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What I Believe...

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  • What I Believe...

    1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery

    2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

    3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.

    4. "Standing Tall for America"; means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

    5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

    6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

    7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

    8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

    9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

    10. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies,then demand their cooperation and money.

    11. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.

    12. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

    13. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

    14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

    15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

    16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

    17. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

    18. You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

    19. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

    20. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

  • #2
    Re: What I Believe...

    Originally posted by krunky
    12. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
    This is the only one I completely agree with. Long live socialism!

    (Yeah, I did get the joke.)
    You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

    Comment


    • #3
      He isn't joking, at least not in the sense of his intent.

      Comment


      • #4
        At the risk of making Krunky's thread all about health care--

        It is alarming to me that many in the US see health care as a vital part of a nation's political and economic growth, yet so many in the US do not have any kind of comprehensive health care. Too many people are forced to rely on emergency rooms in public hospitals as a substitute for a primary care physician.

        Health insurance, drug companies, and many hospitals are big business, not medicine. Consequently, health care in the US is often more about money than wellness. It sickens me (no pun intended) to know how many medical decisions are made by administrators, not physicians and nurses.

        Worse, even those with health insurance are paying more and receiving less. Insurance companies made bad investments and lost a great deal of money. The losses were passed on to consumes as higher premiums and fewer services. Rather than admit bad business practices, insurance companies blame attorneys. So tort reform becomes the issue for people, instead of health care.

        It amazes me that administrators make medical decisions, corporations run hospitals and do almost all drug product research, and lawyers litigate all of it, yet few people want to look at the people left out of the equation: people who are sick, and the people who are supposed to help them.

        Sorry about the disjointed rant. Corporate medicine pushes all of my buttons at once.

        Comment


        • #5
          Doc (is there a pun there?), is the solution having the government run this? Isn't the knock that government is as fucked as Hogan's goat? I know the response is going to be get rid of Bush and everything will be solved from world peace, world hunger, the flashing lights on the VCR, AOL's disconnection problems, etc., and I've already dismissed that becuase the legacy of government agencies making a bad situation worse is bi-partisan and independent of any particular President and/or Congress. I'm not playing a political game here (my wife worked in healthcare insurance for almost 15 years and so I know and agree that this is a serious problem), but is the solution to ask for government to fix this? Regulation is a step in the right direction, but is that enough to solve the problem to a point that people's healthcare protections will positively and noticeably change? Bush has done nothing to make this a better situation, but this is a problem that has plagued us for decades (see the fact that Clinton made it his campaign cornerstone and made it his first and highest priority on taking office).

          Comment


          • #6
            That's right Bill, I am as funny as a heart attack, or a brain aneurysm...

            And as to what Doc said, I can only remind everyone how MM astutely pointed out how different politics are when the people are unhealthy and afraid - their decisions are skewed by their level of "unwellness." Obviously, I am paraphrasing and perhaps even extrapolating from MM original point, but not by much I think.

            Attorneys can be sharks - no doubt about that - circling a point of injury and scenting the blood in the water before they enter into their legal frenzy. But tort reform is not precisely the answer.

            I think we already discussed this issue at least once before, but the whole insurance as big business as legislated by the government nexus takes us pretty far away from the freedom to contract. By law, they are saying you have to eneter into certain kinds of insurance contracts (as for auto insurance) - they are forcing you to it. What they stop short at is paying for the project out of tax monies, they want private industry to capitalize off this little scheme at the expense of private money. As long as it is profitable, right?

            The concern over health insurance, or some kind of national plan, is that the insurers will have to cover classes of people that might actually be less healthy than other classes and therefore tip the scheme into losses rather than profits. I am actually willing to believe that they are right in the short term - intelligence and earning potential obviously factors into how well people guide their health issues, the BBC just published some material on this recently.

            But how civilized are we if we are going to allow some people to live in misery just because they haven't always made the best health decisions? Isn't the treatment and prevention of poor health worth funding even if it must be done at a loss for a time? I mean, it won't last forever - once everyone is covered it will be possible for everyone to make better decisions from then on.

            So jeez, if there was ever a reason that spreading the costs of the few across the liability of the many made sense - isn't this it? Personally, I have enormous sympathy for those that face larger health concerns than myself. It becomes your whole life. Such people need our help.

            I don't have children, I have pets - but I can't stand the idea of any of them suffering pain. Will we allow our nieghbors to suffer quietly while we do nothing?

            Have you ever had to make a decision under the stress of physical pain?

            Comment


            • #7
              It's already fucked anyway, Bill. How about we fuck it up so that at least the most people possible can be serviced? Will there be corruption? Will government agents skim from the top, the bottom, and the sides? Sure.

              So what? It's fucked up already...

              My father once told me that you cannot always wait for the perfect solution to a problem, sometimes you take what you can get.

              Isn't that life as we know it? Get used to the imperfections...

              That said, I am still willing to try for ever better solutions. But doing nothing while the many suffer is a solution I'm going to pass on.

              Comment


              • #8
                Bill, I'm greatly offended. You should know that "get rid of Bush" will be my second solution, not my first. :D

                Of course, you raise the real issue that a good rant can't cure. I personally think that the genie is already out of the bottle with the insurance industry. No matter what happens, they will have to be part of any solution. Of course, government regulation could be part of this, but I pity any politician who tries to tangle with the insurance lobby, or who runs on a more government regulation platform.

                The real solution is for people to be upset and change things, but I think the situation with coverage and care will have to get much worse before the average person is ready to challenge the present system. I fear that the things could get worse in a hurry, though. My wife has worked in four different not-for-profit hospitals as either a nurse and an administrator over the past eight years. In that time, the indigent care responsibility has increased, while funding for those missions hasn't. Consequently, cost shifting and other measures has decreased the quality of care in these hospitals, even for patients with good insurance. So good care increasingly becomes attached to private, for-profit hospitals.

                Where I'm going with this is: people may not be upset until they figure out that they're on the down side of a two-tiered healthcare system. That's when people will be ready to work on a solution. To use an admittedly very bad medical analogy, it's sad when we'll be looking at radical surgery for a cure when an early band-aid may have fixed the problem.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Let's get it right out of the way: I am a free-market capitalist if you haven't figured out, but I think the insurance industry today is a great example of a kernel idea (risk-sharing) gone horribly awry. I don't think insurance works across the board for the majority of people. Oh, sure, my visit to the doctor to get penicillin for my sinuses is a $15 copay, but beyond that it gets worse in a hurry. So I'm telling you any argument about me giving another happy ending to corporate America in this context is outright wrong and just plain antagonistic. I'm trying to reach a solution to a problem just like you.

                  "But how civilized are we if we are going to allow some people to live in misery just because they haven't always made the best health decisions? Isn't the treatment and prevention of poor health worth funding even if it must be done at a loss for a time? I mean, it won't last forever - once everyone is covered it will be possible for everyone to make better decisions from then on."

                  Well, I agree with most of what you said, but I think the last sentence here is, if not a fatal flaw, then at least a piece of reasoning that needs analysis. It will be "possible", but how likely is it? Does anyone doubt that smoking contributes to increased cancer risk? Then why do people smoke? Does anyone doubt that fast food is a contributor to obesity? Then why does McD's, BK, Wendy's et al sell millions of burgers each year? (Look at the Weight Watchers program: I am about 210 lbs, and could have 26 points under the WW program; if I am not mistaken, both a Big Mac and a Whopper exceed that by themselves). Was I to partake in smoking, presumably my premiums would reflect that. Is that a bad thing? Our society should arguably be blameless with regard to healthcare, but it should not be without consequences for certain behaviors.

                  If we are going to accept a national health care system we have to accept that people's decisions are not going to be any better; in fact, there is a possibility that decision will be POORER, since there will be the underlying assumption that "I'm covered".

                  "So jeez, if there was ever a reason that spreading the costs of the few across the liability of the many made sense - isn't this it?"

                  Absolutely. None argument here. The question is what should those costs be? Should we collectively be paying for Viagra? RU-486?

                  "Personally, I have enormous sympathy for those that face larger health concerns than myself. It becomes your whole life."

                  My dad; see elsewhere here. Rheumatoid arthritis, two titanium hips, two titanium knees, major neck surgery (similar to Joe Montana's famous vertebrae fusion) and plastic knuckles on one hand.

                  "Have you ever had to make a decision under the stress of physical pain?" Personally? No, but I understand your point. I used to have to put my father's socks on for him becuase he couldn't bend down to do it himself. You're not getting any argument from me on this issue generally; and while I can understand your point about partial solutions vs. perfect solutions, there is a threshold at which the interim solution is not even status quo.

                  You can legislate corporate behavior, you can legislate the parameters of a program that can work, but any system that relies on people to make, of their own volition, good decisions for the good of the whole at the expense of the individual, sadly and shockingly, does not have a high probability of working. I tend to think that any system that requires people to actively pursue wellness initiatives to make it viable is tenuous at best.

                  So what's the answer? Can you have a performance based system? That is, generally speaking, if a person opts to forgo wellness initiatives their coverage reflects that? I'm uncomfortable with this, since this sounds like a means to control behavior that need not be controlled. Whether altrusitically correct or not, any program that in effect requires the already overtaxed (no pun intended) to essentially fund the ramifications to others' vices is going to confront some hurdles on the way to implementation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, since we are sort of agreeing for once, I have decided not to go after you like a rabid dog...

                    My biggest question is simply: aren't you just worrying the details?

                    We need to do something at a national, or at the very least every state, level. Something big and all inclusive.

                    I know you raised the RU-486 issue because it's controversial - but hell, if I can be made to pay for a war in Iraq, then some right-wingnut can be made to pay for terminations he doesn't agree with. It's that simple. I support choice because it contains within it the option not to terminate for those so inclined.

                    The Viagra thing I will attempt to evade in that I support it's use when medically necessary. I think something like a normal sex life is a good thing to aim for. If it's just for freaky weekend kicks, then I guess people can purchase them as an elective procedure. If they can't afford it - well, I guess that's why we call them "elective procedures."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "My biggest question is simply: aren't you just worrying the details?"

                      Well, I see why you say that, and while I have argued in the past that the form of the debate is as important as the debate itself, I'm kind of conceding that this issue is important enough to fix regardless. And to that end, you have to expect the kind of nonsensical discussions that we have seen surrounding Iraq, Bush, jobs, etc. There is no evidence whatsoever to think that partisan politics isn't going to play as big a role here as in any other issue.

                      I'm sweating the details becuase to the average person that doesn't know the first thing about how his own plan works let alone a national plan, all you need is one jack-ass on a nightly news show to use one of those misleading, inappropriate headlines ("Are your healthcare dollars funding abortions? Story at 11") to knock a huge credibility hole in any proposed plan.

                      "I know you raised the RU-486 issue because it's controversial - but hell, if I can be made to pay for a war in Iraq, then some right-wingnut can be made to pay for terminations he doesn't agree with. I support choice because it contains within it the option not to terminate for those so inclined."

                      Well for what it's worth, I support choice vehemently for the same reasons (and walk the walk, because for my wife and I, abortion isn't an option except for truly extraordinary circumstances, and we've stared into the eyes of that beast to know). But you know as well as I that that kind of attitude is going to ensure that no plan ever gets instituted except in the most watered down of fashions. You should know enough about legislative process to know that to get something like RU-486 (and yes it was chosen on purpose) is going to take a significant compromise somewhere else.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bill:

                        Why is it that the U.S. is less capable of containing it's lunatic fringe element (read: Xtians that want to tell everyone else how to behave) than any other "western" nation? I note that all other "western" nations have national healthcare, and despite obvious flaws - the systems work, more or less, and no one suffers overmuch.

                        Why can't the U.S. get it together? Why must good ideas ultimately be dashed thanks to anti-freedom assholes? What kind of society have we finally become?

                        Where is the "kinder and gentler" nation - or is that just so much bullshit to conceal the very real hate just underneath the false surface?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Why can't the U.S. get it together? Why must good ideas ultimately be dashed thanks to anti-freedom assholes? What kind of society have we finally become?

                          Where is the "kinder and gentler" nation - or is that just so much bullshit to conceal the very real hate just underneath the false surface?"

                          These are good questions all, and I don't know that I have an answer except to say we are probably beyond critical mass in terms of being able to implement national programs. We are on one hand relying on government to solve our problems and at the same time we are dismissive of government involvement. I think Michael said it here before: for a country that so strongly and adamantly espouses the separation of church and state, we, more than any other "western" country, have probably the least amount of actual separation. You have this atheist guy bringing a court case about the word "God" in the pledge of allegiance. Does anyone here think that that is the most egregious example of the blurring of church and state in this country?? I though so.

                          Krunky, regardless of the good intentions of what I think are a vast minority of people, we as a country are horrible at giving to our neighbor, and I am not talking about just money. I know I give potentially pedantic or inconsequential examples of this stuff, but to me the devil IS the details. Everyone points to 9/11 as an example of American people pulling together, but did it really have to take the forced demolition of two 1000ft. skyscrapers to bring that about? The same people cleaning up the wreckage are the same people that cut you off and give you the finger when you are trying to merge on the highway, and to me that is the real deal. It is a sign to me that we don't live the ideal, we wear it as a fancy coat only on special occasions. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but how many people do you knwo that would donate significant money to charity if there was no tax write-off for doing so? I organized a Habitat for Humanity crew a couple weeks ago, and out of 40 or so potential people I had 20 people or so sign up. It was raining that morning, and guess how many actually showed? 4. Think about that: we were building a house for someone who hadn't a place to live, and I think I was the only one to get the irony that people wouldn't come out in the rain to build a shelter for a fellow human being (and her kids).

                          I wonder. We have the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and the Green Party (which is predominantly further left than the Democrats) and the Independant Party (which, here in the Northeast means aren't the preferred candidate and therefore can't get backing from one of the two big parties). Why isn't there a national movement for a new party that is willing to bridge the gap? Not more extreme than the existing parties, but something more centrist? Take those people that don't believe in "tax and spend", those people that don't believe the solution is another government agency, that don't believe in seeking input from any organized religious party let alone the Christian Right, and believe that people should be able to choose who they sleep with, who and what they listen to on the radio, what happens to their own body (if they are a woman), what drugs they take, etc.

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