Thursday, June 25, 2009

Israel Has the Power to Make Peace

Since the Palestinians were evicted from their lands, they have resisted Israeli occupation for the same reason that anyone would. While we condemn violence in any form, the absolute control of the land by Israel has left the Palestinians without any means of recalling to the world their plight, except that terrorism dropped on Jewish communities by their few and imprecise rockets. If even these rockets stopped, would Israel give up Palestinian land? What pressure would Israel feel to yield anything at all? This terror is all that is left to a disenfranchised, disempowered, oppressed people, to express the desperation they feel.

While we condemn terrorism in any form, we cannot expect the Palestinians to do utterly nothing in the face of Israeli terror. Considering the magnitude of terror and devastation brought upon Palestinian communities by rockets, tanks, soldiers, water theft, land theft, crop theft, and the lost dignity of a productive economic life, in response, and considering the vastly greater power of the Israeli state, whatever criminal liability falls on the Palestinians, falls on Israel 100 times more. Considering the trajectory of Israeli actions, we must wonder whether Israel thinks it needs a "final solution".

The Palestinian resistance is not a threat to the existence of Israel. With or without Palestinian ascent, Israel will continue to exist. But while Israel holds Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist as a precondition for peace, Palestinians are and Palestine is torn apart, bombed, robbed, and killed, in magnitudes vastly huger than anything done to Israel by Palestinian terrorists. This insistence on recognition is a childish shibboleth. Or more to the point, it is an excuse to avoid making peace.
Given the relative powerlessness of the Palestinians, and the power of the Israeli state, peace can only come when Israel acknowledges the right of the Palestinians to peace in their own home state.

To make a just peace with the Palestinians, Isreal must stop using the Palestinian lands to relieve its own population pressures. Isreal must stop settlement activity of every kind, must give back what was taken to put up the fences, remove all settlements, let the people have the land that remains to them, and let them live. When the terror wrought by the Israeli state ends, when people are allowed to live in peace and to develop their economy, the will to violence and terror will fade. Peace will come when Israel acknowledges the Palestinian right to live.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Common Arguments in Health Care Financing

When we say that the cost of health care in the United States is the highest in the world for the least over all benefit, we are including both private and public funding. **When we debate the cost of universal health care, WE MUST ALWAYS USE THE SUM OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC FUNDING, to place the emphasis on the savings that result from that system.** Then, increased public funding is offset by decreased private funding, and TAX PAYERS SEE THEY ARE GETTING A BARGAIN.

Opponents of a public system have said for years that a government operated system could not be cost effective, because the private sector is inherently more efficient. But now that the numbers are being added up, and public financing is seen to be more efficient, they are charging "unfair competition". So which way do they want to spin their argument?

The private sector long ago proved itself inefficient at providing good health care to the American public, and there is no sound economic reason to protect private profiteering in health care. So many efficiencies would result from a single payer system that building it would be like cleaning out an old barn that's been filled with junk and old hay, and setting up a proper work shop or office.

All of the savings that would result would be a terrific stimulus to the economy, and all of the people put out of jobs at the insurance companies would find plenty of new opportunities, as businesses would prosper, without the burden of health care insurance, and with workers arriving to work healthy.

In our present system, profit competes with health. While the wealthiest Americans get excellent care, other Americans have no care or inadequate care, because insurance companies place profits ahead of health. HEALTH MUST WIN OVER PROFITS.

Conservatives like to dichotomize the public and the government, making the government an evil. But for us, the government IS us, the government is our means of organizing a universal system, it is how we build that system that will take care of us. We must assert our right to use government, the institutional incarnation of community, to serve our interests, to serve the interests of the people of the United States.