Bravo, Sir!

After my last post, Nick responded with some new points, and once again, my readership has shown that they are damn smart people.  Britt posted the following.  I had to give this its own post, because he absolutely nailed the issue.  Nick in italics. Britt is regular.

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.
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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?

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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.”

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Someone never read the Federalist Papers…..

http://federali.st/41#p21

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

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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.

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

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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?

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

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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.

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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.
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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

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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”?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

24 Responses

  1. The referee decides the game isn’t being played fairly. He forms a team and allows people to join, to keep the league, “Fair,” but he remains the referee as well.

    Do you think his team is EVER going to lose?

    • Nope. Same thing with GM….which is why old people mistaking the pedals has been turned into a big deal recall for GM’s biggest competitor.

      By the way, I love your work. Freehold is….well damn it is Heinleinian, which is about the best thing I can say about a book. One of the bits that has worn really deep into my brain is one of things Rob (I think…maybe it was Naumann) says. Something about how the statists will never be happy with what they have, that they have to bring everyone into their grasp. Hell, it might have been in The Hero….anyway, it’s been bouncing to the front of my mind a lot this past year.

      The sniveling statists could go to Canada…or Japan…North Korea..Europe…anywhere. As they continually tell us, the US is the one industrialized country without a national health care system. If national health care is so great, why don’t they move there? It was a genuine puzzle to me for a long time. If I had the misfortune to be born somewhere else and craved liberty, I’d go to the one place that still has a few tattered shreds of it. Yet the converse is not true. I always wondered why, and a throwaway remark by one of your characters crystallized it for me: They must bring every human being under their control. They must drag us all down to the same level.

  2. Things have probably been stated this way in some of the other comments, but I’ve been busy (comforting a family who’s matriarch is in the hospital, receiving care to make her more comfortable until her passing, which care may no longer be allowed when the particulars of this Act go into effect) and haven’t had time to read through all of them.

    Here is the base, the bare bones, of my opposition to this whole schmear:

    I do not have health insurance, because I cannot afford insurance. A requirement to buy said insurance, or be penalized, does not make me more able to afford insurance. In fact, the penalty of up to 2% of my annual income (paid to the IRS, as part of my taxes, as I understand it) is probably less of a financial drain for me than buying health insurance, but it may still mean that I must eat macaroni and cheese in order to be able to buy the gas to get to where I work.

    Facts. Now here’s my opinion:

    I do not feel that the federal government has the right to require me to buy anything. I’ve seen people reference auto insurance on this point, so I’ll answer them here. We are required to buy auto insurance because if we are in an accident, and it is our fault, our insurance insures that the other person’s vehicle or care is paid for.

    It is not the same thing as being required to buy health insurance. If I get sick, it does not cause financial or physical damage to my neighbor. It is not a valid comparison.

    • Mandatory auto insurance is evil.

      It should be replaced with mandatory responsibility for the costs of an accident you cause.

  3. Im in the middle of reading Liberal Fascism now. Great read. I’d add that list Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin.

  4. Michael- In this case, the referee is also the Commissioner of the League, and the Rule making committee. He also has the power to compel everyone to play, and can have you killed if you refuse.

    • Medic,
      not if you kill him first. to paraphrase the golden rule “Do unto others BEFORE they can do unto you.

  5. Larry don’t feed the trolls, else MHI will have to come out here and eliminate them. ;-)

    I for one do not approve of the Federal Government taxing me for breathing.

  6. I can’t remember where, but the other day someone pointed out that the “General Welfare” clause, referring as it does to the “general welfare of the United States”, is referring specifically to the Federal Government.

    Any time the Constitution says “the People” it is referring to individuals; any time it refers to “the states” it is referring to same, individually or collectively. This is the same thing.

  7. I really should have just gone with my initial notion to post one snarky comment and then leave well enough alone. Oh well, too late now.

    –You mention Wickard v. Filburn. That case was decided by the Supreme Court, who are (at least in theory) the best legal minds in the country and the foremost authority on the Constitution. At the very least, they’re smarter than both of us. And regardless of whether you think the commerce clause should apply to food grown for personal use, or marijuana grown in-state, or restaurant segregation policies, or any of the other things that the commerce clause has been used to regulate, the fact is that the Supreme Court are the final arbiters of what can be defined as Constitutional, and they have the authority to tell Congress what they can and cannot do. If the Supreme Court rules that the healthcare bill is unconstitutional, I will defer to their expertise. But just because you disagree with a decision that the Supreme Court makes doesn’t mean that it’s invalid. You may not like the result of Wickard v. Filburn, or Gonzales v. Raich, or any other decision, but under the Constitutional authority vested in the Supreme Court, that’s pretty much tough shit.

    –While the Federalist Papers explain a lot about what the Founders meant, they are not the final authority. If they were, there would have been no need to establish the Supreme Court.

    –I admitted before that I was unaware of interstate restrictions on the sale of insurance. Nonetheless, insurance companies tend to be nationwide (or at least affiliated with nationwide companies), meaning that they are affected by interstate commerce regulation.

    –I didn’t pick random blog comments or FB quotes, although I did refer to them; I posted examples of what I meant, one of which was Larry’s own words discussing how Obama would burn the country to the ground to establish a socialist paradise. Again, it’s not a straw man if you’re directly quoting someone.

    –Alright, let’s address the moral and ideological arguments. To me, healthcare is something that everyone in any developed country should have access to, like education. And like education, I believe that the government has a responsibility to provide at least a basic level of service. Sure, private schools and private hospitals are generally better, but public schools (and, if done correctly, public healthcare) are usually sufficient and provide at least the basic necessities of an education. I would have liked an opt-out clause in this bill, just like you can choose to home-school your children or put them in private school if you don’t like the way that public institutions are run. But the alternative is that millions of people don’t have access to healthcare that they can afford. The alternative is that people who are sick or injured cannot see a doctor. And in the wealthiest nation on earth, I don’t think it’s right that people die from things that are preventable solely because they’re poor. That’s my ideology, and those are my morals.

    –How is it that a bill forcing everyone in the country to patronize the private insurance industry is going to kill the private insurance industry? Sure, their profit margins per person will likely be lower due to an inability to deny people for preexisting conditions and the like. But that profit margin per customer loss will be offset by an increase in overall customers.

    –Illinois politicians pulling strings to get their kids in better schools is not exactly Soviet-style consequences, even Brezhnev-era consequences. But to your main point that “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,” how exactly is that different, on a personal level, from our current system–where the quality of your healthcare depends on how much you can pay the doctors and who you know/where you work/where you live?

    –So should poor people not get a vote? Should poor people not get a say in what happens to them? Should we just return to a system where only landowners can vote and tell poor people, hey, sorry you’re dying in the gutter, but it’s your own fault for being poor? I agree that people should work to make something of themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they or their kids shouldn’t have access to healthcare or education or the basics of a functional society because they fail. John F. Kennedy, not exactly a big fan of Communists, once said that “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

    Is this bill perfect? No. It should have had a way for people to opt out; that I agree with you guys on. But the idea that extending things like health insurance or education to everyone, even those who can’t afford it, is some socialist plot to rule the world is just silly.

    And for the record, I’ve read the first four books on your list several times each (for personal gain and for various classes). And I’m probably not going to read a book called “Liberal Fascism” any more than you’re going to read one called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America.” Although I’ll read the one you suggest if you read the one I suggest.

    • Nick- When you say this I get the urge to beat my head against the wall:

      “–So should poor people not get a vote? Should poor people not get a say in what happens to them? Should we just return to a system where only landowners can vote and tell poor people, hey, sorry you’re dying in the gutter, but it’s your own fault for being poor? I agree that people should work to make something of themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they or their kids shouldn’t have access to healthcare or education or the basics of a functional society because they fail.”

      This healthcare debacle is taking away EVERYONE’S vote. I certainly didn’t get an opportunity to vote on it, and since it is an Act and not a Bill, the way I understand it, it will not face a vote of the public.

      And I AM one of those poor people you mentioned. Most people would consider me to be very poor. I HAVE access to health care. I pay for it myself, and if it’s a large bill the providers are willing to let me make payments. I do not expect ANYONE else to pay to keep me kicking, because my life is MY responsibility.

      As for poor children, there’s a program for that already in place. It’s called Medicaid.

      • Farmgirl..refrain from beating your head against the wall. I think I probably do it enough to cover for most of the people involved in this debate..at least on this blog anyway. Good thing I’ve got a hard head.

      • We live in a republic. That means that we elect representatives to enact what they feel is in the best interest of their constituents. So no, none of us got to vote on the healthcare bill. But we did get to vote on the people who passed it. And if enough people are as upset as the posters here about the bill, they’ll elect people who promise to repeal it. That’s how our system works. It’s not perfect, but them’s the rules.

    • Nick:–So should poor people not get a vote? Should poor people not get a say in what happens to them? Should we just return to a system where only landowners can vote and tell poor people, hey, sorry you’re dying in the gutter, but it’s your own fault for being poor?

      If all they can do with the franchise is vote themselves a right to pick my pocket, then not only should they be disenfranchised, but I would even support legislation to hang them from lamp posts as well.

      This is a constitutional Republic. Not a Democracy. The mob is not supposed to always get what it wants at the expense of the minority.

      As for forced charity, I’ll let a Mr. David Crockett speak for me:

      One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Mr. Crockett arose:

      “Mr. Speaker — I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this house, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

      “Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and, if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

      “He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and of course, was lost.

      “Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

      “Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be one for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

      “The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.

      “I began: ‘Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and–’

      ” ‘Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’

      “This was a sockdolager… I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

      ” ‘Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intended by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest….But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.’

      “I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any Constitutional question.

      ” ‘No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings in Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some suffers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?’

      “Well, my friend, I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.’

      ” ‘It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any thing and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the suffers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditable; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitu- tion, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you..’

      “I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, for the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him: Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I did not have sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.

      “He laughingly replied: ‘Yes Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around this district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied that it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert a little influence in that way.’

      “If I don’t [said I] I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.

      ” ‘No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute to a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting up on Saturday week.. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.’

      “Well, I will be here. but one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name.

      ” ‘My name is Bunce.’

      “Not Horatio Bunce?

      ” ‘Yes.’

      “Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.

      “It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

      “At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before. Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before. I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him — no, that is not the word — I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times a year; and I will tell you sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian, lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

      “But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted — at least, they all knew me. In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

      “Fellow-citizens — I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.

      “I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

      “And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

      “It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.

      “He came upon the stand and said: ” ‘Fellow-citizens — It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.’

      “He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

      “I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the reputation I have ever made, or shall ever make, as a member of Congress.

      “Now, sir,” concluded Crockett, “you know why I made that speech yesterday. There is one thing now to which I wish to call to your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week’s pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men — men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased — a debt which could not be paid by money — and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificance a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

    • Okay..I’m going to do something that personally drives me nuts but..I’m gonna cut and paste and then respond at the **** afterwords. Follow me? Good just checking.

      –You mention Wickard v. Filburn. That case was decided by the Supreme Court, who are (at least in theory) the best legal minds in the country and the foremost authority on the Constitution. At the very least, they’re smarter than both of us. And regardless of whether you think the commerce clause should apply to food grown for personal use, or marijuana grown in-state, or restaurant segregation policies, or any of the other things that the commerce clause has been used to regulate, the fact is that the Supreme Court are the final arbiters of what can be defined as Constitutional, and they have the authority to tell Congress what they can and cannot do. If the Supreme Court rules that the healthcare bill is unconstitutional, I will defer to their expertise. But just because you disagree with a decision that the Supreme Court makes doesn’t mean that it’s invalid. You may not like the result of Wickard v. Filburn, or Gonzales v. Raich, or any other decision, but under the Constitutional authority vested in the Supreme Court, that’s pretty much tough shit.

      ****In this case I’m reminded of one of the opening scenes in the Pelican Brief. They were arguing about something or other and Professor said that the SC didn’t agree with Shaw. her response ‘They’re Wrong’
      Whats weird about this is the movie was just on last night..go figure.

      –How is it that a bill forcing everyone in the country to patronize the private insurance industry is going to kill the private insurance industry? Sure, their profit margins per person will likely be lower due to an inability to deny people for preexisting conditions and the like. But that profit margin per customer loss will be offset by an increase in overall customers.

      ****I think the Senate is working on that now. Adding back in the public government run option.

      –While the Federalist Papers explain a lot about what the Founders meant, they are not the final authority. If they were, there would have been no need to establish the Supreme Court.

      ****Noooo, actually The Constitution is the Final Authority.

      –I admitted before that I was unaware of interstate restrictions on the sale of insurance. Nonetheless, insurance companies tend to be nationwide (or at least affiliated with nationwide companies), meaning that they are affected by interstate commerce regulation.

      ****Well..we’ve already explained this one to you.

      –Alright, let’s address the moral and ideological arguments. To me, healthcare is something that everyone in any developed country should have access to, like education. And like education, I believe that the government has a responsibility to provide at least a basic level of service. Sure, private schools and private hospitals are generally better, but public schools (and, if done correctly, public healthcare) are usually sufficient and provide at least the basic necessities of an education. I would have liked an opt-out clause in this bill, just like you can choose to home-school your children or put them in private school if you don’t like the way that public institutions are run. But the alternative is that millions of people don’t have access to healthcare that they can afford. The alternative is that people who are sick or injured cannot see a doctor. And in the wealthiest nation on earth, I don’t think it’s right that people die from things that are preventable solely because they’re poor. That’s my ideology, and those are my morals.

      ****Sigh…they DO have access to it. You can get in get the stuff done and then plead to the hospital board that you can’t afford it. If they agree you don’t have pay..they’ll write it off. I actually think they claim it as a charitable tax write off or something. I know, I’ve done it.
      Drugs cost money to develop and to ship. Of course you get to pay for those.
      Public Healthcare and Public Schools? Oh Nick, using Public schools as a GOOD example was a bad idea.
      Our publick skrewl systems are a joke..and a bad one at that. They pass kids up the line, who end up graduating, not being able to read, write or do basic arithmetic properly. Some can’t even find their one state on a damn map. It wasn’t AS bad when I was in school as it is now, but it wasn’t any picnic. . I knew quite a bit of what they were trying to teach me language/reading wise, before they tried to teach it. I learned to read before I could walk and was reading adult/college level by the time I hit 13yrs old. So I had an advantage over most of the kids I went to school with. As to getting an education..anyone who wants it bad enough can get it..for cheap or if you prefer to use that word..free. It’s called a public library..USE it.
      You are of course..allowed to have your morals and ideology. Great thing about our country.

      –How is it that a bill forcing everyone in the country to patronize the private insurance industry is going to kill the private insurance industry? Sure, their profit margins per person will likely be lower due to an inability to deny people for preexisting conditions and the like. But that profit margin per customer loss will be offset by an increase in overall customers.

      ****Increase their profit margins? don’t think so. Yes if everyone has to buy insurance that increases the money pool. However, look at what they’re proposing..you can no longer deny based on pre-exsisting conditions. Those pre exsisting conditions will cost more money than the insurance companies put out now. I’m not real thrilled with the insurance company because of what they’ve done to their rates. We’re ALREADY paying what the price suggested by the government would be 12-15k a year. They’ve recently decided to dump it.

      –Illinois politicians pulling strings to get their kids in better schools is not exactly Soviet-style consequences, even Brezhnev-era consequences. But to your main point that “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,” how exactly is that different, on a personal level, from our current system–where the quality of your healthcare depends on how much you can pay the doctors and who you know/where you work/where you live?

      ****It isn’t. You have a choice of who and where to go to see a doctor for the most part. If you’re current doc isn’t on the insurance companies plan you can either go with the insurance companies doc or see your own. If you’ve got an old school doc like mine….you won’t pay full rates for the visit even if you don’t have insurance. Mine also isn’t shy with the free samples because he KNOWS how strapped his patients are. [it's gonna suck donkey balls when he retires in a few years. I LIKE my doc dammit!]

      –So should poor people not get a vote? Should poor people not get a say in what happens to them? Should we just return to a system where only landowners can vote and tell poor people, hey, sorry you’re dying in the gutter, but it’s your own fault for being poor? I agree that people should work to make something of themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they or their kids shouldn’t have access to healthcare or education or the basics of a functional society because they fail. John F. Kennedy, not exactly a big fan of Communists, once said that “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

      **** They get more of a say in it then they would under any other system. BTW..what the hell do you think the Dems in power want? “Control, Control, Control” [bonus points if you can tell me where that quote came from without using google] They want to be in complete and total control. Where..they are the ruling class and WE are the peasants. Subject to their whims, Slaves in other words. To a government who just voted itself more power.

      As far as reading goes…I’ll toss another one on the list for ya.
      Lost Rights by James Bovard

      good book.

      • –Yes, the Constitution is the final authority. And the group that has the final say on exactly what the Constitution means when applied to modern issues (since the Constitution doesn’t say anything explicitly about healthcare, or abortion, or gay marriage) is the Supreme Court. Again, I may think that they’re “wrong,” but they’re a hell of a lot smarter than I am so if anyone’s wrong the law of probability would suggest that it’s me.

        –Yes, our public school systems are imperfect (though I blame stuff like the kids not being able to find their state on a map on parents who would throw a shit fit if little Timmy got held back just because he didn’t learn anything this year). But they’re better than no formal education at all. To a large degree the education you receive at any school depends on the work you put in. I attended both public and private schools in my youth. My friends were about evenly split between public and private schools. And with a few exceptions (the private school had a much better technology program, for instance), there’s little difference in what they learned, because on the whole they applied themselves equally. Conservatives tend to favor personal responsibility; how about extending that to high school kids and their parents? If you don’t pass the tests, if you don’t learn anything, if you’re just as dumb walking out as you were walking in, accept the fact that chances are it’s because you didn’t work at it, and don’t blame class size or old textbooks. I realize that this is a bit of a tangent, but the idea that you can’t get a good education at a public school is, for the most part, ludicrous. And yes, libraries are good too, but they don’t provide the structured, formal learning necessary especially to children and teens.

        –Worried that the Democrats are gonna take over? Then vote them out. That’s our system. Take it or leave it.

        Now, if I’ve been wrong about all this, and come November 2012 the Democrats declare martial law for the “safety of the Republic” and suspend free elections and start rounding up “dangerous dissidents,” then I pledge here and now that I’ll be on your side when the shooting starts (the fact that I have guns to shoot with pretty much makes that default anyway). But I don’t think that I am.

    • I’m back…….

      Nick said

      –You mention Wickard v. Filburn. That case was decided by the Supreme Court, who are (at least in theory) the best legal minds in the country and the foremost authority on the Constitution. At the very least, they’re smarter than both of us. And regardless of whether you think the commerce clause should apply to food grown for personal use, or marijuana grown in-state, or restaurant segregation policies, or any of the other things that the commerce clause has been used to regulate, the fact is that the Supreme Court are the final arbiters of what can be defined as Constitutional, and they have the authority to tell Congress what they can and cannot do. If the Supreme Court rules that the healthcare bill is unconstitutional, I will defer to their expertise. But just because you disagree with a decision that the Supreme Court makes doesn’t mean that it’s invalid. You may not like the result of Wickard v. Filburn, or Gonzales v. Raich, or any other decision, but under the Constitutional authority vested in the Supreme Court, that’s pretty much tough shit.

      ____________

      What you’re doing here is called appeal to authority. It’s fallacious, because the question is not whether they have the power to do so, the question is if they were right to do so. I’m not questioning the Court’s power, I’m questioning the reasoning behind their decision.

      If the Founders had wanted the FedGov to be able to enact any legislation, they would not have limited its powers. If the FedGov can use incredible leaps of logic to justify doing whatever it wants, because of some butterfly effect the object of the regulation in question might have on interstate commerce, then we do not live under a government of limited powers.
      ______

      –While the Federalist Papers explain a lot about what the Founders meant, they are not the final authority. If they were, there would have been no need to establish the Supreme Court.

      ____

      Sigh….

      The Federalist Papers were written by three men, one of whom wrote the Constitution. You can think of them as the footnotes to the Constitution, they go into great detail about the various clauses. Which you would know if you actually read them, as you claim you have.

      ____

      –I admitted before that I was unaware of interstate restrictions on the sale of insurance. Nonetheless, insurance companies tend to be nationwide (or at least affiliated with nationwide companies), meaning that they are affected by interstate commerce regulation.
      ____

      See, you’re ignorant, and yet you opine anyway. I too was taught in public school that everyone was entitled to their opinion. The corollary to this is that you’re not entitled to your own facts. The health insurance business is the most heavily regulated industry in the country and all of its problems stem from that regulation. Yet you think more regulation is the solution. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

      ____

      –I didn’t pick random blog comments or FB quotes, although I did refer to them; I posted examples of what I meant, one of which was Larry’s own words discussing how Obama would burn the country to the ground to establish a socialist paradise. Again, it’s not a straw man if you’re directly quoting someone.
      ______

      See you didn’t disprove his argument though. You just copied it and said “that’s ridiculous”. You have to show why it is ridiculous. Just saying “I disagree” isn’t enough. You have to prove your point. Explain how adding a crippling entitlement plan to a budget already coming apart at the seams is a smart move for the financial health of the American government.
      _______

      –Alright, let’s address the moral and ideological arguments. To me, healthcare is something that everyone in any developed country should have access to, like education. And like education, I believe that the government has a responsibility to provide at least a basic level of service. Sure, private schools and private hospitals are generally better, but public schools (and, if done correctly, public healthcare) are usually sufficient and provide at least the basic necessities of an education. I would have liked an opt-out clause in this bill, just like you can choose to home-school your children or put them in private school if you don’t like the way that public institutions are run. But the alternative is that millions of people don’t have access to healthcare that they can afford. The alternative is that people who are sick or injured cannot see a doctor. And in the wealthiest nation on earth, I don’t think it’s right that people die from things that are preventable solely because they’re poor. That’s my ideology, and those are my morals.
      ____

      You’re ideology is a pastiche of childish idiocy and your morals have no philosophical underpinnings whatsoever.

      Alright, first principles. You believe that healthcare is a right. First we have to define a right. A right must exist without encumbering anyone else. The right to speech does not force someone to give you airtime, the right to bear arms does not mean someone must provide me with ammunition. Your newly invented right to healthcare means that a doctor must provide you with treatment free of charge, that a pharmacist must give you medicine free of charge, that CAT scans and blood tests must be provided to you free of charge. Now even the Left knows that’s silly. So you say “government has a responsibility”. Which means if the government steals money from everyone and puts it into a big pot then magically everyone has good health.

      Answer me this:

      If people don’t have to pay for something, do they use more or less of it?

      If the government taxes X, does that cause an increase in X or a decrease in X?

      Profit drives innovation, competition decreases costs. When government takes over things, innovation stagnates. Canada has fewer MRIs then the city of Philadelphia. Canadians flow across the border to get treated here. The reverse is not true. Ever wonder why that is?

      You need to read The Wealth of Nations. Great bit in there about how businessman in the search of greater profits and to remain ahead of the competition drive quality higher and price lower, improving everyone’s life. All that is about to stop. No more advancements. Cancer will never be cured, AIDS will never have a vaccine. Because America was it, the last private sector system. Every medical device, every new drug….made in America. All that stops. It’s not the soft hearted do gooders who let grandma live to be 90, it’s the cold bastard pharma execs trying to wring every last dollar out of her….which they can only do if she is alive. That’s what you don’t seem to get. It profits hospitals now to have their patients live. Soon, with the collapse of the private medical industry, it will profit hospitals to let some patients die to use that money on those who will live. More importantly, the deciding factor will be how much more in taxes said patient will pay. If they fall on the wrong end of the curve….the morphine drip goes up, all for “quality of life”.

      You know what the 10 year survival rate for breast cancer in the US is? It’s above 90%. In the UK? Around 30%. Because treating cancer is expensive, and once we pool tax dollars….you use your quota and there may be no chemo…but there will be plenty of morphine….don’t want to be inhumane you know.

      You probably think I’m bullshitting you. Well, I’m not. The UK’s NHS has a rationing board called, in Orwellian fashion, NICE. NICE let 20,000 people die of cancer because the drugs were too expensive last year.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1257944/NICE-rejects-cancer-drugs-extended-patients-lives.html#ixzz0iDGAwLIC

      Fuck that. Soundly. Fuck it, unload Abomination into it, flip out the bayonet and stab it through the heart. Then tell Earl to kill it again, take off and nuke the site from orbit. I do not want it here, and I’ll go further then that: if they set that up here I will be working with methods other then the ballot to counteract it.

      ______

      –How is it that a bill forcing everyone in the country to patronize the private insurance industry is going to kill the private insurance industry? Sure, their profit margins per person will likely be lower due to an inability to deny people for preexisting conditions and the like. But that profit margin per customer loss will be offset by an increase in overall customers.
      _____

      You’re kidding right? Nick you ignorant slut. Did you read the bill? Did you even listen to the Cliff Notes version? You supported something that you did not have the faintest fucking idea about?
      Here’s what the bill says:

      If you refuse to buy health insurance, you are fined 2% of your income. Let’s say you do pretty well and make 100,000 per annum. That means you have to pay $2000 to the FedGov every year you don’t have coverage.

      Well guess what? The cheapest plan allowed for an individual under ObamaCare is 15,000 a year for single people and 20,000 for families. Here’s the kicker: it is now illegal for health insurance companies to deny coverage based on “pre-existing conditions”.

      Here’s what everyone will do: go without insurance until you get really sick, then apply for coverage…and they can’t turn you down. The way insurance works is it creates a risk pool. Most people will never use what they pay in. Which means the majority of the folks who are not tapping that nest egg support the minority that get unlucky and have cancer pop up or get hit by a car or what have you. Once this bill kicks in, companies will have nothing but incredibly sick people with no massive group of basically healthy people paying premiums to support them. They will fold, all of them. It is impossible to stay in business that way.

      Did you even read the link I posted? It explained the whole thing.
      _____

      –Illinois politicians pulling strings to get their kids in better schools is not exactly Soviet-style consequences, even Brezhnev-era consequences. But to your main point that “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,” how exactly is that different, on a personal level, from our current system–where the quality of your healthcare depends on how much you can pay the doctors and who you know/where you work/where you live?

      __________

      See the elites list for public schools? There will be an elites list for public hospitals. Can you say nomenklatura and narod?

      It’s different, you idiot, because in the public healthcare system in Japan you give “gifts” to doctors that already have their salary paid by tax dollars. So you pay twice. It’s bribery for treatment…except in your glorious socialist future everyone is supposed to be equal. But again Orwell….some animals are more equal then others.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/02/vip-treatment-under-nationalized-health-care/

      You seem to have a basic problem with the way the world works. As a college student, I eat a lot of discount hamburger when I’d rather sit down to a steak dinner at a nice restaurant. I drink a lot of Coors Light when I’d rather be sipping a smooth single malt or a nice microbrew. I drive a 17 year old Buick instead of a late model Toyota (well….may have lucked out there). Medical care is commodity. It costs money to provide, like any other commodity, and so it has to be paid for. The fact is right now we have very cheap medical care, and very high quality medical care. That’s about to all go away. You don’t believe it will, but the Poles thought the Mongols were laughable because they didn’t have lances and rode tiny little ponies. They were wrong, you’re wrong. What sucks is that I have to pay the price for your stupidity.
      _____
      –So should poor people not get a vote? Should poor people not get a say in what happens to them? Should we just return to a system where only landowners can vote and tell poor people, hey, sorry you’re dying in the gutter, but it’s your own fault for being poor? I agree that people should work to make something of themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they or their kids shouldn’t have access to healthcare or education or the basics of a functional society because they fail. John F. Kennedy, not exactly a big fan of Communists, once said that “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
      __________________

      Look, it’s another Straw Man!!!!! Burn it down, burn it down!

      Everyone has access to these things. Your objection is that people have to pay for them. Here’s the thing: those services cost money. If you get the benefit from surgery, you should pay for it. If you benefit from education, you should pay for it.

      ____

      Is this bill perfect? No. It should have had a way for people to opt out; that I agree with you guys on. But the idea that extending things like health insurance or education to everyone, even those who can’t afford it, is some socialist plot to rule the world is just silly.
      ___-

      You can’t have an optout provision, the whole point of the bill is forcing everyone in the country to pool their resources and share equally. Which is….wait for it….socialism.

      Your problem is not ideology. It’s vocabulary. You don’t know what words mean.

      Oh, and I already read that book. Hedge’s definition of fascism relied on Umberto Eco’s 14 principles of fascism, which are startlingly inaccurate to what fascism actually is. Then he completely misrepresents Christianity as the kind of “Jesus The Socialist”/liberation theology crap that masquerades as serious theological discourse on the Left. All in all a very mediocre book, especially when you consider that the victories of the Christian right in the last 30 years are…..nothing. If they are “destroying America” they sure aren’t very good at it.

      The problem with the Left is that generally speaking, they are completely ignorant of what the Right thinks. Whereas I, who was until early one sunny September morning a rather strident young leftist. More importantly the media and the culture is leftwing. You’ve wrapped yourself in a cocoon of like mined people your whole life, now in academia you have even more of an echo chamber. Whereas I, sitting a classroom where I was the only one who voted for McCain…the hottest fire makes the strongest steel. You don’t know facts, you don’t know logic, because you’ve never had to. Preaching to the choir is easy.

      More books for you:

      Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
      The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell

      1984 and Animal Farm both by George Orwell.

    • ~If the Supreme Court rules that the healthcare bill is unconstitutional, I will defer to their expertise. But just because you disagree with a decision that the Supreme Court makes doesn’t mean that it’s invalid.~

      Unless of course things get so out of hand that a constitutional convention is called for by the people.

      i am currently in a political government class, and i know this is quite an extream. an extream i would hope to avoid. (as a limit on congress may not be the only thing to come from of it) however, statisticly speaking, a poll i saw on our CNN Student News, says that 56 percent of people think that the health care bill is a mistake, and it only takes a 2/3 vote of congress or from the states to start one.

  8. “I really should have just gone with my initial notion to post one snarky comment and then leave well enough alone. Oh well, too late now.”

    Kind of like when Ron White had the right to remain silent..but not the ability? *grin*

    • Precisely–and nice reference BTW, Ron White is awesome. That’s a problem that he and I share.

      On that note, here’s my “closing statement” of sorts, since I’m going out of town tomorrow and won’t be on the internet much until Monday–Real Salt Lake is having their first match of the season in San Jose, and I like soccer even more than I like arguing on the internet. So I will probably not be posting again on this topic, unless Larry puts up another entry about me next week. But don’t worry, I’ll be the token commie liberal poster on this blog for the foreseeable future.

      Basically, what this disagreement boils down to is a fundamental difference in the way that we view government. I’m not a socialist, but I do believe that the responsibility of a government is to protect and provide for its citizens. Protection comes in the form of national security, police, etc. Providing for the people means providing the basic necessities of modern life–food, shelter, education, and yes, healthcare. Now, I also believe that people should have the right to refuse those provisions–if I want to live in a cabin in the mountains and never see a doctor and never go to school and never call the police, that should be my right–which is why I think that this bill should have included an opt-out clause, and why I would support the introduction of such a clause in the future if the bill isn’t scrapped entirely. They shouldn’t be forced on anyone. But they should be available to every citizen, regardless of income or location or any other factor. I think that in the richest country in the world it’s shameful that some people don’t have access to these things.

      I doubt I’ll change anyone’s mind on this issue (which is why I generally stick to issues that have more to do with facts and the ignorance thereof–i.e. the gun debate; I find a lot of anti-gun people tend to be more misinformed than anything–than they do with fundamental philosophies regarding the role of government) and you certainly won’t change mine. But I think we should be able to agree that just because we have different views on some things doesn’t mean that people who voted for Obama really love Joe Stalin or that people who voted for Bush secretly wish Hitler was still around. That was really the point of my initial post anyway; as far as healthcare goes, I think that everyone having insurance is good, that mandating it is bad, and that’s about as much as I’m passionate about–it was the rhetoric that bothered me, not the opinions.

      In any case, I’ll see (or “see,” I suppose) you all next week.

      • If it is the governments job to provide those things, then the government must take those things from someone else in order to provide it.

        I see no difference between forcing a person to work on your plantation to provide you with profit, and forcing someone to to work for you to provide you with free stuff. Either way, it is slavery.

      • First of all, kudos to all of you. This is the most informed, logical discussion I’ve come across. I naturally tend towards hollering and swearing, so I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and ears open. Thank you.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but from a strictly dollars and cents standpoint, who would opt out? If Joe Family Man can spend $20,000+ per year on health insurance for his family -or- a small percentage of his yearly income whenever one of them needs care, which would he choose?

      • Thanks for the kind words Eric.

        Look, right now you probably pay >2% of your income for healthcare. Once the bill kicks in, it’s smarter to pay the 2% fine then it is to maintain an actual health plan. Get a yearly checkup, but save the rest of your money. If you or someone in your family does get sick, apply for coverage then. They can’t turn you down. Then once you have the coverage, get treated…then cancel it. You get all the benefits of health insurance without the downside of paying into the plan.

        The bill was intentionally designed to destroy the private insurance industry. It will perform that function. Ten years from now, the socialists will stand up and say “See, we tried to fix it with the private sector, but they failed. We have no choice but to have government healthcare.” It’s the same thing they did with the banks: forced them to loan money to people who could not pay it back. Then they scream that the market failed. The market didn’t fail, the government intervention caused the whole problem. All government intervention into the economy has effects, and they usually aren’t good ones.

        FDIC is a perfect example of a very popular program which has led to enormous unintended consequences. Because people are covered by the government, they don’t search for conservative, risk averse banks. They pick the one with the best giveaway or the closest ATMs. Which means every bank starts taking risks, because if they fail their depositors will get government checks. Any time you make failure and success equal outcomes, you get more failure. Success takes work, why bother working if you get the same result for failing.

        I was buying groceries yesterday. I got cut back on hours, so there was a lot of spaghetti and peanut butter in the cart. Woman ahead of me has a full cart of frozen food and cereal and lunchmeat and she pays with a food stamps card, which they introduced so welfare recipients wouldn’t be stigmatized. So when the cashier got to the beer and cigarettes, she pulled out cash because you can’t buy cigs and beer with the Uncle Sam’s Club card. If you play by the rules, you’re a damn sucker.

        I’m at the point where I’m gonna take a job that only pays in cash, and then at years end send 8% of it to The Pentagon, 1% to the local cops, and 1% to the fire department.

  9. Ya know..it’s off topic but..Since Nick thoroughly enjoyed the last Ron White reference here’s another one. Anyone remember the bit about being naked, in a bean bag chair, watching tv and eating cheetos?
    Pull your mind out of the pit of EWWWW..I wasn’t naked in a bean bag chair eating cheetos. I did have a similar moment though last week. Was flipping and came across one of the numerous GOD TV type channels available on satellite.
    The preacher was like “I know you, you’re sitting in a chair in front of the tv [yep], despairing, [yep] out of work,[ yep] worried about the future, [yep] wondering how you and yours are gonna pay the bills [kinda sorta] well then I have a book for you to read. A book to tell you of gods plan for you and how you can reap untold rewards monetarily, spiritually and emotionally. All you need to do is send a love gift of just…..” it was at that point I said..nope sorry, you got the wrong dude cuz I ain’t sending you shit. No cigar for you. *grin*

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