Posted by on Feb 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

Rome really is burning….



  1. kelly
    February 10, 2009

    My generation is afraid. My generation is very afraid. And if they’re not, it’s because they aren’t listening to the sky as it contemplates gravity.

  2. markcreegan
    February 10, 2009

    I know Kelly. Since Byron’s post I have been looking at the fall of the Roman Empire (since it is the architype), trying to find parallels just for fun. But of course the circumstances are different mostly because we are now talking about sustaining a participatory democracy. The main requirement of that is an informed educated populace. In a society where we are still debating evolution, we can see where the root of our problems are. Even the idea of “greed”, though it is a factor here, is wrapped up in ignorance and lack of intelligent, reflexive thought.

    I would say that there is an oppportunity for your generation to lead us out of the wilderness, but we have to wait and see. If Obama can change the paradigm that has destroyed us- the one where our leaders pander to ignorance and “lead” based on collective idiocy- then you guys may get a chance to really change things. BUT since I just had a discussion about art in my drawing class where the most ignorant of the bunch was the loudest and most vocal AND since we just witnessed a process of governing where the republicans got the upper hand (in the stimulus debate), I am afraid these are very bad signs. However, ia am hopefull that we are collectively contemplating a new way of living. I dont think Obama has all the answers and I think that he is still wrapped up in old ways of thinking, but he certainly gets it more tham the majority of other leaders and it may be a gradual learning process for him as was the issue of slavery was for Lincoln.

    But the current model of consumerism must die, perhaps the current model of nuclear family as well. Get ready kids, its gonna be a bumpy ride!

  3. Byron King
    February 10, 2009

    It doesn’t surprise me that they were hiding this 5.5 trillion dollar migration of funds out of the market in one day. When they said this could be as bad as the great depression there seemed to be something they were hiding because at that time not one of my friends was laid off yet.

    Now it seems much clearer. There are most likely so many little nuggets of truth they are hiding from us that would help us understand the situation better. Wish they would just come clean with it but I’m sure if they did it would drive the entire world into a complete panic as it nearly is already without those truths.

  4. Frank
    February 11, 2009

    Rome fell for a number of reasons… among them, the empire grew larger than it’s population could sustain. They were unable to control their borders that edged into the dominion of the “barbarian.” The early virtues that made Rome the Iron Empire gave way to free bread and lasciviousness. Toward the end, there was a string of emperors that offered the “answer”, which was usually giving Romans something to distract them. That is still the lure of politicians – convince the people to fall in love with them by smooth word or promise of deed. At first blush, I can get behind the statement that people can be and have become apathetic, and that there are those whom will profit by such a populace’s very inclination. But the rush for a quick fix can lead to worse…

    Take for example the Stimulus Package that’s being batted around, under the heading “American Recovery and Investment Act 2009 (HR 1).” Contained within it is a contingency for a new bureaucracy to track every American’s citizens health records by 2014. Whether or not you want the government involved in health care, it seems disingenuous to create a whole new bureaucracy meant to record your medical data and guide doctors lest they face penalties in a bill that’s first line of its 680 pages describes it’s purpose as “job preservation and creation.” Again, it’s not a question of government health care or nor, it’s a question of Congressional honesty. If they want a bill regarding health, call it what it is, don’t play on people’s economic fears to slid it by unnoticed. Both sides of the aisle are notorious for this.

    “Rome is Burning” is an allusion to Nero’s burning of the city while, according to popular lore, he played the lyre. It’s a scene of absurd sociopathic behavior. When it was over and the mob needed a victim, Nero pointed to the Christians, or so the story goes. When Mark points to folks who still debate evolution as the root of the great problem, our own burning Rome, I must laugh. Too many religious, ignorant people? That’s the problem? Really? Its a wonder the U.S. ever became a country.

    If I were Kelly’s age, the first thing I would do is start cutting credit cards. When history is played out, I think the dependency of the credit industry to procure luxury will be seen as a major contributor to the fire.

  5. markcreegan
    February 11, 2009

    go back to Faux news and Rush frank

  6. Akbar Lightning
    February 11, 2009

    i agree with both Mark and Frank. i think the tension between the two is a small version of the problems going on in the larger scale. there is a very deep moral problem, to which i think frank is referring to, maybe not meaning to, but when he talks about ‘dependence’ and ‘luxury.’ i agree with him, myself, i’m addicted to certain desires i have for my future life, vacations, cruises, travel. all of the kinds of things americans have seen as the rights of hard working people. i am having a difficult time letting go of those, and the dreams of greater wealth.

    and for mark, i also agree, that the power of ignorance is a saddening thing, and something that wise leaders have struggled with forever, it is tragic. in one of my writings i labeled a chapter ‘The Rise of the Unfriendly’ and in that i tried to illustrate how pushy, arrogant people can get away with a lot because of peoples’ fear of confrontation and that this explains much of human leadership.

    anyways, i think Rome (air-quotes) is in danger, and we are all called to ask ourselves if we believe in it or if we would rather face the very scary notion of letting it fall apart. tough question.


  7. Frank
    February 11, 2009

    Akbar, any comment on dependence and luxury is intentional. I am starting to think that dependence on luxury breeds ignorance, and vice versa. The irony in ignorance is if you are, you won’t know it. Maybe a tell tale sign of ignorance may not be the level of education you have, but do your ideas change as you mature in life. In short, if you think the same way you did when your 40 as you did when you were 20, there MAY be a problem. Just an idea.
    This is the PDF file for HR 1 EH, one of the (I believe) seven versions of the bills are bouncing back and forth (it always pays to go to the source document):


    The Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology starts on page 441.

    I make it a habit to read news and opinion from many different sources, keeping the agenda of each in mind. The article that leads me to this info took offense to the idea of nationalized health care. That is not the issue for me. I’m still mulling it over. Again, that is not my problem. My problem is with using fear to further another agenda.

    My problem is also in the dismissing of ideas and concerns because they don’t match another’s status quo, Mark. I have no more love for Fox than CCN, no more faith in Rush than Shelton Hull. It’s silly I even have to explain myself in such a way… but I guess that’s what I get for being all uninformed and uneducated.

  8. Akbar Lightning
    February 11, 2009

    there truly are problems with the structure of news programs like CNN and network news, i whole heartedly agree. but there is a deeper level of mistrust to be had for people like Rush Limbaugh, there is no way around that. there is someone who definitely ‘uses fear to further agendas’ and doing what he does to the poorest most vulnerable members of society, it’s shameful.

    what places like CNN and networks do, is more insidious, to be sure, and possibly a bigger problem. whereas one is a dog, the other is a fox, no pun intended.

    btw, i had difficulty opening that pdf.

    i have found that Bill Moyers does an excellent job of presenting the caution we all need when looking at our current political situation, and at the same time presenting the information we need, he has wonderful experts, and asked difficult questions. although he is liberal-minded, he does not let liberal politicians off the hook with his investigative journalism.


  9. kelly
    February 11, 2009

    Cutting credit cards isn’t going to stop the storm from making landfall. We need to figure out what we need to stay alive and then find a way to be independent of other people for those things. It’s time to start getting creative and putting ideas to action.

  10. kelly
    February 11, 2009

    Have you guys seen this one?


  11. Byron King
    February 11, 2009

    If you don’t believe in universal (or socialized) healthcare, I’d suggest putting yourself in others shows for a moment. Imagine yourself with brain cancer and your wife with an incurable autoimmune disease with two small children. Imagine that at any time you could get laid off just like everyone else. Imagine that you need healthcare even after you are laid off and COBRA only helps you get to the next job. But with there not being a next job, you die because you don’t get the chemo you need to try and see your kids grow up.

    Just imagine yourself in that situation. What would you do? How would universal healthcare not be a good thing in that situation?

    Or better yet, imagine yourself getting the surgeries you need and then they all get denied because BCBS wakes up and decides that your brain surgery was not needed. Putting you and your family 100-200K in debt over night.

    Or that during a period between jobs not able to afford COBRA your child comes down with a blood disease or gets in a car crash. But you were not able to cover her because it would have been financially too much for you to stay in your home or afford food.

    To me it’s real simple. For those who don’t support it I think they are either, A. healthy and have never had a real health issue, B. don’t have families, C. work for the city or government and don’t think they will ever get laid off. Or all of the above.

    Universal healthcare is not communism. For those who think it is I suggest you have been victims of fear mongering being used to further another political agenda.
    What would big pharma or big medicine have to gain if it was actualized.

    As long as we can wait three hours in the ER while we are having seizures, get humiliated by our doctors and nurses, get raped by our healthcare plan’s billing process we’re fine. Just as long as it’s not called socialized medicine. Why has there been such fear mongering over the word socialism. I find it odd that American’s can so easily dismiss something that would benefit everyone because of how it’s labeled.

  12. Frank
    February 11, 2009

    Akbar, try this for a link, you might have to cut and paste: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.+1:

    The (PDF file) bill in question is #1.

    Kelly, like I said, the “first thing” I would do is cut those credit cards. It’s part and parcel to what I think you mean by reevaluating what is needed to live. Nope, these things won’t fend off the storm, but they will set standard to survive past the storm.

    Byron, I’ll say it again, my problem with the way that the bill is written and proposed, not the idea of nationalized health care. Your previous post is written as if I need passionate convincing otherwise. I’m responding to the “Rome is Burning” idea of Mark’s post.

    As far as you explain things, I could imagine. As far as I have had medical trauma in my family, I could imagine. As I said, I’m mulling it over. Something that I consider is what if the government determines what is a beneficial procedure and what isn’t, like the BCBS. What if they, like my insurance company several times, initially decides that my son doesn’t need the 11th eye surgery the doctor believes he needs to keep his left eye, because of the cost versus benefit analysis.

    Although I assume the crack about city workers is for me, I don’t recall ever saying socialized health care is communism. You assume to much. I do work for the city, and as a result know full well that when a government says one thing, you better look very close, because it might mean something very different. Governments are made of people. People are both honorable and sneaky. It takes time and effort to determine which, like reading source documents… you can’t depend on the little letter at the end of a name to tell you which, respond out of abject fear or complacency.

  13. Byron King
    February 12, 2009

    You’re right Frank. That was meant for you. I don’t believe a police man who paints pictures of pretty flowers and at the same time says he does so to escape the harsh reality of his day job and comments on a contemporary art site to negate everything that is usually said has much in common with me or my ideals in general. Your paintings are simple, and don’t coincide with your overwhelming “know it all” knowledge of everything.

    You continue to negate everything on this site, and I’m a bit tired of it. I’ve been through much pain the past two weeks and to hear a right winger (or whatever you are) like you say you are mulling it over pains me. Policemen have all the answers. And there are so many types of policemen it doesn’t impress me. I’m sorry. Traffic cops, Door guards, etc. Remember I was in the Army, I know how little soldiers do at times and I can imagine it being the same for most policemen.

    If throwing universal healthcare in this spending bill is the only way to get it passed with the quagmire of the Right always going against the Left then I’m all for it. As Obama continues to remind people like you (and thank God) the majority of America voted for the change this spending bill is to bring. It’s too late to mull it over. People are in real pain, and we can’t wait to twiddle our fingers and think tax cuts will solve everything.

    It didn’t trickle down Frank. Also, I was the one who began the Rome is Burning conversation with the blog post of that title, not that it matters. What gets me about you Frank is that you continue to insinuate the world is great as you say you are a cop and you paint pretty flowers to escape the ugliness of humanity. But is it grand? Rome is not burning correct? Then why do you escape your day job by painting escapist work. Yes, city and government workers like you from my experience believe that this doesn’t apply to you. That you’ll have a pension and healthcare for the remainder of your hard working life, as the lefties wine and moan about wanting healtchare. Also, If you didn’t realize it Frank, this is a contemporary arts blog. Most artists don’t have healthcare generally. Please don’t come on here and mull universal healthcare over again. Especially after I just had my second brain surgery and am going through a living hell with BCBS. I would really appreciate it.

  14. Frank
    February 12, 2009

    I see. The next step is to belittle my “pretty paintings”, Polly Anna point of view, your belief in my need for escapism (which you erroneously bring it up often enough), and my profession as to why I am an uncaring lout. That post was childish and rude. If your temper is short because of the surgery, I can understand that, but it doesn’t give you the right to be pointlessly rude. Especially when you refuse to respond to my point…

    That point, having been summed up in my first post, is this: I can get behind the statement that people can be and have become apathetic, and that there are those whom will profit by such a populace’s very inclination (Rome being an example). But the rush for a quick fix can lead to worse… My example is the creation of a new bureaucracy hidden inside a bill meant to alleviate the condition of the current economy. I cited the source material. I made no comment regarding political affiliation. If I’m wrong. Tell me. I’d be happy to hear it. But what I get is Mark’s accusations that I’m just a right wing shill. If you disagree with that or my other views, say it with some effort.

    To further clarify that original point, that proposed bureaucracy DOES NOT give a dime to anyone for anyone’s medical expenses. That bureaucracy will take 5 years to be up and running. Do you want the government simply keeping track of your medical history, or offering health care itself? Personally, I’d like to see that $20 million set aside into something like a FEMA emergency fund for people need medical help now in this current troublesome economy. PERHAPS it is an attempt to get nationalized health care in the back door, I don’t know. If so, remember it’ll take 5 years just to start the beginnings according to that idea. Is +5 years acceptable? With people in pain now, I would think not. Wouldn’t it be simpler just to put it out there in plain sight? That’s something I’ve been mulling over.

    To restate that point, let’s put it like this: Were rash decisions made in response to the fear generated from 09-11? I’d say so. Will there possibly be rash decisions made from the fear of this economic storm? (Recent) history says yes. I’m not ready to give a free ride to ANY politician regarding choices to be made.

    I don’t see where posting what I think makes me a know-it-all. Everyone here posts their beliefs, views, opinions and ideas. I thought that was the point of it all. If I post something anyone deems stupid or misinformed, then do the blog the honor of stating why I am wrong. My words are clear enough, as long as you stop trying to pigeon hole me. If I say my issue is not with the health care aspect of something, but rather the disingenuous placement of the legislation, then believe it. I’d appreciate it that if you find me to be right wing, fearful of communism, where I disused health care for all or even asked for tax cuts, please show me where. It would prove you actually read what I wrote versus assumed what I am.

    I have disagreed with many things posted. True. It seems to be that the subjects where people disagreed and explained why were the longest, most absorbing topics. If you don’t want me here, tell me to go, but decide this: is this a place for discussion or for select pontification.

  15. markcreegan
    February 12, 2009

    the reason I brought up Limbaugh and Foxnews is because of your superficial and misrepresentative description of the health care portion of the stimulus bill. It reminded me of the way they would misconstrue things.

    Okay, I understand that you read something nefarious behind the gov’t “keeping track of our medical records”, correct? So lets examine this. The provision in the bill does indeed set up a bureaucratic function to electronically centralize patient information in order to reduce costs. It also sets up a central information source for doctors to use providing them the latest information on procedures and treatments. From what I can tell, it does not force doctors to use certain treatments or set up other mandatory protocols which, I assume, is the danger you are referring to. By the way, the Bush administration began this push toward electronic medical records in 2004.

    Life expectancy in Canada is 81 (versus 76 here). Prevention is key and is the core of health care reform. And the benefit of a centralized record system id that is drives down the cost which in turn lowers the insurance premiums people and businesses have to pay.

    The stimulus bill is not just a short fix, it is a first step in long term fiscal policy. Since health care costs are a HUGE drain on the overall economy and have become such a burden on us all, it makes perfect sense to create a system designed to save money.

    Now, is there a danger to this leading to bad regulatory programs down the road? Sure. But, I have to say that I trust Obama’s team to know the difference between good and bad regulation. We will have to wait and see if that trust is undeserved, but i don’t think it is at this point.

    And, by the way, my complaint about the constant evolution debate was in no way meant to malign religion. I believe the mistaken idea that a scientific theory backed up by YEARS of sound evidence negates a person’s faith is part of the problem.

  16. markcreegan
    February 12, 2009

    Um, i meant “…. And the benefit of a centralized record system is that it drives down the cost which in turn lowers the insurance premiums people and businesses have to pay.”

  17. Byron King
    February 12, 2009

    Frank that was a comment not a post. A post is when you make a blog post. All of these are comments, just to clarify. This is called a thread when we comment back and forth. Building a dialogue. I personally would be fine if you never commented on this site again. But it’s not my site. We have multiple contributors and commentors. I find that you continually try to play devils advocate on everything said. Now that would be fine if you at some point came to agreement or a middle ground but you don’t seem to. I feel if I said the sky was blue, you’d say it was red and argue that point until the end.

    And it makes me wonder if it’s because no one will listen to you at the precinct. I can’t imagine you having any conversations about art in your profession to anyone. So I can see why you would want to come on this site and be vocal about your belief system. I’ve been biting my tongue Frank for months. You say my post or comment was rude and that’s fine, but it’s been building up in me for some time.

    I did address your concern that the healthcare plan was being disguised and pushed through in this spending bill. I personally don’t care how it gets approved.

    I think sometimes you just wait to disagree just to disagree. And you are a walking contradiction. Of which I have no issue with if it didn’t continually contradict your arguments on this site. You don’t admit that the world needs change, and is going off a cliff as we discussed earlier. And yet, you make openly escapist work to escape from the awful things you see in your profession. That to me makes no sense. How could you argue that things aren’t bad when you are hiding from them in your work?

    It’s your call if you’d like to continue commenting but please realize that I’d prefer you to toe the line here and not hide behind your profession and your paintings, then point fingers at others who are trying to make a change through their art or their blog posts. Also, the very fact that you are a cop makes me think you know how f’d up the world is, probably more than most. So to argue otherwise seems again very contradictory.

  18. Akbar Lightning
    February 12, 2009

    I am loving this discussion. yes, it is openly argumentative, but come on, let’s enjoy it. i think we can all explicitly give byron a little ‘wiggle’ room given his current frustrations, and just be grateful he’s able to type.

    i am finding myself torn. i think frank’s points about fear-based proposals, especially the analogy to 911, and how this new administration (as much as I am a firm believer), how much it all feels like post-911 all over again. i’m having to exercise a lot of trust in order to keep believing in Obama, a trust that has been chipped away by years of deceit.

    however, mark rightly clarifies the point, that the electronic unification of medical records is a no-brainer, for sure. in theory, this is absolutely needed, and will create jobs.

    perhaps byron has gotten a little personal here, and perhaps it is not appropriate, but not knowing Frank, it does make me curious. is he a cop? and does he paint flowers? that is interesting. as I look back at the post, it is most certainly Frank that started the provocative line of discussion, which is great, but it does put him in a certain position of openness. i am reminded of The Life of Brian, and how that Roman ‘Cop’ catches someone writing graffiti and goes through a process of correcting his latin, and how that portrays how an ‘authority’ would look at the ‘populace.’ i have had a lot of family members in the correctional field, and the effect is undeniable. my grandmother worked for many years in parole and she was great at it, but then she got a job as an assistant warden in a women’s prison, and after one year she turned into a racist bitter person, and thank God she saw it, and left. our work puts us into a certain relationship with our society and it might be good to point out that many artists, including myself, have a certain kind of habitual mistrust of the police. just pointing out all these dynamics, i’m not really saying any of it is right, just human.


  19. morrison
    February 12, 2009

    healthcare has been ruined for years in this country with the lobbyists and insurance giants, definitely feel for American families going through this economic crunch, but i beg to differ the true sum of the dollar. stimulus packages don’t work, and really no one deserves free money. the lambs of the last 2 generations have been led to this economic slaughter for some time. knowingly giving in to it’s government in hope of a beetter tomorrow, that’s all pipe dreams, this has been a decade of many topics coming out in the open and Americans have been put under a microscope trying to disect their place in society, where does such a rich selfish country belong, broke and owing others and can’t take care of their own.

  20. Akbar Lightning
    February 12, 2009

    morrison, that is a very cold position indeed. it is very likely in the next year or so that you will change your thinking drastically. there are some that can see the suffering in the future and are working hard to come together in response to it, and there are those like you, who feel that kind of apocalyptic penance view of the coming suffering.

    the most offensive aspect of your view is the casual nature of it, it is, in my opinion, very much a part of the problem.

    we live in a community, and that demands that we work together, for better or worse, and as bad as some of our country’s sins have been, there is much to be celebrated.


  21. morrison
    February 12, 2009

    we live in 2 different america’s, my hand has never been out asking for something. i never have had insurance, which really is a luxury item considering the state of our true economy… most of the people i know don;t have healthcare and the dream that one day we will hyave uiniversal healthcare is never going to happen, never forget that a greedy country such as ours, depends on the haves and have nots. working class poor pick up the tab, and then get pushed aside, so don’t preach to me about how cold reality is. i live it everyday.

  22. Akbar Lightning
    February 12, 2009

    yo morrison, i’ve been there, but really, it’s somewhat true what you are saying but it’s also a bit bitter.

    i went 10 years without health insurance, and i’m happy to have it now, even though it is problematic. a person who is a ‘have not’ should not be too proud to take what is given.

    asking for help takes strength, it takes trust, it takes a kind of self-esteem that says ‘i’m worth it.’

    i was on unemployment after 911, and it allowed me to start my art career. i am thrilled about that.

    just because we are pissed off, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight for progress, that is the worst kind of defeat, the kind that says ‘oh, it will never get any better’, that’s what the ‘haves’ really want.

  23. kurt polkey
    February 12, 2009

    We have a huge gap between rich and poor, the largest in the world, if I’m not mistaken. We have poor people without any real chance of climbing the economic ladder. We have a shrinking middle class that can’t afford health care or college.
    The question is why doesn’t anyone care enough to do anything about it.?
    Why don’t people care anymore?
    We are constantly bombarded with The American Dream. As kids we are brought up to believe that we all have equal opportunity. So, if I am poor it must be my fault. I’m lazy. And if it’s my fault how can I complain.
    2. STUFF.
    How can any one possibly get all worked up over anything when they can sit in their big comfy chair and watch cable television while enjoying an extra value meal.
    It is the way it is, and there’s nothing one person can do about it.

  24. Frank
    February 13, 2009

    Akbar, thanks for responding directly to my much maligned point about fear (and apathy) based proposals and the 09-11 connection. My issue with that bill is not the fact it is a health record records office hidden in what claims to be a bill about job creation, but the fact that it was hidden at all. If the “give Frank’s favorite ideas lots of money” legislation was hidden, I would take the same issue as would probably several of you. Here’s my question: is it ethically suspect to play those games, even if they are well accepted by both major parties, or is it just alright as long as the correct side is successful.

    Yeah, I’ve noticed mistrust as a usual reaction to the police from my artist acquaintances. I don’t think it’s specific to police, but for the concept of authority (r’spect my Authoritay!) and control. I can share in that. Last Art Walk, I went to the basement of the old library to look at the work happening while on my dinner break. I got reminded pretty quick by the nudges and hard looks that uniformed folk was not welcome. Funny stuff.

    I’d be happy to discuss the job, your grandmother, and the slow corruption of a negative environment. I find myself fortunate to come to this job in my 30’s, rather than as a more impressionable young man. I’d like to discuss it off blog for reasons of my own.

    Byron, I getting a little tired of your needing to figure me out. These silly little psychological analysis you have going is insulting. If you want to know why I am the way I am, then put actual effort in it. Let us get a coffee and a dounut (love ‘em) and talk. I’ll buy.
    In one comment a while back, I wrote two lines about how I was paintings a series of flowers (and landscapes) after saw a particularly gruesome dismemberment. Since then, YOU have stubbornly insisted I paint flowers for purposes of escapism. I have explained otherwise, but YOU won’t let up. Your arrogant clinging to your belief of who I am is ridiculous. Let me give you a little more and see where it goes. I still paint landscapes, flowers, still lifes, and portraits. I take photographs (with permission) of the homeless, drunk and criminal (people of the street). I draw the same and also draw the alleys, bridges and via-ducts that such live and hunt. I am currently working on a large scale drawing based on Rodin sculpture depicting that set of town nobles being lead to their executions (can’t remember proper name). It’s Rodin’s study in man’s stages of acceptance of death. Replace those nobles with my people and acceptance of death to acceptance of continual insobriety. If you don’t “get” me, stop insulting me and get to know me. Your insistence I hide behind my profession or flowers baffles me. I will not “toe your line.” I won’t be bullied by you. If you’ve been bothered for a while by me, it’s your own fault for not putting in the effort, but instead choosing to stew over it. All I ask is to be reasoned with. I believe it is entirely possible for two people to be honest in intent and come up with opposing views. I am not no one’s student here, I am a person wanting to be respectfully argued or agreed with. If I don’t live out to that, call me out on it. I have been known to be a ass on occasion.

    You know, the same sky can be red and blue, depending on the time of day.

    I’ll still buy.

    Mark, I used phrases taken from the bill itself to describe the legislation and posted a link to the original text to examine. Tell me how that’s either superficial or misrepresentative?

    “Okay, I understand that you read something nefarious behind the gov’t “keeping track of our medical records”, correct?”

    Nope, I repeatedly said I take issue with the fact that that legislation is deep inside a bill who’s stated purpose is completely different. Bills are long and can be difficult to understand. Who reads them? I’d say very few. It’s accepted generally accepted that as long as a politicians in office from one’s party, he/she will do the right thing, whatever that is. Trusting too much can have the same unfortunate effects of apathy. That trust is not deserved to politician, it’s EARNED. Furthermore, it’s not an issue of trusting the government to know my private medical history, as I’m not overly worried about that, but where it bothers me is the legislation to do it is not made known for what it is because it is tucked away deep inside a bill. Find one statement I made about wanting or not wanting healthcare reform/nationalized healthcare/socialized healthcare being like communism? You read my comment and assumed instead of simply asked.

    Let me be clear, it may be the greatest piece of legislation of all time. That is immaterial to my point. Things should be plain, up front and open, not wrapped in fear.

    I’ll asked you this: Did you know that SPECIFIC legislation was there before I brought it up?
    “And the benefit of a centralized record system id that is drives down the cost which in turn lowers the insurance premiums people and businesses have to pay.”
    If that is the case, then my fears over the specific example I used from HR 1 are unfounded. You have given me something to think about, and that I thank you.

    Morrison, regarding your statement about two Americas – I completely agree with you. San Marco is pure evidence of it.

  25. Akbar Lightning
    February 13, 2009

    Frank, i do believe that you have been put in too small a box, i absolutely think that you are more sophisticated than you are given credit for. we would all love to see your work.

    as far as the legislation thing goes, you did raise the argument, and although ‘job creation’ has been touted as one of the main aspects of the bill, i have heard Obama directly address this legislation, and the creation of a medical I.D. is just a good medical idea. i used to work for a cancer doctor, if you ever saw how they organize records, falling off of the desk, into the garbage, making life and death decisions, i’m telling you, it boggled my mind. there has not been a direct conspiracy to hide this legislation, and I believe the people in charge have been trying very hard to make this as transparent a process as possible.

    in other words, if they were trying so hard to conceal, why do you know about it?

    I am arguing the point Frank, as far as the implications, the fear you talk about, the mistrust, i completely agree with you. i just think this medical unification plan is about one of the best things we could ask for, it is hard for me to see a problem with it, and besides, and this is my finishing point, it WILL CREATE JOBS.

    as an aside, i have found in my personal life, when i butt heads with someone, i am often doing so with somebody a lot like me.


  26. morrison
    February 13, 2009

    87 billion to medicaid, that’s what i am seeing right now on c-span,
    i watch washington journal every morning, commercial free with real people in charge of Americans future. everyone has ideas of what could make our country and lives better. it would be better for some major companies to fail, corporate america and the products that are force fed down our throats with the most manipulative advertising known to man. how many hours a day do we consume the shit that is spilled over the airwaves, the voices that speak for us don’t listen to what anyone actually needs. to much power with hands that no one knows will be forgotten,america has become a third world country for it’s millions of poor, worthless degrees with no real function carry that debt around and sell out a little further

    as far as the old library at artwalk those kids are the future of this emerging art scene, the artists commenting and carrying on dialogue here should be more involved with the scene, i actually saw the art Frank spoke of from the streets, he has a good eye for what he is dealing with. fuck to be a officer in the wild west of the south and make art as your release is a gift.

    social experiments such as globatron have brought artists a little closer, does anyone feel that the collective here could do something…

  27. Byron King
    February 13, 2009

    Bullied? Frank you have taken over this blog. It’s yours now. Hope you are happy. And yet you have not done one blog post. What an accomplishment. I feel bullied to say anything on it just to have you come back with your obvious argument against anything liberal. Thank you for that.

    I’ve busted my ass putting this all together. What have you done but disagree with everyone anytime you can? Do you comment on this blog so people know who you are? So you are battling the evil Byron. To get your name as an artist out there? Are you playing piggyback on all the work the contributors have put into this blog. From your desk job at the precinct you slave away at smartly crafted comments to blog posts so you can make anyone on this site look dumb. Do you have a crowd of admirers who embrace you as the only one wasting the tax payers dollars typing away to put me in my place?

    They sky is blue Frank. There is no reason to argue otherwise. What shade of blue we could discuss.

    You in a conversation told me the same thing about your work. You showed that very same type of work yourself. Don’t make escapist work, admit to it, then get upset when people talk about escapist work.

    I believe you should be a student here personally. You aren’t a contemporary artist and this is a contemporary art site. If you were I can see myself taking your banter more seriously. But you aren’t. You are a traditional painter as you enlightened us with additional input on your work just now. There’s nothing wrong with that but there are blogs for that too. If not start one. Is there a web site where we can see your work maybe that might help.

    I feel as if I’ve been arrogantly bullied off the same blog I created. Thank you for that Frank. Thank you for understanding I’d rather not mull over universal healthcare after having my second brain surgery and having BCBS try not to cover upwards of 100k dollars of bills on the first surgery.

    I respect the police. I don’t respect what you’ve been doing continually on this blog. Everything is not black and white Frank. There are grays. Many, many shades of gray. And evolution is a scientific fact.

  28. morrison
    February 13, 2009


    we should have poker nights at a undisclosed location

  29. markcreegan
    February 17, 2009

    Here is more detail about this congressman’s story, it seems it wasnt as bad as he described.


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