Rules, Authority, Control: It’s the Power, Stupid

29 07 2009

If the insurance industry wins on health care reform by beating Obama soundly on bigger, more transformative change, it will strengthen and embolden every other big special interest. The energy companies on climate change, the big banks on financial reform, and every other special interest lobbyist Obama has said he would tame, will be laughing at the failure of bigger health reform, secure in their knowledge that nothing has changed in Washington, D.C.

No Legal Overstep Left Behind:

“Most of our politics in America is about the disappointment of not meeting the high goals we set for ourselves.”
–Senator Lamar Alexander, a former U.S. secretary of education trying to explain the legally codified rhetoric of No Child Left Behind.

Plus ca change. . .

Do you experience the conservative homeschooling meme as principled belief in personal freedom and limited government, fueling politics meant to secure and protect equal opportunities for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for all kinds of Americans as autonomous individuals?

Or do you see conservative homeschooling as centered on religious rules and authority trumping secular authority, politics meant to impose fundamentalist social controls that supplant individual freedom (despite “libertarian” arguments and rhetoric)?

See also:
Thinking About the New Bonfire of the Vanities

Public or Private, Groups Still Govern Our Lives

Sarah Palin “Freeing” Herself From Public Office

And Now The Label “Married” Is In for Further Moral Meddling

How Food Makers Captured Our Brains:

Food like sex is literally human power. It gives us power and has power over us. It is at once visceral and sublime, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Food is life and death and everything in between, so human institutions like Family, School, State and Church naturally covet and try to control its power over us for their own ends. You name it, food’s got it and we need it.

Would you believe a public official (heading her state house committee for children and families, no less!) powering her own twisted ideology of parent rights through food’s power, misusing it through Family, School, State AND Church all at once?

Dwarfing Pluto and Shrinking Ourselves:

He already grasps at some level that learning about the world and negotiating it through relationships with all its inhabitants, no matter how you do it or what you call it, doesn’t mean being TOLD WHAT IS RIGHT.

. . . sociologists notice that when we can’t agree about sex, we fight about legal definitions, things like how to define marriage, birth, life, death, who gets to choose any of these under what legal parameters set by the public, how we’ll keep each other in line, who will pay what price for the freedom to have some sex, some of the time, according to the law and society’s pressures.

And when I say price, I am not just talking about money.
. . .Maslow theorized that unfulfilled needs. . .can become redirected into neurotic needs. For example, children whose safety needs are not adequately met may grow into adults who compulsively hoard money or possessions. . .neurotic needs do not promote health or growth if they are satisfied.

Maslow also proposed that people who have reached self-actualization will sometimes experience . . .not only ecstatic joy, but also profound “cosmic-sadness” at the ability of humans to foil chances of transcendence in their own lives and in the world at large.

School Folk Fighting for Control, Yep, Fits Right In

“They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result,” Altemeyer told me.

“The problem is that these authoritarian followers are much more active than the rest of the country. They have the mentality of ‘old-time religion’ on a crusade, and they generously give money, time and effort to the cause. They proselytize; they lick stamps; they put pressure on loved ones; and they revel in being loyal to a cohesive group of like thinkers.

And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going to go away.”



4 responses

29 07 2009

I just heard GOP Rep. Pence, chair of the House GOP Conference, repeat on cable news that he’s not scaring anybody about heath care reform, that it’s the Lewin Group, “a non-partisan” research group “respected on both sides of the aisle” —

The Lewin Group can only be said to be bipartisan in the sense that it’s owned by health insurance! Specifically by United HealthCare Group, so it is corporate-lobby driven, paying off people on both sides of the aisle perhaps but certainly not “respected” by them or us, other than as a lucrative source of campaign funding. And its interest is in keeping Americans either uninsured if they need it or paying through the nose for it when they don’t. Did you see that Aetna’s stock value went up 12% just yesterday?? Because we’re falling for the “Lewin Group” lies.

Washington Post Staff Writer: Research Firm Cited by GOP Is Owned by Health Insurer

And of course he knows it. And lies anyway because he thinks most of us are too stupid, or too overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of all their lies, to call them on it and overcome. Andrea Mitchell let him get away with it, too, so maybe Pence is right and it’s working?

29 07 2009

See also Media Failure on Lewin Group. . .

Rather than go to trial, it was worth $400 million to UnitedHealthCare to settle with the New York AG and the AMA. And I’m guessing that the spreadsheet warriors at UnitedHealthCare still came out ahead.

So not only do we have a study paid for by a conservative organization opposed to the public option, but it was written by a company owned by an insurance carrier opposed to reform and that got caught in a self-dealing relationship trying to rip off doctors and patients.

That’s what passes for integrity and independence for the GOP? This is the world class health care system that the GOP wants to preserve? This is the efficient private market that is worth protecting? Insurance carrier profits at the expense of both doctors AND patients. Now that’s a winning combination. I wonder how many electoral votes that’s worth?

Although disclosure of Lewin’s ownership by an insurance carrier was known in DC as far back as April, it received almost no media mention. The media continue to uncritically repeat GOP assertions of Lewin being independent and nonpartisan. . .

29 07 2009

Are we Gods or Sacrifices?
by Favorite Daughter, October 2007

So, today, I saw an anthill with a giant dead palmetto bug on top of it (which, here in Florida, is code for “huge dead gross cockroach”). The ants were scurrying around it, and I thought of all those movies where the heroes wind up in the middle ages, or some primitive village, and the locals see their clothes and hygiene or whatever and regard them as Gods. Was this the Ants’ God? Did they pray to Him for bounty, that in His mercy someone would drop a snickers bar in their general proximity?

Or was it more sinister? Did they encounter the roach under a tree on a dark night, encircle him, and, whooping their tiny ant war cries (of course, too quiet for humans to hear) bite him to death, then carrying his carcass back to their home as a warning to all the big bad bugs who might threaten them?

Or was it solemn? Did they find him, barely alive, twitching his last twitches, and, speaking an ancient ant prayer over him, carry him to the anthill in praise of their many-feelered Lord, he who oversees Life and Squashed?

My point is that from the outside, something that looks, at first glance, to be a God, might turn out to be a sacrifice to one. Isn’t our President a prime example? To the rest of the world, he must seem our God, our leader, the exemplification of all we are (after all, we voted for him). But at home, he’s an easy scapegoat, the cause of our misery, the man at whom we hurl tomatoes over taxes and foreign policy and the war in Iraq and everything else – partly to avoid our own responsibility. Isn’t he our sacrifice?

Which are you? Do you appear to be one while living the other? Aren’t we all, in some sense?

15 11 2009
Religious Left Emerges, Religious Right Erodes, « Cocking A Snook!

[…] here if you want, or maybe here: WARP and WOOF: Reading the Weave of Individual and […]

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