Despite all the fear mongering some politicians and pundits have been flinging about, I am happy today that the Backwards States of America have taken a step towards nationalized healthcare. I admit, I am as disappointed as anyone about Obamacare, but my disappointment is that it is not single payer, like many civilized countries have. Instead, it is a kind of bastardized “affordable” care, which may have been the only thing possible given the insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical industry lobbies which buy off our government representatives. It was all that could be accomplished in the “land of the greed”.
However, today I am happy, because my adult son, who has not had health care insurance for about 10 years, now has it, and it was indeed affordable. Like many slimy employers in the land of the greed, his would pay the fines for not covering employees until the cost of the fines exceed the cost of the insurance. To them it is a simple business decision. That is what these fine folks (read greedy bastards) think of their employees.
I watched one by one as my children left college and were immediately summarily dismissed from my health insurance and thrust into a jobless economy. People with little resources trying to start out have no insurance, and must work for employers like Walmart that limit employee hours so they don’t have to pay benefits of any kind. I think people wax nostalgic for some long ago time, when employment was full (provided you are white), life wholesome, and you had a job for life with benefits and a pension. This no longer exists, if it ever did. It is just harder to pretend that it does today, even if you believe the US brand of capitalism works.
Since it doesn’t, let’s move toward a living minimum wage and single payer health insurance. That way, even if they “bestshore” the production, folks in the sales and delivery chain can make a decent living with buying power and fuel the economy.
American capitalism has undergone much change from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century until the present day 21st century or “information age” as some would say. Although the general dynamic of a ruling class that lives like parasites on the backs of the working class has not changed, the face and methods of capitalism has.
Recently, the school district of Royal Oak, Michigan, facing declining enrollments, had to consolidate two high schools into one. The former Royal Oak Kimball and Royal Oak Dondero High Schools are now combined into what was Kimball and is now known simply as Royal Oak High School. Dondero is now Royal Oak Middle School. This is good news indeed, for we can begin the process of forgetting that George Anthony Dondero ever existed, certainly one of the most idiotic people that Michigan has produced. Keep in mind that Michigan also gave us the Romneys, so that is saying a lot! Quoting from the Wikipedia article on Dondero:
Dondero was most notable for mounting an attack on modern art, which he claimed to be inspired by Communism. He asserted that “Cubism aims to destroy by designed disorder… Dadaism aims to destroy by ridicule… Abstractionism aims to destroy by the creation of brainstorms”. In 1952, Dondero went so far as to tell Congress that modern art was, in fact, a conspiracy by Moscow to spread communism in the United States. This speech won him the International Fine Arts Council‘s Gold Medal of Honor for “dedicated service to American Art.” When art critic Emily Genauer (future winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism) interviewed Dondero in the mid-1950s he stated “modern art is Communistic because it is distorted and ugly, because it does not glorify our beautiful country, our cheerful and smiling people, our material progress. Art which does not glorify our beautiful country in plain simple terms that everyone can understand breeds dissatisfaction. It is therefore opposed to our government and those who promote it are our enemies.” When Genauer pointed out the resemblance between his views and those of the Stalinist Communists he despised, Dondero was so enraged that he arranged to have her fired from her job at the New York Herald Tribune.
So here’s to you George Anthony Dondero, our idiot of the week. May your erasure from the halls of Royal Oak Middle School hasten the erasure of any memory of you from our minds.
My friend Roy Zimmerman will be once again returning to Detroit for a show on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. Details are below. I will perform a song at the start of Roy’s second set. Hope to see you there!
Thursday, September 29 – 7:30 pm
Roy Zimmerman: Live From the Starving Ear
First Unitarian Universalist Church
4605 Cass Ave.
$15 suggested donation
The best thing to do this election year, is cancel your cable, disconnect, and try to stay as far away from media as you can. Right now I am getting no newspapers – no Detroit Free Press, no Detroit News, no Wall Street Journal, no New York Times; no magazines – no Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report – or other useless drivel. I only watch the Daily Show on the internet, and I am finding life and politics to be a lot easier to take. I got a car last year. The car came with a free year of XM satellite radio, which proved to be useless, and even maddening at times. I have not had cable tv for years. Cable and XM seem to share a common malady – hundreds of channels and nothing worth seeing or hearing. Now I have no TV. I have not missed it. And radio has turned into Tea Party Disneyland. You got Rush Limbaugh, giving voice to the desires of the bigoted and unintelligent, which is good I guess, because even the bigoted and unintelligent need a champion. Lord knows the billionaire class needs them to keep working class people complaining and venting about other working class people. In Detroit we have Mitch Albom, who is Rush Limbaugh, but eloquent and with a college degree, and who scabs when unions strike and writes crappy, sappy books. There are other local blowhards on AM 1270 here, but I did not stick around long enough to find out the call letters nor the blowhards names (apologies to said blowhards for not having the courtesy to note their names).
So I am unplugging. And you know what? Birds still sing. Grass still grows. The sun still shines, although not often enough in Michigan. Life is good.