Sunday, March 29, 2015

Playing Footsie with Al Qaeda

The FBI is making a diligent search for Al Qaeda operatives in the U.S. this week. They want to give them tickets to travel to Syria and Yemen, where Al Qaeda is now allied with the U.S. in the ever changing U.S. War against Terror.

Republicans don't like to talk about it. Democrats don't like to talk about it. The Pentagon and CIA don't like to talk about it. Erstwhile potential candidates for President don't like to talk about it.

In particular Al Qaeda will deny it. Al Qaeda are getting their asses kicked badly enough without being openly associated with their (former) Great Satan, the United States of Christian Crusaders and Jew Lovers.

But the fact of the matter is the U.S. has new enemies, and so does Al Qaeda. The most prominent are ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, and the government of Syria led by President Assad.

New enemies means new friends. Al Qaeda was already fighting two major U.S. enemies, Assad and ISIS. But they were also still fighting some of our friends in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Yemen situation is the tipping point, which is actually quite queer, but then you can't find a group of queerer idiots than the people who run the U.S. government and security establishment. They don't like the Houthis (formally Ansar Allah).

As far as I can tell, the U.S. people (except our own ultra-orthodox nut cases) should like the Houthis, but then not only am I not in charge, and Barack won't even return my phone calls.

The Houthis are Shia Islam, which is the nepotistic branch of Islam that believes that actual descendents of Mohammed should be in charge. In any case they started out peaceful, were oppressed by the U.S. and Saudi backed puppet government of what's-his-name (do you have as much trouble keeping track of all the U.S. puppet governments as I do? Could we not just have one Puppet to Rule Them All, or maybe at most one per continent?), and did just what the Tea Party would do: got out their guns.

I won't boor you with detail, but here we are in March 2015, and the Houthis have kicked the butt of the current U.S. puppet, "President" Hadi. They don't control all of Yemen yet, and the International Community (that would be the U.S. and its hand-puppet Merry Olde England) are pretending that Hadi is still the Government of Yemen.

Fortunately Hadi still has some people fighting with him against the "rebels." Guess who. No, Guess again. Have you not been paying attention? Al Qaeda.

Now the circle is complete. I'm not saying Al Qaeda is a U.S. sock puppet. That will come later. But they can't fight those terrible Houthis and ISIS and Syria's Assad without weapons.

You know the type. Well, maybe you don't get around that much, so let me tell you about the type. They say they like Allah and Mohammed, but what they really like is weapons and mayhem. So if you want to be friends, just hook them up with the world's biggest producer of arms and mayhem. The United States of America, Inc. It will make them the Mouse that Roared.

As in the Arms for Contras campaign, it is a bit too early for Republicans in Congress to berate Democrats as yellow-bellied liberals for refusing to directly send arms and trainers to Al Qaeda to help fight terrorism. No, helping will be done through the CIA/Pentagon black budgets, filtered through Saudi or United Arab Emirate obscure trading companies.

So let me be the first to say, thanks for switching sides! Welcome to the Good Guys! I hear you are good soldiers. I am glad you are now fighting against the enemies of the U.S. If I'm ever in Yemen or Syria, I'll buy you a beer. I hear any one of you is the equivalent of 3 Navy Seals on the battlefield, and at a tenth the pay.

I'm glad you are now fighting for my country. Because I sure as shit would not do it myself.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Barack Obama's War on Venezuela

President Barack Obama announced that U.S. Imperialism is still alive and swaggering in the Americas yesterday.

Let's look at the Venezuela Executive Order Fact Sheet issued yesterday by the White House.

We are declaring economic war on Venezuela, and are presumably ready to foment a civil war or coup there, because: they are not democratic enough. They do not respect civil rights enough for Obama and crew.

Of course, we'll do business with Saudi Arabia, and U.S. puppet regimes and even Texas, but we can't be having politicians who were not pre-selected by the U.S. being voted into power, and actually exercising power, in Venezuela.

What are these evil Venezuelans accused of? Why corruption. None of that in Washington, D.C. or any of our client states around the world.

Undermining the democratic process. Barack does not like that ... in Venezuela. Which does not include actions like when the young Obama kept Republicans off the ballot by legal challenges. Or Hillary Clinton's back-door fundraising.

"Actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression," which I suppose they don't have a Citizen's United ruling that rich people can spend unlimited money to influence elections.

What happened to the old international model of intervention? Did John Kerry count heads at the U.N. and decide we just didn't have the votes to impose our (the U.S. elite's) will that way?

This is yet another reminder of why I am not a member of the Democratic Party. The party of slavery and the Vietnam War. A party of putrid pig parts.

Isn't targeting particular politicians and officials of a sovereign country exactly a policy that undermines democratic processes or institutions?

Here's an idea: let's all the people of the world who are peaceful stop doing business with Barack Obama and his corrupt pals like Hillary "I am not my husband" Clinton and John "I forgot what I learned in Vietnam" Kerry. War criminals all.

I can hear the democratic donkeys braying: but the Republicans!

Sure, the Republicans are soul sucking zombies who would crash the American economy again while demanding we worship Christ the Vampire.

I don't care any more. I'd like to destroy both parties, but if the Democrats have to go first, that is fine with me.

I don't want a just a decent independent or third-party candidate for President to vote for in 2016. I want every election for every office to give voters a real choice. And I want the Democrats and Republicans to lose, and then to be prosecuted for their past crimes.

U.S. hands off Venezuela! Let's use our hands to clean up the United States of America.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fixing Denti-Cal and children's teeth

Teeth are important. They can also be a source of problems, as almost everyone has personally experienced. Bad teeth can lead to a lifetime of pain and expense. Medical scientists believe tooth decay and gum problems often have bad secondary effects on health, including causing heart disease.

If makes sense to make sure that all children's teeth are kept healthy. The costs to themselves and society become far higher when problems are allowed to grow over time. That is the reason everyone should support Denti-Cal, the State of California's program to make sure that all children of California have access to professional dental care.

Unfortunately the program currently has some major flaws according to the L.A. Times [See Overdue for Checkups]. There is the usual problem of people failing to enroll. But even of those families enrolled, less than half of the kids see a dentist in any given year.

Even children with good (low sugar) diets who have been taught good dental hygiene practices may end up with tooth decay. Once a year check ups should be a minimal requirement.

There are two major variables to this problem: parents and dentists.

Parents can be encouraged to make sure their kids get dental appointments by requiring the once-per-year checkup in order to continue receiving state benefits themselves. That does not seem like much to add to the checklists of welfare counselors. It may not be a bad idea to require this of parents whether or not they receive welfare.

But apparently part of the problem is dentists who are used to charging their patients more than California will pay under this program.

According to the State Auditor's report, there are entire counties in the state where no dentists will take a Denti-Cal patient (child or adult). And of course such dentists are common enough in every county.

Dentists are licensed by the state. They are able to keep the prices they charge high because the state keeps unlicensed people from performing dentistry.

The solution is simple enough. Divide the population of the state by the number of Denti-Cal recipients. Require each dentist (or dental group) to accept Denti-Cal patients until they have reached this percentage. Dentists who are above the percentage would have the option to lower their percentage, if they wish.

It is possible that this rational plan could create a shortage of dentists, or force many dentists to work longer hours than is fair (because is would add so many patient-visits). In that case the State of California should expand its dental schools and offer scholarships to aspiring dentists if they are willing to work in areas (for some period of time) where there are known shortages of Denti-Cal providers.

Dentists are not licensed to mint money. They are licensed to perform a service for the public. If they do not serve the public, they should not be licensed.

This plan is easy, it is rational and it will be opposed by dentists who are in it just for the money. They will scream, they will pay lobbyists to defeat any such plan. Pass the plan, take away their licenses and let them rot like the teeth of children they neglect.

And once all is well with Denti-Cal, perhaps the other states can follow our example.