Thursday, October 25, 2007

10 Reasons Why The United States is on the downhill side of World History

We are facing a Perfect Storm.



1. FOOD SUPPLY CATASTROPHE - Colony Collapse Disorder. The honey bees that pollinate our crops are dying off in huge numbers. We no longer rely on random pollination by whatever honey bees happen to be in the crop area. Farmers hire professional, itinerate apiculturists (beekeepers) to bring in huge numbers of bees to pollinate the crops. This is a $15 billion dollar a year business. But the bees are either dying off or abandoning their colonies. We are only beginning to understand why. Some commercial migratory beekeepers have reported losses ranging from 30% to 90% with remaining populations being weakened to the point of near death.
No bees mean no domestic crops. No domestic crop means more reliance on imported crops and MUCH higher prices.

Imagine the impact on gas prices if oil reserves suddenly dropped by 30% TO 90% and no one knew why. Expect the same impact on fruits and vegetables.


2. LABOR SHORTAGE CATSATROPHE - "Lou Dobbs Syndrome". Like it or not, our economy relies on workers (from Mexico, Central America, South America, Guam, all over) crossing the Mexican border illegally to work in our fields, on our roofs, in the construction industry, in our yards and all of the other places that even the poorest white trailer trash think they are "too good" for.

In our post 9/11 border security hysteria, we are going to put in place "safeguards" to keep these critical economical engines out of our country. Not only will we have fewer crops to harvest (see Number 1 above), but we won't have anyone willing to water and harvest what few crops we can still grow. This will drive prices up even higher.

Prices of fruits, vegetables and new homes will skyrocket.


3. WORLD WIDE MORTGAGE CRISIS - Sub prime Lending Meltdown.


"In a worst case scenario, the wave of anticipated defaults on sub prime mortgages and tighter lending standards could combine to drive down home values. That could make all homeowners feel a little less wealthy, contributing to a gradual decline in their spending. Less consumer spending eventually weakens the economy, prompting companies to start laying off workers in a vicious cycle that causes households to become even more frugal."


It gets worse.

When you sign a mortgage loan with a lender, that lender pockets the profits, and then they turn around (within hours) and sell your "risk" to someone else. Those "risks" are purchased in bulk by large mutual funds. Those mutual funds are purchased in bulk by foreign investors...like China. Those mutual funds make up the bulk of your 401k.

When people start defaulting on those sub prime, risky, APR loans, you start losing your retirement money. Making you more reliant on Social Security and Medicare. Possibly even solely reliant on government subsidence.

With the price of new homes skyrocketing due to a shortage of labor (see Number 2), and credit tightening due to the sub prime mortgage collapse, home ownership will plummet.

A decline in home ownership results in a nationwide reduction in the tax base translating to a reduction in government revenues at the federal, state, county and city levels.

Without that revenue the schools, fire, police, and general infrastructure revenues dwindle to nothing. Our cities and neighborhoods start to collapse around us.


4. OIL - $90 a barrel and climbing. We will see triple digit figures for barrels of crude before Dubya leaves office. Especially after he conducts an air strike on Iran's "nuclear facilities". Oh shut up! You know he will! Before this decade is out, we will see anywhere between $5-$10 a gallon for regular gas at the pump. It could easily cost you $150.00 to fill up your economy car. $200.00 to $250.00 and up for your F-150 or Hummer. You may as well wrap your lips around some Iranian dick and start sucking. How's that taste? Kinda like dates and goats?


5. HEALTH CARE - Every other industrialized, civilized country in the world has a Universal Health Care system. EVERY ONE! Not us. You only get health care insurance in this country if you have a job and can afford to divert a percentage of your income into the shared risk kitty.

No job? No income? Get sick? You're gonna die and no one cares.

An entire, multi-billion dollar industry is built around preying upon and profiting from people who just want to stay alive, live life and be productive citizens.

Bizarrely, staying healthy and productive and paying taxes in the richest, most technologically advanced civilization the world has ever known is not a given. It is a "privilege" reserved for only those wealthiest citizens who can afford the "luxury" of Good Health.

That is a barbaric, antiquated system that needs to change.

If The United States of America wants to portray itself as The Best and Most Advanced Pinnacle of Modern Civilization, then it shouldn't allow ANY CITIZEN to go without the best medical care that our modern science can provide.


6. OLD BABY BOOMERS - Because of the all of the above issues, you are going to have a WHOLE LOT of PISSED OFF old people who worked hard, invested in their retirements, tried to do the right things to make themselves self reliant and now find themselves with no 401k, no personal savings, no home equity and who are completely reliant on Social Security and Medicare. For any one under the age of 62, that means YOU will be supporting ME! Sorry, but that's the way they set it up back in the '40's and no one since has had the balls to change it.

Sucks to be you. Sucks to be me, too.

YOU will be paying for our housing, our transportation, our food, our recreation, our medical care and our diapers.


7. MILITARY EXHAUSTION - During the Cold War, our military doctrine had always required a military strong enough to fight a war on two fronts. Anticipating the Soviet Union in Europe and Red China in Asia. With a National Guard held in reserve for domestic defense.

Well, we are fighting two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) and we have no domestic reserve left because we are using the National Guard and mercenaries to fight wars that we can't afford.

This has left us with a limp military dick. We are exhausted. We cannot go anywhere else and everyone knows it.

Sure, we could lob a load or two at Iran. But it would just piss them off, further destabilize the Middle East, cause the increase in the price of oil to go into warp speed and alienate even more of our allies. And we couldn't back it up with any boots on the ground because we don't have any left.

It is time to bring our troops home, invest in some new unmanned technology, heal our brave men and women, and rethink our global strategy.

In the meantime, everyone in Washington needs to SHUT THE FUCK UP and quit making threats that everyone knows we can't back up.


8. INCREASE IN TERRORISM - Our "War on Terror" has been a fucking disaster. Yes, there were terrorists before 9/11. Yes, we were right in pursuing said terrorists into their al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

But there were no terrorists...repeat after me...NO TERRORISTS inside Iraq before we got there!

Why?

Because Saddam was a fucking ruthless dictator who didn't tolerate any terrorists!!

Now that we have overthrown Saddam and established "democracy", the place is completely overrun with terrorists who are daily honing their skills against the American Military Presence.

Something they never could have done before but can now. Because we weren't there before. Now we are.

We have handed "The Terrorists" everything they ever wanted on a Silver Platter.

We have been indirectly manufacturing highly trained, highly motivated suicide bombers and terrorists since the day we set foot in the middle-east.

We have done nothing in the past 6 years but increase and validate the reasons why people hate us. We haven't made any new friends. We have barely managed to hold on to what few friends we had. The few friends who still stick with us are only in it for the money. If the previous seven scenarios play out, we can kiss those friends goodbye too.

9. CHINA - China is the new Super Power. China WILL rule the world. China has one fourth of the world's population. Go Google Hong Kong. Imagine all of China as a Hong-Kong-like economic engine. There have been recent domestic shortages of mundane items like concrete and drywall because China and India are sucking them up like nobody's business. The United States and every other country in the world will be learning Mandarin and wearing silk. Fuck La Raza. You want your kid to succeed in the world? Make them take Mandarin instead of Spanish.


10. STREET CRED - We have totally lost it. We have spent the last 6 years bullying, and blustering and blatantly lying to everyone else in the world.

They all know we are full of shit. No one believes us anymore. We have left ourselves completely impotent and irrelevant on the World Stage.

Like The Greeks, The Romans, The Arabs, The British, The French, we are an empire in decline.

We will soon awaken to a world where we are the Blair-like lap-dog to the Chinese Interests which will drive our reality.

All civilizations collapse and are replaced by other civilizations. It has always been thus.

Americans (especially fundy, neocon faith-based Americans) seem to think that we are The Penultimate Pinnacle of Civilization and that we will never fall because we have God on our side.

Wrong. Sorry.

Within just a few decades, possibly just two, we will be just another has-been empire, struggling to be taken seriously.

China, India and the European Union will be The New Triumvirate. The United States will be just a "voting member" that no one likes very much (mainly thanks to Dubya.). Whatever we vote for, everyone else will vote against. Just because. We will have the same clout and sway as Libya. The world already views Dubya on the same intellectual scale as Khadafi.

All empires fall, and we are clearly on the decline. We just can't seem to dig that whole fast or deep enough.

40 comments:

meesha.v said...

Valid points except universal health care. While health care in this country sucks unless you are poor enough to qualify for benefits or have insurance,nobody points out the most important cornerstone of any health care system- quality of doctors. Quality of doctors here is lacking. There are several reasons for that -financial,political,societal etc. My Dad was a doctor in the USSR. He was paid less then a factory worker, after 10 years or more of schooling. The only reason he went into medicine was love of the profession. He was a jack of all trades - mostly family doctor,but he could do (and did) minor surgery, delivered babies, emergency, etc. People knew they were getting 100% from him and there was not even a thought of suing him no matter what the outcome was. People thanked him even if the patient died, they knew he did everything possible. Compare this to doctors here- scared of litigation, never diagnosing you for sure without 10 other doctors signing off, sending you to useless tests. There is no dedication,no tough decision making (who the hell kept Terry Shiavo on the machines all these years),no patient-doctor relationship. That's what's missing in the system and making it universal and government controlled will overwhelm it even more. Horror stories from GB and Canada are everywhere.
On the illegal immigration: the problem is not the fact that it exists but that illegals are allowed to drain welfare system and school system. In my daughter's school every piece of communication is now two-sided and translated into Spanish,they have a special Spanish speaking teacher. WTF? Who's country is it? What happened to "you come to our country and play by our rules". I did! And before I came here I had to pass medical tests for TB,AIDS and whatever else. Who tests illegals?
I probably should write my own post.Sorry.

travelingal said...

xo...you sound suicidal..like we should jump off a rooftop or something.

The year was 1990 (only 17 years ago). We bought a house and interest rates were 16 percent!!! Course they came down. And, we weren't dumb enough to overextend ourselves. I know so many people who can't add fucking 1 and 2 anymore. Don't they know you can't borrow on your equity and take a trip to Hawaii and then be shocked when you have to pay it back or suddenly your house isn't worth as much as your mortgage? Not any sympathy from me. What the fuck are they teaching kids in school these days? Sickening.

Maybe we should reinstitute the draft and give our reserves a break. Hell, we lived with it for decades. Will the world come to an end if people actually have to serve our country?

Honeybees...well that is a very real problem..was even on 60 minutes tonight Word is it could be a virus. Honeybees do get viruses and mites and actually they're kinda fragile. We need htem tho and science will find the cause and a cure.

The war...20 years from now we'll be trading partners with our enemies. It's happened over and over and over again. I don't know what the answer is to all this shit. I don't like it either but we better believe in ourselves or nobody else will either ... seems that's pretty impossible for some people.

China...I'm gonna say here that I wouldn't live in that shithold of a country for all the tea in the world. But, they are scarey. Sheer numbers are scarey. The yellow race will rule the world!

Healthcare. I believe we need universal health care BUT AND THERE ARE A LOT OF BUTS. I currently have e-mails in to friends in the UK and Canada. As soon as I get the straight scoop from them, I'll be back with comments on this issue.

Illegal Immigration. Don't even get me started. There was a day when citizens were carpenters and roofers and even meatpackers/ slaughterers and I knew em personally. Don't give me this shit about needing them to clean my toilet or mow my lawn. I do it myself. What I do know is that my taxes are going through the roof cause we have to build special classrooms/buildings for kids that don't speak English while Kathleen Love Your Illegal Immigrant Sebelius gives in-state college tuition to illegals, but not legal residents. Few issues raise my ire as much, so I'll stop here.

Be back when I get the goods on health care in the UK and Canada.

Xavier Onassis said...

meesha - Welcome! I agree with your assessment of our doctors. They have egos the size of Jupiter and seem much more concerned with their homes, neighborhoods, schools and community standing that they are about their patients.

Which is EXACTLY why we need a universal, socialized health care system. Doctors should be dedicated, tradesmen and craftsmen. It should not be a path to wealth and fame. People should not be able to build incredible wealth on the backs of the sick and dying.

travel - I've missed you! Where ya been? I figure my recent posts have just been too damned lame to be worthy of your comments.

"you sound suicidal..like we should jump off a rooftop or something." - I would make the case that we already jumped off the rooftop...twice...when we elected and re-elected Dubya. We committed National Suicide by making this imbecile president.

"Maybe we should reinstitute the draft and give our reserves a break. Hell, we lived with it for decades. Will the world come to an end if people actually have to serve our country?"

No. I disagree. We saw during Vietnam what happens when you have a military populated by people who really, REALLY don't want to be there. When you combine that with political decisions to commit troops to places they never should have been in the first place, things like Mi Lai ensue.

Okay, this was my initial response. Then I thought about Abu Ghraib. Those were all volunteer troops. So how much worse could it be?

So I guess I agree. Reinstate the draft. But NO EXEMPTIONS. NONE! Got kids? Too bad. Daddy head of the CIA? Tough shit. Maybe even make it retroactive.

"Honeybees do get viruses and mites and actually they're kinda fragile. We need them tho and science will find the cause and a cure."

Yeah, maybe. We gonna offer the honeybees flu shots at Walmart? Seriously, I'm not so sure it will be that simple.

"The war...20 years from now we'll be trading partners with our enemies"

Really? We will be trading partners with al Qaeda?

"China...I'm gonna say here that I wouldn't live in that shithold of a country for all the tea in the world"

I agree. But we don't have to live there. They will be imposing their way of life on us as a dominant world power. They learned that from us. Because we have been imposing our way of life on countries around the world just because we could. They will do the same.

"There was a day when citizens were carpenters and roofers and even meatpackers/ slaughterers and I knew em personally."

Yep. And their unions priced them out of the business. Nobody wants to pay someone $100 an hour (I totally made that number up...I have no idea what the differential is between American Union Roofers and undocumented Messicans), to nail tiles to their roof.

Don't get me wrong. I support the idea of Unions. I wish I were a member of the Systems Analysts Union.

"Yeah, I know my documentation sucked ass and the resulting solution that was implemented caused the entire application to crash and burn for a month causing billions of dollars in losses...but I have seniority! You have to fire somebody else! I'm protected! I'll file a grievance!"

We brought this hit on ourselves.

Harry Nads said...

Wow. Just...wow.

I had more to comment on, but thought better of it because I respect your right to speak your mind.

Protium said...

XO... Good post... I enjoyed this read.

JW said...

Well done man. I think you get it, but it's amazing how many don't. I guess it's a lot easier to keep denying than to face reality. It's not a fun picture.
Now we must spread the word. You tell two people, I'll tell two people, hopefully they'll tell two people, and so on, and so on...

Poodles said...

Great post XO. I work for medical insurance and I agree we need universal healthcare. If people think that if we just paid less taxes we could afford to pay for our own medical care then they have never seen how much medical care really costs. I have seen the claims, trust me, even with a tax break, most of us can't afford to pay for that broken arm, and at the moment they are screaming in pain I'm betting they won't be calling around to hospitals and doctors to price check the services to get the lowest cost.

Nightmare said...

The bees are dying because of the illegal aliens.

Illegal aliens are the number one user of sub prime mortgages.

If there were less illegal aliens, we would use less gas,thus needing less oil.

Old people HATE illegal aliens, they make them mad.

The health care system is fucked up because of the illegal aliens.

We need our troops home because of the illegal aliens, close up the holes in the borders.

China, doesn't allow illegal aliens...or maybe it is because no one wants to be more repressed then they are in their own country.

ALL of the terrorists were illegal aliens. or at least they all looked like they were illegal aliens.

So the answer seems simple to me, conquer the world to make everyone in the Americans, and make them bend to our will! Fuck culture, language, politics, skin color, and sexual preference (You know France is gay right?)and just be a planet full of litigious fatassed, sick, beeless, assholes!

USA USA USA!

meesha.v said...

It should not be a path to wealth and fame. People should not be able to build incredible wealth on the backs of the sick and dying. why would anybody want to become a doctor, go to school for 10+ years,take out huge loans and then not be able to make a living better than a forklift driver. Soviet system had free education, so school didn't cost anything and students were receiving a stipend (which was higher for students with good grades),dorm was free,books, everything... In return the government would assign the graduate to a workplace of their choosing for 3 years-it could be in the Siberia or Asia or North Pole and you had to go.Only top 5% of the class were exempt. I actually think it wasn't a bad deal. Socialized anything is nothing but a big money give-away for people who know how to game the system. While any system can be defrauded, government has the most incompetent employees.And for medical insurance employee who posted earlier:claims can be anything, they inflate them on purpose,it's the contractual amount that's being paid. I never understood the system where both parties know how much money will be paid but still write out huge claims.

travelingal said...

XO...I've been here, lurking.. your posts are never lame...thanks for asking...I just got fired up on this one which was a really good one. It's interesting to see how people think and what makes them tick.

I still haven't heard from my foreign friends but am eager to hear and report as they will know first hand the state of health care in some countries with universal insurance. Actually I think it's horrible that people can't afford it or when insurance companies deny them coverage. I just hope we get a good plan. In Germany, it's reported that you pay premiums based on your income at a rate of about 13% (employer pays half) and it doesn't matter if you get it as a single or have 12 kids...cost is the same. But, on top of that, the income tax rate in Germany is substantially more than ours and it's used to pay for people who don't work (who don't have to pay for insurance) plus of course other things like education, etc. The German healthcare system is expensive but people can see any doctor they want at the drop of a hat and get good care. Canada and the UK are another story (which I'll report on later after I get the straight facts from people who live there).

MEESHA made some valid points on the health care system as well as immigration. I respect the immigrant who respects our laws. I know it's a long, arduous system and that definitely needs improving .

Faith said...

See, and this is where my apathy comes from, because all I can think as I read all of this is, "So what do you want me to do?" I know nothing about bees, I can't stop the war, I'm a responsible adult who is able to obtain a reasonable loan and own a nice home, I have a good job and can currently afford medical care for myself especially because I'm a relatively healthy girl who takes pretty good care of her body, I won't be adding to the population personally, etc, etc, etc...

What do you want us to doooo? This is why I don't give a flying fig about politics. I can't fix anything myself...Lord knows WHO we should vote for in the next election in order to get things "back on track" or what have you...I guess it's just frustrating hearing about all the problems over and over and over (as interesting and well-written as they are, mind you), and not getting any suggestions on solutions. I think the reason we have so many apathetic individuals who don't know what's right and what's wrong in politics is because it gets to be too much. I know that's what my issue is, anyway.

I can't believe that any one person could possibly be held responsible for this mess that the country is (apparently) in. "Dubya" didn't act alone. From what I recall, he had supporters in his decision to go to Iraq...including a very special Clinton. And there are other things behind all the items you mentioned, but I don't know enough about it all to even breach a low level of debate about it. But I do want to know what the point is to talking, talking, talking about it if we haven't any suggestions for what we can DO about it.

Sandra Says said...

Hey XO, regarding health care....remember that no one is turned away from the hospital, all people are treated.They are treated medically even if they have no money to pay. We absorb the cost of course , it makes our health care more expensive.

Xavier Onassis said...

poodles - " have seen the claims, trust me, even with a tax break, most of us can't afford to pay for that broken arm, and at the moment they are screaming in pain I'm betting they won't be calling around to hospitals and doctors to price check the services to get the lowest cost." EXACTLY.

One of my best friends had breast cancer. She works for the State of MO, so she has good health insurance. Double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, cancer is gone. But this weekend she is giving up her apartment and moving in with friends and is going to have to declare bankruptcy, all because of the medical bills.

I would love for some of you right-wing, free market capitalists out there to explain to me how in THE FUCK anyone in the self-proclaimed "greatest country on earth" should have to be pushed out of their home and into bankruptcy just because she didn't want to die.

nightmare - seriously ROFLMAO @ "...just be a planet full of litigious fatassed, sick, beeless, assholes!"

meesha - I'm not saying doctors shouldn't be adequately compensated for being a skilled professional. But I don't think that a person who is sick and facing death should have to hand over every thing they own to the already rich guy who's job it is to heal them. The doctor walks away even wealthier and the patient is left alive, but destitute. Again, in the self-proclaimed "greatest country on earth", how is that possible?

faith - "What do you want us to doooo?" It's not what I want you to do...it's what Howard Beale wants you to do:

"You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
(Network, 1976, imdb.com)

sandra - "remember that no one is turned away from the hospital, all people are treated. They are treated medically even if they have no money to pay."

True for some things (like emergency care...broken arms and such), not true for others.

Imagine someone showing up at the ER and saying "Yeah, I just found out I need a liver transplant. So if you could just put me on the transplant waiting list, give me a room and a bed to wait in and the best medical care modern science can provide, that would be GREAT, thanks! Here is my address. If you could just send me a bill when I'm all better, that would be GREAT, thanks! You guys are the best!"

Harry Nads said...

Next time you have an illness, just go to the hospital with no ID on you (including credit cards.) Just claim that you are an illegal immigrant so you can get free medical care.

Same thing with enrolling for college. Illegal immigrants will get free tuition with that new bill they are trying to pass in Congress.

It's really freaking pathetic that they cater to the ILLEGAL immigrants and want to grant them more privileges than a US citizen has!

mainstream said...

Wow, XO your post is (a very good but) an overly long license to pontificate. By the time I finish reading all these comments I'll be drinking prune juice.

That said, a few brief comments.

On the bees, it's noteworthy that organic bees are unaffected by this Colony Collapse Disorder.

Reference
http://www.infowars.net/articles/may2007/110507bees.htm or search "organic bees".

And XO I couldn't agree more with you that were screwed already. But it's because the earth is about two years away from a tipping point. We in the U.S. could, tomorrow, stop using our cars, stop manufacturing cement (one of the largest carbon contributors)and stop doing just about everything and it wouldn't matter.

Because the carbon-emitting momentum of China and India is THAT great. There's literally a 500M+ person middle class in-the-making between China, India and a few other countries, and they cannot wait to drive a car, own a dvd player --- you know the rest.

Ok, I'm pontificating and I'm gonna stop now.

Good post.

Xavier Onassis said...

harry - "just go to the hospital with no ID on you (including credit cards.) Just claim that you are an illegal immigrant so you can get free medical care."

Sandra was correct. Everyone gets treated at hospital ERs. You don't have to claim to be an "illegal immigrant". What the fuck are you talking about?

"Illegal immigrants will get free tuition with that new bill they are trying to pass in Congress."

Again, what the fuck are you talking about, Harry? What "new bill"? Which part of Congress? The House of Representatives (do you have an HR number for the bill), or the Senate? Be more specific. This isn't The Fox Network. I need FACTS.

"It's really freaking pathetic that they cater to the ILLEGAL immigrants and want to grant them more privileges than a US citizen has!"

Who is THEY and how are THEY "catering" to illegal immigrants. And what the fuck does any of this have to do with what I posted about?

I made the case the we actually NEED illegal immigrants and without them you and I are fucked.

In what way does an "illegal immigrant" get more priveledges than a U.S. Citizen?

Did you even read my post?

I wasn't ranting about illegal aliens or immigration.

I was ranting about how the retarded twits that the red state imbeciles elected TWICE to run this country are grabbing up all the power, taking away all our rights, pissing all over our international allies, sending our sons and daughters into a meat grinder over personal vendettas and generally isolating us and alienating us and diminishing our place in the world.

Would you like to try again?

Xavier Onassis said...

mainstream - I stand accused and freely admit my guilt.

I am one overly verbose sonofabitch.

I appreciate your indulgance.

Faith said...

With regards to the suggestion that I take the advice as follows: "I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'"

I've been yelling at other drivers in traffic for YEARS now, and it's done nothing to change the fact that shithead drivers still exist and make a mess of my commute every day.

So I just don't see the value in screaming out the proverbial window like that. Sorry! "...Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window..." etc, etc, etc...

So we scream and yell and get mad and upset...and THEN we figure out what to do? I love you XO, you know that. I find you not only informative, but entertaining. I've been reading you for close to a year now, right? You scream and yell out the window a good amount.

So have we reached the point yet where we can start figuring out what to do? Because THAT is what I need.

JW said...

Here's some ideas.
Insulate your home. Have an energy audit and find out where you can save more energy.
Turn out lights when not using them, turn off the water when brushing your teeth, turn down the thermostat.
Install solar panels on your house, buy a Hybrid for your next car. Replace your bulbs with CFL's when they burn out.
Drive less. Move closer to work. Organize your trips to save gas.
Buy local produce and goods. Take a canvas bag when you go shopping. Tell your representatives that you want them to invest in renewable energy.
It's a lifestyle change that we all have to embrace, but that's just a start.

Xavier Onassis said...

faith - I don't have any answers that anyone will listen to. But for starters, I say we quit electing idealogical zealots from either party. Let's try and avoid electing people who think that intellectuallism is some sort of disease and who actually brag about not reading papers; as though being an uninformed idiot is something to aspire to. I don't think it's asking too much to want our elected leaders to be INTELLIGENT, capable of critical thought, able to look at data (i.e. actual facts) objectively and try to find common ground on which all can agree. Someone who doesn't think that compromise is a dirty word. Someone who has a basic understanding of human psychology...if you get up in someones face a get confrontational, that is probably how they will respond to you. Someone who has a grasp of history. Someone who understands that when you are dealing with countries in the Middle East, you can't just casually toss out phrases like "crusade" and then wonder why eveyone has their panties in a twist.

That would be a good start.

Spyder said...

Danm XO you are wordy! Good post.

JW- Thanks for stepping up. I'm on the right track. Luv my hybrid. We recycle...

Joe said...

IMHO our nations peaked in the 50's and its been downhill ever since. We're on the heels of the British, maybe 100-150 years behind them. China and India have almost caught up with us and China's army can damn near overrun us now.
With no bees, we're in real trouble. This issue has made the papers here in California.
I think Iraq has been unwinnable from the get go as we can't even decide what a win is. We've defeated Saddam, so what's left. The Iraq leadership has already told us they can take care of it, so why are we there.
And, if the Russians couldn't win in Afganistan, what makes us think we can? I think its spelled V I E T N A M all over again.
You said "All civilizations collapse and are replaced by other civilizations. It has always been thus." I agree with this and our time has come and gone.

Harry Nads said...

"harry - "just go to the hospital with no ID on you (including credit cards.) Just claim that you are an illegal immigrant so you can get free medical care."

Sandra was correct. Everyone gets treated at hospital ERs. You don't have to claim to be an "illegal immigrant". What the fuck are you talking about?


Wow, who pissed in your Wheaties this morning?

I didn't say you wouldn't get treated... I said the illegals get FREE treatment. Why should they get free medical when I have to pay out the ass for medical insurance and a co-pay when I go to the hospital. But Jose can go in and get his treatment and not be liable for payment. In other words, I am paying for MY healthcare and HIS.

"Illegal immigrants will get free tuition with that new bill they are trying to pass in Congress."

Again, what the fuck are you talking about, Harry? What "new bill"? Which part of Congress? The House of Representatives (do you have an HR number for the bill), or the Senate? Be more specific. This isn't The Fox Network. I need FACTS.


My bad. It's called the Dream Act and it is not free tuition:

"The DREAM Act would... allow illegal alien college and university students to be eligible for in-state tuition (taxpayer-funded) without affording out-of-state citizen students the same opportunity. Thus, the University of Alabama could offer in-state tuition to illegal alien students while requiring citizens residing in Mississippi to pay the much higher out-of-state tuition rates.

Allowing all illegal aliens enrolled in college to receive in-state tuition rates means that while American citizens from 49 other states have to pay out-of-state tuition rates to send their kids to UVA, people who have illegally immigrated to this country might not. Out-of-state tuition rates range from 2 to 3 times the in-state resident tuition rate."

The DREAM Act, previously S.774, has been introduced as an amendment to H.R. 1585, National Defense Authorization Act (Defense Authorization Bill) as SA 2237, Title XXXIII (National Defense Stockpile), Sec. 3301 (Authorized Uses Of National Defense Stockpile Funds). It is number 254 of 353 proposed amendments.

Who but our corrupt and pandering senators would think of incorporating the DREAM Act into “stockpile” provisions buried at the end of the lengthy Defense Bill?

The measure sponsored by Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) would also provide amnesty to any illegal alien who claims to have entered the U.S. before the age of 16.

Jim Edwards, an adjunct fellow with the Washington-based Hudson Institute, says the "Dream Act" contains many loopholes. "This is targeted solely at those who are supposedly, you know, the human face they put on it is people who are young people," says Edwards. "They were brought as children or babies and had no say in the matter. Their parents got them into this and now the poor folks can't go to college, and so they're wasting away, and so we have to amnesty them so they can get a college education and be productive, and that's their line of argument."

Under this proposed amendment, there would be no age limit. Edwards says that someone who is 65 years of age could claim that they were brought to the U.S. while they were less than 16 years of age. He says that the "usual suspects" are behind this so-called "Dream Act", the Council of La Raza and other such pro-amnesty groups.

As Edwards puts it, native-born Americans and legal immigrants cannot receive in-state tuition at an out-of-state college, "so why should illegal aliens be treated better?" He fears that if there is not enough public out-cry over the legislation, Senators may think that they have been given a pass to "throw a sop to the pro-amnesty crowd."

Xavier Onassis said...

harry - "...I said the illegals get FREE treatment. Why should they get free medical when I have to pay out the ass for medical insurance and a co-pay when I go to the hospital. But Jose can go in and get his treatment and not be liable for payment. In other words, I am paying for MY healthcare and HIS."

That is just not true. Everyone who walks into a hospital emergency room will be treated and billed. Whether they have insurance or not, whether they are a citizen or not. But NO ONE gets FREE care.

Where do you get misinformation like that?

As for the Dream Act, you are blowing things WAY out of proportion. It just says that anyone living in-state gets in-state tuition rates.

"...native-born Americans and legal immigrants cannot receive in-state tuition at an out-of-state college..." Exactly right. Why? Because they don't live in-state! What is so difficult to understand about this?

travelingal said...

I heard from my friend in England. The system has many intracies but here are the basics. National health insurance costs the individual 12% of their salary and the employer pays another 13% of your salary. In other words, 25% of each working person's salary goes to healthcare. That's on top of your taxes, which she said are about 22% for an average wage earner who makes 20,000 pounds. She said both their national insurance and tax systems are facing shortfalls. The poor or those who don't work don't pay for their health care (a medicaid type of program).

The quality of their care is very good for emergencies, tumors, preventive care, etc. but not so good for more ordinary things like hip replacements, cataracts, minor heart problems, etc. where there are huge waiting lists up to a year long.

She and her husband run a veterinary business. They just dropped their national health insurance deciding instead to pay for "normal" things which she said aren't that expensive. Here there isn't anything that isn't expensive.

So that's it for England. If we had England's system, a person making $40,000 would pay 4,800/year for his insurance plus your employer would pay $5,200 for a total of $10,000/year.

Harry Nads said...

"That is just not true. Everyone who walks into a hospital emergency room will be treated and billed. Whether they have insurance or not, whether they are a citizen or not. But NO ONE gets FREE care."

Bullshit. At least here it is. This is one of the big rants locally. Maybe its because you are not in an area with a massive infestation of illegals. Several hospitals in my area give free emergency medical care to illegals. I feel that is catering to them and encouraging people to illegally enter our country. And it certainly does not encourage them to apply for citizenship.. why pay taxes and for healthcare when you can fly "under the radar"?

"As for the Dream Act, you are blowing things WAY out of proportion. It just says that anyone living in-state gets in-state tuition rates.

SO someone living in MY country ILLEGALLY should have preferential treatment over another citizen who lives across the state border? This is big for me because I live on the border of Oklahoma and Texas. I work in Texas. My kids are planning on going to school in Texas. But I will have to pay out-of-state tuition because I am a LEGAL resident of MY country?!

Xavier Onassis said...

harry - I can tell that this is a subject that you feel strongly about. But you said "Several hospitals in my area give free emergency medical care to illegals...".

I have to take issue with that for a couple of reasons.

First of all, your statement implies that the hospital admitting staff can tell a legal resident from an illegal one. If they are only giving "free" emergency care to the "illegals" and charging everyone else for services provied, they must have a fool proof way of spotting the "illegals". Maybe we should put the hospital ER admitting staff in charge of the INS.

But seriously, I think if you spoke to the hospital administrations at the facilities you suspect of providing this diabolical "free" care, you would learn the following:

You would find that those hospital emergency rooms are required, by law, to give emergency care to anyone who comes into the ER seeking medical treatment. Anyone.

You would also find that the admitting staff gathers names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers (or the equivilent), employment information, insurance provider, next of kin, etc. on every single patient they treat.

I can guarantee you that the hospital billing department sends a bill for services rendered to every single patient admitted to the ER. A percentage of those bills will be returned because the information was bogus...another percentage were delivered but will go unpaid. That will be true across the board, regardless of the patient's legal status. People all over this country, citizens and non-citizens use hospital ERs as the health care provider of last resort because our current system leaves them no choice. They have nowhere else to go. This isn't an "illegal immigrant" issue, it's a fucked up health care system issue.

As for the Dream Act, you can stop foaming at the mouth because it didn't get enough votes to pass, so it's dead. Moot issue.

"But I will have to pay out-of-state tuition because I am a LEGAL resident of MY country?!"

No, Harry. You have to pay out-of-state tuition because you are out-of-state.

Look. TEXAS || OKLAHOMA

That thing between Texas and Oklahoma? That's the border separating the states.

Or, put another way:

TEXAS || HARRY NADS

IN-STATE TUITION || OUT-OF-STATE TUITION

It's got nothing to do with legal or illegal, citizen or non-citizen. It's all about which state you reside in.

Simple.

meesha.v said...

It's got nothing to do with legal or illegal, citizen or non-citizen. It's all about which state you reside in.
Simple.

not that simple.actually Harry didn't say anything outrageous. Let's say State of Texas decided that it can give some people a break on tuition and charge them in-state rates. Call it a perk. Who do you think should be given a perk first- a law abiding citizen, a taxpayer in a neighboring state or a criminal (until immigration law is changed)and tax evader?. Harry could fake some papers,get TX drivers license at a friend's address and apply for in-state rates. That would be fraud and Harry can be prosecuted. But a national of another country can get in without a problem. Doesn't make any sense.

Xavier Onassis said...

harry & meesha - You're pissing up a rope. You aren't going to inspire any righteous indignation here about "illegals" in America.

How do you think Texas, and New MEXICO and Arizona, and California came to be a part of The United States? Did Moses bequeath them to us as an addenedum to the Ten Commandments?

Huh uh. We stole 'em, fair and square!

As one Mexican-American said, "I didn't come to America...America came to me!"

Imagine our shock and dismay after stealing huge parts of Mexico that it contained (GASP!) MESSICANS!!!

I'm just not that concerned that Mexicans are crossing the border to bus our tables, shingle our roofs, pick our veggies and landscape our lawns.

I am MUCH MORE OUTRAGED that our soldiers and Blackwater, Inc. mercenaries are being sent to Iraq to terrorize foreign civilians and fatten the bank accounts of administration officials and their cronies.

You want to get your panties in a twist about illegal border crossings? Be pissed about our illegal crossing of the Iraqi border. That resulted in almost 4,000 American casualties.

I don't know that hordes of illegal Mexican leaf blowers and lettuce pickers have resulted in any American casualties.

Get your priorities straight.

meesha.v said...

My priorities are straight. When I was drafted into Soviet Army in 1988 they were still sending people to Afghanistan. I didn't get to go but I knew all about it. I was against the war in Iraq before they even started talking about it. I guess nobody asked me or I would've told them you cant win it. You didn't have to be a great wizard to know that. No matter who gets elected next time they won't be able to end it any time soon.
As far as Mexicans go I don't care if they come here to fix your roof,although I think their roofing skills are over-rated. I don't understand why they should get all the benefits. As far as I am concerned they should be allowed to come here but they should 1.Pay taxes 2. Have no access to any government benefits. 3. Require them to buy visitor medical insurance just like you would have to if you go to foreign country. 4.Immediate deportation after any violation of US law bigger than traffic ticket. Didn't US win Mexican Territories in the war? That's not "stealing" It's the Indians who really got screwed. Maybe where you mow your lawn some Indian used to roam.

Xavier Onassis said...

meesha - "...I don't care if they come here to fix your roof,although I think their roofing skills are over-rated..."

ROFLMAO! I don't think it is their 'skills' that are so valuable. It is the fact that they are willing and able to do it in August without suing their employer that is so valuable.

"As far as I am concerned they should be allowed to come here but they should 1.Pay taxes 2. Have no access to any government benefits. 3. Require them to buy visitor medical insurance just like you would have to if you go to foreign country. 4.Immediate deportation after any violation of US law bigger than traffic ticket."

1. They DO pay taxes...every time they buy something.
2. Who will determine and how will they determine whether or not they are here legally? Racial profiling? Delayed benefits for legal residents while we jump through hoops to prove that they are here legally just because they have dark skin or hispanic-sounding names?
3. Again, how do you determine who the "visitors" are? You are from Russia. Do you have an accent? Should we make you wait longer and jump through additional hoops before providing you with emergency medical care because someone suspects that you might not have completed all of your paperwork before coming to the ER?
4. "Immediate deportation" to where? Because they speak Spanish, do we deport them to Mexico? What if they are from Guatamala, or Brazil, or Venezuela? How do we know?

"Didn't US win Mexican Territories in the war? That's not "stealing""

Really? REALLY? Perhaps you can explain to me how forcibly invading a country and capturing it militarily isn't "stealing".

Does that mean that Afghanistan and Iraq will become our 51st and 52nd states?

After all, we "won" them during a war. Didn't "steal" them.

meesha.v said...

I was going to quit but I have to call BS one last time. I have a legit Social Security #, certificate of citizenship,American passport.Before that I had a green card and another passport,before green card I had my Russian passport with American visa stamped in it.On any day I lived here I could identify myself as legit resident. People who say it can't be done just bullshitting you because average American doesn't deal with immigration and doesn't go in and out of the country that much and doesn't know any better. I've seen with my own eyes when a government clerk put my SSN in their computer and all of my info popped up and I mean everything about me. It can be done.
All of the world's borders were pretty much determined by wars more or less. In this case Mexican-American war. Losers just have to deal with it. For example Japanese are still bitching about some islands they lost to Russians in the war. Russian may not even need them but who cares-they won. Americans won TX and CA,winners set the rules. By the way that's the reason Mexicans speak Spanish to start with- they lost the war. BTW they speak Portuguese in Brazil. And I wouldn't worry about acquiring other states in the middle east, these wars will never be won.

Harry Nads said...

I do not agree with taking land by force, but I don't feel we should be retroactive and give our current land back. I also feel we should not ever take land by force again.

I don't agree with the war in Iraq. I am sick and tired of being the freakin' World Police Force (and I do mean FORCE.) I serve in the US military and 'toured' Saudi Arabia and Iraq. I really could care less if they are our allies because they live in a place that I really wouldn't want to even visit (again.) But it is good to have more allies than enemies, so...whatever. I don't have a current solution other than getting the hell out of Iraq and let them deal with what they have now. And I know we caused the problem with the current government over there, but we just need to cut our losses and go.

You may be correct about the medical issues- that the 'free' care was because the information given was bogus. But what stops someone else from doing the same thing? I bet that most Caucasians could not leave information at a hospital without a driver's license or valid SSN. Why do we allow someone else (because they may be of Latin American descent) to give information with no ID or valid SSN? Yes, I am passionate about the illegal immigrant issues. You say they pay taxes when they buy things. So do I and everyone else. But I also have to pay taxes on the money I use to buy the things I buy (double taxation IMO!) They get away with not having to pay income taxes and yet can still (I still don't know how) manage to receive government benefits including welfare. How the hell does this happen? Why should my income taxes pay to support people who don't pay taxes (even though they earn income here)?!

Oops.I apologize for going so far off topic. I will let this issue rest (after you blast my comments, of course) :). I know this is your blog, and I didn't mean to hijack it. Sorry, XO.

Harry Nads said...

***ammend***
In above post... it should say that I served in the US military... not that I serve (as in currently.

Capt. Geoffrey Spaulding said...

Ladies & Germs-

This is a great discussion XO.


Peace and show love for each other-
Groucho

(Doing something- smoking a cigar with a smile on my face- NO Clinton)

travelingal said...

XO, if your job was threatened by an illegal alien, or your wages were depressed by illegal aliens who would do your job for less or employers hired them off the books and didn't pay taxe, how would you feel?

If your rent increased by 10 percent to pay additional property taxes needed to school illegal aliens, how would you feel?

If the hospital ER dogged you for payment and filed a lawsuit to recover from you but the illegal alien who had no permanent assets just skipped town and the hospital quit trying to recover costs and instead billed you more to make up the difference, how would you feel?

Xavier Onassis said...

harry - "I will let this issue rest (after you blast my comments, of course) :). I know this is your blog, and I didn't mean to hijack it. Sorry, XO."

I ain't gonna blast ya! And you didn't hijack anything...you made passionate comments about a subject that is important to you. That is always welcome here, as are you.

You too, Meesha!

Thanks Cap'n!

travel - "...if your job was threatened by an illegal alien, or your wages were depressed by illegal aliens who would do your job for less or employers hired them off the books and didn't pay taxe, how would you feel?"

That's kinda my whole point. I don't know of a single American who's job is threatened by illegal immigrants. I don't know any Anerican who is willing to nail shingles on a roof in August or break their backs picking grapes, or landscape somebodies lawn.

What I see are Americans who COULD and SHOULD be doing that standing at intersections looking sad and holding signs that say "Homeless. Will work for food." How about working for MONEY like everyone else? I'm tempted to start carrying a stack of McDonald's job applications in my car and giving them to the lazy beggars.

"If your rent increased by 10 percent to pay additional property taxes needed to school illegal aliens, how would you feel?"

Can you show me evidence of any case where this has actually happened? Because I don't believe it. Prove it.

"If the hospital ER dogged you for payment and filed a lawsuit to recover from you but the illegal alien who had no permanent assets just skipped town and the hospital quit trying to recover costs and instead billed you more to make up the difference, how would you feel?"

Replace "illegal alien" with "poor white trailer trash" or "recently downsized and divorced husband and father" or "single white mother" or "recent LEGAL immigrant" or anyone else on the low side of the economy with no health insurance.

There's no difference.

The "illegal aliens" make up an incredibly small percentage of the folks who use (and subsequently stiff) the hospital ERs as their primary health care provider.

I was once saw an ambulance respond to a downed indigent on the street. After the EMTs got him conscious, he was refusing a ride to the hospital saying he couldn't afford it. Didn't have any insurance.

The EMT flat out told the guy, "You need to be examined by a doctor. You don't have to pay the bill. You can always stiff them. But it is important that you get checked out."

Our system is FUCKED UP. It has nothing to do with "illegal aliens". It was fucked up long before they got here and they are a miniscule drop in the bucket...not the tsunami that the paranoid Right would have you believe.

I've missed ya travel! Thanks for stopping by!

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