Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bathroom Break at the Trump/Clinton Debate

Here is my nightmare scenario for the Trump/Clinton debate.

Anderson Cooper:  Mr. Trump, the Governor of North Carolina signed a law which, in effects, prevents trans sexuals from using public bathrooms of their choice. Do you support the Governor on this?

Trump:   Well, as I understand it, this is all about allowing guys who claim they are women trapped in the bodies of  men to use the Ladies Rooms at ball parks, restaurants, what have you.  
And I'm not even sure I really know what a trans sexual is, but I've heard some of these guys still have all their male equipment, the full array, down below, so they haven't signed on for getting their anatomy rearranged, some of them just take pills or some of them not even that, and so I don't know what this is all about. 
All I can say is I don't want Melania or my daughters having to put up with a guy with his private parts in a Ladies Room. I mean, don't the women have some rights too?

  I mean, I've been accused of being anti Muslim, but as I understand it, there are some Muslims won't let their women out in public without a male relative chaperon. But they do let the women go to the bathroom in private. Can you imagine if there's a guy in the bathroom with his anatomy exposed?  I mean, Muslims have rights, too. Am I right? 

Anderson Cooper:  Madame Secretary?

Ms. Clinton:  Well, Anderson, let me say that the last thing we need in this country is a President who will divide us. We need everyone pulling together. It takes a village, you know.  I'm against discrimination and creating divisions, whether it's by religion or race or sexual preference. 

Anderson: So, is that a "no" to the governor's action? 

Ms. Clinton:  I'm for a person's right to choose.

Trump: What she's trying to say is she thinks anyone with a filled scrotum should be allowed to walk into a Women's bathroom any where in this country. Hillary, you are so afraid of saying anything politically incorrect, of losing even the votes of the most extreme people, you can't even bring yourself to say no balls in the women's room.

Ms. Clinton:  I don't think it's for me to tell another human being what gender he or she ought to be.

Trump: Well, excuuuuse me. I have no problem telling a guy with a penis and testicles he's a guy.

Ms. Clinton:  So you think the only determinant of gender is anatomy?

Trump: Hell, yes! I'm not saying the guy is necessarily a threat to every woman in that  bathroom. He might prefer men, if you know what I mean. But he has no business flashing his hardware around a bunch of women who are just trying to answer the call of nature.

Ms. Clinton: Some of these guys don't consider themselves guys.

Trump: That's their problem, not the problem of the women in that bathroom.

Ms. Clinton: I don't think you know what goes on in a women's. There are stalls and you are not looking at naked genitalia. It's not like 's not like there are urinals.

Trump:  This is just too weird! I cannot  believe you cannot see the problem with co ed bathrooms. And you want to be President. What planet to you live on?

Ms. Clinton: There are plenty of coed bathrooms on college campuses across the country.  The nation hasn't collapsed because of unisex bathrooms.

Trump: So vote for Hillary and you get coed bathrooms. The family that pees together stays together. Good Lord, lady. Are you seriously suggesting...?  I mean what's next coed beaches?  Oh, you can have sex on the beach because it's your choice and we wouldn't want to demean your freedom of expression.

Ms. Clinton: That's hardly an apt analogy.

Trump: Look, we have laws against indecent exposure and that's what this is all about.

Ms. Clinton: There's no exposure behind a stall.

Trump ( Looking into the camera): And the media has labeled ME as extreme.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Trans sexuals and Bathrooms

Charlottte, North Carolina must be an interesting town.  Recently, it's city council passed an ordinance which would have allowed trans sexual people to use the bathroom of their choice, so people with penises who feel they are women trapped in a man's body could walk into a women's rest room and use the toilet there because that's where they feel they belong.

A similar measure was defeated by referendum in Houston.

The State of North Carolina promptly passed a law forbidding this access, pre empting the local ordinance.  The New York Times excoriated the Republican governor for signing the law.

As is the wont for such events, the justifications for the law and the criticisms of it have all been fundamentally dishonest or beside the point.

Advocates for the law said if trans sexuals  were allowed entry to bathrooms, sexual predators would have license to prey on children.  Critics said this law is an attempt to deny trans sexual individuals respect and basic human rights.

Little effort has been made to actually analyze the real issues here which are:

1. Why do we, in this country, separate males and females in bathrooms, where people go to defecate and/or urinate?  Not all countries do this. On at least some college campuses, bathrooms are coed.

2. What is a trans sexual  individual?

With respect to the practice of gender separation of bathrooms. The fact is we do this because we do not like the idea of women seeing men's penises in public, which a rest room sort of is.  Some of us worry about our wives or daughters walking into an enclosed semi private/ semi public space and seeing a stranger's penis, even if it is in the non sexual context of urinating. Either the man or the woman or both may feel uncomfortable with this exposure. 

If the toilet is walled off, i.e., their are no urinals, the problems might be diminished, although we tend to be a little squeamish about this sort of thing in this country.
No need to escalate this into the end of Western Civilization, with dire warnings about sexual predation. Why go there? It's just not the problem. 

We do have laws about public nudity, "indecent exposure" which arise out of taste and cultural norms and folkways, not because of concerns of  any physical harm (sexual predation)  but because of a sense of propriety. 

It's really about nudity, decorum and sensibilities not rape, or sexual behavior. And that might be enough of a reason. If enough women in Houston say, no, I would not be comfortable sitting next to a man who is having a bowel movement in the stall next to me, even though I would not feel that way about a woman, then what Constitutional right have we violated?  

We have hurt the feelings of the man who is having the bowel movement but have we done something comparable to refusing in public to serve him at a lunch counter because he is Black? After all, there is no history of demeaning men for being males in this country. We have not denied the man the right to defecate, if we have provided him with a toilet next door in the men's room.

You will say, "Oh, right, separate but equal." But in the case of male / female segregation there may be such a thing. In the case of Brown v Board of Education the justices were quite right to say there was no such thing as separate but equal in the case of White and Black schools. 

Now, number 2: What is a trans sexual person?

While there is some confusion about transgender and trans sexual definition, most would agree a person who feels he is the wrong sex, for example a man who feels he's a woman trapped in a man's body, is a trans sexual.

Some trans sexual  men have had their penises removed and their breasts enhanced and they may not pose much of a problem to other women in the rest room, especially since in women's bathrooms, you generally enter a closed stall. 

But other trans sexual males still have penises and testicles in a scrotum and those individuals, were they to expose their anatomy to women in the rest room would likely meet with some shock and dismay, even if they announce, "But wait! I'm actually a woman trapped in a man's body!"

One might reasonably argue, if every bathroom has walled off toilets, in which case there is a private space within a private space, but since we are dealing with issues which pertain more to laws that have to do with public nudity and "indecent exposure"  the arguments ought to coalesce around those concerns.  

Some have tried to compare the issue of bathroom use to gay marriage, as a matter of "respect" and public acceptance of differences. That is not the issue in the case of public bathrooms.  

In the case of gay marriage, it's a case of what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes. In the case of trans sexuals revealing their anatomy in the private setting of a public facility, we are dealing with non consenting adults having to see what they do not want to see.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Best Presidential Campaign Ever: Thanks, Melania

I don't know about those high heels

I know it's Easter Sunday, but as that radical theologian, Joe Cocker, once said, "Let's don't get all hung up over Easter."  Or maybe it was, "Let's not all be hung over on Easter." Whatever.  The thing is, on this holiest of all Christian holidays, when many are celebrating the idea of ressurection and new life, and the joy of life, it seems somehow not totally inappropriate that the newspapers front pages are all plastered with stories, if not images of MelaniaTrump in her birthday suit.

I mean, how much less appropriate are thoughts of naked Melania, sex, the acts that give rise to new life than those weird little yellow chicken things they sell for Easter baskets and the dyed unfertilized chicken eggs we all search for?
The flower is the best touch

Anyway, I'm really loving this Presidential campaign. 

You got to hand it to Donald Trump for planting those nude photos of his wife and blaming Ted Cruz: He did get past all the political correctness and to the heart of what this campaign is really  all about. 

As anyone who watches "House of Cards" and has become a fan of the Russian President depicted in that series, we all know what politics is really about and that's sex, desire and seduction.  I mean, that scene in the study in Germany between Claire and the Russian was just so TENSE!  You just knew at any moment he was going to rip off all her clothes and she would put up token resistance before taking the top position and forcing him to sign the damn oil drilling agreement, and there would be some silly puns about his capacity for drilling.  I know all that was written and performed, but, obviously, Netflix executives chickened out and could not bring themselves to include it in the family TV series which shows President Underwood hallucinating sex with Zoe as he is about to leave this world. What else would he be hallucinating about? 

Have I digressed? 

No, I was talking about what 2016 is really about. Claire and Petrov are every bit as real as the Donald and Melania for most voters.

Look, the real issue in this campaign is:  Who would you like to think about in the Lincoln bedroom in the White House?  Now, Melania Trump, that stirs some dry roots with Spring rain, right there. 
Jackie Who?

It's an open secret what really drives those Aryan Nation boys in Idaho and Wyoming crazy is the idea of a Black couple spending nights in the WHITE House, in  same bed where the Great Emancipator once slept. Although, now that you mention it, wouldn't you think they'd like that idea? 

I don't know. Really, I don't.

Talk About Hot

But, anyway, I like the idea of voting for the First Lady first. Of course, in Bill Clinton's case, he would be the first man.  I cannot speak to this, but I will rely on my extensive female readership to comment on whether Bill does for you what Melania does for most heterosexual men.  If so, then we've got a match.

Actually, this opens up a whole new set of possibilities.  Memo to Bernie:  Leak the photos of your liaison with Megyn Kelly.  You don't have to be actually married to the lady or even actually having an affair; it's enough to just set the scene in the brains of the multitudes. Bernie and Megyn, you know. (And, just for the record, any woman who spells her name "Megyn" is just asking for it.)

Bernie: Memo to Donald: Eat your heart out

This is all a very healthy trend in openness, transparency and if the Republican leadership had only gone there first, why then, we'd be seeing Paul Ryan in the White House in 2017. And may yet. 

Joe Darrow New York Magazine

Hey, so what does Paul Ryan's  wife look like naked?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Government Good Deeds List

This morning one of my co workers came in all excited because she was walking her dog along the Merrimack River and she saw a bald eagle.

Which reminded me they are now seeing bald eagles near Lock 8 on the C&O Canal along the Potomac near my former home there. When I was growing up in the 1960's along the Potomac, nothing but carp and catfish could survive in that river, which was really scummy and smelled bad.

Government made industries clean up their acts and the rivers were born again. If libertarians or big business Republicans of today had their way, those rivers would still be cesspools. 

So this is my first item on the list of "Good Things Government Does."

Of course, state government failed to keep the water non toxic in Flint, and the villains there were not industrial miscreants but old and unsafe infrastructure. The trouble in Flint was government failed to do its job. Of course, when the government does it's job and enforces regulations, that is not something we think of as a good thing: It's just like functioning sewers and water treatment--it's just there.

So, I invite my legions of silent readers to raise their voices, or click their mouses and add to my list of Good Things Government Does, in no particular order: 
(NB:  Libertarians will argue some or all of these things could be done by private enterprise, e.g. road building and road maintenance, but what is on this list are things I would argue for structural reasons are better done, more efficiently done by government.)

#1  Clean Rivers. (Environmental Protection.)

#2 FAA traffic control.

#3 Coast Guard rescue.

#4 Public schools (when they work.)

#5 Social Security

#6 Medicare

#7 National Defense

#8 Parks and recreation (e.g. Central Park New York City, Mountain Major, New Hampshire, and all the National Parks)

#9 Prisons (hard to think of prisons in a positive way, but it's one of those things somebody has to do)

#10 Police (as in "Serve and Protect" as opposed to "Shoot and Stomp.")

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Hillary/Trump Debate of My Dreams

Dime Store Bully

Here's the debate I'd love to see.
The Donald, in his full insult mode confronts Madame Secretary Clinton.
She does have a high voltage smile

Donald (looking down at Ms. Clinton): Well, they had to adjust that podium so the TV cameras could find you down there.

Hillary:  I'm just about exactly the same height as your friend, Vladimir Putin, but I guess you knew that.

Donald: I didn't. He looks taller.  But he's got way more energy than you. I don't see you riding horses shirtless.

Hillary:  At my age, one expects to get tired at the end of a long day, but the next day I wake up, refreshed raring to go.

Donald:  No, you're low energy all day.

Hillary: You pride yourself on animal strength, in which wild swine are your equal and the jackass infinitely your superior.

Donald:  You calling me a swine?  

Hillary:  Well, it was the jackass where the invidious comparison obtains. And I wouldn't want to be unfair to the swine.

Donald: You know, you were the worst Secretary of State in history.  You just couldn't keep up, which is why you had to bail out the night of Benghazi, had to go home to catch your beauty sleep. Well, as President, you've got to be on the go all day and night.

Hillary: So by late at night, I will be tired, but the next morning I will awaken rejuvenated and you, sir, will still be an imbecile. 

Donald: You've never made an honest dollar. The only power you've every had has been given to you by men, first your husband, then Obama.

Hillary: And you would know all about being handed power, as opposed to say, earning it. You are this country's closest approximation to Joffrey, the feckless son of the Lancasters, from Game of Thrones.  Born to the throne but not brave enough or smart enough or strong enough to actually wield power effectively.

Donald:  And you fashion yourself as a champion of women, but you were the enabler who helped your husband abuse women.

Hillary:  Do you know who Phil Sheridan was?

Donald: Never met him, I don't think.

Hillary: Well, he was a Union general in the Civil War. He was a man of many failings, and he was short, rather homely, but he had the qualities his country needed to save it--courage, decisiveness, understanding the big picture. He died young and his much younger wife was asked who, among her many suitors, she would choose to replace him in her life and she said, "I'd rather be Phil Sheridan's widow than any living man's wife." People didn't understand that. I do. Anyone who reads the tabloids knows my husband has his  faults, but I consider myself lucky to be his wife, for all our troubles.  You don't have the character to even carry water for him.

Donald: Yeah, and he came hat in hand to me for money. I carried him. 

Hillary:  You know, I think I know men. You are the guy who might be fun at the frat party Friday night, but  what woman would ever want to wake up the next morning and see you there, in the light of day?

Donald: Oh, a lot of women would.

Hillary: Well, I've heard you brag about the size of your male organ, it's true. But it's not so much that organ where your real problem resides: It's the two other organs we all should worry about in your case: Brain and heart.  The one doesn't light up and the other's too small.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

The National Health

When Bernie Sanders says he thinks we need a revolution in politics in this country and then says the United States should define health care as a right not a privilege, he really is talking about a revolution in values.

When you hear any politician, any Congressman, Senator say the United States has the best health care system in the world, the envy of the world, with foreign doctors coming here to learn the most advanced techniques, you know one thing for sure: That politician hasn't the faintest idea of what he or she is talking about.

Yes, foreign doctors come here to train, from Pakistan or India or third world countries, but we send plenty of American doctors to Europe to work with and learn from English, French and German doctors. CT scans were developed in England, laporoscopic surgery was pioneered in Europe. And most Europeans will say the United States may have the best medicine for the richest 10% but for 90% of Americans, medical care is far inferior to European and particularly Scandinavian health care.

When Bernie Sanders says every other industrialized nation offers universal health care and asks what is wrong with America for not being willing to do this, he is suggesting we ought to have a radically different set of values than what we have had in the past.

I really don't know whether you get better care in England or France or Germany vs the United States, but I do know when I watch "Prime Minister's Questions" from Parliament in London, at least 25% of all questions relate to complaints about health care, about a clinic which hasn't been built or refurbished. 
Clearly, the reason so many Senators and Congressmen don't want an expanded government role in medical care is they know that would put them in the position of having to answer constituents' health care complaints, and they already get enough phone calls about Medicare and Social Security--Health care is one more responsibility they do not want anything to do with. 

Not my job! 

Congressmen right now have lots of things on their plates: constituent services, fundraising, committee meetings, dialing for dollars, political meetings, fundraising, trips home to the district every week, dialing for dollars--the last thing they want is the nightmare specter of actually having to solve real problems for real people, like how to get Mrs. Jones the CT scan her doctor says she needs but the federal health care system denies.

Reading about healthcare systems in other countries, it's clear they have faced all the same problems we have faced when it comes to providing services for which there is greater demand than capacity to provide.  Just as we have found in the USA, when access to healthcare has been freely provided the service providers are quickly overwhelmed by demand so in France and Germany, steps had to be taken to reduce access.  

Just as the public abuses the 911 emergency call in number, calling for a ride to the hospital for a routine clinic visit, calling an emergency number for non emergency reasons, the public, given access for free, will always abuse and drive a service into uselessness. 
For years, patients have had free access to their physicians on the weekend for "emergencies," and they have abused this service by calling for prescriptions they hadn't bothered about during the week,  because they knew they could always call the on call physician on the weekend, or patients who haven't been seen for a year calling to have their blood pressure medications renewed at night, after office hours, or patients calling demanding antibiotics for what they insist is a sinus infection, because they don't want to pay the co pay and take time off work to see the doctor during office hours.  

So, the public can drive providers into defense mode. Charge $5 for the after hours phone call and you cut down on that emergency need for the prescription by 80%. Suddenly, not so much of an emergency.

The French have explicitly decided that health care ought to be offered free to all citizens, to all human beings who seek care within their borders, and they have decided doctors' first responsibility is to the patient, not to the government or the health care system, but this has caused them to face the results of this generosity--systems which are quickly overwhelmed and the money runs out.

In Germany, the average citizen can expect to pay 10% of his annual income on a health care assessment tax--how many people in the USA making $200,000 would be willing to pay $20,000 for their health insurance, even if drugs are included? 

Americans will vote for an aircraft carrier with a smile, but they howl bloody murder about their Medicare taxes. 

France has faced the same problems distribution of physicians we have in the US-- getting doctors to live and practice in rural areas, which are typically economically depressed and not at all where people who have been trained in big city hospitals want to live. So, as in the US, the French have found rural hospitals closing, and a deficit of doctors in less desirable towns and communities.  

As doctors' salaries have fallen into the $80,000 range, the medical workforce has changed to 2/3 female physicians, who are often the second salary in their family and who refuse to work long hours or to be on call who say they have more important responsibilities at home with their children.

Both France and Germany have had to deal with poor people and the unemployed, whose healthcare cannot be supplemented by employers, and have had to level taxes upon the well insured workers who have both government and private insurance and who are taxed to support those with only bare bones government insurance.

In England, France and Germany, health care facilities are often operating in the red and special efforts have to be made to shore up these public institutions.

So, when Bernie speaks in dulcet tones about the wonders of universal health care elsewhere in the world, he does not dwell on the problems in those systems. 

By many objective measures, these countries succeed in providing more care than we do, but they pay more for it. They have decided to spend money on health care. They do not have our defense budget. They may economize in other areas. But even if health care is a right, it is definitely not for free.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Flint and the House Oversight Committee: Republicans Rampage in Alternate Reality

"Oh, you should resign."

Definition of chutzpah:  The man who murders his parents and asks the judge for mercy, on the grounds that he is now an orphan.

Mark Twain:  "Consider a pack of jackasses. Now consider the United States Congress. But then, I repeat myself."
If  they say he should resign, we say you should resign

Yesterday the House Committee on Oversight (what a name!) had before it the governor of Michigan, a Republican who likely  ignored the lead in Flint water, and who many Democrats have called upon to resign.  Republican members of the committe, not to be outdone, demanded a Democrat from the EPA testify, so they could point accusatory fingers at her and demand that she resign!

This is one of those moments when you'd like to see a little Donald Trump in some Obama appointed official. What you would have give to have seen that EPA Democrat simply junk that stupid deferential tone government officials adopt when testifying before Congressional committes, that pseudo tone of respect and civility. Who needs civility when you are dealing with barbarians?

Here's the script I'd have written for her teleprompter:
Just once, say what is really happening

"Mr. Chaffetz, you accuse the EPA of having failed to protect the citizens of Flint, which is the height of irony in that you and your Republican colleagues and candidates at every opportunity have  called for the abolition of the Environmental Protect Agency,  which you consider anti-business, and you and your Republican colleagues have attempted to eviscerate the EPA, have limited its authority, have defunded it. Disband the EPA: This is the hymn every Republican from mayor to Senator has sung in unison.

 And now we have a perfect example of how important the EPA is, or could be, you howl with indignation the EPA:  the very agency you so revile,  did not save a Republican governor and his administration from itself, from the very policies and philosophy which drives your hatred of the EPA.  

You have day in and day out complained that protecting the environment is a waste of  money and no Republican wants to spend money to protect the environment, or the people whose lives depend on it, especially if it benefits poor people or people of color.

So now you have been caught aiding and abetting the poisoning of the well, and you complain that the EPA didn't do a better job protecting the citizens of Flint from your own policies. 

Where were the police, where was the security after I did my best to remove them? 

Where do I begin with such hypocrisy? How do I answer such absurdity?

At long last, sir, have you no respect for truth, no respect at all?"

Or words to that effect.
Wouldn't that have been just so gratifying?

Much as I love President Obama and his people, they just are too reserved for the current tempestuous times; they simply wimp out and quake when attacked. That's the one thing missing. 

I cannot imagine Mr. Trump accepting the vitriol spewing out from the Republicans across the hearing room floor.
I cannot imagine Mr. Obama or any of his kith and ken speaking like this.

That is disappointing. 
If only.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Trump is Not a Problem

Okay, here's Mad Dog's forecast:  Donald Trump will not become President. 
In fact, he will not get the nomination. 

He will  simply lose interest.

For the Donald, running for President has been like opening presents on Christmas day for the average four year old: The real fun was in the wrapping and once he's got that off, playing with the boxes the toys came in, but the actual stuff inside, not so much fun.

My over riding read on the man is he is really just doing this because he enjoys the attention, but he really does not want to be President.  
He may not have realized this yet, but sooner or later he'll sit down and watch a few episodes of "West Wing" and he'll realize he really is not interested in the actual problems of governing.

He'll arrive at the convention and he'll look for a way not to win which will be maximally dramatic and the most fun. 

Then he'll go home and throw a party for himself, maybe on some roof tops in New Jersey.

He could, of course, storm out and run as a third party candidate, saying the Republican Party done him wrong, but on some level he'll be relieved he doesn't have to take the job and he can play the Sarah Palin card, and simply grab the limelight whenever he wants it because as a potential future candidate, people will still be interested in him.

That will mean he can continue to be as outrageous as he pleases and 40% of the American public will continue to love him, which would never happen once he actually became President, because as soon as you become President you will start disappointing people.

So that's Mad Dog's take, and he's sticking to it. 
No Trump.

That's the good news.

The bad news is we may well have to deal with President Cruz.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Dirty Secrets: Corruption and the American Way

When Bernie Sanders rails about our "rigged" economy,something deep inside me  resonates with that, likely for reasons Bernie cannot know, except in the general sense, but from the specifics of my experience, a rage wells up. He has tapped into that.
The best Congress money can buy

When I ran a small business (a solo practice of medicine) I tried to buy health insurance for my secretary.  This was an eye opener into the deep seated corruption/perversions pervasive in the American way of doing business, a corruption abetted by the government agencies we would expect to restrain misbehavior.  

As we tried to choose among the different health insurance companies (back in the early 1990's) we tried to be intelligent consumers, and we read through the thick directories of participating physicians and saw her doctors listed in Blue Cross Blue Shield of the National Capital area,  and we thought, great, she can keep her doctors if we go with this plan. 
But then we phoned the doctors' offices listed, and one by one it turned out her physicians no longer participated;many had stopped accepting this company's insurance years before.  So we went on to the next company and then to the next: same story with each.  

"This is false advertising!" my secretary said. "They tell you if you buy this insurance you get this benefit, care from Dr. X or Y or Z but you do not. You actually have only three or four choices and none of them are doctors I'd want to see on a dare."  
When I phoned the insurance companies they said, well, those doctors once did participate but have stopped and the companies said they  simply hadn't had a chance to update their catalogs of participating physicians. No chance, you understand over the past 10 years.  They did not update their catalogs every year because it was too expensive, they said. But clearly, when they did, they never bothered to delete physicians no longer on their "plan;" they only added names.

It isn't your father's healthcare any more

It was institutionalized bait and switch.  Every health insurance company in the Washington, DC area published bogus catalogs of participating physicians which listed every doctor who had ever had a contract with those companies, even though those doctors had bailed out years before. Every company, in effect, was claiming it offered you wide choices while in fact offering only very narrow choices.

So I called the department of Health and Human Services to protest this was a form of deception and all the companies seemed guilty of it and I was bounced around various agencies and none of the government employees wanted to hear about it. It was like talking to cops who didn't want to take the rape report because it was just so much paper work for them.
Only one thought counts
Corruption is not new

Another instance:  Examining my 20 page office phone bill I discovered a $15 monthly charge from a company I did not recognize. Calling the number provided, it turned out to be a company which was charging me for internet services to the office, and this fee  was part of my phone bill. 
Trouble was, we did not have internet services in those days and I had never purchased this, never authorized it. 
Calling the company collecting the charges they claimed my secretary "Donna" had approved of the contract.  Donna, of course denied every having talked to them and said she would never approve such a thing and would have put that on my desk. "Oh, but we have a recording!" the company man said and he played back a recording, obviously doctored,  in which you hear Donna's voice saying, "Donna," and then the company man asking if she wants to approve this contract and then you hear Donna's voice, shopped in, saying, "Yes." Of course, what they had done was to call the office and ask who they were speaking to, and recorded that and then some other "yes" and there you had it.

So I called the FCC and a variety of government agencies and they said that the phone company was powerless to remove the charge from my phone bill and there nothing anyone could do about this case of fraud. In effect, the government, the phone company, a utility, were complicit in the scam. They knew this company was engaging in theft but wanted nothing to do with the complaint. 

More recently, I confronted  a more complicated but no less noxious example of how the rich bilk the poor and good people just stand by and let it happen.

I sent a patient to Walmart with a prescription for insulin. There are only 2 companies who make insulin: Lilly and Novo. Walmart has done a huge service to the nation by buying insulin, pasting the Walmart label on the bottles and selling the insulin deeply discounted.
  But recently, Walmart switched from buying from Lilly to buying from Novo. When you write a prescription with your electronic medical record program you cannot order insulin as just "insulin." You have to order it by the brand name, Lilly insulin called "Humulin" or Novo insulin, called "Novolin." 
It's as if you send your kid to the grocery to buy milk and he calls back and says, "They won't sell me milk. They insist I pick Hood Milk or Stoneyfield milk."  
"And you say, 'Any milk will do.' And the clerk at the register says, "You have to choose a brand."
For some years I had written "Humulin" because I knew that's the brand Walmart sold. But I forget Walmart has switched to Novolin recently, and write for Humulin and when the patient arrives at Walmart, she is handed her two bottles of insulin and she has her precious $50 in her hand, but she is handed a bill for $300, which is about half of her monthly rent. 
The fox is very clever and knows many things

I get a frantic phone call from the patient . I call the pharmacist and the pharmacist says, "Well, you ordered Humulin."
 I say, "But until today that was $25 dollars a bottle." 
"Well," the pharmacist says. "We switched to Novolin, and you didn't write for that."
"So you couldn't just give her the Walmart insulin you knew I wanted and she wants?"
"Not if you wrote for Humulin."
"And you know they are exactly the same insulin, just made by different companies. It's like Market Basket milk vs Hannaford's milk."
"They are not designated bio-identical by the FDA. We have to follow FDA rules."

So I phone the FDA and I'm told:
1/ In the first place:
The FDA has not determined the two are "bio-equivalent" or "bio-identical" whatever that means.  The FDA spokesman would not comment on my assertion there's not a whiff of difference between the NPH insulin made by each company.
 Insulins do differ by "type" depending on how fast the insulin works, how fast it dissipates: R insulin starts working quickly and disappears quickly; NPH starts slowly and hangs around all day. But both Lilly and Novo make NPH and R and they are exactly the same.  You can use a 1/4" wrench and whether it was made by Sears or Home Depot, it works the same.

2. In the second place, the FDA lady tells me: 
"The state of Massachusetts writes the applicable laws which prevent the pharmacist from substituting,  so stop phoning the FDA to complain. This is a state issue."
"But the pharmacist told me it was an FDA rule."
 "Well, the pharmacist was wrong. Everybody blames the federal government for everything."

Tea party Republicans in charge: You're on your own

"This is what makes people angry about government," I told the FDA lady.
"Well, I can't help that," she said. "Anyway, it's the companies who make the insulin."
"And it's the companies who make the rules, apparently," I said. "And the FDA hasn't stopped the states from screwing things up."

A hedgehog

So Bernie Sanders is on to something when he talks about how what is "legal" in America is all too often,  immoral.
 It used to be legal to refuse to serve a Black person who walks into your restaurant or who tries to sit at your soda fountain. 
It used to be legal to own another human being.  
Those laws never made it right.
She fights alone
Did the cream rise to the top or was the game rigged?

Elizabeth Warren has tried to make an issue about what is done to "consumers" daily by big corporations but she cannot change things from the Senate. And she cannot change things alone.

The image of the executive offices at Lilly and Novo, lined in mahogany, occupied by men in thousand dollar suits, who have second homes in Hilton Head or wherever, who live lives of luxury, while my patient stands at the counter at Walmart, clutching her $50, which is a lot of money to her, and suddenly, she is faced with a bill for 6 times that amount, which is half a month's rent, because of some "rule" which was made to protect the profits of drug company executives, just makes my blood boil.

Big guys sucking the blood from the little guys, draining them pale.

Doesn't bother me to see our country go from white to brown. Doesn't bother me to hear a cacophony of languages around me at the mall or on the street. Diversity is just fine with me. Makes us stronger.

What bothers the hell out of me to see people who were born poor and who stayed poor but who worked hard and did the best they could to be treated this way by rich people.

Pretty clear who the cops work for and who the law does not protect

These are just three instances in which corporations injure the little guy and the government stands by like cops watching protesters beaten to a pulp by thugs.

You just want to say, "At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency. Have you no sense of decency at all?"

The hedgehog knows only one thing, but he knows it very well