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patrice's Journal
patrice's Journal
February 22, 2013

Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us - how PROFITS increase costs in American "health" "care"


This is what Risk Managers make possible by controlling the amount of and quality of direct care:

Yet those who work in the health care industry and those who argue over health care policy seem inured to the shock. When we debate health care policy, we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question: Why exactly are the bills so high?

What are the reasons, good or bad, that cancer means a half-million- or million-dollar tab? Why should a trip to the emergency room for chest pains that turn out to be indigestion bring a bill that can exceed the cost of a semester of college? What makes a single dose of even the most wonderful wonder drug cost thousands of dollars? Why does simple lab work done during a few days in a hospital cost more than a car? And what is so different about the medical ecosystem that causes technology advances to drive bills up instead of down?

Recchi’s bill and six others examined line by line for this article offer a closeup window into what happens when powerless buyers — whether they are people like Recchi or big health-insurance companies — meet sellers in what is the ultimate seller’s market.

The result is a uniquely American gold rush for those who provide everything from wonder drugs to canes to high-tech implants to CT scans to hospital bill-coding and collection services. In hundreds of small and midsize cities across the country — from Stamford, Conn., to Marlton, N.J., to Oklahoma City — the American health care market has transformed tax-exempt “nonprofit” hospitals into the towns’ most profitable businesses and largest employers, often presided over by the regions’ most richly compensated executives. And in our largest cities, the system offers lavish paychecks even to midlevel hospital managers, like the 14 administrators at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who are paid over $500,000 a year, including six who make over $1 million.
February 19, 2013

I'm not sure they did. There were some people around OWS who were close to others who

are racists, whether "OWS" knew that or not. The corporate personhood money is driving a bunch of freelancers. Gadsen's flag was NOT just a symbol; it is a rallying point for many people with legitimate social and economic justice problems, plus a small active committed and well funded minority moving toward states' rights possibly in the same manner as we have seen come to light in Wisconsin NRA activists recently.

I physically supported our Occupy with my presence for over a year. OWS is essentially anarchic (although I understand there are various shades and grades of anarchy, which I'm not familiar with); this means that what you see is not necessarily what anyone gets. Then there are many social drivers out there which can be exploited: long-standing authentic economic injustice; War CRIMES; police brutality; environmental change; ethnic and gender-based infringement of Civil Rights; immigration; 2A claims being made about militias armed with assault weapons of the sort that turned up in Wisconsin; Veterans' issues; anti-women's rights, not only choice to reproductive services, but another REAL biggie, pay parity; churches, a big one in our area, speaking in support of Civil War II; the war on drugs, especially as it is being affected by the possibility of the legalization of cannabis and hemp; homelessness; EDUCATION . . . .

Throw all of that together and tell them to do their GAs and get AUTHENTIC horizontal empowerment going on, which is a FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF CULTURE and a RADICALLY different cognitive paradigm, and see what comes of it. Even if an environment like that wasn't being intentionally exploited in specifically organized way, it was extremely vulnerable and paranoid in ways that can easily produce violence. Some Occupies were homogenous enough to overcome these factors and put things together for horizontal empowerment and proceed. Others just generated more chaos and, whether some of the more destructive influence was intentional or just the effect of anarchy upon people with more or less (but mostly way LESS) personal resources to process it functionally, the fact is that dysfunctions don't get better in that kind of environment and in some cases whatever chance those who deserved a chance the most might have gotten in that environment, that chance can be (and was in a few instances) thrown away by other more or less intentional and not entirely manifest purposes, some of them with REAL options other than the Occupy.

So, I don't think it was OWS itself, whatever that was, that became a matter of concern and, btw, there are still some strong OWS relationships out there alive and functioning in other ways now. I think some doors are even still quite open for OWS in re specific issues. Different OWS had different experiences. There are some great ones that I have personally visited and met in our own camp.

But, as much as I try to be an authentic revolutionary for the people, there's a basic principle I CANNOT turn away from no matter how many times I reality test it: talk of violent overthrow of our government is fascism and those who engage in that sort of thing (for whatever their personal and private reasons) are WRONG.

Perhaps when people are reacting to what they assume is the Obama administration's negative judgement of OWS itself, they should consider a question as to whether that's a reaction to the principles and processes (AUTHENTIC horizontal empowerment), i.e. the identity, of OWS or a reaction to what some behavioral factors could, or possibly were, doing with it (e.g. Black Block), or is their reaction to others' reactions (e.g. Obama administration's reaction) a reaction to a label.

It is a true thing about OWS GAs, btw, that the Block-with-Intention-to-LEAVE was an essential aspect of the vitality of the revolutionary process itself, as a self-propagating function, whether any of it ever bears the label OWS or not (though I'd bet there was, on the average, no specific concrete commitment to Block-with-Intention-to-Leave, even though that is how things worked out in a de facto manner in our own Occupy). As a teacher, I approve of that trait, Block-with-Intention-to-Leave, for the potential that it creates for individuals to adapt appropriately in order to manifest personally identified values ir-respective of the politically charged labels that they wear. "Lather, rinse, repeat."

February 19, 2013

Re our reaction to Cheney: IMO, in the '60s, one of the strongest drivers of protest and counter

culture was recognition of being manipulated, or out right coerced, into PROVING to our parents' generation that THEIR sacrifices, what they gave up, and ought perhaps not to have, of themselves, for _____________________________ , was not in vain. For many of their generation, their love was conditional and for many of us that was intuitively offensive. Christianity contains the essence of un-conditional love and we were being told that we better invest ourselves in our parents' own quid pro quos, or else not be loved.

Free Love was a natural reaction to this coercion and, whether we got authentically close to that, or were blind-sided as most generations are, by the rest of what we inherited from one's parents' temperaments, or not, that doesn't mean that the principle of Free Love is invalid. It just means we didn't understand it or ourselves. Whatever became of Free Love, some of us have made an effort to keep the faith with the principle that we don't own our children and they have nothing to prove to us; others have pretty much forgotten the whole thing or never were really into it that much in the first place.

I don't support inter-generational hostility. All of us inherit from and react to aspects of the generations preceding and succeeding our own, though some traits are stronger and other traits are weaker in specific generations.

A salient identity trait of my generation of the '60s was that recognition that old men, and women as accessories to men, should not enslave subsequent generations in order to prove their own worth, in order to validate their sacrifices for them. Just like individuals, if a generation has worth, it is in their/its ability to live that worth themselves. The people of the '60s knew that each generation needs to be free to become itself and, for whatever our secondary failures were in what we refer to as Free Love, it is this failure in our responsibilities to subsequent generations, by allowing Dick Cheney and PNAC/1% to do this to all of us, that we should honestly own our part of and NEVER FORGET.

February 14, 2013

Oh, I understand that much. What I don't know is how to parse it all out & I wonder if those

who are, possibly, gaming one another in this situation have parsed it out amongst themselves too, so that they've decided who gets thrown under the bus and when.

Are they being honest enough to even agree amongst themselves what the priorities are?

I'm not sure how that's even possible with all of the secret corporate personhood money floating around out there.

As I said, I can't parse it all out, but a few hypothetical and rather obvious examples would be:

Will overturning DOMA be the easiest, least expensive, project to abandon, since many in that cohort may be perfectly satisfied to fight it out as a states' rights issue anyway and loser states be damned because, of course, everyone can just move to whateer state that has the culture they like? and anyone who can't, well, that's just too bad, but it's their own fault anyway, so it doesn't REALLY matter whether some folks get their rights and others don't.

Will ERA 2.0 and pay equity for women and all of the issues attendant to that like defending Roe v. Wade and propagating any chance of universally accessible child-care, be the hardest project to abandon, since women are half of the population and represented by all 2+ political parties?

In between easiest and hardest to throw under the bus are tiny shades of probabilities, but, obviously, alternative energy development is going up against the deepest pockets of all domestically and internationally, so that one's going to be pretty easy to dump or drag their feet on.

All with plausible deniability, btw, a HIGHLY MARKETABLE COMMODITY that has been ever so effective in the past.

All of which brings up the issue of time: do we have time to pull alternative energy development out from under the bus and resurrect it? Will American business, especially quality sensitive techs, survive without the right to organize defending it against severe downward pressure on American wages? How much longer can we withstand rising health care costs without just pencil-whipping a whole bunch of elderly and disabled folks, and whatever unknown values they actually do represent, right into the grave?

Yeah, I know conjecture, all, but I'm just not sure that whatever's going on, amongst those you mention who will exact retribution against Democrats, is coherent enough to have even admitted any of this stuff to itself, let alone to have made any effort to identify what plans B, C, D etc. are as whoever gets thrown under the bus, step by step, can no longer be counted on to commit to those who do the throwing.

But then, perhaps, the generational wars are worse than I know and the balance of power, or at least the inertia, has already tilted irretrievably toward those who have more interest in reducing the sizes of various things, rather than actually helping solve any of these problems. That's reducing the sizes of various factors to scales that can be more easily controlled by the, not so new, but definitely more scalable made-over powers that be that take root amongst the "citizens of the archipelagos" wherever those cohorts turn out to be.

February 12, 2013

Well, I think I agree with you on that because speaking homophobically for God is doubly evil.

If someone says "I hate homosexuals" that's bad enough; if someone says "God hates homosexuals" that's much worse. It's worse than blaspheming about God in other ways, because hate is one of the most base human emotions.

I actually listened to a couple of Fred Phelps speeches on YouTube once and I was struck by how, to more naive minds, or to people without well developed intelligence, he would be utterly hypnotic, his style was powerful and full of divine drama, but what made it so much worse was that, not only was he blaspheming in a very attractive manner, he was also blaspheming with hate and fear, both very hard-wired powerful responses. He was saying the absolutely worse possible things to the lowest common denominator minds.

BTW, I don't particularly like the word "God", because I think it gets abused too much, too anthropomorphized. I kind of prefer the Kaballahistic notion that anything that might be what a God would be would not be pronounceable/knowable in the first place. I think that idea is inherent in the first of the JUDEO-Christian 10 Commandments: if you think you know God, you are placing a false god, your own mind/knowing, before whatever a God would be, since such an entity would not be subject to/dependent upon our mind's knowing. To me a more appropriate attitude toward anything like that would be: **IF** there is such a thing, it is best addressed as Buddhists do in calm, empty, awareness. And that must be an **IF**, because if you pre-determine the answer to that question you make whatever there is, if there is anything, subject to that predetermined answer. I think the Buddhists say you should give up on even asking the question.

To me, a better word for what many people are mistakenly calling God would be truth, so the caution expressed in the 1st Commandment and in the Kaballah and elsewhere is that one does not own the truth absolutely. It is what it is, not what you exclusively think it is and to think that one does own it as an unchangeable absolute for all persons at all times makes whatever truth one thinks one owns untrue. Absolutism falsifies "truth", because everything is in process.

What we are referring to by means of the word "truth" is a product of perspective. Perspectives can be shared by one person relative to that which is perceived, or a few, or many, but its all relative to what constitutes the perspective and perspectives can be quite different. That's why I can't tell you what you know; you're the one who has to know it. Each of us might share what each of us knows and discover some degree of overlap, but each of us has to do our own knowing (a process) and accept that it isn't absolute. Like Buckminster Fuller said, "I seem to be a verb."

February 12, 2013

I don't feel a need to prove anything to you. I'm tired & need to go look for work so here's a riff:

I assure you that my reasoning skills are adequate enough to have been a National Science Foundation grant recipient to do course work at Texas A&M University in methodologies for teaching psychology as science for advance placement psychology students preparing to take the College Board in that subject. Psychology is a particularly interesting challenge in that regard, because the nature of what is commonly referred to as "proof" presents special problems when describing human behavior and mental processes, and the scoring of the College Board in that subject was weighted 1/3 in short essay answers to the student's choice of 2 out of 3 questions all of which were directly relevant to actual research in psychology. In order to get my students through that I tutored some 100 of them each year, one by one, on searching and evaluating research from PsychLit & PsychInfo research databases. I did that for 4 years, with many challenging students some of whom were taking full-boat AP, including things like AP calc & AP chemistry.

My own graduate research, independently conducted without any of these "co-operative" projects that are so popular now, received, from my master's committee, recommendation for recognition of leadership in educational research and I received my MS cum laude, basically without putting every effort I could have into it because of an extreme personal crisis going on in my life at that time.

My reasoning skills must also have been good enough to be a Technical Writer in a large network operations development group in a national telecom. That was a group of several hundred people, different kinds of engineers, and administrators, and I was the sole Technical Writer, managing documentation for the entire group, testing ops enhancements, writing user manuals and power-point presentations describing the principles and application of network operations software development for all types of users. I was also release co-ordinator between that group and the rest of the enterprise, including corporate, for operations software worth many millions of dollars. Release coordination in a situation like that involves planning and communicating and documenting the staging and migration of code packages into a living telecommunications network collaboratively with all of the other stake holders, providing clear explanatory updates for any debugging if necessary and at other benchmarked steps in process which in some cases might take up to a couple of weeks to complete. I've also worked in another software environment in which I tested warehouse management software and created manuals about how to use it to manage your warehouse.

My influences, as far as reason is concerned, probably began in my undergraduate work when I was research assistant to the department chair in psychology for a couple of semesters, but I remember also being very inspired by Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, though I'm sure that I read excerpts from Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Whitehead and others in a couple of undergrad philosophy classes at about the same time and I did quite a bit better than okay in a symbolic logic course, though I never made it past fodder level in 2 semesters of college debate (the pre-law folks were just quite a bit more ambitious/hard-working than I). In psychology I particularly liked the work of Jean Piaget, Milgram, Kohlberg, and Zimbardo, but since I ended up teaching psychology later, I eventually had to be able to explain most of the major theorists for some of the brightest most challenging students in the school. Also, since my under-grad dual major included literature, in a school that had a hefty reputation for one of the best small law schools in the country and therefore very demanding standards for their English department's offerings because of those pre-law students, I also did quite a bit of reading and writing for critical analysis, some of that as independent study with the department chair, for which I was a regular recipient of Dean's Honors and my BA was magna cum laude (also without my full focus, as I was raising kids). My under-grad lit interests were in the late Victorians, who had their own little existential crisis going on after the hangover from the romanticists wore off. I was also especially interested in the absurdists whom I encountered initially, as many did, in Beckett's Godot and in those days all of us were talking about Chomsky's Transformation Grammar. Since then another hallmark was set by Thomas R. Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and John Dewey and Paolo Freire (both very much education as research & curriculum as discovery thinkers) during my graduate work.

February 11, 2013

The traits that you quote, in bold type above, can also be the same traits of ANY

collective, not just government, any group that proceeds in that same manner in order to produce doctrinaire conformity.

Have you seen any of the research on internet-astroturffing projects? Don't religions do just about exactly the same thing as you describe above? Anyone can do it and that includes what calls itself "the Left" (or A - N - Y other label for that matter) and attach some very real in-group/out-group punishers to the lack of conformity, things like employment, such as internet content writers, for example. Now, that's fascism!

Whatever the label/window dressing, if it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, if it does what ducks do, it's a duck. And if you think words can't fool people like that, why do you care about song lyrics? If words worked the way wikipedia says they do, no one would give a rat's ass about song lyrics. There probably wouldn't even be any.

In politics: There are non-governmental groups for whom mortal risks to others, in the name of principle X (and that's principle X all implemented as your highlights above describe), . . . we are told risks for principle X are acceptable, without according those at risk the opportunity to be fully and honestly informed for their right to CHOOSE their own risks themselves for whatever principle or value. Advertising obviously does this too. That's fascistic because it takes power privileges and violates the rights of others for an agenda that it isn't necessarily sharing with those who are at risk. The assault weapons debate is also like this. People are claiming a right, in truth a PRIVILEGE, to war with our government and hurt lots of other people in the process, over a principle of their OWN exclusive definition, and without allowing others to avail themselves of their rights to make their own choices in the matter. And the people who are doing this are people that many of us had no part in choosing them to do that. That's the essence of fascism, power seeking for power alone. That's the purpose of all of those techniques that you describe above: power acquisition is the motive of fascism.

The drone debate is another example; we are supposed to conform to an anti-drone principle, because people are dying, and we are to blindly accept the risks of doing so, even though those same risks, that I/we are supposed to accept, are of the same nature as that which the anti-drone principle putatively opposes, the loss of innocent life. So, it's only okay for innocent life to die (a fact, btw, that our whole history clearly shows is not that unacceptable, whether I/you approve of that or not) ... it's only okay for innocent life to die when some unidentified group who claims to be against drones says it is.

Innocent people should not be killed, I'd like VERY much to go along with whomever on that, but, FOUR fingers, I cannot lie about what appears to be the lies that (only) SOME are propagating, intentionally or otherwise. Are we supposed to accept risks as though they are non-existent, even though, were 9/11 2.0 to happen somewhere in the world, the people who would lose their lives to that have as much right to life as those taken by our drone programs. Are YOU supposed to PRETEND it absolutely won't happen ("FIVE fingers! FIVE fingers!!&quot and, then, if it does, it doesn't matter that those people lose their lives wherever, as long as principle X is "honored", because someone (???) demands it or else??? Is this no less a prescription for Un-Ending War than the drone program is? Who says who and how many die and when?

When anyone pretends that isn't what is going on, THAT's fascism. BTW, I don't approve of drones either, but I'm not going to lie about why we should oppose them. FOUR fingers!!!

These examples and there are hundreds more (e.g. man-hating, anyone?), show how the purpose of all of the traits of fascism, which you sketch above, and which you see elsewhere is one: power acquisition for power's sake alone, because the propaganda about principles that is used to window dress fascism is completely inter-changeable. This doesn't mean that no one can stand for principles honestly, most people do stand honestly, but that honesty requires that they stand FREELY (not dependent upon rewards and punishers in clique culture) and they don't punish others who don't agree, or violate their rights to be free in their reality assessments, and hence responsible, for individual choice in any matter.

Regarding meanings: If words had the absolute kinds of meanings that you appear to think they do, if there was ONLY argument from absolutist authority, language would not work at all. period. If words worked ONLY the way that you appear to think they do, Noam Chomsky would be a nobody. Do you know what his Transformational Grammar is about? Can I get you to look that up? May I suggest that you read sources other than wikipedia? Wikipedia has been recognized for as long as I have known it as being not as unbiased in all things as some people seem to want to pretend that it is. If you are really interested in words, I suggest an un-abridged version of The Oxford English Dictionary and, also, a Roget's INTERNATIONAL Thesaurus.

Words have meanings and those meanings are associative/relative because of how language(s!!) evolved WITHIN human experiences. Language is a product of human experience. The words are NOT the same thing as what those words/any words ONLY, O - N - L - Y , refer to. Yes, a word reference can, when attached to empirical research, get pretty close to validity, but still no word = whatever it refers to and there happens also to be a whole universe of stuff, for which there is no or very little empirical knowledge, so even when a case is made from empirical authority it is still relative to that other context (just ask anyone who is authentically living in an indigenous culture).

Words are a very fungible HYPOTHETICAL system that works because we agree that it does, not because there is anything absolutely necessary about the system and what the system refers to. Don't agree to the word-hypothesis? Fine! but don't claim the PRIVILEGE of telling people they don't mean what they mean; don't claim a false right to pretend that words are something that they aren't.

Another example: If I put a bit of code here ________________ , a script, would that be a program? Or is the program what the code does within a context? and are not those contexts quite variable, some more or less the same, some similar, others more or less different, and still others VERY different from one another? Words are scalable code.


Yeah, this is kind of a riff here. Sorry about that; I'm tired & need to get away to something else. Please know that I'm not against people having their own opinion; I'm pointing out that your opinion is contextual, just like everyone's. Those FOUR fingers can be looked at from many different perspectives; they can appear to have different kinds of dimensions, some people don't see 4 fingers, they see a hand, on an arm; if we're interested in what things mean, it might be useful to ask a few questions about those other dimensions, especially before someones demand that people bleed or else.

That doesn't mean that all opinions/"knowledge" is necessarily equally valid, nor invalid, but no one is going to be able to identify how much of which, without beginning with the truth about all of that and the first step is a question, which questions happen also to be one's own personal inoculation against Big Brother, not matter what form fascism takes. That's kind of what my poll is about.

I'm also wondering how many of these people referring to Orwell have actually read him, for real (not what someone else ((another Big Brother by a different "mother"?)) is telling them about Orwell), all of the way through, and also, if they have read Orwell, how much else of literature and such they have read besides, because I just must wonder about opinions about semantics, such as what I'm seeing around here a few times lately could be grounded in anything but a rather narrow acquaintance with the subject matter. Again, all of that has a right to be whatever it is, but that right does not negate my right to ask a few questions about it.

FOUR fingers.

February 10, 2013

Facts always are what they are or they would not be facts. They can, however, be viewed from

a variety of perspectives/angles, none of which negate one another if the means by which those angles are defined, rational empiricism in this case, is shared. All of the angles add up to a more complete truth than any individual perspective does.

I'm not against imagining better, my questions are about how to get there. It's not just going to materialize out of nothing. It has to evolve out of what is, reality. If we make something up completely as a pretty fairy story (like some people say religion does), if we start with something that is not a reality, and try to get to something better from something that isn't real in the first place; or if we actively reject some of the dimensions/perspectives of what is happening; or if we try, but make an authentic error that results in a mistake that leaves a significant aspect/dimension out of the problem of "How do we get from the reality where we are to a reality that is 'better existence'" . . . any of that could make the likelihood of getting to "a better existence" less probable. That would be particularly damaging to those making the effort, so we have responsibilities to get it as close to valid as we can, that is, ALL of the empirical dimensions/aspects of truth that we can identify, so we can use what is happening as best we can to actually support the processes that evolve into a "better existence". Does this not suggest that they, collaborative empirical analysis and imagining a better existence ARE dependent upon one another?

BTW, I like what Orwell has to say about all of this. I just think it gets abused by oversimplification. If we wish to resist that which is "Orwellian" the best place is to begin each of us with ourselves and I am suggesting in this post that identifying Big Brother could begin with whatever the Big Brother dimension is in ourselves. Ignorance is not strength. To use Orwell's motif, there is not one finger, there are four, and "being ignorant" of the other 3 does not mean that they are not there. Those other empirical dimensions/perspectives/angles of the truth are not necessarily evil and one's own are not, exclusively, the only good, especially when one doesn't admit how limited, how biased, one's own perspective can be. This is what I think is being done about PO. It appears that this whole thing has become more about getting the evil Obama, rather than to authentically try to understand how all of this came to be what it is (again in Orwell's story, not 1 finger, not 3, not 5, or 20, but 4 fingers), what the truths are that add up to this moment and then also the different possible things that authentic recognition of this situation COULD lead to, how probable each of those possibilities is and what we best ought to do about all of that.

And if you haven't picked up on it yet, everything I just wrote goes as much for me as I think it does for anyone else, because I know that, though I know what I know, I do not OWN the whole truth. I think it is a grave risk of error for anyone to assume that, e.g. the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, so all of us need the courage to risk respect for DIFFERENT perspectives on this problem and none of that means anyone has to give up one's own truths, just consider how your truths relate to others', as more or less valid dimensions of the same thing, and value that instead of rejecting it out of hand for reasons that are not entirely honest or are at least not as honest as they could be.

February 10, 2013

Good point. But I am assuming that that is part of our responsibility, i.e. to create the political

mass and proactive resistance to keep things from disappearing forever down the memory hole.

So, I guess I'd have to say "Whose memory hole?"

I have a bit of a bias in regard to how that happens, which I tried to express here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101797576#post11 . . . . in which I have made the observation that it's been going down the memory hole for a very long time and it never seemed to matter, so I am concerned about what people's motivations are now. I know there ARE honest concerns about drone programs and I agree with those, but I also know that it is highly likely that the motive to GET Obama may actually outrank anything useful that could happen in winding the results of our past crimes down into something that would not require so much of a price to our victims, foreign or domestic.

Unending War is not acceptable either, but the price of that is, unending watchfulness - ANOTHER problem for those who oppose not only drone programs but also committing to somekind of reform in the U.N. and the World Court.

Personally, the only way that I can imagine how that utopia, without watching, without anything like the U.N. and the World Court, without armed forces, without drone programs . . . Q. how would that utopia even be possible? A. that would be only after one holy hell of a lot of people "go away", a.k.a. die, then everything could be stable enough to actually allow the U.S. to put its position in the world on glide.

I understand the drone critique and agree with it to some extent, but I NEED to hear why/how, if its proponents are wrong, and we or some other country in the world experience 9/11 2.0, or Shock and Awe Chinese Style, why is that any more acceptable than responsible drone programs. Yes, I know the retort is, TTE, "Well, those things might not happen" but that's not the question that I am asking, because if something does happen that point is after the fact and ir-relevant. The point is, if it's okay for those things to happen if they could have been stopped, why aren't drone programs okay too. If the problem really is innocent people dying, innocent people die in either case, so why not do what you can about what you can.

Let's just say, I'm still not comfortable with that, but I DO understand it and to me the differences in what people do and do not know about the specific things that go into the calculation of the relevant probabilities (Can X happen? When? Under what conditions? How? Who?) the differences in what various persons involved do and do not know are not ir-relevant to what IS happening.

All of that said, you are right freshwest, the only response I can think of to this conundrum is for a fully responsible active honest citizenry to do its best to keep collaborative empirical analysis from going down the memory hole from one administration, one congress, to the next.

February 9, 2013

My problem isn't in recognizing that THIS IS THE TRUTH & IT MATTERS,

but that we have ever been thus and now, for some reason, it's a big deal because some people, NOT everyone posting such videos, NOT everyone opposing drones, just SOME people, who have possibly been a part of the whole thing all along, suddenly want to make it an opportunity to get Obama, for the sake of getting PO/the Democrats alone, NOT for the children's sake, but for other agendas that they can afford to implement in diverse ways, including by using ambitious others who can work both sides of anything.

Remember, I'm not saying everyone concerned is doing so, just certain, select, and perhaps the most powerful of all involved, could have agendas for which pro/anti-drone program supports are possibly only a crow-bar. Which possibility means that those opposing drones, on very possibly significantly limited information, can go the limit and may find themselves the subject of a bait-and-switch, whether they recognize/admit that possibility or not, and thus, end up making the whole situation worse for everyone, including those innocent others in Pakistan that they are now trying to defend.

Have I said anything that may not be true? Is it not true that it has EVER been thus, so it is reasonable to wonder why there is so much hue and cry now? or how all of this would go down under other leadership? Consider:

Does it matter to everyone involved in this question that this country was founded on genocide?
Does it matter that WE, not our government, abuse and kill our own constantly and always have?
Depending upon how one defines viable, at least hypothetically, what about abortion? What about multiple abortions for the same persons? I can guess what might constitute a threat to the life of a mother, but what constitutes a threat to her "health" and, really, why is abortion so much more popular than adoption? I am Pro-Choice, but choice is something between TWO or more alternatives, and anyone would have to be blind not to see that those alternatives are waaaaaaaaay out of balance in our culture, so questions ARE appropriate about why even relatively late abortions are acceptable, but drone programs are not.
What about all of the other people the USA is responsible for their deaths?
What about all of our own soldiers that we killed in Iraq?
Can you see why some of us are wondering about motive, NOW???

Please know that I do not dishonor what we see in this video, so I accept the politically incorrect risks of pointing out questions that it appears that others are ignoring and I ask why is that.

Pakistan is beyond my ken; I don't know who represents whom there. Who does really know? and for all that, were we to authentically know who is holding whom hostage, what do we really know about what would happen were that configuration to change? Again, I'm not saying that I approve of drone programs, just that I am not willing to pretend that what we don't know doesn't matter on just whoever's say so.

Innocent deaths are NOT acceptable. The wheel that has been grinding the blood and these bones for so long is bigger than just drones, bigger than just Pakistan. I don't wish to risk a pyrrhic victory. I could be so much more supportive of these concerns if I could trust that others are admitting that there are agendas that do place getting Obama and the Democrats ahead of actually doing anything real about changing the things that create drone programs in one form or another wherever whenever THEY choose, no matter what our individual positions in support of or against what is currently happening are.

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