Mess With the Bull… Get the Horns

Health Insurance Blue LogoI saw this article on Fox News tonight discussing health insurance companies possibly being targeted for not supporting the Democrat’s health care reform plans. Being Fox News, I decided I wanted to read a bit more before I actually just bought the concept and formed an opinion. As I researched, I found a lot of articles on many different major news outlets so I am filing it under “the actions are true”, while opening the debate for whether the intent offered is present or not. Why do I have a feeling that those on the left will support the move and deny the motive, while those on the right will not support the move while accepting the motive as true? Because, my friends, I have a crystal ball. I got it from the illegal intergalactic aliens in Ohio. Once I was alerted to their presence yesterday in the comments, I contacted them and demanded they fork over the ability to see the future. I turned them in for being undocumented anyway, and Agent “O” was assigned to bring them in. He chose not to do so, as he realized they vote, and he didn’t want to offend the intergalactic alien voters and risk them voting Republican. Typical government response ….

The headline on Fox News was “Health Insurers Fear Probe By House Dems Is Reprisal for Opposing Part of Obama’s Plan”. And story goes a little something like this: Democratic Congressmen Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak issued letters to 52 different health insurance providers warning them that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is “examining executive compensation and other business practices of the health industry.” That is the extent of the explanation offered for why the letter is being sent and why the companies should provide the information that the Congressmen are requesting.

Insurers LogosAnd what are the members of the House requesting, you may ask? They want detailed information on the pay of anyone working for those companies that earned $1 Million a year or more between 2003 and 2008. According to the Wall Street Journal, they also requested detailed “information on the companies’ boards, conferences and events they sponsored, the profitability of the individual health-care products they sell and revenues earned through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.”

So what gives? The insurance companies believe that this is in retaliation for their opposition to a public option in the health reform being pushed by the administration. It is understandable that they oppose the Obama agenda on health reform. The public option is certainly not in their best interest. They feel as though the public option would put them at a competitive disadvantage. And they are right. Anytime government gets into an industry, with unlimited tax dollars to take from its citizens and no restraint offered by such petty concerns as profitability, there is no way that private industry will be able to compete. Add on that 8% tax for any employer who doesn’t offer the plan that kicks in after 5 years, and you can certainly see their point. But the actual debate on health care reform is coming soon enough. I will digress no further in this direction.

I found a quote from Congressman Stupak in many of the articles from relevant news organizations. The quote was “letters were not dispatched to other industry groups, some of which have been airing television advertising in support of Obama’s call for legislation.” I cannot claim he actually said it. I can only say that almost every article I read included that quote, which was apparently provided by the Associated Press. If he did say it, it certainly makes it look as though there are some shenanigans in play here. Because it sounds to me like he said that companies that ran ads supporting the President’s call for health care reform were not singled out for these letters and requests for information. Isn’t that interesting?

health_insurance_premiumsSo the health insurance companies are feeling a bit squeezed here. Because it seems like they are getting that “phantom audit” that seems to show up when government wants to give you a hard time (and for the record, is it coincidence that the year I began writing a political blog critical of government was the first time in my life I got audited by the IRS? That really happened! Got the letter in July from them). And I have to agree to an extent. I don’t think it is just about not supporting the plan, but I do think this plays into it as well.

The other part of the equation was laid out for all to see by none other than my resident whipping girl, Nancy Pelosi. Nancy “advised members of her caucus to focus on insurance companies’ alleged misdeeds during the August recess, calling them the “villains” of the health-care system.” And we have certainly seen that both before and after the recess. It started a while ago, but leave it to Nancy to just put it out there for all to see. The plan is to cast the insurance companies as the villains in all of this. We have watched as this has been done. Kind of like an instant replay of the whole “Main Street vs. Wall Street” game played by the Democrats a few short months ago. Remember Saul Alinsky’s Rule #13? Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Need I say more?

After all, no one is going to defend insurance companies other than…. the insurance companies. Just as no one was going to defend Wall Street other than themselves. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The insurance companies are not a group of great people that I want to hang out with. They are full of bad mojo. And we are full to the brim with horror stories of canceled coverage, denied claims, and refusal to insure. Just as Wall Street had its demons, and ended up being made into villains when necessary to further the agenda. Let’s face it folks. Politics is a dirty game. The game is to make up a villain that only government can slay. Main Street couldn’t stand up to Wall Street. So “Super Obama” flew to the “rescue”. Average Americans can’t handle the insurance robber-barons. But Super Obama can. Along with his trusty sidekicks Blubbering Barney, Hot Air Harry, and Not Suitable For Reality Nancy, of course.

Health Insurance Cartoon GigglesBut I will stand up for the insurance companies. Just as I stood up for the oil industry and Wall Street. Because they are doing what they are supposed to do. Are there problems with them? Hell yeah. But they run a business and offer a service for which they ask a fee. Everyone is free to choose to pay that fee for the service or not. As I have stated before 10 Million of that magic 45.7 Million uninsured are folks who can afford health insurance and choose to not have it. It can be done. But it is about personal responsibility. People do not want to be personally responsible for working their own budget in a way that prepares them for possible medical issues. So the people have decided that they prefer to shirk personal responsibility and pay someone else to do it for them. And now they are pissy because they think health insurance is a right that they can no longer exercise. IT was never a right. It was a consumer choice. At least until recently.

If you are looking for a villain in the health care industry, you can look no further than the very people promising us they will save us from it: The federal government. Their meddling in private industry caused the rapid increase in health care costs. Why does health care insurance cost so much? Because of high costs associated with health care of course. The health care reform needed is to bring down costs and eliminate irresponsible and frivolous lawsuits that raise liability insurance rates through the roof. There are many things that need fixed in our health care industry. Insurance is one part of the problem. I certainly understand that. The fact that they actively work to deny claims after years of accepting monthly payments is an issue. But the fact is that the insurance industry is a symptom of the problem, not the villain. Government is the villain. No matter what you find wrong with the health care system, trace its roots and at the core of them all is government.

So the question of the day is: How does everyone feel about this latest move by Waxman and Stupak? Is this simply that start of a witch hunt? Are the Democrats in Congress actually asking the health insurance industry to put the noose around its own neck. Any data provided will almost certainly be manipulated in order to paint the insurance industry as the villains. Does the federal government have any right to demand this information or is this simply another step in the direction of the federal government attempting to control private industry?

Personally I would tell Congress to go to hell. This was a request, not a subpoena. Which means they have every right to ignore the request and the September deadline they were given to comply. There is no good that can come of providing the information requested. And, for that matter, what the insurance industry does, short of criminal behavior is none of the federal government’s business.

I used information from the following stories in attempting to point out the facts surrounding the letter, its content, and its purpose.

Health Insurers Fear Probe By House Dems Is Reprisal for Opposing Part of Obama’s Plan – Political News – FOXNews.com (Fox News)

Capitol Briefing – House Democrats Increase Pressure on Health Insurers (Washington Post)

House Dems Seek Info From Health Insurers – cbs13.com (CBS)

House Dems seek info from health insurers – BostonHerald.com (Boston Herald)

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Morning all,

    I have no love for the insurance industry, but less for government. I’m sure that there are many that make good $$$ working in the insurance industry, but to release personnal info to anyone, without a significant legal reason, would be wrong. The elite arrogance hard at work again, if I could I’d fire all of them!

    G!

    • I don’t really have an opinion yet. I’ll weigh in once I’ve read the above article and the ones he referenced.

      Just posting for the replies.

      And good morning, to the G-Man (you’re up awfully early)

      • Good afternoon sir, Always up aroud 5:30, like watching the sun rise!

        G!

      • Yea I wish I could automatically subscribe to comments for all posts, I like reading the comments as they come into my email in chronological order much better since I can spot new replies much easier.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Good Morning all,

      Posting for comments also!

      Have a wonderful day!

      RS

    • Alright, so some quick thoughts:

      1. I’m glad you stuck it to those illegal aliens in Ohio, USW. Did you get any other cool tech from them? Perhaps they can show up how to build a Mr. Fusion?

      2. Stupak.. hehe.. what a great name..

      3. I apologize for the immaturity of previous thought

      4. The original intent for the Public Option was not universal single payer coverage – that may have been what The Big O would have liked ultimately, but he knew full well that it never had a chance. His original push was for a Public Option. This option was just that – an option – provided by the government and not given for free. If you were happy with your coverage or did not want coverage, you simple wouldn’t opt in, otherwise it would be there for you. This seems to be more unlikely by the day.

      5. I am at heart a computer programmer (this isn’t exactly what I do, but it’s close enough). There is a concept called Creeping Featurism. Basically, it means that the further you get from the original design parameters – the more bells and whistles you add, the more concessions and changes you make – the worse the results will be. This, it seems, is what is happening with the bill. A straight forward, non-profit health insurance option is being scrapped in favor of a toxic sludge of “reform.”

      6. It is borderline impossible to have a coherent debate on the subject until (A) the media begins calling out liars rather than report “both sides” (this is true for the left and right, but far more so, in the present issues, the right). (B) The people weighing in get informed of facts rather than self-enforcing echo-chamber talking points created and distributed by people and groups with their own opposed interests. (C) Rush Limbaugh needs to be ignored – he is interested in ratings, not the Republican Party, not the American people, not The Truth. As such he spreads divisive, misleading, and blatantly false “information” with impunity. I think that as long as he is a force within his base, any sort of coherent large-scale conversation is impossible.

      7. Congress needs to stop taking money from the interests they are supposed to regulate. This seems obvious to me, but not to them, apparently.

      8. I can’t wait to see the earmarks attached to this thing.

      • Mathius,

        #4 This option was just that – an option –
        Disagree, this was the foundation for “single payer”, that would come in 5-10 years.(single payer is dishonest, they don’t want to say total government controlled health care)

        #5 Where is forced insurance coverage “reform”?
        “There is a concept called Creeping Featurism.” I like that, agree.

        #6 (a) I’m with you until you say mostly the right. Alan F. said
        August 20, 2009 at 1:27 am

        http://www.sundriesshack.com/2009/08/19/ms-nbcs-racist-lie-must-not-be-allowed-to-stand/

        What the hell is happening in American journalism? Even as an opinion piece this is a dung sandwich no matter what way its sliced.

        (b)agree, I think those who post here make a real effort to do so.

        (c)”Rush Limbaugh needs to be ignored.” OK, I have never listened to him except when he is quoted on some other media.

        7. & 8. Agree

      • I think your points #5 and #8 are what the biggest problem conservatives have with this. They all know that this is a step in the wrong direction because we can’t trust the government to get it right.

        Government: If you think the problemsn we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions.

        • Sometimes the gov’t does get it right. I haven’t been killed by an invading army, my air, water, food, and drugs are all safe, no one is stealing my stuff*, my house** hasn’t burned down, road are all uniform, airplanes generally don’t fall out of the sky, radio stations stay on their own frequencies, et cetera. And for 42 cents, I can drop something in a box in front of my house**, someone else will pick it up and, within a few days, deliver it to anywhere in the country – tell my anything else that works that well that cheaply?

          You only notice it when it doesn’t work.. but something that big, there are always going to be examples, and these will be the things that stand out in your head.

          *Yes, BF, I know, the government is stealing from you all the time, yea yea.. I mean physically walking into my house** and taking my possessions and leaving with them.

          **I don’t actually own a house, I rent, but my point stands.

          • Black Flag says:

            Mat,

            You know me so well already – and we haven’t really had a real date yet 😉

          • Mathius said:

            “And for 42 cents, I can drop something in a box in front of my house**”

            And how many billions is the finely tuned Post Office in the hole for?
            Not a good example of a successfully run government program.
            😀

          • Mathius,
            What country do you live in? The US Postal service charges .44 to pick up the letter out of the box 🙂

            • I’m Canadian, eh!*

              *No, I’m not really, I’m American.. I just use email and haven’t been keeping up with rate hikes. (The fact that we all use email instead of snail mail is the reason they’re in the hole)

              • You gotta be a teenager . . . . . 😉

                The U.S. Postal Service has been subsidized by our tax dollars ever since its conception!

                I know, I am that old! 😦

                (according to my grandchildren – I might have had mail delivered by the pony express!) 🙂

              • Alas, no, but I will offer 10 points to the person on this site who can tell me the closest guess to my actual age.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                I’m going to guess 27.

              • Black Flag says:

                ‘m guessing in your 40’s

                You are too articulate foto be a kid

                🙂

              • I was going to guess the same — the kids don’t call themselves ‘programmers’ they are software engineers, network specialists, tech this or that. I bet you knew at least one version of assembler and could code macro level cics if you had to.

              • Making fun of Canadians eh? I’m going to have to head on outside and wee in a southbound river. Ah the little victories…

              • At least the Mounties aren’t going to invade us 😛

                Ooh, or we could blow the power grid and blame you again..

              • Actually we did blow it trying to get fancy with the Northern Lights.

              • Did you miss the memo, by the way, Canada is now called North Montana.

      • In your system as it stands today a plan such as we saw in the 30’s with the Co-Operators Insurance for agriculture would fit the bill, deliver the goods as promised and leave the door open for competition. Look it up if I’m to be doubted. They were able to tackle making affordable insurance to a demographic who at times were not going to be able to pay their premiums no matter how small and the model adapted to fit that reality. Today the Co-Operators is still plugging away and able to offer farm and home insurance as good as our government option SGI is able to present. That they’ve also stuck to what was a true blue grass roots management model is also something that shows up daily. You deal with those who themselves farm or ran rural small business not the politico. As with the Co-Op Banks they repay their members through profit sharing which appears as lower premiums and they do indeed make a profit. When its your own money at work, no matter how little, you are infinitely less likely to squander it.

        The unfortunate reality of your own government is that this is likely to be wielded as a weapon for winning elections. When we got ours everyone had a say in how things shaped up to get it done and none were inflexible. We’re hoping that a basic user fee will be adopted and those whom visit the doctor as a hobby will be discouraged from doing such. Nothing worse than sitting awaiting a level 3 antibiotic regime while hypochondriacs of all ages engage in “Can you get asthma all of the sudden?” and “I know it looks like the flu and you’re going to prescribe OTC Tylenol but my child wouldn’t get a normal flu! I think its Ebola!!!”

        So the very real danger points of the public option are:

        – User hypochondria wasting billions and they’ll indeed be in for every sniffle and cough. Some so often they’ll even have a “favorite chair” as I found out several years back while shivering and sweating away under a 105 temperature having gone full on septic.(of note that was also the closest I came to actually killing another human being so that might be another thing to watch for)

        – Union insanity pushing wages into the stratosphere and beyond losing no momentum regardless of the systems finances nor that of the citizenry those finances are acquired from. This caused my mother to step down as president of her local CUPE and taking eventually an early retirement. She couldn’t handle those around her spending more time bitching and trying to “screw the system” than do the jobs to which they were hired.

        – Doctor burn out. While an RN puts in an 8 and delegates most of the actual workload to an LPN, the doctor is in there up to his elbows until his shift is over upon where he enters being “on call” if he’s unlucky. I’ve seen it first hand and am admittedly great friends with a few this happened to pulling 8:00AM to 8:00PM baring emergencies for shifts but once the system abuses the doctors willingness to go all out for their patients, it has a harder time acquiring new ones. Word gets around folks.

        Bottom line is you guys need to see what CAN actually be done successfully and not what either of the polar opposites dreams of. That’s the first step to getting somewhere and also why you’ll likely not get anything sustainable. Too many “my way or the highway” types in your government who have not the slightest clue of what they speak which is why a glut of rhetoric and nothing of substance is all that’s being said. There’s too much politicking going on.

      • Bee in my Bonnet says:

        “His original push was for a Public Option. This option was just that – an option – provided by the government and not given for free. ”

        I don’t think so. Why, then, did he say at a SEIU Health Care Forum in 2007, “I don’t think we’re going to be able to ELIMINATE employer coverage IMMEDIATELY. There’s goin to be a potentially some transition period…”

        If he wanted choice, why would he want to eliminate employer coverage?

        BEE

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        I agree with a fair number of points that you make, especially the one about the earmarks that will be attached to this. You can bet that they will be staggering.

        On the issue of calling out the liars on both sides: This is difficult to do. First of all, not many people in the government, the media, or the general public have read the actual bill (myself included… I refuse to read 1000+ pages of gobbledeygook). Secondly, the vast majority of people that HAVE taken the time to read the bill still don’t understand the darn thing. Thirdly, a bill will come out of the house, and a different bill will come out of the senate, and then these bills will have to go to conference committee to be resolved, by which time the final bill will probably look nothing like anything that is currently out there. Lastly, it is unlikely that anyone in the government (from either side) or anyone in the media would tell us the truth about this even if they knew what the truth was. They all have their own agendas, and telling the truth is not very high on any of their lists as a way to accomplish said agendas.

      • Mathius,

        Have you actually listened to Limbaugh? It sounds like you haven’t. I listen everyday for the first hour, then its off to work. He also has a website that I go to in the evening. He doesn’t make stuff up. He inlcudes links to his sources. You need to REALLY check him out for YOURSELF. Listen and read EVERYDAY for six weeks. I dare you. However, I suspect that you’ll listen for about five minutes, fly into a rage, then claim that Limbaugh is worse then those intelligent folks in the Lame Stram Media claim.

        I double dog dare you 😉

        • wow.. um… I’m not entirely sure how to respond to your challenge…

          Tell ya what? I’ll do that, and you listen to PRN. Yes, it’s a little harder to find, but I’m sure you can manage. I’m only up for a week.. the hour I spend in my car every day is usually dedicated to very loud music – it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.

          I would love to see some others hop on this challenge.. Pete, BF, G-Man, I’m looking at you… USW, too, if you are so inclined…

          • Black Flag says:

            PRN?

            A type of printer?

          • I’m in the Marshall Islands. Unless its on the Armed forces Network, I probably won’t. BTW, we also have DIAL UP internet access! Pretty SLOW….

          • who keeps tellling us google is our friend?

            PRN – Premier Retail Networks
            Premier Retail Networks is the world’s leading television network at retail. PRN partners with retailers and advertisers to create storewide television and ..

          • Well,

            I am up for a challenge at any point. If it is plausible to listen to PRN I am willing to do so. I am not familiar with it though. I listened to Limbaugh for several years. While he often makes some good points, he is also an over the top performer. Very often I found myself researching the things that he said and finding out he was putting forth a worst case scenario as the likelihood.

            Currently I listen to Beck once in a while. O’Reilly for about 20 minutes a day. Spencer Hughes, John Gibson, Alan Colmes, and sometimes Boortz and Tom Sullivan. My wife listens to NPR constantly so I listen to a lot of that too. I have actually called in to argue with Alan Colmes a few times. Like my news, I am open to reading anything from either side and trying to understand it. That is how I stumbled on to Cesca’s rant.

            • USW, Agree with you on Limbaugh but just because his style is designed to get listeners doesn’t mean there isn’t truth to what he’s saying. A listener has to use their own thoughts. I get so aggravated when someone who NEVER listens to Limbaugh trashes the guy and me for listening and being a mindless follower. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m not a mindless follower. Scary thing is though, I often to come the same conclusion at the same time as Rush.

              • Cyndi,

                I am certainly not saying that he doesn’t have some truth in the things that he is saying. What concerns me sometimes is that he takes things a bit too far and gets people riled up with a call to action that is unwarranted. There are too many listeners out there who DON’T think for themselves. I think we can agree on that, no? We see them in forums and blogs and town halls and everywhere else. And those folks are often the most vocal and therefore give Rush listeners a bad name. As I said, I don’t listen to him anymore, because I mostly found myself constantly doing nothing but questioning much of what he said. It became too much work to constantly research everything he said to see whether THIS time it was accurate or overblown.

              • I see what you mean about him overblowing things. I just remember that its his style. I then decide for myself if its worth getting riled up about. I don’t know if people are riled up because of Rush, or if they’re riled up already, and he just attracts them. I think most of his listeners do think for themselves, they just agree with him! I agree on many things, not all. But I keep it in perspective. Rush is an entertainer, not a politician. The standard for entertainers is pretty low, is it not? Tho’ I must say, our politicians are in a race to the bottom!

                🙂

            • My SO (and my sister) also has NPR on daily – so how do you un-propagandize them?

  2. From the Washington Post article (says it all):

    Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the industry viewed the Waxman-Stupak letters as a “politically driven” distraction from more important issues.

    “This is a fishing expedition,” Zirkelbach said. “There has been an effort in recent weeks to shift the debate to focus on the health insurance industry rather than solutions on health care.”

  3. Take the reins off the insurance and health industry and watch the prices fall.

    Malpractice insurance for the average INTERN is $150,000-$200,000 per year. My director’s sister is an obstetrician in Virginia and pays $300,000 per year and she is the lowest one in the region – because no claims or complaints have ever been filed against her. You can’t tell me that doesn’t need to be fixed.

    As far as I know the only health procedures to actually have gone down in cost in the last 5 years are purely elective surgeries that insurance won’t touch. Think about that. No interference in the market by outside influences (insurance and gov’t) and the prices went down!

    Remove the barriers for a free market health industry and reform the malpractice issue. Costs will drop significantly.

    • Edward, you hit it on the head. I’ve been doing some looking into this for me own edification and have found alot of reports from the 05-07 timeframe stating the smae thing. Case in point is the LASIK process. Those prices have come down in the last ten years……

  4. esomhillgazette says:

    Good Morning all. Speaking of health. Out yesterday with Stomach Virus that’s making it’s way through the school already this year.

    Still a little flaked out from it so I’m just doing as RS and Mathius.

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW – good find I guess – I’m wondering what happens if those industry leaders say “thanks but no thanks” to providing the data requested. This just smells bad and politically motivated.

    One thing you posted caught my eye (you always do):

    “Everyone is free to choose to pay that fee for the service or not. As I have stated before 10 Million of that magic 45.7 Million uninsured are folks who can afford health insurance and choose to not have it. It can be done. But it is about personal responsibility. People do not want to be personally responsible for working their own budget in a way that prepares them for possible medical issues. So the people have decided that they prefer to shirk personal responsibility and pay someone else to do it for them. And now they are pissy because they think health insurance is a right that they can no longer exercise. IT was never a right. It was a consumer choice. At least until recently.”

    – When you were enlisted you given free health insurance and medical care were you not? There was no requirement of personal budgeting made of you – any more than I should I have to have some undetermined budget reserve for crap that I find out post hoc my insurance plan through work does not cover. Your argument here rings hollow. It isn’t about shirking personal responsibility – I exchange my labor for pay and other benefits including health insurance. What sucks is when I have a son who isn’t covered by any insurance the first 8 weeks of his life because of a “paperwork glitch” – I have stacks of bills to prove it. This notion of preparing for possible medical issues is preposterous – how the hell I am to know what can happen to this little guy as he grows and develops? He could have medical issues I have no concept of knowing or expecting – yet I should somehow be preparing my own personal budget to address that? I don’t think so.

    • Ray,
      If it is a “paperwork glitch” that casued your son not to be covered, then your HR should be able to correct that issue and get any bills you have paid. I have dealt with this issue in my work over the years. 9 out of 10 times it is because someone at corporate put wrong info on some line when entering the info. Regardless, it should be covered either by the insurance OR your employer since they did not review your application changes at the time it was submitted for possible mistakes.

      As for the military medical…its kind of different since (basically when you enlist) you are pretty much “owned” by the military so they make sure their “property” is maintained properly.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Kym – thanks – insurance was actually through my wife – we had to file an appeal process internally to which we “won” and were covered retroactive – in the end it ended well – but now I have “paid” bills that I shouldn’t have paid and need to try and recoup the monies. I also have to eat temp insurance I went and bought because I was petrified of something happening to my son and it bankrupting us.

        • I’m glad it all worked out for you. Good luck in getting your payments back, they usually will but takes them FOREVER. As for the temp insurance, just shows your a responsible daddy looking out for your son.

    • Ray,

      Only someone who has never been in the military would ever say that the health care you receive there is “free”. I paid for it by sacrificing my health, my first marriage, and ten years of promotions in the work force

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        USW – so how then I am shirking some responsibility by enrolling in an employer sponsored plan? I pay $$$ for my plan as well as my services as an employer. Thankfully I have a great employer and do not experience ancillary issues in my health, marriage or opportunity cost in job promotions I would not have been guaranteed elsewhere any more than you. I happily leverage the purchasing power of many versus one and understand that I may contribute to a safety I personally may never have to use.

    • The Mrs and I put away $76,000 and got a matching from the government here for our children’s education fund. Wasn’t difficult at all. Take all the money we burned on partying and living it up, shifted it to a saving account or three and bingo. Lots of cash for things other than living high on the hog and killing braincells.

  6. I work in the construction industry. Our company offers health insurance to everyone and covers 90% of the premium. About 75% of the people we hire decline coverage. They make the CHOICE to be uninsured so I don’t feel the need to help them in any way.

    • Spyder,

      Seen that myself! You are absolutely correct.

    • Spyder we pay 100% of our employeeds and they won’t insure their children for $30 per week…they would rather buy new cars, video games, cigs, and beer. Because thier priorities are askew the government wants to take my money.

    • Yup Spyder, your right. I work in construction as well and we pay 100% of the employee’s medical premiums AND fund their HSA account to a certain monthly dollar amount. The guys use the money I fund their account with to buy beer, cigarettes and whatever else they want 2 days after I fund it. Then when they do get sick and have a deductable to pay…they ask for payroll advances to pay it.

  7. USW,

    Good article. Here we see true transparency from our government. Only a blind person cannot see what they are doing, they screwed up their play on “health reform”, and are trying to distract us. Attacking Americans who dared to ask questions at their meetings backfired, so its the smoke and mirrors show.

    Now they might have a good ideal, calling on industry executives to disclose their pay packages in a public forum. Lets start with Freddie/Fannie’s 210 million in bonuses. And a clear accounting of their past and present lending practices. That little oops they caused, is it going to happen again?

    Next lets talk to the drug company CEO’s that met with Obama behind closed doors. I wonder why they are no longer a target? Add to that, all the major political donors!!! If they give major money to the politicians that are causing these problems, they need to be heard from. I want the IRS to investigate every donor Barney Franks has.

    Should these companies agree to release their books to congress, absolutely not.
    They will twist the numbers no matter what. Flag posted a couple video’s on what to say if questioned by the police, the answer was nothing except “I want to speak to an attorney”. Anything you or they say, can and will be used against you, nothing you say will be used to defend you.

    • Can we please stop picking on people’s bonuses? When the top guy gets $10 million in bonus, yes there’s a problem, but when you look at a company the size of FM, you have to understand that the vast majority of that is going to reasonable bonuses for the regular grunts. We regular grunts work for low wages relative to what they should be on the understanding that there will be bonuses to offset this fact. I am well paid, but I work 13/14 hours a day, and sometimes still take work home at night. If it weren’t for bonuses, I would be better served working the same hours at retail – and it would be less stressful.

      Then again, I wouldn’t be able to read blogs during the day…

      • Can we please stop picking on people’s bonuses? Not no, but hell no!
        Actually, I would be OK with that, all in favor of capitolism, if they will pay you the big bucks, its not a sin for you to take it.

        Can you get the liberal controlled government to agree? I am not the one trying to spread the wealth around.

        AIG got $165 M in bonuses and protesters were bussed in, Fred/Fan got $210 M and there was not a sound made. What were your thoughts on the media? My view, we need to know who is buying our congressman and senator, so I kinda like my ideal on checking out their donors.

        • Ooops, double post.

        • you just really wanted to make that point, huh?

          • No, but did not want to admit my mistake where the other kids would make fun of me. Thanks for outing me in front of the whole class.

            capitolism, oops, capitalism, whew. Thought I had stopped it from posting.

            How can even an idiot mis-spell words with spellcheck? I don’t know, just comes natural to me.

        • Nothing wrong with performance bonuses and I don’t doubt anyone could disagree without looking ill informed. That these bonuses would be paid in absence of performance, any child with chores could argue against.

      • Can we please stop picking on people’s bonuses? Not no, but hell no!
        Actually, I would be OK with that, all in favor of capitalism, if they will pay you the big bucks, its not a sin for you to take it.

        Can you get the liberal controlled government to agree? I am not the one trying to spread the wealth around.

        AIG got $165 M in bonuses and protesters were bussed in, Fred/Fan got $210 M and there was not a sound made. What were your thoughts on the media? My view, we need to know who is buying our congressman and senator, so I kinda like my ideal on checking out their donors.

      • If you want to stop picking on bonuses or any other type of business profits/compensation then GET GOVT OUT OF THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS.

        COMPLETELY OUT.

        If you/anyone is going to use your AGENT the federal/state govt to take my money by force and then give that money to you, then I will eventually exercise my right to use my AGENT to control the amount of MY money you get to keep.

        Freddie and Fannie need to be eliminated. The folks who ran that show should be put in jail, including the polytickshuns who pushed the Crack on everyone. But short of that we do not need an investigation to know what was involved.

        Liquidate the assets and put them back in the Treasurey.

        • ooh boy..

          1. You cannot liquidate FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS in mortgages so quickly without, you know, devastating the world economy.

          2. Government out of businesses leads to bad business practices, OSHA keeps it safe for employees, minimum wages ensure that workers can afford to live (an honest wage for an honest day’s labor), other agencies regulate other important aspects – for reference, read up on the world of the industrial revolution before the government really got involved in business. Start with The Jungle. Also pay attention to the “company stores” operated by the railroads.

          3. Fannie and Freddie were started with noble intentions – to make home ownership more available. It wasn’t until Baby Bush* started pushing them to make more loans to lower income families (while simultaneously loosening regulations on the other lenders**) that the defaults became a problem.

          *Yes, Congress was complicit, yes some people on the left and right raised the alarm, but they didn’t do it well enough. They failed and get no credit from me.

          **Like the obligation to prove you had a job and could afford payments. Or that the lender had to actually explain to the purchaser that their nice low current rate would triple in two years. That kind of thing.

          • So the govt interference in the private market creates a distortion that eventually leads to the greateds Global Financial Crisis in the history of mankind and we rationalize it away with:

            “Fannie and Freddie were started with noble intentions”

            Of course that IS the real point but you have missed that because you fail to make yourself think below the surface.

            Oh and of course IT IS BUSH’S FAULT.

            • Of course it’s Bush’s fault. He hated regulation so much that he could never look past the surface to see why it was there in the first place. Interference in the private markets didn’t cause this. Lack of interference did.

              They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Perhaps it’s true. But, as designed, Fannie and Freddie were doing just fine. Not only were they doing fine, but they were actually making money. It was only once someone (who in this case happened to be Bush) stepped in and altered their mission, and deregulated the industry, that everything went to seed. This is a subject I happen to know a little bit about.

              Oh, and this is nothing compared to the Great Depression. Also note that this is only really the case because of the government safety nets such as unemployment and social security). I can’t speak to the efficacy of the stimulus but from my understanding of macro economics, it sounds like the only way to go (unfortunately – I really hate debt).

              • I believe Bush should share the blame with the Dems in congress like Barney Frank pushing for lower lending standards. By the way, he’s doing the same thing now for condos…

              • Agreed. 110%

              • “Of course it’s Bush’s fault. He hated regulation so much that he could never look past the surface to see why it was there in the first place.”

                That has to be the lamest thing I’ve seen on this board in a long time. So I guess Barney was too distracted by Freddie’s fanny to notice either? Or better yet Bush forced him to look at Freddie’s fanny. Sure that’s it.

          • Black Flag says:

            You cannot liquidate FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS in mortgages so quickly without, you know, devastating the world economy.

            You can’t liquidate that amount without devastating the economy – quick or not.

            The longer it takes the worse it gets.

            2. Government out of businesses leads to bad business practices,

            Government IN business leads to bad business practices – it removes market discipline and protects business from the wrath of the consumer.

            OSHA keeps it safe for employees,

            No it doesn’t.

            It masks dangerous hazards. By defining a list of danger, it excludes automatically all the dangers that are not noted.

            Now companies can act dangerously, but legally.

            minimum wages ensure that workers can afford to live (an honest wage for an honest day’s labor),

            Who determines what is ‘honest’ between voluntary agreements? You?

            Min. wage causes unemployment – it prevents competition in labor – protects entrenched workers at the expense of new workers.

            other agencies regulate other important aspects – for reference, read up on the world of the industrial revolution before the government really got involved in business.

            Yes, before the industrial revolution, government was in ALL business – and stagnated humanity for centuries.

            The advent of the industrial revolution – which was the outcome of the first free enterprise system – was the greatest explosion of prosperity in human history up to that time.

            There is a reason that the people moved to the cities – they were dying in the rural fields.

            Industry gave them prosperity and hope – and a way to survive.

            Start with The Jungle. Also pay attention to the “company stores” operated by the railroads.

            Of course, Mat failed to inform the readers that the railways were a government monopoly.

            3. Fannie and Freddie were started with noble intentions – to make home ownership more available.

            By perverting economics, government ensured disaster.

            It wasn’t until Baby Bush* started pushing them to make more loans to lower income families (while simultaneously loosening regulations on the other lenders**) that the defaults became a problem.

            It far, far, far preceded Bush.

            Artificially low interest rates have been a policy since 1988.

            The last straw was not the one that killed the camel – it was the billions of straws

            Like the obligation to prove you had a job and could afford payments. Or that the lender had to actually explain to the purchaser that their nice low current rate would triple in two years. That kind of thing.

            They did. The paperwork said so.

            If people sign documents that they do not understand, whose fault is that?

            Further the deal was sweet.

            People earned more on the appreciation of their houses than they earned at their job.

            Only a fool or a student of Austrian economics would not sign that deal.

          • Mathius: Welcome, I appreciate your thoughtful posts. I have a few comments:

            1. Totally agree.

            2. Minimum wage is a good idea, however I don’t think a Federal minimum makes sense. Costs of living are different.

            3. I believe this idea of a house for everyone regardless of credit worthiness began during the Carter administration.
            The banks didn’t want to be accused of discrimination.

            I totally agree that we have known about these issues for a long time, and the folks in DC haven’t done much about it.

            The press coverage of AIG bonuses and non coverage of F/F bonuses seems to be a game of race card being played.

            Interesting when the Gov’t is involved in this “equal outcome” mindset.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            “2. Government out of businesses leads to bad business practices, OSHA keeps it safe for employees, minimum wages ensure that workers can afford to live (an honest wage for an honest day’s labor), other agencies regulate other important aspects”

            Oooohhh… the falacies I see here!

            OSHA keeps it safe for employees – I will grant you a MAYBE on this one, but are there not BETTER ways to ensure employee safety?

            Minimum wage assures that the workers will be able to afford to live (an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work). I have to say a resounding NO to that one. First of all, do you know of any family of 4 in which only one of the adults works, makes minimum wage, and can afford to support their spouse and 2 kids? I didn’t think so. Secondly, if you were to set the minimum wage high enough to allow this to happen, business would either close or move to another country where the cost of labor was cheaper.

            Basically, if you set the minimum wage high enough that it actually DID allow a bunch of McDonalds workers to support a spouse and 2 kids, you would not be creating well-off McDonalds workers, you would just be creating a lot of closed McDonalds restaurants and a lot of out of work FORMER McDonalds workers.

        • Mathius,

          So get off the blogs and back to work, since somehow ‘we’ pay your salary and bonus’s. LOL Like ‘we’ eventually pay everyone!

          • You don’t pay for me.. I won’t for company which takes no money from the government.

            Thank you very much.

            • Black Flag says:

              Which means you work for a company that must take government money?

              …Ah, You WORK for a company that will NOT take government money…

              Darn negations, changes everything when they are in the wrong place, right?

              • Apologies for the typo.. I work for a company which takes no money from the government. We are paid for by the private investments of people who think that we are better than our competitors. (HUZZAH for the free market).

                But we are intensely regulated so that we don’t lie or implode and screw our investors. (HUZZAH for the regulated market).

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                If I remember correctly, the regulations of which you speak allowed for Bernard Madoff.

                Sure, his fraud was exposed eventually, but did the regulations prevent the fraud or allow all of the bilked to recover all of their lost money?

                HUZZAH for regulation!

              • well, this goes to an old analogy: Just because some people die in car accidents, does that mean no one should wear a seat belt?

                (I think that’s the second time I’ve used that one in three days)

                Ole Bernie made it through the cracks (for a while), but not forever, and it’s (increasingly) hard for anyone else to.

                I was actually going to mention Bernie, but decided not to bring it up… BLAST

              • The cracks? He drove a clown car the size of a zeppelin down Wall St during the lunch hour rush and nary a soul raised a single eyebrow.

              • I am curious Mathius as to why you feel the govt must regulate you and your coworker to keep you from stealing from your clients?

              • Because, JAC, while I’m honest, and you’re honest, Pete seems a little shifty to me 😉

                Some people will do what’s right because it’s right. Some people will do what’s right because if they don’t, they will be caught and punished.

                Some people are moral creatures, some need a god to wag a finger at them, for the rest, we have laws supported by the criminal justice system.

                As the man said: “6,000,000 people live and work here. Some of them commit crimes. There’s where I come in. My name’s Friday. I carry a badge.”

              • But what you describe is fear of prosectution under civil or criminal law.

                NOT REGULATION.

                You have eloquently made my point.
                Thank You.
                JAC

              • Please clarify the distinction.*

                *Don’t bother, as I’m going home and won’t read your response.. another time, perhaps?

          • The LOL indicated tongue in cheek. ;=}

            However, the consumer / taxpayer eventually pays all salaries.

  8. esomhillgazette says:

    What we’ll see next is ACORN and the SEIU standing outside these Company’s offices protesting and threatening their execs.

    What’s really sad is that they will probably cave in to the pressure. It’s just more of the Al Capone Obama Chicago Politics.

    • Don’t forget WALNUT and CASHEW.. we’ll be there too!

      You don’t get to have it both ways though.. you can’t complain about left wing protests outside of health insurance companies if you think it’s perfectly ok for gun-toting right wingers to protest outside Obama rallies.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        AHA!! I could care less about the protesters. What pisses me off is the fact of the MSM ignoring one while featuring the others.

        The FACTS are that ACORN and the SEIU will be shown if at all as heroes standing up for the little guy. What won’t be told is that they were planted in front of these offices to stir up the public against these companies.

        And you calling them gun toting right wingers proves the point of what the MSM does. Most of those folks are just ordinary citizens protesting for a redress of grievances against the government. You can always trust the Obama lovin’ MSM to single out the VERY few wackos in the crowd. As long as they’re on the right anyway.

        • I’m not objecting to the “citizens protesting for a redress of grievances against the government.” In fact, I’m not really objecting even to the wackos. I just think you can’t call side one out without calling out the other. Just because the “MSM” does it, doesn’t make it ok for you to. I hold you to a higher standard, esomhillgazette.

          The mainstream media needs some help. They need to stop reporting “both sides” and start reporting the truth (even it it’s just their understanding of it). And they need to stop reporting only what serves their political bent. (while CNN and MSN are not good about this, Fox is terrible).

          • esomhillgazette says:

            How come I get held to a higher standard? :surprise:

            And the MSM doesn’t report both sides, only one.

            Fox reports the right. Everyone else the left. To say Fox is worse than the others is laughable.

          • I used to think CNN is unbiased, but I have seen the truth with coverage lately. One example is when they were talking about a blue dog democrat is Idaho or somewhere that is a traditionally red state. They went to a strong conservative county and interviewed a bunch of democrats. Sure, they gave the facts, but they did so in a way that made it seem like the few dems in that county were the smart ones that the congressmen should listen to and the majority repubs were idiots.

            Fox News is even worse. I watch both to get both sides.

            • Thank you JB. You are my new best friend here.

              Sorry BF, you’ve been demoted.

            • I agree JB…I watch several news stations and read news from all over the world to get the overall picture of current events.

              • esomhillgazette says:

                I don’t watch other news channels, but I read them on the ‘net.

                I only watch Beck and Bret on Fox. And sometimes not even them. Most of my news comes off the web these days.

                You can’t trust ANY news media anymore. No one just REPORTS the news now. All of them spin it for ratings. Even Fox.

                And my poor old heart can’t take much more crap from the news.

              • I hear ya Esom. My husband hates it when I watch the news coz I yell at the TV, he says I’m giving the TV a complex. hehe

                I read more than I watch anymore, I do like Beck but only get to read him since he’s on at 2 PM and I’m at work then.

      • ACORN receives government funding. I do not think tax money should be used to support one sides position. WALNUT and CASHEW, welcome.

      • Mathius:

        These are two entirely different issue. Your failure to see it concerns me. The result is a rationalization that supports Govt using its power to single out individual citizens or companies for attack. Then using its power and my money to help organize and orchestrate demonstrations and threats against those targeted.

        Can you not see the govt connection to the garbage going on these past months? I actually find your cashew and walnut comment a little condesending this morning. When you made it the other day is was to take a little shot at conspiracy theories. It was a little funny and served its purpose.

        So now you use the same term to address concerns over the govts abuse of power which is plainly staring you in the face. I suggest you open your eyes and your mind a little and see what is going on around you.

        That is not the same as some guy holding a rifle at a demonstration. Not unless you can show me that the govt helped orchestrate the whole thing with the guy and the gun.

        • JAC,

          I have an odd sense of humor. Humor does not always come across well in the written form. My intent in referencing walnut and cashew is a continuation of an item that I found amusing – no condescension was intended. Please read this in the spirit in which it was intended.

          That said, could you please site references that the government is controlling the actions of ACORN (or vis-a-versa)?

          I do not suggest that the man with the assault rifle at the health care rally was there at the behest of the government, rather I think he was probably trying to make a point – and doing so in a very poor manner. Possibly he was implying a threat to the President, but I have no facts to back that up. But the man with the sign calling for the blood of tyrants, who brought a gun, could very easily have been construed as making a direct threat.

          ACORN, I feel, acts in much the same way as the Swift Boats campaign. Both are dishonorable in their way, both are operated by people aligned with the government, but do not work for the government, and have limited influence. If ACORN were as powerful as you think, they would not need to protest, they would simple impose the desired laws.

          I do not feel that the government should be in the business of creating public opinion, or the perception thereof.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            The government is ALWAYS in the business of creating public opinion and the perception of public opinion. That is the way all governments operate. They manufacture an issue, manufacture concern over the issue, and manufacture support for the fact that the issue is so severe that it requires government intervention.

            Some governments (China for example) are a lot more obvious about it, but it is simply the way all governments operate.

          • Each time “the troops” are needed to show support for their messiah they appear. Its a good thing these people don’t have jobs involved in any aspect of America’s production cycle ie. goods and services. Thus far you’ve pitched that ACORN has naught to do with POTUS, draws its funding from a magic chest and answers to none but itself. We know for a fact Barack Obama was heavily involved with ACORN, they have been and are still on the government teat now asking for 1.8 billion dollar sized one (all for housing, no really, every penny save for administration and expansion costs) and have shown themselves to respond instantly to that whistle POTUS wears around his neck.

            Also “assault gun guy X” was a scary white conservative menace in how many “reports” before suddenly then becoming a misguided malcontent exercising his 2nd amendment rights once the truth of his obvious ethnicity showed itself on unedited footage. Where was Barry’s righteous indignation that an Africa American’s ethnicity was edited out? Best skip over this indefensible one.

            ACORN would impose laws? Now that’s funny! Oh you were serious. Were big oil, big tobacco, big pharma, big lumber, big cotton, big corn, big auto and all the others of the big family so powerful they’d too make laws specifically suited to themselves. No need to bailout any American car company when its illegal to buy anything else but one of theirs. No need to question big pharma’s profits when tax laws let them hide the lion’s share of their net in R&D future expenses. Cigarettes, warnings and advertising regulation must be a figment of the collective imagination as there’s nothing as such on the book. Hmmm, I guess they didn’t control Washington as I’ve heard repeatedly from the main stream news. So much for “they’d make laws” huh?

            Point of fact ACORN’s hirelings had used cartoon characters and famous fictional characters once they had run dry the ability to think of real sounding names. I’m guessing they don’t use an aptitude test as part of their SHP. While this might not get you the sharpest pencils in the box to work from, it does afford you a great number of people who are skilled enough to hold up signs and shout away at the very same time. MENSA take heed!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Right-wing gun-toting protesters outside of town hall meetings:

        OK if they are indeed there as concerned citizens protesting an idea that they do not like

        Not OK if they are bussed in by the insurance companies

        Left wing members of SEIU and ACORN offering a counter-protest in support of the government healthcare plan:

        OK if they are genuinely concerned citizens coming out to support a program that they believe in

        Not OK if they are specifically bussed in by SEIU and ACORN with the specific agenda of disrupting or intimidating the other side

      • Don’t forget the white right hate mongers are now apparently doing it in black face.

  9. WEll this is quite a mess all the way around. After dealing with the insurance company when I was sick. I have no desire to that again. But I dont like the idea that our government running the health system even less.
    My experience was that paperwork gets lost,misplaced or you have to do packages of paperwork to get any work done. I dont think that will improve any with governement runnning the show.
    Insurance companies do fight people before they pay, that is a fact that happens on a regular basis. They are a business, they will do that. That is something that goes with it.
    I was a HR person for a long time with a electrical company-I would bet at least half of the people we hired chose not to pay for health coverage. So why do we have to give some for free?
    I have always been a firm believer in lets start with small things that need to be fixed and go from there.
    First- every insurance company has different forms. Why? Why not make all the forms standard and readable to the every day folks of this country.
    Streamlining a system I think will help with the paper kinks that happen to people. Do we really need to scrap and start over?

    • I agree with the upshot of what you’re saying but it’s worth noting that nobody is pushing single payer – at least nobody serious. So the thing people are currently fighting for is a public option. This would essentially be a non-profit health insurance company. You would still have to pay a premium to receive the benefit, so it’s not a handout to anyone. In theory this would be revenue neutral. Theoretically, anyway. And, if some other people had their way, this plan would be able to use it’s purchasing power to drive down prices. It would then be more affordable and even – so they keep saying – good for the economy.

      As for your phobia of government run health insurance, I understand your fear, I do, but people seem pretty happy with their medicare….

      • Black Flag says:

        People are always happy when someone else is forced to pay for them.

        • Would you be?

          • Black Flag says:

            of course!

          • So, if I have this right:

            You have a moral certitude that taking anything is wrong.

            You would be happy receiving someone else is forced to pay.

            There is no conflict here?

            • Black Flag says:

              Ah, Mat,

              You’ll get used to my ‘half’ answers 🙂

              I do have the moral certitude that stealing is wrong.

              I would be happy if someone pays for me (if they are forced, and I am not, why not?)

              BUT

              If I agree that it is ‘right’ to steal – then I grant everyone to steal from me.

              So, I may think its great that someone pays for me – but only if it is a one-way street.

              But it is never a one-way street.

              For me to be free, I must allow others to be free, too.

              So, I do not support theft.

              For many people, they do not understand the Mutuality of Action – and thus, do not understand that every imposition they demand on other people becomes an imposition upon themselves. They bind themselves in their own chains.

      • What the government run health insurance that is offered on Indian reservation? This is a governement run system- the problem is they never get enough money to run it properly. In all they get about 40% of the funds that they need every year.
        Plus yes people might like Medicare- but we really can run a larger scale of this? I am not sold on that at all. I do not believe that insurance companies are going to be able to stay alive and running with a governement run program as big as they are suggesting. My other concern is workers- we are, as a country, are short handed when it comes to primary care doctors and nurses.

        I agree the internet and email has greatly cut into their porfit. So why didnt they adjust according? Why not change with the times? Every business has to. If you do not have the mail to support as many workers as you have- You are going to fail.

        Plus if you look at Massachusetts’, they do have a health system in place. First- it has cost alot more to run then anyone ever planned for. Second- Over half of the primary doctors will not accept new people with this plan- due to the low payment that they get from the system. Third- Due to that- teh average wait time for general care is 30-50days. People get tired of waiting and go into the ER-those visits are up 10% since this program has been in place. So this is one state.

      • Sorry, Mathius…but you are wrong. The single payer system IS being pushed and pushed hard….at least in HR3200. I have read it three times now. You can keep your employers insurance UNTIL any change is made…if coverages, rates, or limits change then the mandatory “gov’t option” kicks in…..End result??? Employers, such as I was, will simply kill their insurance and opt out for gov’t run…..same result….single payer.

        As most on here know, I have changed all of my employees to contract status and have the acceptance letter from the IRS blessing my changes…. no more minimum wages, no more health insurance, less costs, higher profits and people knocking my door down to work. Individually negotiated contracts and the right to contract anyone I please free of coercion, discrimination laws, etc. Should have done this long ago. AND, I am bidding cheaper than my competition that is being run by government laws and regulations. My contractors are their own bosses and file their own taxes and get their own insurance and they love the freedom of it.

        Keep government out of business and it will thrive.

        How about that BF…..you thought I was a lost cause also….heh heh.

        • You are right Colonel, there may be REAL hope for you yet.

          LOL
          JAC

          • ** toasting JAC with….yep you guessed it…a Dr. Pepper.

            How are you my friend?

            • Quite frankly, I am feeling a little ornary today.

              This practice of elected officials orchestrating attacks on citizens or businesses is one thing that gets my blood boiling. Kind of like a bully if you know what I mean. Ony I could kick the Bully’s butt immediately.

              Wish I still had a horse. It would be a good day for a hell bent for leather excursion, at full gallop.

              How about you?

              • esomhillgazette says:

                Don’t know ’bout the cunnel, but it sho’ sounds good to me.

                I’d like to get on a horse and, with a good packhorse following, ride up into the Rockies and never look back.

                At least for a few days.

              • Essom:

                I left you a note at the end of the Howard Dean Post.

                Let me know your answer there. Will check this evening.

    • As for scraping and starting over, nobody – at least nobody serious – is suggesting we do away with private plans. They would be able to compete against the public option (think FedEX and UPS vs the USPS and Fox vs PBS), if they can provide comparable service at comparable rates, they’ll be just fine, otherwise, let the dinosaurs die.

      • And here you point out the problem with “public option”. If the government run post office cannot operate in the black, with all the government mandated advantages, how do you think they will run insurance? How do the operate medicare/caid?

        • Post office ran a profit for a very long time. Email is the problem. Their bread and butter (civilian letters) has been largely taken away. Thus the rate hikes. Still, even if it’s losing money now, I’d have to say it works pretty well.

          Isn’t the equivalent (health care that loses some money, but provided reliable, convenient, easy, safe service) well worth it?

          • Black Flag says:

            (cough)

            Mathius, the last time the Post Office made a profit was in 1852.

            http://www.usps.com/postalhistory/PiecesofMail1789to2008.htm

            • Black Flag says:

              Sorry, missed the word “consistently” made a profit.

              So, I jumped the gun a bit… (blush)

            • I must conclude from the data that WAR is good for the Post Office bottom line.

              Profit in 1919 and again 1943-1945

              Close again during Viet Nam.

              Then things go to the black in 1999 until two years ago.

              This is the major drop in advertising.

              BF: I do have a question. Just in case you may have some knowledge on the matter.

              I have always found it odd that the framers specifally authorized Congress to develop Post Offices and postal roads.

              Yet most of them used private courier’s to send and receive correspondence from friends.

              Do you have any insight into why they felt a govt run Postal System was so important?

            • Data doesn’t lie. Point to you Mr. Flag.

              Still, I would argue that I can rely on the post office more than my health insurance.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                The post office can lose a letter that you sent to someone else and suffer no real penalty.

                If something goes wrong with your healthcare under a private plan, you have recourse.

                I strongly suspect that if something goes wrong with your healthcare under a public option, you will have the same recourse that you have against the post office if they lose a letter.

          • The drop in Post Office revenue is due to a drastic reduction in bulk mail.

            Advertising.

            Not “civilian letters”.

            If it ran at a profit then why did it constantly need additional federal funds and why did they keep raising the price while reducting service?

            There is a reason UPS and FedEX came into existence. The good Ol’ P.O. wasn’t getting the job done anymore.

            At to answer your last question as succinctly as I can….HELL NO

      • If you want to see what government-run health care looks like go to an Indian Reservation.

        There is a saying on the reservation: “Don’t get sick after June.” Well, we went to the Lower Brule and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota to find out why.

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,540965,00.html

      • Mathius,
        Let’s talk about that competition between the Post Office, FedX and UPS.

        The Postal Service never owes federal income tax. Nor does it ever owe state and local income taxes.

        It is exempt from all state and local sales taxes.

        It is exempt from all property taxes.

        It does not have to register and license its vehicles with state motor vehicle departments.

        It’s vehicles are exempt from parking tickets.

        Postal Service is exempt from all local zoning and land use laws.

        It has eminent domain rights.

        It pays no unemployment compensation tax.

        Now poor little old Fed X and UPS have to comply with all of the above. You would think that with the deck stacked that much in their favor the Postal Service would be running rings around Fed X and UPS but in reality who is making a profit? If this does not show a sane person the unfairness of government competing with private business nothing will.

        • And they undercut UPS/Fed Ex on price, and then expect us the taxpayers to make up the difference.

          WASHINGTON—The U.S. Postal Service Wednesday posted a net loss of $2.4 billion in its third quarter and expects to lose more than $7 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

          The rising tide of red ink could leave the Postal Service with a potential cash shortfall of as much as $700 million by its fiscal-year end on Sept. 30, when it must pay as much as $5.8 billion to prefund retiree health benefits. Postal Service officials hope Congress will pass legislation that would increase its ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury Department before the bill comes due.

          http://sayanythingblog.com/readers/entry/postal_service_shows_how_government_healthcare_will_work

          Gee, lets look at that again.
          when it must pay as much as $5.8 billion to prefund retiree health benefits

          I kinda wonder what their health care plan looks like. Maybe based on the UAW’s?

        • And here in Louisiana, the Fannie and Freddie houses were being built very close to the Post Office. Am I paranoid, of is there a connection?

      • Oh my god please abandon the UPS, Fed EX and postal services argument once and for all time! The postal service provides what is call “offline” service which is to remote areas where any use of the word profit wold have to come at the cost of a $500.00 letter. EVERY COURIER IN EXISTENCE DOES NOTHING WHICH IS UNPROFITABLE IN SOME WAY SHAPE OR FORM THEY DO THE GRAVY RUNS. Don’t skim the surface of an industry and make any grand comparisons EVER!

        Point of fact I had a shipment from Bangalore India which was delivered days ahead of what FedEx, UPS, Purolator and a host of transport companies could provide at twice the cost to me. My carrier? Air Canada as luggage for an empty seat I bought on stand-bye which even beat Air Canada’s own freight service. So would that not mean now Air Canada which after going into the tank was bought by the Canadian government is able to provide service which the couriers can’t possibly compete with? Hell no. It only shows as such in my own narrow usage. Customs had a fit when I had to take them to the Terminal Baggage for my imported hardware.

        There is no such thing as competition when the government gets involved. Anything you see is completely artificial and slave to the whims of that same government. Comprehend.

  10. Good Morning All:

    Just got this off of Fox, don’t know if anybody read this or not, but thought I’d put it up.

    Have A Great Day.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Democrats Prepare to Push Health Care Without GOP
    The Obama administration said it still hopes for a bipartisan breakthrough on its goals of expanding health coverage. But in private, top Democrats said a bipartisan accord seems less likely than ever when Congress reconvenes next month.

    WASHINGTON – Publicly, President Barack Obama is still calling for a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Privately, Democrats are preparing a one-party push, which they feel is all but inevitable.

    Obama urged religious leaders Wednesday to back his proposals, and he prepared for a pep talk to a much larger audience of liberal activists, whose enthusiasm is in question. Polls continued to show slippage in support for the president’s approach, although Americans expressed even less confidence in Republicans’ handling of health care.

    The administration said it still hopes for a bipartisan breakthrough on its goals of expanding health coverage, controlling costs and increasing competition among insurers. In private, however, top Democrats said a bipartisan accord seems less likely than ever when Congress reconvenes next month.

    Obama was to promote his plans Thursday in a conference call and online address to supporters that could draw huge numbers of listeners. He also was to speak with Philadelphia-based radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, who will broadcast from the White House. Smerconish is generally seen as a conservative, although he endorsed Obama last year and supports abortion rights.

    Vice President Joe Biden was meeting with health care professionals in Chicago on Thursday to push the administration’s plans. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was to join him.

    Some Democrats said Democratic researchers have concluded lately that a strong-arm tactic on Senate health care legislation that would negate the need for any GOP votes might be more effective than previously thought.

    The strategy, called “reconciliation,” allows senators to get around a bill-killing filibuster without mustering the 60 votes usually needed. Democrats control 60 of the Senate’s 100 seats, but two of their members — Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts — are seriously ill and often absent. And some moderate Senate Democrats have expressed reservations about the Democratic-backed health care overhaul plan.

    While always contentious, reconciliation lets the Senate pass some measures with a simple majority vote. Non-budget-related items can be challenged, however, and some lawmakers say reconciliation would knock so many provisions from Obama’s health care plan that the result would be “Swiss cheese.”

    Democratic aides say they increasingly believe those warnings are overblown.

    On Wednesday, Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warned Republicans that reconciliation is a real option. The White House and Senate Democratic leaders still prefer a bipartisan bill, he said, but “patience is not unlimited and we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary.”

    In a conference call with liberal religious leaders Wednesday, Obama called health coverage for Americans a “core ethical and moral obligation.” He disputed claims that Democratic bills would create government “death panels” for the elderly, offer health care for illegal immigrants or fund abortions.

    “I know that there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate and there are a some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness,” Obama said. “I need you to spread the facts and speak the truth.”

    Administration officials and congressional Democrats were deeply discouraged this week when key Republican lawmakers seemed more critical than ever about various Democratic-drafted health care bills pending in the House and Senate. They said they still hope Senate Finance Committee efforts to craft a bipartisan compromise can succeed, although private remarks were more pessimistic.

    “The president believes strongly in working with Republicans and Democrats, independents, any that seek to reform health care,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “The president strongly believes that we’re making progress.”

    Many Republicans believe that millions of Americans, and especially the GOP’s conservative base, ardently oppose Obama’s health care plans, which they consider too costly and intrusive.

    Obama’s approval ratings “continue to inch downward,” a Pew Research Center poll concluded Wednesday. Favorable ratings for the Democratic Party also have fallen sharply, although they still exceed those of the Republican Party.

    Nearly all sides agree that conservatives showed more energy than liberals this month at often-raucous town halls and other forums on health care. Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama adviser, warned liberal bloggers recently that the health care push is “an uphill battle, and it won’t happen unless we energize our base.”

    Many conservatives think they see the first big chink in Obama’s political armor, and Web sites and radio talk shows have encouraged the attacks against his proposals.

    Democratic officials, meanwhile, say the often complex and slow-moving health care debate has not captivated millions of liberal activists who campaigned tirelessly for Obama last year.

    Organizing for America, the president’s political organization based at the Democratic National Committee, is trying to rally its members. Last week about 60,000 volunteers sent messages to lawmakers, urging them to support Obama’s health care agenda.

    Republicans are keeping up their criticisms, and a prominent GOP Senate negotiator warned Democrats not to shut them out.

    “If the Democrats choose to go it alone, their health care plan will fail because the American people will have no confidence in it,” Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming said Wednesday.

    Enzi is one of three GOP senators who have met regularly with Finance Committee members to seek a bipartisan bill.

    • There is a Grand Political Game Afoot!

      When the House and Senate made their bills public Mr. Obama made statements saying he did not like all that was in them. He in fact opposed certain provisions.

      When the public went banannas Mr. Obama hit the road selling the plans as though they were his. But every now and then making promises contrary to the actual bills.

      Now we have this:

      “Obama was to promote his plans Thursday in a conference call and online address to supporters that could draw huge numbers of listeners. He also was to speak with Philadelphia-based radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, who will broadcast from the White House. Smerconish is generally seen as a conservative, although he endorsed Obama last year and supports abortion rights.”

      Note: “his plans”. So what are “his plans”?

      I bet nobody here or anywhere in the general population can tell me what is in “his plan” or even find “his plan”. And by “plan” here I am talking proposed legislation. Not a bunch of talking points. You see it is only the draft law that means anything at this point.

      We are so screwed.
      JAC

    • esomhillgazette says:

      That whole entire frickin’ article offends me. This “health reform” has turned into strong arm politics, Chicago mafia style.

      It’s as plain as the ugly on Barney Frank’s face. Why is it so hard for some folks to see?

      They are trying to force this garbage down our throats whether we want it or not.

      • I heard they want to make the swine flu vaccine mandatory too for everybody. They can take it first, then if nothing happens to them, then they can have everybody else take it.

    • I know that the world is ending when in the same week- one of my very liberal friends told me she wishes she never voted for Obama. Second- Brett Favre is in a Viking Uniform.

      I should start building a bomb shelter now.

    • Obama urged religious leaders Wednesday to back his proposals,
      Hey I thought the IRS was demanding the Religious right stay out of politics…..what gives here.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Oh, I don’t know. I think it entirely possible that he causes religion to get slammed by liberals for being against federal funded abortions and then turns around now and asks for their help.

        I notice it said LIBERAL religious leaders. Who would that be?

      • Pollytick motto:

        Use’m when you think it helps you. Abuse’m when they hurt you.

  11. This is a blatent abuse of power. It in fact is a use of power that was not given to Congress.

    I can only wish Companies would start telling them to go to hell.

    But you see, when you have your fingers in the jar it is hard to tell the one holding the lid to shut the hell up.

    VDLG: Suboena of private citizens by Congress shall be prohibited. They may ask but they may not force.

    • Morning guys.

      Like I said before, the more power they get, the more power they want. I agree with what you said JAC, would be nice if the insurance companies told them to take a hike, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      This has got to be the most power hungry government I think we’ve ever had.

  12. Black Flag says:

    The end is near.

    • Yea, I hear it’s suppose to end by 2012. I’m not talking about Obama either. I heard it’s suppose to be the end of the world.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        According to the Aztecs. I think it’s May 2012. Probably wrong about the month though. Been awile since I saw it on the History Channel.

        • That’s where we saw it too. But then, I heard on the same show, somebody else said not to believe it, the world is not going to end. Hey, if it ends, I don’t think we’ll know about it, especially if nobody is suppose to survive. Better hurry up and do everything you want just in case.

        • I thought is was the Maya, but I could be wrong. I do remember that 2012 is the return of Quetzleqoatl(Ket-zel-co-ah-tel). Gotta love that name!

          • esomhillgazette says:

            May have been the Mayans. It’s been a long time and my brain, never the sharpest knife in the drawer, is even less so with the advent of age and time.

        • I think it was the Mayans and the date is in December 2012.

          Of course that is just one factions interpretation of the calendar.

        • Bee in my Bonnet says:

          According to the Mayan calender, Dec 21, 2012. They’re making a movie about it.

    • We are all waiting…….

    • World won’t end.. just us.. the Earth abideth forever.

      • Read a great book years ago titled “Earth Abides”.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Actually, in several billion years when the sun starts to run out of fuel and becomes a red giant, the earth will be swallowed up by the sun. However, I suspect that we have at least one or two billion years before the sun even begins to increase in size in any significant way, so I suspect Earth will abide for quite a long time 🙂

      • Mathius, remember this moment!!!

        G!

    • Glad I kept that survival list Flag posted awhile back. Things may get reallll ugly

  13. Tiny little France and Germany have more competition among health insurers than the U.S. does right now. Amazingly, both of these socialist countries have less state regulation of health insurance than we do, and you can buy health insurance across regional lines — unlike in the U.S., where a federal law allows states to ban interstate commerce in health insurance.

    U.S. health insurance companies are often imperious, unresponsive consumer hellholes because they’re a partial monopoly, protected from competition by government regulation. In some states, one big insurer will control 80 percent of the market.

    Liberals think they can improve the problem of a partial monopoly by turning it into a total monopoly. That’s what single-payer health care is: “Single payer” means “single provider.”

    You could fix 90 percent of the problems with health insurance by ending the federal law allowing states to ban health insurance sales across state lines. But when John McCain called for ending the ban during the 2008 presidential campaign, he was attacked by Joe Biden.Ann Coulter

    (2) National health care will “increase competition and keep insurance companies honest” — as President Barack Obama has said.

    Government-provided health care isn’t a competitor; it’s a monopoly product paid for by the taxpayer. Consumers may be able to “choose” whether they take the service — at least at first — but every single one of us will be forced to buy it, under penalty of prison for tax evasion. It’s like a new cable plan with a “yes” box, but no “no” box.

    Obama himself compared national health care to the post office.
    But what most people don’t know — including the president, apparently — with certain narrow exceptions, competing with the post office is prohibited by law.

    Expect the same with national health care. Liberals won’t stop until they have total control. How else will they get you to pay for their sex-change operations?

    Edited, from Ann Coulter . Left the sex change in, was too funny to cut.

    • Arent you already paying for other peoples health care anyway? The government spends more money than most UHC countries and then most people pay for insurance as well which runs you up to spending $7000 per person on health in the US.

      http://chasingeden.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/health_care_costs.bmp

      Fitting for Coulter to be talking about sex change operations.

      • Bob,

        A pleasant good evening to you. Whats for supper? Kidney pie or fish and chips? Are we paying for other peoples health care anyway?
        Likely so, our laws require anyone who goes to an emergency room to be treated, illegal alien, un-insured, liberal, etc..
        Have seen the thought that the US is paying for every other countries drug development. Makes sense, the US is the largest drug researcher,
        we pay their development costs, foreign markets get to buy for less since once developed, drugs are cheap to make.

        One big problem, “in the U.S., where a federal law allows states to ban interstate commerce in health insurance”. I checked for myself, If I were to buy Blue Cross in New Jersey, it would be $560
        a month, in New York, $2,200. (Blue Cross is state offered insurance programs) So why do you think insurance is that much cheaper just across a river? I think government interference of free market competition.

        “Fitting for Coulter to be talking about sex change operations.”
        What do you mean? I don’t much care for her myself, but she brings some good information forward, as I didn’t know that about France & Germany.

        • Nah had tea and crumpets, need the energy for carrying around my bowler hat, a copy of The Times and my umbrella.

          America is the biggest drug researcher but I think you are forgetting the pharamceutical companies in Europe and Asia. Yup we get our drugs cheaper than the US, why is that?

          Fun little graph which admittedly is inflammatory but you get the idea.

          Brand Name of Drug
          Consumer Price/100 tabs
          Cost of General Active Ingredients
          Percent Markup

          Celebrex 100 mg $130.27 $0.60 21,712%
          Claritin 10 mg $215.17 $0.71 30,306%
          Keflex 250 mg $157.39 $1.88 8,372%
          Lipitor 20 mg $272.37 $5.80 4,696%
          Norvasc 10 mg $188.29 $0.14 134,493%
          Paxil 20 mg $220.27 $7.60 2,898%
          Prevacid 30 mg $44.77 $1.01 34,136%
          Prilosec 20 mg $360.97 $0.52 69,417%
          Prozac 20 mg $247.47 $0.11 224,973%
          Tenormin 50 mg $104.47 $0.13 80,362%
          Vasotec 10 mg $102.37 $0.20 51,185%
          Xanax 1mg $136.79 $0.024 569,958%
          Zestril 20 mg $89.89 $3.20 2,809%
          Zithromax 600mg $1,482.19 $18.78 7,892%
          Zocor 40mg $350.27 $8.63 4,059%
          Zoloft 50mg $206.87 $1.75 11,821%

          Yup does not sound like a good situation, sounds good for Blue Cross though.

          As for Coulter I present the following evidence:

          Exhibit 1

          Exhibit 2

          Conclusion:

          If she were running the 800M in the world athletics she would be taking a test to determine something right now. The great American poet Steven Tyler put it best in his sonnet “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)”.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Bob,

            Your little list accounts for the general price of the active ingredients.

            It doesn’t account for the price of the inactive ingredients.

            It doesn’t account for the cost of doing research to develop the drug.

            It doesn’t account for the cost of three or more phases of testing which every drug must pass in order to obtain FDA approval.

            It doesn’t account for the cost of research, development, and testing of drugs which do not ultimately win FDA approval and are therefore never profitable for the pharmaceutical companies. Do the companies simply eat the cost of a drug which fails to win approval? NOPE, they increase the cost of other drugs which have won approval in order to recoup their losses.

            There are also a host of other costs such as labor costs, benefit costs, legal costs, overhead, etc. which are completely ignored.

            Basically what you are saying, is you should just be able to go down to the pharmacy and buy active ingredients X, Y, and Z and make your own drugs for 63 cents per doseage.

            Good luck with that 🙂

            • I said the graph was inflammatory, yes you also have to account for production and distribution, having been in the manufactoring business and also taken part in clinical trials I still dont see where the 1000%’s of markup are coming from. There is a good reason why the pharmaceutical business is the most profitable in the world.
              Again why is it that other countries purchase drugs cheaper than what Americans pay?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Because other countries allow their governments to heavily subsidise the purchase of pharmaceuticals, so that the APPARENT cost to the consumer is less.

              • Nah, Europe has strict pricing control so generally tells drug manufacturers how much they are going to pay for the drugs, they pay less for the drugs than Americans. They would not be able to subsidise drug costs if they paid as much as Americans pay for their drugs.

          • Bob,

            B.S. flag thrown!!!!!!!!!!!

            I have taken this for years. Seems it did cost about $70 a month before its patten ran out. Now is
            about $20 for the original, half that for generic.

            Claritin 10 mg $215.17 $0.71 30,306%

            Why the umbrella, was partly cloudy and 22c today.
            And what the bloody ‘ell is a crumpet anyway?

            • Just out of curiosity (I’m new here, remember), what color is the BS Flag?

            • Probably old stats they were the only recent ones I could find.
              Maybe it was nice in London but in the North East it was chucking it down.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumpet

              Eating crumpets at high tea is what being an Englishman is all about.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I am all for eating tea and crupmets at high tea.

                Here we just have beer and buffalo wings at happy hour.

                Also a fun tradition, but not nearly as venerable and classy as tea and crumpets.

              • I like buffalo wings but dont drink beer but then again I dont drink tea either. If you want real class you would be eating cucumber sandwiches cut into triangles with some sponge cake on the side while you were drinking your tea.

  14. What everyone is missing here is that it is not “government” that is the real problem in the health industry . . .

    IT IS THE LAWYERS!

    Get rid of the ambulance-chasing-sue-for-anything-shysters and you will have everything affordable again!

    • esomhillgazette says:

      But that is the one thing that is not on the table. Tort Reform.

      They could put a cap on lawsuits, just like Workers Comp has.

    • Papa,

      Everyone is missing? I argued with Flag on this very issue.

      Flag, you were WRONG!!! I said any real attempt at health care reform would have to start with tort reform. You stated it would have little impact. Heard on talk radio(can’t confirm)that insurance costs in NY are over $12,000 for a family of four, but less than $6,000 in NJ, partly due to them having tort reform.

      I can confirm, for a family of three, the following costs;

      $559.70 for NJ, Blue Cross
      $2,286.82 for NY, Blue Cross
      $641.98 for cheapest non-rated equal

      What I would have chosen if buying there would cost $250.00 more a month. That’s three grand a year, enough for Mrs. Illusion (wife of Delusional) to buy at least an extra purse and shoes!! That sir, is significant.
      Reply

      *
      Black Flag said
      August 18, 2009 at 3:41 pm

      Well, I’ll give up “a little bit” on the fact you providde good evidence

      … however…

      The real solution is to remove the monopoly on medicine by the AMA – that would solve the tort reform AND decrease the ‘death by doctors’ AND increase the availabilities of all health care AND decrease costs.

      And here I have to agree with Flag. I think tort reform is where we should start, but its not the only problem. Bottom line, the solution is as free a market as can be achieved.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Maybe in the invisible bigger picture that our representatives and administration is looking at, Tort Reform really doesn’t matter — for the sake of what they are trying to push on us!

        Think about it. Federal Government and its employees are absolutely immune from suit for common law torts if they are performing their official duties, otherwise known as acting “within the scope of employment,” and have qualified immunity in suits alleging constitutional torts.

        So, does it not stand to reason that with a Nationalized Healthcare Program, Tort Law won’t matter – the Program and its employees (hey, doctors have to eat somehow) would be exempt.

        Wow…an extra added benefit of being able to undercut the Private Sector EVEN more. Maybe this is a part of BO’s strategy. Undercut Private Sector to go out of business, then have a monopoly and hire all the health care workers…

        Best Regards,
        RS

        • Spitfire,

          Been thinking about it, and don’t know, but think no. Most of them are lawyers with connections to law firms and such, so a lot of their funding for election is tied to protecting
          their special interest groups.

  15. Black Flag says:

    PS: The world will end on December 21, 2012.

    There is a reason that date is specific – it is the winter solstice.

    Remember, the end of the world as we know it.

    But it is merely the end of a calender. We don’t go “ga-ga” on Dec. 31 (well, a little – we party). Aztecs simply believed someone else would create a new calender by then.

  16. (re-posted w/o links
    This week, I had this interchange with a person who now lives in the UK. I just wanted to open some eyes, tho I’d expect I didn’t have a simple, clear response.

    SC –
    loves the British healthcare system. America – do not be fooled by the scaremongerers! Long live the NHS!

    SC –
    Don’t watch Fox! They are reactionary idiots! From what we are hearing on this side of the pond, nothing that has been reported in the States about British healthcare provision is accurate. There are no “death panels”. No one is sent home to die, unless that’s what they want. And the British people are fiercely proud of their system. I’ll tell you this, if I ever need serious medical treatment (knock on wood) the last thing I want to worry about is how to pay for it. The NHS is free at the point of need, and that’s what matters.

    FC –
    FYI – Not Fox… http://www.ncpa.org / pub / ba649
    10 Surprising Facts about American Health Care
    .Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.
    .Nine of 10 middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to less than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent)
    Sources – Lancet etal..

    Anecdotal? probably ..
    She said at St. George’s Hospital she worked on a seniors ward where 23 elderly men and women shared the same room. … … For non-seniors, most British hospitals put six people in a room. Wait lists are extremely long. An elderly British citizen she knew came to the US to get heart surgery after waiting a full year in the UK system.
    http://www.americanthinker.com / 2009 /08/manufactured_healthcare

    SC_
    The point is, our healthcare is affordable to everyone, and everyone has the same access as everyone else. My experience does not bear out the statistics you quote, and I question their validity. It is true that most British hospitals still use wards instead of private rooms, but this in itself is neither a positive nor negative attribute – it … Read Morecomes down to patient expectations, and in this country people are not distressed by hospital wards, at least no more so than they are by being in hospital at all.

    For every anecdote you can produce about about what is wrong with the British system, there is another one about someone’s nightmare with the American system – 45 million of them, in fact. Take my mother, for example.

    The UK spends 8.4% of GDP on healthcare, and our coverage is universal. The US spends 16% of GDP on healthcare, and 45 million people have no health coverage. In the richest country in the world. It’s a disgrace, and every insured American should feel ashamed.

    FC –
    Both your mother and I would love to have free or reasonable cost healtcare, but the process to get there….. Wish it were as simple and clear.. As you say..

    . “everyone has the same access as everyone else” – Does that mean the UK politicians also can only use the same system? Or are there other private healthcare options for them? You mean that your MP’s will have the same wards as others? Maybe you missed it, but congress just recently overwhelmingly voted down a proposal that they – CongressPersons – ALSO would have to use the same healthcare policies that they plan to implement for the rest of us. They said NO way. You mean you’re not as valuable as Dem Representative? I’ve met Dem – and he’s NO S C !! LOL (Name replaced to protect the stupid! Enter your congressperson)

    . “I question their validity” – Did you read the link of 10 items? I’ve read similar statistics separately over the past year, and that article had an accumulation of points and also cited their sources. One of which is the Lancet. Isn’t the Lancet a UK organization? I think it is, and why I felt secure enough to post that to you and indicated such.

    . “down to patient expectations” – How much will Americans pay for expectations of single or double pvt hosp rooms? Maybe not twice the GDP. But I’d bet they DON’T expect wards.

    . “45 million of them, in fact” – that number has been bandied about and shown to be misleading. That figure includes illegal immigrants. For comparison, does that mean I could fly to London and check into a hospital or go to a clinic and get healthcare for free? (or actually you’d be paying it) It also includes folks who are eligible for healthcare coverage but don’t avail themselves of it, and the younger folks who can afford healthcare but don’t want to spent their own money for it because they feel like it won’t happen to them. The estimates of people who can’t afford insurance or make too much to be covered under other programs is about 12 million. And then Obama did say that ‘we’ expect to cover almost everyone – about 96 or 98%. And somewhere else his admin said it would be 94%! Hmmmmm.. The end result is that there still would be about the same number of uncovered people. Sheez.

    Other costs. Then there’s the cost of litigation and malpractice insurance (remember honest John Edwards). Does the NHS have that cost? I’ve seen many outrageous estimates of that cost.

    Obama said that they’ll cover the increased expenses by getting $500 BILLION from medicare! Huh? How is that going to work? Medicare – That’s a good example of US universal coverage. They estimate that there’s about $60-70 BILLION a year in fraud ! Maybe the gov’t should prove it can do the job by cleaning up medicare first. Is there fraud in the NHS? If not, another part added to litigation to the cost difference puzzle.

    My brother is 68 in medicare and complains that its costs him $2-4,000 in supplemental insurance and drug costs. And he still works part-time.

    Another cost factor is the salary of doctors. I knew that in Germany and France they make about $55,000 but in the UK some make only in the $30’s or $40’s !!! Scary, when you know what just new college grads can get here.

    I would have thought that they would truly

    Where’s the transparency in a thousand page plus / plus bill that no one reads and you wonder why people are upset? Wouldn’t you be if this was Bush saying here it is, just trust me – but don’t read it or if you do you’ll won’t understand it !! LOL I did attempt to read the section about ‘end of life counseling’ and of course my feeble mind couldn’t ‘get’ it, but the legalese and references make the document unreadble. I bet your father as an attorney a free lifetime supply of coffee at BWC if he could figure it out !! LOL

    The bottom line though, is that ‘they’re’ not even really talking now about universal heathcare, but rather healthcare INSURANCE reform ! And more competition in the health insurance industry. And now the health insurance company lobbyist are now SUPPORTING a plan. Then again, follow the money, as Tom Daichle is now part of a new GE billion dollar organization to ‘help’ the health insurance field ! IE the same GE that owns NBC/MSNBC etal. So you get no bias here!

    Also read recently that’s there’s actually about 5 different plans in congress. It would be nice to have them set forth a clear program and / or options and alternatives, and maybe we all could get together and support it.

    Remember they talk about BILLIONS like we used to talk about millions – a billion – thats a thousand (1,000) millions..

    SC –
    For god’s sake Frank, lay off! I am not writing Obama’s healthcare plan. My point is this – the portrayals of the British NHS currently circulating in the US are inaccurate and frankly offensive to me as a British taxpayer. The NHS is not free, believe me – we pay dearly via taxation. What I don’t have are millions of confusing forms to fill in every time I need to see my doctor, and I can seek whatever treatments I need without having to worry about paying the bills. I don’t have to worry about nonsense like co-payments and deductibles. I don’t have to get authorisation from a number cruncher before I can receive treatment.

    The NHS has some problems – like waiting lists for certain treatments (though by no means all, despite the scaremongerers) – but we are working on it. Even in it’s current state I will take it any day over the American system – even if it means I have to stay in a hospital ward.

    Yes, British politicians use the NHS just like everyone else.

    FC –

    Now, How should I respond? Thanks//

    • Frank,

      Very interesting.

      While we might debate its affordability, there’s no debating the fact that U.S. medicine is the best in the world. When American billionaires become seriously ill, they seek treatment at home. And while much is made of the fact that U.S. life expectancy is a bit shorter than that of other countries, if you adjust for violent crime and automobile accidents, Americans have the longest life expectancy, says McConnell.

      How to respond?? It does not seem they are receptive to real debate. Presenting unpleasant facts will end with silence. Try asking questions that provoke thought, such as a comparison of taxes, or is that too direct?

      • You do realise that the other countries also include the automobile accidents and violent crime in their stats as well? It would be like me saying “well if I dont include all the people richer than me I am in fact the richest man in the UK”.

        If you are trying to debate the overall success of health care between the UK and the US you are going to struggle. With taxation we can show we spend half of what you do on medical costs and we have a longer lifespan. If we are comparing middle/upper class people between the systems you might have an argument but what about comparing people who dont make much money and cannot afford insurance or have a pre existing condition and cannot get insurance, how do the two medical systems stack up then?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Bob,

          A new study was just released that shows that average life expectancy is now the highest it has ever been in the US and it has been steadily climbing.

          I do not know how our life expectancy in the US compares to life expectancy in the UK currently, but I imagine it is pretty comparable… it certainly isn’t different by half a decade or anything of the sort I wouldn’t imagine, but please correct me if I am wrong.

          Also, I do not believe that anyone in America would argue that our system of medical care is nearly as good as it could be. I certainly do not want it to stay as it is now.

          You say that your system is cheaper and works better – I say that your system applied on the scale necessary to work in America with some of the different issues which we have here in America that you do not share, would be perverted into something that did not even resemble the system which you currently enjoy, so I think that America should seek her own solution, and I would prefer that solution to involve less government rather than more.

          If you think that your system is wonderful, and it works well for you, your friends, and your family, hey- who am I to argue with that? That doesn’t mean what you all do there is going to work here necessarily though. It MIGHT work here, but I would rather try a truly free market solution first.

          And, to anyone who says we already have a free-market system in the US which does not work, you are incorrect. If we have a free market in healthcare, why do 3 or 4 insurance giants have 80% of the healthcare business?

          • You guys can do whatever you like in the US with regards health care. What I dont appreciate as a UK taxpayer is the NHS being dragged through the mud by republicans, I have seen a lot of misleading statements and downright lies coming from them.

            American exceptionalism can only take you so far, almost every country with UHC (every developed country except the US) spend less on health care and live longer lives, it would be like you saying that an American ball released from your hands would not fall to the ground despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

            I just dont see how the free market is suddenly going to fix your health system especially in times like this. How would companies be able to raise the capital or expertise to compete with the insurance companies, what would stop the health insurance companies from just buying out any competition? Whats stops an insurance company now from undercutting the competition?

            Well like I said in my previous comments I am just an outsider looking in, if you are worried about reform I very much doubt anything will happen with health care, the insurance companies pump millions into lobbying. Well like I said you guys do whatever you like all I can do is tell you my experiences with the UK, US and Canadian health systems.

            • Black Flag says:

              ,i>I just dont see how the free market is suddenly going to fix…..

              It is typical of all Statists that they cannot understand and therefore do not trust how free people solve problems.

              Insurance companies make money when people buy insurance.

              If the price is too high, only those few that are most likely to need insurance will buy it – and then demand payment.

              Insurance company will go broke over night.

              Insurance is a balance between payouts and cost of purchase.

              The company needs to make it cheap enough so that those that probably will never use will still buy it for the “just in case” scenario – but the price has to be high enough to cover all the pay outs.

              The free market ALWAYS provides the optimum strategy.

              Free people in voluntary trade will ALWAYS be a better option than a savage with a gun.

              • The problem BF is your solution is a fantasy, its not real, nor will its implementation ever likely happen. The free market fairy is not going to come along and fix all your problems.
                Why instead of lamenting a solution that has no basis in reality you exert your energy on plausible solutions. Call me a statist all you like but I make statements based by what the current situation is, by things that exist.

              • Black Flag says:

                The plausible solution is to let free people figure it out for themselves.

                Pushing a gun to their head and forcing your idea of a solution is not a solution – period –

              • BF when in the history of the world have people truely been free? No goverment, with people being left to themselves.
                Which industries and markets have absolutely no regulation. Why are governments formed in the first place? Why when we were tribesmen there was always a leader?

                Back in the old days you might have been able to go into the wildnerness and been free to do what you like without being bothered by anyone and formed your own community, we are getting too crowded to do that.

              • Black Flag says:

                see #27

                And yes, people have been free in history.

                It is also true that violence is very profitable as is theft.

                But that does not mean free is “wrong”.

                You confuse leasership with violence. The mind of a savage….

    • Frank,FIVE GOLD ***** Stars, great links and info

      At a time when a debate rages over whether the U.S. has enough doctors, Texas has seen its number of doctors leap by about 15,000. And Perry points out that tort reform has brought service to critically underserved, predominantly minority and poor communities.

      “The number of obstetricians practicing in rural Texas is up by 27 percent, and 12 counties that previously had no obstetricians now have at least one.

      According to opensecrets.org, Democrats received over $178,000,000 from lawyers’ donations during the 2008 election cycle — three times what they donated to Republicans. Over $43,000,000 of that went to the Obama campaign.

      Forty-three million reasons why Obamacare doesn’t include the one component of health care reform that has been proven to work: tort reform.

    • $30k-$40k for a doctor!!!! You think after 7 years of studying they would be getting that? People on supermarket checkouts make close to that, not doctors. Try $170K for a family GP with close to 30 days holiday a year, I have been looking into doing a post graduate medical degree and the tuition over the 4 years would cost me $5000, how much would I pay at an American college? After the 4 years I would start on close to $50,000 after the first year of residency that goes up to $80,000 and this is working 46 hours a week. When I am finished my residency and start at a practice I will be making close to $130,000 and after a couple of years of that $170,000. I would not have a clue what specialists and surgeons get but you can probably start by changing that first digit. One of my friends has just started her second year of residency and she will have paid off her student loans in a year.

      Your percentages for cancer show the US is catching cancer earlier and that is all really, in the UK men do not have to take manditory physicals to qualify for insurance policies.

      Trying to get the British to give up the NHS would be like trying to get Mr Gunnington from Texas who owns a rifle range to give up his guns. It aint gonna happen. We grumble about it but we would never give it up. You spend more than double than us and you are still unable to cover everyone, no doubt you have some of the best hospitals in the world but they arent much use if you cant afford to use them.

      • Well I got avg salaries from several – offical appearing – sites. And recall the “avg” salary in France & Germany was circa $55,000. So who knows, when querying “average income doctors” most show lowest over $100k – probably not as high as many folks think.

        But everything is relative – if that level of income satisfies their expectations in the UK, where lawyers, architects, etal are happy. It works there. So another reason why the cost is double in the US, avg medical salaries are many times the avg in the UK.

        And a different site: NHS Careers in Detail

        Junior doctors earn a basic salary and will usually be paid a supplement. This supplement is based on the extra hours worked above a 40 hour standard working week and the intensity of the work. The most common banding supplement is 50% of basic salary. In the most junior hospital doctor post (foundation year 1) a doctor on a 50% supplement would earn £33,285. This increases in the second year (foundation year 2) to £41,285. A doctor in specialist training on a 50% supplement could earn from £44,117 to £69,369.

        Specialty doctor and associate specialist (2008) (SAS doctors)
        Doctors in the new specialty doctor grade earn between £36,443and £67,959

        • My GP makes £100,000 a year, with 28 paid holiday days a year. Average doctors pay in the US is $200,000, how much do they have to pay for malpractice insurance? How much student loans did they accumulate? How many hours do they work?

          http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/health/s/1012/1012562_shorter_hours_for_100k_gps.html

          I think your estimates for how much Doctors get paid is probably skewed by looking at the very top earners. On average your doctors probably come back with less than the doctors over here do. The $55,000 for France is net pay not gross, they also dont have to worry about student loans. They also work far less hours than US doctors do.

  17. Black Flag says:

    Re: Post Office.

    It started around 1620 with a service to deliver messages between government officials. Later, it became a way to transport private documents.

    Later, it became a way to send newspapers to subscribers across the country – but it was privately managed.

    Benjamin Franklin, publisher of “The Pennsylvania Gazette,” who found it impracticable to have his own newspapers delivered by his competitor (who ran the Post Office). So good ol’ Ben turned the Post Office into a government service.

  18. Today it’s my turn to be late to the party.
    Reading, nodding my head in agreement (except with that new Mat guy)J/K 😉

  19. Black Flag says:

    Yesterday there was a short conversation on what someone should do ‘right now’ in this economy.

    Here are some thoughts: (my own plus gleaned from others that I respect)
    —-

    Retailers are offering very good deals for long-term consumer goods.

    “Out of luck” people are being forced to sell almost-new goods.

    I suggest that you take advantage of this situation.

    If you know that you will need, say, an air conditioner, buy it on sale this fall if you can get a really good deal.

    If you keep the old unit in reserve in the basement, that is an investment. Having back-ups is wise.

    Buy when the other guy is forced to sell.
    Don’t buy when you are forced to buy.

    As inventories are being worked off, prices remain low.

    When they are worked off, they will not be re-filled. They will stay low. Then buyers will face a problem: reduced choices.

    That will be the result of the delayed recovery and the decline in retail purchases it causes.

    Buy long-term durable goods if you get them at fire-sale prices. Build up your inventory of high-quality durable goods.

    In the price inflation that lies ahead, producers will cut quality. They will stop selling what they can no longer sell.

    The very rich always can buy what they want.

    The poor are subsidized by the government.

    The big losers will be the middle class, who find that they are no longer being catered to.

    If you own top-quality durable goods, and you paid bottom dollar for them, you hedge against price inflation.

    The worst that will happen is that prices may fall slightly, as they did in Japan. But if you buy at a substantial discount, what do you care?

    • I really believe that their goal is (and has been for a long time) to create a “ruling class” (read politicians), an “elite uber wealthy class” (read the Trumps and Rockefellers to support the politicians), and a “working class”, to provide taxes to the government.
      The working class will have whatever they need to keep them happy but will never be allowed go beyond that.
      When you are old and useless to them, you will be terminated.

      • As long as they don’t eat me too!

      • In a sense, that kind of sounds like what they’re doing now, with this new health care plan of theirs.

        • From Fox News, by Liz Peek:
          First paragraph:
          President Obama is sick and tired of the way his health care initiative has been twisted and misrepresented. He is especially annoyed that anyone…anyone… would suggest that he wants to euthanize poor old Granny. The problem is there are a lot of people, including some of his supporters, who want to do just that. Consider this line from a recent op-ed in the New York Times: “shouldn’t we instantly cut some of the money spent on exorbitant intensive-care medicine for dying, elderly people and redirect it to pediatricians and obstetricians offering preventive care for children and mothers?”

          Talk about a slippery slope! Richard Dooling, author of the above comment, points out that we spend a huge amount on “yet another trip to the surgical suite on the slim-to-none chance that by-pass surgery, a thoracotomy, an endoscopy or kidney dialysis might get her off the ventilator and out of the hospital in time for her 88th birthday.” I wonder how old Mr. Dooling is. I also wonder how his granny might feel about not getting end-of-life care.

          • My mom just turned 87, and thank God, for the most art she’s healthy. She has some emphysema, is taking Advair for her breathing, but otherwise she is pretty healthy.

            Has some Dementia going on, but not enough to send her to a home, she still has some faculties there, short term memory loss somewhat, but can remember long term.

            She is going to her doctor sometime next month to get a checkup and to make sure everything is still alright. She eats like a pig, anything she wants, and weighs all of 84LBS.

            I guess if Obama has his way, she’d be in the hole already.

  20. Okay people, here’s more.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    Obama, Dems Prepare to Move Against American People on Health Care

    The American people are speaking out, and the effects are being felt across the country. Some members of Congress are too afraid to hold their townhall meetings, and are resorting to conference calls or simply canceling their constituent events completely.

    But have the American people made a difference? In some ways, the answer is yes. The opposition to a government takeover of health care has been heard loud and clear, but rather than Obama and the Democrats changing their tune, it now looks like they will use procedural tactics in the Senate to ram through their legislation even without Republican support. And this is the guy the media called a “uniter?”

    As noted in a news story by the Associated Press, “top Democrats said a bipartisan accord seems less likely than ever, and they are preparing strategies for a possible one-party legislative push soon after Congress reconvenes next month.” The report goes on to note that Democrat researchers “have concluded that a strong-arm Senate tactic, which could negate the need for any GOP votes, might be more effective than previously thought.”

    Question… if Obama and the Democrats have to resort to such a tactic, and the American people are against the legislation, then why even do it? The answer is simple… Because the “change” the American people hoped for, is not the “change” that Obama believes in. He is not about “uniting” anyone. He is about transforming America to a nation where government is the focus and the people serve the government. And thus, he needs to pass this bill.

    The strategy, called “reconciliation,” allows senators to get around a bill-killing filibuster without mustering the 60 votes usually needed. Democrats control 60 of the Senate’s 100 seats, but two of their members — Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts — are seriously ill and often absent.

    While always controversial, reconciliation lets the Senate pass some measures with a simple majority vote. Non-budget-related items can be challenged, however, and some lawmakers say reconciliation would knock so many provisions from Obama’s health care plan that the result would be “Swiss cheese.”

    Democratic aides say they increasingly believe those warnings are overblown.

    As CNSNews.com reports, conservative leader Gary Bauer says that “if liberal Democrats do force through the legislation over the significant objections of conservatives, the minority party should be prepared to shut down the Senate.”

    “The only remedy for this, is for the minority in Congress…to make it clear that if this is used on such a major piece of legislation, that the minority Republicans will literally shut down the Senate by using parliamentary maneuvers, and so forth–so that literally nothing else will pass this year and next, until there is another election,” Bauer, who is president of the group American Values, said.

    “That would turn Washington into an even more partisan battleground, but it may be the only solution to the threat that’s being rumored right now,” Bauer added.

    Other Republicans are speaking out as well and sending a message to the Democrats that the use of “reconciliation” would result in the Senate grinding to a halt. As noted in a story in Roll Call, Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (S.D.) said, “I suspect that there is going to be an awful lot of resistance, and we will exercise our prerogatives so that the rules of the Senate are respected.”

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was a member of the 2005 bipartisan “Gang of 14” that negotiated a deal on President George W. Bush’s stalled judicial nominees, said he would be willing to tap into the Senate’s parliamentary arsenal to block the majority from pursuing its agenda.

    Similarly, National Republican Senatorial Committee John Cornyn (Texas) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) predicted that the GOP Conference would respond to Democrats’ use of reconciliation on health care with tough action.

    The elections of 2006 and 2008 gave the Democrats the numbers they need to pass almost anything. What they fail to realize (especially Obama) is that during that period, Republicans dropped the ball, and the American people showed their frustration. They did not suddenly want to become a socialist nation. Now Obama doesn’t know how to handle the backlash to his wild programs.

    The key is to keep the pressure on. The “public option” in Obama’s plan must be stopped. The whole bill should go down in flames, and I support any legislative effort to do this. Obama may not believe in the same America that I do, but that doesn’t mean the Republicans should roll over. They need to fight and show the American people what they believe in. If Obama wants to go it alone, then we must show him what a “united” country really can do.

  21. I just got this from my son, thought I’d pass this along to everybody. You read, you decide.

    _______________________________________________________________________________
    WRITE IT ON THE BACK OF YOUR ENVELOPES or front

    WE THINK THIS IS A GREAT IDEA. WE’LL START WRITING IT ON THE FRONT OF OUR
    ENVELOPES, TOO! ———-Including Bills

    You may have heard in the news that a couple of Post Offices in Texas have
    been forced to take down small posters that say

    ‘IN GOD WE TRUST ,’
    The law, they say, is being violated.

    Anyway, we heard proposed on a radio station show, that we should all
    write

    ‘ IN GOD WE TRUST’
    on the back of all our mail.

    After all, that’s our National Motto, and —–
    all the money we use to buy stamps.
    We think it’s a wonderful idea.

    We must take back our nation from all the people who think that anything
    that offends them should be removed.

    If you like this idea, please pass it on and DO IT. The idea of writing or
    stamping……….
    ‘IN GOD WE TRUST ‘
    on our envelopes sounds good to us

    SOME PEOPLE ARE HAVING A STAMP MADE TOO……..
    lets use it as our signature on e-mails, too!

    It’s been reported that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, we
    have a very hard time understanding why there’s such a mess about having ‘
    In God We Trust!’
    on our money and having God in the pledge of Allegiance.

    Could it be that WE just need to take action and tell the 14% to ‘sit down
    and shut up’?

    If you agree, pass this on, if not, delete!!!

    BUT REMEMBER IF YOU DELETE THIS,

    that’s one reason why this world is in the mess we’re in now.

    WE SIT BACK & LET IT HAPPEN!!

    IN GOD WE TRUST — I did!

  22. Obama And The Swedish Welfare State
    From the desk of Richard Rahn on Thu, 2009-08-20 18:41

    Stockholm, Sweden. Do you think America would be better off with a Swedish-type welfare state?

    This question tends to evoke strong reactions from both the left and right, yet few understand Sweden’s economic history and the revisions it has been making to its welfare-state model in recent years. Sweden was a very poor country for most of the 19th century. The poverty of those years caused many to emigrate from the country, mostly to the U.S. Upper Midwest.

    Beginning in the 1870s, however, Sweden created the conditions for developing a high-growth, free-market economy with a slowly growing government sector. As a result, Sweden for many years had the world’s fastest-growing economy, ultimately producing the third-highest per capita income, almost equaling that in the United States by the late 1960s. Sweden became a rich country before becoming a welfare state.

    Sweden began its movement toward a welfare state in the 1960s, when its government sector was about equal to that in the United States. By the late 1980s, government spending grew from 30 percent of gross domestic product to more than 60 percent of GDP.

    Most full-time employees faced marginal tax rates of 65 percent to 75 percent, as contrasted with 40 percent in 1960. Labor-market regulations were introduced to make it very difficult to fire workers. Business profits were taxed heavily, and financial markets were regulated heavily.

    By 1993, the government budget deficit was 13 percent of GDP and total government debt was about 71 percent of GDP, which led to a rapid fall in the value of the currency and a rise in inflation.

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4059

    Those who wish to chase the Swedish model need first to decide which model they seek: The high-growth, pre-1960 model; the low-growth model of the 1970s and 1980s; or the reformist, welfare-state model of recent years.

    The irony is that the current Democrat Congress and administration are rapidly emulating the parts of the Swedish model that proved disastrous and rejecting those parts that are proving to be successful.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      I have read this same thing somewhere else. Also said that one of their major problems now they have in common with the rest of the EU. Immigration of Islamics to their countries. Most especially Sweden.

      • Haven’t seen where the Swiss are having Islamic immigration problems.
        France seems to be trying to fight back, where the UK is following Spain’s lead. I will have to look into that.

        Thanks Esom, glad you are feeling better.

    • Muslim Rape Epidemic in Sweden and Norway – Authorities Look the Other Way

      Oslo rape statistics shock
      Two out of three charged with rape in Norway’s capital are immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. The number of rape cases is also rising steadily.

      Six months or so ago I did a google search on tape stats/sweden ort norway and got a lot of hits with articles that clearly showed relationship between increased rapes, increased muslim attackers, etc – now all articles say immigrant or non-swdish…

      • FrankC,

        Atlas Shrugs and Gates of Vienna Blog are two good websites that follow these trends. Also Jihad Watch is informative.

  23. Black Flag says:

    Ray Hawkins

    “Human rights, when articulated without property rights turn out to be vague and contradictory, causing Statist to attack such rights as malleable in cases of “public good.””

    – the monk or nun may disagree with you. Why would you suggest they can own no property but only have human rights that are vague or contradictory? The “public good” or Statist tends to leave these folks alone.

    They own themselves.

    “All human rights derive from property rights.”

    – No – human rights derive from the agreement of two or more humans that such a right exists.

    This cannot be.

    You cannot agree to bring something into existence that does not exist in the first place. Matter or energy cannot be created or destroyed.

    Therefore, rights MUST exist prior to your agreement.

    You may not agree that you recognize them, but that doesn’t make them non-existent – like Peter said, you can claim the Sun doesn’t shine – but the Sun doesn’t care.

    The sky is blue because two or more people over the years agreed that the color property associated with the sky is something we associate as blue. The blind or color blind person cannot derive from the sky that it is blue, he/she must agree with someone else that it is blue in order for them to think it is blue. A right is universal to man only the extent to which man agrees it is a right.

    Not so.

    Whether the blind see the sky does not make the sky not exist. It just means the man is blind.

    You do not agree to human rights does not make human rights disappear. You simply are ignorant of them, much like a savage.

    No. Freedom does not need coercion to exist – freedom is the lack of coercion.

    However, freedom must be ready to use force to resist initiating force that attempt to impose upon freedom.

    – Ah – but BF – you inserted something we were not discussing specifically – that’s okay – it took me a bit to figure out why you’d do this. So back to my point – who defines then what is inalienable?

    It does not require definition for it to exist – much like gravity. Whether or not you know about it, or recognize it – it exists. The challenge is only do you recognize it.

    If you do not, you are still surrounded by it. All that really happens is you cannot use it for your prosperity. When you do recognize it, you can use it as a tool for your benefit.

    Is right to liberty an inalienable right?

    Yes, because without it, nothing else matters.

    For you to act, you must be free to act. For you to walk, you must be free to walk. For you to eat, you must be free to eat. It is the root of all human belief and action.

    Liberty necessarily has constraint in order to have order (your child – by your definition cannot have complete liberty until you say she is capable of having complete liberty) – the debate thus is on degree not the nature of.

    Again, you are confused about freedom.

    I am not ”free” to fly like a bird or breath under water like a fish. Nature does not define freedom as ‘do what ever I wish or want’.

    Freedom is to live without imposition from another man.

    There is no ‘constraint’ necessary – I do not need impose upon you for me to live without imposition.

    Ah – but BF – you are “forcing” your definition of freedom, and rights and potential and property onto others that reject your notions of such and do nothing to interfere with the way you live, what you believe and who you are.

    Again, you are perverting the definition of force.

    I am not applying coercion ON you – I am using force to RESIST YOU from coercing me. If your point is truth, then someone defending themselves from attack is no better than the attacker.

    I ask you again, if I reject the notion of property and I see any ‘earthly possession’ as belonging to a spiritual being I worship, do I thus in your mind have no rights? Do I have no right to breathe the same air as you

    Your rights do not change based on your belief.

    You may, indeed, belief you can take what is mine for your benefit – you don’t have to go through the ridiculous rationalizations of some “God” to do so.

    However, the problem with that belief is that it will be used against you.

    If you believe you can take from me, I have the right to take from you.

    Quickly, you can see this evolves simply to a battle of force and arms, and the “Might is Right” doctrine.

    However, if we use freedom as a no imposition, my lack of imposition upon you and your lack of imposition upon me allows us both to be free.

    As I’ve discussed before, Ray, it is a parallel path – there is no intersection – between freedom and coercion. Both exist in the universe – but you cannot chose both paths.

    “You don’t have to agree at all. For example, a savage doesn’t agree. He may believe that he has the right to kill you to please the Gods.

    But, assuming you’re not a savage….

    All human rights derive from property rights.”

    – Are you saying that since a “savage” (not even sure what that is supposed to mean) does not agree with your premise he therefore, in your view, has no rights?

    On the contrary, he has all his rights – he just doesn’t know it.

    A savage is opposite to civilized.

    Who or what is a savage? A tribesman in the Amazon? A Jeffrey Dahmer? By your definition a savage may indeed ‘own property’ (his spear, his chunk of the rainforest) – but since his value system is not deeply rooted in philosophy or education or life experience – does he possess less rights than you do?

    Not even a thread thickness less.

    A civilized man in a debate with a savage is like discussing calculus with a baby. The baby (or savage) simply has no concept. But that doesn’t mean calculus (rights) do not exist.

    Because a man is a savage does not give the civilized man the right to destroy the savage’s rights. The civilized man, though, can and must defend his rights from a savage.

    Moreover – what do you define as a “man” in the sense of having rights? Who does not fit in that bucket? You’ve already offered that a child will not ‘have’ those rights until they are deemed proper to have those rights by a parent or parents (I guess you mean they are held in some sort of ‘reserve’).

    No, I never said that at all – in fact I explained that they have all their rights. A ‘regent’ or ‘protector’ exists only because the child does not understand the consequences of their actions and as such, they are there to protect the child so that the child can live in their own best interests. Once the child understands the consequences of their own actions, the regent or protector is removed.

    This is not a difficult concept, Ray.

    What of the 30 year old born with severe mental handicap that may/may not have any concept of rights, liberty, freedom? What of the accident victim who is left in a permanent vegetative state

    Correct. Which is why there are “Guardians” – the duty of a guardian is to protect the rights of those that cannot do so for themselves

    I hope you don’t feel you’re under a three-front ‘war’ with JAC, Peter, or I – if you want to only address one of us at a time – just let me know – I know how hard it can be to hold multi-way conversations on one topic.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      You can change the way that people REACT to certain aspects of the universe through agreement, consensus, and consent.

      You can TRY to change the way that people PERCEIVE certain aspects of the universe through agreement, consensus, and consent; however, this is very dangerous, and should only be attempted if people’s perception of certain aspects of the universe is fundamentally flawed in some way. Even if people’s perception of a particular aspect of the universe is fundmentally flawed, any attempt to change this perception will generally be met with a lot of resistence, up to and including violence. If people’s perception of a certain aspect of the universe is fundamentally correct and you attempt to change it in a way that would make it fundamentally flawed, violence is almost a guaranteed outcome.

      In spite of all of this, YOU CANNOT change the universe itself through agreement, consensus, and consent. It simply cannot be done.

  24. Black Flag says:

    British Health Care: Costs and Benefits
    Susan Easton

    Aug. 20, 2009

    Late last week, Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, appeared on Fox News. His statement that the US should not attempt to create a new health care system, based on the British model of the National Health Service (NHS), ignited a firestorm in England. On Friday morning, the British airwaves and print media, not to mention the blogosphere, went into overdrive with comments which amounted to a national self examination verging on a societal inquisition.

    Hannan’s remarks caused the Conservative Party leader David Cameron, heir presumptive as the next Prime Minster, to immediately send out a letter to all and sundry heaping praise on the NHS. In addition, he promised that when his Party returned to power it would increase spending allotments to the NHS.

    What is that likely to cost British taxpayers?

    The most compelling argument against having the government dishing out your aspirins comes from an analysis of basic economics. There is no such thing as universal free medical care. The money has to come from somewhere. The 2010 projected budget for the UK Department of Health will be £110 billion (roughly $187 billion US), most of which will go to pay for the NHS. The latest population figure for Great Britain is just over 60 million souls, of which 29 million are in the workforce.

    So each taxpayer is now paying roughly $6,450 per person for basic care, provided you meet certain age and pre-existing condition guidelines. Compare this with the leading complete-service private insurance program in England, BUPA, which charges $2,180 for an entire family. The government-run NHS charges 3 times more for a far inferior service. And it’s getting worse.

    These sums explain why the Conservative Party has not ruled out upping the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 20 percent should the next election turn out the tax and spend Labour Party. VAT (the national sales tax) is charged on most goods and service businesses in the UK. This is on top of the import duties for any foreign made products. In other words, VAT is like always tipping your ‘waitperson’ 20 percent on any dinner tab, no matter how bad the service is.

    Opinions from Friday’s various discourses ranged from whole-hearted support to echoes of Hannen’s position. In general, it was argued that while the NHS tended to be monolithic, it was equitable (need, not class based). Where the NHS falls short, most agree, is in establishing preventative programs and providing cutting edge treatments and medications.

    Full marks to Steven Glover for his analysis in The Daily Mail. He wrote what most Brits would categorize as “the bleeding obvious.” The medical care provided by the NHS is not a chamber of horrors, nor is it wholly incompetent. However, facts are facts.

    “In treating almost every cancer, America apparently does better than Britain, sometimes appreciably so,” Glover observed. “According to a study in Lancet Oncology last year, 91.9 per cent of American men with prostate cancer were still alive after five years, compared with only 51.1 percent in Britain. The same publication suggests that 90.1 percent of women in the U.S., diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2002, survived for at least five years, as against 77.8 percent in Britain.”

    Glover admitted that it was painful to see the NHS cited — by angry Americans in town hall clashes across the US — as a model for what can go wrong with government provided health care. He also said that the pain came from knowing that it was the truth which hurt. By way of full disclosure, I have to say that when I fell and dislocated an elbow several years back in Covent Garden, I had a very positive experience with my emergency NHS treatment. One friend, by way of comparison, was just diagnosed as having a large uterine fibroid tumor and was told to “live with it.” She is 80 and is in otherwise good health. Is this a case of health care rationing? In the US, this tumor would be removed immediately. She wants it removed. The government has said no.

    In the past week, the Conservatives announced that — should they take back Number Ten Downing Street — they would see to it that everyone could access their own medical records on line and to add comments which they think would be useful to physicians. What would keep that kind of open centralized government system from being technologically overloaded? One also thinks of how, just two weeks ago, a young British man with a form of autism (Asperger’s Syndrome) was ordered to be extradited to the USA to face charges of hacking into the Pentagon’s computers. How secure will open access medical records be with the threat of data hackers looming somewhere? Who wants to risk having their private medical history released to the public?

    A recent report published by The Institute for Fiscal Studies offers three possible future scenarios for NHS funding. The categories are: tepid, cold and arctic (with apologies to global warming enthusiasts). All require raising taxes even higher to maintain present NHS levels of care. Demands on the system are expected to increase along with an aging population, decreasing taxpayer base, and with absolutely no guarantee patients will not continue to die from superbugs whilst in hospital. This includes ye olde MSRA bacterial infections and new foreign imports from returning “medical tourists” who went abroad to escape long waiting lists for basic surgeries like hip replacements.

    Another publication: From Cradle to Grave — 50 Years of the NHS, warns that the state of public finances will now — more than ever — require “difficult trade-offs.” Sounds like code words to die for. The IFS study concludes that the future of the NHS is “far from rosy,” a dainty understatement if there ever was one.

    But wait, it gets better. If a free-for-all National Health Service is so dandy, why is one major London hospital producing infomercials to raise private funds? Well, because they need the money. So out are trotted cancer-ridden children with wide-eyed appeals to help pay for “Linda, my nurse, who gave me so much love.” Or so that “Mommy can stay with me when I am here.” . . .

    Should you be interested, a current copy (January 2009) of the National Health Service Constitution for England is available on-line here.

    Mrs. Easton is an American who is a resident of London for part of each year. This article was first published in Human Events.

    • Tsk Tsk BF, Hannan, Daily Mail geez.

      Everyone who buys something is a taxpayer, that is some pretty bad maths going on. Do you know how BUPA operate, most of the time they have beds in NHS hospitals, you will be seen by an NHS doctor who does private on the side. That $2000 is paying for a private room, that is all. What is becoming a problem is BUPA and other insurance companies messing up surgeries or care and then dumping them onto the NHS. Thats how they keep the costs at $2000 a year if the NHS did not exist you would probably have to multiply that number by a few times.

      Here is my anecdotal story, my 80 year old grandfather had a pain in his knee which caused him discomfort when he walked, unfortunately he never made it past the death panel and was left in some cold woods to die. Ah sorry thinking like a Daily Mail reader there, he actually got a replacement knee at a nice clean NHS hospital and had 6 months at home physiotherapy to get him back on his feet, any anecdotal stories I hear I can counter with my families experiences with the NHS.

  25. Off Topic,

    Does anyone know what’s up with SFC Dick? Last I heard he was in some sort of trouble. Does anyone have an update?

  26. O.T.
    The Obama administration plans to end the $3 billion “cash for clunkers” program on Monday, giving car shoppers a few more days to take advantage of big government incentives.

    Right – run the US federal govt like a corner candy store !! Sheez..

  27. Black Flag says:

    Arguments Against the Abolition of Slavery and Arguments Against the Abolition of Government (as We Know It)

    Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. For many to imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort.

    Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it. Such advocates generally elicited reactions that ranged from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and violent assault.

    Sound familiar? Hence the arguments were (and are):

    Slavery is natural.
    Government (as we know it) is natural.

    Slavery has always existed.
    Government (as we know it) has always existed.

    Every society on earth has slavery.
    Every society on earth has government (as we know it)

    The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves.
    The people are not capable of taking care of themselves

    Without masters, the slaves will die off.
    Without government (as we know it), the people will die off.

    Where the common people are free, they are even worse off than slaves
    Where the common people have no government (as we know it), they are much worse off (e.g., Somalia).

    Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils.
    Getting rid of government (as we know it) would occasion great bloodshed and other evils.

    Without slavery, the former slaves would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem.
    Without government (as we know it), the people would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem.

    Trying to get rid of slavery is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.
    Trying to get rid of government (as we know it) is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.

    Forget abolition. A far better plan is to keep the slaves sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and occasionally entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter.
    Forget anarchy. A far better plan is to keep the ordinary people sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter.

  28. Black Flag says:

    From an email:

    Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of
    a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.” So
    they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

    Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without
    instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two
    people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do
    time studies.

    Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the
    tasks correctly?” So they created a Quality Control department and
    hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports.

    Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So They
    created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer,
    Then hired two people.

    Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”
    So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an
    Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal
    Secretary.

    Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one
    Year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost.”

    So they laid off the night watchman.

    NOW slowly.

    Let it sink in.

    Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter.

    Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of
    the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY …. During the Carter Administration?

    Anybody?

    Anything?

    No?

    Didn’t think so!

    Bottom line. We’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency …
    the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!

    Ready??
    It was very simple … and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

    The Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977.
    TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

    Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

    AND NOW, IT’S 2009 — 32 YEARS LATER — AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS
    “NECESSARY” DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR. THEY HAVE 16,000
    FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES; AND
    LOOK AT THE JOB THEY HAVE DONE! THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD
    AND SAY, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?”

    Ah, yes — good ole bureaucracy.

    AND, NOW, WE ARE GOING TO TURN THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE AND THE
    AUTO INDUSTRY OVER TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT?

    “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” ~
    Thomas Jefferson 1816

    • Makes you wonder. They should have kept the night watchman, and fired all the rest.

      • Black Flag says:

        That would have been “smart”

        Opps, oxymoron!

        • That would have been the smart thing to do, but we all know the government isn’t smart. Especially this one.

          How goes it today for you BF? Hope things are good.

          • Black Flag says:

            Judy,

            As much as I’ve experienced – I should have been dead decades ago –

            … so everyday is a gift!

            I have lil’one and wife – so its great!

            • Is that what you call your daughter? I like that. Hey, you have wonderful wife I’m sure, sounds like a great daughter you have. Sounds like you have a really happy life there BF.

              Okay, now you have me curious here. What other things have you experienced? You told me a couple, now I’m ready for another story from you. Maybe this weekend if things aren’t to busy here, you can share another one. That’s if you want to, and if you don’t have any major plans. I would really love to hear another one.

              What is all that you have experienced where you should be dead by now? Sorry BF, I hope you don’t think I’m being nosy, I’m interested in your story about your life.

              I think life is a gift for everybody, everyday BF. Hell, just getting up in the morning I think is a gift, don’t you.

              For some of the stuff you told me before, my life seems rather boring, so that’s why I like your stories, they seem to have a lot of excitement to them.

              Okay, I’ll shut up for now. Just let me know if I’m being to nosy here, okay.

              • BF, I’m getting off for the night. Think about what I asked, and let me know, and I’ll check back here tomorrow.

                You have a good night and tomorrow BF.

                Take Care.

                Judy

  29. Off Topic. Can anyone in Montana verfiy this story??? I friend emailed it to me…..

    Subject: What Really Happened Last Week in Montana
    >
    > This was sent to me by a friend in Bozeman, MT who was there.
    > Why do we tolerate this?
    >
    >
    > Hello All,
    >
    > By now you have probably heard that President Obama came to Montana last Friday. However, there are many things that the major news has not covered. I feel that since Bill and I live here and we were at the airport on Friday I should share some facts with you. Whatever you decide to do with the information is up to you. If you chose to share this email with others I do ask that you DELETE my email address before you forward this on.
    >
    > On Wednesday, August 5th it was announced locally that the President would be coming here. There are many groups here that are against his healthcare and huge spending so those groups began talking and deciding on what they were going to do. The White House would not release ANY details other than the date.
    >
    > On about Tuesday Bill found out that they would be holding the “Town Hall” at the airport. (This is only because Bill knows EVERYONE at the airport) Our airport is actually located outside of Belgrade (tiny town) in a very remote location. Nothing is around there. They chose to use a hangar that is the most remotely located hangar. You could not pick a more remote location, and you can not get to it easily. It is totally secluded from the public.
    > FYI: We have many areas in Belgrade and Bozeman which could have held a large amount of folks with sufficient parking. (gymnasiums/auditoriums). All of which have chairs and tables, and would not have to be SHIPPED IN!! $$$$$
    > During the week, cargo by the TONS was being shipped in constantly. Airport employees could not believe how it just kept coming. Though it was our President coming several expressed how excessive it was, especially during a recession. $$$$$
    >
    > Late Tuesday/early Wednesday the 12th, they said that tickets would be handed out on Thursday 9am at two locations and the president would be arriving around 12:30 Friday.
    >
    > Thursday morning about 600 tickets were passed out. However, 1500 were printed at a Local printing shop per White House request. Hmmmm……900 tickets just DISAPPEARED.
    > This same morning someone called into the radio from the local UPS branch and said that THOUSANDS of Dollars of Lobster were shipped in for Obama. Montana has some of the best beef in the nation!!! And it would have been really wonderful to help out the local economy. Anyone heard of the Recession?? Just think…with all of the traveling the White House is doing. $$$$$ One can only imagine what else we are paying for.
    >
    > On Friday Bill and I got out to the airport about 10:45am. The groups that wanted to protest Obama’s spending and healthcare had gotten a permit to protest and that area was roped off. But that was not to be. A large bus carrying SEIU (Service Employees International Union) members drove up onto the area (illegal)and unloaded right there. It was quite a commotion and there were specifically 2 SEIU men trying to make trouble and start a fight. Police did get involved and arrested the one man but they said they did not have the manpower to remove the SEIU crowd.
    > The SEIU crowd was very organized and young. About 99% were under the age of 30 and they were not locals! They had bullhorns and PROFESSIONALLY made signs. Some even wore preprinted T-shirts. Oh, and Planned Parenthood folks were with them…..professing abortion rights with their T-shirts and preprinted signs. (BTW, all these folks did have a permit to protest in ANOTHER area)
    >
    > Those against healthcare/spending moved away from the SEIU crowd to avoid confrontation. They were orderly and respectful. Even though SEIU kept coming over and walking through, continuing to be very intimidating and aggressive at the direction of the one SEIU man.
    >
    > So we had Montana folks from ALL OVER the state with their homemade signs and their DOGS with homemade signs. We had cowboys, nurses, doctors you name it. There was even a guy from Texas who had been driving through. He found out about the occasion, went to the store, made a sign, and came to protest.
    >
    > If you are wondering about the press…..Well, all of the major networks were over by that remote hangar I mentioned. They were conveniently parked on the other side of the buildings FAR away. None of these crowds were even visible to them. I have my doubts that they knew anything about the crowds.
    > We did have some local news media around us from this state and Idaho. Speaking of the local media…they were invited. However, all questions were to be turned into the White House in advance of the event. Wouldn’t want anyone to have to think off the top of their head.
    >
    > It was very obvious that it was meant to be totally controlled by the White House. Everything was orchestrated down to the last detail to make it appear that Montana is just crazy for Obama and government healthcare. Even those people that talked about their insurance woes……..the White House called our local HRDC (Human Resource and Development Committee) and asked for names. Then the White House asked those folks to come. Smoke and mirrors…EVERYTHING was staged!!!!!!!!!!!
    >
    > I am very dismayed about what I learned about our current White House. The amount of control and manipulation was unbelievable. I felt I was not living in the United States of America, more like the USSR!! I was physically nauseous. Bill and I have been around when Presidents or Heads of State visit. It has NEVER been like this. I am truly very frightened for our country. America needs your prayers and your voices. If you care about our country please get involved. Know the issues. And let Congress hear your voices again and again!! If they are willing to put forth so much effort to BULLY a small town one can only imagine what is going on in Washington DC. Scary!!
    >
    >
    >
    > Kathy
    > Bozeman, Montana

    • Hi Cyndi

      Doesn’t JAC live in Montana? If he does, why not ask him. Just a thought here.

      Judy

    • Forward it to Glen Beck’s email. He will at least have the resources to verify.

    • Cyndi:

      I can confirm this WAS reported widely: Of the total tickets 1/2 were given to Dem Party leaders for attendees. Like the Gov, his cabinet (all Dems) two Senators and the party dignitaries. The other half was split in half and first come first serve with equal parts some how allocated to Dems and Repubs.

      Net result, 3/4 of the audience is Dem party loyalists.

      All questions were not cooked as some Conservatives did ask questions and Obama is shown doing the hootchy kootchy dance around it.

      Inside crowd was very respectful, as one would generally expect in Montana. Althought the 75/25 split didn’t hurt in keeping down the dissenting voices.

      I expect the Belgrade location had more to do with the need to get out of town quickly in order to get the Family down to Yellowstone Park. Now if the story about all the food, and lobsters being flown in is true, then I do wonder where it all went. It was my understanding the whole entourage was in Yellowstone by nightfall. Pictures of the family at Old Faithful on Sat and to Grand Canyon by Sunday or Monday, don’t remember which.

      The Governor gave an interview with Neil Cavuto after and did another hootcy kootchy dance, even more BS that the Pres shoveled. All about how Montanans got it all figured out. Just give us two weeks and we’ld haver er fixed by god. He kept bragging about MT having a balanced budget, never mentioning the VERY large chunck of Stimulus money that was used to balance the budget, or that he has wasted half the States’ rainy day fund in the last two years. Oh, and the fact we have a very high unemployment not on the books and very large number of folks on welfare.

      Montana is a massive drain on the Federal Budget. We consume far more tax money than we return. You have to add the value of all the coal, oil and gas to get the State to look like it is a producer instead of consumer. Of course like the other Intermountain states, MT is mostly owned by the Fed Govt.

      I will try to do some checking on the crowd control and SEIU buses. Also all this frieght.

    • Cyndi P and others:

      BE AWARE AND CAUTIOUS ON THE MONTANA LETTER.

      After I posted my response I checked my email and found almost identical letter sent to me by a friend who got it from a friend.

      As I said, almost Identical, but with different name signing off.

      This looks like a form letter with places to put in a variations on a theme to make it look authentic.

      Just sent note off to friends in Bozeman to see if any were at the airport.

      By the way there was a State level Conservative Think Tank sponsoring a major Meeting on health care in Bozeman that day. They had heard that Acorn and/or SEIU was going to bus in folks to disrupt their workshops. Haven’t heard yet what actually happened. I was supposed to attend but had to stay home on family matters instead. Oh Bummer, wish now I had gone.

      Will get back to you with more as I find it.

      JAC

  30. Black Flag says:

    Judy,

    I was public schooled – but unfortunately my “IQ” exceeded the entire town where I grew up – I’m a 1/50,000 IQ.

    It is kind of weird to sit in a stadium that holds a city and know you are probably the smartest guy there.

    I felt I was always an outcast – I couldn’t understand my peers; they always acted like “children” – and those that I, mentally, felt were my peers always looked at me like “a little kid”.

    With my parents permission, I joined the air force at the very minimum age allowed.

    I LOVED flying, even before I ever experienced a plane – my father, who wanted to fly and quit being a policeman and trained to be a pilot; I was flying before I was born; my Dad was building his hours to be a commercial pilot and my mom went with him – and I was “flying” before I was born, inside my pregnant mother!

    His timing sucked – the day he got a job with an airline was the day that airline went bankrupt – he had a wife and kid (and my brother on the way), so he made the heroic decision – he canceled his dream and went back to be a policeman – and he was a GREAT policeman, he would be the nation’s #1 car accident reconstruction expert – a true PEACE OFFICER – a pillar of his community – so unlike the cops today… that’s another story … my Dad is my hero, even if we hold different core principles – he NEVER contradicted his principles, which, in my book, is the greatest glory a man can claim.

    So, while training to be a fighter pilot – you get the basic flight training –

    One day, my group of trainee’s (Yellow team – the color of our planes) was ‘dog fighting’ the Red team.

    Our planes were older – and slower – so the “best” pilots took the yellow and the ‘weaker’ took the faster Red.

    While we were dog fighting in our practice area (explicitly against the rules) a red ended up straight on head to head with me.

    The rules of the air are the rules of the road – pass on the right.

    The fool was confused – he though “pass on the left”.

    I dodged right – while he pulled left — closing at over 300mph — he suddenly was still in front of me!

    I thought “Stupid idiot!” And dodged to the left.

    He thought “I’m an idiot!” and corrected and dodged right!

    Now, we had closed – within seconds – the mile or so between us.

    We were still head on – 300mph closing –

    I closed my eyes and bent forward (pushing the stick down) – I saw his landing gear in my windshield and expected the death sound of his gear slicing my plane in half.

    He closed his eyes and leaned back (pulling his stick back) – expecting the bottom of his plane ripped apart.

    I waited – and waited – ….. no sound. I looked up to see my plane -in one piece- in a dive.

    We missed, literally, by an inch.

    …..

    I was rather angry at my colleagues stupidity of the rules of the air. I made that VERY clear after we landed……

    Of course, our commanding officer had no idea that an inch separated the life and death of two of his students….

    • So…..you’re really Tom Cruise???

    • So, I take it you were 17 when you went in then. My youngest son was 17 when he went into the Marines, and we had to sign the permission slip for him. What you described sounded like in the movie Pearl Harbor and what they did. Did you feel like punching that other guy BF?

      My dad used to take us flying when we were younger. I must have been about 10 or so at the time. He would do all kinds of things like, going straight up, then straight down, twisting and turning and things like that. It would be about a 10 minute ride, but well worth it. My dad has his pilots license for flying the smaller planes that would fit from 2 to 4 people.

      I remember going up with him and my grandmother, his mother, and my dad did all those stunts like I said. Anyway, my grandmother was so afraid, that she actually ended up on the floor of the plane, praying that she would make it. When my dad landed the plane, my grandmother literally crawled out of the plane on her hands and knees, vowing she would never do that again. She didn’t. Over the years, my dad just let his license lapse, and never renewed it. I loved going flying with my dad, especially when he would do all those stunts. BTW, my dad was in the Air Force during WWII. He was a Bombadier, and used to talk a lot about when he was in.

      Back in, I think 1966, he was in a plane crash with his nephew, broke his back in 5 places, and was in a body cast for at least 4 to 5 months if I recall. He said his nephew was being a smart ass, and was going to show him how a fighter pilot took off. Well, they got up about a 100 feet, when something happened, and they crashed. No much happened to his nephew, but my dad got busted up pretty bad. It took years before my dad would talk to him again. In fact, my dad sued him. That’s basically why my dad didn’t renew his pilots license. The plane landed on my dad’s side, and I guess that’s how he broke his back.

      Okay, got that out of the way, only took me 3 times. Kept hitting something and it kept going away, and had to keep trying, but I made it.

      Now, Go ahead and tell me more, please. What happened next? Told you, I’m very interested in your stories. Just whenever you have time.

      Judy

  31. My end of the evening snipet for you all to view.

    Seemed like a good wrap up on the past two days by a third party.

    http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=4848

    Good evening and sleep tight
    JAC

  32. Another off topic. As anyone see this video? Awesome…

    This resulted from a Mom in Alabama asking her high school son to help with a commercial for the Tea Party she was involved in organizing.

    Boy, does it slam the message home. Very impressive. Here is her note:

    “I asked Justin if he could help me make a commercial for my group’s Tea Party. He sat down at the laptop for about an hour, and then brought this to me and asked, ‘is this okay, Mom?’
    After I finished watching it, my stomach was in my throat.
    Everyone that I have sent it to has really enjoyed it, so I
    wanted my friends to see it. I am so proud!”

    A very powerful video…turn up the sound & sit back…!!!

    Click on link below!
    TeaPartyCommercial.wmv

  33. Black Flag says:

    Health Care:

    Jesus healed a few people. He did not heal everyone. To heal even a few people for free led to huge crowds lining up to get free health care from Jesus. So many came that Jesus withdrew to the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:15). He could not heal the entire nation, let alone the whole world.

    The socialist slogan does not limit concern to one nation. It is universal: “all people.”

    The economist says, “At zero price, there is greater demand than supply.”

    It was Satan, not Jesus, who suggested turning stones into bread (Matthew 4:3).

    Nothing can heal everyone except God. The State is not God.

  34. I found your little sidebar about the IRS and an Audit interesting. Back 25 plus years ago the IRS decide to audit my brother,it was an attempt to disallow deductions to took for has 30ft cabin cruiser as a commercial fishing boat. They sent him a letter, saying show up at their office at such an such a time. He wrote them back saying that due to his work place and work load that would be impossible. He suggested that the agent meet him at lax an ride the red-eye to DC. The IRS wrote back saying that was not the way they did business. So my brother politely informed them that he would turn the matter over to his boss. The next time he flew in to lax, there was an IRS agent waiting for him, they got on the plane, the agent was in coach an my brother was in first class, hard to conduct anything with seating like that. When they got to DC,my brother exited the aircraft to the tarmac to a waiting car. The people waiting for my brother informed the agent that he would have to secure his own ride, as he was not cleared.

    That was on a Saturday morning, when my brother flew out Sunday, the agent was there with a first class ticket. The did this one more time before they gave up, an allowed they deductions.

Trackbacks

  1. […] BTW, we also have DIAL UP internet access! Pretty SLOW… … See the original post: Mess With the Bull… Get the Horns « Stand Up For America Share and […]

%d bloggers like this: