Look into the future

Posted in Bombing Moe, Bombing Paupers, War On Terror at 3:40 pm by George Smith


Justice, not escalations or state-sanctioned atrocities rationalized as helping an ally. Piecemeal WWIII isn’t a strategy. It’s a description, worth thinking about as in how to undo. Either that or continue to reap the whirlwind.


The Future Looks Blight (Chapter 2)

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, The Corporate Bund at 4:17 pm by George Smith

Welcome to the great blue collar die-off. That’s the name Barbara Ehrenreich has given to the health news that the life expectancy of middle-aged white people without a college education has decreased, the result of an increase in mortality now equivalent to the death toll due to HIV/AIDS. She knows, having done the definitive work on what has been done to this class in our lifetimes. (”How does one survive on six or seven dollars an hour?” asks one character in the linked video. A No-Prize if you can identify the smarmy guy who says it.)

The economy of the corporate dictatorship has come home to roost for a portion of white America, and it’s class based, a factor the New York Times linked piece doesn’t really get around to until near the end of the piece. Affluent middle class whites haven’t show up in the awful statistics so much. (Yet.)

Nevertheless, the life expectancy for this slice of America’s white tribe is still above that for African Americans, who’ve never faced anything but the grinding wheel of the national economy. However, life expectancy for the same classes in other Western developed nations is on the rise, It is only here where we are so exceptional.

None of this can really be much of a surprise although one of the doctors interviewed by the Times concludes, “It seems so sad.”

I’ve written about the bleak trends in WhiteManistan for a couple years. The Forty Year Slump entry sums up much of what I thought, having experienced it, first hand:

When I was entering college, Alcoa aluminum closed the biggest extrusion plant in the world in Cressona, PA, where my father worked. He escaped lay-off and was transferred to a small soda bottle-cap manufacturing plant outside Lancaster, a three hour drive every day.

The metal-working plants closed. A recession was in full swing when I graduated from college in Reading, PA. There were no jobs so I enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Lehigh.

During the Reagan years, the nation’s economic policies destroyed Bethlehem Steel. The center of Allentown and the south side of Bethlehem turned into slums. I saw it happen. The people voted for the man who was killing their future. So did the rest of the country…

When you rip the economic heart out of a community it takes a lot down with it.

I’ve never known a time when the road wasn’t downhill. I suspect most people have the same impression unless they’re of the top slice. The better educated, and with more good fortune, were better at clinging to the diminishing number of seats in the country’s economic version of musical chairs.

But give the statistics a little more time. As more scientists begin looking into the matter, we’ll see more. And in the next few years, perhaps even a little sooner, the same thing is going to come for the college-educated white class. The plutocrats are going to winnow them out and part with even less to those left over, for the privileged work of keeping the lights on and the toilets clean.

And then, like those described in this week’s news, they, too, will self-medicate until death with drink, drugs, suicide and other causes of mortality when masses are permanently ejected from ways to make a living. Dispair and distress will tighten their grip as the country descends into a paradise of all against all. Politically, there’s no reason to expect any change, no radical steps taken to reverse the serious systemic problems that have led us to this point, and certainly not in the next eight years, even if the not-insane party takes the White House.

From the Seattle Times, today:

The average age of the homeless people who have died this year has been 48. Most have been male and white. There were 12 deaths in January, more than in any other month.

Forty-four of the deaths have been by accident or natural causes, seven by suicide and four by homicide. There were 20 deaths classified as involving drugs, alcohol or both.

Murray and Constantine attributed homelessness here to several factors, including what the mayor described as a heroin epidemic “across this nation and in this city.”

The mayor also mentioned, “jobs lost during the Great Recession that have never returned” and inadequate state funding to help people with mental illnesses.

Political theorist Sheldon Wollin died in late October, notes the New York Times, at 93.

In his last book, Wollin described the United States as an example of inverted totalitarianism.

Reads the Times, in its final paragraph on the man:

With time, he took the view that corporate power and political power were becoming so closely intertwined in the United States, and the public so apathetic, that genuine participatory democracy was at best a remote possibility, expressed in rare “fugitive” expressions of the popular will.

“Democracy in the late modern world cannot be a complete political system,” he wrote in a 1994 essay, “and given the awesome potentialities of modern forms of power, and what they exact of the social and natural world, it ought not to be hoped or striven for.”

His last book reflected this dark interpretation of politics in the United States. It bore a sobering title: “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism.”

Perhaps Wollin would say, too, that the decline in life expectancy of America’s white tribe is not at all unexpected, given his analysis of where we are.

Democracy Inc, is here for download, at Cryptome. (And, yes, your host has read it. Although a slightly heavy lift, you should, too.)


The result of decades of corporate parasitism in higher education

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, The Corporate Bund at 3:08 pm by George Smith

A short video explains what universities and community colleges have been polishing since when I left with a doctorate thirty years ago. In fact, my first job straight out of school was in this developing mechanism.

Now it’s a nationwide parasitic machine, one that reduces a majority of the teaching staff to penury, migrant workers hired and let go at will, serving at school after school, never getting anywhere. And it’s all for the sake of those at the top and the handfuls of full tenured research stars. Make no mistake, though, it didn’t happen in a vacuum. The greed and hubris in the privileged faculty had much to do with it, too.

This has never been a secret and its one of the cold, hard facts that shows the common bleats about America facing a shortage of scientists and engineers, or that Americans are not educated enough and must be prepared for a life of constant retraining are self-serving falsehoods.


A My Lai engagement in Kunduz & “the terrible tragedy”

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, Psychopath & Sociopath, Why the World Doesn't Need US at 3:15 pm by George Smith

Another atrocity, or My Lai moment, has arrived for the US military in what was described superciliously as its pointless bombing wars last week.

Whether the American government will actually do something about it other than issue the usual get-out-of-jail-free card as it has done with every single hit job in the last decade remains to be seen. Personally, I’d bet against anything more than the equivalents of shit happens and/or they had it coming.

But this really does look like a war crime:

The Army Green Berets who requested the Oct. 3 airstrike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, The Associated Press has learned …

A day before an American AC-130 gunship attacked the hospital, a senior officer in the Green Beret unit wrote in a report that U.S. forces had discussed the hospital with the country director of the medical charity group, presumably in Kabul, according to two people who have seen the document.

The attack left a mounting death toll, now up to 30 people.

Separately, in the days before the attack, “an official in Washington” asked Doctors without Borders “whether our hospital had a large group of Taliban fighters in it,” spokesman Tim Shenk said in an email. “We replied that this was not the case. We also stated that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures.”

The hospital was destroyed by the gunship and is now abandoned.

“Doctors without Borders has said it was frantically calling Kabul and Washington during the attack, trying to make the U.S. aware of what was unfolding as patients died in their beds,” rreports AP.

“Presumably, the gun camera video from the plane would show whether anyone was firing from the hospital.”

Although the gun camera video has not yet been made available, in the past the US military has not been particularly reticent about showing AC-130 gun ships hosing down buildings, vehicles and alleged terrorists. There are examples on YouTube, often accompanied by quite a bit of bragging about its merciless power.

They document what amounts to the easy obliteration of people with a good deal of detail.

A week ago, there was a great deal of excuse making and assertion that if a war crime had been executed, it would be hard to prove.

From NPR:

John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to the State Department, says the bombing of the hospital was a terrible tragedy, but he believes it would be a rush to judgment to call it a war crime.

“The mere fact that civilians are killed, that a hospital is damaged, doesn’t automatically mean that there has been a war crime,” he says. “It only becomes a war crime if it is shown that the target was intentionally attacked.”

If the AP’s report is good, there goes that argument.

And here is Newsweek, commissioning an American professor of law to explain to all how it might not be a war crime.

Incidentally, a measure of us Americans describing the Kunduz massacre as a terrible tragedy, or some iteration of it, as we always do.


The Turner Diaries Lite

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism, WhiteManistan at 3:13 pm by George Smith

Before I get to the substance of the title today, intentionally amusing quotes from an editor of the Toronto Sun, why our neighbors to the north axed Harper and instated Trudeau. What it boils down to — they got sick of the nasty party. But it took awhile because, you know, angry old white guys who live in the country-side and want revenge.


It’s too simple to say that Mr. Harper was trying to Americanize Canada. That is rather insulting to Americans(no, not really — me), and anyway Mr. Harper, no internationalist, seemed bored by Americans, although he tagged along with them on their pointless bombing wars.

In the United States, divisions between, say, regions or parties seem reasonably matched. Mr. Harper was doing something different. He was enabling bullying on a national scale.

Ultimately Mr. Harper’s problem in this election was that he couldn’t win nationally with just an older, white male, rural base. He had to extend his reach, was weirdly unwilling to do that and ended up holding tiny rallies of Conservative voters, while Mr. Trudeau was meeting everyone, anyone …

The scroll of what Mr. Harper didn’t like grew longer as the years passed. It comprised scientists, environmentalists, returning veterans, urbanites, immigrants, then immigrants with accents, refugee claimants, then claimants needing health care, and so on. Bubbles of despised people began popping up. At some point the bubbles would have joined up and made Canada a vast blister for Mr. Harper to target.

Which is a definition of what the Republican Party wants to do, one we ought to adopt as short and to the point. The rest of the country, to the GOP, is a large boil.

The Turner Diaries is one of this country’s premier pieces of white supremacist, and anti-Semitic, gun nut hate fiction. It’s a thin paperback on a white revolt from the violent right, seen through the eyes of its narrator, Earl Turner. A bloody insurrection is triggered when the government tries to confiscate the guns and put the resistance in camps.

An excerpt, from near the end, with freedom fighters triumphant:

“It was like the Gun Raids of four years ago, only in reverse — and the outcome was more drastic and more permanent for those raided. One of two things happened to those the troops dragged out onto the streets. If they were non-whites — and that included all the Jews and everyone who even looked like he had a bit of non-white ancestry — they were shoved into hastily formed columns and started on their no return march to the canyon in the foothills north of the city. The slightest resistance, any attempt at backtalk, or any lagging brought a swift bullet.

“The Whites, on the other hand, were, in nearly all cases, hanged on the spot.”

This, as the book narrates, during an operation to leave Los Angeles “utterly and completely pacified,” after urban crowds “were chanting ‘racism must go’ and ‘equality forever’ and other slogans the Jews had taught them.”

“It reminded me of the mass demonstrations of the Vietnam era,” Earl Turner continues.

Today, this, publicized and passed around by the National Rifle Association:

The radical left is getting much louder, much more shrill, and much more insistent in their desire to use force to get their way and impose their ideas on the American people.

If they try such a radical path it would end poorly and quickly.

The military and local law enforcement agencies in the United States that the radical left has been trashing in public since the Vietnam War until now will not take part in any plot to disarm American citizens.

Soldiers, Marines and sheriffs may even defect to actively resist any federal officers from a pool of just over 100,000 who would take on the suicidal task of taking on the military, local police, and a hundred righteously-angry million gun owners, led by over a thousand angry Green Berets that warned President Obama in 2013 not push his luck…

We do not want a civil war against the radical left wing of the Democrat Party, but let it be made abundantly clear that if they start one, they will be utterly destroyed by armed free citizens, as the Founders intended.

The NRA’s pointer.

It lacks the virulent anti-Semitism of The Turner Diaries, but it’s also fair to call it of the same hate stream.


The Future Looks Blight

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, The Corporate Bund at 11:57 am by George Smith

A few statistics from the Global Wealth Report, under the title US Inequality at its Ugliest:

1. At the Bottom: Of the Half-Billion Poorest Adults in the World, One out of Ten is an American …

3. In the Middle: The US is the Only Region Where the Middle-Class Does Not Own Its Equivalent Share of Wealth

Table 4-2: North America has 38.8 percent of its people in the middle class, but they own just 21 percent of the wealth.

Tables 4-4, 4-5: The wealth-deprived North American middle class is largely a U.S. phenomenon, as Mexico’s relatively small (percentage) middle class has over double its share of wealth, and Canada’s middle class, from a population a little over a tenth of the size of the U.S., has about 20 percent less than its share, compared to the U.S. with 50 percent less.

Table 6-1: U.S. median wealth is just 1/7 of average wealth, which implies a skewing of wealth toward the top. Among other major nations, only Russia is worse.

Global Wealth Report, p. 34: “A shortfall of the wealth share of the middle class below its population share is also evident in many individual countries outside North America, including every one of the G7 nations. Figure 4 shows that the shortfall is most acute in Switzerland, Singapore and the United States; but in Australia, Hong Kong SAR and Sweden the mean wealth of the middle class is also more than one-third lower than the average for the whole population…In contrast, for middle and low-income countries – such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Mexico – the share of the middle-class wealth exceeds its population share (see Figure 4). This difference signals that in such countries members of the middle class are not ‘in the middle.’ Rather, they are towards the top of the distribution and there are relatively few people above them. The same is true for the world as a whole.”

4. In the Upper-Middle: For a Full 70% of Americans, Percentage Ownership of National Wealth is One of the Lowest in the World

Table 1-5: The bottom 70% of Americans own just 6.9 percent of the wealth, a percentage far below all other major nations.

The entirety is here, along with a link to the Swiss Bank analysis from which the figures are extracted.


When you’d rather do nothing, peddle KickStarter!

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:26 pm by George Smith

Asinine quote of the day on a most asinine idea from the President of the US of Asinine: “Is that a step that strengthens the bonds of society?” Yancey Strickler of KickStarter asked a NYT reporter of Obama’s plea for Americans to use his crowdfunding site to buy sleeping bags (sleeping bags!) for Syrian refugees.

As humanitarian aid since we’re only taking 10,000, if that.

Wait, though, because it gets better: “Is it the start of a libertarian utopia?” Strickler adds.

Here’s my awesome idea: Let’s use crowdfunding, especially KickStarter, to help Americans directly buy more bombs and missiles and other weapons, like TOW anti-tank missiles, or fuel for the jets and the uniforms for the special forces we’re using to help guarantee Syria remains a failed state along with the other failed states we’ve created over there. It will help continue the proxy war we’re waging with Russia over there, too.

And why can’t we “crowdfund” our national security through KickStarter?

Oh, wait.

Libertarian utopia, strengthening the bonds of society, my ass.

I vaguely knew Yancey Strickler when he worked at the the Village Voice many, many years ago, and I was a regular writer for the alternative news weekly. And I did some reviewing for him when he was an editor at eMusic. None of which explains any of the effervescent shucking and stupidity bubbling up in this.

It does indicate that success in a tech start-up may not always be a product of how brilliant the starter-uppers are. Dumb luck seems to play a role.

More quote, at which point you know the NYT reporter, Anand Giridharadas, is all for joining the tech collective of glib jerk-offs:

Perhaps people will get hooked on helping refugees through Kickstarter, become early adopters of the cause, and evangelize their compatriots to help as a collective. Or perhaps it becomes a cop-out — a method that politicians use to seem like they’re doing something when it’s too hard to do something.

And perhaps it changes the very nature of humanitarianism itself.

Would the meaning of the Marshall Plan be different had it been financed by a thousand self-organized bake sales worldwide?

If you need it explained why this is so intelligence-insulting, you’ve no business reading this blog.


McAfee goes full EMP Crazy

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism, Extremism, Imminent Catastrophe, WhiteManistan at 2:50 pm by George Smith

Gun nut, sexual athlete and ex-antivirus mogul John McAfee just went full electromagnetic pulse crazy. I suppose it had to happen although on the scale of all things McAfee, it’s not very original.

In a recent syndicated column (yes, someone gave him one), McAfee parrots what the extreme kook right and survivalists/preppers have been going on about for the last fifteen years, electromagnetic pulse doom:

My first thought upon hearing Obama’s proclamation [on the Roseburg massacre and gun violence) was that I was in the middle of an acid flashback and I had no benzodiazepines to mediate the trip. My second thought was: what possible single issue, in this complex society of ours, would merit a "single issue" status?

I assumed that the single issue would be the tragic issue of our national security. This issue would clearly be the rampant illiteracy of our elected leaders in the science of cyber security. Experts agree that an all out cyber attack, beginning with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on our electronic infrastructure, would wipe out 90% of the human population of this country within two years of the attack. That means the death of 270 million people within 24 months after the attack.

Yet our leaders are nearly all ill prepared for this near certain, not-too-distant event. If I were forced to choose a single issue, this would obviously be the issue.

One of my favorite celebrity freaks, McAfee then flails around for a bit before offering up the statistic that "85 percent of all mass shootings have happened while Democrats were on watch."

Of course. McAfee continues that this needs looking into.

And I'm happy to say that someone did look into it a couple years back, except not expressly from the angle of gun massacres, but from the slightly broader definition of domestic right wing terrorism. (I think we can agree Chris Harper Mercer was a right-wing gun nut (along with his mother), as well as a few other things.)

From this blog, at the time:

[The] report, entitled Challengers from the Sideline: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right, analyzed right wing domestic terrorism for contributing factors. The strongest correlator was the number of seats held in the House of Representatives by Republicans.

Simply, right wing violence escalates when their are more GOP Reps. The report reasoned this might be because those perpetrating right wing violence feel supported ideologically by Republicans in that body.

The other possibility, of course, is that the rhetoric emitted by the Republican Party in control of the House creates an environment in which some people feel empowered, or moved, to violence against the government.

The other contributing factor was legislation, specifically that having to do with gun control. The Brady Bill, or Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, signed into law in 1993 during the Clinton administrations, caused a spurt in militia growth and related right wing violence in that period …

And in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security got into hot water over a report on domestic terrorism that painted the right wing as fertile ground for radicalization. And that the specifics fueling the radicalism and violence were political issues, economic hardship and a couple other things (like the resentment of an African American president). But the most specific driver was the belief that the state was either planning to confiscate guns or enacting gun control legislation even when none of these were true.

And today we know that for the entire duration of the Obama administration, the National Rifle Association has mounted a concerted campaign that has little other purpose than to gin up paranoia and fear about gun confiscation by the same administration. Even though there has been absolutely (or virtually) no gun control laws of any kind enacted during the period.

So if we are to take Mr. McAfee at his word, yes, it certainly looks like most of the slaughters look like they take place when Democrats are in charge. And one of the drivers appears to be because white gun nuts have been repeatedly told Democrats are coming for their guns, among many other things.

The Homeland Security report was issued around the time of the massacre in Aurora and readers can see how that turned out.

The authors paid for that one with their careers. However, it proved a little harder to get at West Point.

In any case, often by intent and sometimes not, John McAfee has always had something of a comedic flair. This column being a good example, as well as his recent announcement that he’s running for President. Pat Paulsen lives!

As the paranoia of the gun crazy right wing in America rolls on newspapers continue to publish features on the local white guys who believe it’s all going to come crashing down from electromagnetic pulse attack. But they’re going to be ready with their off-the-grid homes, ammo, guns, gold bars and pemmican, ready to preserve their American way, if not democracy, in the inevitable ritual of purification.

Excerpts from the Kansas City Star:

Mark Rinke — a 32-year-old, married father of two in Olathe who worries about TEOTWAYKI (The End of the World As You Know It) — declined to be interviewed at his home for a strategic reason.

“OPSEC,” said Rinke, floating the military jargon for operations security.

In other words, should the United States ever fall into social chaos through war, economic collapse or some other calamity, Rinke would rather, for security’s sake, not reveal too much regarding the details of his stockpiled energy, arms, water and food.

– Michael Barkun, Syracuse University professor emeritus of political science

“I think it [electromagnetic pulse doom] is a pretty decent concern because it doesn’t necessarily take a country making a decision to do it,” Rinke said. “It can be a rogue thing with a homemade rocket. One day a guy pulls his contraption out of his garage and shoots it off. Our grid goes down.”

Should that day arrive, Rinke feels confident he will be among the prepared.

Remember, no liberals in the bunker.

The Pulsefrom the incomparable archives.


It’s Ted Nugent Land

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism, Ted Nugent at 2:57 pm by George Smith

We’re all renting space in Ted Nugent’s Land when it comes to guns. Most reasonable people probably gave up all hope of any change after Sandy Hook and 20 dead children brought about explosions in gun and ammunition sales. And even the the most trivial legislation to restrict deadly weapon ownership went down.

To be sure, Ted Nugent and people like him are a minority. Nugent is venomous, plainly psychotic during his waking hours and with views, on everything, not just gun ownership, deeply unpopular to a majority.

But his ilk: the gun nuts, the NRA, the extremists and small arms manufacturers are united and effective. They kill all debate immediately and cause all politicians to cringe and crumble before them. As a result, we are reduced to renting space in Ted Nugent Land. It only falls to us to endure it while the rest of the civilized world thinks “You’ve made yourselves into a collective of irredeemable assholes,” shrugs and moves on.

Regardless of the President’s disappointment and fury yesterday, or the calls to political action filling up your in-box, the only course of action after Sandy Hook failed to achieve anything was to give up. Slaughter is the norm.

In late August, just after the last public gun massacre (I think), the LA Times ran a story on why the US is the exceptional nation when it comes to gun slaughter.

It boils down to social and psychological studies of the character of the country. Americans are delusional about what they can expect for themselves, what they believe to be important and what “success” means. Briefly, they believe in fictions like the American dream, that they can have it all, and that fame and money are always within their reach. When most of it never pans out, it produces mental stressors that have to be lived with on a daily basis. Those with mental problems can crack.

Easy access to guns, the instantaneous nature of the American telecommunications infrastructure and the certainty that launching an armed assault on the public somewhere always leads to global (in)fame guarantees it.

Also, this group mental illness:

America’s “gun culture” … is deeply rooted in the idea that broad gun-ownership is a bulwark against the emergence of tyranny. And those roots continue to lie close to the surface, he wrote: A national survey conducted in 2013 found that 65% of Americans believe that the purpose of their right to bear arms remains “to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny.”

Tyranny, a word that American usage has wrung all meaning from, now only signalling that the most appalling acts of bloodshed are acceptable and that everything else must come to a full stop.

How do you escape the tyranny of Ted Nugent Land? And will you wish you could shoot the first person you read or hear mentioning the word “heal” today (do it quickly because the next shooting is coming fast) or tomorrow? Rhetorical questions, obviously.

Speaking of the Chairman of the Heavily Armed and Psychotic, here he is, on schedule.


A Personal Case for Single Payer

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Predator State, Psychopath & Sociopath at 3:10 pm by George Smith

At the end of summer, my friend in the Dick Destiny Band was in Connecticut for a week, getting back together with his old buddies in a high school covers band so they could entertain at a small gathering that would be his class’ 45th reunion. The next to last day he was there an old classmate had him lifting furniture and while doing it some kind of mishap occurred and he suffered a detached retina.

A detached retina that is worsening by the hour is a serious health crisis. Any time part of the field of vision in one eye suddenly goes away is cause for an immediate trip to a doctor. In a country with a functioning health care system that cares for everybody, more or less equally, immediacy wouldn’t be a problem unless one was caught out in the wild.

That’s not the United States. It’s people aren’t up to it. Not even close. Even with the practice of Obamacare, it’s clear a significant portion of the populace has no belief in medicine for all being universally available, and quickly, as part of a civilized society.

My friend grew up in one of the wealthiest counties of Connecticut, attending a ritzy high school for the upper and upper middle classes in a genteel coastal community.

However, when a condition requiring immediate medical attention arose, no one could find it in themselves to do the right thing and get him immediately to a physician. Why? The insurance industry, essentially, and money. No one wanted to be left holding the bag if the local medical facilities weren’t interested in his kind of medical benefits. (Veterans coverage, essentially.)

So they put him on a plane home the next day, when he was scheduled to leave anyway. And in the intervening period, as well as on the trip across country, the torn retina became, as one might expect, worse. It was shameful behavior. The people involved, old classmates, lacked even the ability to feel concern over it.

When my friend arrived back in Pasadena he immediately consulted his eye doctor. This man, along with his colleagues, where exposed as what one might dub rich mens’ medical providers. There was this saintly worry that vet benefits might not cover care in sufficient amount or get going/pay with sufficient alacrity.

And what was recognized was that it was time to stop arguing, checking and diddling around because the good people, the right people, the chosen fortunate, the upper crust, their grand American health network, wasn’t for my friend, not even in an emergency.

Still, serious medical crisis — potential for permanent blindness in one eye. This meant getting dumped on USC/LA County hospital, aka “county,” where those (and you’ll like this description) in the population that are underserved by US healthcare go. That means the lower and lower middle class, you know — the poor, the not-white.

At USC/County my friend finally got what he needed. His retina was stabilized by cryogenic procedure and successive laser surgeries reattached it. However, weeks later, the degree of success or what subsequent treatment will be required still cannot be determined. He got the treatment he needed, late, when the problem was demonstrably worse than it was across the country when the incident that led to it occurred.

And the experience at USC/County shows the disparity in apportionment of resources that still exists in the US health system.

USC/County gets a huge number of people to treat, many, many with some form of insurance, working people, all who arrive with appointments. And when you arrive, once you have been stabilized, a triage that cannot be avoided occurs and every visit takes five to six hours out of your day as you wait for the heavily burdened system to get to you.

The middle class, those that still have corporate or good government health care plans, and their owners in the plutocracy, they don’t have to put up with it. Despite Obamacare, or perhaps because American business, the predatory health insurance industry and equally predatory doctors were allowed to write it, medical resources are applied in a staggeringly unequal way in America.

America does not do medicine. It does health care, even in a crisis, as a posh commodity, something for the good people first. Everyone else, later. Or root, hog or die.

You’d better believe there’s no quality of mercy, and certainly nothing good, in a national health system which sees nothing particularly atrocious in shipping someone across the country to dump at emergency services in LA because the patient’s benefits aren’t cadillac.

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