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No Hard Choices
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, October 18, 2007

At National Review's The Corner, Mark Hemingway quotes a reader...
What the Democrats are saying is that nobody should have to sacrifice for healthcare, nobody should have to work for healthcare, nobody should even have have to plan for healthcare — maybe Hillary's slogan should be HEALTHCARE HAPPENS.
At National Review's Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty adds a quote from MicroTrends (written by Democratic pollster Mark Penn)
"Perhaps one of Hillary Clinton's most important insights representing upstate New York was that no child should have to leave his or her hometown to get a good job.'"
The Democratic Motto may as well be "No Hard Choices". Whenever a difficult choice, a voluntary personal sacrifice or the cost of freedom presents itself, Democrats attempt to legislate it away. But at what long-term cost?

Democrats may be pro-choice on abortion, but that appears to be the only choice they will leave to the individual.
 
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Comments
Sorry, someone will have to translate this post for this poor, old liberal mind.

Is there a point here?

Something about sacrifice? Good jobs in your home town? Is that a bad thing? Good?

whaaaa?
 
Written By: mario
URL: http://
Something about sacrifice?
Trolling mario? Fine, I’ll bite. Sacrifice - you do know what it means right? It means you might have to give up something you WANT in order to have something you NEED.
Good jobs in your home town? Is that a bad thing? Good?
It’s great when your hometown has everything you want and need. But when it starts to cost more than it is worth, a company should be able to shut its doors or reduce its workforce as it needs. A result of that might be ’no more good jobs in your hometown’ - which means you might have to sacrifice and MOVE to find a job.
Is there a point here?
Not for you apparently. Thanks for playing.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
We covered some of this ground in a previous post by McQ on this subject, so to bring Mario up to speed I’ll take the liberty of reprinting some lines from a SCHIP defender’s comment to that post, and some lines from my response.

The American Right wants to turn us all into wage slaves and cannon fodder, in the name of "freedom."

When in human history have people had the luxury of not being "enslaved" to a job? It isn’t the "American Right" that is enslaving you by making you work for a living. It is economic reality.

One of the reasons that healthcare costs have spiralled out of control is misguided government interventions into the market that incentivize both consumers and providers to behave as if healthcare has no costs, and one of the biggest looming economic threats our country faces is entitlement programs that lock the government into providing politically popular benefits without reasonable eligibility limits, costs controls, or guaranteed funding.



According to an article in the New York Times, "the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions."

This is often the case with states that don’t have nasty socialist regulations that force insurers to insure people who might actually need insurance, as opposed to insuring only healthy people and then dumping them if they get sick — the "free market" way!


The concept of insurance makes economic sense if Party A pays Party B to assume the risk of a catastrophe that is statistically unlikely to occur. Party A benefits from the arrangement, because she is relieved of a potential liability that she could not afford, and Party B benefits because, statistically, she will not have to pay off. The same concept that built Las Vegas.

When the government orders Party B to pay the costs related to a "pre-existing" catastrophic event that has already occurred, to someone who hasn’t even paid any premiums yet, that is not "insurance," and it does not make economic sense.

In fact, the whole idea of insurance has become hopelessly distorted in the health care context, where people have come to expect to have all of their healthcare expenses, even routine, preventative, unecessary, or elective procedures, paid by someone else...

 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
"I’m claiming the right to be unhappy."
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Good jobs in your home town? Is that a bad thing? Good?


If government provides jobs, that is incidental to its legitimate function. Certainly it is not within the legitimate scope of government to somehow guarantee that Mario will find employment in his field of expertise within his home town. History has shown that attempts to micromanage the market economy with that type of central planning have never succeeded.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
The bottom line is that this will cost a lot of money. Everyone will run to the clinic every time they have a runny nose and the costs with sky rocket. Of course the Government will then have to reign in the costs by either increasing the taxes (bad for votes) or decreasing the amount paid to healthcare providers. I’ll bet it’s the latter and then we’ll see a decrease in services, longer waits to see the doctor (with less time per patient), and restrictions on medical procedures. We’ll end up with the same crap England’s got. Take care of the poorest but 400 percent the poverty level is too much.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
.. one thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire
spot on
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I’m just waiting to get this debate behind us and get universal health coverage going, so we can move on.

I think the next item on the agenda ought to be grocery insurance. Wouldn’t that be great? I’m sure that consumers and suppliers of food will interact totally on the up & up, in the knowledge that the bills will be paid by someone else.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.honestylog.com
But you have to admit, Neo, at least when the government does that, it doesn’t cost billions of dollars ;-)

There are two problems with the kind of government spending Jon is describing: a) we can’t afford it. When our debt is about $30,000 per person in the country, we simply have to stop adding programs until we are able to pay for them — and that means getting rid of most of the debt first, or being on a path to do so; and b) there is a deeper psychological issue at play here too. It really hit home for me when I was touring East Germany and later Russia. The more people rely on government, the less independent and self-motivated they become. That isn’t true for everyone — some people are by nature intensely ambitious and self-motivated. But for many, it’s easy to fall into a trap of expecting things to be done for them. This is destructive to the person who falls into this trap, when they are less independent and self-motivated they are also not as happy, not as confident, and not as likely to take initiative in other aspects of life. As a society, the more coddled we are, the weaker our character and spirit.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t real situations where help is needed — there is a role for government involvement in social welfare, especially involving assuring basic quality for children and the elderly, and providing tools for all citizens to be able to have the opportunity to take initiative. Where the line between helpful social welfare spending and harmful social welfare spending is drawn isn’t clear — that’s a political question. However, at this point in time I think the absolute need for new programs is low, while at the same time we can’t afford them.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Mario never saw a government program he didn’t like you to pay for. Well, except if they’re evil Republican programs.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
right on mr Erb. 100% agree Sadly, people who think like that are becoming a rare breed. Their parents don’t teach them to be self reliant and shelter them to the point where they can not deal with bad situations and hard times, and don’t know how to identify and avoid them.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
the part in "Cinderella man" when he paid back the money he got from welfare, that made me shed a tear.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Democrats may be pro-choice on abortion, but that appears to be the only choice they will leave to the individual.


Don’t gag on this Job, but Hannity has been saying that for years...

Good news though, it appears the Democrats will have to go back to the drawing board on this one...
The House failed Thursday to override President Bush’s veto of legislation that would have expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

For the past two weeks, Democratic leaders had hoped that they would be able to convince enough Republicans to reach the 289-vote threshold needed to override the veto. However, the Democrats fell short when the GOP opposition to the bill did not crack.
Good to see the GOP retain some backbone. Here’s a compromise, eliminate all funding for adults (ie over 18,) and keep the funding level indexed to inflation.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
and by Job, I mean Jon. LOL
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Erb, I was wondering if you could explain how removing the word "government" from your second paragraph would make it unacceptable to you. This isn’t an attempt to bait you - I am honestly curious to know why that word is necessary. I’ll put up the sentence in question, with the removal of the word in question:
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t real situations where help is needed — there is a role for government involvement in social welfare, especially involving assuring basic quality for children and the elderly, and providing tools for all citizens to be able to have the opportunity to take initiative.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Wulf, government approved charities :) charity oversight by the government might be useful. i dunno, but you make a good point.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
I think the next item on the agenda ought to be grocery insurance. Wouldn’t that be great?
Why is this taking a back seat to health insurance?

Most of us would live a long time without medical care, lack of groeries would kill all of us right quick.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Democrats may be pro-choice on abortion, but that appears to be the only choice they will leave to the individual.
Another canard.

Medical marijuana? Dems are mostly for it, Repubs are mostly against it. Same thing goes for doctor assisted suicide. Dems mostly for, Repubs mostly against. Or, and let’s not even talk about Terri Schiavo. The next of kin wanted to pull the plug. The Big Brother GOP wanted to second guess.

Paging Dr. Frist.

BTW, would somebody please identify the proposed Democratic bill that says that an American citizen cannot go to the doctor of his or her choice. Or the school of his or her choice.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I am suprised no one jumped on this obvious joke:
"Perhaps one of Hillary Clinton’s most important insights representing upstate New York was that no child should have to leave his or her hometown to get a good job.’"
That’s right, its a sad world when a child can’t find work in their own town. <jkoc>
 
Written By: anomdebus
URL: http://
As someone who calls home the disastrous functional depression known as "upstate New York", I would just like to register my deep resentment that I had to leave my hometown in order to find work in Atlanta, where I had to live for about fifteen years because these skin-flint politicians would not give me health insurance, grocery insurance, clothes insurance, book insurance, guitar insurance, or Harley-Davidson insurance.

That’s right: I had to traipse across the byways of the country to a place where I had to slave-away for all that stuff. Some say, "the line between helpful social welfare spending and harmful social welfare spending is drawn isn’t clear". Well, it is to me, dammit, and I demand my rights, just like everybody else.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Or, and let’s not even talk about Terri Schiavo. The next of kin wanted to pull the plug
One would think a lawyer such as yourself would understand the difference between removing life support (pulling the plug) and removing a feeding tube.

In fact, Terri’s next of kin were split on the decision: her husband wanted her starved and dehydrated to death, and her parents were willing to care for her. But I don’t expect you to ever frame an issue honestly.

BTW, Hillary Care when first proposed would have made it illegal for Americans to seek health care out of the plan.

Admittedly, opposition to school vouchers isn’t the same thing as denying Americans the right to send their kids to the school of their choice. But when conservatives say that Americans can get whatever level of health care they can afford, liberals call that cruel. And since school vouchers would allow more Americans to send their kids to the schools of their choice, why do Democrats routinely oppose the vouchers?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
there is a role for government involvement in social welfare,
No, Erb, there isn’t, neither legally nor morally.

If your could pull your socialist head out of your rectum and discover the essence of government(HINT: Legal use of force/coercion), you’d grasp that. As a thug, I supposed it’s NOT in your grasp.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
right on mr Erb. 100% agree Sadly, people who think like that are becoming a rare breed.
A rare breed? Such subjectivist thuggery has been with us throughout human history, and is becoming more odious and deadly (see: Stalin, Mao, etc) as the years go by.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Hey, all these whiny "liberals" apparently have such great mental ability and skills, I find it odd they are not all running their own multi-million dollar companies.

Of course, the market for professional TV watchers, belly-button contemplation, and video game players is a bit sluggish right now, thanks to the Bush/Cheny/Rove conspiracy.

(Grow up, children!)
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Well, sharpshooter, if you think there is absolutely no role for government you are of an extremely tiny minority. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong, but if you want things to change you have to do a lot of persuading. And while you can make the moral argument for no government, I’m not sure how you can make a legal argument.

Ultimately (to get to Wulf’s point) I think society will get to the point where these things are handled without the kind of ’government’ we have now. But at this point in human history, that’s the kind of social organization we have, and I don’t see how that’s going to change in any significant way soon.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
In fact, Terri’s next of kin were split on the decision
Her husband was her only next of kin. That’s what next means, Steverino. And he wasn’t split with himself.

Here is what the relevant Flordia statute says:
(14) "Next of kin" means those persons who would be heirs at law of the ward or alleged incapacitated person if the person were deceased and includes the lineal descendants of the ward or alleged incapacitated person.
Michael was Terri’s heir if Terri had died. Her sole heir. Her parents weren’t.

But then, I don’t - what are the words - expect "you to ever frame an issue honestly."

How sad.

And it misses the larger point, namely, that conservatives/GOP’ers wanted the state to invade the sanctity of marriage. Michael was her husband. Terri had married him and had presumably chosen him to make end of life choices, not the government.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Ah, back to the peaceful starvation/dehydration methodology argument.

How noble is man.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I thought that *ssh*le Mkultra was banned from here?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
I am suprised no one jumped on this obvious joke:
"Perhaps one of Hillary Clinton’s most important insights representing upstate New York was that no child should have to leave his or her hometown to get a good job.’"
Somone did jump on it. Unfortunately, he was a leftist who took it as a serious policy proposal.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://


And it misses the larger point, namely, that conservatives/GOP’ers wanted the state to invade the sanctity of marriage. Michael was her husband. Terri had married him and had presumably chosen him to make end of life choices, not the government.
I can’t believe the right even brings up Schiavo, especially after the atopsy proved that the son was right, and they were just keeping alive a shell, with no capacity to think or function mentally. When people like Frist were making ’diagnoses’ from the Senate floor, they really made fools of themselves. The right wing should try to avoid talking about the Schiavo case — they were proven wrong, and ultimately the case did more to support those who want to end the suffering of people in terminal comas or vegitative states than anything else. The right would be smart if they simply never mentioned Schiavo again.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Yeah Scott, except letting the ’shell’ starve to death isn’t exactly something to brag about, okay?

Things we wouldn’t allow people to do to a dog....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Looker, it’s not like any suffering was involved at that point. It was simply allowing nature to take its course, rather than having human made mechanisms keep a body alive which had no chance of ever having a real life or thinking another thought again. Letting nature take its course was the morally right thing to do.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
In fact, Terri’s next of kin were split on the decision: her husband wanted her starved and dehydrated to death, and her parents were willing to care for her. But I don’t expect you to ever frame an issue honestly.
Wasn’t that the husband who was nailing another chick at the time?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Letting nature take its course was the morally right thing to do.
I can understand removing life support equipment which would arbitrarily keep the heart beating or the lungs breathing, but denying someone food? Where in the world does denying food to someone equate to letting nature take its course? Starvation is somehow equal to the natural course of life? I’m sorry, Erb - but you lost me on that one.

Terri Schiavo is dead and no-one can feel proud of their actions regarding the episode - from either side of the aisle. Leave her to at least rest in peace!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
I can’t believe the right even brings up Schiavo, especially after the atopsy proved that the son was right
I’m not exactly opposed to a right to die, and I think the Schiavo case was a bad issue for the right to rally around.

That given, her husband came off looking like an ass, since he was pushing for her death against her parents wishes. And he had already hooked up with her replacement.

The other thing is that the autopsy wasn’t a known fact when the decisions were being made. It is worth looking at these issues based upon what was known when the decisions were made, not based upon later improved information.

But, at least we have mkultra arguing here that there is no right to food. That alone is an improvement.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So kids 11-14 can get birth control pills without Mom and Dad knowing in a Maine Middle School? Wait...was that 11 years old???? Huh? I mean is it really 11 years old?

One thing that’s increasingly irritated me for about the last 4 years are all of the Viagra, Levitra ect...ads on TV that openly discuss sex and "4 hour erections". Ever been watching with your 10 year old niece in the room? Or perhaps 8 year old nephew? Or any kid that doesn’t need to be seeing ads like that? It’s a little awkward. What kind of discussions does this spur for little Jimmy and his buddies or young Sally and her girlfriends at a sleepover?

Where do these drug companies get off putting those adds out at family viewing time and where do the networks who accept the add money get off approving it? Oh wait, could it possible be all about the money(as opposed to right and wrong) IN THE SHALLOW END OF THE POOL? Could this having something to do with young kids "bringing sexy back" at a younger and younger age? Could the national circus sourounding our friendlyneightborhood ex-President Clinton’s horrific decision to play cigar and popsicle games with a 23....yes, 23 year old intern that he had lots of control and influence over have anything to do with it? Could the fact that Mom is just as likely these days to have to work to support our lifestyles versus nurturing and raising a child at home(at least until 5) have anything to do with it?

Just wondering. Thoughts anyone?

 
Written By: Froggy Doggy
URL: http://sortitallout.myblogsite.com/
Wasn’t that the husband who was nailing another chick at the time?
That was exactly the argument that wingers were making at the time. Which is even more hypocritical. Wingers not only wanted the government to override the husband’s decision, they wanted the state to judge whether he was being a "good" husband.

Again, the issue is not Schiavo. The issue is that of the two political parties, the GOP is much more likely to want to use the power of government to limit the choices of individuals when it comes to making choices about the medicine they can use, and other similar decisions, such as end-of-life decisions.

The quintissential example is Oregon’s Death with Dignity law. The law allows terminally ill patients - with a doctor’s assistance - to obtain a prescription with which they can end their lives. The individual gets to choose when he or she dies.

The campaign against the act was led led by right wingers. They did not want individuals to be able to make this choice. There is no other decision more personal and more important than this decision. And yet it was the so-called small government right wing that came out against it.

Let’s make one thing clear - there is no Democrat with any significant standing who is saying that if you want to take your money and pay your doctor for his or her services, that you cannot do that. Not one.

The debate about SCHIP is not about choice of medical options. It never has been about choice. It’s unfortunate that there are those out there who suggest that it is.

So when you hear propaganda such as this:
Democrats may be pro-choice on abortion, but that appears to be the only choice they will leave to the individual.
Don’t bite the red herring.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I believe no man should be forced to leave the comfort of his own couch to get a beer. HONEY!!!! I NEED A BEER!!!!!! I’ve got my rights, same as anyone, don’t I?
 
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
"No Hard Choices"
You mean like when Bush pretended that we’d have plenty of revenue to have his ginormo tax cut, pay down the debt, and run a balanced budget? Those kind of hard choices?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
SShiell: On Schaivo, no one was denying her food. They just weren’t force feeding her.

"No Hard Choices"

You mean like when Bush pretended that we’d have plenty of revenue to have his ginormo tax cut, pay down the debt, and run a balanced budget? Those kind of hard choices?
Excellent point. "We’ll give you a tax cut, and you won’t have to sacrifice, it’ll all be paid by the surpluses." When the surpluses disappear, keep the tax cuts permanent, pay for a costly war, and fund new programs and deficits. No hard choices.

Foggy Doggy, it doesn’t really bother me that they talk about sex so much as the way advertising manipulates adults and children. I am bothered by the drug companies in general pushing new drugs and trying to manipulate the elderly into asking for particular drugs that they often don’t need. I think we’re too repressive as a society in talking about sex, I wouldn’t mind if we were more like Europe, where topless women are even in commercials. I think the Europeans have it right about alcohol too — children might have a little wine with a meal, and learn not to see alcohol as something ’bad,’ but something to be responsible about. When you make something forbidden and "wrong," then when people get a chance to indulge, they go overboard — drinking to get drunk, or being promiscuous just because they can. Perhaps if from an early age children understood and could talk about sex, and ask about things they don’t understand (having things explained to the level of they are capable of understanding), we’d have fewer problems.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
MK, allow me to insert a key word that you’ve left out of your point.
Let’s make one thing clear - there is no Democrat with any significant standing who is saying that if you want to take your remaining money and pay your doctor for his or her services, that you cannot do that. Not one.
I’m not saying you have said anything false here - in fact, your point about both medical care and schools is one that the Right needs to be reminded of fairly regularly. But it must also be pointed out that the Left is saying that if you have money left over after paying for public schools, public health care, and all of these other public "services" that you didn’t necessarily ask for or want to pay for, then by all means go ahead and spend it on better services. Again, if you have enough money left over.

The ironic translation? Rich people can go ahead and have better, but other people have had their ability to choose taken away - not by making it illegal to choose, but by taking away the means to pay for the choices we might otherwise make. I mean, whether you put the cookie jar on the very top shelf or just kick the chair out from under the child while he’s reaching, the result is the same - the kid can’t get to the cookies.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
But it must also be pointed out that the Left is saying that if you have money left over after paying for public schools, public health care, and all of these other public "services" that you didn’t necessarily ask for or want to pay for, then by all means go ahead and spend it on better services. Again, if you have enough money left over.
But, Wulf, it’s easy to make the assumption that if only the government didn’t take money for these things you’d have the money you have now and less taxes. Yet it seems in looking at the world, the societies that do best have stable governments, rule of law, accountability and social welfare programs that, among other things, increase opportunity for the poor and prevent unrest or revolt. If these things were not provided by government, it’s likely you would have a lot less money and less opportunity than you do now.

That said, governments are dangerous things due to their centralization of power and monopoly on violence, and the larger they are (not just in terms of scope, but also geographical/population control) the more likely they are to repress or use power to try to shape global outcomes (like the US does). Still, the idea that if you just got them out of the social welfare system everyone would have more money and be voluntarily choosing what they want is a bit naive, given human nature.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
If these things were not provided by government, it’s likely you would have a lot less money and less opportunity than you do now.
And even neglecting that, my income is low enough that I pay less in taxes than the cost of the "services" that are provided for me by the government. But the argument MK is making is one that I don’t think the Left would want to explicitly endorse. I think he’s a fool for trying to fly it at all. He’s correct that these choices have not been outlawed, but is choice actually encouraged by the Left with regard to schools or health care? Say the word "voucher" and watch the Democrats dive for cover. This is hardly putting holes in Jon’s point about whether or not Democrats actually support individual choice as a general principle. And I suspect MK wouldn’t let a conservative get very far making a similar claim - "oh, the GOP didn’t actually try to make it illegal, they just made it harder for you to afford your preferences and they stuck you with the default whether you wanted it or not".

Again, MK’s point about both medical care and schools is one that the Right needs to be reminded of fairly regularly. But again, that certainly doesn’t mean Democrats are champions of choice across the board.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
"We’ll give you a tax cut, and you won’t have to sacrifice, it’ll all be paid by the surpluses."
This line and it’s associated thinking would be more reasonable if it accounted for the grossly disproportionate taxation we have now. The people who pay for most of the federal (and state) government already make a large financial sacrifice relative to the 50% who pay nearly nothing. While some of these people are obviously happy to pay what they pay (and I question your sanity Warren Buffett and numerous other guilt-ridden rich liberals), others are most definitely not (like myself) and really aren’t in the mood to sacrifice our own welfare, dreams, and freedom because 80 years of thoughtless politicians and thoughtless citizens have screwed up at nearly every turn. In short, it’s not my responsibility to right the wrongs of 80 years of fiscal recklessness. I might be interested in making some sacrifices to right these wrongs if everyone else was interested as well, but few seem to be; instead the entitlement attitude is more prevalent than ever. At some point in the near future, people like me are going to pack up and move out this country in order to escape the reckoning that is almost inevitable.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Grimshaw, fair enough. But back in 2000 we had a chance to be fiscally responsible. We had the budget balanced and, while the surplus projections were wildly optimistic (the recession was inevitable), if we had responded by keeping fiscal responsibility, we could have been in a position to have real tax cuts when the recession was over. I’d argue that if we had a more non-interventionist foreign policiy we’d also be less vulnerable on many fronts.

Because the dollar is sinking, foreign capital is leaving American markets, our current accounts deficit can’t be sustained, and the current housing crisis combined with the credit crisis means there won’t be liquidity in the system to keep consumer spending high. Reality might force a change. I just don’t see anyone running for office I trust to make the right choices — nobody is even talking about these problems, it’s all families with sick kids or tough talk against terrorism. I don’t think people really understand that the Westphalian state system is failing, and we’re only seeing the start of that failure. Collapse isn’t inevitable, but we have to recognize it soon.

Dr. Susan Strange, before her death in 1999 — one of the giants in political economy research — wrote as her last article ’The Westfailure System,’ predicting crisis due to the inability to stop abuses of credit, environmental problems, and an increasing world wide gap between the rich and the poor. All seem to be happening as she predicted. She noted that the reasons these problems weren’t being addressed adequately was in part due to the nature of the sovereign state system. The US could play a major role in trying to shift focus, but instead we’re too pre-occupied with petty political concerns and name calling between the parties. Meanwhile, I sometimes feel like I’m on the Titanic, watching the partiers revel, not knowing what’s ahead.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"...increase opportunity for the poor and prevent unrest or revolt."
Shorter Erb: you’re supposed to bribe them out of anything like that with socialism.

Get it, Wulf?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
On Schaivo, no one was denying her food. They just weren’t force feeding her.
A while back, they weren’t force feeding the ’shell’. Which is it - or can’t you get your arms around your contradictions in order to keep your happy face on while you explain away starvation of ’something’ that is alive.


But don’t play semantic games like you just did -
"no one was denying her food. They just weren’t force feeding her".
Suddenly there’s a ’her’ there - like she could have eaten and drunk if she’d wanted to, and she was just choosing not to?
There’s no grace or dignity in dehydration or starvation, even for a ’shell’ that has no conscious thought. There’s no ’her’ there. You were slightly better off with your argument that the ’shell’ didn’t suffer.

and, yes, it did.

Of course there was ’pain’ that’s how a body works, just because there was no one there to experience it, doesn’t mean the neurons weren’t firing and doing their job. Absence of consciousness isn’t absence of pain.

They should have terminated the life function of the ’something’ directly, not by starving it (and the dehydration killed it much faster than starving it did).

After a short while the case was a glaring behavior horror story for both sides, there was little honor or dignity or virtue to be found anywhere.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Absence of consciousness isn’t absence of pain

wanna bet?

The whole POINT of pain is tell your conscious self that "hey buddy. You got a major problem going on somewhere. Deal with it."

as for some of the response regarding my opening comment:

Can someone care to tell me why it’s some sign of a society’s virtue that people need to make hard choices to ensure they have adequate health care?

And Hillary Clinton’s comment about jobs in one’s home town is simply an ideal about trying maintain the economic viability of our small towns. I know most of you think that ruthless corporate efficenecy is the be all and end of all of our existence, but you, maybe it’s not. Maybe with a little less ruthless efficiency, a little fewwer Dollar Stores stocked from China, and maybe we’d be a bit poorer, (a big maybe) but a helluva lot happier (no maybe about that).



Everytime you use the internet, bow your head and give silent thanks to Al Gore for helping to make it possible. For without him, we’d still be jacking off to airbrushed pictures from Playboy.
 
Written By: mario
URL: http://
Can someone care to tell me why it’s some sign of a society’s virtue that people need to make hard choices
Hard choices? Like, deciding if I should buy real estate, or insure my children’s health.
Yes, indeed, hard choices.
Absence of consciousness isn’t absence of pain
wanna bet?
Yes I do.
The pain is still there, the body is still sending the signals. Just because the pain makes you pass out, doesn’t mean the pain stopped.

In her case, it is moot, what was there was a shell. But letting the shell die of dehydration when any number of chemicals could have terminated it’s function on the spot, seems like a cruel answer.
It certainly isn’t an answer anyone should be boasting about.
"Perhaps one of Hillary Clinton’s most important insights representing upstate New York was that no child should have to leave his or her hometown to get a good job.’"

And Hillary Clinton’s comment about jobs in one’s home town is simply an ideal about trying maintain the economic viability of our small towns.
Yet another display of ’chicken in every pot!’ unreality.

Supply, demand, and personal choice be d@mned. The government can fix it!

Yep those kids that grow up and want to move to the big city, well, they shouldn’t have a choice, they should stay in the small towns so the kids who don’t want to leave can have customers and clients. I mean, just because a kid wants to be a heart surgeon, screw that, he should have to stay in Tushka Oklahoma or Bucksnort Tennessee to help keep the town economy viable.
It’s probably his responsibility, like taxes.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Looker, if her brain could feel pain, it’s likely she was in constant pain for years. That would make letting nature take its course far more humane than artificially force feeding her. And yes, her body was a shell, she was no longer truly a sentient being. One of human barbarities is keeping alive bodies with no chance of recovery.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Can someone care to tell me why it’s some sign of a society’s virtue that people need to make hard choices to ensure they have adequate health care?
How about - that healthcare has to come from somewhere. Someone has to provide it. You can’t have a ’right’ to healthcare because in order to do that you would have a ’right’ to someone’s time/effort/life.
And Hillary Clinton’s comment about jobs in one’s home town is simply an ideal about trying maintain the economic viability of our small towns.
That’s the job for a person who wants to be president? Anything that woman says is part of her plan. There’s not a thing in the world she doesn’t think would be better with more government involvement.
they shouldn’t have a choice, they should stay in the small towns so the kids who don’t want to leave can have customers and clients.
Not if Hillary is elected...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
That would make letting nature take its course far more humane than artificially force feeding her.
Is there something unclear when I say ’starving to death’ or ’dying of dehydration’.

Is ’letting nature take it’s course’ vs ’slow death by dehydration and starvation’ the logical equivalent of ’ethnic cleansing’ vs ’genocide’, a polite and conversationally acceptable means of avoiding an entirely ugly truth.

For full clarity, I believe -
Letting the shell die of starvation and dehydration is nothing to boast about. The people who wanted it ended should have had the cajones to administer a lethal dose of ’something’ to the ’shell’ to stop it from living, right there, right then, on the spot. The chemical equivalent of pulling a plug. If she wasn’t a ’person’ any more then there shouldn’t have been ANY problem, and it would have been far more humane for everyone involved, including the ’shell’.

"letting nature take it’s course" includes amongst millions of other uncivilized things, letting people drown, leaving hikers & mountaineers stranded, and refusing to provide aid to nations suffering from famine.
Mother Nature is a b!tch, I don’t see the point in encouraging the cruel aspect of her behavior.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
She was in a vegetative state, looker. But I will join you in an attempt to legalize assisted suicide if you wish, let’s give the option of lethal injection in such cases. I agree having that option would have been preferable.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
But I will join you in an attempt to legalize assisted suicide if you wish, let’s give the option of lethal injection in such cases.
So - is she a ’she’ or a shell?
Which is it.
You can’t have it both ways.

If she’s a shell, then killing it is no problem, right? - no person, no suicide, no harm, no foul.

Otherwise, you let a person starve to death.

So, which is it, person or not?

Reminds me of a ’fetus’ that’s not a person and can be killed via abortion as a ’choice’, unless the mother wanted it, and then we can charge the killer for two murders for killing the mother and the child. So, when it’s convenient it’s a child.
When it’s convenient, she’s a ’person’ and when it’s convenient she’s a ’shell’ and ’in a vegatative state’.

I don’t understand why liberal’s heads don’t explode sometimes.



 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Rather than force feed a shell to keep the body alive, it’s better to let nature take it’s course. But the option of lethal injection may be yet better, so I’ll join you in working to allow it. After all, even you have to admit the Schiavo case helped the right to die cause and hurt the GOP.

As for abortion, there is a general national consensus that in the first trimester the potential baby is still mostly part of the mother and part of the mother’s body. She can decide whether or not to bring the fetus to term and create a human life or not. It’s the woman’s choice, and her moral call — her body. Government should keep out.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
the right to die cause and hurt the GOP
Lock step then? No one in the GOP believes in a right-to-die? (I knew there was another reason I was an independent....)
Government should keep out.
See, the quandary - do we charge for murder of both, or not? - and late term abortions, those don’t happen, in cases where it has nothing to do with the
mother’s health? Uh, yeah.
Rather than force feed a shell to keep the body alive, it’s better to let nature take it’s course
Back to nature takes it’s course. No, it’s a hard decision, that’s what this is about. The hard decision is we don’t let this ’thing’ suffer starvation in order to kill it, we accept responsibility for killing the shell and since we don’t think it’s a person in the first place, we’re not actually killing a person (committing murder).

Those are your two options, it’s a person, it’s not. If it’s a person, you starved that person to death. If it’s not, it doesn’t matter how you killed it, except for the essentially cruel nature of starvation/dehydration when any other option for termination was less painful and less prolonged. One way or another, they killed it.

That nature take it’s course thing is crap.
Someone locks a kid in the closet, and doesn’t feed them, we don’t say the person ’let nature take it’s course’ when the kid winds up dead from dehydration/starvation. They ’killed’ the kid, just as certain as if they had physically done it, and we prosecute them (not nearly hard enough, I) for it.

Yet, it was okay to take the feed off the ’shell’ and that wasn’t murder, but actually injecting it with lethal doses of some drug would have been?

So, if it wasn’t murder to starve it, it wasn’t murder to just kill it.
The end result is absolutely identical.

Cruel and unusual, I think that’s what they had in mind when they wrote those words.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Murder clearly isn’t involved in first trimester abortions, though some may try to claim it should be called murder. And, if we passed laws allowing lethal injections when you remove medical efforts to keep alive a shell unable to function again as a human, then that would not be murder.

Many of us have provisions in our wills asking that medical treatment be discontinued if we are in such a state. I would hate to think that anybody would get in the way of my spouse’s right to make that decision.

The amazing thing is that so many in the GOP got so upset over allowing nature to take it’s course (not force feeding) a shell unable to function as a sentient human again, but seem not to mind the tens of thousands of real, thinking, feeling humans killed in Iraq. If war isn’t mass murder, what is?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The amazing thing is that so many in the GOP got so upset over allowing nature to take it’s course (not force feeding) a shell unable to function as a sentient human again, but seem not to mind the tens of thousands of real, thinking, feeling humans killed in Iraq. If war isn’t mass murder, what is?
Heh - not even going there with you, that’s an excursion you can have on your own.

Still on nature taking it’s course - they killed the shell, plain and simple.
Failure to render aid, negligent homicide, call it what you like. They killed the shell.
But, that was the range of the argument, shell, or not shell? That was the point.
By letting whatever it was die by failure to render aid, they killed it.
So, if it wasn’t illegal to kill it that way, why would it be illegal any other way.

Someone had an opportunity to drive a stake in the ground for a positive cause and instead EVERYBODY danced around and played games and to this day, we’re playing semantic games about what really happened because no one was acting like adults.

Been through the ignored ’do not resuscitate’ orders once. Having someone die, and then be revived, just so they can die again, permanently, is right up there with cruel and unusual, but we’re doing it every day all over the country.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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