Sunday, May 16, 2004
I don't want to get off on a rant here, but..
Tonight is a perfect example. Apparently she been telling poor David Horowitz off-air how she wants him to sit when she's speaking. Then she has the nerve to complain that his *body language* is interupting her! This after heaving loud, dramatic Kennedy-esque sighs all through *his* brief remarks. What a hypocrite! What a rude, divisive, and *unworthy* panelist. What a waste of on-air-time, and what a crashing bore.
But enough about style points: what about her position? She managed to project all kinds of indignation, but over what? Turns out that this platform liberal, a woman trusts the federal government so much that she wants to put everything in their hands right down to her personal health insurance, she's all a-flutter over the mere possiblity that that same government might access her library records! The fact that no such access has ever occurred does not comfort her at all - she dismisses that as irrelevant. I suppose that when the Clinton administration was actually digging up IRS tax records on their enemies - an event that didn't just possibilty occur, but that *actually occurred in the real world*, surely she and her outrage were walking a protest picket outside the Clinton Whitehouse, right?
Dennis, you've got to reign this sort of nonsense in. If she can't make rational, self-consistent comments in a respectful and an intellectually honest manner, maybe she doesn't really have a point. This isn't high school, and we aren't talking about picking a prom queen - "I just don't like him" just isn't a good enough reason to oppose the president or the things he's trying to accomplish. If you want your show to succeed, Dennis, you need to reign her in, or find somebody better.
Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
(Note: This was sitting in my "drafts" list for who knows how long. It's way out of date now - I don't even watch Dennis Miller any more - is he still on the air? - but the way Naomi Wolfe behaved still makes me ill, so I'm going to publish this anyway.)
For all those who ask "How does gay marriage hurt your marriage?"
Over and over the apologists for the "gay marriage" case try to deflect the outrage with the plaintive question: "but how does giving gays the right to marry hurt your marriage?" This is an attempt to re-frame the discussion as simply a private matter between each pair of homosexuals and the government bureaucracy, not something that impacts the basic fabric of society.
Of course, anyone not completely brain-dead see right through that... or so it might seem. But the mere repetition of the question implies that at least some people are being fooled.
Well, today's Boston Globe has decided to clear the matter up once and for all, for those who are willing to see it. Read the linked article. At the bottom of the first page it concedes that "[u]nder existing law, couples or larger groups who are unable or unwilling to marry are perfectly free to draw up contracts outlining their mutual rights and responsibilities."
That's right, folks - all this fuss is entirely unnecessary! The article points out the "most people lack the knowledge and resources to craft a contract that fully protects their interests." Well, most people also lack the knowledge and resources to sue the state supreme court. Somebody has hired lawyers and set them to this task. But if they really only wanted to "protect their interests", why not have those lawyers draft standardized "gay partner" contracts? You know, like the templates you can buy for renting out a room? Wouldn't that have been easier and lower-risk?
But no, that's not the approach taken, and the reason why appears right at the top of the second page (which, incidentally, only a fraction of the readers will bother to read):
"[I]nstead we should look to another area of business law: the rules and regulations governing the formation of corporations and other business enterprises. In the business world partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies all coexist amicably, with no limits on how many parties enter each association -- and no moral judgment made that one is better than the other."
That's right. The whole point here is to undefine the marriage contract which so inconveniently stands in the way of so many desirable actions: divorce, homosexuality, and outside partners. And that's the answer to the question "how does gay marriage hurt your marriage". It hurts it because it attempts to undefine it!
If you can stomach it, go on and read page three of that article. It doesn't stop there: this is part of the drive to take "basic social goods like health insurance and pensions" and place them completely in the hands of the state. Poor, ignorant communists... how many times must you fail? How lives wasted and governments collapsed, before you concede the error of your ways? But that's all for later. For now it's enough to recognize this: "gay marriage" is an direct and intentional assault on your marriage contract.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Editorial: Un-covered/A shameful health care system
I just couldn't let this go by. The linked article says:
"But every other affluent nation in the world -- including Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy and Australia -- has nearly universal medical coverage, and they spend much less on health care than Americans do today. A new study sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the United States could provide medical care to every uninsured American for about $48 billion next year -- an increase of only 3 percent in national health outlays."
Now, on the one hand it says that all those countries "spend much less on health care than Americans do today." Isn't that intended to imply that we could save money if we did the same? But then the next sentence explicitly says that nationalized health care would cost 3 percent more than we spend today. Is "more" suddenly "less"? Who are they kidding?
You know, this wouldn't bother me so much if we weren't comparing apples and oranges here. The truth is that much of the world gets cheaper drugs and medical equipment because Americans pay the price to develop medical technology. We Americans pay for it with our taxes, as companies write off research costs to lower reduce taxable profits; and we Americans pay for it with our wacked-out third-party payer insurance system.
We could fix that, yes we could. We could change the tax laws to tighten up on the Pharm industry, and we could switch to a single-payer insurance system. Of course, the rest of the world would have to pick up the slack, or risk having the Big Pharms cut back on research. Is that really what we want? Continuing refinements of existing drugs, but no new cures?
Besides, who knows how well these single-payer insurance systems will work over time. We know that our system at least produces an adequate supply of high quality health care providers, because the market set the price high enough to reward them for their work. If history teaches us anything, it's that centrally planned "markets" always produce the opposite: low quality in short supply. It will take a generation or two, or course, to see come to fruition, but does anyone really doubt that it will? I can't imagine anyone familiar with the Soviet queues for toilet paper and shoes to really want to see that happen to health care.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't "fix" our health care system. In fact, if you really want to help the uninsured, here's what you do: make it illegal for doctors to charge cash patients more than they charge insured patients. Simply outlaw it. Frankly, I don't understand why it's legal now. Anyway, cash patients should cost less than insured patients, because they give doctors the money without so much paperwork.
If you ever read the papers that your insurance company sends to you, you can see that doctors routinely bill the insurance for much higher amounts than the insurance company pays. I've seen the bill be twice as much as the final payment. The doctors know they aren't going to be paid what they ask for, but they do it anyway. Why not? It creates pressure on the insurance to raise their payments; it lets the insurors brag to their customers, the employers, how much they are saving them; and it locks people into having insurance.
The only people that the current system doesn't help are the uninsured. If they use a service, they get billed the same amount as anybody. But they don't have the leverage to get away with paying less, and making the doctor eat the difference. If they tried to pay less than the billed amount, they'd get bill collectors. More likely nowadays, they'd just get turned away.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
WHNT-TV, Huntsville, AL: Local Doctor Treated Senator John Kerry for Purple Heart Wound
Now I understand. When Kerry talked about seeing and comitting attrocities during the Viet Nam war, he was talking about how he wounded himself, then lied to get an undeserved Purple Heart and trip back to the States. You should have kept your mouth shut, JFK. Most of us were willing to at least give you credit for your service to the country during Viet Nam. Now we see that even those virtues were overshadowed by your dishonesty, selfishness, and ambition even then.
(The article was moved. I found it again, and updated the link. In case the article gets moved again, below is the text from the article.)
Carson Clark Reports, 5/5/04
Doctor Louis Letson of Scottsboro served in Vietnam at the same time that presidential candidate John Kerry did. In fact, Dr. Letson treated Kerry for a wound--the same wound for which Kerry later received a Purple Heart.
Now, as the Democratic nominee for president, Kerry is facing criticism from some of those who served with him. They have publicly said Kerry doesn't deserve that particular Purple Heart.
Last year Doctor Letson wrote an account of Kerry's treatment for a friend. His account contradicts what Kerry says about the incident. Kerry says he took enemy fire. His colleagues say Kerry's wound actually came from a mortar round Kerry himself fired at a river bank.
Doctor Letson says in his account: "What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry's arm. . . It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle. I simply removed the metal. . . with forceps. The wound was covered with a Band-Aid."
Kerry went on to get two more Purple Hearts, for a total of three, which made him eligible to leave Vietnam early.