Some people just don’t get it

Nick is a regular poster in my comments. He’s a decent guy who means well, a college student who (like many college students) thinks he gets “the big picture” that most of us are too dumb to, and is always ready to point out the hypocrisy of me or my readers. 

He responded to my post about how we’re screwed by Health Control. Sadly, I think Nick’s comments are a good indicator of how a good portion of the American people have been completely snowed.

Well, this time he missed the boat entirely. So Nick, it’s nothing personal, but now I have to destroy you. 

Nick is in italics.

Nick, on March 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm Said: Edit Comment

When I left the house this morning I thought it was just another day, but I’d forgotten that the healthcare bill had passed. I called a guy who posted a classified ad about a shotgun; turns out he was an agent of the Obama Thought Police (established, of course, by a little-known line item in the healthcare bill) and had orders to haul me away to the reeducation camp. Luckily, I produced my ACLU membership and my copy of the Communist Manifesto, and assured him that not only do I hate Jesus and love Lenin, but I follow pregnant women around telling them to abort their babies. He let me off with a warning.

I’m just gonna let that paragraph sit there, so all of you can read it and grasp the idea that Nick thinks he’s both clever and funny.   What he’s done there is called a Straw Man Argument. From Wikipedia: “To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. “

Now when I do this in my blog, it is okay, because I bring the funny, and that’s why you guys pay me the Big Bucks.

Nick, on March 23, 2010 at 6:17 am Said: Edit Comment

Scott: What part of the Constitution, exactly, does this bill “shred”?  Thank goodness you’re smarter than 30 Attorney Generals! Even the Nebraska Attorney General who’s planning to file suit hasn’t said on what grounds the law should be declared unconstitutional. Let me help you. Utah’s Attorney General, who I’ve worked with and who is a very intelligent man is suing on the grounds that the commerce clause can’t be used to force people to purchase something they don’t want, and then fine or imprison them if they don’t comply.

 

Congress has the power to tax and spend (“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”) didn’t see health care and general welfare ain’t it  and to regulate interstate commerce, and the necessary and proper clause gives them pretty broad powers to decide exactly what that entails.

Pretty broad as currently defined meaning anything on Earth or in space, that has or might have or could possibly exist in this plane of reality, ever.

By that reasoning, basically the government can do whatever they feel like and justify it as interstate commerce. If that is the case, why then do we even have a Constitution, if that one line about regulating interstate commerce justifies anything?

I really don’t understand the hysteria here.  Perhaps you aren’t as smart as you think you are then?

Nick, people a lot smarter than you are truly freaked out about this bill. I know you think you know everything, but we’ve been fighting this thing for over a year. It is the size of a phone book. Democrats legislators have been bribed and arm twisted into doing something unprecedented, even though it is political suicide. This bill is so very important to our president that they’ll do anything to get it through, even if it means losing their majorities.

Have you stopped to consider why? 

Conservatives didn’t like Clinton’s health care bill either, but generally speaking their arguments were based around spending and bureaucratic inefficiencies, This one makes the Clinton plan look like a well oiled machine  not around this widely spread notion that it was somehow the first step in creating “reeducation camps” Straw Man and a Socialist Thought Police Straw Man.

Why is it so different this time around?  Nick, you don’t know shit about history, do you? How old were you when we fought Clinton care? Five?

We defeated Clinton care, the same way America shot down government controlled health care proposals from LBJ, FDR, Wilson, and TR.  Maybe, just maybe, all the smart people that fought then understood something that you’re too dense to grasp now.  Government controlled healthcare is a disastrous evil.  And yes, I use the word evil. That is not hyperbole. It is capital E –ville.

Conservatives rightly called out liberals for making ridiculous comparisons between Bush and Hitler, but they seem to have no qualms about making comparisons between Stalin (a man who killed more people than Hitler) and Obama, based solely on the grounds that he’s supported a bill mandating universal insurance. ONLY? Like that’s the only socialist thing he’s done?  So taking over industry, business, banking, finance, and insurance doesn’t count?  Government control of over half of our business, and brutal regulation of the other half doesn’t count? Surrounding himself with actual card carrying communists and Maoists doesn’t count? Any of this ringing a bell?

I’ve put this challenge out there a bunch of times. Nobody has ever taken it yet. So here it goes again. If Obama is not a Marxist, can you name five things that he has supported or pushed that Karl Marx himself would not have approved of?

So, Bush and the Hitler comparisons fail because they were based on trying to make Abu Grab the same as the Holocaust, which just showed a fundamental inability of some people to grasp historical magnitudes.  Plus, Hitler was a socialist. (remember that National Socialist thing?) Socialist. Similar to Joseph Stalin’s communism or Barack Obama’s progressivism.  

I don’t think I’ve ever said Obama was the same as Stalin that I can recall. Stalin would make Obama look like a complete pansy on his best day. But hey, as far as total control over people’s lives goes, even Stalin had to start somewhere!

No. We must only think Obama’s a socialist because of health control. It is ONLY because of health control.  That’s got to be the only possible reason.

Seems kind of hypocritical It would only be hypocritical if I gave Bush a pass and only dissed Obama, but my dislike of Bush’s big government policies was clear.  Big Government = BAD. That’s not hypocritical. That’s common sense.   And what we’ve got here is the biggest government take over of the private sector in American history.

Nick, on March 23, 2010 at 7:48 am Said: Edit Comment

Wait, so I’m “promoting socialist bullshit” Yes. By denying that this plan is fundamental Marxism is to lend it credibility. because I don’t care for hyperbole but you sure love you some Straw Men! and I don’t think that the term “unconstitutional” If the shoe fits… should go the way of “judicial activism,” where it basically means “anything I don’t agree with”? How about anything John Adams disagrees with then? Or Jefferson? Or Franklin? I’m pretty certain where they would have fell, and I think they probably know more about the Constitution than you do, since they wrote it.  

The Constitution should be respected, and an accusation that lawmakers have violated that document is not something to throw around lightly anytime you dislike a piece of legislation.  Throw around lightly?  Nick, dude, the government is going to force every single American to purchase something, even if it against their will. It is the largest expansion of federal power in US history.

Lightly?

This is real life. This bill effects every single American at the level of their most basic fundamental needs. This bill effects every single business, every entrepreneur, every company, every man, woman, and child, and you have the audacity to lecture a bunch of people who’ve experienced far more than you have in your sheltered little life about how we’re overreacting… 

Grow the hell up, you petulant child.

There are legitimate arguments against the healthcare bill; consitutionality is not one of them

As pointed out above, bullshit.

53 Responses

  1. I grew up with national health care in Britain. I got to try Canada’s for a few years. I have VA access here, but I try not to use it, because I prefer competent doctors paid with money–out of my pocket if need be.

    I’m on record that I’m willing to kill socialists to prevent those “benefits” being implemented in the US.

    See, my family didn’t like British health care, or the economic establishment, or the political climate, so we MOVED TO AMERICA.

    If you really think (fill in some country’s name here) is better than our system, MOVE THERE, and let the rest of us keep our republic intact.

    You have the right to live under any government you wish. You do not have the right to make ME live under any government you wish.

  2. I too eschew the VA for competent Docs even if it means paying a good portion out of my own pocket. Of course, I know that at least one of my Doctors is getting his affairs in order to permanently retire due to this law. And the Doc that has been my ALL of my kids Doctor is quitting over this too. My younger kids are particularly pissed about that one.

    But all us know-nothing old farts are sitting back and willing to let you run your pie hole, Nick. But guess who you get to thank for having the luxury to do so?

  3. [...] In a post yesterday I espoused the ”Moderate Delenda est” course for Conservatives since Moderates have been show for the cowards they are.  I submit that this strategy will not only be affective, but funny as hell.  [...]

  4. Whew. Saw the post, thought it was about me haha.

  5. here’s a piece of the Federalist papers. the 1st one..written by Hamilton..says it better than I can. or at least more eloquently since by nature I’m exceedingly cranky and tend to use small and profane words to get my point across:

    And yet, however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.
    *here’s the important bit*
    History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

    *****
    and that is where we’re heading. another goddamn government of tyrants and demagogues. Though..in my own not so humble opinion..there’s already any number of the former currently in congress.

    • oops…make that the any number of the latter[demagogues]..all though…..the former is just as true.

  6. Did anyone happen to notice that for the first time in American history, the government granted RIGHTS on its people? The founders specifically stated that RIGHTS came from the CREATOR, because if a government can grant rights, they can also take them away.

  7. Holy crap, I got my own post! That rules. Alright, well here we go. And for the record, I actually don’t really support the healthcare bill; I think it’ll wind up being costly and largely ineffective. I don’t, however, think it’s so horrible as people here seem to think.

    –My first “straw man,” I will admit was a straw man, but was also not intended to be a serious argument. I was going to leave that as my only comment to the entire healthcare debacle, since I’ve previously refrained from putting myself into the “only liberal on the blog” position on this particular issue. However, I later decided to respond with actual arguments.

    –“Let me help you. Utah’s Attorney General, who I’ve worked with and who is a very intelligent man is suing on the grounds that the commerce clause can’t be used to force people to purchase something they don’t want, and then fine or imprison them if they don’t comply.” Well, I don’t think there’s been a case like this ever brought to the Supreme Court; if they wind up agreeing with you and the AG’s then so be it. But historically, the Supreme Court has allowed a fairly broad interpretation of the commerce clause. Has it been overreaching at times? Probably, but that’s a decision for much smarter people than me to make; that’s why we have the Supreme Court.

    –“didn’t see health care and general welfare ain’t it” What do you base that on? I’m not trying to be a smartass here; if there is some precedent restricting the meaning of “general welfare,” I’m unaware of it, but I’d be happy to concede the point if you can bring it to my attention. Otherwise it seems as though healthcare would most certainly fall under the definition of “general welfare.”

    –“By that reasoning, basically the government can do whatever they feel like and justify it as interstate commerce. If that is the case, why then do we even have a Constitution, if that one line about regulating interstate commerce justifies anything?” Who’s engaging in a Straw Man now? But to answer the question, the reason the commerce clause applies here is because the bill regulates insurance, which is, in fact, interstate commerce.

    –“Perhaps you aren’t as smart as you think you are then?
    Nick, people a lot smarter than you are truly freaked out about this bill. I know you think you know everything, but we’ve been fighting this thing for over a year. It is the size of a phone book. Democrats legislators have been bribed and arm twisted into doing something unprecedented, even though it is political suicide. This bill is so very important to our president that they’ll do anything to get it through, even if it means losing their majorities.
    Have you stopped to consider why? ”

    I assumed it was because most of the seats they’re going to lose as a result of this were probably going to be lost anyway–they were won by small margins as a results of increased voter turnout thanks to the initial Obamamania. Now that that’s worn off, they’re almost certainly going to revert to Republican seats. The Democrats decided to push for their highest-profile, most difficult piece of legislation while they had the largest advantage. It’s pragmatic political maneuvering, not some insidious first step to total Marxism.

    –“not around this widely spread notion that it was somehow the first step in creating “reeducation camps” [Straw Man] and a Socialist Thought Police [Straw Man].” Really? It’s not a Straw Man when you’re responding to what people have actually said. Here’s a few things you and various commenters on your blog have written:
    *”Obama is a one term president, and he knows it, but he’s also a true believer, and will burn this country down in order to change us into a socialist paradise.”
    *”Years from now our children and grandchildren living in a 3rd world America will ask ‘What were you doing on March 21st 2010 and why didn’t you stop it?'”
    *”It’s official. With the Government take-over of healthcare, we are now Officially the USSA (United Socialist States of Amerika). I’m sick to my stomach at what these parasites have done to this great nation.”
    *”Listening to Pelosi’s speech last night, and later Obama’s victory speech, I wondered if this is what it felt like to hear the words of men like Hitler and Stalin before shit hit the fan. The dark and ominous foreboding. The insane cheer for the death of freedom. Someone told me things could never get that bad in America. But isn’t that what the moderate Germans were thinking before the rise of the Third Reich?”

    These are just a handful, and there’s similar comments all over the internet, blogs, Facebook, talk shows, etc. Some people really seem to think that this bill means that America is now no better than the Soviet Union. They can believe whatever they want, but I think it’s unfortunate that for some individuals hysteria has taken the place of reasoned disagreement.

    –“We defeated Clinton care, the same way America shot down government controlled health care proposals from LBJ, FDR, Wilson, and TR. Maybe, just maybe, all the smart people that fought then understood something that you’re too dense to grasp now. Government controlled healthcare is a disastrous evil. And yes, I use the word evil. That is not hyperbole. It is capital E –ville.” Yes, the Clinton healthcare bill was defeated, as were all the others. But when ClintonCare was being debated, as I said before, the issues generally were spending and inefficiency. If those were the only issues people had taken with ObamaCare, I might or might not agree but they’re perfectly valid arguments. But this idea that we have to stop ObamaCare or were gonna turn into a wholly socialist country is different.

    –As for whether Obama’s a “Marxist,” maybe he is. But I can’t imagine that Marx would have promoted a plan that forced people to buy something from a private entity. How can you say that this bill is “Marxist” and then simultaneously attack it for making citizens buy something from a private company? Those two seem pretty diametrically opposed to me.

    –“So, Bush and the Hitler comparisons fail because they were based on trying to make Abu Grab the same as the Holocaust, which just showed a fundamental inability of some people to grasp historical magnitudes. Plus, Hitler was a socialist. (remember that National Socialist thing?) Socialist. Similar to Joseph Stalin’s communism or Barack Obama’s progressivism.” And you don’t think that comparing the passage of a healthcare bill to all the myriad horrors of the Soviet Union “shows a fundamental inability of some people to grasp historical magnitudes”?

    –” It would only be hypocritical if I gave Bush a pass and only dissed Obama, but my dislike of Bush’s big government policies was clear. Big Government = BAD. That’s not hypocritical. That’s common sense. And what we’ve got here is the biggest government take over of the private sector in American history.” No, what we’ve got here is the biggest mandate of forced capitalism in American history. The government didn’t take over the private sector, they’re forcing people to patronize the private sector. That’s quite a bit different.

    –I’m not “denying that this plan is fundamental Marxism is to lend it credibility,” I’m denying this plan is fundamental Marxism because it’s not fundamental Marxism.

    –“Throw around lightly? Nick, dude, the government is going to force every single American to purchase something, even if it against their will. It is the largest expansion of federal power in US history.
    Lightly?
    This is real life. This bill effects every single American at the level of their most basic fundamental needs. This bill effects every single business, every entrepreneur, every company, every man, woman, and child, and you have the audacity to lecture a bunch of people who’ve experienced far more than you have in your sheltered little life about how we’re overreacting…
    Grow the hell up, you petulant child.” How is this the “largest expansion of federal power in history”? It’s an extension of the commerce clause, a power that ‘s been steadily increasing in scope (and permitted to do so by a number of Supreme Courts) for many years. And my objections are not over a disagreement with the bill; my objections are to people deciding that the bill means the death of America when in reality it means that, unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise, the commerce clause can be used in a slightly different way than has been previously attempted.

    Furthermore, if this bill is so onerous, so awful, and so costly to the Democrats…why don’t the Republicans just repeal it in a few years? After all, if you’re right, they’ll have control of Congress and the presidency back by 2012. The part of the bill requiring everyone to have insurance doesn’t go into effect until 2014. If everyone is so outraged by this bill, and it’s going to mean the end of Democratic control, then why are you worried? Won’t the Republicans just repeal the bill, or at the very least the portions of it that haven’t gone into effect by then?

    • This just proves something the Dems learned a long time ago.

      You can tell some people anything for long enough and some of them are going to believe it as truth.

      God Save Us.

      • “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        –Joseph Goebbels

    • Repealing it won’t be easy. Social Security is bankrupt, but enshrined. Medicare is bankrupt but enshrined. You bribe enough people with someone else’s money and it become an entitlement. Those are hard to get rid of. And we’re stuck with Obama’s veto pen for 3 years.

      Though I do think that as angry as America is, this bill will be gutted and destroyed. I don’t think Washington has fully grasped just how pissed off people are.

      You’ve got a very fundamental misunderstanding of Marx’s philosophy. (And I’ve read his stupid book. Crap it is bad) He was all about a wise government controlling everything centrally because people are too stupid to do it themselves. Obama is all about a wise government controlling everything centrally because we’re too stupid to do it ourselves. He may not be taking the exact same road as Marx (revoltuion) but Obama (evolution) is driving us to the exact same destination.

      Forcing people to buy something from a private entity (that is directly mandated and controlled by the government) is one step below making them buy it from the government. (and is still socialist, see the policies of National Socialism of the 1930s for example) Don’t worry. When this collapses economically in a few years then we will get the single payer system that they so desperately wanted.

      You think that it is an exageration when people are scared that we’re going to turn into the USSR? I’m a student of history, especially the period between WWI and WWII. (wrote a book about it even, coming 2011). Do you think that those horrid regimes just sprang up one day and started killing millions? No. Things happened first. Bad things, that didn’t seem quite so terrible at the time. The castles of tyranny and genocide didn’t spring up overnight. They all started with a single brick. Smaller historical events lead to them.

      And guess what the single overriding theme was of those historical events was that lead up to the great murders of this century?

      The government owns people.

      And once they made that decision (whether fascist, socialist, marxist, communist, or progressive) people become just another asset to be utilized, or disposed of, as neccesary.

      We just passed a law that’s fundamental principle is that the government is in charge of your health/life. Not you.

      That’s why people like me are pissed. This has not, can not, will not, and has never ended well.

    • Nick,
      I want to you pay special attention to those that have lived in either Canuckistan or the UK and other countries who have this kind of health care system. They will all without fail tell you just what an utter *clusterfuck* that system is. They moved here so they wouldn’t *die* due to the utter incompetence, and glacial slowness, of that bureaucratic nightmare of a system. They came *here* because, despite a few problems it’s the BEST health care system in the world. Any number of my family members, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, are a part of it. My mother gave it up,as much as she loved it, so she could spend more time with us kids; when we started growing up on her.
      Oh by the way.. I don’t have the patience to look it up but..look at the standing of the Canadian Healthcare system Pre socialization and post. IIRC they went from a ranking of about 8th in the world to somewhere in the 30’s.

    • Not going to try to address your whole set of comments here, but there’s one thing you are quite wrong about. Health insurance isn’t interstate commerce. It’s been federally mandated for years now that health insurance companies can’t operate across state lines. So any given health insurance company is only *intra*state commerce.

      Bit of a nitpick, but it seems a lot of these arguments are.

      • I haven’t read the new/old bill again yet, but I’ve heard that part of the bill fixes that Julie. If it does..they can then claim the commerce clause. ugh.

      • I actually did not know that!!!
        THANK YOU! That is an amazingly useful piece of information!
        And, thusly, makes the attempt to control these companies unconstitutional.

    • I wouldn’t exactly call it hysteria. I would definitely call it concern. Hysteria is described as unmanageable fear. I guarantee the people voicing their disgust at the growing government control can handle their fear very well.

    • Well, I don’t think there’s been a case like this ever brought to the Supreme Court; if they wind up agreeing with you and the AG’s then so be it. But historically, the Supreme Court has allowed a fairly broad interpretation of the commerce clause. Has it been overreaching at times? Probably, but that’s a decision for much smarter people than me to make; that’s why we have the Supreme Court.
      ____

      Wickard v. Filburn, where the USSC ruled that a farmer growing wheat for his own use was affecting interstate commerce because if he had not been growing wheat for his own use he’d be purchasing it. Court ruled that the FedGov could tell him what to do with his property because of this third degree affect on interstate commerce.

      Now, here’s the thing: everything has an effect on everything else. If I sit through a green light and delay the passage of a truck, I am affecting interstate commerce. Does that mean sitting through green lights is something the federal government has the power to regulate?

      _____

      I’m not trying to be a smartass here; if there is some precedent restricting the meaning of “general welfare,” I’m unaware of it, but I’d be happy to concede the point if you can bring it to my attention. Otherwise it seems as though healthcare would most certainly fall under the definition of “general welfare.”

      ____

      Someone never read the Federalist Papers…..

      http://federali.st/41#p21

      Read that. Madison very clearly explains how this whole “enumerated powers” thing works.

      ______

      Who’s engaging in a Straw Man now? But to answer the question, the reason the commerce clause applies here is because the bill regulates insurance, which is, in fact, interstate commerce.

      _____

      Health insurance is not interstate commerce, because no insurance company is allowed to sell insurance across state lines. You’re just plain wrong here.
      _____

      The Democrats decided to push for their highest-profile, most difficult piece of legislation while they had the largest advantage. It’s pragmatic political maneuvering, not some insidious first step to total Marxism.

      ____

      Wait, so pursuing a course of action that would doom them to losing their majority is “pragmatic political maneuvering”?

      No. You see Nick, the Democratic politicians are much more liberal then the country as a whole, and tend to be more liberal then most of their constituents. The Democrats owe their success to being seen as the cool party and the nice party. What’s cool about government controlling your life? What’s nice about being forced to buy something?

      ____

      Some people really seem to think that this bill means that America is now no better than the Soviet Union. They can believe whatever they want, but I think it’s unfortunate that for some individuals hysteria has taken the place of reasoned disagreement.
      ___

      That’s not a Straw Man, but it’s close. The way argument and reasoned disagreement works is that you disagree with the person you are speaking to, and you rebut their arguments. You don’t get to pick random blog comments or FB posts and use them as examples of Larry’s point of view or my own.

      I know the default point of view for people our age is a collectivist one, wherein that one racist at a Tea Party is grounds for dismissing the whole 50,000 strong crowd. That doesn’t fly here. See how I’m quoting you? I’ve had lefty commenters tell me they couldn’t wait to throw people like me in camps, I’ve had them tell me I should be killed for owning guns. That doesn’t reflect on you, it reflects on them. You are an individual.
      ____

      But this idea that we have to stop ObamaCare or were gonna turn into a wholly socialist country is different.

      ___

      No. You have a problem here, an inability to realize that some people have a philosophical objection to government run medical care. Just as you have a philosophical attachment to it. This whole “liberal pretends to be pragmatist moderate” thing is really, really, really old. The idea that medical care is something people are entitled to, and that you can steal from some to give it to others is a radical philosophical position. You don’t get to just skip over the moral and ideological arguments for it. You are begging the question, assuming something you have not proved.

      _____
      As for whether Obama’s a “Marxist,” maybe he is. But I can’t imagine that Marx would have promoted a plan that forced people to buy something from a private entity. How can you say that this bill is “Marxist” and then simultaneously attack it for making citizens buy something from a private company? Those two seem pretty diametrically opposed to me.
      ______

      Marxism, distilled down to it’s basic principles, states that economic activity is best regulated and controlled by the state. The assumption Marx made is that wealth is not created by individuals, but by massive forces pushing on everyone, beyond anyone’s control. The Marxist view of the world is fundamentally a religious one, replacing God with History.

      When liberals say “Society wants ____” they are using Marxist assumptions and phrasing. When liberals say “History is calling for ____”, it’s the same thing.

      As for your belief that anything involving private companies cannot also involve Marx, well….it’s very very complicated. Marx died quite a long time ago, and his assumptions and basic vision are much more important, and have a much bigger impact then the nuts and bolts of his philosophy. The fact is though, the Dems realized the American people would not have stood for a direct gov medical system. This law will destroy the private insurance industry, it is designed to this. Then ten years from now the Dems will step forward and claim that the market has failed, much the same way a horse dies when you chop off three of its legs.

      http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2109-Health-Care-Arbitrage-Obama-And-The-Dems.html

      ______

      And you don’t think that comparing the passage of a healthcare bill to all the myriad horrors of the Soviet Union “shows a fundamental inability of some people to grasp historical magnitudes”?

      ______

      Sigh….

      This is America. It is a fundamentally different country then the USSR. Problem is what makes America different is that the government is supposed to not have power over us. They do now. The arbitrary power that comes with control over your health will allow them to force you into compliance with new regulations in the name of cost savings. See, when you were a child your parents made decisions for you, because they were supporting you. Once the government assumes power over healthcare they assume power over your whole life.

      During the Brezhnev era of the USSR, the State got a lot smarter about its repression. They cut back on the camps and torture. Because the whole country was a prison. So if you were a dissident….you wouldn’t get your ration book in the mail that month. Or your medical quota would be curtailed. Or you’d be moved to a smaller apartment. You think that can’t happen here? You’re wrong.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/23/obamas-seced-manipulated-school-lists-to-favor-powerful/

      Right now healthcare is rationed according to price in a mostly free market. That has its flaws, and no one denies that. Utopia means “no place”. Government healthcare leads to less health care, at a higher cost, and with a lower quality, and how good it is depends on bribing doctors and who you know. This happens in England, it happens in Japan, it happens everywhere there is government run healthcare.

      ___
      No, what we’ve got here is the biggest mandate of forced capitalism in American history. The government didn’t take over the private sector, they’re forcing people to patronize the private sector. That’s quite a bit different.

      ___

      You don’t know what capitalism is Nick. You’re using words you don’t know the meaning of. A free market economy is based on people choosing to conduct economic transactions. The biggest corporation in the world has no power other then run ads. They must get your consent to take your money. The government has no power other then to kill you, imprison you, or steal your wealth. Everything it does involves at least one of these acts, which when an individual does them are called murder, kidnapping, and robbery. The government is now going to force people, on pain of fines and imprisonment, and death if you dare to resist, to purchase things from businesses.

      Businesses woo the girl, governments rape the girl. Now government is going to hold the girl down. The left often cries about monopolies and corporate power, but no monopoly ever existed without the government sponsoring it, and corporations have no power to coerce until the government backs them up.

      It’s not Marxist, not really. It’s fascism, which is kind of like a bastard stepchild of Marxist socialism. Fruit of the poisoned tree.

      ___

      Final thoughts.

      We’re pissed off because these entitlement programs don’t go away. We’re pissed off because once again the Democrats have come up with an pyramid scheme that is doomed to collapse, like Social Security and Medicare. You have no idea of how to fix it, you just ignore it and throw more straws on the camel’s back.

      Nick, 30% of this country does not pay taxes. Why do they get to vote themselves the wealth of others? Why must the productive support the unproductive?

      You have some reading to do Nick. You’re woefully ignorant, which isn’t your fault, because the American educational system exists to turn out socialist automatons, not to produce rational thinkers.

      Go read the following

      Locke’s Second Treatise of Government
      The Declaration of Independence
      The Constitution
      The Federalist Papers
      Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
      The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
      Modern Times by Paul Johnson

      You should then read Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.

    • So, the theory is:

      People will only buy insurance when they need it. This will destroy the industry, unless the industry can refuse to serve them (Sort of like a car insurance company won’t insure repairs if you sign up AFTER the wreck . Go figure).

      Therefore, people who aren’t sick and don’t need insurance must be forced to buy into the pool, so those who are sick can benefit from the collective power.

      From each, according to their ability, to each, according to their needs, for the greater collective good.

      Nope, that’s not socialism.

      • Great analogy, I used it on my semi-liberal culinary teacher and he agreed that it would be a horrible way to conduct business. Score one for the home team.

      • Nooooo, not at all, Mad Mike.

        Something Nick may have missed – yes, as it stands right this second, the new healthcare mandate has government force being applied to force everyone (well, NEARLY everyone) to purchase insurance from private companies, because enough people balked over the notion that the government should have any authority to provide insurance. As an aside, in and of itself, that strikes me more as fascism than what I learn as socialism or communism. Back to the topic – those who don’t comply, as mentioned, will be fined, and subsidies will apply for those too poor to be able to afford it.

        Well, where’s the government getting that money to fund that subsidizing, Nick? Out of the pockets of the rest of the (taxpaying) population – regardless of protestations to the contrary, that’s the only place it could *EVER* come from. Hmmmm. Sounds an awful lot like more of that second-to-last line you quoted, Mike – “From each, according to their ability, to each, according to their needs, for the greater collective good.” Right outta ol’ Karl’s playbook, innit?

        There’s more, but so many have said it so well already that I don’t feel I particularly NEED to reiterate it. This was a *BAD* idea, which looks to be unConstitutional on it’s face, and with any luck (and a LOT of frakking hard work, dammit!) will be reversed before too much damage is done.

  8. Larry … Nick is right about one thing.

    This crap sandwich will probably be held constitutional by the current SCOTUS.

    If you look at tit, they did everything in it via punitive taxes and excessive regulation. Looks pretty familiar to any one who’s tangled with the NFA regs.

    Which is why I want to go the Amendment route to fix this.

  9. People need to remember that the reason you don’t have a lot of anti-bush rhetoric was that you didn’t start blogging until you had a book to sell, and that didn’t happen until late in bush’s term.

    Also, to lump other conservative people’s opinions in with Larry’s blog shows a lack of attention given to the issue. It also shows that your argument is weak, because you can’t address the issues that Larry brings up, without supplementing them with other’s opinions.

    I hope that made sense

    • Dave was around me before I started blogging. I’m pretty sure he heard me go off on some of Bush’s stuff around the gun shop a few times. :)

      (specifically, prescription drug benefits. AAAARRRGGHH!!!!! )

  10. I hate this thing, as I have a personal policy and religion that says “hate all evil” (Romans 12:9, ‘yo).

    I am going to be calm for now… but at this rate Oby will be repealing term limits. That will damage my calm.

  11. I just got an email from Judas Iscariot. He writes, “Damn, at least I got 30 pieces of silver and a nice bag. Stupak didn’t even get the bag.”

    Bend over America, time for your healthcare. Its cherry flavor… not that such things matter in forcibly issued suppositories.

  12. I read recently that “regulate” meant “promote” way back when. If that’s the case, congress only has authority to promote interstate commerce, not to control it.

  13. Someone came up with another way to argue the bill is unconstitutional. The 13th amendment. I hadn’t thought of that one but with being forced to either buy the insurance or pay a penalty…it works.

  14. Larry: Bringing up Social Security and Medicare raises an interesting point. Both of those programs were massive expansions of federal power, but somehow have not led to the US becoming a socialist utopia/dystopia. Sure, they’re bloated and bankrupt and need massive reform. But they haven’t become a jumping-off point for the Socialist States of America. Why do you assume that this bill will be different?

    Comparing expansions of the power to regulate commerce to the interwar period is ridiculous. Our economy’s not great, but I’m not pushing a wheelbarrow full of dollar bills to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread. Obama may have some socialistic tendencies, but the difference in scale between mandatory insurance and the Five-Year Plan is, to use your own example, like comparing Abu Ghraib and the Holocaust.

    Sean: According to the World Health Organization’s 2009 report (http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html), the best health care in the world is found in France. Norway, with a highly socialized system, ranks 11th. The UK and Canada, which so many people here claim are terrible, come in at 18th and 30th, respectively. Where’s the US? 37th.

    The United States has the best healthcare in the world–for certain individuals. If you can go to John Hopkins every time you get sick or injured, yeah, you get damned good healthcare. But the vast majority of Americans don’t get anywhere near that level of coverage. And I have some (admittedly limited) experience with the UK’s system, as I spent some time over there studying. All the foreign kids, including me, filled out a form and got a brief physical exam, and then were given an NHS card. I only got sick once and it was a minor illness, but I could have been treated anywhere in the country, for free. And all the English people I spoke to not only took the ability to get healthcare for granted, they liked the system. I’m sure there’s a few horror stories, as there are in any system–in fact, on another conservative blog that trackbacked to Larry’s earlier post, there was a quote from a Wall Street Journal article stating that in the United States, under our current system, “Errors made by doctors, nurses and other medical caregivers cause 44,000 to 98,000 deaths a year. Hospital infections, many considered preventable, take another 100,000 lives. And mistakes involving medications injure 1.3 million patients annually in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration.” No system is immune from doctor error or bureaucratic inefficiency (and if you think private healthcare doesn’t have a whole lot of the latter, I suggest you talk to my mother, who works in pediatrics), but in terms of the coverage and care that an average citizen with an average income and average access to healthcare receives, some other countries are doing a better job.

    Julie: Interesting; I’ll admit to not being aware of that either. I’d be surprised if Sean’s reply is incorrect though.

    Nick Sharps: Concern I have no problem with. But some of it really is hysterical. People claiming that because this bill passed, the Constitution, freedom, and America are all dead is not simple concern.

    Dave Sohm: I’ll agree to stop generalizing conservatives if they agree to stop generalizing liberals. That aside, the reason I read Larry’s blog is because he’s one of the more intelligent social conservatives I’ve ever come across, and although I’m pretty sure the only things I’ve ever agreed with him on are guns and bailouts, it interests me to see what people who share his opinions are thinking. But when I’m responding to his posts, I’m also often simultaneously responding to other commenters on his blog, or to things said by people Larry agrees with (for instance, the “evolution versus revolution” thing is a Glenn Beck talking point, which I admit I only knew because I watch the Daily Show). So a bit of generalization is necessary.

    Hank: I’d be interested to see something on that. I know some language has changed since then (see also: the meaning of “well-regulated” in 18th-century parlance), so you could be right. Although even if you are, there’s very little that “promotes commerce” like forcing everyone in the country to buy something.

    Sean, Part 2: Really? You’re going to compare mandatory insurance coverage to slavery? ….I’m just gonna let that one sit there on its own.

    • Social Security was a jumping off point for socialism. FDR was a progressive. Read up on early part of this century (which school doesn’t teach, except for a couple of pages on WWI, the depression, and prohibition) and you will come away very enlightened. There is a reason I call Obama, FDX.

      The progressives have taken a long view of history, and have implemented hard to get rid of changes at every opportunity. Social Security was a big one. Health Control is even bigger. You are still under the illusion that there is a political pendulum that swings back and forth between right and left. There is not. It is between freedom and control, and it isn’t a pendulum, it is an every tightening ratchet.

      Ahhh… out come the biased health stats. Hey, let’s compare a tiny low-population, ethnically homogenous, low-immigration Euro country to us! Because stats never lie. Bull crap. You want to compare apples to apples, how about we compare Morgan County Utah to Norway as opposed to Compton to Norway. Friggin’ duh. Since our biggest health problems come from eating too damn much, and I now get to pay for some fat ass, smoker, who just sucked down their fourth can of pringles and a 120 oz. Dr. Pepper today, I could care less where we rank.

      Oh, and how well would those socialist-light euro paradises do budget wise if they didn’t have the American military protecting the free world? How is Norway, Canada, or France’s military projection capabilities now? Oh wait… they spent all their money on social programs. Don’t worry though. War will never happen again.

      And if I recall correctly, Glenn Beck got the revolution vs. evolution thing from Skousen, who I started reading back in college. Talking point or not, he’s nailed it.

      • So if Social Security and Medicare and healthcare are so awful, steps toward communism, why are they so difficult to repeal? Surely during the red scares of the 1950s someone would have thought about it. But as it turns out, the average American likes the idea of having Social Security (even though many want to reform it), and they’ve remained free despite that.

        “Ethnically homogenous, low-immigration”? Norway, sure. But France certainly isn’t–they’ve got massive numbers of Algerian and other North African immigrants. The UK has large Pakistani, Indian, and Chinese populations. Yet both of those countries do a better job providing healthcare to their people. And while France may not have much in the way of military projection capability, Britain’s is still pretty good–they’re not a superpower anymore but given their size, resources, and population they’ve got a fairly well-maintained military.

      • I’ll tell you why Medicare and Social Security are so effing hard to repeal, because they are handouts. Never underestimate the power handouts have over certain people. This is part of what pisses me off about this stuff, we are turning into the nanny state, if we keep going down this path America is going to become one big ineffective government run day care center for its citizens. Its sickening. Now we have health care reform brought about by Obama and his cronies. In the words of Mark Steyn “Happy Dependance Day” everybody!!!

    • Nick,
      37th? Hmmm here’s a thought for you.
      1. The WHO is an offshoot of the UN
      2. The UN an organization of nations who aside from the fact they couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag,with both hands, a flashligh, a map and GPS unit;…. HATE the US, AND are jealous of our wealth, and by strange coincidence..want that wealth GIVEN to them. [It's called Wealth Redistribution] So you’ll excuse me if I don’t take anything coming out of an organization run by the UN, as gospel.

      You know..I actually started to come up with figures and percentages and facts to prove my point but..screw it. You know better..but you don’t.
      By the way..FREE? I want you to tattoo the following on your arm..or brand it on your forehead, so you’ll always remember. Frankly, I don’t care which one you choose.
      TANSTAAFL. [There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.] Everything has a price tag. You could have gotten treated for free? The TAXES collected FROM the PEOPLE of the UK, those that aren’t on the government dole anyway, pay for that health care. IOW.. Someone ALWAYS pays boy.

      As to the slavery ? Absolutely. what else to call it when you’re FORCED to buy something or pay a penalty for exercising your free will to CHOOSE not buy something. FORCED health insurance acquisition means they control what or IF anything is done to your body so you live in good health. I choose not to have health insurance because no one tells me what or what not to do with my body, except me. It ain’t like car insurance lad, you can CHOOSE not to own a car, thereby bypassing the need for car insurance. You can’t choose to not have a living body, you can’t choose not to be born either. It’s a fine, a tax..financial chains for simply existing. If you are being put in chains, financial or literal…you are being made a slave.

      • France and England as well as much of the EU is heading for an economic collapse, mostly because of their immigration problems and social spending.

        England’s military projection has gone from the greatest in the world to a pathetic shell of what it once was, exactly because the labor governments have used up all their money on idiotic social programs.

        Don’t assume that ‘better than most of Europe’ = decent. Basically without the US there to prop them up, any actual military confronation would be a bloodbath. (and England’s ability to defend itself is still shrinking, as the social programs consume more and more)

        In addition, those EU countries also have VAT in place to pay for their social programs. And speaking as an accountant who’s worked with European companies, VAT is the absolute worst tax system ever invented.

        They’re already talking about how we’re going to need it here. Because as I’ve said, they love control.

  15. Nick:
    Yes, I’ll make that equation for you. Mandatory health care coverage = slavery. Because it means that you are not going to be permitted to make choices about your own life and your own body. The government will make those for you. Every socialized system of medicine anywhere in the world that I have seen thus far has restrictions on what you will receive in the way of medical care. Certainly most contain the restriction that you must participate and that you may not seek private help outside the system. Because you must participate, you no longer have the freedom — YOU NO LONGER HAVE THE FREEDOM — to elect NOT to have health insurance.

    Because you no longer own your own body, you are a slave. Conveniently, you already have a “slave name”; your Social Security number. This is certainly nothing new, not even here. There was such a thing as the Dred Scott decision, for instance. Oh, and our fabulous President Lincoln did ram through a bill to draft men into the military. Those things are slavery, too….just more blatant than saying that you no longer have the right to make your own decisions about your health.

    If Britain’s and Canada’s systems work so well, why is there such a thing as a medical tourism industry to supply those who cannot get the care they need from their socialized systems?

    You’re a reasonable fellow, Nick. Sorry to inform you of this, but being reasonable back hasn’t proved to be such a winning strategy for us, and I do believe we may switch soon to some other method.

    • But once again, it’s a massive difference of scale. If you really don’t see the difference between forcing people to buy healthcare, and a system which kept millions of people defined as the property of other people, I don’t know what to tell you.

      As for medical tourism, that’s for the wealthy elites–the ones who, if they lived here, would be going to John Hopkins all the time. As I said before, the US has the best healthcare in the world, for certain individuals. Some of those individuals happen to be foreign. But for the average person, other systems work better.

      • Still evil, just not as big… yet.

        Oh, that makes it okay then.

        Second, we do have the best healthcare in the world. The assumption is that for the average person other systems work better is false, and bolstered only by statistics from people who it benefits (UN), and by media outlets that it also benefits.

      • You don’t know what to tell me, Nick? Okay. Tell me that if I refuse to participate, I won’t be fined. And that if I refuse to pay the fine, people with guns won’t come to collect me. Tell me that.

        Because that’s what you would need to tell me to make me believe that this isn’t slavery. If you are forced to do something at gunpoint, you have become a slave. You seem to consider this a matter of degree, but it’s binary; you’re free or you’re not.

        And that’s how all the reasonable, rational, well-meaning citizens of Germany ended up with monsters in charge. They just never noticed that they were being fitted with chains until it was too late.

        We’ve noticed, Nick. Too late, bud.

  16. I find this kind of reasoned debated on the topic fascinating, but I wonder why no one has brought up what seems, to me, to be an obvious question: What if this is simply a face-saving political maneuver?

    Obama promised “Hope and Change” and, prior to this, I think everyone can agree that neither had yet been delivered. So, what does he do? He forces a bill through on healthcare that doesn’t *really* take effect for another four years: plenty of time for him to get out of office and have someone else repeal it. So, Obama gets credit for “change” on healthcare, but has it setup in such a manner that if someone else repeals it it’s not *his* fault. Win/win for Obama, right?

    Let’s not forget that, having been president now, even if Obama doesn’t get re-elected, there’s a pretty substantial yearly stipend for ex-presidents. So, even if he loses the next election, he’s set for life and that’s not even considering books and appearances and such.

    Now, having said all of that, I too am alarmed at the direction Obama is leading our country, but I find the bailouts and takeovers far more alarming that this bill. That said, this bill is yet another example of the government poking it’s nose into a private system and, when you get right down to it, forcing people to participate in it. Furthermore, you’re placing the fiscal burden on the tax payers who probably won’t benefit from the plan.

    This leads me to the question of “is our system broken?”
    Personally, I think it’s fundamentally flawed: we have a system that allows people who DO NOT CONTRIBUTE to vote themselves benefits. This is why fears of a welfare state are, imo, so well founded.
    I think that’s the core of the problem in this country: people voting themselves benefits they cannot themselves afford. If they cannot afford it, this means that SOMEONE ELSE is footing the bill. We can’t simply continue to conjure money from nothingness without risking the “wheelbarrow” inflation which you reference.

    Now, the U.S. is HUGE. We have a lot of wealth in many different forms, but when we foster an environment that encourages fiscal irresponsibility – bailouts, anyone? – we’re simply going to continue to depreciate the dollar.

    That was kind of long and rambling, but I hope some people throw in their opinions!

    P.S. Larry: LOVE the book. Being a gun enthusiast myself, referencing real hardware with real capabilities really helped with the suspension of disbelief and made the story far more believable.

    • Dave, sadly I doubt that this was just face saving. The bill simply does too much, and the dems spent far too much political capital for that to be the case. Many of them are falling on their swords for this. They wouldn’t be doing that just to make Obama look better.

    • The face-saving makes sense to me, as does the idea that Democrats knew they were going to lose these seats anyway once Obamamania wore off and people realized he was just another politician (and not a particularly good one at that), so they pushed this through early in order to have the maximum advantage. It’s political suicide, but in the same way that a terminally ill person jumping out of an airplane without a parachute is suicide.

      • Also incorrect.

        The dems were not poised to lose by this measure. They just lost Ted Kennedy’s seat based on healthcare. Boxer is actually in a fight now. This is absolutely unprecedented.

        Your analogy is false. This is not a terminally ill person jumping from a plane. This is that terminally ill person, their three friends with the flu, and a couple healthy friends all jumping together.

        This is a political end game, that you lack the comprehension to grasp.

  17. Oh, I’m sure we’ll try. The tough part will be Obama’s veto pen until we can get him booted out.

    Otherwise you’ve got a whole bunch of states that are going to do some hard core stuff to get exempted from this thing.

    • what I found..galling was listening to audio footage from the Democratic Primary debates where The One ripped Hillary apart for suggest the EXACT same thing that just got passed.
      Lying hypocritical shitbag thy name is obama.

  18. So, how do you feel about the “tanning tax”?

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/24/news/economy/tanning_tax/

    Interesting when you stop to think about who actually tans…

  19. Well, it kind of smack of “sticking it to Whitey”. Just saying.

  20. Yeah, the tan tax gets virtually no mention in the press. If the tax had been on certain hair-care products there would be no end of the press coverage.

    Full disclosure: I used to “tan” for free because my friend owned a tanning salon. I’m in the pocket of “Big Tan”

  21. Larry, once again, brilliant insight and analysis.

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