Archive for October 2009

Public Option – Red Hering

By Michael Haughey, October 26, 2009

Beware the Public Option – it is a Red Hering.  The purpose is to convince us that we are getting meaningful reform.  It is a Red Hering that will distract us from real reform.  Remember – Insurance is the problem, therefore a “Public Option” for insurance leaves unresolved the primary problem.  It won’t seriously reduce cost or provide health care for all.  In short, it will give us a program that will disappoint anyone with expectations of “change we can believe in”.  The insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies will then proclaim – with their million-dollar-a-day advertising campaigns – that the “public option” is a failure and convince the weak-kneed politicians to go back to the old system – obscene profit for all insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

 

In a single-payer system there is still the option to buy additional non-profit health insurance.  That is the case in all countries with a single payer or universal health care system.  If you are uncomfortable with the single-payer system, you can thus add some insurance coverage. 

 

In order to significantly reduce costs (by 30% and more) and provide significant improvement in health care delivery, two things are paramount.  First, the cost of insurance bureaucracy and excessive profits must be eliminated from basic health care.  That is the cost part.  Second, health care decisions must be taken out of the hands of bureaucrats and accountants and over-paid executives and put back into the hands of health care professionals.  The public options do neither.  They promise cost reduction by “healthy competition”, while requiring everyone to buy health insurance – thus handing over 40 million new customers to the health insurance industry.  That is a Red Hering – surely written by the health insurance lobbyists.  They promise no “prior condition exclusions”, yet do nothing to limit how much insurance companies can charge in premiums for persons with “prior conditions”.  Again – a Red Hering surely written by the health insurance lobbyists.

 

The biggest Red Hering is the fake debate over cost containment – the claim that they need to meet the President’s maximum cost of $900 billion.  They prey on the public fear of taxes by focusing on avoiding tax increases to “pay” for the “public option”.  They thereby avoid the discussion of the real solution – a single payer system that eliminates insurance payments and replaces them with taxpayer funded payments that leave all the insurance bureaucracy and excessive executive payments eliminated – for a likely savings of over 30%.  Anyone who passed high school math should be able to figure out that if you subtract your and your employers health insurance payments and then add in taxes that are 30% less – the result is a 30% savings.  How stupid do they think we are?

 

Finally – don’t believe the lies about single-payer not being politically realistic.  That is politician-speak for what they really fear – they are afraid of losing their substantial health industry lobbyist campaign donations.  The more they say it is “politically unrealistic”, the more we know they are afraid because it really is possible.

 

What to do?  A few things come to mind, and others have many more ideas.  First – insist on a public debate in Congress of Single Payer.  Make them discuss it in full view of the American public.  Then make them vote and go on record for or against Single Payer.  Any who vote against it – vote them out next election.  Similarly, lets force a debate on finally getting money out of politics and don’t let up until it happens.  The government belongs to the people, and the people should pay for it – not the lobbyists.  All funding of government, especially elections, by we the people.  All of it – and all of it completely transparent (in the open).  How to get there?  One way to start is to vote for candidates not yet bought out by the lobbyists.  Right now they are mostly in 3rd parties.  You know – the ones you’ve never heard of because they have no money.  But there are a few in the major political parties who have kept their ethics at a high level and worked for their true constituents (instead of the lobbyists interests).  Dennis Kucinich and Bernie sanders come to mind, and I’m sure there are a few others.

 

Again – beware of Red Herrings and gimmicks.  Term limits are interestingly most supported by the party not in the majority, and then lengthening (extension) of term limits supported by the same folks when they do have a majority.  If it sounds too easy – too good to be true – it probably is.  There are no simple solutions like term limits.  We must learn about our candidates – do the hard work, make them answer questions and call them on it when they weasel. 

 

Finally, make our voices heard.  Phone calls to congress-persons, letters, e-mails, letters to the editor, start your own web site (like this one), demonstrations – do all you can in your own way.

 

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Copyright 2009 Silvertip Musings

Open Letter to the Denver Post regarding Vincent Carroll’s article, “Public TV and the Truthers”

To Mr. Dan Haley

October 8, 2009

Denver Post Editorial Page Editor

 

Since we have not heard back from you after sending this letter, and after several phone calls to which you have not responded, we have chosen to publish our letter as an open letter.

 

You are the person who chooses which editorials are printed in the Denver Post, thus we write with the following observation, complaint, and request for a face-to-face discussion:

 

With Vincent Carroll’s article, “Public TV and the Truthers”, this is the third time within a few weeks of which we are aware that the Denver Post has treated the thousands of citizens of this country (and around the world) who work for a new and real investigation into 9/11 with contempt and ridicule.

 

Besides Mr. Carroll’s article, there was Joanne Ostrow’s article, “KBDI pushes limits on controversial pledge tie-ins”,  and even Mike Littwin gave a hostile jab saying the “truthers”  are more weird than the “birthers”.

 

As shown below, the articles fail to meet the Posts’s own published ethical standards for journalism such as the requirements of intellectual honesty, to present all sides, to be fair and even-handed, and to avoid loaded phrasing.  None of the authors has attempted to present any facts or a reasoned analysis for their dismissal of these citizens.  They instead have all stooped to ad hominem attacks, displaying a striking and perplexing lack of curiosity as to why a new investigation is supported by 45% of American citizens (2006 Zogby poll).  Thus, the overall tone of each piece is that of propaganda and not news or journalism.

 

Besides ignoring the evidence and facts which sustain this growing worldwide movement (see postscript below for a number of examples), you are also failing to inform your readers about the four mothers from New Jersey who were widowed on September 11th (aka “the Jersey girls”) who went to Washington and waged a battle with the Bush administration to bring about the original 9/11 Commission.  Those widows, who merely sought accountability and answers, ultimately concluded that the Commission served to cover up the issues rather than address them.  They are now supporting the voter petition that has been signed by 80,000 New York City residents to put the issue on the ballot this November (see nyccan.org ) and create a new 9/11 investigation in New York.  You are completely missing this human interest story.

 

In reviewing the ethics guidelines of the Denver Post, we were surprised to find these sentences (emphasis added):

As journalists, we seek the truth and strive to present a responsible and fair glimpse of the world.  Our power must be used responsibly. The newspaper is our powerful vehicle, and we endeavor to face the public with respect and candor.

Our power must be used responsibly. Our notebooks and cameras are tickets into people’s lives, sacred worlds and complex institutions.

Our job is to intensely scrutinize the activities of others as watchdogs that challenge authority and give voice to the voiceless. Our own actions should withstand equally intense scrutiny. We should be transparent.

Transparency is won through accuracy, compassion, intellectual honesty and an introspective mission to convey complete, contextual views of our world.

Our goal is to begin and end each day with a primary obligation to the public’s right to know.

With every ethical scar, we threaten a delicate relationship with readers. Ethical breaches violate hard-earned trust and shatter our credibility.

The constant tension of demanding a better society, while still living in it, is an obligation of a passionate and compassionate journalist.

Ethics is the constant process of examining and drawing these lines. It is a communal effort, and we should hold each other accountable in the protection of our values.

Nailing our stories can be as simple as phoning three people – or as grueling as spending months chiseling away the nonessential, the rumor, the red herrings.

Our aim is to deliver the facts with precision and context.

We believe in getting not only both sides, but “all” sides.

A strong sense of fair play must imbue our writing, accurately reflecting motives of sources. The tone and language of stories must be even-handed and avoid loaded phrasing.

Mr. Haley, how we agree with these ethical standards!  But we submit that each point in this list has been ignored by these authors and thus by the Denver Post, thereby violating its ethical standards. The writers have been anything but the “watchdogs that challenge authority”.  The 45% of Americans who believe we should have a new and real investigation, and the citizens who have devoted themselves to educating the public about the extensive evidence showing that we have not been told the truth about what happened on 9/11 have been rendered “voiceless” in the Denver Post.  Finally, a “strong sense of fair play” has not imbued the writing of these authors, and most obviously, “all sides” are not being heard in this important debate.

With frustration, yet in the spirit of respectfully holding “each other accountable”, we suggest that we have a face-to-face meeting to determine how we can work together to help the Denver Post regain its moral high ground expressed so eloquently in the ethical guidelines on your website.  We suggest that we include as many of the above-mentioned columnists as possible, and we would like to include from our group a journalism major, an engineer, and an attorney who are very interested in meeting with you to discuss this situation.

To consider the possibility that we have not been told the truth about 9/11 takes courage, as it involves a paradigm shift that threatens our worldview. Yet the evidence and history will bear out that the paradigm shift is necessary to conform to present reality.  We invite you to do what Martin Luther King advised:  “do not what is politic or expedient, but do what is right”.

We are an educational organization, and our intent is not a confrontation, but a sincere mutual outreach to get to know each other and discuss this civilly.

Yours truly,

Colorado 9/11 Visibility

Michael Anderson

Tim Boyle, Software Support Manager

Jon Fox, Major, USMC (retired), Captain Continental Airlines (retired)

Michael D. Haughey, P.E.

Marti Hopper, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

Dorothy Lorig, MA, National Certified Counselor

Gregg Roberts, Co-author, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”, Associate Editor, AE911Truth.org, 911Research.com

Simone Schellen, M.Ed.

Frances Shure,  Licensed Professional Counselor

Earl Staelin, Attorney

Michael Wolsey, visibility911.com

P.S:  Here are a few examples of the evidence and facts which fully justify the search for what happened on 9/11 and the movement for a real investigation and accountability:

1) Three WTC buildings collapsed in a manner that was unprecedented in the history of steel-frame buildings (except by controlled demolition).  The 47-story WTC 7 collapsed that day, even though it was not hit by a plane, and had a few relatively small, isolated fires. The government’s top investigative engineers (NIST) have agreed that the collapse exhibited precisely freefall acceleration for more than 100 feet.  Freefall means nothing is supporting the structure that is falling.

Even though NIST concluded that the twin WTC towers fell in 11 and 9 seconds, essentially free fall speed, a more careful researcher, David Chandler, has measured the acceleration of the North Tower for several seconds of its “collapse” and found it to be approximately 2/3 of freefall. But it is the constancy and symmetry of this downward acceleration that causes more than 900 architects and engineers  to call for a new and full investigation of 9/11 and the building collapses.

They agree that the only reasonable interpretation of these facts is that the underlying structure of all three buildings was removed by explosives. There is no known alternative explanation, and NIST does not offer one. They simply admitted these facts and then refused to investigate the possibility that controlled demolition was used to bring down the WTC buildings.  The 9/11 Commission never mentioned WTC 7.

2) No tall steel building has ever collapsed due to fire, even much worse and longer fires than those on 9/11.  There are many examples of this.

3) Nanothermite, a powerful military explosive, was found in abundance in all four independently collected samples of WTC dust.

4) General Ahmad, head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, with close ties to the CIA, had $100,000 wired to Mohammed Atta a week before 9/11, and then met with high-ranking Bush administration officials in Washington in the week leading up to 9/11.  The 9/11 Commission refused to investigate these facts and failed to report them in its official report.

5) Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation on 9/11, testified to facts suggesting that Vice President Cheney ordered an air defense stand-down on 9/11. Other witnesses corroborate that a stand-down order came from the highest levels of the White House.

6) The government has refused to release any of the 85 videos that would show exactly what hit the Pentagon, and seized all private such videos within minutes after 9/11.

7)  Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI, when asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, said: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”.

8.) The failure of the 9/11 Commission:

The chairs of the Commission have stated “We were set up to fail”.

Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, wrote the Bush administration’s preemptive war doctrine, a fact he failed to disclose to the Commission before his selection, and according to Phillip Shenon of the New YorkTimes, he wrote an outline of the Commission’s proposed findings before the investigation had begun.

60% of the 9/11 commissioners have publicly stated that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11 and that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.

In August 2006, in the Washington Post, John Farmer, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, stated: “I was shocked how different the truth was from the way it was described…”  The (NORAD Air Defense) tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…”.

Max Cleland,former Senator from Georgia, resigned from the 9/11 Commission, stating: “It is a national scandal. This investigation is now compromised. One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9/11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up.”

Several top commissioners suspected such serious deception that they considered referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.

Over 25% of the footnotes in the 9/11 Commission Report refer to information obtained through torture making it highly unreliable and inadmissible in a court of law.