Random Thoughts

Are We Fools, Criminals or Ants?

Malalai Joya, a woman member of the Afghan parliament, who has been denied her seat and threatened with death, said in London, "Dust has been thrown into the eyes of the world by your governments. You have not been told the truth. The situation now is as catastrophic as it was under the Taliban for women. Your governments have replaced the fundamentalist rule of the Taliban with another fundamentalist regime of warlords. (That is) what your soldiers are dying for." She quoted Brecht in Galileo, 'He who does not know the truth is only a fool. He who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal'.

Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Obama and the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress and the presidency with a mandate to end the wars and yet gave Bush supplemental funding to prosecute wars. They overlooked illegal wiretaps, gave phone companies backdated immunity, failed to close torture prisons and sent additional troops to Afghanistan which have markedly increased our war spending and casualties. They have bailed out the banks with our tax money and kept the same incompetents with Wall Street connections in charge.

By not insisting on a public option or single payer health insurance, but insisting on mandatory health insurance (like automobile insurance), Obama is surreptitiously selling 50 million captive clients (those currently without health insurance) to the private health insurance companies which cherry-pick healthy subscribers, deny services and waste 25% of the premiums on marketing, administration and obscene salaries and bonuses, compared to a 3% overhead for Medicare, which many of our idiot citizens are unaware, is run by the government. Many of the house and senate members and committee chairpersons receive preferential and large campaign contributions from hospital, physician, pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies. Obama allegedly privately conceded not to further bargain down drug prices after they promised a fictional saving of a few billion and allegedly made a deal with former congressman Bill Tauzin who traded his house seat for million dollar salary, just like senator Phil Gramm did by deregulating the financial industry. Cheaper drug imports from Canada and elsewhere are off the table because of spurious concerns about drug safety.

The US media and Republicans are feeding lies to the public and inciting them by polls to stifle reasoned and informed debate in town meetings. Employer paid health insurance provides neither security or portability. Any employer can modify or eliminate it by increasing deductibles and employee contributions to premiums, and is subject to being dropped by the insurer by denial or unaffordable rise in premiums. It is also subject to denial of services at the whims of a non-medical corporate bureaucrat making arbitrary decisions for personal and corporate financial benefits. Some paid shills or vested party financed non-profit organizations are spreading rumors that people on government financed Medicare and Medicaid will be denied lifesaving treatments and subjected to forced euthanasia. Many idiot citizens are gullible enough to believe it. There are 40 trillion dollars of unfunded obligations of Medicare and cuts will have to be made, but most of them will be in eliminating waste and reducing provider reimbursements. Any sensible person realizes that no nation can afford to spend unlimited millions to extend an individual life especially if it is without any quality, cognition or consciousness content in it.

The future of any society are the children. Any society where the elderly in the evening of life are willing to smother their children in the morning of life is sick, criminal and unnatural. The rationale behind Medicare and Medicaid was that the elderly prone to disease and death, retired and without work income and the indigent, who fell through the cracks, should be the responsibility of the nation and its workers. It was never intended that those given a privileged perch on the shoulders of the working should exploit it by strangling with their legs those who bore the burden. It is true that current economic conditions are not the best to put in place new and expensive reforms. The analogy of digging a well for water to extinguish a fire comes to mind, but not having access to water and a fire department is even more certain to necessitate facing the same catastrophe in the future. Taxes will have to be raised on all (more so on the wealthy). Obama, like any other politician desirous of feeding at the public trough and intoxicated by ambition, lied to us and fed us the garbage of hope with audacity, but it was our stupidity that we fell for it. If we had been sensible we might have elected Nader or some honest man with a prior long record of working for the public good.

We need introspection. Are we fools or knaves to vote Democratic or criminals to vote Republican, knowing that they know the truth and still lie? The third possibility is that we are an insect society like ants. We have not only willfully chosen that only a queen (president) will have the sole privilege of reproduction (enrichment and glory) or with the demise of the queen, a few mated and dominant individuals called gamergates in ants (Congress, Corporate leaders and wealthy others) will have the right to reproduce (prosperity and health), but like the worker ants brainwashed by chemicals and custom (bread and circuses) ganged up to silence, intimidate and threaten the few rebel worker ants with the temerity to attempt reproduction (speak the truth about health care). It reminds me of the history of India. For over a millennium, not only did the Indians not speak up for themselves and their compatriots, but they enlisted in the armies and police forces of their conquerors to intimidate the true nationalists and patriots and facilitated the persistence of rule of their Islamic and European conquerors and their native traitor allies. The ants like the non-whites in apartheid South Africa, Savimbi UNITA supporters in Angola did it for a better personal life and the security of a defended nest with adequate food for all. Now that particular trade off is unraveling in an America with a jobless economy.. How long will the American worker suffer in silent misery, while the chosen few roll in unconcerned, self-absorbed, insatiable joy, prosperity and health? 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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