At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.
But then he gave up all he had won, and fell lower than his savage beginning.
What brought it to pass? What disaster took their reason away from men? What whip lashed them to their knees in shame and submission? The worship of the word "We."
I thought of that passage in Anthem when I read this.
You know how much this movement scares me - I home-school for goodness sake!
Posted by: airforcewife at August 04, 2009 12:50 PM (CDkfD)
We are all little brothers in Britain. We. Who or what is this 'I'? It is but a letter equal to its 25 brothers.
The Children’s Secretary set out £400 million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.
They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.
Who are the watchmen watching us, and who watches the watchmen?
The number of 'children' being watched - including the nominal adults - will grow until it encompasses all of Britain.
Big Brother will be the biggest Children's Secretary of them all. Don't let him catch you reading 1984 in State housing, lest you be sent to a State psychiatrist and enjoy freeee mental health care.
Posted by: Amritas at August 04, 2009 02:41 PM (+nV09)
That's the thing, isn't it Amritas? We LEARN from our mistakes,far more than we learn from our successes. We make small mistakes as children and it keeps us from (some) bigger mistakes as adults. This is an absolutely vital part of the learning process, and one that the current trends in child-rearing and education are cutting off. The result is thirty and forty year olds who act like teenagers.
I read an interesting study a few years ago where they studied the brain chemistry of teen agers in the US and teen agers in less developed societies where the social construct and realities of life in general called for an immediate entry into adulthood at a young age (usually after a rite of passage, yet another thing we Americans have blown aside, in most cases to our detriment. But I digress and that is a story for another day). Anyway, they found that the hormones and drawn out development that cause American teens to behave like such little shits for eight, ten (and now seemingly twenty) years at a stretch were not present in anywhere near the quantities in the teenagers who had to actually fulfill a societal role as an adult.
I had read before that "teenager" was a relatively new phenomenon (and any girl who has read the Little House on the Prairie books growing up figures that one out pretty fast), but here was actual physiological proof! Our methods of child-rearing are circumventing the normal human growth cycle. These ideas have thrown our bodies into a weird sort of chaos by allowing perpetual childhood. We are not mentally where we should be, and the government's answer to this isn't to look at the problem and see what we're doing wrong, but to further the problem by even more nannying. Which causes more of a problem, ad infinitum.
Communities used to band together to take care of their own. Now that the goverment has stepped in to be mother/father/grandparents/and executive chef we have thrown all that aside. Those elements a human mind needs to properly develop, we refuse to run their course.
It's very scary indeed. (sorry for the thesis, this one always gets me going)
Posted by: airforcewife at August 04, 2009 03:57 PM (CDkfD)
That quote is incredible without even going to the link.
Posted by: Darla at August 04, 2009 11:18 PM (LP4DK)
I think your posts are wonderful. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I wish my family had this kind of outlet when I deployed to Desert Shield.Storm. But, the internet and email were still in their infancy. We had snail mail. Now, it looks like that is going by the wayside.
Posted by: Mikerak at August 04, 2009 09:01 AM (yaG5Y)
Even we Leftists realize this isn't about utilitarianism.
Capitalist health care would be wrong even if it were cheaper and healthier. It's a power issue. We'd rather be free to choose for you, even if we make the
wrong choices. And we will. Because we don't really care about you. We are Alphas. We are superior.
IT'S NOT 50/50?
FbL sent me this article today, about how coin tosses are not 50/50, that there's a bias towards whatever is facing up when you begin the toss. Oh lordy, say it ain't so. Because my coin has been facing tails for a while. Heh. Neat research there.
I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it.
That's not just verbal theatrics. Agencies like Britain's NICE are a case in point. As long as people don't know that there are cancer treatments they're not getting, they're happy. Once they find out, satisfaction plunges. But the reason that people in Britain know about things like herceptin for early stage breast cancer is a robust private market in the US that experiments with this sort of thing.
So in the absence of a robust private US market, my assumption is that the government will focus on the apparent at the expense of the hard-to-measure. Innovation benefits future constituents who aren't voting now. Producing it is very expensive. On the other hand, cutting costs pleases voters this instant.
A greater irony than the raid of Title XVII is the Clunker-bill provision that requires the destruction of traded-in cars, as I reported yesterday. The very people who want us to recycle plastic bags, glass bottles, and aluminum cans are now shredding finely engineered machinery that took enormous amounts of time, skill, and energy to create.
"The Governor's Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of a Young Workforce for the State of New Hampshire" stated in its official report: "Our State portrays an unfriendly message that every individual has to succeed on their own, rather than count on a support system for assistance (Live Free or Die is not a friendly, supporting message that appeals to young people)."
Two words: Soylent Green.
Or one number: 1984.
But we can still fight it, thank goodness. I've been trying to get the message out however I can, and more people than I'd think are on the same wavelength.
That gives me hope. :-)
Posted by: Krista at August 01, 2009 02:06 PM (sUTgZ)
If Live Free or Die doesn't appeal to those folks I think they would get thedon't tread on me slogan, in a very selfish way.
Posted by: Ruth H at August 01, 2009 06:52 PM (19vzx)
In the novel "The Hideous Strength," published circa 1950 by C S Lewis
(a Brit), the primary source of evil is an organization of highly
politicized scientists called NICE (National Institute for Coordinated
Literacy levels among PR people in the UK government must not be very high.
Afghanistan's sheer distances are the chief problem. It is not just
that there is no factory. It is not just that the factory has no
electricity. It is not just that the worker has no education that
would make him able to take a job in the factory if you built one and
provided it with energy. What could rural Afghanistan produce that is
worth enough to make it worthwhile to export -- by donkey, over
mountains, in many cases?
Comments and links are worth reading too.
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After seven years of refinement, the policy seems so buoyed by
illusions, caulked in ambiguous language and encrusted with moral
claims, analogies and political theories that it can seem futile to
present an alternative. It is particularly difficult to argue not for a
total withdrawal but for a more cautious approach. The best Afghan
policy would be to reduce the number of foreign troops from the current
level of 90,000 to far fewer – perhaps 20,000. In that case, two
distinct objectives would remain for the international community:
development and counter-terrorism. Neither would amount to the building
of an Afghan state. If the West believed it essential to exclude
al-Qaida from Afghanistan, then they could do it with special forces.
(They have done it successfully since 2001 and could continue
indefinitely, though the result has only been to move bin Laden across
the border.) At the same time the West should provide generous
development assistance – not only to keep consent for the
counter-terrorism operations, but as an end in itself.
reduction in troop numbers and a turn away from state-building should
not mean total withdrawal: good projects could continue to be
undertaken in electricity, water, irrigation, health, education,
agriculture, rural development and in other areas favoured by
development agencies. We should not control and cannot predict the
future of Afghanistan. It may in the future become more violent, or
find a decentralised equilibrium or a new national unity, but if its
communities continue to want to work with us, we can, over 30 years,
encourage the more positive trends in Afghan society and help to
contain the more negative.
I have only skimmed the article, so my comments will focus on the excerpt.
I prefer Stewart's policy to what we have now. However, I have one major objection to it. He wrote,
But the intervention in Afghanistan was a response to 9/11, sanctioned
by international law and a broad coalition; the objectives were those
of self-defence and altruism.
His proposal revolves around those two objectives. While I am all for the first objective, I have doubts about the second.
I am puzzled by conservatives who are all for spending US tax money on
good projects [that] could continue to be
undertaken in electricity, water, irrigation, health, education,
agriculture, rural development and in other areas favoured by
in Afghanistan but not on similarly altruistic projects in the US. Why should Afghans get US-funded 'free' health care while Americans don't?
I am not arguing for 'free' government health care in the US. Please note the scare quotes. My point is: if conservatives expect Americans to fend for themselves, why do they expect Americans to fund crutches for Afghans for years? Conservatives are always saying how welfare fosters dependence. Is that only true in America? Are we not fostering milllions of foreign dependents?
Tonight President Bush explained how he plans to get our troops out of Iraq. "Our strategy can be summed
up this way," he said. "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."
I've heard politicians say this sort of thing before. But the
politicians were liberals, and the downtrodden people they talked about
were needy Americans. As these folks learned to support themselves,
government would no longer need to support them, the liberals promised.
As the poor stood up, we would stand down.
For 40 years, the
central argument of the Republican Party—George W. Bush's party—was
that liberals had it backward: If you prop people up, they'll never
stand up, and you'll never stand down. You have to let go. As you stand
down, they'll stand up.placeAd2(commercialNode,'midarticleflex',false,'') Which
brings us to the occupation of Iraq. In blood and money, it's fast
becoming the most expensive welfare program in the history of the
world. Like other welfare programs, it was a good idea when it started. [Saletan would say that; he is a liberal.]
Like other welfare programs, it has begun to overtax the treasury and
the public. Like other welfare programs, it warps the behavior of its
beneficiaries. But in one respect, it's unique. It's the one welfare program conservatives can't criticize or even recognize, because they're the ones running it.
If I were a poor American, I might wonder, why should I vote for McCain and let Iraqis and Afghans benefit from American tax dollars when I, an American, should be receiving government assistance? Why should I vote for McCain, who wants the US to spend a zillion years helping foreigners in the Middle East? Why shouldn't I vote for Obama, who will help me, an American?
Is it any wonder such people are pro-Democrat and anti-war?
What have government programs done for them? I need not describe what our inner cities are like.
Why are government programs abroad better? Because they are run by our military good guys, not them - not Leftist social worker bad guys?
Around 2005, someone asked, if America can't even make Washington, DC a decent city, how could it possibly build a new Iraq (and, I would add, Afghanistan)?
Altruism may even conflict with the first objective of self-defense. Dependents are not necessarily grateful. Ask the North Koreans of 2009 how grateful they are for their 1930s Japanese trains and 1930s Japanese medical equipment. Dependents resent their position and a few Afghan dependents may turn to terrorism.
Speaking of terrorists, how much of a threat do the Taliban pose to us at present? It's often been said that we fight them over there to keep us safe over here. What if we just prevent them from coming here? What if our immigration policy screened out jihadists? If the Taliban are so dangerous, why can't we minimize contact with them and their country? Why do our doors have to stay wide open?
Suppose Stewart's nightmare scenario came true:
Even if – as seems most unlikely – the Taliban were to take the
capital, it is not clear how much of a threat this would pose to US or
European national security.
When someone goes berserk in a poor American neighborhood, the police come, neutralize the threat, and leave. The police do not stay for eight years and double as social workers wrestling with 'root causes'. If the American police doesn't build neighborhoods for poor Americans - and if America is the world's policeman - why does Officer America have to build Afghanistan?
Unfortunately, Stewart's proposal is going to be more popular than mine. His altruism appeals to both Leftists and Rightists who dream of helping the Third World. (The real conflict between them is whether the poor in the West should receive government assistance.) My proposal is too mean. Lock our doors and let the Afghans deal with their own problems? Not likely.
So I fear we'll continue to stay the course in Afghanistan and Iraq while real threats go unchecked in Iran and North Korea. Which is a greater danger to the US, the Taliban or nukes?
Posted by: Amritas at July 17, 2009 08:27 PM (h9KHg)
You wrote this in another post, but I thought my comment would be more relevant here:
how casually an Afghan man says he would divorce his wife and choose another if she couldn't bear children.
I think you understand why I get nauseated by the thought of Americans fighting for Afghans.
Regarding Planet Afghanistan, we still hear the deadly cliché that "all
human beings want the same basic things, such as better lives and
greater opportunities for their children." How does that apply to
Afghan aliens who prefer their crude way of life and its merciless cults?
Detroit’s public schools are on the verge of bankruptcy, reports the Wall Street Journal ... Of those who start ninth grade, only a quarter claim a diploma four years late ...
Detroit would be the first major urban district to go bankrupt, but it probably won’t be the last.
Is it because the former are distant abstractions for those on the homefront, whereas the latter are all too familiar and depressing? Have we given up on our fellow Americans in favor of an "irresistible illusion" in the Middle East?
Posted by: Amritas at July 22, 2009 12:57 PM (+nV09)
Two years ago I liked watching and listening to Glenn Beck but I thought he was way out there crazy. Now I think he is one of the few who gets it and did a long time ago. Monday night we attended a 912 project meeting here in our town. Next time we are going to help them start a blog, not enough organization going on yet. People can keep in touch and comment on a blog. HNN really gave up on a great guy, I bet his program had better ratings than anything they had then or have now.
Posted by: Ruth H at July 15, 2009 09:07 PM (BkiKe)
It's clips like that one that make me very worried for his safety... and sad that we don't get FNC (and that I spend so much time on political stuff that I don't have all the time to catch up with his tv show!) I have to settle for my insider-enhanced radio privileges, LOL...
But he's right, and the more people who realize it, the more hope we have to root out the corruption... thanks for posting such a great clip!!!
Posted by: Krista at July 16, 2009 03:21 PM (sUTgZ)
"You understand that my column was basically a prophesy," I shot back. I had suggested right-leaning ideas weren't welcome on campus and in response the faculty had tied my viewpoints to racism and addressed me with profanity-laced insults.
What's so remarkable is that I hadn't actually advocated Republican ideas or conservative ideas. In fact, I'm not a conservative, nor a Republican. I simply believe in the concept of diversity – a primarily liberal idea – and think that we suffer when we don't include ideas we find unappealing.
Yes, it's a problem. Why aren't all of his professors Communists? I expected better from North Berkeley.
Imagine a world where people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations believe in one true ideology and worship one Great Leader. Diversity through conformity!
Posted by: kevin at July 14, 2009 12:39 PM (+nV09)
Very interesting read. Thanks for the link!
I clicked through to read his article, and then his original op-ed that had gotten him in trouble at school... and came across this interesting bit:
I want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Marxists, Independents and anyone with a halfway decent idea that doesn't incorporate hate.
Well, that's the kicker, isn't it? :-)
People can have hate, regardless of their political leanings.
But when it comes to ideology, which seems more "hateful":
a) Regardless of your feelings, you may not violate Person X's rights, nor may you join with others to do so in a collective fashion; or
b) Regardless of your feelings or actions, if you have a material or immaterial advantage over Person X, then Person X may individually or collectively violate your rights to eliminate that inequality
(Oh, this is SO getting its own blog post soon...)
Posted by: Krista at July 14, 2009 02:39 PM (sUTgZ)
This part: "I want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Marxists, Independents and anyone with a halfway decent idea that doesn't incorporate hate." should've been in quotes...
Posted by: Krista at July 14, 2009 02:40 PM (sUTgZ)
Thanks for finding the original article, Krista. I hope to see your article soon!
And thanks for quoting that key line. I also like what follows:
"I want that [intellectual diversity] more than free football tickets, a new basketball arena or
pretty much anything else a University could offer. In exchange for
paying $20,000 in tuition a year, I think I deserve it."
He's got a proper sense of priority. Academics before sports. And he should be demanding his money's worth.
Why are universities so overwhelmingly Leftist? One answer is that Leftism is obviously small-r right. Here's another:
The truth is that it is very, very hard to get a tenured faculty
position at a university. And the hiring process is unlike anything in a
private business. In most cases, one needs a unanimous vote of the professors
in one’s department to get tenure. This puts a high priority on intangibles
like collegiality, which often translates into sharing the same politics and
ideology. David Boxenhorn commented:
This is a sure-fire way to get uniformity - and mediocrity. The most original
people are almost by definition controversial. (Not necessarily disliked, but
disbelieved.) A system to promote diversity would be designed differently, with
say, professors taking turns on a small tenure committee, or even having
outsiders be in charge. The system described above sounds more like a
self-perpetuating aristocracy or cult than anything else.
Academic freedom is supposedly a big deal, but
universities, at this point in time, have exactly the wrong kind of freedom:
There are no clear rules, instead there is a clear ideology to which you must
conform. So let's try to turn the situation around: What sort of rules should
there be? What should the academic meta-ideology be? Well, I know where to
start: The scientific method. Unfortunately, the scientific method is not easily
applicable to all fields of study, and it is true that in those areas where it
is clearly applicable (physics, for instance) ideology is much less important.
But, in fact, the scientific method (plus some statistics to make up for the
difficulty of doing experiments) can be applied much more widely than it is.
Fashionable fields like Woman's Studies or Black Studies are actually very
amenable to the scientific method, if you are honest. And it's beyond me why
Linguistics isn't a "true science" - you can really do experiments in many
branches of Linguistics almost like you can in Physics. So the first rule of
academia should be: I can say anything I want as long as I can back it up with
the scientific method. I think that will get us far, but what about areas like
Political Science, Literature and History? I don't know, but I'm open to
I am fascinated by the idea of applying the scientific method to identity studies. Why can't the history and current status of women and blacks - or men and whites - be studied scientifically?
Posted by: Amritas at July 14, 2009 03:26 PM (+nV09)
Capitalism is liberating: You’re born a peasant but you don’t
have to die one. You can work hard and get a nice place in the suburbs.
If you were a 19th century Russian peasant and you got to Ellis Island,
you’d be living in a tenement on the Lower East Side, but your kids
would get an education and move uptown, and your grandkids would be
doctors and accountants in Westchester County.
great-grandchild would be a Harvard-educated environmental activist
demanding an end to all this electricity and indoor toilets.
Back in the 70s, I really believed we would run out of oil in ten years. Didn't happen. I've been wary of ecopalyptic predictions ever since.
Your quote of Steyn sums up the last four generations: from Old World peasant to New World activist aristocrat. Now that's progress!
The last line of Steyn's that you quoted reminds me of this post of yours that I happened to reread last night.
Posted by: Amritas at July 13, 2009 07:59 AM (h9KHg)
Speaking of toilets (and you totally started it):
My Great-great grandfather was so disgusted by the idea of indoor toilets that he refused to let my GG Grandmother put one in the house. Pooping mere feet from where food was prepared? REVOLTING.
My grandmother (who will be accompanying me to SBL Pendleton) still throws up her hands in frustration about that, and it happened over 70 years ago.
Posted by: airforcewife at July 13, 2009 02:33 PM (CDkfD)
I had a great aunt and uncle who lived in the country close to the Oklahoma/Kansas line. About 1943 or so the discovered oil on their farm and they came into money. The got water into the house They had a beautiful sink with water in the kitchen and built a fine bathroom, no toilet, just bathroom. They built a really nice outbuilding for the water flushed toilet. It was painted white with red rambler roses climbing up the walls. My aunt wouldn't have a toilet in the house. The idea! I wish that aunt were still alive. she was a wonderful musician, could play anything she ever heard on the piano and could not read a note of music. That whole family, including my dad, had wonderful voices and sang a lot anytime they all got together.
Posted by: Ruth H at July 13, 2009 02:49 PM (BkiKe)
And the term PRT, though accurate in Iraq, should be changed to “PCT” (Provincial COnstruction Team) in Afghanistan. The Provincial REconstruction Teams in Iraq are far different. The term “reconstruction” in Iraq is generally correct, but it’s usually a misnomer in Afghanistan and confuses people at home by implying there was something here to reconstruct.
Oh our Obama, we actually agree with Michael Yon! It is Omerica's duty to construct in Afghanistan, to build where there was nothing before, to give selflessly to our Muslim brothers and sisters in the greatest redistribution project in humyn history. It is not fair that infidels in Omerica get to enjoy all this wealth. Most of those riches must be shared with Afghanistan ... Iraq, victim of the biggest crime of all time ... Africa ... the entire Third World! Work, Omericans, work ... never rest until every Afghan can read the Holy Qur'ān at your expense!
Stop being selfish about your money ... and your land. Open your borders. Let the entire world in. There's more than enough room for a billion people! Or two. Why deprive them of the great government of the One? handOuts for all!
Just imagine the vvvvibrant diversity that will result when sharī`ah and gay marriage attempt to coexist in Vermontistan! We feel thrills going up our legs!
Posted by: kevin at July 05, 2009 05:58 AM (7burq)
Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the
real business of Obama-Khamenei negotiations, the president speaks
favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that
indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about
Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness
with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical
dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to
examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that
will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.
Moreover, this incipient revolution is no longer about the election.
Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political
space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor
that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people
aren't dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads
in suburban Isfahan. They want to bring down the tyrannical,
misogynist, corrupt theocracy that has imposed itself with the very
baton-wielding goons that today attack the demonstrators.
This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it
has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very
legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.
This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with
massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of
brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the
The latter is improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible.
I never thought I'd be defending Obama - especially after my last comment! - but I don't see anything wrong with calling Khamenei the Supreme Leader. That is the common translation of his title, after all. If he had a different title and Obama described him as a "supreme leader", then I would be upset. But only a bit. Supreme Leader sounds evil to me and is a reminder of the sad state of Iran. It's not a term I'd use to indicate respect toward a head of state, though I imagine Obama's speechwriter was simply using the title without a second thought. What should Obama have said? "So-called Supreme Leader - snort"? If Bush-haters could force themselves to say "President Bush", I think opponents of "the tyrannical,
misogynist, corrupt theocracy" can say "Supreme Leader". The rest of that line of Obama's about the SL's alleged understanding is so much worse than a title I would have used anyway.
Posted by: Amritas at June 20, 2009 09:25 PM (/IwHi)
"But for a few nettlesome differences (like equality for women
and hostility to homosexuals), the Islamic political program —
especially the totalitarian version regnant in the Islamic Republic of
Iran — is something the American Left would be very comfortable with.
Obama understands this, and I think it is a better explanation for his
solicitude toward Khamenei than any hope of reversing Iran's nuclear
I'd like to see him expand on that point, as it's too easy to associate our enemies (the Iranian regime) with whatever angers us (Obama) even if there is no real connection.
Posted by: Amritas at June 20, 2009 09:56 PM (/IwHi)
According to the U.N. figures, life expectancy in the United States is 78 years; in the United Kingdom, it’s 79 — yay, go socialized health care! On the other hand, in Albania, where the entire population chain-smokes and the health-care system involves swimming to Italy, life expectancy is still 71 years — or about where America was a generation or so back. Once you get childhood mortality under control, and observe basic hygiene and lifestyle precautions, the health “system” is relatively marginal. One notes that, even in Somalia, which still has high childhood mortality, not to mention a state of permanent civil war, functioning government has entirely collapsed and yet life expectancy has increased from 49 to 55. Maybe if government were to collapse entirely in Washington, our life expectancy would show equally remarkable gains. Just thinking outside the box here.
I can't remember the study - but I saw one that purported that "preventative health care" isn't the public savior it is purported to be. Not that hygiene should not be followed (and even this is one of degrees - many scientists and medical professionals are of the opinion that the recent rise in things like asthma and peanut allergies are due to us being TOO clean!), but that the constant visits to the doctor for this procedure and that procedure don't really make the difference in our quality or quantity of life that the current conventional wisdom purports.
There are always outliers, and those are the ones we remember: Jade Goody and cervical cancer, Farah Fawcett, or personal stories we know. But much like we only remember those times we washed our car and it rained right after, the majority of the statistics don't bear this out. Lifestyle choices and genetics play a much bigger role than the amount of times we visit the doctor for "preventative care." And even "lifestyle choices" don't necessarily follow the conventional wisdom of what is good and what is not.
My grandparents on my father's side all live to their 90s (and beyond in one case) - eating red meat every single day. And those people are/were HEALTHY. Oh, and they drank a lot of alcohol, too. Not that they were alcoholics, but my grandmother's family were German.
Perhaps we need to look at health care more like what we look at for car care. We don't expect insurance to cover tune ups or oil changes. We expect it for catastrophes.
Perhaps we need more of that for health care? Just a thought...
Posted by: airforcewife at June 15, 2009 08:10 AM (NqbuI)
I think that the problem with the current idea of health care is that it is more illness management than actually making someone healthy. If you have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc, there is a pill to help you manage that, even though steps could be taken to get rid of that (usually weightloss). And the healthcare industry pushes managing the symptoms more than treating the problem. And patients seem to be okay with that.
And yes, we do live longer now, but I wonder if we are actually healthier. I mean, I think all the pills just keep us alive, but I think overall health might have decreased.
I agree with you AFW: we need to look at health insurance as catastrophic health insurance for those unfortunate incidents/ailments (car accident, broken arm, cancer)...not the ones we actually see coming (heart disease from obesity, prenatal care and delivering a baby, etc.) But this is another one of those issues that is argued on the margins (i.e. what about the poor person who can't afford his cancer treatments? uh huh...but what about the millions of others who are sucking down a gallon of soda a day and then get heart disease?)
Well, just like tobacco, we can tax soda, and people won't drink it as much! (Except, they'd have to REALLY tax soda, as the $1.50 coke at McDonalds really only costs them $0.03, the rest is pure profit). And of course, we still smoke. The gov't has never shown any correlation between taxing an item and limiting its use, and where would they get the money to pay for the programs their "sin taxes" currently fund, if it really was a deterrent?
Taxing things we like to pay for things we don't is ridiculous. We'll tax soda because it makes you fat and drives up the cost of health care! How about this instead:
We didn't feed you butter and sugar for fifty years, don't come crying to us when your ticker goes ker-thunk if you climb more than three stairs!
Of course, I completely threw out you argument on its face when you (or Steyn) opened with "According to UN figures..." Sorry. All the UN is is good for is child rape and supporting anyone who is against Israel. And being honets brokers in the oil-for-food program. I'll give them that one.
Posted by: Chuck at June 15, 2009 01:52 PM (bQVIy)
Hey, you are hitting pretty close to home here! I'm 72. I plan on another 20 years, too. I can't say I haven't had some major illnesses because I have, but between the extremely good health care here in America, my genes (they caused some of those illnesses, but helped me through some also) a lot of prayers and help, I can say I am really in good shape. Or as my dad would have said, for the shape I'm in. I am one of seven siblings, we are all alive and four are in our 70's. Only one of us has even lost children and he has lost two. One at birth and one of ovarian cancer.
I really don't think what you eat has as much to do with it as some like to think. I think that is a little bit of blaming the victim. We have a lot of diabetes in our family, both type 1 and type 2. Bad genes. But due to medical miracles like insulin my little brother, he's now 68, who was diagnosed with type one at age 21 is planning on getting into the 70's also. My granddaughter who was diagnosed at age 12 is now 16 and at age 14 was the youngest diabetic to complete a marathon, a full marathon and has since run two more. She also does cross country. Illness and disease happens but what you do with you life in spite of these things count. Oh yes, I have a nephew who was diagnosed at age 4, he is mid 40's now a great person and an extremely healthy person, just needs his insulin. He ate only Oscar Meyer weiners and peanut butter while growing up. We feared the worse for him because of it. His body shows no signs of a lifelong diabetes. Yet that is what he has had as long as he can remember. Nothing to do with his weight or life habits, just genes. Some of my siblings have smoked, most have not. The ones that did have had no ill effects from it. Some people smoke and never have any ill effects some have many. I think genetics has a lot to do with that.
I agree that the sodas and chips young children eat can make them way too fat and can cause diabetes. But I wonder if we took away the Mexican immigrants from our databases if we would see that skewed the diabetes statistics because of the strong genetic predisposition. I don't know this, I just wonder. I know that here in S Texas that is a large component of the diabetes population. And they have a very high percentage of leg amputations also. Grim, grim stats.
Posted by: Ruth H at June 15, 2009 02:41 PM (4eLhB)
Holy cow Sarah - the quotable things you discover. So true in so many ways.
Posted by: Darla at June 15, 2009 06:44 PM (LP4DK)
Genetics is a bad word for some. It's like the modern equivalent of fate in the old days. No one wants to be resigned to their fate. Modern people want to think they can be anything they want to be. But they can't. They can, however, be the best they can be - within limits. Genetic limits. The G-word again. Oops.
I too "really don't think what you eat has as much to do with it as some like to think." I eat anything I want at any time with no ill effects. I realize I'm very lucky. My diet might seriously harm someone else with different genes. (Granted, it's a low-meat, no-sweets, no-soda diet, but still ...)
Posted by: Amritas at June 16, 2009 12:49 PM (x4B1D)
When President Bush used to promote the notion of democracy in the
Muslim world, there was a line he liked to fall back on: “Freedom is
the desire of every human heart.” Are you quite sure? It’s doubtful
whether that’s actually the case in Gaza and Waziristan, but we know
for absolute certain that it’s not in Paris and Stockholm, London and
Toronto, Buffalo and New Orleans. The story of the Western world since
1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government
“security,” large numbers of people vote to dump freedom every time—the
freedom to make their own decisions about health care, education,
property rights, and eventually (as we already see in Europe, Canada,
American campuses, and the disgusting U.N. Human Rights Council) what you’re permitted to say and think.
I too used to naively think that all men desired freedom. But that's must-y speak.
Interesting post! I think that - even more than people are afraid of freedom for themselves, (which is utterly get-what-they-deserve-ing), many desire to take it away from others b/c they disapprove of what those others are doing with it. "You can't smoke!" "You can't teach your children!" "You can't have that [firearm/literature/etc.]!" "You can't drive that!" "You can't keep your money if someone else doesn't have as much!"
I am absolutely certain that in this world, *some* government is necessary and desirable to protect our rights.
But when people stop focusing on defending their natural rights and instead work on asserting non-existent ones - always at others' expense - the lazy, the power-hungry, and the thoughtless fall right in line and back the ultimate deception: the idea that the force of government power can, should, and will create their own little version of Utopia. In reality, creating our own happiness is why we have freedom.
Posted by: kannie at June 13, 2009 09:44 AM (5XpA4)
Sarah, you've seen me slowly realize that all men (and women) do not desire freedom. Compare my 2003 entries with my 2005 ones. I used to be so naive.
kannie, I was once naive enough to believe anarchism was the answer. I was a teenager then. I took everything for granted. My parents paid for everything. And the government provided so much - arguably too much. No, I wasn't on welfare. But I was benefiting from government roads, government sidewalks, etc. ... and, in a less visible way, from the laws of the government and its enforcers, the police.
Many advocates of bigger government want more concrete benefits (i.e., material handouts) than abstract benefits (i.e., the defense of rights). People can see 'free' goodies but they can't see rights. So what's the big deal about losing what they can't see? Or about living at the expense of others one can't see? To claim that government benefits are 'free' is to be blind to the reality of cost, to be ignorant of freedom, a state in which people are not forced to provide for others. Unfortunately, such blindness is widespread, and some may have no eyes to open.
the lazy, the power-hungry, and the thoughtless fall right in line
What an alliance!
As I see it, the power-hungry lead the line and the others follow. "Be my dependent! Make me dominant!" is the slogan of Great Leaders. But what if we don't want to be dependents? What if we don't want to be dominated? Where can we go? Where's our gulch?
Posted by: Amritas at June 15, 2009 01:27 AM (b3Ptv)
But what if we don't want to be dependents? What if we don't want to be dominated? Where can we go? Where's our gulch?
Heh... there are a couple similar theories in circulation. Here's a link to a Russian analyst's idea from a few months ago... wish I had links to similar Cold War-era type stuff!
Should the government continue to deliberately disintegrate (disinte-great?) the founding fabric of our country via socialization and currency destruction, we might get to have a Gulch after all: one little pocket where honest people have banded together and are working (& defending their work) and living in a decent, productive society instead of eating each other.
'Cause I don't WANT to cannibalize my neighbor - or his liberty or property. I'm just sayin'. ;-)
Posted by: kannie at June 16, 2009 12:59 PM (5XpA4)
I can imagine an anarchist regarding the reduction of government as "disinte-great-ion" - the less integrated, the better from his POV.
I don't think the government sees what they're doing as disintegration - they think they're merely reinterpreting a living document. Everyone 'knows' that if the Founding Parents were alive today, they'd be progressive. It's 'common sense'!
Thanks for the link to the WSJ article on Panarin. I was predicting a similar breakup of the US almost 20 years ago. But now I think that the real divisions of the US are less regional than urban vs. nonurban. Imagine, say, Chicago as a West Berlin in reverse - a socialist pocket in a capitalist Midwest.
Posted by: Amritas at June 16, 2009 09:54 PM (VtO7U)
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There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living. --The Count of Monte Cristo--
While our troops go out to defend our country, it is incumbent upon us to make the country worth defending. --Deskmerc--
Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, WWII, and the Star Wars Trilogy. --Bart Simpson--
If you want to be a peacemaker, you've gotta learn to kick ass. --Sheriff of East Houston, Superman II--
Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind. --Jed Babbin--
Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. --President John F. Kennedy--
War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. --General Patton--
We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over. --Full Metal Jacket--
Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed. --Dick Cheney--
The Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. --Col Steven Arrington--
The purpose of diplomacy isn't to make us feel good about Eurocentric diplomatic skills, and having countries from the axis of chocolate tie our shoelaces together does nothing to advance our infantry. --Sir George--
I just don't care about the criticism I receive every day, because I know the cause I defend is right. --Oriol--
It's days like this when we're reminded that freedom isn't free. --Chaplain Jacob--
Bumper stickers aren't going to accomplish some of the missions this country is going to face. --David Smith--
The success of multilateralism is measured not merely by following a process, but by achieving results. --President Bush--
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.
First, go buy a six pack and swig it all down. Then, watch Ace Ventura. And after that, buy a Hard Rock Cafe shirt and come talk to me. You really need to lighten up, man.
You've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting --General Curtis Lemay--
If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained -- we must fight! --Patrick Henry--
America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American. --President George W. Bush--
are usually just cheerleading sessions, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing but a soothing reduction in blood pressure brought about by the narcotic high of being agreed with. --Bill Whittle
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stuart Mill--
We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other. --General George Marshall--
We can continue to try and clean up the gutters all over the world and spend all of our resources looking at just the dirty spots and trying to make them clean. Or we can lift our eyes up and look into the skies and move forward in an evolutionary way.
America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.
Recent anti-Israel protests remind us again of our era's peculiar alliance: the most violent, intolerant, militantly religious movement in modern times has the peace movement on its side. --James Lileks--
As a wise man once said: we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Unless the price is too high, the burden too great, the hardship too hard, the friend acts disproportionately, and the foe fights back. In which case, we need a timetable.
I am not willing to kill a man so that he will agree with my faith, but I am prepared to kill a man so that he cannot force my compatriots to submit to his.
You can say what you want about President Bush; but the truth is that he can take a punch. The man has taken a swift kick in the crotch for breakfast every day for 6 years and he keeps getting up with a smile in his heart and a sense of swift determination to see the job through to the best of his abilties.
In a perfect world, We'd live in peace and love and harmony with each oither and the world, but then, in a perfect world, Yoko would have taken the bullet.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. --Ronald Reagan--
America is rather like life. You can usually find in it what you look for. It will probably be interesting, and it is sure to be large. --E.M. Forster--
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. --Mark Twain--
The Enlightenment was followed by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, which touched every European state, sparked vicious guerrilla conflicts across the Continent and killed millions. Then, things really turned ugly after the invention of soccer. --Iowahawk--
Every time I meet an Iraqi Army Soldier or Policeman that I haven't met before, I shake his hand and thank him for his service. Many times I am thanked for being here and helping his country. I always tell them that free people help each other and that those that truly value freedom help those seeking it no matter the cost. --Jack Army--
Right, left - the terms are useless nowadays anyway. There are statists, and there are individualists. There are pessimists, and optimists. There are people who look backwards and trust in the West, and those who look forward and trust in The World. Those are the continuums that seem to matter the most right now. --Lileks--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
A man or a nation is not placed upon this earth to do merely what is pleasant and what is profitable. It is often called upon to carry out what is both unpleasant and unprofitable, but if it is obviously right it is mere shirking not to undertake it. --Arthur Conan Doyle--
A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself. --John Stuart Mill--
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." --Dave Grossman--
At heart I’m a cowboy; my attitude is if they’re not going to stand up and fight for what they believe in then they can go pound sand. --Bill Whittle--
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. --Alexander Tyler--
By that time a village half-wit could see what generations of professors had pretended not to notice. --Atlas Shrugged--
I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and everything seemed so shitty. And he'd say, "That's the way it goes, but don't forget, it goes the other way too." --Alabama Worley--
So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists don’t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we haven’t yet held talks without preconditions with.
"I had started alone in this journey called life, people started
gathering up on the way, and the caravan got bigger everyday." --Urdu couplet
The book and the sword are the two things that control the world. We either gonna control them through knowledge and influence their minds, or we gonna bring the sword and take their heads off. --RZA--
It's a daily game of public Frogger, hopping frantically to avoid being crushed under the weight of your own narcissism, banality, and plain old stupidity. --Mary Katharine Ham--
There are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms
of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. --James Madison--
It is in the heat of emotion that good people must remember to stand on principle. --Larry Elder--
Please show this to the president and ask him to remember the wishes of the forgotten man, that is, the one who dared to vote against him. We expect to be tramped on but we do wish the stepping would be a little less hard. --from a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt--
The world economy depends every day on some engineer, farmer, architect, radiator shop owner, truck driver or plumber getting up at 5AM, going to work, toiling hard, and producing real wealth so that an array of bureaucrats, regulators, and redistributors can manage the proper allotment of much of the natural largess produced. --VDH--
Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves. --Marcelene Cox--