Thursday, August 06, 2009

Who Mourns for the Insurance Industry?

As Congress prepares to overhaul the U.S. health care system, I am really worried about the insurance companies. Who’s looking out for them? What about their health? All anybody in Washington cares about is the individual. Who cares about the corporation? I do. That’s who.

Right now I don’t have health insurance, but I don’t deserve it. I don’t want it. Health coverage is for the weak. It sounds French: “Le coverage de health!”

I don’t need a health care system that works. I’m an American! So we have a shorter life expectancy than most other industrialized nations---it goes along with my motto: “Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse…riddled with cancer.”

This health care overhaul really scares me. I’m scared. I’m scared that a doctor will be making medical decisions about my treatment instead of an insurance company. That’s socialism!

You know what really scares me? Do you know what gives me nightmares that keep me from sleeping? Worrying that Congress will have to use whatever coverage is approved for voters instead of that great private option they have now. The public option is for the public. If it was for Congress, it’d be called “the Congress option.”

Members of Congress deserve better coverage than the people who vote for them. They can’t reform health care if they’re sick, or if their coverage gets a socialist disease. It’d be un-American.

There’s nothing wrong with our health care system. It’s like my doctor said when I was still insured and went in for my annual physical: “What are you doing here? I just saw you last year.”

A lot of people think that the system we have now can’t be saved. They say that greed is a pre-existing condition. That’s a lot of left wing socialist propaganda! They don’t care about the insurance companies. But you know who does care? James Tripp, that’s who.

But I’m just one guy. I wish there was some group that could represent the insurance industry. And what about the poor pharmaceutical industry? They’re under a lot of stress lately. They’ve started to take their own drugs!

I just wish someone could speak for them. I say let it be James Tripp!

Wherever there’s a fight, so sick people can be denied coverage, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a politician who wants to shorten the length of a protected patent to create a generic drug to save lives, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way any government plan denies the reproductive rights of women. I’ll be in the way any final legislation will make it illegal to use the bargaining power of any government plan to negotiate lower drug prices.

And when people try growing marijuana for medicinal uses, I’ll be there! I’ll be in the way bullies yell at old people to scare them. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when town hall meetings get interrupted by victims of a diminishing gene pool. Wherever there’s anybody fighting a denial of coverage, I’ll be there! And when people are dying because they have no health insurance, I’ll be there too!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"The DAMage Report" - July 13, 2009

Here's yesterday's show with me, Jeremy Beth Michaels, Lora Somoza and host Johnny Dam:

The DAMage Report with guest James Tripp

Monday, July 06, 2009

Robert S. McNamara: 1916-2009

When I was the News Director for WMVY FM on Martha’s Vineyard, I had occasion to interview Robert McNamara about a particular story.

I believe it was the summer of 1985, although I may be wrong. It could have been the summer of 1986. I am no longer a reporter and so I am no longer under any obligation to check the facts. It’s not really important to the story.

I do know that it was summer. I do know that Robert McNamara kept a boat docked in Vineyard Haven Harbor.

On this particular occasion my program director came to me and said, “Some people are saying that Robert McNamara’s boat is sticking out into the traffic lane.”

“Some people?” I said.

“Some people.” he said.

“What people?”

“Some people.”

I did not know who some people were, but clearly they were some people. They were saying that Robert McNamara’s boat was sticking out into the lane of traffic.

Martha’s Vineyard is an island. Although they had an airport, most people came onto the island on ferries that docked in Vineyard Haven. Some people were saying that Robert McNamara’s boat was making it difficult for the ferries to dock. It may still be that way today. Somebody else will have to check on that.

Then my program director told me I should call Robert McNamara and ask him about the charges. I inquired if he had McNamara’s number. He said, “No,” but some people he knew might have it.

Sure enough, some people did have his number and I gave him a ring. I don’t know what kind of boat he had, but it must have been a big one, the kind that some people will just never have, the kind that sticks out into lanes of traffic.

I don’t remember exactly how our conversation went, but it went something like this:

“Mr. McNamara, my name is James Tripp and I’m the News Director for WMVY. I’d like to ask you about where you dock your boat.”

“Oh, that again?” he said or something like it.

“Can I record this interview for broadcast?”

I don’t remember exactly what he said, but the general tone was, “You’re darn right you can!” Clearly, here was a man who wanted to get out his side of the story.

I said, “Some people are saying that your boat is sticking out into the lane of traffic, making it particularly hard for the ferries to dock.”

“Some people?” he said.

“Some people.” I said.

“What people?”

“Some people.”

“Well, that’s a lot of horse hockey,” he said, or something like that or not like that at all. He then went on to defend his boat slip. He outlined the history of his boat in that slip with a passion I’m sure he brought to his study of the history between China and Vietnam. By the time he was done he had me thinking, “Mmm…maybe some people are wrong.” Of course, maybe they were right. On any occasion, I had my sound bite. Thank-you, Mr. McNamara.

Perhaps I should have asked him if his boat was sticking out too far into the Gulf of Tonkin, but that was another story, not as important as this particular one.

To this day I’m not sure what kind of a boat he had. I was never invited onboard.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"The Damage Report" - June 15, 2009

Here's yesterday's show with me, Bill Freiberger, Lawrence Ziese and host Johnny Dam:

The DAMage Report with guest James Tripp

Friday, May 01, 2009

James Tripp - "Live at the Cafe Muse"


Recorded April 1, 2009 at the Cafe Muse in Los Angeles, CA as part of "Comedy Nation This Week." © by James Tripp

There is a glitch about five minutes in and some of the words are garbled. This is what is said: "Buy that book and turn it into a movie."

"The DAMage Report" - April 30, 2009

Here's yesterday's show with me, John C. McDonnell , January Thomas and host Johnny Dam:

The DAMage Report with guest James Tripp

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"The Free Speech Show" - Green Capitalism: Is the Consumer Society Sustainable?

James Tripp, Avi Liberman, Rhonda DeFelice, Johnny Dam and host Bill Bronner discuss "Green Capitalism: Is the Consumer Society Sustainable?" Filmed April 28, 2009 under a SAG Internet Program Performer Contract.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"The DAMage Report"

Here's my appearance on yesterday's "The DAMage Report." Congratulations to Johnny Dam for being named by "Talkers Magazine" as one of the "Frontier Fifty" of outstanding talk media webcasters! "Talker's Magazine" Frontier Fifty


The DAMage Report with guest James Tripp

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

From the Archives: 1983 Stonehill College Commencement Speech - "The Unreasonable Man"

The last time I felt like this was the first day of my freshman year. My father parked his car in the circle in front of O'Hara Hall. My hand paused next to the door handle in that moment, unsure whether I should get out, and do all which that implied, or stay in the car and go home. It would have been easy to stay in that car, and I probably would have saved a dollar or two, but I opened the door on a venture that lasted four years.

Today I find myself gripped to that same door handle. And I am older now, and I cannot stay in the car. The time has come for me to quit my father's car.

It is natural for one so young to look forward, grasping the future with an innocent hand, but I would prefer to look backward, regarding the past as I would a saged learner, as a tool to see into my own nature, and the nature of all men and women.

I came to Stonehill a bit naive. I saw truth in all things, but someone was trying to hide it from me. There was a discrepancy between what I believed to be the natural state and the actual state. There were too many rules.

George Bernard Shaw once said that "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." I became unreasonable.

I became an "angry young man," disagreeing with almost any rule that might be arbitrarily imposed on me. Rules absorb truth. Truth is freedom. I was not free.

I spent a good deal of my freshman year banging my head against the wall, running off at the mouth, expecting answers without asking questions and receiving none. In my sophomore and junior years, practical action replaced talking. Previously, I had been involved in the shadows of student government. In my second and third years at Stonehill, I ran for student government president, losing both times.

In those same two years, I saw the way the game is played, and in my youth, I tried to change it. I was seeking freedom by altaring the rules.

My senior year has come and passed quickly. I haven't been very involved in Stonehill this year. I worked in the public affairs office writing nice things about the college. I lived with eleven fellow students in Manchester House. We talked.

In my senior year at Stonehill, I left the stage of action and went back to talking. I was wrong to think that what I wanted could be won by altaring the rules.

This year has been reflective. I appreciate the value of the academic experience. It tuned me like a fine engine. I affirm the importance of a balance between the professional and personal life. I fought for that in my sophomore year. I see the rules that I have fought so hard against as self-imposed. Every man and woman is as free as he or she chooses to be. Even at Stonehill, with all of its regulations, it is possible to be free. I am free. Stonehill is the foundation upon which to base an autonomous life. All of the structures of world order are here. We can see through them and be free.

Freedom does not lie in any parent’s rule. Freedom does not lie in any institutions rule. It does not exist under any government's rule. Freedom exists under one's own rule.

Freedom is not tangible. It does not exist in a schoolbook. It is not in any government document. It is not written in any bill of rights. Freedom is truth. It comes from within. It is not granted by any outside order.

There are free men and women in America. There are free men and women in the Soviet Union. Freedom exists in third world countries. Freedom exists wherever people are strong enough to see truth and say, "I am free."

Sovereignty is not gained by changing any earthly order. All orders are the same. All governments are the same. Some may seem to give freedom, and others may seem to limit freedom, but liberty cannot be granted by any government. Governments issue their own truths and thus limit freedom. Freedom comes to those who see it. Men on death row, behind prison walls, can be free.

As we grow older, we become caricatures of ourselves. We develop a philosophy and risk drowning in it, becoming increasingly narrow-minded. Let us hope that the young model upon which we base our life is free, for if it is not, we become prisoners in a deliberate world of imposed order which we allow to rule our sacred lives. We live in a time when we must be increasingly willing to take control. Our leadership has driven us to an age of destruction. We can die at the touch of a button.

Today I am leaving this campus. I may never return, although I probably will. I cannot leave what we lived here. I may never see things as clearly as when I saw things here. I will walk away, I will abandon my father's car, thanking him for driving me this far, and I will never forget what I saw here.

I leave Stonehill with a keener understanding of truth. I lost my innocence, and I regained it here. I still see the way I always do and now I know the rules.
Buy The Hierophant:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wag the Dog II

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. OUTSIDE DOUG ALLEN’S OFFICE - DAY

DOUG ALLEN is our hero. He’s the Chief Negotiator for the most powerful actor’s union, Screen Actors Guild. He’s a tough negotiator.

THE AMPTP, the villains, are afraid Doug will expose them. They will do anything to stop him.

JAMIE CROMWELL, RICHARD MASUR, NED VAUGHN, AMY BRENNEMAN, ADAM ARKIN, KEN HOWARD, AMY AQUINO, TOM HANKS, SALLY FIELD AND DANNY DEVITO, members of the “DIVIDE FOR AFTRA” coalition, huddle at the edge of Doug’s open door.

Jamie leans in to whisper in Richard’s ear.

JAMIE
Action.

RICHARD
This is it.

NED
Oakily doakily!

They enter abruptly.

INT. DOUG’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Surprised, Doug stands to greet them, extending his hand.

DOUG
Welcome, brothers and sisters!

KEN
Hit the showers!

JAMIE
Cut!

AMY AQUINO
Checking the gate.

DANNY
That's a wrap, suckers!

THE MEMBERSHIP is stunned.

FADE OUT.