Archive for Special Interest Groups

Michael Moore’s “Sicko”

Posted in Big Dog with tags , , , , , , , , on Sunday, March 2 by KevinLHinton

“Sicko” reminds  me more of “Bowling for Columbine” than “Fahrenheit 9/11”, which I think most people would agree is a good thing. Another bonus, healthcare is a more relevant issue than gun control. Maybe it is stupid that anybody can buy a gun, but I am not losing any sleep over it. The fact that people want to kill other people in the first place is a bigger concern to me than the means they use to do it.

There are 2 separate issues that Moore somehow co-mingles.

First – he had a Kevin Hinton style attack on Special Interest Groups. Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are clearly evil, and their obscene influence on Capital Hill is driving up America’s health care costs to an absurd level. This was the better part of the movie, and I agree. Those SOBs need to be put in check.

Second – universal, government sponsored, socialist health care is better than private health care. Is that even true?

I don’t really know, but I don’t really think it is the slam dunk that Sicko makes it out to be. There is too much focus in Michael Moore films on individual stories that play the sympathy card. I want more facts, less propaganda.

How much are our taxes going to go up if there is universal health care? Isn’t that the most obvious question that should be answered? Healthcare isn’t free. We can either pay for it with taxes, or directly through a private market. Is there any data that suggests a bureaucratic government run health care system is more efficient than a private one? Although capitalism has its flaws – it is typically way more efficient than our piece of crap government. 

Moore implies that health care is free in the UK – but fails to mention that payroll taxes there are like 5o%. How much of that goes to health care? I don’t know – but it is not like there is some magic going on over there, somebody is paying for it. Standard Moore propaganda where he misleads you with just part of the story.

In Moore’s extended interview with Tony Benn, an old English dude/labor leader, he explains the socialized healthcare as “Pay according to your means, get treated according to your needs.”  This is the heart of what bothers me about socialism and universal health care. People getting punished, because they have greater “means”.   

Yeah, it sounds great if you are the poor guy that couldn’t afford your own health insurance to begin with – now you get it for free. But what about the guy that worked hard all his life, and now has to pay for the lazy dudes health care and his own? Well, that guy is me – and I say fuck you. Go get a job and buy some insurance.  

Maybe that is ruff –  but guess what, that is life. When you were born, you were given the responsibility to take care of yourself. Quit looking for handouts. You are a looter. Why do I owe you anything you son of a bitch? Because I actually went to class in high school? Because I paid for my own college, and now work my ass off for an almost decent salary? Screw off – you got to fuck around all through high school – now it is my time to shine. Enjoy your diabetes.  

When poor people are having a tuff time it always seems like an easy answer say – hey, why don’t we just take some more of the rich people’s money to pay for it? Well, because I earned that money. It is not yours to take.  

That was a bit of a crazy conservative rant I just went on that I don’t actually believe.  But I do think that it raises some important questions that Moore fails to answer.  Typically I am fine with socializing things that qualify as fundamental needs that all people should have a right too – like education. Health care probably falls into that category. I just wish Moore would get into how it is actually implemented, and why it will make sense.  I am pro socialized health care for kids – it is not their fault their parents are incapable of taking care of them. 

On another note – rather than government sponsored health care – why isn’t there a not-for-profit insurance organization? That seems like it would solve a lot of problems, and could prevent the necessity of socializing health care.   

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Special Interest Groups and the Demise of America (Part I)

Posted in Big Dog with tags , on Sunday, February 10 by KevinLHinton

Nothing frustrates me more about today’s political landscape than the influence of special interest groups in American politics. I intend to investigate some of America’s most powerful lobbyists in an attempt to understand their intentions, power, and consequences.

The AIPAC is the “American Israel Public Affairs Committee”, America’s Pro-Israel Lobby. They are the 3rd most powerful lobbying group on Capital Hill.

Does anybody not agree that the 2 biggest causes of our issues in the Middle East are: 1. our continued dependence on an open supply of oil from that region, and 2. our continued support of the state of Israel? Any long-term solution in the Middle East needs to start with a massive effort to decrease our dependence on radical governments in the Middle East to supply our oil, and to immediately withdraw all support to Israel.

So naturally, the interests of “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby” run contrary to that of the majority of Americans. So why does the American Congress almost unanimously support pro-Israel legislation on a consistent basis, despite it being contrary to the best interest of the American people? Well, it does not take a genius to figure out that when a 100,000 plus member organization liberally donates hundreds of millions of dollars annually to financing our politician’s campaigns; the Jewish lobby’s interests might be more influential than say, my own.  

To be fair to the AIPAC, I visited their webpage at http://www.aipac.org to understand their mission in their own words. If you check out their “About” page they give you a list of their missions. Here are a few of their gems:

  • Extending U.S.-backed loan guarantees to Israel
  • Condemning Iran
  • Increasing military aid to Israel


Yeah AIPAC, I would love for our country to continue to fund your ridiculous religious war in the Middle East against Palestine. I also am very excited to go to war with Iran – the bigger and uglier brother of Iraq. Fight your own battles Israel (Edited) – leave America out of it.

So how successful is the AIPAC in their mission to align Israel and American policy in the Middle East? Currently, America spends about 3 billion dollars a year financing Israel’s military, creating the 3rd most powerful military force in the world. Despite being a relatively successful country, Israel is the #1 benefactor of U.S. foreign aid in the entire world. All three leading presidential candidates endorse their support of the AIPAC and Israel. (Not surprisingly, after doing a little research, Ron Paul is one of the few outspoken critics of the AIPAC in congress)

What makes this particular lobby even scarier, is that not only do they control American politics, they control the American Media. I challenge you to google a major media outlet that has published something negative about the AIPAC.
 
“Today, seven Jewish Americans run the vast majority of US television networks, the printed press, the Hollywood movie industry, the book publishing industry, and the recording industry. Most of these industries are bundled into huge media conglomerates run by the following seven individuals:

• Gerald Levin, CEO and Director of AOL Time Warner
• Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company
• Edgar Bronfman, Sr., Chairman of Seagram Company Ltd
• Edgar Bronfman, Jr, President and CEO of Seagram Company Ltd and head of Universal Studios
• Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom, Inc
• Dennis Dammerman, Vice Chairman of General Electric
• Peter Chernin, President and Co-COO of News Corporation Limited

Those seven Jewish men collectively control ABC, NBC, CBS, the Turner Broadcasting System, CNN, MTV, Universal Studios, MCA Records, Geffen Records, DGC Records, GRP Records, Rising Tide Records, Curb/Universal Records, and Interscope Records.”

From http://www.rense.com/general44/sevenjewishamericans.htm

So yeah, you can say they have some influence on American politics. If you have 50 minutes to burn, check out this link to learn more about the AIPAC’s influence in this pretty awesome documentary:  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2894821400057137878