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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: National Health Care USA
+ Readers Letters

Solution (sort of) for National Health Care
James Campion

Climbing Down From The Fence To Make The Hard Choices

There is little chance anything resembling a pittance of national health care reform will be constructed much less passed through the legislative branch of our government any time soon. The time has long passed for any binding bi-partisan resolution on this subject, as if this was even a realistic consideration in the first place, and perhaps that is a good thing.

Anything this convoluted and as incompetently debated is best left dormant. It's far better to just leave things the way they are. It's the American way. Laziness, fear, and stupidity are our most precious resources now. We invent little and manufacture less with a national psyche so ill-suited for life's harsh realities we substitute celebrity outrages as the crudest form of original thought.

The sensitive reader may consider these observations mean-spirited or perhaps an ironic subjugation to the very points listed; so to be fair, we shall provide a quick example and move on to the more salient points.

Before sitting down to write this morning, I noticed a newsflash that the president of the United States has won the Nobel Peace Prize, no more an insignificant piece of information could be presented when compared to the greater issues before us. Nonetheless, it will doubtless take up at least one if not two news cycles, celebrated by Mr. Obama's supporters, derided by his opponents, and manifest into another in a series of idiotic referendums on his executive position and personal affect; not unlike the utterly moronic and endless yammering about his bid to procure the Olympics for the United States.

In both cases, laziness, fear and stupidity jump to the fore: (Laziness) No one has the slightest idea how the Olympics base their choice of country, who makes this call, and what the effect a head of state may or may not have on the outcome, just like hardly a soul has any idea what the Nobel Peace prize is, what it stands for or who the hell doles these things out in the first place. (Fear) Placing great import on this "story" as a barometer of success or failure for a presidency or the personality that holds it only serves to battle resistance, which is considered by lazy people as a kind of barrier to a personal love or hate of said individual. (Stupidity) Well...

This brings us to a breakdown of National Health Care as it applies not necessarily to a solution or even a steadfast defense of or opposition to certain key issues, as it will show that true reform or clear restructuring of a most pressing and pertinent issue is often parried with no real focus on the hard choices.

To wit:
The first issue at hand when you consider National Health Care is that there are too many of us, and we all want to be thin, good-looking and live to see as many World Series as possible. I get it. But what is the greater good for society; that you cut out unsightly fat and tuck drooping skin, create as many useless human burdens as you wish, and live into decrepit old age to suck every last drop of resources -- utilities and medicines to keep you breathing, nurses and assistance to move you around, shelter and sustenance to keep you going -- and for what? Take up space? So your love ones can watch you breathe? Hard choices must be made; they are made every day by insurance companies. More people are sent into the void by lack of funds than any other reason, just as a preponderance of surgeries is selective and not crucial. Call it a Death Panel or common sense. Humans do not posses the dignity of elephants. Deal with it.

The youth are a drain on our society; they're relentless metabolic explosions, sexual rapaciousness, and penchant for all-things speed, mind-altering substances and overall daily attempts at cheating death cannot continue to go unchecked. Don't tell me every time you see these mass protests with tear gas and baton beatings by police, rock concert mosh pits or shirtless goons at sub-zero football games, you're not getting out the national debt calculator? An alarming percentage of these cretins are undeniably wild and most pressingly uninsured. I should know, I was one of them, to the point where my parents had to get special (just incase he impales himself or his liver implodes or is felled by fast-food abuse we will not be ruined) insurance. Freedom comes with a price, which is to be determined.

Whether expanded competition across state lines, tort reform, single-payer options or one blanketed health insurance plan, it sure as hell beats any argument made by or for insurance companies, which work en masse on a principle that amounts to the biggest scam in the history of capitalism. Other than education, insurance is the one commodity Americas are willing to pay for, and pay for abundantly, and not receive. And more times than not when received, it is shoddy, rationed or denied in full. But hey, this is a free trade society and insurance companies, despite their heart-warming slogans and tearful ads are in business to make money, not give it away. Charities are for that, and even those are questionable at best. The very existence of companies based on taking money that will only be returned if and when disaster hits, and then arbitrarily deciding if the type of disaster merits a return on your funds is simply a horror show worth destroying. When people argue about the incompetence of the federal government, they are correct, but when compared to the lawlessly insidious practice of any insurance firm, it pales.

Finally, we come to the Big American Lie; that this country was built and is governed on a moral construct, that we have a universal and binding obligation to our citizenry to ensure the overall well-being of our future safety and continued happiness. By buying this nonsense we cannot make the hard choices that are needed for national survival. It is the freedom to pursue personal joy, create a political landscape to control one's own environment, and finally to protect what can be prized from this faintly controlled anarchy with every fiber of our being that has erected this 233 year experiment into the richest and most powerful free society known to modern civilization. All this laziness, fear and stupidity is part of the very human nature we attempt to regulate, pigeonhole, and judge when we begin the challenging climb out of the muck. More times than not, wallowing in the muck beats the climb. It's too hard, too scary, and too complicated a climb. We know muck. Give us muck; religion, television, and the occasional thrill, we'll be fine.

READERS RESPONSES October 17th 2009
Editor's Note: EDWARD MOORE KENNEDY -- 1932 -- 2009 -- provoked the most responses in the long, sordid history of Reality Check. "My hope was to approach H.L Mencken's obit on William Jennings Bryan and Hunter S. Thompson's post-mortem to Richard Nixon, two of the meanest pieces written in the English language."
Here is just a sample of your feedback:

When you nail it on the head, you nail it on the head. Good for you for articulating what many of us were thinking.

That's absolutely the most honest article I've read on Teddy. I couldn't have worded it better. Glad to see someone kick the rock over that he hid under for so long.

I do not understand this climate from what seems to be a growing number of people who feel that if you do not agree with someone that the person must be TRASHED and any accomplishments that they have must be BELITTLED, DENIGRATED, or RIDICULED. We used to disagree respectfully and work for compromise instead of trying to KILL the opposition. I know that all of this is not a Christian concept, which supposedly is a strong value that several of these same people claim is most important to the founding and working of this country. I certainly pray that when I die that all of my failings are not listed on a large placard for my funeral with only a footnote added that I might have done some good and repented from my sins and tried to recover to a better life after sinning. Much of the rhetoric I see today from the conservative group only underlines the profound IGNORANCE spewing from the mouths of those from a failed educational system. For a wise, EDUCATED person can weigh both sides, disagree respectfully, and work for consensus and peace.
M. Short

I heard a good one the other day. Teddy-Boy was the Kennedy clan's Fredo. Sonny and Michael (Jack and Bobby) had brains, ambition and the wherewithal to get it done......Fredo (Teddy-Boy) was the running joke.
I do hope Mary Jo upon seeing Ted does indeed kick him in the nads twice and then finishes him with a vicious upper cut. Good column as usual, my friend.
Bill Roberts

Well done, sir. Maybe the most vicious and beautiful closing statement I have ever read.

You forget the MANY things Ted did in his day job: Anti-Apartheid Sanctions over Reagan's wishes, AIDS funding during the same period, opposition to the "secret wars" in Nicaragua and Salvador, the American's with Disabilities Act, Title 9 funding for women's sports, voted AGAINST Iraq War, pushed for funding for 9/11 victims med care, championed Obama, giving the candidate extra push to the top. Yes, he fucked up many times, and his name saved his ass from prison, and gave him a career, but to be fair, he did much good.
Chris Barrera

Finally something political we agree on!
Kim Cercena

But other then all that... he was a good guy, right? ;)
Bo Blaze

Jim ,
Don't mince words... Did you like this guy or not?
Kevin McCormick

This article is so one sided I am surprised it hasn't fallen off the side of the page. While the story about the loss of an innocent girls life at Chappaquiddick is true, there is no mention of all the lives he saved by being one of the major forces behind the Irish peace process. Furthermore there is no mention of all his other political achievements the main one being, chosen by his own electorate for 47 years. In most balanced articles a good journalist would include both sides and let the public decide. In this one it's obvious the journalist in question has an agenda. When you tell it as it is you must tell both sides in order to be objective.
Alan Lawes

James -
This Kennedy was mediocre at best; the deepest, slimiest sleaze ball hypocrite at worst, though I know better adjectives exist out there to describe his utter lack of integrity, character and intelligence. Your article says it all. That anyone could even think about lauding him, on any level, or pretend to for the sake of form or history, suggests that we are still in deep trouble. I'm trying to remember the circles of hell in Dante's inferno and which one a man of such weasleness would descend to.
He was not his brothers.
bldg #2

Brilliant summary of Ted's curriculum vitae; I found your uncharacteristic niceness perfectly logical, given his then-oh-so-recent passing--to be a bit more than even his memory deserves. I personally had written him off as a bitter and frightened man, wearing the mask of royal ancestry, haunted by [as you mentioned] the thuggery which bought the crown he seemed to wear so reluctantly.
For an enlightening view of the commoners who worshiped the Kennedys long after Camelot had been sacked, see "The Moth" episode where Michaela Murphy describes a typical summer day on a Hyannis port beach, as the adults spy and comment on the storied family, appropriately titled The Kennedy Obsession:

Glass houses... do not throw stones!!!
We are human, and no one is perfect. Those in the spot light just get "magnified" for even the slightest infraction of 'perfect person syndrome' as compared to the everyday "goings on" in the general public. The good deeds and sacrifices that have been achieved (for us) by this family far out way their 'human errors' in my opinion. Why I am even responding to such ignorance could be an error in judgment on my part... but so be it!!

Wow -- have you no shame? We all have warts -- you should let the guy rest in peace. What will they write about you on your last day? Perhaps that you were mean spirited and unkind. Get a heart man.

Reputations precede us and the truth hurts! Karma is also a bitch.

How sad that to gain "fame", one must trash another person. Edward Kennedy was no saint, but few humans are. He lost more than 1/2 of his family by the time he was in his mid 30's. He could have easily retired and merely sailed for the rest of his life. Instead he chose public service -- writing and endorsing over 100 laws that aid nearly all Americans at a point in one's life. So, please, Mr. Campion, never take FMLA, do not allow any female member of your family to obtain a mammogram, or partake of any of the many other services that were initiated or endorsed by Senator Kennedy. Thus, you can then really ignore his significance.

© James Campion Oct 10-17th 2009

Afghanistan: The Original Quagmire -James Campion
The United States must leave Afghanistan now. Not in eleven months or after careful discussion and continued study to determine an undisclosed time, but now. Soon after, it must leave Iraq

Edward Moore Kennedy 1932-2009
James Campion + Readers Letters

It is a good thing Ted Kennedy is Irish Catholic. He is going to heaven. That's how it works. No matter what kind of sham your life is

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