Skip to comments.My Father Is a Terrorist
Posted on 12/10/2002 10:36:08 PM PST by Sir Gawain
Though it be distressing and dreadfully depressing, I have come to realize that my father is a terrorist, a member of a widespread network actively engaged in the ruination of America. With millions of members now, it will double and possibly triple in size within the next thirty years. Worse, it is likely that nearly every American will join this movement, including me.
I recently came to this terrible realization when, while visiting my father, three of his collaborators trapped me at the end of a urine-scented corridor and, at that moment, I saw them for what they were terrorists, whose overweening purpose was to devastate my life, my familys life, and to destroy Western Civilization. I stood and faced them as they closed relentlessly on me, shuffling behind their walkers, mumbling, vacant-eyed, yet with bony hands grasping at me the shock troops of the ill Qaeda.
Later, I questioned my father about this movement and asked him if he really wanted to be one of them. He smiled and replied, "Alabama?"
So I turned to the Net, to government sites for, if not intelligence, then for information and I found an amazing amount at many web sites:
My head swam in an endless sea of statistics. More than 45 million people receive social security today. More than 40 million enrolled in Medicare, more than 5 million disabled. $213 billion, $385 billion, $118 billion. I had found numbers, many large numbers, but clarity eluded me. I continued.
$94 billion, $145.5 billion, $142 billion, $225.6 billion, $180.9 billion. 4 million. 7.2 million. 37 percent. 300 percent. 400 percent increase.
My head spinning, I continued slogging.
The information seemed purposefully unclear. Data didnt agree from site to site, as they used different measurements, different time frames and so developed different conclusions, and so many numbers. But an image began forming of the ill Qaedas extent and its explosive growth. In 1965, 9.4 percent of the population was over 65. In 1995, 13 percent was. In 2030, maybe 25 percent, and with more than 7.5 percent older than 80. And 54.5 percent of the over 65ers have some disabilities; 37 percent, have severe disabilities. And it is worsening. By 2040, perhaps 14 million people with Alzheimers.
I stopped, and while endless figures marched through my brain, I experienced a series of realizations.
First, the ill Qaeda in America is a massive movement and well funded, largely by taxpayers.
Secondly, the aim of the movement is our economic ruin.
And finally, support for the ill Qaeda stretches far beyond the elderly shock troops.
Supporters obviously lurk throughout our government.
Every government site I visited boasted of their massive staffs and mammoth budgets, touted the wonderful things they did for the aged and provided an abundance of happy numbers how many people they served, how much they spent, how much longer people were living, how many were bedridden, how many lived with severe handicaps, how many with Alzheimers. Each agency seemed so proud of their ability to count, while ignoring their obfuscation and never questioning their activities. These venal bureaucrats not only keep themselves well-employed and well-pensioned, but are the paymasters of the ill Qaeda and see to it that the terrorists want for nothing, that no expense is too great, no demand too extreme. Their ultimate terror blow will not come from bombs or plagues, but from Social Security, the incredibly generous pensions for government employees, and worst of all, the fast approaching fiscal tsunami of Medicare and Medicaid.
I decided to follow the money.
So many doing so much research with such large budgets.
The money trail also led to thousands of profitable nursing homes and assisted living residences with staffs and management and, of course, to the pharmaceutical companies who develop, promote and sell drugs to the ill Qaeda while pocketing vast profits, largely lifted from taxpayers wallets. Bribes and campaign contributions led me to packs of politicians who promise to keep and expand the promises of previous politicians.
Quite an extensive organization indeed.
I also surveyed the roots of our ill Qaeda and found they can be traced back, like so many of our social and political problems, to the ludicrously ill-named "Progressive" movement of one hundred years ago, which had as its basic philosophy that "experts" know more than do citizens and so chosen "experts" should control the important parts of our social life. Incrementalism was their wont and, to their followers, it still is. Realizing that their goal of socialized medicine in a socialistic society would be impossible in an America where people still practiced individual responsibility, Progressives began to slowly inflict society with a complicated and expensive health care mess in the belief that people would eventually be compelled to turn to government and its experts for all medical care. This Progressive socialism was not of and by the workers, but of and by the experts. All power to the experts! Citizens merely need obey.
The first step was the creation of the AMAs medical monopoly and was soon followed with the granting of the power to dispense drugs to these state credentialed experts only, thereby removing much of the individuals ability to self-medicate and turning the citizens, as well as their pharmacist allies, into medical nonentities.
This movement inexorably progressed during the Twentieth Century. Care for Widows and Orphans mutated into Social Security, then disability insurance appeared, then tax breaks for business-provided health insurance and finally, with Medicare and Medicaid, the free market in medical care was all but destroyed and these Progressives had only to wait for their final victory.
Progressives however have always ignored human nature and this penchant, plus an inability to imagine modern developments, such as astonishing medical advances, explosive growth in the power of lawyers and social advocates, and the Baby Boom, transformed their socialistic dream into an ill Qaeda nightmare.
Progressives, ignoring human nature, assumed that professionals, including physicians and bureaucrats, would always act in the interests of society and of the needy, and that their citizen wards would be passive, dependent and thankful.
A fact painfully obvious to all, save these reformers of humanity, is that if you give people something for nothing, they will overuse and abuse it,
For instance, in 1964, prior to Medicaid, the poor saw physicians 20 percent less frequently than the non-poor; by 1973, after Medicaid, the poor visited physicians 18 percent more often than the non-poor. In 1963, the poor had only half as many surgical procedures per 100 people as those with above-average incomes; by 1970, the rate for the low-income was 40 percent higher.
Ignoring this facet of human nature has cost taxpayers dearly as has disregarding that the medical industry would rationally decide to maximize income and not be selfless professionals. As long as insurance companies or the government reimburses, as long as the patient or the family pays, as long as the bed cannot be used more profitably, then there is an obvious economic incentive to keep oldsters alive, regardless of quality of life. Physicians, of course, claim that due to their sacred oath, they could not do otherwise.
Understandably, over the past three decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of physicians in America, more than doubling the ratio of doctors to the population, and every physician expects financial success.
When the Progressives began their meddling, life expectancy in America was under 50 years; by the New Deal era, expectancy had grown to 60; by 1960, it was nearly 70. These advances were tied to improved sanitation and relatively inexpensive drugs. Life expectancy today nears 80 years, but this latest increase has been due largely to expensive equipment and procedures. Intensive care units overcome heart attacks and sudden fevers, veins are cleaned out or replaced, organs scanned, intrusive tests run, potent drug regimens prescribed.
Therapeutic relentlessness has become our medical credo, a total commitment to the preservation of life that has often turned medical care into a form of modern torture. The long-held fear that modern medical science would create a terrifying monster has been realized, not as a solitary creation of a Dr. Frankenstein, but rather as millions of rapacious retirees and their support staff.
Only recently, since government regulations and paperwork have cut into profits, have doctors begun to rethink their Hippocratic oath, only they find themselves confronted by an array of social advocates keen to protect and promote the equal rights of every patient, regardless of age or physical condition, and synergetic schools of attack lawyers keen to litigate. They have succeeded in making therapeutic relentlessness required treatment for all.
Our modern Progressive, democratic view no longer demands that everyone be ones own physician and accept responsibility for ones health, but rather insists that every facet of medical science be available to all, regardless of cost, demanding cradle-to-grave security for all, only the graves must be constantly cheated, while the ill Qaeda slowly drains our financial and emotional treasuries.
We now have an expensive, highly litigious, semi-socialistic and complicated medical system a cruelty beyond even Stalins imagination.
This advocate class goes beyond mere medical "rights." They demand that government protect the citizenry from smoke, alcohol, drugs, too much fun, bad air, bad water, bad food, bad breath; they want government to treat the public as children to be protected; they demand it remove all risk from life, intending to thereby postpone indefinitely our human finale and allow everyone to happily gambol forever, disregarding the fact that the extensive woes of senescence have not been conquered and ignoring the conspicuous reality of countless mindless zombie seniors. Do they believe zombies enjoy themselves?
I urge all people to visit homes for the aged and the infirm of body and mind. Go to such a place, spend time there and realize that there are things worse than death. Decide which is worse, to have an intact mind trapped in a feeble, uncooperative body or, like my father, possess a body capable of movement, function and control, but with a mind shrunken or short-circuited. Enjoy the sight of aged children visiting and tending an ancient parent. Ninety year olds can and do have children who too reside in retirement homes.
Some blame must also resound to ourselves and our feeling that death has become totally unacceptable.
Life today is generally easy and pleasant and people are in less of a hurry to depart this vale than in times of suffering, poverty and hard labor, and mix this with the rampant narcissism of modern America which has us view ourselves, and by a common belief in social equality, to view everyone as too damned wonderful and too important to ever lose. Or maybe Americans are so naturally naive and optimistic that we have grave trouble accepting the grim reality of death.
I find it especially despicable when those who so loudly aver Christian beliefs, including eternal bliss in heaven, and who, in their own eyes lead blameless lives, still clutch frantically to this life, no matter how miserable it might be, and appear so terrified of the next.
Whatever the reason, America seems no longer willing to accept death as part of life, but have come to believe they possess the "right" to unlimited, unremitting care, which fits the plan of the ill Qaeda squeeze the taxpayers until the economy collapses or until our society crumbles in inter-generational disputations.
The plan is brilliantly clever. Who after all would oppose the old, the sick, the infirm? Today the ill Qaeda claim nearly one-third of the bloated federal budget, but their full terror is yet to come. In a dozen years, the Baby Boomers will begin enlisting, and in ever increasing numbers.
The thought of elderly Boomers makes a most upsetting picture. Many are so corpulent and flaccid that they can barely hoist their sedentary bulk up from the couch and waddle to the fridge for more snacks. They will certainly keep the medical industry busy for decades.
The local Fliberal (Frisco liberal) Boomers however are different; many have spent decades doing penance for their youthful drug and disco decadence jogging, yoga, working-out, dieting, intending to keep their bodies fit forever, and have taken their constant self-righteous whining to Olympic levels, but their minds . . . ?
Many Boomers destroyed millions of brain cells back then and might live to regret it, but they rarely used the cells they had. Boomers have spent their lives believing in angels, free lunches, UFOs, channeling, Marxism, global warming, the Social Security lockbox, Bill Clinton and more. They are already too near senility and the future . . .
Thirty five years ago was the Summer of Love. Thirty five years ahead could be the Winter of Resentment. I can picture hordes of wrinkly Fliberal Boomers shuffling along, clutching vinyl LPs and lava lamps, heading for Strawberry Fields forever, imagining no money, while trying to get satisfaction, and demanding it all be paid for by the government.
Within decades, the ill Qaeda will be devouring the equivalent of two-thirds of the present federal budget and add to that financial stress an expensive and ever-increasing, never-ending, worldwide war against evil plus another mammoth and alarming bureaucracy aiming for homeland security, and it becomes clear how near the ill Qaeda is to victory.
What can possibly be done?
Buy stock in Depends and industrial-strength walkers.
Or we could insert the free-market into the medical system which would increase competition and personal responsibility and ultimately lower costs, but this wont happen until after we reach financial crisis and that will be too late.
Or free cigarettes could be dispensed to everyone and smoking made mandatory for all retirees.
Or require exciting, fresh-air outings for all Medicare recipients downhill skiing, skateboarding, mountain climbing, skydiving, all of which would increase their enjoyment while decreasing their numbers.
Or we could promote a change in the social perception of suicide. Too many American religions decry suicide and so condemn their elderly, infirm, suffering and disconcerted believers to extended, expensive, exhausting deterioration. If we can change this adverse view and instead portray suicide as possibly heroic, as a soldier who flings himself upon a grenade in order to save others is not denounced, perhaps portraying a similar brave act in the suffering and the infirm elderly could offer an honorable exit to many.
Or we could embrace and encourage ever increasing immigration, bringing in millions of Hispanic, Asian and even Arab workers annually to not only care for the aging Boomers but to pay the ever increasing taxes required for this care.
What will be done?
They will increase taxes and increase and increase and increase them. Many of the taxes will be levied directly upon businesses so that they can be hidden from the eyes and the pay stubs of most voters, but this tax drain will retard our economy and eventually force the curtailment of retirees benefits. We will then reach a future where American workers will experience poorer economic lives so the retirees can live in worsening economic conditions.
Our national peril might even become obvious to Boomer Fliberals, but perhaps not until they look up from their broken wheelchairs and see their immigrant care-givers scowling at pay stubs and turning irate glares upon wheezing and whining Whitey. But by that time, the ill Qaeda will have triumphed.
As my sister points out, I am undoubtably in shock over the final stages of my fathers life and my glib perspective assuages my pain, but the ill Qaeda exists nonetheless and waits patiently.
There might be some serious solutions somewhere, but until someone unearths them, I think Ill remain depressed.
T. E. Ruppenthal lives in San Francisco, and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This one sentence, the ideas contained therein supported by both major parties, will one day be written as the epitaph of our Nation.
Sad....that in this time of our Nation's history...so MANY are so afraid of the REAL definition of Freedom.
I'm rooting for papa, to kick his dumb**** son's smelly *** from here to eternity.
For what ... the Good Death?
At least this poor fellow will be spared the pain of knowing how he's putting his kids (if he has any) through the agony of watching him get old and die from a suitable distance from the Institution that provides fulltime Family Services.
Euthanasia (and assisted suicide) will be in place well before it's his turn to take some "individual responsibility" and off himself instead of shuffling along to a natural death every bit as unplanned and unexpected as his conception.
[P.S. I did think the Ill Quaeda thing was funny and do understand where he's coming from. Also think he's definitely spot on where the behemoth of Socialized Managed Care is concerned. I just see no reason to lobby, however obliquely, for the inevitable, that's all.]
I understand where you're coming from but this rabid individualism masquerading as "personal responsibility" is precisely the atomistic bent which landed us mothers "responsible" enough to abort their kids and Kervorkian patients "responsible" enough to kill themselves rather than be a burden.
Birth and death are issues for Families. No one comes into this world of their own accord and most are attended by others on their way out. Who, if not the family, is responsible?
It is NOT up to Government to decide for us....or to take away the Right to our lives.
I thought this was pretty much a conservative forum. I didn't realize how many of you support these liberal, socialistic, Democrat ideas.
Well you have pretty well proved the point T. E. Ruppenthal has made. Most people only want to fleece as many as they can before they die. It's the Republican way, evidently.
Have you repaid all the money your "parasite" parents spent on you to bring you your self-sufficient station in life?
Have a dekko at the Ten Commandments: honoring one's father is a Good Thing.
You are headed down exactly that atomistic bent they want you to take.
One really groovy thing about setting up the communists as bogeyman all these years was the ability of some -- like that Diva of Selfishness Rand and others -- to turn altruism into an evil and render selflessness an absolutely incomprensible notion.
There is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for a friend .... much less a closely related member of this Family of Man.
As human beings, we are responsible for and obligated to each other. Either we realize that at the family level (starting with the birthing and rearing of the children we off or institutionalize with ease these days) or the State steps in.
Evil loves a vacuum.
This Walden Pond utopian vision of the Self-Reliant man is a ruse.
Folks should be always Personally Accountable for their actions (especially the State's actors!) but they are not always in a position to be responsible for themselves and are rarely without some responsibility for another ... whether or not it's being in direct proportion to their regard for others allows them to realize it at all.
Only when Pop is footing the bills. After that, up the morphine drip.
Part of the trouble, actually, given the fact that the only thing to be "conserved" or maintained at the moment is an essentially liberal, leftist socialist state. Scratching the surface of the rhetoric reveals not a lot of differences between the parties.
I'll never forget feeling I'd just been slugged in the solar plexus the day I was ranting on Gore's "faithbased partnerships" only to have someone inform me Gore had "stolen" the idea from Bush.
I believe this was before I'd realized abortion, environmentalism and population control were GOP policies so I was still taken by surprise and bewildered at such times.
So ... it's not so much "Republican" or "Democrat" but rather the Materialists v. the rest of us.
... Randian Selfishness and soulless capitalism pitted against death to self and a natural moral law that trumps the marketplace.
... Passing judgment based on Accidents of Personality, Time and Circumstance versus ensuring Justice and Dignity in accord with Essential and Enduring Being.
... Concern over the "crisis" and maudlin pity masquerading as charity and sympathy.
I got an idea ... why not frame him as a threat to national security, sic the Feds on him and have him put away in a penitiary with three squares, bed and medical care for life?
(Just make sure you don't mess with any of his pension or other benefits to which you may be entitled as a family member.)
Leave it to you to come up with the perfect(final?) solution.
I understand your argument but it doesn't hold up ... particularly these days when most parents feel they've done their part by not aborting the things and at least feeding them through age 18.
Many of us are blessed with parents and family who not only fed, clothed and sheltered us but bestowed much love and ensured that we obtained the education, endured the discipline and were granted the extras which allowed us to live life to the fullest.
Many are not.
I don't think you can premise the honoring of parents on how well the parents honored you as a their child. I realize that's only human but also "only human" is the fact that honoring the parents is one of those essential elements of natural law that pops up in all sorts of civilizations ... absolutely separated by time, proximity, culture and faith.
Most folks always wish better for their kids than they had themselves. I think perhaps the math of the equation lies somewhere therein. It must be an excrutiatingly painful journey to triumph over the errors of one's own parents such that you can do for them what they never once did for you but I suspect it's still the right thing to do.
Honoring your father is great. Stealing my money to do so isn't.
Not everyone could pull it off ... in your case, though, practice may well indeed make perfect.
Have you paid your parents back for the money you "stole"?
Good luck for us both, I don't need your money to honor my father.
Ugh. There's nothing dignified in living on welfare.
That's OK, there's a randian cure for damn near everything.
Social Security is NOT welfare. I am 4 years away from being eligible and what I would get is actually pocket change but you can bet the farm I am going to collect it because for 30 years I was forced to pay the maximum amount into it. However, the best part is it pisses off drones like you and the Hanky.
Your offer is acceptable.
Whatever. I'm off for the night - I'll leave you to argue against setting old folks adrift on passing icebergs ;)
Oh please. It's money coming from people who work going to people who don't. It's a simple tranfer of dollars from those with ability to those with needs. It's welfare, plain and simple.
Such hip lingo for a dude but four years shy of skimming off our checks to make his point in pocket-change!
Probably all the Sir Gawain threads what have kept you so young at ... young at ... well, youthful sounding.
And you're right.
But it should be society's choice as evidenced by their Personal Accountability ... be they Mother Teresa, some Junior Leaguer, a philanthropist or Frederic Ozanam.
The State's ability to provide healthcare and ensure "quality of life" has got to rank somewhere well below the ability of their "peacekeepers" to win wars.
You can refuse to eat. Works every time.
It's just that it's a rather painful way to go. That's one reason folks like Teresa Schiavo are in the news. As it dawns on people that the Courts cannot euthanize folks but must kill them slowly and painfully by starvation, the clamor will come for the Compassion that is the needle -- and dignity -- of the dog pound.
I hope you realize how much progress IS being made in this regard. "Food and water" are now known as "ANH" in the legal briefs ... or "Artificial Nutritition and Hydration". Trust me, if you can't demand to eat and actually feed yourself, chances are good the argument can be made that feeding you falls within the realm of Extraordinary Measures like "ANH".
I guess the only part you and the rest of the Deathists are forgetting is that it's only if your Fit Enough that you'll have the option to choose the good death. Unfortunately -- unless rendered temporarily insane by the pain the State refuses to alleviate or the depression that's a Manageable Illness only if you're a Productive-aged human -- most folks don't really wish to die when they're still fit enough to suicide.
The unfit, unproductive and dying will just be offed whether they or the "Life Force" animating them like it or not ... same as the Unwanted.
I too have spent a great deal of time caring for the dying. I have witnessed long, agonizing and painful deaths I would not wish on anyone, certainly not a beloved friend or family member.
It's just that I've yet to see any of them actually ask for a fatal dose from the bowl of morphine at their bedside. They could have. They didn't. Many talked of slipping away when the time was right. Retiring to a room and taking some pills as the party went on without them.
Never once did it come to that. It was in those deaths I think I learned a great deal about dignity and life. Those lessons are coming in handy now as I deal with family members who are close to the end of their lives and confronting the various overwhelming emotions, physical limitations and flagging spirits a part of carrying on til death does them part. Obviously, I'm still in touch only with the Survivors ... those who survived the Plague and -- more importantly -- those who survived watching wave after wave of their dear ones die without letting Death conquer their minds or hearts.
Sorry, but I don't see the percentage in saddling my family and my future grandchildrens' families so that these over the hill hippies can retire to their geriatric crashpads in style.Yet you voted for Bush?
posted on 12/11/2002 0:51 AM PST by Bush2000
READ MY LIPS ... his kin been working the elderly -- the Greatest, and possibly most selfish, Generation -- for years.
Is a rather funny thought ...
I've often wondered whether or not it might not be fair for children who survived the gauntlet of abortion to get the same Choice where their Unwanted family members are concerned.
Then I think of Peter Singer and realize that -- if even he won't off his Mom after she's dipped well below his strict minimum for "Personhood" -- not much hope for winnowing the Baby Boomers thus.
All families that function properly are somewhat socialistic, in a voluntary fashion. We don't practice strict personal responsibility with our kids; they'd starve to death. When a sufficiently limited group is united by bonds of love that are sufficiently strong, we can eschew the rigid allocation of responsibility for one's health and welfare to oneself, and ask that others in the group help out. But that model is not appropriate to a whole nation. It wouldn't even be appropriate to a small village.
All in all, the politicization of health care and retirement has had the same effects as the politicization of everything else that's properly a matter for private decisions; it's destroyed the rights of privacy, increased our costs, weakened voluntary relationships, muddied the waters of accountability, given the unscrupulous lots of ways to rip us off while hiding behind a veneer of public service, and created intense interest-group warfare that threatens our social cohesion. Apart from that, it's perfectly all right.
Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
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