"But he rid us of Gypsies"
Eugeny Schwarz, "The Dragon".
Lancelot. What other good deeds did your dragon accomplish?
Charlemagne. He rid us of gypsies.
Lancelot. But gypsies are very sweet people.
Charlemagne. What! I'm speechless! I admit, I've never seen a single gypsy in my life. But even in elementary school they taught us that these are horrible people.
Lancelot. Why is that?
Charlemagne. They are vagrants by nature. It's in their blood. They are an enemy of any organized state -- or they long would have settled down, instead of drifting here and there. Their songs are without courage, and their ideas are destructive. They steal children. They sneak everywhere. Now we have completely cleansed ourselves of them, but as recently as a hundred years ago any brunette had to prove he did not have gypsy blood in him.
Lancelot. And who told you all that about gypsies?
Charlemagne. Our dragon, of course. Gypsies would challenge him blatantly in the first years of his rule.
Lancelot. Now there's a nice, impatient people.
Charlemagne. Don't. Please don't say that. Lancelot. That dragon of yours, what does he eat?
Charlemagne. Our town delivers a thousand cows, two thousand sheep, five thousand chickens and eighty pounds of salt a month. In summer and fall, there's also ten acres of lettuce, asparagus and cauliflower added to that.
Lancelot. He's eating you around!
Charlemagne. Not at all! We're not complaining. How else can it be? As long as he's here, no other dragons would dare touch us.
And now, after this prelude, I have something else for you to read: the Republican Health "Bill of Rights for Seniors".
In a rare show of common touch, the GOP decided to show how it stands for the ordinary Joe Sixpense from Main Street by protecting him from all kinds of dangers lurking in this uncertain world - in the beleivers' imagination: "The six principles outlined Monday by the Republican National Committee include protecting Medicare, prohibiting rationing of health care based on age and making sure government doesn't get between seniors and their doctor".
Never mind that "The Obama administration has insisted repeatedly that it doesn't want to shrink Medicare benefits, ration care or reduce the role of doctors." The GOP is just striking a preemptive blow, to protect us, not from what is actually being proposed, but from what COULD be proposed in theory. And the American people agree: "But polls have shown that Americans, and older Americans in particular, still have significant concerns about Democratic health care proposals."
""Under the Democrats' plan, senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have their treatment options reduced or rationed," RNC Chairman Michael Steele wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post outlining the "bill of rights.""
Thanks, Mr. Steele. We didn't know that you felt so passinate about Medicare. Last time we checked, you were adamantly against any "Socialism" - so much against , in fact, that we felt that any potential danger to Medicare would be from YOU. But of course, a volatile politician has to change with the time. Thus in 1944 every clever standartenfuhrer would become the best friend of the Jews and might even go as far as to save a few of them.
But where standartenfuhrers would save their archenemies-turned-friends from a real danger, Mr. Steele has been careful to apportion his unlikely charity with care. Indeed, while carefully bypassing the existing issues with healthcare, his proposal would save the senior citizens from every nonexistent danger that one might conjure up. Take death panels, for instance. "The GOP principles also include preventing government from "interfering with end-of-life care discussions."
Upon a closer look, these "end-of-life care discussions" refer to a provision in a bill by House Democrats that would allow Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling sessions about living wills and other issues. One understands the GOP's desire to leave these counseling sessions with the private industry, but Mr. Steele's passinate defense of the counseling business seems premature in view of the fact that "after critics seized on the provision and charged it could lead to "death panels" and euthanasia, administration officials said it would not likely be included in any final bill."