Sunday, February 16, 2014


I'd like to write a few words about euphemisms—the pleasant words we use as substitutes for unpleasant ones—you know, like saying “ladies room” or “mens room,” when we mean “toilet room.” Euphemisms lend comfort and gentility to our conversations and aren't a bad thing at all, generally, unless they are used by commercial industry, or worse, our own government, to brainwash us. Therein lies a problem, a big one.

Try this test. I'll write down two words, and just see where your mind takes you after you read them. Ready? The words are “health care.”

What happened just then—did the word “insurance” pop right into your mind? Have government and industry succeeded in their quest to make “health care” something provided to you by government or private industry? That was their plan, and it started many years ago. I watched it happen.

Hospitals wanted to disassociate themselves from the idea of sickness or illness, so they began to call themselves “health care facilities.” Insurance companies didn't like the sound of “hospitalization insurance” or “major medical” or “medical insurance” so they became “health care providers.” Doctors and nurses became “health care practitioners.” It all sounded so much more positive than the old way of speaking, and they all were hoping it would put a different image in your mind.

But let me tell you about the old health care, before the euphemisms got all fired up. Health care was your mother showing you how to use a handkerchief and to wash your hands afterward. She also made you scrub up those hands before you came to the table and to brush and floss after meals. Your father would yell out the window, “Don't play ball in the street, you could be hit by a car!” He'd also, along with Mom, always tell you to eat your vegetables because “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Health and safety, Mom and Dad, the original health care practitioners and providers.

Before the Wordplay Games, we were all health care practitioners, or learning how to be. Now the new euphemisms are making the old positive self-images fade away, and we're starting to believe that health-care is something provided to us by government and industry, and we have to have it, we have to buy it or get it, somehow, or else we could lose our health! We have to be “covered.”

During all this time that the wordplay has gone on, people have become sicker and sicker. Alcoholism is a disease, for which we all must pay. Drug addiction is a disease, for which we all must pay. There's a treatment for every ill, real or newly invented, for which we all must pay.

It's breaking us.

The solution to the problem might be as simple as reversing a mindset. We become, once again, our own health care practitioners, our own health care providers; we do not give away these basic rights to either government or industry. If we need help with doctor and hospital bills, we ask our family and friends. In our turn, we offer to help others whenever we can. This might be the best possible “platinum plan.”

And how about this? Every substance abuser who breaks the law is incarcerated in an addict prison, where he makes license plates or hems sheets at minimum wage until he pays for his own “treatment and rehabilitation.” No exceptions: the wealthy can't use cash or plastic to avoid incarceration and laboring at minimum wage. Young or old, first violation, every violation, no bargaining or choice involved. Imagine how fast these “diseases” could be cured. And, government and industry could partner up in this venture. They could invent “Mandatory Impatient Substance Syndrome Health-Care Facilities,” and they could have health care providers and practitioners all over the place. They'd all be so busy they might just leave the rest of us alone.

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