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Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Czar Named

Dear President Obama:


Please consider this letter as my application for one of those czar jobs that are going around. In my case, however, I am not applying to be one of the standard czars, czar of energy, czar of green, czar of auto, you know; you already appointed those folks. Rather, I want my own fiefdom: I want to be czar in charge of flagging bullshit. And from simple observation of the continual and present situation in our nation’s capitol, there ought to be plenty for me to do.


I am not in possession of a degree from Yale or Harvard or holder of a good deal of experience in the economy or science or medicine. But, Mr. President, I have had so many different jobs dealing with all sorts of people, I feel pretty competent in spotting any dispenser of bovine waste. Furthermore, I am positive that if a person is a politician, lobbyist, or high level bureaucrat, I will have no problem identifying waster production; with these folks, it is perpetual.


The first thing I would do, sir, when I take office is to devise a system by which the average (gawd, I almost wrote Joe or Six Pack) citizen can spot American shovelers of cow waste. I would borrow from Hawthorne and require all politicians to wear a medallion large enough to be easily seen from 60 feet that identifies them as creators of informational or auditory waste. I think the letter BS on the medallion or emblazoned on shirts, jackets, hats and overcoats would do nicely. I also think that politicians could order from a Czar of BS Catalog, shirts, sweaters, cuff links, scarves, blouses embroidered, artfully, with BS on sleeves, collars, breast pockets, etc. Sir, you get the drift here. The idea is for regular folks to be able to identify the group so that an escape or defense could be mounted. Certainly, this could easily be budgeted and proceeds from the catalog could be used to offset expenses. Naturally the entire business of the catalog and goods would be developed in China with call centers in India, the cheapest way to go, of course. Or maybe we could buy Detroit and use it as our center, might be some political gain there, sir.


But I diverge, sir. This czarship’s essential and critical role would be to recognize and prove that bullshitting is actually happening. All of this documentation would occur in an open and transparent website that is easily found by the public, maybe PHD.org, that’s “Piled Higher and Deeper”, Mr. President and the naming certainly is not a done deal. Heck, you might want to suggest that the process be pulled into the stimulus bills and that everyone who sent in a possible name could get a 1000 dollar check, limit one per family, no one making over 100, 000 a year would be eligible. Maybe the winner could get a huge check, say a couple of million for the winning name. Sorry, Mr. President. I am so excited about all the possibilities of potential work for me; I can’t help brainstorming a bit for you. Anyways, once the manure is spotted, it would be quickly be revealed and links to valid sources of information posted, immediately on our website. For example, when a BSer (add that word to your Word dictionary, sir) is guilty of contradicting, misquoting, lifting from context, or just outright lying, my staff would post the discrepancy under the offender’s profile on our website. With the power of today’s computers we could gather this information and crosslink it to other offenders and to their statements. Yes sir, sort of an Excel of bull shit, downloadable in PDF.


As you can see, President Obama, I am ready to serve my nation and can report to work as early as next Monday. And I will work for minimum, sir, and require only in the way of perks a small apartment in Watergate, an adequate doggie hotel for my mutt, Fuzz, tickets for Nationals’ games, and a Smart car to use to get to and from work. I won’t need much of a budget beyond that Mr. President as I plan to come in slow and sleek, sort of like the remodeled auto industry, and I will not use federal employees either. Instead, I will hire just a handful of IT experts from Sri Lanka who will work cheap and will share a couple of bunks and hot plate at the office.


I am ready to go. See you Monday; shall we meet in the Rose Garden or the Oval Office for coffee?
Sincerely,

Gnomoney, BS, MS, PhD

PS: I see great potential, sir, in expanding to pig shit, horse shit, rat shit and jack shit as time and our relationships builds.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What Do We Deserve

I am totally confused about all these going-ons about health care and what is the best path. And as usual, I try to simmer the topic down to the essentials to see if what we want is possible with what we have.


First, I think we need to consider what we deserve as citizens of the United States. There is nothing in the Constitution that I can find that says that we deserve health care. The Declaration of Independence does speak of Life, Liberty, a and Pursuit of Happiness but that document, grand as it is in ideas, did not get transferred to the Constitution. The Declaration is a reasoning and The Constitution is the law. However, if we believe what Jefferson wrote about Life and the Pursuit of Happiness and that decent health care would lead to Life and, to some degree, enable all men to pursue Happiness; quod erat demonstrandum, we deserve health care. The Constitution has this line in its Preamble “promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. . .” If we conclude that health care falls under general welfare and that having health care would make us in some way free, gosh, I guess we have a legal right to health care.


Second, the rich have more money. Of course I didn’t come up with that epiphany, but they do, lots more. Now, when considering health care, do we all deserve the same health care that rich people can afford.? I think not and no law or tax regarding health care should prohibit the rich from having something better because they have more money. After all, that’s what the United Sates is all about really, having more money, so that one can have more Life, more Liberty, and more Happiness. And please don’t try to tell me money doesn’t by happiness when you know perfectly well that it does; it doesn’t by complete happiness, maybe. I would never expect to live as long as some rich dude simply because he can afford treatments that I can’t. So it goes. Obviously, it makes sense that we don’t deserve to have health care that matches the health care of the very rich.


Third, what can we afford to deserve? Ain’t that the problem, really? And ain’t another problem is that those who are lucky enough through money or work to have health care really don’t give a good goddamn about anyone else as long as they don’t lose what they have? Ah, communism, implied by The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, meets economic Darwinism. Yes, it does, yes indeed. Those who have got something that will help them promote their posterity whether by gift of inheritance, work, or luck will hang onto that promotion to the detriment of others. It is a natural instinct to protect oneself. That I do know, but I don’t have the slightest clue about what we can afford to deserve. And I don’t have a clue because between the politicians, zealots, and lobbyists I can’t find much truth on which to base an educated decision. If I were a small businessman again, I would be worried about having to pay 8 percent more taxes to cover the costs of health care. As a consumer, I know that tax rate is going to be passed on to me. If I were one of the very wealthy, I sure would not want to pay more taxes. And if I were an economist, I would be worried about increasing the national debt. On the other hand, I do believe that we are getting screwed by the health care and insurance industries and I have an aversion to such unpleasantly forced intercourse. Therefore, I am in the I-don’t-know-whether-to-scratch-my-watch-or-wind-my-ass stage of confusion because I can’t get a clear picture of what we can afford to deserve.


Fourth, I can tell you what I think we deserve. We deserve news media that will report this issue free of spin, code words, fear elements but filled with facts and figures that you and I can understand. We deserve legislators that will make such important decisions free of obligation to industry or moneyed interests. We deserve a President who will point out the pitfalls of any and every plan without political motivation or with the next mid-term election in mind. I can’t conjure the truth out of this mess about health care, but it would seem to me that you can tell much by looking at who paid what to whom in the form of lobbying money and campaign contributions. Study up on that and you will know we will not get what we can afford to deserve. We will get only what will improve the pockets of politicians, health-care and insurance businesses who have rigged all this in the first place. Also, I do think we deserve as good a health care as federal employees and elected officials have, as long as we can afford it. If we can’t afford the taxes to pay for that style of care, we ought to unhitch the costs of it from our asses and shift it to the asses of those getting it. We deserve a national standard for health care that we can afford and that we can use as a base to compare what state and federal employees and retirees and industry are getting. If we could ever get that base established we could be on the way to making some sense out of this entire mess. Sadly, we ain’t going to get it because of entitlement. Right, we put people in office and entitle them to screw us at every turn in the road. Environment, taxes, health care energy, education, you name it; you’re getting screwed.


We deserve some order of fairness about all these messes, but we ain’t going to get it- not from any current elected official, at any level. It is not a political fashion to do anything for the good of the country; rather, it is the current fashion to do good for oneself, ones party and for the ones who paid the most to help you and your party get elected.

Here are a couple of links, for starters, for you to peruse and I will post any that folks send in:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/profile2.html#stats
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN1330776120080313
http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/
http://www.bcbs.com/news/bcbsa/bcbsa-independent-analysis-of-health-insurance-purchasing-arrangements.html
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/HomeMortgageSavings/HowToFixHealthCare.aspx
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/02/entitlement_brief.html

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