Friday, April 8, 2011

M & M's: Masterpieces of Misinformation

Back in the 60's, when I was teething on protesting, to discredit the Civil Rights movement, the "free love" movement and the general anti-establishment movement the three letter agencies of the Fed embarked on what was called a "misinformation campaign". You don't have to believe me, you can find an ancient history book (the newer ones have been rewritten) and look it up. Oh, don't go for the electronic ones. They are edited at will by the manufacturers, not the publishers.
Today I opened the newspaper to see what had to be a Masterpiece of Misinformation. It was a comparison of the two budget bills, House and Senate placed side by side. The only problem was the information in column one was compared with the same information in column two, only it was phrased backwards from the information in column one making it appear to be less than the other column..
Now, if I hadn't spent 2 years in a Master's program having to read hundreds of papers for my professor and summarize the "real" results of the experiments, I might have not even caught it. It was only the simple fact of knowing who controls which side that had me stopping to look deeper into what was printed, that and the "huh factor" which is when you say: 'did that make sense?'.
Let me give you a brief summary because it doesn't matter which budget is approved, the effects are the same.
Let's take Medicare. Money from qualified Medicare recipients is now removed and shifted to pay for an increase in benefits for catastrophic and TRANSPLANT procedures for people making too much money to qualify for Medicare. Sounds good??? How much money over the limit are we talking? Ooops, that figure is missing or non-existent or using government lingo: to be determined at a later date which may be infinity to both questions. This means that qualified Medicare recipients will now find it very hard to get a transplant where those making too much money will find it easier and have you caught on yet that those people getting the nice check will be the 1%?
When I spent a really bad week in the transplant ward at one of the big hospitals, on day two of boredom I began to ask the question of whether there were only matches for this rare organ transplant among the 1% because the donors were the lower 5%. Yup, those dirveby's provide really good donors. Very few of us middles were in that ward and the token lower 5%. Note the last was singular. The mortality rate was pretty high, too, but there was one interesting case you should know about. It highlights what some of us have been saying about karma, paying it forward and mindset.
A small business person, well loved in the community and insuranceless as most small business people are, had arrived there via donations and yard and bake sales in the community. There was a limited amount of money to pay for the care and as you can guess, the longer you were in ICU, the bigger the tab. This person had enough money to pay for exactly one week. The day the organ was found, the phone rang and the shout went out to the person answering the phone: "Get that, it's my "organ"." It was THE CALL and that afternoon, the surgery was performed.
This is a horrendous operation and I, personally, would prefer to die than undergo it. They came out of the anesthesia within a few hours, unheard of, regained functioning of other organs and the transplant within a couple of days, and WALKED OUT of there in one week with their bag of antirejection medicine to go back to work. Everyone else was still laying in ICU, many dying. When asked on the way out what made this individual so different, the answer was "I have no more money to stay here and a family and business that depends on me to give them a livelihood. I need to pay my community back for giving me this opportunity".
There sure was a difference in those with an assistant to run things, plans for several months of recovery and a trophy wife to sit in the waiting room. The mortality rate was way higher. Then again, the more money you have, the better and faster you can afford to abuse your body.
The difference today is that horrendous operation is common place, the mortality rate is way lower and the general feeling is: science can replace all my organs for the right price. Too bad everyone missed the report on the science channel that by 2050, 30 to 60% of the world population will have Alzheimer's. One in ten children show signs of Autistic behavior and curiously enough it appears to be a disease of the upper classes. Some how, I don't think transplants are the answer nut then again, my family was properly inbred.
Returning to the budget, every public school child will now find their allotted money at 2005 levels. It's too bad supplies aren't priced at 2005 levels but they forgot to mention that. and so forth....right down to the point where our military won't be making enough to feed their families. The latter is a really bad idea but reference that the end sentence of the above paragraph.
In Florida news, the top four industries ranking in complaints about being defrauded by them and general annoying quality are going to be deregulated. Of course the regular Tea Partier issued a statement that this benefits the tax payer in reducing the budget. Well, only if you define tax payer as the people in the industry being deregulated and the the reduction as those annoying fines they used to have to pay when they got caught. Not really going affect you and me, except when we get the bill for minutes on our cell phones and drop dead from shock muttering, "but I didn't call anyone...." No, we didn't. All our minutes will be telemarketers calling us 24 times a day and each time we answer, ding, another minute deducted from our plan. Oh, in case you haven't received one yet, they text you, too, and that costs me a nickel for every one I receive. Yup, since the new business friendly administration took over in January, 4 out 5 calls to my shop are telemarketers. I am SO enjoying myself. Oh and my dear Tea Party "friends", I pressed 2 to remove me from their call list and now I get three calls instead of one per day from the business loan people. That deregulation eliminates those rules about no call lists and calling after 9 PM and before 9 AM. Oh, gotta go...the phone is ringing again....

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