A Rebellious Nation
Will Americans ever learn?
May 1, 2017 | View PDF
The antics of former National Security Adviser Susan Rice suggest that what a good many of those in our government employ have learned; especially as it relates to doing well in government employ.
Today's post presidential election nonsense suggests that while most Americans don't feed at the public trough, some do it with a vengeance.
It's difficult for the “old-timer” faction in America to come to grips with the absolute iodicy that has been taking place in the U.S., especially as it relates to our latest presidential election, but it goes way back.
The recent disclosures that Ms. Rice is worth an estimated $40 million; which is not bad for a federal worker. We've seen a lot of excessive feeding at the public trough in our life times, but none so disgraceful as what we most recently witnessed.
Way back in antiqity the wardens of insane asylums would sell tickets to the local gentry which would allow them to come to the facility and observe the antics of the inmates. It was good fun to see them stumble about in mindless stupors; well worth the few shillings of admission the local residents had paid. In a way, TV has brought this back into vogue.
In our country, as early as the close of the 18th Century, Americans have been treated to similar nonsense in Washington, D.C., the major difference being the means by which this political idiocy is disseminated to the public.
Back when the U.S. of A. was first getting its political feet wet, one of its major concerns as a newly forming nation concerned fiscal responsibility: Now that the new nation has been formed, how were “Americans” going to pay for it? And, apparently, we still haven't mastered this complexity. Our government just blindly runs up the debt; which, in round numbers, is $13,000,000,000,000 plus. That's what Americans owe.
Now that's a lot of dollars we owe other nations. Think about it. The total population of the United States is only 322,762,018.
Two of the major architects in the formation of our new nation were Alexander Hamilton, who was then Secretary of the Treasury, and Thomas Jefferson, the fledgling nation's Secretary of State.
Hamilton loosely interpreted the Constitution, and felt that a strong federal government, coupled with a free run with the national checkbook, was the way to go. He felt that the federal government should assume the debts incurred by the 13 new states in their conflict with Great Britain, and that the fledgling nation should be run by a strong federal government.
For some reason he believed that plunging the nation into debt was a sure way to insure its citizens would rejoice at having a monumental debt on their back, and give them a sense of respect for their government. Does this sound familiar?
Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution; that the individual states should bear this responsibility, in opposition to Hamilton's belief that Congress should run the show in any manner its members might choose, and it would be paid for by taxing it citizens, or by just generously printing money--or a combination of both. But, when the impact of Hamilton's plan was felt by the nation's whiskey distillers they rebelled at the idea of having their product taxed; a response that gave birth to the infamous Whiskey Rebellion; and which inspired the French peasantry. We all know where this led.
Then, as his term in Washington reached an end, President Washington called for unity among “citizens by birth or choice,” advocating moderation. He defended religious pluralism, proposed a foreign policy of independence (not isolation), and believed that an educated electorate was essential to democracy. Washington hoped he had established the precedent for the peaceful transfer of power. As it turned out, the process just got worse with each election term; look what we have today. Washington’s message was adopted by his protege Jefferson, and after years of opposition, it was quoted by Lincoln in his defense of the Union.
Woodrow Wilson invoked it for nation-building; Eisenhower for the Cold War; and Ronald Reagan for religion. Now, many of us wonder, will Washington's Farewell Address inspire a new generation to re-center its politics and reunite our nation through lessons rooted in Washington’s experience. Or will it flounder in a morass of argument, nit picking, lies, innuendo, and an agonizing disrespect for the nation we all once loved and respected; such as is the situation we're witness to today.
This leaves those of us who can still think straight to ask: Where are the statesmen when you need them?
Chasing a dream
By Dr. John Bitter
Throughout history pet owners who have tired of their animal have taken it far out in the country and dropped it off, mistakenly believing that this was the end of the story.
Usually; however, within a day or two who shows up at the back door but the unwanted critter.
And so it has been with government health care; such as the ever popular, but hopeless, Obamacare.
Some years ago Teddy Kennedy's efforts to launch a similar federal health care program caught your writer's attention. On the surface, this looked like a fine solution to a growing problem.
However, after some extensive research it became clear that national healthcare was a quagmire that the wise man avoided.
The concept of federally planned and subsidized health care was a specter one didn't really want haunting his or her house. But, try to tell that to governmental do gooders.
For one thing, there are too many factions involved in the process, each with its own point of view on how nationalized health planning should be handled. The wisest choice; however, seemed to be: leave it alone!
Look at who the major players have been:
The providers of health care: doctors, hospital administrators, nurses, social planners, the clergy, do-gooders of a variety of motivations, and the list goes on. Each player has his or own philosophy on managing an inclusive health care program; his or her own philosophy on how health care delivery should be handled.
And each proponent of how efficient health care should be managed is a health care provider: the entity responsible for handling the new system. This list of narrow focused do gooders grows with each attempt.
They bicker and argue, and in the end, nothing is accomplished. But they plod along. And, historically, none of them has succeeded—including the last President of the United States The scenario is usually a big fanfare on how the government is going to, magically, come up with a solution to this historic problem. But when the dust settles, it's swept under the carpet until the next patron comes along and fans the flames. And at the end of their effort, they go down in flames.
For a good many years your writer studied, wrote about, and actually became a player in the health planning process, only to come to the conclusion that government-handled health care will never come to fruition. There were too many factions, each with its own objective, and often in fierce conflict with the other players, all of which spelled disaster. Yet they press on.
And so it shall be with Obamacare. The previous president, and his minions, produced Obamacare, which never really got off the ground. It consumed millions of dollars, held out false promises to many citizens in need of a well organized health care system, and eventually ended up like Franz Kafka's Hunger Artist, it just withered away because there was nothing that could be done to remedy his situation.
It makes for good theater, but there's really no hope for any of these proposals to succeed.
The human factor won't allow it.
Older Americans Month
By Dr. John Bitter
It would seem rather logical that since May is Older Americans Month, that this section of the page be devoted to stuff related senior citizens.
A month long celebration is also designated as National Blood Pressure Month. And at places such as Elmcroft, nurses are always underfoot taking the residents' blood pressure.
Since many of us old timers require occasional to frequent care from nurses, we would be remiss if we didn't take note of the fact that the first full week in the month is Nurse's Week, and the 6th of the month is National Nurses Day.
Added to all of this is the reality that paramedics are frequently called to attend to one medical problem or another at the seniors' home. It's only fitting, then. that the Gazette recognize that the fourth week of the month is Emergency Medical Services Month.
Moving along to other days that have a designation relative to seniors, the 8th is Victory in Europe Day, commemorating the end of the war in that theater, and the 16th is Wear Purple for Peace Day.
And the 20th of May has been celebrated for years as Armed Forces Day. Most seniors can relate to some or all of this.
On the 26th we celebrate Sally Ride Day, honoring the first American woman in space. She was also the youngest American astronaut.
Rounding out the month of May, on the 29th to be exact, we bow our heads on Memorial Day.
And so it is for the month of May.