Posted by: Helen Philpot | November 19, 2008

Money, Guns and Sex

Margaret read a comment about something happening in Nebraska with parents dropping off their kids at hospitals based on some new safe haven law.  We were going to write something about it, but all I could come up with is how do I get Harold to Nebraska.  Margaret, however, had a great idea.  Can we extend that law to include dropping off politicians?  In truth we hear that the law will be changed to specify infants only.  It’s sad really because we are talking about children, but we really don’t know enough about the subject to have an educated opinion… not that we ever really let that stop us.  Instead we decided to tackle something easier – universal healthcare.

helen-mug1 FROM HELEN:
Has it occurred to anyone else that the Republican party has become the party of money, guns and sex? It seems to be the only things they think about.  Who is having sex with who?  How much are my taxes?  Keep your hands off my guns.  I really think they would explode if a gay couple used their tax refund to purchase an AKA assault rifle.  They  wouldn’t know whether to hate the sinner or compliment the sin.  All the problems we have in the world and this is what we are wasting our time worrying about.  Squeaky wheel folks… squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Imagine what the Religious Right Wing of the Republican party could have done if they had used their supposed Christian morality to squeak about helping the poor.  They could have swept the election if someone had said  something like: As Christians we think Christ would want us to tend to the suffering of the poor so universal health care is important to us.  And money is no object.  We will gladly share some of our riches to help the least among us. 

My God but what a unified electorate that would have been.

But no.  Instead they hitched their star to Joe the Plumber who was worried not about sharing the money he had, but rather about sharing the money that he might one day have.  I mean those Republicans are so greedy they are hoarding the wealth they haven’t even amassed yet.  Twins I tell you.  There is no telling them apart from Jesus.  It’s like looking in a mirror.  Of course the mirror is at a carnival fun house but mirror none the less.

It is just so interesting to me that the voters who most value religious freedom seem to be the most willing to embrace religious values, while the voters who claim to be the most religious are clearly the least. Don’t get me wrong.  There are lots well-intentioned, good hearted Christians out there.  We just don’t seem to be squeaking loud enough.  We’ve known for years that we have a health care problem.  Bill used Hilary Clinton to try and address it back in 1992.  Do you realize that was 16 years ago?  Republicans squeaked that it was Government-run healthcare and it would bankrupt our county.  So millions of families continued to live without adequate healthcare while the government swept the whole mess under the rug.  Suddenly banks and auto industries are having trouble and money seems to be growing on trees.  Says a great deal about our priorities. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Waiting until a child is so sick that the emergency room is the only option or worse yet, using the emergency room because you can’t get in to see a doctor is a recipe for disaster.  I know many of you will say it is not that easy.  It is more complicated than that.  Well crap on that.  I say it is that easy.  Years ago we decided to go to the moon.  We made it a priority and to the moon we went.  Around that same time I remember my children watching a space show on TV.. Star Wars or Star Trek or something like that.  I remember the characters held little boxes in their hand and talked to one another from wherever they happened to be.  Recently I have noticed a lot of people walking around with little boxes in their hand talking to everyone everywhere. My son tells me those little boxes are called I Phones. My point is that if we dream it we can do it.  If we make it a priority smart people can work out all the problems and come up with a solution.  So why wouldn’t we want to make sure that no one in this great country of ours ever has to choose between food on the table or medicine for a child?

Priorities people.  Priorities.

margaret-mug1 FROM MARGARET:
Helen, dear, I often wonder if you yell “Damn Republicans!” in your sleep at night. Remind me to ask your Harold next time I see him. I do hope, for the sake of your blood pressure, that the next few years of our new administration will bring much joy and peace to your many political battles. Battles that have been well fought on your part, I might add.

I’m so glad that you have decided to set your sights on the healthcare issue. It is important. It is. But could somebody please explain to me why the pharmaceutical companies feel it to be so necessary to advertise on television as much as they do? I just believe there are certain things that should be kept private between you and your doctor. And Lord knows I have lost count of the number of times my Howard has sat there and watched a drug commercial then announced to the world that he has whatever ailment that was just described. This, of course, leads to a phone call to schedule yet another appointment with the doctor. This is my world, dear, welcome to it.

One more thing then I’m done. I enjoy watching golf on television. Call me silly, but I do. What I don’t enjoy are the eight or nine Viagra commercials I have to endure to watch my golf. Honestly, if our society focused on other issues as much as they do on erectile dysfunction we could actually accomplish something. Staying focused. I think that is the answer. Surely there is a pill for that.

I know, Helen, I know. I’ve gone “off message” as they say. Does that make me a maverick, dear? That’s it. I’m done.

Thanks again everyone.  Your dropping by makes our day.  I mean it.  Really.

About these ads

Responses

  1. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/12/19/2008-12-19_bristol_palins_babygrandmother_sherry_jo.html

    oh hunnie, don’t wet your polyesters… this one is a pisser!

  2. As an outsider looking in (I’m British), it is astounding how the US has failed to provide universal healthcare for its citizens, and how drug companies can advertise everything and anything on regualr TV.

    In the UK, we have the National Health system, which despite frequent moaning, does a marvellous job most of the time.

    The only drugs you’ll see advertised on TV are available on the shelves, you certainly don’t badger your doctor to put you on some wonderful new prescription drug that will fix what you’ve done to your body through neglect or accident.

    In many ways the US looks like a country that hasn’t progressed socially since the end of WW2. I know socialism is a dirty word for many Americans, I just don’t understand why.

  3. Margaret it is the age of the educated consumer, by advertising to everyone they create a market that already is aking for the product before they even get the symtoms! Plus most of those products are aimed at boomers who grew up thinking life is better thru the use of pharamaceuticals!! We just never thought the day would come when we would need bladder control products…lucky us!
    grantman

  4. I’m a Canadian and I just discovered your blog through a link in the Tyee this am. I’m really happy that you both are choosing to use your voice and skills to get some of your rage out, instead of keeping it inside, raising your blood pressure and feeling ineffectual!

    I am a medical student and I recently went to a conference in St. Louis where the guest speaker was jesuit theologian Daniel C. Maguire (author of “Sacred Rights: the case for contraaception and abortion in world religions”). He spoke at length about the great things that could be done in the world if only the powers-that-be (whether government, the church, whomever) could just get their minds off all these ‘pelvic issues’. Your comment, Helen, reminded me of this. I have to hope that we can move the power in the world into focussing on what is truly important- feeding the hungry and healing the sick.

    Thanks for your blog and keep up the great commentary!

  5. I missed reading you for a couple of weeks! Always a pleasure coming back and finding such interesting and witty commentaries!
    Keep up the good work!

  6. Christ did indeed admonish us to give alms to the poor, feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, and so on. I don’t recall Him saying that government should force us to do these things, which is what this column really is about.

  7. I have no problem with gay couples purchasing semi-automatic firearms. They have the same right to self-defense that the rest of us do. And if they use their tax refunds to do it, so much the better. That money was theirs in the first place. :-D

  8. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog….I am a new fan..thanks helen and magaret

  9. [...] and Helen: Money Guns and Sex. These two old birds are hysterical, not to mention they know a thing or two about a thing or two [...]

  10. Margaret and Helen, you are wise beyond your years. Maybe if they stopped advertising drugs so much, the price cold come down and people could actually afford to buy them.
    As for health care, yes, they used scare tactics in 1992. Now we’re in a big mess and the auto industry that needs a bailout is due in large part because they have to pay so much in health care for current and retired workers that they can’t stay competitive. Legislation on affordable health care is not an option anymore!

  11. Just the other day I was talking to my husband about the Christian far right’s hypocrisy. I consider myself a Christian and to me that means loving, (or at least respecting), my fellow humans, showing compassion and trying to help the poor, and respecting and protecting the Earth that God gave us, including it’s natural resources and other living creatures.

    But what do Republicans want? “Drill Baby Drill!!” Ruin the oceans and wildlife areas with oil rigs and unsightly pipelines! Kill helpless animals from low flying aircraft to help the population of another animal grow, so that rednecks in bright orange vests can kill them! Drive huge vehicles that emit disgusting gases and turn our air brown!

    Caring about others and about our enviroment is for p*ssies, according to the Republitards. If that’s the case then I’m proud to be a p*ssy who cares about the world we are leaving the next generation… and I don’t even have or want kids!

  12. I remember when going to the doctor meant just calling him up and going. I remember when we thought HMO’s were the cat’s meow. And then we discovered that insurance companies could refuse to cover my dad because he had a pre-existing heart condition, or make his deductibles outrageously high. Now, healthcare has gotten so expensive, a friend of mine who is self-employed must pay $900 per month for healthcare for his family!

  13. Regarding those TV ads for medication for diseases or syndromes—I don’t want to “ask my doctor or health care professional”. I want them to be smarter than me. I assume they have a license and many years of training and experience. I want them to already know stuff without having to wait for me to ask it.
    I am not in the medical field but I have a license, college training and 23 years of experience, I expect my clients to need my expertise. I’m not waiting for them to ask me something. If I know something pertinent I have a legal and moral responsibility to offer that knowledge.

  14. Obama should be reading your blog Ladies…

  15. Obama should be reading your blog Ladies…

  16. Thanks so much for tackling health care!!!! I love you guys! It’s not just European countries that have universal health care, it’s also Taiwan and Japan, to name a couple.

    The USA spends 16 percent of its GDP on health care. In Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, France, England, etc., they pay 6 percent or less for very good outcomes and no one EVER going bankrupt due to medical bills.

    We CANNOT be competitive internationally in business when we pay such a huge price for medical care.

    If we were paying that much AND we had great outcomes, we might be able to tolerate it — but we don’t have great outcomes: 47 million people have NO health insurance, our infant mortality rate is one of the lowest in the modern world.

    We can do better than that.

    Yes we can.

  17. Insurance: A fellow I know, was hit with a bat multiple times in the face as he left a restaurant. He was taken to the hospital and put in ICU. The did an operation to rebuild his face. He now has screws and metals in his face. HIS INSURANCE COMPANY WILL ONLY PAY FOR 2 DAYS HOSPITAL STAY AFTER THE OPERATION!

    It sure would be nice if insurance companies had compassion for the insured. They are in it to make a profit only. I just needed to vent after hearing this. By the way, it is true.

  18. Re the Riani (11/21 3:24 am post) about generic meds:

    Generics are not manufactured and made available until the patent on the “name brand” has expired. Used to be 20 years (with first few years not generating money due to clinical trials).

    Anyone hear much about the brand Prozac anymore? No? Probably because Eli Lilly has come up with a *new* anti-depression drug since then (with a new patent life)… get the idea?

  19. I have not read your blog in a couple of days, was just swamped with work. Took off today and reading your blog was first thing on my agenda after a lazy morning in bed. You two are such gems! I really appreciated the time you take to ponder issues and give them to us in your essays in such easy and palatable manner.

    Yes, there is a lot of nonsense out there. It makes no sense not to fund prevention. If vaccines were used to eradicate most childhood illnesses, imagine what preventative care could do to prevent many other illnesses where lengthy hospital stays with all the costs they entail are required. Somehow I fail to understand why that message is not getting through to our representatives. Sometimes, although I do not think I am a conspiracy theorist, I feel that the phamaceutical lobby might be at play here. Why prevent if you can spend tons of money later on expensive drugs to treat full-blown illnesses? It would come to their detriment.

    If laughter is the best medecine, your blog provides plenty of it. You might just be adding many years to many people’s lives with this blog. Thanks!

  20. To piggy back on what was said about a fat tax I’ve always thought that if we have a “sin tax” on things like alcohol and cigarettes why not a fat tax on Twinkies, fast food etc? I don’t need these foods but when I choose to eat them I’d be willing to pay the extra. That tax can go to covering health care costs.

    I know that the question of poorer folks being fatter came up and was partially answered. Here is more:
    1. Have you shopped for healthy food lately? It’s expensive. But I can get a fast food burger for $1, and white bread, and other processed foods with lots of sugar and no complex carbs cheap and in quantity.
    2. I’m glad you can afford a gym membership. Others can not. Good apartment complexes have little gyms, housing projects do not. I went to the gym a lot when I was only working one job…now I work three to make ends meet. When will I go to the gym?
    3. McCain offered a tax credit for Health Care. I could be wrong but that would mean I wouldn’t see that money until April. I’m sick now. How will I afford my care with the promise of pay now, get reimbursed later if I can’t afford to pay now?
    4. Why does health care pay for a man to get an erection but not to regulate a woman’s cycle? Not every man on Viagra wants babies, not everyone on birth control is doing so to prevent pregnancy; some are trying to avoid bleeding all day every day for months at a time because their menstrual cycle doesn’t know when to quit. Try telling that to protesters around Planned Parenthood. So, his penis can get nice and big and he can have all the sex his heart desires, but a vagina isn’t worth as much as a penis…sweet.
    5. As to who “deserves” healthcare…oh my.
    “We are all endowed with certain inalienable rights. Among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Declaration of Independence
    “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and promote the blessings of liberty for us and our posterity” – Preamble to the US Constitution
    “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people…..
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status
    Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
    -Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    How dare we try and say who is deserving of rights. We judge and judge and judge. Lets hope no one ever turns that judgment on us one day when “we” become “them”

    Ok, off my soap box. Next?

  21. “I really think they would explode if a gay couple used their tax refund to purchase an AKA assault rifle. They wouldn’t know whether to hate the sinner or compliment the sin.”

    “Instead they hitched their star to Joe the Plumber who was worried not about sharing the money he had, but rather about sharing the money that he might one day have. I mean those Republicans are so greedy they are hoarding the wealth they haven’t even amassed yet. ”

    ROTFLMAO!!! You are killing me with these brilliant quotes!

  22. You know, ladies, I’ve often wondered how such a ‘Christian’ country, & such a ‘Evangelical Christian’ backed party can be so downright mean & selfish & still get such backing.

    Do too many Americans think only of themselves, or not think at all? Cos that doesn’t sound very Christian to me either.

    We, in the UK, had the Political will to build a National Health Service ‘free at the point of need’ back in the days when we had very little money & major infrastructure-rebuilding projects after six years of WWII.

    Even after twenty to thirty years of cutbacks due to less generous political philosophies we still have a Health Service which is the envy of the world.

    As you say – if you WANT to do it . . .

  23. Fully agree with what Margaret had to say about the medicine advertisements. it just encourages people to run to the doctor all the time, increasing the general level of hipochondria. In many countries, including South Africa, where I’m from, you are not allowed to advertise scheduled (prescription)medicine. Only over the counter medication like low level pain killers and cough syrup and things like that. Doctors have to recommend prescribed medication, AND they have to inform you about the availability of generic medicine, usually of a very high quality, and usually much cheaper. The pharmacist will usually also advise you about similar and generic medicine. Doctors are not allowed to push or prescribe brands, and have to use the generic names in the prescription.

  24. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    Priorities and staying focused!!! Now, there are words to live by.

    Helen, I think Obama’s choice of Tom Daschle, the former Senate Majority Leader from one of the Dakotas, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services is an outstanding one. I imagine he is already on it, digging up Hillary Clinton’s work on Universal Health Care from 16 years ago. Also he has an opportunity to confer with some other countries like Canada and England that have had systems up and running for long enough to get some of the kinks out. Lets hope as last we can get ours going in jig time!

    Veering off message like you, Margaret, I want to share some thoughts from my experience. I am old enough to remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when Pearl Harbor was attack. The war clouds had been hanging over our heads for some time as it raged on in Europe. My brother, R.G. and my cousin, Hootie were already in the armed services. I was sick with nephritis and my family was huddled around the radio listening to the news. We all knew that now we were in it too. I was 12 and started to cry. I said; “Oh, R.G. and Hootie will be killed!” They were.

    Fast forward to 9/11. One of our sons on the mainland called and woke us up at 3:30AM.
    We turned on the TV and with horror watched the smoke coming out of the Twin Towers, then their collapse. My thoughts, who ARE these people who would do such a hideously cruel thing and in heaven’s name, why? We watched the news and read the newspapers. The names ‘Fundamentalist Islamic Terrorists’ kept coming up. But who are they specifically?

    My mildly arthritic spine doesn’t do well sitting for long periods at a time. Standing is fine, lying down is better. In the evening, I like to stretch out in bed, prop myself up on pillows and read. The up side is, it is good for my back. A bonus is I don’t have to sit through endless interruptions from pharmaceutical company commercials with their litany of disclaimers for legal purposes to cover their asses in case the drugs don’t work or if the side effects are worse than the disease and “ask your doctor if such-and-so is right for you.”

    I read until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Or, sometimes, I get into something interesting and it is 1:00AM before I know it. You don’t have to still be in a classroom to learn something. I had to revise PLENTY of misconceptions I have believed most of my life. I checked them out from several different reliable sources. Such as, I always thought Charlemagne was French. Not so. He was born on the border between France and Germany and his native tongue was German.

    I started looking up ‘Islam’ and ’Terrorists’, on the inter net, the two sets of encyclopedias we have and current books from the library. Off and on over the past seven years I have plowed my way through the ten VOLUMES of my favorite historians, Will and Ariel Durant, page by page, word for word. I’m half way through the eleventh and final one, the ‘Age of Napoleon.’

    Wadda ya wanna know about Mohammed and Islam beyond jihad and the seventy-six virgins per man in paradise? Hey, I can quote selected verses from the English translation of the Koran and the Bible with the best of them if it suits my purpose! I have a couple of doozies especially about the attitude toward women, which of course is dear to my heart.

    The upshot is that the big three, not GM, Ford and Chrysler, but Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic religions, that is, believing in one god as opposed to lots of them. (That’s not counting Buddhism and Hinduism.) Same god, different languages. In French, He is called ‘Dieu; in Spanish, Dios; in Italian, Dio; German, Gott; in Arabic, Allah. All three believe in the Ten Commandments as handed down from God to Moses.

    The practice of the Islamic faith is summed up in four duties for all Muslims to follow: prayer, alms, fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. Belief in Mohammed as the Prophet makes up the “Five Pillars of Islam”. The adherents are required to acknowledge the precepts of Abraham, Moses and Jesus as prophets. However, where there are contradictions, Mohammed’s divine inspiration takes precedent over all others.

    Just as Judaism and Christianity have split into a myriad of sects over the centuries, so has Islam. The principal Islamic sects are Sunni and Shi’a with the one in Saudia Arabia being Wahibi.

    All three religions profess faith and hope but somehow they keep forgetting about charity.

    Aloha!

    Jean

    P.S. The Islamic Arabs invented algebra. That’s a strike against them right there!!!

  25. So Margaret’s comments on Viagra reminded me of a joke I had once heard:

    A son was visiting his father in a nursing home. It started to get late and the father said to the son, “You should probably get going, as it’s time for my hot chocolate and Viagra.”

    They exchanged their goodbyes and the son left his father’s room scratching his head. On the way out, he stopped at the nurses station and asked the nurse on duty why his father was receiving hot chocolate.

    The nurse responded, “The hot chocolate is to help your father sleep and the Viagra is so he doesn’t roll out of bed.”

  26. By: Fran on November 19, 2008
    at 8:14 pm
    Fran you hit a big part of it. Healthcare… The problem goes way deeper, I guess it does with most things, run deeper. And it goes to many other posts here…. on follow the money trail.

    SHIJIAZHUANG, China  If you pop a vitamin C tablet in your mouth, it’s a good bet it came from China. Indeed, many of the world’s vitamins are now made in China. In less than a decade, China has captured 90 percent of the U.S. market for vitamin C, driving almost everyone else out of business.

    Chinese pharmaceutical companies also have taken over much of the world market in the production of antibiotics, analgesics, enzymes and primary amino acids.
    more…

    http://www.excelwithus.com/china_corners_market.htm

    Thank you M and H for telling it like so many of us wish we could. You articulate the health care problem very well. Just a few years ago they said we could not afford 8 billion to assure every child was insured, and today the fat cats flew in on their private jets and asked for 25 Billion.

    Thank God for your blog and Jon Stewart. Like many here have said.. ya gotta keep laughing.. and that’s what you make us do.

    Thanks much… I am glad I stopped by, really I am :-)

  27. Yes! You are mavericks. In a good way. LOVE your blog.

  28. Kathy and Hal,

    I’m sure all the four and five-year-olds are responsible for not working hard enough to earn their medical care. So let’s just let them suffer, because that’s the “Christian” thing to do.

    The Lord may help those who help themselves, but He sure forgot to give either of you two a brain.

  29. This is just plain stupid. Some people don’t deserve healthcare because they don’t work and they don’t take care of themselves. The Lord helps those who help themselves. You ladies are just dumb bitches.

  30. As usual you are ‘spot on’ the issues…and linking Viagra to the “hardening” views of the right by some of the authors above is priceless! If I could have one wish right now, it would be that all suffering could be alleviated by a little care, concern, love and affordable (meaning EVERYONE can have access to it) health care. God willing, President-Elect Obama will make it a priority in his first year in office. God willing, we humans will start caring for one another the way Jesus stated so beautifully…”LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”…if we could do just that, so much of this country’s sickness could be healed.

    Keep up the shining work, Ladies!

  31. Abuck the real dollars savings from a $7500 tax credit to most families is about $2475. The typical insurance plan for a family of four is about $700-1,000 a month provided everyone is in tip top shape. If your employer was going to pay for your insurance, you would have been taxed on that under McCain’s plan. Do the math. Or should I say follow the money trail…

  32. Now you’ve done it! I can’t get that Viva Viagra tune out of my head…

    For the record, an 82 year old man in my hometown was busted last week selling the ‘little blue pill’-right outside the county courthouse-to a county commisioner.
    Sometimes, laughter is all we have…

  33. (the greatest health care costs are incurred during the last six months of life).

    Yeah, but how are we to know that *these* are the last 6 months?

  34. Margaret & Helen:

    My dears, I just love your new focus. Brilliant idea you two had! AND, I am very glad to see that Margaret is chiming in on all the issues you chose to discuss.

    Bull pucky we can’t afford universal health care! You are right Helen. We could easily finance it with what we are spending in Iraq, alone. Many civilized nations have universal health care, and it does not bankrupt them! In France, if I got hurt, it would even cover me, all except a $40 fee, my friend tells me. Maybe that’s why she moved there? Well, that and the wine, of course!

  35. all we need is for steve jobs to run the car companies. he’ll have an i-car out in a year. you are so right helen. of course we can do anything we set our minds to.

  36. Helen and Margaret,
    Thank you for writing your blog. I check in every day to see what you have to say. You are a high point in my day.
    All the best,
    Archie

  37. Also, too… The Viagra barrage reminds me that I don’t think we see “yeast infection” ads like we used to a few years ago. I think that was one of the popular drugs when they started allowing TV ads for them. Guess we cured that.

  38. Yes, I too have been wondering lately if I am going to have to endure Viagra (etc) commercials for the REST of my life. The thought almost put me to the brink of suicide, then I got distracted by my erection and forgot. ;-)

  39. Okay, archangel. I need some help here not to feed the idiots. Particularly the one the uses Fox noise as a source of fact.

    Didn’t you all love the CEOs’ non-response in the hearing about selling their jets and flying home coach? You know they are all going to get their bonuses this year, regardless of what happens to their companies and employees.

    Sickening. Maybe there’s a pill I can take for that?

    Cheers, All!

    http://skyewriter-novemberfifth.blogspot.com/

  40. So, do those viagra ads during golf mean that playing golf makes a guy impotent?

    And another thing. About the cialis ads. What is with those bath tubs anyway? Does anyone understand the symbolism implied in that image? This is a question that has been driving me sort of nuts.

  41. If anyone is interested in learning more about “how other countries” handle their citizens’ healthcare, Frontline (PBS) did a report back in April. Here is the link:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/video/flv/generic.html?s=frol02p101&continuous=1

    Segments cover Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland.

    (Keeping my own rants on M&H’s “Hot Topics” of the day to myself. This isn’t my blog and I won’t take up their space. Suffice to say, you ladies get my brain working overtime. Thanks for the post.)

  42. abuck:

    Please show me a health care plan that costs $80 per month.

  43. Amen, Helen!!!!!!! But don’t forget to add OIL and plain old GREED to Money, Sex, and Guns. Just weeks ago they wanted to hand over those billions with no strings attached – as if “they” have been so honest in the past. What are “they” thinking?!??!

    Count me in with the rest who decry the cost of medicine and the state of the healthcare system. My DH calls it the “Withholding Healthcare system” and we cannot work due to health issues but also cannot afford insurance. COBRA is an insulting joke, too. When my illness caused me to lose my last job because of absences, COBRA was offered to me at $1400 a month. Who can afford that? As a registered nurse for 30+ years, not me.

  44. This is to Lola:

    I am amazed that you are saying that parents should be allowed to “return” your children.

    I am sorry, but if you have decided that having children is your choice, good or bad, that was your choice (under Obama we still have that choice.) There should be no “return line” for children. There are so many people wanting to adopt babies and they are out there, no one should be “returning” their baby on a doorstep.

    My parents had to deal with a daughter with cronic psychiatric problems. I cannot imagine that the government would give them the right to “return” this daughter because she wasn’t perfect, or frankly too much to deal with. Keep in mind, my parents probably ended in divorce due to this major development in my family.

    I, as an adult, looked at the possibility of having a child with serious psychiatric problems and decided that it was too great a risk. I opted to not have children.

    Having kids is a risk that shouldn’t be given the opportunity for a “return.”

  45. I love you guys…. My grandma passed about a month after I was married, and I’d love to adopt you… both!!!

    My question is this….. why is it that we have all of these stupid commecials for medicine…. but then when someone needs the medicine, it costs an arm and a leg….. Literally, my mother – in – law is going through treatment for Lung Cancer. It is not operable because it is too close to her heart artery, so the doctor gave her a prescription for a magical cancer maintenance pill. she is to take one a day for as many days as she has left. It is to keep the tumor from growning, and maintain her present level.

    GREAT…. so they go to the store to get it filled and are told the pharmacy will call when it is ready. A day or two later they get a call to come pick up the medicine….. and they find out that the bill is $2100.00 for a month’s worth of pills…..
    That is after their Insurance paid $1000.00. Now, they are both retired, and on a fixed income, and don’t even have $2100 coming in,

    BUT because they own their own house, and did as every American is suppose to do…. SAVE, they could not get any assistance to pay this bill for the medicine.

    What is up with THAT? This Health Care system does need revamping…. Desparately! And to make matters worse, my Mother-in-Law has a cousin who lives in Canada, and she called to see how she was feeling, she got this same story, went to her pharmacy to see what it would costs in Canada, and was told it was the same as any other medicine…. her Co-Pay she had on her policy….. $10.00.

    Can someone explain that to me? PLEASE!!!

  46. M&H

    Love you ladies. I say forget this blog, boot the lunatics on “The View” and you two host the show!
    A thousand satellite channels and, finally, we would have something to watch.

    As far as the ‘Nebraska drop off’ being limited to infants: since most politicians behave like infants, they would still fit the criteria. ‘Nuf said.

    The pharmaceutical issue is lost on me. I can’t understand why it’s perfectly fine for them to bombard us with TV commercials about drugs which all have side effects that could render us worse off than we were to begin with. However, if they leave their literature in a doctors office and a box of doughnuts to munch while reading it, it’s called bribery. Maybe it’s me, but what do they call it when they subject a guy with erectile dysfunction to 500 Cialis commercials during a football game?

    In the great room of our health-care system there sits a very large elephant. Since Leonard Abrahmson started US Healthcare some 30 odd years ago, health-care has become a commodity. Under the guise of regulating costs, reducing unneeded testing, and preventing fraud (yeah, right?), managed care took money that used to pay the majority of your bill, put it in their pockets, and nobody said a word. Every year hence our premiums have gone up and up while the coverage is less and less. Yet, the executives of these companies are collecting 10’s of millions in salary. While they post billions in profits, people have to decide if they’re going to buy food or their medicine.
    Changing things won’t be easy. One too many giants with a powerful lobby, equipped with deep pockets behind them, will have to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” over and over until they grow a heart.

    I hate to sound so pessimistic, but then when disaster strikes, I’m not surprised.

  47. Well, it was worth saying twice!! ;-)

  48. To abuck6:

    Cheap food (Mac n cheese and Ramen noodles) are very fattening. In other words–too much cheap, filling carbs. Don’t think poor people are fat because they shouldn’t be dipping their lobster in butter…

    Cell phones are now cheaper than land lines. Don’t assume the poor have the unlimited yada-yada-yada package. Minimal usage cell phone=$10 a month. Minimal usage land line (my area anyway) $30 a month.

    Love ya Helen and Marg.

  49. To abuck6:

    Cheap food (Mac n cheese and Ramen noodles) are very fattening. In other words–too much cheap, filling carbs. Don’t think poor people are fat because they shouldn’t be dipping their lobster in butter…

    Cell phones are now cheaper than land lines. Don’t assume the poor have the unlimited yada-yada-yada package. Minimal usage cell phone=$10 a month. Minimal usage land line (my area anyway) $30 a month.

    Love ya Helen and Marg.

  50. So far so good about not feeding the trolls today! Keep up the good work!

  51. What are the far left liberals going to do without Bush to kick around? You are entitled to your opinion. But you should also judge Obama on what he has done….. nothing. Best of luck to President elect Obama, he will be our president and I hope he is a tremendous success. I hope he doesn’t have to put up with all the juvenile hate and obstruction that Bush did.

  52. I’ve quoted you in my November 20th post. Hopefully your words will inspire as much passion for real action in others as it did with me.

    http://jeannieism.blogspot.com/

  53. Thank you ladies! Your blogs make my day. I’ll keep dropping by as long as you two keep writing. I really mean it!

    ((Hugs!!))

    Megs :)

  54. Hi ladies,

    Sixty two more of the longest days in history left before this eight years of madness ends. Thank you for bringing sanity.

    Margaret not only are they pushing Viagra with much gusto but now that medicine to make “it” bigger!! What about a cure for cancer or even the common cold please?

    Shirley

  55. Here’s an article on the health care system that Congress enjoys:

    http://public-healthcare-issues.suite101.com/article.cfm/health_care_for_the_us_congress

    Or a tiny link to it:

    http://tiny.cc/pmVwR

    It’s interesting that the folks making decisions about the health care industry don’t have to worry about the cost of their own health care. Pre-existing conditions? Not a problem. Expensive premiums? Not a problem when your employer (US taxpayers) pays 75% of it.

    Can we say “Out of touch with reality” here?

  56. Well, off subject but I must share. I heard today (was in the truck and heard it on the radio) one of the guys that the auto companies executives were pitching their “oh we need your money crap” say “I ask you excutives. You all came to this meeting in your big corporate jets instead of being conserative and flying coach on a commercial airline. So I ask you, how many of you will agree to sell your private jet and fly home coach? Please raise your hand.” Then he said, “Let the record reflect no one raised their hand.” To me that spoke volumes. It is so sad to see how people like those so called executives think they are so above you and me. I say hell no to giving them money. That clinched it for me.

    What do you gals say?

  57. “It is no measure of health to be adjusted to a profoundly sick society”

    – Krishnamurti

  58. Any money that could possibly be used for health care is being pissed into different cans, like wars that is not ours, bailing out ignorance and so on. We are all at fault for this. The health care issue started years ago when Americans became lawsuit happy. Doctor, hospital and others had to raise their prices to afford protection or payoffs. I think it all comes down to horrible morals that most need to improve on. We are all to blame for doing nothing, but complaining. Or most all.

    So on this front I designed a t-shirt where you can quietly (or not) show your feelings of American politics at least. The title is GOVERNMENT CHEESE and you can see it HERE

  59. You do raise some curious questions. Why does the Pharmaceutical Industry advertise so much? They are estimated to spend more than $1 billion in direct advertising in 2008 alone. They spent over $22 million on political influence in 2008. Our politicians are getting way too expensive too, aren’t they? As far as universal health care, we already have it. Those who chose to work and support themselves are paying the health care bill for those who don’t already. Why destroy our system more than it already is. We can’t fix it by just throwing money at it. If you want to “spread the wealth” I don’t think any hospital will turn down your personal donation, which is tax free by the way. I also think that the San Fran liberal “Medical Marijuana Freaks” who are abusing the laws to sit around and get high without NEEDING it are turning public opinion against the cause.

    http://citizenspeaks.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/pain-and-your-rights/

  60. The Great American Bailout ~ the Peter Principle lived large! Oy!

  61. If those we had a choice of voting for had as much sense as the two of you, it would be wonderful. Unfortunately it most cases, it seems we get the dregs from the bottom of the pot.

    Margaret, you have your pet peeve with Viagra and I have one of my own. It’s the never ending commercials featuring Bob, living large.

    Thank you both for making sense at a time when incompetents are running the world.

  62. Quick thought:

    Why are the poor people in our country so fat? Why do they still have cell phones (aren’t land lines cheaper)?

  63. You’ve both hit it right on the head. If the pharmaceutical companies didn’t spend so much on TV advertising, then the medicine wouldn’t so expensive and heath insurance wouldn’t cost so much. It’s not 100% of the problem, but it’s so frustrating to have to pay so much money for my migraine medicine just so it can pay for TV commercials to promote a pill that’s a recreational as it is medicinal.

  64. Bottom line is that people abuse our health care system as it is! I think that Skyewriter brought up a good point that a majority of Americans don’t take care of their own bodies. Exercise and eating home cooked family meals is impossible for people to fathom these days. Parents are passing along horrible habits to their children. Obesity is out of control! Kids don’t play outside anymore…they sit in front of TV’s or send text messages. How about implementing a Fat Tax on people that choose to put McDonald’s, Coke, and Snicker’s in their bodies on a daily basis? It should be even higher if you make that choice for your children! How about a bigger reward for people that use a health club 3+ times a week? We get some discounts right now, but why not some other encouragement? Shouldn’t the people that knowingly place themselves at higher risk levels for disease pay more for health insurance than those of use that have better daily health practices? If you don’t care enough about yourself and your family, why should others be forced to care for you? Have some personal responsibility people!

    Wouldn’t McCain’s health care plan (give everyone a $7500 tax credit for health care) have helped everyone? If you make 20k/yr you pay about $80 for health insurance…seems pretty fair. I wish that McCain could have actually got this point across to people…not that they would have listened.

    As for all of the medical advertisements, it’s out of control! There was a study that came out in the last couple weeks that talked about lowering the risk of heart disease/cholesterol levels in people that weren’t even at high risk levels. So they are recommending trying to prevent something that may never need to be prevented? That’s the biggest load of crap that I’ve heard in a long time.

    My wife and I are having our 2nd child and we have done a lot of reading on the vaccines that are being given to our children these days. It’s amazing how many of them AREN’T NEEDED! Anyone that is has kids or is planning on having kids should research this! Kids are being pumped full of vaccines in clinics and many parents don’t even know what they are for. It never hurts to ask!

    I was a big Fred Thompson supporter in the primaries. His take on illegals in our country was spot on! It would be easier to take care of more Americans if we stopped taking care of the one’s that don’t belong! If you aren’t here legally and you aren’t doing anything to better our country, you should be sent home (where ever home is) immediately! Here is what we deal with here in MN…

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331989,00.html

    This woman (here illegally) kills 4 kids and now we have to spend money putting her through the court system and then keep her in our jails and cost our taxpayers more money! She’s only 1 example out of 20 million in the US. Are people here illegally bringing diseases with them as well? Is that why we need more pills and vaccines? I wish that we had a leader with the strength to put his/her foot down and do something about this problem! If you want to come to the US, do it the right way. Get a job, buy a house, put your kids through our schools, save for retirement, learn our language…enjoy our FREEDOMS…I don’t care…but don’t take advantage of us!

  65. Margaret, thank you so much for your comments about the drug commercials. Every time I hear the words, “an erection lasting more than 4 hours” I want to scream. Thank goodness for the mute button. My step children, now 26 and 20, don’t remember a day when those awful commercials weren’t on t.v. We have things backwards when we see a medication advertised on t.v. and then go to our doctors to see if we need it.

  66. Forget Sarah Palin! She was a “flash in the pan” and a “bait and switch” to divert us from the real issues.

    And health care is a REAL issue.

    It is the greatest conspiracy of all…and we have all participated in it. Anyone who has had any contact with our health care system and/or needs prescription drugs knows that they are dealing with a system that is more interested in getting their money than getting them well.

    Health care and the insurance industry has become “big business” and the bottom line is “making money”. This creates a direct conflict of interest when making people healthy decreases profits! So where is the incentive for promoting health instead of promoting illness (and more profits)?

    Health care needs to be seen as a basic public service that can be easily accessed by everyone, and we need to get the “money makers” out of the equation.

    There is just something so wrong about making money off of the sick and dying (the greatest health care costs are incurred during the last six months of life). But this will not occur until we are all willing to speak up, and stand up and be counted (by voting for true health care reform).

    So you keep tellin’ ‘um, Helen and Margaret…maybe eventually they’ll get it!

  67. After 60 years I just found out my name is really Harold and I am married to a woman called Helen. I know this because my wife has said what Helen wrote almost verbatim. All this yelling and screaming about how much universal health care will cost this country yet we can spend trillions to bomb Iraq and Afghanistan and hundreds of billions to save Wall Street CEO’s bonuses. Where the hell are our priorities?
    Keep it up girls!

  68. Far, far away north east of Maine is a small country called Sweden. You girls have fast become the cult bloggers of the year. Greetings from http://tinyurl.com/5ncyu4

  69. Heh, funny you should say that. My lesbian friend used her stimulus check as a downpayment for a wedding ring. At a local store.

    Right on about the priorities. Would that I had a job where I could mess up and someone would hand me a billion dollars, I’d still get my bonus and a trip to the spa. Actually, I’d feel pretty crummy about that life unless everyone lived that way who wanted to, so scratch that.

  70. Oh, was suppose to read, “in bankruptcy.” Please excuse the poor grammar.

  71. The following countries with universal health care:

    Argentina
    Brazil
    Canada
    Chile
    Costa Rica
    Cuba (I know the reasoning is probably something along the lines of, “Damn Communists”.)
    Panama
    Peru
    Uruguay
    Venezuela
    Austria
    Belgium
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Croatia
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Estonia
    Finland
    France
    Georgia (The one invaded by the Russians, not the one invaded by Sherman)
    Germany
    Greece
    Hungry
    Iceland
    Ireland
    Italy
    Latvia
    Liechtenstein
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    the Netherlands
    Norway
    Poland
    Portugal
    Romania
    Russia
    Serbia
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Spain
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Ukraine
    the United Kingdom
    Brunei
    China
    Hong Kong SAR
    India
    Kuwait
    Quatar
    UAE
    Saudi Arabia
    Isreal
    Japan
    Malaysia
    South Korea
    Seychelles
    Sri Lanka
    Taiwan
    Thailand
    Australia
    New Zealand

    Last time I checked, these countries have not ended up bankruptcy either.

    Oh, and the cost of universal healthcare, proposed by Barack Obama will cost the American taxpayer a whole lot less than that $700 billion bailout package.

  72. I love you ladies! Keep up the excellent blogging.

  73. healthcare is a huge issue in our country… One that I deeply care about.
    Thank god I am still in school and on the schools insurance or else I would definitely be screwed. Erectile dysfunction is a serious matter for those who truly have it…. like my father. The difference though is with all the ads on tv for viagra people who truly do not need it go and complain to their doctors and somehow get insurance to pay for it. My father is not going to go and get someone pregnant and leave the kid in nebraska… he couldn’t get there anyways! (hes in a nursing home)
    But yet, people like me who have a half chance of leading a successful responsible life as is would get denied treatment for issues due to preexisting conditions. Why wasn’t this tackled a long time ago! Oh yeah the republicans would rather spend tax dollars on prohibiting gay marriage and a war that is neverending.
    I don’t just say damn republicans in my sleep…. I think the phrase comes out of my mouth about 3x a day minimum! I try to figure out where everyone is coming from who is a bush/mccain/dingbat fan but each time I try it fails… I have given up on that issue. The only thing I can think of is money and greed with a taste of homophobia…

    as always its been a hoot! I enjoy reading the blogs and Margaret hit the advertisment thing on the head! Healthcare is so expensive why do people who really need the medication have to pay for these drug companies to advertise. Theres a huge difference in using a few pennies out of my laundry detergent that I get at Walmart for advertisement… I don';t necessarily have to get my laundry detergent at Walmart or get that brand. Medication is a different story. If I have x ailment then I need y medicine regardless. I am not going to go get y medicine if I do not have the ailment that it cures… that would be wasting money. Its not like the company for y medicine has many competitors if any due to the patent laws on pharmacueticals. 99% of the time they don’t. So why should my cost for y medicine go up so you can attract people to use your product… thus having healthcare costs go up all around.

  74. Can we boycott TV programs that show Viagra ads?

  75. As someone who is dealing with a medical issue right now and no health insurance or income, it’s been a few weeks and I’m still not sure how to handle this issue.

    Do I go to an ER and risk running up a huge bill and ruining my already struggling credit? Or do I suck it up and hope it goes away on its own?

    Sucks to be an American when it comes to healthcare.

    Keep up the good work Margaret and Helen!! Keep the fire to their feet!

    Jules

  76. I couldn’t agree more with both of you!

  77. I find it interesting that while millions and millions of Americans are suffering in just about every way imaginable, Congress is spending time grilling the Big 3 CEO’s about how they flew to Washington on private jets. These guys just don’t get it. Fortunately, I think I do. Let me know what you think.

    http://thedailyduke.com/20-idealistic-emails-day-10/

    Duke

  78. Our daughter’s extended family lost a child, a 14 yr old girl, to what they suspect was Addison’s Disease. But, because her parents did not have adequate health insurance to cover more testing it was not discovered until the autopsy. It has been horribly difficult for her family to realize that if they had done more testing she could have been saved. Christmas will be terrible for them. this whole year has been terrible for them.

    I am not trying to be hateful, mean or condescending but these are the same people who vote against their own best interest time after time. That great red swath of red that runs through middle America from north to South, with the exception of Colorado and New Mexico, are populated with like-minded people………..it is all about guns, God and gays. So many of the people who hold tight to their guns, their hatred of people who are or look different and who sit in church and listen to their pastors speak about vengence, hatred and fear are the same people who are the middle class, who have no jobs, don’t have adequate healthcare, and who can barely make ends meet.
    They listen to the idiot Limbaugh and get their opinions from him. None of them seem to connect their own problems to their Republican Party.

    Canada has had a form of Universal healthcare for years and years. If it was so horrible they would have gotten rid of it years ago. Barack’s plan for healthcare is so twisted by the rightwing gas bags and the useless Media that people who need to understand it don’t. People who have insurance now can keep theirs, but they can also choose to switch to whatever plan is offered if it is better than the one they have. It will not be mandated as the loonies want you to think, but it will be available to all ……….how civilized.

    Congress has the top of the line healthcare, but they (Republicans) don’t want “the unwashed” to have the same. This is so typical of the selfish, arrogant mindset of the Republicans. Everything is driven by arrogance, hate and power. They despise the people who vote for them.

  79. I would like to talk straight to the legislature and governor in the state of Nebraska: Do Not Change Your Current Law on Safe Haven! Yes, I know it was really intended for infant of just maybe 3 days old (but even that is way too stringent as children, under the laws of some states, termed “infants” as old as 10! I would rather have all these kids, no matter their ages or group size, given safe haven rather than read about how they were murdered by a parent and then said parent blows self away! Nebraska need not feel picked on by society or feel that God has it in for them. The parents who have dumped off kids, no matter how young or old, have already tried everything and everywhere they could in their place of origin to get help only to find that it really ain’t there! Think the Yates case in Texas a few years back. She should have been treated on a continual basis for depression but she got waylaid in a number of ways. Result: five dead kids. I would rather go through the rest of my life never ever hearing about such things cuz somewhere there was an open-arms Safe Haven. We can do it! Yes, we can!

    And as for the observation that Republicans seem to be obsessed with guns, sex and money (all of this is “R” rated, no pun whatever intended). They come off sicker than porn! But look deeper. Look at the exclusivity that keeps poor and even middle income from eligibility for health care. And a lot of other things that meet the standard of decent treatment for human beings. I smell Monarchists! Exactly the same kind as ran loose in France in the time of Louis XVI, the ones who felt that they and only they were entitled to sit at the head of the table and the rest of the world wasn’t even gonna get the crumbs from that table! So what if they starved? Remember what Scrooge said in Christmas Carol? How the poor should deplete themselves just to save his pocketbook? Thats what we are really facing. To bleep with their mockery of cries about small government, fiscal responsibility, etc. Those are just code words.

    Oh, yeah! Vive la revolution!

  80. There is much talk about the uninsured in America, but what many of us with insurance surely realize by now, is that insurance is doing less and less for those of us who are paying more and more for it.

    Many people are now realizing that it’s quite possible to go bankrupt as a result of medical expenses, even if you have insurance. The person diagnosed with a serious illness is faced with paying for treatment out of pocket or doing without.

    Even those who have decent-paying jobs that include medical benefits are going without healthcare because the insurance companies put up a fight before every penny spent, despite the fact that they are receiving huge sums monthly from clients.

    For example, my sister’s three-year-old son fell off the couch and broke his arm on a Friday evening. The obvious deformity of the arm made the diagnosis of fracture unmistakable. They took him to the hospital, where they were advised to call their insurance company for “approval” before the ER would even look at their son. The insurance company declined treatment, saying a broken arm was something that could be treated in a doctor’s office. So they had the decision to either pay in cash for the ER treatment & x-rays, or have their son wait at home for three days with an obviously broken arm.

    Not having the cash to pay, they were forced to fashion a splint at home and put ice packs on their son’s arm for three days to try to control the swelling. The insurance company saved a lot of money — ER bill and all — but was it fair to make a kid sit three days without treatment to save a few bucks?

    Our family is insured, but we have a “backup” of medical things that need done, to the tune of about $50,000 total, treatment (including surgery) we’re just putting off and saving up for, because we know that insurance is not going to cover the cost. This despite the fact that we pay over $12,000 a year in health insurance premiums.

    In China there is no health insurance nor is there universal health coverage. If you don’t have cash, you don’t get treated. Consequently, people try to save as much as 30% of their income “just in case” something happens and they need medical care. Unless there is a change in healthcare in the U.S. it looks like that’s where we’re headed.

  81. once again, excellent, funny and dead on! I love you ladies and have been passing your blog around often!

  82. Margaret, you need to get one of your younguns to show you how to play the Tiger Woods Golf video game. It’s like watching golf on TV, except it’s you playing. I highly recommend it.
    :)

  83. mornin’ gals! your blog this morning reminded me of some oxymorons that just get more and more moronic.

    the religious right is neither
    the moral majority is neither
    military intelligence . . . hahahahahahahahaha

    my 85 year old died in the wool republican, ROMAN catholic mother is coming to stay with me for a few weeks as of this sunday. we’re checking her out of her skilled nursing palace so she can celebrate her birthday and a few days before and after with her austin family.

    if this can happen (i being her openly “out” daughter even though she doesn’t know any gay people :) – then all kinds of miracles can happen.

    thanks for continuing HelenandMargaret – it makes my day, sometimes multiple times.

    xo from bee caves
    -s

  84. You gals are spot on…again…and as usual. Let me give you a brief story.

    I have a regular job. Have had one for years. I’m not the lazy type. Until last year, I’ve not had health insurance. Either my company didn’t offer it or I simply couldn’t afford it. Two years ago I was hospitalized for 3 days. $15,000! I still can’t pay it. They’re suing. A few weeks ago, hospitalized again for 2 days. $6500. Only half of which was covered. Half. Why am I paying premiums? Geez louise!

    The ER is the doctor’s office because they at least can’t turn you away if you’re really sick. Us real folks out here just can’t afford to be sick. And the repubs want to keep it that way. Keep the insurance lobbyists and pharmaceutical companies happy. You see, if we did work on health care, it would mean they couldn’t continue to stick it to folks. They’d have to take what the government gave them.

    As for pharma ads, it’s simply ridiculous. It jacks up their profits (cost of doing business, ads are). They use slave labor to produce the product in 3rd world countries. The forced labor they use is paid so little that they cannot afford the simplest of care.

    You’re right about “christian” folks. If they ever understood the call to care for the least and gave themselves over to answer the call, the world would be a place of health, wealth, and more peace. Christianity has become insular instead of reaching out. It’s a shame, really.

    Keep writing, you two. You are a priceless treasure.

  85. Nan:
    [[[Note the irony in that there are TV commercials for Viagra (which is covered by many/most prescription drug plans) — but there would be outrage if there were TV commercials for birth control pills/implants/etc. (which many prescription drug plans do NOT cover).

    Who’s getting screwed here?]]]

    As bad as that may be, this is worse: a couple in their 40s up can be on the same insurance plan. that plan will pay for the husband’s Viagra. It will not pay for the woman’s Premarin cream, which many women use to deal with the vaginal dryness that is experience in peri- and post-menopausal women.

    So the husband is ready to rock-and-roll (for HOURS), and his wife’s vagina (if she even tries to have sex) is bleeding after 5 minutes.

    The ethics of using Premarin aside, there is not a synthetic hormone cream that will work as well. The pharmaceutical company has never deemed it important enough to design one.

    Hormone pills can do the same benefit, but it means the wife has to have the hormones impact ALL of her body. Taking oral hormones has shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and other diseases.

    We are talking about Blue Shield of California here.

    So the choice of the menopausal wife who is married who wishes to continue sexual relations with her husband is to either pay $150 for Premarin, a cream that acts only on the vaginal tissues but is not covered by her insurance, or to take oral hormone pills and risk breast cancer and other terminal diseases.

    The Premarin preparation must be used every night to work. It’s not like Viagra where the husband only has to take it when he wants to have sex. A tube of Premarin does not last that long–a month or a little more.

  86. P.S. What makes the GOP RR voters so gullible and easily able to embrace what they know is a lie is the basic lack of cognitive integrity that must exist for one to be a religious fundamentalist.

    But that’s another 3-page essay and I need to get ready for work.

  87. The GOP has become the party of religion, guns and sex thanks to Ronald Reagan.

    When Reagan first bent knee to the religious right in order to be elected POTUS, he created a monster of leviathan proportions.

    What originally was a mainly back-door relationship between the GOP and the religious right has, over the decades, slowly changed to a relationship where the religious right holds the upper hand because they have become the largest voting bloc that the GOP can depend on.

    As the power in the RR has increased, so has their ability to control the GOP agenda.

    To understand how far this has gone, consider the choice of Sarah Palin by McCain as his VP candidate.

    McCain’s original three choices were Joe Lieberman, Mitt Romney and Tom Ridge. The religious right power brokers in the GOP let it be known that if McCain chose either of the three that there would be a fight on the GOP Convention floor to thwart the nomination.

    They didn’t like Lieberman because, of course, he is a Jew and because he has been a Democrat in the past; didn’t like Romney because he is Mornon; didn’t like Ridge because he has been pro-choice in the past.

    The last thing any presidential candidate wants is for their party’s convention to have major controversy, which a battle over the VP candidate would be. This would indicate that the presidential candidate is not powerful, that the party is not unified, and that the voters were strongly divided.

    All of this may be the truth in many years for either major political party, but they don’t want it demonstrated before the world because it would cripple the party. But the GOP’s RR power-brokers did, and that’s a pretty strong indication that the RR is willing to risk crippling the GOP for years to come in order to exert their power over the GOP and control the GOP’s agenda.

    Think of it: a voting bloc of the GOP threatened a presidential candidate, with decades of service in politics, and the future of the GOP, and the GOP backed down.

    That is a strong sign that the RR is no longer just a voting bloc in the GOP. The RR now controls the GOP, it’s policies, and it’s agenda.

    It is the RR’s control over the GOP by controlling the largest dependable bloc of voters in the party that has led to the Unholy Trinity of Sex Obsession, Guns and Religion. The RR voting bloc is largely not very politically sophisticated and not able to make decisions based on complex arguments for a major policy (the environment, economy, etc.).

    This makes the largest voting bloc of one of America’s two major political parties EXTREMELY gullible. Not only will they allow themselves to be played as chumps by the GOP to support a candidate or cause, even after it is obvious they have been played by chumps, they will then repeatedly play the chump for the GOP.

    These RR voters are gullible to the point of incompetency. It raises the question, are they this gullible in all areas of their life? If so, they should not be voting for important issues…they should be signing up for Meals-On-Wheels because they are obviously incompetent to handle their own activities of daily living.

    Think of it. If your Uncle Bob had bought a car from a shady used-car salesman, and the car turned out to be nothing that was advertised, that would be a hard lesson to learn. But if Uncle Bob, after being played a chump once by this shady salesman, returned time after time after time, and was played as a chump time after time after time, wouldn’t you be looking into having an executor appointed to monitor his financial decisions?

    So the GOP has learned to take advantage of the RR voters’ gullibility.

    The voting bloc that now controls the GOP is manipulated by sound-byte arguments. And these sound-byte arguments are almost completely negative, hateful, and designed to evoke fear of the Democrats, their policies and their candidates.

    The GOP has found that the Unholy Trinity of GOP voter manipulation (Religion, Guns, Sexual Obsession) are such knee-jerk manipulations of the RR voting bloc that all of their sound-byte arguments either outright, ro subtly, invoke them.

    And here’s the truly sad part: these sound-byte arguments don’t even have to be true. Indeed, the vast majority of the time they are not true. The people who launch these sound-byte attacks on the Dems know they aren’t true.

    And here’s an even sadder part: so do the RR bloc of voters in the GOP.

    In what is now the most horrifying part of the Atwaterian hell the GOP has allowed itself to become is this: the RR voters don’t care that their politicians and leaders are lying to them and playing the as chumps.

    In what has become a monstrous manifestation of the old joke about the married man who is found by his wife, coming home from work early, to be screwing another woman in their bed…the husband says, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

    The RR voting bloc can be presented with evidence that thoroughly refutes the GOP’s sound-byte hate lies–indeed, presented repeatedly and by any number of different highly credible sources–and the RR voters will STILL believe the GOP’s lies.

    The result is that the GOP has been able to change America to suit the needs of a group of powerbrokers who will do anything, including risking the future of America, to increase and maintain their power.

    Ronald Reagan’s invitation to the RR to the political dance has ended up in a full-tilt zombie boogie, with 8 years of the worst, least qualified president the U.S. has ever had nearly destroying our country.

    I don’t know if Ronald Reagan suspected when he agreed to bow to the RR to get their votes that the GOP, and America, would forever be changed into a country where 51% of the voters are gullible dolts who would vote for Satan himself if Satan was wrapped up in red-white-and-blue, carrying a gun, and promising to send homosexuals to concentration camps. I like to think he didn’t know. I would hate to have to embrace the idea that an American would set in motion the process that would end up nearly destroying our country.

    Ronald Reagan may not have known, but GOP politicians and leaderhip quickly learned that the RR was increasing it’s hold over the party. And they did nothing to stop it.

    Now the GOP CAN’T stop it. To do so they would have to take stands that would send their RR voters off into a foot-stomping hissy-fit, withholding their votes, which would doom the GOP’s power for decades.

    So not only do we as a nation have to repair the destruction that the GOP has visited on our country, we have to do it with almost half of us as politically mentally capable as my potted fern.

    Any successes we achieve by rebuilding our country will face, every election (and at every important policy decision in between), the RR voting zombies responding to the Unholy Trinity of religion, guns and sexual obsession sound-byte manipulations of their GOP RR masters. The RR voting zombies will “forget” or ignore the destruction and harm their GOP RR masters have caused to them and our country.

    So, like those Viagra commercials that play at least 3 times during every commercial break in any sports broadcast in the nation, the GOP has become the party of religion, guns and sexual obsession because it works.

    Promises to impotent men of the return of youth, sexual vigor, and appeal to women by taking a little blue pill are enough to get many men to spend a lot of money to buy the little blue pill.

    And the GOP RR voters are equally-or more-gullible.

    While the expense of that blue pill is high, it is not nearly as high as the price–the destruction of our country– that the RR voters are willing to pay for their votes.

  88. You forgot the gasoline. Sex & Gasoline — by that Houston Kid named Rodney Crowell.

    http://www.yeproc.com/upload/media/view_media.php?id=585

  89. You just wrote on my soap box issue. I have written two posts on my blog recently on health care. I gave facts and figures that make it impossible for any sane person to argue against it.

    Universal Health care (preferably the single payer system), makes so much sense economically as well as morally that I can’t understand why anybody would fight it. Oh yeah, I forgot Harold and Louise commercials during Clinton’s efforts that were funded by the insurance industry. People bought into their lies. Gullible idiots.

  90. Thanks…great description of the Republicans. I hope the entire healthcare business changes because I have no insurance, I try to stay on top of things medically; yet I ended up in the hospital last year and this year because of poor medical attention from overworked physicians.

  91. As always, you’re both spot on in my opinion…

    But here is where I make a call to all of the people posting to your site.

    I think it is great that we all love M&H so much and agree with them…

    But it is time for the rubber to meet the road if I may use the cliche.

    All of the moderate, intelligent and sensible people need to continue to speak up, and speak up loudly. If we do not stand up to the rhetoric and clearly frightening agenda of the more radical right they will continue to influence the outcome.

    We all (myself included) have a responsibility to stand up and open our mouths – even if that means we’re not going to be popular in some circles.

    It may be bumpersticker philosophy, but I saw one once that said: “If you don’t have any enemies, you’re not doing anything worthwhile.”

    We ALL need to do something worthwhile.

    Rock on, ladies. Keep calling it the way you see it.

  92. Girls,

    I like your new format a lot!

    About healthcare–I think that allowing privatizing of healthcare (basically allowing companies and shareholders of those companies to make unchecked amounts of money on selling people health) leads to a lot of problems that US citizens is seeing.

    In the US paradigm, profit is the primary goal of a corporate entity. That means when push comes to shove, profits will supercede people’s health. That means selling cosmetic drugs that are easier to sell to people enmasse and advertising those drugs to the public are more important than drugs that cure or ease serious conditions as seen by tge # of dollars spent on both. That means when drug companies are evergreening their patents in the name of profit instead of making their drugs more affordable (and therefore able to help more people).

    I’m not talking about not compensating the healthcare sector, but a country shouldn’t create a system of healthcare for its citizens where we the citizens have to compete with profit for a comparatively few for better (or even adequate) healthcare.

  93. To springboard from the drug companies and their practices (my opinion can’t be cleaned up enough to print)–what about the packaging?

    I take a pill daily to keep my blood pressure from blowing off the top of my head (I teach in a high school–I need all of the help that I can get). Until recently, a 3-month supply came in a little plastic bottle. But then, the company decided to improve matters. Each month’s supply now comes in a foil-and-bubble package, with the day of the week stamped underneath each pill (some bright spark decided that one’s blood pressure in inversely proportional to the ability to remember what day it is) al of which is encased in a child-proof (which means adult-proof. If there is a child in residence–I don’t have any these days–the kid can break into it for you) hard plastic case. And increased the price to pay for it all.

    I took care of the childproof part by taking the thing outside and whacking it with a hammer then gathered up all of the shards and dumped them into the recycle bin. I regained shelf space by pouring the pills into a small plastic bottle, all the while wondering how many dinosaurs had died in vain to produce the plastic.

    May the geniuses who came up with all of this someday develop arthritis–and be given their medication in childproof packaging. And may they have to pay through the nose to do so!

  94. Note the irony in that there are TV commercials for Viagra (which is covered by many/most prescription drug plans) — but there would be outrage if there were TV commercials for birth control pills/implants/etc. (which many prescription drug plans do NOT cover).

    Who’s getting screwed here?

  95. Helen, you are certainly right about the guns, sex and money, and so very right about the desperate need for decent health care for all.

    And Margaret, you are so very right about the TV ads for pharmaceuticals. They just shouldn’t be allowed. I think they are actually dangerous, and a lot of doctors must be getting weary of their patients self-diagnosing.

    Once again, thanks to both of you for an on-target post.

  96. Hmmm… Most European countries do have government-run healthcare, and they haven’t gone bankrupt yet.

  97. Once again, Helen & Margaret, you two wonderful ladies never fail to deliver! You are both so ‘on target’ with common sense! Made my day, and frankly I agree with you BOTH!

  98. Helen and Margaret,
    Love your blog! I found it via a link from Jennifer Crusie’s web blog http://www.arghink.com/
    Another great site by the way.

    On health care reform:
    You both might remember Ronald Regan as a spokesman for the AMA, and the horrible specter of socialized medicine they raised. The Govt would be telling doctors how to practice medicine and folks would not be able to choose their own doctor.
    Years pass…
    Check out the new AMA ads sans Ronald Regan, which is way too bad as would be the best irony, promoting health care reform for all.
    Gag! The dumb asses did it to themselves way back when, and never could see the brick wall in front of them either.
    And why has the AMA turned “Socialist? Because the Govt (Medicare and Medicaid the largest purchasers of health care) and the private insurance companies tell them how to practice medicine, pays crap based on unfair to the patient rules, makes laws like HIPAA they don’t follow by making up stupid payment policy that violates that law, and Medicare is trying to privatize as much of the mess as they can to insurance giants that are even more unfair.
    The private insurance companies are are so much worse than Medicare. Think about if for one second – they are companies out to make the biggest profit they can off of paying the least they can for sickness. They have to be sued over and over again to prove any health care at all to their clients, or pay per the crap contract they have with the doctors. Blah, blah, blah, we all know about this stuff.
    So, we all know the problems. We may not agree on how we got here or who is to blame, but WE ALL need to do things to FIX IT (a shout out to SNL by the way).
    That’s what I’m not hearing!
    Everyone acts like they don’t have a voice, but we do. We just seem to have gotten into the habit of not working within our democracy. We all can do something. The internet is helping us to get involved again with our democracy via blogs like this and other sites. At the very least, contact your elected reps and tell them get busy and work out the issues. You can access them via their internet pages, so everyone that’s reading this should be able to do that. Tell them what your opinion is about it and how you think it should be run. Give’m hell and tell em to git’er done.

  99. Everything is topsy-turvy in this country. We don’t concentrate on preventative care. Half the erectile dysfunction could be prevented by preventing diabetes and high blood pressure. And atherosclerotic artery disease. But that would mean eating less meat. And that would mean less feedyards. And that would mean less E. Coli and mad cow disease. And that would also mean less menthane farted by cows to add to greenhouse gasses. It’s all connected, we are all connected, as the Native Americans say.
    Oh, I could go on and on, but you get it.

  100. My 82-year old grandmother lived across the street until she passed last year. If she’d only lived long enough for me to relay your blog posts, Helen & Margaret! I’d have had to paraphrase Helen’s more colorful language, but she’d undoubtedly loved to hear what her tech-savvy peers were chatting about on the internet!

    Anyway, am I to assume that Howard has seen the Viagra commercials too? And then did he schedule an appointment with his doctor? Hmm? ……
    Lucky Margaret …. ;)

  101. I do hope we make this a priority.

    It seems to me that there is an inherent conflict of interest between giving someone the best quality of life possible (in terms of health care) and maximizing profits.

    Our insurance companies will cover weight loss surgery but not weight watchers. The pre-existing condition restrictions make it almost scary to have an annual checkup, because the doctor might find something that becomes a black mark on your record–even though the prognosis is better if caught and managed early.

    Keep up the insightful posts, ladies.

  102. Delightful, just delightful.

    Wonderful and thoughtful comments also. I enjoy getting links to other sites as well to expand my knowledge or just get me to look at things another way. You all perform a useful service.

    Thanks to Helen and Margaret and bloggers.
    Good night.

  103. The advertising, dear Margaret, is necessary so that the pharmaceutical companies can guarantee a world free of the scourge of toenail fungus and limp reproductive organs. I’m sure that once these problems are solved, they’ll dedicate just as much of their time and resources to the lesser causes of finding and promoting cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, malaria, AIDS, and the other great diseases of our times.

  104. Yeah, the medical insurance companies is just getting worse and worse. Every year our premium goes up and the coverage goes down. I read an article on line just recently and they say that the insurance companies make only 3% in profits……..that is absurd. That is most probably after they pay their executves $$$$M of dollars.

    Like Michael Moore said, health care companies should be non-profit. Let’s nationalize the health care and everyone will be taken care of.

    And you are right Margaret, I have always been wondering why there are so many advertisements for drugs…….not only on TV, but in every magazine and newpapers. Years ago we did not see these.

    Thank you for this topic.

  105. Thank you for opening up the discussion about healthcare…dear to my heart……

  106. From a Christian’s point of view you just hit on a few of the reasons I can not get behind the Republican Party, but the main reason is that I find them to be most hypocritical in the sense that they proclaim to be aligned with Christ, but are the most deceptive when it comes to their campaigning methods. Instead of using Christ’s principles they use hate, lies and fear.

    I think their claim of being reflective of true Christians is nothing more than a gimmick to deceive those too weak in the faith to know and understand that God does not use Satan’s methods to get His message across.

    Gay marriages, abortion are things that I do know are outside of the principles of God, but I do not believe in attacking people to persuade them to accept my beliefs and surely not using lies, hate or fear as a weapon.

    The Republican Party is a very sore spot with me as a Christian, I do know they are not reflective of Christ and really wish they would leave Him out of their doings or either represent Him and us better.

    I do know that we can and should do much better in helping those in need, that is Christ’s way, however those not working simply because they choose not to are a different story. The bible says ‘If a man won’t work on the pig farm he should not eat in the restaurant”, but I do understand it is not as simple as that, there are many that can’t and there are children of those that won’t, so more thought should be given into how to help as opposed to turning them away. I am more in favor of helping than denying.

    If I could get anything across to anyone it is this. God is a good and loving God, He wants us to love, but He is not one to be played with. He is a God of Justice as well as Mercy! He is a God of Jazz and Rock-n-Roll. He can dance when he wants to. We can not simply think that we can sum Him up or place Him in our limited way of thinking.

    I just thought I would add this because it does upset me how throughout this election season He has been evoked in this mess so negativity as if He is not a God to respect and fear! I am afraid of him.

    Out of ALL that these last two years has brung, the misuse of God and his word for selfish agendas has been the most hurtful experience for me making my blood boil!

    Thank you both for this avenue and your willingness to be a open and honest with your thoughts!

    And oh! It was discovered Joe the Plummer received welfare at one time, but of course he stated he DESERVED it, after all he had worked and paid taxes.

    Most of the Republicans are dirt poor people on welfare, it is only a small portion that are wealthy. that’s a fact!

  107. [...] Money, Guns and Sex « Margaret and Helen Has it occurred to anyone else that the Republican party has become the party of money, guns and sex? It seems to be the only things they think about. Who is having sex with who? How much are my taxes? Keep your hands off my guns. … [...]

  108. You ladies just get better and better…

  109. A wonderful post – and you’re both spot on!

  110. Awesome! I love you two ladies. You always make me laugh and smile when I most need it. You two need to get on The John Stewart Show and speak your peace!

  111. As always, excellent post ladies!

  112. Margaret and Helen, you are both so right. If we make healthcare a priority, we will have a workable healthcare plan in short order. Maybe if we started chanting “Healthcare, baby, healthcare,” instead of “Drill, baby, drill,” we’d create a little momentum.

    Thanks for speaking your mind.

    KJ

    http://www.nanadiaries.com

  113. Another great job ladies. I definitely think that the Pharmaceutical companies should be made to have some stake in our health care system.

    I understand that research and development for a drug is very expensive, but not expensive enough to warrant a 200% mark up as a retail cost to consumers. That, I call greed. Maybe the government should get somewhat more involved in that end of our health care problems. Just like the big oil companies should help bail out the auto industry, the Pharmaceutical companies should be partially responsible for our health care problems.

  114. http://www.storyofstuff.com/

    For those of you concerned with the American culture of greed, Big Government, consumerism, pollution, etc….take a look at the above website: The Story of Stuff

    It will make you think, and hopefully it will help you make a few changes in day-to-day life. I sure have!

  115. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I agree with you about what we would do if we were really being Christian about all of this (least among us and all that) and I agree with you about the greed of wanting to hold on to what we/they don’t even have yet. (Didn’t Jesus say something about that?)

    Priorities…and focus.

    Seems to me there is a connection between the focus on erectile dysfunction and the need for a safe haven law for children to be dropped off. If we cared as much about the outcome (children) as we do about the process (erections and their use) things might be different, don’t you think?

    And furthermore, I think drug companies are the anti-christ. And insurance companies. Insurance companies are the anti-christ. That’s right. Drug companies and insurance companies are the anti-christ.

    http://whatwouldwandado.blogspot.com

  116. Amen Helen. Well said.

  117. As far as advertisement and horribly set priorities go, I’ve always thought that companies are trying far too hard to make some secret solution to “healthy, youthful skin” when there are people dying all over the world because they don’t have enough to EAT.

    While you sit there rubbing whale fat on your face, millions of dollars could have been spent on growing crops and teaching people how to farm, and training people for jobs.

    Our world’s ideals will crash hard and fast. We will soon realize that we’ve been consumed by greed and our religious bickering.

    … Or, that’s what I hope for, at least.

  118. I love you two! Thanks for the post. I am trying to decide right now if I can afford physical therapy or fake it on my own…
    Oh, and Helen, I made an apple pie today. It made me think of you, far off in Texas!

  119. [...] signing off for the night, here’s a little comic relief from my new best friends, Margaret and Helen: Has it occurred to anyone else that the Republican party has become the party of money, guns and [...]

  120. Oh, it makes me so happy to read what you both write! I wish I could put it into words. I guess all I can say is, “Thanks!”

  121. Go get them sweetie! I’m right behind you. (And a few million more are too!) We can bring good to fruition, all we got’ta do is stay the course.

    Calen

    “The Republicans have embraced the dark side. Bush is their Darth Vader. Helen is OB-Won-Cannoli.”

  122. Sometimes those commercials for pharmaceuticals don’t even say what they are for, but people still get convinced that they have it! And, I LOVE it when they say to tell your doctor if you have had a transplant or if you suffer from liver dysfunction or several other conditions. Shouldn’t my doctor KNOW that – isn’t my doctor the person who likely told me that I suffer from one of those conditions?? But, rather than try to get the doctors to prescribe the new medications which are, of course, the most expensive, they now advertise on TV and in magazines, to get the patients to go ASK the doctor the medication. Even some of the magazine advertisements don’t tell you what the medication is supposed to treat. If you experience sudden partial or total loss of sight, call your doctor – DUH! It’s crazy.

  123. Margaret you haven’t gone of topic at all. We live in a world where Viagra is eligible for drug insurance but if you have no money, have cancer or other disease where you need a spinal tap, they don’t give you anesthesia because it’s too expensive. Not only is it horrible painful but it’s life threatening. We have bizarre priorities.

  124. Can you both please come to my house and talk some sense into my husband? Maybe I should start making him read your blog (he’s overseas). I just… I just LOVE you ladies! My grandmother is 86 and if she wasn’t so intimidated by the “email machine,” I know she’d be nodding up and down agreeing with everything you say.

  125. It all started when humans depended on other sources of stimulus to engage their children rather than giving the time and care themselves. I swear that the advancements we have attained as a society are shooting us in the collective foot.
    Children NEED guidance, care, attention, love, lessons, rules, conversation, examples, and time.
    NOT Barney, I-Pods, videos, $200 shoes, virtual worlds, and text messages.
    I heard a story about a father, mother, and two children who existed as mute entities in the same house. Mom, talking on her cell phone, picks up daughter and son from school. Doesn’t say “Hi, how was your day?” Keeps talking. Daughter focuses on her I-Pod in the front seat. Son turns on the video screen above his head.
    They head for the ball field where son has a baseball game. Daughter complains she has to sit there in the bleachers–mom doesn’t hear because she’s still talking on the cell phone. Son forced to change into baseball uniform in the back seat because that’s just the way it is. Upon arriving at the ball field, all three go to their positions–son hoping mom will watch him on the field (yeah….mom’s still on the phone) Daughter stays in the car to listen to her I-Pod. Along comes Dad (give him credit that he shows up) and promptly opens his briefcase in the bleachers to work on his laptop. After the game (mom, dad didn’t notice the home run until they heard everyone shouting) the son sulks in the backseat and asks for McDonald’s. Mom groans and offers Arby’s (is that any better?) Dad passes them on the road home–doesn’t look at them because he’s on his cell phone. They arrive home and each one grabs their food and heads to their places again. Computers in the bedrooms and finally peace and quiet–alone.

    And we wonder why so many of our children are needing help?

    I propose that all birth control packaging should include wrapping that says “Use this unless you plan to give time, attention, and care to the possible human being resulting from the non-use of this product.” Hell, it should be stamped right on each condom.

    Oh, it’s the end of a long day spent giving my time and energy to twenty-five 10 year old students. There is so much to teach them about life and how not to end up being greedy and shouting “gimme, gimme, gimme”.

    This morning, I lined up my students on the sidewalk outside our classroom and asked them to repeat our pledges.

    All the boys said,
    “Today, I am respectful, responsible, and ready to learn. I will cooperate to make my school a special place.”

    All the girls said,
    “Our job here in school is to learn. Hopefully, we will become lifelong learners. In that process, we will care very much for each other.

    Half the class to my left said,
    “I pledge allegiance to the world. To cherish every living thing. To care for Earth and Sea and Air–with peace and freedom everywhere.”

    The other half of the class to my right said,
    “This day has been given to me fresh and clear. I can either use it or throw it away. I promise to use this day to its fullest, realizing it can never come back again. I am the only person who has the power to decide what I will be. I make myself what I am.”

    We learned, memorized, and discussed the meaning of each of those words in the last few months since the beginning of school. Oh, and yes, we have done math, writing, reading, research, and shared our stories to practice our listening skills. So much to teach, but I do know what is most important if I intend to lessen the number of infants dropped off at hospitals in the future.

    You see, I’m working for the future–not to better myself (greedy people take note)–but to help create a better society for all of us. That is my calling and there is no greater one than that.

    I need to make dinner now.

    P.S.
    You forfeit your chance for life at its fullest when you withhold your best effort in learning. When you give only the minimum to learning, you receive only the minimum in return. Even with your parents’ best example and your teachers’ best efforts, in the end it is your work that determines how much and how well you learn. When you work to your full capacity, you can hope to attain the knowledge and skills that will enable you to create your future and control your destiny. If you do not, you will have your future thrust upon you by others. Take hold of your life, apply your gifts and talents, work with dedication and self-discipline. Have high expectations for yourself and convert every challenge into an opportunity.

    (We learn this pledge too! It takes a long time…)

    Anyways,

  126. Goddesses ~ you two are goddesses. If my 81 year old mother had a computer the 3 of you could start a show to rival The View.

  127. Ladies, thank you thank you for your succinct and forthright writings! Nothing like a slap upside the head to get our thinking straightened out. I have been without health insurance for 5 years; last MD’s visit was 5 years ago. I squeak by but would rather use my minimal income to ensure my pets have their food and medicine and that friends in more dire straits that I have food on their table and such. We’re a community – and when one is sick, we literally pool our resources to ensure that person gets the care they need. I’ve been blessed with hale and hearty genes (knock wood), but universal healthcare NOT tied to employment would be a blessing.

  128. A friend of mine once called in to a conservative radio show hosted by two ministers in the Wichita, KS area and asked them which party they thought better followed the teachings of Jesus. After some deliberation they concluded that it was the republican party because it enouraged people to stand on their own two feet or something to that effect.
    It’s competely ridiculous. I’ve come to start asking conservative republicans the same question because, seriously.. There is no doubt. I think you explained it really well, as you tend to.
    Margaret’s a maverick?? Looks like we have found a new VP candidate! woo! But yes, those infomercials are just heinous and far too common for my liking.

  129. You put it so well. Thank you!

  130. Helen-
    Darn right ! IF we make up our minds to provide universal care , we will!
    It’s time to make up our minds. We need to be done with acting like some are more deserving or not… or that we cannot figure out how to afford it. Deciding the poor will always be with us so who needs to do anything is wacko. (The Dominion folks can all go play Rapture somewhere else while the rest of us patch up our tattered souls and get back to work. Their particular game of attempting to hasten the end-times by fiddling-while-rome-burns or actively damaging society is sicko)

    Why in the world did we ship all those well-paying decent manufacturing jobs overseas and ramp up white -collar -siphon -off-x-amount-of-each-insurance-dollar-before-the-doc-even-sees-a-patient type jobs? Crimenently… Take away good jobs AND make healthcare more expensive?

    Why did we let healthcare become an “industry”?
    Oh- I’m hyperventilating again…

    Margaret- Oh my. I do not have TV. Sounds like I’ll continue to not have a TV. I am still not over seeing one of the first sanitary pad adverts on TV at an aunt’s house almost 40 years ago…

  131. Universal health care easier? Only you, Helen, could make this issue readable and clear.

    Well, as you, write, per the Christian mantra, you would think that the Moral Majority would take seriously the “brother’s keeper” idea.

    It seems to me that health care is part of a whirlpool of problems as our economy circles the drain. As far as food vs. health care, I know too many people who are having to choose between food and heat or medicine.

    And Margaret, the pharmaceutical companies are in bed with politicians, hooked into IVs pumping them with trips, luxury items and jobs when they retire from their political careers (while collecting retirement benefits from taxpayers for their service to “us”). I agree, too, there are far too many ads for drugs (um, pills). If something feels wrong, the drug companies tell us, have we got a pill for you! Feeling shy, take a pill!. Feeling blue, take a pill! Worrying about your future [insert worry], take a pill! Think you might have a heart attack someday, take a pill! I know there are people who have real need for pharmaceuticals. But there are stories of people getting arrested because they have 20 different prescription drugs (from 10 different doctors).

    Whatever happened to exercising and eating right and focusing on what we have instead of what we don’t?

    My grandparents lived well into their 90s. My grandpa was not on any medications. My grandma took a blood thinner. That’s it. Both went peacefully in their sleep (almost exactly one year apart).

    I think the two of you are awesome; thanks for writing and for the hospitality.

    Hugs,
    Jess

    http://skyewriter-novemberfifth.blogspot.com/

  132. What I find amusing is that viagra and most of those other ED meds are covered by insurance , but birth control is not. Most young women have to pay for it out of their own pockets. So follow the path of logic, the woman gets pregnant from the guy on viagra and has to drop the baby off at the hospital in Nebraska so the Christian activists don’t blow her up in an abortion clinic.

  133. Helen & Margaret,

    I say we fly you overseas and have you meet in a cozy room around a farm table piled high with cake and cookies and pitchers of sweet tea. Put all the leaders of all the countries in the Middle East in the room with you for three days. I bet you dollars to donuts the two of you could negotiate peace amongst them all!

    ~ One of your tens of thousands of fans!

  134. Brava, Ladies!

    Your ideas and ideals definitely call upon our better angels, which is why I think we’re in good shape. Every time you post you raise the universal vibration another notch.

    >I say it is that easy. Years ago we decided to go to the moon. We made it a priority and to the moon we went.<

    Yes We Can. Om, peace, amen.

  135. Margaret! My husband and I joke all the time about a pill called “Focusin.” We’d market it to parents with dreamy 11yo daughters who can’t seem to get their homework done in a decent length of time. We even have a slogan… “Focus in with Focusin!” Just lack the ingredients. ;) And of course the will to make yet another pesky problem-solving pill.

  136. Guns, sex and money. You got that right! DON’T RAISE MY TAXES! And then those Republicans say it’s not they themselves that don’t want to pay higher taxes, they just fear if we raise taxes on the rich they will stop working, and hiring people and growing the economy. Right.

    So, I guess if we just give the U.S. automakers a bunch of tax cuts all will be better??? Could it possibly be that taxes have little to do with this equation? Perhaps building cars that no one wants to buy has everything to do with it.

    We’ve come up with $700 billion for banks, possibly $25 billion for automakers, and how many billions for the Iraq war–and we can’t come up with ANYTHING to cover the uninsured????

  137. What kills me is that people are still trying to crucify Obama for “being a socialist” and “spreading the wealth.”

    Have not all states been called “Commonwealths” since their inception? Commonwealth of Virginia…Commonwealth of Massachusetts…etc. We were FOUNDED on the principle of being independent commonwealths.

    Thus schools, libraries, post offices, roads, sidewalks, parks, fire departments, police departments, etc. If we can make our common wealth work for all of the above (and more), why not for healthcare? (As Canada has done fairly successfully.)

    The problem…like with Big Oil, Big Auto, and Big Banks is greed. The CEO’s and COO’s of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and insurance companies are multi-millionaires while we suffer at their whim and fancy.

    The CEO of Ford made $28 million last year, but he needs free handouts from us taxpayers to make his payroll? Same, same, same. Same greed. Same high-risk decisions. Same sense of entitlement. Same “Too-Big-Too-Fail” mentality. FDR would leave them high and dry and create new jobs for their layed-off employees….perhaps he would invite the Japanese automakers to open plants in America to hire former employees of Big 3 Auto to produce efficient, affordable, green vehicles.

  138. And that’s the problem, really–that parents have no where else to go to deal with these problems but to haul the kids off to Nebraska. There are no support services for this sort of thing. Republicans (and by that I mean the pro-life Republican far-right wing nut Dominionists) are all about saving “potential” lives, lives that are hypothetical. But once born, well, you’re on your own kids.

    I worked for many years for a child protective service agency. The workers are so tied up with enormous caseloads of kids being beaten and sexually abused, there’s no time for emotional abuse or helping out parents who*are* doing the job and are willing to do the job indefinitely with a little help. There is only time to punish those who are no longer willing to do the job and so end up charged with child abandonment and have the rest of their kids taken from them 9 times out of 10. And the money? It’s just not there. There isn’t enough to hire enough people. There isn’t even enough to pay the people who are there a wage commensurate with the amount of work involved and the responsibility taken. You end up with people who are either called to this kind of work (and they burn out in a few years), who are on a power trip (who abuse that power constantly) or the not-very-bright who really just thought they’d get their Mrs. and found themselves with an MA in Social work instead.

    So what is a parent with an emotionally unstable and/or violent and/or dangerous child and/or severely handicapped child supposed to do? Suffer, that’s what. For life.

    (I have to say though, “You’d better go clean that room like I said or I’ll take you to Nebraska!” has been heard in my house a time or two.)

  139. Honest to G*d, you make so much sense. Couldn’t our new President put you in charge of healthcare reform, or at least let you be in charge of reading the riot act to the Congress so that they will get something done. I don’t get the disconnect with Republicans. Those who work IN government, FOR the government, and IN the military already have what they call “socialized” medicine when we want to have access to it ourselves. Good enough for them and the military, but too good (or communist or something) for us.

    Keep it up–maybe you’ll get a really public forum someday.

  140. Seriously, I think Nebraska changing their “safe haven” law to only infants is a mistake. Here’s why…there are so many young children and teens with serious behavioral issues, bipolar and other types of mental illness.

    There are some children who no matter how much you love them, no matter how hard you try to find them the appropriate care and medication, sometimes they can no longer stay at home.

    They endanger other children in the family with their abusive, violent, overly aggressive behaviors.

    They make it impossible for a family to function.

    Sometimes a parent may feel they have no other option. Sometimes they themselves may not be capable of caring for a child with those types of issues.

    Sometimes these parents fear for their own safety with these ill children.

    I’m just saying… sometimes the safest thing for the parent, that child, and other family members is to remove or give up the ill child. True, there are other ways to accomplish this, but when you are living it, it’s completely different.

    I don’t live this extreme myself, but I know many parents from an online support group I belong to that live this every day.

    I’ve seen children in the hospital in violent, manic states. It’s very hard to even watch from a distance. I can’t imagine what their parents go through on a daily basis.

  141. Do you know where a lot of the medicine you take comes from? Where it’s manufactured or assembled?

    I didn’t. I just figured the big pharmaceutical companies had factories, y’know.

    Then I got to talking to a nurse turned lawyer, followed hard by a long discussion wtih a co-worker whose mother is still recovering from what should have been simple surgery. They both told me the same thing.

    Most of the medication and packages of medical supplies are created and assembled in China. Or Mexico. With NO oversight.

    And counterfeit drugs are being used constantly, both in doctors’ offices and in hospitals.

    I was appalled and terrified. They showed me statistics, told me how the profit margin is SO great for the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies that there is no discussion of these practices. They simply squash it.

    Why is there no universal health care? There’s no money in it.

    And there’s lots of money in helping men have perpetual erections.

    So they’ll use their big guns to shut you up about the fake drugs they’re making to help guys get hard.

  142. Hi there H & M!! You two absolutely KILL me!!! Your blog is something that I look forward to. I am wondering when Oprah, or Ellen or SOMEBODY out there is going to check you out and make you national celebrities. Wouldn’t that be a hoot???

  143. You two just keep getting better everyday. I prescribe a dose of Margaret and Helen once a day and check back with me in a year and see how we are progressing on the universal health care front. In the meantime, rip-roaring laughter is the best medicine.

  144. Hahahah–Maybe the Republican Motto should be, ” A Hard Man is Good To Find.”

    I know, lets ask Bob Dole.

    I have a whole Blog devoted to the religious nuttiness that abounds in the Apocalyptic RNC.

    Really, anyone who looks forward to the end times is no better than those poor kids that cut themselves or binge drink. I dont know why one is more acceptable than other forms of self destruction. The fact that they want to take me with them brings it to a whole new level of creepiness.

    The word of the Day: Dominionism. Its the biggest cause behind our embrace of Global Warming as a welcome wave of the future, its why our government tries to fullfill the prophecy, rather than doing what any reasonably smart person would, which is to accept being dutifully warned and pick a different path.

    Guns are for those who arent raptured up. Sex–I dont know why they do it, since they are all going to die soon. I mean why bring children into a world thats about to end. I thought they were pro life.

    Money is to pay off the middle man and to try and avoid accepting the Mark of the Beast–They think it will be an RFID chip or a Bar Code, but I think it will be a Crucifix or Cross.

    There is a significant faction of Christianity that has become a twisted version of the powers it has said it despises.

    So everyday I pray for saner Christians to prevail. For practical Christians to take over, and end this millenial madness that should have imploded with the anticlimax of Y2K.

    But its the rich folks using Christian Myth to feed the beast and distract us from the important stuff. Who is holding the purse strings, Where the money goes, who has the power, who is running this or that show, and what the actual goals are in this game.

    Obama gives me hope. It will take all we’ve got to keep him safe because these nutters are fanatics.

    Keep On Keepin On Ladies.

  145. Ladies, I thought you might be interested in this:

    More Layoffs at Focus on the Family

  146. I love you both! May I be just like you someday. You are giving a voice to things the rest of us anguish over, yet don’t know what to do about. I run my Meals On Wheels route and wonder if it too will come squealing to an end due to budget cuts. What will my elderly clients eat for lunch? I already worry about what they eat the rest of the day as it is. And what about their pets? And their medicine and their heating bills? I just heard on the evening news that here in Texas we have twice the percentage of hungry people (children, many of them) than does the rest of the nation. What in the world are we going to do, girls, with all these hungry people while we’re sending billions of dollars to a thing the Republicans declared was a war?
    Brenda in Tyler

  147. Brilliant post, as usual.

  148. Spot on, once again, H&M.

    Kills me that Bush said after the invasion of Iraq that it’s the right of every Iraqi to have health care, while 40 odd million in his own country don’t have that right.

    Don’t get me started on pre-existing conditions. I have several, and it terrifies me that I’ll be denied coverage for them. The Kennedy-Kassenbaum bill of the late 90’s made it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition, but they don’t have to pay for the condition itself! I mean, Insurance Co X has to accept me if I’m part of an employer’s pool, but it doesn’t have to cover expenses related to my pre-existing conditions.

    Better than nothing, I guess.

  149. Keep it up girls. You really crack me up.

    BTW Margaret ~ “But could somebody please explain to me why the pharmaceutical companies feel it to be so necessary to advertise on television as much as they do?

    -snip-

    Lord knows I have lost count of the number of times my Howard has sat there and watched a drug commercial then announced to the world that he has whatever ailment that was just described.

    This, of course, leads to a phone call to schedule yet another appointment with the doctor. This is my world, dear, welcome to it.

    See how that works?

  150. My only comment is that I love you both and wish I could be your new best friend. I thoroughly agree with you both and look forward to each new post. You make me laugh out loud, yet you make so damn much sense. I am so grateful that my daughter introduced me to your blog and I sincerely hope you keep it up! Thank you so much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,710 other followers

%d bloggers like this: