Archive for March, 2008

Right Now! I Feel Like A Lily-White Barack Hussein Obama

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

     Barack Hussein Obama figures to be forty-five years old; I have thirty-five more years of life experience than he does.  Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, my edge of thirty-five years on Obama represents some of the best and worse years in America’s history. 

     Today, Senator Obama and I appear to be at the same point in our lives, relative to race relations; of course, he is only half as White as I am.  Right now, I feel like a lily-white Barack Huesein Obama!

     Being a child of the Great Depression and brought up in a world of despair, my only ray of hope was the reassuring and elegant words of President Franklin Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”; I was hungry, Roosevelt fed me, and I believed him.  The Great Depression that had threatened to consume Americans ended in “a day of infamy”, Pearl Harbor; World War II began.  Again, Roosevelt assured my family that this democratic Republic would prevail.  America came together as one; Roosevelt and ten million ‘citizen soldiers’ won that war against seemingly insurmountable odds.  My President served our country for four terms.

     By the time that I was fifteen, I understood American democracy, justice, and the unalienable rights of man; I had been a witness to it.  Like Obama, American democracy and justice “had been seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts”.  

      However, I discovered a defect in my American democratic Republic.

      My early concept of racial discrimination came from a loving compassionate father, son of immigrants, who was a racist even though he would never even think of mistreating Afro-Americans.  My mother, who was an offspring of a father that was a slave-owner who was wet-nursed and raised by a slave nanny and a mother who was of pioneer stock, had no obvious racial bias and loved and was loved by Afro-American neighbors in her youth.  My mother convinced me that my father was totally ignorant about Americans of another color and I should simply disregard my father’s quirk. 

     As a child, I knew no Afro-Americans.  My elementary school in Decatur Illinois enrolled 600 children, 599 white children and one Afro-American sixth grade girl.  Boys and girls were restricted to the playground on different sides of the school and I once crept to the corner of the school to peer around it and catch a glimpse of this ‘Negro’ girl in our school.  I noted that her skin was darker than mine.

      When I got to junior high school, I finally met a bright Afro-American kid with a fantastic personality, Edgar Williams.  Edgar was class president and was elected class president all through high school and, later, I attended Millikin University with him.

       However, it bothered me to no end that Edgar or any other Afro-Americans were required to sit in the balcony of any movie theater in town, should they care to buy a ticket.  Not only that, but Edgar would not be served in the local ice cream shop, Block’s Ice Cream Parlor, if he would desire to purchase and ice cream sunday.  All of this took place in my hometown, Decatur Illinois in the ‘Land of Lincoln’.  This did not fit in my image of justice in my American democratic Republic; it made me mad and I was a helpless kid.

     When I was drafted into the U.S. Air Force in 1949, I took basic training in a squadron of sixty White recruits and did not see an Afro-American Airman until I reported for duty at Westover Air Fore Base in Massachusetts.  I was outraged then to discover that my Afro comrades-in-arms that I daily worked side-by-side with, ate in a separate ‘Service Squadron’ mess hall, slept in a separate ‘Service Squadron’ barracks, and enjoyed a separate ‘Service Squadron’ Post Exchange.  ‘Service Squadron’ was an Afro-American Squadron.  Soldiers who were to fight and die together were segregated; I was prohibited from ‘hanging out’ with my Afro comrades-in-arms that had become my friends.  I lost faith in my American democratic Republic.

      One day, I was officially notified that my Commander-in-Chief, President Harry Truman, had issued an Executive Order commanding that all ‘Service Squadrons’ in the United States Armed Forces be eliminated and all American Service Men and Women be forever totally racially integrated.  I shall always admire and honor President Harry Truman for somewhat restoring my faith in the American democratic Republic. 

      As huge as racial integration of the American Armed Forces was for me, it was a small step forward.  Service Men and Women stationed in Texas and the South continued to be confronted with ‘White’ or ‘Colored’ public restrooms and drinking fountains when they were off their military base.  Even in a democracy, justice moves slowly.

     Later in my life when I became a high school teacher of American History and Political Science, I would lend my ‘White’ voice to that of Martin Luther King and his Civil Rights Movement.  However, the victory of the Civil Rights Movement was a battle fought and won by Afro-Americans and the victory won was theirs; civil rights for Afro-Americans was not won because I cheered them on, or because President Truman integrated the Armed Forces, or President Kennedy enforced integration of schools, or President Lyndon Johnston promoted the Civil Rights Act.  As an American democratic Republic, civil rights won by Afro-Americans in the Nineteen-Sixties should have been an effort by all Americans, ‘we’ as Americans, and not an Afro-American movement to force civil rights for minorities onto the White population.  America had not come together as one; racial discrimination persisted.

      Today, Barack Hussein Obama is sending out that message, “that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.”  That is the American democratic Republic that I aspire to and that I want to be a part of and that is the man, Barack Hussein Obama that I want to be my President!  I want to have that feeling of being a ‘Lily-White’ Barack Hussein Obama!

 

American Patriot’s Lament

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

       America’s democratic Republic is two hundred and nineteen years old; it is old enough that it can no longer plead the ignorance of inexperienced youth to excuse its undemocratic indiscretions of racial and religious intolerance.  Barack Obama’s current traumatic experience dealing with racial and religious intolerance in America, by virtue of his choice of religious institution, has led Americans to a crossroad. 

      Obama’s opponents to his candidacy for President, suggest that he is not suited to be President because the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, minister of Obama’s church, made some irresponsible remarks about an intolerant America eight years ago.  It is ironic that an intolerant America can eliminate a Presidential candidate of a democracy because of the candidate’s religious affiliation. 

        Those unflattering remarks by Reverend Wright were about the America that had persecuted today’s African-American forefathers, by enslaving them, and has continued to discriminate against today’s descendents of those slaves, almost one hundred fifty years since human slavery was abolished by a bloody American civil war.   Certainly, racial discrimination is not dead!

     Unfortunately Americans, have been brain-washed by unscrupulous political leaders, to believe that all Americans should exhibit great pride in America, regardless of their nation’s sometimes horrid undemocratic behavior; Americans are expected to have the same pride in an America that judges a man by his ethnic heritage and his religious leader’s remarks that they have for an America of Abraham Lincoln who put an end to his country’s approval and embrace of human slavery.  This is nonsense. 

      If Americans are realistically committed to the American democratic Republic, they must learn to recognize the threat to their democracy by the fascist, plutocratic, and theocratic bigoted citizens among them today.  And, the opponents of American democracy are alive and well, today; some occupy positions where they command much recognition, like Bill O’Reilly of Fox news.  O’Reilly’s racial and religious bias is obvious, while he poses as a pious advocate of fairness and liberty. 

       Recently, O’Reilly ask a guest, of his own persuasion, if the guest thought that revelation of the Obama church’s minister’s radical remarks would hurt Obama if Obama’s political opponents continued to bring the matter up.

      “Obama’s opponents do not need to keep bringing it up, you perpetuating it,” the guest replied.

      Typically, O’Reilly never reacted to the guest’s remarks.

      Then, O’Reilly condemned Obama for continuing his membership in his church after Reverend Wright’s inappropriate remarks.  O’Reilly maintained that Obama was wrong for not leaving his church and finding a different church.   Another guest reminded O’Reilly that priests of his own Catholic Church had been guilty of sexually abusing children and recalled that O’Reilly had not changed his own church affiliation after the Catholic Church lost numerous lawsuits relating to the pedophilia; O’Reilly did not answer.

      Senator Barack Obama’s response to his situation was interesting.  It emphasized the whole purpose of his candidacy, he said.  The basis of his campaign is that it is time for America to ‘change’, and it is time for America to put racism and religious bigotry behind them and come together ‘as one’, as a democratic people tolerant of the racial and religious differences of the American people.  It is time for Americans to say that ‘we are one’, democratic Americans, regardless of race or religion.  It has been over two hundred years since the American democratic Republic was founded in 1787; it is time that we became one America.

      Retelling the story of the creation of our U.S. Constitution, Obama the Constitutional lawyer states that “. . . it is a story that is seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.”  This is what the candidate Obama is all about.

     Sen. Clinton’s campaign is all about her thirty-five years of political experience and Sen. McCain is about  maintaining the course in the war in Iraq; Sen. Obama is about bringing the nation together as one, maintaining that it is time to eliminate the racial and religious divisions in America.  Barack Obama is a unique candidate in this respect; Obama is an opportunity for America.  He believes that now is the time to eliminate the stigma of the previous American approval of human slavery, forever; he believes that now is the time to eliminate any unconstitutional religious requirements of candidates for office.

      It is time, after two hundred years, that Americans embrace the U.S. Constitution in its entirety, and finish that which our forefathers began, Obama is trying to tell America.  We, as one people, must eliminate the bigotry that causes some American’s radical condemnation of a bigoted America.  It will happen now, or not, Senator Obama says.

     If America does not respond to Obama’s challenge now, America will NOT  speak as one democratic people as long as racism continues to exist.  America will NOT speak as one as long as religious intolerance exists.  This is what Barack Obama stands for.  Barack Obama is a rare opportunity for America to become the true democratic Republic that Americans today only dream of; it either becomes a reality today, or it doesn’t.

 

Take Me Home, Country Road

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

     Decatur Illinois is my hometown.  Though I haven’t actually lived there for many years, it is still ‘home’.  I make pilgrimages ‘home’, periodically, because that is where my roots are, where what is left of my family reside, and where I communicate with the ghosts of my past.  It appears shameful that Decatur which is a large industrial city, a railroad hub, located in the center of the State, and the food basket of the nation is a place that is really difficult t get to; there are no trains, no convenient buses, and virtually no air service (despite a large attractive airport, practically void of passenger airplanes).  Decatur does not deserve to be left ‘out of the loop’.

     When making the trip to Decatur, it is necessary for me to land somewhere close, rent a car, and then dive the rest of he way.  This time I landed at Chicago Midway Airport and drove a rented car, the last hundred eighty miles to Decatur.  The car rental exceeded the cost of flying from California to Chicago.

     Normally, I dislike driving cross-country; it is a problem for me waiting to get where I am going and having to steer all the way.  This time, admittedly the trip held me somewhat transfixed and nostalgic. It was winter, no snow for the first one hundred sixty miles, all barren stubble fields, wooded creeks and rivers, scattered farm houses, a bright sunny day, and the car radio tuned into local AM stations which are truly unique to the Midwest.

 

 

     Actually, before moving away from this land of bitter winter and highly productive hot and humid summers, I had concluded that this ‘very flat land’ was boring and I craved the ‘Mountain Majesty’ of ‘America the Beautiful’.  Strangely, after seeing a few of the wonders of the world, this vast level prairie land extending forever in all directions brought a lump to my throat and emanated a beauty of familiarity.  It seemed that I now appreciated every twig of the trees, every ripple of the creeks, and every stub in the massive corn fields surrounding me; it was oh, so familiar and yet I was seeing it in a new light.  It was hard to believe that this was the dark, winter barrenness that prompted me to move from here to the land of sunshine, mountains, and oceans of blue.

     Driving south along Highway 55, with eyes filled with rural scenes that were sparkling from the full sun, I listened intently to a local radio talk show interview with the author of a Gene Autry biography, not normally my concept of a  thrill a minute excitement.  However, Gene’s ties to Chicago, WLS radio station, and his discovery of ‘Smiley’ Burnett in Champaign, thirty miles from my Decatur was impressive.  It was a ‘Happy Trails’ moment.  I made a mental note to buy the book.

     The sky was painted a beautiful baby blue in every direction, with billowing scattered clouds of virgin white, and at times the sky was filled with a ballet of low-flying geese flying in a number of vees, returning home like me after a winter of southern sunshine and warmth.  At one point the sky was filled with geese.  The geese were a ‘special’ treat that was deeply appreciated.

     Why, I wondered, do all the Illinois natives who can, spending their winter in Miami?  This is indeed a strange question coming from me.  In a brief conversation with another gentleman in the Chicago Midway Airport, his reaction to my telling him I just arrived from California simply asked me, “Why?”

     “Why?” is the question I asked my self, comfortably seated at the kitchen table of the old family house, now my sister’s, with a cup of coffee, immediately upon arriving ‘home’.  Especially since I am no longer a coffee drinker, anywhere else.  So many of the moments of the past are contained here within these walls; that is why.

Statistics Relating to the Iraq War And Election 2008

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

      What is most infuriating about this political campaign season, is that the unjustified immoral Iraq War has somehow got lost in the shuffle about ‘red-phone’ TV ads and just how African is a half-African candidate!  Regardless what the candidates rant and rave about, this election is about the Iraq War.  There are now three candidates left, and two out of the three candidates voted for the Iraq Resolution (figure it out for yourself) and would rather not talk about the war, but only about how to answer the ‘red telephone’

     War news out of Iraq has disappeared from the media, because President Bush says that his ‘Surge’ is working and violence has decreased, statistically.  That is to say that there is only a ‘little bit’ of violence in Iraq; that little bit of violence is similar to a woman being only a ‘little bit’ pregnant.  Officially, there were only twenty-nine American soldiers killed in February of  2008; apparently, that is good news unless you happen to be one of the twenty-nine.

     The candidates have argued that their opponent has no plan for getting the troops out of Iraq.  That is crazy.  American soldiers will be withdrawn from Iraq the same way American soldiers were withdrawn from Vietnam; the soldiers were loaded on helicopters and brought home.  Of course, Bush, Rove, and Exxon are more concerned about what happens to Iraq oil when American soldiers leave Iraq; this leads us to the most important statistic of all, relative to the Iraq War.

     Everyone now agrees, including Republicans and war mongers Alan Greenspan and General Sanchez, that weapons of mass destruction were never a factor in America conquering and occupying Iraq; it was the oil, stupid.  So, if the Iraq war is all about oil, the most important Iraq War statistic for the candidates to debate in this election is, “How many soldier’s lives per gallon do Americans get in their family car, driving to church on Sunday morning?”

Darn! Michelle Obama is Right; Not Left

Monday, March 10th, 2008

       On the 23rd of February, my newspaper, San Diego Union Tribune, carried not one but two editorials condemning Michelle Obama (Sen. Barack Obama’s wife) for her statement praising her husband, a candidate for President, and saying, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”

       The first editorial “No Pride” read, “Michelle Obama’s comments were unfortunate, unfair, and unflattering.”  The editor further chastised Michelle by saying that she has ‘a lot to be proud of”, citing her job, her college degree, and her $1.6 million dollar home.  Actually, pride in one’s own job, college degree, and home is quite different from pride in your nation’s behavior.  Mrs. Obama was actually speaking in the context of her pride in the enthusiasm that her husband, a potential American President, was able to generate in the people with his message of ‘change’ in American government from a nation ‘hated’ by the world to a government respected for a legacy of peace, compassion, truth, and honor.

       Reflecting on Presidents of the Past in the forty-four year lifetime of Mrs. Obama, it should be noted that she was born in 1964 during the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-9), who launched America into the ill-fated Vietnam War based on President Johnson’s lie about the Tonkin Gulf incident; the Vietnam war cost America 212,000 American casualties and God only knows how many casualties among innocent Vietnamese people.

      Following President Johnson, Michelle’s President was President Richard Nixon (1969-74), who resigned in disgrace for the Watergate burglary.  (Nixon’s Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had resigned before him because of involvement in another criminal activity.)

        The next President in Michelle’s life, Gerald Ford (1974-77), pardoned Richard Nixon, America’s highest ranked  criminal, “of ANY crimes that he MIGHT have committed while in office.”

        President Jimmie Carter (1977-81), then became Michelle’s President, and was unsuccessful and ineffective in resolving the crisis of American Embassy personnel being taken and held hostage in Iran by Iranian terrorists.

        President Ronald Reagan (1981-89) then became President and his Administration was responsible for the Iran-Contra scandal, trading arms for hostages and covering it up by lying to Congress; President Regan pleaded innocence because of ignorance, claiming that he was ‘unaware’ of what was going on in his own administration.

         President George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-93) became the next President and pardoned the members of the Regan Administration being prosecuted for the Iran-Contra scandal and promptly led America into the First Persian Gulf Oil War with 766 American casualties plus thousands of innocent Iraqi civilian casualties from the bombing of Baghdad; President Bush was also responsible for the establishment of the military base in the Saudi Arabian Muslim Holy Land which was the incentive for bin Laden’s September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack on New York and Washington D. C.

      President William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001) was elected in the wake of a grave economic recession during the Bush Administration.  President Bill Clinton became only the second American President to be impeached, changed with perjury and obstruction of justice in regard to receiving oral sex from an intern in the Oval Office of the White House.

      The present Administration of President George W. Bush (2001-2008) ignored warnings of the September 11, 2001 bin Laden Terrorist Attack that killed 3000 innocent Americans; he invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq in violation of International Law; he detained and tortured prisoners of war in violation of Geneva Conventions; he has been responsible for search and seizure of property of American citizens without warrant in violation of the U.S. Constitution; and he has virtually destroyed the reputation and honor of the American democratic Republic, in the world community.

      Michelle Obama never experienced the compassion of President Franklin Roosevelt for the downtrodden American victims of the Great Depression and his assurance that Americans had ‘nothing to fear but fear itself’; nor the down-to-earth resolution of the problems of America take on by President Harry Truman who said ‘the buck stops here’; nor the charm and charisma of President John Kennedy telling Americans to ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’.

        Does Michelle Obama have reason to be proud of the hatred that people of the rest of the world have for American aggressive imperialism and greed for oil?  Should Michelle Obama or any Americans feel pride for America’s sadistic torture and mistreatment of prisoners of war in violation of Geneva Conventions?  Should any Americans be proud of the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim women, men, and children in the ‘carpet bombing’ of Afghanistan and the ‘shock and awe’ bombing of Iraq?   Can any American be proud of the present anti-Muslim hatred spewed daily by so many Americans and American politicians that promises to give rise to potential monumental religious wars?  

        The answer is no!

        When the government of the American democratic Republic is morally wrong, America is not deserving of patriotic pride.  The American Constitution and Declaration of Independence require that the true patriot put a stop to immoral behavior of its government by election, impeachment, or revolution if necessary.

      The second editorial commentary, “Differing Ways of Defining Patriotism” (by Linda Chavez in the San Diego Union Tribune February 24th) that condemns Michelle Obama’s statement, says, “ . . . most Americans think their country is great no matter who occupies the White House”.  Chavez ignores recent polls where more than seventy percent of the voters indicated they were infuriated and embarrassed by President Bush and his wars.  Then Chavez states, “Patriotism is a lot like the unconditional love of a parent for a child.”  That is not true.   America is not an infant, it was conceived as a democratic Republic; the electorate and the President must accept responsibility for the nation’s reputation!

       Michelle Obama legitimately made a comparison of her husband to the Presidents in her adult lifetime, accurately describing her own feeling and experience.  She is entitled to take pride in the charismatic appeal of her husband calling for ‘change’ in the character of the government.  Most Americans have shown their support of Sen. Obama’s hope and trust in America to ‘change’, by voting for him; most people share in Michelle’s dream for an American President who will show compassion for the common people of America and finding a quick end to the carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing American troops home.

Who Barack Obama Is and Why America Need His Leadership Experience

Friday, March 7th, 2008

    Excuse me, but most Americans are sick and tired of the unnecessary and immoral War in Iraq waged by President George Bush.  With Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate for President, Americans can vote for a change instead of a Bush echo.  The alternatives to Obama are Hillary Clinton and John McCain who both voted for Bush’s Iraq Resolution, in contrast to 20 other Senators and Barack Obama who did not approve of invading and occupying Iraq.  It is important for Americans that in 2008, they do not have to vote for anyone that approved of the ill-conceived war in Iraq and the only present candidate that they can honestly support is Barack Obama!

     America desperately needs someone like Barack Obama, with his kind of experience opposing the unpopular Iraq War, to be President of he United States making responsible decisions about bin Laden terrorism and the American economy.  America can no longer afford candidates like Clinton and McCain who voted for the Iraq Resolution that was responsible for President Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Both Clinton and McCain are simply Bush Lite twins that represent more of the same.  It is time for America to either change or continue to suffer Bush war and economic disaster.

      Back in 1993, America was promised universal health care if the Democratic candidate won the Presidency.  The Democrat won and the American people experienced the cruel disappointment of failure to have universal health care when under Hillary Clinton’s leadership, the Democratic plans for universal health care was trashed.  America needs universal health care now and the people cannot afford to be disappointed again.  Barack Obama represents a better and different leadership; Barack Obama represents promise and change!

      Barack Obama was born in 1961 into a biracial family and has forty-seven years of multicultural experience living in America and abroad.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has written two best-seller books about his experience.  He is a Christian and a member of the United Church of Christ (formerly the historic Congregational Church of New England). 

A Letter to My Cousin About Universal Medical Health Care in America

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Dear Judy, 

     You asked me a couple of questions about proposed universal health care which I will try to answer for you, to the best of my ability.  First of all, there is no such thing as ‘free’ health care and I do not think that any of the candidates have said that they propose ‘free’ health care.  What candidates propose is universal health care and that is all citizens will have the same quality of health care and share costs.  Insurance companies provide health care saying that if all their customers share the costs of each individual customer, they can provide health care cheaper than one customer can provide his own; all customers are sharing the risks.  However, insurance companies are in the health care business for profit and therefore they figure their profits in as part of the costs, in addition to doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

     Like any joint venture, the more ‘customers’ you have involved sharing the ‘risks’ or costs, the less expensive it will be.  If every American was sharing the health care risk costs of the entire population and the government was providing the administrative costs (without the profit motive), costs would be even less.  Plus, if the government were buying supplies in huge lots, the costs of supplies would be less.

     The problem with health care insurance corporations providing health care, is the fact that they are primarily concerned with profit and not your health care.  There are too many cases where poor people have had benefits withheld because the company was more concerned with profit than providing those benefits; there are legal cases to substantiate this concern.

     So far as cost is concerned, it depends on how the government provides universal health care, either by citizens paying premiums or paying taxes.  Either way, the citizens will be paying for the health care.  All of the Western civilized nations have universal health care in some form except the USA.  Basically, physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies have strong lobbies that spend millions of dollars from money that health care institutions have collected in premiums from patients, to prevent the government from providing health care.

    Yet, 40 million people in America are without health care; they are for the most part, employed in low paying jobs and cannot afford it.  Consequently, when they have health problems, health care provided by welfare is usually is too late to help them by the time they get it; and, if they own any property at all, they will lose their property first, before they qualify for welfare help.  The elderly usually lose their homes, when they have to go into a nursing home.

     Is universal health care socialism?  Depends on how you look at it.  Neither socialism nor capitalism is sacred.  The reason that people have a government at all, is to provide for each citizen, those things that they cannot provide for themselves as an individual.  For example the American Army is for protection of the people.  Is the army socialistic?  Our forefathers who wrote the US Constitution believed that communication was too important to leave to private enterprise and therefore they included the US Postal Service in our government (a cabinet position).  Education was considered too important to trust to private enterprise and therefore we have public schools.  Most Americans are proud of their postal service and public schools.  Call these institutions socialistic or whatever, they serve all the citizens of the USA.  They are not free; the costs are included in our taxes.  The costs would be even higher if these things were privately provided and included profits to the investors and the investors would determine the quality of service; I don’t think any Americans want that.

     It depends how you feel about health care; personally, I think health care today is too important to trust to profit making institutions.  I don’t want my health care dependent upon whether I am a asset to the insurance company or not.  What is the difference whether all citizens band together with their government to share the costs, or whether a few pay a profit motivated insurance company to share the costs?  Today, a health insurance companies can be a great investment or go bankrupt.  If they go bankrupt, the customer finds himself in need of health care and it is not available.

    A problem with private health care is that most health care insurance companies will not take new patients if the have a preexisting health problem.  People who need health care most are deprived of it.  Some of these people had insurance through their employer but retired and lost it and now can’t get it.  Some people want to change jobs but can not because they will lose their insurance.  Health care is governing people’s lives and definitely limits their freedom to make changes in their lives.

     The present American privately provided health care is extremely expensive and inefficient.  About 30 percent of the cost is estimated to go to administration and profits.  Another problem is that doctors spend too much of their time doing paper work to get paid for their services and the same is true for hospitals, etc.  With universal medical care, the doctors and hospitals can spend their time treating patients and leave collecting fees to the government.   Americans are concerned about Medicare and Veteran’s Administration health care and health care for Welfare recipients.  In labor negotiation, management and labor spend too much time bargaining about employer provided health care; we have strikes and lockouts over health care issues for our labor force.  If there was a government operated universal health care program all of these things would be a mute concern.

     Every modern industrial nation has universal health care except America and health care is a number one problem in America.  It is time that Americans take the attitude that they want to join together to resolve a common problem and adopt the kind of universal health care that satisfies the needs of all.

     Presently, whenever the government wants to spend money to build and provide more medical schools so that Americans have more physicians, the doctor’s union, the AMA, opposes it because if there are more doctors they might have to charge patients less to compete with other doctors to get patients.  As it is, we the people give doctors a monopoly to practice health care by law and in doing so, actually the people increase their costs; this is one reason that medical expenses are so high.  In Cuba, there are lots of medical schools and lots of doctors and people get good medical care easily, but doctors are poorly paid; certainly, American doctors should not be underpaid either.  There has to me a means of serving both the people and doctors.  However every year, thousands of students in America are turned down when they apply for medical school for the reason that enrollment is limited because there are too few medical schools and the people lose the services of potentially great physicians.  America needs to train more physicians.

     Of course if universal medical care is adopted in America,  it will be necessary to provide oversight for universal health care services.  We have cheating today in Medicare and in private insurance claims.  It is well documented.  Universal health care will have to be provided with protections from fraud and corruption in mind.  Quality control will also have to be an issue considered.

     Some opponents of universal health care believe that all government is bad and incompetent.  That is only true if the people IN GOVERNMENT are bad and incompetent or the people ELECT government officials that are bad or incompetent.  It should be noted that in America’s private health care operating today, there are bad and incompetent doctors, hospitals, and health care personnel.  It seems reasonable that a government provided health care institution should be a better way to control the quality of health care that people receive.

     These are the arguments for universal health care.  Opponents have a different view of the health care issue.  The people need to decide what is best for them and for our American democratic Republic.

      I hope that I answered your questions.  I have observed the American health care system for over seventy-seven years now, and I think I know something about it.  I have also lived in Europe where there is a universal health care program.  Honestly, I feel more comfortable with a universal health care program.  There is a quality issue in both, but that is the responsibility of the people.

Luvya Cuz,
Dick