Posted by: David | October 17, 2009

Health Care Provider Number One

A brief rant … apologies to the sick, the dying, and the uninsured …

Nope, it’s not Medicare, not Blue Cross, Green Star, Red Crescent, or Yellow Pretzel. And I don’t mean the “Public Option” that my “conservative” friends see as communism either. (I submit to you, my right-minded friends, that INSURANCE ITSELF is a form of corrupt communism at its best!) The provider I’m thinking of is the ultimate single payer system.Β  Born here on earth into a human body? Congratulations! While it is a wonderful machine, it comes with no warranty, no operating manual, is quite messy for the first few months, and is later subject to the full impact of the Universe. Not much, but it’s all yours. So good luck. You’re IT!

Health Care Provider Number One: YOU.

The present debate about “health care” is largely missing the boat. All this endless chatter about insurance this and coverage that is driving me nutty. It’s not being said enough that there’s more to health care than repairing disease. There’s no HEALTH and little CARE going in this debate. What’s going on is the same massive conspiracy of complete consumption that’s been killing us since the Industrial Age. We buy in to the system of disease willingly. White bread and aerosol cheese. Garlic and onions give us bad breath, but we stink anyway from all the smoking and drinking. We can’t eat, sleep, or even crap properly any more, we’re allergic, diabetic, cancerous, and mentally ill.

Crunchy granola whole food hippie crapola you say? Two words: HAH!! Call it what you like, but it’s simple. Even your doctor will tell you to eat right, don’t smoke, stop drinking so much, and get regular exercise. WTF?!? NO PILLS FOR THAT?

And what IDIOT decided it would be neato to sift out the bran, germ, and other essential parts of the wheat because, dammit, REFINED is better?!? That wasn’t refining, that was OCD. Don’t stop till you have a fine white powder. White=Purity. Suck out all the goodness, boil it to hell, then put back the fractionated extracts. HYPERCRAP!! We still have this type of thinking running our Food Factories and squirting insipid, non-nutritive goop into cans, jars, pouches, tubes, and convenient bars you can just pop into your lunch bucket. I think it was comedian Billy Connolly who warned us not to eat foods that come in a bucket. He was serious. Did your doctor mention that you are what you eat? An apple a day …

What do we really know about nutrition? We know a lot more than we ever did, but a lot less than all there is to know. So we’ve identified some “vitamins” and “minerals”. Big deal. Calories and fiber, carbs and glycemic index, all grist for the brainwashing mill. Nothing like pseudo science to convince us “modern” consumers. Our food could stand to be a whole lot simpler than it is now, were it not for the fact that we’ve decided to live in big cities and spend our days chasing dollars through the streets. Obviously the only way we’re ever going back to any kind of agrarian society is after the frackin apocalypse. Is eating right really that inconvenient? THEY want you to believe that it is. Is there no safety, no security, no COVERAGE??? NO. NO COVERAGE FOR YOU! Sorry. We were born to suffer joy and pain and then to die. Let’s get over it.

Once you get over that, then you can be happy. Maybe. A little. But don’t get carried away because it’s not gonna last forever. Knowing this should free up some attention to pay to what you’re eating. Simplify. Now go run around the block until you’re all sweaty and out of breath. Then do it again the next day. And the next day. Etcetera. End of rant.

IMG_4319
Two beds of garlic. Planted last weekend. Where the onions were.

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Responses

  1. Touche!

    Only took me 12 days to come up with this witty response to your uncharacteristically brief comment:

    En garde? !

  2. Well a worthwhile rant. Just good to hear your voice. I was looking back at Foilage and realized you said “pinin’ for the fiords” which is (as I am sure you are well aware) a phrase we were just studying in our house — a reference to the dead Norwegian Blue who will go into the annuls as the star of one of the funniest sketches ever written (Monty Python of course). We were discussing collaboration and the story of that sketch is that John Cleese labored with pencil and paper while Graham Chapman sat for hours in silence. As John formed the sketch about returning a defective toaster, Graham uttered “make it a dead bird, a Norwegian Blue Parrot.” Of course the Norwegian Blue had already been extinct for years — which makes it just that much funnier — a truly defective bird to buy. Anyway — keep pining for the fiords and you forgot to rant about high fructose corn syrup!! That would have been the proverbial icing on the cake for your rant. Stay calm and thanks for the veggies.

    I was not aware of that but I’m glad to hear that such things are important in your home. I’d never even considered what it must have been like to write that sketch. It’s Python lines running through my brain that keeps the high fructose corn syrup from getting me down, as you say. Thanks for commenting and you’re welcome!

  3. Amen, brotha!

    Thanks maleesha.

  4. Agree!

    Thanks birdpress.

  5. 😦
    had to stop reading half way down.
    But I hope you are fine otherwise. Did the cold set early in this year? And what happened finally with those tomatoes that got the plague?

    Of course you could buy some canned tomatoes. My grandmother used to can them, too, but in a glass, not in metal, and so you could consider that canned is natural. After all, you freeze your things, and if I were a green pepper, I’d rather be canned than frozen, but freezing is not anti-natural either, seeing that in Siberia they put their harvest two feet down in the ground where there is permafrost.

    Just yesterday I tried to find out what the life expectancy was in the USA, and I couldn’t get good data, but I think it is around 80. So I thought your health care system must not be as bad as they say.

    Sorry cantueso. Thanks for reading halfway down. Being healthy and insured (by an HMO), I can afford to be strident. From the POV of someone needing substantial medical support, my rant sounds Malthusian. Not intended. Insurance is a great idea, like communism, but profit/greed has corrupted it beyond recognition. It’s not that our health care system is bad, it’s that our lifestyle choices and resultant habits have become decidedly UNhealthy. Much of the pool of insurance funds for payouts to insured are spent on people who’ve made these choices, or so the discussion goes … So cigarettes, high fructose corn syrup, and over processed foods cost everyone.

    We managed to freeze an adequate supply of tomato sauce despite the blight, which eventually killed all the plants except the ones in the greenhouse. I like freezing because we have a large freezer and fruits like peppers require almost no preparation to be frozen. Wash, stem, bag, and freeze. We used to “can” tomato sauce in jars too, when we lived without electricity. Being acidic they are pretty safe to can.

    Our first frost was not too early. Mid October is normal for us. But last weekend I put away the lawn mower and took out the snow blower. Just a few more pre-snow chores left now.

  6. sigh…

    Yeah.

  7. Your post makes me want to put my face right into your garden and only eat from there. The “disease management” debate has been driving me batty as well. Even from a financial viewpoint this lovely country we share could save billions if promoting actual health instead.

    Insurance companies; pharma; the AMA, for the most part see their perpetuation as more important than the nation’s well being; much as does a certain political party I could name if I were feeling snarky. Beautifully written, Dave, and thanks for the reality check.

    Thanks for that kind comment museditions. If you only ate from my garden you might find yourself feeling a little gassy. All them brassicas doncha know. They never should have let pharma advertise on TV. It just feels to me like this health care debate should consider the front end of the health care burden as well as the back. Dollars and cents are not all that matters here. It’s like the “corporate” world is trying to subsume and monetize our very bodies. Is that ironic?

  8. I wasn’t sure where you were going to go with this rant, but in the end, I just wanted to scoop you up and put you on CNN so you could repeat all of that…go YOU! πŸ˜€

    And it’s true, refined, white goodness is the best…or is it? I mean maybe for cocaine that is the ultimate standard…hmm…maybe a cocaine maven came up with the white bread, white refined sugar concept πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for your vote on health Romi. After you scoop me up can I go on Morning Express with Robin Meade? PLEASE? I would like to tell her to quit smoking. Should the USA learn anything from Canada on this health care stuff?

    “White goodness” is NOT good I say. Boo white goodness!

  9. The best they can learn from Canada, is that we DO have universal healthcare, and somehow (SOMEHOW), we are not a country of socalist, head-nodding drones!!! We aren’t constricted to all wearing silver jumpsuits, and we don’t all have the same haircut! We are all still individuals and we DON’T have this weird microchip implanted in our brains so the government can control us, yay! πŸ˜€

    And ya, when you go to the Emergency Room, you might have to wait for some odd hours, but umm…if you go in, and you’re like having a heart attack or something, fear not they won’t let you die in the waiting room! They’ll bring you straight in! (I’ve witnessed this myself). And yes, it can be a long wait list for something like a knee-surgery, but just remember the same knee-surgery you’ll get in the US within a month will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars if you’re okay with that, because EVEN IF your healthcare provider says they cover it, they will find some sort of “can’t cover you” loophole any chance they get!

    So it ain’t perfect, but we’re all here, and it does more good than harm, by a long-shot.

    Now if you’ll excuse me David, I need to go pick up my prescriptions, which cost $3, $0, and $0 πŸ™‚

    That’s very encouraging commentary Romi. Thank you! I sure am gonna miss those silver jumpsuits though. Y’all looked so gosh darn cute doing that socialist head nodding dance during Canadian Thanksgiving or whatever … hee hee πŸ™‚

    I feel that insurance should be non-profit. It’s whole purpose is to distribute individuals’ risks among significantly large populations. I believe that the profit motive and competitive market conflict with that purpose. In essence the corporation plays the odds on our possible misfortunes. There must be accurate manipulation of mortal statistics and money to insure that funds are available when needed for beneficiaries. What happens when larger percentages of the population make claims due to illness caused by generations of decaying lifestyle choices? What the hell can we do? I sure don’t know, but if I have to turn into a socialist, then may Zeus strike me dead with his thunderbolt. Kidding. We’ve been socialist here since forever. But don’t tell anybody please. It’s a secret.

    Oh I know, it was Canadian Easter, wasn’t it?

  10. not to change the subject or anything (why do people say things like that when they are about to change the subject?) but…do you rotate your garlic? I mean planting-wise. Do you always put it in the same place every year? And don’t onions and garlic pull the same nutrients out of the soil? HAVING A GOOD VACAY, D-LEV?!

    Hey vermonter, thanks for the welcome change of subject. I try not too bloviate too often, but there I went …

    We’ve been pretty irresponsible in the rotation schemes, usually planting our crops in the same places year after year. This year’s tomato blight may impact that habit. The beds where I put the garlic a few weeks back were fertilized with Pro Gro, a wonderful product from your home state. I hope that replaces whatever the onions took from the soil.

    And YES, I am having a good vacation so far, thanks for asking. πŸ™‚

  11. Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! You are the first person who has actually taken the time to ‘WRITE’ my thoughts…that I keep venting about when people come into my office! Why do they keep calling this debate over ‘health care,’ when they aren’t talking about taking care of ‘health!’???? They are talking about managing disease that has been encouraged by our greed-focused society.

    I think as long as we are in a world that is based monetarily, there isn’t enough money OR resources to take care of all of the medical needs of people who have been indoctrinated to NOT take care of themselves. And they seem so much more interested in focusing on a hot fudge sundae, and letting someone take care of them, than taking responsibility for their own health.

    (And just so you’ll know, I have no health insurance, and am okay with that. I prefer dealing with my health issues with alternative methods. AND I’m not some skinny, fit person judging others. I have all my own issues that I am working on….but I AM working on them!)

    Yes, there are the cases of people whose actual actions have not brought about their illness, but truly the amount of people in that realm, and their medical costs have not brought about this crisis. We could have easily have a system to take care of those needs, if we didn’t have the pharmaceutical companies luring every one to think they need their pills, or doctor’s who are more interested in making money than truly taking care of someone’s needs. Or big business and politicians who have allowed greed to affect every choice they make, with little thought to how it will affect the public at large. This is the society that has been advertising, indoctrinating the public to ‘buy into’ what they are selling!

    In the last twenty years, I have seen greed trickle down to people I live with and work with everyday, so that on many levels no one is even apologizing for it anymore, or even acts like there should be any other motivation. When I happen to write an article for the paper about big business using strong arm tactics to close down their small business competition, I had retired men come by and tell me, “that’s just how big business is, you should get ‘used to it!” Of course, cause I have a mouth, I said, “well then, you better just ‘bend over’ because if you think that is okay, then one day, you will have no choice but that ‘big business’ and they can do whatever they want to you!” Yes, my husband just shakes his head and moves on. He’s used to me! I need your decorum!

    We have forgotten that money is just here to facilitate life, not the purpose for it! People are what life is about, and all those emotions that we are so blessedly lucky to get to experience. We have to shift the paradigm that we have all been weaned at for way too long by our society, that says money is the reason why we are here, to accumulate all we can! No matter the cost to those around us, or to our society and world at large.

    Speaking as someone who probably comes from an opposite political bent, I have to applaud your wonderful rant! Although I don’t like to label myself one way or the other, but I actually DO believe in personal responsibility, and integrity, and taking care of my employees the way I would want to be taken care of, while at the same time, the profit being mine to do with what I want to…it IS MY business, but I don’t think ‘greed’ truly benefits anybody (because while most people think having all this money will make them happy, I don’t think it does). I mostly believe in ‘freedom’ and that there isn’t ‘one right answer’ for how people should live or make choices. Yet at the same time, we have to remember we are living in a world with a lot of other people, and we should consider them when we are making choices. Is it really rocket science?

    And unfortunately, greed and not thinking about anything but what we want really is on both sides of the political fence….not just those nasty republicans….and there are a lot of them out there! They have just been in power longer in recent history, and been able to get away with it for a while. I like to think of politics as “same pancake, different side!”

    The idea that either party truly is the ‘good’ one is very hard for me. I haven’t seen evidence of that myself. I think what D.C. needs is a big HOSE. Wash it off and start anew, with people who know they are going to ‘serve’ their country as our founding fathers intended. They will know they are going to be there for so many years, and then will have to go home and operate the laws that they made. I also think it is unconscionable for any party that governs to have a different benefit than those they govern.

    And while we are at it, the media has now become as bad as the politicians. If D.C. needs a big Hose, then the news media needs a BIG FLUSH! Lol! Except I mean it. There are so much all the way around, conservative as well as liberal, attachment to promoting their views, instead of reporting the news. They have become so deviated in what they want to help to bring about so they can benefit, that some don’t even realize they are doing it.

    I would like to see our government be at a bare minimum, about just certain issues (sounds like those stinky republicans, doesn’t it?), and instead our society help to ‘EMPOWER’ all of us….to achieve and do and learn and make our lives be what we want them to be. And we each get to decide what is important to us! Isn’t that what makes life so awesomely wonderful….whether it is loving to achieve gorgeous wonderful vegetables in your garden, or like for me, learning new ideas and ‘ways to be’ that I want to make a part of my life. THAT sounds awesome to me.

    And I just don’t think it is going to happen with how our government has evolved. I am sure absolute power was corrupting to some level in the very beginning. But it has so changed from what most of our founding fathers intended. I think the ‘change’ we need has less to do with a different political party, and more to do with a total overhaul! And I don’t think democrats are willing to ‘cost themselves’ to do that any more than the republicans are willing!

    We need the ‘big hose’ effect! Lol! Thanks for letting me rant on your page too! Especially when I know I don’t have the writing skills that you do! And I say, ‘keep focusing on what we want to see in the world’ and see what happens. To paraphrase a pretty neat guy! SBD.

    Wow SBD, that was some comment! First time I’ve had a comment longer than the post. THANKS for getting my point so well, and for sharing your thoughts on the matter. Nobody seems to want to hear about this kind of crap, and why should they when there are so many more available illusions to occupy one’s attention? Your mention of greed cuts right to the heart of it. I thought of your words this morning watching the news, when one of those most foul commercials came on … no, not “Ask you doctor about …” but that even worse monetization of suffering, the law firm commercial asking for “injured” folks, victims of prescription medicines side effects (or THEIR SURVIVORS) to make contact and see what $$ can come out of the injury. Salt in the wounds.

    I held back from ranting too hard, but those law firm commercials are the absolute limit, and speak volumes about just how far beyond the pale we’ve come. Another illusion I meant this post to touch upon is that one called SECURITY. It’s not real. Doesn’t exist. Over the rainbow. Not a glass-half-empty sort of guy, but Hobbes was correct, the life of man … solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short … Sept. 11 was a terrible reminder of this. And what did we do with that reminder? Pretty much what we HAD to do. We’re so good with the bombs and the guns and stuff.

    I wonder what the “Founding Fathers” would think about the way that corporate realities have invaded the “better angels of our nature”. Perhaps it is also in our nature to over-think, then over-do. They’d be horrified certainly. Followed by hyperventilation, cold sweat, nausea, then tears.

    Would like to read more of your words, wish you’d left a link to your blog. πŸ™‚ Thanks again for stopping by.

  12. Thank you David…..I do like reading what you have to say. Found you from Allison, who I found from someone else…who is the husband of the step-sister of my daughter’s boyfriend…lol…you know how it is.

    I don’t have a blog, for the exact reason you saw above. Certain issues (like the above one) cause me to pull out my soapbox, and I have difficulty ‘shutting up.’

    But alas, you have given me hope. Someone else sees this issue too! Yea! If I ever get brave, I promise I’ll come back and leave a link!

    Enjoy the wonderful life you are making. And I’ll keep coming back for a peak! SBD

    Thank you SBD for the response. There is a blog called “The Soapbox Diva” which apparently is not yours … but that’s OK. Thanks again for your very thoughtful commentary and please do stop by often. I try not to get on the soap box, but this “health care” issue really frosts me.

  13. Really? (big sigh!) When I first started using this ‘handle’ I checked and there were no blogs with it in use! Serves me right for being a chicken!

    Oh well, hmmm, as long as I don’t get ‘mistaken’ for the other…..all is well….not sure if she has my same ‘issues!’ Lol!

    It looks like the other Diva started her blog in September of 2008 with a fairly lengthy and rambling post covering all sorts of randomness. Not sure about “issues”, but I like her honesty: “I want to blog, to spew my opinion out into the world in order to amuse, enlighten, entertain, and annoy other humans”


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