Monday, October 01, 2007

If that girl gets out of bed ..

... one more time tonight ....

I am going to forget to be nice !!!

When will America ....

... get up off it's burger filled ass and start complaining?

Let us start with a few facts, not jingoistic opinions.

Fact: Americans have fewer freedoms than Europeans.
Fact: Americans have worse healthcare than Europeans
Fact: American children are less well educated than Europeans.
Fact: American employees have pitiful job security.
Fact: Service levels in the USA are appalling.

I could go on ... and most probably will at some time, but today two things have seriously pissed me off. Not, you understand, because I think Europe is better than the USA; but because, in certain areas it clearly is, yet Americans have swallowed the shit peddled to them by politicians and media to such an extent that they actually believe the lies.

My commitment is to life here ..... but I pay taxes, and have opinions, and while there is breath left in my body I will shout and scream that you need to shake off this ridiculous belief that you are always right, and start complaining that you are not, and that only this way will we make America the country y'all think it is.

First ..... I was teaching today. My School District pays Substitute Teachers $50 per day. You, and your children, get what you pay for, by and large. If you agree that your children and Grandchildren should be taught, sometimes for days on end, by people who could earn more at McDonalds, then we have nothing else to discuss.

If you think the students deserve better, then why are you not bitching about it all day every day? I chatted, during Gym, to a full-time teacher. She was asking me about life in the UK, and the conversation turned to Healthcare. She was a self-confessed Conservative, Republican Christian (nothing wrong with that), who believed that free enterprise should run the health service, and that the USA had the best quality healthcare in the world. I was blunt. No, you don't. France, Germany and the UK all have superior healthcare, and so does Canada. The very wealthy here indeed have wonderful healthcare .... the rest have the highest rate of infant mortality in the Western World, many citizens having little or no access to any but the most basic of services.

"But I have heard about the waiting times in the UK", she said. "Well", I replied, "that is part of the lie they feed you to keep you quiet. In fact, for urgent care the UK system has service standards that rival the best in the world. How long are the waiting lists in the US, if you don'tt have health insurance?" I asked her.

Why do Americans pay up to 25% of their salaries for healthcare, only to be denied treatment by an insurance company, even when doctors recommend it? Why do you not scream, shout and complain? Why do you keep voting for those who put you in this position, then do everything they can to keep you there?

Another point we covered was TV advertising. The UK prohibits Political and Religious ads. She was aghast. What about freedom of speech? Well that is one of the biggest red-herrings of all. Britons do not feel that their right to express a view is particularly impeded, but they are simply not prepared to see the entire democratic process debased and reduce to the guy with the biggest pocketbook.

Case in point. Tulsa will vote next week on a sales tax increase to fund River Development. Now there are many cogent arguments both for and against the proposed development and it's funding. Both sides have strong arguments with merit on each side. For the last month, however, the TV has carried hundreds of *Vote Yes* ads, and not a single *Vote No*.

The vote yes campaign is being funded by individuals and businesses whose identity is obscure. My question is how does this serve democracy? How is this *Free Speech* in the best interests of the community? And if it isn't, then why was the right of people to freely express a view allowed to be used to buy election results?

Fact: Americans have fewer, not more, rights than Europeans.

We even still hang on to Habeas Corpus .... fancy.

When UPS tells you one thing, and does another .... complain. When three doctors say you need treatment, and the Insurers disagree, moan, go camp in their fancy offices, be a pain in the butt. When your kid fails to graduate High School, or misses a scholarship, make the District Superintendents life a total misery. When store personnel tell you something just can't be done, don't accept it, demand to know how it CAN be done.

America ... quit lying down and rolling over when every petty beaurocrat and official refuses to provide a level of service that America should be demanding. Vote for the other guy, watch the other TV channel, and email Producers and tell them what you are doing.

Use your much vaunted Free Speech, loud, long and clear. Maybe then you will find out what Europeans have long known:

Telling you you have Free Speech gets rid of the difficult part in the title ... when you really start to use it, watch them panic, and count the improvements.