"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


studying the congo does not make one an optimist

Well, this week was a downer, no? Posts about mass rape ("the world's most depressing story!") and American foreign policy missteps get me down. Plus the CEO of Whole Foods opposes health care reform and, for those of you not in the U.S. of A. at the moment, what should be a national debate over health care has mostly degenerated into an immature hissy fit thrown by irrational people who not only don't understand health care, but many of whom also appear to be unrepentant racists.

On a happier note, the EU has confirmed that war crimes are happening in the eastern Congo, Congolese soldiers arrested a wanted Rwandan genocidaire, Hillary's next stop on her eternal tour d'Afrique is um, Cape Verde, and the State Department's Inspector General figured out what everyone who's worked there knew all along: the Africa Bureau is an underfunded disaster. (And by State Department standards, that's saying something.)

I am so ready for the weekend.


Blogger The Linz said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a problem with the whole "the world's most depressing story" bit. Ten bucks says it won't matter anymore to 98 percent of the population once Hillary leaves Africa.

I'd say *that's* the world's most depressing story. Apathy.


Saturday, August 15, 2009 10:16:00 AM

Blogger Charlie Mac said...

I wonder where the figure of 2% who care comes from? What does HRC being in Africa have to do with it?

Leave a business card, promise a few million to corrupt regimes, and go about business as usual.

I do remember being concerned that it was not a good idea and left a lot of room for abuse and fraud when Medicare and Medicaid were proposed to be added to the Social Security system. A system which was even then headed to bankrupcy in part because of a congress which "borrowed" monies supposedly set aside for that system and spent it.

I remember the same feelings of concern when the brother of Eunice Shriver (Mary Jo's killer) proposed adding prescription drugs to that bankrupt system.

Now I have concerns about trying to fix a bankrupt government run health care system for the needy and the elderly by "insuring" every person within our borders, citizen or not.

Now because I am again concerned for the same logical reasons, I am classed as a racist because of who is president?

Give me a break!

We are in a recession, if not a depression. Businesses are failing. Those failures are largely brought on because government wanted to provide loans for housing to people who could not afford to pay back the governmnet "insured" loans.

So the same bright idea people in government who caused the problem is going to fix it by bailing out any company deemed to be too big to fail. With that bailout also comes a "temporary" takeover of that company and higher taxes on other struggling businesses and supposedly anyone making more than a quarter million a year.

Forget the word racist and think!

Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:14:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Mac, I didn't accuse you of being racist. I accused a man who tore up a poster of Rosa Parks of being racist. And I will stand by that accusation, because what that guy did is almost unforgivable.

As for health care, I don't know anyone who would argue that the system we have works. People die or go bankrupt from preventable causes, all because the health insurance system is so internally corrupt and because doctors have incentives to order treatments that make the whole system more and more expensive. As someone who 1) has good insurance and 2) still faces enormous monthly expenses for essential medications, I can tell you from personal experience that it doesn't work. It's not sustainable. And if it's that hard for me, how much worse is it for the uninsured who are forced to take their kids to the ER for colds because they have nowhere else to go?

The government is the only entity large enough and powerful enough to do something about it. Obama and the Congressional Democrats won the election, so they get to push through the policies they were elected to enact. If the system you're under works for you, nobody's going to force you to change. But it will provide opportunities for people for whom the system doesn't work. And I don't have a problem with that.

Saturday, August 15, 2009 8:46:00 PM

Blogger Charlie Mac said...

I like you had a good job and good insurance except mine was from a private company, not a state owned institution.
Along came Medicare and I had to pay into it. Planning ahead companies changed the way they insured employees especially after retirement.
Companies will change the way they insure employeess under this bill too. Private insurance can not compete with government funded insurance.
Health care costs have risen at a greater rate ever since the government stepped in.
The idea might be ideal were it not for the corruption which follows large sums of money.
I worked for a while at a hospital collection agency. Many times the hospital treated non-insured poor who qualified for medicaid, but they had left their card at home. That card never existed! We would gather all the information and forms they needed and still they would not apply. Sometimes all we needed was a signature and still they refused to cooperate. Thus the hospital never was reimbursed and the person treated never gave a crap!
Because "they" were of a "minority"
race it would be discrimination to turn them away, the tale would begin again the next time they needed hospitalization.
You tell me what Rosa Parks has to do with health care "reform". The people who brought the posters are racist. What if a someone brought a poster of George Wallace in a wheelchair? It would be out of place at a health care rally.
One last thought, if this plan is so good, why is congress exempting themselves?

Sunday, August 16, 2009 6:22:00 AM


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