Howard Dean Publicly Exposes All Politicians

Howard Dean SternWhew…. Back at home once again. After a month and a half or so filled with travel and family and all kinds of stuff, my life begins its return towards normal (or at least my own abnormal version of normal). I spent the weekend back in my hometown. I had taken my computer, hopeful of some quiet time with my blog. No such luck, the one hotel in town had no internet access. Which was actually kind of nice. So I spent some time at Gettysburg battlefield (I grew up about 25 miles from there) educating my son and wife on the historic battle. Visited a couple of old friends. Marveled at the town’s growth. And didn’t know a single political thing that happened for the entire three days. Tomorrow begins the adoption process for our new family dog from the local shelter. But other than that, things begin getting back to some semblance of normalcy. I had been thinking about this article prior to leaving, so I return to it now. It seems Howard Dean felt it necessary to remind our representatives that they don’t answer to their contituents….

They instead answer to the party first. Shocker, I know. But to make it so blatant, and it got no play from anywhere other than the one and only, liberal site “The Huffington Post” !

Obama-Clinton.jpgWe can be honest with each other here. I know this because we have all built that kind of relationship. We all know that this is how things work. Our representatives don’t care what we think. They are not interested in representing us. They represent their parties. This is, again, not a partisan statement. It is true on both sides of the aisle. The parties control the legislation, not the representatives. We have seen it play out again and again. I will mention again that this is the behavior on BOTH sides of the aisle. However I am going to stick to more recent events in order to make my point, and this will mean the examples come from the Democratic party. I welcome everyone to offer other examples, especially those on the right, as I know that they do it to, I just don’t have their examples at the front of my memory.

You may recall, early on in the Presidency, that Obama told Republican lawmakers, “I Won”, essentially saying that the President was not interested in hearing ideas or objections from the Republicans. And that is a clear sign of how partisan politics play in Washington. It is a clear sign of how troubling our representation is that we are so concerned about the number of D’s and R’s in Congress. Because we know that no matter the letter behind their name, they will not go against their party, even in the interest of the constituents they are supposed to represent. I have pointed out several times that new Democratic Senator Kay Hagan from my home state of North Carolina voted FOR the giant increase in tobacco taxes, effectively voting against the interest of the state she represents. That is what I mean when I say the party controls the representatives.

pelosi-angry-attacking-greenWe witnessed this first hand during the debate (what little there was) over the “economic stimulus”. The so called “Blue Dog” democrats (conservative leaning Dems) did not agree with the stimulus bill. And they were saying so. They made it clear they were not going to vote for the stimulus bill. That is until Nancy Pelosi took them into a closed door meeting and had some words with them. They came out of that meeting with 42 of the 48 voting “yes”. We all knew what was said, even though we weren’t able to hear it: Threats of ending political careers. That is how the parties work. You don’t work for the people who elected you. You work for the party, and you will vote for what the party tells you to vote for.

And now the old Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, has finally come right out and made it blatantly clear. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Dean fired the clearest warning he could fire. With many Democrats feeling hesitant to vote for the health care reform being proposed, Dean made sure they understood that it wasn’t the people they represent they needed to worry about, it was the party.

Dean stated that if the party was unable to produce a health care bill with a public option, there would be electoral consequences. He stated specifically, “I do think there will be primaries as the result of all this, if the bill doesn’t pass with a public option”. How’s that for a blatant statement? All of you that don’t work to make sure the public option health care bill is passed will face primary challenges. Let’s not forget that primaries are party internal battles. What Dean is clearly saying is that the DNC will ensure that their support goes for someone else in the primary should a sitting member of Congress not comply with party demands.

The rest of the article was interesting, but nothing more than rhetoric from Dean, as he claimed he believes all of this will pass despite all the fake public outrage. And he slammed the co-op option as one that everyone knows won’t work (For once I agree with him… ANY OPTION involving the government won’t work). But the main focus of the article was his threat to Democrats who are not in line with what the party says they better be in line with. You can read it HERE if you like, but it is pretty short.

Howard Dean DNCLet me be clear here that I am not surprised to hear that a leader of one of the parties has threatened its members in such a way. I fully know that both the Republicans and Democrats have been doing this for years. Our representatives stopped working for us a long time ago. What is surprising to me is that he was willing to come out and say this publicly. That he was willing to come out and essentially say, for all of America to hear, “Listen up America, your representatives don’t work for you. They work for me. I don’t care if every person in their district doesn’t want this bill. They will vote for it because I said so. And if they don’t, I promise you, the DNC will destroy them and replace them with a more obedient member in the next election.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been screaming this from the mountaintop for a long time. It is about time that people start to wake up. Many people have given up on the Republican party. And rightly so. They stopped doing what the people who elected them expected them to do. But somehow the DNC has gotten so cocky that they believe that cannot happen to them. So cocky that they are willing to say it out loud.

Howard Dean Poster BYAHHHWhat does it say about American apathy in holding their elected officials accountable that the politicians don’t even feel that they need to lie to us anymore? That a leader in the DNC doesn’t even feel like they have to pretend to care what the people think? When they were lying, only a small percentage of us were able to see through all their bullshit, but this change opens them up to a much larger percentage seeing that the parties don’t care about people. If the majority of Americans oppose a plan (and the majority of Americans do oppose the current health care reform plan), yet the party continues to pursue that plan and threaten lawmakers who oppose it, it has become obvious that the party in power doesn’t really give a shit what the people think. It is a blatant statement that the party no longer cares what your constituents want, you will vote the way we tell you to vote or be replaced with someone who will.

And all of this comes right back to what many of us talk about on this site. The fact that under the current system, we have no way of holding the power to be represented at all. We are given two flavors of sewage water, as BF would say, and told that we must believe in one of the two. And if we don’t, tough, because if a representative starts wanting that third flavor that his constituents crave, the party will replace him or her with a flavor of the party’s choosing, and we are left again with only those two flavors, which both, frankly, taste like shit.

So if we are going to talk about a new way to make things run, we have a major problem on our hands.BF says that this problem cannot be solved. If there is to be an elected “government” (or whatever we want to call it), what possible way is there to ensure that the people we elect or choose to represent us….. actually will?

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Comments

  1. Hey USW,

    Welcome home!

    I’m not surprised that the Dems don’t feel the need to lie to us anymore. I have a feeling they’re postive they have the next election already won. ACORN anyone? Martial law? In anycase, if we can ever rid ourselves of this oppressive government, we’ll have to figure out a way to remove the incentive of being a politician. Term limits and ZERO priviledges. Have them live in a dormatory while in DC, have them eat in a military chowhall. Make them live in a very spartan environment while in DC and impose term limits. Make everyone of them pass a security clearance check. Have a watch dog monitor what what the reps get up to. The MSM is unfit for this task, so something else will have to be created. If we the people make serving real WORK for little or no financial reward, only those who do it for love of country will apply for the job.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Cyndi…

      Term Limits: Agreed

      Because of no term limits, our Representatives and Senators have become the “aristocracy” of our society — with titles basically being handed over to sons and daughters of those families; all due to familial ties or endorsements from those families.

      I’m trying to figure out who the Crazy King George is — Is it Nancy, is it Harry or is it Barney?

      I think that there should be Salary Caps on them, say $75,000 annually (or, should be the median Middle-class salary at that time). This should replace lost wages for elected officials such as Joe the Plumber or Sally the Seamtress for the term he or she is serving. The elected official should have “job protection” so that he or she may return to their normal job after their term is up. The elected official should be treated no differently than any other citizen (i.e. pay for his/her health insurance as would any other government employee).

      Security Check: Agreed

      The security check should be the same type of check that any other government employee would have to submit to for “secret” clearance. Afterall, won’t he or she have access to information that neither you nor I would? Actually…the Security Check should be done before their name is EVEN ALLOWED on a Ballot.

      Make them Perform Real Work: Agreed, Agreed, Agreed

      In addition, any legislation that they pass, they (and their immediate family) should be required to be the Guineau Pigs that Pilot their own legislation for a minimum of a year; they should be under scrutiny at this time to ensure they don’t “cheat”…

      In the scenario above, with term limits, I don’t think that our elected officials should be treated any differently that a normal citizen…cause that’s what they would be (I hope!). Just like you and I, they do deserve their own home, purchased/rented with their own funds…

      Great Ideas Cyndi!!!!

      Best Wishes to all,
      RS

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Add on to Security Checks:

        The security checks should be performed annually during the term. Should a security check not be passed during term, then that person is OUTTA there.

      • Black Flag says:

        Term Limits: Agreed

        Because of no term limits, our Representatives and Senators have become the “aristocracy” of our society — with titles basically being handed over to sons and daughters of those families; all due to familial ties or endorsements from those families.

        So you both do not agree that the voters have a right to chose their Representatives??

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Oh Chit…The attention of BF has been drawn! 😉

          I don’t believe that I as a US Citizen, I am able to choose my representation…thanks to your peas and carrots story I “think” I’m getting to choose (aka vote to pick one), but really I don’t get my “choice” – Prime Rib, dangit!

          Candidates are handpicked, polished and “served” right up to me and presented as a “choice”…but really, I don’t have a “choice”…I used to think that I did, but now I know…I don’t.

          For right now, even though I’d rather have Prime Rib, I guess I’ll just choose peas cause I like them better than carrots…but make sure they are the frozen (oh…should be Birds-Eye) kind because the canned are too mushy and make me want to puke…. 😉

          I know Blag Flag…I should simply refuse the peas…but sometimes you just can’t help partaking when your tummy is gnawin’ on your backbone.

          No…I simply get to choose from two options, neither of which are really what I want.

          Best Regards,
          RS

          • My dearest Spitfire:

            Go plant some corn.

            Water it, weed it, feed it.

            The pick it and enjoy the fruits of you labor.

            Blowing kisses from across the room.
            Unless of course your not carrying today.
            Then I’ll risk a big hug.

            JAC

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              LOL…I love Corn…Frozen, Canned, Fresh, Popped, Ground, on a Cob…you name it!

              “Hugs Today”

              RS

            • Black Flag says:

              JAC, with no surprise, got it right.

              Plant your own corn (or whatever you like), tend it, and feast!

              Of course, a Black Flag story….

              I wa a bar tender in a Chinese restaurant for awhile – (that’s a story by itself) – the owner was a Royal Chef.

              He had cooked for the Queen and Consort in Hong Kong. If he knew what he was getting into, he wouldn’t have done it.

              But to the point, everyone eat the same meal EXCEPT for the two sovereigns – they had a special meal prepared only for them, served on only their dishes and plates and bowls, etc. specially flown in from London. There was the taste testers (for poison – that’s a job huh~)

              But think about it.

              They demand THEIR “meal” on THEIR “plates” no matter where THEY go.

              Why don’t you?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Term limits make no sense whatsoever, IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.

          If you truly believe that that is what you have, then the people that keep getting elected over and over again are the ones that are doing the best job of representing you.

          If that is not the case, then we do not have a representative republic, and term limits are going to do nothing to solve the problem anyway.

          So either way, term limits make no sense.

  2. I read some of the comments under the original article and most of them are in full support of Dean. Some even mentioned impeachment for those that don’t go along. A few of the more independent minded slightly disagreed.

    I do think its kind of funny how he doesn’t even have a role in the DNC and he’s making these comments. The DNC can always claim he’s not speaking for them if the issue gets more attention.

    All in all its something that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear from either party.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Edward – Howard Dean is just another talking head. And it is actually important that he is no longer chair of the DNC – part of the premise of this article is that this “arm-twisting” is now fully AND blatantly institutionalized – that may be true to some extent but not based on the premise he offers. Tsk tsk on those pesky little details that are used to support a fairly important point.

      • Ray:

        Before I comment could you clafify: ” that may be true to some extent but not based on the premise he offers.”

        1) What is the premise you believe is proposed?

        2) Who is making the premise?

        Thanks
        JAC

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          See response #4

          • Guess I didn’t see USW making a premise that Dean was DNC chair.

            I got the premise that he was simply stating the reality that Dems not towing the party line would face opposition in their primaries. And that Dean, as a member and leader of the party, was making it very plain to the blue dogs.

            Given the side of the Dem party Dean is aligned with (primarily progressives) I think his threat is real. Whether it is his threat of if he is simply stating the reality of the situation, it is a threat.

            I will add more general observation and actual disagreement with USW below.

  3. “Cyndi P” nailed the solution, the problem is the People are the answer. By that I mean a change like this would mean that a sufficient portion of the voting public would need to see the problem and agree it was a problem. Then we would need to run and elect people to office willing to go to Washington and vote out all of their newly acquired benefits. I know a few selfless people and I’m not even sure they would do that. Not to say we can’t change things but it is going to be an uphill battle all the way. I believe in this Country and our ability to do amazing things against all odds. If a bunch of farmers could overthrow a trained military force I think we the people can over come this problem (it is pretty much the same problem).

    Our best course of action is to start locally and work our way up. That’s no small order since those I see getting into politics around these parts offer little hope. Perhaps if we are going to solve the problem some of us will have to get involved and make some personal sacrifices by wading into the scum filled waters…

    Welcome back and Great post!

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW – interesting post – but let’s step back for a moment.

    1. Howard Dean isn’t the chair of the DNC. The chair of the DNC is Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia – he was elected in 2009: http://www.democrats.org/a/party/ourleaders.html

    2. The posting to which you reference/source states nothing about the DNC – other than Dean was former chair.

    In so far as arm-twisting for votes ~ I’m sure this goes back further than anyone could possibly fathom/imagine – the very nature of politics would seem to lend well to this. While your premise is wrong on this article I’ll refrain from tossing the entire thing on its ear because I understand the point you are making. I know even my recent readings and learning that Tom Delay & Newt Gingrich were among the finest at arm twisting and using questionable tactics to rule the roost. Delay’s actions in essentially co-opting the Texas Legislature up through and including the likes of John Boehner literally handing our money on the floor of the House to “compliant” party members simply demonstrates that scum-baggery knows no bounds. Do I believe that there is Democrat arm-twisting happening? You bet. I’m sure Nancy Pelosi isn’t sharing makeup secrets behind closed doors. How does it stop? Not sure there is an easy answer to that less the parliamentary rules are cleaned up and we legislate transparency – seeing how campaign finance reform has gone I have zero faith that they will self-police.

    Other statements:

    “and the majority of Americans do oppose the current health care reform plan”

    – I find statements like this from you to be odd – I know what the polls say – but I also know that your someone that (thankfully) tries to research the issue before you support/oppose. I guess I am suggesting that no more should a citizen decide to support/oppose the reform if they do not understand it than a politician should vote for something they do not understand either. The rhetoric level and craziness over ‘death panels’ suggests to me that there is a lot of misunderstanding over what the bill (in its various versions) actually contains.

    “For once I agree with him… ANY OPTION involving the government won’t work”

    – I’m not slamming you here – but simply offering that I run into a heck of a lot of people that seem pretty darn happy with the care they received while enlisted in the military. FTR – I have also heard horror stories about care while enlisted, but I’m not sure how all that weighs out. I’d also be interested to see where that statement lines up against how Medicare works. Now – I know Medicare is not a perfect system – and I have stated elsewhere that I totally “get it” that it is a socialist program – so forgive me if I have a disconnect when people rail against reform that smells socialist to them yet would go even crazier if anyone proposed eliminating Medicare because it is socialist also.

    Anyway – decent article – your premise was wrong, but I understand your points.

    • Ray,

      Thanks for the reply. I went back and added a word to the article to make it more clear that he is not the head of the DNC any longer. After going back and reading the article again this morning I realized, based on your comments, that I had not made that clear. I hope it is more clear now. He is still a leader in the party, with or without the title.

  5. While I appreciate the sentiment here, I would feel a lot better if there were a link to some corroboration of the idea that “the majority of Americans do oppose the current health care reform plan.” The Democrats largely claim the opposite, and there is a great deal of misinformation out there which is skewing the opinions of the masses.

    While I’m sure the bill is far from perfect, I am disinclined to believe that there are “death panels,” a hidden agenda to euthanize the elderly, support ACORN, destroy employer based plans etc – all of these irrational, and fundamentally dishonest theories being circulated cause health care reform issue to lose support which it might otherwise enjoy. Thus the it seems logical to infer a higher level of support for what the bill actually is than a straight reading of the poll data.

    I, myself, am undecided on the issue, but I do have a thought which may appear to be blasphemy to many on this site. It is that health care, like the nuances of international relations, is an issue which is too complicated and intricate for the average voter’s opinion to matter. The average voter cannot be expected to have a reasoned, well informed opinion on the matter. As such, he should be (largely) ignored. It is the reason we live in a republic, not a true democracy.

    Certainly, for the majority of issues, this is not the case, but in this instance, I believe it to be true.

    PS: I was originally brought to this site via a link from Bob Cesca. I am thrilled beyond measure to have finally found a non-inflammatory, well-reasoned, intelligent source of right-leaning opinion.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Greetings Mathius from a left leaning moderate (also referred by some as a flaming liberal but I take that in stride). Excellent post and you have captured most of the essence on how I feel about this issue. Thanks….

    • Mathius:

      Welcome. Its nice to have new voices and ideas.

      Your comment is as old as the ages. Plato himself felt the populace unworthy.

      But consider this if you will. There is nothing that our elected officials must deal with that can not be understood by most Americans. The complexity of certain issues is not accidental. I spent 12 years in the employ of the Federal Govt and can tell you with certainty that govt tends to “over complicate” just about everything. And despite all the “exceptional thinkers” involved they rarely consider all the potential effects. Those unintended consequences are not that so hard to see if these wizards would take a moment.

      We are not in a republic because we are not smart enough, as a population, to deal with these issues. We are in a Republic because the fouders were trying to maintain soveriegnty of the states while improving the power of the Federal to protect the states. They knew Democracy was destructive and 13 individual countries would not stand independent for long. They would get sucked up by one of the existing powers, Britain or France. The representative nature of the legislature was based to some extent on the traditional believe that most people do not have the time nor inclination to serve. It was assumed they would select the most reasonable and trustworthy among us to “represent” our values in the broader debate. You will find very little reference to the belief that the public is not smart enough therefore we must select the best to legislate.

      I would suggest that in this day and age it is completely reasonable to expect the average person to have a well informed and reasoned opinion on any matter. The problem is not their intellectual capacity but the lack of honest and timely information they receive.

      Of course there is the little matter that our elected “representatives” don’t take the time to read these “complex” bills either and the fact that many of them might not be smart enough to understand the complexity either. I have met many politicians in my life that have virtually no understanding of the day to day issues that we deal with, issues created by their legislation. Many of their staff are no better.

      In the end, election of representatives to government is really no different than any other specialization of modern society. We can’t do it all so we use others to do somethings for us. We use the wealth we save to pay for the other things. Fortunately, I can choose to change mechanics if I am not getting good value. Now how can we apply the same principles to govt?

      Now for the punchline. The minute “we the people” accept your premise regarding “understanding of complex issues” (my quotes) we have accepted the demise of any hope for freedom or liberty. We have validated and sanctioned an oligarchy of “elites” to rule over us as the “benevolent leaders”, to take care of us “because we are not smart enough to care for ourselves”.

      All you really need to know about the current health care bill to make a rational decision is knowledge of the history of social security, medicare, medicaid, prescription drugs, and any other federal program. Start with the original goals/objectives and promises. Then move forward in time to see what it became. Now apply the same trend function to just the concept of federalized health insurance.

      Again welcome and I look forward to your ideas and comments.
      JAC

      • JAC, I feel I have been misunderstood on this point.

        While it is true that I am an elitist and do not have a huge amount of faith in the average person, my main contention is that the average person does not try hard enough to become acquainted with accurate, complete and diverse facts.

        People are told that the bill is socialism (and at the same time fascism – which is by definition at the opposite end of the political spectrum), that it will kill grandma, and that Rahm Emanuel’s brother will abort your children with tax payer dollars – and they believe this. What is worse is that it is repeated by figures in authority who know better, but also know that they will not be challenged on the facts. (Sarah Palin, I’m talking about you).

        So these individuals disrupt town hall meetings (thus harming genuine discourse on the issues), and they call their representative (thus appearing to be more numerous than they actually are), and they protect, and become a super-vocal minority. So all efforts at bipartisanship by the left are met with bad faith by the opposition. The result is a damaged bill which may be worse than no bill at all.

        Insufficient health care is the cause of 62% of bankruptcies in the United States (according to the first site I pulled up on Google, so take that with a grain of salt). When these people declare, the bill goes to you and me. Does it not seem important to address the underlying causes? I make no claim to any special knowledge of how to do this, but at someone is trying to figure it out.

        • Finally someone asked the correct question. How do we accomplish what is needed, access to health insurance for anyone that wants it. That is different than what is being proposed, which is health insurance for everyone…period…

          The answer is quiet simple and requires no new agency to over see it, no big budget, no back room palm greasing…wait maybe this is why we are considering this option.

          What *is* this options? You mandate/regulate that all insurance companies must put all self-employed / self-purchasing insurance individuals in a single group and give them a group rate the same as their employed counterparts receive. I know someone will cry foul and say that is an oversimplification but it is not. Here’s why…

          There are many people who prefer to self-insure, this does not harm them. There are many who do not see the need for health insurance, I work with a few. There will be those that do not purchase insurance because they either can’t or won’t and then will need health care. Guess what the system already provides for these people! Emergency care can not be denied in this country, go to any hospital in the USA complain of chest pain and then tell them you have no insurance, bet they do not show you to the door. Most hospitals have programs for people who can’t afford health care, funded by (get this) charities supported by (you’re not going to believe this one) concerned citizens. Yes I am sure someone can come up with an example where someone doesn’t get care, that also happens today and will in the ObamaCare model as well.

          I could write volumes on this topic from personal experience and from research but most people have already formed an opinion so I save my breath. But let me ask you this, would you trust your health decisions to the same people who brought us the DMV, the VA, (Insert Agency Here). If a hammer costs $20,000 for the military what will a stethoscope cost under government health care?

          • The answer is even simpler Sinsei;

            Stop all govt regulation and interference in the system. This includes govt provided protection of Pharma by imposing BS safety rules on imports from other countries, like Canada.

            The vast majority of us shouldn’t have regular health insurance as we know it. We should use cash to pay for it. That would cut the cost by about 30 to 40%, maybe more.

            The insurance companies will quickly figure out how to offer reasonable coverage at good value. Without interference I am guessing we may even see greater selection of benefit options and costs.

            Charity can pick up the slack for those who suffer the unfortunate and unexepected.

        • I hate when people try this push. Try this:

          http://www.lawrence.edu/sorg/objectivism/socfasc.html

        • Mathius:

          But first we must be accurate in the discussion: “People are told that the bill is socialism (and at the same time fascism – which is by definition at the opposite end of the political spectrum),”

          These two political/economic models are NOT on opposite ends of the spectrum. They are very closly tied on one end. Socialism is govt ownership. Fascism is govt control through use of the private sector. It is the marriage of govt and private, much like what we have today.

          I think the comments you are referring to by the public at these townhalls is only partly driven by bad information. It is either fascism or socialism or a blend of the two. We affectionately call it fasciolism on this site. They recognize it for what it is and it still rubs many the wrong way.

          I think many folks recognize that at the core but can’t articulate a detailed argument only because NO ONE has provided them with the truth nor with a way to defend against it.

          Lets take your bankruptcy example. I was reading data the other day that revealed the vast majority of those bankruptcies claimed to be medically related were due to exorbitant debt already accumulated in second mortgages, lines of credit and credit cards. They were on the edge and then some unforseen injury or illness came along. So at the real root is irrational economic behavior by the individual. Yet this data somehow is used to rationalize that “a crisis exists”. The dishonesty is palpable on both sides.

          Same thing for the supposed 40 million uninsured. Over 10 million are illegal aliens and another 10 million or more don’t want or need insurance. Bottom line we are dealing with less than 10% of the entire population yet we deem this a “crisis”. Furthermore, those that are poor and need coverage already are covered by one federal program or another. So what is the real reason?

          We are told the system is broken becasue we pay more per capita than anyone else in the world for medical care. Well guess what? We are the wealthiest people in the world and is it a big surprise that an aging wealthy population would spend whatever they want to extend their life style? Yet this is part of the defense of “crisis”.

          So which is it? Is this a cost problem or a “compassion” problem? If it is all about providing coverage for all then why does the Pres. and Dems keep talking about the need to have govt insurance to prevent national bankruptcy?

          I think if everyone looks at the townhall anger closely you will see that while some fall into using the rhetoric they get from radio and internet, most are just damn tired of being lied to and having their “representative” telling us to suck it up and stop complaining. Having some apparent ignorant citizen use “death panels” makes for good news video. But I am seeing much more on the various Youtube and other citizen videos produced from these townhall meetings.

          There is a general gut feeling and understanding going on that our country is in deep financial trouble. Even the common and uneducated know that we can’t keep piling it on. Then they find out the “elite” aren’t even reading the legislation. The electeds and elites are mistaking the anger about the health care town halls for ginned up opposition to the health care bill alone. It is anger at our federal legislature in general. That is how the general public usually reacts. They sit silent until the boiling point is reached then they lash out at everyone and everything. The first in line gets hit. In this case it is health care.

          The various sides will then fight to control the anger to their advantage by putting out all kinds of misinformation. Traditionally the public is eventually subdued by division or obfuscation. But that was before the internet. Now I am not so sure. We may see the people wake up to the reality that both sides are lieing. Look at the sudden erosion of party membership and the increase in declared independents. But only time will tell for sure.

        • True, but it is also true that the average member of Congress doesn’t understand the bill either. That makes as much sense as an illiterate reading teacher.

          These people get great pay and benefits, we should at least expect them to be competent to do their jobs.

        • I feel compelled to mention that misinformation is given on both sides. The number of uninsured people, for instance, given by the President includes those who choose not to have healthcare or only have “just in case” care (like me).

          Also, you suggest, as a lot of liberal politicians and newscasters do, that town hall protesters are doing something wrong by being vocal, that they are disingenuous. How do you feel about groups busing in people to oppose the protesters? That seems like it’s trying to inflate the opposition to the opposition…

          Just want you to be fair with the facts :).

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Facsism and Socialism are both Statist, and are therefore on exactly the same end of the political spectrum.

          For some reason people were taught that one was “right wing” while the other was “left-wing”, but in reality both “isms” rely on state control, and they are not philosophically all that different either.

    • v. Holland says:

      First of all-one cannot be largely ignored, you are either ignored or you aren’t, and if the Congress can just decide for themselves which issues we the people are too stupid to comment on(which already happens a lot)-than all freedom is lost-Secondly, whatever the issue I do not want a few hundred people making all the decisions for the rest of us. Although I understand your point that some people shouldn’t be allowed to vote-I would much rather live with most people being able to vote whether they understand all the issues than to trust politicians to make all the decisions.

      I think we should look at raising the voting age-Personally, I’d like to raise it to 25 but since 21 is legal age I figure that is the best we could do. I also think we need to look at roll call voting-I’m not sure how much good it would do but all our Congesspeople should have to vote at the same time-so they can’t continue to make deals while the voting is going on or wait and see if they can vote with their constituents because they know the bill is going to pass without their vote.

      We also need to make it illegal for earmarks to be added to a bill. Earmarks would have to stand alone(all bills should have to stand on there on merit) so they can’t be used as bargaining tools to get bills passed, or make it impossible to know what our reps. are actually voting for or against.

      • Hi V. please don’t forget why voting age is 18 … from Wikipedia — The Twenty-sixth Amendment (Amendment XXVI) to the United States Constitution standardized the voting age to 18. It was adopted in response to student activism against the Vietnam War and to partially overrule the Supreme Court’s decision in Oregon v. Mitchell. It was adopted on July 1, 1971.
        c

        • v. Holland says:

          There are always pros and cons to everything but in general I do not believe that 18 and 19 or even 20 year olds should vote or drink, and they have had both those rights. I think a little maturing needs to happen before our children should make such important decisions. We don’t consider them adults until 21 in most matters so why should we give them the right to vote at 18.

          • v. Holland says:

            Left out the word political-meant We don’t consider them adults until 21 in most political matters.

            • V;

              Hope you are well;

              I have a son who was much wiser than most at the age of 18. Maybe that is because his mother and I raized him as my father did my brother and I. He was even wiser to the ways of the world by the time he was 19 and a half. War, death and living in a shit-hole country (Iraq) for 6 months probably has something to do with it.

              Bottom line: If you going to train then how to use a rifle in a combat zone at 18, then the least you could do in kind supportive recognition, is give them a ballot.

              As for drinking, that is another topic for another day.

              If we taught these kids what we should be teaching them in school they might be smarter and better able to run this country than us more seasoned folks.

              CM

              • v. Holland says:

                If I can be asked to die for my country-I should have a voice in the decision process-Very strong argument in your favor-
                I may have to agree with you in principal but I can’t get past my personal observation that most young adults mature so much between the age of 18 and 21 that our society might be better off if they didn’t vote until they were 21.

          • V, having been an 18 year old once upon a time, I fully agree that a great deal of maturation is still to come. But, and I see this as a very big but, our military can and does send 18 year kids off to fight and die. Those kids deserve a say as to who their commander in chief is, or we shouldn’t send them. IMHO c

            • And therein lies the big reason the vote was given to 18 year olds.

              Perhaps we should put the 18 year olds to work and send the over 40’s to war.

              I bet the screaming opposition of the spouses would stop unnecessary interventions in a big hurry.

              Wait, wait, brain storm just hit.

              Reinstate the draft. And only those over 25 and who have worked in financial brokerage houses or in the financial derivatives market shall be eligible.

              There. Solved two problems with one simple piece of legislation. And only one paragraph long.

              Smiling Big…..full of myself at the moment.
              LOL

              JAC

              • 😆

              • I forgot the following so must amend my new bill already.

                The aforementioned legislation is hereby amended to include, in addition to those already described, the following as eligible for draft into military service; All men and women, and those disclaiming either sex, who ever have or who are currently serving in the House of Representatives or the Senate, or the office of President or Vice President of the United States of America, provided they are over 25 years of age.

                There now, that looks better.
                How bout it Csm?

                Best to the Best
                JAC

              • just found this one — I’m going to try to find a p-c winter holiday greeting a friend of mine wrote a while back — let you know if I find it

              • And maybe illegals coutd grab a gun and earn their citizenship

    • Mathius,

      Welcome! I am always glad to see another person with a different point of view here to discuss the issues with us. I hope you will continue to read and comment here, as there is much to be learned from honest and respectful discussion and debate.

      JAC summed up my feeling on the idea you stated that health care is too complex for us to understand. I don’t believe that it is. I think that the politicians attempt to make it too complex, but people are smart enough to understand. You are correct, there is a lot of disinformation out there. I will be attempting to answer all questions I can research on this. But it is important to remember that most of the rhetoric that is false from the right on this issue has SOME base in reality. The “death panels” is a good example. Those on the far right took what was in the bill being proposed and took it to an illogical conclusion, but it was in the bill.

      Cesca had a link to here? Or did someone post a comment that included the link?

      • I have yet to encounter anything that is as simple as it first appears when examined up close. To be sure the bill complicates matters, but that may be in part an artifact of the need make deals to get things passed. But also, there are a lot of intricacies to all such things and health care is no exception.

        Yes, Cesca linked on his blog to your article slamming him. I found this interesting on both sides.
        http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2009/08/im_an_idiot_chi.html

        I find his blog to be… overly dramatic, but a good source of links and left-wind thought.

        I myself, am a left-leaning former Californian, if that gives you some thought of where I come from on the issues.

      • Hey USW, I served 10 years in the Navy. I remember we always had a good laugh talking about “Military Intelligence”. Can we call this trend Congressional Intelligence or maybe Artificial Intelligence (astroturf) Had to throw that in.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble but we in Canada who have been doing what you hope to for decades indeed do have doctors and administrators deciding who gets what and when based upon age. The system HAD TO contain such to mitigate cost period. I don’t understand why its so difficult to admit this is needed in such a system. While Ezekiel J. Emanuel is an actual opponent of euthanasia he is a proponent of resource management which he should be. The idea that this can be avoided and still provide health care equal to what’s enjoyed in a private plan today to everyone in America is imbecilic to the nth. Comprehend it, admit it and bury it for all time. For Obama’s Rx Shangri-la as it has been promised to the faithful to exist, your taxation needs to skyrocket.

      As for the nuances being to complicated for the masses, many of whom vastly exceed those involved in the political game of thrones in matters both intellectual and social, try again please. While its easy to write off granny or trailer Bob as being uninformed, these last “town hall” attempts at governmental PR proved the masses well beyond their representatives in mental gymnastics. All those hours of footage depicting politico after politico floundering under the questioning of the unsubtle undereducated masses is proof positive. And please no excuse that they were under fire or pressure as that’s the very environment the politico sell themselves as being the masters of.

      A law degree is one in salesmanship. I was told that by one of the Merchant’s in Edmonton. They would be seen in America as those lawyers the government hates to see on the other side of the table as they certainly are so here. As most politicos are lawyers, would that not make them salesmen the same and do they not show such daily? I’m currently working with lawyers, forensic accountants and the RCMP but as one of the Canadian voting “masses” I can assure you, I’m the least uninformed person in the room. Maybe I should run for office.

    • Hey Mathius…glad you are here.
      Alot of times there are consequences to our actions…even though there are no direct links to getting rid of private insurance we run into a problem that is not being discussed. Private insurance can not afford to jump up and just insure people that have exsisting problems that have choosen not to pay for insurance. It would bankrupt private insurance very quickly. Thus changing the playing field because my carrier is no longer providing insurance. What I do not understand is if there are people who can not get insurance why are they not covered under medicade? They probably are and the cost is so high that now the government wants to throw that cost onto you and me. Are there problems with our current system?? Yes! Will this bill as it stands fix any of those problem?? NO!! The fact is it will make matters worse and it will do very quickly. Ordinary people seem to understand the problems this will create better than the people who wrote the bill. In our state they can not refuse to cover a pre-exsisting condition unless you have chosen not to have insurance then you have to wait a year after starting insurance to get a pre-exsisting covered.
      For every action there is a re-action and it is the re-action that people don’t want. We have 55 employees with good health coverage that we pay for 100% not one of these people want the government in their healthcare. In fact they are very angry that the government is trying to white wash this like it will all be good everyone benefits…no one pays…there will be no consequences…..the people know they are being lied to.

    • Mathius;

      JAC summed it up very well, so I will add this:

      Although the majority of American’s are somewhat ignorant about the US Government, they are starting to wake up to the fact that our non-representating representatives lie, or just follow party direction. This is because the majority of them have chosen politics as a profession to garner wealth, power and influence. NONE OF THEM FUNCTION IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE.

      The fact that most of them did not read the bill is nothing to be surprised about; most of them don’t read any of the bills they are encouraged, bribed or forced to vote for. And I am willing to bet that it has been that way for the last 10-15 lustrums. Politics is a business, a business dedicated to corruption, greed, influence and an elitists lifestyle. It is no longer a ‘public service’ or a single voice speaking for electors.

      The Health Care Bill is another effort to further the lifestyle of those above mentioned elitists, further the push for ‘Fasciolism’ and the ellimination of citizen freedoms.

      The good news is that a lot of Anmericans are waking up to the fact that there is no one in Washington that can be trusted any father than they can be thrown; and thrown is what they all should be; out of office.

      BTW: Welcome to the site and enjoy.

      CM

  6. Good Morning!

    Good article USW, and welcome back. Our wonderful government simply has way too much power, and it’s time that people wised up and payed attention. That’s why were in the economic mess we’re in, and Mathius, I would respectfully disagree your position that healthcare is too complicated for the average person. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I read HR 3200 and for the most part understood it (and don’t like it abit).

    Mathius, I will say your point does make sense on it’s face, but if people would pay more attention to what’s out there, they would have a better idea of the truth. To provide an example, here’s a link to a news report about the housing collapse, and how the fairytale that Obama and this Congress inherited this mess may not be the truth.

    I have some time today for discussion, Jury duty and not being needed the rest of the day has it’s advantages sometimes.

    Peace to all! Welcome aboard Mathius, look forward to reading your opinions!

    G!

    • First, let me say that the the phrase “respectfully disagree” is the a wonderful thing to hear/read in response to a post. I am so used to being shouted down (usually in bold and caps). Thank you.

      Secondly, let me address your criticism. The average person is not like you. This speaks well for you, but the average person is not interested in reading an entire 1,000+ page bill or simply lacks the time. They are not able to comprehend the legalese involved, and I am not convinced that they could fully understand it with sufficient depth. I would present this as fact, but there is no way to substantiate it. Simply put, I want my country to be run by elitists, not the guy-next-door.

      Nonetheless, whether or not they are capable, the average citizen does not read the entire bill. They obtain their opinion-forming information from Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, or blogs which conform to their own world view and do not adhere to a strong belief in fact checking. Unless or until they are adequately informed, I do not believe that their opinions need to be followed.

      • Mathius,

        I agree that many people do not read the 1,000 page bill. But I think the politicians in DC do that intentionally. This bill doesn’t need to be 1,000 pages. No bill does. All that legalese and junk needs to be stripped away. This has become the tactic of politicians on both sides of the aisle: the make politics difficult to understand on purpose.

        I do still believe, though, that you underestimate the average Americans ability to understand.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          USW – have considered writing a guest post from the conference I went to a few weeks back somewhat taking from this. As we know many of these bills are written in triple spacing, huge fonts and look like a train wreck when you sit down and try and understand the objectives of the bill. Having said that – I’ve been educated recently on the role of the USSS in cyber crime. At first glance I thought ‘what in the world does the USSS have to do with cyber crime’? The USSS role was always protection of the currency (first) and then protective services (later). Turns out it was a couple of vague sentences in the US Patriot Act that was used (or read) to be seen as granting the USSS authority to get into the cyber crime business in the financial sector. Nevermind that capability already existed in a litany of other alphabet agencies – now we have redundancy ten times over that fails my EEE test. If anything, complex issues sometimes behoove complex and well developed responses – if that is a 1000 page bill, 10,000 pages or 10 pages then so be it – they need to get it right and eliminate the guesswork and these b.s. vagaries that allow for waste to develop.

          • Ray, am at a loss as to what USSS stands for.

            Please?

          • I always picture the political system as in Canada as a plumbing nightmare. You the customer want a pipe going from A to B. They the plumbers want as many elbows and T’s as is possible to secure their next job or negate your not needing them at some time. The self fulfilling prophecy of plumbing is each joint a weak point in the run which at some time guarantees their return visit and the uber complexity of what should be a simple system to scare you into compliance.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          My problem with 90% of all politicians regardless of the side of the aisle they are on:

          1. They did not write the bill.

          2. They did not read the bill.

          3. They voted for (or against) the bill.

          This applies to virtually any bill you can think of.

          So, if they didn’t write it, and they didn’t read it, how is it possible to determine that they are, in fact, qualified to vote one way or the other on it????

      • LOL you are correct…they do not read them….neither do our reps.

      • Mathius

        I understand and to some degree agree we do not want ignorant people in charge of things that affect our lives.

        But remember those intelligent elitists that created this govt also realized the federal govt should have a very limited role. Otherwise an oligarchy divorced from the people would arise.

        Now we have the result they feared. It is the elite who have created the govt we have today. That govt is antithetical to the very values on which it was founded, freedom and liberty. I do not want the govt we have today. Now if the elites created it, how am I supposed to believe that I should let the elites do so further?

        I submit that what we need are principled men and women, not those that can understand complex policy debates and legislative structure. Principled men and women educated about the principles of liberty would understand that 99% of that proposed is in direct conflict with the freedom of the people and is not in fact required to protect their security. But alas I have gotten ahead of the discussion.

        First we must agree on what the “proper role” of government is. That is the discussion that has never been resolved. It is buried most of the time but events such as have unfolded these past few years bring it back to the surface from time to time.

        I just hope that all the BS being pushed by the Dem progressives doesn’t get enacted before we can have this discussion.

        I leave you with one more thought. Our education system has been designed to undermine critical thinking in the population for almost 75 years. The elite of today is a product of that same educational system. So why should I believe that today’s elite is any smarter in the real sense than the general population?

        • You are right on here Jac…look at the undesirable consequences of a little banking rule forcing banks to give subprime loans….well pay for this mistake for years. I see the same mistakes in the healthcare bill….the consequences are what the American people are tired of paying. Our Reps just pass bills without looking at the long range affects.

          • Amazed:

            I would add this. Even if they tried to look they could not see them. It is not possible for anyone to forsee all the problems or even all the big problems. That is why “centralized planning and/or control of the economy” is a false premise from the git go.

            Any attempt to control by one person or group of people, is destined to fail. They do not and can not forsee the almost infinite number of decisions and conditions represented by the total population of individuals that actually make up the economy/market.

            Yet acting independently for their own benefit and according to their own free will, they in total some how manage to create a more harmonious outcome than has ever been created by some central planner.

      • Mathius;

        Negitory good buddy on the elitists having the only say!!!!! “We the people…” It did not start out “We the smart or rich or educated…”

        This country is a Republic, not a Democracy or dictatorship.(At least is was designed that way)

        Part of the problem we face in today’s political arena is just that mentality. Those who hold an elected office believe they are smarter, wiser, better educated, more skilled to run our country, better suited to decide policies and dictate citizen rights.

        Because the citizens of America gave up thier rights for entitlement’s, big houses, big cars and big lifestyles the politicians ran further amuck. They now not only believe they are smarter and better educated, they believe that the majority are too stupid to see the light of day.

        NO SIR, no one should give up thier voice, rights, freedoms and ability to affect change; and under no circumstances should their knowledge of politics, or the lack thereof, be a guideline for surrendering thier vote or voice.

        They should open thier eyes, get educated, garner factual data, get involved with local, state and federal government, and work to envoke a return to a Constitutional run Republic.

        CM

    • To be clear, I fully and whole-heartedly agree with your point that more people should take the time out to familiarize themselves with the issues and the facts/details behind them. I just don’t think that they should be taken seriously by virtue of the fact that they have a pulse and US citizenship.

      • Mathius, Your welcome! This is a very civil place to talk about these issues, and rarely is there any shouting down stuff.

        Simply put, I want my country to be run by elitists, not the guy-next-door

        Just a question on this statement. How can an Elitist possibly know what is the best for the common folk? Why should it be up to them (a very small minority of the population) be given that much power? OOPs, that was two!!

        If we’re stuck with a government, IMHO, it should be made up of people from all walks of life, not just the Elite.

        G!

        • My argument, again, is that only people with informed opinions should have opinions which matter.

          I want the people who make the decisions to be smart and knowledgeable people. The people who founded our country were, and so should the people who run it be. So, for that matter, should the people who they listen to.

          These people can know what is best for average people without being one of them in the same way that I can know that racism is bad without being a member of an oppressed race. There are facts and there are truths, and a wise individual can find them.

          Still, this is far off topic. My initial point is that USW accuses Dean of blatantly overriding the electorate’s wishes. My couterpoint is simply that as it currently stands, the vast majority of the electorate is ill-informed, insufficiently informed, or willfully ignorant of the facts and nuances. As such they should be ignored. Those of us who are not, like USW, G-man and others, are drowned out in the debate because we are less incendiary. As a result, we are all ill-served.

          • v. Holland says:

            How does one decide who is informed and has the right to be listened to? Are you talking about limiting the vote? I believe originally you had to be a land owner to vote.

            • Wow, these columns are getting narrower and narrower…

              No, I do not suggest limiting the vote, nor do I make a claim to the right to decide who should be listened to. Rather, all I am saying is that the congressional leadership (which doesn’t include Dean, by the way) should be free to ignore the loud and ignorant masses. If the powers that be need to force this on the weak representatives who fear a voter backlash from these ignorant masses, that may be a necessary evil.

              Again, I do not have a final judgment on the matter. All I suggest is people like the woman who said “I don’t want your socialized health care plan, and keep your government hands off of my medicare” should be tuned out by whatever means necessary.

              Incidentally, you had to be not only a landowner, but white and male as well.

              • v. Holland says:

                If our elected officials have the right to decide who should be listened to-is that not in effect-making the people, whether they be “elite” or not powerless-is it not making our representatives the only elites. Do you really want the government to have the right to ignore YOU-if THEY deem you one of the ignorant masses.

                I think you probably agree that one shouldn’t be ignored just because they don’t own land, or because they aren’t white, or they aren’t male, why should they be ignored because someone thinks they are not informed(which is just an opinion-it may or may not be true)

              • You seem to be tacitly accepting my point while arguing the how of it. I do not know of a good way to say who should and should not be ignored.

                I’m not actually saying people should be ignored per say, but rather that our representatives should be free to consider our thoughts and decide for themselves if they know better.

                In a straight democracy, everyone would give themselves tax cuts and entitlements until they bankrupted (more so) the government. There is a reason this power needs to be focused on a smaller group and a cursory understanding of game theory (specifically the Nash Equilibrium) is very helpful in appreciating this.

              • v. Holland says:

                No, I am not agreeing with your premise-I am saying that I think your premise is dangerous-I do not believe that just because I voted for someone means that once they are in office they can just do what they want-they need to listen to the people they have been elected to REPRESENT, they weren’t elected to represent themselves and if the majority are against something they shouldn’t do it-Yes they have the final decision but there is a reason that the government was seperated and that the states were given more rights and that the supreme court was established and it wasn’t so our elected officials could take the fact that they were elected as a free pass to just do whatever they want.

              • Amazing! An IQ test to determine voting eligibility. Such an ivy league answer and a knife which cuts both ways. I’ve watched interviews and spoken with a few of those who put the current incarnation of POTUS in power. You can be a well dressed PETA member and not realize the dangerous end of a knife. Its not exclusive to those of any political leanings.

              • You mean ignore the masses like King George did? I prefer a government for the people and by the people. Not government by the elitist.

              • We elect people to represent us. Not follow us blindly. Every election cycle we get to do away with people we don’t like. The reason terms are so long for some offices is to buy protection from the voter so that our legislator can actually legislate.

              • Black Flag says:

                Mathius

                We elect people to represent us.

                No, you do not.

                You get to pick one choice from two presented on a vetted and prepared list that you have no ability to create.

                You are like my daughter when she was little. She wanted hot dogs for supper.

                She got a choice between Peas and Carrots.

                I believe you think she was ‘free’ to choose, right?

              • William Buckley (you can’t get more conservative than that) said that he would rather be governed by the first 100 names in the phone book than US Senate. I hyperbole, I’m sure, but it would make an interesting experiment..

              • An even better experiment would be 90 days of accountability where the decisions of the senators are fully scrutinized and themselves held financially responsible for anything culpable. Care to wager it wouldn’t be 90 days of the lot holding their collective breath?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Matthias,

                There are “loud and ignorant masses” on both sides of every issue. How do we successfully cull the “ignorant” from any debate regardless of what side of the debate they are on?

                Certainly you must admit that there are plently of idiots on BOTH sides of every issue….

            • As a followup, let us imagine a hypothetical situation. You are walking down the street and a man in a dirty bathrobe is standing on a soapbox holding a sign and using a megaphone. The sign says that the end is near, and he is telling you repent, for the end is nigh. The Lord Jesus will come down from on high next Thursday and 7:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time) in Easton, PA. He tells you that he knows this because his preacher told him so, and that you will surely burn in hell-fire for all time if you do not immediately drop everything and help him save souls.

              Now, I ask you, what do you do? This man is loud and authoritative. He speaks with conviction, is a little bit scary, and may have the ability to harm you. Yet, you know that he is (A) nuts or (B) misinformed (possibly he is correct, but this seems unlikely). If you’re afraid enough, if he singles you out and stares you down, corners you, and shouts at you, you may do just what he wants – at least until he stops looking, no?

              This is where the Howard Deans come in. They are the countervailing force which pushes you hard enough in the opposite direction that you are not forced into doing what Soapbox Man wants. (The fact that they, to may be insane and dangerous is a point which is not lost on me, nor is the fact that they, too can force you into doing something you don’t want)

          • Mathius:

            If you have a regular computer screen it will scrunch everything as you move right.

            We try to remember and either move your comment to an earlier reply so it shifts left, or

            Just post a new answer and use the persons name. then go back and reference the post number so they can find you.

          • Mathius, that is a bad analogy for Dean.

            As opposed to soap box guy, Dean has been and remains a force in a political party.

            Just as similar talking heads, like Gingrich, those who are part of the mud must be taken seriously when they start throwing it around.

            Personally I wish we could shut them all up so we could have a rational discussion about our future.

            One thing we can do is sponsor more independent organizations who are willing to sponsor education forums or meetings or workshops, or whatever. I have no problem presenting my case against the left/progressive view without attacking individuals. I know there are some on the other side who can do this as well.

            It is time this discussion of ideology happened in public and that we engage the public in choosing. But alas, we must have the courage to accept the publics decision when we ask them to choose. Therein lies the rub. I am unwilling to accept slavery. And they are unwilling to accept freedom.

            • Didn’t anyone ever tell you? Freedom is slavery. War is peace.

              The ethos of the left is more complicated than an unwillingness to accept freedom. (I feel this maligns our intent unfairly).

              We feel that we have to sacrifice for the greater good. I pay 40% of my income to taxes and do not feel that this is high enough. I would gladly pay no taxes and then give his money to a charity, except that, while I know I would do this, I do not have the same confidence in those around me.

              Perhaps some of the money I pay (ok, a great deal of it) is misspent and misused, but enough of it does what it is supposed to do. It makes the world I live in a better place for myself, my family, my friends, and people I have never met.

              The right believes in sacrifices too, for the record, only it tends in a different direction. The right is willing to give up freedoms to fight wars and terrorism. Recall that the Republicans in congress voted in lock-step with Bush every step of the way as he abused our civil liberties. Because your side’s vision of sacrifice is different than mine does not mean that ours does not exist. Nor does it mean that yours is inherently superior. Nor does it mean that we aim to enslave you.

              • I guess those “lock step” evil repubs just forced the dems to vote yes to authorize war.

                http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/

              • The lock step republicans made it perfectly clear that ANYONE who voted against what the President wanted was Anti-American. As such, the Democrats were completely cowed. Bush’s constant invocation of 9/11 granted him almost complete latitude to do whatever he liked.

                Recall “with us or against us.” “It is Un-American to criticize a President in a time of war.” (a meme lost on the current cast of Fox news). And so on. Neither side is any better than the other. And I do not claim that they are Evil for what they did – only that they did do it.

                More specifically, I believe that they did what they believed to be right. That I disagreed is unfortunately for me, as my side was out of power, but I would never claim that Republicans are evil (Karl Rove, perhaps, but that’s a different issue).

                I simply believe that we have different ideas of the necessity and appropriate methods to sacrifice in service of our country. USW was willing to risk his life serving in our armed services. I am not sure that I could ever do that, but I certainly am willing to sacrifice in other ways. These are apples and oranges.

              • Mathius you’re speaking of the degrees towards “the good of all” or “the good of one” a person sits at. That’s a great place to debate away from once the jiggery pokery of the game of thrones is set aside. There are those on the right as well who while maintaining conservative values are very close to “the good of all” and as my father used to say do it “while no one is looking” which he assured me at an early age meant more than anything. I know a pastor who has spent countless hours and most of what he earns working with other denominations on projects in Canada and Africa and he does such with his like minded brethren from America. For yourselves as Americans, being a Democrat or Republican is only a small part of who you all are.

                The 60% in the middle need to vote the 20% on either extreme off the island.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Matthias,

                There is no such creature as “the greater good”. “The Greater Good” does not exist.

                If something is bad for an individual, it is bad for any group of individuals, no matter how large you make the group.

                That is why this country was founded on freedom and individual rights.

          • Mathius:

            “The ethos of the left is more complicated than an unwillingness to accept freedom. (I feel this maligns our intent unfairly).”

            It is not your intent that is being maligned, it is your outcomes. The absolute and inevitable result of your intent is slavery.

            “We feel that we have to sacrifice for the greater good.”

            And what gives you the right to impose your feeling or desire to sacrifice more onto me? If you want to give more then go ahead. If you wish to enslave yourself to the “will of the greater good” then feel free to do so. But you have no RIGHT to impose your version of “sacrifice” upon me.

            “Because your side’s vision of sacrifice is different than mine does not mean that ours does not exist.”

            My dear sir, you have made the stereotypical mistake. You assume because I oppose slavery imposed by the left that I support slavery imposed by the other side. You see MY SIDE has NO VISION of sacrifice by anyone, unless it is made voluntarily. MY SIDE is AGAINST slavery of any kind.

            You are correct that they are apples and organges. You are comparing voluntary service to involuntary servitude.

            It may seem like an oversimplification but it is the essence of the debate ongoing.

      • Mathius:

        Here is an example of how to move left.

        Your comment: ““I don’t want your socialized health care plan, and keep your government hands off of my medicare” ”

        I submit the first part of her argument is quite valid and must be considered. Federalized health care is either socialist or fascist in nature. I am guessing she doesn’t understand the difference or similarities but the issue is in fact the one valid issue on the table.

        He follow up about medicare is typical though of the public, hypocracy. In short, keep your govt hands off of my govt provided health care. One must chuckle a little when hearing these.

        I think we should ask ourselves though why it is that otherwise intelligent people can’t see these hypocrisies or dichotomies. I don’t believe it it due to talk radio or the internet or even the MSM. I blame our education system.

        • Perhaps. One cannot have enough education. I am of the opinion that education is the silver bullet that cures almost all of society’s ills. I believe that teachers (disclaimer, my wife is a teacher) are paid a pittance compared with wall street types (disclaimer, I am a wall street type).

          I think it should be noted, as I pointed out elsewhere today, that socialism and fascism are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. A plan cannot be both.

          There tends to be a ratcheting effect that once given, a handout of any sort cannot easily be removed. An interesting case study of this is the case of a town in the Midwest (the details elude me, but some concerted Googling should bring the story up). The town had given out taxi medallions and then tried to do away with the system. The taxi companies sued the city (and lost?) claiming that the city was harming them by removing this artificial barrier to competition. Again, apologies that this is not sourced or sufficiently detailed – I read this a while ago and don’t really have the inclination to go find it.

          People want what they want and could care less what is in the interest of everyone else. This philosophy, taken to it’s logical conclusion, leads to an ever-man-for-himself society in which the strong dominate the weak. This is the world of the early industrial revolution complete with robber barons, monopolies, and oppressed masses. Certainly there is a happy medium between that and communism – I think we just disagree on where to draw that line.

          It is worth considering though, that you rely on socialized roads, police, and fire departments. You use socialized parks, libraries, and schools. The air you breath is safe because of the EPA and the water you drink is clean. The food you eat is fit for human consumption because of the FDA. The medicine you use (if applicable – and if you can afford it) won’t kill you or cause horrific side effects. The elderly do not die impoverished in the streets. The poor do not starve. The list goes on and in their day, all of these were considered radical or socialist. Simply calling something “socialist” does not make it bad – you must provide reasoning behind that. It is insufficient to say something is bad “because I say so.”

          • Mathius;

            This is a FALSE statement: “I think it should be noted, as I pointed out elsewhere today, that socialism and fascism are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. A plan cannot be both.” It is not supported by historical facts.

            They are different yet the same in many ways. They are both STATIST systems. In fact facsism evolved from socialism and contained many of its principles. In essence they only differed in how to get it implemented.

            I must run some errand now, so I will respond to your other commments later. Unless Mr. Flag or Peter steps in before I return.

            I suggest you look above for USW’s link to past series. There is one on the history of how we got to where we are today. If you have not been following this site for long you do not realize we have had these debates most of the winter and are now discussing philosophies and political systems to fix the problems.

            I can tell from your post that you are operating from some assumptions and positions that many of us here held, but have since abandoned. You may or may not but at least it will enlighten you as to why many of us are proposing the comments that we do.

            Until later
            Best wishes to you and your family
            JAC

  7. Black Flag says:

    Tally Ho!

  8. Welcome Back USW

    Good Morning To All

    Welcome Mathius

    Tally Ho to you BF

    Just Reading comments for now.

    Hope All Has A Nice Day Today.

    Judy

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi all,

      Same hellos to everyone…special welcome to Mathius!

      Posting here to get email comments.

      I wish all a wonderful day.

      Best Regards
      RS

  9. v. Holland says:

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/aug/16/white-house-appears-ready-drop-public-option-healt/

    Seems the White House is convinced that the majority is against government run health insurance

    • Hi V.

      Our paper said the same as the link you put up. They also said that 53% percent of Americans opposing President Obama’s health care vision and just 42% supporting it. It also says, 44% of voters strongly oppose Obamacare, while only 26% strongly support the plan. Maybe they’re finally seeing just how much the people are against this plan, and are finally rethinking it.

      I never did like the idea of their attitude of saying ‘WE WON, GET OVER IT”, and that we’re going to do what we want, if you don’t like it, tough.

      These people who are running the government, I’m sure has hopes of winning again in the next election, but are bound to lose big time if they don’t start listening to the people.
      Why even bothering to vote if they plan all along not to listen to their constituents, and just do whatever they feel like doing? Howard Dean himself is nothing but a loud, yelling big mouth, and I for one never did like him in the first place.

      • v. Holland says:

        Yes, the WE Won statements are rather offensive, I believe our representatives are supposed to vote the wants of their constituents not the party line, which was USWeapons point.

    • At best that’ll just be a bait-and-switch, don’t believe it.

      • v. Holland says:

        There were no details on how these co-ops would work-but the fact that they keep setting their bar lower at least in their talking points does show that they are well aware that the majority of Americans do not want government control of health care. Even though they continue to claim the uprising against it is manufactured.

    • V.H. et al:

      I pulled the following from the article you referenced.

      “With $3 billion to $4 billion in initial support from the government, the co-ops would operate under a national structure with state affiliates, but independent of the government.” The first part of this sentence makes the last part false.

      This statement in its entirety is an Oxymoron.

      The co-ops do not need federal seed money. They should not purchase insurance, they should provide the insurance for the co-op members. They could negotiate group rates for catastrophic, etc. But there is no need for federal govt involvment, except to grant tax exempt status. The States can allow their creation. Interstate agreements can allow them to work across state lines.

      Co-ops should be allowed to form and evolve on what ever structure and terms they feel are necessary.

      Lets also not forget that the govt holds all the aces. You can let anything exist, pass it to create the appearance of compromise. Then kill it through implementing regulations or cuts in funding. Clinton and Bush were masters at this.

      I do believe I told everyone last week that the President would end the debate by this week. While he will subdue the debate the real game is moving forward. And also as I warned, the Republicans, by offering their “more reasonable” alternative have provided the Pres and Dems with what they wanted, validity of what appears to be “consensus and compromise”.

      We are so screwed.

  10. The powers that be, democrats and republicans alike have been playing hardball within their respected parties for pretty much as long as I can remember. Its a classic case of “if you don’t play the game the way I want to play, then I’ll take my marbles and go find someone who will”. They are bullies on the playground but unfortunately they are playing with OUR country as the prize. It needs to be controlled and there is nobody controlling it.

    As to the Health Care bill, I’ve tried to read it on more than one occasion. All the legalese in there gave me a headache and after awhile it all just sort of blurred together. I guess on that point I am one of the people Mathius was talking about…and welcome aboard Mathius, glad to have you here!

    There are several things in the bill I am against, lumping retired military benefits into it is a biggie in my book. 20 years in the Navy and we were promised medical insurance for life and that shouldn’t mean lumping us into the same health care they are setting up nationally. My husband is covered at the VA, BUT only for military related injuries so that leaves us pretty much out in the cold for day to day illnesses that may or may not come up. Tricare is cost effective and works well for us, I don’t see taking that away just because they can.

    • Kym,

      I’m with you on it all blurring together, but was able to understand enough to see they were saying one thing, but trying to do another. When you catch them deliberately attempting to mislead, why would you believe anything else they say?

  11. Black Flag says:

    USWep

    What does it say about American apathy in holding their elected officials accountable that the politicians don’t even feel that they need to lie to us anymore

    Two problems with your point here – and both are your assumptions.

    1) Prove citizenry apathy. I watch the news and the ‘net and there are millions of activists across dozens of issues, from the economy, wars, health care, carbon tax…..

    That’s the problem, though, right? The number of real issues generated by government mismanagement – the FED/Gov destroying the economy with easy credit, invasion of countries that were of no real threat, imposition of social/fascist polices on health, nationalizing banks and industry, and massive funding of bizarre junk science – exhausts the People with massive, multi-front attacks.

    Of course, the only solution that solves all the problems – stop using government – is the solution that is ‘off your table’.

    2) What is the process to hold accountable the politicians? Voting? How’s that workin’ for ya?

    I’ve addressed this in my post – as long as the vetted ballot is the only voting option, all the yellin’ is pointless and futile.

    BF says that this problem cannot be solved.

    No, NO, NO!

    I have said the problem cannot be solved within the system.

    Your search for a solution within the system is wholly futile. You cannot make a systemic change to a system while using the system to affect the change.

    “You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created the problem”.

    If there is to be an elected “government” (or whatever we want to call it), what possible way is there to ensure that the people we elect or choose to represent us….. actually will?

    I addressed that in my post. As long as you accept the Elite’s choices for your representation, you will be perpetually disappointed.

    Sensei Mitch

    . By that I mean a change like this would mean that a sufficient portion of the voting public would need to see the problem and agree it was a problem.

    No.

    Your premise is faulty. You assume there exists a ‘problem’ that is a problem for ‘all the people’.

    No such thing exists (except for an asteroid hitting the earth, but nothing you can do about that either).

    The problem with people’s perception of politics is that their personal problem is a systemic problem for everyone else too.

    Thus, a problem for New York is made to be a problem for Texas. The problem with that is, that type of thinking actually makes it a problem for Texas, where no problem existed!

    The people need to start saying “It’s not my problem, go away!”

    Our best course of action is to start locally and work our way up.

    You got the answer half right.

    Start locally. Stop there.

    There exists NO societal problem that is any larger than that.

    Mathius

    While I’m sure the bill is far from perfect, I am disinclined to believe that there are “death panels,” a hidden agenda to euthanize the elderly, support ACORN, destroy employer based plans etc – all of these irrational, and fundamentally dishonest theories being circulated cause health care reform issue to lose support which it might otherwise enjoy. Thus the it seems logical to infer a higher level of support for what the bill actually is than a straight reading of the poll data.

    The bill is an economic disaster – which is about as far from perfect as one can see.
    The consequences of the bill will result in the very claims made. Since economics is ignored, triage will be necessary, since there is not infinite resources to fill all demands on any service.

    Since the demands vs. services are not based on economics, social rationalizations will be used.

    As I’ve asked of Bob, Chris and now you, how much is a life worth? How do you evaluate someone’s need vs. the ability to provide it? Is saving a life worth $10, $100,$100,000,$100,000,000? For how long? A day, week, month, hour?

    is an issue which is too complicated and intricate for the average voter’s opinion to matter.

    It is too complicated for anyone or elite group to figure it out. Which is why it must be left to the free market.

    The concept that there exists some ability to know all things necessary to create a systemic program to solve a need for 300 million people is utterly bizarre.

    The Free market, by using 300 million individual brains, does solve the problem optimally.

    They are not able to comprehend the legalese involved, and I am not convinced that they could fully understand it with sufficient depth.
    Simply put, I want my country to be run by elitists, not the guy-next-door.

    Prove that an “elitists” can understand the complexity of any economic system.
    The fact is that all central planning of any component of the economy is less efficient and less effective than the free market.

    No man or group of men are capable of obtaining all the necessary information, understanding it, and then forming a strategy about it.

    The complexities of the economic interaction approaches infinite complexity. Any government action in such a system only increases its complexity.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Well; it took a while but BF has finally made his appearance. Hello BF, and DITTO!

      How can anyone expect the common man to understand a bill that the folks who wrote it can’t even understand?

    • Chris Devine says:

      The thing is, BF, you can’t put a dollar value on human life. While you may be able to tally up things like lost potential earnings or raw material salvage value, you’ll never come up with a figure that takes into account the intrinsic value of a human life. Putting a price tag on everything isn’t going to solve any problems. All it will do is make it seem like everything is for sale.

      The free market should never be entrusted with such life and death decisions because in the free market there is no such thing as intrinsic value, only market value. You and I are worth more than what we may fetch at auction. Life and death decisions should be made by patients and physicians. As long as people are treated with honesty and dignity we will end up with a health care system that values human life for its own sake, not for the sake of speculators and money changers.

      • You are correct Chris in that BF nor I, nor anyone else can put that value on YOUR life. I can value mine. BF can value his. And you can value yours.

        It is only the free market that allows free men to value their own lives. Anything else will eventually result in someone else establishing that value for you.

        You once again mischaracterize the “free market”. It is nothing more than free people trading with each other of their own free will.

        A system values nothing except that which is put in the system by people. Thus your health care system that values human life for its own sake is either bound by human decision or has no bounds. The latter is a contradiction of the universe so that leaves only the first.

        You also forget the philosophies of some of those supporting the movements pushing for these policies. The value of an individual human life can not be all that great. After all it can be sacrificed for the good of the whole, remember?

        Hope you have been well.
        Best wishes
        JAC

        • Chris Devine says:

          As long as we’re talking philosophy…

          Paul Grice once made a distinction between two types of meanings: natural and non-natural. Natural meaning is ‘smoke means fire’ or ‘dark clouds mean rain.’ Non-natural meaning is ‘red means stop’ or ‘an extended middle finger means I wish you would leave.’

          The thing is we don’t need to translate natural meaning. Smoke will always mean fire and dark clouds will always mean rain (bear with me and don’t nit-pick just yet). If such is the case then why do we need market value to translate intrinsic value? It seems to me that market value is merely a residue of viewing every human interaction as a financial transaction of some sort. Doing so we only end up cheapening life (pun intended).

          The free will transactions you talk about carry with them many unstated premises. The biggest of which is that everything must be comparable in exchange value or fixed to some arbitrary currency. This is the biggest shame of them all. The fixation of a price tag on all that surrounds us so that we can appreciate it. Personally I like to breath clean air and drink clean water without thinking what it’s worth to me in dollars and cents. I’d rather if manufacturers would just stop polluting. Perhaps that’s just too much to ask.

          • Black Flag says:

            Chris
            Value is an abstraction of man’s thoughts.

            Unless a man gives something value, it has no value.

            All value are based on an individual’s judgments and are arbitrary and solely a creature of an individual whim.

            For man to obtain the resources for his life, he must earn and trade for them or steal them.

            To earn and trade, value will be placed on such goods by the independent judgments of the individuals. When the value of a good/service is equal or higher than the value of the item in trade for both sides, a voluntary exchange takes place.

            ——-
            You like to breath at no cost, because air has no cost …..except when you need it. Then you will pay – for example, to get air under water. You pay for someone to fill an air tank so you can breath.

            As soon as you put a value on air it becomes valuable. When you do not put value on air (which is most of the time, since it is ‘everywhere’) it has no value.

            You will not pay me for the air to breath – since you can breath it right now.

            Let’s see how quick your wallet opens up, when you run out of air 20 feet under water…..

            • Chris Devine says:

              Or I could just avoid diving or spoiling nature’s bounty so that it becomes unduly scarce.

              • Black Flag says:

                But if you never see it, what value is it to you?

                It could be there or not, and makes not one wit of difference for you.

      • “Life and death decisions should be made by patients and physicians.”

        Then why did the Democrats plan set up required “advisory” panels?

        • Chris Devine says:

          Where?

        • Chris,

          (1) IN GENERAL- There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.

          (2) CHAIR- The Surgeon General shall be a member and the chair of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.

          (3) MEMBERSHIP- The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following members, in addition to the Surgeon General:

          (A) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the President.

          (B) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States in a manner similar to the manner in which the Comptroller General appoints members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission under section 1805(c) of the Social Security Act.

          (C) Such even number of members (not to exceed 8) who are Federal employees and officers, as the President may appoint.

          Such initial appointments shall be made not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

          http://www.truthtree.com/Politics/posts/351489.html

          • Chris Devine says:

            Show me where in the legislation this is all put forth. Then show me where such legislation has passed conference committee and been signed by the president.

            • Black Flag says:

              Oh Chris…..

              Since it has yet to be law, NOTHING about it has been signed. That’s a really bizarre blurting by you.

              LOI answered your question – he said the Dem’s made such a proposal, you asked where, and he provided it…..

              …come on, man! You’re better than that…!

              • Chris Devine says:

                Okay, fair enough. But this proposed panel isn’t going to micromanage health care. It is meant to establish criterion for benefits, not medical choices on an individual basis.

              • Maybe for today, what will they decide in five years? How many Czars will control healthcare?

                How does the healthcare the government runs today compare to the private providers?

                Would genuine reform not start with Medicare/medicaid?

                Stop the presses, you said,”establish criterion for benefits, not medical choices on an individual basis.”

                I smell bulldookey!!!
                If they determine benefits, that means your medical choices.
                If I get cancer, they decide I only get two chemo treatments or such? Or what treatment options I may take. Thought that was between me and my doctor. Or me and my insurance Co., that I decide what I want, if I don’t like what they offer, I go to another company. With the government, they say I can have plan orange, green or blue?
                No thank you!!!!!!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        You cannot put a dollar value on human life, very true.

        A public option health-care plan will attempt to do just that however.

  12. Why seniors are scared.

    What we do want to be able to do is to provide information to that senior and to her doctor about, you know, this is the thing that is going to be most helpful to you in dealing with your condition. Obama answering a question with a telephone town hall.

    The link:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0907/28/cnr.06.html

    The government is simply not trusted anymore. What have they actually accomplished by entering the free market that has not, or isn’t going to fail in the future? There are problems with every entity they have touched, and can’t seem to get out of each others way to make more things get flushed down the crapper.

    Maybe it’s time for the people to get strong armed with them, they can’t seem to get anything right.

    G!

  13. Found this on Fox, passing it along.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Time for Obama to Call In the Blue Hats, Declare Victory and Move On

    President Obama doesn’t have the option of calling in the United Nations Blue Hats but he can find a health care plan that looks like it offers some reform, call it a victory for change and forget about it.

    The Obama administration has been hit with a swift boat-like attack on their health care plan. President Obama should do what George Bush should have done with Iraq, declare victory, call in the blue hats and go home.

    No, President Obama doesn’t have the option of calling in the United Nations Blue Hats but he can find a health care plan that looks like it offers some reform, call it a victory for change and forget about it. Just like the Iraqi insurgency it is impossible to compete with the anti- heath care reform guerrilla warfare. It is also impossible to compete with the cascade of money being spent by the health care lobbies to stop a public option or other meaningful reforms.

    According to The Center for Responsive Politics’ Web site OpenSecrets.org the total amount of lobbying money spent in 2008 and 2009 by groups representing pharmaceutical/health products was a whopping $370,440,214. The insurance companies are responsible for $144,738,590. To put this in perspective, the amount spent lobbying would pay for nearly four years of the estimated full cost of the Obama health care plan. The lobbying groups have managed to spend that in less than two years!

    Make no mistake there needs to be health care reform, there needs to be a way every citizen can purchase health insurance but it is not going to happen now and it is using up too much of the president’s political capital.

    When he started on this issue the president had no idea how many sharks have been swimming in the health care waters and he must squeak out victory in order to get other parts of his agenda completed. Trying to avoid the Clinton-era health care fiasco he let Congress put forth a bill rather than having it come from the White House. That was probably a mistake. Creating some form of universal health care has been part of the Democratic Party platform since the 1948 convention. It is admirable that President Obama has tried but if five Democratic presidents have not been able to make it happen, it is doubtful that he will. My advice is for President Obama is to make some small meaningful reforms, do it quickly, declare victory and move on.

  14. Richmond Spitfire says:

    A Funny for Today!

    My Duck is Dead
    >
    > A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon.
    >
    > As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope
    > and listened to the bird’s chest.
    >
    > After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, “I’m
    > sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”
    >
    > The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”
    >
    > “Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead,” replied the vet.
    >
    > “How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any
    > testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”
    >
    > The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room.
    >
    > He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.
    > As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind
    > legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck
    > from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and
    > shook his head..
    >
    > The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.
    >
    > A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the
    > table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat
    > sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled
    > out of the room.
    >
    > The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this
    > is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”
    >
    > The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a
    > bill, which he handed to the woman.
    > The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill.
    > “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”
    >
    > The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it,
    > the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat
    > Scan, it’s now $150”

    • cute

    • Hey RS

      Question for ya. Where do you keep getting these little diddies you put up? I ask, because you’ve been putting up the same ones I get from my son, then I in return, put them up as well. Just wondering.

      BTW, how goes your day today?

      Judy

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hey Ms. Judy!

        I just get them thru email from loved ones! I guess, just like you…

        I hope I didn’t republish this one if you already had! Sorry if I did…been busy in the last week and really haven’t had a great deal of time to read everything here.

        I’m hanging in there…Looks like me have some thunderheads rolling in here…

        I can’t believe school will be starting again here soon…this summer break has totally flown by…Before we know it, the Holidays will be here.

        Hope this finds you well my dear!

        Best Regards,
        RS

        • RS

          Don’t worry about it, was just wondering. My son gets them from people he works and around with, then he sends them to me and his dad.

          Our weather here is dry and pretty warm, which I don’t like because I get static electricity running through me. Can’t touch anything without getting zapped by it.

          I take it you have young ones at home that will be starting school soon. My youngest will be starting his 3 semester at UNR next week and is really looking forward to it this time. But he is taking some hard core courses this time. Then, this fall, he is going to EMT training to get his certificate. He will be doing 12 hour ride alongs with either ambulances, and or paramedics, then doing 12 hours in ER for part of his training.

          And SHHHHHHHHHH! about the holidays coming, they’re coming way to fast for me anymore. Don’t even want to think about that just yet, not ready. Heck, as it is, I have to renew my driver’s license in Nov before my birthday. With the closing of several here around town, I’ll have a long wait in lines. Go to line A, then to line B, then line C just to get it renewed.

          BTW, I would have been done with this 10 minutes ago, but a client came in, so it took me longer than planned.

          And yes I am doing quite well thank you, hope you are doing the same.

          Judy

  15. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    I simply believe that we have different ideas of the necessity and appropriate methods to sacrifice in service of our country. USW was willing to risk his life serving in our armed services. I am not sure that I could ever do that, but I certainly am willing to sacrifice in other ways. These are apples and oranges.

    I think its Great you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for me!

    But why do you believe you have a Right to force me to sacrifice for you? What if I don’t want to?

    • Wow. A truly excellent question, Black Flag.

      First let me say that I have a ton of work today, and much as I appreciate your question, I officially hate you and USW for destroying my productivity today (and for many, many days going forward).

      Secondly, I think it helps to understand where we come from on this issue by understanding where we would be without my concept of sacrifice. We would have no taxes. None. Period. This sounds great, but who is going to pay for the armed forces? How do we defend ourselves if we’re attacked? Do you honestly believe that you could raise that kind of money in a collection plate?

      Okay, let’s try it another way. No property taxes means no public school. No public school means many children (particularly poor children) get no education (it is fantasy to believe that private school would suddenly become affordable – public schools are subsidized by all residents of the town, not just relatively few parents of students, so a decreasing payer base means higher prices which many could not afford). No education means they are unable to get jobs. No jobs means they turn to crime. Crime means they rob our houses. They cause massive losses while contributing nothing. Now everyone is worse off. You’ve paid the price you would have paid, and you’ve done it unwillingly, only now your house has been ransacked by criminals while you were out, hard at work. Oh, and they are never caught and punished because there are no police.

      Some slight hyperbole, but the gist is there. We all have to pay, or we all pay. I can’t send every child in America to school, and I can’t pay for the entire armed services. I can can’t fund the police, the fire department, the EPA, FBI, CIA, NSA, FDA, and every other 3-letter organization which makes American life what it is. We all have to or we degenerate into Somalia.

      I think, deep down, you have to acknowledge my point – it’s just a question of degree and methodology. Perhaps you think income tax is wrong and it should be a flat tax (I disagree, but logical arguments can be made for both), perhaps you dislike the estate tax, or some such, but it’s hard to argue against taxes entirely.

      Paying taxes is like eating your vegetables, you may not enjoy it, but it will keep you (society) healthy so that you don’t get sick and have to pay more (crime/poverty/anarchy/et cetera). But it doesn’t work if only half of us do it.. so if we need to force you to eat your veggies, well then that’s just what it has to be.

      • Me thinks that Methius has been stewing for some time and finally given a chance has bubbled over in all directions. That is a good thing. That you already think it safe enough here to express your views so completely and openly.

        I warn you though. You have entered not the cave you think. You have entered a maze of dark tunnels filled with wonderful things to see and learn. You have chosen wisely, even if it were by accident. But first you must quickly jump straight up so that your legs are not crushed by the trap which you have inadvertantly sprung with your first step.

        Good luck and enjoy.

        JAC

        • I like you JAC.

          You shall be a worthy adversary.

          I will consider the battle over when you vote for Obama for reelection.

          • You did make me chuckle with that one.

            I guess we are in for a very long battle. Good thing Iam getting old. That will give you at least a few years to enjoy some solitude.

            Another suggested reading on this site is the series on Philosophy. USW can summarize the connections. As I said, you have entered a place that is not what you think it to be.

            I am guessing you will enjoy it, although it can consume your free time if you are not careful.

        • Black Flag says:

          Careful Mathius,

          I think JAC failed to warn you that some tunnels are guarded by Black Flags.

          If you see one, enter with caution. I’ve seen melted brains pour out of ears after I was done with them….. 😉

    • Also, in WWII, people were drafted into military service. Do you think that all of these people would have willingly risked their lives had it not been forced on them? Do you think we would have defeated the Nazis without this? (disclaimer, I do not like Nazis).

      If you feel that allowing the Nazis to take over Europe is acceptable, then please say so and disregard the rest of this question.

      If you feel that the draft was a necessary evil, please explain to me why it was acceptable in that circumstance to force people to sacrifice for others while it is not in present circumstances.

      • My God man, stop. I said jump straight up not side ways. The trap will crush you if you don’t jump and then hold perfectly still.

        • Black Flag says:

          Too late, Jac ol’ friend, those beady red eyes in the dark behind him are mine…..

          • Mathius:

            2 wise and learned men are now posied to match wits and reason with you. Those minds are housed in two formidable advisaries equipped with sharp wit and relentless energy.

            I shall set back, watch and learn from Master BF and Master JAC.

            I am hopeful that you are not too blugened to continue your thoughts post your heeling.

            CM

      • esomhillgazette says:

        OMG!!!!!

        Mathius, you have so obviously not been on this site before!!

        “I think, deep down, you have to acknowledge my point – it’s just a question of degree and methodology. Perhaps you think income tax is wrong and it should be a flat tax (I disagree, but logical arguments can be made for both), perhaps you dislike the estate tax, or some such, but it’s hard to argue against taxes entirely.”

        I sure hope you have a lot of time on your hands. If you think your productivity has been destroyed before, just wait.

        If you’re smart and careful, you may survive BF with just minor scars. 😀 ’cause you have stepped in the Black Flag Concertina wire!!!

        • I am so laughing my rearend off. I wrote a post below, but remain opened minded and still laughing, and I don’t like being force fed veggies, LOL!

          G!

      • Black Flag says:

        Heed nothing of these clowns.

        I am a mild-mannered guy who just asks a lot of questions.

        It is JAC who is dangerous….

      • My dear Mathius.

        Now that you have jousted a bit with the Pirate Black Flag on the details, perhaps you can not answer the basic and initial question by Mr. Flag.

        “But why do you believe you have a Right to force me to sacrifice for you?”

        Your answer as presented reminded me of that polytickshun’s little dance in The Best Little Whore House in Texas.

        I am curious as to what or where you derive this “right” as well. Feel free to answer both questions if you wish. After all you can not have one without the other.

        • v. Holland says:

          You seem to be in an unusual mood today 🙂

          • Yes V., I did get a little more sleep last night and confess I have not felt on my game of late.

            Thanks for noticing.

            Be free my friend
            JAC

            • v. Holland says:

              I’ve never noticed you not being on your game. But I did notice that you were quite feisty yesterday. Which I enjoyed-but from your comment I hope you are feeling well.

      • You are making it difficult to keep my fingers quiet.

  16. Mathius said
    “health care, like the nuances of international relations, is an issue which is too complicated and intricate for the average voter’s opinion to matter. The average voter cannot be expected to have a reasoned, well informed opinion on the matter. As such, he should be (largely) ignored.”

    An interesting thought. How would you feel if Bush had made that statement about any issue? How would the public react if Obama, Pelosi, Reed, or even any Republican made such a statement? Jon Bon Jovie said about Al Gore, that he was the smartest man he had ever been around, and that he was in awe of Gore’s intellect, and that was what he wanted in a candidate. A good answer, well expressed and thought out. I, of course, completely disagree. I want a candidate that shares the same values. If we were looking at IQ, Biden has them all beat(isn’t that scary?).

    Been busy today, so have read, but not posted. Noticed you did not respond to
    one I felt had merit.

    Alan F. said
    August 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    As for the nuances being to complicated for the masses, many of whom vastly exceed those involved in the political game of thrones in matters both intellectual and social, try again please. While its easy to write off granny or trailer Bob as being uninformed, these last “town hall” attempts at governmental PR proved the masses well beyond their representatives in mental gymnastics. All those hours of footage depicting politico after politico floundering under the questioning of the unsubtle undereducated masses is proof positive. And please no excuse that they were under fire or pressure as that’s the very environment the politico sell themselves as being the masters of.

    Alan, excellent observation!!! Five gold*****stars.

    Mathius, welcome. So why did you leave California, new taxes on surf boards?

    • Sorry, didn’t see that comment.. it’s been a busy day. I tried to respond to everything, but I do have a job to do. This will be my last response for the day as I do actually have to get to work. I thank you all for the pleasure of your thoughtful conversation and look forward to it next time.

      With regards to Alan’s question, I do not necessarily believe that even the politicos can follow this argument in its current state. I feel that this only bolsters my case even further. If the people whose job it is to understand this are floundering, how can the causal observer be expected to know everything. But I can easily ask questions which will stump an astrophysicist, that does not mean that I am better suited than him to do the work. Questions are easy – answers are hard.

      I, for the record, strongly support simplifying bills coming out of Congress, but that is not the issue. My point is that the guy next door isn’t reading the 1,000 page bill. He is listening to Rush Limbaugh telling him about how the Crazy Kenyan usurper is going to have ACORN murder grandma. This guy should be ignored. If you called your congressman, you could have a debate with him/her on the merits. Making loud, uninformed noises echoing soundbite media does not justify your voice in the political arena.

      I left California because I was fed up of perfect weather and gorgeous women. One can only tolerate that for so long before needing to move to New York where one can experience the true joy of muggy summers and freezing hellish winters.

      • A good day to you sir, will have more to say tomorrow.

      • Actually it bolsters Black Flag’s position. None of those to whom your choice is limited are equipped to deal with your nuances. Yup yer screwed… time to throw a blower onto the family car, attach football shoulder pads to your leather jacket and adopt a truly keen nickname like Mad Max while enjoying the black top odyssey.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Mathius,

      Someone said it earlier (not sure who), but it isn’t the IQ that is important…It is the person’s values and principles.

      For example:

      I know a couple of US Citizens that I consider to be wise and honorable beyond what their “so-called” IQ is capable of…These folks have mild versions of Down’s Syndrome and because of this, they have what is considered a ‘low’ IQ.

      These folks have been trained and are able to function and make very good decisions…The beauty is in the simplicity of their thinking processes. The folks that I know remain true to their belief system and won’t be shaken. These people work, they pay taxes and they live fulfilling lives. They are genuine people who question when something doesn’t seem right to them.

      I much rather call these folks my friends than many people with high IQs who disregard common decency (values) and principles in their elite “arrogancism”.

      I do not believe in dismissing a person and their opinions because someone considers an IQ too low; sometimes, it takes a mind that is not filled with so much “learned” crap to see past the Tree to the Forest.

      Our representatives need to be “normal” people…

      Best Regards,
      RS

      • Am I detecting another new word? ““arrogancism”.”

        Bravo, Spitfire, bravo.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Karyn – c’mon – you work in a bank – do you honestly think the people at that top of that food chain are ‘normal people’? What the hell does that mean anymore anyway? You need and want that person to have something you may or do not have/possess – be it more experience, training, or just born-with-it talent to make smarter business decisions more often than they make bad ones. We also want them to have enough emotional depth and understanding to be able to see and relate to our POV.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Hi Ray,

          First and foremost, I hope you have been well and the baby is finding some more consistent sleep patterns!

          Okay…Ray, There are more people in our population than is begin given credit to that have Avg to Above-Avg Intelligence with the MUCH NEEDED values & principles necessary to “serve” in a representative capacity. These people don’t really have a chance though because they are “unknown”.

          Ray…you know as well as I do that a person doesn’t have to be at the “Top of the Food Chain” in order to be a success in life. Success is not always measured in $’s or Power.

          I don’t have the answers…I just have ideas (sometimes they are feeble; sometimes they are feasible).

          Ray…another thing…I know that you and I don’t agree on this…so, I ask that you don’t put me down — please, just simply accept that this is my opinion — I think that Sarah Palin was a good candidate because of her being a normal person.

          I wish you the best!

          RS

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Karyn – I do “get it” that many people that are successful got there because they worked their asses off, studied hard, were lucky, knew someone, were in the right place at the right time, or all or some of the above. The formula changes for the normal joe. I’ve met a number of salt-of-the-earth types who just plugged away and made a difference. Leaders in business and government and other walks can often be found that maybe got the straight A’s all thru school but had to put in a couple of extra hours of studying to get those A’s versus someone else that perhaps didn’t have to put in the extra sweat equity. Can both types lead us? Lead our Congress? Lead our foreign affairs? Our wars? Absolutely. The question then becomes (for me at least) – who is better equipped in the long run? Who is better suited to tackle deep, vexing and complicated issues, personalities, and do so with a better chance of success? I’m going to choose the one that’s “got it” versus the one that “usually gets it”. Everyday man status is well and good – it does not guarantee that they share the same values as me – I already wrestled with BF on this (as did others).

            Now – whew – Sarah Palin. I will try not to be mean here. I applaud that you adamantly support her – politicians need strong bases that always have their backs. After she left office I wanted to wipe the slate clean – give her a chance to clean the trunk out and see what it is she is really going to do – even it is nothing more than more fishing. Here is what perplexes me. We have this raging debate over Healthcare reform. What we need is clarity and/or clarity with emotion. What we do not need is politicized vitriol that seeks to undermine the debate. I think with Sarah we got the later. I’m at a loss for how someone who in 2008 supported EOL actions can turn EOL into “Death Panels” and write an entire OpEd insinuating her son and mother (?) would be at risk to essentially be put to death by the government should reform pass and included voluntary participation in EOL matter (counseling, wills, etc). Sarah was successful in helping have at least the Senate I believe, remove the provision. I was crestfallen at hearing this. My family lost my sister-in-law when she was 31 to cervical cancer (my wife and I were 30 at the time) – the counseling all of us received as the end approached was extremely valuable. There was no living will provision or option – it would have been helpful for the crap that happened after but that is not relevant here. In opposing these very services after supporting them a year earlier Sarah showed me she is just another politician – eager to stay attached to the limelight and espouse positions that were astonishingly not challenged by the several million Facebook fans she now has (trust me – I looked). Karyn – if you want to support her – go for it – as they say “its all good”. She just isn’t any good for me.

            btw – baby – he is a sleeper – 8-9 hours straight a night w/o getting up. Thanks for asking!

            • v. Holland says:

              My first baby was a sleeper-my second, not-but she was a happy baby which made the long hours okay.

            • Kristian Stout says:

              Good morning All!

              Ray,

              Wouldn’t it make more sense to pick the one who worked a little harder to get those A’s? I mean, after all, he could have just said to hell with it it’s too hard and I don’t want to. Instead this person set his mind to being the best that he could be. I’d rather have someone willing to work hard than someone who is going coast on “talent”. Wouldn’t you?

      • The most socially inept people I know think of The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry as light reading. They are far far far away from being of the “love thy neighbor shining happy joy-joy” sect and view Soylent Green as being more of an infomercial than a B grade science fiction flick.

        • Part 2, the wife’s uncle would be seen by many as none too swift save for his uncanny business acumen which netted him a top ten position as a trader of horse flesh in the state of Kentucky several years back before he reigned in his hobby. So while he might not be able to win a Jeopardy game against drunk lumberjacks, he can afford the buy the forest they work in and a few hundred MENSA members to wear dunce caps just to make him feel better.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      No LOI – I do not believe it had much merit. Long and short, in the end I think the town halls were a waste of time. Irregardless what percentage of Congress had all the good intentions of an exchange of learning, what made it to the media seemed more of a trainwreck than anything else. When you take an already skeptical group, pump them full of piss and vinegar (e.g. Rush and Beck), do you expect a different result? Let’s assume politician John Doe entered his/her town hall with all the best intentions. How the hell is one supposed to act when confronted with “how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood” questions?

      • Good intentions? It was meant to be a sales pitch and people started kicking the tires. There were a number of questions relevant to Uni-health put forth by conservatives in attendance with the actuality of payment being the most asked and most revealing by being the least answered with actual facts. What I don’t comprehend is that as it’s THE biggest issue for America in my not so humble opinion and got billing behind bailouts, pseudo science and green pipe dreams? If he wanted it bad enough it would have meant more than paying back his debtors whom all could easily have waited until next year or that after. It was an amateurish move all the way or it really didn’t mean as much to him as he let on.

        The majority of Americans I hear from still want him to be that president who was supposed to be putting them above politics and ALL special interest groups. He wants to truly make good his mark on America for Americans in decades to come, it can’t come after the payback for getting him there.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          So the rumor goes he agreed to tackle Healthcare in year one to win Kennedy’s support in the primaries.

          I could not agree more with your last paragraph (crap – Alan and I agree on something).

          • Tell your Mrs to cover the walls, ceiling and floor with plastic, you might have a “Scanners” moment.

  17. Here’s another funny.

    There were two alligators sitting down by the lake. The smaller one
    turned to the bigger one and said,

    ‘I can’t understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We’re the
    same age; we were the same size as kids.I just don’t get it.’

    ‘Well,’ said the big Croc, ‘what have you been eating?’

    ‘Politicians, same as you,’ replied the small Croc.

    ‘Hmm. Well, where do you catch them?’

    ‘Down the other side of the swamp near the parking lot by the
    Capitol.’

    ‘Same here! ! . Hmm. How do you catch them?’

    ‘Well, I crawl up under one of their Lexus cars and wait for one to
    unlock the car door.. Then I jump out, grab them by the leg, shake the shit
    out of them and eat ’em!’

    ‘Ah!’ says the big Crocodile, ‘I think I see your problem. You’re
    not getting any real nourishment. See, by the time you finish shaking the
    shit out of a Politician, there’s nothing left but an asshole and briefcase.

  18. so if we need to force you to eat your veggies, well then that’s just what it has to be.

    Mathius, Here is where you underestimate the common man. I, like USW and many others here are war vets, and we thank you very much for all your money that bought the bullits and guns and such, they came in handy! IMHO, you misuse the word sacrifice, as you have sacrificed nothing! You simply paid to have people like me to keep you free so that you may enjoy “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. You have sacrificed nothing, you simply paid for something you are not capable of doing yourself (not meant negative, not everyone can handle war, for many reasons).

    It’s easy for the Elite (as you have called yourself) to toss money around and think you can control others by that virtue. Doesn’t work for me, and never will. I often find it interesting how the Elite don’t realize they are not in charge, and never will be.

    Few small facts that you can Google. 23 million vets. 80 million legal gun owners with 270+ million firearms and the ammo to make them go boom!

    As I’ve said this before to some really left folks here in my town, they reply with “ya, but we have the military, and the Elitists are in charge”. Nice statement, bad assumption, it’s the common folks kids and grandkids driving them tanks, flying the jets and carrying the machine guns, and the history of the civil war still looms large.

    I write this with no ill feelings toward you. I am not angry and will not shout you down. I just don’t like being force fed veggies!

    G!

  19. Mathius said

    “I think it should be noted, as I pointed out elsewhere today, that socialism and fascism are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. A plan cannot be both.”

    We have our own party that can to be during a discussion with JAC, Flag & myself.
    Democrats are seen as being on the left, Republicans on the right, neither is correct. Communism, socialism and fascism all are examples of near total government control. That is the left. The right would be no government control.
    Something like this:

    All Ism’s***Liberal***Democrat***Republican*******************VDLG****Black Flag

    We are the “Very Damn Little Government” party! Need to trademark that JAC.

  20. Black Flag says:

    Chris

    The thing is, BF, you can’t put a dollar value on human life. While you may be able to tally up things like lost potential earnings or raw material salvage value, you’ll never come up with a figure that takes into account the intrinsic value of a human life. Putting a price tag on everything isn’t going to solve any problems. All it will do is make it seem like everything is for sale.

    All human action is purposeful.

    Man needs to obtain resources for his life.

    Such action is economic action.

    All things valued by man are for sale or for plunder by others.

    A ‘price tag’ is the economic way to allocate finite resources.

    Without the ability of economic measure, resources are allocated arbitrarily by force, also know as the ‘political’ way.

    Since health care is finite, but under socialized planning, ut will be free and it will be exhausted.

    Some allocation of limited resources will be necessary.

    How do you suggest the criteria be made of who does and who does not get health care?

    The free market should never be entrusted with such life and death decisions because in the free market there is no such thing as intrinsic value, only market value.

    Your concept of value is incorrect.

    VALUE is a measure by a man of what something is WORTH TO HIM. A rock has no value unless a man places a value on it. A tree has no value unless a man places a value on it.

    A rock has no value if no man puts a value on it.

    Life and death decisions should be made by patients and physicians.

    I agree.

    SO why do you demand my involvement in their matter?

    But I ask again – what is a life worth? Are you willing to pay $100,000,000 to save a life for an hour? A week? A month?… how much for how long?

    An answer, sir……..

    • A human life is priceless, you can’t put a price on life.

    • Chris Devine says:

      I’m not going to put a price tag on it.

      Ever see Harold and Maude? Harold had all the money in the world and he could have paid those doctors to keep Maude alive against her wishes. But the fact remained that Maude made her choice and ensured that Harold understood that choice. Was it sad? Of course it was. But as adults we should be able to make hard choices without having to balance gold and copper on a scale.

      • Black Flag says:

        But, Chris, please give us a way to allocate the resources of Health Care?

        You will spend $100,000,000 to save a life for one hour?

        • Chris Devine says:

          Don’t be silly. The resources will be allocated using the standard protocols of triage. Not free-market economics.

          • Black Flag says:

            So, based on arbitrary standards of one person upon another.

            Excellent!

            For the rest of us, you’d better fight to get onto the elitist list. You can be sure they will ALWAYS be #1 on the triage….

            • Chris Devine says:

              The standards aren’t arbitrary. They are clear cut and well reasoned.

              • Black Flag says:

                No, they are arbitrary – made by a person on a person.

                Further, as I’ve stated, the Elite are immune to such arbitrage, correct?

                The Prez will get service, no matter what, where or when… correct?

              • Chris Devine says:

                You think all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could have put JFK’s cranium back together?

              • With the technology they have now, compared to 40 years ago, it’s a possibilty.

              • Black Flag says:

                That’s not a counter-argument, Chris.

                You know that whatever aliment the Elite and their families, friends, cohorts and hanger-ons have will get priority.

                The system is arbitrary and elitist – and paid for by the theft from the citizens – a perfect system, if you’re an elitist!

              • Chris Devine says:

                So you expect me to disagree with health care reform because of your thoughts regarding inequity? Nice try.

              • Black Flag says:

                Good try, Chris.

                Equality only exists in the eye of God.

                Your inequity is arbitrary, based on force and violence – the taking from someone who earned to give to an elite.

                The inequality of freedom is does not steal from those to have to give to those that did not earn it.

              • Black Flag says:

                I’ve looked, but I can’t find a “standard” at all.

                Do you have a link or two?

              • Chris Devine says:
              • Black Flag says:

                Thanks, Chris.

                http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion203.shtml

                As shown, the choice of care will be decided arbitrarily by the physician when resources are limited.

                The physician will chose and decide whose ‘quality of life’ will be ‘better’.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Do you think that’s wrong? Would it be better if the patient with the most money got the treatment?

                Suppose a super-rich rock star needs a liver transplant due to years of substance abuse. Do you think he should be able to jump the queue because he’s got more money? What if the person who was supposed to get the next liver was an upstanding member of his community, a father, and suffering through no fault of his own. We can even up the ante and say that his ailment was caused by exposure to toxic substances by his employer (who remained silent). Furthermore, we know that the rock star is still abusing heroin and alcohol and will likely damage his new liver as well.

                Can you seriously say that whomever can afford it deserves treatment? That seems just as arbitrary and rather unfair/unjust.

      • Chris Devine said

        Ever see Harold and Maude?

        If we must use a movie to decide how to live our lives, I going with Animal House.

  21. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    Wow. A truly excellent question, Black Flag.

    You will find that I am full of questions.

    First let me say that I have a ton of work today, and much as I appreciate your question, I officially hate you and USW for destroying my productivity today (and for many, many days going forward).

    Ah, but isn’t a good dialogue food for the mind, and isn’t a well-fed mind good for productivity! …. It’s my excuse anyway… 😉

    Secondly, I think it helps to understand where we come from on this issue by understanding where we would be without my concept of sacrifice. We would have no taxes. None. Period. This sounds great, but who is going to pay for the armed forces?

    Who pays for the Red Cross? Who pays for the United Way?

    I sense that you believe an army is a good thing to have – I won’t argue that point with you today – so, continuing….

    ….If it is such a good thing, why do you need to use force and violence and theft (called taxes) to pay for it?

    If it is so good, people will pay for it voluntarily.

    How do we defend ourselves if we’re attacked?

    You fight back.

    Do you honestly believe that you could raise that kind of money in a collection plate?

    No problem at all.

    Consider:
    If I build a wall to protect my family and myself, and you come to visit, how much more did the wall cost me because of you?

    If you want to build an empire, you need massive offensive capability and the ability to project that capability afar. Depending on the extent of your empire, the cost would be between huge and massively all-consuming.

    If you want defense, it’s cheap.

    Okay, let’s try it another way. No property taxes means no public school. No public school means many children (particularly poor children) get no education (it is fantasy to believe that private school would suddenly become affordable – public schools are subsidized by all residents of the town, not just relatively few parents of students, so a decreasing payer base means higher prices which many could not afford).

    You must be amazed that there was any learning at all before 1852.

    No education means they are unable to get jobs…..

    Interesting rationalization for your theft of my money.

    I bet I can run one by you, too, resulting in you losing your house and car completely for my benefit….. I kinda like that one…..

    Why do you believe you need to steal money to educate your children?

    Some slight hyperole, but the gist is there. We all have to pay, or we all pay. I can’t send every child in America to school, and I can’t pay for the entire armed services. I can can’t fund the police, the fire department, the EPA, FBI, CIA, NSA, FDA, and every other 3-letter organization which makes American life what it is. We all have to or we degenerate into Somalia.

    So, you have to pay/fund for every MacDonald’s, every Exxon service station, every grocery store, every shoe store, every car, ….. too…. Because if you don’t we’ll turn into Somalia!

    Why do you believe some economic services are immune to economics while others are not?

    I think, deep down, you have to acknowledge my point – it’s just a question of degree and methodology. Perhaps you think income tax is wrong and it should be a flat tax (I disagree, but logical arguments can be made for both), perhaps you dislike the estate tax, or some such, but it’s hard to argue against taxes entirely.

    All taxes are theft – there exists no such thing a good or proper or right tax.

    It is gross misunderstanding to assume some economic goods cannot be provided economically. I await your reasoning otherwise.

    Paying taxes is like eating your vegetables, you may not enjoy it, but it will keep you (society) healthy so that you don’t get sick and have to pay more (crime/poverty/anarchy/et cetera). But it doesn’t work if only half of us do it.. so if we need to force you to eat your veggies, well then that’s just what it has to be

    By what right to you claim you can force me to “eat” like you?

    Also, in WWII, people were drafted into military service. Do you think that all of these people would have willingly risked their lives had it not been forced on them?

    Nope.

    They were slaves.

    Why should a man be forced to kill or die for someone else’s cause???

    Do you think we would have defeated the Nazis without this? (disclaimer, I do not like Nazis).

    Why was a war in Europe any concern at all of America?

    If you feel that allowing the Nazis to take over Europe is acceptable, then please say so and disregard the rest of this question.

    Why is my concern to judge at all? I did not live in Europe at that time.

    If you feel that the draft was a necessary evil,

    No evil is ever necessary.

    please explain to me why it was acceptable in that circumstance to force people to sacrifice for others while it is not in present circumstances.

    It is never acceptable to impose upon another human being – period.</b.

    • Very absolutist.

      Yes, I know, I know.. I wasn’t going to post again, but I like having good discourse and I’m a junkie for this kind of stuff.

      So, some quick thoughts in no particular order…

      1. How did you get the flag logo, I think if I’m going to stick with this, I should probably get a white flag to offset you, no?

      2. You may be able to build a wall to stop the Mongolian horde, but I do not believe you are capable of building a missile shield. (I do not necessarily believe the government is either, but I also do not believe you are capable of preventing foreign countries from lobbing nukes at us if they like – the government, at least so far, seems to be doing an ok job of this). You respond, of course, if I’m minding my own business, there’s no reason they’d lob anything at me. To which I respond yes, true, they’d just come and enslave you and plunder your resources. You might be able fend to them off for so long by yourself, but a how long could you personally hold off an army? How did that work out at Waco?

      3. For someone who claims that no evil is ever necessary, does it not seem a logical extension that it is morally obligatory to stop evil when and where you can? If you see a many beating a young child in the street, should you walk past because it’s not “my concern?” Is that not evil by omission?

      4. A war in Europe was an American issue, because (A) the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor – part of America last I checked, and (B) if we didn’t stop them, they would have consolidated and come for us next eventually – remember “fight ’em there so we don’t have to fight ’em here?” Also, we have to defend our allies or what is the point of having them? If our word means nothing, how can be claim to be an honorable nation? This is, on a global scale, you saying to your best friend “hey, sorry, you’re getting mugged, but I just don’t think it’s my concern.” Could you look yourself in the mirror after that?

      5. The educational system of the 1800’s was quite sufficient for the 1800’s, but applied in today’s world against modern competitors abroad and we would stand no chance. Globalization is a fact of life and we can’t compete without modern education. Jobs will go elsewhere, we would be left impoverished.

      6. You cannot conflate private enterprise economics (micro) and governmental economics (macro). For example, if you car runs low on gas and you want to go somewhere, you will buy more gas – for yourself. If you want clean air (and I presume you do), you will.. do what? Nothing. You’ll try to tell the factory up the street that’s belching smoke into the air that it should stop doing that, but they’ll say “hey, is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” And you’ll be S.O.L. Likewise, for the FDA, if you need medicine, you need to trust that it will work as promised and won’t kill you, but you do not have the resources to do this. You do not have the expertise to do this. You you’ll need to pool with other people, but they’ll say, I don’t have that disease, why should I pay? And again, you’ll be S.O.L. Recall that in the 1800’s, a time you seem to ideallize, life expectancy was far shorter than it is today, work hours were 6 days a week and probably upward of 14 hours a day for meager wages (I’m making this up because I don’t have the facts on hand – as always, if you challenge these details, I will try to provide some corroboration or retract, so take it with a grain of salt), but my point here is that it’s easy to say this is a time when men were free, but they weren’t they were slaves far more so than today.

      As a soldier, I imagine that you should be quite familiar with the concept that “every man for himself” does not net the best result. Together we are stronger than the sum of our parts, if that needs to be imposed on some, then so be it, but you are better for it, as am I. I do not feel badly that the system imposes on you (and me) on the grounds that you are helped as well.

      Eat your vegetables.

      -Mathius

      • I my new friend. You have gone and jumped up only to catch your arms in the net above.

        Please don’t struggle any harder just yet.

        Let the rescue come to you.

        The Black Pirate feeds off of your attempts to engage. He uses your energy against you.

        Stand Still
        Very Still

        JAC

    • Mathius said:

      “Paying taxes is like eating your vegetables, you may not enjoy it, but it will keep you (society) healthy so that you don’t get sick and have to pay more (crime/poverty/anarchy/et cetera). But it doesn’t work if only half of us do it”

      Only half of us pay taxes now.

    • Hi all, been reading this site quite a bit since Feb, but decided today to jump in the fray. Not looking to pick any fights on my first post (I have a good deal of respect for yall), but BF:

      “Why was a war in Europe any concern at all of America?”

      Germany declared war on the US and sunk American shipping off the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. Sorry, but I’m a big history guy. Anyways, I really like these comments:

      “Consider:

      If I build a wall to protect my family and myself, and you come to visit, how much more did the wall cost me because of you?

      If you want to build an empire, you need massive offensive capability and the ability to project that capability afar. Depending on the extent of your empire, the cost would be between huge and massively all-consuming.

      If you want defense, it’s cheap.”

      If I lived next door to you and threw stones over your wall at your house; what is going to stop me? You’d have to come over to my place and “project” your power over me. This is why, we have to have the ability to go over to other nations backyards and get them to put an end to their antics. Yet it seems like the govt takes this to an extreme and go on foreign adventures, for slight or imagined offenses (Spanish American War is probably the best example). I guess what I’m getting at, is when do we go from a force of freedom, to a force of imperialism?

      • Oh my god.

        Two have fallen into the cave in a single day.

        The Pirates are beginning to party in anticipation of their feast.

        Stand Still C-Unit.

        Lay quiet and listen for the answers you seek.
        But do not flail away any more.
        You will only ensnare yourself even worse.

        Good luck
        JAC

        • Not as politically suave as some here apparently, $hit happens right?

          • Yes it does.

            But it’s OK to have a little fun while on $hit detail, don’t you think?

          • OK C-Unit

            I had a little fun with the cave story today but lets look at your questions about WWII.

            If you are a history buff then simply start working backwards in time from the key points you used in your comment to BF.

            You will find a path with many forks that were not taken, which may have avoided war. I say Maybe because the other guys all get a vote too. They may have selected the wrong fork in the road from their standpoint, even if we had taken a better path.

            The short is that WE helped create the situation. It didn’t materialize out of thin air.

            • Oh God, JAC…you are making it tough also, for me to keep quiet.

              • Good, but just don’t jump to the conclusion this is about beating up the USA out of some hatred for this country.

                Seems I remember you hinting at that point one time.

                There are connections in history. In fact Connections used to be the favorite TV show of me and the kids on the History Channel. The good ol US of A took a turn in history that eventually led to WW II.

                Some of it was deliberate and some was only the result of other deliberate actions, ie unintended consequences.

                Perhaps you can make a new post tomorrow, er I guess that would be today.

                Good Evening Colonel
                JAC

              • Hmmmm…usually I do not hint at anything…just come right out and say it. Never thought of you being anti-American or beating up on this country. I KNOW that there are things that we (US)has done that I disagree with…and I am a historian of sorts..especially military history. (I was an instructor at War College for a couple of years) but primarily dealt with tactics. Suffice it to say, I do not want mind numbed robots for citizens. So, keep it up my friend.

      • Black Flag says:

        c-unit

        “Why was a war in Europe any concern at all of America?”

        Germany declared war on the US and sunk American shipping off the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. Sorry, but I’m a big history guy.

        Germans sunk American ships while carrying materials of war while sailing under a claim neutrality?

        You must know that is an act of war against Germany, right? If you are declared neutral, it is against international law to supply belligerents.

        FDR tried to get around it with tricks – like the Lend/Lease Programs. Germans and the world were not ‘fooled’.

        Later, FDR authorized indiscriminate attacks on all Germans ships – again, under the flag of neutrality (as war was not declared on Germany). Hitler would not be goaded into war with America. Hitler did honor his pact with Japan.

        He felt the Americans would concentrate on Japan – and with America focused on Japan would abandon Britain. Nobody said Hitler was a strategic genius.

        I explained the Japanese situation already.

        If I lived next door to you and threw stones over your wall at your house; what is going to stop me?

        I may throw bigger stones at you.

        Remember this adage – it will be repeated by me very often…

        What you do to me give me the right to do to you

        If you chose to aggress against me, I have all the right respond in a time, and in a manner of my own choice.

        I guess what I’m getting at, is when do we go from a force of freedom, to a force of imperialism?

        Give me an example of an unprovoked attack against the United States by a foreign power since 1782.

  22. Black Flag says:

    csm
    http://static.businessinsider.com/~~/f?id=4a89a8e33e1974121c0b5a83

    With the reduction of imports, foreign companies inventories are still too high.

    Save your pennies – unless you are lucky to have a large cash flow and no debt, this is no market to be buying anything.

    If you are debt free, this is probably a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.

  23. Going back to the final question of the original post:

    “If there is to be an elected “government” (or whatever we want to call it), what possible way is there to ensure that the people we elect or choose to represent us….. actually will?”

    Make all elected officials subject to a recall vote at any time, upon a signed petition of some percentage of the official’s constituents. Rather than run against an arbitrary and similar opponent, the people simply vote yes or no on the single individual in office. If the official passes the recall vote, then the recall petition is wiped and the required % on the next petition goes up. If the official fails the recall vote, he/she is removed from public office and banned from holding any position in any government for some amount of time.

    In addition, instead of short terms that require politicians to be campaigning against opponents constantly while supposedly still doing their jobs, make every elected position a life term until a recall vote passes. Less money wasted on campaigning, less attack ads flying around. Most of these congressmen basically serve life terms anyway, might as well formalize it. Then if an elected official adequately represents their constituents, they have nothing to worry about.

    • But how can they realistically “represent US”. US is inclusive of all. It is the group. No one is left out of US.

      To invoke We the People means ALL the people. It means US, all of US.

      The answer to your question lies in the definition of who is being represented (We the People or US).

      Your proposed solution does not address the TRUE problem.

      Hint: How do you turn a diverse group into an entity of single mind and purpose?

      • Never claimed it was actually a good solution, just perhaps an incrementally better one (and more of a thought experiment really since something like this would never actually happen within the current system, it takes away too much of the elite’s power). BF’s guest commentary a week and a half ago nailed the voting problem pretty well really.

        • I do not have all the answers either DK. In fact I think some answers have evolved on this site as a result of the discussions. More minds better possible solutions.

          If we have the same Core principles.

          I would like to see us try to figure out how we want it to look in the ideal. You know, once it was fixed to match our values.

          I have always found that it is easier to see strategy and tactics once a clear vision of the goals/objectives is developed. The first thing it does is help us eliminate alternatives that will not reach the goal.

          Then, as you have tried to do and as many here are screaming for, we must figure out how to get from here to there. As you said, BF offered up the first idea on the voting issue. I think he is going to offer another, and soon I hope.

          Have you given more thought to my comment and question above? Hint: I have given you another clue in this post.

          JAC

  24. Hit and run post, just got this from The Douglas Report, so not credible. Hope some will have time to check out some of his claims. Such as “our government can compel every U.S. citizen to receive a Swine Flu shot, or the government can quarantine you indefinitely and will consider you a felon.” Nite all,

    The World Health Organization (WHO) wants every child and elderly person in the U.S. to receive a mandatory vaccination for Swine Flu — and our government actually agrees with the plan.

    Amid fears that the Swine Flu (also called the H1N1 virus) will be back with a vengeance this fall, a new and largely untested vaccine against this strain of flu is being stockpiled. And believe me: the government intends to use it.

    As recently as July, President Obama stated at a flu summit that “the most important thing…is to make sure that state and local officials prepare now to implement a vaccination program in the fall.”

    Vaccination programs are nothing new — every year, millions of Americans flock to get a flu shot. There’s little proof that these voluntary programs have done anything to blunt the annual spread of influenza — but that appears to be besides the point.

    Unlike the usual flu shots, the government wants to make Swine Flu inoculation compulsory — and they have the power to do it.

    Thanks to the Emergency Medical Powers Act and other Federal legislation, our government can compel every U.S. citizen to receive a Swine Flu shot. Your other rights can get tossed out the window if the government so chooses. No exceptions.

    First in line for this potentially deadly shot would be ALL children and pregnant women. And yes, this is in spite of the fact that the side effects of this vaccine are entirely unknown. The CDC has stated that “a certain amount of human wastage” could result. That’s their fancy way of saying it’s OK if some kids happen to die “for the greater good.”

    And if you have the nerve to refuse to allow yourself or your family to be injected with an untested live virus of a potentially lethal strain of flu, the government can quarantine you indefinitely and will consider you a felon. The U.S. Army will have the authority to “relocate” recalcitrant “flu resisters.”

    • Let the government and president go first, and their families, if nothing happens to them, then maybe the rest. I’m not going to be forced into getting a vaccination without knowing the side effects of it first. In fact, I won’t try anything without knowing what the side effects are.

      Sounds like that movie “VIRUS”.

      Judy

  25. No Government-Run Health Insurance, No Bill, Say Liberal Supporters of Reform
    The Obama administration appears to be stepping back from its insistence on a government-run health insurance plan, earning new wrath from the left as the president tries to appease vocal opponents of a “public option.”

    A health care reform plan without government-run insurance is “D.O.A.,” says one left-wing grassroots organizer up in arms about the possibility the Obama administration could abandon its efforts to build a “public option.”

    Jim Dean, chairman of progressive group Democracy for America, wrote supporters on Monday to tell them to fight any effort to remove a government-run health insurance plan in place of non-profit “cooperatives.”

    Suggesting insider Democrats and the insurance industry are behind the effort to kill a government-run plan, in his e-mail Dean assumed all Republicans in the House will oppose the health care reform with cooperatives, and with a loss of Democratic support, it would be dead on arrival.

    “Let’s be clear: A health care bill without a public option is D.O.A. in the House. Period.
    To pass any bill in the House they need at least 218 votes but 64 House Democrats have stood up and said they will not vote for a bill without a public option. That means a bill without a public option would only have 193 votes,” he said.

    On Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN’s “State of the Union” that a public option is “not the essential element” in reform legislation.

    “I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius said, indicating that cooperatives could work as a substitute. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing. We need some choices, we need some competition.”

    Sebelius extended comments from President Obama a day earlier, in which he told a town hall that a government-run health insurance program was never the most important part of a call for reform.

    “The public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it,” Obama told a town hall in Colorado.

    “So we are working on a series of proposals to address the questions that you’re raising. I believe that we can work them out. But those are specific questions as opposed to broad, philosophical questions about whether government ever has a role to play or not.”

    Several liberal supporters of any changes to the current bills being debated in Congress offered their criticism of a weekend suggestion by the administration that the sticky “public option” proposal could be removed from negotiations.

    “Leaving private insurance companies the job of controlling the costs of health care is like making a pyromaniac the fire chief,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who advocates a government option from his post on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    “Any bill without a public health insurance plan like Medicare is not health reform,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Without a public option there will be no way to keep insurance companies honest and their rates down. A public health option that competes with private insurers will set standards that could help lower costs and improve access.”

    Howard Dean, a former presidential candidate and doctor who is a former Democratic Party chairman and a leading liberal in his party, said he doubts meaningful health care reform can take place without a direct government role.

    “You can’t really do health reform without it,” Dean told NBC’s “Today Show.” “We shouldn’t spend $60 billion a year subsidizing the insurance industry.”

    But while supporters of a government-run program insist that alternatives like cooperatives aren’t enough, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., one of six negotiators trying to hammer out a bipartisan compromise measure on the Senate Finance Committee, told “FOX News Sunday” that a government-run insurance plan simply does not have the votes to pass.

    “The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option. There never have been,” he said. “So to continue to chase that rabbit I think is just a wasted effort.”

    Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat who has faced some of the most energetic opposition toward a government-run plan, said Monday he’s not ready to take it off the table. He added that he’d like to leave a private insurance option, but add choices.

    • Bait and Switch

      If you didn’t like the first run wait until you see what they come up with that they think WILL PASS.

      • Black Flag says:

        That’s right JAC.

        From the POV of government a “no” is simply permission to try and try again.

        A “yes” is permanent.

  26. USW:

    Here is my dissent regarding party politics.

    I would expect and hope that any political party would make its elected representatives tow the line.

    That is why those who form a party come together to find someone to run and then work to get them elected.

    The reality is that even our federal polytickshuns are not controlled by the “party”. They are controlled by those within the party who control the power. There is a difference. That is why the Repubs the past 8 years deviated from the Party platform without paying a price. The Dems are now undergoing the same.

    The faction within the Dem party has the power. It is they who are threatening the other Dems. I would bet that not all Dems adhere to the Dem party platform. The platform is the statement of the party “membership” that the electeds are to live up to.

    It is only because of two factors that this all creates a problem.

    First is our illusion, created by bad education, that our “elected representatives” are supposed to represent “all of us”.

    Second is the fact that the two parties don’t hold a majority. So they must create a broader “public” agenda to capture some of the middle. Their 20% plus half of the middle, another 20 to 30% is usually enough to win.
    But in creating the “public” agenda they extend beyond their true agenda.

    In plain talk….THEY LIE LIKE THE PIGS THEY ARE.

    So we have unreasonable expectations combined with deceit. If we had not been misled about the first we would be able to see and understand the second. We would have in fact been less likely to “assume” they were going to represent us.

    Now lets ask the million dollar question. Lets assume that some day the VDLG party garners the majority needed to elect a majority and implement the changes we think are needed to save this country. Now why in the world would we suddenly turn away from “our platform” and party members just to “represent everyone”???

    I have not interest in representing those who wish to enslave me. I will represent those who wish to be free.

    In fact it is impossible to represent those who wish to enslave or be slaves. They have almost an infinite combinations of ways to implement their desires. You cannot represent them all, but only one group of them at any point in time. Necessarily requiring you to NOT represent the others.

    Those who wish to be free are easy to represent because only a limited number of solutions exist that will maintain their liberty. And any solution that protects their liberty is going to be acceptable to ALL.

    Hope all is well in your house.
    JAC

  27. v. Holland says:

    Okay, you always make me think-I’m gonna question one statement-My head will explode if I tackle more than one at a time-

    “I would expect and hope that any political party would make its elected representatives tow the line.”

    Are we not supposed to be governed by the people-are our representatives not supposed to represent us not a party-We elect representatives to represent specific states and specific districts in those states-the majority in those areas elect these people and these elected officials should represent whatever that majority wants as long as it doesn’t violate the constitution.

    • That’s the point, that as long as who you’re voting for is associated with a party, that’s really what you’re voting for, not the actual person. It’s the party’s job to make sure its members conform to the platform, so that’s what you should be expecting to happen.

      • v. Holland says:

        I’m not sure I stated what I meant clearly enough-I said whatever that majority wants and I meant whatever the majority wants-not party, the majority of the people-If I followed what You just said it would mean that the democrats have the right to push through health care even though the majority doesn’t want it passed.

    • V.H.

      I’m not talking about rights here, except those we lose as a result of all this.

      I am saying that anyone who runs as the member of a political party should be held accountable by the members of that party to carry out whatever it was they all agreed to up front. The members of the party are entitled to believe someone who promises to carry out their goals will do as he/she promised.

      We are fools to think anything else. Why would we believe such a ridiculous thing, except we have been told the big lie from Kindergarten to now.

      Why do you think the Libertarian Party never gains traction. It isn’t just the power of the other two. It is because they never create the appearance of being something they are not. The other two have to lie to gain a majority. But the “majority that elects” is not in fact a majority. It is a coalition of the “party faithful” and “those who don’t listen”. Take away the independent or moderate and the candidate doesn’t win. Take away the Party Faithful and the candidate doesn’t win (see McCain run, see McCain lose).

      The only time most of us get represented is when the interests of the Party who put the person up coincide with the interests of the Non party or Moderates who also voted for the winner. That means there will be only a few issues of concurrence. The rest will be dictated by Party Loyalty.

      Please don’t explode. It would get all over the internet and we could never get it cleaned up.
      LOL
      JAC

      If you are not a member of a party and you don’t agree with everything the party stands for, then don’t vote for someone who is in a party.

  28. Since its late in the day I thought some might find this interesting

    http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=4765#more-4765

    A Constitutional Law professor’s thoughts on the Constitutionality of Govt Health CAre.

    There is an interesting Irony for those who despise the Roe vs. Wade decision.

    JAC

    • This was a comment near the bottom from that link JAC. Very succinct comment about hte growth of the federal gov’t..

      “Constitutionalists” are wasting their time because they fail to recognize the essential truth about Abraham Lincoln’s war — it overthrew the Constitution and American Republic of 1789 by destroying the system of dual sovereignty… ending any hope of citizen control over their own government.

      “The War between the States” forcibly established that the central federal government is the final judge of its own powers.

      Thomas Jefferson and other founders always understood that if the day were ever to come when the federal government would become the final judge of the limits of its own powers, then it would eventually decide that there were, in fact, no limits to its powers.

      That day arrived long ago. Get used to your shackles.

  29. Got this from my son earlier today. Read it first, no fair jumping to the end to see who it is.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Who am I???

    I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another
    country. I was not his only child. He fathered several children with
    numerous women.

    I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me. My
    mother died at an early age from cancer.

    Later in life, questions arose over my real name.

    My birth records were sketchy and no one was able to produce a legitimate,
    reliable birth certificate.

    I grew up practicing one faith but converted to Christianity, as it was
    widely accepted in my country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs and
    didn’t follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny.

    I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult, disguising
    myself as someone who really cared about them.

    That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life and I
    embarked on a new career.

    I wrote a book about my struggles growing up. It was clear to those who
    read my memoirs that I had difficulties accepting that my father abandoned
    me as a child.

    I became active in local politics in my 30’s then with help behind the
    scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national office
    in my 40s. They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone into
    anything. That reinforced my conceit.

    I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history, and no
    experience in leading a single organization. Yet I was a powerful speaker
    and citizens were drawn to me as though I were a magnet and they were small
    roofing tacks.

    I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances. This bolstered
    my ego.

    At first, my political campaign focused on my country’s foreign policy. I
    was very critical of my country in the last war and seized every opportunity
    to bash my country.

    But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on the
    country’s economy. I pretended to have a really good plan on how we could
    do better and every poor person would be fed and housed for free.

    I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess. It was
    the free market, banks & corporations. I decided to start making citizens
    hate them and if they were envious of others who did well, the plan was
    clinched tight.

    I called mine “A People’s Campaign” and that sounded good to all people.

    I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the traditional
    path of politics & was able to gain widespread popular support.

    I knew that, if I merely offered the people ‘hope’, together we could change
    our country and the world.

    So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of the
    downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include “persecuted minorities” like the
    Jews. My true views were not widely known and I needed to keep them unknown,
    until after I became my nation’s leader.

    I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found out
    what I really believed, if they had simply read my writings and examined
    those people I associated with.

    I’m glad they didn’t. Because I became the most powerful man in the world.
    Only after it was too late, did the world learn the truth!!

    *Who am I? *

    I am ADOLF HITLER

    WHO WERE YOU THINKING OF?

    Scary isn’t it?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Judy – its only sickening that people perpetuate Hitler to Obama comparisons.

      • Why? Because it’s so similar, one to the other? You can’t dispute the truth Ray.

        • I’m not saying Obama is evil, just the comparison to them both is scary.

        • Judy, you must realize that it is not a real letter or speech by Hitler.

          It is a word and association trick. I saw a similar letter posted about Bush near the end of his first term.

          Someone has created descriptions of Obama’s characteristics using modern terms that are obviously applicabe to Obama, then created the illusion that Hitler said it in the end.

          You could have used the name of any despot in history and you would reach the same conclusion. That is because the statements are modern, not historically accurate. This is bad stuff and should not be used by those who want to win this battle.

          There are parallels between Hitler’s govt and our current govt and between the Obama Admin and other totalitarian Admins. But it is not Hitler that creates the link. It is the progressive movement of the late 1800’s, the socialist movement and the artful development and use of propoganda and manipulation, courtesy of the American Progressives (Teddy R., Woodrow W., Herbert H. and FDR), the Communists and the Italian and German Fascists. We must not forget that the Nazi’s learned the effectiveness of visuals and public manipulation from the Americans and the Russians (Communists).

          I personally would like to see the Swastikas disappear from the signs of the tea party types. The word Fascist is appropriat in my view. But that will require constant explanation as to why the word applies. Which I think is a good thing because it is part of the re-education process required. But that means that who ever uses the word had better be able to explain why it is applicable. And they had better be ready to use it in reference to the Republicans as well.

          Hope I didn’t ruin your mood this evening.
          Best wishes
          JAC

  30. Eve from Michigan says:

    What we need in congress is a CLEAN SWEEP! I already have my new broom
    to sweep those rascals out of congress. I am making that my logo.
    How about you? Every time I take two sweeps I think CLEAN SWEEP. I am
    serious about this. Some years ago, while traveling in Ontario, it was
    evident that there was an election going on, as every now and then we
    would come across a huge bill board along side of the road with a picture of a broom and large letters that said: CLEAN SWEEP. That image has stayed with me all these years. I don’t know how that election turned out but I am hoping that my broom results in a clean
    sweep, for me anyhow.

    • Eve:

      I have more sympathy for you than perhaps anyone. My heat goes out to those who love liberty and are trying to live in Michigan.

      You have a lot of sweeping to do if you ever want your state to prosper again.

      If you fail. Why don’t you gather up a few hundred thousand of your kin and move to Montana?
      Then you could make a Real difference.

      Sympathies be with you
      JAC

  31. Csm:

    Was just looking at yesterdays post. What was the old articl about Lake Michigan that you mentioned?

    I did see the one about wading at the point outside Traverse City. Was that it or was it something else?

    JAC

      • Thanks Csm

        I missed it the other day.

        That is very interesting isn’t it. I would say the Pebbles he talks about probably aren’t carried around in the water though. Not real pebbles. They are probably the remnants of larger rocks as they are worn by the water and sand in the currents. The Petoskey stones I saw were well rounded from such action.

        It is a very very interesting phenomenon.

        I do make an odd tourist due to my background I guess. Years ago a buddy and I went to Hawaii and while there took a guided tour of the Island. Everyone was asking the usual questions about natives, the pine apples, junk stores, you know the drill. There came a time when the main tourist body were shopping at one of the designed “drain their money” stops so my friend and I visited with the Native driver/guide. “Where do you get your fresh drinking water from?”, I asked. “Yes, and where are your sewage treatment plants? I haven’t seen any.” added my friend.

        The poor fellow couldn’t answer either question. He looked at us at started laughing. “You aren’t like the rest are you”, he said. He later invited the two of us to a family BBQ. Something we found out later is a very rare practice.

        The other thing I noticed on my trip to the U.P. was that there was significantly more forest damage on the west side of Lake Superior than on the east side. Now the forest type was a little different but it appeared as though the west side suffers from greater snow and ice damage than the east. In fact the damage extends quite far east away from the Lake.

        Thanks again for taking time to dig this up.
        JAC

  32. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    So, some quick thoughts in no particular order…

    1. How did you get the flag logo, I think if I’m going to stick with this, I should probably get a white flag to offset you, no?

    No, White is surrender.

    If I may suggest, chose Blue instead.

    When you create a WordPress ID you can upload an image.

    2. You may be able to build a wall to stop the Mongolian horde, but I do not believe you are capable of building a missile shield.

    No foreign power seeks to obliterate any other foreign power. The purpose of war is political resolution and domination, not obliteration. Nukes are genocidal. Nuking USA would destroy the global economy, and cause the deaths of billions of people worldwide. Since one cannot prevent insanity, this potential exists even with a nuclear deterrence. Therefore, nuclear deterrence is actually pointless and dangerous to humanity.

    Regardless, if a missile shield was a desire of free men, why couldn’t they build one?

    (I do not necessarily believe the government is either, but I also do not believe you are capable of preventing foreign countries from lobbing nukes at us if they like – the government, at least so far, seems to be doing an ok job of this).

    I would submit the exact opposite. We are merely lucky a nuclear war has not happened.

    It is because of the reliance on nuclear weapons that threatens the existence of the nation. The USA is the only nation that has used nuclear weapons and the only nation that has stated a ‘first use policy’. This has exaggerated the potential for global destruction. The country does not need 2,500 nuclear weapons.

    We have made enemies out of the whole world with whom we threaten with destruction by our nukes.

    You respond, of course, if I’m minding my own business, there’s no reason they’d lob anything at me. To which I respond yes, true, they’d just come and enslave you and plunder your resources.

    The nation is unconquerable. The US mainland has never been successfully invaded for 300 years.

    You might be able fend to them off for so long by yourself, but a how long could you personally hold off an army? How did that work out at Waco?

    Waco was not an active defense. They had no desire to fight.

    But Waco is a lesson on the other side – that the forces of YOUR GOVERNMENT will attack their citizens.

    However, why do you believe free man will not act in their self-defense? Ever hear of Concorde?

    3. For someone who claims that no evil is ever necessary, does it not seem a logical extension that it is morally obligatory to stop evil when and where you can? If you see a many beating a young child in the street, should you walk past because it’s not “my concern?” Is that not evil by omission?

    No.

    There cannot exist any obligation that forces an imposition upon another free man.

    The only evil that can exist is the destruction of an innocent man’s freedom.

    4. A war in Europe was an American issue, because (A) the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor – part of America last I checked, and (B) if we didn’t stop them, they would have consolidated and come for us next eventually – remember “fight ’em there so we don’t have to fight ’em here?”

    The USA, by design, forced a Japanese attack on America. There is ample documentation demonstrating FDR’s plan to cause Japan to attack, thereby triggering Germany – by pact – to declare war on the USA.

    USA embargoed Japanese oil imports and the USA compelled the government-in-exile of the Netherlands (who controlled Dutch East Indies – now know as Indonesia) to embargo oil.

    Japan had less than 6 months reserves. She could capitulate defenseless, or she could seize the Dutch oil.

    To seize the oil, Japan needed to neutralize the British and American navies that embargoed the Pacific passage ways.

    Japan attacked British and American naval forces to neutralize their ability to interfere with the Dutch oil seizure.

    FDR was keenly aware of the position he was placing Japan into, and cultivated this exact scenario.

    Regardless, neither Japan nor Germany, singly or together, had any capability to overrun the USA.

    Consider it took years of build up, on friendly shores, 30 miles away to invade an exhausted foe who was fighting, outnumbered, on two different fronts on foreign lands – and while we had thousands of ships, full air superiority and full naval superiority AND we barely succeeded!

    However you believe ‘our enemies’ could have sailed across thousands of miles of ocean – and that becoming their vital supply line, with no air superiority, invading a nation that outnumbered their populations combined, on our own territory with more guns in the hands of the population per capita in the world (a rifle behind every blade of grass)…

    All I can say is “Wow…..”

    Also, we have to defend our allies or what is the point of having them?

    Exactly. Why should we, and why do we?

    If our word means nothing, how can be claim to be an honorable nation?

    No entangling alliances, free trade will all – bet you’ve heard that one before, right?

    This is, on a global scale, you saying to your best friend “hey, sorry, you’re getting mugged, but I just don’t think it’s my concern.” Could you look yourself in the mirror after that?

    In the defense of my best friend, I do not put a gun to the heads of your family, threaten your and their lives so to ‘convince’ you to fight for me.

    If you want to go off on an adventure of arms, killing and death – that is your soul, not mine, that will be consumed.

    But to FORCE others to follow you because you think it is important – that is pure evil.

    5. The educational system of the 1800’s was quite sufficient for the 1800’s, but applied in today’s world against modern competitors abroad and we would stand no chance.

    Homeschool children outperform public school children. How can you make a claim that they would not be competitive?

    Globalization is a fact of life and we can’t compete without modern education. Jobs will go elsewhere, we would be left impoverished.

    Jobs go where there is work – that is economic fact.

    Education should not be about making robots out of people. That is Bismark’s idea that has been adopted by the USA – train people to smart enough to follow orders but not smart enough to think for themselves.

    6. You cannot conflate private enterprise economics (micro) and governmental economics (macro).

    Yes you can.

    It is a fallacy to assume that economics operates under different conditions depending on its size.

    All economic decisions, ultimately, are individual.

    For example, if you car runs low on gas and you want to go somewhere, you will buy more gas – for yourself. If you want clean air (and I presume you do), you will.. do what?

    Nothing.

    I could do something, however, government makes it against the law for me to persue those that thrust their poisons down my lungs

    To further your analogy, it would be as if I ran out of gas and the government made it illegal for me to buy any.

    You’ll try to tell the factory up the street that’s belching smoke into the air that it should stop doing that, but they’ll say “hey, is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

    You have it backwards. Government does not STOP pollution – it ALLOWS pollution by setting “acceptable” standards of poisoning of the citizens.

    And you’ll be S.O.L. Likewise, for the FDA, if you need medicine, you need to trust that it will work as promised and won’t kill you, but you do not have the resources to do this.

    I do not need the resources to do this. The free market place takes care of that for me.

    It is not good business to kill your customers. Free market systems have long ago setup the processes to care for their customers – they are called trade/commerce/manufacturing/retailing associations.

    They are formed because as in the free market, the benefit of any producing standards of quality and safety makes them richer than killing their customers.

    By government fiat, however, such processes are perverted – so that now YOU trust a faceless, careless bureaucrat that you trust fully (but without merit) to do the thinking for you.

    As a soldier, I imagine that you should be quite familiar with the concept that “every man for himself” does not net the best result.

    Voluntary cooperation is important and proven to be a prosperous model.

    Forced compulsion has been proven to be disastrous. We commonly refer to that as slavery.

    We are stronger, not because you force people to act, but because people are free act for their own benefit.

    • Looks like the spider is enticing the fly to come to his web.

      • I hope BF plays nice…I wouldn’t want the new kids on the block to take their toys and go home.

        • Hi Amazed

          I said that because of what JAC said earlier, about having two people falling into the cave. I was comparing that as to how spiders entice their prey into the web, and that’s why I called BF a spider. He’s patiently waiting for his next victim, so he can pounce.

          Am I right BF?

          • BTW BF, I do mean that in a good way. I know how you love to point put things to everybody, God only knows, you’ve done that to me enough, and I know when to throw in the towel, and not say anymore.

            Judy

          • Black Flag says:

            Ah Judy,

            I am simple guy.

            I just ask some questions.

            If others entangle themselves, it is in a web of their own making.

            • OH how true….if BF does not make you think, then your mind aint working right. I love his question and answer sessions….lots to be learned.

        • Don’t worry, I can take criticism/challenges to my view point well and change my side when proven wrong. I come here to learn and be questioned, not flame.

      • Hi Judy!

        Found it interesting today. quite interesting! I’ll get with you later!

        G!

        • HI G

          Okay, but I’ll most likely get with you tomorrow, I’m about to get off for the night.

          I’m getting computer eyes, everything’s getting blurry.

          Judy

      • Oh Judy…..BF just asks questions…wants you to question yourself. Just read him and enjoy it. He is entertaining.

  33. Well, whataya know!!!

    Someone finally said it!!!

    NOW – GET RID OF THEM POLITICAL PARTIES AND MAYBE YOU CAN GET OUR COUNTRY BACK ON TRACK!

    I think I remember reading on another website that very same thing.

    Now that you all know what’s wrong here, why in sam hell don’t you all get together and DO something about it?

    Git up off’n yer lazy butts!

    You just ain’t gonna git nothin done by sittin round and whinnin about it!

    • Black Flag says:

      But PapaDawg

      How can that be done?

      A law would have to be put into place.

      Do you believe the two political parties will vote for a measure that dissolves their political parties?

  34. I think I have figured out the biggest prolem with this new bill our Reps are trying to inact as law.
    1. This bill is way to large and full of stupid stuff. They can’t even define a word without sending the reader to 10 different other bills to get someone elses opinion of the words meaning.
    2. If they want to reform healthcare they need to stick to helthcare and leave out insurance, education ect. If they want to reform those items make a seperate bill. Stick to one subject at a time and quite jumping all over the board.
    3. Get rid of the idiot lawyers and lobbist who are writing these bill…..geeze most high school teachers would throw out any term paper that couldn’t be followed in a functioning manner.
    4. They need to define exactly what the problem is and exactly what will be done to fix it and where the money will come from to pay for it.
    5. They need to define who the beneficaries are and who will suffer the consequences of the new bill.
    6. They need to have a step by step implamentation plan.
    I believe I could have hired a group of high school seniors that would have done alot better job at this. Our highly educated elitist Represenatives have failed on this one very badly…..they all deserve a “F” AND THEY WONDER WHY THE PEOPLE ARE ANGRY.

    • Amazed, you are getting it. In your pt.2 is where you don’t see the problem. Insurance is the biggest theft (next to taxes) that we deal with. Fix them first and you fix the problem, without the “public option”.

      G!

      • oh I understand completely….but unless our Reps understand then all is still lost in th quagmire.
        This should be so simple and they have made it so hard.
        Every one of our Reps need to be given a piece of paper and a pen….told to write one prolem with healthcare (not insurance, or education, drugs stickly healthcare in its self). Then told to write why we have this prolem. Then told to write a fix for the problem.
        Then they can move on to insurance and do it the same way. Then on to education or drug companies or what ever.
        Then each area needs to be a seperate bill.
        Heck our President, congressmen or senators can’t even define what this bill is about. It is so full of BS they can’t even sort through it and figure out what the bill is fixing much less what the bill is about.

  35. Enjoyed reading the discussion today! I’ll check in tomorrow. Thanks, USW, keep it up.

  36. Well good night all, will see you tomorrow.

    Sleep Well.

    Judy

  37. Black Flag says:

    Be very afraid of that some in the government that claims that being found innocent is insufficient for you to avoid being executed for a crime.


    Almost two decades ago, Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of murder and sentenced to die.

    Since then, seven of the witnesses against him have recanted their testimony, and some have even implicated Sylvester “Redd” Coles, a witness who testified that Davis was the shooter.

    In light of the very real evidence that Davis could be innocent of the crime that placed him on death row, the Supreme Court today invoked a rarely used procedure giving Davis an opportunity to challenge his conviction.

    Joined by Justice Clarence Thomas in dissent, however, Justice Antonin Scalia criticized his colleagues for thinking that mere innocence is grounds to overturn a conviction:

    Quote:
    “This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.”

    So in Justice Scalia’s world, the law has no problem with sending an innocent man to die. One wonders why we even bother to have a Constitution.

    Of course the writer assumed that the Constitution had any meaning to begin with…..

    • Sorry my dear friend but on the surface I believe Mr. Scalia and Thomas are correct. A good constitution would not address “actual innocence” or any other for that matter. It’s sole job is to constrain the goverments powers, explicitly and without question.

      It seems to me that this falls to the executive, who has the power to pardon.

      The SCOTUS job is to make sure the rights of due process were followed. I do not think we want a Supreme Court trying to determine innocence in criminal or civil matters do we?

      Before I get in too deep or cause you significant heart burn, I will try to research the matter a little further. I am sure you know I wouldn’t want an innocent man to spend a minute in prison, let alone be executed, just because of procedures.

      I was going to take exception to you last statement then realized I am not sure to what you were refering. Care to clarify?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Court of last resort?

      • Black Flag says:

        Hmm..

        How about #8 of those Amendments…
        Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

        Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

        “Cruel and unusual punishment” – how can an innocent man be fined, or punished without it being cruel and unusual?

        —–
        It is the duty of all branches of the government to ensure the Constitution is being followed.

        But Constitution was a dead letter the day it was signed. It is no surprise that it can justify any tyranny.

  38. Essom:

    My good Georgia cousin, I have a question.

    Do you have access to Fresh Peaches? You know, those real sweet ones I always here about.

    If ya do, would ya be up fer tradin some Rocky Mtn Huckleberries for a case of dem peaches?

    And not to confuse our prior discussion of peaches, I am lookin for just the fruit. The home made peach brandy can wait until I can really enjoy it, sittin with ya under that tree swapin lies.

    JAC

    • esomhillgazette says:

      JAC my brotha’. I will check on them peaches. The frost got mine but I’m sure somebody has some.

  39. Chris Devine says:

    What happened to the post where Black Flag admitted that it was okay to give organ transplants to the highest bidder (e.g., a drug abusing rock star) instead of a person who is more likely to survive (e.g., a family man whose liver was destroyed by pollution at work)?

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