Sunday, July 15, 2007
Those poor Scandinavians...
I mean, they got that socialist medicine thingy going. They got those high taxes and stuff. They probably live in grey dreary cities, eating mush for supper, in impoverished dreary nations where everybody is poor and stuff, right?
Errr... not so much. Turns out that one in 85 Norwegians is a millionaire, as vs. 1 in 125 Americans. *AND* they get free health care. *AND* they get free university tuition. *AND* they have the world's best infant mortality figures. *AND* they have the world's longest lifespan. And their cities are beautiful. And income inequality is relatively low -- with living wage laws and high taxes, the middle class actually control more of the national income than the upper class, and unlike here in the United States, the middle class is seeing their standard of living improve, not decline. Wow, imagine that, what a remarkable thing that must be!
Crap, if that's what socialized medicine and high taxes do for a people, gimme some of dat!
-- Badtux the neo-Scandinavian Penguin
Labels: health care, taxes
Posted by: BadTux / 7/15/2007 03:05:00 PM
Friday, June 29, 2007
Why Michael Moore was right
Some folks object to Michael Moore saying that we ought to go to universal single-payer. "There's other ways to achieve universal coverage!" they cry, pointing, for example, at the Swiss model, which incorporates multiple private insurance companies.
The thing is, the Swiss model includes heavily regulated insurance companies that basically operate as arms of the government. It's sorta multi-single-payer coverage, much as in the old Bell System days when the Bell System was so heavily regulated as to basically be just another department of the Federal Government. The problem with retaining the current U.S. insurance industry is that it has proven itself to be utterly corrupt and irredeemable, in my opinion. My mother has worked in the health care industry for close to 40 years now, and has seen the results of the health insurance industry moving from the mutual model to the profit model first-hand. In my opinion, health insurance corporations which are publicly traded should be *OUTLAWED* as a menace to society, no different from cluster bombs and handguns in their ability to kill innocents. Because the moment you become a publicly traded corporation, your first allegiance is not to health care. Your first allegiance is now to your stock holders, who don't care about health care, they just want profit, moh profit, moh profit, and if you don't deny coverage of sick people in order to increase profit, you get fired and people more vicious get hired to replace you.
So retaining private insurance in the primary care business is, in my opinion, unworkable. Our insurance industry has become too corrupt, too wealthy, too willing to bribe Congressmen to do its bidding, for us to put together *any* health insurance scheme that includes them that will actually work at, like, actually providing universal health care. Via their venal behavior over the past two decades they have foregone any seat at the health care table, as far as I'm concerned. Let's just extend Medicare to *everybody*, allow health care insurers to remain as "Medi-gap" providers if they so desire, and otherwise get their venal butts out of our health care.
Medicare. If it's good enough for the prunes, it's good enough for the rest of us. Or do you say we're giving second-rate care to our old people?
- Badtux the Medical Penguin
Labels: health care
Posted by: BadTux / 6/29/2007 10:53:00 PM
Peckerwoods, suits, and sickos
So what do the people that Mimus Pauly so charitably calls "peckerwoods", the music industry suits, and the health care insurers covered by Michael Moore's new film "Sicko" all have in common? Simple: They all possess an unwarranted sense of self-entitlement that says that they're entitled, yes, *ENTITLED*, to make a living in the industry in which they've chosen.
I ran into it first hand working in the oil industry in the early 1980's. Affirmative Action programs had brought the first black oilfield workers into the shop. As far as I could tell, they were competent and did the jobs for which they were hired just fine, but that didn't stop the peckerwoods from grumbling that "goddamned niggers are taking our jobs". Like, the fucking stupid peckerwoods thought they were *entitled* to those jobs, like it was some natural born right or something. Now the peckerwoods are grumbling about how them goddamned cockroaches from south of the border are taking their jobs. Nevermind that the goddamned moron peckerwoods are stupid as a brick and time after time vote for the same goddamned politicians who set up the system that lets the Mexicans swarm across the border. Nevermind that the peckerwoods are lazy, intellectually interested only in beer and football, and do as little work as they can get away with, to the point where a lot of construction contractors I know will hire *legal* Hispanics over legal peckerwoods simply because the Hispanics will work their goddamned tails off while the peckerwoods just slouch around whining about how they're being picked on by "The Man" for, like, being expected to actually WORK. In the HEAT. In the SUN! Without being waited on hand and FOOT! But will they actually get out there and bust their butts to show employers that they're both capable and willing of working hard and getting the job done? Hell no. They prefer drinking beer and whining about Mexicans taking their jobs.
The recording industry suits are the same way. Rather than listen to the public when the public says that, like, firing 1/3rd of the recording artists and suing thousands of your customers is bad business, what do they do? Why, like buggy whip makers whining about that new horseless carriage, they whine that new technology is rendering their job obsolete and should thus be outlawed! It's the same goddamned mentality. They think the world has an obligation to give them a living. Sorta like the linotype operators at the New York Times who whined that the Times had an obligation to provide jobs for them despite all those fancy new computer typesetting widgets the Times had acquired. They went out on strike, the Times said "fine", turned on the computer typesetting widgets, and the linotype operators never came back from strike because, well, they had no jobs to come back to. Technology happens. When it happens, you either learn the new technology and make a living there, or you learn how to say "Do you want fries with that order, sir?". The world has no obligation to give you a good living in the industry you've chosen. Shit, musicians know that, that's why they have day jobs except for a very very few who are lucky enough to make their living at music full time. The suits are scared as hell that they're gonna join the ranks of barristas at Starbucks who work evenings as roadies on the local bar circuit.
Now we get the health insurance companies and their paid lackeys in the corporate media whining about Michael Moore's new film "Sicko" and his call for universal national single-payer health care. They whine, "what about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who work in the health insurance industry?" Oh cry me a river, you see this . ? Yeah, it's the world's smallest fucking violin. They're not goddamned *ENTITLED* to those fucking jobs. Let'em join the rest of us motherfuckers out here on the free market, who have to show that we goddamned *KNOW OUR SHIT* and work our fucking tails off to get ahead. And the same thing for the billionaire profiteers who own those companies. So their stocks in those companies become worthless? oh WAH! You fucking *CHOSE* to invest in the most evil companies on this planet, and now you're going to whine that your choice was a bad choice? It's your own goddamned fault, you stupid-assed bitches! You and your short-sighted asshole demands for moh profit, moh profit, moh profit at the expense of health care quality destroyed our health care system and kills thousands of people every year (*MORE PEOPLE DIE OF DENIED HEALTH CARE COVERAGE EVERY YEAR THAN AMERICANS KILLED IN IRAQ DURING THE ENTIRE WAR!*), so fuck you. Go jump off the goddamned top of a skyscraper or something, you stupid assholes. You deserve to lose all your money for being such jerks as to place profits ahead of people.
And to all of the people above: *THE WORLD DOESN'T GODDAMNED WELL OWE YOU JACK SHIT!*. *Nothing*. Nada. Not one goddamned thing. If you're too goddamned lazy, greedy, venal, and/or stupid to make an honest living, it's your own goddamned fault. Don't whine that I should bail your stupid lazy ass out because you're too stupid to move into the digital media market or too lazy to compete with Mexicans or too greedy to, like, fucking provide the goddamned health care that we pay and pay and PAY for (15%+ of our Gross Domestic Product, or about twice what a universal single provider health care system would require to cover every single American). Just shut your fucking mouth up and go get a job, you lazy slacker assholes, and quit bothering my fucking ass with your whine whine whine whine (oh do you want fucking CHEESE with that whine, assholes?). I'm tired of it. WAYYYY more than tired of it. Goddamn it, get a fucking CLUE, will ya?!
-- Badtux the Rude Penguin
As usual, I cross-post my best stuff over at The Medley...
Labels: health care, music, righteous rants, war on brown people
Posted by: BadTux / 6/29/2007 02:57:00 PM
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Steve Gilliard, 1966-2007
Steve passed away this morning.
I'd say how important Steve was to me, except he wasn't. We were on opposite coasts, we started out in a similar vein as news bloggers with a military history bent for a similar reason (9/11/2001) but he kept on with it and ran with it and I didn't, I went in other directions. In his early years I read his blog daily, but after it became popular, I went elsewhere. That is similar to my pattern with other blogs such as Jesus's General, Eschaton, Daily Kos, etc... I just don't like popular blogs because they end up turning from a tight-knit community where everybody knows each other (or at least their respective blogging personas) into this gigantic blob of strangers.
That said, unlike some other bloggers whose blogs became popular, Steve never forgot that he was just a guy with a blog. He didn't grow an ego the size of a zeppelin like a blogger whose name rhymes with Mack, or delude himself into thinking he was some kinda mayja playa like another blogger whose name rhymes with "Charcoals", or otherwise turn into an asshole. He was Steve, and kept pretty much the same attitude to the end.
Regarding what killed him: Diabetes. There will be something else on his death certificate. But diabetes is what killed him.
If you have not had a physical recently with a blood sugar assay, get one. Diabetes is some evil shit. You don't even know you have it until it destroys pieces of you that you need to live. That's all I'll say on that subject.
I don't know what Steve's religion was. Figuring him for a Vonnegutian humanist, I guess I'll repeat Kurt Vonnegut's favorite joke: Steve is in heaven now.
-- Badtux the Medical Penguin
Labels: health care, obituaries
Posted by: BadTux / 6/02/2007 11:28:00 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
It's a Virginia Tech every day
R.J. Eskow points out that more people die every day in the United States from lack of health insurance than were killed at Virginia Tech, and wonders why the press gives Virginia Tech all this press, but not an inch of ink to a similar mass murder happening every day on our very own shores.
I mean, it's not as if we can't afford to provide high quality health care to everybody. We are the richest nation on the planet (even if a lot of that wealth is owned by Asian banks) and are spending 16% of our Gross Domestic Product on health care. France is spending half that and provides the best health care in the world by all measurements of health care quality to all its citizens. But I forget. They're French. That means they're better than us and can do stuff we can't do, like provide better health care for half the cost. U S A! U S A! U S A! Fuck Yeah!
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Labels: health care
Posted by: BadTux / 4/24/2007 08:26:00 AM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
"Culture of Life" indeedy...
Iraqi children are being terrorized or killed because of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as thousands of Americans die due to lack of universal health care coverage in the United States. Meanwhile, tighty righties chortle at the notion that the U.S. Supreme Court somehow "protected life" with their muddled decision on late-term abortions, but swiftly change the subject when you start asking, "do post-born children have a right to life", indeed, even delete your messages on their boards when you ask that question. Nevermind that everybody agrees that post-born children are, in fact, people, while not everybody agrees that fetuses are, in fact, people. For some reason, pre-born children have more rights than post-born children in the Brave New World of tighty righty blogs.
Ah yes, the "Christian" Culture of Life. Offer void at birth.
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Labels: abortion, culture of life, health care, religion, war on brown people
Posted by: BadTux / 4/22/2007 12:47:00 PM
Monday, April 02, 2007
The day shelter
In a previous life, I worked as a librarian. Well, make that "Library technical assistant", since I don't have a MLA thus wasn't qualified to be a full-fledged librarian. Nevertheless, I did work the magazine reference desk several afternoons per week.
I'm not going to post much more on that, just go read. I was there when Reagan was kicking the mentally ill out of the mental hospitals, with the complicity of idiot liberals who insisted that the mentally ill were just "misunderstood". Those were the years when we had to hire a security guard for the first time at the library...
-- Badtux the Former Library Penguin
Labels: culture of life, health care, sick society, war on sick people
Posted by: BadTux / 4/02/2007 01:20:00 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"We" need to fix Iraq?!
I've got a better idea. How about we let the *IRAQIS* figure out what to do with their country? They live there. They have skin in the game. They are the ones who have to live with any solution. They don't need some self-absorbed white honkies from across the sea telling them how to run their country. It's time to get the fuck out and let them figure this shit out themselves, and then send billions to whatever government(s) arise out of this so they can rebuild the shit that *we* blew up. Blew up because blowing shit up is all that the U.S. of Fuckin' Self Absorbed Incompetence is capable of doing nowdays.
This shit of us pretending to be ubermenschen dictating to the unseemly untermenschen mud peoples as to how they should run their country is just bullshit and needs to stop. Fuck, we can't even provide medical care to our own citizens. Why the fuck do we think we can solve the problems of some folks overseas when we can't even solve our *own* problems?!
- Badtux the Rude Penguin
Labels: health care, iraq, sick society, war on brown people
Posted by: BadTux / 3/20/2007 12:05:00 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
What's wrong with this picture?
Let's say that you have a country. It's the most advanced country in the region, with a first-class medical system.
Let's say that your country was invaded four years ago, but now you're a government official for this country and say that everything's okay and back to normal.
Question: Where do you go to get treated if you have a medical condition?
Response of wingnuts:
If the President of the United States had to fly to France for medical treatment because proper medical treatment was not available in his own country, that would be news. If the President of Iraq has to fly to Jordan because proper medical treatment was not available in his own country... err... Oh look! Over there! A stupid blond actress is having a baby! Woot!
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Labels: health care, iraq, war on terror, wingnuts
Posted by: BadTux / 3/14/2007 01:12:00 PM
Friday, March 09, 2007
Friday Guest Cat Blogging
Mencken and The Mighty Fang went on strike this week. I pulled out my camera and tried to take a picture of Mencken on top of the kitchen cabinets, but a) he started running like a scalded cat to get away from my evil camera, and b) I forgot to put a memory card into the camera before I started trying to get cat pictures, so the camera just started flashing its lights at me anyhow. Once I found a memory card and inserted it, Mencken was gone. I don't know where, but gone. And The Mighty Fang had seen fit to abscond also, leaving me standing in the middle of my apartment with a camera but no cats to photograph. Maybe they didn't like getting poked with needles at the kitty doctor and are punishing me. Hmm.
So instead, I have a guest cat, Fred The Cat, the cat that owns Pissed Off Patricia. Fred is a very wise and dignified cat. Read Fred's comparison of conditions for veterans at Walter Reed with the conditions for cats at Little Feet Veterinary Hospital. Sadly, it appears that cats get better care than wounded veterans... what does that say about our national priorities?
Of course, I'm sure Fred, Fang, and Mencken would all agree that cats are better than people thus it is only right that cats should get better medical care. But they're cats. They have brains the size of walnuts. People are supposed to be smarter than that -- but apparently aren't. Alas.
-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin
Labels: cat blogging, health care, veterans
Posted by: BadTux / 3/09/2007 12:03:00 PM
Monday, March 05, 2007
Support Our Troops
Until they get wounded, that is. At that point, we fuck'em in every orifice of their body by denying them the 30% disability rating needed to qualify for Tricare (the military health plan for active duty and retirees) rather than the perpetually underfunded VA system.
The next time I see some rat-fucking bastard with one of those yellow ribbons on his fat-assed SUV, I’m going to take printouts of these two stories, smash in the driver’s side window, put these on the front seat, and spray paint on the door “So when are you going to start supporting the troops, motherfucker?!”. Okay, maybe not. But look, us “lefties” (term in quotes, because as a rational Libertarian I’m about as “lefty” as Barry Goldwater, but whatever) have been raising cain for the past four years that the Bush Administration has been shitting on our veterans and the response of the Freeper yellow ribbon crowd? “You’re just being a hypocrit, if you really cared about our troops you’d support dear leader’s war!”
What the fuck does support or not of Dear Leader’s war have to do with it? We ought to be giving these poor kids the best care we can for as long as they need it, fuck the budget, do what’s RIGHT not what’s CHEAP. But the Freepi just whine “you’re trying to make Dear Leader look bad!” whenever you point that out. Excuse me? What does motivation have to do with it? Right is right, and saying “I won’t listen to you because I don’t like what you’re saying or why you’re saying it!” is the act of, well, a fucking MORON.
What’s the Freepi response to all this:
@#$. Dammit, these right wing rat bastards are turning me into a clone of the Rude Pundit and giving me a blood pressure of 240 over 160…
The only good news is that now that Democrats are in charge in Congress, the so-called-liberal “mainstream” press can finally start covering stories that we’ve been covering in the “alternative” press (places like antiwar.com, Raw Story, Capitol Hill Blues, etc.) for literally years. Yeah, we got a free press here in the United States. And somehow, they always seem to report whatever the ruling party wants them to report (SNORT!).
– Badtux the Rude Penguin
Labels: culture of life, health care, veterans, war on terror, wingnuts
Posted by: BadTux / 3/05/2007 01:53:00 PM
Republican Culture of Life at work again
I've been wondering what to say about a 12 year old kid dying because we as a society were too cheap to spend $80 on a basic medical procedure. But then Coyote Angry (going onto my blogroll) pretty much nailed it: This is just the whole Republican Culture of Life thingy in a nutshell.
Remember, Republican Jesus* says, "Suffer the little children, for they are worthless after being born." Republican Jesus says, "Begrudge the poor your money, for the poor are just untermenschen and should be exterminated anyhow." Republican Jesus drives the biggest baddest Cadillac Escalade around to attend anti-abortion ralleys, then goes home to a house that's four times as large as ordinary people's houses to prepare his next speech saying how everybody needs to give Republican Jesus more money while poor people in New Orleans are evicted from their homes after their original homes were destroyed because Republican Jesus has spent the past seventy years preaching that the government should not spend Republican Jesus's money on those levees to make them safe. Republican Jesus loves life, as long as life is unborn. The moment that squalling little pupae makes it out of that woman's glory hole, though, it's every child for itself. Remember: Republican Jesus says selfishness is good, greed is the only moral value, and the only life worth anything is unborn life.
And people just LURRRRVE that Republican Jesus. They can't get enough of him. He's not some wimp Jesus preaching about caring for others. He's not some pussy Jesus saying that we should provide basic universal health care to all Americans because, well, it's the right thing to do, to save people's lives by providing basic health care to all (nevermind the economic arguments for universal healthcare, the very fact that we even have to talk about the economic arguments shows just where Republican Jesus's priorities lie). No, Republican Jesus is the kind of Jesus that a lot of people prefer to worship. Like them, he's shallow, greedy, venal, narcissistic, self-interested, loves money, and otherwise an expression of modern American values.
So remember, boys and girls, let's all give a hip hip hoorah for Republican Jesus and the Republican Culture of Life that he represents. Republican culture of Life: Offer void after birth. Batteries not included. Offer may not be combined with any other offer. Have a happy day, sucker!
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
* Republican Jesus(tm) is an unregistered trademark of Jesus's General
Labels: culture, culture of life, health care, religion
Posted by: BadTux / 3/05/2007 10:27:00 AM
- Name: BadTux
- Location: Some iceberg, South Pacific, Antarctica
I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.
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Bill Richardson: Because what America needs is a competent fat man with bad hair as President (haven't we had enough incompetent pretty faces?)
Cost of the War in Iraq