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  1. Just A Citizen says:
    February 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    S.K. Trynosky

    Howdy S.K.

    If you hadn’t seen it already, I wanted to share another person’s explanation of the “marriage” issue that I believe reflects the argument you have been trying to make. Your have good company on this one.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/how_to_win_the_marriage_debate.html

    The other part of this, which I was trying to get at with my comment to Mathius, is the “normative” behavior of a society. Marriage is a “normative” definition that has existed for thousands of years, and in only a few isolated cultures did it mean anything other than a union between a man and woman. Even BEFORE the Churches got involved, let alone Govt.

    Anyhow, I thought you would like to see you are not alone.
    Reply

    SK Trynosky Sr. says:
    February 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Very, very good, appreciate it. Also nice to be on the cutting edge. One would hope that Matt and Buck would read it then re-read it and re-read it until they get it. Never happen of course because, everyone born in the past 40 years or so has been educated in a womb like environment where everything is either always nicey-nicey or should be. Not that all people born before that are different it’s just that the culture is now determined by nicey-nicey because the losers from the ’60′s became the winners and got to set the agenda.
    Reply
    T-Ray says:
    February 9, 2012 at 2:36 am

    It is a very good article especially the last line. SK, I am with you. The word marriage is a centuries old definition that government does not have the right to redefine. The gay crowd has latched onto the word marriage to gain legitimacy more than anything else. They would get everything they want almost immediately if they just drop the term marriage. That is why I suggested parriage above. Or maybe we could come up with gender specific terms such as herriage or hissiage. Be creative but leave marriage alone.

    In any case this is a divisive side issue. We have much bigger problems to deal with.
    Reply
    Buck the Wala says:
    February 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

    But once again, why should a gay couple have to settle for a different word?

    Remember — we are not talking about marriage in the religious sense, officiated by a priest or rabbi or other religious leader. No one is talking of forcing churches to perform nor recognize gay marriage. We are talking strictly of civil marriage — marriage under the law.

    You want to change the legal structure so there is no such thing as civil marriage and everyone (under the law, I’m not talking about religion here)has a civil union or domestic partnership, fine. Be my guest. Good luck with that one though. But so long as there is civil marriage, recognized by the government, granted benefits by the government, you don’t get to decide who can and cannot enter that institution based on sexual orientation.
    Reply
    SK Trynosky Sr. says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

    What are the benefits??? What are they??? I have been asking for days. Please enumerate and explain to me how, if there are any, they would NOT be provided in CU or DP’s.

    I’m almost willing to bet that the “benefits” are long gone. Sort of when I looked for income averaging in the tax code a few years ago because of a windfall and found it was gone for decades. The ball is in your court my friend. I apologize in advance for my stupidity if I have missed something.
    Reply
    Buck the Wala says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

    There are 1,138 benefits of marriage at the federal level alone — http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04353r.pdf; http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/same-sex-couples-federal-marriage-benefits-30326.html (as the second link demonstrates, many of these benefits do NOT apply to civil unions nor to domestic partnerships.

    Now even if every single statute was amended to provide the exact same benefits to those with a ‘civil union’ or ‘domestic partnership’, I will ask again — why, in the context of civil marriage, should the government be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples? Why should these couples be forced to use a different term?
    Reply
    gmanfortruth says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

    But once again, why should a gay couple have to settle for a different word?

    Buck, In the traditional term of marriage, they are different, sorry, but that is just a fact. I agree that everyone should have the same legal rights when they chose to be united, but I don’t think it is truly needed to use a traditional religious term. Maybe, the majority should demand that the States change their terms to civil union, equal for everyone, and our churches can issue a marriage certificate for religious purposes.
    Reply
    Buck the Wala says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I would be fine with that arrangement — civil unions for all; marriage as purely religious — but that’s not the case.

    Marriage is no longer solely a religious term.
    Reply
    gmanfortruth says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Buck, I have known many gay couples over the years, they are not concerned with the word, just the legal benefits, with most of that being health benefits. All this we want to be called the same crap is total left wing “communist manifesto” bullshit that is propogated by a very small number of leftists and sensationalized by the corporate whore media. It would be easier for the laws to be changed, than to demand the people change.
    T-Ray says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Marriage is a rite not a right. You are not free to marry your brother, mother, father, two people at once. There are lots of restrictions on marriage. Marriage by definition is between a man and a woman with the above caveats. The restrictions were created for reason as they benefited society by reducing birth defects, disputes, and prohibit some men from hording. What benefit to society does gay marriage produce. Again as I stated, the insistence on using the word is to gain legitimacy not legal privileges. In my discussion with patent attorneys they always emphasize that it is a strong argument to quote a dictionary definition of a word in a legal dispute. If that is the standard, then we should not be arbitrarily redefining words. I have no problem is the people or the legislatures decide to legalize gay unions. I do have problem with them using the term marriage and I do have a problem with legislating it from the bench.
    Reply
    Buck the Wala says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Ok then….per Merriam-Webster:

    MARRIAGE:
    1a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

    Hey look at that, it includes same-sex couples!
    Reply
    SK Trynosky Sr. says:
    February 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

    What year?

    SK Trynosky Sr. says:
    February 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

    The answer G is so obvious because they can’t be married, not without a pre-frontal lobotomy for the other 95% of the population. Your proposed solution, like mine would never be accepted because, as T says above, they want “legitimacy. The next question is why such a hard push? Since the society has more or less agreed to roll over and play dead on CU and DP’s , what’s the big deal? That’s is where it gets interesting and murky.

    Had this been before Homosexuality was removed from the lexicon as a deviation in the ’70′s, I, as an almost psychologist, would have said that it was because gays understood that they were outside the norm and were desperately seeking acceptance. Now due to the maturation of the society if you prefer, or the go along-get along phenomena they have achieved that acceptance they wanted. Let’s be honest 99.999% of Homosexuals at the time of the Stonewall riots would have thought that they died and went to heaven if they had what they have today. But, not only is it always “more” it is also, “you have it and we don’t” or vica versa. There is still a deep seated unease and insecurity among gays that they are not quite right, that there is something wrong. Unfortunately for the rest of the society giving them everything they want will buy no more peace than giving Czechoslovakia to Hitler did. Actually, we are up to Poland, we already gave away Czechoslovakia.

    We all have gay relatives or friends. In my own family, I see a kind of Bizzaro (from Superman) behavior which mimics straight lifestyles but at the same time sanctifies all things gay: flags, Rehoboth beach, Greenwich village, Fire Island, outlandish clothing etc. I know a very few gays whom I would say have it down right and who knows if I know them well enough to even say that. Maybe they are just better at hiding it.

    All this goes against conventional wisdom, but on this issue, conventional wisdom is less than 25 years old.

  2. gmanfortruth says:

    8)

  3. I am curious gentlemen why you think making the Institution of marriage legal as a purely religious designation-will make any difference if marriage on a legal footing is simply any union. You are losing the institution of marriage in the legal area while the left is slowly destroying freedom of religion.

    • But what really is the central issue here? It isn’t whether marriage is a right or a privilege; it isn’t whether it is covered under the Constitution. It isn’t even whether or not homosexuals have a right to “marry.” The crux of the matter is this: what is this right or privilege?

      If the court rules that there is a right to a certain thing, it must know what that thing is. Yet if the court accepted that the thing called “marriage” is the union between a man and woman, there would be no debate. The judges would simply state that, just like anyone else, homosexuals have a right to marry — to form that time-honored union between themselves and a member of the opposite sex.

      Now, some will say the court accepts that there has been a redefinition of marriage. If so, they had best tell us what it is. Because, you see, our leftist marriage engineers have not redefined marriage.

      They have undefined it.

      They have not said that marriage is the union between any two people. If they did, they’d render themselves just as “exclusionary” and “discriminatory” as those they decry and relinquish a hammer with which they bludgeon tradition. They have not offered any alternative parameters for marriage. They’ve simply implied that the correct definition — the one accepted for millennia in Western civilization — is wrong.

      Yet if these leftists cannot say what marriage is, how can they be so sure about what it isn’t? If they cannot offer a definition they’re certain is right, how can they be so confident that the right definition is wrong?

      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/how_to_win_the_marriage_debate.html#ixzz1ltxHeQlV

    • See if I can add to that and have it make a little more sense-you are proclaiming with this idea that the institution of marriage is only important based on religious belief-that there is no other argument to support the distinction. Even your own which is that it has been used as the definition of marriage for thousands of years.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        So lets abolish civil marriage altogether then. Keep marriage as a religious institution and confer no legal rights based on a religious marriage absent proof of a civil, government issued “Certificate of Civil Union”.

        • Lets not-let’s establish both based on there actual definitions and let the crumbs fall where they may.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Why do you feel the need to keep what YOU have as a ‘marriage’ (legally) and deny what THEY have as a ‘marriage’?

            Under this proposal, no one would stop you from going to church, having a wedding ceremony, and be married under your religion.

            • It’s that no one will stop me from going to Church-I don’t live my life solely within the church-I have individual rights I want respected in the public spear, whether they are religious or secular,not just in the private, especially now that for all practical legal purposes there is no private anymore. So I ask you why must they have the word marriage? Why must they change the Institution of marriage in order to get their rights.

              You see I have watched for many years while “rights” in this country have become based on the Wants of a small minority not their rights. And it isn’t just being a minority -it is only if you are a part of a PC picked “oppressed” minority. Any other individual or institution whether minority or majority, well their rights are expendable. You don’t get it yet Buck-this is a war-not just some small disagreements.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                And no one is trying to take away your rights. You can still go to your church and get married. But why do you insist on denying these same rights to another?

                Under the proposal offered, your marriage would just not be called a ‘marriage’ by the government; instead you would sign a piece of paper (as you already do) and be issued a Certificate of Civil Union. This way:

                Your definition of marriage is preserved as a religious institution governed by one’s particular religion. (Take government out of ‘marriage’)

                And their rights are preserved by granting them all the same rights and privileges you are afforded.

              • I think I already answered that question-and your explanation of what it will mean hasn’t changed-so really not sure what I can add, except-take government out of marriage sounds similar to take religion out of the public square. So your secular religion can have free reign to control the rest of us.

              • I see how it wounds similar VH, but I dont think it is. Removing religion from the public square is a restriction of commons usage that is an infringement on both free speech and freedom of religion. It also presumes an absence of religious display to be an absence of belief system, which it is not, since there is no such thing as an absence of belief system.

                Marriage, on the other hand, has existed in societies in different ways depending on the society for a very long time, well before your particular definition was put in place. It has always been, however, defined by the culture itself. It should remain that, and if you take issue with the culture’s definition, then you have to set about changing the culture, the hearts and minds of people. Using law will only open the door to interference from government in religious matters and decrease the influence of social mores and cultural pressure on the society. When morals are enforced by law, then legality becomes the standard for morality. When you consider the morality of our legislature, that should be heinously frightening.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                “Progress”

                Some “institutions” by necessity are walked back/changed/reset because hopefully we have become more enlightened (little “e” not big “E”). Slavery was an Institution for thousands of years. Took us Patriotic freedom lovers a while but we finally got it right and decided it wasn’t an Institution we wanted or needed to keep around. The female as homekeeper/child-bearer/child-raiser something_less_than_male_counterpart – well that was also an Institution for hundreds/thousands of years. Took us longer than the slavery thingy but we eventually got that right (Rick Santorum be damned).

                Gay Marriage? GO for it! Go in front of the Judge, exchange your vows, become as legally recognized as my wife and I. It takes away none of my freedom and does not change how my wife and I define our marriage in any context whatsoever.

                If it really is about the “word” – perhaps those opposed could have a word given back to them in exchange? How about the word “GAY”? Maybe SK or G-Man or LOI would relish the thought of waking on the right side of the bed and proclaiming how gay they feel? Heck – a guy like G-Man that lives off the land, deep in God’s country, salt_of_the_Earth – we could now say he is rocking a rather gay lifestyle no?

                Or

                I’m just kidding.

                😉

            • Buck

              The reverse argument is also true.

              Having two “Names”, for this combining of people, both of which having the same “govt privileges” would not harm the “gay” nor would it deny any Right to them.

              Unless of course this is really not about Rights but about “acceptance as the same”. Which is the psychological point raised by S.K.. The law can not create “sameness” where it does not exist.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Separate but equal does not equal make.

                There is absolutely no reason to deny a gay couple the right to declare what they share a marriage. In fact, on your and SK’s psychological point, it can be said the only reason to refuse to permit a gay couple to call what they have ‘marriage’ is to stigmatize.

              • Buck

                ” In fact, on your and SK’s psychological point, it can be said the only reason to refuse to permit a gay couple to call what they have ‘marriage’ is to stigmatize.”

                On this point it is one and the same. They are claiming a stigma and therefore claiming they MUST be called something that is the “same” as others to prevent this.

                Now I am sure there are some who would love to stigmatize homosexuals. But that has not been the point of our discussion nor the arguments posed by SK and me.

                This is not an issue of “separate but equal”. It is about two names, one of which is recognized as the historical DEFINITION.

                Your argument is like saying Black and White, both with the same protected rights, privileges and immunities, are “separate but equal”. Yet they are separated only by the REALITY of their color, which is an historically accepted “DEFINITION”

                Under your argument we would have to declare ourselves “Creamies” or Tannies, as none could be white or black.

              • Buck

                I forgot to address the rest.

                We are all FREE to run around claiming anything we wish. You can call yourself and Apple.

                It doesn’t change Reality or the Truth.

                In this case we are dealing with a Reality that involves Normative Human behavior and values. That is why words mean what they mean. In this case marriage.

                Now as the culture changes, if it does, the words will take on new meanings. This indicates a societal change. The kind needed that would also carry a less likely “stigmatization” of those same sex “marriages”.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                That’s just bizarre JAC.

                As BF has demonstrated, there is no static, traditional definition of marriage. The word itself has meant different things to different people throughout time.

              • Buck

                I suggest you look again at what it was he showed. It is the same as I provided yesterday.

                The term “Marriage” has a very specific “core” content throughout history. Union of men and women.

                The cultural variations can affect age, numbers etc, but it is men and women. As I said, there were a few recorded exceptions. But they never lasted.

                So there has in fact been a pretty static and traditional definition of marriage.

                It is not until recent times when the Govt becomes involved that we see things “dictated”, such as polygamy and minimum age. But still, the Govt set “cultural” bounds on the same things that had varied in the past. None of which was same sex.

                So my response is not bizarre at all.

                Look at it this way. Even in the USA Polygamy is recognized by “common meaning” as a “marriage”. But it is a “culturally unacceptable” version of “marriage. But it is STILL a marriage.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Firstly, Buck actually is an Apple. This is the internet, so I could see why you wouldn’t have realized this sooner. A Fuji, if I’m not mistaken.

                Secondly, as Buck points out that Black Flag pointed out, your definition of “Normative Human behavior and values” relies on a very geographically and temporally narrow definition. You’re saying it’s normative HERE and NOW and in SIMILAR SOCIETIES and in RECENT TIMES. Well yes. That’s like saying “Conservatives are right about everything – I know because I asked everyone at my recent tea party meeting and they all agreed.” It’s sampling error, pure and simple.

                Third, and I can’t stress this enough, just because “most people” think something doesn’t make it right. There was a time when “most people” agreed that black people were an inferior race and could morally be considered property. They would have pointed at recent history and similar societies and said the same thing to you: “Normative Human behavior and values” tell us this is right.

                Fourth, I’m not certain you’re right that “most people” think this…”A poll conducted by the University of Washington in October revealed that about 43 percent of respondents support gay marriage.” (this may be a Washington DC specific poll) If this goes up to 51, will you suddenly drop your objection since “most people” support it? Also, if “most people” support it in DC but not in the US as a whole, does that make it normative in DC and therefore ok, but not ok once you cross the border?

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Buck, BF has not demonstrated any such thing. As usual, he has cherry picked. I refer you to the Wiki page and all the footnotes. Fascinating.

              • JAC, SK

                Try demonstrating your point regarding marriage WITHOUT resorting to religion or cultural norms.

                ….you can probably do the former but you cannot do via the latter.

                And that is the point:
                Marriage is defined by the individuals – in groups – and the size of the group is irrelevant – two is enough.

                If your group doesn’t want to “recognize” such a union, power to you. But your recognizing it..or not.. is completely irrelevant to “this group” over here which does recognize it (or not).

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Matt, not comfortable with the slavery analogy. Unlike the ante bellum south or Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, we are not denying the actual humanity of a person. They are human, they get to enter into a binding contract with benefits and responsibilities but its not a marriage. Flag would have you believe that there was never a religious component until the 12th century. Your Jewish heritage tells you otherwise as does my Christian heritage as does a quick perusal of the history of marriage.

                There is a larger issue here. Assume that 95.8 % of Americans in 2025 and 99% of western Europeans accept marriage as between any two people regardless of sex. The rest of the world, Asia, Africa, South America etc. does not. Are you fostering cultural imperialism on them?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                SK, I took a look at wikipedia (not exactly a reliable source, but if you are going to cherry pick from it to make your point, I may as well do the same).

                Per Wiki:

                “Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation.” Which is what I’ve been saying all along — I am only talking about civil marriage, not religious.

                Moreover, “Marriage (or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. Such a union, often formalized via a wedding ceremony, may also be called matrimony. Many cultures limit marriage to two persons of the opposite sex, but some allow forms of polygamous marriage, and some recognize same-sex marriage.” Hey, look at that – same-sex marriage is a type of marriage, according to your source! 🙂

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Flag, as you and I have kicked around before, anyone is obviously able to call themselves anything they want but neither I nor the society as a whole should be forced to use the term just to make them happy.

                Now, I fully expect this to change in the not too distant future but it will not change for any reason that makes any sense but to be “correct” and be nicey-nicey.

                On the other hand, I sure ain’t going quietly.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                SK, you aren’t being forced to call it anything; government is being forced to do so.

              • Mathius™ says:

                SK is the government.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                So, if I am the government, I’m going to need an AG. Can’t appoint my son, so be nice to me, both of you!

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Buck, yep, I read that too but look at the cultures that did. Somehow not quite equivalent.

        • I do not have a problem with that. Tho I would go a step further. Contractual legal arrangements confer government involvement only in cases of breach of contract. There should be no tax breaks or special treatment or rights granted because someone is in a legal civil union. Matters of custody, first of kin decisions, and property ownership are matters within said contracts. Matters of binding relationship need not have any government involvement.

          The problem with forced definition under the law is that it allows legal control over religion, where a matter of religion can be forced to compromise because of government mandate. That means a church or religious body that accepted polygamy or same sex marriage could not do so under threat of law, or a church that refused to honor those things could be just as easily forced under the law if the law didn’t “go the way they wanted”. Religion and morality should never be the sole basis for laws or legal action.

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            The whole issue of getting a civil certificate to be “married” or enter a “domestic partnership” is pretty ridiculous. I could see an after the fact registration as with a contract but I believe that the issue of licenses went back to a time when you had to prove fitness in age, heredity or health. Once the Wasserman test went out the window, (thank you AIDS), there is really no longer a reason. By eliminating the license and replacing it with a post facto contract registration, Government is out of the business. You, because of the registration, should automatically qualify for those cohabitation benefits because of the contract.

            There are many, many ways to skin a cat and not offend anyone in the process. Except PETA of course.

            • Common Man says:

              SK;

              Responding to all, but yours was the first place I could hit reply. You folks are disgussing rules and laws and guidelines and how they will be or will not be enforced. Regardless the outcome we wind up with more rules laws, or re-defined rules or laws…that is the problem.

              It does not matter who is driving it or for what reason if it leads to more or more complex regulations, because that is what the government is all about. More rules, laws or redefined rules and laws means more and more government influence, regulation, taxes, and ultimately CONTROL.

              Until we agree that a regulating organization (government) is not required to ensure individual rights and freedom, then we are only playing into their hands.

              CM

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Well, without a license, it gets easier. Registering a contract is something new but not really different. I believe that when I got married I had to give the license to the church who then forwarded it back to the gov’t.

                They sure made it a lot easier, (and more dangerous) when they dropped the blood test.

            • True, there need be no preceding license. That is the first thing that needs to go. No one needs the government’s permission to do diddly squat.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Maybe it’s time that the freedom loving people started saying “NO” in unison and very loudly!

  4. I watched a segment on this on FOX this AM. They stated 67 million in the US get an average of $32,000 yearly in some form of government assistance. Thirty-two thousand per person is not a safety net, it’s a low/middle income. And tell me it doesn’t explain high unemployment? If you can make more not working, why work?

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/08/report-government-dependency-jumps-25-percent-since-2005/#ixzz1ltutHdHw

    The American public’s dependency on government programs jumped almost 25 percent since 2005, according to a study released Wednesday by The Heritage Foundation, which found that roughly 67 million Americans now depend on government programs.

    Current policies that measure entitlement eligibility are flawed and have created a fiscal nightmare, according to the report.

    The Heritage Foundation found that dependence on the government grew steadily since 1962, when its dependency index stood at 19. By 1980, the index rose to 100, and it grew to 294 in 2010.

    The rate of government dependency growth under Obama has been comparable to Jimmy Carter’s presidency, according to the report. Increases in housing subsidies, an expansion in Medicaid, changes to the welfare system, and a sudden rise in food stamp issuance have been the main contributors to dependency growth.

    As “baby boomers” age and become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, government expenditures will balloon, the report finds, with the programs going from 42 percent of non-interest federal spending now to around 62 percent of spending in two decades.

    A large number of new retirees eligible for benefits will be middle-class citizens that don’t immediately need government assistance, the report notes.

    The study calculated its index to measure the “weight” (number of people dependent) of government programs. Housing carried the largest burden, followed by health care and welfare services, retirement services, higher education and agricultural services.

    The most significant problem, identified by the report, is that almost half of Americans don’t pay income taxes. The study showed that 49.5 percent of Americans reported paying no income tax in 2009. The figure in the late 1960s was only 12 percent.

  5. gmanfortruth says:

    Lets solve alot of problems in this nation by abolishing our current governments and start over without all the BS laws, the BS taxes and the BS wars. They say money talks, and it sure has been doing the walking to our detriment for a long time. The moment of truth is coming. End the corruption and the lies.

  6. 8)

  7. 8) *)

  8. gmanfortruth says:

    @Ray

    Good day to you and yours today 🙂 Yes, I have quite a gay life, in the traditional terms (I’m a very HAPPY dude). I don’t care what those who engage in the alternative lifestyles, it matters nothing to me. My issue today is draw up plans for a chicken coop and order the wood. I’m getting 7 hens and 2 roosters for free from an older couple who don’t want the hassles anymore. I will supply them with eggs as a courtesy.

    Also raising two pigs to butcher then end of summer, great tasting I might add (best chops I ever had) and continue making brandy (Kiwi is brewing now). We have a great deer herd and life is quite good! Hope life is just as good for you and your family! 🙂

    • Kathy can probably hook you up with a couple cows while you’re at it. Spent a week on a chicken ranch last summer. Say goodbye to your peace and quiet, but I guess a cock-a doodle -do is better than trains, planes, and automobiles.

      • Moo Moo!

        Sorry, but I’m a “village” slicker on the edge of farmland. Close as I get to them are when I am out for one of my country route runs and have to go by a field that just laid down liquid manure. Nasty, nasty stuff that burns your nostrils!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        A chicken ranch? I never knew there was such a thing!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Kiwi brandy? Very cool G-man. You’ll be quite gay after a few draws of that nectar! Is the witches tit smacking you in the face up North there?

      Take care…..

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Yep, it’s goona get chilly for a few days 😦 The only good part is the snow, it sure is beautiful after a fresh snow 🙂 The brandy’s are good, we have just about every flavor now and will get busy when the berries come into season. We have about 84 fifths on the shelf so far, and yes, it gets better with age!

  9. 😐

  10. V.H.

    What do you mean by the “institution” of marriage? How can the “institution” be lost if the Govt is not involved in it as a matter of “legal definitions” or classification?

    I have also seen the argument that this will destroy the “sanctity” of marriage. Can you explain what that means to you?

    • Institution of marriage mean? just that marriage is important-it is a matter of significance. How can it be lost ….? First the government isn’t gonna get out of the matter, if they actually did-it might be okay. But their not going to-so by just changing the word that defines all personal unions to the same word. Doesn’t seem to change anything in reality as far as the government/law is concerned. Except to effectively, legally give them the same name-whether that same name is marriage or civil unions is moot in everything but the religious.

      sanctity of marriage-I did mention this in the overall effect of the -“do what feels good ” mentality of the progressive movement as harming the sanctity of marriage. Gay marriage and hetero marriage being defined as exactly the same is just another step in the progressive ladder towards outlawing any importance in sexual distinctions.

  11. Common Man says:

    All;

    I know I am getting in on this way late and have not read each and every word of the exchanges, however why are we arguing government involvement in anyway what so ever as it relates to marriage or unions of any type. As a free born human I have the right to enter into any kind of relationship I want as long as it does not impead others. the government (any form) does not have the authority or right to tell me I cannot.

    Now smart people would obtain the services of a lawyer and draw up binding contracts or agreements in order to avoid probate, but regardless as a free man or woman we can chose to live and worship how we please; the government be damned.

    CM

    • CM

      I think most of us are in agreement with that. But the issue arises because the Govt HAS involved itself in the matter.

      The issue raises a very good “first principles” discussion as well as the relationship of Govt vs. Common Law.

      But along your lines of thought, we should ask what the “proper” role of Govt is in marriage as well as any other form of relationship, agreement, promise, contract, etc.

      In my view it is to “register” the agreements and to organize a trial by jury, should the parties fall into dispute over the terms of their agreement.

      • Common Man says:

        JAC;

        Hope you are well my friend. I do miss the exchanges here at SUFA, but work, work, work. Anyway, I agree from the standpoint of regulating “registered” agreements, but even limiting government to manage disputes leaves them with enough leverage to establish proceedure or additional law; and then we are back to the same old shit.

        As life progresses I am becoming more and more resistant to any Government regulations; especially since pretty much everything they have stuck their nose into is screwed blued and tatooed.

        I do not know how to reverse things, especially at a federal level, but maybe things can be changed at the individual level.

        When I can, I conduct business via a hand shake and promise (my word is my bond) or if it warrants a written agreement then I work to specify exact terms should negatives occur that are agreeable to both parties. This seems to promote more goodwill than two lawyers spitting out mumbo jumbo legal-ezee. (No offense Buck).

        My marriage is documented as is my Last Will and Testiment. I have named an executor and counsel and granted them absolute rights to distribute accordingly, and everyone involved is already aware of each and every specific detail.

        I think that if all of us as individuals conducted both business and personal functions in a like manner we might be able to weed government out.

        Live free my friend

        CM

        • Common Man

          It is good to hear from you.

          I do not want Govt to be involved in “managing” the dispute, just responsible for Calling the Jury and maintaining the list of eligible jurors in my community, and perhaps making sure that a proper decorum and fair procedure is followed. You know, the historical purpose of the “judge” in the courtroom.

          I agree with the rest, including how I too have less and less use and more and more suspicion about everything Govt.

          If we stick with the effort, I believe it will eventually change. I do not think I will see it, but you and I, as well as others, can certainly lay the groundwork.

          • Common Man says:

            JAC;

            We are working for our Grandchildren, both those here and those yet to be born.

            CM

            • CM

              My friend, I agree totally.

              As long as we set aside a little time to spend fishing together some day. Or perhaps hunting hogs with the Colonel.

              🙂

              • Can;t just hunt the hogs….need some deer thinning, some turkey…..also have great catfish and bass fishing…..can’t promise anything else but great food, really good sleep, no cell phone coverage, fresh water (really fresh, no additives)…we actually have electricity (generator supplied), hot water, fresh air (no ozone or exhaust), more stars than you can count, a really great looking moon (the one in the sky), Corona Beer, Tequila, limes, Pistachio Nuts, plenty of arrow heads to find, pecan trees (bearing), plenty of red buds, cottonwoods, oaks, and ash trees to lounge under (beware of copperheads and rattlers in the oak groves,,it is suggested that you do not sit on one…they get really pissed), friendship without politics, poker (stud, draw, and the ever popular Texas Hold’ em), skeet, trap, a regulation pool table (complete with rack, pool balls, chalk, and cues), a bed for everyone (male or female companionship not included…byoc). English IS the official language and we proudly fly the American Flag from a regulation flag pole at the gate. Plenty of walking trails (not suggested to start out on your own,,,,there is 30,000 acres to get lost in complete with critters).

                Other than these minor details, it is a great place.

              • Common Man says:

                JAC/Colonel;

                I am very happy that I get to assist the Colonel in helping to manage his critter abundance. I cannot think of a more enjoyable time. Although fishing the White River in Arkansas comes pretty darn close. As a matter of fact we are headed down that way on May 10th for a week. Maybe my goal of a 5 + pound Cutty will met

                CM

              • Common Man says:

                JAC;

                You let me know when you want to join us in Arkansas, we go every year. We usually book for May either the first or second week. We try to keep the numbers even because there are always 2 men to a boat and there is never too many friends.

                CM

  12. Interesting article from liberal blog, Naked Capialism.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/02/the-top-twelve-reasons-why-you-should-hate-the-mortgage-settlement.html

    From one commenter:

    This deal is as important to Obama’s career prospects as the assassination of Osama bin Laden, and has been pursued with similar vigor. One of these escapades was for the benefit of those who think they have power; one was for the benefit of those who actually do. Obama learned from Clinton that the real base of the modern Democratic Party is not urban blacks or unionized labor, it is Wall Street.

    The only remaining question is whether the banks will now throw their weight behind Romney or stick with the Golden Boy who has proved he will deliver for them.

  13. Mathius

    I moved your comment here for more space.

    I am afraid that once again you fail to grasp the core argument and concepts here. I will try to address your points within your argument.

    Mathius™ says:
    February 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    M: Firstly, Buck actually is an Apple. This is the internet, so I could see why you wouldn’t have realized this sooner. A Fuji, if I’m not mistaken.

    JAC: Fuji, Macintosh, Braeburn and Red Delicious are all “types” of apples. But they are not types of oranges. Just as polygamy and monogamy are “types” of marriage. But they do not involve same sex couples.

    M: Secondly, as Buck points out that Black Flag pointed out, your definition of “Normative Human behavior and values” relies on a very geographically and temporally narrow definition.

    JAC: NO! As I explained to Buck, Marriage has a Core Meaning. The “types” that have existed did not change the “definition”. Cultural norms only changed the “type” that was deemed acceptable. Now notice how in some of those cultures this was “codified” by Govt Law. While others are more open to the core meaning.

    M: You’re saying it’s normative HERE and NOW and in SIMILAR SOCIETIES and in RECENT TIMES. Well yes.

    JAC: NO! That is NOT what I am saying. And I do not agree with BF’s use of “definition” to denote different types of marriage that reflected more local cultural norms/acceptance. I do agree with BF that local norms dictated the “type” of marriage considered acceptable.

    M: So it is more like saying that Marriage is universal but Monogamy is the Cultural Norm in the USA. But, once again, the definition of Marriage is pretty much universal and is a normative type word. As opposed to Apple, which is more of a name for and description of an object.

    M: That’s like saying “Conservatives are right about everything – I know because I asked everyone at my recent tea party meeting and they all agreed.” It’s sampling error, pure and simple.

    JAC: That my friend is the fallacy of confused concepts.

    M: Third, and I can’t stress this enough, just because “most people” think something doesn’t make it right.

    JAC: True. Just as “most people” thinking something doesn’t make it wrong. Right is right and wrong is wrong, how many think so is irrelevant.

    M: There was a time when “most people” agreed that black people were an inferior race and could morally be considered property. They would have pointed at recent history and similar societies and said the same thing to you: “Normative Human behavior and values” tell us this is right.

    JAC: Another example of the confused concept fallacy. I am talking about a “DEFINTION” of a word. That word exists to describe a condition/state of a certain general relationship among humans that is widely and historically accepted. Thus it is “normative” in its construct. It was not created by some scientist classifying things. It was developed by humans over time.

    Your example of black people is also a fallacious argument. Not only confused concept but a strawman. Again, definitions not moral behavior is the issue at hand. The issue and condition of slavery or the “normal” opinion of blacks does not change the definition of the words, black, slave, inferior, race or property. In fact along the same as I posted above, “slaves” are a “type” of “property” but that “type” is not acceptable according to our cultural norms. But “property” still has the same definition as it did when “slavery” was acceptable.

    M: Fourth, I’m not certain you’re right that “most people” think this…”A poll conducted by the University of Washington in October revealed that about 43 percent of respondents support gay marriage.” (this may be a Washington DC specific poll) If this goes up to 51, will you suddenly drop your objection since “most people” support it? Also, if “most people” support it in DC but not in the US as a whole, does that make it normative in DC and therefore ok, but not ok once you cross the border?

    JAC: You are providing current political and public opinion polls as argument against centuries of Human norms and values. That my friend does not provide a proof nor a reasoned argument.

    Now I grant you this. As time passes and the push and pull of “Culture” proceeds, there may come a time when HUMANS accept same sex unions as part of the “definition” of marriage. But that involves much more than the opinion of a small majority of Americans.

    But what we have going on now, today, and what this discussion has been about is the Govt imposing ITS definition upon Society for reasons that have nothing to do with protection of Civil Rights.

    Again, remember we are talking about the broad meaning of the word. NOT the “legal” restrictions or “types” or acceptable variations. As MOST Americans do not think about nor discuss these things as we do here at SUFA, I put little stock in their “OPINION”.

    What is true, is that Americans are increasingly tolerant of and accepting of Homosexual Unions and that those unions should have the same “Govt Cookies”, immunities and privileges, as those in a Marriage. They are willing to call it Marriage only because nobody has presented arguments like we do here. It is always presented as a false dichotomy of “equal rights”.

    Mathius, the issue of civil (govt) rights and equal treatment under the law can be addressed without changing the meaning or accepted definition of Marriage as being between men and women. Now it may be more complicated but look at how many unemployed lawyers Mr. Obama could put back to work over the next year.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Nice. Probably futile, but nice.

    • Ok, on matters of definition of terms or of the concept of “A is A”, I agree. Calling a homosexual relationship marriage, if indeed marriage is a male/female thing will not make it the same thing. The arguments used to support the idea of gay marriage all center around situations involving legal rights and standing. Family tax rates, custody of children and child support, alimony, ownership of property in the case of a seperation or death, and rights of next-of-kin decisions such as what to do when someone is in a severe medical situation like a coma. IF that is the goal, the removing government from marriage and instituting civil union contracts for all (after the fact and no license needed) would be the solution.

      If, on the other hand, the goal is to call something by a certain name in order to force acceptance culturally, then it is even more important that legal standing be removed. If legal precedent is not in place, then it matters not what someone calls it, the culture will decide if it really is marriage or not. If it holds legal power, however, then it implies equal standing whether it should or not.

      If the desire for the same term is to say that the commitment is just as strong and real as any other couple in our society, then I can understand that. Marriage has become a matter of committed love/romance. It was not always this. Arranged marriages, marriages for diplomacy, marriages for purely financial reasons were commonplace, but the key was that it was a lifelong commitment or contract. Now, the entering of such a contract is generally voluntary, thus it becomes a statement of great love, and that such a thing would be chosen as the term to demonstrate the love and resolve is understandable. Also, the lack of finality and lifelong commitment in marriage is another symptom of our society. I think the strength and sanctity of marriage has been violated by heterosexuals long before the idea of gay marriage was even in anyone’s mind.

      So let people call it what they want, it does not make it anything. Dont make them use a seperate term, that only means you dont really understand what the term means yourself. You are hanging on to a term instead of the real meaning of things. Evolution of the form is dangerous, to be sure, but it is not the end of the world.

  14. SK

    They sure made it a lot easier, (and more dangerous) when they dropped the blood test.

    Dangerous??!?!?

    Eeek… not more of the same fallacy….

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Which fallacy are you talking about? I’m talking about the one that involves full disclosure to the prospective partner.

      Remember, not everybody is honorable or honest.

  15. Thought of the Day

    As it is related to this long discussion about marriage and because I have spent considerable time thinking about this over the past year.

    Without Govt humans can survive just fine. What makes that possible is the development of mutually beneficial “partnerships” or “associations” combined with the development of “normative behavior” among the group. This applies to small communities, cities, and larger areas. Peaceful coexistence depends on adherence to most of these norms. Given our nature these “norms” are not always “righteous” in terms of freedom, liberty and justice. But over time they migrate towards those standards.

    Now with Gov’t the basic rules do not change. But Govt creates a potentially intrusive factor into the normalizing process. In doing so, it creates tears in the fabric that may not mend. It sets human against human as each vies for control to assure their version of “normal” is the rule of the land. Many of our founders mentioned the need for Govt to reflect and be consistent with the people. To solicit their “affections” it was said. For without it, Govt is doomed to either revert to tyranny to maintain control, or it will be overthrown in revolution.

    In my lifetime the greatest example of this was the Roe v. Wade decision. The Govt imposed the will of one side of a National Cultural debate on the other. Right when the two sides were working out their differences in a new “norm” that could be accepted by all. It split the groups and we have lived with the effect since.

    The Civil War was the most egregious in our history. Thousands died because for some, evil was not dying fast enough.

    The abortion decision did not result in a war, but people have died, friends and family have been divided.

    The Gay marriage decision will not result in a war, but people have already died and there will be more division and hate to fuel our political arenas.

    What those who push these “got to have it now” approaches to remedy the immorality of humanity fail to recognize is that you can not force these changes by use of force. Not without causing serious long term problems. Both in society itself and in society’s “affections” for its Government.

    That is our dilemma. Fact of the matter is that we were far more enlightened in 1787 on the matters of Rights, Freedoms, Liberty and Justice than we are today.

    What does this mean? It is our philosophical core that needs to be addressed FIRST. This includes the Moral and Ethical principles from which to construct Government. The left cries out about the injustice to homosexuals if they can not marry. But most on the left do not even accept the original concept of “Rights”, so where is the basis for their argument? The “conservatives” are no better in this regard. They may understand “Rights” but then propose violating them when convenient as well.

    When we once again know and accept as a society what these things mean and that a small and less intrusive Govt is required, we will find that “happiness” sought by so many. Then and only then will be truly all be equal.

    Yes, that was a very long thought. But felt I needed to share it right now.

    Best to All This Fine Day
    🙂 🙂

  16. Black Flag

    Moved for more room. Your comment:

    “JAC, SK

    Try demonstrating your point regarding marriage WITHOUT resorting to religion or cultural norms.

    ….you can probably do the former but you cannot do via the latter.

    And that is the point:
    Marriage is defined by the individuals – in groups – and the size of the group is irrelevant – two is enough.

    If your group doesn’t want to “recognize” such a union, power to you. But your recognizing it..or not.. is completely irrelevant to “this group” over here which does recognize it (or not).”

    BF, please read my explanations to Buck and Matt. I did just what you ask. I used a general definition that is common to virtually all humans irrespective of “cultural” norms of the various groups.

    Of course you can not view marriage as anything but a “normative” construct. It is a word invented to describe “normative” behavior. As such the word has a universal meaning as well as meaning represented by more “local” norms.

    As I said, like Macintosh is to Apple.

    Now I do take exception to something you are trying to slip into the meaning here. As a word created to describe “normative behavior” that exists among humans, it is never defined by “individuals”. That is except as a group of individual living within a specific area. Size may be irrelevant but the definition certainly is not dependent upon the view of TWO people alone. Unless of course they are the only two stranded on an island.

    That flies in the face of the very meaning of “definition” itself.

    Now lets deal with groups. True, my group’s view is not relevant to your group, as long as your group does not live in my group’s territory. That is the way of the human my friend and you can not escape it. Well not unless you live on that island by yourself.

    So now lets explore what this group theory does for the argument in California. The GROUP called Californians decided that “marriage is between man and woman”. Coincidentally this group’s definition coincides with the larger tribe called Americans.

    So how is it that you are supporting the notion that nine people in black robes can overturn the “culturally normative” definition of this large group? Your not really making that argument are you?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      The Group called Californians may have decided this, but this group does not equal all Californians nor all Americans. So if the definition depends on agreement of a group, and other people within said group agree on a different definition, then how is it that the one group gets to force its definition of the term on the other group?

      The nine peoria in black robes are merely saying that the one group does not get to decide for the other it’s definition of the term; therefore the govt of California must respect each group’s definition.

      Make sense? I haven’t had coffee in a bit so will go make myself a nice double espresso…

      • Buck

        I am not talking about the effect of a “vote”.

        I view the initiative as an expression of public sentiment. Of their rejection of an imposed change to cultural norms.

        As such, the number involved is large enough to say that the “traditional” definition has not changed.

        Given the political nature of this issue nationally I thing the same can be said of the USA.

        What confuses this, at the CORE level, is the presence of Govt boundaries and the effect of Elections.

        For example, without these I would expect to see NORMATIVE behavior change in some areas. San Fran, for example would probably see a large number of same sex “marriages”. San Diego, parts of LA and the Rest of Cali, probably not.

        Again, as you have said and I affirmed, the involvement of Govt helps confuse the matter and prevents a solution that is acceptable to Society.

  17. Just when you thought it safe to go in the water…..California beaches have outlawed…….get ready for it…..football and frisbee’s. Baseball, volleyball, beach balls, horse shoes is authorized. Failure to follow those rules,,,,,,,$1,000 fine.

    A beach without football or frisbee’s…what is next…no bikini’s?

  18. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    09 February 2012 – 20H04

    Cancer drug reverses Alzheimer’s in mice: study

    AFP – A widely available cancer drug has shown remarkable success in reversing Alzheimer’s disease in mice, raising hope of a breakthrough against incurable dementia in humans, US researchers said Thursday.

    Mice treated with the drug, known as bexarotene, became rapidly smarter and the plaque in their brains that was causing their Alzheimer’s started to disappear within hours, said the research in the journal Science.

    “We were shocked and amazed,” lead author Gary Landreth of the Department of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio told AFP.

    “Things like this had never, ever been seen before,” he said.

    The drug works by boosting levels of a protein, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), that helps clear amyloid plaque buildup in the brain, a key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Think of this as a garbage disposal,” Landreth said.

    “When we are young and healthy, all of us can basically get rid of this (amyloid) and degrade it and grind it into small bits and it gets cleared.

    “Many of us will be unable to do this as efficiently as we age. And this is associated with mental decline or cognitive impairment.”

    Six hours after mice got the drug, soluble amyloid levels fell by 25 percent, ultimately reaching 75 percent reductions. The effect lasted up to three days, said the study.

    Soon after taking the drug, mice performed better on tests of mental ability and showed improved responses to odors.

    Unlike normal mice, Alzheimer’s mice will not usually build nests if given tissue paper in their cage, as if they have forgotten to associate paper with the opportunity to nest.

    But 72 hours after treatment, the Alzheimer’s mice began to build nests again.

    “They are not great nests but they are nests nonetheless,” added Landreth, suggesting that if the drug can be shown to work in humans it might be best targeted to people in the early stages of the disease.

    Clinical trials in people should begin soon and produce early results in the next year, researchers said.

    Bexarotene was initially made by US-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals under the brand name Targretin.

    It gained orphan drug status in the United States — approval by the US Food and Drug Administration — in 1999 as a treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer.

    The Japanese pharmaceutical giant Eisai bought the worldwide rights for it in 2006.

    Bexarotene is now available in 26 countries in Europe, North America and South America.

    • WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      • Yes, a definite WOW!!!!!!!!!!!-It sounds like the odds of this being a successful treatment are very high. And it’s already in the market place-so if it works it shouldn’t take a long time to get it approved for Alzheimers.

    • Saw this on the most recent ‘Rise of Planet of the Apes’ movie. * SPOILER ALERT * It made the apes smart and alzheimer patients better until the effects wore off for the humans, the upgraded formula killed all the humans and made the apes smarter. I would approach this in caution because everything I see in movies is true.

    • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

      Caution!!!!!!!

      Don’t jump on mice studies too quickly. Google Judah Volkman and endostatin. Created a wonder drug that cured mice of cancer, did diddly-squat for humans.

      I will only begin to get interested in this study when they start poking people with sharpened tukey basters full of this stuff.

      I worked in this field for over 10 years (cancer therapeutics), believe me, these companies lie through their teeth everyday.

  19. Complicated little scenario -but the next logical step in Obama’s “Progressive” plan is to make us pay for and cover actual doctor performed abortions-I mean after all-it’s JUST a matter of women’s healthcare-like the woman has a friggin disease that needs to be cured.

    February 7, 2012 4:00 A.M.
    Mandatory Abortion Coverage?
    Watching for the next step from the Obama administration.

    By Richard Doerflinger

    Advocates of religious freedom were outraged on January 20, when the Obama administration announced it would enforce its new mandate for contraception and sterilization coverage in private health-insurance plans without a meaningful conscience exemption. Even most religious organizations can’t qualify for the rule’s incredibly narrow “religious employer” exception, which will remain unchanged. NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood have said pro-life organizations are wrong to oppose such mandates: After all, they argue, increasing access to contraception (especially “emergency contraception” or “EC”) will reduce abortion, and don’t we all want that?

    This argument conveniently ignores studies showing that such access simply doesn’t reduce abortion rates. For example, out of 23 studies on the effects of increased access to ECs, not one study could show a reduction in unintended pregnancies or abortions. It also ignores the fact that at least one EC drug covered by the mandate, “Ella,” is a close analogue to the abortion pill RU-486; both drugs can induce abortion weeks into pregnancy.

    Advertisement
    But the final proof that this mandate was sold using cynical falsehoods has just been unveiled.

    On January 26, a house committee in the Washington State legislature approved what may become the nation’s first-ever law forcing private health-insurance plans to cover abortion through all stages of pregnancy. This “Reproductive Parity Act” states that any health-insurance plan providing “coverage for maternity care or services” must prove “substantially equivalent coverage” for “the voluntary termination of a pregnancy.” It seems that if a health-insurance plan will cover a full-term live birth, it must also pay for a late-term abortion.

    Hailed in the Huffington Post as “groundbreaking” by “reproductive rights” advocate Laura Bassett, the bill is being promoted by the local affiliates of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America — the same groups that endorsed the birth-control mandate and claimed it would reduce abortions.

    If mandating coverage of contraception is expected to increase use of contraception (in an effort to reduce abortions), presumably mandating coverage of abortion will increase the use of abortion. Supporting both mandates may seem inconsistent. The inconsistency disappears if we recognize that these organizations support both policies in order to reduce live births, on the assumption that this will mean a better America. Most unintended pregnancies end in live births rather than abortions, so a contraceptive mandate will likely reduce births more than it reduces abortion.

    The Washington bill, in requiring insurance plans to treat childbirth and abortion identically, represents a pro-abortion ideology in its purest and most extreme form: It suggests a belief that abortion is the moral equivalent of childbirth, that killing is the same as healing. And that bizarre view must be imposed on everyone who offers, sponsors, or buys insurance — they must provide and pay for abortion on demand as though they believed it too.

    That ideology must be imposed by law to get anywhere at all — because few people, left to their own devices, would give it the time of day. About half of Americans identify themselves as “pro-life”; more than half see abortion as “morally wrong”; and most Americans oppose public funding of abortion and would choose not to have it covered in their health plan. Most doctors and hospitals, regardless of secular or religious affiliation, do not perform abortions — in one recent survey, only 14 percent of ob/gyns said they ever perform abortions — and 87 percent of U.S. counties have no identifiable abortion provider. Among the general public as well as the medical profession, abortion is a painful reality, a moral problem, and an embarrassment — a wrong that, at most, some see as a necessary evil. If you are committed to making it a mandatory aspect of basic health care for all, the coercive power of the state is your only option. And of course that has nothing to do with respecting freedom of choice.

    Supporters of the bill offer yet another argument why it is needed — and that argument is a tissue-thin pretext. They say most insurers in Washington already cover abortion, and new legislation is needed to “retain” the coverage that already exists in the face of the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and President Obama’s executive order on that law.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/290081/mandatory-abortion-coverage-richard-doerflinger?pg=1

  20. Buck the Wala says:

    Came across something interesting this evening in regards to the contraception issue. Not sure how true it is or, if true, all the ins and outs. But if true it is very interesting, though not sure exactly what it says about our current politics; will have to try to find out more and give it additional thought.

    It seems that back in 2000, the EEOC mandated that any and all insurance plans that offered prescription drug coverage had to also offer the same coverage for birth control. This ruling did not grant any religious exemptions. The only thing different between this ruling and the recent rule is that now birth control had to be offered without cost sharing (as with other prescription drugs). Oh, one other difference — the Obama administration inserted a religious exemption. Back in 2000, in the wake of the EEOC ruling, there was no uproar from conservatives nor from religious leaders.

    So, assuming the above is true, what changed since 2000? Why the current uproar?

    • Buck

      It was my understanding that Bush installed an exemption. Or perhaps it was promised because the rule had not taken effect.

      You are correct in the Mr. Obama did not create the requirement but “lifted” the exemption.

      So I would be interested in what you find as well. If it is as you say then we clearly have a situation driven by nothing but “piling on” in the game of politics.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        From my brief reading on the subject, and admittedly I will need to look further into this tomorrow if I have the time, but it seems that under the EEOC ruling, there was no religious exemptions at all. The Bush admin nor Congress ever pushed for an exemption under that ruling and the ruling was supported by the federal courts. The EEOC had also negotiated the application of the rule to certain religious-affiliated entities (colleges and hospitals) and even with some churches directly without any challenge nor uproar.

        Under Obama, the rule was extended a bit to comply with other aspect of the ACA, namely no cost sharing, but a religious exemption (that was lacking under the EEOC)! Curious as to why the uproar now, over 10 years later.

        As for your post below, it seems Obama didn’t get rid of any religious exemption, but actually added one (though admittedly not as strong as some may have wanted).

        • Buck the Wala says:

          One change to the above — upon further reading although it seems there was no formal exemption under the EEOC ruling, it doesn’t seem to have been applied directly to churches, but was definitely applied to Catholic colleges, universities and hospitals.

    • Buck

      Almost forgot. I heard another thing tonight on the subject. Basically the Catholic Church helped lobby for and supported Health Care legislation. Bothe the PPX drug bill under Bush and the Obama Care bill under this administration. They were given “promises” that there would be exemptions for birth control and abortion coverage.

      POOF….exemptions gone. The pundit was chuckling a little about how the Catholics have been pushing for these Govt run social programs and just now are realizing that when you let govt run one part of your life, it has the power to run much more.

      Now it would be interesting to know if all this is true as well. I do know the Catholic leadership has been leading the fight for left wing causes for many years. So did somebody make a promise??? That will be very hard to prove.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Hey, JAC, why are you bringing up abortion coverage again in your posts on this issue?? There has been nothing mentioned on abortion to my knowledge.

        Is there something I’m missing? Or are you trying to conflate issues (which I do think some on the right are guilty of here in an attempt to garner more support for their position)?

        • I think this is relevant here:

          Well the article intentionally fails to inform the reader that the HHS rules include birth-control products such as “Ella” and the “morning after” pill. These are drugs that the Federal Food and Drug Administration tells us can cause the death of a baby developing in the womb. So, not just preventive contraception, but shockingly we are talking about a governmental mandate that forces affiliated Catholic hospitals to fund abortifacient medications.

          The article goes on to talk about polling:

          Those in the political chattering class clearly recognize the PRRI informational polls as heavily biased fluff. The Chairman of the Board of the PRRI is Rabbi David Sapperstein, an Obama appointee to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships who also serves on the board of People For The American Way, a George Soros and Tides Foundation funded political action organization. The Alan Guttmacher Institute is simply Planned Parenthood’s research arm, funded by the usual array of the hard left’s interlocking foundations.

          Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/02/how_the_msm_spins_the_hhs_decision.html#ixzz1lzLsI89g

          The tangled webs we weave……

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Wait, are we talking about Plan B here? Because Plan B does not cause abortion.

            http://ncronline.org/news/catholic-journal-says-plan-b-does-not-cause-abortions

            And as for Ella, to my knowledge, the drug acts to prevent implantation. To me that isn’t the same as saying it causes an abortion. Seems to be more of a contraceptive to me.

            • Buck

              By definition “contraception” PREVENTS fertilization.

              But what the hell. The standard should be “To me that is/isn’t the same…..”

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I dunno, prevening implantation does a pretty solid job of preventing pregnancy as well…

                But, here’s the definition of contraception from a medical dictionary:

                “Contraception (birth control) prevents pregnancy by interfering with the normal process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation.”

            • Buck

              OK, lets go with your version for now. Contra-to stop or be against, Conception or Conceiving.

              Definition of Conceive from Webster:

              con·ceive
              verb \kən-ˈsēv\
              con·ceivedcon·ceiv·ing
              Definition of CONCEIVE
              transitive verb
              1
              a : to become pregnant with (young)

              UH, OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Webster went and did it now. How long before NOW has this fixed?

        • Buck

          I am not trying to confuse or complicate the issue with abortion.

          As Anita indicated and as I saw in an interview with a Dem yesterday, providing morning after pills and other “drugs” designed to abort the pregnancy are included in the “contraception” category.

          Furthermore, remember a few weeks back when the debate over the Govt policies requiring coverage for abortion?

          Fact of the matter is that the “powers” in this Administration want abortion and contraception provided by health insurance, and health insurance to be mandatory.

          It is what it is.

          Now for my latest take on the whole thing. If your Goal was to get Universal Govt provided Insurance installed as the law of the land would you not do everything possible to get ALL employers to drop their coverage and opt into the Obama Care pool?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I didn’t think you were deliberately trying to conflate issues, but I have seen a lot of that being done in this debate. Screams along the lines of ‘the government is forcing the pope to conduct abortions!’ (ok, maybe not to that extent, but you get the gist)

            On your larger point of getting to single-payer by getting all employers to drop their coverage….don’t know enough about the pool to answer.

      • I have a belief that if you make a deal with the government, you might as well make a deal with the devil

    • @ Buck…….. I remember this discussion around the dinner table as well. We have over 300 employees at that time and a health insurance policy that was budgeted. The mandate specifically said that those plans that INCLUDED prescription coverage had to include it. It did not prevent prescription coverage from being excluded from a plan. If I remember correctly, the provision that made it mandatory increased prescription coverage costs by over 25%. This was a huge cost and could not be budgeted so, we, like many others, dropped the prescription coverage portion of our health insurance.

      My father believed back then, as he still does at 93, that any form of mandated birth control has nothing to do with women’s rights or health. A woman knows that if she engages in unprotected sex….she is subject to disease or pregnancy. Since pregnancy, and sex, is a voluntary issue and not a disease, any female that gets pregnant “unknowingly”….is, well…just stupid. My father goes on to say…any male that engages in unprotected sex and is surprised by pregnancy is, likewise, stupid.

      His conclusion, therefore, is why should government mandate stupidity? You just cannot fix stupid. So any increased cost that is mandated is counter productive. Many companies will simply drop prescription coverage…as we did. It was a cost that could not be passed to consumers back then because there were governmental price controls that prevented such.

  21. The memo said to say, “unilaterally disarm” and like good little soldiers….

    http://www.therightscoop.com/pelosi-obama-flipped-on-super-pacs-to-protect-america-from-the-koch-brothers/

  22. Now with all of this discussion about contraception and mandated health concerns and how it is so great and that everybody shares the cost of health care, etc etc etc. ……….

    Someone, specifically Buck, et al, that is a supporter of gov’t mandates and gov’t interference, please sway me to your side by explaining………………………………………………………………………………….exemptions.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      G’morning Colonel! How are you this fine Friday?

      Exemptions, exemptions….let’s see here….got me! I can’t explain exemptions: for one, I don’t know enough about them; and for two, in many cases, I dont’ believe there should be an exemption granted.

      Now if you are speaking of religious exemptions specifically, my understanding is that it is necessary in certain circumstances to ensure the government doesn’t force a religion to ACT contrary to its beliefs. But in the current debate over health care coverage and contraceptives, it isn’t really forcing the religion to act in the sense that no religiously-affiliated organization is being forced to dispense contraceptives, give advice/recommend the use of contraceptves, etc. The decision to use is being left where it belongs – in the hands of the individual employee. Given there is an argument that the religious group, as employer, is being forced to act in the sense that they must offer a health care plan to its employees that offers a service the religious group disagrees with…as I’ve said, it depends on where we draw the line.

      What is also being lost in this debate, to me, is that this is much more an issue of employment benefit/labor law — this is about having employers offer certain benefits to its employees. For instance, and I know this isn’t the perfect analogy, could a religious-affiliated university discriminate against women or blacks in its hiring practices because the religious group believes in white male superiority? Could the university refuse to pay minimum wage because somehow it violates their religious beliefs?

      • Mornin’ counselor……nope, not about religious exemptions specifically….just the exemptions and waivers…..I understand the religious significance to an extent……..but since we, the family, have small business’, it is exasperating to see exemptions being given to General Motors, Chrysler, McDonald’s, IBM, Federal Employees Union, Teamsters Union, Teachers Union, and the Federal Government……that employ hundreds of thousands but no exemptions to small business unless you are in Pelosi’s district and almost everyone has an exemption there…..

        It just seems that the arguments for mandated health coverage pale significantly.

  23. Very interesting, since this happened in my home town of Fort Worth…..Rick Santorum visited here and pulled more people to his rally than Perry and Paul combined. The other interesting fact is that, according to supposedly informed sources, it was reported that 35% of the attendees were…………………………..Hispanic.

  24. February 10, 2012
    Ten Things to Consider Before Launching an Attack against Iran
    By Neil Snyder

    Sun Tzu, a 6th-century B.C. Chinese general and military strategist and the author of The Art of War, laid out arguably the most comprehensive treatise on strategy ever written. I referenced his insights frequently in my strategy classes at the University of Virginia, and particularly this kernel of wisdom:

    It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

    To succeed in war, you must understand your enemy. With that thought in mind, it is helpful to consider what we know about Iran’s Islamist rulers and their line of attack in previous military engagements. The best evidence we have comes from the Iran-Iraq War. Below are some basic facts about that war and ten lessons that political and military leaders today should contemplate before launching an attack against Iran:

    The Iran-Iraq War lasted from 1980 to 1988. Lesson: The Iranians are willing to fight for a very long time.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/ten_things_to_consider_before_launching_an_attack_against_iran.html#ixzz1lzHhgAEY

  25. A new report issued this week by the Texas Public Policy Foundation details the looming job killers the Feds have in store for businesses everywhere. The report, titled The EPA’s Approaching Regulatory Avalanche, finds that specifically there are ten new rules currently in the pipeline from the EPA alone that could potentially cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Further, they are calling it “A Regulatory Spree Unprecedented in U.S. History.”

    The Foundation states that:

    “The 10 rules highlighted in the report cover topics from cross-state air pollution to control technologies for industrial boilers and Portland cement kilns, from ambient air quality standards for ozone and particular matter to greenhouse gas regulation for both stationary and mobile sources. All have effective dates between 2013 and 2016, with the highest impacts in 2015.”

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/02/_epa_messing_with_texas.html#ixzz1lzIeMBNw

  26. The Pope and Obama are on the same stage in Yankee Stadium in front of
    a huge crowd.

    The Pope leans towards Mr. Obama and said, “Do you know that with one
    wave of my hand I can make every person in this crowd go wild
    with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep
    into their hearts and they’ll forever speak of this day and rejoice!”

    Obama replied, “I seriously doubt that! With one little wave of your
    hand.?…Show me!”

    So the Pope backhanded him and knocked him off the stage!

    AND THE CROWD ROARED & CHEERED WILDLY and there was happiness
    throughout the land!

    Kind of brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?

  27. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Just a brief note to all of appreciation for a very stimulating week. I’m away in DC to visit the new Grandbaby and then follow up next week with a temporary gig to fill the coffers. Keep up the good work!

    Knowledge is Power!

    “What I KNOW trumps what you think or feel” -Nick Trynosky, circa 1963

    • Have a good time and hug that baby for me. I don’t have a grandchild to hug 😦 Yet, but I am finally hearing the M word coming out of my son’s mouth-so maybe in the not so distant future. 🙂 Fabulous girl-so I have my fingers crossed.

  28. Buck the Wala

    Well my lefty lawyer friend, since you sometimes like to make me speechless I thought I would return the favor this morning. The POLITICAL GAMES accelerate.

    “If you aren’t creeped out by the No Birth Control Left Behind rhetoric of the White House and Planned Parenthood, you aren’t listening closely enough. The anesthetic of progressive benevolence always dulls the senses. Wake up.

    When a bunch of wealthy white women and elite Washington bureaucrats defend the trampling of religious liberties in the name of “increased access” to “reproductive services” for “poor” women, the ghost of Margaret Sanger is cackling.

    As she wrote in her autobiography, Sanger founded Planned Parenthood in 1916 “to stop the multiplication of the unfit.” This, she boasted, would be “the most important and greatest step towards race betterment.” While she oversaw the mass murder of black babies, Sanger cynically recruited minority activists to front her death racket. She conspired with eugenics financier and businessman Clarence Gamble to “hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities” to sell their genocidal policies as community health and welfare services.”

    This is from Michelle Malkins feature story this morning on her site. I suggest you take a side trip and read the rest.

    Now go take THREE Tylenol. 🙂

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Sorry, can’t bring myself to read Michelle Malkin.

      Anytime I try I wind up maybe a third of the way through with a concussion from banging my head against the wall.

      But I will say, no one is busy trampling religious liberties here.

      • Are you kidding?

        Questioning the church’s ability to hire and fire their own pastors.
        Telling college faith organizations they can’t discriminate based on faith or lack there of.
        Now this contraception debate.

        The government has been trampling liberties for a long time. The fact that they have progressed to the point where they are comfortable trying to trample religious freedoms just shows how far they have come in trampling individual liberty in general.

        We are talking about them forcing religious institutions having to pay for this stuff. How about the more general conversation of do they have the right to force any organization to pay for these things or do they have the right to force organizations to supply insurance in the first place.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Still don’t see the contraception debate as ‘trampling religious liberties’…

          • Let me see If I can explain this in away were maybe you will get it.

            First thing-you have to accept that another person has a Right to believe that killing a fetus is morally wrong.

            Second you have to accept that if that means through a pill, a medical procedure or whatever-to them it is the same as committing a murder.

            Now let’s change this debate to an act that we all consider murder-John wants to shoot this guy named Joe-and the government comes to you and says -all people have the Right to own a gun-and you personally must pay for and supply John with the avenue to get this gun-well you being against guns-protest NO NO NO -you cannot make me go against my conscience and force me to pay for the means to kill-so the government comes back and says okay-we will not force you to pay for Johns gun-we will simply force Jerry down the road to pay for John’s gun-you simply have to give John the address to Joe’s house and pretend that Jerry is actually paying for John’s gun-when you know it is YOU are being made to be complicit-you are giving John -Joe’s address, the avenue to obtain the gun, and in the end you are also paying for the gun.

            Now we may argue about whether everyone has a right to a gun or to contraceptives, or an abortion. But we should all agree that no matter your beliefs on these issues-You should not be forced to be complicit in what You deem evil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            You believe guns should be outlawed-I believe abortions should be outlawed-which of us is right-a matter of opinion-but let me assure YOU-I will never demand that YOU pay for MY gun.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Actually, I don’t believe gunsh should be outlawed at all. I support reasonable restrictions on th sale/purchase of guns. But there is a huge difference between mandating insurance and mandating guns — your decision to forego insurance increases my own health care costs.

              The larger issue with the contraceptive debate, and the health insurance system in general, though is the employer-based nature of the system we have. Your insurance is made dependent, to a large extent, on your employer. Individual insurance is all too often completely unaffordable. I recently looked into purchasing insurance for me and my wife — a solid (note: not top of the line, but all around decent to good coverage) would cost over $1,000 per month! So long as your insurance is dependent on your employer, there must be certain minimum requirements, of which affordable and accessible contraceptives must be one. Contraception is perhaps the most widely used drug and a basic component of health care for women.

              You may believe that abortion – killing a fetus – is morally wrong, but using birth control is not abortion. Preventing pregnancy from occurring is not the same as ending a pregnancy. I believ the statistic is that somewhat north of 98% of Catholic women have used birth control a some point in their lives.

              You see this ruling as forcing h church to act against their beliefs; I see it as forcing an employer to comply with labor/employment benefits law. Remember, many if not most women working at Catholic hospitals/universities are not Catholic, and the vast majority of even th Catholics ignore th Church on this issue. Why should they be denied the same basic care as another women simp, due to their employer’s own beliefs?

              • So basically YOU can force ME to help kill Joe-For two reasons 1. You don’t believe that contraception can cause the death of a fetus 2. because it cost you money if I don’t pay my fair share to cover………… John

                I now wonder about your continued questioning of when abortion came into this debate. So I ask if they wanted to make abortion coverage required-would that be acceptable?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                The birth control pill (contraception) does not cause abortion. That’s not my belief; it’s science.

              • First off -That wasn’t the question!! and just how sure are you that birth control pills don’t cause abortions-and then lets move to the other pills mentioned- how sure are you that they don’t cause abortion.

                And just for the record-whether they do or don’t isn’t the issue-We as people frequently disagree based on science. The issue is whether or not the government gets to force their opinions onto all of us. Or do we still have the freedom to disagree.

              • “You see this ruling as forcing h church to act against their beliefs; I see it as forcing an employer to comply with labor/employment benefits law.”

                Actually I see this ruling as the government trying to make religious freedom moot and to cause media headlines that say “The Horrible Republicans are after your Birth Control”. They have already managed to deny individual’s and any organizations besides the religious the right to not comply. Now they are working on the last stronghold against total submission to their rule.

                And you might look a little deeper Buck-if our labor/employee benefits laws make it okay for the government to force people to comply to the point that they are having to support what they believe is actual MURDER. Maybe the problem is the labor/employee laws-not the freedom of the individual to stand on his principals

  29. Left wing Contradiction of the day.

    Our Right to Privacy is supposedly sacred to the LEFT. So much so that is was the foundation for legalizing abortion.

    So why is it that this Right is not so sacred when it comes to the Govt interfering in the PRIVATE affairs of citizens regarding purchase of Health Insurance?

    Why is it sacred when arguing for legalization of POT but not sacred when it comes to private ownership of handguns?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Because abortion and pot is a private decision that only affects the individual in question. Health insurance and gun ownership affects others as well.

      See – no contradiction at all. 🙂

      • Buck

        That’s what I thought.

        After all: Gravity is Relative.

        • Yea, abortion only affects the individual-the fact that it affects the actual population numbers and can affect the actual number of women vs. men-well that has no affect on the rest of us at all.

          • Buck’s argument:

            Murder only affects the individual too – therefore, murder is a right and should not be infringed upon.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Sorry BF (and VH), but I’m not getting into this argument again.

              • No need to debate abortion-you just have a selective way of defining what does and does not affect society. When most if not all debated actions affect society in one way or another. I would say abortion when viewed in the big picture affects society more than individual gun ownership.

                I find the argument that so and so activity only affects the individual as almost always incorrect-it is a matter of degrees at best.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I guess it depends on how direct and the nature of the affect of the action upon society?

              • Of course you won’t – it will expose the utter irrational position you hold on the matter.

                You can’t argue your point, because argument invokes reason, and that particle is absolutely excluded from your point of view.

                All you have left is irrational emotionalism – thus, advocate whimsical dictates that one thing is murder but murdering other things is not murder, but a personal choice.

                Thus why there are those that hold your side of the topic who will easily migrate the same irrationalism into massive slaughter of humanity.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Exhibit A as to why I will not get into this debate again.

              • Buck

                I see where the nature of the affect matters-not sure what you mean by “how Direct the affect is”-or why directness matters?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Well, as you say, taken far enough, any action can be said to affect society at large. But how direct is that impact? How far removed is any perceived impact on the single decision and action itself.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Murder only affects the individual too – therefore, murder is a right and should not be infringed upon.

              Murder which only (directly) affects one individual is called suicide and is absolutely 100% a right which should not be infringed upon. Though the death may make others sad (indirect), they are not having any rights trampled and so have no say in the matter.

              Murder which only (directly) affects two willing participants (one murderer, one murder-ee) is called murder or assisted suicide. The discerning factor is whether the murder-ee is a willing participant or not. If the former, then it is not a right (or course not). If the later, it is a private interaction between two private individuals and is absolutely 100% a right which should not be infringed upon.

          • Language question-is it yea or yeah, I am trying to use a slang for yes not hooray.

            • Yeah.

              Or where I come from “you betcha” or “yep” and sometimes “yup”..

              • Thank you! I rather like yep but yeah has that little sound of sarcasm which allows me to vent a little without being overly rude. Which keeps me from banging my head against the wall in frustration.

                To those of you -who my statements cause banging of your head against the table-you are free to return the favor. 🙂

  30. Buck the Wala says:

    Breaking news — The Obama administration has issued its offer in compromise for the whole contraception/religious freedom issue:

    The new compromise offered by the White House is that the insurer for the religious entities in question, rather than the employer, would be responsible for providing contraceptive coverage free of charge for employees. Insurers would also be responsible for informing employees of those benefits.

    • Red Herring Alert! What about your beloved Separation of Church and State?

    • Buck

      Are you going to sit here on the SUFA and tell me that is a TRUE “compromise”?

      Before you start explaining just answer this. WHO is paying for the Insurance Policy???

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I was just reporting the news to the SUFA community. Kill the messenger much!?

        Can there be a ‘true compromise’ on this? I don’t think so — either we keep it as it is or extend the religious exemption to all religious-affiliated organizations. There really isn’t much middle ground to work with.

        • Buck

          I thought I asked a reasonable question on your reporting.

          Anyway, I went and found these explanations. All I can say is watching people twist in the wind can be entertaining at times. Can’t wait for the “explanations” of what this is and how the authority exists within the Obama Care bill. (From HufPo story)

          “One idea that has been mentioned is the “Hawaii model,” by which an employer who morally objects to contraception could opt out and inform its female employees where they can get that coverage outside of the employee health plan. In Hawaii, women who decide to directly pay the insurer out of pocket for contraception coverage are not allowed to be charged more than they would pay for their company plan.

          ABC News reports that President Barack Obama’s compromise would not go as far as the Hawaii plan, but would involve a third-party health company helping to provide contraception coverage. It actually makes financial sense for insurance companies to cover birth control, ABC’s Jake Tapper notes, because unwanted pregnancies and resulting complications cost more than contraception and sterilization.”

          Before I post this let me add a note to Mr. Jake Tapper. If the Insurance companies thought it was “cheaper” for them to provide contraception they would have been doing this without Govt telling them. Freakin dip stick.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Actually, maybe this was a true compromise:

          The president of the Catholic Health Association, a trade group representing Catholic hospitals that had fought against the birth control requirement, said the organization was pleased with the revised rule.
          “The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed,” Sister Carol Keehan said in a statement.

          • Buck

            Here is the story from MSNBC.

            STILL, nobody can answer the question: Who is paying for the Insurance?

            Buck, now as the resident self proclaimed Obama supporter and as a lawyer. Can you please explain what the hell the Presidents comment at the end means?

            “By NBC News, msnbc.com staff and wire reports

            Updated at 12:53 p.m. ET- President Barack Obama announced Friday that the administration will not require religious-affiliated institutions to cover birth control for their employees.

            Capping weeks of growing controversy, Obama said he was backing off a newly announced requirement for religious employers to provide free birth control coverage even if it runs counter totheir religious beliefs.

            Instead, workers at such institutions will be able to get free birth control coverage directly from health insurance companies.

            “Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where they work. That core principle remains,” he said from the White House briefing room.

            “Religious liberty will be protected and a law that requires free preventative care will not discriminate against women,” Obama added.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I may support Obama over the GOP candidates, but I’ve never been a full-throated Obama supporter. You know that.

              Who pays? The insurance companies, which cost I’m sure will magically appear elsewhere to the employers and then, in part, to the employees as well, no?

              • Buck

                Yes, I know that is what you have said regarding Mr. Obama.

                I don’t know who pays. Per this statement a third party insurance company will provide a policy to the employee and then provide “free” stuff under that policy.

                So the “rule” created under the Obama Care Law allows the govt to “force an Insurance Co. to provide this “stuff” for free. But where is the authority to “force” a company to provide the policy itself for “free”?

                And if it does have to take them on for “free”. Who is paying for the cost of the policy?

                I agree, it will either be the other policy holders (employer/employee) or the Govt chipping in the cost.

                Now could you please answer my question about his comment at the end of the article.

                Or does it make no sense to you as well?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                1) Religious liberty will be protected — as in, not forcing a religious group to act contrary to its beliefs

                2) Free preventative care will not discriminate against women — as in, accordance with the EEOC ruling, failure to provide contraception in accordance with the same provisions governing other forms of preventative care, is in violation of Title VII

              • Terry Evans says:

                But you still have the government forcing its will on somebody. In this case it is the health insurance companies. The women are perfectly free to purchase contraceptives…why does the govermnment have to force that to be “free”? As JAC says, who pays? It is pretty much a rhetorical question as we all know the taxpayers pay…and pay…and pay.

  31. News
    Iran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon

    TEHRAN—Amidst mounting geopolitical tensions, Iranian officials said Wednesday they were increasingly concerned about the United States of America’s uranium-enrichment program, fearing the Western nation may soon be capable of producing its 8,500th nuclear weapon.

    “Our intelligence estimates indicate that, if it is allowed to progress with its aggressive nuclear program, the United States may soon possess its 8,500th atomic weapon capable of reaching Iran,” said Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, adding that Americans have the fuel, the facilities, and “everything they need” to manufacture even more weapons-grade fissile material.

    “Obviously, the prospect of this happening is very distressing to Iran and all countries like Iran. After all, the United States is a volatile nation that’s proven it needs little provocation to attack anyone anywhere in the world whom it perceives to be a threat.”

    Iranian intelligence experts also warned of the very real, and very frightening, possibility of the U.S. providing weapons and resources to a rogue third-party state such as Israel

    ..from the Onion… 😉

  32. Black Flag

    Is abortion murder?

    • Killing innocent life is murder

      • BF

        For the record, I assume you mean “human” life.

        Now, by killing I also assume you mean “Deliberate”, as opposed to accidental.

        Do you recognize Homicide as a valid category of causing the death of another human?

        • JAC,

          Now, by killing I also assume you mean “Deliberate”, as opposed to accidental.

          No, I mean killing of innocent human life.

          “Manslaughter/Homicide” is still a form of murder.

          The consequences we assign to premeditated, negligent and accidental “murder/homicide” may be different – but the act is still “murder”=killing innocent human life.

          • BF

            What do you mean by “consequences”?

            Are you talking about the result to the victim (dead) or to the person who did the killing?

            • JAC

              BF What do you mean by “consequences”? Are you talking about the result to the victim (dead) or to the person who did the killing?

              To the killer.

              “Society” applies different consequences to the killer of a teller of the bank he was robbing, vs. the killer of the lover of his wife vs. the killer of the man driving the car that ran over a kid.

              • BF

                OK.

                Now in related matter, you placed murder as the larger category with homicide as a subset.

                Yet I thought in the area of “law” that homicide was the more general and “murder” the subcategory.

                What is your explanation for reversing the arrangement?

              • JAC,

                BF OK. Now in related matter, you placed murder as the larger category with homicide as a subset. Yet I thought in the area of “law” that homicide was the more general and “murder” the subcategory. What is your explanation for reversing the arrangement?

                No, that’s fine.

                I merely define “murder” as killing the innocent – if you wish to tighten up the two terms and use “homicide” as “killing the innocent writ large” and “murder” as in “purposeful killing of the innocent” – that’s fine by me.

      • BF

        One more before you respond.

        Is abortion the killing of an innocent “person”?

        • It is the killing of an innocent human being.

          • BF

            So WHY and HOW do you distinquish between “person” and ‘human being”??

            • I have to go soon-so I’m gonna respond to this now instead of waiting for BF to respond.

              Why the…heck ,should I distinguish between person and human being-the question is alive or dead-this other type of distinguishing brings you nothing but evil-like slavery and abortion.

            • JAC

              Since “person” is a legal definition – such as a corporation is a legal person – I avoid the term unless necessary.

              Because of that, a “person” is ambiguous.

              A human being is not ambiguous.

              • BF

                That sounds quite reasonable. Especially in light of other attempts to assign “legal” meaning to words that go beyond their historical use.

                So as I understand it then they are synonymous in your mind regarding the identity of the unborn.

                Correct?

                This does raise another question relative to your concern about “legal definitions” and the word “person”. Would the use of person be so troublesome if it were only applied under “Common Law” principles?

              • JAC

                So as I understand it then they are synonymous in your mind regarding the identity of the unborn. Correct?

                Yes.

                This does raise another question relative to your concern about “legal definitions” and the word “person”. Would the use of person be so troublesome if it were only applied under “Common Law” principles?

                What example?

              • BF

                If for example a community believed that an unborn human is a person and thus treated its killing just as it would the murder of any other person.

                Does the nature of the punishment matter in your mind?

                For example, what if the village views all murder as subject to expulsion from the village?

              • JAC,

                .BF If for example a community believed that an unborn human is a person and thus treated its killing just as it would the murder of any other person. Does the nature of the punishment matter in your mind? For example, what if the village views all murder as subject to expulsion from the village?

                Yes, the nature of the punishment does matter and change based on the circumstances..

  33. Mathius™ says:

    Quote of the day:

    BERNANKE: HOUSING MAY NO LONGER BE VIEWED AS SECURE INVESTMENT

    Wow. Just wow.

    Bonus: Here’s the graph of the day.

  34. Uh oh…….Fort Worth is in trouble now…… Michelle “My Belle” Obama is feeling dissed. She showed up in north Fort Worth last night for a reservation only dinner at the Olive Garden Restaurant. The entire restaurant was reserved and closed to the public. Twelve…..count em’…..TWELVE….showed up. Her comment…….we are a “backwater” town……

    Today she is going over to New York wannabe….Dallas. She will fare better over there. Maybe 24 will show up.

  35. “Title VII”…..NOW, there is a law that needs serious work.

  36. Interesting interview just concluded. The Southern Baptist Association and several others not associated with the Catholic Organizations are meeting now as a result of the freedom of choice and the usurp of the freedom of religion. Their argument…they are self insured. Meaning, that all the pastors and church employees pay into a system on their own but as a group. Not exempted is self insurance policies that will not be forced to provide something that is morally objectionable. Their options are: (1) ignore the moral objection or (2) drop their self insurance. BUT..under the mandate that everyone will have to have it or face a penalty, then market insurance will have to have it…..and then you have the moral dilemma. you will be making a pastor or individual that is self insured to make a choice…….no insurance or violate your moral ethics.

    This stinks worse than a week old dead skunk in 100 degree weather.

    I hope the Supreme Court can come to its senses…….this is not only unconstitutional in my layman mind…but is just plain wrong. Un…freeekin…believable.

    • Common Man says:

      Colonel;

      CONTROL is the key to how these morons in government think, control and influence. If they can control or influence actions and/or behaivor then they see value.

      The Healthcare act, bill, law is unconstitutional…period. The problem is that those in positions to change it (courts & congress) are in the same boat as the idiots that pushed the damn thing through, and that is because they all have their hands on the steering wheel.

      I would like to see the senior stewards of all religious institutions gather together and tell the US Congress and the idiot in the White House “NO”. I am willing to bet it would get a great deal of coverage and might help to push barry and his cronies out of office.

      BTW: Have not yet decided who shall get my vote, but they absolutely have to assure me that one of the first acts or efforts they will undertake is to repeal this stupid and unconstitutional law.

      Stay strong my friend.

      CM

      • Hey CM……just saw the head Bishop on CNN saying…I am not sure how this changes things. So, the insurance company has to provide it for free and the Catholic institution does not have to pay for it…and the next year the premiums increase….because the insurance company is not going to give anything for free, and why should they, ……we still end up paying for it through a slight of hand.

        • Common Man says:

          D13;

          It really is all slight of hand, but that is what is all about. Pile up enough shit over what is really going on and nobody wants to dig through the stench to find out reality. I saw an article about the reason our cell phone costs are increasing. Because the usage or surtax increases, and that is because the government initially taxed Lan lines to pay for poor people to have phones. Now since the majority of people are predominately cell phone users the government taxes cell phone and that money is being used to fund paying for cell phones for the entitlement minded morons. It is to the tune of $1.4 billion, and now they are talking about creating the same tax onto laptops and Ipad’s.

          It really is all about creating a bill or tax that initially seems harmless, but at the same time gives them authority to diverse or widen the bill/tax origianl purpose.

          The Healthcare bill is the same and will, if left unchecked, expand and increase more and more control.

          More control and more structure increases the demand for more and more government to manage that structure, which increases the need for more and more structure and so on and so on…

          It is just like coraling pigs…start with a pile of corn on the ground and one small section of fence, as long as the corn stays abundent, the pigs forget about the increasing fence line until it is too late.

          The population needs to realize what the hell is going on and the eventuall end result. Unfortunately the majority out there cannot see the fence for the corn.

          CM

  37. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has concluded that distrust of the government is a treatable mental disorder. Known as “AGP” or “anti-government phobia,” the study claims: “…that unfounded fear of government is a recognizable mental illness, closely related to paranoid schizophrenia. Anti-Government Phobia (AGP) differs from most mental illnesses, however, in that it is highly infectious and has an acute onset. Symptoms include extreme suspiciousness, conspiracy-mongering, delusional thought patterns, staunch ‘us against them’ mentality, withdrawal from reality, and often religious fanaticism…”

    ….nurse opens door to waiting room… Black Flag the doc is ready to see you…ROFL!

  38. Murphy's Law says:

    This is unbelieveable. Here’s the latest flap concerning the Dallas Independent School District….part of their recognition of Black History Month. They sent a large group of 5th grade boys on a field trip to see a movie, and LEFT THE GIRLS OUT. The article is by Mark Steger, a writer from Richardson, a suburb north of Dallas.

    Friday, February 10, 2012 Red Tails, Red Faces

    The Dallas school district (DISD) sent 5,700 fifth-grade boys to see “Red Tails,” a movie about the WWII African-American fighter pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Noble subject. Talented executive producer (George Lucas of “Star Wars”).

    So, what’s wrong with this field trip? After the jump, let’s count the ways.

    I won’t even count against the field trip the criticisms of the movie as being historically inaccurate. That can be covered in the class lesson plans. That still leaves plenty to wonder, just what was the DISD thinking when they conceived of and approved this field trip?

    1. Education experts are forever telling parents to quit using the television as a babysitter. They get enough of that at school. Maybe DISD believes that replacing the boob tube with a 90 foot movie screen transforms the experience into an educational one. Turn off the TV. Read to your kids. Send them outside for some physical exercise. Good advice for the home. Good advice for the school.
    2. Let’s hypothesize that this movie is exceptionally educational. It’s really worth showing fifth graders during the school day. Is it really worth $57,000 to do it? How about saving the cost of buses and theater tickets? Wait a few months, buy some DVDs and show the movie in school. I don’t know what the licensing restrictions are for showing copyrighted movies in classrooms these days, but word of mouth tells me that it’s done frequently enough (see criticism #1) that cost can’t be an issue.
    3. Let’s hypothesize that this movie about overcoming racism in the 1940s is worth the cost. What better way to drive home the pernicious effects of racism than to send only the boys to the movie, leaving the girls back at school? The lesson plans can include discussions about what the girls felt like being discriminated against like that. Compare and contrast with what the African-American airmen felt like in the 1940s.

    Last week, the DISD school board taught us a lesson on how not to behave when school board members walked out on a public hearing and conducted their deliberations and vote about school closures in a private room, [my note- Dallas ISD voted last week to close 11 schools as a cost cutting measure] streaming the proceedings back to the public. This week, the DISD again teaches us a lesson on how to give a school district a black eye. Advice to the Richardson school district (RISD): watch the DISD closely, then do the opposite.

    Here’s the link to the article: http://www.marksteger.com/2012/02/red-tails-red-faces.html

    Just boggles the mind…..

    Murf

    • Murphy's Law says:

      Btw- it’s buried in the article…..but this field trip cost DISD $57,000….$32,000 for the movie tickets, $25,000 for the buses. However, that doesn’t include the cost of all the substitute teachers they had to hire to stay with the girls who had to stay at school. They reportedly showed the girls a movie about a spelling bee.

      Maybe they should have completed the lesson on discrimination by having the girls clean the school and cook a meal for the boys to eat when they got back…..

      And I work for this district. Makes me want to puke somtimes…..like now.

      Murf

    • What can you say Murph? My school system used to do the same kind of crap during black history month when I worked there.

      My question is though; they have Black History Month, Latino History Month, Womens History Month, etc. Now I have no problem with this. BUT!! Why can there be no White History Month? Or maybe why can’t there be an American History Month at least!!

      In Georgia, we have a Confederate History Month. And April 26th is Confederate Memorial Day. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the scholl sytems or Gov’t offices even though it is an official Georgia State holiday. I even got repremanded for mentioning it at the school where I worked until I informed them that they couldn’t do that BECAUSE it was a legal Georgia holiday. And you can bet some African americans got pissed about that too, although to be fair not all of them did. I had a couple that got a good laugh out of it and said I was right to bring it up as it was only fair.

      You see, I am in no way racist. But I am also just as pround of my southern heritage as others are of theirs. I have family buried in the Confederate Mound in Chicago, and several ancestors who fought in the Civil War. But some folks think we ought to be ashamed of OUR heritage. Well those folks can kiss my ass.

      • Murphy's Law says:

        Esom- agree with you completely. I am a lifelong Texan and extremely proud of it….and this does not make me racist. I was born covered in white skin and neither wish nor am able to change it. That doesn’t make me racist either.

        As for Georgia’s Confederate History Month and Confederate Memorial Day- it reminds me of the fact that President Grant declared Christmas an official Federal holiday, but today so many are afraid to mention Christmas as though to do so is to cram Jesus down the throats of the poor innocent public.

        There is also the Congressional Black Caucus….United Negro College Fund…..Latino this, Black that, Women’s the other…..but just let someone try to have a white anything and you would think they killed the Pope.

    • Hey Kathy. Long time, no see! 🙂

      • Are they frickin’ serious? 😀

      • Hey Esom ! We miss you here! Give us an update on what’s happening with you and yours. How is your back?

        Baseball season is right around the corner. Your son’s arm ready?

        • Hi Kathy. My back is shot to hell and I am permanently disabled now. The family’s fine and dandy. I am just learning to live with my miseries. 🙂

          My boy is ready and rarin’ for baseball season. His arm is getting biffer and faster every day. It’s costing like crazy though. I just had to buy him a new BBCOR bat and they ain’t cheap. But they can’t use the others anymore. College changed to them last year and the High Schools have to this year. Every bat on the team is new this year because of it. They hit more like a wood bat. No more superbats. You wouldn’t know it from the price though.

          I haven’t had internet lately to follow along here but I still keep up with the political horsedookey that goes on daily. And boy do I mean DAILY!!!

          I still believe this nation will not survive 4 more years of Obama. Ain’t no way.

  39. Murphy's Law says:

    Mathius

    Belated congrats to you on the baby news! I may have missed the news of the due date….so when is the precious bundle expected to make her appearance?

    Murf

  40. http://www.stansberryresearch.com/pub/reports/201112PSI_issue.html

    Suggested reading….

    Fact check it yourself after reading…..I did.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Colonel 🙂

      Hope today finds you and yours happy and warm (frickin cold here, LOL) . We have a fresh 8 inches of snow to play with today. I’ve followed Stansberry (and many others) for quite some time. When I start to put all of the pieces together (economically), I’m surprised we aren’t dealing with much worse issues. I’ve been blowing the warning siren for along time (along with others), and haven’t changed in my beliefs of what the future holds. I have written about these beliefs in the past, and I continue to be more confident (and saddened) that they will occur. THe numbers are just too negative to believe another way. More to come soon!

      G!

  41. @ Murph……more interestingly, WFAA news reported that not just a boys only trip, but it was only offered to predominantly black schools in South and East Dallas……apparently “whitey” was not invited….

    But forget that it violated Title 9 and used tax dollars…it was the lesson in discrimination that was taught. No girls…no whites….. sigh!! Even in Texas and that is the embarrassing part. Irving and De Soto school districts are doing the same thing…..but all inclusive and with private donations.

    Not too mention, that the movie Red Tails is historically inaccurate.

    • I would recommend that all look up the record of the Tuskegee Airmen…….it is phenomenal. They over came not only the black issue but the fact that blacks are an ignorant and menial race. Not only did they over come the incredible discrimination, but they became expert flyers and bomber groups actually requested them as escorts because of their flying abilities, heroism, and tactical the fact that they would NOT leave a wounded bomber in the air.

      • d13

        And there was a much better movie made of these heroes several years ago. Much more accurate and not all the stupid, and bull shit, “sports team” antics by trained military men.

        If the Schools wanted to use the event to teach something the other Movie would have worked better and could have been shown in class.

        Now, is not the Dallas ISD one of those leftist bastions you talk about in that region?

        • Yes sir,,,,,Dallas is a wannabe New York. It is very leftist. That is why most conservatives have moved away from Dallas to the outlying areas like Plano and Frisco and Rockwell. None of this bull dookey going on. Fort Worth is staying a cow town and we like it that way.

          I am thinking about going to the movie because I hear that it is a political movie but I cannot critique appropriately until I see it. I know the record of the Tuskegee group very well and have actually talked to two fliers from the original fighter group; They were a great bunch of fliers.

  42. Ya know this race and class war bullshit isn’t ever going to stop.

    We are all Americans. We should all just BE Americans. I don’t mean forget or not be proud of heritage, but to stop with all the race and class division.

    There will ALWAYS be Racists. That is just human nature for some to hate others because they are different. These aholes should just be ignored, or slapped down when they say or do something stupid.

    And by the way. You ain’t got to be white to be racist. That affliction is in ALL races.

  43. Buck the Wala

    The scary thing is that I hear so many people these days repeating this kind of thinking:

    “But there is a huge difference between mandating insurance and mandating guns — your decision to forego insurance increases my own health care costs.”

    1. In order to be even remotely true I would have to buy/not buy my policy from the Same company as you. I do not live in NJ or NY so that is not possible. By the way, the POOL has increased every year in my lifetime, yet the cost increases at a faster rate than the population growth rate X Avg premium.

    Govt forcing of increased pool size WILL increase PROFITS, temporarily. It will NOT reduce premiums nor medical costs. Remember, that In your benevolence you also increased the “required” coverage by the insurance companies.

    2. Your cost of policy is based on the actuarial data for YOUR RISK GROUP. So my decision does not affect you as I am NOT in YOUR group.

    3. The same REMOTE connection exists for ALL economic activity. If I and millions like me do not purchase a new GM Eco Freak the cost to you may be higher. They will not drop the price to encourage sales thanks to their subsidies.

  44. Buck the Wala

    Misplaced argument #2:

    “The larger issue with the contraceptive debate, and the health insurance system in general, though is the employer-based nature of the system we have. Your insurance is made dependent, to a large extent, on your employer. ”

    Your insurance is not dependent on the employer. The cost to you is exactly the same, EXCEPT your employers share is NOT taxable as income to you.

    But they keep trying to get that as well.

    So the issue is not that Companies provide insurance or that they can afford it and you can’t. It is that the FED GOVT does not treat you the same, thus creating inefficient market incentives.

    By the way, contraception did not used to be part of any Health Insurance plan so the arguments of “equality” and women’s rights is pure BS.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      That’s not quite accurate JAC — forgetting the tax issue and employer contributions, insurance is generally cheaper than on the individual market.

      But regardless of cost, the problem with employer-based coverage is two-fold:

      1) your options, if any, are dictated by your employer; and
      2) lose your job, lose your insurance.

      Now, regarding insurance and contraception, the argument is that contraception must be offered on the same terms as other lets say male-oriented drugs/preventative care treatments. That this was not done in the past (as I mentioned, this started in 2000), does not make it a BS argument now.

      • Lose your job…lose your insurance….take COBRA.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Sure, COBRA helps, but it isn’t the answer. For one, COBRA can be expensive, and for two, COBRA does run out after some time.

          • Both true……as to the answer…..it isn’t the answer, this I know….but Universal Health coverage isn’t the answer either….I wish I knew what it was (the answer)..

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Universal Health coverage is certainly an answer. THE answer? I dunno…

            • Here is my suggestion. Any employer providing health insurance sets up an insurance account similar to an HSA. The employer contributes to that account what it would contribute towards premiums for each employee. The employee also contributes what there share of the premium would be. The employee then pays for the cost of the insurance out of this account. The employee would also be allowed to contribute more to the account like an HSA. Preferably more than the yearly deductable. This would allow for the employee to pay for insurance at some point in the future when they leave the company and would incentivise the employee not to use health care unless truely needed.

              When the employee leaves their company for whatever reason. The insurance account, insurance policy go with them (this would also keep them in the same pool of people). Whatever money is in the account can be used to pay for premiums while in job transition (nothing extra in the account employee has to pay out of hand). When the employee begins work at a new company their account and policy can go with them. The new employer contributes what they would contribute to all of their other employees into the insurance account. At this time the employee would be free to switch plans to the new employers plan or stay on the exsisting plan. (tax incentives can remain the same for employer and employee alike… this is a different discussion about tax issues).

              Anything left in the account at retirement can be used to help fund health care costs as needed. All money left in account will be transfered along with policy to any dependents. (Avoids loss of insurance due to death of provider). All money left in account with no dependents will be treated (tax and payout wise) like a 401k.

              Biggest issue I see with this plan is if someone goes to work in a different state. The issues with this could be eliminated if insurance companies were allowed to compete across state lines.

  45. May you R.I.P. Ms. Houston

  46. I raised a while back the sudden drop in the Baltic Dry Shipping Index

    Now, there is a dramatic drop in gasoline deliveries – demand has collapsed – lower than in 1985.

    http://www.wealthwire.com/news/energy/2674?r=1

    It seems to confirm my original suggestion – recession is on its way.

  47. February 12, 2012
    The killing-for-organs pushers
    By Wesley J. Smith Published: 5:02 PM 02/10/2012 | Updated: 5:30 PM 02/10/2012

    If you want to see where our culture may next go off the rails, read professional journals. There, in often eye-crossing and passive arcane prose of the medical intelligentsia, you will discover an astonishing level of antipathy to the sanctity of human life — to the point
    now that some advocate killing the profoundly disabled for their organs.

    Case in point: “What Makes Killing Wrong?” an article published in the January 19, 2012 edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics. The authors argue that death and total disability are morally indistinguishable, and therefore harvesting organs from living disabled patients is not morally wrong. Bioethicists Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, of Duke University, and Franklin G. Miller, from the National Institutes of Health’s Department of Bioethics (which should really get the alarm bells ringing!) arrive at their shocking (for most of us) conclusion by claiming that murdering the hypothetical “Betty” isn’t wrong because it kills her, but rather, because it “makes her unable to do anything, including walking, talking, and even thinking and feeling.”

    How do they get from deconstructing the definition of death to harvesting the disabled? First, they change the scenario so that Betty is not killed but severely brain damaged to the point that she is “totally disabled.” But their definition of that term encompasses hundreds of thousands of living Americans who are our mothers, fathers, children, aunts and siblings, uncles, friends and cousins — people with profound disabilities like that experienced by Terri Schiavo and my late Uncle Bruno as he lived through the late stages of his Alzheimer’s disease:

    Betty has mental states, at least intermittently and temporarily, so she is not dead by any standard or plausible criterion. Still, she is universally disabled because she has no control over anything that goes on in her body or mind.

    Since Betty “is no worse off being dead than totally disabled,” they opine, it is no worse “to kill Betty than to totally disable her.” Not only that, but according to the authors, “there is nothing bad about death or killing other than disability or disabling,” and since she is already so debilitated, then nothing wrong is done by harvesting her organs and thus ending her biological existence. And thus, in the space of not quite five pages, killing the innocent ceases to be wrong and the intrinsic dignity of human life is thrown out the window, transforming vulnerable human beings into objectified and exploitable human resources.

    Alas, Sinnott-Armstrong and Miller are not on the fringe. And while they certainly don’t represent the unanimous view, they can hardly be called radical — at least by the standards of the medical/bioethical intelligentsia. Indeed, for more than a decade articles have been published in the world’s most notable medical and bioethics journals arguing in favor of killing profoundly disabled patients for their organs. Here is just a sampling:

    ● Bioethics: “If a patient opts for VAE [voluntary active euthanasia] in a society that permits it, and then chooses termination via RVO [removing vital organs], it seems clear that no more harm is done to others than if he were terminated by any other means.”

    ● Journal of Medical Ethics: “In the longer run, the medical profession and society … should be prepared to accept the reality and justifiability of life terminating acts in medicine in the context of stopping life sustaining treatment and performing vital organ transplantation.”
    Ads by Google

    ● Nature: “Few things are as sensitive as death. But concerns about the legal details of declaring death in someone who will never again be the person he or she was should be weighed against the value of giving a full and healthy life to someone who will die without a transplant.”

    ● New England Journal of Medicine: “Whether death occurs as the result of ventilator withdrawal or organ procurement, the ethically relevant precondition is valid consent by the patient or surrogate. With such consent, there is no harm or wrong done in retrieving vital organs before death, provided that anesthesia is administered.”

    ● The Lancet: “If the legal definition of death were to be changed to include comprehensive irreversible loss of higher brain function, it would be possible to take the life of a patient (or more accurately stop the heart since the patient would be defined as dead) by a lethal injection and then to remove the organs for transplantation …”

    ● Critical Care Medicine: “We propose that individuals who desire to donate their organs and who are either neurologically devastated or imminently dying should be able to donate their organs without first being declared dead.”

    It is important to note here that transplant medicine remains an ethical enterprise and that doctors are not yet doing the deed. But if we want to keep it that way, it is important that these proposals not be allowed to germinate.

    Here’s the good news. Sunlight is the great disinfectant. Most people will oppose killing for organs. Thus, the best way to prevent this dark agenda from ever becoming the legal public policy is to expose it in popular media every time it is proposed.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/10/the-kill-for-organs-pushers/#ixzz1mEdmV5fn

    I wonder-I certainly oppose it.

  48. We’ve been talking about religious freedoms the last few days, the following fact has been touched on. But it seems to deserve more than a passing reference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is a straight out LIE- Free-force a company to give a product away for free-If he could really force a company to give it away for free-Companies would simply quit making the product-will he then be able to decide that they must make it. Now that would be slave labor. Wonder as an owner if I could decide not to pay my employee’s for making it-since I can’t charge for “selling ” it.

    “The stunning claim came during Lew’s appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. The White House Chief of Staff appeared to discuss the release of President Obama’s budget, but first fielded questions from Wallace regarding the President’s decision to revise part of his controversial decision on a birth control mandate.Fox News reports on the unbelievable admission:

    “’The president has the authority under the Affordable Care Act to have these kinds of rules take effect,’ Lew said in response to the question of how the president can force a private company to provide a product free of charge.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/wh-chief-of-staff-obamacare-allows-the-president-to-tell-a-private-company-they-have-to-offer-a-product-and-offer-it-for-free/

  49. Now this is my kind of dad.

      • Child Protective Services……took their training from the Gestapo. LOL…….how in the world would CPS think they needed to visit….much less the police department.

        • Mathius™ says:

          I saw this video earlier today. I can see why the cops/CPS might have thought it merited a visit. From what I understand, there was no follow up and no protective measures taken, but a man who is angry enough to take his kid’s belongings and empty an entire clip into them could – COULD – be a person who is unstable enough to be dangerous to his kid. That said, it is clear to me from the video that she’s a brat and he’s making a point, but if my job involved making sure that children are safe, I don’t see the harm in showing up and talking face-to-face just to make sure I have gauged the situation properly – a video doesn’t always tell the whole story.

          It’s worth remembering: if you interview a parent unnecessarily, you might be considered reactionary or compared to the Gestapo, but if you ignore a potential threat (however minor) and it does turn out that he later on shoots her.. well which is worse? When protecting children (speaking form some personal experience here), the authorities should ALWAYS overreact and err on the side of caution. Always. The risk of trauma from taking a kid into custody who didn’t need it, or of asking uncomfortable and invasive questions to parents who aren’t dangerous is so minor by comparison to the harm that can be done when those actions aren’t taken.

          It’s an imperfect system. But maybe, just by showing up and asking those questions, it reminds borderline parents that they’re on notice, that someone is watching. It’s easy to think that you can neglect or abuse your kid with impunity, but when someone shows up on your doorstep asking about it.. well maybe sometimes it’s enough to make the parent act responsibly and avoid escalation. And, yes, even when they ask the questions, they sometimes fail to catch abuses. And even when they take the kid to a foster home, the kids are sometimes still abused/neglected there. But the right answer isn’t to denigrate CPS and weaken the system.

          I think it’s terrible to accuse people who are trying to protect children from harm of being gestapo thugs is to give disincentive to those people from doing their jobs. It makes them be LESS cautious for children and MORE cautious for appearances.

          • Mathius

            Such an articulate and succinct RATIONALIZATION for a POLICE STATE.

            Even Communist Charlie couldn’t have done better.

            • If having an organization who’s prime responsibility is looking after kids who are in possible danger -is a police state-what do you suggest as an alternative?

              • Mathius™ says:

                I’ll answer on behalf of JAC:
                “Freedom. Screw the kids.”

                Or, on behalf of Black Flag:
                “I have no right to interfere, even if I think it’s wrong. Freedom has it’s price. What I can do is ostracize that parent, and force them through peaceful moral economic and social pressure to behave correctly. But, as I have explicitly argued in the past, even if a parent is beating his unconscious child to death on the front lawn directly in front of me, I can’t morally act because it is not my child, and it is not my right to do so. To do so would be to substitute my judgment for another person’s and open the door for them to substitute their judgment for mine. The correct answer to evil is never more evil.”

                On behalf of Mathius
                Well, we already know what I think.

              • Mathius,

                You are never authorized to respond on my behalf because you never get it right.

              • Mathius™ says:

                1. I get it right more often than not. You are very internally consistent, so it’s not hard to figure out where you will come down on any particular issue.
                2. I’m only repeating exactly what you told me in one of our debates a long, long time ago. Please, please don’t make me dig it up. I know you remember it perfectly well.
                3. You don’t believe that I need your “authorization” to act freely so long as I am not violating your rights. You do not believe, either, that you have a “right” to not have your opinions misstated. You believe that I am perfectly free to say whatever I like, even attributing it to you incorrectly, because if you require me to seek your approval to act, then I may require you to seek my approval to act.

                4. Lastly, of course, do tell me: If I got this wrong (I will dig it up in the archives if you make me), tell me how I mistook your opinion?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Uh oh, Black Flag.. Google never forgets…

                Mathius: If you[r] neighbor is beating his child, do you not have a right or obligation duty to intervene?

                Black Flag: I have NO right to intervene – be very clear about that. It is not my rights being violated.
                I ONLY have a right to intervene when the child requests it – that is, delegates their right to self-defense TO ME.

                M: And what, if anything, can be done on behalf of a child whose parent(s) seems unable or unwilling to abide by such a standard.

                BF: The most powerful tool society has – non-violent enforcement of its aggregate of moral code.

                Link

                ———

                Care to make any clarifying statements?

                Here’s what I said, on behalf of you:

                “I have no right to interfere, even if I think it’s wrong. Freedom has it’s price. What I can do is ostracize that parent, and force them through peaceful moral economic and social pressure to behave correctly. But, as I have explicitly argued in the past, even if a parent is beating his unconscious child to death on the front lawn directly in front of me, I can’t morally act because it is not my child, and it is not my right to do so. To do so would be to substitute my judgment for another person’s and open the door for them to substitute their judgment for mine. The correct answer to evil is never more evil.”

                Since you responded that I “never get it right,” let’s see where my mistake was.

                I, on behalf of you, declared “I have no right to interfere, even if I think it’s wrong”. This seems to be supported by your previous statement “I ONLY have a right to intervene when the child requests it.”

                I, on behalf of you, declared “What I can do is ostracize that parent, and force them through peaceful moral economic and social pressure to behave correctly.” This seems to be supported by your evasive answer that “The most powerful tool society has – non-violent enforcement of its aggregate of moral code.”

                I, on behalf of you, declared “even if a parent is beating his unconscious child to death on the front lawn directly in front of me, I can’t morally act because it is not my child, and it is not my right to do so.” Being unconscious (note that I was careful to clarify this), the child cannot delegate anything to you. Since the child cannot delegate her rights to defend herself to you, then you seemingly would suggest that you cannot act. This seems to be supported by your assertion that “I ONLY have a right to intervene when the child requests it – that is, delegates their right to self-defense TO ME.”

                I, on behalf of you, declared “To do so would be to substitute my judgment for another person’s and open the door for them to substitute their judgment for mine.” This is classic BF. Do you want to argue this point, or do you want me to source this as well?

                I, on behalf of you, declared “The correct answer to evil is never more evil.” This seems to be supported by your assertion that “Because someone’s rights have been violated does not give you blanket reason to violate EVERYONE else’s rights.”

                So, do tell me, where I got it wrong?

            • Mathius™ says:

              Aren’t you amazed thatI can offer such articulate and succinct rationalizations for both police states AND extreme libertarian stances?

              Cool, right?

              PS: “Even Communist Charlie couldn’t have done better.” – I have no equal.

              • Mathius

                Yes, very much like a man dying of thirst who discovers a cool pond.

                He can describe both his thirst and the clear, cool water………But he does not drink of the pond and eventually dies of his thirst.

              • Mathius™ says:

                And in this analogy, you were so thirsty that you drank until you drowned.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            Puritan rolls eyes and vomits. No disrespect Mathius, u just hit a hot button issue with me. I can’t comment any further, I have just given up all hope for this country.

            • Mathius™ says:

              I won’t force the issue if you aren’t comfortable, but I would be very interested in your take. I suspect that your law enforcement and corrections officer history would offer some extremely valuable insight.. even if you disagree with me.

              But if you aren’t comfortable, we can just look at this list of animals with college and graduate degrees instead.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Comfort isn’t why I don’t want to comment. I am tired of the nanny state period. Too many kids have been stolen for no good reason by the states. All my talk and reason is futile. People always fall back on ‘the children come first’ as they haul them away. I give up. U lefties have won. The country is now under your control. As it has been for quite some time.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Ladies and gentlemen, the lefties have won! It’s official!

                All hail supreme leader Greater Good.

                And as my first act as interpreter of the Greater Good, I appoint Buck the Wala as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court.

                As my second act, I’m raising JAC’s taxes and redistributing the wealth to Charlie and Todd.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Chief Justice Wala confirms! It is for the Greater Good afterall…

              • And Todd appreciates JAC’s “generosity”!!! 🙂

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Oh, Mathius, before I forget, unless you want CPS at your door someday for child psycho abuse, please consider changing your child’s name from? what was it “Fetus”? 🙂

              • Mathius™ says:

                Cletus the Fetus!

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                🙂 I am outta here…………

  50. PeterB in Indianapolis says:
    • Peter

      How ya been Peter? Hope all is well in the land of Indy.

      From the report, one statement that says it all. First Govt mucks up the world then it claims that only Govt can fix it.

      “Among the “opportunities” that the current global crisis had provided, Harris said, was “a renewed recognition of the role of the State,” and “an appreciation of the value of collective and coordinated action at the global level.””

      By the way, the global warming, green jobs/economy meme is included WITHIN the Agenda 21 programs.

      Beware the words “Sustainable Development”.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The EPA is already starting on the whole “sustainable development” thing… be afraid, be very afraid!

        And JAC, everything is pretty good here in the land of Indy, as long as I keep my mind off of national/international politics…

        On a side note, there was a debate before the city/county council over a proposed smoking ban. The news showed the testimony of one business owner who had the temerity to state the following (paraphrased):

        Look, I own this business, and I even own the building where the business is located. It is NOT “public” property, it is clearly a private business. What is wrong with ME (the business owner) deciding whether or not to allow smoking in MY establishment, and then simply putting up a sign which states, “I allow smoking in my establishment. If you do not wish to be exposed to tobacco smoke, then please take your business elsewhere. If you do decide to enter the premises, you have been warned that tobacco smoke is allowed and will most likely be present.” Or similarly, “I do not allow smoking in my establishment, if you wish to smoke, please do so elsewhere.”

        The city/county council had a bit of a tough time answering that one… the usual stuff about “the need for standardized regulations… blah blah blah”

        • Buck the Wala says:

          What about the employees of the business?

          • Buck

            Good grief man.

            They are FREE to exercise their own FREE will.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I dunno — if my employer allowed smoking, I’d be pretty pissed at having to breathe in the second hand smoke, come home with my suits stinking like smoke, etc. etc. etc.

              But you’re right, I can exercise my own free will and either a) get lung cancer, b) get kicked out of my house for smelling like smoke, or c) quit and face difficulty paying my mortgage.

              But hey, at least I’m free!

              • PLEASE! Save the drama Buck. Don’t know about other states but Michigan’s law has several loopholes in it anyway that I just kept letting my employees smoke on the job anyway. I posted their simple stickers but as long as there was an exhaust fan (yes) or easy access to an outside doorway (yes) it was totally legal to smoke inside. My worksite was soo hot all the time that we had doors open almost year round. Take that State of Michigan!

              • But Hey-that freedom thing is pretty important.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                You forgot the other option Buck,

                Go get a job at a place which suits your own desires regarding smoking.

                Your arguments FAIL because you fail to admit that there is more than one employment option open to you, me, and everyone else.

                “Your job” at your current employer is not “your job”. It is a position which you happen to occupy, based upon your acceptance of the rules of your employer, and his acceptance of your adherence to those rules and your performance.

                If you didn’t like your employers rules regarding smoking, I feel quite certain you would seek employment elsewhere, as would anyone else.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Yes, I would seek employment elsewhere.

                But why should I have to give up my job for this? And what about the time while I’m looking for a job elsewhere?

                From a consumer/customer standpoint I do see, and to a large extent agree, with your position — you own a restaurant that allows smoking; you just lost my business! you own a firm that allows smoking; I’ll take my issue elsewhere rather than inhale that crap while in your office. But from an employee standpoint I completely disagree.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Maybe he should state on his job applications the same thing it says on his sign? Other than that, employees are free to work there, or not, depending on their own like or dislike of the owner’s smoking (or anti-smoking) policy.

            In my view, there are only two “solutions” to the problem:

            1. Allow private businesses and private citizens to make their own informed decisions regarding tobacco and smoking.

            2. Declare Tobacco illegal (and see what that gets you).

            This piece-meal namby-pamby raising of taxes and regulating out of existence places that people can smoke is just BS plain and simple.

            Either tobacco is as dangerous as “they” claim it is, and it should be banned entirely, or the solution that I offered as #1 is perfectly adequate.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Either tobacco is as dangerous as “they” claim it is

              Tobacco IS as dangerous as “they” claim it is. Beyond that, I will reserve my opinions.

              Other to say that it smells bad.

              And it stains your teeth yellow.

              And it’s addictive.

              • Everyone wants to make Pot legal-I wonder why when all their rules about smoke will eventually make smoking it anywhere illegal. 🙂

              • Mathius™ says:

                Pot isn’t addictive. To the best of my knowledge, marijuana isn’t anywhere nearly as carcinogenic cigarettes.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Yes, make pot legal — for private use, along the same lines as cigarettes.

              • I don’t know which one is more carcinogenic-but I suspect they would use the medical benefits as another way to be hypocritical. But did you know that contraceptives are also carcinogenic and their in Group 1, right there with tobacco.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius,

                I agree, it is a dangerous substance… and it is addictive.

                Never said I disagreed with that 🙂

        • Peter

          My friend, EPA has been on that kick for a very long time. Starting with the Algorians.

          Bush did nothing to stop it by the way.

          Furthermore, all the “environment” related agencies are caught up in it as well.

      • Mathius™ says:

        Re: “Sustainable Development”

        http://m.xkcd.com/1007/

  51. Regarding this theory that free contraception is needed to “prevent discrimination against women”.

    I mad the claim this argument is BS, and Buck said I was full of BS as the EEOC had clearly determined this to be true.

    For the record, it is true that the EEOC made this determination. Putting aside their decision for a moment, the fact is was made HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH the President’s decision this past week, to require contraception under the authority of Obama Care.

    If such policies were in violation of the civil rights, as claimed, then the insurance companies would be compelled to offer contraception under prior law. So this means the issue TRULY is about forcing Religious institutions to provide the same benefits under their employer sponsored programs. And nothing else.

    Which of course means that the “compromise” is BS as well. Because if the President can tell the Insurance company to provide the benefit under the EEOC ruling, then they already had to provide it under the EEOC ruling. Meaning that the “compromise” was an “interference” in the contractual relationship between the Insurance Co and the employer.

    Now for the real issue. The EEOC ruling provides, in my view, further evidence of two very important things:

    1) How our laws, including the Constitution, are dictated by “Commission” outside the Constitutional process. Creating situations most of us are unaware of until it is to late. This of course means that “commissions” and “agencies” get to establish the “precedent” that is later used to rationalize the next stupid interpretation.

    2) Why we should just shoot the freaking lawyers. OK, that is a bit violent, so a boat trip to China might be more humane.

    If you want to see a twisted view of legal logic, just read the actual EEOC finding. It follows:

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    The following Commission Decision finds reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occured under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, in two charges challenging the exclusion of prescription contraceptives from a health insurance plan. The Decision is a formal statement of Commission policy as applied to the facts at issue in these charges.
    Decision
    Summary of Charge

    The Charging Parties, female employees of Respondents, allege that Respondents have engaged in an unlawful employment practice in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. (Title VII). Specifically, Charging Parties challenge Respondents’ failure to offer insurance coverage for the cost of prescription contraceptive drugs and devices.
    Jurisdiction

    Respondents are employers within the meaning of Section 701(b) of the Act. All other jurisdictional requirements have also been met.
    Summary of Investigation

    Charging Party A, a registered nurse, began working for Respondent A in 1997. Under its health insurance plan, Respondent A covers numerous medical treatments and services, including prescription drugs; vaccinations; preventive medical care for children and adults, including pap smears and routine mammograms for women; and preventive dental care. Respondent A also covers the cost of surgical means of contraception, namely vasectomies and tubal ligations. However, Respondent A’s plan excludes coverage for prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, whether they are used for birth control or for other medical purposes.

    Charging Party A wishes to use oral contraceptives for birth control purposes. Based on her medical history, Charging Party A also wishes to use oral contraceptives to alleviate the symptoms of dysmenorrhea and pre-menstrual syndrome and to prevent the development of ovarian cancer.

    Charging Party B, a registered nurse, began her employment with Respondent B on May 1, 1999. Respondent B is commonly owned with Respondent A, and offers to its employees the same health insurance policy that Respondent A offers to its employees. As a result, Charging Party B is subject to the same exclusions from health coverage as Charging Party A. Charging Party B wishes to use Depo Provera, an injectible prescription contraceptive, for birth control purposes.

    Charging Parties both allege that Respondents’ failure to offer coverage for prescription contraceptive drugs and devices constitutes discrimination on the bases of sex and pregnancy in violation of Title VII. Respondents deny that the exclusion of prescription contraceptives, which on its face does not distinguish between men and women, is discriminatory.
    Discussion

    Based on current medical knowledge, individuals who wish to avoid conception may choose from a range of contraceptive alternatives. These alternatives include surgical procedures, like vasectomies and tubal ligations; non-prescription birth control, like condoms; and prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, like birth control pills, diaphragms, intra-uterine devices, and Norplant implants. Prescription contraceptives are available only to women.

    Oral contraceptives are also widely recognized as effective in treating certain medical conditions that exclusively affect women, such as dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) and pre-menstrual syndrome.(1) Contraceptives are also sometimes prescribed to prevent the development of ovarian cancer. Respondents’ insurance plan excludes contraceptives “regardless of intended use.”(2)

    The Commission concludes that Respondents’ exclusion of prescription contraceptives violates Title VII, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act,(3) whether the contraceptives are used for birth control or for other medical purposes.
    I. Exclusion of Prescription Contraceptives Used for Birth Control Purposes
    A. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act Applies to Prescription Contraception

    To clarify its long-standing intent with regard to Title VII, Congress enacted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to explicitly require equal treatment of women “affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” in all aspects of employment, including the receipt of fringe benefits.(4) This language bars employers from treating women who are pregnant or affected by related medical conditions differently from others who are similarly able or unable to work. It also prohibits employers from singling out pregnancy or related medical conditions in their benefit plans.

    As the Supreme Court has made clear, the PDA’s prohibitions cover a woman’s potential for pregnancy, as well as pregnancy itself. Recognizing that the PDA prohibits “discrimination on the basis of a woman’s ability to become pregnant,” the Court concluded that an employment policy that excluded women capable of bearing children from certain jobs was an impermissible classification because it was based on the potential for pregnancy. As the Court held, “[u]nder the PDA, such a classification must be regarded, for Title VII purposes, in the same light as explicit sex discrimination.”(5) Under the Court’s analysis, the fact that it is women, rather than men, who have the ability to become pregnant cannot be used to penalize them in any way, including in the terms and conditions of their employment.

    Contraception is a means by which a woman controls her ability to become pregnant. The PDA’s prohibition on discrimination against women based on their ability to become pregnant thus necessarily includes a prohibition on discrimination related to a woman’s use of contraceptives. Under the PDA, for example, Respondents could not discharge an employee from her job because she uses contraceptives. So, too, Respondents may not discriminate in their health insurance plan by denying benefits for prescription contraceptives when they provide benefits for comparable drugs and devices.

    This conclusion is supported by additional language in the PDA that specifically exempts employers from any obligation to offer health benefits for abortion in most circumstances.(6) Congress understood that absent an explicit exemption, the PDA would require coverage of medical expenses resulting from a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.

    The same analysis applies to the question of whether the PDA covers prescription contraceptives. As just discussed, the PDA’s prohibition of discrimination in connection with a woman’s ability to become pregnant necessarily includes the denial of benefits for contraception. Had Congress meant to limit the applicability of the PDA to contraception, therefore, it would have enacted a statutory exemption similar to the abortion exemption. Such an exemption, of course, does not exist for contraceptives.

    Further, construing the PDA to cover contraception implements Congress’ clearly expressed intent in enacting the PDA. Congress wanted to equalize employment opportunities for men and women, and to address discrimination against female employees that was based on assumptions that they would become pregnant.(7) Congress thus prohibited discrimination against women based on “the whole range of matters concerning the childbearing process,”(8) and gave women “the right … to be financially and legally protected before, during, and after [their] pregnancies.”(9) It was only by extending such protection that Congress could ensure that women would not be disadvantaged in the workplace either because of their pregnancies or because of their ability to bear children.

    In sum, the Commission concludes that the PDA covers contraception based on its plain language, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the statute, and Congress’ clearly expressed legislative intent.
    B. The PDA Requires Coverage of Prescription Contraceptives in this Case

    The PDA requires that expenses related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions be treated the same as expenses related to other medical conditions.(10) Because Respondents have failed to provide such equal treatment in this case, they are liable for discrimination under the PDA.

    Contraception is a means to prevent, and to control the timing of, the medical condition of pregnancy. In evaluating whether Respondents have provided equal insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives, therefore, the Commission looks to Respondents’ coverage of other prescription drugs and devices, or other types of services, that are used to prevent the occurrence of other medical conditions. In Respondents’ plan, such drugs, devices, and services include:

    * vaccinations;
    * drugs to prevent development of medical conditions, such as those to lower or maintain blood pressure or cholesterol levels;
    * anorectics (weight loss drugs) for those 18 years of age and under;
    * preventive care for children and adults, including physical examinations; laboratory services in connection with such examinations; x-rays; and other screening tests, like pap smears and routine mammograms; and
    * preventive dental care (including oral examinations, tooth cleaning, bite wing x-rays, and fluoride treatments).(11)

    Respondents have made three arguments to justify their exclusion. First, Respondents allege that their plan covers treatment of medical conditions only if “there is something abnormal about [the employee’s] mental or physical health,”(12) and thus that the above-listed drugs and services are not appropriate comparators for evaluating Respondents’ coverage of contraceptives. However, this argument reflects a misunderstanding about the nature of pregnancy. It is widely recognized in the medical community that pregnancy is a medical condition that poses risks to, and consequences for, a woman.(13)

    In addition, Respondents’ argument is also belied by the explicit terms of their health plan, which is not, in fact, restricted to coverage of “abnormal” conditions. First, Respondents cover contraception through surgical forms of sterilization – vasectomies and tubal ligations — without requiring any showing of the reasons individuals are undergoing the procedures. More broadly, Respondents cover numerous treatments and services that are designed to maintain current health and prevent the occurrence of future medical conditions, whether or not there is something “abnormal” about the employee’s current health status. It is appropriate, for example, to compare Respondents’ coverage of vaccinations or physical examinations to that of contraceptives, because both serve the same preventive purposes. Because Respondents have treated contraception differently from preventive treatments and services for other medical conditions, they have discriminated on the basis of pregnancy.(14)

    Respondents also claim that Charging Parties’ claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1144(a), 1191.(15) This claim is without merit. ERISA preempts certain state laws that regulate insurance, but explicitly exempts federal law from preemption.(16) Moreover, the fact that ERISA does not require health plans to “provide specific benefits” does not mean that other statutes – namely Title VII – do not impose such requirements where necessary to avoid or correct discrimination.

    Finally, Respondents state that they have excluded contraception for “strictly financial reasons.”(17) Respondents’ motivation is, however, legally irrelevant. Although Congress clearly anticipated that an employer’s insurance costs would likely increase once the PDA required employers to cover pregnancy and related medical conditions,(18) it wrote no cost defense into the law.(19)
    II. Exclusion of Prescription Contraceptives Used for Birth Control and/or Other Medical Purposes

    The analysis set forth above applies to Charging Parties’ claims that Respondents’ exclusion unlawfully interferes with their ability to use prescription contraceptives for birth control purposes. Charging Party A has further claimed that Respondents’ exclusion applies not only to her use of contraceptives for birth control purposes, but also to her use of contraceptives to treat dysmenorrhea and menstrual cramps. Respondents have violated Title VII’s basic nondiscrimination principles regardless of the purpose of Charging Parties’ use of contraceptives.

    Respondents assert that their exclusion does not constitute sex discrimination because it does not explicitly distinguish between men and women.(20) However, prescription contraceptives are available only for women. As a result, Respondents’ explicit refusal to offer insurance coverage for them is, by definition, a sex-based exclusion. Because 100 percent of the people affected by Respondent’s policy are members of the same protected group – here, women — Respondent’s policy need not specifically refer to that group in order to be facially discriminatory.(21)

    Moreover, Respondents’ other efforts to mount a defense are unavailing. Respondents may not rely on arguments that coverage of contraception is precluded by ERISA or may be denied based on cost concerns. Nor can Respondents successfully argue that contraception is not medically necessary, whether used for birth control or other medical purposes. See Section I(B), supra.

    The inequality in treatment is apparent whether Charging Parties wish to use contraceptives to prevent conception or for other medical purposes. This is because Respondents have circumscribed the treatment options available to women, but not to men. Respondents’ health plan effectively covers approved, non-experimental treatments for employees’ medical conditions unless those treatments involve contraceptives. This is unlawful.(22)
    Conclusion

    There is reasonable cause to believe that Respondents have engaged in an unlawful employment practice in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, by failing to offer insurance coverage for the cost of prescription contraceptive drugs and devices. Charging Parties are entitled to reimbursement of the costs of their prescription contraceptives for the applicable back pay period. In addition, the District Office is instructed to determine whether any cognizable damages have resulted from Respondents’ actions.

    In order to avoid violating Title VII in the future:

    * Respondents must cover the expenses of prescription contraceptives to the same extent, and on the same terms, that they cover the expenses of the types of drugs, devices, and preventive care identified above. Respondents must also offer the same coverage for contraception-related outpatient services as are offered for other outpatient services. Where a woman visits her doctor to obtain a prescription for contraceptives, she must be afforded the same coverage that would apply if she, or any other employee, had consulted a doctor for other preventive or health maintenance services. Where, on the other hand, Respondents limit coverage of comparable drugs or services (e.g., by imposing maximum payable benefits), those limits may be applied to contraception as well.

    * Respondents’ coverage must extend to the full range of prescription contraceptive choices. Because the health needs of women may change — and because different women may need different prescription contraceptives at different times in their lives — Respondents must cover each of the available options for prescription contraception. Moreover, Respondents must include such coverage in each of the health plan choices that it offers to its employees. See 29 C.F.R. part 1604, App. Q&A 24; Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris, 463 U.S. 1073, 1081-82 n.10 (1983).

    The charges are remanded to the field for further processing in accordance with this decision.

    FOR THE COMMISSION:
    _____12/14/00_________
    Date _________/s/__________
    Executive Officer
    Executive Secretariat

    1. See, e.g., Kaunitz, Oral Contraceptive Health Benefits: Perception v. Reality, Contraception 1999, 59:29S-33S (January 1999); Sulak, Oral Contraceptives: Therapeutic Uses and Quality -of-Life Benefits – Case Presentations, Contraception 1999, 59:35S-38S (January 1999).

    2. Letter from Respondents to EEOC, June 22, 2000.

    3. Numerous states have also addressed policies like Respondents’. To date, thirteen states have passed legislation mandating insurance coverage of contraception where a policy covers prescription drugs or devices. See Cal. Ins. Code 10123.196 (California); Del. Code Ann., title 18, 3559 (Delaware); 1999 Conn. Acts 99-79 (June 3, 1999) (Connecticut); Ga. Code Ann. 33-24-59.6 (Georgia); Hawaii Rev. Stat. 431:10A-116.6, 431:10A-116.7, 432:1-604.5 (Hawaii); Iowa Code 514C.19; Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., title 24, 2332-J, Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., title 24-A, 2756, 2847-G, 4247 (Maine); Md. Code Ann., Ins., 15-826 (Maryland); Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 689A.0415 et seq. (Nevada); N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann., title 37, 415:18-i (New Hampshire); 1999 N.C. Sess. Laws 90 (June 30, 1999) (North Carolina); R.I. Gen. Laws 27-18-57, 27-19-48, 27-20-43, 27-41-59 (Rhode Island); 8 Vt. Stat. Ann. 4099c (Vermont). Insurance plans offered to federal employees must meet similar requirements. P.L. 106-58, 113 Stat. 430 (Sept. 29, 1999).

    4. 42 U.S.C. 2000e(k).

    5. Int’l Union, UAW v. Johnson Controls, 499 U.S. 187, 199, 211 (1991).

    6. 42 U.S.C. 2000e(k).

    7. H.R. Rep. No. 948, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 3 (1978) (“[t]he assumption that women will become pregnant and leave the labor force leads to the view of women as marginal workers, and is at the root of the discriminatory practices which keep women in low-paying and dead-end jobs”); see also id. at 6-7; 123 Cong. Rec. 29,385 (1977) (statement of Senator Williams, chief sponsor of the Senate bill that led to the PDA) (“[b]ecause of their capacity to become pregnant, women have been viewed as marginal workers not deserving of the full benefits of compensation and advancement . . .”).

    8. H.R. Rep. No. 948, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 5 (1978).

    9. 124 Cong. Rec. H38,574 (daily ed. October 14, 1978) (statement of Rep. Sarasin, a manager of the House version of the PDA).

    10. See, e.g., 29 C.F.R. Part 1604, App. Introduction (“any health insurance provided must cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis as expenses for other medical conditions”).

    11. See Respondents’ Summary Plan Description at, e.g., pp. 87, 90, 112, 137.

    12. Letter from Respondents to EEOC, June 22, 2000.

    13. See, e.g., Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act 1998: Hearings on S. 766 before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, 105th Cong., 2d Sess. 25 (1998) (statement of Richard H. Schwarz, M.D.); 144 Cong. Rec. S9,194 (daily ed. July 29, 1998) (statement of Senator Snowe) (there is “nothing ‘optional’ about contraception. It is a medical necessity for women during 30 years of their lifespan. To ignore the health benefits of contraception is to say that the alternative of 12 to 15 pregnancies during a woman’s lifetime is medically acceptable.”) (quoting statement by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).

    14. In addition, Respondents cover Viagra where patients complain about “decreased sexual interest or energy,” whether or not the individual has been diagnosed as impotent. Letter from Respondents to EEOC, August 25, 2000. Respondents’ assertion that their plan covers treatments only for abnormal medical conditions is not credible in light of these facts.

    15. Letter from Respondents to EEOC, June 22, 2000.

    16. 29 U.S.C. 1144(a) (setting forth basic rule of preemption of state law); 1144(d) (“[n]othing in this subchapter shall be construed to alter, amend, modify, invalidate, impair, or supersede any law of the United States . . . or any rule or regulation issued under any such law”); see also Shaw v. Delta Airlines, 463 U.S. 85 (1983) (state laws that are co-extensive with federal laws are not preempted by ERISA).

    17. Letter from Respondents to EEOC, April 19, 2000.

    18. See, e.g., Statement of Senator Williams, floor manager of the PDA, reprinted in “Legislative History of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978,” at 63, 64 (1980) (identifying “significant cost factor[s]” that would be incurred by employers, but noting that “the committee found that the cost of equal treatment of pregnancy has been greatly exaggerated”); H. Rep. No. 95-948, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 10 (1978) (discussing anticipated costs of complying with PDA). In any event, the costs of contraception are low. See Alan Guttmacher Institute, Cost to Employer Health Plans of Covering Contraceptives (June 1998) (estimating that average added cost to employers of covering contraceptives is $1.43 per employee per month). Moreover, studies — and common sense — show that the financial costs associated with childbirth are much greater than the costs of many years of contraception. See Law, Sex Discrimination and Insurance for Contraception, 73 Wash. L. Rev. 363, 365 & n. 13 (1998) (citing studies). Even if a cost defense were available as a matter of law, therefore, Respondents would be unlikely to be able to cost-justify the exclusion of contraceptives.

    19. See Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris, 463 U.S. 1073, 1085 n. 14 (1983) (in enacting the PDA, Congress decided “to forbid special treatment of pregnancy despite the special costs associated therewith . . .”); Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. v. EEOC, 462 U.S. 669, 683 n. 26 (1983) (“no [cost] justification is recognized under Title VII once discrimination has been shown”).

    20. Letter from Respondents to EEOC, June 22, 2000.

    21. This is the rationale that was set forth by the dissenters in General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125 (1976), and adopted by Congress in passing the PDA. See Gilbert, 429 U.S. at 149 (Brennan, J., dissenting) (“it offends common sense to suggest that a classification revolving around pregnancy is not, at the minimum, strongly ‘sex related'”); id. at 162 (Stevens, J., dissenting) (special treatment of pregnancy is sex discrimination because it is “the capacity to become pregnant which primarily differentiates the female from the male”); H.R. Rep. No. 948, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 2 (1978) (adopting reasoning of dissenters). See also Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. v. EEOC, 462 U.S. 669, 676 (1983) (“Congress, by enacting the [PDA], not only overturned the specific holding in [Gilbert], but also rejected the test of discrimination employed by the Court in that case”); California Federal Savings & Loan Ass’n v. Guerra, 479 U.S. 272, 284 (1987) (in enacting the PDA, Congress “unambiguously expressed its disapproval of both the holding and the reasoning of the Court in” Gilbert) (citation omitted).

    22. Of course, as has been recognized by legal commentators, an employer’s exclusion of contraceptives can also be challenged on disparate impact grounds. Law, Sex Discrimination and Insurance for Contraception, 73 Wash. L. Rev. 363, 373-76 (1998). Based on the analysis in text, however, it is unnecessary to address application of the disparate impact theory here.

  52. Now for the next thing on this “contraception” issue.

    After a little more research, and thanks to a timely article by Proff. Natelson, we find an even more interesting situation. One that raises even MORE questions about Mr. Obama’s “compromise” than hid original decision itself.

    You see, all indications are that Mr. Obama’s edict from on high would be found Constitutional by the SCOTUS. In fact the Court has issued prior decisions indicating that institutions owned and operated by Religious Institutions (churches) for NON-CHURCH purposes are subject to the same labor and other other laws as ANY OTHER EMPLOYER.

    In short, there was no basis for issuing an “exemption” in the first place. Unless it was all about POLITICS. More specifically, all about preparing the re-election battlefield.

    Ladies and Gentlemen. This is not about churches and regulation of Insurance Company benefits. It is about three things:

    1) Short term: Get POTUS re-elected and maintain Progressive control of the Dems, while reducing Rep’s in Congress.

    2) Mid term: Create a situation that moves towards SINGLE PAYER, as in a GOVT PROVIDED HEALTH INSURANCE that will eliminate its competitors.

    3) Long term: Create the situation that moves the public to support GOVT MEDICAL CARE. I hope my Doctor friends get a high enough GS rating to make them comfortable.

    So if you all just keep in mind the GOALS, the various actions, reactions and silly rhetoric you see in the media will all make SENSE.

    • I think most of us are aware that Obama wanted to make this election cycle about social issues instead of the economy. But from what you just wrote the reaction isn’t silly-it just shows me that religious freedom has already been destroyed -I just wasn’t aware of the fact. So I’ll fight against it now.

      But I do believe that there is some law that was passed that makes it illegal to force people to pay for abortions-and this mandate certainly breaks that law.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I wouldn’t put it entirely past the White House to issue the exemption solely to change the debate from the economy. But then the GOP fell for it hook, line and sinker.

      As for the goals you list, great! I’d rather have Obama in the White House than any of the GOP candidates; and I support moving to a single payer system. So, based on the goals you assigned and your impression that Obama acted deliberately to change the debate, would you agree that Obama played politics quite nicely with this?

      • Oh yeah!!

        He ‘plays’ politics very well. That’s why the SOB needs to be tossed out on his ass in November. Because while he knows how to play the politician very well, he couldn’t find his ass with both hands and a road map when it comes to the JOB of President.

      • Buck

        Yes and No.

        First the No, I don’t think he expected the backlash.

        But he quickly regrouped by making it look like he “accomodated” while doing nothing in reality. So now HIS side can claim him a moderate while he has done nothing to move away from his Progressive goals.

        That would be the Yes part.

        If you recall, I have previously said he is good at the political game. I do not think him the genius in this that his lovers assign to him. It is the ineptness of the Republicans that makes him look so much better than he is.

        Let me give you one example. The current Payroll Tax debate.

        In December the House should have put a “permanent Income Tax cut for the “middle class” on the table to replace the payroll tax “holiday”. Then balanced that cut against mushy stupid programs, like bike paths and endowment for the arts, and NPR, etc, etc,.

        They should in fact do the exact same thing now. But they won’t. They will continue to try and explain the details of economics and budgetary problems to an electorate who wants to feel good about Hope and Change.

      • Buck

        As for Single Payer, I have this suggestion.

        YOU pay yours. You are now a single payer.

        I will pay mine. I am now a single payer.

        Now if this sounds harsh given our current addiction to govt cookies, help get an Individual Tax Exemption passed for the cost of health insurance.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Not harsh at all; you’re entitled to your opinion.

          But I’ll continue to push for single payer.

    • Obama has already shown numerous times that the Constitution means NOTHING to him or his constituents. He bypasses it continually because he damn well knows that by the time the SCOTUS gets around to knocking whatever he does down, he will no longer be in office OR they will go along with it because the popular thing to do is to “interpret” the Constitution to say what they want it to say.

      This has already happened several times in his administration so it should come as no suprise.

  53. Canine Weapon says:

    • Perfect timing to expose those right-wing nuts clinging to their guns and religion…..
      Another example:
      http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/local/120208-mom-runs-burglars-off-with-gun

      • Mathius™ says:

        Allow me to retort:

        The Navy’s newest ship will be the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

        Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made the announcement at a Pentagon ceremony today, calling Giffords someone whose name is synonymous with courage.

        Former Rep. Gabby Giffords looked on at the Pentagon as Mabus made the announcement in a public ceremony. Also in attendance at this afternoon’s brief ceremony in the Pentagon Courtyard was Roxana Green, the mother of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.

        Christina-Taylor was among those killed in last year’s deadly shooting rampage in Tucson that targeted Giffords as she met constituents outside a supermarket. Roxana Green will be the ship’s sponsor.

        Source.

        • Mathius

          So are you proposing that we give our kids a new Ship?

        • Strike one!

          In news story after news story, I see the claim over and over again that Jared Loughner legally obtained his Glock 19 9mm handgun from Sportsman’s Warehouse on November 30th, 2010.

          This is false. Jared Loughner obtained his gun by means of a felony.
          http://robdoar.com/jared-loughner-did-not-legally-obtain-a-gun/

        • Why didn’t they name the ship the Christina-Taylor Green? After all, she was killed. Mrs. Giffords was just wounded.

          And on that subject. WTF does naming a ship have to do with anything? And I thought that according to Obama, we couldn’t afford to build any more ships.

          • Sorry Matt. Just put my smartass atittude down to sitting on my disabled ass to much.

            • So why don’t you get a job?

              • Because it’s kind of hard to get a job when you can’t stand, sit or do much of anything for more than 15 minutes at a time. Or did you not see the DISABLED part.

                It drives me up the frickin’ wall, but there just isn’t much I can do about it.

                P.S. Try getting a job in this kind of shape.

              • Well, I just sit on my ass all day. I work with one guy who’s in a wheel chair and one older woman who uses crutches.

                Is it really fair for you to sit around all day watching your wide screen TV and using your I-Phone while you collect welfare that I pay for?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Esom,

                Not trying to gang up on you, but I’m sure there are jobs that can be done 15 minutes at a time without standing. For example, you could try your hand at being a writer, a computer programmer, Andy Rooney, professional copy editor/proof reader, inventor, etc.

                There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with your brain, so if Stephen Hawking can support himself, I don’t see why you can’t too. Yes, it’s hard, I’m sure (I have a nasty back problem, so I sympathize, I really do), but are you honestly going to claim you CAN’T do any of the above? That, due to your infirmity, they are beyond your reach?

          • Mathius™ says:

            My point, though of course you gloss over it, is that for every example you can come up with of a mom who chased off a burger, I can come up with a story of someone using a gun for a crime. Sometimes, even, they’ll murder a nine year old girl while attempting to assassinate a Congresswoman.

            Now, of course, you call this a strike because “Jared Loughner obtained his gun by means of a felony.” Great.. but just what was that felony that we’re glossing over?

            1. Sportsman’s Warehouse is a Federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL). They are required to obtain an ATF form 4473 for every firearm transaction they have.

            2. One of the questions on the form is “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

            3. We know by the testimony of those close to him, Loughner was described as a “pothead”

            4. Answering “yes” to this question would have denied him the gun. He was not denied, so he must have said “no.”

            5. Therefore, Jared Loughner lied on this form.

            6. Therefore, Jared Loughner obtained his gun by means of a felony.

            Great. So your argument is.. what? Because Jared Loughner lied on a form that he didn’t legally own the gun, therefore his crime wasn’t an example of an assassination attempt by a legal gun owner, did I get that right?

            • Mathius

              Yep, for every example of a criminal using a gun I can show you an example of a bird singing in a tree.

              Now that makes about as much sense as your response to an example of a mother protecting her family with a gun.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I’m just trying to show that anecdotal evidence proves nothing.

                He shows a mom who chased off a burglar.
                I show a man who killed a 9 year old child.
                You show a bird singing in a tree.

                And none of this gets us any closer to an understanding of whether guns are good/bad, dangerous/safe, too controlled/ not controlled enough, etc. It’s not productive.

            • The point is that the bad guys will always have their guns..legal or not.

              • Mathius™ says:

                So, your case is that gun control laws don’t work. So bad guys will always have guns anyway. So they should be weakened so guns are easier to get for the good guys. Do I have that right?

                But basically, one could argue that the reason bad guys, like Jared Loughner, had guns is because you have pushed for weaker and weaker gun laws to the point where he was able to get one through proper channels because he checked a different box. So basically, you’ve weakened the controls to the point where they don’t work, then used their failure to argue they can’t work, then used that to argue that they should be removed.

                How beautifully circular.

              • You’re the one talking yourself in circles.

                I said exactly what I meant to say. Bad guys will always get their guns..weather they lie on the form or use no form at all..as in..black market

              • Too true! Outlawing guns in the UK did not get rid of them, just took them from law abiding citizens. Criminals, well, they broke the law by not registering them and then turning them in to avoid arrest.

                “So, your case is that gun control laws don’t work, so they should be weakened so guns are easier to get for the good guys. Do I have that right?”

                NO! Not many calling for weakening gun purchase laws. What continues to happen is liberals demand more laws leading up to registration. And when conservatives oppose this and want instead to enforce the existing laws, we get called unreasonable. Bill Clinton bragged about thousands of felons were prevented from buying guns under his presidency because of the Instant Background Check system rejecting their applications. Would that have not sounded better if he said thousands of felons were arrested and returned to prison for attempting to obtain a firearm it was illegal for them to own?

                And you should thank us. If they ever outlaw guns, swords will be next!

              • Mathius™ says:

                Perhaps they will, perhaps they won’t. I don’t know.

                But can you admit, at least, that the laws in place are so weak and ineffectual that all it takes is checking a different box for a known mentally unstable individual to get a gun? And that, if this is the case, then we haven’t really proven whether gun controls can work or not.

                In other words, we don’t know if strong gun control can work in the United States because it’s never really been tried. (And, yes, it’s been tried on very local scales, but that doesn’t count because people can just go to the next town, it’s not like they need to cross a border). So your argument that “bad guys will always get their guns” is unproven one way or the other.

                Again, I’m not arguing either way, but I think there’s no much anecdotal BS and fear-mongering (on BOTH sides!) that it’s impossible to see the forest through the trees. If you want to have this discussion, I’m game, but I think we should be honest about the arguments we put forth.

              • Do you guys remember when our own USW was rejected from buying a gun because of the instant background check? Mathius have you ever tried to buy a gun? You hand over your ID and they call it in to the FBI (I think). If nothing comes up you are good to go, otherwise it would be treating gun buyers guilty until proven innocent.

            • Laws and the police do not protect you from madmen or criminals. Laws do not stop you from committing a crime, they punish you after the fact, if they catch you. If you are insane and want to die, the punishment is not much of a deterrent. All it took was for him to lie to obtain the gun. What if we create a liberal wonderland where there are no guns? Would any and every automobile not be capable of killing large numbers? The riots in Greece they were throwing molotov cocktails. So do you ban cars and gas next? A liberal paradise for sure! Enjoy that bike ride to work. Oh, and how does it work in the real world when you make a city “gun free”?

              http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/02/05/020512-news-detroit-vigilantes-1-5/?utm_campaign=TD_Paid&utm_medium=Media&utm_source=outbrain&utm_keyword=&utm_content

              • Mathius™ says:

                I’m not arguing for or against gun control. Knives have killed more people than guns ever have, and by a large margin.

                All I am saying is that anecdotes are not a good way to have the debate. And using weak gun laws to show that gun laws can’t work is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

                Maybe gun control laws are good. Maybe they’re bad. Maybe some are good and some are bad. Maybe all are bad and the government should hand out grenade launches and mandate the open carry of Desert Eagles. Maybe we would be better off in liberal utopia where everyone rides a bike to work and cuts their steak with blunt butter knives.

                I don’t have the answers and don’t pretend to. (not on this subject at least). But if we’re going to have a debate on this issue, as the late great Harry Morgan used to say, “Just the facts.”

      • I’m suprised they didn’t arrest the Mom for firing a gun in the house.

  54. Mathius

    Your comment:

    “I’m just trying to show that anecdotal evidence proves nothing.” YOU STARTED AN ARGUMENT FOR NO REASON. AND YOU DID SO BY CHANGING THE SUBJECT.

    “He shows a mom who chased off a burglar.” YES. AND THAT WAS IT. SHOWING A PERSON USING A GUN TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. AS OPPOSED TO SOME SICK HOLLYWOOD TYPE MAKING A MOVIE ABOUT ARBITRARY KILLING AS GLORIOUS.

    “I show a man who killed a 9 year old child.” EXACTLY. WHY?? BECAUSE YOU CAN’T LET SELF DEFENSE STAND AS A LEGITIMATE VIEW? IF THAT IS NOT THE REASON THEN WHAT?

    “You show a bird singing in a tree.” YEP, MAD ABOUT AS MUCH SINCE DIDN’T IT.

    And none of this gets us any closer to an understanding of whether guns are good/bad, dangerous/safe, too controlled/ not controlled enough, etc. It’s not productive.”” ACTUALLY WE UNDERSTAND QUITE CLEARLY. YOU JUST HAVE TO REMOVE YOUR BLINDERS.

    GUNS ARE GUNS, NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD. THEY ARE A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.

    GUNS ARE SAFE WHEN USED SAFELY AND DANGEROUS WHEN NOT. DEPENDS ON THE PERSON HOLDING THE GUN.

    WHETHER A GUN IS USED FOR GOOD OR BAD ALSO DEPENDS ON WHETHER THE PERSON USING THE GUN IS BAD OR GOOD.

    GUNS ARE ABSOLUTELY TOO CONTROLLED, BECAUSE ANY CONTROL IS A VIOLATION OF MY RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.

    • Mathius™ says:

      AS OPPOSED TO SOME SICK HOLLYWOOD TYPE MAKING A MOVIE ABOUT ARBITRARY KILLING AS GLORIOUS. and YOU STARTED AN ARGUMENT FOR NO REASON. AND YOU DID SO BY CHANGING THE SUBJECT. I wasn’t showing that to start a debate (though of course, it was Canine Weapon who posted it, remember, not me.) But rather as a lighthearted video of a movie about the annoyances of modern pop-culture. Nothing to do with guns or gun safety. They might as well have killed those annoying people with hammers or by dropping pianos on their heads for all I cared.

      BECAUSE YOU CAN’T LET SELF DEFENSE STAND AS A LEGITIMATE VIEW Because I cannot let anecdotal evidence skew matter when a debate which arises.

      • But then you won’t let REALITY stand in the way either as you showed by bashing my comment about the bad guys will always get their guns.

    • I wonder if the gun used by Loughner was one of Holder’s from F&F?

      Wouldn’t that make it interesting…..

    • One of these days, its just going to be like…..

  55. Todd

    “And Todd appreciates JAC’s “generosity”!!! 🙂

    Now I know you used the happy face but the thread is so long I am not sure what it was that I gave you.

    But your welcome, none the less.

  56. Justice Breyer robbed by machete-wielding intruder at West Indies vacation home

    Published February 13, 2012

    WASHINGTON – A Supreme Court spokeswoman says Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed last week by a machete-wielding intruder at his vacation home in the West Indies.

    Spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Breyer, wife Joanna and guests were confronted by the robber around 9 p.m. EST Thursday in the home Breyer owns on the Caribbean island of Nevis. Arberg said the intruder took about $1,000 in cash and no one was hurt.

    She said the robbery was reported to local authorities, but she did not know if an arrest has been made.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/13/justice-breyer-robbed-at-west-indies-vacation-home/#ixzz1mIhujQ3G

    Where is a damned machete ban law when you need one?

    • Mathius™ says:

      A MONOCLE!

      Just what I need if I’m going to be a 1%-er!

      I’ll have USW give you my address so you can send it to me.

      Thanks, Anita! You’re the best.

  57. Anita! You keep that kid at home lest this Michigan “educator” gets hold of him:

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=8047

  58. I’d always heard that liberalism is a mental disorder and, well, I guess it is!

    Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/12/inside-media-matters-sources-memos-reveal-erratic-behavior-close-coordination-with-white-house-and-news-organizations/#ixzz1mJYk3uQE

  59. JAC-is this Employment Division v Smith the case you were referring too?

    Democratic hypocrisy on religious liberty
    posted at 7:45 pm on February 13, 2012 by Karl

    Juicebox mafioso Matt Yglesias tweeted: “Newfound GOP enthusiasm for religious exemptions from generally applicable laws seems dangerously close to sharia.” There is an interesting point there, although Yglesias manages to get it almost completely backward.

    He ought to know he went astray, based on his very next tweet directing readers to Justice Scalia’s opinion in Employment Division v. Smith, which ruled that while states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so. Yglesias failed to mention the Smith decision prompted calls for a statutory restoration of prior case law, which was generally understood to require various exemptions for religious liberty. Smith was decided in 1990, so the enthusiasm for religious exemptions is not “newfound.”

    Nor was the enthusiasm for religious exemptions limited to the GOP. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was sponsored in the House by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer, who is smart enough to be “diplomatic ” about the HHS mandate requiring Catholic institutions to insure its employees for birth-control, abortifacients and sterilization. RFRA’s 170 cosponsors included not only Republicans like Newt Gingrich and Bob Dornan, but also Dems like Nancy Pelosi (who deems religious freedom an “excuse” regarding the HHS exemption), Lynn Woolsey and Rosa DeLauro, all vocal defenders of the HHS mandate. RFRA was sponsored in the Senate by no less than Ted Kennedy; its cosponsors included not only Republicans, but also current mandate supporters like Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray. RFRA passed the House unanimously and the Senate 97- 3 and was signed into law by Bill Clinton.

    In short, if you are looking for the people who have had a sudden conversion on the issue of legal exemptions for religious freedom, you will be finding them overwhelmingly on the Democrat side of the aisle.

    The interesting point Yglesias raises in his backward, partisan way is whether conservatives should be as keen on religious exemptions from general laws as they have been. Although Yglesias no doubt treats the prospect of sharia law as a phantasmagorical boogeyman, the experience of European countries trying to assimilate growing Muslim populations demonstrates the potentially long and fractious road America may face on this front. It might be a better long-term solution for the Catholic Church to recognize that its religious liberty is best protected when everyone’s liberty is protected — in this case, by supporting the overall repeal of Obamacare.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/13/democrat-hypocrisy-on-religious-liberty/

    • V.H.

      Yes. Employment Division v Smith was the case. But that was not all to the discussion.

      Here is the link to Proff Natelson’s evaluation. His conclusion looks like those arguments we have been around before. The Courts simply change the constitution when it pleases them.

      He also shows why Obama Care is the real issue here and not Religious Freedom. At least due to the case law established to date.

      http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=14122

      I have to confess that after researching these types of issues that I sometimes think about giving up the fight. Then I remember…………..there is no place left to run from these ass-hats. So we have not choice but to stand and fight.

      So best to understand the nature of the enemy than simply shoot for effect.

      🙂

  60. This is both hilarious and brilliant at the same time! Talk about making a point.

    The Legislative Text of Repeal
    3:49 PM, Feb 13, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL

    Yuval Levin has come up with an even-more-brilliant-than-usual idea.
    repeal

    As he says, there is “some discussion on the Hill these days about exactly what kind of legislative approach should be taken to overturn the almost indescribably odious HHS mandate requiring religious employers to provide abortive and contraceptive drugs to their employees. There is so very much wrong with the rule that it can be hard to know quite where to start.”

    But Yuval has an idea about where to start: “a simple, short bill that read simply: ‘Congress shall make no law, and the Executive Branch shall make no rule, respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'”

    The House should pass this bill tomorrow. It should also be brought up in the Senate. Then, on Wednesday, the House can pass (once again) the repeal of Obamacare root and branch. After that, it can pass more limited legislation that might ameliorate the immediate problem at hand–but only after establishing how fundamental the principle at stake is, and only after reminding everyone that the fundamental problem is Obamacare, not any one of its particularly unattractive excrudescences, of which the HHS mandate is certainly one.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/legislative-text-repeal_626758.html

    • So if a religion practices honor killings?

      • That would be a violation of the Prime Directive and will NOT be permitted.

      • Let me put it this way-the progressive part of our country has been passing un-Constitutional Laws for years which steal our freedoms. It isn’t that Religious freedom is above the law-it is just the only thing that has been able to hold them off from making us completely surrender. They pass crazy laws-people go to court and fight on the grounds of religious freedom-this may have been a mistake-because most of these fights probably should have been fought on the grounds of just Freedom. But I guess we fight with what we have. Lately they have been fighting some battles based on tradition-because fighting based on freedom of any kind-seems to be a losing proposition. The real battle is the interpretation of the Constitution.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          VH, do you agree with the following statement? If not, why?

          “When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.”

  61. President’s budget plan

    I had to laugh watching news tonight as pundits tried to explain what Mr. O’s chief of staff said about the budget deficit being reduced to 3% of GDP. A number deemed by “most economists” as “sustainable”.

    So lets summarize all the punditry.

    The DEBT will grow at a rate of 3% per year. Meaning that the current DEBT of 100% of GDP will be between 130 and 134% of GDP in ten years. Oh yes, this assumes no major increases in the cost of Federal Debt INTEREST payments.

    I bet ya’ll didn’t know that the SMARTEST PEOPLE in the Country work in Washington D.C..

    • Another side of the equation……why will this budget NOT be submitted to a Democratic Senate and why does Harry Reid say that no budget will be submitted this year at all. This is ludicrous. Someone that is a supporter, please explain this if you can? The Republican’ in the Senate cannot block this, so why is this new budget not going to be submitted?

    • @ JAC…..it is unbelievable that this is happening and it is more unbelievable that people buy this crap. There has not been a budget submitted in Obama’s career in the Senate. I am going to do research on this to see if this phenomena has happened before. This is a Democratic controlled Senate…..Reid is in charge. He is the right hand of Obama….why is the budget NOT going to be submitted and why is Reid for a third year in a row, not submitting a budget?

      Is it because this can be rammed through without a vote? I do not know how anyone, Repub or Dem can sit back and take this? This is a hugely dangerous precedent and it is unchecked so far.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Colonel,

        It is ridiculous, plain and simple. The Dems in the Senate should clearly submit a budget — either Obama’s or their own, doesn’t really matter. It is a dereliction of their duty not to do so.

        That being said, no chance in Obama’s budget, the GOP House budget, nor the Dem Senate budget (if one was put forth) to pass anyway.

        • I am afraid that you are correct, sir.

          • Does anyone know the history on this-if or when in the history of this Country that Congress hasn’t been able to pass a budget? Is it that they can’t or they feel that they can get away with not passing one. From my memory they use to feel it was a required part of their job. A law so to speak.

            • From this article it sounds fairly common…normally they would have to shut the govt down with no budget..so why are we still open for business?
              http://historymusings.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/how-many-times-us-history-government-shutdown-budget/

              • Anita and SUFA at large

                From within the article, a quote that debunks the current left wing meme that Class Warfare has been invented by the Right to rationalize “unfair” taxes on the middle class:

                “Senator Ted Kennedy gave the Democratic response, “This is the government of the rich, by the rich for the rich.” Summing up that the Democratic Congress was not interested in cutting the deficit or spending especially when it came to social programs.”

                This statement was made in early 1980’s during the Reagan budget battle. Which Reagan lost due to the slowing economy and political pressure to maintain “safety net”.

    • Even the optimistic numbers the Obama White House is floating don’t make this claim, but CNN is willing take a leap and give the administration a lot of credit.

      On CNN’s Monday broadcast of President Barack Obama’s speech about his budget proposal in Annadale, Va., the network’s chyron said that the president would cut $4 trillion in spending and raise $1.5 trillion in taxes over 10 years, suggesting $5.5 trillion in deficit reduction. (RELATED: Krauthammer calls Obama budget ‘worthy of Greece,’ ‘truly scandalous’)

      However, the White House doesn’t even make that claim. Obama says his proposal makes reductions of $4 trillion — $1 trillion agreed upon last year and $3 trillion in this budget. But since only $3 trillion are in this budget (including the $1.5 trillion in tax hikes), the CNN interpretation falls short by $2.5 trillion ($5.5 trillion – $3 trillion = $2.5 trillion off).

      And that’s based on the Obama administration’s numbers.

      However, if you base it on analysis from the Senate Budget Committee Republicans, there’s only $273 billion in deficit reduction, not $3 trillion or $4 trillion, making the CNN report incorrect by $5.2 trillion. It claims the gap between Obama’s math and “honest” math comes from a few budget gimmicks ($5.5 trillion – $273 billion = $5.2 trillion.)

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/13/did-cnn-misreport-obama-budget-by-at-least-2-5-trillion/#ixzz1mMd6L1Ip

      • Translation: Fuzzy math. Besides top Dems say we don’t need a budget as long as we keep getting debt limit increases… 🙄

        • Fuzzy math? It’s very clear this is a balanced budget. In 2018, it will be balanced, after Obama runs up the bill and leaves it for someone else to pay for……

          http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-scher/2012/02/13/msnbc-features-top-obama-official-laughably-tout-presidents-balanced-bu#ixzz1mMoJ1BZn

          ANDREA MITCHELL: And right now, Senate Republicans are reacting to the President’s budget proposal on Capitol Hill, this is Senator Barrasso.

          SEN. BARRASSO: I believe this president has abandoned his role as leader of this nation by not being honest with the American people about the significance of the national debt. And that’s why, somebody asked me if this budget was ‘dead on arrival,and I said ‘no, no, it’s not dead on arrival, it’s debt on arrival.’

          ANDREA MITCHELL: With us now is acting Budget Director, Jeffrey Zients, thanks so much. First of all, they renamed your budget debt on arrival. What is your response to that?

          JEFFREY ZIENTS: I think the President has put forward today a balanced budget. Balanced in two ways. First of all, the President invests and makes immediate investments in job creation, starting with making sure that the payroll tax cut continues, and that we do not have a tax increase on 160 million Americans. The President also has proposals to put Americans back to work, on infrastructure projects, to modernize our schools, to help rebuild our neighborhoods. At the same time, we have year over year of deficit reduction, leading to a stable debt to GDP ratio by 2018. So it’s balanced, in that we have immediate job creation and then we have deficit reduction. And the deficit reduction itself is done in a balanced way. $2.50 of spending cuts for every dollar of new revenue. So I think this is a responsible budget and we hope Congress takes it seriously and passes it’s into law soon.

          • Memo to Jeffry Zients:

            Hey you stupid ASS HAT…………. the extension of payroll tax cuts is NOT part of the 2013 budget. It is in the 2012 budget amendment.

            Or are you finally admitting you plan on extending these cuts until September 2013? If so WHY?

            I thought the economy was recovering and your Messiah has solved the unemployment problem.

            By the way, in case you missed it we have been rebuilding “infrastructure” now for 20 years. Get a clue you morons.

            And one more thing. How freaking stupid do you think we are? It appears you think we can’t even understand the English language. Your statement, “At the same time, we have year over year of deficit reduction, leading to a stable debt to GDP ratio by 2018.” doesn’t even square up with your own announcements. It establishes a DEFICIT to GDP ratio considered stable, NOT a DEBT ratio.

            Sir, you define the meaning of the term “dipstick”.

            Best regards to you and all the other dipstick ass hats occupying the White House.
            JAC

  62. @ Buck…you said “But I’ll continue to push for single payer”

    You and I have bantered back and forth on this…..but….why are you for a single payer system? I do not think that I have ever asked this and if you have said, I have missed it.

    I am not for it because it I do not believe in mandates. I do not believe that health care is a universal right. At one time, I was on the fence about this until I saw all the exemptions being awarded. I have been around a long time and I have never seen this before to this extent. Nancy Pelosi’s statement that religion is just an excuse to relive the mandate issue when 77 percent of HER DISTRICT has been given waivers. So, because of the non support from the people that are pushing for it……..I will not be against it and lobby against it.

    So, why are you for it?

    • OHHHH…MAJOR TYPO…….I will be WILL BE against any type of single payer system………..

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I believe it is a universal right that we should be affording to all our citizens. I know I’ll take some flak over the use of the word ‘right’ in this context, but so be it. We are, I believe, the only western country that does not provide univeral coverage, we are the wealthiest nation on earth, yet do not provide universal coverage. In my mind, this is ridiculous and a real shame.

      Now, you say you were on the fence about it until you saw all the exemptions being awarded. But the exemptions have nothing to do with a single payer system; they deal with Obamacare. So lets say we moved to a single payer system (NOT Obamacare); there would be no need for any exemptions. Back on the fence? Can we make a supporter out of you?

      • Back on the fence, if you eliminate mandates ……but you have to do more than use the argument that everyone else does it.

        Now, I do not have all the pertinent information in front of me right now…..but, even in the 60’s and 70’s, I know of NO ONE that was denied emergency health care or long term health care (cancer, etc) through public hospitals or charities. My father, who is still alive, has told me that even in the thirties, forties, and fifties….there was no one being turned away for any types of service in the public hospitals and charitable institutions and that included long term care.

        But, I will not take you to taskover your “rights” statement, That is how you feel…fine by me. I asked and you responded….thank you, sir.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I’ll amend my ‘rights’ statement a bit, if it helps — Arguably it is not a ‘right’ in the traditional sense often utilized on SUFA, but even assuming it is not a right in that sense of the word, it still is something that we should be affording our citizens, and something that makes a whole lot of sense.

          Perhaps no one you know of was denied emergency or long term care, but imagine what could have been the case if everyone had access to affordable preventative care as well. Many may not have needed that (more expensive) emergency or long term care.

          What are your main concerns with moving to a single payer system?

          • Buck here is a quick list. Along with cost issues I see possible right issues
            Im curious how you dont think the things below will be a problem.

            Goverment solution for every problem will be throw more money at it. (see educational system and its “massive success” in this country.) ( produce a government that does not use more money as a solution to almost everything and I will withdraw this arguement)

            cost will raise simply because not only will we be paying for health care but an ever growing bureaucracy to support it.

            NO garuantee of improved care. More likely less available care and less quality as seen in many other countries.

            Removing consumer from cost of health care leads to unnecessary care draining resources.

            bureaucracies will eventually determine health proceedures, which will remove the patient doctor relationship. This could lead to interfering of rights since religous beliefs may not be considered when dictated from gov. (blood transfusions, contraception, and abortion come to mind im sure there are others)

            Removal of right of privacy. MY health is between me and whomever I decide. Gov. should not be involved unless is say so.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Let’s see here…

              1) The solution does not need to be throw more money at it. In fact, evidence points to single payer saving the government money.

              2) Single payer does not necessitate a ‘large and growing bureaucracy’. Possible, yes; but not necessarily the case

              3) True, no guarantee of improved care overall; but this does not mean quality of care will reduce nor that availability will be reduced. To add, care may well improve overall because there will be more access to preventative care.

              4) Can you explain this a bit more? (consumer being removed from cost of care)

              5) This is also not necessarily the case at all. Decisions can (and should) still remain with the patient-doctor.

              6) Again, not necessarily the case at all.

              All of these concerns, although a possibility, are not necessary to a single payer system. They can all be addressed.

              Does this mean you are now on the fence as well?

              • Single payer as a theoretical concept might fit your list of responses, Buck, but if that single payer is our federal government, then based on track record:

                1) Dead on, it will definitely get money thrown at any perceived issue.
                2) Dead on, it will be a massive bureaucracy siphoning huge amounts of money from the system and driving up costs.
                3) In light of the costs, no likelihood of improvement and a no guarantee of degradation is a pretty lousy thing to have in the “positive” column.
                4) If there is no skin in the game for people, there will absolutely be more unneeded health care. People will go to the doctor far more often if there is no perceived/direct cost to them, even for relatively minor things, especially if they have a chance to get better drugs for more immediate relief. Also, people will possibly be less careful, since for some, at least people that are risk takers/daredevils, the cost of an injury is more of a deterrent from risky activities than the fear of pain or injury itself.
                5) Sure it should remain in the hands of the patient/doctor, but scarcity will eventually exist, and the decisions will fall to the bureaucracy when that happens, and it will happen, more and more as the whole thing grows out of control (again, talking about this government being in charge, not about a theoretical single payer idea.
                6) If this government is in charge, they will demand access to the info, and eventually, they will regulate more and more of people’s lives and choices in the name of health care and health care costs. They will overpay for supplies, have a huge bureaucracy with thousands of unneeded people that have nothing to do with actual health care, and pay people way too much with big union demanded retirement packages, but they will blame cost overruns on people who eat donuts or smoke or sleep less than 8 hours a day or go bungee jumping. Or on the internal combustion engine. Whatever they want to control.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Although I see these all as valid concerns, there is no indication that these are necessary elements of single payer, nor that these concerns will come to fruition, even with our current government.

                So, if these concerns could all be addressed (which I strongly believe they can be), could you support a single payer system?

              • Absolutely not.
                1) If there is demand for an alternative, the market should be allowed to fill that need. In a single payer system, there is no freedom to stop using it and use and alternate. At best you might be allowed to pay for both, like parents who pay taxes for schools but pay to have their children educated at home or privately in addition.
                2) If I want to have no insurance at all, and thus no cost to me for said insurance, I should have that right. My issue with single payer is the mandate part more than the health care itself. I understand that many think that removing profit motivation from health care will lower costs and increase provision, and that is debateable (I do not believe it will accomplish that, especially since it never has. Anywhere.) The thing is, I do not care about that part of the debale. I do not care how good or bad health care might be under such a system. I care about freedom, my own and others. That is more important to me than health care. A single payer system depends on universal participation.

                Besides that, I see tons of evidence that this government would mess it all up, there are all sorts of indications that the concerns mentioned would come to fruition. I cannot find a single thing of any size that is being done without those very concerns coming to fruition in other areas of government action including education, the military, the post office, social security, the FCC, FDA, EPA, FEMA, even medical related things like Medicare and Medicaid, and just about everything else I can think of. I see no reason to believe that universal health care would not suffer the same fate. No reason at all. What evidence of government competence can you provide that would grant any merit to your strong belief that those concerns could be addressed?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I get that you want the right to forgo insurance; but that decision does impact others, as you are aware. Whether or not this is acceptable is an open question – I say no and you say yes.

                Evidence of government competence….Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Do all these programs have some problems? Sure. But they are all also very widely popular, efficient and effective. (Note that I am not saying that we should just take Medicare and Medicaid as it currently stands and extend it to cover everyone.)

              • Sure, that impacts others. Tho by that same logic, anyone not working as hard as they can (a subjective measure, and one almost anyone could be considered falling short of) to pay their own way affects the costs on everyone. Anyone not living as healthy as possible affects everyone. Anyone choosing to procreate with genetic health issues affects everyone. Anyone choosing NOT to procreate with “superior” genetics affects everyone. Anyone living “too long” affects everyone. Anyone retiring “too soon” affects everyone. You see why there are concerns about potential over-regulation and overstepping of authority into any area of life by the government if they are in charge of a single payer system? It is because of that logic of some sort of negative effect because I choose not to pay into the collective system that the door is opened to such tyranny.

                As for government competence, don’t make me laugh. Social Security is a great example of corruption and misappropriation, the so called fund is just a pile of IOUs because the money was used elsewhere, meaning SS is not sitting there earning interest as advertised, it used up immediately for other stuff. Medicaire and Medicaid both are losing solvency. If that is classified as effective and efficient, then I truly fear what you envision for a single-payer plan. Popularity is irrelevant. Smoking is popular too, so is excessive consumption of sugar, WWF, and reality shows. Doesn’t mean any of those things are good.

      • Buck

        Yes, you will catch grief.

        You cannot defend your view with REASON of any kind so you dismiss the argument with “so be it”.

        Then you admit it is not a Right but say we should anyway. WHY?

        During my youth Buck EVERYONE had access to affordable care. But we did not have access to ANY care we wanted. We made choices and learned to doctor ourselves for the ordinary and seasonal maladies of human existence. Like humans have for thousands of years. Thus NEVER placing a burden or IMPOSING ourselves on our neighbors.

        You CAN NOT ever provide ALL the care WANTED or DEMANDED. So you would make everyone less well off rather than allow some to be good and others worse. Thus ends the great Socialist experiment………ALL MANKIND trapped in mediocre existence, depending on the Govt for direction and sustenance each day.

        And the President cries for FAIRNESS and the Crowd stands and cheers. This is how FREEDOM died…………….with a standing ovation.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Hey now, I amended my use of the word ‘rights’ and sought to explain a bit more about the context in which I use the term.

          Why is it that you believe a single payer system is imposing ourselves on our neighbors? How is a single payer system making everyone less well off?

          • Buck

            Good freakin grief man.

            NOT all the payers will be equal.

            NOT all the benefits will be equal.

            YOU will take from some and give to others. Making some worse off than without your system.

            Your system will go broke. To avoid this the ONE and ONLY system will allocate services by some formula. It will limit services for ALL.

            So some now pay and get less as well as paying for others.

            And we ALL lose our FREEDOM………….everyone becomes less well off.

            Buck, I urge you to research the teachings and writings of those who developed these schemes. They openly talked about the need to make us all the same. To reduce the wealthy to some level THEY deem appropriate based on dividing their wealth among the others.

            It is in fact the basis of much of the Environmental Movement as driven by the Algorians.

      • Buck, have you and the other people floating the argument that “we are the wealthiest nation on earth, yet do not provide universal coverage. In my mind, this is ridiculous and a real shame.” ever considered the possibility that one of the reasons we are the richest nation is BECAUSE we have not hobbled our economy with the costs of universal health care? I hear this argument a lot, that we should feel guilty that we have anyone in need in this country because we have so much wealth. But the thing is, we have wealth because we are a competitive economy, not a socialist, equalizing one.

        I know you may call this “anecdotal” and will say that it is “micro economics instead of macro economics”, but I still think it bears thought. I am personally becoming successful in part because I have chosen to forgo health insurance for over a decade. The primary reasoning for this is that I have not stayed in a job to keep health care, meaning I was able to start working for myself. And I have not spent the money for health care, meaning I have had the funds to survive and to grow my business. It has been necessary for me to do this while I am young and healthy and, relatively, poor. As I get older, the cost of starting to get insurance will go up, but, also, as I get older, my income is growing because I have the experience to be in demand and to run a successful business. In other words, by the time I really need insurance, I will be able to afford it, even at 5 or 10 times the expense had I started it in my early 20s. That money would have been a waste and would have detracted from my overall ability to succeed and invest and so forth.

        On a secondary note, lack of insurance has made me more apt to pay attention to my health, and has made me more likely to tough through something, which has had the effect of making me a very healthy person and a relatively tough person who will not be a major burden on the health care system even in my older years. At no point has this risk been a bad decision overall, tho there were a couple of occassions where paying out of pocket was a short-term strain. Still, overall I have come out WAY ahead economically, and even physically. Sure, there are examples on the other side, but both could be called anecdotal. On the whole, those taking the risk I am taking end up being positive far more often than negative. Were that not the case, then insurance would not work as a business model at all. Most people are, in fact, healthy, thus the risk is not that great.

        As for feeling guilt because I have not been contributing to insurance to bring the costs down for other people who need health care, I really dont see it. I already pay for a lot of people who are worse off than me through taxes, and I have given a great deal to charities and to specific people in need over the years. So no, I don’t owe even more to society just because I am healthy, and as my success grows, know that there was a long period of time where I chose not to afford insurance and that is a big part of why I was able to become successful. You don’t see that stuff in statistics, because no one looks at the dynamic nature of economics and production/productivity. It is hard to assign tangible numbers to such a thing, but it is none the less very real.

  63. Hmmmmmmm….. I read Panetta’s budget cut for the military.

    I will go on record right now as saying I will support the cut just as soon as I see EQUAL dollars being cut from the entitlement programs.

  64. @ Mathius……you hit some hot buttons up there. I will respond to you on my feelings about this.

    First, I think that anybody could ascertain from the video and the fact that he called news services out there also, he was totally in control of his faculties. I doubt…very seriously doubt…..that had he used a hammer to do the same thing……NO ONE would have shown up. But that is MY theory. He had a lesson to teach and that was his way. Who are we to determine right or wrong?

    CPS may have started out with honorable designs but I do not think that it is the case now. It is a power play, as I see it. Here is why.

    If a parent spanks a child in Walmart for being a brat…..that should not be a reason for CPS.,,,, but it is reportable. Ridiculous.

    My significant other is a teacher. She has been instructed to report ANY bruise on any child to CPS. This is supposedly done as a precaution. She knows several CPS representatives and they all, according to her, have this Gestapo like mentality. She has been told that and I am quoting, ” we have no guide lines to go by…we are free to determine abuse and it is up to us. We can ruin careers if we want with a simple report. All we have to do is allege”. (This is as close to quotes as I can get as relayed to me…Buck would rightfully call it heresay…but there it is none the less).

    Divorced parents have turned each other in just for harassment purposes and it caused significant problems because CPS historically comes down on the mother’s side. ( Again an observation from my significant other who sees this on a regular basis).

    ANY discipline in public can be considered abuse by someone….and turned in. This is simply not right and no one should be subjected to investigation for discipline measures that are not agreeable to others.

    I am sorry but I do not think that one case of real abuse overrides one hundred cases of innocent investigation. My opinion, of course.

    Personal experience……my daughter fell off a gym set in the back yard, when she was nine, and fractured her arm. We take her to the emergency clinic and get her arm examined and set. We told the emergency room what had happened and they told us they would have to turn in in and we should expect a visit from someone. As expected, we had a visit, at night, with no phone call, from two CPS agents and a policeman that was with them. I, of course, would not let them inside and I would not talk to them. I told them that they have one of two options….file an order and come in with guns blazing or call me during normal working hours and ask for an appointment. They, of course, responded that they did not have to do that and they have a right to question my child. I told them no, you do not and then I told them that they were trespassing and to leave. They looked to the policeman and he said that he could do nothing without an order and he sees no reason or justification to warrant an arrest. (smart man). This, of course, pissed off the CPS reps. I did, however, write down my attorney’s name and address and phone number and told them to contact him.

    My point in all this diatribe is that I was guilty….immediately….in the interest of precaution. NOw, I was well off enough to have an attorney and they did contact him and he said that he would produce my daughter for testimony just as soon as they filed a case but they better be sure, because he would file a suit against them for malicious prosecution just as soon as we were found not guilty. It never went further than that.

    But what about the people who do not stand up for their rights or could afford an attorney. Why is it automatically an assumption of guilt?

    • d13

      It is as bad as you indicate for those without the resources to defend themselves.

      The stories are wide spread and horrendous.

      And here is the kicker.

      The funding for most CPS agencies DEPENDS on them finding more kids to put in the system.

    • I think our liberal brethren have a different outlook on what is acceptable from public servants. Nothing like paying someone with a hostile attitude to grope you!

      http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Stop-and-Frisk-Police-Arrest-Color-Civil-Rights-139275573.html

      • LOI

        Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

        Blood dripping from my eyes and ears………………….

    • Colonel/Matt;

      Chimming in becasue my wife too is a teacher and she faces the same challenges as does Mrs. Colonel and has had many “warranted” cases where CPS got involved. That was when she taught in Flint, MI public Schools and a great deal of parents were not exactly “model” citizens. She estimated that at least 90% of her students were from single parent homes and 30-40% were being raised by grandparents or aunts. One needs to consider the standard of living in inner-city Flint; not good.

      However, now that she has transfered into a rural school district the number of CPS reports has dropped significantly. She will tell you that although there was a lot of “abuse” in Flint, some of it was also due to the fact that her students were all “Special-Ed” and sometimes those challenged children can be self-abusive. What is interesting about it as it relates to Flint, is how reluctant the CPS was to remove the child from the single parent/aunt/grandparent home regardless of the circumstance. Bottom line – there were just too many cases, not enough agents to police those cases and dwelling alternatives wound up being just as bad or sometimes worse. Again a lot of this had to do with the geography and its conditions.

      She will also tell you that there were and are a number of circumstances where parent disapline resulting in either a bruse or alligation by the child who was trying to get back at the parent caused a great deal of trouble and a lot more work for her in the classroom. She will tell you that even the Special Education kids have learned from the system that they can cause their parents problems by just complaining to a teacher. And that is because the teacher is obligated to report any and all alligations or suspected abuse; and if they don’t they are subject to immediate termination. Kind of like the McCarthy era you know.

      Again, it is all about control and a government state. Rules and laws are being passed to promote and ensure the authoriites have ultimate say on what is right and wrong. My wife will tell you that when it involves the poor the CPS will only go so far, because there is no money or advantage in it; most of them are already on some kind of entitlement program. But when it comes to the middle or upper-middle class the CPS pursue with a fervor in order to further their influence and control. And in those cases the accused is guilty until proven innocent. It is their mission driven by the core beliefs that the government is far more qualified to raise and educate a child than the parent, and as long as the parent operates within those ever expanding guidelines/rules the government will leave them alone. But watch out when when there is an opportunity to step in.

      CM

    • I am sorry but I do not think that one case of real abuse overrides one hundred cases of innocent investigation. My opinion, of course. There’s the kicker, of course, isn’t it. As bad as it is for one case of real abuse, there are others who who are innocent and are investigated.

      Yup.

      But tell me. What is that one case is the case I know of personally where a young girl was beaten by her mother semi-daily to the point where her (extremely black) skin showed extensive yellow bruising, and where she couldn’t sit down during class because she was too sore. Her offense? Minor childhood misbehavior – not eating all her vegetables and such. Her mother, who by the way was an single alcoholic, readily admitted that she “disciplined” her child by beating her with a belt until her arm was tired.

      When CPS was called, what do you think happened? They ascertained that the child was getting hit, they opened an investigation, told the mother to stop, and sent the kid back to her house.

      And what, pray tell, do you think happened next? That’s right, the mother beat the child as punishment for telling her teacher. And what did CPS do? JACK SQUAT.

      —————

      ok, well what’s the point of this? The point is that there’s a happy middle ground between your (implied) examples of gestapo cps agents raiding homes and abducting children for minor and legitimate disciplining by the parents and my example of cps abjectly failing to act.

      You are quite right that the funding structure should not reward cps for taking in more children, and neither should it penalize them.

      —————————

      My point in all this diatribe is that I was guilty….immediately….in the interest of precaution. Again, I see your point. But it’s not about you being guilty. It’s about a kid being harmed and removed from a potentially dangerous situation FIRST, then evaluating “guilt.” They’re not “punishing” you for child abuse. They’re “protecting” the child. Though, of course, removing your child from you is, I’m sure, traumatic and upsetting, it’s not about you being guilty. It’s about making sure the child is safe and then figuring out if that is with you or away from you.

      And, in direct counterpoint to your example, I will tell you my story. When I was a child, I was beaten. Regularly. By my brother, not my parents, though they still are responsible for their failure to act. I went to the hospital numerous times with sprains, contusions, bruising, welts, black eyes. You see, he liked to push me down the stairs. He was much stronger than me, but I was faster, so I would run away. If I could make it to safety, I could wait for help. Otherwise, well.. I took the beating. Trying to defend myself always led more pain, so it was escape or take your licks.

      CPS never came to my house that I am aware of. And, certainly, my parents had the wherewithal, as you did, to defend themselves if it came to that. But you cannot tell me that I shouldn’t have been removed from that situation. You cannot tell me that annoying and inconveniencing people like you with late-night knocks on the door is worth making someone like myself as a defenseless child deal with the pain (physical and mental) of living in a situation where, at any moment and for any reason, they may be shoved down a flight of stairs, kicked and punched until they can’t more or breath, and subjected to psychological abuse which would merit it’s own post.

      I’m sorry for how you were treated. I’m sorry they had a bad attitude. I’m sorry you were scared about losing your child. It’s terrible, I can’t even imagine. But you cannot sit there and tell me that your sleepless night and temporary frustration and rage was worth more than my entire childhood. You can’t tell me that 100 late-night visits are worth more than one child going through what I went through. And I didn’t even have it that bad in the greater scheme of things. There are children who are molested, who have cigarettes put out on them, whose parents starve them, and more.. and much, much worse. You cannot sit there and tell me that what happened to you, terrible as it was, is so bad that it means these children should have to live as they do, if you can even call it living.

      • Mathius, there is another point to consider. It is not just the traumatization of the parents who are not guilty. It is the traumatization of the child. Do you really think removal from your parents would have been a benefit to your life? I know two women, twins, a few years younger than me, whose mother was bat-shit crazy. The girls were taken from her. Maybe they should have been, the mother got them back after a number of years and some psychological care/evaluation, etc. However, while they were in foster care, the abuse those poor girls sufferred was far worse than the situation they were pulled from, and they ended up more messed up than they would have been had they been left alone. And the percentage of lousy foster care and abuses perpetrated on wards of the state being cared for by people paid to do so is VERY high, much higher than percentages of abuse by parents. Maybe the safety of the child is the main concern, but if that is the case, then there better be a better situation for them. The frying pan vs. fire situation is far too common, and I trust government very little to do things competently for good reason. Its not just my philisophy that opposes government control of things, it is a very long and varied history of government corruption, incompetence, and downright evil. We need a better solution.

        Aside from all of that, innocence until guilt is proven is a basic underlying principle in our society. The violation of that for ANY reason, no matter how important or emotionally charged, will erode the foundation of the principle. The slippery slope will eventually lead to tyranny, which will lead to abuse and bad situations for everyone, children included. Anecdotal evidence on either side of the argument can be set aside, the philosphy and big picture is the important part. There is no perfect solution, but the willingness to set aside freedom and the best path for all humanity for the sake of “the children” is not a legitimate position. Especially since I could make an argument that the government not be involved in taking kids from parents ever, because of the risk to the child.

        • Mathius™ says:

          I understand your point. And for what it’s worth, I shouldn’t have been taken to foster care, my brother should have been taken to juvi.

          I don’t want to discuss this any more right now. I appreciate your, D13’s, and PS’s opinions on the subject, but this is a little too close to home for me.

          • I’m sorry this happened to you Matt-now I will honor your request and shut up.

          • Understood, and for what its worth I understand your point as well, and I am very sorry for what you had to go through. I had the incredibly good fortune of a great childhood, I do not wish to be insensitive to those who did not, I cannot begin to know what it must have been like. Consider the discussion closed at this time. 🙂

      • Common Man says:

        Matt;

        I am sorry you had an abusive brother. And yes something should have been done, although the first step should have been taken by your parents; provided they were aware.

        From your description it aounds as if your brother was at least a bully if not a total ass. I had an older second cousin that stayed on my uncle’s farm to work through the summer when I was about 13. He was 17 and lots bigger than me and took every advantage he could to throw me out of the barn loft or just kick my ass. This went on for a number of weeks one summer, but I never opened my mouth to anyone. He and I shared a bedroom so it even continued through the night until my first cousin caught him kicking my butt. She didn’t bother to tell her father, my uncle, she waited until her brother got home. Allen, who I idolized was home from his first tour in Nam when his sister told him. Allen didn’t take it too well and quickly elliminated the problem. My second cousin never layed another hand on me from that point on, probably because Allen broke both his hands

        So, I empathize.

        Still, as I mentioned in my earlier post how the CPS acts and responds depends upon the general community…poor communities seem to be tolerated more and prominate communities are bullied; there seems to be a pattern. And from my wife’s perspective it is completely dependent upon what they can gleem from stepping in.

        The big issue here is structured boundries and specific limits not the opposite, which is how the government wants it. And until governments power is checked it will continue to grow.

        CPS is not the only department that currently carries a big stick, so does the IRS, EPA, DEA, ATF and the list goes on. All of these departments and agencies overstep their authority and then make the excuse that better a few mistakes than a number of violations going unpunished. That is not acceptable, not in a free society, and left unchecked it ensures a totalitarian government.

        And in response to your comments relative to guns and ammo, that too is dependent upon what you are use too. I suppose most New York natives would consider anyone with several guns and crates of ammo a pending threat, but look at the environment they live in. The government there promotes propaganda that only a nut case would have that many guns and ammo, but if you go to my home state of Indiana you are considered a novice collector.

        Societies differ due to environment and geographical quordinates and therefore require different rules; and the answer is not more government.

        As an example: If the CPS in Flint, MI functioned exactly like you propose, a large percentage of the school age kids would be wards of the state or in orphanges. And the real problems (parents.guardians) would be in jail. Provided I had a choice I would rather the funds allocated to the CPS be budgetted for re-educating the parents/guardians on how to be a good parent/guardian. That might actually provide an alternative that would work.

        CM

      • Ok see your side…thanks.

  65. @ Mathius…..serious question for you sir…….

    If you were my neighbor, and you would be welcome, but I told you one day in the front yard, that I had 30 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo. Now I already know your stance on gun control and that you have mixed feelings but I am not talking gun control here….

    the mere fact that I have this many guns and ammo, do you see it as a reportable issue…as a precaution that I may be radical?

    This is NOT a trap…just wondering.

    • I would probably ger all geeked out and ask if I could see them, and offer to show you my equivalent knife collection….

      • HI JOn…we need to talk….I have a pretty extensive knife collection myself. One of my most interesting was supposedly taken off a Nazi Youth…… it has “Blut und ehre” (Blood and Honor) imprinted on the blade. MOst of my knives, with the exception of three combat knives…..are from all over the world where I traveled and bought or traded for them. Ask USW to send my email and I will take a pic and send it to you.

        • Sounds good to me. I wish my knife collection was further along and all with me, but mobile life has not afforded that luxury. Still, I have what I need. 🙂 I will shoot USW an email asking for yours and we can trade knife lore.

    • If you had 30 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo, I’d wonder where the rest went..

      ————

      No.. I don’t think I’d wonder that. I know you and I know you’re a gun enthusiast. But if I didn’t know.. well I’d certainly wonder what you need that kind of firepower for. Would I report you? No. Not unless you seemed to be a threat in some manner. There’s a difference between having the capacity to be a threat (having even a single gun) and a likelihood of being a threat (showing signs of aggression, unbalanced behavior, etc).

      So, yes, you could be a threat, but you have given me no indication that you are a threat. So I wouldn’t see any grounds to report you.

      To follow up though, do you walk around with a tinfoil hat?
      Do you have more than a dozen stray cats?
      Are the guns legally obtained?
      Have you grown a large beard and wear only bathrobes?
      Do you practice rifle drills in your front yard in the buff?
      Are you frequently seen talking to yourself?
      Do you have severed human heads adorning your fence posts?

      If the answer to any of these is yes, then I would probably report you (anonymously), and go buy a gun for myself.

      • Mathius

        None of the above.

        But I do have the hides of a few politicks hangin on the fence out front.

        Do they count?

        • Mathius™ says:

          No. That seems fine to me.

          ————–

          Ok, kidding aside, turn about is fair play. Is there a point a which a neighbor’s munitions collection makes you nervous to the point where you are inclined to report a possible danger. For the sake of argument, let’s assume you don’t know this neighbor particularly well.

          30 guns, 10k rounds?
          300 guns, 100k rounds?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 50 grenades?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines on the perimeter?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers, fully functional tank?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers, fully functional tank, biological weapons lab?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers, fully functional tank, biological weapons lab, chem weapons lab?
          300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers, fully functional tank, biological weapons lab, chem weapons lab, nuclear warhead?

          If your neighbor had 300 guns, 100k rounds, 500 grenades, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers, a fully functional tank, a biological weapons lab, a chem weapons lab, and a nuclear warhead, would you begin to wonder if he’s, well, insane, and if that insanity plus that weaponry equates to a danger to you and others? I know you don’t subscribe to government, but in a world where you can’t take matters into your own hand, does that legitimate concern merit a phone call to the authorities to get the situation checked out?

  66. Thought of the day.

    From an old Cowboy friend.

    “We are bankrupting our kids future with our medical care costs. Because we are to selfish to die when we are supposed to.”

  67. SUFA

    Re: Federal BUDGET 101.

    Many are asking about the budget and raising the concern about the Senate’s failure to pass a budget.

    The Senate is violating the law established by Congress. However, it is irrelevant because the law is primarily one of procedural requirements and is not binding on the ACTUAL spending allocated by Congress and approved by the President.

    The recent arguments by Harry Reid that a BUDGET is NOT necessary is technically true. Although he ignores the fact he is violating the law by personally causing this to happen, and that by not passing a BUDGET he is assuring there is no way to determine if ALL the Spending Bills meet the TOTAL Budgetary Goals for the year.

    The purpose of the Budget is to get both houses to agree to general spending limits and revenue projections for the coming year. General spending being that of various Depts, Agencies and major programs. Once this is done, the committees of both houses go to work on HOW they will spend that money.

    Once this is done the most powerful Committee in the land, House Appropriations, approves and modifies the final numbers within EACH SEPARATE bill.

    Now in real terms, the failure to pass a “BUDGET” is no big deal except from a political point of view. Because NEITHER side has the BRASS nor HONOR to deal with the fundamental problem of SPENDING.

    Here is a link to Wiki that provides a pretty good overview of the Budget and Allocation process.

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

  68. Here’s to Mat and Todd. First of all, my back is not the only thing wrong with me. I also had a small stroke, I have heart problems, and they cannot seem to regulate my blood pressure (thus the small stroke). I have even more health problems than those listed but hell, why continue?

    Also Todd. You don’t pay for my “welfare” as you put it. I am on permanent disability that I PAID for when I did work for my school system. We do not pay in SS so we don’t get it or are eligible for it.

    But. No matter whether you are paying or not, I have been deemed with all my health problems as permanently disabled. Now if they can find a job that I can do I would be more than happy to do it. As I say, sitting at home watching my big screen TV all day is driving me up the freaking wall. (I can’t afford an Iphone by the way.)

    And if you think I’m living the high life at home, try living on $1000 a month for size. My wife, thanks to Obama, works basically for insurance and a car payment to get there. I can’t afford to do shit but sit at home. We cannot get food stamps because they do not take into account that most of my wife’s check pays for our health insurance and the 2 or $300,000 worth of hospital bills I have racked up for us in the past 7 or 8 years.

    And on a final note. If the gov’t or insurance says a am disabled and unable to work, then who the DONALD DUCK are you bastards to tell me I’m not?

    • Esom,
      I’m just using the lines we see here every day from the Conservatives:

      – People on “WELFARE” are just too lazy to work
      – People on “WELFARE” have never learned a work ethic
      – People on “WELFARE” have it so good they have no reason to try to get off welfare
      – Why do I have to pay for “WELFARE” so someone else can have a wide screen TV and an I-Phone?

      I do not agree with any of these statements.
      I do not think you have it “easy” or “cushy”.

      I believe we have a Social Safety Net for a reason.
      I know many people who have had to rely on that safety net.

      They are all good people in a crappy situation.
      I believe this applies to you.

      I am happy that I am able to support this safety net right now – both for the people that currently need it and for the possibility I may need it in the future.

      I hope all the Conservatives that constantly piss-n-moan about “WELFARE” will remember you the next time they spout off.

      • I happen to believe most of what they do. However, I also believe that there are some who need to services that are there. The thing that pisses me off are folks like one of my in-laws. He has never woked hardly a day and he is almost 40. Now he is fixing to get disability because he has PTSD and can’t work. Not war PTSD either. He’s going to get it even though there is nothing else wrong with him. I can barely move without pain and I still am having trouble.

        It’s not the ones who need it that bother most of us Todd. It’s the worthless ones like him that get it so easily that bother us.

        I do apologize for that last line though. There is no excuse for it. I just get aggravated because I don’t even want to be on this, I want to work. And I get defensive when someone says or acts like I want to be in this predicament. There was a time I was JUST LIKE those others with the same opinion. Then it happened to me.

        • Esom,
          Not welfare, but they are trying to stop fraud:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/health-care-fraud-judgment_n_1275320.html

          There’s fraud in everything – government and private business. My company spends HUGE amounts of money to stop fraud. And the pay-back is long-term, so it’s hard to get government to allocate the dollars for it…

          You said that “the gov’t or insurance says you are disabled and unable to work, then who am I to question that.”

          Ok, but then who are you to question whether or not your in-law has PTSD?

          I do apologize for that last line though.

          That’s Ok. I knew I was pushing your buttons. Besides, I’ve been called worse than DONALD DUCK!

          I just get aggravated because I don’t even want to be on this, I want to work. And I get defensive when someone says or acts like I want to be in this predicament. There was a time I was JUST LIKE those others with the same opinion. Then it happened to me.

          You can always find examples of “Welfare Queens,” but the majority of people on “welfare” are in situations similar to yours.

      • Todd

        Doesn’t change the fact that Govt provided welfare is immoral.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Immoral? I don’t think it is immoral to live in a society that provides for one another when in need.

          • I don’t think so either Buck. However, I do think it immoral to create a welfare state.

            Providing help to those in need is something good. But providing permanent benefits to those who are perfectly capable of working is not only immoral, it’s just plain damn wrong. Trying to make perfectly healthy people dependent upon the government so that the gov’t can rule over them with an iron fist is wrong. In short, The Democratic/Socialist philosophy is wrong.

            • Mathius™ says:

              This is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. Glad you agree.

              So, the trillion dollar question: How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

              And, further, knowing full well that they’re are going to be mistakes made, is it better to cover some people who don’t need it and who are abusing the system because the controls are too loose, or it is better to not cover some people like you who truly need it because the controls are too tight?

              • Ah! But if they know that there is x amount of dollars in fraud every year (they told the exact dollar amout but I can”t remember what they said), then why can they not eliminate at least some if not most of it?

                ANYTIME the gov’t has a social program there is fraud. That is the reason so many conservatives are against them. There IS NO protection built into them against fraud. And what happens when is caught defrauding? NOTHING!!!

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I would argue that universal coverage (to return to that argument) is NOT about ‘making perfectly healthy people dependent upon the government so that the gov’t can rule over them with an iron fist’.

              • A Government mandate that all purchase a product or that all accept a government run program is against the Constitution.

                Of course, the Constitution has already been circumvented so many times before by “interpreters” of it that it is swiftly becoming irrelevant anyway.

                Our current President for example taught Consitutional Law at Harvard and the only thing he seems to have learned from the experience is how to go around it. He knows he can get away with it because he has Roosevelt’s example before him. And he also know that by the time the SCOTUS resolves his abuse of his power and office, he will no longer be President anyway, and he will also have set precedent for other Presidents to do the same thing.

                The Son-of-a-bitch is a Socialist through and through and he is destroying this country AND our Constitution. 4 more years of this bastard will be a disaster for this nation.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                A single payer system may operate as a ‘mandate’ in the sense that everyone would have insurance; but it is not the same as Obamacare under which everyone is mandated to go out and purchase insurance. Let’s not mix up the two.

          • Buck

            I agree.

          • Its not, so long as society is doing it. When the government starts doing it for society and using force to accomplish it, then it is not provision for those in need, it is theft of resources by controlling bureaucrats seeking to be altruistic with other people’s money. All morality in that is gone. No one in that scenario gives a damn about those in need, its just money changing hands for various reasons, none of which involve love and charity. No hope or help is provided, just a check from a faceless government taken by force from the uncaring and sent through levels of waste and used as a way to control people, requiring thanks for the pittance leftover that actually gets to people. It is truly immoral, and destroys the hope of the less fortunate and the heart of the more fortunate. It creates a morally bankrupt society split by classes that are pitted against each other for the benefit of those in power who seek only more power. Sound familiar? Guess what. That is the result of progressive policies and socialist thinking, not the result of freedom and a free market. Socialism is the most materialistic philosophy on earth.

  69. The Republican Leadership has FINALLY done something that might help REINVIGORATE those MAD DOG TParty and Conservative folks and get them focused on the REAL races where action is needed.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/payroll-tax-republican-leaders-tea-party_n_1276333.html

    Now you Mad Dogs…………….sycim’.

    Oh, start with the Bone himself.

  70. @ Mathius….your answers….

    To follow up though, do you walk around with a tinfoil hat? Nope…….Kevlar.

    Do you have more than a dozen stray cats? Ate them…tastes terrible.

    Are the guns legally obtained? Yes….the AR 15 is the only automatic weapon that I have. It was taken off the lad that tried to stab me with the pointy end. He lost. I claimed it.

    Have you grown a large beard and wear only bathrobes? Nope..not yet.

    Do you practice rifle drills in your front yard in the buff? You saw that?

    Are you frequently seen talking to yourself? All the time and provide myself with answers.

    Do you have severed human heads adorning your fence posts? Fence posts? No.

    So you see, I am a good neighbor,,,,,,btw, what are you doing up at 0200 watching my rifle drills?

    • Mathius™ says:

      It’s hard not to notice the guy out on his front lawn shouting THIS IS MY RIFLE! THIS IS MY GUN! THIS IS FOR SHOOTING! AND THIS IS FOR FUN!

      Besides, I have everyone on SUFA under 24×7 surveillance.

  71. gmanfortruth says:

    @ Buck,

    I have tried hard today to see your position on health insurance. The claim that it will cost less if everyone has it is unprovable, because it has never happened anywhere, in an open market society. Let’s say you are correct and not having insurance affects others. Now apply this same thought process to gun ownwership and concealed carry. If everyone owned and carried, would we be paying to imprison more people than most other countries combined? And since the facts are clear that high ownership and concealed carry greatly reduces crime, it can be said that your failure to own and carry also affects others in a negative economic way. What say you Sir?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I say…and I know this is going to be unsatisfactory…

      health insurance / guns = potaytoes / potahtoes

      Just looking at health insurance and costs — clearly the current system is not working and something needs to be done. The only solution I have come across that makes sense – that guarantees access to all (and not just for emergency care), that can bring down costs, etc. – is a single payer type system. And I believe, but correct me if I am wrong, that the overall costs of health care in other countries went down with the implementation of a single payer type system (I know for a fact that the overall costs in these other countries is much lower than in the US; not sure if the costs went down or up (or by how much) upon moving to a single payer system).

      • Buck the Wala says:

        by potaytoes, potahtoes, I clearly mean apples/oranges.

        Can’t keep these things straight at times!

      • Buck the Wala

        This is how it starts, with a FALLACY. Then once accepted all the rest of the argument follows, appearing reasonable, but all based on a lie.

        “Just looking at health insurance and costs — clearly the current system is not working and something needs to be done.”

        What is the PROOF that it is NOT working?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          JAC,

          Look at the number of uninsured (and please, not the minority of those uninsured who can afford insurance but opt not to have it). Look at the issues people have even with insurance (i.e., being denied coverage; having to go into bankruptcy). Look at the costs of health care in general.

          This is working?

          • Buck

            Has the auto industry failed because the price of a new Lexus is over $60,000?

            The purpose of insurance is to cover the people that have it.

            How can it be a failure of insurance if people don’t have it.

            How can it be a failure of health care, when insurance is NOT health care.

            How can it be a failure of health care when millions are treated for various ailments ever week, and most don’t have to wait more than a few hours to see a Doc.

            And the numbers you guys throw around are still absolutely BS. The only thing that gives them any serious value today is the result of the unemployment. But that is still NOT a measure of failure.

            As I said, please provide PROOF that it is failed.

            Your arguments are nothing more than subjective emotionalism. What OBJECTIVE criteria can you present to show it is not working as it should?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              JAC,

              I’m not talking about your or my individual insurance policy, I’m talking about the overall US health care system.

              • Buck,
                JAC is too. Its not as bad as the propoganda would have you believe, and the bad parts are not for the reasons you think. For one thing, you need to get used to the idea that we have a population of over 300 million. There are going to be some big numbers thrown around by statistitions. That does not mean there is a crisis. Crises these days are retarded. I hear news reports of disasters where 100 people die. Is that horrible? Sure, but is it worthy of world news? Not really, not the way the media blows things up. Its is ridiculous.

                Secondly, stop talking about the uninsured like it is a crisis. Insurance is not care. I have not had insurance, not just because of choice, some of the time I really couldnt afford it. But I either had care or didnt need it. Look at real percentages of people who are not getting care that they need. From anywhere. I bet the numbers, in terms of percentages, would be less than the numbers in most other countries. Look at the real quality of care here versus other places, look at the health innovation here versus other places, and then look at the comparisons on regulations in places that are ahead of us an any way.

                There is no crisis, and the problems we do have are far more a result of government and legal action than a lack of it. Single payer is a failure almost everywhere in the world that it is tried. Why is there so much support for it? What evidence do you have to support your belief in it? And any examples you do produce, how many are using innovation developed elsewhere? And for heaven’s sake, even if you can make a case for single payer, how can you possibly think our bumbling, wasteful, corrupt, tyrannical, incompetent, and essentially broke government would be anything close to a possible candidate for pulling off a decent single payer system?

  72. Yowsa! Inspecting brown bag lunches to make sure they meet USDA standards? First thought this must have come from The Onion!

    http://myfox8.com/2012/02/14/nc-preschooler-fed-nuggets-because-packed-lunch-wasnt-healthy/

    • …because, you know, nuggets are much better than turkey… WTH?

      Speaking of food, some home made goulash (courtesy Paula Deen) and a fresh salad for vittles tonight..house is smellin good now!

    • Her lunch sounded pretty healthy to me! A Turkey and Cheese sammich, a Banana, Apple Juice and some Tater Chips.

      I tell what though Kathy, it would be a cold day in hell before I would pay that $1.25!!!!

      You can thank the First Beeotch for this kind of crap though.

      • …..First Beeotch… ::lol:

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Yes, because the (admittedly absolutely ridiculous) actions of the state employee are all the fault of the First Lady! How dare she launch an educational campaign about the problems of childhood obesity!

        • Yes. How dare she. Because she hasn’t just launched an Obesity campaign, she has also launched a war on school lunches. I worked at a school Buck.

          1st, they don’t feed them enough for ANYTHING they eat to be unhealthy.
          2nd, the food is so nasty most kids don’t eat half what they give them.
          And 3rd, the first bitch should keep her nose out of parents business. If she wants to help chilhood obesity, she should be encouraging parents to get their fast ass kids out from in front of their game consoles and out in the yard playing.

          But no!! She thinks she knows more than other parents because her dumbass husband was elected President through lies and deception.

          And someone needs to tell all Politicians regardless of party, that they need to quit passing rules and regulations that they themselves and their families are not required to participate in. LIKE OBAMACARE.

        • Hiya Buck…..it is one thing to launch a campaign and educational series on childhood obesity….great and good and I support it. It needs to be done. BUT…there is where it should stop. It is NOT a government job to go into schools and decide what the fare is to be. It is NOT a government responsibility to put a “fat” tax on sugared drinks and such……

          It is the responsibility of the parent. It is the responsibility of the School Board. It is the responsibility of the Corporate Board. IF people do not wish to get fat……quit eating.

          • Oh,and before the left pundits jump on the “quit eating” thing…I will say…..what they already know…..quit eating the sugared stuff and quit going to Mickey D’s and back away from the table with one serving………

            Even the Canoli King will tell you that.

      • The mom should send the school a bill for how much of her food they threw away, probably more then $1.25

  73. February 14, 2012
    Health Care Overreach: Federalism and Federal Mandates
    By Randall Smith

    As people across the country are waking up to the fact that the Obama administration’s
    latest “accommodation” accommodates only the contraceptive lobby, one continues to hear from the usual liberal voices variations on the same theme: “What’s all the fuss about? Catholics (and others) aren’t being required to use contraceptives.”

    Let’s see whether I can make the consternation over the HHS mandate a little clearer to our liberal friends. Let’s say that, by a strange quirk of fate, I’m now the president of the United States. I’m president of the United States, and I have a great idea. I’ve decided that, because of their well-documented benefits to women’s health, all health care plans in the United States shall henceforth be required to cover, without co-pay charges, instruction in the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. In fact, I got together a group of scientists and doctors, and they produced a report raving about the benefits of the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. (No, not the Billings Method — all the doctors on my “high-level panel” specialized in Creighton, so you Billings people are getting nothing.) It helps women avoid unwanted pregnancies better than any other method and allows them to space their births with more certainty. It doesn’t depend on the infusion of high amounts of unnatural drugs or steroids into a woman’s body that will upset her natural cycles, making future pregnancies more difficult.

    Indeed, teaching women the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning will, in fact, save us a lot of money. Taking contraceptives is a continual expense, as women must continue to “pop pills” for as long as they wish to prevent pregnancy. Teaching women the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning, on the other hand, involves a one-time charge (or perhaps two or three, if women wish to brush up their knowledge and skills), after which there would be no need for expensive drugs. Plus, the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning would help women to understand their own bodies better and allow them to notice subtle changes in their bodies and cycles, making it more likely that they will detect early signs of various dangerous cancers or other pathologies. The medical and social benefits are clear and without question.

    And now, because of my great idea, every hospital and school and business in the country — including, of course, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW — are all going to be required by the federal government, on pain of imprisonment or severe fines, to pay out their scarce health-care resources to support education in the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. They might be just a tad upset at that sort of requirement, and with some justification. “Why are we being required to cover services for a procedure we don’t believe in and that we in fact find overly burdensome to women and not really beneficial to women’s health in the circumstances that we think are most important: namely, when they’re sexually active but want to avoid unwanted pregnancies?”

    “Well, you’re entitled to your opinion,” I reply, “but the health benefits are well-documented. And why, after all, are you so upset? You’re not being required to do the Creighton Method. Nor are you even being required to get the training. All you’re being asked is to make it possible for the woman who want it to get it — at your expense, admittedly, but still, we’re not forcing you to do anything (except pay for something you disagree with). Where’s the violation of your conscience? The Creighton Method is a good thing, after all; it has demonstrated benefits. So why the anger?

    “It can’t be over the cost. It doesn’t cost that much — although it costs enough that we need to subsidize it so that all women have access to it. Indeed, it will save us money in the long run over more expensive drug-oriented options favored by the ‘millionaires and billionaires’ who run the huge multinational pharmaceutical corporations. And how could anybody be opposed to requiring people to cover something that benefits women’s health?

    “Besides,” I add with a mischievous grin, “my secret study shows that 60% of your employees have already tried Creighton at one point or another in their lives!” So we’re not really forcing anything on women — they already know what’s best for them — we’re only asking the unresponsive, hidebound ideological bureaucrats in Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW to make it universally accessible for all women.

    “Wait a minute,” NARAL and NOW are likely to respond. “Where did you get that number? We know our employees, and while we won’t say that none of them uses Creighton — we don’t fire them, after all, if we discover they do — we’re pretty sure that the number isn’t 60%.”

    “No, no,” I respond. “I have studies that show it. You’ll note, of course, that it specifies women who have ever tried it at any point in their lives. So if they ever showed up at a training session, wrote for a brochure, or talked to a friend about it, they’ll show up in our statistics.”

    “Do you mean to tell me,” our intransigent and hidebound NOW bureaucrats ask incredulously, “that if an employee of ours ever dabbled with it, even years ago when she was young, that’s showing up as a positive in your statistics? Is that how you’re getting 60%? Based on that, you’re letting people think that 60% of our employees are currently using Creighton. But that’s just a lie!”

    “I just report the numbers,” I tell them. “It’s not my responsibility if other people misrepresent them.”

    Do you see how this works? Once you’ve decided to politicize health care decisions in this way, there’s no telling what “good” the unelected mid-level bureaucrats of some future administration might decide they want to foist off on everybody else when they take power. Indeed, now that I’m president, I’ve had a whole slew of good ideas. Regular exercise is good, so I’ve decided that all health care plans should cover, without co-pay, access to regular exercise classes. I’ve decided that all health care plans should be required to cover sex-change surgery (it would be “discriminatory” if they didn’t, I’m told by a panel of high-level psychologists that I hand-picked to tell me so). I’ve decided that all health care plans must cover abortions. (No one can seriously think that this won’t be next in line in a second Obama term.) I’ve decided that all health care plans must cover embryonic stem cell therapy (the health benefits are well-documented, and besides, who could be against anything that would help people with Parkinson’s or Alzheimers?) I’ve decided that all health care plans must cover elective euthanasia. (Everyone in Europe is doing it. We’d look ridiculous to the cultured European elite if we didn’t make it easily accessible to our poor elderly.) Once these matters become subject to government manipulation, they will be manipulated — endlessly.

    And notice, these issues will be decided not by the elected members of the legislative branch; they will be decided by an unelected bureaucracy or, as is likely, adjudicated upon by an unelected judiciary. How long before someone sues the government claiming that, since X coverage has been extended to some group, Y coverage must also be included as a matter of some other group’s “equal protection” rights under the Fourteenth Amendment? Private insurers don’t typically bear the same political burdens of “equal protection” that the federal government, for good reasons, does.

    So ask yourself: is the federal government really the place we want these decisions about what is “mandated” or “forbidden” to be made? You might now, because you hold the levers of federal power now. But how about in the future with some future president of the opposite party? Do you really want to open up that Pandora’s Box? Once you have a government with the power to stipulate “every insurance policy must cover X, Y, and Z,” you also have a government with the power to say that “insurance policies must never cover X, Y, and Z.” The difference is only in the details.

    So let’s be clear: these aren’t just “religious freedom” issues or even merely issues of the protection of “conscience.” Those rights are certainly at risk in the current HHS mandates. Indeed, how could they not be once fundamental health-care decisions have been federalized? What’s at stake here, more centrally, is the whole structure of the federalist system envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution. When my company holds the authority over health-care decisions, I have a certain kind of recourse: I can get on my company’s health-benefits committee, or I can seek employment elsewhere. When my state government is the one exercising regulatory power, I have a certain kind of recourse (less than the first, but still some): I can talk to my local representative, go to my state capitol, or run for office myself. Once the federal government exercises its regulatory power — especially through its inevitable 14th-Amendment “equal protection” jurisprudence — then I will have no recourse whatsoever.

    There are important reasons why the Framers of our Constitution made a government of checks and balances. Once the federal government gets hold of things that might just as well (or better) be decided by state or local governments, or by your own company, or by you, we’re going to have trouble with the people in government who will want to endlessly expand their power to do “good.” The Framers wisely feared the desire to do “good” and the endless overreach it engenders as much as they feared the desire to get away with petty villainy. Haven’t we learned that lesson yet? And besides, don’t we have some other problems we really need the federal government to be dealing with — ones that the Constitution actually delegates to them (budget, anyone?) — rather than having them micro-manage what every health-care plan in the nation must be covering and at what cost — a power very purposefully not delegated to them?

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/health_care_overreach_federalism_and_federal_mandates.html#ixzz1mOmV8cKy

  74. Couple good ‘Pearls of wisdom’ from Rush today:

    “We need a morning-after pill for presidential elections”

    “Do you realize if we had the same mind-set today and the same government and the same regulations — the same union characteristics, the same environmentalist movement, the same tort bar — the 1900s wouldn’t have happened? They’d have stopped the railroad! They would’ve stopped rockets. They would’ve stopped the jet engine! They would’ve stopped it all”

  75. Obama’s new vision….

    It was the “American Dream” which fostered the ability to achieve things to now

    It is the “American Promise” which fosters no reason to try to achieve, it will be given to me.

    Sigh…..

    • Ya know Colonel. The more horsedookey I hear come out of Obama’s mouth every day, the more terrified I am becoming that he will win another 4 years.

      Under his Presidency, what will America look likke in 4 more years when he doesn’t have to worry about being reelected?

      I am dead serious. I am absolutely TERRIFIED.

      • Do NOT let fear drive you. You are what you need. The country can rise and fall. Society can succeed or fail. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you. Your mind. Your thinking. Your work. Your productivity. Your relationships with others. The individual, while not ever an island, and definitely an interconnected social creature, is still the key to it all. This is serious, to be sure, and it is important, but we got in the mess in large part by reacting to fear. The only reason we have willingly given so much power to the tyrants in Washington is because of fear. Make sure, whatever you do, that you do it with clear thought and not fear. If that ends up not working strategically and you get 4 more years of Obama, so be it, its not like 4 years of Gingrich or Romney is really going to be that much different.

      • The really sad thing, Esom…..I do not see anybody on the left that can add or subtract…and if they can, they simply do not care. They, the left, thinks that they can stop inflation with spending…they cannot. No one is paying attention to Greece. They just blow it off. It cannot happen here……I don’t get it.

  76. Then there is the interview in Boston with the college kid, whose family makes $215,000 per year, getting government college assistance, living at home, getting a free Obama cell phone with 200 minutes because he has no job and is unemployed. He was saying that 200 minutes was not enough time and needed more and that he is entitled to the cell phone because in this day and age, instant communication is a necessity and it is not fair that he cannot afford one so it is a government responsibility to provide him with what every one else has.

    And the hits keep on coming.

  77. I wonder which Doctor gets to go to prison now sisnce Saint Whitney killed herself with presciption drugs?

  78. Good lord, you can’t make this stuff up and it is way to funny to not mention.

    Watched a news show this afternoon for a while on Fox. Here was the NEWS

    Inside Mr. O’s budget is a $10,000 TAX CREDIT for anyone buying a Chev. Volt.

    The Volt costs somewhere around $50,000

    The average income of those who have purchased the Volt? $174,000/yr.

    The median income of Americans? $34,000/yr

    So……… the middle class ($34,000 avg) are going to be paying taxes so that Mr. Obama can give the upper class (>$174,000) a tax credit for buying the Volt.

    Told you it was FUNNNNNNNNNY.

    • And then they’ll report to us how successful the volt is! What a nutty time.

    • JAC…….side note:…Ya gotta love it…..the other irony to this is…..Obama reports that GM is doing well…..what they did not report…………………………………..government purchases of the VOLT. All of a sudden, I am seeing these Volt cars all over government facilities.

      So, let me see if I have this straight on government efficiency.

      (1) The government blames Bush for the GM crises.
      (2) The government, using tax dollars, bails out GM.
      (3) The government forces GM into bankruptcy AFTER the bailout.
      (4) The government, in forcing bankruptcy, then negotiates with a FEDERAL bankruptcy judge, stiffing the bond holders and the stock holders, and rewarding the unions and pensions…..with tax money.
      (5) The government then owns stock over that of the original stock holders.
      (6) The government, while lambasting the private companies in their overseas investments, then sells GM stock……overseas.
      (7) The government pushes this Chevy volt green project with…..guaranteed subsidies (tax money) with no repayment necessary.
      (8) The government, realizing that the public scoffs at the Volt, then purchases the Volt to boost sales projections (with tax money), and now uses them on military and government installations.

      This is efficiency according to the government…………as Charlie would say…..Oy Vey……..or whatever.

    • Reminds me of the rich people trying to be ‘green’ and say how energy efficient their house is, windows, insulation, hvac, solar panels, etc. But…. they are 2 people living in a 5000 sqft house.

      • HEY….I like 5,000 square feet. Not green, but energy efficient in things like appliances and insulation and a zoned home and solar windows. Creature comforts. Total electric and bills run from 190 to 250……(250 in August). Plenty of ceiling fans and angled the correct way to take advantage of winter suns and prevailing winds.

        Not to mention empty nester’s so we can run around naked. ( sorry no mental imagery ).

  79. It seems I almost always miss these debates when they are most intense. So you get my thoughts after the fact. With respect to healthcare, I have like others many years of experience. First as was pointed out above insurance is not healthcare but a socialized means for pay for healthcare. Healthcare is strictly between the patient and the providers. No obviously, the payee gets some control the a amount and type of care provided. Much of the anger is directed at insurance companies because they have utilized this control ability to ration or deny coverage in some cases. On the other hand, those requesting the services, who often do not see the bills or have to pay other than a token amount, will have no desire to self ration their requests of the services. The third party in this are the providers who are trying to make a living (profit). In many cases they may encourage unnecessary treatments or diagnosis to enhance their profits. An example is the correlation between facilities available in an area and their utilization. The last party to this is government whose legitimate role is to define the rules and make sure everyone plays by them. Unfortunately, in their altruism, they start mandating terms to all parties, such as mandatory minimum coverage by insurance companies, which result in increased premiums.

    I was raised without health insurance. Somehow I survived to adulthood. In fact I did not have health insurance until I was 30 years old. If I needed a doctor, we went and paid hard cash. Needless to say we did not go often. The need had to be real. Skip forward a generation with insurance, and take my wife and kids as an example. At the earliest sign of a cold or other problem, off to the doctors they went. I often tried to explain to her that a cold lasted two weeks if you go to a doctor and only a fortnight if you don’t but who am I but a Neanderthal. This is a simple clear example of how the system gets over utilized.

    A couple of decades ago, my wife started having real medical problems. Over the course of the last decade, it has become clear that the cure was worse than the disease. They drugs they gave has put her in a wheelchair and taken away any desire to break free. Modern medicines are not all good. She now falls into the category of the 5% that create 80% of the costs in the system. Esom, i feel for you with not only your troubles but the costs associated with them. I wish, however, my expenses were only $300K over the last decade. They exceed that by a factor of 2 or 3. In my case there is no government funds to lighten the load.

    The sad part is that ObamaCare does nothing to reduce costs. In fact I will predict that costs will increase. To control this, bureaucrats will start rationing care. Remember, grandma doesn’t need surgery, just pain pills. Sixty years ago, when most people paid for healthcare directly, it was a reasonable cost. I remember my Dad sputtering about the hospital bill for my new baby brother (1955). It was $700. Today, can anyone tell me what a new baby costs? No, because the final bill is mostly hidden in the insurance paper work. You never see the itemized bill from a hospital any more, just the bottom line. The EOB statements from the insurance company show you that bottom line and then the huge discount they receive with the claims they are saving you money. Not so because the prices are inflated so the discounts can be given. The actual users of the system are divorced from the cost accounting hence there are no real checks on the charges or the necessity of the care given.

    Case in point, on one of my wife’s early hospital visits, a nurse saw a mole that she did not like. So a dermatologist was called in. This was done without consulting me and without any real consent from my wife who was in no condition to give consent. The reason they could do this was a document that we signed on admission that they could provide medically necessary treatment. The mole was no emergency and was just a distraction from the real problems. But it is an example of how the hospitals pile on costs that are passed on to the insurance companies. In this case, I left strict orders with the nurses that this practice was to stop. No consults were to occur unless they got approval from me first.

    Another example, just this week, I reviewed an EOB statement for some home nurse costs that were billed to the insurance company. Part of the costs were for gauze used or left by the nurse. The charge was $400. Luckily the insurance company claims this is part of the contract for the services, hence they and do not have to pay. But what about the poor sucker without insurance? No one explained before hand what the cost of these supplies would be. I know if I am billed I will refuse payment since these costs are unreasonable compared to trip to the drug store.

    I guess my bottom line is that unless the user who is requesting the services is also the payer, healthcare costs will continue to rise. Without the cost benefit analysis done by the user, costs will go up. Even with the profit motive of the insurance companies to keep costs down, the very means they implement drive up the costs. Certainly prices are inflated to allow for discounts to insurers. Those w/o insurance often pay the full price because of the need to demonstrate that someone is paying the full price thus establishing the market value. Government involvement will only make things worse, as the bureaucrats have no real incentive to reduce costs or eliminate fraud and the politicians will sell out the taxpayers to earn votes.

    ObamaCare does not address any of the root causes of the escalating costs of healthcare. It is purely a facade and vote buying scheme.

    I would much rather have see an expansion of the health savings program along with catastrophic care policies. After all, you do not buy car insurance and expect the insurance company to pay for oil changes and new tires. Insurance is there to cover the big unexpected costs. Routine maintenance should be born by the individual.

    ObamaCare does not address tort reform. It does not address the unnecessary burden of paper and multiple insurance forms the providers have to work through. It does not encourage implementation of TQM (Total Quality Management) techniques by providers. It does provide for a government run healthcare records and database, which most medical groups are doing on their own thus duplicating efforts and giving the government direct access to your medical records. It tries to control over development of regional healthcare facilities by require government (bureaucrat) approval of all new facilities. It threatens bureaucratic rationing of healthcare.

    It is a placebo and not a harmless one at that!

    Buck, you offered SS as a good example of a system run by the government. I am sure you get periodic SSA statements. Calculate the amount of money you would have if those funds had been invested in a IRA type account at 6-8% compounded interest. Then compare that to your payments. I have done that. It will take me 8 years to break even and that is only considering my contribution not the employer’s and does not consider inflation or the measly 2% interest supposedly earned by the SS Trust Fund. The SS-IRA funds would last longer and pay more. SS is a rip-off. Do the math.

    Well I have ranted enough for tonight.

  80. Buck the Wala says:

    T-Ray, 

    You make some really good points.  To be clear, Obamacare is not the solution; while it does have a number of good elements, it will do little to control costs and has a number of other flaws. 

    Based on the numbers, the US health care system ranks I believe 37th in the world.  Now, this is not the same as the quality of care, which we arguably have the best in the world…for those who are fortunate enough to be able to afford it.  But no one should be forced to declare bankruptcy because of their health.  

    Clearly the current system needs to be changed to ensure everyone has access to affordable care.  Maybe single payer is not the best option.  Based on my research and reading in the matter, I believe it to be the best alternative to our current system and can be done in a manner which addresses the real concerns people raised here yesterday.

    I’d be curious, if not single payer, would you support a public option as was discussed in the lead up to Obamacare?  Not a mandate by any means, but an option open to individuals who choose to sign up.

    Now, regarding SS: I stand by my statement that SS is an example of a program that the govt got right.  Everything you said in regards to SS vs. an IRA is absolutely correct, but it ignores the purpose of SS.  SS was not established to provide individuals with enough to retire in luxury, but to ensure the elderly were not living in abject poverty.

    • @ Buck….. you post ” I’d be curious, if not single payer, would you support a public option as was discussed in the lead up to Obamacare? Not a mandate by any means, but an option open to individuals who choose to sign up.”

      I could get with this as long as it is not taxpayer funded. If the government wants to compete..I do not like it but can be ok with it as long as it is supported by the individual that pays into it. Sort of like a big group insurance. The competition would be unfair, of course, unless insurance companies are also allowed to compete across state lines. Let that happen and I can get on board.

      The problem with the SS, Buck, is that the actuarial is outliving it and the SS relies on future deductions to survive. Why not allow the option of individuals to opt out of SS and go into private investment if they wish and not be a part of it? I would get on board if I had that option. Not pay into the system and not get the benefits of the system and rely on my own intuitiveness to survive at retirement. Would you be willing to get on board with that?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I believe, though don’t recall all the details, that the initial proposal by the administration in regards to a public option was to have it completely self-funded. I agree, if there was to be a public option alongside traditional insurance, this would be a requirement.

        True, the dynamics of SS have changed somewhat due to the baby boomers reaching retirement and living longer. But that can be fixed with a few minor tweaks (such as raising the cap for ss taxes) The problem with allowing the option of individuals to opt out is that the entire system would fall apart. If we all stopped paying, where is the money coming from for the current retirees?

        • “If we all stopped paying, where is the money coming from for the current retirees?”

          Exactly….therein lies the reason that people think this is a form of Ponzi….it takes future money to pay the past, so, under this scenario, an individual that is not even born yet, will NEVER have an option to opt out….not even from the beginning. My parents, still alive at 93/90…..receive a little over $3,600 per month in SS. Because they have lived this long……they have received far more than they ever put in at maximum. This is what I do not understand. SS was intended as a supplemental. It was never intended to be a retirement program. If someone outlives their contribution, is it fair to expect future and current generations to maintain it? More of a pyramid scheme. I have seen what my SS is going to be. I have put in the maximum…..if I live to be in my 90’s, I will receive far more than I put in….it just does not seem right to do that.

          Now,I can get on board with moving the retirement age to fit the new actuarial..in a sense.

          But I am holding out that you are a reasonable person…..and,therefore, can make the conclusion that you are not a flaming liberal like Dodd or Frank or Pelosi…..You are willing to listen to reason as you have stated. You agree to self funding an option that the government runs. Self funding is not tax dollars. I can get totally behind a self funded plan. Have an option that is government run, if you will, and the cost of operation are totally out of the self funding (no tax dollars). If self funding does not reach the expenditure of what is offered, then the government entity either raises the premium to cover it or reduces services to cover it. There is NO allocation of tax money whatsoever. THAT is free market even if it is the government. Add to that,the removal of the barriers that do not allow competition across state lines and have a true open market, then you have competition.

          Want to know what happens? The free market will kick the governments ass in providing quality health care BUT…..everyone would be covered and there would be no arguments. I can say this with some form of certainty because I have the best of both worlds. I have government run health insurance (VA) as well as private supplemental insurance. The VA takes forever….very long waits but the quality of care is adequate and I am in the Dallas facility, considered on of the best. Even with my rank as Colonel, I cannot just walk in and see a doctor. My appointments are months in advance. But, if I had a sever case of flu, I cannot just walk in and if I do, I may be there for hours. With my civilian supplemental, I can walk in anywhere and get treatment relatively quickly.

          SO…there you have it SUFA…….Buck, even with his coffee…..saw some of my reasoning….he is trainable….he can me reasonable….he is NOT a flaming liberal…

          BWAHAHAHHAHHAHa……

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Actually I hadn’t had my morning cup of coffee yet.

            Re: a self-funded, gov’t run health care option – I could definitely get on board with this. One of the main problems I have with Obamacare is that they took out the public option from the final bill. Will a public option alone solve all the problems? Very doubtful, but it would go a long way to resolving many of the issues. Will it prove sufficient to obviate the argumetns for single payer? I don’t know – time would tell.

            • Buck

              What issues can be resolved by “Single Payer”?

              When has elimination of competition ever reduced costs and improved service?

              What happened to the Left’s hatred of Monopolies?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I’ve mentioned and we’ve discussed these issues in the past. And note, I’m not saying single payer would resolve every issue, and there are valid concerns with transitioning to single payer; my argument is that, based on my readings, it seems single payer is the best alternative to the current system.

                That being said, as I indicated above, I’d be open to alternatives, such as a public options.

  81. @ Mathius…….OK…I moved my night time drill routine to the side of my house now……satisfied? I even lowered the candle power of my searchlights on your side so as to not further upset your missus., in accordance with the new guidelines as issued by HHS and even posted the signs, with OSHA standards, to beware of the Claymore mine system integrated in the lawn. I am using stainless steel ball bearings so as to not contaminate the ground with lead and to ensure a smooth gaping hole upon entry to human sking instead of the ripping and tearing of lead. The mine casings are made of biotech composite alloy. As you have no doubt noticed, I have moved the canal to the back side so you do not have to be awakened in the middle of the night by DPM’s clandestine arrivals with the firing of his non powder rail gun (by the way, he thinks it is not noteworthy of a pirate waving his nifty Jack Sparrow hat with no powder residue in the back ground)…. I have shortened the border grass and removed the Floridian Burmese Pythons and relocated them to the dock area, so your up coming munchkin can play on the edges without fear.

    I have changed the feeding times of the Raptors to alleviate the loud grunting and squealing noises in accordance with the EPA’s guidelines on decibel rating. I have posted, on your side of the fence, the emergency hotline numbers for venom procedures, in 12 different languages, in case you are bitten by the Bushmaster snakes that PETA will not let me remove. I am sorry that the canal is harvesting mosquitoes, but since the EPA, HHS, PETA, Bureau of water way management, and the WLPA will not let me use DDT, there is no known organic method of removing mosquitoes except by erecting Martin houses but the Martin is migratory, so because of that, I have imported the Thai Tiger Bat (it carries no rabies) to help when the Martin population is not here. (Sorry about the guano but I do not have the proper EPA disposal permit that allows me to haul it off because the EPA super fund will not allow guano as a disposable product). I do recommend that you use it on your garden. It is organic, after all.

    You will notice that I have removed, in accordance with the EPA, that pesky rusted and feces dipped concertina wire and replaced it with the new razor wire that is accordance with the new humane procedures as outlined in the United Nations guidelines. All punji stakes have been removed and replaced by pressure sensitive bouncing betty mines (stainless of course). You are now free to lay in your back yard unseen as I have removed the long range 400 power tele-optic infrared scopes from on top of the house. Please note, (in 12 inch letters) the red markings of the laser signs posted along the property edge warning you not to look directly into the lase beams.( again posted in 12 languages).

    Please note that, in accordance with air quality management, the recycle fans and methane return fans in the Raptor service area along with the bacteria eating microbial septic pits with the solar and rechargeable battery backup system for proper air distribution of all methane gases, along with the warning sirens should the winds change. In accordance with Obama’s new early warning requirements, I will comply with the advance notice of wind change, in writing, by bonded courier. I do realize that sudden wind changes as a result of storm are beyond my control, even though government guidelines dictate that I should anticipate same, but will make every effort to alleviate said inconvenience.

    In further accordance with EPA guidelines, I have redirected the storm water runoff into the canal, after it passes through the required reverse osmosis system required by government. Since the waters move faster than 2 cubic feet per minute, please note that the canal has concrete lined banks to facilitate the fast removal of storm water but not so much so as to hurt the endangered spotted minnow species.

    All interspace travel has been directed to the Laguna Madre facility and the laser tipped rapto shark fence is 200 yards from the property line (which is imaginary, by the way).

    Please note the .999 gold Menorah placed on a the proper pedestal, funded by private money, at your gate entrance. I am sorry that the gold could not be pure but, again, that pesky EPA requires .001 nickel. I hope the above meets with your approval and I stand ready to comply with all governmental rules that I may have missed, like the good liitle mindless robot should.

    (By the way, please notice the new arcrylic liner in your basement and the new EPA friendly non freon air conditioning system to keep your supply of Red Bull at the exact 68 degree temperature, in accordance with the Obama guidelines that I have to supply that to you since I have more money than you and you have a right to the acrylic lined storage.)

    • there is no known organic method of removing mosquitoes Actually, dragonflies are surprisingly effective as well. Also, there are fish which will eat the larvae.

      I once had a nasty yellow jacket infestation. Do you know how I handed it? I got a shop vac and I stat near (but not too near) the hive. Every time I saw a bee, I sucked it out of the air. It made the most satisfying thunk sound. At the end, I just sucked up some bleach as well and then left it alone for a few days before emptying.

      I do recommend that you use it [guano] on your garden. It is organic, after all. Actually, there is a thriving industry which does just this. It is an excellent fertilizer.

      All punji stakes have been removed and replaced by pressure sensitive bouncing betty mines (stainless of course). Ahh.. much better…

      Raptor service area I actually had to stop reading after I saw this.. I was laughing too hard (and people were giving me funny looks)

      I am sorry that the gold could not be pure but, again, that pesky EPA requires .001 nickel. I DEMAND PURE GOLD! 100% Not one single atom of anything else. I am entitled to this!

      Red Bull at the exact 68 degree temperature Huh? 32 degrees. And the vodka you mix with it should also be 32 degrees.

      since I have more money than you Says who? Are you one of those pesky 1%-ers? Do you own a monocle?

      • SIGH !!!!….must I do everything? Did you not see the variable temp gauge by your basement door? You are allowed the option of selecting your own temperature. You MUST do something for yourself..hence the optional temperature select. You said nothing about the separate Vodka dry storage area to prevent moisture contamination.

        Dragonflies? sunuvabitch…I did not know this. I even had to look it up….perfected in Houston actually. Ok…….good call….Dragonflies it is….order placed today for the vaunted Widow Skimmer Dragonfly. (Wonder if bats eat them?)

        I have no monocle….does this mean that I am exiled?

        You brought back a memory….I remember once, in my stupid years, (ah ah..no comments here)…at a summer camp in Texas….Camp Stewart in Kerrville……There was an outdoor gym and basketball court with just a tin roof covering and high up in the apex of the gym were these huge wasp nests…..and here we were, standing under them, throwing tennis balls at the nests, not thinking that we would knock one down. We are talking nests that were approx two feet in diameter…..when a nest full of pissed off wasps and yellow jackets fall on you….the result is not pleasant. After a day or two of oatmeal paste and iodine, I, and others, went on a vendetta……after all,how dare them sting when we knockedAround the gym were fields of flowers and anything that had wings…bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, and yellow jackets, were fair game with a tennis racket. The resounding “twang” of a deceased stingy thing was fun….I can relate to the satisfying thunk.

        “(and people were giving me funny looks)” But they also know you talk to yourself…..

  82. @ JAC…..dissect, from your standpoint, dropping the single payer issue and eliminating Obamacare, into the option of a self funded government run health insurance to compete with private insurance. This requires the elimination, for private run insurance, the restriction on state lines.

    Let me clarify what I mean by government option. This would be totally self funded (Zero tax dollars that covers all expenses including administrative). The theory being that the government would act as a group and, therefore, would have this 40 million plus. There are no mandates. The govt run insurance could decide to charge and provide services the same as private, however it sees fit to do so. No subsidies, no taxes, no special interests. Eliminate all restrictions on competition and let the govt compete with private insurance on the same level.

    Thoughts?

    • d13 and Buck

      Glad you asked Colonel. Cause I was about to butt in anyway. 🙂

      Lets start with this, most of the REASONS given for both the issue of cost and the supposed solutions to health insurance, health care as well as the “entitlement” Big Three are FALLACIES.

      So any solutions need to work from core principles rather than from these “issues”.

      Core AMERICAN principle: Freedom, Liberty and Justice

      From this Core is derived INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY for one’s life, both in setting goals and acting according to reality in achieving those goals.

      Therefore, Retirement and Health Care is a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

      American principle #2, well the one that should have been codified in law: The ONLY proper role of Govt is to protect the citizens’s rights, freedoms, liberty and justice. This means that Govt policies should ENHANCE Personal Responsibility and not reduce or diminish it.

      So from this we get a Govt that is “enforcement” of Societal norms against use of force, including fraud and theft.

      This of course means that Govt CAN NOT be in the business of providing retirement or health care. That includes insurance. In fact if the true American solution is used there is no need for Govt to assume this role. Actually it would be “prohibited” from doing so. Oh yeah, it was but somehow they got around that. OK, got off track. Will deal with that another day. Back to the story:

      My answer then fits these values and because of that addresses both the retirement and medical care issues. The answer my friends has been there all along.

      PRIVATE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

      “Individual Retirement Account” and an “Individual Medical Account”.

      The barrier to establishing these as policy is the tall pile of BS created by the Left against the concept and the dishonesty of the Right in recognizing possible risks and abuse. So lets eliminate the biggest BS one first.

      “Look what would have happened if we had our money in the stock market!!” Very Simple solution that would result in the same risks if the Govt ran these accounts. Prohibit by law the investment in any instrument other than US Treasuries or Money Market Funds. Now I personally don’t like this restriction but it is MY “Compromise”.

      Besides, the Govt needs the pool of funds to borrow from while we dig our way out of debt. And right now it seems to me that the owner of a treasury debt instrument is more likely to get repaid than a “trust fund” where the govt controls both sides of the balance sheet. In short, where only Politics stands between payment and default, instead of a Court of Contract Law.

      Keeping them private with purchase of Securities would also allow greater “liquidity” to address the needs of each account holder.

      Now lets deal with the Risk side. Simple laws that are ENFORCED regarding the management of these accounts. Like minimum cash balances and restrictions on use that coincide with the purpose. Prison time for anyone who “steals” from these accounts.

      The next best solution is to create the accounts but put them under Govt management. I see no reason to do this but it does eliminate one more Lefty BS argument. That PROFIT is the reason for skyrocketing costs. Those folks don’t seem to realize that Govt Bureaucrats do in fact have a “profit” motive but the cost of the profit is hidden as an operating expense.

      You raised an excellent point regarding the Private Insurance part of this solution. The Fed AND State Govts should be prohibited from DICTATING Coverage or prices. In short, NO REGULATION of Insurance. ONLY enforcement of accountability of the solvency and practices (fraud/theft etc). I believe this would result in a multitude of differing services at competitive pricing.

      The only thing left is the FEAR that the POOR can’t afford even the savings accounts. This can be handled, in the short term, by how the accounts are handled in the tax code. You know I prefer a per capita tax or a flat tax. But we could apply a Tax Credit for those in poverty. Just as is done now with Mr. Obama’s “tax cuts” this would result in PAYMENT to those who are poor.

      Now I say “short run” because if we deal with our other problems, namely INFLATIONARY ROT of our money, the poor won’t need support in the long run.

      Well I hope this gets the ball rolling. I think it is a timely discussion.

      Oh, and before I forget. We DO NOT need to extend the “retirement age” for Soc Sec or any other accounts. I explained a week or two ago why the “Life Expectancy” values used by the Govt are Bull Shit when it comes to Soc Sec. Look at the Working Life Expectancy instead. Hasn’t changed all that much. Under my proposal there would be NO retirement age for the IRA. Take it out when you want. But remember, there is no other help.

      So now I throw it back to you and Buck, and whomever else wants to jump in.

      And before I forget my manners.
      Best to you this morning.
      JAC

  83. Buck the Wala

    Re: Social Security

    My dear lawyer friend, within just a few years Today’s Retirees are going to be paid for from the General Treasury. The Current contributions by the YOUNG WILL NOT cover them.

    This of course means that the YOUNG will NOT have enough either when they become the OLD. And the working population will continue to shrink, compounding the problem.

    It is time to Bite the Bullet, recognize reality and move away from Social Security as fast as we can run.

  84. @ JAC…….glad you chimed in…I was gonna hunt you down anyway.

    Question first and then to the discussion: Isn’t the true fallacy now,,,,, in not addressing the reality?

    You correctly state: “So any solutions need to work from core principles rather than from these “issues” …Core AMERICAN principle: Freedom, Liberty and Justice.”

    D13: Agrees, if we were starting from scratch. We are not. We actually have a reality and as much as I would like to “pull the plug” right now…..I know that it is not possible. I agree with all my soul and being that retirement and health care is a PERSONAL responsibility vis a viz an INDIVIDUAL responsibility. I am in total agreement. I also agree 100% that gov’t should not be a player. But is that not the issue? Has not the core value denigrated to this?…..it is a player and an ingrained one at that….so we need to agree at least to that point. Correct? It is reality.

    Now…let us solve the problem of the poison ivy in the petunia patch. (What a metaphor). To rid the poison ivy….we need a starting place because it is not feasible nor possible to just kill the whole thing and start over…as much as we would like to. I will agree with BF in that to systematically nuke our process, while admirable, is not possible. So where do we start.

    I know that part of my poison ivy is ingrained in one area (SSN)….it will take a lot of work to get it out saving as much as possible of my petunias. So, I will opt for the newest kid on the block to prevent infestation in another area. I would start with health care since it is Obama-care that is on the horizon. So let us proceed to health care and Medicaid and Medicare. We know that the costs are sky rocketing. Do we need to address that issue first? Open up the market. No restrictions on competition across state lines. If I am in Texas and want to write a policy in Kansas…I should be allowed to do so and vice versa. To work towards individual personal responsibility, then we need to start the ball rolling. Let’s face it….we have created an entitlement society. I do not agree with Todd and others that the majority want to work….I think other wise. I think those that are used to the entitlement program like it and want to stay on it. So how do we wean them off? On the health issue, eliminate the “free services”…..one by one. (People who have never been free do not know what it is). Everybody is going to have to pay regardless of income level. How can we do this? For the time being, let the government compete…..but it has to compete with payer funded premiums. Let the government be the catchall for those that do not have health insurance….(we all know the poorest of the poor have access to health care….no one is turned away…it is the issue of cost). Stop government (tax) funding of medical services. Let the private insurance companies vie for the government contract or let the government self fund…..from payer premiums. This would include all government employees at the same time….the President, Senate, House, all federal workers. NO TAX MONEY. All health and administration services must be met within the premium income. The government can even work to be non profit. Roll the medicare and medicaid into the same “group”. It would then be the responsibility of that group manager to determine the levels of premium it wishes to give at that time. If the adminsitrator wishes to tier the premums, it is free to do so but there will be NO tax subsidies, cash or laws. Those of us that opt for our own insurance also have a choice…..keep ours or go to the government pool. JAC, I agree that government should not be involved at all but it already is….so why not make it a competitor? Now…..there can be no perks or laws designed specifically for the gov’t pool that are not accessible to the private companies. ALL ARE ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.

    It would seem to me this would be a great starting place to wean the entitlement out. To enlist personal and individual responsibility takes leadership to those who have never had it. The free market will reign…I think we all know this. If the free market wants any part of the government insurance program, it will compete.

    My main complaint, other than the reality that you have eloquently pointed out about core principles……which should be the bedrock but has denigrated from that…..is government sponsored health insurance and mandates. To sum up….NO TAX money and NO TAX incentives that are not available to everyone. Let the government try to compete with the free market on the same level as the free market. It seems to me to be a starting place to get people off the nipple.

    This is long enough..we can discuss SSN and Retirement later. What say you?

  85. d13

    Yes, we must deal with REALITY in our solution. Here is the kicker. I think I did. Why? Because we are about to go under anyway and picking around the corners isn’t going to fix the problem. But lets put that aside and investigate further. First lets clear up some misconceptions.

    1. Insurance is currently “sold” across state lines in that there are companies that sell policies in many if not all states. We have Blue Cross/Blue Shield through the Fed Health Ins. Program, for example. The issue isn’t that it is available but that BC/BS must maintain a separate “Administrative Group” and separate Charter in EACH State. Furthermore, the policies in each State can differ because of State imposed “required coverage”.

    This creates undo costs and burden as well as limits product availability. Being in the Fed program for example means we have our options for coverage “limited to the negotiated contracts”. Just as most employer provided programs. So THESE barriers need to be eliminated. NOW.

    2. Health Care costs are increasing PARTLY due to the Current involvement of the Govt, via Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, CHIP II, as well as other Fed Regulation (HIPPA, etc), and of course the State rules. Insurance itself is imposing a COST on health care providers.

    The only RATIONAL way to eliminate these costs is to eliminate the Third Party involvement in the relationship. I have given examples before but have one from this week. Our orthodontist offered a $500 coupon AND a 10% discount if we paid CASH up front for treatments to be done over the next two years. This would be a $1,000 savings on a $5,000 treatment. This DISCOUNT would not be allowed under most insurance policies and is against the law for Medicaid and Medicare.

    3. Increasing Insurance coverage and reducing the cost to acquire insurance will do NOTHING to reduce Medical Costs. So any savings will be consumed within a year or two at the most.

    4. Your “tax free” funding will not work as proposed. The poor can not afford insurance so offering them Govt insurance instead of private insurance will make no difference. This might be possible, however, if the REQUIREMENTS imposed by the Feds and States on Private Insurance were eliminated. Assuming a very low cost policy could be developed that the poor could afford.

    I fully understand where you are coming from. I just think it is far to late to move the chairs around. We must simply change ships. Now what might we build that would appeal to the masses?

    Perhaps we go to private accounts BUT we keep them under Govt Management? Make Retirement and Health Care a PRIVATE matter, eliminating all tax incentives to have the employer involved. Transfer these tax incentives to the individual.

    Insurance can be paid out of the Medical Savings account as well as direct payments for medical reimbursement.

    Now here is a teaser. Guarantee a return on the Account Funds of 3% over the Fed Rate. And, since we are addressing ALL at once, the Employment Taxes are eliminated. Giving an immediate 7% Raise to each working American. I would also require the employers to contribute their existing percentage to the employee for some time period, say ten or twenty years to make sure SEED MONEY is adequate. Same holds for current “Health Insurance” contributions.

    Now at the same time, we need to move the Welfare portion of the Medicare and Medicaid programs into a SINGLE Administrative unit and Budget Item. These are the people who get help but who did not pay into the system. Such as my youngest son. He is eligible for SSI and Medicaid for LIFE. He will probably not contribute spit to these programs compared to what he receives. It is Welfare, so lets be honest about what it is and then address efficiency issues.

    We need to AVOID a situation where we have Govt and Private sector “competing” for the same services. Having spent 12 years in the Fed Govt I assure you that the Govt will not Compete in a FAIR manner. The Insurance will start losing money and the rules WILL change to benefit the Govt program.

    Part of this is because the PROGRESSIVE agenda has not been extinguished in the minds of the public yet. I think private accounts protected by the myth of Govt management, where the Citizens see their BALANCE SHEETS rapidly increasing and knowing it is THEIRS, might finally clear the FOG away from their eyes.

    I know the YONG people get this and would jump at this. We only need to address the older cohort and the POOR.

    YOUR TURN.

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