The Death Panel Speaks; Fear and Loathing on First Street

Imagine if you will a world without doctors. A world where if you are sick and dying your fate is decided by judges instead of doctors and nurses. As you lay dying on the operating table you are surrounded by apparent experts on the law and its applications. It’s reminiscent of a black mass. They are all dressed in robes. You think it’s your appendix as the pain is in your side however more than half of these judges are prepared to give you brain surgery. As you lay there writhing in pain they argue as to which among them should wield the knife and cut something.

The room is dark and foreboding. Instead of antiseptic aromas all you perceive is the smell of musty tomes of musty words. Instead of a scalpel a dark figure hovers over your helpless body with what appears to be a letter opener. Another holds a gavel. The gavel rises and crashes into your temple. Unfortunately you are still half conscious as their macabre ritual proceeds. Finally, since you clutch at your side, the judges, after hours of infighting, decide to stab you in the side. Some of them turn to avert their eyes. Some of them stare with indifference as the crude instrument impales you below the rib. Immediately a mixture of blood and water flow out.

Life ebbs out of you slowly as the black figures circle you. Behind them you can see rows and rows of books that are filled with nothing that can help save your life. Did any of them consult a doctor before deciding to impale you with such a crude instrument? No that would have been too kind and merciful. Instead they proceeded to ignore any healing procedure whatsoever. They acted solely upon their apparent expertise at something, something which had no purpose other than to officiate argument. Sadly you die. One of many faced by the death panel. Profits remain sacred. Human life is but a trifle. The law must be upheld at any cost!

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” — Hunter S. Thompson

“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.” — Hunter S. Thompson

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Fast and Furiously Ignoring the Obvious

Anyone watching the news this past week would have found the congressional grilling of the current Attorney General Eric Holder at center stage. Somehow with the congressional approval rating at an unprecedented low these republican clowns can still find time to divert the countries attention from the fact that they have stonewalled every Obama initiative at every turn. So instead our tax money is now paying to watch these boobs grill the attorney general about a program that had little effect on the country other than to possibly help out the NRA by bringing more guns into public circulation.

Where is Alberto Gonzales at a time like this? We need a champion of Attorney General Justice from the former glory days of the Bush administration. You know, the guy who willfully fired U.S. Attorneys that Bush had hired in the middle of their terms because they refused to enforce Republican principles and or initiatives. Thankfully Fox News has hired this legal wiz kid as a talking head. Now if he would only get on his soap box and let us know the proper punishment for Eric Holder instead of harping on the pending Supreme Court decision regarding the Obama Health Care initiative. Or having the asinine audacity to proclaim that Obama is violating his oath of office with his new immigration announcement.

Once again lawyers are proving why they make such lousy leaders. Most of them would rather hear themselves talk than make any progress towards a better future for everyone. Their biggest thrills come from out bullying each other. What’s that you say? Obama is a lawyer? Indeed he is and a graduate of Harvard Law School at that. He’s needed now as he is up against a prime example of a bully from the business world. Willard Mitt Romney of Bain Capital. Check out the picture of him and his cronies waving cash around back in the eighties. What a country!

What a gleeful bunch of guys! How cheery to think of them as rich elitists running things! What rascally frat gags can we expect if Romney gets elected?

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

“I can make more generals but horses cost money!” — Abraham Lincoln

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Soft Drink Danger and Other Reasons to Leave Home and Vote

This past week saw a wild rumpus ensue when the sometimes controversial Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg decided to ban the sale of sodas over 16 ounces that contain 50 or more calories. Considering all the very real dangers that face us every day it is interesting to zero in on something as relatively harmless as what some consider to be a rather delightful beverage. While it is a fact that government needs to establish certain regulations to protect the populace isn’t this notion of controlling what we choose to drink going a bit far? Next will we be required to consume vegetable juice every day to ensure we get the proper dose of fiber and nutrients? Why not? If the government can forbid us drinking sweetened soda why shouldn’t it require us to drink vegetable juice?

Here’s an idea for all health conscious mayors across the country. Put a ban in place on the use of elevators in all buildings except in emergencies. This would require everyone to use the stairs. What better way to get a work out particularly if one works on the 50th floor? Maybe all the public water fountains should be boosted with vitamin c. That way we could prevent the rampant scurvy that is occurring in our cities. Have the TSA enforce a rule that anyone who wanted to ride the subway for twenty blocks or less would be turned down and forced to walk instead. Never mind inclimate weather! The harsh conditions might burn even more calories. For that matter steakhouses should be forced to serve beef in 6 ounce portions or less. Otherwise a heavy fine should be levied against them to fund cardiologists nationwide!

Dear reader it is easy to see how easy it is for government to overstep its’ bounds and dictate our lives. The Declaration of Independence states:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Has the mayor of NYC read these very words? How can it be dictated to us what our personal definition of happiness is? Perhaps ones happiness is guzzling a big gulp on a hot day and belching at a passing police officer. It is a sad day when our country begins to dictate our habits. The term for that is dictatorship as opposed to democracy. Government need not enforce common sense. Let us concentrate our efforts on more vital matters. Perhaps the proliferation of firearms and the clear and present danger the possession and use of such weapons causes. After all, people don’t consume a soda and drop dead like they do when they’re consumed by a bullet.

 “Speaking for the great white father in Washington and all the American people, let me say we respect you savages for your native ability to instantly adapt and survive in whatever Godforsaken wilderness we move you to. Out there. Sign here.” — Firesign Theater from: Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Waiting On The Trickle Down

Clem stared at the copper tube winding down from the top of the still. The tip rested on  a porcelain jug that sat on an upturned crate. He was quietly mumbling to himself as he had done every night for the last seven years. “Dang God of the still have mercy, lemme see a trickle down of your blessed juice.” The stool he sat on creaked as his knees knocked together. A fat spider scrambled underneath the copper pot where the fire should have been. The kerosene lamp sputtered. Clem got up and turned the wick up a bit. “Damn” he muttered “seven years and not a drop”.

Just then he heard a rustle in the dirt behind him. He turned around and with a jaundiced eye saw his neighbor Billie standing in the door of the ramshackle shed. “Clem you have plum lost your foolish mind,” proclaimed Billie. “For seven damn years you’ve been huddled over this stinkin’ still every night waiting for a trickle from that cold pot. I told you once I told you a thousand times welladay you got to light a fire for that damn thing to work.” Clem stood up and spat out a chunk of tobacco he’d been roiling in his mouth. “Shaddup Billie. Just shaddup. You know this here is a magic still. I got it from the old still god Ronnie Reagan. He said there is no way it wont work afore he dropped dead.” Billie shook his head. He took off his hat and held it like a preacher. “Clem old pal, every day you work for that mean old straw boss Willard. You give him and his people all your best corn. You shovel out his stables. You done break your back every day working at Rove Farm. Not once have they ever done a thing for you. A man like you oughtta wake up and smell the coffee!”

“Aw hell” Clem grumbled. Billie turned and ceremoniously replaced his hat on his head and walked away into the night. “Plum foolish old coot, be dead afore he sees a trickle.” As Billie got further away his words echoed in Clem’s head. Clem thought to himself what he had been told. If he did what the straw boss Willard told him to do everyday. If he kept the Rove farm clean and free of undesirables. If he gave all his best corn up to them. The magic Reagan still was supposed to trickle down. He imagined in his head hundreds of full jugs of the sweet elixer. He remembered that Reagan once told him that: “Facts are stupid things.” In his mind he agreed. He was glad Billie had gone. He sat back down on the stool, his knees knocked together. He grabbed another wad of tobacco and took up his mumbling. “Dang God of the still have mercy, lemme see a trickle down of your blessed juice.”

“Facts are stupid things.” — Ronald Reagan

“Money doesn’t talk it swears.” — Bob Dylan from the song: It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween