Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Morning, All. It is a good morning but not because of anything on the political scene. I did watch the Presidents address last night and the Republican non-response. I say 'non-response' because I didn't hear anything specific in it--just more of the same from the party that talks about bipartisanship but doesn't walk the walk. They yell about wanting to be heard but what they really want is to dictate the policy as if they won last year's election. They didn't but can't get over the fact.

On the whole, I thought the speech was good. There are aspects I am not enthusiastic about--like imposing fines for not having insurance is someone else thinks you should be able to afford it. I don't really see how an 'exchange' system would work to increase the bargaining power of individuals. But I will withhold judgment until the details come out. If they ever do, given the continued obstructive attitude of the minority party.

I said yesterday that fear seems to be a driving force in this country--and has been since 9/11. This story on MSNBC backs up that perception. Why do some of us think that spying on everyone 24/7 will make us more secure? And more secure from whom?? I remember a number of news stories over the last couple of years about shootings in Chicago near blue light cameras where the cameras were totally useless--because the cameras had been disabled. I am also very leery of shifting the costs for public safety onto private civilian groups. There is an old saying that 'he who pays the piper calls the tune.' Public safety should be a public matter decided and paid for by the public. This is a cheapskate tactic and cheapskate tactics rarely work out as intended.

In a health related note--a segment of the local nightly news noted that Americans could improve their health by cutting down on the salt in their diets. This is in line with the other prescriptions that have appeared with increasing frequency over the last few years. Cut down on sugars, fats, salt, calories, etc. This is one of the few stories that noted a major difficulty consumers face in trying to follow that advice. Most of the salt and sugar and fat in our diets are not there because WE put them there. Manufacturers have put them into the processed foods and mixes we buy. Has anyone taken a look at the amount of salt in nice healthy canned vegetables? We did. And didn't like what we saw.

And Helen at Margaret and Helen has a few very choice, no-nonsense words on the health care debate and about Republicans acting badly--of which we have had a large number recently.

M.J. Rosenberg at TPMCafe puts in print some of my thoughts listening to President Obama's speech last night. As the President mentioned the passage of Social Security over opposition complaints of 'socialism' I remembered that it was a Democratic President, FDR, who faced Republican opposition to get the job done. And when he mentioned Medicare, I remembered that it was a Democratic President, LBJ, who confronted the Republican opposition led by Barry Goldwater to get that job done. But then, I have two degrees and am fairly well read in history. Glossing over who did what to whom and for whom doesn't really help in this situation. I think our Democratic President should not only call out the opposition for its lies and misrepresentations (lesser falsehoods) but should be reminding people of the specifics of this historical process.

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