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McCamy Taylor

McCamy Taylor's Journal
McCamy Taylor's Journal
June 29, 2014

Leonardo Boff "This Pope Will Change the Church"/Hobby Lobby "We Want Our Workers Barefoot/Pregnant"

A little bit of Sunday free association: I found this article. It is not a new article. That's ok. It's new to me. It might be new to you. It surprised me. A lot. Leonardo Boff said "This Pope Will Change the World." Boff does not usually see eye to eye with the Pope.

Leonardo Boff needs no introduction at DU. He has his street creds. His book, St. Francis: A Model for Human Liberation is one of my all time ten favorite non fiction books ever. And it was reissued recently, meaning you can still get copies at Amazon (hint, hint).

Here's what the Liberation Theologist said about Pope Francis last winter:

Pope Francis is a pope of change. This is new. His predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI wanted the church to maintain its continuity. Francis has now started to reform the papacy.

I think this pope will create a dynasty of popes from the Third World. Only 24 percent of the world's Christians live in Europe while 62 percent live in Latin America and the rest in Asia and Africa. Today, Christianity is a religion of the Third World which originated in the first world. It has its own sources and traditions, heroes, martyrs, prophets and personalities like the Bishop of Recife, Dom Helder Camara, or the people's saint Oscar Romero. These churches bring new life into Christianity.


And here is Francis, himself:

“The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.”
(Pope Francis, Meeting with Students of Jesuit Schools—Q&A, 6/7/13)

It is time for the left to reclaim spirituality. And merchants, like Hobby Lobby who sell products made in third world sweat shops ought not to be held up as models of virtue or morality entitled to control their female employee's bodies because of their deeply held "beliefs." If a "belief" keeps your female workforce undereducated and underpaid because of an unplanned pregnancy, that is not a "belief", it is a business strategy.
June 28, 2014

GOP Decides to Re-enact "High Noon", Invites Obama to Play Gary Cooper

In a move that has left many pundits scratching their heads, Republican political leaders have decided to re-enact the famous film High Noon. In this new version, they have chosen their nemesis, President Barrack Obama to fill the role once played by Gary Cooper as the high minded public official determined to do the right thing no matter the cost to himself.

Said the president "I couldn't be happier. Like my buddy, Bill Clinton, I've always loved that old movie. Being given a chance to act out the role of the sheriff who single handedly faces down a posse of bad men for the sake of his town simply because it is the right thing to do---it's the kind of thing that got me into politics in the first place. I was beginning to worry that being POTUS was going to be nothing but diplomatic receptions and Rose Garden signings."

The first lady added "Unlike Grace Kelly, I intend to stick beside my husband."

Oh, and BTW, the GOP has now officially lost this fall's election.

June 28, 2014

First GOP "Big Lie" for the 2016 Democratic Primary "Hillary is Too Elite to Care."

Just as they did in 2008, the GOP is trying to muck around in the 2016 Democratic Primary the way Pat Buchanan taught them to do in 1972. Hillary has them scared. She has more balls than their ballsiest ex-pow military politician.

She has more real executive and foreign policy experience than their oldest, gray-est gray hair.

She beats the smart Bush...in his own state.

And, of course, no one in the GOP wants to see her debate this man

Therefore, the corporate media is now participating in the creation of a new Big Lie. This one goes something like "That Hillary is SUCH an Elite Snob. She may have started out cooking for Bill in a trailer back in Arkansas, but now she thinks her shit doesn't stink. Look at her globe trotting all over the world, drinking tea with queens. Look at all those $$$ that the press keeps putting next to her name in big, bold letters. How shameful! Someone like her would never understand the needs of an ordinary hard working American who has lost his job and his home."

This Big Lie is for Democratic Primary consumption only. If Hillary makes it through her own primary and is the nominee, the GOP will quickly remind its own party faithful that Hillary is an armpit hair toting, Marx reading, "cooks her own supper" trailer park trash slut of a woman who will never in a million years understand the special needs of corporate executives.

It isn't too late to order your own copy of Mytholgies by Roland Barthes. Don't become road kill on the information superhighway. "Consume" the news, before the news "consumes" you.

June 28, 2014

If We Paid Generals More, Would They Give Our Servicemen and Women Better Care?

The federal government does not have enough money to keep the bargain it made with its servicemen and women when it sent them off to serve two and three tours of duty in Iraq. They can not get an appointment at the VA. They can not get their disability pay. They can not find a job. They can not find a place to live.

At the same time, the military always seems to be able to find the money to hire Lockheed or some other contractor to build a new bomber or new weapon that may not ever be used. Why? Because military brass--retiring generals---count upon second careers as private sector "consultants" with the companies to whom they award lucrative DOD contracts. So, the Pentagon always insists that it needs lots of money for new weapons and new jets and new toilet seats---and it is not be nearly as concerned about the needs of its discarded soldiers.

The math is crystal clear:

Military Admirals and Generals Need for Money Post Retirement > All Other Needs of All other Service People.

So, here is my suggestion. Rather than forcing our generals and admirals to retire on their modest military pensions, which encourages them to seek private sector consulting jobs with the companies that "owe" them, maybe we could save a lot of money by giving our retiring admirals and generals generous retirement bonuses. A million dollars would be a lot cheaper than spending a billion dollars making a jet that no one will ever fly. And, with the money we save, we could hire more doctors for the VA, fund for jobs programs, pay more college tuitions.

For those who say "But military spending is good for the economy!" consider Japan and Germany. When the US relieved them of the need for military spending after WWII, we allowed their economies to boom. Military spending is actually a very poor way to jump start the economy. Too much money goes into too few hands. The "product" sits on the shelf---or, if used, results in a net financial loss rather than gain. If you really want to use public spending to spread the wealth and make your economy grow, you invest in education first and health spending second. Lots of well paid jobs, and the "product"--better educated and healthier workforce---makes your economy even stronger. That is why Germany rules the European Union. That is why Japan is a world player.

This is not so far fetched. We pay farmers not to grow crops. Why shouldn't we pay military brass not to buy weapons and high priced toilets that we do not need? Spend that money in the education and health sector where it will benefit the economy. The improvement in benefits will attract better candidates to the military, making it stronger.

And, while we are at it, rather than paying trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives invading a foreign country so that a few oil companies can get oil contracts worth a few billion dollars---contracts that will become worthless once US troops pull out and the locals realign the government---maybe we should just give the oil companies a bigger tax break. Let them write off a billion instead of spending a trillion. Seems pretty obvious to me.

What do you think? Is the math simple enough for even a Tea Partier to understand?

June 25, 2014

Citizens United: A "Get Out of Jail Free" Card for the Rich

Citizens United--the controversial Supreme Court decision that grants the rich unlimited "free speech" rights in elections is many things. But the scariest is the fact that it is now a Get Out of Jail Free Card. Ever wondered why we are not seeing more Banksters doing perp walks? Ever asked yourself "What is this new 'affluenza' defense that is used to justify criminal behavior by the rich and privileged?" Ever wondered why a casino owner like Sheldon Adelson decided to try to buy a presidential candidate when he was being investigated by the feds? It's simple. The rich can give unlimited amounts of money to a political party. They can give unlimited amounts of money to both political parties. They can threaten to finance a third party splitter. They can personally end your favorite representative's political career.

And so judges have to think twice before messing with them. Prosecutors have to think about their potential future as judges. Elected officials have to be pretty sure of their private sector options. Parties have to treat them with kid gloves.

Welcome to the Brave New World where some folks are literally above the law because they are too rich. This is what the Supreme Court wanted. This is what Scalia, Roberts, Alito and the rest stand for. In Citizens United they took a big dump on the law---and plunged us back a few hundred years into the age when those with a title and land had privileges and the rest of us were obligated to do the bidding of our betters---

But don't hate them too much. Scalia, Roberts and Alito are among the peons doing the bidding of their "betters." They are serfs, too. Serfs in their own minds, which is the scariest place one can be a serf. Imagine thinking that you owe the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson anything. It must be a hell of a way to live.

June 23, 2014

Why I am a Democrat

Social Security, National Labor Relations Act (right to collective bargaining and strike), Fair Labor Standards Act (maximum work hours, minimum wage, no child labor), Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, National Endowment for the Arts, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Preservation Act, Fair Housing Act, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (includes WIC, School Lunch, Food Stamps, Meals on Wheels) Federal Emergency Management Agency, Title IX, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Affordable Care Act----

The list goes on and on.

Democrats fought for these rights. I am where I am, because a lot of Democrats in the past were not willing to put up with the status quo, and I want my grandkids to have it as least as good as I have had it, and I hope they have it better.

June 21, 2014

"I'm a Medicare Patient. Please Don't Hate Me!"

Those who aren't on Medicare might be surprised to discover that it is next to impossible for some folks on the insurance program to find a doctor. If you are a healthy, wealthy senior, you should have no problem. You'll be able to afford traditional Medicare with a traditional Medicare supplement--those will open many doors, especially if you live in an urban area with lots of providers. Or, you can hire one of the concierge doctors, who sign up to treat a handful of people. If you are wealthy enough, you can even go outside Medicare altogether and pay cash---though most rich people that I know are very tight with their money and will try anything before they resort to this one.

However, if you are an extremely sick Medicare patient and/or you are poor---sickness and poverty often go hand in hand in this country---you may find that there are no doctors willing to accept the extremely meager reimbursement that your Medicare so called managed care insurance pays them for coordinating your very complicated and time consuming care. You may find that the only place you can get an appointment is at the local "free" clinic or charity hospital, which is required by law to accept all comers. And you may find that even here, you are not wanted, since most of the poorly paid, overwhelmed physicians would rather see 40 somethings with allergies than spend an hour wading through your medical records, coordinating your care with your cardiologist (heart failure and CAD with Afib on Coumadin), your gastroenterologist (GI bleeding controlled by double dose Nexium), your endocrinologist (severe osteoporosis) and psychiatrist (a whole handful of medications). Did I mention your breast cancer? It's in remission. And your kidneys shut down whenever you get pneumonia which is every winter. Your insurance keeps changing its formulary so you keep running out of the medications that keep you alive, so your doctor's nurse or your doctor spend hours on the phone every month changing your meds or appealing a denial of coverage from your insurer which is doing its best to drive you off its Medicare managed plan and on to its competitor's Medicare managed plan.

Why did you sign up for a Medicare managed care plan if it is so yucky? Because it was the only one you could afford. You are poor. And sick. You really need to use your insurance. Deductibles will kill you. So you chose the plan with the least out of pocket, not realizing that it is also the plan that throws up the most barriers to care in the form of limited reimbursement for providers and limited treatment options---

Does that even make any sense?

Our nation is at war with sick people. Correction, the private insurance industry which makes a bet that it will take in more in premiums than it pays out in claims is at war with sick people. And somehow, the private insurance industry did not just get itself a seat at the table of Affordable Care and Medicare and Medicaid. In some places, it is the table. And the chairs it has reserved for the chronically ill are the ricketiest, flimsiest chairs it could find, and it has its employees stationed behind the chronically ill ready to pull those chairs out from under them at any moment. And pretty soon, private insurance is going to take a chunk out of the VA----the VA's funding, that is. Not the VA's work load. Have you seen Tricare rates?

Where was I? Oh yes. I was vomiting blood into the toilet, because my insurer decided to stop paying for my ulcer drug this month on a Friday and it is Sunday and my doctor won't be in until Monday to change my prescription. I should stop my blood thinner, but if I do that, I'll have a stroke. Here. Let me wipe the blood off my lips. I'm lucky to have a doctor. I waited nine months to get my appointment at the county clinic. No private doctor in my community will accept new patients on my Medicare plan. I had been getting my "care" from the emergency rooms, which can not turn anyone away, but they were getting tired of seeing me. I worry that my doctor has so many patients like me and keeps getting more and more. It is getting hard to schedule an appointment with him. He is booked out two months in advance. My old family doctor, from the days when I was young and healthy, could get you in that same day or at least that same week. And everyone in the waiting room looks like me---prematurely aged, tired, tied to an oxygen cannister and a walker with a huge bag of medicine. Just going through all those drugs must take 15 minutes. Most doctors are in and out of the room in 15 minutes seeing an "average" patient---

Oops. There goes the stomach again. I think I've lost enough blood that the ER doctor won't think I'm a hypochondriac for coming in by ambulance. When the clerk asks for my insurance info, I'll hand her my Medicare card. In the old days, that used to mean you were insured. Now it means that the doctor will groan and think about how little he will be paid for how much he will have to do.

Please, don't hate me, because I am a Medicare patient.

P.S. Edited so that I can remind folks at DU that I'm a doctor and my health is great. This is me sharing some of the things I know my patients would tell you if they could afford a computer and internet access.

June 21, 2014

In the 2008 primary, Hillary was called....A Suggestion for a Compromise on a Certain Word

In the 2008 primary, Hillary was called bitch, witch, cold, calculating, dyke, lesbian, domineering, pimp, Sybil, Nixonian, Bushian, Monster....

....and c**t. By members of her own party. In her own primary.

I will not bother reminding us which self described liberals and Democratic leaning journalists and writers used these words. You probably remember and if you don't, you can Google it. That is the context for our current discussion of what is being called, euphemistically the "C word." Because, back in 2008, every time some journalist or writer got in trouble for developing a case of potty mouth, the left wing rushed to his or her defense with a great big round of "It's Hillary's fault! She did it! She's using her magic powers/Mafia connections/laser-beam eyes to 'crib death' dissent!"

And that is just plain silly.

It is also dirty politics. Because Hillary is not a witch. She does not have the power to make an MSNBC reporter call her a "pimp" so that she can get him suspended. If the MSNBC reporter decides to call her a pimp so that he can get suspended so that Hillary's detractors can blame her, then she becomes the victim twice over. She does not have the power to make another woman call her a "c**t" so that she can lose her job so that Democrats can revile Hillary for censoring free speech.

Calling Hillary names was only half the game back in 2008. The other half was waiting for the inevitable public outrage over the names chosen---and then ascribing the inevitable outrage/backlash/censorship to Hillary herself, in order to feed the Big Lie that Hillary was an All Powerful Domineering Witch Mafia Godmother who Had Laser-Beam Eyes. And I don't think we want to see that little ploy used again, do we?

If you find yourself getting all hot and bothered at the thought of Hillary taking away your right to free speech, maybe you should take a step backwards and look at the matter in a larger context. In 2008, how many of you would have demanded the right to call presidential candidate Obama a certain other word that begins with the letter N? How many of you would have called the Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain the so called N word in 2012? How many of you are convinced that Blacks have suffered but that women have not? How many of you have read Angela Davis's book "Women, Race and Class"? Anyone who answered "No" to that last question is excused to go to Amazon to buy a copy. I'll wait.

You've finished the book? It was good, wasn't it? Ok, here is my suggestion. The so called C word can be used at DU in an abstract sense and to describe an imaginary person and in reference to a part of the female anatomy but not in reference to an actual person----except yourself. I reserve the right to call myself anything I want. When in doubt, ask yourself "Would I use the N word here?" So, for instance, in a post about sociology, you might talk about language and use certain words in order to study them, not to wound---that would be ok. But you do not call Eva Braun a C word. You call her the mistress of a mass murderer. You do not call Ann Coulter a C word. You call her a talentless right wing gender traitor hack.

June 16, 2014

"(Word With Sexual Connotation) Random Word": What do you think?

Everybody is talking about &quot Word With Sexual Connotation) Random Word". It's a hot topic of conversation on political blogs at the moment. Some of the chat rooms are getting a little bit steamy. On one side there are those who feel that they are being violated. On the other, are those who believe that the Constitution protects all forms of expression, even those of a sexual or deviant nature.

"I mean, adult's have a choice, right?" wrote one anonymous poster. "They can log off."

"It's getting to be a real pain in the ass," posted another. "It's hard to find a decent political discussion these days with everybody going on and on about '(Word with sexual connotation) Random Word'. "

Wrote another "What is '(Word with sexual connotation) Random Word'? Does that even make any sense? Why am I writing about it? Why am I thinking about it? What made me click on this thread? Is there an alien somewhere controlling my mind? I hope he's not going to anal probe me."

June 16, 2014

Bush/Cheney Were "Entitled" to Their Lives, Now They're Not "Entitled" to Care

Dear Senator Sessions;

When Ex-President Select Bush and His VP Cheney and their SOS Powell got on television and lied about the threat posed by Saddam's WMDs, they called up U.S. military reservists and shipped them off to the Iraqi desert to serve for two or three years of duty at a time. Five thousand men and women lost their lives---for what? So that the U.S. could achieve oil independence? Yes, I read Project for a New American Century. I know that the Bush administration was hustled into office with a secret plan to invade Iraq---and Iran if they could have gotten away with it. I know that Bush-Cheney felt "entitled" to squander the lives of our service men and women, because Bush was Commander-in-Chimp---sorry, Chief , and he thought it was fun to be a wartime president and wear an orange flight suit. The men and women in the Reserves had made a commitment to be there when their country needed them, and though the "need" was questionable, they went.

Now the troops are home. Now, they have post traumatic stress disorder. Now they have chronic pain and disability from injuries. Now they have high blood pressure and heart problems from the physical and mental stress. Now, it is time for the country to honor its commitment. This time, the need isn't questionable.

And yet, you say that you don't think we should fund another "entitlement"? Senator, the next time the nation is really, truly under attack, do you think that you and your state are entitled to U.S. military protection? Do you think that U.S. servicemen and women should be prepared to die or risk disability to protect you and yours? Because, right now, you act as if you do not think that you will ever need to be protected from anything. You act as if the U.S. military is optional---something we can do without. And if that is what you really think, then I propose that we start trimming the fat from the Pentagon budget by closing the five military bases in Alabama. It isn't as if you think that you will ever need them. They are just pork, right?

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 19,240

About McCamy Taylor

Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/
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