Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Man Who Would Be King

He is a prince who would be king,
Partly because Daddy could not,
But mainly because he is sure
That like David, God has anointed him to rule.

He looks in the mirror and sees
A perfect image of royal mien:
Tall, handsome, with a touch of gray
At the temples.  (He dyes his hair.)

He really would rather be king of admiring subjects
Than a political leader of a fractious republic.
He tries not to make definitive statements
As to what he might do if he became president.

Announcing plans that might trouble anyone
Is a risk he is reluctant to take,
Not only to avoid criticism, but
To preserve the kingly image of himself.

He has read The Prince,
Following Machiavelli's advice
To crush his competitors
Until he is the only person standing.

But of course he did not do
The dirty deeds himself.
He relied on ruthless courtiers
To smear, attack, and destroy.

His handlers try to keep him scripted
Because he tends to insert foot in mouth.
In weak moments, he reveals how little
He understands the concerns of the people.

Perhaps it is too bad that
We do not have a parliamentary system
So that he could bring in a hired gun
To run the government and take the flak.

If he succeeds in his quest,
We will face the great unknown
Of what he might deign to accomplish,
Which may very well be nothing of substance.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Uncontrollable Systems

Any plan that requires the interaction of
Organizations with different interests
Cannot be controlled,
Therefore is bound to fail.

A case in point is the kerfuffle
About health care in the United States;
Whether the Affordable Care Act
Is the solution to all our health problems.

Its primary objective is to provide
Each citizen with health insurance;
As though possession of an insurance card
Automatically results in well-being.

As many have said and written:
"It won't work because it can't work,"
Because it is an interlocking system
With conflicting and uncontrollable variables.

Assuming it is allowed to continue,
Policitians will be tinkering with it for generations.
The game of "whack-a-mole" will be played
To cope with each nasty "unintended consequence."

The governor of our commonwealth announced
That 98 percent of its citizens are now insured.
He also said that a pressing need is to
Figure out how to reduce the rising costs.

On our island peninsula, primary care physicians
Decline to add new patients; surgical specialists
Are booked six months in advance,
Sending the overflow to big city hospitals.

Conversely, immediate health care is now available
At walk-in centers across Cape Cod.
Some are subsidized, some are hospital affiliates,
A few are private, all are supported by volunteers.

The lesson is that the improvement
Of our health care system
Started at the bottom, rather than being
Imposed from the top.