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Still A Bad Bill
Healthcare is such a large bill and concern to ALL Americans that it should be debated and voted based on its merits alone. Just because a lifelong career politician dies (by the way senators were not supposed to be lifetime jobs) is absolutely no reason to pass a bill or have it renamed. A bad bill by any name is still a bad bill.
Musings On Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism? I grew up with it on the radio in the '40s. There was the Long Ranger and “his faithful Indian companion.” On the high plains of yesterday's West, Kemosabe and Tonto corralled the outlaws and fought for the American way. The Green Hornet and his Japanese ”manservant,” Kato, were also a biracial crime-fighting team.
And if the Los Angles Police Department had a tough case, a call to the Honolulu Police Department would bring the famed Chinese detective Charlie Chan on the scene to solve it. Charlie, too, was a multiculturalist. His black chauffeur and assistant, Brimingham Brown, provided comic relief from the serious business of crime busting.
But following the sun on a trip around the world presented a darker view of multiculturalism than the sunny scrips on old time radio.
A hundred some odd years ago the Japanese annexed Korea. Cheap land and better opportunities awaited the Japanese on the peninsula. At the same time, there was immigration in the opposite direction to escape poverty at home. The result has been a deep antipathy between the races ever since.
In Russia, ethnic conflicts have become a common event. Bloody clashes between ethnic Russians and the Caucasian nationalities have become commonplace as have conflicts between the Russians and the Chechens.
China, like all large states is a patchwork of minorities. To manage the problem, China recognizes 55 minority nationalities. The Han Chinese domination of politics and the economy has created the most discontent.
India is split by three major divisions: languages (there are 415), castes, and religions. The differences have not amalgamated but have grown more distinct, creating minorities within minorities.
Ceylon has a long-standing rivalry between the Tamil and the Sinhalese, a volatile mixture that occasionally explodes into violence.
In Iraq, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the discord among the factions was suppressed. But when Hussein was ousted, there was nothing to contain the underlying tensions. Iraq, today, is a nation wrecked by violence among its three ethnic minorities, the Sunni, the Shiites, and the Kurds.
Yugoslavia, like Iraq, was a crazy quilt of minorities held together by the iron hand of President Josip Tito. But with the passing of the strongman, the state disintegrated into genocidal wars between the Serbs and the Albanians.
The animosity between Jacob, the father of the Jews, and his half-brother, Ismael, the progenitor of the Arabs, continue unabated since Biblical times. Today, though their decedents are separated into different but contiguous nations, fratricidal fighting between the Jews and the Arabs continues.
Finally, coming around to North America we see Canada divided by language (English vs. French), by religion (Catholic vs. Protestant), and by race (Indian and Asian). Decidedly not the Canada of Sergeant Preston of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police of those long ago radio shows.
To the South of us, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, Mexicans and Indians have wild-west shootouts.
As for the United States, we have a white European majority with a largely unassimilated black minority; an undeniable source of friction. We, like so many other nations, have had race riots and torched cities. And there is no guarantee that despite determined efforts on both sides, we have seen the last of it. Add to this mixture separatists immigrants from India, China, South America, and the Islamic nations. As for the Indians, they prefer reservations.
Yet we are told to “celebrate diversity.” The words are always linked, like happy and birthday, or merry and Christmas. But should diversity really be celebrated? Has it not always proved to be divisive, a source of simmering discontent?
Maybe we should all just get along together. But we don't. Maybe we should be tolerant and understanding. But we never have. Fact is, humans as a species are incorrigibly ornery and aggressive. Maybe we should just change that. But we can't.
New Milford, PA
Not Benign Activity
Readers need to know that gas drilling is not a benign activity. Noise, gas fumes and poisoned wells have already resulted in the Dimock area. If you want to learn what happens, look up Fort Worth Texas. No amount of money is worth the loss of clean air, water and peace of mind. I noticed that a Texas flag flies at the top of the drill on the Brooklyn Dimock road. Why? This is Pennsylvania. The workers I have encountered come from Missouri, Texas, West Virginia and even Canada. So much for helping local unemployment. Before you lease your land, get the facts about the danger gas drilling poses. And after the gas is gone, then what? You will be left with once beautiful land now ruined. And when the water table is poisoned by fracking, it does not recover. For more information go to damascusgroup.org. You can see what happened in Fort Worth and it will happen here.
Do Everything Possible?
A major reason for our medical insurance problems is what happens at the end of life. I have a friend whose husband is currently terminal. He was given six months to live in May and suffers from a rare (in the US) cancer. Instead of going into hospice, he is being “treated” at the cost of thousands a month. They put him on a medicine to shrink his tumor that runs $7000 a month. Now unable to walk or get out of bed, he is in the hospital (his wife is physically unable to take care of him at home) and to keep him there (i.e. so that insurance will continue to pay for it), they have to run daily tests. His entire system is involved - congestive heart failure among other things, and they keep treating all these issues as his body shuts down. Insurance, apparently, won’t pay for putting him into a nursing facility where he can have hospice and the wife cannot afford to pay for round-the-clock nursing care at home, so the only alternative is apparently to run up the bills for unneeded and even cruel tests in the hospital. Meanwhile, some of his children stand around and wail loudly, wanting to do everything to prolong his miserable life.
Why do so many people in our society act surprised and outraged when their loved ones die in old age? Why, when someone is old and stricken with a terminal illness, do we demand of doctors to “do everything possible” to prolong their lives? Why do doctors perform like programmed robots instead of using the minds God gave them? “Do no harm” they supposedly follow, while subjecting the weak and dying to countless needle pricks and invasive procedures for no purpose except to “follow orders” of the state. The same people who would never do such things to animals think nothing of torturing old and terminal humans.
There is the matter too of the wailing loved ones trooping around the hospital bed. Suddenly people who have behaved deplorably to the dying one their entire lives turn all “religious” and demand every medical procedure known to man be done to “save” the “loved one," projecting their own guilt onto the poor dying person. I have no patience for this phony “caring.”
I know two men who died within the past two years who, after they were declared terminal, ran up medical bills in the hundreds of thousands. This is part of the reason our system is a mess.
The 152nd Harford Fair is now a memory. The Harford Agricultural Society, the Board of Directors and the office staff extends its sincere gratitude to everyone who helped in any way to make this year’s fair a wonderful family event. Thank you is expressed to the sponsors, the vendors, the exhibitors, the volunteers, the workers, the newspapers, the TV media, and everyone who came to the fair. It is the community support and involvement which has made the Harford Fair successful for so many years. Planning has already begun for the 2010 fair which will be August 16-21. Comments and suggestions are always welcome and can be e-mailed to email@example.com. Monthly meetings of the Harford Agricultural Society are held at 7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at the Harford Church the first Monday of each month. Because of Labor Day, September’s meeting this year will be on Tuesday, September 8. Visit the fair’s website www.harfordfair.com for any additional information.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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