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No Room At The Inn…for Gaddafi!

We are coming across as such an angry nation…populated with petulant, uncivil people.

We look at demonstrators in other places burning flags and chanting anti-American slogans, and we don’t even understand WHY. Perhaps we don’t need to, because NOW, we’re beginning to act just like them.

Democracy means you don’t need to agree with or like a person to ensure that that person’s rights are upheld. It’s hard. But that’s the strength of Democracy!

Two heads of state, who are here to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting, are being denied a place to stay or hold their events.

These two leaders are our guests. This is where the U.N. building is. If you don’t want them to come here, throw the U.N. Headquarters out of America – or arrange to change those leaders!

Until then, whenever they come to the U.N. where they have a right to be by agreement, they need to be treated as guests. They are heads of state…even though you may NOT like their head…or their state!

How would we/you feel if our leaders go overseas and can’t find a place to stay – or hold an event? Come on America, I expect better from you.

Should these countries change their leaders just because WE don’t like them?

Yes, you can protest when they come to town. That’s your right. But come on!

What did you achieve? You vented and you felt good – now what? You just dissed and angered millions of people who support and love their leaders, whether you think they’re vile or not!

Wouldn’t it have been better to treat them with civility and show the world that Americans are different, forgiving, respectful, nice…?

Did we not marvel at the Amish after than horrific shooting in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County (2006)? That community lost five kids, but they embraced the family of the shooter.

That was big news – to us – because we would NOT have been so forgiving. Being the good Christians we are, we’d have been out there agitating to get the family thrown out of their home and probably lynched, too! The Amish lesson did not last long!

We embrace anger and vengence. We must always be reading testimonials in court about our grief and anger over the murder of a loved one. We must call the murderer a thug, an animal, a monster who should rot in jail or hell…

And we are supposed to be so religious, such a Jesus-loving nation! But we don’t act religious, unless we’re ranting against abortion or gays! That’s where our religion comes in!

Leaders who come here to the U.N. can at least get a place to stay and somewhere to meet up with their friends. That is courtesy, America. It’s not love.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi thought he could stay at The Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue, but it had a change of heart when other guests paying large amounts for their rooms apparently didn’t want him there.

Iranian President President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad found a hotel to stay.

But two New York events halls rejected the Iranian U.N. delegation’s reservations for a hall to hold a banquet for Ahmadinejad on Friday (Sept. 25, 2009). The Helmsley Hotel and Gotham Hall also turned down the Iranians, saying the venue refused to be a platform for propaganda.

Could they not come up with a better reason, at least? Propaganda? If they’re anti-propaganda, there’s a whole host of companies they should not deal with, including some that run unauthorized tests on poor children overseas!

However, the Iranians did find a venue to hold their banquet at Essex House Hotel. But the hotel came under intense pressure to cancel the reservation…and they did!

Former Ambassador Mark Wallace (coached Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for interviews and debates) heads the organization United Against Nuclear Iran. He’s spearheading U.S. boycott efforts against Iran and wants Essex House to cancel the event.

Wallace wrote to the general manager of the Essex House, calling on them to: clarify and reconsider its decision to host the banquet and address and instead decline to provide such a venue for President Ahmadinejad

By doing business with the Iranian government the Essex House is accepting blood money from a regime that brutally suppresses its own people and that is a danger to global security”.

Really? Iran is a danger to global security. Unlike Say Russia or China, neither of which suppresses its people…or has an army…or nuclear weapons!? You really think Iran is more of a threat to the U.S. than Russia?

Will you be out there demanding that Putin or Russian President Dmitry Medvedev be thrown out of Camp David? Did you see him sitting next to President Obama…smiling…at us? We are such fools!

(By the way, who got together and decided that only some nations can have nuclear weapons, but others can’t?)

Shouldn’t we simply be making sure that our weapons work, so that if anybody was foolish enough to try something we’d annihilate them?

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if most countries just minded their own business?

We’ve been in bed with many thugs in Haiti, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. We’ve traded, colluded and raises our glasses with leaders who were dictators and murderers…because it suited us!

In our backyard, Rafael Trujillo, Dominican Republic. His tyranny is considered one of the bloodiest of the 20th century. He attacked the Haitian border and killed (an estimated 20-30 thousand) fleeing Haitians. But he was anti-communist and anti-Castro, so we looked the other way.

Haiti, not to be outdone, came up with François “Papa Doc” Duvalier – the one who made himself President for Life. Duvalier had his own private militia known as Tonton Macoutes.

it’s estimated that he, too, killed some 30-thousand Haitians. They braved the Atlantic in rickety boats to escape Tyranny. But Duvalier, too, was anti-communist and anti-Castro, so we looked the other way.

You get the picture – I don’t need to talk about Saddam Hussein or the Congo’s Mobutu Sésé Seko…and the many others!

I guess there was no reason to protest because these dictators were killing their people…and other groups they did not like – they were NOT killing Americans.

I’m NOT blaming America, though. Countries do what countries need to do. I just want us to understand that this also applies to other nations too!

This world will never have peace…long as us humans live in it! Or at least, long as we continue with our hypocrisy – on race, on trade, on politics, on sex, on everything!

Single Payer Silence

What is Single Payer?

As the Health Care debate rages on, why have we heard so much about “Public Options” and fictitious “Death Panels” but little about Single Payer?

Many health care professionals, like the group: Physicians for a National Health Program, (PNHP) support Single Payer.

The group bills itself as a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. It says it has more than 17 thousand members and chapters across America.

So when I wanted to understand what Single-payer was, I turned to their website and found this:

Single Payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.” In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity, a government-run organization, would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs.

In the current US system, there are literally tens of thousands of different health care organizations—HMOs, billing agencies, etc. By having so many different payers of health care fees, there is an enormous amount of administrative waste generated in the system.

(Just imagine how complex billing must be in a doctor’s office, when each insurance company requires a different form to be completed, has a different billing system, different billing contacts and phone numbers—it’s very confusing.)

In a single-payer system, all hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers would bill one entity for their services. This alone reduces administrative waste greatly, and saves money, which can be used to provide care and insurance to those who currently don’t have it.

Access and Benefits
All Americans would receive comprehensive medical benefits under single payer.

Coverage would include all medically necessary services, including rehabilitative, long-term, and home care; mental health care, prescription drugs, and medical supplies; and preventive and public health measures.

Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay.

Payment
Hospital billing would be virtually eliminated. Instead, hospitals would receive an annual lump-sum payment from the government to cover operating expenses—a “global budget.” A separate budget would cover such expenses as hospital expansion, the purchase of technology, marketing, etc.

Doctors would have three options for payment: fee-for-service, salaried positions in hospitals, and salaried positions within group practices or HMOs.

Fees would be negotiated between a representative of the fee-for-service practitioners (such as the state medical society) and a state payment board. In most cases, government would serve as administrator, not employer.

Financing
The program would be federally financed and administered by a single public insurer at the state or regional level. Premiums, copayments, and deductibles would be eliminated.

Employers would pay a 7-percent payroll tax…employees would pay 2-percent. 90 to 95 percent of people would pay less overall for health care. Financing includes a cigarette tax of 2-dollars per pack.

Single Payer was discussed on PBS show – Bill Moyers Journal (May 22, 2009). (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html or just pbs.org).

Moyers calls Single Payer one of the most controversial but popular options relating to health care reform.

And many health care professionals (who may have a much better handle than most of us on health care and insurance as it relates to the patient and health care delivery) seem to be throwing their weight behind it.

But they were not being invited to the table, so they took their protest to the Capitol…where some were arrested for it.

As Dr. Margaret Flowers told Moyers: Health care professionals like her want to take care of patients…not have insurance companies and administrators who know nothing about medicine tell then what they can and can’t do!

Another protester, Dr. Pat Salomon: There were all these arbitrary decisions, which were not about people’s health care. They were about profits. How can I get away with the least amount of care offered to this person, so that their premium is going to give me the most profit? That’s not the way health care decisions should be made.

Donna Smith, a community organizer appeared on the Bill Moyers Journal. She’s the legislative advocate for the California Nurses Association, whose 85 thousand members across the country were early champions for a single-payer program.

She told Moyers: Congress is not listening to advocates of a single-payer system. They seem to be bent on one direction and one direction only…expanding the broken system that we have now.

She says there are so many insurance companies involved in making health care decisions in this country, and so many Americans suffering at the hands of those insurance companies, whether it’s through higher premiums and higher co-pays and deductibles…

According to Smith, The California Nurses Association asked Congress and the Obama administration to allow them to contribute to the Health Care Reform debate. She says doctors and nurses were invited to attend the White House forums on health care reform (but didn’t speak) only after protesting and getting quite active.

Smith thinks it’s because lawmakers have already made a choice…to stay with the moneyed interest, the people who fund the campaigns and the people who fuel the government system…

She points to democrat Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which was holding hearings on health care reform.

Smith says Baucus, is the third highest recipient of donations from the health insurance and health care industry in general. He’s the highest Democratic recipient. She thinks he should have to disclose that at the beginning of every single hearing that he chairs.

Smith argues that doctors have had to spend several hours per day on the phone hassling with insurance companies, trying to negotiate to get a patient a treatment.

In terms of cost, she says the argument about socializing things and making things government-run seems a little bit yesterday to her…because in three days, we were able to come up with three quarters of a trillion dollars to throw into Wall Street.

Check the PNHP website (pnhp.org). It says Single Payer activists have set up a memorial on the National Mall for the more than 44-thousand Americans who die every year from lack of health insurance.

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