you'd better brush up. Because if the crazies keep their record of accuracy going, we'll be seeing a lot of very unpleasant changes coming up. $6 a gallon gasoline will be the least of it.

OK, some background. The Bilderberg group is a group of Very Big corporate and political leaders. They gather once a year for an invitation-only conclave, that is described as "private" rather than secret. So private that they bring in their own hotel staff, to prevent leaks of what is discussed. But not secret, because the guest list is somewhat known, and a couple of reporters usually manage to spot the Very Big people as they arrive. (Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and Peter Sutherland are all key figures.) The rest are also public figures, and recognizable. Most are high officials with banking institutions such as Goldman Sachs, the World Bank, the IMF, etc., or heads of big corporations such as BP or Coca-Cola. A lot are politicians, of apparently questionable loyalties.

Despite all the security measures, a couple of fringish reporters seem to have sources, and there have been reports of what went on in the meetings. I'm a skeptic about most of the One World Government conspiracy stuff, but I'm enough of a scientist to follow the method - find some falsifiable prediction, and see if it is rendered false. Usually these conspiracies predict stuff that never happens, or is never provable (or disprovable). Not so in this case. There were several very verifiable things to look for.

The meeting took place in June of 2007 in Istanbul. According to the moles, these were the discussions:

1) Robert Zoellick was to be confirmed as the next president of the World Bank. This occurred within days of the end of the meeting. OK, maybe not a big hit, since he had already been nominated.

2) Bilderbergers were annoyed that voters in France and the Netherlands vetoed the EU constitution. The Bs want a unified Europe under a single authority. According to one source back in June, a B stated: “Tell your people you fixed the treaty to meet their complaints, and let your parliaments ratify without a popular vote."
This was verifed this past week.
The new version is called the Treaty of Lisbon, and treaties, unlike constitutions, don't need a popular vote. Lots of Europeans are pissed off now, but it is looking like it's going to be rammed down their throats. So much for democracy. (The Washington Post has a good article on it at )

Still to be verified:

3) The Bs want the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) passed. This will give international control over all oceans, including sovereign coasts. The US has been resisting it for decades. But supposedly the Bs made headway this year, and the prediction is that Bush will announce support for it soon. It's up for a Senate vote very soon, and some news reports are announcing that the new version has "fixed the problems" of the older version.

4) The Bs don't like America's wastefulness with energy. (Well, they're not alone in that.) They are putting pressure on the government to get gas prices up to over $6/gallon. One timeline that has been noised around is to have this happen by 2016, so that the rise is gradual enough to not tank the economy. (Maybe it would go that high anyway, based on demand, so watch for federal gas taxes, rather than just a jump in oil prices.) The new term to market this is "sustainable growth".

5) The Bs want an "American Union" to parallel the EU. NAFTA was just the opener. Look for more free trade and other agreements among all the countries in the western hemisphere. But the current American obsession with border fences, passports, and immigrants runs directly counter to the Bs plans. The Bs are very anti-nationalist. The American public, largely, is not. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Look for US-Canada merger/open border talks first.

6) The Bs like Iran's oil more than they worry about its nuclear capability. Supposedly they told the Americans that any attack on Iran would have to be limited to strategic airstrikes. No invasions, or anything else that would slow the flow of the oil.

On the whole, I prefer it when the paranoids are wrong.


Friday, January 14, 2005

The SS Frameup

"We have a problem, and the problem is America is getting older and that there are fewer people to pay into the system to support a baby boomer generation which is about to retire. Therefore, the question is, does this country have the will to address the problem?"……President Bush, 12/9/04

OK, I’m being cynical again, but…

Bush is framing the debate over SS in terms of lack of young workers. He is simultaneously pushing for a drastic change in immigration law, to allow “guest workers” in, presumably at sub-minimum wages, to do the jobs he claims Americans won’t do. (Let’s leave aside, for the minute, the fact that a lot of these horrible jobs are in the software industry, and currently pay quite well, thank you.)

So- if you don’t want to cut SS benefits, and you don’t want to privatize – hey, just let in several million new “guest workers” – with low pay, no bargaining rights, and the threat of deportation hanging over their heads. They’ll be guaranteed to provide a wedge against unions, accept poor working conditions, and feed lots of industries that would rather not raise pay or improve conditions to make the jobs acceptable.

Does anyone else smell something a bit ripe?