Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

Republizombie Armies Checked — For Now

The Supreme Court, though it’s supremely conservative by my definition, narrowly upheld the Affordable Health Care law (its Three Bush-appointed Stooges, surprising nobody, voted as expected; during earlier arguments, the indescribable Scalia tried to equate health insurance with being forced to eat broccoli, which makes one wonder exactly how he made it past kindergarten, let alone  to a pivotal lifelong judicial appointment).

It’s ironic to see Mitt Romney, in his pathetic effort to ingratiate himself to the lunatic fringe, become a pretzel by bashing a law essentially based on the mandate he himself developed for Massachusetts.  It’s also funny to see CNN and FauxNews commit the “Dewey beats Truman” error with the full panoply of talking heads and floating news banners — probably because they wanted so much to see the law defeated that they didn’t bother to listen closely to the ruling.  Or maybe they got confused because it contained words of more than single syllables.  Too, it’s funny in a bitter sense to hear House Republicans, who are doubly covered in terms of health, bleat about individual freedoms.  Perhaps they should spend a month without coverage — I suspect that just having to pay for their Viagra would cause an epiphany.  These are the same people, incidentally, who are pushing for full government ownership and monitoring of women’s wombs.

The US is the sole First-World country not to have universal or near-universal health coverage.  Having health care tied to employers is a recipe for abuse and avalanches of paperwork from the private insurance companies (which is one of the major reason for spiraling costs but who cares as long as the shareholders are happy!).  The specter of bankruptcy hovers over everyone in this nation who has anything beyond a routine illness.  Having gone through a bout of cancer, I can tell you that the bills look unreal: they are meant to confuse and discourage.  They require a professional accountant to parse and a professional enforcer to straighten out.  I can’t imagine how someone without insurance would cope.  There is consensus that the system is not working, and even foaming-at-the-mouth Teabaggers actually come out in favor of many provisions of the healthcare bill if they get asked about the merits of individual items (as long as the unmentionable name “Obama” doesn’t come up).  Among these are allowing children to stay on their parents’ policies up to 26 years of age; and the removal of the dreadful “pre-existing condition” clause.

Not surprisingly, Republithugs are vowing to go for a total repeal of the law and will obviously use the Supreme Court decision to rally their zombie armies for November.  On the other hand, it looks like there is steady and growing support of the single-payer alternative.  But the goons who have kidnapped the Republican party do not care if they turn this nation into a smoking hole in the ground.  They are set on some version of Rapture, all else is incidental.  Those who planted and fed these dragons’ teeth knew this was bound to happen: the current outcome, which threatens to engulf the entire world, was not a bug but a feature.  For them it’s all a game, since they can retire to private islands in countries where they can have slaves.  For the rest of us, it’s our lives, those of our children and the future of whatever civilization we can keep safe from the constant onslaught of people whose fear has been skillfully channeled into hate.

16 Responses to “Republizombie Armies Checked — For Now”

  1. Dylan Fox says:

    I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but living in a world where health care isn’t free scares me half to death. I’m so glad we have the NHS. I’ve been poor enough that it’s a struggle to buy food. I can only imagine what it would have been like if the constant spectre of illness was hanging over me, too. Anyone who believes people being denied medical treatment on the grounds of money is… I don’t know. They either seriously lack intelligence or seriously lack empathy. I’m so glad the Supreme Court killed this challenge.

  2. Walden2 says:

    That so-called news reporter looks like she’s staring daggers at the crowd of supporters. Reminds me of the people in the crowd when McCain was giving his concession speech: Some of them looked not just disappointed and sad but that they seriously wanted to hurt someone.

    Although the right wingers are masters of the Orwell 1984 doublethink and memory hole act, just a matter of months ago they were against Romney for all sorts of reasons. Now we are war with Eastasia, and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

  3. Walden2 says:

    Forgot to add – thank you again Athena for saying it like it is. A rare commodity these days.

    In Joe Haldeman’s Forever War, about a soldier who fights in a war with aliens that happens for centuries due to the combatants using starships going at relativistic speeds, in one of the future Earths he encounters, the world is overpopulated and people are given healthcare in proportion to their perceived usefulness to society.

    I am always worried that as our population grows out of control and people keep acting like Earth will just keep pouring forth with resources forever, that eventually draconian forces will come into play and we can say goodbye to most of our civil rights. The right is just a sign of what could happen.

  4. Athena says:

    Dylan, it’s very simple: the poor are supposed to die. Except now in both the US and Europe people previously safely ensconced in the middle class are becoming poor. Europe had a net (which is now also disappearing, courtesy of Germany’s “austerity” obsession). The US never had it.

    Larry, you’re most welcome! One problem is actually that the population is decreasing in the First World — so the pool of working adults who can support the social net programs is decreasing. Add the problems of both finite resources and erosion of civil rights by globalization (which includes job outsourcing as well as lack of accountability of multinational companies, which now include banks) and the danger of implosion is upon us.

  5. Jake says:

    Athena for what its worth this Republizombie enjoyed reading your post.

  6. Dylan Fox says:

    “the poor are supposed to die”

    That’s a chillingly logical conclusion. It’s also a very short-sighted plan. What are they going to do when the workforce which creates the wealth so much is no longer around? Although… It would explain their rabid desire to annex women’s wombs. If they keep the wealth-creating workforce breeding unchecked, then any members of the workforce who become unfit for purpose–like, say, being ill–can be happily disposed of, safe in the knowledge they can be easily replaced. Although, as the saying of disputed orgin goes, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

  7. Brian M says:

    dylan: technology and the reality that there is always a more desperate population who sees a sweatshop as a step up means that your question is not important.

    Corporations are moving beyond the need for an affluent working class (let alone a middle class) to buy their products. The Henry Ford paradigm is increasingly obsolete. If one can produce goods cheaply enough through sweatshop practices and unregulated off loading of the externalities (i.e…pollution), then one can tap into a huge market of statistically poor consumers who can increasingly afford your products.

    Cheap cell phones are a perfect example. Cell phones are everywhere in SOMALIA, for heaven’s sake. So…Nokia (which just closed its last European factories I understand) and Motorola and Samsung and all the Chinese low cost producers can get the prices down far enough. Capitalism solves the problem you mention very neatly.

  8. Brian M says:

    of course, at great social, cultural, and environmental costs, but the point is that the corporate elites based in the west don’t “need” “us” anymore. And, increasingly, the corporate elites are based in “Third World” countries anyway, with no loyalty at all to traditional communities or working classes. THEY are living very well, thank-you-very-much. The private island with slaves mentioned above? Google “Dubai”.

  9. Brian M says:

    I am multi-posting, I know…but one contrarian question does come up…How much health care should be “free” in a world with limited resources?

    How many millions of dollars should be spent to keep a Terry Schiavo “alive” for ten years in a vegetative state?

    What about an obese, diabetic 87 year old who has late stage lung cancer…should the cost be damned and the person be kept alive and treated with the full range of technology and (expensive) treatments available under technological medicine? Somebody has to pay for the drugs and doctors and hospital beds?

    I’m not being difficult (Medicare spent hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars on my mother’s late second husband in the second example above), but…this is not as simple a question as we would like. There is amazing medical technology and drugs out there…but it is extraordinarily expensive for a variety of reasons.

  10. Bruce says:

    Brian, such questions are often used as excuses for for why a poor man can’t afford basic medications for a sick child. Get a decent healthcare system in place and then start discussing the costs of extreme cases, please.

    Dubai is a very, very small target for nuclear weapons. The rich need to maintain control over the big and powerful nations: the islands are just their little place to get away from it all for a while. The long-term objective is to make _our_ country a place where they can have slaves. Illegal immigrant labor is often treated pretty indistinguishably from that already.

  11. Athena says:

    I agree with Bruce: the plan is to obliterate the middle class and bring back the old pyramidal societies. As for triaging health cases and responding with ways that maintain quality of life (rather than just suffering or mindless length), look up the debates over “death panels” that were purported to spring into existence should US health coverage become universal. This was when some well-informed US congressman opined that Stephen Hawking would be long dead if he lived in a nation with such a system (which of course he does, it’s the UK NHS — this was the equivalent of the Teabaggers carrying signs that said “Keep Government out of my Medicare”).

  12. Dylan Fox says:

    Interesting to think that the middle-class might be a passing blip between feudalism and corporationism…

  13. Athena says:

    The two are the same in outlook — just different sources of power. Bottom line, though: no middle class, no democracy.

  14. Dylan Fox says:

    Because the middle-class have the eduction, time and money to fight for democracy, where as the working classes don’t and the upper classes won’t?

  15. Athena says:

    Because the middle class has just enough power to bring about changes and prevail without the need for violent revolution (which has its own pitfalls).

  16. Brian M says:

    One problem being, though, an American middle class that identifies with Kochs and Dimons so has no interest in challenging things. Scary, scary stuff, how effectively the indoctination has worked in this country.

    Bruce et al…I don’t disagree with your basic point. I am simply pointing out that technological medicine is immensely expensive…and some of this expense is based on the way we provide services and the lack of preventative health care that forces problems to get to the point of the 100,000 surgery treatments.