Health Care – Color Me Confused

Wait, I missed the debate on the pubic option!

I have watched the debate over health care with interest since the first Clinton Administration.  I’ve seen and heard proponents, opponents, ne’er-do-wells, stand-up comics, average Joes, educated folks, etc. argue and plea for and against health care for so long, it’s all melded into one jumbled mess in my brain.  There has been an explosion of information ignited by both sides of the argument for decades, and I have come to one definitive conclusion.  I have been meticulously and earnestly lied to repeatedly by all sides.  This stopped being about doing the right thing a long time ago, and is now just about being right.  The Democrats were looking for a victory, and the Republicans were bent on robbing them of that victory.  The actual bill they fought over didn’t matter.

I am not excited or angry by the passage of the health care bill because I have no idea what the actual pros and cons of the bill are. Both sides claim the other is wrong.  I’m not talking about morally wrong (although there is some of that going on).  Each side has argued the facts that their opponents are using to support their argument are wrong.   How can that be?  Experts are cited and then other experts are cited to counter the other side’s experts.  It’s a dizzying array of pointless growling and chatter.  The debate itself ceased to be a debate a long time ago.  It’s now just a bunch of people shouting at each other.  Honest political debate is as rare as getting a slinky to go back up the stairs.

What’s a confused boy like me to do?  I have decided the only appropriate course of action for me to take is to be disgusted by my government and the political process in this country.  I don’t buy into the discourse that one political party is more at fault than the other.  I think they both suck equally.  And I don’t think it’s a matter of throwing the bums out.  We’ll just elect more bums.  You know why?  Because being a bum is a major qualification for running for political office.  They’re always asking for money, and they always end up spending it to feed their bad habits, which, as far as I can tell, is running for political office.

So, in conclusion, yippee we have health care… and boo we have health care.

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Could a Synthetic Surface Have Prevented Eight Belles’ Injury?

Let the debate begin.  I have no knowledge of the pros and cons of synthetic tracks verses dirt tracks in horse racing (other than what lies before me on the world wide web), but there is a push in the sport to switch all horse tracks to the synthetic surface because it’s a safer surface for horses to run on.  Is it safe enough to have prevented Eight Belles’ injury yesterday in the Kentucky Derby?  I don’t know and it’s something that no one will ever be able to determine.  But, invariably the synthetic surface argument will carry on throughout the race for the Triple Crown, and beyond.  And, I agree that this is a conversation we should have, but I much fear that we will carry the conversation too far.  We tend toward the “knee-jerk” in the USA.  We flock to a cause célèbre, and rattle the cage until some action (and it usually doesn’t matter what action) is taken to “fix” something we perceive as broken.  Here’s what really irks me.  Congress will probably hold hearings.  Never mind the economy is in the toilet, there’s a war being waged, and we still haven’t found Bin Laden.  We need to investigate the very public death of a beautiful filly (insert sardonic tone here).    

Eight Belles’ death was a terribly sad spectacle, but the worse thing we as a society can do is demand change for the sake of change.  Keep in mind experts at one time told us cigarettes were safe and cocaine was good for you.  Let the debate run its course before taking action. 

My two cents – The injury had little to do with the surface of the track, and more to do with the anatomy of the horse.  I found the blog, Racehorse Memorial Wall, Worldwide™, and it lists several horses that were fatally injured running on artificial surfaces. 

BTW – The New York Times fired the first shot in the mainstream media.  They brought up the surface debate in their article titled, Filly’s Death Casts Shadow Over Big Brown’s Derby Victory.  I have no doubt someone in Congress will bring this up on the floor of the House or Senate in the coming days.