News of the week – Healthcare, Joe Wilson and 9/11

As usual, I woke up this morning, grabbed my Iphone and read through the WSJ, New York Times and Google News reader. And frankly I have a lot of questions on issues that either the right or left seem to be so sure on. What I need is a kind of referee that would penalize half-truths, exaggerations and be unbiased to the point of being boring. So many thoughts popped into my head that I had to write about them.

I do not get my news from Fox, CNN, conservative radio, nor any blatantly “liberal” outlets that I know of. Google aggregates everything and I suppose the NYT or WSJ might be a little left? The Economist is even a little left on social issues but it’s no where near the bias from the conservative outlets. I actually do listen to Rush from time to time just to get my circulation going but this isn’t about how biased the news outlets are.

Where I am going is that I make my decisions from a variety of sources and it would seem to me, through my own lens the following:

1. Healthcare

I don’t believe that either side willingly wants to deny people without healthcare (46.6 million) even though it would sometimes seem that way. On one side it appears the Democrats cannot reassure people that the system would not go broke while on the far right people do not care about the uninsured. Just calling them uninsured seems a little crass, let’s call them “other human beings.”

People are saying they don’t want “socialism” or that we would “be like Canada!” I highly doubt these people actually know what socialism is or have even been to Canada. It would do well to use a better argument and for the former argument one could reply by asking “What is Socialism?” I know the response will be unsatisfactory to say the least.

After reading today’s news it seems that there are two sticking points which are “the Public Option,” and “Illegal Immigrants.”
Concerning the public option people are afraid the government would have too much control and private insurers would go bust.

This is a fair argument. However, something must be done as costs in this country are entirely too high and the drug and insurance companies make billions. People are going to the emergency rooms anyway so there has to be a fix one way or another. Why is it we are required to have auto insurance but not health insurance? Seems a little fishy and like unfair politics due to large corporation influence to me.

Morally, everyone should have healthcare and those that can, should help out others in need. This is a very important tenant in the Bible (and central to most religions) and it amazes me that those who are against universal healthcare seem to ignore. It would seem that the logic is to help as long as I’m not the one that has to do it. Or rather, helping others is a wonderful idea and we fully support it until someone (that someone being the government) asks us to. Or perhaps, I’ll help when I want (which is usually never), just don’t force me to do it.

I personally do not like being forced by the government on anything so I really do understand the point here. But at the same time it is disappointing that the “religious right” doesn’t seem to give a rats about the down and out either. I guess I just do not like being stuck in the position where I have to choose to either give more power to the government or look the other way on human beings in need. If I have to choose it would be to trust the government (never good) and should they do not do a stellar job (unlikely) switch parties promptly.

From everything I’ve read however, I just cannot subscribe to the policy of “no” when so many people need assistance and would rather have less money due to helping others out even if the manager of it (government) is a bumbling fool. Until the right can come up with a plan where everyone is insured (which they haven’t) I’m definitely on the left on this issue.

The second issue is if the public option would cover illegal immigrants. The right does have a point in that we as a nation do not want to cover anyone who may come here seeking health care which is understandable. The policy could not be sustained.

However, it still leaves me feeling a little uneasy and selfish. There are millions of Mexicans here working “jobs Americans do not want to do” which were fueling our economy and making it so Americans could pay others less, get richer and not give a crap for the welfare of these workers. When times get tough, those that came to work are left high and dry. This seems reprehensible to me.

When we look at the big picture it would seem that they are here only so long as Americans get rich off of their labor and the economy is going well but should we have to pay back America becomes irate. Again, this does not sit well with me. I’ve heard the phrase that people who come here should want to be American which is false. Many people the world over prefer to live elsewhere while retaining their own nationality. There is nothing wrong with this. The mentality here seems to be that everyone in the world should want to be American and Americans cannot understand if someone would like to work here but not take on nationality!! Would logic not follow, that if we wanted to go live in China they we should want to be Chinese? That makes no sense to the American mind, it only works the other way.

Further, one aspect the right has not thought of is that they should NOT want more checks by the government! To solve this situation, we should all be issued governmental identity cards which state our nationality, driving status, if we’ve payed our taxes or not, and for good measure, let’s throw in our health status and any genetic defects as well. This would solve all the issues in one big sweep! Illegals would not be covered, the insurance companies could choose weather or not to insure us because we might be defective, and to be sure we are playing fair, our taxes to see how much we should get out of the system by how much we have put in!
But, of course we don’t want that. I enjoy finding loopholes internationally which allow me to work, skip some rules and so on.

Less control is better people, be careful what you wish for!

2. Joe Wilson

It is absolutely ok to disagree with the president but NOT like he has done in a formal setting. Do not disrespect any president from either side in that manner. If that was allowed to slide then those formal meetings would turn into a circus and shame us all. Might as well give the audience rotten tomatoes and other vegetables to throw.
I think both sides agree he made a big mistake. He has apologized and the government should decide whether or not to give him a formal censure or drop it. The Dems in asking for another apology after he has already are incorrect. Personally, I’m on the side of a formal punishment then letting the matter drop. Just decide one way or another and move along.

3. 9/11

We marked the 9/11 anniversary last week which was one of the worst days in the history of the United States. The news was filled with ceremonies of remembrance and patriotism. It leaves me asking the question however, what in the world would make any human being do such a thing and wish the media would spend more time on this.

It is true that any superpower in looking after their own interests are going to make plenty of people angry around the world. This is what superpowers do. This also opens up America to attack which it should guard itself against. However, what precipitated this attack in the first place?

This issue is so sensitive, I really do not want to touch it with a ten foot pole. But I think it would do well for the American people to become more informed about what their country does around the world and to have more debate about it.

It seems on the far right that America is just in their foreign policy 100% of the time. For anyone who has spent any time abroad they will quickly realize that is not the case. People should not be left in the dark about this. To say anything against American foreign policy would be met with a serious barrage of hate. (on both sides) It’s almost like living in a communist country in that we cannot discuss such things except it’s the people discouraging dissent instead of the government. The issue that is forbidden, is how could have America made people angry enough to get on a plane and kill so many innocent people. The easy answer is they are crazy terrorists and that could very well be true. I want more information though in how they became so “fundamentalist” and why they direct their anger at us. There are plenty of other targets to attack, why did they choose America and why the World Trade Centers? Further, “they do not like our freedoms” is not a good enough answer. The real answers are not suitable for public debate really and the best answers I’ve heard came from government officials from both the USA and various other countries when I lived in Vietnam in informal settings. For real insight, you should have a talk with those guys, it will knock your socks off.

As for security, the intelligence community has done a stellar job in stopping further attacks. There has been some debate between Cheney and the government on if America is more secure or not. If I was in the intelligence community, I would want everyone to be required to take a security clearance (Americans and foreigners) which determines your psychological profile and will issue a clear pass or not. Foreigners would all have to wear ankle bracelets and log exactly where they are going and what they will be doing with more enforcement for those of certain countries than others.
Of course this is ridiculous but just shows the balance needed to keep America 100% safe or not. How much control do you want the government to have? It does not make sense for the right to encourage more surveillance but less government control? Or perhaps it is only more government control is allowable when the president is Republican? I prefer less control, more safety and I don’t care which side makes it happen.

Final thoughts

When living abroad there were certain issues it was better not to mention and sweep under the rug. Returning to America I’ve found there are certain issues it is better not to mention and sweep under the rug.

For real answers, do not watch or listen to the media. Make friends with consular officials and chat with them in an informal setting. Real answers come out but one must speak with 3 or 4 of them preferably from countries that are not seeing eye to eye and a clearer picture becomes available. The level of debate being played out in the media is appalling.

One final question remains however after my “official post” however.
What exactly hit the Pentagon?

I came back to America well after these attacks and although I saw the planes hit the World Trade Center there hasn’t been even one picture or video showing a plane, wreckage or anything at the Pentagon site.

I don’t believe one way or another at the moment but in some countries I have lived in/visited there is an official story which everyone knows is not correct but you just go along with it because that is how things are.

If I look up this question on Google, all I see are the conspiracy theory pages. Does anyone have any links to pages that show otherwise?

My feeling is that something hit the Pentagon, the Government tells us it’s a plane, there are no pictures or video showing a plane, but the country accepts the story and moves on. All the documentaries and websites could be classified as crazy conspiracy theorists, but the question remains?

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! (^.^)/


  1. It was a plane. Amber worked not eight blocks from there at the time – and was at work when the plane hit. Many eyewitnesses saw the plane and there was wreckage all around. Don't fall in to the Troofer trap.

  2. Why don't they just show the pictures of wreckage and put all the conspiracies to bed? Well, I guess the footage of the planes hitting the Trade Centers didn't but at least they could put one of the conspiracies to rest.

  3. Hi Matt: Remember Alexander with the US Consulate? His sister, brother-in-law & their 2 little children were on Flight 77. That fact makes it all the more poignant for me when you see how the family members were directly affected. My prayers are always with them.

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