[Updates at the bottom of this posting. Most recent update at 7:41 pm CST]
On Thursday, August 6, the White House call to arms by Deputy Chief of Staff David Axelrod, “punch back twice as hard“, at the growing grass roots movement opposing government single-payer health care produced the first violent incident later in the day. During a Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan at Bernard Middle School gym in south St. Louis County, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members dressed in dark purple shirts, though they look blue in the video below, attacked a black American protester by savagely beating him. The protester ended up in the Emergency Room of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.
“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I trust that some of the Obama supporters who frequent our site will draw the attention of the White House to a few of my posts regarding ObamaCare on this blog. When you do please remember that the last name is spelled McClarey, not McCleery, McClaren, McClary, etc. Thank you!
Update I: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has some pointed comments here about the sheer political stupidity of the White House making this public call for informants.
Ah, it does my heart good to see Senator Arlen Specter (D.Pa) and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services exposed to the verbal anger of the public! Now why is that?
Well as to Snarlin’ Arlen, he was for decades a pro-abort Republican and now is a pro-abort Democrat. My reaction when he jumped parties earlier this year was good riddance. He jumped parties of course because he was an almost certain loser to pro-life Pat Toomey in the Republican primary. The hilarious thing is that Specter will face a Democrat primary challenge from Congressman Joe Sestak who announced his candidacy yesterday. If he survives the primary challenge he faces an up-hill fight against Toomey. In a Quinnipiac poll on July 22, Specter leads Toomey by a single percentage point 45%-44%. This is a devastating poll for an incumbent facing a well-known challenger.
As for Sebelius, she is a fanatic pro-abort, as I detailed here, and a close political ally of the late Tiller the Killer. Just before her confirmation it came out that she had received three times the donations from Tiller than she had claimed. Of course this is only the tip of a large ice berg of campaign funds that Tiller used to aid Sebelius as this letter here from Tiller indicates. Her ties to Tiller were outlined by Bob Novak last year here. When confronted about Tiller she was always in full ” Tiller?” mode:
Yep, I can watch these two being booed with a fine enjoyment! Schadenfreude? Indeed!
By this stage in the health care debates, most people are aware that roughly 47 million individuals in America do not have health insurance. And many people are further aware that the 47 million statistic is misleading, because roughly 14 million of these individuals are already eligible for (but have not enrolled in) existing government programs, 9 million have incomes over $75,000 and choose not to purchase private insurance, 3-5 million are only temporarily uninsured between jobs, and roughly 10 million do not have the legal right to reside in the country. In the end, this means roughly 10 million U.S. citizens lack meaningful access to health insurance. It has been noted elsewhere that insuring these individuals would cost a lot less than the $1 trillion proposal currently under consideration in Congress, and further that it would not require a dramatic (and costly) restructuring of the U.S. health care system.
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. John Stossel is an anomaly: he is a libertarian in a profession, journalism, dominated by liberal democrats. Here is a column he wrote which summarizes the video, which spent quite a bit of time discussing the shortcomings of Canadian health care.
The experience of Canada under national health care is intriguing. A battle is raging over the net with opponents of ObamaCare pointing out its shortcomings and proponents rallying to the defense of the Canadian system. One often overlooked feature is the role of private medical clinics in Canada. Recently such clinics have been made legal based upon a Canadian Supreme Court decision and are becoming increasingly popular. A good article on the subject is here. Here is another article on the clinics.
I found this quote from the last article linked to curious.
“It’s obviously extra billing and queue jumping,” says David Eggen, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “If this goes on unregulated, it’ll spread like wildfire and we can see it, even in a recession, starting to expand here in Alberta.”
Now why would these clinics spread like wildfire if the Canadians are as enamored of their national health care system as the proponents of ObamaCare say they are? Here is a story from 2006 on the subject which appeared in that notorious right-wing rag The New York Times. As we debate changing our health care system to something approaching that of the Canadian system, we should also understand that there is a debate in Canada about broadening the availability of private pay health care.
There’s been much discussion of late about what other country’s health care apparatus the US should consider emulating, and in such discussions France is often mentioned. Now, all cheerful ribbing against the French aside, their health care system is not nearly as “socialized” or nearly as afflicted by treatment denials and waiting lists as those of the UK or Canada. It is also rather more like the system that the US already has, in that it is a hybrid public/private system, though in their case there is a guaranteed base level of coverage everyone has through the government (funded via a hefty payroll tax — not unlike Medicare) which most people supplement with private coverage. Most doctors are in private practice, and 25% do not even accept the public plan, just as some practices in the US do not accept Medicare. However, everyone does have that minimum level of coverage, and the French spend a lower percentage of their GDP on health care than the US (11% versus 16%) which when you take into account that France’s GDP per capita is a good deal smaller than that of the US (which is the polite, economist way of saying it’s a poorer country) works out to the US spending about twice as many dollars per person on health care, while still not having universal coverage.
So what are we waiting for? Why don’t we go enact the French system here right now? Why doesn’t Obama put on a jaunty beret, dangle a cigarette coolly from the corner of his mouth, hoist a glass of wine, and just say, “Oui, nous pouvons.”
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Having recently re-read one of the most insightful critiques of the socially destructive effect of mass pornography I have ever come across, I was struck by how the central message was actually present in George Orwell’s 1984. The article is titled “The Politics of Porn”, authored by Robert R. Reilly, and the important message to take away from it is summarized in the following lines:
No matter how democratic their institutions, morally enervated people cannot be free. And people who are enslaved to their passions inevitably become slaves to tyrants.
The mass production and consumption of pornography, Reilly argues, has “morally enervated” the American public and poses a serious threat to the true foundations of liberty – personal virtue.