Thursday, August 20, 2009

My thoughts on health care....

This was a response to a facebook status update by a friend, basically agreeing with his thoughts

First, I think that we should have a single payer system. On the other hand, I have no illusion that that is currently politically possible.

I personally (and I say this respectfully, because I'm sure you mean well) don't understand the logic of folks who say that the government can't be trusted to accomplish the oversight of a reasonable health care system. As an example, look at the subject of schooling -- only the most far out of the mainstream person would think that we shouldn't have schools for everyone. No, they may not all be first rate, some may be poorly run, but what's the alternative - that only the rich people get educated?

Plus, you can still pay for private school if you want and have the resources.

Another example - suppose every one of us is responsible for the little piece of road in front of our house? Won't work. The government (state, local or national - depending on the road) HAS to do it.

The same people who support our keeping a standing army run by the government trot out this notion that the government can't do anything when they want to obstruct change. Why don't we all get some guns individually, and then we'll meet up in the town square when someone invades? Even John Boehner doesn't think that (note to John: lighten up on the spray tanning product, fella.)

We need the government, when things aren't working in government, we need to improve them by voting, protesting etc., but government is a reality.

Also, those who say they don't want the government between them and their doctors are forgetting that for-profit companies ARE, with far more insidious results.

People who talk about waits? I have a three month wait for my dentist NOW, and I have no insurance.

These companies at the very least need to be regulated. These companies are screwing you, and me. It's just that simple. If I had a terminal disease, they wouldn't even give me the privilege of screwing me, because of my pre-existing condition.

So if you have a problem with existing legislation, great, what's your idea? If you can offer a better idea you have my undivided attention, but if your comment is the general 'government can't be trusted' - you know, because they can't be trusted - that's not a solution, that's obstruction.

Finally, my feeling is imperfect legislation is better than nothing, we need to move the pendulum in the right direction even if we can't create perfection the first time around.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stop ragging on Woodstock.....



Dear Mr. Tyrangiel,

I'm stuck by a comment you made in the article in Time Magazine "Woodstock: How Does It Sound 40 Years Later?"

You said: "To have not been alive during Woodstock, we're told, was to have missed the freest moment in American history.

Boomers do this regularly, of course — make up stuff about how great they are. They're also eager consumers of goods that jog the memory of their greatness."

I am enough struck by your cluelessness that I felt compelled to write. You might be surprised to hear that I wasn't presently engaged in "making up stuff about how great I was". You'd be right to assert (as your article does without directly stating) that nostalgia is indeed a sort of prism, and some of the light it yields is amplified truth, and other light is not refracted at all. It stands to reason that one might encounter or experience an exaggerated sense of justice or purpose in the events of 40 years ago, and in doing so look past the foibles.

My observation to your thoughts is this: in my humble view, pretty much every comment you make in this section of the article, really exhibits a value system existing your personal core beliefs that completely misses the point -- of the event, of the music, and to a certain extent - of life. I'd have more success explaining music to the Taliban.

If I were to try to explain it to that Taliban person, it would to say how music - at its best - uplifts the human spirit, and brings us closer to our essence, emotionally and spiritually.

On a more brass tacks level, I could refute some of your musical judgement, by mentioning - for one example - that contrary to your view, Richie Havens performance is far more polished in terms of intonation, than CSNY's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". To get into that point by point is to wallow in mud I have no interest in being in. The thing that they both have, which seems to be missed by your assessment is the passion by which they are delivered, and they both score highly in that regard for me.

The summary is that the values extant in your viewpoint ultimately exploit different capital than those of the Woodstock generation. Try this on for size: money's good but it's not everything, singing in tune is good, but it's not everything.

The real important stuff is elsewhere...

...but no matter -- I'll bet you have (in a metaphorical sense if not in actuality) autotune installed and hard at work on your computer as we speak....

Welcome to 2009!