Saturday, September 01, 2007
Millions of Americans have been watching with great interest the arrest of Senator Larry Craig for playing footsie with an undercover cop and the strong call for his resignation from the U.S. senate. Pundits and politicians decry that it’s not the same thing as Senator David Vitters tryst with a prostitute. Why not? Well, they say, Senator Craig plead guilty and Senator Vitters never got arrested.
So there you have it. Ethics don’t matter. You can be a U.S. senator who visits prostitutes and it’s okay as long as you don’t get arrested. That’s not seen as a moral issue to the right wing because it was heterosexual wrongdoing as opposed to homosexual.
How America views morality is distressing in the grand scheme of things. Issues like poverty, lack of health care and homelessness, corruption and corporate fraud aren’t considered moral issues “to worry my pretty head over,” as Barbara Bush put it when asked about the high death rate of our soldiers in Iraq.
These are some of the things that I few as moral issues that bug the heck out of me:
The economy is great if you’re lucky enough to be in the top 5% of wealthiest people in the U.S. A year ago, a Wall Street Journal poll reflected that 2/3 of the American people believed that America is in a recession. President Bush says that our economy is strong. So who is right, Bush or the American people?
The disconnect is that President Bush view’s economic success by how well the corporations are doing financially. If you’re a CEO of a giant corporation the economy is going great. When you outsource American jobs to foreign countries who utilize slave labor to manufacture the cheap goods Americans want, yeah, you get rich. CEO’s of big corporations who keep their employees in America, they keep their corporate profits high by hiring employees part time so they don’t have to pay benefits like health insurance.
Teddy Roosevelt recognized this problem. And he was a Republican. He fought the corporate idea of getting wealthy by working employees for so many hours and so hard for very long hours that it was near slave labor. He saw this as immoral, corporate greed.
- President Wilson on the other hand believed that liberty is allowing corporations to get rich by keeping wages low, the work hours long and not spending money on benefits for their employees. Under the policies of the Bush administration, the U.S. finds itself in debt to China up to our eyeballs. We borrowed billions of dollars from China to pay for the war in Iraq. Manufacturing plants in America continue to close as our jobs are outsourced, throwing more Americans into unemployment and loss of health insurance.
Under the Bush administration, the corporations have continued to get wealthier and wealthier. And not through entirely honest means. The lack of oversight of the billions of dollars wasted due to fraud, kickbacks and pure greed during the reconstruction of Iraq, is not by accident. The move of the Halliburton headquarters from the U.S. to off shore isn’t an accident. It was a deliberately planned way of stealing billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars outside of the reach of American laws. And we all already know that electricity, sewage, water, hospitals and schools in Iraq are being destroyed as fast as they get repaired or built. And the CEO’s are slapping each other on the back with their obscene earnings, all the way to the bank. With the stroke of a pen, President Bush signs his signing statements that these things aren’t to be investigated as he gives a proud wink to his corporate friends.
Now comes the NAFTA Mexican trucker situation. Before going on their August recess, our congress voted that Mexican truck drivers will be held to the same standards as American and Canadian truckers are subject to. But after congress left town, Bush got out his handy signing statement pen (signing statements are a mechanism that the president can change himself from President to King), stating that this law is null and void.
Effective today, Mexican truckers can not drive all over America without any mandatory rest requirements. The safety of American drivers is now at risk because there WILL be an increase in accidents on the freeways and roads in America. Their pay is low which American corporations like because now they can outsource our union truck driving jobs to Mexico.
We have no idea the number of illegal aliens who will be transported on these trucks into the U.S. Illegal drug smuggling and transporting terrorists into the U.S. will increase.
The U.S. needs to get out of this NAFTA crap. It’s destroying our country, destroying our workforce and making American unsafe. - I’m praying that our congress will grow a backbone and get America out of Nafta and start putting safeguards in place to protect our country and our jobs. I hope that America will one day wake up and say “NO!” to the continued immorality of greed that is destroying our country.
BC/BS denied me the medication. Not once, but twice. I went for about two weeks without the medication. While waiting for the denial on the second attempt, I drafted my letter to my senator, Bill Nelson (great guy by the way). Finally, I won my appeal and I had a year of freedom from fighting with the insurance company. Thank God, I won the appeal. Like my dad, I am one of the lucky folks whom Aricept not only stopped the deterioration of the brain cells by the tangles and plaques choking my brain cells, but actually improved my memory. After three months on it, I wasn’t dropping words due to forgetting what the word was I was grasping for. -
But then my neurologist, knowing that Aricept was only good temporarily, decided to ad Namenda. Blue Cross/Blue Shield went nuts! They totally would not allow me to have both. However, this also happened at a time when I was very busy and didn’t want to take the time to fight with them. -
As a federal employee, I have the same choices in health insurance that all federal employees have, including our elected officials in the house and senate. Like most of them, I chose Blue Cross/Blue Shield. It’s not so great, but it’s better in many ways than the other choices. Please believe me when I say that yes, I’m grateful for my health insurance but the state of health care in the United States is such that even if you have good health insurance, a person still has to fight for their coverage. -
Besides doing crosswords, political activism and researching issues helps keep my mind sharp. Mental masturbation is one of the best things to stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Anyway, like many, I’ve heard numbers thrown around by our presidential candidates and the news media about 8 million more Americans being without health insurance. I wondered exactly what they based this information on and over how long a period of time this 8 million joined the ranks of the uninsured. -
I went looking on the Internet and found this wonderful site: the National Coalition on Health Care, http://www.nchc.org/ and found the information I was looking for. -
I learned that 47 million Americans, or 16% of the population were without health insurance in 2005, the latest government data available. -
The number of uninsured rose1.3 million between 2004 and 2005 and increased by almost 7 million since 2000. That’s how we come up with the 8 million number. -
82 million people, about 1/3 of our population under the age of 65 spent a portion of either 2002 or 2003 without any health insurance coverage. -
More than 8 in 10 uninsured are working families. -
In 2005 nearly 15% of employees had no employer sponsored health coverage. _
This shouldn’t be happening in America. This IS a moral issue. The death rate in New Orleans from the chronic illnesses (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc…) and mental illness is 45%! I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but if a government won’t help get doctors and nurse’s into the city which is greatly depleted of health care professionals, what does this reflect about the United States as a country? -
The U.S. now ranks number 46 in worldwide mortality rates. Still births and infant mortality is rising at an alarming rate while the state presidents and vice presidents of Blue Cross/Blue shield and the HMO’s are taking home millions of dollars in bonuses. The more claims denied, the more bonuses awarded. -
Please get active if you‘re not already. Call your elected officials and demand that health care be provided for all Americans. A country of a sick citizenry is a sick country that cannot grow and prosper.