The Bill Of Rights – 1st Amendment To The US Constitution

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, most noted for guaranteeing us the right of free expression and freedom of religion (separation of church and state). It also gives you the right to petition the government with any grievances you might have.

police pepper spraying students

An example of law enforcement respecting your right to peaceful assembly according to the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. The name of the cocksucker with the spray can is John Pike. Picture credit: Public domain, bitch!

You can do this in person (actually travel physically to Washington D.C. and knock on your congressman’s door), via snail mail, or, these days, most commonly electronically via email or the representative’s/senator’s website. The most effective way to catch the president’s attention is by starting a petition on whitehouse.gov.

Rest assured that your message will never reach the president’s desk and no matter how many co-signers you can gather it will never change policy. It’s all pretend! Your petition, in a best case scenario, will be filed away on a server and maybe in a distant future studied by presidential historians. Your email address will be saved for future spam campaigns begging for money. Worst case scenario, men in black with dark shades and bulges under their coats driving black SUVs with tinted glass will show up at your house wanting to “ask a few questions”. Be polite.

There is one exception to this rule: if your petition is accompanied by a huge wad of cash you might get through. But it has to be a lot of money. More than you have or will ever earn in your lifetime. It needs to be big corporation-sized contributions (aka “bribes”). Because after SCOTUS’ ruling that corporations are people and money is speech the playing field has been knocked even more out of kilter than it used to be. Mr Smith no longer goes to Washington. Just doesn’t happen. The only time high ranking elected representatives, including the president, are interested in you and your opinion, is in the lead-up to an election when they will lie through their teeth, contradict themselves in the same sentence, and make any kind of bogus promise to court you and your vote in order to keep their jobs. It’s never too late to make statements that are not meant to be taken factually (meaning it’s OK to lie if the intent is to get your support on election day).

corruption

A business man petitioning his elected representative (or former US Senator from Idaho Larry Craig seconds before he got busted in the men’s rest room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, I forget which). Picture credit: Really?

I know I’m beating a dead horse here, and that I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: the United States is a two-party dictatorship where we elect (not by the “one-man-one-vote” model as you are lead to believe) a mostly reasonably benevolent, but crooked to the bone, pseudo-dictator and congressional lieutenants (that’s mobster hierarchy terminology), with term limits.

And the only way to win is with money. Lots of it. Billions of dollars per election cycle. You, and I mean this quite seriously, don’t play any significant part in this process. Half of eligible voters are so disillusioned with the process that they don’t even bother to vote. If more of us did, we might be able to change shit. American exceptionalism.

I’ve quoted this a few times before, and I will keep on doing so until it’s fixed, or I die, the latter being the most likely scenario. I just hope it won’t be in prison.

“It must be fun to watch a president run, just ask the man who owns one.”
~ Steppenwolf, from the album/song Monster

john kay steppenwolf

Please note that the front man of Steppenwolf, John Kay, was born in, and fled East Germany with his mother as a child. Not saying it carries any significance that a man who escaped a truly, bonafide, brutal and deadly dictatorship later became a rock star who wrote the greatest protest song ever written against the corrupt regime in his new, adopted country. Just think about it, is all I’m asking.

God bless y’all and these United States of America!

Disclaimer: This posting is for entertainment purposes only and in no way should be taken as a a call to overthrow the legally elected government, for which I have only the deepest respect.

What The Fudge Is Wrong With Health Care In America?

I’ll tell you what: corporate corruption. There are exactly four players in the game of health care fuckyouover. 1. Doctors/hospitals, i.e. the actual providers of the hands-on health care. 2. Pharmaceutical companies. The corporations that manufacture the medicine that’s supposed to cure you. 3. Insurance companies, the people who pay for most of your health care (if you’re lucky enough to have insurance in the first place). 4. You, the patient.

Here’s the deal, and what makes it so fucked up. Doctors and hospitals make money (profit) when you use their services. There is a financial incentive for them to treat you as much as possible, whether you need it or not. Pharmaceutical companies make money when doctors prescribe drugs to you. There is an unhealthy relationship between doctors and pharma, and a financial incentive for both to make you take as many drugs as possible at the highest possible price for the longest period possible. Insurance companies pay for doctors and drugs. They make money by collecting premiums. There is a financial incentive for insurance companies to hike up the premiums as much as possible and deny you coverage whenever they can get away with it. The patient ends up being fucked over six ways from Sunday.

I’ve been seeing a gastroenterologist, DrĀ  Jonathan T Simon with Gastroenterology Specialists PC, 22 Westfield Avenue in Ansonia, CT, for some stomach problems I’ve been having lately. The guy is a total douchebag who would rather do conveyor belt colonoscopies than actually listen to his patients and suggest reasonable treatments. He diagnosed me off the bat with irritable bowel syndrome and suggested I eat more fiber. When I asked him if there was a treatment, he rolled his eyes and proclaimed that there “is no silver bullet for IBS”, and that was it.

Of course we set up a follow-up appointment, and when I two months later showed no improvement from his non-treatment (go figure) he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic called Xifaxan (Rifaximin). He let me know that my insurance probably wouldn’t pay for it since it was a bit on the pricey side, and that was it. I could tell you more about Dr Simon, but for now, suffice to say that the guy is a total cocksucker and I would recommend him to my worst enemy.

At the pharmacy they let me know that my insurance actually covered the medication (!) and my co-pay was $40, which, when I tell you the retail price of Xifaxan, isn’t all that bad. Without insurance a ten-day supply of Xifaxan, sixty tablets total, would have cost me $795.99. No matter how you spin it, that’s a FUCKING INDECENT PRICE! I would expect medication in this price range to be made primarily of gold, diamonds and the hymens of angels, and to cure AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer AND grow me a new and better penis.

xifaxan

The proof is in the pudding. I have no idea who Dr Jeffrey Dreznick is. Most likely Johnny the cocksucker Simon’s boss.

So I’m guessing you can tell that I’m pissed off at “the best healthcare system in the world”, as republicans refer to it. The free market fixes everything, except it doesn’t. If you’re happy with an industry flourishing off of people’s bad fortune, pain and misery; if you’re comfortable with the indecent inverse proportionality between executive bonus growth and the decline of your health; if you’re happy with a political system where the lobbyists write the laws and you are the least influential and important of the aforementioned four players in the health care game; if you are not offended by the hidden dictatorship of K-Street and the Koch brothers, by all means vote for the Republican candidate in November. Obama is a two-faced douche, but orders of magnitude better than anything the opposition can come up with.