Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anger of the Honest

I just want to put in a plug here for something that just came to my attention:
Charles Hugh Smith's The Rot Within: Our Culture of Financial Fraud and the Anger of the Honest

If there is anything at all that describes me lately, I think it is that last phrase, "The Anger of the Honest".
If you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention. If you are paying attention and you're not pissed off, you're not being honest with yourself or your gut (there isn't a 'feeling' to the heart, but there is a second, active brain in your gut).

Dealing with insurance companies and health care has GOT to be the best example of this. We get hurt or sick, and we try to get help. We try to pay for it the best way we can with what is available. It is not our fault that the corporations are busy trying to suck every last breath out of each person who needs some service. An honest system would be to simply provide health care to people, which doesn't mean building buildings of glass and steel to house germs to make them worse than when they came in. It means connecting doctors to people so that people live healthier lives, not isolating the knowledge and experience behind piles of paperwork, bills, and elevators to nowhere.


  1. I saw CHS's post. He has a knack for ripping the mark from 1000 yards out.

    I supposedly have full coverage insurance and regularly pay thousands of dollars in basic medical care for my family -- nothing fancy. I haven't seen a doctor myself in many years. This system is so fucked up I even took my wife out of the country (to a "third world" nation, no less) to repair a botched her surgery that we later found was unnecessary to begin with. I had to leave her in that country for almost 2 months and pay almost $8,000 in cash -- with multiple airplane tickets, food, accommodations, etc (for a surgery that would take $60,000 here in the US).

    Right now, as I write, I can feel a stone sized ball of anger inside of me attempting to grow.

    I don't feel entitled to anything, but I'm also not obliged to be lied to and have contracts broken. The result of systemic failure is a hardening of the people who used to trust -- used to believe -- used to care. It ossifies a nation, which maybe that isn't such a bad thing. When people more than live up to their side, it is not unreasonable to expect reciprocity.

    The thing I regret the most is the utter waste. I can deal with suffering, loss, mistrust, etc. I don't like it, but what I can't watch is waste for the sake of waste. It's absolutely maddening.

    When my wife got her surgery, I was embarrassed. I am an American serviceman living in a supposed "peak society" and the doctors asked embarrassing questions: why didn't they do this? why didn't they use this equipment? Why didn't they give her this? All I can say is that, "they don't really give a shit where we come from."

    The equipment that they used was designed in the US and made in China -- all great healthcare innovation that we didn't have access to in New York City but is being used in third world countries. It actually made a difference.

    I wrote to my senator upon return to the US after a month there -- no response. I called his office -- no response. I contacted the VA -- no response. I just wanted to let somebody know that their system is a failure despite the billions of dollars being wasted. Why? because nobody gives a shit.

    I was contacted 3 months later after a small letter writing campaign by my Senator while I was driving upstate to get the fuck out of this city. "Fuck off, sir..." was my response. This is the same guy who I was responsible for while on a security detail just months before. He told me, "if you ever need to cut through the shit..." He took pictures with me and my crew -- guns blazing and thumbs up.

    yeah fucking right. I'm not going to miss this shit. Thankfully, we're on our own again. The last place anybody should place their trust is in the US Government. this is coming from one of its defenders.

    Tommy out.

  2. Thanks Tommy.
    The thing that gets me is that the only thing the insurance companies do is give us collective bargaining now. We still end up paying basically the full price that gets paid. We get a bill for 10 grand for something, we pay a deductible, and the insurance company convinces the hospital to accept that deductible amount. I don't think anyone in government ever reads an EOB statement to see what our sick scare system actually charges people who don't have insurance vs. what it charges insurance companies. The mindset is always "somebody should do something", but that comes from the fucking people who are already getting PAID to do that something. Just like the 'regulators' watching over deep sea drilling or the 'inspectors' who are supposed to be keeping our food safe. The only thing worse than doing their job for them is to make them do it themselves.

  3. Reading Charles H. Smith is the best damn medicine of all. His remarkable clarity, perspective, and insight gives seekers the wisdom they need to light The Way ahead. He is always BRILLIANCE in action!

    As for the Anger of the Honest, yeah it's out there and building - especially for those watching the Teevee. I don't have any facts on this, just my own experience. The shit on between 6 and 8 PM will drive any sane person mad. I'm married to a great guy with an intense job (in the IT/network engineering and security field) who comes home after 10 hours at work drained beyond belief. His way to unwind involves watching the box - not that he really watches it. For example, I think we've seen Taladega Nights 5 times and Meet the Parents 6 times in the last 3 months...just say'n. Anyway, it's the political commercials and the MSNBC shows that set him off. Me too, if I let it.

    Which brings up my next point, we've been very well trained to control our anger and or channel it into something more positive. Not sure when or where this started, but it seems like it's been the protocol in my life for a long time. The result is that we never get worked up to that really fierce point - you know, the one that scares the shit out of the person who pissed us off. Something tells me that that is too bad...an opportunity missed.

  4. When my daughter was little, one of her favorite shows went from PBS to commercial TV. After a single Saturday, she spent the next two weeks begging for the crap on the commercials. We put the TV in the farthest room of the house without the antenna hooked up so she could watch movies if she wanted. Best thing we could have done. I get hypnotized by TV and time just disappears, and then I beat myself up for not getting anything done. Better to not watch it at all. The computer at least FEELS like I'm interacting with the world, and I have made a couple of real friends through it. Still too easily distracted by it, though...going to the shop now.


Slow down. Be nice. It's probably not worth it.