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27 December 2008

Deborama's Health Care Piece

I was sent by my old DS comrade Dan a story from AlterNet, the title of which is The Right Wing's Latest Argument Against Public Health Care -- We'd Like It Too Much. Very good article, and I agree with everything in it except the first three words of the title. It's not "the right wing", whatever that means in America, that's opposed to universal health care. That title, and the mindset behind it, is all down to the regrettable flip side of the mostly wonderful American tendency to focus on the future: their astonishing ability to wipe out the past. And especially that maddeningly ahistorical quality of youthful American radicals to wrongly interpret their own history, forget, ignore or deny huge swathes of it, and reinterpret everything every few years, with often comical effects.
No my dears, I love you all passionately, but you don't know half the time who your friends are, who your enemies are, or what you are fighting for. You wouldn't know an authentic right-wing American if one infiltrated your organisation (and I assure you, one has) and the opposition to universal health care? it is the unholy alliance of insurance, big finance and big pharma, and therefore the entire infrastructure of global capitalism, and therefore your boss, and therefore all your co-workers and essentially you yourself. Yes, you cannot so much as draw a paycheque without making a huge contribution to this behemoth which has a strong vested interest in keeping you just barely well enough to work, in terror of illness and incidentally, of "big government", and vulnerable and malleable. Your mother and father and sisters are very possibly staunch opponents of "socialised medicine", even as they struggle through life underinsured, overmedicated and lied to at every turn. The one or two authentic "right-wingers" I have known were just as likely to be in favour of "socialised medicine" as opposed to it. The concerns of the right-wing in the US, given that there the mainstream would pass as the right wing of any European democracy, are mostly to do with such relatively arcane issues as racial purity, draconian anti-crime and anti-immigration policies, and ruling the third world in a harsh and unflinchingly imperialistic style. The endless dominance of capitalism they either take as given, or believe in a Nazi-style state control, which would include universal health care, along with forced sterilisation and euthenasia of the "unfit". So not really comrades, are they? But pretty sure to latch onto a popular and naive group working for universal health care.
Apart from these few quibbles, the article itself is good though. If only it had said "Big "Health-Care" Industry's Latest Argument ..."

25 December 2008

Christmas Blogs for Christians

My friend Lance, an Eastern Orthodox Christian in Minneapolis, has this to say for Christmas. And for even more spiritually uplifting fare, possibly to counteract the unnecessary brouhaha from elsewhere (no link, you know who you are):
All about the angels of Christmas
A beautiful essay on the use of the Jesus Prayer
Why not re-read Franny and Zooey while we're on the subject?
Let it Shine! Inspiring quotes about the return of the Light
Brightest and Best, my favourite Christmas carol

04 December 2008

Odetta - 1930 - 2008

Odetta, the "protest singer's protest singer" has died aged 77. She was planning to come out of semi-retirement to sing at Obama's inauguration. She will be missed.

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