Are Cuban Healthier Than We Are?

Let us look at the differences between the US treatment of “us” and the Cuban of “them.” The Cubans have free for service health clinics in every neighborhood. They can go whenever needed. Us citizens have insurance policies whose basis is making a profit. They are corporations whose focus is monetary gain. The same with the  pharmaceutical industry that creates the drugs the doctors use  and the doctors who work like racehorses running the course to make megabucks, allotting maybe 5 minutes to see and hear a client’s complaint, to employ a stethoscope and write a prescription. What do they know about the patient’s life? Nothing. No time for that.  They make money depending on numbers.

Then there is what doctors have been taught to do and know in medical schools funded by the pharmaceutical industry with corporatists on the medical school board. They learn to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe the latest pill which is usually the old pill with a slight change in color, packaging or some other minor addition or subtraction to hold onto the patent.

What is the real goal of medicine today? It is to treat, “see you again soon.” How does this differ from Cuba? Thanks to the import restrictions placed by the US, they cannot get the latest pills. Many have organic gardens in front of back yards. They also cannot get polluting sprays (and new cars.) It sounds horribly depriving to US citizen who “believe” in medicine and doesn’t want the responsibility of selfcare.

Sure, they go to the gym. But they also eat lots of sugar and fried food, and drink alcohol and take lots of pills to sleep and awaken and function and are exhausted and anxious and driven and confused about what to do. Usually, they do more of same. It is a childish belief to think that you simply haven’t done enough when things don’t go right.

The Cubans with their front yard organic gardens and colorful 50s cars meandering along, have-to undo whatever harm their diet and lack of exercise and whatever bad habits they indulge in to undermine their health. The Cuban doctors this. The doctor is not there to treat, he/she is there to cure. We Americans act as if a diagnosis is ours for life. They see it as a symptom of a life style you must change.

We have been told to surrender to the pill industry. We are misinformed.

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Rape the Earth

Those who own the earth we live on are gamblers who set the stakes. For them, it all boils down to money. It is a conversion factor of life into chips. The one who has the most chips when the tally closes, wins. Closure is set by mass extinction.

People are called to mine various resources. Zooming ahead to the finish line does not support life. Take Mountain Top Removal. Miners no longer work underground. Most are replaced by machines. The mountain top is shaved down to the line of coal. Soil and chemicals fall into streams. The land is polluted. There are landslides which kill people. Money makes the decision. More coal to sell the world’s great polluter.

Some dig for oil, for precious metals, diamonds for this or that. Some go into factory farming. They do monocropping which sets us up for a virus that will wipe out all we eat. They use chemicals that kill insects including the Monarch butterfly and will kill us as well; They raise animals in vast numbers. Chickens and turkeys and pigs are raised in tiny spaces. Cattle are also kept from grazing and eat out of vats of corn. Chickens are bred to have such huge breasts they can barely walk. Many fall and are trampled. All are upset by crowding and by not the living in open fields to eat worms and bugs and plants and run about. Most are given anti biotics to ward off pre-harvest death. The anti-biotic remains in their flesh which we eventually consume. Among other consequences, we soon will be unreactive to antibiotics when we need them to fight infection. People will die from a cut on their leg.

Since the factory farm animals, number in the thousands, their shit and piss, falls into pipes beneath the floor then collected and drained into huge ponds. Hurricanes pass over capturing the waste if releases onto all in its path. Some factory farms blow the waste into the air when the pond gets too full. This spray rains down on locals whose houses lose all value. The people who live in this flood of waste lead hellish lives.

What about the politicians who set the rules to protect their citizens but hide their eyes from consequences? Take Jerry Brown, Governor of California who mourns the huge number of fires ravaging California. Incidentally, prisoners are paid $2/day to fire fight. They are not given enough instruction to be professional fire fighters once released from prison. Is that another save money proposition for those who own the prisons?

What is the gambler’s stake in these catastrophes? Who profits by ignoring it. The soil is dry from drought. That is the consequence of the Greenhouse effect. There is less ice to melt and set the soil. The trees lack water to fight flames. Planes spread chemicals to limit sun, which also rains down onto the soil and into the roots of tree which kills them. Governments deny this activity or call it research. But we can see and test it. Trees poisoned by sky chemicals easily burst into flames when fire comes near.

The politician, here Jerry Brown, states helpless consternation with fires and says it can only get worse. But wait! Jerry Brown is allowing oil wells to be dug in California. The oil which is sold then heats the atmosphere which creates the flames. Is Brown too stupid to see the connection. Or is a payoff in his pocket? How many politicians are gambling now, hoping to miss the final extinction before becoming wealthy?

Winner Takes All

Those who own the earth we live on are gamblers who set the stakes. For them, it all boils down to money. It is a conversion factor of life into chips. The one who has the most chips when the tally closes, wins. Closure is set by mass extinction.

People are called to mine various resources. Zooming ahead to the finish line does not support life. Take Mountain Top Removal. Miners no longer work underground. Most are replaced by machines. The mountain top is shaved down to the line of coal. Soil and chemicals fall into streams. The land is polluted. There are landslides which kill people. Money makes the decision. More coal to sell the world’s great polluter.

Some dig for oil, for precious metals, diamonds for this or that. Some go into factory farming. They do monocropping which sets us up for a virus that will wipe out all we eat. They use chemicals that kill insects including the Monarch butterfly and will kill us as well; They raise animals in vast numbers. Chickens and turkeys and pigs are raised in tiny spaces. Cattle are also kept from grazing and eat out of vats of corn. Chickens are bred to have such huge breasts they can barely walk. Many fall and are trampled. All are upset by crowding and by not the living in open fields to eat worms and bugs and plants and run about. Most are given anti biotics to ward off pre-harvest death. The anti-biotic remains in their flesh which we eventually consume. Among other consequences, we soon will be unreactive to antibiotics when we need them to fight infection. People will die from a cut on their leg.

Since the factory farm animals, number in the thousands, their shit and piss, falls into pipes beneath the floor then collected and drained into huge ponds. Hurricanes pass over capturing the waste if releases onto all in its path. Some factory farms blow the waste into the air when the pond gets too full. This spray rains down on locals whose houses lose all value. The people who live in this flood of waste lead hellish lives.

What about the politicians who set the rules to protect their citizens but hide their eyes from consequences? Take Jerry Brown, Governor of California who mourns the huge number of fires ravaging California. Incidentally, prisoners are paid $2/day to fire fight. They are not given enough instruction to be professional fire fighters once released from prison. Is that another save money proposition for those who own the prisons?

What is the gambler’s stake in these catastrophes? Who profits by ignoring it. The soil is dry from drought. That is the consequence of the Greenhouse effect. There is less ice to melt and set the soil. The trees lack water to fight flames. Planes spread chemicals to limit sun, which also rains down onto the soil and into the roots of tree which kills them. Governments deny this activity or call it research. But we can see and test it. Trees poisoned by sky chemicals easily burst into flames when fire comes near.

The politician, here Jerry Brown, states helpless consternation with fires and says it can only get worse. But wait! Jerry Brown is allowing oil wells to be dug in California. The oil which is sold then heats the atmosphere which creates the flames. Is Brown too stupid to see the connection. Or is a payoff in his pocket? How many politicians are gambling now, hoping to miss the final extinction before becoming wealthy?

Do Something

Government will do nothing for us. The price for candidates running for office is paid for by corporations which later will determine their vote. Slaves, servants, gold diggers, addicts, “buy me” people will make pleasant speeches to the common person about all the good they will do but once elected you are ignored and forgotten. Speeches go in the “seduce them” file undoubtedly to be used again.

Are we commoners to give up and fade away? Are we to beg alms from such as these? Come on, now friend. The bank door is closed.  Be real. We have-to come together, stand together, think together. We need to choose people to vote for from our neighborhood, people we know. If they do not come through once in office, we throw them out. We do not fall for Madison Avenue publicity images and lies. We have-to ignore pressure to turn against one another in order to divide us. white against black, man against woman, hetero against homo, “Americans” against Muslims, anti-teachers, anti-newspapers and on and on. We are being manipulated to vent our rage against people who are in the same boat as we are rather than against politicians that steal from us.

Should we join unions? Yes. In union there is strength. Do not listen to those who hold the purse full of your unpaid wages, trying to convince you that joining a union robs you of your freedom. Speaking together with one voice has power. The corporate elected whore worries. Unions inform that person, you/we will not vote for you again unless we get better wages, health care, retirement benefits, vacation time, job security, like you once promised? Hold the politician’s feet to the fire. They need to feel the heat.

Get together with neighbors and share community tasks. Find your specialty. Make sure that everyone has enough to eat. Do not throw away usable stuff including food. Think about pollution. Eat locally grown foods in season, so that you are not burning fuel to get Thai fruit in winter. Pay your local farmer a good price. Practice NIMBY (Not in my back yard) and decide how big your yard is. No destruction to be allowed there.

Fight to keep your water free of corporate waste. Don’t go to sleep after the election. Know what your elected officials are doing. Are your schools in good shape, supplies provided along with breakfast and lunch? Are teachers rewarded for good teaching; if you are doing NIMBY and your yard includes distant parks, fight against digging for oil in the Arctic where all kinds of animals reproduce. Love polar bears and wolves and eagles and whales and plankton and krill and… “45” wants to look at financial loss when deciding what to preserve. Say “No!” to that. He wants to put decision making about what to protect in the hands of states which lack the money and will to protect almost anything. Don’t let our government end the Endangered Species Act because it interferes with profit. If oil is more important than the preservation of life for a politician addicted to the buck, vote him/her out!

Turn off the TV and internet. Stop enacting a state of helpless non-existence. Enter the world of people, animals, plants. Revel in what you can do to help and do it.

 

And Then They Ate Their Own

Heard an amazing native American speaker today on Ghost Horse’s WBAI program, Barbara Smith who wrote a book called, Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America. She spoke of the multiplicity of gods and customs of natives everywhere which keeps the people alive and well and spiritual, creative and in touch with all things including each other.

The invading Europeans are a different mentality, raiders who see everything as theirs to take. Part of their spreading their own dehumanization is worshipping only one god. They call that god the true god; the call everyone else’s false. To have the wrong god makes you less than human. They aim for standardization, reducing the meaning of the world into a sale price. All is a gigantic supermarket and you acquire its products by shopping with a gun.

We shop in “primitive” cultures by invading them to take their natural resources. Although no war has been declared, we drop as many endless tons of bombs as needed. But that is not enough. Still too many cultures claiming they own their own stuff. Still too many invaders grabbing everywhere for more.

The invaders now are turning on their own. The national parks will be subdivided so that oil can be dug out leaving a dead earth. We’re to dig for oil in the Arctic where natives have lived for thousands of years. Instead of 2 months to discuss the coming invasion, they will get 2 weeks. The governor of the Arctic region, already well paid off (and part of the take it culture), thinks that taking minerals from that region is a good thing. Death to the point of extinction of birds and fish and bears and caribou and … all the wildlife are ignored. The local tribal people who live on and preserve these animals don’t count. There is no money in preservation for the invaders.

Theft and invasion within a nation continues. What about aid to dependent children, health care for young and old, solar power instead of oil and gas and nuclear? What about medicine when needed, public transportation? Are there no rules left to protect and serve? Well, these may be written down somewhere but invaders do not need follow rules. The invaders declare themselves the owners, and owners make the rules.

“Owners” have the philosophy: we need that thing more than it needs itself; let those who lack the power lose and die.

Attacking Decency

It is with increasing horror that I read or listen to the news. All things that share in my love of life, all that the forces of government are supposed to be supporting, making safer, purer, are being vanquished, sold, demolished by those who make the rules. It is like a nightmare from which I do not wake.

And what do we the lowly citizens do about it? Americans mostly wring their hands in misery and hopelessness. Either that or deny the mounting disaster, say it’s not happening to me, refuse to see the loss which is directly set before them, certainly not in some distant place.

A major recent change from a passive to active comes from high school students, the original ones mowed down at school, and now in increasing numbers, set against people having military guns used in mass shooting. They are going to the elected people, to DC Congress. They are warning those who turn away from them as juvenile, that soon all of them will vote.

Another group that has come together in shared alarm is the Indians. They first met to pray for and stand in front of digging equipment, that wants to put Tar Sands oil pipes beneath the Missouri. Spills have to happen and have been happening since impurities in the oil break the pipe. A contaminated water will be drunk by thousands even millions, few of them native. The Indians say water is life.

Government keeps selling land to those would extract oil, gas, use chemically enhanced fracking, all which destroy the plants and animals that live in the region including, humans, to earn magabucks for the few. ICE seizes the children of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border. Babies, toddlers, are pulled out the arms and from the hands of parents and then sent to far away stations. Parents are told that their children are going to get a shower never to return. For most, there is no explanation. . Parents likely will never see their child again. Government says they do this to discourage immigrants. It’s cruelty is beyond explanation. The AG calls it an act of law. They even quote parts of the bible to make it sound God ordained. The tiny part they quote was favored by Good Christian slave holders. What ever happened to the separation of church and state?

But above all, taking away kids is a money maker. They will build tent cities on army bases. The private corporations running this concentration camp will make a mint. For the kids it is a deadly loss. They are destroyed by the loss of their loving parent. Have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from which they will never recover.

One father of a 3-year old son torn from his arms committed suicide that night in his cell by hanging. A so-called expert about suicide called the man weak. Said mentally stronger people could handle such a terrible loss. This so-called expert minimized the effects of such abuse to fit in with the submissive crowd

A season of madness is upon us. Madness is a form of disconnection. It is only when we are hand to hand, heart to heart and eye to eye with others including the non-human world that we come to sanity. Instead we scorn the homeless people sleeping on the street. We scorn the people sickened by pollution in their slums until the poison surrounds and kills us all.

Don’t Be Seduced by the Good Stuff

A friend said, “but conservation isn’t all bad.” Well, this caveat doesn’t address the larger issue. It has to do with the difference between conservation and environmental justice. Conservatism frequently is deluded. It points to some very good thing we are doing, gets our eyes and minds focused on it so that we miss an extremely threatening larger picture which has to do with extraction. Your government/corporation buys a thousand acres of forest in Africa which gives the fossil fuel industry, carbon credits which it can spend by digging up and burning carbon for power.  

The wood industry also cuts a piece of the carbon pie by buying distant forests. Now it can cut down easily accessible wood everywhere because of the wood they’ve “saved.” Those who know hurl expletives at conservation societies which endorse this practice of an ungodly trade. Conservation rings its hands in pain and comes up with another non-solution. Save a tree or a bunch of trees. A tree sitter saves one redwood tree from cutting by sitting in it for a year while saws sound around her. A community of tree lovers force the politicos who would sell all the trees to create a half-acre park.

All the trees of same species are connected through their roots which travel for miles. Sometimes a forest of trees is actually one mother tree that spreads and raises seemingly new trees from a common root. Ancient forests grow old together. They send nutrients to failing trees as well as warnings of infestation which the younger ones ward off with shared nasty sap. The elders shelter the young and keep them from getting too much light so that their trunks grow dense and strong.

The single trees planted along the road side have a short life. Their roots, often sawed off when endangering water pipes, reach no tree brethren. Cows raised to become burgers in the deforested and grass planted Amazon watch the top soil washed away in the rainy season. City dwellers get their Amazon hamburger and lose the oxygen they need to live.

Naomi Klein speaks of disaster capitalism. A company or a nations’ so-called helping agency swoops down on a flooded country and/or allows the disaster to expand so that after most of the local citizens are dead or moved away they buy it for a song. Right now, Puerto Rico’s public schools are being nixed for charters. Public tax money sucked into the maw of those into education for profit. Creating electric lines that work is ceded by the bought-out PR governor to a US company which does not have tools to do the work, all the while ignoring locals who can do it. And on and on. The foreign agency currently circling to eat its prey, creates a local governing body that will allow it. They put up hotels for the rich along recovered beaches. They scoop up natural resources. They plunder and call it conservation.

Conservation is a flag behind which extractors hide. The little the conservationist saves at the cost of all that is connected tears the web of life. Those who own the fracking companies want to sell fracked oil by telling you that it is harmless as your property explodes in earth quakes and your sink provides water you can light with a match. Coal dealers sell cheap while breathable air vanishes in China (which is way ahead of us now in the solar industry which Trump has severely limited with his 30 percent import tax). The air grey with car exhaust in New Delhi destroys the lungs of the young, frail, and elderly but car dealers say look at the cars available now that more people can afford. It’s like being on a highway to extinction. But we can’t even see the view.

We need to recognize that we are part of the “all.” The living world is our life. Its survival is connected to our own. Enjoy the beauty of a living world. How rich that makes us. Become informed. Don’t be seduced. Don’t succumb to a monster that sings a pretty song.