Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Greybeard And The Geezer's

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This morning I woke up pushing these computer keys. Must be a habit at best and an obsession at worst. It occurs to me that my blog friend Greybeard might find this interesting.

I belong to the Orange County Geezers Book Club. There is just ten of us and the variety of opinions makes it great fun. We gather once a month to 1. each bring and eat a Subway sandwich, 2. discuss the book of the month, and 3. choose the book for the next month. For the last year or so our emphasis has been on non-fiction, history, and politics.

There is no chairman.

  • Larry hosts at his house and provides lemonade. He retired as the C.E.O. of a large chain of hospitals. Liberal.
  • Dr. Ken is usually 10 minutes late. He retired as the General Manager of two large Kaiser Hospitals. Liberal.
  • Dr. Ed is a retired scientist who specialized in electornics design at a major military weapoons manufacturer. Liberal.
  • Skip retired as a Colonel in the Air Force and became the program manager of space telemetry at Cal Tech. Conservative.
  • Dixon was C.E.O. of a electronic/electrical  materials distribution company, then an manufacturer's representative of a medical instrument company, and finally the Owner-Manager of a small engraving shop. Conservative.
  • Dr. Mike is a recently retired M.D. Liberal.
  • Angelo is a retired college Professor of advanced physics. Ultra-liberal.
  • Ray is a retired war time journalist, during the Viet Nam war was the head of station for the Associated Press in Saigon, and then the  United Press in South East Asia, and  a freelance writer for several newspapers and magazines. Liberal
  • George served the United States government as a presidential advisor and speech writer during WW II, the Cold War, and Korean conflict. He left government service to become the President of the American Red Cross. He is now retired Liberal. 
  • Ron is the owner of a large and elegant waterfront restraurant in Newport Beach. Liberal. 
Drum roll please. This is the the roster. Greybeard, you would fit right in - and make a great addition to the conservative side of our monthly debate. Skip and I could obviously use some help. Unfortunately, there won't be an opening until one of the old geezers dies. I checked. None of them are planning to anytime soon.  Sorry . . .

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5 comments:

Greybeard said...

You've paid me a compliment and I thank you for that. Looks like distinguished company, and I'm sure your meetings are interesting. But I have a question for you:
The first time I accuse one of your friends of being complicit in the death of one of my military classmates, friends, or members of my unit, and threaten to attempt remove his head from his shoulders, how would they react?

And that, unfortunately, is where this country appears to be headed.
(Again, I'll ask you to judge for yourself whether or not you want to publish this comment. If you are uncomfortable with it, delete it with my blessing.)

Greybeard said...

Here's a question I'd like to hear the answer to:
You have several associates there, directly or indirectly related to the medical field. How do they feel about this government takeover of our health care?

Bumps Stump said...

Greybeard . . Yes, there are some spirited disagreements, but no duels at six paces yet. As for liberal/conservative opinions we (the group) tend to step lightly on some of the very sensitive areas. That doesn't mean any of us accept one view or another.

Ray (the journalist) was in the middle of the Viet Nam conflict for almost 10 years. He saw some very ugly things and so did his friend David Halberson. Both became critical of how we waged the war. They remain critical. For the first time in many years our military might was almost useless. We lost our superiority to a bunch of illiterate farmers with pointed sticks. We tried overwhelming firepower, napalming entire villages, and carpet bombing large areas of rural farms. Nothing workded, but it was nasty and brutal.

If you said at the table that the liberal politicians in America were the cause of the war, they would put up a pretty convincing argument that it was botched by everybody. Sure we had our peaceniks and societal drop-outs and liberal intelligensia harping all the time. But the indecision and over confidence on the war's leadership was shared by several administrations and they were not all that liberal.

(1) They might say we really shouldn't have been there in the first place, but we really should help the south Viet Namese so let's send some advisors (Eisenhower).

(2) Forget advisors, and let's send our troops and wind this up before a domino effect takes place (Kennedy).

(3) We've sent 500,000 but need more to win so let's send more troops and more bombs because Westmoreland says we have to destroy it to save it (Johnson).

(4) Hey, let's stop the bombing, put Abrams in charge, pacify the population, invade Cambodia, have Kissinger try some secret talks with the Viet Cong, gradually pull our troops out, and declare peace with honor. (Nixon)

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I'm no scholar and probably have some of this wrong, but I suspect this is the way the group at the table might respond.

Thanks for looking in.

Dixon

Greybeard said...

As I've said before, North Vietnamese General Giap says we had it won, but we quit. So we lose.

And my health care question?

Bumps Stump said...

Greybeard . . I know. I know. I evaded your question. This has been one of our most discussed questions at the club and I don't know where to start a summary. Obama says there are 30 million people in America that have no insurance and can't get any. Our club's medical section disputes this.

1. Because of the high cost of med. insurance a large segment of the 30 million are young people in the work force that do not think they are going to need medical services and do not want to pay insurance. (No number given. Maybe 5 Million)

2. And does the 30 million include several million illegal aliens and if so do they not receive medical care in emergency rooms all across the country? (No number given. Maybe 10 Million.

3. People with pre-existing conditions. This is the tough one. They either do not qualify for private medical insurance, or if it is available they can not afford the exorbidant cost. The club members agree that this is a specific area that should qualify for federal assistance.(No number given. Maybe 15 Million.)

4. All except one member do not think the federal government can effectively and efficiently administer a 100% national health care program and better than the way health care is provided today. (Would not improve health care.)

5. All except one member resent big time the content of (the possibly proposed but not widely understood)legislation now on the table. It has too much pork. It apparently forces all tax payers to finance abortion despite the wishes of some. It apparently destroys the private medical insurance industry. It apparently adds another layer of bureaucracy to the federal government.

6. If a national health system is to be established, it must be non-partisan, openly debated, and designed to be economically sound.

7. Before it is proposed, a specific plan to pay for the cost of a national health care system must be part of the bill.

8. Before the national government commits to the costs of a national health plan, it must find a way to make the now bankrupt Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems viable and sustainable.

This summary is not complete but I think you get the idea of how the club thinks overall.

The long and short is thumbs down.

Dixon