March 24th, 2010

“Give me liberty or give me social justice” revisited

Back in December I wrote an article for PJ about the HCR battle, contrasting the two sides as a fight between those who value liberty and those who prefer “social justice.”

I still see it that way. As the fight continues now that the bill has passed, the outcome will still depend on how many Americans value liberty over “social justice” (if you don’t know what I’m referring to by that term, follow the link and read the piece).

I used to think there were more of the former than the latter in this country. But now I wonder, I truly do. It’s been a long time since we’ve taught our children what liberty is, how to protect it, how easy it is to lose it, and what happens to people when they do. We have raised an entire generation without that knowledge; we have stopped transferring the most basic values of our own country to them.

When that happens, how can we continue to protect ourselves from encroachments on liberty? It’s no accident that Obama’s support was extremely heavy among the young. They may learn from personal experience what it means to lose liberty—or they may not care, having never understood in the first place.

There are other issues than liberty or social justice with HCR, of course, and they are purely economic. But those will probably take quite some time to develop. In the meantime, will the aroused American public go back to sleep, or be continually distracted by new crises and new bills to ponder—and perhaps to fear?

170 Responses to ““Give me liberty or give me social justice” revisited”

  1. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    If we really did get social justice in exchange for our liberty, even I might be in favor of it. The problem is, the exchange rate is terrible. We do get some social justice, mostly front loaded before the unintended consequences take effect. The repeated experience of diverse cultures is that long-term, we get neither. We get expanding bureaucratism with social justice accessories.

  2. roc scssrs Says:

    I just copied this yesterday, from NRO, I think: “Morality is personal. There is no such thing as a collective conscience, collective kindness, collective gentleness, collective freedom. To talk of social justice, social responsibility, a new world order, may be easy and make us feel good, but it does not absolve each of us from personal responsibility. We don’t carry out our moral commitment by taking up a public stance on these things, but only by choosing to do something about them ourselves. You can’t delegate personal morality to your country. You are your country.” Words of Margaret Thatcher.

  3. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Obama got the youth vote because the young valued sexiness over everything else. It is not that they don’t value liberty, it’s just there had never been a popular primetime TV show aimed a teenagers that stressed its importance or how to recognize threats to it.

  4. Scott Says:

    I believe freedom loving Americans accepted social security and medicare because they were truly univeral in nature. Every single worker paid into them and, if they managed to avoid the grim reaper long enough, every single worker would enjoy the benefits. It doesn’t matter if you are as rich as Warren Buffett, you are still eligible for the benefits because you paid into them during your entire working life. I presume that’s why freedom loving Americans accepted them and viewed them as equitable and just.

    This new healthcare plan is the first federal social welfare program based purely on the socialist principle of wealth transfer. It is funded entirely by transferring resources from certain classes of people to another. Half of it is funded by retirees who will see their medicare benefits slashed. People like my 75 year old mother, who has paid into medicare every year since 1965 until she retired 3 years ago, will now see her benefits slashed. Is it fair and just that she paid into the system for 42 years but now her benefits will be taken away and given to whoever the socialsts think deserve it more? The other half of the program is funded by confiscating from the most productive members of society and, again, giving it to the socialists preferred class.

    HCR should never be compared to social security and medicare. HCR is legal theft and confiscation of wealth from certain classes that is then redistributed to whoever the socialists think deserve it more. It is horrible public policy because by it’s design it is structured to instill social hostility between classes.

    This is not social justice. It is legal theft.

  5. Mr. Frank Says:

    As we all know, “social justice” is a euphemism for forced economic equality. It is a demand for equal results which are to be achieved via income and wealth redistribution. Faced with a choice of a system which provides excellent medical care for 75% of the population and minimal care for 25% or a system which provides minimal care for all, the progressive chooses the latter (think Cuba).

    The fatal flaw in a system of income and wealth distribution is the assumption of a static model where the people getting ripped off will continue to produce income at the same level indefinitely.

    The people who push this approach have already bankrupted California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and a host of other states. By comparison, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and some other conservative states will have a painful but balanced budget. Successful business and professional people are leaving the high tax big spending states in droves creating more debt and unemployment.

    It is no accident that countries like North Korea, the former East Germany, and Cuba have a police state which does not allow people to leave. Equality is not the natural state of human beings and groups. Some people are more athletic or musical than others. Some are better looking. Some are smarter. Some work harder. Some are luckier. It takes a police state to force equality.

    My concern is that a shift to national socialism would give one no where to run. I live in the deep south and one of my neighbors is a former Canadian physician. My daughter in a nearby state has a former Canadian OB/GYN who was a U.S. medical school professor.

    If the left takes over our national government, moving to Texas won’t do much good. The U.S. is the last bastion of liberty. States’ rights are an important part of that.

  6. Julia NYC Says:

    The young might wake up because they’re gonna have a hard time finding work with this big bloated debt ridden morass we’re in.

  7. Occam's Beard Says:

    We need to stop using the term “social justice” – the term “justice” needs no modifier.

    Prepending apparently harmless adjectives to terms and then applying the result as a euphemism the exact opposite of the unmodified term is a classic leftist ploy. In the same way that “industrial democracy” means “union dictatorship,” “social justice” means “government-applied injustice to the industrious.” It refers to punishing the prudent and intelligent, and rewarding the imprudent and stupid – in return for their support, of course.

  8. JR Dogman Says:

    Re “In the meantime, will the aroused American public go back to sleep … ?”

    Got me. I can promise you one thing, however, if they do, they’ll wake up when they realize they’re broke.

    Bankrupt governments can’t write Social Security checks or pay medical bills, because they have no money.

    No money = no stuff.

    The path we are on is unsustainable. Either we are going to stay on it, and turn into a broken-down nation in permanent decline, or we’ll turn onto a new path, and pull ourselves back up via total free market reform of the welfare state.

    I think we’ll go with the second option.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The rationale supporting entitlement programs is social justice.

    Social justice’s goal of equality of outcome, ensures its collapse. Europe, with the added advantage of American subsidization of its defense, is demonstrating that ‘social justice’ leads to societal collapse. Europe is, in the end of the beginning, of it as we speak. Even without a defense budget of any consequence to fund, they can’t make it work.

    As Ayn Rand demonstrated, once the ‘moochers’ demands overwhelm the producers output, any socialistic system will collapse of its own entitlements.

    In one form or another, ALL of our economic problems are due to the entitlement mentality and the programs that reflect that mentality.

    Obama is implementing, intentionally or not, the economic collapse of the US. He did not invent entitlements but he is intentionally using them to create new levels of unsustainable entitlements.

    Because those entitlements are mathematically unsustainable, the entitlement infrastructure given birth by FDR, extended by LBJ and finished by BHO in a Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to the absurd”) of excess shall collapse.

    Thus, it cannot last and when it collapses, upon whom shall the responsibility be placed?

  10. Scottie Says:

    If the state lawsuits against Obamacare fails, I wonder if we could then get those same states to start the ball rolling on a new Amendment to the Constitution?

    Namely, something along the lines of

    “Amendment XXVIII – Congress shall make no law except in connection with the specific enumerated powers listed under Article I of the Constitution of the United States, and all laws intended to address the general welfare clause shall be specifically based upon the enumerated powers contained therein. No part of this amendment shall be construed to empower Congress to pass an individual mandate.”

    Not saying it’s a foregone conclusion that we’ll HAVE to go this route, just saying we need to keep our eyes on all options.

    Hell, even if the lawsuits succeed and the SCOTUS strikes down Obamacare, this kind of amendment would still be worthwhile IMO as it would preempt Congressional stupidity in the future – and would do wonders for the national budget/deficit/debt!

  11. Conrad Says:

    I definitely think the American people, to the extent they actually want “social justice,” haven’t really priced in the unbearable economic costs of attaining it. Social Security and even Medicare didn’t carry represent nearly the same degree of burden when they were enacted due to demographics and the lower costs of health care at that time.

    IOW, I’m not sure that it matters whether Americans really opt for “social justice” over liberty because we won’t be able to afford it within a couple years.

  12. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Question, I believe we have the option, although never used, of passing an amendment to the constitution by a convention. Who would call such a convention? It sounds like the states are so angry, and do listen to their publics, that such a convention could pass a new amendment for the first time and the Dem congress and O be damned.

    Also Occam, did you notice when the lefties say “people” they mean self-anointed elites leading their sheeple.

  13. Scott Says:

    I just watched this must see CNBC video at Breitbart.tv. I urge everyone to watch it.

    “Does Health Care Law Signal U.S. Empire Decline?”

    http://www.breitbart.tv/does-health-care-law-signal-u-s-empire-decline/

  14. SteveH Says:

    We know there are the occassional odd people who spend enough time in prison till they don’t want to leave. But it has to be a miniscule number. So the vast majority of people, no matter what age, race or political affiliation know how wonderful liberty is.

    So people in general love liberty. The problem is too many have no concept of it being something that requires their attention and concern. I don’t think most have any idea that there are people in the world that would take their liberty and harness it simply for the control of a man’s labor toward their own monetary gain. Well there are. And they are called progressives. And theyare basically in charge of the United States govenment right now.

    They’ll wake up alright. The question is will it be too late.

  15. Conrad Says:

    As for the broader question of whether Americans truly appreciate the risk they run of losing their liberty, I think a major factor in this is that school kids are only conditioned to recognize tyranny when it comes in certain stereotypical forms.

    One form is overt racial/ethnic discrimination. Mostly this refers to slavery, but it also encompasses brutality against American Indians and the Holocaust. In high school, some students may learn this lesson through the examples of Jim Crow or Apartheid.

    The other form (overlapping the Holocaust, above) is the uniformed Nazi/Stalinist police state, wherein a tyrannical government essentially announces its complete abandonment of civil liberties by outfittng all the authorities in outrageous military costumes and silly moustaches.

    Kids may be “taught” something about their freedoms, but the only examples of a loss of freedom ever presented to them are in one of the historical episodes mentioned above.

    The problem, of course, is that if and when (like, um, now) when freedom is being sucked out of society in a series of small sips, by cool-looking guys and women in nice clothes who make a big point of how non-racist they are, nobody under 40 is capable of recognizing what is happening as a form of tyranny.

    Significantly, we don’t teach civics per se. This means kids don’t learn about freedom and what it takes to preserve it as concepts, they only see examples of the denial of freedom or justice as represented in certain historical vignettes. This means the student can recognize, for example, racial discrimination, but only according to the historical pattern. The story of American Blacks, for example, is presented in schools is an endless saga of victimhood at the hands of white oppressors. The student learns that racial discrimination means slave ships and the Ku Klux Klan, and internalizes that, when it comes to racial prejudice, blacks are the good guys and whites are the bad guys. Once that happens, it becomes very difficult to open up minds to the notion, however plain to the rest of us, that affirmative action quotas constitute a form of racial discrimination. It simply makes no visceral sense.

    Ditto for something like environmental regulation: Kids learn in school that private development is bad, and “progress” in this area, as in so many others, means giving the government control over what private interests can do with their wealth. Never do they get around to teaching that property rights are the foundation of freedom, and what that means in terms of the desireability of government economic regulation.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think anything is going to change dramatically in this regard unless and until the present generation of Americans actually experience the eventually disasterous consequences of the left’s programs and policies. As alluded to above, I fear that day is coming soon, in the form of some kind of major economic collapse. At that point, I do think Americans are perceptive enough to realize, “gee, maybe we CAN’T just legislate away everything we think we don’t like about free market capitalism, and yet still have food, electricity, and cellphones. Maybe allowing that nice family from Mexico, ‘victims’ though they are, to feed at the public trough without paying taxes or otherwise contributing to the economy, ISN’T worth my not having gasoline to put in the car.”

    Or maybe not. We’ll see.

  16. SteveH Says:

    Scott, the video is chilling. Its scary as hell to consider this great ship called America may very well sink, while politicians are like little children on a playground whining about unfairness of who has more toys. You couldn’t make this sickness thats overtaking grown people up.

  17. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Yes, neo, the young are among those who don’t understand what’s at stake and what is happening. For some examples watch this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uajSiDoolA&feature=player_embedded

    The old timer in the video thinks like us, but the young people – not so much.

  18. Loyal Achates Says:

    You know what? I’m one of the evil young people you’ve been talking about, and a leftist, and a supporter of health care reform. I do think it didn’t go far enough in extending universal coverage but I am willing to accept it as a step forward.

    You know what else? I was born with a pre-existing condition – specifically, Tetralogy of Fallot. no insurance company in America will cover me, and my cardiologist tells me I’m going to need regular surgeries just to stay alive.

    Would I be ‘free’ in a country where I was simply left to die because I couldn’t, at the age of 24, scrape together the $100,000 needed for the operation and subsequent hospital stay? You tell me.

  19. betsybounds Says:

    I just watched the spot on Fox News covering Republican amendments and debate in the Senate, and I must say I am totally dismayed. Once again, the Republicans are turning into something that strikes me as resembling self-parody. I mean, there are grand issues at stake, and there aren’t many of them. Why are they trivializing this matter by proposing amendments on matters such as–wait for it–denying Viagra to sex offenders? WTF is up with that? I simply don’t understand them. The future of our free society and democratic republic is at stake, and in some sense at least some of them seem to understand that, and yet they are reducing themselves to looking–again–like twits. Well they have lots of experience doing this stuff, so they’re pretty good at it. But still. . . . Oh groan. I understand, I guess, what they’re trying to do, but they’re setting themselves up to be laughing-stocks. Why, oh why, can’t they do something grand, and inspire for a change?

  20. PA Cat Says:

    Apropos of social justice, I would have no difficulty with the “socially just” redistribution of Nancy Pelosi’s $60 million personal fortune. There’s a whole thread over at Hillbuzz about the Democrat leadership’s self-exemption from HCR:

    They actually wrote that into the bill that was passed on Sunday, that Democrats in Congress and the White House and their families and staffs won’t be forced into Obamacare.

    If what they put forward was so good, and if Americans are all now mandated to be part of this, then how can Democrats decide this law won’t apply to them?

    http://hillbuzz.org/2010/03/24/strong-talking-point-against-obamacare-democrats-exempted-themselves-from-it/#comments

    In other words, a lot of people are waking up to the fact that the social justice crowd wants to do good with everyone’s money but their own.

  21. Adrian Day Says:

    Social Justice is a euphemism for socialism. That is the heart of what socialism purports to be about and the cloak that it wraps itself. This is the package socialism is sold in.

  22. JR Dogman Says:

    “They’ll wake up alright. The question is will it be too late.”

    My prediction? No.

    Because what does “too late” mean? Too late for what?

    As Geoffrey Britain remarked above, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare are “mathematically unsustainable”.

    It’s possible — perhaps even likely — that their collapsing will bankrupt the US.

    Indeed, we may need to go through that for the country to face reality.

    But it will not be “too late” then, as again, too late for what?

    The trajectory that began with Woodrow Wilson will end with the fall of the leftist welfare state.

    Whatever his motives, Barack Obama’s policies will only accelerate the collapse.

    “Too late” only applies if the majority of Americans somehow forget that they grew up with increasing levels of luxury, made possible by the greatest economic engine the world has ever known: the US private sector.

    It’s going to be a wild ride, and we must keep on fighting, but in the end the country will come out of this mess stronger than ever.

  23. JR Dogman Says:

    Loyal Achates,

    Re, “Would I be ‘free’ in a country where I was simply left to die because I couldn’t, at the age of 24, scrape together the $100,000 needed for the operation and subsequent hospital stay? You tell me”, your situation is tragic. Truly, I feel for you. But Obamacare is not the answer; it is not a step forward, other than toward insolvency.

    I say this with no pleasure, without any partisan glee or anger or anything of the sort. I am merely looking at the numbers, and what they are saying — indeed, screaming — is that left-wing economic “solutions” are intellectually and practically untenable.

    As bad as you and others are hurting, as a society we must not, in our desire to ease your suffering, disregard the fine print of reality.

    The United States economy *cannot possibly* generate enough revenue to sustain the current welfare state, even without Obamacare.

    If the US goes bankrupt, the promises of Obamacare will not be worth the paper they are printed on.

    Check out Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Road Map”, for an explanation of the problem, and an illustration of a real entitlement reform plan that would protect you in your illness, not just right now, but into the future.

    To your heath.

    JR

  24. rickl Says:

    I read an article several months ago. I don’t remember where; maybe at American Thinker. It said that social justice is motivated by the desire for revenge. It can express itself in many different forms: along lines of race, gender, income, IQ, hard worker vs. lazy bum, you name it. But at bottom, whenever someone believes they have gotten a raw deal in life and professes a desire for social justice, it means that they blame someone else for their predicament and want that “someone else” punished.

  25. betsybounds Says:

    Loyal Achates,

    I understand your feelings. You have been able to have your needs covered thus far, although you don’t say how. I must point out, though, that taking care of problems such as yours hardly requires a total scrapping of our entire existing health-care system and instituting state control over the whole thing. Much more focused action would likely be both more effective and efficient.

  26. rickl Says:

    Loyal Achates:

    What would have been your fate through almost all of human history up until the last few decades? You tell me.

    When a new medicine or new surgical technique is first developed, it is rare and expensive. The only way to bring the price down and make it more commonplace and available to more people is through free-market competition.

    So no, you are not “entitled” to something just because it exists and you need it, not if it comes at another’s expense. Sorry if that sounds hard-hearted, but it is reality.

    Take away the free market, and eventually innovation will slow down and grind to a halt. Then nobody will have the treatment they need.

  27. SteveH Says:

    Betsybounds i’m with you. Western civilization is at stake. Arguing sex offenders shouldn’t get viagra accepts the premise that viagra is somehow a function of govt in the first place! WTF? These politicians better grasp that the people are damn tired of tit for tat petty little politicians in their do gooder facades HELPING PEOPLE OUT. I’ve seen enough to last a lifetime.

  28. Portia Says:

    Social Justice is an evil concept. JUSTICE is always individual. MUST always be individual. Any sort of group justice always involves punishing the just with the wicked.

    And at any rate, men might talk about wanting justice, but they don’t. They want the cravings of envy — themselves uplifted and others brought down. And THIS they call justice.

    Everywhere it appears it should be recognized as no more than an enshrining of envy and the ability to despoil.

  29. Mitsu Says:

    This is what is so strange about coming to read this site. Western civilization is at stake? As I noted in the other topic, we are the only country in the industrialized world that has up until now had no universal health care program (though this one isn’t really universal coverage, it’s only a step towards that). Every other Western country has a far more intrusive government program than the one that just passed our Congress. In fact, most other Western countries have far more socialist programs in general: more social programs, more of a social safety net, higher taxes, etc. All of these countries also have democracy, free speech, and relatively healthy economies with capitalism, free enterprise, and so on.

    You may prefer to live in the United States, and frankly so do I. I prefer the more freewheeling entrepreneurial culture here, which is why I don’t advocate moving the US all the way towards a social democratic approach such as the one in Sweden, for example. But in what way is life so horrible in Sweden, or France, or Holland, etc.? Are their freedoms really so terribly curtailed?

    It seems to me what is at stake here is a calibration between security and relative economic and social stability, and less stability in exchange, perhaps, for more dynamism.

    Furthermore this is not just about social justice vs freedom. It is also about efficiency. I believe, as I’ve argued, the evidence is strong that our health care system is immensely inefficient. I believe the reason for this is we have a complicated way of paying for care, we have a ton of waste (uninsured people go without primary care, they use the ER for care, etc., which is wasteful because it costs a lot to treat people in the ER, when their problem becomes acute, rather than treating it early when it might be treated much more cheaply.) This is setting aside questions of social justice: it’s a matter of economic efficiency as well, a matter of less waste.

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    Loyal Achates:

    Covering pre-existing conditions could (and often already is) handled quite nicely without the need to totally revamp our entire health care system in a way that compromises our liberty and threatens our economy. You have set up a strawman (just like Dear Leader Obama and his fellow leftists) by pretending there are only two choices: no reform or Obamacare. You’re a smart guy; you know that’s not true. If the “pre-existing condition” rules need some tweaking, that can be done without Obamacare.

    But how much reform is actually needed? Under present rules, most states have provisions whereby people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Group policies are usually not that much of a problem, although sometimes there’s a short (typically 6-month) waiting period before coverage begins. I know of states where small group insurance can be gotten by a single self-employed person, and those with a pre-existing conditions can get in under certain “open enrollment periods.” It’s usually no great hardship to wait for one of those periods and they cannot exclude you or your condition. Plus, most states have high-risk pools that people with illnesses can go into if they cannot get insurance any other way.

    It depends what state you live in. In Wisconsin, for example where you appear to reside (or at least be posting from) at present, here are the relevant rules for basic coverage. They are fairly typical of the most restrictive states. You certainly could become part of a group policy where you work. For group policies in Wisconsin:

    …a preexisting medical condition is defined as a physical or mental condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended or received within six months prior to the insured’s enrollment under the plan. Insurance contracts may not cover these preexisting medical conditions for a period of time after you enroll in the plan.

    So the definition of “pre-existing condition” for a group policy appears to apply only to conditions for which you have received treatment or diagnosis within the six months prior to your insurance application. Depending on your exact medical history (which I don’t know), the term “pre-existing condition” may not even apply to your congenital heart defect, unless it was recently diagnosed or unless it was bad enough for you to have received treatment within the 6 months prior to applying for insurance (at least, that’s the way the law reads to me). But even if you do qualify as having a pre-existing condition under the Wisconsin definition for group policies, it would only mean there would be a waiting period (typically, I believe, it’s about 6 months to a year) before they would cover your condition.

    An individual policy in Wisconsin is more restrictive regarding pre-existing conditions. They can exclude that condition from coverage through a rider, and the definition of “pre-existing condition” can include a congenital one such as yours:

    Individual health plans may define a preexisting condition differently than group health benefit plans. Generally, individual health plans cannot impose a preexisting condition waiting period of more than two years from the date of policy issue, unless the policy specifically excludes the named condition from coverage by rider.

    However (and it’s a big “however”), Wisconsin, like most states, has a high-risk pool that you could enter. These are specifically formed to protect people such as yourself who might not have a job that offers a group policy, and who are refused individual insurance coverage for their condition (you of course could get coverage for other things, even under an individual policy).

    Here are the rules for the high-risk pool in Wisconsin. You will see that, if you had been covered by another prior plan (such as, but not limited to, a group plan—only the last day had to be under a group plan) for at least eighteen months before, you could get an individual policy in the high-risk pool without any restrictions for your pre-existing condition. But even if you hadn’t been part of a prior plan, you could still enter the high-risk pool and you would be covered for your pre-existing condition after a 6-months wait, under definitions and rules pretty much the same as for group policies above, with the same definition of “pre-existing condition” (under which you might not even have a pre-existing condition to worry about, as I explained above).

    So I have no idea what you mean when you say that because of your Tetralogy of Fallot, no insurance company in the US would insure you. Have you ever actually looked all of this up?

    I have taken the time and trouble to look this up, just in case you are under a false impression that you cannot find insurance, and if you need it and are not aware of the high-risk pool. Good luck with your health.

  31. SteveH Says:

    Social justice is govt sanctioned racism. We’re talking a system that allows you to go to the window at any maternity ward tonight, and see which babies will be given preferential treatment for schools, home loans and govt jobs based simply the color of his skin. HELLO? And we take such crap in 2010?

  32. rickl Says:

    Mitsu Says:
    March 24th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Furthermore this is not just about social justice vs freedom. It is also about efficiency.

    The Fascists were all about “efficiency”. Mussolini made the trains run on time, remember?

  33. Tatyana Says:

    BetsyB- as happens so often, you say what’s on my mind.

  34. Mitsu Says:

    Group policies are only available to people who can apply with the group in question, usually an employer. For others, they have to get an individual plan: but these are often prohibitively expensive. Same goes for the high risk pool. Individual plans are often twice as expensive as comparable group plans. This HCR bill gives individuals and small businesses access to group-like rates via the setting up of an exchange — this is, by the way, a conservative idea, I believe the Heritage Foundation was one of the think tanks that promoted this as a way of getting market oriented health care reform. That’s partly why I’m so puzzled at all the hysteria about “Western Civilization is at stake” when what we’re talking about is just a set of policies, many of which have been taken straight out of conservative health care proposals of years past.

    The only significant conservative idea I am aware of that wasn’t included in this plan was tort reform (which I am in favor of, and which Obama said he would consider supporting at a later time).

  35. SteveH Says:

    Mitsu says “Every other Western country has a far more intrusive government program than the one that just passed our Congress”

    I thought liberals were about cultural diversity. But it turns out middle east culture that dresses it women in potato sacks to hide the belt marks is a quaint little cultural condition. While an American that treats women with respect and simply wants to be left alone is completely out of phase in the modern world?

    I wouldn’t want a liberal written healthcare bill if China offered to pay for it.

  36. Mitsu Says:

    Obviously the reason I mention that is not because we have to do what other countries do, but simply because they are case studies which prove that simply having some sort of health care plan does not turn countries into the USSR. Much as one might dislike, say, France, I hardly think if you lived there you would find the French health care system was a source of personal oppression for you. That’s really my point: Western Civilization has not collapsed under the weight of health care systems. In fact, ours was the closest of them all to collapse under the weight of steadily increasing cost. I mean, how ridiculous is it when we spend twice as much as everyone else yet still can’t cover 45 million Americans?

  37. Mitsu Says:

    There’s one other feature of the bill which I think many of you might be unaware of: The Wyden Amendment. Ron Wyden (from my former home state of Oregon) inserted this into the bill: basically, if any state can come up with an alternate health care plan which can cover the same percentage of residents at the same cost as the Federal plan, they can opt out of the Federal plan entirely:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/24/oh-by-the-way-o-care-lets-states-opt-out-of-the-individual-mandate/

    He added this to encourage states to come up with their own plans, which can be structured any way they wish, as long as they can cover as many residents as the Federal plan at comparable cost.

  38. rickl Says:

    Loyal Achates:

    (Great comment, Neo. I hope he reads it and checks out your links.)

    To expand on my previous comment, your medical situation sucks, no question about it. I’m sorry you’re in that condition, and I won’t attempt to sugarcoat it.

    But the fact is that we all don’t have the same life expectancy, and some of us drew the short straw in the gene pool. If you had been born 100 years earlier, you might have died in infancy or childhood. That was utterly commonplace back in those days, and indeed, through almost all of history. And nobody could do a thing about it. People often had large families just to insure that a few children would survive to adulthood.

    The fact that today you are 24 years old and have a fighting chance to live longer is due to our steadily advancing knowledge and technology. That was largely brought about by innovation which is greatly stimulated by free market competition.

    If that is allowed to continue, then maybe people with Tetralogy of Fallot who are born 100 years from now will be able to live normal lives and die at a ripe old age. That is no help to you, of course, but I hope you can see the possibility that this condition might be conquered or at least controlled in the future. Don’t throw it away.

  39. JR Dogman Says:

    rickl,

    Re “social justice is motivated by the desire for revenge”, I think that’s definitely a big part of it. In the radicalized black community in particular, I’d say revenge was the driving force behind their politics. Even among less politically-active blacks the attitude is prevalent, due to the mainstreaming of creeps like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

    I remember puzzling over the reaction of many black Americans to the OJ verdict — university students cheering when he was acquitted, and doggedly professing their belief that he was innocent.

    Now fast-foward a few years, to the comedy “Barbershop”, whose story revolves around the social scene in a barbershop in a black neighborhood in the US. In one of the clips, Cedric the Entertainer lists things black Americans all know to be true but won’t admit before whites: “OJ did it” was one.

    So what animates this refusal to admit to non-blacks that OJ Simpson — a wealthy, privileged athelete who they knew as well as I know Pres. Obama — had in fact brutally murdered two people? I think revenge had much to do with it. After years of hearing about (or, if they were older, living in the midst of) a country where blacks were beaten, lynched, or framed for crimes they didn’t commit, and all-white southern juries grinned as they let those responsible go, for many black Americans, OJ was their chance for vicarious payback. It must have felt like belated justice, that the day had finally come when a black man could murder a white couple and, his obvious guilt notwithstanding, be let off by a jury dominated by blacks. The black community’s celebration mirrored the whoops of whites at the aquittals of guilty white murderers set free by a unfair, illegitmate system.

    Frankly, with community leaders like Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright, I don’t see how it could be otherwise. And as for white leftists, endorsing, tacitly or overtly, the vengeance-themed rhetoric of such men provides them two things: a sense of absolution for their whiteness, and, even more importantly, a jolt of revolutionary fervor they can never get their fill of. To be out for vengeance is exciting; it gives one a mission in life. In contrast, to proudly acknowledge the great strides America has taken since the Jim Crow south, and to declare the fight for racial equality won and move on, seems terribly boring.

  40. LisaM Says:

    Loyal Achates – If you’re disabled, you’re eligible for Medicare.

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    Mtisu: Saying insurance coverage is expensive is not the same as saying it cannot be obtained. Achates said he was uncoverable. He almost certainly is not.

    Achates’s pre-existing condition is most definitely coverable (in the normal manner, with no extra expense) if he (or a spouse) is employed and has access to group insurance (which happens to be the most common situation in the US). If he is self-employed, he is probably eligible for small group insurance (I have gotten that sort of insurance myself as a self-employed person), and is ordinarily also covered (sometimes after a short waiting period) if he has a pre-existing condition. Small group is more expensive than large group, to be sure, but it’s not all that bad (as I said, I’ve had this sort of insurance). The problem is not the pre-existing condition in this case, it is group vs. small group coverage. That’s a completely different issue.

    The most problematic situation for the person with a pre-existing condition is when a person is not employed by a group nor is he/she self-employed. In many states, these people need to go into the individual high-risk pool. That is even more expensive, although it is available. If such a person is poor, however, he/she is eligible for Medicaid and once again has coverage. That leaves people with pre-existing conditions who make too much money for Medicaid, and yet are neither self-employed nor employed by a group. Who are these people? Some of them are probably rich, and can easily afford the premiums for being in a high-risk pool. Some are not, but if they’re not relatively well-off, how is it that they are surviving with no job? Is their unemployment temporary? If it is, then they qualify for COBRA for a long period of their unemployment (wasn’t it just extended to two years?), and if COBRA runs out, various states have what’s known as temporary catastrophic insurance. I once bought the latter during a transitional period, and it was actually very reasonable in price, although there was a time limit on how long one could buy it for.

    So you see, there are many possible solutions. And yet the system has some holes through which people sometimes can fall. So tweak the system and make it better—don’t destroy the system that works for the vast majority of people.

  42. JR Dogman Says:

    Mitsu,

    That 45 million figure is incorrect. From Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin:

    “In 2006, the Census Bureau reported that there were 46.6 million people without health insurance. About 9.5 million were not United States citizens. Another 17 million lived in households with incomes exceeding $50,000 a year and could, presumably, purchase their own health coverage [1]. Eighteen million of the 46.6 million uninsured were between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, most of whom were in good health and not necessarily in need of health-care coverage or chose not to purchase it [2]. Moreover, only 30 percent of the nonelderly population who became uninsured in a given year remained uninsured for more than twelve months. Almost 50 percent regained their health coverage within four months [3]. The 47 million “uninsured” figure used by [Speaker of the Houe Nancy] Pelosi and others is widely inaccurate.”

    Indeed it *was*–Obama dropped the figure down to 30 million in his SotU speech, and even that is incorrect.

    The real number of long-term uninsured persons who are *unable* to get insurance is around 11-12 million.

    Incidentally, I have friends in LA who lease Jaguars, Lexuses, and BMWs, live in beautiful apartments or bungalows, and spend hundreds of dollars a month on going out for cocktails alone, who do not have health insurance.

    I should not have to pay a single cent to insure them.

    Here in NY, go into any Lower East Side bar, and you will likewise find plenty of college-educated people who *choose* to work freelance jobs, pay astronomical rents to live in the city, hit the bars three or four nights a week, take overseas vacations, and forego health insurance.

    I should not have to pay to insure them, either.

    Nor should I even be *asked* to pay for people who are in this country illegally.

    In any event, all of the above is moot, at least as far as Obamacare is concerned. I don’t think Obamacare is the end of the Republic, just a boost towards the end of the welfare state.

    See my other posts. I’m not being partisan. Rather, I’m just looking at the numbers, which point to an irrefutable fact: the welfare state as currently set up is unsustainable, even without Obamacare.

  43. Mitsu Says:

    Neo: as far as I know, it depends greatly on the state you live in. I’m not aware of laws in every state, but the last time I got insurance as a self-employed person in California, the insurers specifically excluded my pre-existing condition (in this case, Blue Cross), which is a mitral valve prolapse. Thankfully the mitral valve prolapse is a mostly benign heart condition, but in the rare case where I fell ill due to a complication of that condition, Blue Cross would have refused to pay my claim (which would also have applied if they simply decided my claim was related to mitral valve prolapse — i.e., if I had a heart attack, could they claim it was related to my pre-existing condition)?

    The law in New York is that insurers cannot deny coverage based on preexisting conditions — but because there’s no mandate, this has caused premiums to nearly double there. It was a classic example of how partial regulation failed to address the long-term problem. It’s obvious why: if you cover preexisting conditions without a mandate of some sort, people have little incentive to get coverage until they get sick.

    There are still many states which have no laws with respect to preexisting conditions. In any event, this law is intended to make such coverage affordable, not only merely available. I personally think it’s worth it: because covering more people means cost savings as well, as people are going to consult doctors rather than wait until it’s an emergency and go to the ER. Furthermore I think there’s an issue of waste of human capital: when people are sick or die from insufficient coverage or no coverage, you lose whatever contribution that person might have made to society. Part of the reason Hawaii has one of the longest life expectancies in the country, as well as very low cost of care, some speculate is due to their near-universal coverage system which has been in place for 40 years.

  44. Promethea Says:

    Good exposition, Neo. Those who support the new Healthcare bill seem to think that the options are all or nothing.

    Many countries with socialized medicine depend on the contributions that U.S. medicine has made to healthcare in general. Also, a lot of the welfare spending in Europe depends on the fact that the U.S. protected Europe in defense.

    So much of the discussion about the fabulous healthcare elsewhere is just plain ignorant.

  45. Promethea Says:

    Mitsu . . . The number of high-quality doctors is probably going to shrink.

  46. No One You Know Says:

    because covering more people means cost savings as well, as people are going to consult doctors rather than wait until it’s an emergency and go to the ER.

    Care to demonstrate that? Last I heard, TennCare and MasssCare are trying to kick people out of their respective programs. Want to know why? Bankruptcy. Also, it seems that regardless of coverage in those states, people still go to the emergency room because they don’t want to wait for a doctor’s appointment.

    Furthermore I think there’s an issue of waste of human capital: when people are sick or die from insufficient coverage or no coverage, you lose whatever contribution that person might have made to society.

    Haven’t heard of those efficiency panels have you? Turns out that in countries that have universal care, you don’t get cutting edge treatment because it’s so expensive. Seems that “fully covered” people get to die because the some government bureaucracy deems certain treatments too expensive for the return on investment. Guess they don’t think much of human capital either.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu: name me one state with no rules about pre-existing conditions (let’s call that “PECs” just to make it easier to type).

    Most (if not all) states offer large group coverage from big insurance companies that have no or few restrictions for PECs. Most (if not all) have small groups as I described, and most (if not all) have high-risk pools that cover PECs. Ordinarily, these (especially that last category) are there because of state regulations, not because insurance companies are so fond of covering those with PECs.

    And some states, as you say, won’t allow denial for PECs, period. And of course they have higher premiums, although not only for that reason. Insurance is a business, and if people are allowed to not be covered and then jump into coverage only when they have a problem, the pools will be sicker and the risk greater. This is exactly the problem Obamacare will face, too—because of the rule mandating immediate coverage for PECS, plus the individual mandate to buy insurance, well people will decide to pay the (much lower) fine rather than buy the individual insurance until they are sick and need it. That means the pool will consist of sicker people, the well people will pay the fine, and the amount of revenue will be smaller. And then we will all have to pay more money, because there won’t be enough money to run the system, because the system depends on the individual mandate, with healthy people buying insurance. Why on earth do you think Obama broke his pledge to have no individual mandate? Did you think he broke his pledge just for the fun of it (of course, in Obama’s case, that could be true)? He knew the system wouldn’t work without forcing healthy young people to buy insurance they didn’t want. What Congress couldn’t figure out is that by setting the fine so low, they allowed people to decide to opt out, pay the fine, and then jump in suddenly only when sick.

  48. Simon Says:

    For once I agree with something written on this blog. I agree that “It’s been a long time since we’ve taught our children what liberty is.” People are frighteningly ignorant of the importance of liberty. The only thing I would add is that they are also frighteningly ignorant of the ideals of social justice as well. I know you don’t think it is possible, but if we want to live in a decent society, we need both of these things in sensible measures. Who decides what the sensible measures are? We do. We are a democracy.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    Sorry Simon, but the two are, unfortunately, mutually exclusive. You may want two mutually exclusive things, but you can’t get them.

    Read my linked essay at PJ.

  50. Thomass Says:

    JR Dogman Says:

    “Indeed, we may need to go through that for the country to face reality.”

    Won’t work. Will still be Bush’s fault (and/or free market stuff).

  51. Thomass Says:

    Simon Says:

    “Who decides what the sensible measures are? We do. We are a democracy.”

    Translation: You want your political group to control my healthcare…

  52. Loyal Achates Says:

    I am not disabled and I don’t know why you would think I’m living in Wisconsin. And what was that BS about Medicare? “Don’t support state-run health care – you can already get health care from the government!”

    I have been told point-blank by Aetna, Blue Cross, and Cigna that they wouldn’t even consider my application – and why would they, when I would cost them more than I could possibly pay in premiums?

    Of course I know that the status quo and Obamacare aren’t our only choices – but that is how the GOP framed it, and they had 6 years in power without fixing some of the more glaring errors of the current system.

    I’ve heard the ‘innovation’ argument, and sorry, I don’t buy it. Why are so many medical research companies based in Germany and Switzerland and Israel – places which have health care systems for more under the sway government control than even Obamacare provides for? Besides, what good is medical innovation of people don’t even have access to it?

  53. Mitsu Says:

    Neo: Yes, your logic is sound vis a vis “PEC” (convenient acronym, by the way) as it relates to the mandate, which is why I believe a mandate of some kind was necessary. The penalties for not signing up for health insurance are in fact relatively low (it starts at only $95/year in 2014, and goes up to about $700/year). We’ll have to see whether that’s enough incentive for people to sign up for insurance — it is clearly below what they’d spend on insurance, so I’m somewhat concerned the fine is too low. However, in New York State, despite this law, people do in fact sign up for health insurance, and presumably the fines + subsidies will encourage more people to sign up than is the case in New York. It remains to be seen whether the incentive structure is adequate or not, the scheme may have to be revisited later on.

    >efficiency panels

    The situation in every country is quite different; but cancer survival rates are high in our country but they’re close to the same levels in Canada and France, for example (higher for some cancers, in fact, than here, though overall we have better rates). For other medical conditions we don’t do nearly as well — and, as has been famously noted, we have extremely high rates of infant mortality, probably largely due to the high numbers of uninsured who don’t get much if any prenatal care.

    >liberty vs. social justice

    One could argue that laws that prevent segregation are a form of restriction of liberty, in that whites no longer had the freedom to refuse to serve blacks in public restaurants. On the other hand, if you think about it from the perspective of the minority, segregation was a pretty horrific thing to have to deal with on a daily basis. So we remedied the situation by forcing everyone to halt discrimination in public venues, which is to some degree an infringement on their freedom — but it also greatly expanded the ability of minorities to realize their potential in society, one could even say it increased their freedom.

    I agree with libertarians that individual freedom is important; I disagree that there is never a time when society has an interest in regulating individual behavior in order to provide a net benefit to a larger number of people. It’s a balancing act. But keep in mind that conservatives (not so much libertarians) tend to want to restrict some behavior as well (for example, sexual behavior or even things like drug use — note that I am not a drug user and never have been, I just use it as an example), even behavior that only affects individuals. So people on all sides agree government has some role regulating individual behavior, we just disagree on which behavior ought to be regulated.

  54. Loyal Achates Says:

    One more thing: as long as we’ve got youth-bashing by the old (and the aging) I can’t help but remember what my late grandfather told me years ago.

    “Why,” he once said to me “do you think old people are so mad at young people?”

    Not getting an answer, he said “First, it’s because we’re jealous. We wish we were young and strong and full of hope instead of old and bitter and hateful. Second, it’s because we’re ashamed of the world we’re leaving for you. In the last 15 years [this was in 1995] everybody over 50 has wrecked this country and it may never recover. I hope your generation can find its own FDR”.

    So yes, the young generation does have a view of the world than you do – so much the better. And we’ll have no trouble dancing on your graves when the time comes. I’ve just read through 50+ comments, most of which have expressed no remorse in carrying out the cold-blooded murder of myself and tens of thousands of others in similar or worse situations, so it seems as if a transfer of power is long overdue.

  55. Mitsu Says:

    By the way, here’s a chart of states and which ones have a high risk pool:

    http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=602&cat=7&sub=89

    And yes, there are many states that do not require their insurers to cover self-employed or individuals with preexisting conditions. That certainly includes California and a friend of mine was denied in Oregon so it is likely the case there. It is true, however, both of those states have high risk pools.

  56. Mr. Frank Says:

    Loyal Achates displays typical lefty thinking. National policy should be made on the basis of one person’s emotionally compelling story, and other people should be coerced to meet his needs. Nowhere does the possibility of private charity come up. It is government that dispenses money it has taken from others.

    Neo displays the virtue of individual initiative by coming up with a raft of options with a bit of research.

  57. Mitsu Says:

    Achates: I really sympathize with your anger, but at the same time I think Neo and others have expressed sympathy for your situation. I mean, I disagree with them as well but I don’t know, I guess I come here because I want to try to have a dialogue. Even if we will never agree, at least we can start to see each other as people rather than caricatures. I agree there’s a lot of callousness in the conservative position — but then again that’s by design, they think that it’s a tradeoff worth making in the name of liberty. I am arguing that the liberty they’re concerned with is partially just theoretical — i.e., the spectrum is not the US vs the USSR, but the US vs Sweden. One might prefer one end of the spectrum over the other but both ends are fairly livable places, with tradeoffs but it’s not Good vs. Evil. I just think the polarizing black and white debates on the two sides are harming our political culture and making it difficult for us to have meaningful political discourse in this country.

  58. neo-neocon Says:

    Loyal Achates: And a great big “you’re welcome” to you! No doubt you deeply appreciate all the research I did in an attempt to help you, as well as several people’s best wishes for your health.

    I thought you were in Wisconsin because that’s where your comment originated, in the technical sense. Perhaps it was just routed through Wisconsin, however. But Wisconsin law is rather typical of many states.

    You are of course misrepresenting the way the GOP framed it, but that’s what I would expect of you. The Republicans actually said they were in favor of covering pre-existing conditions, which is what you stated your problem is. They just don’t want to do it through Obamacare. But hey—much better to think they’re interested in cold-bloodedly murdering you, right? Makes for a much better story, doesn’t it?

    And I said nothing whatsoever about Medicare. I merely said that very poor people get covered by Medicaid, and they are not excluded for pre-existing conditions. I was discussing the issue of pre-existing conditions and running through all the ways a person with one could get coverage. And I haven’t seen anyone in this thread speak against Medicaid itself–or Medicare, for that matter.

    You say you phoned three large health insurance companies to speak to them about your situation. But did you find out whether you qualify for your state’s high risk pool? The companies themselves would not be telling you about that. And you ought to find out about that, you know. Also, did you ask those companies (or any other companies) whether they have a special pool for the self-employed (if in fact you are self-employed)? Also, have you ever called an insurance agent who specializes in health insurance who can explain all the ins and outs of health insurance in your state to you? That’s what I did when I had difficulty finding health insurance, and it was extremely helpful.

    As for dancing on our graves—lovely sentiment. It does you proud.

  59. michaele Says:

    I can’t leave this this posting without saying, Neo, your research effort on Loyal Achates behalf was quite exceptional. I hope it proves useful

  60. rickl Says:

    Mr. Frank Says:
    March 24th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Loyal Achates displays typical lefty thinking. National policy should be made on the basis of one person’s emotionally compelling story, and other people should be coerced to meet his needs. Nowhere does the possibility of private charity come up. It is government that dispenses money it has taken from others.

    Neo displays the virtue of individual initiative by coming up with a raft of options with a bit of research.

    Not only that, he showed no acknowledgement of my two posts, which, while they were not necessarily helpful to his personal situation, tried to put it in context and were in no way “youth bashing”.

  61. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu: sadly, I’m afraid that Loyal A is more interested in venting his spleen than in following up on possible solutions offered. I hope he does follow up on them, though, and I hope he finds some coverage for his condition. As I said, I’ve had my own problems with health insurance, and it can be very very frustrating.

    That said, I also had the experience of calling a bunch of health insurance companies and since I didn’t know all the terminology—the difference between individual and small group (self-employed), or what temporary insurance or a high-risk pool was, I didn’t get the complete information from the people I talked to. Talking to an independent insurance agent who had a specialty in the health insurance field turned out to be really helpful.

  62. JR Dogman Says:

    Mitsu,

    Re “individual freedom is important”, I respectfully disagree.

    Individual freedom is *paramount*.

    “Important” is far too open to interpretation.

  63. Gray Says:

    I disagree that there is never a time when society has an interest in regulating individual behavior in order to provide a net benefit to a larger number of people.

    Nice thought in the abstract….

    I’ve got a good affordable family plan.

    Now tell me why, specifically, my family deserves to suffer with less care for more money.

  64. Gray Says:

    Mitsu: sadly, I’m afraid that Loyal A is more interested in venting his spleen

    I’d be willing to perform that procedure on him at a very reduced rate if he cannot find coverage.

  65. Gray Says:

    Would I be ‘free’ in a country where I was simply left to die because I couldn’t, at the age of 24, scrape together the $100,000 needed for the operation and subsequent hospital stay? You tell me.

    I’m very sorry for you and your unfortunate condition. It does not entitle you to any of my earnings.

    However, I would contribute to a charity that would help you.

    Your terrible and unfortunate condition does not give you any right to enslave others.

    I’m very sorry.

  66. Beverly Says:

    “Loyal Achates” is a troll. They’re dispatched by Axelturfers with a cheat sheet telling them what their “case” is (these are selected as being the most difficult for our current system to handle, and hence tend to be freakishly rare illnesses). They’re also told to pose as young people, to excite greater sympathy for their pitiful state.

    Having drawn reaction and attention, and disagreements, these emissaries respond with typical Leftist boilerplate “arguments” and insults.

    N.b.: Achates was notable for his lack of character.

  67. Wm Lawrence Says:

    “For once I agree with something written on this blog.”

    Well then Simon, much to our surprise, perhaps you DO have a lick of common sense… Only perhaps, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally.

    As for “social justice” why do you need the modifier? True justice can stand on its own without a cargo of group think.

    Other proponents of “social justice” were some of the most vile and murderous thugs in world history. Some examples of “social justice” would include the Georgian famine, the holocaust, the Cambodian killing fields, the Chinese cultural revolution, the Salem witch trials, slavery and genocide in all their forms, the inquisitions… Different faces, different players, but all seeking “social justice”.

    The term “social justice” is used to denote what is “just” for the society, not for the individual. When you’re merely a face in the mass it’s easy to dispense with you for the greater good. And the “greater good” will always be defined by the most ruthless.

    For all of us who have worked all of our lives and paid into the Social Security system the government finds itself in a conflict of interest. As long as we work and pay in it is worth keeping us alive. When we retire and are no longer “productive” it’s interest will be to get us off the rolls as quickly as possible. Now that it also controls all of our health care it will have the power to rid itself of our troublesome presence.

    That may sound cynical, but it’s time people grow up and began to realize that the government, despite the attractive caricatures of the skinny, old guy with the red, white an blue suit and the white goatee, is not really your uncle (I could also tell you some things about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but that’s a different conversation.), but a huge faceless, emotionless and conscienceless bureaucracy which only knows you as a 9 digit number. The larger the bureaucracy becomes the less significant you are. The only influence you have is through the people you send to congress, and when they refuse to acknowledge your opinions and concerns your voice is lost and you are just a cog in the machine.

    Rule of thumb: Nothing worthwhile begins with the term “social”…

  68. Beverly Says:

    I’m sourly amused by this crisis. I’ve had many set-tos with insurance companies, and am hardly their most ardent admirer.

    But the gubmint having a full nelson locked around your neck is several orders of magnitude worse, and there would be NOWHERE ELSE TO GO when they deny you help. This is what the idiots, moochers, and whiners don’t get.

    I just had an operation, paid for by my HMO (which I work hard to pay for), performed by a first-rate American-trained American surgeon, in a first-class New York hospital. I moved fast to get this done, as soon as my mother passed away in fact, because it’s the type of surgery that could be considered elective in the near future. And with the STATE rationing everything, you bet your sweet bippy it will.

    I had my not-life-threatening, but seriously life-degrading, condition taken care of, and I’m vastly relieved to get it done while I still can.

    What happens in the future? Well, like the lady said, “if you like government housing, you’ll LOVE government healthcare.”

  69. Scottie Says:

    I’m late to this conversation, but after reading through these posts I’ve noticed a few things.

    First, Loyal Achates claims a “pre-existing condition” for which no insurance company will accept him.

    Later, he claims he’s not disabled.

    Kind of contradicts IMO when sudden cardiac events can occur with this condition.

    Then neo notices something weird about where his messages are originating.

    Then we have the speech his dear old granddad gave him.

    I think I’m calling bull$hit on this one…..

    Still, neo gets major points for proposing a solution to the gentleman in question only to have it thrown back in her face.

    I guess, if in fact this guy does have this condition, it’s just too difficult for him to make an effort to help himself – even with someone else pointing out the roadsigns for him.

    Just easier to die maybe…..?

    (Yeah, I can be cold hearted.)

  70. Wm Lawrence Says:

    Accepting Loyal Achates at his word (chancy I know) I must say that I find it odd that he, suffering with a genetic disorder which supposedly claims its victims lives at an early age, is alive at the age of 24 presumably without any medical intervention. Or if he is alive because of modern medicine why does he think that care under the existing system will suddenly be denied? Finally why does he think that the new system will be an improvement, when historically all socialized medical systems are eventually forced to ration care or go broke? When you give anything away for free there is no way to keep up with the demand. (Econ. 101) I wish Loyal good luck and a long life, but his chances will certainly not be improved by Obamacare.

  71. Scrapiron Says:

    The United States started to decline the day (Nov 2006) a democratic congress was elected and went into high gear the day an Islmist was chosen by the democrat party. That was also the day the biggest run on American banks in history occured. Facts and figures are out there for anyone to check. The country has gone from a 4.7% unemployment rate and fastest growing economy in history to what we have today under Reid, Peeloshi and O’Dumbo.

  72. neo-neocon Says:

    Beverly: troll Loyal Achates may be, but he’s not Axelrod’s troll—or, if he is, he’s very newly in his employ. Loyal used to come here a lot years ago. Haven’t seen him in a long time, but his earlier visits much predated Obama’s presidency and even his campaign.

  73. JR Dogman Says:

    Thomass,

    Re “Won’t work. Will still be Bush’s fault (and/or free market stuff)”, sure it will work.

    Waking up one day and realizing you are totally broke has a wonderful way of focusing the mind.

    That is what I am talking about: bankruptcy.

    The federal government having *no more money* to write Social Security checks, pay for medication or surgery for the sick, or do *anything* other than scramble to survive.

    Promising free health care for all is easy; delivering on such promise is impossible.

    The meaning of “unsustainable” is crystal-clear.

    That which *cannot* be sustained, *will not* be sustained.

    Also, the MSM is dying every day, and their role in promoting the unsustainable welfare state has been *huge*.

    Harping on the untouchable “third rail” of Social Security to help the Democrat Party, while ignoring the unsustainability of the program, is not reporting the news.

    It is manipulating the news to acheive a political end.

    The MSM will not be able to blame the free market for the destruction caused by those who *strangled* the free market.

    Americans will listen to leaders like Rep. Paul Ryan, who will explain how we got into this mess, and how we can get out of it.

    Get out of it, and prosper.

    Earlier generations of Americans survived a Civil War, The Hoover-FDR Great Depression, two World Wars, ending Jim Crow in the south, and the Cold War.

    The country is not coming to an end.

    We will not become a socialist nation like those in Europe, firstly because *we can’t afford it*.

    We will not become Venezuela, because there are too many states in the United States that would *take up arms* before submitting to tyranny.

    What was it that Japanese general supposedly said about invading the USA?

    “There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

    Which is exactly what the Founders wanted.

    We *will* shed the chains of the leftist welfare state, and replace it with something that works.

    We will because we have to.

  74. Wm Lawrence Says:

    Loyal my boy,

    Some advice from a different old grandpa: Ignore whatever that silly old fart ever said to you. He was obviously an embittered new dealer unable to afford enough beer and cigarettes on the pittance he got from social security and without enough foresight to have saved for retirement.

    Most of us have better sense than that. Or I thought we did until some of us actually got fooled into voting for Barry.

    In light of that I guess my other advice would be not to let gramma keep her life savings in a pillow case…

  75. Gray Says:

    We will not become Venezuela, because there are too many states in the United States that would *take up arms* before submitting to tyranny.

    What was it that Japanese general supposedly said about invading the USA?

    “There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

    Give that idea up. I have heard a lot such nonsense from rock-ribbed law-abiding conservatives.

    And that is just the problem, they are stalwart and law-abiding, with families and a lot to lose.

    I have a background in Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism. Conservatives, as a group, are hopelessly innocent about what that kind of scenario would look like.

    They just do not understand the levels of lawlessness, thuggishness, violence and dirty tricks that insurgency takes. They forget how many “innocent” British tax collectors, minor functionaries and businessmen were murdered; How many Tory families were burned out of house and terrorized during the Revolution.

    In fact, many conservatives occupy positions in local law enforcement, National Guard and business that would be the very first tarred and feathered, their families beaten and terrorized, in a “revolution”.

    Unless you are willing to do you your own town and your own neighbors what GEN Sherman did to Atlanta, you don’t have the nerve for it.

    So knock it off. It feels good, it’s a vent, but not realistic.

  76. Wm Lawrence Says:

    Can a nation go bankrupt? What happens when our creditors (the Chinese) show up in DC and begin to auction the place off?

    I have an idea. Lets give them all of the useless dweebs that voted for this as indentured labor to work in chinese sweat shops until they have paid off their (I don’t claim it!) debt.

    Just think, we could have cheap (lead painted) plastic toys personally assembled by Nancy Pelosi. Barney Frank would be over on the sex toy line. Obama would be making bobble head dolls. And best of all we could boycott it all because we know, with them working on it, it would have to be crap…

  77. Gray Says:

    I just wanna know how come “social justice” always happens to mean “Gray and his family get screwed again?”

  78. JR Dogman Says:

    Gray,

    I think you misinterpreted what I wrote. I’m not venting at all — I’m talking about if the country descended into actual *tyranny*, i.e., if the federal government became a hard tyranny, to the point where they would use the force of arms to compel the states to submit.

    I just meant that if they did that they would fail, because Americans would not submit to such a government.

    I did not mean that conservatives are about to pick up arms against the government while the society is still intact. No way.

    Indeed, part of the reason I feel this way is due to a fact you alluded to in your post, which I have also brought up on previous threads:

    Members of the US military and National Guard are overwhelmingly conservative, and they take their oath to the Constitution seriously. They would not serve a tyrannical government in a smackdown of the citizenry.

    In any event, what I’ve been trying to do via my recent posts is calm people down, tell them the sky is not falling and that we will get through this and be OK.

    In fact, I am optimistic.

  79. Gray Says:

    I did not mean that conservatives are about to pick up arms against the government while the society is still intact. No way.

    I mistakenly lumped your piece in with other stuff I’ve been hearing. I agree with you and I’m sorry I missed your point.

    (but it did give me good cause to go off on a pithy and well-written historical rant.)

    Here is how stupid it has gotten–a pal of mine in the Nat Guard with a bigger, more powdered wig than mine is in Washington this week for a National Guard Beaureau meeting on National Emergencies and Contingency coordination (all good stuff: natural disasters, WMD, etc…. Real National Guard stuff, y’know?)

    Not having the background in Counter-insurgency, Intell, etc that I do; yet espousing the “we gotta take up arms!” nonsense, I asked him: “If you really believed in this armed insurrection nonsense, wouldn’t it be your moral duty to blow up that meeting for starters?

    It was like watching a computer trying to calculate a division by zero. I thought smoke was going to come out of his ears and his eyes were going to start spinning around.

    The vote is mightier than the bullet; until it is not.

  80. Julia NYC Says:

    Boy people are mad about this. The Dems went too far. Obama is toast. He’s not gonna get anything else going for the rest of his term.

  81. JR Dogman Says:

    “Can a nation go bankrupt? What happens when our creditors (the Chinese) show up in DC and begin to auction the place off?”

    Indeed it can. But the scenario you present is not going to happen.

    *Only* if the American people suddenly, totally forget how they grew up and have lived all their lives (i.e., comfortably and free), and in such forgetfulness accept living in a broken-down nation in permanent decline as normal, and accept the inept rule of hard-core statists as normal, would anything like that occur.

    In short, we may have to go bankrupt before we turn the ship around, but we *will* turn it around.

    The problems we are facing are the result of an unsustainable welfare state and fiscal policies put in place by statists.

    Such problems can and will be fixed, by elected leaders who understand the Constitution and can explain, then implement, legislative corrections to undo what the statists have done.

  82. Gray Says:

    In wholly unrelated news, but it is a smaller, meaner new world:

    http://www.krqe.com/dpp/home/Zoo-giraffe-carcass-tossed-in-dumpster

    I love my hometown, but I don’t know if it is is in spite of or because of stuff like this. So profoundly New Mexican….

    The local conservative talkshows were outraged….

    Outraged that it wasn’t bar-b-qued and served at a Matanza! The biggest debate was red or green?

    “Hey kids, can’t afford to go to the zoo ‘cuz of Obamacare, so we are going to the dump instead to see the animals. Hey! There’s Kashka! and look! Buzzards and coyotes! Lemme get your picture with that big coyote. Mmmmm, So cute….”

  83. JR Dogman Says:

    Gray,

    Re “The vote is mightier than the bullet; until it is not”:

    Exactly.

    Look, what Congress and Pres. Obama are doing is very troubling — but it also makes sense, as their actions are the culmination of nearly a century of progressive/statist mischief.

    But it can’t last. Ironically, this Congress and Obama will go down in history as having collapsed the welfare state, and so sparked the movement that will use the free market to clean up the mess.

  84. Mitsu Says:

    >paramount

    So would you advocate the repeal of civil rights legislation and a reintroduction of segregation? Because that’s the logical outcome of taking that value to its extreme. I simply don’t agree with taking any single notion to its extreme. There are counterbalancing factors.

    >gubmint having a full nelson locked around your neck

    That criticism might apply to the NHS, but it doesn’t apply to the law we just passed, nor does it apply, for example, even to the single-payer system they have in France, which allows full choice of doctors and supplemental private insurance. In the French case you’re free to buy as much or as little supplemental insurance as you like, and that would certainly be the case with any system that would ever have a chance in hell of becoming law in the United States.

  85. Mitsu Says:

    I think perhaps one other thing that distinguishes liberals from conservatives is that liberals tend to be concerned with abuses of power on all sides; i.e., liberals are concerned about government abuse of power but also by private abuse of power (such as abuse of corporate power or abuses by groups of private citizens against minorities, etc.) and conservatives seem to be chiefly concerned with government abuse of power (although for some reason conservatives are less concerned with abuse of police or military power, whereas liberals are comparatively more concerned about that). Because liberals see a world filled with many forms of power, it’s a balancing act. In protecting citizens from abuses and/or negligence on the part of corporations or other private groups, one has to balance that against government overreaching and overregulating, which would stifle free enterprise and innovation.

    But liberals are also concerned with state power: using state police powers against citizens, using military power needlessly, and so on. Conservatives seem more concerned with state regulatory power being used against businesses, but less concerned with state police power (though to their credit, some conservatives are principled about this and do oppose things like national ID cards — something I am also opposed to from a liberal standpoint).

    So concern for liberty and concerns about abuse of power are present on both sides, but for various reason we emphasize different aspects of liberty, freedom, and we are concerned more with some forms of power than others. What sets me apart perhaps from some liberals is that I do accept the validity of many libertarian arguments about state power — I am more libertarian than many liberals. I simply also accept liberal arguments that private power and corporate power may be misused against groups of citizens, and that is something I feel also must be a concern of the body politic.

  86. SteveH Says:

    “” No doubt you deeply appreciate all the research I did in an attempt to help you, as well as several people’s best wishes for your health.”"
    Neo

    What are the chances that Loyal recieving his operations for free would make him an even less appreciative narcissist? Uh huh. Just more unintended consequences of social justice that views all adversity as automatically cold hearted and harmful to society.

  87. JR Dogman Says:

    Mitsu,

    Re “I think perhaps one other thing that distinguishes liberals from conservatives is that liberals tend to be concerned with abuses of power on all sides”, know what I have to say?

    Woof! Woof! Woof!

  88. Mike Says:

    They don’t teach liberty in our high school but they do teach social Justice. My kids have had to write several papers on the topic, and if you want an A you better pick the correct view.

  89. Sergey Says:

    Effiency argument usually overlooks a very important fact that customer choice is a quite efficient way of resource economy. Different people have different needs and priorities, which can be used by free market for more efficient resource allocation. No socialised service can use this diversity: it always applies “one size fits all” approach. If you are entitled to some service which is “free” for you, you will consume it whether you need it or not. That is why self-rationing by customer choice is always more efficient (and less painful) than any external rationing by government decree.

  90. Mr. Frank Says:

    As the bumper sticker says, if you think medical care is expensive now, wait until it is free.

  91. ELC Says:

    @LA 3/24 11:24 pm. Not getting an answer, he said “First, it’s because we’re jealous. We wish we were young and strong and full of hope instead of old and bitter and hateful. Second, it’s because we’re ashamed of the world we’re leaving for you. In the last 15 years [this was in 1995] everybody over 50 has wrecked this country and it may never recover. I hope your generation can find its own FDR”.

    If there’s been any age-ism on the thread, it’s right there.

    I think it’s a rather odd way to make a case, to claim that a “jealous’, “bitter and hateful” man thinks the solution to our problems is socialism.

    The anecdote reveals a great deal more truth than the author intended.

  92. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Mitsu: “I think perhaps one other thing that distinguishes liberals from conservatives is that liberals tend to be concerned with abuses of power on all sides”

    except their own abuses, Mitsu — except their own.

  93. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I personally think it’s worth it: because covering more people means cost savings as well, as people are going to consult doctors rather than wait until it’s an emergency and go to the ER.

    one more for Mitsu: It would be lovely if this were true, and many people thought it would be true until Massachusetts enacted its universal coverage law a few years ago. No cost savings resulted. Instead, costs have rocketed up so fast and far that the state now has the highest (or close to the highest, I’m not sure) and fastest-growing insurance premiums in the country. Also, I can’t provide a link because I don’t remember where I saw it, but I read somewhere that Massachusetts ERs are not being utilized any more efficiently than before because now people have to wait much longer for appointments with their doctors, and are choosing to use ERs instead.

    Welcome to our future.

  94. LisaM Says:

    Achates, You’re not disabled, but you’ll die without surgery? Doesn’t add up.

    And yes I know Medicare is government run. I work in health care so I’m sure I know better than you the problems with Medicare reimbursement. But it’s entrenched and already here, so I’d rather see people use that than disrupt the entire private health care industry for the rest of us.

  95. LisaM Says:

    I’d like to see statistics on how many people die waiting for care in countries with socialized medicine. I’d be willing to bet that it’s higher than those who die here because they TRULY could not get insurance.

  96. Artfldgr Says:

    But in what way is life so horrible in Sweden, or France, or Holland, etc.? Are their freedoms really so terribly curtailed?

    Freedom is not something you barter with Mitsu. You should be saying, why should my behavior be curtailed at all? we are not talking criminal acts and things that society agrees on, as in the past and under the ‘rule of law’. We are talking about arbitrary restrictions to change our behavior in reality to meet some political, ideological, personal, fantasy, goal of some person who, being no different than you, wishes to impose THEIR will on you.

    It seems to me what is at stake here is a calibration between security and relative economic and social stability, and less stability in exchange, perhaps, for more dynamism.

    And as Benjamin Franklyn pointed out, when you trade one for the other you get NEITHER!!! It’s a hard concept to understand, but many things in nature only perform well when they are NOT impeded or impinged upon.

    Furthermore this is not just about social justice vs freedom. It is also about efficiency. I believe, as I’ve argued, the evidence is strong that our health care system is immensely inefficient.

    Bzzzz… click… whir… reboot!

    Here is the problem Mitsu. You do not want to believe that after all this time you spent in education, after all the money and investment, you have come out ignorant believing your whole, and what’s happening is that you cant understand these things because your incomplete. You do not get that your missing huge blocks of cogent argument and principal, and so you don’t understand why we don’t even listen to you much.

    Command and control whether direct, or through a series of laws, taxes, regulations, and inspectors, is much less efficient..

    The efficiency you imagine is a FANTASY of which you have no route to get to.

    And once again we return to the concept of the perfected rule.

    And we return to the concept that Mitsu thinks its ok to experiment on people and to hurt and harm them.

    And that Mitsu can’t see that this willingness to subject others to his experiments is exactly what Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and others did.

    believe the reason for this is we have a complicated way of paying for care, we have a ton of waste (uninsured people go without primary care, they use the ER for care, etc., which is wasteful because it costs a lot to treat people in the ER, when their problem becomes acute, rather than treating it early when it might be treated much more cheaply.)

    And what have you don’t to analyze WHY they do those things?

    NOTHING but read papers and decides that we need more chains, and more shackles, cause anyone knows that chains and shackles are the way to improve productivity among free peoples. No?

    Lets be real here Mitsu… we DO have a complicate way of paying, but that’s because of fascism, and socialism, not because of free market.

    Here, let me show you…. you earn money contracting yourself out to some employer. You are either happy with that, or you can do something to change that, but lets assume your paid well, and your happy.

    You get sick, and you call the doctor, you go to the office, and you take out your wallet and you pay him. There is only one receipt to fill out, and you get a copy to submit to the insurance to reimburse YOU depending on terms you agreed when you purchased the insurance.

    That’s it… now let see how your people and such have improved this process.

    Ok… now you get sick.. you have to find a doctor in a book that is approved by your insurance company. you have a big company who sits between you and the doctor who takes their salary from where? well by increasing the costs of operation so that that third party can stand there. the books cost money. You find on, you then travel to them. they are over crowded, and such as they have to increase volume and throughput so that the amount collected can cover their costs. That is, they have turned it from a consultancy, to an assembly line as the prices and such are beyond their control and mandated.

    When it comes time to pay, they have to take your card, punch it in. take a token payment. They don’t get paid then, but then have to fill out forms, and have to have special computer programs which are costly which can file to dozens of insurers which because of the state have all these bizarre costs and rules. copies of your medical records and treatment now have to be made and all that filed and xmitted.

    What was a simple transaction between two people in private and then later between a person and insurer… has now bloated into many transactions, many duplications, many places for error, a cap on costs so that they can pretend its the same price with all that as it was in the first place, which then changes it to a factory line in which humans are cattle.

    But you never get this. you, unlike me, didn’t grow up in poverty and have to go to those places. You just read some other person like you explain from some high place without any real understanding, what’s going on.

    Now you mentioned the emergency room. but what you don’t get is that those doctors who are now being paid half of what it costs to treat someone has to now make that treatment costs up or go out of business. so they shift this to the other insured! So your insurance goes up because the state makes it legal for the state to cheat the doctor!!!!!!!!

    So if a treatment costs $100, the state only pays $50…and jacks up the costs of operation of the business and how many people you need (and we don’t even discuss unions yet! for the nurses you hire).

    So here comes Mitsu who earns good money, more than the average and he needs care. he needs that same treatment… but instead of it costing $100 dollars for Mitsu, it costs $300… and Mitsu just cant understand why.. so he says, lets give the people doing this to me, more power, we will assume that this will help, even though they are doing this to me.

    The costs have to be made up someplace Mitsu… and since the state has, as in the soviet union, and chavez land, manufactured prices having no bearing on reality, they have cleverly forced you to pay for the difference.

    That is, the costs so high is redistributing the wealth from Mitsu, who has money, to the poor, who with the state cheat the doctors of the costs and drive it up.

    The doctor has to get the money they lost on that patient, the money they lose in operating costs for BOTH patients, and the costs of the current treatment.

    So the medicare person pays 50, and you pay 300

    But if this was normal, the person would pay 100, and you would pay 100
    And the persons extra would be born by charity.

    You don’t think so?

    Well who do you think pays for the poor now? I know since I was poor. I have friends who are immigrants who go for care, and there is a charity fund at each hospital to pay for the care they cant afford. And this has nothing to do with medicare and medicaide!

    now with your improvement Mitsu… the state will under pay ALL treatment!!!

    And soothe doctors, except for the worst ones with no other choices as to where to work
    Will leave, retrain, and do something else.

    Because when that other patient gets a return of 50, and now Mitsu only pays 50, there isn no other person to share the wealth and make up the 200 in treatment and operating costs…

    So they close… people die… and imagine that… another progressive liberal goal of fewer humans on the planet in favor of the politicians is being met.

  97. Artfldgr Says:

    which prove that simply having some sort of health care plan does not turn countries into the USSR

    they do nothing of the sort.

    you socialist idiots have no concept of TIME..

    do me a favor… let me pour some concrete… and you can play with it… put your hands in it… its soft..

    please please do this…

    and i will say to you the current softnes of the condition of the concrete is PROOF positive that it wont get hard. so you can keep your hands in there all you want, it wont be a problem

    finally we would be free of your stupidity dressed up as intelligence.

    unless you can type with your toes.

  98. Artfldgr Says:

    Mitsu…

    stop talking for liberals.

    you have no idea of the values of the leadership or their goals because you are a nothing servant of them.

    don’t you get that? your historically IGNORANT, and principally ignorant, and your morals is completely out of whack with the principals you talk about.

    you have no real feelings. i can tell, because your using the words all wrong. your using them as props, and things as you experiment in manipulating people, while pretending otherwise.

    you are a VERY nasty person inside. and wearing a veneer of niceness, reasonableness and such, does not hide it. but instead, to those that are not inured, it holds it up in high relief and makes what you are deep inside more horrible and more rotted.

    you have no compunction in experimenting on people. you are like stalin, and just dont have the power to let yourself flower. you are limited not by your own morals, principals, and ethics. but by goals, power, and ultimately, your lack of power, which limits your actions to playing with others (who are not real to you anyway)

    we don’t like you mitsu because you are willing to hurt people… AND your blind to this. your completely blind to the facts of the implementations of your ideas and the outcomes and forces they unleash.

    i told you to read hayek. he won a noble prize disproving the validity of your core point!!!!!!!!!!!

    did you read him? mroe than a year on, i have said it over and over. did you read him?

    bzzzzz… click… whir… reboot..

    hi. im mitsu… lets talk..

    conversation doesnt go the right way glorifying in all the genius that is mitsu

    bzzzzz… click… whir… reboot..

    hi. im mitsu… lets talk..

    bzzzzz… click… whir… reboot..

    hi. im mitsu… lets talk..

    bzzzzz… click… whir… reboot..

    hi. im mitsu… lets talk..

    see a patttern?

    ready… his nobel was on
    “the pretense of knowledge”

    that thing you keep bringing up you assume exists and such and keep referring to.

    you know, the right regulation, the right control, the better efficiency… (which by the way, has NEVER brought any of the amazing things that freedom has)

    A Challenge to Mitsu!!!!!!!!! i will have a go back and forth as to the things that freedom and the free market has brought mankind, and mitsu can on the other side, bring up the things and stuff that statism has brought us to improve our lives…

    read this first mitsu:
    This brings me to the crucial issue. Unlike the position that exists in the physical sciences, in economics and other disciplines that deal with essentially complex phenomena, the aspects of the events to be accounted for about which we can get quantitative data are necessarily limited and may not include the important ones. While in the physical sciences it is generally assumed, probably with good reason, that any important factor which determines the observed events will itself be directly observable and measurable, in the study of such complex phenomena as the market, which depend on the actions of many individuals, all the circumstances which will determine the outcome of a process, for reasons which I shall explain later, will hardly ever be fully known or measurable. And while in the physical sciences the investigator will be able to measure what, on the basis of a prima facie theory, he thinks important, in the social sciences often that is treated as important which happens to be accessible to measurement. This is sometimes carried to the point where it is demanded that our theories must be formulated in such terms that they refer only to measurable magnitudes.

    It can hardly be denied that such a demand quite arbitrarily limits the facts which are to be admitted as possible causes of the events which occur in the real world. This view, which is often quite naively accepted as required by scientific procedure, has some rather paradoxical consequences. We know: of course, with regard to the market and similar social structures, a great many facts which we cannot measure and on which indeed we have only some very imprecise and general information. And because the effects of these facts in any particular instance cannot be confirmed by quantitative evidence, they are simply disregarded by those sworn to admit only what they regard as scientific evidence: they thereupon happily proceed on the fiction that the factors which they can measure are the only ones that are relevant.

    and so, because there is no way to measure things. there is no way to know. there is no way to formulate and test…

    your goal of the right regulation is IMPOSSIBLE

    got that mitsu?

    the best you can do is come up with some mental fancy, get the stae to implement it threatening peoples lives if they dont comply (which ultimately is why we listen to the state), and then watch the experiment your performing on people hurt them.

    this is no different than the pseudo science of the vivisectionists who would pretend to do science as they cut up people and animals alive, and did odd things like see if a dog will digest himself. (yes they will and its horribly painful).

    you sir are a monster

    you are willing to experiment on your fellow man under threat of state force in order to see if your idea of efficiency is right.

    you are the SAME as hitler, stalin, and others.

    you just dont know it… do you think that such monsters saw themselves as monsters? or as good men who wanted the best for their people and so were willing to experiment on them to find the best regulations?

    your not to bright… i would ask harvard for your money back…

  99. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu with disconnect from reality wrote, “I think perhaps one other thing that distinguishes liberals from conservatives is that liberals tend to be concerned with abuses of power on all sides;

    Are you taking drugs? I know people who are on drugs and they aren’t connected to reality like this…

    Mitsu wrote, “What sets me apart perhaps from some liberals is that I do accept the validity of many libertarian arguments about state power — I am more libertarian than many liberals.

    I haven’t seen even a CENTRIST position from you let alone a libertarian position from you.

    It’s different to say you are to the ‘right’ of your liberal friends – but to be clear – you are on the extremist side of the scale.

  100. Artfldgr Says:

    here is how mitsu woudl make a computer.

    mitsu would create a computer with a million processors.. each fully capable of functioning.

    then mitsu will select 4 of them..

    the 999,999,996 left over are not to actually use their functions and independent computational ability..

    no.. the efficient thing is that the 4 processors instead impose their computations on all the others and do all their work for them..

    thats socialism/communism/fascism

    but we, we are saying… that if you have a million processors… why hamstring them all to turn off their processing ability and only do what the 4 say is ok?

    we instead, let the 4 do houskeeping tasks, while the 999,999,996 processors all work independently attempting to find answers

    this is what mitsu, who is paranoid, as all liberals are, of such power…

    they wish to subject the 999,999,996 to the will of 4 to reign in the power…

    they dont really wish to unleash the power of the 999,999,996 independent minds.

    the reason is clear….

    as long as its mitsus way… people like me cant come out of no where and beat his as through merit and hard work!!!

    he basically wraps his selfish desire to fix the game in his favor, and have the race turn out, that he is willing to enslave everyone.

  101. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu to be clear is – anti-woman.

    http://www.redstate.com/snarkandboobs/2010/03/25/democrat-health-care-bill-is-sexist-and-anti-mom/

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/oct/07/a-new-mommy-tax/

    Breast pump tax
    Tampon tax

    I am so disgusted with the sanctimonious condescending liberal who do not read or listen or connect with reality.

  102. Baklava Says:

    excerpt:

    Birth control will now be more expensive as well, including diaphragms and condoms. Condoms, hmm, what shall we call that one? The roll-down tax? I suppose they figure who cares if people can’t afford condoms. Who needs personal responsibility? Pesky pregnancies won’t be a problem; abortions will be fully funded! That’s feminism for you. You’ve come a long way, baby! They should probably change that phrase, since they don’t seem to care much for actual babies.

    The tax also applies to band-aids, once again harming Mommies and their children. While our kisses do fix boo-boos, they aren’t actually magic. Band-aids and bandages are required with children. Often.

    Compression stockings – taxed! A Mom with varicose veins? You’ll now have to pay more to get some relief. And if you have a baby with croup? Not only will you be up all night, but your vaporizer, needed to relieve your child’s congestion, will cost you more now, too.

    Perhaps the worst one of all; your epidurals will now be more expensive. That’s right; they are taxed too. This should most certainly be exempt as a necessity. Ladies, this is what happens when Obama type bureaucrats are in charge of your medical decisions.

    Please move over Obama and Mitsu. You are dangerous and don’t even know it.

  103. SteveH Says:

    To make the case that corporations and govt are somehow equal in power to abuse individuals is just not factual.

    If a private industry offends me i can take my business elsewhere. Plus they can’t raise my taxes, impose regulations into my personal life and threaten me with force if i don’t comply to their wishes.

  104. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu,

    The government is out of control and it is unmanageable.

    To equate that control with a corporate abuse of power which is much more easily remedied is … idiotic.

    The press if they were doing their job – would highlight a police’s abuse or corporate wrong doing.

    The press right now is NOT doing it’s job.

    The liberal side of the country has committed generational theft in the name of good intentions.

  105. neo-neocon Says:

    And though Medicare is government-run, it is able to reimburse at an artificially low level because the slack is made up for by the higher reimbursements from private insurance.

  106. ELC Says:

    A hearty ditto to SteveH @ 11:08 am. Whatever abuses exist, and there are surely many, many on both sides, there is no realistic comparison between corporate abuse and government abuse.

    @ Baklava 11:14 am. Indeed. Mainstream media is keen on highlighting corporate misbehavior but not government misbehavior. John Stossel, formerly of ABC now of FOX, has written often about how he was lionized by his colleagues when he went after corporate abuse, but became a pariah when he turned the same critical eye towards government agencies.

  107. gs Says:

    “When somebody hurts, the government has got to move.”

    It is necessary to destroy liberty in order to save it.

  108. Artfldgr Says:

    “Again I STRESS! I am NOT A COMMUNIST! And Communists have absolutely no influence in my nation!” (Fidel Castro, April 1959)

  109. Artfldgr Says:

    “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

    - Betrand de Juvenal

  110. Artfldgr Says:

    The Fix Is In
    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=032310A
    Why Britain’s National Health Service spends so much and does so little

    On March 2, the Guardian reported that the ex-minister, now Lord Warner, said that while spending on Britain’s National Health Service had increased by 60 percent under the Labour government, its output had decreased by 4 percent. No doubt the spending of a Soviet-style organization like the NHS is more easily measurable than its output, but the former minister’s remark certainly accords with the experiences of many citizens, who see no dramatic improvement in the service as a result of such vastly increased outlays. On the contrary, while the service has taken on 400,000 new staff members—that is to say, one-fifth of all new jobs created in Britain during the period—continuity of medical care has been all but extinguished. Nobody now expects to see the same doctor on successive occasions, in the hospital or anywhere else.

    I would suggest doing what a friend did and what my parents did. we got a tape recorder, taped our story into it, and each time we went to see a new person, we just played the tape. it saved a whole lot of time and such as the story was always the same story, but to different people.

    mitsu will love the efficiency…

    The ex-minister admitted that most of the extra money—which by now must equal a decent proportion of the total national debt—had been simply wasted.

    how does mitsu spell efficiency?
    W-A-S-T-E-D!

    he said that the NHS received more money than it knew what to do with because of managerial inexperience. “It was like giving a starving man foie gras and caviar,” he said.

    a perfect example of the working of mitsu’s perfect law and formulea.

    we just have to make sure we get better managers. problem is that socialist managers are incompetent by design, as they cause crisis, and keep power.

    so in THEORY – mitsu’s and stalni, and maos, ideas of how we all should live might even be considered wonderful.

    but in practice – mitsu’s theories and ideas and such end up being a complete waste and harmful to the point that thousands have died of starvation thanks to mitsu types in england.

    they experimented in care, and those poor peopel died of starvation, dehydration, and are dying right now as we speak.

    waht is mitsu doing about these starving nhs patients? why supporting the same sytem to be made here in the US, that way, we all have the same crap care and the leaders can claim there is no better possible. (beacause in the absence of others better than them, mitsu thinks he is god).

    Starved by the NHS: 242 patients die from malnutrition in a single year
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1168377/Starved-NHS-242-patients-die-malnutrition-single-year.html

    mitsu thinks it ok to kill such people by administrative action and experimentation!

    he is all to willing to come up with ideas to try, and impose on people, and has not a care in the world for the failure of it… and the way no one can be held responsible, especially someone like mitsu who comes up with such ideas.

    here is an example of mitsus idea of better

    Shock figures show a record-breaking 185,000 left hospital last year suffering from malnutrition. The number of starved patients has rocketed from 75,431 to 185,446 over the last 12 years – a 146 PER CENT increase. And the problem is getting worse. The number of malnourished patients shot up 18 per cent last year alone – the biggest annual hike in more than a decade. The figures show that just over 175,000 patients went INTO hospital last year with malnutrition.

    nothing like adding another 75 thousand starvations to improve medical care!!!

  111. Artfldgr Says:

    There is a possible explanation other than managerial inexperience for the waste, namely that the waste was intended and desired: indeed, that it was the principal object of the spending. Experience has long shown that further spending by state-monopoly suppliers of services (if services is quite the word I seek) benefits not the consumers but the providers. And they—ever more numerous—naturally vote for their own providers, the politicians. Thus the NHS has become an enormously expensive method of ballot-stuffing.

    Personally, I would rather have outright electoral fraud. It would be less expensive and slightly more honest.

  112. SteveH Says:

    Just below the liberal’s arguments against private businesses is nothing but a child like envy of those with the courage to take the risk that made them powerful and successful. They can’t stand that level of FREEDOM. They want to curb it. How dare an average Joe with a high school education get rewarded more by society than a professor or a politician. They long for an entrenched class system where everybody knows their place on the day they are born, with themselves as the appointed elite on top of course.

    It”s beyond politics when these type of people get in power. It’s a moral outrage.

  113. Perfected democrat Says:

    What the bond market has to say… (In case you didn’t catch it)

  114. Baklava Says:

    I saw that PD.

  115. Mitsu Says:

    Artfldgr: What you’re saying is that every European country and Japan is on its way to becoming the USSR, it’s just a matter of time, despite the fact that at the present moment there’s literally no evidence of this whatsoever, and that anyone who expresses a political viewpoint even slightly to the left of yours is equivalent to Stalin. If that’s your point of view, then obviously there’s little I can do to change it — I think it’s utterly ridiculous. Have you ever actually been to one of these hell hole countries that are well on their way to becoming the USSR? Try visiting France or Holland or even Canada someday. You might get a nice baguette on the Seine and enjoy yourself, or get some poutine at a hockey game, and relax a little bit (Actually I hate poutine but that’s another story). Don’t worry: you won’t be followed by the KGB. The Soviet Union is dead, in case you hadn’t heard. Even the USSR isn’t the USSR any more, much less Sweden becoming the USSR.

    Regarding Hayek: I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but even Milton Friedman thought Hayek was not correct. Hayek’s theory would not predict large increases in unemployment during a business downturn, but such increases obviously do occur. There are lots of other problems with Hayek’s theories: they’re overly simplistic. I suppose that’s in general my criticism of conservatism in general: you focus only on some factors to the exclusion of others. The problems with the idea that the market is a perfect optimizer are many: there are issues with imperfect flows of information, issues with time delays in the market, and on and on. Though there’s obviously some value to be found in Hayek’s work, it is not the last word.

    SteveH: Yes, I know that government and private power are not equivalent. However, what conservatives regularly fail to recognize is that there are countervailing pressures in a democratic republic; i.e., the pressure of the vote. Government in our society does not have unlimited power; the power is limited by law, by the constitutional order, and by the democratic process. Thus, while clearly one has to guard against and be vigilant about abuses of government power, government is an institution which responds to public pressure, by design, and thus can also be representative of the people against the abuses of private entities. The power of corporations and the power of votes counterbalance each other.

    As for the problems with NHS: As I’ve already said in the other topic, I am opposed to an NHS-style system for health care, but then again so is every other Democrat who is currently in Congress. I know of no Democrat in Congress who has advocated for an NHS-style government-owned system. The most anyone has advocated is single payer plus supplemental private insurance. I won’t rehash that whole thing but in that system you still have private hospitals and doctors and you can buy your own supplemental insurance if you like.

    As for liberals not caring about abuses by liberals: I think that is incorrect. In this country, for example, the Democratic Party’s political positions are on economic matters to the right of even “conservative” parties in most European countries. That is to say, more pro-market and anti-regulation than in those countries. European countries have far more in the way of social programs, etc., than we do. To some degree this is because they don’t spend as much on defense but it is also because they don’t see “socialism” as a bad thing, necessarily. They even have major political parties that are explicitly socialist. The Democratic Party would be considered a center-right party in most countries in Europe.

    Finally, I’ll come back to this: if conservatives are the only ones concerned about freedom, why do conservatives find themselves far less interested in abuses of police and military power? As I’ve mentioned before, though I agree that too much regulation is a bad idea, I also believe that in a free society you have to have careful legal limits on how police use their power. But conservatives often pooh-pooh concerns about civil liberties (not all conservatives — the Cato Institute has a good track record on this score — but then again many would not consider Cato a “conservative” institution).

  116. Thomass Says:

    JR Dogman Says:

    “Waking up one day and realizing you are totally broke has a wonderful way of focusing the mind.”

    Of normal people. Leftists take to the streets to protest cuts… see Greece. See France. et cetera.

  117. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu lied when he wrote, “Hayek’s theory would not predict large increases in unemployment during a business downturn

    I do not know what to say. I read Hayek’s work and I can say it’s a bold misinterpretation. Reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

    You make yourself more irrelevant with each passing word.

  118. Thomass Says:

    Loyal Achates Says:

    “Of course I know that the status quo and Obamacare aren’t our only choices – but that is how the GOP framed it”

    That is soooo delusional… The democrats framed it like that.

  119. Baklava Says:

    And is it the government’s job to “predict” a market downturn anyway?

    Is it an Obama’s job to “predict” a market downturn – thus exacerbating said downturn in order to give the government the authority to “remedy” the coming downturn?

    Who cares what the government says – and why is it a politicians job to be a nanny state type politician?

    There will be the business cycles and the government has exacerbated and caused and manipulated free markets and picked winners and losers in the market place.

    They need to STRIKE 80% of their methodology and thinking – setup rules that allow a free market and stop trying to change and manipulate the market.

    GOVERNMENT in it’s wisdom REWARDS POOR CHOICES CONSTANTLY.

    Obama and Mitsu are full of ideas that reward poor choices.

    The free market helps people think clearly towards being personally responsible.

    Yes – non-able bodied and elderly need a safety net. But everyone else should be rewarded for being personally responsibility.

    Capitalism = PEOPLE choosing who gets what resources. It is the QUICKEST and TRUEST decider in economic theory.

  120. Thomass Says:

    Mitsu Says:

    “and, as has been famously noted, we have extremely high rates of infant mortality, probably largely due to the high numbers of uninsured who don’t get much if any prenatal care.”

    Nope, due mostly to differences in data collection criteria between countries. That’s a good example though. Almost every argument put forward by the Obama administration, regarding this, was a either a lie or was deceitful.

  121. Baklava Says:

    Obama and Mitsu’s theories take from health care specialists – which will leave less people trying to BE a specialist.

    This will cause more death and misery as you “predictors” are gaming the system for more general practitioners and less compensation for specialists who do so much in our system.

    You are about predicting?? Predict that your 2733 page maximal regulation as the worst thing for any country with over 156 NEW departments, agencies and bureaus costing people more misery, taking money from women with tampon and breast pump taxing and heaping more debt onto our children.

  122. Mitsu Says:

    Baklava: again, you call this law “maximal regulation” even though there’s no public option, all health insurance remains private, all doctors and hospitals remain private. If this is “maximal” then what would you call NHS? “Supermaximal”?

  123. Baklava Says:

    156 is the number I believe. See Newt’s comments

    http://gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com/newt-gingrich-is-fired-up/

  124. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu,

    I used YOUR word. I NEVER used the word maximal.

    You are irrelevant to your own self.

  125. Baklava Says:

    Look at all 1,000 posts of mine (despite your reading comprehension issues) and you’ll NEVER find the word maximal.

  126. Mitsu Says:

    >infant mortality rates

    You’re not correct. Reporting differences don’t account for the entirety of the difference. Although we do have better survival rates for infants born prematurely, we still have higher rates for infants born full term:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db23.htm

  127. Mitsu Says:

    “Baklava Says:
    March 25th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    …. You are about predicting?? Predict that your 2733 page maximal regulation as the worst thing for any country”

    That’s what I am referring to. Obviously I don’t believe the law that just passed is anywhere near “maximal”.

  128. Mitsu Says:

    On Hayek, this is my reference:

    http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE2_1_4.pdf

  129. Baklava Says:

    Reading comprehension Mitsu. I used YOUR word sarcastically. I’ve NEVER used the word until you.

    Comprehension isn’t your strong suit here or with Hayek.

  130. Mitsu Says:

    When did I use the word “maximal”? In any event, I’m glad we at least can agree that the law that just passed isn’t “maximal regulation”.

  131. Baklava Says:

    That link Mitsu was a severely lacking analysis. There was very little of Hayek’s view and a lot severe misunderstanding and assumptions – yes assumptions even admitted to.

    It does not really engage with free market thought. It merely argues against itself with strawmen.

    Read Hayek’s work. Even with your reading comprehension issues I’m sure you’ll get a better analysis on your own.

  132. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu: “maximal regulation” refers to regulation of a private industry. I believe one would call NHS “ownership.”

  133. Baklava Says:

    When did you use the word maximal? Read your posts yesterday on the other thread.

    Was there an imposter using your name? I have to leave this insanity for an hour. You argued yourself in circles.

  134. SteveH Says:

    Mitsu says, “also because they (europeans) don’t see “socialism” as a bad thing”

    Theres that cultural diversity thing again. We are different than europeans. Why not celebrate it? I like being unique in the world. Plus people trying to get here on rafts tells me we’re not the only ones who notice governments can’t do anything for people without doing something far more detrimental to them.

  135. RickZ Says:

    Mitsu: Government in our society does not have unlimited power; the power is limited by law, by the constitutional order, and by the democratic process.

    That’s the way it used to be, before the Dems and Obama started ruling by fiat. The fact that a hellth care law was passed with not one Republican vote tells the new tale of government abuse. That they will fine and/or jail people for not having insurance is not merely unconstitutional, but traitorous to our Republic and its history. The Founders did not believe in democracy, which is why they wrote out the Government they handed down to us. Now, thanks to the procedural shenanigans in Congress and the White House, we have democracy where the progressive minority rule, but do not govern.

    To quote The Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man. If a proglibtard has to go down to keep my Freedom, then so be it. That’s one more reason why Jefferson believed so strongly in the 2nd Amendment, and why progressives are just as strongly against it.

    Welcome to the new Civil War, this one based on government-sanctioned discrimination, i.e., social justice.

  136. Mitsu Says:

    >maximal regulation

    Well, we’re just going around in circles with semantics on this one. If you want to put it another way, let’s just say that the law that just passed has the least amount of government involvement in health care of any industrialized nation. For example, Switzerland’s law (which is the closest to the law that just passed here) has all private insurance, but they all are required to offer the same basic benefits package which is fairly comprehensive. The law that just passed here is much more flexible with respect to benefits, and it allows states to supercede the Federal law entirely if they wish to do so by coming up with their own plan (as I noted before, the Wyden Amendment, which I think is pretty cool). States can decide, for example, to enter into agreements with other states to allow interstate insurance markets, and so on. The whole thing is based on market mechanisms and as I said before is closely patterned after proposals originally developed by the Heritage Foundation, which is a conservative think tank.

  137. Mitsu Says:

    >cultural diversity

    I was not claiming that I think we should imitate the Europeans. I am merely claiming two things: that there is a vast political spectrum, and both Democrats and Republicans are to the right of center in most of the developed world, and that European countries and Japan are not the USSR and are not becoming the USSR (though Artfldgr disagrees, and I suppose we’re just going to have to agree to disagree about that).

  138. Mitsu Says:

    >by fiat

    I actually think it would have been better for Obama to negotiate with Republicans in the Senate to come up with a bill that at least a few Republicans could have voted for. I think it might have been a better bill, and would have been politically better. However, with the possible exception of Snowe and maybe Collins, there were no Republicans who wanted to do anything other than scrap comprehensive reform and do minor tweaks to the current system. I personally believe minor tweaks would not have been sufficient to stabilize the system and they certainly would have left tens of millions more Americans uninsured.

    But to say that the bill that just passed with a majority vote in the House and a large majority (60 votes prior to the Brown election and 59 afterwards) is “ruling by fiat” is quite a stretch. The law had majority support, and when you actually asked people about what was in the bill, all the major provisions actually had majority support as well. The opposition to the bill seemed to be based primarily on ignorance: the idea that the bill involved some sort of government-run health insurance or something of that sort — none of which is in the bill as passed. What’s funny is that if you asked people whether they supported a public option, even THAT has overwhelming support. So what is it exactly that people didn’t like about the bill? It’s hard to find one substantive thing in the actual bill (as opposed to the rhetoric against it) which people opposed.

  139. RickZ Says:

    Mitsu: However, with the possible exception of Snowe and maybe Collins, there were no Republicans who wanted to do anything other than scrap comprehensive reform and do minor tweaks to the current system.

    Hmmph. Imagine that: Republicans did not want to work with the commie rat-bastard Obama and be a part of his plans to destroy America. Obama hates America and its basic goodness and conservatism. Obie will be lucky to be a one-termer. If November shapes up then what it’s looking like now, Obie will have some serious ‘splainin’ to do, with no ‘running out the clock’ with long-winded ‘let me be clear, as I’ve already said’ delaying tactics allowed. It’s about time Obie answer some hard questions, not the fluffers the tingly media give him. The Watergate hearings will be nothing in comparison.

  140. Artfldgr Says:

    One could argue that laws that prevent segregation are a form of restriction of liberty, in that whites no longer had the freedom to refuse to serve blacks in public restaurants.

    he gets it wrong again..

    it was teh democrats who made laws that told businesses how to run. and that they could not serve blacks.

    your an idiot that doesn’t know history and listened to the perpetrators of such things tell you the false truth.

    restaurant owners and others did NOT want to do this to people. got that? it took the state to interfere with business (democrats), and tell them how to run, and just like today, the businesses paid the price.

    take for instance back of the bus thing.

    the back of the bus laws were in place from the late 1800s… but the bus companies did not enforce them.

    it took progressive democrats to try to FORCE the bus companies to enforce the law…

    [otherwise all those laws were going the way of weird blue laws no one paid attention to or wanted to pay to have removed]

    rosa parks was attending the highlander school. they were closed down because of communist subversion (like obama uncle in kenya and his school, except his school didnt close down, and they took over the country making a communist dictatorship).

    anyway… two parts of the communist part worked at once to create the false idea of rampant racism in the south… (to which later people filled the rlles)

    the leaders of the school were arrested by the FBI for buying houses in white neighborhoods. and when moving day came, moved black families into the homes. when the local people did not complain.. did not burn crosses etc… thats exactly what these commnists did!!!!!!!!!

    they bombed the black families they moved in and they lynched blacks letting the people get the blame for their actions.

    when they let off a bomb in ny on the border of a jewish neighborhood and a black neighborhood in brooklyn and blamed it on the JDL, thats when they got arrested and such.

    as far as the bus stuff… the democrats in office forced the bus companies to enforce laws that they ignored. in this way, the bus companies and white owners got the blame for the laws the democrats wrote and then forced them to enforce.

    the whole thing is a shame if you know the whole history. rosa was not a independent person who was at the breaking point, she had attended classes in civil disobedience…(there are photos)… martin luthor king also attended. as did pete seeger.

    so again… the restaurant thing was not somethign the owners wanted. but just as you cant cell a certin kind of oil cooked french fries, they had to comply with the democrats laws.

    take some time… look up hayes, tilden, pinkerson.. you will then read about how the democrats and the knights of the white camelia (kkk), hunted down blacks

    you get to read the testimony of mrs pinkerson.. you see they held her husband down and tortured him. then as he was forced to watch, they drowned his baby, and then sliced the breasts off of mrs pinkerson…

    they left them for dead and pinkerson survived to testify. its the dirty secrete behind their turning the presidency over to hayes… otherwise the facts surrounding their manipulatinos in the south would become common knowlege.

    they threw picnics in white areas, and barbecues. and all were invited, blacks whites and all… it was a fun time… but in black areas, where there were no whites… they hunted blacks down like dogs.

    margaret sangers planned parenthood was origianlly called the negro project…

    and despite africans being only 13% of the populaion, there are 4 times the numbers of abortion clinics in their neighborhoods AND they represent 40% of all abortions.

    you call us racists, but we think that such exterminations are WRONG..

    why your on the side of those who murder administratively, is beyond me mitsu

    but mitsu things its great to subject people/cattle to experiments. (as long as one day, its assumed that an optimal regulation will come from it)

  141. Perfected democrat Says:

    From: CARTER’S SECOND TERM… and this was prior to the latest HCR, trillion dollar spending mistake; payback is looming…

    “….what happens when the leadership of the Federal Government passes legislation (TARP, two Omnibus, and one Stimulus bill totaling about $4 Trillion plus dollars) that open up the spending of future generations of uncollected tax revenues and places this money into an economy that is not producing goods or services to back up or justify the value of these extra dollar bills in circulation?

    Too many dollars chasing the once stable prices on goods and services creates a situation where it takes two dollars to match the value of something that was once valued at one dollar when a stable and consistent money supply dictated this as the cost of the good, service and a living profit. Increase the money supply and prices have to be reset to reflect this simple dynamic.

    Welcome to the age of Carter’s Second Term … welcome to the age of INFLATION!”

  142. Don Janousek Says:

    neo-neocon
    Although the fellow with the alleged medical problems did not respond with gratitude to your act of kjndness, no act of mercy goes unrewarded. I think a large deposit has been made into your spiritual account. Carry on.

  143. JR Dogman Says:

    Thomass,

    Re “Of normal people.”

    True — but most Americans *are* normal.

    Leftist freaks are a minority. And yes, the president is one of them — but the only way he got there was by lying, and, more significantly, the only reason he could get away with his lies was because of the MSM’s nonstop help.

    Obama could *never* get elected president without the MSM — he couldn’t get close.

    And the MSM is dying.

  144. Perfected democrat Says:

    “Social justice” won’t be able to evade the bottom line when the numbers don’t add up, when there is simply a lot of rationalizing, pretending and ignoring of the underlying financial realities. The poor, more than anyone, are going to pay dearly for this “help”, down the road; and when there were other options for addressing many of the legitimate issues in a truly bipartisan fashion. It didn’t need to be an all or nothing, now or never proposition.

  145. Artfldgr Says:

    I have a background in Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism. Conservatives, as a group, are hopelessly innocent about what that kind of scenario would look like.

    thank you so much gray!!!!!!!!

    i keep telling them its not like a video game. that even on best of the situation, at some point you will have to deal with hurting a stranger, who on another day, you would have a beer and play foozball…

    They just do not understand the levels of lawlessness, thuggishness, violence and dirty tricks that insurgency takes. They forget how many “innocent” British tax collectors, minor functionaries and businessmen were murdered; How many Tory families were burned out of house and terrorized during the Revolution.

    my family and their stories and my historical knowlege leaves me in the position that the smartest thing to do is not be there.

    i am VERY smart.
    i am not a geek and am capable
    i am big, nto small, and can fight inner city dirty
    i know how to use weapons
    i know other arts

    and i know that a fool in an alley with a zip gun can knock me off and i would never even have known it.

    easiest way to know a big fool…

    he says it would be good and he would do well and would bring it on.

    during wwii, such conditions caused rampant cannibalism. i wonder if they would think the same if they had to try to store a neighbors thigh for food and then fight others to keep it.

    and to think that other states would just sit by and watch… well thats crazy too… they will try to grab neighbors knowing we cant organize to save friends.

    why do you think that latvia, and slovakia, and poland are nervous.

  146. JR Dogman Says:

    Artfldgr,

    I agree with most everything you write here, and really, I don’t mean to stir things up, but don’t you feel a little weird writing, “i am VERY smart”?

    Myself, I think I’m a pretty smart guy, but there are definitely smarter people out there, and anyhow, this is an open forum, people can read what I write here and decide for themselves how smart or stupid, or sensible or foolish, they think I am. And the same goes for any other commenter writing here.

  147. Scottie Says:

    Gray:

    “There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

    Give that idea up. I have heard a lot such nonsense from rock-ribbed law-abiding conservatives.

    And that is just the problem, they are stalwart and law-abiding, with families and a lot to lose.

    I have a background in Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism. Conservatives, as a group, are hopelessly innocent about what that kind of scenario would look like.

    They just do not understand the levels of lawlessness, thuggishness, violence and dirty tricks that insurgency takes. They forget how many “innocent” British tax collectors, minor functionaries and businessmen were murdered; How many Tory families were burned out of house and terrorized during the Revolution.”

    ——-

    It’s interesting to read comments measuring how Americans would respond to a civil war type situation.

    It’s happened here before – twice.

    It happens every day in other parts of the world on a constant basis.

    Yet, the views I see being expressed are that Americans couldn’t stomach it.

    I’m wondering if the insinuation is that the average American would rather roll over and take whatever the powers that be decide to dish out rather than ever finding something they would be willing to draw the line at and become violent over.

    Why are we so different from every other person on the planet?

    IMO, there is always only a thin veneer of civilization that we carry around like an article of clothing, and under certain circumstances it gets cast aside when basic human nature deems a person is in a fight for survival.

    While I agree only a damn fool would actually want something like a civil war to occur, I also believe in my gut that there are certain segments of society that would do whatever necessary to survive in just such a scenario.

    Looking at past civil wars, there are plenty of examples of villages that spent generations living peacefully next to each other that, when the shooting started, were content to do their best to kill their neighbors.

    I have known quite a few men in my life who have taken human lives as well and survived – not that they really talked about it afterwards if they didn’t know you.

    The point is, they survived, they’ve experienced it before, and God help whoever is in their way should they have to engage in such activities within our own borders because they feel the need to protect their own.

    You say conservatives are “stalwart and law-abiding, with families and a lot to lose.”

    Yes – they have a lot to lose, and just as much to fight for should the need arise.

    Quite a few of them, at least in my area that have a lot of retired military, are not so innocent minded as you declare.

    Should, again hypothetically, a future government start plucking people in the middle of the night and disappearing them, I am certain that if a father or husband or brother or son can protect his family from such a thing they will do whatever it takes to provide just that protection.

    Thinking that Americans would always stop before committing to a civil war type situation – again, not advocating such a thing, just saying hypothetically – is exactly the kind of thinking that could actually lead to such a miscalculation occurring.

    As for a lack of historical knowledge, I would agree up to a point.

    Most people don’t realize, or at least contemplate, that one reason peace came to the former colonies after the American Revolution was because the loyalists decided they needed to leave immediately after the shooting stopped.

    There is no reason in my mind why current generations would not conduct themselves in just such a bloody manner again should the proper instigation be present in society.

    That is what truly scares the hell out of me, and why I hope and pray nobody is stupid enough to push things in the mistaken belief that they can never go too far.

  148. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu,
    you are tiring yourself out. Next time don’t use the word maximal and then get on others for sarcastically using the word you used.

    I don’t know how you can characterize 156 new departments, agencies and bureaus and Newt said on Greta last night as anything but the worst possible situation.

    I’d almost rather have maximal with one agency overseeing it all.

    If somebody has a problem with the government’s health decisions… they will have to fight that monstrosity.

    You and Obama will have CAUSED MISERY and pain in peoples’ lives.

    You want to keep characterizing the 2733 pages and 156 new departments as minimal.

    You’ll tire yourself out doing so… You aren’t convincing ANYBODY here.

    Why?

    Because we have common sense and have better reading comprehension.

    Get back to us after you’ve read Hayek’s work.

  149. rickl Says:

    Scottie:

    That is what truly scares the hell out of me, and why I hope and pray nobody is stupid enough to push things in the mistaken belief that they can never go too far.

    It scares the hell out of me, too, and I’ve never been in a war. I’ve never even been a hunter.

    But how much more abuse can peaceful, freedom-loving Americans be expected to take? Deliberate, in-your-face abuse?

    As I’ve said before, I knew on election night that we were on the path to civil war. Why? Simply because I knew that if anyone tried to ram communism down our throats, it would provoke a violent reaction among many, many Americans. And it would be entirely justifiable, based on the plain facts of history.

    Well, here we are. Large segments of our population are a powder keg soaked in gasoline, and these evil motherfuckers keep flicking matches at it.

  150. Scottie Says:

    rickl,

    My own estimation is that a lot more harm would have to occur before we were actually in a real civil war.

    However, I also see the kooks as something of the canary in the coal mine.

    When the canary is missing from his perch, you may have a problem.

    When a LOT of canaries are missing from their perches, you KNOW you have a problem.

    I can honestly say I don’t ever recall the level of tension I’m seeing right now, with congress critters being openly threatened with physical violence, and even the states gearing up to contest federal authority.

    Perhaps it’s because now that the democrat leadership is being threatened they are publicizing what normally would have been handled discreetly in order to make political points – or perhaps it really is as bad as it seems at the moment.

    If the democrat leadership are trying to make political points and appeal to public sympathy, I think they are in for a surprise as not only will they not get much sympathy – I’m wondering if they are unknowingly normalizing the idea of violence directed towards congress critters in a lot of minds.

    It ought to be clear to any moron that someone is pushing things too far, and it would be a good idea to back the hell off before things degenerated any farther.

    Once such a powder keg is lit, only an idiot will think they can control the resulting situation.

    Think in terms of the European monarchies prior to WWI who thought a war would be a grand way to spend a few months – and then think of how many of their monarchies actually survived it.

    Individuals taking it upon themselves to get the first shots in what they think is a new revolution are fools, and will be tracked down and dealt with individually.

    However, when you have an underlying political structure from which legitimacy may be inferred, it becomes an entirely different shooting match.

    That’s why I’m both hopeful and concerned regarding the actions of the various states right now.

    I think their actions are legitimate, justified, and they are correct in their legal reasoning.

    I also think if successful it would be a good start to restoring a proper balance between the states and the federal government as the federal government came to accept the fact that they are not supreme in all matters they decide to involve themselves in.

    That whole enumerated powers thing, and the 9th and 10th amendments to boot…..ya know.

    On the other hand, the federal government isn’t going to let go of one iota of power if it possibly can prevent it, and indeed will go to any lengths to prevent the loss of assumed powers.

    One of the best outcomes would be for an expedited hearing before SCOTUS, with the entire law simply being struck down in total.

    This would begin to restore the balance between the states and the federal government, it would clarify that the federal government is NOT of unlimited authority, it would defuse practically all of the current tensions, and would give the democrat leadership a way out of the mess short of repealing their own law shortly after enacting it.

    They would be saved from themselves.

    Unfortunately, I’m not holding my breath, and I am concerned that at this time we are being led by fools.

  151. JuliB Says:

    artfldgr: during wwii, such conditions caused rampant cannibalism.

    Care to expand on that a bit more?

    JR Dogman: “very smart” … well, I’m very smart too, Mensa, continually expanding my knowledge, job that causes me to think constantly (exhausting!), and I would probably say ‘I’m a bright cookie’ instead. But… heck – he is pretty smart – it’s no different than saying ‘very athletic’ is it, when you think about it.

    rickl – flicking matches – I saw a headline about 0bama mocking the GOP’s concerns. I thought – why on earth would he do that, given all the alleged threats, upset feelings, etc. Sometimes, I think he is trying to get “us” to cross the line.

  152. rickl Says:

    Scottie: I was going to discuss your last comment point by point, but decided not to since it would look like I was fisking it. It was a good comment, and I agree with some parts and disagree with others. (Plus, it’s more work for me. :) )

    I actually think that the civil war is already under way, but it’s still at a smoldering stage rather than a conflagration. At this point it won’t take much to bust it wide open. I think future historians will date its beginning either to Obama’s election, or to the passage of the Hell Care bill.

    I remember reading an article a few years ago that said that America was in a “Cold Civil War”. I don’t remember who coined the phrase, but I agreed with that description. And now it is turning hot.

    The battle lines are drawn between those who produce wealth and those who consume government largesse. Between the ‘makers’ and the ‘takers’, as my boss puts it. So it won’t be a neat division between North and South, Blue and Gray like last time. It will be an order of magnitude worse.

    I am extremely doubtful about the media allegations of death threats, violence and racism among the conservatives and Tea Partiers. Rush Limbaugh had a lot to say about that today, and demanded to see and hear the video and audio of these alleged incidents. Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen, you can rely on the MSM to spew propaganda 24/7. They have truly become Pravda for the ruling establishment. Glenn Beck said yesterday that they will try to demonize and marginalize conservatives in order to bring back straying moderates and independents to the Democrat camp.

    Your World War I analogy was spot on. I hadn’t even thought of it in those terms before, but if this thing gets cooking, it will get uglier than we can imagine.

    And yes, we are being led by fools.

  153. rickl Says:

    JuliB:

    Sometimes, I think he is trying to get “us” to cross the line.

    Glenn Beck has been saying that for at least the last couple of years that I’ve been listening to him.

    Not so much “he” Obama as “they” the Progressives.

  154. Gray Says:

    I’m wondering if the insinuation is that the average American would rather roll over and take whatever the powers that be decide to dish out rather than ever finding something they would be willing to draw the line at and become violent over.

    It’s not an insinuation. It’s a certainty.

    Why are we so different from every other person on the planet?

    Because we are so much more well-off that we can afford a lot of abuse and incompetence.

  155. JR Dogman Says:

    JuliB,

    He *is* smart — but saying “I’m VERY smart” is *not* the same as saying “I’m very athletic”; it’s analogous to saying “I’m very good-looking”. I think it’s commonly-accepted that most people who go around saying, “I went to *Harvard*” (or wherever) or, “I was Phi Beta Kappa, blah blah blah,” in fact tend to be a lot less intelligent than they’d like others to think. And I think that underneath, they know this to be true about themselves; putting it out there that they went to X school, or that they’re very smart (the implication being that we should listen to carefully to what they have to say), is a kind of preemptive defense-mechanism: they’re not going to leave it to you, their listener or reader, to determine for yourself how bright they are (or aren’t), they’re going to get the jump on you with a formal declaration.

    As you wrote, you would not have said, “I’m VERY smart”, but “I’m a smart cookie.”

    Why would you use the second phrasing and not the first? You belong to Mensa, and while I don’t know you, let’s say for the sake of argument that you’re absolutely certain that if I knew you, I would be convinced of your superior intellect, because everyone always has been, since you were a little girl. Moreover, you’ve *felt* it all your life — known in your gut that you take in the world in a more sophisticated manner than most. Objectively speaking, you *could* reasonably go around declaring how intelligent you are. Yet you don’t, because you know it’s awkward. Or rather you sense it more than know it; you probably never had to think about it, you just don’t talk that way. You realize it’s likely to be a little off-putting to others, even if they agree with your high opinion of yourself.

    Instead, when context requires – say, if you’re at a party and are telling a funny story about how a used car salesman tried to con you about a car’s handling capabilities, or a guy who after two dates told you he loved you and tried to sucker you into bed with his lousy poetry — you’d say, “Well, of course I saw right through him; I’m a pretty smart cookie, not some fool. I think he got the picture when I came back at him with [my understanding of physics and how it applies to cornering in such a car -- perhaps I should have mentioned I'm an adjunct professor at MIT's engineering department] / [that little PhD in classical French poetry I happened to pick up a few years back at Stanford].”

    In the above hypothetical scenarios, you managed to communicate that (A) you are very smart, and (B) your educational and professional accomplishments are formidable. Yet your playful phrasing — “cookie”; “that little PhD” — communicates something that most smart people generally understand: there are other smart people out there. Indeed, they might be smarter than you, in general or even in regard to your specific profession.

    But even if you *are* the smartest gal on the block, bar none, you still realize that there are many kinds of intelligence and talent that manifest themselves in different ways in different people. Is an expert mechanic who only has a high school GED stupid? Maybe — but I doubt it. Also, though at first glance you might just see a grease monkey, maybe he’s read more books on Constitutional law than our supposed genius-in-chief has, and can tell you all about rulings and their significance going all the way back to the founding of the Republic. Just because now and then he says “ain’t” or “he don’t”, and lacks the formal schooling you have, and doesn’t belong to Mensa, are you really comfortable saying you’re necessarily smarter than he is?

    If you’re really smart, probably not. What’s more, you won’t tell him how smart you are, because you’ll be confident he’ll figure that out on his own. And if the context of the conversation requires that you refer to your intelligence, you’ll do so in a manner that shows you’re not this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STeVTzWelns

  156. Scottie Says:

    Gray: “It’s not an insinuation. It’s a certainty.”

    As I said, that kind of mindset increases the possibility of one side or the other pushing things too far and actually getting the very conditions you say won’t happen.

    As for the wealth, that can evaporate overnight – and hunger is a strong motivator.

    Let me give you an example of why I think your fellow Americans are capable of killing each other on a massive scale.

    In the small town I grew up in, a guy found out his wife was screwing around on him.

    This was a hard working fella, young, never been in trouble before in his life, farm boy, hunter, etc.

    He took his hunting rifle down to the corner within sight of the courthouse and wounded one fella – and damn near cut the other guy in two if I recall the details correctly.

    He hit his limit and snapped. And when he snapped, he was ready, willing, and capable of murder.

    I firmly believe the majority of good ol farm boys are like that guy.

    They go through life doing their best, but their very lifestyle (spending as much time fishing and hunting as legally – or illegally – possible) cultivates an ability to inflict severe damage should circumstances require it in their minds.

    Same for a lot of retired military. They learned skills that they still have should they feel the need to exercise them – and a respectable percentage of them have already taken a human life before.

    Here’s another example. Less than a decade ago when that same county decided to implement a 911 system.

    As part of that system, they wanted people to put tags on their mailboxes – and wanted those tags to be of a specific size, type, etc.

    They even helpfully decided to tell people where they could go to get the tags.

    And of course when they sent the letters out they had to include the club part, wherein they informed the locals of various fines and penalties that would be levied if they decided not to comply.

    One of the county commissioners resigned within about a month as he decided it wasn’t worth the death threats he received as a result of that single letter going out to all residents, and to my knowledge the system was never implemented.

    To believe all Americans would just roll over is simply being arrogant, substituting one’s stereotypes for all people in all regions of the nation.

  157. JR Dogman Says:

    I haven’t the slightest doubt that our president would *love* to have this kind of power:

    http://www.cato.org/events/eventid6344.html

    Link taken from the following page, which was linked by Instapundit:

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/03/25/chavez-arrests-the-president-of-globovision-television/

  158. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Scottie and Ricki, I think you are both right except for one thing, as for being led by fools. With over thirty states rallying against the so called HCR and all the Republican party and a chunk of Democrats I can’t agree with you. Note; we were all naive because none of us ever imagined this level of evil by a US president. Now we are smarter, like the Post WW2 Germans.

    Wars as you noted, incubate. Since the objective of the health care bill is to begin a process of undoing democracy I would like to know a justification for not engaging in violence, assuming we can find a target. It’s hard to have a Civil War if almost everyone is on your side. I really cannot see an army of freeloaders wanting to risk their lives fighting an army of free men, no matter how constantly their Marxist commissars harangue them.

    The outrage in the media against the supposed violence of the anti-HCRers is obliviously an effort to cut off the inevitable and eventual response to their efforts. All we need now is an elected and respected governor or congressman to say out openly that Obama and company are so anti-democracy that we are justified in using violence. Once that happens it will a whole new ballgame.

    BTW I like that quote someone repeated here: in a tyranny those with guns still get to vote.

  159. JR Dogman Says:

    Bob From Virginia,

    I like that quote too.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL2834893820070828

  160. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Scottie wrote:”That is what truly scares the hell out of me, and why I hope and pray nobody is stupid enough to push things in the mistaken belief that they can never go too far.”

    Obama has all the characteristics of a fanatic. A True Believer as good ol’ Eric Hoffer noted would rather see his cause and everything else destroyed rather than give an inch.

    Things are going to get even more interesting I’m afraid.

  161. JR Dogman Says:

    “Things are going to get even more interesting I’m afraid.”

    They may indeed. But we are going to get rid of these people — there is an Awakening underway, and it’s just going to keep growing.

  162. JR Dogman Says:

    One of the reasons I am optimistic:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-25/can-this-man-save-the-gop/full/

  163. RickZ Says:

    Bob From Virginia: Note; we were all naive because none of us ever imagined this level of evil by a US president.

    Speak for yourself.

    Anyone paying atention during the campaign by the International Man of Mystery (who records were diligently buried and furiously guarded) would have seen the warning signs. Obie is A-OK with causing harm to the people of this country to serve his communist agenda. Why during the campaign he told us his Cap ‘n Tax would necessarily raise fuel prices across the board by upwards of a thousand percent, even put some industries out of business, like the coal industry of those bible totin’, gun clingin’, God believin’ yokels in flyover country. These are not the words of a nice guy from the neigborhood.

    We’ve never had a more historically illiterate president that I can recall. The man is a dunce when it comes to basic history. He obfuscates ior prevaricates facts to prop up his imaginative narrative. 57 states? Uncle who liberated Auschwitz? An understanding of Economic Realty 101 (Profits to Earnings Ratios)? Again, all that was readily available during the campaign, if one bothered to look.

    So I don’t see how anyone could not know the evil that lurks within the breast of Barack Obamalini, he with the teleprompter readin’ chin thrust. Nor do I see how anyone could miss the depth of his hatred for his ‘country’ and its founding principles, like when he said our Consitution did not do enough when it came to economic justice. It’s as if Obie does not believe in safeguarding the right to fail as well as to succeed — but only so far. He’s already rattled his saber against the ‘wealthy’ fomenting a class war.

    Obie is a narcissistic, affirmative-action, Marxist ideologue. Just the Marxist ideologue part makes him evil (unless you don’t think communism is evil). When you couple the way he has been coddled his whole public life, never having to defend his positions, just reiterate them over and over, time and time again, like with the Hellth Care ‘Reforn’ debate, one can see where he thinks he has earned some kind of right to rule over us. Obie does not like Americans because we can and do speak our minds. But with his penstroke, he’s taken over control of our bodies. The Fairness Doctrine and other lovely ideas spinning in his empty head, like being sure he supports the progressive teachers’ unions, will be used to take over our minds. Obie is a control freak who has absolutely no idea how to lead or govern, but only how to dictate his rule through fiat.

    Again I say Obama is evil, and anyone with a lick of common sense should have seen that by now, but could have known it during the campaign if one was paying attention and not voting for the (half white, half) cool black dude out of some sort of expiation for this country’s prior historical racism. Progressives are the worst racists of all (Margaret Sanger and the Eugenics of Planned Parenthood), and we are cowed by them calling us racist? Puh-leeze.

    Obie only knows how to push, as up next is amnesty for illlegals. Since the 9/12 march on Washington, with over a million Americans ridiculed, or worse – ignored, a shootin’ war is just around the next legislative corner. Get used to it. Support Barack Obama for gun salesman of this year (he was the top gun salesman last year). Also buy ammo when you can find it, even if it’s not your caliber, as barter will become part of the new underground economy that will be forced upon us by our aristocratic overlords.

  164. JR Dogman Says:

    RickZ,

    Re “the International Man of Mystery (who records were diligently buried and furiously guarded)”, isn’t that just the craziest thing? I mean, really, it’s nuts — we *still* don’t know so much about Obama.

    If I had to pick one culprit responsible for all of the damage done by progressives/statists to our country, I wouldn’t pick any politicians, I’d go with the MSM, hands-down.

    Wild stuff, man. You could puke from the rank dishonesty of these people, who purport to “inform” the public.

  165. Scottie Says:

    Bob from Virginia,

    Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity.

    Let me mention first that I grew up in a rural area, and it had it’s own subculture much as anywhere else in the country does.

    Now, the thing to keep in mind is that in that rural area – and most rural areas in my experience – people generally take what you say seriously, and God help you if you are ever branded a liar in the community.

    If you tell a man you are going to punch him, don’t be surprised if he takes you seriously and you have a fight on your hands.

    My employer likewise came from a rural area even further South, and has made the same observation I have in that urban/surburban types don’t take their words as seriously.

    Whereas an urban type may run their mouth more and shows surprise when someone takes offense to what they say, the rural type tends to be less talkative but more serious minded about the words they use.

    Where the the urban types tends to let talk slide and not take words as literally, the rural type tends to take what’s said very seriously.

    As my employer once noted, if you “call one of those boys a sonofabitch, he’s ready to fight you right then and there where a city boy would just run his mouth.”

    It’s a culture thing.

    I am wondering if Obama is more in the urban type mindset, and is not choosing his words with the realization that people really are taking what he’s saying and doing seriously.

    Such a person would never think they could go too far.

  166. Scottie Says:

    RickZ,

    The only two ways that things could develop into a “shooting war” is if you had a political entity confer legitimate status to armed resistance, or if the federal government made such an overt grab for tyranny that even the average citizen was ready for armed resistance.

    Though tensions were high during the 1850′s between North and South, and though you had guerrilla campaigns occurring between factions in the territories, you didn’t actually have a wide spread shooting war as such.

    When the states began to move though – that’s when it became a war in a very real sense and hundreds of thousands took up sides and arms.

    Legitimacy had been conferred onto armed resistance.

    With so many states looking to resist this bill, you very well could have a president right now that does not take the situation seriously enough and makes a huge error in judgment.

    As I mentioned before, the best solution I think is for the SCOTUS to simply expedite the case through the system and strike the bill down completely as unconstitutional.

    That by itself, with no other action, would quickly restore public confidence in the federal system.

  167. RickZ Says:

    JR Dogman,

    Yes, the records issue is crazy, just plain nuts. Someone spending the money he has to keep his records out of the public domain (even though he’s technically a public servant), can only have something to hide. Occam’s Razor.

    The other thing never mentioned about Obie is his deliberate arrogance when it comes to discussing, much less debating, his ideas. His track record of being insulated in his own little communist world — and still be elected president — is stupefying. The radio interview with a U. of Chicago law professor, a real one, talking about how Obama ignored those with whom he disagreed, tells of a serious character flaw that we see revealed when he preaches to us about tolerance or police acting stupidly. Much simpler to ignore those who would dare to utter such words than being told one’s ideas are full of shit.

    Rome fell from within, as we appear to be doing now. As Tiberius is thought to have said about Caligula, we have allowed a viper into Rome’s bosom, that is, a poisonous snake into the very seat of power of our Nation. As we have seen with Obie, any power he has corrupts him absolutely. It’s the local hit, The Chicago Way, taking the national stage by storm, or by hook or by crook. If the history of this administration is ever properly written (and any records researched), Obie will go down as the most corrupt person to ever be president, and that’s saying something. If such a history is allowed to be written.

  168. JR Dogman Says:

    RickZ,

    Re “Someone spending the money he has to keep his records out of the public domain (even though he’s technically a public servant), can only have something to hide. Occam’s Razor”, you’re 100% right. Regardless, I never signed onto the so-called “birther” movement, and I won’t, for two reasons: (1) I don’t think the courts will ever force the president to produce his long-form birth certificate (and school records); and (2) the details are so tangled, and so shadowy, that we *can’t* know what the truth is, one way or another. All we can do is speculate, and I won’t devote my energy to a cause whose premise is not necessarily sound — not when there are plenty of legitimate grounds on which to oppose this administration and this congress.

    But no question, something funny’s going on. Unfortunately, even new media have been shamed out of taking the logical position: Obama should release all requested documents, just as any other president would have to, and so put an end to the controversy.

    Maybe it’s like some argue, i.e., there’s nothing there, but Obama wants to keep the conspiracy theories percolating so he can paint his opposition as a bunch of tinfoil-hat-wearing kooks. Or maybe there really is some secret or secrets that he believes — or knows — he must keep hidden at all costs.

    Your guess is as good as mine, or anybody else’s; that’s how damned strange the whole thing is.

  169. Artfldgr Says:

    JulieB: artfldgr: during wwii, such conditions caused rampant cannibalism.

    Care to expand on that a bit more?

    Many instances of cannibalism by necessity were recorded during World War II. For example, during the 872-day Siege of Leningrad, reports of cannibalism began to appear in the winter of 1941–1942, after all birds, rats and pets were eaten by survivors. Leningrad police even formed a special division to combat cannibalism.

    Following the Soviet victory at Stalingrad it was found that some German soldiers in the besieged city, cut off from supplies, resorted to cannibalism

    Later, in February 1943, roughly 100,000 German soldiers were taken prisoner of war (POW). Almost all of them were sent to POW camps in Siberia or Central Asia where, due to being chronically underfed by their Soviet captors, many resorted to cannibalism. Fewer than 5,000 of the prisoners taken at Stalingrad survived captivity.

    The Australian War Crimes Section of the Tokyo tribunal, led by prosecutor William Webb (the future Judge-in-Chief), collected numerous written reports and testimonies that documented Japanese soldiers’ acts of cannibalism among their own troops, on enemy dead, and on Allied prisoners of war in many parts of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    [ergo even bugs bunny having jokes as to "long pig"]

    In some cases, flesh was cut from living people. An Indian POW, Lance Naik Hatam Ali (later a citizen of Pakistan), testified that in New Guinea: “the Japanese started selecting prisoners and every day one prisoner was taken out and killed and eaten by the soldiers. I personally saw this happen and about 100 prisoners were eaten at this place by the Japanese. The remainder of us were taken to another spot 50 miles [80 km] away where 10 prisoners died of sickness. At this place, the Japanese again started selecting prisoners to eat. Those selected were taken to a hut where their flesh was cut from their bodies while they were alive and they were thrown into a ditch where they later died.

    Another well-documented case occurred in Chichijima in February 1945, when Japanese soldiers killed and consumed five American airmen. This case was investigated in 1947 in a war crimes trial, and of 30 Japanese soldiers prosecuted, five (Maj. Matoba, Gen. Tachibana, Adm. Mori, Capt. Yoshii, and Dr. Teraki) were found guilty and hanged.

    The Soviet writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in his novel The Gulag Archipelago, describes cases of cannibalism in the twentieth-century USSR. Of the famine in Povolzhie (1921–1922) he writes: “That horrible famine was up to cannibalism, up to consuming children by their own parents — the famine, which Russia had never known even in Time of Troubles [in 1601–1603]…”.[102] He says of the Siege of Leningrad (1941–1944): “Those who consumed human flesh, or dealt with the human liver trading from dissecting rooms… were accounted as the political criminals…”.[103] And of the building of Northern Railway Prisoners Camp (“SevZhelDorLag”) Solzhenitsyn writes: “An ordinary hard working political prisoner almost could not survive at that penal camp. In the camp SevZhelDorLag (chief: colonel Klyuchkin) in 1946–47 there were many cases of cannibalism: they cut human bodies, cooked and ate.”[104]

    The Soviet journalist Yevgenia Ginzburg, former long-term political prisoner, who spent time in the Soviet prisons, Gulag camps and settlements from 1938 to 1955, describes in her memoir book “Harsh Route” (or “Steep Route”) the case, which she was directly involved in late 1940s, after she had been moved to the prisoners’ hospital.[105] “…The chief warder shows me the black smoked pot, filled with some food: ‘I need your medical expertize regarding this meat.’ I look into the pot, and hardly hold vomiting. The fibers of that meat are very small, and don’t resemble me anything I have seen before. The skin on some pieces bristles with black hair (…) A former smith from Poltava, Kulesh worked together with Centurashvili. At this time, Centurashvili was only one month away from being discharged from the camp (…) And suddenly he surprisingly disappeared. The wardens looked around the hills, stated Kulesh’s evidence, that last time Kulesh had seen his workmate near the fireplace, Kulesh went out to work and Centurashvili left to warm himself more; but when Kulesh returned to the fireplace, Centurashvili had vanished; who knows, maybe he got frozen somewhere in snow, he was a weak guy (…) The wardens searched for two more days, and then assumed that it was an escape case, though they wondered why, since his imprisonment period was almost over (…) The crime was there. Approaching the fireplace, Kulesh killed Centurashvili with an axe, burned his clothes, then dismembered him and hid the pieces in snow, in different places, putting specific marks on each burial place. (…) Just yesterday, one body part was found under two crossed logs.”

    ================

    Cannibalism was reported by the journalist Neil Davis during the South East Asian wars of the 1960s and 1970s. Davis reported that Cambodian troops ritually ate portions of the slain enemy, typically the liver. However he, and many refugees, also report that cannibalism was practiced non-ritually when there was no food to be found. This usually occurred when towns and villages were under Khmer Rouge control, and food was strictly rationed, leading to widespread starvation. Any civilian caught participating in cannibalism would have been immediately executed.

  170. Rug Cleaning Redondo Beach Says:

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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