Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where Have All The Victors Gone?

Bang the drum slowly, America. The war in Iraq is finished. Finished for us, at least. For the Iraqis…well, in keeping with the previous nine years of American policy the Iraqis who haven’t been killed off will be left holding the proverbial bag. The tornado George W. Bush and Dick Cheney sowed with all the bluster of an administration with God on its side has been left behind in a far distant desert land, its unspent winds no longer a killing force for American men and women.

Too many of our leaders have spoken up this last week to declare that the sacrifice made by our soldiers hasn’t been wasted. That lives given were not given in vain. That fortunes spent haven’t been billions poured down the pisshole of history. That this very special and totally unnecessary war launched under false premises by an American president was not the military, financial and moral debacle that it was.

And now the lies continue. We lied our way into war so of course we need to lie ourselves out of it. Unlike Viet Nam we no longer lie about casualties. We prefer to lie about war’s causes. Its raison d’etre. No two voices can agree on why we went to war, why we rained killing waves of bombs down on Baghdad. Or why, given our expressed concern about weapons of mass destruction, we forced out the UN inspectors who could have unearthed such evil devices without taking a single human life?

Was it all for nothing? Was it because Saddam Hussein tried to kill George W. Bush’s father after the first Iraq war? Or was it for the oil? We not only have the right to know, we have an obligation to find out the truth. How else can we prevent another unmitigated disaster? How else can we face the wives, children and family of those who died and honestly tell them their sacrifice had some value, some reason, some purpose behind it other than the lies perpetrated by a band of American adventurers who had captured the reins of our government?

The human costs have been enormous —4,500 American dead, 32,000 American wounded, more than 122,000 Iraqi civilians who died violently from insurgent attacks, suicide bombings, and our own made-in-America bombs. This was an expensive, brutal war that should have never been launched. It was a war we never could win. Like Viet Nam, whatever victory we claimed came from our solemn departure.

President Obama and Leon Panetta have told our returning soldiers that the lives, treasure and national honor we left behind in that scarred desert wasteland haven’t been sacrificed in vain.

But nobody will say what they were sacrificed for?

Monday, December 5, 2011


(F-BOMB ALERT: The following satiric essay contains multiple F-Bombs. Read at your own discretion!)

After much deliberation, I am making two historic announcements. First off, I proudly announce I am officially, as of today, renouncing my pie-in-the-sky, do-gooder liberal bias, and applying for membership in the fabled ranks of Republican Americanus. Yes, I am joining the Republican Party. I admit to being a Scrooge-like tightwad. I admit to hating everyone under 45, and everyone with less than a million dollars in their bankbooks, and of course toto el mundo who weren’t born in the good old United States of America.

America is for Americans, we Republicans always say, and you’re not really an American if you’re not smart enough to have earned a small fortune. Doesn’t matter how you earned it, but if you made it by swindling old ladies out of their pensions, so much the better! And if you’re looking for a political party that will help you hold onto every penny of that fortune, even if it means having to dismantle social security and medicare to do so, then look no further. You are a born Republican, as I am, and you’re tired of all those lazy and ignorant sons of bitches who won’t get a job and who multiply like sex-starved rabbits living off our wealth and largesse.

Yes, I, Paul Steven Stone, after years of haranguing the Republicans for starting unnecessary wars, torturing enemy prisoners, representing elite and wealthy interests, stifling our liberties, protecting polluters and bugging our phones, I’ve stopped pretending I think more of others than I do of myself. I now proudly admit that I am #1! It’s all about me. My money, my family, my friends, my …(Did I mention my money?) And nobody takes care of ME and MINE like the Republican Party. Which leads to my second announcement…

Today I hereby announce my intention of running for Representative from the 10th Congressional District of Massachusetts. Running, of course, as a Republican. That means, I will take any and all contributions from anyone trying to buy influence with me. It means I will immediately tie my hands as a future lawmaker by signing a pledge that will force me to vote against any measure that might raise tax revenues.

Just know that I will never disappoint you. I will be your voice, your conscience, and your balls…all in one! As your Republican representative, I will say “Fuck you!” to old people, poor people, immigrants and minorities with every vote I take. I will say “Fuck you!” to any government program that aids or assists those less fortunate than myself. Or cleans up the environment. I will say “Fuck You!” to anyone who thinks our government exists to serve the people over corporate interests. Just listen for the echo of every vote I take as your Republican representative, “Fuck You! Fuck You! Fuck You!”

And think of all the fun I’ll have! I’ll get to obfuscate my totally biased and elitist voting record. I’ll get to pretend that privatizing or dismantling social security will be an improvement to the system as it is now. Get to argue till I’m blue in the face that increasing taxes on ridiculously wealthy people will discourage the creation of jobs. I love that one. Like a billionaire is going to cut back on making more billions because his government asked him to pay his fair share of taxes! Right! What the hell does taxing wealthy people have to do with creating jobs? Are they holding back on creating new jobs out of spite? If they are, that’s pretty pissy!

Enough of this stupidity. Forget all logic, put your own vested interests aside, ignore that I will only represent the interests of 1% of our population, and vote for Paul Steven Stone (Republican) as your next Congressman. It’s time to bring back amoral, conscienceless, selfish, right-wing sense to the Massachusetts political landscape. Remember, it’s not what your country can do for its people that counts, it’s what your country can do for YOU.

Thank you and God Bless The United States of America!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lets kill health insurance before it kills us.

Health care insurance is the new heroin…without the high! It destroys our lives but we can’t live without it. We would do anything to get it—even abase ourselves—work long hours in low paying jobs, put up with sadistic bosses, lousy work conditions and limited opportunities. Kiss whomever’s ass we have to kiss to keep our jobs. All because we’re scared to death of losing our health insurance. And forget about mandated health insurance making a difference! That’s become another way to funnel more of America’s dwindling take home pay and taxpayer dollars into the coffers of an industry that benefits immensely from our inflamed fears and addicted behavior.

When I see one of those convenience store robberies caught on closed-circuit TV, I often wonder if the thief went out that day to steal money or fund his monthly insurance premium?

Face it folks, we have to kill health insurance before it kills us. Before it becomes the only criteria for choosing a job, the only reason for staying with a job you hate, and the one thing that keeps poor and middle class families from getting decent affordable health care.

If we can’t afford health care, that’s because health insurance has made medical care too damn expensive. For decades it has stood between us and the medical care we need, shielding the actual cost of medical services and care: the cost of machines purchased or hospital beds utilized or CEO’s over-compensated. Would any of us choose a medical provider that spent like a drunken sailor on everything—executive salaries, equipment, buildings, personnel? In a free market economy we’d seek out the smarter, more efficient, better-run provider. But with the insurance company giving cover to even the most poorly run providers, we’re all forced to pay high set-fees for our care, no matter who provides it or how bad a business they run. Could hospitals afford excessively expensive equipment, bloated executive salaries, inefficient staff or poorly run facilities if it weren’t for the willingness of insurance companies to pass the cost on to its customers?

Ask yourself this:
Aside from their facility for managing paperwork, what skill or service offered by insurance companies would we miss if they were to magically disappear from the health care landscape?

Consider that my mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s was recently sent home from the hospital in an ambulance. The cost of her ambulance ride was $800. Think about that: $800 to take her from Wellesley to Needham, a distance no further than 15 miles—14.6 miles to be exact! For $800 they should have at least included an in-flight meal, cocktails and a massage.

How could an ambulance service stay in business charging individuals $800 a whack to go 15 miles? Truth is, they couldn’t. But when they charge $800 to the insurance company, consumers delude themselves into believing they're riding “for free”, never realizing “we”, all of us, every fool in the bleaches, will pay for every $800 trip that ambulance makes. We’re all complicit in the system. Hey, we’d have to be. It’s the only system we’ve ever known. We’re so close to it we never noticed how it slowly, incrementally transformed itself from helpful, friendly service provider to an angry tiger whose tail we are all tenaciously clinging to—afraid to let go, terrified of holding on.

Well, it’s time to let go!

The insurance company is like a vestigal organ that has grown corrupt and dangerous as the body aged. The only sound medical solution is to cut it out!

Once upon a time, the insurance industry was a benevolent partner in its mission to make health care accessible and affordable.Today, unfortunately it has become an obstacle, blocking us off from that very same accessible and affordable health care. As employee benefits shrink, and unemployment rises, we—the masses—will get increasingly shut off or priced out from the medical care we need. Unless we direct the government to do its job and ensure quality health care as the right of every citizen. Just the way it does with elders through Medicare, or Congressional politicians through their special VIP health care program.

Think what we could do if we freed up all the money that now goes to insurance companies. How many more jobs we could create! How many lives we would improve! How many unhappy employees we would empower to leave their crummy jobs!

If we want to reform health care, we must first reform or kill off health care insurance. Till we do we'll be trapped in the vicelike grip of the insurance companies, continuing to pay $800 for a very short ride to the poor house.