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AvatarComments by greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon*

On “why I am not a neoconservative

To label neo-con goals, such as invading Iraq, as humanitarian is a bit charitable. Bestowing a dollop of democracy was/ is a good cover story for when we want military bases and access to oil. There is a big difference between honest humanitarian efforts and using nice words to cover bad motives.

On “Acting Like You Mean It: Show Your Work

This is a fair summary. However there is a key difference. I don't think i have ever heard any liberal say the government is always the solution. I am plenty critical of government. Conservatives can't seem to admit that maybe free markets aren't the be all and end all.

On “why are we asking for health care reform?

Mike, I do believe in voluntary benevolence having worked at private charities. But charities have severe limitations. In tough times donations go down. They have to constantly beg for money. They are dependent on what people will give so they often cannot do what is needed. They are limited by there donation base so many areas have no charity based services. Nice idea, completely impractical.

All i'm hearing is the same buzzwords without any explanation of how they apply to health care. So how do people with preexisting conditions get health care? Who makes sure everybody has coverage?

And i do think the free market has failed. A lot of the gov invovlment has been to give people health care who don't have it. You can't just blame the gov for everything. uhhh wait nevermind.


Mike- I think many people believe the free market has failed. Noting that government has been involved in health care is used a get out of fail card to ignore the problems in health care. For my money there are systems, Germany most notably, they do not have any public option yet still manage high quality universal care. But when you start with talking about the free market it appears your focused on the free market first. If the government doesn't' establish a minimal floor of care for all , who will? If the gov doesn't make it a goal that all have care, then who will? If the gov doesn't outlaw the most egregious practices of insurance companies, who will?
This is a personal value statement, but people come before profits. That should be the beginning of the discussion of health care.

Some of the sad facts of the health care "market" is that many people with chronic illnesses or cancer and such will never be profitable for insurance companies. It is easy for people to rack up bills in the hundreds of thousands. That is a fact of the insurance market. And there is little incentive for insurance companies to pay for preventative care if they do not plan on covering a person for many years. I have been told a couple time "sorry we don't pay for that. It's preventative care."


read and tell me about the wonders of the free market and how insurance companies are the solution to health care.

On “talk radio for the kids

oh please, those things have been said numerous times in the con media over the last years. Ann coulter any one? Yes mike my self esteem is fine. so you agree that over the top name calling is childish and our country deserves better.


Its working a hell of lot better then if mccain had won.

FYI If you are part of group that has been historically marginalized or persecuted (jews in my case) "you people" does not have a relaxing tone. It comes off as a way of saying (insert racial epithet here) without coming out and saying it.

But really I have never met a conservative who is just fine and peachy with being repeatedly called a traitor and that they hate America. I have tried that with a few and their “it’s just a joke” tone disappeared real fast. People are free to say what ever they want, but how would you like to hear that for years?


Bob- I have a great sense of humor. Jon Stewart and Colbert are hilarious. But really does calling people traitor, saying they are un-American, want American soldiers to die or that people should shoot themselves count as humor? Maybe it does, but that sounds more like a lame excuse to me. Beck is hilarious although not intentionally.


I don’t' think racist describes a lot of what they say, although a lot of the discussion about immigration is pretty thinly disguised racism. But the sense of whites being oppressed and suffering suggests some “interesting” beliefs.

On “The Comforts of Myth

That was a great post. TNC is regularly a great blogger/writer. Just killer stuff. His comments board is one of the very few comments sections with a lot of replies that is also worth reading. There is so much good stuff there.

If only others could be so reflective and honest about their own mythologies…

On “talk radio for the kids

Yeah bob, i guess we killed buckley.


I'm not sure what to call it, but what the hell is "halfrican" or wahtever the hell limb called O?

On “don’t just do something, sit there

it really creates dissonance when a racist sleaze like Buchanan says something so obviously sensible. Aside from the fact that he is correct, we actually cannot do anything to effect the situation there. Making grand pronouncements would be for our own consumption. It might make the good people standing up in the streets feel better, but it wouldn’t change the situation. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t root for the fall of Achmenasneezegaurd.

On “Some Real “F”ers

Barry, right on. Most people who throw out the term marxist don't seem to get that Marxism is s primarily a system of economics. Sort of like throwing out socialism for every goverment program people don't like.

If coporate interests weren't served well in Germany and Italy, it wasn't because the system wasn't set up for them to profit. The untited fruit company certaily did well with fascism in Guatemala. The profits and pride of place of business interests in fascism seems to be the biggest difference between fascism and communism. unless of course you fuse all poorly defined, misunderstood terms into one bit of performance art like only the critics of the Big O can do.


Well the over use and expanding the meaning of words is a bugaboo of mine. Maybe we should go with Fascism and Extreme Fascism to separate the real bad guys from the others. I think totalitarianism might be a better word for pervasive systems of political and social control, where the gov is in every part of a persons life. Iran hasn't been a totalitarian state, well since the shah was asked to leave, and it would be massive change for them to move back to that. Iran has had a lot of personal freedoms. I remember one story of protests, a couple of years ago, where quite a few people stood up at a speech of Achmwhoistsname and called him all sorts of nasty names. They weren't whisked away or anything.

On “Making Sense

they are loons in every party/tradition/group. But the loons in the conservitive camp are big, big wheels. The loons in the liberal camp are lower profile, less important and less powerful. Example: Bill Ayers, who the hell is he exactly in lib politics? He is a non-entitiy in lib politics and has become mainstream in Chicago.

On “One Pediatrician’s Perspective on Universal Healthcare

I agree that some people will complain no matter what. I would hope that if Stephen Stills gets a certain treatment then David Crosby gets all the drug trt he needs although i think Neil Young had more talent then both of them. And he is Canadian.

FWIW it's worth there are Americans who go to Mexico to get trt because they can't afford the costs here. It is easy to point out potential problems but that doesn’t mean we shouldn't try to improve.

I doubt you disagree with part of this statement but, nobody would ever dare criticize our ability to make the newest shiniest way to blow the crap out of people. But start to talk about getting health care for everybody and all of sudden there is nothing but "ooh we can't do that."


Doctors make plenty of money in general, especially specialists. One of the advantages of universality is that it sets a basic, good enough level for everybody. Nobody dies because of lack of care. That is a good thing. So if somebody wants extra special treatments like fake platinum boobies or an super duper erection they can pay for that themselves. I’m not familiar with the case involving the NHS, but I don’t think having two tiers is bad as long as the bottom tier covers everybody and is good enough. If that is the case then where would a black market develop?

This is one of those cases where listing fundamental laws of economics isn't all that useful since apply differently regarding medical care then consumer goods. There is far more to it then just supply and demand. The incentives for more supply/care is not just money, but also the desire to do good. There is not necessarily a fixed amount of health care and by providing some more health care to people who don’t have it, we can decrease the need for more expensive care down the road.


Yes , what Charles said. My comment was directed at Mathew's post. Thank you, C, for understanding what i meant instead of what i said.

It does appear that many other countries have found a way to get all three: affordability, quality and universality. In any case we have one out of three and only for some people. We have a very expensive system that is not universal, which provides high quality care to some and mediocre care to others


Or how about rationing through neglect or rationing by work status/ income. The use of term rationing is definitely aimed at those who are trying to derail any change in our health care system: OOOOH ooga booga the scary government will ration health care. So Dan is correctly pointing out that our current system gives far differing levels of care to people based on various criteria.

On “Making Sense

urr no. Where do lib's want to lump all conservatives in with militant radicals? The problem is, many of the biggest tv, radio and internet conservatives are in the loony brigade. Glenn Beck, Rush, Hannity, Erick Erickson at Redstate, Ann "treason" coulter, Malkin. Those are big names in the repub world. And what about elected officials like michelle bachman, etc. The conservative media presence has gone off the deep end. Does that mean all conservatives are that way: no of course not. In fact it is a common refrain on lefty web sites, at least that i visit, that we wish the sane Righties would take back their party so that it is functional without feeling the need to accuse everybody who disagrees of treason, solialism, "goat f-ing", supporting child molesters, etc.

On “One Pediatrician’s Perspective on Universal Healthcare

Yes great post. Straight reality for those who are open to hear.

On “the civilizational tango

The "Europeanization of the American economy " is a scare tactic. Obama is not coming close to creating that kind of welfare state. In many/most places in Europe Obama wouldn't even been considered on the left side of the spectrum.

On ““The Persecution of Sarah Palin”

FWIW the rumors about who was the momma of trig started with Palin's repub enemies in AK.

It would be wonderful if the press and many people would stop the petty, shallow coverage of, well, just about everything. Whenever i think that will stop i remind myself that i also thought if the Dem's put up a decorated combat vet in 2004, the press and repub's wouldn't dig deep into the poo bucket to smear him. A lot of us may hate the terrible way our press works, but enough people buy it, so it continues. That is the way capitalism works.

On “thoughts on socialized medicine

In regards to paying/entitlement to the newest tech. That is somewhat of red herring, since it is basic, preventative care that can often do the most to extend life. If we can prevent HBP or diabetes then we have less need for the highest tech.

Also the government pays for a lot of basic medical and bio research because profit making companies want to pay for what will put money in their pockets. The gov can still fund oodles of basic research and even when we improve our healthcare there will still be plenty of money to be made.

One of data points about other countries that have some sort of universal coverage, whether socialized or not, is that many have equal or better life expectancies. So it seems like we can cover everybody without a piling up dead bodies.

Mr. Kling, feh. It is easy to pile up tens of thousands of dollars in one stay in the hospital. My son was in the hospital years ago and we had bills in the hundreds of thousands. One basic facet of a sensible health care system is that people shouldn’t go broke or bankrupt if they actually need care.

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