Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Responsibility is so annoying

I've been reading a certain blog that belongs to a woman in New York state who makes decent art and produces thought-provoking content when she's blogging about it. Lately, though, she's been blogging about politics, which would be okay even if I disagree with her, except that she has shown in her personal life a tendency to be a high roller that just walks away when the going gets tough. And, of course, she wants government-paid health care for all.

I don't know, but I do not exactly value the opinion of someone who bought a half-million-dollar house on a variable rate loan that was impossible to keep up unless incomes constantly rose, which of course as luck would have it her income fell and the interest rate increased and now she's just walking away.

And, of course, she did the obligatory self-berating. Twice. But, she got over it really quick, pushing it out of her mind and life, vacationing here and there, buying as usual and whatever, instead of realizing that behavioral habits show either responsibility or irresponsibility.

And now, this person wants me to ignore the uncomfortable fact that we cannot afford to give everyone health care. Hmmm, why oh why do I see a parallel here?

Just today, the Obama administration finally corrected their projected deficit numbers to agree to what the CBO had asserted 6 months ago (and were attacked for it).  The administration admitted that they were $2 trillion off! TWO TRILLION off. Over the next ten years, their projected deficit of $7.1 trillion is really $9 trillion! NINE TRILLION DOLLARS.

I realize that someone who thinks that Life is bought with a credit card that has no limit would ask their fellow Americans to take on the cost of government-provided health care. Or maybe, someone who does not understand math at all. Or, someone who is just a high-roller with her own money. Or someone who just doesn't understand personal responsibility, maybe?

Did you know that just for the month of June only, we paid China over a billion dollars in interest on the money we owe them? $1.2 BILLION in INTEREST. How long can we keep that up?

Government-provided health care is a lofty and valiant goal. But the timing of doing it now is wrong, wrong, wrong. The CBO already proved it will not be paid for and will in fact add to the deficit substantially. And that smacks a big fat hole in "We cannot afford NOT to do it."

Check out U.S. Debt Clock and make sure you notice how much each household owes. Try not to freak out looking at all of that REALITY.

And when it all comes crashing down around us, who will be walking away instead of rolling up sleeves, picking up the pieces, accepting the limitations and rebuilding the old-fashioned way?

You know, having a political opinion that is different than mine does not keep me from reading and appreciating others' points of view. But reading someone show their irresponsible ass in their personal life and then expect me to play right along skeeves me out and is painful to read. And definitely does not convince me of her argument.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hillary's No Good Very Bad Days

By now, most of you have heard about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's press conference in Africa, where she called out a young African man who was more interested in what her husband thought about things than what she thinks. Just so you know, I think she blew it. But past that, she didn't blow much. My thought is, move on, nothing more to see here, aside from the lasting moral Don't Mess With the BullCow, Boys, You'll Get the Horms.

Since I read and watch news on both sides of the partisan divide, I have seen this covered in ways that have run the gamut from just-the-facts to in-depth psycho-babble. Curiously, the psycho-babble has come from the left-leaning sources. Whodathunkit? I mean, here is a perfect opportunity to rake Hillary over the coals on the Right, yet it has been mostly respectful.

MSNBC, though, takes the cake for what I call bitch-envy, I have to say. I've heard Daily Beast's Tina Brown and MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell explain that Hillary was tired, her hair was flat in the heat, her pantsuited figure frumpy for lack of working out, and even that she was negatively distracted by Bill Clinton partying in Vegas for his birthday. Wow,  I guess it is true what they say about women being women's worst enemies.

But, only once did I even hear it suggested that Hillary could have been less than cordial due to the fact that nobody would have asked a man what his wife thought and you go girl, give em hell. That came from The NY Post's Kirsten Powers, a refreshingly even-toned and unafraid voice in these here political woods. That was my take on it after watching the episode.

Still, I must confess, I should have left it at that, but it kept occurring to me that Hillary just might have been a wee little bit irked watching America reliving a deja vu gotcha moment of hers while the African trip was unfolding. And no matter how hard I tried to discard it as just more bitch-slapping, I finally decided I really think it might have played a part in her temporary loss of temper. And, furthermore, I do not classify this as bitch-slapping or bitch-envy, but maybe just an observation of human nature and dreams once dreamt.

While Hillary was over in the African continent, we were over here in the midst of health-care meltdown. The clueless moron might respond, "and, so?" Those of us old enough to know better might recall that the last brave warrior to be struck down while fighting for nationalized healthcare was....wait for it...Hillary Clinton, as First Lady, in 1993-1994. One could conclude it was the reason for the GOP takeover of Congress in the 1994 midterms.

Now, I'm no Hillary mindreader. But, it stands to reason that even if she now merely looks back on that as a memory, it's not a good one. And if she still has the fight in her to support nationalized healthcare, then seeing us disembowel the stupidly constructed Congressional healthcare bill has to be downright enraging to her, although she should be placing private anger at Pelosi and Co. and at O'Boy Wonder himself for their many mistakes in trying to pass it. I'm thinking it would be a huge understatement to be visualizing her saying "Not again!"

So, if the gossips and bitches of the world (and that includes men like WaPo weinie Dana Milbank) want some kind of psycho-babble reason d'etre, I'd tell them to look no further than the current state of the healthcare bill. I'll not mention that Other Bill who was in Vegas, even though I know in my heart I'd have been nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof...and then once Hillary gets a vacation on Martha's Vineyard after all of that travelling, hear comes another Bill, as in hurricane, to muck that up.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Harbinger of healthcare?

Listening to the news list the multitude of players who are on board with healthcare reform, you might think it foretells a lot of cooperation and sacrifice toward the common good, no?

Ya might wanna rethink that, if this unfolding news story is any indication, because it's sort of a real-life application of things to come.

Take this hospital in southwest Houston. It's part of the for-profit Hermann Hospital system, which is reputable and leading-edge and has locations all over Houston. Last week, officials announced that Hermann had entered into an agreement to sell this particular facility in the heart of super-busy southwest Houston to the Harris County Hospital District. In short, the plan is to make it a county hospital to help alleviate the horrendous overcrowding and undermanning of the much-maligned Ben Taub and LBJ county hospital facilities just south of Downtown. People with gunshot wounds report sitting and bleeding for hours before getting treatment, on a busy night. Our county taxes support these hospitals, sheriffs, and roads, and little else. Both are huge money drains. Ben Taub is where everyone ends up going who don't have insurance and arrives in an ambulance. LBJ is where all women without insurance go to deliver their babies.

Today, I read this story in the Houston Chronicle:

Proposed sale to hospital district draws firestorm
Doctors: Many staffers say they will leave facility if deal goes through

Aug. 14, 2009, 10:32PM

The majority of the Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital medical staff is unhappy about the facility's proposed sale to the Harris County Hospital District and will leave if the deal goes through, according to a number of doctors there.

The staff members, whose retention is crucial to the hospital district's hope of consummating the transaction, believe the district's plan to market the facility to private insurance patients and make it financially viable is doomed, they said Friday. They also argued it is not what their patients want.

Doctors here believe a county facility is not the place to bring private-pay patients,” said Dr. Owen Maat, a gastroenterologist with a busy practice at Memorial Hermann Southwest. “They want to go to an attractive hospital where they get a private room and are treated well. That doesn't happen at a county hospital.”

Maat said a “letter of opposition and pledged non-support” will be sent to the Harris County Commissioners Court, the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System board, and the hospital district administration and board early next week. It is being written this weekend and could be brought to medical staff members to sign Monday.

The doctor's resistance follows vocal opposition earlier this week by Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack, whose district includes Memorial Hermann Southwest, and some measure of skepticism from County Judge Ed Emmett.

The deal requires the approval of the five-member Commissioners Court.

District President and Chief Executive Officer David Lopez said Friday he'd heard a letter is in the works, but is still optimistic that Memorial Hermann Southwest doctors can be persuaded to stay. The plan is for the facility to have both private and academic doctors.

“Retaining the medical staff is our No. 1 priority,” said Lopez. “We just hope they will meet with us one on one to give us the chance to let them know who we are and how we operate and to develop a trust in us.”

Raucous forum
Reaction at Memorial Hermann Southwest has been strong since officials of both institutions announced last week that they have agreed on key elements of a sale of the medical complex at Beechnut and the Southwest Freeway, which includes a 629-bed hospital; four office buildings; and vascular, cancer, surgery and outpatient imaging centers.

Lopez said the rumored price tag of $165 million to $185 million is “in the neighborhood.”

Post-announcement meetings with employees — particularly a Tuesday night forum with 150 physicians — made the recent health care reform town halls with members of Congress “look peaceful,” said Memorial Hermann Healthcare System President and CEO Dan Wolterman.

Radack has said he has received numerous calls of concern from doctors since the proposed deal was announced.

Unknown percentage
Lopez said it's too early to know what percentage of the medical staff it would need to retain for the deal to remain feasible.

Memorial Hermann Southwest has 425 active members on its medical staff, according to a hospital spokeswoman, though one doctor estimated that 80 to 100 doctors account for about 80 percent of its business.

The spokeswoman objected to the characterization of widespread unhappiness among doctors about the deal. She described it as a vocal faction.

Tax hike needed?
Retaining the hospital's physicians and their private-insurance patients is crucial if the hospital district wants to avoid imposing a tax increase, as it has stated. Such patients help defray the cost of care to indigent patients the hospital district serves.
“If the district thinks they can do this without raising taxes, they're insane,” said Dr. Michael Kleinman, a Memorial Hermann Southwest surgeon. “It might take a while, but there's going to be an exodus of doctors from here.”

Kleinman added that “there's a reason you don't see doctor's office buildings next to Ben Taub and LBJ,” which are hospitals currently operated by the district.

No contracts
Kleinman and Maat said that even if doctors wanted to stay and bring paying patients to a new county hospital, they couldn't because the district has no managed-care contracts. They noted that such contracts typically take at least a year to put together.

Lopez responded that he doesn't see that as a problem because he thinks the district will be able to negotiate to take over Memorial Hermann Southwest's existing managing-care contracts when they expire. He said that is why he wants to meet with the doctors — to clear up confusion.

District officials already have met twice with doctors as a group. They have not met with them one on one.

The sale is scheduled to close by late November, but Lopez said the date can be extended if there are still unresolved questions.

The Chronicle's Cindy George contributed to this report.

Whoa! We don't even have legislation yet, but let's just take a moment and do what I did in my professional life for 30 years: Let's look ahead and extrapolate a bit.

Once a bill passes and the dust settles, there are going to be deals like this popping up all over. Why? Hospitals are going to want to dump their least-profitable facilities. Government entities like counties are going to feel a need to expand even more than at present. Everyone involved in care-giving is going to be figuring out where they stand in all of it, and there will be lots of moving around, lots of reorganizing.

Obama may have sent signals recently he'd be willing to drop the single-payer idea and the government insurance option, but Congress has said no such thing. Besides, when is the last time Obama told the whole truth and nothing but? {Crickets chirping...}

I had to laugh when I read this, because of all the hoopla surrounding the AMA's recent endorsement of reform. Here's ya a little known fact: only 15% of AMA's membership includes currently practicing doctors. Yes, you read that right. Who the hell make up the other 85%? That's a good research topic for another day, but the point is, maybe that endorsement ain't saying much if you expect it to mean that doctors are all in favor.

I'd say the docs in this news story represent the prevailing doctor viewpoint. Kind of like AARP's position is not the same as its members.

Oy, fasten your seatbelts...when Margot Channing said it would be a bumpy ride, she wasn't kidding!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bottom lining it

In my last post, I discussed the reasons why I object to the health care legislation that is being negotiated in Congress. Now, having gone through all that, you may think I am adamently against any kind of reform. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want something passed that is well thought out and fair to all. Even though it goes against my skeptical nature, I would love to have a single-payer system that was run efficiently and effectively.

Up until now, though, I was not convinced at all that what Congress would pass would do little more than cause a big chaotic mess. And on top of that, I was seeing people all over the nation vilified and ridiculed for voicing their freedom of speech to object to Business As Usual in D.C. That is what really ticks me off, that people cannot disagree with this administration without being called astro-turfers, racists, idiots, mobsters, and domestic terrorists. It's just not right and I would have much more respect for Obama if he would have the decency and confidence to speak out and tell his supporters to quit the name calling. Even today at his Montana town hall, though, he continues to ridicule some of the things citizens have told him.

Sticks and stones. I guess I'll have to be bigger than him. I'll have to take a higher road than the president. Que sera sera. I know I am none of those things. I'm putting it aside for now in order to focus on health care.

In the last week, though, I think the protest message is getting respect, no matter how much the messengers are being shot at. Suddenly, Obama is singing a more subdued tune. The insurance companies are going to be reformed now. I like that. The way people are getting dropped for pre-existing conditions or forgetting to disclose they had mumps at age 9 -- that practice needs to be stopped, as well as the practice of making insured people pay medical costs of uninsured people in the sneakiest way possible.

I don't mind telling you, this is why I said at the beginning of this post that I'd take a single payer system, because it's like why it's so silly to keep your green beans separate from your beets on your plate when it all goes in your stomach and mixes up. We will pay for these uninsured people (of which ThereButFor TheGrace could include me) one way or another, and I'll always be lower-middle class on the socio-economic scale, so hey, I'd rather have those making over $250K pay for them instead of me whenever I go to the emergency room. Just sayin'. Just being honest.

Now, whether you agree with me or not, one thing is not up for debate at all: when Congress gets back from August vacay, they are going to pass a bill, because the Dems have the votes to do it with or without the Repubs. So, you know what? I'm willing to get on board as long as they do one thing: put themselves and all other government employees, including the president, on the same plan. No exceptions. If they do that, then I will feel reasonably safe in trusting that whatever they come up with will be good for all of us.

As far as I know, though, they won't do that. Don't you wonder why? Don't you want to demand it? I mean, if this snake oil they're selling is soooo good, why not stand behind it? My brother says I'm onto something, and that we ought to all rise up and demand it, but he wants it for a different reason. He doesn't want anything changed, so he thinks us doing that would stop Congress dead in their tracks from doing anything, because he's willing to bet his entire savings they wouldn't agree to it.

Now, I don't agree. If they HAD to, I think they would still pass a bill. I think it would be a good bill, as in a good health care system for you and me, precisely because it would be good for THEM.

That, I fear, is the only way we are going to get anything we can use that's better than what we now have or better than nothing. It would definitely ensure it. Think about it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

As the World Slowly Turns

Summer's trudging along. We have several days of heat and sun, broken up occasionally by rain, which we had some of yesterday, I think. At this point in the season, my sleep gets all messed up no matter I do. I usually just lay down whenever I feel like it and sleep as long as I can, then get up, then lay down. I have to really force myself to do the laying down part enough, in order to get enough sleep. I do this to be able to have some waking hours in daylight. Sometime next week, if I do what I usually do, I will just finally give into my biorhythm to sleep during the day and be awake at night. The heat in the hottest part of the year makes me sleepy, and it is just cooler enough at night to make me prefer to be awake then. I usually live that way until October when it finally begins to cool down a few degrees where you feel it.


Now, onto politics, which is also a slowly turning world. But, recently, the turn has been away from Obama and the Dem Congressional leadership. Were I to feign anything but relief and a little pleasure, you know I'd be lying.

I hadn't posted much lately because I'd frankly been so upset at what Washington DC's been concocting that I finally just gave it to God. My thinking was, if I am wrong in my beliefs about all this, it will appear to me in time. And vice versa if I am right. Sometimes you just have to sit back and let things develop.

Part of why I was so upset was how Obama and the Dems were trying to smear people (like me) who had attended Tea Parties. And again when people began attending Town Halls around the country. I cannot begin to describe how upset this made me, because you see, I know without a doubt these people are REAL. The anger is REAL.

So, the last week or so has been quite a nice change for me to see as finally, the other side has to admit that there is grassroots opposition. And, I think it's opposition to more than just the Health Care bills being considered in Congress -- 600+pages in the Senate and 1000+ in the House.

I'm actually open to health care reform, but not what this Congress is proposing. And I think most of those who oppose it feel the same way. It's like, why not reform the current system, why completely replace it? People are beginning to realize that tort reform is not even being discussed or negotiated, and tort reform is a huge part of increased costs. Also, we need to re-teach American business to be regulated again, and there has been zero attempt to try that first. With proper laws and enforcement, the insurance companies can be made to treat us fairly and can be made to create pools that insure those who've been previously uninsurable as well as those who are currently uninsured. Those two things would be well worth trying first.

Why am I against the current proposals?

* I am against the universal computerized records. For one thing, it's been discovered that in the legislation is a provision that lets the government see into your bank account! Hello, why the hell is that there? And for another thing, every single example Obama cites for why this is needed leaves me unconvinced. Like, this is needed to be able to send your test results taken with one doctor to another doctor or specialist that you may need to go to next, in order to eradicate duplicates. Well, call me crazy, but what the heck is wrong with ME doing that, with ME owning my own damn records? Hello, again.

* Also buried in the legislation is a requirement that ERISA companies (those companies big enough to be required to be covered by the ERISA fairness rules, in other words, any large national or international company) must phase out their insurance covereage of employees, thereby forcing these employees to join the government option. Oh, yeah, that really supports Obama's assertion that if ya like the insurance you've got, you can keep it. My husband's employer is one of the world's largest and so this will affect us.

* During the campaign, Obama told us that if we wanted to know what he believes, to look at who advises him. Well, at least 3 of his health care advisors believe in a theory called Complete Lives. This is the basis for the Death Panel fears, because under Complete Lives, each person needing health care is scored by how valuable their remaining life is. One teenager is worth 14 senior citizens. And a teen is more valuable than a one-year-old because society has not invested schooling dollars on the baby but has on the teen. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to think how this could be applied to who gets what care and how much under socialized medicine. And even if it isn't done that way at first, what happens when we get in a financial bind worse than now and have to make hard decisions about money, and by that time everyone is in the single-payer government plan? I do not think it is silly or alarmist at all to worry about these things. In fact, I think it is naiive and foolish not to.

*There's no lead-in time to beef up the current inventory of doctors in this country, and that is a recipe for disaster if we were to implement an overhaul instead of reform. Just talk to any senior citizen on Medicare. They will tell you how hard it is to find a doctor who will treat them because Medicare pays less than private insurance (and because of the doctor shortage).

*I'm also generally opposed to a system replacement because we are the quality standard in the world as far as medical procedures. People in other countries with socialized care come to us if they can afford and pay to have their lives saved. My concern is, if we change, where do we go if we are in need of a faster option or another option if we can afford it?

* I do not believe the current proposal will save one cent. In fact, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) confirmed this, basically stating that the costs under the current proposals will skyrocket. Okay, why change anything then and just continue to pay the inflation from year to year? Here's the reason they are insisting on this overhaul: to insure those 10 to 40 million (still no creditable evidence as to exactly how many). I'm not in favor of it. Sorry. Figure out some other way to insure these folks that is more direct. It can be done. Hell, I could come with something if I had to, I guarantee.

* I think if Congress thinks their legislation is good for the people, then they need to require that it applies to them, too. No loopholes. We all should demand this. They are not royalty. They are "the people", too.

* There is nothing in either house's bills that allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. To me, that is another tell-tale sign that Obama is not sincere in his assertion that we can keep our present insurance. When I watch the tape of an interview he did a while back where he explains that a move to single-payer would have to be done without eliminating private insurers...at first, right away, but would have to be done gradually, I believe him even less.

Anyway, put this all together and it sours the stomach. It makes a cumulative effect that reflects negatively on Obama, and we are seeing it in his falling approval ratings. People didn't like the bailouts, the stimuluses, and all of the dramas about CEO planes and bonuses, forgotten campaign promises about transparency that would have given citizens more power to be informed, and the fact that Obama is in constant campaign mode and has not switched to a governing mode. He still cannot communicate in specifics, only generalities. At some point, a mature grown-up statesman transitions, and I believe that many people are beginning to see these faults in him.

And then, as one woman at a Town Hall put it, "I'm sick of being lied to and lied about." I couldn't have put it any better.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Don't We Forget About You...

Writer / Director John Hughes,

Imagine a contemporary world or recent past without these movies:
The Breakfast Club
Ferris Buellar's Day Off
Vacation (et al)
Home Alone (et al)
Pretty in Pink
Sixteen Candles
Weird Science
Mr. Mom
Some Kind of Wonderful
Uncle Buck
The talented and expressive Hughes wrote and/or directed all of these. Drink in that list. He was one awesome filmmaker.
Rest in Peace, Sir.
...just catching up here, guys. I've been immersed in playing with paper and real life. I've been trying real hard to sit back these last weeks and either let Obama 's programs sweep in or drop to the ground without my commentary.

Because of that, I left my thoughts on Gatesgate go unblogged. I've actually been conflicted over it. I wonder if Obama was ever asked if "cops acted stupidly" meant in a racial way or an abuse way, because if he meant it in an abuse way, then I agree. Having said that though, no one I heard brought up that this is also a very local and long-time ongoing twit-fest between Boston p.d. and Hah-vahd inhabitants. It was going on when Obama was there, which to me is why he couldn't resist. It was local to him.

Hey, I always try to give him his due, believe it or not.

On to something I wrote about recently, I'd expressed the sad belief that we've never been more partisan. Every day brings added confirmation and heightening of that. All around me, I see people doing one of 2 things: getting angry or putting their heads in the sand.

All of this attack on the town hall protesters and linking them in total to those "birthers' is total nonsense. Feels like deja-vu all over again. Remember how mad I got after Tea-Party-ing? Same attack and I knew then those were folks same as me. Damn, where's my paycheck, then?!

This president is stuck in campaign mode and cannot transition to governing. That's okay and dandy with his supporters, so therein lies the problem, because he only talks to his supporters. He still has not spoken Word One to folks like me.

The story out yesterday about the new office of disinformation, or as I've begun saying, the Snitch Czar, just upsets me to the point that I'm thinking I will just go back to watching the parade from the sidelines. There's finally a downward trajectory in his poll numbers. The unions are going to send members to the meetings now, so there is the possibility for violence. It'll be like John and Kate before they announced the divorce, the wreck on the side of the highway we can't take our eyes off of.

Things are building up and the pimple's gonna pop, one way or another. Spike Lee oughta film it.

Cell phone videos changing the landscape of citizenship. Without them, would the protesters even have been known about?

It is one thing refreshing to see Bill and Hillary Clinton working so well and seamlessly together, for our country, doing it right, knowing what to do even where things are not 100%. Getting results. For what it's worth, I have heard people in my life the last few weeks lament a what-if over her, and I'm talking men who used to think of her like Liberals think of Palin. Never thought I'd see that. I manage a chuckle most of the time. I try to enjoy a little toldyaso, not too much.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

More than it seems

I'm sitting here watching High Noon for about the 40th time. Listening to the opening theme song, sung by John Ritter's daddy, Tex Ritter. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin, he croons lazily, in a voice that sounds eerily just like Robert Mitchum's.

I'm shamelessly getting my Man-Hunk fix on Marshall Will Kane, aka Mr. Gary Cooper, who, at a weary age 50 in the movie, with a beat-up body full of hip, back and stomach ulcer pain, still managed to be man enough for Grace Kelly's Amy and give an absolutely hypnotizing and sympathetic performance that won him a second Oscar for Best Actor in 1952. Sadly, he would not live another decade. (The above photo is Cooper in his twenties at the start of his career, and is my current favorite photo of him. Below, is a still from the movie.)

The plot: On the day he gets married and hangs up his badge, lawman Will Kane is told that a man he sent to prison years before, Frank Miller, is returning on the noon train to exact his revenge. Having initially decided to leave with his new Quaker wife, Amy, Will decides he must go back and face Miller. However, when he seeks the help of the townspeople he has protected for so long, they turn their backs on him. It seems Kane may have to face Miller alone, as well as the rest of Miller's gang, who are waiting for him at the station...

Every time I watch High Noon, and truthfully I've seen it about a dozen times, I willingly forget that I know the outcome and sit riveted for every minute of it. I scream at Amy for most of it, until she comes around and stands by her man. I writhe in disgust at how the townspeople treat their hero and protector. It's a hard movie to watch if you're into its premise.

Along the way I enjoy every drop of the wonderful supporting performance given by the great Mexican actress Katy Jurado. She literally drips sex appeal, but it is through her that Amy finds her own truth, and it is through Jurado's gorgeous almond-shaped eyes that we see what is really important to know.

You may watch it and think, okay, it's a good western and filmed in real time. But what's all the big deal? The big deal is, it's more than a western, it's an allegory for (the then) current times.

High Noon was released in 1952 at the height of the Red Scare and McCarthy Congressional hearings. According the screenwriter who was blacklisted after writing it and before it was filmed, he meant to draw parallels between Will Kane and those who were blacklisted, whose friends disappeared when they were needed most, who feared standing up because they might lose what they had. I do not know how proveable this is or if I even believe it, but aside from being a fabulous classic, it also holds a certain status in the folklore of Tinsel Town.

Regular readers of this blog will know that if women get hard-ons, Cooper -- at any age -- gives me one every time I look into his eyes. And, Heaven help me if he smiles. (Below, Coop with the one and only Shirley Temple.)