No Way, Sanjay

Say it isn’t so — Sanjay Gupta as the next Surgeon General. At a time when 18,000 of us die every year from lack of access to health care, we need a champion to go up against the Congress and the insurance company lobbyists. We don’t need someone in a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck. We do not need someone who can do brain surgery. We do need someone who will fight for those who need brain surgery.

Doctor Gupta has a history of siding with the status quo. That is the opposite of what is needed. We need access to health care for everyone — pure and simple. Nothing less will do. This is not nuclear physics or brain surgery. It is politics.

Many of the 18,000 who die from lack of health care are children. On September 28, 2007 BBC reported:

… In February, there was an outcry over the case of Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy who died because his family could not afford private dental treatment. “The thing about Deamonte was his smile, he was always smiling,” says Gina James, principal of The Foundation School in Maryland, where Deamonte was a popular and promising student.

It was while he was at school one Thursday in February that Deamonte complained of toothache. On the Saturday he had emergency surgery. An abscess had spread to his brain. A few weeks later he died.

“Everyone here was shocked,” says Ms James. “They couldn’t understand how he could have toothache and then die. We sometimes give the little kids candy as a reward; well, for a while they stopped taking it because they would say ‘if I get a cavity, will I die?’”

Deamonte’s mother, Alyce, could not afford private health insurance and in the US there is no state health service. For the poorest there is some free treatment, called Medicaid. But not all dentists or doctors accept Medicaid patients, and Alyce Driver could not afford to pay to have Deamonte’s tooth extracted. Some 45 million Americans are without health insurance, nine million of them children.

Many say it is America’s national scandal. …

The new Surgeon General should be someone who understands why the USA is the only developed nation in the industrialized world to have no health care for many citizens. Understanding the problem should be the number one qualification. Not only doctors, but also nurses, dentists, teachers, blue collar workers and those in many other professions qualify. The point is this — it is not necessary for the SG to be a medical doctor. Having an M.D. behind the name should neither qualify nor disqualify anyone. Lack of compassion and a lack of understanding of the real problem should be the disqualifying factors.

How about a Surgeon General nominee who needs a root canal but has no money? Extreme pain can sometimes fill a person with empathy. Dental care, eye care, prescription drug coverage, long term care (in and out of the home) should be included in a new Single Payer System.

Michael Moore made a major contribution with Sicko — one of the best documentaries of our generation. Mike Moore is a controversial guy, but that is irrelevant. The facts are the facts and Moore did a great job in presenting the facts in Sicko. He ‘gets’ it. He understands the suffering of those who face the calamity of a health crisis. He understands that the leading cause of bankruptcy has been major illness. He understands that it is the collusion between the Congress and the insurance companies that is responsible for the needless deaths — 18,000 every year. That is like having a 9/11 every sixty days — but worse. We are doing this to ourselves by continuing to allow the insurance companies to profiteer and deny care to those who have insurance. Those without insurance don’t stand a chance.

The powers that be, are tweaking around the ragged edges of health care. There is a movement to convert all paper medical records to an electronic form. Follow the money on that one. It will be a boondoggle for some companies. Will it compromise the privacy of patient records? Will it improve the quality of care or increase the number of people who have access to care? Unfortunately it will be a distraction from the real problem — lack of access to the care, not the records.

The bottom line is this. We can have insurance companies or we can have universal health care, but we can’t have both. Only a Single Payer System will work. Any plan that allows the insurance companies to continue to profiteer will fail to provide the care. Children, such as Deamonte Driver, will continue to die.

Good candidates for Surgeon General are Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, and many other lesser knowns. Ralph Nader is over-qualified for the job, but maybe that is exactly what is needed — someone with a long history as an advocate for the common man.

Now is the wrong time for a media star who does not understand what it feels like to have a loved one in need of health care that is not accessible. We need someone with compassion and the courage to go up against the power of the insurance companies — a fighter for the people.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.

52 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. sam said on January 10th, 2009 at 11:01am #

    crazy article. dr gupta is the best candidate for this job, period !!!

  2. Matt said on January 10th, 2009 at 1:47pm #

    If you think that a corporate apologist who panders to insurance companies is the right guy for the job, then you really need to do some further thinking on the subject.

  3. Hue Longer said on January 10th, 2009 at 3:24pm #

    Thanks Rosemarie,

    Is this the same sophist who tried to switch attention from what Sicko was getting at to his incorrect nit pickings on the movie’s facts? He sat there smiling as Moore lost it on Wolf Blitzer?

  4. rosemarie jackowski said on January 10th, 2009 at 4:48pm #

    Thanks Hue … Yep, this is the same guy.
    Thanks Matt… And they promised “change”.
    Thanks Sam… You are not serious, are you?

  5. Max Shields said on January 10th, 2009 at 4:57pm #

    I wonder how Moore feels about his vote now? This is like a major poke in the eye from his lessor evil Obama.

  6. Hue Longer said on January 10th, 2009 at 6:04pm #

    I’m not sure Max but the argument left to the Progressives for Obama is, “He needs to pull his centrist and right wing enemies into his camp in order to affect change”. Maybe Moore will have the Doctor over for dinner?

  7. Tree said on January 10th, 2009 at 6:22pm #

    Michael Moore? What’s he going to do, start an anti-obesity campaign?
    It’s not irrelevant that he’s a controversial guy. He’s nothing but a showman, a Barnum for the progressive set.

  8. Zen Prole said on January 10th, 2009 at 6:43pm #

    Right on target, Rosemarie. Gupta is just another in the Obama avalanche of corporate appointees, sure to continue the damage of the last 30 years. Your bottom line assertion is like Justice Brandeis’: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both. “

  9. Deadbeat said on January 10th, 2009 at 8:00pm #

    I disagree with Tree. Sicko was a very informative and important movie. The movie was so important that it caused the ruling class to ratchet up the attack and disinformation campaign against the movie — hence Sanjay Gupta. The irony as Max points out in his terse comment was Moore support for Obama (as lesser evil) only to be “betrayed” by the selection of Gupta as Surgeon General by Obama.

    Clearly Americans will not get a national health care program that is sorely needed. Gupta, I believe, is also a board member with one of the pharmaceutical companies thus he has a clear conflict of interest. Clearly Conyers voicing his objection to Gupta is important but all-in-all the indications from Obama is more of the same.

  10. MotherJones said on January 10th, 2009 at 10:16pm #

    sam, if you believe that crap, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn, NY to sell you! I’ve known Gupta PERSONALLY for 7 YEARS and know FIRST HAND he’s a BOOTLICKING MORON who can barely get his sentences to make sense to his listeners! In addition, he’s VERY narrow minded in his thinking and is a REAL BUBBLE-HEAD when it comes to Public Policy & Financial Analysis – 2 subjects ESSENTIAL to the job in question. For this reasons alone HE’S A ROTTEN CHOICE & ‘BOZO THE CLOWN’ COULD DO BETTER WITH A PENKNIFE!

    THE ONLY REASON HEALTH CARE IS SO EXPENSIVE IN THE U.S. IS BECAUSE INSURANCE CO.’s ARE (1) administratively INCOMPETENT and passing their PHONY, PADDED COSTS on to patients; and (2) taking a HUGE FINANCIAL ‘CUT OF THE ACTION’ of Premium Dollars rolling in for OPERATING and ADMIN COSTS & PROFIT. So when you add the actual cost of Medical & Material Costs of treating a patient for a complex or simple procedure to the HIGHWAY ROBBERY COSTS OF #1 & #2, folks, you end up with a simple case of GRAND CORP. THEFT!

  11. Tree said on January 10th, 2009 at 11:38pm #

    I guess that only goes to show the lesser of two evils is still evil.

  12. BuelahMan said on January 11th, 2009 at 8:04am #

    Gupta is bought and paid for, precisely the way Barack Obama is.

    Nader would be excellent. Michael Moore, not so much.

    Besides, Gupta has a weird animal penis eating fetish.

    http://buelahman.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/should-the-next-surgeon-general-have-a-weird-animal-penis-fetish/

  13. Beverly said on January 11th, 2009 at 9:20am #

    Does Michael Moore really “get it?” All his posturing about the plight of the uninsured and outsourced masses in Sicko and Roger and Me and he shills for Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Plus, he called Nader crazy during last year’s campaign and encouraged his fans to abandon support of Nader – one of the few political people with who has consistently advocated for the interests that Moore claims to support.

    Moore’s movies spotlight important issues but his support of the very politicians who create and exacerbate these issues drops his credibility level to zero. Thus, he’d fit right in with the current shaministration-elect.

  14. rosemarie jackowski said on January 11th, 2009 at 9:56am #

    Beverly…Thanks for the comments. I partially agree, BUT what you say is an irrelevant ad hominem attack on Moore. I would not care if “Sicko” was produced by Don Rumsfeld. It is the facts in “Sicko” that are important – the facts, just the facts. Syllogistic Logic 101 explains the ad hominem fallacy.
    My article is not a fan letter to Moore. It is a desperate plea for help for all of those who are suffering in the USA.

  15. joe of maine said on January 11th, 2009 at 10:29am #

    In a CIVILIZED society, health care for everyone, without psychological or economic pressure, would NEVER be a topic for discussion.. It has never been more obvious, americans are object, number, and death oriented, NOT life oriented.
    Another point, even if we had totally FREE health care, we still must deal with incompetent doctors and administrations who are immature, ego based with little empathy for those who need attention and care. [you can't expect a 3 year old to care for an adult]
    We can’t expect nor will we receive anything more than corruption from this political system that is SATURATED with criminal behavior.

  16. rosemarie jackowski said on January 11th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    Thanks joe… I agree. The list of problems is very long – the collusion between government and the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, med schools, FDA, USDA, corruption in hospitals allowing too much money to go to the top and too little to those who actually empty the bed pans. The pay and benefits package of most hospital administrators is obscene. It’s all about money. The entire system is corrupted.
    Sadly, the fix is not that difficult. No need to reinvent the wheel. Just model a system after Costa Rica’s. The only thing standing in the way is the US voter – many of whom are sitting ducks for a medically induced bankruptcy or death if they are one of the 18,000.

  17. Max Shields said on January 11th, 2009 at 11:12am #

    Moore epitomizes the problem with the so-called US progressives. If you listen to what he says you’d swear this guy was a solid Green/Nader supporter.

    At a certain level he does “get it” but at the important level of convictions over pragmatic wishy-washy he definitely doesn’t.

    Of course, Sicko was on the money and Moore is even more emphatic about single payer than some European nations who have some version of single/private.

    But he not only votes for Obama (a guy who has consistently disagreed not only with single payor but a whole litany of progressive issues Moore states as his position), he actually assaults Nader and his supporters time and again.

    Why would you do that if you agree with the man (Nader)? Why would you put all your positions on hold to vote for a corporate appeaser? Because he’s a Dem? Because he’s black? (That latter is another point that seems way off-base. If two years ago you took a poll of African Americans asking what the top 10 priorities to positively affect their lives and improve the policies of the US gov’t I can’t even imagine that having a black president would even begin to hit the top 20.)

    I think it just felt comfy for Moore to vote for the phenom over principle. And it is comfy that has kept up right smack dab in the middle of imperial empire. Maybe the Sanjay will prick
    his comfort zone.

  18. bozh said on January 11th, 2009 at 11:42am #

    it does seem to me that moore is so wishy-washy; he squishes all over the place.

  19. The Angry Peasant said on January 11th, 2009 at 11:42am #

    Max,
    Moore, like Bill Maher, was a Nader supporter. But like many left/progressives, he denounced Nader after the 2000 election, buying into the “Gore lost because of Nader” nonsense, even after campaigning for Ralph, and abominizing Gore as “the lesser of two evils.” Then he supports Obama, probably because he’s black. Nevertheless, it baffles one how someone whose head is screwed on as straight as Moore’s is could jump on the Obama bandwagon. Now Obama has bitten him in the ass. I actually sent him a letter asking him what the hll he was thinking. Predictably, I got no response.

    But Rosemarie is right. This isn’t about Moore. Millions are suffering, myself included. I could have diabetes, high blood pressure and a tumor somewhere, and I would never know it. All because of the powers that be and their insatiable frigging greed. Even people wth health insurance are screwed. Yes, they can open up and say “Aah,” once in a while, but once they actually get sick, they’re done for. They can plan on losing their homes, because their laughable “insurance” won’t cover most of the bills. If they continue to cover the sick person at all, that is. In the meantime, our taxes pay for Cheney the billionaire’s pacemaker.

    We have a true horror story happening here, and we continue to let it go on. If the American people won’t stand up to the government on this most crucial issue, then we really have no hope. Americans need to be angry about this. Very, very angry. Health care is a human right, not some product to be bought and sold in the marketplace. It’s not something to be rationed to the priveleged.

  20. Brian said on January 11th, 2009 at 11:51am #

    I once had Michael Moore in a playful headlock before a Ralph Nader event in Madison, WI on September 20, 2000.

    I should have never let go.

  21. bozh said on January 11th, 2009 at 12:08pm #

    irate paesano, benediciti,
    maher is a supporter of israel. i don’t know about Moore. so, it is no wonder maher is against nader. gesundheit/nazdarovje.
    when my doctor tells me that i have just a few weaks or months to live i’ll burn as many churches as i can.
    until then i remain your true coward.
    now, make sure you pronounce all those well-wishing words properly.
    you can do it! we are at least a bit smarter than an ape.
    one good thing about maher is that he is not a rabid cultist as so many ‘jews’ seems to be. danke, spasibo, sheshe

  22. Max Shields said on January 11th, 2009 at 12:51pm #

    I agree with the premise of Rosemarie’s article. I was simply reflecting the irony.

  23. Deadbeat said on January 11th, 2009 at 1:15pm #

    Not meaning to add some degree of cynicism but in order for Moore to get his project funded he has to go knocking on the doors of the Hollywood liberals who naturally support the Democrats.

    If we examine Moore Fahrenheit 911, Moore basic premise of the Iraq invasion was the Bush family connection to Arab oil sheiks. Moore pretty much left the Democrats off the hook. And if Moore examined AIPAC influence in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq it is clear that his funding would have dried up.

    But essentially this kind of off-topic. The real issue is as what Ms. Jackowski states which is the lack of health care for American citizens. Unfortunately the signals from Obama is more of the same.

  24. Deadbeat said on January 11th, 2009 at 1:18pm #

    Max,

    Reflecting on the irony is extremely important because of the message it sends to the American public and especially the message it sends to advocates of single-payer health care.

  25. Max Shields said on January 11th, 2009 at 1:22pm #

    DB we totally agree!

  26. The Angry Peasant said on January 11th, 2009 at 2:02pm #

    Irony is the offspring of hypocrisy.

    — The Angry Peasant

  27. The Angry Peasant said on January 11th, 2009 at 2:03pm #

    Sorry. Just a compulsion.

  28. rosemarie jackowski said on January 11th, 2009 at 3:36pm #

    Hey Angry Peasant… Some compulsions are good. That’s exactly what we need – someone who feels compelled to do the right thing so we will have Single Payer.

  29. Max Shields said on January 11th, 2009 at 3:39pm #

    In Moore’s case it’s a kind of sweet revenge or karma or eternal justice. When you start betraying yourself because you think you’re such a smart ass, than there’s blow back.

    Here’s what Michael knew on election day 2000: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2000-11-07

    Somewhere between then and know Michael kept his positions but lost his “soul”.

  30. Zen Prole said on January 11th, 2009 at 4:15pm #

    Great comments here, but Deadbeat is in error about Michael Moore’s movie funding: his first film was self-financed (or was it the first two?), then a Canadian production company financed a few, then Miramax bought in for Sicko. Whatever you think of him (and I am no fan of his politics), the tired line about liberal Hollywood elites is nonsense. Better to look at the Abomination about to take office for support of that thesis.

  31. James Hovland said on January 11th, 2009 at 4:51pm #

    If you want quality affordable health care for America, crush the GOP.

    The ‘Right’ will ration your health care, it is part of the Capitalist strategy to make any and all government programs fail, thus “proving” that free market competition is our only viable solution. When you think about the value of competition, remember the risks. Remember Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, because competition isn’t always about advancement, sometimes it’s about breaking your competitor’s leg. Think about the ridiculous sanctions we wage against Cuba, and how the ‘ Right’ loves to point at their struggling economy to prove Socialism doesn’t work. There is a pattern of behavior to be seen here. The Republican strategy involves cutting Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals, and then pointing at the reduced payments as an example of why National Health Care wouldn’t work. The problem has nothing to do with government control, we have a government of, by, and for the people, the real problem is Republican control. Republicans can not be trusted with any government program. We will never have a real ‘for the people’ government if we keep electing these ‘for-profit’ Capitalists puppets. Read this quote from the 1928 book Propaganda, and think about who is supposed to be the true ruling power of our government.

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our government.” ~ Edward Bernays

    The ‘Right’ is not the source of the propaganda as many believe, but rather a product of it. The industry term for this is “useful idiot”. Fear and disinformation is what makes them so irrational and impossible to talk to. Emotional triggers are used to frustrate communication as a means of insulating the disinformation and false stereo types from rational thought and intelligent conversation. Fear is of the unknown, there is no other kind, thus fear requires the absence of knowledge. Controlling the flow of information is important to the propagandist because, like fear, the power of propaganda crumbles in the light of information. Propaganda was very powerful back when TV was high tech, but as an inevitable result of the era in which we live, the power is fading and the GOP is on the verge of collapse. The world has clearly changed.

    People are more knowledgeable now than at any point in history. We have access to information like never before, search engines, news archives, global communication, social networks, blogs, and a comment section on every corner. Welcome to the information era, where the people have a voice, and Democracy is rising.

    James Hovland, a product of freedom

  32. Danny Ray said on January 12th, 2009 at 6:19am #

    James,
    The ‘Right’ is not the source of the propaganda as many believe, but rather a product of it. The industry term for this is “useful idiot”. Fear and disinformation is what makes them so irrational and impossible to talk to.

    I believe that the term USEFUL IDIOTS was coined in the basement of the Kremlin in the 1930′s

  33. rosemarie jackowski said on January 12th, 2009 at 2:37pm #

    James Hovland…Are you saying that now that there is a dem in the White House we will all have quality health care?
    I also would question your assertion that people are more knowledgeable now. Maybe they could be, but check the line-up of TV programs – 95% of which contribute to the dumbing-down of the population. I call it predatory, willful ignorance.
    I do not share your optimism.

  34. The Angry Peasant said on January 12th, 2009 at 9:58pm #

    Rosemarie’s right, James. We at DV are painfully aware of the fraud that is the Democratic party. They don’t want universal health care any more than the Republicans. When people refer to the “right” and the “left,” they’re just talking about sides of the bed.

  35. James Hovland said on January 13th, 2009 at 1:22am #

    Rosemarie and Angry Peasant,

    Thank you for your input, allow me to clarify and explain.

    NO. I’m not actually saying anything about Democrats, but I will. First let me help you get to a point where you have not already been defeated. If you can’t see a path to success, you can only hope to get there by accident. That isn’t your plan, is it?

    I understand the dumbing-down of America as well as anyone, if not better. Refer to my previous comments about Edward Bernays. This has gone on for the entire history of TV. This is one of the many subjects I have spent thousands of hours researching while online.

    Let’s examine your knowledge of the situation. Should I question that knowledge? Or just assume you have done your research, just like your parents and grandparents did? Did your parents know they were being dumbed down? Were they more or less knowledgeable about this than you or I? My parents are still pretty much clueless.

    Try this on for size. The ‘Old White Guy’ party is dying of OLD age! In the meantime, every single year, without fail, about 4 million fresh new computer literate minds reach voting age.

    Are you too young to remember that we didn’t always have the internet? Or are you old enough to have been beaten for too long to think anything will ever change? Or can you maybe learn to see things a little different?

    This will help you to understand where my views come from. My interest in politics started after a six year free-range education in psychology that I pursued for my own purposes. In 2005 I was vaguely familiar with propaganda and was researching the campaign used in 1930s to criminalize marijuana when I stumbled on fluoride and the most professional propaganda I have ever seen. If you don’t know about fluoride and how to avoid it, you’re probably operating at about 15 IQ points below your potential. I grow most of my own food now and take a lot of iodine, because I know what what is actually going on and a little more. The real concern is not what’s in water, it’s what is in our food, and why. Fluoride happens to be extremely effective against dental carries, not tooth decay. The difference is that decay is caused by sugar and what not, carries is caused by radiation. Understanding this actually made me feel better because I realized we were not being poisoned for no reason, but to protect us from the possibility of nuclear whatever. War was the problem, and a Dow AgroScience petition at the EPA for another unhealthy dose had just been approved, with some very well crafted deception, at the federal registry. My interpretation of this was, we were prepared for, and about to start, another war. A quick Google search turned up a pending ultimatum for Iran to give up their uranium enrichment. I’m still studying propaganda, but I have added history and politics because both are full of it. I’m an independent for obvious reasons.

    About the Democrats. I stand by my statement about the ‘Right’ being a product of propaganda. The ‘Left’ on the other hand is a natural reaction to the ‘Right’, and they try to play the game, but they don’t know all the rules and have never had any real ‘professionals’. I disagree with the party system, even so far as to reject third parties, but it’s what we have to work with at the moment.

    What really matters, and the only thing that will ever change any of this, is ‘Public Opinion’, including that of the parties. Look at this part of Bernays quote again.

    “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our government.” ~ Edward Bernays

    Ah! I have an idea!

    James Hovland, a product of freedom

  36. rosemarie jackowski said on January 13th, 2009 at 11:50am #

    Thanks Angry Peasant…

    James…Just a few points. Fluoride is a poison. Paul Connett, world expert on fluoride, spoke and I was fortunate to hear him. You and I probably agree on that issue.
    About old folks being less informed – I might not agree with you. The problem is that now there is more information required to survive as compared with the old days. Life is much more complicated now. Now you need a doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, tech support guy, cable guy, neighborhood watch committee, taxpayer fairness group,……. Life is so complex no one has it figured out. Just look at Wall Street. Stereotyping a whole class by age might not be the best thing to do. Many old folks do not have computers. Computers are classist. You need money to have and maintain one.
    Your point about public opinion – well I don’t know about that. Public opinion and $1.50 might get you a cup of coffee but not much else. Right now we are watching white phosphorus being dropped on the civilian population in Gaza. We can watch it on TV. Does anyone care enough to take real action – no. If the Holocaust was happening now, it would be televised and most people would tune their sets to Jeopardy. Maybe all humanity has been bred out of us – Capitalism can do that.

  37. James Hovland said on January 13th, 2009 at 1:48pm #

    Rosemarie,

    “Public opinion and $1.50 might get you a cup of coffee but not much else.”

    Why do you write?

  38. Tree said on January 13th, 2009 at 2:03pm #

    I’d love to know where I can get coffee for only $1.50.

  39. rosemarie jackowski said on January 13th, 2009 at 2:47pm #

    James…Great question. I write because I breathe – but I don’t think that either of those activities (writing and breathing) will change much of anything. The last time I really tried to make a difference, I was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced – and even that did not do any good. More recently, I ran for Vt Attorney General on the platform of putting Bush/Cheney on trial. Needless to say, I lost the election. I’m running out of ideas. Any suggestions?

    Tree…Did I underestimate the cost? I never buy coffee when I’m out so I’m out of touch on that issue.

  40. rosemarie jackowski said on January 13th, 2009 at 2:54pm #

    James… This explains a lot.
    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/11/clueless-at-campaign-headquarters/

  41. Tree said on January 13th, 2009 at 2:57pm #

    lol actually, rosemarie, I can get coffee for just 79 cents. But the price I pay to have access to that is HUGE…

  42. James Hovland said on January 13th, 2009 at 10:16pm #

    If you’re serious about an elected position… My suggestion is to understand how the world is changing, and come in at close to the same speed so that there isn’t a major collision. Public opinion matters, you can shape opinion during your campaign, but on election day, your platform has to be consistent with the opinion of a majority. If you are serious there is more.

    On the net as a writer or commenter you can be more extreme. I say things in comments that I would never say in a campaign, but it’s all kind of an experiment in shaping opinion, and I’m even open about that, which is an experiment as well. The manipulation is real, but they don’t have control here, we do. This is a different game.

    I see the world as being governed by ideas in motion. If an idea has value, makes sense, and strikes an emotion, it will move, gain momentum, and evolve, until an outcome becomes inevitable. Everyone has a perceived reality consisting of these evolving ideas, that is what they base their decisions on, and as a whole, this is Public Opinion. Nobody is outside of this influence. This is what governs the world.

    For me it’s a long term project. If I have said anything that makes you see anything different, I have likely changed the world, because you will likely change the world. In the end, nobody will ever be able to put a finger on who really did it. You don’t have to agree with everything I say, just cherry pick it and take what you like.

    Have you ever watched a debate in frustration thinking “if they would just say ‘…’ everyone would understand” ? That ‘…’ was probably a key fact that, if spread, could have changed everything. Kick out as many of those as you can, and watch for and echo the ones other people are setting into motion.

  43. James Hovland said on January 13th, 2009 at 10:55pm #

    I have a familiar 3 part phrase that explains the party system very well.

    Democrats: You can fool all of the people some of the time.

    Republicans: You can fool some of the people all of the time.

    How it happened: You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    The Republicans were here first, the Democrats challenged the establishment. Fooling the people was a for-profit service. It still is.

    We haven’t had leaders for a long time, I believe the last ones were shot dead well before I was born. Were you around then?

  44. rosemarie jackowski said on January 14th, 2009 at 12:24pm #

    Tree…I detect a tone of mystery in your comment.

    James…About how to win an election… I would NEVER compromise my values. I am not a politician. I will never win an election.
    You are right about the importance of getting your message out but in Vermont there is Press censorship – not by the government but by the ‘ol boys network’.
    I was alive and remember the day Kennedy was shot. It was a horrific day but I am not exactly sure that he was a great president. I missed the Lincoln assassination.

  45. Tree said on January 14th, 2009 at 12:50pm #

    Rosemarie, I pick the coffee beans myself. It’s hell on my lower back.
    ;-)
    Old boys network in Vermont? Say it ain’t so! Now where am I going to move to?

  46. James Hovland said on January 14th, 2009 at 3:42pm #

    I’m not saying Kennedy was a great president, but he was a leader, and to certain people, that is a threat. Bernays explains exactly who I’m against.

    “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our government.” ~ Edward Bernays

    They own the majority of the old media. This here, and the printer next to you is about all we have. Except for all of the other awesome new gadgets, like phones that are internet capable video cameras. Technology is our friend now, not theirs.

    You say you won’t compromise your values, that’s cool, but it doesn’t mean you can’t win. It means to win, you have to be better at shaping opinion, and lead rather than campaign. The campaign is your opportunity to spread the knowledge that shapes your views.

    Out of time! I’ll be back later.

  47. rosemarie jackowski said on January 14th, 2009 at 3:54pm #

    Tree…You have hell on your back because of coffee beans. Up here I have to shovel through 8 foot snow drifts just to get to the mail box.

    James…The only way to win up here is to have the Dem/repub Party machine behind you – otherwise you have to own a newspaper. Our local paper is famous for not publishing letters to the editor if the editor wants another candidate to win. About technology being our friend – I don’t know, so far too much of it is a wasteland. I agree that it is of some value, I have learned more from the Internet and TVs C-span than I did in all of the years I was in school.

  48. James Hovland said on January 15th, 2009 at 1:02am #

    Tech influence.
    Rodney King was kinda the beginning of the by the people accountability we are still building on. I think we kinda lost that battle, but we gained a lot of ground in the big picture. The Bart incident had more camera angles than most movies are shot from. The people are watching.

    As far as your campaign goes. The media, the paper…the control… that can be worked around. But you need a little power of your own. I search for it.

    You have to look at every aspect of the position you want, the campaign, the situation the people are in, and explain it all, so that everything points to you being the best choice, and the only one that isn’t available anywhere else.

    How many voters do you have to reach?
    What is the current political leaning, and activity level?
    What kind of social groups are in your area?
    Why is the voter going to vote for you rather than the other guy?

    I’m only 36, so I’m just getting to the point where I’m confident enough to get that involved. I’m preparing myself for a seat in the House, in a district that’s split almost 50/50. I’ll campaign for better representation relating to the people as a constituent that’s competed with the lobbyists for representation. I’ll bring the canned answers I got as conversation pieces. I have a ton of material like that. I’ll have the unbeatable advantage of being an independent as it pertains to representation. Thats good stuff too, it almost makes being a member of a party seem immoral, or at least an unacceptable sacrifice. I think representation is an easy target, and the districts are a fairly small campaign. I was born in mine, and my current Rep is a Republican import. So I think the nature of the parties is open for discussion. He moved here to “represent” me, and the RNC footed the bill. Nice huh?

    It’s all just a dream until you wake up in the middle of a campaign and realize that you had jumped in. Been there?

  49. Hue Longer said on January 15th, 2009 at 5:33am #

    Whoa James,

    “We” didn’t lose the Rodney King incident due to lower tech/one camera limitations…If anything, more cameras would have enabled more angles for the defense to convince the choir of what they needed to see.

    (why that dumb mother*uc**r fled to Vegas is beyond me, but the embarrassment of the establishment trying to defend him/itself while he did so is at least amusing drama begging certain clarifications in the so called justice system…I bet the next spin from the dropper by’s here will be something close to how we should all be ashamed for driving the poor cop to flee)

  50. rosemarie jackowski said on January 15th, 2009 at 2:31pm #

    James…Are you going to run as a Democrat? I would never do that – it would be a violation of my conscience to align myself with either the dems or repubs.
    It appears that you will run because you want to win. I ran because I wanted to participate in a movement. It seems to me that membership in either the democratic or republican party implies a condonation of their past acts and policies.
    Now, while white phosphorus is falling on the civilian population, how can anyone with a clear conscience support dems/repubs. Please look at the Robert Fisk war photos of the children. More Iraqi children died during the Clinton administration than under both Bushes – and then Magdeline Albright said that the deaths were worth it.

  51. James Hovland said on January 16th, 2009 at 3:12pm #

    First, the Gaza issue. I couldn’t possibly be more bent out of shape over Hillary’s appointment as Secretary of State. Her foreign policy was why I was against her for president. Obama said he would talk, and then stiffed us with her. I’m not happy. Sanjay Gupta is the same story, and I’ll talk about that later. Palestine. I get the Arabic news updates from a good friend in Syria, and he shares a similar knowledge of the propaganda issue, so I see both sides clearly. I explain the situation as starting with nomads from Mesopotamia, a genocide in Canaan, and a book written by the self proclaimed “chosen people” to justify it all and claim it as their birth right. In biblical times they wiped Canaan off the map, in 1948 it was Palestine, and the siege continues. I have great respect for the Jewish people, I even feel bad for them because of the power religion holds over them, but what’s being done in their name and Israel’s, is unacceptable. Still, extremists on all sides are the problem. I’m not exactly happy with Hamas, because we are still under Bush’s thumb, and they blew it before “Change” happened. I don’t know what to do about Palestine now. Hamas could have beat Israel diplomatically if they had waited it out, and… if they can accept two states. Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen. The whole situation makes me sick. There just isn’t a lot I can do for Palestine that I haven’t already done, not with emotions this high. So I’m talking about Health Care to undermine the power of propaganda where I can. All of our issues are connected by that one piece.

    Most disagreements are actually misunderstandings. Why would you think that I would run as a democrat? It’s like you didn’t even read what I wrote.

    I am not opposed to you. Please stop filtering what I say through that emotions. Be observant of that as well, it’s a good key to understanding people and conflicts.

    I’m not in favor of any ideology. I prefer the flexibility of a dynamic mind which is more in line with the Progressives, but as soon as they start trying to tell me what I think, they become an ideology. I’m an independent because of my rebellious instinct to side with intelligence over authority.

    When I run it will be as an independent. Not as a gimped independent that whines about the parties being so powerful, but as a powerful independent that points out the parties as being what is wrong with our system. I don’t want this job, I am compelled to pursue it, because, sometimes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Because the people need someone on their side that can see through and dispel the propaganda. Our economy is collapsing and we don’t have any leaders with the where-with-all to confront the habits of our, 10 to 1 trade deficit, consumer society, or the ability to present a transparent path and goal. How are we going to get that money back?

    We need leadership reform, and that does not mean new legislation. The cornerstone of power is the ability to be heard. Any campaign can give you that ability, you don’t have to be elected to be a leader, nor does being elected make you one. I want to put up yard signs that say “In Cahoots with The People”, because that’s the kind of Representative I would be. I’ll bring my suit to show the people the difference between a suit and a man, and make my one campaign promise. If they send me to Washington, I’ll put it on for them. In the mean time, let’s talk about how to get our economy back on track so we can have programs like Single Payer Health Care, and be able to lower our taxes too.

    You don’t run to be part of a movement, you run to lead the charge. If you think that being an independent is a disadvantage, they’ve already beat you, but lack of a clear path is what destroys confidence, ‘they’ are just the obstacles. I understand your frustration. My e-mail expresses it as well. if_i_had_a_voice(at)yahoo.com. I’m finding one.

    I explain the word “can’t” like this: ‘I am not willing to put in the effort necessary to overcome my obstacles’. In many cases an apology is appropriate. If you understand where education fits into the path, you can do anything. It’s the willingness to put in the effort necessary that gets the job done. I want you to win. You’re my favorite kind of American, not because I agree with you, but because you’re involved. They say: Democracy requires a vigilant public. Thank you. When I’m all patriotic and wave the flag, it’s for people like you.

    Ok, California, district 4.

    Charlie Brown is the Democrat I would have to beat, he used to be a Republican, and apparently didn’t have the integrity or the confidence to be independent.

    McClintock is the Republican parties import, who was moved here to ‘represent’ us.

    If either is elected, only half the people will be represented, and only in theory. An independent can represent all the people. That’s a serious advantage. These candidates have no chance against an independent who knows how that’s an advantage. Almost everyone has good intentions and just wants to do what is right. Electing the candidate that represents all the people is the right thing to do.

  52. bozh said on January 16th, 2009 at 4:15pm #

    save a military disaster of the israelis, nothing pals do or don’t do will affect ‘jewish’ end goal. and guess what? it is one of the longest secrets ever. you’ve noticed that israel is still borderless in its entire circumpherence; includes sees also.
    over a century old secret and not one human being on earth knows what this goal is nor can any person know it; one can only tell it.
    can one imagine any other country at war for expansion getting away with this and endangering the entire planet at the same time?

    only a de facto US state can get away with terrorising the rest of us because of knowing what these cultists are capable of. neither bush nor obama knows this deep secret or if they know it they are not telling us.
    they just keep telling and tellling but not proving that it’s security of israel.
    by that they may mean absolute security of israel, absolute obedience of the rest of the world with no question asked, and absolute peaceful occupation.
    thus, i have imperfectly elucidated the situation! why not perfectly? because my friends there is and never will be perfection nor absolutes that the cultists demand. thnx