Health Care Part 3: The President’s “Plan”… Taking Things Too Far

Health Care SymbolAs the next section of the health care series I wanted to take a moment and touch one of the the three promises that President Obama made during his joint session of Congress “Infomercial” the other week. I remember watching the speech, and thinking to myself that the man really is such a gifted speaker. If only he had something worth saying, these speeches wouldn’t be a complete waste of my time. But, alas, he often doesn’t have anything to say, but he sure does say nothing far more eloquently than the other politicians out there do (although it was fun watching him get punk’d by George Stephanopolous on the Sunday morning infomercial circuit today). What struck me the most about that speech to Congress was the reaction the next day from many of my liberal friends to a few key things that the President offered as cornerstones to the “plan”. Because I don’t see them as valid positions to take, at least not in a free society.

Obama Campaign Change We NeedThe President was addressing the concerns voiced by many Americans over the conduct of the insurance companies. Let me first say that I understand the frustration. I know that folks feel as though the insurance companies are a bunch of crooked folks. And I have no doubt that some of them are crooked. But I think they are the minority. I have watched this debate over health care reform transform into health insurance reform. And when it did I immediately thought to myself that the administration is banking on the fact that most Americans will be OK with screwing over the health insurance companies. As usual, most Americans aren’t bothered with such things as proper business or ethical dilemmas when the screwed party is a big business. The “they can afford to get screwed more than me” mentality sinks in, and then the people go on about their business, never realizing that they have set themselves up for failure.

So the specifics of what I am talking about came in the speech about a third of the way through. The President was throwing out those worn out statistics that I already refuted in part one of this series, when he made the following statement in regard to health insurance:

What this plan will do is make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it the most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.

When he voiced that paragraph, I immediately looked at the person watching the speech with me and said, “It makes sense if you aren’t running a business, it saves money for everyone except the company you are asking to provide you a service. But it makes no sense in a free market.” The bolded sections were the parts that I am writing about this evening.

Obama FDR HCHere is my stance on the insurance companies folks. They operate a business. Plain and simple, whether you like that fact or you don’t. That is what they do. And the entire purpose of operating a business is to provide something to someone that wants it at a price that allows you to cover the costs and makes you a profit. Without a profit, you cannot sustain a business. It can’t be done. There is no way, unless you are the government and can take the money from all those wealthy sonsabitches, that you can continue to operate a company without covering all your costs, including your salary.

Black Flag has done a good job defending the insurance companies thus far. However, I am going to continue to pound that drum just a little more here. First the basics. Health insurance is not a right. It is a gamble between you and the insurance companies. They take your premium in the hope you don’t get sick. You pay your premium in case you do. A simple pregnancy is enough to make that a losing proposition for the health insurance company. If they collect $300 a month from you, they got $3600 in a year. That pregnancy costs, for example, $5000. The insurance company loses $1400 in that deal. That is ONE medical procedure. So they are betting that the millions of policy holders who pay their premiums add up to more than the millions of procedures they are forced to pay out for medical costs. That, my friends, is basic economics.

The case against the insurance companies is that they have premiums rising at a rate much higher than inflation. The number that I found quoted most throughout the articles that I read was 86%. Premiums have risen 86% over the last ten years. And that is a big number. Contrary to popular belief (and contrary to the President’s claim) the health insurance industry has not seen record profits during this recession. I will link to a politifact article discussing that claim at the bottom. But they do have high profits. So there is a middle ground to be gained here. I say middle ground because, unlike the far left, I am not going to lay that entire 86% at the feet of the insurance companies. The fact is that insurance premiums are rising so much faster than inflation because medical costs are rising so much faster than inflation. Malpractice insurance, as discussed earlier, is one example of a factor driving medical costs up. When costs go up for the procedures that health insurance companies must pay for, the premiums those companies charge must also go up. If they don’t, the companies will begin losing money as they pay out more than they bring in. Again, basic economics.

UHC Insurance CartoonThat isn’t to say that they didn’t raise premiums more than the costs were rising, so that they continued to increase profits. And while I know you bleeding hearts out there are enraged by this fact, that is how the game is played. You see, the insurance companies are a business, which means that price is affected by demand and supply. Your car costs 10k to build. They charge however much more than that. How much more is determined by what they can get away with before the demand begins to decline. Did you really think that a Ferrari was made out of $1.2 million worth of parts while your Ford Taurus was made of only $20k worth of parts? Every business on earth that is run as a for profit business uses this model to determine price based on demand. Why is it that you expect the insurance companies to operate differently in the market than other businesses offering a service? Do you think that they are a charity? Once again, this is simple economics. With the level of education on this site, I know I am talking to a crowd that understands what I am saying.

What the President is proposing as new law goes against the very grain of what it means to operate a business based on the principles of the market. Let’s look at the bolded phrases above, and ask ourselves if these areas are ethical or moral. Because that is what we want to shoot for, right?

It will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition

Gov HC vs NAT HCLet’s compare this to the discussion above that is based around the simple economics of business. Remember that the insurance industry is a gamble between you and the insurer. You come to an insurer and say, “I have cancer. I have been given 2 years to live if I get this treatment, 1 year to live without it. This treatment is going to cost me $200,000. I will pay you $500 a month for the next 24 months if you will pay for my treatment. Basically, I am going to give you $12,000. In exchange I would like you to pay for my $200,000 treatment.” What company in their right mind would take that deal? All of my liberal friends here…. If I offered you this type of deal in whatever business you dream of owning, would you take it?

Of course you wouldn’t. If you did, it would make you bankrupt in a short amount of time. And the insurance companies are no different. This promise from the President is meant to make the people “feel good” about his plan. It is meant to make the greater good folks feel like this plan is doing just that, serving the greater good. But that is not what it is doing. It is setting the table for the failure of the insurance industry. I sympathize with those that have a pre-existing condition. I truly do. In my personal world it can wreak havoc. But to ask the insurance industry to go against every logical smart business practice under a blanket law like this is a surefire plan for the end of the insurance industry. And the President knows this…. so why would he do it? That is a question that you should ask yourself.

They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses

This once again falls into the category of what exactly is the purpose? That cap is all the industry has to ensure that they don’t go bankrupt. Take this safety valve away and the insurance industry is destined to fail. A limit to the amount of out of pocket expenses? So once a person reaches that limit, I guess their hypochondria can kick into full gear? After all, there will be no reason for them to exercise prudence or limit their visits to those that are important or even necessary. And once that happens, we also run into the fact that you will no longer be able to get a doctor’s appointment because of the un-manageable amount of demand with a limited amount of supply.

My problem with the President’s statement here is that he is playing to the emotion and ignorance of his audience. Much like the racism issue, I expect more from him. He could have shut down the “racists” chants by the MSM a long time ago. But he chose not to. And in this case, the people certainly think that this cap is arbitrary. But it is not. And the President knows that. Those caps are very strategically set at a cost threshold. The number is not arbitrary. It is carefully calculated, just like the health care plan being pushed by Congress. It is the President’s duty to not further the rhetoric by uttering the same uninformed rhetoric that the uneducated believe. He should have explained how that cap is determined and then discussed a solid plan for why that method should be changed. Instead he pandered….

Operation how to downsize medicareinsurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care

I almost feel as though I don’t even need to cover this one. I think I have made clear that the costs must not be higher than the premiums. Otherwise the system is unsustainable. I liken this to what I consider one of the most idiotic stances that I think that liberals take: Raising the taxes on the wealthy. Liberals cannot be so stupid as to actually believe that raising taxes on a business is going to take money out of the business treasury. Those businesses will find a way to pass those increased costs on to the consumer. So every tax on a business is a tax on the consumers that patronize that business (sorry to pick on you liberals, but I have yet to find one who can overcome that reality, yet they still persist on this being a viable alternative to taxing “the people”). This will be the same thing. Insurance companies have to make their payouts lower than their pay ins. So they will find a way to pass this cost on, or they will perish.

So the question that I have to ask, is how stupid are people really going to be about this? The health insurance reform that is taking shape in America is clearly designed to drastically alter the industry landscape. By alter, I mean it will eventually force all of the health insurance providers out of business. The business model under the President’s plan can have no other outcome. It is simply not sustainable. And the President knows this, because he is not a stupid man. The question then becomes if he knows that what he is saying is unsustainable and, therefore, knows that eventually it will force the private health insurance companies out of business, why on earth would he pursue this course.

I think you know the answer. Still think that a single government health insurance being the only option is not the ultimate goal? The President has been a proponent of this in the past. Do you think he gave it up? Or, like Van Jones, is the President simply “willing to forego the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”

PolitiFact | One health insurance company turned a profit, but not a record

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Comments

  1. Well written USW! Hope Mrs. Weapon is feeling better!

    I’m very interested how those that lean left will refute the economics of this matter. While I think there could be some changes in the industry (open the state borders, tort reform), Obama’s plan is nothing more than a power grab. Let me make this quite clear to my friends on the left side, IT WILL NOT HELP ANYONE! I work in healthcare, this will do great harm to industry as a whole.

    I’ll follow along and chime in this afternoon.

    PEACE to All!

    G!

    • Tort reform is a huge one. Here you can’t sue the government for jack. We’ve had a boo-hoo settlement or two but those are media events gone wild not stare decisis at play. Our Canadian system would collapse under the weight of unbridled lawsuits and triage medicine.

      • Alan. If you notice Obama is being VERY careful not to mention or even give more than lip service to tort reform here. I bet the Ambulance Chasers are licking their chops just waiting on this crap to get passed. They are probably already picking out their new boats and lakeside cabins.

        • You guys can’t even begin any “reform” without it.

          • “You Guys”?

            You’re preaching to the choir here.

            • Sorry, Americans in general was my intended target. I read some of the lawsuits that have made the book and am amazed at what levels of personal stupidity are held up against other citizens and corporations. Medical malpractice in America is a break away on an empty net.

              “Excessive tort costs amount to about $589 billion – equivalent to a 7% tax on consumption or a 10% tax on wages.” – U.S. Tort Liability Index 2008 Report, Pacific Research Institute, 2008

              This includes excessive testing certainly though also the lengthened hospital stays and excessive drug regimes POTUS is talking of reaping his savings from. Too bad its all done for the purpose of staving off litigation which only tort reform would indeed fix. How is it that’s too difficult for so many to grasp? It escapes me.

        • Esom did you flood this weekend? My garden was underwater for the first time ever and its still raining. Saw in the news where 2 folks were killed near Atlanta. Hope you are high and dry.

          • I live up on a hill so that unless A Noah-like flood comes we are safe. We could be cut off in both directions from the house but no bad flooding YET. It’s supposed to be still possible today though. I know it rained like a cow peein’ on a flat rock yesterday though.

            We still managed to beat them Hawgs and Panthers Sat and Sun too. We saw the rain that delayed the Auburn game too.

  2. Solid logical arguments like this won’t help. People will still support this plan. Watch, you’ll see (probably even on this site).

    Another thing I find a bit alarming is the fact that this bill would MANDATE coverage. Let’s keep with the economic analysis, here. What will a company do with a product if you HAVE to have it? Do you really think premiums will come down?

    With all of this economic theory, I can’t see how ANYONE would believe that costs will actually come down…

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I actually do not support the plan and I am ‘from the left’. It does not go far enough and will still allow folks like Walmart to screw their employees with crappy coverage.

      • I never said people would not oppose it, but you actually prove my point. You do not oppose the plan because of the economic principles set forth by US.

      • Wally-world if forced into sweeping benefits change will merely increase the workload on their non-skilled workers or close shop in unprofitable areas. How many “of the poor” rely on bargains to make ends meet? Care to be the one taking it away from all of them for the benefit of a few Wally-world employees? You tell them to their faces and there’s a test of your own coverage coming round the bend.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Sorry Alan – I should have stated I am a single payer advocate – let Walmart sell more Walmart crap and remove that line item from their COGS.

          • I know here that works but specifically tort reform absolutely MUST be in place first. It just HAS TO BE already in place before you can take one single step forward. We’ve never been able to sue for even 10% of what’s regularly seen in America, burden of proof is exponentially greater upon the plaintiff and that’s not an exaggeration but a necessity. There is literally no way around that reality and its one thing everyone on the left must accept before anything meaningful can get accomplished. So press those on the left to comprehend that what they want, to which you agree fully, dies a horrible death without tort reform and potentially takes the rest of the country with it.

      • Ray, I went all day without saying anything but hello….I have to try to understand something here. I really want to understand where you are coming from on this statement.

        Ray says: I actually do not support the plan and I am ‘from the left’. It does not go far enough and will still allow folks like Walmart to screw their employees with crappy coverage.

        D13 says: It looks to me that you are advocating that employers be mandated to provide health insurance and that unless the health insurance meets a particular criteria, then it is crappy coverage. You do not believe, then, that an employer has a right to provide or not provide benefits, but if they do provide them, then they must meet a certain criteria? Would not the job market dictate the same? People choose to work for whom they work. As an individual, is it not my responsibility to work for who does or can provide the best that I am seeking? Where does individual responsibility come in? I was an employer until a couple of months ago when I changed everyone to contract labor. I did not provide health insurance then and I will not now. That is my choice. Are you saying that because I do not provide it, then I am a bad employer? If so, where, in your mind, do I have the freedom to decide how to run my own business?

        The reason that I chose to go to independent contractors, is that the way the government is headed, I do not want mandated issues shoved at me. Since I have done this, not only have I saved 27% in employee costs, but I have a waiting list of people wanting to join me. I do not understand, completely, your position. I do know that you favor a single pay system, but what is to prevent more and more small employers….5-25 employees…from doing the same as I?

        D13

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          D13 – my only point is that I’d rather see those costs removed from your COGS. As mentioned elsewhere in this blog – the money to pay for Healthcare is already ‘there’ – it is just sitting under mountains of waste. Remove that burden from all employers so they can focus more on job creation, enhancing the value chain, building the next great widget and inventing the next best secret sauce. The Democratic party could go a long ways to making more friends if they could demonstrably show cost reduction in bloated Federal programs – be it eliminating Dept Ed as I have advocated or getting us out of businesses where we do not belong (see below for an example)

          Two years ago I did some work for one of the largest Corporate Federal Credit Unions in the US – my assignment was to perform an AS400 Security Audit and show two NCUA Auditors how to execute the same. There were two auditors, and as I learned, they are are part of a very small team of NCUA Auditors that literally travels every week to wherever their work takes them. As Gov employees they travel during business hours, work 8 hours on the nose and then call it a day. I’m not poo poo on that – I’m just saying’….

          In my discussions with these two, it became obvious that we are pissing away money in that deal – big time. I’ve been in the game long enough to know that you can find ample expertise locally, use them on a contract basis and not pay an arm and a leg (for disclosure – I worked for a very large consulting firm at the time – and while our rates were watered down since it was public sector work, I know they could have found cheaper talent to do it locally). I have nothing against the two NCUA guys I worked with – I just know this is one example of thousands where we just spend money blindly and don’t think through how to do it as effectively at a cheaper cost. That is the type of change I would like to see. You need not necessarily lay off the two guys I worked with either – one things the Feds also do not do well is pool and share talent.

          • Precisely the confusion of the Socialist program.

            the money to pay for Healthcare is already ‘there’

            The proponents of the program are confused about the difference between accounting and economics.

            Ray believes the program can be ‘funded’ by merely moving money around the system.

            He does not realize that the Socialist program will destroy the fundamental economics.

            Moving money around will not save the economics of the system.

          • Thank you, sir, for your reply.

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    Health care should be a fundamental right

    It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ‘morally correct’ to make money off of other people being sick.

    • So Ray, Health Care providers should work as volunteers? Those doctors, nurses, cleaning crews, etc. need to earn a living. By necessity, they make money off of other’s illness. Of course it’s morally correct to earn just compensation.

      Best wishes,
      John

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        No CW – they should not work as volunteers. But I think we are somewhat smart enough to establish a compensation system that encourages and attracts quality providers that are not simply in it for the dime – I dunno – sorta like – the Navy perhaps?

        • I submit most of them are not in it for the dime as I didn’t serve solely for the money. The proven and proper compensation system would be a free labor market.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            And most enter healthcare because they want to help people. The comp can be constructed properly and work – much the same as the Navy comp has demonstrated that quality sailors can be retained and we still have a damn good, functioning Navy that serves its purpose and mission.

            Why CW would it be a bad idea to outsource the Navy to a Blackwater or Haliburton? (Just curious)

            • Why construct a comp system? The one we have works fine. The Navy is just another employer in the free market system. They structure their comp/benefits to attract and retain just like any other business.

              Not sure about the outsourcing comment. Seems obvious that we want our military to answer to elected officials vice a board of directors and shareholders.

            • Ray I lean your way on this issue but the idea of nursing as a means to feed your “need to help” rather than “need to help your bottom line” is too “Leave It To Beaver” for today’s medical workers. Its a great paying gig, LPN’s do the crap jobs these days and demand could not be higher. Had I the need to redo myself, nursing would be on my short list.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I’ve had several former technology colleagues punt and go to nursing school.

              • Its a fantastic career choice and one in permanent shortage. The spin-offs from nursing degree are numerous and diverse.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ray, I would hazard a guess that they did not “punt and go to nursing school” out of a mere desire to help people. I bet their primary motive was that nursing was where the good paying jobs were and that the good paying jobs were drying up in the tech sector.

                Altruism is occasionally the motive for getting into healthcare, but much more often, people get into healthcare because they themselves want to make a good living.

            • Interesting question, Ray, for I have had the opportunity since retirement to work for “private security”. To answer your question….the one you are curious on…. to outsource Federal protection would be the same as hiring mercenaries (please, do not get philosophical and claim that all military are mercenary…ie: fight for money). I have been offered large dollars (low six figures)to supervise and join private security for my expertise in tactics and warfare. Private security did not function well in Iraq…it is better served for merchant marines are maritime companies to hire them for protection of private industry, as an example. National Defense is not private industry and to have a security firm in a coup position is not the thing that I would do. As in Iraq, when private security botched a job, it was America that still got blamed. That is why I have chosen to work for myself and not for them. I do not believe in their mission. I choose my work for personal satisfaction and not the dollars and benefits. I provide for myself and family just fine as it is MY responsibility and not yours nor your tax money. Private mercenary outfits have no controls. I looked into very thoroughly.

      • Ray said:

        “Health care should be a fundamental right

        It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ‘morally correct’ to make money off of other people being sick.”

        Change it to read:

        Life insurance should be a fundamental right.
        It will always amaze me that it strikes most as ‘morally correct’ to make money off of other people dying.

        Health insurance and life insurance are the same sides of a coin. One is a business that pools people together to mitigate the individual cost of heath care for a modest profit. The other is a business that pools people together and makes a statistical bet that more will live than die for a profit.

        Seems to me by your argument life insurance would be less ‘morally correct’, therefore lets ban it.

        As painful as it sounds, healthcare and health insurance is a business, nothing more nothing less.

    • Ray:

      Your statement that: “Health care should be a fundamental right” accurately captures the debate.

      You see, health care is not and can not be a fundamental right in a free society. Because if it were it would allow one right to impose upon others. Fundamental rights can not compete. It is that simple. In a free society, govt doesn’t create rights, they are unalienable after all.

      If health care is to be “declared” a fundamental right, only the govt can do it. Because it can only exist in a society that is NOT FREE. Such a right can only exist is a fascist, socialist, communist, or monarchist form of govt. STATISM is required if you want such a right.

      But of course that creates a little dilema for all you statists. When my tribe takes over you will have given us the “right” to steal from you as we deem necessary. And I think owning a Ferrari should be a fundamental right. After all, it is critical to my mental health and physcological well being. Oh and perhaps a few bodacious young babes to hang out with also. That would help heal the agony of middle age crisis. I want free hookers and cars in lieu of free cookies. I thought Marx promised us free hookers. What ever happened to that promise? Damn politicians. Always making promises they don’t intend to keep.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC – well put – but with all due respect I will always consider your notion of “free society” to be the largest of oxymorons. This purest of forms of freedom and liberty cannot and will not survive in a construct such as society. It never has which fails to impress upon me that it ever will. At some point order, and organization and the idea of even basic rules will prevail – thus eliminating the purest ideals of freedom and liberty. Even the freest of societies has to agree on basic things like where the latrine goes. From their it just becomes degrees to which all agree what is and is not a basic right.

        I can merely scratch my head once more that we have come so far as a ‘people’ and can advance medicine and science and health care so far as we have – but many still believe it should be viewed through an economic lens, refute it as a right necessary to liberty and freedom, and insist it be treated as a scarcity.

        I’d rather see a healthy nation committed to engineering and building the next great widget rather than fighting with each other over who will or will not get a colon cancer screening, or whether a newborn baby should have health coverage or whether a Grandfather should be given treatment that, knowing he will soon pass anyway, will gain him another 2-3 years of life so he can share his own experiences and life lessons with his grandchildren.

        Examples of ‘bodacious babes’ and Ferrari’s are funny and clever – my sister-in-law that died at 31 from cancer that could have and should have been caught earlier and treated prior to stage 3/4 (but was not because her plan classified most of the life saving tests she could have had back then as ‘experimental’) would probably have laughed her ass off and be glad she could ‘take one for the team’ to preserve us all from the evil statists – but I digress.

        • Ray:

          First, your assumption regarding “my notion of a free society” would be premature, as I have never fully described “my notion”.

          Second, you are correct in that a free society agrees on such things as the outhouse location. They agree freely and willingly. They are not told by others and others do not steal from them to build their own outhouse.

          Third, you point out our great medical discoveries yet seem to forget that such developed under the “free market” principles which you so openly detest. Services provided by people to other people are in fact a “scarce resource” in “reality”. It has nothing to do with declaring it so, it is a simple fact.

          Fourth, you wish to sanction govt taking from me to give to you and somehow you think this is going to cause us to stop arguing about medical care and start debating other widgets?

          Fifth, your sister-in-law story fits the typical leftist strategy of using family member’s tradegy to ridicule extreme examples used to reveal the absurdity of your position. I find it somewhat obnoxious but that seems to be the standard so lets go with it to show the error in your own argument. You assume that such testing would have discovered the cancer and thus treatment would have occured and she would have survived. All of which are assumptions yet stated as fact.

          Next you claim that if the insurance company had just allowed for the tests they would have been provided. Thus you infer the insurance company killed her. Yet if the tests were so absolutely certain in identifying her cancer and would have resulted in her life being spared, then tell me why didn’t her family and friends find a way to get the tests done.

          Did they place such a low value on her life that they felt the tests were only necessary if someone else paid for them? Or, had her family become so conditioned by govt control over their lives that they simply accepted the edict of the insurance company as their only option?

          Of course there is one other option. Do you believe that there should be no limits what so ever on the range of tests and medical options pursued by each of us? In other words, I must pay for what ever you feel like pursuing in your search for an illness and then its cure. Please explain to me how such a model would work in the real world.

          And of course, why stop at medical care?

          Sixth, you are willing to live as a slave or at least indentured servant. You are willing to sanction the use of coersive force, at best, and violence, at worst, by the govt to acheive what YOU view as moral principles. I AM NOT.

          You try and claim that such is required for a society to be free and experience liberty. This of course requires us to twist the defintions of freedom and liberty to include “servitude” as a from of “freedom”. A classic Progressive/Marxist strategy. When reality doesn’t conform to dogma, just change reality to fit. After all, we know that reality is just a relative concept.

          Rights can not impose upon other rights. It is in fact that simple.

          The only way for you to claim health care is a right is to use the force of govt to do so. And, of course to use that power to eliminate those other rights that may compete with the one YOU chose to impose upon the rest of us.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            “First, your assumption regarding “my notion of a free society” would be premature, as I have never fully described “my notion”.”

            – Right you are – I made some assumptions for you since you seem comfortable pissing on other people’s positions without offering anything but cracker jack philosophy that in no way lines up to a solution. You read something you don’t like, throw out your deep thoughts on why it violates ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ and ‘rights’ – but the second you are called to the carpet you refuse to define what the hell that really means in practice. “Quit stealing from me” is not an answer JAC. Are you a consultant for a living?

            “Second, you are correct in that a free society agrees on such things as the outhouse location. They agree freely and willingly. They are not told by others and others do not steal from them to build their own outhouse.”

            – But if I decide to pee on my own land rather than the commuity outhouse am I infringing on others? Someone is bound to JAC – they always do.

            “Third, you point out our great medical discoveries yet seem to forget that such developed under the “free market” principles which you so openly detest. Services provided by people to other people are in fact a “scarce resource” in “reality”. It has nothing to do with declaring it so, it is a simple fact.”

            – Government isn’t involved in any of those discoveries eh JAC? Our weapons industry is a great example of how it can work, not perfect, but it does work.

            “Fourth, you wish to sanction govt taking from me to give to you and somehow you think this is going to cause us to stop arguing about medical care and start debating other widgets?”

            – I have not claimed anything else as necessary or right to do so, not do I wish to.

            “Fifth, your sister-in-law story fits the typical leftist strategy of using family member’s tradegy to ridicule extreme examples used to reveal the absurdity of your position. I find it somewhat obnoxious but that seems to be the standard so lets go with it to show the error in your own argument. You assume that such testing would have discovered the cancer and thus treatment would have occured and she would have survived. All of which are assumptions yet stated as fact.”

            – No JAC, you fail to offer a logic response so you resort to ridiculous examples that somehow prove the perfect storm point. I offered you a real life example of what happens when things fail. Her oncologist stated very matter-of-factly that has she been tested sooner then there was a signifcant likkelihood they would have found the new tumor she had. She may have ended up with an amputated leg, but she’d still be alive. After her death we asked for copies of all her film for all her tests – oddly they had vanished (film that they were cajoled into taking which they said did not show any tumors – we suspect they misread the film – since no tumor was found no additional tests were done).

            “Next you claim that if the insurance company had just allowed for the tests they would have been provided. Thus you infer the insurance company killed her. Yet if the tests were so absolutely certain in identifying her cancer and would have resulted in her life being spared, then tell me why didn’t her family and friends find a way to get the tests done.

            Did they place such a low value on her life that they felt the tests were only necessary if someone else paid for them? Or, had her family become so conditioned by govt control over their lives that they simply accepted the edict of the insurance company as their only option?”

            – Let me clue you in on something. Cancer killed my sister-in-law. She had cervical cancer in her 20s, radical hysterectomy, and was cancer free for five years. She began having pain in her lower back, compeltely unassociated to any other phenomena, and was pushed through physical therapy for more than a year before the pain became so unbearable and we, as her family, threatened a lawsuit, before they would run any other tests (at one point she was told the pain was in her head – the lack of tests was explained to us in that there was nothing to suggest cancer re-occurence as she’d been cancer free for 5 years). None in her family, including my wife and I, were particularly well off – we did scape together enough money to buy her a wheelchair, build ramps in her house, modify her vehicle, buy medicine and to take turns staying at her house with her to help that family – even before she was re-diagnosed with cancer (the tumor, as it grew, was pressing on her psyatica nerve, which cause her to be in howling pain). When we inquired on blood tests etc, we were simply told that even if we wanted to pay for them they Doctor still has to order them. Perhaps now you will feel better informed that this woman didn’t have a family paralyzed by the government – but one committed to getting her better – we simple ran into roadblocks at ever turn. My wife and I delayed our own attempts at starting a family so we could help her sister during her sickness, and then her husband and son after she died.

            “Of course there is one other option. Do you believe that there should be no limits what so ever on the range of tests and medical options pursued by each of us? In other words, I must pay for what ever you feel like pursuing in your search for an illness and then its cure. Please explain to me how such a model would work in the real world.”

            – My experience with healthcare to date has shown me that for the most part, there are established of how to get from “A’ to “B” – you’re again using an unrealistic assumption that under any system w/ government involvement the masses will run wild. My wife and I experienced this when going through the IVF process to get to where we are today. There were a couple of paths to take, most residing on how frequently to ‘refresh’ the fertilized eggs we had and what drug regimine we were going to use. So – I will not play the game of entertaining limits – that is a common trap by opponents of universal health care – I am merely offering that more often than not, we know what to do and how to do it – the economics of allowing the market decide have shown to work against that.

            “Sixth, you are willing to live as a slave or at least indentured servant. You are willing to sanction the use of coersive force, at best, and violence, at worst, by the govt to acheive what YOU view as moral principles. I AM NOT.”

            – Hate to say it JAC – but maybe this isn’t the right country for you. If it sucks that bad, and you think everyone but you and your band of merry pirates have it right while everyone has it wrong and you believe it will never change then why continue to live here?

            • My tribe was here first.

              So why don’t you pack up your socialist tribe and go back to where the rest of your tribe came from?

              They have been practicing your preferred system for quite some time. You should be happy there.

              You want to destroy the one nation founded on the principles of individual freedom and liberty. Yet, you have the rest of the world.

              So why is it that is not enough?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                You have a one-sided single dimension view on the principles upon which we were founded. The core of all your arguments reverts back to this so we will likely never agree on anything as it relates to this. I’m just sayin’……..

              • This is not true, Ray.

                There has been repeated offers to you for you to articulate your principles.

                However, it has been pulling teeth – since you risk exposing your own contradictions to yourself, IMO

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                BF – And I have done so several times – there is difference between saying:

                “You want to destroy the one nation founded on the principles of individual freedom and liberty.”

                and saying….

                “You want to destroy the one nation founded on principles of individual freedom and liberty.”

                I believe in the later BF and I also believe as is painfully obvious in the Constitution (Article I Section 8 for example) that our Founders intentionally recognized that Freedom and Liberty would not be defined as absolutes – call it socialism or greater good or whatever you want – but its in plain English.

                That I choose to live in order requires me to sacrifice.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Ray,

              “Quit stealing from me” is ALWAYS the answer.

              Sorry to burst your bubble on that one.

            • Ray

              Very disappointing emotional rant devoid of reason.

              Yes, I do believe I am right – by reasoning against immutable principle.

              I do believe you are wrong because you fail to provide reasoning against immutable principle.

              Again, provide the economic theory that demonstrates how your economic strategy of health care will work and be sustainable.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                BF – so…..you’re asking me to debate you, as someone who states that, by definition, they are precluded from ever changing/altering/modifying their position because of their underlying principles? Then there is no debate my black hatted friend – we merely hold our breath and engage in a staring contest to see who blinks first or who breathes first.

                You are missing my premise on Healthcare. It does not require an economic theory as YOU are requiring. Competitive bidding processes can and would still be required as pervasive through most components of the system.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          The point that you miss wildly is that healthcare is a service, just like getting your car fixed is a service.

          Do you think that there should be a government program to regulate how much you pay for car repair after your warranty has expired?

          You make the argument that simply because healthcare is “people maintenance” that makes it different from “car maintenance”. Economically speaking, there is no difference whatsoever.

          There are very few things that you can absolutely count on in life. One of the few things that you CAN count on is that life has a 100% mortality rate. The leading cause of death in the US (or anywhere else for that matter) is being born in the first place, and no amount of legislation is going to change that simple fact.

          “I’d rather see a healthy nation committed to engineering and building the next great widget rather than fighting with each other over who will or will not get a colon cancer screening, or whether a newborn baby should have health coverage or whether a Grandfather should be given treatment that, knowing he will soon pass anyway, will gain him another 2-3 years of life so he can share his own experiences and life lessons with his grandchildren.”

          If the government takes over the healthcare system, you will be giving the government the power to determine who makes the decisions for the colon cancer screening, the newborn, and the grandfather in your paragraph above… is that what you really want? Wouldn’t you rather YOU had the power to make those decisions for your own family, and others had the power to make those decisions for their own families?

          You need to admit that when your sister-in-law died, the reason that the tests that could have saved her were deemed “experimental” was not because the insurance companies did not want to pay for those tests, but because the GOVERNMENT had not approved those tests for general use yet, hence the reason they were still “experimental”. Of COURSE the insurance companies are not going to pay for tests that are not government approved yet, but that is not the fault of the insurance company, that fault rests with the government.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            “You need to admit that when your sister-in-law died, the reason that the tests that could have saved her were deemed “experimental” was not because the insurance companies did not want to pay for those tests, but because the GOVERNMENT had not approved those tests for general use yet, hence the reason they were still “experimental”. Of COURSE the insurance companies are not going to pay for tests that are not government approved yet, but that is not the fault of the insurance company, that fault rests with the government.”

            She was diagnosed as having a lower back strain – a blood test for cancer (and whatever other tests they would perform) were classified as experimental relative to her diagnosis. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

            • Ray, Why would a doctor test for cancer when someone is diagnose with a muscle strain? It’s sad that someone is lost due to faulty diagosis. but that has nothing to do with the changes that are being presented in the system, if anything it will make occurances that you speak far more common.

              Hope today finds you well!

              G!

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                G – my point was tossed under the bus – but that’s okay. I was trying to underscore that from a process perspective part of reform becomes common methodology that all follow so that 1 is always followed by 2 which is always followed by 3.

                Around the same time my sis-in-law died I was working with an old wily Unix Sys Admin – he had previously worked for the same medical system my SIL was in when she died. While its nothing but hearsay, he shared many stories where he was asked to delete records that likely should not have been deleted. His wife was a nurse in the system (different hospital though) and offered also that when the profit motive plays a role for the Doctors, they can ooops, make the wrong diagnosis that could ostensibly turn the tables on someone needing lifesaving treatment. These are also people that will go to great lengths to NEVER be wrong – no matter the cost.

              • One more question, please sir. Am I reading this to mean that you feel that there should be NO private medical enterprise at all because profit, being the motivator, leads to bad decisions or economic decisions in detriment to health? Do I have this correct? If I do have this correct, then medical should be the same as…say…unemployment, or social security? A bigger system of Medicare and Medicaid?

    • I agree with you in a way. I think in this country, in this day and age, everyone should be able to get health care. Notice I say should. Now we come to the crux of the argument. Who is going to pay for it? You have problems with people making money from health care services, but do they not provide a service? Are they not entitled to compensation? If this is true, then you cannot guarantee anyone health care because it may become too expensive. As we’ve heard from BF many times, if you undervalue the product enough to have it available to those who cannot afford it, the service providers will go bankrupt.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JB – I will not boil the ocean in response here – and I will sound like the optimist who will never be satisified – but the money to pay for Healthcare for every American is already in the budget. It is already there. The problem is that is buried under billions of dollars of bullshit and waste. God help, but to quote Sean Hannity (whom I listen to on drive home everyday), ‘try naming one Federal program that has been eliminated’. I cannot – I believe that there are many instances where Fed needs to get hands off and close shop – permanently. Department of Education comes to mind first. There are rare instances where I believe the Feds should have complete and unencumbered control – military is one, intelligence is another, healthcare is another. But – as so many have pointed out quite well – most all politicians do not possess the spine/heart to make the tough calls and risk losing their seat over doing what is right versus self-preservation.

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    And more…..

    A simple pregnancy is enough to make that a losing proposition for the health insurance company. If they collect $300 a month from you, they got $3600 in a year. That pregnancy costs, for example, $5000. The insurance company loses $1400 in that deal. That is ONE medical procedure. So they are betting that the millions of policy holders who pay their premiums add up to more than the millions of procedures they are forced to pay out for medical costs. That, my friends, is basic economics.

    This caught my eye as my wife and I just went through this. It strikes me as neither simple nor basic.

    – We paid into her health plan for the past 14 years. I can count on my hands and feet the number of visits I exercised under that plan – and all were preventive care, check ups and the like. Same boat with my fair – occasional “I’m sick” or minor injury. From that aspect they have made a killing off of us;

    – Even with a supposed robust health plan – we still have/had over $5000.00 in bills to pay for this or that odd service that isn’t covered or covered in full. I used the example prior of the fact of with a C-Section my wife had a three day stay – all three days the pediatrician came to check on the baby. First visit – covered. Last two visits – not covered. Those last two visits were apparently on my dime and no where in any of our documentation does it specify that only one pediatrician visit is covered. Thanks for screwing me.

    – The sheer number of bills has been astonishing – all from different offices, providers (some of whom I never heard of) – most with zero for detail. Its sure as hell is fun trying to match these ‘blank’ invoices with the other mountain of paperwork I get from the insurance company that is nothing but codes and numbers – its like putting together a big puzzle trying to figure out if I am getting screwed or not.

    – A pregnancy may be a simple procedure – but the astonishing and confusing amount of paperwork, duplicate bills, un-itemized invoices, different contacts and providers and so on – has simply shown me that there is gargantuan waste happening here. This has been the very picture of dysfunction. “These people” have a vested economic interest in keeping it complicated and confusing – if it were simple and the value chain shorter there should be less cost. I want to know why I cannot have one goddamn bill – why I was not advised ahead of time what I am going to have to handle out of pocket – and why in the world I should have to fight through a dozen middle men to actually find someone that can explain un-itemized bills to me!

    The health of our citizens should be no more a crapshoot than our national defense.

    • I’m with you on this Ray. Parts of the system are indeed broken. This could be solved by a ‘transparency in billing’ requirement.

      Fix the broken pieces, don’t replace the entire system. The system has problems but is still better than anywhere else.

      A thought struck me as I was reading your comment on the GYN visits. It would be fun to contest the last two unreimbursed visits. The Doctor knew, or should have known, that those visits were not covered. As such, he should have gained your permission before rendering a service for which you would be billed. Could work.

    • A pregnancy may be a simple procedure – but the astonishing and confusing amount of paperwork, duplicate bills, un-itemized invoices, different contacts and providers and so on – has simply shown me that there is gargantuan waste happening here. This has been the very picture of dysfunction. “These people” have a vested economic interest in keeping it complicated and confusing – if it were simple and the value chain shorter there should be less cost. I want to know why I cannot have one goddamn bill – why I was not advised ahead of time what I am going to have to handle out of pocket – and why in the world I should have to fight through a dozen middle men to actually find someone that can explain un-itemized bills to me!

      Will ANY sort of government intervention make this better or worse, I wonder?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I thought aspects of HIPAA were supposed to – but it did not go far enough in normalizing all aspects of the administrative nightmare we have now. If I cannot have my full druthers I would at least like to see this fixed. We have the technology to do it – we just need the backbone to make the transition. I’m not certain that involved the Gov to much extent outside of setting policy requirements that the industry can develop and implement procedures around.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          HIPPA was supposed to do many things. The reason it DOES NOT DO ANY OF THE THINGS THAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO DO?

          It is a GOVERNMENT REGULATION!

          You state it does not go far enough….

          The only possibility is that it could continue to go farther in the wrong direction. There is no government regulation capable of behaving the way you wish government regulation would behave, so there is no possibility that it will ever do what you thought it was going to 🙂

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Peter – not sure what you do for a living, but I lived and breathed HIPAA (specifically the security rule) for several years. There are many aspects of it that were extremely effective. I am curious why you think it didn’t accomplish anything it was supposed to?

    • Welcome to the world I have been dealing with for 20 years. Insurance reform does not address the primary source of the costs. Insurance magnifies that cost by adding red tape, operating expenses, and profit. We need to attack the costs at the source.

      • Cost always goes up with each pair of hands. That’s capitalism at work. Deals within deals for exclusivity etc. but the real crux is competition. There’s the big counter to all the jiggery pokery within the health system in any country. I can tell you again from experience, friends within the system (doctors) and at its top (Bureau of Non Prescription Drugs and Health Protection Canada) there’s a whole lot of government control removing competition from the equation of overall cost.

        Had we your open competition alone at the supply level, the Canadian tax payer would be seeing either a way better funded service through savings or plain old reduced taxation. We’d take either of those any day. As it stands now, a few companies here enjoy, far too much, their government mandated monopolies.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ray,

      I do agree with you to the extent that the way things work now is extremely messy. Why do we get one bill from the Obstetrician, one from the Pediatrician, one from the Hospital, one from the Anethastist (I wonder if I spelled that right), one for Supplies, etc… and not just a single bill?

      I will give you a hint… it has to do with government regulation… (and not the lack thereof).

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Peter – the multiple bills are maddening – absolutely maddening.

        What reg are you referring to?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray, the government regulation makes it such that the doctors in many cases are no longer direct employees of the hospital. Usually the doctor has an agreement with a particular hospital that allows him to work there, so each doctor is allowed to work at more than one hospital (this is not true for all doctors, but especially OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and the like that may have their own practices in addition to doing hospital work.

          The doctors like it this way because it allows them to serve more members of their pracitces regardless of which hospital they go to to give birth (for example), so in that way it is a free-market mechanism at work.

          However, the hospitals also love it, because they have much bigger liability issues (read legal and we all know that law is regulation) when a doctor is directly on staff as opposed to being a private practicioner with a working agreement with the hospital.

          Also, for legal reasons, the hospital has split up its billing by department.

          As a result of these 2 factors, you probably got bills from the pediatrician, the obstetrician, the phlebotomy lab, the pharmacy, the NICU (if your child had to spend any time there), and about 5 other places that I can’t think of right off the top of my head.

          So I will admit that the problem isn’t ENTIRELY due to government regulation, but regulation does play a large role in why this billing nightmare occurs.

      • Very simple, Peter. Most doctors are LLC’s. Single billing is not feasible. Doctors are sub contractors in hospitals, for the most part. Hospitals are learning also. Not to employ the medical profession. If I were a doctor, I wold not let the hospital bill for me…I will do my own.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ray,

      There are already places where doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are put on set pay-scales. These places are the VA, Prisons, and State-run institutions.

      Needless to say, these facilities often attract the absolute best doctors and nurses… LOL.

      • And Indian Reservations.

        Hows that Indian Health Care working out?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          My Godmother was a nurse on a reservation in North Dakota. She was well recognized in private practice prior to volunteering to move to the reservation to work where she retired and continues to volunteer.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            That is great,

            It is good that there are people who are good doctors and nurses and well-qualified that are willing to do this VOLUNTARILY.

            The key is voluntary.

      • To be fair, there ARE good Doctors in the VA. They are very rare and extremely hard to find, but they do exist. May Daddy has one such in Atlanta.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I agree that there are good doctors and good nurses in the VA and in some other National or State-run programs; however, they are generally the exception rather than the rule.

          You get two types of doctors working in the VA. Type I (the majority) works there because they just are not good enough (either medically or personally or whatever) to get employment anywhere else.

          Type II (the minority) works there because they wish to provide as good medical service as possible to the men and women who “served their country”. These are generally good doctors who are willing to take less pay in exchange for providing service to this particular segment of the population.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Peter – I guess I’d say define ‘best doctors….’. There is a VA Hospital a few miles West of me – several people from my congregation work there (couple of doctors, several nurses). They could probably get much better pay at the private hospital right down the road – but these are some of the most dedicated healthcare professionals I have ever seen. Vets I know that get treatment there flock there because they know they will get quality care.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          The VA hospital in Indianapolis used to be (quite literally) a shit-hole.

          Vets complained about it constantly.

          It is now considered quite decent.

          WHY?

          Because the government decided to raise the pay-scale to be more competitive with the private sector in order to attract better doctors and nurses.

          Need I say more?

  5. This link is a good source of info on employer self-insurance statistics (which seriously dilute the Obamacare arguments) and on how large an impact nonprofits are in the health insurance industry.

    I hadn’t seen this angle covered before. Another couple of nails for the coffin for Obamacare.

    John

  6. MY SON BORN IN 1951, WE DIDN’T HAVE ALL THE PAPERWORK THEN, I STILL THINK ALL THESE “IMPROVEMENTS” ONLY ADD TO THE COST OF HEALTH CARE, MY FATHER PAID FOR THE HOSPITAL THEN, REMEMBER 1951, $100.00 COVERED THE COST THEN. WE ARE SO ENGROSSED WITH ALL THE GADGETS, IPODS, CELL PHONES, ALL THE THINGS THAT COST, IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THAT WAS THE ENTIRE COST FOR MY SON. SEEMS LIKE SO MUCH PAPERWORK, SO MANY UNIONS, ALL THIS ADDS TO THE ENTIRE COST AND WHO PAYS, SOMEBODY, BUT WHEN I HAD A RUPTURED APPENDIX, MY EMPLOYER PAID 90% OF THE COST WHICH WAS A LOT, BUT THEN MY SON CAME IN WITH AN APPENDEXECTOMY (SP) THE TOTAL BILL FOR BOTH OF US WAS OVER $2,000. WHICH EMPLOYER PAID $1800. IT TOOK ME SEVERAL MONTHS BUT I PAID THE REST. I SAY AS OTHERS FIX WHAT IS BROKEN, TORT REFORM CERTAINLY, BUT WHEN AN ILLEGAL PRESIDENT WANTS TO MAKE IT MANTORY(SP) NOTHING WILL DO, I SAY FIX HIM, TAKE THIS PERSON AND PUT IN GITMO AND PUT A PRESIDENT IN OFFICE WHO IS NOT A DUAL CITIZEN, HIS FATHER WAS BRITISH, SON INHERITED BRITISH CITIZENSHIP FROM FATHER, CAN’T IMPEACH AS HE IS NOT A PRESIDENT, GET RID OF HIM SOMEHOW AND GET A PERSON WHO WON’T TURN INTO A DICTATOR, WHICH HE IS DOING, FOLLOWING THE ORDER OF HIS MENTORS, SOROS, KISSINGER, BREZI(SP) AND ALL THE OTHER OF THE BILDERBERGS WHICH WANT AMERICA TO BE AN SICKISH, WEAK NATION WHICH CAN THEN BE CONTROLLED BY ANY FOOL WHO WALKS OVER OUR ‘FREE’ BORDER. GOD BETTER BLESS AMERICA, NOBODY ELSE IS DOING THIS. OBEY GOD, LEAVE ALL CONSEQUENCES TO HIM.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Wow – a Bob Cesca for the deep far reaches of the right. Interesting rant – completely bizarre and wrong on many accounts – but an interesting rant.

  7. I agree on some of these points. Yes healthcare is not a right, it is something you work for to get. Yes I agree that one some people, insurance companies loss out on money. But there are plenty they win on. For example my Aunt. She is 51, no kids, no major illness. Since she has worked for the same small business her whole adult life, she has paid out of pocket for health insurance. Outside of just checkups, she has had no major illness, no hospital stays. She has paid from 250-400 a month in payment for thirty years. They made a profit from her.
    Yes the forms and they way they bill has to be better than what they have now. I dont believe government run is the answer to this. Lift the banned so people can buy insurance from anywhere in the US, not just in their state. I think there is alot of other stuff we can fix, without major overhaul and in the end not fixing anything.
    ELlen

    • Ellen:

      It is not that you can’t buy insurance from other companies in other states. All companies are free to sell their products in each of the states, at least conceptually.

      In reality, each state imposes restrictions or requirements on the insurance companies which may drive some to decide not to do business within that state. Such requirements include mandatory covereage for certain ailments at specifified limits. Sounds a little like what Mr. Obama is suggesting doesn’t it?

      It is the range of products that is the problem. A free market would, I believe, develop a wider range of products that would greatly reduce our total medical costs, on an individual basis.

      Lets get real here. The issue is the chronically ill or those illnesses which cost tons of money to treat. Catastrophic insurance will cover the latter, but not the first. No insurance can cover the first part unless………………

      the POOL is large enough that the number of those not using their insurance will pay for those who use it beyond what they contribute. That is why Mr. Obama would like to require everyone to be in the POOL. He needs more players to make the funding work out in a way that doesn’t require more “TAXES” to cover the increased medical costs.

      We must remember that insurance is a numbers game. If we want insurance we must accept that sometimes and perhaps over a lifetime we will pay more in than we recieve. Because someday, we may get something that turns the tables. We need to be protected from catastrophe.

      Haven’t seen you around for awhile.

      Hope all is well with you today.

      JAC

  8. Good article USW.

    Reform is needed and it’s needed in many areas. Billing transparency is certainly one of the areas that the medical and insurance industries are not very good at. We now have an HSA and we ask for a quote/estimate before even minor office visits. The clinic is usually not prepared for such a question and has no idea and tries to tell us it won’t matter since we do have insurance. We say not good enough, get back to us with an answer. We all need to become better consumers and demand more from our medical providers. We demand it in every other area of our lives, and should expect no less from the medical field.

    Think of your grocery shopping – you (probably) are cost/health conscious shoppers, because you will be paying the bill at the checkout line. Now imagine if you had grocery insurance. Would you be as cost/health conscious? Probably not. Apply this same idea to your healthcare. We need to become better consumers and demand more information.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      You have just hit on the key to the whole issue.

      Ask 100 people what they pay for a doctor visit when they have the flu (for example). A few might tell you, “Well, my co-pay is $20” and the rest will have no idea. Even if you explain to them and say, “No, I mean the TOTAL cost, including what your insurance covers!” Probably at MOST 1 out of 100 people you ask could tell you this.

      A great example of this is that when I take my sons to the Pediatrician he routinely tells me what he will charge me if I pay out-of-pocket vs. what he will charge if I use my insurance plan. Usually what he charges to patients who pay out-of-pocket is about 40% of what he would bill the insurance companies.

      If more people had MSAs/HSAs and simply contributed the same amount per month that they currently pay for insurance, they could negotiate costs with their doctor for most things and get a much better deal.

      Even with and MSA/HSA you still need to carry catastrophic health insurance in case something happens that you couldn’t possibly cover using the MSA/HSA.

      • All the doctors I have ever contacted won’t even make you an appointment if you don’t have insurance.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Tell them you are paying them in cold, hard cash.

          Watch how fast they leap to get you an appointment! 🙂

  9. I also don’t understand the difference in attitude between health insurance and homeowner and/or car insurance.

    We’ve paid into our current homeowners policy for 24 years and as far as I can recall, have filed two claims in that time. I view this as good!!!! I am not resentful of the insurance company for “taking” our premium money all those years and getting very little back – I am thankful it is there if we need it, but hope we do not.

    Very similar situation with car insurance – many years of premiums, only a couple claims.

    I also hope I do not have to use my health insurance, but am glad it is there if need be!

  10. Ray

    Monstra mihi pecuniam!

  11. Good Morning All

    I would like to chime in here on what we went through when we had our first. I was pregnant 4 times, lost two, one before our first son was born, and one before our second son was born. I had major problems with my pregnancies, and if it wasn’t for the insurance my husband had while working for Lockheed, we’d still be paying for everything.

    With all the visits, sonograms, glucose tests I had to take, plus both of them being cesarean births, I had gestational diabetes with my second, amniocentesis with my second because he was going into stress, was born a month early. For our first, the bill was well over $70,000, and the second was over $100,000. We did not have to pay one penny out of pocket. I was in the hospital for at least a week due to any complications that might have occurred. Our first born had a case of jaundice, had to stay under the light for a few days, our second had the same problem. But all turned out good in the end.

    Now, my question is. If this bill passes, are they going to cover everything if there is any problems with any pregnancies? There might be pregnancies that are simple, but there are some that are not. What I experienced was over 27 years ago.

    Hope all has a good day.

    Judy

  12. USWep
    Small points….

    Did you really think that a Ferrari was made out of $1.2 million worth of parts while your Ford Taurus was made of only $20k worth of parts?

    Ferrari, rarely, makes a profit. The cost of the car is primarily because it is made by hand. The low cost of Taurus is because it is massed produced. It is a great example of the industrial revolution and its ability to makes us all wealthy – take a car worth a million and provide it for a few thousand.

    Now, Ferrari is rare because it is built by hand – and the very wealthy like to have rare things. The Free Market is amazing in its ability to satisfy all segments of society’s wants.

    So the question that I have to ask, is how stupid are people really going to be about this?

    I do not think it is stupidity. It is a sign of utter hopelessness.

    Think more of it like a gambler’s disease. You know the game is screwed. But they are still hoping for a payday.

    Consider Ray – oblivious to the utter depravity of economics – which will devastate the health care industry to a point where only the very wealthy can afford it – still ranting about it as a ‘right’. He cannot see that if his attitude carries the day, he will be the biggest loser. He will end paying the price of a Ferrari for merely a Taurus.

  13. Ray Hawkins

    Health care should be a fundamental right

    As JAC said, it cannot be a right if it forces another to pay for it.

    As soon as you force it to be a right, you give me the right to force you to pay for my Ferrari, because that is my right.

    It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ‘morally correct’ to make money off of other people being sick.

    Economic ignorance is a fatal disease.

    Medicine is no more or less an economic good/service like any other. It must obey the Natural Law of Economics like any other good/service.

    One can test one’s economic understanding by simply replacement of the subject.


    “It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ’morally correct’ to make money off of other people walking” – meaning a “right” to a car

    “It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ’morally correct’ to make money off of other people dressing badly” – meaning a “right” to a designer clothes

    “It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ’morally correct’ to make money off of other people bad hair” – meaning a “right” to hair cuts.

    “It will always amaze me that is strikes most as ’morally correct’ to make money off of other people using a pencil” – meaning a “right” to a pen or computer

    No doubt Ray will come back saying these examples are bizarre. He will not recognize that it is his statement that is bizarre, not my use of his statement.

  14. Ray Hawkins

    No CW – they should not work as volunteers. But I think we are somewhat smart enough to establish a compensation system that encourages and attracts quality providers that are not simply in it for the dime – I dunno – sorta like – the Navy perhaps?

    Oh Gawd!

    Ray is getting worse.

    Now he is suggesting we should have a military junta as a government!

    God help us if the economy and the nation is run like the military.

  15. Ray Hawkins

    – A pregnancy may be a simple procedure – but the astonishing and confusing amount of paperwork, duplicate bills, un-itemized invoices, different contacts and providers and so on – has simply shown me that there is gargantuan waste happening here. ….
    The health of our citizens should be no more a crapshoot than our national defense

    Ever bought a house, Ray?

    Do you think a house is more or less complicated then a human life?

    To complain about a process – one that is already mired in the disaster of government ‘control’ such as modern health care – is bizarre when the offered solution is more of the problem – more government control!

    Ray, the debate is simple.
    Please demonstrate via economic theory how government controlled and run health care will provide universal coverage to all.

  16. First frost this morning.

    The quickening is now officialy getting QUICKER.

    Today a heart felt BEST WISHES to EVERYONE at StandUp.

    Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the fall once in awhile.

    JAC

  17. I am just going to try to be simple. Government is NOT the answer to Health Care Reform.

    Yes. It needs to be fixed.

    Health Care does NOT need to be scrapped and replaced with a Government run and Government CONTROLLED system.

    It Cannot be a right. It MUST NOT be a right.

    How would it be paid for? Anything the Government comes up with, especially what is being offered in Congress now, will be an unmitigated disaster of EPIC proportions. Yes. It can be simplified. Some of the solutions are easy, some are not.

    And they are trying to push through Cap and Trade to go with this bullshit? The post Friday was right ya’ll. If this crap keeps up, we won’t last 3 or 4 more years.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      We are more than capable of paying for it if we get rid of 50% of the other shit we need not have the Feds wrap their hands around.

      • Like what, Ray?

        Who are you going ‘to hurt’ by eliminating THEIR “entitlement” so the you can get YOUR “entitlement”?

      • I won’t argue that Ray. We may well indeed be able to pay for UHC IF the Government does away with some of the wasteful shit they are now paying for.

        As a matter of fact we probably would not have a deficit IF the Government would stop WASTING our unwillingly given taxes and at least start spending the money wisely.

        But will this happen. Maybe when icicles are hanging from Satan’s cojones.

  18. http://refreshingnews9.blogspot.com/2009/09/3d-rome-created-from-150000-flickr.html

    Cool technology.

    ….and a warning. Everything on the Internet will be used against you.

    Imagine this technology, picking throw photo’s – and finding you where ever you are…..

    What goes on the ‘Net is forever.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I think there are a lot of people that WISH that they could incorporate a “right to healthcare” into the unalienable right to life.

    The way that I think that they understand it, is that good healthcare extends lifespan, and therefore, as part of the unalienable right to life, it makes sense that healthcare is also a right.

    This argument is, of course, flawed.

    Fundamentally, the argument is flawed because the only rights that are unalienable are NATURAL RIGHTS (or as the founders stated, rights endowed by the Creator).

    Life comes from the Creator (or nature, or however you want to view it), and, as such, life is a Natural Right.

    Healthcare comes from people who choose to specialize in that field of knowledge, and as such, it cannot be a natural right.

    That clear it up any?

  20. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/russian-billionaire-installs-anti-photo-shield-on-giant-yacht/

    Ray

    I’ve decided that it is my right to have this ship.

    I demand you buy it for me~ when can I come and get it?

    • That is absolutely awesome!

    • BF:

      Can I bring my Red Ferrari and Bodacious Babes on board your new ship?

      We just need a ride to where ever it is that Ray and his tribe decide we can live.

      • Hey, its government money…

        …as the saying goes:

        Why not buy twice as much for double the price? It ain’t our money!!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC – its GPGP Island – its all yours buddy! (http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jul/10-the-worlds-largest-dump)

        • http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jul/10-the-worlds-largest-dump

          Looks like the perfect place for you and your socialist friends to waste away your days.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            That’s isn’t very appreciative of you JAC – normally I would simply allocate to you the same 160 acres of land for you to live on, establish your homestead and farm or do as you see fit as everyone else. Ah – the irony…………..so quick to deny that from which you eventually benefited……..

        • Why would I sail my beautiful boat into a disaster caused by the “Evil of Common Property”?

          Since no one owns the water, no one can exclusively control that water.

          Without exclusive control, everyone can use it.

          There are people who will abuse property.

          Common property guarantees access to property for those who abuse property

          It becomes no surprise that this exists.

          You can thank the Socialist mind set for the mess.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            You have it backwards Flag – its the ‘me first’ approach that does not consider who comes before or after you. It’ll always fail you that someone owned what you have before you (“land”) and it was likely stolen at some point before it ended up in your hands.

            • That is irrelevant, Ray.

              The failure of the commons is that abusive property-people have access to the property – and abuse it.

              Private property excludes other people.

              It may be that private person abuses their property – but that consequence borne by them since it is their property – they erode their own wealth.

              But the “Commons” – it is guaranteed to that property will be abused.

  21. http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/hey-kids-it-aint-easy-being-green-20090919-fw1p.html

    The Greenies are amazing! Here is a mainstream article – and this is what they say:

    There is not, now, much value in arguing about the science of climate change. Even if it’s wrong, enough people now believe it that it may as well be right. The winds are blowing so strongly that even The Australian only mentions it in passing when Mojib Latif, a leading author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tells a conference that the world will probably cool for the next decade.”

    The transition into the Age of Endarkenment just took another set.

    It isn’t what is fact or not – it is what we believe! To hell with the Laws of the Universe!

    • Wow, possibly we could have 12 year olds deciding if we go green or not? If global warming is real or not? (not)

      Why don’t we just poll them to see if we should have UHC too?

      The left just keeps getting wilder and wilder with this garbage.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      This is precisely why the left (and all Statists) must use any and all means necessary to convince a large portion of the populous of their postitions.

      That way they can ALWAYS fall back on, “It doesn’t matter if we are ACTUALLY right or not, enough people BELIEVE that we are right, that by default, we ARE right, even if we are not!”

      Yeah, that makes sense….

    • BF:

      “Age of Endarkenment”

      I absolutely love it. Is it yours?

      • It comes from a Professor John Brignell.

        He was referring to the perversion of science to be a tool for the environmentalists.

        • Yes, we have a few thousand acres just out of town being “endarkened” as we speak.

          Can’t wait for the millions of acres now turning red to begin the “endarkening” process in a few years.

          It has a better ring to it than my version of “living in a Star Trek movie”.

          It seems to me it has a more universal application than what he perhaps intended.

          • Oh, he was intending it that broadly.

            It was merely the beginning phase – the destruction of reason.

            First assault was on science – and the creation of “expertitis” – do not think for yourselves, listen to “our experts”.

            Second assault was on fact – rewriting history and facts to conform with the propaganda.

            If they claim the sky is green – the sky is green, not blue. That is new facts!

            The scary part is that he saw no end up until the destruction of the Western World, a systemic march back into the Dark Ages….

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Definition – why you should never listen to an “expert”

              X is the unknown quantity,
              spurt is a drip under pressure.

              You sure you wanna listen to dem “x-spurts”??? 🙂

  22. California hoses its energy future – again

    According to the New York Times, a major solar power project in California has been canceled. It seems that even creating solar power in the middle of nowhere in a desert can’t get past California environmentalists these days. If not here, where then on earth will be acceptable? Don’t hold your breath.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Just proves the fact that “environmetalists” don’t want the cheap, abundant energy that they always crow about, they just want less energy overall to be available, and they want it to be more expensive. They also want it to be under government control.

      This should not come as any surprise to anyone that understands what an “environmentalist” really is.

    • Just like the Bombers blowing up the pipeline in Canada because they are against running a pipeline through the ecosystem. So let’s blow it up and spray raw petroleum all over it to save it. They make no sense.

    • This, I know, is a stupid statement but sometimes I think we would be better off we kicked California out of our union.

  23. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/21/world/asia/21afghan.html?_r=3&hp

    So, the great summer offensive …. failed.

    The end of the American Empire.

    • In order for there to be an Empire, there has to be an Emperor.

      Who is it?

      • An oligarchy of Elite.

        “He” isn’t the President of the USA.

        “He” (or they) are the ones who picks the President of the USA. “They” are not stupid to put themselves in the front.

  24. Here is my two cents worth . . .

    I am a retired United States Marine. I am over the age of 65. I receive, and pay for, Medicare parts A and B and by virtue of my 20 years of active duty (which included at least one war) I have Tricare for Life to back up Medicare.

    Please do not misunderstand what I am saying here. My health care coverage was bought and paid for with 20 years of active duty in the military. During that time in the military it was an absolute possibility that I could have been killed in the line of duty while serving my country. In the event of that happening, my next of kin would have been paid a lump sum that would have been much less than the medical care that I have received since retiring from the military.

    However, since retiring from the military I worked in the civilian work world until I reached age 62. At that age is when I elected to receive my Social Security benefits that I have been paying into since age 17. My wife and I now exist fairly comfortably on my military retired pay and my Social Security benefits along with the returns from our investments that we made during our working lives (IRA,s and the like).

    What is the point of telling you all this? Read what I have written again. Then read it again, until you see the entire picture.

    Like what we all are supposed to do, I have worked for what I am receiving from the government. I am paying for our health care (including dental), and none of it is or ever has been free. Nor will it ever be free. I have made investments over my working life in very small increments that now pay me an interest dividend. That interest dividend, along with the Social Security benefit – (ALL prepaid and preplanned for) – is now my retirement income and my health care benefits. It is what I have worked for my entire adult life. It is not, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be FREE.

    What else am I talking about here? The reason for the rising cost – in astronomical proportions in most cases – is the cost of three basic things that are going up way out of control. a)- The cost of medical education and the cost of medical continuing education for ALL medical professionals (from doctors to nurses to emt’s and paramedics and even nurses aides). If you do not believe me, then google it and find out for yourself. b)- The cost of maintaining a business in the medical profession (building rent, employee salary, and other overhead expenses such as medical equipment and supplies). And c)- The ever rising cost of malpractice insurance (lawyers are a suit happy greedy bunch, and if you do not think so just watch all those commercials from law firms about what they will represent you in a law suit for).

    With what I have written here, and this is not nearly all of it – I could write volumes, but there really isn’t time nor space – on the cost of doing business in the health care provider business. I have known many medical and legal professionals in my lifetime and I know the cost of getting and maintaining a medical degree and practice. In a nutshell; “It ain’t cheap!” and without all those lawyers being brought under control, it will only get more expensive.

    Here is what you all need to do; Plan for your future – even if your future includes going to war because not everyone dies in a war. DO NOT rely on the government for anything other than national security, for to give you something the government must first steal it from someone else. If you don’t, well then you will just be another wasted life laying alongside the road in a ditch.

    If you do not take responsibility for you, no one else will – nor should they be forced to!

  25. Syndicate26 says:

    US Weapon is right on the money (no pun intended). Insurance companies run their businesses for profit. If costs increase one of 2 things happen…cost of services increase or business goes bankrupt.

    2 other points I’d like to make. First, the argument likening mandating health insurance for all to car insurance doesn’t hold water. If this were an accurate analogy than everyone would be required to get car insurance wether they owned a car or not. As it is no one is REQUIRED to buy car insurance…only those who choose to drive and own a car.

    2nd, has anyone in the government done a study as to the percentage of people who max out their lifetime insurance payouts? If this turned out to be a relatively low percentage, why not institute some sort of government backstop for these people instead of changing the rules entirely for health insurance providers…which as we know will either drive up everyone’s premiums or help to force them out of business.

  26. Don’t watch these shows and I have no idea who this woman is, but do know she is over the top…..

    http://photos.tmz.com/galleries/emmy_awards_2009#52556

    • First, there is this irrational lunacy over actors – people who pretend to be other people. It’s so bizarre….

      …then a pretend person wearing a dress of “Dear Leader”…. bizarre squared.

    • Hi Kathy

      Oh, That is just as tacky as can be.

  27. Happy almost fall everyone! We had our first frost here Friday night. The tomato plants went “bye-bye” early Saturday.
    Here is what I know about health insurance in Michigan. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a non-profit company. They are “required” by the state to insure anyone and everyone who is rejected by other companies, no matter what the reason. I think that is a little over the top personally. But, it’s what I have and I am happy with it, premium increases aside. I am just afraid that “the one” in his quest for total power will ruin even that. His media blitz yesterday was a joke! He didn’t know that the Federal Government was giving tons of money to Acorn? *insert eyeroll here*
    Great article USW and hope the Mrs. is doing good!
    Willo

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      It is going to be a long, cold Winter if the first frost is hitting many parts of the country in mid-September!

      I just checked the forecast for Craig, CO (where I lived for about 14 months from January 2007 to March 2008) and they are supposed to have a low of 24 tonight… BRRRR!

      It is 6200 feet in elevation there, but 24 is ridiculously cold for this time of year even at that elevation!

      • First frost in mid Sept is not all that unusual in much of the Rocky Mtns.

        24 in Craig is a different story however.

        Froze here last night but 84 today. Can expect warm days and freezing nights most of the time from here on out until the real deal sets in.

        • Well, 30 is pretty unusual for the middle of Michigan in September 🙂

          • Willo:

            You better lay in some extra fire wood.

            When I was in Michigan (late July early August) I noticed those squirrels of yours were plum near black and packing some very big bushy tails. They also seem to be posessed by the devil. Never seen such nasty squirrels before.

            Caterpillars were looking awful full and fuzzy as well.

            Look back and see what kind of weather you had the last time El Nino kicked in big time. Might be a good idea of what you are in for.

  28. 7 Reasons Why Obama’s Moving ‘Barackwards’ Not Forwards

    The true test of leaders is how they use power. President Obama will either be just another mediocre politician or an historic statesman depending on whether he shifts his power levers forwards or “barackwards.”

    On crisis after crisis, the president is taking a “barackwards” approach, rejecting immediate actions that would solve problems now, help people quickly, and win him trust with the majority of Americans. Here are seven examples:

    1. Regarding his $900-billion health care fix President Obama says, “Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan.” If that’s true, why not show that government can actually do that first, before we drastically increase spending, the nation’s debt, and government control over our health care?

    2. Regarding the “achievement gap,” high dropout rates, and violence plaguing many schools, why not give those mostly black and Hispanic students and their families the hope and change they desperately need? Why not defy intransigence by the teachers’ unions and allow school choice, charter schools and privately-funded opportunity scholarships?

    3. Regarding energy independence and lowering energy costs, why not permit more nuclear power plants to be developed in our own country as soon as possible, as France and Japan have already done—safely? Why not consent to more environmentally responsible domestic oil drilling now, whether onshore or offshore, even while we test the feasibility of alternative sources of energy?

    4. Regarding economic revival and the development of world markets for U.S. goods, why repeat the mistake that helped trigger the Depression—the imposition of trade barriers, such as the cap and trade bill’s carbon tax on imports and a new 35 percent tariff on Chinese tires? Instead, why not buck the labor unions, special interests and Democrats in Congress by fast tracking more free trade agreements with other countries?

    5. Regarding job creation, with national unemployment at a 26-year high (and expected to rise), why not immediately cut taxes and regulations much more on small businesses which, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bureau of the Census, created 78.9 percent of the nation’s net new jobs?

    6. Regarding terrorism, why not investigate terrorists more aggressively rather than going after the CIA?

    7. Regarding government ethics, why not have a single—rather than a double—standard? Elected and appointed officials need to abide by the same laws they require regular citizens to follow.

    The true test of leaders is how they use power. President Obama will either be just another mediocre politician or an historic statesman depending on whether he shifts his power levers forwards or “barackwards.”

  29. Given there is no economic theory that supports the sustainability of socialist health care, I will help Ray out a bit.

    There is a theory to the socialism of Health Care that is poignant and very applicable to the current state of affairs.

    It comes from Keynes himself:

    The theory of aggregate production, which is the point of the following book, nevertheless can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state</b. than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under conditions of free competition and a large degree of laissez-faire. This is one of the reasons that justifies the fact that I call my theory a general theory

    Keynes acknowledged that state-run enterprises are easier to run under totalitarianism.

    The fact is the complaint that Hayek laid against Keynes – the government involvement into an economy leads to a consequence of problems that will appear to require more government involvement into the economy – leading to the conclusion of full totalitarianism and tyranny.

    Keynes admitted he could not refute Hayek on this point.

    Government-run Health Care is a massive danger to your freedom in two, critical, ways.

    First, it is economically unsustainable – there is no economic theory that demonstrates anything but economic disaster.

    Second, it leads further to the path of tyranny – the economic problems government health care will cause will be the excuse for even more government intrusion.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      For Keynes to admit that he could not refute Hayek took some balls….

      Keynes was basically saying, “this guy called my whole theory BS, and I have to agree with him since what he said is irrefutable.”

      Of course, even though Keynes made this admission, “government economists” still worship him as a God.

      • Keynes was a brilliant man.

        He wrote this “General Theory” in a manner to please government – not refute them.

        I do not believe he knew they would be so eager to seize on his work so completely.

  30. Hi Ray….I am just going to say hello. How are you my northern friend?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      D13 – I am well. My wife is in Plano this week for work so I am a single parent for a spell (I have more respect now than ever for all Moms out there). I then fly to Atlanta for school for a week – been a long time since I was down that way. While I will be ‘stuck’ downtown I am least hoping I can find some good BBQ (Maybe something like Rudy’s – but I digress) and hopeful that the Varsity is still open.

      Maybe Esom can point me in the right direction.

      Hope you are well also.

      • As far as I know the Varsity is still open. I never go to Atlanta.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Thanks Esom – I didn’t have a choice on this one. I wanted to grab a rental and head up to see some family in Adairsville and Calhoun – eat some homemade biscuits and gravy, fry up some crappie & catfish & hush puppies and re-live some of the best years I had in the South. As it stands I’ll probably hole up in my hotel room as I can only take big cities and crowds in very small doses.

          • Sounds like you sure know what good food is though. I hope you make it to Calhoun. I used to work at a bank in Calhoun. GB&T

            There is some fine Country up towards there.

            I live about 15 mi. west of Cedartown, almost in Alabama. I actually live OUTSIDE of Esom Hill, and it only has 3 or 4 hundred people in it. 1 store and a Post Office.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              To Esom ~ My Great Uncle Jim used to take my brother and I to an old diner in Calhoun to eat peanut butter pie with him. Uncle Jim didn’t have a pot to piss in but he’d scrape together enough pocket change to treat two chubby faced boys. Man – life was simpler back then.

              • Yeah, My Daddy was that way with us at a diner in Cedartown. He bought us Chiliburgers. To this day I have never eaten Better ones than they had at Ann’s Cafe. Those were the days.

  31. As Ray attacked freedom, once again, I am moved to provide more reasoning against him

    From Lysander Spoon:
    The State is far mightier than the individual, and if the individual cannot use the theory of justice as his armor against State oppression, then he has no solid basis from which to roll it back and defeat it.

    As a result, an action to be prohibited by the violence of law … should be confined strictly to the initiation of violence against the rights of person and property.

    • More from Lysander:
      That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want…No principle … can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom … a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave.

      And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery.

      The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.

    • [T]wo men have no more natural right to exercise any kind of authority over one, than one has to exercise the same authority over two.

      A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber or by millions, calling themselves a government.

    • Either ‘taxation without consent is robbery,’ or it is not.

      If it is not, then any number of men who choose may … call themselves a government; assume absolute authority over all weaker than themselves [and] plunder them at will …

    • [L]iberty always means liberty for the weaker party.

      It is only the weaker party that is ever oppressed.

      The strong are always free by virtue of their superior strength.

      So long as government is a mere contest as to which of two parties shall rule the other, the weaker must always succumb

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Sheesh BF – I am honored to be at the tip of your sword. Busy day at work – I look forward to taking your sword away from you and taking you to the ground – but will have to wait until I can finish earning my paycheck for the day. 🙂

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The joy of being BF, he earns his pay on his own time, not on someone else’s command. 🙂

  32. A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.

    • Sure he is. You, sir, are obsessed with black and whites. As the great Billy Joel said:

      Some things were perfectly clear,
      seen with the vision of youth
      No doubts and nothing to fear,
      I claimed the corner on truth
      These days it’s harder to say
      I know what I’m fighting for
      My faith is falling away
      I’m not that sure anymore

      Shades of grey wherever I go
      The more I find out the less that I know
      Black and white is how it should be
      But shades of grey are the colors I see

      Once there were trenches and walls
      and one point of every view
      Fight ’til the other man falls
      Kill him before he kills you
      These days the edges are blurred,
      I’m old and tired of war
      I hear the other man’s words
      I’m not that sure anymore

      Shades of grey are all that I find
      When I look to the enemy line
      Black and white was so easy for me
      But shades of grey are the colors I see

      Now with the wisdom of years
      I try to reason things out
      And the only people I fear
      are those who never have doubts
      Save us all from arrogant men,
      and all the causes they’re for
      I won’t be righteous again
      I’m not that sure anymore

      • Matt:

        Further evidence that Billy Joel hasn’t learned much in life outside his music.

        The more I study, the more I investigate the world around me, the more I search for the inner meaning of my life and that of humanity, the less gray I see.

        It is the Gray that destroys us. A rationalization that “truth” does not exist and that “reality” is subject to the whim of those who expouse what ever they choose.

        It is the Truth that will set us Free. Truth is a black or white concept.

        So Matt, explain how one becomes just a “kind of” slave without “being a slave”. I am not a black slave nor am I a white slave. I am just a Gray Slave.

        Gee, it doesn’t feel any different.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          There are ALWAYS several possible courses of action in any situation that are morally right, and always several (possibly infinite) courses of action in any situation that are morally wrong.

          Just because there may be more than one possible course of action that are all morally right does not indicate the presence of any grey or gray or however you want to spell it.

          Humans have an innate sense of “right” and “wrong”. Sometimes a situation is sufficiently complex that we cannot immediately assess the possible “right” courses of action vs. all of the “wrong” courses of action. Sometimes due to the nature of the situation, immediate action is required, in which case the BEST course of action is to do what you think is “right” and then LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.

          The reason that “shades of grey” exist is that people make statements like “I know it isn’t right to steal, but I know it is right for poor people to have healthcare, so taxing other people to pay for health care for poor people is a good idea!”

          If you agree with that statement, then yes, you personally have shades of grey that you must deal with.

          • Or there is the one from the other day.

            If my family is starving I have the right to come into your house and take what I need.

            I really loved that concept.

            Care to join me and the girls on BF’s new boat? I’ll let you drive the car.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Let’s take ‘er out fishing.

              I think the Great Lakes are big enough for that boat… maybe catch some of those salmon I was telling you about 🙂

  33. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    BF,

    You see, this is where government has WHOLLY SUCCEEDED!

    Government has managed to convince the people that without government, the strong would completely dominate and enslave or kill the weak, and government is absolutely necessary for the protection of the weak against enslavement or murder by the strong.

    Then the government goes about ITS USUAL BUSINESS, which is, of course, enslaving and murdering the weak. All the while, the TOTALLY DELUDED weak people are saying, “just because the government enslaves this group or that group, and just because government killed THOSE people, that was all just to protect ME, because I am weak, so the government would NEVER do that to ME!”

    How many Statists on this very site have admitted that that the only way for government to survive is by stealing and killing? Even most of the Statists here admit that, but in the same breath (or a closely related breath) they say something along the lines of, “Government is a necessary evil”.

    Since when did theft and murder become “necessary”?

    Thou Shalt Not Kill – unless it is by government mandate!

    Thou Shalt Not Steal – unless it is sanctioned by majority vote!

    If God did actually write the ten commandments, he is crying at what government did to them. Hell, even Jesus was an Anarchist when it came to human forms of authority 🙂

  34. Good Day!

    I was in a meeting today with the COO of Humility of Mary Healthcare Partners. Many questions were asked in an open forum, so I will provide his answers to today’s topic that may interest everyone.

    Let’s begin with govt healthcare, medicare and medicade. Straight from the coo’s mouth TODAY!

    For every dollar spent treating a patient on medicare, the government reemberses 85 cents. That is a 15% loss to the healthcare provider, not counting the cost of employing a large staff to process the paperwork to get that money

    For every dollar spent on a medicade patient, the government reemberses 57 cents or a 43% loss.

    Goverment mandates such as inspections on boilers, elevators, JHACO requirements for accredidation to get the higher government reembersments, State inspections ect, ect, cost the 450 bed hospital that I work at 7.5 million a year.

    We are in a long term nurse shortage, now standing at around 12% short of desired staffing.

    Doctor shortages are now at 6%, mostly specialists. Mnay doctors are still calling the hospital want to work directly for them because of all the buracracy that is killing them in overhead costs, mainly for the reembersments that they are losing money on anyway.

    Both shortages are expected to continue, and will get far worse if the government becomes the sole payor for these services.

    Now, why on earth would anyone want to continue down this path? Insurance for everyone, fine, no damn doctors to see, not so fine!

    I’ll debate this issue with anyone!

    G!

    • Sorry about the poor spelling, they need to outlaw stupid keyboards that make me misspell!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      G!

      You highlighted some of the problems very well. With even more government intervention, costs will go up more and quality and quantity of available care will necessarily decrease.

      As Mathius says, People.Are.Greedy. He uses this as an excuse for the existence of government, but in reality it works the other way around.

      If doctors and nurses are not going to make enough money to justify their expensive education, long working hours, and often crappy regulations and paperwork that they have to deal with, they are going to go do something else that will require less effort and make more money for them. It is simple economics.

      If I were just starting college right now, there is no way in hell that I would go pre-med. It is simply too high of a risk right now that it would be a losing proposition.

      • Peter,

        Tha sad part is that most people who think that this healthcare reform is good, or for “the greater good” (which does not exist in reality), have no idea how the healthcare system operates, and what the systems most negative problems are. It seems they just want something for free, or almost free (which is another Obama lie!)

        G!

        • Or easy. Today we learned that we need Govt Intervention because it isn’t right that we get more than one bill for a medical stay in the hospital, and it isn’t fair that we don’t know what our insurance policy will cover before we use it.

          G-Man:

          I got a new one for you. The fact that doctors are migrating to Texas has been in the news lately.

          But Saturday I talked to a friend who has a “doctor friend” who recently moved to Tazmania because she can’t make enough money in the USA to support her family. She is making enough in Tazmania to justify her living there and her husband living on the ranch back home. Kids split time, school with her and summer on the ranch. She had her own practice by the way and was not employed by others.

          Thought you would find that interesting.

          • JAC, Found that not knowing what your policy covers somewhat sad actually. I would never pay for something I don’t know exactly what I’m paying for. I do actually understand these insurance policies when they present them for review, and have made them change several things each year to abide buy that dreaded union contract.

            Tazmania sounds good with winter coming. That doctors reality is going to get much worse, even without the reform donkeydookie!

            G!

      • Hi Peter

        My son is in pre-med right now, and he’s hoping like heck this bill doesn’t pass,but being a doctor has been one the goal in his life since he was 10 years old. He is in his junior year of pre-med with one more to go before he graduates, then gets into full time med school.

        I really hope that he isn’t going to be wasting his time for the next 8 years or so going to med school if he is to be told how to run his medical business, or how to treat patients, or how much or how little medication he can pass out. His specialty is going to be working in ER, and he is doing everything possible to make sure he gets there.

        The cost of his schooling is pushing close to $300,000, and with the help of the National Guard, he’ll make it. I asked him if doctors are to paid the same wage no matter what their specialty is, then why bother doing it. He had the same answer, I HOPE THIS BILL DOESN’T PASS.

  35. Ray Hawkins

    BF – so…..you’re asking me to debate you, as someone who states that, by definition, they are precluded from ever changing/altering/modifying their position because of their underlying principles?

    Oh, gee, sorry Ray. I can see your difficulty – it is a disadvantage to attempt to debate from an irrational position.

    Then there is no debate my black hatted friend – we merely hold our breath and engage in a staring contest to see who blinks first or who breathes first.

    Just asking for a consistent, non-contradictory explanation of your position.

    I know I may wait is futile – but I have hope.

    You are missing my premise on Healthcare. It does not require an economic theory as YOU are requiring.

    Gasp!

    It must require an economic bases or it simply cannot be sustained!

    There is no theory I am aware of that provides this basis.

    So I wonder how you can demonstrate it since I cannot.

    Competitive bidding processes can and would still be required as pervasive through most components of the system

    There is no basis from which to know whether the price paid is equal to the value.

    Think about this:
    If I have monopoly money, in infinite supply, how can I possibly know I’ve paid too much or too little for anything I get?

    How can I tell if my supplier is undercutting his own ability to provide the product – thus supplying defective goods or services? I have no price mechanism of the market to demonstrate this.

    If I am not subject to market forces – such as bankruptcy – for my poor decisions, how can anyone determine wwhich decision is better or worse economically?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      How is it even possible that healthcare does not require an economic theory as its basis?

      It is no different than getting your car fixed. If the mechanic isn’t making a profit, he is either going to refuse to fix your car, or he is going to go out of business and get into a business that is actually profitable.

      No matter how much some people WISH that healthcare were economically different than auto repair, there is absolutely no economic difference whatsoever.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        How does our military work?

        • How does our military work?

          Ans:Badly – it simply works slightly better than other very badly run militaries of other governments.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Our military “works” by claiming to be outside of normal economic forces since it is a creation of the government.

          That is why the military pays $45 for a frigging hammer and very few people seem to care.

          • Bad example Peter. If you go to a Home Depot and find a Professional Carpenters Hammer, $45 is not totally outrageous.

            $3k for a toilet seat on a bomber though. It should be made of solid gold for that price.

            • Nah, it probably had to be designed to be part of the ejection seat system – there are a lot of parts that are similar that require the rapid moving of biology through machines.

              • I guess it would be better than dying, but…

                wouldn’t you just HATE to be ejected out of a toilet at 35,000 ft., pants around your ankles, contents of the toilet ejected into the air around you like a big BROWN mist.

                Sure would be embarrassing when you got to the ground.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Esom,

              Yes, that is an even better example 🙂

  36. USW:

    In direct response to your article and questions regarding motive.

    Mr. Obama’s speech was intended to set the standard where it can not be reached by the private sector.

    It occurred before Mr. Baucus unveiled his plan, which the President is now apparently supporting, kind of.

    If the private sector can not reach the standard, the inference is that the govt can.

    Thus it will be easier to get the public to accept:

    Government owned and operated, single payer, single provider health insurance.

    The next step, how far away I don’t know but coming, government owned and operated medical care services.

    At that point the vast majority of voters in this country will be totally dependent on the govt for the income that feeds their families. Now how do you suppose they will vote when someone suggests a private sector solution?

    The Best to You and Yours
    JAC

  37. Let me also add this important fact from the CBO:

    The poor will still have Medicaid. But for those earning more, the required premiums will be worse than any tax increase. For example, CBO estimates that when the program is fully implemented — by 2016 — an individual earning $32,400 a year would have to pay $4,100 in premiums before getting any subsidy. With deductibles and co-payments, he’d have to shell out $5,600 a year, or 17.3 percent of his income. A family of four, making $80,000 a year, would have to pay about $10,500 in premiums alone — with deductibles and co-payments, up to $15,000 or just under 20 percent of income.

    This sounds Oh SO GOOD! NOT!

    People in this country need to get a grip on what is in front of them.

    G!

    • After paying approximately 40 % of my income already in taxes of some form or another I adamantly state that I WILL not pay another 15 to 20 % to government of any kind.State or Federal.Some “reform” will be needed somewhere, somehow, someway.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ah, Texaschem,

        But if the government mandates that you must pay an additional 15-20% of your income to cover your own (and other people’s) health care, you will have precious little choice in the matter I am afraid…

  38. The doctrine ,/b>

    Leo Strauss, who held that lies told by the power elite to maintain its power, so long as philosophers like Strauss agreed with them, were “noble lies.”

    There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn’t work.

    Yes, “truth” to the Elite is merely what the masses want to hear – nothing more.

  39. I hate the lack of an editor and a sticky keyboard

    The doctrine of the Pragmatist

    Leo Strauss, who held that lies told by the power elite to maintain its power, so long as philosophers like Strauss agreed with them, were “noble lies.”

    There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn’t work.

    Yes, “truth” to the Elite is merely what the masses want to hear – nothing more.

    • I sure agree with this:

      hate the lack of an editor and a sticky keyboard

      My keyboard can’t spell, which drives me nuts. Can’t the left ban these bad, evil keyboards, you know, like those bad, evil guns?

      CHEERS my friend!

      G!

  40. Good turnout on Saturday in Milwaukee:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/59890852.html

    Like this comment from the state DNC….

    Mike Tate, the Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman, downplayed the impact of the tea party movement.

    “These are extremist elements pulling together, distinct vocal minorities that frankly don’t believe in this country,” Tate said. “They don’t want to see more people have access to quality affordable health care; they don’t want clean air and water. They fundamentally don’t understand how the American government, economy and capitalism work.”

    I’ve attended several of these events now and I’m encouraged how knowledgeable the attendees are. As much as the left tries to paint these as Republican events, all government officials that have taken part in this growing government phenomena are taken to task.

    • Kathy, Why does the media continue to interview the intellectually irrelevant. tate has no clue what he is seeing, therefore should be respected at all costs, he is mentally handicapped, there can be no other explaination!

      G!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The media continues to interview the “intellectually irrelevant” because the media itself is “intellectually irrelevant”.

        Does that clear it up any?

        🙂

  41. The Day the SWAT Team Came Crashing Through My Door

    Cheye Calvo at his home before an August 2008 news conference. The dogs in the photo with Calvo and his wife were shot and killed by police.
    Cheye Calvo at his home before an August 2008 news conference. The dogs in the photo with Calvo and his wife were shot and killed by police. (By Marvin Joseph — The Washington Post)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/17/AR2009091701680.html

    By Cheye M. Calvo
    Berwyn Heights
    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    I remember thinking, as I kneeled at gunpoint with my hands bound on my living room floor, that there had been a terrible, terrible mistake.

    An errant Prince George’s County SWAT team had just forced its way into our home, shot dead our two black Labradors, Payton and Chase, and started ransacking our belongings as part of what would become a four-hour ordeal.

    The police found nothing, of course, to connect my family and me to a box of drugs that they had been tracking and had delivered to our front door. The community — of which I am mayor — rallied to our side. A FedEx driver and accomplice were arrested in a drug trafficking scheme. Ultimately, we were cleared of any wrongdoing, but not before the incident drew international outrage.

    This was 14 months ago. We have since filed suit, and I am confident that we will find justice more quickly than most.

    Yet, I remain captured by the broader implications of the incident. Namely, that my initial take was wrong: It was no accident but rather business as usual that brought the police to — and through — our front door.

    In the words of Prince George’s County Sheriff Michael Jackson, whose deputies carried out the assault, “the guys did what they were supposed to do” — acknowledging, almost as an afterthought, that terrorizing innocent citizens in Prince George’s is standard fare. The only difference this time seems to be that the victim was a clean-cut white mayor with community support, resources and a story to tell the media.

    What confounds me is the unmitigated refusal of county leaders to challenge law enforcement and to demand better — as if civil rights are somehow rendered secondary by the war on drugs.

    Let me give you three specific concerns underscored by our case.

    First, the Prince George’s Police Department’s internal affairs function is broken. When the Justice Department released the county police from federal supervision in February, internal affairs was the one area that was not cleared. Internal affairs division (IAD) investigations were required to take no longer than 90 days. More than a year after our ordeal, my family awaits the IAD report on what happened at our home. The statute of limitations for officer misconduct is 12 months, which means that any wrongdoers are off the hook.

    Next, there is significant evidence that the county is broadly violating the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. After initially claiming that they had a “no-knock” warrant to forcibly enter our home, county police acknowledged that they did not have one. But they went on to contend that there is no such thing as a “no-knock” warrant in Maryland. But this isn’t true. A statewide “no-knock” warrant statute was passed in 2005. Effectively, the county is denying the existence of state law. We can’t get the county to say whether it has ever followed the law or, at a minimum, even acknowledges it.

    Finally, and perhaps most disturbing of all, county police may be lying to cover up their civil rights violations. A county officer on the scene told Berwyn Heights police a fabricated tale to justify the warrantless entry into our home. The lie disappeared after police learned that I was the mayor. Charges of a police coverup are hardly unusual, but there is significant evidence that county law enforcement engaged in a conspiracy on our lawn to justify an illegal entry. Nothing strikes at the heart of police credibility like creative report writing and false testimony to cover up a lie or even put innocent people behind bars. Swift and serious consequences are the best deterrent.

    In fairness, some good has come from the incident. State leaders have passed legislation that will provide statewide oversight of SWAT teams — a first-in-the-nation law that will shine a light on the troubling trend of paramilitary policing.

    Yet, the wagons have circled in Upper Marlboro. The response is textbook: Law enforcement stands its ground and concedes no wrongdoing — and elected officials bury their heads in the sand.

    As an imperfect elected official myself, I can understand a mistake — even a terrible one. But a pattern and practice of police abuse treated with utter indifference rips at the fabric of our social compact and virtually guarantees more of the same.

    • No regard what so ever as to who might be in the house. What would have happened if there were children in the house instead of dogs that the swat team shot? I’m sorry, but I do not believe that the police should have any rights to just barge into someone’s home because of what they think might be or not be going on there.

  42. I have often noticed, especially within myself, that it is far easier to do battle, with words or swords, than it is to really care about others. many times, our friends on the left have presented their positions, only to be given a hard time about it based on the many different views that we hold. After reading the many comments by everyone, I’d like to take a step back, and with music, enjoy a special song from my past.

    For everyone who cares!

    G!

  43. RCP Poll
    President Obama Job Approval
    RCP Average: +12.7% Details
    Approve 53.6%
    Disapprove 40.9%
    Congressional Job Approval
    RCP Average: -35.5% Details
    Approve 28.0%
    Disapprove 63.5%
    Direction of Country
    RCP Average: -16.4% Details
    Right Direction 38.4%
    Wrong Track 54.8%

  44. Everyone

    I got this notice this morning on my facebook, and for those who might not know, but Richmond Spitfire’s first husband passed away early this morning around 8:00 a.m.

    I would like for her and her daughter to know, that our thoughts and prayers are with her and her daughter at this time, and I hope I can speak for the rest of us here as well.

    Karyn my heart goes out to you and yours, and if there is anything I or any of the rest of here us can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Love and Hugs to you .

    Judy

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Dearest Judy,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Everyone here is the best!

      Love and hugs back to you!

      Karyn

  45. Bob Hope and Zombies

  46. Here’s a priceless scene (starting at 1:00 through 4:35) from Frank Capra’s Academy Award-winning 1938 comedy “You Can’t Take It With You.”

  47. Did any one here hear Obama say he didn’t know that ACORN was receiving federal funding? he said he really wasn’t thinking about that. How can you not think about 8 and a half billion dollars? Wasn’t that part of the stimulus package?

    • Judy. He may not have known. The reason being that Congress or the Administration did not WRITE the Act, they did not READ the Act. They just passed it. Neither did the Administration. He just signed it.

      There are still things coming out today, 8 months later, that we are just now finding out are in it. And when they are found, are they recinded or action taken. No.

  48. Hey BF What happened to the rest of your article that you were doing? I didn’t miss it, did I?

    • Oh, no, its not quite ready.

      I’m still not quite comfortable with what I want to say – so wording and re-wording it….

      …stay tuned!

      • I thought it was going to be ready a couple weeks ago. Hard trying to figure our on what to say, isn’t it.

        • Yeah, sometimes you want the exact wording – words matter!

          • Believe it or not, I have that problem with what I’m trying to say on this site sometimes. I know what I want to say, but it just doesn’t quite come out right. I’ll just blurt out something, then re-read what I said, then it’s not what I really want to say.

            I try very hard not to say anything that might offend somebody, and a lot of times, it’s taken in that way. You know how that goes.

  49. Well, Gold bounced due to the IMF announcement – and as I said – it was merely a blip.

    It back climbing again today – $1005

  50. Hope all will have a good night.

    Take Care Everyone.

    Judy

  51. I have been reading most of the evening to catch up with all that has gone on. Some interesting debates. One suggestion that might help is that for every negative (dislike), one should suggest a positive (like or solution) to the current problem of health care. I will make my comments in one long post tonight and then go to bed. I promise not to use the pragmatism.

    Bit of background. I survived the first thirty years of life without health insurance (miraculous). The last thirty years, I have been covered by my employers, which for a while was me. The first 10 of those years were relatively uneventful, just 3 kids and two miscarriages by my wife. The last 20 have been relatively intensive with chronic issues all concerning my wife. So I have some perspective on this.

    Ray, sorry about your sister-in-law. My father-in-law was treated for a cold that turned out to be lung cancer. A misdiagnosis for sure that could have been caught possibly before it was fatal. My wife was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago and despite my pleading, written descriptions of my observations, I could not get the doctors to look at the chemistry involving the drugs she was taking for other problems. It took a life threatening fall (2 week coma) to prove me right. She is still in a wheel chair but instead of being months from hospice care she is no longer declining and is in significantly better that she was. So I too have seen significant medical mistakes.

    We often view the medical professionals as gods due to their intellect (required for the profession), their many years of training, and the fact that we expect miracles from them. Consider that fact that doctors lose 100% of their patients in time. So while they have temporary victories, they really win. It must be a depressing profession. As such, medical schools train into them an arrogance and omnipotence that we would normally not accept from any other profession. I have learned that hard way that we need to question and challenge them more.

    Sorry Ray, but you are blaming the insurance company for the doctor’s mistake. In your sister-in-laws case with a history of cancer, any chronic pain should have been investigated for cancer. It was the doctor’s duty to fight for that with the insurance company. As family members, it is our duty to insist the doctor does that or to replace the doctor with one that will. Unfortunately that is always easier in hindsight as I will admit to making the same mistake more then once. Part of the problem is our reverence and respect for the profession.

    Obama is proposing legislation that he claims will use statistics to select the most effective treatment. I doubt that will include any experimental treatments since the statistics will not be available. Only experimental treatments inside of the experiment will be covered and then probably by the funder of the experiment. Hence this legislation would not have changed your sister-in-laws outcome. In the long run, government run healthcare might in fact be stingier than insurance companies are now.

    I will not go over the business aspects of insurance companies. I recognize it as part of the capitalistic system. Without profit, insurance companies die.
    20 years ago, I paid the medical bills and then sent them to the insurance company for reimbursement. Only the major hospital bills went to the insurance company directly. All bills were itemized. Every 2-4 wks, I would bundle up the bills with a Lotus spreadsheet synopsis and due me bottom line and send them to the insurance company. 50% of the time, they would short me on the payment. After letters and phone calls, 95% of the time I was proved right and got my money. It was a royal pain.

    About 15 years ago there was a major change. Bills, unitemized, now went directly to the insurance company who would pay the provider. I would get the EOB and pay the remainder. The process was much easier and mistakes dramatically decreased. I rarely have to call the insurance company now, despite significantly more interactions with providers. Unfortunately, without itemized bills, no one is truly checking that the services billed were actually delivered. While I have not seen any issues personally, it is a system that can be taken advantage of easily.

    I relate this to point out that insurance companies have improved over the years but there is a woeful lack of transparency.

    As consumers, we need to be more aware. I learned early on that doctors pile onto a patient. My wife was hospitalized and was in no condition to direct her care. On entry to the hospital, you sign release forms that basically say that they have the right to treat the whole patient. I would come in the evenings and stop at the nurse’s desk to get a report. They would list the doctors, some of whom I did not know. I would question what they were there for only to find out that they were dermatologists or some other practice completely unrelated to what she was hospitalized for. I learned to leave orders that my permission was required prior to “consults”.

    Someone above pointed out that it was often cheaper to negotiate a cash price with the doctor prior to a visit. If you look at your EOB statements you will understand. Most office visit run about $120+. The insurance company never pays this but pays the “negotiated” price or the usual and customary. The discounted price is usually 50% to 80% of the asking price. Now if you had a business that had to discount your fees 50%, you would simply raise the price 100%. A $50 bill goes to $100 and you receive $50. All is happy. So medical bills are artificially inflated to compensate for underpayment by insurance and government. Then you get the bill from the radiologist who has not negotiated with your insurance company. He collects the usual and customary from the insurance company and you get stuck paying the remainder of the undiscounted bill. I am not claiming fraud, here just pointing out the messed up system we have. None of this will be addressed. In fact it will get worse under the current proposals.

    There are GP’s who for a flat annual fee will provide their services for the contracted time without limit. These doctors have been told to stop by governments because this is a form of insurance that does not conform to the state mandated minimums for insurance coverage. This method, backed by a catastrophic package sounds, like a unique and workable solution to me. But under the current plan, it would be unapproved. This is an example of how government stifles innovation and any competition it might have.

    For those who want to make health care a right, then put it in the Constitution. It does not belong there and it will never be an unalienable right but that is only way to make it a “legal” right. [BF, please no debate on this, you get my meaning. :)]

    We do have significant problems in the cost of healthcare that need to be addressed. The current bill, as far as I see, does not address cost issues other than squeezing the providers. Mr. Obama, I want to hear specifics. It does not address tort. I have not heard that it addresses medical ethics (ex.: doctors prescribing tests conducted in labs they have financial interest in). How does it address fraud?

    They have proposed and it was funded in the stimulus bill a national medical database. How long will it take and how big of a failure will it be? Recall the 2000 election. The Feds spent m(b?)illions on computerized voting machine specifications but could not come up with a universally acceptable specification prior to the 2008 election. CA disqualified many of the machines. This was a government solution to a problem that is solved and has been solved for years with a #2 pencil. We spent billions on touch screen machines that get used at most 3 times a year and are out dated or broke in 5 years. And then asked 70 year old pole workers to set them up and make them work. My wife is currently visits a medical group that is fully computerized. During each visit, the doctors have access to all her records. This will happen on its own via the normal capitalist process. It will be universal long before government can get the job done. But we will spend the money anyway.

    Enough for the night. BF – Peace, I did not use pragmatism once. 🙂

    • Forgot the little box

    • T-Ray

      No debate – except –

      Making it a ‘legal’ right does not change the economics.

      Until pro-Socialist Health Care supporters demonstrate an economic means (not an accounting means), it matters not one wit whether it is a legal right or not – it cannot be supported.

    • T-Ray

      Good job on the analysis.

      I would add that anything we want to add to the Constitution needs to be done in a way that clearly authorizes and restricts Congress.

      The document needs to remain a constraint on govt. We don’t want to ever make it a document outlining govts responsibility to provide. The latter has no end to the effect. Madison was originally correct in that it should not contain rights to be protected. It should contain only those powers delegated.

      Again, good job.
      JAC

      • Fully agree. It is not a right and can never be. Healthcare is a service and if provided free will be devalued and abused. There are plenty of examples to prove this. Furthermore, how can it be a right if they are demanding under threat of legal actions that I buy insurance. (right to life is free as is my right to liberty.) Insurance is not healthcare. It is a financial tool to ward off catastrophic loss. If you own a car, you are mandated to buy insurance primarily to protect and compensate the other guy. Some of us add protection for ourselves. (Some states have reversed this in the form of no-fault but still the main purpose is to pay the other guy and any legal claims he may try to extort.) Home owners insurance is purchased in case you have a catastrophic loss of your most expensive possession. You purchase life insurance to provide for your family in the event of death. Why some people fail to buy health insurance I do not comprehend since the potential losses can be substantial. My wife has had several surgeries including a valve replacement. The costs were staggering. The primary purpose of insurance is to cover catastrophic losses not to pay for the everday events of life. If we went back to that principle, the amount of paper being processed would substantially decrease as would the cost of insurance. The savings could be funneled into an HSA which for healthy people would build up in time giving them some cushion.

        Some plan would be needed to help the truly poor and the chronically ill that the insurance companies will not take. Not much more after that would be needed.

        One of the arguments (not put forward much here) is that healthcare is buried in the cost of good sold hence making our companies less competitive with foreign companies. I do not believe this because the foreigners are paying for their healthcare through corporate taxes, individual taxes or by the individual directly. Corporate taxes get buried in COGS. Individual taxes and expenses require the corporation to pay higher salaries which go into the COGS. It’s a wash. The only significant difference is if the cost of healthcare is cheaper, not requested or rationed or the employee is happy with a lower standard of living. Taking the burden off the employer and replacing it with a tax does not improve his COGS. It might reduce the overhead costs of administering the program. The employee is likely to see a reduction in his standard of living if the burden is now on him to purchase insurance. If government is involved, it is bound to be inefficient hence overall costs will go up.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      T-ray – still digesting your response but for now:

      “Sorry Ray, but you are blaming the insurance company for the doctor’s mistake. In your sister-in-laws case with a history of cancer, any chronic pain should have been investigated for cancer. It was the doctor’s duty to fight for that with the insurance company. As family members, it is our duty to insist the doctor does that or to replace the doctor with one that will. Unfortunately that is always easier in hindsight as I will admit to making the same mistake more then once. Part of the problem is our reverence and respect for the profession.”

      – Our family believes there was more than one culprit here. A Doctor is not going to fight the insurance company if it adversely impacts his income. As Black Flag and others so neatly point out – her Doctors need to look out for their own skin first and then decide, based on economics, how to act from there. That is the fatal (pun intended) flaw in their argument. If the Doctor decides it is too risky to argue with management over diagnosis or treatment (he could be sanctioned, lose his job, be blackballed in the medical community) then his actions become simple – keep your mouth shut and mosey on down the line. Remove the economic motive and how does it change? Will there still be mistakes? Sure – no system will ever be perfect.

      • Ray, that is part of the conflict of interest and ethics that I alluded too. Sorry I cannont elaborate, but to take car of my wife and then go make money to support the medical industry.

  52. Talking with a Socialist yesterday – I figured out what they are saying! He was a rarity – an honest Socialist.

    When they call Capitalists and Free Marketers ‘greedy’, they are really saying:

    We, Socialists, are the most greedy, envious and care-less SOB on the planet

    When they attack the Free Market, they are actually complaining about themselves – and hating themselves – and are merely re-personalizing their disgust of themselves unto a target that they see is in powerful contrast to their own disgusting behavior.

    The Socialist position:
    They are willing to ‘eat the seed corn’ of sustainable prosperity to gorge their own bellies today.

    And, worse, they know their action will destroy the economy for their children’s future so that they can live ‘off the hog’ today.

    They do not care about the future as much as they want for themselves – though many have children, they do not care that their children and their children’s children may suffer extreme poverty because of the actions they take today – and they actively teach their kids to be exactly like they are – gorge themselves today at the expense of tomorrow.

    Their time-preference is actually negative.

    That is, they want more than their economic means can ever provide – and they want it now.

    The Western Culture is doomed.

    When the predominate disposition of the People is to suffer their future for today’s wants – that culture is unsustainable.

    The West is in competition with the East – where their predominate attitude is the opposite – they will suffer today for a more prosperous tomorrow.

    We, in the West, heading for a time-stopping loss.

    This evil of Socialism is the gravest threat to Western culture faced by humanity. It is worse than a war.

    • Interesting. Surprising that someone could have those feelings and say them out loud.

      • He, of course, didn’t say it that way – I paraphrased it back to him – and he didn’t deny it – because, it was – essentially – what he said.

        “I want it now, and the future can take care of itself because I’ll be dead by then” … more or less something like that.

  53. Gold pounded through $1017 this morning.

    • good morning 🙂 You were right. Gee, bet you never hear that… What do you think of Mr. Obama serving as the UN president? The tinfoil sites are having a field day with that one.

      • You were right. Gee, bet you never hear that

        csm… often, that means a curse has come to pass…some days, on some things, I wish I was wrong.

      • Prez head of UN Security Council

        1) For the first time, no one will mistaken who has been in charge for the last 50 years.

        2) It is probably unconstitutional, but no one cares (except the Tin-foil hats).

        3)It will make for very interesting drama – at the UN, everyone is trying to avoid everyone (Israel avoiding Iran, US avoiding Iran, Israel avoiding Libya, but sits with only Iraq – which they try to avoid – and Liberia to separate them, etc. …too funny!) but if your the leader , you can’t avoid anyone! It will be a funny dance.

      • I noticed this in the article.

        “He is likely to receive a standing ovation from delegates, in sharp contrast to Mr Bush, who used to refer to his stony-faced reception as a visit to the “wax museum”.”

        I guess he will, since they full well expect a first class asskissing and another apology for the United States in the offing.

    • China in the queue for IMF gold sale

      China would consider the purchase to diversify its reserves if the price was right and the potential return was relatively high, the report said, citing an unidentified government source.

      • “Noncommercial net long positions in gold futures in New York at an all-time high of 235,647 lots for the week ended September15 worried investors as it could spark a long liquidation….”

        This pundit is suggesting this liquidation will lower the price of gold … but only if the users do not demand delivery.

        Noncommercial positions are not normally turned into deliveries – these are typically speculators or ETF’s.

        But if they are ETF’s they may require delivery and this would seriously raise the price of gold.

        And the other investors demand delivery – the price will explode.

        It will interesting to see where these contracts go.

  54. ‘Clunkers’ program even helped sell Hummers
    Program to boost fuel efficiency helped people buy pickups and SUVs

    …car buyers had to buy new vehicles with better gas mileage than their trade-ins that were scrapped by dealers. For passenger cars, that difference had to be at least 4 mpg. But for buyers of SUVs, pickups and minivans, that difference had to be only 2 mpg.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32958411/ns/business-autos/

    [By the end of October, many car company dealerships will be in deep trouble. The Clunker program has exhausted the buying public – that is, anyone in the market to buy a car has now bought a car – where the sustainability of dealers depends on an even -not peak- demand.

    If I was a C/T (Conspiracy Theorist), I’d suggest that this was a purposeful plan to bankrupt almost every car dealer in America.

    But I’m not a C/T]

    • I wasn’t a CT. Now I am beginning to wonder.

    • I wouldn’t say its a Conspiracy theory, but just a standard example of how the government refuses to provide a long term solution. Its an example of a quick and easy fix that worked for a short time but eventually fell apart.

  55. Ray Hawkins says:

    Black Flag said:

    “So you believe theft is ok as long as the size is large enough?”

    – I do not define it as theft.

    • As Lysander Spoon said:

      If it is not theft, they you agree that any group of men have the right to steal from the weak by simply agreeing by a show of hands to do so.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ray,

      If someone breaks into your home, steals your tv, sells it to a pawn shop, but then donates 20% of the money to charity, it is still theft, right?

      But if the government comes in, takes 35-40% of your paycheck BEFORE YOU EVEN SEE THE MONEY, and then spends 20% of that money on progams that you actually favor, then that is NOT theft, right?

      So, please ‘splain to me what the difference is? The only difference I see is that the guy who stole your tv did it by himself, while the people that stole money from your paycheck did it as an “elected group”. So just because an “elected group” stole your money that is ok?

      Can you go back and demand the 80% back that they spent on programs that you were not in favor of? Can you stop them from spending even more money than they actually take in in revenue and then deciding to raise the amount that they steal from your paycheck? If you vote for someone else, are they going to be any different, or are they just going to be another member of the “elected group” that progressively takes more and more of your money before you even see it to know that it is gone?

      If you received your entire paycheck, and then got a monthly bill from the government to pay your payroll taxes, would the size of that bill alarm you? I submit that it would, which is precisely why they steal your money before you ever even get your hands on it. You can’t miss it if you didn’t have it to begin with. If you got paid the full amount and then billed monthly for your taxes, I bet you would feel different.

      In fact, try this… set your personal exemptions on your W-4 form to something like 9 or 10 so that you get no fedral tax withheld from your paycheck… then just get socked with the lump-sum you are gonna owe come April 15…

      You will need fresh underwear, trust me.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Oh, and Ray,

        If you are claiming that taxes are not theft because you have agreed to this money being taken from you, then ask yourself the following questions:

        1. What would happen to you if you suddenly decided to withdraw your consent to this money being taken from you?

        2. What percentage of what you are paying in to the system is actually going for services and programs which you support? How did you arrive at that figure?

        3. What would happen to you if you decided to only contribute to the government programs you support and you decided to withhold your money from going to programs which you did not support?

        I will tell you my answers:

        1. I would be in jail for tax evasion, or at the very least I would be continuously hounded by the IRS as they continually added fines and penalties on top of what they claimed I “owed” them. Look up the definition of “owe”. The fact that they can claim you or I “owe” them anything is absurd.

        2. Very little, but it is impossible to determine the percentage with any accuracy whatsoever, since there is no real accounting of where anyone’s money goes once the government gets its hands on it.

        3. See #1.

        So I submit to you, you might as well tell that guy that wants to steal your TV that it is OK for him to steal it, provided that he doesn’t harm you or your family, and provided that he donates 20% of the proceeds of the sale of your TV to a charity that you like. It would be precisely equivalent to paying your taxes, and would probably accomplish more good in the world.

  56. Well hell. We are screwed either way we go.

    We are not going to get the freedom and liberty so many on this site including ME want because the Government will not turn loose of the power. If it collapses we will go with it into bloody anarchy, or worse, some enterprising soul will grab the reins of power for their own ends and we, the common folk, will still be screwed.

    If we get what Matt, GG, Ray to an extent, and others want, we cannot pay for what they will enact, thus we will still collapse etc. (Do you really think they will turn loose of ANY program to help pay for any of this new bullshit they want?)

    What really chaps my behind is the fact that most don’t really care if Government has SOME stupidity. That is, after all, the nature of the beast. What most have a case of the ass about is the fact that the big nanny state, despite the majority protest against this, wants all power over EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

    And they are willing to wreck this Country to get it.

    You Liberals out there. I personally don’t have a problem with your view. I’m quite sure most of you are fine people. Misguided in my opinion, but that’s just my opinion. But ask yourselves this. Do you really think Mr. “Hope and Change” CARES about you any more than he does the rest of us? Do you really??

    If Conspiracy Theorists are right, or even if not, this man cares about nothing but power and the amassing of same. You are just a means to an end for this man. You are just dupes, because you think he is doing this shit for the greater good of us all. Oh Bulldookey!!!!! He knows; HE KNOWS, that this all cannot possibly be paid for. Only a MORON could not see this. And if being called a moron makes you angry, then just think for a little bit.

    We the United States are already 1.8 Trillion in debt, predicted to be 7 to 10 Trillion in debt within the next 10 years. Despite this horrifying prospect, all we hear from Obama AND our idiot Congress is how they are going to enact even more legislation and spend even MORE money. There ain’t no way folks!!!

    If they take all the profits from all the so-called ‘evil’ business, they will fail. Then if they hit us with the enormous taxes they will have to enact, we will fail also. Where is the money going to come from then?? If looked at with even a tiny amount of sense, anyone can see that this economic policy cannot possibly continue. The question now is not IF it will fail. The question is WHEN it will fail, and fail catastrophically.

    It absolutely smokes my ass that there was a time when compromise was possible. Those of us who were freedom junkies would have had to do with a little less freedom. Those of us with a more, shall we say, liberal bent, would have had a little less control. It may not have been perfect, but it would have worked.

    Now that is not possible. Neither side will get even close to what they want. We will be lucky to survive the downfall. The Obamatons are winning. And worse, they will fall with the rest of us. They are just to brainwashed and stupid to see it.

    • Tell you what EsomHillGazette, I believe your 2010 elections will slap a pair of brakes on this runaway train called America. I think Americans can be shown that while there is indeed some good in this current incarnation of POTUS’s “plans”, its being so diluted by unbridled lust you’ll never taste it. I see president Obama and his handlers grasping at everything all at once as an expression of pure lust. There’s a lot of “I love you baby!” chatter going on but lust has taken over this relationship so early, I think its long term outlook is damaged. I’m certain, America will come to her senses and leave this broken relationship behind. It was based upon physical appearance, now that novelty is wearing off and she’s starting to see they had less in common than she originally hoped was there.

      • Alan – apt analogy of a train…

        Brakes may be applied – but like all trains, runaway or not – take miles upon miles to stop – crushing everything in its path.

        Additionally, the cars behind the locomotive accordion – back and forth – and will likely fall off the track.

        It will take a lot of work and time, and expense, and pain to clean up the mess

        • Agreed wholeheartedly BF. The damage is going to be enormous as is what’s already been done. Although too many have not the facility for seeing such right now, eventually it becomes apparent to even the blind.

      • Alan, I actually agree that if we make it to the 2010 elections, somebody’s going to get a big wake up call. The American people have had a damn ’nuff.

        My problem is that I believe that if all this legislation of Cap and Trade and Health Care for all and all this other horseshit the Domocrats are shoving down our throats is enacted BEFORE we can get them out of office, then it will be too late.

        The economy MUST reset already eventually. If it has to reset during an economic collapse from all the spending from this house of cards they’re building, we will be screwed even worse. AND IT PISSES ME OFF!!!!! 👿

  57. Ray

    It is interesting you point to Article 1/8 for your example – and I see your pain – since it does not provide any support for your contention.

    It is in plain English:
    …general Welfare of the United States

    The founders of the Constitution were very specific in separating entities -the United States – the States – Citizens – and the People – they did not confuse United States with the People and Citizens of the United States

    Jefferson in fact did recognize Freedom and Liberty as absolutes – his arguments demonstrate this constantly.

    He did argue that a means (but not the only means) of protecting those Freedoms was a very contained and limited government. I believe his argument here was a contradiction- and he knew it was, too.

    There is no difference between ‘the’ and the lack of ‘the’ in JAC‘s statement – (PS: That is JAC, not my argument against you by the way – I demand YOUR core principle and wish to see how you can sustain your position against that – I have no need to defend this nation’s founding).

    The issue, Ray, is that what you demand (Socialism) attempts to pervert freedom and human action.

    Call it what you will – the consequence of your desire on the country will -if successful- destroy the country.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The preamble to the Constitution says Provide for the Common Defense, Promote the General Welfare….

      NOTE: It does NOT say “Provide the General Welfare”

      Clearly the government is to PROVIDE for the common defense, but ONLY PROMOTE “the General Welfare”

      I submit to you that this was VERY carefully worded, and purposely so.

  58. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!
    “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear-kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor-with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it …”– US General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

  59. After reading the various news outlets.Watching the various media outlets “news” it has become increasingly clear to me that the American public is being intentionally mislead.It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

    The powers that be, or perhaps I should say the “moneys” that be (because that is what our American politics has evolved into) are attempting to legislate an American downfall in world economics by attacking the very structure of our American society.Evidence abounds for this.It just sickens me to see the psychological brainwashing that people are actually falling for.

    If the current administration keeps upon the path they have designed for America then I feel the America I grew up in will cease to exist.She will no longer care for our individual liberties and freedoms.They will be taken away from us bit by bit with the pretext that it’s all for the collective good.

    The collective good of who we should be asking ourselves.George Soros and his ilk of billionaire comrades?The Islamic oil families?It turns my stomach to see what is happening.

    What has happened to the Americans with red, white and blue running through their veins?Where did good ole’ common sense go?Why must politically correct take precedence over right vs wrong?
    When did we cease being a Christian nation founded upon christian principles?

    Damnit all, I’m frustrated and mad as hell.

    • Texas

      They want you to be mad as hell. Angry people tend to act irrationaly.

      Put aside your anger and pick up the sword of “determination” , the spear of “focus”, and the shield of “clarity of purpose”.

      • I was reading up on the Constitutional party and was wondering why they haven’t had a larger following as of yet.

        These are their seven core principles:

        Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death;

        Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual;

        Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted;

        Property: Each individual’s right to own and steward personal property without government burden;

        Constitution: and Bill of Rights interpreted according to the actual intent of the Founding Fathers;

        States’ Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, is reserved to the states or to the people;

        American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances.

        • Contradictions, probably.

          Can’t have “Liberty” as they define it and “Family” as they define it – at the same time.

          Can’t have “self-governed individuals” Vs. “State rights” and “Constitution” and “American government” at the same time.

          If I was a pragmatic fellow, I’d suggest that the Elite are not fond of the “American Sovereginty” section – it destroys the elite’s investment into mercantilism – thus, this is a no-starter right out of the gate.

          ..but other than that – I have no idea 😉

          • BF stated:”Contradictions, probably.

            Can’t have “Liberty” as they define it and “Family” as they define it – at the same time.”

            Yeah… but cmon BF how many times does a man have to have something shoved up his rear before he realizes he can’t produce offspring in that manner?Are you just trying to be politically correct here?

            BF staeted:”Can’t have “self-governed individuals” Vs. “State rights” and “Constitution” and “American government” at the same time.”

            Why can’t the individual be self governed by choosing a representative through popular vote?Many countries in this age don’t even have that right BF!

            I wholeheartedly agree with your take on sovereignity.

            • TexasChem

              before he realizes he can’t produce offspring in that manner?

              Are you now claiming a childless couple are not a family? Uncles are not family to nephews?

              Are you just trying to be politically correct here?

              No – pointing out inconsistencies, contradictions and consequences – as usual.

              Why can’t the individual be self governed by choosing a representative through popular vote?

              You are either self-governed or you are governed.

              Creating a government to govern you is not an act of self-government.

              Many countries in this age don’t even have that right BF!

              Aren’t they lucky!

  60. T-Ray

    I assume them to be self-evident. Without profit and competitive pricing, they are not viable.

    All good to hear – that will make our dialogue rational and reasonable and I can use a bit higher level of economic arguments.

    However, I do not assume the self-evident nature of economics.

    One merely needs to read comments in this thread to see how dangerous such an assumption can be.

    I do, also, feel economics is the key component regarding energy.

    Cheap energy is probably the most crucial aspect of prosperity.
    With cheap energy, nearly all problems that have plagued mankind throughout history can be solved.
    Without cheap energy, all the problems of mankind magnify.

    Your comment on ethanol is wrong. If the price is same per BTU, then ethanol is equivalent to gasoline. It burns cleanly, has a reasonable octane value, mixes well with gasoline and will perform equivalently. The only negative is range. A tank of gasoline will go about 300 miles, ethanol only about 190.

    ..thus, it is more expensive!

    A (serious) reduction in range, therefore, requires a (significant) increase in filling stations – and most critically, they will needed where they are least economical to provide – remote areas.

    These are (serious) costs – which will be paid by the consuming public.

    Moving away from oil to any other means of energy (today) will increase costs and without an equivalent increase in productivity – must decrease the standard of living

    On economics and standard of living, I guess my education is woefully lacking because I fail to see how our standard of living is reduced if we use our natural resources, our labor, our technology our capital, pay profits to our stockholders and pay taxes to our government as opposed to buying gasoline from a refinery in Jamnigar India using Persian Gulf crude, Indian Labor, Indian capital, our technology, paying profits to an Indian national and taxes to India.

    Because, obviously, the latter is less expensive and costly then the former.

    If the former supply line provided a cheaper way – you know business would do that – because it is more profitable.

    Thus, it is not!

    That latter supply line is the least cost (today) – and therefore, that is what the business chooses to do – because it is profitable.

    All things being equal (and they are) – forcing business to use the latter and discard the former must increase costs – which if unmatched by an increase in productivity – must decrease your standard of living

    Have to go try to earn some money selling technology to the Indians

    As one pundit said:

    In 1900, a man to prosper greater than his kin would need to move to London.
    In 1948, a man to prosper greater than his kin would need to move to New York.
    In 2010, a man to prosper greater than his kin would need to move to China.

    At least your on the right continent.

    • Don’t ya just hate when your profound conclusion ….. is typed backwards!

      Sigh – editor please….

      The corrected version:
      All things being equal (and they are) – forcing business to use the former and discard the latter must increase costs – which if unmatched by an increase in productivity – must decrease your standard of living

      • I’m trying to understand your reasoning but aren’t you talking short term costs-there are always start up cost to any new business. Second, the oil companies have been trying to get permission to go after our resources here for years and have been stopped by the environmentalist and others, so it seems like business wants to do this, but they want the freedom to do it in areas where they believe the cost will be worth the gain.

        • Seems I need an editor too-should say-the gains will be worth the cost.

        • As I said, “things being equal” –

          As far as changing the laws – I’ll probably be dead and buried before that day happens.

          However, satire aside – let’s think about your scenario.

          1) Costs – …. are costs. Short term / Long term are, in economic lingo … Investment (or Sunk)/Ongoing

          Businesses are already aware of these and the factors they impact.

          They still prefer importation. Therefore the ROI (return on investment) is inferior vs. other uses of that money AND/OR the ongoing costs are larger than the potential gains.

          Permission:
          So, let’s go forward with that – and by some act of God – the law changes.

          Indigenous oil comes on line – what oil production does this new oil replace?

          1) – is augments an increase in demand (if it exists)

          THEN

          2) (and the key) it replaces expensive oil before it replaces cheap oil

          Middle East oil is the cheapest oil on earth – under $10 to pump out of the ground, and the cheapest to refine (light crude).

          New indigenous oil will not replace cheap oil – it will replace the expensive oil producers – the tar sands.

          So, T-Ray – in the hopes to reduce M/E oil by opening up local sources does not accomplish the goal – it merely replaces local – but expensive – sources.

          • That makes sense but wouldn’t whether or not it is economically viable depend on how much oil there is and if it is cost prohibitive why are so many other countries stating to drill for oil, etc.

            • Reverse your comment to find your answer.

              So many countries are starting to drill for oil because it has become cost effective to do so.

              There are many factors that determine cost effectiveness of oil production – however, that is NOT the T-Ray discussion – the discussion was regarding that using alternative energy fuel and drilling, M/E oil needs would be reduced.

              I believe I have shown that – (1) the alternative are more expense – thus, forced use with lower the standard of living (2) indigenous drilling will replace expensive oil, not cheap M/E oil. If forced to replace cheap M/E oil, this -too- will reduce our standard of living.

              • Okay, I’m sure T-Jay will comment on whether or not he agrees. I’m just wondering why you keep using the word force-it seems to me we would keep using ME oil as long as we needed too but over a period of time reduce the usage until one day we would be free from that dependency-and that having control over our energy needs would be good for our Country in many ways.

              • See below

              • Good evening, the commute is over, food is cooked and consummed, wife is happy, trash is out, searched my normal websites for business, genealogy, classic Opels, and skimmed todays comments.

                The premise was could we replace ME oil with domestic energy sources and maybe break out of the strategic bind in the ME. The rules are no government subsidies or force, only market rules. ME oil & product amount to about 11% of our oil consumption. We no longer have sufficient refining capacity to serve our needs so we not only import crude but product. My premise is that we can replace that 11% and do it profitably. It will not happen overnight and some of the technology is still being developed. But it is looking more promising that it did even 2 years ago.

                We have at our disposal conservation, wind, solar thermal, solar electric, natural gas, cude, coal, nuclear and biofuels. These are all domestic sources of energy that use our labor and capital to extract and sell. We get to keep the profits. I am sure the government will confiscate their unfair share. This has nothing to do with climate change.

                BF, if there was an oil resevoir under your feet and if it was profitable for you to pump that oil and sell it at market prices, would not your standard of living increase? My standard of living will not decrease one bit. In fact it might increase if your oil increased supply and reduced all oil prices. Now add to that chain the pipeline, refinery, product pipeline, wholesaler, and gas station. If all make profits, how does our standard of living decrease when the alternative is to enrich the Saudis and some rich cat in India who is building his second world’s largest refinery that will be dedicated to shipping product to the US?

                Your argument holds only if one of our multinational oil companies is making the profit on the crude and/or refining AND bringing those profits back to the US. The Saudis have the ability to drop the price, but there are limits to that because they need to keep their own people happy plus the world wide demand for oil especially in India and China is going to grow significantly as there economies expand.

                With regard to biofuels. Corn ethanol is a bust for many reasons. Cellulosic ethanol has a chance. It is still in R&D and will depend on the development of catalyst that can make it profitable. But like the bio-nanobot comments below, such developments are accelerating. It is still probably 5-10 years out. Progress is also being made on membrane separation, i.e. removal of water without heat based distillation. Molecular sieves can also be used in the separation process.

                Similar things can be said for biodiesel production on a large scale using rapeseed oil, algae based oil and other vegitable oils. Basically this is applying and adapting petroleum based technology to biofuel production. Believe me the petroleum companies are watching and some are participating. Dupont has the goal of moving to 100% bio sources.

                Can biofuels replace petroleum, no. Can they supplement domestic oil and other energies, potentially yes. As long as this can be done at a profit it matters not a whit what the Saudi’s production costs are. What matters is the market price of crude and equivalent (BTU wise) product. I would venture that our standard of living would go up. The jobs are here and the money stays here. If you can find a better investment, put your money someplace else. That is just the cost of capital which all businesses must deal with.

                BF, your counter to comment on range, gas stations are every 20 miles on most freeways. I doubt you will run out of fuel. You could also install a bigger tank. If you live in a greater metropolitan area, you are most likely already using ethanol. It replaced MTBE as the mandated oxygenate of choice in fuels. The delivery system already exists, you just blend the ethanol with gasoline.

                Well I have to break now and but the wife to bed. Back later.

    • I live in the land of the most successful “crown” corporations in the world. We can’t do ethanol anywhere near cost effective while what can be done though sugar cane in South America is lauded as viable by the agronomists at University of Saskatoon and my own personal uber genius/best friend Murray(I believe Murray over anyone at U of S). Bio-diesel is a bigtime bust as its not sustainable without not only tax exemptions but incentives too and subject to the whims of weather for its raw materials. Wind has been a workable source but is of limited reliability even here in one of the windiest places you’ll find. Solar shares all of winds flaws and more requiring also massive subsidies itself in both startup costs and maintenance even if you do live in a desert.

      The sad thing with alternative energy is that had nuclear the amount of funding for research and focus of mind as these green alternatives, improvements in efficiency of fuel use and safety on this day could have removed all the others from the table but we’ll never know that now research into pixie dust gets top billing.

      • I agree with your comment on nukes. The DOE was created here 30+ years ago to get us off foriegn oil. A real success story. In all that time we have not been able to come up with a practical and sustainable energy policy while at the same time we have allowed every possible impediment to block domestic production. My dad worked farm land with horses as a kid. It was cheap energy that replaced those horses with tractors. It was cheap energy that gave us the ability to out-produce every other nation on earth. Admittedly, we waste a lot. But we also produce a lot.

        I doubted the viability of biofuels for many years. But I am starting to see some promise in the technology.

        One rule of thumb that was explained to me by one of the early laser developers was if a technology is going to be commercially viable, it will make it in 10 years. More complex and capital intensive technologies may take 15-20 years. How many promising technologies have been waiting for that one big breakthrough to be commercially viable. In 1981, I had lunch with a researcher (now a UC Berkeley Prof) describing amorphous Si solar cells and how they were going to revolutionize electric generation. Solar electric is still a marginal technology. While the recession has cooled the investment for now, there was about 12 months ago, significant investment in scaled up Si fab technology for solar cells. Solar thermal (for electricity) however has proved to be profitable and is commercially viable now just not sexy. Wind has its vagaries. I frequently drive through the Altimont Pass above Livermore, CA. The windmills there are idle about 50% of the time. I understand there are other wind farms in CA that are profitable. Fuel cells fail the 10/20 year rule by a couple of decades. I have seen it written that H2 is the fuel of the futue and always will be. Fusion also fails the test.

        I just saw an interesting article on a company in Germany, Lichtblick, that is partnering with VW to make natural gas engines that power generators. The waste heat is also captured and used to heat water. They claim 92% thermodynamic efficiency which beats commercial power plants. These power units are small and fit in your basement. The hot water is used to heat the house and supply your shower. The generators can be linked to the grid while the controls are linked to the web. 100,000 of these basement units(2 GWatt) can replace 2 nukes for about $1.5B. Neat idea if it works.

        I have also seen a proposal for mylar balloons with a reflective coating on one side and a clear film on the other. The reflective coating serves as a concave mirror and focusses the light onto a spot on the clear side. A Si solar cell is placed at the focus. Thus the amount of silicon is substantially reduced as is the cost. The one major problem is removing the heat from the solar cell.

        These kinds of simple innovative solutions will not come from government. If they pass the rules of economics they will not need government interference in there implementation.

  61. I’ve been thinking about this for a bit – a thought spurned by reading about advertising.

    The power of politics rests on propaganda.
    But why is political propaganda so powerful?

    The answer lies within the power of manipulation.

    You see it on the ‘good ads’ – the ads that you remember – all the time.

    The technique – here is a real ad:

    They laughed when I sat down at the piano …
    But when I started to play!…

    Obviously, it’s fake.

    Who in his right mind would believe for a second that a group of Americans) would laugh derisively at anyone who sat down to play the piano?

    No one would laugh at a stranger. He might be great.

    But what room full of friends would do this?

    The entire scene created by the ad is preposterous.

    But why does it work?
    Because most people are insecure.

    They think people will laugh at them if they try to stand out.

    People think that others pay attention to them. Most people are too busy paying attention to themselves.

    “Everyone will notice if I wear this.” No one will notice.

    People imagine that they have made a negative impression. They probably made no impression.

    This is the same motivation as the ad directed to boys who had been picked on by bullies, or feared that they could be. They responded to the Charles Atlas (a fake name) ads about the bully who kicked sand in a cartoon character’s face.

    The technique exposed:
    (1) manipulating people by appealing to their sense of failure;

    People are afraid that other people will think they are a fraud. Inferiority complexes are probably the #1 syndrome of most adults – thus the urge to have ‘someone else solve our problems’ or the ‘its not my fault’ excuses.

    But almost everyone want to be better than they are – thus the appeal to the compassion and the “greater good” fallacy – ‘Don’t do it for you, but for the poor/weak/sick/children/elderly’ virtue. Everyone wants to be the ‘good guy’.

    The propaganda raises their fear of inferiority, and then provides a method to ‘still be the good guy’.

    (2)making up the entire story.

    A good lie is better story than the truth.

    It is easier to eliminate the defects of the reality if it is a lie; the truth must show the mud and the beauty; the victories and the losses – and lie can be made to show only the beauty and the victory.

    If ‘this strategy’ only provide beauty and victory – only a fool wouldn’t use it, right?

    We all must be alert to propaganda that simultaneously appeals to your innermost fears and your dreams.

    It will be most probably a lie and a fantasy.

  62. More pundit views – this one is interesting (because the conclusion matches mine)

    The Size of the Protest Crowd and What This Means for Congress

    An attendee has provided a detailed study of the crowd, comparing it with the “I Have a Dream” crowd, the Promise Keepers crowd, and the Obama inauguration crowd. His conclusion: the September 12 crowd was larger. It may have been over 1.7 million.

    The media dismissed this as tens of thousands. Why? Fear.

    There is reason to fear. This crowd assembled on short notice. They were ideological. They were in protest mode.

    At this point, they know they have huge numbers. This is crucial.

    In 1964, millions of conservatives backed Goldwater. Until then, the media did not know that such numbers existed. Neither did conservatives. From that time on, the movement grew. It elected Reagan in 1980.

    This group backs no politician. It answers to no one. It has no organization to buy off.

    We have never seen this before.

    No anti-crowd this large has ever descended on the Capitol.

    The politicians know that for every person who showed up, there have to be ten who didn’t.

    Congress counts noses. Congress now knows there is a firestorm raging. A crowd this large spells doom for big spenders in any but the safest districts. These people could be the swing voters — anti-voters.

    An anti-voter is dangerous. He is committed to getting rid of the incumbent. He backs no one. He just wants revenge.

    You cannot buy off these people with pork. Pork is why they showed up. But if the incumbent takes away existing pork, he alienates his political base. He is trapped.

    One march like this is sufficient. It sent Congress a message.

    It will become more difficult for Obama to get his bills passed. Pelosi is asking blue dog Democrats to destroy their careers for the sake of her anti-business agenda. What’s in it for them?

    The Left is tut-tutting. “These people will destroy the Republican Party,” they say. They are hard-core New York City and Washington Beltway Democrats. Frank Rich is among the worst of the bunch. He is the far Left fringe at the New York Times. He has warned Republicans against the following.

    Now, as then, a Dixie-oriented movement like this won’t remotely capture the White House. Now, unlike then, it is a catastrophe for the Republicans.

    The old G.O.P. Southern strategy is gone with the wind.

    The more the party is identified with nasty name-calling, freak-show protestors, immigrant-bashing (the proximate cause of Wilson’s outburst at Obama) and, yes, racism, the faster it will commit demographic suicide as America becomes ever younger and more diverse.

    Yet he sees what happened, and it scares him.

    But Democrats shouldn’t be cocky.

    Over the short term, the real economic grievances lurking beneath the extremism of the Beck brigades can do damage to both parties. A stopped clock is right twice a day. The recession-spawned anger that Beck has tapped into on the right could yet find a more mainstream outlet in a populist revolt from the left and center.

    If this economy gets worse, Obama will get blamed. The Republicans can vote against his agenda in Congress. They can pretend they are hard-core budget-balancers in the fall elections of 2010. Yes, it’s a charade. But the voters will respond in 2010 if unemployment is anywhere near 11%.

    If this economy stays bad, we will see a revulsion against Obama, Pelosi, and Rich. The longer the economy does not perform, the more disbelief in Washington will spread. That is healthy.

    Bottom line: the loss of legitimacy is the beginning of the break-up of the centralized state.

    The crowd is the far end of a new American revolution. The Balkanization of American politics is beginning. It’s long overdue.

  63. There’s a concept called “spontaneous order” popular among many philosophers and economists. The idea is that people are perfectly capable of adapting to new situations and establishing rules of the game for dealing with one another that are better than those imposed from above. The Drachten experiment looks to be an example of spontaneous order in action, as people create, on the fly, safe, sane ways to negotiate their way through busy roads.

    …and negotiate their way through life without any need for any government to club them over their head….

    http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-Liberties-Examiner~y2009m9d18-At-least-with-traffic-fewer-rules-make-for-better-behavior?cid=examiner-email

    • There will never be a modern society without some form of government BF.Mankind is to0 greedy.There will always be the haves and have-nots.We need a form of government that rewards the members of its society in order for them to become a have and also keeps the haves in check.

      • This must be a new record on how someone can embed so contradictions is a short paragraph! Call Guinness!

        There will never be a modern society without some form of government

        Your family, friends and neighbors – you deal with them daily without government. It must be shocking to you to do so.

        Mankind is to0 greedy

        I will assume by greed you mean envy – it is a common confusion.

        Government is made up men, and if men are too greedy, then government would be super-too-greedy, no? That is a super-bad.

        There will always be the haves and have-nots.We need a form of government that rewards the members of its society in order for them to become a have and also keeps the haves in check.

        Government can only reward political behavior not economic behavior.

        Real men do not need reward from parasites. Weak men probably do.

        • So how do you propose to create this nationwide family?

          What is going to be the incentive for someone to work?

          Are we to be ants working for the collective good of our Queen?

          BF Stated:”I will assume by greed you mean envy – it is a common confusion.”

          BF envy is just one of the many causes of greed as is avarice, fear, power…etc.
          As I said before mankind is greedy.

          BF Stated:”Government can only reward political behavior not economic behavior.”

          I beg to differ.Government can reward with allowing economic growth of an individual through freedom of that individuals actions.

          Who’s contradicting what here BF?

          • TexasChem

            So how do you propose to create this nationwide family?

            What ‘nationwide’ family???

            I don’t want it – and even more important – it cannot exist.

            There is very little that a New Yorker and I share in common on a daily basis.

            Why do I want his problems and why does he want mine?

            Nationalism is wholly bizarre – it the belief ‘we are all the same everywhere’ – and then we wonder with such bizarre belief why nothing works.

            What is going to be the incentive for someone to work?

            Things they desire.

            Are we to be ants working for the collective good of our Queen?

            My Queen cooks me dinner every night.

            BF Stated:”I will assume by greed you mean envy – it is a common confusion.” BF envy is just one of the many causes of greed as is avarice, fear, power…etc.As I said before mankind is greedy.

            As common as the rain, people have no idea the definition of greed vs. envy.

            Greed can turn (but does not have to) into envy.

            Greed is not evil – the Bible says “coveting” – look it up.

            BF Stated:”Government can only reward political behavior not economic behavior.” I beg to differ.Government can reward with allowing economic growth of an individual through freedom of that individuals actions.

            Setting up armed men to prevent something – and then removing the army – does not make the latter a reward.

            Government does not provide freedom, TexasChem. Free men (ie: free from government) provide freedom.

            Government destroys freedom.

            Who’s contradicting what here BF

            When you do not know who maybe in contradiction between you or I – I’d suggest you default into assuming it is you.

      • The society which places its hand squarely on the shoulder of each citizen to keep them in line never advances a step. Comprehend.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “We need a form of government that rewards the members of its society in order for them to become a have and also keeps the haves in check.”

        The only way for a have-not to honestly become a have is through grit, determnination, and hard work. The government cannot provide any of these things, they must come from the have-not himself.

        Why must the haves be “kept in check”? Just because they have managed to use their talents and their skills to amass wealth, this makes them “evil”???

        If enough people feel that a “have” has amassed great wealth through dishonest means, people will naturally avoid that “have” all by themselves, they don’t need to have the government tell them to do it.

        Honestly think about it… who provides the bulk of jobs in this country? Right now, a big source of employment in this country is the government, but this is a PROBLEM because the government does not produce anything or add to the GDP in ANY MEANINGFUL WAY.

        The only providers of jobs which produce a meaningful addition to the GDP are the “haves”. Without them, we would ALL be have-nots!

        • You guys are not understanding my meaning.
          Government by the people for the people is what I am endorsing.Not a dictatorship.I believe in small government yet large enough to provide for some needs.A Republic.Without our Constitution we would by no means have the freedoms we have today nor the means to become a have!

          The haves do need to be kept in check by some means else they will mandate their personal agendas using their wealth (bribes, donations etc.) vs the peoples agenda.A perfect example would be George Soros.

          • Soros exists because the global economy has never been guarded against the exploitation of shorting. That he’s also gotten away with wreaking havoc on economies with minor consequence, such as France’s findings against him, because of the standing of the American financial system and its players over others. Were the will there, he could easily have been prosecuted for profiteering via economic terrorism. Unfortunately in each country he has damaged economically, politicians are just as “for sale” as those in North America.

            I really thought his past dealings would have finalized his ticket to the other side already. Mind you he still has time to inflict his “economic car bomb and scavenge the remains” routine on the wrong people.

            • Soros is what keeps government who use fiat money honest.

              He shorts currencies that are over extended by government printing.

              He is not the problem – if a country ran its economy well, he would have zero profit opportunity.

              Without a gold standard, Soros is the next best thing.

  64. posting for comments

  65. Tuesday, September 22, 2009
    Immortality only 20 years away says scientist

    Scientist Ray Kurzweil [<<= he is a really smart guy – and is also rarely wrong – BF] claims humans could become immortal in as little as 20 years’ time through nanotechnology and an increased understanding of how the body works.

    Ray Kurzweil claims we could all be cyborgs in 20 years.

    The 61-year-old American, who has predicted new technologies arriving before, says our understanding of genes and computer technology is accelerating at an incredible rate.

    He says theoretically, at the rate our understanding is increasing, nanotechnologies capable of replacing many of our vital organs could be available in 20 years time.

    Mr Kurzweil adds that although his claims may seem far-fetched, artificial pancreases and neural implants are already available.

    Mr Kurzweil calls his theory the Law of Accelerating Returns. Writing in The Sun, Mr Kurzweil said: “I and many other scientists now believe that in around 20 years we will have the means to reprogramme our bodies’ stone-age software so we can halt, then reverse, ageing. Then nanotechnology will let us live for ever.

    “Ultimately, nanobots will replace blood cells and do their work thousands of times more effectively.

    “Within 25 years we will be able to do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath, or go scuba-diving for four hours without oxygen.

    “Heart-attack victims – who haven’t taken advantage of widely available bionic hearts – will calmly drive to the doctors for a minor operation as their blood bots keep them alive.

    “Nanotechnology will extend our mental capacities to such an extent we will be able to write books within minutes.

    “If we want to go into virtual-reality mode, nanobots will shut down brain signals and take us wherever we want to go. Virtual sex will become commonplace. And in our daily lives, hologram like figures will pop in our brain to explain what is happening.

    “So we can look forward to a world where humans become cyborgs, with artificial limbs and organs.

    [Maybe if we can hold off Ray for 20 years, his Socialist medicare agenda will be moot]

    • I’ve read similar theory on Medscape.

    • I have yet to read a medical article published that can verify what causes our cells to stop replicating themselves so I’m not going to hold my breath on this one.

      Not taking into consideration wear and tear on the body from factors such as environment the most plausible theory on aging I have read states that the replication of cells is predetermined by DNA coding.If we could program our DNA to continue to replace damaged and dead cells theoretically we could live forever I suppose.

      • TexasChem

        I have yet to read a medical article published that can verify what causes our cells to stop replicating themselves so I’m not going to hold my breath on this one.

        I will find the essays that describe it – it is gene and has been identified.

        Not taking into consideration wear and tear on the body from factors such as environment the most plausible theory on aging I have read states that the replication of cells is predetermined by DNA coding.If we could program our DNA to continue to replace damaged and dead cells theoretically we could live forever I suppose

        Correct.

        We know it is an interplay of hormones and genes – given how quickly we are understanding “what part plays what part” Kurzweil maybe right.

        I would not be against him – he is either very lucky in picking the future or he knows a lot more than most of us about a lot of things.

        • What’s coming up within the next 25 years alone will be “magic” to many. Unfortunately people tend to think in terms of their own lifespan. In my own time on this globe thus far, there has been astounding progress already taken for granted but “we” continue to amaze me daily.

    • Wow, wouldn’t this be great!

      Except, when the nanobots shut down brain signals and take us wherever we want to go, who’s going to decide where you actually go???

      Who will decide who you have virtual sex with??? Or who has it with you…

      Will you notice when ObamaCare inserts that little GPS chip so we can track your every move???

      You guys run screaming every time Obama gives a press conference. How will you feel in 20 years when a hologram like figure of President for Life Obama pops in your brain to explain what is happening???

      Maybe if Ray can speed up ObamaCare, this will happen even sooner!!!

      HAVE A NICE DAY (are you sure it’s real and not just an Obama illusion???) 😉

  66. http://algorelied.com/?p=2839

    “Just too good” file.

    Unearthed video: Global warming alarmist Stephen ‘we have to offer up scary scenarios’ Schneider caught on a May 1978 episode of the TV show In Search Of…The Coming Ice Age!!

    …The Coming Ice Age, Stephen Schneider wonders whether mankind should intervene in staving off a coming ice age….. [like burning coal and oil!!!]

    The Greenies have been, are and shall always be simplistic alarmists crackpots.

    “Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione!”

  67. September 22, 2009

    What First Amendment?

    by:Joseph Ashby

    Yesterday Kentucky’s Courier Journal newspaper reported that the fight against political free speech has reached new levels.

    Louisville-based Humana is under federal investigation for a mailing that asks seniors to protest proposed cuts in funding for the Medicare plans sold by the company and other health insurers.

    The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, launched its investigation Friday at the urging of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., who accused Humana of “scare tactics.”

    The mailing from Humana, the second-largest seller of Medicare Advantage plans, warned that if Congress cuts funding, “millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many … important benefits” while possibly facing higher costs.

    If speech rights have become so diluted that shareholders cannot communicate their views on legislation to their customers without the fear of federal investigation, what speech is not in danger?

    The slow train to despotism continues to pick up speed.

    • bottom line says:

      Louisville huh? Either something is in the water, or it’s cursed. The place just isn’t right.

  68. v. Holland

    Okay, I’m sure T-Jay will comment on whether or not he agrees. I’m just wondering why you keep using the word force-it seems to me we would keep using ME oil as long as we needed too but over a period of time reduce the usage until one day we would be free from that dependency-and that having control over our energy needs would be good for our Country in many ways

    So, investigate your own post.

    What is driving …the reduce the usage… ?

    Is it that it cost less? Well, it can’t be cost – since M/E oil is cheaper.

    So what is going to cause a ‘reduction’ in consumption of M/E oil? Oil companies gutting themselves and buying more expensive oil and sucking up the losses?

    Who determines ‘what is good for the country’? Are you saying that lowering your standard of living is a ‘good thing’??? I most certainly do not think it is, for myself!!

    So, the only way will be government force – putting up import controls on oil – forcing companies to pump more expensive oil.

    As I said – if prices increase without an increase in your personal productivity you will suffer a drop in standard of living.

    • One more question-you keep saying oil companies won’t be willing to gut themselves but they seem to want to drill for oil, they get land grants, they fight in court the groups who want to stop them, from articles I’ve read they invest in research aimed at drilling for oil here-So why are you saying they won’t and don’t want to drill here.

      As far as the your hypothesis on what the government may do it is certainly logical but in the end I still do not know whether you believe using our natural resources is a bad idea because of what the government might do -or on the merits of idea itself.

  69. TexasChem

    You guys are not understanding my meaning.Government by the people for the people is what I am endorsing.Not a dictatorship.

    But it is a dictatorship!

    If I do not agree with your edict – you force it upon me. That is dictatorship, sir.

    I believe in small government yet large enough to provide for some needs.

    There is no need that needs government.

    No small government stays small for long. US History proves this.

    A Republic.Without our Constitution we would by no means have the freedoms we have today nor the means to become a have!

    The Constitution did not give you the rights you have today.

    It is arguable that it destroyed the rights you have.

    The haves do need to be kept in check by some means else they will mandate their personal agendas using their wealth (bribes, donations etc.) vs the peoples agenda.

    You exist in a contradiction.

    You want a group of men to control the evil of men.

    So you create an institution of evil men to control evil men. Bizarre.

    A perfect example would be George Soros

    George has no army, navy, or nuclear weapons – nor attacked or killed another person.

    I do not fear George.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      Unlike you, I do fear George Soros. George understands how to manipulate and control these things we call “governments” in order to obtain his own ends, which appear to be contradictory to individual freedom and liberty.

      So, even though George does not PERSONALLY possess an army, or nuclear weapons, I believe that he either has, or is attempting to get, a large influence over governments which do possess nuclear weapons and armies, and freely go about hurting and killing other people.

      I fear George because he seems to have no compunction about imposing upon others as long as it serves his interests. Because of the way he seems to operate, it is not possible to PROVE that he has imposed upon me in any direct way, but he certainly seems to me to be an example of one who has amassed great wealth through possibly dubious means, and he certainly seems to be IN FAVOR of governments in general, the larger the better, so I think it is wise to fear him somewhat.

      • timeō quod non intellegunt.

        No doubt Soros manipulates the parasites.

        No doubt he has benefited from government largess – he is a mercantilist.

        He has no power over free men. He probably fears you more than you fear him.

        But he is constrained by his own wealth – he could be brought down – instantly – as was Stanford.

        It is greatly more difficult to brind down even the smallest government.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I fear him a bit less after that assessment, but I suspect that he desires to play puppet-master behind a one-world government, and if that does happen to be his ultimate goal, we would be wise to fear him.

          • You’re a pirate.

            And you know the irony? I’m confident he would love to be what we are. And he can never be – because it cannot be bought.

            He is dangerous – like Stanford to me. I had my battle, left wounded by in good order – and today, he is in jail and I am not.

            I smile.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “Without our Constitution we would by no means have the freedoms we have today nor the means to become a have!”

      Without the Constitution we would have the same rights we have always had. The rights we have are NATURAL RIGHTS. They do not come FROM any government or document. In fact, the Constitution was designed to PROTECT INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AGAINST THE TYRRANY OF GOVERNMENT. The Constitution has done a HORRIBLE job of this.

      The means to become a “have” are within every individual. It takes grit, hard work, and determination, and often a willingness to change course dramatically if what you are doing is not working for you. None of these things are provided by any government or any document that I know of, they MUST come from you, yourself. No one else can put them there for you. If you think that someone or something else besides yourself is necessary for you to be successful, prepare to fail, and fail often.

      • I don’t know about anyone else but I’m kinda getting the feeling that you guys believe yourselves invincible or something.

        PeterB Stated:”Without the Constitution we would have the same rights we have always had. The rights we have are NATURAL RIGHTS. They do not come FROM any government or document. In fact, the Constitution was designed to PROTECT INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AGAINST THE TYRRANY OF GOVERNMENT. The Constitution has done a HORRIBLE job of this.”

        So by your opinion we would have the same rights and freedoms if we were born in… oh I dun know, maybe Cuba?We would have the same freedoms there that our Constitution granted us here?The Constitution has done a remarkable job Peter, it is we the people that have failed the Constitution by not enforcing it and allowing Constitutional lawyers to interpret it according to the whims of their masters.

        PeterB Stated:”The means to become a “have” are within every individual. It takes grit, hard work, and determination, and often a willingness to change course dramatically if what you are doing is not working for you. None of these things are provided by any government or any document that I know of, they MUST come from you, yourself. No one else can put them there for you. If you think that someone or something else besides yourself is necessary for you to be successful, prepare to fail, and fail often.”

        Our government has allowed us the freedoms to achieve becoming a have by protecting us from an oppressive life where we could through grit, hard work, and determination, and the FrEEdOm to have a willingness to change course dramatically.Under whatever harsher form of government we could have had do you believe that to be possible?Have no doubt our Constitution has framed America for her success throughout her lifetime.No other form of government comes close.This current administration is trying to make drastic changes to our way of life.Changes that will take away from our freedoms and liberty.Not because of our Constitution frame but because they do not want to adhere to it.Period.

        • TexasChem

          I don’t know about anyone else but I’m kinda getting the feeling that you guys believe yourselves invincible or something.

          *Vae puto deus fio!

          So by your opinion we would have the same rights and freedoms if we were born in… oh I dun know, maybe Cuba?

          Yes, you do!!

          But like here, they have a government who has actively destroyed them.

          We would have the same freedoms there that our Constitution granted us here?

          The Constitution did not grant you your rights!

          Tex, have you actually read the document?

          Please find the clause – in the Constitution – that grants people their rights

          The Constitution has done a remarkable job Peter, it is we the people that have failed the Constitution by not enforcing it and allowing Constitutional lawyers to interpret it according to the whims of their masters.

          As Spoon said:

          “Either the Constitution was designed to give us the government we have right now

          or

          It was wholly powerless to prevent it”.

          Which one do you think it is, Tex?

          Our government has allowed us the freedoms to achieve becoming a have by protecting us from an oppressive life where we could through grit, hard work, and determination, and the FrEEdOm to have a willingness to change course dramatically.

          Government actively gets in the way, Tex.

          It eliminates freedom.

          FDA, FAA, FTC, DoA, DoE, DoT etc. are all there to prevent free men for doing things not allow free men to do things.

          *Alas, I think I am becoming a god

          • BF Stated:”The Constitution did not grant you your rights!”

            Good golly gumdrops BF.OK I’ll give you that.Let me rephrase my meaning.The Constitution has PROTECTED my rights.There, happy?

            BF Stated:”Tex, have you actually read the document?”

            Several times… dun go insultn’ mah Texahn edumahcation BF !

            • I apologize if I insulted you – never my intention (well, maybe once or twice toward GG – but that was inexcusable too..)

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          You are hopelessly confused my friend.

          No government gives anyone any rights or any freedoms. The only power government has it to TAKE AWAY rights and freedom.

          Would I be less free in Cuba? You bet. Is that because the government of Cuba gives me less rights than the government of the United States? Hell no!

          IT IS BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA DOES AN EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE JOB OF REPRESSING NATURAL HUMAN RIGHTS THAN THE US GOVERNMENT DOES.

          Until you understand this, you will remain convinced that government is “good” and “necessary” and “gives you rights”.

          Government does not ALLOW freedom. Freedom is a natural state. Government RESTRICTS freedom to varying degrees, depending on the government.

          You personally, always have the freedom to succeed or fail based upon your own talents, your own hard work, your own innovation, and your own motivation. Government does not “give” you the freedom to do this, you have the freedom to do this all your own. Government regulates and restricts your freedom to be able to do this.

          Just because Cuba is more effective at opression of personal freedom and natural rights than the US is, don’t confuse that with meaning that a government “gives you” freedom and rights. The government “gives” you nothing whatsoever. It will, however, gladly TAKE THINGS FROM YOU, especially if you are fooled into thinking you agreed to give things to them.

          • Ok well until the Christ comes back into this world and we can have a society based upon our natural God given rights we shall just have to make do with what we have and make the best of it I suppose.Anarchy would never be a viable option for society to take gentlemen.I know you are aware of this.The world would be drastically more chaotic and dangerous than what it already is.

            I never meant to infer that the government gave me my rights.It is however designed to protect them.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Tex,

              How do you KNOW “Anarchy would never work”???

              I submit that since it has never been tried, you lack the evidence to make such a statement.

              I MOST CERTAINLY CANNOT say “I know that it would never work” because it has never been seen in action.

              If Orville and Wilbur had never made a “flying machine” just because their friends were laughing at them and saying, “You’ve got to be joking! That would NEVER work!” I think probably someone else would have eventually invented an airplane, but it might have set us YEARS back in the aerospace industry compared to where we are now.

              You seem to forget, Anarchy DOES NOT DENY ALL FORMS OF SOCIETAL ORGANIZATON, it merely denies forms of societal organization that initiate force against the NON-VIOLENT.

              Societal forms of organization that protect against the violent are fine, as long as they are not allowed to initiate violence on the non-violent.

              Christ is not required for this to work, men can do it on their own just fine.

              You have been taught to believe that the majority of people in the world are evil, and you have bought it hook, line, and sinker. Don’t feel bad, you are not alone, but just the fact that most people believe that the majority of other people are “evil” when you can show that most of the people you know are basically “good”, and most of the people I know are basically “good”, and most of the people JAC and BF know are basically “good”, and most of the people that USW, Judy, LOI, and EVERYONE ELSE knows are basically “good” points out the fatal flaw in this belief.

              The majority of people have faults, but are basically “good people”. This is ALL that is required for Anarchy to work just fine. Remeber, Anarchy does not mean total chaos or no social structure, it simply means “no rulers” – that is, you are RESPONSIBLE for yourself.

  70. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    One dollar used to buy you 1.5 Euros. (This wasn’t that long ago at all folks!!!)

    By tomorrow it is very possible that 1 Euro could buy you 1.5 dollars.

    Trust me, that isn’t good.

  71. Oil back above $70 a barrel

    LONDON (AFP) – Oil prices climbed back above 70 dollars on Tuesday as the US currency fell in value but trading was cautious ahead of this week’s Group of 20 summit on the global economy, analysts said.

    [Too much fear of the US$]

  72. Prince Charles urges people to abandon car in favour of walking and public transport

    The Prince of Wales is urging people to give up their cars in favour of walking and public transport to try to reduce carbon emissions.

    The Prince, who has two Jaguars, two Audis, a Range Rover and still drives an Aston Martin given to him by the Queen on his 21st birthday, said developers had a duty to put public transport and the pedestrian at the heart of their housing schemes.

    Ioco optimo delactamur!
    …lead by example…

  73. How the Elite endure economic crisis….

    President Obama Stays at the Waldorf Astoria for United Nations Meeting</b.
    By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
    Sept. 22, 2009

    Want to sleep like the leader of the free world? Then be prepared to shell out $7,000 a night for the presidential suite at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/president-obama-stays-waldorf-astoria-united-nations-general/story?id=8634407

    • Lets, see, if I’m not mistaken, at our expense.

    • OMG! When we came back from Europe, we stayed at the Waldorf. The suite we booked was still occupied so they upgraded us. To a 5500 square foot apartment! That went for 5K a night! I hope O is not in my room! LOL

  74. I’ve alluded to the Great Caspian Sea Chess Game in the past…

    A short essay to give a background….

    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22579

  75. What a great caption ….

    “Only in America would a device capable of launching rivers of fire at people be less regulated than marijuana.”

    “Careful with that pot, it looks dangerous“

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Multiple-post much my friend??? 🙂

      • Arg, matey!

        I embedded too many URL’s so USWep had to release it – and I’m impatient so I re-loaded and it turned into multi-posts.

        Some days I act like a like I don’t understand technology!

    • This would come in quite handy right before my exit when all hell breaks loose (literally).

      G!

  76. Finally, some common sense and honesty from the right-wing. 😉

    Glen Beck in an online interview with Katie Couric:

    How about this? I think John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama. How’s that?

    • Both the Republican and Democrat parties stink.

      We need a leader to form a new party that adheres to the framework of the Constitution and does not sway off course.

      A leader that can identify with the working class of America!The sleeping giant majority class of non voting people.The people that have been to busy working so they could pay for those fuzzy pink houseshoe wearing crackheads on welfare.

      I nominate Sarah Palin for President and Pamela Geller for Vice President of the New Reform Constitutional party!

    • I wouldn’t get to excited-his stated reason for thinking that was-that McCain, being somewhat liberal would jump on the ban wagon with some of the liberals ideas and because he would be a republican president most of the republicans wouldn’t stand against him so more of this craziness would pass instead of being fought against.

  77. Talk about determination to cram this down our throats.

    Reid Threatens ‘Nuclear Option’ to Pass Health Care Reform as Panel Starts Work
    The Nevada senator threatened to use a budgetary tool called reconciliation — also known as the “nuclear option” — which would allow Democrats to pass key parts of health care legislation with a simple majority, as opposed to the 60 votes usually needed to avoid a filibuster.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened on Tuesday to use a procedural maneuver to steamroll opponents of health care reform, even as a Senate panel began delicate negotiations over a package that could have the best chance at passing.

    The Nevada Democrat, who has issued similar threats before, spoke as the Senate Finance Committee began debate over Chairman Max Baucus’ reform plan. Reid threatened to use a budgetary tool called reconciliation — also known as the “nuclear option” — that would allow Democrats to pass key parts of the legislation with a simple majority, as opposed to the 60 votes needed to avoid a Republican filibuster.

    “If we can’t work this out to do something within the committee structure, then we’ll be forced to do the reconciliation,” Reid said, adding that he views that as a “last resort.”

    “It remains to be seen as to whether we will have to do reconciliation. I am confident and hopeful we won’t have to do that, but time will only tell,” Reid said.

    Republican Sen. Richard Burr, N.C., said reconciliation would be a “grave mistake,” and that Reid underestimates the public concerns over the bill.

    “I don’t think it’s a threat. I think that’s what Harry Reid intends to do,” Burr told FOX News.

    But the Senate Finance Committee pushed through tense and intensive talks Tuesday to reach common ground on the Baucus plan. Senators have filed 564 amendments, and on Tuesday afternoon Baucus released a slew of changes.

    Among them, Baucus agreed to cut in half the penalty attached to a government-mandated requirement to buy health insurance. Under the changes, families could be charged a maximum of $1,900 for failing to meet the requirement — as opposed to $3,800.

    Baucus also agreed to raise the threshold for insurance plans that would be subject to an excise tax. Under the revisions, plans worth $8,750 for individuals and $23,000 for families would be subject to the tax — the thresholds were previously $8,000 for individual plans and $21,000 for family plans.

    And he agreed to increase the value of tax credits low- and middle-income people would receive toward insurance. Officials said Baucus decided to commit an additional $50 billion over a decade toward making insurance more affordable for working class families.

    The Finance Committee is the last of five panels to have a say before the full Senate debates legislation.

    Baucus’ legislation is designed to make coverage more available and affordable, while restraining the growth in the cost of medical care generally. Its 10-year price tag is below $900 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Baucus made numerous concessions to Republicans in his unsuccessful stab at bipartisan compromise, jettisoning calls for the government to sell insurance in competition with private industry, as well as a proposed requirement for large companies to offer insurance to their workers.

    In his opening remarks, Baucus sought to preempt Republican criticism.

    “Despite what some may say, this is no ‘government takeover’ of health care,” Baucus said. “Our plan does not include a public option. We did not include an employer mandate. And we have paid for every cent.”

    But Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the panel’s ranking Republican, said the White House and Democratic leaders short-circuited the bipartisan talks by imposing a mid-September deadline. “I find it utterly and completely appalling,” he said.

    Grassley criticized many of the plan’s key components, from a requirement that all Americans get insurance, to the taxes that would pay for subsidies to make the coverage affordable. He also said the bill falls short in guaranteeing that illegal immigrants won’t get government help to buy insurance, as well as in preventing funding for abortion.

    The concerns are bipartisan.

    A number of committee Democrats had raised concerns about whether subsidies in Baucus’ bill are generous enough to make insurance truly affordable for low-income people. There also are worries about the new tax on high-cost insurance plans, which critics fear would hit some middle-class workers, including many union members in risky occupations such as mining and police work.

    Those concerns were shared by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, whose support could become even more critical if legislation makes it to the Senate floor.

  78. If you needed some additional reasons to home-school your kids or at least closely monitor what is happening in the classroom, check out this video on “The Story of Stuff”. Also read the new policy that the Tucson schools are putting in:

    http://rightsoup.com/

    • And just because….

      …www.techsoup.com

      Caters to non-profits for software and stuff. If you have a homeschools society or non-profit, it is a great way to get very very cheap, top-line software and hardware.

  79. v. Holland

    One more question-you keep saying oil companies won’t be willing to gut themselves but they seem to want to drill for oil, they get land grants, they fight in court the groups who want to stop them, from articles I’ve read they invest in research aimed at drilling for oil here-So why are you saying they won’t and don’t want to drill here.

    I’m not saying that at all.

    I am saying:

    1) Any oil replace no oil
    2) Cheap oil replaces expensive oil

    3) If you force expensive oil to replace cheap oil you will suffer a drop in your standard of living.

    As far as the your hypothesis on what the government may do it is certainly logical but in the end I still do not know whether you believe using our natural resources is a bad idea because of what the government might do -or on the merits of idea itself

    The only opinion I hold is that free men are the ones who are best able to know what is and what is not a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ idea.

    I will also say that the ‘lock up’ of USA resources was purposeful.

    It was a plan to save indigenous oil and consume foreign oil as a matter of policy.

    If you consider a wartime scenario, you would want as much of your own oil and depend on nothing from foreign oil.

    It was thought that in peace time, a country would husband their own resources while consuming foreign resources. Yes, it would cost money, but if you can print as much as you need – what did it really cost?

    As a strategist, I think this was a very brilliant maneuver. But time has passed and many people have forgotten the reason for the strategy.

  80. Hi Ya’ll!

    Here’s to being invincable! thanks to some Canadians no less!

    G!

    • I was fortunate in 1999 to meet the lead singer of this band and share a cold beer with before he performed. My favorite song nby this band is “Lucky One”, which he reluctantly played that night. As he explained it was about his wife dying in a car accident some years before. It was a very touching moment. This song I’m puttig up was played that night as well, and says alot about the way most of us feel here. Note the quotes as they scroll along the bottom!

      PEACE!

      G!

  81. If you’re reading this blog entry you’re obviously concerned about the Health Care bill and how it’s being handled by our legislators. If you want to do something about it, something real, then visit our website: HealthCareforUs.org http://www.healthcareforus.org/

    We are CrowdPowerNow and we’ve recently developed this ground-breaking site that uses the power of the internet and a methodology called CrowdSourcing to collect and provide meaningful information to our legislators about the current H.R. 3200. With the information we’ve gathered, they can understand, modify, and vote intelligently with compelling guidance from their constituents.

    CrowdPowerNow needs the crowd (that’s you), and now! Please visit the survey site and participate. It only takes a few minutes.

    Check it out and join in: http://www.healthcareforus.org/

    Thanks,
    The team at CrowdPowerNow

  82. Haven’t had the time to read ur health blogs but I just listened in the background the PBS show on healthcare and not ONE mention about the cause of the costs, just the problems for’the people’ (possibly I missed a lot)

    I saw this just the other day:

    Outrageous! Illegal immigrants and how they drive up our health care costs.

    Carol Plato, an executive director of Martin Memorial Medical Center in Florida, gives a briefing on the specific costs and liabilities the hospital has incurred while treating illegal immigrants.

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