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The United States is known throughout the world. When anything happens of any importance….the United States of America seems to be right in the middle of it. When you listen to any Politician….you will hear: “We live in the greatest country in the world!”, “We have the greatest military in the world!”, “We have the best Medical Care, in the world!”, We have the most freedom of any country on the planet!”, “We have the Greatest Generation!”, “We have the greatest innovators and greatest educational system in world!”, “We have the greatest computer technology in the world!”, “We have the greatest nuclear stockpile in the world.”, “We are the greatest and most diverse ethnic society on the planet!”. Face it, “We are simply….’the great’ Americans!”….aren’t we? “The Greatest Open and Free Society – America!”
Well, all of the above may be so…..but there are several things about America that are rather bugging. We have some serious issues that just won’t seem to go away and continue to marginalize us as a nation, here in 2013, in this new global society. Where do we start?
(1) The American Healthcare System. Private Insurers arbitrarily have raised the annual premiums for Healthcare coverage in 2013 by nearly 100%. This will apply to all those Privately Insured and under Corporate Policies, Military Retirees, Disabled Military, COBRA Covered Military and all their dependents. The Insurance Companies are blaming “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” or perjoratively called “Obama Care”. Supposedly the approximately 30 to 40 million new people coming into the system will cause “instant rationing” of healthcare in the United States. As a prerequisite the Insurance Companies have dramatically raised the Deductible Payments for most services and especially prescription drugs which might be required for therapy and treatment of on-going ailments – including shoulder and knee injections, cancer drugs, heart procedures and a list that will choke the proverbial horse. As a result, the cost of Healthcare for American is going instantly up, up and away….until the 30 to 40 million new patients get inducted into the system. Even then, we cannot expect the cost of Healthcare to go down anytime soon, considering that Big Pharma makes millions taking the tax write offs for Advertising drugs on television and then refuses to negotiate the cost of those drugs to Medicare or Medicaid – through lobbyists that make millions dispensing campaign contributions to the Congress people of the United States that make the laws.
(2) Big Greedy Banks that speculate with Derivatives, Hedge Funds, Credit Default Swaps, Specialty Investment Vehicles and over 100 more that are nothing but so-called legalized internet gambling. An ex-mayor in San Diego recently lost over $3 Billion dollars in on-line gambling and even though she was rich, she got hooked and eventually wound up using Government Funds. Will she go to jail eventually? Right now, thousands of Institutional Bankers continue to do the same thing without being nailed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, The FBI, Congress or anyone else. Since the days of the crash in 2008 and the Foreclosures and Liar Loans, the lack of Modifications on existing Real Estate loans to any effective degree, the beat goes on and while small businesses cannot find loans from the remaining big banks the JP Morgan-Chases and Goldman-Sachs of the world continue to rake in mega-million dollar bonuses while the rest of the country sustains a 7.7% Unemployment rate….due in no small measure to their lack of relinquishing their hold on the Government Backed To Big To Fail Bank Accounts…..they have stuffed under their mattresses.
(3) The Dysfunctional Congress of the United States. You really have to watch old episodes of Dragnet to truly understand how the Democrats and Republicans play the wonderful game of “Good Cop – Bad Cop”. One day the Republicans to accuse the President of the worse crimes of humanity, the next they say he is stupid, the next that he is disengaged in the process, the next the Democrats cry that the Republicans are the party of NO! As we watch the paid-off pundits on the two most powerful Cable Channels – it reminds us of stories from MAD Magazine in the 1960’s – Spy vs. Spy! Just as irrational, just as wasteful of our time, just as nonsensical. As the huge issues of the day escape without solutions……….the concept is strictly to get folks off target with “Look…Halley’s Comet…” arguments that never seem to go away and also reminds us of “Ground Hog Day”….the movie. We can’t fix Immigration? We can’t fix Healthcare? We can’t fix the banks? What can we fix Congress of the United States?
(4) The End of Personal Privacy. Every click of our personal, business, i-phone, android or personal electronic device is being tracked, recorded and monitored for possible terrorist activities. Drones already fly the friendly skies of America, following our every movement. The Drone surveillance has now taken a further step by allowing local Police Departments and even Civilians to purchase and use these devices for any purpose. GPS Locators are implanted in every cell phone and new car or truck in America. Black Box recorders are included on every Rental Car ….to be sure that you are driving at the speed limit, that if you hit or tap another car in the parking lot…….that action is being recorded. Electronic Toll Road monitors charge us for each mile we drive in the Toll Road lanes and how much we use Non Toll Lanes when Toll Lanes are available. Electronic Red Light Cameras are placed like Land Mines throughout the City of San Francisco and through small villages and towns with Yellow Lights reduced to 3.2 Seconds when the State Law says 4.5 Seconds. Millions of these erroneous tickets are sent out in the mail to the totally undeserving. That money mainly goes to Lockheed-Martin or other manufacturers of these cameras. The communities get a small stipend and in most cases the elected officials of the areas covered by Red Light Cameras are getting big Campaign Contribution either directly or through an untransparent third party. Speed cameras on highways are now becoming prolific throughout the United States. Recent studies show that these cameras are totally inaccurate and in most cases the tickets being handed out are totally in error. 13 States have Speed Cameras on their Highways. Again, their should be Congressional oversight and a National Law to govern Yellow Light durations and most importantly limits on saturation regulations. Red Light Cameras need to be placed solely in intersections which have documented serious accidents and deaths attributed to Red Light Collisions.
(5) Bad Television. Sometimes we marvel at people that do not have cable television. We are amazed when they actually watch mindless Big Pharma Advertising Indoctrinated Television. Whether it is the “Real Housewives of New Jersey”, “The Bachelor”, “The Voice”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “American Idol”, “CSI Miami” or 100 more of the same genre. What do they say? There is no accounting for taste! We just wonder where the social redemption might be in this so-called entertainment? When you actually watch real television it is rather shocking. Whether it is the new; ” Borgias”, “The Soprano’s”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Game of Thrones”, “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”, “Real Time – with Bill Maher”, “Hopalong Cassidy”, “Tales of Wells Fargo – with Dale Robertson”, “Charlie Rose – on PBS”, “Tavis Smiley – on PBS” or even lighter fare: “Magnum P.I.” or “Charlies Angels” on NBC’s new COZI Channel. Political News seems to be at an all time low. All the major channels are awful; Fareed Zarkaria is definitely a mouthpiece for the big banking interest, Fox News went down hill years ago when they stopped having Bob Dornan fill in for Bill O’Reilly. CNN is mess and Wolf Blitzer has worn so tired and old, we can’t stand to watch anymore. Erin Burkett has the same tired paid off pundits that tend to talk in riddles. Erin is a cute one, but CNN is brutally abusing her. She needs some new Producers that can think out of the box. MSNBC does have three nice people….but they have that awful tendency to go over the top at a moments notice: Ed Schultz is the best, Rachel Maddow is good and Lawrence O’Donnell has occasional flashes of brilliance. Our belief is that until they remove the Big Pharma Advertising from all television……nothing is going to change much. Where are those Congress Members that sport a pair? We need television in America with relevance and redemption. Aren’t we allowed to learn anything….without having to read it….several years later? Certainly not Jody Arias or George Zimmerman to make us what to pull our hair out!
(6) Corrupt Government Officials. It is easy to start with local governments almost anywhere in America. The days of the “Brick Belly Southern Sheriff” are still alive and well….in many places in the south. Illegal activities can raise their ugly heads almost anywhere however. The City of San Diego has had plenty of problems, The County of San Bernardino, The County of Riverside, The City of Los Angeles, The County of Los Angeles, The City of Bell……the names soon become meaningless. There is something endemic within our political system that puts a huge kabosh on “Whistle Blowers” within Government. The threats of lost job are minimal compared to the other almost Russian Mafia threats against families and friends. Evidently, the recent Mad Dog Ex-Cop Attacks by Christopher Dorner may have hit a nerve. The dirt seems to be farther under the surface, than just under the nails. For years, people have relied on Institutions to monitor and police themselves. The days of effective “Internal Affairs Departments” within all Institutions seems to have been thwarted. Hospitals, Banks, Insurance Companies, State Governments, County Governments, City Governments, Police and Fire Departments…….need strict and consistent oversight. Will effective corrective action be taken in the future – not without private citizens stepping up to identify those that do wrong at the earliest levels.
(7) Americans that refuse to participate in the process. Every election cycle….you hear them: “I don’t vote! It is totally a waste of time! They are going to elect whoever they want – anyway!” When corruption or wrong doing occurs in government……the next refrain: “What do you expect? The whole system is corrupt!” When evil happens in our society: “It was the gun!” “It was the mother!” “It was the twinkie!” “It was the lack of jobs!” “It was the poverty!” “It was probably just a crime of passion!” All in all, without citizens stating their positions, telling their electeds (all of them-never just one) what is wrong, nothing will probably ever change. We can expect that all the corruption, the lies, the misrepresentations, the bogus communication distractions will continue – unabated until someone does something. Those in power want to stay in power, not just in the United States but everywhere. We are no different in that regard. Each day we do need to wake up and say: “How is society today?” “How is our City, County, State and Country doing today?” One thing is for sure…..without having the bravery to say what is on your mind – absolutely NOTHING WILL CHANGE…..EVER!
The Seven Things to Hate about America? Well, as you can see……there are probably a whole bunch more things than the seven we chose to discuss, but the door is now open. State your case, make your argument and tell someone that can do you some good in the process.