12th Dimensional Chess Posted by Planet Waves Cartoonist Matt Bors plays with some persistent Obama myths (but what’s up with the blond dude?). By Matt Bors
If only the real world were as comforting …
I reckon the ‘blond dude’ might be Richard Branson, since the Obamas holidayed on his island.
Could well be. Sir Richard’s quite cool when it comes to sticking his business Necker out. Anarchy in the UK must have made him a bob or two. Who knows? The American people might have had Virgin HealthCare branding on their medicaid. Instead, it seems they’re getting Trump(Don’t)Care whether you live or die.
*shudder* Virgin Healthcare would be bad enough. I really can’t see what the problem is with free universal healthcare. Not having it just means poorer people die from preventable diseases. How is this even a thing? How can anyone want that? It’s just beyond me.
(BTW, the album that propelled Branson to success was Tubular Bells.)
The problem with free universal healthcare is how the hell do you pay for it? One of the problems which the NHS in Britain is currently experiencing is the over-expectation of treatment for the insurance premium paid (taken, like income tax, directly from your wages). Originally designed to enable everyone to have access to basic healthcare (i.e. a visit to the doctor when needed plus some pills or a bottle of curative), it is now expected to provide, on demand, hip replacement surgery, cancer treatment and gender reassignment, all for a payment of about $15 a week. You can’t have that and nuclear weapons, it seems. I agree it could be done, but is it realistic to expect it in the real world? Not much point having a really healthy population armed with pitchforks when Putin, Trump or Kim gets itchy nuclear-finger disease.
Tubular Bells was, indeed, the commercial breakthrough for Virgin Records, particularly after the inclusion of one of its tracks in William Friedkin’s film The Exorcist. The promotion of the Sex Pistols (“God save the queen, it’s a fascist regime”) was a more controversial exercise which challenged the establishment’s method of controlling dissent by incorporating seemingly-dangerous subversive art into the mainstream culture, as they had done some years earlier with the Rolling Stones.
Over-expectation? It’s wrong to expect a health service to take care of you? All those things you mentioned are essential to quality of life.
Sure, we can scrap Trident. We could also close the tax loophole and increase taxes on the rich. Might be worth creating some form of regulatory system that doesn’t allow MPs to hike their own salaries by miles, as well. It really is weird that they get to vote on that.
Over-expectation as in: What provision of health care can you reasonably expect for the insurance premium you pay?
By free universal healthcare, I am assuming you mean non-contributory access to all necessary procedures, drugs and consultations for all peoples of the world regardless of status, religion, income or current lifestyle. This would, I suspect, cost more than the current expenditure on nuclear weapons by those nations in the world which have them. As for quality of life, I am reminded of Marc Bolan’s lyric: “I drive a Rolls-Royce, because it’s good for my voice.”
Nevertheless, I agree with you. This is a worthy cause and I support it absolutely. I have done since 1958 when the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament first made the proposal. That’s 59 years ago, and in Britain Jeremy Corbyn is still trying to persuade the British people to go where CND and Michael Foot failed to take them – down the road of disarmament to universal healthcare and well-being. I wish you and your fellow travellers good fortune. Not all worthy causes are accomplished in a single generation. My regret is that we now seem to be no closer to this goal than we have ever been.
There is no doubt in my mind that for this ambition to be achieved we must answer the question head-on, to the military establishment and to the general public, why it is safe and in our best interests to relinquish nuclear weapons for the greater well-being of mankind. It may seem obvious to you and I, but to others, not so.
For our grand-children’s sake, I wish you well. My generation has seemingly failed to make much progress on this issue. All it would take to unify our planet, IMO, is a significant threat from an alien civilisation. All power to SETI, NASA and other world space agencies in their quest to contact fellow galactic travellers, if any. Let’s hope that they are more advanced and benign in their cosmic outlook than we seem to be towards our fellow humans at the present time.