Month: May 2009

Single Payer Health Care Now!

Bill Moyer has been doing several interviews with medical professionals about health care in the United States. More specifically he tries to play devils advocate which really draws out the professionals.

Part of the argument is based on the equation of socialism with communism.
Merriam Webster gets it very wrong, in essence saying government controls all means of production and distribution. There are some things governments are very good at when properly regulated and with ample oversight. Banking is one industry and health care another.


1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The U.S. already has a form of socialism if you really want to get down to brass tacks. Fire Departments, Police Departments, Public Schools, Public Works Medicare, Medicaid and the list goes on and on. I have no objection to our form of socialism. The only issue I have is that there seems to be a lack of oversight.

We the people are the actual owners of all those services which is why I object to Merriam-Websters definition of socialism.

Anyhow the video linked above is interesting because it exposes the prime reason that we don’t have single payer health care. Our congressional representative are afraid to push anything that would be disruptive to their prime campaign financiers.

There is nothing wrong with disruptive change. Ask the telecom and cable companies. They know.

Some political realities

Don’t get me wrong, they’ve been very supportive of marriage equality. But one of them tried to talk to me about ISO and if I’d see their newspaper, etc.

I told him there are only two ways to enact serious political change. One of them is through force of violence. The other is to raise enough money to get your candidates elected.

We’ve seen ample evidence of the first, the most famous being the Russians and what the Bolsheviks did, and how the Bolsheviks themselves were kicked to the curb by Lenin and Co.

As for the monetary the U.S. stands out as a clear example. Corporations love the fact that they can call the shots with government.

I suspect the only way we’re ever going to see true reform in the U.S. is through action because none of us can raise the kind of money necessary to effect change.

On that note, I have to say that I’ve received a few good suggestions about pushing House Speaker William Murphy to make marriage equality happen in Rhode Island.

On the one side I see a legal venue pushing a Writ of Mandamus to force Murphy to let the equality bill come to a full vote.

And on the other, direct action. Mob his House and personal law practice offices and demand he let the issue be voted.

Re: Your Rights Put to a Vote, this time it is Tradition

Brilliant videos. This one is particularly poignant. Our opponents like to talk about tradition. The surprising part is, what we call traditional marriage is somewhat of a meandering process.

Sure there are the proscriptions in Leviticus and like books of the Bible. But the Romans had a very peculiar system of marriage. Whatever was in a mans house was his. That was the Roman idea.

Early Christians didn’t even want to recognize marriage, it was felt you couldn’t follow Jesus if you were married. It took the reformation and the Protestant adoption of marriage before the now Roman Catholic church got off it’s big ass and did something to sanctify marriage.

Those are just a couple of examples. Do a little bit of research and I’m sure you’ll find more. Just look at Mormonism (Moronism?) and their little sordid history.

The chastity belt was great, but the stoning. That made me laugh. I’m reminded of this clip from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”

Well, first a little detour:

Perhaps we did get it a little wrong. But to a stoning we go:

And just for some levity at the end of a grueling lesson on tradition, stoning and the like, always, just always look on the bright side of life.

BTB, Life of Brian is a brilliant movie.

WBC Crazies Come to Providence

I’m getting a little frustrated with Firefox 3.0.10 which is why I’m using Google Chrome to post this. It seems every time I try to attach a picture Firefox just craps. I’ve sent the errata reports to the Mozilla team. Wonder how long before we see Firefox 3.0.11 that fixes it.

Anyhow today the WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) Idiots decided to make their appearance in Rhode Island. They’ve got a pretty big itinerary, flitting about from East Providence to Providence to Newport, etc. I guess they’re doing the tourist thing.

But I got pictures and video from their Providence event. It was held just to the northeast of the RI State House.

Here we have the whole ragtag group of mental midgets. This one has signs like “You will eat your babies” and one of Obama as the Anti-Christ. Either these people have a wicked sense of humor or they’re total degenerates. I go with the latter.

Yummy Babies
Yummy Babies

I think this is Shirley Phelps-Roper herself with her Bitch Burger sign. WTF? These people just lash out at anything, what’s next, a sign that says the disabled brought it upon themselves?

Bitch Burger
Bitch Burger

Starring Barack Obama as “The Beast”

The Anti-WBC side. Notice how many more people there are? And no media at all. I know, I know. I shouldn’t be posting this stuff but it’s just fun to make the WBC folks look like the morons that they are. At least the WBC folks were quiet when I was there.

My message to WBC, go the fuck away. We don’t want you here.

Your rights put to a vote

I know this has been round and round the blogs. But I just have to say it, I’d like to see our opposition live by the rules of the Old Testament for one month and then see what they have to say. I bet they’d run screaming.

As we’ve learned in the past, mob rule isn’t the optimal form of government. It is why our forefathers chose a representative republic as opposed to direct democracy. They knew the folly of letting the majority try to rule. The only state that didn’t was California but they get special dispensation because of their battles with the Southern Pacific Railroad.

We atheists need a spokesman

And I nominate Pat Condell. His videos always give me a laugh. But he’s always right. I don’t know what it is but the British have this way of absolutely shredding bullshit arguments and Condell is no exception.

Memorial Day

We went up to Salem MA with our friends Nick and Beth. Had a late lunch at Beer Works and then did some exploring in the city. Ran across a Highwayman. We couldn’t figure out if this was a paid gig, or if he was just doing it for social benefit.

Salem is an interesting city. It plays big into the lore of Halloween, witches, et al. But the witch trials spoken of actually happened in what is now called Braintree, MA. That was the original city.

They have a vast pedestrian mall in Salem. Nicely maintained and it actually works for the city. I know Providence has tried this a few times with Westminster St. in the downtown section but they can never seem to make up their minds.

All in all a pleasant Memorial Day.

The CA Supreme Court Rules on Prop 8

In essence they upheld Prop 8 while giving those gay people that have already married the right to stay in those marriages.

In other words, the courts are passing this back to the people.

I’m sort of miffed right now since what the courts have no done is to create three classes of people: those in heterosexual marriages, those in gay marriages and those who cannot marry because they are gay.

The are CLEAR constitutional issues in play on this one and we haven’t seen the end of this yet. There are already lawsuits in progress regarding this very issue.

Of course this could only play out in California. The whole direct initiative process dates back to the early to mid 19th Century and was an act designed to counter the power and abuses of the Southern Pacific Railroad. We’ve heard abut the subject of that last sentence before, the same company who in 1886 managed to slip in the notion that a corporation has the same rights and privileges as a flesh and blood human being.

So basically leave it up to corporate America to fuck things up beyond all recognition.