Reality Check: And Readers Responses Dec 8th
OF THE FLOWER PEOPLE
official; the Boomers will doom us all.
The Medicare Bill has sealed the deal.
atrocity funneled by your congress and peddled by this pitifully mediocre
president has handed the blank check to the majority of Americans careening
towards retirement, and by the time these haughty fuckers are done with
Social Security and Medicare and every other ounce of bureaucratic fat,
well be left scraping sticky change from the curb.
There have always been fears and debates about the terrible bushwhack
the hippies will eventually wreak on the fumes of The New Deal. It has
now become a sickening reality.
Benefits for everyone! Yay! Lets coddle the Flower People until
they suck us completely dry and were scrambling for provisions
alongside Mad Max in the desert.
I thought these people wanted to live in communes and fiddle with anarchy
and drop homemade chemicals until the Grateful Dead sounded good. Are
we to perpetually hold their hands until we end up in the shitter? The
federal budget deficit is at a whopping $374 billion and counting. Were
basically a nation at war teetering on recession with a bevy of tax
cuts kicking in. And now we learn that over the foreseeable future we
will fund every penny of these fantastic new benefits from our coffers?
Its important to note that wanting everything, but paying for
none of it, has put California on the brink of economic collapse and
prompted the ushering in of a barely articulate pop icon into governance.
Look, Im not going after the 40 million elderly and disabled who
use Medicare currently. These people actually vote. Politicians are
only interested in appeasing voters, and a preponderance of youth in
this country could not give half a fart about voting, so they lose out.
But what of the rest of us who are staring down two decades of a financially
bruised federal government that has been fueled on these benefits for
three-quarters of a century and will have its hand out when its our
Just the thought of it makes me want to exhume Timothy Leary right now
and smack him on principle.
The Bush people needed a victory somewhere, somehow. This is it. Give
the store to elderly, call it a win and forget the Iraqi mess. And,
best of all, it doesnt matter until 2006, and by then its
already second term, baby!
Meanwhile its party time over at the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical
companies and the insurance companies and the plethora of doctors who
are all in the same money pile, sipping Champaign coolies on the back
nine and making secret deals on what drugs to peddle to a nation hopped
up on so much legal narcotics were ready to salute anything.
This isnt about helping the elderly or making good on campaign
promises. This is about feeding the machine. Those elderly who care
have been getting breaks with Canadian prescription drugs for years.
The power of pharmaceuticals rivals tobacco, oil and beer right now.
What they say goes. And they cant have cheap drugs being purchased
on the Internet when there are locals to be prized.
This bill has effectively taken the onus on ceilings for prescription
drug prices out of the hands of the government. This is good. But now
private insurance companies and drug middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit
management companies, will merrily continue to hike the world's highest
drug prices into spheres best understood by honest South American drug
runners, who have to actually work for a living. This is not good.
Did anyone notice the spike in pharmaceutical stock prices on 11/24?
I dont have the space to get into the imminent dangers of this
bill to existing HMOs or how the AARP lobbies have manipulated
benefit packages for years or what this could mean politically to Bush
or any other useless pustule running around the capital. Read the Wall
Street Journal for that noise. But make no mistake, this is about who
is eventually going to pay for these bones being tossed to the elderly
in exchange for votes.
Let that read you and your children.
And what are we paying for?
Someone elses overpriced medicine.
Hope theres some left for the rest of us.
© James Campion Nov 27th 2003
READERS RESPONSES Dec 8th 2003
In response to your 10/29 column, "Anarchy in Bushland", I
believe the Iraqis are targeting our top people! First it was that UN
dude who got blown to bits and now they tried to zap The Boy Who Cried
Wolfowitz! No wonder Cheney is locked up in the Bunker tighter than
a Republican's fist on his wallet. As long as its somebody else's
money (you and me), they are ready to let this thing bankrupt us completely!
I admit when the war started I didn't speak up against it because of
its seeming inevitability, but this is the worst botch since Grady Little
leaving Pedro in to face Matsui! President Clark I presume...
It does seem like no one is in charge on this Iraq thing. But I feel
what probably many Americans feel, like I have no power to stop it.
Protest? Vote? What could possibly stop this "machine" youre
always going on and on about? Can anyone make a difference anymore?
Should any of us continue to sacrifice our lives for conglomerations
and corporations and ideologies and oil or even this false sense of
safety anymore? The whole thing has got me in the "whats
the point?" state of mind.
While I'm a registered Republican, I have to agree with you that something
has to be done in Iraq, and soon. The American people cannot and must
not accept the almost daily killings of our soldiers. It seems obvious
that the terrorist philosophy in Iraq is to get rid of one American
a day. While the solution will not be an easy one, I agree with you
that action has to be taken ASAP.
The supine Mr. K is back. And you know what? I'm tired. Sick and tired
of this "we gotta know everything" attitude that's grown over
There's no mystery anymore - nothing left to the imagination. I don't
want to see what an empty-headed ditz Jessica Simpson is, but thanks
to "Newlyweds" that's one less masturbatory fantasy I have.
I don't need to see all these shows where strangers are pitted against
each other. The gossip runs more rampant than it does in a pack of prepubescents
with a Tiger Beat. I want people to just shut the fuck up.
And so it goes with this incessant play by play on Iraq. I have this
theory: baseball would be a 1000 times more interesting if we all just
woke up the next morning and read about what happened. If you had the
chance to go back in time and watch the '27 Yankees, I bet you'd come
away from that saying "what a fuckin yawner, except for when
that fat drunk guy hit those home runs." We always put a positive
spin on things as we age. Hell, 100 years from now Britney Spears will
probably be hailed as a musical genius. Everyone waxes poetic about
WWII. Why? Because we had Movietone reels once a week, not this 24-hour
cable bullshit we have today. And forget politics. You can't flip the
channel without seeing a fucking Democrat or Republican going on and
on like fucking school boys, all for our right to know. They still won't
tell us who blew Jack Kennedy's head open. How about our right not to
know? Does that sound irresponsible? What are you doing about your crusade?
Replying to this column? That's going out on a limb. As for Iraq, nothings
gonna change if we don't know every burp and fart that goes on. Fact
is we're in there already and we ain't gettin out no matter how
grizzly it gets. To do that now would be worse than staying, quite frankly.
So let's cut the chatter, huh? Anything to give politicians, and everyone
else for that matter, less to talk about the better. Now where's that
next mass extinction?
The Supine One
Youre an idiot. I cant take this awful shit anymore. I hate
youre fucking guts and disagree with everything you write, but
I cant stop reading it. What the hell is wrong with me? Jesus,
I need help.
Keep it up,
"The Sky is Falling, By The Way" is classic, old-school Campion
in all its vitriolic, inane reverie.
Wait... there is no God.
"...despite the alarming lack of hyperbole from the science community,
chunks of the sun are dropping to earth. I see this as big news."
is some amazingly funny shit. I laughed hard reading this lunacy. This
piece proves that after all these years, Reality Check is consistently
one of the most curiously humorous takes on the world I read on a weekly
Thanks for your efforts,
Let me jump in my space ship and fly the 93,000,000 miles to the sun
and take it's temperature to see if it's feeling alright. I agree that
the enormous solar flares are a cause for concern, but I really don't
see the point in panicking since our most sophisticated space crafts
would take approximately 1,000 years to get there, and would actually
burn up way before that. I don't mean to be offensive or anything, but
what the fuck do you want me to do about it?
Previously by James Campion on Hackwriters
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