Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Smoke & Mirrors

Surfing through various news sources at various times of the day, I now take note that a big chunk of the 24-hour news cycle is devoted to the non-story of the boy who was not in the balloon. The father, it seems, was hungry to have his face on television screens around the world. His wish has been more than generously fulfilled by the networks and the cable channels.

Ah, well. I suppose there's really not much else of importance to be talking about. Health care, the economy, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran... trivial stuff when compared with a six-year old boy who just might have been in a balloon as it drifted photogenically through the Colorado skies--but turned out to to have been.

No wonder the rest of the world looks at us funny. We've lost our minds. The insurance companies, at least, must be breathing a long sigh of relief, with whatever attention span we once had now distracted from their grand rip-off scheme. I wonder, could they have financed this gift from the media gods?

Talk about smoke and mirrors, friends! Before we know it, our pockets will have been thoroughly picked--again!--by the wealthiest among us.

(This morning's news suggests that support for the public option seems to be gaining a bit of ground. I'll keep my fingers crossed.)


robin andrea said...

We are indeed a strange nation, and it is no wonder that the rest of the world looks at us askance. On the day the kid was supposedly sailing across the sky in his father's shiny balloon, I saw the headlines and wanted to update my Facebook status with this: I don't care about any of this, except to wonder if the kid has health care.

Gary said...

It's a world driven by actuarial tables and insurance
rates. Profits are the goal, not health.

Even with Medicare A and B and my AARP supplement I pay$2,400 a year for myself and $5,000 at Kaiser for my two teenage boys with a $25 co-pay without dental coverage which averages $1,500 a year. It used to cost $12,000 a year for the three of us and $15,000 when I was married for 4 people. Remaining healthy and becoming 66 is now saving me $7,200 a year.

With the exception of two broken arms and two maternity claims I never used the insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield received $300,000 from me during the 25 years I paid into the system.

The congress people we trust to craft a national insurance bill receive insurance worth $900,000 each during their life time whether they are still 'serving' the public or not. My insurance agent says the total of all house and senate present and past have cost us $984,817,482,041 since 1940.

That is the elephant in the room Wolf (is that a moniker?) should be reporting.

When the military scrambled 2 F16's to investigate the balloon did they think it was terrorists sending in a strike to take out Las Vegas? What detection equipment short of common sense told them that
a helium filled inflatable 20' in diameter could hold the weight of a small boy? I read that our science can detect the chemical make up of stars light years away why not the chemical content of a cosmetic prank.

The blind leading the blinded is the answer when it comes to news reporting all that's fit to print!