Olio: Kudos and Catcalls

This Thanksgiving week has brought just as much foolishness to the forefront as any other week.  Hypocrisy and self-interest as well as self-indulgence is rampant.  And the kudos offered isn’t what you would think.    As usual, I use this opportunity to provide you with reading on current issues to expand your intellect.  After all, what else are weekends for?  So let us begin by reviewing the catcalls of the week.

Lo and behold!  Look what popped up the day after my tirade against electronic medical records:


Besides the ominous proposal that our private insurance industry be the gatekeeper of our medical records, in all of their glorious sanctity of human life over profit (ha!), our hospitals are also breaching the confidentiality of our private records.  No surprise there either.  Is the trade off of instant access to our medical histories worth the invasion and unethical use of our own personal information?  Must we sacrifice our privacy to physicians and hospitals just so that they do not have to take the time to do a thorough medical history?  The currently held tenet that electronic records make all of us much less prone to errors does not hold water with me.  Sorry: I do not choose to put my personal medical data out there to assuage the insurance companies and medical providers.  Call me obstructionist, call me overly-suspicious, but everyone and their mother will also have access to my information and Heaven help us all when that data  gets into the wrong hands and is used to evil ends.

Secondly, boos and hisses to that panel in South Carolina that finally has threatened Governor Mark Sanford with impeachment for 37 counts of dereliction of duties and misuse of state funds,   Do you think this was a long time enough in coming?  Do you think the attorney general and legislature in that state will now actually have the moxie to impeach this man?  Come on: it isn’t as if there are only two or three counts pending.  37!

Worrisome lapses by our Secret Service deserve harsh reprehension.  At the White House’s state dinner for the visiting dignitary from India this week, a Virginia couple, uninvited and looking for their own fifteen minutes of fame on the reality TV circuit, passed through the magnetic screening and partook of the festivities.  No, they were not on the list of invitees.  Nevertheless, they were waved through to join the party:


Even though this ambitious couple was screened by the usual metal detectors, shame on the Secret Service, usually considered the jewel of our security agencies, for taking the easy, non-confrontational low road.  What of the possibilities of dangerous substances, lethal biologicals, that could have been the goal of less savory, equally uninvited guests?  It is scary to think what could have happened.  For Heaven’s sake: it is the job of the Secret Service to protect our President, not to avoid uncomfortable social situations.

And no, although many of you, upon reading this story, probably thought these party crashers were Yo Mama and her Honey, they were not.  Perhaps the more severe violation of this incident is that Yo Mama was not on the guest list from the get-go.  That is the true sin of omission that deserves all the catcalls you can muster.

In the category of catcalls, I send scathing criticism out to the New York Times columnist Judith Warner:


She must have experienced quite the writer’s block  to have correlated our Sarah’s Thanksgiving dinner invitation to Levi Johnston as a call for graciousness.  Our Sarah and Levi are both the scum of the earth.  They further dirty up each other’s existence.   Granted, there is a lot of ugliness, rudeness and anger out there in America now.   However, our Sarah is not the epitome of solutions for what ails us.  Quite the opposite is true.  Our Sarah is about creating the hatefulness, the exclusionary social structure and the divisive religious fervor that alienates people.  Her behavior and down-home statements are nothing if they are not destructive.  There is not an iota of conciliation in anything our Sarah has to say.  Her power lies in the ability to mock, separate and deride.  Our Sarah is clearly not the salvo America needs to get out of the economic, political and ethical gutter: she widens those gulches that must be narrowed.

Judith Warner took a good thesis and supported it with terrible, untrue examples, discrediting her initial premise.  By attempting to make a square peg fit in a round hole, she crossed the line of journalistic license.  Maybe the stresses of her Thanksgiving limited the time available for her journalistic  responsibilities.  If that was the case, she should have just not written her column.  But for Warner to have forced this issue by using our Sarah as the model for politeness and true caring  is preposterous.  Our Sarah is who she is and, as a result, everything that comes out of her mouth is suspect.

In my own little world, I, too, was bereft of good ideas for a Thanksgiving post.  If it hadn’t been for the Blog Fairy to bestow upon me the Robin Williams visit on Letterman, I was up the creek for what to write.  However, if that had been the case, I would have simply written “Happy Thanksgiving” and left it at that.

Finally, catcalls (yuk, ptooey) go to my dear children.  Upon mentioning, at our Thanksgiving table, that I had dated (just a few times, mind you) a lacrosse player while in college, my dear, devoted children dared to call me a “lacrosstitute”.  Is that nerve, or what?

Amongst all this foolishness, I do have a number of incidents that have earned kudos.  These items are related to health care reform and the Republican Party.  At first glance, you might think I am off the wall by bestowing kudos upon these people.  Take a deeper look:  these examples were not intended as I interpreted them.

Read Ross Douhat’s column from the New York Times:


Even though his thoughts are directed to the GOP, they make sense, are reasonable and offer perspective for all political entities.

Now I must deal with Mitch McConnell, that venerable Minority Leader in the Senate.  He is so wrapped up in bringing down the administration, that he can no longer speak reasonably on the issues.  His logic has up and left him.  These were his comments at the time the health care debate was brought to the Senate floor:

I think if you have any kind of government insurance program, you’re going to be stuck with it and it will lead us in the direction of the European style, you know, sort of British-style, single payer, government run system. And those systems are known for delays, denial of care and, you know, if your particular malady doesn’t fit the government regulation, you don’t get the medication.

And it may cost you your life. I mean, we don’t want to go down that path.

His thought process is just as convoluted as that of our Sarah.  Why is the Republican platform so rife with inconsistencies?  McConnell is condemning the current health reform proposal as a government program, God forbid, the worst scenario for the GOP.  Yet, they laud the Medicare program (Of course in 1965 when that was passed, the GOP was nowhere to be found on the side of the aisle that supported that.) as the jewel in our government’s crown.  The Republicans just want to obstruct in the hopes of bringing down President Obama.  What about our wonderful state universities?  Should they be blackballed and denigrated because they are government sponsored?  And what about our public education system?  The list goes on and on.

Certainly health care is of that supreme importance, falling into the category of “basic need”, that a government program is EXACTLY  what  is necessary at this time.  The ignoramus McConnell just shot himself in the foot: a state-directed health care program would not, could not, deny us the basic services we need.  Only privately owned and operated, profit-seeking insurance companies can do that.  And they are.  It is untenable to apply the rules of capitalism to basic human rights.  To do so is like comparing apples and oranges.  So I send kudos to McConnell for using his stupidity to drive home the truth, even though he had no idea what he was doing.  Moron.  Let his ignorance and political blundering be our blessing.

Accolades go to Abe Pollin who passed this week.  Pollin was a Washington, D.C. real estate developer who owned and operated the Wizards basketball and Capitals ice hockey franchises.  He also built the Verizon Center in downtown D.C., a process of redevelopment that took a seedy, urban eyesore of an area and revitalized that portion of the city.  Moreover, word has it that he was quite a decent man and his charitable contributions are well-known.  Here is his obituary:


Finally, the space shuttle deserves much praise for being the workhorse of our space program.   The shuttle just landed in Florida today.  This will be one of its last flights.  Over the decades, the shuttle has been not only of untold value to the building and maintenance of the space station, but also an integral part of our space exploration.   As productive as this shuttle has been over the decades, I beg NASA to stop while it is ahead.  The shuttle surely is a technological dinosaur at this point, and I wish they would ground it now before another disaster occurs.  But my hat’s off to all the space shuttle has accomplished over the years.

So yet another week has passed, full of ridiculous and admirable goings-on.  What would our existence be if not for the intrusion of real life?


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2 Responses to “Olio: Kudos and Catcalls”

  1. dressingmyself Says:

    I noticed the quote about ‘european style systems’ and denial of care.
    I live in England and I guess the US (right wing) press has been full of stories about old people getting no care or shunted off and left to die.
    My neighbour celebrated her 92nd birthday yesterday.
    She lives alone and has no immediate family.
    She is diabetic and has angina.
    Every day (even Sundays) a nurse comes to her house and takes a blood sugar count and administers her insulin injection.
    Once a week her medication is delivered.
    The NHS provides regular check ups, chiropody service, eye tests, subsidised dental care for her.
    Earlier this year she had laser surgery on one of her eyes.

    She does pay for home carers from her savings (but she has enough money and does not lack for other things).

    I know this is just one example, but I dont’ think it is unusual.

    • yomamaforobama Says:

      Yes. Your story is typical of European health care. My friend’s parents in Germany got phenomenal care pre-surgery, post surgery, hospital care, and home services. The systems in Europe work very efficiently. However, our Sarah and the GOP would never admit this. Don’t forget: they do not read.
      Thanks for your comment.

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