Sunday, February 25, 2007

LET'S TALK ABOUT RECOVERY ( and a tiny bit about Britney) 2/25/07

It looks like reporters are having a heyday with Britney Spear's dance in-again-out-again of the luxury rehab. So much so that it was difficult to pick from the over 1,200 articles for the title link. Quite frankly, I don't much care what the shaven head pop star's motivation is, if her chosen facility is luxurious or not, or any other thing. It is rather fortunate that any addict's progress in recovery is not based upon what other people think. If it were, I myself might be dead or still in the mix today.

There is a popularity involved with critiquing 12-step methodology. I can accept that. I can also give a nod to the idea that 12-step programs in general may have some characteristics of cultish behavior. And a vigorous nod to the idea that 12-step program membership is not for everyone seeking to recover from addiction to alcohol, other chemical substances, gambling, sex, love, co-dependency [read: messed up families or relationships], eating disorders, or any other -ism. What I will say is that many people have found a way into a new life via 12-step programs-- whether mandated by drug courts or other legal authorities or not. And other folks have found other ways into a new life.

I have been abstinent from my own addiction on a continuous basis for more than a quarter of a century. I treasure my recovery. I have worked hard to get what I have today and I continue to work hard to keep it.

Britney is no different from any of the rest of us on the inside. She is not the first addict to bounce in and out of rehabs seeking direction but too afraid to stay, nor will she be the last. I am delighted when any addict is able not to use for one day regardless of how they do it. And so I extend my most sincere wish to Britney that she find some real peace.

radical sapphoq

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Respect is due to any man or woman who serves our country in times of war. Yet, the articles detailing a lawsuit brought on by a guy who had a 65K a year job over at I.B.M. left me shaking my head. He claims to be an internet addict who was self-medicating via a sex talk chat room during downtime. What is at stake is a smooth 5M.

I.B.M. says the guy was warned four months prior to the incident that got him canned, one year before he would have been eligible for full retirement. Guy says there is age discrim at play and of course he should have been offered a chance at treatment via a sex addictions/internet addiction rehab. [Tasteless joke censored about what group therapy at such places must be like.] Guy further states that he was using the sex chatroom that day to treat his P.T.S.D. which was brought on by the death of a buddy in Nam.

radical sapphoq says: The excuse is lame. Guy should get a different lawyer.

Friday, February 16, 2007


The Internet Book of Shadows at

Thoughts on Bashing Fluffy Bunnies

by Ben Gruagach
This article may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, providing that this original copyright notice stays in place at all times.

One unfortunate trend which has become prominent within the online Pagan community is known as "bashing fluffy bunnies." No, it doesn't involve harming animals -- but it does involve verbally attacking those who are perceived to have less scholarly opinions on modern Paganism than the attacker. Personally I think this trend is shameful and disrespectful, unworthy of anyone who claims to be a polytheist or Pagan. To try and draw attention to the issue I present my Thoughts On Bashing Fluffy Bunnies.

The modern Pagan community is diverse and growing. Decades ago, there were a few distinct majority segments: Wiccans, Druids, and Asatruers. At the start of the 21st century there is an ever-growing number of non-Wiccan Witches, assorted Pagan groups, and Reconstructionist Pagans who are working to revive ancient Pagan religions.

With growth comes friction between factions, sometimes escalating into conflict. Minority groups sometimes feel offended when they are lumped in with other groups. Individuals are annoyed when others assume that some idea or philosophy might be common among the majority of Pagan groups.

Instead of strengthening one's group identity by clarifying core ideas, it is common for a group to instead spend a lot of energy saying what it's not about. Sarah M. Pike explored this in some depth in her book "Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community." Wiccan groups have worked hard to insist that they are not Satanists. Non-Wiccan Witches insist that they are not at all like Wiccans. Reconstructionist Pagans insist that they are not Wiccans or Satanists, and often insist they are not following "Earth-based" religions as Wiccans do. Within the Wiccan community, there is an insistence by many that they are not "fluffy bunny" Wiccans which they clearly consider to be a perversion of their religion.

It is becoming quite common, at least on the internet, for these attempts to differentiate the "not-me" through what can only be described as bashing. Instead of discussing the issues and sharing different points of view and theories, those who hold whatever idea is not politically correct for the majority in the discussion become the target for personal insult and antagonistic behavior. In other forums, when a participant purposefully misinterprets another's postings and writes to antagonize, the behaviour would be labeled "trolling" and would be dealt with appropriately. Within many Pagan forums, however, "trolling" appears to be encouraged providing you are politically correct about it and agree with the majority philosophy.

It has become politically correct in many Pagan forums to bash those they label "fluffy bunnies." The term itself is intended to be insulting -- it implies that some people are air-headed idiots more at home in a Walt Disney cartoon than in the Pagan community. Often the label is applied to any group one happens to disagree with. The implication is usually that the "fluffy bunny" hasn't thought through their religious philosophy, that they are really just concerned about shock value or fashion rather than living a religious philosophy. It is also usually assumed that a "fluffy bunny" has little idea about the historical past and physical reality and accepts any claim that is made at face value.

Some groups, such as Reconstructionist Pagans, strive to match their religions as closely as possible to a specific chosen historical model. They feel that they are therefore immune to being labeled "fluffy," because they hold scholarly rigor in such high esteem. It also happens sometimes within Reconstructionist discussions that other groups such as Wiccans are labeled automatically as "fluffy" because of specific discredited historical theories. The problem with these blanket labels is that they are not always accurate. Within the Wiccan community, for instance, there is a surge of scholarly historical research which has thrown new light on the origins of the religion. Many resisted this change at the start, but it is quickly changing so that now it is quite common to find Wiccans who freely incorporate the new ideas about the past into their philosophies. To insist that Wicca is "fluffy" is to ignore many scholarly Wiccans.

Similarly, while there is certainly encouragement within the Reconstructionist community towards scholarly rigor, it does happen that blanket statements are made and assumptions proven false. Like any pet theory, it is often hard to give up even when the evidence starts to mount that it might not be correct. The claim that Reconstructionists are "more scholarly" than other Pagans has lead to a growing arrogance by Reconstructionists towards other Pagans. And as so often happens, with arrogance frequently comes sloppy and uncritical thinking, essentially "resting on one's laurels" from past accomplishments as a substitute for continuing critical work.

It seems rather hypocritical that a community made up of self-professed polytheists (whether "hard polytheists" or not) should be so intolerant of others who have different ideas. It's not just acknowledging that others have different ideas, or accepting that the historical landscape is evolving. The problem is that some are being disrespectful of others and are actively antagonistic in forums where the stated goal is purportedly to share information and debate ideas in a civilized fashion. Bashing is not debating. Debating involves sharing ideas and evidence and discussing the merits of the different points of view. Debating allows disagreements, but does not allow disrespect. When a discussion transforms into personal insults against select participants, or "bashing fluffy bunnies" as some gleefully call it, it is no longer debate but shameful ego assaults.

Perhaps the conflict is a carry-over from the dominant Judeo-Christian-Islamic culture, where it is common for religions to work under the assumption that there is a "One True Way" that is correct while all others are inherently wrong. When there is a "One True Way," individual religions are in jeopardy whenever alternatives are present. If an alternative proves to be reasonable, it implies that others must be inherently incorrect. When there is "One True Way," there can truly be only one. All others must be discredited and eliminated.

Polytheists purportedly accept the idea that there are multiple deities. "Hard polytheists" believe that the deities are all distinct, that the Greek Hermes is most definitely not the same thing as the Egyptian Thoth. Today there are many Pagans, commonly Wiccans, who are not "hard polytheists" but instead accept multiple deities as being aspects or faces of a larger deity and often as one ultimate deity. This point of view is often expressed as "all gods are one God, all goddesses are one Goddess." Dion Fortune popularized this idea in her works in the first half of the twentieth century. Many early Wiccans, who admired Fortune's work, adopted this idea into their Wiccan philosophy.

It is rather odd, then, that with the vast majority of Pagans claiming some version of polytheism as the basis of their religious philosophy, that they would also hold onto the idea that there is such a thing as "One True Way." Some polytheists insist that they do not believe there is "One True Way," yet when they start talking about other groups or philosophies within the Pagan community they act as if they are all pretenders while their own philosophy is the only "correct" one. The most obvious and frequent example of this is the so-called "fluffy bunny bashing" that occurs. Behavior in this case belies the denials.

Debate is healthy and to be encouraged. Discussion that involves personal attack and antagonism should be discouraged. There is a difference between debates of historical theory or the usefulness of different ideas, and discussion that becomes a reinforcement of disrespect. The Pagan community is varied and changing. No one group has exclusive ownership over the labels "Pagan," "Witch," or even "Wiccan." Arguments over who has the right to those labels within our community are just like the arguments within the Christian community over who is a "real Christian." The arguments are divisive and destructive. As a self-proclaimed polytheist community, we should be above these sorts of petty concerns.

Let's resist the shameful bashing that we are committing against each other. Let's encourage and participate in respectful, honest debate and discussion where we allow our evidence and theories to speak for themselves without allowing over-inflated egos to taint the forums. Let's act like real polytheists, respecting others' choices of deities and philosophies. Let's leave the "One True Way" attitudes and behaviour out of our discussions. Those who are "bashing fluffy bunnies" are not winning the hearts, minds, and souls of the Pagan community -- they are defeating the very ideals of polytheism that allow for a multitude of philosophies, deities, and unique paths within our community.

It's time we grew past pointless infighting and arguments over who is "witchier than thou." We need to retire the phrase "fluffy bunny" and other terms meant to demean others in our communities. Issues should be raised, discussed, and debated -- but without insults and trolling. Scholarly criticism should be encouraged if we are to truly grow. Instead of focusing on what we aren't, let's focus on what we are, and respect the diversity that exists within our own community.

[This article was written in 2002. I am re-posting it here under his copyright terms. Thanks, sapphoq. ]

Monday, February 12, 2007


A European Union document states that Iran continues her progress in nuclear research. It's too late to stop. Whether or not the European Union or the rest of the world wants a nuclear-capable Iran, a nuclear-capable Iran is indeed in the offing. Although motivations and estimates vary, Iran shall have her piece of the nuclear pie.

Iran has centrifuges at the ready to produce uranium-enriched power although not quite on the large scale yet. Last year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refused all negotiations. Now, he may be ready for some talking. In a recent election, his buddies lost to more moderate and less hard-line candidates. Sanctions from the United Nations Security Council are already in place and the European Union plans to follow suit with sanctions of its own. The United States has a financial embargo ongoing against Iran, although some European countries are wont to join in that particular endeavor.

Last weekend, Javier Solanger and John-Walter Steinmeier met with Iran's Ali Larijani. Solanger represents the European Union's foreign policy concerns. Steinmeier is Germany's Foreign Minister. Larijani is Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary. But all of that may be for naught since Iran's President Ahmadinejah will not agree to suspend uranium-enrichment activities as a prerequisite to negotiations. The United Nations back on December 23 once again imposed a meaningless two month deadline for Iran to return to the deadlocked talks.

Iran does not want to be sanctioned. Mohammad-Ali Hosseini speaking on behalf of Iran's Foreign Ministry stated that Iranian officials are prepared to help Iranians offset any negative effects of any trade embargos if implemented on February 21rd. Hosseini also stated that the rights of Iran must be upheld as Iran has not violated any international laws in researching uranium enrichment.

Larijani wrote a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency's President Mohamad El-Barade resolving to fix all conflicts over this matter within three weeks. Iran will cooperate with the I.A.E.A. and act within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran and some other countries don't like the idea that Israel has nuclear weaponry but that has not been addressed. Meanwhile, the Iranian centrifuges are being fed processed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas as you read.

Verdict: One Big Mess which will not go away easily.

radical sapphoq

Sunday, February 04, 2007


The following article was written by Theresa Chaze. It has been reposted here with her written permission. She states that it is true and that it happened to her. radical sapphoq

Sheriff Department Violates Wiccan's Civil Rights
Theresa Chaze
On October 18, 2006 at approximately 2 am I was stopped by Deputy Justin Revnell. He claimed that I had been weaving as I drove. He approached my vehicle, but refused to tell me why he stopped me. He asked for my driver’s information. I indicated that it was in my purse, which was in the back seat of my car. He told me to get it. I couldn’t reach my purse from the driver’s seat so I attempted to open my door. Revnell angrily slammed it shut. I tried to explain that getting out was the only way to reach my purse. Revnell opened my car door and ordered me to the back of my car. As I complied with his order, he reached in and took my purse out of the back seat. As he walked around, he was riffling through it. I continued to ask why I was stopped and to talk to his supervisor. He asked if there was anything that could hurt or cut him. I told him about my small athame set in the pocket. Without asking for an explanation of why I had them, he hand cuff me and put me in the back seat of his patrol car. I was very confused and very frightened. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me and they refused to give me any information, nor were my right read to me. Revnell and another officer searched my car. I did not consent to search of my purse or car, nor did the deputies give me a breathalyzer test or any other test for driving under the influence. It was quite apparent that I wasn’t impaired, therefore there was no reason for them to detain me.

Neither officer would tell me why I was stopped and subsequently arrested until we were at the jail garage. At that time, Revnell told me that I was stopped for swerving and was charged with Felony concealed weapon. I was taken inside and searched by a male deputy, even though there were female officers available. He then took my information and then searched me again; only this time it was much more personal. When another officer walked around the desk, he immediately stopped and stepped away from me. At all times I was cooperative. I was placed in a hallway. A few minutes later, I started having problems breathing and asked for the prescription inhaler, which was in my purse. The officers denied me access. The asthma attack became increasingly severe and I repeatedly asked for my inhaler; each time I was denied. One deputy stuck his head in the hallway and told me to stop making myself sick. It wasn’t until after I had vomited, urinated on myself, and was to the point of blacking out was I given access to my inhaler. Soon after a deputy who claimed to be a supervisor walked in the hallway, but I still couldn’t breathe well enough to talk. I did the best I could to explain that I couldn’t talk at the moment and asked him to come back. He never did, but Revnell’s supervisor did. I was able to talk and explained that my athames were not weapons but religious objects and that they were so small that they couldn’t be used for weapons. The supervisor didn’t understand why Revnell arrested me. I told him that I have asthma and hypoglycemia; I was already late eating. He promised me that I would have access to my inhaler and that food would be provided.
I was placed in a holding cell and a sack lunch was given to me with two sandwiches, an apple, a cookie and juice. The bread on the sandwich was dry and stale. The meat was brownish green. The cookie was hard. None of it could be safely eaten. I rationed the juice for the rest of the night to keep my blood sugar from dropping too low. At one point, I sitting with my back against the wall and I got really dizzy. Then, I was waking up face down on the mattress; I don’t know how I got there.

Later, the booking process was finished with the fingerprinting and photographing. Again, I was searched by a male officer. My rights still had not be read to me. Although the deputies allowed me access to my inhaler, it was done reluctantly and only after my repeated requests. However, when breakfast was served, I was excluded.

I went before the magistrate around 9 am. My bond was set at five thousand dollars with ten percent down. I was scheduled to go before the judge at 2 pm. I called my employer for a loan. He agreed and the deputies gave me a contact number to give him. I continued to wait to be released. Lunch was served and I was given food but by that time I was too sick to eat.
The time past and I began to question when I was going before the judge. The deputies told me my paperwork had to be processed. Mid afternoon, access to my inhaler was cut off. One deputy suggested I be taken to the nurse; another one told him to shut up. I kept asking when I was going before the judge and was told my paperwork still wasn’t done.

Late afternoon there was an altercation with another inmate. He was brought in earlier. Both he and the officers had a verbal exchange that including insulting each other mothers. However, once the deputies stopped tormenting him, the inmate sat quietly in the cell with several others. Late in the afternoon, two officers from Cadillac came to transfer him. Once again, they verbally assaulted him. He offered to pay the eighty dollars that he owed; the money was at his home. He offered to have someone bring it to them. They said that was fine as long as they could be at the jail in the next two minute and he couldn’t use the phone to call anyone. He begged to talk to his social worker many times. They laughed at them. He was handcuff and his legs chained. Flanked by four officers who greatly out weighted him, he was taken outside. Moments later, there was shouting and the sounds of a struggle. Three or four more officers ran out. Some of the deputies came back in a few minutes later. One of them was laughing and bragging that he would have beaten his face bloody. After the inmates in the cell next to mine were moved, three deputies carried him back inside and dumped him on the mattress. One of them had his gun pulled with one hand and held the inmate down with the other. The gun was pointed at me in the next cell. I heard that he was no longer going to be transferred but charged with felony destruction of property for breaking a patrol car windshield. I don’t understand how he could have being shackled and surrounded. After the offices left him alone in the cell, he took off his t-shirt. His arms and upper torso were covered in red marks that were rapidly turning into bruises; they badly beat him. He put his shirt back on and unsteadily walked to the mattress. He laid down. I’d never seen anyone fall asleep that fast. I was worried that he was severely hurt.

When things calmed down, I once again asked when I was going before the judge. They still hadn’t done my paperwork but that another inmate and myself would be going before the judge before 5pm. Shortly after I was told that it was too late for the judge to see me but that my bond had been paid. Dinner was served. A short time after I was taken out of my cell and processed. I was able to use the phone to call my employer. He told me that he attempted to pay my bond before noon, but was told that I would be arranged at 2pm and the bond would be lowered. When he hadn’t heard from me by 2:30, he called again and in spite of the deputies assurance that I would be arranged, he paid my bond before 3pm. I was allowed to call a cab. I asked where my car had been towed. Originally, the deputy insisted that my car was exactly where I left it; I knew that to be false. Eventually, he told me the name of the towing service. However, instead of the cash I had, I was given a check that the cab driver wouldn’t accept. I had to use my credit card. The towing company was closed but there was a number to call. The cab driver allowed me to use his cell then left me there. Eventually the owner of the towing company arrived. It cost me $111.00 to get my car back. He wouldn’t take a check and again I had to use my credit card; it put me over my limit. My car was returned with a damaged exhausted system. I didn’t get home until almost eight o’clock.

I went before the judge the next morning. While I was waiting I met two others who had been in the jail the day before. One of them I had worked with briefly. He told me that he heard the deputies laughing how they were teaching me a lesson by withholding my paperwork and keeping me in custody longer than necessary. I went before Judge Thomas Phillips. He was the one and only person who read me my rights. My bond was changed to PR. I asked for a court appointed attorney.

On Friday, I was having difficulty breathing and my fingertips were numb. I went into Urgent care: I was diagnosis with Pleurisy. The doctor thought the numbness was due to breathing problems and should go away when the Pleurisy did. Since then I have been having panic attacks that have lead to asthma attacks and I’m afraid to leave my home.

Also on Friday, I called the District Attorney’s office. I simply didn’t understand why I was arrested. I told the man I talked to that the athames were ceremonial and never meant to be weapons. They were bought for 99 cents on Ebay and didn’t really have a true edge; technically, they were more decorative than anything else. He agreed that my First Amendment rights of freedom of religion would be a good defense. He promised to look into my case and get back to me; but he never did. I also called the Michigan Attorney General. The man I spoke to told me the AG office couldn’t get involved until I filed complains locally with the Sheriff Department and the District Attorney.

Phillip Settles was my court appointed attorney. He took my statement but didn’t want to hear about the religious aspects of the case. He told me the District Attorney offered a plea to the lesser charge of misdemeanor. I refused. During the preliminary hearing, Mr. Settles was able to get Deputy Revnell to contract facts in the police report and to admit that he wasn’t afraid of me. However, he never did go view the actual athames; if he had, he could have proven Revnell lied about the sizes. In the police report, Revnell photocopied my athames, but he didn’t put anything in to give scale or perspective so he was able to enlarge their appearance in the report. Mr. Settles said the size of the athames or their purpose didn’t factor in; they were double-edged and thereby illegal. After the Preliminary Hearing, I asked Mr. Settles how I could file a complaint about Revnell. He told me that it wouldn’t do any good and implied it wouldn’t be safe. Revnell is the Sheriff’s nephew and has a history of getting away with make witnesses disappear. He told me to Google “Justin Revnell” to see what kind of person I was dealing with. Reading the newspapers articles, I realized how lucky I was to have the second deputy arrive.

Eventually Mr. Settles filed two motions. One to dismiss the evidence on the grounds of an illegal search of my purse and on violations of First Amendment Right of freedom of religion. Chief Assistant District Attorney James Pappas answered the motions claiming that I told Revnell they were there without him asking and afterwards I claimed they were for protection. Neither which was true. Just on the common sense level, why would I tell just tell him something like that and if I had wanted them for protection, they wouldn’t have been buried in the bottom of my purse, which was buried in the back seat of my car. In addition, I wear my pentacle openly. I have appeared in the local media on TV 9 & !0, several times in the Record Eagle and on WTCM. It is common knowledge that I am Wiccan. However, Mr. Settles told me that because of Revnell’s family connections, he would automatically be believed and I would be considered a liar.

During the process, the Grand Traverse Sheriff Department has continued to harass me. I have been followed many times for no reason. I have turned off on to side streets just to get away from the main traffic, only to have the patrol car do the same. Several times, I pulled into parking lots and gone into the stores just to make them go away. On November 30, 2006, I was pulled over for illegally beeping my horn. January 4, as I pulled out of the driveway of the small factory I worked at, I noticed headlight further down Park Drive; they were stationary. It was 2 am. On one side of the road is apartments; the rest of the road has businesses, which were closed except for where I worked. As I pulled out, the headlights started to move. Since I have been afraid to drive alone, a coworker, Linda, who lives in the same area, agreed to follow me most of the way home. She pulled out behind me. The headlight sped up and caught up to us at the stop light at South Airport and Park. It kept close behind us all the way to Chums Corners and beyond. I pulled into Glens and watch the GT Sheriff patrol car continue to follow Linda. The next day I called her and learned that he stayed behind her for another couple of miles.
On the day of the motions were to be heard, Mr. Settles spoke to the District Attorney and arranged for the charged to be dropped to a misdemeanor with a delayed sentencing before James Pappas arrived. It was the agreement that instead of daggers the charge would be possession of a switchblade. However, if the judge refused to accept the delayed sentencing than the charges would continue to be dropped until it was accepted. Mr. Settles told me that it was the best I could hope for and if I didn’t I risked receiving the maximum. Although I thought it was wrong, I accepted. Mr. Pappas arrived after the deal was done; he became angry and seemed to take it personal that I was no longer charged with a felony.

I have been sentenced to 180 days probation, five days community service and 490.00 in fines. Overall, it has cost me close to a thousand dollars in fees, lost wages, medical expenses and fines. I’m 48 years old and have never been even accused of a crime before. My record was totally clean. Yet I was guilty until proven innocent. My civil, religious and medical rights have been violated. I still have problems breathing and am afraid to leave my home for more than a short period of time.

The system that was supposed to protect me, victimized me instead. The system no longer works because the police no longer service and protect, but intimidate and harass. They do so with immunity from criminal and civil prosecution. They can do life threatening harm to the public and not be held responsible. This needs to change. I’m looking for an attorney, who will not only help me get financial compensation for the harm they did to me, but to change the law as well. The abusive officers and those that protect them need to be held accountable both civilly and criminally. Until they are, the abuse will only increase in frequency and severity.

Theresa Chaze has written several novels. Please support her by a visit to her website. Thanks. radical sapphoq
If you enjoy a good magical fantasy in the style of Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey and Harry Potter, you will enjoy my novels, Awakening the Dragon and Dragon Domain Filled with magic, suspense and romance, the residents of Coyote Springs will entice and frighten you as they face challenges that come from within and without. .

Friday, February 02, 2007


By now most folks have heard about Bush's proposed tax benefit for medical insurance program-- spend a bunch of money to get a tax deduction. Spend too much money and get whacked by the IRS on April 15th. Don't have the money, you are stuck. A senior or disabled person on Medicare will wind up paying more. Poor people on Medicaid will be given vouchers for three thousand bucks. I swear sometimes the government is trying to kill some of us off. Ultimately, this stuff will result in decreasing funds available for Social Security Retirement beneficiaries. Cat food and medication vs. tuna fish-- you choose.

That is the abbreviated version as presented on physician discussion boards [According to the current Medscape poll, a full 74% of physicians are against the Bush 41 plan]. The fuller version is a maze. Very few folks have come up with a viable alternative. Now, a group of physicians has. The group is called "Physicians for a National Health Program." They are proposing "single payer national health [insurance]." The idea is attractive.

The main difference between their proposal and socialized medicine is that doctors will not be paid by the government. Some other advantages of their proposal are: lowered cost for all, no co-pays, medical decisions will once again be between patient and doctor without interference by insurance agencies whose best interests do not coincide with what is best for our health, and there will be no uninsured AMERICAN CITIZENS.

The website is quite thorough and also refutes arguments put forth by the opposition. One of those arguments is that the United States currently does not ration our health care. Of course it does. Anyone who has had to deal with finding physicians who accept Medicaid will tell you that health care in this country is indeed rationed. So will folks who have to have root canals without anesthesia because their insurance will not pay for anesthesia, folks who need treatment whose H.M.O.s are refusing to pay, folks without dental insurance or insurance for glasses who go without dental care and eye care.

Now, the thing is that this will not result in the creation of a bureaucracy because as stated at:

[direct quote]

Won’t this just be another bureaucracy?

The United States has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. Over 24% of every health care dollar goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, and other non-clinical costs. Because the U.S. does not have a system that serves everyone and instead has over 1,500 different insurance plans, each with their own marketing, paperwork, enrollment, premiums, rules, and regulations, our insurance system is both extremely complex and fragmented. The Medicare program operates with just 3% overhead, compared to 15% to 25% overhead at a typical HMO.

It is not necessary to have a huge bureaucracy to decide who gets care and what care they get, if and when everyone is covered and has the same comprehensive benefits. With a universal health care system we would be able to cut our bureaucratic burden in half and save nearly $150 billion per year. [end of quote]

Speaking of bureaucracy, I was astonished to learn that Texas is mandating a cervical cancer vaccination for all fifth and sixth grade girls. Because cervical cancer can be gotten from things like rape or a husband, the religious right politicians there went along with it. Because Merck doubled its' production of the vaccine at the same time that it doubled its' lobbying funding for the state of Texas, I can't help but think that the lovely mix of Politicians plus Pharmaceuticals has wielded Power.

My friends tell me that the vaccination only targets cervical cancer, that there are other non-cancer related strains of H.P.V. That has not been mentioned in the news much or in the commercials and it ought to be. Of greater concern is that the vaccination mandation does allow for parents to opt out on religious or philosophical grounds. Yet I think it should be the other way around. The vaccine should be put on the list of "recommended but not required" which would return the decision-making to the parents, doctor, and in a few cases girl involved.

But then Merck would lose out on some of the profits it is making off of our lives.

radical sapphoq
with shout-outs to Natalie and Megs