Shuck and Jive

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Amy Calls Out the Christians

This is in today's Johnson City Press:

After hearing from the young woman at Congressman Phil Roe’s town hall meeting Monday night, I am no longer holding back my anger at the right-wing, so-called Christians who continue to support Republicans like Roe because he’s “pro-life” and to claim moral superiority over those of us who work for health care for all. Are you even hearing yourselves? Roe and all the Republicans you “Christians” vote for support our current health care system, calling anything else “socialism,” as if this were an unspeakable evil.

You continue to support a system that will, if left in place, without a shadow of a doubt kill this innocent 26-year-old divorced mother of two young children. Our current system will not provide her with the care she needs to stay alive. She is going to die young and leave behind two devastated children, all because you stubbornly cling to your “prolife” candidates and their pro-big business religion.

How can any of you call yourselves “prolife” when this young mother’s blood is going to be on your hands? She has done nothing wrong. She has worked until she could work no more. Yet you are willing to allow her to die for the sake of your precious ideology. You are not Christians, because you do not worship Christ. You worship capitalism. You value capitalism above this woman’s life. And make no mistake, you will be personally responsible for shortening her life if you continue to support our current system.

I dare say that the Christ you claim to worship is quite upset with you, since you are blatantly ignoring his clear teachings on how to care for the poor and the suffering among us. I guess you’re only Christian as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you. I will never know how you sleep at night.

AMY WILLIAMS Elizabethton
Amy is mad as hell and she is not going to take it anymore. It is about freaking time.

The Press has a love affair with Dr. Roe. This was in Sunday's paper.

Gack. As if our hero, our local good ole boy, Dr. No, is knocking out any questions from socialist liberals. Of course if you read the Johnson City Press reports on the various Phil Roe Shows that is what you would think. Interesting image, isn't it? Dr. Roe wants to knock the crap out of his constituents who are trying to convince him to listen to their stories.

Truth is despite the fact that Roe controls the microphone, always has the last word, and chooses who will ask the questions, people are speaking up and challenging him point by point. In an area of the country infested by right wing misinformation, the number of people speaking out against Roe's fear-mongering is growing.

In other interesting commentary on health care, Anne Lamott writes to Obama about the friends he keeps:

We did not vote for you to see if you could get Chuck Grassley or Michael Enzi to date you. The spectacle of you wooing them fills us with horror and even disgust. We recoil as from hot flame at each mention of your new friends. Believe me, I know exactly how painful this can be, how reminiscent of 7th-grade yearning to be popular, because I went through it myself this summer. I did not lower my bar quite as low as you have, but I was sitting on the couch one afternoon, thinking that this adorable guy and I were totally on the same sheet of music -- he had given me absolutely every indication that we were -- and were moving into the kissing stage. Out of nowhere, I thought to ask him if he liked me in the same way I liked him.

He said, in so many words, no.

And Mr. President, that is what the Republicans are saying to you: They are just not that into you, sir.

Katha Pollitt writes in the Nation that it is time to keep the main thing the main thing and get off your asses and get mad as hell. She said it more eloquently than that...

Whatever happened to, um, health? Wasn't that a big part of the original case for reform? The 46 million uninsured, the 20,000 people who die every year for lack of medical care, the studies showing that people without insurance get worse care than those with it, even after car crashes? Where are all those people with infuriating stories of being denied essential care by insurance company bureaucrats, and those who thought they were covered when they weren't, and those who were hit with huge bills because of fine print in their contracts? What about the people who can't quit their jobs because they need the insurance? The people who struggle and sacrifice to pay enormous premiums? The people who cut their pills in half to save money, or who can't afford them at all? And what about doctors? My internist and gynecologist no longer even take private insurance because of the endless hassles and frustrations. Why don't we hear more about how fed up doctors are with the status quo?...

....Oh army of Obama supporters who swarmed the country less than one year ago, we need you back knocking on our doors and sleeping on our sofas. We need you to stand on street corners handing out fliers that explain what healthcare reform is really all about and how people can make sure it doesn't get swallowed whole by the drug and insurance companies. Surely you're not too young and strong and healthy and vegan to care about boring parent stuff like health insurance? The diss on you was always that you were infatuated with Obama's charisma and with vague notions of "change"--not with the long slog of political engagement. That isn't true, though, is it?

And finally TGW reports on Mad As Hell Doctors on Tour for Single Payer.

The Oregon physicians will stop at numerous cities and towns on their way to D.C. They'll be in Nashville on September 20. See their schedule here.

Obama refuses to meet with the doctors, but they continue to try to change his mind. Help the Mad as Hell Doctors get a meeting with President Obama to discuss single payer (go to the 'Letter to Obama' page).

Mad as hell? Good.

The JC Press still wants your letters and Phil Roe wants to "knock you out" in Kingsport at his next town hall.

Thursday, September 3 – Sullivan County
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Kingsport Center for Higher Education
300 West Market Street
Kingsport, Tennessee


  1. I feel like I'm being forced to watch a gladiator event wherein the gladiator is an old fool who thinks he's really fighting a dangerous lion, when the lion is just as old, and not only feeble, but has willfully pulled its own teeth and claws out.

  2. Meaning the spectacle of the Town Hall meetings, that is, not Amy's letter.

  3. Yes, Amy calls out, and so has Pope Benedict in his recent Caritas in Veritate of which makes a case for basic health care as a fundamental human right.

  4. How did we allow the health insurance industry to make the rules about how we access the care and advice we need to be healthy and productive? Doesn't it strike you as weird that status in marriage or employment determines health insurance "benefits"?

    The healthier we all are, the healthier we all become. People carrying disease because they can't get the healthcare to cure them are spreading more disease. People chronically too ill to work leave what they would have done to overworked others, or left undone to all of our detriment. Children too sick to learn do not become our hoped for future. When older people are too sick to care for themselves, the subsequent loss from our lives of what they have to pass on is incalculable and their subsequent depression brings us all down. We find ourselves with a system creating much more pain, hardship, loss, despair, erosion of values, sickness.

    Itis a whole lot easier to control costs by insuring all and making the process easier and cheaper for everyone through sensible incentives like funding medical educations, standing up to big pharma with big numbers of consumers, keeping electronic records easily shared with all the doctors dealing with the patient, discussing/researching/determining best practices, encouraging lowering of mal or less desirable practice including open access to knowledge of doctors' history, freeing medical personnel from the extra chores and headaches of dealing with cut-throat insurance companies, and encouraging people generally to be more conscious of personal responsibility for their health.

    If we were to devise a national attitude toward providing healthcare based on the true goals of optimizing the health of the people while assuring their freedoms of choice, the ultimate result could well be far less costly in the bottom line sense, while tremendously value generating in the larger sense.

    How will having a public option (that's option, not taking away anything anyone likes now) prevent any group from forming their co-op to their liking as yet another alternative? In a real market system the point is to have a great diversity of options from which the consumer can choose. The consumer gets to be the evolutionary architect of what ultimately they will buy. If the consumer prefers the public option, it may go all the way to single payer over time. If the consumer prefers the co-op options, they will eventually dominate the market. Consumers seem to be fairly unhappy with the oligarchic system that has evolved from corporate/government collusion. Why not try a more capitalist/socialist collusion based on what actually keeps us healthy?

    People seem to be afraid of the word "socialized." The government option is actually based on capitalist theory's idea of competition to create a more broad-based market of choice for the consumer. If the private insurance industry doesn't want government competition, they ought to provide what the consumers actually want, like proper capitalists. But why go through all the trouble of creating business models that serve the consumer when you can pay congressional reps and clever ad agencies to get the consumer to be your foodsource: suck em dry and throw em away.

    Where are the modern day protest singers/organizers?

  5. One of the worst moments for me was at the JC town hall when Roe interrupted Beth and said 'You're not listening to me.' I wanted to so badly to jump up and scream "You get paid BY US to listen TO US."