VERSE / Mariann G. Wizard : Pirates of Health-Care Reform

Corporate Pirate. Image from jacobdivett.

Pirates of Health-Care Reform

Of all the old pirates of story and song,
Blackbeard; and Bluebeard; John Silver, called “Long”;
each had his own favorite way to do wrong!

Some liked to pillage, and some liked to loot,
some preferred swordplay, and some liked to shoot,
and some liked a gangplank for giving the boot!

But the one thing that all of them liked very best
was opening a just-grabbed treasure chest,
right in front of an unwilling guest!

“Was these your fine jools, dear?” they’d pleasantly coo,
“and was these your doubloons? Well, that will not do!”
And they’d take for themselves everything nice or new.

But at least when they did this, they didn’t pretend
it was for your own good, but their larcenous ends,
upon which such thievery clearly depends!

Our modern day pirates are much more discreet,
with old school ties and nicely-shod feet,
and business arrangements so tidy and neat.

They’ve elected themselves to the highest posts,
bought men with money, or blackmailed their hosts;
poisoned the wells and turned us into ghosts.

There’s never a sign of a saber or gun,
just fine-printed contracts and thefts quietly done,
so smooth that the robbers do not even run!

Just the money, that’s all, runs away in the night
to foreign bank fortresses tucked out of sight,
in places where Empire still flexes its might.

The factories left, and all the real jobs
turned into vast slave ships, filled with poor slobs
who don’t even know how bad they’ve been robbed.

And we, poor blighters, left holding the bag,
empty as a promise, wrapped in a flag,
have little left over but a real stone drag!

Now they’ve passed a new law for our pirate lords:
we’re to empty our wallets or face down their swords,
in the form of new taxes and sugar-pill words.

Here’s a thought for the rascals that pillage and steal:
with our dignity may go our bleeding-heart zeal!
We may soon see you lashed to the old breaking wheel!

Let’s bring back the gallows, the rack, and the whip!
Catch these corporate pirates and let the cat rip!
Don’t pay the ransom, you’re just being clipped!

Mariann G. Wizard
27 March 2010

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10 Responses to VERSE / Mariann G. Wizard : Pirates of Health-Care Reform

  1. Richard says:

    Your best one yet!!! Gotta send this one around.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mariann you say it so well!
    There were buccaneers, then buckaroos.They were independent warrior-thieves, and when they had a social conciseness perhaps guerrillas; bur mostly (in my opinion)they were thieves.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great fun, Mariann! Way to storm the bastards, er, the Bastille! Amazing how accurate every line is. Wonderful piece.

    – L.P.

  4. So its the corporate pirates that are getting rich eh? Hmmm. To quote master Yoda, log you should remove from your eye poetess.

    Here is something with less rhyming, but easy to follow none the less.
    A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life objections to the bill to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the “Stupak 11” released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $3.4 billion–an average of $314 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.*

    That is a 20x increase from last years earmark requests by Stupak. For a Trillion dollar bill, whats a few billion here and there for useful lawmakers? Just think how big the bribes would have been if Obummer could have pushed through Single Payer. I cant see why anyone would think the financial forecasts for this law are anything but on the up and up. Can you?

  5. Mariann says:

    Extremist, amigo — who do you think the earmarks are for if not corporate interests?

    Of the four largest insurance companies in the US, three reported 2009 profits of 52% are more. As far as I can tell, all of the “costs” of the health care mandate as passed are coming out of forced insurance purchases and higher rates. Single payer would have been a totally different paradigm. I call the monstrosity that passed “Single industry payee”!

    As for how MUCH it will cost, who can tell? That’s all a lot of nonsense; the dollar is still tanking worldwide, and cost over-runs have become a way of life in every field of endeavor here. Trillions, bazillions, gadzillions; it’s more than Uncle Scrooge has in all of his Money Bins put together, and it’s all based on robbing the poor to give to the rich.

    Not poor yet? Patience, it’s coming.

    Thanks, all, for kind words on my little verses; I am trying to live up to the original function of poetry in the world as a carrier of popular news, information, outrage, and mockery.

  6. Deva says:

    I always like to read what you write. You are a sincere and thoughtful artist of the language medium. Write on!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Go to and send some emails demanding congress fix the prescription drug benefit now and pass a strong public option now, or conservative funders will lose your business and money.

    Spread the word. If only you do this, the effort will fail.

  8. Anonymous says:

    And the ship, the black freighter
    runs a flag up its masthead
    and a cheer rings the air

  9. Mariann says:

    “Pirate Jenny”, Nine Simone does a great version.

    “I’m counting your heads as I’m making your beds…”

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