HEALTHCARE: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

July 19, 2009

Here is your crash course in health care “reform”.

First, is our healthcare system broken? As my husband says, let me break it down Barney-style for you. No, it is not broken.  Do you believe our grocery store system is broken? You know, the system that works by providing what all of us would deem a basic life necessity (food) for a price. Nope, it works pretty darn well.  And, really how many of us want to be on the government grocery handout? Do you want to eat government cheese and rice everyday? I didn’t think so.

Let’s not forget that there are many different kinds of grocery stores as well to suit a variety of tastes, wants, and needs.  There’s organic and natural, gourmet, discount, regular, suburban, quickmarts, ethnic, co-ops, bulk warehouses, speciality (butcher, bakery, etc.),  and probably many more.  We have a marketplace of food stuffs out there providing for seemingly every taste and catering to all budgets as well. And those who truly struggle and cannot afford to supply all or any of their own food needs are typically provided for through community and religious efforts such as soup kitchens and Feed The Children, not by government. But most people get their food with their own resources through a grocery store of some kind.  And it works.  Can I afford to shop at AJ’s Fine Foods on a weekly basis? No. So I don’t, and the Basha’s family of grocery stores knows that and provides a solution.

The Basha’s family of grocery stores has 6 different store formats, 3 of which are major grocery stores.  Those stores are AJ’s Fine Foods (gourmet and high end stuff), Basha’s Supermarket (run of the mill average grocery store), and Food City (lower priced grocery store typically in less well to do neighborhoods.). I’ve shopped in all three stores, the food is fine in all of them.  But I cannot afford the high end stuff at AJ’s  every week (like seven dollar peanut butter), and I don’t have to when I can get a similar item at the other two stores for considerably less. That is because I have options.  Basha’s knows that people need that, that’s why they have different stores.  And any grocery also know that people need price options, that’s why they carry different brands and now have store brands (Progresso soup for $3.50 or store brand for $0.99?) You pick what works for you, but you have to pay for it otherwise it’s called stealing. And judging by the size (ahem) of many of what we call the poor, I think they’re getting plenty to eat.  In fact, judging by the size of many Americans of varying socio-economic classes, I’d say we are served well (pun intended).

We are constantly told about the millions of “uninsured” in America. There are apparently 46-50 million of these uninsured. Let’s address this number, again Barney-style:

“But it’s hard to envision how health reform can avoid tripping the immigration booby trap. Approximately 15–22 percent of the 46 million residents of the United States without health coverage are illegal aliens. That’s about 9 or 10 million people. More generally, a third of the foreign-born are uninsured, Census data analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies show. That means something like 12.6 million people, or more than a fourth of the total uninsured, are immigrants, both legal and illegal. Since 1989, immigration is responsible for 71 percent of the rise in those without health insurance.  The fact is, the problem of the uninsured would be a more manageable one if the U.S. were not admitting millions of uninsured immigrants.” —-from

And who are the rest of the uninsured? Let me tell you: Another 14 million are people who qualify for government care but chose not to sign up because they don’t want to pay the premium. These people are eligible to sign up whenever they please regardless of preexisting condition. Roughly 27 million of that number are those with personal incomes in excess of $50,000/year who don’t qualify for govt. care but could purchase their own in the marketplace, or possibly through employers, but they choose to do neither. This group may also have incomes that allow them to pay out of pocket for healthcare as it is required by them and their families. Two-0thirds of the uninsured are 18-34 year olds, a group that most likely thinks they are healthy so they don’t need healthcare, and thus are likely to spend their money in other ways they see fit.  The number of uninsured also includes people who are switching jobs and thus insurance companies.

That doesn’t leave a whole lot of truly unisured people.  Those people are still able to receive emergency care at hospitals.  There are probably also community clinics available to most of these people as well.  I used to work for Catholic Community Services in their Tucson dental clinic.  Payment was based on a sliding scale according to income.  Eligibility was determined by income (you had to be poor) and bring proof of residency (gas bill, etc.). The clinic offered dental, medical, eye, and ob/gyn care. Again, the community and religious organizations fill a need here.

There is plenty of access to quality healthcare for various levels of income. It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s pretty darn good.  So why do we want to make pretty darn good into really friggin bad? Why do we want to wait months for pap smears and CT scans? Why do we want to railroad seniors it to not getting care because they would not be considered priorities? Why would we give up timely treatment of cancers and arthritis and other diseases that, as of now, have a high recovery rate in this country? Here’s a good primer on what is wrong with socialized medicine:

Why do people think that the care will be better when fewer are able to administer it, access it, and payment to provides will be far less? One of the reasons that healthcare costs are high is because of lawsuits and the malpractice insurance required to defend against them.  If congress really wants to do something useful (besides working less and taking a pay cut…and by the way, their medical plan covers everything and they get it for life) they should consider looking at tort reform.

While you might here that you can keep the coverage you have, this statement should have an asterisk at the end of it.  If the “reform” bill is passed you will not be allowed to sign up for any kind of private plan, nor will companies be allowed to take on new customers (which seems to mean that if you and your family are covered by blue cross and have a baby, the new baby will have to go government), and within 5 years all the plans will have to be just like the government one. So, what the hell is the point in keeping what you’ve got? 

If we are going to make changes, they should be for the better. That should go without saying. I think the healthcare system should function, in some ways, like our grocery system.  There should be a marketplace, a variety of products for consumers to choose from.  This is one way to keep costs competitive.  I also think healthcare insurance plans should be portable, not tied to an employer.  And I believe that there should be a far greater emphasis on health savings accounts and catastrophic coverage purchased by individuals.

This healthcare bill is 1000+ pages and they want it passed by the end of the month (with less than 3 weeks to read and discuss it after it was written).  The Patriot Act was 342 pages(And remember all the noise we heard about that?), and began it’s life after the attack of September 11, 2001 and was passed on October 26, 2001 (with 98 yeas in the senate, 1 nay, 1 abstained and 357 yeas in the house, 66 nays, 9 not voting) and then again in 2006 ( senate 89 yea, 10nay, 1 no vote and house 280 yea, 138 nay, 14 no vote). And by the way, the constitutional convention in Philadelphia was from May to September 1787, the original document fit on 4 handwritten pages. After the Convention passed the Constitution it went to the states where in December of 1787 Delaware was the first state to ratify the constitution and Vermont the last in 1791, and Virginia was the last to ratify the Bill of Rights, also in 1791.

The short and succinct Constitution made a nation and took far fewer people than are in the congress today far more time to come to a consensus on such a reformative document.  Not to mention the pages and pages of discourse that were penned and exchanged on the topic in such writings as the Federalist Papers. But now, progressives want to transform the country into something it was never meant to be into something that is not achievable anywhere on earth, they want utopia.  This is a fanciful child’s dream of naivete. This healthcare reform act will only make things worse.

Please help to put a stop to this madness by signing a petition to keep healthcare out of the government’s hands. And after you sign it, please forward it to everyone you know. At this point the signatures are nearing 500,000, and the new goal is for 1 million.


Musings of an amusing mind…and stuff you should think about.

July 16, 2009

Today’s post is just snippets, previews, if you will.

1. Was Michael Jackson’s death a freak tragic accident or was it orechestrated by higher powers? And by higher powers I mean…The Republican National Commitee.  At first I thought maybe.  After all The King of Pop died right as the Mark Sanford scandal broke. It was like magic.  One minute it seems like we would be hearing about Sanford for days, then The Man in the Mirror dies and it’s wall to wall MJ. But then Sanford came out and made an even larger ass of himself saying that he needed to tell his story, when most people would have just quietly slipped into the background. So, no, it couldn’t have been the RNC.  But maybe it was the DNC or the Administration. I think it’s far more likely that if MJ’s death was orchestrated is was done so to take attention away from Iran, North Korea’s missle launching, deaths of our military abroad despite pulling out and no one named Bush in office, and anything that comes out of Joe Biden’s mouth.

2. Was Dick Cheney covering up some super secret black helicopeter CIA operation? Probably not. You might have heard the contrary, but this is mostly to cover Pelosi’s ass about waterboarding. The program in question was apparently not fully operational and the CIA is not required to brief on such things that are not operational.  And by the by, the program was to kill Al Qaeda leaders abroad. You know, the same Al Qaeda that those people who are against action in Iraq say we should actually be at war with. The same Al Qaeda that like to blow themselves and others up for fun and virgins. A program to kill those guys…raise your hand if you’re against that.

3.  I just saw the movie “Knowing” with Nicholas Cage.  It was dreadful (In fact the only decent movie I’ve seen in theaters in years is Disney/Pixar’s “Up”, but that is not the point). The premise is (spoiler alert) that this little girl in the 1950s has voices in her head telling her all these things that she writes down and sticks in a time capsule. The things she writes down are a giant list of numbers that are the lat. and long. coordinates, dates, and number of dead for all the catastrophes in the world for the next 50 years. Time capsule gets dug up, list is in Nick Cage’s posession, and being the brilliant astrophysicist he is he figures it out.  Through the whole movie we hear how there is an Indian summer, solar flares that will disrupt cell service, and so forth.  As it turns out, The last date on the list is happening in just a few short days after the list is discovered, but there’s only a date, no body count or coordinates.  And do you know why, cuz it’s the end of the world.  And do you know how the world ends? The Sun gets too damn hot and we all fade to white.  Or at least that was the artistic interpretation of what a giant solar flare does to the world. What I’d like to point out is that this movie is based on the fact that the sun is hot and volatile. Not only can and does it warm the Earth but it kills us all.  Not the SUVs (which Mr. Cage drives in the movie), not carbon, not coal, not anything but the Sun. I know this was a movie, but you do realize how much the sun contributes to our climate right? You’ve noticed that it gets cooler, even dramatically so at night or when it’s cloudy (even in the summer!), haven’t you? If you haven’t noticed this then give my regards to Osama, ’cause you must be living in the same cave he’s in.

more to come later.

Cheerio to Cheerios?

June 22, 2009

This morning as I dined on Gluten Free Rice Chex, my breakfast cereal of convenience, and checked the news I was startled to learn that the FDA is cracking down on Cheerios. Yep.  The FDA had this to say :

                                             “Based on claims made on your product’s label,” the FDA said in a letter to manufacturer General Mills, “we have determined (Cheerios) is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for use in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of disease.”

Cheerios a drug, you say? Indubitably.  If you’ve been in a cereal aisle lately you’ve seen that bright yellow box that may have the heart-shaped bowl of Cheerios on it and the box informs you that Cheerios can help you lower your cholesterol and is heart healthy. Wow.  I mean I can see where people might get the wrong idea.  Standing among the brightly colored boxes of Cocca Puffs, Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and Frosted Flakes; seeing all that Shredded Wheat, Total, Raisin Bran, and Special K flanked by boxes of sugar-coated toaster pop-ups and all manner of instant oatmeal….I can see how someone might think that the Cheerios are actually a drug.  I mean, if you weren’t paying attention (because your eyes were closed and your hands are totally insensate) you might actually confuse it for a bottle of Excederin or NyQuil.

Apparently, claims such as the ones found on the Cheerios box totally ran amok during the Bush Administration, but the Obama Administration will be cracking down.  Don’t get me wrong, I think claims on labels and in advertising should be true and accurate. So maybe the FDA should start with, gee I dunno, all those weightloss rememedies out there.  But alas, Cheerios got the letter.

As if this was not enough of a thing to get somewhat riled about  I read further down in the article and I found this gem:

                                                       ” Koff argued that the General Mills study was suspect, as the company paid for the research and two staff members helped author it. That is not the type of rigorous, double-blind, peer-reviewed science necessary to back up drug claims.”

In case you didn’nt catch the part that made do a double take I added the emphasis for you. I find this scoffable.  You wanna talk about perr-reviewed science? Okay, bring it. First, there are many studies that support the many health benefits of whole grains, chief among them oats and wheat.  Now, I’m not saying every study or medical professional out there supports the whole-grain-health claims, because I obvioulsy have not read them all.  What I am saying is that there are studies with actual scientific conclusions, and that there are not many dissenters regarding these claims out there.  In fact, I can’t think of any dissent regard the healthful benefits of whole grains. Even those who tout low carb diets acknowledge whole grains have healthful benefits. It’s the refined grains and sugars that are not so good. What I’m saying is, essentially, it’s very hard (if you could do it at all) to find a doctor or dietician that would tell you that eating whole grains would be bad for you in this context. Basically, because the science does not come to that conclusion.

Why then have we thrown science off the global warming bus? (I know, what you’re thinking: Maya, how the hell do you draw a parallel between America’s #1 selling breakfast cereal and the debate on global warming? I’m glad you asked.) Okay global warming, I’m sorry, I mean “global climate change”… Although, about 35 years ago there was hysteria about the impending ice age.  I guess that’s why they changed the term, because climate change could go either way technically, but we all know what they mean.

In case you haven’t noticed – and you may not have because Al Gore has a very robo-hypnotic voice that contibutes to excessive drowsiness, unintentional drooling and staring blankly into the void – the science on global climate change is not conclusive. Oh, you may hear Sean Penn and his red-carpet ilk proclaim that it is, but it just ain’t so. 

 There is a world-wide community of tens of thousands of scientists (there’s a petition they’ve signed and everything) who do not support the idea that climate change is mainly propelled anthropogenically if at all.  In fact, these crazy scientist think that climate change may be caused by something larger than your SUV – you know, like the sun. Not only do they point to the sun (after all it is a big ball of fire hanging round the sky that’s kinda hard to miss, but it probably has nothing to do with the climate…nah, that’s be just nuts!), but also to other various cosmic rays as well as more local causes such as oceans and volcanoes.  They’ve written such books as The Chilling Stars, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, The Manic Sun, and The Satanic Gasses just to name a few.

These objectors also point out that the east Antarctic is getting colder, California had billion dollar crop loss due to unusual frost last year, and southern sea ice is growing.  I’d also like to point out (as many of these guys also do) that, according to the geological record the global climate has changed several times on its own from ice to temperate. And I’m pretty sure T-rex and his brontosaurus pals weren’t driving Hummers and Escalades. In addition, during periods of warmth, the world generally does better in terms of food supply and general health and prosperity and less people (especially the elderly and very young) die in larger numbers during cold times not, as headlines would have you believe, during heatwaves.

But, this is in keeping with the alarmist trend and its top three rules: pick a pariah, ignore facts, shout loudly. It is just ridiculous to treat Cheerios like this.  And what about all the other foods that make similar claims such as the Smart Balance brand of butter spreads, Tropicana orange juice, Vitamin Water, or Weight Watchers SmartOnes? Are they drugs, too.  Are we going to need a prescription for our breakfast? Does that mean it’ll be a covered benefit? And who’s gonna pay for that? So many questions, too many directions to go. I’m not saying all those products should all be pulled from the shelves or have to change their labels.  But I am wondering how it came to this, this uber-nanny state.

I went to my local Pharmaca store  (An integrative pharmacy with a lot of supplements) today to pick up some Omega-3’s and Glucosamine and every time I turned over a bottle it said on the label, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease,” or something along those lines.  Will Cheerios be able to do that? But let’s be honest, that’s why people buy those things, to prevent, cure and treat. And we should be allowed to buy those things. We should be able to take care of ourselves.  As it stands now, supplement makers have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their product, not the FDA.  So why do we need the FDA anyway? I don’t know.  My bet is that private industry would’ve produced a similar agency because people just don’t like it when things are unsafe. Such organizations already exist in many industries (And private industry usually does it better than the government): Flight Safety Foundation, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, The Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten Free Certification Organization.  

Anyway, didn’t the FDA approve Vioxx? Yeah, in 1999 (Clinton Administration).  Hmmm. And Merck, who manufactured it, voluntarily pulled it in 2004 (Bush Administration). Well, it’s a good thing those guys are so concerned.

It’s not about safety, it’s a bout politics and control.  And they don’t even have the decency to admit it. So, what was that again about peer-reviewed science and policy-making? Let’s have some intellectual honesty here, folks, then we can have a discussion.  And let’s actually let the science shape the policy instead of the the other way around.


Links related to the above topics: (kudos for whole grains) (whole grain study) (Former New Scientist Ed. on challenging the “settled” science)  (medieval warm period time line)   (Article by Richard Lindzen about climate change) (by Richard LIndzen about global warming hysteria)  (FDA regulation on soluble fiber and heart disease, it’s very governmental, but I do recommend reading what you can of it as well as checking out the rest of their ridiculous website.)

No Foreign ORE! Wait, I mean OIL…or is it ORE? Dang it.

June 5, 2009

So, we’ve all heard that we need to get off foreign oil.  I know you’ve seen those snazzy bumperstickers “No war for oil.” Gee, I’ve always wanted a political platform that could fit on a bumpersticker.  Ooh! Okay, mine’s gonna be “Shut up, stupid!”

Now, I’m sure that with all the saturation of these clever phrases and the current theater of war you all think our oil comes solely from the middle east. Well, that’d be wrong-o. And in case you don’t believe me, here is a snippet from :                                        

Oil Imports
Where does America get all the oil it needs? The U.S. imports roughly half the total — over ten million barrels of crude oil a day. Canada is the top source, at nearly 1.8 million barrels. Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Venezuela are numbers two through five, each exporting more than one million barrels a day. Angola, Iraq, Colombia, Kuwait and Algeria round out the top ten; each exports between 273,000 to 641,000 barrels a day.


That’s from here:

Now, you also may have heard something about the oil we have here in the U.S. There’s a lot in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. But we don’t want to go get it.  Now, that’s a headscratcher to me.  Seems like if you want to start getting off foreign oil, you might want to get it done domestically. Just sayin’.

See, but the argument of foreign oil is slightly misstated.  Yes, there are loud groups out there who want to get us off foreign oil, but the bumpersticker crowd really wants of oil. Just oil.  They want alternative energy. Wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, smart cars, hybrids that run on ethanol, biodiesel, rechargeable batteries, gerbils in wheels… But not the alternative that makes the most sense: nuclear. It’s the most efficient, we have the technology to utilize it, and it is safe (no matter what they screech). Hey, France is doing it, and while that is not necessarily a selling point for me, it seems to be for a lot of people in other arenas such as foreign policy and healthcare and the like. Now, two of the reasons people don’t want nuclear power is because you have to mine uranium and then store the spent uranium. They don’t like it.  Not in their backyard, they tout.  Well, If I had any uranium in my yard I’d let ya dig it up and when you were done using it I’d store it in my freezer for you. Heck, I’m sure that’d be a lot safer than some fresh Gitmo realeasee in my backyard. But, that’s another blog.

So, we don’t like mining and storing uranium…or coal….or copper….or pretty much anything. 

What does that have to do with foreign oil? you ask. M’kay: We have established 1. We don’t like mining and it’s byproducts. 2. We want off oil. There is a huge push for electric cars to jusmpstart this foreign oil thing.  (We won’t talk about what other things we use oil for like industry, home heating and cooking, and making plastic).  The President has even set a goal that by 2016 cars will get at least 35 mpg(even the smart car for two doesn’t get that in the city, check it’s website).  Personally, I can’t wait til we are all driving vehicles made of balsa wood that run on cow farts (which I believe is the true alternative energy source).  No doubt he, and others, would like to see that goal accomplished with prius and smart car type things.

There are the obvious practical problems.  For instance, the smart car is not a family car and the Prius cannot accommodate larger families, or even a smaller family of 3-4 and their daily needs, especially if you throw in Rover and Fido and, what’s that ya say? You’d like to take a roadtrip to Grandma’s…..yeah right.  Oh, and they’re ugly. But on a more serious note, there is the unintended consequence. If we go Prius style there is the problem of the battery.

The battery is made of NiMH cells (Nickel metal hydride). Nickel is one of the pesky metals that has to be mined – you know, as opposed to the ones floating around in the air or growing on trees. We established that we are not big mining fans here in the U.S. (I’m using we in broad, other side, more like them sense, cause I like me a good mine and a heapin’s pile-o-tailings). Well, I guess we’ll have to get that Nickel from somewhere else.  Hmm, I guess that means going foreign. Dang it. Would you like to know which country currently produces the most nickel? I thought so.  It’s Russia. Russia also has the highest yielding nickel mine. Has a lot of nickel info including the top nickel mining countries and while Australia and Cananda are on the list so are China, Cuba, and Colombia. And once we get that stuff out of the ground and make the batteries that we one day will have to throw away, where will we put them? Can’t bury nuclear waste at Yucca mountain, And those twisty lightbulbs are full of mercury so if you break one it takes a hazmat team to clean it up, I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to toss them in the ocean.  Well, I guess when the battery in your prius dies you can just turn it in to a nice lawn decoration or a festive holiday center piece – I’m sure Martha will come up with some smashing ideas.

Is one energy better than the other in terms of foreign policy and trade relations and scary dictators with bad clothes and ugly eyewear? You decide.  The point is that if we won’t even go get our own oil, we certainly won’t mine any nickel on U.S. soil. And I’d also like you to think about what people mean when the say “foreign” oil. To me, foreign is foreign: from another land that is not this country.  But I never see any bumper stickers about bad Canadian oil.  So is foreign just when they don’t speak english? because I thought only us jingoistic righty conservatives were like that (sarcasm) not the peace and love and tolerance lefties.

Look, all I’m saying is that you have to think.  Think about practicality, unintended consequences, and what is actually good for us. Don’t just stop at the end of the bumper sticker. And if you just can’t manage that, at least the bumper sticker will be easy to fix, just turn the “L” into and “E”, and if you try really hard you can cram the loop and leg on the “I” to make and “R”. ‘Cause I know you’ve got the Sharpies lying around from making all your protest signs.


May 1, 2009

I”m not one for conspiracy theories, but I’ve got a few here.  I don’t think they’re too far-fetched.  After thinking about it for a while I have come to these two conclusions

First, The president and his administration should have closed the boreder, but didn’t.  (see above blog) I think they didn’t because, besides all the warm fuzzies we’re supposed to have for Mexicans (esp. the illegal kind), I think that if they closed the border people would realize it could be closed and managed for immigration purposes as well.  We are constantly told that closing the border, building fences or adding more man power to patrol desert areas would do no good to stem the flow of illegal crossing.  That, of course is crap as the border fence in San Diego has pushed crossers farther east and since the National guard has left the border violence and crossings have increased.  We would have to provide extra man power in desolate areas as well as actual border crossings to shut down the border for flu purposes – because if we didn’t people would just keep crossing illegally esp. those with flu to seek treatment in the U.S.  And, i postulate, if we did, we would see a dramatic drop in border crossing and then people would see that, si se puede, the border can be managed contrary to what the left tells us.

Number Two.  I think this administration is looking for a health scare.  Yep, they want to scare us all into national healthcare.  It makes no logical sense to make the leap to national healthcare from possible pandemic, but that’s the point.  See if they cause a panic that would get people thinking in a stupid way.  People will be scared and pinicky and since this is a health scare they will cry out for health care.  Because that is what stupid scared  mobs do. 

And, i don’t trust the WHO as far as I can throw them.  In fact i would trust Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend (The Who) to manage this far better than the brach of the UN. On Hugh Hewitt’s show today, Mark Steyn reminded the audience that China lied and lied for weeks about SARS and the WHO was complicit in that. Plus, they belong to the UN which has the Congo, Saudi Arabia, and The People’s republic of China, among others, on its Human rights council.

Look, everyone gets it except the administration: The border should have been closed.  They close schools becasue they don’t want the sick kid coming in and infecting the 30 other students who in turn infect their families, who in turn infect their coworkers and so on.  It makes sense.  You don’t open the gates to the rest of the Huns because a few got in. 

Just think about it.


April 30, 2009

Yeah, that’s right.  I’m calling it “Mexican Pig Flu.” We already changed the War on Terror to “Overseas Contingency Operation” whatever the hell that is.  Because, of course, there is no such thing as terror.  So, excuse me but I won’t be calling the Swine Flu the “Worldwide Respiratory Affliction” or whatever Crappy Nappy and Mr. President come up with. I’ve decide to call it Mexican Pig flu because it started in Mexico (They found the 5-year-old kid who has been deemed “patient zero” who lives in the hills of Mexico surrounded by pig farms), and it’s got a Swine flu strain (H1N1) in it which is how the “Swine” nomenclature came about.  I don’t care if it’s offensive or insensitive or politically incorrect – it’s accurate.

Here’s what I know about this.  The first case was reported on April 13, 2009.  There are 91 confirmed cases in the U.S. They are in 10 states.  There has been 1 death in the U.S. but it wasn’t a U.S. death.  Let me clarify: a 23-month-old child from MEXICO came to Texas and received treatment.  The toddler later died.  That is, of course, tragic but this is not a U.S. death.  It is the death of a Mexican citizen in the U.S. The child also had underlying health issues. You can keep tabs on U.S. cases on the CDC website

Mexico has had 2000-3000 cases of people with “flu-like” symptoms show up in hospitals. Different news reports put the death toll of these cases anywhere between 150-300.  Of those deaths, only SEVEN have confirmed Mexican Pig Flu.  You should also know that The reports of new cases in Mexico are tapering off (Last Friday there were 141  cases reported, on Saturday 119, and then on Sunday 109), and the “new” cases in the U.S. are actually just confirmation of the probable cases you heard about last week.  The acting head of the CDC, Bresser, said that that’s not anything to be optimistic about, nor should we be optimistic that there are no U.S. deaths (I do not consider the Mexican toddler a true U.S. death)

Now, for my second politically incorrect position: I do think the border should have been closed with Mexico.  Look, people who traveled to Mexico are the main people afflicted by Mexican Pig Flu, besides those actually residing in Mexico.  But, President Obama and his dream team said there is nothing that would ever make them close the border with Mexico, and it wouldn’t do any good anyhow since the flu is already here.  Oh, really? Well, I think that’s wrong.  Let me put it to you this way.  You have a castle, there are 10,000 Huns outside the gates ready to attack, let’s say five get inside the castle walls.  Do you say “well, 5 got in, no use keeping the other 10,000 out?” No, if you’re not a complete jackass dope you say, “I will manage/detain/kill the 5 Huns inside the walls while doing everything in my power to keep the others out because I can definitely handle these few, but 10,000 Huns might be a bit much.” They say that closing the border would be really bad for the economy.  Sure, but a bunch of dead people are bad for the economy, too.

The WHO has gone and raised the alert level to 5 which means “Holy shit! Lock the doors and board the windows, We’re all about to die!” So, if that’s the case why is the border still open? And the president says we’re concerned but not alarmed.  But Napolitano said it’s a health emergency.  Don’t emergencies usually involve alarms? People are recovering on their own and with the aid of Tamiflu and other antivirals.  I’m so confused. Should I be terrified or hopeful?  How did we get to alert level 5? I mean, since April 13, 2009 – when this whole thing started- we haven’t had any exponetial growth of Mexican Pig flu.

What I’m not confused about is that the left likes to scare everyone.  They like doomsday scenarios: The Ice age of doom in the 1970’s, global warming now, heterosexual AIDS,  pesticides on apples or pesticides that kill malaria carrying mosquitoes…And they call conservatives fear-mongers.  VP Biden said he would tell his family not to get on a plane now.  But weren’t we supposed to fly after 9/11? Priorities?

Scientist say this won’t be as deadly ad the 1918 flu pandemic or even as deadly as a normal flu season which takes about 36,000 every year in the U.S.

I’m washing my hands and staying away from people (I do that generally because I’m not a big fan of the public at large in general).  The only thing making me sick is this administration and the sensationalism of this “pandemic.”

Lie to me

March 6, 2009

So last night I watched the latest episode of Lie to Me, a show on Fox.  It’s a fairly entertaining show; it’s one of those shows that makes you think you’re learning something while you’re watching it – like House, or Burn Notice, or 60 Minutes. On a side note, I thoroughly enjoy Burn Notice, they are definitely pro 2nd amendment. Back to the matter at hand: I think I won’t be watching Lie to Me anymore.

Last night the episode was about a black firefighter who was dating (clandestinely) the white niece of the white fire chief.  he was one of two black firefighters in the fire house, and he was hazed and ultimately killed. This is one of those crime/CSI-type shows, but their hook is that they look at people facial expressions and body language to tell who is lying. So, the team (who are all white except for one who is Latino) gather up all the white firefighters and put them in a room and show them facial expressions of black people and white people that have a description attached to them.  The participants have to decided if the description matches the picture.  The two examples we see on the show are a photo of JFK and one of Barack Obama – both with positive descriptions, inspirational and noble respectively.  The administrator of the test informs us that this will tell us who is the most affected by his racism which will be determined by reaction time to the image and description.  Presumably, the longer you take to associate good descriptors with a black person, the more racist you are.  As it turns out, or so we are informed, is that 80% of white people are racist – they just don’t know it.

Is it just me, or is our president a black man? Aren’t white people the largest racial group in this country? Wasn’t slavery (a worldwide institution- not uniquely American- at the time, before the Civil War, and after it still in many countries) abolished (uniquely American) in this country by white Christian majority?Are they serious with this stuff: I’m a racist and I just don’t know it? Actually, I think the test is flawed.  In the part of the test we see they show photos of JFK and Barack Obama, as I already said.  Well, I believe those guys are politicians – one a former president, one a current president. What if the reaction time is skewed because someone doesn’t or does agree with politics of the person shown? Though they both are designated as democrat, Obama’s policies make JFK look like a conservative.  Wouldn’t the test be more effective if the participants were shown faces they were not familiar with?

It is just so baffling that the show made that claim of racism (unwitting racism no less) and that most people probably sat there and took it. I’m sorry but that’s not entertainment. To say that white people are inherintly racist against blacks- which is the claim the show made- is like saying that black people are inherently more violent than white people.  Now, I’m pretty sure that latter statement would be referred to as racist.  And it is.  Just as much as the first part of that statement. Not to mention, they are both untrue.

But, it’s okay these days in this country to say that white people are racist just because.  And, as we all know, because we’ve been taught in school and in the media that ONLY white people can be racist – a minority can never be considered a racist – even if they don’t like someone because of their race. And a lot of white people seem to be okay with this.  They take this with a very conciliatory attitude for Lord knows what reason. Perhaps it’s  “white guilt.” Well, okay.  If that’s your problem then you’ve got issues.  But good news, you don’t have to live with your white guilt anymore! Walter Williams, professor of Economics at George Mason University (and a black man!) has a gift for you :

Take the gift, and get a life.  And also visit the rest of Prof. Williams’ site and get a little bit smarter.

Thankfully, yours truly does not need this gift as my family, on both sides, only goes back 4 generations in this country at most. So, we had nothing to do with slavery – but then neither did anyone living in this country today. Even if I came from a family that had a history of holding slaves, I still would not need this absolution of guilt because I am so wonderfully insensitive and blissfully politically incorrect.

“Hanoi Montana”?

February 12, 2009

So, I’m not sure why, but the general public seems to have it in for Miley Cyrus a.k.a Hannah Montana. Besides being the daughter of man who has always sported questionable hairdos and made everyone everywhere unwillingly and forever carry in our heads the chorus to Achy Breaky Heart (A refrain which no amount of mental scouring will allay from the dark crevices of our minds in which a hobgoblin such as that lurks.), what is her great sin? She has no control of her parentage anyhow, so being the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus is in now way her fault.

I know at this point, you must be asking yourself why I feel the need to write about this rising star, let alone rush to her defense.  This is not a subject that I am wildly on fire about.  It is, however, a smoldering heap of embers.  Embers that if poked at, fanned, and give more fuel could become a respectable blaze.

Over the past several weeks I have seen three media indictments of Miley Cyrus: her “revealing” pictures in Vanity fair, her 20 year old underwear model boyfriend, and her apparent hatred for all people Asian because of a photo.

Let’s start with the Vanity fair pictures.

First of all, I don’t see how this is her fault. She is a 15 year old girl.  She has parents.  Her father was with her at the Vanity Fair shoot.  If he thought the photos were to revealing or risque then he should have stopped the shoot.  If you look at the pictures, you see the ones in question reveal no “obscene” body parts.  You’ll also see that she is covered in more cloth than any girl her age at a beach, or for that matter walking down the street.  I’m far More disturbed by the pictures of Miley and her father. As for the content of the photos in question, I don’t find them very scandalous. Over the past few weeks, there have been several news stories of a new rage sweeping the nation’s teens: sexting.  Yep, teens sending naked pictures back and forth over the phones. I’m sure this is what parents have in mind when they say they want their kids to have more than they had. 

Next is Miley’s 20-year-old boyfriend.  Again, I don’t particular view this as her fault.  Where are the parents? Most young girls want to date older guys and find the attention flattering.  Their brains aren’t fully formed, what can you expect? We all know why a 20-year-old guy would most likely want to date a 15-year-old girl.  But shouldn’t Miley’s parents say something about this? The word “no” comes to mind.

So far, I see a young teenage girl with the typical lack in judgement of people of that age. Nothing scandalous. I see parents who are probably more to blame in these particular situations. I expect more from the parents, but not the young teenage starlet for whom good decision making is not only compromised by her age, underdeveloped brain, and lack of experience, but also because of her celebrity status. As if it is not difficult enough to face the normal trials of teenhood, this girl has to do it in a fog of fame.  This world of teen girl fame is populated by such role models as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens, Hillary Duff, Christina Aguillera, Adrienne Bailon, and countless others.  That is why the presence of the parent for guidance and wisdom is so important.

A few days ago I read a piece on that Miley Cyrus is now a racist. She apparently has disparaged all Asians with a racially insensitive gesture. As it turns out, she and a bunch of friends took a photo (available at the above link) in which Miley and another boy are using their fingers to make their eyes slanty.  Between Miley and this boy sits and Asian boy.  There are four other people in the picture who are all squinting their eyes (no use of hands). To me, the people squinting look more stoned than Asian, or like French Stewart’s character from the TV show 3rd Rock From the Sun. The executive directer of the OCA (a group for Asians that I gather to be similar to the NAACP in function) sees it differently.  He has said that this photo is insulting, mocking, denigrating, and tauting to Asians.

Wow. I don’t see anyone in the photo wearing a shirt or holding a sign calling for another round of internment camps or anything like that That would be offensive. Everyone in the photo looks like they’re having fun and being goofy.  You know, like teenagers are known to do. As a result of this photo a lawsuit has been brought against Miley Cyrus for $4 billion. Now, I’m wondering here if Miley Cyrus was not in the photo and this was a picture on Jane Doe’s Facebook, would the OCA have this reaction? Would there be a $4 billion lawsuit? Of course not.

 One of the boys is giving another boy in the photo bunny ears. Where are the rabbit rights groups? Shouldn’t PETA be filing a suit on behalf of bunnies everywhere becausetheir ears, while large and floppy, should not be a tool of humor used by pretty much anyone who has ever had a picture taken with a friend? Miley Cyrus says that she and her friends were just being silly. Fine. And fine if they weren’t.  Why can’t it be fine to make fun of someone else? That’s what friends do, that’s what people do. As long as it doesn’t get out of hand or exceptionally hurtful, what is the harm? Am I to believe from the clangor over this photo that making one’s eyes slanty is offensive to Asians on the level that the N word is offensive to Blacks (though some feel free to use the term with eachother – but that’s another blog)?  

Can we get a little perspective here? Can we please collectively grow a pair, or barring that, at least a thick skin? Apparently people have nothing better to do.  I have heard more about this “story” than I have about Michael Phelps cozying up to a bong or President Obama’s grab at the national census in 2010.

Michael Phelps committed a crime when he took a hit, and there are pictures to prove it.  I understand eight other people have been arrested in connection with that incident, but apparently not the swim-god himself, he just won’t be able to endorse Corn Flakes anymore. The president wants to move oversight of the national census to his chief of staff – a man who favors using population estimates (known as sampling), rather than door-to-door head counts, which may unfairly skew how district lines are drawn.  Obama was not going to take this step when he planned to appoint Bill Richardson as commerce secretary, this decision comes only after a Republican has been appointed to the position – a Republican who opposes the Democrat favored sampling method of census.

But instead of hearing about groups mobilizing over those issues, we hear about Hannah Montana and a lawsuit that, I’m sure as weeks go on will reach the size of the “stimulus” bill.

This is my plea: Leave the girl alone.  Until she gets busted for something truly abhorrent, I don’t want to hear a damn thing about her except that she has a new line of merchandise coming out.

I’m tired of society creating these stars, building them up and encouraging them only to turn around and tear them down and revile them with twice as much vigor.  It is disgusting our fascination with celebrity. It is more disgusting how we lick our lips, rub our hands together, and gather with pitchforks and torches at the slightest infraction, real or perceived.

Hollywood, and all that term encompasses, used to be classy with the likes of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.  Now, it is distinctly classless, utterly devoid of refinement.  With that devolution an interest in celebrity gossip and scandal has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes of yesteryear’s Hollywood. It is somewhat of a chicken-and-egg conundrum. Have celebrities over the years become more and more trashy on their own? Or, has our appetite for garbage  and thirst for tabloid stories created this culture? This is what we seem to enjoy, it would seem that we don’t want people to do well, that we need to tear down those who are successful. People don’t seem to want to create and nurture goodness, but rather destroy anything with a glimmer of goodness in it. Then we like to stand on the piles of rubble and lament that there is nothing left to give us hope or joy.

You may think it is strange how I got to this conclusion from a Hannah Montana story, but if you look around you will see it is true. You will see it extends to other area of life, not just celebrities. The Boy Scouts are reviled for their policies on homosexuals, Wal-mart is hated for its retail success, and let’s not even get into the popular view of Christians. But for all the “wrongs” perceived as coming from these groups, they do far more good. The Boy Scouts turn out fine young men of strong character and moral fiber, Walmart provides jobs and low prices, and  Christians give of their time and money to help people around the world. 

Instead of demonizing and destroying, let’s try to cultivate the good. The lesson here: Get over yourself , find your sense of humor, and go to Walmart and buy a Hannah Montana CD.

If a Christmas Tree Falls In a Library….

December 9, 2008

Here is a letter I wrote to the associate provost of libraries at UNC after reading a news story about UNC not having Christmas trees in their library lobbies this year.  I’m so glad we live in such a tolerant country. 

Dear Ms. Michalak:
It seems odd that someone could be so soundly disappointed in a person that that someone does not actually know.  Yet, here I sit, supremely disappointed in you. I saw a story on about UNC- Chapel hill libraries keeping Christmas trees in storage this year. I followed a link on this story to the Charlotte observer where I found such gems as this:
“Michalak, chief librarian for four years, said at least a dozen library employees have complained over the last few years about the display. She hasn’t heard similar criticism from students, though they may have voiced concerns to other library staff.”
Michalak said that banishing the Christmas displays was not an easy decision but that she asked around to library colleagues at Duke, N.C. State and elsewhere and found no other one where Christmas trees were displayed.
Aside from the fact that a UNC Chapel Hill library is a public facility, Michalak said, libraries are places where information from all corners of the world and all belief systems is offered without judgment. Displaying one particular religion’s symbols is antithetical to that philosophy, she said.
“We strive in our collection to have a wide variety of ideas,” she said. “It doesn’t seem right to celebrate one particular set of customs.”
Let’s start at the top, shall we?
I took the liberty of looking at the UNC-Chapel Hill libraries staff directory as well as the faculty directory. The online listing of library faculty ( has about 260 names on it – give or take.  The faculty directory is 137 pages (pdf format online) long. It averages about 20 names per page. That gives us about, that gives us about 2760 faculty members, give or take( Wikipedia says there are 3295 faculty members). Those numbers caused a retroactive incredulous arch of my eyebrow as I read that at least a dozen employes over the last few years have complained about the trees. In case you were wondering, that’s about 4.6% of the library staff and 0.48% of the faculty.  It seemed to me to be such a slim number.  So, slim, that you probably can’t see it from sideways on.  But then, you did say “at least a dozen.”  So, maybe it was more like 15 or 16 people that complained.  Heck, maybe even 20.  I mean 20 people would be more like 7.6% of the library staff.  Still slim, I might note – you might catch a glimmer of that number from sideways on if the sun hit it just right. And over several years, no less.  So, is that a dozen persons each year complaining or is it a cumulative number? And what of the student body?  Wikipedia says there are 28,136 students (undergrad and postgrad).  You, personally, have not heard any criticism from the student body of the Christmas trees, but maybe other staff members have.  Maybe. Interesting.
I know people holler and screech all the time about the tyranny of the majority, but I must say that I find it very unsettling that we have let the tyranny of the minority take rule in this country lately, especially when it comes to the matter of celebrating Christmas in public.  The majority of this country (religious and secular) celebrates Christmas in one way or another. The number hangs around a staggering 95% according to such sources as the BBC, the Washington Post, Fox News, World Net Daily, and Rasmussen has a survey from 2006 ( that has the number somewhere between 87-90%.  That survey also has other interesting implications such as “85% of those who celebrate Christmas say they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God sent to earth to die for our sins” and “71% of Americans rate Christmas as one of our nation’s most important holidays.” In case you didn’t notice, those percentages are a lot higher than the percentage of complainers about Christmas trees.
Wow. Yet, you fell into the tyranny of the minority trap, and there will be no Christmas cheer displayed in your library lobbies this year. Similar things are happening all around the country with Christmas trees and Nativity scenes being removed or having other displays put up.  I have no problem with other displays such as a Menorah or Kwanzaa decorations, or even something to celebrate Winter Solstice. My problem is with the removal of one of the nation’s most cherished holidays from public view. Have you heard what sign was added in the capitol building in Olympia, Washington under the guise of being inclusive? Let me tell you.  The sign, sponsored by the group Freedom From Religion, reads “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”  Gee, what a lovely sentiment.  Not at all an attack on anyone’s beliefs like the kind of overt attack a tree strung with tinsel, lights, and shiny baubles is.  Clearly that festive tree is much more offensive than that sign, what with all it’s sparkling hate-filled ornaments and glowing warmth of hell fires.  Hmmm….maybe that statement is a little over the top.
Next, I’d like to address the concern about Christmas tree displays in other university libraries in the state of North Carolina.  If you Google “Christmas tree display library” or “Christmas tree library” you will find a number of hits that direct you to various stories about Christmas trees being displayed in libraries around the country. For instance, there is the Very Elvis Christmas tree display at the Hoover Library-Museum in West Branch Iowa, Sheridan Public Library (Sheridan, Indiana) will have a Christmas tree display and silent auction,  The Reagan Presidential library has a Christmas tree display, Twinsburg Public Library (Ohio) will have a Christmas tree display and auction, the Library of Congress has a Christmas tree in its lobby – and it’s very very lovely.  The point being that there are many libraries across the country where Christmas trees are displayed.
I am not exactly sure how you make the leap that because a library offers a wide variety of ideas in it’s many musty and dusty tomes, that it is not right to celebrate or display any one particular set of customs.  So, if there were a Menorah and a Kwanzaa display in your library, would the Christmas trees be allowed to stand? And just what exactly is wrong with displaying a particular custom? If there there were a library that had a display for Black history month or Native American culture or Holocaust remembrance should there then be displays representing the Confederacy, European Settlers, and Nazis as well. On the Fourth of July should public displays include Torrey Pride exhibits? Why can’t we just have our holiday with it’s spirit of giving, love, warmth, joy and hope? What is wrong with that?
It would seem that a library should display Christmas trees and other holiday images precisely because it is home to ideas and information.  Not displaying the trees is a form of censorship. I’m sure you wouldn’t take kindly to someone telling you to pull Huckleberry Finn or Lady Chatterly’s Lover or Animal Farm off your shelves.  After all these are classics, some might say staples of American culture much like the celebration of Christmas.  
You may be aware of the debacle over the past few years at public libraries involving pornography access on library computers. Many of your counterparts across the country stood up and voiced their opinions on not having website filters (which would help to block pornographic content) because they want to protect “intellectual freedom,” The American Library Association’s words, not mine. Now, I’m not at all saying or implying that you are in favor of this move, I have no idea what your opinion is on the matter.  What I am saying is that several libraries have nixed filters that many patrons do want to limit truly obscene material.  So, what we may conclude here is that full-frontal nudity is okay, but full frontal evergreen is not. Again, clearly the Christmas tree would be the more offensive and obscene of the two images.
And what does it matter anyway that a few people are bothered by or offended because of Christmas trees? Again, I must reiterate the terrifying tyranny of the minority that is sweeping the country.  I would also like to ask where people got the idea that we have the right to not be offended? People call it art to soak the American flag in urine. I find that offensive, but I don’t say that it should not be displayed. I find it offensive to see people wear socks with sandals. I have a dairy allergy so I’m not a big fan of 31 Flavors, but I’m not on some mad quest to remove them from the public domain and I don’t have a problem with my friends having a double scoop in front of me.  I would think most people are offended by the absolute absurdity of “reality” shows – yet they abound. Am I making a stretch of my examples here? A bit, but I think it help deliver my point in a tidy little package. If you look in you books at your library, you will see that the Bill of Rights does not include the right to not be offended.  In fact, you’ll find that, if anything, we have the right and opportunity to be extremely offended.  It’s your reaction that matters.  Will you react to things you find offensive by trying to squelch and beat down all you don’t agree with or find offensive? Or, will you summon the spirit of Voltaire and defend the rights of others to say what they may even though you may not agree with it?

Hate Crime

November 5, 2008

I sent the following out before the election, before the existence of this blog, but I fidure it’s a good place to start.  So, here is some of what you can expect:


So, this Halloween season has been kicked off by some twit somewhere with a deplorable display in her front yard.  What I am referring to is the display of Sarah Palin (current republican VP candidate) hanging by a noose – in effigy. I find this sort of thing to be beyond the pale – no matter whose effigy you wanna dangle from a tree. THis is not your typical Halloween horror display with ghouls and goblins, witches and pirates, or any other spooky fearsome creature.  This is disgusting . 
What I find equally distasteful and distrubing in this instance is the intellectual dishonesty coming from the talking heads of the left. Let’s just say it – if that was an effigy of Barack Obama swinging from the business end of a noose we would be hearing hews and cries of racisims and hate crime and who knows what else until we were deaf. If you cannot admit that simple truth  you are either incredibly stupid or a card carrying member of the intellectually dishonest group.
As the mainstream media (MSM) reaction – silence and not outrage – tells us it’s fine and dandy to swing a white conservative from a noose. THis is confirmed by all those talking heads of the left who try to sweep this away and say it doesn’t matter and that we should cahlk this up to the gruseomeness of Halloween.
My other problem with this whole thing is the term ‘hate crime’ in and of itself.  Let me address that first. The term hate crime is so lacking in value that we shouldn’t be using it all.  WHat is a hate crime? if two guys get mugged and killed but one is black and one is white, then you’ve got yourself a ‘hate crime’ in reference to the black guy, but just a regular crime with regards to the white guy.  THis gets so slippery and murky I almost don’t want to write about it, but let’s see if I can make your head explode.  What if a white guy kills a black guy? ‘Hate crime’, according to those who think there is such a thing.  What if a black guy kills a white guy? I have never heard that referred to has a hate crime. Just like when people tell you that minorities can’t be racist. Excuse me? And, if there are ‘hate crimes’ are there love crimes? and what would that look like? Is that like a crime of passion: ‘Oh, my wife is sleeping with some other guy and I love her so much I’m going to slash her throat because I hate that she’s sleeping with another guy.’  or would it be more like: ‘I love my daughter so much that I cannot bear the thought of her in the cruel world so I will lock her away in the basement forever and possible start an incestuous relationship with her becasue only I can love her.’?  Have I made my point, do you see the absurdity yet? How will we be penalizing these criminal? Based on intention and not actual horrific actions? If hate crimes have heavier penalties than regular old crime will love crimes have lighter penalties because, ‘I meant well’?
Now, back to the intellectual dishonesty portion of our program.  This leaves a rotten stench in the air and sour taste in my mouth.  As I said before we should scrap the term hate crime, but since we do not live in a world where reason prevails (but free hugs and feel-good policies do) let’s work from inside our confines.  If the hate crime crowd wants us to acknowledge that crimes against gays, blacks, native americans, disabled persons or whoever get  the special designation of hate crime for whatever reason, then at least call this Sarah Palin effigy on a noose a hate crime.  Again, you know that’s what we’d here if it was Barack Obama instead.  HOwever, all I hear is ear-splitting silence. You’re hard-pressed to get them to say that this is disgusting (how can it be since it involves someone who is white, conservative, Christian, and believes in traditional family values?) That paranthetical aside was sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell.  But that’s what we’ve been told for years now, people with belonging to those groups can’t possibly be victims of hate or racism or anything of the sort.
And that is why we can’t even have a dialogue.  How do you have a conversation when one person asks who a bird is able to maintain flight and the other person says that birds can’t fly at all? This is what you have to look forward to if you vote for Barack Obama.  A media and a socialist sub-culture that has become so emboldened and in the tank for hope and change (whatever that platitude means), blinded by Bush-derrangement syndrome that we’ll have four years of double-standars, double-talk and double the lies.  You know what kind of media and culture I mean: the kind that says you’re not even allowed to question if a candidate or his policies are Marxist, socialist, or socialist-lite, no matter how valid the point may be. Maybe we’re not allowed to ask because the answer would be a clear and resounding yes.
This has been brought to you by the pissed-offedness of Maya Grim. This is unedited and uncut. 
The number one reason to vote for John McCain is Barack Obama.