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I have a new header that is replacing the dolphins. It features the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution isn’t that long, but it is rather obvious that beyond taking an oath to support and defend the Constitution, the government of the United States can’t be bothered about doing what it tells them they must do, nor not doing what they are told they cannot do.

The guys who wrote that document had very clear opinions about a number of issues.

They didn’t like corporations. As Thom Hartmann pointed out: “the real Boston Tea Party was against the Wal-Mart of the 1770s”, the British East India Company. The government of Britain handed the company rather generous tax breaks that broke the back of competitors.

Their view on banks wasn’t quite as blanket, but even the supporters saw them as a necessary evil, that was never fully trusted and they were right. Did you ever wonder why all of your credit cards seem to come from Delaware or South Dakota? Because those states don’t have usury laws which allows the banks to charge whatever they want.

The Treasury has apparently been terrified that Wall Street would go Galt if they weren’t given everything they wanted. Galt? The slimy scum went Gekko years ago and had no intention of giving up any of their perquisites just to be bailed out by the taxpayers. If bankruptcy was good enough for Thomas Jefferson and General Motors, it is good enough for Citicorp. They aren’t lending; they aren’t dealing with foreclosures; they aren’t dealing with their toxic assets – just let the FDIC deal with it. Only the government of the United States is “too big to fail”.

Steve Bates noted that Alexia Kelley, founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, has been selected as director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Wrong! Read the First Amendment – the Federal government is prohibited from involvement with religion. This isn’t even close. The Federal government can not be involved in the establishment of religion.

“We the people” are the government, as Badtux keeps pointing out, and the government is supposed to be promoting our general welfare. The government is not for corporations, banks, health insurance companies, churches, or any other group, it is for all of us. When do all of us start seeing some benefits from our taxes?

Since this is a rant I will take a gratuitous cheap shot:

For years I have been hearing that the private sector can provide services much more efficiently and cheaper than the public sector, and watched my tax dollars wasted on one failed privatization attempt after another in New York, California, and Florida. Oh, the first year is cheaper, but then people notice that the service is terrible and they want to return to same level that they had, which turns out to be much more expensive.

So it was with great satisfaction that I read this quote in a post by Lambert:

But critics argue that with low administrative costs and no need to produce profits, a public plan will start with an unfair pricing advantage. They say that if a public plan is allowed to pay doctors and hospitals at levels comparable to Medicare’s, which are substantially below commercial insurance rates, it could set premiums so low it would quickly consume the market.

They finally admit that the private sector cannot compete with the public sector on price or performance. With this admission, why are we even bothering with other alternatives? The marketplace will prove what everyone already knows, single-payer is the way to go.


1 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 06.10.09 at 10:26 pm }

…Bushco was one grand experiment in privatization, primarily through an aggressive implementation of that hoary old Circular A-76 that called for competitive sourcing competition between traditional government services and private bidders. That tragic episode in our nation’s history is probably the basis for defenders of the insurance industry insisting that a single-payer health care system would result in a loss of competition.

Time after time, private industry has demonstrated that – while it is capable of underbidding federal employees for the deliver of services – it is not capable of delivering those services in a competitive timeframe or at a competitive price. There’s no reason to assume that health-care should be any different a situation than any of the other broad array of services that were subjected to competitive sourcing…
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2 Steve Bates { 06.10.09 at 10:30 pm }

And a fine rant it is.

Our nation’s founders’ distrust of corporations seems to have been largely forgotten today. The charters of the nearest equivalent to corporations was time-limited and scope-limited in a way scarcely imaginable to us… but our founders understood what could happen if it wasn’t. And now it happens daily. As a result, we have something that resembles a representative democracy in form only; we are in fact ruled by the corporations. Whatever political party I vote for every couple of years, I may be assured that they will do their corporate masters’ bidding, not mine.

I am not certain if that was Thomas Jefferson or Bill Bates that I just heard turning in his grave…

3 Bryan { 06.10.09 at 11:06 pm }

What really ticks me off, Jack, is that I can tell from the start that no one can beat the price and make a profit. As soon as you add in the administrative overhead, the private company loses. No private company wants to do the same level of work. I pay more for garbage collection that someone in the city next door and get a lower level of service because I have Waste Management and they have their own trucks.

I have to bad leaves for pick-up, but the people in the city just rake them to side of the road, because the city has a vacuum truck, while WM uses a regular truck with two people. If a bag breaks, I have to clean it up.

Private school busing lasted one year when parents stormed the school board over the younger kids having to get on a bus at 6am for the start of school at 8, because the company only wanted to use half as many buses and make two runs.

You watch it happen. You know how it’s going to turn out, but you can’t shake the belief in privatization.

4 Bryan { 06.10.09 at 11:12 pm }

That’s what really gets to me about politicians, Steve. They have all kinds of concern for corporations and forget they work for the people. Joe Biden’s bankruptcy bill is a prime example of a politician working against the interests of the people to help local corporations, in his case the credit card companies.

You really feel like snatching these people bald and making them sit down and read the Constitution. I’m really ready to see a little effort put into improving the general welfare, no matter whose bull gets gored.

5 hipparchia { 06.10.09 at 11:46 pm }

if i squint just right, i can make it read me and kstreet

[ which, for some odd reason, makes me think of me and julio, down by the schoolyard 😈 ]
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6 Bryan { 06.11.09 at 12:07 am }

Apparently some people can “chuse” to make it read whatever their “owners” want.

[Spelling was sort of optional at this point in the history of the English language.]

7 hipparchia { 06.11.09 at 12:26 am }

iirc from my linguistics classes, spelling has been optional for much of written history, in languages in general, with vowels in written [translated into english anyway] arabic still being optional.
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8 hipparchia { 06.11.09 at 12:28 am }

btw, i love the header.
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9 Badtux { 06.11.09 at 12:49 am }

I feel your pain. I’ve done the same rant more than once :-). Unfortunately, far too many people either JUST DON’T GIVE A SHIT or fatalistically shrug and say “there’s nothing to be done”. *WRONG*. Every single one of these bastards is in Washington D.C. because We The People voted their asses there. Corporations didn’t vote them into office — corporations can’t vote. We The People did — and we can vote their asses OUT of there too, but most folks are too lazy, too complacent, too bought, or have allowed themselves to believe the lie that “the government” is some dictatorial imposition upon America rather than something that We The People voted into office and can damn well vote OUT of office if we just get off our fat lazy asses and do what it takes to be free citizens of an actual functioning democracy.

And now I’m frothing at the beak again, but what can I say, one good rant deserves another sympathetic rant, eh? Later :-).

– Badtux the Rantastic Penguin

10 Bryan { 06.11.09 at 12:51 am }

Vowels within words in all of the written Semitic languages [Hebrew, Arabic, etc.] are assumed unless expressly included for clarity. Consonants have a customary associated vowel sound, and if that is the sound, there is no point in including it.

Thank you. It is taken from the National Archives jpg of the real one.

11 Bryan { 06.11.09 at 12:55 am }

You know, and I know where this is going to lead, Badtux. There is going to be another protest vote, as happened in 1980 and 2000. If the Democrats don’t start representing the people who elected them, they may find out that the Republicans, or Greens, or some other group will start getting elected.

12 Kryten42 { 06.11.09 at 4:32 am }

It’s good for the soul to have a good and legitimate rant now and then. 🙂 I’ve had a few…

Good rant Bryan, and you know I feel the same. I’ve posted a few comments on the USA Constitution. I understand the context and I also understand the enormity of what was achieved given the different backgrounds of the individuals involved and the history of the time it was created. Nothing like that could be done today in any Nation. That, I am certain of! The USA would truly be an amazing Nation everyone could be so proud of if Americans even understood half of the Constitution and what it truly means. I certain most don’t even understand the preamble. Ignorance is truly bliss I guess for some (in a fools paradise).

Arabic is strange in that, for example, a word can have different meaning depending on it’s position is a sentence. One of my jobs in the ME was to create an Arabic/English translator for the MilInt people I worked for. It was hellishly complicated even with two Arab/English linguists and a library full of reference books! Would you believe they wanted the software for this written in COBOL??! No way in hell! We did it in Prolog, was the only s/w language at the time that had any chance of working with the complex structures and rules required.

From what I’ve been reading around the place… I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Greens & Marijuana Party get a big slice of the vote in ’12. 😉

The more Obama does things like side with the GOP on issues such as releasing detainee records etc and doing what the Bushmorons did and claim everything is a sensitive national secret, the more it’s just the same old *business as usual*. Like the old saying… ‘New clothes, same sh*t underneath.” 😉 In fact, it’s even more dangerous now, because everyone knew Bush was a fool and an idiot with foot-in-mouth problem. Obama is seen as sane, intelligent and personable. It’s easy to laugh at a fool, and it’s easy to agree with a man who makes sense.

PS: CommentlLuv Bryan? 🙄 *sigh* 😉

13 LadyMin { 06.11.09 at 1:32 pm }

Ah yes… the Preamble to the Constitution. Way back when I was in grade school we had to memorize it, both written and spoken. For some reason I can still recite the Preamble, word for word. Occasionally I will do so just to be annoying. Makes me wonder if the Constitution is still taught in the same detail that I learned it. Because it certainly doesn’t seem like it.

I like the new header btw.

14 cookie jill { 06.11.09 at 2:05 pm }

Love the rant AND the new header! (although I did dig the pirate theme)
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15 Bryan { 06.11.09 at 5:54 pm }

OT: I didn’t name it, Kryten, and it is an informal way for people to get some extra links for their work.

I agree that this “national security” garbage can’t be explained away by ignorance. The Obama people are terrified of being labeled as weak on defense and national security issues, which why they won’t do what they should be doing. They fail to understand that their approach is extremely counter-productive and hurts US credibility and trust in the world.

The US is only strong and safe when we abide by our own laws and principles. Caving in to the paranoia of the neocons only strengthens the terrorists. The guys who wrote the Constitution knew this. They specifically said that giving up freedoms for security does not work.

It’s time to just give up on the old leadership and look for something new.

16 Bryan { 06.11.09 at 6:01 pm }

Yes, Lady Min, that was one of the many things you had to memorize in school for years. Social Studies/Civics was once required to graduate from a public school. These days it seems that reading and math are the only requirements.

The thing is, that most of the people who are ignoring the basic principles of the government would have been in school at the same time we were, so, at one point, they knew what these things meant. They are practicing willful ignorance.

As for the header – some times you just get tired of arguing the obvious.

17 Bryan { 06.11.09 at 6:02 pm }

The pirate was always going to be short-term for the Billy Bowlegs Festival, and Talk Like A Pirate Day.